EP 212 – Podcast Tactics For Building Credibility with Tom and Tracy Hazzard

NCS 212 | Building Online Credibility

NCS 212 | Building Online Credibility

Just start doing it and start getting your name or business out there. This advice from Tom and Tracy Hazzard is for people who are caught in the how-to cycle of building online credibility. Once you put that first couple of episodes out, you instantly start building credibility. The number of plays of an episode does count for success, but putting value in every episode that listeners can take away is more rewarding. Learn and re-learn podcast tactics that Tom and Tracy have developed since April 2015.

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EP 212 – Podcast Tactics For Building Credibility with Tom and Tracy Hazzard


We have a couple of very special guests, a couple of good friends that are absolutely helping us in ways we never thought possible with what we’re doing. One of the great things that I am a big, big advocate of is not being the smartest person in the room. If you can be the dumbest person in the room, it’s always a good thing. These people make me feel very dumb when it comes to one of our biggest marketing pieces, and I love that because I soak up so much freaking knowledge from them. These guys have helped us out tremendously in 2017, even though we’ve only been working with them for just roughly about four and a half months. I’m excited to have Tom and Tracy Hazzard from Brandcasting You. They’re the hosts of Feed Your Brand Podcast.

It’s great to be here.

It’s always good to have you guys. For those that don’t know Tom and Tracy Hazzard, actually they help us with our podcast. Nichole does a great job of producing it here in the studio, get everything uploaded. Then these guys and their staff run with it and really add some steroids to it afterwards. You are really great in podcasting for a while and that’s what you’re really here to talk about.

We’ve been doing it since April 2015. We’ve done 500 episodes of our first podcast.

A little different episode 500 versus episode 1.

It’s very different. Now we’re doing three different podcasts, three different parts of our business. The most relevant one to this conversation is called Feed Your Brand.

Let’s just talk a little bit about that. What is Feed Your Brand?

Feed Your Brand is really a podcast for podcasters or aspiring podcasters, anyone who’s really looking to create that authority platform. We really want to take it away from how to podcast because we don’t care. We don’t care how you podcast, just start doing it. That’s not the important part. The important part is what you do with it after. There’s nothing I hate more than wasting time. I love what you’re doing here because you’re on Facebook now, you’re going to repurpose it. Why waste all that great content and only do one thing with it? Let’s do everything we can with it. That way, people get it in whatever way they want to receive it. That’s what Feed Your Brand is all about. It’s exposing all the different ways that you might be repurposing your content and using it.

That’s a good point because I hate doing marketing networks for just one thing. The staff can vouch when we walk in, “Somebody closed down 50 deals, let’s do an infographic, let’s have them on the podcast, let’s throw it on YouTube and Vimeo and then throw it on iTunes with you and throw an Instagram and repurpose things.” I think a lot of people struggle with that because initially, it’s like the nuts and bolts of stuff. They get so worried about, “What do I do to begin this journey or what am I going to say?” Why don’t you talk about that a little bit?

NCS 212 | Building Online Credibility

you need to create content in order to market your business, to grow your business, to get more exposure, to reach more people.

It is not just what they’re going to say but what they’re going to do with it after, because if you don’t have a point to why you’re doing it, that’s really the thing. We talk about that all the time. We find the most common issue with people is just getting started, getting over that inertia of, “Is that the first thing I should do or do I need to do this? Or do I have to have this done first?” The reality is you need to create content in order to market your business, to grow your business, to get more exposure, to reach more people. You just have to start doing it. Whether that’s recording a live stream video or recording an audio program, it doesn’t matter. Any of those things can be multicast into many different formats, even a written format which is really a critical part of the process so that it continues to work for you. You really multiply the work you’re doing without doing any more work. That’s the idea.

I’ve talked to quite a few people that have started podcasts just to see, “How are we doing? What are you seeing?” trying to figure out traffic and stuff like that. When I tell them that we’ve done almost 60 episodes on just a podcast, but we’ve had 150 videos on Facebook Live that we’re going to launch for, they’re like, “You’re the exception to the rule. You’re the outlier when it comes to everything,” which is okay. I don’t mind being an outlier when we’re having a lot of traffic off it. I think a lot of people that I’ve talked to that want to start a podcast are like, “I don’t want to make this a lot of work.”

I’m the opposite. I didn’t want to do video. Whenever I give a speech on stage about Brandcasting, that’s exactly what I would say. I was like, “For me, videos seem like so much more work because you’ve got to set it up, you’ve got to get it started, it’s harder to edit and I had to have my hair done.” I didn’t want to have my hair done. We wanted to just pick up and do it whenever and not have that matter. For us, just podcasting really works for us because we are co-hosts, so we have this banter thing going on and it’s the way we are. It felt really natural to be able to do that and not worry about when we did that. When we recorded, it made it easier for us to keep going and do all the episodes.

Do you think people who are starting a podcast are going to see a lot of immediate results or is it more of a plant a seed in the ground and watch it grow?

As long as you’re committed to putting out a consistent amount of content, let’s say weekly at minimum, you’ve got to do a minimum of once a week. We do highly recommend especially in the beginning of a show, frontloading it. Do as many episodes in the first 60 days as you can justify the time. Let’s talk about the time because that’s everybody’s biggest concern. Like you said, “I don’t know if I have the time. Can I commit the time?” If you’re trying to do everything yourself, you’ll get buried in it and it’ll be a full-time endeavor that will do nothing for you. If you actually get help, get the support you need so that all you do is record the original content, which is really the thing that no one can do for you, upload it and then you’re done. Leave it to others to do it. Then you can absolutely do a lot of content. Or you can do get a Nichole like you and have her upload it too, so then you don’t even do that.

Tom and I were talking about the different ways to record and we were already using Zoom for our Monday night webinars and our Facebook Lives. We were talking on at Laughlin’s event on the boat, you said, “You can use Zoom. You can use it to upload.” I was like, “What? I don’t have to go buy a casting thing and all these billboard and whatever?”

They make it way too complicated. It’s really not. Quite honestly, because you’re doing your recording, you’re just speaking into a mic that’s a little bit distant away from you and in your environment, the recording sound is not quite the same as others that might be just doing an audio show or in a studio. It might have a little more background noise or something, so what? The content is good. The information is there. People can understand it. If you’re already doing video and you’re comfortable with that, we strip audio from videos for clients all the time and produce them a podcast. It just gives them a whole lot more exposure for what they’re already doing.

I think that we get really caught up in the idea of getting started. This is a really big issue I think a lot for your note closers. They’re new. They haven’t established themselves in this marketplace yet. No one knows them yet. You have to build this minimum level of credibility. I want to call it instant authority but I hate that word because it sounds like it just happens like that, which it doesn’t. If you build the framework for that to occur, it does. When we started, our very first podcast was 3D printing. If you don’t know what 3D printing is, it’s literally printing plastic objects. It’s pretty geeky. We didn’t know if there would be an audience. We didn’t know if it was going to be a business for us. We had no idea what we were going to do with it. We just knew a podcast seemed like the best way for us to get to explore it and test it out and see if there was a market. That’s exactly why we went into it. We didn’t have any business purpose beyond exploration.

What ended up happening though is we ended up building ourselves up as an authority in the space. We became an expert in the space by asking questions. That was it. It was crazy. What really happened was we had done the smart thing, which was we didn’t just record it, we put it into blog posts, we did video accompaniments to it and we invited guests. We invited guests who provided this high-value connection and by association, a level of authority we didn’t have before that. Now 500 episodes later, we’re inarguably the authority. It’s crazy because we didn’t start out as the early adopters in the industry. You can do that and it doesn’t have to take two and a half years and 500 episodes. The tipping point is somewhere between 50 and 100 episodes for most shows. You probably have stuff you don’t even know you have back in your archives.

We were just talking to Jay Abraham. I was interviewing for Inc. and we decided to record it because it was a lot of fun. That will air in the first of the year. He’s such a cool guy and he was talking about this entire legacy of videos and interviews and things that he has that he’s just got. Some of them are on his website in video and they’re free and you can check them out, but they’re not blogged yet. There’s so much gold there that needs to get out so that if someone is searching on the internet, they can find you. They can check on you. Your note closers, they can check them out and go, “They really do exist. They’ve made 40 posts in the last 30 days, amazing,” or something like that. It’s just a matter of being there all the time. It’s mostly what people are looking for.

Your original question about what can people expect from how soon can they see results, there are different measurements of success depending on the type of business you are. I can give you a couple of examples. We had a customer who started about the same time you did in August of 2017, who’s a chiropractor in New Jersey. He started his podcast. He does just one show a week. You do a lot more content than that. His measure of success is this. His podcast has already elevated him even though he’s a brand new chiropractor. He’s a young kid. Maybe he’s in his early 30’s. He just started his own practice his New Jersey. It’s elevated him to an authority level. He’s gotten a dozen new patients directly because of the podcast. The life time value of those patients is worth so much to him, and of course the referrals they bring in. The other thing is chiropractic care, a lot of people are skeptical of, is it really going to help them? Is it the right kind of chiropractic or the right kind of care they need” Any customer that’s on the fence, he says, “Just go listen to a few episodes of my podcast and see how you feel.” He says it always closes them after they listen to that.

That’s one measure of success. That it doesn’t matter how many plays your podcast has, how many actual subscriptions you have. That doesn’t matter. He’s a local business, which is strange because podcasting is a worldwide distribution platform, and he has people running into him from all over the world. Locally in New Jersey, it’s built up his business. You’ve had great success with people investing in notes with you and all sorts of other opportunities. You’ve got so many plays. I understand, hopefully you might be monetizing from that soon with advertisers maybe or am I letting the cat out of the bag?

We actually got a contract going for our first sponsor. We’ve had several people that are figuring out numbers for the next year, stuff like that. Some of our previous guests have already seen an influx from a podcast, so it’s our speakers, it’s our guests. Note investment is a small niche inside a real estate investment. We’re definitely a smaller niche than $500,000 fix and flippers out there. We’re 5,000, maybe 10,000 true note investors. That’s the thing is we’ve seen that, we’ve had people call us up and say, “I want to invest with you,” which is always nice. We had our largest class of the year just recently. I think a chunk of that has to do with the podcast, people hearing it, finding it on iTunes or Stitcher, or coming across our website through the blog posts that you guys do. Why don’t you talk a little bit about that, Tom?

NCS 212 | Building Online Credibility

Building Online Credibility: That’s really the big not so obvious benefit of doing this. It is the opportunity gap.

That’s really the big not so obvious benefit of doing this. It is the opportunity gap. Google is getting millions and millions of searches every single day and it’s looking for new stuff all the time. It’s like we’re in this daily news cycle, hourly news cycle. They don’t want the same old stuff to come up. They want new stuff to provide them. When they see new stuff from a trusted source, that’s where you have to build that up. We say a minimum is 40 to 50 posts. Once you get 40 to 50 posts in, it tends to start to get trust from Google. Depending on your speed of doing that is how fast Google starts to rank you or give you authority. What we see happen though is that when it hits that point, Google says, “I don’t know what this stuff means. Something about note closing, I don’t get this. This is a term I’ve never heard before, but this guy talks about it all the time. We’ve got to give this to him.” It happened to us with our crave with 3D printing because there are new words all the time. There are new phrases that come up that people didn’t even know about. One of the big terms we got ranked really highly on with, and we weren’t even really talking about it, but cloud computing was coming big. We got ranked high because we’d been talking about a lot of the software was cloud CAD computing. Google was giving us terms that we hadn’t even spoken about just because they didn’t know where else to put it.

Here’s the thing that people don’t realize. This is not just you, Scott, but the audience too. You’re very well-known in your industry perhaps and you’re in a niche field. If people know they’re looking for you and they go search in Google, they’ll find your website. If they know they’re looking for note investing, maybe they’ll find you. For chiropractors, if people know they want chiropractic, they’ll find you, but the key to Google, and 80% of ours and most people’s web traffic we find comes from Google. Not even iTunes or YouTube or any of these places. It’s because people are searching in Google’s search bar every day for their pain points or what their challenges are and what they’re looking for. That’s why we have to convert this audio content or this video content into written blog posts because Google doesn’t index what people say in a video. Google doesn’t index what people say in an audio show and a podcast. They index written words and blog posts. If you do that, Google really does the work. You put the posts on your site, they cross-reference every different keyword phrase in your posts and you will start to rank on thousands of organic keywords in Google search. That’s how people will find you that didn’t even know you existed.

I imagine this happens to you all the time, Scott, because note closing it’s not the most obvious. They maybe want to do some type of real estate investing or do something but they never heard of it before. It’s not something they’re going to type those words into Google, but they might be typing in different types of REI investments or different things like that. Because you talk about that in relationship to note closing, it will come up and they’d be like, “I’m really curious. I’ve got to know about this.” That’s how they find you.

We do get a chunk of that, the keyword. That’s the thing when we upload to YouTube or Vimeo, making sure that the keywords are part of that too because if we don’t have a keyword, it’s not really up there. Actually, one of the things that we have started to doing and we’ll be doing more of is as you guys upload the blogs, we’ll be taking a chunk of that and going back and putting that in the description of the videos to help drive that SEO optimization going forward.

Especially that first paragraph. Since you started working with us, we expanded our team and have a full-time copywriter who is writing those first paragraphs that are really the summary, we call them leading paragraphs, loading it with the keywords and making it be something that’s going to stop you as you’re scrolling through and reading a podcast or a video description. It doesn’t give everything away about your episode. It gets them enticed enough to say, “There’s something here I’d like to know more.” It’s well-written and it packs your keywords in even though you don’t even know it. That’s how good journalism works and that’s where we come from. We come from that background of wanting to be good broadcasters, good journalists and having all of those things combined in our marketing efforts. That’s the way we’ve developed this system that we use. It comes from your viewpoint as, “What do I want to get out of it?” not, “This is how we edit podcasts.” It doesn’t come from the production side of things.

Tracy, one of the things that we talked about is adding the credibility side and building some of those nuggets. Zero to 60 episodes, that seems like a lot of work. What are some of the basic things that people could do as far as maybe outlining their first dozen, first ten to prime that pump to get things rock and rolling?

The first thing we do is we sit down and we draft out 25 of the influencers in our industry like, “Who would be our ideal guests? Who should we ask to be on our show? Who do we know who’s going to give us credibility by association in our topic?” Whatever that core topic might be. We don’t just want those people who I call them career podcast guests, where they shop from show to show to show and they’ve been on every top podcast. You don’t need those people. You need somebody who’s going to change my mind about real estate investing or change my mind about product design, whatever your podcast is about. You want someone who’s going to really bring you that credibility in the early days. In the later days, there are really good reasons to have other people on and just expanded ideas and things like that. This is really where you want to start with because that association with them, they have credibility in your industry and that connection is what we call a high-value backlink, a connection between you and them. Not just literally because we’re talking to each other, but it actually happens under the structure of your website. It’s connected your website to their website. That’s really important. That’s the first thing, so we do 25 of those.

Then we do 25 of the most common questions, problems, things we repeat every single time. We want to keep it really narrow and small. The way we started it, which was a little easier for us, was we posed a question like, “How do you do this? What would I use to accomplish that?” You just ask yourself, “What would an audience member ask?” In the early days, we actually did it that way. We would make up questions and then we’d go, “Liam from New Jersey asked us this.” We’d just make up friends around the country who asked us these questions.

That is an old trick on webinars. If there’s no question, you’ve got ten questions and friends’ names, “Boyd in Austin said this.” I have used my buddy, Boyd, quite a bit.

You could do that but you don’t even have to word it that way. At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be a question. It’s the topic. If you were thinking about writing a book, this is the way you would maybe write a book. You might use a case study, not just a guest, which is okay too. When you do those things and you think about planting that as a topic, a guest or a case study, and you think about planting that out, it makes a great book. Then you want to mix it up so that it’s not in linear order because that’s not the way people consume. They consume from one exciting thing to another. If we think about record albums, when we used to have record album and not CDs, they used to have them and you’d go like, “Rock song, rock song, ballad.” You’ve got to give that up and down to get people the chance to absorb the information that you’ve given them.

Thinking about what makes the most exciting guests and pacing them out and not packing them in all at once, just thinking about mixing up that order. Or what we do is we just have an ongoing list all the time and whenever we think of something, I text myself and then I add it to the list when I’m in the office, or text your assistant. You can do that too. Whenever we were like, “Something came up,” like it happened. We heard about these people who are podfasters, people who binge-listen to podcasts and they specifically look for podcasts that have 100 episodes or more. They’ll listen to the entire library which boosts your statistics tremendously, and they listen at double speed at least, sometimes three or four times speed. We were shocked. We were like, “That’s crazy,” but it was something worth talking about, so we inserted an episode about that. When something comes up, we’re just like, “We’ve got to talk about that now because otherwise, we’re just going to debate it offline, why not do it on air?”

Sometimes it’s good to have a little bit of controversial debate on the topic. You’re going to piss people off or it really hit a lot of people at home.

We don’t always agree and the audience appreciates those opinions. Sometimes we do go over some controversial topics. Let’s take the 3D printing podcast as an example. They had the Route 91 situation in Las Vegas with the shooter there and so many people had died. Actually, Tracy’s sister was at that concert but she didn’t get physically injured, thank goodness. With this whole thing about bump stocks, we did some research and there’s a bunch of 3D-printable bump stocks that were out there. We decided, “Let’s have a discussion about that.” Not pro or con Second Amendment but just a discussion about the availability of these things. Are they safe? Is it a good idea? Our opinion has always been as product designers and that’s what we always pull through is what our viewpoint is.

Our viewpoint as product designers is that we have a responsibility to make sure that no one is hurt from any products that they buy from us or they use from us. We practice this everywhere because consumer product safety is important. Thinking about that is like if harm is done because of your design. That’s the approach we took. We’ve got a lot of play. We’ve got a lot of different comments from different people. You could tell the ones who actually listened and the ones who didn’t, but that happens. If it’s important to you, your audience wants to know it. They want to feel that it’s authentically you and they want to know who you are and what you do and why it’s important to you. That controversial episode ended up being an incredibly popular one. It had more comments than anything in recent months, some good or bad. Those controversial topics, if you have some and you’re willing to take them on, you’re going to get a lot more exposure quickly if you go after something like that.

NCS 212 | Building Online Credibility

Building Online Credibility: A lot of people maybe are nervous about just starting and doing a live cast show. That’s the thing with podcasting. You don’t necessarily have to do that.

We’re the nicest interviewers ever. That’s our personality. We’re nice people. We’re always polite. We’re always like, “We’ll edit that out later,” or something like that. We might say that to ourselves. We’ll be like, “Let’s edit that out. That was really boring,” but we’d never say that to an interview subject. That’s the pleasure of being able to just go through it and being able to edit. We are critical in our post-discussion and we allow that. That’s what we do is we have a post-discussion. While we brought these people on because we expected to get this out, we didn’t. What is that about? By framing it, you’re bringing more context to your guest. I think that’s really important to do, “Why am I here and why should your audience care?”

That brings up an interesting point is that keeping in mind, if you’re doing video and you’re live streaming it right now, whatever happens, happens. It’s out there. There is a genuineness to that and I think a popularity factor to doing it live. A lot of people maybe are nervous about just starting and doing a live cast show. That’s the thing with podcasting. You don’t necessarily have to do that. You record it offline and you can flub or you can say, “Uh, uh, uh,” a whole bunch of times and it can be cut out and you will sound fantastic even if you’re a newbie. That’s one of the advantages of audio. Our first episodes were really bad. We got better over time. Everybody gets better with a little practice. Starting out, live stream may not be your cup of tea the first time. Some people are very comfortable. If you acted on stage ever or you’ve spoken a lot from stage, maybe it’s great for you. The point is there are options. If you’ve got a point of view and something unique to say, then you should be putting it out there and there are many choices for how to do it.

The guest strategies really matter. That’s the most critically important one because you’re creating an authority connection. Also, this is the one that I think is most overlooked. I don’t think you need to bring on a popular guest. You don’t need somebody who has name recognition necessarily. Especially if you’re selling coaching or some kind of course program or any of those things. One of the things is I could sit back and take your class or listen to you give the talk pre-class, your webinar and go, “He sounds really knowledgeable but I don’t know. Can I do this? He’s been doing this a long time.” You get this hesitancy of like, “Is this a fit for me?” Sometimes bringing on those case studies or those former clients who’ve achieved those goals, who’ve made it, who’ve walked just a few feet in front of me makes it easier for me to see the path that would make me go, “I’m going to sign up and I’m going to do this.” When you have that kind of coaching program or a long tail sales process because it’s complicated or high-end, that’s definitely a time to bring people who are a little bit closer from that expertise, closer to the audience level.

I think sharing your failures and struggles is a good thing too. That way, people don’t always believe you’re shooting rainbows and unicorns out your ass. You’re actually sharing the struggles. We all learn more from the struggles. We look at some of our activity on our episodes and case studies do well. Start Over I think is our number one download at this point, but also the case studies and stuff like this. Especially if you look at the top ten since our inception, that’s really where it falls into which is different. I brought on some guests that are well-known in the industry and I’ve also brought on an ex-NFL football player who’s a real estate investor. Those episodes do okay, but they didn’t do near as well as I thought they would.

We’ve experienced some of that too. We had someone on who was in a related industry who had literally 750,000 followers on Facebook. We thought, “This is going to be great. Let’s interview this person. She’ll push it out to her audience and we’re going to get huge download.” She had a big YouTube channel too. We did the episode. It was great but average amount of exposure, average amount of downloads, and that became the necessity and trying to figure out how we can improve that was the mother of the invention of something else that we came up with regarding guests. The whole important thing with guests is that you have to also have a follow-up process. You have a process by which you solicited them, but they’re taking time away from their schedule. We don’t pay guests. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

It’s one of those things where you have to provide them a value back. How can you provide them the best value back? We do three things. The number one thing is we make sure that we introduce them in a really complimentary way or we do it in post where we say, “I just learned this most amazing thing,” and we talk about how they were an expert at something or something they taught me. When we do that, we call it ego bait. I’m just putting it out there. That’s the name we call it, which sounds awful but at the same time, it is what it is because don’t we all like it when people say something really rave review about us? It’s nice. Or say something that make us look just really smart and good. It’s better than us putting out another ad or another post about us, ourselves, somebody else said this about us. It’s really easy for us to push that out on social media. More importantly, we add the twist to it, which is we create a power backlink and we create literal code for them to send their web developer and say, “Put this in your press page or on your blog page. Put it anywhere on your website.” When they put it, it links back to your site in a really powerful way because it’s on a subpage. I do it all the time with my Inc. articles and that’s how this started. People would put the Inc. logo, they might put the headline of the article and they just link to Inc.com instead of to the article. I’ll be like, “I don’t understand why they keep doing that.” It’s because the URL is too long and it’s complicated for them and they can’t figure out how to do it. I created this code that they just drop in and it’s super easy and they can’t mess it up. Now, you have super power backlinks to all your subpages.

Part of this is also a unique graphic that we make for every episode with that quote, with the headshot of the guest, but it’s also branded for our show or your show so that it’s associating them all. It makes it easy for them to share and it makes them want to do it. We used to say, “Can you please share this on your social media or someplace?” and they didn’t. They didn’t even tell people they were on the show. It’s like you’re asking them for a favor and it doesn’t always happen. When it’s about them, now they’re motivated to share it and say, “Look at me.” It also serves us. We’ve seen tremendous benefits from that in recent months since we’ve pulled this out. It’s a good strategy for you, Scott, with your partners because you have partners that you need to “provide residual value for.” It gives you an opportunity to talk about them again at various points across the year of podcasting or a year of videos. It gives you a chance to do that. It is like giving back and in small ways, testimonials for them and ads for them, but you’re doing it within the context of the show and within the context of a topic that might interest someone.

That’s definitely a great idea for different things. It’s for everybody out there as well too. That’s one of the things that we like to do is like, “Here is your show. It’s available and here’s a special infographic we created for you after the show.” Nichole does a great job with that because not everybody is going to take the time. Not everybody is that creative and good at that. Some people are in the dark ages when it comes to marketing, which is okay. You’ve just got to share it. Sometimes you can say, “Here’s something that you can post on your webpage or your link regarding you,” and using a bitlink or something simple to give the link back to them. That’s a great tip. What else? What are the ninja tactics you have there?

You’ve got to have some media. You’ve got to have some articles written about you, about your company. Theoretically, journalists should be researching and checking on you and there should be this higher value truth in media.

Maybe writing a press release every once in a while?

We have quit press releases over the last five years. They don’t work. I’m a journalist. I write for Inc. I have a column, which is different than a contributing writer. The difference is a columnist is paid to write by publication. A contributing writer typically writes for themselves and their clients. You have to align yourself with a contributing writer or their company. You can pay their company to do PR for you and then they’ll put writers on it and they’ll write an article about you. That can happen. Do favors, put someone on your show, put someone on your stage and then in exchange, they write an article about you. That happens all the time. It’s a quid pro quo style. I’m different. I expect a pitch. I write in a very specific section of the Inc. I write in innovation and product design, so really specific. Someone will have to pitch me and tell me why they should be in my article. They need to have read my article. They need to know what my angle is. They’d know that I write a lot of listicles where I write bullet points or numbered steps. They need to know the Inc. audience is aspiring million dollars. You’ve got to do some research, that’s the tough part. Otherwise, it’s not going to be relevant to you anyway. It’s just a logo on your site that doesn’t mean anything. If somebody clicks that and goes to the article and they read it and they go, “That is really interesting.”

I personally take my articles really seriously. I write six a month only because if I wrote more, I couldn’t possibly fit it into my day job. It’s hard enough to fit six in. I require an interview for every single one and a conversation. Out of that conversation, I develop my article completely independently and it usually has my angle to it, what I think my readers are interested in. I have an editorial board, they review it. They might edit it or they might take it down. I’ve only had one article rejected in all of the 144 I’ve written. It is not that hard to find those writers that are compatible with you. They’re probably the writers you’re bookmarking all the time and saving their articles. Maybe they write for Tech.Co or DigitalMarketer. They write all over the place. They’re always looking for articles. We get emails from the whole Inc., “Can you write some extra articles? We have nothing this week,” because everybody waits until the last week of the month.

That’s also another tip is that if you want to get written up about it and you have something that’s a quick hit, maybe something that’s pre-outlined that the last week of the month, those that have quotas are desperate to get their articles done. If you gift-wrap it for them, they’d be like, “Great.” Some people do that. That happened to us where we ended up appearing in Forbes on October 31st because she had to get her quota in for the month and all she did was she sent us a questionnaire and we answered it. They just posted the whole questionnaire. It wasn’t even like they wrote a new leading paragraph and wrote the rest of the questionnaire. They took our words exactly. It was like we wrote our own article. The writer had us do all the work, essentially.

Put their name on it, though?

Yeah, they put their name on it. Seriously, if you’re trying to get exposure and PR, the more that you do to make it easy for them, the better chances that you’re going to have of getting placed in a popular publication. As Tracy said, timing toward the end of the month, your chances of getting in are better than maybe early in the month when they have a clean slate.

I write for a different reason. I write to build relationships and build my network. I write to get speaking engagements. The people are always like, “It’s so hard to get speaking engagements. I had to hire an agent. I had to do this.” I was like, “I spoke straight for the entire month of August, September and October and then collapsed for the month of November because I had spoken so many weeks in a row,” all because I interviewed someone and they said, “Come to my event. Come do this.” There are a lot of networking things to do. That’s going to happen to you as a podcast host-guest situation. They’re going to ask you the same thing, building relationship.

That’s a huge thing I think a lot of people don’t realize. A lot of times, the more you put it facing out versus facing in, the better it is you’re going to help yourself. I’ve used that trick of basically having stuff written up and then just dropping an email out the last week of the month, “If you’re looking for any articles, looking for any real estate information, I would love to be your guy.” It’s gotten me in Investor’s Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine, some of the things like that as well over the last few years.

If you want to be a contributing writer, it’s not that hard. There are a lot of them who are looking for things with specialties. They look for people who might want to write a couple of times a month, so you might need to be prepared for that. I’ve even just submitted articles to various places and had them accepted. Sometimes you have to wait a couple of weeks, and that’s the hard part. It’s definitely not something timely. If you’re going to put it out, wait a few weeks and if you get no response, actually write an email of withdrawal in case it wasn’t processed, and then submit to the next place and do that.

You wouldn’t take the same article and submit it to twelve different places?

No, it would hurt you more. You don’t want to do that. You’ve got to go out there one at a time. It’s like plagiarism. This is the thing that we find a lot happens is that people do that. They put the information on multiple sites and Google actually downgrades both sites if that happens. If you have duplicate content on more than one site, that’s a big no-no in terms of Google. You can have a feed of your articles and blogs and you can create as many feeds as you need. If you have a special feed that’s just for a couple of blog posts, you can have a feed be on as many different sites as you want. Once someone clicks on that feed item, they’re going to jump over too and hopefully in a new tab or window if it’s done right to the original site where that content is located. Definitely don’t put your content on more than one site, as long as they’re not taking more than 10% of your content. You can do your own spin article. A long blog post from this interview will be 6,000 to 10,000 words, but you could do a 600-word version of it and not tread over and worry about an overlap. That’s not a problem. Sometimes we do that. I’ll write a spin article for Inc. from a podcast interview we did somewhere else and it just works really great, and I reference back to the original podcast.

There are people that are getting into podcasts and then dropping off the face of the earth. What would you say to the success rate of them continuing to go through it and follow through it as you did?

NCS 212 | Building Online Credibility

Building Online Credibility: You need tactics that are going to make it easy for you to concentrate on the real important part, your unique voice.

The last statistics we heard was basically about 23% of the people continue past 25 episodes. That hasn’t been our experience with our clients but industry-wide and I think it’s especially with a lot of people that try to do everything themselves. That’s where it starts to break down. You need support. You need systems. You need tactics that are going to make it easy for you to concentrate on the real important part, your unique voice, your point of view, whatever it is you have to share. You’ve got to get the support. Don’t think you’re going to do it all yourselves on a budget. Whatever money you spend will come back to you 10X if you do it right. That’s where I find that people especially with either when it comes to guest getting or just managing your time to do it right. We record now 36 episodes a month but you know how much time we spend doing that ourselves? You’re talking about two days, three days tops of total time. This month, I think there are six days because we’re stocking up like you are for time off and for a lot of travel. Typically, it’s three days maximum a month that we even allocate and open up on our calendar. No one can even book on any other days but those three.

If you have one podcast, depending on how much content you’re creating a month, you could do it in one day a month if you are disciplined and plan it out that way that, “I’m turning off my cell phone. I am going to just record my episodes or conduct my interviews on that one day,” and you’ve planned ahead and scheduled all your guests in that day. Let’s say you’re going to do two a week, that’s pretty typical for clients of ours. You’re going to do four episodes that’s you talking on a topic as a monologue and four interviews. You can definitely accomplish that in one day a month and that’s it. If you really need it to be, it could probably even be a Saturday. It just depends on your guests and if they’ll book on that day. They want exposure too, so we find that typically we’ll work around your schedule. They go to your booking counter, “That’s the only day there are appointments. I better do this quick before there are no more appointments left.”

We plan it also with an extra half-day of planning. That’s one of the things that we do. We have our team, our assistant or whoever is working with us to maybe get the guests for the next month. Once we record, we plan the next month’s recording and we authorize the dates and all of those things out and say, “Did we seek enough guests for next month? Are we on schedule for that?” We do that so it’s just really done in what is literally a day and a half than at that moment and just say, “That’s it. We’re done. We’ve done our planning.” We are always a month ahead. That’s how we work. We were always recording not the month we’re in, but the next month after that.

Do you see podcasters having each other on episodes and passing on?

Yeah. I think sometimes that’s the, “I don’t know who to ask as guest.” That happens and there’s a lot of that. This is really important to remember. If you’ve got a lot of real estate shows, those people who are listening are hopping around from multiple shows. We find that when someone is interested in a genre and they want to learn something, especially in a learning not in an entertaining kind of podcast, they’re going to book a bunch of shows and subscribe to a bunch of shows at once. Being on those other shows, bringing your audiences together, it brings your audience to them and their audience to you. That’s actually a really good plan. It doesn’t hurt either show.

It’s addition by subtraction.

Yeah, it doesn’t work like that. It’s like you said, it’s coopetition.

We have a question, “Is a podcast best done with a guest as opposed to being solo as you continue with the podcast even though no one’s listening?”

We say do both if you can because it really provides a good variety of content. People do want to hear from really good guests who have experiences and insights that you may not have as the host. At the same time, they want to know what you think. When you start speaking to them as a podcast host, they get to know you even though you don’t know them as a host. If they’re going to listen to you for a long period of time, they need to really believe that they understand who you are and what your point of view is. I recommend both. That also helps you at times when you have a guest that might have to reschedule at the last minute and you’re like, “I’m not far enough ahead. Now what am I going to do for an episode?” You record one for yourself and put it out there. I’d recommend both. It is what I recommend all the time to people because you have a business purpose for your show. In that business purpose, you can’t always just be the interviewer. You have to be the expert as well. Being able to flip between both makes it more successful.

Think of it as your own radio show. I think of it as something like the good news talk shows or The Late Night Shows, especially one of my favorites is always the old Johnny Carson episodes. He was doing a lot of stuff by himself but he had Ed McMahon there just to say, “Yes.” He’s not an expert but he brings guest on. Do you see a time as far as length of episodes that does really well?

This is probably one of the number one questions we get asked. The reality is we don’t subscribe to a particular length of show. We never watch the clock. You have a subject you’re going to talk about or a guest you’re going to talk to. We say don’t stretch it and make it longer than it really should be. When it’s done, end it. Cut them off if they’re boring, that kind of thing. At the same time, don’t artificially make it short because the average commute in the country is 25 minutes, so we don’t want to make it longer than 25 minutes. That’s because that’s what the podcast gurus were saying back in 2015 was, “Twenty minutes was the commute and it should be 20 to 25 minutes maximum.” We did that and then we would get emails from people saying, “They need to be longer. We want more.” We’re like, “Okay.”

What I also realized and I should have realized it because I was a heavy podcast listener, I always listen on double speed. That makes it ten minutes long. It’s too short then. If you are commuting, you want to listen to a 40-minute episode in 20 minutes. That’s really where we switched it up. Normally what we do when it’s topic-based, it will end up somewhere between 20 to 40 minutes somewhere in there. If it’s a guest, because we do an intro and an outro section where we’re having a post-discussion and our final thoughts after the interview, because of that, the interview might be about 35 minutes or 40 minutes and then we’ll probably take it up to 45 to 50 minutes easily with our discussions.

Your final thoughts from Jerry Springer, basically?

Yeah, you can always do that. Then you’ve got your wrap-up and your intros. Sometimes they will be under an hour for sure but typically, we won’t go longer than that. Keep it real is the thing. Not just for who you are as a person, but for the length of content. It’s just when the subject feels complete, then it’s time to be done. That’s why we don’t like the ads interrupting the interviews or ads interrupting the show. We don’t like to watch the clock, that’s why invented the system we invented for our ad mixing is because we wanted the flexibility to put it wherever made sense in the flow of the show because I don’t want to interrupt that. That’s my value to the audience and that’s what I care more about is their listening experience than I care about that monetization. The monetization is important to keep your show going and supporting that but for me, I can find another way to do it. That’s why we invented what we did.

You have grown but you help people launch their podcasts. Let’s talk a little bit about that as well.

We spent easily six months researching podcasting, reading dozens of books, watching 50 YouTube videos, listening to hundreds of episodes on a couple dozen different podcasts. It took a long time researching it for what was an experiment at the time. Once we started doing it, realizing it’s working for us, we had to build a team, put processes and systems in place so it didn’t take over our full-time efforts, because it wasn’t our day job. Once we did that and then other people we’re associated with in business said, “That’s great. Could you do that for me?” We actually recorded a course and we forced ourselves to do it like a bootcamp. We offered it up for $97. We did it for 30 days live. We had a dozen people sign up or something like that. It didn’t really matter to me if one person signed up. I would still do it. Having someone sign up was so we would be committed to show up every morning and record.

Justification and the accountability.

It was like, “We have to show up. We have someone waiting on us.” It was just to force us to do it. We did it in 30 days and we recorded everything about how to launch a podcast. We put it in an order. We did all of this. Out of the whole thing, only one person, and she’s still podcasting today and I’m so proud of her, only one person did it all the way through and basically within 45 days, so within fifteen days after, launched her podcast. What we really learned was people doing it themselves, this is not going to help people in business. It became its own company and it was on the side of our core business for a while. Now it’s its own company, its own rate with its own full-time employees. It’s legitimate but it is definitely a done-for-you service. We have two main services, a done-for-you podcast launch accelerator program so that you want to get into podcasting, then just sign up and in four weeks, you’re a podcaster. It can be as little as two weeks. It just depends on a few things, mostly having to do with you, not us, not our team.

There are so many episodes that are included in that package?

Yes, there are. It comes with first three episodes. We’re not just training you. We’re really doing it for you. We’re going to quiz out of you all the things we need to know. We’re going to create your cover. We’re going to find you music. We create original theme music too. We’re going to do a voice-over artists introduce you, handing the stage to you all of the things necessary, including setting up a podcast page on your website. There’s a laundry list of things including the first three episodes. We decided to do that as this complete done-for-you package because we didn’t want people to skip any of the steps because they’re actually integral to creating a better system later. We didn’t want them to be able to choose à la carte or do that or watch the course videos and skip it. I get harassed all the time when I give this that I don’t have a DIY program. The reality is I’m like, “You’re just not going to succeed, so I don’t want you to pay for money to do it.” At the same time, I keep feeling bad that we probably should put it out there some way, shape or form. Maybe we’ll give it away and say, “I know you won’t do it. I dare you.”

We offer a done-for-you ongoing episode production which includes, whether you record it as video or audio, we produce and syndicate the audio show. We convert them into written blog content for your site. We put it into your site for you. Each episode has its own original episode graphic for social shares. We include the ego bait. We have an automated guest communication system. As long as you give us a guest name and email, your guest is going to get an email when it publishes with all the assets. We kept forgetting to notify guests on our own podcast, because we record a month ahead of time. We were like, “What episode aired this week? Did you notify the guest? Oh my gosh, we forgot,” so we automated it. We had to fix that. It’s really a complete system to help you market and grow your business. It’s using podcasting or videocasting as a tool. That’s how we talk about it. It’s fundamental baseline marketing and it will pay such dividends in terms of increasing your website traffic and growing your audience so much faster.

Can you give an example? Mine there, as far as numbers. Let’s talk about the keyword search aspect of that.

Google ranks you on multiple different things. They give your site an overall ranking. There are 1.4 billion websites or something right now. I forgot what the number is because it changes every day. 1.4 billion websites and everyone has a ranking of between 1 and 1.4 billion and wherever you rank within that. There’s that, and then there are organic keywords which are keywords that they’re basic phrases. They’re not words. They’re key combinations of words. There’s the number of those, and then there are backlinks which are websites that refer to you or mention you or that you had an article written about, so any one of those. Backlinks, it’s not just the number but also the value end up making up that ranking number at the end of the day.

The rank is honestly less important to me as it is having as many backlinks and as many organic keywords that you rank on as possible because that’s how people are going to find you. Those people typing things into Google search or people visiting other websites and then see something that refers to you and brings them to your site. We do this where we make your site the hub of everything about you and your business. In terms of ranking, I think it was September this year or something when you and I met in Anaheim at a conference and that previous Wednesday, you had an episode. I don’t even remember what the subject of the episode was, but mentioned in that episode was a company called Tape Techs. That was not the point of the episode, it was just a company mentioned. Within three days, by that Saturday after, when this episode published on a Wednesday, your post for that episode was ranking on the first page of Google search when somebody typed in Tape Techs. That was a fantastic example of how quickly Google will go through a blog post related to your podcast, index you, rank you on a keyword. Then somebody who wasn’t even looking for you, who was looking up something about this other company, finds out a blog post and learns about you, your company, your podcast. That is gold because you’re just casting a much wider net on the internet.

You can do the same thing and outrank. We found ourselves outranking Fast Company. How do you outrank a major publication who should have way more power than you? It happens if you are an expert in a particular area. We outranked Fast Company writing about Super Bowl tech because a couple of years ago, there was a 3D-printed cast in one of the Super Bowl players. We just did an episode about it and put it up on a blog post. He got injured in the National Championship game and they thought, “He won’t play in the Super Bowl.” They made him a 3D-printed cast and the NFL approved it. It was flexible. He was able to play. We do this with this little podcast, not even a year old yet, and we do this episode on it. Within a week, a week and a half, we were ranking on the first page of Google above Fast Company for 3D printed Super Bowl something. I don’t know what the keyword was but it was amazing. It was Super Bowl tech or something like that. It was a whole article that Fast Company had written on the tech of Super Bowl, which did include 3D printing but ours outranked it. You can do that. Here’s the lesson. It doesn’t matter. Google doesn’t discriminate. Google does not care if you’re a big company or a startup or an individual. It’s all about relevance. They make their own rules as to what’s relevant and you can’t buy your way out of it. All you can do is buy a paid ad and rank at the top of the page for a sponsored ad. Everything else below the sponsored ads, it’s all organic and you can compete.

Here’s another piece of information your audience might find interesting. Every single day, a quarter of the search terms entered in Google search bar, Google has never seen before. They don’t even know the words. Some of it is misspelling or it might be bad grammar, it doesn’t matter. It’s what actual people are typing into Google search bar. Google has to send people who search on those things somewhere and they’re going to find the most relevant thing. That’s why there are always new keyword phrases being added to their database and being indexed. Your old post will continue to rank on new ones and your new posts can rank on them very quickly, but you’ve got to create the content in order to have that happen. That’s where we see your power growing. Your power is growing in the bigger real estate bubble because the associated words are not just notes. To feed that, you’ve got a lot more thousands of keywords that you’re going to continue to grow on and that’s really when your power of authority starts to grow and grow.

That’s led to some of the sponsors because we’ve rank high for the sponsors. They were like, “Are you even going to work with me? Or if you work against me a little bit here, I’m still going to win.” We want to be on the winning side.

You can mine that. You can look up the keywords that you’re starting to rank on and you can look at all the relevant keywords associated with those. There are free tools on the internet for how to look that up. You can rank on keywords that are paying $10, $20, $30. I think we even saw that you’re paying $50 pay-per-click. That means somebody goes from a Google search to your website and ends up clicking on an affiliate link or an ad or something that Google is paying that amount pay-per-click on. They don’t even have to buy. They click on it, you make that money if you do the right things and you set up properly.

Pay-per-click in general, that’s not always as common. I’d say the majority of websites that we see that are moderately-sized but still taking ads, generally do around $1,000 a month, which is not bad. It can support the maintenance of your site. The podcast ads can do tremendously a lot more money. We sometimes have done $6,500, $3,600 in a month. We’re not really active in trying to sell ads on our podcast. That’s not our primary revenue generator. It’s not our primary income. We just got invited to South by Southwest and we can’t wait to come and we’re going to have sponsor because why shouldn’t we pay for our expenses? It’s such a high place and high value for them because it’s live as well as then the podcast will be held and live on beyond it. There’s no reason not to get a sponsor for something like that and you don’t have to give it away.

NCS 212 | Building Online Credibility

Building Online Credibility: We’ve automated all these systems to market and grow your business using a podcast.

We’ve automated all these systems to market and grow your business using a podcast. The next evolution of this business is about monetization through advertising and sponsors. That’s why we did create this ad insertion system. I want to be really careful. It’s not all about ads. We use ad as a really broad term. It’s any kind of promotion. You can promote your book. You can promote your next course. You can promote your event. You can promote your partners. You can promote a charity. By putting that in there, your audience wants to give back to you. That’s what we found. They want to give you credit for the value you’re providing. If you give them some small way that is a match for them, they’re happy to do that. Whether it’s just click-through and download something or go on and check somebody’s website out or make a donation to a great charity that you support, they want to give back to you. We’ve seen things like 37%, 40% conversion rates on any kind of call to action especially when you haven’t inundated them with irrelevant ads. That’s a big deal. They have to be relevant to your show or relevant to you as the host. That matters to your audience.

I’ve seen that already. Even simply, we did a whole thing like PopSockets. The podcast that Nichole designed here in the office, it’s like, “If you’re listening, leave a review. Send us your address and we’ll send you a PopSocket.” Four people left reviews already in just the last 24 hours, which was funny. I had the idea of PopSockets when I saw somebody at DigitalMarketer convention talk about it. I was like, “Let’s try that.” Sure enough, it’s paying off.

That is the cool thing is there are so many options to market and grow your business doing this. It all starts with the content and creating it the way you’re creating it and the way we’re doing with podcasting. It’s so much fun and so easy. I think this is the most fun we’ve ever had in our business. It’s just a lot more active and it got us really out more. We had been doing so much closed in design and client work, and it’s just expansive.

That was the whole goal. Tom and I talked about this a while back. We’re doing webinars and provide a lot of great content and we’ve done a Facebook Live just to have a little daily touch point with our audience, how to touch daily with our audience. Now that we do this almost Monday through Friday, it’s one of our big things that we do if I’m not traveling or if we have something else going on. It’s the first bit of marketing piece that we do every day that leads to stuff going long-term. We’ve got the videos. Four days from now, they’ll pop up on iTunes. In the next twelve hours, Nichole will have it up on Vimeo and YouTube. It leads to long-term saturation across the different platforms. It’s just a great way to do it. A little recap here, I think the biggest thing you said was just doing it. It’s easier than most people make it out to be. Doing a mixture of content and 50-50 case studies or guests. Then doing it at least probably twice a week at a minimum.

It’s recommended in the first 60 days as many as you can. When we started our first podcast, we did five days a week honestly for quite a long time to build that content quickly. Not everybody wants to do that or has time. I’d say twice a week is very manageable. Get the support you need. Don’t try to bite off everything yourself.

How could our listeners get a hold of you if they wanted to start their own podcast?

You can come to BrandcastingYou.com. Our podcast is called Feed Your Brand. We also have our Facebook page, @FeedYourBrand that you may want to go and subscribe to as well to see all sorts of notifications not only about our show but all the shows we produce. We promote all of our clients on Facebook as well. We’d love to hear from you and help you out, helping you grow and market your business. It’s just so much fun.

It’s definitely a win-win across the board. Tom, Tracy, thank you so much for taking your time on a busy day. I know you’re busy just like we are.

Thank you for having us.

Thanks for being my guests. That’s it for the show episode. If you’re really interested in starting a podcast, pick up the phone, drop them an email, check out their website. These guys are the crème de la crème and they’re doing some amazing things. I have a lot of content, but I started years ago one video, one piece of content. In today’s society, it’s a whole lot easier to get the word out on what you’re doing. Honestly, if you’re not doing some sort of video or some sort of broadcasting something, you’re behind the eight ball. Doing a little bit extra than the next guy goes exponentially a whole lot further. With that, I’m going to leave you guys be. You go out and have an amazing day. Go make it happen. We’ll see you all at the top.


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About Tom and Tracy Hazzard

NCS 212 | Building Online CredibilityNCS 212 | Building Online CredibilityAs Brandcasters for entrepreneurs, authors & experts, husband and wife team, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard help major publications, sports stars, and entrepreneurial influencers broadcast their original messages. A highly successful inventor and product designer, Tom has been rethinking brand innovation to build in authority and high-converting revenue streams. Tracy brings an insider media/promotion perspective as an Innovation Columnist for Inc., best-selling author and international speaker. Together, they are blog writers and co-hosts for Feed Your Brand, Product Launch Hazzards & WTFFF?! 3D Printing Podcasts providing businesses of all sizes a system to spread their marketing message, grow a valuable audience, and retain valuable platform authority without a lot of time, cost or effort.

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