Will Bachman: Jessica, it is great to have you on the show.
Jessica Rhodes: Hey, Will. Thanks so much for inviting me to talk with you and your audience.
Will Bachman: I was kind of surprised to find out about your firm. It hadn’t even occurred to me that there was such a thing as someone who would help book guests onto podcasts. I heard about your firm. Before we dive into the questions, maybe let’s start there. Tell us little bit about what your firm does.
Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, so it as much of a surprise to me as it is to you, when I started the business. I started my company, Interview Connections, in 2013. My first business was a virtual assistant firm. I was working essentially freelance with entrepreneurs and small business owners doing some social media marketing client support. Really the goal for me was to be able to stay at home with my new baby, and also have an income. So I started this VA business, and one of the services that I was offering was podcast interview bookings.
Jessica Rhodes: I was helping my clients be booked as a guest on podcasts, and also finding experts for them to have on their show. After a few months of working as a virtual assistant, I wanted to make more money, but not just be working more hours or slowly increasing my hourly rate. My dad is a business coach, so I was talking with him about, you know, what can I do to really scale, also keeping in mind I’m working from home with my baby. As my baby’s getting bigger, he’s sleeping less. I’m working less hours. So I was kind of at this turning point of like, what can I do here?
Jessica Rhodes: Of all the services that I was offering, I thought, people love being booked for interviews on podcasts. It’s this thing that they’re getting exposure, they’re meeting people. You feel great. Like when you asked me to be on your show, I was like, awesome. You know, it feels good when people want to feature and ask you questions. As an interview connector, I really enjoyed that work. And I also saw that there was a demand for it. Sometimes you have a great service to offer, but it’s not the right time. So in this case, I had a great service, and it was a good time.
Jessica Rhodes: Podcasting was getting more popular, there was some business shows coming out that were really getting a lot of attention. At the time, “Entrepreneur on Fire” had started within the last six months. It was a smaller show at that time, but I had booked some of my clients on it. I kind of started to build a relationship with John Lee Dumas. And as I was building Interview Connections, I really was mindful about the podcasters that I was connecting with, building relationships with them.
Jessica Rhodes: And just structuring my business in a way where I could be offering packages and not just working by the hour. So I guess a long story short is over the last five years, I’ve grown from booking interviews as a freelancer to running a multiple six figure business with in-house employees, more bookings. Several thousand interviews a year on podcasts representing both entrepreneurs and-
Will Bachman: Several thousand interviews per year?
Jessica Rhodes: Several thousand, yeah.
Will Bachman: That’s a lot of podcasts, holy smokes.
Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, it’s a lot. It’s insane how many podcasts there are.
Will Bachman: Oh my gosh, several thousand. All right. Let’s dive into this a little bit. First, what are the types of people that are using your service to be booked onto shows? What are the types of people who are your clients?
Jessica Rhodes: We’re working with entrepreneurs and small business owners who see the value in growing a personal brand. Some of the industries that we’re working with, we have a lot of business coaches and consultants work with us. As a coach or a consultant, you know the value of having a personal brand, because your clients will want to work with you, and they know they can trust you. And they feel like they can really identify with who you are, and not just the expertise that you have. So coaches and consultants, we work with.
Jessica Rhodes: We work with agency owners who want to get more clients. We’ve got an advertising agency that’s worked with us for years. They’ve gotten a huge ROI because they’re out there talking about tips around Google ads, and converting these on a website. When they’re on that interview giving value, the host is like, “Wow. You know so much. I need this,” rather than just price shopping a million agency websites. It’s logical to hire the agency who you just had on your podcast, so agency owners.
Jessica Rhodes: Also a lot of finance experts, that’s really big. Real estate investors, wealth managers. Because again, that’s a niche where, if you’re going to trust someone with your investing or with your finances, someone to advise you on your investing, you want to feel like you know that person and that you can trust that person. So being a guest on podcasts is a really, really good way to build trust with people. Those are a few of the top industries or kinds of business owners that work with us.
Will Bachman: Great. What are the types of podcasts that you get people placed onto? And maybe talk a little bit about how that process works.
Jessica Rhodes: We book people on podcasts that are definitely well established, because our clients are working with us as a way to grow their brand, to build their visibility and to attract clients. For us, it’s almost always very important that our clients are on shows that are well established, have been around for at least 30 to 50 episodes. With each client that we’re working with, we really strategize with them around the kinds of shows that they want to be on. And for me, it always starts with the goal. For a client who is a podcaster, and their one goal is to build their audience.
Jessica Rhodes: And maybe it’s a more general show, like our client Erica Mandy has a podcast called “theNewsWorthy,” and she is sharing the news every day. So for her, the audience is very wide. It’s not like one specific avatar of a client. It’s basically any American who wants to get updated on the news. So we’re finding shows for her that have a large audience, so she can build her podcast audience. But for a business owner who needs a new client, like let’s just say a business coach who, if a new client signs on with them for a year, it’s like 20, 30 thousand in revenue.
Jessica Rhodes: It doesn’t matter so much how big the audience, it’s more about finding the podcast that’s attracting the right kind of person. When a coach is on a podcast where there’s a hundred people listening, a small very targeted audience, but every person in that hundred person audience is an ideal candidate for them. The knot is really good. What people invest in to work with a booking agent like us is usually less than $20,000 a year, I’ll say that. So you get a pretty good return if your clients are worth a lot to your business. Because it only takes a couple people for the strategy to be worth it.
Will Bachman: How do you kind of keep track of the universe of podcasts to monitor, like what would be a good one for others? All right there tools out there? I should know this by now, but, are there tools out there that tell you like how many listeners different podcasts have, or the types of profile of people? Or do you just sort of judge who was probably listening to podcast XYZ based on a description of it or something.
Jessica Rhodes: That’s a great question, and that’s honestly the most time consuming part of what we do. And that’s a big reason why people hire us, because that takes so much time to really figure out, is a podcast worth it. Unfortunately, right now podcasts don’t have public download stats. I say that unfortunately, because people want to know. But at the same time, it’s not super important how big the audience is. And you kind of get a sense of how big their following is when you look at their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn presence. When you see how many iTunes ratings and reviews they have.
Jessica Rhodes: Those are some of the hard stats that we look at when we’re evaluating a podcast. Also, looking at how many episodes a podcast has. That also says a lot, because, let’s just say a podcast has been on, they’ve been going for three or four years. They’ve been around a while. I’ve been podcasting since 2014, and I have around 200 downloads and episode. I’ve got a really niche topic though, I’m talking about podcasting. So the number of people that want to listen to a show about podcasting is a lot smaller. But because I’ve been podcasting for four years now, my audience is very engaged.
Jessica Rhodes: So it’s a small number of people, but they’re like, “Yeah, I’ve been listening to you since it was called ‘Roads to Success.’ Like I know so much about you and your show.” It’s good to be in front of an audience that is really engaged. So sometimes it’s about the engagement, other times you just want to be in front of as many people as possible. Internally, systems are really big. So it’s funny, we’re hiring right now in our business, and one of the things that we’re looking for in our next employee is somebody that’s really good with systems.
Jessica Rhodes: Because on the backend, when it comes to booking interviews, you have to keep this all organized. We use a CRM, we use Highrise. So every email pitch that we’re sending is getting logged in Highrise. We’re updating profiles of every person we’re reaching out to. I think there’s, we have tens upon thousands of profiles in our CRM of people we’ve contacted, bookers, podcasters. So over the last several years, we’ve just building up that database and tracking.
Jessica Rhodes: We’re starting, while podcast download stats aren’t public, we have relationships to so many podcasters that we start to ask people, how many listeners do you have on your show? Just so we can start to get a baseline of how many downloads do podcasts have? People don’t really know what’s good and what’s bad because they’re not public. So we’re starting to gather that information so we can have an idea.
Will Bachman: Yeah. You’ve developed relationships with the podcasters, right?
Jessica Rhodes: Yes.
Will Bachman: And presumably it sounds like you would get, once you get one person on their show who was a great guest, you would probably work with them I suppose multiple times.
Jessica Rhodes: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Will Bachman: So it’s probably important for you to maintain your own reputation that you’re sending them a good guest, right?
Jessica Rhodes: Yeah.
Will Bachman: I’m curious to hear, do you get feedback from the podcast host on how good the guest was> So that even if someone is your client, if they’re like a really crummy guest, not very eloquent or don’t present well, then maybe you don’t want to keep representing them. You’re really using your credibility when you introduce them to-
Jessica Rhodes: Yeah.
Will Bachman: A podcast host. Talk to me about that a little bit.
Jessica Rhodes: You’ve really hit the nail on the head there. As a booking agency, our reputation is impacted by our client’s, I say “performance,” because I don’t like to think of interviews as performance, but for lack of a better word, of their interviews. It’s just like when you make a referral. I had a friend refer a potential client. And I’m like, okay, if we’re going to work with them, it has to go really well. Because I don’t want to damage my friend’s reputation for referring. So it’s the same thing when we’re booking people on shows. We want to make sure that it goes really well.
Jessica Rhodes: To start, we really qualify each booking that we go into really well. We have our clients approve of each podcast before we send a pitch. We want to vet it in our way, and then we bring it to the client, and we say, “Hey, this is a show I found. I think it’s a really good fit.” Then they vet it. So we’re going into the pitch prepared, the client into the interview prepared. They’ve already screened the show and made sure, okay, this would be a good fit. I can really do this show very well.
Jessica Rhodes: The other thing that we do, is our clients apply to work with us. So there’s a lot of people that book interviews, there’s a lot of other agencies. We’re a more high-end. We have all of our clients apply to work with us. I have a phone conversation with everyone before they become a client. It doesn’t happen that often, because by the time someone gets on the phone with me, we’ve vetted them enough. We look at their website, we check them out and make sure we would be able to represent them successfully.
Jessica Rhodes: But I’ve had people apply to work with us, I go the website, and just realize we wouldn’t be able to get them on good shows, or it just wouldn’t be a good match. And I said, “Thank you so much for reaching out. We are not the right agency for you.” And I’ll refer them to another company to see if there’s another booker that might be able to represent them. So we won’t take people on as a client if they are not a good guest. But it happens, everyone’s human. There have been, sometimes there are bad connections that are made, and we get bad feedback. And again, this is very rare, but we handle that.
Jessica Rhodes: Sometimes we’ll replace the booking for the client. We bring it to them, because as their booking agent, we want to do them the respect of letting them know, “Hey, this didn’t go well, and let’s talk about what happened.” Sometimes it’s like just two people, they’re really great, but they just don’t click, or somebody had a bad day, and it just didn’t go well. I remember that happened with one of my clients. I booked him on a show. Great relationship with the client, great relationship to the show.
Jessica Rhodes: Everything said it should have gone well, but it just, something was off that day and didn’t go well. I even heard the recording. I had the host send me the raw recording, because he wasn’t going to publish it. And I was like, yep, that was off. I gave the client some good tips. And he had a lot of great interviews, got great feedback from other hosts. But that one just, something just didn’t click between them, and sometimes that just happens. You do your best matchmaking, but not everything is a marriage.
Will Bachman: What are some of your tips to your clients on how to be a great guest, and how to make a great performance, to use that term.
Jessica Rhodes: It starts with just going into the interview space really prepared, and just having the ability to focus. We’re on the phone right now, my laptop’s closed, my phone’s on airplane mode. There are no distractions happening here. So number one is just having the ability, and setting yourself up for success, when it comes to focusing and listening. I ran a panel at Podfest on how to interview. One of the biggest tips that we have for interviewers is just to listen. And I would say, it’s the same for a guest. Listen really careful to the question so you can answer it. And also my other-
Will Bachman: I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
Jessica Rhodes: Big-
Will Bachman: I was going to make a joke. Like, “What we’re you saying, I’m sorry?”
Jessica Rhodes: Exactly, and the same thing happened on the panel. One of my panelists was like, “What did you say?” And I was like, “What did I say? I said to listen.” But other thing is, in the pre-interview conversation, that’s a very, very important time to go into the interview prepared. You and I handled that beautifully. You prepared me, you let me know what to expect. I asked some clarifying questions. I always ask how long will the interview be? “I have it on my calendar for 55 minutes. Let me know if that has changed at all.”
Jessica Rhodes: I like to know if it’s going to be an hour, I’m not going to give super short answers. But if it’s 40 minutes, I’m not going to talk forever. So it’s always good to clarify the time, who the target audience is. And, “Hey, how can I make this interview really good for your listeners? What do you want to get out of this conversation?” As a guest, going into each interview with the full intention and goal of giving value to their audience, that is the best thing you can do as a guest.
Jessica Rhodes: Focus on being a giver of value. Don’t worry about what am I going to get out of this, am I going to be able to promote myself? Just focus on giving value. It’s that whole thing, like when you give there’s the power of reciprocity. Just give without expecting anything in return, and you will ultimately get more in the future.
Will Bachman: Those all make total sense. This is fascinating, wow. I guess there must have been media bookers with TV, and there still are I’m sure. Typically in this industry, you only work with clients who want to be on the show? Are there some agents, or maybe you, would work for shows trying to find good guests?
Jessica Rhodes: That’s a great question. Most of our business, probably 80% of our clients are guest experts. We get them on shows. That’s just the service that’s in higher demand. I think a lot of podcasters, there’s not as much of a demand for podcasters who need a booker. A lot of podcasters will do that on their own. That being said, we do have clients that use our services, and we find guests for their show.
Jessica Rhodes: We have a client who just signed up, he’s starting a podcast, and he wants to interview really interesting people, like singer songwriters, actors, things like that. So he’s using us, and we’re finding people that match his criteria, proposing them to him, and then when he approves, we go out and get them booked on his podcast. We book from both sides of the mic, so to speak. So yeah, we do both.
Will Bachman: That’s cool. How do you measure the impact of being on a podcast?
Jessica Rhodes: That’s another really good question. This is a marketing service that is a little bit more challenging because it’s not always super clear and straightforward when it comes to measuring results. People are used to investing in Facebook ads and Google ads, and things like that, and knowing if I put X number of dollars per click, I’m going to get this out. There’s a stat and a data around what the ROI is. And I just have never been able to figure out how to give people that ROI, because what you get from podcast interviews are relationships.
Jessica Rhodes: Just like in your personal life, you get out of a friendship what you put into it. If you never call your friends from high school, you’re not going to get much out of those friendships other than, hey, at Christmas once a year. So it’s the same thing with the relationships that you form by bring a guest on podcasts. You need to put work into them to get clients and business out of them. Keeping in touch with the host, really giving value, listening to their podcast, and leaving them a rating or review. You want to give a lot, put a lot into that relationship.
Jessica Rhodes: And in turn, they’ll refer people to you, they’ll maybe hire you. We have a lot of clients who the host ends up becoming a client, and that’s amazing. And that’s actually why I talk a lot about how the number of people in the audience isn’t as important. A lot of times, it’s the host who you end up engaging with. So no pressure, Will, but. But it really is about the relationship, and the host is typically the only person, unless it’s like a live show where there’s listeners interacting.
Jessica Rhodes: The host is the only person that you actually talk to and have a two way conversation with. So that’s really the person that you want to be focusing on the most. The ROI is great. By this time, I’ve been in business for about five years now. I’ve got tons of testimonials of people who say, “Oh, I’ve got multiple speaking engagements that came from the connections I made on podcast. I’ve got coaching clients that came from the connections I made on podcast. I’ve had 300,000 downloads of my Kindle book because I mention it on every podcast.
Jessica Rhodes: So there’s all those examples, but there’s not like one clear way to describe the ROI because everyone’s business is different. At the end of the day, we can make the best match possible, but the guest has to deliver the right content. They have to give the call to action in a way that the listeners actually want to take it. So there’s a lot of factors involved. I hope that answered your question.
Will Bachman: Talk to me about the call to action. Is it something like, “Hey, any listeners on the show, email me at this address, and I’ll send you like a free ebook,” or “I’ll send you a diagnostic tool,” or “I’ll send you something free.” Something like that? Tell me about different calls of action that you’ve seen be successful.
Jessica Rhodes: I would say the most common and the most popular is to have a landing page. Landing pages convert between, because there’s not a million different tabs to click, and people don’t get distracted. They can just go, they opt in, they download. And that is great if you have a successful email marketing strategy where you know you convert your email leads into your service or your product purchase. So I would say if you have a good email marketing strategy, you’ve got a good funnel set up, focus on getting people to a landing page. They get on your list, and then your funnel will do its work.
Jessica Rhodes: I don’t really focus on my email marketing strategy that much. My clients don’t tend to be on my email list very long, if at all, before they sign up. So I don’t usually give a strong call to action to a landing page. I usually invite people to my website, or if I think it’s an audience where they’re probably interested, I’ll invite them right to the website to check it out, and they can apply if it’s a good fit. Or if it’s an audience where I don’t think they’re ideal clients, but they would like my podcast, I’ll say, hey, you can listen to my podcast and get tips from me and team every week.
Jessica Rhodes: So the call to action needs to be relevant to the audience and to what your goal is, what you want people to do. But it should be clear. You don’t want to give a million calls to action. I was talking to a client yesterday, and he’s like, “Why haven’t seen results?” And I said, “Well, the one podcast I heard you do, you told them to do like five things, and I left very confused.” You know, “Hey, you can call me here, this is my email, this is my website.” The website has like a million different pages. So you just don’t want to leave listeners confused.
Will Bachman: So calls to action would be, it sounds like your favorite that you recommend to your clients would be, have a landing page that you mention on the air. Go to this website.com, and enter your info, and I’ll send you a free book or something, white paper or tool.
Jessica Rhodes: Yeah.
Will Bachman: How is a landing page different than a website? I should probably know the answer to this.
Jessica Rhodes: No, no, that’s okay. A landing page is just, when you go to it there’s not, like my website for example, you go, there’s tabs at the top. You can click to my blog, you could go to my FAQs. The landing page wouldn’t have all those tabs and options. It would just be like a headline and a place to put in your name and email. The only purpose to that landing page is to get someone to download something and to opt in. There’s only one option for what the person would do when they get to that page. Whereas on a website, they can click to the podcast, they can click to the blog, they can go to About Us. There’s a lot of different places that they can look at.
Will Bachman: Okay. You mentioned it I think quickly in passing, but let’s make sure that we got it. Tell us your website and your podcast.
Jessica Rhodes: My website is interviewconnections.com. My podcast is called “Rock the Podcast.” It’s really our company’s show. So I’m on the podcast, my employees also host it with me. Sometimes they’ll host it without me. We feature interviews with our clients about how they’re leveraging podcast interviews, the results that they’re seeing. A lot of the episodes are sort of case study based, so you can hear from real people that are using the strategy and seeing results.
Will Bachman: Talk to us a little bit more about that. Give us some more stories from people that you’ve helped get on podcasts, and the kind of results or impact that they’ve seen.
Jessica Rhodes: Our client Tanya Conner-Green is a business coach. I love her, because when she came to work with us, she had started her coaching business maybe a year, year and a half ago. She had never been on a podcast before as a guest. She has her own show that she co-hosts, but she had never been a guest. So she was a little nervous, but again, I had a call with her, I knew she’d be a great guest. And we said, hey, we’ll interview you on our show, so your first interview is not with somebody else. It’s with us, so you can kind of get your feet wet and be comfortable. She did a great job.
Jessica Rhodes: We were booking her on like two or four shows per month. The thing about podcasting is that people record interviews, it takes time for the producer to edit it, for it to go live. So even getting booked on podcasts for a few months, it takes time to see results because they’re not all going live yet. So for her, we had been booking for like three to four months. She had been doing the interviews, but they weren’t going live. And around her fifth or sixth interview that she recorded, she had seen an 8X return on her investment with us.
Jessica Rhodes: One of the hosts hired her to do a paid training for her clients. So Tanya went on the show, talked about Facebook ads, and the host was like, “I would love to pay you to train my clients on this.” So she got a client there. I think that same host also said, “I was looking for a coach, and you have what I need, and I really like you.” So the host became a coaching client of hers. Tanya also found a business coach. She had been looking for a business coach to help take her to the next level. On the podcast interview, she found someone that was a good fit. So that was an investment she made, but it was something she was looking for.
Jessica Rhodes: So Tanya is one of the most recent really big success stories that we have. Also, our client Dave Sanderson is a speaker. He was the last passenger off the flight that landed in the Hudson River, I think in 2009. And he became an author, he wrote a book about it. He is a motivational speaker. And through the podcast interviews, he’s had hosts that will say, “Oh my gosh, you have to connect with this person. I think they’re really like to have you come in and speak.” So he’s gotten at least two paid speaking opportunities from the interviews that he’s done on podcasts.
Jessica Rhodes: And then we have other clients that stick around with us for years. Ty Crandall owns a business doing business credit and financing. I can’t remember what the percentage is, it’s like 20% of his clients come from podcasting. He hosts his own show, he guests on other shows. So it’s good to do it from both sides of the mic, because when you’re a guest you’re getting in front of new audiences. And then those listeners can come over and listen to your show, and they can just get to know you even more. Just hearing one interview isn’t always enough for people to know if they want to work with you.
Jessica Rhodes: But if you’ve got them over to your podcast, you can really deliver more value to them and give them those consistent calls to action. Those are a few examples of people that are doing it consistently, seeing results. Other people just see a lot of results when it comes to building their brand. They’re getting back links to their website as they’re guesting on shows. Podcasters are putting links to their website, and that’s really good for their SEO. They’re showing up in search results because they’re just showing in more places.
Will Bachman: What are some other ways that you recommend beyond your own service and beyond being on podcasts. When you advise your clients on sort of the full portfolio of raising their visibility, what are some other things that you encourage them to do?
Jessica Rhodes: I really encourage my clients to create content. Speak about your topic, and go to conferences, and get out of your office. In regards to creating content, writing blog posts and writing articles on LinkedIn. I’ve been a lot more active on LinkedIn as of late, and it’s been great. You get people messaging you, commenting. And it’s a good, when you work with entrepreneurs, when you are sort of in a business community, that’s obviously a great platform to be active on. Even if it’s not as much fun as Instagram, it’s a good place to be for business reasons.
Jessica Rhodes: Just being active and posting articles, being active on social media, and just being in conversations I think is really good. I’ve said this multiple times, podcast interviews are all about the relationships, so people want to have guests on their show that they want to have a conversation with. So being active in conversations, and also being out there at events, at conferences, and building relationships face-to-face. If you can’t be speaking at conferences and at live events, doing podcast interviews is like the next best thing. You can be speaking to an audience without having to get on a plane and go travel.
Jessica Rhodes: But a lot of my clients, they speak on podcasts, and then they go to a conference and they see all these, they meet all the podcasters that have interviewed them. They’re now meeting them in person, which just is awesome. You deepen the relationship so much. So those are some of the things. And then just leveraging the media opportunities that you’re getting by sharing the episodes, the interviews that you’ve done. Getting links to the interviews you’ve done on podcasts onto your website, create a press page or put them on your About page. That way, when people find your website, they can also see that you’ve been booked and you’ve been interviewed on podcasts.
Will Bachman: Okay. So writing, speaking, go to conferences, blogs, video. Talk to me about video. What do you see happening there? I’ve heard that video is kind of the new thing.
Jessica Rhodes: Yeah, video is great. I did videos, I produced weekly videos for like three years. I called it “Interview Connections TV,” and every single week I’d post a new video. It was two or three minutes, just a quick tip. It wasn’t highly produced or anything. For a while, I used a camcorder, and then after a while, the iPhone was so good, so I just used my phone and a Lavalier microphone. I just gave tips, and I just produced that content. And I had people that just loved the videos, because they didn’t want to listen to a 30 minute podcast about it, but they loved getting those quick tips from me. So that’s great.
Jessica Rhodes: I think the difference now is it’s all about live streaming, and Facebook live, and Instagram live. I hear that from clients I have that say, Facebook live, that’s where you’ve got to be. Because people want to be interacting with you live, it’s raw, it’s real. You can’t perfect everything, you just need to be there, and you can be interacting with people. So I think that’s great, and I even see people that have Facebook live shows.
Jessica Rhodes: My friends [Lindsey Phillips and Lindsey Anderson 00:30:58], they do every Thursday is Marketing in [Morrell 00:31:02], and it’s a show, they’ll bring on guests. But it’s on Facebook live, and they’ll be talking about marketing. And then you’ve got this live date and time every week. So it’s a little bit different than podcasting or a pre-recorded show, but it’s a different and unique way to build relationships and to be delivering content.
Will Bachman: Talk to me about, I’m curious to hear your own productivity tips and habits. You’ve got to be organized. As a mom running a business, you started this with a little one in the house.
Jessica Rhodes: Yes.
Will Bachman: Talk to me about some of the routines that really have worked for you.
Jessica Rhodes: And I’ve gotten a lot better on this recently. I live and die by my Google Calendar. I schedule my whole day out. Obviously it starts with the scheduled calls. One thing that I do is I do all of our sales calls. When people apply to work with us, I’m the person that they talk to. So I block out specific times of each day that people can schedule a sales call. And those blocks of time are sacred. Like within I think it’s maybe 10:30 to 2:30 on a Wednesday, that’s when people can schedule a sales call. And if I don’t have sales calls, that’s when I’m doing my follow ups.
Jessica Rhodes: So I keep those blocks for sales work sacred. I don’t schedule other stuff in. And then I put podcast interviews, and blog writing, and social media marketing around those blocks. Then usually Friday or Thursday the week before, or a couple days before the next week starts, I will look at my calendar for the next week and think about, all right, what are the things that are important but not pants on fire emergency that I want to make sure I get done. And I’ll find blocks and I’ll schedule it in, so that way I know they’re getting done.
Jessica Rhodes: I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Landmark Forum, but that is something that I have done this year. I did the Forum and the advanced course. A big thing that you learn at Landmark is integrity, and putting a word in the matter. Really, all we have is our word. So I really use that philosophy with my scheduling of my day. When I say I’m going to do my blog writing at this time and this day, I do it. It’s not like, oh maybe I’ll get it done that day.
Jessica Rhodes: And my business partner’s the same way. It’s so funny, I sent her a message on Slack, “Hey, did you call this person?” She goes, “It is on my calendar for this afternoon, and that is when I will do it.” That’s really how we operate as far as productivity, and we get, it’s like a very obsessive compulsive way to live your day, but I get so much done because I schedule it in. And I don’t let the day just be whatever comes at me.
Will Bachman: Any morning routines?
Jessica Rhodes: My morning routine, I’ve got two kids now. My son is five and my daughter is two and a half. The morning routine is really getting up, drinking coffee, eating breakfast. I really take it easy in the morning. I don’t get to the office until 10:00, so waking up around 7:00 AM, I love taking those three hours to like get the kids’ lunches ready, get them dressed, slowly drink my coffee, and get ready for the day, maybe play with them a little bit. So I kind of take it easy, that’s family time in the morning. Sometimes it’s the kids watching TV and me doing other stuff. But it’s just like, it’s sort of a relaxed morning.
Jessica Rhodes: This week I tried something new. I do yoga, that’s what I love to do for meditation, and mindfulness, and exercise. The yoga studio that I go to just started offering 6:00 AM classes. And I went for the first time on Thursday at 6:00 AM. I would like to do that more, so that’s sort of my goal is to a couple days a week go to a 6:00 AM yoga, because it’s something I can go and get done. Then I also think about like, oh, am I going to go after work today? Because there’s other stuff going on after work. That’s sort of my morning routine. I hope, when my kids are older I can maybe have a stricter schedule, but that’s what I do.
Will Bachman: Talk to me about any tools, apps, software, websites that you love. You talked about Google Calendar. Any kind of scheduling tool, like Calendly, or any other kind of apps that you love.
Jessica Rhodes: I use ScheduleOnce. I used Calendly for a little while, I’ve tried both of them. I’m back to ScheduleOnce because I’ve noticed I just like their ability to say, to kind of block in, like I said, with my sales calls times I can block in when I offer times for people to schedule for different types of meetings. So I like ScheduleOnce for that. And yes Google Calendar, but if I’m just on the go and I think of something and I don’t want to open up the Google Calendar off my phone, I just use Siri reminders.
Jessica Rhodes: Siri reminds me to do so much, and I love it. So when I just think of something, hey Siri, remind me to, whatever. That’s great, if I don’t write it down, or if I don’t have somebody remind me like Siri, it’s not going to stay in my head. So I use Siri reminders. In the business, we use Slack, because Slack is a great way to just be messaging back and forth, and making sure stuff gets recorded.
Will Bachman: Talk to me about any books that have either really impacted you, or that you’ve frequently gifted.
Jessica Rhodes: The best book that I’ve read over the last year that really just like, my mind was blown, and it just kind of put me on this new trajectory of mindfulness, was “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle. Not necessarily like a business book, but I think this is the best book for people to read. The title explains it, but it really just talks about how the past is in our past, we can’t do anything about it. The future hasn’t happened yet. All we have is right now, so being totally focused and in the moment, it’s just absolutely incredible what that does when you truly live very, very mindfully.
Jessica Rhodes: After I read that book, I started learning about meditating and meditating more, and just learning how to control. I look at meditating as a way to exercise your brain. We can so often just, our brain just goes crazy. We’re thinking about other things. So the more you meditate, the more you can train your brain to only focus on what you’re doing and what you’re talking about.
Jessica Rhodes: What you’re doing right now, as opposed to thinking about what am I going to eat for lunch in an hour. So “The Power of Now” is a great book for people that kind of want to start learning about that. Then there’s other books that I’ve read, like “When Things Fall Apart” was the next book I read after that, which kind of took it to a new level. But yeah, I would highly recommend that book. I think being present is a very big benefit for entrepreneurs to have.
Will Bachman: It’s probably difficult for you to pick a few favorites, but any podcasts that you’re currently loving?
Jessica Rhodes: It’s definitely hard to pick. I love podcasts. One show that I really enjoy listening to is called “The Armchair Expert” with Dax Shepard. He’s an actor, he has a lot of different celebrities on his show. His wife is Kristen Bell, who’s pretty famous. I really listening to that show because he’s very, he really digs into people’s story. What about your past made you who you are today? It’s entertaining, but it’s also thought provoking. So I like that podcast. I also like Oprah’s podcast, “SuperSoul Conversations.” Again, just a lot about mindfulness and spirituality, so I really like that show. Those are probably two of my favorite podcasts that I listen to pretty regularly.
Will Bachman: Awesome. I imagine it might vary depending on specifics, but can give us a sense for somebody who wanted to get booked on shows, roughly how does the pricing for a service like your firm offers work?
Jessica Rhodes: We’re recording this, and it’s almost May of 2018. So if you’re listening to this in the future, these prices might be different. Our prices, they do change over time. But right now, we have a monthly membership option, and we have large pack as an option. So people can pay for all their bookings up front, get a little bit of a discount, or pay month-to-month. We start with the discovery process, which we value at $1,000.
Jessica Rhodes: That’s where we do all the strategy and intake work. We do their one sheet design, and really just lay that foundation. We charge $1,300 a month for four bookings, so about $325 each. Then again, if you purchase 15 or more bookings up front with your discovery process, then there’s a little bit of a discount. So yeah, that’s what our investment is right now, as we’re recording.
Will Bachman: Cool. So sort of roughly around $350 per booking.
Jessica Rhodes: Yes.
Will Bachman: Interesting, fascinating. So thousands of bookings per year. That just blows my mind that there’s that many podcast drops in the ocean of podcasts.
Jessica Rhodes: There’s so many, and there’s more just starting all the time. It’s crazy how many opportunities there are for people to be connecting on podcasts.
Will Bachman: Yeah, fascinating. Well, Jessica, this has been awesome. You’ve opened up a world to me that, I’ve been doing a podcast now for about a year, that I didn’t know existed. So it’s really an interesting business that you’ve started. It sounds like you are one of the early ones. Who would have thought to start a podcast booking service? Thank you so much for being on the show.
Jessica Rhodes: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share so much about my business. I really appreciate it, Will.