What I’ve Learned from 200 Episodes

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I never thought I’d do anything 200 times. Love of routine is not exactly a hallmark trait of mine.


Four years ago if you had told me I’d not only launch a podcast but I would have more than 200 episodes worth of interviews, much less with top leaders of every industry imaginable, I would’ve said you were nuts.


Yet here we are, celebrating an amazing milestone: the 200th episode of the Speaking to Influence podcast.


And not only are we 200 episodes in, but we are in the Top 1% of all podcasts worldwide (out of more than 3,300,000) according to Listen Notes.


(If you haven’t done so already, please take 30 seconds now to go to our show on Apple Podcasts and give us a 5-star rating and 2-word review – we’d be very grateful!)


It’s been a fantastic ride and I have learned so much, but not just about podcasting. What I’ve really learned most is about what it takes to build a brand, both as an individual and an organization.


Here are my three biggest lessons:


1. Have a Vision & Get Buy-in


It all starts with a big vision for what you want to create, who you want to create it for, and why. And you have to be inspired by that vision.


But turning the vision into reality requires enrolling others in the vision too, and that requires inspiring that same passion in them. Whether talking to employees/teammates, the board of directors, clients or prospective guests, it’s essential to be able to convey that passion of purpose to others. They’ll only believe in the vision if they are confident that you believe in it first.


Speaking of teammates, I would be remiss without thanking the incredibly dedicated team that make this podcast and newsletter possible. (Did you think I did it all by myself?) Special thanks to Chris Laning, Mary Anne Lim, Kate Tomaskovic, Larry DeMarco, and Ceazar Bagnol for their passion for the vision and commitment to excellence every week!


2. Build Trust through Consistently Excellent Experience


Trust is at the cornerstone of a brand promise. People will give you the benefit of the doubt once or twice to give you a chance, but they need results – typically in the form of an exceptional experience, regardless of the kind of product or service you offer – to keep coming back.


I promise guests an elite, white-glove experience, from start to finish. This includes everything from the scheduling process, to the prep call where we strategize the content for the episode, to the audio and video quality of the final episode and our promotional efforts along with the assets provided. Even the debrief call is structured and efficient… but meaningful, and powerful.


How do I know I’ve built brand trust on two fronts? First, because my guests willingly put their own reputations on the line afterwards by making introductions to colleagues who they think would find value in being on my podcast.


And second – of course – because my listeners keep coming back. That's how we got into the top 1%.


3. Be Discoverable


Unless you’re Kevin Costner, the “Field of Dreams” notion of “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t work. What I mean is, you have to explicitly and proactively let people know that you have expertise, knowledge and passion worth sharing, and that you want to share it with them.


Whether you want to speak on podcasts or conference stages, or just let the organizers of your employee resource group know that you’d be open to being on a panel at the next women’s event or Veterans/LGBTQ+/LatAm/APAC event, you need to tell them.


That’s not being arrogant and tooting your own horn. It’s stepping up. It’s a little taste of confident risk-taking. It’s saying, “I want to add value to more people,” and “I want to make your job easier by letting you know that if you ever need someone to talk about (X), you can come to me and I will say yes.”

And I’m not the only one who learned important lessons like this through years of podcasting.


This week on the 200th episode of Speaking to Influence, I had the privilege of interviewing four award-winning podcasters at the Podfest Expo global conference, who shared what decades of podcasting has taught them about leadership, communication and influence. 



Together, these four amazing podcasters – Doc RockRob GreenleeStacy Sherman and Adam Lewis Walker, all provide a virtual “nugget fest” of straightforward, point-blank examples of how podcasting has made them better leaders.


Whether discussing the importance of redefining what “influence” actually means, building lots of assets, or simply being authentic, podcasting drove these lessons home for them. Let this interview drive them home for you too.


Listen more to our conversations here or watch the video on YouTube here.


And speaking of increasing your sphere of influence and reputation as a go-to resource and leader, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Yeah, Laura, that sounds great… but exactly how do I even get started?”, there’s one more invitation I want to extend.


The truth is, after being on conference stages, panels, TV, radio, and of course podcasts, for the last 15 years, I’ve distilled it down to eight simple keys to unlock your potential and become that go-to thought leader who everyone actually wants to hear speak!


Join me this Wednesday, March 20, at 2:00pm ET for a live webinar: 8 Keys to Establishing Your Brand as a Go-To Thought LeaderYou can click the link to register, and get the bonus 8-keys summary sheet.



  • You are exceptional.
  • You are authentic.
  • You are an expert.
  • You have a story that deserves to be told, and
  • there are so many people out there who genuinely want and NEED to hear it!


Step 1 is just to find the courage to say “YES!”

See you tomorrow?

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