Steve Gordon: Hey, everyone, it’s Steve. This is a special episode of the Unstoppable CEO Podcast. And we’re actually doing a little experiment. And so we’re doing video with this as well. You can go check that out on our YouTube channel. And today, I want to talk about a question that has been coming up lately from some folks.
Podcasting: Guest or Host?
And the question is, am I better off being a guest on other people’s podcasts, going and doing the podcast guessing thing? Or am I better off hosting a podcast? And the answer might surprise you. So by way of background, I’ve done, at this point, about 250 podcast episodes across two different podcasts. And, podcasts that I host, where I’ve interviewed guests, and I’ve done around 100 podcasts as a guest on other people’s podcasts. And with both of those, we track all of the leads that come in from the various sources and so it’s been really interesting to watch. And I actually didn’t know how it was gonna turn out. But we, for a year, did something that I called the Unstoppable Podcast Tour.
In fact, if you go to unstoppableceo.net/tour, you’ll see links to many of the shows that I was on. And they’re all great. I had a great time. Really grateful for the guests, or excuse me, the hosts that invited me on to their shows, and was able to build some really good relationships that way. But one thing we discovered was that being a guest on someone else’s podcast, while it does have value, it doesn’t necessarily have value as a way to generate leads. And I think that’s just the nature of the medium. You know, if you think about it, when someone’s listening to a podcast, they might be driving in their car, they might be on the treadmill, they might be out for a run, they might be working in the garden or mowing the grass, they could be doing any number of things. Typically, they are not at their computer.
And so a lot of times what we’ll do in a podcast interview when I’ve been a guest is we’ll share a link. We’ve experimented, in some cases, with sharing a mobile number that they can text into to respond and to get some piece of value. Oftentimes, we’re giving away a free copy of one of my books. And one of the things that we’ve discovered is that it just doesn’t work very well as a lead generation tool. And, you know, we did this again for a year, right around 100 different interviews on different podcasts.
Audience Size Doesn’t Always Parallel Opportunity
Some had really big audiences, some had really small audiences. One other thing we discovered is that some of the ones with the really big audiences that you thought might work really well, it didn’t work so well. And some of the ones with smaller audiences did okay. Sometimes they outperform the bigger audiences. But by and large, the entire strategy really didn’t produce given the investment of time and money that are required. And yes, there is an investment of money. You’re going to most likely pay someone. I doubt you’re going to spend all the time as the business owner to do the outreach to get on podcasts. And so there is an investment of money. And you’re not going to do all of that.
You’re not going to invest all the hours. If you think about it, it’s about a, you know, 45 minutes to an hour investment of time per guest appearance that you do. And you’ve got set up on your own website to make sure you’re capturing the leads and all that kind of stuff. So there certainly is time and energy and money investment to make all that happen. And what we’ve discovered just doesn’t produce leads in any great number. And the numbers vary, but the average number of leads that we got from a podcast interview was below 10. It was in the single digits, you know? And we frankly expected more.
And that’s why we do these experiments. Sometimes we don’t know how it’s gonna turn out. Now, I want to contrast that with the results that we get as the host of our podcast. And using the strategy that I talked about in my book, Podcast Prospecting, which relies on using the podcast to build relationships with people who have already gone out and they’ve rounded up the prospects that you want to be in front of. They’ve aggregated your audience already, and build a relationship with them. Build a true relationship. Start it off with a strong introduction where you’re leading the collaboration.
Where you’re saying instead of, you know, like, we used to do networking, we’d go and have a coffee date. You know, I’d meet somebody at a networking event, we’d go have a coffee date. They’d usually come in rushed and late, not always, but often. And they would then tell me, oh, we want to have a mutually beneficial relationship and how can we help each other and all of that and they leave that coffee meeting, and most of the time they just disappear. I’d never hear from them again. And it was just really ineffective. What I discovered was that part of the reason that was ineffective is that neither of us really had envisioned what the collaboration would look like before we got there. We had the intention but we didn’t have a model or a framework for it. So one of the things that we do with our clients and we do on my own podcast, we teach this in our podcast prospecting implementation group, is to go ahead.
And instead of just doing random acts of networking like that, have a place to invite people where the first interaction you might have with them is a collaboration that you’re the leader of where you’re saying, you know, I have this platform, I have this podcast. I’d love to invite you on. I’d love to share your knowledge, your wisdom, your expertise with everybody in my network. Would you be interested in doing that? Now, what we found is that most business owners will go, oh, heck, yeah. I’d love to do that. And so now you’ve got a place to invite them.
Creating a Marketing Echo Chamber
And they’re not going to show up late, they’re not going to show up rushed. You’re both going to show up as your best selves. You know why? Because you’re on stage. Pretty powerful. When you’re on stage, they know that on stage, they know they are there to perform. They’re there representing their business. It is a marketing opportunity for them. And it doesn’t matter how big your audiences or how small it is because the truth of the matter is, there’s value, yes, and you sharing it with everybody that you know, that might be useful to them. But the bigger value for them is in the marketing asset that it creates for them and that you’re going to create for them for free.
And it allows you to build a relationship, and to begin to create reciprocity in that relationship. It also gives you the opportunity to come back around and look for other ways to collaborate. So you might suggest, wow, this was really great. Thanks for sharing all of your expertise and your wisdom with my audience. I’d love to return the favor, you know? Do any of your clients have this particular problem, you know, the problem, whatever problem you solve. And then you’re able to come back to them and say, you know, and say, Well, you know, I have an idea. I have a unique way of helping people solve that problem, and I would love to deliver a Lunch and Learn or a webinar, or I’d love to share a copy of my short book.
One of the things that we teach and do for our clients, we help them create either a signature presentation or a short book. And the reason we do that is those things are easy to share. They’re far easier than going to somebody that you’ve connected with and saying, Hey, can you directly refer me to somebody? Because that requires a ton of trust. There’s a huge amount of risk in that for the person making the referral, but you can actually get much further and generate more leads if you have, in my first book, in Unstoppable Referrals, I called it referral kit. You have this tool that you can share that’s no risk to the person who’s sharing it. They don’t have to worry about blowback because you mess something up. It’s a book.
Having a Book Creates Authority and Gratitude
People, you know, anytime you get a book, you’re generally going to be pretty grateful that you got the book, even if you’re not that interested in what the book was about. And so it’s a powerful way to then get introduced. Well, what we found during the same time period that we were doing all these guest appearances on other podcasts and generating a very small number of leads from each of those with a big-time investment. Same time, I was bringing people on to our podcast, bringing people who had a network or an audience that I ultimately would love to be in front of.
And we were using that as an initial collaboration. I was leading the first collaboration. That gave me an opportunity to come back around with those people and explore the opportunity to share one of my books with them. That’s my preferred way of doing it. We also do it with webinars and presentations and things like that. But I just found the book is a pretty frictionless way to do it.
And as, you know, as a result of that, we’ll have a partner send out, you know, one or two emails sharing one of my books, and we’ll get, you know, 200 leads or 300 leads or 400 leads in a matter of a few days. Honestly, the results we’ve gotten from just one partner that we’ve done that with have eclipsed all of the results that we got from those hundred interviews. And the challenge of, you know, that I see with doing the guessing thing is, yes, you’re building some relationships there.
But, you know, you actually are now kind of, if you look at the reciprocity of it, you’re in the position of kind of owing the host something back next, you know, whereas when you bring them on your podcast, they kind of feel like, you know, they owe you something. And that’s not why you do it. It’s not to be manipulative. I mean, you want to do it with people that you truly want a relationship with, you know? It’s, this is a human to human strategy. But what we found is that when we create one of those relationships, it actually pays really long-term dividends because you’ll find that, you know, there’ll be 20 or 30% of the people that you ultimately do those sorts of cross-promotions with who will, you’ll come back to again and again and again and again and again. As I’m recording this, this month, I’m doing a promotion for, I think the sixth time with a particular partner that I interviewed on my very first podcast back in 2012.
And we’ve just collaborated again and again and again over the years. That relationship has been worth a tremendous amount of money to me. And not only that, I value this person. I mean, this is one of my key contacts in business. And if it were not for my ability to invite him on to that podcast back when I didn’t have any books, I didn’t have a platform, you know, we had a tiny little network of about 500 business owners that were in our database. And, you know, if I hadn’t been able to start the relationship with him then, I never would have had any of the opportunities that have come since. And, you know, of course, I hope I’ve been a good collaboration partner for him as well and tried to add value.
But I believe that all really all results in business come from the relationships that you build. And what we found is that by hosting a podcast, you’re in control of building those relationships. You’re in control because you’re leading the collaboration, you’re not dependent upon somebody else picking you. And that, to me, really gives you a lot of power in your business development. So I get, like I said, I get asked all the time, should I host a podcast or should I be a guest on a podcast? Well, we’ve really proven by the numbers, that you will get much better results by hosting a podcast using our strategy.
And we’ll put you back in control of your business development and your lead generation, and at the same time, you’re going to create really amazing content that you can use to follow up and warm up and build a relationship with everybody that’s already in your pipeline. And so it’s, for me, it’s a great way to get all of our marketing done with very little effort. So anyway, that’s the answer to that question. I hope that’s been helpful. If you have questions or comments please leave them below. If you’re watching this on YouTube, send me an email. If, you know, if you have a thought or have a question, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like a copy of my book, Podcast Prospecting, you can get that at unstoppableceo.net/podcastprospecting. And if you need help in implementing any of this stuff, just reach out to me. We’d love to help. Take care.