Selling Software as a podcast guest

If you build it they will come.  While it sounded good in the movie Field of Dreams, in reality even the best-made product won’t attract ideal customers.  For that, we need marketing.  Marketing at it’s most basic is starting a discussion with someone who could be an ideal customer.

The good news is that today you don’t need a marketing department or a marketing budget to connect with your ideal customer.  The tools of the internet have made it easier and drastically less expensive.  This democratization has given everyone a voice. Unfortunately, with everyone talking there is more noise that most consumers just block out.  You can either yell louder or try a different strategy.  Have you ever considered talking directly to them for free as a podcast guest on those shows they are already listening?

The six step system has been proven and refined. Here is how it might apply it to a very specific market:  Software designed for legal practices.

LarryStep 1: Define you ideal listener

The first step is defining exactly who you want to talk.  Getting on the wrong podcast will be a waste of your most valuable resource: Your time.  Think of your dream customer.  That person who will love your software so much that they will be more than a life long customer.  This person will be a vocal advocate.

Define them both with demographics (who they are) and psychographics (how they think).

For our legal software product, our dream customer we want to talk with is Larry the Local Lawyer. Larry is part of a firm with 2 to 20 lawyers in a suburban or rural area. Larry listens to podcasts on his commute. He is always looking for fresh ideas for the firm to run better.   Technology is a frustration. Most have overpromised and underdelivered.  The firm is not technical and most new solutions just bring more problems. Larry is an early adopter but knows he has to have the buy-in of the staff and other lawyers to move forward making the firm all he dreams.

Step 2:  Define your expertise as a guest

Many guests struggle with this.  What makes me an expert?  For our example with legal software it’s easier.  the founder of the company is a lawyer and has used the software.  He understands how it works, why it works and the benefit it can bring.  He can share stories of the impact it’s had on real practices.  Most of all the podcast guest understands he meets the legal definition of an expert: Someone by virtue of their training, education or experience knows more than the average person.  After spending nights and weekends developing this software will clearly be seen as an expert by the host and listeners.

Step 3: Identify and introduce yourself to the podcast host

Our podcast guest makes a one sheet that he can attach to an introductory email.  This mini press page shares everything the podcast host needs to say yes to his request to be featured on the podcast.  The one sheet has his image, credentials, brief bio, sample topics, contact information and a testimonial from someone the podcast host knows and respects.

In the email to the host, our guest focuses on what he can offer the host and listener. He doesn’t want to talk about his product, he wants to talk about technology for legal offices, how to be more efficient, how to compete with the big firms today and in the next decade.

Our guests looks through iTunes for podcasts his ideal listeners already may listen and contacts the host of ideal podcasts


Step 4:  the Podcast Interview

Our guest realizes that his goal on the podcast is to make the host looks like a genius for introducing him to the audience.  He takes this interview as seriously as if he was actually talking to a room of thousands.  He shares stories and builds rapport with the host and listeners.  He gives them a chance to know, like and trust him.  Instead of selling, he focuses on serving.  He talks about extra resource back at his website. He mentions an infographic, a checklist of the top 10 questions to ask of any new technology and a free 30-minute training they can access.  He even directs them to a special page he’s set up with everything they talked about.

Step 5:  Listeners to Visitors

Since the interview is evergreen, meaning it could be heard for weeks or months, it’s vital that whenever the ideal prospect visits the site they get the information and experience they expect.  This is why they were sent to the dedicated welcome page  Here the visitor finds the information he couldn’t “see” on the podcast.  On the page he immediately know’s he’s in the right place.  He’s reassured with the podcast name and the host’s picture. It builds trust and makes him feel special, instead of just being another nameless faceless visitor.

Step 6:  Visitors to Leads

On the welcome page, all of the information is available.  While some like the infographic is available with a simple click, other resources like the 30-minute training video require the visitor to provide his name and email address.  Sharing this information is the first mini transaction.  The lead has provided something of value (his contact info) for something of value (the training).  Automated nurturing can now be triggered or the lead could be handed off to sales to further help close the sale.

The smart podcast guest realizes that he talked to thousands of potential customers. It cost 30 minutes of his time and required no travel.  Everything but the interview can be coordinated with assistance or outsourced.  The marketing machine he’s built just needs continual fuel provided by podcast interviews.  He can ramp up or down the interview frequency to throttle leads.  He can study the analytics to determine the best offers, podcasts, and nurturing sequence.  Continually improving the process, he builds a steady source of high quality, self-qualified, sales-ready leads.