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Broadcasting Your Expertise
Podcasts are the new medium that has created a platform for niche audiences and a way for brands to reach them. But what if we told you that podcasts can also be a way to set yourself apart and demonstrate your expertise in a field.
Recently our CEO Stacy Jones sat down with an entrepreneur and podcast expert to discuss how you can use the medium to position your authority in your field. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines how you can be using podcasts to position yourself as en expert in your field from the advice and expertise of Pursuing Results' Matt Johnson.
A Little Background on Matt
Matt is a marketer, entrepreneur, podcast expert, and musician. As founder of pursuing results, the podcast PR and production agency based in San Diego that runs a worldwide virtual team helping business coaches and agencies break in and dominate their niche through podcasting.
Matt currently hosts niche business podcasts such as YouX and Real Estate Uncensored and recently launched the Podcast Pitch Assistant training to help experts get pitched to podcasts consistently by their internal staff. He is a frequent podcast guest and events speaker to audiences around the US, Canada, and Australia.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: Matt, can you give us some background on you and how you got where you are today?
Answer: Yeah, so the short story is I was working for an agency and had a great relationship there with the CEO and moved into business development, and we started doing webinars or some of the influencers in our space. One of those influencers came to me and said like, "Hey look, we have really great chemistry. We're doing live webinars and things like that. We're having a blast, let's turn this into a podcast." We didn't have much more of a plan than that. We were thinking we were going to get into business and things like that as a team, and so that was basically the vague idea was, "Let's start a show," because it sounds like it'd be something fun to do. So we did. That ended up being one of the top five podcasts in our space, still is. I still run that and I had a great time.
What ended up happening though was like, we're doing a lot of content, right? We ramped up to where we're doing three episodes a week and then by that time, I was doing like some consulting and had launched a couple of other podcasts and was co hosting those as well. I was on live podcasts like, I don't know, five to six hours a week. People started asking me like, "How in the world? What's going on? What is happening here? How are you doing this? This is way too much content. How are you doing this?" I told them about the team that I built behind the scenes that did all the production work so that I didn't have to, right?
I taught myself how to do every stage, but then one by one, I got things off of my plate and train somebody to replace me that was better than I am at each of those things. I told them, No," and they said, "Well, that sounds awesome, but also sounds exhausting. So can we just like rent your team?" At first, we did that and that worked for a while, and then eventually we had to actually get serious about it and turn it into a real agency. We got focused, and we tried a whole bunch of stuff to the point where we figured out, "Okay, this is what actually works." We started producing weekly podcasts for business coaches, consultants, and the agencies who served them.
We went from essentially marketing consulting, doing podcasty things for a lot of different types of people in different situations and really just kept relentlessly getting more and more laser focus to the point where we just sell one thing to pretty much one type of person.
Question: There's a lot of spinning wheels there, and it depends, obviously, if you're doing something live or if you're doing something that's recorded and then you're going to have an editing team go into that. But beyond all that, I mean, there's a booking guests, there's actually creating what the podcast structure is, there is figuring out how to market it. It's actually engaging with your guests and making sure that they have one of the most powerful tools they're sharing their podcast after you're on it. I mean, there's dozens and dozens of things. Can you share what that all looks like and what someone needs to know before they're even considering starting a podcast?
Answer: Yeah. I thinke the best advice I can give to somebody who's getting overwhelmed by it is to not think about the technical end so much and think about more of the audience and what they want and what's the quickest way to reach them. I'll give an example. I work with an agency owner who came to me and said, "Hey, look man, I'm running this live networking call each week on Zoom, where I invite some influencer into my space and then I invite a bunch of my friends and connections in Linkedin people to it live." We interview the guy for 20 minutes, and then everybody gets to have an open Q&A session with them afterwards. I'm like, "Well, this is phenomenal. We don't need to change a thing. Let's just turn it into a podcast."
That's one of the best advice I can give to anybody else is just start with what you can do and worry about the rest of it later. It doesn't have to be perfect. You can literally start doing a Zoom call behind the scenes and invite people to attend live with you and just jump on the zoom session with you and invite somebody to have a conversation with them and open up for questions afterwards. I mean, that's super, super simple. That's how he started. He did that for a year before he came to me and said, "Okay, now I need help systematizing, making it professional, getting stuff to the guests as they can share their episode, like all of that stuff."
But in the time that he was doing it by himself, he tested the market, he tested the concept for the show, he tested the audience to make sure it was something that they wanted, and he got a feel for just himself, whether it was something he enjoyed doing because the worst thing you can do is commit to a podcast weekly and then find out, "Oh crap, I don't enjoy this at all. I would rather just be interviewed. Can I just be interviewed more?
I meet people occasionally that have that realization. They commit to doing a podcast and then they get into it and they're like, "Honestly, I would really rather just show up and have somebody ask me questions. Can we just do that?" Experiment with something really simple first because you can just step up the professionalism kind of incrementally along the way. It doesn't have to be perfect right out of the gate.
Question: You mentioned the fact that you have a new system and you do it for yourself and you don't offer it to clients but you do it for some clients right now for booking them. What does someone need to know between the difference of booking themselves on other people's podcasts versus really creating your own podcast?
Answer: That's the thing and that's part of why I mentioned that is because that is where I recommend everyone start. If you're literally starting from scratch, don't start your own podcast. First, I recommend being a guest and do 20 or 30 podcasts as a guest first. Get a sense of what it's like, get interviewed, and get known for your topic, and then look at launching a podcast because being a guest is something you can scale up and down, right? As the business gets busier or your travel schedule picks up, you can scale back on how often you're interviewed and you're not locked into any sort of rhythm.
We can see it with big influencers in my space, the Gary Vaynerchuck's of the world. They'll go on spurts where they're just on it. They're everywhere. They're on every podcast they can get their hands on because they're selling a book and then they'll go dark, and they'll just do their own thing for a while. Then they'll go back, and they'll be a guest again. You can do the same thing for yourself, but that's why I recommend that that's the best place to start is just to reach out and start making connections with other podcasts' hosts and get familiar with it from that end up just being a guest where all the focus and on the all the spotlight is on you because it's a lot easier to be in that position than it is to be the interviewer right out of the gate.
I can tell you from experience, because I was laughing about this with my mentor the other day. I was hanging out with him at his office in downtown San Diego and he reminded me that he's like, "You realize that right over there? I remember several years ago you were freaking out because you're hosting your first live Webinar." Because I didn't do that. I didn't. I wasn't a guest on anything else. I started out by hosting the show, and I don't remember that, and I can tell you that phase pass pretty quickly.
I was only two or three months and I was comfortable, and I think that's what happens to most people. I can tell you from experience, it's the tougher way to go. But even with that, most hesitation that you feel right now will go away in two or three months of just doing it. If you do end up starting a podcast, you're going to feel uncomfortable. Just understand that going in, it's just not going to feel comfortable right away, but I think that passes pretty quickly.
Question: You had created the Podcast Pitch Assistant Training and that's to help people actually get pitched to podcasts by, and this is the key thing, their internal staff, by someone else... They're not sitting there dialing for dollars and pitching themselves all over the place and feeling overwhelmed from that. Can we talk a little bit more about the magic essence of that?
Answer: Yes. It all came from me having the problem right the same way my agency started, which is I determined like, "Hey, I need to step out and become a micro influencer in my own," especially outside of the original podcasts that I built, which is like a really niche space. I looked at the landscape and I said, "Well, clearly this is what I need to do. I need to be interviewed on more podcasts." I just set the goal. "Okay, well I'm going to reach out to you. I'm going to research and identify one podcasts a day and send off an email. Sounds relatively easy. I'm like estimated time, 20 minutes. I can do that 20 minutes a day, no big deal."
Of course, I look up four weeks later and guess what? Nothing's been done because I'm trying to run a business here, and I think that's where most of us are finding ourselves. I knew a lot of clients that were in the same position. I had clients reaching out to me and saying like, "Hey, I need to be on every podcast known to man in our space, how do I do that?" I knew that other people were having the same issue I was, which is the conventional answer as reach out yourself and just get booked. It just was not working.
Fortunately, I have a staff and I know how to train and hire people just from my agency, so I said, "Okay. Well, how do I build a system where I don't have to do any of the reach out the research, the emails or the scheduling and I can just show up and be interviewed and have these amazing conversations?" I took a whole bunch of time, figured that out, build the system, train my people on it. It worked. I started it to my clients. It worked and just kind of that went through that progression and then turn that into ... One of my clients basically said, "Okay. You need to like sell this. I have people in my group coaching program that I want them to get this and they can't buy it from you. So get your act together and go package this up and let's make this into something that people can buy because they need it."
It all just came from scratching my own niche. The secret to all this stuff is that it has to be a system that's relatively easy to follow, something that a 12 to $15 an hour person in the states or overseas, it has to be a template templated, right? I had to build all the email templates and figure out, "Okay, what works and what doesn't?" Which we knew from experience, but it never really like put down into a template. We had to figure all that stuff out. Then we had to lay out the whole scheduling process, right? How do you follow up?
Then how do you teach someone who isn't a hard charging type A entrepreneur? How do you teach someone how to communicate with those people so this stuff actually gets done because you know how it is. You get a pitch email that's too long and you're like, "Yeah, I'll get to it later," and you never get to it, right? We had to figure all that stuff out. Anyway, all that went into the training. It was a whole bunch of hours. It took a whole bunch of time, but we figured it out. It's working for me and it's working for other people, we're getting great results because it's not putting it on the influencer themselves to be the one reaching out. As long as you've got someone who's smart, can think on their feet, and has two to three hours a week to do it for you, you're all good.
To hear more from Matt's expertise, give a listen to the rest of our podcast episode with the full interview.
The Next Steps
Want to learn more about effective podcasting and authority building? We've written plenty of other blog posts on these subjects as well for you to check out!
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Topics: Podcast Interviews, HB Podcast