Alban Brooke Just Keep Learning Summary

Alban is the head of marketing at a podcast hosting industry leader Buzzsprout. He is also a teacher, attorney, and podcaster. We talked about lifelong learning and how to create and market a successful podcast.

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Episode Notes

Alban shares his take on education and lets us know about growing up as a homeschool student. We talked about the importance of learning as opposed to the specific logistics. It’s pretty clear that homeschooling really was a great fit for him. The main reason was because he was able to start with his interests and work out from there. The lessons here are definitely helpful when it comes to being a lifelong learner. 

This episode provides a great example of how important it is to stay patient when it comes to figuring out your path, or paths in life. We talked a bit about self-awareness and decision-making when it comes to careers. Alban started out as a teacher and a lawyer, but once he realized that the things he really wants in a career are less likely to be accomplished in these fields. He wanted to find a better balance between being dedicated to a career and the experiences he could have in other areas of his life. So, he pivoted. Inspired by roommates in the tech industry he set his sights on a similar path. 

It was fun getting into this concept of being self aware and how the answers are different for everyone. Alban tells us about coming to terms with the fact that he does below average work when there is less interest. He’s not that person that can just trick him self into doing something that is useless, or uninteresting. In contrast, he is more likely above average when it comes to doing work that is of high interest to him. 

Many people get hooked by the golden handcuffs, but Alban left some short term money on the table to pursue things that were more intrinsically motivating to him. His path, for now, more specifically ended up being in the podcast niche. Alban became the head of marketing at Buzzsprout. He tells us about the company origin story, values and how he first became involved. We also learned the tips he would give someone starting a podcast for the first time. 

Alban is a genius when it comes to marketing and sharing a brand story, especially for podcasting, so there couldn’t be a better guest for the just keep learning show. He told us about head fake learning and marketing through educational content as opposed to just advertising. At Buzzsprout specifically this is about making podcasting as user friendly as possible. The goal should be for anyone and everyone to be able to upload consistently without any barriers. And he broke down the specific steps that he would take to start a new show and make it more shareable. 

He then shares his own origin story about getting into podcasting in general. The file size was something that was of great benefit when it came to consuming content while travelling the world. We hear about some shows that he listened to back in the day. We also get a glimpse as to why he has such a passion for the medium. Essentially, Alban is someone who appreciates the depth of relationships and the ability to use audio to build a connection is like no other platform. And, he even goes through his current podcast app to share recommendations of shows that he appreciates today. 

One of the most interesting and valuable things was hearing the common sense approach Alban takes to helping someone start with a show. He considers it a red flag when he gets the question, what’s the most popular type of show to start? It’s clear the answer would be true crime, or comedy, because they get the most listens. But the most important question to ask is what are you motivated to share, or learn? That’s the type of show to start.

It’s always tough to summarize all of the great moments in a full episode. For example, Alban was homeschooled, grew up in a family in the legal field, but broke that trend, became a tech marketing guru and has so much wisdom behind what he shares in this episode. As always, we got a bit vulnerable, discussed achievements, goal setting and how to just keep learning.

9 Reminders For Growing A Succesful Podcast

  1. Don’t worry about virality, trying to be like another podcaster, or trending topics when it comes to picking a topic for your show.
  2. Choose a niche topic that is of high interest, importance and passion to you, that you could build a community around and see yourself growing for a long time.
  3. Choose a style by knowing your personality type and what you think will serve the audience best. An interview show, allows for the guest to carry the bulk of creating content, but requires the upfront research and networking by the host. A round table show is nice for bouncing conversations off of a few regulars, but can take a lot of coordinating in the moment of creating. It can be nice to split these shows into themed segments, much like a talk show, or news channel does. And then you have scripted fiction, or non-fiction shows that tell a story and are typically rehearsed, recited and well produced. 
  4. Build the foundation for your shows success on the brand consistency by building trust and following through consistently with your audience. When it comes to artwork, timing, styles and content be as seamless as possible. 
  5. Find ways to build traffic and attention. It starts with uploading to as many podcast directories as possible. There are plenty of successful platforms beyond the big few, so make sure the show is every it can be. Beyond directories use social media to create micro content of clips that are both from and promote the show. You could also purchase ads within podcasting apps to get people to know that it exists. And be a guest on other shows.
  6. Make sure your brand messaging is very clear when it comes to defining and sharing who should be a listener on your who. What is the hook, story and offer for the show that will make people want to tune in and want to share it with others. 
  7. Put in the right amount of research and preparation. If you are positioning yourself as an expert, teaching and informing, make sure you actually know what you’re talking about. If you are interviewing someone, be sure you find your balance between to pre-scriptive and free flowing conversation.
  8. Build your audience like a family. Keep in mind the fact that podcasts are driven by word of mouth. The more you build community and shareability, the more success and growth you will see. A community of people who look forward to the upload time is extremely valuable.
  9. Finally, share your art, and keep going. Don’t just wave a flag one time saying you created a cool show. Share it at every type and time of opportunity you have because you know that it can help people. And if you still have a desire for the show to succeed, keep going. There will be times you want to give up, but if it’s important enough to you, just keep creating and don’t worry about the results.

Memorable Quotes

“Homeschooling was a lot of leaning into the areas that you enjoyed and finding new ways to explore the areas that you didn’t.”

“It was clear law would afford me a healthy salary. But it would cost me a lot of time, a lot of experiences. And I’d miss out on things I really wanted to be doing in life. And it wasn’t the trade I wanted to make.”

“It doesn’t have to be a large group of people for you to find a core audience that’s going to love your show. A lot of the best shows I’ve seen are people who are just totally tapping into what makes them, and approaching that topic they enjoy in a unique way.”

Guest Bio

Alban Brooke is a stoic optimist, who grew up having only gone to school one year in the eighth grade. His experience as a child who was homeschooled layed a strong foundation for self learning and entrepreneurship. In his professional career he has been a teacher, attorney, and now the head of marketing at Buzzsprout.

His interests are science fiction, leadership, marketing, SaaS, and podcasting. His podcasting guide has been read over a million times and he co-hosts two podcasts “Buzzcast” and “How to Start a Podcast.” He lives in Jacksonville Beach, Florida with his wife and daughter. In terms of connecting with Alban, there is no better place than Twitter where he shares tremendous threads and microblogs to help all of us succeed as show hosts.


Twitter –  @AlbanBrooke


Marketing, Podcasting, School

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