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How does Podcast PR Compare to Other Forms of Marketing?

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to the ways you can reach new audiences.

Social media, blogging, Facebook advertising, webinar lead gen, speaking, podcast outreach…these are just the tip of the iceberg.

As if the choice of how to spend your time weren’t difficult enough, any of these marketing channels could work for you — as long as you do them consistently.

There is no one right answer, or secret to marketing your work, that once you learn it will change everything for your business.

How do you decide what to spend your time and energy on?

I recently spoke at a conference, where I met Lauren Hom. Lauren is an artist, who makes a living licensing her lettering, teaching online courses, and collaborating with major brands like Starbucks, Google and TIME Magazine.

Lauren has a real passion for launching creative projects, and as an artist, it’s only natural that her work found its natural home on a visual channel like Instagram, where she’s amassed 152,000 followers on her primary account.

Instagram is the ideal place for Lauren to showcase her work and personality. As someone working with brands, it’s important for her to be a social media influencers in her own right.

Hearing this story, you might be tempted to think, “Maybe I need to spend more time on Instagram,” or “It must be nice to have 150K followers! Of course she’s successful!”

But Lauren’s runaway success on Instagram doesn’t really tell you anything about Instagram itself.

The magic was in how Lauren found the right venue for her particular personality and skill set.

If she wasn’t an artist able to create her own images, if she didn’t have an irreverent personality that adds a dash of the unexpected to her medium, and if she weren’t comfortable putting her ideas out there, and sharing what’s going on behind the pretty pictures…

Instagram would not have been the right marketing channel.

Which marketing channels play to your strengths as a CEO and as a company?

This has all come up for me, because I’ve been forced to re-evaluate what I think about podcasts.

When I first started booking clients podcast interviews two years ago, I was seeing huge traffic bumps from each interview. I was pitching podcasts based on the strength of this traffic — clients were getting 10x the traffic and leads from podcasts than they were getting from guest blog posts and traditional media coverage.

Podcasts still outperform these traditional media channels, but the traffic bump has dropped quite a bit.

So I had to take a hard reckoning.

Could I still in good faith recommend podcast interviews to clients?

This line of inquiry prompted me to review what my clients have told me about the value of their own podcast interviews.

In paying close attention to their feedback, I’ve come to see is that podcasts, like Instagram, are a very specific kind of marketing channel with a very specific set of strengths.

They are amazing for companies in some conditions, but may be a less important channel if none of these apply to you.

What kind of business owner gets the best results with podcasts?

1. When you talk about your business 1-to-1, you have a high close rate.

At the most basic level, what you’re doing on a podcast interview creates a similar set of conditions to 1-to-1 sales. You get an hour to talk to another expert about your work, company structure, and expertise.

If people are routinely sold on your work when you talk about it, podcasts give you the opportunity to have those conversations at scale. You’re still talking 1-to-1 (it’s just you and the host, or in some instances, co-hosts talking), and that conversation is being distributed to thousands of people who are incredibly receptive to hearing what you have to say.

2. You love to have deep, meaningful conversations about your work.

One thing I hear over-and-over again from my PR clients is, “I don’t want to water down my message for the media.”

The challenge with traditional media is that you get, at most, 5-7 minutes in a live interview, or maybe 800 words in a guest post or contribution to a site like Entrepreneur or Fast Company.

There just isn’t space to get into a meaningful discussion about your work.

Even on your blog, where you can write about your topic in depth, only 20 percent of people will read to the end — and these stats are for people who already follow your work.

Compare this to podcast engagement rates, where 35 percent of people who start a podcast interview listen to the entire episode, and 80 percent tune in to most of the episode.

These listeners are typically new to your work, which makes these numbers even more powerful for your company.

Podcasts are the ideal marketing channel, for any CEO who loves to have deep conversations about your work.

3. You want to network with other influencers in your field.

One of the first things you learn running your own business is just how crucial it is to build a strong network.

Other business owners and thought leaders in your industry are an important source of referrals and other partnership opportunities. I’ve had colleagues recommend me for paid speaking gigs, lucrative client projects and even my teaching on CreativeLive!

I cannot overstate this: There is no way I’d have the company I have today without these relationships.

When you go on a podcast as a guest, ultimately what you’re doing is having an hour-long conversation about the work that lights you up to another expert or influencer. It gives you an unparalleled opportunity to cut out months of networking in forming a relationship.

No worrying if they’ll have time to talk with you at a conference, or buttering them up on social media.

You just get to show up and meet them as equals.

4. Referrals are a big revenue source for your company.

The #1 question I get from people who are already lining up interviews for themselves is, “How do I leverage my interviews once they air?”

I know that most people are looking for an answer that helps them use their coverage to draw in and attract more people, so my answer often surprises them.

When you get media coverage of any kind, it’s an opportunity to check in with any open leads.

Your interviews also give your fans and clients an opportunity to share your work with their network. We often forget just how much people want to support our work when they value it. Your interviews give them an opportunity to email a colleague or two, inviting them to get to know you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully you can see how you can start linking your PR efforts with your sales efforts a little more effectively.

Now, let me reiterate that I’m not saying podcasts are a magic bullet for your business.

There are lots of other marketing channels out there, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

Speaking can be amazing if you love being on stage, and want to get paid to generate leads. I’m lukewarm about speaking (although I LOVE panels and workshops), because it is just so much work, but I know many who love it.

Facebook ads are great for people who want to create a consistent formula for churning out leads. But you’re also at the whim of the algorhythm, and with costs rising, I know a lot of people looking to diversify.

The point is that no one channel is perfect — the trick is figuring out which one works with your strengths.

Now that you know a little more about the kinds of companies podcasts work best for, is podcast outreach a good strategy for your company?

Why I’ve Changed My Stance on Social

Do you ever feel a crazy amount of resistance to something everyone says you should be doing to market your business — but you just can’t bring yourself to get on board?

For me, that point of resistance has long been around social media.

Ever since Twitter started its decline (gosh, 5 years ago now?), I’ve been incredibly resistant to marketing my work on social media.

Give me an opening, and I can give you ALL the reasons why I don’t use social media to market my business.

Just for starters…

  • I HATE it when people message me on Facebook instead of emailing me. If you want to reach me, just reply to one of these emails!
  • I also find it weird when someone I don’t know sends me a friend request. Why is that a thing?
  • Back in the day, I was a low-key lifestyle blogger, who regularly wrote about personal development. Now, the idea of turning my every move into a business metaphor gives me hives.
  • My work isn’t consumer focused, so it doesn’t lend itself easily to places like Pinterest or Instagram. I don’t think photos of my cats are going to sell you PR or marketing advice. Actually, on second thought…it probably would!
  • The last thing I want to do is share the same-old inspirational quotes you see everywhere. I’m not against those quotes, but I’m not setting out to be a guru or life coach.

When I sit and really look at this list with an open heart and mind, what it tells me is that the typical formula for social media marketing feels like the absolute least authentic way for me to communicate.

As a writer, I already have a tendency to narrate my life as I’m living it. I don’t care to feed that tendency by taking the things I do for myself — things like hiking or political canvassing — and turning them into marketing lessons.

For the longest time, I couldn’t think of another way to engage, especially in a space like Instagram.

I’m much more comfortable sitting down and writing an email, because I feel like I can be fully myself and not adopt a persona for likes.

I will probably always feel that email is where I show up best, and yet, I’ve also had a breakthrough that has completely transformed how I think and feel about social.

I’ve come to realize that I’ve been thinking about social all wrong…

For most people, social media is a discovery tool. It’s a way to spread your content and your work to more people.

But I’ve come to realize that the way I use social media is to deepen relationships.

There are two recent events that flipped this switch for me.

First up was my realization that I’m constantly advising my clients to share their PR wins, not to reach more people, but to energize the tribe they’ve already gathered.

After YEARS of giving this advice, it finally dawned on me.

I was not practicing what I preached…

That’s when I decided to start sharing more of my client’s press coverage, on the blog, in email but also on Instagram.

Suddenly, I had an authentic, real reason to share content on Insta…to shower LOVE on my clients and the media (mostly podcasters) we work with.

The second event was starting to tune into Instagram stories more, and messaging with friends and clients.

There is one client in particular, where a lot of our communication is through Instagram!

Here I am (in the middle) being silly with a client in stories. 😊Experiencing the way Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon use Instagram has been a total game-changer for me.

In my own company, I talk about how our remote team needs to work extra hard to create “watercooler moments” — spontaneous gathering points like you’d typically see play out in an office. For the past month, I’ve realized that Instagram messages & stories are playing this spontaneous, light-hearted role for my clients and me.

It’s deepening our relationship, now that not every conversation is specifically about the work or a deliverable.

I’m still pretty sporadic on Instagram, but if you’d like to connect over there with me, I’m @brigittelyons.

I won’t even complain if you show up in my messages. 😉

I’ve been doing some deep thinking about how social media might become more integrated into the marketing strategy we do for our clients, but in the meantime, I invite you to reflect on the role social media plays in your business.

How do you feel about social media? Do you use it for your business at all? Is your focus on discovery or depth — or both?

15 Podcasts That Help You Stay Inspired and Grow Your Business

Whether your interests lean toward business tips, creative inspiration or pure entertainment, podcasts are fast becoming many people’s favorite forms of taking in new information.

I am personally a huge fan of podcasts, because I love listening to shows while I’m taking an afternoon walk, lifting weights at the gym or doing chores around the house.

Our agency has also increasingly transitioned to pitching podcasts. Whereas 2-3 years ago, we primarily worked with media outlets like Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Inc, today we’re focused almost exclusively on podcast outreach.

This is because podcasters have discovered something important — when someone spends 45 minutes to an hour listening to you share your passion and expertise, they tend to become big supporters of your work!

Tracking results for our clients, we’ve found that podcasts are outperforming other media types by large margins.

I’ve been educating our clients behind-the-scenes on this amazing opportunity, and today I thought I’d come up for air and share some of the shows we’ve been working with — and listening to! — lately.

1. Don’t Keep Your Day Job

I wish I could remember exactly how my team stumbled on Don’t Keep Your Day Job, as it’s fast become one of my go-to podcasts for inspiration on doing creative work.

Host Cathy Heller has a unique background, which helps her podcast stand out in this crowded field. She’s a leader in music licensing and has been featured in Billboard, LA Weekly, and Variety for having licensed her songs hundreds of times to film, TV and ads. Cathy went on to start her own licensing company, Catch the Moon Music, where she now pitches other artists.

Check out her interview with Christina Scalera on how to build your creative empire.

2. Creative Empire

Speaking of which, Christina actually became our client after I pitched some clients to guest on her podcast!

If you’re a creative entrepreneur, odds are you already tune into Creative Empire, which Christina co-hosts with Reina Pomeroy. If you don’t, this interview on mindfulness and self-compassion with former client Dr. Leah Weiss of the Stanford Business School is a good place to start!

3. Creative Warriors

Every so often, I get a question from someone who knows I worked as marketing director for CoCommercial and wants to know why Tara Gentile switched gears with her business model.

She recently appeared on the excellent podcast Creative Warriors to talk through just that!

If you’ve been thinking about pursuing a membership model for your business, this interview between Tara and Jeffrey Shaw offers an excellent behind-the-scenes look at what happened when Tara decided to pivot.

4. Creative Biz Rebellion

If you’re a maker, this podcast is all about you! Kelly and Caroline specifically target product-based business owners through their upbeat, frank and helpful show.

They recently released this interview with our client Megan Auman on how she uses Pinterest to grow online retail sales for her jewelry business. Spoiler alert: Pinterest is not a social media platform. It’s a search engine that thinks in images.

5. Hashtag Authentic

While we’re on the topic of Pinterest, I also want to introduce you to Hashtag Authentic, who interviewed Megan on how to use Pinterest to make your work go viral earlier this year.

I was initially introduced to this show, and its host Sara Tasker, by a team member, and I’ve since become a big fan.

6. The Rebel Speaker Podcast

Just about every ideapreneur I know wants to become a paid public speaker, which is why I was thrilled when speaking coach Dr. Michelle Mazur launched her own podcast for speakers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and change agents who love speaking both onstage and off, and yet don’t have 100% confidence that they are nailing their message and making the impact they want to make on the world.

One thing that can unconsciously hold you back from sharing your voice and ideas freely is the worry that someone will rip off your work. Can you protect your intellectual property if you share it broadly in a speech. Christina Scalera tackled this topic on Michelle’s show.

7. Your Creative Push

Switching gears a little, Your Creative Push is a podcast that focuses on the creative process itself. This is not a show about how you can grow a creative business — the focus is on how you can finally pursue their creative passion, put aside their fears and excuses and start doing work.

Host Youngman Brown is particularly sensitive to the fact that a lot of his audience has day jobs. Of course, I’m partial to his interview with book coach Jennie Nash on the importance of knowing why you want to do something creative like writing a book so that you can get through all of the resistances that you encounter along your journey.

8. The One You Feed

It takes conscious, constant and creative effort to make a life worth living. The One You Feed is a podcast that looks at how people keep themselves moving in the right direction – how they feed their good wolf.
In this interview with Leah Weiss, hosts Eric Zimmer and Chris Forbes dove into how you can elevate your experience at work.

9. Creative Writer’s Toolbelt

If you want even more of a deep dive into writing tools, check out the Creative Writer’s Toolbelt interview with Jennie Nash. She joined this writing focused podcast to talk about figuring out what your book is really about.

10. Side Hustle School

Side Hustle School is a totally unique podcast from Chris Guillebeau. Instead of sharing live interviews with business owners, Chris digs into a specific side hustle and produces a solo episode that takes you through their journey. The episodes are also shorter than many of the others on this list — typically around 10 minutes, because the show is released daily!

Chris recently shared the story of how Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson transformed their skype “business bestie” calls into a 6-figure podcast.

11. Being Boss

I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t also share Being Boss on this list! Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon believe in building a business you love, making bank, and being unapologetically who you are 100% of the time. They have a combined experience and expertise in branding and coaching small online businesses to be more boss in work and life by focusing on “boss” mindsets, habits & routines, tools, tactics & strategies, blended with a little bit of hustle.

Here’s Leah talking about bringing mindfulness into your work with Emily and Kathleen.

12. Productive Flourishing

I’ve been working with Charlie for years, and once upon a time, he interviewed me for Productive Flourishing. I absolutely love Charlie’s interview style, which is incredibly thoughtful and often disarming. His interview with Christina Scalera on both sides of being your own boss is one of my favorites.

13. She Means Business

Carrie Green, founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, is another business owner I’ve collaborated with a few times. She launched a podcast last year that extends the video content she’s long been producing for the FEA site.

Megan joined her to talk about how she built a successful jewelry business.

14. Hack the Entrepreneur

Hack the Entrepreneur is a podcast for entrepreneurs looking to develop their success mindset. From solo entrepreneurs to startup founders, digital nomads to Amazon FBA, Jon Naster digs into what it takes to be successful with building a SaaS company, affiliate marketing, passive income ideas, coaching and consulting, content marketing, and starting a small business.

Check out this interview with Tara Gentile on community building, content marketing for customer acquisition, and her journey from freelancer to entrepreneur.

15. WTF Am I Doing With My Life with Kristy Arnett You

The last podcast on this list is currently on a break, but I still wanted to include it, because I love Kristy! When I came across her show last year, I found it to be a breath of fresh air.

She interviewed Leah Weiss, and they spoke about the sobering through that you will spend 90,000 hours of your life working— here’s how to make it count.

Bonus Pod: Profit Power Pursuit

Right after I hit publish, I realized I missed Profit.Power.Pursuit, the absolutely incredible podcast hosted by my dear friend and sometimes client, Tara Gentile.

Which is a crime, because this is a totally unique show in that Tara asks clients detailed questions about how they run their business. If you’ve ever wondered how a business really brings in its revenue, or what’s working NOW, this podcast is for you.

Start with the totally illuminating interview with Christina Scalera on how she’s created leveraged income with The Contract Shop.

  

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