Podcasting for Thought Leadership

Episode 1027: Podcasting for Thought Leadership, with Mark Colgan

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Podcasting for Thought Leadership —  Elevate your influence and develop your storytelling skills through our guide on podcasting for thought leadership.

Podcasting for Thought Leadership? To accomplish all of that, you need a cornerstone channel and some smaller cobblestones so that every time someone in your audience turns around, you are being helpful—not selling, but helping. When I say cornerstone content, I mean content that’s big and meaty and can be sliced and diced into smaller pieces. These are the cobblestones. 

In today’s episode of Onward Nation, we invited Mark Colgan. Mark currently splits his time between being the Co-founder of Speak On Podcasts, mentoring B2B Startups via GrowthMentor and ScaleWise, The Product Onboarders, and coaching hundreds of SDRs through his Outbound Prospecting and Cold Email Bootcamp course via The Sales Impact Academy.

Again, think of helping, not selling. The end result is that your audience grows, especially if you siphon, as we’ve been talking about a lot in our free Facebook group recently. You provide your team with an abundance of slice-and-dice opportunities to turn all of those episodes into super helpful cobblestones.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about podcasting for thought leadership

  • Why Mark attributes his career success to his unique ability to match the right people with each other, and why he focused on podcasting for thought leadership niche.
  • What opportunities Mark identified that pushed him to create his Speak On Podcasts business, and why it is a perfect fit for his talents
  • How the outbreak of the global pandemic allowed the podcasting industry to explode in popularity and become an even more powerful marketing channel
  • Mark describes the step-by-step process he and his agency take clients through to position them as ideal podcast guests and connect them with right fit hosts
  • Why offering value for the audience and providing a unique perspective is the key to creating engaging podcast thought leadership content
  • What research and screening process Mark and his team follow to identify podcasts that are the best fit for their clients
  • Why it is crucial when appearing on a podcast to focus on being helpful to the audience and to avoid being too salesy
  • Why it takes time, dedication and a lot of practice to become a great podcast guest, and why developing your storytelling skill is key
  • How to reach out to podcast hosts through email to stand out and position yourself as a great guest that could bring value to their audiences
  • Why a podcast episode is great cornerstone content that can be sliced and diced into smaller cobblestone content for other platforms

Additional Resources:


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner.


Good morning. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and your host for Onward Nation, where I interviewed today’s top business owners. So we can learn their recipe for success and how they built and scaled their business. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while now, or if you’ve read our book, sell with Authority, that’s the book I wrote alongside Drew McLellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute. Then you already know that there are three essentials to becoming an authority. So the first one is the narrower. Your audience is the better. It allows you to be quickly discoverable or quickly discovered. 


And there truly is Onward Nation gold in going narrow into a niche. So then, what’s the second one? The second one is that you need a strong point of view on how you apply your expertise to your niche. So your point of view is what we know to be true. And it’s this truth that defines how we approach the work and how we add value to our clients, prospects, our audience. And third, you can’t be a one-trick pony. All right. So what does that mean? It means that you can’t create content that is so narrow that it only works on one channel, and an expert doesn’t just have one book, podcast, or video series. 


You can’t place all your bets on one horse. You need to be more findable, Onward Nation. So, to accomplish all of that, you need a cornerstone content channel and some smaller cobblestones. So that every time someone in your audience turns around there, you are helpful. You’re not selling, but you’re helping. And when I say cornerstone content, I mean that’s the content that’s big and meaty, so it can be sliced and diced into small pieces of content; the smaller pieces are the cobblestones. So, the definition of a cornerstone is that it is the first stone that’s ever placed. So think about it. For example, if you’re constructing a building, you would carefully set that first stone because you know that all other stones have to be set in reference to the cornerstone. 


So then we take that cornerstone content, and you break it up into smaller pieces, infographics or quote cards, or maybe blog posts or tweets, or perhaps some guest appearances on someone else’s podcast. That’s your cobblestone content. And it’s this last example of content creation that we’re going to dig into today with some real depth, how to put yourself in the best position possible in order to guest on other people’s podcasts, podcasts that are in your niche, and Podcasts that give you the opportunity to share your expertise again, think helping not selling. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Mark Colgan’s Journey to Thought Leadership


Then, the end result is that your audience grows, especially if you siphon like we’ve been talking about a lot in our free Facebook group recently. Then, you’re able to provide your team with an abundance of slice-and-dice opportunities to turn all of those episodes into super helpful cobblestones. So, to help us on this deep dive exploration or expedition, I invited Mark Colgan, who’s the co-founder and CEO of a company called Speak On Podcasts, Mark and his team of 19 help agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants, just like you and me share our expertise with the right audience all over the world. 


Okay. So, without further, are you welcome to the Onward Nation mark? 


Hey Steven, thank you so much for inviting me on, and looking forward to delivering as much value in helping. 


Yeah. This is going to be an awesome conversation. So thank you again for saying yes, my friend. Before we do a deep dive into this exploration or expedition, whatever word you want to put on it, take us behind the green curtain and tell us a little bit more about you, your path, and your journey. Excuse me. And then we’ll get started. 


Sure. So, I’ll try and keep it as succinct as possible. But around 12, 13 years ago, I started working in the world or in Recruitment. So I worked in a recruitment agency, and I really cut my teeth. In fact, Stephen, I like to say I smashed my teeth by being on the coalface and selling. It was very much picking up the phone and booking appointments, finding out who was hiring, and then placing the right candidates in the role. That’s where I got to matchmaking. Then, I went over the rest of my career. That’s all I’ve really done: I just finally found the right people to match together. After a few years of agency Recruitment, I worked in-house in a large HR, in a large company and the HR team. 


I moved into marketing when there wasn’t such thing as digital marketing managers. So I taught myself digital marketing and applied for a role because I knew there wasn’t much competition worked in marketing for a B2B technology and software company for around six or seven years, took an early retirement or a sabbatical, and went traveling for a year. I got to 30, and I realized I hadn’t really taken a break. So, I took a year off and enjoyed that, but I realized I didn’t save enough money for retirement. So upon returning, I decided to set up my own consultancies specializing in CRM and marketing automation, and implementations, a huge need in the industry. And I had a lot of experience, especially with HubSpot at the time. 


And then, after doing that for about two years, I wanted something which was a little bit more predictable. I kind of hit the ceiling. I could only do so much work. I could, I was pretty much technology technology agnostic, so I could work with any CRM or any automation platform, but that proved quite difficult to have a repeatable delivery point of view. So I then had the opportunity to run a hundred-person remote startup, which specialized in lead sourcing and data in Richmond, ran that for just over a year, kind of went in there, did everything I was supposed to do, got the company in a strong position. And then, in May 2020, I decided, to step out on my own and build, and speak on podcasts, which officially launched in June. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: The Story Behind Speak On Podcasts


Since then, we’ve booked almost a thousand interviews for our customers, growing the team from zero to 19. We’ve got people all over the world working for us in such a fun environment. One thing before I finished is that when anybody passes their probation, we buy them an official Lord or Lady title. So we get them a plot of land in Scotland, and they’re all officially Lords or Ladies. 


Podcasting for thought leadership? That’s awesome. Well, okay. That gives us some context when I look at the lower left of your zoom window, and I see Lord Mark Colgan. I’m like, okay. Yeah, there’s gotta be a story there. Okay. So, I guess it was May of 2020, and then it launched in June of 2020, speak On Podcasts. Like, like why start that business? Like, what was it that you saw in the market as an opportunity to be helpful? So, tell us a little bit more about the why behind the business. 


Podcasting for thought leadership? Yeah, so probably towards the end of 2019, I had a bit of spare time in my role, and I was reaching out to Podcasts House to see if I could get myself self-interviewed on podcasts. And I’ve always followed the niche. As you mentioned in the intro, the going niche is so advantageous for you because you can find these small groups or small communities, people who are highly qualified. So, I reached out to a few podcasts. I didn’t look at the size of the podcast or the audience or anything like that. Sorry, looked at the audience but not the audience size. I just knew that I wanted to get in front of people who are interested in outbound cold emails because the service and the solution I had could help with that. 


So, I reached out to a number of podcast houses and managed to book myself on some shows. And I thought, well, okay, then I’m using my outbound sales skills. I’m using my matchmaking skills using my marketing skills. If I could be onto something, I then wanted to test it with a few other people. So I started booking my co-founders of the business, who I was running on other podcasts as well. They were so different people, but I was doing it for them. And I realized I was onto something. And then COVID kind of hit in February and March, as we all know. And I saw podcasting booming, and I also realized that a lot of companies that rely on in-person events and conferences are going to have to find different channels to market in. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: The Key Steps to Early Success 


Podcasting for thought leadership — My hypothesis is that podcasting, which I’ve been a podcast fan for years, was going to be one of those channels that was going to grow. People were going to get so fed up with webinars eventually, but podcasting because it’s more on demand. There’s more snackable. You can listen on your own terms. I thought podcasting on podcasts and industry was the best place to place my money. 


Oh, okay. That sounds awesome. Okay. So in, that’s taken us right down the path of where I think you can. Well, there are so many areas that I think you can add a ton of value to Onward Nation. So, let’s take this piece down. You start booking yourself, and then when you have some success, start booking others, like co-founders, partners, and so forth. So what was it in looking back on that? Do you think that you were doing well in the matchmaking process in order to see some of that early-on success? And my guess is that that’s a pretty big meaty thing there that I’m asking. So maybe we’ll need a slice that apart, but what are some of the things that you thought that you were doing well that led to that early on success? 




Podcasting for thought leadership — I think really what I’m going to describe pretty much describes the various steps that we go through in our agency with our customers. But first, as in marketing and sales, you really need to know your buyer personas and the ideal customer profiles. And it’s the same when it comes to podcasting. So, really, what that relates to is who your audience is. If you’re imagining that you’re standing up on stage, there are 10,000 people in front of you, who do you want to be in that room once you’ve kind of understood who your audience is that you want to reach, then you need to think about what topics and what points of view do you have, which you can share, whether they’re controversial or just industry best practices from your experience that would be of value to that audience. 


Podcasting for thought leadership — So we’ve covered the audience and the topics, and we can go into more detail, Stephen, on any of these, so please feel free to stop me. Once you have your audience and topics, you need to start thinking about which podcasts would be interested in those topics and have that audience. And you go through a process of research. And that’s really where I think going back to my days of recruitment, of hunting down profiles and CVS and trying to find the right people for the roles that I was recruiting for, comes into play in podcasting; we do the same thing very manual. It’s all about the audience. We’re looking for the win-win-win scenario, what our customers want to achieve, what the podcast host is hoping to achieve, and what the audience who are tuning into that podcast wants to achieve and learn as well. 


So that’s where the research comes in. 


Yeah, no, no, no. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt. I was just sort of like, Hmm. Okay. I didn’t mean to interrupt your momentum there. 


No, no problem at all. No problem. And so there’s a lot that goes into the research again, which I can cover in more detail. I’ll keep it at a high level for now. Then, the next stage is the outreach. I have never liked the idea of pitching my product or service. I learned early in my career that I started selling more when I stopped trying to sell. When I positioned myself as the trusted advisor, the person who is knowledgeable about the industry, I understood the challenges that my customers are going through. I know multiple solutions for their various challenges because the reality is, Stephen, as you know, you might have a service or a product or software that solves a problem for a pro for a customer but doesn’t solve all of their problems. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Simplified Podcast Outreach & Interview Success


They’ve got other things that they need to be focusing on as well. So, I’ve always made a point of understanding the entire universe of problems and challenges that they have in their role. So, going back to that, not wanting to pitch, not wanting to sell. We talk about our outreach to podcasts. Hosts are introductions. We don’t like to pitch. We don’t like to assume, but what we do want to do is point out the relevance that we believe is there between our customers, their topics, and the podcast host and their audience. We sometimes send out these emails or messages on social media. So, this is the outreach part. And all we’re looking to do is start that conversation. We’re not trying to get married on the first date. 


Podcasting for thought leadership — We just want to find out if you’re interested. Once we have that interest and get that reply, we will take the next step, which is to schedule the interview. And there’s a lot that goes into that. It’s not as simple; not everybody has a very slick process like yours, Stephen. So there’s a lot of back and forth that goes on. So you have to track that and stay on top of it. Then, the final part is making sure that you’re prepared for that interview, and you go on there and give as much value as you can. You’ve rehearsed your stories. You understand the anecdotes the exam was that you might use; perhaps you’ve had a pre-interview conversation with the podcast host. We always do that as well. 


Podcasting for thought leadership? It feels a lot more natural when you’re having that conversation with a podcast host. So you go on there and deliver a great interview. The interview gets recorded, edited, and then published. Then, the work doesn’t stop at the interview. You’ve then got to recreate the content, a slice and dice, as you were mentioning, into multiple pieces of content, and then you distribute that content, and there are dozens of places that you can distribute that content. And then the, then you do that on an ongoing basis. Stephen, if you imagine a 30 to 40-minute conversation, it could be a four to a 5,000-word blog post or three 1,000-word blog posts split into infographics, into social media posts, and into so many different assets. 


You’re doing that on a regular basis; your podcast and your interviews create the cornerstone content you were talking about. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: How to Target the Right Audience for Podcast Success


Okay. We’re going to have some serious fun. So, all joking aside, that was amazing for a number of different reasons. So there’s a lot for us to go back and slice and dice and unpack. Let’s start with when you mentioned the metaphor of the 10,000 people in the room because I’ve heard it a million times, and I’m sure that you have to, oh, well, if there are 10,000 people in a room, all 10,000 of them are my prospective client when you and I both know that that’s not true. That’s the thin slice potentially of the 10,000. Right. So how do you help your clients, your clients that speak on podcasts, say, okay, let’s really truly think about going narrow here and avoid the temptation of trying to boil the ocean? 


So, how do you and your team walk through that with a client? 


Yeah, so it does vary on where our prospect or customer is in their mindset of this. So when people come, we, first of all, what is your objective? Is it brand awareness or lead generation? Do you need sales tomorrow? Or are you looking to increase that brand awareness and have people come to you and understand what it is you do already for us, we prefer working with those that are in it for the brand awareness because they get the medium, they get what they’re going to see from speaking On Podcasts. That’s not to say you can’t generate leads from podcasting. In one of the examples that I was sharing earlier, I spoke on a podcast that didn’t have a big audience at all, but it was called cold email metrics or something along those lines. 


Objectives for podcasting for thought leadership:

I knew everybody listening to that show was interested in Colima when improving their metrics. And one of the ways to do that was to get better data and get more data. And that’s what the company I worked for did, and I managed to close four customers in one interview. I can’t promise that to our customers. And I will never stand on a core strategy call with our customers and promise them a world like that. There are things that you can do when it comes to finding that audience. You may be familiar with the stat from Chet Holmes, the ultimate sales machine. Only 3% of your market is actively buying. So only 3% are looking right now. 7% might be open to it. So that’s okay. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Sharing Advice and Standing Out with Unique Views


Let’s say 10% of your audience. So I often ask our prospects when the last time you clicked on an ad on Facebook and purchased something cool is when I’m speaking to them. I clicked on an ad on LinkedIn and purchased something. I don’t know that we have the last nurture sequence you clicked on and decided to buy. No, I can’t remember. So we talk about how people buy and how people make decisions. And that really is word-of-mouth referrals. Research, looking around learning, and podcasting is an amazing formats for that. And the reason why I love it so much is that people are actively seeking advice, actively seeking help. 


Podcasting for thought leadership — That’s why they’re listening to podcasts when it comes to business; relate to podcasts so that they, by working out the right topics, which help overcome the challenges that your prospects have, and going on to Podcasts to speak about those, you can start to identify that three, 10% of the audience who are actively interested in, in purchasing something, or they have the challenge they have the need. And then I say, well, who are they going to consider the person that they’ve just had pour their heart and soul out about their journey, their history, what they do, how they’ve done it, the mistakes the lessons learned versus the person who’s just put out a white paper, which is 20 pages. But you have to put your email in to download it. 


And that typically frames the conversation in a very positive way about podcasting as a strategy. 


Yeah. I love that. And let’s hook that back into the second piece when you were sharing at a high level, and that was the point of view to share; you mentioned controversy having something to say. My guess is you’re suggesting that it’s okay. We’re going to really think about the audience and where we can be helpful. And also, you’re going to stand in front of that audience with a point of view that sets you apart from the sea of sameness, right? So you’re speaking to the right audience with something intriguing and something that sounds different than maybe somebody else, am I tracking with you? 


A hundred percent? Yes. So, we go for an onboarding process for all of our customers. It’s an hour-long interview, and we’re asking very naive questions to get those golden nuggets out on the onboarding call. So we’ll often start with what questions you get time and time again, other things, and what problem you solve for your customers. And then the third is what controversial opinions do you have now controversial in a very light sense? An example would be, I don’t believe in gating the majority of your content as a marketer; definitely don’t get a case study. I do that it’s 2021. Please stop doing that. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Tools and Strategies for Success


So these are the sorts of topics that we explore with our customers. We go back and forth, and we really craft a very appealing topic that we believe podcast hosts would be interested in. 


It was so hilarious because I immediately went back to a conversation about five or six years ago with somebody who actually wanted to get their case studies. I’m like, why on earth? Would you do that anyway? Okay. So, once, once you have led clients through the audience conversation and then uncovered what their point of view is around the work that they do and how that gets them out of the sea of sameness, you mentioned research and in trying to figure out, oh, okay. Using your matchmaking skills based on what you’ve shared with us here and the research that we’ve done, this seems like a good fit over here. 


What’s the middle? Is it just as simple as going into iTunes or Spotify and doing research that way? Or are there tools like what, what is the process you guys use for that? 


Sure. What’s the middle? I think the quick answer is a lot of work is in the middle, but yeah, there are a number of tools out there. So, we use a few different ways of going about it. But once we’ve got the topic and we really understand the audience, we consult databases like iTunes or Google podcasts. There are also listen notes and a podcast database. So it has the same podcasts on Apple and iTunes, but it just gives you a lot more metadata about it, like the podcast description. You can see the topics that people have been speaking about previously. You can look at the previous guests that they’ve had on the show. 


And what we’re really looking for there is, well, do these guests have a similar audience to our customers, guests, because they may have done their due diligence? Did you do the agenda? So that gives us kind of like a little extra tick, but we’re looking to tick off multiple different data points, Stephen, because it’s not as linear as you may think. I’ll give a really simple example. We had one client who wanted to speak to the HR directors. So the HR leadership chat, which is the name of the podcast, already signals to us that this could be a good show, but then we want to check the show to see if it’s talking about topics similar to what our customers can talk about. Does it identify who their audience might be from the podcast description? 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Research Blueprint for Success


Podcasting for thought leadership — Obviously, do they interview other external people? And that’s a mistake. I think a lot of people do; they reach out to Podcasts because they’ve just done a keyword match on a name or a topic, and they haven’t checked whether they’ve been, they actually interviewed people, or if they’ve published recently. So we go for a qualification process. We have a minimum standard of podcasts that we don’t reach out to for our customers because they could be either inactive or a little bit too small to begin with. Not that I believe that there is such a thing as being too small, but customers who are paying for the service don’t want to be on a podcast. That only has three episodes, for example. And I completely understand that, but we kind of earmark those for the future because they could grow. 


Podcasting for thought leadership — And again could be a great success from a podcast. So topics. And then the other thing to think about is who else serves your market, which big software companies serve your market, who w who, which influences have released books about your industry, and go and have a look to see if they’ve been On Podcasts. Again, they may have done more due diligence. So see if those costs they’ve spoken about are a fit for you. They might not be; the person could be speaking about multiple different projects they’re working on, but there could be a few that are a good fit. In the same vein, competitors go and speak on every podcast your competitor has been on and do a better job. 


You literally just gave us a research blueprint right there. No joke. And I love how it’s not just going to a database and doing a keyword search and finding a list of shows and then starting pitching those shows. I love how it was like, well, okay, this is, this might seem like a universe of shows. Now, we’re going to dig deeper. Now we’re going to look at who the guests are on the show. We’re going to listen to the show. We’re going to really determine if then does our client, or if Onward Nation, obviously listening to this, if you were thinking, okay, this is my audience. This is my point of view. This is where I can be helpful. Now, thinking about it from the host’s perspective, if I book Mark to be in front of my audience, how would he be helpful to my audience? 


So, thinking through all of that and not just doing a keyword search and calling it good, I love that in the piece about the competitors. Holy bananas. That is awesome. It’s really, really good. That’s great. 


Podcasting for thought leadership? Yeah. One of our customers has just been invited onto a competitor’s podcast, and he reached out to me and asked if I should go on it. And I said, yeah, avoid, avoid a slanging match where you’re saying which product is better than the other, but to talk about the challenges that your customers face, talk about the changes that you see in the industry. And essentially, it might. My belief, Stephen, is that a rising tide raises all boats. And I think the market is often big enough for multiple competitors to be in there. So I shouldn’t. I’m never afraid of competition on the move. I always embrace it as much as I can. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Strategies to Avoid the Sales Trap


Absolutely. Okay. So then another piece in the process here, and by the way, when you said that you sold more, when you stopped selling, I’m like, oh, so refreshing, because it feels so yucky on the other end, like when we make our prospects on ordination, when we make our prospects feel like they were a prospect, it feels gross. You don’t like it when somebody does it to you. So, don’t make the mistake of doing somebody else. So Mark, when you said sold more, when you stopped selling super smart, and then you went into talking about how this entire universe of problems, it’s not just one little business issue that you might be helpful on, but it’s really being able to understand the entire universe of problems that that audience is dealing with and then how we can be helpful. 


It sounds like that’s part of the strategy, too, when you’re starting to work with a client: to really slice that apart and get super specific about it. 


Podcasting for thought leadership — So, when we work with our customers, we often have to push back quite a lot. Another customer has recently joined us. She wanted to talk about her product, how great it is, how great it is doing, and how much time it saves. And we’ve had to work with her. We also provide coaching for all of our customers. We actually have a professional voice and presentation coach to improve the interviews. But we worked with her to say, stop talking about your product, talk about the problems that it solves the less; if you go onto a podcast and just talk for 30 minutes about your product and name, drop it, the people are going to switch off and what will happen? The risk is you go and do this interview with a podcast host who intends to provide value to their own audience. 


They never publicize it. They never published it because it just was too pitchy and too salesy. So yeah, a lot of work goes into toning down. What we do is encourage them to talk about examples through stories and how to tell that story, what anecdotes to use, and which stats to pull on as well. So we do a lot of work around that to really help people feel more confident because we have a lot of customers who are established coaches and consultants who do fantastic work, or they don’t want to sell, or they don’t like selling. And they don’t want to be this sleazy salesperson that we all have this avatar on our head of who, who that is. So telling stories and talking about customer success stories is a great way to allude to a solution, but without selling it directly. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Navigating the Podcasting Learning Curve


Yeah. That’s awesome. So, let’s take a break here and step through the process. And I want to loop back to something you said in the green room before we hit record because what you just mentioned there takes time. It takes experience to be able to do that, to be able to do it well, and to be able to teach and share. At the same time, intrigued enough about how you could be helpful. That takes practice in one of the metaphors that you said in our agreement; you talked about like the first day of the gym. And then, you went on to say, like the couch to the 5k. And so talk about that too, about how to set expectations of, if you’ve never done this before, it’s going to take some time, it’s worth that effort to go from couch to 5k, but let’s not start thinking that you’re going to drop in and do the Ironman right away, right? 


Yeah, absolutely. That’s what we do internally, and we do a practice run interview with my co-founder, Yacob. It gets re-coded like a real interview; it doesn’t count towards their targets, but we record it. We send out preparation notes before we send the calendar, but we just mock the whole process and then Yacob them and provide them with feedback. The last one I saw was about two pages for feedback on things to improve, which is great, but maybe things to avoid in the future. Some are just simple presentations, tips, experiences, or other things or mindsets. So Steve and I personally don’t have a script for today, but I know that whatever I’m going to say to you, no one else knows what’s in my head. 


So if I miss something or forget something, nobody else knows. And I think once you start to understand that, then it helps you overcome that kind of anxiety that you could have from speaking publicly, publicly, or speaking on On Podcasts. We encourage our customers to practice those stories. I only know the stories of our customers because I listened to their podcasts and took on all of the information. I’ll give a really great example, which I think summarizes this quite nicely. One of our customers has a collagen supplements company, protein powders, and supplements. He tells the story of why he set up this company. And it was because his daughter, who was, I think, three at the time, was ill. 


The doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong with her, but she was constantly ill. And in the hospital more often than she should have been, as any family would do; they would go, they were researching, looking for alternative medicines to see if there were things about diet, what is it in the environment that could be affecting her. They stumbled across collagen and introduced it to her diet. She’s never been sick to the level that she was before since then. She even went on a mission to share that with other people and built this company. Stephen, I listened to a podcast of our customer telling that story, and I’m able to recite it because it’s how we learn storytelling. And that is what is so fantastic about the medium of podcasting. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: The Power of Storytelling in Podcasting


And you just get to tell stories. He didn’t mention the comma store. He didn’t say the website until he was asked to, towards the end of the interview, which is typically when it happens. For him, one of the podcasts he went to generated over $6,000 worth of sales in his store because he gave out a coupon for $5 off your first order. So he can track the ROI. But he’s such a great storyteller that I’ve remembered it, almost word for word, and it impacts the audience that you speak to. 


It’s amazing. And okay, so that’s perfect when you’re talking about the storytelling piece because the reality is Onward Nation. Whether we want to think about storytelling in a literal sense or metaphorically, this is a great example because stories are part of our DNA, either audibly or visually; think of cave paintings, for Pete’s sake. Those are, those were visual stories. History was passed down for generations, centuries at a time, before it ever became written history or oral history. That is just part of the nature of communication. And so, why not get really good at that and not make it salesy, right? It’s like teaching through story. This is a great example, going back to when you started, you were really careful to say I was never pitching, I was making introductions and matchmaking first with yourself. 


So you’re taking all of this research and, oh, I think I could be helpful to that audience. So when you were making the introduction, I guess it wasn’t just, Hey, I’m Mark, and I’m available next week. Can I come to your show? It was my assumption. Please validate this or contradict that from your research; you suspected that the audience was dealing with this particular business issue, and you probably put it forward. Here’s how I can be helpful with that issue. Is that a good assumption or not? 


It’s a great assumption as we’re going through the research. We are forming hypotheses as to why we feel that our customers might make great guests on the show. We never want to assume a bug with the bagasse. Everything on the outside could look perfect, but the podcast is because hosts behind the scenes are working on season two, a completely different topic, going down different angles and speaking to different industries. You can’t assume anything. One of the first lessons in business I learned was the assumptions of the mother of all F-ups. And I’ve never forgotten that it’s a great lesson. And so I try not to assume as, as much as, as much as I can. Stephen, when it comes to us reaching out to Podcasts, we, first of all, listened to the podcast podcast. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: Crafting the Perfect Pitch


Hosts can give a lot away in the intro. They usually have a pre-roll that describes the whole audience and the podcast, but then they also listen to the topics and the conversations with the podcast host. But what we’re looking for is the relevancy. How can we find the golden for the red thread between a previous guest and the audience that we can decipher? It’s not always as simple as the HR leadership chat example I gave and what our customers can talk about. Then we kind of point that red thread out, and we talk about how our customer could potentially build upon that person’s opinion advice. Sometimes, they could go against the grain, and they actually disagree, but we think your audience would enjoy hearing two sides of the story or two sides of a tactic or strategy. 


And then simply towards the end. I teach this in the outbound prospecting courses, which I mentioned to you in the green room before the call to action at the end of your email, but it shouldn’t be; when you want to interview them, it is way too assumptive. And that’s the mistake people make. And you can listen to this episode, I hope, and be able to do this kind of yourself if you want to. So the key to the call to action at the end of your email is something along the lines of, would you be interested in learning more, or do you believe your audience would find this valuable question, Mark? And that’s where you leave the first email. You’re just hoping to make the introduction. All you’re aiming for is a reply not to get married on the first date. 


Onward Nation. I will say that again here: Mark just gave you the blueprint, literally the blueprint. I’m not trying to sound patronizing to him; literally, the blueprint. And I will say that of all of the In, we do get a lot of pitches. We need to get the introduction the way you just mapped out; what you just mapped out was perfect. I would say less than 1% ever come into our inbox framed the way that Mark just suggested over Nation 99% of the time; there are super arrogant pitches that feel so yucky, just awful when people are trying to get married on the first date. 


And it feels gross. Very, very few in our nation are doing exactly what Mark just said. And so if you want to stand out, he just gave you the blueprint. It’s really, really great. So I know that we’re quickly running out of time, Mark, and there’s just one last thing that I did well. There are a whole bunch of things I would love to chat with you about, but I know there’s no time. So when you mentioned recreating and distributing that content, it’s slicing and dicing a few highlights. So take that deeper, and then we’ll wrap it up. 


Tune in to this episode of Podcasting for Business with Harry Morton to elevate your knowledge about podcasting for thought leadership.


Podcasting for Thought Leadership: From Content Creation to Distribution


Sure. Okay. So the podcast interview that you produced, you can get the audio file of that. You can go to listen to notes, which is one of the recommended tools. As I mentioned before, you can actually download the audio file to an MP3. You take the MP3 and run it for a tool like Otter or the script, which are two tools that transcribe that video, the audio; you’ve just got a three or 4,000-word blog post, which you need to go in the edit, obviously AHS. There’s going to be a lot of those, so don’t worry. You’ll need to do a lot of editing. Still, if you’ve framed the conversation around the topics you want to talk about, this is going to be valuable content that you can then create blog posts, which can be published on your blog. 


From that blog post, you can create multiple pieces of content. I’ll give the high level; it could be an infographic. It could be some social media quotes or images. It could be some audio grams. That’s when it’s an MP3 or an audio-only interview, and you put it into a little tool. There’s a great one where it will transcribe the MP3 audio into words on a screen called an audiogram. If it’s a video podcast, then you can do the same, but with a video. You can obviously write social media posts to accompany every social media asset. So, you really are multiplying the amount of content that you can produce. When it comes to distribution, many people share on social media and just stop there. 


And I think that’s a huge mistake. When you’re speaking on podcasts, you’re actually sometimes able to handle potential objections from customers because you’re talking about the challenges that people overcome or the common beliefs that they have, which may be wrong. So you can use that in your sales process. So, if you have a sales team that speaks to prospects, then arm them with this content and share the content with your newsletter. You might have an internal newsletter. If you’re a large company, you might have a customer-only newsletter, which you can share with them as well. And then you’ve got communities. Stephen, I can’t believe how many people don’t take advantage of these amazing communities, which are the community for product-led growth, the SDR Nation, they say in the title. 


Who’s in that who’s in that community, and you can simply share that content with them. And then you’re coming from that position again of that trusted advisor, giving freely, without expecting anything in return. You’re not selling, but you’re just providing value to your industry and your market. If you’ve got competitors in there, who cares, it doesn’t matter. Share that content freely and willingly. 


So smart, all my gosh. And so Onward Nation Mark just gave you a wonderfully detailed list of cobblestones. Amazing. And they all lead back to the cornerstone, which, in this case, is the episode, so it’s a really, really smart mark. Before we go, I know we covered a lot, but before we go and close out and say goodbye, if you’d like to share any final advice, please tell Onward Nation the best way to connect with you. 


Okay. So my last piece of advice to share is if you’re sitting or listening to this podcast thinking, well, I don’t have anything of value to share with people. Just remember, what’s obvious to you is often amazing to other people. Sometimes, we take for granted how much time we spend on research. We read, and we study the craft that we are working on. And the majority of the people that you serve do not have an interest in doing so. And that’s why you exist as a consultant, coach, or agency. So what’s obvious to you is often amazing to other people. Don’t let that fear stop you from speaking On Podcasts; take the blueprints I have tried my best to get through in the last 35 minutes, put it into practice, and give it a go yourself. 


I encourage you all to do it. That first one might feel the hardest, but it will be good once you’ve secured it. If you’d like to speak to me, I’m on LinkedIn, Mark Colgan. And if you want to book a call to talk about this typical fashion, I’m not looking to sell you anything. I’d just rather point you in the right direction. And we can talk about speaking on Podcasts, advertising on podcasts, or setting up your own. You can visit, speak on podcasts.com/strategy, and have a call with me there. 


Awesome. Thank you very much for that generous offer, Mark. Okay. Onward Nation, no matter how many notes you take or how often you go back and relisten to Mark’s words of wisdom, I sure hope that you do the key; you have to take these amazing blueprints that he just gave you. Literally, the blueprints, take them, apply them, and accelerate your results. And Mark, we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. And I am grateful, my friend, that you said yes to come onto the show, to be our mentor and guide, and to help us move our businesses to that next level. That was awesome. Thank you, my friend. 


Thank you. Steven has been a pleasure. I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you. 


This episode is complete. So head to OnwardNation.com for show notes and more food to fuel your ambition. Continue to find your recipe for success here at Onward Nation. 

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