In this episode, Stacy sits down with Andrew Allemann, the founder of PodcastGuests.com, a site that helps hosts find new and interesting guests. The two discuss what strategies can help you get booked on a podcast, as well as how and why this type of exposure can be beneficial to your business.
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- EP 99: Advertising Through Podcasts
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Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency, Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for top experts to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today. While it is impossible to be well versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy, or money, whether you are doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.Speaker 2 (00:31):
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.Stacy Jones (00:36):
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones. I’m so happy to be here with you all today. I want to give a very warm welcome to our guest, Andrew Allemann. Andrew is the founder of podcastguests.com, a service he created after struggling to find new and interesting guests for his own podcast. He absolutely found success, as his service is now used by over 20,000 people to both find guests for podcasts and for experts to get booked on podcasts. As a podcasting expert, Andrew has been quoted by media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, Tech Crunch, and The Washington Post. He also knows more than a thing or two about podcast marketing. Today we’re going to talk about why you should be a guest on podcasts and how to get booked on them. We’ll learn what works from Andrew’s perspective, what should be avoided, and how some people miss the mark. Andrew, welcome.
Andrew Allemann (01:21):
Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Stacy Jones (01:23):
Delighted to have you here, and I would love for you to share a little bit about what got you to here. How did you arrive to this point where you have this massive booking platform for people to find each other?
Andrew Allemann (01:38):
Well, I’ve been a podcaster for a long time, and about four years ago, I had been running a podcast about domain names of all things, so a very niche topic for about a year. It was a traditional interview style where I interviewed guests, and I pretty much tapped my Rolodex at that point. I interviewed the 50 people that I really wanted to interview that I knew, and so I wanted to find new and interesting guests, and I looked for a way to do that. There’s some agency services out there that will help you find guests for your own podcast, but they charge a lot of money. So, I said, “Why don’t I create something that’s simple and free for people to use to connect podcasters with guests for their service?” And that’s how I started the service. It started fairly slowly with just a couple hundred people using it, and it worked. It worked from the very first week. I was very nervous, but people started connecting and getting booked on podcasts, and over the past four years, it’s grown to over 20,000 users.
Stacy Jones (02:36):
That’s fantastic. It really is a good solution. I mean, I stumbled across you when I was trying to figure out what launching [inaudible 00:02:42] how to find [inaudible 00:02:44] types of people, because when you have a podcast, you don’t necessarily have access to everyone you might want you until you’re established a little bit better. But it’s also not about knocking on doors, because not everyone wants be interviewed on a podcast.
Andrew Allemann (03:01):
Many of them haven’t thought about it either, and many of them don’t understand how it works. So, getting people that already know how podcasts work and have been guests on other shows is ideal for you as a host because it makes it a lot easier for you.
Stacy Jones (03:17):
Definitely. Tell me a little bit more about why people should be considering using the power of podcasting. What does this do to help them?
Andrew Allemann (03:27):
Well, podcasting, I think many people are aware, it’s taken off a lot in recent years, and in part that was because Apple put a podcast app on every iPhone. That certainly helped raise visibility, and also the quality of podcasts is increased as a number of companies, including traditional media players have gotten into it. Podcasting fits kind of this weird segment in media. So, you have written media like blogs and everything that you read on the web, you have video, so you have YouTube, you have television, and then there’s the spoken word element, which is what podcasting effectively is. So, while we’ve had radio for a long time, we haven’t really had on demand spoken content, so auditory content. A Lot of people like podcasts because they can listen when they’re out for a walk or on the train commuting in the morning. Some time when they need to have some attention on what they’re doing, but they also want to learn or hear a story or improve themselves, so consume media while doing something else.
Andrew Allemann (04:34):
Podcasting has taken off a lot, and for that reason, a lot of people that are trying to market themselves or their company have started paying attention to it, especially in the past couple of years. I know a lot of agency owners have told me that their clients have come to them saying, “I know I need to get on podcasts. Where do I start?” And I think podcasting is extremely powerful from a marketing perspective because of the relationship between hosts and their listeners. Podcast advertisers get great results because instead of just running a commercial, it’s the podcast hosts that people know and trust that’s talking to them, and the same thing goes for when you’re a guest on a podcast, there’s already this established rapport that you can tap into.
Stacy Jones (05:14):
Yeah, and I know a lot of businesses use podcasting in order to, almost the Trojan horse [inaudible 00:00:05:21], a friend of mine says it, where you’re able to target potential business prospects that you want to have on, and it reverses. It works in the reverse as well. But a lot of the podcasts that are out there have really massive business tools for companies.
Andrew Allemann (05:37):
That’s right. If you think about if you’re calling up, whether it’s a sales prospect or someone who’s really important and whether your objective is to sell them something or learn from them, if you just call them up and ask for 30 minutes of their time, they might blow you off. But if you call them up and said, “Hey, I’d like to feature you on my podcast. You can reach my audience, will you give me 30 minutes?” Then suddenly you’re giving something to them. So, it’s an extremely powerful way to build these connections, and right now, it’s hard to build one on one connections because we’re all stuck at home, and so when trade shows are canceled, events are canceled, you’re not in the office, I’ve seen just an explosion in the number of people turning to podcasts to make these one-on-one connections.
Stacy Jones (06:23):
Yeah. I’m still seeing a lot of people who might be shortly either out of a job or starting their own side gig and hustle right now, they’ve lost their job or been laid off or temporarily furloughed, where podcasts for them are going to be a really big advantage because they’re going to be able to share their point of view and establish expertise very quickly in a different way.
Andrew Allemann (06:47):
If you’re in a story, let’s say someone quotes you in a news story, first of all, they’re going to misquote you most of the time or they’re going to take it out of context and you have a line or two in an article. But the podcast, it’s a long format, right? Whether it’s 20 to 30 minutes, you can get across a lot more in that time than you can in a short edited segment in the news or even on television.
Stacy Jones (07:11):
So, how should someone, besides using your service, how should they best prepare to actually get themselves geared up to be someone someone wants to interview?
Andrew Allemann (07:21):
Right. Well, the first thing I do is think about your objectives and what you’re hoping to get out of being a guest on podcasts. So, we’ve talked a lot about marketing yourself maybe as a person, as being a thought leader in your space. Perhaps it’s marketing your company, but think about also that the podcaster wants to get something out of this. They don’t want you to come on and give an infomercial for 30 minutes. If I just came on and talked about my service for 30 minutes you wouldn’t want me on, but we’re talking about what my service does, and that’s valuable to your audience. So, think about what you want to get out first, and then second, what you can offer to a podcast audience. Once you have that down, what people in this industry, it’s kind of an interesting term, but they call it a one sheet, which is essentially a one page marketing document about you.
Andrew Allemann (08:09):
It typically includes your photo, a headshot on there, a professional headshot, it includes topics you can cover, accolades, awards or certifications you have. Then there are a few other things on there that I recommend having. If you’ve ever been on a podcast or have previous media experience, you can put that on this one sheet. I like to tell people to go ahead and put a few suggested interview questions on it as well, because this helps the podcast or out in a couple of ways. First it gets them thinking, “Oh, yes, this person can answer these types of questions.” Second, it makes it a lot easier for the podcaster, and podcasters are busy. Stacy, I know you’re recording a lot of these and if you can spend less time preparing while still putting on a good production that’s valuable to you.
Andrew Allemann (08:55):
Finally I recommend on that one sheet also explaining how you can help the podcaster promote their own show. One reason that podcasters like to have guests on their show is that the guest will help them promote the show. So, for example, once this episode goes live, I’ll promote it on my social media, I’ll include it in my newsletter that goes out to 20,000 people, and that helps you, right?
Stacy Jones (09:17):
Andrew Allemann (09:17):
So, we’re all kind of in this together. We’re all kind of the more exposure we get, the more we help each other out. And so very few people put that on their one sheet, but I was talking to a friend who had a podcast, and we were at an event at South by Southwest a few years ago and he said, “Everyone who contacts me and says, can I be on your show? It’s all about me, me, me.” Right? What can you do for me? It’s never what can I do for you?
Stacy Jones (09:42):
Andrew Allemann (09:43):
And so to be able to turn the tables there, it’s extremely effective. The first thing you want to do is get a high quality one sheet.
Stacy Jones (09:50):
And I think to expand a little bit about that, putting the points out there about what you’re ready to talk about, it doesn’t necessarily have to be exactly what you think someone would normally ask you about, because you’re able to talk on podcasts under so many different guises and so many different marketing topics. I recently interviewed some who’s a real estate guru. Well, I don’t do real estate, you know? This is a marketing podcast, but we were able to dive in more so about how is he able to actually successfully set himself up, his marketing, his point of view. So, there’s so many things that you do that are going to be applicable to other types of podcast topics outside of your main field.
Andrew Allemann (10:35):
That’s right. That’s right. I always tell people that have a unique talent or a niche understanding to think about how they can apply that to different things. I recently put together a list of some of the experts in my directory and suggested them to my list based on that they’d be interesting because of the pandemic and COVID-19. Now, none of the people in this on this list were doctors, right? None of them were epidemiologists, but they all had some interesting angle, right? One of them was actually, he operates cannabis stores, right? Which has been a popular topic for a while. But it’s interesting seeing a bunch of states saying that cannabis stores are essential services and shouldn’t be shut down when all other businesses are. Right? So, there are different angles that you can play as an expert that make you appealing to many different podcasters, whether it be a marketing and business podcast, a performance one, a health one, or there are lots of different angles you can play there.
Andrew Allemann (11:37):
You see this a lot of times, just PR agencies will do what they call news jacking, and I’d be cautious about doing this around something such as a pandemic, but when there’s some sort of big news story out there, maybe it’s a security breach or something like that, a lot of PR agencies will pitch their clients as “Hey, do you need an expert to talk to about security and how you can protect yourself?” And so if you think that way while you’re setting yourself up, I think it’s extremely helpful.
Stacy Jones (12:07):
And I think also a lot of people might not realize how powerful podcasts are in helping you develop your own voice that you are then going to be able to further on it, when you went your own press, to make yourself actually be something that is an individual who is press worthy, someone who media outlets would want to talk to. Podcasting gives you a lot of experience without having to talk to national outlets.
Andrew Allemann (12:34):
I always tell people that generally speaking, podcasts are a very low risk endeavor as a guest. And so if you’ve been invited on a live radio show or a live TV show, that can be nerve wracking. TV more than radio even, but it’s life, right? What if I say something silly or stupid? Whereas podcasts are, A, they aren’t live, B, the audiences are generally smaller, especially when you get started. You’re not going to be the hot commodity that everyone wants to talk to. So, you start small, and it gives you practice, it gives you public speaking practice.
Andrew Allemann (13:07):
It gives you experience with interviews, and these things, as you continue, it can become a great skillset. If you record a podcast with someone and you go back and you listen to it, you might find certain filler words that you use or certain colloquialisms that you use over and over and you’re like, “Oh, maybe I need to practice not doing that so much.” It’s a great way to practice. I have one large publicly traded multibillion dollar company that puts a number of people on my service because they want them to get media practice. And they’d rather have them get media practice talking to an audience of a few hundred people than a few hundred thousand or millions. Yes, or million. We all want to talk to millions of people, but we don’t want to make a fool of ourselves when we do it.
Stacy Jones (13:54):
Yes. I can tell you personally from flubbing an MSNBC interview years ago in front of millions of people, I have recovered. It took quite a long time, but you know you can flub, and it’s better to have some practice under your belt and just experience again and finding your voice and telling your story in a conversational manner.
Andrew Allemann (14:15):
Right, right. Practice makes perfect. And this is a good way to practice.
Stacy Jones (14:18):
Well, that leads me into what are some of the common mistakes that podcasters make?
Andrew Allemann (14:22):
Podcasters, or podcast guests?
Stacy Jones (14:29):
Well, sorry, yes, from a guests.
Andrew Allemann (14:29):
From a guest’s perspective.
Stacy Jones (14:30):
I could flip it on both sides, because I’m sure there’s a lot of mistakes podcasters do, but let’s start with guests.
Andrew Allemann (14:36):
Well, as a guest, well, first of all, I would say, please go buy a decent microphone. It doesn’t need to be hundreds of dollars. You can get a snowball microphone for 30 or $40 on Amazon. I know some people show up to podcast interviews and are talking into the microphone on their laptop, and it’s just not a good sound quality. You’re not going to sound good. I talked to a podcaster recently who syndicates a show on radio, and he said, “Look, I might be willing to overlook the fact that someone’s voice quality isn’t good, but then my radio station says, “No, we’re not going to run that interview because the sound quality is not any good,” and so we’re talking about a very small investment, 30, $40. If you want to get fancier, you can. You can go get a $300 or a $200 microphone. But anything basic outside of your laptop or your built in microphone is a good start.
Andrew Allemann (15:28):
Another mistake I see podcast guests make is around, I mentioned earlier, you probably have an objective, but they come in and they’re all sales-focused, like, “Oh, well, let me tell you with my free week long course on how to make money online, blah, blah, blah,” and it’s a big turnoff, right? It’s a turn off to the audience, it’s a turn off to the podcaster, and you’re probably not going to get invited on a lot more podcasts if you do that. Another thing kind of going back to sound quality is to make sure you take the call from a quiet place. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You might notice for those of you watching, I have some sound baffling here. You can start in a walk in clothing closet and get excellent sound quality. The clothes kind of absorbed the echoes and it’s almost like you’re in your own studio.
Andrew Allemann (16:19):
So, you don’t need to spend money on it, but be cognizant of it. As a podcast host, sometimes I’ll call someone and they’re in the airport and they’re like, “Okay, yeah, let’s do this.” It’s like, “Wait, no, that’s not going to work. We need to do this from a quiet place.” And as a podcast guest as well, I’d say once the recording is over, your job is only half done, so you’ve given a great interview, the host is happy, they publish it online. Now you need to go to action to make sure that you leverage it as well as possible. One of those things is to follow up on the promises that you made the host on what you would do to promote their show, whether that’s putting it on social media, sharing it with your email list, but also think about how you can then use these soundbites, use this media to your advantage, and it really can be one in the same, right? Sharing it in those same ways and saying, “Hey, I was on Stacy Jones show the other day. We talked about X, Y, and Z. Listen to me here.”
Andrew Allemann (17:19):
That improves your stature as a thought leader on that topic while also helping to promote the show. So, from a guest, I would say those are some of the mistakes, or you can flip that around and say the things you should do to make sure that you’re getting the most out of podcasting and get invited on more shows in the future. From a host perspective, would you like me to kind of talk about some mistakes I see there?
Stacy Jones (17:40):
I absolutely would, yes.
Andrew Allemann (17:44):
I think it’s important as a host to set your guests up for success. If they are ready and prepared, it helps you then as a host be prepared. I have to pat you on the back. You have the best onboarding experience I’ve seen of any podcaster. I don’t know if you want to kind of walk people through kind of the steps that you have once someone agrees to be on your podcast?
Stacy Jones (18:07):
Sure. Once we’ve invited someone, we share a link. I am all about automation. I do not want to either have myself or my team have to remember to do things and follow up. We use HubSpot, but there’s a lot of different platforms that you can use out there, and so I send them a link and it provides a brief breakdown of what we’re going to be talking about and inviting the individual, and did you indeed want to book? We also then share a link that allows them direct access to my calendar to the days that I have blocked off for podcasting so they can then choose that, and it’s instantly going to spend both me and my team member and them an update and telling them when they’re going to dial in, what the numbers are, if there’s a problem, who they should call. It’s going to happen here, and then it also provides them with the calendar link to have all the resources again, if they need to go back to it and refer later on just in case they lose those emails that I have.
Stacy Jones (19:03):
From there, it gives them the ability to directly fill in, and it used to go to our WordPress site, but now it goes into [inaudible 00:19:09] board, which is a like an online Sosana, Munday, Trello, all of these are different [inaudible 00:19:15] systems online where the information that’s typed in about who the person is, what their topic, their bio, their photos, if they have a business banner they want to include digitally as far as images, everything and anything, the social links, it all gets onboarded directly into our system so that we don’t have to worry about someone typing in, moving things over, and it’s in a home where we know what’s going to be. From there, we also send a link and provide details on what questions we might be covering, because sometimes with the less seasoned podcast guests, people want to know what they’re going to be talking about. What have they just gotten themselves in for?
Stacy Jones (19:55):
I mean, I remember on my very first podcast that I did, and it was actually a friend of my podcast, but I knew he had done hundreds of them, and I didn’t want to be the idiot who got on and was just the fail. So, I looked at all his questions and I filled them out line by line by line like I knew he was going to say. Well, it turned out I was a special guest and he wanted to go off the book, off the scripts. So, that was a fail. We try to set people up to know that we might go off the script, but we have things that they’ll know that they can… so, everything’s just very automated and safe, and then we send out reminders and touchpoints so that when it comes to actually record, that individual is actually on the other side of the screen when I dial into my own call, and they’re sitting there like you did today.
Andrew Allemann (20:42):
Yeah. You’re really setting both your guests and yourself up for success by taking the approach you do, and I commend you for it. It’s much more than I do. And now that you have a system on, a system in place, it actually is a lot less time than fumbling through it. Right? And so if you take the time to set up the system, I think it’s helpful, and setting out those expectations, what sort of equipment the person should have, I’m reminding them to be in a quiet place. Those sorts of things are very effective, and having some of those sample questions out there, but then not… one thing I see some podcast hosts do is just follow a script too much, and then their guest follows a script, and then it sounds canned, right? Whereas you want it to be… you don’t necessarily need to stump your guest, but you want it to be more of a conversation where maybe you get them to think of an insight that they wouldn’t have necessarily thought of before, and that’s sort of kind of collaboration.
Andrew Allemann (21:39):
The best interviews you hear on NPR, which they have some great interviewers there, they’re asking some tough questions mixed in with some softballs. I would also say as a podcaster, and this really goes both ways, I would set your expectations, especially when you first get started. I know a lot of people say as a guest, “Oh, I want to be on this top 10 show,” and that sort of thing. Start small it. We talked earlier about how it’s beneficial to not make a mistake in front of a huge audience and kind of learn as you go up. It’s also easier to talk to those big podcasters once you get a lot of podcasts under your belt, because you can say, “Yeah, I’ve been on these 50 podcasts over the past year.” They know your experience, they’re more comfortable having you on, they can hear your sound clips and they’re comfortable with it as well. So, yeah, I think those are some quick guidelines, some mistakes or tips I think for both sides of the equation.
Stacy Jones (22:35):
And do you ever see anything where it just goes wrong, where someone just entirely in a fail?
Andrew Allemann (22:44):
Yes, and that can be difficult. A lot of… I had a lawyer on my show who’s an excellent writer. When he has time to think, the words he uses, the structure he uses, a lot of lawyers have great structured writing, but he’s just phenomenal. He came on my show and we started talking before we hit the record button, and he was fine, he was going through, “Oh, yes, we’ll talk about this, this and that.” He had some good witty answers. As soon as I hit record, he just froze up. He was mumbling, he was fumbling, he couldn’t get through it, and sometimes… we went back and recorded a chunk of it. I said, “Let me see what I can do with it. Let me edit it,” and we went back through, and we got a good show, some good information, but it took a couple takes. Sometimes it’s hard to tell a guest, “Hey, that just really wasn’t what I was looking for,” after they invest the time and you invested time.
Andrew Allemann (23:41):
But I will say you can prevent that to some degree if you’re able to listen to their previous sound clips and if you come up with a good structure, but occasionally that will happen, and occasionally a lot of technical snafoos too. The worst feeling as a podcaster is when something goes wrong with the recording and the recording doesn’t come through and someone has just spent 30 minutes recording podcasts with you, everything goes great, they answered the questions well, everyone’s happy, and then you have to tell them, “Sorry, we have to do this again,” and you can double and triple check, but at some point this is still going to happen to you when you rely on on recording technology.
Stacy Jones (24:20):
Yeah. I’m a pretty type A person when it comes to business, and what I will say podcasting has done for me is it made me realize that you have to just laugh a lot and go with the flow and just realize that you may have just come up with the best thought that you shared and you’re recording on internet, your entire neighborhood right now is on internet and streaming, and there’s going to be a glitch, and that’s just life. You’re going to have to deal with it.
Andrew Allemann (24:46):
Yeah. Right. I think one of the interesting things about the pandemic and everyone working from home is that it has made people more comfortable with, “Hey, things happen.” You know? I was on a call yesterday with the COO of a very large public company, and his kids were in the background and it’s just, look, right now, we’re all just, we’re all just making it by. You do what you can do.
Stacy Jones (25:11):
And you’re getting to know people a little bit better too.
Andrew Allemann (25:13):
Yeah. Yeah. We all have kids in the background. You know? Sometimes they’re muffled, sometimes they aren’t.
Stacy Jones (25:21):
Great. Is there any additional insight you’d like to share today with our listeners?
Andrew Allemann (25:26):
Well, I’d invite people to download a guide I put together about being a guest on podcasts, and it talks about some of the things that we’ve talked about today but goes into a little bit more depth that there’s a link to a microphone in there, a full list of things you should have on your one sheet, pitching guidelines, that sort of thing. You can download [email protected]/guide, and it really walks you through the process. I think a lot of people listening to your show maybe listen to podcasts, but they’ve never thought about being a guest on it, and I really think it’s a fantastic opportunity that’s worth looking into.
Stacy Jones (26:03):
I think that we were talking earlier when I asked you what are some of the things that podcast guests need to remember to do, and you just did it brilliantly, right? You brought something that’s a benefit to the podcast for people to listen to, and then our listeners are going to say, “Oh my gosh, I want to have that resource.” So it’s going to drive them back to your website to take a look and learn more and do a download. That’s a piece that I think a lot of people miss on podcasting. You know? They get so excited to be on a show, and hosts are fine with allowing you to do call outs to audiences or insights or value-adds. But people sometimes forget to do that little piece that’s going to kick it up and make all the work of them being on a podcast actually more worthwhile as well.
Andrew Allemann (26:52):
That’s right. I think hopefully after people listen to you on a podcast, they want to learn more. They want to know how to connect with you. An easy way to do that is to have something more information that they can easily download. You see this at conferences too, the person presenting the slide says, “Hey, if you want a copy of these slides, send an email to me at this address and I’ll send a copy to you.” Right? And then there’s this feedback follow up loop and they can get the information so they’re not sitting there scribbling notes. You’re giving some value to the audience. They don’t have to scribble the notes. You’re going to provide it all to them, and it also helps keep the conversation going afterward.
Stacy Jones (27:29):
Well, Andrew, thank you so much for being on today. We really value your time and ability to get away from your day to share your insights with us today.
Andrew Allemann (27:39):
Stacy Jones (27:39):
Of course. And to our listeners, thank you so much for listening to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. I look forward to chatting with you this next week.
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