The Freelancers' Show: LIVE Q&A #13 - October 27, 2015

00:00 0:47:13
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02:45 - Welcome new panelist, Philip Morgan!

07:12 - Client Qualification Criteria

14:49 - How Philip’s Business Works

25:42 - 15 Minute Podcast Listener chat with Charles Wood

28:00 - Finding Opportunities to Be a Guest on Podcasts

33:46 - Converting Guest Appearances into Mailing List Subscribers/Paying Customers (“Action”)

39:10 - Mastermind Groups and Referrals

13 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations (Reuven)Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro (Philip) (Philip)Highrise (Chuck)The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms (Chuck)


[This episode is sponsored by is offering a new freelancing and contracting offering. They have multiple companies that will provide you with contract opportunities. They cover all the tracking, reporting and billing for you, they handle all the collections and prefund your paycheck, they offer legal and accounting and tax support, and they’ll give you a $2,000 when you’ve been on a contract for 90 days. But with this link, they’ll double it to $4,000 instead. Go sign up at]**[This episode is sponsored by Do you wish that somebody else would handle all of those operation details when it comes to hosting your client’s web applications? is a Ruby on Rails managed hosting designed to make your life easy. They migrate everything for you, and new sign ups or referrals come with a $100 discount or a referral fee. To sign up, go to, and enter ‘freelancer’ into the contact form for a discount]**[If you're someone who runs your own service-based business, then spending less time on pesky admin tasks means having more time to focus on your clients’ work which is why you need to give FreshBooks a try. FreshBooks is the invoicing solution that makes it incredibly simple to create and send invoices, track your time and manage your expenses. It allows you to quickly see and track the status of your invoice expenses and projects, and allows you to keep track of your expense sheets in FreshBooks. For your free 30-day trial, go to and enter the Freelancers’ Show in the ‘How did you hear about us’ section when signing up.]**[This week’s episode of the Freelancers’ Show is brought to you by Earth Class Mail. Earth Class Mail moves your snail mail into the cloud giving you instant access 24/7 and integrates with the tools and services you use everyday. It’s crazy that we’ve moved everything we do for the business over to the digital world but still need to pick up, sort and manage physical mail. With earth class mail, you can get all your mails scanned and accessible online 24/7. You can search your mail, send invoices over to your accounting software, sync important documents into cloud storage, deposits checks and really just make running your business a whole lot easier. You also get real professional address to share publicly with customers, business partners and investors, and you’ll never need to worry about someone showing up at your door if you run your business from home.****Visit and you’ll get your first month of service free when you sign up. That’s]****CHUCK:**Alright, well we are live. Hey everybody who’s watching. I think it’s just us to be honest. [Chuckles] So I failed to get the links sent out so people knew that we were doing this today so that is totally on me. But since we’re here and we’re going to do Q&A, first we should introduce our newest panelist, Philip Morgan.**PHILIP: Hello. CHUCK: You’ve been on the show before but do you want to give a brief introduction to who you are? PHILIP: Yeah, I’d love to. Thanks Chuck. I was on the show some months ago talking about positioning. Anytime I appear on the podcast, it seemed like that’s what I’m talking about. I’m a content marketer who was not finding a lot of success in my efforts until I discovered positioning so now I’m a positioning evangelist and I focus on helping development shops get more leads. I use a number of techniques to make that happen. Outside of that, a new resident of Northern California as I was about two years ago.  A big fan of people who have the courage to go out and try to find their own clients and work for themselves. I’m a big fan of small, solo freelancers, small shops and super pleased to be here. CHUCK: Very cool. We’re definitely excited to have you. I have to say, I’ve read your book after we had you on the show; probably should’ve read it before we had you on the show. I absolutely love it, and honestly I think it’s something that everybody out there who is even considering going into freelancing should do. PHILIP: It’s the book I wished someone has made me read before I decided – well, I didn’t really decide to become self-employed; it just kind of happened but yeah, it’s the book I wished I had been forced to read before I went out and made all those mistakes on my own. Thank you for the compliment and the feedback. It’s good to know that it was helpful and relevant. REUVEN: Yeah, it’s great. I would just say there are three things that I really liked about it. Number one was just – it was good advice which is always nice to have. Number two, you spend a lot of time saying to people, “Don’t worry, this is a normal reaction.” It was almost – I clearly have talked to a lot of people at the whole positioning thing over the years. At least over the last year or however long it has been since you’ve started thinking about this deeply but clearly sort of the same objections came up again and again. It was very weird; I was like, “Wait, how did he know?” Ever since – but if I narrow my focus, won’t that narrow my possibilities? So I’m starting to think this and of course the next page says, “If I narrow my focus, won’t that narrow my possibilities?” The third part which I must admit did not use which I thought was great but other people should use because they should do what I say not what I do, is all those spreadsheets you offer for going and ranking and putting together really – trying to analyze how do you find your niche, how do you find what you want to do? It was a good idea that was well presented. CHUCK: Yeah. PHILIP:**Thank you. You know that part about the fear, it makes me think about going to the doctor and they take that little rubber hammer and hit your knee, and then your leg just go ‘boop’; it’s a reflex and it’s almost like that. It’s almost like a reflex. It works the same for everybody; it’s primal, it’s hardwired into your nervous systems somehow, that reflex of, “Huh’. If I start saying no, my business is going to shrivel up and die.” [Chuckles]**REUVEN:**And I was – even that explicit [inaudible] when I started up – when I started twenty years ago already, there was someone I knew that – and he said, “Oh, you want a business yourself? Here’s the best advice I can give you – never turn down a client.” [Laughter]**PHILIP: Oh really? CHUCK:**That’s like the worst advice you could ever [crosstalk] to anybody.**REUVEN: Basically – right. And years later I’m thinking I don’t really – I think that was very good advice at all. Now he’s a lawyer so maybe the type of business he gets people come to him – I don’t know what but he definitely – that advice did not serve me well for quite some time. CHUCK:**I envision this guy with a club and he’s like smacking it against his palm. “You want to work for me?” [Chuckles] I can’t say no, I need that business.**REUVEN:**There are limits even to my [inaudible] a day.**CHUCK: I know but basically I’ve taken on clients where I knew that it was going to be this adversarial abusive relationship and it was like, “Well, I need the money,” and it was so not worth the money. PHILIP:**On that note, some months ago put together a spreadsheet – really simple spreadsheet that’s got about maybe 12 things on it that was –. Every time I’d have that experience that you're talking about where you're like, “Ugh, that didn’t go well,” and if I look into my heart of hearts, I saw it coming. I just – I did it because I wanted the money or didn’t have the courage to say no, or didn’t have the faith that if I said no, something else would show up – all those things. I made a list of all those things where I should’ve said no but I said yes and then set it up where I just do a binary 1 or 0 and it was basically a list of red flags. For a while, I was calculating a score so if you got a 1, this is not a red flag; if you got a 0 then it was a red flag. Add it up – all the ones and then you had to be a certain score before I would allow myself to take you on as a client. [Chuckles] It was a way to train myself to not do that reflexive ‘yes’. Yes, of course I can do that for you. I got to say it worked. I don’t do it as rigorously anymore but it did – it really helped me. It’s try to systematically think through the red flags because it’s one thing in your head to say, “This client has a couple of red flags,” but what I found was when I put it on “paper”, at least wrote it down on the screen I had a much more critical response to those red flags. I take them a lot more seriously. Yeah, I wouldn’t say everybody has to do that or anything like that but it was a useful way to train myself out of the bad habit.**CHUCK: Yup. PHILIP:**Yeah. Client qualification sheet. Checklist. [Chuckles]**CHUCK: You actually do consulting now for technical firms, don’t you? So do you still use that? PHILIP: Sometimes, but I feel like it installed some new instincts to do that for six months. So I do not do it as rigorously but yeah, I’m definitely like some of the things from the list just to give you a sense. Are they really effective users of email as a communication channel or not? Do they just mysteriously go dark for no reason? So things about communication, the kind of questions the client is asking to qualify me. They should ask some questions but there are certain questions that kind of indicate that they don’t trust me or there’s a lot more trust-building to do. Some of those things have become automatic so to be honest, I don’t use it as rigorously as I used to but it really did serve me well for a period of time. CHUCK:**Do you ever go, “Yeah, this doesn’t smell right,” and then pull out the list? [Chuckles] Why does this feel wrong or do you just tell them no when it doesn’t feel right?**PHILIP:**I would just say – at this point, I almost have the list memorized. I think I can recite all of the ten or twelve items on it. So it’s more just of a mental checklist. Here’s when it will be useful again is if I’m like, “Ugh, I know I should not take this client but I want to take them anyway.” If I get into that internal struggle, that’s when I need to pull it out and document it for myself. I don’t show this list to clients or potential clients. [Laughter] Maybe that should go without saying. I don’t show it to them; I’m not like, “Well, here’s where you guys fall short,” because that just makes me look like a jerk.**CHUCK:**I can totally see it, Philip saying, “You got an F! Bye!” [Laughter]**REUVEN:**It wouldn’t with the [inaudible].**PHILIP:**Yeah. It’s a [inaudible] score, yes. [Chuckles]**REUVEN:**These also – there’s a lot of it. Even though you seem to be using Twitter or [inaudible] would you describe somewhat objective qualifications, as objective as are they effective users of email can be? But for some different people work well with different companies so couldn’t it well be this one’s a terrible client for you would be a terrible client for someone else.**PHILIP: Absolutely, yeah. REUVEN: There are also the people who are terrible clients in general but a lot of it and so much of it is chemistry. PHILIP: Yeah, I agree. That’s a really good point. So I would have to be a real jerk to say ‘you guys are a terrible client’, I would just say we’re probably not going to be a good fit for this and just leave it at that unless I was pressed for a reason why. CHUCK: Uh-hm. PHILIP: Do you guys have any kind of formal client qualification criteria other that – I’m curious. I’ve been a long time listener of the show but I can’t remember if you have anything quite so systematized. CHUCK: Well for me generally is more about feel. I don’t have a formalized way of managing that kind of thing so generally, it’s ‘do I want to work on this’. Because I’ve taken some clients – actually, semi-recently that I wound up either handing off to somebody else or backing out before we got too far down the road. Basically, what I was saying to them was, “You know what, I just don’t have time,” and that was partially true and part of it was, “I’m not going to work on this.” I’m going to take this client and I’m not going to work on it because I don’t want him. PHILIP: Yeah. REUVEN:**I would just say [inaudible] to who used to be a panelist on this show, he was amazing at having this whole client qualification process where he had a certain time each week that he would spend on – that was his interview slot and he would talk to them and he said something in email before that. And you would email him and say, “I’m interested in working with you,” he would say, “Well, now that you express an interest, here’s my survey.” And then if you got past the survey then he would talk to you in the phone. I was thinking for a while, “Wow, I should totally do that.” Even though I didn’t get such a huge – I don’t have the huge torrent of people calling me that I would see them as necessary because I can just filter it out. But then quite frankly last year, I’ve really moved and focused so much on training which is a different kind of process so first of all, it’s much more productized consulting sort of thing where they’ll call me and say, “We did a course in X,” and I say, “Oh I got that. What would you like to change in this [inaudible]?” And then there’s a little bit of room. Also, the fact that I was scheduled so far in advance gives me the luxury of basically – the only people who are really going to work with me are the ones who are willing to wait. Unlike a company today, emailed me and say, “So are those dates in March and in April next year still good for you?” I was like, “Yeah. Great. Put it on the calendar.” First of all it’s a fantastic [inaudible] and then second of all it means that they’re almost qualifying themselves now because a lot of people just go to someone else and these guys, because I have a relationship with them or they don’t have enough money nowadays which I think is also possible then they're willing to put it on hold for a bit. Maybe one day I’ll have a formal qualification process but for now it’s just I think it’s just [inaudible] itself.**PHILIP: Yeah. I can see how if they're willing to schedule pretty far in advanced, that’s going to allow a lot of clients that might be more troublesome the last minute kind of rush job type things. REUVEN: Right. PHILIP:**Also [crosstalk] – oh, go ahead. I was going to say also on the subject, I just remembered an instance of a client where I – they may have not been a good fit but then some things changed in my business particularly in terms of how I work with clients because I’m now immolating a developer and when I do consulting work, I tend to work a week at a time and do a week-long sprint, like Agile style. That change made me a lot more compatible with the client that I had initially passed on until a year later, we’re working together.**REUVEN: That’s great. CHUCK: I’m really curious Philip about how your business works. We’ve talked about ours; people have some idea of how we do things. But I’m curious – is your main focus on helping technical firms position themselves is what I keep seeing whenever I see your name, and how do you bring people in? What kinds of things are you doing with them when you have them? PHILIP:**Yeah. You evil hand rubbing together. [Laughter] So I’ve been a pretty relentless experimenter myself. Even in the last year, there’ve been a lot of changes in how I do business. Let’s say about 18 months ago, I launched a service called My [inaudible] and that wasn’t like a productized content marketing service which I’ve since wound down because I made a bunch of mistakes with how I did that service. I did some good work for people but the design of the service was suboptimal, and it was pushing me towards being a small virtual agency. That’s the first thing I would say in response to your question is I’d put my toe in the waters of the small virtual agency. I have a ton of respect for people who can pull that off because you just have to become this master orchestrator of people and schedules and I’m not that person. [Chuckles] I realized that pretty quickly and said I can do the one-man band thing and that’s really what I’m doing. I will occasionally bring in sub-contractors to help with the project but usually it’s just me. The other big, strategic change is The Positioning Manual. Last December, I got a taste of something that tasted pretty good which was product revenue. I am more and more trying to find new ways to develop product revenue for my business. So strategically, I’m a one man band. Part of my business revenue comes from this weekly consulting I do with people. That ranges anywhere from ‘I’ll tell you what to do’ and you do it yourself’ to ‘I’ll do it for you.’ Consulting is not always a right word for that but let’s just call it consulting or freelancing work. I’d say that’s anywhere between 50% and two-thirds of the total revenue and the other is product revenue which is a combination of book sales and a mentoring program that I started which is not pure product revenue. It takes some time to participate in that but it’s a pretty nice return on the investment. It provides good value to people but it also doesn’t take a ton of my time. In general, that’s how I make money. So three things and how I find people honestly has been largely through podcasting – podcast guesting to be specific. I have a podcast that is kind of [inaudible] between seasons right now called The Consulting Pipeline podcast. That honestly has brought my guests more business that it’s brought me [laughter] but that’s the power dynamic in podcasting; it’s the guests who comes in, he’s the expert.**CHUCK: Yeah. PHILIP:**And sharing their expertise. The host is not really not up to center; the host is working with spotlight back at the stage and the guest is on stage. Anyway, that’s brought my guests more business than me but specifically appearing on podcast is something that’s probably added around five to 700 people to my email list. It’s hard to say exactly because I haven’t done things and that was an email list that started with nothing. Over the past year, that’s been the strategy that has been super effective for helping me grow my own audience of people and leads and prospects and so forth. Every once in a while, I see somebody show up on my list – I don’t watch every subscriber notification but someone shows up and, let’s say within a month I’m working for them. They’ve hired me to do consulting. That doesn’t happen a lot; I can only point to two times that’s happened but I want more of that. I want to make that happen more and I think that’s just a matter of getting bigger numbers of list subscribers and doing a better job of showing them what I can do for them. I don’t know if that was a great answer or not but that [crosstalk] the question.**REUVEN:**I presume also that at some point that as you grow your listeners – I haven’t really tried this because my list [inaudible] is growing and I’ve just played some games with it and we’re out growing even more but I’m going to assume that these people are following you and you arrange them on a regular basis [inaudible] basis. And even if you have a hole on your schedule, you're looking for new things you can say, “Hey, is anyone interested in hiring me to do X of a product not as crassly as that?” If you have a lot of different audience, presumably it’ll happen because these people know you and trust you down those initial barriers.**PHILIP:**There’s a couple of interesting things about that and I’ve actually done that. I did it on Twitter and it wasn’t exactly that crass. I had a hole in my schedule that you need some content marketing asset or some lead generating asset was talk will build it and I got some work out of that so it wasn’t exactly that crass. [Laughter]**REUVEN: There you go. CHUCK: I’ve done that on my podcast, too. PHILIP: Yeah. CHUCK: Just get in and at the beginning, “Hey, I’m Chuck and I need some freelancer work.” And I have people come to me and say, “Oh, I know who you are,” then they – yeah. PHILIP: I used to be so shy about doing that and then I realized that’s part of how you sell something is just say that it’s available. CHUCK: Yup. PHILIP: I know what you're selling is your time or your ability to focus on a project; you should say that that thing is available. I think a lot of the things in general is we freelancers have a lot to learn from successful product businesses. We can’t take everything they do and map it one-to-one to our businesses but I think we have a lot we can learn. I was going to say Reuven, another part of that was the person who hired me who saw the tweet on Twitter, I’m sure had seen me somewhere or was also on my list. Having a list kind of creates an awareness. This has actually been confirmed by other people who have big lists. I’ve gotten, let’s see – I’m trying to think if this has actually happened to me or somebody else but I’ve seen it happen with other people’s list where the person who’s a member of your list, Reuven, might refer you to somebody else who’s not on your list, and that person who’s not on your list ends up hiring there is – even if though that person on your list doesn’t directly give you money, there’s benefit to them being there. So naturally as a content marketer, I’m a big fan of people building a list from the daisy roll of their business. REUVEN:**I’ll tell you last week, I hired a – I was forgetting the name of Kurt Elster and Kai Davis. They offered this thing on their mailing list. We will tear down your website and help you out. It’s $200; it is so worth it to have these guys look at my book website and telling me why I’m not – why my books are not flying off the bookshelves as it were. They did an amazing job tearing it down and they're great guys and very useful. [Inaudible] that, “Listen, I have these specific sub-list for email courses. What do I do to get them on my mailing list?” And they were like, “Oh –,” I’m using Drip, “–just automatically at the end of the email course say ‘this is what I’m doing. If you mind, click here and subscribe. If you don’t mind, you’ll keep getting content.’” And I was thinking, “Oh, my God I’m going to get so yelled at for spending,” and so forth and maybe that will happen because I haven’t yet put out another message to my list that’s going to happen the next day or two, but a bunch of people actually responded ‘I have this intro thing on my list; please tell me about yourself.’ I’m so overwhelmed with email now from people telling me about themselves; it’s an amazing feeling but people – several of them said not just ‘oh, here’s about me’ but ‘I’m so happy to have the opportunity to learn more from you’. It’s a fantastic feeling and it means that they were interested in getting more, and it means that this is really a way to build a community, build reputation and build a relationship with people.**CHUCK: Yup. PHILIP:**Yeah. It feels so weird at first just like learning any new skill does. Learning the dance or something – it just feels so weird especially if you [laughter].**REUVEN: Still feels weird. PHILIP: Yeah, just imagine taking ballroom dance lessons; if that terrifies you, you're going to feel just as weird building an email list because you're doing things that are just like, “What?” but you’ve never been on that end of things but on the receiving end, it feels totally different that it’s –. If you do it right, it’s a great way to build real world connections with people just like you were talking about. That email where you transition people from the email course they signed up for to the list you're now adding them to, it gets a 1% unsubscribe rate for me, that means super low. REUVEN:**I was shocked and maybe it’ll happen when I start sending out things on a regular basis than the ones subscribed, but given that I just added thanks to that in the last week, 700 people on my list from the people who have been on my email courses and the fact the that 10 unsubscribed? Right. As you were saying, extremely low and the positives way outweigh the negatives. People are going to get very, and I’ve said this before on the podcast and to many people, I’ve been running for [inaudible] just about every month for twenty years. Virtually every message I send to my mailing list has more responses than I’ve had to all my columns over all those years. The sense of interaction to people over the email is truly astonishing but it’s positive. I get such a great feeling. I love meeting these people, interacting with them and it really is a great opportunity for me to learn from them as much as for them to learn from me.**PHILIP: Absolutely. REUVEN: I just don’t have time to respond to all that email. CHUCK:**Yeah. [Chuckles] I’ve been doing similar things with just putting out there that people can get 15 minutes of my time on Skype. That response has been awesome. The other thing I’ve been doing is I’ve been going out and following people who follow other accounts that have audiences similar to my non-Twitter, then I have something set up to auto-send them at DM and just say, “Hey, are you a fan of the shows? How do you want to interact?” and just those conversations –. I’ve probably replied to about 40 or 50 DMs everyday on Twitter from people who are replying and going, “Hey, yeah. I love the shows,” or “Well, I didn’t know about them before but I checked them out and there’s a lot of great stuff there and this is what I’m interested in.” Just things like that and having those conversations, having the face-to-face conversations over Skype as much as those are face-to-face conversations. I’ve also been really, really helpful and it brought all kinds of opportunities just to get to know people. It’s extremely valuable because then I have this idea in my head of who I’m serving and what I can give them.**PHILIP: That’s incredible. CHUCK:**Now I need to get them on my email list. [Chuckles]**PHILIP: I’m curious about those Skype conversations. I think a lot of people are afraid to invite strangers into their life that way and I think it’s so awesome to actually do that. How did those go? What’s the no-show rate? CHUCK: I probably have one in every four or five that don’t show up. It’s just a Calendly link and it allows two slots per day so it’s not like I’m overwhelmed by all the people who want to get hold of me. It’s just nice because I can get in and I can talk to them and I can get to know them and like I said, make a connection. PHILIP: What are the conversations like? What do people ask you? CHUCK:**It really depends. A lot of times, I wind up asking them questions about who they are and where they're from. I really want to get personal details; at the same time I also want to know which shows do you listen to, which episode do you like and that kind of thing. A lot of times, we go back and forth. I usually spend half the time just asking them questions about themselves and getting responses. I’ve had a few people get on and they’ve talked at me for 15 minutes basically saying, “This is what I’ve been thinking about lately,” or “Gee, isn’t development great?” I don’t really get to ask many questions or get to know them all that well because they just spout but most people –. Yeah, they're like, “Oh okay, what do you want to talk about?” Then I’m like, “Well, I was talking about you.” [Chuckles] Then I ask them [inaudible]. Works out really well. Sometimes I wind up talking to people for half hour and sometimes it’s like ‘okay, 15 minutes is up; I’m gone!’ I had one guy, he got on. He talked to me for 15 minutes straight. He didn’t stop, barely took a breath and I couldn’t understand anything he said. So at the end I was like, “Pleasure talking to you,” and I signed off because I was not getting anything out of this, I’m not sure he’s getting anything out of this because –.**PHILIP: Yeah. CHUCK: But at the same time, I have rapport now with all these people that I’ve been able to talk to. And I’ve had some really interesting conversations and opportunities come out of it. I wound up guesting on some podcasts, I’ve connected with a few other people one way or the other, found some interesting guests for the shows. It’s been a very positive thing for me. PHILIP: That is very cool. REUVEN: It’s really great. CHUCK: Speaking of which, I kind of want to jump on something else you were talking about, Philip, and that is how do you find opportunities to be on podcasts? I know a fair few people that I could probably just say, “Hey, I’d like to come on your show,” or ‘hey, I’d like to talk to your audience about whatever’ and they’d let me on. But how do you determine which podcast to go on and how do you get them to let you on? PHILIP:**Well, my answer’s not going to be super satisfying. I don’t think – so far, it’s been through personal networking. I notice some people online who happen to know a lot of other people who run podcasts and that is how I did it. So it was not very systematized; it’s not a thing where I can say ‘I did these five steps and they produced amazing results’, it was just – and in the times when it’s been questionable whether I was good enough for that podcast, I would always try to point back to some other appearances and say ‘here’s some other podcast guests I’ve done’. Not to be crass here but most podcasts show hosts are in a position – not positional strength is would say. They need guests, they want relevant, awesome guests but sometimes it seems like the standards are kind of low. I don’t know if anyone out there listening has read the book Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday but he presents the basic protocol I’d recommend for anybody who wants to work their way up any kind of media ecosystem. It’s wrapped in – his method is wrapped in a narrative that may or may not be all that interesting to you but the method is basically you work your way up the food chain. So you start out at whatever is the most accessible thing. This would apply to guest posting and podcasting and lots of other media placement type things. I am starting to get a little more systematic about it. Chuck, I’m going to hire a VA to map out the podcast ecosystem of shows where I would be interested in being a guest that are next level shows. Then I’ll just – what I’ll be doing is loading up some cold emails and an outreach tool like QuickMail or which just automates cold outreach somewhat, telling people saying, “Hey, love to be a guest on your show. Here’s two appearances that are relevant; here’s three topics I could talk about.” That’s what I’ve learned from my friend Kai Davis is you just have to make saying yes so brain-dead easy for people and it increases the rate at which they do say yes. Perhaps Kai’s been on – I’m pretty sure Kai’s been on the show. [Crosstalk]**CHUCK: Yeah, he’s been on the show. PHILIP: Do all the work for them – that’s the metatip. Do as much work for them except for the saying yes part. Give them topic ideas, give them dates that you're available – just anything that’s a question mark, try to eradicate it and make your emails have one call to action per email. That’s what I do and it works just fine. No magic there though. CHUCK: Yeah, that was more or less what I was planning on doing was basically compiling a list of podcasts and then reaching out. I do think have the advantage of saying if they're a technical podcast at all, I can talk about my own shows and say, “Look, I know what I’m doing here but I think I have something to offer your audience and here’s what it is.” PHILIP: I would say that’s probably an important part of that initial outreach is get them thinking about their audience might be interested and I think that all increase the rate at which you get a yes back. CHUCK: Uh-hm, and there’s some that I think would be harder to crack than others but you can also work the angle of getting to know people that they know and see if you can get in. PHILIP:**That’s true. I guess I do the frontal assault first. [Chuckles]**CHUCK: Yeah, I’m on the same way. PHILIP: Yeah. CHUCK:**Just tell me no but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up either. [Chuckles]**PHILIP: One of the things – I have not gotten into this research project yet so I am assuming that iTunes rankings are probably going to be my best proxy for audience size, just their rank within iTunes. Is there something else I should be looking at? I’m trying to gauge who are the heavy hitters. CHUCK: You talk about this a little bit in your book but the audience size is not as important as audience fit. PHILIP: Sure. CHUCK: But once you’ve got the audience fit nailed down, then iTunes ranking – so iTunes ranking is based off of a running average of the last number of new subscribers and downloads you’ve gotten so it’s a reasonable approximation of who has a larger audience but it’s not perfect. You can always ask the podcaster and sometimes they just publish those number. But yeah, I don’t know if I have a good answer to that other than – yeah, iTunes ranking probably is a good indication. It’s not a perfect indication though and there’s no way to know if the space just isn’t that competitive so only the top two are the ones you want to get on and the other ones aren’t going to pay off. PHILIP:**Yeah, as far as my marketing goes, I have a really short list of marketing approaches that I prioritize, and I have a policy of ‘I’ll go from any place’ podcast talking about positioning because on a whole, it’s been a great way to start to develop an audience. So I may just find out the hard way and at some point I’ll be saying, “Ugh, I won’t go on a podcast unless they're really good.” But for now, I’ll go on anybody’s podcast. [Chuckles]**CHUCK: The other question I have is how do you convert your podcast guest appearances into people on your mailing list or people buying your book? PHILIP:**That, I do have some well-developed thoughts about. I think it’s really important that the alignment between the end of show call to action and the podcast guest appearance itself be a tremendous amount of alignment. What I mean by that is whenever I’m talking about it on the show which, to simplify things, is usually positioning although I promised I’ll be a little bit more interesting and diverse in my questions as a panelist here, but I’m always talking about positioning as a guest. So I send people to a positioning crash course right now and what I need to be doing to level up is having a landing page that’s specific to that podcast that offers an opportunity to learn more. The call to action needs to extend the value of whatever it is we were talking about. So if you got value from hearing me talking about positioning as a guest on the show, the call to action needs to be how to get more value and it needs to be just perfectly aligned. ‘Go join my list’ – not a good call to action. ‘Go view my beautiful website’ – not a good call to action. [Chuckles] So that’s really – the key is to have some next step app for someone to take if they found your appearance on the show to be interesting or informative or educational. I like email crash courses, I like ‘go here’ to this easy to remember URL. I like vanity domain for that reason so anytime I set up a thing, I usually get a vanity domain name for it. My email crash course that teaches you about positioning is It’s long; it’s not easy to type in but it’s easy to remember – and because podcasting is – I know I’ll get a link in the show notes, too but also if someone’s listening or on their phone or whatever, I want them to be able just to type that in and go to a landing page and get on my list. That’s basically what I’ve done that’s worked pretty well.**CHUCK: I like it. PHILIP:**Yeah. [Crosstalk] Work, it means you don’t just show up because if you create a landing page that’s specific to a podcast, that takes work that takes time. There’s no reason you can’t have one that’s a template that you just tweak 20% of it to make it specific to a podcast. The thing I don’t love about that landing page is then you’ve got – it’s fine in the show notes but then you’ve got to people say, “So Philip, how can people find out more about you?” You’ve got to say, “Well, go to” It’s kind of a drag compared to saying, “Go to” That’s the only thing I don’t like about the per podcast landing page approach.**CHUCK: Yeah. PHILIP: Anyway, those are two good ways to do it. REUVEN: I think it was you Philip or it might be someone else who recently said ‘don’t, if you're on a podcast, then try to sell your book’. That’s just too much of a job. PHILIP: A lot of friction. REUVEN:**because basically they're going from ‘oh, this guy sounds interesting’ to paying me money. [Laughter] And so having and doing an email course where they get to know you better and then that takes them to your email list; overtime it’ll work. I think that’s true and a good strategy; at the same time, I was just looking yesterday, two days ago and my statistics on Gumroad where I sell my book – I’m not talking huge numbers of copies here but by far the coupon code that was used most of all was one that they get to a podcast that I was invited on to. I was surprised; I didn’t realize how many sales I’ve gotten to. We’re not talking about values here but proportionally actually, as surprising as [inaudible] they become and get it. I did not know then correlate who did the email course, who did my ailing list and then [inaudible], I just saw that they used the software code.**PHILIP:**I think it’s so tricky to do when you have all these different data sources and channels by which somebody can buy something, you have to be smarter and more dedicated than I am when it comes to the analytic side of things. I didn’t say that – I did said they had a recent email to my list, I said for me it was kind of mistake to pitch a book at the end of a podcast appearance but I’m also not surprised to hear that that performed so well because podcasting has these qualities of intimacy. If someone trust you after listening to you going on for 30 minutes about some subject, then they're probably a pretty good candidate to buy a book. [Chuckles] That’s awesome to hear that data point about that.**CHUCK: The other thing is if you're talking throughout the show about whatever the book’s about and then at the end you're saying, “I have all these information plus more in my book at,” it makes a whole lot more sense because it has that alignment you were talking about earlier Philip, as opposed to saying, “Well, where can we hear more about you?” And you’ve been talking about Swiss cheese for an hour and it’s like, “Well, I’ve got this python book that you can go check out.” But then they're saying, “Oh okay, so what I’m getting here I want more of. It doesn’t cost me a lot of money to get it – to get a copy of the book,” then that makes sense. PHILIP: Yeah. It really is about alignment between the call to action and the marketing experience that that person had or the educational experience. CHUCK:**Yeah, I also had to point out that – I have a mastermind group that I meet with every Wednesday, and it’s organized by Aaron Walker. If you go to you can check him out and what he’s all about. Anyway, he has four different mastermind groups that he runs and the thing that’s really cool about it was several other people in the other masterminds and in mine, we were all talking over the same week about how to be podcast guests and so we’re actually putting together a little coop. [Chuckles] If you know a podcaster and you think that somebody else’s message will fit, then you refer them. We can also get on and say, “Hey, I have this message to share and I’m looking for these kinds of people,” and you can get the introduction. It’s been kind of interesting to see where that’s going here over the last little while.**PHILIP: That’s awesome. Is that working well so far? Are people excited about that? CHUCK:**We are just pulling it together. [Crosstalk] We just added a whole bunch of people saying, “Yeah, I’m interested.” I think we’ll start formalizing things here over the next week or so but that’s the idea.**PHILIP:**You remember web rings back in the ‘90s? [Laughter]**REUVEN: Yeah. Well, I never thought of that. PHILIP: It’s the sort of that idea for podcasting, a little bit. CHUCK:**Yeah. Oh there we go. [Crosstalk]PHILIP:[Inaudible] under the sun there.**CHUCK: At the end of my show, I’ll tell you about another show. PHILIP: That’s awesome. REUVEN: NPR has been doing that with all their podcasts. CHUCK: Yeah. REUVEN: And I often wonder how sincere their hosts are. Really, is Terry Gross interested in whatever she’s talking? I don’t think so but basically her boss said, “You will like this podcast and you will tell everyone how much you like it, or at least you lie about it.” CHUCK: Yeah. REUVEN: And it’s clearly just building up their brand and so forth. CHUCK: Yeah, but if you have that authority, then it’s really easy to refer people to the same authority. It works really well for me when I’m promoting my other shows because if they're remotely interested in Ruby, JavaScript, Angular or iOS development and I tell them I have another show on that then it immediately has credibility because they're used to hearing beyond here. REUVEN: Uh-hm CHUCK: Until you get that, “Hey, this is by the same people.” PHILIP: Yeah. CHUCK: Well, we’re getting toward the end of the hour; do we want to do picks or is there something else we should discuss first? PHILIP:**I don’t think [inaudible]. Do we want to talk about Jonathan? [Laughter] Do we talk about him behind his back?**CHUCK:**Jonathan who? [Laughter]**PHILIP: There’s nothing more here. CHUCK: Alright, let’s go ahead and do some picks. Reuven, do you want to start us with picks? REUVEN:**Sure. As many people – listeners may know, [inaudible] run this site called with different lectures from conferences and so forth. There’s one that’s coming up in another day or two; it’s reserved on my queue but it is so good and so funny, you guys – I think all of us at some point has picked in the past the FU Pay Me lecture [crosstalk], right?**CHUCK: Oh, so good. REUVEN:**I didn’t check but I’m convinced that the same guy, he did a lecture on – I’m trying to bring it up right now – the 13 Mistakes That Designers Make When Making Presentations. It is so – his point is basically –. He runs a design firm and he says, “If you are a brilliant designer, you are useless to me unless you can also sell.” And how do you sell? You sell by communicating. And how do you communicate? You have to communicate effectively. First of all, he’s just a really funny speaker but second of all, he’s right, too. So I’ll bring it [inaudible] the second I’ve [inaudible] now. For any reason, my server is running slowly because of the millions of people now hitting it when I received your podcast. [Laughter] That’s surely the reason. I’ll bring [inaudible] but I so enjoyed watching this video and I think you guys will enjoy it, too.**PHILIP: That sounds like Mike Monteiro. REUVEN:That’s his name! Mike Monteiro, yes. Thanks you. I’m [inaudible] to announce – remembers these things without me look at them.CHUCK: Yup, and he did do the FU pay me which is so good. REUVEN: Anyway, that’s my pick for this week. CHUCK: Alright. Philip, do you have some picks for us? PHILIP: I have two. I started out with one but Reuven reminded me that Mike Monteiro has a great book for designers. In fact, one of the better books I’ve read about how to deal with clients. And when I say ‘deal with clients’ I don’t mean deal with all the problems that clients bring you but actually how to engage with clients in a way where you end up with clients you really like working with. It’s not all what clients should be doing and are not doing, it’s how to be the kind of business that ends up with great clients. Really good book. Sorry I can’t remember the title but Mike Monteiro is a multi-faceted, multi-talented dude and his books are great stuff, too. The other pick –. CHUCK: Google says Design is a Job. PHILIP: Design is a Job; thank you. That’s one. CHUCK: Okay. PHILIP: It’s definitely on the top ten list of recommended – even if you're not a designer by the way, which I’m not and I learned a lot from it. The other pick this week is something called I find myself in the course of my self-employment having occasionally to gather a list of people and reach out to them for entirely legitimate reasons. I’m not a spammer but sometimes I want to interview a certain type of person or do research on a certain type of buyer and present that research to my clients. One of the tools that I used for doing that is called This is a funky little piece of Python code; it does have a GUI. You pay for it, it goes out. It scrapes your LinkedIn search results, and I know that scraping is a really horrible word but it builds an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file of names at which you can then match up with email addresses and reach out to for an outbound campaign, sending a survey to people or as I do, trying to get people who will agree to do a short interview to tell you about their pains and their needs. Anyway, You’ve got a couple tools that all help you pull data out of LinkedIn for purposes like outbound, outreach type purposes then use them for a little while and the software – at first, clients are kind of janky but it actually does what it says on the tin and does it pretty reliably. That’s my pick for this week. CHUCK: Alright. I’ve got a few picks. The first one is, I have to say, SalesForce failed me. I did a 30-day trial; I made it through seven. I gave up. So I’ve been using Highrise; I’ve been using it to manage podcast sponsorships and other opportunities related to and other aspects of what I do and I’m really liking it so I’m going to pick Highrise. I’m also going to pick Philip’s book; I think I picked it before but I really, really like it so since you're here, I’m going to give you props and say that is an awesome book. PHILIP: Thanks man. CHUCK: Alright. Well let’s go ahead and stop the broadcast. Thanks anyone who watches this during your after the fact and we’ll be back around, doing this again next month. [Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at]**[Bandwidth for this segment is provided by CacheFly, the world’s fastest CDN.  Deliver your content fast with CacheFly. Visit to learn more]

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