Some of the highest value you’re going to get over the long-term is getting that guest relationship building and networking going for you. When you have good guests come on your show, you want to make the most out of that. It is the way a lot of podcasters who have been doing it a long time make the most money in their business. It’s the way they get the best speaking engagements or the best networking. Emulate some of these best practices and as you learn how to set up your guests better with some good guest strategies.
We wanted to talk a little bit about setting up your guests better and having some good guest strategies. That’s where some of the highest value you’re going to find you get over the long-term is getting that guest relationship building and networking going for you. Especially the two that are on, you have good guests come on your show. You want to make the most out of that. We have a couple of podcasters who had been doing it a long time and for them, it is the way they make the most money in their business. It’s the way they get the best speaking engagements or the best networking goes on and we’ve used it that way as well. We’ve used it to elevate our expertise but I also use it to get speaking engagements and get clients all the time. It translates for us. We want to make sure that we’re doing a good job as host of making the most out of the guest strategy that you’ve got going on there. There are some things that we have been doing for a long time and some other hosts that we’ve emulated and some that are on our platform do well. We want to copy those best practices. That’s what we’re going to talk about plus there’s a couple of little side notes from our team that they wanted us to mention for you. Did you have anything Tom?
Something may come up as we go, but no. This is what I was expecting to talk about.
Let’s get started on the guesting. A couple of things. First off you’ve done a very good job following the protocols of inviting people, making sure you have your calendar setup. I got invited on a podcast. I did it more so because I was hoping I could coach the guy to do a better job on it, but he had no calendar and no information. I sent him my bio in an email. He didn’t even recognize that he had it when he’s talking to me in the beginning. It was just not done well there. Make sure you’ve got those practices and we did a video on our client call. You can check that out in the FAQ anytime. Making sure that’s in place, that does a lot of giving you the prep work you need.
Mitch has a very good solicitation for if you want to be a guest as a whole form. There are some good practices for using ScheduleOnce as an option. That’s what we use where people book on your calendar and they have to fill out all the information that you want to get from them in order to book that appointment.
Calendly is free. We use ScheduleOnce because we are coordinating two of our schedules so we both have to be available for the interview so that’s a little more complicated. That’s why we do it that way. If you don’t have as complicated a situation, you can use Calendly. It’s very simple. You can still do a form all you got to do is make sure you give them follow-up emails as well, which we do. I will drop in here the link where you can pretend to register for one of our podcasts and you could check it out. Alexandra also has up in the FAQ area templates of what we use so you can read them.
That’s the help resources section of the customer dashboard.
You can see our follow-up email and in our follow-up email, we tell them to make sure you check your equipment, make sure you have headphones that don’t have a microphone on them. We give them some advice and for a lot of newbies at it, this happens a lot. The newbie guests who’ve never been a guest on a podcast before. They get nervous and they don’t know what they’re going to do and then they send your assistant or you all those emails in the meantime. It drives me crazy. This cuts down on tons of those emails. That helps tremendously in setting out expectations. We have that and we send that one repeatedly in case. They receive it within minutes of scheduling and then they receive it 48 hours ahead of time and then they receive it another 30 minutes ahead of time. We do that. They’ve got it multiple times in case they’re not on their phone and they happened to be in a different place. Those are just setting that up. That’s sets the tone, this is professional. I’ve got this handled. I’ve got this under control and we’re going to do a good job, but it also gives you all the information you need to do a little bit of homework before you start if you don’t know them. While we like to get to know our guests on the fly, we also do need to know that we at least looked into them. We checked out their website. Why did you invite them to the show? There should be a reason why and that’s what we always start with. We have a reason why we’ve invited them.When you've done your homework, you're elevating yourself as a good host. Click To Tweet
It might change over course of the interview and that’s perfectly fine. It happens to us all the time like completely pivots in a different direction. We go in there with this mindset that, “We’ve got this information going and we know this basic amount of them.” We had an interview with Jay Abraham, which was such a trip. I had prepared a little bit more because he’s important and he’s got tons of information out there to use. He’s not a new guy in the industry. You’ve got all this information and so what we did was, I wrote a few notes there. I didn’t write guiding questions, but I’ve written a few notes about the direction I wanted to go in there. In that, I made a couple of notes to myself so I didn’t forget the name of his books. Sometimes there’s a classic line that they repeat and it sounds better if you say that as the host rather than them saying it about themselves. This is one of those things where I make a couple of notes of what I would like to say.
If someone were to interview me, what do I want them to say about me? It’s great that they say, “This is the coolest person. I have the most fun meeting them.” It doesn’t tell them why you’re relevant to your show or why it’s relevant to the topic at hand so you want to have a little bit of tie end that is what I would call a sound bite introduction. When I wrote an article about John Livesay, I called him the pitch whisperer. It stuck. It’s now on the cover of his book. He uses it all the time. It’s in his intro everywhere, but I coined that because that’s what he is. He’s the guy you want to take into your pitch with you. When I said that, it made it concise as to why I was writing an article about him. It’s the same thing when you’re doing an interview on a podcast so think that out ahead of time.
One of the things that I do is I never accept the guests’ bio. The bio that guests provide is terrible and nobody would ever listen. Who wants to sit there and read a bio or listen for someone’s bio? There’s nothing more boring. What I do is I craft an intro at every show of a completely custom intro that tells a story and it follows a pattern. I use the hero’s journey story guide. I tell a three-sentence or four sentence story about their path from total failure to brilliant success and the hardships and what they’ve overcome to get there. I would say half of the time right after I even say the intro, the guest is saying, “I’ve never had an intro like that before.”
That’s a great technique. You’re providing them a lot more. You’re telling their beginning story in a great way. That’s good because podcasts are not very long. You want to get to the heart of the matter. They might be famous in our niche, they’re probably not necessarily famous to our audience because our audience is learning about them. That’s also an important thing. Just because they think they’re famous or they’re well-known to you, doesn’t mean they’re well-known to everyone. Sometimes having that jumping back and telling that story, is a great plan to have. It gets you right into the real questions of what you want to ask them about how they’re approaching things now and in the future. What I also find is that when you do that, they have such respect for you and you build a better relationship. It’s like you went on Stephen Colbert or something, and he read your book. When you have a few little notes and nuggets that you pull out from that, even if they’re just off the internet, trust me, you don’t have to look that hard. They were so flattered that you took the time to look into them. That it makes a big relationship difference and that’s what we’re trying to build here. We’re trying to build a better guest-host relationship.
When you’ve done your homework like that, you’re elevating yourself as a good host. That puts you at the same level or even above your interview subject, which is an interesting dynamic to have to go on. Especially if you’re in an industry where you’re new to it. When we went into 3D printing, we had to do a bit of research on some of these companies. We were interviewing them. We didn’t know anything about CAD software that would do certain things. If it wasn’t something we used every day, we didn’t know about it. We’d have to research that and learn about it just enough so that we could ask the important questions, but once we did it was like, “We must be experts. We have a broader knowledge base.” That’s going to help your show as well in terms of helping elevate your authority. Those are good things to have. The other important reason is thinking about the setup of the show. Do you want to intro them separately? Do you want to intro while they’re listening? Those are some of the things. Mitch is doing it while they’re listening. We do it separately.
You’re right because for instance, Scott is recording his show live and you’ve got to do it all in one take. While we do clean it up when we edit that as a podcast and if there’s any awkward pauses or anything, you would rather were there where we’re going to fix that. You have to be more on your game when you’re doing it in one take live on Facebook. I do prefer to record the interview first and have it just be the interview with the guest. After we have the knowledge and experience of that interview, we’d go back and record an introduction and then we also record our final thoughts. It’s different when your cohosts and most are not cohosts. We have a new podcast coming on that is another cohost situation, so that’ll be interesting. If it’s just yourself, then it’s your own final thoughts or conclusions. The things you might want to say to your audience that you’d rather not say while the guest is on the line. It’s not that they’re not appropriate, but sometimes you wouldn’t want to have that guest jamming in or commenting on it.
You can mute them. That’s another strategy.
In terms of a podcast in and of itself, I do want to produce it in a little more predictable way than if you’re just recording it as one live thing. This is not a right or wrong thing. Scott’s getting so much more out of his because he’s doing it on Facebook and everybody seeing it. That that is more beneficial to him than having a completely polished live show.
The spontaneity that you’re having, Scott is helping you. I don’t think in a way that’s hurting you, but you might want to take the time to write that guest intro down for yourself so that you have it in your head before you start.
It’s one thing I focus on. We’ve been a dead week everywhere else. Our episode, 1,100 views already on Facebook every. It’s crazy. It was like the one wouldn’t hit and it’s 1,100 views. Everything has been at least 300 views, if not 500 or 700 for this episode. It’s crazy that way.
Holiday weeks can surprise you and that’s something is that we don’t realize how desperate everyone is to get away from their family even when they’re with their family. They find a lot of downtimes or a time of traveling in airports and cars and even they do catch up on a lot of things. We find that are listening over holiday weekends spike and for some reason, for our particular show when we did it on 3D printing, we had a Sunday spike very regularly. That must have been when people were catching up. Maybe they’d gotten an out of the weekend but they wanted to do something for themselves at the end because ours was an educational show in that way. Back to this guest ideas, one of the other important things that you have to remember is that there are nuggets happening across the way of what you’re doing and these are sound bites.
When you’re introducing somebody or when you’re closing and thanking them, that’s also an opportunity where you’re tying why you brought them on the show in. That’s a good time to make that clear if it wasn’t already. It was like, “I thought this was going to be great because they have such insight into XYZ.” It was and that was profound to me. When you also tied into what you personally got out of it, it helps people sit back and reflect and think about what they got out of it as well. That’s a good way to tie those things together. It’s also a great way either in that intro or outro to remember that you have an Ego Bait™ opportunity. It’s going to become a graphic or it’s going to become a sound bite on Facebook or it’s going to become a quoted phrase. Our team will fix it up so that if you didn’t say the guest’s name, that’s okay. They’ll take a little liberty with the quote because it’s not officially in quotes. We’re cheating the system slightly. It’s graphically in quotes. They’ll fix the pronouns and different things like that to make it right. They’ll correct anything so it doesn’t read funny, but you want to make sure that you clearly said that somewhere in a sentence. You would have like, dot, dot, dot, and then another portion of it where we can tie them together and make them sound brilliant. What we’re doing is, it’s not just saying this is such a great person. That’s not the goal of Ego Bait™. It should be that because they learned this or because they are this, then you can get that.
If you’re thinking about it as a cause and effect, this is a person of interest because, why? Thinking about those things when you’re crafting that or as you’re saying it. It doesn’t have to be profoundly cool like calling them a pitch whisperer. You don’t have to coin things. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it has to make that relevant to your audience. I was fixing one of yours Scott’s. Adryenn Ashley is doing the coolest sex app. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s going to give a run for its money. It was neat. What she was tying in was this idea of how to pivot in your life and that this was her pivot out of a horrendous situation of divorce and other things. That ties into the show pivot. You have this tie into it. How it went from that to sex is a wild ride. Maybe they’re going to want to come along and hear that so you can also entice them by how you say something. That’s another good way like how she goes from this to that is a must-listen. You can also say it that way.
We’ve seen quite a much higher social media engagement from guests to our host’s podcasts in general since Ego Bait™ started going out. The hosts are getting much more shares on social media. What Tracy was talking about is getting at how you’re going to incentivize the guests to want to push it out. How you’re going to motivate them to want to push it out. There’s got to be something about that guest that they want to share, something you’re saying about them. Tracy is talking about more specifically how to craft that or different ways that you could consider recording a sound bite that’s going to serve that purpose. We’re going to go through the whole episode and find the best one we can regardless of whether you do that or not. If you do have an opportunity to think about it, it can help make it that much better.
Especially when you’re tying it into the relevance of your show. Your show is about a topic. Your show has a mission. When you’re tying it back to that, then you’re making that connection between the two of you stronger. You can say, “This is the coolest guy ever.” That sounds great, but I don’t know if I’d want to share that on my Facebook. It’s nice that somebody says that about me and I’m happy that they shared it about me, but I don’t know if I would reshare it. If somebody were saying that my experience helping podcasters do this has changed your world or has increased my business tenfold, when you say something like that, that sounds a testimonial. I want to share that because that’s not me saying it about myself, it’s someone else saying it about me so that helps.Selling on shows is not recommended. The shows that do selling that are obvious affiliate-related shows don't do well in the rankings. Click To Tweet
The great thing about that we’re seeing not only the social shares increased, but we’ve had a couple of hosts write into us and say, “Is this what Ego Bait™ is supposed to do?” They send us a screenshot of the guest’s website where they’ve put it on the media page and that is a backlink back to their blog post on their site. From just site statistics, it goes back there. It’s serving them and it’s serving you and it’s making it easy for them to do it and motivating them to do it. Take down some barriers. We always had a lot of trouble trying to get people to put something on their site or give us a link back to our site. This technique appears to be working and we’re going to continue evaluating that.
The Ego Bait™ graphic is well-done, but it’s not the right shape. It’s not suitable for a website that operates in horizontal images. I have a page called Live Appearances where I take the shows that I appeared on and I then post the show information on my page, one after the other. Vertical images don’t work well at all. It messes up the page. Horizontal images work fantastic. Horizontal images work on other people’s websites and it works on social media. Vertical images don’t. Square images don’t either. I’ve had 56 or 57 episodes at this point and I don’t think one person has ever taken the Ego Bait™ and used it yet. That’s hard to understand why. I asked one person and that was what they told me.
I use a rectangle and a square with my Inc. column because of that reason. I reuse it in LinkedIn, so I needed it in the rectangle. I don’t see why we can’t talk to our team about making sure that you have a choice of which way you want it. Square works well on Facebook and on Twitter. That’s why that format has come about from a social share standpoint but you’re right, it’s not a great format for a website. This is what I did on our site and I’ve seen other people do. They’ll take the square and make it the featured image and then they write the text which links back to the articles if you’re doing a press review thing or a press page. It doesn’t work on the other format where you’re doing the features. I made a note and we can have the team giving you the option of both because the format is not that difficult.
I don’t think it would make a big difference to our workflow. It’s just a matter of creating the template.
When you create the transcription, are you creating a literal transcription or a grammatical transcription?
There’s a three-step process with our team and how we do it. The first is a literal word for word transcription that the first person is doing. We’re trying to make it as accurate to what was said as possible. Then there is the next step of proofreading stuff, which is a quality control check done by a completely different person who listens to the entire episode reviewing those original transcripts. They’re making any corrections that were wrong and then also starting to format it to make it easier to read. We don’t change a ton of it. The post ends up being 95% or so percent of what was said in the episode. There are reasons for that that have a lot to do with Google and how Google’s algorithms evaluate posts and rank them and rate them. We don’t want to deviate and make it such a prose written piece as if you were taking that transcription and preparing it to be a book. That would be a very different editing process, but we cleaned it up, remove things that are redundant or irrelevant and do fix some grammar to a point.
Sometimes we say things like, “I’ll go, oh, and this. No way.” Then I correct myself. They will take that out so it doesn’t get misread. It sounds fine when you say that, but you meant the opposite. When you have that in the middle of it, they’ll take that out that. They’ll correct that so that it does read properly but that’s the only stuff they touch. Double words happen all the time.
I’ll tell you why I ask. What I do is I go through each show. I have a plugin on my Chrome browser called Grammarly. My writing has elevated several notches just with Grammarly alone. When I go through our posts with Grammarly, there are between twenty and 30 errors in every post and some of them are missing words. Those are words that I might have said or should have been said. If I said, “I took a walk deck.” I left out the word on, Grammarly will catch it and say, “Do you want to add the word on?” I took a walk on deck. I might be wrong of what I’m doing because I popped the word on in that spot. I don’t know if you want to do that or if you think that’s wrong.
It’s not a right or wrong. It’s a good question. It’s not necessarily right or wrong because if you’re expecting people to read your post and you want them to have the best experience reading that post, I can understand you’d want the grammar to be correct. However, our main objective with these posts is to be two key things. I’m going to say what I consider to be the second priority first. It’s a supplement to your listeners while they go to the post to get links or to see images that you talked about or if there are any related videos. People that listen to it all the time, it’s home base. They know where to go. If they’re driving and listening, “I want to go look at that again or I want to go see that or go get that link.” The more important thing is for Google. We’re casting wider net marketing your business on Google. When you have the reality of some of those missing words and it’s typed more the way it was spoken, Google’s algorithms can tell. They know because of the word order and missing words and all that. They can tell that it came from human speech and it wasn’t from thinking and typing. They ranked those posts higher. Since 2009, Google’s been doing this. It ranked higher than once that don’t.
I just read an article that SEO marketers are freaked out for 2018 because another big algorithm shift is going to happen. The estimate is February or March 2019 and Google won’t announce it. It will just happen. We have gone through six in ours and every single time we’ve gained traffic, not lost it. Every one of the shows that we’ve managed for other clients. We have Ken’s company, Today’s Growth Consultants, the ones that we’re working with the podcast all ranked better. They didn’t lose as much traffic overall as other companies did, but some of their sites did drop in traffic from an algorithm change. It happens all the time, but none of the ones that come from spoken words have ever dropped.
In fact, many of them gained about 30% especially in rankings and in some of the keyword analytics. We struggle with this, Mitch. That’s why I say it’s not a right or wrong, but it depends on your objectives. We’ve had some authors who consider themselves to be prolific writers, very talented writers, cringe at our posts. They rewrite the whole thing and when we analyzed their sites stats and analytics, it isn’t performing like others, but they have the opinion, “These posts say something about me and I’m a writer and I just can’t have that on my site.” That’s a business decision. It’s a personal decision.
I don’t see any reason why those little errors bother you that you’re fixing them. They’re not going to make a huge difference at such a small percentage of the number of words in the scope of things. You’re fine to do that. We do a quarterly audit. We’re in the midst of doing an audit of our practices and what we’d like to see added here. We went through in one of the number one projects are better images and getting a broader image library because everybody’s posts are so long. When we insert images our team is like, “I need yet another image to describe internet marketing because I’ve used the same ten over and over again.” Our team wants more. That’s why they’ve come back to us and ask them and I’ll throw out this idea to them about using Grammarly or something like that and see if it helps.
You know that I’m onboard with you. I care more about SEO than I care about whether or not the grammar is right. In fact, if the grammar was completely wrong and visits increased significantly, I’d be just as happy.
We don’t want to mess with that.In a live show, you may need to allow the guest to say what their website is if it's on Facebook Live or something. Click To Tweet
This is more for our own podcasts than with our clients because not every client gets into providing us with their certain keyword or phrases that they want to rank on. We try to help a lot of you with that and some we’ve had some calls and meetings about that. Sometimes we’ll intentionally have a keyword phrase in a post that is misspelled and that’s because that’s a high-ranking Google keyword because people type things incorrectly.
Let’s just say that we’ve never done that without a client approving it ahead of time because they’d flip out.
We do it for ourselves too. Do I care if somebody criticizes my posts because it was misspelled? I don’t. If I’m getting $25 pay per click on that keyword phrase when people come to my site and then click on an ad that’s there, I don’t. It’s not necessarily right or wrong. Our focus is increasing business and improving marketing and that’s why we are doing what we’re doing.
To that end, I want to touch back at one thing. After having been on Scott’s show, we realized that we maybe hadn’t had the full discussion on the end of the show. This goes to how you treat your guests as well, so I want to tie the two things together. When you handle the end of your show, we don’t allow selling on our shows. We don’t recommend it. The shows that do selling that are obvious affiliate related shows, they don’t do well in the rankings. They don’t last as long in terms of lifespan. It feels a little pushy. I’ve listened to your shows and they’re not pushy in any way, shape or form, but you do a lot of times allow guests a shout out for their website or where they can find your book or those types of things.
What we do instead is we asked the guest not to do it, that we will do it for them. We confirm it ahead of time right at the beginning of the phone call, “Is this the URL you’re going to want it to go to? Did you have a special offer if there is one?” We don’t allow it very often. We’ve occasionally allowed it when it was something helpful to the majority of people like when someone had an amazing test download file for a 3D printer. We thought that would be so cool and they offered up 50% off discount and we were like, “We have to share that.” We’d done it on occasion when it meant something and don’t do it all the time. It means that your audience isn’t accustomed to it happening regularly, so it’s special. It feels special.
We drive them straight to our site for all of that. We say, “It’s going to be on 3DStartPoint.com. It’s going to be on FeedYourBrand.co.” It’s going to be on our site and there’s going to be a link there. Right in the blog post, there’s going to be a big link there. In this case, there’s this cool 50% discount. You’re going to want to go there because that was so generous of our guest stay. Because we’ve said it that way, they only have one thing to remember and that is your site. You want to drive them through your site and to your guest. You’re going to make it easy. You can tell our team, “When I have an offer like that, I want it in a big bold box outlined whatever it is.” You can make it easy for them to scan street down to it or you can even ask them to put it up towards the top. It doesn’t matter. We like it at the bottom because you like them to stay on the page longer, but it’s up to you. The point is we are doing your guests a service by tracking that through your site because they won’t know it came from you otherwise. You’re doing them a service. You’re doing yourself a service because you’re driving traffic through and getting action taken. Clickthrough is happening.
That bodes well if you want to take sponsorships or you want to do click ads. You have a sense of how much people take action on things. These are good things to test out, but always drive them to your site and it’s for their benefit. It’s for their safety. They’re in their car, they can’t write it down. They shouldn’t have to remember a long URL. It should just be a simple thing. You’re always driving them back to the blog post and we just say it like that. We don’t have a formal close to our show that is like, “Check out the blog posts.” We don’t say it the same way every time. We’re like, “That was such a cool offer from Jay Abraham. He’s given us free videos. Come to the blog post and you’ll have links exactly to the videos.” We just do it like that. That’s a simple way to do that and keep that out. If you want to do selling though or if you want to sell something for your clients or you’ve got a partnership relationship like Laughlin and you just want to remind people, just say, “This is a worthwhile service. Everyone should have a way of protection and the links are going to be in this blog post.” They’re on every page because we’re always promoting them because they’re such a useful service. That’s a great way to sell for them and do it.
Especially in the case of Laughlin as an example, anybody that works with them has their own affiliate link to them. You want them to go through your affiliate link anyway so you’ve got to bring them to your site to do that. The live show is a little tricky dynamic for not sharing with people where they can find the guests. In a live show, you may need to allow the guest to say what their website if it’s on Facebook live or something. When we edit that into a podcast, that could be taken out. It doesn’t have to be but could be and in some outro sense saying, “Make sure to come to WeCloseNotes.com or the blog post to find everything.”
Another way to do that is if you’re working with your assistant like you are Scott, she can type in any URL right into the comments field and that’s another way to deal with it. You’re just saying, “You can go to the blog posts anytime and you’ll be able to get these. In the meantime, because the show’s airing and you’re watching it live, it’s in the comments below. Go click it.” You could do it that way. That way you didn’t say it so you don’t have to cut it out and they won’t remember it anyway. It’s a lot easier for them to just click it. They’re not going to type it in while they’re listening to you.
Even at the time where the guests had a send it, we were like, “If you’re watching this, just go below, catch it in the comments. If you’re listening on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasts, just go to the blog.” It’s a big difference from having you guys on.
Just tying that in. It makes it simple for them to remember one thing consistently and constantly. It makes it easy for everybody. I have a couple of other notes from the team. There are two things. When the guest is famous, our team doesn’t always know that. We had an Olympian or something and they didn’t know that. They didn’t know this person was famous or people would recognize their face. I was like, “Why are we showing you a graphic with some other woman? She’s an Olympian, she’s famous. there are pictures of her everywhere. Why aren’t we using her picture?” If that’s the case, just mentioned that when you drop it in and just say, “Please use a picture of this guest in the graphic.”
They upload a headshot if it doesn’t work out so you know that it’s the same person versus Scott Carson, the soccer player in Europe.
Just put a link to their website where they could download any of the pictures from. Sometimes we ask for permission. That is something that we regularly do. We say, “Can we take any of these pictures off your website or are there specific sets of pictures you prefer that we use?” They’ll send them to you if they’re famous. They already have a stock set of not just a headshot, especially if they’re an Olympian. There are action shots that you might want to include.
Let’s expand this subject just slightly. I agree with everything you just said but think about when people are going to scroll through your blog feed. They’re seeing that featured image and the titles of all the episodes or they’re scrolling through your social media feed and they’re seeing one of your posts after another unless they’re famous. Another one of our hosts interviewed Kevin Harrington, one of the first sharks in Shark Tank. He is nationwide in the United States at a minimum, well-recognized and well-known. We should use his headshot. You’ve interviewed him, Tracy, for some other things and we have everything we need for that, but there are other people who are famous in your industry. They have a headshot and they might prefer you use their headshot.Different people are going to consume different ways. Once they have latched onto your show, it's all good. Click To Tweet
If you’re going through your feed and you see a whole lot of headshots of all these people, your site visitor or your social media visitor doesn’t know who they are. That’s not going to entice them to click. That’s why very often with our episode graphics, we’re trying to choose images that are visually relevant to the subject that would entice someone to click and to want to see more. A headshot doesn’t always do that. That’s why we lean toward images that are more descriptive related to the subject. Someone would want to click and don’t use your headshot unless it’s specifically requested, which you need to do if you want us to use the headshot. If it’s somebody very well-known, we would do that.
We follow the practices that I use in my Inc. column.
We had an event and I wanted to spice up the weekend before. I went and paid $50 on video blocks and just got this photo. It geos some traffic in. We ended up selling more tickets.
Sometimes you need something representational that just gets them on the idea of it. That’s the way Inc. has a policy about it and the way that I do my column. We set up the same rules when we started here. It works the same way. Whenever possible, we use a representational. We try not to use faces of people because we don’t want them to identify and say, “I’m a Brunette. That’s not me.” We also matched the gender to the guest, in other words, there is the back of somebody’s head and she’s a blonde guest, we’ll use the back of some of the blonde’s head. We want them to not think that they’re separated so we don’t have that reversal going on where it’s weird that you have an image of a guy but your guest is a woman.
I use this on one of my Monday night webinars that we’re toying with the idea of throwing it back on to reissue it.
Having fun and having funny graphics is always good. We use kids a lot. The kids play the puppies play. I’m always referencing about how you have to prove that your product’s any good so I’ll do dogs eating dog food because if the dogs will eat the dog food, then your product must be good. I’ll use images like that again and again. For whatever reason, at any time I use color gold money, gold color. Gold something always works well. They are always my top articles so I try to follow the model for you and give you policy about that.
It hasn’t always been that way. We’ve been improving this over time. We didn’t realize ourselves. You don’t want to show a front of the face of someone who isn’t the guest. There are some situations where you can’t avoid it unless it’s a crowd of people. That’s okay. A big crowd of people. We’ve been improving these things as we go on and that’s one great thing Inc. has been doing to help us.
They give us guidelines and I’m like, “We should adopt that. Let’s try that as a policy.” It works better. We’ve been refining this over time. Anything that’s more representational of the topic is better. One other thing that you to hear again, we said it a couple of times. We did a podcast episode about headlines. I highly recommend you listen to them. When you’re doing the graphic, having your full headline on there is busy especially in the square. Our team knows to shorten it. If you hate that, forbid it, you can, but I don’t recommend it because when people are scanning, it’s a half inch. It’s small. We want a longer one because it plays with the SEO better, so we want a longer title on our blog post. We do two titles. It might be the first part and a colon. That’s all that’s on the graphic. Everything after that is in the blog post. That allows us to take leeway. Even if we aren’t using our keyword phrase in the graphic, it doesn’t matter because Google’s not ranking that. They’re only ranking the post title.
The keyword phrase will be in all tags of that image. Google sees it when they research it, but visually it doesn’t matter if it’s in the image.
I recommend a lot of openness about the way that the graphics titles look and to not be such a stickler from having it be complete. That being said, if you’ve got yours with so and so you want your guests on there, you should put that still. I always try to find a shorter way and I recommend it to when I’m reviewing everybody. I do a daily audit of what’s going through and I try to recommend something. If I think you’re going to object to it, our team will send you an email. For the most part, you won’t object to it. I try to spice them up for you. Have a little fun. If you want to do things that are fun like Scott, send them our way. We’re happy to use your graphics and then make them better and make them useful. You just send us rough ideas even, that’s great. Our team will go to town on that. They love that. They sit there and they go, “What do I do now?” They’re looking for ideas and one of the expansions that we’ve got going on is to get them a bigger and broader library.
More resources for royalty free images that are more engaging, a lot more variety, and more dynamic. We’re researching the best ones that we’re going to be paying for to subscribe to. We run the course with all the free ones and there’s a lot more out there. We’ll keep adding more as we need to.
Nicole in my office creates an infographic that we use and uploaded to Vimeo and YouTube on the episodes. I’ll have her start throwing those over because there are sometimes good ones. She’s using it. It could be easy. We transitioned and we duplicate it if we need to.
A lot of people do it. They have a lot of graphics and photos and images from trade shows and other things that they have and they’re just sitting there. They come off your social feed and you got them in the cloud somewhere. Put them into a Dropbox link or something like that that our team can just access at any time if they’re looking for extra images to add to your posts. If they can be more relevant to you, that’s better. Our team will put in that link in the background information on your show and then if they’re running out of ideas, they go, “Scott has some camp pictures.” They can go use those.
I’m launching a new business. I built a software tool to keep people accountable. It’s like Match.com for business people. You could find your best accountability partner and then my system tracks you, walks you through your accountability sessions every week. What I’ve been doing is recording at two sentences commercial upfront as part of the introduction and we’ll put it as a link at the bottom of all that. Is that bad? Is that a mistake? Should I not do that? What is your thinking about that?
The way we found it best is not to start out with it. Because of the way our show is structured, we have a lot more spots we can put things in. We have a formal introduction. Tom’s brother is our voiceover and he do a great job of it and that’s great. We try to keep that short and more about what the episode’s about, what the topic is and what the guest is for us. We do a different one every week, so we pay extra for that.
For that one podcast, we had a different voiceover for every episode. It’s very unusual.
It’s not a common thing so that one is special. Transitioning into a commercial always seemed a little harsh to me because it felt that it was long. What we did is we do our little intro. We do a commercial before we do an interview or we have like basically, “We’re going to talk about this, but first I love to let you know about this.” We can always put a transition straight onto the ad itself.
If I were to tell you to go back, you are reworking and there’s still another 30 episodes on my site for you to rework. Is there any way I could drop a commercial in that because there’s already a commercial in there from my old host and my old producer? Can we remove his commercial and put mine in instead?
We can. We did that for Mark Pattison for example. We can certainly go in and remove those. Another thing you could consider. I’m not trying to be a pushy salesman here, but you host on Libsyn. We have our own hosting where you can put ads into your show on demand, pushing a button at anywhere you want in your show, and take him out. They replace them without having to re-edit the show.
Here you can pick the spot. That’s why we designed our admixing system. That’s why we have this patent-pending system. It’s because I didn’t like the idea that I had to hold fast to two minutes and 30 seconds and then pause and take a break. I don’t interview like that. I don’t speak like that. This allowed us to pick the spot that’s optimum and it can be different in every single episode because you’re deciding where that spot for that commercial can go. You can pick three spots, you could pick two spots. The next logical spot for us is the post-interview. We have the interview and then we have our post discussion right after that. We have a transition with a little music ad there then we speak. People come back because they know we’re going to talk and when we talk, we talk critically about what we learned. It’s one of the important reasons they stay listening so they will listen through the ad. We treat the one at the very end as a throwaway because if people are binge listening, they will skip as soon as they hear that music. They’re not going to listen to an ad at the end and usually, it’s a repeat if we use it at all.
The other interesting thing we do when we record an ad to be inserted with our system, any transition like, “We’ll get back to the answer to that question right after a word from our sponsor.” That is recorded as part of the ad so the transition makes sense. You have to have an appropriate pause point where you insert that ad. It can be right after a question or before the answer if you want to do it that way to make sure people come back and listen. It can as Tracy said, a point where there is a transition in what you’re listening to in the show that’s a little more natural transition point. Our ad system is working well. Aaron Young is using it. If you’ve ever listened to his podcasts, he advertises his own events, one of the products from his company. Others are using it for their own books or even paid sponsorships and that’s what we’re doing. For our 3D Printing podcasts, we have some paid sponsors. We can put their ads across all of our episodes for a month or two months and then take them out.
We’re doing a special deal because we were invited to a podcast position South by Southwest where we’ll be interviewing Jay Samit. It’s a cool spot and it’s a competition. We’re going to be selling sponsorship ads that are going to last span three months. It will be the February 2019 prior to the March 2019 during South by Southwest and April 2019 posts because people come back and listen. We’re going to sell it three months sponsorships spot package that gets some across the blog post and the podcasts. This is our first time we sold the bigger package. We’re going to try that out and we’ll let you know how we do with it. We’d been looking at the numbers and everyone’s like, “Yeah, sure.” It’s such a big deal to have that exposure and there will be a natural marketing lead up because we’re going to market ourselves on our way into that and there will be the boost from it. They’ll benefit on both sides from that. It will be bigger than even the distinct number basis that we’re basing the dollar amount on.
Guest practices, we want to have some good ones because we want to help you build your relationships with them. We want to also build good follow up between both sides there. If there’s anything that our team can help you do, whether it’s getting those follow up emails going and understand what they’re like. One of the ones that I did want to mention is that we have a follow-up email that automatically goes out after you’re a guest on the show. It goes up within an hour of them being interviewed. It’s a stock email and I do the same thing after I interview someone for Inc. It’s the same email and it syncs them and saying, “If you didn’t already like us on Facebook or friend us on LinkedIn.” It clicks to all the links. Make sure to do that. If you didn’t put all of your bio and all the information in that first email, you need to send us all of that or if you need to correct any now’s the time. I can’t tell you how many times I get a personal email back as if I sent it personally to them. They’re thanking me for the interview and saying, “I’ve done everything you’ve asked me to do and I can’t wait to read it or hear about it or whatever that is.” They appreciate it and that is creating a dialogue back and forth and makes you look professional as well.
It’s been a busy week here with and I want to set it out for the most part. We can get an update on where the episodes are going to hit, then I can pre-write emails to go out while I’m on the cruise ship promoting those episodes. We’re going to set those into our buffer to set up with a social media sharing automatically. One thing I wanted to run by you is, have you seen any success with people taking your infographics and then the first paragraph and go ahead and throw that in the Google+ as well with links to the podcast?
Some people have great luck with Google+. We stopped bothering with it because the rankings and information from Today’s Growth from Ken Courtright’s company weren’t worth it. There are some people that do well there because they’re niche does well there. We jst didn’t have the patience for it. We were doing it for a while because it was to duplicate it in the Buffer because that’s what we use as well. I stopped it and I didn’t see any ranking difference or any drop in traffic. I cut out three things. I cut out Twitter, I cut out Google+ and I cut out official use of YouTube. We drop stuff in YouTube, but I don’t push it out and try to deal with the YouTube system itself. We use a different site. We drop it in there, but I don’t even try to push it out or deal with YouTube. We just stopped doing those things and nothing’s changed. We’ve still been growing and we use it enough to get the SEO value, but that’s it.
I got my staff going to go through and add up how many views on Facebook lives since we started with episode number one. Your episode is over 700 views. We have a 100 on the episode on Tuesday, 700 on the episode on Wednesday. We did some double ups on a couple of days, but I’m keep tracking of that for the most part. It takes away seven downloads on iTunes because we get a big chunk of stuff there.
They aggregate altogether. That’s what you need to look at. Different people are going to consume different ways. Once they have latched onto your show, they are like, “I want to make sure I’m keeping up with what Scott’s talking about.” Whether that’s live when they can or on their own time on iTunes. It’s all good.
I do have an email specifically for the podcast and I get three often a day. People respond, “I listened.” We’re up to about 52 reviews on iTunes. We’re trying to get more.
It’s hard to do. People have to be proactive to go and do it. We know people who’ve tried to incentivize people to go and do it even with monetary discounts from one thing or another. Still, it’s very hard to get 100 reviews on iTunes.
With the pop sockets that we did, I got nine people that have done it because they wanted a pop socket.
Best of luck. Enjoy your cruise.