WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

What you need to know for podcast success with Jessica Rhodes

  • Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.
  • When you're a guest on the podcast there's a huge value in search engine optimization. 
  • As a podcast guest, consider creating a podcast (media) one sheet and strategize with the host.
  • Going on shows that are super-targeted and hosted by people that you are likely to work with or are in your target audience is super great 
  • A podcast interview comes down to having a good conversation.
  • Getting booked – You're going to realize that after five hours of researching for shows and sending pitches, you're not going to want to spend your time doing that.
  • As a guest, be really organized and prepared.
  • Be a secret shopper of your own online presence.
  • The pitch – you want to lead with what you can give to their audience, what value you have to offer, what information can you share, what can you teach, all that good stuff.
  • Theoretically, they're sharing it with their following and then you're going to get some new listeners because they shared it to their audience. You need to share it too. It's a two-way street. 

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

[just click to tweet]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.

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Doug: Welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today we're going to talk about podcasting. This isn't a solo episode, no. I've got Jessica Rhodes joining me as my guest. And we're going to talk about interviews, being a guest, being a host, and how you might be able to leverage that for your business. So, we had a great conversation on some tips for those you who are thinking, “Hey, how can I expand my business,” and have not considered being a guest on a podcast. And for those of you who have considered hosting a podcast, some tips and techniques and something you might want to consider as you're getting started.

Now a more formal introduction of Jessica is that she is the founder and the co-owner of Interview Connections, it's a leading guest booking agency for podcasters and guest experts. So she works with people like myself to provide guests, and those guests are her clients. She scaled her business quickly into a multiple six-figures, with no direct selling, marketing, or any advertising, and she expects to break through the seven-figure mark in this next year. Jessica and her in-house team of booking agencies are podcast powerhouses behind many of the record-breaking book launch that you've seen today such as J. J. Virgin, Perry Marshal, and other authors that you may know, as well as numerous PR agencies.

Jessica started podcasting in 2014 with the launch of The Rock, The Podcast and also co-hosts the podcast producing Womensplaining. She's an acclaimed author of Interview Connections, How to Rock the Podcast from Both Sides of the Mic, and is a featured speaker at the Podcast Movement, the Podcast Multimedia Expo, and the Dream Business Academy. She is married, the mom of two children, Nathan and Lucy, and I'd like you to join with me and welcome Jessica to the Real Marketing podcast today.

Well, welcome Jessica, I'm super excited to have you on the show, and a little bit nervous because of your extensive experience in this space, so welcome to the Real Marketing Podcast.

Jessica Rhodes: Doug, I'm honored to be here, thank you so much for having me on.

Doug: So you've been doing this for quite a while, and it looks like you've got a couple of shows running, so do you want to give us a little bit of background of how you entered the podcast arena?

Jessica Rhodes: Sure. Absolutely. I have been around the podcasting space for over five years now, which seems like an eternity in podcasting, but feels like just yesterday. I actually got into podcasting because I had started a virtual assistant business and one of the first services that I was providing at that freelance VA was to book my clients for interviews on podcasts and to help find guests for their show. That led to me actually creating a whole business around that, Interview Connections, which is my company today. And I ended up starting my own podcast in September of 2014, and that is Rock the Podcast, which is still going today. And have done some other podcasts along the road as well, like Womensplaining and the Podcast Producers. I did a show with my husband for a few months called Parenting Roads, it was just a fun thing.

So I think when you're in the podcasting space … Rock the Podcast is the show that I've been doing forever, and then other podcasts come and go just because I love it.

Doug: Yeah, I mean I think sometimes we feel that as marketers or business owners that once we start something, we must do it forever. And that's one of the things that I learned as a new podcaster is that lot's of times people will have one show and maybe set up a second show or a series, and then that's it. It's only a fixed period of time.

Jessica Rhodes: Absolutely, and it's sort of like, I think about this in terms of friendships. You have some friends that you're friends with forever, and then you have other people that kind of come into your life and they serve a specific purpose, they're there for you for a specific reason, and then you grow apart. And there's nothing wrong there, it's just that some things come and go, other things last forever, and it's just all part of the journey.

Doug: So let's get into the good stuff. What's the value, why would somebody want to be a guest on a podcast? So for our listeners, they're going, “Hey, I listen to podcasts,” they may not have considered there's an opportunity for them to exploit or take advantage of.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, absolutely. Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business. Because for a couple of reasons, it's a high-end networking tool. This is a strategy that allows you to be on the phone, so to speak, or on Zencastr, but you're on the phone basically talking to people that are in your industry, working in similar businesses, maybe they're potential clients, the people they're speaking to on their podcast are in your target market, so it gives you an opportunity to be networking and building relationships with people that are going to be valuable to your business and that you can provide value to. Because I remember when I started my business, providing value and being a giver to other people was the way that I got started. It wasn't from asking for something in return, it was just like, “What can I do to help you? How can I provide value?” And then over time, your business grows for that.

Also, there's a huge value in search engine optimization. When you're a guest on the podcast, you're getting backlinks to your website on the show notes pages, which is so beneficial. I know a lot of people don't understand SEO, if you don't even know what that means, it's search engine optimization. You couldn't begin to think of a strategy or a campaign for better SEO while very simply get links to your website all over the web, Google will reward you for that. When people are googling for what you do, you are going to come up in the search results. We've never paid for SEO, and we have pretty good … we come up pretty high in the search results for podcast booking, podcast interviews because we have our link out on so many different websites. And so that's one really important benefit to podcasting. And then also just the ability to speak to your target market and give a call-to-action, so it's great to people that are launching a book, that is launching a course, something where they need a lot of ears and eyeballs to come to check out what they have. You can give a specific landing page, or offer a free chapter of your book and build your email list.

I could go on, but those are some of the main benefits to actually getting interviewed on podcasts, speaking to other people's audiences.

Doug: Well, and I think whether you're a guest or hosting, the other benefit that you already alluded to is that you're producing content. So we have our podcast transcribed, so we don't do them, obviously, we send them out, have them done. It's super inexpensive to have it done, and we end up with a five- or six-thousand-word post which Google likes because it's in natural language. So for people that are listening, go, “I don't like writing blog posts,” or, “I don't where to get my content,” here's a way to get content by being a guest or hosting a show, because you can repurpose and reuse the content that's been produced in an audio file.

Jessica Rhodes: Absolutely. That's huge because producing content takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of mental energy and bandwidth to come up with content. So when your a guest on podcasts, I mean something that I have that I'm sure you have seen, is a podcast one sheet, so you can strategize before you start getting interviewed on what are the ideal kinds of questions and topics that I would want to focus on as a guest. And you can provide that to the host to say, “Hey, I'll talk about anything, but here are some suggested interview topics and questions.”

So you create those, then you get interviewed, and you have all of these recorded conversations that are online indefinitely, which is amazing because when you're paying for advertising, let's say you're paying for LinkedIn ads or Facebook ads. Once you stop the ad campaign, those ads are not going to just stay online for people to find. But with podcast interviews, your interviews are staying online, you can download them, you can put them on your website, onto your press page. You can send them to a VA, to, like you said, transcribe, grab quotes, make graphics out of them, the list goes on, but there's so much that you can do with that. You could have a talented videographer take some sound bytes and put it to a cool video that you put on your YouTube page. I don't think a lot of people do everything they could with this content, but it's such a great way to create content and have it repurposed and leveraged.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

[just click to tweet]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.

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Doug: I totally agree. I mean I think sometimes people are thinking that maybe the podcast industry is saturated, but we just see it continuing to grow. And most of the shows don't do extensive show notes and don't repurpose the content, so there's a great opportunity for new people out there to say, “Hey, there's an opportunity here for me to grasp.”

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, absolutely. Show notes are a trigger for some people because they take so long to write, and people aren't always sure what the value is. But it is important to have written copy on your website. So that's one big reason you'd want to consider show notes.

Doug: Well actually I started podcasting, I actually started using this tactic of interviewing people when I needed to get content for my clients that weren't writers. And just do an interview, we'd have it transcribed, send it to a writer to clean up, send it to a client and go, “Here's your blog post.” And they're like, “Wow, that was easy.” It's like, yeah, this is easy, we're having a conversation, this is pretty relaxed.

Jessica Rhodes: Absolutely. When I wrote my book, Interview Connections, How to Rock the Podcast from Both Sides of the Mic, I used a lot of content from my podcasts. So I kind of went through, I outlined the table of contents, I started writing, and then several of the chapters that I wanted to write, I thought, “Wow, I did a podcast episode about that. I did a video about that.” And so I kind of put together a list of all of the content that I created. So instead of just writing it from scratch, I could go back to the content I've already created and say, “Okay, let me just work from this audio.” Made my job a lot easier writing that book.

Doug: Well and that's what we're doing now is we're going to start that bundle, because I've got eight or ten interviews with top email guys, so we can do an email blog post. And I've got a half-dozen guys that are SEO guys. So you can start taking those in big chunks and then creating brand new content as you mentioned.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, and Doug, that's not even something I considered or thought of, but it's genius, is using the podcast interviews that you've done on your own show, write a blog post about it, and then throughout the blog post, especially if a lot of the expertise on email marketing is driven by your guest, you're going to be quoting and liking to all those guests. So as the guest, not only are you on that person's podcast, but if they're then writing about what you shared on their podcast, you're getting more exposure, and, Doug, you're getting more content for your website, so that's awesome. I'm totally going to steal that!

Doug: No problem! So do you want to share a success story with us, either something you've done or one of your clients that started guesting and had a good result?

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, absolutely. So one thing that I like to talk about a lot with podcast interviews is about the relationship with the host, because a lot of people go into the podcast interview strategy, sometimes they'll have calls with people and they're like, “Well, can you get me on NPR, can you get me on Joe Rogan Show, I need to be on the biggest shows possible.” And there's definitely something to be said for being on really big podcasts. There's credibility there, there are just more listeners to work with, but actually going on shows that are super-targeted and hosted by people that you are likely to work with or hosted by people that you … are in your target audience is super great because you want to build a relationship with them. They're the only person you're actually talking to. I mean talking with, okay? You're talking to the listeners, obviously, listeners are hearing this, they're hearing my voice, but I can't hear the listeners because they're not here. But I can hear you, so really focusing on your relationship with the host is really key.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

[just click to tweet]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.

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So we have several examples. Our client, Chris [Daily 00:11:02], works for Destructive Advertising, and he has been a client of ours for several years and fifteen, one five, 15% of the podcast hosts who interview him end up becoming a client of his at Destructive Advertising. So he's seen a huge ROI really focusing on his relationship with the host. And our client [Tanya 00:11:23] Connor Green got a huge return on investment working with us, getting on shows, and one of the hosts became a client of hers and paid her to do a training for her clients. So it really … so much of the return on investment and the success stories that we see with podcast guests come from them really focusing on delivering value and building a relationship with the host of the show.

Doug: That's really interesting. I mean when people ask me, I had someone reach out to me, he said, “How do monetize your show? I don't hear any ads.” Said, “Well, my goal of the show wasn't really to sell ads, the goal of my show was to meet the smartest, brightest people I could that were in the marketing field and technology field, and have a chance to spend an hour with them to develop the relationship.” And so to back up your point and validate what you've said, I have hired, probably in the last year at least six of my guest's companies to do work for me.

Jessica Rhodes: Wow, that's amazing. You've totally proven my point!

Doug: Yeah.

Jessica Rhodes: That's awesome!

Doug: I just interviewed someone today, and it's like, “Yeah, I'm signing up.” And we talked just briefly before we got on about my last episode, Brendan Kane, I signed up for his mastermind and bought his book.

Jessica Rhodes: Oh, wow.

Doug: Right after the show, because I went, “This guy is super-bright.” And so you have this personal conversation. So I use my podcast as a way to leverage relationships to talk to the CEO's and top people that I probably couldn't get to, I'd up talked, and then nothing … say that it was sales guys is not the guys I want to talk to, but I want to talk to the guy that had the vision to create the company.

Jessica Rhodes: Yes, that's such a good point, because when you … let's just say for example that the mastermind that you just joined, you could have found him online, looked at the sales page, maybe a plot, again, maybe talk to a salesperson or something like that. But then it's just that. Even if you talk to him in a setting where it's you thinking about joining his mastermind, then it's a sales conversation and he's selling you. But by having him on your podcast, you're just [inaudible 00:13:10] any expertise. There's no conversation about “how we can work together,” it's really purely just getting the expertise and the content, and then you can make your own decision without that perceived pressure there.

Doug: Well, and it comes back to your point of giving. So you want to serve first.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah.

Doug: So by hosting someone as a guest, you're serving them first, and then beyond that, because the relationship is a service relationship, there's this idea that, Hey, in some cases we develop friendships and there are guys I'm in masterminds now because of podcasts, and people that will come stay with me or stay with me and I will go see when I'm in their cities. So it's a really good way, I find, get a really deep, deep relationship with people very quickly.

Jessica Rhodes: I love that. I've heard so many stories over the years of connections we've made with hosts and guests, and they're like … one client, for example, he's like, “We booked him on a show and then,” … he travels a lot, and he ended up being in the same city where that host is, and he's like, “Yeah, we got super drunk at Whole Foods in Austin, but it all started with a podcast interview.” But it's true, I mean it's sort of cheesy, but it's like friendships come out of this and then when you have that great connection with somebody, a lot of stuff can come out of that for your business, too.

Doug: So how do people get started? I mean there's some listeners thinking, “Well, you know, I don't know what to say and I wouldn't know who to conduct myself,” and obviously there are good ways to be a guest, there's a way to be a great guest, and there's a way to be a lucky guest. So how does someone get started who wants to be a guest?

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, so … and people ask me all the time, “Do you train people on how to be a guest?” And honestly the answer is no, because even though there is media training out there, which I think is definitely really valuable and necessary when you're doing things like traditional PR, when you have to do a seven-minute radio interview, you need to be trained on how to give the sound bytes that you want to do in seven minutes. But a podcast interview, I don' think there's really great training for it because it comes down to having a good conversation. It's really that is the skill you need to have, is like are you a good conversationalist, and the other thing is to be a good listener. So this is kind of the first tip I have for people who want to get started is really take note of your skills in listening, because it's super important when you're sitting here, you've got your applications closed, I've got you in my headphones, Doug. It's like I need to be really mindful, and I need to be present, and I need to be listening to what you're saying, because if my mind wanders for a second and I miss your question, that's going to be a fumble, I'm going be like, “Wait, what did you say?”

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

[just click to tweet]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.

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So you don't want to be in that situation. So really focus on your listening. Do things like meditation to strengthen your mind in being able to focus, and be present for the whole interview. That's going to be super helpful. And then also, just providing a lot of value. Having a mindset that's not … you don't want to think, “Well, I don't give everything away, because then why will they get my book if I answer all of the questions?” And if you think that 45 minutes of talking is going to give away all of your expertise, you might want to reconsider your business, because there's no way you can give everything away in a podcast interview. So just really give as much as possible. Open the curtains and just give a ton of value. Because when people feel like, “Wow, she's answering all my question,” people then want to know, “What could I get if I get the book? Or what could I get if I actually work with that person?” So that's huge.

Doug: Well I think the other thing that people may not consider is that in a world of done-for-you, done-with-you, and the self-delivery model, or done-yourself, people, the DIY, we go through all the stages. So there's been people that I've listened to, I've heard, I've gone to their site, I've looked at their content, I've bought their course, it's a seven or eight hundred dollar course, I went to the course, I went, “Yeah, they're really smart, now I know they're really smart, but I don't want to do it,” then I've hired them to do it anyhow.

Jessica Rhodes: It's so true. Doug, that's just like the background of my whole business is people know, they're like … sometimes people will say, “Can I just get myself booked on shows?” And I say, “Yeah.”

Doug: Absolutely. [crosstalk 00:17:04]

Jessica Rhodes: You're not … but start you're going to realize that after five hours of researching for shows and sending pitches, you're not going to want to spend your time doing that. So I mean, that's most of … most of our businesses are not rocket science work that nobody else can do, it's just about leading in your strength and saving people time. I totally agree with you.

Also, just getting really clear on what your interview topics and questions are going to be and before you even get to that, knowing what your goal is. This is really big, I mean honestly like anything in businesses and in life, you want to know what you're working towards, what's your vision for the future, and what are your goals along the way because it's impossible. If you don't know what your goals are, it's impossible to know what kinds of podcasts and what kinds of interview questions you want to focus on, so knowing what your goals are, and then from there figuring out, “Okay, to meet that goal, who do I have to connect with? Who do I need to talk to and be in front of?” So then you're getting clear on who the target audience is, then you're getting clear on what kinds of shows they're listening to, or what kinds of shows they're hosting. Because you might say, “Oh, I don't care who the listener is, I just want to get in front of hosts that are like that.”

We have some clients that are like, “I don't care how many listeners there are, as long as the host is like this kind of person, that's going to be valuable to me.” So getting clear on all that. And then you can write suggested interview topics and questions that are going to tee you up to provide valuable information to those individuals, and the way that you want to provide those topics and questions is with the podcast one sheet, podcast hosts love these, we create them for all of our clients. I have one for myself, and we always send it to the host, and they really like it because they know they can ask whatever questions, but it gives them that bio so they can read that at the intro to the show, gives them the contact information, topics, and questions. So it really just gives them everything they need kind of on a silver platter.

Doug: Yeah, I really like the show note … or the one-sheets, rather, because there are two things. I like the picture, so I pulled up the photo that you sent for the episode, so now we're not obviously face-to-face, we're talking long distance over the internet, but I feel a deeper connection. And then like you said, all of your background there, your business is there, I get to know a bit of what your family, the things that are important to you, and then where to find you online. So it makes it very easy for a show host to go, “Hey, everything I need here's on one piece of paper.” I can reference that, I can spend a few minutes, go through, click through the links, look at your sites, look at your social media, and then understand what type of conversation we're going to have.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, it's also really important to be really organized and have everything as streamlined as possible. The one challenging thing about being a guest is that when you're a guest on podcasts, you're on a lot of different shows, every host is going to have a different structure to how they're scheduling, somebody's going to use Calendly, somebody else is going to use Schedule Ones, one person's on Zencastr, another person's on Skype, so you just really need to be prepared to just know that it's going to be a little different with every host. So you want to have everything organized so that way you're prepared. Our clients that have the least amount of headaches are the ones that use an assistant to get this all set up. So I definitely recommend using an assistant because it can be a little bit headache-inducing if you're trying to schedule and coordinate your recordings on all these different shows.

But just really having everything in one place, some people will say, “Well, this host had me fill out this long form,” and so most of the times the forms are pretty reasonable, they're just getting everything that they need to create great show notes and all of that good stuff, and so I recommend, you could say send to the host, “Hey, I have this one sheet, it has everything, can I just fill out the stuff that you don't have on the one sheet on the form?” So everything can be solved in communication, but just knowing that for a really successful podcast to keep going, and to give you great exposure as the guest, they have to keep everything organized.

Doug: Absolutely. The easier it is for me to contact you and see your social media, the easier it's going to be me as the host to promote you and promote your episodes and tag you. I'm always surprised at people who want to contact me and don't provide. That's like, “Okay, I can go find it, but that means i have to look up your Twitter account, I want to tag you in it because I want to make sure that you get as much exposure as you can for your brand, products, and service.”

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, and that's a really good point, and I wish this was just obviously, but I just don't think it is for as many people, so I'm going to say it anyway. Is just really, be a secret shopper of your own online presence. Go to your website, read your bio. I'll tell you actually a funny story that's sort of self-deprecating. It shows that we all make mistakes. For the longest time, there were two paragraphs of my bio were repeated on the website. And I can't tell you how many people, myself, my business partner, my web designer, all have read it and posted. So stuff like that, but just go through your website, do kind of a secret shopper version. Look through your website, read your bio, click to all your social media profiles.

I know a lot of people are like, “Well my Facebook is for personal use only.” But there's really no personal in business worlds. When your online, it's all the same, so make sure that your profile pictures are if they're not all the same, they're all at least matching, so that people know that they're talking or connecting with the right person.

Doug: The same person, that's right.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah.

Doug: And I think, I like your point about defining your objective. So you're looking for podcasts to try to generate leads, or brand awareness, or engagement, or like you said you're on a book tour, what's the purpose and then from there it should be easy to roll out a strategy.

Jessica Rhodes: Exactly, and I feel like I'm hijacking your interview, but I just keep thinking of more tips that I want to share. So one thing that I also want to not for people is that just the timeline of podcast interviews, because like you said, really know your objectives. A lot of people, they're objective is to promote their book, and so with that comes, okay, is there a specific book launch? Do you want your interviews to all be going live during a specific week? And so this is all so incredibly important. I talked to somebody this morning that just became a client, he's promoting his book launch which is in February. And I said him, I'm like, “You need to start working with us today because if you keep waiting, we can't guarantee you're going to have interviews going live during that time.” Podcast hosts will book and record interviews sometimes months in advance of when they actually release the interview, so you really need to plan ahead if you're going to leverage podcast interviews as a guest to promote your book launch or to get new clients in your coaching business. Any of the above, you want to plan ahead months in advance for when you actually want those results to start showing up in your business.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

[just click to tweet]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.

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Doug: Yeah, that's a really good tip. I mean when I started my podcast, obviously I had four or five in the can, I released it, I had basically eight episodes or about two months worth of episodes recorded, but doing two a week it means keeping it up. So someone just sent me a note today that wants to do a book launch, and they said, “When are your podcasts … how far are you booked?” I said, “We've got stuff already edited out to the end of January.”

Jessica Rhodes: Wow, yeah.

Doug: But if you have a date, we're flexible. I mean most people don't have the dates, so that's a good point is ask. So that comes back to your expectations that I'd really like to have it by this date and then back it up and say how many weeks does it take for you to identify your right audience, do the pitch, get accepted, fill the form, do the interview, have them edit it, and have it ready to go.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, and I would love to make a note about that. Doug, you're from Canada, right?

Doug: I am.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, so you're probably more polite than most podcast hosts in the United States, because … I would just want to really make sure people know that if you're pitching a podcaster because you want to be on their show to promote your book launch, I don't recommend leading with, “Hey, I'm promoting a book launch, when are you airing your episodes?” It sounds like you're much nicer to people when they as you that, but a lot of podcasters will say, “you can't just use me for my audience for your book launch.” So I want to give everyone, is it okay if I give your listeners some tips about how to kind of approach that conversation?

Doug: Sure, I'll just give you the disclaimer, I didn't give you the whole story. This was somebody I had on my show who I really like, who's a really smart email person in the UK. So I said to her, I don't invite everyone back, but when you're going to do your book, contact me, I'd be glad to have you back on the show, because she delivered a ton of value. But you're right, a cold pitch, I'm kind of going like, “Next, you can just mail your check here and then I'll put in wherever you want.”

Jessica Rhodes: Exactly, exactly. That's funny.

Doug: So, go ahead. Share your tips.

Jessica Rhodes: I still stand by my claim that you sound very polite, though.

Doug: I am polite.

Jessica Rhodes: Okay, if you have a book coming out and you are leveraging podcast interviews, my recommendation is to first don't really talk about your book launch in the initial pitch, because that is leading with what you want to get from them. So you want to lead with what you can give to their audience, what value you have to offer, what information can you share, what can you teach, all that good stuff. Once they accept you as a guest, they say, “Yeah, this looks great, I'd love to interview you.” Book the show, schedule your recording, and again, you're all still going through this without asking for when are they going to air the show, but the key is, if you are booking and scheduling your recording months in advance of your book launch, you still have time and flexibility to make that request that they air it.

So let's just say you get booked on the show, you start scheduling it … so your book launch is in four months, when you schedule the recording, maybe you're recording it three months before the book launch, then you can say, “Hey, I scheduled it for January 5th, actually I have a book coming out on March 5th. Would it be possible that that interview might go live that week?” So you're asking for it then. By that point, it's just a much better time to make that request than at the beginning is like, “Well I only want to do your show if you can air it for when I want it to go live.” And so most podcasters are super flexible and they'll be like, “Oh, yeah, of course. I can just switch these two episodes and put you live that week.”

So I hope that helps people because I don't think a lot of guests know how to approach that conversation.

Doug: Well I think it comes back to like you said, what are you going to do for the show? Why do I want to have somebody on my show? It's my resources, an hour of my time, it's my staff, we're going to send it to my list, I'm going to put it on an evergreen promotion, I'm going to promote the heck out of it a week on all of my social, I've got a huge social following especially on LinkedIn, I can drive as much as I can, so why? And so you're right, if you come in thinking, “Well I want you to do this,” what I'm still surprised at is people have sent the cold pitch like that and they don't connect with you on social, they don't leave their review on iTunes, and my kind of theory is, I don't ask for that, but if you're not willing to do that, then you probably shouldn't be on the show because if you don't like the show enough that you would leave it a review, it's probably not your target audience.

Jessica Rhodes: Exactly. And also for people that want to be guests, and maybe if you're listening and you don't have your own podcast, podcast hosts really want you to help them grow their audience. That's one reason a lot of people have guests is that when you have a guest on your show, theoretically they're sharing it with their following and then you're going to get some new listeners because they shared it to their audience. It's a two-way street, so definitely let them know, “Hey, I'm going to be promoting all of my interview appearances the week of my book launch. I'll definitely be rating and reviewing this show on iTunes,” and then actually start promoting the podcast to your following, like you can give a share, you can give a mention on your Instagram story and link to them. There's a lot of different things that you can do, but the more value you offer to that host, the more willing they are to help you out.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

[just click to tweet]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.

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Doug: Absolutely, I mean there are some guests that I've had that I would not re-promote, and I wouldn't have back as a guest. And there are others that, as I said, we've developed friendships with and I'd do whatever I can to help them grow their business.

Jessica Rhodes: That's awesome. Totally. It's a relationship, I mean just like in a friendship, or in a romantic relationship, it's a two-way street. Each person has to be giving. When either part, whether … and I've talked to hosts that are like, “The guests should pay me to be on the show because I'm producing it,” and it's like if that's where you are, you should stop podcasting.

Doug: I know some guys who do that, it's just a different business model. For me –

Jessica Rhodes: It's different, yeah.

Doug: My podcast really is you get a chance to listen to people that I want to do business with and pick their brain to use their marketing expertise to grow my company and my clients. So this is what I'm doing, so listen in, I'm podcasting, I'm doing this sort of technologies to grow the business. So anyhow … so what about hosting a show? So we talked about being a guest and lots of people say, “Okay, fine, I could be a guest.” But how do people make that transition to going, “Okay, I think I'm willing to get behind the microphone and commit?”

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, so I want to start this answer by just talking about kind of where I've seen podcasting go, especially for business owners and entrepreneurs. So when I started booking podcast interviews over five years ago, there were a lot of very general shows, people kind of working to reach a wide audience, so even for me, my podcast, Rock the Podcast, when I first started it, it was a marketing and business podcast talking about a lot of different marketing strategies. And over the years I have niched it down to where we talk about podcast interviews as a guest and as a host. It's very specific, and that's where I have seen a lot of other business owners go with the podcasting strategy is just getting more and more niched down with the topic and the target audience. And I think the value and the return-on-investment that podcasters are seeing is by getting more niched down because the audience is so specific that you'll have a higher engagement rate.

So that's just one note because when people get super-general, it's hard to know who you're speaking to and then it's hard to know what the interview topic should be, or what the episode topic should be, or who you should be interviewing. So go super niched down, I recommend that. And you could start a little bit more general and then as you go kind of figuring out. I've changed the name of my podcast a couple of times, I've done solo episodes. So that's the fun thing about having a podcast is you can make pivots and rebrand and shift things over the years, but podcasting is definitely still in its infancy, it's definitely still taking off. The water's warm everyone, it's a great time to get started.

But just to talk a little bit about the focus of podcasts for your business and how you can make an ROI, I think Doug what you're doing is absolutely perfect. A lot of what you said about your strategy is what I teach and what I recommend. I use podcasting as a client retention tool, so I totally agree with everything that you're doing. What I do is my business partner and I co-host our show, so a lot of the interview topics and questions are specifically geared at our clients or our potential clients. It's just super-specific and that way we have content we can send to our clients like, “Hey, we did an episode about X, Y, Z, this is a question we've been getting from a lot of our clients, go check this out. Go take a listen.”

We'll also use it as a place to interview our clients, which has been great. So our client Arlene [Koggan 00:31:46] was just on our show, she actually launched her book this week. So we interviewed her on Rock the Podcast, and I've been promoting that, sent it out to my list, and that was just great for client retention because we're really giving value to her by promoting her to our audience. Not only are we providing our service to her, but we're also then promoting her, which helps out a lot. So if you can start a podcast where you're interviewing your clients or potential clients, something like that, it can pay dividends.

Doug: Yeah, that's really good. That's a really good point, I've seen people that have done that and built a whole strategy around that.

Jessica Rhodes: Absolutely, yeah. And just have fun with it, too. This is a really creative way to market your business. My business coach Ali Brown started her podcast Glambition Radio like four years ago, and when she started it, she talks about how her team was like, “Okay, what's the strategy, what's the call-to-action? How are we going to get a return-on-investment?” And she was like, “I'm starting a podcast to start a podcast.” She's like, “I'm just doing this.” And she has gotten an incredible ROI, it's a huge driver of her business, but she started it because she wanted to have a podcast.

Doug: Yeah, but that was her goal, so but you said, have a goal. So you want to start a podcast. For me, Thursdays are my favorite day of the week, because … I call it my second Friday because all I do is podcasts. I do interviews, I do social media stuff, and that's it. So it's not really like a workday. It's like, what could be more fun than talking to people about business and sales and marketing, and sharing that with your audience?

Jessica Rhodes: Absolutely, yeah. It's a super-fun thing to add to your business.

Doug: I think so. I mean there's still … make it clear, listeners, it takes some work, it's not easy.

Jessica Rhodes: It does.

Doug: There's some stuff you need to do to make it work, but I think it's worth it.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, and I think that's worth mentioning, too. People say, “Okay, I'm going to start a podcast,” and then they get super overwhelmed in the process, so I think it's important that you need one of two things. You either need to have money to invest in the podcast, money to hire a producer, hire an assistant, hire someone to book your guests, think about all the things that you need and have the cash flow to invest in services or vendors to provide all that stuff. Or you need just a lot of extra time to do it all yourself. Because it is a lot of hard work and it can be totally automated to the point where all you're doing is the actual interview, but that is contingent on you hiring people to do everything else.

Doug: Yeah, and that's a great point. I mean that's all I'm doing is I do the interview and I do some of the social media outreach that I want to do that's highly personal, and the rest is all automated with teams and staff and technology.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah. Absolutely. But once it's automated, it is fun and it's a great thing to have.

Doug: Yeah, and now I'm starting to think, “Okay, podcast number two,” so we're already looking at a different topic.

Jessica Rhodes: Exactly.

Doug: So what are you most excited about in the next six to twelve months?

Jessica Rhodes: So I'm excited about a lot. I love transitioning into a new year. In my life and in my business, it's like every year there's been a huge change from year-to-year. So right now we are working on hiring a manager to take over a lot of the stuff that my business partner and I do to free us up to do more creative content marketing, which is super-exciting. We want to do more episodes of our … right now, we do an episode of our podcast every other week, we'd like to get that up to weekly. We want to do more video marketing, more Facebook Live's and Instagram Live's, just get to more creative content marketing, so that's something that we are super-excited about doing. It's just like expanding the leadership within Interview Connections, within our business, so to free us up to do that creative, front-facing work.

Doug: That's cool.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah.

Doug: And so that's coming in what, the next six months you said?

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, hopefully, the next six weeks, I actually, we just offered someone the manager job like an hour ago.

Doug: There we go, so by the time they hear the episode, they should be on board and things should be really cooking for you.

Jessica Rhodes: Exactly. It's very exciting times.

Doug: So what's, stealing from Tim [Ferris 00:35:47], what's some of the bad advice you hear either about being a guest or being a host?

Jessica Rhodes: Oh my God, there's a lot of bad advice out there. I mean we kind of talked about it a little bit. I'm not a big fan of the business model of charging guests and stuff like that, and just kind of thinking about what people are taking from you, or stuff like that. I think that there are some mindset issues, so it's not necessarily like bad advice, but I think that there's some negative mindset in the podcasting space that I think is important to kind of stay away from. I'm trying to think. I try to keep my blinders up because with a lot of bad advice out there, I try to stay away from it.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

[just click to tweet]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: I hear you. I just know that … I'm out at events and speaking at events and meeting people, and then you'll hear somebody say something and you just cringe you're going, “Ugh.”

Jessica Rhodes: I got one for you, yeah, that just made me think. That just triggered something. So I was at an event and somebody that I was actually speaking with gave some really bad advice. I was very disappointed. Basically I've heard the advice that when you are, as a host, when you have a guest on the show and their interview goes live, to just tell them, “I'm getting great feedback, and a lot of people are writing in,” and the advice was, even if that's not true, just tell that guest that because that'll get them to share the episode more. And I really did not like that because I think that telling someone to lie in order to get them to do something for you is a really bad way to run your business and your life. So be super-honest. You could tell them, “I love this episode, I know people are going to get great value from it, and I would love for you to share it with your audience.” That's all fine, but don't lie to them to manipulate them to get them to share it.

I think that's super key. That's just one specific example, but I do hear that like, “Just tell the person this and that'll get them to do this,” and I just think that's kind of slimy.

Doug: Yeah, that's way out of integrity for sure.

Jessica Rhodes: Exactly, it's out of integrity.

Doug: Like come on.

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah.

Doug: So who's one … I don't know if I should ask you this question, this is my show-stopper question, but you're in the business, so you'll get it, it'll be easy for you. Maybe a conflict as well.

Jessica Rhodes: The pressure's on.

Doug: Yeah, there's the pressure, there's the big buildup, and then the let-down is, who's one guest I absolutely have to have on my show?

Jessica Rhodes: Oh my God, I have so many –

Doug: See, I knew for you it would be tougher.

Jessica Rhodes: I know! Because I have so many clients that are just amazing. Oh my God. Now I'm like stumped because I'm thinking of all of my clients.

Doug: Because you're in the business, I'm willing to give you a pass on the question. So let's move on to something that's a lot more fun.

Jessica Rhodes: Thank you.

Doug: You're welcome.

Jessica Rhodes: That should have been the easiest one for me, right?

Doug: No, no, I mean I appreciate [crosstalk 00:38:26]

Jessica Rhodes: It's like picking a favorite child.

Doug: Yeah, absolutely. I've got three and if I picked one, I'd have two unhappy campers. Where's the best place for people to reach you? How can they find you, reach you, social, websites, where do they go on to connect?

Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, so interviewconnections.com, that's definitely the best place to go if you're interested in getting interviewed as a guest. We've got a lot of content on there. Blogs, podcasts, where you can learn. You can also contact us if you're interested in working with us to get booked. Social-wise, if you just like me and you want to connect with me, I'm on Instagram, our business Instagram is @InterviewConnections, and my personal Instagram is @JessRhodes45, that's not super business-related, but that's where you could just be friends with me.

Doug: Okay. See pictures of your cute kids.

Jessica Rhodes: Exactly.

Doug: Yeah, I've got the same thing, we've got a personal page and it's more personal, a little bit of business, and then the business page that's all about business.

Jessica Rhodes: Totally.

Doug: Well super good. Hey, I want to say thanks so much for taking time today and sharing.

Jessica Rhodes: Doug, you are a fantastic host. I really appreciate you interviewing me.

Doug: Well thank you. I didn't want to ask you one of the questions on your one sheet, so here's my confession, and that was how to be a better interview, so. I'm not –

Jessica Rhodes: I realized –

Doug: I'm not going to ask you because I might not like what I hear, and I don't know if my ego can take a shot today publicly, so I'll skip that question.

Jessica Rhodes: That's good feedback, I might want to take that off my one sheet.

Doug: That's funny. So there we go, there are another episode listeners, thanks so much for tuning in. I would highly recommend you go out and sign up and check out Jessica and Interview Connections. We'll transcribe all the show notes, all the information will be there, all her links will be there, follow her on social media, and thanks for tuning in. I look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

[just click to tweet]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR PODCAST SUCCESS

Being a guest on a podcast is such an amazing marketing strategy, and it's one that time-and-time again I always come back to in my own business.

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CELEBRATING SUCCESS – EPISODE 100

GROW YOUR BUSINESS WHEN YOU PODCAST WITH PURPOSE