Jeremy, it’s great to have you on the show.
It’s great to be here. I am stoked to share some value with your audience.
Let’s start with a little bit about your story because you have a fun origin story. How you ended up doing the Command Your Brand stuff wasn’t just a straightforward path that started with some different things. Do you want to share a bit about how you got to where you are now?
My degree is a double major in Catholic Theology and Torah and then I got my Master’s in Ancient History, which is early Roman Empire propagandas. These are totally unmarketable skills that you can’t use outside of maybe a museum or a college. My real goal was to be a university professor and I didn’t get into the program I wanted at NYU. I applied to one school, I didn’t get into that PhD program and it was like, “What do you do now?” I ended up teaching at a private school, teaching US History to sophomores, which is really tough because they don’t care about school and they do want to abuse the new guy. It was a weird position to be in. I did that for about a year, and about a year into that my mom had a stroke. It was a tough situation for me because at that point in time, she was one of the strongest people in my life and one of the people I talked to the most.
It brought me back to an experience I had at nineteen where I had a knee surgery that was supposed to be easy and went wrong. My right lung over expanded, my left lung collapsed and I got last rites in the hospital. It didn’t affect me at nineteen but at 24 when it was my mom, I was like, “You can actually die. The show can actually be over.” We didn’t lose her but it was tough on me for probably a year and a half after that point. I ended up quitting that teaching job after my second year because I didn’t see where it was going. My wife had been presented with a network marketing opportunity which I had no idea what that was. They showed me this video and I was like, “Millions of dollars, how is nobody doing this?” I ended up jumping into this business. I made a few thousand bucks a month but it was nothing to write home about and I got burnt out quick.
From there I went to selling life insurance and selling products on Amazon. I ended up settling in somebody else’s digital marketing firm doing website design, things like that. I learned how to do all this from YouTube videos. At the end of that stretch, I started my podcast, which is Create Your Own Life and that propelled me to a lot of success there. I left that business working with somebody else and started a podcast production studio. We found out that 20% of what people liked that we did was getting booked on podcasts. We did that along with the whole PR strategy because there were other people that were booking podcasts, “How can we continue to do it better?” That’s how we are at Command Your Brand now.
What an amazing story and you’re leaving tons of stuff out like the fact that you’re a former champion powerlifter. Where did that come into the picture?
I was a wrestler in school. I wrestled 145 and that’s the competitive part of you. You always weightlift when you’re wrestling. I got out of school and I was like, “I love this.” Fitness is always a huge component of my life. I was a personal trainer for eight years in the background while all this stuff was going on. I’ve done some interesting stuff. I pulled an 80,000-pound army tank at the back of an eighteen-wheeler as a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. I also did Big 3 competitions, which are squat, bench and deadlift. My personal best there, I deadlifted 635, squatted 705 and benched 425. I’m not a big guy. I’m 5’7” and a buck 75. I’m not a huge guy.
Are you still lifting weights these days? Is this something that you are maintaining or are you focused on your business now?
I don’t do the competitive aspect of it anymore but it’s still a lot of fun. I squatted 545 for a nice good solid four reps. I’m still doing these weights. I’m just not doing it competitively anymore.
Why Create Your Own Life podcast? Why not How To Get Booked on Podcasts podcast or How to Create An Agency Podcast? There are many things that you’re an expert in that you could share your vision and ideas and bring great guests or whatever. Why this topic?
When I started the show in early 2015, I didn’t have any of those things. That wasn’t what I had. The biggest thing I wanted to do was learn from other people because I didn’t have a business. I didn’t have anything like that. I was working on somebody else’s content marketing and web design firm. I wanted to learn from successful people but the worst thing you can ask somebody is, “Can I pick your brain?” They hate to hear that because it’s like, “Sure, I want another unpaid job where I spend my time mentoring you.” People don’t want to do that. I figured how I can learn from people and how can I also offer something of value to others. That’s where the podcast came from because when I had jumped out of my teaching job into that network marketing thing full-time, my dad was like, “You are nuts.” Both my parents are high school graduates and to them, the fact that I went to college was a big deal. He was like, “You get this job. You work there and eventually they take care of you.” I was like, “Dad, I want to create my own life,” and he looks at me and goes, “Good luck with that.”
That stuck with me for a bit and it turned out to be what I called my podcast because I want to look at people that did it their own way but not just that way. They did it at a high level. I got to learn from some amazing people like the Grant Cardones, Seth Godins and Robin Sharmas of the world. The amazing thing about that is not only did I learn but I got to share that learning with other people. As I started getting noticed, other people started saying, “Can you do that for me?” We started doing podcast production. The thing we ran into is it wasn’t what I wanted out of a business. It wasn’t storytelling. There was a lot of time spent on the audio production, the web design and all the stuff. It turned out to be this behemoth that I didn’t want to do. We found that our clients absolutely loved getting on a podcast before we launched their show because we basically decided, “If we’re going to launch this thing, we have to tell people about who you are and what you do and then where they can find it.”
My wife has been in the PR space for years. She and I have worked together to do everything I’ve done on my podcast and everything we’ve done with our business. Because we were thinking in that mindset, people said, “We like this 20% that you do.” We got rid of the other 80% of all the production and we said, “How can we help people tell a better story in the right place, but also with the strategy behind it?” To me, that’s why everything went the way it has because when I started the show, I didn’t have anything. It’s the show that got me noticed, got me writing at different publications and got me featured in the press. I’m like, “Let’s help other people do this.” That’s where it came from.
For our audience who are thinking about maybe being on podcasts or starting their own podcast, what’s more important or more impactful to their business typically? Is it to have their own podcast or is it to be a regular guest on a bunch of different podcasts?
I feel both strategies can be very successful, it just depends on what you want to do with it. For me, my main branding play was the podcast. It’s how I was able to build how people knew me and build my own credibility and get great brand positioning by the people I was talking to. The issue you’re going to see now and you’ve probably noticed is there are a lot of shows in the podcast space doing the exact same thing. The thing I like to tell people is, “Unless you have something very different to say and a very different way to tell it, it’s probably not the best idea for you to start a show now.” In that way, everybody can benefit from going on shows to build their brand. Let’s say you already have a podcast and you want to promote that, the people that you want to hear you are the people who are listening to podcasts. Getting on other shows are going to be great in that way.You need to start small before you can go big. Click To Tweet
If you’re somebody else who has a business and doesn’t want to start a show, you can see a pretty amazing impact from being on the right shows and talking to the right people. It doesn’t mean you have to have a podcast. The thing I tell people is, “Unless you have something very unique to say, it’s a good idea for you not to start a podcast. If you have something very unique to say, then go for it.” John Lee Dumas has done a great job with the EOFire but at this point, 20,000 people have tried to do the exact same show and it makes those shows unlistenable. You have to think about more from the standpoint of, “What’s in it for the listener?” than “What’s in it for me?” because you’ll actually see the success if you’re thinking of the listener first.
What would be the evolution of a strategy here for our audience? Do they first create one sheet? Do they create a list of dream podcasts they want to get on? Do they create a strategy document for some marketing plan? What does this look like? What’s the roadmap?
The thing you have to take a look at is a lot of people don’t start on a basic enough level. Their business website doesn’t represent them well-enough. The thing you need to take a look at is how does that show represent you or how does your site represent you. A lot of times they should start taking a look at their personal brand, their verbiage, their imagery, things like that before they even consider getting on a podcast or building a PR plan. Your website should have several main pages on it. You have your home page, you have your About Us. It should also have a media page. This is the thing that it seems to me is basic but it’s something that a lot of people don’t do. This page is going to store all the places you’ve been featured in the press, all the places you’ve been featured in podcasts. The thing about this is it starts to position you as a celebrity. People may say, “I don’t have any early press or things like that.” What you should be doing is looking at what your small pond is.
What I mean by that is I grew up in a small town, it’s about five-eighths of a mile. There’s nobody there. If I run something in the newspaper there, it’s usually going to run. That’s what you want to take a look at. Who is the small group that cares about you? It could be your university. It could be a newspaper. It could be a Rotary Club or something like that. Start with these things as your basic. That’s where you’re going to start creating these press pieces on your site. From there you want to get clear on, “If I’m going to start appearing on podcasts, why am I doing it?” That’s what a lot of people aren’t super clear on. They are thinking that going on a podcast is this massive lead engine. They’re going to appear on shows and they’re going to be counting their leads all day long. That’s not how it works. It’s about part of bringing leads that way but it’s also about getting seen, getting more credibility and being in more places. That’s what you have to start out with. Get your media in the right place, start figuring out what your purpose is, and only then can you decide, “Who is the perfect group of people to hear me?”
That’s one of the biggest things people don’t look at, “Who is the best group of people to hear me?” It could be people who are C-Suite. It could be people who are entrepreneurs. It could be people who are in the health space. Figure out what they are and then start looking at smaller shows in those categories and reaching out to those first. Like I was explaining with getting press, you need to start small before you can go big. That’s where a lot of people don’t realize what they’re doing. They think there’s some elevator press because they want to be an entrepreneur, they want to be on Inc. or they want to be on the number one podcast out there. You have to start somewhere. You need to find out what the stairs look like. Start with smaller shows. As you’ve gone on a few of those, you can use those shows to go to the next level. Figure out what your small shows are and start battle planning that out in a spreadsheet.
Your stair step is like with any media. When I got on TV, I started with small markets like Tucson and Reno and worked my way up to Phoenix and then to Sacramento. The idea is that nobody is going to take you on their national show like Good Morning America if you don’t have quite a lot of experience. A big podcast like Mixergy or Entrepreneur On Fire won’t take you as a first timer as a podcast guest.
What’s funny though is the number of people who don’t understand that. I feel like that awareness and understanding that there are stairs and that elevator is important, but a lot of people totally missed that.
Do you have a roadmap that you give to clients and say, “These are the steps and the process, the steps and the types of shows?” Some infographic or some visual blueprint for them to follow like, “This is how we’re going to roll out over the next X number of weeks.”
Generally, what we do is when people come on board with us, we go through a whole coaching process with them first. We find that there are a couple of different things going on. There are either people that don’t know the strategy of what they’re doing. They go on and talk and it doesn’t bring us to any end goal. There’s also another part of people who haven’t done a lot of media. They have seen a little bit of training. We do a coaching session with them first and figure out their story, messaging and call to action. That’s basically what’s your personal story? What’s the message you want to teach? What do you want people to do? A lot of times, you’ll see people leave that call to action just hanging there.
Once we get that together, we’ll start putting together shows that we’re going to be targeting from them. That’s something that we go over with them in our process as we start reaching out to them. That’s what it looks like. It’s figuring out the story, message, call to action, then figuring out the perfect audience and then we’ll put together our targeting and go through that with them and what that’s going to look like. It’s not super complicated but that needs to be in place before we do any reach out. Number one, we need to make sure somebody is going to appear as a great guest, but number two, that we feel good about the shows that we’re going to be putting them on.
First, I hired a PR firm and then I started getting mentions in magazines and newspapers. They wanted to get me on TV but they wanted me to go through some media training, which they didn’t offer but they knew people who did this well. There’s a lot of tactical stuff you have to know. For example, if you’re going to be on TV and you’re wearing a jacket or a blazer, you want to sit on the tails of that blazer so it pulls your coat back so it doesn’t look all crumpled and has creases or anything in it while you’re on TV. I would never have thought about that if I hadn’t had the media training. There’s tactical stuff, there’s also strategic stuff. You don’t just be on a show and talk, it’s not a stream of consciousness time. You’ve got a message and you have an endgame. If that’s not top of mind for you the whole time, if you show up without an intention, you’re not going to get any outcome out of that probably.
That’s something you see too. People don’t know which part of their story to tell. A lot of podcasts are story and information-driven. You’ll ask them to tell a story that leads up to what they’re doing now and they’ll tell you about when they were seven years old and they had a bicycle and all this other stuff that has nothing to do with what they’re doing now. It’s important to make sure that the parts of your story that you tell work with what you’re doing now. It has to be some linear thing to make more sense to the listener and also basically give you permission to be able to teach the listener. You need to emotionally establish where you’re at. It’s a lot of what you’re talking about. You have to have a lot of that stuff down or you’re wasting everybody’s time there.
You have to have a point to your story. The moral of the story ties into the whole topic of the show and what the listeners are there to learn.
It’s vital to seeing success. One of the other worst things that people do is look at the end of the interview and they say, “Where’s the best place people can find you?” They’ll say, “I’m on LinkedIn here. I’m on Facebook here. My website is here.” It’s confusing because a lot of times listeners are in the car or they’re on their phone or whatever it may be. You need to make it simple for them. We tell them it should be something that you give that’s, number one, going to get an email address so you have an identity. Number two, it’s going to help them apply what we just taught. That’s important rather than sending them in 60 different directions because a lot of times when we give people those options, they’re not going to take actions. You have to make it one thing that you’re going to push people towards.
That’s important to cross all your marketing. There are many places that people can go on the web and I see this time and time again, put all your social Chiclets at the top, right there next to your phone number. Also, you’ve got umpteen number of different things for them to choose to do above the fold before they even start scrolling on your homepage. It’s like, “What do you want them to do?” Pick one thing. What’s the one next action for them to take?” It certainly shouldn’t be, “Go to my YouTube channel or go to my Facebook,” because you’ve lost them. You worked hard to bring them into your site from social media and now you’re escorting them right out the door. It’s crazy.
I had a guest say to me one time, “Google me.” I was like, “Are you serious now?”
That might be okay if he’s working at Google but that’s crazy. When a host asks you, “Where do I send our listeners who want to learn more, who want to work with you?” You have to have a little pitch down. You don’t just say, “Visit this URL,” you’ve got to have some compelling message around that. Maybe you have a free gift, maybe you have some limited time offer or something. There’s got to be something that wraps that. You don’t just drop them in your own, “Great question, www.StephanSpencer.com.” Why?
That’s why it all has to wrap up. For example, a lot of times I’m going to be talking about PR and podcast guesting and things like that. I’ll say, “We’ve talked a lot about how you can build your brand the right way, but I want to see your success in this. I put together an amazing free thing for your audience. You can go to my website.com/ whatever the opt-in is. I want to see your success with this. After you’ve gotten the free worksheet that we have for you, send me an email and tell me how it’s going.” A lot of times people have to understand too that this is a continuing conversation that you’re going to have with anybody that hears you on the show. This is the first time they’re hearing you or maybe even the second time they heard you in another place. You want to give them the ability to keep an ongoing conversation going. That’s vital too.
Bring them into your Facebook community, maybe something that you’re doing with the email sequence after that. You have to make this something that’s a bit of a pitch to them but also uses it as a relationship building tool. A lot of times people are short-sighted where they say, “I’m going to go on this podcast. I’m going to X number of people to opt-in. Out of that X number, I’m going to sell X number. That’s not what it’s all about. You have to be thinking about how can I help these people and how can I build raving fans because that’s how you go long-term with it.
You mentioned Facebook community as an example. What’s your position about driving people to an area where you’re not the owner of that community or that place? Facebook is the owner of that. Do you want to drive them to a membership site that you 100% control and own? Maybe you’re running Memberium and you’ve got a WordPress site and there’s a whole bunch of great resources and community inside your membership site. That’s a lot harder to get people to regularly collaborate and communicate within a WordPress-based membership site. What are your thoughts on that?Whether people work with you or not, you want them to walk away with something great. Click To Tweet
What we’ve done with this with our own stuff is we drive people to our email list first. We have high engagement with our email list that’s in part one. In that email, we invite them to our Facebook community. I haven’t tried anything off of Facebook that has been most successful for us, but I can understand what you’re saying as well that you don’t own that place. That does go away that can be a bit of an issue. For us, for a lot of our training and things like that, that has worked great. We have new training that happens in the group, we promote with them to the email list as well. We’ve used our email list as this way to create that continuing relationship, bring them into the community but also let them know what’s happening in the community. Let’s say if that community does change where it’s located, we can redirect them to that new place. For us right now, it’s been Facebook because it works very well but we have not directed them to any membership site or anything like that.
Are you emailing on a regular basis to get them to continue to get into the Facebook community and collaborate or is it a one time? Once they’ve gotten in, they’re now part of the group and you’re hoping they continue to participate.
When somebody jumps into one of our opt-ins, the first thing that happens is they get seven days of emails that teach them basically to apply more the things that we gave them. I don’t want them to just get something, I want them to be able to use it and have a win with it. In that sequence, we offer our Facebook community as well. That’s their first ability to jump in on that. We also email our list three to four days a week as well. I’m not a daily emailer. I know there are a lot of people like Marc Mawhinney who have seen a ton of success with that. We email three to four days a week and one of those emails is something that’s going on in our Facebook community. It gives them the ability to jump into the Facebook community if they haven’t already.
They’re getting at least one chance a week to jump into that community if they haven’t already from that original option to get into our group. Based on what the tracking links looked like, we pick up two or three people a week from the emails that we’re sending to our list who are saying originally, “I wasn’t interested but this training that you’re doing looks interesting to me,” because we have expert training that we do once a week where we bring in an expert and teach the group. I have new people join the group, around two or three who didn’t originally go through that opt-in sequence.
Is this seven-day sequence in the form of a challenge like a, “Seven-day Challenge?”
It’s not really that. What I’ve done is in the worksheet, we give away six different things that we’re teaching them to do and teach them an application in that. In that, we also have a hero’s journey like, “Who am I? Why do I have the ability to teach you?” I want them to have a little bit more affinity for who I am. The other thing is we bring them into our webinar training and that teaches them more on what we have there. The Facebook group is offered there. There isn’t any challenge but we have seen a lot of success in trying to train people up to be good at what I taught. I found that even if they’re not the right person, they tend to refer people to me who is the right person because I spend much time teaching them.
I do have a five-day challenge and it’s set up as you’re going to do homework. The challenge is to do this thing that I taught on a video and then you post your homework or the thing that you accomplished to the Facebook group. Then you get some unadvertised bonuses if you do these things over the course of five days. That’s a cool model. A lot of marketers are doing the five-day or seven-day or 30-day challenge. Is there a particular challenge that you know of that you think is a gold standard of a five-day, seven-day challenge or do you not have one off the top of your head?
We haven’t done much of a challenge. You talked about the one you’re doing, that’s something I look at implementing into what we’re currently doing because it wouldn’t be a huge change into how things are currently operating. It sounds like it could drive a lot more engagement. Off the bat, I don’t have one but I’m interested to give yours a shot.
My 5 Day Challenge is cool, it’s SEO-focused. If you want to learn some foundational aspects of SEO but in a very bite-sized way, it’s ten minutes of homework. That’s a five-day or seven-day challenge. What about the webinars and where does that fit in? I’ve heard the show-up rates are plummeting for a lot of folks and they tend to sign up without having any intention of attending the webinar but will watch the replay at some point. It’s a changing scene here. Are you going to do purely on-demands and it’s essentially them signing up for a video or are you still trying to get people to show up at a certain date and time?
We’ve found that our opt-in rates to our webinars have gone down substantially when Google turned off the autoplay function for Chrome for a lot of the autoplay videos because people actually aren’t watching the video, which would get them a little bit more excited to get into webinars. We had to change a lot of our copies since that happened because we’re finding people aren’t watching as much of the video. What we’ve done is we still offer a live webinar every few weeks but what we have is a sequence. We use WebinarJam and we have it set up where there are different meetings set up for different time zones, so they appear to be live. We have it set up so that questions can be sent in and be answered by a VA during the actual webinar if we get questions. Maybe the actual training itself is not live but when questions come in, they’re able to be answered live on the webinar. That’s been interesting as well. After that, people usually go to an application process or something like that where they can book a call or whatnot after they fill out a form.
That application process is part of a funnel that gets people to continue the conversation with you without putting a hard price in front of them, without putting the hard sell in front of them. It’s like, “If this is something that’s of interest to you, let’s have a conversation.” Maybe you can spin that as a gap analysis, a strategy call or strategy session. I’m guessing you have a fancy name for that call that they end up having.
We call it a strategy session on our side.
Is it short like a laser-type session, ten minutes or is it longer like a half hour? Do you do it or do you give it to your team to do that call?
We have them come in in about 40 minutes because we found that 30 minutes wasn’t enough. Sometimes I take them, sometimes a team member takes them because the way the calendars are set up, it can be booked on whoever’s calendars are available at that time. What I want to happen is whether people work with me or not, I want them to walk away with something great. We take a look at, “What’s your press strategy right now?” We take a look at their press strategy, their podcast strategy. We take a little bit of a look at SEO because that’s one of the benefits of being on podcasts that people aren’t thinking about is helping their search engine ranking. We take a look at what’s out there already and we also tell them walking away from what they should consider doing and what part we should be playing in that. It’s gone pretty well for us from those strategy sessions from there. One of the biggest things is we want people to make sure that they’re right for us, but we also want to make sure they’re right for us. It’s like we’re trying each other out that way. I find the strategy sessions great for that.
The press strategy, do you find that people are doing press releases like PRWeb and that stuff and spamming Google in that way? Keyword rich Press Release SEO. I hate it so much. I don’t like it. I think it’s keyword rich worthless garbage. What’s a typical press strategy that you find when you’re doing these strategy calls? No press whatsoever, just press releases or are they doing something that’s somewhat fundamental, good blocking and tackling?
There are a couple of different things here. There’s one that I find a lot of people aren’t doing press at all and that’s a dangerous thing to be doing. The other thing is I find that when people are bringing on a firm that’s going to help them in this case with a release or something like that, they’re not asking the right questions. A lot of times they’re getting releases out but it’s one of these things that are no-follow links or these pre-releases that expire in a few hours. If there’s anything out there, it’s not great. What they should be doing is concentrating on press at their local level because a lot of those releases are going to stick around.
You’d be surprised how many of your local papers can get into Google News. I know for local stuff we’ve sent here in New Jersey, quite a few of the local newspapers go to Google News. You’re getting a higher quality backlink in that way that’s probably do follow, whereas a lot of these people that are submitting releases, they’re going to a press release website like a PR.com or Press Release 24-7 or something like that. A lot of these links either are no-follow or they expire in seven to fourteen days. In that case, a lot of people that we’ve talked to aren’t asking the right questions if they’re working with somebody or it’s a lack of knowingness of what they’re doing there.
If you’re doing a press strategy for a client or you’re looking at local papers for them, let’s say that they have multiple offices, there are local markets for each one of their offices. Just quick example here to show you the power of this, my client who has these large apartment buildings in different parts of the country, they were doing a rehab on a huge building downtown Denver. They were about to do a grand re-opening of this building that they had purchased and rehabbed. There was going to be the ribbon cutting ceremony and they were preparing press releases. I was like, “Do you think that The Denver Post is going to lap up that amazing press release and say, ‘We’ve got to totally cover this grand re-opening now that we’ve got a press release?’” No, that’s the opposite of what a journalist wants. They want a scoop. They want to be treated like they are the only one that matters. I coached my client through how to implement the strategy specific to the Denver market and specific to the Denver Post.
I found an article that was just a few weeks old about Denver rents are rising crazily and the journalist’s name and email address was listed right there. I’m telling them to prepare a response to that article, a comment that you would send via email not post as a WordPress comment or whatever on the newspaper website. He prepared something and it turned out it was a mini press release. Thank goodness, I told him to send it to me first because I said, “No, this is horrible. This is a scaled down version of a press release.” He went back to the drawing board, rewrote it and then came back with something that was insightful and thought-provoking and mentioned in passing that they owned this building and they were about to relaunch it after the huge rehab. What happened was the journalist loved what the guy had to say and sent a colleague to cover the grand re-opening ceremony. Then there was a full-page article in The Denver Post about this new building.
That goes a lot with what I tell people and that is you have to understand whether it’s podcast or press like why are you relevant? That’s the biggest thing people don’t understand is they’re like, “I just want to get on a podcast or I want to get press. I want to get whatever.” Why should that media person care about what you’re talking about? That’s huge to seeing success like what you’re talking about, they found somebody that was relevant to that idea. Explain something that was relevant to what they were trying to do there rather than trying to pitch a story on deaf ears. You have to find out who cares on what you’re talking about.
What’s the biggest press that you’ve gotten for your business?
We’ve gotten Forbes and then we were also in Inc. as well. We have some other cool ones coming out, one of which I know by name and it’s not allowed to say until it publishes.
These are features where your company or your brand is talked about versus an article that you’ve written and gotten published as the byline?
Two of the ones I mentioned are features. One is where we’re asked to comment on something and then the other one that is coming out too is also something we’re asked to comment on something. I’m always storing up this press whether it be from my podcast or whether it be our company because you need to keep the credibility going and that’s the biggest thing we thrive and impress.
Do you find that HARO, Help A Reporter Out, is a valuable resource or is it jumping the shark?
It depends. I don’t know what your success level has been with that but I find that it’s hit or miss. You’ll get some in that they’ll feature you or you’ll get others in and nothing happens. I found that the ones I tend to get on HARO are mid to low level blogs. We haven’t gotten any big tier-one press from that. We have from trying to work with a reporter and pitching them the right way. It’s been okay and I continue to do it because you never know what could come in but for the most part, they haven’t been that exciting. Of the ones that I answer, maybe 20% come back to you. I don’t want to say it’s a waste of time but you need to figure out a strategy when you’re using it where you’re not spending all the time on those responses. You could spend a ton of time on responses and nothing happens.You should be looking for great guests that are in line with what you're trying to teach. Click To Tweet
What’s the biggest podcast that you’ve been on?
I’ve been on EOFire. I’ve been on been on Conscious Millionaire. We’ve gotten clients on bigger ones that I’ve been on like we had a client that was on Art Of Charm. We had another client that was on Brad Lea’s podcast. We’ve been working on getting somebody on Joe Rogan, we have not done it yet. We’re in a holding pattern with that yet. In Bulletproof Radio as well in the health space because we started in health when we first started the business.
Bulletproof Radio, that’s a great show. I connected up Dave with Byron Kati. Byron Katie is amazing. She’s been on my other show, which is more of self-help and personal development podcast called The Optimized Geek. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Byron Katie before.
I’m not familiar until you tell me about her now.
She sold millions and millions of books, a huge self-help guru. Dave apparently has been following her and loving her work for decades. I was happy to make the connection there. What would be your dream podcast interview? If you could personally get on any show, what would it be?
I don’t know. I’m always thinking about the other way. I’m always thinking about my dream interviews personally. Who would I love to interview as a podcaster but that’s how I think. Something like Impact Theory would be incredible. We’ve had a client that we’ve been working on that show with. For me, that would be a cool show but I’m always looking at people I can interview. I had tweeted out to Ryan Reynolds. I didn’t realize it’s his wife’s birthday and then he sent a funny response back. Then BuzzFeed did an article on us. That’s somebody I’m still chasing. I like to say as a Captain Ahab reference, the white whale that I’ve been chasing for years is Dave Grohl. I’d been a drummer since I was ten and I’m a huge Foo Fighters fan. I’ve always been chasing him for an interview.
What will be a huge game-changer for your podcast in terms of driving the listener numbers, the subscriber numbers 10X? What would be the big next jump for you? Would it be a certain guest that announces to their fans and followers that they were on your show or sends maybe an email to their entire list? Is it that you get some partnership, some sponsorship deal that you end up doing some JV relationship with a big podcast or a big marketer? What’s the thing that’s going to take you to the next level with your podcast?
I’ve found that we always look forward to this one guest like, “This is going to be one that gets me over the top.” It’s not the case, it’s more of a continuing to build from one guest to the next, from one appearance to the next and seeing a gradual increase. I don’t feel like there’s anything that’s a rocket ship but I feel like you should be getting on podcasts because it’s introducing you to more people. You should be looking for great guests that are in line with what you’re trying to teach. If all this is in line, you’re going to see growth. I don’t know if there’s ever one thing that’s going to 10X your brand unless you’re featured in The New York Times website. It had to be your iTunes link as well because I have to go right there. I don’t feel like there’s one thing that’s going to 10X it. For me, I saw my numbers doubled. It was from finding out my core purpose was not just people who created their own life but people who did it as world-class performers. We figured that out. We up the caliber of guest even more and I saw my numbers doubled. I don’t think that there’s ever one thing that’s going to 10X you, but you should be getting on podcasts. You should be writing articles, you should be interviewing the right people and that’s where you’re going to see the growth.
The key here is whatever you end up doing, it’s got to be strategic. For example, when I had Jay Abraham on my podcast the first time, he offered to send an email to his list about the episode, which was amazing to me. I more than doubled my subscribers and listeners. He loved the episode and the interview and he was like, “When it comes out, I’m going to email my list.” Another key milestone in the growth of the show, Marketing Speak, was when I had him back on and he interviewed me about SEO. That’s a game-changer right there if you can get somebody who’s a huge name person, let’s say it’s Jay Abraham or it’s Brian Tracy or whoever, to interview you about your topic.
If they’re the expert, if they’re interviewing you then you must be a huge expert in that case. That positioning is amazing.
To put it in your show instead of being like if they have a show, that’s great. You got into a major show with a major brand, a major name, that’s cool. For an episode of your show to be, “I’ve got a great guest now, it’s Brian Tracy or whoever. This is going to be a whole different episode because he’s going to be the host and he’s going to interview me.”
You mentioned that Jay originally sent out his list for you, we had a similar experience when I had Grant Cardone on the show a few years ago. He doesn’t typically promote a ton of the interviews he did but he took our interview, he put it on YouTube, he put it on his Facebook, he put it on LinkedIn, he put it on Twitter, and he sent it out to his email list. We saw a massive almost doubling audience bump from that as well. I feel like if you do find influencers that are going to support you like that and already have the contacts, it’s huge too.
Speaking of that, do you see that guests who post a short clip, like it’s a waveform and it’s still image as well. The waveform is moving and there’s the audio playing and then they post it to Instagram or to Facebook or what have you. The user can play the little clip from the episode as a teaser. That’s got some visual interest to it because of the waveform. It’s not as ideal as if you have a video of the guest speaking if it’s an interview you did with video. All my interviews are audio only. I don’t have the ability to do that. What are your thoughts on that?
We started doing that. I put it off for the longest time and was like, “I don’t want to be bothered with that.” I had somebody introduced me to SpareMin.com, which is free. We’ve been using that to create 30 to 60-second audiograms and send them out to listeners and put them on my own social media and things like that. We’ve gotten quite a few new listeners. That was one of the things that have been part of this doubling where we were double in the month of August. We were up another 25% on that double in the month of September. Then already in October, we’re on pace to double what we did in August. One of the things that we’ve been doing in there is the audiograms. We’re seeing a ton of action on LinkedIn because I’m writing long narratives that go with that audiogram. It’s been cool to give people more of an idea of who the person that I’m interviewing or talking to is. We pull out that most powerful 30 to 60 seconds. That’s been really cool for us.
How are you leveraging LinkedIn specifically? There are some interesting opportunities that LinkedIn now provide. For example, if you upload a video to LinkedIn, you can also upload the transcript. Let’s say that you upload it first to YouTube, YouTube auto-generates a transcript for you, a closed caption file. Then you download that caption file, you upload it to LinkedIn. Now people can watch your video with captioning and it helps with your visibility on LinkedIn. You get more reach because of that transcript.Think about how you can help people and how you can build raving fans, because that's how you go long-term with it. Click To Tweet
We tried a couple of different things. I found that sometimes sharing videos on other platforms that you see doing well like if you see a viral video doing well, that’s worked for us where we had one that got about 40,000 views, that’s helped. We’ve also found writing long-form narrative content is great and then also with the captions on videos, it’s good too. The one funny thing is when people download those captioned files, make sure that you check how correct they are. Sometimes they’re only 80% correct. It looked like I or the guest have been saying horrible things that are not actually what was being said. Make sure you check those when you upload them but that’s worked very well for us too.
That’s a great tip because the auto-generated YouTube file is not good.
It’s better than doing it by hand yourself but definitely check them.
That reminds me that I did find some swear words. One of my co-authors, Eric Enge in the book, The Art of SEO. I was scanning through his transcript of one of his videos on YouTube and I found that he said a swear word apparently in the transcript but he didn’t. It was the algorithm that misunderstood him. I use that as an example. I showed that to Eric and he was like, “That’s a great example.” I am sure he fixed that afterward.
It’s funny because I’ve seen some horrible things that come on the captions like, “We definitely weren’t talking about that.”
There are other services that you can send files to and then they’ll hand create the transcript file for you as well like Rev.com for $1 a minute.
How much is Trint?
I think it’s like $0.10 a minute or something like that. It’s cheap but if it’s something long, you’ve got to be willing to sit there and read it because sometimes it’s 95% accurate.
Do you find that it’s hard to get a client that has their own podcast to the New and Noteworthy in iTunes or into the Top 200 in their category or is that easy?
I will say with New and Noteworthy, for the most part, most categories haven’t changed in a couple of years. I don’t know if Apple’s ever going to open that up again. If you go into the marketing and management category look at New and Noteworthy, one of the podcasts featured there is my friend, Arne Giske’s show, The Millennial Entrepreneur Show. He hasn’t published an episode in years and it’s still there. For the most part in a lot of categories, those New and Noteworthy are frozen. There are some categories that are moving. I don’t know how’s that possible. New and Noteworthy is hard but a lot of times for other shows, you can rank those by driving people subscribing to the show because that’s one of the main metrics that ranks the show. The reviews and stuff are nice but they are not a ranking characteristic. If you’re driving enough subscribers, you can definitely see ranking going up.
Do you do anything with the reviews that you get in iTunes? Let’s say you get 30 or 40 five-star reviews. That helps you stroke your ego but do you get any business value from that or can you get any business value by utilizing them in some innovative way?
The social proof looks good. Let’s say a show is ranked high but it’s got two reviews. They’re going to be looking at it like, “Maybe this guy is just having a good day.” From social proof, that’s important. I know from my own show, whenever I get a new review, I read it on air and that drives people in doing new reviews because they want to hear their name said on the air. That’s what I’ve seen work well. I don’t see it being something that drives business but I do see if a show is ranked high and it doesn’t have a high number of reviews, it makes it look questionable.
You’re reading reviews on the air. Is this during the intro portion of the episode and how many? Is it just one and you change it out each time?
I’m usually getting one or two a week. I do three episodes a week. When a review comes in, we read it on the air and in the intro. I had one of my reviewers mentioned his business thing and I set up a tracking link to see what happened. He got twenty hits on his business website from that. It’s interesting how you can help out your listeners at the same time.
Do you use SpeakPipe as a way to get listeners to leave a voicemail that you can then use on the air?
I have tried SpeakPipe before but I’ve only got one or two people that use it. Maybe because it’s a little different, people aren’t that interested in it. I haven’t seen a huge bump from that.
I had it for two and a half years. Nobody ever leaves a voicemail. I have yet to receive a single voicemail in SpeakPipe. If folks wanted to work with you on getting their podcast strategy in place and get on a bunch of cool shows, how would they reach out to you and what would be that next step?
We talked a lot about press and PR and things like that here but I want to see people get a win from that. I want to see them locate the right shows for them. We put together a worksheet for them that is going to help them find the right shows, figure out what to say and figure out how to approach them. That’s over at CommandYourBrand.media/checklist. I would love to hear from them how it’s going. I hope we can make them rock and roll.
Thank you so much, Jeremy. It was a great pleasure to have you on this show. I’m glad that you were able to go in different directions with me and not just talk purely about podcasting and getting a podcast client of yours onto other shows as a strategy, although that’s critical and important. This makes us a more valuable episode to be able to go in different directions and talk about things that might cover everything from webinars to press releases to seven-day challenges to transcriptions of videos. We’ll catch you on the next episode.
- Jeremy Slate
- Create Your Own Life Podcast
- Command Your Brand
- 5 Day Challenge
- Help A Reporter Out
- Conscious Millionaire
- Art Of Charm
- Bulletproof Radio
- Byron Katie
- The Optimized Geek
- Impact Theory
- Jay Abraham
- Jay Abraham interviewed Stephan Spencer
- Grant Cardone on Create Your Own Life Podcast
- The Art of SEO
- The Millennial Entrepreneur Show
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Weigh the pros and cons between launching my own podcast versus being a guest on different shows in terms of building my brand.
☑ Focus on my listeners. It’s not about me but the value that I’m providing to them.
☑ Start with the basic and that’s positioning my website with sufficient information that represents my personal brand and message very well. Do I have a decent homepage, an About Us or a media page?
☑ Don’t just be a podcast guest for the sake of bringing in leads but get in because the show is in line with my message and the kind of audience I’m trying to reach.
☑ Identify my target niche by starting small and staying congruent with my purpose. Focusing on this will bring me to the right audience who will hear me.
☑ Figure out my story, my message and my call to action with the help of experts like Jeremy and his team.
☑ Make it simple for my audience to find me. Pick one channel where they can best reach me such as Facebook or a website URL that includes a free gift or a limited offer. The goal is to keep the conversation going and build a relationship.
☑ Have a strategic approach when finding guests. They could be big influencers that can share their expertise about my topic but could also potentially support me and my message.
☑ Gain more visibility by including captions on videos and sharing them on platforms that I do well. Utilize Rev.com and Trint for transcripts and make sure they’re accurate.
☑ Visit CommandYourBrand.media/checklist and apply Jeremy’s powerful podcast strategies.
About Jeremy Slate
Jeremy Slate is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, which helps entrepreneurs live the lives they know they were meant to. He studied literature at Oxford University, Specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity and was ranked #1 in iTunes New and Noteworthy and #26 in the business category. After his success in podcasting, Jeremy Slate and his wife, Brielle Slate, found Command Your Brand to help entrepreneurs get their message out by appearing as guests on podcasts.