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How to be a Podcast Guest Story

Meet Jason Cercone

Jason Cercone

Podcast Guest Coach & Trainer

Where do you reside?

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Which industry are you in?

Podcast Industry

What is your professional role?

I am a creative professional who specializes in podcast guest marketing and podcast guest optimization. I’ve been podcasting since 2015 and working with other professionals in the podcast space since 2019. I provide training and education that helps professionals in all niches become optimized podcast guests and maximize their efforts as a value-driven guest. I also provide coaching on podcast creation, with emphasis on proper mindset, setting realistic expectations, and focusing on the fundamentals of being a quality podcast host. I am also a podcaster. I host Evolution of Brand, a weekly podcast featuring authentic entrepreneurs and professionals. Each episode is a combination of inspirational stories and tactical strategy so listeners can gain wisdom from those who’ve taken their brands to the next level and consume tips they can apply to their own practices.

What is your top personal value?

My top personal value is loyalty. I firmly believe that when anyone sees value in what I offer, whether it be on a professional or personal level, it’s up to me to deliver that value at every juncture. I work tirelessly to ensure my clients are satisfied and strive to under promise and over-deliver with everyone I work with. A story to exemplify, I see a lot of entrepreneurs establishing boundaries…to the point they rule out going over and above for a client when it’s within their ability to do so. I also believe in setting boundaries, but I’m also willing to have a conversation about something that my client may need done and, if my schedule allows it, I am happy to assist. I have done this on many occasions with people I’ve worked with and I feel it adds value to the overall relationship I build with those I work with.

What do you do when you aren't working?

I try to spend as much time as I can with my daughter. She’s 12 now and I know that time is slipping through my fingers in regards to childhood. I’ve made it a point to soak up as many memories and activities as I can because I know I won’t get that time back. I believe in teaching her strong work ethic, celebrating small victories, learning from mistakes, and setting herself up to chase her passion when the time comes. She’s recently taken up photography and I’d love to see her make a run at that. Or start a podcast like Dad :) My biggest when I’m not working is golf. Of course, living in Pennsylvania, I only get to enjoy it half of the year. But I try to play as much as I possibly can, whether it’s going to the course to play a round or just heading to the driving range to work on my swing. My dad got me into the sport when I was 7 and I never looked back. I also enjoy attending concerts and new restaurants with my girlfriend, enjoying a glass of bourbon and a cigar, football, hockey, fantasy football, and a delicious steak. I also recently started teaching myself to play guitar. I’m not very good, but that’s pretty much what I expected. Stay tuned to see if that pans out.

What makes you unique?

I’m not sure if it makes me unique, but I have a very realistic approach to growth within my brand. I don’t subscribe to “growth for growth’s sake” and never put myself in a position where I can’t give the clients I’m working with the attention they deserve. I don’t get hung up on vanity metrics like video views and download numbers. My approach is to consistently put value into the world with the belief it will pay me back when the time is right. And when that time comes and more people discover me, there will be ample content for them to consume, thus giving them a reason to stay close and learn more. I also believe you should always be proud of the content you put into the world. I often self-check things by asking if my 85-year old self would be proud of what I’m about to post. This keeps the value flowing. And long after I’m gone, there will be content those closest to me can enjoy as they reminisce.

What do you love about what you do and how do you help others?

I’ve always had a passion for helping others succeed and it’s rooted deeply in my work. From my time working in the corporate world to what I’ve done through my own business, I take pride in helping someone accomplish a meaningful goal and will work my ass off to ensure it happens. There’s nothing more rewarding than playing a role in helping some discover what they have inside

What is the number one goal you are trying to achieve in your professional life?

Getting myself in a position to work remotely from anywhere in the world by the age of 50.

What is the definition of the word Brand?

Brand is how you tell the world who you are, what you do, and how you will be a valuable resource to others. This applies to the brand you build for your company, as well as your personal brand. Your brand puts the people in the seats and keeps them there!

What is brand awareness and why is it important to the brand story?

I think brand awareness and brand story work hand in hand. In today’s world, people relate to brands who converse WITH them, not at them. Traditional forms of advertising don’t have the same impact as consumers are more intentional with how they buy, when they buy, and who they buy from. If you position yourself as a brand that solves problems, relates to people on a human level, and tells your story in a way that helps people realize they’re not alone in their struggles, you enhance your engagement and captivate more current and potential customers. This, in turn, can help spread brand awareness as people bought in to your story will tell others in their circle how compelling you are.

Which platforms must a brand have in their digital footprint?

I don’t subscribe in having a presence EVERYWHERE. It can be difficult to manage full engagement and optimization on every platform unless you have a sizable team at your disposal. I believe a brand needs the following: 1. A website - non-negotiable 2. An email list - so you can control the narrative and connect with your audience on your terms 3. Presence on the platform that stimulates engagement AND gives you the best ability to share content your audience will respond to. This could be any network - YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Also, it’s important to discover what network you enjoy spending the most time on. This will help you stay consistent with content creation, engagement, and communication. 4. Take advantage of the growing podcast platform. If time permits and you can commit to it, start a podcast. If not, find podcasts relevant to your brand and become a value-driven guest.

What one thing must you do on Social Media when telling a brand story?

Find the platform/network where you can provide the most value for your audience and go all-in. It’s very hard to build a strong presence everywhere today. Years ago, it was much more realistic. The belief has always been that people are everywhere, so you have to be there, too. For your own sanity, reverse engineer that statement. If people are everywhere, be present on the network that works best for you. If your presence is strong, people will find you…because they’re everywhere!

What is your favourite platform to tell a brand story and why?

The podcast platform has been my favorite. I’ve done multiple shows over the years and all of the experience I’ve gained has helped me with everything I do today. Podcasts are the best place for stories to unfold, whether you’re in the role of host OR guest. I’ve been able to position myself as a resource that understand the power of branding with “Evolution of Brand” and I’ve been able to bring stories to life with the assistance of every single guest I’ve sat down with for a great conversation. To me, it doesn’t get any better than that.

What is a common mistake you see brands making in the brand awareness part of their story?

Trying to sell when they should simply be solving a problem and providing value. As I mentioned before, people are very intentional about when they buy and who they buy from. When the time is right, you want as many people keeping you front of mind as possible. And the best way to do that is help whenever you can and not be afraid to give away some sage advice for free. When you’re constantly in sales mode, people get turned off and look elsewhere.

Which brand gets the brand awareness part right?

There are so many that do it right, but one of the brands that jumps out to me is Wendy’s. Their Twitter presence is outstanding, and they weren’t afraid to endear people to their brand through sarcasm and snark. That level of humor has made their presence transcend fast food and put them on a level that even people who don’t regularly eat fast food can get value from. And, because they go over and above to entertain, they plant a seed that makes people think of them whenever they’re craving a burger. It’s great to watch.

Want to get tips from Jason about how to become a podcast guest and get more out of the experience. Click the button to visit his site and download his podcast guest tips.

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