Kicking off a podcast can feel daunting, but the returns can be exponential, especially for lenders and advisors with a heart for helping people. 

To celebrate the 300th episode of Banking on Digital Growth, I open up about my own podcasting journey and its impact on educating, connecting, and empowering others. 

In this article, I’ll unravel the power of podcasting in the financial world and why it's an investment worth making.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade: The Birth of a Podcast

Looking back, if you had told me in early 2020, before the pandemic, that I would be hosting a top 5% global podcast and one of the top five banking podcasts worldwide, reaching financial brand leaders in over 150 countries, I would have likely laughed and found it hard to believe.

You see, launching a podcast wasn't even on my radar at the time. I was busy traveling from city to city, speaking at conferences and facilitating workshops for financial brands and fintechs.

I never considered hosting a podcast.

How often do we miss growth opportunities, both personally and professionally, because we're caught up in the busyness of doing? Because rarely take the time to pause, reflect, and learn, or think about how we can improve going forward?

Before launching this podcast, I had appeared as a guest on several shows and was preparing to release my first book, Banking on Digital Growth. But then COVID happened. The world paused, and suddenly I had the space and time to review and reflect on what I had already done, while also contemplating an uncertain future.

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Here's the thing: our biggest roadblocks can become our greatest opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally.

It's a matter of transforming our thinking and perspective. I've been encouraging financial brand leaders, lenders, and advisors to consider starting their own podcasts, to share their knowledge and expertise with the communities they serve, offering help, hope, and guidance to individuals, business owners, entrepreneurs, and families dealing with financial stress.

However, only a small number of people have embraced this idea. The majority push back, citing a lack of time as the main obstacle. But beneath their time-related objections lies a deeper fear. They're scared of stepping into something new, sharing their knowledge and expertise,

Harnessing the Power of Social Media: Guiding Gen Z in the Financial Revolution

We recently completed a research project within our private coaching program for a financial brand, focusing on what we call the Gen Z financial revolution.

The findings were eye-opening.

Gen Z is nearly five times more likely to seek financial guidance and advice from social media platforms compared to those over the age of 41. This is one of the reasons I emphasize the importance of consumer personas and gaining perspective into the minds and hearts of others. It's through understanding their experiences that we can connect on a deeper level with empathy.

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Speaking of Gen Z, TikTok has become a popular source of financial guidance and advice for them. In fact, 34% of Gen Z actively seeks advice on TikTok when it comes to money and finances. Just think about it—1 out of every 3 people in the Gen Z generation is turning to TikTok for answers.

It's remarkable to see the exponential reach these digital and social channels have in helping people in ways that were never possible before.

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Gone are the days when people would walk into a branch seeking financial guidance and advice. They might not even be relying on Google for answers anymore.

Instead, they're turning to TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other platforms. People are looking for guidance and advice from other human beings, making these social channels the new public squares. I urge you to consider the growth opportunities you might be missing as a leader, lender, or advisor because you're not part of the conversations happening in the modern-day square.

The Power of Collaboration: Unlocking Knowledge Through Podcasting

I've had the privilege of having hundreds of conversations to capture and amplify the knowledge and expertise of other remarkable individuals, all to help people like you.

Here's the beauty of it: you don't have to embark on a podcast journey alone.

Just like any epic quest, if you try to do it solo, you won't last long. Think about Frodo and his journey in "The Lord of the Rings." He had a large group of characters with unique yet complementary capabilities who were all committed to a cause greater than themselves.

When you launch a podcast, you commit to a collaborative exercise rooted in humanity that brings people together for a purpose far bigger than the present moment.

As a financial brand leader, lender, or advisor, don't feel the pressure to be the hero of your podcast or have all the answers. You have the opportunity to unlock, capture, and amplify the knowledge and expertise of others—leaders and experts within your communities—to help others on their growth journeys.

Launching a podcast is truly a modern-day network multiplier. It provides a unique opportunity to meet and connect with people in ways that were never possible before. This rings even truer when you focus your podcast on a specific niche market. This not only helps them navigate their own growth journeys but also positions you as a trusted source of information and guidance.

As a financial brand leader, lender, or advisor, your podcast becomes a platform for sharing wisdom and guidance that extends far beyond your own capabilities.

Maximizing Return on Time: The Exponential Value of Podcasting

As busy professionals, we all understand the value of time. It's the one resource we can't replenish. That's why it's crucial to find ways to maximize our time and make a significant impact.

Enter podcasting—a powerful tool that offers an unparalleled return on investment when it comes to time. By launching a podcast, you open the door to long-term growth and exponential value creation.

Let's talk numbers for a moment.

Over the past three years, I've poured hundreds of hours into recording 300 podcast episodes. Yes, it may seem like a significant commitment, but the return on that time investment is truly astounding.

Before the podcast, I was spending two days away from my family traveling across the country to deliver a one-hour keynote to 200-1,000 people.

Now, I invest around and hour and half, on average, for each podcast episode I record. And I estimate that I've invested around 450-500 hours of time into recording 300 podcasts. The time I have invested has translated to over 5 million minutes of time I've shared with bank, credit union, fintech, marketing and sales leaders around the world.

This truly is an exponential return on time.

The magic of podcasting lies in its compounding effect over time—a small investment of time today can yield exponential returns in the future.

Imagine the profound impact you can make on the lives of financial brand leaders worldwide through your podcast. Each episode presents an opportunity to share your knowledge, expertise, and unique insights, helping your audience navigate the complexities of the financial landscape. Over time, the accumulation of shared minutes becomes a powerful force, transforming lives, businesses, and the industry as a whole.

Think about it this way: a one-hour conversation with a guest on your podcast has the potential to impact thousands of listeners. The knowledge shared during that hour resonates with people, inspires them, and empowers them to take action. It's a powerful multiplier effect that extends the reach of your expertise and insights.

Preparing For Your New Podcast Adventure

As you embark on your podcasting journey, remember that it's not a solo endeavor. Embrace collaboration, invite guests who can contribute unique perspectives, and foster an environment of knowledge sharing. Together, you and your guests can create an abundance of value for your audience, while simultaneously propelling your own growth and influence.

And when you first start podcasting, it's natural to feel discouraged if your episodes receive minimal downloads. But remember, every download represents someone who has willingly gifted you their time and attention. Express gratitude for these listeners and keep pushing forward. Embrace the mindset that podcasting is a long-term commitment. With consistent effort and determination, you'll gradually build momentum and attract a growing audience eager to hear your unique insights.

Finally, podcasting goes beyond simply sharing your own expertise. It's about building trust and forming connections with your audience. In the age of artificial intelligence, where authenticity and human connection are more important than ever, personal brands hold immense influence. By creating human-centered content through podcasts and videos, you establish a genuine connection with your audience, fostering trust and deepening your impact.

Remember, trust becomes the currency that fuels meaningful business relationships.

For more about financial transformation, reach out to James Robert Lay at the Digital Growth Institute.