The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 years ago

Simon Thompson on The Power of Content Creation and Using Podcasts to Build Authority

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Podcasts. We’ve all listened to them. But how do you get your target audience to choose the right ones to listen to – yours? 

Over the past several years there’s been a tremendous popularity increase in podcasts, and with more and more to choose from, it's become very difficult to differentiate.

Simon Thompson, Co-founder of Content Kite, joins us to talk about how you can rise above the noise with your podcast and, if used correctly, how you can elevate your brand’s image.

... value up front. You're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about the power of content creation and specifically using podcast to generate leads and build authority. This is something that I see a lot of individual sales up struggle with. They all want to jump in on the authority marketing or thought leader should build their personal brand, but they struggle with it. They haven't quite figured out there on the formula for it or the right flow for it. To help us do that, today we have Simon Thompson, founder content kite and also runs the growth lever podcast and content kites focused on helping people to create podcasts and blog content. Simon, thank you very much for taking time to be on the show. Today. Thanks for having me try exhauted debay. All right, so let's start with the obvious. I give a little teaser there, but how about a little bit more context around content, Kite and how you came to do the podcast stuff? Yeah, sure. So I mean to go back to the very beginning or give the short version. I started out a career in media advertising in the world of print media, but it wasn't in the most exciting form of print media, is working on construction and architecture magazines that were so like if you're a manufacturer of like hexagonal screws and you needed to get them in front of construction companies or architects that would specify them, then you would advertise in these magazines that I was working for and, needless to say, it was quite dry to be working one. But however, it did give me a good sort of foot in the door into the industry and eventually led to a role at MTV or the Solutions House. That was apartment. With MTV. We worked on pretty major brands like Laurel and Nissen and Disney. That then led into a role at a company called M Nine, which is a well, was a joint venture in Australia between Microsoft and a broadcast network in Australia called Channel Nine. That joint venture since dissolved, but the two companies obviously still stand alone now. But again, that was just a really good place to cut my teeth and really enjoy the role. Worked on huge brands like Nissan and Disney and had it ass and a bunch of other brands that you've heard of, and I really like the role. I'm not one of those entrepreneurs a sort of bashes the corporate world and goes like, you know, like yeah, the proper world sucks. I actually really liked it. I think there's a lot to be learned there. But I did get the entrepreneurial bug. Moved from Australia to Austin Texas, started my agency, Content Kite,...

...and here we are now. So we're working on traditional forms of content, doing air quotes there for about a year and now we've moved into podcast content and audio content essentially as a main focus at the moment. Was it a natural progression or was it part of a master plan or just something that you figured out made sense from you being able to provide the full suite of content services to your clients. Yeah, so I guess it was in the master plan in a sense, like we knew were always going to move into other formats like audio, and eventually we'll start doing video as well. But it really came about because, and this is something we'll get into, the week we started our own podcast, stitch, as you mentioned, called the growth lever, and we started to notice some serious benefits that we hadn't actually expected to see. So we started at as a content marketing channel because we're like, yeah, we're content agency, we should put our content, it'll be a great marketing channel. Two thumbs up. But what we noticed was that we were getting referred to people and we're actually getting clients directly from our guests that we were having on the show, and that was kind of a light bulb moment for us when we sort of notice as this whole other like yes, there's the marketing side of it, like the content marketing side of it, but there's also like this sales aspect of it, or just it's a really effective sales channel in order to build relationships with guests and get in front of people that you may not otherwise be able to get in front of. All that you just wouldn't have a reason to and so that's kind of want a light bulb one off and we decided that it would make perfect sense to offer to our plants as well. Obviously we're on a podcast. I do a podcast, you do a podcast. We know a lot of people that do podcast. One of the challenges that I have seen, I've run into it occasionally, I've seen other people really struggle with it, is how do you capture the attention of the people that you may want to have on the show that may not be as familiar with the medium, they may not be as comfortable with, you know, an audio or an audio video, you know kind of casual, just conversational format that is a typically a structured it is perhaps the questions that I say you, but I'm curious when you do that outreach or where you reach out to people, what are you finding to be most effective in terms of capturing their attention and getting them to come on the show? When you reach out to someone will, when you feature someone as a guest on your podcast, you're providing them some value up front in the form of what could be number of things, but the I guess the main ones are exposure. You're positioning them as an expert. You're essentially giving them a free marketing channel if they've got something to promote and you have relevant audience. And then there's also just the element of people, generally speaking, enjoy sharing their story and kind of giving back to the community, as it...

...were. So in that sense you're giving them something, and so whatever you can highlight that they're going to get out of this when you send that initial email and reach out can be really good. So, for example, like an email I might send is the subject I will be can we feature you? Insert first name, and then the email will just be hey, I've been following your work around x y zed. I would love to interview as a guest on our podcast and talk about x y zed. This is who the audience is. Would you be interested in sharing your insights? That email tends to get about a ninety percent response rate and then from those responses it's about a ninety percent acceptance rate. So you won't get all of them, but you get the vast majority of them, and it's because you're just positioning it as they're going to get something out of this. So that's how I go about it. Excellent. So there are those lists that do the podcast and we obviously we do the outreacher. We have somebody who does outreach for us to scheduled guests and stuff. I'm curious on the marketing side, have you seen clients or have recommendations for sales people that, even if they're not doing the podcast, maybe their company is. Have you seen how they've been able to leverage it? It's kind of a secondary tool to build relationships. You're getting access to key decision makers and what have you seen that look like? Sure, so, just to clify the question. So if you have a sales team but it's not someone in the sales department who is running the PODCAST, is that? Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, if you think about the playmaker which is put out by gable arson and the guys at inside sales labs. If I was a sales guy on that team or I had another ORB, you have another client where you're doing a podcast from, how do you instruct them to instruct, you know, people wants removed sales people to leverage that content or leverage that show as an opportunity to establish relationships with decisionmakers. Yeah, that's a great question. So this is kind of where the interplay, I guess, between the marketing and sales, and I know those two words can sometimes work has a single work. People are just like Oh, it sales a marketing and but like they are two different functions. But there is a lot of overlap, especially in the BEATA BEA world. So in terms of the marketing side of things, like as a sales person, for you to be armed with helpful content at all times can be a really helpful thing. So if you're in a sales conversation and a client starts talking about a given topic or a particular problem and you know that you have this Bank of content, whether you're the host on the podcast or not, that you can send them, that's a really good way. It would be helpful if the two people, that is the host and the salesperson, are in constant contact and actually talking about who are these people that we should be reaching out and that, yes, we've got to cover the marketing in the branding side of having this podcast, but if we can get these relationships built, because I was so we have worked with clients where the host isn't going to be doing the selling, but once that relationship is built, and it makes sense for those two companies to work together, then the host can...

...say, well, if you're interested in potentially working with us, you know, I'm maybe not the best person to speak to about how offering. There are people who are who have more expertise and sort of going through that. Would you like me to put you in touch with someone? And then at that point it's kind of got the trust building element of a referral, which tend to be very good. Lad's to I answer you a question. Yeah, no, it's exam and it's exactly in line with kind of what I've seen as well. Right, so, if you if you're working with sales professionals that aren't on the podcast, what we have a tendency to do is say, okay, we do a lot of account based sales and marketing, so it's all right, what accounts are you targeting? What decision makers have you not been able to get to, and does it make sense for us to reach out to them and have them as a guest on the show and start to cultivate that relationship? In some cases I've seen it done. I'm a care it's been a while since we did it, but we've actually had the sales vp sit in on the podcast with us and do kind of a joint interview to help to establish that relationship is us the hand off a little bit smoother. You know, builds credibility, builds trust, demonstrates that, you know, there's no reason to, you know, slam down the phone or start throwing off the injections. Right, we're all here to see if there's a way we can help each other, and so it has tendency, I think, if leverage properly, if part of a strategic sales approach, has a tendency to be a very effective tool in terms of helping sales professionals get higher into organizations or, you know, broader if it's a very large global organization. Yeah, I absolutely agree. Okay, so let's talk about the actual you know, the the challenge. We're talking about this a little bit offline to starting a podcast. Sometimes can have I don't want to say huge bared entry, but there's definitely a learning curve. As more podcasts come out and you see people like the New York Times investing a lot in the production, audio quality becomes important, the quality the Intros, the Outros, the graphics. There's a whole bunch of elements that goes into making what essentially sounds like an extremely casual conversation. There's a lot of work that goes into it. I'm kind of curious when you work with clients, what's the biggest challenge you've seen some of them face when attempting to get a podcast off the ground? Not so much when we work with clients, but what we say when people try to start a podcast themselves is, and I'm going to come across quite bise to you because I'm at a podcast outsource in company, but it's just that they try to do everything themselves. It ends up being a lot more work and you don't see results necessarily straight away, and so you see yourself putting in hours and hours a week. It could potentially be three or four hours in those first couple of weeks as you kind of learn the process and you're not seeing yourself get much out of it. And we were speaking before the recording. It's like, yeah, eighty five percent of shows don't make it past episode seven and s purely because of this, because they're trying to do everything themselves. They's been way too much time on something like audio editing which is just not the best used of say, s CEO or a sales letter or a marketing leaders time. It's just not. And so so that would be the number one stake for people trying to do it themselves.

Say you are outsourcing it. The one thing that we do see with all shows, and this is just one of those things, is that it just takes a bit of getting used to and like those first couple of episodes are not going to be perfect, but they're only not going to be perfect in your eyes, like in the eyes of the listener, if you're putting out even a little bit of value, then ninety nine percent of the time they're going to find that enjoyable to listen to and and they'll get something out of it. And so I guess what I'm coming to is people being overly critical of their interviewing skills or their inability to host to podcast in those first couple of episodes. But once you get over that, it tends to be happy days. And if your process driven and your outsourcing everything that you shouldn't be doing yourself, it really is fun to do and just not a huge time commitment at all. Yeah, that would have to agree. I mean the first couple of interviews that I did, I got I've listened to and it was like, Oh, I wanted to just the lead files on my call. This is horrible, but you're the only one that thinks that I got. Yeah, well, I can hear myself. I've never done this before. I sound like an idiot, you know, and I can hear my voice. I can hear my voice wavering. I know myself will enough to know this is you know, this is where I'm showing that I'm nervous. And then you have people listen to over and they're like, wow, I can't believe you get that guy to come on the show. That was amazing or that was totally you know, things like that. And then once you realize the fun part of this is really just having a conversation, get a not guys like you or the other guests on the show, and starting to form those relationships so that your network is stronger. Right people that you've actually had some sense of connection with, some sense of dialog with, and it's a pretty powerful tool. Just did in that form itself, not only the ancillary benefits that can be used in sales and marketing and contact creation, and all of that. HMM, but I would agree with you one hundred percent. I tried how to the gate. We had an agency that was helping us and then I thought I can do this, and then four months and I'd started doing it all and I went, what the Hell Am I thinking? Because it is it's a massive it can be a very large time suck. Yeah, I skill set. While I love teaching myself all of that stuff, it isn't going to generate the greatest return for our business. So I think that's a very poignant point that I hope everybody out there takes the heart. If you're going to do it, do it right and work with somebody that can help make sure you're not spending countless is doing it. So let's talk about differentiation in the podcast space. So seems to me, maybe it's because I live and breathing this space a lot, there are a lot of podcasts that continually come online. How have you found how do you advise your clients to make sure that they can have a differentiated voice in the marketplace? The main thing is, like, and this is the beauty of podcasting and video specifically, and it applies to blog content as well, but to lesser, ever an extent. But no one can fake your personality and your voice and how you talk about things, in your perspective on things, and that comes across really well in audio and video format. So straight away you you are kind of differentiated in that sense, far more than if you...

...were talking about the same topic in a blog article as opposed to your competitor. It's going to sound far different on a podcast if you're talking about the same thing as your competitor just because you have a different personality. You talk about things in a different way. So straight off the bat there's that. From there it tends to come down to while seeing what the market is doing in terms of what your competitors are doing, and then first go to when we're looking for points of differentiation is just finding a kind of a niche within a niche and always focusing on the audience and not just talking about your expertise. Like one of the biggest mistakes, I guess, we see people way I can. Maybe I should have mentioned this before. Is it? They want to start a podcast about what they know about and not necessarily what their audience wants you hear about. So say you're you're a web designer and you want to work a lot with lawyers or law firms, they might start a podcast in that and they'll just talk about web design. It's like, well, lawyers aren't really going to listen to a podcast about web design. It's just not their main point of interest. But if you could make it something about marketing for lawyers, well that's all of a sudden a lot more interesting to lawyers. So that's kind of how we look at it. It's going to depend very much on a case by case basis as to how much differentiation you can get. But, like I said before, you can really differentiate just by going into a niche and talking about things the way that you do and then growing it out from their perfect, perfect so we could talk about podcast especially you and I. We could talk about podcasts and content all day long. I want to boil it down for our audience make sure that they walk out with three clear takeaways today from our conversation. So in the questions that I sent in the prep that we did, I gave the opportunity to kind of list those out with love to hear you expand on each of those three. Yeah, sure, so the first one we just kind of touched on a little bit, but especially in the Betab space and especially especially in the Betab services space, it is almost impossible to differentiate your product or service just based on your product or service alone, because no matter what you do, and you may have a different way of how you do things in terms of you know, we have a different process and we go through this four step process to business mastery or whatever it is, in the eyes of your client, that differentiation isn't going to be as a parent. So where your real differentiation can be is your perspective and your personality, and so the best way that I know of to do that is through audio content, and I say specifically audio over video, because when people listen to audio they tend to be far more engaged than video because they're not getting distracted by other things. So when people listen to audio, they're usually driving, at the gym or...

...there. You know, I don't want them washing the dishes. So they're far more engaged audience, and so just gives them much more of an opportunity to really get to know you, I guess, in a sense, and just hear you for an extended period of time over audio. So that's number one. Number two is people are less and less inclined to speak with you and less you have something to offer them first or you have a pre existing relationship. But if you don't have a pre existing relation ship, you really do need to go in with value first and sort of lead with value, and a great way to do that is to, like I said before, you can offer them exposure a free marketing channel, positioning as an expert in front of your audience. So inviting them to be a guest on your podcast is a really good way to do that. Third in this kind of ties into the last one. It be to be especially relationships are the name of the game. Someone needs to speak to someone in order for a deal to happen in general. So if you have a podcast and you have a way to build key relationships at scale, that can be really, really impactful. Someone wants asked me, is this like another content channel that will sort of be the flavor of the day and will go out of fashion? I thought about it for a second. You know, that's really good question, but so long as relationships will be key in B tob sales, then having a way to build relationships at scale is going to be incredibly impactful and having a podcast is a great way to do that. Excellent, all right, so let's change direction a little bit. I ask all of our guests kind of two standard questions towards the end of each interview. The first is simply, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, that makes you, in sales parlance, a target or, in a more politically correct way, in prospect. So we're always curious to find out how somebody who doesn't have a relationship with you, how they are going to effectively capture your attention, get you to give them fifteen, twenty minutes of time and build that credibility with you. What has a tendency to work? The best one someone's trying to get in front of you, in front of me specifically. I mean like if I get invited onto a podcast, then I'm gonna answer that email. Yeah, that was a softball question. So the easiest ways, if they've got a podcast to somebody wants to talk to Simon, invite him on of the show and then you've got a captivody. Yeah, I will say second to that. I'm probably a bit weird luck. I sort of Geege out a bit about cold emails. So I actually do read all of the cold emails I get, just so I can analyze them and see what other people's works, what doesn't, what's good. Let's not yeah, yeah, exactly. And so what I have noticed works on me the best, I guess, is short email, and this is nothing new. Short email with either content cute, the company name in the subject line or my first name in the...

...subject line. I tend okay, I like that, which is my attention the most. I could be an isolated case and I know a lot of people just ignoremost that they called emails. So that would be going to salt. It's not as easy to automate. I mean you still can, but it's not easy to automate putting an individuals first name in the subject line. And it does have a tendency to happen to you know, it's like being in a crowded room and you can't really hear anything across the room, but for some reason, if somebody whispers your name, all of a sudden you hear it from all the way across the room. Right, because you're young, you're wired to respond to your name. So that's that's as. It's great, all right, so last question. We call it our acceleration in sight. There's one thing you could tell sales, marketing or professional services people, one piece of advice that, if they listened to, you believe would help them hit their targets. What would it be and why? I read a book semi recently called the four disciplines of execution and familiar with that. I've heard of it but I haven't read it go it talks a lot about this concept of well as four disciplines, with the second discipline is focused on the lead measures and not the lag measures. So the lag measure would be your target is a million dollars in revenue. The lag measure comes as a result of doing the right things and once you can figure out what those lead measures are. So whether it be you know how many outbound calls do you need to make, or how many outbound emails do you need to send, if you're working in an outbound environment, there's going to be something that you can do that you have direct influence and eventually you'll be able to get the data on how many of those actions you need to take in order to achieve the lag measure, which is the outcome that you need to hit and if ever on just figures out what that blead measure is and what they can do to achieve it, then there's really no way that you can't hit your target. Yeah, as long as you know with the early the indicators for success are, that's it, if you're doing the right things. Excellent. All Right, Simon. If a listeners interested in talking more about the topics we touched on podcasting today or learning more about content kite, what's the best way to get in contact with you? Yeah, show, so you can go to content caughtoncom. We've also put together a free video workshop which goes through how you can start a podcast that is best optimized for B Tob Sales and marketing specifically. So to get that, they can go to let's call it content CARTCOM. Forward Slash B tob revenue or one word. Will set up a link there and you can access out workshop stright away there. I'm also on Linkedin. Just search for Simon Thompson Content Catt and I'll come up there. I'm pretty active there. Excellent. Well, I'll make sure we put those links into the show notes. So I'm going to. Can't thank you enough for taking time. It's been great having me on the show. Yeah, thanks so much for having me chat. It's Goin to blast. All right, everyone that does it for this episode. Please check us out of BB REV exactcom. Share the episode out, let us know how we're doing. Please write US review and until next time. was you all nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To...

...ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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