Meet Yann Ilunga

Posted on Sep 16 2017 by Cesare Rocchi

Every two weeks I chat with great hosts to get insights on how they run their shows. It's a series called Meet the Podcaster. Today there's Yann Ilunga with us. He's the host of The Podcaster Lab, and organizer of the Podcast Success Summit. Enjoy!

Headshot of Yann Ilunga


Who are you?

I'm Yann Ilunga, a Swiss, Finland-based podcaster and podcasting consultant. I help entrepreneurs and marketers with both the technical and business sides of podcasting and work with podcast hosts in growing the reach of their show. I'm the host of a few shows and the founder of the world's biggest podcasting virtual summit: the Podcast Success Summit. I'm also the creator of the Podcast Growth Mastermind, which Forbes dubbed 'Podcasting Community to Join'.

You run a community of podcasters. What's the most common question asked in the community? And the weirdest?

The most common question asked in the Podcast Growth Mastermind typically starts with 'What the best ...?'. It always makes me smile seeing this type of question because every show is different and so is every audience. This means that what works best for show A may not work as well for show B. Hence, there is no 'best' of anything in podcasting ... at least in my opinion.

Another type of question, that I always find fascinating, is people start promoting their things or ask community members for something (like reviews) as soon as they join the group. The Podcast Growth Mastermind focuses on learning and providing value, it's not a group that has the #1 goal of promoting one's things. I find the approach of such members interesting because I feel it's so disconnected from what would happen if this was an in-person gathering or event. Would you ask someone you just met to support your show or buy your products and service? No way! So why would you do that online?

What's the best advice you received before starting podcasting?

Podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint. This may sound cliché, but it's so true.
Anyone who's built an audience – whether it's a blog readership, YouTube viewers or anything else – knows that there's a lot of time, effort, and patience that goes into this.

When you retire, which podcast would you like to host?

Probably a podcast about funny things that happened through the years (fun travel stories, for example).

You want to be a guest on the Tim Ferris podcast. Write your pitch (via email. Include the subject!)

Subject: The Podcaster's 4-Hour Work Week

Hi Tim,

it's Yann – as discussed on Twitter I'm here to talk about a possible interview for the Tim Ferriss Show.

I know that your community is always eager to learn about how to be more productive and efficient...that's why I wanted to ask you if you'd be interested in us chatting about productivity for podcasters, a sort of 4-Hour Work Week for Podcasters if you will!

As the show of several podcasts – as well as being a podcast guest and doing other things – being efficient with my time is something I had to really focus on and master.

Happy to cover the topic (or any other you may have in mind) from a point of view you think would provide your listeners with as much value as possible.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


What’s the gear you use to produce your podcast?

The microphone I use is the Samson Q2U, which is often referred to as the European version of the Audio-Technica ATR2100. It's connected to a mixer (Behringer Xenyz 802) and an audio interface (Behringer UCA 222). When recording solo, I typically use Audacity, while I use both Zencastr and eCamm Call Record (always good to have a backup!) to record interviews I conduct in Skype.

What’s your favorite tool for podcasting, the one you can’t live without?

Trello! Though it isn't a podcasting tool per se, I've been using it for more and more aspects of my podcasting workflow (as well as for other business and traveling-related matters).

When it comes to podcasting, I use Trello:

  • to brainstorm content ideas
  • as an editorial calendar
  • as the resource I have my notes or questions for the guest in
  • to map out and carry out the marketing of my show

And I love one of their latest power-ups: Butler for Trello! It lets you certain steps you carry out in Trello over and over again.

What are the ingredients of a great podcast?

This may sound cliché, but quality content matters big time! I believe that it's not just about the topic you cover, but how you go about it. Are you doing what every other host who discusses it is or are you covering it from a different perspective? Do your episodes either inform, inspire, educate or entertain your audience? These are questions any serious podcaster should ask themselves.

An additional thing that I think really makes a difference is community. Podcast listening is an individual experience, each of your listeners listens to you by themselves... If you want to really be impactful in a more meaningful way, I think it's important to create a community – a common ground where listeners can come together and interact with you, as well as with each other.

Content, being original (in your own way) and community. These are what I see as the ingredients of a top-notch podcast.

You have to spend 48 hours on a desert island. You can bring with you all the episodes of one podcast. Which one do you bring? Why?

It's difficult to pick only one show because there are so many good ones! At the moment, The Membership Guys Podcast is the one that's really hot in my smartphone – so I'd take that one with me. I really like how the show the different layers and topics related to one main area: membership sites.

Your podcasts have plenty of reviews in many countries. What’s your secret?

First of all, it's because I have quite the international network (I'm based in Finland, most of my clients are in North America and I have friends in pretty much every continent). Asking for friends' help, especially during the early stages of my podcasting journey has been useful.

In addition to this, I do leverage both my community and podcast audience, and I'm not afraid to ask for their support. You don't get what you don't ask for. And it’s also important to be aware of what’s happening with your podcast – and, in terms of reviews across all the different iTunes Stores, Podrover is a big help.

Any advice you want to give to podcasters that are just getting started?

Your show, your rules! While it's true to get some advice and follow some best practices for certain aspects of your podcasting journey, like you'll learn in the upcoming Podcast Success Summit, you have to really be creative and carve your own path.

I really believe in the saying 'The journey is the destination' and I think that is certainly true for podcasting.