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Want to leverage the power of podcasts without starting your own? Becoming a guest on other people’s podcasts is the perfect way to do it, according to Jessica Rhodes, co-founder of Interview Connections.

Podcasting is a billion-dollar industry, and if you want in on that action, being a guest is the perfect way to get in without creating your own.

In this episode, Jessica and I discuss:

  • How to know whether you should be a guest on a podcast
  • Why you need to think of it as a long term strategy
  • How to leverage your podcast guest spots
  • Crafting a free CTA to use in your guest spots
  • Tips for using podcast interviews to launch a product or service
  • Why you need to make it easy for the host of the podcast
  • What opportunities can come out of being a podcast guest
  • And more

 

More about Jessica Rhodes

Jessica is the founder and equal co-owner of Interview Connections. She has scaled the business quickly to 7 figures along with her business partner, Margy Feldhuhn. Jessica and her in house team of Booking Agents are the podcast powerhouses behind many of the record-breaking book launches you’ve seen today, with clients such as JJ Virgin, Perry Marshall, other authors you may know, and numerous PR agencies who hire them for their podcasting savvy and booking skills.

Join the Interview Connections Facebook group

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Renee:

Welcome back to another episode of Leveraged and Loving It. Renee Hasseldine here. On today’s episode we are joined by Jessica Rhodes from Rhode Island, how good is that? I know. Crazy coincidence apparently, but I was like, “Did you just move there because of your name? I don’t know.” But apparently not. Anyway, back onto the topic of today’s show, Jessica is founder and equal co-owner of Interview Connections, which is a business that helps experts like us to find guest spots on podcasts, like awesome shows like this, of course.

So, we’re here to talk to Jessica about what it’s like to actually run her business and why she started it and all that sort of stuff, but also why it’s important for us as business owners to actually get on a podcast. Like, what is the point of that? Why would we bother? Why not run your own maybe even? So, we can talk about all of those. So, Jessica, thank you so much for being on the show.

Jessica:

Renee, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to talk to you. You have such great energy and such a fun show, so thanks so much for having me.

Renee:

My pleasure, my pleasure. All right, so, tell us. How did you come up with the idea to start your business? Because, when did you actually start it?

Jessica:

So, I started it in 2013, which feels like ages ago in podcast land.

Renee:

Yeah. I mean, how many podcasts existed in 2013 versus today?

Jessica:

I would guess 300,000, 400,000. It’s over 700,000 now, for context. So, it’s just growing exponentially. And back then, it was such a small market. It was so new. And I was a mom. I was a new mom, and that’s really why I started my business, was to have something at home, because I was working at a non-profit and I did not want to be working 12 hour days for $30,000 a year.

Renee:

Yep, fair call, fair call. Everything comes into perspective once you have a kid, right?

Jessica:

Oh, exactly. And I loved that part of your conversation with Angela Henderson on your podcast. Just the honesty of, there’s no balance. Sometimes you’ve got to lean one way or the other. But yeah, your perspective totally changes. My motivation to do everything I’m doing, it all comes back to being a mom. So, yeah.

Renee:

Yeah, exactly. I think my decision-making around that when I decided to start working again after having kids was, okay, if I’m going to do something that takes me away from my children, it needs to be important.

Jessica:

Absolutely.

Renee:

It needs to be worthwhile. It needs to have a purpose.

Jessica:

Yeah. And honestly, I love that my kids often will give me a reason to not work, you know what I mean? I’m like, “Got to go pick them up at three,” and it’s not every day, but sometimes you have to. I’m a Capricorn, I love to work. I would work all the time if I could, because I just love it. But it’s like, when you’re a mom and when you have a family, you are forced to sit on the floor and play a board game and put the phone away, and I think it’s really important and healthy to do that.

Renee:

Yeah, they do help us to reconnect and to kind of ground and stay present, because if we’re not present they get us pretty quick, right?

Jessica:

Yeah, they totally do.

Renee:

Yeah, yep. All right, so back to the work side of things, because you love it, that’s good. Me too. Tell us a bit more about this podcasting opportunity. So, I get it, clearly. But for our audience who potentially hasn’t even been… I want you to think about some of the people who are listening have never, ever been a guest on a podcast but they’ve probably listened to a few. What should they be thinking about, and how do they know if it’s a good fit for them and if they should explore it as an opportunity?

Jessica:

Absolutely, yeah. I was having this conversation today with somebody who was looking into our, we have a Facebook group about being a guest on podcasts, and I was just explaining how it’s a long-term strategy, and that’s one of the important things to know when you’re going into it, is that it takes a while to see a return on investment. Whether you’re guesting or hosting it’s really the same, but we’ll talk about from the guest perspective. When you start this strategy, you need to get clear on what your topics and questions are. How do you want to be positioned? What do you want to be known for? What do you want to stand for? Who do you want to be talking to? You really do need to get clear on all of that before you start reaching out and finding shows to be a guest on. And then you’ve got to pitch, you’ve got to follow up, you’ve got to schedule.

There’s a whole process that goes into it, and when you’re scheduling on somebody’s show, you look at their calendar, you find the next available date that matches up with yours, and sometimes that’s several months. Then you record, then it goes live sometimes several months after that. So when it’s all said and done, it takes several months just for one podcast interview to get scheduled and go live. And for listeners to then hear you and take action takes even longer, because people don’t hear your interview and hand over their credit. If they do, it’s amazing when that happens, but most people do need to have several touch points with you before they actually sign up and invest in your service.

Renee:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you’ve got to think about, if someone discovers you for the very first time when you’re a guest on a podcast, then the first action they’re probably likely to take is to go and look up your website, go and stalk you a bit online, go and find out about you, right? Or listen to potentially your offer. What advice do you have for people guesting on how to actually leverage that the best?

Jessica:

Exactly, yeah. So, you want to have a clear call to action, and this is where it’s really important to have systems and to have in mind what your funnel is going to be. Don’t get scared away if you hear funnel and you’re like, “Oh god,” you know? Because I get it. Email sequences and all that. This isn’t meant to be some complicated sales marketing funnel strategy. It really all comes down to relationships. But you want to know, “Okay, if my ideal potential client hears me on a podcast, what do I want them to do?” And a lot of times I’ll ask people, “Well, look at your clients right now. How did they find you and what were the steps they took to eventually sign up and work with you?” For me, okay, they tend to be referred by someone, we have a call, they listen to our podcast. So, you want to think about what those steps are and work to replicate that when you get on a podcast and are speaking to your target audience that way.

So, you want to know, what is the best next step for them to take? Based off of what you’re interviewed about, what would be a good action step? What would help listeners take all this information to the next level? So, maybe that’s a landing page, maybe that’s inviting them to your free Facebook group. It has to be something free and it has to be something valuable that they really want to get at that moment.

Renee:

Yeah, absolutely. And how many calls to action do we want, Jessica?

Jessica:

One.

Renee:

Thank you.

Jessica:

One! And let me tell you, even though I teach this and I practise it, sometimes I’m on a podcast and I’m like, “But I want to tell them so many other things,” but it’s like, you have to stick to one. People are listening on the go. They’re listening in their car, they’re listening at the gym, they’re doing their dishes. They’re on their mobile device. Most podcast listeners are listening on their phone. They’re not going to remember five different things, so you got to pick one.

Renee:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. That’s so, so true. When I’m listening to a podcast, it’s in the car and I’m driving, and I’ve also got the Google Maps navigator telling me where I’m going at the same time.

Jessica:

Yeah, yeah.

Renee:

If you give me more than one call to action I’m going to remember zero.

Jessica:

Exactly. A confused mind says no.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Jessica:

So you absolutely want to stick to the one thing that people will do.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah. Fantastic. So, what about those people who are thinking about launching a product or a service or something like that. If they want to use podcasting as part of the strategy for that launch, how far in advance do they need to be planning?

Jessica:

Yeah, so this is a really great question because most of the time when we go into any marketing strategy and especially podcast interviews, we have something in mind that we want to be promoting. We literally have something in mind that we want to be talking about driving listeners to. And so, ideally, when you do these interviewers you want them to be going live right at the perfect time so listeners hear it and jump on board. They go buy your book, they get your programme, whatever the case may be. So, you do need to plan ahead. We recommend four to six months before you want interviews to be going live.

Jessica:

Podcast shows with really great shows that are well-produced, they’re planned out, they are producing well in advance of when an interview is going live. Either they’re pre-recording or they’re scheduling it way out. You get connected with the host and then it’s like, the next available date is maybe two or three months out. And that is standard, especially for the more in-demand shows that are really well-produced because the hosts of those shows, they have their shit together. They’ve got a system in place. And if you want them to interview you and air your interview aligned with your launch, you need to be planning ahead. I’m not going to say, “Hey Renee, can you air this next week? Because that would be great for me.” Because you don’t want your urgency to affect their schedule. You’re there to be easy to work with, you’re there to serve, and just make their life as easy as possible.

So, you do want to plan ahead. And the other thing is, it’s great to have interviews that support your launch, but you always want to keep in mind that even if an interview goes live the week of a launch, people are still going to hear it after your launch is over. People will find and listen to your interviews months after it goes live, so you want to make sure that your call to action is still relevant, your interview is still relevant, months in the future. You want this to be evergreen content.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah. That’s what I was kind of going to say. I would find it tricky to include any kind of launch offer in a podcast because timing, it’s just… Even if an episode goes live on Thursday, people aren’t necessarily going to listen to it on Thursday. There are so many variables. I absolutely agree with you that it should just be an evergreen call to action.

Jessica:

Yeah, absolutely.

Renee:

For sure, for sure. So does that mean you would say not to include it, then, as part of a launch?

Jessica:

It’s tough. This is something that we’ve kind of gone back and forth on a little bit because it is such a popular strategy for launches, for book launches and things like that, but the timing is incredibly challenging. A lot of people that come to us with a book that they’re launching, they want to do podcast interviews but there’s a million other things that go into launching a book, a course, a product, whatever. And there’s so many different variables. So I think do the podcast interviews, but don’t be attached to them going live when you want them to go live. Because you’re going to launch your book for a week, but then you still want to keep selling it, you still want to be promoting it. So just look at your podcast interviews as if they go live the week of your launch, great, it’ll help a little bit. But really look at these podcast interviews as a long-term ongoing brand-building strategy.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah, great. I think that’s a great point. And also, just to remember as well that as the guest, the guest is getting access to the host’s audience. The host does all the work. All you’re doing is showing up and talking. And then for you to come in and be demanding about, “Well, I want it to go live on this date, and I want this, and I want that,” as a host, I’m straight away going, “Uh, get lost.” Because my interviews… I’m already booked out five months in advance now for all my interview slots, because I batch record. I record one day a month, everything on one day. We know which episodes are… We’ve got so many months in the can. If you want to kind of move things around for us, I’ll be like, “Nah, next.” It’s not like I’m desperate for guests.

Jessica:

Exactly. And that’s the thing that it’s really important when you’re getting into podcast guesting to remember, is that hosts have plenty, there’s plenty of fish in the sea for them.

Renee:

Yeah, exactly. The guest has got to sell themselves to us. If we get a pitch and you don’t make it about my audience, I’m just like, “Get out of here.” I don’t care about what you want. The pitches that I get that are like, “Oh, I’m launching a book and I’d really love to sell it on your podcast.” Like, no, next. I won’t even reply to that. I don’t have time.

Jessica:

Yeah, exactly.

Renee:

Yeah, awesome. So, in what ways, then… We’ve talked a bit about the don’t do this. Actually, are there any more don’t dos, in terms of being a guest on a podcast.

Jessica:

Yeah. So, some of the major ones, you just kind of touched on the pitches. You won’t even get past the pitch if your pitch is all about you and it doesn’t show the value of what you can bring to the audience, so you definitely want to focus on that. You don’t want to pitch your paid service or product, you don’t want to be too pitchy. You really want to make sure that you’re providing as much value as possible, and this really comes back to having a mindset of serving and providing value. I hear some people say, “Well, I don’t want to give too much away in the interview because then they won’t want to buy my product or service,” and if that is your mindset you really need to check that, because if you think you can give all of your expertise away in 30 minutes, I am sure we have a bigger problem here.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah. You’ve got a really big problem if everything you know is in a 30-minute interview.

Jessica:

Yeah. So, just give as much as possible. I always say, “Hey, I pull back the curtain. I’ll tell you exactly how to do every part of what I do for my clients,” because ultimately, if you want to do it yourself, fantastic. I’ll teach you as much as I can in this 30 minutes to do it yourself.

Renee:

Yeah. I mean, the people who are going to hire someone like you to book all the podcast interviews for them, they’re the kind of people who are busy and don’t want to do it themselves, right?

Jessica:

Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Renee:

It’s someone like me who’s just like, I just want to make pretty visual models. I don’t want to do all the other stuff.

Jessica:

Yeah. And the other thing is, don’t expect the host to do all of the promoting of your episode. One of the reason interview-based podcasts are so amazing is, so yes, the host is producing it and editing it and everything like that, but as a guest you want to help get the word out about that show as much as possible because if you can help grow that audience, ultimately you’re going to have more exposure as well. So, really promoting it. I posted about our interview, left a link. Just posting and tagging and really nurturing your relationship with the host and getting the word out to your audience. I mean, not only is that great for your position, to show that you’re getting interviewed and that you’re getting booked. People see that and they’re like, “Oh wow,” you know? “They’re getting interviewed.” But ultimately it helps grow the audience. Leaving a rating and review for their show on iTunes. Anything that you can do to help the host’s show grow, it’s going to come back to you as well, but you want to do this really from a mindset of serving and giving value.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It’s so, so important, and I notice the difference between the guests who are great at doing that and the ones that aren’t. You know, we see it in the numbers. But also, it is, it’s like this ripple effect as well, because as soon as a great guest does something that means iTunes is now going, “Ooh, okay, this is getting a bit more buzz now,” and then, you know, potentially getting to the movers and shakers. That then is going to mean that iTunes or whatever other podcast platform is going to start promoting the episode for you. If you can help the host to generate that stuff as well, then everybody wins.

Jessica:

Absolutely, yeah. Anything that you can do.

Renee:

And they’re going to love you forever.

Jessica:

Yeah. No, totally, absolutely.

Renee:

Yeah. So, I did notice that you did that on LinkedIn and Facebook this morning, I was like, “Yes!”

Jessica:

Yeah, I know, I messaged you and I was like, “Are you on Instagram?” And you’re like, “No,” I’m like, “Okay, great.” See, that’s another thing. Ask the host where they hang out. Where are they most active? Because that’s likely where their audience is most active and where you would be able to connect with them as much too. I always like to scroll through and see what episodes look… And I saw Angela, she just became a client of ours, so I’m like, “Oh, better listen to her,” because she’s so fun. I was on her show recently too.

Renee:

Yay, awesome. Awesome. Yeah, Angela’s amazing. Love her. Love her, love her.

Jessica:

Yeah.

Renee:

And Angela’s another one who was really great as a guest, who was excellent at promoting the episode and making sure that it got exposure, and I love my guests who do that.

Jessica:

Yeah, it’s great.

Renee:

It’s very, very cool. All right, and I guess another thing to touch on as well, from the host perspective as well, because I think this all comes back to the easier that a guest can make it for the host, the better its going to be, and the more likely that they will invite you back for another episode. I’ve got some people who I’ve had three or four times because I just love them. Those people… And actually, Darcy Smyth for example, I’ve lost count of how many times he’s been on my show. And I’ve even given him the reins, to host an episode once.

Jessica:

Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah. I said, “Oh, you host it and make me the guest. Let’s just keep it and see what happens.” And we totally did that. And here’s the cool thing. So now, after that, I’ve become his client. So, how cool is that?

Jessica:

Yeah, that’s amazing. And it happens so much, where a guest will be on a show and then the host says, “Actually, I want to work with you.” I just did a post on social media about that, about how, you know, just be open-minded to all the different shows that are out there. A lot of guests, their ego takes over, and they’re like, “Well how big is the audience? How many rating and reviews do they have? How big is their social media following?” And that’s really the wrong mindset, because you really want to look at this as a strategy of, I want to make connections and build relationships with each of these hosts. And if their listeners reach out to me, great. But the host is who you’re actually talking to, so that is the most important person to see, like, is this going to be a good connection, and do I want to get to know this person?

Renee:

Yeah, exactly. I think of it similar, vice versa for me as well, because I see that most of the people who come on as guests on my show, they’re ideal clients to me as well because I work with coaches, consultants, experts, thought leaders, right? That’s my audience. That’s my target market. So, that for me, it’s like, of course. Sometimes they end up becoming my client, sometimes I become their client. As long as it’s a win-win it’s all good, right?

Jessica:

Yes.

Renee:

So, yeah. You’ve got to do everything you can as the guest to make this relationship work.

Jessica:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah. Awesome. I wish more of the guests would do that. And I probably am guilty of this. So, those of you who know DISC profiles, I’m a very high D. So, I am very wham bam, thank you ma’am. I ma not the best relationship builder in the world. Those who know me understand, I’m being totally honest.

Jessica:

No, I can see that. I was going to say, like, “No…” Talking to you for 20 minutes, I’m like, “Yeah, I can see that.” Very type A personality, as most female entrepreneurs are I feel like.

Renee:

Yeah, yeah. I’m just like, “Yeah, if you make it hard for me I’m bored.” I have zero patience and tolerance. You don’t follow the instructions to fill in the form to book the podcast interview and I’m like, “Piss off already.” I’ve even made… So, to book in my podcast form, it’s got all these fields, and it’s like, “Okay, put your bio here, put your thing here, put your thing here.” And I’m like, “You know what? You guys as the guest, you need to copy and paste and put it in the fucking form because then it goes to my team who creates my prep sheet,” right? If you then go, “Oh, follow this link over here, do this…” Don’t make my team work harder. I don’t want to pay them more money. Rant over. Yeah. So, make it easy for the host. I think that’s what the message of today is all about, isn’t it?

Jessica:

Yeah.

Renee:

Yeah, awesome. All right, so, anything else that you think people need to know about guesting on shows? What else? What are your final words, Jessica?

Jessica:

I mean, my final words are really to just leave space for possibility. So, it’s difficult to know what exactly you’re going to get out of each interview that you do. A lot of times I hear that, someone’s huge return on investment, they’ll go, “Oh, I got 12 clients from this one show.” And some other shows, they didn’t really get anything from. Not every show is going to be a home run, but you want to leave that space for possibility and just go into it with an open mind and see. Number one, always look at it as, “How can I serve and how can I provide value?” And just to know that you can’t always predict what can come out of it. We’ve had clients that the host eventually invited them to be a co-author on a book and to come speak. You could never really predict that that would come out of the strategy, because a lot of times you just go into it and it’s like, “I’m going to go into this to get in front of my target audience and hopefully get clients,” but then there’s all these other opportunities that you might not have predicted would come from it. And so, really, leave space for that possibility and that magic to happen.

Renee:

Yes. I love that, I love it. And it’s the same kind of advice you’d give to someone in terms of networking as well. It’s all about the relationship, and you never know where it’s going to go.

Jessica:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely.

Renee:

Yep. Awesome, thank you so much. If people want to find out more about who you are and what you do, Jessica, where can they go?

Jessica:

So, we have a free Facebook group called Guest Expert Profit Lab. We do free weekly trainings and provide as much information as possible for entrepreneurs who want to do podcast guesting. So, you can find that at interviewconnections.com/group.

Renee:

Awesome. Thank you. See how she did that? Yes? Role model. Watch the role model. Boom. Awesome. Thank you so much, Jessica, for being on the show. It’s been great to finally have you, because of course this was a long time coming.

Jessica:

Yeah. Thank you so much, I appreciate it.

Renee:

Awesome, thank you. You’ve been listening to Leveraged and Loving It. We’ve been speaking with Jessica Rhodes about guesting on podcast. I’m Renee Hasseldine, talk to you next week.

 

 


renee-b&W webRenée Hasseldine works with consultants, experts & thought leaders to turn what is in their brilliant minds into powerful Think RAPT systems using visual models. Her knack for extracting and unpacking thoughts and turning them into unique intellectual property is sheer genius.

Renée is the author of the best-selling book ‘Share Your Passion’, she is the host of the ‘Leveraged and Loving It’ podcast and a panel member on The Business Playroom TV.