“You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with,” entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said.
While the concept of being influenced by the people around you still holds true, social media and podcasts have expanded the reach of people we can spend time with. Not only are we able to connect with people who are far away geographically, but we can also spread our reach to industry influencers and thought leaders.
By listening to podcasts, you can “spend time” with the smart people revolutionizing your industry without ever meeting them in person.
Check out these 8 B2B podcasts to learn from experts and mold-breakers and elevate your ideation.
The host of Masters of Scale, Reid Hoffman, co-founded LinkedIn and is a partner at the VC firm Greylock, which has funded major tech companies like Workday, Dropbox and Airbnb. Because of how he is and who he’s worked with, he has connections with a lot of really smart, interesting people, and he brings them on his podcast.
He’s had guests from Airbnb, Workday, Huffington Post, Instagram, Spotify, Shake Shack and more. The episodes are longer, ranging from 30 minutes to one hour.
Masters of Scale is one of my favorite podcasts because of the people Reid Hoffman brings on. They’re really smart people that bring perspective, experience and expertise that I as just a person working at a marketing agency would never get to hear from otherwise.
Hearing them share their experiences and how they built their companies is super helpful. I take ideas from them all the time.
Companies go through interesting challenges at that stage of growth. They already have a product that addresses a need in the market, and they’ve identified who they’re selling to. Now, they’re trying to get their product in front of as many eyes as possible.
The guests on OpenView’s podcast are frequently from their portfolio companies or work with similar companies. They include both operators and board members or supervisor to give the perspective of those providing advice and those doing the actual work and making it happen.
They bring in hands-on expertise and provide actionable information you can integrate into your business.
The podcast is broken into seasons that are focused on specific topics. Season five is on product-led growth. The season before that was on the journey to the boardroom, featuring owners, CEOs and operators talking about how they used their experience to gain board seats. Season two was on benchmarks, discussing the SaaS metrics listeners should care about and how to use them.
The seasons keep their content from getting stale. It’s always different, new material.
Seeking Wisdom was Drift’s original podcast, but it’s now more like a network with multiple shows. Since they’ve launched, they’ve added specific shows about marketing, operations, growth, the importance of brand and more, in addition to continuing the original Seeking Wisdom show.
Seeking Wisdom started with Drift’s VP of Marketing Dave Gerhardt and CEO and co-founder David Cancel talking about their experiences, their ideologies and resources they’ve learned from. It’s the epitome of a thought leadership podcast; Almost everything they discuss is very high-level, not tactical or actionable unless you can translate it to something you’re working on.
In June 2018, Drift started #Build, the first of their more topic-specific podcasts. Those shows are more actionable due to their specificity.
By having multiple shows within the Seeking Wisdom network, Drift lets listeners hear from multiple people at their company across different levels. Drift is one of the fastest growing B2B SaaS companies. Getting to hear from people there about how that’s happening from both the high-level and more tactical level is helpful.
Listening to Seeking Wisdom always gets my wheels turning. I’m not necessarily walking away thinking, “we’re going to do exactly this,” but the things I’ve learned do inform higher-level ideation.
These are so similar, that we just had to include them together. Growth Everywhere and Marketing School feature marketer and entrepreneur Eric Siu. On Growth Everywhere, he interviews other marketers and entrepreneurs about their ideas and experiences. Marketing School is co-hosted with Neil Patel and features digital marketing tips.
Both podcasts provide tactical, actionable insights.
Marketing School’s episodes are short, quick tips. All the episodes are under 10 minutes. The two hosts pick a topic, like how many keywords a post should be optimized for, and dive into it, providing specific ways to approach that topic.
They’ll also do Q&A style posts, where they pose a question at the beginning and go back and forth answering it.
Growth Everywhere episodes consist of interviews that last closer to half an hour. The interviewees come from a variety of companies and backgrounds, and every episode includes a usable takeaway.
Hosted by HubSpot’s VP of Marketing, Meghan Keaney Anderson, The Growth Show shares the inspiring stories behind how people grow a business, an idea or a movement.
I actually had the opportunity to listen to Meghan speak at HubSpot’s INBOUND ‘17 conference where she talked about the trials and tribulations she faced with growing the podcast. That authenticity and insight are exactly what you can expect from the show.
If you’re looking for some motivation and some powerful insights along the way, then this is a great place to start. Meghan’s background and expertise make her the perfect host to deliver a great interview with incredible leaders.
TED stands for technology, entertainment and design, and thus covers a broad spectrum of topics. One thing all TEDtalks have in common though is that they contain incredible stories that meet the tagline “ideas worth sharing.”
The TED Radio Hour isn’t exclusively B2B focused but does feature business leaders.
For example, the episode “How Things Spread” featured Seth Godin speaking about what makes an idea go viral in addition to other speakers discussing the spread of people, disease, social media and laughter
I almost always hear something on the TED radio hour that makes me think a lot.
Speaking of NPR and less business-specific podcasts, Radiolab is another great podcast you should check out. While you may catch a business related episode here and there, the topics they cover are wide-ranging and tend to be more scientific and philosophical in nature.
The hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, take what might be considered abstract or difficult concepts and make them accessible to listeners in a light-hearted way. You may find one episode sharing stories of striving for happiness, perfection and bliss and the next covering the ways that loops steer and derail our lives.
I love drawing parallels from foreign concepts and finding ways to apply them to what I do day to day, and this podcast is the bee’s knees in that category.
Oh, by the way… Adding Value
I truly do not feel ready to include our own podcast in this list (which is why it doesn't have a number associated with it), but I’m a marketer and I host the show, so I feel compelled to plug it. Plus, I learned from listening to Masters of Scale that it’s important to launch before you’re ready and ask for feedback early and often. So this is me, doing just that.
With that being said, might I humbly submit New Breed’s very own podcast, Adding Value into the mix? Adding Value is named after one of the fundamental tenets of inbound marketing which is all about adding value to your potential buyers before extracting value from them.
My role is to do that for New Breed’s potential buyers by managing our marketing team and ensuring that we’re growing our own business, but I also get to work closely with our services team to learn about the challenges our clients are facing and how we’re solving for them.
So, we decided to focus the first season of Adding Value by talking to the incredible employees we have here about how they add value to our clients and our company every day. I sincerely hope you listen to and enjoy our podcast.