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Reinventing Guest Blogging

Tom Schwab’s first job after college was in the Navy, running nuclear power plants. He’s run a nuclear reactor and a small business. One was easy because it came with an instruction manual.

In 2008, Tom’s company was one of the early e-commerce companies using Inbound Marketing content to attract, engage and delight customers. By blogging, they grew from a regional player to a national leader in under 36 months and became one of HubSpot’s early case studies. After selling the company and try to help others do the same, they realized that blogs no longer work like they did.

While every tactic has an expiration date, the strategy still works. Blogs were dying, but podcasts were taking off in 2014. They hypothesized that podcast interviews could be used much like guest blogs: Tap into a large existing audience, share in the authority of the host, gain the “know, like, and trust”, then move their audience to become your visitors, leads, and customers. Marketing at its core is starting a conversation with someone who could be an ideal customer. Tom helps authors, speakers, coaches, and brands get featured on leading podcasts their prospects are already listening to. Then he shows them how to turn listeners into customers.

Also an author, Tom wrote, CONNECT: Grow Your Business as a Podcast Guest. He also created the CONNECT Online Course and is founder of Interview Valet, the concierge level podcast interview marketing agency.

Tom lives online but resides with his family in Kalamazoo, MI.

Tune in to hear Tom chat with Steve, Mary and Richard about getting listeners that resonate with what you have to offer to visit your site and getting booked on great shows that your ideal customers already listen to.

Read the transcript

The Creative Hustler Podcast

Steven, Melissa, & Alan recap their discussion with Tom Schwab, Founder of Interview Valet.

Read the transcript

Read the transcript

Do Podcast Hosts Judge You by the Company You Keep?

In a recent study of over 500 top podcast hosts, we found the best way to get interviewed on a podcast was with a personal introduction. More than just name-dropping, it’s a way for a host to have a sliver of instant trust to start a conversation. Personal introductions also help hosts to get an idea of you through the people introducing you.

Podcasters judge you by your associations

This is true in other areas of life too:Continue reading

Dan Miller on How Authors, Speakers, & Coaches Can Leverage Podcast Interviews

Authors, speakers, & coaches can leverage podcast interviews when looking for a new audience. Marketing and promotion can get expensive. What if you could simply tell your story and convert listeners into leads? Author & speaker Dan Miller talks with Interview Valet CEO Tom Schwab about podcast interview marketing... take a listen.


Dan Miller: Now, a lot of you are authors, writers, speakers, coaches, and you ask questions about how you can really leverage your message, how you can spread that message. Tom Schwab is a dear friend of mine. He’s in my mastermind. We share a lot of ideas together. He has a company called Interview Valet where he books people on podcasts to help them get exposure for their message. To people like Aaron Walker who last year was on 176 podcasts, that absolutely exploded his business. I wanted Tom to come on. I wanted to interview him. Now, there’s a reason for that. For one thing, he’s breaking a record in doing interviews himself, which is really cool. He’s going to set a Guinness world record for number of interviews done. I wanted to help him contribute to that, but I really wanted to pick his brain about how podcasts are so powerful about helping to spread our message. Here’s my short note or short interview discussion with Tom. Tom, I’ve talked to people that you not only are a business colleague of mind, but a personal friend, so it’s a delight to have you on the call today.


Tom Schwab : Dan, I am thrilled to be here. The only way it could be better is if we were sitting beside each other there in the Sanctuary in Franklin, Tennessee.


Dan Miller: Well, come on down. The weather’s great. The fans are going. We could sit out on a patio here and have a conversation, but we’ll make do with Skype in the meantime. Tom, I’ve told people that you, with Interview Valet, help people, authors, speakers, coaches get exposure for what they do by being podcasts guest. It’s really a popular concept, but explain to us how this shift is taking place, how radio is changing, and what’s happening with podcasting.


Tom Schwab : Dan, I think we’ve seen it over the years, and it really is the empowering of people to choose what they want. It’s not what radio station we can get anymore, but what content we want to listen to, and the Internet makes that possible. I think it’s funny sometimes calling it “podcast,” because there are people that have never owned an iPod or wouldn’t know what an iPod is but know what a podcast is. Really, it’s almost on demand radio now. You can get it downloaded to the dashboard of new cars. You can get it to your phone. You can do so many things while you’re doing it, and I think it’s one of the magic parts about it is that it’s the only medium where you can multitask.


I can’t read your blog while I’m jogging, but I can listen to the podcast. I can’t watch a video while I’m cooking dinner, but I can sure listen to a podcast, and so really, it gives the power to the listener, and I think we’ve just seen it explode here. There’s 350,000 podcasts in the US right now, and while that sounds like a lot, they’re all niched down, so you can find just the interests you want and it’s no longer that people are just listening to it because it’s the only thing on. No, now they’re listening to it because they want to listen to it, and they want to listen at the time they want.


Dan Miller: You know, I love it. Of course I used to listen to radio, as lots of people did, but now even when I jump in my car, my car has Bluetooth so it automatically picks up from my phone the podcast that I was listening to that morning and just continues. Even those 10, 15 minutes in my car, I’m listening to podcasts, and radio is pretty well in the background for me. One of the things that I know you really help people with is recognizing that podcast interviews, you’re in essence borrowing the credibility in the audience of other people who already have established audiences, and that may be easier for some people than getting a speaking about where they would walk up on a stage. How do you help people understand the ease of being a podcast guest?


Tom Schwab : Very much so, Dan. To build up your own audience can take time, and that’s why a lot of people would guest blog or try to get on a story on the Huffington Post or one of the bigger ones, but when it comes to podcasting, I’ve talked to clients before and said, “Would you stop everything you’re doing right now and drive across town to talk to 10 ideal customers?” “Oh, sure.” I’m like, “Would you get in a car and drive across state to talk to 100?” They’re like, “Sure.” Then you say, “Would you get in a plane to talk to 1,000?” At this point, they’re like, “I’m not sure I’m comfortable talking in front of 100, much less 1,000,” and I’m like, “Well don’t worry. You don’t have to go any place. You can do it as a podcast guest, so you already know who the [inaudible 00:04:31] is. They’ve already got the trust of the host who’s invited you on there, so you’re sharing that trust, and now you get to talk to them.” It can be intimidating for some people talking in front of a large audience, but heck, this is just two guys talking here. You’re hearing the same thing that if Dan and I were sitting out on the porch, and it’s very comfortable. Everybody can talk on a telephone, and if you’re comfortable talking on a telephone, you should be comfortable talking on a podcast.


Dan Miller: I love the way you laid that out, because I’m talking with you. I’m not thinking about who else is listening. It’s two guys sitting out here on the bench, under the patio, having a conversation. Podcasting allows us to do that. If somebody is an author, somebody is more introverted than being a real extrovert but they have a message they want to share with people, you help them understand podcasting is a gentle, a nonintrusive, nonthreatening way to help spread their message, which we have to do. Talk a little bit about the fact that you can have a great message, but in today’s world, unless you have some way to spread that message, it’s not going to affect a lot of people.


Tom Schwab : Very much so. There’s great tools out there, but that gives everybody the same opportunity, and sometimes it gets to be a noisier and noisier world. For a while, they were talking about, how do you break through the noise? It really struck me when we were out at Social Media Marketing World. I saw everybody walking around with headphones on. The gentleman that was sitting next to me on the plane, there was no breaking through the noise with him. He had headphones on. He could’ve been an ideal customer, but I couldn’t have gotten to him. People on the bus, all the rest of that, whereas if you know who you want to talk to, they’re already listening there. One of the great rules about marketing is, start the conversation where it’s already going on. If they’re already listening to something, they know, like, and trust it, that’s the place to start that discussion. One of the analogies that I use is if you want to talk to people, there’s two ways to do it. Go to the party where they’re already at, and start in the discussion, or sit at home and hopefully they come by your house. One of them is going to be a whole lot easier, a whole lot more fun, a whole lot less costly and get you faster returns, and that’s going to where they’re already listening.


Dan Miller: Absolutely. Great visual picture for that. When somebody has a message, people often ask me if they are beginning authors or speakers, “Should I do an ebook? Should I do a physical book? Should I create a little course? Should I create a live event?” I tell them, “Yes, yes, yes, yes.” Make it easy for your audience to participate in the message that you want to share with them. Talk just a little bit about how you see people repurposing interviews. They do an interview with somebody. How can that content be shared or perhaps even broken into other ways to communicate with people?


Tom Schwab : That’s such a marvelous question, Dan, because you’re so right because you put out so many different forms, and there’s certain people that love to read your blog. There’s other people that love the podcast, and there’s certain times where you’re more comfortable producing one form of content than the other. For example, I’m an engineer. My training was as an engineer, and it’s caused the way I think. I don’t naturally just write. Writing a blog for me is painful, but speaking is so much easier. If you can naturally speak, you can transcribe any podcast interviews, and there’s a great service out there called For a dollar a minute, you can have it transcribed and sent right to your email. Often, on these podcasts, we’ll go ahead and transcribe them, and now you’ve got this great content. We all talk at about 150 words a minute. That means about every four minutes, you’ve got another blog there. There are people that wouldn’t read a dozen blogs of yours each week, but they’ll listen to a 48 minute podcast. People can take these interviews, transcribe them, make blog posts into them.


We’ll even take them and then start going with highlighters and find 140 characters of wisdom. It’s like, “There’s a great quote.” “Hey, here’s another great piece that would be great for a meme.” There are some people that’ll even put B-roll footage behind it and make little videos out of it. Really, the problem now is not how to create the content. It’s just, do it whichever way works best for you and then repurpose it in what works best for your audience.


Dan Miller: Yeah. Boy, great examples in there. There’s so many ways people can take their message and make sure that it’s being heard by people. Tom, I know that you’re serious about doing these interviews. You have a personal goal to set a record for interviews completed, I understand.


Tom Schwab : I do. I looked on the Guinness Book of World’s Records, and there was a record for the most interviewed person on television, for the most interviewed person on radio, but there was not one for podcasting, and I love being a podcast guest. The people I get to talk to, the people I get to meet, so I reached out to the people at Guinness Book of World’s Records and said, “Had you ever thought of this as a category?” They were like, “That would be great,” so I’m trying to get as many interviews as I can before January 1st of 2017, and with that, they’ll be looking at my data and should be awarding it at that time. I’ll put 48 Days and Dan Miller toward the top of that list.


Dan Miller: That’s great. Boy, that’s a short time frame. You’re really going to get in the game here to make that happen. That’s awesome.


Tom Schwab : I’ve been doing interviews for two years, so I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of interviews, but really cranking it up this last part of the year.


Dan Miller: That’s great. Tell people how they can get in touch with you, Tom, learn more about what you do business-wise, as well as just continue to get these tips about doing great interviews.


Tom Schwab : I love connecting with people. That’s one of the great things. What’s ordinary to you is amazing to me. If I can be of any service, just go to I’ll have all my contact information there, my social media. We’ll have some free offers there talking to you about the six secrets to getting booked on a podcast. There’s a little training video that shows you how you can use this to grow your business, how to turn listeners into leads. I think marketing, that it’s hard. It’s starting a conversation with somebody. If you’re listening to Dan on this podcast, you know the power of podcasting. I guess the only question really is, in the future are your customers going to hear you or your competitor? There’s two ways to do that. Either start your own podcast, or be a guest on great podcasts.


Dan Miller: Wow. Well put. Tom, thanks for your time, your expertise, sharing so willingly here. Our audience is going to benefit from you having been on. Thanks so much.


Tom Schwab : Thank you, Dan.


Dan Miller: All right, well there you go. Again, my friend Tom Schwab. If you want to get his tips about how to do interviews well, he’s got some unique content created for us, the 48 Days audience. Just go to


5 Website Trust Seals Vital to Podcast Guests

If you want to super charge your marketing, there is no better way today than to talk directly to your ideal customers as a podcast guest. Marketing at its heart is starting the conversation with somebody that could be an ideal customer, and being on a podcast, being interviewed as an expert sets you up to talk to thousands or tens of thousands of people that can be ideal customers. The host often gives you softball questions. They prop you up as an expert. They want to make you look good, so they look good to their audience.

The host wants to help you, but you still need to do work on your part to make sure that when listeners come to your website, that it continues to build trust.  Success doesn’t come from just being on a podcast. Success comes consistently from the system you have in place to take people from being listeners, to visitors, to leads. Your website is a pivotal piece of the machine.  It will either build trust and move people along in the process, or it will kill the process right there.

We’ve learned many things from e-commerce about conversion rates that apply to being a podcast guest.


Here are five vital aspects that podcast guests can add to their websites to help listeners become leads.

Your Picture

It’s natural to want to know what someone looks like after you hear them.  If listeners arrive at the website to find no picture of the person, you have missed an opportunity to build the relationship.  Don’t use canned stock images of all the beautiful people smiling for no reason. They are fake. They’re not authentic. They destroy trust and confidence. You want to make sure that there is a professional image of yourself that’s consistent with your other branding.

About Us Page

Website analytics tells us the ‘about us’ page is often one of the most visited page on any website.  Studies show a high percentage of customers visited this page before completing a purchase.   Often it’s the same information on the one-page pitch sheet you gave the podcast host to get booked initially.

The ‘about us’ page is not about you.  Rather it tells the visitor what you can do for them. Failure to have an about us page can communicate that you are more focused on the transaction than the long term relationship.

Social Media

It’s 2016; people expect others to be on social media.  Especially if you are an expert they heard online.  Ensure your website has social media icons that link back to your profiles.  You don’t need to be every social media. If your customers aren’t on a platform, neither should you.

For anyone focused on the business-to-business market or offering a professional service /product, you’ll be expected to have a basic LinkedIn profile. Make sure that with one click from your website, visitors can find you elsewhere online. On Linkedin, they can read your entire resume.  They can see to whom you are connected and who you follow. They can quickly validate what they heard on the podcast is consistent with what they find online.

The Footer

Scroll to the bottom of any web page. Here you will find a major pass/fail litmus test on trust. Is the date of the copyright current? If not it’s a warning sign that the site is not up to date either. The other trust seal people look for is the physical address, or, at least, a P. O. Box, city and state. Visitors want to know you are real. They want to know who they’re dealing with, where they are. When you don’t have a location, people may assume the worst: you could be a foreign scam.

Customer Testimonials

When podcast listeners visit your website, do they see customer testimonials?  We all say great things about ourselves, but what do our customers say? A site that doesn’t include testimonials can be a trust killer.

Visitors realize that we post our best customers testimonials. What does it say if none exist?  New visitors want to see and hear from somebody that looks like them; that has a company, or business, or life like them. They want to be able to relate to an individual that has said good things about your product or service. If you can get a picture of that person along with their name, and their company, along with some place that the visitor could click to and realize, “Yes, this is a real person,” you will see your conversion rates sky-rocket!

Ezra Firestone talked about this fact in e-commerce conversions. Having an image of a person’s face and a testimonial near any call to action helps people get over the fear of clicking. It can even lessen the fear of buyer’s remorse.

We don’t work with companies; we work with people. We choose to work with people we know, like, and trust. We only buy from people we trust.

If people aren’t engaging with you on your website, it’s often not because of your product. They haven’t even experienced the product. The roadblock is that they don’t trust you enough to give you their email address. They don’t trust you enough to put in their credit card.

As a podcast guest, you’ve already talked to them for 30 to 45 minutes Once they arrive at your website let’s make sure you do everything possible to move that relationship along.  These five trust factors can further build rapport to show visitors that you are the expert that can solve their problem. You can make their life better, and all they have to do is take this next step.


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