AMA Madison’s popular Craft Marketing staged a special podcast at the November session. Greg Mischio of Winbound interviewed Chris Luecke, the popular − and savvy − host of Manufacturing Happy Hour.

The duo kept virtual attendees entertained as they learned why Chris started the podcast, its purpose and what to do if you want to start your own podcast.

What’s the value of a podcast? Chris said it’s a great way to develop a community, get leads and create content that can be shared across multiple channels.

The Evolution of Manufacturing Happy Hour

Chris’s podcast began after he moved to the San Francisco Bay area. He wanted to appeal to manufacturing industry decision-makers in their 20s and 30s. He enjoyed entertaining and wanted to build on his strengths.

Chris started with a three-minute video that focused on advancing manufacturing technology. That first effort evolved into a video series and then a podcast. And now, he’s obtained corporate sponsorship of Manufacturing Happy Hour which typically draws in about 500 listeners.

From that first episode, Chris ran the podcast while sipping a mug of beer along the way. At the time, Chris served as an account executive with Rockwell Automation. He recently moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he continues as the Manufacturing Happy Hour host and community builder.

Value of Podcast

As the popularity of his podcast grew, Chris generated leads that went beyond his designated territory in California. He shared leads with his co-workers, and they returned the favor.

To enhance his podcast, Chris looks for ideas outside of the manufacturing realm. If something is working in another industry, he may try it out.

Chris explained that his podcast provides a consistent way to build up an audience and gain recognition. That’s important in the manufacturing industry where there’s a long sales cycle for major purchases. When organizations announce requests for proposals, it’s typically too late to engage with potential clients.

Greg noted that podcasts help achieve a twin marketing strategy. The podcast can reinforce messages already distributed by a sales force.

Collaboration between sales and marketing helps with this effort, noted Chris. To obtain maximum impact, sales staff should bring relevant ideas to marketing who can then amplify the message. Everyone wins with this approach.

“Marketing tools are actually sales tools,” Chris said.

Play to Your Strengths

Greg noted that Chris is a natural performer, but others − even extroverted salespeople − may fear talking in front of a camera.

“Salespeople are on stage when they talk with customers,” Chris noted. One benefit of speaking to a camera is that it’s not going to give you a hard time. If you’re participating in a 20-minute interview, you also have more time to explain your message.

Through his podcast, Chris meets influencers who get to know him. For example, he filmed an episode with the Rockwell Automation CEO. When Chris ran into him one year later, the CEO still remembered him as “the guy with the beer.”

Besides Manufacturing Happy Hour, Chris also runs an associated digital community of leaders in a LinkedIn group (called the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community). Through this group, he helps members find ways to collaborate, connect and work with one another.

By posting videos, short stories and images to social media, Chris makes a lot of impressions with a broader audience to draw more listeners into the podcast and his LinkedIn group.

During the podcast, Chris encouraged attendees to play to their strengths. Podcasts aren’t for everyone. If you write blog posts, then find a way to amplify your message by repurposing your content.

Want to Start a Podcast?

Chris encouraged attendees to consider starting their own podcast. Consider these three objectives for a success podcast:

  • Address your listeners’ challenges
  • Tell them what they’re going to get out of listening to your show
  • Make it entertaining

To launch a podcast, you don’t need special equipment. The three basic components include:

  • A dynamic USB microphone (such as an Audio-Technica ATR2100x)
  • Platform for conducting the interview
  • Platform for editing the interview

“Don’t let equipment or software be an excuse for not starting,” he said.

Before you begin your podcast, Chris suggested preparing five episodes. Post two when you launch and then three more during the first month.

To enhance his readership, Chris appears on other podcasts and widely distributes his content.

As a podcaster, Chris said, “Your content is all about creating relationship and getting referral sources.”

See You Online for December’s Craft Marketing

Thanks to presenter, Chris Luecke of Manufacturing Happy Hour, Greg Mischio of Winbound, moderator and event sponsor, plus attendees and volunteers.

Craft Marketing invites you to its next virtual event at 4 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2020. Come ready to participate in the 2020 Review: What Worked (and What Didn’t). Participants will be invited to this open forum session to share the results of their strategies and tactics.

Register here for the online event.

Leslie Blaize, the owner of Blaize Communications, is a certified case study specialist. She crafts B2B content with a focus on the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry.


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