Category: Blog

How To Maximize ROI as a Podcast Guest

At Interview Connections, we know how to harness the power of a podcast appearance. We are a non-traditional PR firm with a singular focus on podcast interviews. With more than five years of experience in the field, we’re the leading booking agency for podcasters and guest experts.  Our fearless founder Jessica Rhodes, literally wrote the book on rocking both sides of the mic.

Whether you’re newly pod-curious, a veteran podcast guest or an aspiring host, the opportunities for marketing through podcasts are endless.  On an episode of the Marketing Speak podcast, Jessica talks with host and SEO expert Stephan Spencer about the strategies you can steal for getting –– and keeping –– clients with every interview.

 

1. SEO is the secret sauce

“We represent entrepreneurs, business owners and subject matter experts to get them booked on podcasts that are speaking to their target audience,” says Jessica, “with a goal to build their brand, to raise awareness about what they do, and deliver content to their target market.”

Guest appearances on podcasts are an efficient and organic way to generate leads and pump up your SEO. “I talk about SEO a lot on my sales calls,” Jessica says. “It’s usually not the first thing people think about when they want to get interviewed on podcasts, but SEO is a huge benefit.”

How does it work? It’s complicated –– Google’s algorithms are constantly changing. But the gist is this: podcast episodes have no expiration date, and an episode’s show notes, linked to our own site and social media profiles, can juice your search results for years to come.

Plus, as you take the podcast world by storm, your name or business float closer to the top of search results as you grow your reputation as a trusted expert in your field.

 

2. Content > leads > trust, in that order

Podcasts are excellent for lead generation, Jessica says. “Usually at least one person from a podcast will reach out and say, ‘I heard you on this show.’”

Retaining clients and maintaining an SEO advantage happens naturally when you provide high-quality content. By creating content that’s useful and shareable, your traffic and your search results grow. “I create podcast episodes that help my clients,” says Jessica. “Then I go on other podcasts as a guest to share valuable information that will give my clients more value.”

Ideally, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle: listeners become leads, leads become clients, and clients invest further in you as they watch you succeed.

Jessica’s frequent guest spots create the “stick factor,” she says. “When my clients see that I’m an expert, practicing the strategies I’m helping them implement and showing that they work, they stay with me longer. I can say, ‘I’m doing this right alongside you.’ It gives me a way to bond with them.”

 

3. Both sides of the mic, now

“It definitely helps if you have your own podcast,” says Jessica. If your goal is to get in front of a certain audience, you boost your chances by offering the host a spot on your own show. “Each interview opportunity is an interview trade.”

Established hosts can find advantages to guesting, as well. As you get to know other podcasters, doors open and you become a trusted colleague in your field.

Interview Connections illustrates this first-hand — its network is its biggest asset. “When I’m going out there and getting interviewed on shows, I’m staying connected with what’s happening in the podcasting industry,” she says.

As an unexpected bonus, Jessica’s guest spots resonate with her team. “When my employees listen to interviews I’ve done, it’s helpful for them to hear my story. They can learn more about the history of the business, and it gets them involved in the culture.”

 

4. Your one-sheet is your new BFF

Both when you’re pitching and after you’re booked, you want to demonstrate your value. Enter the one-sheet –– a way, Jessica says, to tell podcasters, “Here’s what we can talk about, here’s what an interview could be like with me.”

As a guest, you’ll be a hero if you make the host’s job easy.

“Even if you don’t have an agency representing you, make yourself a nice one-sheet,” says Jessica. “It’s a single-page PDF with your branding, logo, and a bio written in third person. It allows them to be instantly prepared to interview you.”

The one-sheet should be long enough to include all your bragging rights, but short enough so the podcast host can easily read that as an introduction to their show. (That’s also why third person, not the first-person “I,” is key).

Jessica also suggests adding bullet-pointed discussion topics as well as a handful of interview questions. “Mostly, a host will come up with their own questions, but sometimes I’ll hear one from the one-sheet and it’s totally natural –– the listeners don’t know. I love when that happens.”

And of course, those questions are ones you’re prepared for.

Polish off your one-sheet with your contact information, including your website and social media links. Add your Skype handle too, since you’re likely to use it for the interview itself.

 

5. Pitch with caution

Whether you’re pitching yourself or someone is doing it for you, make sure you’re doing it well. Like a typo-laden cover letter addressed to the wrong company, a crappy pitch will go straight to the trash.

“Sometimes I get pitches for my show, Rock the Podcast, and they make the prospective guest look so bad,” Jessica says. “I would be so careful. You can’t do this on the cheap. If you have an employee pitch for you, what’s the cost of your reputation if they mess up, if they haven’t done their research?”

If you’re not ready to hire an agency like ours, Jessica suggests the DIY approach. Do your homework, proofread, and start slow. “Sometimes with bigger shows, it helps to personally reach out,” she says. “Invest a little bit of time each week to build a relationship with the host.”

 

6. … but keep it light

“We brought in an improv comedian to train our staff in comedy writing,” says Jessica. “It helped our booking agents learn how to write in a more entertaining way. We’ve gotten responses that are like, ‘I get pitched all the time but I’m replying to you because this honestly made me laugh.’

“I would unbutton that figurative shirt a little bit and loosen up. Write a pitch that’s going to make the host smile and recognize you’ll be an entertaining guest. it’s not always about content. It’s about interviewing somebody who’s going to be enjoyable to talk to.”

Jessica talks about a great pitch she received from David Ralph of Join Up Dots. “The subject line said, ‘your podcast is missing a sexy middle-aged Englishman.’ I’m like, “I don’t even have to open the email. Yes, you are coming on my podcast, that’s amazing.”

 

7. Have a clear objective –– and one compelling call to action

As a podcast guest, it pays to focus on one goal at a time, Jessica advises. It’s unrealistic to get new clients, increase your podcast audience, and spike your website traffic from one podcast interview alone.

“Too many options and too many calls to action will leave people confused and not knowing which to choose,” she says. “Make it simple. Most people are listening to podcasts on their mobile device –– while they’re out, or getting ready in the morning, or at the gym.”

If your goal is to grow your own audience, for example, draw potential new listeners toward your podcast with a specific suggestion. Title your shows (beyond episode numbers) and direct the audience to a particular one. “Ask them subscribe so they don’t just look it up and forget about it,” Jessica says.

What about lead magnets –– the freebies so many podcast guests offer so listeners opt in to a mailing list?

“My advice is a little bit less traditional than what you’ll hear from a lot of marketing experts. I don’t think that content opt-in is always the right solution,” says Jessica. “For some people it’s a white paper; for others, it’s a webinar. But those have never been a game changer for me. Most of my current clients were not on my email list at first. Honestly, whatever works for your business and whatever your target market wants, do that.”

 

8. Choose fortune over fame

“My business coach, Ali Brown, always talks about going for fortune over fame,” Jessica says. “One pitfall people make, especially in podcasting, is to focus on fame and rankings.”

Instead, Interview Connections concentrates  on tangible results: metrics like revenue, profit, building a successful team, client retention, and employee retention. For Jessica, podcast ROI is truly measured by a healthy  bottom line.

“In my own bio, I talk about how I’ve scaled from zero to the high six figures,” she says. “We will break into the seven-figure mark with basically no advertising. I don’t have 10,000 people listening to my podcast or even on my email list, but I have a very successful business and I’ve got the results to show for it.”

Those kinds of numbers reflect  a reputation with a firm foundation. “It gives me more credibility than just talking about being #1 in iTunes, which I’m not,” she says, noting that followers and rankings don’t necessarily mean real-world success.

“Most smart entrepreneurs know that you can fake your way into being a bestseller.”

This article is based an episode of Marketing Speak, which is hosted by Stephan Spencer, author of “Google Power Search” and other books.

IC051: Creating A New Industry

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IC051:Creating A New Industry

Jess discusses how she first got started booking people on podcasts and how at the time, she was the only one sending out pitches. Margy and Jess also talk about what sets Interview Connections apart from all the other podcast booking agencies that are in existence today. To work with and learn more about us, visit InterviewConnections.com.

IC050: Give to Live with Arlene Cogen

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IC050: Give to Live with Arlene Cogen

Jessica talks with Interview Connections client Arlene Cogen about working philanthropy into financial and estate planning and how to decide how much to give back. Click here to check out Arlene’s book, Give to Live.

Top 4 Benefits of Going on Shows a Second (Or Third) Time

Top 4 Benefits of Going on Shows a Second (Or Third) Time

Many of our clients at Interview Connections have become seasoned interviewees. If you feel like you’ve been on every podcast in your niche, but don’t want to stop getting booked, you should know there are huge benefits to being a repeat guest on a show you’ve already appeared on.

Here are the top 4 Benefits of going on shows for a follow-up interview:

Rapport with the Host

The ice has been broken! If you were a friendly and engaging guest (and we know you were!) the host already knows, likes and trusts you so your second interview will be even better. Also, in second interviews, hosts will reference back to the first interview, motivating listeners to go back and listen to your original appearance!

Engaged Audience

A podcast that has been publishing content consistently for a year or more is going to have a bigger and more engaged audience now than it did during your first appearance

Returning for a part 2 will remind old listeners of who you are, and introduce you to new listeners!

The Rule of Seven

It takes 7 “touches” for prospects to take action. Listeners who heard your first interview will be more likely to take action and connect with you after hearing you for the second time.

Fresh Content

Don’t go on a show for a second time to answer the same questions. That would be silly and repetitive. When we pitch you to a “repeat” host, we’ll showcase what NEW content you can share with their audience. Sharing a new book, project, or topics you didn’t get to in part 1 will ensure the content is fresh is valuable for old and new listeners.

You can learn more about podcast interviews by listening to Rock the Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher Radio!

Work with Interview Connections by applying at InterviewConnections.com/apply

IC049: The Art of Allowance with John Lanza

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IC049: The Art of Allowance with John Lanza

Live from FinCon Orlando 2018, Jess and Margy talk with John Lanza about teaching kids money sense. Congratulations on your raise, Nathan Rhodes. If you want to teach your kids about money, check out Money Mammals.

IC048: Podcast Interviews for Coaches and Consultants

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IC048: Podcast Interviews for Coaches and Consultants

On today’s episode, Jess and Margy explain why coaches and consultants are great candidates for being interviewed on podcasts.

Benefits of Podcast Interviews for Coaches/Consultants:

  • This is a high end networking strategy! Each host who interviews you is a potential client. Before anyone hires a coach or a consultant, they need to trust that person and podcast interviews are a great way to build trust with people.
  • Exposure for your business – The more you get interviewed on podcasts, the more well known you’ll be to your target market. For example, if you’re a coach for women entrepreneurs leaving corporate, we’ll book you on podcasts that that kind of female is listening to. When they see you popping up on a bunch of shows they like, they’re more likely to want to work with you.
  • Search Engine Optimization – When you are interviewed on podcasts, you will get a link back to your website in the show notes. The more backlinks you have to your website, the higher up your site will be in Google search results.

How to get Coaching Clients from Interviews

  1. Focus on the host – When we work with coaches and consultants at Interview Connections, we get super clear on who their ideal coaching client is, and we find shows that are hosted by that kind of person. Build a great relationship with the host and they’re the most likely person to want to hire you as a coach.
  2. Create a community and invite listeners to join. In my experience and opinion, people hire coaches/consultants for the communities they have created. We became a coaching client of Ali Brown because she’s created a community of 7 figure women entrepreneurs and that is who we want to network with and learn from. Our client Heather Dominick has created the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs community and people become a coaching client of hers because they want to be around other HSEs. Heather has been a client for over a year and every month she sees people join her community who heard her on a podcast.
  3. GIVE IT TIME – Be patient and manage your expectations. You need to stick with this strategy for at least 6 months to know if it’s working for you.

Click here to listen to Jessica’s episode of Marketing Speak.

IC047: 7 Tips for Podcast Advertising

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IC047: 7 Tips for Podcast Advertising

In this episode, Jess and Margy share some tips for getting a paid sponsorship for your podcast. Getting clear on your target audience, knowing what products or services your listeners need recommendations on, putting together a media kit about your show, and knowing how to price and structure packages are all things you can benefit from when seeking a sponsor. To order some really cute tops, visit CarlyJeanLosAngeles.com

BONUS: Interview with Jess and Margy on Journey to There

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BONUS: Interview with Jess and Margy on Journey to There

This is an interview from the Journey to There podcast. Subscribe to their podcast on iTunes at bit.ly/Journey2There

IC046: How to Market your Podcast

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IC046: How to Market your Podcast

This episode was produced by Produce Your Podcast, a production company founded by today’s guest, Traci Deforge. Traci talks about her business, business partner Russ, her own podcast (Journey to There), and how to grow your audience.

To check out Traci’s production services, click here.

Jumping through Hoops, or Working Together?

Have you ever felt like a podcaster is making you jump through hoops in order to be a guest on their show? When you’re busy running your business and getting interviewed several times per month, additional requests from hosts can feel like a burden. These requests may occur to you as hoops to jump through, when in reality, they are likely the very things that will help your interview be found by more listeners.

Let’s take a look at some of these hoops:

“Subscribe to my podcast”

A podcast host wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t ask you or anyone else they interacted with to subscribe! When more people subscribe, more people listen. Now, do you HAVE to subscribe? No. I don’t expect you to subscribe to every single podcast you appear on. Your phone would run out of storage pretty quickly! What you can do though, is download a couple episodes, listen, and if you like show and want to keep listening, then subscribe.

“Rate and review my podcast on iTunes”

Podcast hosts may ask you, as their guest, to leave a rating and review on iTunes for a couple of reasons. First, they want your feedback! By listening and leaving a review, you can leave your honest opinion about what you like and don’t like about their podcast. That being said… if you’re about to be interviewed on their show, I’d keep it to positive reviews only!

Second, by leaving a review on iTunes, you may help their podcast rise in the rankings. It’s worth mentioning that there is no clear science on how shows are ranked in iTunes, but many hosts believe that reviews help their chances of being found by more listeners. And let’s face it, you want more listeners to hear your interview, right?!

“Follow me on social media!”

Podcast interviews are all about building relationships with other entrepreneurs in your industry! Following the hosts on social media isn’t a hoop you have to jump through, it is an opportunity to build your network, deepen your relationship with them and stay on their radar.

“Promote your interview on social media and to your email list”

To fully leverage the power of podcast interviews, you should absolutely be promoting your appearances! I’m not saying you have to spam your email list or be constantly sharing your interviews on social media, but what I am saying is that promoting your interviews will help you see more results because it helps position you as an in demand expert to your current followers.

So remember, when you help podcast hosts grow their audience, they will help you grow your’s!

Are you ready to get interviewed on podcasts? Apply here to work with us at Interview Connections!