Listen to the full interview here ( 30:58 minutes)
Hell yes, life episode 12,
that voice in the back of your heads like, oh, that’s risky. Or even other people saying, well, just, you know, just put the time in and get the gold watch and you can retire and you can have this happy life and it might be a happy life for somebody else. But I just looked at it and thought, I get one life here and that’s not the one that I want to live. And even if I live another life and it doesn’t go the same way, even if it doesn’t work out, um, you know, as I’m going down the, uh, the, uh, down the slope, even if I’m hitting a tree, I can say, hell yes, this is the life I chose.
Welcome to the hell yes life podcast, the show that helps you come alive so you can live a hell yes. Life. I’m your host, Norman Bel.
Hey everybody. Norman Bel here. Welcome to the hell yes life podcast. If this is your first time listening, then I say, hell yes to you. Thank you for joining us. The hell yes. Life podcast releases new episodes every Tuesday and show notes can be found at hell. Yes. Life Dot Com. You can subscribe to the podcast through Itunes, stitcher, or your favorite rss feed, and please join the hell yes. Life private facebook group, which you can access from hell yes. [inaudible] DOT com. Also, I am excited to announce our first ever hell yes. Life contest. You can win a spot in the upcoming six week online. Hell yes. Life bootcamp, which is regularly priced at $497 to enter. To win a spot in the bootcamp. All you need to do is subscribe to the podcast on itunes. Leave a rating and review and email your itunes review or name and email address to hell yes.
Life@Gmail.com. For more details, visit hell yes. Life Dot com, forward slash contest. Now let’s get into the show today. My guest is entrepreneur Tom Schwab. Now Tom founded an interesting business. It’s called interview Valet, which helps podcast hosts connect with podcast guests. What he does is he helps small business owners, entrepreneurs and solo preneurs get featured on leading podcasts that their prospects are already listening to, and then he shows them how to turn listeners into customers. Now in our conversation we talk about how tom went from being in the navy to living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and as Tom says, yes, that is indeed a real place and how technology has drastically changed the way we communicate and connect and how and why he founded his particular business and much, much more. It’s a really enjoyable conversation. So let’s get right to it. Here’s Tom Schwab. Tom Schwab. How are you doing today? I am doing awesome, Norman. All right. Well, Tom, are you ready to tell us about your hell yes. Life? Hell yes. All right. All right, let’s do it. So, um, first of all, I always like to ask our guests as the first question, what is your hell? Yes. And by that I mean, what’s your passion? What’s that thing that really makes you come alive and light you up?
Uh, to me it’s communicating with people, connecting people. You know, this world is an amazing place, you know, if you don’t wake up in the morning and just pinch yourself at all the things we have, the near dead already. I mean, uh, it’s, you know, there’s a lot of problems going on in the world, but when you look at it that technology we have, the way to connect our grandparents would have dreamed of this is as kids, we probably wouldn’t have dreamed of this and we should be waking up every morning and going, hell yes.
Oh yeah. Great Way to start there. Yeah. Really focusing on, it sounds like you focus on gratitude and, and, uh, the positive things in your life. That is a great, a great way to greet the day and greet, greet your life. Um, so tell us a little bit about what you do. Like what are you up to these days?
Yeah. Well, I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan and yes, it really does exist, but one of the things that, you know, I, I, I, earlier in life I was in the navy, got to see the entire world. And when I moved to Kalamazoo, uh, I was scared that my world was going to get small, you know, uh, that before I’d been living in this hell yes, life and that would get very small and, you know, I’ll now with technology and everything, boy, uh, you can connect with so many people and that’s really what my business, uh, has, has evolved into a, my background is in inbound marketing, you know, using content and stories to, uh, to drive traffic and leads and ultimately marketing at its heart is starting a conversation with somebody that could be an ideal customer. And what we have found is that, you know, just being on podcasts, either having your own podcast or being a guest on other podcasts is a great way to start that conversation. So now I run a company that helps people get on podcasts so that they can share their story with people. That could be ideal customers.
Yeah. And it’s probably not a coincidence that here I am a, you know, hosting a podcast and here you are as a guest on a podcast talking about your business that helps people get booked on podcasts. But there’s no, but I, I got it. Okay. Apologize
right here because I always feel this is the awkward part because you’re doing all the work for this ad. Anybody that says doing a podcast is easy, has either never done it or never done it. Well, the great ones make it look easy. So, uh, thank you for all you do. And I’ll give the shout out here of people if you like this show the appreciation and there’s no better way that you can do that then like leaving rating and reviews. And I’ve got to say that because man, I’ve got the easy here. I get to have fun. Uh, you get to have fun listening to it and Norman is doing all the work.
Well, Tom, I appreciate the shout out and I would agree that there is, you know, it’s not something you can just, uh, you know, uh, one day decide, hey, I’m going to do a podcast and the next day you’re doing it. There’s some steps in between, but, um, I would also say there’s a, there’s no doing a podcast without you, so thank you for being a guest on the show. Um, so it will tell us a little bit about your, um, your kind of, your transit, or let me, let me say this, I always like to ask, um, you know, you’re, you’re well kind of into your new life and uh, you know, you were in the navy, now you’re doing this for your business. Um, tell us a time earlier in your life where you felt challenged by, you know, something that might have prevented you from moving forward on your hell yes. Or You just didn’t know which direction to go.
Yeah. To me it’s, I could look back at, uh, numerous times and it was the same thing. Um, it was this idea of going for security with somebody else’s model. Um, and I did that when I was, when I was young, I went into the navy because that was the idea of boy, you know, get this secure job, go along with it and, you know, after 20 years she’ll be able to retire and, you know, it wasn’t a hell yes, but it’s like it’s the right thing to do and then, you know, going into the corporate world the same way. But the thing is, is that ultimately your job security doesn’t come from any company or any, um, profession. It comes from you being able to provide value to other people. And what I found is that when you can really figure out what that is, um, ideally, you know, it’s, it’s fun for you.
You wake up every morning saying, hell yes, you’re amazing people. You’re helping them and you know, ultimately there’s more job security and that. So, uh, that’s when I really struggled with it. Whereas like I, you know, I felt like I want to do all of these risky things, start my own company, do not follow the same track and that, that voice in the back of your heads like, oh, that’s risky. Or even other people saying, well, just, you know, just put the time in and get the gold watch and you can retire and you can have this happy life and it might be a happy life for somebody else. But I just looked at it and thought, I get one life here and that’s not the one that I want to live. And even if I live another life and it doesn’t go the same way, even if it doesn’t work out, um, you know, as I’m going down the, uh, down the slope, even if I’m hitting a tree, I can say, hell yes, this is the life I chose.
Oh yeah, I gotta go. I gotta agree with that one. You know, you want to, you’ve only got one life to live and you know, we don’t actually know when it’s going to end. It seems like it’s just going to go on forever. But, uh, uh, I, I definitely want to be living my hell yes, life, uh, to, to the end. Right? So, so let’s take us back to that moment for, for other les lifers that are out there listening right now, who might be on the other side of that, that divide, right? That were there, you know, maybe they’re in a job that they don’t love, they, they feel like they’re in that safety place, but maybe they’re listening to this show and others like it because they’re, they’re starting to get up the inspiration to, to make that move. So take us to that place in your life where you, you know, you were in that place of safety, but you were ready to make the leap. What, what made you take that leap?
Um, I think it was sort of, it’s just the frustration, just the realizing that time was passing and that, you know, the best time, what is it to, to plant a tree was 40 years ago. The second best time is now, you know, the best time to start your, uh, your dream was 10, 20, 30 years ago. The second best time is right now, and to me it was just that realization that um, uh, everyday that goes on is one more day wasted and, you know, it wasn’t a, I’m stopping doing this and I’m starting doing this and, you know, I, I don’t think people should just jump know, like that, but there’s stuff that you can do every day, you know, how much time do we spend on social media consuming as opposed to producing or how much time do we spend watching television, um, and doing something that’s not getting us to our dream. So really I just focused on that, that, you know, that’s my hobby. That’s what I like to do. I want to do the things that make me happy and for me, for me, you know, golf adds to my frustration, but working in my business, reading business books, connecting with other thought leaders, boy, to me, that’s fun. That’s relaxing yet.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny when you’re in your passion, I think I saw a quote about this last week. It’s like, you know, when you’re, when you’re doing work that you don’t love, that’s depleting, but you know, when you’re working in your passion, you could be working nonstop and, and feel energized doing it. Right. So I definitely feel that way about this podcast and that’s definitely a choice that I’ve had to make. It’s like, okay, I’m going to put a pause or yeah, completely take out a netflix binge watching and, you know, facebook, uh, diving into facebook dialogues with people so I can focus on this and, you know, hell yes. Lifers, if you’ve got something, if you’ve got a little kernel of something, um, that you’re, you’re looking to grow, then start thinking about, you know, what, what things can you cut out of your daily schedule so you can start fitting some of this great stuff in. So Tom, tell us a little bit about how did you, how did you come upon this as your, your hell? Yes. You’re this kind of, uh, this business that connects a podcast hosts and guests.
Well, to me it’s who I am and I love meeting people. I love connecting people. And one of the things that I saw is the struggle that I saw so many great businesses had, is that they had a great product and a great service, but they would just obscure, you know, they were unknown and they weren’t helping anybody. And I use the analogy of, it’s like if you’re in the middle of the desert, it doesn’t matter if you move around the signs or put a sale sign in the window. And I saw so many people doing that, you know, they change something on their website, they change a product offering and it’s like, it won’t help because nobody knows about you. You know, that’s the biggest problem that most of us face is that were obscure. So how do you get out there and get the attention of people that, that you could help.
And one of the things I noticed is that, you know, for years people have been saying, well, how do you break through the noise? There is no breaking through the noise anymore. You know, we’ve got spam filters. Uh, I was talking at a conference last year out in California and it struck me as I was flying out there, the gentleman next to me could have been an ideal customer, but I couldn’t get to him because he had his headphones on and the entire time that I was on the little shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel, most of the people had the headphones on and one of the things that struck me is that more and more we’re filtering out the things that we don’t want to listen to. So if you want to get to your ideal customers, one of the things is, is you know, getting in on the conversation they’re already listening to. And I just, I love helping people do that and then hearing the success stories that they have a, you know, just for the success that they have in their business, but also from the standpoint of the people that they’re helping that never knew they existed. [inaudible] [inaudible].
So now what this business did you. So you’re, you, you’re kind of formally, I can hear that you’re sort of formulating. There’s like, wait a second. People aren’t, I can’t even talk to the person on the plane next to me now, but they’re, what are they listening to? Um, was there an Aha moment that you had where you were sort of like, wait a second, they’re listening to podcasts. And I said, well, where did the podcast piece come in for me? The aha moment is, you know, you trip over it. And I always say our customers are our best experts. You know, they’ll, they’ll tell you what they love and what they low within. About three years ago we were helping a client, a great man as life coach has got great business experience and you know, we tell them, write a blog. Well, he’d spent three or four hours writing a blog and at the end of the day you’d read it and like, Yup, that’s a blog, just keep doing that for another couple of years and, and you’ll get some traction.
And he had great stories to tell. He had this great voice. It sounded like Zig Ziglar. And I’m like, this is painful for him to write the blog. It’s not, is his nature isn’t coming through in that. So we said, I wonder if we could sort of almost do that guest blogging thing, you know, getting in front of another audience, but using his voice if we could get them on podcasts and it was so much fun to see him light up because he had so much fun doing it. And then to see the people that came back, you know, a good blog will convert visitor to lead about one to two percent. What we found is that podcast interviews will convert at 25 to 50 percent because somebody gets to know, like, and trust you. And that was so much fun and that, you know, that gave me the encouragement to say, is it just him? Is it other people? So we tested on, you know, different personalities, different niches, and each one just gave me more energy to say, hell yes, we got to figure this out. This really works.
MMM. MMM. [inaudible]. Yeah. That is actually a little journey that I’ve taken to get to, to doing this myself because I have a background in, in public speaking. Uh, and I, you know, I tried writing some blog posts but, and I, I’m a pretty good writer, but I’m not sure I enjoyed the process that much and so it was kind of like pulling teeth to get me to sit down to write a blog, but I realize that podcasting is something, it’s like, Hey, I’m talking to you now, I’m doing this extemporaneous speaking. It’s very similar in some ways to a, to being onstage as a public speaker. So I think holly has lifers. Another thing to think about, especially if you’re starting and I, one of these online businesses is really thinking about what medium suits you best. For some of you it might be writing a blog posts. For others of you, it might be a podcast or, or something else. So that’s, uh, that’s great insights there. So what have you found that I’m actually new to podcasting your, a veteran here? What are some things that you’re seeing in the podcast world? So first with your guests, you know, it sounds like you, they are seeing a lot of success from doing this. Uh, and then what are some trends you’re seeing?
Yeah, so what I’m seeing is that the podcasts are getting better and better and used to be five, 10 years ago, it almost sounded like hobbyists doing it and now npr has gotten into it and I think just the quality of the podcast has gone up and that is so great for all of us. You know, the audio quality is gone up and we talked a little bit before about this where it’s just if you’re going to be on a podcast, you’ll make sure you’ve got good equipment and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but don’t try using the built in a computer. The computer microphone, it makes it sound like you’re in the bathroom. So I’ve seen that. And the other thing that I love is that there are right now is over 400,000 podcasts and you know, people’s like, well that’s a whole lot.
But that’s the wonderful part about it because they’re so niche down. And I can think of when I was a kid, you know, on Sunday nights she’d listened to Casey Kasem and the top 40 and you’d listened to that because that was the only thing on right. And so there was probably 10 million people listening to it at that time. I should look up that number sometime, what he actually got. And now podcast don’t get 10 million, you know, they may get a thousand, they may get 10,000, but it’s, it’s those people that really want to listen to it and they get to listen to it at that time, you know, Norman, somebody pointed out to me that there’s a sport called pickleball. I had never heard of it before. Uh, and so, uh, you know what it is, there are six podcasts dedicated to pickle ball. So I’m just thinking if you were, if you had a few or pickleball coach or had pickleball equipment, I don’t think, I can’t think of how you could target those ideal customers any other way.
Uh, you’re not going to do a newspaper ad. See, he probably can’t do facebook ads for that. But boy, if you were the guy that got on all six of those pickleball podcasts, you would be the expert in there. You would be the goto person. So I think it’s the same way for any of us. If you can figure out who your customers are and where they are, you’re golden, you know, there’s probably a hundred different great macrame podcasts and if you’re selling macrame podcast equipment or lessons or something like that, boy, you can go on those. And for me, I’ve never been on one of those because I couldn’t even do it. But to figure out where that audience is. So I think with podcasting, I think that’s the power of it, is that it’s really niche down. I’d say the third thing is really, I’m podcasting is sort of a weird name for it now.
Uh, there’s a lot of people that you would ask them when the ipod was and they have no idea. It’s really more on, on demand radio. Um, you know, from the standpoint of you can now download a podcast to the dashboard of many new cars out there. It’s on demand radio. Uh, there’s other people that listen to Sirius or Xm. There’s a lot of those programs there that are actually podcast that got picked up for syndication. And I even use the example that I was on a podcast one time and uh, probably six months later I got a call from a couple of buddies that were in the navy with and they live in Phoenix, Arizona. And they, they called me or texted me and said, hey, we should get together for dinner tonight. I didn’t realize you were in town. And I’m like, I’m in Kalamazoo.
I’m not in Arizona right now. But they thought I was because on the morning drive I was on a podcast that had gotten picked up by the morning drive. They heard me and they thought, oh, Thompson town. So from that standpoint of, you know, podcasting is really just talking about with your ideal customer and they don’t care if it’s on the radio, if it’s on their computer, if it’s on their ipod, really it’s, it’s talking to them when they want, where they want. And I’d even throw in here Norman, at the speed they want. It’s always weird for me to meet podcasters live because I listened to podcasts at one and a half to two times speed. So when Norman, when I meet you, it’s going to be like, why does he talk so slow here?
Yeah, I know, you know, I, I, uh, I’ve just started using this, this player that speeds up so I can kind of quickly reviewed that, the episodes so I know what you’re talking about there. Uh, I hadn’t thought to listen to, you know, just regularly listen to them at higher speed, but maybe I’ll, I’ll start listening to them at, at chipmunks guys. Get, get that, those insights that half the time there. Huh? So many podcasts. So little time.
Um, so tell, tell us a little bit about, um, yeah, I always like to ask people about, you know, now kind of looking forward towards your future. Uh, there’s a term I like to use which is your cringeworthy vision. So this is like a vision so big that there’s nothing wrong with your vision. It’s not cringe worthy in that way, but it’s so big, it makes you cringe to think about sharing it with other people. And now here’s, here’s a chance to actually share that vision. So where, where are you going next? Like where do you want to see your business go? Or do you have even bigger visions than that?
Uh, it’s, it’s, you’re so right on this. And uh, there’s a gentleman that actually helped me through this. There’s a great book out there by a guy named Chris lochhead and it’s all about category design design into category. And He, when he was first talking to me about this, he’s like, so it sounds to me like what you’re doing here is a totally new category. And I played small and I was like, well, it’s sort of like Pr. It’s Sorta like marketing. And he just challenged me. He’s like, no, it is different and you need to own that. You need to really explain that to people. And, and, uh, uh, after he became a client, we started talking and he’s like, no, this is, this is totally different. And it’s really, we call it podcast or interview marketing and right now I, I say that and I have to explain it to people that, you know, it’s the, it’s, it’s really a system in order to grow your business with podcast interviews.
And right now people look at that and say, well explain that and I have to go through the steps on it and you know, how you can grow your business and give them some case studies and show them how it’s done. But I’m hoping that some day I’m in the not too distant future, that podcast interview marketing will become a term and people will, you know, if you go to a marketing agency, they’ll say, oh yeah, we do podcast or interview marketing. Or if you’re an author publishing a book, the publisher will come to you and say, Oh, you know, a virtual book tour with podcast interview marketing would be great. If you’re a speaker, you know, trying to grow your business, that you’ll realize that, wow, I can let people try before they book me by hearing me on a podcast. So to me it’s, there’s a line that’s from Derek Sivers, I’m a set and it’s what’s ordinary to you is amazing to others and that’s what I feel right now is to me, this whole idea of growing your business with podcast interviews is ordinary to me and I’m looking at other. It’s, it’s amazing to other people. I’m looking for the day in the next five years where everybody goes, well, yeah, that’s common sense. Everybody does that because I think it’s going to help everybody to get their message out, is going to help the guest is going to help the podcasters and ultimately is going to help the customers. Because if you could find out somebody that can help, that’s what you really want.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And I would say from my own experience, because you know, I’m just starting out in this, but one of the first after I got through this sort of initial grouping of guests that are people I know are connected with, it’s like, okay, where’s my next round of guests going to come from? I started looking for services like yours, toms, and there’s really not that many out there. So I’d say that you’re really kind of at the forefront of this, as you call it, podcast interview marketing. I mean, maybe we’ll, we’ll be referring to the acronym soon enough. Oh yeah. Pin. Sure. Yeah. Everybody’s doing pim podcast, interview marketing. Uh, so yeah. Well, congrats to you on that. I, I, it’s certainly a, a, a, a much needed business with the, uh, with the growth in podcasting. So.
Well, you can congratulate me when it’s a, it’s a household name and everybody goes, Oh yeah, I’ve been using that for years and I think there’s a great opportunity right now for those first movers. You know, if you’re the first person, if you were the first person in your industry to start facebook advertising, you really stepped out, you know, if you were the first one to have a blog or a podcast. And I think the same thing here is true, uh, you know, if you’re the first one that all your clients start hearing on a podcast, there’s a way to stand out there.
I think something that you, you and I must have in common is that you, I mean, obviously you know, your, your business is called that. It’s about, it’s about connecting people. And so that’s something that I really love too, is, uh, is connecting people. So like, you know, I’m connecting you with the, with my audience here, and you connect guests with, uh, with podcast hosts. Obviously that’s the case. What’d you say?
Oh, very much so. And that connection. And to me your net worth is proportional to your network and I don’t mean the net worth just in your bank account, but how richer life is. Um, and then your network isn’t how many, um, twitter likes you have, but people that actually know you and care about you. And now that we’ve got the tools to do that, figure out how best to do that. You know, like Norman said, are you a great writer that they can get listened to you from there? Are you great on video? Would like to do it there. Are you great on audio, but just figure out what it is and you’ve got something that you could share with the world and you know, you’ve got to say, hell yes, I’ve got something that is ordinary to me, but amazing to other people and you really need to have the, uh, the confidence, the gumption, the, the action to take that and share it with it. Because if not, you know, um, you’re, you’re keeping that back from the world.
Absolutely. One thing I would add to that as a pick, pick one thing or one, one avenue and just go with it for awhile because I, I used to get Scott, I’d have like, yeah, I’m going to do a video, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that and the other. And I get so scattered across so many different ideas that I couldn’t get any traction. And so year it’s really okay. I’m just doing the pocket. That is my main thing and I’ll decide at the end of the year, you know, if I want to continue with it. Um, but, uh, yeah, so I would just put that, put that out there. Uh, les lifers.
Yeah, go ahead. Can I give a hell yes to that. So many people will say, well, you know, what should I do? Should I do start a podcast, do podcast interviews, should I do facebook advertising a twitter, whatever it is, and I’m like, pick one and do it. And I guarantee you if you pick one and do it, you’ll have success with it. But if you pick all 10 and do them all one 10th, none of them will work.
Absolutely. Yeah. It’s overwhelming. All the different possibilities out there. So, uh, yeah, just uh, pick one, pick one. Okay. And so to round things out, Tom, it’s been great talking to you. Can you give us one tip, quote or resource that has helped you in your journey to living your life that you would like to share with our listeners?
I think I’d like to go back to that quote that I said from Derek Sivers. What’s ordinary to you is amazing to other people, and now flip that around to what’s ordinary to other people is amazing to you. So with that, listening to podcasts, you can get so many more ideas. I’m speeding on podcasts. You can share what you do and uh, you know, it sets sort of the idea of cross pollination, you know, in, in nature. Pruett only comes from crosspollination. And I think the same thing comes from our personal life here too, that the only way we bear fruit in our lives is crosspollination of ideas. And there’s different ways to do that. You know, there’s to read books, take courses, meet people, expose yourself to new ideas. And uh, I think that’s, you know, if you want a hell yes, life that really bears fruit, focus on that, that cross pollination and also helping other people with what you’ve learned.
Awesome. Yeah, I totally agree. I think, you know, it could be that there’s never been a better time, uh, to, to be able to do that, to really connect with people in ways that we didn’t used to be able to do. Right? Because because of all these new tools and technology that we have,
hell yes. I love this podcast because I get to say hell yes to everything.
Yeah. I love that you’re saying it over and over again. That’s great. Um, so, uh, to round things out, I can’t tell us where on the Internet we can find you.
Sure. I, I know that most people that are listening to this are probably doing a lot of different things, so I’ll just make it easy. Just interview Valet is our company. So it’s interview valet.com. And if you go to forward slash. Yes. So interview Valet Dot com forward slash hell yes. I’m, I’ll have some resources there. So things that Norman and I talked about, uh, there’s a, uh, a checklist that six tips to, to get on your first podcast. There’s more information about the whole podcast interview marketing system and how you can use it. It’s not magic, it’s just a system. And if we can help you do that, we’d love to do, to talk you about that
on how interview valet could work with you on that also. Yeah. So if you’re out there and you’re thinking after listening to this that you might want to be a guest on a podcast, tom is a great person to talk to you. So a follow the link that that he just mentioned, and I’ll also include a all the links and references from this episode in the show notes. So thank you so much Tom. So to close things out, I’d like to say hell yes. Together on the count of three. Are you ready to do that? I’m ready. All right. One, two, three. Hey, yes. All right. Thanks a lot Tom.
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Hell yes live podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast on Itunes, stitcher, or your favorite rss feed. If you like the show, please leave a rating and review and if you want to stay connected, visit hell yes. [inaudible] DOT com. And sign up for the newsletter and private facebook group. Again, I’m norman bound. Thanks for joining me. Now let’s get out there and live a hell yes.