podcast, interview request, podcast guest, podcast host

Pitching podcasts

I wrote this answer to What is the best way to pitch podcast hosts on being a guest. This process works for being a guest or as a host, inviting people to be your guest.

As with any sales job:

  1. Find out what the podcast host’s topics, influences and areas of interest are
  2. Judge whether what you can offer aligns with 1
  3. Write a short, succinct proposal that ties up 1 & 2

Then keep good records of what you write, to whom and follow up within 1 week of the original message.

Always be polite, and thank them even if you get a rejection.

Following up the pitch

Now this is what too few other sales people do – add them to a mailing list and message them again within 3 months. Don’t write a pitch in this message. Just tell them what you have been working on and link to other podcasts you have guested with or articles you have published.

Then 6 months later, approach them with another pitch.

Rinse, repeat.

Pitching guests

Here is a sample pitch message I used. It starts by focusing on the guest and their need for book publicity, then it introduces the podcast and its track record and audience appeal, and lastly suggests a timeframe for the interview.

Dear Annie,

I saw your Facebook post about your book, Mind Games, being published next month and I wondered if you could come onto the Rowing Chat podcast to talk about it?

Rowing Chat is a monthly interview podcast focused on the sport of rowing – we have been publishing since 2013 and the network includes other podcast hosts talking about strength training, masters rowing and the US scene.

Do have a listen to some past episodes, and let me know if you have time during April 2019. My colleague, cc above, will do the scheduling.

Best wishes in rowing, Rebecca

LinkedIn not link,

LinkedIn changes you need

Sometimes I just discover things by trying something new. Did you know that you can find people on LinkedIn using their partial email address?

I had met a lady whose surname I didn’t know – but I had her email on the meeting calendar invite – amandam@thisbiz.com [that’s not a real address]. And so I started typing it into the LinkedIn search bar and before I wrote the dot extension, pressed enter and her name and details came up. Handy.

When LinkedIn is not linked

LinkedIn links not linking

I was researching Chris Reed whose speaking agency represents business women speakers. And couldn’t find him on my LI contacts – and so found the company instead, thinking that maybe I’d mis-spelled his name.

There he is, listed on the company site – but the links don’t work. Thinking this was a dastardly strategy he was employing to connect to people and then dis-connect, when he hits limits to connections. And so I wrote to ask him.

There’s currently a bug that’s impacting LinkedIn. People have been talking about it. Some people can’t find their connections and can’t even tag their connections on LinkedIn. Support team at LI are now working on it. It’s a pain now. Hopefully this gets resolved soon.

Chris J “Mohawk” Reed

You can have 30,000 connections on LinkedIn – so no chance I’m hitting the throttle back stage of connecting yet. And the ‘mystery’ is solved, although not resolved.

Sales Navigator plus plus

And if you aren’t yet using Sales Navigator for your new business development social selling on LinkedIn – do some research as it can be very useful.

But do also look at complementary services such as

  • ByPath.com uses Kompass data to overlay org charts to LinkedIn sales prospecting [Note: there is a NZ / AU local reseller I know]
  • MeetLeonard.com automation of repetitive tasks in LinkedIn like auto-sending bulk messages through in-mail.
Tax podcast, B2B marketing, Content marketing podcast,

B2B Podcasting rises

The rise of podcasting as a medium to reach and influence audiences, grow brand awareness and promote your business continues.

I’m delighted to announce that Terry Baucher, a self-confessed “Tax Nerd” has launched his podcast – The Week In Tax with the help of Creative Agency Secrets.

Terry has long been a broadcaster called on by news media to be an expert commentator on tax matters – working with radio and TV stations in New Zealand. This heavily influenced our recommendation that he move on from a written weekly summary of tax news which had been drawn from his twitter feed, to an audio podcast.

Podcast set-up

We chose both an audio and a video medium for this podcast. [Note, this is not suitable for everyone] and SoundCloud is the distribution medium for the RSS.

The client blog hosts embedded audio files (easy for people to listen to who aren’t comfortable using RSS or Podcast apps) and remains the central source of all content. We also chose to add in a transcript for those who prefer reading to listening.

Tax podcast, B2B marketing, Content marketing podcast,

Could you be podcasting?

The medium is growing fast and many people now prefer to customise their listening and viewing to fit times of day they choose. Growing your brand reach through podcasting can be very effective.

Just ask Terry Baucher!

Christchurch and Creative Commons

I care deeply about the Creative Commons movement – this blog has been licensed for share-alike attribution since it started in 2006.

The Christchurch massacre on Friday has highlighted one of the challenges of modern media. How to stop bad stuff being shared; and the converse, how to preserve good stuff for future use.

The New Zealand ISPs are working hard to take down far right websites and the much-shared live stream video the gunman made.

In contrast, Mike Dickison is working to preserve the positive images from the event for posterity. Read his 7 part twitter thread explaining why this matters.

Mike Dickison's work to store images in the Creative Commons
Mike Dickison’s work to store images in the Creative Commons

Can you contribute?

Images are requested.

If you’re a cartoonist or a press photographer or a media outlet or just someone who has a good eye, we need your images uploaded to @WikiCommons under an open licence, ideally CC BY SA. My goal is to create a gallery that anyone can easily draw from and reuse for free. Images are important. They’ll define these attacks to people around the world, to our descendants, to the history books. Too often the only images repeated after a tragedy are ones of anger and fear and hatred. We need to make sure all the story is told.

Mike Dickison on twitter @adzebill
customer review, 5 star review, happy customer review,

Customer Reviews – what about the bad ones?

Reviews are essential for businesses building brand visibility online.

But bad reviews make my toes curl. Sometimes they are fair, sometimes not. What can the marketing team do about this?

Different pathways for different reviews

Treating different customers differently is a core principle of good CRM. But until the review is published, you won’t know whether the customer is going to give you a good or a bad review.

Take a look at this – an alternative pathway for your “less good” business reviews.

Make every review count

A Mock-up Review Page

Starting from a review page set up within our software, your customer then moves down three possible pathways. If they give you a 4 or 5 star review, they arrive here.

And this is of course, the normal Google Business Reviews page.

If the customer selects a 1,2 or 3 star in the first screen they head off a different path, to this page. Where the review is captured and forwarded to the business. But the crucial difference it’s not on your public Google Business page.

The red square links to the Google Business page, so the customer can post a public review.

Sneaky or “allowable” marketing?

You choose – would you do this for your brand?

I have the contacts to set up this service for any business – get in touch.

PodCon 2 logo

Podcasts for event promotion

PodCon conference logo 2019

Podcasting is going mainstream – it’s the newest part of content marketing and frankly it’s about time!

Many people have been producing independent shows in voice format for years – I started one for my sport in 2013 – but only in the past year have brands started to get on board.

So why podcast in 2019?

There are three reasons – firstly, the pioneers are no longer alone – the mass appeal of storytelling podcasts like “Serial from This American Life” and “Under the Skin with Russell Brand”, Freakonomics and anything to do with Harry Potter has meant mass downloading of podcast listening apps onto devices.

Secondly, niche content marketers got in on the act early (like me) and so if you are a sports fan or a maker or follow politics there are now many different podcasts to choose from – all easily accessible.

And lastly we are short of time.  Yes, even more than before.  The on-demand nature of podcasts means you can listen in the car or while exercising or walking the dog.  It’s easy to play, pause and then pick it up again later.  And for the super-busy person, there’s the 1.5x and 2x speed playback settings!

Events lend themselves to podcasting

When planning the build-up to an event or having regular recurring events, there are already ample ways of communicating with your target audience.

But introducing the prospective attendees to the key themes of the event, the voices of your speakers and ramping up excitement about the day is really easy to do in a podcast format.

The Change Management Institute got its event speakers to answer 3 questions on a video call ahead of the event giving them unique content and a great preview of their international keynote themes to send round to members ahead of time.

And PodCon2 whose logo is on this article went one better – they allowed remote access at a cheaper ticket price by publishing all their event content afterwards in and audio feed as a stand-alone limited time podcast series.

Double down on success

Plus, if you choose to record video you can easily rip the MP3 audio file from the video and you have two birds with one stone.  We then use the video for Instagram and YouTube advertising promotions.

But should YOUR event or brand podcast?

The answer is up to you but we’ve got a quick checklist of 5 questions to answer before making your deacon to move into podcasting for content marketing.

Follower Count , LinkedIn, B2B marketing, social media marketing,

Advance your LinkedIn focus

Many B2B marketers and brands are using LinkedIn intensively as a channel to market, building awareness and interest in your offering.

LinkedIn is NOT EFFECTIVE a direct marketing channel – it’s for brand marketing.

Today I have a challenge for you. Followers.

Follower Count , LinkedIn, B2B marketing, social media marketing,
Follower Count on LinkedIn.

Who follows you?

Go to your LinkedIn page and log in. Then navigate to your followers page. The link is the same for everyone.

  • Following – these are your connections. [Note: it’s not who YOU are following – a bit confusing]
  • Followers – people who follow your updates. This includes all your connections.

Below each person’s profile and job title is a check box showing if you are following then or not; and the number of people who are following them.

This makes it easy to filter. And one click to follow them back.

Check boxes to show if you’re following people on LinkedIn

What to do about LinkedIn Followers

Three things to do:

  1. Browse the list for people who you’d like to connect with and who are following you
  2. Decide on your criteria for following people – everyone, only those with key attributes, people who could be clients; people with high/low followers themselves etc
  3. Make a diary log to check back regularly for new followers

LinkedIn works best as a business development platform if you have a clear client persona; have a clear content writing strategy [topics, frequency, audience]. Targeting the right audience with good content, regularly.

Unlike Twitter, LinkedIn does not have a ratio of following to followers throttle. And remember, following someone is a great way to get their insights, to become acquainted with their perspectives as a precursor to connecting.

Famous people have lots of followers. If you are trying to break into a marketplace and build a solid profile, my recommendation is this.

Follow people whose follower count is low-to-medium. Their news feed won’t be too cluttered and your content stands a better chance of getting noticed and commented.

Key Website Creation Tips You Can Learn From A Graphic Design Course

A website’s success is often dependent on its design flow, cohesiveness and content. This is the reason as to why a lot of User Experience experts (UX) are also adept in graphic design. One of the best ways to create a good user experience is by having a clear grasp of design principles.

Here’s some key website creation tips you can learn just by attending a graphic design course.

Value The Fundamentals

The key to developing a higher understanding of any topic is by understanding its fundamental principles. Nowadays, creating a cool looking graphic is as easy as tapping a couple of buttons on your smartphone. While that may sound simple, these design tools are only part of the process. The more significant piece is understanding what’s visually appealing and what distracts people from your message.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Here’s a list of basic design principles you should know about:

  • Color – Sticking to your favorite color may not always be the best strategy. When appropriate colors are used on a website, it can help dictate the mood of the audience. For instance, using a Green color correlates to the environment and make people think about charity, while the Red color induces a strong emotion.
  • Typography – This is an art form that arranges type to make it readable. Choosing the right font will help convey your message better, it helps show feelings even in written form. If you want to learn more about typography, this graphic design course by HubSpot does the job well.
  • Composition – More than choosing what color and font to use, you should also know how to compose a visually appealing graphic design. Design composition pertains to the alignment of each element, ensuring proper contrast levels, and grouping related elements together.

Leverage The Fold

The term “above the fold” was initially used in graphic design and later on used on web design as well. Above the fold pertains to the topmost area of your webpage that users see without scrolling. There’s still a debate whether this area is still relevant nowadays, but whatever the case is the fact remains the same — 80% of users spend their time above the fold. You need to maximize the use of this space and hook your visitors. Here are some ways on how you can do that:

Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Clear and concise headline – Once a visitor opens your website, they should be able to know what it’s all about. The proper use of typography will help communicate your message better.
  • Call to action – Make sure you design a clear and visible call to action (CTA) button. Increase your chances of conversion by placing your CTA above the fold.
  • Leverage media – Use images, video, and even audios to support your headline and improve CTA click-through rate.

The way you design this area will contribute to how well you communicate your value proposition to your target audience.

Create Your Own Graphics and Images

About 65% of the population are visual learners which means that a lot of people rely on visual cues to help them understand better. When you apply this kind of mindset into website creation, you can expect more people to find your website worthwhile.

Take, for example, infographics. People pay attention when you show them data and statistics backed by research. However, not everyone can digest a 20-page research paper. Through the use of infographics, complex information can be communicated easier. A graphic design course can teach you how to create your graphics, select thought-provoking images, and repurpose old content.

Put Importance On Branding

If you’re wondering why a lot of websites spend time and money on branding, it’s because a properly thought out brand shows a unified business. Graphic design courses should teach you the importance of creating a brand guideline and how to properly implement it not just on your website but in your overall business as well. Here are some of the reason why consistent branding is essential:

  • Value – When website visitors see that you have an organized and visually appealing branding they’ll have a good impression about your business. It helps build your credibility, sets you apart from the competition and establishes your brand value.
  • Recognition – When you use your branding consistently all across platforms and not just on your website, it helps with brand awareness and recognition. While establishing a recognizable brand takes time, strict adherence to branding guidelines can make the hasten the process.
  • Perception – You can control how people perceive your business through branding. Each time you communicate with your customers, business partners and even investors make sure you follow your branding guidelines.

Conclusion

Take time to increase your skills by enrolling in a graphic design course. The lessons you learn from these courses will help you create a website that’s not only user-friendly but also appealing. You don’t need a lot of money to learn how to design. You just need an infinite amount of resources and the inspiration to push you forward.

Adoption curves for MarTech

This past week has seen a “Sweeper Wave” of coinciding reading and researches which tell me one new thing – podcasting for business content marketing is now going mainstream.

First let me explain the sweeper waves – I was on holiday on the Coromandel Coast and a sea swell off the west coast caused occasionally huge waves to come right up the beach nearly to the high tide mark – even when the tide was half out.  These had large volumes of water inside them and so had great forward momentum and a strong undertow when they receded.  While I watched, people paddling knee deep got caught off guard and swept off their feet and the wave also soaked their clothes higher up the beach – one lady broke her hip being tumbled by the wave and the air ambulance was called out.

podcast studio, auckland podcast, podcast for business, NZ podcasts

I reflected on the sweeper waves and see them as a metaphor for change in marketing and business.

Hemingway’s insight into change (or bankruptcy) is that it happens slowly and then all at once.  They key is knowing whether what you are seeing is at the early-adopter or just-going-mainstream stage.  I have followed the rise of electric vehicles assiduously since watching Tony Seba’s illustration of Fifth Avenue, New York.  These two photos are taken 13 years apart.  What happened in between?  Change.  Disruption.

[Side note, Tony is an investor in New Zealand startups]

Like a sweeper wave, some people get caught unawares.  My attempt to avoid this is to watch out for “recurring themes” in tech, marketing, and business.  The rest of this article is about my recent finds.  Some connect, others are remarkable for different reasons.  

I’ve been podcasting since 2013 and during the latter part of 2018 I saw major brands using the medium for their content marketing – McKinsey, The Economist Intelligence Unit and CapGemini.  This tells me that content marketing is expanding into the audio medium.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this.  Few brands have enough to say that doesn’t involve their competitors (which they are probably unwilling to discuss in public forum) compared to independent commentators who can speak more freely.  And this fact alone will deter many brands from podcasting.  There are other opportunities for content marketing using audio which are less ’traditional’ than a weekly radio show which brands can usefully use.

My podcast interview with Bob Weir author of “Why Businesses Fail” was published by Access Granted NZ.  His book is a must-read for founders, investors and board members for the insights into the human psyche and how it contributes to business. Business failures are usually preceded by identifiable problems.  Analysing problems at the macro level was an observation which led to me writing Problem Solving for Marketing. The insight connecting these is that correctly identifying the type of problem first, aides finding the right solution.  Is your business situation a “mess”; a “problem”; or a “puzzle”?

If you use email marketing and CRM in your business, here is a very nicely written summary of how one startup uses funnels, lead nurturing, and incorporating Net Promotor Score too.  I don’t know the team but they are a young venture and so starting from scratch has advantages.  A word of warning; anecdotally, Active Campaign is said to be less user-friendly than other comparable software.  [If you want to compare software user views, always check out Trust Radius run by Vinay Baghat – it’s independent and user-led.] 

And although this case study looks amazing, very few brands that I meet use automation, business process flows or sales funnels to this extent.  How does this reflect on the adoption curve for CRM, which I was working on with Peppers and Rogers back in 1997?  Maybe some firms will never use marketing automation or sales lead scoring.

Writing a presentation for the Penrose Business Association brought me to confront my lack of skill using traditional presentation software.  I have found two alternatives Beautiful and Stun, one American and the other Kiwi.  

Finally – the joke’s on you for the Mars Rover whose batteries may have died after 15 years – Brendan Boughan’s Cartoons by Jim captures it perfectly. and flashes back to 1997 when we first got Mars fever and the creatives at HP had a similar vibe going.  One of my favourite laugh-out-loud adverts of the time.