In this special Q&A episode, Jeremiah is joined by Lemonpie CEO and Founder, Erik Jacobson, and our Head of Talent Relations, Josh Crist, to talk about what it takes to run a podcast PR tour.
In this special Q&A episode, Jeremiah is joined by Lemonpie CEO and Founder, Erik Jacobson, and our Head of Talent Relations, Josh Crist, to talk about what it takes to run a podcast PR tour.
This is a must-listen if you’re considering a tour for your brand but aren’t sure where to start. Erik and Josh walk you through the ins and outs of identifying shows to pitch, strategies for landing interviews, the value of podcast guesting, and how to measure the success of it all.
Names: Erik Jacobson and Josh Crist
What they do: Erik is the CEO and founder of Lemonpie and Josh is the Head of Talent Relations at Lemonpie
Connect with them: Erik’s LinkedIn | Erik’s Twitter | Josh’s LinkedIn
Podcast tours, like book tours, are a way for you to build awareness for your brand and for you (or your employees) as a thought leader in your industry. It’s the proactive strategy of finding podcasts that your ideal customers or ideal team members listen to and getting interviewed on as many of them as possible over a short period of time.
The more your name appears across podcasts in your industry, the more dominant the perception of you and your brand becomes. You don’t have to be a market leader to reap the benefits of a podcast tour. Instead, your goal should be to give the best, most transparent interview those shows have ever had in order to build trust with the audience and be seen as an expert in your space.
Rather than micro analyzing the number of leads you get from one specific interview, you should take a more holistic approach. Look at the aggregation of leads coming from all the interviews on your tour. It’s about setting the sail in the right direction versus narrowing your focus on each individual opportunity.
Many guests miss the chance to repurpose content from their interviews to share across their own organic channels. Rather than waiting for the host/show to send you assets, you can actually record videos of yourself for every single interview you give or even write blog posts out of the topics you cover. This will give you the ability to distribute your own repurposed content even if the host/show doesn’t provide you with marketing content to work with.
What are you asking of this channel in relation to the goal you hope it achieves? If you’re looking for podcast PR tours to drive leads in the first 30 days, there’s likely a mismatch between what this channel can do for you and what your goals are. Measuring podcast tour results is not the same as measuring paid acquisition channels. You need to be willing to stick with it long enough to see the outsized returns it can drive, even with the limitations of podcast tour analytics.
If you believe that people want to buy from people, then this is the right strategy for you. You need to go into this channel with the philosophical mindset that brand building comes from raising the profiles of the executives on your team.
This isn’t something you see results from within the first 3 months of your tour. Yes, you will see and be able to generate activity, but there’s oftentimes a lag from when the podcaster agrees to interview you to when the episode goes live. So you need to go into the first 3 months knowing it’s a ramp-up period where you build up a snowball effect with compounding results in months 6 through 12+.
A podcast interview isn’t a 30-minute pitch or webinar of your product. Instead, it’s a time for you to share the expertise you’ve learned from being in the same position the listeners are in. What sort of experience do you bring to the table that only you could have from having lived the same experiences of the listeners you’re speaking to?
When deciding which shows to pitch and guest on, it’s important to look at the size and impact as two separate factors. Shows with hundreds of downloads versus millions of downloads both have their place and can be valuable. But in the end, what matters is the impact this show has and what the audience fit is relative to your brand. We use the Lemonpie Score to figure out which shows to pitch for our clients.
When pitching to be a guest on a show, it’s important to lead with empathy and show up with value whenever you’re engaging with a host. Rather than assuming you have something they want, take the time to learn, engage, and build them up and their show in some way. Get to know the podcaster, what they care about, what kind of guests they like to spend time with, what community engagement they like to drive, etc. and figure out how you can help them succeed in those areas.
Whenever you pitch a guest to a podcaster, think about the timing, fit, and approach. Timing means they must be in need of and open to guests. Fit means you’re bringing value to their listeners that’s relevant to the show. And when you’re approaching them, you need to meet them where they are and not assume the host wants to engage with you on your terms.
Personalizing your pitch emails seems obvious but it’s a point most people miss. Take the time to actually listen to the podcast, comb through their social media, find out what the host really cares about or what excites them so you can reference those conversations in your email. Also, you can add a “5-Minute Favor” where you do something to be kind, helpful, or deliver value to them that shows up within the first 5 minutes of your engagement with them. This could be a thoughtful and personalized review of their show, it could be buying their book and leaving them a review, it could be tagging them on social and promoting their show.
The research and prep that happens before your interview isn’t something to skip over. This can be as simple as listening to previous episodes, researching the host on social media to understand what matters to them, reading any articles they’ve written or been featured in, or watching videos they’ve produced. A lot of the work you do to prep your pitch can then be used to build a relationship with the host so you can give the best interview that show’s ever had.
One of the main reasons you go on a podcast tour is to build trust with the people you want to know you and your brand. Trust is more easily created when you show vulnerability to the audience. This means you open up about your failures and how you learned from them, or you are willing to give away information for free that is deemed to be extremely valuable.
“Head-nod moments” refers to moments in your interview where you’re giving away so much value and information that the listener has to pause the episode, open their Notes app, and write down what you’re saying. You can spark these moments by sharing your methodology, framework, resources you use, or how to get from point A to point B.
This means you have a blank field on your website asking people how they heard about you, or you ask your sales team to add that question to their follow-up strategy. By letting people explain to you, in their own words, how they found you, you’ll be able to better track which leads are coming to you from a podcast.
Jeremiah: Hey there. Welcome to brands that podcast each week we talk with the people running podcast strategies as successful brands. So you can learn how to grow your company through podcasting.
All right, Erik and Josh, welcome to Brands that Podcast. Erik, it's been a while since you have been on the show. So thanks for making the time out of your busy CEO life.
Erik Jacobson: Thanks for having me back. It's fun to be back.
Jeremiah: Yeah. It's been fun having some conversations with some great content minds and podcasting minds, but for this episode I wanted to rope in Erik and Josh.
Erik is the founder of Lemonpie and the founder of Hatch, a podcast editing company. Erik basically is the mind behind Lemonpie and podcast guesting and podcast tours. And then Josh is the brilliant mind who has taken it over and grown it and runs the entire team at what we do for our podcast PR services and Lemonpie.
So I wanted to have them on to explore a deep dive into doing a podcast tour. So this is something you're interested in learning the ROI of, the value of deciding if it's a good fit for you, basically, you're going to get a ton of insight from people that do this day in and day out. So Erik kick us off with what would be an overview of what is you've termed this podcast tour.
People have different names for it. I've seen the search volume for the term podcast tour go up, which is good. How do you define a podcast tour?
Erik Jacobson: Yeah. So it is pretty fascinating. Like the terminology still to this day, when I say the words podcast tour, there are some folks who are like, I have no idea what that means.
What is that? And that was even more so the case when we started Lemonpie five years ago. It's gotten a little bit more popular lately. Some people just look for it in terms of booking interviews as a, on a podcast, as a guest or different things related like that. But what a podcast tour is and where it stems from, actually, I don't think I coined it.
I don't remember where I saw it, but like we've sort of helped popularize it a little bit is kind of what back in the day would be like these book tours. So essentially you have something you're looking to get awareness for, in that case, a book that you've worked on likely for a year or two, and you travel around the country, basically giving presentations, meet and greets, marketing in different cities to build up interest awareness and sales for the book.
And that's the exact same concept here. Just digitally and done via remote interviews for the most part on podcasts. And so this is the proactive strategy of finding podcasts that your ideal customers, ideal audience, even team members, ideal team members are listening to, to try to get interviewed on as many of them as possible, over a short period of time.
Jeremiah: And this is something that is interesting. Like if you are a marketer listening, you can, or a founder or something, you can notice this trend. If you've ever listened to some of the bigger shows like Joe Rogan, Alex Friedman, or something, and ever wondered, like, why is it? They always have something to promote at the end?
Like, why are they always coming on? Like when there's a book tour and all of sudden you hear the same author on five of your favorite shows, there's a reason for that. There's intentionality behind that. And so podcast tours have been done for a while and businesses are sort of now just breaking into them.
All right. So you gave the example of this originated authors have been doing this for a long time. What is the value or ROI of getting booked as a guest on 20, 30, 50 different podcasts that your target audience is listening to.
Erik Jacobson: This is a big question. There's a lot of answers to it. So I'm going to hit on some key things and we've got resources, you know, on our website.
And we've also got prior episodes of Brands that Podcast that kind of go specifically deep into the ROI side of things. But a lot of these things are actually not obvious. And what most people will think of is leads a lot of times, especially B2B, but there's actually a lot of tangential ROI factors here.
And I'll go through some of them. One of the most important ones that we see, that's actually the seeding ground to everything else is actually the audience and awareness that comes with getting on as many of the podcasts in your space as possible, over a short period of time, such that. At one point or another, almost everybody who could be a customer or could be a team member, or could be somebody you want to know about your company has heard you or someone on your team speak on one of those podcasts or has seen your company name or your name appear in their podcast feed multiple times on the different shows that they pay attention to.
So basically you are now known entity in their minds and some that it starts and stops there where you're just that's it, they didn't really actually consume the content, but they know of you. Others, which is obviously more, so the goal consume not only one interview, but maybe multiple across the different shows in the space that they pay attention to that you've been interviewed on.
And the beautiful thing here is that these are on, on shows that you don't have to create the audiences already there. You just have to be one of the best interviews that your goal being one of the best interviews that that shows ever had. And Josh will talk more to that later. And to be seen as the expert in your space.
So we believe that the expert and the market leader, you don't actually have to already be the market leader to get the best results from this. Perception is reality in a lot of ways. So if your name and your company's name is being seen across dozens and dozens and dozens of the best podcasts in your space, it actually can help lead to the perception that you are the dominant, or you are the best option and company and service and product in that space.
Even if you're not even if you're, you know, a startup. And that's why we think it's so effective is that it's a fairly quick way in the grand scheme of things to have 30 to 60 minutes in front of your ideal customers on things that they want to consume, not via a paid advertising. A few other core things that I'll go quickly through here is you actually get to, again, perception is reality.
You get to be seen next to the most popular shows in a lot of cases and very popular notable folks in your industry, either as the host themselves or as other guests on that podcast. So you get to be seen at the same level as them in a lot of ways, which can help build trust with the folks that you want to build trust with.
Inbound leads, so this is a big one, and this is something that we'll talk more about in attribution section later, and like how to measure the results. We think that you will absolutely see leads come through for this. You have to be sure to track that in the right way. And also from a direct response mindset, it's going to be tough if that's the way you're going in with it.
Like, "Hey, you know, I want to do one interview and I want that to lead to X amount of leads from that one interview." It's more of the holistic strategy as a whole and the, and the aggregation of all the interviews across all the shows leading to leads than it is like analyzing it on a show by show basis, because some shows outperform others, some shows you do better interviews on it's more setting sail in the right direction.
And knowing that the overall strategy is the right strategy, then like micro analyzing each individual opportunity. Another big one is backlinks. This is what some folks really don't realize actually to the full degree is that most of the shows will actually have a show notes page on their website. It will get very, very minimal traffic.
Almost nobody will go to that page, but more importantly than that, Is, you will have the ability to put a back link to an article you want to rank, your website, a landing page, what have you. And a lot of these websites and shows are created with brands that have good domain authority already. And so you actually, over the course of doing a podcast tour, you can build up dozens and dozens and dozens of high quality backlinks.
And we've seen this play out in a big way where it helps raise the domain authority and all of a sudden, you know, a brand doing the podcast tours ranking on the first page of Google for high traffic keyword that they've been trying to rank for for awhile and just a few more here. So being able to repurpose content, and this is becoming more popular as an approach to marketing in general is like, how do we do a one to many, one creation leads to many different assets across our channels.
And it's not actually terribly obvious to think of appearances on someone else's show driving your ability to do that even. A lot of times, people think I have to create this stuff from scratch myself and then repurpose it from there. You can actually repurpose your podcast interviews on other people's shows across your organic channels.
So you can actually record video of yourself while you're giving every single interview. Even if they don't record a video, this is just an example and get a 30-second clip or two or three or four or five from every interview you do. Even if the show actually does not distribute the video itself, you now have the ability to take that content you've already created and repurpose it.
And one thing that we see almost every time we work with somebody and we hear a folks using this strategy is something that's hard to quantify upfront, but plays out almost every single time, which is the serendipitous nature of building friendships and relationships with the hosts of these podcasts.
And then that leading to other things. Where, if your goal going in is to be one of the best interviews that that shows ever had, and also giving the host a good experience, that is something that helps foster your relationship with them. And that can lead to other campaigns across other channels that oftentimes these are influencers in the space that have big newsletters, big Instagram, followings, other webinar things that they're doing that you can get invited to from that.
And we see that play out frequently. That was kind of me running through things fairly quickly there, but that's a bit of an overview of the ROI.
Jeremiah: And like Erik said, we do have another episode. We've got an article on, on Lemonpie.fm. Uh, you can go check out our resources. We do a deep dive into ROI, specifically as a topic on Brands that Podcast.
Something I would just add there too um, is, you know, the main point Erik's talking about a way that I like to frame this or think about it like from a marketing perspective is, uh, you know, Seth Godin says, uh, you know, that you only need two things, uh, to be successful as a business, people need to know you exist and they need to trust you.
Like assuming, assuming you have a service or a product that they want, that solves a real pain for them, they need to know you exist and they need to trust you. And ads are sort of an attempt to shortcut trust. Like it's an attempt to be like, I know I don't really want to take all the time it takes to get you to know my name and like hear my philosophy and my point of view on the industry and the best way to solve the problem.
And to know that I'm the best option for you. Like just, just here's a product. Like here's a solution to a pain that you have please buy from me right now. And that's fine. Paid ads work really well in a, in a lot of cases, but ultimately for long-term success, if you're not going to be dependent on one or two paid channels, and if you're really going to be successful over the long haul, your target customers need to know you exist and they need to trust you.
And I think this is the way I've articulated it for our company before I think podcasting there's no better medium for that. That's not just related to tours, that could also be hosting your own show. The medium of an engaged listening audience that has invited you into their headspace for 20 to 45 minutes or more, and has said, they're going to bring you wherever they are on their journey, walking, cooking, cleaning, whatever they are engaged in a way that YouTube is not, nothing is pulling away at their eyeballs.
They're here for the long haul. And so there is, I would just want to underline that point from my perspective and my role here, like in marketing is podcasting, as far as I can tell, I have not really found a better channel for raising awareness and building trust. So completely.
Josh Crist: One thing too, is it allows for the brands, the spokespeople that really show up with humility. I mean, podcasting is the perfect medium or platform for that kind of trust building. And the clients that we see win consistently are ones that have the kind of humility that you just outlined, Jeremiah, where it's like, okay, let's take the time to actually build trust in a long-term way. And if that means we go not necessarily slow, but we go intentionally at the start and build that trust along the way, not expecting that somebody should just listen to us because we can throw the most money at a problem or be as loud as anybody out there, that kind of humility, it just breeds a lot of success within this platform.
Erik Jacobson: Well, that goes to the last thing I'll mention here with this, which, and I completely agree with what you both just said is that there's only so many things you can compete on.
You can compete on product, you can compete on price, you can compete on features. There's like a handful of things, essentially. We believe that you can compete a differentiator for why people would pick you over a competitor, all else being equal. Let's just assume that everything else is equal. We believe that you can actually compete on from a positioning standpoint, your expertise of the space.
And so this is a way to actually highlight you, understand the problems, pains, history, and options that your customers have to solve their problems. And that's one reason why folks would actually choose you over a competitor.
Jeremiah: The example I give a lot in like a really practical consumer world is let's say there are five mechanics in your 20 mile radius, but one of them puts out free tips on Instagram every day and is like, here's how to change your oil.
Here's how to do this. If the car is making a knocking noise, here's the three things that might be, here's how to diagnose. Assuming you are someone who decides it's just not worth your time to try and fix this problem yourself. That will be the person you go to every time. And most likely, because they're showing they have nothing to hide.
They're here to educate you. They're here to bring value to you, and they're going to win over your trust by showing you like, look, you know, if you want to solve this problem, like I'm the expert. I'm going to tell you how to do it. But if you want an expert to solve this pain for you here I am. And I think this is a good example of that.
By the way, Erik, an example to that is, and I want to jump to, um, who should consider a podcast tour next, but I want to give an example of what you just said, Dave Gerhardt, who just wrote Founder Brand at the time of this recording, like just released.
He has a great interview on his podcast with April Dunford, who's sort of one of the leading thinkers on positioning, and when he asked her like, how can a business position itself, like, so specifically if you're listening and you're B2B SaaS you probably know who April Dunford is. And her answer was if you can't find a feature or a price point, or like a unique spin to differentiate, being the smartest or the industry leader, or like the educators in your brand is a big differentiator you can still lean into.
And Dave gave the example of when he was at Drift, that's exactly what he did with David Cancel. Like he really worked hard to highlight David comes from a sales world. He wants to accelerate sales. So while all the other chat widgets basically did the same thing in features, none of them were salespeople like David was.
And so that was a huge thing that they leaned in on. So just some practical examples for all the listeners. All right. So Erik wrapping up this sort of like intro section. No one is right for every marketing channel who should consider a podcast tour? What business considerations do they need to have in place?
Like what needs to be going on with their business? And who do they need to be as guests? Like who makes good guests, if you could speak to both of those things.
Erik Jacobson: Yeah. And I'll also frame it as who would it be best for and also who should not? So that's one way, and then also who should not do it, or maybe you're not quite ready yet.
And what would that look like when you're not quite ready yet? So the very first thing to do is be clear on the goal. What are you asking of this channel in relation to the goal that you hope it achieves? And the ROI factors that we just mentioned are all great goals to anchor this to. So all of those could be fair, either one or multiple of those.
If you're looking for this channel to do something like drive leads in the first 30 days, then there's a mismatch between what the channel can do and what your goal is. And so just proceed with caution with that. So if you're used to analyzing paid acquisition and the actual metrics and math that can be done associated with that, and within the timelines that can be done with that in comparison to this, it's going to be tough.
It's going to be tough going in with that mindset to be able to stick with this long enough to actually see the outsized returns that it can drive. So that's number one is clear on the goals and then clear on how you're going to actually measure success. Josh will actually be able to speak a little bit later on how to measure success and you as well, Jeremiah.
This industry, podcasting as a whole, like the analytics aren't great. And it's tough to actually know like who listened to these podcasts? How many people listened to the podcast and people that are showing up at our website, did they come because they heard the podcast or did they come from Google?
Cause oftentimes, which we'll get into later, they'll listen to your podcast and then they go Google your brand name. And so it in your Google analytics will actually show organic. Organic search is where this person came from, but really they listened to the podcast. So there's a whole series of things you can do to mitigate that, but being intentional about how you measure success so that you don't quit too early or that you don't quit when it's actually working, but it's hard to see, or you didn't know of its limitations going in.
We see B2B and B2C, both being incredibly effective with it, if it's measured correctly and if it goes in with the correct goals. Sometimes B2C, especially direct to consumer brands can feel like they need to measure it against more so like paid acquisition. They actually are driving sale. And a lot of cases they're used to Facebook ad driving sale to, you know, a hundred dollars product and measuring it literally on the cost of acquisition and very math based formula.
So again, it can be challenging to do. But a couple of other factors. So you would be successful at this, if you believe in brand building, via raising the thought leadership profile of executives at your company. So if you believe that the brands that are going to win in the future are those where customers can name people who work at your company, then this is going to work for you.
Because it's more of a philosophical way to look at it then even like a short term results sort of thing. If you believe that people want to buy from people in the future, more than people buying from some unnamed organization corporation, then this is going to work for you.
If you have a medium to long-term view, this will be effective for you. So I mentioned, you know, it's going to be hard to see the full results from this within the first three months. And mainly the reason for that is you will see activity and you will be able to generate activity, but there's oftentimes a lag in from when a podcaster says, yeah, sure.
I'd love to do an interview with you to weeks or months later, when that interview is actually recorded due to their backlog or your schedules matching up and things like that. And then weeks and months later from when it goes live, depending on their production queue, like where you are in the queue, if they're releasing one episode a week and they've got eight episodes to release before you, you're in that queue.
And so, you know, the first three months kind of going in knowing like it's a ramp up period here where we're going to build the snowball and really being able to start seeing the compounding results from that, and, you know, months six through 12 plus.
And then lastly, this is a good idea if you have opinionated things to say about your industry, your market, or the problems your customers face.
And you want to teach them ways that they can overcome their challenges in an opinionated way. So maybe you've got contrarian points of view. You had hard lessons, you had to learn the, you know, w via failures and hurdles and challenges. And you want to open up about all of that, or maybe you've done like proprietary research that nobody else in the industry has.
And you can share some stuff that will really help people. All of those things are what's going to actually drive the most results from this. A couple of things that you might want to be careful of. If you were to embark on this strategy, if any of these things exist, you may want to wait and solve these first.
And so I'll run through these quickly, but if you're positioning or messaging is not where it needs to be yet. So basically if you aren't able to stand out from your competitors based on how you describe yourself, then this is a good place to test your messaging or help refine it. But if you feel like you're just not even close to where it needs to be, you're going to get a lot of at-bats to get in front of the people you want to get in front of, but you're actually not going to optimize it because you're not saying it or describing yourself in the way that's going to resonate the most.
Jeremiah: Just as in reference more to like a product marketing.
So like the messaging I see when I go to your website, if you are unclear on the best way to speak to me, and it's a little fuzzy your interview, might've had me interested, but I might churn or not convert or whatever, because I'm a little hazy on what you do. I'm a little hazy on how you solve the problem.
See, you'd want that a little bit more refined and prove that your website's driving conversions before this.
Erik Jacobson: Exactly. Positioning being like, what are you the best in the world at doing and solving and for who, if you're able to articulate that clearly based on knowing exactly the answer to that, then you are good to go for this. Again, you can refine your messaging, but you do want your positioning probably to be pretty firm before you start this.
If your product isn't where it needs to be yet. So if you actually are seeing a mismatch, if you just feel like you haven't achieved product market fit yet, you've got good hypothesis about what the product should be.
You've maybe built some version of it, but it's tough to attract customers. It's tough to retain customers. Something's not quite working with the product yet, or the service that is a more important thing to solve than finding new people to come into a product that's not working.
Again, same thing with the messaging and positioning. And if your website isn't converting. So you're getting traffic from other sources and you're not getting the conversion that you want, something's off and it'd be better to spend your time there.
The same thing, if you aren't able to close deals at the way you want. So you get on sales calls, you're getting good opportunities with the right fit prospects, but something's off.
And you're not closing. You're closing at 1 to 5%, rather than 20 to 30%, something's off there. It's better to spend your time there. If you don't necessarily have domain expertise in the areas that would help your ideal customer. So if you're selling something to folks and you don't have any domain expertise in the area that you are selling to.
Is not to say that you can't do it and we've seen it be successful to some degree there, but it will limit what you can do in this space.
Josh Crist: Just on the domain expertise piece too, it's almost like thinking about it as, is there an objective verifiable way for somebody independent of me to look at the things I'm saying, am my track record and know that I've got domain expertise, not just as simple as well.
Yeah. I've had this company I've built it. We've had growth, but it's more, do you have a story that on its own, somebody would look at and insights and expertise from that time that just independent of you and your personal bias, somebody would look at it and say, yeah, that's going to be expertise. And it seems simple, but it's a really important nuance to grab.
Jeremiah: So just to help the listeners here, cause I think this is a really important point for us to hit, assuming they're bought in on this is going to take time. I definitely believe in building brand and awareness and trust and all those things primarily, and I'm willing to try and find ways to measure the other stuff I want.
Assuming those kind of foundational level things are in, let's say there's someone who built a revolutionary SaaS product for SEO. It might not be a great example, but they've had a decade of SEO experience. They have a proven track record of knowing how to deliver results, and then from that expertise, they went and built the product.
So, like, what you're saying is this is not a 30 minute pitch of your product. This is not to talk about that. But if you got invited on marketing shows, your unique approach would be, I want to teach the listeners about proper SEO, best practices of SEO, and I'm going to be vulnerable about my feelings.
I'm going to break down a couple of case studies of how I scaled 10 X a couple of clients, and exactly what I did. I'm going to share unique insights. I'm not going to hold anything back. I'm going to be generous, transparent. You're coming with a spirit of generosity and you want to have them leading with a lot of value.
Is that fair to say Josh, like given what you're seeing, is there anything you would add to that to correct?
Josh Crist: A hundred percent. And the, I guess the only piece I would add is that you want to bring it to the table experience that only you could have from having lived the experience of the listeners you're speaking to, you've been in their roles.
You've understood the challenges, the problems they've gone through. You know, that even if you have a product that does X as that example, that that is an SEO product, there are things around the life of a marketer that you understand intimately and understand the roadblocks that they might hit. And if you can bring those specific stories, now your expertise truly is about the domain, not just this specific tool that you've built, or one opportunity that you took advantage of.
Erik Jacobson: Yup. And this is also where some brands are, sometimes it's not just, we sell to directors of marketing, but we also sell to this persona, this persona, this persona. And so oftentimes, what can be the most effective way to go about it is to find the person leading each of those areas at your company to represent your brand and be able to speak to those audiences from the actual background and expertise of being in that role, rather than being the founder or CEO, and likely being able to speak to all of those things.
But having a marketer speak to marketers oftentimes is more effective than even a CEO talking to marketers because you're able to speak the language better. And so really looking at it from that standpoint.
Jeremiah: Yeah, I love that. And we'll talk about this at the end, but if you're listening, you can see how this just unlocks a ton of ways to get your name out there and your point of view out there quickly, because the developer of this product that I made up on the spot might go on a show with other developers and talk about the AI innovations that you're doing and implementing. Well, then all of a sudden, if those developers are being asked by their marketing teams about what's possible, or like they overhear their marketer in slack saying like, "Hey, we need a better tool for SEO."
You're going to be top of mind because, but not because you talked about the product or SEO, they just know this is a well-built product. You're a world-class developer who talked about why they liked the way you develop and code projects. But it happens to be that they see in slack that they are looking for an SEO recommendation, so they recommend it to their marketing team. So there's a ton of overlap here, but yeah, I love that.
I love the framing of like being a domain expert, not just about one topic.
All right, so Josh, can you unpack a little bit more about what shows are they actually looking to pitch and guest on? We kind of said at the last, what I just summarized there is like, okay, it may not just be the founder or the marketer or whatever.
It may actually be like multiple team members that can talk to multiple audiences you want to talk to. There's I think, close to 2 million podcasts right now, you know, the numbers kind of always going up into the right. How do you think about what shows are worth the time to pitch and guest on? Is that the really big ones?
Is it the really niche ones? How do you know that your ideal listeners are there? Like, how do you think about it?
Josh Crist: Yeah, well, so there's philosophic pieces of this, and then there's tactical pieces, right? And on the philosophical side, especially in the B2B space, but this is probably true across any category.
The beautiful thing about podcasting and podcasts in particular is that you're going to get shows where the audience is self-selected. If we go back to our SEO and marketing example, there's going to be shows with, as an example of the title that, Hey, you know, marketing tools, marketing tech, where, you know, the listeners are raising their hand and saying, "Hey, I want to learn about this information, this content, I want to be involved in this community."
So that's one piece of understanding just from a philosophical perspective. Okay. I know there's going to be places where my audience raises their hand, but then you also have to have the empathy, the humility, and to the pieces we already talked about, the maybe open awareness to kind of step back and say, "Okay, I know that there's going to be that self-selection piece, but I also know that my audience might be interested in these tangential topics."
They might be topics like we just talked about AI. There could be a financial angle to understanding what tools are being built and how that may impact SEO long-term in terms of the ROI that's driving you. If you can step back and zoom out and see that there are going to be places where you can show up with your listeners in your audience that aren't always in the place where they are expecting you, that really opens up podcasting and the listing and the list of shows that you can put together to identify.
And then of course, as you go up in terms of size of show, you're capturing an audience that might be less and less specific, less and less niche, but more and more, the scale will give you an opportunity to reach listeners who might not be expecting to hear your message too. So we try to split that difference and identify both pieces of that puzzle when we work with clients and, and we would always advocate for that to be able to understand you can do both and you can sequence them in a way that makes a lot of sense for your strategy.
On a tactical level there's tools that allow you to research, to index, to identify based on keywords topics, there's tools like Rephonic, Listen Notes. You can use things like SparkToro to understand who are the influencers in my space, who are the people who are really leading our conversation. It might be social media that you jump onto.
It might be, you know, you might go look on Twitter for certain hashtags, or LinkedIn for certain hashtags, and step back and say, "okay, do these individuals have podcasts that they're producing or that they've been guests on?" And you can do things as maybe as simple and as tactically, I not simple, but maybe a straightforward is looking at what do other listeners on apple podcasts listen to? One of the most interesting things about apple as a platform to consume podcasts is you get to see right there, like you do a Spotify, "Okay, hey, other listeners are also listening to these shows." And that's a really easy way to get a sense of what are the tangential topics related to my core audience that they've already said are interesting, and that you can tap into and continue to kind of go down that rabbit hole. And you can do that 2, 3, 4 different layers looking at shows that might be connected in a non-obvious fashion.
So that's on the tactical side.
And when we look at shows and which shows to target for a particular client and as you think about what shows you want to build a list together on we're going to be sometimes separating size and impact, right? There's a big range of shows in terms of the size they're shows that are gonna get a hundred downloads, an episode, their shows that are gonna get a million downloads and episode. Both have their place, and both can be extremely valuable.
We've put together what we call Lemonpie score that's a methodology that really looks at the impact of a given show over say just the pure size. Size is important. And we would never be ones to advocate against getting on the biggest possible shows you can, but there is a time and a place and it has to be something that you're prepared to take advantage of.
And so we use this Lemonpie score to look at things like, okay, yeah. What would we estimate the size of the show might be, but also what's the audience fit relative to who you are as a brand, the audience you want to speak to? What does the professionalism of the show feel like? How's the production quality?
What's the length of the interview? Are they going to be, if you're thinking about it from your expertise, do you have time in a 15 minute interview to get into the nuance that your expertise really has and demonstrate that level of insight? Probably not. Right, but if you've got 30, 45, 60 minutes, plus that's a lot of time to have a conversation with somebody. A caliber of past guests, branding those pieces.
Jeremiah: This is sparking a thought for me that this is sort of like in the marketing world, there's certain channels that are like Google ad-words would be an example of capturing one of the higher intent ones we can, like we know if they type in this word, they're looking for this. So like, depending on how specific the query is, we know that they're looking for this kind of solution or whatever.
So you can be relatively sure, like, let's say 70, 80% of the people searching that are looking for a solution. They may not be your ideal customers or may not be like a good fit for your positioning, but you can get in front of them at a fairly high intent way. And then there's sort of like, it may be like LinkedIn, if I want to reach demand gen marketers on LinkedIn, I could target a hundred thousand of them, a hundred thousand of them with $10,000.
And I could run like a video in front of them. Just sharing our point of view, just targeting impressions, not leads or anything. And that's going to get me a wide awareness of our brand and who we are and what we do and the things we believe in, but they're not necessarily ready. They don't may not be in the market for podcast PR.
They may not be looking for us at the moment, but that's a different goal. So it sounds like what you're saying is podcasting that people should think of it sort of that flexible and that unique to your point, if there's 500 listeners on a marketing tools and suggestions podcast, that's maybe an example of a higher intent keyword like Google AdWords, where like, yeah, don't worry too much about the small listeners size because a lot of these listeners end up going and raving about the products and reviewing them on G2 and signing up for free trials.
And on the flip side, Tim Ferriss or whatever Lex Friedman or something there, you're going to get a lot of people listening and some may be a good fit, but that's more sort of have the perceived, like everyone knows about you now. And people are talking about, you're looking you up and like, boom, you hit their brain once.
And maybe there'll be back in six months. So it sounds like there's a ton of flexibility and the approach. That you take with a client is like you measure overall impact, and then you align that to their goals.
Josh Crist: Absolutely. And, and it speaks a little bit to what Erik was talking about for who a podcast tour is a good fit for. If you've got a longer term outlook and the way you're measuring success, isn't in terms of timescale 30 days or 90 days, but it's six months, a year, two years, you have time to really explore that flexibility of audience and explore the ability to say, okay, well, am I going to look for the high intent listeners right now?
Or am I just going to say, let me work my way towards as big a show as I can get on and see what that looks like to just generate more of a general awareness? And something that we really do try to educate both clients and, and just the broader community on is that when you think of podcasting size, it's important to have the right scale of how you think about big and small shows.
So, as an example, if a show's getting a thousand plus downloads per episode, which relative to maybe what you could generate with a Facebook ad, a YouTube ad, a LinkedIn ad seems smaller that shows already in the top 20% of podcasts, meaning it's one of the 20% biggest shows out there. If it's getting 18,000 plus downloads an episode it's in the top 1% or top 2%, excuse me, a podcast.
And then you've obviously got shows on both ends of that. Right? You've got shows, like we mentioned, they get a million plus downloads. You've got shows that get a hundred downloads. And so it's important when you think about building your strategy and understanding what kind of shows you want to target, recognizing that there is a wide range of those show sizes and being able to work your way as well.
We'll talk about it a little bit, work your way through that in a strategic and intentional way can be a really important part of identifying which shows are going to make the most sense at a given.
Erik Jacobson: One thing I was going to mention too, is, um, we have found incredibly interesting and incredibly effective to the point of tangential categories outside of those that are.
So you can basically look at the audience fit and then size and a lot of those other bullet points. But if you think of that, Josh mentioned that we look at to determine impact, but you can look at audience fit and size as overlapping circles. And sometimes you can find a show that is larger, but has less of an audience fit or vice versa.
And so to Josh's point, being able to play around with different shows in different categories, with different pairings of those things, oftentimes we have found is a show that sometimes, and this is where it's interesting and non-obvious, sometimes a show that is not the core category you would expect.
So if you're selling to marketers, actually exploring a show that is like next to marketing, maybe it's sales. But you have a message that is marketing minded, but you've refined it to have a sales insight to it so it's relevant for them, that can actually outperform your marketing product and your marketing message on a marketing show.
And the reason for that is because you get to be a novelty inside of that feed. So that sales podcast is getting sales content every single week. And you now come in with a marketing angle, that's still is applicable to them and interesting to them. And oftentimes we see that that actually drive more action because it's not getting the same message or the same topic repetition every single week.
So I just want to mention another bit, another reason as to the why to explore some of these other category. One
Josh Crist: piece. That's also been really interesting. And we've seen this too, is that not every category of show, not every domain is going to have the same kind of a listener. So it requires a level of patience and ability to play with those tangential connections.
Like Erik mentioned, because it's an example we've seen certain categories, real estate, real estate is a category where there's a lot of high intent listeners across just about every show. We see the engagement there, but there are other, whether it might be a D2C orientation around say health and wellness shows, or even in a B2B SaaS context, there's going to be shows where the listeners may be raising their hand and saying, I'm interested in this content, but it might be more about the thought leadership piece that they're looking to consume and just ways to sharpen their thinking more so than it might be, "I'm ready to make a decision with the first vendor I hear in this podcast interview, who I like."
And so having that timeframe to play with it and the flexibility to explore different audiences allows you to figure out. This audience actually responds the best to our message and is the audience we want to speak to, even if it's in a category of show, that might be a little non-obvious like Erik mentioned.
Jeremiah: I love the framing of this because marketers, especially that are evaluating, this are very numbers driven. And if they're thinking about it, like they would pulling up a Facebook ads manager or something like that. They're going to miss some of the nuance here. And this is why like, it is a more nuanced channel.
And I think people need to understand that, you know, I often liken it to SEO where like, you can be relatively targeted and in the kind of people you want to draw, but it's going to be broader. It's going to take longer to get up and running. And there needs to be a little bit more thought and strategy before just running these like quick tests and looking at numbers with it.
So, yeah, completely agree. What about, you know, Josh we've talked about at this point, how to measure the success or, or worth of it, how to, like, what ROI does it offer? Who's a good fit for it. How do identify the right shows to be on, you know, you're talking about a really impact focused model, the kind of download numbers you should expect, and you know, that you can't measure them against other things like.
If you're at 18,000 downloads, it's the top 98% of all podcasts. You need to adjust your numbers accordingly. Say someone has made it this far. And they're like, okay, I definitely want to do this. You lead the team in doing this all the time. I'll say unapologetically, if you go read our wall of dozens or hundreds of unsolicited host, praise you all, or do a really, really good job at actually landing interviews.
And I think people need to understand, you can speak to this. If you want. Like these hosts are bombarded, the numbers may be smaller and it's like this podcast, he may be a fairly newer, medium, but they are bombarded all day. So if someone's listening, what are some strategies that they can execute to actually like land these interviews and stand out from a world of noise.
Cause I think it's like 99 out of a hundred are gonna end up in like spam or trash ignored.
Josh Crist: Yeah. I mean, it's incredible to watch just the change in the last couple of years where it shows that again, we might look at the numbers. If your context is just on the objective side and say, okay, this show is maybe getting a thousand downloads an episode, and it shouldn't be that hard to get in front of the host.
They might still be getting pitched about guest interviews 20, 30, 40, 50 times a week, which is when you think about trying to stand out in that kind of conversation, you really have to be intentional about.
Erik Jacobson: And they have one spot per week. Sorry, I just wanted to bet
Josh Crist: 52 is not that many. No, no. So again, with the strategies for identifying shows, there's a philosophical piece and then there's tactical pieces, right?
There's a philosophy of, "Hey, can we be empathetic to the podcaster? Can we understand that for most podcasters, even if they have a relatively large show, it's not a full-time gig for them, they're doing something else. And this has become something maybe that either they started as a side hustle, it might not be part of their business, or it's been truly just a passion project for them.
And that's not exclusive to B2B or B2C that's across the board. Can we have the empathy to say, we need to show up with value whenever we're engaging with them and connecting with them and not assume that for whatever reason we have something that they're going to want, but actually take the time to learn and engage with them from that place of empathy.
So philosophically that's a lot of what we do is trying to get to know podcasters to understand what do they care about. Tactically. It can look like, Hey, what kind of conversations are they having on their show? What kind of guests do they like to spend time with? What kind of community engagement did they like to drive?
How did they think about the topics that are most relevant and important to their audience? And being able to think through all those pieces before you ever send a pitch is really important. There's a timing perspective here too. And piece that that'll get into before we talk about maybe some of the tactical, when you're ready to pitch, here's what you do.
Like we said before, there are big and small shows and we would never advocate against getting on big shows versus small shows or vice versa. It's important to have a methodology and a reason for doing what you're doing whenever you're pitching. And we like to think of the, the strategy of using this kind of stair-step approach, where especially if you're starting out, you might have a world of domain expertise and insight knowledge.
You have a track record that would stand up to the best guests out there on the biggest shows. But if you've never done a podcast interview before you still have to have the humility to start from square one. And so what we see me really effective in as short, a time as 12 months, which is not, it can be a long time if you're used to the direct marketing side of things.
But when you think about the scale of business, that's not that long to think about a year. You can go from shows that might have a little bit smaller audience, but very engaged audience and slowly work your way from the flywheel effect that occurs by being on those interviews to bigger and bigger shows.
As you get a chance to refine your message, refine the talking points you want to make sure you, you hit on refine your outreach to host refine your pre-interview prep. I mean, there's a whole host of things that leads up to having a great interview and you can build your way up to getting on the biggest and best shows out there by taking that kind of intentional and methodical approach.
So that's one piece of the strategy. And then from a tactical perspective, We like to think about timing fit and then what the approach is. So whenever you're going to pitch a podcaster, the timing's critically important because they have to be in need of guests and open to guests and not every podcaster is. Some might only be sourcing guests from their personal networks.
Some might only be sourcing guests from their client base. That takes research and understanding, but you can do the research to understand that going. The fit, you have to be bringing something to their audience and their listeners that's relevant. Like we just talked about it can be tangential. It doesn't have to be always this bulls-eye of, Hey, this is a marketing show and I'm going to bring marketing topics to them, but it has to be relevant.
And you have to be able to really communicate effectively and quickly why it's relevant. And then when you're approaching, you have to think through where is the podcasts are and engaging with them where they are is one of the most important pieces of this puzzle that we see a lot of, a lot of podcasters communicate to us that they get frustrated with and what we see other potentially just other people engaging in outreach, where you might miss it is assuming that the podcast or wants to engage with you on your terms versus understanding where they're most active, whether that might be a social platform, LinkedIn ,Twitter, whether it's email, whether it's video call, I mean, finding out those tactical pieces really make a difference when you're ready to approach.
Once you've put all those pieces together and you start to think through the actual pitch, we have a couple pieces that we've seen be really effective across the board and for a long time. They're not complicated, but they're really, they're really important. Personalizing your pitch seems obvious, but it's critical.
Foundationally, if you're not taking the time to think about that individual podcaster, just like we talked about, with that kind of empathy and research and understanding, and what's going to matter most to them and what's going on in their world. You're 99 times out of a hundred, like we talked about, you're going to have your pitch tossed into their trash, or they're not even going to open it.
And that's as simple as a subject line. And then also within say the body of an email as an example, are you referencing them by name? Do you have the ability to reference part of an episode that really got them excited? I mean, you need to spend the time to get to know their world. Can I
Erik Jacobson: say one thing there, Josh, cause this is super critical because I think there's a lot of SEO content out there telling folks how to pitch someone cold.
And a lot of that can basically still be templatized. So it's like, Hey, first name, basically, if you can put a merge tag in, in any way, it's not personalized. And so if it's like, Hey, first name, I loved merge tag, last insert, last episode title here of your podcast. That's not actually personalized. And, and that's the extent to which most of the outreach comes across.
And so it has to actually be personal and it's not difficult. It just takes time. But I just wanted to mention that.
Josh Crist: It's a really critical point, because if you're assuming that personalization means just using their name, you're missing the point right there. There's a deeper, there's a deeper level here.
So it's the personalization. And then we use this framework of what we call five minute favor. And the idea behind this is literally, is there something we can do to be kind, to be helpful, to deliver value to them that is going to show up within the first five minutes they ever see anything from us. This could be a thoughtful and personalized review of their show, right on whatever platform they're most active on.
It could be, if they have a book grabbing the book, reading it, a piece of it, leaving them a review. It could be tagging them on social and promoting their show in advance of ever pitching them. It doesn't take the most complicated way of showing value, but if you take the time to do that favor in advance and also just to come at it from that perspective, that gives you a quick way to communicate.
Hey, I'm here to give you something that you can keep, regardless of whether you want to engage with the pitch I've just sent or you think it's a good fit. And beyond that, a lot of the pieces that become really important within the pitch itself are, are you connecting this to how it's going to impact their listeners?
And are you making clear points around. Here's the topics in a bite-sized fashion that I could bring to your listeners here. Here's why it's relevant to them. Here's maybe why it's a little counterintuitive. And are you leaving the conversation and the pitch itself open-ended are you able to really not make it as simple?
Hey, do you think I'm a good guest? Yes or no, but how do these topics fit into your content calendar? Would it be an interesting piece of the conversation to talk about these pieces and why or why not? Finding ways that your call to action can be a little bit more open-ended a nuance is really important. And maybe the last piece we would add is that when you're following up, because inevitably everybody's inbox is filled, it will take follow up.
It'll take time to get in front of them. Are you finding ways to be creative and generous in your follow-ups with that same kind of approach that you might've taken originally?
Jeremiah: Josh, I'm sort of disappointed because I thought this was just going to be a quick tactic that I could deploy really quickly.
But what you're laying out here is that this actually takes like quite a bit of work, which I'm obviously saying facetiously, but like, it is funny, like to Erik's point, when you look up this information and try and find guides on how to do this, it's all focused on this latter half, which is like the actual pitch.
So besides Erik's point, which is true, which is like even personal, isn't really that personal. What staggers me is the amount of effort and work you're doing on the front end to even understand and be empathetic to the host better. And I think like you, you almost can't do the tactical stuff you just laid out without the empathetic research approach.
So it sounds like the thing you're calling philosophy, like I'm summarizing as a takeaway here for listeners. This is where it, and it's interesting. This is why we, you know, we talk about ourselves as a PR agency solely focused on podcasts, because if you talk to PR agents and comms managers, they actually will keep tabs on.
They build relationships with journalists and they keep tabs on them. When they move from the Washington Post to the New York Times, they know that. They touch base with them and they ask them things like, what kind of stories are you looking for right now? Like, I know you're in this new role, what sort of hot in the news cycle they're taking the approach of like, how can I be valuable to what you want?
And that's something you and the team are doing before you even get to all the work of crafting these pitches. So it's a staggering amount of work in research and empathy, but that's the difference between taking 20 hours a week to reach out to X amount of people and 99.9% are going to be rejections versus like, maybe you only send 5 or 10 good pitches, but you're getting a much higher win rate with this.
Erik Jacobson: And it kind of goes to the why. So a good question could be, why would you put in so much effort into each pitch? And there are schools of thought with cold outreach in general, that do personalization to the extent that it can be automated, but then focus more on volume and quantity than on quality of each outreach.
And the simple reason being, which is understandable, depending on what type of outreach you're doing and for what purpose that it is quite time intensive into each pitch. And so why we have chosen to do this methodology here and why it's performing to the degree that it is for us is that there are going to be a lot of podcasts likely that you could target, especially as time goes on a hundred thousand new podcasts are getting launched per month.
But what we often see is usually that number of, of quality shows that target in your space is going to range. Maybe it's a hundred to 300 shows roughly let's just call it. And that number will continue to grow as new shows come online in your space as time goes on. So that's a sizeable number, but it's a finite number.
And so what you don't want to do is ruin your opportunity with automated template outreach with the majority of those shows and play a numbers game with a finite, fairly small number of quality opportunities. So we find it's actually better to get a higher win rate that takes a little bit longer because you have to spend more effort than it is to get a significantly lower win rate, but it goes faster.
And the reason for that is because you want what your goal should be is to win the most amount of shows in your space that are the best for you. And this gives you the opportunity to do.
Josh Crist: And taking that approach allows you to play the long game too. I mean, we see it time and time again with shows that are a perfect fit for clients when they started a tour for any number of reasons, we might reach out to the podcaster and they're not ready for the interview then.
If we approach them with just a spray and pray mentality, and it's a quick cold outreach it's template and there's no personalization, they have no incentive to engage with us, have a conversation with us and allow us to then circle back three months, six months, 12 months down the road and see and connect with them and say, oh, is now a good time for the client?
Yeah, it is okay. Let's, let's do it. And we see that happen across every single tour that we run, where if we don't take that approach, we're going to miss opportunities down the road that would be a perfect fit for the audience we want to get in front of.
Erik Jacobson: Outreach is often seen as like neutral. It can either do no harm or like, cause no good from a, how I think about the brand, that's doing the outreach perspective, but we actually believe like poor outreach can actually hurt your brand.
Not only not win the opportunity, which is the podcast interview that you want in this case. But you may think a non-response from that show is a neutral event. It's negative. And since you didn't win, but it's neutral and that it didn't really hurt you. We actually believe that's not true like that actually.
I mean, Josh, we see all the time podcasts are sending us example pitches that like, they actually get offended by some of these pitches, you know, and like it bothers them as they should. And now they think negatively about the brand that is doing that approach. So, yeah, there's just a lot of reasons.
Jeremiah: Yeah, I think that's something you really have to.
I remember one time I've, I've shared this before through some medium in our marketing with our audience, but like Chris Doe who runs The Future and his own design company, he talks about like what he gives an example of like when he is breaking down, like why Nike's logo is so impactful. And his point was like, what's the effect of a bad logo?
Like why slow down to invest in a good logo? Part of it's thinking like what's the impact of a bad logo and the hurt it does, the irreversible hurt. It does to your brand. And I was just going to say that Erik, I completely agree. Like if my inbox were getting hit, I mean, my inbox is getting hit in a lot with marketing tools and people who want to like sell me whatever, like it may be.
This is something that like immediately, it's not neutral to me if it's thoughtless and cold and like, whatever it just reeks of like desperation or I feel like you aren't a real established brand. So like I agree. I definitely think there's a negative aspect to it. And if you're a company you should be really considerate about how this is done, because besides just getting nowhere with testing podcast tours, as a channel, you might actually have like hurt some trust and affinity for your brand through bad pitches.
All right. So let's kind of wrap up this section. We do want to get into, like, how do you measure success? And some of the ways you can think about that. Cause we have a lot to say about that. Josh, in this section about kind of executing the tour, any advice for people that are doing this, who they've got the yes.
From the podcast hosts, what are ways that they can be, we talked about the goal of like, be the best interview or you're going to get into that, like being the best, how can they be the best interview that, that person's ever had?
Josh Crist: We have a really catchy name for this rule is called the best interview rule and the goal being, uh, the goal being to, not that you need to consider the opportunity a waste if you weren't the best interview, but you want to prepare and go into it with the mindset of how could I be the best interview that this podcast has ever had on their show and just hitting on quick pieces here.
Prep is not something to skip over again. It seems obvious, but it's something we see people miss the importance of consistently when they show up for a podcast interview. That prep can be as simple as listening to previous interviews, previous conversations they've had, doing your own little research on the host to understand what matters to them.
Again, if you've done the work to craft a personalized pitch, you already have a lot of the late work in terms of prep, because you've started to build an understanding of what the relationship you need with that host is going to look.
Jeremiah: And just to add there, it's funny that you say like they skipped prep because if they were flying to an event with 500 attendees, they would be prepping for like a week before that.
Or if they got invited on like CNN or like mad money or something to talk about their new startup, they would be prepping, you know, have an army around them. But why is it that you think like people skip this step with podcasts? I think
Josh Crist: the digital format changes our relationship with the audience.
Right? We, we actually talked about this a lot internally, if you imagine. So I don't know how many fans were at the super bowl, but you know, some of the biggest college football stadiums in the country seat a hundred thousand people. And to that point, your mind, can you imagine the kind of prep and nerves that would go into getting up there in front of that many people live in real time and performing, having a conversation with them?
No matter what the conversation was on, it'd be crazy. Well, when we see clients go into podcasts interviews with that size, or even the size of a college basketball arena, 10,000, 20,000 people, there's still sometimes this disconnect and maybe a willingness to take for granted the fact that, because those listeners aren't eye to eye with me, I may not have to do the same kind of prep that I would, if I could see them and really engage with their response.
But if you treat it like a tour in that sense, treat it like a speaking tour where you are imagining when you're having that conversation with the host, you're speaking to their entire audience right then and now, you'll prepare with the insight of an understanding that you want to make sure you're thoughtful.
You're intentional. You understand how to build a relationship with the host really quickly and in a way that that stresses their terms and their pieces. What's important is.
Erik Jacobson: Well, the why on it too is like, again, why should I put the effort in, you know, I've got, I can talk about my talking points. I know my material, I can riff, I can wing it with the best of them.
Cause I've been doing this for 20 years. I don't need to prep, you know, and our answer to that would be again, if you have finite opportunities across all of these shows over the period of time that you're doing it, wouldn't you like to have double the results from it over that time, because if you do end up doing the prep from it and contextualizing what the host cares about what specific type of audiences inside of let's just go back to marketing.
If it's a marketing show, maybe it's a specific type of marketing and the host has a firmly held belief around what type of marketing they like to preach and talk about. And it'd be really good for you to know that going into. So that, you know, that their listeners actually already believe in this sort of methodology.
And maybe if you don't agree, you can already contextualize that. Or if you further agree, you can like add onto it. And that's just an example, but all of those things will lead you to hopefully be the best interview that shows ever had based on subjective measures of what sort of listener feedback did you get, or did the host end the recording and literally tell you that was the best interview we've done in the last 100 episodes.
And what that would likely lead to is better outcomes on the goals that you're doing this tour for overall as a whole. And so that's the reason for it. Again, it's why put in the effort is to get more.
Josh Crist: And just to, I don't know if this is a relevant metaphor, but in martial arts, we would talk about hitting to the target versus hitting through the target.
And if you go into each interview with that kind of prep, like Erik just mentioned, as we talk about how you'll measure success after that interview itself, there's an infinite number of possibilities that open up if you prepare that way. But if you don't prepare that way, you've ended your opportunity for success.
With, with the interview at the interview itself, you've just closed all the doors after it, and real quick to hit on the, the other pieces. Maybe it would be counterintuitive for just having a great interview. Number one, be conversational. Don't be afraid to engage with the host, ask them questions too, in a way that allows them to share their expertise, their insights, turn the table of the conversation towards them.
Allow them to riff with you. Don't expect that it should be a one-way street in terms of the flow of the conversation. And that goes for pre-interview. And in the interview, you can. The main piece here is have a conversation, right? It seems simple, but be willing to flow to ebb, to understand if a conversation is going in a certain direction with the host that maybe you feel like doesn't actually serve their listeners, gently being willing and able to kind of guide it back in a direction where you think they are.
You can take that leadership in the interview. Most hosts, aren't going to be offended. In fact, they want the interview to be a dynamic one for their audience. So that kind of leadership and responsibility leads to a great conversation. Have maybe a couple of stories, three to five is a great, we like to suggest you have three to five stories that you can really weave throughout a conversation that's 30 to 60 minutes long in and out of pretty fluently, and that you can connect to multiple different tangentially related points.
And so if you do those pieces at a high level, you're going to lead to a great conversation that opens incredible doors on the back of.
Jeremiah: I know a lot of times we warn people against being salesy. So just to add that in, like we don't, this is not like I've Josh, I've heard you say this is not a 30 minute sales presentation.
This is not a webinar. You're here to just give free information and trust that if people want to know more about your story or your product, they'll check it out or they'll get it in a call to action at the end. Erik, I know you're big on this. Increased vulnerability. Like you're not a fan of just same old, same old, like, oh, everyone's just giving this information.
I know this is something we talked about off the mic beforehand, that when we would run creative strategy sprints for clients to help them know what kind of podcast to create when I would get on the phone with their target audience, one of the most consistent thing that I heard, no matter what the audience was was I want to hear stories of failure, not just it's like LinkedIn and Twitter, show me all their like successes and all the wins and make me feel like I'm a piece of crap or I'm a loser because I'm not as good as them.
I want to hear the real stories of their struggles and things like that. So can you speak a little bit to what it means to be vulnerable and what it means to deliver what you've coined in an article we wrote like, head nod moments.
Erik Jacobson: Yeah. So couple of things here, fundamentally, we believe vulnerability.
Increased vulnerability equals increased trust. So one of the main reasons you're doing this tour is to build trust with the people that you want to know you and your brand. And trust is able to be created through a variety of ways. And one of those is like, it's a formula for trust. It's like time spent, impact delivered, and one of those things being vulnerability.
And the reason for that is you're giving them access to like a part of yourself that feels you wouldn't give freely, unless you had their best interest at heart. And so a couple of ways you can be vulnerable. There's not just one way. Vulnerability just means like, are you willing to give freely something that is perceived to be of extreme value to you?
So that could be a very hard lesson you learn that is actually somewhat embarrassing. And like maybe it took you a long time to get over this thing. And that could be the failure that we're talking about. You know, a lot of people share their wins, less share their failures, although it is happening more.
And what I would say is be careful to share a failure in the spirit of building vulnerability that doesn't have a conclusion or a lesson learned from it. Either that you have already implemented. Or that you have drawn conclusions from, and you can teach people want to hear failures, but not when it ends at the failure.
And there's no conclusion because then it's just sad.
So, so there has to be some takeaway from it that they can take from it rather than just drawing their own conclusions or just feeling.
Jeremiah: That's something by the way that Justin Jackson, in my interview with him, uh, who founded Transistor, the hosting podcast hosting platform we use in love, and he talks about there being a scale of transparency that every brand has to decide what's right for them, you know, a more solo founder might be willing to get really radical on like the transparency. And he has empathy that like, yeah, if you're a fortune 500, you have like a legal obligation to your shareholders, you might not be to share like all the, you know, behind the scenes things, but you still have to be a little bit vulnerable, so decide where you can land on that scale of transparency.
Erik Jacobson: And so that's one of the transparency ways. And then the other is sharing secret sauce where it almost feels like you're giving a competitive advantage over. So like giving your blueprint away that actually somebody could go and not hire you or not work with you. Theoretically, if they're willing to put in the work, what we're doing right now, we're spending a lot of time sharing our entire methodology and philosophy and writing articles on it and doing podcast episodes on what we do every day for clients who pay us to do it.
And the reason is we believe that sharing our secret sauce is something that will help a lot of folks. And will help a lot of folks hear our expertise as well, just transparently. And so those two things I think will help a lot from the vulnerability standpoint, the head nod moments. So how we think about the head nod moments, your goal as you're giving your interview is to be the best interview like we mentioned.
But one way you can measure that in terms of how you think about it. You won't know that this is happening, but if your effect of this will be happening, what you want to happen is for folks to feel like while they're listening to your interview and they're walking their dog, they have to stop the dog and pause the podcast, open up their apple notes app and start taking notes of what you're saying, because it's that good.
Or they bookmark it and they have to listen to it two or three more times. And so the head nod moments are essentially like your tactical frameworks or your methodologies, the actual like X's, and O's, you know, going from a to B like from how to do it to, this is exactly how to do it type of thing. And that, those are the moments where like, if you are delivering on that, if, uh, the more pauses you cause listeners to do, the more successful your interview has been, you know?
So there's no way to measure that. We're about to go into measuring, you know, there's no way to measure pauses. Apple can barely measure downloads, let alone pauses. But yeah, so those are a few things to think about there.
Jeremiah: I love it. All right. So like you said, we're gonna move to this final piece, which is like measuring the success of the outcome.
This is something that is super important and there's a few ways to think about it. So I think what I'll do is I'll kick us off with what I feel like is an overarching. I posted about this on LinkedIn. I'm going to share an overarching framework that we use that I think is really practical and kind of simplifies a lot of this stuff.
But then Erik, I would love to hear how you're thinking about this as far as quantifiable metrics versus qualitative metrics, which I know is something that we distinguish the difference, but something I see, like I running head of marketing here at Lemonpie, like we've recently moved and you're seeing a lot of buzz about this right now to a qualitative attribution model.
It's technically a qualitative multitouch. So meaning we add it's very simple. We put a required blank, nothing to tease their minds, or like set up anything in their heads, a required field that's a single line of text says, how did you hear about us? You would be amazed at what people are willing to write.
Some people were willing to write like a paragraph of information, cause they really want you to know all the ways they heard about you. Some people write one word. So what we do is we have a way where we take that qualitative input and then we have a corresponding, quantitative checklist box in our CRM for us, we use HubSpot, but you could do this in Salesforce.
Um, and then you can either run an automated query if you want to get fancy, where for every keyword mentioned, it checks off boxes that they wrote in. I want to read the responses. I want a handle on it, of where what's coming in. So what we do is I'll actually read their responses and then we check off corresponding any relevant check boxes that are touch points.
So we have, you know, maybe eight or so. So if they say heard about you on DG's podcast and a friend recommended you in slack, we'll do recommendation and referral or you know, or like private community or slack channel and we'll do podcast or ambassador relationship or something. The moment, you can put it to a checkbox sort of quantitative format in your CRM.
You can run all this great reporting on the backend and you can actually see if your company is willing to set up this way to willing to set up this way, in this example, with the tour, you'd very much be able to capture, oh, you know, heard about you on a podcast or so-and-so's podcast, or like whatever you would be able to quantify down to actual, not just leads, but down to close deals in revenue, how much your podcast tour did. Now, if you're not willing to do that and you're not willing, and a lot of companies I'm empathetic or sympathetic to the, like, there's a lot of moving pieces. There's a lot of bigger ships. Like we're a small agile agency. Your company may not be able to like stop all that. There's lots of impacts on like how that impacts SDR used and like sales personnel and all this stuff.
So if you can't switch to that kind of a model, then there's qualitative and quantitative things you can look for. But you're going to, in my, I wanted to cue that up to say, you're going to have to be willing to trade off a little bit of the accuracy and what you can measure. I think the thing I would offer to other marketers is you can't, it's not fair for you to hold the expectations you would on ad words or Facebook ads manager, or LinkedIn ads as you do this, really like relatively untrackable channel, like podcasting, if you're not willing to update your attribution system. So if you don't have a way, if you're not willing or can't update to qualitative attribution and tracking that through your CRM, there's definitely other things to look for, but you're going to have to do the work to look for those.
And because I think one of the worst things you can do is have a mismatch where you've done all this work and you run the tour, and then the sales team hasn't been notified to ask people about, did you hear about us in a podcast or how they heard about us? You don't have a way of tracking it. And so all of a sudden it could be driving all these great results, but to Erik's point, one of the things we see all the time is someone hears about you.
You know, people love this idea of like a landing page, but I'm sorry to break it to you. Most people don't want to type in forward slash on their phone or whatever it is. And, you know, type in the landing page URL for your extra measurement. They're just going to type in the company name you're from on Google, or they're going to type it in.com and your attribution, your Salesforce, HubSpot, Google attribution is just going to say direct or organic.
And the podcast will never get credit if you're not measuring it right. So I wanted to start with that most ideal way that in my mind, you'd be able to track this all the way through to revenue. But Erik, what are some other ways you coach people on that are like quantifiable metrics that they can look for?
Erik Jacobson: Yeah, there's quite a bit here and we'll cover some of it in the interest of time. We won't be able to cover all of it. We did have an episode of brands that podcast a while back in our archive, all about ROI. We spent a whole episode talking about ROI. So I'd recommend that. But to your point, self reported is the absolute best measurement tool available to get the most accurate data back on how successful this has been, if you are actually looking at, and one of the goals of the tour being leads for you.
So self-reported in whatever way it could be on the front end. And how did you hear about us? It could be asking every single customer that comes through either via an automated post-purchase survey or literally calling them. Do you remember where you heard about us? So self-reported is going to get you the answers to this in a way that automated analytics is not able to quite yet, if ever to be honest,
Jeremiah: Just to insert there an example of this is like, you know, we're doing what I said, the qualitative thing upfront. Tim Soulo from Ahrefs, they're not doing this. They don't have a way of asking about this for people. And they've spent $200,000 on podcast sponsorships, essentially accelerate, you know, they're, they're the 30-second ad instead of the 30-minute guest, but it's a very comparable channel.
And it was interesting, Erik. He mentioned that like still there's this like willingness that if, if the marketing team is willing to put their ear to the ground, which he and his team do, they've heard people specifically offer up like, "Hey, by the way I heard about you on dah, dah, dah, dah, dah." Or they go to expos and people would walk up to them in the conference and say, "Hey, it's so cool that you're sponsoring my favorite podcast."
And he just takes those sort of qualitative nuggets and it's like, it's working. They are an example of someone who's not pivoted all the way around, but they are still tracking that. Exactly.
Erik Jacobson: So I would put in an ideal scenario, you would put for your company where whatever this means, all of your effort on being on tracking the qualitative responses.
However, those are easiest to gather for your company, whether it be upfront, post-purchase at conferences, asking people. If you're hearing people come up to you at conferences, which we hear from a lot of successful tours and folks who are doing this when you actually are boots on the ground, and people are coming up and talking to you, and they're telling you, "Hey, I know about you because of this podcast you did," you know, sort of thing.
And so you actually are able to hear it and the success of it much more that way. So I would put most of the emphasis there. But it isn't always just about that. It's also about the other goals that we mentioned that this can drive too. So it can, if you're getting the awareness and you're getting in front of the right audience, being able to have these other tangential goals being impacted as well.
So ideally you're getting backlinks and over the course of the tour, your domain authority is increasing. You're starting to rank for other keywords and things like that, that you want. You obviously, you're getting deals. You're getting your social channels. Like if you're building your thought leadership and you believe people buy from people, and one of the ways you want to grow your company is by having the leaders at the company become more of a face and a voice for the brand, then ideally you're able to see their profiles elevate on other channels as well. Maybe that's LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, whatever makes the most sense for you.
And then qualitative, so what has come from these interviews that was not expected in a lot of ways? And so like, did your relationship, one of the things that happened to us is we built a relationship with Dave Gerhardt through podcasting.
We did not know Dave before this, and Dave is a popular marketer and has a big audience of marketers. And that has been a great relationship for us. And that came about because of a podcast interview, but it didn't stop there. We continued to foster that relationship and provide value and be nice and do helpful things for him and engage and stay top of mind.
So it's not just, oh, the pot, once you do the interview, good things are gonna happen. It's like, no, actually, like how would you go make a new friend at school? You wouldn't assume the first day at school, you high five and then everything's good. No, you continue to foster that and build it from there. And did you get invited to other speaking events?
Did you get invited to do webinars? Did you propose with the podcasts or to attend your event? Because they have a big audience and they have big influence in the space. Did you create a private slack channel with all the hosts that you did? And like you brought everybody together. So you can be so successful at it that good things come to you, but you can also create the momentum with it as well.
And things like that. Are you able to do market research from this that actually leads you to refine your positioning and your messaging? Are you getting unsolicited mentions across social? What was the impact of all of the assets you created from your tour on all of your other organic social channels?
Like, did you have a clip of yourself saying something on an interview you gave on a different podcast? Did you create a 30-second video clip from that, put it on LinkedIn, and it got 30,000 views? That possibly is an order of magnitude, more listeners than the actual podcast itself had. So just examples of things like that, but tying it all back to the goals and just making sure that you're, you're measuring it successfully and you can measure it from a top of funnel perspective and a bottom of funnel and both have their place.
Jeremiah: Yeah, I love it. Uh, and like Erik said, we have other resources go to lemonpie.fm, or wherever you listen to this podcast, scroll through the feed and look for the episode on ROI. We talk more about these things in greater depth, but in general, make sure that you're having a way to quantitative system set up to measure the things that you care about as a goal, and be looking for the qualitative, be looking for all the other good things that you're getting out of it.
Yeah, I think this has been really thorough. This has been hopefully helpful for everyone listening. If you are thinking about doing a podcast tour yourself, and you want to explore the value of podcast PR for your brand, obviously we are happy to get on a phone and help give more free value or information.
You can check out more of our resources at lemonpie.fm, and so hope this episode has been helpful. Josh and Erik, thank you so much for taking so much of your time and years of experience and expertise in working with clients. Be so generous to share all this stuff.
Erik Jacobson: Thanks, Jeremiah. Thanks for having us on our own podcast.
We are honored.
Jeremiah: I'm finally made it so much fun. All right. Thanks everyone.
Thanks so much for checking out this episode. If there's a company you'd like us to interview or a question you want us to answer on the show, just let us know. You can ask us at brandsthatpodcast.com or DM or tag Lemonpie on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. And if you want to reach your audience on podcasts, that they're already listening to be sure to check out Lemonpie.fm.