Episode 379:

As agency owners, we’re always looking for ways to get great customers that increase our profitability while decreasing the length of the typical sales cycle. That’s the dream, right?

This week, I have Tom Schwab on to talk about one of the best ways to make that dream a reality — being a great guest on other people’s podcasts. As a great guest himself, Tom has a gold mine of valuable information to share with us about getting featured as a guest on podcasts, the ROI that it brings to your agency, and how to track the results you’re getting from being a podcast guest.

Great conversations lead to great customers, and Tom will teach us exactly how to turn all that talking into gold. Don’t miss out on this information-packed episode so you can start your year right by setting the stage for increased profitability in 2023.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev, or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.
podcast guest

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why you don’t need to host your own podcast to get your name out there
  • How to use podcast guesting as a way to achieve your goals
  • Why podfade is such a common occurrence
  • How to identify which podcasts need your voice as a guest
  • Leveraging a podcast to attract great clients, not more leads in the sales funnel
  • How to be a great podcast guest and get the host to sell you to the audience
  • Pre- and post-interview podcast guest best practices
  • The importance of having a tracking mechanism for performance and conversion rates

“What's your goal, and how can you use podcasting to achieve that goal?” @interviewvalet Click To Tweet “After 45 minutes, they're going to turn you up or turn you off. And the data shows that those clients tend to close faster because they're educated.” @interviewvalet Click To Tweet “No matter what people are asking me on LinkedIn, I don't want more leads. I want more great customers. And going out on podcasts is a great way to do that.” @interviewvalet Click To Tweet “You don't have to promote yourself during the interview. If you do a great job, that host will promote you more than you ever could.” @interviewvalet Click To Tweet “If you want to get your dance card filled, just be a great guest because podcast hosts know other podcast hosts.” @interviewvalet Click To Tweet

Ways to contact Tom:

Resources:

Announcer:

It doesn’t matter what kind of an agency you run, traditional, digital, media buying, web dev, PR, whatever your focus, you still need to run a profitable business. The Build a Better Agency Podcast presented by White Label IQ, will show you how to make more money and keep more of what you make. Let us help you build an agency that is sustainable, scalable, and if you want down the road, sellable. Bringing his 25 plus years of experience as both an agency owner and agency consultant, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan.

Drew McLellan:

Hey everybody. Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute, back with you again for another episode of Build a Better Agency. Thanks for coming back. Happy New Year. By the time this plays, I know it will be after the first of the year. So hopefully you are easing into the year well, that holiday hibernation has wrapped up and things are back in action at the shop.

So super excited to start another year of podcasting with you. Happy 2023. Going to be a big year for us at AMI for lots of reasons, which I will share with you throughout the year. But we have some interesting things to talk about right off the bat.

I have a couple amazing workshops actually coming up in March that I want to make sure you know about. So if you have any interest in becoming a live peer group member, one of the things you have to do to be eligible to be a member is you have to attend one of two workshops. One of them is Money Matters, and the other one is the workshop that’s coming up on March 9th and 10th, which is called Running Your Agency for Growth and Profit.

That workshop is for agency owners. If you are not an owner, you must be accompanied by an owner. So you can’t just send your COO to that workshop, an owner has to be present as well. But you can certainly bring your right hand or your lieutenants, your leadership level people with you if you want to come, but it’s really built for owners.

We look at all of the aspects of running the business, so all of the back of the shop things. We talk about people, we talk about money, we talk about process, we talk about biz dev, we talk about leadership team, we talk about how to grow the agency and what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense. So we really cover a wide gamut of topics, but they are all best practices that odds are you haven’t been exposed to before because they’re very agency centric.

So again, that is March 9th and 10th in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Whether you want to join a peer group or not, if you’re interested in joining us for that two days of rapid fire Learning, go over to the website under the How We Help tab. You’ll find workshops and you’ll find the Running Your Agency for Growth and Profit.

Also, our Advanced AE Bootcamp is March 23rd and 24th. That’s for folks who’ve been around the business for four years or more. They’re probably supervising some people. They’re probably leading a team. It’s not for owners, it really is for your AEs, your senior AEs, account sups, director of account service. That’s probably as high as the level that this workshop would be relevant for.

We get down into a lot of nitty gritty. We talk about leading a team. We talk about client expectations. We talk about how to drive more strategy into the work that you’re doing, great best practices for your seasoned AEs to learn how to level up to even a higher level. So join us agency owners, March 9th and 10th in Denver, Advanced AE Bootcamp, the 23rd and 24th of March, also in Denver.

So let me tell you a little bit about our guest. Our guest is Tom Schwab. Tom owns a company called Interview Valet, and what they do is they place their clients on podcasts as podcast guests. And Tom’s been doing this for a long time. I’ve known him probably from the time I started my podcast.

And what I want to talk to him about is the value of being a podcast guest and how you show up and be a good podcast guest and what you can expect, what’s the ROI of being a podcast guest, and how do you figure out where you should appear, what hosts you should reach out to and create relationship with, all of those things. So without further ado, let’s welcome Tom to the show and start having the conversation.

Tom, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us.

Tom Schwab:

Drew, thank you for having me here.

Drew McLellan:

So give everybody a little bit of background on the work that you do and how you got to be doing this work before we start talking about the power of audio in today’s world from a marketing perspective.

Tom Schwab:

Well, that’s always a dangerous question to ask somebody with gray hair, right?

Drew McLellan:

Start at the log cabin and then get to …

Tom Schwab:

It all builds on things. I’m an engineer by degree and that taught me systems and processes. I worked for a corporate world, worked in sales, and my last company was an E-commerce company. We were HubSpot’s first case study for inbound marketing. And that really taught me digital marketing, how to leverage other people’s audiences. The way we built up that entire company was guest blogging-

Drew McLellan:

Really?

Tom Schwab:

… putting our content on somebody else’s site where people were looking for it, getting the backlinks. And that really worked. And when I had sold that company in about 2014, guest blogging wasn’t working nearly as well. So I hypothesized, wow, could I use podcast interviews almost like guest blogs?

And the other thing too is people joke, I are engineer. English is my second language. I’m not sure what my first one is. Writing a blog is homework for me, but I love to talk about my industry, my company, my clients, the success. So to get on people’s podcasts was fun for me, and then we could repurpose that content.

So I started to do that about 2013, 2014. Started to teach it to other people, wrote a cheesy little book that I just gave away. Did a quick little course. And the people that were honest with me told me, I want to be the guest, you take care of all the rest, and never took that course out of beta.

We launched Interview Valet in the end of 2015, and now that’s grown to, we’ve got a team of over 30 people in Europe and North America, and we help thought leaders get on other people’s podcasts to high level coaches, high level consultants, agencies. We do a lot of partnering with them, a lot of non-fiction authors. And really, it’s everything that we were using 20, 30 years ago, but we’re just using a different medium for it.

Drew McLellan:

Right. So one of the things, and we were talking about this before we hit the record button, but I think one of the misnomers about podcasting, and when I talk to agency owners, a lot of them will say to me, I know we need to start a podcast, but … And then there’s the litany of excuses.

I think there’s this misperception that to be a part of the podcast world and to provide value for your business, you have to own and host a podcast. Talk a little bit about true, untrue, the difference in value between hosting your own show versus being on a bunch of different shows, because that’s really your business model, right?

Tom Schwab:

Right. And Gary Vaynerchuk came out for a while and said everybody should have a podcast.

Drew McLellan:

Gary says a lot of things.

Tom Schwab:

Yeah, and I think Tim Ferris came out and said no one should have a podcast, just to be contrarian there. But I always look back and say, then let’s use the same thing. Well then everybody should have a newspaper, everybody should have a magazine, everybody should have their own TV show, and it sounds ridiculous.

I don’t want Oprah’s show, I just want to get on Oprah’s show. I don’t want to build the next Wall Street Journal, I just want to be featured on Wall Street Journal. So I think there’s a lot of ways to leverage guest appearances and leverage other people’s audience. It’s almost that thing of … I love the summit that you do. It’s one of my favorite events, but I know the kind of work that goes into that.

Drew McLellan:

Oh yeah, it’s a doozy.

Tom Schwab:

I don’t want to host that. I’m not going to say everybody should have their own. No, I just want to go and be seen and be heard at the great ones that are already out there.

And the other thing too is that people will say should I be a guest or a host? I think it’s the goals, and the goal is not just to be heard. It’s almost like an Uber. Uber is a great platform, but should you be a driver or a passenger? I guess it depends on your goals.

So if you’re a host for a podcast, I think it’s a great way to nurture your current clients, to nurture your current leads, but if you want to get new exposure, if you want to get new leads, if you want to get new backlinks, you’ve got to go to other people’s podcasts, other people’s stages on that.

So I think the big thing is what’s your goal, and then how can you use podcasting to achieve that goal? And honestly, how can you do it the easiest way? How can you get the maximum return on investment? As an engineer, I know you can either get more out or put less in, and I want to do both.

Drew McLellan:

Right. I also think it’s a commitment level. When you host a podcast, you have to put out a new show every week. And it’s not every other week, it’s not once in a while, it’s not every time but the holidays. And I know some hosts take breaks and things like that, but for the most part, if it’s really your channel and it’s a core channel for you, the commitment level is real.

And you also have to, depending on the format of the show, either you have to script your own, if it’s just you talking, you have to script that. And that takes hours and hours for every show. Or you have to be able to source enough guests to have that longevity in the show, and you still have to do your homework, so you create a great conversation. So I think it’s a commitment level.

And one of the things I love about guesting on someone else’s podcast is I already know what we’re going to talk about because they want to talk about what I know. So the prep time for me is minimal compared to being a host of a show. I get to just show up, I get to share generously what I know, I get to teach, I get to tell stories and then I’m done.

And I don’t have the commitment financially or time-wise to prep that episode, to get it ready to go, to launch it. I just show up to the party. I try and be as interesting and helpful as I can be, and then I get to go home. I don’t have to clean the kitchen. I didn’t have to make the food. It’s a beautiful role, I think for somebody who has a specific subject matter expertise that is valuable to an audience.

Tom Schwab:

I agree with you on there. And in the industry it’s referred to as pod fade. 80% of podcasts die within the first 10 episodes. Everybody starts out, they’re so excited about it, and then they run out of things to say, people to interview, life gets busy, life gets in the way, and it can go from being a marketing asset to being an embarrassment, when all of a sudden you tell everybody, I’ve got this new podcast coming out. A quarter later, they ask you, well, how’s it going? Oh, look, I killed that off.

So I always tell people, if you’re going to start a podcast, make sure you have the first 52 episodes planned out. Do it for at least a year. And if you can’t come up with those, don’t start it, or if you can’t make that commitment to show up every week. That’s one of the great things about guesting, I can work it around my schedule and if I take a month or two off, nobody knows. If I take a month or two off from a podcast-

Drew McLellan:

Everybody knows.

Tom Schwab:

… everybody’s going to leave.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Well, it’s interesting. So when I put on my agency owner hat, we’ve launched several podcasts for clients, and our requirement is that they have 10 episodes in the can before we even tell anyone we’re doing it. So we do it behind the curtain because what we found is if they can do the first 10, then they like it enough that they’ll sustain it. But I would say 80% of our clients get to about episode four or five and all of a sudden they’re like, they can’t find guests or they can’t make the time. And so they’re never embarrassed because we never launched it to begin with.

But you’re right, I think it is a daunting commitment to be on the host side of the mic. But I think for a lot of people, maybe they want to be a guest on more podcasts, or maybe they are hungry to do that, but they don’t know how to make it happen, and they don’t know how to source the shows and they don’t know how to make connections with the podcast host in a way that’s meaningful.

I get probably five to 10 pitches a day for potential guests, most of which they have not listened to my show, they don’t know who my audience is. And I used to answer every single one of them and explain to them why they weren’t in. And finally I was like, I don’t have time to do that. So I think people also may want to be on a show but don’t know how to make that happen.

So let’s talk a little bit about, they certainly can hire someone like Interview Valet to help them do that, but if they want to do it homegrown to start, to see if they even like being on podcasts, what are some tips for them to be able to find the right shows and make the right connections?

Tom Schwab:

I would step one step back from that. I don’t think anybody wants to be a guest on a podcast. That’s the means to the end. What’s the overarching goal? Because if you show up without a goal, you won’t hit it. So what is it? Is it to get more SEO backlinks? Is it to get more content to repurpose? Is it to launch a new product? Figure out what it is that you want to accomplish on that podcast, and with that view then say, who do I want to talk with, and not what podcast do I want to be on, but who do I want to talk with?

Drew McLellan:

Who’s the audience?

Tom Schwab:

Who’s the audience? And with that then start to think, okay, what podcast would they listen to? And one of the things that you’ll see is that podcasting is so fragmented right now-

Drew McLellan:

I know.

Tom Schwab:

… that the data is not as great as other mediums. It’s a whole lot better than it was just a couple of years ago, and there’s some great databases that you can purchase, but often the audience is like the host or aspires to be like the host, and so you can look at that. So if you’re looking to talk to Fortune 500 CEOs, the podcast that starts off with, yo, yo, yo, this is Tommy T and …

Drew McLellan:

Right [inaudible 00:15:23].

Tom Schwab:

They’re not going to listen to that podcast, right?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Tom Schwab:

Maybe their kids will be listening to that.

Drew McLellan:

You know what? In 2023, that’s how I’m going to start kicking off my show. I’m going to start with the yo, yo, yo. I’ve never done that before. That’s going to be a new thing for me, I think.

Tom Schwab:

This could be the first-

Drew McLellan:

I need a catchphrase.

Tom Schwab:

This could be the first yo, yo, yo on your podcast, right?

Drew McLellan:

Yes. I think it is the first yo, yo, yo. Yes.

Tom Schwab:

So look at that and see what shows that they would listen to, right?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Tom Schwab:

And one of my big things this year is more is not better, better is better. So often we’ll hear people come to us and say well, I want to be in 30 shows this month. Well, why? Because that kind of massive exposure will give me massive results. Well, if that’s the case, then just pick 30 street corners and go talk at them. No, more is not better, better is better.

So make sure that you’re having a meaningful discussion on each one, because one of the things about podcasts now is that often your last video or your last podcast appearance will show up and you want to be proud of each one. So think of the podcast you listen to, think of the podcast your ideal customers listen to.

And just like in theater, no play, no musical, no production starts on Broadway. They always test it out on different ones because even the great ones realize that they’ve got to get up to speed on that, so even smaller podcasts.

One of the great things that some of our clients will do will go on ones that are tied to an institution. And it’s like, well, why would I want to go on the podcast that is tied to the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University? Why? Because you get a backlink that’s dot edu. That backlink is worth more than being on Tim Ferris and Joe Rogan. So there’s still things that you can do there.

Drew McLellan:

And I am a firm believer too, is that while no doubt that show has a smaller audience than some of the big name podcasts, if that audience is the exact right audience for you, you only need to talk to a couple of those people. I mean, again, for most businesses, I think this idea of more gets in our head.

And we talk about this in some of our workshops, most agencies don’t need 10 new clients. In fact, they can’t take on 10 new clients. They need two or three good sized, right fit clients a year to grow 10 to 20%, which is about as much as an agency can grow in a sustainable way for a long time. When the agency is new, you can double in size for a few years, but after that, you want to be able to manage your growth, and you want to be able to really choose your clients.

So a small podcast that happens to be talking to agri engineers who happen to be the kind of clients that you want to have, even if the listenership is 250 people, one right person on that show listening to you, that picks up the phone and says, you know what? We’re ready to go to RFP on a new product or service, heard you on this show, want to talk to you about being in the mix, that’s all it takes.

Tom Schwab:

And with the extended conversation, if you’re very clear of this is what we do, this is who we work with, this is what the best results we get for these type of clients, they’ll self-select. After 45 minutes, they’re going to turn you up or turn you off. And the data shows that those clients tend to close faster because they’re educated, the initial sale tends to be larger because it’s based on the relationship, and the churn is lower.

So it’s that whole idea, no matter what people are asking me on LinkedIn, I don’t want more leads, I want more customers, I want more great customers. And going out on podcasts is a great way to do that.

Drew McLellan:

One of the things I love about podcasting is that you can’t phone it in, you can’t fake it. It’s real, in the moment. It’s live. You and I are talking live. We’re not talking live with an audience listening, but you and I are actually talking, this is not scripted. We haven’t pre-decided everything we’re going to talk about. So there’s an authenticity and a realness to it that I love.

I think one of the other things I love about audio is it gives the listeners a sense of not only what the person knows, but who they are, how they talk, if they’re passionate about it, all of that. And in a world … You and I were talking a little bit before we hit the record button about the prevalence of AI in a lot of written content today. And that one of the advantages I think of audio is there is no artificial intelligence. I’m happy when there’s intelligence, but there’s no artificial intelligence in this conversation, it’s just you and me talking.

So talk a little bit about, as you have a unique perspective on the evolution of content, as AI becomes part of the mix and how podcasting allows us to differentiate from that.

Tom Schwab:

I’m excited for AI. It’s like-

Drew McLellan:

It’s cool stuff.

Tom Schwab:

… as I look at it, I go from being so excited, this is so cool, to petrified, oh, this is so scary, and it goes up and down there. But I’m excited by all the ways that we can repurpose content. So repurpose an interview into blogs, articles. My concern though is will that content be generic and watered down now?

So if I’m reading a blog, did this person write it or did their assistant write it? Did the AI write it? And so when all of a sudden writing a blog becomes so easy, will it become valuable at that point, because it won’t be scarce? And at certain point, why do I even need to go to Google and search that? I’ll just go to ChatGPT, they can write the blog that I want to read. And the scary part there is nobody’s getting attribution. They might have pulled it from your blog and my book, they’re not attributing that. So we lose that effect on it.

And I pointed out, Drew, I always listen to your emails that you send. You send the email, and there’s typically a video that goes along with that. The way I consume information is I’ll listen to the video because I want to hear what Drew has to say and the inflections from it. I think that’s a much richer experience than even reading the transcript of it or reading the email of it.

And there’s a book that came out number of years ago, Bill Troy wrote a book called CLICKSAND: How Digital Marketing’s Ruining Your Business. And I remember how he said, “Big fish don’t swim through funnels.” And I talked with him and I’m like, “And Whales don’t click.”

And I think if we’re trying to get to the decision maker, we’re going to have to have a discussion with them, we’re going to have to have a conversation. And that could be something that they listen into that then we get on the call with them.

I think the idea that what works on a $7 product is going to work on a seven-figure consulting deal is ludicrous. The person that’s going to hire you for this big retainer is not going to buy your tripwire product and be in a funnel forever. I think it’s that conversation.

And I think the more AI makes things easy, the things that are harder and unscalable are going to be valued much more, and I would point to the summit. It would be very easy just to do that over the internet, just to jump on Zoom, but it wouldn’t have the same value.

Drew McLellan:

No.

Tom Schwab:

You put more skin in it than just doing it in a studio, and I put more skin in it going there-

Drew McLellan:

By showing up.

Tom Schwab:

… by showing up than I would if I just had it playing in the background while I was multitasking. So I think those things that aren’t scalable, that relationships are still the ultimate currency. And will AI be able to do it someday? I don’t know, probably, but I know right now the kind of conversation that we’re having here can only be done by us.

Drew McLellan:

It’s interesting. One of the things I wonder is as people use more AI to create written content, will there … I think about the FCC and how they stepped in with influencers and said look, you got to label this, that it’s a paid endorsement or that they are being comped, they got a free dress to put in on Instagram or whatever. I wonder if at some point in time we’ll have to self-identify what we actually wrote versus what we allowed AI to write. Will there be some governing body that says look, you can’t claim authorship credit for this if you didn’t write it and here’s what that’ll look like? It’ll be interesting to see how that all plays out.

Tom Schwab:

That’s interesting because years ago everybody knew that if an email came from me, if it didn’t have a typo in it or a grammatical error, it was somebody phishing, and my team would even joke about that. Well, fast forward now I have Grammarly and it cleans up everything, and that joke-

Drew McLellan:

Thank God, right?

Tom Schwab:

Well, that joke has gone away, but still in an interview, I guarantee you could count the number of ums and uhs that I have in here, right?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, true.

Tom Schwab:

At some point, will that all be cleaned up? And I think that authenticity makes it believable and relatable. Also, that I know that, hey, this is Tom, this is Drew, this is not some computer version of them.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. I want to take a quick break, but then when we come back, I want to talk about how you think podcast appearances affect the sales cycle. So let’s take a quick break and we’ll come back and talk a little bit about that.

Hey, sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to make sure that you are thinking about how to connect with your clients by figuring out what they love and maybe a few things that they’re not so crazy about with your agency. So at AMI, one of the things we offer are client satisfaction surveys.

We do both quantitative and qualitative, so an online survey, but also interviews with some of your key clients. And then we come back to you with trends, recommendations, what they love, what they don’t love, lots of insights around how you can create an even tighter relationship with your clients.

So if you have interest in that, you can go under the How We Help tab on the AMI website and the very bottom choice on the How We Help Tab is the client satisfaction surveys. You can read more about it.

But whether you have us do it or you do it yourself or you hire somebody else, it is really critical that you be talking to your clients about what they love and what they wish was different or better. So do not miss the opportunity to tighten your relationship with your client whether we help you or not. All right? All right, let’s get back to the show.

All right, we are back, and Tom and I are talking about all things, we’re mostly talking podcasts, but we’re talking about audio and just the authenticity that comes with an unscripted appearance on someone’s show or on your own show that really does allow you to teach, to share, to educate, but also to begin to create relationship.

And one of the things I know that I love about this show is that I actually feel like I know my audience. I don’t know who all is listening today, but I know who they are, I know what matters to them, and over time they come to feel like they know me. And so when we actually meet in person, it speeds up that relationship. They feel a connection to me and I feel a connection to them even though we’ve never met in person before.

But when someone comes up to me at the summit or conference or wherever I meet them and they say oh, I loved episode blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I love the podcast, or hey, I’ve listened to a couple episodes, they don’t have to be a rabid listener, it does truncate the getting to know you part of the conversation. So I’m curious how you have seen with your clients, how does their appearances on shows influence the sales cycle for them?

Tom Schwab:

There’s two ways to answer that. One, it can be from the lead generation. So I heard you on Drew’s show, you were talking just to agency owners, that whole thing of content is king, but context is God. So from a lead generation standpoint, it can be powerful to bring that in.

Where we’ve seen our best clients use it also is even if somebody didn’t come in from a podcast interview to use that podcast interview as a proof source. So let me give you an example. We’ve got two people on the team now that are customer success reps. They’re basically our sales reps that are taking the inbound leads.

Well, if we have the discussion with them or we look at their LinkedIn profile and see that, wow, they’re an agency owner, before they even get on the call with them, they can take a interview and say, looking forward to the call, hey, I thought you might be interested on this interview that Tom, our founder did with Drew McLellan.

And they listen to that and it pre-sells them, because it’s not, hey, here’s homework to read this blog, but they get that sense from it and it pre-educates them. I think there’s so many ways that that interview can be used and leveraged.

And at the end of the day, is that scalable if you’re doing a $7 product? Probably not. But if you’re doing a relationship sale, they better know who the founder is, why you did it, what the heart of the company is, what makes you different from every other agency. And I think that can be very, very powerful.

And we’ve seen numerous times, we’re looking on a call and they’re referencing something that the founder said in this interview or something that really resonated with them. And the flip side too, there are times where they hear something that doesn’t work for them. And that’s fine too, let’s save their time, let’s save our time. At the end of the day, we don’t need more leads, we don’t need more people in the pipeline. We need more great customers that we can bring amazing value to.

Drew McLellan:

And I think the other thing too is I think as someone who’s listening to an interview, your brain can’t help but start connecting whatever they’re saying back to your own life, your own work. And so as you the guest are talking about your expertise, how you help other pharma companies make sure that the awareness of their new drugs gets to the right …

Whatever you’re talking about, somebody is saying oh, that’s interesting because we’re struggling with that, or oh, I want a partner who already knows how to do that, or wow, they’re using all the jargon of the pharma industry, these people actually really do know the industry that I’m in. I’m looking for an agency that I don’t have to teach the pharma language to.

And so I think what happens is, without ever being really blatant about it, as you’re listening to a podcast, you’re listening to learn, but you’re also listening for how tightly is this person aligned with me or connected with me? And if there are enough connection points, then …

Literally, we’ve had guests who have called me a couple weeks after their show has been on the air and said I had no idea we were going to get these many inquiries and calls from the show, but because of what we talked about, we talked about something that agencies really care about and they didn’t know that a company like ours existed. And all of a sudden we’re checking boxes in the conversation without ever meaning to check boxes.

So I think for a lot of guests, what happens is it does accelerate at least the front half of the sales cycle. They still have to be able to provide value, they still have to have the right pricing. It’s not magic, but it certainly gets you deeper into that sales conversation faster, I think.

Tom Schwab:

One of the things that we’ve done over the last eight years is test the data. And this is heresy in digital marketing, but our data has always shown that giving people three ways to say yes on a podcast interview always converts best. Meet them where they are.

Because if they’re somebody that’s, say, a lower level person, they’re not the decision maker, well give them a reason to go back to the site, give them something that they could share with the decision maker. Maybe that’s a checklist, maybe that’s a download. Some people are slower to make decisions. That medium yes could be a copy of your book, a webinar, something to build that relationship a little bit more.

And then the flip side is, if all of a sudden you’re heard by the decision maker with budget and you answered a prayer, they were praying about this last night, this is the biggest problem, well, don’t slow them down in a funnel. If they want to come and talk to the wizard with credit card in hand, give them a way to go back to the site and have that discussion. And it’s just to make it easy to connect the dots.

It’s amazing the leads that you get from podcast interviews and the quality of them and how much they already know before they get on the call. It’s a different sales funnel or sales process that you have to do from there as opposed to just cold traffic or cold outreach.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, right. I think you jump into the middle of the conversation.

Tom Schwab:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, it’s interesting. So I love the idea of the three parts. So give them something super easy just to download, give them something meatier if they want to sink their teeth into it, but they’re not ready to have a conversation, and then give them a way to actually have a direct conversation. That’s a great model.

So for those of you that are listening, whether you have your own show or you are an occasional guest or a regular guest, thinking about how you can add value beyond the podcast interview. And one of the things that I didn’t hear Tom say is a sale coupon, a discount, you can drive it off the lot today kind of a thing. That’s just not the world that we live in.

What we know as agency owners is that we have to establish, they have to know who we are, they have to like what we have to say and our expertise, and they have to trust us. And the best way I think, to earn that trust is to be the person who is so confident in your ability to help that you give generously and regularly, which as you know, I preach all the time.

But if you’re the teacher, if you’re the helper, then sooner or later they literally will raise their hand and say I want to give you money. How do I give you money? But when you push for the sale, then that’s when all of a sudden they get skittish and they run away.

So if you’re thinking about being on podcasts, you might want to think about, okay, what is my low risk offer? It’s the checklist, it’s the E-book, it’s the whatever. What do I have that’s meaty? Maybe once a quarter you do a webinar and you make sure that you invite them to the next one for that. And again, you give them a way to actually connect with you. So whether it’s a reach out to me on LinkedIn, or here’s my cell phone number, or however you want to do that, being accessible. So that’s a great model.

Tom Schwab:

And we’ve even tested that of where to send it, text this number, reach out to me on LinkedIn. One of the things that we have found is that studies say that 70% of people listen to podcasts sped up.

Drew McLellan:

Oh gosh, for sure.

Tom Schwab:

So you need to make it easy for them. And then the other thing is people will say well, you can’t attribute podcast traffic or podcast guesting. And I’m like, well, if you do it right, you can.

Drew McLellan:

Sure.

Tom Schwab:

So the best practice is to always send them back to a dedicated page on your site, an evergreen page for evergreen content. It doesn’t have to be a squeeze page. For heaven’s sake, if they come and want to look around your website-

Drew McLellan:

Let them.

Tom Schwab:

Let them, right?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Tom Schwab:

Put all that on there, but right there you can say, just come back to this site forward slash whatever, and here’s the three things that Drew and I talked about. There’ll be a assessment, there’d be a free copy of my book, there’s all of my social media and my calendar scheduling link, so they don’t have to try to remember, well, how do you spell his name? Is this the right Tom Schwab in Kalamazoo, Michigan?

Drew McLellan:

Right. Are there a lot of Tom Schwabs in Kalamazoo?

Tom Schwab:

I’m the most famous one. I think I’m the only one.

Drew McLellan:

There you go.

Tom Schwab:

I think I’m the only one.

Drew McLellan:

There you go. The most famous of all the Tom Schwabs. I like that

Tom Schwab:

In Kalamazoo.

Drew McLellan:

Okay, not across the globe?

Tom Schwab:

No, no.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, okay. So let’s talk a little bit about how does one prep to be a good podcast guest?

Tom Schwab:

Can we take the word podcast out of there for a second?

Drew McLellan:

Sure.

Tom Schwab:

I think sometimes we get tied up in the technology and we forget about what it means to be a great guest. So make sure that you’re accommodating. Make sure that you RSVP. If somebody invites you to be on their podcast schedule right away. Get them the information they need. Get the equipment so that you sound great. Show up on time.

And always we teach our clients, there’s three ways, there’s early, on time, and late. If you’re there five minutes beforehand before they log onto Zoom, that’s early. Zero to five minutes, that’s on time. If you show up a second late, that’s late. Because imagine if you’re having a dinner party and you haven’t heard from the guest and you’re like, are they going to show up? Dinner’s served, are they going to pull in? So be a gracious guest on that.

The other thing too is show up to serve. One of the things that we teach is you don’t have to promote yourself during the interview. If you do a great job, that host will promote you more than you ever could. And asking questions beforehand, to listen to a few episodes to understand what the focus is. Most podcast hosts will give you information, read all of it.

Drew, you sent all kinds of stuff that says here’s the flow, here’s the audience, here’s who we’re talking to, here’s great equipment. You wouldn’t show up on television looking disheveled, why would you show up on a podcast interview sounding like you’re calling in from a bathroom? Don’t use the internal microphone of your computer. Spend a hundred dollars, get a good mic, get headsets so you don’t get the feedback on there.

And then come with an intention, what am I here to help? What am I here to teach? And one of the great questions, I think to start off any interview before they hit record is just to ask, what can I do to bring as much value to you and your audience as possible? What can I do to deliver? Because they’ll tell you where they want to go.

And the other thing too is most people are nice, all Canadians are nice. So they’re going to come back and say well, what are you hoping to get out of this? And if both people know where you’re trying to go, it’s a better discussion on that. So I would always say, start off as, how can I be a great guest? Start with that and then figure out what’s the whole podcast about.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, great advice. I think understanding that for whoever’s hosting the podcast, this is a part of their business. And you treating it with business-like intention, that you’re showing up on time, you’re showing up prepared, you are ready to serve them and their audience is one of those things.

Because I also know that podcast hosts share guests. And so if I have a great guest and I know somebody else who has a podcast, I’m like, oh, Tom would be a great guest on so-and-so’s podcast. I should make that introduction because there is a brotherhood, if you will, of podcast hosts.

We’ve all had bad guests. We’ve all had guests that weren’t prepared, didn’t show up on time, pitched the whole time, and you weren’t able to use the episode as much as you tried to steer the conversation away from them selling. So when you have a good guest who shows up and is ready and adds value to your show, you’re happy to pass that person along to other people you know who are looking for that same kind of quality guest.

Tom Schwab:

And vice versa, right?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Tom Schwab:

Remember that old commercial and they told two friends and so on and so on and so on?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Tom Schwab:

If you want to get your dance card filled, just be a great guest because podcast hosts know podcast hosts. And a great question you can ask at the end is, hey, are you looking for any guests? Is there anybody I could introduce you to? And then the host typically will come back, well, what kind of podcasts are you looking for? Is there anybody I could introduce you to? And it’s a great way to do it.

And don’t think being a guest ends when you stop the recording, because imagine, once again, you go to somebody’s house, they invite you over there and you ghost them after the dinner. It doesn’t feel good. So make sure you send a thank-you. It could be an email, it could be a note, whatever. Acknowledge that.

When the podcast comes out, make sure you promote it. Make sure you tag the host in it. Some people will say well, that’s the host’s responsibility. Well, no, it’s both people’s responsibility. It’s like if both people do 100%, man, you get 200% out of it. So take that.

And I’ve even seen people get a bad reputation. We had a client that came to us and they worked with another agency beforehand. They didn’t get results. They wanted to come and work with us. And we routinely ask podcast hosts if they’ve been around, what were they like as a guest.

And to a person, they said, they ghosted me afterwards. They never promoted anything. They never did anything. They poisoned the podcasting channel so bad that we’re like, I’m sorry, we can’t take you because you won’t get results from this. And it was just from being a bad guest, they had a reputation out there.

Drew McLellan:

And you know what? Honestly, you want to promote it too, because it’s credibility to your existing audience. It’s a look, I have something to say, and someone else thinks that I’m smart and valuable. So without saying a word other than hey, this was a really great conversation and we talked about this, it’s also a credibility proof point for your own audience. So there’s no reason not to promote it and share it.

Tom Schwab:

The only thing that I would say that you wouldn’t, and people would say well, what if wasn’t a good interview? What if I wasn’t excited to be there? And I would say well, then why were you there in the first place? More is not better. Better is better.

Make sure that you’re proud of every podcast because sooner or later somebody’s going to Google your name. And when it goes through the approval process … And I call them Wayne’s World podcasts. Remember Wayne’s World, two guys in their mom’s basement?

Drew McLellan:

Yep.

Tom Schwab:

And I’m like, you do not want to be seen on a Wayne’s World podcast when all of a sudden that six figure proposal is going up there to get signed off and they Google your name and somebody-

Drew McLellan:

And that’s what shows up.

Tom Schwab:

… with veto authority finds that. Make sure you’re proud of every appearance.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, it’s a fascinating medium and it is, we were talking about it, it’s really still growing in many parts of the world. So you mentioned that you feel like podcasting is just starting to mature here in the States.

And so to me what that means is there’s plenty of opportunities still for everybody, again, whether you want to launch a podcast or you want to be a guest on podcasts. But it’s a medium that we shouldn’t ignore and that there are some unique benefits to it that we can take great advantage of, especially in this world of computer generated content that we’re starting to be surrounded by.

I think there’s something so natural and comfortable and real about just listening to people talk and share what they know, which I think we’ve modeled that well today, that you’ve given people a lot of really great takeaways of how to maximize this for their business.

So anything that I haven’t asked you that I should as we wrap up? Anything? Any last thoughts about how to leverage audio? And again, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be a podcast, but how to leverage audio as an agency owner, and what they should be thinking about as they wind down this conversation with us.

Tom Schwab:

Yeah, and I think it’s one of the things that you mentioned about podcasting maturing. The data is getting better and it’s still not as good as it is because it’s so fragmented. Facebook will give you what they say is perfect data. Google will give you perfect data. Facebook will give you perfect data.

Podcasting, there’s some data out there, you’ve got to take it with a grain of salt because some of it conflicts, but the data is getting better. So if you’re going to do this, I would say make sure that you’re investing and you’re doing podcast guesting, not podcast guessing.

And then also make sure that you set up the systems so that you can track your results so that you know that you can attribute it, they hit this page, so I know they came from Drew’s show, or asking them in the sales process, how did you find out about us, because if you don’t have that feedback loop, all you’re going to be thinking is that, I don’t know if it works or it doesn’t. And this is marketing, if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense.

Drew McLellan:

I will say, I think one of the frustrating things about podcasting is that the metrics are a little wonky still, but we can bake … If anybody knows how to bake in tracking mechanisms to tell you whether or not your time was well spent, it is us.

And so I think the biggest takeaway for me around the conversation today is that a lot of this is measuring twice and cutting once. It’s prepping in general, knowing why you want to be a podcast guest, understanding which shows and which audiences matter the most to you, being really clear about what you can teach and share, being prepped with the three levels of offers and being able to have a tracking mechanism.

All of that happens before you sit down in front of the mic. So it really is a lot about thoughtfulness in how you approach this marketing effort before the host hits record.

Tom Schwab:

Definitely.

Drew McLellan:

Tom, this has been great. Thank you so much for being on the show and for sharing your expertise. I love having you as a part of the community, love having you at the summit. So very grateful for you and your team. And a lot of the guests that we have on the show come from your client list because I will say, they do show up prepared, they do show up on time, they do have their act together, they never pitch or sell.

So as a podcast host, I have trusted resources and Interview Valet is absolutely one of my most trusted resources for podcast guests. So on that level too, I have to thank you because you make my job a lot easier.

Tom Schwab:

Well, we appreciate that. And just to pull behind the curtain here, we talked about a couple of things, if you want to see what a welcome page looks like, if you want to do one yourself, just go to interviewvalet, with a V, .com/baba, B-A-B-A, and that’s a welcome page. And everything Drew and I talked about, it’ll be on there. There’s three offers. The small yes, the medium yes, the heck yes.

The small yes is a podcast interview marketing assessment, 10 questions, will it work for me? The medium yes is a copy of my book. I sell a lot of those, but I give more away for free, How to Grow Your Business with the Targeted Interview Strategy. And then finally, there’s all my contact information, social media, calendar.

If you’d like to have a discussion on this and how you know could use this, how your clients could use this, how we could work together, you can just find all of that back at interviewvalet.com/baba.

Drew McLellan:

And that’ll be in the show notes too, everybody, so you’ll be able to track that. Tom, thank you so much for being on the show. Thanks for sharing your expertise and I’m sure you and I will talk soon. In fact, we have to talk baseball pretty soon.

Tom Schwab:

Very much so.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Tom Schwab:

Opening day is coming.

Drew McLellan:

I know. I know. We have a lot of snow here in Denver today, but I’m already thinking, okay, pitchers report in a couple months, here we go. It’s time. Thank you my friend, I appreciate it.

Tom Schwab:

Thank you, Drew.

Drew McLellan:

All right guys, lots of takeaways to this. And by the way, I think no matter which side of the mic you sit on, whether you show up as a guest or you actually host a podcast, I think there are some takeaways here about how you prep, how you make it easier for the other person, how you make it more valuable for the other person that you can take away.

The other thing I want you to think about is this does not have to be your life’s work. You don’t have to be on a different podcast once a week. Maybe you only guest on a podcast four times a year, but if they’re the right podcasts, this may be a good part of your marketing strategy.

I will say this, I think it’s very difficult to be a great podcast guest if you don’t have a point of view, if you don’t have something specific to teach. If your agency serves the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker, it’s hard for you to have something unique to say.

If you have niched down, if you have specialized in some way, if you are the PPC experts, whatever that may be, if you have a depth of expertise, it’s much easier to be valuable to an audience and to find the right audience.

So think through all of that as you march into 2023. Watch for my yo, yo, yo intro, which is going to be coming soon. I don’t actually think I can pull that off, but I’m going to think about it. I’m going to practice in the mirror and see if I can pull it off.

Check out Tom’s welcome page. It’s a great example of what you can do as a guest. Build it on the backside of your website so that you are always bringing the audience back to you and trying to create a relationship. And again, it’s not about selling, it’s not about pitching, it is really about continuing to be helpful.

So all of that said, hopefully this was valuable to you, that you’ve got some takeaways and that you begin to think about it, as you think about your 2023 marketing plan for the shop, that you don’t assume you have to host a podcast or you have to be a guest every week for this to be valuable. I think that audio and that authenticity, even if you only do it a couple times a year, is a beautiful mix into your marketing mix. So give that some thought.

All right. As always, I want to say thanks to our friends at White Label IQ. They are the presenting sponsor of the podcast. They make it possible for us to hang out every week, super grateful to them. They are also the presenting sponsor at the Build a Better Agency Summit in May. So you could meet them in person, you could thank them in person, which would make me very happy.

If you’re going to join us, remember that the summit is May 16th and 17th. We would love to have you join us in Chicago. Amazing speakers, great agency people to rub elbows with. I promise you will leave feeling like you are not in this alone. That is one of the core elements for me of that conference, is that everybody feels like they are surrounded by a community of people who really understand the walk that you walk every day.

So great content, great connections, some new ideas, some new learning, but also just it really is a celebratory event where we just celebrate the work that we get to do and the work that we can do together. And we would love to have you join us. So if that’s your thing, head over to the website, buy a ticket, and we will see you in May.

And I will see you next week, of course, with another guest to get you thinking a little differently about your business. I am grateful for you. I am so glad you come back and listen every week and I will see you then. Thanks.

Thanks for spending some time with us. Visit our website to learn about our workshops, owner peer groups, and download our salary and benefit survey. Be sure you also sign up for our free podcast giveaways at agencymanagementinstitute.com/podcastgiveaway.