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Interview with Alex Sanfilippo, Founder of Podmatch

I have with me today Alex Sanfilippo, the host of the top-rated podcast called Podcasting Made Simple AND Founder of PodPros.com – a software company focused specifically on the podcasting industry – and creator of the very popular services called Podmatch. PodMatch is super hot right now! Everyone is raving about it, because it matches podcast guests and hosts together for interviews.

  • Be inspired by Alex’s podcasting and entrepreneurial journey.
  • Find out about solutions you can use to improve your podcast, save time and find community.
  • Hear about Alex’s passion for community.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”

Helen Keller.

Here are links to some of the resources we discussed in the interview:

  • Podmatch – Get a discount with this link.
  • Podfest – Get 20% off tickets
  • PodcastSOP – What’s an SOP? SOP = Standard Operating System. PodcastSOP is a project management tool that helps podcasters keep up with their episode releases.
  • Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gwande – great stories about SOPs. Believe me, you will be inspired! It’s a great book. One of my favorites.

Guess what else!!! I’ll be speaking at Podfest Expo!

I’m so thrilled that I’ve been invited to host a couple WOMEN in Podcasting panels. So, if you’re able to make it, I would love to see you there in person. What a breath of fresh air it will be for podcasters and video show hosts to connect again face-to-face. I’m so honored to be part of this beautiful podcasting family.

HOST: Jennifer Henczel

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Transcript

And for lack of better term, it’s similar to like a dating app, but for podcasting. So instead of connecting people for dates, it connects people for podcasts interviews, and that’s the problem we set out to solve. And to date we’ve just continuously improved upon that process. And it’s, it’s done very well.

Welcome to the women in podcasting show, enjoy inspiring stories, interesting interviews and powerful strategies from women around the world. Jennifer Hensel spotlights today’s top podcasters, new podcasters and expert guests. Get tips for leveling up your life. Gaining visibility, growing your business, monetizing your podcast, and so much more.

We invite you to support. Finding their voice and sharing their passion. It’s all about women. Empowering women. Welcome everyone. This is Jennifer Hensel. I’m your host of the women in podcasting show. You can find all the links we mentioned in today’s episode, in the show notes@womeninpodcasting.show I have with me today, Alex.

Sanfilippo. Of the top rated podcast called podcasting made simple and the founder of pod pros, a software company focused specifically on the podcasting India. And he’s the creator of the very popular service called pod match. Pod match is super hot right now. Everyone is raving about it because it matches podcast, guests and hosts together for interviews.

So, Alex, welcome. Thank you for being here with us to. Jennifer. Thank you so much for having me really appreciate the kind words already and looking forward to having a conversation with you today. Well, Alex, I wanted to have you on the show for two reasons. Number one, I posted about pod matching my women in podcasting group, and we had lots of positive comments from those who have already tried it.

And those who hadn’t already tried it, they wanted to jump in right away. So we’ll talk about number two in a moment, but what I want to do is. You let’s start with how you got into podcasting. Tell us your story of where your love for entrepreneurship and podcasting began. Yeah. So first off, thank you. I just love hearing that, like your comments just made my day, so thank you.

I mean, we were community driven, so anytime I hear that somebody loves it. Um, warms my heart. So thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Uh, so for me in podcasts, It’s funny. I started, I did a 15 year, like sprint, if you will. It felt like a sprint in, in corporate America. So like a traditional nine to five job.

It was big corporate and it was a lot of fun, but it was like super fast, like all the time in 15 years, like I was still pretty young, but I just. I use the term with my wife. I’m like, I think I’m ready to retire. And she’s like, you’re. I was like, what was I 29 or something like that? And she’s like, you can’t retire at 29.

I’m like, this is just a lot. Anyway, I decided I wanted to try entrepreneurship to keep like the story kind of short here. Like, so things happened. I enjoyed the job, loved it. Just kind of realized I wanted to do something on my own. And here’s the thing, Jennifer, after at that point, I guess it was like 11 years in corporate, 15 years, total, I just realized, I didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship.

Like I knew big corporate. I knew how to like run teams and stuff like that. And it’s funny how much of it doesn’t actually translate. Like, you’d assume if you’re good in corporate, you’d be a good entrepreneur. And that is just not the case. So I decided to start talking to people that were entrepreneurs, and you might know this Jennifer and some of your listeners will, for sure people charge a lot of money for that coaching call, that coaching calls, expenses.

And, um, I like to think I’m somewhat of a smart guy, so I decided, you know, what, if I had a podcast or something like that, I could interview these people and they’d probably give me their time for free. And so I originally started off because I was like, you know what? I want to learn how to be an entrepreneur.

I want to talk to people who have successfully gone from a corporate job like myself, and moved into some sort of full-time entrepreneurship. And I was like, you know, what, if I could interview these people, they could tell their journey. It wouldn’t just help me to help other people as well. And so long story short, I launched a show and I decided just to talk to those people, to learn for myself, but also for an audience.

And that show just did extremely well. And along the way, in that journey of launching the show, growing it, starting to get on podcasting stages, I fell in love with the. I mean, other show hosts were so kind to people were sharing my stuff just because I was new people were giving me free advice, offering me free gear.

They’re like, here, I’m not using the same more use. This you’ll sound better. Right? Like all kinds of things. I was just like, man, this is such a nice community of people. And so, as I learned about entrepreneurship through my show, which at that point was called creating a brand, the idea was just, can we create a brand for ourselves?

Right. The art of creating. It could I, instead of just becoming like an entrepreneur and general business, they’re like, figure something out along the way. Why not jump straight into my passion area, which just happened to be podcasting that just developed over time. So the rest was kind of history of that point.

Jennifer, I just jumped in launch the show. It did really well and just really fell in love with the industry and decided I wanted to serve it. Oh, that’s amazing. Yes. The podcasting community is just so beautiful. I mean, everybody’s so helpful and supportive of each other. It’s just really the most incredible community I’ve ever been involved with.

Yeah, me too. I mean, I can’t, it’s funny. My boss industry that the 15 year sprint again, loved the job I was in the day I left was bittersweet, but it was like, uh, it was cutthroat, highly competitive. Like just not what podcasting is, which I would consider being an abundance mindset. And you know that like everyone is in this to help each other.

So, sorry to cut you off there. Yeah, no, totally, totally. So what led you then to create pod match? Because, and also, so everyone knows, I have a link in the show notes that people can use to sign up for pod match, and it’s an affiliate link, but your support of women in podcasting goes a long way to help lift women’s voices.

So tell us about why and how you start a pod match then. Yeah, sure thing. And definitely use that link because it also gives everyone a discount. So that’s the link I recommend using that’s that’s the better route to go. I always recommend that anytime someone’s like, I’ll go to pod match.com. If you have a specific link, use that one instead anyway, but, um, I love what you’re doing here, by the way.

Uh, so for me, launching panache again, decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I really was learning a lot from these entrepreneurs. A lot of them went on to be software people, and I call them software people. Cause that’s what we call ourselves a for lack of better term. And I was like, this is a really cool space.

Like I love that. And again, going back to my area of passion had become podcasts. And at one point I was actually at pod Fest 2020. Uh, it was like the last in-person event to happen during 2020. It was, I think it was even like the first week of March. And there was a couple thousand people there and I got off stage with the intent of anybody who talked to me the rest of the event.

I was going to ask them what they were struggling with in podcasting. So I just continuously said, Hey, what are you struggling with? And Jennifer time and time again, I kept on hearing. I’m having trouble finding ideal guests for my. Can’t find the right guests to come on my show. I don’t know how to reach beyond my network.

I just kept on hearing these things. Then strangely enough, in the same room, there’s people that weren’t podcasters there. There was people that were course creators that had companies that had just released a book and they’re like, I’m like, Hey, what are you struggling? Podcasting? Like, nothing about a podcast, but do you know anybody who talks about this?

Because I have a book about it and I found myself in that room literally saying, Hey, you come meet this person. I just talked to them. You’re like who they’re looking for? So I started just connecting people there. Again, long story short, I came home and I realized, you know what, there’s an idea here. This is the area I’m passionate about.

This is the problem the industry has. I would owe it. I want to create a solution for them. And so that’s exactly what I did. I just basically whiteboard the thing out and for lack of better term, it’s similar to like a dating app, but for podcasting. So instead of connecting people for dates, it connects people for podcasts interviews, and that’s the problem we set out to solve.

And to date we’ve just continuously improved upon that process. And it’s, it’s done. I just love how the connections I’m getting already are just incredible. It’s just really genuine people who really want to connect. And it met has matched me with people who I actually want to have on the show. So it’s, it’s really an incredible app.

Great job. Yeah, you’ve done a great job with it. So. Then also, what else can you tell me about pod match then? As far as when a person signs up, what happens? Yeah, sure. Uh, diving into the, I love this part of things, by the way, Jennifer, I never get to talk about this stuff, but, um, yeah. When, when somebody joins that, the first thing that happens on either side.

So whether you’re a guest or host, cause you can register is either or both. I mean, you can be both if you’d like to, but it’s going to make you fill out a profile. And I’ll admit this. It’s a lot more in depth, as you know, than most profiles, anywhere else you set up, the onboarding can be a lot. And we do that intentionally.

As a matter of fact, it usually weeds out people that aren’t serious. I’ve had people be like, well, it’s not worth it to me to fill out for more than five minutes and application basically. Right. And people I’ve said that I’m like, that’s fine. You can go somewhere else. Maybe there’s some routes will be quicker.

And if that’s what you’re looking for, fine, we focused on quality. That’s been the. And the reason we wanted to make sure the profiles were done well. And like the onboarding has done well, because we have two separate profiles. One is the podcast page, which shows everything like your cover, art, your description, but also describes to potential guests who your audience is like, it’s, it’s free form.

So basically it fill it out. I can see all kinds of information. Like, are they gonna make me fill out an onboarding form? Do they have a release form? Uh, everything like all the links they can listen to. They can even like, get all the ideas they want, basically from that one spot. And the idea for that pro that that host is when the guests reaches and they have to be like, so who’s the audience.

So who are we talking to? So how long are the episodes? They don’t have to ask these questions anymore. It frees up that. And the flip side, if you’re the guests, it’s just called a one sheet, like a media, one sheet. So it asks everything from a short bio, a long bio call to action, all your social links, uh, some questions you’re ready to be asked ideas for titles that could be covered media images that are ready.

So your, your actual photos that you’re approving for people to use. And again, the whole idea is if a host reaches out, they don’t have to do those back and forth emailing saying, Hey, can I get some pictures? Hey, what’s your bio. Hey, can I ask you this question? All these things are ready to go. And all that is generated during the onboarding process.

So as you’re onboarding, you’re getting asked all these questions, and those are the things that the on to the actual algorithm takes into effect as well. Oh, it’s really incredible. I didn’t find it too bad. I, I thought it was, yeah, it was nice and simple and just collected the information. I mean, a lot of us podcasters have all that kind of to copy and paste at our fingertips anyways.

So I found it really quick. Yeah. That can be really transparent here. I find that it’s normally guys that have a problem with it. Um, it’s like 90% of the complaints that come from that, which isn’t a ton, but it’s almost all. Uh, guy. So, anyway, I don’t know, that’s the thing for me, but, uh, anyway, side note there.

Yeah. I like to keep all that stuff in Google keep, or I have this app on my phone called textbook. And I can just, I can just click one character and it’ll put a whole paragraph of stuff. And so I try to get my clients to use stuff like that. So I use that too. That, that has been a game changer for me personally, for the business, everything that, that is, that is a great tool.

I hope that you link to that in the show notes for. I will, I’ll have to now for sure. So that also leads me to another question I wanted to ask you about sort of related, but you also created podcast SOP, a project management tool that helps podcasters keep up with their episode releases. I love SLPs. So this is why I’m so geeking out on this and fascinated by this because they’ve helped me a lot in my.

When I first started my first couple of ventures and building my communities, I would document everything like everything I did. And then I was easily able to build on leadership programs onto that because I had all the SLPs. And so have you ever heard of checklist manifesto by a tool? Guantee yes, I have.

Isn’t that amazing. Yeah. It’s probably partially the inspiration for this. So that was my first introduction to this idea of SOP, as a matter of fact, for anyone who’s listening, who doesn’t know what SOP stands for, stands for standard operating procedures. And I believe that book was, again, my first introduction to like, I didn’t know, I was like, SOP, what stopped me?

Right. Uh, and then obviously learning just how powerful it is for not really today, but tomorrow and the rest of your life. Really what it does for you. So, um, yeah, I’m passionate about them. Like you are it’s. That’s great. That’s great. Yes. Well, it sounds like we’re going to have a lot to chat about at pod Fest and that was the second reason I wanted you to come on.

The show is because you will also be speaking at pod Fest. I wish every member of our audience could be there because like you said, the last event was in March, 2020 of the podcasting community. And now everybody’s going to be getting together for the first time in a very long time. And it’s going to be very exciting.

Um, for me to meet a lot of the people that I’ve interviewed or I’ve collaborated with, I’ve done so many collaborations over the last couple of years because my business was online, but boy did it ever go so much more online over the past couple of years, right? Like a lot of people. So it’s going to be so exciting to get together with all those people.

So I’m leading the women in podcasting track on the Thursday, may 26. If you know any, women’s send them over to us on that afternoon and I’ll be sharing the stage with 10 amazing women podcasters who will be sharing their strategies for mindset, monetizations, social media, and a lot more. So tell us what you’re up to at pod Fest.

And when are you taking. Yeah. So first off, this actually goes back to the podcast SOP thing. So, um, I’ll share what that is. Cause it’ll kind of lead right into to answering this. But podcasts, SOP is we just talked about, it’s a very simple way to basically make sure that your episode releases are always on time.

You’re not missing any things along the way. A lot of hosts or guests, uh, especially hosts. I find Jennifer and you know, this people are like, oh, I forgot to ask you this. I forgot to do that. Right. Like, oh, what time we’re supposed to start. And it’s because we’re trying to remember all of it in our. And when you get into podcasts, you’re like, okay, record, edit, and post, right?

Like that’s really all you gotta do. But then when you start breaking into that, there’s 20 to 30 different steps along the way in that, when you try to remember all that in your head, it just doesn’t work. David Allen says that your head is for having ideas, not for storing them. And he’s a productivity expert and I’ve always remembered that.

Like, it’s always stuck with me because so many of us were just like, oh, what do I do now? And the third, most common reason that people leave podcasting. So I’ve gone through and really done a lot of research on this, but the third, most common reason is because of the stress involved. They feel like they can’t keep up with it.

It’s because they’re just not organized. They’re just trying to remember it. I’m not trying to talk bad about anybody. This was me for a long time until I learned what an SOP was and basically built this software. So you can just build your checklist, add instructions to it. You can add team members if you have them, or if you ever decide to add them, add due dates, upload.

Uh, directly to these individual tasks are basically, it’s a glorified checklist that you just go through every time you add a new episode. And to me like this is, I love pod match, but podcasts, SOP is like my love language. So, um, I love that software. And so going back to podcasts is actually what they want me to talk about was not necessarily the software itself, but how to develop a really strong SOP for your podcast so that there’s no stress involved so that when it comes time to outsource, you can do so very easily.

Here’s an example. I have seven people that helped me with my show, right? And the longest training I had to do for any of those seven people was one hour total, and then they were completely set up to do it. And it’s because I did a good job with the SOP. I made sure that all the instructions were already there.

I did the hard work one day long ago, so I never have to do it again. And now anytime I need to add a team member, it’s as simple as a few clicks of a button after I hire somebody and quick explanation is how to use the software done. And so I’m really going to be explaining that diving deep into it, because again, that’s the third, most common reason that people leave podcasts.

And I want to make sure that, that I help solve that problem because it’s one that I understand, Jennifer, you understand it as well. So it’s something that we just need to make sure that we’re pouring that wisdom out to the world. Hopefully helping some people stay in the game a little bit longer. Oh, that sounds amazing.

So that is the one that, where, where do we find that one podcast? Uh, podcasts, sop.com. Try to keep it simple. Yeah, that’s great. It’s funny though. How many people don’t know what SOP stands for? I probably should have called it like pod tasks or pod tasks or something like that because some people, some people were still like, what’s an SOP, but maybe that’s part of the education.

Maybe people just need to know. I don’t know, Jennifer, you and me like it. So we’ll keep it. Well, that is exciting. You that’s what you’re going to be talking about. I’ve got to go to that session. That’s amazing. What day is that? It’s going to be on Friday. And I believe it’s at 3:00 PM Eastern, but I’m, I’m not a hundred percent.

And you never know with pod Fest, they have a lot of speakers, so things could get moved around. And I’m one of the very flexible people, but I know that you’ve got like a track plan, which I think is incredible. I’ve been part of one in 2020. I was part of a track that I did. Like what you’re going to be doing with women and women in podcasting is probably gonna be one of those powerful parts of the event.

I have to imagine. So, uh, my wife is going to slip in a couple of my team members are going to slip in. Manning the booth while they, while they’re over there hanging out with you. But I love the fact that you’re doing that. Oh, that’s great. I can’t wait to meet your wife too. I’d love to have her on the women in podcasting show as well.

Yeah, that’d be, that’d be really cool. It’d be hard to be a tough challenge for you to get her on podcasting. She likes being in the backside of podcasting, but, uh, give it a shot. Yeah, my husband will be there too. Speaking at on the, uh, mental health panel. Oh, cool. Um, Yes, Paul Paul, the mental health one is that the one with Josh, Carrie is that Ryan does that, which one?

That is somewhat different. Okay, cool. Uh, I also plan on attending as many of those as I possibly can. So that’s exciting to hear love that. Yeah. Those are some exciting tracks they’ve added, right. That we all needed after the couple of years we’ve been through. Oh yeah. And, and you know, this podcasting is a little bit, I like that track because podcasting can be quite lonely at times.

You don’t necessarily. You know, your audience listens it while they’re cleaning the house, whether the gym or they’re driving, you’re not communicating directly with them. So you can kind of release things and it feels like radio silence, even though deep down, we have to know it’s not, but protecting your mental health throughout that and making sure that you stay in your best shape so that you can produce good quality for your listeners is so important.

So I love that track. Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. Okay. So is there anything else you’d like to add to our discussion today? As far as podcasts, SOP pod mat. Yeah. Yeah. I think what I would add is that it’s so important to utilize the tools that are out there for you as a podcaster. So many of us, we look to save a few dollars and there’s nothing wrong with that.

And, but it’s so important to invest in yourself and invest in your time. Freedom. You don’t want to just be doing everything because you can, if you can afford it, if at all something makes sense, outsource it now go to events, right? Like pod Fest has. To me, it’s, it’s worth its weight in gold for not only the reason of getting to off-board some of the stuff to automate some of it, but also the community aspect.

Again, I just referenced it. We don’t always hear from listeners, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t always be in community with other podcasters. We can be there to lift each other up to help out. And I find that attending these sort of events to being involved. Women in podcasting, like those types of things are so helpful for everybody.

So take it seriously and make sure that you have a tribe. It’s also been proven, like, again, going through those five reasons of like, why podcasters fail? The number four reason is a lack of community. People just feel like they’re completely alone. Jennifer literally has built something to make sure that that does not happen for people that are listening to this, stay involved with that.

Do as much as you can volunteer and help out. Like, I don’t know if she needs help, like with moderators and stuff like that, but do what you can to be part of that community and help it to thrive even more. Together, we all do better. It reminds me of actually a Helen Keller quote, where she says alone, we can do so little, but together we can do so much.

And I think for all of us, we’ve gotta be focused on how we can do so much more together. So that would kind of be my, my parting thought with you, Jennifer, and for everyone listening. Oh, thank you so much. You can find all the links we mentioned in today’s episode, in the show notes@womeninpodcasting.show.

Thanks everybody. Thanks for being here, Alex. Bye for now.

Thank you for listening to today’s interview. We’d love your follow subscribes and positive reviews. They help us to elevate women’s voices everywhere. I invite you to join our community in the women in podcasting Facebook group and VIP club@womeninpodcasting.club.

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