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Episode 151: Getting on Podcasts to Get Consulting Business—with Deb Zahn

Deb Zahn: Hi, I want to welcome you to this week's episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. So on this podcast, I'm going to talk about becoming a guest on other people's podcasts for the purpose of getting consulting business. And I want to go through the whole thing because I get asked about being on podcasts a whole lot, not just being on mine, but generally like, how can that get me business? How do I do it? I don't understand any of it. And I've been asked enough, I thought, you know what? Let me just hop on a podcast, which is perfect. And let me explain more about it and let me just take all the mystery away so you can see if this is a good path for you, and if it's a good path. And I do think it is for most folks, how you actually can do it and how you can do it effectively so that it actually serves your business purposes.

But let me start by answering the question, why. Because it's helpful to know why you want to do it so that you can then start down a path that is ultimately going to be effective and serve why it is you want to do it. And I do want to say I'm not dissuading anybody from having their own podcast either, obviously. I love my podcast. I wouldn't give it up for the world. I'm so glad I did it. I've made wonderful connections with people. I've definitely gotten business from it. But one thing I would say is, it's a lot of work and it takes time, and it takes investment to do it and to do it well and to grow your audience. That doesn't mean it's not worth it, but it's not the only avenue when it comes to podcasts, which is why I wanted to focus on the guesting piece.

The other thing I'd say is even before you consider starting your own, it's a good idea to be on other people's podcasts to get a real feel for it. And to get a sense of, if you were going to do yours, then what would that look like? But I'm not going to talk about creating your own podcast today. There's so much wonderful information out there about how to do it. So we're going to focus on the guest part. One of the benefits of it is, as I said, it takes money, it takes time, it takes a lot of effort, it's a lot of hard work. And if you have systems, it is a little easier, but definitely a lot of hard work. And if you're on someone else's podcast, they're doing most of that, right? They're doing all the work of producing it and then they're going to promote it because it's their podcast. But if they're promoting an episode you're on, they're promoting you.

That's one of the main benefits of it is, it takes a bunch of the hard work off of you. It gets you in front of a larger audience that you might, otherwise, not have access to. It lives for as long as they have their podcast. So I can tell you on my podcast, there are people I think for almost every episode I have, every single month somebody is listening to it. So a podcast that I put on two years ago in February, somebody listened to it. So it is also, it's the gift that keeps on giving because it gives you access to an audience on an ongoing basis. So you can get in front of a broader network and not just get in front of them and say, "Hey, I do this thing. You should pay for this thing." But you get in front of them and you're actually giving them value.

So they're getting to know you and they're going to get to like you because podcasts are very intimate. So one thing I've heard from folks who have listened to my podcast, and I certainly feel that when I listen to other people's podcasts, who I've been listening to for a while, I feel like I know them. And sometimes people tell me, “I feel like we're friends.” And I feel that way, too, with other people. I will tell you, it's always a little disconcerting to hear that, but I get it because I feel it. And so people are going to get, not just to know you, but they're going to get to like you, and they're going to be more interested in finding out more about you. And if you're providing value, and you're saying good things that they're going to care about, they're also going to start to trust you more.

And those that know, a trust factor is one of the most powerful things when it comes to both marketing and sales. So a podcast is a great way to establish some of those in a relatively short period of time. And then, of course, we'll talk about later how to get that in front of even more people. So there are so many good reasons to do it. I would encourage most folks, if it makes sense for what your work is and what you do, it is absolutely worth doing. I know for a lot of people who aren't in the podcast world and they don't know how it works, and I was certainly this way when I started, I had no clue and I Googled and looked up a whole bunch of things. And I got to give props to Pat Flynn when I started mine. He's a wonderful entrepreneur who generously gave out so much information so I could figure it out.

But for a lot of people, it's a mystery. How do you do it? How do you even get on people's podcasts? And most people think, and they've told me this, that it's really hard. And I'm here to tell you most of the time, it's really not that hard. Now, you have to have realistic expectations. So if you think you're going to get on a big name podcast with a big name host, and you just started your business, a heartbeat ago, or you don't know them or have any connection to them. That's not a realistic assumption. But for most podcasts who don't live in that rarefied air, it's actually not that hard, particularly if they are a podcast that routinely has guests because that means they need to routinely get guests on their show.

And I will tell you that takes time. It takes effort and things happen, right? So I've had podcasts that didn't record. I had guests who didn't show up. I had all kinds of things happen that sometimes created a little problem. My goodness! Particularly when I first started, I needed to get a guest on. And so it's not as hard as you think. And then the good thing is, you can leverage the heck out of it to get business, which I'm going to talk about later.

Now, where I always tell people to start, before you start running out there and picking podcasts and saying, I want to be on this one, I want to be on this one, before you do any of that, the first thing is to get really clear about your business targets and your business goals. So it takes time to get on someone's podcast, do a great job, not a perfect job, but a great job. And then do the follow-up that's going to help you actually get business. That takes time and energy and effort. So you want to spend your time and energy and effort really well. And you're going to do that if you're really clear about what your business targets and your business goals, rather than doing a scattershot approach. And then throwing spaghetti on the wall with a podcast here and a podcast there and hoping something comes of it.

You want to be really clear about what you're hoping to accomplish by being on podcasts. And you might say, well, Deb, I want people to get aware of me. And that's good, but I would say you need to go a little bit deeper and identify some things that are much more specific than that. So that when you get on podcasts, that it's going to be a higher yield experience than just being on any podcast. So before you reach out to anybody, then you got to think through who your targets are.

This is really answering the "who" question. And if you have, as I hope you have done the work to identify who your ideal client is. So this is the persona of the people that you want to be your buyers, or you know very clearly, here's the folks that you most want to be working with. You got to know who that is. And you got to know then, where do I think they're going? What do I think they might be listening to? What's relevant to them that would potentially have them pay attention to that podcast over another podcast? What are the topics that I know they can care about because I've stopped, and I've thought through? What are the things that are their pain points? So I've thought through, I know exactly what they're struggling with. I know exactly what's frustrating them and their problems that they're trying to solve. And I also know what they're trying to gain, what their gain points are. Right? I know what they're ultimately hoping to achieve.

If I know those things, that'll be part of how I assess, both identify and assess, what podcasts I potentially want to be on because I want to be on the podcasts that actually reach that audience and tend to reach them with things that they care about. So always start with the who because you also then will be able to answer, where are they? And what do they care enough about, that if I talk about, it potentially encourages them to take whatever next step I want and ultimately to buy something wonderful from me, that's going to help them solve their problems and help them get what they want?

You also then want to think through, what is it that ultimately you're trying to sell? So it might be your standard services, but you've looked at your pipeline in six, eight months down the road. There's some sparse spots, or there's just, it's not as full as you want it to be, or there's some uncertainties. And you want to be able to make that happen. And it's going to be this service or that service that you tend to offer. And you do really, really well at. Or it could be you have a new offer. And this is one of the ways that you want to debut it in your market. And you want people to get to know you for this new thing that you're offering. It could be a new product that you have. It could be a book. Books are fantastic ways actually to get onto podcasts, or even if you've got a series of mini-books or eBooks or something like that. It could be that you're looking to establish authority in an area that you haven't worked in before.

So if you are doing a pivot and you've decided, you know what? I really, think this is what I can most help people with. These are who my ideal clients are, what they care about. Here's the things that I think I can do. It's not necessarily what I'm known for, and so I want to get on some podcasts to help establish not just my reach into audiences who care about that but also establish my authority on this topic because podcasts are really good for establishing authority. You can say it's on a podcast. And I talked about that. And people tend to have a really great response to that. So you want to think through what's that primary business goal. You don't want to say it's all of those things. Pick the one that matters to you most because that's going to help you make your next series of decisions.

Now it doesn't mean it's not going to fulfill some other goals or do some other cool things for you. I think leveraging and repurposing and all of those things is a really great strategy. But at least know, top line, here's what I'm trying to accomplish by being on this show. I'm trying to get in front of these folks who care about these things, and I want them to purchase this from me. And that will then help you say, OK, then what podcast do I need to be on? That's why it's so important to do this first, is you will make different choices about what podcast you try and get on if you start with this clarity. So this is the cure for the scattershot approach, is to have that clarity at the beginning. Let me give you an example.

So let's say that you focus on a specific type of healthcare technology for startups. And it could be startups in a particular country in a particular region or startups that do particular things. It could even get more specific than that. And you're trying to get them to hire you to do a specific type of training. And you're trying to get more of those lined up. And the reason is, is because you got a bunch of business right now, but you look at your pipeline and about eight months from now, there's some blanks, right? There's business that isn't there yet. And you know in your market, that it's a good lead time. So it's nothing that you can start a month or two before, you need to start it ahead of time so that you can actually get that filled up. And by the way, you never know with podcasts, how many podcasts they've already recorded and have in the queue. So you could record something and they might not actually release it for three months.

And that's true of lots of folks who are on my podcast because I tend to have several months in the queue at any given time. So you want to look forward in your pipeline and say, I got to do something about that. And this is where then, if you know that's true for who you want to work with and the type of work that you want to do with them, and that this is why you're trying to get on people's podcasts, then you're going to spend your valuable time and energy and effort pursuing podcasts who serve that audience of who ultimately could be potential buyers, or it could be who are folks that are connected to the types of gigs that you want to do. But you're going to be really clear and focused about that so that you can, again, use your time and your energy wisely.

Once you have that clarity, then you can start looking for options. That's where you want to put together a list of possible podcasts. Now this is of those areas where you really could have a virtual assistant do this. I know that there are businesses that do this. Lots of folks are offering these services. Some of them are great, some not so much and a whole bunch in between. But in reality, if you gave a virtual assistant some guidance about what you're looking for, and even an example of what you're looking for, they could probably put together a list of 20 podcasts for you to consider. And you want to give guidance about the type of topics that you're talking about, get a sense for what the audience might be. They might be able to feel that out. It could be that you want to know that they have good ratings. So don't give me anybody that has three stars, don't give me anybody that doesn't have any ratings.

There could be lots of parameters you give them and you say, “Hey, go get me a list of podcasts. Give me the list and give me the links and give me the link to a particular episode.” Maybe it's their last episode that they did so that you can give them a listen. And I do encourage you to give them a listen because what you want to listen for is fit. Right? So you want to make sure that you like the host, that you feel good talking to the host, and that they talk about things in the way that matches what you value and how you show up in your market and what your brand is. So you don't want to go on any show that you don't feel like it's going to ultimately serve you because they just have values that you don't agree with or their brand is all about, hey, doing things cheaply and you're a premium brand and that's not what you do.

So you want to look at it and you want to look for fit. And you also kind of want to look for vibe, right? You want to be able to vibe with host and actually like them because, and I'll talk about this later, it can be really difficult to be on podcast when you're not used to it and then you can easily get nervous. So you want to know that you're actually going to vibe with the person that's on it. And again, check out their reviews, have them give you a link to their website. So you can also look at their website and make sure that you're making the best possible choices. Now this, I want to say it again, you got to be realistic. So if you're, “Hey, I want to be on Tim Ferriss Show, or I want to be on some big name show,” chances are that's not going to happen.

It could, depending on who you are and your prestige within your market and what not but be realistic about the types of shows that you think you can be on. And by the way, it's not a bad thing to be on someone's podcast who isn't this rock star famous podcaster because they will often do more to promote you than some of the big names will, right? Because if you're on a bigger name show, they're doing you a favor. And if you're on someone else's show that they're still working on getting guests and doing the good work that they want to do. You're really helping each other. And that can be a really beautiful thing. So don't think you're going to go out and you're going to get on the big ones. It's going to be fine. So be realistic.

But anyway, you want to look for the right fit, the right audience, the right vibe. And then you want to really get into the part where you're going to pick a short list. And I would suggest starting with 10 because you're not going to get answers necessarily from all of them. You're not going to get yeses from all of them but start with the first 10. And you want to prepare what your ask is going to be. And I'm going to talk about how to prepare for the ask. But what I want you to realize is, as I'm saying all of this, you've probably heard me say it before because much of what you have to do when you're reaching out to leads and prospects for consulting business is the same. You still want to orient towards them. You still want to focus on things that they care about. That's how you get yeses. You don't get yeses by talking about only things that you care about. So you're going to recognize some of this.

But let me tell you, so I get asked a few times a week, people ask to be on my podcast. And I've also been an asker. So I've been on other people's podcasts, and I've had to say, “Hey, here's why you should have me on.” And I don't have 100% hit rate. By the way, I've had people who ghosted me, never actually responded to me. I've had a couple rejections. Most of the time I get on, but only because, by the way, it really helps to have a podcast. But a lot of times, people will get back to you and they'll be very respectful and they'll have a conversation, even if you don't have a podcast, even if you don't have a book or any of that fancy stuff. So start with about 10, maybe a dozen, and know that's who you're going to reach out to. And again, you've been really clear about how you're going to do it.

And what you want to do, again, very similar to what you do with leads and prospects, is you want to make it easy for them to do what you want them to do. And you want to make it easy for the host to understand why you should be on their podcast. And imagine that you'd be a great guest and then, ultimately, make it easy for them to have you on their show. And so one of the tools that I used for that, and I did not make this up. I actually had other people send me one. I'm, hey, what's this? And I had somebody who put this together for me, something called a one sheet. And it literally is a single piece of paper. And by the way, digital piece of paper, not something you hand to somebody that essentially lays out why you should be a guest and it's essentially your pitch document.

Now, it doesn't have to be something that's an attachment. I always say, if you're going to do an attachment, also do a link so they can get to it. It could be a landing page that they click on and it takes them somewhere. I actually am developing this where it takes them somewhere and it says, "Here's why I should be a guest." But it's basically the thing that is brief and compelling and makes them want to say yes. It's got a picture of you. It's got a brief description of who you are. And again, it's not your resume because, again, like leads and prospects, you're not spending a whole lot of time talking about yourself from your perspective, you're actually talking about yourself from their perspective. So the brief description of who you are and what you do should match what you know that your ideal client and the host of that show likely cares about.

And that's why you want to pick the shows that make sense because you want them to look at it and say, yeah, that's totally what my audience cares about. So that's why this makes sense. So brief, compelling, it makes them want to want you on the show. And that's basically how to approach it. It also should have a list of potential topics that you can cover. I think mine has about eight topics that I could cover. There's a range of what those topics are, but every single one of them is directly related to what it is. I want to offer my ideal clients. So this is where you don't want to get too far afield and you go out and you do a podcast about a topic and it's not related to either what your buyers care about, or it's not related to the thing that you're actually trying to get them to buy. Then being on that podcast, talking about that topic is not going to be tremendously helpful to you.

But you also don't want the list to be so narrow that a host can't pick and choose what they think would actually make sense for a topic. You want to give them enough variation so they can go, "Wait, wait, wait, I like these two. These two are good." But not so much that they might pick a topic that's actually not going to help you get business. So you want to be really thoughtful about what those are. I've also seen versions where people have, not just potential topics, but they might have three questions that they might consider asking. Now, the reason that that can actually be very helpful is any good podcast host that I know preps, right? So I have a list of questions that I put together just to guide the conversation. I don't rigidly hold onto it, but just to guide the conversation.

And if somebody gives me some questions, they just made that easier for me. And just making it easier for leads and prospects, they're going to feel grateful for that. So that's a good thing to have is something that can say, here's what I can essentially talk about, here's what you might want to ask me. And then that's it, right? That's it. You don't want to offer them more details about what those topics are. You don't want to have a whole bunch of sub bullets and things like that, short and sweet because it really should fit. If you printed this out on a regular letter, size paper, everything should fit on one page and not be so tiny that it's really hard to read. This is where I do encourage you to have a graphic artist do this and have a professional headshot and all of that good stuff because the more it looks polished, the better response that it'll ultimately have and finding people to do those things is not hard.

So one of the other things is if you've been on a podcast already, or once you get on a podcast, it's actually helpful either on that one sheet itself or in the email to include links to the other podcast that you've been on. You could also, if you wanted to, if you really wanted to demonstrate your good stuff, you could do a sampling of those podcasts and put those on an unlisted YouTube or a private Vimeo page so they can go to it and they can get a feel for what you're like as a guest. Now, the reason that that's a good idea is a couple things. First of all, it's social proof. So if you've been on someone else's podcast, they're more likely to want to have you on theirs because that kind of shows your podcast worthy. So it's worth it to do that.

But the other reason, I love it when people give me this because I want to kick the tires. When I have people on as guests I am looking for, not just the topic and not just, can they talk about things that are going to be valuable to my listeners? But I care so much about you, I also don't want you to be bored. So I'm also looking for folks who have what I refer to as the juice. So I realize there's a song about this. But juice as I've been using it, is essentially they're going to have a presence so that when you're listening to them, you really feel like you're drawn in and that they've just got some, I'm going to age myself and I'm going to say possess, they've got some type of quality that's leap off into your ear and it's going to make you want to listen to it.

And if I have a link and I can see what they've been like on other podcasts, or even in a speaking engagement, that helps me know whether or not I think they'd be a good guess. What I don't like is when I have to go look for it. And so if they don't give me anything, I Google and if I can't find anything, I'm, OK, well then if I can't find anything I'm taking it, I'm going to take a chance. Or maybe I have to chat with them first. But if I have to chat with them first, that's an extra step. And do I really have time for an extra step? And often I do because the topic's compelling enough and the person's compelling enough that I want to. But that's where make it easy for them. If you've done some good things that you can put into a video or a clip or something like that, make it easy for them to see, “Yeah, this person should be on my podcast.”

Mine also includes LinkedIn and something to one of my YouTube, my other social media posts, but not too much. You're not trying to get them to learn everything about you, what you're trying to do is show that you're a real deal. And if they're the type of interviewer like I am, who likes to do research on their guest, you're making it easy for them to do so. And that's the one sheet, it's really, really simple. It's really brief. And when people send me that, it shows me that they're serious about being a guest and it feels special. It feels like they took an extra step and they've really been thoughtful about it rather than just sending me an email and saying, hey, here's a dry list of topics that I could talk about. And it's a really long email and I'm not going to make it all the way through. So that's why I really would encourage having a one sheet.

And then it's the email itself. And I've seen the good, the bad, the ugly with these because, again, I get a few a week. So if there's any advice I give you is brief and focused. Please, please, please brief and focus. I am not going to read a three page email. I'm not going to. I'm not going to read a one page email. I don't have time. Even if I think you're fascinating, chances are I don't have time. And that's true with most people. So it should be short. And to the point. It should have your one sheet as an attachment. I would also encourage either putting it in Dropbox or Google Docs or something like that so someone could also click on it because you don't know if they're actually going to download an attachment. They might not. You don't know if they're looking on their phone and they can't. So give them a couple options.

You want a super clear, compelling subject line. This is where you don't want to bury your lead. You actually want to say, looking to be a guest on your podcast or interested in being a guest on your podcast. You don't have to get fancy about, but just tell them what the purpose of the email is. And one of the reasons that that's important is that people often have systems. So I have a system that is actually baked into my customer relationship management system that I actually send an email to somebody else. It goes into my queue and then I go in and I approve or disapprove guests all in one batch. And then it generates all of the emails and everything that comes after that for the folks that I'm not going to have on and folks I'm going to have on.

So just recognize, if you give me a good subject line, you're helping me do that. And I really appreciate that you're helping me do that because if I see it and I forget about it, I don't want to go searching for it later. I want to be able to do a quick search, find it and send it on to the people I need. Please don't lie to me is the other thing I would say I get. And a lot of this I can tell from who it comes from, that it's from a service that someone is using. And one of the tricks that the service uses is they look up the title of some podcast I did. And they say it was the best thing since sliced bread. But I can tell by the way it's written that it's just a form email and they just threw that in there.

So unless you truly are a huge fan of the podcast that you're trying to get on and you really do know them or value them or you've listened to several podcasts and what you're going to say is true and authentic, don't include it because it just feels icky. That's one thing. And a lot of people start with the, "My gosh, you're amazing." And yeah, you don't know who I am. But sometimes people send something there, I've been listening for a while and I can tell, yeah, they actually have been. And that's kind of fun. And I would love to talk to someone who's been a listener for a while because that's exciting for me. So don't lie to me, tell the truth. It's a good thing. If you have a website, I would actually include that in your signature line so that if they want to click on their website, they can. If you have a book, give them a link to that book's landing page so they can learn more about it.

My last guest, Ruth-Joy Connell, did this fabulous thing when she reached out to me, and my goodness, it got my attention right away. She actually had a video. So I clicked on a link and it took me to a really brief video where she basically said why she would make a great guest. And so that's what she did instead of a one sheet. And it was so good and it was so clear and it was so crisp that I loved it. And I actually stayed on it. And I knew right then I wanted to have her as a guest. So you can also do creative things like that. But you don't want to overwhelm them too much and make them do a lot of work to know that you're the right guest. So keep it trim, keep it clear, keep it focused.

And if you also do it in your CRM system, so if you're sending your emails directly from your CRM system, whatever that is, that will also tell you whether or not they've opened the email, which is really helpful because they haven't opened the email, you can resend it straight from there. And be prepared, not everybody is going to jump up and down immediately say, "My gosh, have me on." It may take a little follow up and you may hear crickets. Sp I would suggest half prepared, a sequence of at least four emails that are nudges. And you don't have to feel like you're being rude as long as, again, they're respectful and they're short and they're easy.

Because I've had folks on my podcast, who I was so excited to have on my podcast, and simply because they happen to come in at a time, neither before I had my system set up, which a lot of podcasts do not yet have the systems set up that make it easy for them to manage the flow of guests. It was either that or just a time when I was really busy and too much was going on and I didn't pay attention to it. So I found the nudges actually helpful to me. I just replied to someone earlier today, actually, who it was his fourth email and I felt bad. But life is what life is. And so boom, now he's going to be on my podcast, and I'm really excited. So if they say yes or they say they want to chat first, follow up immediately.

By the way, if they say they want to chat first, that's also not a bad thing because they might just want to talk through topics. Or if you haven't been on a podcast before and you didn't have a link to send them to, they might be looking for the juice, too, or whatever it is that they care about as a guest. That's actually a good thing. You've gotten a yes, you follow up and that's perfectly fine. And then just be prepared if they chat first, to ask them questions about who their audience is, what type of topics they really want to have their audience hear about and then be ready to suggest some topics that you can talk about.

Now, if you get yeses and I truly think you're going to get yeses if you follow this approach to doing it, find out as much as you can about their process. Now, again, I have systems for all of this. So my processes are actually baked into that system. And it's really clear step by step what they have to do. But this is where you want to find, and I have instructions in the whole thing, but you want to find out, is it live? A lot of people are doing live podcasts now. Is it pre-recorded and then edited? What happens if you flub up? Do they re-edit it? You want to know if it's going to be video and audio or just audio. I've had people on who didn't read the instructions, which is why I changed my system. Because, obviously, my system wasn't working and they didn't know it was going to be video. And they're, “Deb, I didn't do my hair. I'm in my sweatshirt.” And the reason that I do video is because that lets me have another way that I can actually promote the podcast and I can promote my guest. So a lot of folks are now adding video to this because it helps them be able to do that. And then see if they share questions, and don't feel offended if they don't share questions.

I don't don't share questions ahead of time. And the reason is because, like many hosts, I want it to stay as conversational as possible. And if I give people the questions ahead of time, they often will script their answers. And then that will be a snoozer of a podcast. And I don't want you to live through that. So I don't give questions ahead of time. And then likely, they'll need a headshot. They'll need a bio. They might have some forms you have to fill out. I have a release form that I have people consent to. So just be prepared. Those are typical things. It's not an odd thing for folks to ask. But definitely read them and make sure you're OK with what they say. And then you get your yeses, you got everything set up, good to go.

That's when you want to prep. And I completely recognize that you're probably going to be nervous, especially with your first two, right? I've had some of the most articulate, fabulous, juice for days people and they get nervous because it's not something they've done before. So I would say that's also why you want to look for a host that you vibe with because it's going to make it easier for it to just be two people having a good conversation. But you also might want to practice recording yourself on video and audio. And I know that that can be really nerve wracking. But I tell you way, way, way back in the day when I worked in California, I worked at Kaiser Permanente and they trained us in public speaking for the particular job I had, that made sense. And they brought in this firm and they videotaped us.

Now, I thought I was a pretty good public speaker until I saw that video. And I had no idea that I had all these weird quirks and twitches, and I did weird things with my hands. And I said the word actually over and over and over again. By the way, I know I still do that. But it can just be helpful, not as something to beat yourself up with or feel bad about yourself, but just something that you can notice what you do and maybe practice changing up some of the things that you do and say before you're under the pressure of being on someone else's podcast. And then the other thing I'd say is, you know what, it's not about perfection. People aren't looking for and aren't huge consumers of perfect podcasts. If you've listened to any of my podcasts, you know that I am not perfect, nor do I expect my guest to be.

What you really want to strive for instead of perfection is to be part of a good conversation about something that the folks you care most about care enough that you want to work with them, the things that they care about. And I always encourage folks is you're not going to get rid of your nervousness 100%, but if you can just focus on who you want to help and why they need your help and how you could actually help them, then it's going to be easier for you to worry a little bit less about yourself and how you're going to say it and more keeping the focus on the folks that you ultimately most want to serve. And then you know what? You're going to be nervous and it's OK. You can overcome some of it, you can get past some of, it'll lessen as you do more podcasts, for sure. But just know nervousness is OK. It usually goes away once you get into the groove of a conversation, particularly, if someone's a good interviewer.

So the other thing I would say is 100%, decide and practice how you are going introduce yourself. So right, you remember that usually you have about six seconds for somebody to care about what you're going to say after that. And that's usually your introduction at the beginning and you want people to keep listening. So if there's anything I would encourage you to nail down, this is how I introduce myself and practice it multiple times till you have the muscle memory of saying it, it would be how you introduce yourself because that's going to be people's first impression of you and often whether or not they will keep listening and they won't. And again, it's one of those things I've talked about it before with introduction. If I don't practice it ahead of time and I've introduced myself hundreds of times for all kinds of reasons, I'll bubble, why wouldn't I? So it's important to really think through how you want to introduce yourself and you want to introduce yourself in such a way that it's also relevant to who you want to work with and what type of work you want to do with them. And so practice that if you practice anything.

Then I would just say, you know what, think through what your main points are and any sort of subtopics or key phrases you want to make sure you hit on. Do not script. Please, please, please, please, please do not script. Nothing makes a podcast more boring than somebody who has scripted it. And the problem is because you're likely going to get nervous, you will rely on that script more than you think you're going to when you're looking at it before the podcast, when you're not nervous. So if you script it, you're going to end up sounding scripty in way more than you want to.

So what I do is I do have notes, usually it's just bullet points of key phrases, things like that. I'm really good at looking at notes quickly, going OK, yeah, that's the next thing I want to say. And then just talk about it, but keep it as conversational as you can, just put down some words that are going to remind you of some of the things you want to hit on. If you're nervous or you go down a different track with the interviewer, you're not necessarily going to say all those. But at least you thought about what those are ahead of time. And those should be the things that your audience and the audience of the person of the podcast likely are going to really care about. And so think about what those are ahead of time. And don't write down any complete sentences.

Even if you don't script, if you do a complete sentence, you'll read that complete sentence by staring at the page. It's an amazing thing. I do the same thing. So the other thing that's really important is to decide what your call to action is going to be at the end of the podcast. So this is a call to action. You want it to be simple. You want it to be singular and it's the thing you most want people who just listen to that podcast to do next. And often what happens at the end of podcast, is someone will say, just like I do, hey, where can folks find you? Or if you've told them, and you've agreed ahead of time that it's OK for you to say a specific offer, which a lot of podcasts folks will do. I certainly do that if I've seen the offer and I like it.

And so that might be that your call to action is, here's my offer. It could be a course, a webinar, a product, something like that. And you want to briefly state what it is. You want to highlight some of the key benefits to who would actually purchase it because it's all about them. It's not about your thing, it's about them. And then say quickly how they can find it. If you want to offer a freebie related to that or offer a discount to their listeners, you can do that as a way to encourage people to take the next step. I prefer the freebie route, but if you have a product and you think if I gave 15% off, less than 15%, usually doesn't get anybody's attention. You certainly could do that. I wouldn't do that on your straight consulting services. If that's what you're offering, I would give them a checklist, a tip sheet, a white paper or something like that, that's relevant to them that's actually free, but not a discount on your services.

But you can offer that. And you can say that at the end, and it makes the listeners feel special, which is a good thing. So a couple people who are on my podcast did something I just loved where they actually had a landing page that they had done specifically for my podcast. So anybody who listened, they click on one thing. They go to a landing page. And one was just spectacular. He had a video that went a little bit deeper into one of the topics that he talked about, and it was like a mini training. So now he gave great value on the podcast. He's now given a deeper layer of value and then he's leading them towards the things that they could actually purchase if they want to do this good work with them.

And so you can have something like that, that is wonderful. It's also good on your side because then you're leading people down the steps. And I'm going to talk about those in a moment, but you're also able to track a return on your investment because you can see how many people went to the page, how many clicked, how many purchased. Ultimately, you can actually try. And it also makes their audience feel really special.

Now, the last thing I want to say is what happens afterwards, right? So it's not just being on the podcast and they promote you. You actually, before you're on podcast, you want to think through what the process would be, that a would be client, a leader, a prospect would go down to ultimately converting to becoming a client of yours. So what is that journey that if you've made them curious or they like you and they're interested, what is the next thing you want them to do? And then what's the next thing you want them to do so that ultimately you can try and get them to be a client of yours? And that's the purpose of being on the podcast, right?

If someone else's podcast is a way to get access to a larger network than the one you have, then what you're really doing is you're starting them down that path, as I said, to converting into clients and you want to know and have mapped out what that path is. And so one easy way to think about it, is you start with awareness. You're on the podcast so now they're aware of you. Hopefully, they're now interested in you and then you might have a next step where now they feel a little more desires to work with you. The next step after that could be, they get a case study of some fabulous work you've done.

Or as I said, a white paper or a little training video or something like that, that gives them social proof that you do great things or makes them trust you more. And ultimately, they're able to say, yeah, this person can help me do what I want. And boom, I want to reach out to them and talk to them about it. And now you've warmed up leads. You've turned some leads into prospects. And now you can have conversations with those prospects because you know how you're going to outreach to them and convert a certain number of them to clients. So this is really about answering the question, once they listen, then what? And that then what should take them to, or a portion of them to a destination? And that destination is becoming one of your lucky, lucky clients.

For example, if what your call to action is, after they take that action, they click on something, they go to a landing page, they go somewhere, you want to know what's that next step. And what's the subsequent steps they're going to take after you've had it mapped out and ready. You're going to have thought through how you're going to promote it and how often. Because by the way, you don't just need to promote it when it first comes out, you can promote it multiple times. I've had some of my guests promote things two years after they're on and they still get people listening to it and they still get people paying attention to it. If you're going to promote it, is your host going to give you audiograms or clips or things that you're going to be able to share? And then you're going to plan out where on social media and what other mechanisms am I going to use to promote this?

Once your host starts promoting you, you want to be ready for that. So you want to know that the day it comes out, they don't always tell you, but you want to be ready for the day. It comes out to engage with anybody who's engaging with that content, wherever it is that they're promoting it. And think through, if folks were commenting and liking it and whatnot, those might potentially be leads. And then is there something that you can send them that gives them a little more value or some way you're able to connect with them? But you've thought about that ahead of time. And then you think about how do I leverage this in every possible way because this is now an impressive thing that I want people to see. So I've seen people, I thought this was brilliant. Someone was on my podcast and they put it in their signature line. So every single time they sent out an email, there was, "Hey, listen to this podcast and you could click on it." And boom.

And by the way, somebody listens to that podcast every single month. And this was a couple years ago. So particularly, if it's a topic that's relevant to the folks that you're sending emails to, it's a great way to warm them up. You can send a link to past clients, particularly if it's a topic that you think they might care about, it's a way to give them additional value and it's a way to reengage them. You can share it with prospects in discovery means. I've actually been in discovery meetings, and I've said, "I did a podcast on that." And I wasn't even trying to do anything. I just said it offhand. And many of the folks were just, "You did a podcast?" And they were just dazzled by way more than they should have been. But you can actually bring that up. You can include a link in your proposals.

Again, even if they never listened to it, it still adds a layer of social proof about who you are and your authority. And then get creative. There are all kinds of things that you might think of that you can do with this. Have folks that are in your network, give them an email for them to send it out to other people in their network. So now you're not only got to tapped into the network of whoever the host is of that podcast. But now, you've got something that's really easy for folks in your network to share with others. And of course, you've followed all my advice about how to make that easy for them. And boom, now you're getting access to even more networks and they're getting a call to action to do something else with you.

So there's so much that you can do with these, but I hope this was helpful in thinking through why this would be a good strategy for you and how to do it and how to do it in such a way that it actually serves your business purposes. So I would love to hear if anybody does this and they get on a podcast and it's their first one and they have an experience or they get a client from it. Please, please, please, please let me know. I'd love to hear how that worked out for you and how it was able to ultimately serve your business. So thank you so much for joining me today.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. I want to ask you to do actually three things. If you enjoyed this episode or if you've enjoyed any of my other ones, hit subscribe. I got a lot of other great guests that are coming up and a lot of other great content and I don't want you to miss anything. But the other two things that I'm going to ask you to do is, one is, if you have any comments, so if you have any suggestions or any kind of feedback that will help make this podcast more helpful to more listeners, please include those.

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