For N.J. speaker and author, podcast expert’s tips are paying off

If you would like to be entertained, educated or inspired to grow your business this weekend, you may want to consider listening to a podcast as you complete your chores.

In celebration of International Podcast Day on Sunday, ROI-NJ spoke with Traci DeForge, founder of Produce Your Podcast, a premier podcast production and consulting agency in Simon’s Island, Georgia, and Thomas Gagliano, the New Jersey-based motivational speaker and author of “The Problem Was Me,” about the benefits of creating a podcast as an influential marketing strategy and business development tool.

“Podcasts are a portable medium easily accessible from a mobile device,” DeForge said. “You can take them with you and listen to them during your commute, at the gym, while taking the dog for a walk — they are very easy to incorporate into your daily routine, whereas watching a video or reading a blog may not be.”

According to, nearly 80 percent of podcast listeners — in almost half of all of the homes in the U.S. — now listen to all or most of each podcast episode and an average of seven shows per week.

“We work with people like Gagliano, who are very busy and want to use podcasting as a marketing tool in which to get their message out but do not have the time to deal with any of the technical or behind-the-scenes issues,” DeForge said.

Gagliano, a recovering addict, said he hopes to use his podcast to better help families understand how home environments are most impactful to the growth and happiness of their children.

“I am trying to educate people on how the problems we all face are mostly created through childhood messages,” he said.

Gagliano said nearly all of the television producers and radio stars he has worked with, including Jenny McCarthy and Doctor Oz, have told him creating a podcast would help him reach more people with his story.

“When enough people tell you to try something, you listen,” he said.

DeForge worked with Gagliano to create 20-minute podcasts featuring “tough conversations,” Gagliano said, including his own story of suffering through and ultimately overcoming child abuse and self-destructive behavior; parenting suggestions and the effect of childhood messages; possible solutions to additional rituals that stem from a lack of intimacy; and how to stop the cycle of the victim, bystander and bully mentalities.

His first podcast will be released Friday.

“I’m excited to see how it goes!” Gagliano said.

DeForge said she has been glad to help position Gagliano as an expert in his field.

“The podcast gives Gagliano a platform in which to share the knowledge and experience he has,” she said. “Gagliano also will use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to take questions and give feedback on his podcast, so that people have multiple resources in which to help solve some of their challenges.”

DeForge said businesses also can transcribe and repurpose podcast episodes for various social media platforms, blog posts, email newsletters, e-books and more.

“The most successful podcasts consistently release an episode with great content and audio production at least once weekly,” she added.

To begin, DeForge said she recommends businesses determine why and how a podcast may best deliver their message.

“Then you have to figure out the format,” she said. “Will you have guests? Will you deliver monologues? Or, in some cases, might you employ some fictional storytelling?

“It is important to carefully think about what you want to say, why you want to say it and how you will say it before producing a podcast.”

Then businesses should consider if and how they would like to monetize their podcasts via traditional sponsorships and advertisement sales — “much like how you would hear commercials on the radio,” DeForge said — or via monthly subscriptions, “allowing members to access VIP content, interactive question-and-answer sessions and behind-the-scenes interviews.”

In any case, the goal is to drive traffic to the business’ website.

“If you sell downloadable products, such as an author might, you can even schedule a live taping of the podcast alongside a book signing event or at an industry trade show,” DeForge said.

Lastly, DeForge recommended that companies actively research the most popular podcast in their business categories, regardless of if they want to start their own or not.

“For example, if you manufacture a health and wellness product for women, you may want to search for podcasts produced by women entrepreneurs or mothers in the health and nutrition segment to see what some popular podcasts are and if you might like to be a guest speaker on their show or sponsor the show itself.”

Listen to the ROI-NJ Podcast: