Trojan Horse Business Strategy

Episode 983: Trojan Horse Business Strategy, with Stephen Woessner

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Trojan Horse business strategy—Explore the history and effective implementation of the timeless Trojan Horse business strategy in modern contexts.

In the spirit of the holiday season…my hope is…you, your family and friends, your team, your clients, and all of the people in your community — were able to tap the breaks…to pause…to reflect…and yes, that even during this time of pandemic…and give thanks.

Through all of this — all of the challenges that 2020 represents — and I hear you — it’s a long list — there are some silver linings for your business. You may feel like you are being forced to pivot to survive — and through that — you find a completely new service offering for your clients. Or — you may have needed to restructure your team from full-time employees to having some amazing freelancers ready to rock whatever project you send their way.

Or — maybe through all of the chaos — you have identified topics and lessons your audience needs in order to grow and be better at what they do every day. And you know — deep in your soul — you are just the person to deliver that level of awesomeness.

So as you work hard to close out 2020 and dare to dream about what 2021 might look like — I’m sharing a different twist on a solocast with you to help.

I was recently interviewed by Billy Samoa Saleebey for his podcast entitled, “For the Love of Podcast”. And Billy asked a series of excellent questions that can serve as some foundational elements as you work through your plan for 2021. So as you hear Billy ask me the question…my hope is…you will take notes of what he asked…and then ask yourself the same questions. If you do that — it will help you build a solid plan for 2021.

Also — Billy asked me to map out more detail behind how the Trojan Horse business strategy works — you’ll find some real behind the curtain stuff here — as well as how to plant your flag of authority, slice and dice your content into smaller cobblestones, and build out your sales funnels.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about Trojan Horse business strategy

  • Why podcasting is like a Trojan Horse business strategy
  • 3 steps for planting your Flag of Authority
  • Creative ideas for repurposing your podcast
  • What are the vital metrics we should pay attention to
  • SEO and Email list building strategies
  • How to turn your podcast into YouTube videos, weekly newsletters, and a book
  • How many loyal fans you need
  • Ideas to help treat your podcast guests like VIPs

Additional Resources:



Trojan Horse Business Strategy: 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 in the spirit of the holiday season. My hope is Onward Nation that you or your family, your friends, your team, your clients, and all of the people in your community have been able to tap the brakes to pause, to reflect. Then, yes,  even during this time of the pandemic, you are able to give thanks because through all of this, all of the challenges that 2020 has represented, and I hear you, it is a long and heavy list. 


There are also some silver linings for your business. You may feel like you’re being forced to pivot to survive. And through that, you find a completely new service offering for your clients, or you may have needed to restructure your team from full-time employee to having some amazing free-lancers ready to rock or whatever project you send them our way, or maybe through all of the chaos you’ve identified topics and lessons your audience really needs. And in order to grow and be better at what they do every day and deep in your soul, you are exactly the right person to deliver that level of awesome. 


So, as you work hard to close out 2020, you allow yourself to dare to Dream about what 2021 might look like. I’m going to share a different twist on a solar cast with you to help. So I was recently interviewed by Billy Samoa Saleebey for his podcast entitled For the Love of Podcast. Billy asked a series of excellent questions that, in my opinion, can also serve as some foundational elements as you work through your plan for 2021. 


So, as you are here, Billy asked me a question or a series of questions. My hope is you will take notes of what he asked me and then ask yourself the same questions. Because if you do that, it will help you build a solid plan for 2021. Billy Also asked me to map out in more detail than probably anybody had ever asked me to do before the Trojan horse of sales, how it works, how we operate here at Predictive ROI what we do so that you can take that. I mean, this is some real behind-the-curtain stuff here, as well as how you plant your flag of Authority and how to slice and dice your content in the smaller cobblestones. 


And then also how to take that content then to build out your sales funnels. Okay. So without further ado, Onward Nation, here’s Billy and yours truly For the Love of Podcast. 


Stephen Woessner, thanks for being on For the Love of Podcast. You’re very welcome, Billy. Thanks very much for the invitation. It’s great to be here with you and your audience. So thanks. 


Absolutely. Well, let’s start with entrepreneurship because it runs in your blood. Your grandfather immigrated from Istanbul with only a few dollars in his pocket and managed to become a business owner. And you grew up in the restaurant business, and most of your family have taken two, the entrepreneurial pursuits. I relate to the restaurant biz being a big factor in my life and the success that I’ve had, both in sales and interaction with other human beings. I mean, there’s really nothing like the incredible opportunity that you get to interact with so many people in the restaurant business. So I want to start there, man, because I totally relate to that. 


How did being immersed in that type of business help you in your entrepreneurial journey? 


Elevate your business by using the Trojan Horse business strategy and Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Billy’s Introduction


Gosh, there are all kinds of lessons out of that. So when I was ten years old, I sort of worked in the family restaurants; both my uncles owned restaurants. So my uncle Bill was my godfather, his father, or my grandfather’s one Peter Myringitis is the one who immigrated here from Istanbul and brought with him the restaurant trade if you will. When I was 10, it was time for me to get started working in restaurants and be ten years old. And I remember one day my uncle saying to me, I think he came back into the kitchen, and I was probably like taking a break or something to me. And then I love my uncle. He has been one of my greatest mentors. And he said to me, it was, what are you doing? And I said that I was all caught up. 


I was all caught up with my work. I was like washing dishes and keeping the kitchen clean, big pots and pans, that kind of thing. Anyway, I said, I’m all caught up. So basically, I don’t have anything to do. And he looked at me, and he said, sternly but lovingly, there is always something to do in a restaurant. He goes, so I don’t care if your stock shelves wiping down shells, mop a floor, cleaning out the ice machine, pick up cigarette butts out of the parking lot, washing windows, cleaning fingerprints off the glass, restocking, whatever, vacuuming, there’s always something to do in a restaurant. I was like, wow. So that’s the lesson that I learned 38 years ago. And it still rings true today. So aside from work ethic, communication, teamwork, and hustle, just all of those are things that I learned early on as a kid and still pay dividends to me. 


Are you today? If you have time to learn, you have time to clean it up. And so I totally agree with you because whatever business you’re in, there’s always something to do in a restaurant; it’s present, and it’s all around you. There’s the cleaning there, and you just listen to so many things right there. It’s another influence in your life, which I really, really appreciate. Not only because I read this book 20 odd years ago, but because I’m in a mastermind today where we’re going through, where they were on chapter 11 or 12 and think, and grow rich, what do you highlight that in your book? And you’ve shared through interviews and other ways; it’s just what an influence Napoleon Hill has had on your life. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about the lessons that you value most and what you actually apply in your day-to-day life from his teachings. 


Oh gosh. So there was a long list, too. And I think one of the things I love the most about Thinking To Grow Rich. However, sort of the 75 million or the people the best-selling book of all time with the exception of the Bible, is the fact that Napoleon, in chapters one, two, three, and four takes you through essentially like setting what your vision is, building out, what your desire is. It is just really kind of understanding, sort of like you would in a business plan: what is it that you want to accomplish? Once it gets into chapter five, then it’s like all gloves are off, and it is time to double down And really understand the auto-suggestion process. What I find interesting about it is that so many people today talk about meditation, affirmations, positive reinforcement, and all sorts of different iterations of it. 


And sometimes try to pass it off as their own. When the reality is, is that Napoleon Hill rightly credits Dr. Kool-Aid, who discovered the placebo effect, all of that is in thinking and growing rich. And I was like, I’m getting better and stronger every single day. Say that to yourself 20 times with emotion and response and people were responding to that better than they were with their medications. So, it was discovered way back then that the book was published in 1937. That’s all right. So, people today pass off these discoveries as their own sort of intellectual property without giving credit where credit is due. And then, so I think Napoleon Hill’s work is masterful about deciding what it is that you want to stay supremely focused on that, do the work, and then good things happen to people who are willing to actually do the work, give God the opportunity to bless your work. 


Elevate your business by using the Trojan Horse business strategy and Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Trojan Horse Business Strategy: The Key to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Achieving Podcast Success


It doesn’t just call a fall a fruit from the sky. You actually have to put some skin in the game, but give them the opportunity to bless your work. 


What is the Trojan Horse business strategy? As you talk about in your book, most of them, in fact, are all people who have had tremendous success, and this is from Napoleon Hill; they make decisions quickly and change them slowly. And that’s just such a profound thought and a reminder of the importance of being decisive and also following through on your decisions. I love that you highlight mindset a lot in the work that you do and the lessons that you teach. It’s so vitally important as a podcaster to have the right mindset. You talk about grit, perseverance, determination, doing the things necessary to give yourself, give your mind the armor that it needs to follow through. 


Talk a little bit about why mindset specifically has been such a throughline in your life and your business. And why do you feel it is so important for other podcasters to really block the fear, but block the imposter syndrome, all those things or things that you talk about in your book. And I love all of those things. Wondered if you could share with the audience why they’re so important for you? 


No, no, I’d be happy to because if you don’t get that right, you’ll spend the next whatever period of time talking yourself out of what it is that you need to do, and you will be spinning your wheels. Then there’ll be the little voice or the little whatever, sitting on your shoulder, whispering in your ear. Billy, who do you really think you are to do something so great? So bold, so audacious. So whatever, As have a Podcast build a business, do you know whatever that thing is? And so if we don’t get our head right and actually truly be able to kick the imposter syndrome two, the curb first recognized that for what it is, and then being able to kick it to the curb, we will never send out the guest invitations. 


We will never name our show and will never have the guts to actually dial in with a great guest. We’ll never continue to do that. The body of work is 10 episodes, 20 episodes, 50 episodes, or whatever we just won’t. We will second guess ourselves all the way out of ever launching the show or building the show into something that it can truly be. And that’s a real shame. You end up talking yourself out of your destiny unless you get it right. Right. 


How do you do it, though? How do you kick that inner? Cause we have that inner voice, that inner dialogue that’s pushing us down and telling us why we can’t do something. How do you flick it off your shoulder and say, no, yes, I can do something, and I will do something part of it. 


Good is what you just said. So, for many, it is exactly the recipe. So listeners, exactly the recipe, have the ability to just give you. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that for others. It will be going back to chapter five in Think and Grow Rich and really understanding the power of autosuggestion in what that repetition will do to your subconscious. Now, I know for some of your listeners that this is going to feel like, okay, that sounds like mystic dark magic voodoo. I get it. However, the power of this subconscious mind is well documented in Think and Grow Rich and many other studies since then. So you can either choose to accept it and study it and understand how to harness the potential for you. 


Elevate your business by using the Trojan Horse business strategy and Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Unlocking Your Potential through Coaching and Personal Growth


What is the Trojan Horse business strategy? Momentum is either working for you or against you. It has a lot of the universe. So you could either harness that potential or act like it doesn’t exist. So, here are three SEP recipes. First, Billy gave you a great couple of ingredients there. Second Napoleon Hill does it at length in chapter five and throughout the rest of thinking grow rich. So you have a script there. The third is I would suggest that somebody also consider getting some professional coaching, and this is not something that I offer just to be clear, but I would suggest that somebody feel like there are absolutely, without a doubt, I have received coaching from some really, really great mentors and coaches. And I would suggest that others look for a great mindset coach or a great business goal coach or something like that for somebody to really hold them accountable in their progress because if they don’t get that right, they will feel like they’re bumping their head up against a brick wall continuously. 


What is the Trojan Horse business strategy? The coaching part is such an important part of that equation. You add the distinct privilege of being coached and mentored by Darren Hardy, who is prolific, and to his wisdom and his book Compound Effect. And obviously, it was SUCCESS in all of that. I think anyone who doesn’t know who he is pick up the compound effect but is curious while we’re on this subject of coaching, one of the things that he taught you that you think has really been the most significant in your own growth and development as a human and as an entrepreneur. 


You can. There are many. I mean, we could do an interview just on this. That was actually thinking of the same thing, man, for 


Sure. Yeah. I’ll give you one that really sticks out. It will always stick out because he was really calling me on my excuses. So early on, a Predictive, so this would have been, let’s call that 2013 ish somewhere around there, somewhere between 2012 and 2013. It has been some time, but we were early on, and our business started Predictive back in 2009. So let’s call it two or three years in three or four years in. So he and I are having one of our monthly calls. We either got in together in person in San Diego, Or we had monthly check-in calls, and that kinda stuff in a lot of e-mails in between. And so I’m talking to him on the phone one day and I’m like, lamenting this code for whining about I’m just not sure how big I want Predictive to become. 


And I don’t know if I want to add more people if I want to; it was just kind of grousing or that kind of stuff anyway. And I said because I don’t really consider myself a good manager of people. So, I set my piece, right? Like expecting the magic to come, you know that Darren is going to fix all of these ills. It actually, let me back up for a second, I should say, because quite frankly, Darren, I kind of suck at it as far as managing people. So then I wait for the paws, right? And he says to me, you need to stop sucking at it. And I’m like, what? And I was kind of back on my heels. He goes, stop giving me that excuse, that limiting belief that you’re not any good at it, get better at it. 


So stop sucking at it. And I’m like, okay. And now, I’m totally stripped down. As he cut to the core, he cut through all of the excuses and all of the stuff that I was putting up there. And I’m like, okay, just be better at it. Because he was a hundred percent, right? It was literally something I installed in my own belief system that I couldn’t manage people or that I wasn’t a good leader, which was completely false, soft, and formulated those beliefs in our brain. And nine times out of 10, they’re made up, and they’re fabricated. And sometimes it takes somebody rattling our cage, like Darren did, to help remind you that even if it were partially true, it doesn’t mean that that needs to be the excuse for you to knock, grow your business, or not do the things necessary to have success. One of the biggest learnings and takings that I got from your book was this philosophy of the Trojan horse of business. Let’s dive in on that. What do you mean when you say a podcast can be that Trojan horse? 


Elevate your business by using the Trojan Horse business strategy and Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Leveraging Your Show to Open Doors and Nurture Relationships


What is the Trojan Horse Business Strategy? If one of your listeners has a podcast, it would be really smart for them to essentially put that Podcast out in front of whatever their core businesses. So, let’s say that that person runs a coaching business. I’m just gonna make up the fictitious example. OK. So let’s say that that person runs a coaching business and has a podcast, John Smiths or Sarah Jones Podcast, which spits out in front of their coaching business. So where are the podcasts that could really, really drive busdev? It is for them to sit down and make a list of these. These are the 25 people who I would really love to have as clients dig down into the niche and dig down into the avatar. 


What is the Trojan Horse business strategy? These are the 25 people who I would love to be able to have as clients, and then use the Podcast as a way to open the door. Just like way back in the Trojan War, right after a 10-year siege or the Greeks trying to get over the city walls and get through the city Gates of Troy and failing miserably, they decided to leave a peace offering on the beach. Right? And it was the wooden Trojan horse. And all the Trojans would have been Ys to do a little bit of due diligence and probably would have found the Greek strike Force lane in the belly of the horse, but the wheel inside. They came out in the middle of the night and ended up sacked in the city. They open the doors, and the rest of the army comes in. 


And that gave birth to the be aware of Greeks bearing gifts, that little, which, which I love because I’m Greek, but right. So if somebody has a top rate of Podcast, it gives them the ability to completely change the game. So they reach out to their dream twenty-five prospects, and now they are not a business owner looking for a new coaching client. They’re a journalist are a media company, and they were a lot easier to say yes to now. What I’m suggesting is if one of those Dream 25 prospects says yes, it doesn’t mean that now it’s Selling fast have that person on the conductor, a great interview, be smart, be gracious, and be an excellent host. 


What is the Trojan Horse business strategy? And then downstream from that interview, send them a framed quote of one of their golden nuggets and highlight them on LinkedIn, right? For ebooks with their smarts, make sure they get a copy and feature them in a weekly email. And there was a litany of things that could be done by slicing and dicing that content. So six or seven months later, you looped back to Sarah, who was on your dream 25. And you say, Hey Sara, thanks again for being a great guest on my show. I really loved it. You shared some great insights and wisdom with my audience. It was off the charts. My team and I were just listening to that episode. And you know what, when you said X, that made us think about Why, and you know what we do Why really, really well here, is there a day or a time next week when we just sit down and talk about that? 


Never once did Sarah ever feel like she was a prospect, and now you have a great open door for two business people to sit down and chat, and that’s what your podcast delivered for you. 


It’s a huge difference between going in cold and sending some salesy direct messages or other correspondence to your immediate company. As you said, you were a journalist. And I love that Trojan horse analogy. I also think it’s really important to point out that one of the things we recommend is that as soon as the Trojan horse is behind the castle walls or within the castle walls, don’t just storm out. Start selling them immediately. I think your advice is really Sage, which is that you still need to have some tax, some social grace, and nuance in the way in which you present yourself. And part of it comes back to this concept when you talk about making sure your guests feel like BIPs, which is what you kind of alluded to. It’s almost like there are rock stars, right? 


I like what you do on the front end, but I really like what you do on the back end, which is what you’ve just shared. What else can you do? And we can talk front-end or back-end, meaning pre-interview or post-interview I want to get a little bit more granular. What else can you be doing to help your guests feel like a VIP I know tweets and things like that, but what else would you love to hear? I think you should be a meteor than that. 


In tweets, sure. Long-form LinkedIn posts and they’re tagged in absolute Facebook campaigns they’re tagged in. Sure, absolutely. But I think you need to have a mix of both short-form and long-form content. So, for example, if I’m interviewing a guest and that person happens to be one of our Dream 25, I’m going to take the nuggets of that content. And I might turn that into a checklist. And then I might now have that available for download on a website. So that serves us really, really well. Right? Because we’re providing a super helpful resource to our audience. Maybe even put it to make a gated. So we’re building our email list at the same time, but then also I’m going to let the guests, no, Hey, you know what? 


Elevate your business by using the Trojan Horse business strategy and Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Building Authority and Relationships through Podcasting


What is the Trojan Horse Business Strategy? This stuff was so good. Not only were there four or five golden nuggets, but we were able to take each of those nuggets, bus them into smaller nuggets, and turn them into this rocking awesome checklist. Thank you. Or if that person was just awesome and the 45-minute interview reached back out to them and said, Hey, you know what, Sarah, I was wondering, because of your brilliance, your depth of knowledge on topic X within this niche, could we teach a webinar together? Hm. And now she’s thinking, Oh my gosh, how awesome is that? Now, I get to teach you a webinar in front of your audience. Right. And now you record it and send it out to your audience. Right. And now Sara is even more complimented for that false. 


Right? She’s got chops. And now you’ve given her another way to share her brilliance with your audience. So, look for ways to combine short-form. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, all of that is great. Right? Do you want to pile up the notifications in there? Social inboxes. That’s awesome. But then look for ways that you can create longer-form content. They can be used to build your list. And then also it was like, wow, they turned it into a checklist. They turn it into an ebook. They turn it into they want me to teach a webinar. What? That’s awesome. They want me to speak at an event. Heck yeah. I’m all in for that. Right. So look for the special VIP Opportunities because they definitely exist. 


And if, at the same time, you’re deepening your strengthening relationship with that person, you’re right. The short form serves a purpose, and you shouldn’t ignore those. But the other side of that is these long forms. I mean, how amazing would it be to get a speaking opportunity? Because you were a guest on a podcast. I mean, that’s gold right there. One of the things you help your clients do is really, as you describe it, a plant, their flag in the dirt in terms of their point of view and their brand. What exactly do you mean when you say that? 


Okay. I wonder if this will be a good opportunity to do this. Let me see if I can switch my screen here. Tell me if you can still see this, Billy. Can you still see this?


Yes. I can send them the moon, right? Yup. I wonder if it’s going to be backward if I write like this with the mirroring, or can you read that? Okay. It looks like a niche. Okay, great. Or maybe it depends on who is saying it. All right. 


So, your question made me think of this because there are three essentials to planting your flag of authority, and that’s what you were referring to. Okay. And the first one is niche. This means it is very difficult to have a podcast that teaches everything to everybody and tries to boil the ocean. That’s all right. Right. You’re much better off going in a thin slice. So it really serves your expertise. Where do you have a depth of expertise in listeners? And my guess is that if you grew up in an industry, you have a depth of expertise in a particular area. So, double down on that niche. Once you have some clarity about who you want to serve, you need to get some clarity around your point of view or POV, which means why you feel so compelled to serve that niche. 


What are some of the recommendations that you find yourself making over and over and over again? What are some of the stories that you share often? What is the lens that you use to look through the world? Right. And so all of that is guiding your business. Your recommendation is how you interact with customers and clients, which ought to also direct your content. So these first to niche, from a point of view, really sets sort of the stones where they should be set in order to do that. You’re creating the right content in the right space for the right people. The third is not to be a one-trick pony. So what I mean by don’t be a one-trick pony is that oftentimes somebody thinks, okay, I’m going to launch a podcast, and it’s going to be awesome. 


Elevate your business by using the Trojan Horse business strategy and Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Leveraging Content Across Multiple Channels for Business Growth


And that’s the only thing I need to do. And the reality is that’s not the case. And so that’s great if you double down on being a great podcast, or that’s awesome. Now, think about how I am going to take that content. How am I gonna slice and dice it how I’m going be, and how am I going to go to my audience where the channel-agnostic strategy, how am I going to use this episode with Billy? How are we going to use that? And I’m going to turn it into Instagram quotes, where I’m going to turn it into Instagram, IGT V segments, or how am I going to put that out on YouTube? How am I going to put that on a long-form LinkedIn post? How am I going to take this 45 minutes of you asking me questions? And how am I gonna slice and dice that into 60 pieces of content across seven different channels? 


That’s right. And most people don’t think that they think you are going to launch a podcast. Now, money is going to just rain from the heavens. And that’s not how it works today. So, in order for somebody to plant their flag, they have authority on a very solid ground. They need a niche, they need a unique point of view, and they need to not be a one-trick pony and just rely on one channel. Hey, Onward Nation. I wanted to take a quick break from the Episode to share a practical and tactical Resource with you. When we first released our book Profitable Podcasting, it became the number one new release on Amazon, and it was in a lesson of 18 hours. 


Well, that was nearly three years ago, and we’re still getting great feedback on how helpful the book has been to business owners, just like you, as they launched a podcast to build their business. When I think of strategies that you could be applying right now, during these challenging times, having your own show, which would be a conduit that you could use to teach and share your insights with your community, launching a podcast, or growing your existing show really should be at the top of your list. I want to help you get started by giving you access to a free chapter of my book. Just go to, and you’ll get the chapter where I show you how to confront and overcome your three biggest obstacles to success. 


And we will send it right to your inbox. Gold is right there, my friend. Another thing that I really think it would be a nice thing to dovetail into is once you have established those three pieces that I really liked them not being a one trick pony part because it is so often the misconception that you could just go start making it a podcast, and then that’s done. It’s so much more than that. I really liked the concept of the cornerstone content and this baseline content, which could be repurposed throughout so many different channels and mediums. The direction I want to go right now is into the metrics you call Beitel metrics. 


And you can break this up. It starts with the unique website visitors and ends with Business and Podcast revenue. There are four steps in the middle of those I was wondering if you could kinda break down why it’s important to look at the metrics in the way in which you suggest it. And if you could just give us a flavor of step-by-step, what should the audience be thinking about when they start with the traffic to their website? Which should they then think about next? 


Yeah. In fact, let’s go one level up. And so we’ve added a six in there just to kind of go backward. One more step in. And so what I mean by that is to think about the first vital metric. Number one is how your audience grows macro. How was your audience growing holistically every month? So that’s a variety of things that get plugged into that. So that could be your podcast, or it could be LinkedIn connections. It could be Facebook likes or whatever Instagram followers. So, how is your audience as a whole growing? 


Elevate your business by using the Trojan Horse business strategy and Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Key Metrics for Podcast Growth and Business Impact


Okay. At the macro level. So I’ve got it. The second piece is you’re exactly correct. Website traffic. So how has our website traffic increasing or decreasing on a monthly basis? Super important. 


Third is by what percentage is it going up or down, or are we converting website traffic into email opt-ins by how much up or down is our email list changing on a monthly basis because you’re going to have unsubscribes too, so hopefully you’re getting fewer unsubscribes in your adding more people too. Right? So that your list is actually growing, click on the opt-in. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is the goal somewhere between six and 13%, or is that a good range of what we’re looking at for opt-ins based on traffic? 


Yes. So six to 13% is ideal, especially when you’re doing things like unique popovers that somebody can subscribe to right from the popover, or you’ve got some really great Resources getting in the headline, right at the content, right? If you are asking for email addresses only, you should absolutely see between 6% and 13%. If you’re not seeing that, because you’re not doing popovers, you’re not doing any sort of special campaign, but you’re directing people to a resource page. It should be at least two to 4%, two to 4%. If you’re getting less than 2%, then there is likely a content problem. So I would encourage your listeners who are getting less than 2% to go into Google Analytics and go into the behavior flow, which is on the behavior chunk of the analytics. 


So it goes ABC acquisition behavior conversion. So go into the bee behavior, checkout behavior, and Flo, and then you’ll be able to see where people are dropping off. Just visually see the flow of your website because that might indicate there’s a content problem. So, after you’ve analyzed, are our email opt-ins going up or down, and by how much are the next leads and proposals? So, the next piece is leads. So by what percentage are we actually generating leads from email opt-ins email opt-ins are not leads, that’s right. Many people think that they are like, Oh, I had a hundred people opt-in for my watch, a widget off of Facebook. 


And now I have a hundred leads. No, you have a hundred email addresses. Now, you need to nurture those people. So they actually raise their hand, and Billy says, yeah, hello. I am a lead, right? Until that happens, that person is the suspect. Right? And so often people get confused thinking that they built this campaign and generated all these leads now until somebody raises their hand and says, Hey, I’m interested in talking with you about that coaching package. Now they’re a lead. 


Right. OK. So by what percentage of our list, what percentage became actually bonafide leads, and that should be a conversion rate? 


What percentage of leads ask for proposals? What percentage of proposals close in sales? And what is its dollar value? If somebody nets all of that together, then they’ll have a pretty good dashboard to understand what they need to dial in better. 


Yes. I love the way you’re looking at this. And it’s math. It really does come to me in math, and all too often, especially if you’re a creative type, your mind doesn’t go to the numbers, to the metrics, or you might be on something else. And I think it’s really important to pull back the covers in front of your eyes, actually look at the numbers, and do a self-evaluation of what’s not working. I want to double-click on the value prop or the value that you provide that will get somebody to opt in because I’ve seen your site, and you have so many valuable pieces of content that inspire people to say, yes, I want that. And yes, I want that. And I want that.


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Strategies for Building an Effective Email List


I want to visit your website, so I’m on your list. What’s your advice? There are any number of ways you can inspire people, but what have you found to be the most successful way to create content that people actually want to get in there and give their email addresses? You mentioned only email addresses, which is, I think, an important distinction. 


Yeah. I actually have a little bit more depth there. I’m glad that you said that. So oftentimes, people will ask me, well, why only email addresses? And it isn’t my hyperbole or conjecture or me making that stuff up. Dr. Flint McGlaughlin runs mech labs, and they run hundreds of experiments a week. So, in the interview, he said, Stephen, every single field of information you add to the email address will reduce the conversion rate on that form by 50%, so if the conversion rate was 4%, With email address only. And now I’m asking for Billy’s first name, now it’s too, right? 


So, I cut my opportunity in half. So he’s like, whatever information you’re asking, make sure that it’s actually for the value and benefit of the person requesting the information if it’s for my benefit. So it can be a better marketer. Well, that’s not fair to the person who was opting in for the thing, right? So if I can serve them better because they give me their first name, that would be fine, but I’d better be able to deliver on that promise. When I spent some time with Avinash Kaushik, who is a digital marketing evangelist at Google, we had a similar conversation about, like, what should we create an in? And, of course, the simple answer was profound. 


Although it is simple to ask, literally either put something on your website where you ask and say, Hey, we’re about to, we’re getting ready to launch a resources library. And what do you think about these topics? Or would you suggest something different or go to your email list and say, Hey, we’re going to build out a resources library. Which would you choose if we could be more helpful in these various areas? And then test asked and then test, or people will vote with their email address if it’s on point. 


Okay. How do you test, and what is the testing process? 


Okay. So let’s say that you already have an email list of 102 hundred people or maybe several thousand people, whatever. And so I would go to that email list and say, kinda getting some direction first, I would say, Hey, we’re thinking about building out a resources’ library, and we’re thinking about five or six topics as our first ebook. So, if you could vote on one of those, which one do you think would be the most helpful to you? Given your current situation, which one would that be? Probably you would get maybe 15 to 20% of the people to respond and give you their vote. Awesome. So then go build that thing. So now you go to build the thing, and now, you don’t need the email addresses of people who are already on your list. 


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Strategies for Building an Audience from Scratch


Again, you don’t need to make a difficult. You already have, so you don’t need to have them opt in again. Make it simple. So post on a private page on your website, give them a direct link to it, go back to them, and say, Hey, thanks very much for your input. We went and built things. Now the thing is available. You are already on our list. You don’t need the opt-in. If you want to download it, here it is. Go get it. So then they go download it and evaluate it in your Google Analytics and see how many people actually got it. How many people took the time to go download your free PDF? Now you’ve got some decent metrics that you can decide if you’re going to do a Facebook campaign, or if you’re going to put it in a pop-over or whatever if nobody downloaded it, then maybe you got some bad survey data that there was some sort of in congruency, but you want to have a double check thereof survey data downloads before you start spending money on like Facebook campaigns for people to go and download. 


Mm, that’s really smart to do that in advance. One of the things that you spoke of doing in advance before Profitable Podcasting where you wrote two other books, one on search engine optimization. One-on-one viral social networking at the time, we are now in the social media days. So, to your own admission, both books have a lot of great stuff, but the world has changed, changed. The world has changed, but you have all of that built within your own knowledge bank that you had prior to getting into Podcasting, which has really helped UW. So, I want to move upstream from our conversation and talk about traffic specifically, show notes, which may not be specific to the show notes, but show notes are one component that will drive organic traffic. 


In addition to that, what are the other ways that a podcast can, or can it be thinking about, actually get unique visitors to its website? 


So I’ll put that into the category of how do you build an audience from scratch, right? Like when you’re just starting out, and you don’t have a big paid media budget, how are you going to drive traffic and, you know, and subscribers this might sound maybe a little bit counterintuitive, but let’s go back to planting the flag in the niche. So if you decide on a niche and you’re going to plant, the flag is really, really deep, and you are going to interview people from that niche. And you’re going to build an audience around that niche. The people who you invite to be guests on the show are going to be more likely to share your content with their communities and with their networks because the niches are aligned. 


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Making Sharing and Subscribing Frictionless


Right? And then when that happens there, going to that audience that you do to attract is going to be spot on, right? Because the niche is aligned. So the, the, the very first thing like the, the ante, all of this, that somebody should be doing is when they invite a guest on a show, and then after the show, they make it super, super simple to share. And so then it doesn’t feel one-sided you want to highlight Billy’s or Sara’s golden nuggets that came out of that conversation, package the Thais them into Facebook, post LinkedIn post, do the graphics, give them stuff like that is really easy for them to share and then be sure to tag them and all of your stuff too. 


So their inbox on Social lights up a little bit with all the notifications. And so then it is because it’s really easy for them to share it. And then it’s not self-aggrandizing for them to share it if they’re sharing your stuff. So that’s absolutely, without a doubt, the first thing that is what you can make it as frictionless as possible, Right? 


Oh, that’s a great way to say it frictionless like that. I’m totally stealing that from you. And anyway, I’m on it, and believe me, I’ve learned a lot from you. So if I could, if I can give you one word to go for it.


But it was great. This also might sound like really with that actually work, then a go to your list at least three times a week with helpful content. So don’t go to your list three times a week and pitch a coaching package again, kind of using that coaching business example, but go to your list every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, pull a golden nugget out of a particular episode highlighted. And why do you think it’s valuable? Then, give them a link to where they can go and listen to it and subscribe to your podcast across whatever channel: iTunes, Spotify, or whatever. Right? So, it makes it very simple. So, I put it right in their inbox three times a week. 


So don’t just rely on it; make sure that it is really easy to subscribe to. So, your listeners might not realize that when they get a new subscriber, the app on their phone will often go back in and download hundreds of episodes. Whether they listen to them or not, they just auto-download all of those episodes. Right? So, with every new subscriber, let’s say they have 50 episodes out. Every new subscriber could represent 50 downloads. You get ten subscribers in a day. That’s $500. 


That’s a really interesting point. Yeah, very good. There’s a really, really long tale to Podcasting. And so the key is that when you’re emailing your list three times a week, you’re giving them great golden nuggets where they can listen to the current episode, but you also need to make it super easy to subscribe to the podcast. Right, right. Then you’ll be able to start to see your downloads go up month over month because you’re making it so simple, and your lists love you because three times a week, you’re helpful in their inbox. 


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Optimizing Show Notes for SEO and Engagement


When you think of Mistakes people are making, and you’ve just highlighted one, it’s not necessarily a mistake but just a misunderstanding. Some of them are either a mistake or a missed opportunity that someone has when it comes to, say, show notes, for example, or some other way because you do have that SEO background. I’m wondering if there are any nuggets, ideas, or suggestions you could share that will help soup up the show notes that somebody put on their page. So then it will naturally attract people. You’ve given us a lot of great advice on how to use the mailing list, which I love. Wondering what they could also be doing proactively as they put content on their website 


With show notes in particular, they need to be meeting. And then this is going to sound a little bit silly but not too meaty. And here’s what we mean by that. So they need to be somewhere between 500 and a thousand words if you are going to optimize those. Organic Search needs to have about 500 to a thousand words of truly meaty content, including some images so that you can take advantage of all taxes, including a number of different paragraphs. So you can take advantage of headers, but you need about 500 to a thousand words. Now, some people might think, Oh, for Pete’s sake, Stephen, seriously, how in the world am I going to write 500 to a thousand words? Well, then, this interview is what Billy and I are doing. If either one of us were to get a transcript at the end, it would probably be close to 8,000 words. 


So if you’re doing a good interview and you are asking your guests great questions like Billy is asking me great questions. There are going to be 500 to a thousand words, and it is really good meat and potatoes that Google is going to love. OK. So that’s the first thing. I make sure that the show notes themselves are Google friendly and following the best practices of SEO and spending an afternoon on Google Google-ing SEO, best practices, you will be able to find something. And here’s what’s funny in actuality: a Tim Kameron kitchen that runs the Exposure Ninjas One or the UK, his best SEO firm, when he and I were doing an Encore interview a few weeks ago for Onward Nation. 


He and I just taught a webinar last week. So he has been in the space for quite some time, and he’s built a team of 98 people. And so they do some great work. Anyway. He said Stephen, for as much as I would like to think that SEO has changed a lot. It really hasn’t. And so, a lot of the white hat principles that worked in the early 2009, 2010, and 2011 still work today. And 800 or 500 to a thousand words, keywords that matter. Well-formatted page titles, meta descriptions, headings, all texts, and links that are relevant to go places. So that’s a good way to frame up the show notes. 


And then two, boost listenership, don’t give it all away. So if you want to have 500 to a thousand words, but you wanna write it in such a way, there’s like a Holy bananas. I got a fricking listening to that episode. That’s really a good point, right? Be creative about it. Tell a story. 


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Maximizing Your Podcast’s Impact


Yeah. And one of the things that I have gone back and forth on, and I kind of landed on, you’d give them a taste of what’s going to be said, and maybe it’s either in the form of a question or maybe it’s set in such a way that it’s going to pique their curiosity. It’s like people watch the news because they say, and coming up, there’s a guy that’s got to jump off, and then it’s at the end of the news gas, and you don’t want a totally go that far in necessarily. But there was something to be said for teasing the audience in a way that would inspire them to listen to it. I think that’s a really good point. The other point that I just got to a triple-click on is so much is in your control. When I say that, what I mean is you suggest Hey, go to Google search, send a search engine optimization. It sounds obvious they don’t take the initiative to go out into your point. 


There’s so much information out there. Or some of it might even be all the information that is still accurate. And so it’s in your hands, do the due diligence, do the research. Yes, there are experts, but those experts put most of the information online. And so you can find it. I want to bring up a few topics, and I want to see which way you wanna go. These are some areas that you highlight as you’re building your platform or are really, really important to create, as you say, a Nation of true fans. So, one is creating audio versions or video versions of your audio and posting them to YouTube. One is a newsletter, and another is to write a book, and you already highlighted the book piece, which we can talk about that, but, and we can talk about it all three, but which of those stands out as really, really important to help really further establish your brand and your authority as a podcast or as an expert in your domain? 


I think all three of them. So let’s go through all three cars. I think we can address all three pretty quickly. Right now, we’re obviously recording a video and audio at the same time, which is super smart. About 90% of all podcasters record video at the same time as audio recording. Why? So audio is obviously great for long-form audio channels like iTunes in such but due. I think that you should take a 45-minute podcast interview and put it out on YouTube. No, but I do think you should take the five or six golden nuggets that are two or three-minute clips of your guests. Put those out on the IGT TV, put those out on Facebook, and put those out onto the long-form LinkedIn posts. 


Absolutely. You should be doing that. Right. So that’s a great way to take a video and put them into the platforms where the video really matters, and as a way to drive downloads and subscriptions to the podcast. As far as emailing like a newsletter, I think it was the second one that you were talking about. Right? So yeah, I think that you should reach out to your audience on Sunday with a long-form newsletter. I think that that’s where you can recap the weak. I think that’s where you could insert an additional video that keeps you from being a one-trick pony, which certainly could be on YouTube. Maybe it’s a 10-minute video, so maybe it’s a video. Maybe it’s a promotional thing down with the bottom. Maybe, you have a course offering a webinar coming up or whatever, but three different chunks on a Sunday, for sure. 


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Niche Podcasting Strategies


You should do that. Give me the third one again, the book Profitable Podcasting in In. Thank you for your phrase in the book. That’s very kind of you. What some people don’t know is that seven chapters within Profitable Podcasting actually started his solo CAS on Onward Nation. So, I recorded those as solo casts. And then, when I interviewed Wendy Keller for episode 116, she said, Hey, I think you should read a book on this. And I’m like, what really? That sounds awesome. How do I do that? What process should I follow? And then once we mapped out at the table of contents and I’m like, wait a minute, I’ve already done solo cast on these prospects, right? So, it was possible to repurpose that solo cast script and turn it into a verbatim chapter. Of course not, but like 90% of the heavy lifting was already done. 


So if you wanna write a book, you use your podcast to help you write the book And it just really streamlines things. 


Oh, that’s so powerful, man. And anyone listening, I think often when we make things harder than they need to be, the answer is often right in front of us. And it could be something that we’ve already done. And I love the idea of using your solo cast, but you’ve also suggested, as you said, interviews that you have with other people, one of those people that you had an interview with you, and you actually did highlight more verbatim, was Linda Hollander in her approach to sponsorship wondering what the major takeaways or advice or thoughts that you have on, on that realm in the sponsorship world. 


Hm. Well, what we’re hearing from prospective sponsors is they want niche Opportunities, and this isn’t in the book, but if it happened after the book, so I know fellow agency owners who have podcasts that serve very, very niche audiences, and they’re getting hundreds, hundreds, Billy hundreds of downloads per month. We’re not talking about a million downloads a month. We are talking about hundreds of downloads per month, but because they’re in a niche and deep in the niche and all of their guests are deep in the niche and there are guests align with their dream 25, they also represent prospects for like software firms and that kind of stuff who want to sell through to the guests as well as the audience. 


So it doesn’t matter that the numbers do not have millions there, turning those into six-figure sponsorships. Why? Because of the niche, there is gold, and it is going narrow. So please, listeners’ do not try to boil the ocean. Do not try to be the, the, the next, whatever big name, because you wanna 10 million downloads a month, ’cause you think you are going to ride off in the gravy train have really Luker of advertising spends we’ll. Some people do that. Yes. Is that common? No, no. The people who are winning today and the world of sponsorships have a very niche audience. They know exactly who listens, and they have a deep relationship and intimacy with their listeners, and sponsors want that all day long. I love that. 


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Delegation, Automation, and Playing to Your Strengths


I’m a man. And you highlight in your book that you don’t need hundreds of or even millions of downloads or listeners. You need one hundred to a thousand loyal fans. And to your point, if those fans in your audience really reside into a specific demographic or a niche or space, or you now have a very clear value that you’re providing to a potential sponsor, I want to end with talking about we’ve shared so much and you, and thank you so much for what you’ve shared. It’s a lot to think about how many moving parts and in, and even in your book, you say, this is the recipe. It might appear complicated, but don’t worry. You know, you don’t need to do all the levers all at once. 


There is a lot to it and once you get more and more used to it, the easier it will become. One of the things you’ve done is that you build a delegated automated system where you use team members and people to help you within your organization. And frankly speaking, that’s an area where I’m also building a team around what I’m doing because I was drowning and things to do. I know what I need to do. And clearly, there is no shortage of things you can do. Wondering if you could talk a little bit about delegation and automation, and the other piece that I’ll do that I’ll say before you start is really, really, really love the park in your book, where you talk about, what do you want to be world-famous for? Where’s your skill? Where are your talents? World-class, I think, the way that you put it, and I think that’s a really important distinction to make. So, I’ll let you take it from there. 


Yeah. I mean, we all have our own set of unique God-given talents that might happen to be in the area of sales and business, and my business partner is all about Strategy where his mind goes and thinks it’s like, Oh my gosh, you’re an orbiting in a distant moon. Have awesome. What did you think of that? And it’s just as gifts or a Catherine on my team who is our director of operations. She is all about managing the contract deliverables and schedules. Time is like stuff that would make me want to put a pencil in my eyes, but it is her gift, and she is excellent at it. So my point is that your listeners ought to ask themselves literally what aspect of the business they love doing. 


It actually comes easily for them because it truly is a gift. They had an abundance of God-given talent in that. Now, could I do project management? Could I get into our project management system and do it? Yes. And it would be painful, and I would hate it. Okay. Catherine loves it all day long because she does Sales. Yeah, but she would hate it because it’s not her gift. It’s my gift. Right. And so that’s where we’re great compliments to one another. So my point is that your listeners ought to have a very candid and honest conversation with themselves and understand what it is that they truly love to do in the business. 


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: The Path to Predictable Success


And then the answer is a really simple delegate, every single fricking thing that is not on that list. And so that’s what I have done within Predictive with every single business owner that I, who has built and scaled something that they can really be proud of. You said, you know what? I was great at Sales, and I could do those other things, but I wasn’t great. I delegated every single thing that was not Sales. I respected my lane, and I got teammates in a place where I could respect their lanes. And I got the heck out of their way and let them do their magic, the business owner that is like, ah not going to make sales, and then I’m gonna do this, and I’m gonna do the chief bottle washing kind of thing. 


And I’m going to cook the meat and slice the meat. And I got to wash the dishes, and I’m going to take the orders, and I’m gonna do the cache cash register. And I’m gonna balance it out at the end of the day. And I’m gonna do an inventory, and the person who does all of that may build a successful business, but it will always be small. And there is nothing as a matter of fact, either, to be clear, but typically, what ends up happening is somebody who has a small business laments that they wanted something different but couldn’t figure out how to get there. 


Love it, man. Drop the mic moment. And what I’ll say is that the end of your book highlights the power of not giving up, even in the end, by saying don’t ever quit. And you have a great story about Sylvester Stallone. If there is always a way to get something done, you just have to keep changing your approach. Do you think it is the through line? There you quote, Don Jaegers, about the greatness that is available to all of us. If you are willing to do the common things uncommonly well, and I think the focus on those things that you do uncommonly well, delegate and empower other people to focus on the things that they do uncommonly well and create a predictable Engine behind your Podcast. 


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Trojan Horse Business Strategy: Last Bit of Advice from Billy


Don’t think that you are doing everything is the right approach. And I’m giving myself this blessed talk every single day, and I’m working toward it, I’m still in the infancy of my overall trajectory, but that is a big part of where I’m headed. So I just have to say thank you. And Stephen, Predictive ROI, I want you to take just a little bit about that before we go, but I just want to say goes to their website. There is so much value pact content there, and you could also listen to your Podcast. We barely touched on it and didn’t even touch on it. Onward Nation is a fantastic podcast. Check that out on all the major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which is where I’ve found UW Instagram Predictive ROI for Facebook is your handle Stephen Woessner is your handle at Twitter, and then there is Oh, Before the E’s. 


So, I guess that is silent? Oh, would you call that? 


Yes, exactly. Okay. It’s S-T-E-P -H-E-N. You can find him on LinkedIn, and he was gracious enough to come to my show today. So I’m so excited about that, but I want to do it. We’ll give you the last word on predictive ROI, if any, and if there’s anything I missed in terms of where people could find you. 


That is a perfect summary. Thank you very much for that. If there happened to be any questions beyond what Billy and I had talked about, please hit me up on the channels that he mentioned. I’ll be happy to answer any questions or concerns. And if you’re looking to move your business Onward to the next level 


Faster than drop us a line at Predictive. And we’d love to talk with you about the Authority sales machine sprint and how do we help business owners? Just like you do that until we have an opportunity to cross paths. I wish you well and Onward with Gusto, Stephen. Thank you for being on For the Love of Podcast.


Thanks for the invitation, Billy. It was great to be here. Okay. My hope is Onward Nation that you found the discussion with Billy helpful as you prep for 2021. And before we go, I want to also say thank you for you taking the time to be here with me today. It is always an honor to have you here. I want you to know how much my team and I appreciate you sharing some of the invaluable 86,400 seconds that you have in your day. 


Sharing that with us in the strategies we learn from today’s top business owners. Remember, as you look toward 2021, this is the time to double down. All of the data is on your side. This is the time to make progressive decisions. Okay. Onward Nation until next week, Merry Christmas. Yes. And happy new year. 


This episode is complete. So head over to 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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