One of the great ways to promote your business is through radio shows and podcasts. Jim Beach, entrepreneur and author of Free Radio & Podcast Marketing in 30 Minutes, guides us on how to do it. Helping not only your marketing but search engine optimization as well, Jim talks about making your content searchable and ranking out there. He shares the secret to creating a good pitch, laying down the do’s and don’ts of pitching and why you have to make it both informative and entertaining.
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Radio And Podcast Marketing In 30 minutes with Jim Beach
We have a returning guest whose name is Jim Beach. He’s an experienced author and entrepreneur and he hosts School for Startups Radio. He’s been dubbed the Simon Cowell of venture capital by CNN and he’s been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets including NPR, MSNBC and the New York Times. Jim has a book called Free Radio & Podcast Marketing in 30 Minutes. Jim, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be with you again.
You always bring such incredible energy and content and ideas that it’s always great to have someone like you back. You’ve got such a wide depth of experience in this area of radio and podcast marketing and having so many successful shows yourself. What made you want to write this book for people?
I hadn’t planned on doing it. It was very much serendipity. It had been something that I had put together mentally. I have done some presentations on it and I taught some classes on this. I was interviewing somebody one day for my show, the owner and publisher of the In 30 Minutes series. That series is like For Dummies, but if the For Dummies books are too confusing for you, then you go with In 30 Minutes. The For Dummies books are 300 or 400 pages sometimes. They have a lot of information. Our book was designed to be read in 30 minutes. This was the 21st in the series. I was speaking to the publisher. He was a guest and I said, “I got to talk to you afterward.” We finished the interview and I was like, “I have a book idea and this is it. I believe that this is something that’s valuable for small business owners. It can save them so much money. It’s been so successful for me.” In ten to twenty seconds, he was like, “I get it. I want that book. You’re signed up.” I got a book deal from conception. I had the idea to deal with the publisher in twelve minutes.
That’s under 30 minutes, which is what you promise. One of the things that people have a misconception of is that AM/FM radio is not being utilized or listened to anymore. That’s not the case at all, is it?
Everything in the book is for radio and podcast. It’s the exact same. The methods are 100% the same. I used the words almost interchangeably in the book and in real life. Most podcasters think of themselves as communicators like a radio host. There is no real difference there. The distribution method is a massive distinction there. To your first point, AM/FM is still huge. The number of people who get in their car and simply let the radio wash over them as they drive home, especially with these channels that give the traffic and the weather is still very popular. They’re not growing and they’re having trouble financially. I don’t care if my stations are having trouble financially. That still has listeners. My 24 stations add up to about 200,000 listeners a day. That’s still 200,000 people that I’m reaching. I also do a podcast version of the exact same show and I get double the bang.
What I find so fascinating is how clear this book is of who this is for. It’s for anyone who has a book out, anyone who’s a speaker, but also someone who’s running for office or wanting to get their message out. This book shows the reader how to use radio and podcasting to get on shows and get your message out without having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on public relations, for example.
No matter what your business is or what you’re trying to sell, there are bunches of podcasts out there that want to have you as a guest. I was the world’s worst chemistry student. In the 10th grade, Dr. Ramsey kicked me out of chemistry because I was too stupid to take chemistry. A few months ago, I got my first patent for chemistry. I and a bunch of five other people invented a paint that blocks Wi-Fi signals. You will ask, “Why?” The single most detrimental thing worse than mothers smoking, worse than caffeine in your cereal, for a baby is Wi-Fi signal. The data from Harvard and everyone that has studied it has found overwhelming evidence that one of the worst things you can expose your baby to is Wi-Fi. It’s so bad that they have banned Wi-Fi in all schools in France and Europe is about to follow suit. I thought, “We need to solve this problem. That’s a problem. How can we protect my babies?”
I have four children and I don’t want them exposed to this. The idea for a Wi-Fi blocking paint came about. There are over 4,000 podcast and radio shows for parents. How many of them are going to want to talk to me about my Wi-Fi blocking paint? I predict all of them. I get to go on for 12 to 30 minutes and get to talk about how awesome my Wi-Fi blocking paint is. I give out my URL and now I have convinced eight to twelve people to go buy my product. Now 1,000 other people know about it and half of them are going to tell their friends, “You’re not going to believe what I heard on the radio podcast the other day about how horrible Wi-Fi is. I know you’re decorating your new baby’s nursery and maybe you want to think about it.”
It can be an ideal gift for a baby shower, this paint, instead of another pair of booties.
For free, I have gone out there and gotten all of the marketing that I would have paid thousands of dollars for. There’s an additional advantage as well. When I run a commercial, I’m a jerk running a commercial. When I’m on your podcast talking about how much I care about my four babies, I am an expert, a thought leader and someone to be trusted. Therefore, my paint should be bought.
Free Radio & Podcast Marketing In 30 Minutes: Fire your publicist and leverage free radio and podcasting to market your business, brand, or idea
The other thing that your book, Free Radio & Podcast Marketing in 30 Minutes, talks about is that it’s also a great way to get yourself to show up in a Google Search. A lot of people are spending a lot of money on AdWords and they don’t know how to get to their business to pop up. Tell us a little bit about how being on radio and podcast can help our Google Search Optimization.
Every single time you’re on a show, the host or the producer puts up a page about you. It’s where the audio file you can be listened to on the host website. There is also a picture of you, a little bio and a link to your website. That link to your website gives you SEO, Search Engine Optimization, juice. They think that 70% to 80% of Google’s score for you or how high you rank in search engines is determined by how many websites linked to you. It makes sense. If two websites linked to you, are you important? A little bit. If 200 web sites linked to you, are you important? If 200 other people think your website is important enough to link to, therefore you deserve to rank higher. If I’m going on one or two podcasts a week, I go out there and I’m getting a new Google link to my website once or twice a week. These are quality links too, not from a directory or something like that. A podcast link is one of the best links you can get. Let’s say you’ve done 100 interviews over a year. You’re going to have 100 quality links that will drive your SEO juice. I promise you, if you have 100 links, you’re going to be on the first page of almost any search.
I have experienced that myself being on many podcasts and being called the Pitch Whisperer. If somebody googles the Pitch Whisperer, all that content comes up. They don’t have to remember my name or even the name of one of my books. People tend to remember that little hook and they can find me that way. That’s such great value. You also talk about how to use social media as a way to get on radio and podcast shows. Would you mind picking one or two of those platforms and explaining your secret sauce?
The platform is irrelevant, but every time I’d make a post on LinkedIn and someone comments on it, I get an email about that. We all do. That’s the way that the platforms work. I know who is posting about me. Let say if I were to comment on every other tweet, if I make six tweets in a week and you comment on three of them, eventually I’m going to notice that. I’m going to say, “Who is this person? Who likes me so much that every time I tweet, they are giving it a thumbs up or giving it likes?” You’re going to get curious. For example, Ken Blanchard who doesn’t do their own social media. You’re not going to be able to get to him. That’s not going to work with him, but for 99% of the people you want to get in contact with, this works for sales or venture capital or anyone that you’re trying to reach out.
If you follow them and pay attention to their social media, we are such a narcissist that we will notice that. You like five or six of my post, I’m going to know what your name is and then you reach out to me and say, “I’ve been following you on Twitter for six months now and you have some great things to say. I’ve been enjoying getting to know you. I think I’d be a great guest on your show also. I seem to have a lot in common with you, but I’d be a good guest.” The answer is going to be yes because you’ve already done me twelve favors. Every time you liked something of mine, I owe you. The first thing that goes through my mind is, “You’ve done me a bunch of favors. The least I can do is highlight your business for twelve minutes.” It’s a great way of getting on someone’s radar and it all goes back to narcissism. If you like me, I like the fact that you liked me.
It’s almost the micro matching neurons. If somebody smiles, you tend to smile back at them. Except this is done digitally. You have a whole chapter devoted to the do’s and don’ts of pitch writing and you have ten commandments. The one that is so important is to be relevant to topical news stories. Can you explain what that is and how people can use that?
That’s the way to get on a generic radio. That’s not going to work for podcast quite as well because so many podcasts are delayed. Most podcasts are pre-recorded a week, two weeks, a month, three months in advance. It’s hard to be topical there, but if there is another article that comes out about Facebook giving away your data and you are a Facebook company, you should call every radio station in your city or in the United States. You should call them all and say, “I am a Facebook marketing expert. I’m an expert on the news article that you’re going to be talking about on the news. Quote me. I’m available at 7:22 when you do your live segment.” In other words, make yourself available on the topical news of the day and then let the reporters, the people, the podcast host, everyone know that “I’m an expert on this. If that topic ever comes up or if you ever need a hurricane expert because there was a hurricane coming your way, I’m the guy that you should call.”
Remind them when the hurricane is coming by saying, “We spoke six months ago about hurricane preparedness and there’s a hurricane coming in. If you need to get any reports, I’d love to be on your show to talk about it.” You can take this to the limit. It is the National Ice Cream Cone Day. I have a world record for ice cream cone eating. If that’s relevant to me, then that’s your hook. You call up the radio station or the host or the producer. We can talk about how to find that person and say, “I don’t know if you know, but a few weeks from now is national ice cream cone day. I was the eighth-grade ice cream cone eating champion of Dubuque. I think it would be a great segment to talk about that.” That would be the thing that they need. All these people are desperate for content. They have to fill up the time. They need somebody. The unique, compelling and sexy pitch is going to get you on the air. It’s going to get you on the podcast.
There are a couple of things you said there, have a unique, compelling and sexy pitch. You also talk about the importance of a good pitch being both informative and entertaining. Some people have one and not both. That’s a big part. The other thing you said that is so relevant is if you’re going to pitch yourself as the expert in anything from a hurricane to ice cream cones, don’t forget to remind people when that topic is coming up again. You build the relationship up front and then it’s already easy for you to reach out. Don’t wait for the last minute for that to be in the news. If you can build that relationship with a producer or a host before, it makes a big difference.
Podcast Marketing: People have to trust you first, then they like you, and then they decide whether they want to know you or not.
There’s a man here in Atlanta on one of the local TV stations and he’s been doing the news here in Atlanta for 30 years. He interviewed me for a thing. The interview went well and we connected. Six months later, I saw him at a train show. I wasn’t going to the train show. The room next to where I was speaking was a train convention. I bumped into him and said, “I don’t know if you remember me, but we’ve talked.” We had a long conversation about trains. I told him about my train set as a kid. Because we have a relationship, I can get anything I want on the air with him.
Another pitch secret from your book is bust a myth. Tell us what that means.
Anything that the entire world believes, if you tell me the opposite is true and say you can prove it, I want to hear about that. “I’m a little bit of a contrarian. I don’t believe that we’re ever going to run out of gas. I sat down and started researching it and I can prove it. We’re never going to run out of gas. Eventually, we’ll switch to another technology and there still billions of gallons of gas in the Earth.” People hear that and they’re like, “I’ve heard of peak oil, I know about gas. We’re going to run out of gas. We’ve been predicting that for 40 years.” Now the person is interested, they’re engaging and they’re fighting back. “Do you have some data that you can prove that?” “I will give you my seven reasons that were never going to run out of gas on my interview segment with you.” I’m booked. They love that.
They love things with numbers. They love things that are contrarian. The myth is this and this. I’m going to argue the opposite side. There are two guys that wrote a book saying that we’re not going to have twenty billion people 50 years from now on the Earth. The population of the Earth is going to peak twenty years then started going down, which is scarier than it is going up. They’re very contrarian and they’re everywhere now. They’ve done 200 interviews in the last six weeks promoting that book. Because it’s so contrarian, I’ve heard the same thing again and again. I’ve had vanilla every time and now you’re giving me chocolate. Now I want some chocolate because I’m tired of vanilla.
I loved that as one of the favorite ways of grabbing people’s attention too. The example I use is, the myth is if people know you, then they like you and then they trust you. I said, “That order is completely wrong. People have to trust you first. Then they like you and then they decide if they want to know you or not.” If you start trying to throw a bunch of information that people are thinking, “If they know enough about me and my product, they’re going to buy,” you’re doing it all wrong. That gets people to go, “That’s a myth that the order is wrong.” Anything can be busting a myth there.
My very first book was with McGraw-Hill. The thesis of that book was that entrepreneurship has nothing to do with creativity, risk or passion. Everyone in the world knows that entrepreneurship is 100% creative people taking risks, building businesses that they are passionate about. The thesis of the book was, “No, that’s entirely wrong.” McGraw-Hill said, “I want to see the defense of that thesis.” Then under a week, I had my first book deal with McGraw-Hill because that pitch was so compelling and so unique that they wanted to have it. It’s also sexy because what’s the takeaway? If it’s not about creativity, risk or passion, then anyone can do a sexy thought.
It also has to do with the way our brains are wired. As you said, “Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Chocolate, shiny new thing.” Our brain craves new information or looking at something in a different way. That’s how you break people up and break through all the clutter that’s in our brain from the constant barrage of ads and social media posts and tweets and everything else. You alluded that you have some tips on how to get in front of a host or producer. Can you share what those are since you are one? What are some of your favorite ways that people reach out to you?
The last thing I want you to do is to call me. That’s true for most people now. That leaves either the mail or email or what we were talking about before going in the back door through their social media and becoming their Twitter buddy. The easiest and best way to do it is still an old-fashioned email. I used to spend five or six hours every weekend watching football, watching something on television and researching the names of podcast hosts. It’s very simple. You go to Google and type in food health podcasts because I have a food book and I want to be on those podcasts that talk about healthy eating. You will find that there are thousands of podcasts that meet those exact requirements. The trick is to scour them and to try to find the host name. The host of a podcast is a narcissist. I googled food podcasts as I was talking about it and there are 4.2 million hits. That doesn’t mean there are that many shows, but it’s a popular thing to the podcast and talk about.
Podcast Marketing: You don’t buy the first time you see a product; it takes more than that.
Those podcasters or the hosts want to be in communication. Tons of the websites will have a button that says, “Be a guest,” and they’ll give you the instructions on how to be a guest. On my website, you will find it says, “To be a guest, simply email Jim,” and then it gives my email address. They want to be found. They’re not there to be invisible. You’d go through and create a list of 500 podcasts that are appropriate to your market and get the host information. If you’re good at this, you will learn something about the host. I don’t do it that way anymore. I go on Upwork.com and for $50 or even $30, I will have someone there create a list of 500 spirituality podcast host emails. For $30 to $50, I have bought 500 email addresses. They have to do that research. They go out and somehow, they scour the same way I do. Now I have 500 people to contact. I then sit down or hire some pitch whisperer to create the perfect pitch for my product and put together a beautiful email. I send it out to all these hosts. I’m going to say, “I love your podcast.”
They want to know that you have listened to their podcast. If you’re a podcast listener and can prove that you have listened to their show, those people are going to put you on their show. You say, “I listened to your episode with John. He was awesome and I thought he had some good points. I especially liked when he said this. I loved it when you said this.” Quote the host back to himself. He’s going to put you on the show. I build those lists of 500 people. I spend several hours crafting a four or five paragraph email. One of those paragraphs changes for each and every host. “I saw your pitch on your food podcast. I loved when you were talking with Sally Reaves about her no sugar diet. It was the funniest thing ever when you said this and this and I just connected with you. I am working on this and I thought I would be a good guest for your show.” You’re going to get on the show.
That’s specific, not just saying, “I like your show. It’s good. It’s funny.” Quoting the host back when you pitch yourself is the secret sauce that you just gave us. It’s important and few people take the time to do it. Few people know how to do it. Jim, that is gold. Thank you.
I don’t do it. I pay someone to create that moment for me to find the quote. I’m a liar. I didn’t listen to your show. I had someone find me a great quote from your show and I’m quoting it back to you, but I’m doing it in bulk.
I love stories and you’d have a whole chapter devoted to all in the stories and how people remember stories after we forget everything else. You’ve given us some great stories already, but let’s talk about the one that you talk about in the book, which is about your wife running an Amazon business.
The keyword there is Amazon. A good story is worth telling well. A good story has emotional things like anticipation and fear that I don’t hear the end of the story. If I’m doing an interview on that topic or on entrepreneurship, early in the interview I will drop, “Creativity, that’s totally useless. For example, my wife started a business with $500 on December 26th.” I add in the details because that makes the story truer. “I bought her a book for Christmas on how to start a business. The next day she read it. She was so motivated that she started her business on the 26th. She started making money in January and she made $78,000 in her first year while working a full-time job, while cooking dinner for four kids, while raising four kids, while putting up with an impossible husband like me on the weekends.” I’ll tell you at the end of the interview, “If you remember to ask me, Mr. Host, at the end of the interview, I’ll tell you what the business was.”
That’s an open loop and you were talking about the details of the exposition. What I like about what you wrote in your own book is the impact, what I call the resolution. The unexpected outcome after growing a business like that is and I’m going to let you reveal what that is.
My wife is a shy introvert. We used to go to trade shows together and she would point to something and tell me to go ask about it. Now, she goes to trade shows by herself and comes home with a bag full of 500 booths that she has visited. She now teaches classes on how to run an Amazon business and she organizes and puts it on in our living room. Her career has exploded. She’s had three major promotions and her salary has tripled because of the confidence that she gained by running her small little Amazon business. She now has learned that she can make a living from the living room if she has to.
That would pull anybody in and that would get any host of any show to want to have somebody come on and talk about that. The outcome of not just making money but the self-esteem going up is what makes that story great in my opinion.
She’s become a whole new woman because of it. It’s amazing to see the progression of her career, her personality and her ability to do all of this stuff. That’s one of the things I love about entrepreneurship. It does that to people. The question you asked is the stories. I know when I go into an interview, I have a basket of ten stories. I’m going to have time to whip out three of them. I do know that a year from now you won’t remember my name, but you will remember the stories that I told.
The last thing that I want to talk about which is in your book, Free Radio & Podcast Marketing in 30 Minutes, is this post show carrot. Since we’re at the end of our time together, you can explain what it is and let us know if you have one for our audience.
The whole point of being on your podcast is to sell my paint, but 99% of the time you have to touch somebody on average seven times before they’re going to buy from you. That’s why ads are repetitious. You don’t buy the first time you see a product. It takes more than that. I can’t market to you if I don’t know who you are. The only way for me to know who you are is to get your email address. I will do anything to trick you into giving me your email address. You see this all the time. We all know about funnel marketing. You have to go and collect the names to start the funnel. How do you do that? You go on radio shows and offer something. I do happen to have a free carrot. If you email me and ask for one of my lists, I will give you my list of 500 sports podcast to be a guest on, 500 relationship podcasts to be on, 500 spirituality podcasts to be on, 500 small business podcasts to be on. I got three or four more topics that I can’t even remember, like religion. I got twelve of these lists that I have built over time. I will send you my list of 500 for whatever category your business is in and help get you started down the path.
The book is called Free Radio & Podcast Marketing In 30 Minutes. Jim, is there any last thought or quote or moments of inspiration you want to leave us with?
Anyone can be successful with this method and use radio and podcast marketing. Don’t worry about your accent. Don’t worry about anything. Sit down and plan out what you want to say. Create a great pitch and I promise this will work for any business. No matter what you’re trying to sell, it will work. I’ve seen it work in every category in the book. In the early chapters, there’s a list of 70 different industries that I’ve seen this work for. We have 10,000 recording opportunities a day for various podcasts. That number has gone up since the research, but that’s 10,000 opportunities a day for you to go out there and get free marketing. Do it. You’re crazy not to do this.
One of my big things is I spend the first 20 to 30 minutes of everyday marketing. Whether I have a business or not, whether I have a project due that day, I know that once the project is going to be turned in, I need a new customer so I better market. I spend fifteen to 30 minutes every day. The first thing I do is I send out three or four requests to three or four podcasters, “I’d love to be on your show.” Two of them say yes and there I am marketing. It works. You can do it. If you’re reading this, I’d love to have you on my show if you can figure out how to get in touch with me.
That is a great offer. I’d be fascinated to see how many people will take you up on that. This concept of scheduling marketing time because if it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t get done. You left us with yet another great tip. Jim, thanks for being on the show.