204 FS Podcast Outreach with Kai Davis

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01:46 - Kai Davis Introduction


PHILIP: Who let you in here?

CHUCK: I know, right?

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CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 204 of The Freelancers’ Show. This week on our panel we have Philip Morgan.

PHILIP: Howdy.

CHUCK: Reuven Lerner.

REUVEN: Hi everyone.

CHUCK: I’m Charles Max Wood from DevChat.tv. And this week we have a special guest; that’s Kai Davis.

KAI: Hey folks. Glad to be here.

CHUCK: Now Kai, you’ve been on the show before, but do you want to give people a brief introduction?

KAI: Absolutely. My name is Kai Davis. I’m in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. I’m an outreach consultant, which means I help my clients, my colleagues and my students better manage their most valuable relationships and build new ones. And today I’m going to be chatting about podcast outreach and how you could benefit by being a podcast guest to reach new audiences.

CHUCK: You also need to take up wardrobe consulting.

KAI: [Chuckles] My MicroConf suit. I will link to it into the show notes. It was much of the talk in the event.

CHUCK: Ah, I am so tempted to get something like that and wear it to like Podcast Movement or something.

KAI: I’m going to have to use one of my picks early at opposuits.com. It’s where my suit was from.

Dear listener, please check out their suits. They're glorious. There's no word you could us but glorious for them.

PHILIP: I don’t know what you guys are talking about, but in college I've got an orange air force jumpsuit from a yard sale and wore that for a couple of weeks. Is that sort of what you did, Kai?


REUVEN: [Inaudible] right now. Oh my god. Oh my god. I still don’t know if I’d use the word glorious and suit in the same sentence. However, this website does make me – and I would wear any of these, but it’s definitely different. Interesting.

KAI: Different is a good word. Different [inaudible] reasonable word to use. Because the podcast does not feature visual images at this point, I’ll have to describe the suit to the listeners.

CHUCK: That’s ok. Some of them are driving and they might crash. [Laughter]

KAI: Very loud, very colorful, very bold suits, is how’d I phrase it.

REUVEN: Yeah. That’s a good way to put it.

KAI: Yeah.

CHUCK: Alright. Well, we did bring you on to talk about specifically guesting on podcasts and you have this idea of a podcast tour. Now, I know after this episode we’re going to get a whole bunch of emails from people because they're going to read your book and they're going to do what it says. But I’m curious; do you have many people that have gone on a podcast tour and had it work out for them? Before we get into the how, I’m interested in the why. What kind of results do you expect from something like this?

KAI: Absolutely. I have a number of colleagues and students and clients who have gone on podcast tours. And a podcast tour, for the listener, is just proactively identify a list of podcast that reach your dream buyers, reach your target industry, your target market, building a relationship with those podcast hosts and saying “hey, I could teach your audience something new. Would you like me to come on in? We could do an episode together.”

And a tour is basically stringing a number of podcast appearances together to promote a product or promote a service or promote a launch and reach a large [inaudible] that your target market the same time. And I've had a number of successful results both personally and with clients and colleagues and students where they had success with on the outreach portion. People often feel like “ah, it’s so hard to pitch. How do I get on all the podcast?” But I've had friends who have literally sent one email, got a response back, and they're like “we’d love to have you on. How about next Tuesday?” and they're like “it was that easy?”

In terms of the outcomes, I've seen clients and colleagues get hundreds of email subscribers off of a single podcast appearance. And those podcast subscribers or those subscribers in the podcast are some of the most engaged people on their list. They're the people that open 90% of the emails. They're the people that clicked through. They're the people who have said “wow, I really love what you talked about on the episode. I really want to read your material. I really want to buy your book”.

So I think podcast tours and podcast outreach are huge success in terms of making yourself well known among the industry and also attracting the people who are most invested; the best buyers or dream buyers for your product or service who will buy more, buy more often, buy at a higher price, and be more engaged with the content you're sharing.

CHUCK: Now, just to give an example of this, I am part of a group of men that work with Aaron Walker. He’s an entrepreneur out of Nashville. He was in a Mastermind group with Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller. He decided that he was going to do a podcast tour.

Now, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t seen or read your book, but effectively what he did is he – his assistant or business leader – whatever his job title is – Tom, reached out and went way out of his way to get Aaron on as basically as many podcast as he could. And over the course of last year, he appeared on over a hundred podcast episodes.


CHUCK: And his audience grew a ton; I mean thousands and thousands of people on his mailing list joining his paid community, joining his online Mastermind groups. It was very very successful for him.

Now, if you figure that he did – it was a hundred or so; it was definitely less than 150. But if you do the math, that’s a podcast episode at least every 3 days. And he doesn’t actually have his own podcast. So he was just showing up and talking about the things that he does.

One of the podcasts – if you listen to John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire, that was one of them. He’s also been on Jaime Tardy’s Eventual Millionaire and a bunch of others. But he got on big podcasts and small podcasts. And from what I understand – obviously John Lee Dumas’ audience and Jaime Tardy’s audience responded very well and he got a lot of traction out of that, but some of the smaller podcasts, he got quite a bit traction out too because his message matched what the audience needed.

KAI: Entirely. And that’s one of the things that I really advocate to people. When people start thinking about doing a podcast tour, just appearing on podcast, they're like “I want to get on Entrepreneur on Fire. I want to be on [inaudible]. I want to be on this big bang podcast”. And I’m like “well that’s great. There's 10,000 other people fighting for those slots. If you get accepted, it’s going to be a multi-month wait. Plus with a large audience like that, how many of them are going to be the people you actually want to reach?” If I’m trying to reach audience of let’s say technical consultants, sure being on Entrepreneur on Fire, that’s going to give me massive massive reach, but what percentage of those listeners are going to be the ideal listener for me?

I actually really advocate finding those small to medium sized podcast with a niche audience, and then focusing on those because it’ll be dramatically easier to get booked on there. And while the audience might be a tenth or a hundredth the size of Entrepreneur on Fire, it’s going to be listeners who are much more in that target market you're trying to reach, and much more receptive to a message. I think there's a distinction you can make between the listenership that a large podcast has and an audience that a smaller podcast has. And I like finding podcast with audiences that are very much in franchise and interested in the material being shared.

CHUCK: I can also tell you that – you talked about this small to medium ones being easier to get on. I listen to John – I've actually met John Lee Dumas a couple of times. I listen to a lot of what he puts out there. And he has stated on more than one occasion that he gives preference to the people who come to him through people he already knows. And so I can tell you that unless you have some way of standing out, you get piled with everybody else. And they’ll get to you eventually hopefully, but there's no guarantee. But if you get referred by one of their bigger name guests that have done good things for them, you're much more likely to get in.

And the other thing is with the smaller shows, if you can address a problem that they know that their listeners have, then they're definitely going to get you on. They're going to make it a priority to get you on. And because they don’t have as many people knocking on the door to try and get in, then yeah, you have a better chance.

I do have a question in this though because the cold emails, right? How well do they work? I get them all the time. And it’s from people, and it’s “hi, my name is Joe, and I represent Jim Big Boss The Man, and he wants to come on your show and talk to your audience. And here’s a link to our product. You should get him on”. And that goes straight to my Trash.

KAI: I hate those emails so much.

CHUCK: So how do you not do that?

KAI: What I found is there's two different classifications of outreaching. There's the low quality emails like we just shared where you're basically talking about yourself. “This is my product. This is me. You should have me on”. And there's nothing interesting or attractive to the podcast host.

What I advocate is flipping it around and trying to frame every outreach email in terms of the value you will be delivering to the podcast or to the podcast host audience. So in that example, it might be like “hey Chuck, I know that you have a popular podcast about iOS development. I’m an experienced iOS developer. I’d love to teach your audience how to learn some new things about iOS development. Here are 3 things that I could teach them. Which one would be most interesting for your audience?”

So from the get go, we’re framing everything in terms of the value to the audience instead of the value to us, and we’re making it so it’s much more enticing to the podcast host. Instead of just saying “hey, I’m me. Please have me on”. We’re saying like “hey, your audience likes this type of topic. I’d love to teach them something new about that topic. Here are a few options. Which one would you be most interested in?” So as the podcast host, you don’t have to start thinking about “oh, is this a person I could trust or not? How do I move forward with it?” You'll know right off the bat.

REUVEN: I think what Kai is saying is totally accurate. I reached out to a few podcasts, probably like 6 months ago, saying I was interested in being on. And I didn’t really have a good focus there. So I reached to some of them and said “I’d like to talk to you about Python. Could I teach to [inaudible]?” And that was like “ok, no”. People weren’t so excited about that. But when I talked to people about – “I want to talk to about what it’s like to teach or to learn” or teaching and learning strategies that can be – that was something a different angle that make things stand out.

And some of the podcast said “no, this is not of interest to us”, and some of them said “oh, this is definitely of interest to us”. But they were able to react and they were interested in reacting. They weren’t interested in throwing me in the Trash or my email in the Trash because at least I was demonstrating some familiarity with their audience and what their audience thought about it. I was surprised by how much of a difference it made, but in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been.

CHUCK: Well, that’s the thing. It’s that I don’t know what I want. So I just did a survey for the audience – if you want to take this survey, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes – but I just did a survey for the audience. And so I’m starting to get an idea as I go through the survey entries. I’m going to go through them in depth next week, but it’s going to be “ok, I see that people want this. They're struggling with X”.

And so if somebody comes along and sends me an email and says “I can talk about X”, then that’s a different thing. And yeah, it makes a lot of sense. The other thing that I tell people is that when they go out there and they want to start freelancing or start a business, they have to realize that people aren’t looking at their product saying “I want that product”. What they're doing is they're looking at that product and they're saying “I want that outcome”.

So for example, let’s take a chair. So I go to the furniture show and I’m looking at chairs. I’m looking at recliners in particular. I’m not looking for a recliner because I want a recliner to sit on. I’m looking for a recliner because gee, it’s going to be really nice to watch TV sitting on that thing. And that’s what you have to sell is “ok, you probably have audience members who are struggling with testing JavaScript. I know that’s one of the key things that I’m seeing in this survey already, just skimming it.

So if somebody came to me and said “hey, I've got these things about” – in fact, I've got one of these incidentally, but I got – I've got these things about testing JavaScript, and I have these particular techniques that people don’t really use that really pay off. That’s a different story than emailing me and saying “hey, I’m a JavaScript developer and I want to come on JavaScript Jabber”.

KAI: Exactly, yeah. In that second example there, there's nothing at value for the host that I feel like it puts all the work on you. Suddenly you have to go out and Google this person and find – “oh, they wrote a couple of interesting articles”. And now you're 30 minutes down the rabbit hole of researching this person. To what benefit?

CHUCK: If you want to know the dirty secret. I used to do that. I don’t do that anymore. I just junk it. I don’t have time.

KAI: Mm-hm. And that’s the truth. Podcast hosts, anybody who’s building an audience or running a podcast is a busy person. And so I've seen response rates at around 70% and placement rates at around 40% for getting people on to podcasts. And I credit that entirely to taking as much work off of the host’s side as possible.

So my initial outreach email – and we could share the template in the show notes – I’ll break it down and say “hey, here are 3 topics I could talk to your audience about”. Headline, one sentence description. Headline 2, one sentence description. And I’ll make it as easy as saying “if you're interested in having me on, just respond back with which number of topic – 1, 2 or 3 – you want, and we could figure out all the details after that”.

So if the podcast host is like “oh yeah, I’d love to have this person on to talk about this JavaScript technique or how to be a better podcast guest, cool. 1, enter, done”. And now we’re able to move that forward. There's no work that you need to do since the burden has been put on the person pitching you as it should be, I say.

CHUCK: So my question that I was trying to ask over Reuven’s question was basically how much work do you have to do before you send this along? For example, let’s say that I am saying “ok, well I can talk about how new programmers can find a job or I can talk about testing JavaScript or I can talk about building applications in Ruby on Rails or some aspect of that; building APIs, [inaudible] APIs Ruby on Rails. Do I need to have a whole bunch of stuff prepared for that?

And the other thing is how do I pick those things? For example, I may have a product on one of them or I may have a product on 2 or 3 of them. Do I pick those because I have a product I’m trying to promote or do I pick those because – assuming that they're a good fit for the podcast audience, but do I pick them for that or do I pick them because it will get people on my email list? What’s the whole point of this?

KAI: I think the whole point – big picture; the whole point is to present an interesting and compelling story that leaves some portion to the audience saying “I want to learn more about this”. And at the end of the interview, you will be able to share the call to action URL, the link to go to a landing page where they could sign up and get more information or get a worksheet or a bonus or something.

But the whole point is tell an interesting enough story that some people say “I want to learn more about this. I’m willing to invest 30 seconds in typing in my email address to get some bonus and join the podcast guest email list or get more information from them”.

In terms of what topics to pick, I recommend a strategy of looking at 3 separate areas. Two topics from your area of expertise which you get to teach, two common problems that you could teach your audience how to solve, and two unconventional opinions that you have that go against the grain of your industry. And when you pitch a podcast, pick one from each category.

REUVEN: I like that.

PHILIP: So the question I was going to ask on top Chuck’s question, I guess, was do you have any kind of procedure for understanding the audience of a podcast? Because that seems to be a big key here is only pitching or primarily pitching your podcast guesting services to audiences where they're likely to be buyers. Is there some simple easy way to get a handle on what kind of people might be in the audience of podcast X?

KAI: That’s really a million dollar question. There's a few tactics I found that helped refine it down, but the short answer is there's always going to be some number of pitches you make where they respond back and they're like “oh, we actually approach entrepreneurship in a different angle” or “we’re not that quite that type of show. We’re not going to be a good fit”. And those sort of nos are fine because it closes the door and lets you focus on the potential yeses.

But to maximize the number of potential yeses, what I like doing is when I identify a podcast, let’s say The Freelancers’ Show, I will go and say “ok, let me look at one or two of their most popular episodes. Let me see what sort of comments there are on Twitter. And let me see what people are saying about the show, who their audience appears to be, and who they're speaking to as their audience on their website”.

This innocence dives into positioning, but if I look at their site and they position themselves as “we are a podcast”, well it’s hard to know who they're trying to reach. But if they say “we’re the podcast for freelancers looking to grow their business”, well hey, you off the bat know they're working to attract an audience of freelancers looking to grow their business. So you're able to pick topics that speak to that positioning. And then there's already this concept that I identify as a resonance between the topic of the podcast, the type of people that the podcast attracts, and the pitches you're making available to the podcast.

PHILIP: So you can maybe stray a little outside of the bulls-eye center of the target of what might be interesting and still have a successful pitch, it sounds like.

KAI: Absolutely. I definitely think you can. And I think that’s where shows get interesting when they invite somebody on who might be a subject matter expert, but it’s like one step or move from what they normally talk about.

Just like on a show focused on developers, well, somebody who talks about work-life balance might not normally be something you think of being on a show for iOS developers or programmers, but can offer a really interesting opinion if they frame that pitch in a way that appeals to the audience. It’s not like “well, you need a work-life balance, but hey, why programmers need to make they're spending their off time on things that are fun and not just personal projects and sitting in front of your computer for 8 hours, and then in front of the computer for 8 hours doing your own projects. Well, you're going to burn out. So how do you make sure you're making time and space for what you want to focus on?”

So I think you want to customize those pitches to be resonant with the audience, which is starting from a point of understanding “well, this is what I could talk about. How do I tune it and make it great for each podcast I’m pitching?”

CHUCK: And just to pile on there, having an iOS development podcast and having had shows on those particular topics, they go over really well. So yeah, it doesn’t have to be highly technical; it just has to be relevant to the audience.

KAI: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

PHILIP: So the hyper tactical question: how do you find out what are the one or two most popular episodes. Is there some way to sort that in say, iTunes or is there some other way?

KAI: iTunes has a rudimentary sorting functionality where you can sort by popularity. It doesn’t give you any hard core metrics; it’s just like “here’s a bar graph, and this ones are bigger than the other ones”.

What I found is using the tool BuzzSumo. It lets you find the most shared content. So you could go to buy BuzzSumo and drop in the podcast root URL and it will be like “ok hey, these are the 3 episodes that have the most social shares”, and that could give you one signal.

Another one I like is looking at a backlink analyzer, and this is more of a search engine optimization tactic. But a tool like Majestic SEO or SEOMoz, you're able to put in your root URL and see “oh, these are the pages that get linked to the most”. And that way, you're able to say “oh hey, these 2 episodes have a ton of links to them. That must be the content that resonates the most with the audience”.

I've been trying to figure out a way to search through or [inaudible] to figure out what posts or podcast episodes get the most comments. I haven’t been able to find the tool that really simplifies that process yet unfortunately, but I've even gone as far as emailing the podcast host and saying “hey, I’m a new listener. You have a huge backlog. That’s awesome. What are your 10 most popular episodes? Which ones should I start with?” Sometimes the podcast host already have it up on a page. Occasionally, I’d be on a podcast and they're like “oh hey, let me read the analytics”, and 2 days later I got an email back “hey, here are the top 10 episodes via [inaudible]”.

And well, then may be able to see what topics or what concepts have resonated best with that audience, and [inaudible] for myself or for a client or for another podcast in that industry on those topics, since chances are if – let’s pick on the concept of an iPhone development focus show. Topics that were really popular on show A most likely will be really popular on show B because it’s a similar audience addressing similar problems of the market. So we could take similar topics from show to show within the same industry.

CHUCK: Yeah. If you want them on any of the DevChat.tv shows except for Web Security Warriors or React Native Radio, you just go to the page and there's a form that pops that you can fill it in and get the top 10. And dirty dirty secret, you actually get the top 20.

PHILIP: [Gasp] Oh my gosh.

KAI: Double your value.

CHUCK: That’s right.

PHILIP: Kai, are there markets that just don’t listen to podcasts in your experience?

KAI: I think there are. I focus primarily on the freelancer, the management, the consultant, and the entrepreneurship circuits within the podcasting world, so most of my knowledge comes from outreach to those segments. So it does differ from industry to industry. I think the best way to analyze it is just by doing a couple of quick Google searches or [inaudible] searches.

I had a colleague who was like “I want to start a podcast that talks to construction workers”, and I’m like “that’s a cool idea. I have no clue if that’s going to work or not, but before you launch the podcast, why don’t we do a couple of Google searches and see if we could find a couple of podcast that talked to that market and see if you could go on as a guest. If you have enough interesting content to share as a guest, then they want to hear you talk. And that way, when you go to launch a podcast, we already have validated whoa, this is an industry where people are interested in it. This is an industry where people listen to the podcast. This is an industry where I could go out and pitch a podcast or pitch a topic to a podcast”.

CHUCK: Yeah. One other thing that I know you can do is if you go into iTunes and you search for a keyword – now keep in mind that each market is segmented internationally; so if you're in Spain and you may want to switch over to the US market somehow. But those podcasts, if you do the search like for Ruby for example, you'll see that they're listed in seemingly random order. That order used to be at least based on the number of subscriptions ever through iTunes.

KAI: Oh wow.

CHUCK: And so the top listed one may not be currently the most popular one, but at one point was. So if you can pick the top 10 or top 15 shows there, and if they're still producing content, they probably have a decent size following for you to work off of.

KAI: Entirely. Another tool that I highly recommend is cast.market. It’s actually a marketplace for podcast hosts and advertisers to interact with each other and do business, but it’s also a really really nifty tool if you are looking to guest on podcasts to go on there, drop in a keyword, say Ruby or Ruby and guest, and they do a full tech search of all the database straight out of iTunes. And so a search for Ruby and guest will suddenly pull up a list of every podcast that’s listed with the word Ruby in there when the category relate into Ruby and development, but also contains the word guest. So you’re able to winnow down the potential sample size to just podcast that do accept guests and are in your target industry or your target market.

REUVEN: How big does a podcast need to be for it to be worth your while to talk to? You said before that’s small to medium ones, if they have a targeted audience that might be great. But I assume that as with everything on the internet, you're going to have this bell curve of a very small number of – for tens of people, a very small number,  or for millions of people, and most are somewhere in the middle. But should you care if it’s tens, hundreds, thousands?

KAI: I personally preach that it doesn’t matter if it’s tens or hundreds or thousands because if we think about it from the idea or the perspective of a buyer or a customer or somebody coming to your website, if you’ve been on let’s say 50 podcasts and 40 of them have been smaller podcasts, that visitor isn't necessarily going to know that or note that. What they're going to see is “oh hey, I’m frequently interviewed about my opinions on topic. Here’s a long list of all the podcasts I've been on”. And to that person browsing your website with that prospect of your business, they're going to be like “whoa, this person knows their stuff. They're an expert. They're frequently interviewed”.

And it doesn’t matter if you were guest number 2 on your buddy’s podcast as it was starting out or if you were guest number 400 on Entrepreneur on Fire; it all stacks together to be an impressive collection of podcast.

So I think there's a qualitative return there that might get glossed over if we focused just on the quantitative return. Qualitatively, it’s impressive. It’s like showing all the articles you’ve written or showing all the books you’ve written, like “hey, I've been interviewed 50 times”. People take notice of that.

But in terms of quantitative results, I’ve appeared on smaller podcasts where I've only gotten a dozen or so subscribers off of the appearance, but those dozens subscribers are still engaged with the material I’m sharing. And I've been on larger podcasts where I've gotten 5 or so subscribers because the material I was sharing was really dialled in, but it just wasn’t right for their audience. So even on a larger podcast, they might get a million listeners per episode, but maybe only a thousand of those people actually are people who would say “oh, I want to learn more” and subscribe to whatever it is you have available.

So it’s an interesting calculus to figure out which ones to target. I recommend being more broad on the podcast you appear [inaudible] just because there are a lot of benefits for being able to say “hey look, I've been on a number of podcasts”.

CHUCK: One other thing I just want to put out there; there are two things. At the last Podcast Movement, I was walking around, I was complaining about iPhreaks because it doesn’t have as many subscribers as any of the rest of the shows. And so some people were like “yeah well, if it’s not even close, then maybe you should shut it down”.

And finally, somebody looked to me and asked the obvious question: “how many listeners do you have? What's this number you're complaining about?” And I told him that we get like 1300 or 1500 downloads per month I think it was at the time. And everybody’s eyes kind of popped out of their heads because for them, for their audience, that was huge. Most podcast out there only get a few hundred subscribers at a time ever.

And so by keeping that in mind, just – the A-list podcasts or the podcasts that have more than about 700 subscribers, that’s the top 5%. And so just keeping that in mind and realizing you are only talking to a few hundred people at a time, but also keep in mind – just picture yourself; picture a room with 500 people in it. That is a medium sized conference; keynote. So if you can get on and talk to those 500 people – furthermore, you're on there with somebody who they see as somebody in authority who can back you up, who can promote your product, who can make you look good, you can’t buy that anywhere else. You just can’t. And most of the time, they're having you on because the value that you're giving them and your content is worth it to them just to give you their time. And so it’s totally worth it.

One other thing I want to just briefly mention is that in a lot of these cases, it’s not the quantity of listeners, and I think Kai illustrated that pretty well, but I have another anecdote or point. I promised this person I wouldn’t share his number so I won’t, or at least I won’t connect him with the numbers I’m going to share. But I know somebody who has, last time I talked to him, about 700 podcast subscribers. Now, if you listen to the show, and if you're involved in a community, you would think that he had thousands of people. And the difference is that those 700 people are so highly engaged on what he has going on that he makes a living pretty much completely off of selling digital products to that group of 700 people.

And so that’s to say that you may have the John Lee Dumas and get on his show and you have hundreds of thousands of people hear your episode and download and listen to it, but those people are so different and they're all engaged at different levels that it may be more effective for you to go on in other specialized podcasts that only has 700 highly highly engaged people, and have their host basically help you explain to these people why what you have solves their problem.

PHILIP: Same thing with email lists. Not having a big email list means nothing if it’s not a responsive list that responds to offers.

I just couldn’t help doing this. Kai, I went to cast.market. I was looking at my podcast which is sort of in hiatus right now. And I think the numbers as they get smaller mean you rank higher?

KAI: Mm-hm.

PHILIP: And so my podcast outranks Accenture’s podcast on management consulting services.


KAI: To jump on to Chuck’s point, the way I framed it to a couple of people and the way I framed it in the Podcast Outreach book is imagine a scenario where you're invited by your local chamber of commerce to give a presentation to 50 local business owners. That’d be pretty cool. Most of us and probably most of the listeners will say “oh wow, that would be a cool opportunity. I’d love to”.

And let’s say you get the presentation, it goes well, you get a couple of people who are like “ah, I want to learn more about what you're doing” and you set up appointments. And then next week, that same local organization calls you up and is like “hey, we’d love to have you back”. And you're like “but I just presented last week”. And they're like “no, we have 15 new people for you to speak to”. And you're like “ok, this is interesting”, and you show up, and it’s 15 new people and it goes well. And then the third week comes by, and they call you again and they're like “we want you to come back again” and you're like “but I've been there twice”, and they're like “no no no no no. We have another group of 15 people”.

And that’s really what podcast guesting or a podcast tour is like. Week after week, you're able to show up and present to a new audience of 50, 500, 5000 subscribers, 5000 listeners, and talk about “hey, this is what I could teach you. This is something interesting. This is something new for you to learn”. And you're able to do it from your home. You're able to do it from anywhere in the world and reach these audiences. And it might mean like “ok, every 2 weeks I’m going to do a podcast for a year” and that gets you 25 podcasts. But you do the math there of 25 podcast and let’s say 500 listeners per podcast, well that’s a decent sized audience you can able to reach. That’s a large large room over time that you can able to speak to. And so by chaining these small to medium sized podcasts together, I think you're able to get a lot of benefit as a guest or as a presenter.

CHUCK: I have one more example here. I think it’s pretty easy, let’s say, if you're selling how to build a blog in Ruby or how to solve a particular testing problem in JavaScript. So if you’ve got that as a product or you’ve got that as a speaking point, finding those audiences is pretty obvious. You go to the JavaScript podcast or the Ruby podcast, you figure out where you can guest, do all the things that we’ve just talked about, and you can get on.

But what if it’s something else? What if it’s something that’s not so obvious? For example, I've working on a product for how to find programming jobs for new programmers. I've been on the one podcast I know caters to new programmers. What do I do now?

KAI: I’d say tell me more about the target market you're trying to reach.

CHUCK: It’s usually people who have been programming for 3-6 months on their own either after doing some self-learning on a website or through a program or a bootcamp and they’ve just not been able to find that job that they thought they were going to be able to find when they got to a certain point. And so the problem that it solves is it tells them how to use unconventional methods to get noticed, how to get through the interview, and then how to negotiate a salary.

KAI: Mm-hm. What I’d recommend is – first off, searching around and seeing what podcast there are that appeal to either a specific programming language or programmers of the lawless sort of a market group and approach them and say “what percentage of your audience is new programmers, if you know that? And would teaching them how to get their first programming job or get a better job be something that’s interesting? There's tactics here that will apply to the people 3-6 months out of a training course. There's tactics here that’ll apply to people who are looking to leave their current job and get a new job. I’d love to teach something related to this. What would be most interesting to your audience?” and approaching it that way.

Another way I would recommend is looking at career-focus podcasts and saying “hey, you are teaching people how to get jobs. What percentage of your audience is in the development or programming space? And would it be interesting to hear somebody talk about tactics and strategies and unconventional systems from this angle? Would they enjoy learning about it from that approach?”

CHUCK: Yeah, that makes sense. The other thing is, and I think this goes back to the point you made earlier, it’s ok for me to go and reach out to a lot of these podcasts recognizing that several of them may say no because it isn't in line with what they're trying to do with their message.

KAI: Mm-hm. Whenever I send a podcast outreach email, there's 3 possible outcomes that could happen. They respond back and say yes, and woohoo, we've got a booking. They respond back and say no, in which in case, ok great, the door is closed. Or they don’t respond back at all.

In a sense, that third category is the biggest opportunity because you could follow up and send a follow-up email and say “oh hey, I was recently on another podcast. I’d love to be on yours, share more value with them”, but it’s also the most disheartening because you aren’t able to close that door and that opportunity yet.

So I used to be sad when I’d get a no back from the podcast, but now it’s actually exciting because I realized “oh ok, great. I wasn’t a fit. They were upfront enough to communicate it to me. I’ll just set them aside. Maybe I’ll follow up in 6 or so months, but I at least know hey, this is not the best fit for me. I’ll pitch another podcast and see what direction it goes”.

PHILIP: So Kai, to get something out of being on a podcast, do you have to have some kind of offer? Do you get a sense of what I’m saying? Do you have to fit in into some bucket in terms of what you ultimately sell people?

KAI: That’s a good question. I think to get something out of a podcast, you want to have a low friction low barrier offer that’s valuable to the listener to make available to them. Off of the podcast appearance, it’s hard to let’s say immediately sell a book. I have my book Podcast Outreach, but if I was to say “go to podcastoutreach.com and buy it”, it’ll be like “oh yeah, that’s interesting. I don’t know you well enough yet. Thank you so much”.

What I find is more valuable is to have a low friction example, and I think you actually have. One of the perfect examples of this, you have your landing page positioningcrashcourse.com, and I site that frequently as a wonderful example of a landing page to direct podcast listeners to so they're able to sign up at a low risk way for something that doesn’t appear to be positioned as work for them. And that could slowly educate them about why they need to buy your book The Positioning Manual and move them down that funnel.

So in a way, I think we start from the idea of the topic we want to be on the podcast about. We pitch, we’re accepted, we talk about that topic, and then we want to have that call to action at the end of the episode where we’re directing the listener to a landing page or a resource, a cheat sheet to a worksheet, or a 5-part lesson that will teach them more about the subject matter at hand, and by framing it as something that’s not a lot of work. We don’t want to say “download my 200-page ebook”; we want to say “get my free 5-part course” or “get my one-page cheat sheet on this topic”. It’s easy for people to be like “ah, I enjoyed listening to that topic. The guest was great. Sure, I’ll give my email address for that thing”. And now you as the guest, as the presenter, have that person’s email address. They're now part of your audience and you're able to politely and persistently educate them about your subject matter and move them closer towards that point of purchase.

So the podcast brings them in as a warm referral, and maybe some of those folks will say “oh gee, I’m ready to buy right now”. But I think a majority of the folks listening are more likely to say “ah, I’m not ready to buy, but I’m ready to learn more. What can you teach me?” And by having some educational marketing setup, a landing page that says “hey, drop your email into the dingus and you'll get a free 5-part thing on whatever”, that will convert better than just a sales page where it’s “buy my thing. It’s $49”.

REUVEN: [Inaudible] several times I've been on podcasts, I say it’s so obvious now when you say these things. It’s like the whole positioning thing with the website. If on a website you say “I do this and this and this and this and this and this”, people are not sure where to start. And so I've done that on podcast. I go on and I say “well, you can find me here, and you can find me here, and you can find me here. Oh, and if you're interested, I have these email courses” when it'll be so much smarter and better for me to just say “if you like what I’m talking about, go to some really-easy-to-remember URL, and there I’ll give you more information”. And then they can feed into other stuff. And I know also where they’ve come from. I know they came from that podcast. I know they're interested in a certain subject, and so I can treat it accordingly.

KAI: Absolutely.

CHUCK: All I heard was that Philip’s conversion rates would be higher if you weren’t helping people, Kai.


KAI: I’m setting tons of terrible traffic here. Well, I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry.

PHILIP: Do you have off the top of your head any gold standard examples like “go to this podcast and listen to this person’s appearance. They're” – just so people can get a sense of how this actually works.

KAI: That’s a great question. I don’t. And that’s something that I should put together.

PHILIP: Yeah. Maybe that’s like a show notes like breaking edition or something. I know I would benefit from seeing like “here’s 2 or 3 really good examples of how to pull this off”.

KAI: I actually just remembered I mentioned a couple in the book and there's one I would share on the air. Ramit Sethi was on Patrick McKenzie’s Kalzumeus Podcast a few years ago. And he did, I think, the best example of what I call contactual call to action during the episode that I've ever seen. So he had a URL set up for listeners at that episode, and in the middle of the episode he was like “by the way, if you want to learn a little more about negotiation” – the episode topic was about negotiation and salary – “you can just go to this URL. And by the way, to answer Patrick’s question” – and he just dropped it and went on. And at the end of the episode, he said “by the way, I put together a few bonuses and resources for listeners” and again shared that URL.

And I've talked with his marketing director, and they were able to track down to the individual subscriber how many people came through that individual podcast episode. And I think that’s a perfect example and I’ll find a link to that episode and drop it in here for the show notes of how somebody could use a landing page like that to drive people to an educational resource, share that educational resource during the episode, and then on the back end be able to track like “oh wow, we got 50 subscribers at that appearance” or “we got 500 subscribers at that appearance”.

PHILIP: I was taking the lazy man’s approach to that because I have – whenever I appear on a podcast as a guest, generally I have one call to action that I would use across multiple podcasts. And so unless analytics shows me the refer – because it came through a podcast show notes, I lack that level of insight. So I miss that a little bit. It’s a bit of a trade-off, isn't it?

KAI: It really is. It really is. And I talked about the two different methods we can develop we’re discussing here in the book Podcast Outreach where you could either have what I call a single look serving site where you setup the page and it’s unique to that podcast appearance, where it’s like if I had a page for The Freelancers’ Show where it’d be like “go to this URL”, it’s specific to The Freelancers’ Show. And I’d be able to see like “oh, I know exactly how many people came to that page and opted in.

It’s a lot of work to set up if you're guesting on a lot of podcasts, and so I've moved more towards having a single page setup where a series of pages and you're sharing one of them as the call to action on the show.

So for example – it’s the not the ideal resource for this audience or this topic, but just to illustrate, I have the URL clientintakecheatsheet.com. And whenever I go on up [inaudible] to talk about “hey, why you, as a freelancer, need a better client intake process and how you need to kick out your headache clients”, my call to action when somebody says “oh, where could we find more about you?” I say “go to clientintakecheatsheet.com and download this collection of resources and cheat sheets and the exact scripts I used”. And it’s become a lot easier for me to know if I’m talking about this topic, I’m going to share this URL and just move people forward down that pathway.

CHUCK: Ok. I’m going to jump in here. We’re running out of time and I do want to get to one more thing and that is you’ve talked about doing the call to action.  But are there other specific things that you should and shouldn’t do in a podcast? For example, don’t be condescending or insulting to the host or the audience. I mean, that seems pretty obvious, but are there things that people don’t think of that they may or may not do that are going to help or hurt them?

KAI: I think in terms – there's two areas. In terms of preparation, people don’t think about the topics or the pitch points they want to have for the episode or for the show, and it’s very valuable. What I advocate is just take 3 or 5 notecard and write down the 5 major things you want to touch on. Maybe one for a coaching program, and so you want to reference that. Maybe you have new product, so you want to reference that. But by just making note ahead of time of “these are the 5 major things I want to touch on”. Ok, you'll be able to have that by your side. You don’t have to mess around at the computer. You could just scratch some off as you go through them, and make sure you hit all of your relevant points.

I think there's a lot of things people miss on the back end of the show. What I like doing is after an episode, I’ll just ask the host “hey, tell me a bit more about your ideal guest. I’d love to refer somebody to you if they would be a fit”. And often, the host will say “yeah. My ideal guest is A, B and C, and they do this or that”. And I’m like “perfect. I can think of a couple of people. I’ll email them over to you. By the way, can you think of any shows I would be a good match for?” And so –

REUVEN: Oh, that’s so good.


KAI: We’re taking advantage – yeah [inaudible].


CHUCK: The first part was so good being a podcast host. “Please, if you guest on any of the shows, who’s your ideal person and who can I recommend?” It’s so helpful. And the thing is nobody does that. Nobody does that. And so if somebody comes and says “hey, how can I help you in the future? Who’s your ideal guest? Can I introduce you to somebody? Maybe I know somebody” – anything like that, you can bet that I’d be happy to bring them back. I’d recommend them to my friends. “Oh my gosh, this guy was so awesome. We got to be friends. I feel like he’s really interested in helping me out. It wasn’t just a publicity stunt for him or his company”. That’s huge.

KAI: Mm-hm. Mm-hm. [Inaudible] with that. What I often do is I’ll follow up one or two days later after the podcast and I’ll send him a screenshot of the review I left in iTunes. I’ll leave an honest and heartfelt review and be like “hey, I appeared on the podcast as a guest or I’m a frequent listener and I really really love this. It’s a good podcast and you should listen to it”. And that, I think, serves as another opportunity to be like “hey, I really appreciate coming on the show. Here’s a screenshot of the review I just left”.

And then again, you're able to have that conversation about “well, who would be a good guest for me to refer your way, and can you think of any podcast that I’d be a good match for that you could refer my way?” And that’s an area that I don’t see a lot of people really practicing, but I think it benefits everybody.

CHUCK: Well, you think podcast just talk to each other?

KAI: I hope they do.

CHUCK: [Chuckles] I will tell you that yes. Yes, we do.

KAI: Oh ok. That’s either good or bad.

CHUCK: Yes, it is.


KAI: But yeah, there's the – I think there's a lot of optimizations there in terms of the front end and the back end. And even just reaching out to friends and colleagues, if you're trying to get your feet [inaudible] podcast and saying “hey, what podcast do you listen to? Or do you know anybody starting a podcast?”

Often, that first podcast is the hardest one to land because you're showing up and you might not have a lot of cloud or a lot of credibility. And so if you could guest on a friend’s or [inaudible] friend’s podcast as the first few guests, suddenly you're able to say “oh hey, I've been interviewed before. Here’s a few episodes. You could check it out. These are the topics we've talked about”, and that lends him credibility to [inaudible]. But it really starts on that point of just reaching out to friends and colleagues and saying “well, do you know of any podcast I’d be a good fit for?”

CHUCK: Alright. We’ve been doing this for almost an hour. Any other questions, thoughts? Did we miss anything Kai?

KAI: I think we covered. Just a small plug; I wrote a book about this. I just booked at MicroConf about podcast outreach and podcast tours. If anyone in the audience is interested, you can visit podcastoutreach.com and check that out, download a sample chapter and a few sample interviews and learn a little more about the systems and strategies I recommend. [Inaudible] with a discount for listeners of The Freelancers’ Show if you use the discount code Freelancers Show, you get 50% off any one of the packages; the basic, the complete and the complete plus coaching.

CHUCK: Awesome. I also want to point out that – I already knew Kai when I went to MicroConf, but this episode just came out of showing up at a conference and chatting with each other. We pretty much decided to do this. I think it was at lunch right before you did the attendee talk about it.

KAI: Absolutely, yeah. I remember we were sitting there just chatting about podcast stuff and the idea of doing an episode came out of it.

CHUCK: Yup. So you never know. And conferences are another great place to do this kind of networking, so just keep that in mind.

Alright, well let’s go ahead and do some picks. Reuven, do you have some picks for us?

REUVEN: Yeah. As everyone here knows – I guess I’ll have two picks actually. First of all, for those of you who haven’t heard, Brennan Dunn’s Double Your Freelancing Conference is coming to Europe. It’s going to be in Stockholm at the end of June, and it should be fun and amazing and interesting. And I just heard from the last day or two, I’m going to be speaking there, which makes it more fun for me. So I would love to see a lot of people there, a lot of listeners there. Kai will be there, which will be fun.

The other thing is – so I do a lot of teaching, and one of the fun things I have to do, excuses I make for fun things that I during my courses are when I teach Python programming, I show a few Monty Python bits, which is good if they had a good sense of humor and bad if they don’t; but too bad, I’m in charge.

In any event, some places where I teach, they don’t have speakers set up. And so just 2 weeks ago, someone in my class said “oh, that’s ok” and pulled out a portable USB speaker from their bag. I was like “oh my god. I got to get one of these”. So I actually did. And it’s a relatively small speaker that you can plug into your computer. Actually, the one that I got isn't USB based. It works on Bluetooth. And I have been really really impressed just in the last few days since I got it, and this is the exactly what I need, not only for showing Monty Python videos during my courses, but also for doing presumably more serious things. And it means I’m not beholden to whatever sound system is; an electrical wire working. So I’m really excited I've gotten this and it was not too expensive. I think it’s like $60 or so. And I definitely recommend it for people who want to show things, listen to things, to have this in your bag of tricks, as it were, when you go to talk. That’s it.

CHUCK: Alright. Philip, what are your picks?

PHILIP: I have got a pick. I've continued to enjoy a nice planned break from client work and I’ve been building stuff for people that can do more of a one-to-many helping out rather than one-to-one like I do with client work. And one of the things that always comes up is people are like “how do I create a website that helps me take my fairly focused freelance business and get more leads?” And I inevitably say “no no no, don’t talk about yourself so much. Talk about your clients’ problems more. No no no, don’t have an About page. That’s stupid. That’s just an invitation for you to alienate your clients”.

And so I packaged up all these best practices into a website template that you can download for yourself at 1pageleadgen.site. It’s a URL. It’s the number 1, not one. 1pageleadgen.site. And it’s my free gift to people who when they sit down and think about writing a website for themselves say “this is hard. I don’t know what to write. I’m getting writer’s block, so I think I’ll just talk about how I got interested in software development when I was 13 and I got the Apple 2 computer and blah blah blah”. So this might be a better alternative for you if you're in that place. That’s my pick for this week.

CHUCK: Very cool. One thing that I’m going to just mention really quickly: we are looking at bringing on another panelist or two. And one of the things that we’ve talked about, and I’m just going to go ahead and pull the trigger on this because I can; if you are a new or struggling freelancer – so you don’t have to be new if you're really struggling, we are looking for people to bring on the show that we can help and talk through scenarios with.

And so if you're interested in doing that, go ahead and put together a YouTube video. I will put up a webpage at freelancersshow.com/struggling and there’ll be guidelines there as far as what to put in there that’ll help us out. I’ll try and get it up when this goes live and it should be two weeks from today as we record it. But anyway, if you put those links up, then we’re going to go through them and we’ll start picking the ones that we want to bring on the show and start talking to. So we may bring you on for one, two or maybe even a few more depending on what there is to talk about and how we think we can help you, but it is something that we would like to be able to do as part of the show.

One other thing that I want to bring up is that we’re going to start doing the Q&A’s again. Those are live usually on Crowdcast. I’m going to do better letting people know when those are. If you want to know when they are, just go to freelancersshow.com. At the top of the page there is an email subscribe form that will get you the emails for the episodes every week, and that’s also where we’ll put the announcements out so that you can start sending us questions and things like that. So anyway, if you have any of that, then go ahead and do that.

And finally, this is going to be a weird meta pick, but one of the things that I got a lot of value out of at MicroConf was talking to Kai. And mainly, besides him being fun to talk to, he does a lot of work setting up systems for podcasts for other podcasters. And he actually walked me through a setup, and I just want to publicly thank Kai for helping me out. I am very close to implementing all of that stuff on my own so that I can start having a little more visibility and control as far as the shows’ productions and things like that so that I don’t have to spend as much time or waste as much time trying to figure out what's going on and I can just add a glance to know where things are.

KAI: Thank you so much. I’m happy I was helpful to share that system. Thank you.

CHUCK: [Inaudible] very helpful. Kai, do you have some picks for us?

KAI: I do. I have 3 picks. First is a plug for my own thing. If you go to freeoutreachcourse.com, it’s a free 5-day course I've put together on doing effective outreach to get on podcasts or build relationships. So that would teach you the basics of outreach and put you in a good position to start building and managing new relationships.

The second thing I want to plug, my colleague Nick Disabato just started a new weekly newsletter on best practices in A/B testing and you could find that at draft.nu/revise/weekly. It’s wonderful. It’s in the first weeks right now and I am very excited that I got to be subscriber number 1, so I wanted to plug that.

And in the same vein, my colleague Mojca Mars just released a weekly video course on how to master Facebook marketing. And the URL for that is a bit long, so we’ll just drop that into show notes. But I’d recommend freeoutreachcourse.com for anybody who’s looking to master the basics of outreach and Nick and Mojca’s paid newsletters for anybody who’s looking to get better at A/B testing or Facebook marketing.

CHUCK: I have almost bought her course 3 times, but I've promised myself I’m not going to buy anything else until I’m actually ready to use it. [Chuckles] And I don’t have time right now.

KAI: It’ll be there when you're ready.

CHUCK: I’m sure it will be.

Alright Kai, if people want to know more about you, find out what you're up to, that kind of stuff, what do they do?

KAI: Best spot to go would be freeoutreachcourse.com and drop your email in there. Alternatively, you could check out doubleyouraudience.com and say howdy to me through the contact pages on that site.

CHUCK: Alright, cool. Well, we’ll go ahead and wrap this show up. Thanks again for coming and we’ll catch you all next week.

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