Listen to the full interview here ( 49:45 minutes)
If you’re going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn’t you get the benefits too? Welcome to agency management institute’s build a better agency podcast presented by hubspot. We’ll show you how to build an agency that can scale and grow with better clients, invested employees, and best of all, more money to the bottom line, bringing his 25 plus years of experience as both an agency owner and agency consultant to you. Please welcome your host, drew Mclellan. Hey everybody. Drew Mclellan here with another episode of build a better
agency. Thanks for joining us again. Today’s topic is a hot one right now. Everybody seems to be talking about or listening to or starting podcasts and there’s lots of different thoughts about how to do that, how to attract the right guests, how to actually leverage that podcast for business. And so today’s guest is going to talk to us all about that. So let me tell you a little bit about him. Tom Schwab knows how to grow a business online using content as fuel marketing at its heart is started, is starting a conversation with someone who could be the ideal customer. Tom’s company interview valet partners with agencies to get their clients featured on leading podcasts that their prospects are already listening to. This provides traffic that has been shown to convert 25 times better than blogs. So we’re going to dig into that right now. Tom, welcome to the podcast
drew. I am thrilled to be here and you know, they say 20 percent of the US population listens to podcasts, but a 100 percent of your audience listens to podcast. So it should be very applicable to, to them what we’re talking about today.
Absolutely. And you know, I think podcasts are one of those things that, you know, podcasts for those of you who have not been following sort the podcast history podcast sort of bubbled up on the surface, you know, quite a few years ago and the technology, and I think the interest just wasn’t quite there yet, but now all of a sudden in the last few years, the resurgence has been sort of amazing, hasn’t it?
It hasn’t really. It’s, it’s not right to call it a podcast anymore. There are people listening to a podcast that have never seen an ipod or never used them really skilled to be more on demand radio and I think what’s really spurring it is the idea that you can download it on so many devices now. A new cars are coming out where you don’t even need a, you know, a smart phone, you can download it straight to the dashboard. So I think when we see that coming out here, it’s really going to be on demand radio that people can choose what they listened to.
Yeah, that’s a good point. I never even occurred to me to think that a ipod was the origination word for podcast, but you’re right. I think it’s hard to even find them an ipod anymore, isn’t it?
I, I think if we pulled it out of our drawer someplace, most of the younger people would look at how do you make a phone call on this? Uh, but it’s, it’s just sort of stuck with it. And you know, some people are calling their shows, podcasts, other ones are calling shows on demand radio. Really it’s, you know, it’s just the next generation of, of people listening to the content that they want, so you know,
your business is an interesting model and we’ll, we’ll dig into that a little bit, but um, tell folks a little bit about the value of being a podcast guest and, and in my mind, this is, this conversation for us is twofold because I think there’s benefit in the agency owners or leaders who are listening, thinking about for their own agency, getting themselves featured on podcasts, but also it’s a great revenue stream for them to say to their clients, look, we can get you booked on podcasts as well. So we’re sort of talking in two layers here, but let’s talk about the benefit and value of that.
Sure. And I guess first, you know, people will say podcasting and their first inclination is I need to start a podcast. And anybody that tells you that’s doing a podcast is easy, has either never done it or never done it. Well, you know, drew, my hat’s off to you and I know there’s a lot of work that goes into this and sort of that, you know, Tim Ferriss’ four hour work week, we started looking at it with our clients and said, is there an easier way to do it? And we went back to sort of the, the analogy of guest blogging, you know, building up your own blog takes time. Um, uh, there’s, has to hit that critical mass and so a lot of people will guest blog to get in front of their ideal audience. And so we thought that same way could it be done through podcast interviews.
And what we found is that the same principles apply and you know, you tap into an existing audience, you’re featured as the expert. You get that credibility that goes along from the host. Uh, and it just is a, is a great way to do that. Uh, you know, I, I’d have to say that we stumbled onto this because now we had built, our agency was built on inbound marketing and no content being the fuel that drove our, our online businesses. But with time we saw that the blogs blogs were working less and less. They were harder and harder to do. It was saturated and you know, most of the time that the content trying to get the client to do it, you know, they didn’t want to write a blog that’s always think they want to. Oh yeah, I mean the owner of a company, I mean it’s like pulling teeth to get them a lot of times to write a blog.
But what we found is that they love to tell their story and you know, a blog, a blog is a homework assignment to them getting to tell their story is an opportunity. And so we had a couple clients that just had great stories to tell and we thought, well, could we get them on as guests? And we were amazed by the traffic that came back, the quality of the traffic. And then the evergreen on ness of it, you know, that there was a very long tail to it. I’ve got some clients now that have been using this strategy over two years and they still get traffic from podcasts that were out there two years ago. Um, so, uh, you know, it’s all the same principles that we’ve all learned about marketing and generating traffic. It’s just really applying it to a different medium. Well, I know that a lot of the guests that I’ve had on this podcast have, uh, gotten clients and business off of the podcast.
So you’re, so you’re absolutely right. I’m seeing it unfold just through my little podcast here. So I think you’re right. I think the opportunities are huge and to the point that you made of, you know, even two or three years later that the tail is super long on podcast because people are always discovering new podcast and so they’re going back to the beginning and listening. So there’s something about sort of the episodic nature and the every episode is sort of a complete thought so people could go back in time and it’s not like the, it’s old news. And so you’re right, it is. The length of the opportunity is sort of endless, very much a dry, almost felt guilty using this example or sharing it. But, uh, uh, there’s a, a podcast or that’s been around for years and Alex herox runs a podcast called marketing optimization and I was on his show and he paused in the middle of it and he says, you know, as I think about it, the number of clients I’ve gotten for my own podcast, you know, I could count on one hand when he says where do get podcast or where I do get clients is going on other people’s podcasts.
As we talked about that, the analogy that, that he sort of used was, you know, you don’t get any converts in your own church. You know, everybody that’s there has already heard you. If they’ve listened to three months of your podcast and haven’t been a client yet, chances are, you know, they may never be a client, but going out to tap into somebody else’s network and being a guest expert on third podcast, boy, now you’re into a fresh market there. And it’s really not a zero sum game. Uh, the newest study said that, you know, 20 percent of the US population listens to podcasts, but on average they listened to eight hours of podcasts. I’m a week, I’m not sure. I’m not sure if they’re like me, if they listened to, to want to everything at one point five, that means it’s 12 hours of content.
We just get it done in eight hours. So really it’s not. If you go on somebody else’s podcast, it’s not that you know, you’re going there to steal their audience away. No, it’s, it’s probably, you know, helping them out, helping their audience out. And that’s, you know, most people that you talked to find podcasts. I’m not going to google not searching itunes, but hearing them on other people’s podcasts. Yeah. You know, I know you work with a lot of agencies and help them place their clients on podcasts. How are, how are the agencies packaging that? Are they packaging it up as a part of a bigger content strategy? Are they offering that as part of a PR play? What are you seeing agencies sell or take this idea of getting clients on podcasts to market? You know, it’s interesting because we had this question from people and they’ll say, well, you know, his interview Valet a marketing agency, and it’s like, well, yes it is.
Is it a PR agency? Yes it is. You know, is it a speaker’s bureau? Yeah, sort of the same way there. Uh, but what we’re doing is we just focus on that, that tap traffic generation, how to get them from being a visitor or excuse me, a listener to a visitor and then, you know, converting on the page there, we’re really not doing that, you know, the, the heavy lifting that last mile of I’m putting the together their campaigns, putting together their nurturing. So it really works out well because most agencies have that down so well they’ve got clients that need that, um, and, and have that there, but they’re looking for new ways in order to get traffic there. And, you know, there’s, there’s two ways you can get traffic and can either earn it or you can buy it and buying it gets more and more expensive.
You know, blogs are getting harder and harder and less and less effective. And it’s a fun way to offer that to a client. Um, that, uh, you know, hey, we could get you on podcasts and I’m always amazed as I talk to clients and ask them, you know, would you change your plans this afternoon to go talk to 100 ideal clients? And they’re like, sure. I’m like, what’d you get on a plane to talk to you a thousand? They’re like, sure. And I’m like, well, would you know, go across country to talk to 10,000? And most of them are like, no way would I ever talked to that many. And especially if they’re introverted, they’re like, they get intimidated by that. But if you could talk on the phone to somebody, uh, you know, you could be a podcast guest and it’s so scalable form to, it’s almost a, um, a compliment to them or everyone wants to be thought of as an expert.
Right? Right, right. And they, they’re passionate about it. They know that part of their business, they love speaking on that. So give it to them. The opportunity to do it works out so easy and it makes it easy for them to, that they can do the interview from home, from, from work, even on vacation. And it’s such a goldmine because, you know, most people will speak at about 150 words a minute. So you figure if you transcribe the interviews, uh, it’s just a gold mine. You can get blog contents out of it, you can get tweets out of it. Um, you can, you can do so many things with it. Um, and, uh, it’s so easy to do.
So. So where I was headed though was how are your clients, the agencies, packaging the idea of podcast guesting as a revenue stream to their clients? Or are they saying to their clients, look, we’ve got a content strategy and we’re going to write blog posts, we’re going to get you on podcast, we’re gonna do x, Y, Z, or is it part of a Pr Plan? How are they packaging what you do for them to sell to their clients?
Ultimately it’s more of a marketing as opposed to just a Pr, you know, if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. So, so they’re packaging. It is just another form of content, right? Content is, is the fuel that drives our engines. Now there’s different ways of making content, you know, uh, videos, um, blogs, ebooks, they’re just packaging. This is, hey, here is another way to, to get content. And really it makes a whole lot of sense. And for those clients that already listened to podcasts, yeah, they get it ready to it. It’s super, super easy if they’re not familiar with what a podcast is, it takes a little bit of education on that standpoint. But I think once they, once they see the potential of being able to speak directly to their ideal customers, uh, the light goes off now I was, um, went out to social media marketing world a couple months ago and in California, and everybody’s talking about, well, how do you break through the noise?
And I looked around, there is no more noise anymore, you know, in the plane, the gentleman sitting next to me, he had his earbuds in. He, he could be an ideal customer for me, but there’s no way that I can break through that noise because he’s cut out all the noise. So really the question is how can you get in their ears? Um, so they listened to you and pay attention. And I think podcasts are so interesting because it’s the only medium that we can do without our eyes and without our hands. So I can’t, I don’t have the time to watch eight hours of video a day or a week, but I can listen to podcasts. You know what? I’m in the shower when I’m running a, you know, when I’m mowing the lawn. So it’s, it’s such a, a, an interesting medium there that people can consume.
Yeah, I think that’s one of the reasons actually why podcasts have gotten to such a huge start. And I really just think that we’re at the tip of the iceberg of podcast, but I think you’re right. I think because it is a consumable media that allows us to do other things, whether it’s treadmill, run, drive, mow the lawn, you know, shower, that’s a long shower. But um, but, uh, you know, you’re right, it’s something you can consume while you’re doing something else or while you’re heading someplace else or you’re on the subway or whatever it may be, which does make it unique. The other thing is, I think it’s
intimate from the standpoint. It’s like people are listening into our conversation right now and they’ll say, well, you know, video is more intimate because you can see it. Well, we all have our, our video face on the teleprompter. You don’t know if you’re listening to, you know, the first take or the fifth take on it. Yeah. So it’s a little bit polished from that standpoint and podcasts for, you know, by and large are raw. It’s, it’s people just coming off with the ideas and you hear the arms and the eyes and all the rest of that. And from that standpoint, I think it’s very intimate and believable from that standpoint.
Well, what I love about it from a client’s perspective, when I put on my agency owner hat, what I love about it is to your point, it’s not really intimidating for a client. They’re comfortable just having a conversation and that the added benefit of that is they come off so authentic and real and I get a true sense as a listener of what they’re like and how they talk and what they believe in so that I can decide am I a good fit for them or not? And all of that just happens naturally as opposed to, you know, we all have tried to put clients in front of cameras before and you know, there are some clients who are just naturally gifted at being front of a. But in most cases
that’s a sharp stick in the eye. And I think that’s really the reason why you see the conversion rates so much higher than blogs, is that when somebody listens to you for 15 minutes, a half hour, 45 minutes, whatever the interview is, they get to know, like, and trust you. And they either resonate with that and come ready to engage or they don’t. And if they don’t, that’s fine too. I look at it is I don’t want more leads, I want more customers. So we’re not just trying to play a numbers game. We’re trying to, to really use these podcast interviews, um, to filter it so that they can see what we’re about. They can resonate with it. And I think that’s the reason that the traffic converts higher from podcasts, interviews. Then it say says just from a cold blog, now I know a lot of times you work with agencies to help them place their clients on podcast.
You also worked directly with agencies and agency owners to place them on podcast. Or is that a harder fit? Now? We’ve done both and the same principles apply for it. And you know, everything that we do and we teach, I’m very open about it, but most agencies just realize that if we’ve got the relationships already, um, and the expertise that it makes sense just as a, um, as a, um, as a synergy there. I would just say that, you know, as we, as we look at what makes this strategy work, there’s really three parts to it. Um, and they all multiply again or multiply with each other. So it’s the message, the market and the machine. So the message is you’ve got to have something to say, something to tell, not just sell. You’ve got to, with the market, you’ve got to have a very defined ideal buyer persona is this business is about, you know, really focusing down and using a rifle more than a, than a shotgun.
And then the market too is that you’ve got to have something that they can serve the people. You’ve got to have something for them to say, yes, that would help me. I want to buy that. I want to work with you on that. Yeah. And then then the final part is the machine. You’ve got to have your online machine that builds the trust. So, um, and for, for any agency, this is sort of a give and they’ve already got this, they’ve got the website that builds trust, they’ve got a social media patterson’s that builds trust. They’ve got a system to take people from, you know, being visitors to leads and nurturing them. So I would say from an agency standpoint, um, if they figured out what niche or what market they can really serve, that’s a great way to go after this. Um, and especially if they’re more a, uh, a digital where they can get customers any place and not just focusing in their local market well or that they serve a niche right there in ag agency or a automotive agencies were.
Again, geography is a nonissue. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, I suspect that some people are better podcast guests than others. How can, how can our agency listeners prepare their clients to be better guests? Well, I always say that, uh, you can either learn from your own mistakes or learn from somebody else’s mistakes and it’s a whole lot easier to learn from somebody else’s mistakes and little less painful, that’s for sure. Uh, it’s, it’s, it’s less painful and they, uh, they say checklists are written in blood, right? We’ve got a checklist and I’ll share it with everybody here will, we’ll put a page together with everything we’re talking about here. Um, but we’ve got a checklist that you can go through and I think giving people that confidence in front of the podcast really helps them. So, uh, showing them how to do a quick sound check on their microphones so they, they know, they sound good.
Little things like turning off the um, uh, the dropbox download, uh, the automatic sinking trust me. Um, I was on a podcast one time and uh, uh, somebody on my team sent me a video that I’d been waiting for and all of a sudden the connection went to, uh, went really bad is all the bandwidth went to the video. So just going through there. So preparing them with that. And I think the other thing is making sure they know what audience they’re talking to, you know, content is a wonderful thing, but if you don’t have the context of who you’re talking to, a it’s, it can be completely wasted. So I think preparing them with that, of giving them a checklist of here’s what you can do beforehand to get ready, telling them leaders who you’re talking to, you know, here’s, here’s what the podcast is about, here are the questions that they typically would ask you because if you don’t do that, you’re almost asking the client to, to listen to two or the three podcasts beforehand.
You know, there’s nothing that ruins credibility more than getting on a podcast. And they asked the guests the same question that every guest gets asked and they paused and they’re like, Huh, I’ve never thought of that before. Yeah, all, all they’re saying is, I’ve never listened to this podcast before. So I think that preparation, you know, those in the navy we used to say only kids in clowns like to be surprised. Which one did I look like? I think it’s the same way with our clients, you know, prepare them so that they go into it confident and do you recommend doing some sort of dry runs or some rehearsals with clients to get them comfortable, you know, with, with trying to deliver soundbites and all that sort of thing. Um, we do and sometimes we’ll even do practice interviews with our clients, um, a couple of those so they can get comfortable with it.
And also, if they’ve never been on a podcast, you can use those practice podcasts and interviews to help pitch the guests to potential hosts. Because, you know, drew, you’re your biggest fear as a host is bringing on somebody that isn’t awful guest there sound. Does it sound good? Because like how do you or how we’re all they do is sell. Exactly how do you, how do you politely tell them that? And what happens a lot of times is if you’re a bad guest, oh sorry, that recording got lost and it never sees air. Um, so with that, you know, coaching them through that. And most, you know, most people are very coachable about that. If they understand what they’re trying to do, uh, you know, that your, your, your goal on being on a podcast is not to sell anything. It’s an awful medium to do that.
It’s it, it’s almost in the front to that. I always say to our clients, your goal on being on the podcast is to make the host look like a genius for having you on there, that you’re sharing so much value because what would that happens is now the host is going to help promote you. He’s going to help or he or she is going to help you look like at the expert. And it just helps everybody with that. So I think most people, if they understand what they’re trying to do, they can, they can perform that very well. Yeah,
I agree. Um, so do you also have suggestions for, you know, for example, do you suggest that your, the podcast guests that you book, that they have some sort of a giver, an offer like an ebook or a checklist or something like that that drives the listener to that podcast back to their website? Or is that too blatant?
Well, hopefully I’m not not too blatant on this one, but that’s basically what I just was doing. They’re saying that we’ve got a checklist there. You’ve got to give people a year. So sneaky the way you did that, that, that it’s behind. It’s behind the curtain. Right, so that’s right. You know what you do, what you do and what you’re hearing here is a given people a reason to go from being a listener to a visitor to a lead. So like I talked about that checklist. I’m not going to list all the things on the checklist here. You’d never remember it. So I say just go back to the website. We put a special page together. It’s a interview valet.com. Just interview Valet Dot Com. Forward slash better agency and everything drew and I talked about will be there. So what we’re doing is trying to move people there and there’s so many things that you can do with that.
So you can do checklists, you can do personal assessments, you can do online trainings. There is another one I’ll put there. There’s a 30 minute webinar and say it’s an online training that talks about how to use this strategy to build your, your business as a podcast guest that’ll be on there too. And it’s interesting because some of our best clients have been ones that have things that are uniquely visual. So we worked with one client and she made these, um, uh, these quilts that you cut up different, uh, different things make quilts out of it. Well, if she was on a sports show, especially if it was one with guys she would talk about, yeah, we made a quilt for Wayne Gretzky and cut up his, all his old jerseys and Oh, if you want to see it, just come back to the website and she’d give this, um, this address, you know, what red blooded American man or it or Canadian does it want to see Wayne Gretzky’s.
But then on the flip side, if she’s on like a mommy podcast, she would say, you know, we just made this wonderful quilt and this mother had sent this box of, of her child’s clothes, and we’d cut them up and bake them in a quilt and she’s going to give it to her daughter when she is expecting her first child. Now, if you want to see it, oh, just come back to the website. Well, every woman’s going, I want to see that. And it’s not like you’re holding things back. It’s not like a bait and switch. It’s really. There are certain things that can’t be shown on a podcast. So if it’s a video clip, if it’s a, if it’s a picture that goes along with the story, you can give them reasons. And a lot of times we think of, you know, we talk about lead bait on podcasts. We have to think about, I’m a visitor baked also. What reasons are you giving them to go back there? Um, if it’s just signing up for a newsletter, they’re not going to do it. But if it’s, if it’s a checklist, a personal assessment, a training, a picture, uh, something that adds to the story, that’s the natural way to move them.
Yeah. Well, and, and I think your point is, it’s not really a bad. It’s not bait when its value. It’s really about, look, I’m going to, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got in this interview, but I have some stuff that is even bigger or broader than that that I’m also going to give you. So it’s a fair value trade basically.
Very much so. And it’s, it’s really, you know, I’m giving even more than the, than you can on audio. So it’s, it’s, you’re serving more. Yep.
Yep. Uh, this has been awesome so far and I have a bunch more questions, but I want to take a quick pause for an announcement and then we will come right back to dig back into this. If you’ve been enjoying the party cast and you find that you nodding your head and taking some notes and maybe even taking some action based on some of the things we talk about, you might be interested in doing a deeper dive. One of the options you have is the Ami remote coaching, so that’s a monthly phone call with a homework in between. We start off by setting some, uh, goals and prioritizing those goals and we just worked together to get through them. It’s a little bit of coaching. It’s a little bit of best practice teaching and sharing a little bit of cheerleading sometimes on occasion you’re going to feel our boot on your rear end, whatever it takes to help you make sure that you hit the goals that you set. If you would like more information about that checkout agency Management Institute Dot Com backslash coaching. Okay, let’s get back to the show. Okay. We are back. So let’s, um, let’s get right back into this. So, Tom, I’m sure you have seen, um, to your point of, you know, you learn from mistakes, either yours or somebody else’s. I am sure you have seen some horror story podcast guests, mistakes that our listeners could avoid. Perhaps if you tell us a story or two. Well, I’ll start with
my stories. You know, I said, you know, checklists or are written in blood and uh, some of that blood is my type. Um, you know, little things that getting prepared for an interview and all of a sudden, you know, forgetting the host name or the podcast name, you know, you’ve got a different screen open. Um, you know, somebody walks by the door and that’s one of the things we always tell people, just, you know, make sure that, that, that person’s linkedin profile is up on your monitor so that it’s almost like talking to a person. A, the other thing is that, you know, we always tell them to turn off all the notifications and everybody knows that, but you know, there’s always those notifications that you forgot about, you know, the, the dropbox folder. I’m doing a mic check. You know, the number one thing you’re judged by is your audio quality.
And, you know, I, I would ask people, would you go for a video shoot in your bathrobe? And they’re like, no, I wouldn’t want to be seen that way. I wouldn’t want that to be the first impression. Well, don’t go on a podcast interview, uh, with your little microphone that’s built into your laptop. Yeah, yeah. It sounds like you’re, uh, you know, calling in from a, from a bathroom stall or don’t be in a starbucks or don’t be noisy like an office. Yeah. And that’s, it’s disrespectful to the host. It’s also disrespectful to the guests. And I would, I would even throw in there too, is that you need to check it beforehand. And this is, this is a story that I tell to, to all of our clients because it was probably one of the worst days of my life. I had this great opportunity to, to be honest, podcast and had prepared for it.
I had gone through, I restarted my computer, I had checked everything and you know, just like we did here a five to 10 minutes before the podcast, I skyped him that I’m all set for the interview. And the truth is that I was lying on that because I hadn’t checked my microphone. And so here I am talking into a $300 heil microphone. And when my computer restarted, it picked the wrong microphone. So I was being picked up by the microphone in the computer. Oh No, I didn’t catch it until the end. And by that time, you know, it was, it was, it was too late and I was very apologetic. But as I listened to that interview afterwards, it sounded like I was calling it from a bathroom stall. So those are all things that you can do in order to, you know, five or 10 minutes before the podcast just to make sure that everything is perfect.
Yeah. I sort of think of it from the host perspective, but also when a guest on somebody else’s podcast and sort of think of it as the pilot doing the check, you know, I may have already been in this plane for 12 hours today, but I’ve landed and I’m taking off again. And so I’m going to go back through the exact same check, the sound check and all of that because you never know, you know, it’s technology, so you never know when something wonky is going to happen. Um, but I, I think you’re right, I think sound is one of the, speaking as a host sound is one of the biggest challenges. I am astonished at of the guests that I’ve had on who are our big popular, successful names in the business who were thinking that they were going to do it off of, you know, as you said, the laptop mic or, or whatever. And I just think, you know, you could sound so much better. Yes, we could do it this way, but you sound, you, you, the guests. Don’t are not putting your best foot forward.
Well, if anybody’s listening to this podcast right now, I’m think of yourself, if the audio quality is awful, are you going to listen to it? And there’s, you don’t want to put too much burden on the host, you know? Yeah. You can fix up a lot of things with editing, but you know, it’s a whole lot easier at the very beginning if you sound good. In fact, there’s, there’s one of the big podcast host that, um, uh, was telling me that he cancels 20 percent of his interviews within the first two minutes and, and I’m like, well, how do you do that? And he’s like, well, they show up and they don’t sound good. And he says, I’m not going to waste my time with that, nor am I going to waste, you know, insult my audience’s time to listen to that. And he says, I’ve already told them beforehand, uh, you know, uh, they probably booked this two months out to be on the show and I told them you need this kind of equipment and if they don’t show up sounded great.
He says, I’m not going to waste my time. And he said, if they didn’t listen the first time, there’s no way that I will reschedule them. And you know, the thing is, is that you don’t have to have, you know, a heil microphone. It costs you $400, boom. And everything like that, there’s some great microphones out there, um, that, you know, you could probably get for $80 that would, would, that would make you sound good. And this same thing, you know, headphones. Um, so that when, when the podcast host speaks, it’s not being picked up by the microphone. And those are all, those are all things that you can go through with that are within your control. Um, and so, so those are the horror stories I have. Um, you know, and I think most people, if they understand the audience can speak to them, uh, but if they don’t know who they’re talking to, a boy, it’s, it’s, it, it’s hard to do.
And I think the more that you can focus down on who you want to talk to, the more success you have. And I think of one client that we had and he was promoting a book and you know, he knew that podcasts were the way to go. So he decided that he was going to get on podcasts and he targeted it down that anybody with $20 to buy a book was a good fit for him. And he went on, you know, probably two dozen podcasts and we’re so frustrated because it didn’t work, right. There was no uptick in the book sales. Right. Right. And, and when we started looking at it and putting the pieces together, um, that’s how we found out. No, that it doesn’t work. And the other thing is that we’ve even had other people we’ve worked with where they’ve been on podcasts, but they didn’t have the system built behind it, so they didn’t have a welcome page to send people to.
They didn’t have an offer or something to get them to go from being a listener to a visitor. And so with that, you know, he, I can think of a, he was a franchise, a franchise or. So he was selling franchises the total amount, it was about $30,000 and he did about 20 podcasts and got five leads out of it before he had the system. And then after he started using the system, he got 50 leads within the first 30 days and the analogy that I use for it, it’s like he had, you know, a great engine to the car, but he had no transmission. So it doesn’t matter how much fuel you put in it, you’re not going into. Right, right. So you need to work on every piece of it. And I always say that, you know, it’s not, it’s not magic, it’s not, it’s not, um, any, anything that, you know, you can’t figure out, but it is a system and you need to do every part in the system if you’re going to get this predictable results. Yeah.
So a couple quick things, listeners. I’ve got a great a one page pdf that encourages my guests in terms of the sound equipment that they use, the headphones and the microphone and all of that will make sure that along with a toms link to the site that he told us about, uh, we include that pdf for you as well. So that may be something you can share with clients to help them sort of get the right kind of equipment. And again, as Tom says, it doesn’t have to be billions of dollars, but it is worth spending a little bit of money to get the right stuff. So a question I have for your time is, is it, it’s interesting, I’ve never had anyone do this to me, but is it appropriate for a podcast guests to suggest questions or topics to the host in advance? Is that bad etiquette?
Yes and no. I, the way I look at it is that our job as a guest is to make it easy on the host. So one of the things that, that we do with all of our clients is basically a one page pitch sheet. So here again behind the curtain, that bio that started out at the beginning, that’s on my one page pitch sheet. Sure. Different different questions or different topics we talk about that’s on there, you know, all of the, um, the contact information. And a lot of times, you know, um, hosts will want to know what questions can I ask you, at least as a starting point for it. I find that I find the best interviews are the ones where they start asking questions that their listeners are already asking. So if they ask you for questions, I always put those out there. I’m not so much questions as you know, speaking topics and they can change it into a form of a question then.
Yeah. For example, when you filled out my, uh, you know, preinterview form, you gave me four or five bullet points of topics that you thought would be interesting to my listeners, which was helpful for me in my prep.
Yeah. And um, some, some podcasts hosts, I will, I will be honest with you, they will say, can you give me the questions you want me to, to ask? And I always encourage people and we take a of care in this, of not just going to give in, you know, the five, the five questions that, you know, come to mind, but really going into the podcast and saying what questions do their audience one answered. Yeah. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about how your business works and how you work with agencies. For listeners who are thinking this might be a dandy plan. Sure. I’m really, we work with agencies to make them look good. There are certain things that we do and that we were just focus on, on getting clients on podcasts and that’s all that we want to do. Um, we don’t want to ever be seen as anything but complimentary to the agency that you have the relationship with them.
We just want to serve you and the client. And we’re really focused on this white glove concierge service because we realized that, you know, um, you know, people just want to be, make it easy. So with that, you know, we’ll work with the agency, um, to, to prep the guest in any way they want. We’ll work with the agency on notifications to the Glen, the guests and the, the prep work and everything like that. So we’re very flexible with that. Um, and you know, some of our best clients are our agencies because they can fit and fill in that missing piece for the client, you know, our clients. Ultimately we want all of our clients not just to be customers but raving fans and they need that back end part to it also. And that’s something that we’ve intentionally said, no, we’re not going to set up your sales funnels for you.
We’re not going to manage all of that. We’re not going to manage the crm for you. Uh, but there are great agencies out there that can do that. So I just look at this as another, um, another arrow in their quiver that they can use to really get traffic. And I think from a client standpoint, um, it’s something new. It’s something innovative and as something that they can see immediate results with a now by immediate I don’t mean that, uh, you book it and the show airs the next day, but at least when that show show airs, you can see the uptick in traffic. You could show that to them. You can show them what traffic and what leads came from that effort and sometimes that’s hard to do on other content that, that may take longer to do that. And Are you, are you transparent to the end, the client?
Do they know that you’re a different company? How does that all work? Yeah, we try to be transparent in everything that we are supporting the agency. Um, we, we don’t want to, you know, to, to white label it such that there’s any miss misrepresentation of who we are and who we work with. Um, but we work for the agency. The client, the agency works with a client and we work for the, um, for the agency, uh, were very clear upfront that, uh, you know, noncompetes and uh, uh, that your client, uh, we’re just helping you with them and, and you build the agency directly, right? You deal with the client on the money side either, right? That’s correct. We build the agency on that and um, it’s always a built at a build, at a lower rate than the list price. So if they come to our, um, uh, come to our site, um, you know, our, our pricing up there is transparent so they would see that.
Um, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the price that the agency is paying. So you’re giving the agency room to make a margin is what you’re saying. Exactly. Yeah. Okay. Um, are there certain topics or subject matter that I don’t care how interesting the person is, there is no podcast for them or is it really no matter who your client is and what they do, there are podcasts out there that they could be guests on, you know, uh, with 200,000 podcasts. I think there’s podcasts for everything out there now that being said, we don’t, we don’t focus on all of those. We’ve made the decision to focus on three main verticals and our biggest vertical is business, you know, and that can go everywhere from here, you know, marketing, entrepreneurship, Solo Partnership, uh, leadership, um, you know, a marketing, sales, all of those things in the business vertical.
Our second vertical is health, wellness and fitness. And then the third vertical, we focus in his faith and Christianity. So, you know, we’ve had some, some great potential clients come to us and we just have to be honest with them and say that’s not a vertical that we currently focus on. Um, and we want to make sure that we’ve got the solid relationships there and also the slap these solid clientele because so often if you get one guest in, it’s easy to get that next guest. And so, um, you know, I would just say that if you, if you are trying to do this in a very, very weird niche, if it’s macrame or something like that, in order to get any scale and build the relationships with the podcast, you’re going to need to focus on that niche. Well, and I think, I think it makes sense that both for the agency owners, if they want to be the guest or for their clients, it makes no sense to expend the energy talking to an audience who’s never going to buy from you.
Correct. And the downside, I would say if you’ve got a geographically limited business, uh, so I was talking to a gentleman the other day, great guy, great company here in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Um, but he installs, you know, high end television sets and a audio systems. And I had to be honest with them. I’m like, you could get on podcasts, become known as the expert and get a lot of leads. But if you’re not going to go out outside 25 miles outside of your geography right now, chances are you’re not going to be able to do that. Now, there are certain ways that you could do that if you wanted to get creative and, you know, share those leads with other partners that are, you know, do something like that to an online product that teaches people how to do it or, you know, uh, anything like that.
But, um, I think you almost have to have more of a national reach in your business if you’re going to fully leverage podcasts. Yeah, absolutely. So if the listeners have been listening to all of this and they’re saying, you know what, this is something I want to either bring to that my agency for myself. You know, what, this whole idea of being a guest on podcasts, um, you know, short of hiring you guys were there a couple things either for themselves or verse for their clients that they can do on their own to begin to walk down this path. Very much so. And I would encourage them that if you’ve got a great client that you think would be a great test for this, that would be great. Another way is for you to do it yourself because that way you could see it from your client’s perspective, um, and, and really understand the process and if you go back, we got a lot of resources there.
So definitely use the checklist each and every time. And if you make a mistake that is not in the checklist, all I ask is please email me. I will, I will. So there, so their blood can be added to the list, right? I, I will not laugh at you, but I will add it to the checklist. So use that checklist. There’s a, a, another resource there, the nine secrets to get booked on your first podcast. I’m often the first podcast is the toughest one and then you can start leveraging it from there. Um, and you can also get on podcasts and at the end of the podcast, just ask the host, Hey, do you know any other shows that I might be a good guest for podcast or podcasters? No other podcasters and think about it, if you could just get to introductions from every podcast, you’d have more leads and in three months than you would know what to do with.
Um, and finally, if you just go back there to interview valet.com forward slash a better agency. Uh, there’s a 30 minute webinar that we did there that talks about, um, the, the process that we’ve put in place in, in order to. It’s basically inbound marketing of how to take people from, uh, being a listener to a visitor to a lead. And that’s a great place to start there too. And our most podcasters do you find, are open to people reaching out to them and saying, Hey, I, I’d like you to consider me as a guest on your podcast. Um, yes and no from the standpoint put yourself in the podcast or shoes. Most of them aren’t doing it for a full time business. So if you send them a, you know, a long, long email, it’s probably not going to get read or responded to and you can’t go there of what’s in it for me.
Uh, but reaching out to them and saying, Hey, I’ve got this that I think would be great benefit to your audience. This is what I would like to present. That’s what will get their attention and putting that one sheet I’m attaching to that so that they can look really quick and say, yeah, this person knows what they’re doing. They’re professional. I’ll spend my time on this. And the other, the other thing is that nobody likes a cold email or cold one a, a cold. I’m the contact. So, so take your time and I say don’t focus on a thousand podcasts. Focus on five podcasts, listen to him, leave us a rating and review. Absolutely. Yep. I guarantee every podcast host reads those and they will know your name and I’ll follow ups, share, share their stuff on social media. Do that for a few weeks and then reach out to them and say, drill. You know, I’d, I love the build a better agency podcast. Um, you know, I, I think this would be a value to your clients or to your listeners. What do you think? And you start that discussion there and you’ll get there, you’ll get results a lot faster than doing a blind email to a, to a thousand podcasts.
Yeah. It’s, it’s a little like building a relationship with a reporter before you ask them to write a story about you. Same sort of thing. Yep. Perfect analogy. Yep. Yep. Well, this has been awesome. Tom. I, I knew you were gonna deliver a lot of great content and you’d certainly did not disappoint in that. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise so generously and your time. I am, am very grateful. I am,
uh, passionate about this drew and I love sharing this message and I know that your audience will actually appreciate this and be able to see how it’ll work for their clients. You know, there’s, there’s one thing that I always say is that going forward, you know, people are going to be listening to podcasts. Yeah. Yup. Twenty per 20 percent right now. But it’s the fastest growing medium out there. So the only question is, is who they’re going to be listening to? Are they going to be and listen to you and your clients? Are they going to be listened to your competition? And really the choice is yours. Any last thoughts you want to leave the listeners? As we wrap up? One of my favorite quotes from comes from Derek Sivers. He started a company called cd baby, which is the precursor to itunes. And one of the things he said is that what’s ordinary to you is amazing to others.
And I think a lot of people struggle with that on podcasts. They’re like, well, what do I have to share and what, you know, you are an expert in something. You’re an expert about your business, about your market, and you really need to share that with people. Um, because that it blesses them. It will bless you. And, uh, you know, that’s, that’s what people resonate with. So, uh, what you have to say other people need to hear. And the easiest way to do that, uh, is being on a podcast as a podcast guest. You know, that is such a great point. I think so often we diminish our own knowledge and we think everybody must know what I know and the reality is that
anybody who has been in business for awhile successfully has knowledge and expertise that most people do not have or know and they’re hungry for it.
And sometimes, you know what we always say, there’s three types of experts. There’s, you know, the professor with a Phd, there’s the veteran that’s got, you know, 40 years experience in the war stories, and then there’s that traveler, you know, that person that’s going through it and is making the same mistakes and learning as they go. And it’s amazing that I’m podcasts. We found that that veteran or the traveler is the one that actually converts best just because people can to them. So everybody’s got something to share. And uh, I just encourage you that the scariest podcasts you ever do in the worst podcast you ever do will be your first one. So get your first one done and move on to number two.
Absolutely. Tom, if folks want to track you down, what are the, what are the best ways for them to read?
Sure, you can connect with me at interview valet. We’ve got that page set firstname.lastname@example.org, forward slash better agency. Um, my email is tom at interview valet and I love Linkedin. I’m the only time, Schwab and all of Kalamazoo, so I really do mean that that’s what’s ordinary to you, is amazing to me. So please, if you’ve got any questions, if you want to talk about this, please just reach out to me. Awesome.
Awesome. Thank you again so much for your time. I appreciate it. Thank you, drew. All right guys, this wraps up another episode of build a better agency. I hope that this inspired you to think a little differently about some offerings you can bring to clients, but also be thinking about it for you, especially if you are a niche agency or you have some areas of expertise or specialty that allows you to not be bound by geography. This is a great tactic for you to employ in your new business efforts as well. Come on back next week where I will have another guest who will help you build a bigger, better, stronger, more profitable agency. As always, I’m hoping that this is of great value to you. You can reach me anytime at drew, at agency management institute dot Com. And uh, as Tom alluded, nothing would make me happier than if you would go to itunes or stitcher and leave a rating and review. That’s how other folks find us and I will be eternally grateful and I do go look, so I’ll know that you’re there. Also subscribe so you don’t miss an episode and I will see you next week. Talk to you soon.
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