Business strategy

Give it a Nudge host Steve Grace shares the 10 things he learnt from 100 episodes of his podcast

- January 8, 2024 5 MIN READ
Steve Grace
The Nudge Group founder & CEO Steve Grace. Photo: Mark Bond
What a journey it’s been – we’ve just celebrated our 100th episode!

We kicked off this podcast at the end of 2020, right in the thick of the pandemic when there wasn’t much else to do.

Originally, Give It A Nudge was an idea as a unique recruitment tool – a way to tell the stories of the incredible founders we work with at The Nudge Group. We’ve always believed that effective startup recruitment is about selling the founder first, then the mission and the actual job is the last part.

But here we are, 100 episodes later, and GIAN has evolved into so much more. It’s grown into its own media channel, with an audience that’s growing consistently.

Hosting this show has been an incredible experience, I had never done anything like this, and if you watch episode one, you can see how nervous I was. It’s been an exhilarating ride, diving deep into the world of startups, scaleups, venture capital, and more.

As we celebrate this amazing milestone, I’m excited to share the top 10 lessons I’ve learned from this incredible journey. 

1. Unscripted conversations

In the early days of GIAN we had a set of predefined questions for every guest, but it was pretty stressful.

I was constantly thinking about the next question rather than listening to my guest, and our guests seemed more focused on thinking ahead to their answers rather than being in the moment.

So, we ditched the script, literally no set questions and no questions off limits, just a free-flowing conversation and this was a game-changer.

The guests weren’t just hitting their talking points; they were sharing real, off-the-cuff thoughts.

It made for some raw, transparent, and genuinely honest conversations and no one knows what is going to happen so it is far more authentic.

2. Focused filming

Another big move? We went back to filming all our episodes in one go.

Sounds intense, but it actually helped us get into this super-focused zone.

There’s something about dedicating a whole day to back-to-back filming that keeps you and the guests totally immersed in the conversation.

No one is thinking about the meeting they just had or the one coming up, you also get a huge buzz during the day.

3. Being open-minded

We learned not to judge a book by its cover – or a guest by their resume, for that matter.

I remember one episode with a guest who, on paper, didn’t look like they’d set the world on fire so I was trying to pump myself up to carry the energy in the episode.

But the conversation we had was mind-blowingly interesting – and the audience thought so too, judging by the views.

It was a reminder that sometimes the most unassuming guests can bring the most surprising insights and do the craziest of things.

4. Investing in high production values

When it comes to podcasting, if you want to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you can’t skimp on quality.

From day one, we realised that if we wanted to keep our audience engaged, we had to invest in high-quality video and audio production.

This investment in production value paid off big time. Our audience knows that when they tune into GIAN, they’re getting a top-notch experience, both in terms of content and quality.

It’s been a crucial factor in keeping our viewers and listeners coming back episode after episode. 

5. Consistency in diversity

The goal of GIAN was always to create a consistent experience where the audience knows they’ll get but every time will be different.

We’ve had guests from different corners of the startup world, we just tell them to bring themselves.

The challenge was to make sure that while the topics and guests varied, make sure they felt comfortable doing whatever they wanted, if they wanted to jump up and stand then let them, but the quality of each episode remained top-notch.

It’s this blend of consistency and diversity that I believe has helped us build a loyal listener base who eagerly anticipate each new episode.

6. Learning the Art of Silence

Now, this was a tough one for me – learning when to just shut up and listen.

As a natural over-talker, I had to master the art of silence. It’s amazing what happens when you give guests the space to think and respond.

This silence became one of the most powerful tools in my hosting arsenal. As I got better at embracing silence, the quality of our conversations skyrocketed.

7. The role of Social Media and collaboration

For GIAN, harnessing social media tools was pivotal in expanding our reach.

We jumped onto platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, not just to share content, but to genuinely engage with our audience and the broader startup community.

Collaborations have also been a game-changer. Partnering with influencers, other podcasters, and industry leaders helped us tap into new audiences.

Learn how to use all the features in your socials, it has a massive impact.

8. The subscriber hustle

Anyone in the digital content space will tell you that growing your subscriber base is just hard.

Luckily we had no idea what we were doing so we were willing to try anything, for instance, at SouthStart (a startup event in Adelaide), we printed QR codes on the back of our t-shirts and just ran around asking people to scan and subscribe.

I know it sounds obvious, but we never asked people to subscribe, now we ask at the end of each episode and pretty much every conversation we have with anyone!

Every new subscriber is a small victory, and when you are putting content out every week you need as many of these as you can get

9. The value of authentic curiosity

One approach I took with GIAN that might seem counterintuitive was doing less upfront research about our guests.

Initially, you’d think that the more you know about a guest, the better.

However I found that knowing less always led to more authentic and genuinely curious conversations.

It was about discovering the guest’s story in real-time, alongside our listeners.

My reactions were real, and my questions were driven by in-the-moment curiosity. This style might not work for everyone, but for GIAN, it’s been a cornerstone of our authentic approach.

10. Slow and steady growth

If there’s one big takeaway from hitting 100 episodes, it’s that building a successful podcast takes time.

Every episode was a step towards where we are today. We focused on staying consistent, not just in the frequency of our episodes but in the quality and in staying true to what GIAN is all about.

It’s about showing up, episode after episode, and always striving to bring something valuable to the table.


Calling all startups and subscribers

We’re always looking for compelling stories from the startup world for our show.

If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear from you. And to our listeners, your support means everything.

Haven’t subscribed yet? Join our journey and be part of our growing community. Don’t forget to check out our 100th episode and subscribe here for more!


Check out our 100th episode

Dive into our milestone 100th episode where we reflect on these key lessons and more.

It’s a celebration of our journey so far and a sneak peek into what’s next. Watch it here. 

And make sure you subscribe here