[00:00:00] Welcome to Beyond the Microphone, a podcast about podcasters and the stories of how their shows came together, grew, and what they discovered along the way. I’m your host, Adam Baruh.
Adam Baruh: So before we get into our guest interview today, I’d like to talk about the process of finding guests. If you’re doing a podcast that is guest interview based, you know, you might not even know where to get started.
Um, I know I didn’t when I, you know, started, uh, my first podcast, the change and, and. The first platform I found, um, was actually really good is podcastguests. com and it’s more of like a type of system where you set up a profile and you can pay an additional amount like monthly subscription to get highlighted in their email, but it’s more, I found it to be more of where you kind of set up a profile and then you wait to be found and so it’s more kind of like [00:01:00] inbound people finding you and, and asking like me to be, yeah.
Um, and then there’s another one, and I think it’s probably one of the more popular ones, and it’s actually how I found our guest here today. Um, pod match, um, uh, which is a platform from pod pros and Alex Sanfilippi, who I interviewed here. Um, I believe episode number seven, if I’m not mistaken here on beyond the microphone and pod match is really cool.
It’s like a, like a dating service for podcasters. So you can represent that you’re a host or a guest or both. And um, you know, so it does have, you know, kind of both the inbound and outbound. You know, you set up a profile if you want to be a guest, but you’re also a host and you set up a profile and like Kevin did, he reached out to me to, he pitched to me to be a guest on beyond the microphone.
And, uh, so I’m going to call that, that’s called podcast pitching. And, um, it definitely needs to be. Um, part of what you’re doing, like we’ve [00:02:00] spoken about doing guest spots, um, here on beyond the microphone and the value of doing guest spots as, as much as you can possibly do it a, because it’s free marketing for you and you’re getting in front of potential new audience members for your own podcast.
And then, you know, the, the inbound, like I, you know, there’s also a part of pod match where I could go. You know, there’s matches. It recommends people. I could, I could reach out and pitch for them to come on and be a guest on my show, much like podcast guest dot com does. And then there’s pod task, right? So that is, um, kind of a similar deal.
It’s like you. You can set up a profile. It’s got the ability for people to pitch to you. And it also has what I call focused podcast pitching, where it’s got access to, like, literally the listen notes database of every single podcast. And you can send a pitch request to any podcast, um, where they’ve exposed their email, which is pretty much all of them.
But, uh, anyway, so those are, you know, three platforms that you can use for finding guests. guests, as well as [00:03:00] becoming a guest. And so go check them out and, uh, you know, again, they’re, it’s, they’re pretty easy to work with. They’re pretty affordable. So, uh, I mean, if you’re doing guest interviews, you gotta, you gotta figure out a way to build that pipeline of guests.
So with that, let me introduce our guest here today, Kevin Palmieri, the cohost of the podcast next level university where Kevin and his cohost, Alan Lazarus bring a heart driven, but no BS approach to holistic self improvement for dream chasers. And check this out. Next Level University boasts a listen score of 43 and is ranked as a top one and a half percent podcast in their category.
So, you know, beyond that, according to Apple podcasts, they’ve published a whopping 1, 378 episodes as of June 30th, 2023. And that’s, you know, based on what I looked at. It looks like a daily publishing. So that that’s quite the volume of content that you’ve created, [00:04:00] Kevin. So welcome to be onto the microphone.
Kevin Palmieri: Thank you so much for having me. I got to learn a little bit in the beginning as well. You, you know, you learn a lesson every day, so I’m grateful for that. And, uh, yeah, I’m happy to be here. Anytime I can be on a podcast about podcasts, I am there.
Adam Baruh: Yeah. Awesome. And so glad you’re here. And actually let’s stay on that for a moment. I mean, I, I think what makes the podcasting community so fun and so cool to be a part of is, collaborations, I mean, I’ve. I’ve been a wedding photographer, so, you know, I’ve kind of worked in the creative space for, you know, a while, but really my main job over the past seven years is being CEO of an I.
T. Consulting agency, and it’s so competitive, and there’s a lot of ego and kind of, you know, aggression. That’s part of that. That I mean, to be honest, like, You know, having this, you know, kind of other part of my life in podcasting is so incredibly refreshing because I have found in my experience, [00:05:00] I mean, just, you know, going back to that conversation with Alex and Filippo, like he was so open and so willing to collaborate and just find ways that we can help each other.
You know, that’s what it’s all about. That’s, that’s what I love so much about this community. I mean, let’s kind of start with that. Like, what’s your experience kind of having worked in the space for a while now and building the body of content that you’ve built.
Kevin Palmieri: Yeah, I think it’s, I kind of look at it as a more intensive form of social media is kind of how I look at it because you have to understand the long, the long term possibility of podcast episodes is drastically higher than almost anything else. Because it’s, it’s more valuable. The, a podcast episode is one of the most valuable pieces of content you can create. Maybe other than a book, obviously, because a book is far deeper. But if you, if you can break a podcast episode into like five pieces of an important book, you have a really valuable podcast episode. So, not only is it a great episode, [00:06:00] uh, great opportunity to connect to people you might not normally. That’s a huge thing. Everybody wants to be on podcasts cause it’s one of the best ways to impact sell books, that type of stuff. So it is a, a really good leverage point for an hour of your time to reach potentially thousands of people. It’s, it’s the best. It really is. I think every business should have one just because it helps scale.
It really does.
Adam Baruh: Yeah. And it’s so accessible by anybody. Like, you know, when it comes to a book, like, yeah, I mean, kind of like the entry point is a lot, there’s a lot more to that. Right. Um, but like podcasting is literally accessible to anybody. I mean, all you technically need is like a phone to record on, you know, and, and, you know, some sort of like place to host your podcast.
And so, you know, something that I find to be very interesting. Yeah. And I’m curious your take on this, but here in like mid 2023, especially having gone through the pandemic, you know what the pandemic did. I mean, and, and [00:07:00] this was actually happening before the pandemic. I mean, there was this move to go remote or hybrid, you know, in the workplace.
And I, you know, with my own company, I. I’m a little old school and I kind of tried to avoid that as much as possible. Um, I didn’t like it to be honest. I think there’s a lot that it took away from in terms of like my company and the culture that I wanted to build. But, you know, the pandemic came and it forced us to go remote.
And it was actually a really good thing. Um, definitely everybody on my team likes it. But what it, what it gave to me as a employer is the ability to now. Uh, hire anybody throughout the U. S. and really go after the best talent wherever they live. And, you know, we have a great benefits plan that we’re now able to tap into.
And anyway, so where I’m going with this is, you know, more and more of us are now in somewhat isolated environments. We’re working from home. We’re not having those human connections that maybe we used to have [00:08:00] the, you know, just the camaraderie, um, and that sort of thing. I. I have found podcasting to be an amazing supplement to that human connection.
I mean, whereas it’s not really replacing that like in person human contact, but like just as a podcast listener, I mean, I’ve listened to, I’ll use the moth as an example because I love that podcast. I love storytelling podcasts. I’ve listened to some of these storytellers on the moth share the most emotional and vulnerable stories.
And as a listener, I’m like drawn right in there. I feel what the emotions that they’re describing. And so in this day and age where maybe there’s a little bit of an erosion on human connection and just that feeling of being a part of a community like podcasting, I feel like gives back to me. a little bit in that way.
Like, [00:09:00] what’s your take on that?
Kevin Palmieri: What I have found, I’ve worked with at this point, hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of podcasters, small businesses, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs. Usually what I find is until you create the community, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunity. So. I always say, I have three questions I ask at every level of the business model.
Why are people there? What do they expect? And where do they go next? And when it comes to the podcast, we kinda know why they’re there. We know what they expect based on our branding and our mission. Where do they go next though? And a lot of people say, well I want them to go to my mailing list, or I want them to go to my website.
And it’s like, why? Why would they? Well, because I have a lot of stuff on my website. That doesn’t matter, necessarily. I always, I always like to create a group after the podcast. Because, Adam, you and I could be listening to the same podcast, and unless I come out and say, Hey, what are you, what are you listening to?
And you say, The Moth. And I say, Oh my goodness, same. You and I would never [00:10:00] know or listen to the same podcast. So, Not only from the aspect of the creator because you actually get people to self identify as listeners But you can connect a lot of your listeners together And I think when somebody’s in a group doesn’t have to be a Facebook group at any group you’re nurturing that relationship You’re creating absorption of content and if somebody’s in your Facebook group, they’re most like they’re more likely to listen back to the podcast so it becomes this this wonderful ecosystem of Community which pours back into the podcast.
So yeah, it’s definitely a good opportunity from what I’ve seen, but usually people aren’t capturing it to the level that they really could.
Adam Baruh: And so, you know, there’s like Facebook groups, there’s communities that are built up on circle, um, you know, linkedin communities like, do you have, you know, I guess what would be your recommendation for somebody that has a podcast that wants to build a community where they can engage with their listeners and, you know, have a space where listeners can engage with each other on the [00:11:00] topic.
Um, you know, what, what’s your recommendation, like patrion, like what, what do you like?
Kevin Palmieri: I like to go where the users are. That’s usually my thought is most people are on Facebook. I’ll create a Facebook group. Our audience is primarily emotionally driven. So not a lot of them are going to leverage LinkedIn consistently. But I also have a lot of investor, real estate investor clients where LinkedIn is their main platform.
So I tend to say, what is the vibe of your show? And based on the demographic and psychographic, what do you think the best platform is? I mean, you can do WhatsApp groups if you want. I like to go where the audience already is because the barrier to entry is a little bit lower and instead of getting them to engage in a new behavior, I’m just getting them to make a new choice that day and I find that that’s just a little bit easier.
So yeah, I would say understanding your audience is the most important thing anyway for long term success. When you start to understand, wow, you know, I’ve noticed they’re mostly on Facebook. [00:12:00] There, there you go. They’re mostly on LinkedIn. There you go. They don’t really use social media. Okay. There you go.
Then you can kind of go from there and take the next step.
Adam Baruh: And, you know… Level number two, then it’s like, you know, going on to Facebook, for example, if that’s where you find your community is, um, would you recommend, like, is what’s the benefit or the, you know, disadvantage of branding the Facebook group around your podcast versus alternatively around your topic or even, you know, a third alternative would be just kind of finding another like well known Facebook community and just becoming really active in that.
Kevin Palmieri: active in another group is very hard to transition to listens for you because you’ve got to be a Jedi knight when you’re doing it. And there’s, there’s a lot of intricacies. And if you say the wrong thing, you can get booted.
Adam Baruh: Yeah.
Kevin Palmieri: I like. I like to keep it on brand because it’s easier to promote. So if, for, like, for us, it’s Next [00:13:00] Level University, our podcast group’s Next Level Nation. Easy. You know what you’re getting when you join. So, I would say it depends. If you’re the type of person who is gonna go try to find people on Facebook to get them to join your group, then maybe you could do… You know, um, the mindset mastermind group and if that’s what your podcast is about and then you could go search and invite people I have seen in the past that usually when you just random invite people, they’re not as engaged where if you have a call to action in your podcast, they already feel like they belong and they tend to be more engaged.
So I usually go that route of if your show is called the podcast, I think the podcast group is the best name just because it keeps things in alignment. That’s what I’ve seen.
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Adam Baruh: Okay. Cool. All right. Well, let’s, let’s bring it back to next level. You nervous? Yes. That’s your podcast. You just, you just mentioned, um, in the intro, you know, I, I mentioned some like really stellar and congratulations by the way, your listen score of 43. That’s a great listen score, top one and a half percent.
So you’re, you’re successful in building an audience, building listeners and, and. You know, giving, giving value back to that community, right? So, let’s start with Next Level University. What, what is it about? What’s the premise? Um, and, you know, I guess what I’m really also curious is what’s the story behind it?
How did it get created? What was, what was the motivation or the impetus to, to build
Kevin Palmieri: First of all, thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it very much. Next level university, we believe in a heart driven but no BS approach to holistic self improvement for [00:16:00] dream chasers. That’s literally. In the, in the intro. So for us, we’re talking about mindset. We’re talking about relationships. We’re talking about unconscious beliefs that you have around money.
Our goal really is to help people become more holistically successful, not just make more money, not just get in better shape, not just get a relationship. I ideally want to help people find all of that. And one of the reasons why is because I believe at a deep level that if I had that, when I was younger.
I probably wouldn’t have gone through a lot of the stuff that I, that I went through and same with my, same with my business partner. So, the interesting thing for me, when I was 25, this is where like this whole journey started for me. I, from all outside standards, had the dream life. I had a high paying job, I had a sports car, my girlfriend was a model, I had just won a bodybuilding show, so I was in the best shape of my life.
Health, wealth, and love, quote unquote, I had it all. But, I was very depressed, [00:17:00] I was very anxious, I was a shell of myself. I just, I wasn’t doing well. My girlfriend ended up leaving me, so I said, Okay, I need to double, triple, quadruple down on making money, because I think money will fix all these problems.
So, I said to myself, Next year I’m gonna make the most money I’ve ever made in my life. And the next year starts, I got a promotion at my company. So I was in an industry called weatherization and I got promoted to a foreman. And that year I spent 10 months on the road, living in hotels, because we did a lot of our, our work on the road.
And I ended up getting to the end of the year, final pay stub in hands. I made a hundred thousand dollars with no college degree, but nothing changed. I still felt insecure. I still was depressed. I was still anxious. Yes. Circumstantially, I had more certainty. But internally, I still felt as bad, if not worse.
Realize that for most of my life, I’d lived unconsciously. The opposite of unconscious is hyperconscious. [00:18:00] So in 2017, I started a podcast called the Hyper Conscious Podcast. And that is really where all this started. I fell in love with podcasting. At the same time, I know I hate my job because I don’t want to do what it takes to make that money again.
So I start calling out of work. I start leaving the job site early, showing up late. I am not a good employee, Adam. You would not have hired me. And eventually it got to the point where I wasn’t sleeping. I was staying up for days on end. I was in a hotel room six hours away from where I lived, so I was in New Jersey.
Alarm clock goes off at 5. 30 in the morning. I sit up, slide to the edge of the bed, lacing up my work boots. And the best way to explain it is, that morning it was like there was ten televisions on in my head at the same time, and every single one is on a different station. So, one is saying you’re stuck here forever.
People like you don’t get jobs like this. Never mind, leave them behind. If you do leave, what will your friends say? If you do leave, what will your family say? [00:19:00] And what are we gonna do with our life? Like, this podcast thing is not a viable option at this point. And in that moment, I felt that if I was to take my life, I would take my problems with me.
Now, I’m very blessed that I have very positive people around me. I am just so, so, so incredibly blessed. So I reached out to… My friend, who is now my business partner, Alan, and I explained to him what was going on, and he said many things, but the thing I remember was, Kev, over the last couple years, your awareness has changed a ton, but your environments have stayed the same.
I think you need to change your environment. So I ended up leaving that job three or four months later. I already kind of had, I don’t know, maybe 15 episodes or something. So I left my job, Alan and I partnered up, and we went at it together as the… As Hyper Conscious, the Hyper Conscious Podcast. Then we ended up rebranding, maybe 500 episodes in, to Next Level University.
And that was it. We went from 1 to 2 to 2 [00:20:00] to 3 to 3 to 4. And eventually now we do an episode every day.
Adam Baruh: Amazing. Um, thank you for sharing and being vulnerable, um, and sharing your story. So I wanted to, you know, tell you about another guest that I had on recently. Her name is Samantha J., and she’s an author as well. And, you know, she talks a lot about, Her own experience going from seeking external validation to internal validation.
And she kind of describes this, um, what she calls the sabotaging drama king or queen that lives within us. That is that voice that you’re describing. That is the, you can’t do this, you’re not good enough. What do you think it was within you that helped you go from Seeking external validation for happiness to internal validation and kind of what’s your journey been like, [00:21:00] you know, up till now.
Kevin Palmieri: Yeah, it’s, it’s um, it’s been a lot of self reflection. A lot of self awareness and just asking myself why a lot. Like an uncomfortable amount of just saying, Why are you acting the way you are? Why are you thinking the way you’re thinking? I remember, When I left my job, I had just moved in with one of my best friends.
And he’s a real estate investor, so he’s chasing his dreams, I’m chasing my dreams. Paying 500 bucks a month to live with him? Awesome. And he was at work one day, and I was just walking around the kitchen. And I remember for the first time ever, I was proud of who I was as a man. I was the brokest I had ever been, I was as single as possible, and nobody was listening to the podcast.
So I had no external results. But I still was very, very fulfilled, and I was still very, very proud of myself. It’s interesting because it kind of took me losing everything in a way to realize that I didn’t really need all of that to feel good about me. That really was the beginning of the journey for me, where it was like, [00:22:00] Oh, this podcast is, it’s not about money.
It’s not about followers. It’s not about any of that. For me, it’s about impact. And if I’m going to impact people at a deep level, I first have to figure out how to. Work on me. I’m gonna fix my own stuff before I teach anybody how to fix their stuff so that really was it for me and then then as I started to look in the mirror and as I started to get feedback, I started to become more confident as my Myself and I started to feel even more the fulfillment and everything started to make a little bit more sense And then when this became like a viable thing where I actually started making money It was like wow if I could do this forever if I could do what I’m doing today forever I would be the most fulfilled person in the world because I get to do what I love.
I genuinely do. Now, it’s still hard and I still have days where it sucks and I’m tired and I’m stressed out. The problems I have today are the problems I wished for five years ago, right? [00:23:00] And, and it’s very important for me to remember that. So, yeah, it’s really been the podcast. The interesting thing about a podcast is you’re gonna learn a lot.
And if you’re trying to make it into a business, you’re gonna have to learn about business and interviewing and speaking. If you’re in the industry that we’re in, you’re going to learn more about yourself. And I think that’s a wonderful thing long term, but in the short run, it can be uncomfortable and triggering at times,
Adam Baruh: You just gave me a great segue. So real quickly, before we go there, I wanted to point out something profound. I think that Alex, you know, simply, but when he was on that, that he and I discussed, which is, you know, this kind of pod fade that happens with people that have been doing it kind of, you get to like the year mark and you start to get burned out.
And I think it’s part of this journey of like, you know, a lot of people get into it with passion and purpose and they’re out to kind of change the world and make an impact. Right. And that’s how you start out. Yeah. And somehow somewhere along the way, and I think part of it is just, you know, you get busy and you [00:24:00] want it, you kind of want to make it your life’s work, but at the same time it, you know, it starts to consume a lot of time.
It’s expensive. And so you start looking at the download numbers, you look for ways to monetize and so then you kind of like lose your focus on why you got started. So the one thing I will say. Is always check in like journaling is a fantastic exercise to, to keep doing on a consistent basis to, to keep as a reminder and a check in with yourself as to why you got into this work in the first place and, and always keep working against those goals and forget about the download numbers and forget about, you know, stop having your goal be to make money.
Cause like that shouldn’t be your goal doing, doing what we do. Like you can make money. But you only will be able to get there if the foundation is to keep that mission and that drive alive. So anyway, I know we got to wrap. I wanted to, um, I wanted to ask you this. And this was the segue that you kind of like led [00:25:00] towards.
So first, there’s going to be two questions on the theme of discoveries. The first is, What discoveries have you made about podcasting since you started that perhaps you weren’t aware of or you didn’t know just about being in the podcasting space and, and producing and making a podcast that you know now?
Kevin Palmieri: Hmm. I would say I didn’t understand how small the industry is. I mean, it’s not, there’s not that many people, all things considered. You know, you probably know five people I know, and I probably know five people you know in the industry. That, I didn’t understand that. You think it’s this giant ocean of people, when in reality, out of the millions that have been started, there’s probably only a quarter million that are actually recurring, and have been, have posted a live episode in the last 90 days.
That, it’s not as oversaturated as you think. That. Everybody told me like, oh, it’s oversaturated. No. No, there’s 35 million YouTube [00:26:00] channels. You know, there’s a percentage of podcasts compared to that. So yeah, it’s it’s not as oversaturated as you probably think.
Adam Baruh: Yeah. No, I couldn’t agree more with that. And, and you’re right. Like there is like, I, I keep kind of circling with the same people and it, it becomes like a small world thing, which is another awesome thing about it. So final question on, again, on the theme of discoveries, you know, what, what discoveries have you made about yourself through your podcasting experience?
Kevin Palmieri: You can’t really beat the reps. I, I am not a natural speaker. I am not a natural coach. I don’t believe I’m a natural podcaster. I’ve just done this 2, 000 times. From day to day, progress is invisible. From year to year, progress is impossible to miss. The problem is most of us don’t make it to the second year, so we don’t have enough contrast to recognize progress.
We had 1, 074 downloads in our first year. I have many clients who are way further along than that, but they’re still frustrated. [00:27:00] And I understand, but I always say, you have to understand, if you keep going for another year, that number is going to get bigger. Alright, I think we went from 1, 000 to 40, 000.
Cool. Great. It never would have happened if we stopped after year one though, so, yeah, that. Just the, the time perspective of how much this journey can shape you and, and then I would also say, you have to be very intentional about your growth. I went on a podcast recently where they actually had more episodes than us.
And that very rarely happens when I go on other shows and I was so excited I was like this is gonna be amazing. And then when I went on it was, it was all over the place and the tech was weird and the questions were, they didn’t do research. It’s, it’s good that you’ve gotten to that level but the intentionality between, behind the progress hasn’t been there.
That’s such an important piece is. You prep for the episode, you rep, you do the episode, you reflect on what went well, and you perfect for next time. And if you run that system for 100 episodes, 200, 500, you’re gonna be [00:28:00] drastically different,
Adam Baruh: That’s great advice. And I totally agree with that. So thank you for sharing that. Thank you for being here on the podcast today and sharing your story. I think stories like yours are hugely inspirational for people getting into podcasting, you know, and trying to find a way to, to make it like their full time gig.
So thanks so much, Kevin, for being on the podcast
Kevin Palmieri: pleasure, I appreciate you having me.
Adam Baruh: You got it. Kevin Palmieri is the CFO, founder and co host of Next Level University, a global top 100 self improvement podcast with more than 1, 350 episodes and 800, 000 listens in over 150 countries. He’s given hundreds of speeches, trainings, and coaching calls with people all over the world.
Kevin believes in a heart driven but no BS approach to holistic self improvement and aspires to teach even more people about what it really takes to get to the next level. If you’re enjoying beyond the microphone, please subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you’re listening and check out our [00:29:00] YouTube channel.
You can find all of these links and our episode show notes. And if you’re looking for help and guidance in your own podcasting journey, I’d love to work with you to help you find direction and work with you on strategy to help you marry that passion and purpose that you have and continue manifesting amazing content for your listeners.
Please reach out to me through www. eicumediallc. com and I’d be happy to help you with your journey. Thank you all for listening, and we’ll see you next time on Beyond the Microphone.
Beyond the Microphone is produced and distributed by EIQ Media Group, LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on entrepreneurship, overcoming adversity, stories of emotional courage, women’s health, aging, and more. [00:30:00]
[00:00:00] Welcome to Beyond the Microphone, a podcast about podcasters and the stories of how their shows came together, grew, and what they discovered along the way. I’m your host, Adam Baruh.