How to Connect with Your B2B Target Audience Through Podcasting
It was an absolute pleasure to talk with James Carbary (Founder, Sweet Fish Media) on this week’s episode. During our conversation, James talks about how B2B companies can leverage the power of podcasting to build relationships and collaborative content with their target audience, some of the most common mistakes that podcasters make, how to repurpose content, and why he truly believes that now is the right time to start a podcast.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Companies & links mentioned in this episode:
Christian Klepp, James Carbary
Christian Klepp 00:08
Hi, and welcome to the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. I’m your host Christian Klepp, and one of the founders of EINBLICK Consulting. Our goal is to share inspirational stories, tips and insights from b2b marketers, digital entrepreneurs, and industry experts that will help you think differently, succeed and scale your business.
Alright, Hi, everyone, and welcome to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. I’m your host, Christian Klepp. And today, I am thrilled to welcome a guest on to the show whose experience, expertise and amazing content actually got me started on my podcasting journey. So I would say that he’s an absolute powerhouse when it comes to podcasting for b2b. And he’s a notorious mic dropper. Mr. James Carbary. Welcome to the show.
James Carbary 00:56
Hey, Christian, I am really excited to be here. Will try to minimize the mic dropping today as things get pretty expensive. But it’s gonna be a fun conversation!
Christian Klepp 01:04
Yeah, it’s a little bit painful on the ears. But I think it did your reputation justice with that description. (laugh)
James Carbary 01:11
I try to I try to drop a drop a mic on occasion.
Christian Klepp 01:15
Indeed. All right, James, well, let’s get the ball rolling. And just, you know, give the listeners a bit of background about yourself and what you do.
James Carbary 01:23
Yeah, so I started a company called Sweet Fish Media about 5 years ago. I guess, about 6 years ago now in January 2015. And we were originally a blog writing agency. And about a year into the business, we pivoted into becoming a podcast agency, specifically for b2b brands, after we figured out a thing that we now call content-based networking. So essentially, content-based networking is a strategy where you reverse engineer relationships with the exact people that you want to do business with, by asking them to be a guest on your podcast, or really any other, you know, it doesn’t have to be a podcast, it could be a video series, it could be a series of, you know, LinkedIn content, it could be blog posts. And so by doing collaborative content with your ideal buyers, with strategic partners, with thought leaders in the industry, you can actually build relationships with these people, instead of just kind of cold, pitching them on asking them to do whatever it is you want them to do for you. And instead, collaborate with them, create content with them, make them look like a rock star. And then on the back of that, now you’ve got a legit relationship. And so the possibilities of working with them are so much higher. Because you’ve, you know, you’ve taken a step toward actually building a friendship with them instead of just asking for something, which is what so many b2b companies tend to do.
Christian Klepp 02:39
Yes, indeed. I mean, you know, that was such a great introduction, James, and you know, the bit about the blog, posting and what not, that really resonates with me, because I think, remember the first conversations you and I had, I actually started, you know, this year by saying, like, okay, maybe start, like writing blog posts. And I think I got done with my first blog post, and I said, ah! I don’t think anyone’s going to read this. So, you know. So what are the, you know, the alternatives out there? So I started, like, you know, doing my research, and, you know, obviously, your podcast and your company, like, you know, was at the very top of those search results. And I mean, you know, the rest as they say, is history. Right. So.
James Carbary 03:18
I love it. That’s good. It’s good to know that what we’re doing on the SEO side is working as well. I think you, you see so many people, and I don’t want people to hear this and go, Oh, god, this guy is just going to talk about podcasting the whole time. Like, the only thing that can work. There’re obviously lots of… the I was just talking with our Director of Partnerships yesterday. Lots of things work. No, I was talking to Dan from our team yesterday, our Director of Audience Growth. And he’s just like man, ABM works, podcasting works, SEO works, community building works, it all works. And so, you know, we’re obviously going to talk about a lot about podcasting here. But, man, so many things work. And and hopefully, by the end of this conversation, your listeners will figure out how to they make their b2b podcast work as well, in conjunction with all the other things that they’re doing.
Christian Klepp 04:04
Absolutely, absolutely, James, and I think you brought up another really interesting subject that I’d like to jam on later on is about, you know, inviting your potential prospects onto the show, and you know, to interview them, you have to start building that relationship from there, as opposed to doing cold outreach and cold calling and cold emailing and all that kind of stuff that we see on LinkedIn on a daily basis, right?
James Carbary 04:25
Yes, you’re exactly right. So many, so many people go straight for that, “Hey, can I get you on a demo to show you a 15 minute, you know, showcase of our product?” Or, “hey, I’d love to get to know you can we jump on a call for 15 minutes?” That does not communicate value at all, but when you ask for someone to be a guest on your podcast or a YouTube video series that you’re doing, or you ask them to collaborate with you on a blog post that you’re writing – that is inherently valuable to them because they know you’re going to be positioning them in such a way that makes them look smart. And so when that piece of content is ready. It is a third party piece of content, a piece of content not written or created by them. It’s written or created by somebody else. And it makes them look awesome. Who doesn’t want content written by or created by other people that makes them look awesome? Everyone wants that. And so, you, but you’ve got to, you’ve got to flip your frame, and you’ve got to start thinking about it differently. Really trying to reverse engineer what is going to make this person actually want to engage with me.
Christian Klepp 05:31
Absolutely. I mean, totally agree with that. Um, talk to us about a recent project that you’re, you know, you’re working on this got you like, seriously pumped?
James Carbary 05:41
Yeah, so the thing that I’m really excited about… we are always talking about, like, how do we get more juice from the squeeze of podcasting. And so we’re asking our ideal buyers to be a guest on our on our episodes. And we haven’t done everything that we could, on the back end of those interviews, to really develop closer friendships with the people that we’ve had on the show, because obviously, not everybody is in the market to have a podcast, which is our core service offering. But we want to stay in contact, we want to actually build legitimate friendships with these people that we’ve had on the show, regardless of whether they become customers of ours or not.
And one of the things that we’ve just recently started doing, we just launched… our show is called b2b growth. But we’ve just started launching b2b growth groups. And so I just put together 6 people, I think most of them were former guests on our show. Some of them are customers, I think we’ve got one that’s a potential customer. And what we’re doing is we’re putting together these micro groups, and somebody from our team is going to facilitate it. And once a month, for 60, you know, it’s a 60 minute phone call, once a month, we are going to put the 6 people plus our facilitator onto a zoom call. And we’re going to talk about 3 different things. So the format of this mastermind call is the first 15 minutes, we’re going to have somebody from the group share a lesson learned. So something that has to do with their career and how they’ve accelerated growth in their career. So it could be a productivity hack, it could be something on, you know, how they’ve negotiated their salaries, it could be how they went from being, you know, an individual contributor on a marketing team to being a VP of Marketing and what that career path looked like some specific things they did to accelerate that path. So that’s going to be the first 15 minutes somebody from the group contributing, the second 15 minutes is going to be another person from the group talking about a marketing experiment that they’ve run, and what the results were. Something from the last 12 to 24 months. And so that’s going to be that’s going to be really value packed, and it’s somebody from the group contributing to it. And then the last half of the call the last 30 minutes, we’re going to do a deep dive on another person that is a member of that call, we’re gonna do a deep dive on their business. And so they’re going to share a problem that they’re currently facing in their business for 5 minutes. And then the rest of the 25 minute time block is going to be focused on everybody on that call, the 7 people on that call brainstorming how they could solve that problem.
And what we’re doing here is really creating community in the micro, I think so many marketers have it confused. They think community, the success of community is measured in the macro. And like, Oh, we’ve got thousands of people in our community. But what I actually think, is a more accurate representation of a successful community. I think success and community happens in the micro, not in the macro. I think we’ve got it confused as marketers. And so these b2b growth groups, hopefully, are a step in the direction of us starting to do many b2b growth groups, and serving a lot of the people that have been on our show in the past in a way that I don’t see anybody else serving the market right now. So that’s, that’s a project that I’m super pumped about.
Christian Klepp 08:52
Well, first of all, wow, and secondly, yeah, that’s such a great idea. I mean, like, you know, talk about, like, you know, going the extra mile in terms of follow ups, and I think we, and I think every podcast, or anyone that runs a podcast, I think that’s probably one of the other things that you know, we have to like, wrap our heads around, like, you know, after the interview, what’s the next step? What’s the follow up. Right. So, I mean, what an incredible way to bring people together. And I think you’re you’re absolutely right to say that sometimes. I mean, because, and this is not to, like, talk bad about any of those communities that are out there, but you’re probably right, like the, you know, these communities are becoming so big, they’re exploding. They’ve got thousands of members, and it almost gets to a point where you can’t really have that intimate one on one connection or relationship with any of the members really.
James Carbary 09:41
Yes. I think that you know, there’s tons of value in those huge communities too. I don’t want to crap off those and pretend like they’re not valuable. They certainly are, but I know that where, where I’ve had the most needle moving success in my own career. I’ve been trying to build this business, it’s come from more small, like smaller, more intimate groups where they can speak specifically into my situation, understand my context. And, and so that’s what we’re trying to create with our b2b growth groups. And I just think from a business perspective, I think it would be so smart for b2b marketing teams to start doing this, because as we have multiple people from our team start to facilitate these groups, it’s going to allow us to intimately understand our buyers better than any of our competitors, because we’re hearing the challenges that they’re facing directly from their mouth, and then helping them try to solve those challenges. Regardless of how, you know, it’s probably, there’s probably not going to be very many challenges related directly to what we do, which is podcasting and producing podcasts. But there’s going to be lots of challenges that they’re going to be sharing that now we know like, oh, how can we address this particular challenge in our content? And how, you know, maybe we develop a new service around it, or maybe we come up with a new use case for podcasting that solves this type of problem. And so I think there’s just something really valuable to, you know, being that close to your customer and future customer. And understanding them at a level that I don’t think many vendors, whether it’s service vendors or tech vendors, I don’t think many vendors go through the process of really trying to truly understand their buyer. And doing these types of small, intimate groups like this would be a forcing function to make sure that your team does actually understand your buyers and what their challenges are, and what they’re struggling with. And how they’re winning, too. I think that’s valuable as well.
Christian Klepp 11:39
Yeah, no, no, absolutely. And I mean, because also, I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, you know, you organizing these smaller groups, or these masterminds, so called. I mean, you’re doing it in such a way where first of all, it’s all about them. It’s about the customers. You’re empowering them to, to also just share their struggles. And share what they’ve learned, and it’s being done in a non intrusive way. Right. So it’s not like at the end of the mastermind, you say, Okay, well, you know, buy something, it’s not like, I mean, that’s not the objective of the exercise at all.
James Carbary 12:09
I just heard a story from a guy that’s actually in our inaugural group. And he was like, man, another company just invited me to be a part of something like this. But they basically just used it as a Group Discovery Call. And as soon as the call was over, they tried to, they got me on a sales call, and just basically berated me with a pitch and attacked me. And that couldn’t be farther from what my heart and intent is with doing these groups. The likelihood that we’ll talk about podcasting and what we do, just because we’re the ones putting the group together, so we’re probably going to be putting together people that have podcasts. So it might come up. But it is certainly not the goal. The goal of these is not to talk about what we do as a service provider, the goal is to actually genuinely help the people that are in this group, connect with other people, their peers, like them, outside of their company, but do what they do functionally. So that they can learn and get better. And I think that the karma that’s going to come back from that will pay itself out in terms of ROI over the long term, but it is by no means this short term, way to just hack getting on sales calls with people.
Christian Klepp 13:23
No, no, no, absolutely not. And you know, especially in the world of b2b. I mean, like, you know, people can see through those types of tactics, right, those so called thinly veiled sales tactics.
James Carbary 13:33
Because people talk right, the guy that I was just telling you about, right? He told me, and who knows how many other people he’s told. So people talk. And so when you do that kind of hacky crap, it ends up coming back and biting you. Because these people are not living in silos, they’re talking on social, they’re connecting with, you know, their slack groups and different communities that they’re a part of, because there are so many, you know, of these communities, it takes one message in a slack group that has a couple thousand people in it to go, “Hey, never, never reply to James’s, you know, email when he asked you to be a part of this. All it is, is a giant sales pitch.” That’s that could that could ruin your effort, something that would otherwise be a very strategic and thoughtful thing to do could be ruined if you have that intent.
Christian Klepp 14:23
Yeah, undoubtedly. So James, let’s talk about a topic that you’re, you know, clearly not just very passionate about, but you’re you’re a subject matter expert in this regard. So it’s podcasting for b2b. So just give us a bit of background. I know you talked about it earlier, but like, you know, what got you started on this path.
James Carbary 14:42
Yeah. So when we were a blog writing agency, I was trying to figure out who would be the ideal buyers for us, and we were working with a church at the time in Houston, Texas. And I was like, man, how can we replicate this customer? How can we get more customers that look like that? This was a startup church, they call them church plans. And how can we how can we get more customers that match this persona? And so I thought, well, I’d started a podcast before with my buddy. I was like, Well, what if I started a podcast called plan better? It was all about church planning. And what if I just asked our ideal buyers to be a guest on the show? And so I reached out to 100 church planners that had no clue who I was, I had no previous relationship with them. And 80 of those 100 people responded to my cold email. Some of them said, yes, some of them said, Hey, reach back out to me in six months. It didn’t, you know, we didn’t record episodes with all 80 of those people. But we ended up doing 45 episodes off of one email campaign to 100 people sending a two sentence email that said, Hey, so and so saw that you’re a part of the acts 29 church planners network, would love to have you as a guest on plan better our new podcast. And we ended up getting 45 new relationships by being able to collaborate and create 45 episodes with people that responded to that email campaign. And I thought, Man, I don’t know of any cold, cold outreach that gets an 80% reply rate. And, and so I thought, Man, we’re onto something here. As it turns out, church plans don’t have any money for blog writing services. So we figured out that, you know, Product Market Fit was off. But I walked away from that experience going, and we could deploy this strategy for b2b companies that do know who their buyer is. We were a little too early, we didn’t know exactly who are who our ideal buyer persona was. But most b2b companies have that nailed down. So if we pivoted and said, hey, let’s become a podcast agency, so that we can deploy the strategy on behalf of our, you know, customers that are mostly b2b SaaS companies, then this could really work. And so that’s, that’s what got us started. And then we’ve just been iterating. And and getting deeper and deeper into the world of podcasting and figuring out not just how do you grow an audience. But how do you build genuine relationships with strategic people that you want to know? So buyers, partners, influencers in the space? And how do you build those friendships through collaborating on content together, and so we don’t talk a lot about the nuts and bolts of podcasting. We talk more about some of the softer skills that go into actually building friendships with your guests.
Christian Klepp 17:21
Sure, I mean, that’s an amazing origin story, man. I mean, you look fast forward like, what is it now, five or six years later? Top of your game?
James Carbary 17:29
Yeah, yeah, man. And there’s, there’s obviously a lot of competition, there’s lots of shops popping up. The barrier to entry on starting a podcast agency is pretty low. And honestly, you know, I’m all for it. I love that there are more agencies out there serving companies, not everybody can, you know, afford what our price point is at. We charged, usually between, you know, anywhere from $2,000-10,000 a month for brands to work with us. And there’s, I think every brand, I think you’re gonna see every b2b brand in the next five years have a podcast. So there’s massive opportunity right now in the space and we’ve got some competitors that are doing some really great work as well. So I’m, I’m super pumped to see where this space is headed.
Christian Klepp 18:13
Yeah, I mean, like, That’s absolutely right. I mean, yes, it will be interesting to see where this is going to go. And we’re gonna talk about that a little bit later on. But I wanted to, like just zoom in on something that you, you talk about quite a bit, and you’ve posted about it considerably on on LinkedIn. And that’s, and I’m gonna quote you here. Um, you basically say something to the effect of like, everyone and their mom is starting a podcast during this pandemic, right. So and it’s gone even beyond the the world of like B2B, I mean, like, people like Jimmy Fallon was like, you know, hosting the Tonight show from the comfort of his own home. CNN news anchors are… it doesn’t even have to be CNN, it can be news anchors from whatever network there are, right. They’re talking about the daily news, you know, from their, you know, from their basement, from their homes. And, you know, you’ve been obviously in this business for quite some time. So you’ve seen a lot of things happening as podcasting progresses. So just talk to us a little bit about the 5 most common mistakes, or the top 5 mistakes that you see people make when it comes to podcasting.
James Carbary 19:28
So I think a huge mistake that people make is how they name their show. So I we see a lot of companies that they want to name their show after their company name, or they want to name their show after their products name or one of their core values. And the reality is you need to figure out how you can name your show in such a way where people that you want to listen to your show are searching some keyword in Apple podcasts, and your show pops up. So with b2b growth, our show, one of the reasons we’ve gotten the traction that we’ve had, the show’s been downloaded over 4 million times. It’s a top 100 marketing, podcast, and Apple podcasts. And the reason that we’ve gotten the traction we have is because we rank for the term “b2b” and the term “b2b marketing”. So our show name is “B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast”.
And so you have to be really thoughtful about how you name your podcast, it’s not naming the show after yourself instead of after your ideal customer. And name it in such a way where the person that you want to listen is probably searching for a term that is in your name. And so if you are, you know, if you’re wanting people to listen that are searching for stuff around data, naming your show, I think one of our customers name their show something like leading with data, well, that is going to be attractive. And that’s going to pop up and and when somebody searches data in Apple podcasts, I can’t guarantee that obviously, there might be a ton of shows with that keyword in it. But right now, we’re so early in the podcasting game, even with a million podcasts, when you start to look at the number of podcasts that are for your specific audience, or the topic that you’re talking about. It’s we’re so early, there’s over 30 million YouTube channels, but only 1 million podcasts. So it’s just really ruffles my feathers when people are like, oh, there’s too many podcasts. No, there aren’t like there’s still plenty of room to win on YouTube. There’s absolutely room to win with podcasting. And so yeah, that’s the first one is name your show around your buyer, not around yourself. Stop naming it around your value your company name, or your specific expertise. The other downside to doing that Christian when you name it around your expertise. So had we named our show the b2b podcasting show, who’s gonna listen to a show about b2b podcasting, not our buyers, our competitors, because our competitors are all in on podcasting. So of course, they’re going to want to learn more about b2b podcasting, because that’s what they’re in the business of. You have to make your show about something that your ideal buyer is going to care about day after day after day. And so they might care about what you do for one day out of the month. But they’re likely not gonna they’re not thinking about account based marketing, or they’re not thinking about demand gen, every single day unless they’re the director of demand gen, right. But if you’re trying to reach CMOs you need to brand your show in such a way where it touches on, you know, a lots of different facets of marketing, because that’s what your listener cares about. They don’t just care about your expertise.
Another thing that I would say that, particularly companies don’t pay attention to enough when it comes to their podcast is ratings. So I just posted about this on LinkedIn today. And you know, so many people are trying to optimize around getting podcast reviews, when in reality, podcast ratings are the thing that matter. Ratings show up pretty predominantly, whenever you search a show, we call ratings a credibility indicator. And what that means is when somebody is searching for a topic, they see your show, if they see that it’s only got two ratings, they’re likely going to assume it’s not a very good show, or it’s too new, and it’s not consistent enough. So they’re not going to give your show a shot. For the same reason that you don’t go to a restaurant on. You know, when whenever you see Yelp reviews, and there’s only got two ratings, you’re like, I know, I’ll try sushi somewhere else. And so the same is true with podcasts. So optimizing for getting ratings. And that’s really as simple as getting all of your employees to leave a rating, we’ve got a lot of customers that have 100 plus employees, there’s no reason every single employee should not leave a rating of your show. And you shouldn’t have 100 plus ratings, by the end of the first week that your show is live.
The other thing it helps with is if you’re doing content based networking we talked about earlier, and you’re reaching out to your ideal buyers to be a guest on the show. If that guest sees that your show has 100 plus ratings, they’re way more likely to want to be a guest on that show, because they’re going to assume that the show’s got reach. So the thing that you’re having to overcome here is podcasts don’t typically… they did not typically… they don’t show how many people are listening to each episode like YouTube. YouTube shows the views and then it shows the subscriber account. But with podcasting, the listener on the other side, if they don’t have access to your hosting platform, they don’t know how many listeners this episode has been listened to. And that’s actually a great thing for new shows. Because a lot of YouTube content doesn’t get traction because people see that it’s only got three or four views even though it could be really great content. With podcasting, those views aren’t shown. And so optimizing for ratings getting your customers, your friends, your family, your employees to leave ratings of your show, can really allow you to punch above your weight when it when it comes to that. So those are a couple mistakes that I that I see folks making.
Christian Klepp 25:09
Well, that was one that you were talking about. I think I was listening to an interview with you and Logan Lyles this morning. And it’s about like, I believe it was an observation of yours. Some people just are tempted to make, you know, just a big deal out of the production, and they just, you know, make it like super fancy. And that’s just something that’s not sustainable for the long run. Is that correct?
James Carbary 25:30
Yeah. So, so doing narrative podcasts, I actually think that there’s, there’s a lot of room for you to get creative with some of your content. But with our show, we do one or two episodes a month where it’s a narrative, but it’s a daily show. So one or two episodes are going to fit that more scripted narrative style. But then we’ve got other episodes that where it’s an internal conversation between our team, and then we’ve got other episodes where we’re interviewing subject matter experts, we’re interviewing b2b marketing practitioners. And so I think that’s another mistake that people make is, they don’t understand how much volume matters. So Apple podcast is looking at how many episodes of this show has going live. And I hear everybody push back on that. And they’re like, oh, but it’s quality over quantity, quality over quantity. Reality is you get to quality by doing quantity. And more content you do, the more you’re going to learn what your audience likes, the more you’re going to, you’re gonna know yourself, what, what is the stuff that’s resonating for our audience. And so that’s a mistake. I’m really glad you brought that one up Christian.
Another one is, I see a lot of companies that don’t understand that you need to have multiple co-hosts for your show. So if you want to put out more content, you don’t need to put all of the weight of that content on a single host. Instead, spread the love have somebody that’s your SDR manager, have them host a few episodes, have your CEO host one episode a month, have your VP of Sales host some episodes, have your VP of Marketing, and maybe somebody else on your team host some episodes throughout the month. And they can be internal episodes where they’re talking to other people on the team, they can be solo episodes. They can be episodes where you’re talking to subject matter experts and people in, you know, your ideal buyers or partners or other thought leaders in the space. So open your mind to the different types of content that you can create through this medium. And let more than one person from your team hosts the show.
Another thing going back Christian to the mistakes that I see people making, they don’t put enough thought into their podcast cover art. So that’s another way that you can stand out. It’s another credibility indicator. So in addition to ratings, just having a designer put thoughtful execution behind the podcast cover art. Don’t just do a blank white background, have it have something that looks vibrant, similar to book covers, right, like you see a lot of book covers that have that light blue or orange or yellow, something that pops. Make sure that you’re paying attention to that look at what the top podcasts and Apple podcasts are doing for their cover art. And see if you can borrow some design elements from those shows. They’re top shows for reasons far more than just their cover art. But the cover art does play a significant part in it.
Christian Klepp 28:22
Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right.
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.
James, you touched on that already a little bit with especially with the statistics. But let’s jam on that a little bit further. So just to put it in perspective for the listeners. So we’re talking about YouTube channels, and I’ve only got the 2019 statistics here. So 31 million. Facebook pages over 80 million. Blogs to drive that point home again, over 500 million. And Podcast over a million. And as you’ve rightfully alluded to, that number shrinks when you search by topics. So the next question might be a little bit obvious, but I’m going to ask it anyway. So why do you believe that now is the right time for b2b companies to start their own podcast and why do you think there’s still some resistance to that?
James Carbary 29:39
So I think now is the time because it’s highly likely that your competitors are not doing it yet. And the first mover advantage of ranking for the keyword that your buyers are searching and podcasts right now. At the end of the day, you know, you’re likely going to start one in the next, you know, one to five years because you’re going to be forced to because everybody else is doing it. You might as well be first and capture that share of search. And so that’s why I think people should start now. You’re gonna do it anyway, you might as well start now and learn and get better at the craft of podcasting, before your competitors jump on it. Inevitably, your competitors are going to be on it too. But if you’ve got a few years on them, and you’ve been able to build community around your show for a few years longer than them, you’re ultimately going to be at an advantage there. I think the reason people are shying away from it is there’s this perception that it’s complicated. But in reality, there’s no easier form of content to create than just talking to people. So I think people get caught up in all the tech and do we have to work with an agency like Sweet Fish? No, you can start a podcast for absolutely free using the Anchor app. And you can go get a $50 mic, and it’s USB plug right into your computer and start recording episodes, you do not need to get fancy. And so that’s what I think keeps a lot of people from doing it.
Christian Klepp 31:06
Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. And I mean, I’m just gonna plug this in there. But I actually downloaded your eBook on how to start your own podcast. And that’s how I got started. So that wasn’t complicated at all. I mean, you have to read through it. And you guys do give some really great options and suggestions. And I think you’ve thrown in a caveat where you don’t have to use all of that technology or, you know, buy the most expensive microphone. And I think more often than not, at times, it really boils down to what type of content you’re putting out there, too.
James Carbary 31:35
Yeah, I think you’re exactly right.
Christian Klepp 31:37
That’s a great point, James. And I think you did post about that on LinkedIn a couple couple of weeks ago. So that’s a great point. Yeah, I think we’re gonna get to the climax of this discussion, my friend.
James Carbary 31:50
I love it.
Christian Klepp 31:51
Because it’s talking about that, um, you know, that, that post you wrote on LinkedIn, but I’m gonna say, received a crazy amount of engagement and responses. Let me just quantify that. So at least the last time I checked, you got something to the tune of 1272 likes and 464 comments, and that in itself is incredible. But, um, I’m not going to give the rest of it away, because that’s over to you. Tell us a little bit more about what you were discussing that, you know, that stimulated this conversation on LinkedIn.
James Carbary 32:22
Yeah, yeah. So it’s now got over 109,000 views on this thing, which does not happen very often at all, for me anyway. And it was basically a post about, you know, if I got hired to be a CMO at a b2b SaaS company, this is what I do. And so the first thing I talked about is starting a podcast that features your ideal buyers as guests, which, that’s a no brainer, of course. I’m gonna say that because it’s what we do, we built an entire business around doing that. But before/after the interview, asking your guests a set of 10 to 15 rapid fire questions related to their job. So this takes usually about five to 10 minutes, you can do it in the pre-interview. So the separate pre-interview where you’re just figuring out what the POV of your guest is going to be, figure out the angle that you’re doing with the interview, or you can do it immediately post-interview. But regardless, what this allows you to do is create original research. And so you can then present that original research in a variety of different forms.
So we’re in the process right now of asking 100 b2b marketing leaders that have been a guest on our show, the series of 15 questions, asking them things like what’s your most successful marketing channel? Or asking them like what’s the most over overrated b2b marketing tactic? What’s the most underrated b2b marketing tactic? And asking questions like that, because we’re going to, at the end of getting 100 be able to look and pull insights from the things that we’re learning from these b2b Marketing leaders. So I’ve already one of the insights that I’m pulling, we’ve only done 55 interviews for this so far. One of the things that I’m learning is that marketers don’t actually read marketing books. They read books, like Good to Great, they read books about organizational health, they read books about psychology, they read books about creativity, they read books that stretch their thinking, well, that’s a really interesting insight. If you’re wanting to grow your career in marketing, don’t think that you just need to have your head down in these tactical marketing books, because these b2b Marketing leaders, that’s not what they’re reading that have allowed them to become VPs of marketing and CMOs. So that’s just one little slice of what we’re going to be able to pull from doing this.
And I think every podcaster should be doing original research. It’s content that is in addition to the content you’re doing for your podcast. So it’s not like your podcast is just the same 15 questions over and over and over again. This is separately recorded, and you use it for the purpose of putting together original research. So I talked about that in the post. And then I said after the interview, I’d ask them if they want to be in a monthly mastermind group, which we talked about earlier in this interview. After that, I said I’d repurpose the crap out of the podcast interviews, I do micro videos, slide decks, you know, every kind of content that you can do from a podcast, especially if you record it on video with zoom. There’s tons of possibilities there. And then I’d say I’d turn the answers, you know, I say I turn the answers from the rapid fire questions into original research for top of funnel content and insight-rich emails to nurture our email subscribers, which I elaborated on that a little bit before, once you have this original research done, you can slice and dice that into so much different content. We’re going to be using it in our newsletter, we’re going to be using it on LinkedIn, you’re going to see a lot of that coming out in 2021.
And then this last thing I talked about, you know, having people from your team facilitate those monthly mastermind groups. And so your team is going to intimately understand your buyers better than any of your competitors. And I talked about the importance of keeping those groups small and intimate. So five to seven people. And so that’s the crux of the post. But it really is, you know, it’s exactly what I would do if I got hired to be a CMO. And we were talking offline. you know, there are people that… a couple different people that chimed in of those hundreds of comments. And were like, “Oh, that’s just a list of tactics, or that’s, you know, what about buyer personas? And what about competitive research and all?” Just like, Man, you read some of those comments, you’re like, Man, you guys have your head in the sand a little bit. This is how things actually move the needle today, like you have to know your buyers intimately. And what I just described, like reaching out to your ideal buyers, getting them on your show, talking to them about their expertise, how they’re learning, how they’re growing, getting them in an intimate groups, asking them questions that are allowing you to do original research. That is you peeking into the brain of your ideal buyer. And I think that supersedes just about anything else you can do as a marketer, if you can understand your buyer better than anyone else, you’re going to get to keep your job.
Christian Klepp 36:51
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, those are some really incredible insights, James, and thanks, thanks so much, first of all, for elaborating on that post. And for sharing that with the listeners. I think just to throw in my two cents worth ’cause I had this discussion with another person I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, and it’s just amazing how, you know, you’ve obviously, you know, you’re talking about things that you’ve already done, like, you know, you practice what you preach. And if we’ve seen if there’s anything that we’ve learned from this pandemic, or crisis of this kind of magnitude, it’s that… it’s disruptive, like the crisis has disrupted industries across the board, and that it requires you to have a different mindset. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that you have to unlearn certain things that you were conditioned to accept within your field of expertise in the past. Because moving forward, digital and technology are going to be the future. Right. There’s a lot traditional conventional methods that have become obsolete as a result of what’s going on right now.
James Carbary 37:54
No, I think you’re spot on, man. I mean, we’re definitely not going backwards. If anything, this pandemic is driving forward, what progressive companies were already driving toward. Now, it’s just forcing the rest of everybody else that were slow to adopt… It forces them to adopt. And so seeing companies that now…, you know, hundreds of employees are now fully remote. Will they ever go back to an office? I don’t know. I mean, I was talking to a CMO today, and you know, big company in the marketing technology space. And he was saying, Hey, I’m learning that I really love working remote. And our CEO seems to be happy with the data that he’s seeing on how productive the team is, even though they’re not in the office. And so, yeah, we’re only getting closer and closer and closer to digital transformation. And people being able to work from anywhere. And we’re certainly not going backwards.
Christian Klepp 39:01
Exactly. All right. James, just, let’s look into the crystal ball here for a second all right. So just fast forward 10 years from now, what changes would you like to see in the landscape, you know, in with regards to podcasting for b2b?
James Carbary 39:17
And I would love to see platforms that allow listeners to engage more intimately with content that they consume via audio. I don’t know why Spotify or Apple doesn’t allow you to comment, or like, or heart a particular episode of a show. I think the conversations that would happen there would be really, really compelling. It would allow hosts or creators to engage much more deeply with our listeners, because right now it’s kind of a black box. We can put out an episode but we really don’t know unless somebody goes through the effort of posting about it on LinkedIn or doing a tweet about it, or whatever, which doesn’t happen hardly ever, and we’ve got over 4 million downloads of our show. So people are listening to our show. But it’s just not a natural behavior to go in and talk about what you listen to in a podcast publicly. But if you could, just as you’re listening to it, leave a comment and and say, oh, man, that point about whatever was spot on, we’ve been talking about this with our team, then me as a host, I now know, okay, that resonated, we should double down on this and create more content around this idea. I can respond, I can engage in a similar way that, you know, you’re seeing people that are really winning on LinkedIn right now, engaging with their audience, and the people that have engaged more with their audience end up creating better content. And so that’s one thing that I would like to see, there might be something from a technological perspective that’s keeping that from happening that I’m just unaware of, because I’m ignorant when it comes to that. But I would love to see that progression in the podcasting space.
Christian Klepp 41:03
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Man. I mean, like, talk about, like, engagement and interaction on on a holy, like, a completely different level. right. Yes. Cool. All right. You know, there are probably a few call it whatever you want, conventional wisdom, commonly-held beliefs. And there might even be some of those when it comes to podcasting. So talk to us about one such belief that you strongly disagree with and why.
James Carbary 41:32
Yeah, so I think there’s a commonly-held belief around podcasting that you can just turn on the mic and start talking and just start having a conversation with somebody, and that the content is naturally going to be good. I don’t know that people would die on a hill for that belief. But I know it’s a belief, because we see it happen all the time, there’s just a slew of very average content in the podcast medium. And I think it’s because it is so easy to create that content. And so a framework that we’ve developed, we call it POV discovery. POV stands for point of view. But essentially, in the pre-interview with each of your guests, if you just ask these 3 questions, it will actually allow you to identify a very unique and differentiated point of view for your guest. And so one of them has a question, it’s the question you just asked me. Right. So what’s a commonly held belief about whatever their expertise is that you passionately disagree with? And the way you frame that question is very interesting. It’s something you passionately disagree with. So you’re going to get a response from them, that, you know, their voices elevated, they’re excited, they’ve actually got to say about this.
Christian Klepp 42:51
They’re on a soapbox.
James Carbary 42:53
Yeah exactly. So that’s one question that you can ask to figure out what their POV is. And the other two questions are similar.
The first one is: What’s something that people in your space should start doing today that they’re not already doing?
The second one, or the last one is: What’s something that people in your space should stop doing today that they are doing but shouldn’t be doing? Yeah. And so when you ask one of those three questions, and then just sit back and listen to how your guest responds, take the response that where the most passionate, and then say, let’s do an episode around that. And then once you figure out what that point of view is, then it’s just a matter of running what we call what, why and how. So on the actual interview, you set them up to share the what, what is their POV, so you can re-ask the question that originally got them to share their point of view on something. So you re-asked that question, and then you dig into the why and the how’s. So why do you believe that? Why do you think that most people don’t believe that? Why is this something that you think people should do? And then how, how do we make this what how do we make this as action packed as we can. So what can a listener do tomorrow to start doing this? So I’ve done that in my answer, right? Like, if you want to do POV discovery for your guests, start asking the 3 questions that I shared. So we went deep on the how’s. And then I also talked about why, you know, the reason that this is happening is because this podcast content is so easy to create. And because it’s easy, you think, Oh, I can just have a conversation with somebody and it’s gonna be a good conversation. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. So you can see how I just… It is a very meta, because my advice here is straight. You know, you’ve deployed it perfectly in this year, and you’ve allowed me to share a point of view, which ultimately, you know, it’s hopefully differentiated. It’s not something everybody else is saying. And so hopefully it made the content for this episode even better.
Christian Klepp 44:53
Oh, absolutely. It made the content for this episode pure gold man. James, it’s the truth, believe me, um, you know, and you guys put out such great content on such a regular basis. And, you know, people who are, especially in the b2b space where we’re running their own podcasts or hosting their own podcasts or thinking about hosting our own podcasts, we’ll be foolish to ignore the advice that you guys put out.
James Carbary 45:21
I appreciate it. That means a lot to me.
Christian Klepp 45:24
And I mean that. I really do. But, James, this has been such an awesome session. I mean, thank you so much for coming on and sharing. What’s the best way for people out there to connect with you?
James Carbary 45:36
Yeah, so LinkedIn, James Carbary. I love connecting with new people on LinkedIn. James@sweetfishmedia.com is my email. And you can go to sweetfishmedia.com and learn more about what we do.
Christian Klepp 45:50
Perfect. James, this was such an incredible session. As I said, it was full of amazing insights and advice. I’m probably going to have to listen back to this again and start taking notes. But um, but it jokes aside, it’s really my hope that the people who do listen to this episode who haven’t started podcasting, it actually do get up and take action. So thanks again for your time.
James Carbary 46:11
Of course. Christian, thank you so much for having me, man. This has been a blast.
Christian Klepp 46:15
Absolutely. My pleasure. So take care, be safe and talk to you soon. Bye for now.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. To learn more about what we do here at EINBLICK, please visit our website at www.einblick.co and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.
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