Spend 5 minutes around me and you will learn that I am super bullish on podcasting. It makes sense, right? Co-hosting one of the industry’s most popular podcasts has its advantages. But I think there’s a huge upside for local businesses to get in on the podcasting action and use it as a tool to grow their revenue.
I have multiple insurance agents and business owners in the Mobile, Alabama area reach out to me daily, and if you have been in a position where people ask for your advice you will notice that you often get the exact same questions or either a few variations of the same questions.
One of those questions I often get is: “Bradley, how do I get in front of my target client in a 2020, technology-driven world. My answer always comes back to “do a podcast”.
You see, I have used The Insurance Guys Podcast as a vehicle to get in front of people that I want to connect with, whether it’s carrier CEO’s, famous entrepreneurs, industry thought leaders, founders of cutting edge technology, etc.
The list goes on and on.
Not only do I think that business owners can use the same tactics we use for The Insurance Guys Podcast to get in front of their ideal client, I think it’s a better and easier way to do it than traditional or even modern forms of marketing. There are a couple of ways to do it, but these are the best that I know.
Let’s say your business is a niche-focused company, you don’t necessarily sell to every Jane Doe that walks in your office. For example in the insurance industry, anyone spending more than 5 minutes in the community knows someone who is killing it in a certain niche, such as trucking, dry cleaners, or like recent Insurance Guys guest Jesse Parenti…cannabis farms (yes, you read that right).
I believe there is no better way to reach a certain niche audience than starting a podcast directed at that niche.
Heck, if you do it right, reaching the audience will be the lowest item on the totem pole. What if you were to become a thought leader in that industry, a household name if you will. In the very industry that your target client is a member! I’m happy to say that my friend Jesse Parenti mentioned above is doing just that! He is starting a Cannabis industry-focused podcast!
The strategy here is simple, find people who are killing it in said industry and ask them to be a guest on the show! Simple as that! They will know you, their peers will know you, you will build up listeners and they will know you!
Let’s back up a bit though, what if you are not niche-focused, what if you are just a mom and pop business in small-town America, how can you use this? I would argue that the smaller the town you are in, the better this strategy works! There are many angles you can go with this but the easiest (if you are a B2B business, for example) would be a community-based business podcast.
Literally all you would do it interview influential business owners in your community. If you do this, and you do it right, one of three things happens.
1.) The person you interview is grateful for the opportunity and wants to engage with you about your service.
2.) Other businesses watch the show and ask to be a guest (trust me, this will happen), this puts you in such a good spot to ask them for their business.
3.) Other business owners watch the show, they don’t reach out but they know you and the next time they have a question that relates to your industry they automatically think of their favorite podcast host.
Let’s say you do a terrible job, and none of that happens, you WILL build a whole lot of local awareness in your community which will lead to more business for you and establish you as a leader, center of influence and “celebrity” in your community.
We have recently deployed this local business podcast in my agency, we are calling the show Centers of Influence, where we interview cool people in our community doing cool things. I am happy to report that 3 hours after we posted the first episode, we got an email from someone high up at a restaurant chain, asking us to interview a local franchisee of that chain on the show, coincidentally our agency specializes in insurance for restaurants.
We have had guests recently ranging from a local radio DJ Johnna Farmer, American Idol contestant and viral sensation Douglas Kiker the singing “garbage-man”, and guess who else we are sprinkling in, businesses we are prospecting. It is literally becoming our “go-to” strategy for business insurance in the Mobile, Alabama area.
Don’t get our strategy confused, it’s to provide value to our guests and our audience, we ONLY interview businesses that will accomplish both of those value components, if we don’t get the business then that’s Ok and it is still mission accomplished.
The Obvious Silver Bullet
I used to speak to a “new insurance agent” class annually when I worked for an exclusive carrier, and one thing I always enjoyed was bursting their belief that there were silver bullets to success. There aren’t many if any silver bullets in this business. But within this strategy, there are 2 distinct silver bullets if done correctly.
Distribution and redistribution.
The mistake most people would make with this is to record the episode and just put it on Facebook, or just put it on iTunes. My friend, you need to put it everywhere! Each hour-long podcast becomes a show on youtube, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and the audio will go on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeart Radio.
You have taken that content and distributed it all over the place.
I have heard people say that you should “only focus on one platform”, those people are sorely mistaken and are likely pushing an agenda to steer you towards something they want you to do, it is too easy to put your content everywhere! Don’t put all the effort into this only to have one-dimensional distribution.
The second silver bullet is in the redistribution.
For this example, I use the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Arguably the #1 Podcast in the world. Joe Rogan is the David Letterman of our generation and it’s not even close. The majority of Joe’s listeners hardly ever listen to an entire episode of his show, they listen/watch the short 3-5 minute clips he puts out on youtube and elsewhere.
You need to do exactly the same with your show.
I recently hired a media person at my agency to be in charge of all marketing, and one of his primary functions is to take all my shows and break them up into smaller “snackable” pieces of content. This accomplishes 2 goals,
1.) it captures the segment of my target demographic that doesn’t have the patience or time to listen/watch an entire show.
2.) it promotes the show. People watch it, their interest is piqued and they go listen to the entire episode. Think of this content as teaser clips.
Now you may be asking, “Bradley, I am not that interesting, I don’t think my show will be interesting enough to be more than one or two clips”, that is simply not true. To prove it, my team recently put this theory to the test with my buddy Mitch Gibson’s show “Inside Hancock County”. I sent Mitch a text and asked him if he had any full episodes he hadn’t posted and/or edited, I wanted to offer Grant, my marketing manager’s services to him.
This was also in the middle of Covid-19 and Grant was low on content to edit. Mitch sent me a 25-minute video interview he did. We took that video and 24 hours later returned to Mitch 48 pieces of individual content that he can use to promote himself, his agency and the guests that he has on.
Think about this, most of your competitors that create and post content, do one or so pieces a week, Mitch got 48 times that out of a 25-minute video. This WILL put you head and shoulders above your competition in your community or niche.
And even if you don’t see the need to hire a Grant, and don’t have the “chops” to edit 48 videos, even just doing 10% of that, gets you 5 pieces of content a week, that is 4 more than The XYZ Agency down the street, and when this strategy starts working, they don’t know what hit them.
The Hidden Benefit
The thing about this strategy, if done correctly with the distribution and redistribution piece is it becomes the nucleus of your entire marketing AND prospecting strategy. On one hand, you have the benefit of being able to offer a guest spot to your prospects and on the other, you have blue ocean possibilities of being able to create and use endless content from the shows you record.
This is something we are going all-in with at my agency Portal Insurance, we have a top-notch content team and have built out a full-fledged video studio in our agency, complete with camera, lights and green screen. We are offering any Mobile, Alabama area business owners, real estate agent and loan officers the opportunity to record marketing videos or any videos at our studio and we will edit it for free, no catch.
Additionally, we will offer our media team’s services to any insurance agent nationally that wants to implement this strategy.
If you are interested in that or there is anything I can help you with or you have a simple question for me regarding this, please send me an email at email@example.com.