The definition of media relations overlaps public relations in a sense that are both content marketing, content creation and earning coverage for companies to tell people who they are and what they do. These three aspects, visibility, reputation and lead generation are all important work for a podcaster. Lucas Miller, Founder and CEO of Echelon Copy LLC, learned that audiences appreciate brands that are authentic. Next, visibility follows because you are there when people need you to be there. Lucas shares that having a social proof to back you up, and tell clients that people think you are important, is huge if you are looking to gain influence.
We’re going to take a deep dive into some areas of media relations, more traditionally known as public relations, and what is working. We’re taking a look at it from a content-based perspective. The guest that we have is from Echelon PR, Echelon Copy. Lucas Miller is a great writer. He writes an Entrepreneur column and he’s got The Next Web. He and I connected over LinkedIn because he had read some of my articles. We’ve built up this relationship in this conversation going about the kinds of content we like and where there’s good content. We’ve been sharing lots of interesting things about that. We’ve also shared some similar viewpoints in PR and Media Relations. All of these things are narrowing into being so content focused that PR firms can’t get away without being writers as well. This is an interesting way of looking at things.
We want you to look at that as podcasters from the same perspective because it is important for you to remember that you are a show that needs promotion, as well as one that provides promotion. You’re on both sides of the coin too like Lucas and I are, where we write and we also submit. That naturally helps the podcasters. They’re producing a show but they also often go on other people’s shows to help promote their show. It comes back to content in what we do at Brandcasters and creating that original content with people. That’s the whole point. When Lucas and I started connecting and talking about this, I wanted to be able to bring it more than my viewpoint into someone who’s a professional at this and what they do.
Listen to the podcast here:
Gaining Influence Through Media Relations with Lucas Miller
Lucas, thanks so much for joining us.
Thanks for having me on.
I am looking forward to diving into your head a little bit and talking media relations. You have quite a story about how you thought that writing or doing some content type stuff was going to head you into being life as an attorney.
When I was in college, everybody when they’re in school, they go in with this idea. When you’re seventeen, eighteen years old that you know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. I was 21 when I started college. I’m Mormon. I live in Provo, Utah. There’s a lot of LDS people out here. When I graduated from college, I was called to be a missionary in Cordoba, Argentina. I moved by myself a week after graduation to Argentina. I learned the language. I lived there for two years by myself. When I came back and went to college, I thought I knew who I was because I was older than everyone that I’d gone to high school with. I had world experience. I knew how to speak a second language. I showed up to college at BYU in Provo and I assumed that I was going to use this cool cultural experience that I had. I was going to diversify myself during my undergraduate experience so that one day I’ll become an immigration attorney. I got started with school and that was exactly what I wanted to do. I did all the right things so that I could be this all-powerful moneymaking attorney one day. That was the dream.
As part of my undergraduate experience, I did an internship. I did a lot of internships, but I did an internship in Chiclayo, Peru. When I was there, I was working on this campaign trail. His name is David Cornejo Chinguel and he was running for mayor. When I was in Peru, it was this big press mascot, the white kid that was flown in from the United States to work with all these less fortunate people in Peru. I worked on his campaign trail and it was an awesome experience. They liked it. I had this moment of enlightenment. I had this feeling like, “I don’t want to go to law school. I don’t want my life to suck. I want to be a communicator.” I know that sounds crazy, but that’s what happened. When I got back to Provo after this internship, I turned down a legal internship that I had and I set course for something bigger and better, at least in my mind, as a media relations person.
That is a big pivot but obviously it’s good that you found out and not a decade after practicing as an attorney and hating every minute of it. Our good friend, Adam Markel, who wrote a book called Pivot is exactly about that. He had the realization after years of being an attorney that he hated every minute of it. It’s a good thing you did that a lot younger.
I maintain to my wife that I would’ve been an excellent attorney. I cling to that hopelessly. I don’t do that, and I think I’m probably happy because of it.
Let’s talk a little bit about what media relations is because I’m sure there’s people who have no definition of that. I’d love for you to talk about that for us.[Tweet “Media relations is the kinder way of saying public relations. “]
Media relations is the kinder way of saying public relations. If you look on my Entrepreneur column and you read my bio, it will say that I’m like a “media relations expert”. When somebody hears PR or public relations, the term connotes something negative like a spin doctor or somebody who’s about to squeeze everything they can out of other people for their own gain, for their clients’ gain. Whether you call it media relations or public relations, there’s a lot of things that fit under that canopy. That could be content marketing. That could be content creation. That could be social media. That could be getting people interviews on podcasts. That can be I’m on television. That can be letting the media coverage in the form of blogs and authoritative websites. The biggest thing for relations is twofold, it’s owned media and it’s earned media. Owned media is media that the company produces, it owns it. It doesn’t have to pitch anybody. That could be blog content, that can be video content that could be podcast content, something that a company owns. An earned media would be the things that they go out and pitch to another website like Entrepreneur or Inc. or Forbes something along those lines. As far as I am concerned, media relations is earning coverage for a company that helps get the word out about who they are and what they do.
I think it’s good that you’re using media relations because it’s not about talking to the public necessarily. 90% of the job is talking to publications and writers and it’s a misterm. Now, we have all these things where you have video and you have audio and you have all these different places, so you’re talking about multimedia relations on top of it. It’s an interesting growth media. That’s where I think you’re encompassing it in a little bit broader way. The reason why we invited you on the show is because of how you defined that though into the two types of media; owned media and earned media. For quite some time, owned media didn’t seem to have the value that it has. A lot of companies have made that mistake.
Something that I’ve noticed with a lot of companies that I work with is maybe like circa 2005 when there was this big blog boom. A lot of brands revert back to that as to what we want to do today as far as their own media is concerned. Like 2005, you could post a 200-word blog posts that was keyword stuff with a bunch of geo qualifiers and things that are gross and disgusting nowadays in the SEO World. You could post that on your blog once a week, once every other week and you would show up on the first page. I don’t want to obviously take this conversation to the SEO realm because that’s something different, although the two fields do overlap, media relations and SEO.A lot of brands think that they can do that and don’t give it the importance that it deserves. I try to steer people clear of that and show them, “This is something worth your while.”
You identified owned media as long form blog content, which is what we do here and what we recommend to all of our podcasters. If you’re not doing the long form blog posts from your podcast, you’re missing out on important value that you could be adding to your website and less work that you have to do because you already spoke it. That is where you get SEO power without all that technical stuff.
When I first meet or speak with a manager or CEO or CMO, they’re always very concerned about keyword integration and keyword frequency and meta descriptions. All those technical terms that probably 99% of people don’t even know what they are. You could go to Moz.com, SearchEngineLand.com and MarketingLand.com, any of these heavy hitting publications and no matter what you read, the number one SEO tool they’re going to teach you is provide value across the board. I would be shocked if you found something different to that. That’s hard to do so everybody wants to look for these quantifiable shortcuts that they can check off on these boxes. It doesn’t work that way anymore.
I find people completely disregard the idea of their owned content the way you said, that can actually make a difference. Either they completely don’t understand it, or they disregard it because it’s going to be too much work to do it and you’re right there looking for the shortcut. It’s one of the biggest misunderstood areas of marketing and business.
A big part of the confusion is that marketers, and rightfully so, are very driven by numbers as they should be. When you’re not necessarily seeing results from long form blog content, which is not cheap, nine times out of ten, in one month or two months. The knee jerk reaction is panic and it’s, “I’ve got to get out. I’ve got to dump more money into PPC.”
I was hoping we could talk about the three aspects of good media relations. I’m going to define them based on something that you said to me; visibility, reputation and lead generation. Those are the three different areas. There is a certain amount of this that is visibility and that’s what you’re talking about. They lose visibility because they’re not blogging content consistently or they’re not posting episodes consistently. They’ve lost visibility and the only way to make that up is to push out some ads.
The whole idea behind public relations or media relations is that you want something to be genuine. You want something to be authentic. If you’re a brand who is looking to tune out a bunch of people, you could force a banner ad on them. I once read a blog post about all these things that are more likely to happen then somebody clicking on a banner ad. It was something like getting struck by lightning twice in a week if you don’t like it. If you want to lose the attention of an audience, force feed them information that they already don’t want and that is advertising. I’m not bashing on advertising and saying that’s something bad because it’s super important. The more genuine and authentic your approach can be, the more likely you are to maybe not convert someone into a long-term customer, but at least have their attention.
You get very concerned about that lead generation outside of it. You get very concerned about how am I pushing out, how many funnels do I have and this is all working for me. Visibility is a significant part of it being there when they need to find you when they’re in need. That’s such an important thing. On our podcast sites for our clients, when they get to be a good mature podcast and they’ve been working with us for a while, that 80% of their traffic comes from Google not from iTunes. If 80% of it comes from Google, that’s powerful because what do you do at 2:00 AM when you have a problem, you Google it.
I’m always frequenting these large authoritative publications, Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes, the Huffington Post, the Next Web. I’ve read your stuff on Inc. for a few months before I ever reached out to you on LinkedIn. I was aware of the podcast long before I ever make contact with you and it was because you were taking care of finding value. It serves a purpose and it works because I’m a product of that.
I invited you on, we had a really nice conversation, and you gave me value. It wasn’t “I’m a fan.” It was, “I’m a fan. I like this article and here’s some other things you might be interested in.”It was great value that we exchanged back and forth multiple times.
I want to talk about marketers. They often want to see metrics. They want to see results. They want to see return on investment for whatever they’re going to use. Many of them don’t understand that we have tools we can use to measure an increase in traffic to a website, an increase in organic keywords the site ranks on, an increase in backlinks and referring domains. All the different things that make up valuable traffic to someone’s website or that cause valuable traffic to occur, you can measure these things.
Most of the people that I work with aren’t even all that concerned about those things. As far as owned media is concerned, they’re very concerned about those things. When it comes to earned media, so going out and reaching out to an authority publication, landing a full feature, they’re more concerned with the reputation side of things, which is hard to measure admittedly. They’re more concerned with the social proof side of things. I’ll give you a really quick example. I had a prospect reached out to me. He had a company. He was really young. He was like 22, 23 years old. He was talking to me about his company and I had a certain level of respect for him. Then ten minutes into our conversation, he mentioned that he was a student at Harvard University. I consider myself a pretty respectful person, but the second he said that, I found myself changing the way that I felt about him. Purely because he had attended this or was attending this prestigious university. I think a lot of brands feel the same way, especially startups when they’re approaching investors. They want to be able to show investors, “I’ve been on these publications. I’ve been on these podcasts. People think I’m important.”If you have that social proof to back you up, it’s easier to get influence.
You and I are a little bit farther in our journey as writers. I’ve had a column for couple of years, you’ve got your Entrepreneur’s column and you write and seed all over the place. It’s one of those things where once you get into that, you start seeing the side of a world that I didn’t know a lot about. I knew a lot about being on the other side writing a great press release and writing a great story that would get picked up. I’d been on that side before helping startups, helping products launch, going from that side of things. Once I was on the other side of it as a writer, I started to get this realization and viewpoint.
There is this convergence that is beginning to happen between these large media conglomerates like Inc. and Entrepreneur like all of them, and blogs. They’re heading more into being like blogs and much less like being publications. Because of that, they’re steering away from writing these stories about young upstarts because they are afraid of gray hat techniques and black hat techniques. They’re afraid of being accused as fake media but it’s not fake news. What they’re saying is being ‘bought’ news. Being someone paid for a link or influence someone to get the link, to get written up as it. In return, we’re doing the world a huge disservice. I’m struggling right now with contemplating whether or not there’s a place or where are the places for these new emerging companies to be written up about in a great discovery story way or in a genuine organic way.
Not even where they get pitched, where they reach out and they’re like, “We want to submit our story. Would you write about me?” I get a lot of those stories all the time and they’ve been some of the most successful articles I’ve written not because I wrote, “Elon Musk says you should do this to stay innovative.” The writer never interviewed in Elon Musk. They heard about it from Wired Magazine, who wrote about them. They took that quote and decided to write an article about it. That frustrates me because this direct interfaces, we’re getting farther and farther away from the real story, from the real authenticity of who that person is and why they’ve developed a product and what we can learn from that and adapt to our own product launches or our own business launches or our own enterprises, or our own success.
The first publication that I wrote for when I was in college was Business 2 Community, which remains a very respectable publication. I remember I was studying PR and working as a younger PR person. I had people reaching out to me to sell link or they wanted to buy links off of me. It was weird to immediately shove into this crazy world.[Tweet “The best way to protect your own work is to be authentic and genuine with the value you’re providing. “]
As a writer myself and as a PR person on both sides, I’ve always felt like the best way to protect at least my own work is to be authentic and genuine with the value that I’m providing. If I was to write an Elon Musk X post and pull quotes from Wired, that might appease a writer but nine times out of ten, it doesn’t perform as well as if I’ve interviewed someone. It’s not their fault. It is the world we’re living in, to think there’s some money being exchanged under the table. Being as transparent as possible with that I’m reporting to has helped me overcome that barrier and say, “I’ve got this cool story. I got this pitch. I want you to know about it.” This is something that I want to do. It’s something I want to pursue and being open. Developing a relationship with the people that I report to as far as these columns are concerned, it works out fine. For myself as a media relations person, it’s a double edge sword. It blows chunks because I work in a field that has a lot of slimy people in it and so it makes my job harder. At the same time, believe it or not, I’m almost thankful for it. I always have work. People want to work with clean cut, honest, white collar PR people. It makes my job almost that much easier. It is a bit of a double edged sword. There’s a lot of gross people out there, but for myself as an entrepreneur, it makes my job even easier.
We have firsthand accounts of people that are gaming the system, whether they’re PR agents or writers or a combination of the two, to pay to get articles written about in a lot of these online magazines. It’s either that or what’s scary that seems to be happening is the editorial staff at publications don’t want you to write about the little David story in the Goliath world because it’s not going to be viewed by as many people. Because as you mentioned Elon Musk or you mentioned somebody else’s really famous and click bait people into even though they say they don’t want click bait. What they’re really doing, what their actions are saying, they want articles that are going to attract people because of the cache of who you’re quoting even if you didn’t interview them.
Many of the writers that I work with, when I’m pitching a client, and they request, “We need somebody super authoritative. We need to work in of a more household entrepreneurial name or this is going to raise eyebrows or something along those lines.” I understand exactly what you’re talking about. Full transparency, I don’t know exactly what’s going to change that. I don’t know how to solve that problem unfortunately.
It is a struggle for your side because you want to get your clients these good reputation pieces because they deserve it. They’ve been working hard and they deserve to have their stories told in a great way with the right writer. I explained this to my editor that my process is to record an interview, so if you want to hear my notes, you can hear it because I record an interview with someone. When I quote them, I’m really quoting them. I don’t write an article for revealing someone who I haven’t either touch their product, touch their company, or heard their story personally and ask them questions. I don’t do it from a press release. The people who pitch me stories know that, they expect that, and they like that because their client likes it too. They like this idea that they’re talking to the media.
It makes them look good like they perform. They got a media interview and so it works for everyone. They’re now pulling back. It’s getting to the point where we can’t even quote anyone anymore and we can’t do these interview styles. We can’t do a lot of these things and it’s getting to the point where it’s hard because you and I both, we live in a world where we work with so many people. It’s a case study or it’s an example that we want to use from one of our clients and we’re forbidden from writing about that. If we can’t use our own client’s examples and we can’t go out there and interview someone new, where’s the good story coming from? Where’s the way that the reader can see how to do it themselves or see themselves in that process. Elon Musk has millions of dollars, multi millions at his disposal, who in a startup world has that. This is where podcasts are emerging in such a great way because we can have this conversation. It’s great reputation building. There’s a blog post on it, so it’s great linking building and at the same time you’re getting to be authentically you. This is going to benefit podcast even more.
We must be on the same mental wavelength there. Stories are what people care about, they’re what people remember. If you and I were just talking, if I rattled off a bunch of adjectives about what my wife was like, you’d probably forget all of them and not even remember what we talked about. If I told you the story that exemplified who she is and what she’s all about and it was entertaining, then it’s a good chance that you probably going to remember that story. It works the same way with PR. You tell a story so that people remember it. They might not remember your exact name, they might not remember the name of the CEO, but they’ll remember the story. Podcasting is an excellent way to do that. You don’t have an editor peering over your shoulder who’s concerned about what’s being said. You can tell your story. It’s raw. It’s real. It’s authentic. The authenticity is what we started this conversation about and that’s where we’re at right now.
That’s the other thing I love about podcasting. We prepare sometimes an outline, a question or some topics we’d like to discuss. It’s not a strict thing is my point. We let the conversation go where it’s most interesting and where it becomes most relevant. We came back from Podfest 2018. This big conference of 400 podcasters and industry experts and people that really know what they’re talking about. The Indie podcast movement is growing so much. The big media companies don’t like to admit it, but the big podcasts like the MPRs and the ones from MSNBC are a very small percentage to the podcast market. It points to how we can all compete as independent podcasts, as media entities with the big guys in podcasting and on our own blogs. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the Entrepreneurs, in the Inc.coms of the world and all these people that are not allowing that kind of authenticity to occur.
I think there’s still going to be a place for it because the hard part there is that the audience exist. You can’t deny that. For 99% of the people who are tuning into Entrepreneur and Inc. and Forbes and reading their content, they don’t have an issue with the struggles of being a contributor for one of these sites. All they care about is reading quality content. As far as they’re concerned, they’re getting it. I think that they’re never going to go away. For the sake of making my job easier, I honestly hope that they don’t go away because I like writing for them. I do like writing for these publications. I like interacting with other contributors. I like interacting with my editors. I understand the struggle, but I still enjoy it. Because the audience exist and because it’s so large. I don’t think they’re going to go away anytime soon.
What that means is it reinforces the value of the owned media. If you’re a brand who is struggling to get features, who is struggling to tell their story, I don’t think that that means you should eliminate pursuing Forbes and Entrepreneur and the Huffington Post, and all those big publications. If you want to tell your story, why don’t you just own the story? You can do whatever you want with it. You can have your own podcast and they don’t necessarily have to be competitors. If you want to bring onboard people who can provide value as well, go ahead and do that. You can interview them. You can control the message and you can control how it’s delivered and there lies the importance of owned media. That’s why when I speak with somebody about PR, I’m selling them on, “Let’s get your name out there to where the audience already exists.” That’s a little bit difficult with startup. For a startup, they can say, “I’m all for owned media.”
It’s cool and we get those butterfly feeling in our stomach when we talk about, “You can own the message. Start your own podcast.” The problem is that first month nobody’s there, like you’re preaching to crickets. That’s all there really is there. There is some value in going out to those larger established audiences already to find out who you are so that in turn, they can come back. When they do check you out because not everybody’s going to, but the pan full of people that do check you out when they show up at your website, what do they find? Value. They find that you’re worth something. The two-pronged approach has to stay intact, the owned and earned, but we should by no means undermine the value of owned media. It’s got to be there, that’s what converts.
I was thinking about the idea of timelessness. We’re getting into a world of blog posts that have no time stamps on them, that they’re timeless in their content. That’s the same thing that’s missing in press coverage. When I have written an article about someone or done something and they push it out, they put the Inc. logo or something on their website. They forget that that is important, they should be pushing that out all the time because there is this timelessness that people don’t know when that happened. They don’t have that sense of it happening yesterday. It’s actually buried on a lot of media sites, what the date and time was.
For SEO purposes, a lot of publications are removing timestamps. Let’s say that I’m you, Tracy and I’m writing a blog post and I need some source links and I want to link back to something. I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking for source links, I never want to link to something that was written in 2013. I want to link to something that was written in 2016, 2017 and hopefully 2018. I think that is actually one of the bigger reasons for removing timestamps. Editors and publishers want evergreen content. It’s even in your best benefit to push evergreen content on your own website because it’s always relevant. One of the biggest reason is, as opposed to having to pay for PR, if I can generate enough interest in my own media, then PR will take care of itself. That’s why people are removing timestamps because they want those authoritative backlinks without having to do anything or pay for anything.
I would love for you to leave our audience with some thoughts. You talk to a lot of people who want to become influencers, as you were referring to that millennial from Harvard. You talked to a lot of them. What does it take to be an influencer and where do they need to invest first?[Tweet “You need to be willing to step outside of yourself and put somebody else’s needs before your own. “]
The first thing that I would say is you have to provide some value and providing value is hard. You have to accept that fact and move on. If you’re somebody who wants to pay their way into being an influencer unless you have unlimited funds, which most of us do not, it’s going to be something that’s really difficult for you. You have to provide value. You have to look at who your target audiences and answer their specific questions, which means that creating content about ten ways to find work-life balance, though that might be a really great thing, that doesn’t answer any specific question. You need to look at your target audience. You need to find out what their specific emotion-filled questions are and you have to answer them. The second thing that I would say that’s super important for people who want to be influencers is they have to be willing to help someone else first. That has a lot to do with the industry that I’m in. You have to provide value, but you need to be willing to serve somebody first. Not everybody has to be like this goody-two-shoes-church-on-Sunday person and I think that’s a good thing. You need to be willing to step outside of yourself and put somebody else’s needs before your own and if not, nobody’s going to like you. In many of the podcasts that we produce here, I look at the ones that are more successful and they are doing both. That they’re providing a very unique value or we want them to be original. You don’t want to say the same thing twice, the same thing everybody else is saying. You may want to cover that same topic because it’s an interest to a broader audience. You don’t want to cover it the same way and not by being in-your-face different but by being authentically original and different.
PR People will pitch you all the time. What they want is they want to copy and paste a press release and have you do some magical write up on them and feature their company and cross their fingers and hope it works.99% of the time, these are canned pitches. They’re copied and pasted. Whenever I talk with a perspective client, they’re always like, “Do you think you can pitch our company to someone?” I’m like, “If you’re doing PR right, you shouldn’t have to pitch all that often because you have a network of people that you’ve been serving for a long time. That you’ve actually helped them out. You’ve genuinely been good to them and there are a lot more inclined to listen to your pitch. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to accept it 100% of the time, but you’ve been good to them. You serve them, you help them. That way, they’re going to listen.” It works for the PR world. It works from a brand facing perspective.
One of the reasons that I started early on was when I would be getting these pitches. I started saying, “I can’t write that first off. That’s not my angle. That’s not me. That’s not what I’m about. I’m always about original value and original content. Regurgitating a press release was never going to work for me.”That’s when I started early on saying, “I’m intrigued enough by what you wrote in that press release and what you wrote in the e-mail to me that I’d love to have a chat with your CEO or your Founder and find out more.”In that conversation, a story that they never imagined usually emerges because my viewpoint is different and that’s the magic when that happens. That has always been my way of doing that and in end, they’re getting what they needed. It’s serving them because they’re getting their reputation connection and they’re getting that. I’m also serving my audience by providing what they’re looking at me for as a writer, as a podcaster. They’re looking at us to provide a specific type of learning experience..
Lucas, I can’t thank you enough for coming on the show and giving us this viewpoint that you have about the different types of media and the different reasons for having it. The power of what you do and what you provide and why you’re being sought out by people is that this is a necessary part of being an influence or being a company. Would you agree with that?
Absolutely. There are too many competing voices to just think that the brilliance of your idea or their brilliance of your company is going to stand out. Everybody thinks that they’re brilliant. I love it when companies reach out to me and whether it be pitching me as their own PR representative or reaching out to me because they want me to do that for them. They tell me about how wonderful their brand is and I can sense that they’re passionate about it but I have to dial them back and be like, “Most people who start their companies think that they’re incredible. That doesn’t mean that anybody cares.”That’s where we have to do have a different conversation about coming up with something that’s newsworthy, something of value, some interest take that we can provide. There are too many competing voices online and even offline. It’s too easy to connect and communicate to think that the brilliance of the product or service you provide is going to stand out because it won’t work that way. You have to be engaged in getting your brand out there.
Thank you so much. We appreciate you providing your perspective on that engagement.
I’m happy to come back anytime you want me.
Gaining Influence Through Media Relations – Final Thoughts
You never know how these interviews are going to go. I didn’t expect that so many of our thoughts and our practices would be so much in alignment with Lucas. That’s a good thing. It points to the fact that we’re on the right track.
There’s a couple of things why that happened. One, when we put content out there, when we seed content out there whether it’s on our blog posts or out on Inc., we’re attracting people who are interested in what we have to say. Our viewpoints aren’t aligned because like attracts like. It happens. That was also natural. If you’re out there pushing a message and expecting to get good leads back, it doesn’t happen in volume, but the ones you get are really good. I’ve discovered not to obsess over the fact that I didn’t get tons of click-throughs immediately on my column. Over time, it’s attracted the right people to me, to my network, to our businesses. That’s where this exchange between Lucas and I got bringing him here. I knew he would be a match for what you think too.
I’m surprised because I didn’t have that conversation with him. To me, it was this pleasant surprise like, “You do see the world the way we do in terms of digital content and marketing.”
I want to point out a couple of things that he said that I thought were so important to be thinking about. Taking dates and times off of your podcast. We’ve had a lot of podcasters who keep putting on their header image. They have the template format on the blog page in which it puts a timestamp and date in the corner for when the blog post was posted. We don’t do that, and we don’t recommend that. There’s a good reason why we don’t do it and it’s because of this timelessness. You don’t want to have something that ends up outdated and then no one wants to link to even though the information is perfectly relevant. You’re giving the good content a bad name. It seems that nobody minds that it might be episode number 100 out of 500.They’re happy to do that when it looks like it’s a library of content. It’s going to be a couple years old, but they don’t mind that. We do put the episode number if you’re concerned about them finding things. There’s always a way to do that.
They always are posted in chronological order so it’s not that hard to figure out what’s an older post.
If you Google it and you have choices between something that was published in 2015 and something that was published today, you’re going to pick the other one even if it’s worse quality. Why set yourself up for that? You put this out there, you want to keep that.
We won’t put a back link to something no matter how important that is. We will not put a link to it in any article. We will not refer to something that’s a couple years old. That was good because repurposing and getting your message, shifting it around and resharing it, it’s so important getting that new lead generation. Being there when people have a need when they want you, when they’re looking for you and being able to be not updated.
It is somewhat a bit of a conundrum because older content pays dividends going forward. It continues to rank on more keyword phrases as time goes on. It should generate more backlinks for your site, too as people in other sites link to relevant content. Old content is good in one sense, but putting it in someone’s face that it’s old content is not recommended.
If you truly have something that is date worthy, that’s fine. When we do the podcast episode about Podfest, it’ll say this is Podfest 2018. There’ll be a Podfest 2019. Even if they found the 2018, a lot of times I’ll click them and then I’ll look for the new one. Once you get in through the site through that, people will still click that. I want to talk a little bit about is reputation management. It may not be an immediate result of what happens but having that Inc. stamp on your website or having an Entrepreneur stamp on your website. If somebody sees the article and clicks through and reads that, it may lead to something else. It may lead to transference of reputation or authority.[Tweet “If you’re doing PR right, you shouldn’t have to pitch that often because you have a network of people you’ve been serving for a long time. “]
That’s what he was talking about when he said social proof in reality. Social proof is critical, meaning it doesn’t matter what you say about yourself. It matters what the rest of the world says about you or your business or your brand. This is not relevant to content or SEO. The content or the SEO is what’s going to bring people to your website in the first place. Once they get there, then there’s a different social proof that’s really important and its testimonials. Having some testimonial videos on your website is really critical.
We met this guy who made this amazing faucet. I wrote an article about him because he fascinated me. It was a great story, interesting, and it’s a challenge you’re going to take on and go up against a really mature market with huge players in it. I wrote an article in Inc. for him, and I got a message back from him. The company is called NASONI and Steve Waddell is the inventor. I got a message back from him after the article went live. He said he got invited on a podcast from it. He sent me a message with the link to the podcast that he’s been featured on and got to speak on and it is an innovation podcast. I don’t even realize who’s reading my column but people are reading them then reach out to him and invite him to come on their show. This is a great way for you to be able to watch writers that are writing about people and interesting companies and things that might be relevant and interesting in your area. If you align with someone who has the same viewpoint as you, then it makes it easy to piggyback off of them and invite them to guest somewhere else. Doing that is a great way if you’re struggling for who to invite next or what stories to cover or what’s been relevant and what’s been interesting. Finding a few of these contributors or writers that you like and then follow them. That’s what Lucas is doing smartly.
Following a bunch of them that interest him but also will be interesting to his clients. That’s critically important here too. As a podcast host, you want to get interesting guests and not just the professional podcast guest. There’s a place for that because of association, but you want to bring new blood in. I love that they were able to pull that off in my column. It meant that I did a good job writing that and made him interesting and made it a good story. You never know what’s going to happen with some of these things. It’s a wonderful world that we’re living in. It could’ve been a slow burn. In this case, that happened relatively fast.
They continue to pay off. This has been true not only for our own podcast episodes that we’ve published that people continue to find because they’re not listening and they don’t know about the podcast. They’re going to find it and they’re going to go back and listen to everything and get a lot of value out of it. That’s one aspect of it. The other is that if you go on a guest on other people’s podcasts, we’ve experienced that side of it, too. That you’re going to continue to get people reaching out to you, finding you, coming to your site, starting to experience your podcast and listen more because they heard you on someone else’s podcast. You’ve got to do a combination of creating your own content on your site, your owned media. Then you’ve got to continue to push out in earned media and all these different places. It’s not just social media and pushing out to your own channel. You’ve got to get beyond that whether it’s podcast guesting or getting articles written on some of these publications, a combination of everything.
We got on the list the Top 26 Podcast for Entrepreneurs for 2018 and we have you to thank for growing so quickly and sharing us with your friends and engaging with us and inspiring us to cover different topics than other podcasts are covering for entrepreneurs. We really appreciate that and we want to thank you for that.
It’s a website called CIO.com from IDG, which is a Contributor Network. The article is Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts to Listen to in 2018 and Feed Your Brand is number 22. I also want to bring to everyone’s attention that Brielle and Jeremy Slate are number two, Command Your Brand. We just interviewed them.
Come join our Facebook page, @FeedYourBrand. Thanks for listening. This has been Tom and Tracy on Feed Your Brand.
- Echelon Copy
- Entrepreneur column
- The Next Web
- Podfest 2018
- Steve Waddell’s article in Inc.
- Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts to Listen to in 2018
- Brielle and Jeremy Slate’s interview
- Command Your Brand
- Lucas Miller’s Facebook
- Lucas Miller’s LinkedIn
About Lucas Miller
Lucas Miller is the founder and CEO of Echelon Copy LLC, a media relations agency based in Provo, Utah that helps brands improve visibility, enhance reputation and generate leads through authentic storytelling.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Feed Your Brand community today: