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Podcast Marketing 101

Posted by Sam Zikos on December 16, 2021 at 3:29 PM

Pump Up Your Pod

Here at Hollywood Branded, we love podcasts! We recognize that it's an incredibly powerful tool for all things inbound marketing. And, it's a great way to position yourself as leader in your space. If you're interested in it, we suggest you give it a try!

To help you jump-start your podcasting career, we invited an expert onto our show to tell you all the do's and don'ts of podcasting, and share all the ways that you can better market your interviews.  In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares some key points about podcast marketing from the expertise of Tom Schwab, who is the CEO of Interview Valet. 


EP285 Podcast Marketing 101


A Little More About Tom 

Tom is the Chief Evangelist Officer of Interview Valet, an inbound marketing media agency that leverages podcast interviews to drive sales. With his white glove service, he helps speakers, brands, authors, and more increase their exposure and gain leads by turning them into podcast pros, and finding them the best shows to be able to appear on. Through his business, he's worked with over 700 brands, and aside from being a successful entrepreneur, Tom is also the published author of three books on podcasting and how you can do it better—Podcast Guest Profits: Grow Your Business with a Targeted Interview Strategy; The Mastermind Blueprint: Building A Rich Life; One Conversation Away: A Manifesto for A Rich Life And A Profitable Business.

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Interview Transcript Highlights

Question:  What I'd love to do with our guests is start off our journey together on you sharing what got you to here today. How are you this guru on all things, thought leadership building and podcast building?

Answer: So, I started as an engineer. I was not a good engineer, but I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. I ran nuclear power plants and it taught me systems, right? Success comes from proven systems. So, I took that. I worked in corporate America—worked in sales and marketing, and then started my own business, which was one of HubSpot's first e-commerce case studies. Built that up and sold that business off. And as we did that, looked at it. And one of the things that I looked at is 15, 20 years ago, the hack that we all used to use was guest blogging, right? Instead of writing a blog here, having it read by three people, "thanks mom for reading my blog," we would put it on other people's blogs [and] tap into their audience.

So, right around 2015, I started to think, "Wow, I wonder if you could do that same thing on podcast interviews?" We started to test it. It worked great. I'm an engineer, so I'm like, "No, this has got to be wrong." So, we tested it on different talents, different verticals, and we found out that it really worked great. And with that, wrote a cheesy little book, [and] did a cheesy little course that I never released from beta because the people that were honest with me just said, "You know what? I want to be the guest, you take care of all the rest." And I'm like, "Oh, that's good copy, I'm taking that." And so with that, Interview Valet was born. We've grown over seven years to be serving about 150 clients at a time. We've got a amazing team of 35 people in Europe and the United States.


Question: So, I know our topic is something a little different, but I'm very interested right now. What is it that you've learned? What are some of the top takeaways that you're seeing people who podcast make mistakes on doing, where they're approaching this and they're like, "I'm going to be a podcaster, I'm going to get myself booked on as many podcasts as possible." Is that the right way to do it or is there actually a strategy (and I know there is) to be more successful?

Answer: Yes. And that came from trial and error. And a lot of it was my error, right? People introduce me and they're like, "Oh, you've been on over 1,200 podcast interviews." To me, that's embarrassing, right? Now, granted, this is over eight years. But originally I was just, "More, more, more," and what I've realized is that more is not better. Better is better, right? So, why don't you focus on doing better interviews? Why don't you focus on doing more with each interview, as far as promoting it, repurposing it? Instead of some people go out there and they do it like 50 first dates, right? Is that really what you want to do? Is that how you want to be judged? Is that how you want to be seen in there? So, we've made all the mistakes. I always say that checklists are written in blood. Make sure it's somebody else's blood. Most of it's mine.

But one of that was heresy [as] when we first started to promote it, [there] was this idea of three calls to action, right? Every marketer knows one call to action. That's all you ever give. But we looked at our data and we actually showed it to HubSpot, who's been a client, and they're like, "Yeah, that makes sense." And it's because it's not digital marketing—it's more like a digital stage. And if you were on a physical stage, you wouldn't just tell people one thing [and] send them to a squeeze page, right? Meet them where they are. And one of the things that we have seen is give people ways to say yes. Give them a small yes. Could be, come back to the website for an assessment, a checklist, something like that. Something that doesn't take a whole lot of time.

Then when you're on there, give a medium yes, right? It could be a free copy of the book. It could be a webinar. It could be something that's going to take a little bit more time or money. And then for God's sake, if somebody listens to you for 30 or 45 minutes and they're like, "Oh, Stacy, Stacy understands us, she works with people like us, we have got a huge problem, we got to talk with Stacy." Well, whales don't swim through funnels and big fish don't click. Don't slow them down. If they come wanting to talk to the wizard and they've got a credit card in hand, let them talk to the wizard. So, find out ways in a podcast interview that you can give a small "yes," a medium "yes," and then that "heck yes."


Question: When I first introduced you, I said that we're going to be talking today about not making your marketing perfect, and I know that just curdles some people's blood. You're talking about writing things in blood. Other people are like, "No, I have to be perfect. I'm a perfectionist. If it goes out and it's wrong, it's going to cost me clients." Why do you say that and what do you mean by that?

Answer: Well, first of all, there's no such thing as perfect, and often I will share my experience. When I try to get something perfect, it's because I'm trying to avoid something, and it's usually an awkward conversation or putting myself out there...The thing that I've realized is that you can't say enough of the right things to the wrong people or the wrong things to the right people. So, if someone resonates with what you're saying and they turn you up, they're going to be a great customer. If somebody listens to you and they're like, "I don't get it. Tom sounds like a... I don't know if he's an idiot or an idiot savant, but I just don't get it." That's fine.

It doesn't mean they're a bad person or I'm a bad person. But guess what? They're not going to be a great customer and I don't want to waste their time making them a lead, nurturing them, all the rest of that. I believe in life, there's two answers—heck yes and no. And that's what you want to help listeners get to, and also customers and leads. And I think there's been this thing in digital marketing where it's always, "you're one funnel away," and, "how big is your list" and "how many likes did you get on something." To me it's really, "how many quality conversations did you have after the podcast interview?" And those are what's really going to drive your sales.


Question: Where do you see ways that people can be leveraging their podcasts [and] their guest experiences, in bigger opportunities and directions?

Answer: Mm-hmm. I believe exposure brings opportunity. And sometimes it's not always, "I want to be on a bigger podcast, I want to be on a bigger podcast." I learned this early on. So, I was on, at that time it was probably the biggest podcast I'd ever been on, and it was just a generic podcast without my ideal listeners...It was an ego thing, right? That I could say I was on there. I got a couple of dozen leads from it, nice people and everything. And then shortly after I was on another podcast and the host came on and we were talking beforehand and she's like, "Yeah, I get 150 downloads per episode." All right. I don't know if I would have been excited if I had known that, but I was just like, "These are my ideal customers," right?

I went on a podcast that had 150 downloads per episode and I could point to 20 clients that came from that. And I looked at that and was like, "Yeah, there's more fish in the ocean than there are in a barrel of fish, but I would much rather find that barrel and go there every time than go out on a boat, get seasick and keep dropping my line in the water and hoping I catch something." And that's something that I think goes against what digital marketing is telling us—bigger is better. No, better is better.


Question: As a segue, going into what we started off talking about, was the mistakes people make in thinking that everything has to be mistake free. And if you're approaching instead that you have having a genuine conversation on a podcast and you're really concerned about making sure your words are dialing in, you have an opportunity to wordsmith all that awesome content you can repurpose, right? 

Answer: You do. And you can have that conversation in almost real time, right? Because I believe that we all have opinions, right? I've got an opinion. You've got an opinion. I can hire a consultant that has an opinion, but our customers are the experts, right? And they'll tell us what they love and what they loath. So, if you start going down this tangent and you see the host just rolling their eyes, maybe that's good feedback, right? But if they start asking follow up questions on that... If you start talking about something on a podcast interview and it's like, "Wow, that really resonated. There was a lot of engagement over there," well, that's great market feedback and that's market feedback that I would never get if I sat in my cubicle and tried to make everything perfect, right? Because right now I don't care what product or service you have.

It could be version 1.0. It could be the minimally viable product that you're almost ashamed to put out there. That is the answer to someone's prayers right now. There's someone out there that'll go, "wow, I need that," or, "I know somebody that needs that." So, the idea that you're going to make it perfect will not work, and I always laugh that the best piece of fiction I have ever written or read was my business plan for Interview Valet, right? Everything was up and to the right and I had it all figured out, until it got out there and the market gave me feedback. And they're like, "Yep, we love this, we loathe that, do more of this, do less of that." And so it's that getting out those conversations where the market tells you exactly what they want and you just have to be smart enough to listen to them.


Check Out The Podcast!

Tom has so much great information from his experience in podcast marketing. Check out the podcast below to learn more!

Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year: 

Every week we release a new podcast featuring guest's with so much knowledge about marketing, you don't want to miss one!  How can you make sure you don't miss an episode? Click below to subscribe!

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Topics: Podcast Interviews, Podcast, HB Podcast