Every B2B marketer understands that people do business with those whom they know, like, and trust.
This is such a simple statement, but many marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs often struggle to earn this type of relationship.
Oftentimes, we are guilty of just hitting our numbers and focusing on the results, when really we should be focusing on curating relationships.
On top of this, sales and the buyer’s journey have changed drastically in recent years.
The buyer now has a wide range of resources at their disposal to research and make decisions before they even reach out to a company. In fact, B2B buyers are typically 57% of the way to a buying decision before actively engaging with sales.
Those individuals and organizations that are aware of these changes, and have shifted their marketing efforts accordingly, will thrive. The key is to offer value and helpful content to solve the challenges that your audience faces.
Personally, I’ve always followed the mantra of “leading with value,” and have openly shared my tips and playbooks with my audience. This has helped me earn the respect, awareness and trust of potential buyers.
Having this “give first” mentality has allowed me to increase buyers’ awareness of the brands I work for (as well as my own personal brand) and ultimately close more deals.
It’s important to note that “closing deals” is not my main motivation, but a secondary effect of delivering value and starting conversations.
In recent years, I’ve taken advantage of podcasts as an excellent channel to spread my message, start conversations, generate leads, and close more deals.
In fact, 37% of all deals generated in the first four months of 2020 at TaskDrive have been sourced through being interviewed on podcasts (as well as some video webinars). And more conversations and deals will undoubtedly come through as additional people listen to these podcast episodes.
Podcast interviewing has been an excellent demand generation strategy for me and TaskDrive.
Lead generation strategies
Lead generation describes the process that organizations use to generate interest from people who were previously unaware of them, and educate these people on the solution that their company has to offer.
A lead can be any person who indicates interest in a company’s product or service in some way, shape or form.
Lead generation is one of the early steps in a typical marketing funnel or sales process, and it often involves collecting potential customers’ information (such as their name, email, job title, etc.).
It’s important to note that not all leads are created equal. Different people will be at different stages of the buyer’s journey at any given time.
While there are hundreds of lead generation strategies to choose from, you should not simply base your decision on what other companies are doing.
Instead, you should consider these three questions:
- Who benefits from the solution that I’ve built and why would they care about solving the challenges it addresses?
- What does a typical customer look like? What characteristics are common among the people that I’m targeting?
- Where can I find these people online? Think about the places they spend time online and where they might go to seek answers to their questions (hint: these are your channels).
In some industries, leads are easier to identify. For example, it may be harder to identify a lead who’s responsible for evaluating the different options for their ERP software than to identify a Shopify store owner who needs help with social media marketing.
Before selecting a lead generation strategy, you also need to understand the audience awareness funnel. The different stages are:
- Completely unaware: The individuals in question may have opinions, beliefs and ideas about themselves and their identities, but they don’t know anything else.
- Problem-aware: They know they have a problem but they don’t know how to solve it.
- Solution-aware: They understand that there are solutions that could solve their problem.
- Product-aware: They understand that your product exists to solve their problem, but they’re not sure if yours is the best option.
- Most aware: They understand the problem, the solution and your company, but are seeking more information about the exact deal.
The messaging and approach to completely unaware audiences will be vastly different from the approach to product-aware audiences. And as a rule of thumb, it’s easier to market to those who are problem-, solution- and product-aware.
|Problem- aware||– Search Engine Optimization (long-tail keywords, “how to”) – Inbound/Content Marketing (blog posts, ebooks, reports) – PPC/Search Engine Marketing (target topic of problem) – Social Media – Events/Workshops – Podcast Interviews (speak about how to overcome the problem)Outbound Prospecting|
|Solution- aware||– Search Engine Optimization (solution-oriented keywords, “best way to”) – PPC/Search Engine Marketing (target competitor’s keywords) – Inbound/Content Marketing (comparison content) – Webinars/Summits (showcase solutions to the problem) – Podcast Interviews (speak about your core solution) – Affiliate/Referral Partners – Outbound Prospecting|
|Product-aware||– Podcast Interviews (speak about customer success stories) – Email Marketing – Webinars/Summits (showcase how the product solves the problem) – Inbound/Content Marketing (social proof and in-depth guides)|
While I might be a little biased here, you can see that podcast interviews, or appearing on podcasts as a guest, appear in all three stages. However, the message changes slightly for each one.
Next we’ll dive into podcasts in more detail, and demonstrate how they can help you reach more people, build relationships, generate leads and close deals more quickly.
Why appear on podcasts as a guest?
As of April 2020, there were over a million podcasts and more than 30 million episodes available to listeners. Almost a quarter of the U.S. population (68 million people) listens to podcasts weekly.
This means that appearing on podcasts presents a huge opportunity to get your message heard by millions of people.
You could also create your own podcast, of course. If you want to explore this option, you can either do it yourself or work with a company like Sweet Fish Media or Content Allies, which manage the whole process for you.
However, creating a podcast requires a lot more time and investment than simply appearing on podcasts that already exist.
Another benefit of podcasts, which isn’t mentioned much online, is that they capitalize on the fact that humans are biologically wired to listen to stories.
“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.”
– Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
Scientifically speaking, when we hear a story that resonates with us, our levels of a hormone called oxytocin increase—and this is a “feel good” hormone.
Oxytocin boosts feelings like trust, compassion and empathy; it motivates us to work with others and it positively influences our social behavior.
Because of this, stories have a unique ability to build connections. For years, successful brands have been tapping into this power to build a base of engaged fans.
Now, in 2021, you have the opportunity to tap into this psychological human desire too. You can tell your story and connect with millions of people all over the world—in just 30–45 minutes at a time.
The benefits of appearing on podcasts as a guest include:
- Increase awareness of your personal and professional brand
- Generate leads from interested individuals
- Establish relationships with podcasts host which can lead to partnerships
- Connect with listeners on a much deeper level
- Build high authority backlinks (SEO)
- Create content that you can repurpose later
I’ve been listening to podcasts for years. In fact, the first podcast episodes that I listened to had to be downloaded as mp3 files and then moved over to my Sony mp3 player.
This might qualify as oversharing, but I often listen to podcasts while:
- Working out
I even bought waterproof wireless headphones so that I could swim and listen to podcasts when I was living in Southeast Asia.
Finally, podcasts have a magical compounding effect. The episodes in which you are interviewed receive an initial push when they’re published. But beyond that, more and more people continue to discover them in the future— which results in your message being heard by an ever-increasing audience.
I receive several messages like this on a weekly basis:
Conversations like this one often lead directly to discovery calls for our services.
How to appear on podcasts as an expert guest
If you’re sold on the idea of appearing on podcasts as a guest, it’s time to discuss how to actually do so. You can follow this step-by-step process to make the most of each opportunity.
- Craft your message, offer and CTA
- Research and prepare
- Connect and secure
Craft your message, offer and CTA
Before researching or pitching to podcasts, you must first focus on your message (i.e. what you want to talk about), and identify what value you can offer to listeners.
We recommend that you stick to one or two areas of expertise. Even if you can talk at length about multiple topics, it’s much better to stay focused. This will make your message more likely to resonate with the podcast’s audience.
You can also think about the common problems that your target audience faces, and then share advice to help them overcome these issues.
A quick exercise to build out these topics is to consider the common questions that your audience often has. What are the questions that people are always asking you?
Don’t shy away from sharing your opinion or point of view. Oftentimes, this opinion may be shared by the podcast audience. It will also help you stand out from other guests that have appeared on the podcast before.
Now that you’ve established your message and topics to focus on, you need to think about the offer and call to action (CTA).
Offers come in many forms and usually link to further resources. It’s important to ensure that your offer is valuable for the audience, to make it worth their time.
Your CTA is the sentence that you say to direct people to the offer. It’s a good idea to explain the benefits of the offer, in order to encourage listeners to take the time to visit the resource.
Examples of common offers include:
- A link to a downloadable checklist or framework
- A link to a course or community, such as a Facebook group
- A link to a book (either on your website or directly on Amazon)
- A link to a website or blog post
- A link to your LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter profile
- A link to a free trial or demo of a software
Remember to make the link short and easy to remember. This is covered in more detail in the section on “setting up a system for success” below.
In most cases, the host will include these links in the show notes of the podcast, which makes it easier for listeners to access the offer.
Here’s a real-life example. When I appear on podcasts for TaskDrive, this is my message, offer and CTA:
- Message topic: Lead sourcing strategies – How to find qualified leads based on signals and triggers
- Offer & CTA: Watch a webinar that walks you through 14 lead sourcing strategies
Research and prepare
Now that you have a clear message and offer, you’re ready to find podcasts to speak on. Unless you’re using a service that secures podcast interviews for you, this process involves manual research.
Start by finding podcasts that have an audience similar to your own. Aim for 25 podcasts to begin with, and add these to a spreadsheet so that you can track them.
Here are some suggested links for finding podcasts:
Spend some time exploring the categories and adding podcasts with episodes related to your chosen topic.
I do not recommend pitching to the most popular podcasts when starting out. It’s a good idea to build up some social proof by appearing on smaller podcasts first.
Focus on subcategories, and look for indicators that each podcast has a good following and is open to hearing pitches.
What are the signs of a good podcast?
- They have interviewed guests before (not all podcasts interview external sources).
- They have positive reviews or ratings.
- They have at least 10 episodes and the most recent episode was published in the last 30 days.
Don’t be put off by the idea of reaching out to a newer or lesser-known podcast. They might have a smaller audience, but if they serve a niche that relates to your topic, there’s a higher chance that your message will be heard by the right people.
What information do you need to research?
When researching podcasts, there are several data points that you should collect. Some of these can also be helpful for outreach.
Here are some of the data points that we collect during our research at Speak On Podcasts:
- Podcast name
- Podcast URL
- Podcast focus
- Podcast social media links
- Most recent episode title and link
- Date of most recent episode
- Host’s first name
- Host’s last name
- Host’s LinkedIn and email
- Other contact links
You’ll need to find the balance between too little research and too much, but the above data points are a good place to start.
- Browse the website and look for their contact details. Most podcasts have this information freely available, which makes life easier.
- If you’ve found the host’s LinkedIn profile, you can use a Chrome extension like seamless.AI to locate their email address. Here’s how:
- Install the extension
- Visit the host’s LinkedIn profile
- Click on the “Find” button
- Click on “View”
Now you’re almost ready to connect and reach out to these podcasts. But first, make sure you listen to an episode or two of each.
This helps familiarize you with the style of the host and the structure of the podcast. You should also read the “About” page on the podcast’s website, if they have one.
It’s important to not contact podcasts just for the sake of it; you should have a clear idea of what each podcast is about, what kind of value you can provide to their audience and what you might gain from reaching out to them.
Connect and secure
When it comes to pitching, don’t overthink things.
You’re reaching out to these hosts because you have valuable information to share that would benefit their audience.
The key to pitching is to make sure your message is personalized, relevant and concise. This isn’t the time to write an essay or tell your life story.
You’ll also need to to craft a subject line that’s short, specific, clear and compelling.
Here’s a simple template to follow:
Guest Introduction Template
It’s also a good idea to connect with the hosts on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter before reaching out via email.
Don’t be afraid to follow up with the host. Many established podcast hosts receive several pitches a day, and they might have missed your first email.
If the host responds positively and agrees to have you on the show, there are a few details you need to find out. Some hosts may also suggest a short call to discuss the topic and logistics.
Here are some logistical aspects to consider:
- What date and time will the interview take place? (Be mindful of time zones when scheduling this.)
- Will the interview take place via Skype, Zoom or a specific software they suggest?
- How long will the interview last?
- When will the episode air after being recorded?
A favorite question we like to ask at this stage is:
“What should I include in my interview to make this episode as valuable as possible for your audience?”
We’ll also be creating a guide to interview preparation in the future, so stay tuned!
Now that you’ve secured an interview in your calendar, it’s time to put a system in place to ensure that you make the most of this opportunity.
Setting up a system for success
Before you do anything else, you want to make sure to deliver as much value as you can during the interview, so that the audience is left wanting more.
Designing a system for post-interview success may sound a little daunting, but the following outline should simplify the process.
The ideal system is composed of three parts:
- A landing page where people submit their information in exchange for your offer
- An offer and lead capture process through which you collect people’s contact details and then send them the valuable resource
- A series of nurture emails, which you can use to nurture these leads with the goal of converting them into customers
Ideally, you would create a dedicated landing page for each podcast interview. However, in reality you may not have the necessary resources or time for this. If you have a marketing team or contractor, they can help you do so.
Regardless, your landing page should reference the fact that the person viewing it has listened to your podcast interview (if you’re using the same landing page for multiple interviews, you can keep this language generic).
If you’re creating a dedicated landing page for each interview, then you can include the podcast name, artwork from it and the name of the host. If you’re just starting out and setting up a general landing page, you can skip this.
There are a number of low-cost solutions out there for creating landing pages. Here at Speak On Podcasts, we recommend MailerLite. It has a very simple landing page builder and autoresponder, which are free to use if you have less than 1000 subscribers.
You can watch a video walkthrough of setting up a landing page in MailerLite here.
The offer and lead capture process
Your offer can come in many forms. Here are a few examples:
- A downloadable guide
- A checklist
- A consultation with you
- A contest to win a prize
- A quiz
It really depends on what internal resources you have available. However, I do recommend that you create something that you can use over and over again.
An alternative option would be to create a blog post that features the resource you can offer, which you can then leverage as a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is an incentive that you can offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information.
The research template and pitch emails offered in this guide are examples of lead magnets. Here’s a handy link to 17 lead magnet ideas from Pat Flynn.
There are a few ways to create lead magnets. You can design a PDF or presentation, and share a link to that file when someone completes the form.
How you choose to do this depends on your resources and how much time you have, but whatever the method, your lead magnet must have authentic value.
According to our customers’ experience, it is certainly worth spending the time to produce professional lead magnets and resources in order to make the most out of each podcast episode.
The goal is to impress the lead with your content and knowledge, and motivate them to find out more about working with you.
Mention your landing page
When appearing on a podcast, you’ll need to direct listeners to your landing page.
Depending on the host’s process and style, they might tell the audience about your offer and CTA, or you might have the opportunity to mention it during the interview.
The majority of podcasts have show notes. These often contain a summary of the key talking points in each episode. You can also include a link to the landing page here; make sure you send the link to the host so that they can add it.
Sending nurture emails
For years, marketers have been sharing the advice to “build your list.” A quality email list can become one of the most powerful assets for your business.
Once you’ve created a resource and someone has opted in for it, you have the opportunity to send follow-up emails. These are also known as a nurture emails or a nurture sequence.
Nurture emails are meant to educate and nurture prospects or leads. They often convey the value of a company or teach recipients about subjects that they’ve signaled an interest in.
You can use nurture emails to help leads move through the different stages of the awareness funnel.
One of the main challenges in building nurture campaigns is knowing what to actually say in each email.
My advice is to:
- Offer value
- Keep it simple
Your nurture emails can be plain text without any fancy HTML work. In fact, I recommend that you keep them basic, as this makes them more authentic.
As for content, think about what additional value you can provide to these leads. This could include sharing:
- Insights about the industry
- Case studies or customer stories
- Additional resources
- Links to blog posts or other content you’ve previously created
- An invitation to book a strategy session with you
I also suggest that you send three to four follow-up emails over the course of three weeks. The exact number of emails and timings will depend on your industry and audience—but if you’re delivering value, don’t be afraid to send them.
Promoting your interview
Once you’ve been interviewed on a podcast, you have the opportunity to repurpose that interview into other forms of content. You can then share this content across social media and other communities you belong to.
You can promote your interview through:
- Audiograms: Use the Headliner app to create short audio snippets from each interview.
- Images: Convert key takeaways and quotes into images using Canva.
- Transcriptions: Upload the mp3 file to Otter.ai, which will help you turn the interview into text for you to publish as a blog post.
- Links: Share a link to the episode in your newsletter, and send it to prospects in your pipeline.
Look out for our detailed guide on content promotion, coming soon!
Once you’ve found your ideal podcasts, pitched to the hosts, secured interviews on them and directed people to your CTA, the system is complete.
Now you just need to repeat the cycle of speaking on podcasts and promoting your interviews, and let your offer and nurture emails do the legwork for you.
From my own experience, I often see dozens of leads come through each month from the various podcast interviews I’ve completed months previously.
Now, let’s say one podcast generates five leads per month. If you appear on four podcasts every month, that’s 20 inbound leads per month.
This won’t happen overnight, but if you put in the work it pays off.
The beauty in this strategy is that you don’t necessarily need a lot of traffic, and you don’t have to create new content each month to succeed. All you need to do is speak on podcasts and provide authentic value.
If you’re looking for a service that can help you secure interviews on your ideal podcasts, please feel free to book a podcast strategy session with our team today.