Why Podcast Interviews are a Content Goldmine with Tom Schwab
If I wanted to cater to the current algorithm gods, I’d probably talk about how this interview is all about what AI can and cannot do for us. But it’s so much more than that.
Much like the problem with leveraging AI to do all of the heavy lifting, me positioning this episode as “about AI,” would be inauthentic. And authenticity…well that’s really what this episode is about.
Tom Schwab is someone who believes at his core that you’re just One Conversation Away from a profitable…and perhaps quite successful…business. So that’s what he helps people do. He helps them have conversations.
And today, you’re going to learn how to get better at having the right conversations, as well as how to leverage those conversations to build your authority…authentically.
Plus in the PRO show, Tom and I exchange podcast interview horror stories!
- Marketing is starting a conversation with someone who could be a great customer. But before you can do that, you need to get clear on what you do, and who you do it for. Obscurity is bad for business.
- When you go on podcasts, you’re having a conversation with potentially lots of people. This means you need to show up, be present, and make the host look like a genius for having you on!
- Go for quality over quantity. When I asked Tom about how to get on more podcasts he said, “More is not better. Better is better.” So use your time wisely, and show up fully for the listeners.
Tom Schwab: You can get a month’s worth of content out of a 145-minute interview. So from that standpoint, don’t just keep doing more and more and more. Do more with the content you have.
There’s a lot of problems in the world today, Joe, but I believe there’s no better time to be alive. Because think about it, we can create in the way that’s easiest for us and then repurpose in a way that’s best for other people. Right?
Some people like video. Fine. You can look at me, right? Some people like the audio, other people just want to read it. 10% of the U.S. population is hearing impaired. I don’t care how good your podcasts or your video is, they’re not going to be listening to it, they’re going to be reading it.
Joe Casabona: If I wanted to cater to the current algorithm gods, I’d probably talk about how this interview is all about what AI can and cannot do for us. But it’s so much more than that. Much like the problem with leveraging AI to do all of the heavy lifting, me positioning this episode as about AI would be inauthentic. And authenticity… well, that’s really what this episode is about.
Tom Schwab is someone who believes at his core that you’re just one conversation away from a profitable and perhaps quite successful business. So that’s what he helps people do. He helps them have conversations. And today, you’re going to learn how to get better at having the right conversations, as well as how to leverage those conversations to build your authority authentically.
Plus, in the pro show, Tom and I exchange podcast interview horror stories.
Make sure to look for these top takeaways. That marketing is starting a conversation with someone who could be a great customer. But you need to be clear on what you do. Obscurity is bad for business.
Number two: when you go on podcasts, you’re having a conversation with potentially lots of people, so show up for them. Make the hosts look like a genius for having you on their show.
And finally go for quality over quantity. When I asked Tom about how to get on more podcasts, he said more is not better, better is better.
I know you’re gonna love this episode. To get all of the show notes, you can head over to howibuilt.it/335. There you can also become a member of the Podcast Workflows Foundry, that’s the new name of my membership, you’ll get ad-free extended versions of this podcast, as well as so much more great stuff. If you’re an Apple Podcast subscriber, you can also just subscribe right in the app.
But enough delay, let’s get into the intro, and then the interview
Intro: Hey everybody, and welcome to How I Built It, the podcast that helps busy solopreneurs and creators grow their business without spending too much time on it. I’m your host Joe Casabona, and each week, I bring you interviews and case studies on how to build a better business through smarter processes, time management, and effective content creation. It’s like getting free coaching calls from successful solopreneurs.
By the end of each episode, you’ll have one to three takeaways you can implement today to stop spending time in your business and more time on your business or with your friends, your family, reading, or however you choose to spend your free time.
Joe Casabona: All right, I am here with Tom Schwab of Interview Valet. I just realized I didn’t ask you how to say your last name. So I’m hoping I’m saying that right?
Tom Schwab: You did. Just like the stock broker but without the money.
Joe Casabona: I was gonna say that’s exactly what I thought, but I don’t think about your finances at all. Tom, thanks so much for being here. I’m really excited to talk about this. I just want to dive right into it. You help people, on one level, get on podcasts, but on another level, in the macro level, will say, help them with their content efforts. What is a good goal of marketing and content efforts?
Tom Schwab: I think we’re talking about something even bigger than this. Just not podcasts or interviews or not just content. I went back later in life and got my MBA in marketing, spent a lot of time and a lot of money was something my grandfather could have told me because he was a great business owner.
Marketing is starting a conversation with somebody that could be a great customer. And that’s what we’re doing with our content, with our podcasts. Everything we’re trying to do is start that conversation. Because I think today more than ever, obscurity is our biggest problem.
There’s lots of people that would love to work with you. You’ve built it. And I don’t care if it’s version 1.0 or 12.0. There’s somebody is perfect for. Unfortunately, we don’t choose the best. We choose the best we know of. So we’re trying to use marketing to get known by the client there. And marketing comes in various forms.
Joe Casabona: Oh, man, I’ve already made a note about what a quote could be for the cold open because I love that. First of all, you mentioned your grandfather. I worked at a deli. I’m in New York Italian stereotype so I obviously worked at a deli. And my boss there, Mr. Reazee, after we closed and we were cleaning up school was in session, and I’m like, “I will learn more from Mr. Rezaee and his 30 years experience running food service businesses than I would ever learn in the classroom. It’s just like entrepreneurship is so much about hands-on experience and learning lessons that way, not like hypotheticals in the textbook.
Tom Schwab: I agree with you. My grandfather and Mr. Rezaee I think they understood the strategy of business, right? They may not understand all the tactics today. My grandfather, God love his soul, wouldn’t understand the internet or TikTok, but he’s like, “Hold it, you’re telling me I can get in front of other people’s audiences, tell by story, get that know, like, and trust, and I don’t have to drive to the country club, I don’t have to drive to the Chamber of Commerce or Alliance Club,” he’d be like, I don’t know what it is, but sign me up.”
Joe Casabona: The Rotary Club, right? I remember speaking in front of a Rotary Club back before social media was a big… Not that I’m that old but I love that. And then obscurity is a big problem, you mentioned. This is so interesting because your interview is following interview I did with Steve Woodruff, the clarity king. And this was one of the things that he spoke about was being crystal clear with who you’re talking to and what you can offer those people. You want to cut through the noise.
I can’t drive that point home enough right now that… They say in journalism three is a trend, right? So we’re like two episodes in or two separate episodes into this, like, people need to know who you are and they need to be very clear on what you do because that’s the only way that they’re going to hire you.
Tom Schwab: And it’s almost like today the best way to sell something is not to sell it but to earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those ready to buy. We don’t have to nurture them forever. Back in the days, you know, Mr. Reazee, if you didn’t live within five miles, probably weren’t his customer, right?
Think about it. Today we serve a national audience, a global audience. We can be very particular. And with clarity, I always say that marketing should be magnetic. And everybody’s like, “Oh, yes, it attracts everybody.” That’s not how a magnet works. It attracts the right people and repels the other.
Now there’s somebody that’s thinking, Tom Schwab and Interview Valet is stupid. That’s fine. I don’t have to change their mind. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong or I’m wrong. But I can guarantee you we’re not a good fit. You want to give people that opportunity to get to know, like, and trust you so they can either opt in or opt out. Because at the end of the day, we don’t all need more leads, we need more customers that love us, that value what we do. And that’s what drives profit. And that clarity and being not obscure, that’s where it’s going to come from not just one perfect funnel away.
Joe Casabona: Right. Which is why… I may mention of threadbois for the second week in a row now on this podcast. Shout out to Khe Hy. I love that term. So for those who are unfamiliar, it’s the people who have a very strict format for threads on Twitter. It’s like basically Mad Libs for platitudes disguised as business advice. I think that’s probably the most elite way I could define threadbois.
You’re not like one thread away from millions of dollars. It’s work. And you got to be willing to establish your authority with the right people. You’ve got to be willing to help people and put yourself out there, right? Because you can’t attract people unless you’re being authentic.
The funny thing about a magnet is that there’s the plus side, there’s the positive side, there’s the negative side, and they’re going to attract or repel based on that.
Tom Schwab: Definitely. And I was taking notes there. I love that. Threadbois. I remember a client came to us and I said, “Well, why do you want to do podcast interviews?” And this guy was a high-level consultant. And I loved his answer. He said that he believed that most of digital marketing today was the digital equivalent of advertising above urinals.
And I said, “Well, what do you mean by that?” And he’s like, “My clients, if they saw me above a urinal, if they saw me on a park bench or a bus or doing a TikTok dance, that would be a reason not to hire me.” He said, “These are people that are looking for a relationship, the trust and if they see me everywhere, that’s a reason not to go with me.”
Joe Casabona: That makes perfect sense. Getting more into the goal of marketing, starting a conversation with somebody who could be a great customer, earning awareness, respect, and trust. I love telling the story of Crossover, like TV Crossover, especially Friends. I don’t know if you know that I was born in 1985. So I’m going to say actually a 90s kid that parades around as an 80s kid sometimes when it suits me. But Friends was like my first sitcom. And I was probably too young for it.
But their first season, they were moving along, they were doing pretty well. Like 17 million views per night. This is when you were a captive audience to the Thursday night 8 p.m. slot, you had to watch it then. Then they did Crossover episodes with Mad About You and ER, two other big shows on NBC. And after that, they saw like a 20% increase in viewers per night. They got up to like 26 million and sustained that because they got in front of the right audience and they got in front of people who would be good fits, like the right demographics.
They weren’t showing Friends on… Well, I guess 1994 actually predates Fox News. But they weren’t, you know, on CNN at the CNN news hour. It’s not like Chandler was doing the news. They did similar TV shows.
Let’s talk about a couple of ways to get in front of someone else’s audience and earn that awareness, respect, and trust.
Tom Schwab: Really, I think it’s going to the established audience. So you would mention there, they went to another television show that had similar demographics that were similar people. They didn’t try doing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, right? Great audience, but it was not their audience.
So I think a lot of people look at that and say, you know… I can remember Cliff Ravenscraft was the podcast answer man back in the day. He said, the best place to find podcast listeners is listening to podcasts. So if you want to grow your podcast, go on other people’s podcasts.
If your audience is more audible learners, go on Audible formats. The data shows that video, especially YouTube is for younger audiences. Really podcasting typically doesn’t take off until after college age. Before that it’s video. So the idea that if I advertise to one audience, I’ll get the other one it doesn’t really work there.
So a lot of people talk about breaking through the noise. I think a lot of times it’s the people that are selling us the megaphones, Joe, they’re just trying to get us to yell louder, and monetize that, and nobody gets hurt. So I look at it is?? I’m too old to try to break through the noise. I’ll get in on the conversation that’s already going on, too. I’d rather be listened to for an extended period of time.
Joe Casabona: That makes perfect sense. I like that. Podcasting skews towards post-college audience. You want to be there, right? One of my worst-performing episodes that I thought would be one of the best-performing episodes was my interview with Peter Hollens. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Peter Hollens.
Tom Schwab: I’m not. No.
Joe Casabona: He’s an acapella artist. He has the full range. Some people are like alto, or soprano and some people are like falsetto or whatever. I’m throwing terms around that I’m very… I’m not very unfamiliar with but I’m not an expert to speak on that. But like bass that’s super low, falsetto very high. And he can cover the full range.
I loved his videos. Like so much time and effort went into them yet sets bill to show that it was just his voice. He would record himself doing isolated vocals and then overlay them. And I was like, “I’m gonna have this guy on. He’s got 2 million YouTube followers, it’s gonna be great.” I loved it.
But it was a total flop because I wasn’t talking to YouTube creators, the episode wasn’t released on YouTube. I was talking to developers at that time. This was an instance where I thought, “Well, this is going to help him because I have a pretty popular podcast, it’s going to help me bring in his audience,” but there was zero overlap. It’s like selling scuba gear to someone with gills—they don’t need it.
Tom Schwab: The analogy I wish they could have is like fishing for sharks in freshwater. There’s a lot of fish in there, but not the ones you’re looking for.
Joe Casabona: Both go in aquatic there and dig it. You want to go in front of established audiences. That kind of sounds like a lot of work. And I know that a trend we’ve been seeing lately to make it easier is using AI to help us create pitches, content, social media posts. And I want to ask you if you think that’s a good idea if there’s a better approach. But first, we need to take a break for our sponsors.
Joe Casabona: All right. And we are back. I left you all with an incredible cliffhanger. Should we be using AI to help establish our authority? Tom, take it away. What do you think?
Tom Schwab: The answer is unequivocally yes. In the same way that should we be using computers? Yes. Should we be using electricity? Yes. Should we be using AI? Yes. But none of those replace us. And the kiss of death today is if somebody thinks you are AI.
I’ve seen it before where you told the story of blocking somebody because it’s just like, it didn’t sound like them. It just sounded like AI crap. We did hiring this spring and it was my team that pointed out and said, no, they didn’t write this. And I’m like, “How can you tell?” “They use semicolons perfectly. This is a ChatGPT.” And they never moved on from there.
So the idea of if somebody doesn’t think you’re a human, that’s a deal breaker right there. And that’s one of the things that I think AI is powerful in helping you as a tool. But if you use it to replace yourself, it’s not going to work well. And I think that’s part of the thing. Even now with SEO, search engine optimization, there’s this idea that all the search engines think that all the printed content out there is from AI until proven otherwise.
So that’s why collaborative content like this works. Even if they’re listening to it, watching the video, scraping the content, it’s like no AI would talk in the same style that I do. It wouldn’t use the stories. It wouldn’t use run-on sentences or short sentences. We wouldn’t be talking over each other if it was AI. It’s perfect we’re human.
Joe Casabona: I love that. It’s almost like how if you go exactly the speed limit, a police officer might pull you over because you are driving too perfectly, right? Like you must be hiding something. You’re driving too perfectly. I really liked that.
And yeah, so for those who maybe haven’t heard me tell the story, I just recently blocked somebody on LinkedIn because it was very obvious that all of their comments, they took my post, put it into AI, said, “summarize this post,” and then posted that as the comment.
First of all, give your own thoughts. Now you’re just kind of engagement spamming. Second of all, if you’re asking it to summarize my post, you’re not adding anything to the conversation. You’re just like, yeah. It’s basically saying like, good point. That’s it. You didn’t have to run it through AI. You could have just made a good point.
I thought, on one hand, well, it’s engagement. But on the other hand, I’m like, don’t like this. It doesn’t feel right. I don’t want to reward this person with visibility. So I just ended up blocking them.
Tom Schwab: It went from what you were expected to be a conversation, a human conversation to an automated transaction. And that killed trust quicker than anything.
Joe Casabona: Yeah, right. It’s almost like you post like, “Oh, do you like A or B?” And then someone says C in the comments. And then everyone’s like, “Oh, yes, C?” And I’m like, I wasn’t asking about C. I was asking about A or B. But now everybody’s talking about C. And that really bums me out.
Okay, so we’ve kind of established that yes, AI is super helpful, no, it shouldn’t replace you. I’ll share one more anecdote, which is I wrote an article recently where I had… I’m using ChatGPT 4. Sorry, I just timestamped this episode, everybody …to write a 750-word blog post for me explaining blah, blah, blah. And then I went and I read it, and I’m like, It’s really like a primer article. It’s not really my core competency. And I was like, I can’t just release this. So I added a story to the beginning, like you said, I changed some of the sentences. I added my own anecdotes.
And I was wondering, should I have just written this from scratch? And I thought, Well, no, because the core points that the AI made were still good, and probably better than how I would have written them because it’s using like groupthink, I guess, that like crowd-sourced the main points. But the article itself was awful. I’m like I can’t. The steak that you used was like freat A steak, but the presentation was really bad. The mashed potatoes were lumpy and the gravy was everywhere.
Tom Schwab: But it was steak. And if you just wanted more and more and more, you could have gotten that cheaper, cheaper, cheaper. That’s not what you were optimizing for. And I think I mentioned it before, we’re not optimizing for more activity or more leads. We’re really optimizing for more profits. And how do you get more profits? By finding great people that value what you do. That’s what I always have to remind myself is that we’re trying to optimize for the value we bring not just for activity.
Joe Casabona: Yes. So we will get to how do we find I’ll say more podcasts to be on. But first I want to ask… because something else that we’ve been talking about here is content efforts in general. And we’ve been centering around podcast interviews. I get that podcast interviews are great for getting in front of other people’s audiences, establishing your authority in front of those audiences, right? So you’re now borrowing look-alike audiences. But as far as after, isn’t the podcast interview just for the podcaster to use? I’ve done my job. I spoke the words and now I’m done. End of story. Find the next interview.
Tom Schwab: I look at it as… I’m an engineer by degree. People have joked that English is my second language. They’re not sure which my first one is. But for me, I’ve written a lot of blogs in my life, every one felt like a homework assignment. It doesn’t come natural for me. But talking like this is very easy.
And the people that get the best results from I would say any content, I was gonna say podcast interviews for myself, but any content, are those ones that can take it once and repurpose it. So we’ve done this interview here. With your permission, my team will go and get the transcript from it, they’ll write a couple of blogs, they’ll take couple different clips that are either tweets or videos. They can repurpose that content.
You can get a month’s worth of content out of a 145-minute interview. So from that standpoint, don’t just keep doing more and more and more, do more with the content you have. There’s a lot of problems in the world today, Joe, but I believe there’s no better time to be alive. Because think about it. We can create in the way that’s easiest for us and then repurpose in the way that’s best for other people.
Some people like video. Fine. You can look at me, right? Some people like the audio, other people just want to read it. 10% of the U.S. population is hearing impaired. I don’t care how good your podcast or your video is, they’re not going to be listening to it, they’re going to be reading it.
Joe Casabona: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting I heard a podcaster kind of give a, I’ll say, a soliloquy against transcripts. And they were like, “Oh, our conversations are just all over the place. It’s not pleasurable to read.” And I’m like, that’s a cop-out because you don’t want to pay for transcripts. You’re basically saying like, Oh, deaf people can’t enjoy my content. People who cannot listen, cannot enjoy my content. That kind of makes you a crappy content creator.
Tom Schwab: It is. It’s that whole idea of ‘everybody is like me’. The idea that only 51% of the U.S. population listens to podcasts. And I don’t think it’ll ever get to be 60%. Right? 10% of the U.S. population is hearing impaired. And then there’s probably another third that are so proud that they haven’t read a book since high school. That’s fine. No judgment on that.
But they’re not listening for new ideas and to learn stuff. They’re happy watching reruns of Friends. And God loves them to do that. So the idea is that, you know, oh, I’ll just do it in one format and everybody will hear it. No. You look with politicians, they don’t do it that way. You know, if you want to get everybody, you better be on all the different mediums.
Joe Casabona: You better have all of the opinions too as some of our politicians want to do. That was little political jab. I couldn’t help myself. That’s the most political content you’ll get on this podcast, friends. If you’re a new listener, that’s the most I’ll get into.
Now, as you were speaking, I made myself aware again that I’m not recording the video for this. And it’s mostly because it happened one time and it bombed the interview. And I was like, Oh, no, I better turn it off. But this is something that I need to reevaluate now, again, because you’re right.
Someone was like, “Oh, can I have the raw audio clip?” And I’m like, “Why?” Like that’s taking away from my downloads. But that’s like a very naive thing to think. Because I’ll give you the audio, I’ll give you the transcript, you’re essentially promoting my show for me in a way that I’m not really doing very well myself at this point.
Tom Schwab: It’s copyrighted material. So you always want to ask, but in nine years with Interview Valet, we have never had a host say, “No, you can’t promote this episode.”
Joe Casabona: Right.
Tom Schwab: What they do want is tell them where it came from, attribute it. But hosts actually want you to repurpose it, to promote it. They don’t care where you hear about it, just that you did hear about it.
Joe Casabona: I think that was really my rub. Because on this one particular guest’s Press page, they just had like a bunch of mp3 embeds. And I’m like, you gotta at least link back to the actual interview. You’ve made this content only your content now. But yeah, absolutely.
I think the weakest link in my game is repurposing this content. It’s something I’m working with my VA now to be better about. But if I know your team is going to do it, I’ll happily reshare those assets too. Like you said, it’s a collaborative thing.
Tom Schwab: Yeah. Why wouldn’t you? I mean, if content is the goal. Instead of just trying to make more podcast interviews, do more with every podcast interview.
Joe Casabona: Do more. I like this continued theme throughout the episode. So do more with what you have. We got to finish that sentence because ‘do more’ is not the same as ‘do more with what you have’.
So I would say one of the hallmarks of a good guest, which by the way, if you are a member, then Tom and I are going to exchange horror stories from guests pitches, podcasters as we approach Halloween here. So if you want to hear maybe some of our best/worst stories, you can become a member over at howibuilt.it/join. Or if you’re listening in Apple Podcasts, you can hit that subscription button right in your app. So again, we’ll get to that later, we’re going to talk about our bad guests, our bad experiences.
Right now I want to ask you, what makes a good podcast guest? I think sharing is pretty high up on my list. But there are a few things to be… I guess maybe a better term is effective. What makes an effective podcast guest?
Tom Schwab: I would first start off with drop the word “podcast”. What makes you a good guest? And think about it. If you invited me over to your home to introduce me to all your friends, what would you expect? Well, you better RSVP beforehand. You better know what it’s about. Is this a backyard barbecue or white tie event? Show up the right way.
When you show up, be a gracious guest. It’s not all about you. Your goal, and we always tell our clients this, is to make the host look like a genius for introducing you to the audience. So it’s a conversation here, not a soliloquy. One of the things that a lot of people forget is that interviews get lost. If you start going on a sales pitch and make it all about me, me, me, that file could get lost and it’ll never see air.
Afterwards, thank the host. And how can you thank them? By promoting the episode. They want more people to hear it. They want more subscribers and listeners. So do that. And I think really the big thing is, remember, it’s a conversation.
And there’s some technical things that we can go over that we coach our clients on. Do you answer the questions? Do you not go on forever? Isn’t a discussion? How long was your longest answer? And we even played around with ChatGPT for a while, seeing if we could get an outside view of it. And they’d come back and say, “Tom, you talked 20% faster the hosts. You interrupted the host 17 times. You used jargon words like this, this, and this, even to the point where they’d come back and say, in this 37-minute podcast, you spoke 70% of the time and your longest soliloquy or monologue was 15 minutes.
We’ve even started to do this with our team because we record various calls with some AI stuff. And to be able to tell somebody, you need to slow down. And they’re like, “I am.” Well, you can actually show them the data and say, “No, you talk faster than everybody else in the team. That’s the data that shows them to slow down.
The last one that I think to be a great guest is I hear so many people have great conversations, and then they get to the end and they just leave it there. I don’t care how good of a communicator you are, you did not solve everybody’s problem in 30 minutes. There’s got to be the next step. Tell them easily how they can connect with you, how they can get more information.
And remember what they’re doing. 70% of podcasts are listened to sped up. They’re listening to it while they drive, when they work out, while they cook. Don’t give them 10 places to go. It’s almost like a kid, right? If you give them four choices, it’s just going to confuse them. Give them one place to go and then take the responsibility of putting all the stuff at that one page.
Joe Casabona: Wow, the last bit you said, I actually have a blog post about telling your listeners to do too many things from the host standpoint. Because I’ll tell my then 4-year-old, she’s now six, but still applies, right? I’d tell her to do like four or five things and like she maybe remembers the first one. You’re absolutely right. People are distracted. Give them one clear call to action, whether you’re the guest, whether you’re the host.
I always make sure to include the guest’s call to action, just like find out the show notes are in the description, right, make it very clear. That’s where you can go to find all the resources that we talked about if you’re interested in anything. So I love that. You said a lot of things I really liked.
Tom Schwab: We’ve done some studies over the last nine years. This is heresy to every digital marketer, but three calls to action always work best on a podcast. And everybody’s pulling their hair out and saying, No, it’s only one. One if it’s a blog or digital media. But when you’re having an extended conversation, we’ve tested this, and meet people where they are. Give them a small yes, a medium yes, and a heck yes.
If it’s just something that’s a quick win, send it back to one page and tell them this is what you can find there. Assessments, checklist, things like that. A medium yes is something that’s going to take them a little bit more time or money. It could be a book, it could be a webinar, something like that.
And then the flip side is if they listen to you and you are the answer to prayer, they come with credit card in hand wanting to engage, don’t slow down in a funnel. Let them go to that one page and connect with you. So you send them one place, but you give them three ways to say yes.
Joe Casabona: I love that. That really confirms for me something that I did anyway and was a little worried about it. If I guest on a podcast or anywhere, but mostly podcasts, I always make sure that the URL, the landing page is the name of the host. I like that.
I haven’t run into an issue where I’ve had the same name for two hosts. There’s always like the freebie I offered and then other places to connect with me. And then at the bottom, it’s like, Did what I said really light you up? Schedule a discovery call with me. I was like, Am I telling them to do too much? I guess not because it’s been pretty effective. But I was never sure. I never A/B tested anything because the traffic I have going to those pages I don’t think it’s good for A/B testing.
Tom Schwab: We have tested this over and over and it always works the best. Send them one place, give them three ways to say yes. And then remind them again, send them to that one place.
Joe Casabona: I love that. And then the other thing that you said here that I really want to drive home the point for is, remember it’s a conversation, talking too long. Here’s the thing that… again, from the podcaster side, I am bullish on edit the episodes for content.
As we talk, I’ve been making edit notes, like… people might not hear this now but the little mess up with your name at the beginning where I mentioned it probably gonna get cut out. That just doesn’t add. It’s fun for us. I’ll keep it for the pro show. But I want this to be tight. I want people to get what they’re gonna get out of this episode.
There have been times where I’m like the guest talked for 10 straight minutes here, and I’ll tell my editor, like, find the good parts and cut out the rest. I want the interview to be tight. I don’t want it to get lost from a content creation standpoint.
Tom Schwab: I listened to every one of our client’s first interview to give them feedback. But we also do what I call a walkthrough interview just to help them with this is what you’re going to see. You know, we brief with the guest about the podcast every time beforehand. But just so they get comfortable with that, because I cringe sometimes when I hear a podcast and the first question is, tell me about yourself. That’s a 30-minute podcast. Or at the end, how can people get in touch with you? Find my TikTok here, my Instagram here, call me here, or phone me here. It’s like your daughter at four years old was smarter than I was because I’m running and listening to it at 2x, as I run it half x is like I’m not gonna remember a dang thing.
Joe Casabona: Yeah. People are like, “I listen to podcasts when I run.” I run somewhat infrequently. And when I run, I have one thought and it’s don’t die. Like, make it home in one piece. The who are you and what do you do, as a guest, you’re gonna get that a lot. What I’ve been telling people lately is like, have two to three stories ready to engage. And don’t do, “Well, I got my Master’s from the University of Scranton in ’09 as a software engineering major, but then in 2016 I started a podcast.” No one cares about that.
Tom Schwab: “And my dog’s name is this and my hobbies are this.” I always tell people, the first question, no matter really what they ask you, the first question is always the same: Who are you? Why are you here? Why should people listen to you? If you can get those in, that’s important. Then you can work in the stories later on. But nobody really cares about your bio.
I had a client early on. I loved it. He said, “You guys are just like preparation itch.” And I was like, “What?” He’s like, “Yeah, it’s a compliment. You made my pain go away. The relief was fast. You were recommended. It struck me that we’re all solid preparation itch. Nobody cares about your product or service. They care about the pain in their rear end and having it go away quickly.
Joe Casabona: That’s so good. Also reminds me of Austin Powers, which is a story for another day. Okay. So let’s wrap up here with some actionable advice for our listeners. How do I get more podcast interviews? This sounds great. I want to do as many as possible.
Tom Schwab: You knew I was gonna push back on this. I think that’s why you said ‘more’. My word for the year is better is better. And I know that’s more than one word, but I gave myself bonuses.
Joe Casabona: It’s really only two words, right?
Tom Schwab: Ah, redundant. Redundant.
Joe Casabona: Exactly. Yeah.
Tom Schwab: I look at it as I’m so tired of people saying more is better, bigger is better. Now, you know, what’s better? Better is better. So often people say, Well, how can I get on more podcasts? And the first thing I ask them is, “Well, how are your podcasts now converting?” “Oh, they’re not.” “Oh, okay. So instead of going two times zero, you want to go 10 times zero. Let’s 10x it.” Your results are still going to be the same.
So let’s focus on getting better. And that could be finding better audiences that more resonate with it. It could be doing better interviews. If you’re doing Groundhog’s Day… A prospect came to us and said, “I want to be on 100 interviews this month because that’s massive exposure.” If you’re doing Groundhog’s Day like that, every one’s going to sound the same. You’re not going to stand out. Why don’t you do better interviews, not just more?
The other thing too is look at ‘are you doing more with the content?’ Are you repurposing all of that? Let’s talk about harvesting some things, not just planting all of these seeds with more and more and more. So that’s where I always stand with: what are we optimizing for?
And the clients that work with us, you know, high-level coaches, consultants, brands, nonfiction authors, they’re not just going to podcast interviews to make content for an ego stroke. They’re trying to drive business with it. So if that’s what you’re trying to do, let’s work the way back into that, let’s optimize to get the most from every appearance. Then once we’ve optimized for it, then you can scale that up.
I challenge lots of people on that. It’s been done before. There’s ways to do it. You know, if you’re not doing your calls to action at the end, if you’re not sending them to one page, if you’re not using data in your podcast guesting, it’s really more podcast guessing. And God help you if you do get results, because you’ll never know how you got them and you’ll never be able to reproduce them. And that’s even more frustrating.
Joe Casabona: Absolutely. And this is something that’s been a little frustrating for me lately, is I use ConvertKit for my ESP. So anybody who signs up any form goes to ConvertKit. ConvertKit doesn’t tell you the referring link. So I’m like, “Well, what blog posts converted this?” or “What page converted this?”
So now I am, again, developer by trade. So I used a WordPress plugin called Gravity Forms and I embed the referring link, and it’s included in their profile now. I have like a URL, referring URL. I know where it comes from. You need to be able to track that stuff, right? Because if you have one blog post that’s killing it, maybe you want to talk more about that or repurpose that blog post in other places.
And the same thing goes for guessing, right? Like, if you talked about X on a podcast that had this demographic, then keep talking about x on similar podcasts.
Tom Schwab: We worked with a high-level consultant who was a CPA that did a lot of fractional CFO and tax planning work. And he came to us and he said, “I want to be on 50 podcasts and I want 50 different clients in 50 different states and no to the same.” And I’m like, “Why?” And he said, “We almost got wiped out in 2008 because everybody was brick and mortar.” So he says, “I want to use podcasts to totally diversify.” All right.
Well, we get a few months into it, and Joe, we get him on a podcast with dentists. And we look at the data and it’s like, “This is fish in a barrel.” And we took it to him and he’s like, “You know what? I’ve already signed up to clients from that podcast and I think I’ve got a couple more interviews already set up.”
So for the next five months, all we did was all the dental podcasts. 80% of his business is now dentists. He started his own dental podcast. And if he wouldn’t have had that data, he wouldn’t have known. He would have spent fishing in all these different ponds not knowing where the fish were biting for him.
Joe Casabona: That’s so great. That’s such an amazing success story. I love it. I’m gonna mention a couple of things here. First of all, something I’ve been experimenting more, right, this conversation that we’re having is really confirming the fact that I should do more podcasts guest audits where people tell me an interview to listen to and then I tell them everything that they could do better. So if you’re interested in that, I will include a link in the description. That will be podcastliftoff.com/guest-audit. But it’ll be in the description in the show notes.
The other thing is that you really do want to nail down what you’re talking about here. I did the whole podcast tour thing. I talked about anything anybody ever wants to talk about. Oh, let’s talk about WordPress development. Let’s talk about course creation. And you know what those did for me as someone who’s trying to be like a podcast automation coach? Nothing.
You know what does do well for me? Going on podcasts that talk to busy solopreneurs who were spending way too much time on their podcasts. They’re like, “Wow, you have three kids and three podcasts and you’re not pulling your hair out? Teach me.”
Tom Schwab: Very much so. Because you want to be an expert in one thing. If you’re just going on for a hobby, if you’re just going on for, you know, an ego stroke, go to any podcast. But if you’re trying to move business, make sure you’re talking to the right people about the right thing. Especially today when if you Google somebody’s name, the last interview comes up. You don’t want to confuse them. It’s like, “Are they an expert on podcast automation or are they an expert on long-distance running or parenting? Do I have the right person here?” So you either brand yourself or somebody else brands you? So make sure that what you’re talking about brands you the right way.
Joe Casabona: It goes back to what you mentioned in the beginning, right? Obscurity is a huge problem here. And if people don’t have a clear picture of what you do, then… nobody’s ordering sushi from the gas station. We ordered out last night. My wife just got home from a trip no one felt… like I never feel like cooking. We went to this place called The Station Tap Room here in our hometown. They do great bar food.
I saw that they had Thai food on the menu and I’m like, “Nope, I’m gonna get one of your great paninis. I’m not ordering the Drunken Noodles from a bar. I’ll go to a Thai place for that.” So you really want to be clear on that. Otherwise, you’re going to have things on your menu that no one’s buying.
And the last thing I’ll say here because I love better is better, don’t do more, a forcing function of slowing down what podcasts you are pitching to. And something that I tell a lot of people to do anyway, which again, we’ll dive into that in the pro show, is listen to an episode of the podcast that you’re going to pitch. You can listen on 2x. Just get a gist about what they talk about, otherwise, you’re going to be pitching blind.
Tom Schwab: You’ll do more damage than anything. Podcasters know podcasters. And a lot of people will share bad pitches with me, where, “Dear Joe, I hope this day finds you well. My client wouldn’t be a great guest for you talking about nursing mothers, and here’s all their links.” And you know, it’s a five-page email. And you’re looking at the very beginning, and it’s like, they didn’t listen to the show. Their line is a robo pitch. And you’re not going to say yes, but you are going to say no.
When you see that person, it hurts them. That robo pitch actually hurt the guest. It’s like whoever represents you, that’s representing your brand there too. We don’t even use the word pitch. To us that’s a four-letter word. I know where it comes from. You pitch an idea, you pitch a story. But all of a sudden, in podcasting, it’s like we’re pitching people. And that’s dehumanizing.
We introduce so we’ve got, you know, a team of 32 now in Europe and North America. A third of them, just have that one-on-one relationship. So it’s always that same person that’s reaching out to you to introduce a person not to pitch them.
Joe Casabona: I love that. I had a conversation with a woman whose name I haven’t said out loud. So I’m not gonna say it out loud here on the show for the first time. But she said the same thing. You know, she was like, “We don’t pitch, we start relationships with people. And then if it’s a good fit, we make the introduction.” I love that.
It’s so obvious. “Hey, Joe, my client, Brandy McBranderson, is the greatest tech entrepreneur of his age. He did these many things before the age of 20, and now he wants to tell you how he did those many things.” I was like, “If you knew anything about my podcast, you would know I don’t care about origin stories. I straight up say it on the guest page. I don’t want founder stories. You’ve now kind of self-selected out of me ever having you on your show.”
Tom Schwab: And once again, it’s like, just because you can do something with AI doesn’t mean you should. You scrape all the email lists, and we’re going to send it out to 4 million podcasters. Some will say yes. They probably will, but it’s not going to be the ones that you want.
Joe Casabona: Yeah. The people who take anybody aren’t serving anybody either. I have really strong opinions on this I might soapbox for a minute here. But like, I’ve seen it, right, where people are like, “Oh, you should start a podcast and don’t even release the episodes. Just have them on and then if they’re a good client, then you can get a sales call. And I’m like, you’re only serving yourself. You’re not serving the guests or your audience there.
And then there are other people on the opposite side who do the same thing. “Hey, I’m promoting an event. Can I go on your podcast to promote the event?” I’m like, “Well, that’s called sponsorship. And yes, you can pay to do that.” And they’re like, “No, we’re looking for organic.” And I’m like, “I hate to break it to you. If you’re going in leading with I have this thing I want to promote, it’s not organic. It’s free paid advertising is what you’re asking for.” This is wild.
Tom Schwab: Do you know what the term is for those podcasts where it’s a sales call, not a podcast?
Joe Casabona: What’s that?
Tom Schwab: It’s commonly referred to in the industry as a Trojan podcast. So you have the pre-call with the sales development rep, then you have the interview with the host, which is the closer and those interviews don’t even get released, or if they do get released, they’re releasing them five a day and nothing ever gets promoted.
Joe Casabona: Yep, that’s exactly right. And in fact, there’s one podcast I went on. It was called the Evolvepreneur. I’m just gonna name them, I guess. They did the whole sell and then they put me in a sales funnel. And I was like, “I will never trust you. You lied to me to get me on your quote-unquote ‘podcast’ to try to sell me on a service I didn’t ask for.” And they took my episode down after that. “Oh, you’re not going to hire us, we’re not going to promote you.”
Man, I guess this is why if you have a podcast or if you’re guessing, you can stand out by just being, like we said earlier, authentic.
Tom Schwab: I take it one more from authentic to being human. All of those things that you were talking about, you can do in mass with AI and automation, but doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective. You could actually do more harm than good. Or you could be a human and leverage the automation, leverage the technology to free up your time to be more human. I believe one is going to be a lot more effective.
The other thing is that I’ve got to look at myself in the mirror. This is the kind of thing that I want to add to. I want to be more human and help people not just make it a transaction.
Joe Casabona: I say straight up… I’m like, how do you sleep at night? Again, New York, Italian, very direct. So I fully agree with that.
I have a course on LinkedIn Learning coming out called Generative AI for Podcasters. I do cover like finding podcasts and finding podcast to pitch. And I have one of the tools generate a pitch email. And I say, I make it so clear, this is a good start. It gives you some boilerplate, language to mention who you are and what you do. You need to make it personal. You need to take it and say, this is why I think I could add value to your audience. This is what I like about your show. What I do and my credentials should be the last paragraph, not the first one. I think you’re absolutely right. I’m very good at finding the words. Some people can and AI is hugely helpful for that.
Tom, this has been a great conversation. I’ve known the pain of doing kind of cold outreach and maybe not finding the right podcast. This is something that you do at Interview Valet, right?
Tom Schwab: It is. Our mission is to personally introduce inspiring thought leaders to millions of ideal people they could serve for the betterment of all. So that’s high-level coaches, consultants, brands, nonfiction authors. And it’s really not just about podcast guesting. It’s about podcast interview marketing, which is about driving results from this channel.
Joe Casabona: Love that. So great, because I know people who they’re like, “Hire me. I’ll get you on five podcasts a month.” And I’m like, “How will you do that?” And they’re like, “We have a database.” And I’m like, “I’m out.” I mean, everything you’ve talked about here really lights me up. That’s why I had you on the show, because you are authentic.
So if people want to learn more about you and what you can do for them, where can they find you?
Joe Casabona: Yeah. And before we talked about send them to one place, give them three ways to say yes. So even if you just want to see how to do a welcome page, go to interviewvalet.com/howibuiltit. There’s three things there. The first one is an assessment. Will podcast interview marketing work for you? 10 questions. You get your answer there.
I wrote a book called Podcast Guest Profits: Grow Your Business with a Targeted Interview Strategy. You can buy it on Amazon, or if you just go there, I’ll send you a copy.
And then finally, if you heard this, and it resonated with you, and you’d like, I’d like to see how I could use this, how we could work together, happy to have a call with you. I’ll put my calendar scheduling link down there, all my social media, so you don’t have to figure out which Tom Schwab in Kalamazoo, Michigan I am. All that will be back at interviewvalet.com/howibuiltit.
Joe Casabona: And that is all one word, all lowercase, right?
Tom Schwab: Yes.
Joe Casabona: I mean, I’ll link it in the show notes. You can find that and everything we talked about over at howibuilt.it/335, which is the episode number. So easy to remember. Howibuilt.it/335. You’ll find everything that we talked about over there.
Tom, thanks so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it.
Tom Schwab: Thank you, Joe. I appreciate all you do.
Joe Casabona: All right. So everything that we just talked about, you can find over at the show notes over at howibuilt.it/335. That’s Tom’s link and all of the resources. But Tom, thanks so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it.
Tom Schwab: Thank you, Joe.
Joe Casabona: And thank you for listening. Thanks to our sponsors. Until next time, get out there and build something.