How to Increase Revenue and Demand by Speaking on Podcasts
In an increasingly competitive landscape, B2B companies need to find ways to rise above the noise to become brands that people will like, know, and trust. In this week’s interview, we talked to Mark Colgan (Co-Founder and CEO, Speak on Podcasts) about why it’s important for B2B marketers and founders to speak on podcasts. Mark also elaborates on some common misconceptions, best practices for being a good podcast host, how the podcasting ecosystem has changed, as well as the biggest challenges facing the industry.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Christian Klepp, Mark Colgan
Christian Klepp 00:00
Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for B2B marketers that helps you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. Each week, we talk to B2B marketing experts who share inspirational stories, discuss their thoughts and trending topics, and provide useful marketing tips and recommendations. And now, here’s your host and co-founder of EINBLICK Consulting, Christian Klepp.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast where you get your weekly dose of B2B marketing insights. I’m your host, Christian Klepp. And today, it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome a guest into the show, who I would say is a bit of a serial entrepreneur and a Swiss Army knife in all things B2B SaaS marketing and sales. So coming to us from beautiful Lisbon, Portugal, Mr. Mark Colgan, welcome to the show.
Mark Colgan 00:53
Hey, Christian, thank you so much for having me really looking forward to having this conversation.
Christian Klepp 00:58
Me too. And I really hope I did you justice with that mini introduction, and I’ll leave the rest of it over to you in terms of like telling your life story. Let’s just jump straight into it, Mark. As you know, we had such a great conversation a couple of weeks ago, and you know, on a topic that a) you’re clearly passionate about, b) which I think is equally impressive – You’ve built a successful business around. So it’s podcasting for B2B. And more specifically, if I remember that conversation correctly. It’s about why people in the B2B world should be guest some podcasts or should speak on podcast. So tell us about why you think that’s so important.
Mark Colgan 01:39
Sure, and you know, I’m not trying to discourage anybody from starting their own podcast as well. Obviously, you’ve, you’ve got your own podcast here, which do a fantastic job, you get to speak to so many people. But I believe that speaking on podcast is a great first step in the right direction of increasing your brand awareness through the medium of podcasts. And the reason why I believe it’s so important for B2B brands, especially in 2021 is that even in this modern world that we work in, that we live in, people still buy from people that they know, like and trust. And speaking on podcast really allows you to speed up the process of building brand trust, because you’re leveraging the audience of the podcast host. So whether the audience that you’re speaking to is 300 people, 3000, 30000 people, it’s already a prebuilt audience that are tuning in to listen to the hosts, talk to guests. And usually that guest is an industry expert, or maybe somebody a little bit famous or an influencer. And it really acts as a third party endorsement for you and your brand. It’s not like the reviews or testimonials that you put on your own website. It’s almost like the Google reviews or the Capterra, and G2 reviews that you gain from your customers. And the reason why I’m mentioning reviews is because it’s really important that we remember in 2021, that brand is still such an important channel that a lot of B2B brands aren’t focusing on enough.
I think when we spoke the other week, I mentioned about the two most recent software purchases that I went through both software that I purchased, I didn’t read any eBook of theirs. I rarely spent any time on that website. But I asked my network of who do they recommend? Who would you recommend for an applicant tracking system? What software do you recommend for anonymous surveys and feedback for my team? And it was people that influenced my decision, not the marketers not the actual company itself. So I think as you realize that that is still the way that people do business, I’m in the revenue collective, which is a slack community, I think over 3000 people, there isn’t an hour across all those channels in a day where somebody doesn’t say, Can anybody recommend a payroll system? Can anybody recommend a marketing automation tool? What’s the best email outreach tool? Now as you mentioned, I’m a Swiss Army knife, I’ve got a sales background as well. There are 30, I would say 30 reputable cold email outreach tools that I’ve pretty much used all of them, at least, to a small degree. And the few that I constantly recommend to people are the brands that stay top of mind with me, so they’re not only brands that I… software that I’ve used, but it’s also replied to io, who have reduced it who are releasing feature after feature and tool after tool. And they’re constantly serving their audience with value. And they’re the B2B brands that are going to win in 2021 and beyond.
Christian Klepp 04:33
Yeah, you you’ve definitely brought up a lot of great insights there. Let me start with the bit about staying top of mind, right. And staying top of mind doesn’t necessarily mean you just keep harping on about your the like you said like about the products and services that you that you’re pushing out into the market. It’s also about adding value to that to that target market, that target audience like how do you want them to remember you? Yeah, and you brought up another really important piece, and this is not necessarily just for B2B, it’s just the you know, in general, it’s getting, it’s through word of mouth, it’s through recommendations, it’s through, I would call it like the, the two cents worth from industry colleagues, you know, you put something out there and say, Hey, which you know, to your point earlier? Which software would you recommend, and then people will come back with, you know, their, their, their suggestions and their recommendations based, probably also on their own experience, you know, having used the platforms and whatnot. So it’s a lot of these factors combined, right?
Mark Colgan 05:33
Absolutely. No, no, 100% agree.
Christian Klepp 05:36
Yeah. Now, fantastic. Oh, you’re gonna have fun with this one. You’ve been in this field for a bit. So you’ve probably seen a lot of things. And when I say a lot of things, I’m talking about mistakes and misconceptions, you know, that people have when it comes to podcasting. So, you know, talk to us about that, and what you believe people should do to address those?
Mark Colgan 05:56
Yeah, well, I’m no angel Christian, and I’ve seen the mistakes and made the mistakes myself. But the one, the one I see come up time and time again, especially with podcasting is that marketers, especially B2B marketers, they are comparing the reach of a podcast interview with that of a return on ad spend, or looking at number of visits to a website. But it’s completely different. Because if you get the relevancy right, and you’re speaking to a highly targeted audience, now, your podcast is an example where I would say the majority of your listeners are B2B marketers, because the show is called B2B Marketers on a Mission, you’ve got B2B marketers that you bring on and you talk about B2B marketing. So there’s a high chance that there are B2B marketers listening to this show. And if your audience size was 100 people, or 300, which is still relatively, which is still a successful number, when it comes to podcasting, because a lot of podcasts don’t reach that number at all. I would much rather have this conversation with you, we talk for 35 minutes, we have a conversation, we have back and forth, I share as much value as I can, with 300 people that I know are interested in learning more about B2B marketing, versus trying to target people just because they have B2B marketing on their profile somewhere, some somehow. So going back to the mistake is really being focused on the audience size and comparing it to other channels.
And what a lot of people forget about podcasting, as well as that it lives forever. It’s evergreen. So people discover your interviews that you do with podcasts in the future, I had somebody contact me on LinkedIn just the other week now from a podcast episode that went live in 2019. And what I love about this is that I was on there talking about solving a specific challenge, that person currently has that challenge. And he reached out to me to say I really appreciated your, your insights about lead sourcing. And could we set up some time to speak because I need some help with that. So if you position your topics, and if you position what you talk about in the right way, and hopefully, the pod…, one thing that you can’t control as a guest is how well the podcast host will market the episode and how they name all of the episodes. But if it’s done in the correct way, there’s an intent behind somebody listening to that podcast.
And the last one Christian, that a lot of people forget is that you can repurpose a lot of content from one 35 minute conversation or even one 15 minute conversation, you can chop that interview into several pieces of video, several audio clips, as well as social media images. And you can even create blog posts out of it as well. And that’s what we do for some of our customers too. So there’s a lot of legs in podcasting, just focusing on the audience size is the wrong way to think about it.
Christian Klepp 08:49
Some really great points there, Mark, and I’ll have to I’ll have to say that I agree with all of them, simply because I’ve seen that in my own podcast as well. I mean, like you know back to your point. There, there was one, one person reached out to me a couple of months ago, um, you know, who’s now become my client, and this is the person that did not engage with any of the content on LinkedIn, didn’t reshare anything, but they saw it, and they listened to the interviews, right. So and I and I think, you know, I’m going with this – never underestimate the people that, you know, that they’re there. They see your content, they just don’t necessarily engage with it. And that’s okay. All right.
Mark Colgan 09:25
Christian Klepp 09:26
Um, and yeah, about repurposing your content. And I’m going to quote James Carbary at Sweet Fish Media, he keeps saying, Get more juice out of the squeeze. And that’s really what that is, isn’t it?
Mark Colgan 09:40
It is and you know, once you’ve repurpose that content, and then it’s up to you to distribute it. So a lot of people just think, okay, I’ll share it on social media channels. But that’s not only where you can, you can send it, you can use it in your sales outreach. So give that to your sales reps or business development reps, and have them initiate conversations around the podcast interview that the CMO or the CFO, whoever it was in your company had just released and just shared. You can use it in your email newsletter, you can use it in your customer marketing, you can use it in the what I love to use it for as well as deals that are in the pipeline that have stalled. Because you as you as a salesperson, you’re reaching out to say, hey, when will you buy from us, but nobody ever wants to receive that message. So you can use this content and say, hey, look, our CFO just spoke with this person on this podcast, they talked about these three challenges. I remember you mentioned that this is a challenge that you’re facing. Hopefully, this gives some insight skip to skip to 12 minutes in because that’s where it gets really juicy. That is a much better engagement and a much better touch point to a prospect than just sending an email saying is now a good time, is now the right time,
Christian Klepp 10:46
Or do you have time for a 15 minute demo call? (laugh)
Mark Colgan 10:49
Christian Klepp 10:50
No, no, I mean, that’s such a great point that you bring up because, you know, by doing that, and I think this is this is where you were going with that. That piece is that you’re basically being proactive, or you’re thinking… you’re thinking with that client, you’re thinking with that prospect, you’re trying to like, you know, trying to imagine yourself in their shoes in that specific part of their, of their journey.
Mark Colgan 11:13
Yeah, and if I can just add as well, I’ve been in the B2B marketing space for almost a decade now. And I remember at the very beginning of my career, I worked for a data center design and build company. And podcasting is just… podcasting as a channel just wasn’t there. I used to struggle every month to come up with content. Because it’s highly technical. I’m not the technical design and build engineer of a data center. However, had podcasting been an option around then I could have spoken to all of the different engineers and asked the questions and asked about cooling and asked about the different types of cooling, just as one category, for example, power backup, and all of these other all these kind of like, if I thought about how my blog should have been segmented and categorized, I could have had conversations with people, they’re the experts, I leveraged their experience, bring that into and package up under the branding of the company I was working for, and I have endless amount of content. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have had enough time to produce all the content of those interviews. So I think a lot of companies struggle with content. And, again, speaking more to this audience at the B2B here, Christian, the most simple content strategy is to create content that solves the problems that your prospects have.
Christian Klepp 12:30
That’s absolutely right. And I think, you know, like one of the, one of the key words in that sentence you just mentioned was package or packaging. Because, you know, I mean, I wouldn’t say that marketing is just all about packaging, but it certainly is a large component of it. Right. It’s, it’s, it’s how you package that. And I think that was such a great point that you brought up. So relevant to the listeners, taking something, you know, technical specifications, or something that’s of a very technical nature and packaging it up in a digestible format that is easy for people to understand.
Mark Colgan 13:04
Yeah, and there’re two great examples I’d love to hear I always try and think of examples and things that people can check out when they listen. So Salesflare is a CRM. It’s a very good, it’s a very good CRM, it’s not a Salesforce, they’re not trying to be Salesforce, it’s a very easy and simple to use CRM. They know that the majority of their buyers who haven’t purchased a CRM yet are using a spreadsheet for their CRM or likely to be using a spreadsheet. So rather than sales, were trying to convince people that they should ditch the spreadsheet and move to Salesflare, what they’ve done is they’ve created a awesome template, which is a spreadsheet which you can download. And it’s to say, look, if you’re doing it this way, I’m not trying to change your mind. But here’s just a better way of doing it in the spreadsheet. And when the spreadsheet doesn’t have the automation and it doesn’t do this and it doesn’t do that and that becomes an issue for you. Come and talk to us because we can help you with that.
Another example and I’m actually I feel like there’s a blog post in my mind that I want to write for this one is Dan Martell. Dan Martell, relatively pretty well known in the SaaS industry, the content he creates is a masterclass in content marketing. He creates content, which doesn’t really have much to do with actually what he is trying to sell or his coaching program. I’ve heard amazing things about the coaching program as well. But the few examples that come to mind that he’s released recently was 20 really successful pitch decks from SaaS companies…. that managed go on and raise funds. I think he shared 60 email templates or sequences or 80. Okay.
Christian Klepp 14:47
Yeah. Yeah. I downloaded them yesterday.
Mark Colgan 14:50
And the other one as well was a database of VCs and accelerators for SaaS companies. Now, does Dan create… he’s not a VC or accelerator as far as I know. He’s not an email marketing, or a lifecycle engagement service. He’s not a pitch deck creator, but he knows that those are the challenges that his customers have. And he’s using that to be top of mind with them so that they download it. And of course, they go into a nurture sequence. And, you know, maybe nurture sequences aren’t as, aren’t as effective as they used to be, especially when you’re selling to sales, marketing and SaaS entrepreneurs, because we’ve just been exposed to them quite a lot. But the point is, none of that content is what Dan and his team created, they just curated it, they pulled together and packaged it again, going back to using that word, in a really helpful way. But it’s so helping his prospects solve challenges, like I said, that he doesn’t actually solve in the future, but he just knows that it’s of interest, he knows that they need help with it. And having that giving and serving sort of attitude to marketing is really how you win in 2021.
Christian Klepp 16:04
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s, that’s really bang on. I don’t like to use the word best practices. But you know, this is kind of what it is, um, yeah. Tips on being a good guest on a podcast.
Mark Colgan 16:17
Cool. Okay, I’m going to fast forward the whole process and just assume that we’ve landed a guest spot on a podcast. So there are a few things that we would recommend, and we, you know, we help our customers with this as well. If you do it… so I’m gonna go give examples of if you’re going to do it yourself: Listen to at least two episodes, previous episodes. Christian, if you remember, I asked you what was your favorite, or what was some of your favorite or ones where you felt the audience would have gotten the most value, didn’t want to put you in too much of a difficult spot. But you shared that you shared a few links. So I listened to those. And I’m trying to look for the patterns of what made that a great interview for you. And also, so once you’ve done that, because what you don’t want to be done, you don’t want to be caught off guard with some surprise questions at the end. It’s happened to me before where there was a quick fire round right at the end of the interview. And I really didn’t know that that was coming up. And I was very unprepared. And it just didn’t sound that great at the time.
The other thing is, is to practice your topics that you want to talk about or that you’ve been asked to talk about as well. I personally like to have a few bullet points that I can look at whilst having the conversation. I still keep the communication quite informal, but they’re just prompts for me to take a look at. And then really practice the anecdotes and the stories that you’re going to use to back up the points that you make as well. Do that.
And the other thing that I would always suggest is to have a pre-interview conversation with the podcast host before because you’ll be able to start building rapport with the podcast host. You’ll get a feeling of not only from listening to previous episodes, but having a live conversation how their presentation style is. There are certain podcasts who podcast host who just ask question, question, question question. There are other podcasts where you go completely off topic and what you prepared for, you never you never got round to speaking to. But just having… looking that person in the eye on zoom, and just getting a little bit familiar with them can really take the edge off the actual interview, especially if you haven’t done any of these before.
Christian Klepp 18:21
Some great topics and some great tips there. I was saying now (laugh), forgive me, but I was I was grinning and laughing to myself as you were as you were going down that list because man, I’ve experienced all of them. So but um, yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. I think it really does create a certain rapport and, you know, even if it’s just for a while, but, you know, that’s why I have them, you know, these, these pre interview calls, because I get to know the guests. And, you know, I don’t I don’t want it to sound suggestive, but you know, like, just to get a feel of the dynamics and the chemistry. And just to see because, you know, again, at the end of the day, it has to feel like a conversation, you know, with the exception that we’re talking about, you know, something that we do professionally.
Mark Colgan 19:04
Christian Klepp 19:04
that we’re passionate about. But, but other than that, it’s like, you know, it’s really about like, okay, you know, how can we make this a great interview that people are gonna walk away from and say, yes, you know, actually, that’s those were great insights. That’s something I didn’t think about before.
Mark Colgan 19:18
Hmm, yeah. And I think it’s like, when you see politicians on TV, you hear their interviews and you feel it’s so rehearsed. They’re dodging the questions, and you’re just like, I don’t like that person, just based off that. I am not prepared to answer that statement. Like that answer is not what you want to be giving when it comes to speaking on podcast. At the same time, if you get asked a difficult question and getting another piece of advice, it’s completely okay to say that hey, look, I’m not the best person to to answer that question. And it wouldn’t feel great. I wouldn’t feel great giving advice on something I don’t feel too comfortable on. And, you know, in 9 times out of 10 that’s absolutely fine. No one’s gonna judge you for it. No one’s gonna not trust you. If anything, you’ve been more trust trustworthy. Because you’ve been honest and transparent.
Christian Klepp 20:01
Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right. And you know, we’ve seen it all before, like, whether it was in, you know, in webinars and or in person events back then where you’ve got these speakers on stage or, or giving a presentation. And then when the questions either got too detailed or too technical, they had they, they usually have a very clever way of deflecting it and saying, like, Look, you know, thank you for your question. I think at this point in time, I, I’m unable to answer that. But perhaps you could take this offline, or, you know, we can we can, you know, we can set up another time to talk about it. But, you know, perhaps for the, you know, in the interest of time and the audience, perhaps we could just move on to another question or something of that nature.
Mark Colgan 20:40
Christian Klepp 20:42
Hey, it’s Christian Klepp here. We’ll get back to the episode in a second. But first, is your brand struggling to cut through the noise? Are you trying to find more effective ways to reach your target audience and boost sales? Are you trying to pivot your business? If so, book a call with EINBLICK Consulting, our experienced consultants will work with you to help your B2B business to succeed and scale. Go to www.einblick.co for more information.
Building a podcast versus being a guest on podcasts – Which approach would you recommend and why?
Mark Colgan 21:18
Yeah, it depends where you are in your journey, how much budget and how much time you have as well. So there’s no denying that building your own podcast and building your own reputation around that podcast is going to be a huge advantage to you and your company. But it does take a lot of time and investment from you. From the preparation to the guest sourcing to the production to the distribution, everything involved. That’s why there’s great companies like Sweet Fish, which you mentioned earlier, who were there to produce the podcast, or you can do it yourself, or VAs…whatever you decide.
One of the biggest things that I see is that people start podcasts and then don’t finish it. And they don’t continue. And that often is because that’s maybe just something they don’t enjoy, it becomes too much of a chore. So we have a lot of customers come to us that say, look, we’re looking at exploring podcasting as a channel overall. And we would like to speak on podcast first to see if we like it. And we’ve had some customers that have worked with us for a campaign and they’ve gone on to create their own podcast, which is fantastic. I’ve got another customer that is still thinking about doing a podcast, but he said Mark, can we just double down on the amount of interviews that you booked for me, and just get me effing everywhere. Because I don’t want my prospects to go on LinkedIn and not see the content that’s being repurposed, I don’t want them to go into a marketing podcast and not see my name, and hear me talk about the amazing work we do of our customers. So it’s not for everybody. So that would be the first the first thing.
The second thing, that disadvantage about starting your own podcast is you do have to start from zero. So you won’t have a lot of listeners, you, you might struggle to get some guests on your show, especially if you’re not a relatively well-known name, or like in the B2B world, or you’re just starting out and you’ve got no social proof for people to hear previous episodes of the podcast. Again, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it based on that. Just be prepared that there’s going to be a longer ramp up for it to become a little bit more easy, once you get into the flow of it. I’d say then the main benefit of speaking on other people’s podcast as a strategy is that you’re leveraging other people’s audience, and you’re leveraging the social proof of speaking on the podcast that somebody else has vouched for you. Because most podcast hosts, in fact, 99% of the podcast hosts do care about the quality of the guests that they have on their show. That’s why they do the pre-interview conversations like you do question. It’s why they say no to some people that pitch. When we often give advice to people who are doing it themselves, you know, reaching out to podcast hosts, and we’re just like, don’t make your pitch about you. It’s not, it’s not about you. It’s about what value you could offer to the audience. Because ultimately, that’s what the podcast host is interested in. So yeah, basically, it’s very, very low lift. But you can get a lot out of a single podcast interview from the content that you can repurpose. And all you’ve had to do is just turn up, do a little bit of prep, turn up and speak. There’s I can’t think of any other marketing channel that gives you the same sort of distribution, and positive ROI as of just speaking for half an hour.
And also Christian, it’s a very intimate experience. We’re humans, we’ve been telling stories for 1000s of years. And this is a storytelling narrative. You’re asking questions, and I ask asking them and we’re going off topic and we’re going on topic and I’m using examples, just exactly how we’ve learned our whole lives as humans as an adult now. We have constantly learned through stories, and that’s what podcasting enables you to do. But like your original question is build your own podcast or appear on others. If you want shorter term wins, go and appear on others and also test out to see if you like podcasting because it might not be for you, that’s completely okay.
Christian Klepp 25:01
Those are some really great answers. I have to say, you know, and incredible advice. I mean, like you know, clearly you’re speaking, you know, this is the voice of experience speaking here. Um, ya know, you know, you brought up a couple of things that you know, you know, in the past few minutes that really resonated with me. And one of them being, look, it’s not just podcasting, it’s pretty much everything, when you’re in business, right? There has to be a certain degree of commitment, you’ve got to, you know, you’ve got to put in the time, you’ve got to put in the effort and the hours because like you said, it’s not a, it’s not a walk in the park. And, and yes, not everybody is going to be the right fit for your, for the show, and vice versa. And at the end of the day, it’s really about adding value to the listeners, like what can you, you know, what could you bring to the conversation that would help? Like, you know, let’s, let’s use this podcast as an example, you know, for B2B marketers, right. And I found at least just from my own experience with podcasting. You know, looking for guests and so forth. I mean, one way is certainly to go through, you know, people like yourself that, you know, provide this kind of services. The other one is, I found people generally, you know, that I’ve, that I’ve reached out to on platform like LinkedIn, they tend to be more receptive when you ask them, you know, would you would you like to be a guest on my podcast? Versus like, would you like to jump on a quick 10 minute sales call? (laugh)
Mark Colgan 26:26
Christian Klepp 26:26
Mark, I’m gonna drop a couple of statistics on you here. And I’m gonna get your thoughts about that afterwards. So we know that like, you know, and everybody keeps talking about this, they’ve been talking about this for at least the past year or so that we are at the beginning of this, what they call the podcasting wave. And it’s, it’s amazing, like, how much the numbers have increased since the last time I had a look at them. But just to give you just to put it into perspective, alright. I’m going to assume there’s a bit of like, B2C in these statistics as well.
Mark Colgan 26:56
Of course. Yeah.
Christian Klepp 26:57
Right. Of course. YouTube channel, YouTube channels, as of 2020, there’s about 37 million. Facebook business pages, over 60 million. Blogs, oh big surprise, over 600 million. And podcast, over 2 million. But obviously, like you know, we had this conversation before, that number will probably shrink when you search by topic. Right? So here comes a question. What is it about this recent surge in podcasting, that has surprised you? And I mean, surprised in a positive way. Right? Let’s focus on the more constructive aspect of this. And where do you think we’re headed when it comes to podcasting?
Mark Colgan 27:08
Okay, good. Great question. And Christian, I think I’ve read a stat. And I can go off and just try and find the source just for you, if I’m gonna say it out loud. But I believe only out of the 2 million that are podcasts I’ve ever, I can’t remember where that data comes from. Only 600,000 are considered as active. So a lot of those podcasts are either on a seasonal, so they might be on a break, because they do one season, then they break and then do a second season, or they’ve only had three or four episodes, and then it’s just completely fizzled out.
What surprised me is that B2B brands that are investing in their podcasting are understanding that this is a brand awareness play. Now, I think, I believe one, I believe that some B2B or some podcast hosts use it for lead generation, which is fine, if that is a consequence of delivering value to their audience, because I think it’s sustainable. But what I’ve liked what I have liked seeing recently is more B2B brands, starting their own podcast to educate their prospects and their customers on the problems that they’re facing. So that’s been a really nice surprise. What’s really nice about the podcasting industry as well is that it’s pretty friendly, you know, people are open to receiving guests. So if you’re thinking about doing this yourself, you can reach out to podcast hosts, it’s very, it’s very accessible once you’ve done your research. And what I’ve liked from that is the amount of collaboration. So you see, it’s almost like a webinar, but it’s not, it’s a longer series in an audio format, normally, but you have two people that, you know, may never have spoken before, come together, share their knowledge, and then deliver that value to the audience as well. So that’s what I’ve, that’s what I’ve seen that’s been positive.
Christian Klepp 29:33
Yeah, no, absolutely. And I mean, to your last point, case in point, here we are right.
Mark Colgan 29:38
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Christian Klepp 29:40
Wait, let me let me just backtrack a bit and tell you how I found you. I mean, I found you through a post that you were tagged on, on LinkedIn. And I think it was you were having a conversation with James Carbary and he spoke very highly of you. So you know, I decided to go and you know, have a look, see and check your profile out and we connect it from there. Right. So just, you know, just that that case in point, you know, and the other one about, like, friendly collaboration. Yeah, absolutely. I’ve, you know, I’ve seen a lot of that myself. I’ve seen a lot of like B2B brands, and not necessarily just podcasting. I mean, you know, some of them decided to go for like the video cast or the video series and so forth are vlogs.
Mark Colgan 29:53
Yeah. Yeah. Sorry, Christian. I saw that as a reaction to COVID. So when COVID happened, I saw a huge increase of Gong teaming up with John Barrows to produce some content about remote selling. So John Barrow’s been a sales trainer, very good one; Gong, facilitating the ability to coach sales teams remotely, team together to share some value. And what was… I was a little bit cynical that this wouldn’t last I thought it’s they’re just… not those individuals or those companies. But just the strategy in general. But what’s great, there’s Scott Leese and Amy Volas in the sales world, they do Thursday Night Sales. It’s still going, they haven’t missed a Thursday since March 2020. And it’s still going and so many people have, they talked so highly of that hour, it’s like a happy hour on Thursday. But unfortunately for me, it’s 3am for where I am. So I’m not quite awake at that time. But certainly people have really appreciated the connectedness that it’s given them. That is a webinar. So it’s not but I believe podcasting has the same and there was an article in The Guardian newspaper in the UK, which talked about podcasts have replaced the human connection, because it’s the storytelling and it’s intimate. And there are just so many different formats to podcasting. And that’s one thing that I’m… like I know this industry so well, and the majority of the B2B type of podcasts or interview or conversation styles like this, but there’s so many other formats that you could, you could produce. And there’s that. There’s where I think is really interesting opportunity for B2B brands, if you’ve got your competitors, or if you’ve got other people in your in your vertical producing podcasts already. It actually doesn’t take much to do something different. I don’t know if you’ve seen these ones, the they’re a video podcast, but they send the guest really spicy chili or pepper. And they have they have to eat it. And then they have to answer the questions. Okay, it’s an interview, it’s a conversation, it’s exactly the same as what we’re doing. Now, they’ve just did one thing, which was to post some really, really hot jalapeno or whatever it is that they’re chilies that they’re sending across. But it’s wildly different. And it you know, it’s one step that they’ve added in. And they’ve created a whole new, whole new format for a show. So I think I think we’re going to see a lot more B2B brands and B2C brands being a lot more creative with it. And there are a few companies that I’m familiar with who do some phenomenal work on podcast production. So if anybody wants to ask me about those after that, feel free to contact me and ask.
Christian Klepp 32:59
Absolutely. And, you know, thanks for sharing that you give me such a great idea for the next interview. I’m gonna I’m gonna mail the next guest, who was somebody you recommended by the way. I’m gonna, I’m gonna send them some chilies and ask him to eat those (laugh!!).
Mark Colgan 33:10
Do it. Do it!
Christian Klepp 33:12
But you know, sorry, let’s circle back for a second. Because you mentioned something earlier, which I thought was really interesting. And it’s probably worth talking about. You know, you mentioned that a lot of B2B podcasts were in this format, you know, where it’s like an interview style. But let’s, let’s, let’s have a little bit of a jam about what the other formats are. I mean, I’d imagine there’s, there’s a bit of solo recording, there’s Q&A. There’s live consulting… something like that. Right?
Mark Colgan 33:37
Yeah, I think live consulting. So Chris Walker, Refine Labs, he often one of the formats of his podcast is he’ll do a discovery call, or like a strategy call with a company that couldn’t afford to work with him, for example. But he still wants to help because again, he’s got the attitude of giving first without expecting anything in return. So they’ll record the call the obviously, the prospect or the other company that’s asking for help knows that it’s going to be recorded. Now that person won’t reveal really confidential information, but they can say, hey, look, we’re struggling with our engagement or we’re struggling with our open rates on our emails, for whatever reason. That’s one format.
Another. I can’t remember the name right now, Christian, but I can send it to you after. They did a live marketing audit. So what they it was really interesting, they had like a spinning wheel with Airbnb, Spotify, Shopify, these huge brands, and then they spin the wheel and it stopped and let’s say it stopped on Airbnb. So then they went through and looked at Airbnb s value proposition on their website. They looked at the navigation, they looked at from an SEO point of view to see how well they did. Then they went through the user experience and talked about the different user experience of of Airbnb. Then they looked at their social presence and talked about what could what they could do what… if they were Head of Marketing, or CMO at Airbnb, what they would do. There’s no right or wrong answer with that advice. And obviously, they’re making, they’re talking about that without any data to back up what they’re saying. But it’s still really interesting to hear how these people are thinking, and how and you know, they are a marketing agency. So what a great way to demonstrate that the value that they could bring by doing like a live tear down of a huge public company that everyone’s familiar with. You could do more Q&A, so you could collect questions from the, from the audience and answer those questions. You could bring in you could be the link between your customers and some other experts as well. Someone who is famous in the industry, you could bring them on to answer questions as well. Yeah, though, I’ve just made or not made those up. Those have just come to my mind in the last 30 seconds.
Christian Klepp 35:48
No, absolutely. And, you know, thanks for highlighting those. I mean, those are definitely some great examples. And yeah, I mean, like, I think I’ve seen a few of those where they bring somebody on that some that’s famous or like, you know, Chris Walker gets featured in the show, and then they, you know, they get people to like, call in and ask questions. I mean, that’s, and it all goes back to like, how else… what are those other ways that you can think about to continue to add value to that audience out there. And then the world of B2B, that audience that’s probably not ready to buy right now. But maybe they might be in 6-12 months’ time. Alright, so you always, you always got to play the long game here, right? So.
Mark Colgan 36:27
Yeah, Christian, and I don’t want to go to off topic, and I don’t want to upset any content marketing agencies. But somebody asked me the other day, how would I plan out the content strategy for a B2B SaaS. So the advice I gave them was, I would think about the who I’m trying to sell to – the prospect that I’m trying to sell to, take their job description. And every bullet point of their job description, I’m going to turn into a chapter of a book. Within each chapter, I’m going to talk about… talk about the problem of that bullet point, different ways to solve the problem, and then maybe give some advice on how to execute on solving that problem as well. Most job descriptions have anywhere between 10 to 15 bullet points, that’s 10 to 15 chapters. Those chapters become my categories on my blog, and then the other pieces of content underneath that become individual blog posts as well. Now, you could take that same strategy, yeah, put it into your podcast, and then go and find people that know how to do each of the bullet points in the job title. Because I think what a lot of B2B brands make the mistake of doing is they make their marketing all about their product, and their solution. And I just don’t, I can’t think of it and no one’s corrected me yet. But I can’t think of a software that solves every problem that a prospect will have. So if I’m using Outreach, or Gong, they solve different problems as my role as a VP of Sales or Chief Revenue Officer, but doesn’t solve everything. But they do create content that talks about how do I hire better sales rep. How do I ramp them up? How do I compensate my sales reps? Again, Outreach doesn’t provide that solution. It’s a sales engagement tool. But they know and they understand that their prospects have other challenges that their product doesn’t face. And just simply pushing your features and, and your products just doesn’t work. And I just want more and more B2B companies to understand that, which is why I’m gonna stop my rant at this stage. (laugh)
Christian Klepp 38:17
It sounds like you’ve got an idea for a book that is yet to be written my friend. (laugh)
Mark Colgan 38:21
Maybe, maybe I do. (laugh)
Christian Klepp 38:26
We talked about this a little bit earlier. But what is, you know, from your perspective, the biggest challenge that the podcasting industry is facing right now.
Mark Colgan 38:37
I think it’s going… well, eventually it will become saturated and like, like most channels, marketers will ruin it in the end. So I think yes, people will get a bit fatigued with lots of different podcasts that might be talking about the same thing. So having… that’s why having a fresh approach to the format of the show will definitely make a difference. And also, if you stay on the pulse with the challenges that your… that your prospects are facing, like for example, two years ago, you would never have seen for B2C brand you have never seen somebody asking you to know about Tik Tok. Now you do – if you’re if you’re selling into, you know, Gen Z and your audience is there. So if you as a podcast host of keeping on top of the changes in the industry, and the changes that your prospects are facing, then you will be fine. But yeah, there will be a bit of a saturation. But one of the great things is that it’s an evergreen piece of content. And a little bit like you will create a pillar piece of content from a blog perspective, your podcast can be the same. And as I mentioned, there are people that are sort of looking to solve the problems in the future that don’t realize that they have that problem just yet. So I think it’s still worth the investment because it works for you. whilst you’re not investing any more time in it. Unlike paid ads where as soon as you turn off the spend, those ads don’t appear anymore and you don’t drive any traffic to the top of the funnel.
Christian Klepp 39:58
Yeah, that’s absolutely right. I mean, there’s certainly quite a significant amount of forward thinking that needs to be done there. Right? So.
Mark Colgan 40:06
Yeah, but you don’t have to have the answers. And that’s what the most genius thing about it is – you find the people that have the answers. And that’s what we do. And we represent our, our customers, because we know that they have the answers to certain topics, and we present them in a way that at the podcast host says, Yes, that’s, that’s exactly the type of person we’d like on our show.
Christian Klepp 40:24
Right? Right. Fantastic. Okay, my friend, this is the bit where you, you can get up on the, you know, on your soapbox in Hyde Park. (laugh) What is a, you know, a status quo or a commonly held belief in your area of expertise that you passionately disagree with? And why?
Mark Colgan 40:46
Yep, so it’s slightly to the side of podcasting. But it’s still content, which essentially, is what podcasting is all about. And it’s gated content. I do not believe any B2B or any company should be gating any content whatsoever. And it blows my mind when companies gate the case studies as well. Because just because, and then also understand that just because somebody downloads a case study doesn’t mean that we’re ready to buy right now, they’re just interested in what that case study may have had to say. And also, they might be just doing the research for their VP of Sales, or whoever it is, is going to be the economic decision maker. So then the qualification criteria on the back end of the of the B2B brands will be like, well, this person is a marketing executive or a marketing assistant, therefore, the lead score is very low, because the job title wasn’t what we were looking for. So we’re not going to, we’re not going to call them and we’re not going to put them in the normal cycle. So I’m going on… riffing on a few things here. But gate, let me get back to gated content. If you put your content behind a form. And let’s say I think the average conversion rate in a B2B is something like 6% or 12%. Let’s just say it’s 10%. For this illustration, that means that 90% of people have landed on that page and thought “I don’t want to get I don’t want to give my details to read this piece of content.” However, that content could be very valuable for them, but they just know that they’re going to give you their email, they’re going to give you their phone number, and they can get a call. And they don’t want a call now. So remove that… remove the content, sorry, remove the form, let people access the content, don’t put the barrier in front of them. And when they’re ready, they will come to you. And that’s the best time to close a deal is when somebody said, put their hand up and says I’m ready to speak to you. Now, of course, you can remarket to them. I think that’s still a very effective strategy, you could continue to do top of funnel content to them as well. But remove the form because no one wants to be put in a nurture sequence or call by an SDR just because they downloaded a white paper about how to relaunch your website.
Christian Klepp 42:49
Yeah, no, that’s, I totally agree with you there. And, you know, it’s like one thing, it’s one thing to like gate the content. And that’s another… I saw this the other day, like the form appears, and there’s like 20 fields to fill out.
Mark Colgan 43:02
Christian Klepp 43:05
It’s unbelievable, right?
Mark Colgan 43:07
Yeah. And the kicker, Christian, is it’s the majority of people that download an eBook, never actually open and look at the eBook. It’s… they just, they just do it… because, well, you know, it feels like you’re learning, and you have intentions to read it. But you know, you filled out the form. And then you get to the thank you page, which says, we’re sending the eBook to your inbox, check your inbox out in 10 to 15 minutes. You go, you go and look at your inbox straightaway. You’ve got a message from your boss, they’re annoyed at you because you haven’t done something. You jump on that, you forget that that eBook was ever even downloaded as well.
Christian Klepp 43:39
Mark Colgan 43:40
Whereas you take the content, speak on podcast, speak on the podcast, where people are already listening, already keen to learn, share the value and people will come back people will come inbound to you. And that’s exactly why we do what we do.
Christian Klepp 43:53
Amen. Amen to that. Mark, you know, this has been such an insightful and informative session. And, you know, like, do us the honor of telling us a little bit about yourself, and, you know, give us a bit of background. What’s the story with this? This… We’ve probably talked about this a couple of times, but for the benefit of the listeners, what’s the story about this Fox Cafe that you opened in London?
Mark Colgan 44:16
Oh, wow. Okay. All right. So I’ll quickly give a so I studied marketing at university, I then got a grad job effectively in recruitment.
Christian Klepp 44:25
Mark Colgan 44:25
Got a little bit bored of recruitment, but it taught me so much about sales and account management, but I really missed the marketing side of things – that’s what I studied. So I use my recruitment skills to land myself a job in marketing – was always the first marketer or first digital marketer. So I got used to building out the website, the CRM, the marketing automation, so I became quite good at marketing automation. Got to the age of 29. So I did that for in B2B SaaS companies for about eight years, got to the age of 29 never took a gap year so I was like, Okay, that’s it. I’m gonna go traveling. So I took all my savings went to South America for six months, Southeast Asia for six months, but whilst I was there, did a marketing automation project, and I was like, wow, somebody has just paid me to sit in Santiago, Chile, set up their CRM, they gave me a lot of money. More money than I ever, like, received in one go. And I didn’t have to be in their office. And I didn’t have to have an office myself, like I was in a hostel doing that work. I didn’t tell them that. But so I realized that that, you know, just before I got to 30, that I didn’t have to go back to London, I didn’t have to go back to the nine to five, I could set up my own business. And then since then, I’ve been on a journey of entrepreneurship, wherever you run existing startups, I set up my own business and run those. And that’s where I am today. The Fox Cafe comes to my childish behavior, and my immaturity. I love pranks. I love winding friends up, there are certain friends that I am still winding up with jokes at the moment. There’s one friend that when I find out he’s going to a particular restaurant, obviously, when it’s when it is open. I call ahead of the restaurants say “Look, I can’t make it. It’s my friend’s birthday. Is there any chance I can pay for a cake to be sent to him?” It’s never been his birthday when he’s in these restaurants. But he gets a cake brought over to the table. So yeah, I’m very… I’ve got a very immature childish sense of humor. And I feel like I’m can be really serious and very knowledgeable when it comes to B2B and work. But blowing off steam for me is like cranking. So yeah, the long story short, is I fooled London into thinking that a cafe was going to open where you could go and pet foxes. It went viral, I had 6000 people sign up or enter the ballot so they could win tickets. He got featured in the Timeout, Telegraph, Financial Times, The Guardian, all of the media outlets, so I kind of growth hack my way into getting 6000 people signed up. And then the RSPCA and PETA and a few Twitter warriors finally worked out who I was, and they threatened to out me. So I pulled the plug I was never going to go through of it…about it was a prank that got a little bit out of hand. But yeah, that’s probably as succinctly as I could get. I can tell you a story.
Christian Klepp 47:06
Wow, that’s a… that is one heck of a background story I have to say. You know, the rest is history, of course. And you know, here you are, right. So no, fantastic. No, Mark, listen, this has been such a great session. Thank you so much for coming on. And, you know, sharing your thoughts and experience with us. What’s the best way for people out there to get in touch with you?
Mark Colgan 47:25
Sure. So the best place to find me is on LinkedIn. So I’m Mark Colgan, there’s not too many of them there. So it should come up quite easier. And also Christian, what we wanted to do for listeners of your podcast was to offer them an offer. So we’d like to offer anybody can come to our website and just put in their name their website and describe the ideal customer. And what we’ll do is our team will research some podcasts that we think would be great fits for you to speak on, and share that with you for free. So we’ll do the research. We’ll share those results with you. And you can access that by going to www.speakonpodcast.com/podcasts. So speakonpodcast.com forward slash podcast, and yet there’s no obligation, although we do need you to fill out the form because we need to know who your ideal customer is. So we can do the research.
Christian Klepp 48:17
Fantastic. Fantastic, Mark. Um, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. And, you know, thanks again for your time. So take care, be safe and talk to you soon.
Mark Colgan 48:27
Thanks, Christian. Speak to you soon. Take care.
Christian Klepp 48:29
Take care! Bye for now.
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