If you only think of podcasting in terms of creating content and building an audience, you are missing out on a huge networking, marketing, and sales opportunity.
Last year I decided I wanted our company to work with more large nonprofits. We have a ton of nonprofit experience as Sideways8 and under the 48in48 umbrella. So, why not do more work with large nonprofits? My problem was getting in front of them. CMO’s and VP’s of Marketing at large nonprofits are busy people, and they get pitched A LOT! What could I do to connect with them, give them value and make that cold outreach a little more palatable?
I created Good People, Good Marketing, a podcast all about nonprofit digital marketing and how to make it better. The podcast format is simple; I only interview the following types of people, all who happen to be potential clients for Sideways8 (hey, I’m no fool):
- CMO’s or VP’s of marketing at large nonprofits
- Agency leaders – we do a lot of work with agencies for WordPress sites
- Heads of marketing for larger corporations – we do microsites for larger companies
During the podcast interview, I only ask three questions. This keeps it simple for me and consistent for my listeners. The questions are also really easy for my guests to answer on the fly, so no need to prepare ahead of time. The questions are; related to digital marketing (for nonprofits):
- What is working well?
- What is not working well that we can learn from?
- What are you excited about?
Using Podcasting for Business Development
Using podcasting for business development is amazingly effective for a few reasons. First, cold outreaches for sales suck. When you send that cold email or make that cold call you know, there is a 95% likelihood that you are wasting your time. Reaching out to a high-level, busy person, asking for a 15-minute call to try to pitch them is tough. But, reaching out to that person and asking to interview them on your podcast is an easy sell. Every leader loves to be interviewed and has legitimate insights to share. And, being on a podcast doesn’t feel like you are trying to sell them, instead, you are trying to show them how much you value them, and you get to start to build a relationship.
Using this approach, I have gotten interviews with many high-level people from a cold email, that would otherwise never have given me the time of day. The best part is, I’m not trying to sell them at all! Simply by having them on my podcast they know who I am and that Sideways8 specializes in nonprofit marketing, that’s what the entire podcast is about! They also know that I’m living and breathing nonprofit marketing more than any other marketing professional they have ever met (except for maybe themselves). When it comes time that they need marketing help, who do you think they will call?
Using Podcasting for more Effective Marketing
Podcasting is also amazingly effective for online marketing. For every podcast that you produce, you should have it transcribed and posted on your website. That transcription will be chock-full of search engine optimized keywords and with a little further optimization will help you rank well in Google.
Additionally, as you have more interviews with your target market, you will get to know them and their needs better. Patterns will emerge in the interviews, common threads that are working well, or not working at all. As you learn those common threads, you can then take that knowledge and create a whitepaper or ebook around it, creating a ton of value directly for your target market.
Using Podcasting as a Networking Tool
Podcasting is the best networking tool I have ever used, and I’m a huge networker. For years I have sought to do 20 meetings a week to expand my network. That takes a lot of time and energy. Even just scheduling the meetings can be tough. Also, sometimes those meetings or calls have value to me and the other person, and sometimes they don’t. I hate walking away from a meeting and feeling like it was a waste of that person’s time or mine.
With podcasting, I can network like crazy (with my target markets) and never leave my desk. I will often record five to seven podcast interviews in one day! Which also gives me a ton of content for my website!
My Process for Streamlining the Podcast Process
I try to release four to five episodes of Good People, Good Marketing a week. That means I had to get brutally efficient in my podcast outreach, scheduling, interviewing, editing and publishing. I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I do this so that they can do it as well. Well, here are all my secrets and the process I have created.
- I use Salesloft to reach out to the people I want to interview. I have a series of emails that I send out (about 3 of them) asking them to be on the show. It’s not salezy, just a quick and respectful ask.
- If I get a response, I log them into my pipeline. We use Prosperworks, but something like Pipedrive will work great for this as well. My pipeline has the following stages: interested, booked, podcast complete.
- If they are interested in being on the show I send them to a page with a few more details about the show, questions I will ask, how long it will take, etc. At the bottom of that page is a form for them to fill out giving me their contact information, bio, and headshot that will be used for the show.
- After filling out that form, they land on my Podcast Scheduling page. I use Calendly to allow people to see the openings in my schedule and book any open slot. I have Calendly dialed in so that the only times open are on Wednesdays between 9am and 4pm. That way I know that Wednesdays are my podcast days.
- Once they book their interview time, I have a virtual assistant that then does the following:
- Creates a new session on Zencastr (the platform I use for recording my show)
- Adds the link to their session in the calendar invite so that my guest knows where to go when it’s show time.
- Creates a show notes google document that includes the guest’s bio and questions I will ask (always the same three).
- Puts the link to the show notes within the calendar invite so that when its time for me to do the interview it’s all right there for me.
- When it’s time to record the show, I hop into Zencastr and open up the show notes (both within the calendar invite)
- I host the show, taking detailed notes during it. In those notes, I also include what will become the title of that episode based on what we discuss.
- After the show, I use Zencastr to mix the episode. That works great about 80% of the time. The other 20% I spend about 5 minutes editing the show with Audacity.
- After the show is edited and ready to go, I put it in Dropbox.
- I send an email to my contractor that transcribes the episodes for me. I think I pay about $0.90 per minute.
- When the transcriber is done, she sends an email back to me and my virtual assistant with the transcriptions.
- My virtual assistant then takes the transcriptions and MP3s and puts them on the website in draft mode.
- Each weekday one of my Sideways8 team looks at the episodes in draft mode, decides which one to post and publishes it.
- That staff member then sends the interviewee from that show an email letting them know the show is live and has a suggests tweet to use to help promote it.
That sounds like a lot, but for me, it only takes about 40 minutes including the interview time. My team works hard, and everything runs smoothly because of it. The combined effort of my virtual assistant and staff person are probably about 70 minutes per episode.
That’s it! Those are all of my secrets about using podcasting as a business development tool. It has been amazing and fun for me. I hope it’s the same for you.
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