Episode: 209 |
Tom Schwab:
Podcast Booking:


Tom Schwab

Podcast Booking

Show Notes

Tom Schwab runs Interview Valet, a firm that helps its clients get booked on targeted podcasts where they can speak directly to their ideal customers.

In this episode, Tom shares his perspective on why being a guest on a podcast is a great way to raise your visibility

  • How to prepare for an interview
  • How to promote the interview
  • How to work with a podcast interview booking firm like his
  • And How to get invited on shows if you want to do it yourself

You can learn more about Interview Valet on their website, https://interviewvalet.com/

And if you want to connect with Tom, his LinkedIn URL is https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasmschwab/

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

Will Bachman: Hello Tom. Welcome to the show.
Tom Schwab: Will, I am thrilled to be here.
Will Bachman: Well, that is awesome that you’re thrilled to be here, Tom, because you’ve done 1200 podcasts as guest, and this is number 1201 plus or minus, so it’s pretty awesome that you’re still enthusiastic about it. Let’s dive into this. Give me kind of the quick overview of Interview Valet, and how your firm has arranged over 12,000 podcast appearances for your clients.
Tom Schwab: Yeah, and really it comes back to the problem that we solve. We work with authors, speakers, coaches, consultants, brands, and today I think the biggest problem we all have is obscurity, right? With a product or service that you have right now, there’s thousands of people or millions of people that you could help. The biggest problem is they don’t know you exist, and this idea of breaking through the noise is probably laughable. We’re all adding to the noise.
Tom Schwab: So my view is the best place to go is to get on those areas where your ideal customers are already listening. Get in on the conversation, and that’s what we do as a team, so we help people get on the right podcast so that they can tell their story to their ideal customers, get that know, like, and trust, and then work with people to move them from having them move from being a passive listener to an active visitor, and ultimately an engaged lead. Some people say, “Well, do you help people get on podcasts?” I’m like, well, that’s part of it, but if you want better answers you got to ask better questions. Really the question is how can I get on podcasts that will grow my business? And that’s what we help people do.
Will Bachman: I just have anecdotal evidence of that. A few people, a few guests that have been on the show have come back to me. I’ve seen them face-to-face, or just caught up with them, and they said, “Oh, yes, I guess I had a couple people after the show followup with me and reach out about what we talked about, and it ended up turning into projects.” So that’s always really gratifying. I want to walk through this process, but first give us a sense of who your clients are. How would you segment your customers are the people who want to get on shows?
Tom Schwab: Right. So there’s really three verticals that we focus on, and it’s not necessarily where we are, but where our clients’ clients are. So that’s business, faith and Christianity and health and nutrition and wellness. Of those, 80% of them are in that business vertical, but what makes the difference between one of our clients and somebody that maybe wouldn’t be, is really our clients focus on relationship sales. They’re focused on the lifetime value. It’s not so much just a one-off transaction. If I’m buying a doorstop, a widget, something like that I don’t have to know who the owner of the company is. I don’t need to know why they started it, what their vision is. It’s a transaction. We work with people that really are building relationships, long-term customer value.
Tom Schwab: One of the things that I see today is that it’s never been easier to sell something online. All you have to do is be a penny cheaper, but it’s never been harder to build a relationship. For example, we’ve got lawyers that work with us that are trying to help or find ideal clients, and they can serve them throughout the nation. We’ve got professionals like accountants, consultants that’s one. We work with a lot of virtual book tours, authors that really want to get their book out there, and we’ll help them just get a blitz. Other ones are software-as-a-service companies or brands that really want to get out there and introduce to the ideal audience what they’re offering. So we’ve got some that are small that you probably never heard of, and we’ve got some bigger ones likes HubSpot and Lockheed Martin that everybody seems to have heard of, but still they need to get their message out there to their ideal customers.
Will Bachman: Wow, okay. So even a big company like HubSpot would turn to you to say help us get our, whatever kind of marketing, manager, leader, people out there on podcasts talking to the audience to explain what we do.
Tom Schwab: Exactly, because people get content in different ways. I think that’s one of the amazing things today. I’ve written a lot of blogs in my life, but every one of them was like a homework assignment. To me, talking is the easy part, and today we can produce the content in the way that’s easiest for us, and then repurpose it in the way that’s easiest for our customers. So we could take this podcast interview, put some B roll footage over it, and now it’s a video. We could transcribe it and make some blogs out of it, and now it’s a blog. So, really it makes it easier for people. At the end of the day, marketing is starting a conversation with someone that could be an ideal customer and there’s just lots of different ways to do that, print, visual or audio.
Will Bachman: Cool. You mentioned the three verticals. There’s business, and then faith and Christianity, and what was the third one?
Tom Schwab: Correct.
Will Bachman: What was the third one?
Tom Schwab: And the third one is health, nutrition, and wellness.
Will Bachman: Okay. I want to probably spend most of the time on the business, but I’m just curious, faith and Christianity, what sort of professionals would be hiring you to try to get on podcasts like people who have written books on that stuff on those topics?
Tom Schwab: Some of it could be a book tour that has more of a spiritual bend to it. Sometimes it’s even a consultant, right? There’s that consultant and they’ve got a faith bend, or service bend to their business. Well, you can go on all the business shows, or you can go on other shows where it may stand out a little bit more. I’ll give you an example. There was a life and business coach we worked with very early on. He went on a podcast that was called 40 Plus Fitness. Great podcast. Well, what does a business coach have to do on a fitness podcast?
Tom Schwab: Well, he got on there, and he talked about the need for work-life balance, and that you have to be healthy all the way around. I loved one of the points he made. He said, “It does you no good if you make your first million by 30, if you make your first widow by 40. There’s got to be some balance in there.” You know, that stood out so much more on that podcast than it would’ve, just on a business podcast, and it converted very well for him, too, so we’re always creatively looking at where people are. Where’s your ideal audience? Where could we put you in front of that you would stand out even more?
Will Bachman: Cool. Now, in terms of figuring out the right podcast for people to target, I want to approach that from two angles. One, I’m curious to hear what your firm does. Also, curious to get your perspective for someone whose going to try to do it themself, some guidance, right? Let’s start with what your firm does. Have you mapped out the universe of podcasts by topic and so forth? How do you screen through all the podcasts out there to figure out ones that would be good matches for your clients?
Tom Schwab: Early on it was a little bit of art, a little bit of science. We’ve tried to get more and more toward the science side. Our algorithm looks at four things, and all of them are important for results from a podcast interview. The first one that everybody goes to is the podcast itself. What is their focus? What kind of listeners do they have? How many episodes do they have? How many ratings and reviews? One of the sad things about podcasts is most podcasts that die within the first 10 episodes. So it does you no good to be on episode seven when they stop paying the hosting bill at episode eight. No one will ever hear you. The other thing that a lot of times people will think is that bigger is better, but better is better. There’s more fish in the ocean than there are in a barrel, but, man, if you could find a small barrel of fish go there every time. The podcast is the first thing we look at.
Tom Schwab: The second thing is the website. Every podcast interview you go on should have show notes and they’ll link back to you. That’s a strong signal to the search engines that says, “Hey, this is a good website. We’ve got some clients that work with us just for the SEO value.” If you ask them, “Hey, do you want to be on the Joe Rogan podcast, or do you want to be on a podcast from Harvard University with their undergraduate school?” Well, one of them gets a half million listeners. The other one might get 500 listeners, but they’ll go into the Harvard one because now they’ve got a link from their website from harvard.edu, and that’s pure gold.
Tom Schwab: The third thing we look at is the reach. Are they promoting it on social media? Are they promoting it to their email list? I can think of one podcast. It’s a great podcast. He probably gets about 10,000 downloads per episode, but I know this gentleman has an email list of about 30,000, and every week he promotes his podcast to the email list, and who the guest is. There are some people that don’t listen to podcasts, but still get promoted through that email. Then the fourth thing we look at is experience with previous guests. We see what works, what doesn’t. There are some shows that have always converted well for our clients, and then there’s other ones that don’t. You don’t get visions of that, or visibility to that. I can tell you that if somebody’s got the same five, six questions they ask every guest it’s going to be a harder one to convert from.
Tom Schwab: The other thing I wanted to point out is that what we do here is not magic, it’s not art. We both come from the nuclear power field there, and it was a system. It was a system that could be taught. It could be reproduced. You didn’t need superheroes to do it. You just need highly motivated people that would work the system. I’ve freely share how we do it. I’ve written a book, and I give more of those books away than ever.
Tom Schwab: The thing is that you can do it yourself, but early on, I wrote the book, and actually did a course, and I never took it out of beta because what the people told me is that you give me a cookbook you give me the videos. I don’t want to learn how to do all this. I don’t want to make it myself. I want to be the guest. I want you to do the rest, so that’s what we do. Our zone of genius is podcast interview marketing, and it’s all that we do, but it’s something that you can definitely do on your own. It’s just a question of what’s the best use of your time. Is it performing, or is it doing everything else around that?
Will Bachman: Yeah. Let me just make sure I captured the four points. Number one, there was the website. Number two, the reach that they have, and experience with previous guests. Okay, so I got my notes. In terms of the podcast itself, you’re looking at how many episodes so if you don’t want one that’s just petered out, and only had seven or eight shows, and then it dies, so a show with some longevity.
Will Bachman: What data sources exist on how many “Big the show is” how do you even know that? There’s not really [inaudible] rating. How do you know how many downloads a show is getting?
Tom Schwab: Downloads is one of the things that is missing in podcasting right now. The only people that know the actual number of downloads is the podcast host themselves and the hosting company. And by terms of service, the hosting company can’t share those. And some people say, “Well, that’s awful.” Well, it is and it isn’t. Because the numbers at certain times can be misleading.
Tom Schwab: I remember talking to a client and they said, “Last week I was in a radio show and four million people heard me.” And I’m like, “What was the station?” And we started talking about it and what it was is it had the potential reach of four million people. That signal reached four million people in a geographical area.
Tom Schwab: And I’m like, “Well, I don’t think all four million people were listening to that station at that time. And if somebody wanted to listen to it and they missed it, it’s gone forever.” So podcast interviews or podcasts are ever green. So even though we’re recording this now, there’s somebody in 2022 that’s listening to this for the first time.
Tom Schwab: From that perspective, if the Chicago radio station can have the possibility of reaching six million people, well, by that same calculation, you could say this podcast interview has the potential to reach billions of people over time. Now that’s a gross exaggeration. Not one third of the world is going to listen to it.
Tom Schwab: But also look at it and say, if you were to have an opportunity to speak in front of 10 people, 10 ideal customers, would you cancel what you’re doing today and drive across town. If there was 100, would you drive across states to talk to them or if I had the opportunity to talk to 1,000 ideal customers, I’d jump on a plane.
Tom Schwab: And you think about it with podcast interviews here, you can do it from home. And what you might consider a small audience or a big audience for a physical event, is actually a small podcast audience. One of our art clients that we work with [Keith August 00:14:14], he spoke at the Miami Dolphins stadium earlier this year in front of about 30,000 people, and I remember talking to him the night before and he was nervous, of course.
Tom Schwab: And I told him, don’t worry about it. You’ve spoken to more people than this on a podcast interview. And he said, “Yeah, but they weren’t all looking back at me.”
Will Bachman: A good point. I also just want to give a shout out to, hello 2022, looking forward to seeing who’s president. So you’re looking the website of it as well, so it sounds like you have looked at a bunch of websites and classified them across these four dimensions to figure out what would the good ones be for a particular guest.
Will Bachman: Let’s talk for people who are trying doing this at home. What are the tips on how to reach out to the podcast host to try to get on the show, to pitch yourself? Let’s talk about that. How do you guys do it and then individuals listening can figure out what they would want to do.
Tom Schwab: Sure. Think about your podcast host, who do you want to have on your podcast? I guarantee is three types of people, your friends, friends of friends and people you want to be your friends. Nowhere on there does it say, cold pitches or slimy pitches. Think about now when you’re pitching a host, how to do that. So now we’ve got the relationships with the podcasters, we’ve got relationships with over 3,500 podcasters and with the bigger our team gets, the better the relationships we have with the podcasters because everybody’s list in the roller decks is finite and we’re able to scale that up.
Tom Schwab: But if you’re an individual doing that, think about how can you become a friend? So it’s not a cold pitch, I have to laugh Will because I get pitched about twice a day to be on my podcast and everyone starts the same way, dear Tom, we love your podcast and we’d love to be your guest.
Tom Schwab: The only problem with that is I don’t have a podcast. And if you’re going to lie to me, tell me I look beyond pretty, don’t tell me you love my podcast. Better way to do it is to listen to the interview, listen to the podcast, spend some time investing in it and say, is this really a good podcast for me? Leave a rating and review. We’re all vain. Every podcaster, I don’t care who they are, looks at the ratings and reviews. If you leave a ratings and review, they’ll know who you are, at least in the short term. Take the content, if they put something out on LinkedIn, comment about it. Share about it. If it’s on Facebook, Instagram, whatever. Engage with them a little bit.
Tom Schwab: Gary Vynerchuk talks about jab, jab, jab, right hook, I look at it as give, give, give, ask. So give some love. Give them a rating and review. Give them some more love, share their content. Give them a reason to asking to be on the podcast. When you reach out, it could be through email, it could be through social media, your whole idea there is to serve.
Tom Schwab: So don’t start with, Will, I’ve got a new book and I want to use your audience to sell my book. No, start out with, Will, I’ve listened to the podcast. I really liked it. I listened to this episode and this was really good. It caused me to do this with my life. I shared it with here and some friends really enjoyed that and I think they’re going to listen to the podcast.
Tom Schwab: Give, give, give. And then say, “I think I could bring value to your audience by sharing this knowledge, and id like to do this.” If you do that, people will be asking you to be on the podcast. If you ever think about it too is that podcasters know podcasters. I just at Podcast Movement Convention last week. 3,500 podcasters down in Orlando, it’s really, really grown. And podcasters know podcasters. So if you do a good job at an interview, at the end you just say, “Do you know of any other podcaster, any other places that I could share this to bring value?”
Tom Schwab: If they tell two friends and so and so on and do the introductions, your dance [inaudible] can get filled there really quickly.
Will Bachman: What you say about kind of giving first really resonates. If you like someone’s podcast, kind of posting on LinkedIn about it and tagging the podcaster, do that a few times, unless they’re kind of running like 10 fairs or something, if they’re just an ordinary human podcaster, they’re probably going to notice that and thank you. And if you do it two or three times, [inaudible] like, who’s this person who’s listening to my podcast? Because not a lot of people do that.
Will Bachman: That’s cool. I can understand that you really want to target and focus it so you don’t go out to 100 podcasters and ask but really target three or four and start working to give, build relationships. What about afterwards? Let’s say you’re on after you’ve been on the show, to really maximize the impact of it, how do you help your clients either create really micro content or communicate that on social media or email their followers, Twitter, LinkedIn that hey, I was just on this show and we talked about this topic with so and so and it was great. Here’s the link to it. How do you recommend people, kind of maximize the impact of being on a show?
Tom Schwab: Sure, but let me pull back the curtain out here and I’ll show you exactly how it’s done. So the best practice that we’ve found through all the testing is to send people to a dedicated welcome page. So don’t say, just go to interviewvalet.com and everything will be there nor do you send them to here’s my Twitter, he’s my LinkedIn, here’s my Facebook. It will just confuse them.
Tom Schwab: So the best practice is always to stay one place, we call it a welcome page. A dedicated page. If you want to see an example of it, I’ll make one at interviewvalet.com/unleashed. So if you’re listening now, if you’re listening in 2022, it doesn’t matter. It will still be the same thing there.
Tom Schwab: So when you get there, you think about it. If you’ve heard on a podcast interview, you’ve never seen them, and you’ve never seen the website. So that traffic tends to balance really bad. So what’s best and if you go to that page, the first thing you’re going to see is Will’s picture, you’re going to see the artwork for Unleashed, because those are the trust seals that you know that you got to the right place.
Tom Schwab: Then there’ll be some text, there’ll be my picture, some people will come back just to figure out, what does this person look like? And then there’ll be the offers down below. And this is one way that you can attribute the traffic so you know what podcast are working, which ones aren’t converting so that you can go on and more of that type.
Tom Schwab: You know, we worked with a client that was fractional CFO and CPA and after about six months, we were able to tell him, “You know, you really do well on dental podcasts,” and he loved dentists. And because he was converting so well, for about the next six months, all we put him on were dental podcasts. Smaller bucket of dish, but man, he got clients from it every time.
Tom Schwab: So going back to that welcome page, then put three ways for people to say yes. Most digital marketers will tell you one call of action, I don’t disagree with them, but podcast interviews you have to meet people where they are. So give them a small yes, a medium yes and a heck yes.
Tom Schwab: So like a small yes. There’s the checklist we use for everyone of our interviews. Remember in the military they said checklists are written in blood, make sure it’s somebody else’s blood. So there’s a checklist that we give away. Now that one, it’s a freebee. It doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t cost a lot of time, so that’s a small yes. It’s for people to go back there.
Tom Schwab: You know the medium yes could be something that takes a little bit more time. Or In the best [inaudible] of time. Maybe it’s a video, maybe it’s an ebook, the one I always use is a copy of my book. So if you want a copy of Podcast Guest Profits, how to grow your business with a targeted interview strategy, you can just go there and download it.
Tom Schwab: The final yes, the heck yes is that somebody hears you on a podcast interview and say, “Man, I want to engage with them. I want to work with them.” Don’t slow them down in a funnel, give them a chance to engage. So for us, it’s always, hey, if you want to jump on a discovery call, see how this works for you? We’ll have that there too. You always send them to a dedicated welcome page and then give three ways to say yes. Small yes, a medium yes and a heck yes.
Tom Schwab: That’s the best way to really move people from being passive listeners to active visitors to engage leads.
Will Bachman: Okay, this is fascinating. So for your clients were being on someone else’s podcast, you will help them not just give a link, like hey, I was on this podcast, here’s a link to it. But they’ll actually create on their own website, a page that’s like, I was on podcast XYZ and so they will post a page, a dedicated page on in about that and here’s the link to go listen to that podcast, but here’s what we talked about, here’s a picture of the host, so they’ll actually kind of create some of their own content to help get the full benefit of being on that show.
Tom Schwab: Correct. And for our clients, we actually build that page for them on their website. And then they’ll also work with them on how can they use that content to the best of their ability. So definitely, promote it on social media. Whey wouldn’t you? They used to have all the websites and everybody would tell each other, “Hey, I was just on the local television.” Well, why wouldn’t you tell everybody, I was just on this podcast? Share it with them.
Tom Schwab: The other thing that we’re working with a lot of clients on now is repurposing the content. There’s probably a month’s worth of content out of every podcast interview. Like I said before, you can take some B roll footage and make a quick little video that you can put up there.
Tom Schwab: You can probably get five or six different blog posts out of every podcast interview just by transcribing it and having somebody clean it up. You can get tweaks, you can get means, you can even, they call it audio grams, if you ever see it on Facebook or Instagram where somebody’s talking and maybe you’re seeing a wave file so you can tell they’re talking. You can do those.
Tom Schwab: And so from that standpoint, we’ve got a lot of clients. Now as we come in to the end of the year, the goal is to do a dozen interviews in fourth quarter so that they’re going to take that content and use it for the content for the next year. Each month focusing on a different podcast interview and different things there. There’s so many ways that you can use it. It’s really just limited by your imagination and the team you’re working with.
Will Bachman: And you help your clients then create all that other versions of content turn to discussion into a blog post or tweets or LinkedIn posts, etc.
Tom Schwab: Yeah, we’ve got some partners that we work with where that is their zone of genius. There’s always what problem do you solve for your clients and what problem do you create for your clients. So the problem that we solve for our clients was, the obscurity. How do we get on podcast interviews? How do we get these people from passive listener to an active visitor at an engaged lead? But the problem we created for them, they’re like, I’ve got this goal, this content, how can I use it better?
Tom Schwab: So that’s what we’re really working with them now and some key partners to make that so that they can so much more out of the interview. Our goal is always to get maximum return on investment for our clients, both in their money and their time. And because for most people their time is their most precious resource. And if you’re running a startup company, if you’re a coach, a consultant, a brand, if you can 45 minutes of a podcast interview and get a month’s worth of content out of it, that makes the podcast interview even more valuable.
Will Bachman: Yes, some people are great at sitting down and just writing a blog post but for maybe a lot of people, it’s easier to just have a conversation and then coming out of that a lot of good ideas come out of that that can be turned into blog posts by someone else, to helping them out. Using their ideas what have you found to be kind of the most high impact collateral from… do you find it’s like to drive traffic to that welcome page. Is it like tweets? Is it video content that you create out of it? Is it graphic still image with maybe a quote on it? What have you found works really well?
Tom Schwab: To me it’s all of the above and really the welcome page is where they come into after they’ve heard the interview. So really the flow is to take them, drive them to the interview and then after the interview, they come to get those the offers and to engage with you. One of the things that I’ve seen that’s very, very powerful with this is to use the podcast interview as a proof source.
Tom Schwab: So you’ve got somebody that comes to you and says, “You know what, I’d like to engage with you. I saw a Facebook post of you, a friend told me about you, but I need a little bit more information.” Well, I could jump on a call with them for 45 minutes and try to explain all of this, or we can have somebody on the team just saying, we got an interview on Unleashed podcast and Tom talked with Will and here’s the link for it. You may want to check that one out.
Tom Schwab: And especially if you find the right podcast for the right audience, they can be gold. So now the customer or the prospect is starting to educate themselves. And when you have a sales call with someone that’s heard you on a podcast interview, it’s very, very strange. Tends to close really quickly because they know so much about you than you know about them.
Tom Schwab: So with it, that tends to be, is more of a qualification call. Are they a good customer? Is it somebody that we can help? Most of the time they’re pretty much pre-sold. I will say there’s three types of people that hear me on a podcast interview. The first one says, Tom is an idiot. I don’t disagree with them, but all I can tell is if they didn’t like me from the podcast interview, if they didn’t like what our company’s doing, what we stand for, what our vision, what our mission is, then they’re not going to be a good client. So that’s fine, God bless them, no judgment, they can go on their way.
Tom Schwab: The second type of person is the one who goes, that’s interesting, but it’s not something I need right now. Same thing. The end of the day, we don’t want more leads, we want more customers. The third type of person is the one that hears you on a podcast interview and they’re like, wow, that makes a lot of sense. They work with people like me. They get results. These are the type of people that I want to work with.
Tom Schwab: And those are the ones that come ready to engage. And those are the ones that will close faster, be more profitable, be better customers. Because today I don’t think any of us need more customers, I think we need better customers. As we got billionaire people out there that we could serve, you can’t serve all billion. So let’s just find those 1,000 true fans or however you want to call it and work with them.
Will Bachman: And for that third group out there, who are listening to this show right now, could you, I don’t know if you know, kind of keep it confidential or if you’re just totally open about… could you describe your fee structure? And for someone who’s like, maybe I should call Tom and get his help. What’s your pricing?
Tom Schwab: Today there’s nothing that is secret or confidential or anything like that. Everything’s on the internet some place. So I openly share this and put it out there. I never like the way that PR agencies, their business model. The retainer of, give us 10,000 dollars a month and we’ll try really, really hard.
Tom Schwab: I believe that there has to be deliverables along with the price on that. So we base everything off of the podcast interview. So we put together campaigns or packages and so that includes everything. Includes the welcome pages that we talk about. It includes the equipment, so you sound great, the training, all the preparation. You’re assigned an account manager that is your single point of contact.
Tom Schwab: So for all of that, our packages start at around 4,500 dollars for 12 interviews and then they ramp up from there. But that includes all the training, the equipment, all the rest of that. So really it’s more than just a podcast interview, it’s the complete podcast interview marketing system.
Will Bachman: Cool. And we will certainly include it in the show notes but you want to mention it again, the best link for people to go to?
Tom Schwab: Sure. Just go to interviewvalet.com/unleashed. And there you’ll see everything Will and I talked about. All my contact information will be there, so if you want to follow me on social media or email me, it will all be there. And then we’ll also have that checklist. The checklist for what to do when you’re in a podcast interview. I’ll put up free download of the book, Podcast Guest Profits. How to build your business with a targeted interview strategy.
Tom Schwab: And then I’ll also put my calender link in there. So if you want to talk about how you could use podcast interview marketing to grow your business, love to have a discovery call with me or somebody on our team to see how we could make that happen.
Will Bachman: Now one thing that you did which I thought was pretty slick, in a good way. I thought it was [inaudible] it was some kind of drip marketing campaign, curious how you did, like HubSpot or MailChimp or whatever, reminding me about our upcoming conversation today.
Will Bachman: So, even though I reached out to you because I found you on LinkedIn and I thought what you were doing was kind of interesting. You scheduled it with my calender link, but then once it was on our calendars, you sent me several reminders. It was like two weeks out, one week out, three days out, yesterday of preparing for our Interview Valet, interview.
Will Bachman: It had some content in there, here are some questions that you might want to ask, here is some information about me, about Tom. Tell me a little bit about how practically you do that and also how to make that kind of tool effective. Because I think it’s widely applicable beyond just a podcast interview, you could use it for all sorts of things.
Will Bachman: Hey, we have our upcoming kickoff meeting in two weeks or in a one week, we have an upcoming workshop, etc. so tell me about the tools that you used to do that.
Tom Schwab: I always look at tools or amplifiers of brilliance or ignorance. I can go through the tool but before I do, I think of a buddy of mine, Dan Miller had a tree that was knocked down and an artist came in with a chainsaw and curved a beautiful eagle in it. Just same year I just about cut my leg off with a chainsaw, cutting the wood.
Tom Schwab: So tools are just amplifiers of your brilliance or your ignorance. And real credit on this goes to our team. They’ve got great hearts, one of our values is that relationships are the ultimate currency and in this digital age of automation, it’s the personal touch that makes the difference.
Tom Schwab: So we’ve got systems where we do email reminders but we make them as personal as possible. So that people don’t feel like it’s, dear mom or sir. There’s always personalization in it and then there’s also value in it. Nobody wants another email. I don’t want to signup for your newsletter. I don’t want another newsletter. But if there’s great information in there, I’ll find sign for it.
Tom Schwab: So each one of those emails and it probably came from Stephanie, Stephanie’s my account manager. I work the system and I’m a customer, just like all of our customers are. So she reached out to you and said, “Here’s the one sheet for Tom, here’s his headshot, here’s all the social media links. Here’s his bio, here’s difference things he can talk about.” They may have sent you a book or sent you a copy of the book, but all of those things that each one of those emails had value into it because we’re always either building up trust or we’re destroying trust.
Tom Schwab: So if you get spam emails, it just destroys the trust. One of the things that I’m very proud of is our company as a whole 45% of the pitches we make turn into actual interviews. And people are blown away by that in the industry, because the industry is spray and pray. I send out 100 pitches and I get one back, yes. But they don’t realize the harm they’re doing with that.
Tom Schwab: If we’re going to send an email, it’s because we believe that this is a great connection. And if somebody says, no. That’s fine. But let’s find out why they said no because next time we want to make sure that we give them an even better introduction with that. So it’s a little bit of technology and the one that you probably got it through what’s probably HubSpot, but it’s also the personalization in there.
Will Bachman: It’s a really useful idea, I think. Not just for being on a podcast interview, but any kind of upcoming meeting that you might have where you want, one just keep reminding people you have an upcoming meeting and give them some additional useful information to prepare for. Maybe it’s an initial client discussion or a workshop where you’re inviting a bunch of people to it, it’s a nice idea. You talked a little bit about training your guests. Talk to me about that a little bit. About some of the ways that you help prepare people to be successful on a podcast.
Tom Schwab: So podcasts are different than other medium. And we’ve learned that the best podcasts are the ones that are a conversation. Go off beyond your talking points and really share stories. Content is king, but context is god. So depending on what the audience is, you can focus on different aspects of it. We’ve worked with some clients that are on television all the time.
Tom Schwab: I can think of one that’s a news contributor on cyber security. And we really had to work with him because he was used to a three minute segment. And all that three minutes, the host would probably talk at least a minute of it. So when you asked him a question, Morgan would give you a sound byte and it would be 35 seconds or 45 seconds.
Tom Schwab: We’re like, no, this is more long form content. You got to get longer answers with this. And he really loved it because, if you pointed out, he’d be on national news, he’s on probably three or four times a night depending on what the topics are. Or three or four times a week depending on what the topics are that week. But he would say, it’s an hour drive in there. They send a car for him and has an hour in the greenroom getting ready, three or four minutes on television and another hour back home. And he’s like, that’s if you don’t get bumped.
Tom Schwab: So he said for a four hour investment, he’d get maybe three minutes of time. Whereas with the podcast, you can do it from home and he gets to tell deeper stories and get more insight for 30 or 45 minutes.
Tom Schwab: So one of the things we do with all of our clients is, you know, we’re listening to some of their early interviews and give them ideas for that before any client gets pitched by us, we’ve got a kickoff base that we do, the training, takes about seven to 10 days and we’re doing a lot of work on our part to get everything ready but the practice interview is always with me and I love it because I get to talk with the clients, get any feedback, but also just to make sure that they’re ready to go. That they’re confident and that I know that when they meet that host, and are introduced to the audience that everything’s going to go great.
Will Bachman: That’s fantastic. I’ve certainly, you see him an hour about 200 episodes, seen quite a range of guests, some are awesome and they totally tell stories, I think you’re right, you want to talk longer than 30 seconds, you also don’t want to talk for 15 minutes, we should be a conversation and not just a 15 minute monologue. And being able to tell stories but then just make it conversational.
Will Bachman: Any other tips for preparing for interviews? I guess maybe have some stories ready that you can take some questions and maybe turn it back to that story, if there’s a key point you want to get across. Not in annoying way, but having some anecdotes, perhaps?
Tom Schwab: I think that when we… our initial sales conversations and as you asked this, I was just thinking on the flight. I think the first interview is probably in the initial sales conversation and the initial discovery. If you can’t get a word in [inaudible] with somebody on a 30 minute call, they’re probably not going to be a god podcast guest because, just like you said, they’re the ones that say Tom, tell me about yourself and 45 minutes later, they’re still going.
Tom Schwab: But I think ti’s really that idea of are you interested in being interesting? Are you curious? Do you want to have a conversation? I think I said it because that podcast’s an awful place for infomercial, but they’re a great place for people to get to know, like and trust you.
Tom Schwab: Ryan [Fishburn] from a company called Mars, best tweet ever. I’ve got this shared in so many presentations. But he said, “The best way to sell something today is not to sell anything, but to earn the respect, awareness and trust of those who might buy.”
Tom Schwab: So I always think, coming from that heart and to have stories, if you’re going to refer to a graph or a chart or percentages, no one’s ever going to remember that. This is not the medium for that. If I told you a story and it was that, we had this client, Craig Cody, fractional CFO of an accountant, great guy. He’s like not other accountant that you’ve ever met. He was a retired New York City detective.
Tom Schwab: And he reported that after his first 12 months, he grew 600%. And after his first 24 months, he grew 1200%. Now, neat story there. What you will remember is there was an accountant, he used to be a New York City cop and it worked really well for him. No one will remember the numbers, so you just got to remember that too. That don’t just start doing facts and figures, especially if they’re out of context, because no one will remember them.
Tom Schwab: The other thing to think of is that the studies have shown that it’s 70% of the people that listen to podcasts, listen to them sped up. So if you’re putting out numbers like that, if they’re hard to follow at normal speed, if somebody’s got them sped up and they’re multitasking, they’re running, they’re working out, they’re doing the dishes, your chances of remembering those are slim to none.
Will Bachman: Wait a minute, I just want to check this. I had no idea. When you say sped up, you mean they’re listening to them at 1.25 speed or something?
Tom Schwab: Correct.
Will Bachman: No kidding. I had no idea.
Tom Schwab: I typically listen at 2X speed. I choke that I listen to 2X speed while I run at 1X speed. But yeah, with that, a lot of people are audible listeners, they’re used to that and for me, I’ve trained myself to do that. And to me my mind doesn’t wander then. And also I can get twice the content in. Do as a book. I can’t think of the gentleman’s name now, but he lost his sight in college and he went on to finish law school, blind and he actually clerked for judge [Kennedy Okana 00:43:48]. And he was totally blind.
Tom Schwab: And in his book, he puts out there that he listens at 7X speed and he’s just used to it. And if you think about it, it’s like, wow, that is amazing. But some people can speed read and most people can train themselves to speed it up.
Will Bachman: Okay, I had no idea. All right. So 70% of listeners are listening to us at 1.25 or faster. I’ll make sure I don’t speak a lot faster otherwise it would be like 1.75. That is amazing. So I think what you’re doing is so cool and I think we already gave the links, we’ll include all of that in our short notes. And I’m definitely interested to check out your welcome page myself, I can’t wait to see it. I haven’t had a guest do that before so I think it’s a really smart idea. Tom, thank you for being on this show, this was fascinating.
Tom Schwab: Will, it was great to talk with you and all I could say to everybody is what’s ordinary to you, is amazing to others. And you can share that with people that could be your ideal customer. I always think back of when I was in the Navy. I on an aircraft carrier and the first couple of days you go out there, you’d watch the planes take off and then after a while you’re like, “I’m not climbing all the way up there, it’s too far to walk.”
Tom Schwab: And people would always go, “Could you watch that?” No, it became ordinary. So I think we all undervalue what we can offer the world and overvalue what other people do. What’s ordinary to you is amazing to other people. Today there’s been no easier way to do that. You can do it through videos, through blogging, being a podcast host, being a podcast guest. All I would encourage you is share what you know, and if we can help you do that to make the world a better place, we would love to connect with you. Just go back to interviewvalet.com/Unleashed.
Will Bachman: Tom, that is a great, great parting message. I totally agree, share what you know, continue to the conversation, Tom, hey, thanks for being on the show.
Tom Schwab: Thank you Will.

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