Most people are scared of selling.
We don’t want to come across as a sleazy salesperson. And we know that our prospects instantly put up their defenses the second they feel like they’re being sold to. That tension is uncomfortable.
But here’s the thing… you already sell every day.
You sell your friends on where to eat for lunch. You sell your spouse on what movie to watch this weekend. You sell your kids on why they need to go to bed on time.
Why are these things completely natural while selling your product or service is so intimidating?
It’s because you already have a relationship with these people. There’s no judgment. And there’s already a context for the conversation, so there’s no pressure.
Well what if you had a relationship with your ideal clients? You could explain the value of your service and they’d trust your motives.
And what if there was already an ongoing conversation? Rather than appearing out of the blue and saying “You don’t know me but I’m going to try to get your money!” you could just talk naturally about your service.
What would happen to your sales- and your income- if those things were true? They’d skyrocket of course, and I’m going to show you how you can do exactly that…
The profitable secret of niche podcasts
When most people hear the word “podcast,” they attach a lot of unneeded baggage to it. They automatically make false assumptions, like:
I have to focus on growing a huge audience.
I have to get on the iTunes charts.
I have to use the same strategies the biggest shows are using.
I have to try to get sponsorships.
I have to try to get Seth Godin and Gary V on my show!
Forget all of that.
A podcast is simply a piece of audio that you upload to podcast apps. That’s it. And while most people follow the exact same formula (and get the exact same results, which is nothing), we’re going to do something entirely different.
And it works.
We’re going to start a niche podcast where we interview the people we want to turn into clients. We’re going to ask them about their strengths that have contributed to their success. And we’re going to ask them about what they hope to achieve in the future.
Then once we’ve established a relationship with these people and we’ve built rapport, we’re going to tell them about our services.
This accomplishes some incredibly powerful things:
You immediately break free of being just another salesperson.
You become a fellow business owner.
You recognize their strong points and let them shine.
You get to be someone who lifts them up immediately.
You learn what they need help with.
You get to slip in your sales pitch without pitching.
So while every other aspiring podcaster is trying to get millions of downloads to hopefully monetize in the future… you can become wildly profitable with just a handful of listeners.
That’s the strategy in a nutshell. There are a lot of critical details that bring the strategy to life though, so let’s dive in…
Step 1: Creating Your Media Platform
Launching a podcast sounds like a massive undertaking. And 5 years ago it was.
But podcasting has become so popular that now there are services that make it incredibly fast and easy to create your show.
You used to have to pay for expensive hosting. Now you can start a free account with Anchor and instantly distribute your show to all the biggest podcasting platforms.
You used to have to hire a graphic designer to create all your images. Now you can make beautiful graphics for free with Canva.
And you used to have to hire an audio engineer to edit your show. Now you can edit the episodes yourself with Garage Band (which comes free on Macs). And you can upload your files to Auphonic for free which will make the final sound quality amazing.
The best part is all these tools are designed for beginners. Spend 20 minutes playing with each one and you’ll master them in no time.
So for the princely sum of $0, you now have all the tools at your disposal to create a podcast that would have cost thousands of dollars just a few years ago.
Part 2: Booking Podcast Guests
Once you’re done with Anchor and Canva, you’ll have a link to your new podcast “home.” This is your page on Anchor where someone can find your episodes and learn about your show. This is helpful when you’re promoting your podcast (even though most people will find you on iTunes, Spotify, or other podcasting apps).
Naturally, the next step is filling up your home with episodes. Which means it’s time to start reaching out to guests and recording interviews.
The first place to start is with your current clients. If you already have a few paying customers, reach out and ask to book an interview. They’re almost guaranteed to say yes, and since you’ve been delivering results for them you’ll already have a good rapport. (Plus you’ll be able to demonstrate your expertise).
After you’ve interviewed your clients, you’ll need to start doing cold outreach. Here are three ways to line up more guests than you’ll ever need:
Your ideal clients. Since the goal is to turn our guests into customers, the best place to start is with your target prospects.
Write down your criteria for the perfect client. For me it’s someone that has been in business for at least three years, is a Chamber of Commerce member, and only posts sporadically on Facebook.
Figure out what your own requirements are and start Googling. You can use GoogleMaps to pull up all your target businesses in a certain town. From there, all their websites and social media profiles will only be a click or two away. In just a couple minutes you’ll be able to see if they’re a good fit for your service.
Industry “celebrities.” Every industry has rockstar entrepreneurs, successful marketers, and thought leaders that everyone looks up to.
Look up the top publications in your industry. For example, DVM360 is the go-to magazine and website for veterinarians. Your niche is sure to have something similar. Browse their archives and see who contributes the most articles, or who gets quoted the most often. These will make for fantastic interviews.
Facebook groups. In the search bar of Facebook, type in your target market and click on “groups.” You’ll instantly find groups full of your ideal customers.
Reach out to the administrators and ask them for interviews first. As the creators and leaders of these groups, they’ll have a lot of advice to share, and they’ll appreciate being recognized for their work. Plus, once you establish a relationship with these people and you provide value to their groups, these will be the perfect places to promote your episodes and drive traffic.
When you’re ready to reach out, make your emails short yet personal. You want to respect their time and convey your message quickly. But you also don’t want it to look like a generic request you’ve blasted out to countless other guests.
The key is to point out something specific. What have you noticed that they’re doing great that you want to learn more about? What strengths or achievements do you want to highlight and share with your audience? These personal touches work wonders.
I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve developed an exact script I use for my own guests. I’ve written it in a Google doc so if you want to save the time of writing your own script and split testing on potential guests, you can just use mine. Download it here, fill in the blanks, and you’ll be getting “yeses” in no time.
Part 3: Conducting The Interview
Now that you have a few guests lined up, it’s time to record your interviews.
These should be casual conversations, but they have a nasty way of becoming nerve-wracking as soon as the microphones are turned on and the software starts recording.
One of the things you’ll be worried about is tech. As you’re talking you’ll be thinking “Are all the settings correct? What if the internet starts lagging? What if I listen to this after we’re done recording and something sounds wrong?” It’s incredibly distracting and it happens to us all.
There’s a simple solution. One of my favorite tools that I use all the time is a phone app called Tape A Call. Install this and you’ll be able to call your guest on the phone, and the app will automatically record the conversation. Now you don’t need to stress about “recording a podcast interview”… you’re simply chatting with a colleague on the phone.
Another great alternative is Squad Cast. Most chat tools like Skype require strong wifi. If the connection lags, so will your recording. But Squad Cast records each side of the call separately and then combines them in the cloud after you’re done talking. This way the audio quality is crystal clear.
With tech out of the way, the next thing to focus on is the content itself.
The key here is preparation. Most people think they can jump on a call and just start talking. I can’t tell you how many podcasters I’ve talked to who say “I like to keep it natural and informal. I want to be the Joe Rogan of my industry.”
That works for Joe, but the rest of us need to put a little more thought into it. You have to respect your guest’s time. And you have to respect your listener’s time too. You don’t want to waste precious minutes building rapport and looking for the kernels of wisdom.
That’s why I always use a pre-interview checklist. It asks important questions that give me hints about what direction to lead the conversation. That way we can dive right into the most educational and entertaining insights as quickly as possible.
There are several online tools you can use to create your pre-interview survey. I’ve actually copied my personal version into a Google form. If you want to use mine, just click here and you can add it into your account (it’s actually the same document as the email and phone scripts. Everything is included in the same link).
Once you have that survey filled out, you won’t have to worry anymore about whether or not you’ll “click” with your guests. You’ll have no problem recording value-packed interviews that your listeners will love.
Part 4: Editing The Episode
The next step is editing the final audio that you’ll upload to Anchor. This can seem confusing if you’ve never done it before, but it’s actually pretty simple.
You just need four audio files…
The first is the interview recording. You’ll get this from Tape A Call or Squad Cast, depending on which one you use.
Next, you’ll need an intro. You should record this after the interview is done. That way you can say, “In this great interview, you’ll learn X, Y, and Z. And make sure you listen until the end when our guest reveals how they ______.” Tease the highlights of your conversation to reel the listener in.
It’s fine if you record the interview through your phone. After all, the guest will be doing most of the speaking anyways. But because the intro will be the first piece of audio your listener hears, you need to make sure it sounds perfect. It’s going to set the stage for the rest of the episode and make you sound professional.
I record all my intros with the Audio-Technica AT-2020 microphone. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars more on fancier mics, but you’ll only get 5-10% more quality. The
Audio-Technica ATR-2100 is even cheaper and still sounds amazing.
The last two audio clips you need are intros and outros. This will be music that fades in and out, along with a professional narrator who says something like, “You’re listening to the _____ podcast, where we teach _____ like you how to _____. Now here’s your host, _____.” It’s a simple addition but sends the production quality of your show through the roof.
The easiest way to make these is to hire someone on Fiverr. Just search for “Podcast bumpers.” To save you some time, here’s the exact gig that I’ve used multiple times. Tell them Ben sent you!
Once you have these four clips, you just need to put them together. This is what it will look like:
Since your music fades in and out, you want to overlap the files. Once again, it’s a little tip that adds a lot to your professional sound.
You probably already have Garage Band on your computer. If not, I recommend Studio One. Whatever you choose, open the software and you’ll see that it’s nearly as simple as the image above. Just drag the files, line them up, export the track, and you’re done.
Part 5: Turning The Interviewee Into A Client
Now comes the most important part. This entire strategy comes down to this… converting your guest into a paying client.
A lot of sales training relies on high-pressure pitches and carefully-crafted scripts. Our strategy uses two entirely different tools: the “Performance Voice” and the follow-up.
As you’re recording the interview, you’re going to be using your “radio voice.” You’ll probably be talking a little louder and faster than normal, with more enthusiasm and inflection. You want to sound energetic and entertaining for your audience.
As soon as the episode is over though, you want to turn off your performance voice and switch to your normal voice. Say something like, “Wow that was so great. I loved the part where you said ____. Thanks so much for sharing that, I know it’s really going to help our listeners.”
Switching between these two voices does something powerful. It signals to your guest that you were just on stage together, but now you’re backstage. Now it’s just the two of you. This immediately builds rapport.
And since you just created something together, there’s a sense of teamwork and friendship as well.
At this point, I always say something like, “I like to ask all my guests: is there something you’re trying to accomplish in your business? Achieving a big goal, or overcoming an obstacle? I get to meet a lot of smart people through this show so I like to be able to make connections or help out however I can.”
Your guest will appreciate that you’re trying to give back and be helpful.
This leads to the second tool in your toolbox, which is the follow-up. Now that you’ve started to build this friendship, you want to keep nurturing it. You don’t want it to fizzle out.
Send an email thanking them for the interview, and let them know when the episode will get published. When it goes live, send them the link, and give them some shareable social media content that makes them look good. And after the episode has been up for a while, email them again and let them know what the download numbers look like or what some of the feedback has been.
Here’s a quick pro-tip: use Repurpose.io to create images and videos using snippets from the interview. Your guests will be flattered hearing their voice on cool content, and they’re almost guaranteed to share it with their followers.
You want them to get used to hearing from you. And you want them to see that each time you reach out you’re providing value- publicity, praise, appreciation, etc.
Then when it feels right you can slip this into the conversation: “You mentioned that your biggest goal right now is _____. I’ve actually helped some other clients with that exact thing, and they’ve been getting amazing results. Would you like to hear about it?”
That’s all you have to say. You don’t have to kick down the door with an unsolicited pitch. You simply ask them to open the door, and since you’ve established a friendship they’ll invite you in.
The Vital Tactic To Bringing This All To Life
I tried to cover everything in detail. I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned and leave you with doubts. I want you to have the blueprint, and the confidence, to use this for yourself.
But I’m worried that maybe I made it sound overwhelming.
Here’s the thing… if you try to do this every week, it is.
If you try to line up guests, record interviews, edit episodes, and publish podcasts every single week, you’ll never pull it off.
You MUST batch your work.
When I create my own podcasts, my goal is to record 10 episodes in 2 days. I schedule my guests in 30-minute, back-to-back slots. I lock myself away, get it done, and then I have two and a half months worth of content scheduled.
Batching your work is the most efficient use of your time. You get the most value out of each hour by not having to constantly set up your equipment, take it down again, and “get in the zone.”
Plus, it’s an amazing feeling looking in your podcast queue and seeing that no matter what else happens, you have many weeks of content already scheduled to get published like clockwork. Now you can focus on working with clients and growing your business while your podcast constantly generates leads.
So my challenge to you is this… pick a recording date on the calendar. Make it a couple of weeks from now. Block off a Sunday and tell yourself “I WILL record X podcasts on this date.”
Between now and then hustle to create your Anchor account, order your Fiverr gigs, and book your guests. Go back through this article and take note of all the websites and tools I shared. They’ll help speed up your process.
And don’t forget to download the outreach scripts and the pre-interview survey. They’ll save you time, but more importantly, skyrocket your response rate.
When your Anchor page is done, share a link in the comments below and tell us the name of your show. I want everyone who reads this to subscribe to every one of the podcasts and leave a 5-star review. Let’s help each other grow our podcasts!
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask below. And make sure to check out The Ultimate Guide To Closing Clients. We put a ton of effort into this resource so you can spend less time on distracting tasks, and more time on actually generating income.