If you want to multiply your impact, you want to speak to more people.
You want bigger stages, bigger opportunities, bigger audiences.
But with so many speakers out there, how do you generate speaking leads and actually convert them to more time on stage?
How do you demonstrate your personality and your value, especially when you don’t have an extensive speaking resume, or an eye-catching sizzle reel?
How do you build the long-term relationships that lead to speaking invitations, referrals to meeting planners and joint venture event opportunities?
I wouldn’t call it a magic bullet, but in my opinion, podcasting is as close as you get.
And I know because this has all happened to me. And I’ve watched clients, friends, guests and fellow podcast hosts do the same.
In 2015 I started a podcast called Real Estate Uncensored, with my co-host Greg McDaniel, a top agent in the San Francisco East Bay.
All we knew was that we had good chemistry, and we wanted to help agents by sharing sales and marketing strategies that are usually locked behind $1000/mo coaching.
We had no plan to monetize, no plan to get speaking engagements, no plan for growing the show.
We started simple. A once-a-month live Google Hangout. That slowly escalated and evolved into our current format, a 3 day/week video podcast on Facebook Live.
That podcast directly led to invitations to speak at industry events including:
- California Realtors Expo
- Real Estate Success Rocks
- San Diego Realtors Expo
- Fitness MBA Summit
- Live Team Building Workshop (Ottawa, Canada)
- Real Estate Renegades w/Josh Altman
(That’s not counting the podcast, article writing opportunities and local radio appearances which were also direct results of hosting our own podcast.)
Our show gets 50-70k views and downloads each month, which has allowed us to build our own tribe, and that tribe translates into people who come out to see us speak.
In other words, podcasting literally changed my life.
When we started the podcast, I was just a bus/dev guy at a vendor that sold professional services to real estate agents. I had no connections and no credibility in the space.
In 2 years I became an industry insider, a respected connector and contributor, a marketing expert, speaker and trainer. And it all started with the podcast.
In this guide, I’ll share 7 ways to turn your podcast into more speaking engagements, and the effect that will have on your credibility, reputation and social reach. These are the benefits you will get out of starting a podcast and running it consistently.
Why Host Your Own Podcast?
I’ve heard people say that podcasting is a flooded market, that we don’t need any more people with podcasts.
I couldn’t disagree more.
Everybody needs their own platform. A chance to build their own tribe.
People are going to be drawn to you because of who you are. No matter how many podcasters might be out there – your personality and your content will draw people in.
Some might argue you can build credibility by being a guest on other podcasts. Absolutely true, but think about who has controls the asset.
When you’re a guest, you have very little control of the message, the title, how you are positioned and how your episode is promoted.
With your own podcast, you control the message: the podcast name, the artwork, the branding, the tagline, who and what gets associated with you. In other words, you have 100% control of how you are positioned in the market.
Your podcast is a new media platform, an asset that represents you. A voice that speaks for you, and a business card that shows that you are the Ultimate Expert in your space.
Podcasts vs. Tele-seminar
When it comes to choosing the best way to broadcast information, should you go with a podcast or a tele-seminar?
Based on my (and many other’s) observation, a video podcast is the most effective when it comes to building a connection with people.
They get to see you, your body language, your mannerisms, your personality It gives them so much more to relate to.
Plus, you can pull the audio right out of your video files, so it’s very versatile.
In a world where we can live to Facebook anytime and reach people for pennies on the dollar, we recommend all our clients consider doing their show live on Facebook first, and turning it into a podcast behind the scenes.
Now that we’ve covered the basics and my experience with podcasting, let’s get into the 7 ways you can turn podcasting into speaking engagements.
1. Proof of Concept
Becoming an expert in your space requires proof. You can’t just say you are.
It needs to be clear that you know what you’re talking about and can deliver your message comfortably.
As a result, speakers are often told they need a great sizzle reel. These short highlight reels of you speaking in front of actual groups, are supposed to showcase your message and delivery.
The problem with my initial speaking engagements is I had little control over the quality of the room, the lighting, the audio setup, whether my speech was recorded well (or even at all). You can hire professional videographers, but even that doesn’t guarantee the footage you need.
Podcasts take care of the sizzle reel for you.
In fact, they go above and beyond by providing a wealth of different conversations and examples of you speaking.
Real World Example: Me and co-host Greg McDaniel
When we received invitations to speak from meeting planners who saw our podcast, we were never even asked to provide a sizzle reel or a speaking resume. The podcast itself was our proof of concept.
Pro Tip: Create a speaking page on your website with photos of you speaking and embedded videos/audio clips of your top podcasts. Make the entire page your sizzle reel.
2. Credibility By Content
The fastest way I’ve found to build the credibility that attracts speaking invitations is to have your own media platform.
A place where you consistently and relentlessly provide valuable content to your tribe. Targeted, specific content that positions you as the expert in your space.
Of course, Facebook can be your media platform, your blog can be your media platform, but podcasting takes it a step further.
Your podcast is a living, breathing media platform.
Your podcast gives you a voice. It adds depth to your content and makes you a more credible and relatable person, taking you closer to the top of the list of potential speakers.
Then you tap into the compound effect of producing content consistently over time.
If you have a podcast that puts out 2 episodes a month, within a year you’ll have 24 episodes.
That means a meeting planner visiting your website or stumbling onto your show will have a library of content that all screams “Expert Status!”
Your podcast can also be your secret credibility weapon when pitching yourself as a speaker.
Real World Example: Michael LaFido, a Pursuing Results client. He offers a certification to real estate agents to help them list and market high-end luxury homes.
Imagine the advantage he has pitching himself not just as a speaker with a product to sell, but rather as the Host of the Luxury Listing Specialist Podcast, with a library of content to back up his claim as a luxury real estate expert.
Pro Tip: Name your podcast so that just being associated with that title automatically boosts your credibility. Then leverage that everywhere from your social media to your email signature.
3. Credibility by Association
Back in the day when studio musicians were a thriving, tight-knit community, there was one sure-fire way for newcomers to break into the studio scene.
The up-and-comer would build a relationship with a “session ace” – someone with more experience and connections, someone who was being hired consistently. When the seasoned pro was too busy to take a recording gig, he’d recommend the newbie.
The same goes for speaking.
The more speakers I talk to about generating speaking engagements, the more I learn that a lot of their opportunities come from this very method.
They connect with other industry leaders, influencers and speakers, who then refer them to meeting planners.
Not only does your podcast position you as an expert by the content you put out, the expertise of the people you interview rubs off on you, and you build the credibility of associating with other industry leaders.
This can actually go further, and lead to actual speaking opportunities in a way you would never expect! I interview a lot of speakers and because of my association with them, I generate speaking leads from other speakers. The speaker refers the conference organizers or meeting planners to me, and their credibility is what gives me the chance to be a credible speaker in their place.
This happens because of how you communicate with other speakers and show your value.
When you’re interviewing someone, it’s not just about you talking to them – it’s about asking really good, in-depth, intelligent questions that reveal that you’re also a high level individual worth listening to.
Real World Example: Jeff Cohn is the owner of Nebraska’s #1 selling real estate team, as well as a consulting/training side venture. Prior to joining a nationwide brokerage and hosting his own podcast, he was virtually unknown outside of his home city.
The eye-popping success of his team, combined with hosting the Team Building Podcast with niche industry leaders, directly led to several speaking engagements, including main-stage slots at events like the Wealth Building Summit, Real Estate Success Rocks and Boomtown Unite. We’ll talk later about how this directly led to JV opportunity with a major software provider in his space.
Pro Tip: Use your podcast to reach out to people who are one rung above you, that way you’re constantly adding the right people to your network, people you can associate with for mutual benefit.
4. Credibility by Social Proof
People look to social proof to confirm their decisions, and meeting planners and event organizers are no different.
They want to see social proof of your credibility and popularity to see how you would fit into a speaking line-up.
One event organizer I know looks for 2 types of people:
- Name- These are the people who can draw a crowd, but typically deliver a standard keynote with some customization.
- Content – These are lesser-known people who can’t draw a crowd but can deliver amazing content to a crowd.
A podcast can help you position yourself as a content provider in the initial stages, and if your podcast is a hit, might even turn you into a Name.
Showing that you have social influence displays how relevant you are, and how capable you are at helping people and actually adding value through your content. All the facets of your content – the podcast itself, the emails, the social media and comments show that not only are you putting content out, but you’re also having a two-way conversation with your audience, and that they are engaging with you.
Social networks like Facebook rewards this kind of engagement by making your content rank higher and perform better. That tells you just how much of an impact social proof can have on your reach.
Real World Example: My co-host, Greg McDaniel gained a TON of social proof through the McDaniel Challenge, a free coaching program we ran through our Real Estate Uncensored podcast. Greg offered a free hour of phone coaching for real estate agents.
He ended up being booked out for 18 months straight! This built a lot of social proof for Greg, it also expanded his network and by giving away value, he showed the impact he could have as a speaker. It also generated a network of raving fans who spread the word about our show, introduced us to new potential guests, bought our classes and courses, and engaged with the live shows. Taking the social proof full circle.
Pro Tip: Enhance your social proof by answering audience questions on your podcast. You can do this as a segment of your show, or dedicate an entire show every couple months to it. Either way, it enhances your social proof by conveying that you have an eager audience who wants to hear what you have to say.
5. Becoming a Solution
A well-known coach told me the hardest thing he’s ever done is put on his own event.
Getting people in the seats, the promotion efforts, the interviews, the networking, the endless detail needed to get people to show up, was exhausting.
That’s what meeting planners and event organizers are facing.
As a podcast host, you can help solve this problem in 3 ways;
- Bring compelling content – content that is provocative, compelling and attracts people to the event.
- Bring your own audience – help promote the event to the people who support and follow you. When you have a podcast with a following, you have a tribe and people who support what you do. While it takes a while to build a tribe of raving fans, once you have it, it’s something you can leverage in different ways to make yourself a solution to the problem of getting more people to come to events.
- Create a “Package” – Don’t just pitch yourself as a speaker, wrap yourself in a “Package” and give them something easy to say YES to. Offer to put together a panel, or a lineup of speakers around a central theme. Offer to introduce them to other potential speakers you’ve vetted personally by having them on your podcast. Put together a promotional package that combines your podcast, email and Facebook ads. Once you get this mindset, there’s a lot of possibilities that open up.
Real World Example: San Diego Association of Realtors Expo 2016
An event planner at the SDAR reached out to me because they found both Real Estate Uncensored and the Team Building Podcast on YouTube. They were looking for new speakers and were interested in having one or all of us speak.
The scheduling didn’t work out for Jeff, so I offered them a package deal. We put together a Live Panel on High-Tech High-Touch Prospecting, co-hosted with another prominent agent with a large social media following (a previous guest of our podcast). They flipped over the deal and basically asked, “Where do we send the checks?”
Pro Tip: Look at your previous guests or friends in the industry, and put together a list of people who would be great complementary speakers to you. Put together ideas for package speaking deals, live panels, Q&A sessions or live masterminds. Then pitch those options to meeting planners when you reach out, especially when you’re reaching out cold. Give the meeting planner something really easy to say YES to.
6. Relationship Building
One of the biggest, and unexpected benefits, of hosting a podcast is the incredible, life-changing relationships that have come as a direct result.
The ideal situation for a new podcast is to get such massive benefit out of the relationships you build with your guests, that the size of the listenership is irrelevant.
The listeners become just a side benefit of the relationship syou’re building with the experts you have on your show.
I’m always asked how a podcast can be monetized. The answer is that you DON’T monetize it.
Your podcast builds your brand and you monetize your brand.
Part of that brand building is the creation of strategic relationships.
Ask yourself, “Who is the most high value person I can get on my show? Who do I want to talk to who will deliver the most value?”
Remember it’s great to build a great listenership, but you can’t control how popular your show becomes.
Podcasting allows you to laser target the people you want to talk to, the people you want to communicate with, the people you want to be in relationship with.
Real World Example: Real Estate Renegades was an event conducted in LA and put on by one of Australia’s top real estate coaches, Glenn Twiddle. We were introduced to Glenn by a former guest and fan of our podcast, and we hit it off right away. Glenn was looking to put events together in the States, and it was the perfect time. We were able to put together an event quickly, and Glenn landed Josh Altman to deliver the keynote. Now we’re putting together bigger events for later this year.
Pro Tip: Schedule 15min after each podcast to allow you to shoot the breeze with your guest. I can’t overstate how important this has been for me and some of our clients. Take the time to thank your guest and ask how you can bring them value. Follow up with a thank you email or even a handwritten note.
7. Joint Venture Opportunities
You never know what’s going to happen when you start a podcast.
Podcasts, especially video podcasts where you can make a real human connection with your guests, are killer opportunities to build relationships.
Those relationships can turn into joint speaking, live panels, co-branded events, co-marketing opportunities, joint ventures, startup or angel investing opportunities or even full business partnership opportunities.
Real World Examples: Aaron Wittenstein & Jay Campbell
My own podcast created an opportunity to partner with Aaron, the founder of a Facebook group we broadcast into Lead Gen Scripts and Objections. We ended up working on a live class together that helped monetize both our audiences.
Another great example is one of our Pursuing Results clients, Jay Campbell. I connected him to another podcast host in our space, Joshua Smith. 2 years later they are business partners in multiple ventures including TRT University, a line of nutritional supplements and more.
Pro Tip: Keep your tribe active and engaged with regular content, so when joint venture and co-marketing opportunities present themselves, you have something of value to offer – influence over a group of people. Often that’s the difference between successful and unsuccessful joint ventures – do you have influence?
Success with podcasts often comes indirectly and from unexpected directions, but the work you put into it will yield results that will boost your speaking career. I’ve seen it for myself and for all our Pursuing Results clients.
It’s all about relationships.
More podcasts = more relationships and more relationships = more opportunity.
Podcasts are the easiest and fastest way I’ve found to build the 2 types of relationships that lead directly to speaking engagements:
Relationships with industry insiders and leaders – people who give you credibility by association, co-marketing, joint venture and speaking referral opportunities.
Relationships with your tribe – people you can influence to take action and who give you credibility by social proof.
Interested in hosting a podcast and have no idea where to start?
Download free reports, guides and information at www.pursuingresults.com, including our free guide to DIY Podcasting, PreFlight Your Podcast.
Or schedule your complimentary consultation at www.bookjohnson.com.