Grow your consulting firm through podcast networking

Over the past few years, podcasts have exploded.
More people than ever are listening.
More people than ever are creating them.
And more people than ever are reaping the huge benefits of having a podcast for their business.

Chances are the idea of creating your own podcast has crept into your mind at some point. But, you may have gotten stopped by the following thoughts:

  • How will I get an audience?

  • It’s become too competitive

  • There are already podcasts out there like what I want to create

  • It is going to take too much time

Those are all common objections people have to creating a podcast for their business. In this post, I want to break those down and share why you should start a podcast for your agency or consultancy, even if you have the fears listed above.

The #1 unexpected benefit of podcasting - Networking

Many people get so caught up in the idea of audience and the listeners of their podcast. Many often see that as the only core reason to start a podcast.

The truth is, an audience is great, but the networking is even better.

As I write this, I am nearing episode 100 of the Working Without Pants Podcast. Since launching the show, I have heard from countless listeners and even gotten inbound leads and won projects as a result of having the show.

But all of that pales in comparison to the power of the networking and relationships that I’ve developed through conducting the interviews.

Recently, I did an audit of all of the clients I’ve closed over the past 12 months. I was able to trace over 60% of those clients back to my podcast in some form or fashion. Often, guests of my podcast became clients or referred clients to me. In many cases, doing a podcast interview lead to the opportunity for a webinar, speaking presentation or guest post.

Regardless of the scenario, I was able to continue tracing all of the new business back to my podcast in some way.

Podcasting enables you to systematize networking

For most people, networking is rather random and passive. You may meet someone at an event or get introduced through a colleague. Because of this, many people look at networking as a passive thing that just kind of happens.

But with a podcast, you can systematize networking.

You literally have a tool and a platform to network with someone new on a regular basis. Every week, you can be interviewing and building a relationship with someone else in your industry. And these aren’t just random people, these are people you have hand selected to come on your show.

These guests can provide tremendous value for your audience, but they can also provide tremendous value for you and your business. Typically, guests can be boiled down to 3 key categories:

Thought Leaders - Authors, experts and pioneers in the industry with useful insights to share for our audience.

Strategic Partners - These may be people who can refer work to you, provide you with a promotional opportunity or can connect you with other opportunities.

Prospects - You can use a podcast to interview prospects for your business. There is almost no better way to learn the pain points and challenges of your target audience than by interviewing them!

Often, a single guest may hit 2 or even all 3 of those categories. But even if they just hit one, they can still provide tremendous value to your audience and your business.

2 reasons why podcast interviews are better than cold emails

1) It creates value for the prospect

Cold emailing can be a great solution for winning new business, but for a moment, I want you to imagine that you are the recipient of the email. In the middle of the day, you get two emails back to back.

The first one asks “Can I pick your brain?” or “Would you be interested in collaborating?”

The second one asks “Can interview you and expose you to my audience?”

Which would you be more likely to respond to? Chances are anyone would pick the second. The reason is that when you interview someone, you are creating value for them. You are exposing them and their business to your audience, and you are helping them become a thought leader in their space.

2) You position yourself as a thought leader to them

When you just reach out asking to connect, you can seem like someone who is just trying to make a sale or grow their business.

When you reach out offering to interview them, you are positioning yourself as a thought leader who is wanting to build a relationship with them.

One of my clients had this to say after he got off the his first podcast interview with a thought leader in his industry:

Wow, I can see the power of this podcast and how it completely changes the dynamic of the conversation. The conversation felt like one of peers as opposed to one where I was just trying to sell her something. We chatted for 10 minutes after we finished recording the episode, and I now feel like I could email her any start a dialogue about collaborating at any time.

That perspective shift makes a huge difference. People look at you now as a peer and potential collaborator, because you have positioned yourself as a thought leader to them.

The additional benefits of starting a podcast

Become a thought leader

The other incredible reason to podcast is that it turns you into a thought leader quicker than almost any other tactic out there will. By podcasting, you have the ability to interview other thought leaders and influencers in your specific space.

But putting yourself on a digital stage with those other thought leaders, people start to assume that you are a thought leader as well. At first, you will just feel like a nobody interviewing these thought leaders, and then soon you will look around and realize everyone is looking to you as a thought leader as well.

The amazing thing is that once you become a thought leader in your space, then everything else gets easier.

Opportunities and deals start gravitating toward you.

Your outreach efforts become 10x more effective, because you have a platform.

Once you become a thought leader, it puts a multiplier on everything else you do in your business.

Podcasts are easy to create

The other added benefit of podcasting is that they are easy to create. Don’t let people tell you these are hard to do!

Yes, there are some technical hurdles to get over, but you can hire that out to an assistant on Upwork or utilize a service like Content Allies who will do it for you.

Seriously, you can simplify podcasting down to the point of where you just show up, do the interview and then nurture the relationship. Everything else surrounding the show can be outsourced and handled by someone else.

You would spend an hour on the phone with these target prospects anyway trying to build a relationship, so why not spend an hour on the phone with them over an interview where you are creating valuable content for both you and them.

Steps to launching your podcast

The steps outlined below are meant to give you the approach at a very high level. 

Step 1) Conceptualize your show

What will the theme of the show be?
What will you talk about, and who will you bring on the podcast?
What is the name?

Get clear about what your show will be on the front end. Don’t overthink this too much though. I actually rebranded my podcast after episode 30, so if you change along the way, it isn’t the end of the world.

Step 2) Record an initial 3 episodes

You want to record an initial 3 episodes and have those in the can before you start reaching out to people you don’t know. These initial 3 episodes could be monologue episodes, or episodes that you record with people you already know.

The point is to get some momentum to your show before you reach out to people you don’t know.

Step 3) Launch your show

Once you have those first 3 episodes in the can, go ahead and launch your show, and get it out there. This will make it look more real in the eyes of any potential guests, so they know you are committed.

Step 4) Start inviting new guests

Begin inviting guests onto the show. Keep in mind the three categories I mentioned earlier of partners, prospects and thought leaders. Typically, thought leaders are the easiest to interview, because they are already used to being interviewed all the time and want the exposure. Start there, and you will get easier yes’s.

Step 5) Get into a rhythm

The first few episodes will feel rough. You may not be the best interviewer, although you can improve those skills over time. Just power through it, and once you hit episode 10-15, you will feel a rhythm and start to see the networking benefits that result from podcasting.

The bottom line

Podcasting is not just a great way to generate content.
It can be a powerful networking tool that can expand your network of partners, prospects and thought leaders.
They are easy to create, and can help grow your business in so many ways.

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