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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

What I've Learned Hosting the first 200 Episodes of Guy's Guy Radio

Robert Manni - Thursday, February 02, 2017

I launched Guy’s Guy Radio a few years ago. In keeping with my novel, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love, and my syndicated blog “On Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness” at www.robertmanni.com, I was looking for another medium where I could help bridge the communications gap between men and women. It’s been a great experience for me. Over the past three years, I’ve met and interviewed over 200 fascinating people—experts in their field who are passionate about their work. And even though hosting a podcast has been hard work, my guests have provided a free education for me on a multitude of subjects.

Here’s how I got started: After deciding on a service provider, I began broadcasting the show via my cell phone before switching to a landline and finally upgrading our production through the computer using a Blue Snowball microphone and headphones. It’s still fairly basic stuff, but besides some early glitches in service and the occasional blare of a passing ambulance racing to Mount Sinai Hospital outside my studio, technologically speaking, the podcast is working out well. In fact, our show is booked solid through the next few months, and these first two hundred podcasts have given me the invaluable opportunity to hone my message and my hosting skills. I’m constantly learning about crafting a clear, on-brand message, engaging listeners, and interviewing guests in a way that puts them at ease. Fast-forward, and within a few months I was named a featured host on Blog Talk Radio.

But it hasn’t all been that easy. Besides being the on-air talent, I book my guests, review their work which could mean reading a book, craft a set of relevant points to discuss, and prepare my opening remarks and weekly Guys’ Guy’s Guide™ feature. It’s psychically rewarding, but surprisingly time-consuming. The goal is for the show to be less Q&A and more of a conversation, so our audience can sit back and enjoy the broadcast or interact with it they by calling in with a question for the guest.

All in all, it’s been a fun gig. Being a Guy’s Guy, I want to give back and share some of what I have learned so far from hosting a show. And since they’ve become so popular now, who knows, you might be considering producing your own podcast. It’s not rocket science, but it takes discipline, composure, and a little finesse to handle the many curveballs that come your way.

Before we go any further, let me give some thanks to another Guy’s Guy. I’d like to extend a heartfelt shout out to my producer and friend, Ryan, my favorite millennial. Without his expertise and guidance, I’d be lost in a logistical hell. He’s a consummate pro and a super problem solver. Thank you, amigo.

Now, onto what I’ve learned about podcasting over the course of my first two hundred shows.

Although anyone can host a podcast, it’s not for everyone. Like writing a novel, hosting a successful radio podcast needs to be more than something you like to do. It needs to become something you have to do. If you scroll through iTunes or the Podcasts app, you’ll find podcasts available about almost any topic imaginable. This relatively new medium has become increasingly popular to the point where even mainstream celebrities are getting into the act. However, because the cost is minimal and the technology is relatively easy to use, it also means that there is a glut of podcasts hosted by folks who like to hear themselves speak more than what they can offer their listeners. It’s expected, so no big deal. The only takeaway is to be discerning when looking for podcasts to follow. Guy’s Guy Radio is about living your best life in a world where men and women can be at their best and everyone wins. It’s all filtered through the lens of an evolving Guy’s Guy. Our guests range from relationship experts and dating coaches, writers, healers, channels, psychics, wellness experts, fantasy sports pros, and entertainers.

Here’s how I handle the show: I begin with my theme song, "Uninspired," contributed by the band Noba, before greeting the audience and tease our special guest. For the next five to ten minutes I tackle a few current events through my personal Guys’ Guy’s lens. Then after a quick reminder of how GGR began and what we stand for, I move to my weekly “Guys’ Guy’s Guide” where I hone in on a specific topic for a few minutes. These are usually featured in my weekly blog posts. Then it’s time to welcome our special call-in guest. Our conversation takes between 30- 45 minutes. Though the majority of listeners subscribe to podcasts so they can tune in on their own schedule, our show does take live callers. I choose my own guests, so I support their work and as a result, although we may disagree on an issue, I am not seeking conflict. I want my guest to feel at home with me and our listeners — a mix of both men and women.

After hosting 200 podcasts, I’ve nailed down a working template. I know what I stand for so we rarely stray from the Guys’ Guy’s credo — Better Men. Better World.  If all of this sounds appealing to you, make sure you have a concept you feel strongly about and that you are committed to the time it takes to get traction before launching your own show. If you think this might be something for you, keep reading.

Start slow, know your brand, and keep an open mind.  Because my novel and website were anchored in the relationships area, my first few podcasts centered on dating and relationships. At first, I hosted with a female on-air talent. Each week we focused on a specific dating issues like online dating, technology and dating, what men need to know about women, and visa versa. We exchanged banter and answered caller questions. It was working pretty well, but after a few weeks my partner had other commitments. This brought on my first major challenge—I needed to make a quick decision to either drop the podcast or go it alone. I’ve always been a big fan of radio and after listening to my intuition I decided to give it a go. But, I needed to find a guest within 24 hours. I contacted a friend who’d recently launched his one-man off-Broadway show. Fortunately he agreed to be our first guest in the new solo format. He’s a comedian and an old friend, so we had a good rapport from the start. The show came off well and people responding positively on social media.

I knew I could make this work, so I sketched out a list of interesting people I knew or that other might know that I could get on the show. After a few months we’d booked a steady lineup and expanded the show’s focus beyond relationship issues to wellness, spirituality and other topics I felt passionate about and believed would resonate with our audience of evolving guys and the women who love them. Pretty soon some publicists found me and began pitching me potential guests. The rest, as they say, is history. We’re now booked well in advance, but are always on the lookout for provocative guests who have something of value to share with our audience. Speaking of value, if you do decided to launch your own show, once you have generated a steady audience there are ways of earning money through program sponsorships or revenue sharing from your provider. This takes patience and time, but if you can score a sponsor, good things can happen.

Depending on the show’s platform, podcasting can be a free education. It’s been an honor meeting and learning from so many interesting people who have devoted much of their life to their particular areas of expertise. One of the things that I’ve learned is that like the core tenants of the world religions, many of the spiritual teachers we’ve hosted guests have shared the same universal truths in various ways. And their answer always comes down to our making choices between love and fear. It’s that simple.

I’ve only scratched the surface about the ins and outs of podcasting, so look out for part two in the near future. Until then, look for me on Guy's Guy Radio every Wednesday at 7pm ET on Blog Talk Radio, iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn I’ll now leave you with the words I use when I close each show: Guy’s Guys finish first.

This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are all of my guests, listeners, and subscribers. They make everything possible and deserve my heartfelt thanks. 

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