Do you have a podcast? Are you getting the results you desire from your show? Are you struggling to keep up with the amount of work it takes to produce and edit the content of your podcast? Is your podcast actually generating leads for your business?
OWEN: My guest today is Ben Krueger. He is the chief podcasting strategist and founder at Authority Engine. Ben, welcome to the show.
BEN: Yeah, thanks for having me Owen, really appreciate being here and getting to talk a little bit of process and podcasting, I’m always excited.
OWEN: Awesome. And so, here’s the thing, my listeners they keep watching our podcast and they want to know how we actually do it. And I said, instead of talking about how we do it, why don’t I get the expert to come on here and talk about the process behind creating a podcast for your business so that you can, on one hand, create great content and on the other hand generate leads for your business. Because you’re providing your audience with relevant content. And so today, we’re going to be talking about the 8 steps to create a podcast that one can actually use to promote and generate leads for their business. Can you just give them a quick intro of what we’ll be talking about in today’s interview?
BEN: Absolutely. So obviously, like you said there’s going to be 8 steps to this. And being that it’s a half hour interview we aren’t going to be able to dive too deep, but definitely going to jump in and talk as much as we can on some of these points. But we’re going to talk about things like scheduling guests for your podcasts interviews, recording your interviews, and editing them, all the postproduction stuff. What you need to do to apply ID3 tags and get everything posted up. Writing up your show notes, how to syndicate and market your show, and how you should be promoting each episode. So we’re going to be touching on all those points and how you can streamline and systematize those to make sure that you as the business owner aren’t spending too much time in the backend.
OWEN: That’s awesome. And so, before we even dive right in can you share with the listeners some mind-blowing results that maybe you or some of your clients have had by actually implementing the process that we’ll be talking about today?
BEN: Absolutely. So, I can definitely say for myself it has been incredibly helpful. I run the Authority Engine Podcast, which has helped me kind of position myself as a person of authority in the podcasting and podcast marketing space. And what that has helped me do, a lot of people will really aim for growing their audience and getting massive numbers. But instead the approach that I’ve taken is to take the audience that I already have and really develop the know, like, and trust factor, that relationship factor with them. Because a lot of our services, they’re not a couple of hundred bucks or up to a few thousand dollars for some of our services. So it’s not an instant decision. And building that know, like, and trust factor is what has helped me get a lot of people from– “Hey, I heard about this guy, maybe he’s got what I want” to “Yup, he knows exactly what I need and he’s got exactly what I need. This is the dude.”
OWEN: Can you also share some case studies of some of your customers that you’ve had before? I think probably Jesse Lawler as well as Justin– that way the listeners can know some results they’ve got.
BEN: Absolutely. And I’m actually going to quote a separate one. So obviously the two that you talked about are podcasters that are doing really well for their business, one that I have worked personally with recently is the Sell term life podcast or the modern life insurance-selling podcast. Sell term life is his brand name and this podcast is run specifically for people who want to sell life insurance to online and over the phone and grow their business that way. So, the guy who runs the show, the host Jeff Root is a fantastic guy. I was able to get him started with podcasting a few months ago and since that time, he’s about tripled his audience size. He’s gotten because of the podcast, a regular column in an industry trade magazine. And has had a lot of people coming to him wanting to use his documentation, because in that business one of the monetization routes is using somebody else’s documentation for a small commission. So that’s what he has been doing and he’s been seeing really great results. Obviously that’s just one of our clients that we’ve helped launch and we’ve helped quite a few. So I’m really excited about it and we’re learning more every day on how these can really help people crush it with their businesses.
OWEN: Awesome. And so let’s jump right in. So step 1 you say schedule the interviews with your guest. So let’s talk about that.
BEN: Absolutely. This is assuming that you want a guest-style podcast. You may do solo episodes, you may do other types. But for most people from what I’ve seen are using interview styles. And so there’s a couple of tools that make this really easy. One is called ScheduleOnce, you can learn about it at scheduleonce.com and I’m sure you’ll have links to all the stuff in the show notes.
BEN: But what this does is it eliminates all the back and forth email to schedule a call. So we use this similar tool to line up this call and what you want to do is send them a custom link to your schedule of your personal calendar. So, they can find a time that works for them and it allows you to batch your interviews. So let’s say on Mondays you want to do your interviews and you can bang out three interviews on Mondays and only make Mondays available in your schedule when you send out that link to your interviewees. So that’s what’s going to help you really streamline that interview scheduling process that a lot of people get hung up on.
OWEN: And that’s so true because starting out, doing the podcast, trying to line-up interview guest, if you’re not careful before you know it you’re getting away from your actual business of you’re running your business. And now trying to figure out how to schedule these people. So when you give them access to your calendar where you plotted out time in your calendar, this is when you specifically do the interview. All they got to do is use your tool, go in there, choose the time that works for them, and viola, you go ahead and [Unintelligible 00:06:27]
BEN: Yeah, it’s beautiful. And you can schedule it around, like you said, we’re business owners, we’re not just hobby podcasters, so we got other expletive to do. We got other stuff to do you know. So, I love that because it allows you to say Thursday morning’s is when you really want to do your interviews. You can line everybody up on Thursday mornings or in a certain time frame throughout the week. It really depends on how your schedule works and how you can line-up your guests.
OWEN: So, let’s jump to step 2. So record the interview. So, let’s talk about that too.
BEN: Beautiful. So obviously, there are some tools and some things involved in this. But the one thing that I want to make sure that people don’t get hung up on is the tech side of things. Because typically, and you’ll see this in every podcasting forum out there, the endless, endless discussions and debates of do I use this microphone versus that microphone, or this recording software or that recording software, or how do I do this. Really when it comes to podcasting, you want to get good quality audio without spending a whole bunch of time on those little details. Because those are really just excuses to not get started is really what it comes down to. And so, when you’re recording it, here’s the process that we use that I really suggest. We’ve developed a pre-recording checklist that helps podcasters get the best quality audio from every recording, and to avoid those scenarios that really suck your time. Like let’s say you get to the end of the interview and you realize, “Uh oh, I didn’t record that” or the file is now gone. That happens more often than most podcasters wish to admit. And so, this checklist helps with that. It helps alleviate a lot of the sound quality issues that you would usually have in an interview. And I believe that’ll be available in the show notes as well, is that right Owen?
OWEN: Can we run through some of the, in terms of the checklist real quick? That way they can have an idea.
BEN: Absolutely. So, a few of them are obvious like get your recording software set-up and ready to go. That kind of stuff, press record. But there’s a few things before you do that, that are a little bit more, you wouldn’t necessarily think of. So one is, I always unplug all of my laptop and any recording device if it has a power plug because that electricity can sometimes mess with the recording audio and the electrical current in your wires. So that’s one that I always recommend. The other is when you have a guest, you want to make sure that your guest is aware of what they can and cannot do during the interview. So, for instance you want to ask them real quick, “Hey, just so we’re aware, please don’t eat, drink, bang on the table, tap your foot on the–” because that stuff happens all the time. And you’ll hear that in interviews. As we as make sure they have their audio contained in a headset. So they’re not just letting the audio come from their laptop or their computer. And re-recording through their microphone because then you get this terrible feedback sound that you cannot edit out afterwards.
OWEN: I like that. So basically what you’re saying is figure out a series of steps that we’ll make sure that you end up getting the best quality audio and make sure the entire interview goes smoothly. And just make sure that before the interview starts you share that procedure with your guest so that you end up getting the interview the way it should be, with great quality. And so now, let’s talk about actually doing the interview. Now we’ve gotten past the pre-recording checklist. We’re talking about actually doing the interview itself. Do you Skype for your interviews? I’m curious.
BEN: Yeah. So for interview-based podcast I highly recommend Skype. And if you’re using a Mac you can use Skype Call Recorder, if you’re using a PC you can use Pamela, they do essentially the very same thing. But that will be the easiest tool for you to use as a podcaster to record those. And good quality without spending a bunch of money, spending a bunch of time. And you don’t need to get a mixing board, you don’t need to get a whole bunch of stuff to get started. Now, if you’re doing like a solo episode then I’d recommend using Audacity, or Garageband, both of which are free tools and are easy to use. And that is the best you can use for just doing a solo episode if it’s just you talking and you don’t need to record 2 sides of the conversation. So, that’s what I use as far as my stuff and that’s what I recommend for all of our clients as well.
OWEN: Okay, so basically you Skype to actually get the connection between yourself and the guest going. And then use some of these other tools like Call Recorder for Mac, Pamela for PC, this is to record the actual Skype call. I personally use this tool call Vodburner to record the Skype calls. And so you mentioned that you asked the podcasters to record locally on their end as well. Do you mean the guests that you’re interviewing? I wonder what you mean by that.
BEN: Yeah, so personally for me because I run a podcaster’s podcast, essentially like I talk to podcasters when I do my interviews, I can ask them to record their end locally. So, I’ll record my end and their end, and then I’ll ask them to record their end locally as well, which will just generally be better audio quality. However, most podcasters will not be able to do that. Because typically, if they’re interviewing let’s say a life coach consultant they’re not going to understand the technology behind recording something locally and sending it to you. So, if you only deal with high-tech people then that’s an option to get better audio quality. But for simplicity’s sake you can use a double-sided recorder like Skype Call Recorder, Pamela, or the tool you just mentioned.
OWEN: And you’re the expert on this but I just want to share a tip to the listeners where what I do is I use Vodburner and when we do their recording it splits the audio into 2 different files. In that way at the end, which we’re going to be talking about next is editing. But now you have the two different files, their side and my side. So let’s talk about step 3, which you said edit the interview. So, let’s talk about that.
BEN: Yeah. So, all of our team uses Adobe Audition for this, and this is the slightly more involved process. After this I’ll kind of touch on if you want the very minimum touch we’ll talk about one tool that’s really easy to use that kind of bang it out for you. But it allows you to, like you just said, split the audio tracks and edit them separately, make sure that you can do all that kind of stuff. And you can use Audacity or Garageband for editing. And it’s essentially the same, the only difference is there’s some additional audio filters, and you can add on that mastering element using Adobe Audition, that’s a little [Unintelligible 00:13:55]. But the whole concept of editing is that you want the episode to flow naturally, and to be a conversation that your audience can connect with. So if your guest makes way too uhm’s and aah’s naturally you’re going to want to drop some of those out because it can be a little bit distracting. Let’s say you’re talking about something, and you slip and you say something that might be offensive to a certain group of people, typically you’re going to want to go back and drop that out as well. But while you’re doing so, one kind of tip that I found helps reduce the editing and post production time significantly. As I go through the editing we also take notes for what we’re going to write up in our show notes a little bit later. So we’ll jot down all the tools, tips, books, resources, links, that kind of stuff that’s mentioned in the episode. And we’ll also jot down general talking points. So what are the things that we talked about, that we can write some enticing bullet points about, that we can write up a little bit of an intro paragraph about. And that will help you when you get done with the editing process to do the show notes much more quickly. So, it’s kind of 2 birds one stone.
OWEN: Is the point where you also add the intros and outros as well as part of the editing?
BEN: Absolutely, yeah. So with the editing process we kind of edit the main file for content and flow. So taking out the umms, ahhs, that kind of stuff, the mistakes. Then we drop in the intros and outros, or otherwise known as your audio branding. Then we apply filters and an audio mastering element to just kind of clean it up, make sure everything’s level and it sounds professional. And then the final piece is we export that as an mp3 s that we can ID3 tag it and load it up to our hosting. So that’s kind of the whole process. But the super streamlined tool here to use, of you as a podcaster should not be spending a whole lot of time with the post-production, plain and simple. So you’ve got a couple of options. If you want to do it yourself there’s a tool called Auphonic, it’s actually auphonic.com, you can check it out. They’ve got a little freemium model. But it allows you to upload your intro, outro, the main track, and you can ID3 tag it plus, and audio mastering on it like level everything, make sure that it all sounds right, and have an audio mastering element. And have it automatically do all of those things. Now, obviously, that’s not going to be nearly as good as having a professional edit or going through it yourself. But if you’re looking for getting it done really quickly and you feel like your episodes don’t need much editing, that’s just how they’re going to be something that you’re going to want to look at.
OWEN: Let’s wait for Skype to catch-up because sometimes when the bandwidth is low, it slows down the interview. So anyways, you were saying that as a podcaster you don’t want to do the post-production yourself. And so you mentioned a tool that they can actually use called Auphonic. I actually use that tool, a great tool to kind of level out and balance out the sound and all that automatically. Or, they can go hire an editor for post-production from sites like Elance, oDesk, or even possibly your service as well. So, I think now the edited content, the next step you said was add the ID3 tag and polish the interview. So before we start, what do you mean by ID3 tags?
BEN: So ID3 tagging, what it is it adds labels to the file, the audio file, the mp3 file that you’re going to upload to your site so that iTunes, Stitcher, and some of these other readers that podcasters will use to listen to your episodes. It essentially gives them information about that file. So all it means is you’re able to add your podcast artwork, you’re able to add your keywords of what that podcast episode is about, the descriptions, all that kind of stuff so that you can– It’s kind of like keyword tagging of blog post for SEO. It’s the same concept except for iTunes, Stitcher, and some of the other podcast directories out there.
OWEN: So basically ID-ing whatever is necessary so that whatever podcast directory like iTunes, Stitcher and whatever, they have some means to search and index you content and know what it’s about. So this is the point where the ID3 tagging comes in play. And what tool do you use to do this?
BEN: So you can use iTunes, you can use Auphonic, that tool we were just mentioning if you’re going to use that. And iTunes is free so that’s the one I use. There’s actually a few paid little software pieces out there but you don’t need them. You can either use iTunes or Auphonic. And I’d be curious to learn what you use Owen?
OWEN: I just use Auphonic, put in the basic information in there and that’s it. I don’t go too fancy but it’s just mostly Auphonic I use for the ID3 tagging as well. And so now the next point you say, step number 5, write your notes. I thought you were already doing that while you were editing? But can we talk about why you said this should be a separate step, step number 5?
BEN: Definitely. So while you’re editing you’re typically taking notes of what you’re going to write up in your show notes. So now you’ve got like a little bit of a notepad or a list of the bullet points of things that you talked about. And one concept that I want to make really clear is for all these post-production stuff, again, you as the podcaster probably are not the best person to be doing this stuff because your time is better spent as the business owner, as generating that content. Not necessarily polishing it up, put the nice bow on it and then scheduling it to go live. So, my heavy recommendation to you guys as business-owning podcasters is to find somebody else that’s good at it. Obviously, I run a service that provides these services. However, as Owen said, you can find people on Elance, oDesk, and you can even have some of your team if you already have a team doing social media post and that kind of stuff, you can have them doing this. But essentially what you want to do is take the notes that you, or the bullet points of whatever you wrote down as you’re going through the editing process and write out your show notes based off of those. You can take everything that you talked about that needs links, put that into a little bullet pointed section. And the easiest way to do this is to set-up your show notes format one time for your first episode or your next episode. And then for all your next episodes you simply copy and paste those from your previous ones and just tweak them. So, typically an example would include a short introductory paragraph, some enticing bullet points, then links out to all the tools, people, resources that you talked about. Maybe a special listener shout out section and then a call to action at the very end, which is typically an email capture or something like that. But, once you have that format then you simply– you might re-type the introductory paragraph, switch the bullet points around to the bullet points that you talked about in this episode, pop-in your links and you’re good to go.
OWEN: Awesome. Basically, you have that format, you keep using that format over and over again. Maybe I could just talk about our format real quick. In the beginning we have the summary of what’s– maybe the attention-getting headline. Underneath that is we continue to talk about what the headline is talking about, like a summary. Underneath that we tell them specifically what they’re going to learn, like a bullet point list of what they’re going to learn. And then we include links to resources that they guest talked about or things they shared during the interview. And space for the transcript itself because [Unintelligible 00:22:38] fans maybe get some of the transcribed and stuff. And then at the end we give them a call to action on what they should do. But it’s still, like you mentioned, is the same format all the time, we just replace it with relevant content based on what the topic was about. So, I get exactly what you’re saying.
OWEN: So now, the listener, you can follow this idea Ben just shared. And curious, you mentioned that it would be better to hire two separate people for editing and show notes writing. Why do you say that?
BEN: Yeah, because typically, somebody who is good at editing is terrible at writing. This is something that I’ve found in hiring and managing from my own business for my own service, as well as when I first started out doing this stuff myself, I’m a better writer than I am an editor. So, usually those skill sets don’t necessarily match-up. And so, often times you will want to– it’s easier to teach somebody how to edit than it is to teach somebody how to write. So, if you’re pushed to have somebody doing both, find somebody who writes in the right style that you want and then teach them how you want it to be edited. But in an optimal scenario you can get your audio edited relatively quickly and cheaply but the show notes writing portion is typically the part that involves a higher skill set. So, [Unintelligible 00:24:13] social media or doing your blog editing, or blog post, or something like that, that’s going to be the person you’re going to want to do the writing for sure.
OWEN: Awesome. And so, next step is step number 6, we say upload to Libsyn. Before we talk about that, what exactly do you mean by– what is Libsyn, I’m curious?
BEN: So, Libsyn is a podcast hosting service. So there’s a couple of them out there, and Libsyn is the one that I highly recommend and use. You can use Amazon as the [Unintelligible 00:24:45]
OWEN: Can you repeat that because we’re having a– Can you repeat that?
BEN: …I can’t remember it. I used to use it and I switched so now I don’t even track them anymore.
OWEN: Yeah, can you repeat? Because we have the bandwidth issues.
BEN: Yeah, you can use Amazon S3. Sure. So Libsyn is a podcast hosting tool and it’s the one that I use personally, it’s the one that I personally recommend. There’s a couple other options out there like Amazon S3, and there’s a couple of other podcast, specific ones like Blubrry. But I’ve used all of them and by far my favorite is Libsyn because it’s incredibly reliable, it’s much faster than the others. They have really good, reliable stats do you can actually track how your show’s doing. And it’s affordable as well. But the piece that I really like about it is it’s separate from your website. So that when you have any issues particularly with a WordPress website, some of the other hosting platforms make it difficult just the way that you have to set-up your RSS feed. They can interfere with the way your RSS feeds submits to iTunes and Stitcher. It’s a long story that has some technical issues. But Libsyn allow you to create an RSS feed that’s completely and utterly separate from WordPress. And in doing so, you can avoid a whole ton of headaches. Because I’ve been through this. I can’t even count how many times. And doing so, I’ve now transitioned all of our clients over to Libsyn and have far, far fewer headaches.
OWEN: So the reason to upload to a tool like Libsyn is now– let me see if I can summarize. It allows you to first of all create a special kind of RSS feed, like a feed for the podcast. And then, they themselves now distribute it to the other podcast directories like iTunes and the other ones, right? Am I correct in saying that?
BEN: Correct. And there’s a few options out there but I like that one. And it makes it very simple, the uploading process. It’s essentially click a link to upload, you add in your info about that episode very similar to what you did with the ID3 tagging. And it can automatically be ready to go. And that’s really all there is to it with Libsyn. Now, Libsyn does also have their own distribution network that they market as an advantage. However, we as marketers, that is not an advantage, because their goal as Libsyn is to get people to come to their platform. Whereas your goal as a podcaster is to get people to come back to your platform which is your website. That’s where your products and services are, that’s where more information about you is. So, that’s not even something that we use particularly for any of our clients and that kind of stuff.
OWEN: Do they put ads in that if you use their network, I’m just curious.
BEN: No, they don’t. There are some networks. There’s one called Podbean, and then there’s a couple of others that are “free platforms”. But the problem with that, number 1, they do insert ads into your content, and number 2, they own your content. So, if you ever try to take ownership of your content, move it to your website, or say, “Hey, these are mine. I’m going to upload them to Libsyn or some other host.” They literally own that content, and you cannot take it.
OWEN: Okay, so do you recommend– Because during the pre-interview you talk about iTunes for distribution. So do you recommend it? I’m just curious.
BEN: Yeah, absolutely. So iTunes is going to be where most of your downloads come from as a podcaster. So whether people are already following you on your website or not, that’s where most of the magic happens with podcasting. And Stitcher is kind of trying to make a name for themselves in this space, and they’re growing. However, they’re still secondary to iTunes by a far cry. So usually the distribution that I’ve seen is about 70% downloads will come from iTunes. Maybe 10 to 15 tops coming from Stitcher. And then, you might get some other episodes downloaded directly from your site. Some off of some of the other more obscure directories. But, as a marketer of course, even with iTunes, you want people to come back to your site, and you want people to get your content on repeat. So much like a blog you want people to sign-up to your email list or your RSS. It’s the same concept with a podcast, you want people to subscribe to your show so that it’s automatically delivered to them on a consistent basis whenever you publish episodes. So then, on those episodes you can have strong calls to action to draw people back to your website, back to more value for them.
OWEN: So that includes basically call to action, listening to the podcast for them to maybe subscribe for whatever, opt-ins or come back to use a specific page in your website. As well as I’m thinking also, you’re including specific links inside of the description that is on that podcast. So that while they’re listening to the podcast and clicking and reading the description, they can actually click the link to go to your site.
BEN: Absolutely. And until recently, until the recent iTunes update that was not possible. You couldn’t actually include a link. But, since about 3 months ago as of this recording you could. So, our team, what we do is we include a little Bitly redirect link so that it’s not this massive link in your description. But when people are listening to it they can click, and then it goes to the mobile version of your site, because obviously they’re on their phone, or their iPod, or whatever they’re listening to your show on. And so that’s one way to get that direct response or direct call to action.
OWEN: Awesome. And so step number 7 you said schedule your blog post, let’s talk about that.
BEN: Absolutely. So this is kind of the final piece of you’ve written up your show notes, you’ve got your episode loaded up to Libsyn and you’ve kind of connected that with your show notes, everything’s good to go. This is the part where you just schedule your post to go live to the world. And you want your post as well as your episode to go live at the same time. So obviously, if the episode’s live on iTunes but there’s no show notes yet, that’s going to be a little bit frustrating to people when they try to find that and find the links and stuff you’re talking about. But typically, we recommend that people get a consistent publishing schedule. So, Tuesday morning 6 a.m., Eastern Standard. It allows people to get into a habit of knowing when they’ll be able to get new content from you. And with most of the website properties out there, and I’m going to assume everybody is using WordPress listening to the show, that’s incredibly easy to do using Libsyn, that’s really easy to do as well. So, it’s actually about 2 clicks to set-up for each of those and you’re entirely ready to go. The final piece is you just want to take a quick look over your episode and the show notes to make sure that there’s no errors or no glaring issues. Make sure the links work, that kind of stuff, before you send it out to everybody.
OWEN: Awesome. And again, let me make sure I put the emphasis on the need for it to have a schedule. Because if you’re thinking about like a TV show, you know your favorite TV show comes on at Monday at 6 p.m. every day. So, if you want to create that kind of like fan and people loving your show, and coming around to always listen to it then there you see the point for your to have a consistent schedule for it. And they know when to expect it I guess. And so you said step number 8 you said, promote podcast and episode. Explain that.
BEN: Yeah, so this is– Oh, sorry I didn’t mean to cut you off their Owen. Yeah, okay, so with this part for most podcasters this is where they really drop off because they spent so much time recording the episode and then in post production, which is one of the reasons why I advise people to not do post-production themselves. Because by the time they get to this point, which is the most important, they just drop the ball because they’re sticking it. So, with episode promotion we’ve actually created a checklist that lays out all of the best options and the easiest ways to promote your show so you can just kind of rundown that checklist and make sure that it’s done. But obviously there’s the typical, you want to share it via the social media avenues. The Facebook, Twitter, Google+, yadayada. And here’s a view of that list, and I encourage you guys to check this out and use it for every episode that you publish. But here’s a few that you’ll want to directly use. Number 1, if you did an interview, you want to immediately, directly email the person you interviewed with a little about– tell them, “Hey, just want to let you know we went live with your show and we’re really excited about it. We’re going to be sharing it around. I would appreciate it if you did too.” And particularly if they’re busy people you can pre-write social media posts. So you can say, “We wrote up a few sample social media posts if you’d like to use them. If you like to use your own, go for it.” And so, you just pre-write some little snippets that they can use, they can copy paste into their social media profiles. Because typically, interview guests are pretty busy people. So we want to make this stupid easy for them to share on their end as well. So, those are a few. And I’ve got a couple more if we’ve got some time to dive in maybe just one or two more you think Owen?
OWEN: Yeah, we can share one or two more because we wanted to get a means to share and promote the content after it’s been live on their blog. So share one or two more.
BEN: Definitely. Okay, here’s probably my favorite that gets some really good results is– and you do this every once in awhile but if you think about, let’s say for a specific episode, you know that its content is about X, it helps people solve this problem or whatever. Then you can think about groups online that have people that, that episode will help, or will help them solve that problem. So maybe it’s a Facebook group, LinkedIn group, some form of online membership site or forum, or a newsletter, a blog, another podcast, something like that, to where it’s a group that has a clear leader or an owner. And that’s important for kind of the next step because you want to reach out to the person who’s running those groups personally, via email, pick up the phone and give them a call. I know it’s a digital age but we’re allowed to still call people and talk to them personally. But you want to come to them and say, “Hey, just want to let you know I just came out with this episode where we talk about how people can do this, this, and this. For your group in particular, I felt this might be helpful because I’ve been getting request from my audience also interested in whatever you’re doing.” So, obviously make a connection there to your audience and their audience. You want it to be very helpful to their audience because you have their best interest in mind, them providing good content for their audience, not you trying to spam your stuff wherever you can. So reach out to them directly, say, “Hey, just want to let you know, here’s this episode that we put up because we were hearing this problem in the industry, this problem that people were having difficulty solving. And I feel like it might be helpful to your audience. Of course, I’ll let you be the judge of that, really appreciate it, if you don’t post it no worries, cheers.” And so, it’s very much a, here it is if you want it, nothing personal if you don’t post it. And you’d be surprised how often people, even people who have pretty big influence will share that content around if it is truly helpful to their audience, that’s the key.
OWEN: Awesome. So can you show another tactic that’s good for promoting the content?
BEN: Definitely. So one of the other ones that I really like is you can do this really easily with Facebook or Twitter. But instead of, let’s say we go live with the podcast on Tuesday and then we do all of our social media and stuff on Tuesday. And then we never post it again. That’s what typically happens with the average online marketer and content marketer. But instead, what we want to do is we want to recycle that content in our social media presences. And I’ve found for the next 6 months works really well, especially if we’re creating Evergreen content. Now, if we’re doing weekly news updates, this is going to be so helpful.
OWEN: Yeah, it gets dated, yeah.
BEN: Yeah. But what you can do with Twitter and with Facebook. Facebook you can do this actually in the platform, with Twitter you’ll need to use like Hootsuite or some kind of a scheduler. But you can schedule out once per month for the next 6 months for that same post to go out. And it can even be the exact same social media text, it doesn’t have to change. But you want to vary the time or the day of the week and what time during that month that goes out. So, first one goes out on a Tuesday morning, then I would probably send that out on a Friday night the third week of the next month. Then the following on a Monday afternoon, and the second week. The whole idea is to get different people, because different people are online at different times. And even sometimes the same person seeing it over again will be like, “Oh yeah, I’d like to listen to that.” And once a month is not enough that annoys the crap out of people, but it reminds them, “Hey, check this out if this is of interest to you.” Because you’re here to provide value, you’re not here to bug the crap out of people.
OWEN: So the first tactic that you shared was basically identifying specific, targeted group leaders that will found value in the content. Because their community will find that content valuable. So you’re targeting them and you’re reaching out to them, and leaving it up to them to share it or not. But you’ve already done your homework to make sure that it’s relevant in the first place. The other one is using tools like Hootsuite and whatever to basically set us up so that the post gets updated on social media over a recurring basis over a period of time. So that way it’s not just only the week the podcast comes out. But you can schedule it so that recurring post go out for a period of maybe 6 months after that very content came out. I’m even curious, maybe on top of that they consider using social media ads like Twitter ads and even Facebook ads to basically put some more gasoline on that content.
BEN: Yeah, that’s definitely something that we are actually testing out right now with our show and with some of our client’s shows is doing like Facebook promoted posts, doing some of the promoted Twitter type of stuff. And the whole content or the concept there is to pay for your content to be in front of more people. So, really what it comes down to is figuring out what it’s worth for you to gain a new listener, gain a new subscriber, gain a new client or customer. And so this is something we’re testing out right now. I don’t go out and publicly advocate it necessarily because I haven’t fully tested it. I really think it’ll make a very big difference on what market you’re in, what kind of content you’re advertising for. But this is something I definitely got a close eye on.
OWEN: I definitely see that too as well. And so, we’ve talked about the 8 different steps. But what would you say is the most important parts that the listener should really be focusing on the most?
BEN: Yeah, so the most important parts as a content marketer is definitely going to be thinking about that content piece and who you’re actually going to be interviewing. And then obviously the really easy to systemize part is kind of the scheduling and making sure the interview and recording part goes smoothly. So we’ve kind of giving you the tools and the ideas to make sure that scheduling and interviewing piece goes smoothly. But you also want to make sure– that’s kind of number 1. Then number 2 is your marketing. Because if you’re recording all this content and you’re putting all this work into it but you’re not marketing it well, then what the heck are we doing here? You’re not using your time very wisely. So, that’s the biggest shortcoming I see with podcasters, is they record the content, they put it out there, but they don’t actually actively market it because they feel like it should take care of themselves. And it’s kind of like blogging. If you just write blog posts, very few people are going to find your blog beyond your mom and her quilters guild, you know. So, the other pieces is everything in the middle, all of that post-production stuff after you do the recordings, you as the podcaster should not be messing with that. That should be something to where you finish your recording, you send it off, somebody else handles it. And then you market it once it goes live. And like we said before you can hire outside, you can use services, you can use your internal team but it should not be you.
OWEN: Awesome. And so, the listener who’s listening to all of the points that we’ve shared so far, the 8 steps, by the end of the day it all has to translate into sales because they’re in business, right? So, how can the listener now use their podcasting production process to actually generate sales? Let’s talk about some ways that happen.
BEN: Yeah. So the very first part is I like to backup because a lot of people haven’t really considered this is making sure that they’re targeting the right audience. So, with a podcast it’s very easy to get caught up in the I need download numbers mentality, where download numbers don’t transition to anything. They don’t mean anything. All they mean is number of people walking around with your stuff on their iPod, they don’t even necessarily need to listen to it. So, for you specifically what you want is that kind of super targeted optimal client or customer of yours 1 to 2 years down the road. And I say this because a lot of people get caught up in the, “Well, right now here’s who my customers are so I need more of them.” Not necessarily. If you’re looking to progress with your business and you want to grow the number of clients in your business, or you want to reduce the number of clients but each client is worth much more to your business. You need to figure that out and be very specific about who you’re targeting and target very specifically that kind of golden goose if you will listener. And I’ve actually come up with what I’ve termed the golden goose listener litmus test. And I can shoot this over to you as well. It’s a really quick test and a series of questions people can go through to make sure that they are targeting their absolute best audience. Because once you do that everything else is pretty easy. Serving that best audience once you understand who they are and what their needs are, is so much easier than this massive audience that you’re trying to appeal to. And there’s no point in being a small fish in a big pond when you can be the dominant fish in a small pond.
OWEN: Awesome. And that also goes without saying that now you’ve already built this pipeline of people who might be needing your services because you’re creating content that’s relevant to them and is very targeted. But you also have your products, which when they sign, if they come to your site they can always find their way there. You’re also making sure that you are directing them based on what’s the very next step they should take.
BEN: Of course. And with podcasting you need to think of it as you’re a publisher. Now, all of the content that you’re publishing is to get people comfortable with you, is to build their trust in you, is to let them see that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re an expert, or that you are in a certain space. And that for them to take the next step of whatever journey they’re on if they’re trying to grow their business, if they’re trying to make more money, if they’re trying to lose weight, whatever it may be. That next step should be something that you offer to them as some form of an email opt-in or something that can lead them to your products, services, that kind of that stuff. Because we’re trying to build a long-term relationship here to convert our listeners to paying customers where we can really help them. Whereas as a listener we can just kind of help them with content. But as a customer or a client we can really help with our products, services, consulting, whatever it may be.
OWEN: Awesome Ben. So what would say the very next step that someone who’s been listening to this interview should take in order to get started implementing some of these ideas regarding creating podcasts for their business?
BEN: So, if you already have a podcast I recommend you checkout the show notes of this episode, grab the pre-recording checklist, and the episode marketing checklist, or episode promotion checklist, and implement those. That will take very little time at all. And you should be able to see some results with that really quickly. If you don’t yet have a podcast I think the better option for you is to do, and I’ll send this over to you Owen is the golden goose listener litmus test that will help you figure out, hey, okay, so here’s the person I’m targeting. And regardless of whether or not I want to start a podcast, this is who I need to be targeting with my marketing. So that will be kind of the very first biggest, knock down the most dominoes type of a step somebody can take.
OWEN: Awesome. And so, what’s the best way for the listener to kind of thank you for doing this interview and reach out to you.
BEN: You can find me over authorityengine.com and there’s multiple ways to get in touch with me over there. You’ll see my Twitter handle, my Facebook and all that fun stuff. And of course if you are a podcaster and you are looking to use it as a better marketing tool for your business, I encourage you to check out our podcast, Authority Engine, which will help you do that. All of the episodes are geared towards that. And that is kind of our end goal. And of course, I’m always here to help you guys get where you’re trying to go particularly with the podcast marketing angle. So that’s really all there is to it on my end my man.
OWEN: Awesome. And so there’s a final question for you? Is there a question that you were wishing I asked you during the interview and for one reason or the other I didn’t ask you. If so, post the question and the answer.
BEN: Yes, I think the question really is why podcasting in the first place? And the reason particularly for all those business owners out there that are trying to systemize their business. I think this is a really good fit. Podcasting isn’t for everyone. However, podcasting is right for you if you are looking to build a personal brand, you’re looking to build yourself up as an expert, as a name in the industry, as somebody who does business as a personal brand. So you’re not Starbucks but you do consulting, speaking, coaching, you have some form of a membership site, or you have something like that, you’re an author. That’s where it’s really great to do podcasting. And if you’re building a community, because that allows you to position yourself in a way that you can lead a community of people as opposed to being this faceless brand. And particularly for those of you out there listening to this show I know that you’re super interested in processes. A lot of people come to me because blogging is too much work for them. It takes too much time, it takes too much mental bandwidth, and instead they’re much better and find it far more enjoyable to hop on a phone call with somebody to do an interview about stuff they love and just record that and turn that into a podcast which can be content for them, instead of doing this blog writing. So that is kind of the who podcasting is for and who it can really benefit that I think those of the listeners out there can really takes a good think on whether or not that’s the best option for them.
OWEN: Awesome. And so I’m speaking to you the listener right now. If you’ve enjoyed this interview I want you to do one thing, go to sweetprocess/itunes and leave us a positive review, hopefully give us a 5-star review and share the review with other entrepreneurs who you feel will find value in this interview as well. Ben, thanks for doing the interview.
BEN: Yeah man, really appreciate you having me on. I always love to talk process and podcasting, two of my favorite things.
OWEN: And we’re done.