Category: Blog

Video Marketing – The EASY Way

While podcast interviews may be the foundation of your content marketing plan, don’t stop there!  Take the content you are covering either on your podcast or as a guest expert and repurpose it into great videos for your audience.  Video marketing is by far my favorite kind of marketing. Not only does it allow people to hear your voice, but it also shows your audience what you look like, how you speak, facial expressions, body language, etc.

You might be saying, “Jessica, you really expect me to get in front of a camera? No way!”  Well, yes, I do, and yes you can!  You also might be thinking, “That sounds really complicated, expensive, and time consuming!”  And no, it doesn’t have to be!  I’m going to break down simple and inexpensive steps to integrate video marketing into your content strategy.

  1. Write a list of the ten most frequently asked questions that you get from your clients or on podcast interviews  – What are you already talking about with your clients or during your interviews?  These are the topics that will make great videos!  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel and develop new content.  Use what you already have and get it out to your audience through a new medium!
  2. Set up your camera on a tripod or use a selfie stick – When I say “camera,” I’m not talking about an expensive DSLR video camera; you are not trying to win any YouTube vlog contests.  Your iPhone is fine!  I recommend using a tripod or selfie stick for stability, but you don’t need to invest in a fancy backdrop.  Film where you are, wherever you are!   In the office, for a walk in your neighborhood, at a conference…inject your personality and give your audience a glimpse of the spaces that inspire you.
  3. Film two-minute videos answering your 10 faq’s – 2 minutes…is that a typo?  NO!  Keep your videos short and to the point.  Your audience is there for your content, so give it to them in a quick, powerful video.  Not only does this help your audience to stay focused and access your content, but it makes the job much simpler for you!  You don’t need to craft a long 10 or 20 minute video to be effective. People have short attention spans these days. Keep it short.
  4. Schedule your videos to release weekly – Release your videos on Facebook and on YouTube.  These are free mediums for your video hosting, and you can embed the videos from YouTube onto right onto your blog.

That is it! In time, I’d recommend coming up with a name for your “web TV show,” but to start, simply film several videos and get them online. Remember, if you want to see a return on your investment, then you need more content for podcast listeners to consume once they get to your website, and short, content-rich videos are an excellent way to engage new fans and followers.

 

Podcasting: Only a Piece to the Marketing Puzzle

Podcasting is a passion of mine, and if you have spent any time on my blog or learning about my company, Interview Connections, you know I love helping people grow their business with the power of podcasting.  But the truth is, podcasting is part of the marketing puzzle!  It takes time before the right people hear your show, join your community, opt in to your email list, and get to know, like, and trust you enough before they invest financially in your products and services… before they open their wallets and hand you money.

In order to truly get a return on investment from podcasting, you must build out a full marketing platform. Having a beautiful, professional website is a great start, but there’s so much more to a profitable marketing platform than just a website. At his Dream Business Academy live events, Dream Business Coach, Jim Palmer teaches what a million-dollar marketing platform looks like. Here’s the snapshot of what it includes:

  • Video marketing
  • Podcasting
  • Speaking and interviews
  • Social media marketing
  • Becoming an author
  • Content marketing

In order to truly get a return on your investment as a guest expert on podcasts, you must have the whole marketing platform in place, so people who hear you on a podcast have more of your content to consume when they land on your website.

Personally, I have the perfect example of why that’s true: When I was at Social Media Marketing World 2015 in San Diego, a man named Adrion Porter approached me on the first day of the conference and introduced himself. He told me he’d listened to my interview on Leaders in the Trenches, hosted by Gene Hammett. He went on to download my podcast, Rhodes to Success. After enjoying my podcast, he found my web TV show, Interview Connections TV. After that, he invited several of our Interview Connections guest expert clients on his podcast and has also been a guest on my show. The relationship that has evolved has paid off for both of us.

Now, imagine if he heard my interview on Leaders in the Trenches, went to my website, and found a sales page with no free, valuable content to consume! We never would have met at the conference because he would not have known what I looked like (hint, hint… do videos!) and all the amazing interviews we connected him with would not have happened. Click here to check out my interview with Adrion on Rhodes to Success!

And if you want to learn how to put together all your marketing pieces and build your own million-dollar business, join me at Dream Business Academy!

The Power of Celebrity Positioning in Podcasting

The key to getting podcasters interested in interviewing you is positioning yourself as a celebrity expert.

The digital age ushered in the ability to publish your own books, record your own songs, create your own “on air” presence, and more.  We live in this amazing time in which you can create your own celebrity persona almost overnight. And guess what? That’s exactly what podcasters want: the ability to align themselves with celebrities.

In the online marketing world, “celebrity” is all about perception. It has nothing to do with how much money you have, the number of names on your email list, or the size of your social media following. It’s is a very smart business strategy to position yourself as a celebrity because people will pay you more money for your products or services if they perceive you to be one.

So, how do you position yourself as a celebrity? It’s very easy: Just call yourself one!  But you need two major things to back up your claims:

  1. Have ACTUAL Expertise – The underlying factor for celebrity status is expertise. Do you have a successful track record and are you an expert in your niche?  You must also be able to speak knowledgeably about your topic and provide stories and examples to back up your tips.
  2. Marketing and Branding – The only way people will believe you are a celebrity is if you are consistently and persistently marketing and delivering value. More likely than not, entrepreneurs who are positioned as celebrities have their own podcasts, video shows, blogs, newsletters (email, print, or both), and attend and network or present at live events or conferences. I speak from experience. If you consistently publish weekly podcasts, videos, blogs, emails, and attend live events, you will start to feel the power of celebrity impact your business in a major way.

Celebrity – whether it’s for an actor, musician, athlete, or you – does not happen overnight. In fact, it doesn’t necessarily happen in six months or a year. But consistently continue to plug yourself, and you will start meeting people who act a little star struck. They’ll recognize you! At the very least, they’ll think or say, “Hey!  There goes Jessica Rhodes!  She’s the ROCK THE PODCAST expert!”  Build your credibility, build your celebrity, and you’ll start rocking more and more podcast interviews and grow your business in a big way.

At Interview Connections, we can get you booked on awesome podcasts that will increase your celebrity power. Contact us here!

How to Set Up Your Podcast Recording Space

Starting your own podcast does not mean you need to run out and rent space at a recording studio!  Podcasts do not need to be just like radio shows recorded in sound-proof studios. They’re certainly not the drive-by interviews of the local news in which the listener expects to hear a lot of background noise. Whether you are recording your own podcast or being interviewed on someone else’s podcasts, here are my 4 tips for setting up your recording space.

1. Set up a quiet space –  Podcasts require a quiet space. You want to make sure the listener is hearing the content and the content alone… not anything in the background.  As soon as the listener hears Mike the landscaper mowing your lawn, the mood is ruined, the listener may tune out, and your host won’t be pleased! Ideally record your interview in a quiet, small, carpeted room. The more fabric you have in your space to absorb the ambient noise, pops, and echos, the better.  Some really fantastic podcasters even record inside a closet!

2. Identify the best time of day to record – Discuss the best times to record with your host or guest since the podcast isn’t a live broadcast. Perhaps the best time for you will be in the afternoon while the baby is napping or in the evening after everyone in the house has gone to bed. Work together to determine the best mutually beneficial time for the interview.

3. Eliminate sound disturbances – Turn your cell phone off or put it on airplane mode and also ensure that your desk phone (if you have one) is muted or unplugged. Also, put Skype on Do Not Disturb. In addition to eliminating a potential sound disturbance, you don’t want these interruptions to derail your train of thought while you’re answering a question!  Turn off your fans, white noise machines, timers, alarms, etc.  If you’re recording at an office where other people might be around, make a “RECORDING!  DO NOT DISTURB!” sign for your door.  The less noise and fewer interruptions you experience, the better content you will produce and the easier the audio will be to edit.

4. Make sure your technology is working and ready – Last but not least, make sure your microphone is plugged in, your headphones are on, and you double check your settings to ensure that your computer is picking up your sound from your external microphone and not your computer’s internal microphone. I always recommend restarting your computer and making sure you have no other programs running, so you get the best recording.

These are 4 simple steps that will make a big difference in your podcast quality.  Whether you are a host or guest expert, Interview Connections can help you take your podcasting to the next level, so contact us today!

Action Steps to Take After Your Podcast Interview

Just because you’ve finished recording your podcast interview, doesn’t mean the work is over.  There is much more to do following the interview if you are to successfully leverage the power of podcasting!  Here are the two most important actions steps to take immediately after you record your interview:

  1. Make the MOST of that Green Room Chat! The host will most likely invite you for a few minutes of chit chat once you’re off the air, so use this time very wisely!  My business coach, Jim Palmer has literally done hundreds of interviews both as a guest expert and a host, and he wisely uses this time at the end of the recording to give the host some coaching. The host appreciates the advice, and it shows off what a great coach Jim is!
  2. Gratitude: Send a thank-you card or gift to the host. This keeps you on their radar and makes you stand out and be remembered.  I was interviewed by Mary Kathryn Johnson on her podcast, Parent Entrepreneur Success, and during the interview, we discussed how much we both love coffee. The next day I purchased a one-pound bag of coffee from a local shop near my home in Rhode Island and sent it to her via USPS priority mail!   But even if you don’t choose to send a gift, send a thank-you note – a snail-mailed hand-written thank you. In this day and age of emails and texts, a note that arrives in envelope in someone’s mailbox really stands out. There is no excuse for not getting this done. It’s an easy way to continue to build the relationship and leverage the interview that’s already been recorded.

Remember: Podcast marketing is not about slimy tactics and gaming iTunes ranking algorithm. It’s about relationships! Taking these two simple yet important action steps will really help you #RockthePodcast as a guest expert!

Ready to start rocking the podcast?  Contact me and my team at Interview Connections!

The Importance of Engaging with Your Individual Listeners

Download stats aren’t just numbers.  They represent real, live people listening to what you have to say.  But whether your show gets 100,000 downloads or 100, you need to engage with your listeners on an individual basis. If you don’t, you are missing out on the opportunity to grow your audience and your business.  Here are 3 tips for engaging on an individual basis with your listeners:

  1. Make it easy for guests to contact you – During your podcast, have a clear and concise call to action.  Say and spell ONE method of contact (email, website, etc).  And most importantly, be AVAILABLE.  If you are receiving email or inquiries through your contact form, RESPOND.  Don’t leave listeners hanging when they WANT to be in touch with you!
  2. Engage on social media – Promoting your podcast or interviews on social media should be a no-brainer.  This is something ALL podcasters should be doing as part of their promotion strategy.  However, posting links to your interviews and even posting graphics does not mean the work is over.  You need to ENGAGE with your followers who are liking, commenting, and sharing your content.  Thank them for their engagement, ask them a follow-up question, and keep the conversation going!  Initiate new conversation by asking for feedback on an episode or to comment on a specific topic you covered.
  3. Treat your listeners like royalty – People listen to podcasts that their friends tell them about, and people are far more likely to recommend your podcast if you are going out of your way to treat them like they matter.  Ask your listeners for feedback.  Let them know that YOU are listening to THEM, and ask them for their questions or topics they would like you to cover in an upcoming episode.  Show you appreciation for them by offering listener-exclusive giveaways, because when your listeners feel valued, they will share your content and come to you when they a business need that you can meet.

Engaged listeners are happy listeners and happy listeners will naturally want to share the gem of a podcast they’ve found!

Want help getting on podcasts in front of engaged and targeted audiences? Call me at 877-893-0895 ext. 101!

How to Make Your Podcast More Conversational

Some of my favorite podcasts are the ones where I feel like a fly on the wall in a room where two people are having a great conversation. But making your podcast conversational is not something that always comes naturally. Here are 4 tips on making your podcast interviews more conversational.

  1. Be a welcoming and gracious host – Set the stage for a great interview by being warm and welcoming with your guest. Invite them to be relaxed and honest.  When you are open and friendly, your guests will feel more comfortable sharing personal experiences.  This will help the conversation flow and break the ice.
  2. Share your own stories – Even though your interview-based podcast is spotlighting your guest, your listeners want to hear from you, too!  Share your own stories and perspective so the interview sounds less like a job interview and more like real conversation.
  3. Pause before you ask your next question – While it’s easy to rush to the next question after a guest has finished with their answer, make a conscious effort to pause before you move on to your next question.  This will allow the guest to expand on their answer with a personal story or anecdote or even lead the conversation in a new direction, spurred on by something that came up in their answer.
  4. Go off script – While it’s great to be prepared for your interview with a list of questions you’d like to ask your guests, don’t let that preparation dictate how the interview goes.  If your conversation is going in a really interesting direction, don’t cut it off to get on with your next question.  Follow the natural flow of the conversation and allow that amazing content to reach your audience.

So don’t be afraid to loosen up, be yourself and open your podcast up to fantastic conversations with your guests.  And if you need fantastic guests for your podcast, my team and I at Interview Connections would love to help!

4 Things That Make a Podcast Good

It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what makes a podcast good, but when I listened to Erik Newton’s interview on Jason Havey’s podcast, Spinning Logic, that’s exactly what I heard: a really good podcast. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. It keeps you listening in your car even after you reach your destination. I usually listen to podcasts when I’m driving and I know a podcast is really good when I get home and I don’t want to get out of the car and stop the podcast! When I was listening to Spinning Logic on the way home from my office, I sat in my driveway, not wanting to turn off Erik telling his story of the Tibetan guide! Since my husband was inside putting our kids to bed, I found a good place to pause and head inside to lend a hand, but the point is, I was so engaged in the interview, I didn’t want to stop listening! So is your podcast white noise, or does it keep listeners locked in until the last minute of your show?
  1. It goes deep. Shows that are really engaging are shows that tell stories. Sure, actionable content is great, but unless that content is delivered in a way that listeners can relate to, its impact is going to be lost. Good podcasts also allow the time and flexibility to go beyond the surface and dive deep into content through anecdotes, explanations, and following the natural flow of conversation.
  1. It’s honest. When both the guest and the host are open, honest, and even vulnerable, amazing content is produced. Ali Brown of Glambition Radio calls after-effects of this kind of honesty a “vulnerability hangover!” That’s what makes a great show! Listeners don’t want to hear about your perfect life and your perfect business where nothing ever went wrong in your perfect world. Listeners want to hear your REAL, raw story, and when you are brave enough to share that side and allow your guests to do the same, some incredible podcasting moments can happen.
  1. Highlights the guest AND the host. No matter how great your guests are, your listeners will keep coming back for YOU, the host. So why is it that so many hosts I talk to are hesitant to share from their own personal stories and graciously default to their guests? Jason Havey does an amazing job interjecting his own experience and anecdotes without overshadowing his guests, and as a listener of his show myself, I am always so happy to hear his perspective! Remember, your audience wants to hear from YOU.

So with all these elements of what makes a good podcast, what truly makes your message matter? The answer is, the RIGHT audience. If the right people are listening to your podcast and are entertained and getting value, your message matters. Notice I didn’t say a big audience makes your message matter. In fact, the opposite is often true! I’ve recently focused my podcast to cover questions that clients or potential clients generally asked me, and even though my download numbers are only around 200 per episode, I know I am reaching the right audience. How do I know that? My engagement and conversion rates are fantastic. I’ve drilled down my content and my format to reach my target market, and the results are speaking for themselves.

So don’t worry about getting higher download numbers or getting more subscribers. Worry about making your show GOOD. No amount of marketing will make people share and subscribe to your podcast if it’s just not good. But rest assured, listeners will come and will naturally share your content when you are producing a really good podcast.

Setting Clear Expectations

No matter what strategies you are using to grow your business; podcasting, hiring a business coach, attending a conference, trying a new marketing channel, etc., it is absolutely essential that you set clear and realistic expectations.  Without setting clear expectations right from the get go, you will find yourself frustrated along the way simply because most investments you make in your business do not deliver immediate results. Without setting clear expectations, you might become a marketing quitter!

Keep in mind how long it might take for you to see results with the marketing strategies you invest in.  If you record a podcast interview today, your phone is not going to be ringing off the hook with new clients tomorrow. It could take months before the show is released online and then weeks before most listeners download the interview.

It takes time to see results from your marketing efforts, and you need to keep that realistic timeline in mind.  I recently started working with Lindsey Anderson of Traffic and Leads to improve my SEO and Facebook advertising.  She was upfront with me right from the beginning for what I should expect and essentially told me that the first $500 of Facebook advertising dollars would pretty much be going down the drain!  That was simply because there was a lot of testing to be done to figure out what was going to work for me.  I was so grateful for Lindsey’s honesty, so I could be prepared for a longer timeline to get results.

When I meet with new clients at Interview Connections, we set expectations from our very first conversation.  While podcasting is seen by many as the newest, hottest marketing technique that is making everyone millionaires overnight, the truth is that podcasting is a very effective marketing method that requires a lot of work both before and after the episodes go live.  It’s important to me that my clients know this and are on board with the podcasting process.  But no matter what you are doing to build your business, set yourself up for real success by making sure your expectations are clear and your timelines are realistic!

How to Find a VA To Help Leverage Your Podcast Interviews

If you listened to episode 112 of Rhodes to Success, you know that leveraging the power of your podcast interviews takes a lot more work than simply recording an interview.  Not only are you booking, preparing for and recording great interviews, you are marketing and promoting them as well. The tips I gave you in episode 112 of my podcast are likely overwhelming unless you have an amazing VA on your team to help you with the process. So, how do you find a great VA? Here are some tips:

Referrals – Ask your friends in business, colleagues, peers, mentors, etc., who they can personally recommend. It is better to work with a VA who has worked with someone you trust.

Social Media/Email List – If you don’t have any personal connections that can recommend a good VA, reach out to your network via social media.  Post on your LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. that you are looking for a VA and include a brief description of the duties you need them to fulfill.  Oftentimes, your contacts will tag their recommendations right on your post, so you can connect with them right away.  You can also send an email out to your list asking for recommendations.

A note about phrasing: Instead of posting that you are “hiring,” post that you are growing your team.  Why?  When you say you are growing your team, you are denoting that your business is growing as well!  Additionally, VA’s are usually independent contractors, not “hired” as W-2 employees. To learn more about employees vs. independent contractors, visit my friend Carmen Torres at MyHRSpecialist.com. You can use her services to write a contractor agreement and an NDA, two documents I recommend you have your VA sign before working with you.

Online Marketplace – There are several online resources you can tap into to find a VA.  Most of these websites allow you to post a role description of what you are looking for and interested candidates will submit a proposal for how they would meet those requirements and at what rate.  Some resources to check out are Upwork, Freelancer and https://www.hiremymom.com/.

Once you have identified some potential candidates, start evaluating them right from the get go.  During your initial email exchange, are they professional and prompt or are their typos in their emails?  Set up a time to meet via Skype or a phone call and get a feel for whether they would be a good fit for you.

How to get started: When working with a VA, start by assigning them one project as a test run.  Judge the quality and timeliness of their work based on that one project before bringing them into your team indefinitely.  That way they will be able to prove themselves as a member of your team before they take on a larger amount of responsibility.

I encourage you to go listen to episode 112 of Rhodes to Success and even send that episode to your VA candidates, so they know what you expect!  And remember, you don’t need a VA to book your podcast interviews.  Outsource to me and my expert team of guest bookers at Interview Connections and we’ll get you booked on the best podcasts!

BONUS – If you are reading this and want to become a Virtual Assistant yourself, check out this episode of Interview Connections TV, and I’ll show you how!