Podcasts that look very similar from the outside can actually create completely different kinds of value for the businesses running them. Here’s what I mean:

Imagine a standard podcast. The podcasty-est podcast you can dream up. You know what I’m talking about: about 40 minutes long, one host interviewing one guest, released every Tuesday. The Ur-Podcast—there are a lot of them.

It’s tempting to think they all sound the same. The more cynical among us might say that they do. But they can be serving very different functions for the companies that run them and making a very different impact based on the Blueprint used and the individual metrics optimized for.

Let’s take a look at how a ‘bread and butter’ podcast format can be optimized for very different business outcomes. Listen below or continue reading the blog post!

Tune in to the full episode to learn about:

  • How similar podcasts can serve different purposes
  • How to optimize podcast for different goals
  • Optimizing workflows, recordings, and post-production
  • Should you be concerned about competition?

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Company A: Relationship Building Podcast

relationship building podcasts - the business podcast blueprints from one stone creative

Company A’s Podcast is a Relationship Building Show that is optimized for referrals with a bonus of SEO-rich content creation.

This ‘bread-and-butter’ show is the main vehicle the host uses for networking to build the professional relationships they rely on for referrals and collaboration partners. Here’s what the decision-making process might have looked like for them:

James runs Company A, a boutique legal firm specializing in family law, typically handling divorces. This is often an emotionally fraught area of practice, where his clients are making important decisions about their property, family, and legacy while under considerable stress. Trust is all-important, and most of his clients are direct referrals.

Knowing that word of mouth is the most reliable way to fill his sales pipeline, James wants to expand his professional network so more of those referrals come in and have resources available for new connections so that, even if they don’t speak right away, they could learn about this area of law, his personal philosophies, and priorities in practice.

Even though referrals are his main new business source, he always wants to make sure that when people google “divorce lawyer near me,” his name comes up!

In planning a podcast for Company A, James spent some time thinking about the types of business owners that regularly send him new clients and those that he regularly sends leads to, which in turn would make up the bulk of his guests.

Podcasts are a calendar-opener; someone who probably wouldn’t be interested in jumping on a networking or discovery call will be delighted to spend 45 minutes with you for a podcast interview.

James optimized the show to get more referral partners by creating a booking workflow that included multiple chances to connect with his guests—a prep call to plan the interview as well as the interview itself. He also always makes a point to invite the guests he gets along with to a debrief and brainstorming session a few weeks after the recording.

After each conversation he has on the podcast, Jams has his team write a blog post about the episode, interlink it with related content, make sure it is SEO optimized, and act as an evergreen resource for new traffic.

Company B: Audience Engagement Podcast

audience engagement podcasts - the business podcast blueprints from one stone creative

In Company B, that same-on-the-surface show is an Audience Engagement one, optimized for sponsorship dollars, social media engagements and labor cost savings.

It was designed to engage their large existing audience, who are really passionate about the brand and the host and constantly want more and more interaction with them, which can be a challenge to provide at scale.

Heather owns a social media marketing agency, is a multiple-book author, and is a sought-after speaker in the social media industry. She has amassed a large audience through her active Instagram and LinkedIn accounts, her books and keynotes, and a few videos that went viral.

Her clients are mostly in the health and wellness space, and she often finds she is spending more time than she wants to, answering questions and providing the same guidance over and over again.

When she decided to podcast, Heather wanted to create resources for her clients so they could help themselves to information and support rather than requesting it directly from her and her customer service team. These resources could become part of her service offering and can also be used to help members of her community who aren’t in a position to hire her team directly.

Her industry has a huge number of technology and services providers who are always looking for exposure to new audiences, and since she has such a large following to begin with, Heather decided to pursue sponsorships for the show, initially to cover the costs of production but later to try and develop into an additional income stream, either through direct sponsorship deals or with affiliate offers.

Finally, she wanted her podcast to be something that her community could really talk about and engage with, so most of her episodes will be Q&A style, where she brings in guest experts who can speak to highly specific topics in areas directly related to social media and will source most of the questions directly from her audience, which will improve her engagement rates.

She makes sure to regularly post advice, questions, and discussion topics from the podcast on her social media accounts and directs people to engage with her there.

Company C: Thought Leadership Podcast

thought leadership podcasts - the business podcast blueprints from one stone creative

In Company C, our bread-and-butter podcast is a Thought Leadership Show optimized for backlinks and citations, shortening the sales cycle.

It is a sophisticated weekly conversation between experts hashing out the details and nuances of their respective specialties that reporters and journalists love to comment on and that their very high-deal-value clients go to for advice and insight.

Mike’s business, Company C, is a public relations agency that primarily works with pharmaceutical companies. He helps his clients influence the stories told about them in a constantly revolving news cycle that isn’t always kind.

Being in an industry with so much controversy and strict regulations, Mike wanted to create a space where subject matter experts could talk about the products they were developing and the reality of working with new drug technology in a not-always-friendly media environment.

His clients choose him and company C because they are intimately familiar with the issues facing drug companies, they have a reputation for intelligent and surprising strategy, and they seem to know everyone who is in the industry—if there is a notable expert in the space, they’re on Mike’s show.

When he decided to podcast, Mike wanted to make sure that his show was one that always took a stance and was the thing to listen to for anyone who wanted to be up to date on what was happening in the pharmaceutical industry.

His conversations would be with R&D experts, executives, scientists, researchers, and government officials, and each episode needed to add something new and important to the conversation happening in the industry.

When planning his episodes, Mike will make sure that he is having conversations with and not interviewing his guests, and he always creates a robust introduction and closing section for the show, so he has a chance to share what his and his company’s stance on the issue being discussed is.

Part of the post-production for each show will be categorizing the episodes with keywords and noting down a few details about what types of clients will find the episode valuable. This information will be shared with his sales team so that when they are connecting with leads, they have a library of resources that will let them get to know Mike and his viewpoints.

His social media team will also make a point of directly tagging journalists and commentators in the industry and encouraging them to link back to the whole episode.

Podcasting with a Purpose

These very similar shows are creating vastly different outcomes, which came from vastly different reasons for each of those companies to have a podcast, and by taking the time to really think about what the podcast was going to do for the business and optimize the workflows, recordings, and post-production work, these podcasts do the job they are intended to.

As a side note, this is why it doesn’t make a lot of sense to worry too much about ‘the competition’ for your podcast.

While it’s true that your potential listeners have a finite amount of time, I can promise you two things:


No one has ever found a podcast on a topic they are interested in and said, *That’s it! I have found the one and only podcast on this topic I’m going to listen to; I will never seek out or listen to another one—*that doesn’t happen.


Lots of other shows in your topic area mean lots of potential listeners, and that’s a good sign, not a bad one. And you don’t need all of them anyway!

For most businesses and business goals, you just need a handful of the right people to be listening—not everyone who’s ever had a passing interest in your area of focus.

So that is step one: what is the reason you are podcasting for your business? What is the prime directive of the show?

Let’s Connect

I’d love to know your reason for podcasting—and how you’re optimizing for it! Find me on LinkedIn or Instagram.

Need A Podcast?

The Company Show was made possible by the team at One Stone Creative.

If you know a business owner that you think should have a podcast, do us a favor and send them to podcastingforbusiness.com!

Key Quotes

“No one has ever found a podcast on a topic they are interested in and said: *That’s it! I have found the one and only podcast on this topic I’m going to listen to; I will never seek out or listen to another one—*that doesn’t happen.” – Megan Dougherty


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