Getting your business noticed and getting it monetized is the main reason why PR has been around for many years. It is considered a message-spreading necessity. Now that podcasts have become a powerful tool to promote and boost a business, hosts need to learn that it’s not about pitching your podcast, but about pitching you and why your podcast is relevant to what is happening in the world. Podcast launch PR expert Dave Farrow pitches the story and not just the expertise, so you can attract listeners and establish a level of familiarity. Learn more ways to get your podcast noticed and monetized.
We’ve got quite a wonderful interview in a subject area that I think should be important to every listener of this podcast, which is really about PR, promotion, how to get the most exposure for your podcast for your business from an expert. Not just if you’re launching but if you want to grow your show, if you want to keep continued eyes and ears on it, if you’ve got videos as well. Dave Farrow of Farrow PR, one of my favorite people to talk to, we have so many overlapping areas of interest. I love that so we really crammed a lot into this interview. Dave actually speaks pretty quickly. Not the fastest speaker we’ve ever interviewed but certainly pretty fast. There’s a lot of good information packed in here, but it’s quality information. It’s also a really fun interview and I think a great example of letting an interview take the amount of time it takes until it feels complete.
It just flies by especially because Dave is just a cool guy. He has the broadest background and the most interesting tidbits I’ve ever heard. He is a two-time Guinness of Book of World Record holder for the greatest memory. I’ve experienced it. He has heck of a memory which is the polar opposite of me. I need to write down things to remember from one day to the next. He’s also been a guest expert on over 2,000 press interviews so he’s been in the hot seat being interviewed. He has a totally different viewpoint than being a host, but he’s also been transitioning to being a host. He’s packed a whole brand new podcast he’s launching and he’s already done 60 episodes before he’s launched. They’re videocasts. They’re video as well as pod, so he’s really got a lot going on there. That’s just so interesting in and on itself. He doesn’t do anything halfway, which I completely appreciate.
He has this cool memory method. He can memorize 59 decks of shuffled playing cards. It’s all backed by science because he’s an inventor too. He’s got all of these things that he works on that are all over the place and I just love it. It all ties back to what he’s really, really good at, which is making sure that when you’ve got something cool, when you’ve got something interesting, you get down to promoting that. You go out there and you work hard, you hack the system, and you find ways to be heard. Let’s dive into this interview with Dave.
Listen to the podcast here
Podcast Launch PR Boost with Dave Farrow
Hi, Dave. Thanks so much for joining us.
I am so excited. We’ve got so much to talk about.
We get so excited every time we talk and we go all over the place, but we’re going to try and stay focused because you’ve got so much information to share about how to promote a podcast, how to really push it out, about influencers. You’ve done 2,000 press interviews, if I’m not wrong or your bio’s slightly out of date. I’m sure you’ve done more by now. You’ve also done a lot of interviews as the host, right?
Yes, absolutely. In today’s day and age, you’ve got to create content. Just to give people a background, for about 20 years I made a really good living, I still do, by doing interviews. I do it in a way that not many people have been able to. Honestly, not every topic is conducive to this, but my topic of memory improvement is enough of a general topic and it’s interesting enough that I can go on almost any radio show, podcast, television show or whatever and drive traffic to my website. I do it in some very specific things. For many years in my heyday, I make $300,000 a year just doing sales driven to my website. That eventually led to a couple of infomercials, and all is said and done, it’s been about $10 million worth of sales worldwide of this particular product. It started with that art of an interview and also the art of getting that interview, so knowing how to get booked.
It’s a new art you’re discovering here as to how to be the host and ask things.
We’re generating content now. Being the memory guy and having all those sales and everything, it led me to teach other people how to do PR and marketing. Our show is called The Brains Behind It where I wanted to blend brain science and talking about the brain and psychology, which is in my wheelhouse as a Guinness Record Holder for memory. I wanted to combine that with entrepreneurship, which is in my wheelhouse as a marketer and as a PR firm that I run. We brought it together and I like to talk to people about anybody who is the brains behind of a big organization or a big event. We get a lot of Top 40 under 40s of tech startups, really great founders. We have the founders of Barefoot Wine on the show, the founder of Make-A-Wish, the CEO of Indiegogo was on the show. I’ve gotten some great names as well as a lot of really exciting startups that are going to be the next big thing. It was fun. I’ve got to stay away from monologues. I’ve got to ask the questions I want to be answered. I’ve done enough interviews that I know that there are the boring questions and then there are the questions that really make people think. When I get a person on the show and I ask them a question, they have to pause. They have to really think about it, that’s when I know I did my job well because they weren’t prepared to hear that thing when I ask them or something like that.
The other one I get is, “No one’s ever asked me that before,” or, “That’s a really interesting question.” This is the stall tactic you learned to do as a good guest so that you could assemble thoughts really quickly without that awkward pause or repeating yourself incessantly. That’s a technique that happens too. It’s so interesting to flip the tables, to flip the microphone but it’s fun.
I get to talk to brilliant people as well in the areas that I never would have. When you’re doing interviews, as a media mogul yourself, I literally have said the same line probably a thousand times in interviews. You say the same things over and over and over. This way it’s always different so it’s super exciting.
That’s really a key because you said it’s all about content nowadays. If the content’s exactly the same every single time, that no longer plays. This idea of having the same sound bites repeated on thousands of interviews just doesn’t work as well as it does to mix it up. You’re developing your show that way but you’re also spreading it by having it mixed up. It’s the same topic when you’re talking about the memory tools, but you were talking about it with a different audience, with a different take, with a different slant to it. When you do that, you’re broadening and giving your Google ranking depth nowadays in the digital marketing world, right?
Yeah. It’s never what you’ve done, it’s what you’ve done lately. You always have to innovate. One of the questions that people love the most that we get some of the best and the most interesting responses from it is, “What is your greatest crisis you’ve ever had and how did you overcome it?”
There are quite a few podcast shows that are completely dedicated to the thing that went wrong. People love that because it’s a great opportunity to learn.
Also, these people are very successful. People who are listening they think, “You don’t have problems,” and then when you hear all of the problems they’ve had to go through, you realize, “That’s part of being an entrepreneur. That’s what it’s like.”
That’s a thing that I like to do at the end of every podcast or my Inc. interviews that I really like to dive in to what their biggest challenge is. It’s the same thing. You’re successful so sometimes you don’t want to admit that you need help and that you’re looking for something or that something’s challenging you. There are those CEOs and founders that won’t speak up, they won’t say anything. They’re all about, “We’re doing perfectly fine. There are no challenges right now.” Actually, that happened when I interviewed Joe Gebbia from Airbnb once. He was like, “We don’t have any challenges.” I’m like, “Then you’re not doing anything.” That was what I was thinking at the back of my mind. He was like, “Let me get back to you on the answer to that,” and they never got back to me. If they do speak up though, it’s not a sign of vulnerability. It’s actually really great because they’re putting it out there that the answers are going to start flowing. The listeners love to hear stories about a train wreck, especially if there’s been a positive outcome on the other side. We have actually a couple of podcasters where their entire show format, their criteria for choosing a guest, they have to be very high-profile and well-known in their industry, but they definitely are looking for people that are like the phoenix that’s come back from the crash.
One if the biggest reasons why this works so well I think also is that it’s a difference between old media and new media. In old media, everything had to be an old PR. Everything had to be polished. We wanted everything to look flawless because having a flaw was a weakness. Now, looking flawless, we’ve had so many scandals, so many issues where people look perfect and then they scratch the surface and they want to dig a little deeper and there’s a scandal. I think now people see that as BS and they want to dig a little bit deeper.
They want that transparency. People want authenticity. They want to hear from people that are real, that they can relate to.
It reminds me of the kintsugi. It’s a Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with gold. For the longest time, you see a broken pot, it was damaged, there was something wrong with it, but now there are some really beautiful pieces where the crack is filled with a gold powder. It looks like a vein of gold running through the pottery. People started breaking this pottery on purpose so they could fix it with this special method and sell it for more. I think it’s a good metaphor where sometimes we all see the flaws make it more priceless. You’ve been through challenges and overcome them. You’re stronger for them.
Let’s talk a little bit about promotions and PR and how things have changed, especially for those out there looking to launch their podcast for the first time. They’re launching brand new and they’re really looking for ways to get the word out. What can they do different? It used to be just put out a press release. It’s not like that anymore.
First of all, I want to say why am I talking about this. First off, I was really successful in memory so I wanted to sell as many products as I could. My original goal was basically very self. I was just trying to make a buck. I didn’t realize the skill that I was able to acquire by just trying to sell as many widgets as possible. I actually really encourage people when they’re thinking about promotion is really dig into the numbers. Don’t just think in esoteric terms like have a goal or have a show and things like that, but really start asking big questions like how can you get 100,000 people listening? How can you get re-tweeted thousands of times? How can we do these things? That was the first thing that I did and it led me to go for a Guinness record and that led me to getting a ton of shows and that led to the sales and everything, starting with that mindset.
There’s no reason not to think the show can be about mechanics, filling your site with content, making sure your social feed has something. It can be that. It’s not as challenging, it’s not as fun, and it’s not as direct result to your bottom line for your business. That’s really where we see the power, and it’s not a tremendous amount more effort. That’s the crazy part about it. It’s being a little more strategic, maybe a little more tactical about it and then going for it.
If you have a podcast, one of the most important things you can do is to get another podcast. Different ones are really built differently. You want to get on different ones that are within your segment. One of the biggest tips I’ll give people is don’t just pitch your podcast, but pitch you and why your podcast is important. Pitch the why. In my PR team, we usually refer to it as pitching the story, not just the expertise. We can talk about your podcast and talk about how you’re an expert and everything, but what does your podcast tie into what’s going on in the world.
I go on a lot of podcasts all the time for various things and they don’t really want to talk about the show or they don’t want to talk about even what you’re doing. They want to talk about your story. They want to hear about you and how you do things just as much as why you’re doing things. That’s eye-opening to the audience as well.
I’ll run down some of the techniques, some of the strategies that we would use for doing PR for a podcast.
The reason why I know about this is I was the guy who was in the hot seat. A lot of times, people in PR and in promotions, they are former broadcasters, they work at NBC or whatever and now they work at a PR firm. I was the person who actually was doing the shows trying to get the sale. Everything I’m saying is based on where did I get the most sales from. Networking is a really big part of it. When you do get an interview, let’s say you get on a decent podcast really make friends with that person to get part of their network. Not to get political, but one of the things I learned from a biography I read about Bill Clinton is one of the reasons why he was so likeable at least when he was a president is that every single person that he met, he remembered the name but he also remembered something about them. He would meet somebody and he’d say something simple like, “When I met you, I remember you were wearing a green sweater and I just thought it was a hot day and why is this person wearing a green sweater?” It’s like a Southern folksy anecdote, but knowing something about them and taking that time to pay attention to them that opens you up to their entire network. You and I are a great example of this. We met, we were talking about podcasts. You’ve worked with some of my clients. I’ve asked you advice about design engineering.
The exact way we met was you were on stage at the Secret Knock doing your memory card thing. Basically, you hand out a card to a bunch of people and then the next day they come in and you remember who got which card. It’s super cool. You gave a number to someone.
They could say what number it was and I’d recall what card or back and forth or their name and stuff like that.
That’s the technique in it. I get back to the room that evening and I talked to you and we had a really nice conversation. I get back to the room in the evening and there’s Tom and he’s got one of your cards. He was one of those people who walked out and got a card on the way out. He wrote his number in the corner of the card, and I started laughing at him because here you are, you have to remember 52 cards. I can’t remember one number. I told you this story when I came in the next morning after you got done your thing and basically got everybody right. I told you this story and you were like, “I’m totally using that again.” Your wife will ridicule you if you write the number on the card. We built a relationship that way. That’s what we did. We built this fun, intimate story and it made us connect even deeper.
I also think that one of the best ways to network is to ask people for a favor. People want to have significance. I think meaning and significance are a driving force far more than even money or prestige or something. We want to be valued. This goes back to Carnegie and everything, I didn’t invent this, but this one I’ve been able to use really well authentically, because I really do want to work with people. I would ask complete strangers for a favor. I would say, “You’re really good at this. Do you think you could help me out or something?” You’d be surprised how many people not only take you up on your offer, but they like you more because of it. It seems weird that someone is doing essentially free work for you, but if you were just to try to offer to, “I’ll give you something in exchange for some leads or something,” then you are just a salesperson to them.
Asking them for a favor, you’re respecting their advice. You’re respecting their knowledge. “I’m not as good as you at this. Could you show me the ropes? Could you show me how this website works?” All of a sudden, they have more respect for you and they felt special and significant. It’s one of the greatest things you can do for another person is to rely on them. Getting into some of the ins and outs of actual real PR, I do want to tell people that it takes a lot of touch points, emails, phone calls, less phone calls nowadays but more emails and messages. To find a podcast in your market segment, what we do at our firm is we pay a large monthly fee to have access to the most comprehensive media database there is, and we’re also expanding it with our own database. We just look up the categories and then we got our list. If you dig around, you want to get on some podcast, find these people on Facebook, find these people on LinkedIn, tweet them out as an @ on Twitter and also send them an email.
You’ve got to be persistent. I think this is one of the places where people really fail if they have no sales experience. I will tell you that the average person thinks salespeople are jerks or a-holes, for lack of a better word, because they’re just so persistent. They don’t know how to take no for an answer. In the real business world and I think you probably agree with me on this, erring on the side of bugging somebody, annoying them, throwing so many context at them provided they didn’t say, “Leave me alone,” provided you didn’t get a negative answer, if you got no answer, erring on the side of just, “Try until they die,” is always an effective strategy. It’s effective because people who are busy have huge email lists of people that are trying to get a hold of them. You’ve got to be persistent to get past the noise. Chances are they didn’t even read your first two or three emails. They’ll get it on the third perhaps.
I’m a big research person. I will put a list together of shows. I will listen to them and I will say, “These hosts are great.” If you listen enough to some of the shows or you follow what they’re doing on their website and you do just some basic research, moving around there, and Google them because you’ll see what comes up to the top, you’ll see what their preferred method of contact is. You’ll start to see, “They like LinkedIn or they are much more Facebook people, because that’s the post that show up most,” and that’s where to start. It’s where they’re obviously comfortable and so they’re in there more often. You have a better shot at getting heard there. That works for me. I actually go out there and say it when I give a speech. I’m like, “If you want to get me, the best chance you have to get me is LinkedIn.” I will just straight out say that in a speech and it works.
I’m going to add something on to that. It’s absolutely true, and in fact in all our lists, we have the preferred method of contact. That’s a very common field when we’re building lists. The thing is, sometimes we will go outside of that because somebody will say their preferred method of contact is XYZ and it’s editor@NewYorkTimes.com, like it’s some very generic thing.
Preferred might be preferred for them so that you don’t clog up their primary method of communication. If you do a little bit of research, you’ll actually find where they are playing the most. That’s how you can really tell what their real preferred is. You’re so right. It is good to sometimes deviate from that.
What I do in those situations is we will send it to their preferred first because it’s a respect thing. If you don’t listen to what they say, they’re not going to listen to you. Out of respect, “You wanted this one to be preferred,” then I believe, in my own opinion, you have full reign. Find them on Facebook. Find them anywhere else and send a message saying, “I sent an email to XYZ because I know that’s your preferred method of contact, but I’m not sure if you got it. Did you hear about this?” Then you have your pitch. That way you’re still respecting them, but you might get a hold of them in another place.
That’s actually a really good suggestion and I find that true in our business as I do a lot of sales work myself. I have my methods which I think in some ways differ a little bit from yours, but I agree wholeheartedly with having as many touch points as possible. There’s this issue of establishing a familiarity and a comfort level that a potential customer needs to establish with you. I think the more times they see you or references to you or hear from you, the quicker that can happen. Actually, I also think that’s one of the brilliant aspects of having a podcast for your business though because you’re in their ear all the time and that’s a very different situation. Not only are you sending emails frequently and even if you’re serving, providing information that’s not always necessarily directly sales related, “Do you want to buy now?” but providing information like, “Did you see this podcast? I thought you might be interested in it,” you’re establishing more trust and more touch points that really does a lot. They’re almost like self-selecting themselves into being a customer it seems.
Out of mutual respect, oftentimes they’ll follow you for a little bit and at least you’ll get one or two shows out of them. At that point, they’ll decide whether they’re hooked or not, but it’s a really great on-boarding tool to continue that conversation.
What else do you got? What else do you dare?
We’re talking specifically about podcast. We were just talking about poditizing your podcast, and I should actually tell people I want to give all the time. I always believe in every business relationship, I’d give first and I tell people I’m giving them because I want to get credit for it. I tell them I’m going to give. If any of your listeners are in a situation where they need promotions, I always offer a free 30-minute consultation to people right off the bat. That has been one of the greatest tools I’ve had as a lead builder, but it’s also been very satisfying because I’ll find somebody who either has a big budget which is great or they have a great need. They might not even be able to afford my services, but they needed to talk to me. I help them in that moment. I think you need both in life. I think I get a lot of satisfaction from the second one where they might not be able to afford my services, but I talk to them for half an hour and I showed them some things that blew their mind and are going to put them on the right track. I’ll get back to them maybe a year later and they are leagues ahead because of that advice. It’s very satisfying. Then offering something first, some connection for something of value first. I use my time but you could do other things, that’s a great lead magnet for good qualified leads. You’re going to a client, if you go there immediately with sales or something selfish in mind, you’re going to turn them off. If you say, “I want to give to you first. Let’s do some strategy or something. You can pick my brain.” That tends to work for me because I’m the brain guy. Find the thing that works for your brand really well and that call to action is really good, but a call to action that gives first.
I practice it in our business. Oftentimes, people will come up to me at an event because we’re the podcast and content digital marketers and they’re also podcasting. Maybe they have another producer even. They ask questions and they want to know about best practices and what’s working. There are some people in business who would not want to have a conversation and share the information because they think, “You’re just going to take my knowledge and do it for yourself.” My opinion is very much the same as yours. It’s that, “I’m very happy to share that information and if you want to do it yourself or have your own VA do it, more power to you. Go and do it.” “I agree, I want to serve. You’re going to remember me more. You’re going to like me more. You’re going to be more inclined to come back when the time’s right for you if I’ve been helpful in helping you achieve your goals.” The reality is I find nine times out of ten, the people are really not going to do it themselves or they’re only going to do it themselves as long as they absolutely have to and as soon as they can afford it. They want to focus on their core business, not on doing the nitty-gritty tactical stuff. You just gave them a goal. You just gave them a benchmark of, “How good do I need to be to afford Dave?”
I think there’s an extra reason that a lot of times experts don’t give themselves their own due. We don’t think of ourselves as experts, but other people do. When you give someone information, if you’re an “expert” at something and you can give all the information related to that expertise in half an hour, you’re not an expert. I actually teach this to my clients at Farrow PR when we talk about media training. When you go on to a show, if you’re an expert at something, I call it the tip of the tip of the iceberg. You want to give people the impression that everything you’re saying is just a small tiny fraction of a percent of a part of this whole bigger thing that I am an expert. I am not a book, I’m the library. When you give people advice, when you give them some of your free time, there’s a confidence that comes from people who give advice because everybody who listens knows there’s a whole lot more behind there and you’re just getting a fraction of it. It makes them want to hire you even more. It’s a credibility builder. If you lose credibility, if that’s all you’ve got is half an hour of content, you’re not going to make a lot of money. You’re not worth being hired to be honest. If I talk to you for half an hour and you’re like, “This is all really good stuff,” and I’m like, “That’s just what you do in the first week,” then they know that I know what I’m talking about and they hire me.
I’ve written quite a few articles about the power of free and taking a free call, especially when you have a complex thing to sell, which you do and we do. There are so many different aspects in which you can help. It’s always customized every time. You can’t just always price it out in a package. It’s not that easy. When you have something like that, it’s always really great to have those calls especially in the beginning when you are not sure how to package that service and price that service because you don’t really understand necessarily who is going to be attracted to you. The number one mismatch that happens in the product world is a mismatch between the product and the market. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a product or a service or whatever it is, but it accounts for almost 60% of failures in launching. When you have that, one of the best ways to do it is to get a lot of information. If you don’t have a client base, having a lot of free phone calls is a great way to get that conversation going and finding out, “I just don’t have the right package set up for the clients that I’m attracting,” or, “I’m going after the wrong potential customers with this product, ” or, “I’m in the wrong market where I’m speaking.” All of those things can really help you further refine what your offer needs to be.
We’re both keynote speakers. Typically, my corporate talk is towards salespeople when it comes to memory and towards managers when it comes to PR and marketing. My speaking fee is $15,000. It’s a decent fee and I make six figures doing speaking alone and I get to travel and everything and it’s wonderful. The coaching and speaking materials and websites and things like that became a product. In my PR firm, in my marketing firm, we created a comprehensive speaker package. It’s about $7,000 and you get a website, you get a flyer, you get five coaching calls with me and my staff, we rewrite all of your stuff, we make all this stuff. Here’s what I discovered. I started doing calls like this and people couldn’t afford the $7,000 right off the bat. People who are most interested in speaking, they wanted something that was in $1,000-price point. They want it $1,000 now and then they pay another $1,000 maybe next month, and then another $1,000 later, and then overall they might be a $10,000 to $20,000 client, but they couldn’t do it all upfront. That is really what I learned. Now, we’re switching it up to a speaker mentoring services. We have several tiers that are different price points for getting people started. I never would have figured that out if I didn’t get on the phone and give people a little bit of my time and try to customize things.
You start seeing the problems of what’s going on with them. The other thing that can do that I just like to add to that, Dave, is that going through that process can also help you identify not only what market your product or service is a good fit for, but you can also identify, as I did in some of our business dealings, if there are customers that can’t afford the price that you’re charging for it, they may not be the customers that you really do want. There’s that aspect too. I’m not saying I don’t want to help everybody. I do. We have in our business a free way you can help yourself. That’s a very important thing, but in terms of taking our time and our staff’s time that we really can’t justify doing that if it’s under a certain cost. We’ve had to find ways to help people at a lower level, but it’s not the way that we thought we would be helping people. I’ll get someone who will say to me, “I kissed a lot of frogs in my LinkedIn marketing program.” I’m like, “Then your LinkedIn marketing program is flawed, the audience you’re speaking to is flawed or your product is flawed.” You shouldn’t be in that. You should learn really quickly from that that you’ve got something wrong and change it. That’s an indicator.
Some of these are very good quality clients. I think they just wanted the service as a piece meal. They wanted it à la carte as opposed to all-in-one bundle package. We’re actually doing less work and making more money now with this change. I don’t want to give the impression that we’re just discounting things. It was the fact that I thought we needed a comprehensive bundle package, but I was encountering some people who already have a website but they didn’t have the flyer and they needed to rewrite their material and other things. We’re starting to chop things up. Sometimes you can make a switch like this and make more.
It’s like the concept if you were to build a car by buying all the parts at auto parts stores, the car would cost four times as much and take a lot longer. You’re breaking up your comprehensive package and allowing people buy it à la carte. By taking your comprehensive package and breaking it up into its components, you can charge a lot more for each of those individual things into a much lower ticket price for that potential customer who has part of it done on their own or another way, and you can make more money and do less work. That’s brilliant. That’s part of the path that we are taking with our business as well. We do come across people who’ve been looking at starting a podcast for months and they have their cover art or they’ve already picked their theme music or they have their cousin who’s a great voiceover artist and they have them record the voiceover. They don’t need everything or to pay for it. Now, we’re finding we can still help them and help ourselves and make the transition smoother.
Let’s talk a little more of launching strategies. Less PR and more like, how do you really get yourself to launch into being a micro-influencer with a great podcast that hits the ground running?
I think really choosing your topic is really important. You want to leave yourself enough room to be general without trying to be everything for everybody.
The Brains Behind It, I love that title. The reality is what that does is it gives you this deep, but actually narrow because in a way you’re working around one constraint that you’ve given yourself but it gives you a lot of deep content and ability to hit multiple niches, multiple channels, if that’s the way you want to look at it depending on how you mix that up. That’s how you hit double-digit, triple-digit podcast. We’ve been talking about 3D printing for over 500 episodes. We left it broad enough but streamlined into a particular topic area.
One of the smartest things that I think I did with this is we did do a name change early on. We were talking about this in the past. Originally, it was going to be called PR Brilliance and Blunders. We wanted to put PR in there because it was in our wheelhouse, but PR does limit us. It was the blunders part that was making it really difficult to book people. We found that nobody wanted to talk about their mistakes. As a good PR person, we spun and we turned it into something flattering, so we’re calling the person the brain behind an operation. Who doesn’t want to be called that? It’s flattering and it’s exciting.
There’s another show, Jon Nastor. He does the Hack The Entrepreneur, but really he wants to talk about what you did wrong on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. It’s great because who doesn’t want to hack something? Hackers rule nowadays.
It’s not what did you do wrong. It’s what’s the greatest crisis you, as a hero, overcame. It’s all about the spin.
I will actually give away one secret I don’t normally talk about. I’m very transparent with the people who are on the show. I think that people don’t think about monetization soon enough. When we talk about poditization, but monetizing your podcast, a lot of people think, “I have to build a huge audience then I’ll make money.” I think they get too locked into, “That’s the only way to make money.” I tell all my clients when we talk about media, always figure out a way to get paid twice or three times. I was on Dr. Oz a couple of times for example. When I went on Dr. Oz, I made about $50,000 in sales on my website. That’s a good day for any business.
That’s not the only money I’ve made from those shows. I make money every time I tell people I was on Dr. Oz, every time I put it in my bio, every time I have pictures from the show on a slideshow presentation. That helps me raise my credibility and then people want to buy my stuff because of that credibility. You can find a way to leverage things. Being on Dr. Oz helped me be on Steve Harvey as a result of it. It can help you get other press for example. Along that same vein, if somebody has a podcast out there, I’m going to give you a little secret that I’m doing. It’s a not so secret secret. I made money from day one without an audience. People are like, “How on earth did you do that?” The people that you’re talking to could possibly use your services. I’m talking to business professionals about their marketing and I have a company that I do marketing services. Everybody I’m talking to, they’re very savvy. They know it’s not a trick or anything. I’m very authentic about it, but essentially we’re talking about their marketing and during the conversation, if I find somebody who I’m interviewing got something that I think I could really help them with, I tell them. I usually tell them after the interview. I say, “I think you’re doing this and this really well, but I notice you’re not doing this. Would you be interested in hearing about how we do that for you?” They go, “Yeah. Send me a proposal.” I’ve got 60 shows in the can now. We had 40 proposals, four clients so far from it, and a whole bunch of people looking at it. That’s completely aside from any audience.
You are a hyper achiever, which is meant to be a compliment absolutely. You’ve been planning this for a long time and really putting the effort in. I think we talked to you about, “The best launch strategy is launch with 25 episodes or something like that and put out one every weekday for the first six or eight weeks or something like that.” You need 60 shows with a content. You need to do that level of preparation and advanced work in order to sky-rocket to the top of iTunes charts and things like that. I’m excited to track and see where you go.
This monetize sooner is just so awesome and it’s such a great way to get paid. We actually offer this great referral service that some of our clients actually get their podcast produced by just referring us. They’re on somebody’s podcast and they go, “You have a show but your audio quality is not very good,” or, “You’re not doing blog posts. I have this team that does mine. Do you want me to connect you?” It’s that simple and the next thing they know, they get five free podcast episodes produced. They don’t pay for their show at the end of the day. It is a way to get that monetization going by not thinking literally, “I’m going to place an ad and I’m going to make money from an ad.”
To think of your podcast as a tool for your credibility. It’s almost an unknown joke nowadays, everybody says, “I have a podcast.” You might almost be ashamed like, ‘I’m just a podcaster.” It’s like being somebody in LA who’s an actor like, “Yeah, right. Where do you wait tables?” If you frame it in the right way, you can use your podcast as a utility, as a way to update clients. I know several people on the financial area that are using it like a ticker tape, like, “Here’s the latest financial data this week.” People can feel updated and everything. It goes back to when the morning radio shows used to say the traffic every ten minutes or something like that. Be a utility too. Be useful. Look for ways to monetize it or adding value to people beyond just the size of your audience. If you want to get a large audience, I got another tip that will help out quite a bit. We talk about influencers that’s something that goes around a lot. I want people to look this up. There is a website and it’s a place that you can go to that you can search for micro-influencers. I don’t get anything for you logging on. I’m not getting a kickback or something. I just found this is really useful. Let’s say you have a website or in my case I’ve got a show and everything, you can look up categories and you can find several people who are in that space, and then you could pitch to them. They’re going to ask you for money, but they’ll have a million followers or several hundred thousand followers, and you give them like $300. They will mention your podcast four times or twice a week for the next three weeks or something like that. This is the type of thing that can really sky-rocket your listenership.
The other thing is podcast-related PR, so doing a direct PR campaign to other podcasters as well as lists of podcasters. There’s a lot of traditional media that are getting into the business of categorizing podcasts. They have awards, they have shout-outs, NPR is doing one every single day where they’re talking about podcasts you’ve never heard of. How a producer or an editor thinks when they’re making one of these listicles online or something, they’re going to have two or three known entities. Maybe even one of them is like a buddy of theirs who has a podcast that they want to get out. People in the media sometimes do that.
At least they have a selfish desire like, “I like this pod. I’m a big fan of it.” You can’t make a whole blog post or you can’t make a whole article on a magazine around that one, so they’ll usually list three or four others. That’s the list that you want to get into because you are judged by the company you keep. If you’re on a list right beside another major podcast, then everybody who’s part of that podcast is going to go, “Who’s that guy? Let me go check it out.”
I did this. I did the best innovation ones, the ones that I found. I actually went and chose them myself. I didn’t have a pre-conceived notion of who was going to be on this list, but I had been guest on a few shows and I thought, “These are really great shows and no one knows about them. Let me write an article about it.” It was my way to give back to my readership. I did have a couple in mind, you’re right about that, but it wasn’t a quid pro quo thing.
Sometimes it’s purely authentic.
It is, but I hit upon one that had just started but I loved the premise of the show and I wrote about them. You wouldn’t believe the amount that they tweeted. This is a show that really only had maybe a dozen episodes. They’ve really only been a month old, maybe two months at most, and they tweeted and they shared and they did more than anyone else on that list. It helped my readership. It boosted my article. That was one of my best articles from that year. That helped me and I helped the rookie show get started. That feels really good back too. If you’re interested, if you find a writer especially who’s interested in that podcast community, they care about it growing and that helps too.
It’s almost like it’d be a good idea to go up to people in the media and ask them to be on your podcast and flatter them. It’s almost like that might be a good strategy. Maybe get them on the show like The Brains Behind It and say that they’re the brains behind an organization.
It certainly gets your attention, the relationship capital, the relationship monetization that comes from it. I write articles, I do interviews. When I do my podcast, we are obviously doing interviews. You’re building a relationship there. When you send me an email, it’s not, “It’s Dave who I don’t know.” It’s like, “You’re going to come up and I’m going to read it.” Immediately you have my attention. Because you’ve built a little bit of time invested in me and in my show or coming on it, we have this sense of, “You do know who I’m about so I guarantee that what you’re suggesting is highly likely to be worth my time to check out.” That’s where that relationship capital goes further.
There’s that old phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I think that the way it’s phrased is very small-minded. In actuality, you get to know other people by being an expert at what you know, by being able to offer something, whether it’s expertise or support or advice or sounding board or anything. By being able to offer this, you attract this whole Rolodex of people. Everybody wants to get to somebody on Shark Tank or something or Dragon’s Den and get the Rolodex that they have. The reason they have that Rolodex is because they are the person that they are. If you just got that Rolodex, it wouldn’t work for you because you’re not them. You have to show your value and become a magnet for that.
Just to review, obviously traditional PR, getting media placements and stuff, we have a product at my firm. We do something called the Podcast Rocket where it’s one package and we send it out and blast it out to all these lists and get all the people in media talking about it.
Sometimes you need a boost not just when you launch your show but also if you’re show’s starting to take off but you want to hit that level of perhaps taking in ads or monetization or sponsors or those kinds of things. There are certain shows that are at the level. A boost is actually a really good idea at that time as well.
You also have to think how valuable is your time. You’re putting all this time into the podcast and if you’re not promoting it, you’re not getting that new blood in there, that new energy in there. You have to promote it. There are some very affordable ways to do that.
Dave, is there anything that you have planned to do for your own podcast launch that’s a little different or additional to the things you shared with our audience?
Yeah. I did get a bunch of podcasts in the queue. I’m very cash positive profitable even before launch, so keep in mind how to monetize things. I’ve got tons of these ready. The key here is that I’m going to be launching about five a week for the first little while while we catch up to the current. Eventually, when I get this backlog onto podcast, then I’m going to add two a week. My key goal is to take some of the more prestigious guests, the founder of Make-A-Wish foundation, I talked to the CEO of Indiegogo, and things like that, and use those as flagships to get other people to listen to other parts of the podcast. Instead of trying to sell the whole podcast, just sell people on listening to one interview like, “You’ve got to check this out. He gives the secret to XYZ.” Anything that you can get people to get on board with.
We started off with you don’t sell the person, you sell the story behind it. We have done this a ton of times. One of my clients that I like a lot, Dead Soxy, they were on my show and they became a client as well. We did a product pitch and this is something some podcasters might consider doing. If you have a product related to your podcast or you have some original content, these guys have socks. They’re a fashion brand, they’re really wicked and awesome. We got 134 spots for them in twelve weeks. We got 134 bookings in the media in twelve weeks. The way we did that is by giving away free socks and also having a story behind it. You can offer to give away free socks and maybe you’ll get 30, 40 bookings. 134 in twelve weeks is a lot. The way we did that is to sell the story. In our case, they’re men’s socks so it’s men’s wear, but we went after females. We went after female podcasters and bloggers and influencers basically. We said, “We’re going to send you these socks. You’re going to give them to a man in your life and then you’re going to tell us about the experience.” We’re leaving the men completely out of it. We’re letting women talk about men’s fashion. There’s the story and it sky-rocketed. It was fantastic.
With women making 85% of the purchases at mass market retail, they’re likely buying the socks anyway so it’s a really smart plan when you’re talking about a product launch.
The client wanted to talk about the technology. They have a type of sock that doesn’t fall down. I’m like, “You’re going to get literally a dozen of people listening to that.” You tell the story.
We see a lot of these pitches in the media. I got on the list at CES which was just recent and the stuff that I was pitched I was like, “If I hear about another Alexa skill or another fitness thing that does this, there is no story here.”
What’s really interesting about what Dave is saying here is that maybe it’s just your experience and for you it’s not outside of the box thinking, maybe it isn’t outside the box thinking but we speak to a lot of people and hear from a lot of people about how they’re trying to get exposure for their business and what types of tactics, things that they’re doing to get attention. Compared to what you’re doing, I feel like most people are just scratching the surface and it’s almost like one-dimensional thinking, whereas you’re here like three-dimensional and maybe even fourth dimensional thinking about how to create and make a story about something as basic or commodity level as socks. I actually think the socks are great. I love the socks. They happen to be very good socks. Even if they weren’t as great as they are, you’ve just told us how you can create a story out of something that is not just about the socks.
You want to ask who wants this, who needs this, and who will benefit, who will suffer, who needs the information, who needs your expertise, your growth, all of that are really good questions to ask yourself to find out what is the story. “What’s the point? I’m a busy guy. Why am I reading this article? What am I getting out of it?” When you switch your mindset into this thinking, you’ll really understand why stuff makes it to the media. It’s almost like your listeners should go into the credits and take advantage of that 30-minute consultation from me. They could benefit from it.
Anybody who really wants to take their podcast to the next level, they really should go. It’s free, right?
You’re excellent at what you do. I would highly recommend that. We so appreciate you coming on the show, Dave, and sharing so much free information already. You’re right, it’s just the tip of the iceberg and they need to have a deeper conversation. They need to have a personal conversation with you. Listeners, take him up on this.
This is great. We wrapped this all up in a nice neat little bowl, almost like we planned to do this but it’s just off the top of our heads.
It’s just the way it happened. This is a longer interview than a lot of them, and we always tell our listeners this little tip here, for those listeners who maybe haven’t heard this tip yet, which is don’t plan to have an interview and be a specific length of time. It needs to be as long as it takes to complete the thought. We don’t know always how long it’s going to be. It’s usually between 25 and 45 minutes of an interview depending on the subject. This one went a little longer, but now it feels complete, doesn’t it?
It absolutely does. I had a wonderful time chatting with you. Anytime, you can have me back on the show. This is fantastic.
We’d love that. Thank you, Dave. We absolutely will.
I’d also like to invite you on to The Brains Behind It. Let’s organize that to reciprocate.
We would love that. Thank you so much.
Podcast Launch PR Boost – Final Thoughts
There were so many great nuggets of information and helpful things in that interview for any of you, whether you’re an aspiring podcaster, you’ve just launched recently or you’ve been podcasting for quite a while. I really meant it when I said to him I think he is innovating on a different level, a different dimension of how to create that story or how to pitch that story about something that’s being promoted so that it’s not just a basic sales pitch. He was talking about how many media mentions in all of the things that he’s able to get in a short period of time for his clients. When you do something like that in a compacted time period, it’s the same thing that we’re doing by suggesting that you create a lot of content and launch with a lot of content or as much as you can. When you do that in a concentrated period of time, it seems like overkill but it’s actually really not because it feeds the underlying tactics, the underlying algorithms. The authority building that happens from all of that, it speeds the process of credibility so fast for you that it really is worth the effort.
He was talking about old school radio, how times have changed so much where you used to actually have traffic reports on the radio. I think they still have them in some of the bigger cities, especially for those baby boomers who maybe aren’t on their phones incessantly or like we do in the morning, “Alexa, what is the weather?” When you think about radio and the whole idea of traffic, it’s all changed and you don’t need that anymore. It’s interesting to think about PR has been around a long time. It is sometimes considered an old school necessity. I think people question, do they really need PR at times or do they not? I think depending on what your goals are certainly Dave is an example of how using PR and exposure to monetize your business. He’s mastered it. If you wanted to take your show to the next level, I think it would be worth having that 30-minute consultation with him.
I personally had a lot of referrals come back from Dave to me both for articles and also for clients. I find them to be super eager. If you take that step and you reach out, you get excited. Dave gets you excited like that. That’s what I love about him. You’re not only excited about your product, but you feel like you’ve got that story down for yourself and you feel like people are going to be attracted to it. You already believe in yourself, and that confidence bodes well as you go into promoting yourself. He really demonstrated to me, not only from past experience but in this interview, how you can actually create an engaging story that is going to get exposure and attention out of the simplest types of products or services. It’s not to say that those products and services aren’t useful, valuable or desirable, but his approach makes them even more exciting than even you thought they were or anybody who they might pitch it to whatever think that they would be so interested in socks.
Be sure to go to the website at FeedYourBrand.co because you don’t want to miss the micro-influencer link from Dave and you definitely don’t want to miss the connection to Dave’s Farrow PR and his offer for a 30-minute call or his upcoming podcast when it goes live. Don’t forget you’ll also will see post and information about this episode and others on social media, on Facebook and LinkedIn @FeedYourBrand. Thanks everyone for listening. This has been Tracy and Tom on the Feed Your Brand Podcast.
- Farrow PR
- Barefoot Wine
- Hack The Entrepreneur
- The Brains Behind It
- Dead Soxy
- Inc. interviews
About Dave Farrow
Dave Farrow is the two-time Guinness Record holder for greatest memory and the CEO of FarrowPR. He has been a featured guest expert on over 2000 interviews in the media including, The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Steve Harvey, Discovery Channel and many others. To earn the world record, Farrow recalled the exact order of 59 decks of shuffled playing cards using ‘The Farrow Memory Method’. This method was originally invented to combat Farrow’s dyslexia and ADHD and is now a unique memory system backed by a double blind neuroscience study at McGill University.
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