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How to Sell Your Product or Service on Podcasts Without Sounding Salesy
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Guesting on podcasts is an art and one that can boost your business if done well. In this post, podcast executive producer Sara Lohse shares her best practices for selling yourself on podcasts without sounding like you’re selling anything at all. You’ll learn to become a better podcast guest who shares valuable information instead of selling yourself. Get ready to learn to lead with value instead of a sales pitch!
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If you want to sell yourself on a podcast and use podcast guesting to grow your business, there are just three things you need to do:
- Know your audience
- Know your message
- Have a valuable call to action
Notice that none of these things is a sales pitch.
As an executive podcast producer, I have experienced the best and the worst of podcast guests. I have found that the best guests have these three things in common and the worst guests always lead with a sales pitch.
But how do you do that without making a sales pitch? That’s exactly the question I am going to answer.
Let us go over some best practices and learn how you can master each to grow your business through podcast guesting.
Know Your Audience
Specifically the audience of the podcast you want to get on.
You need to do your homework. If you just show up and have no idea what the show is about, who they are talking to, and who’s listening, you will not be a very good guest.
This way, you can find out the psychographics and demographics of the people listening to your message and resonating with it.
Once you have identified your target audience, find the podcast that already speaks to them
These podcast hosts have already done the work for you. They have gathered your target audience in one place.
All you need to do is get in front of them.
The goal is not to be on as many podcasts as possible, but to be on the ones that appeal to the exact people you want to speak to.
It’s better to have 50 people listening to your message and really taking it and seeing value in it than to speak to a thousand people who barely pay attention to you and couldn’t care less about your message.
That’s the first critical step to selling yourself on podcasts successfully.
Know Your Message
I am not talking about your company’s elevator pitch.
But rather, the piece of valuable information that only you can convey to the world.
You want to be leading with value. I’ll say this 40 more times if I have to
Lead with value.
People listen to podcasts because they want to learn something.
They want to hear a story, be entertained, and be inspired. Noone’s listening because they want to be sold something.
Do you flip the channel when commercials come on, or sit there and hope the commercials last another 30 minutes?
Obviously, the former. The same is true for everyone else.
It’s not just important that you know your message and that it’s based on the value when you record the episode. How you frame your offer when you pitch the host is also critical. This is a critical step if you want to sell yourself on podcasts without resulting to salesy tactics.
As a producer, I receive pitches from potential guests almost every day.
I rarely respond to them. That’s not because I am a snob or these people are not good enough for my show.
I would love to get as many great guests on my show as possible. But I do not want people who see my show as free ad space. That’s not of value to my listeners or to me.
I want guests who have a really great story, who add a lot of value, and who have the potential to produce a great episode that’s a pleasure to listen to.
While you are figuring out your message, you should also master writing your pitch. Here is an example.
Our company offers a program that helps business owners support their employees’ financial wellness. That financial well-being, in turn, boosts morale, productivity, and, consequently, the company’s bottom line.
But that’s not what I talk about when I pitch.
How We Pitch
Instead, we have compiled a list of 10 employee benefits that business owners may not yet consider. These benefits will help increase productivity, boost profitability, and improve employee morale.
When I approach podcast hosts, I offer them 10 evidence-based, valuable ideas that their listeners can immediately implement in their own businesses.
Do they have to buy anything in return? No, they just need to listen to my client talk about it
At the end of the podcasts, they will most likely ask for a call to action.
Have A Strong Call to Action
So the third step is a strong call to action.
You may be thinking, “Okay, I want these people to become customers”
As a result, the call to action is, “Hire me or buy my product.” If only it were that simple!
A strong call to action is about providing more value.
Let us take the example I gave above. My client goes on the podcast and explains some of these 10 benefits. He does not just describe them vaguely to pique the listener’s interest and get them to reach out for more.
He provides step-by-step instructions. Clearly explains why he did it and how it helped his business. This way, he establishes trust with the audience as they listen to him demonstrate his expertise first. Only at the very end does he share the next step.
A big faux pas with podcast guesting is to be vague. If you only hint at the topic you are talking about, you’ll lose listeners.
This may require a mindset shift because, as a business owner, giving things away for free is probably not your priority.
You want your customers to buy from you, and that’s fine. You have built a business, you offer something of value and you deserve to get paid for your work.
So why would you ever try to teach someone how to do it for themselves? Why would you essentially take yourself out of the equation?
Here is the thing: If people wanted to do everything themselves, even the simplest things, how many industries would go under?
We Can’t Do It All
Would we have Uber, then? After all, we know how to drive.
People value their time, and time is money. So paying someone to do something may be worth more to me than doing it myself when my time could be better spent doing something else.
By focusing on value and selling yourself on the podcast as an expert, you are showing them that instead of investing the time to learn how to do it themselves, they might have you do it because they will get a better result.
In my client’s case, the call to action would be, “I outlined all of these 10 benefits into one eBook.
This eBook explains how I did it and how you can do it. If you want this eBook, you can download it for free at getfinancialwellness.com.
He sold nothing but himself and then offered a lead magnet.
Set Up Lead Magnets
I love lead magnets and could talk about them for hours. But for now, I’ll limit myself to a few basics.
When you create a lead magnet, you want it to:
- Be something of high value
- Can be used immediately
- Will produce the desired result
A rule of thumb in advertising is the rule of three. A customer needs to hear your message three times before buying.
Now they’ve heard your message on the podcast; you want to add something visual. A lead magnet is a visual representation of your message.
This can be an infographic, a fillable spreadsheet, an eBook, or whatever you discuss. It’s something tangible that they can look at.
Now I marketed to them twice!
Lead magnets are really easy to create and can have a big impact.
In the case of the ebook, it’s free, and in return, they fill out a form and give us their email address.
The form is embedded directly into the landing page we shared with them on the podcast. A simple, memorable URL that redirects them to a page on our website.
Now they have the eBook, which describes all 10 benefits as promised. But the 10th benefit is the service we offer with more information about it.
How we can do that for you, and already have a whole program in place that can be tailored to their business, so it’s a perfect fit for them.
They’ll be encouraged to contact us to learn more, ask questions, and get started.
But that’s not all. You are on our email list, and here is where we hit them for the third time.
We have set up a series of emails that will be sent automatically once they join our email list, offering value (free content) and an invitation to send us feedback on the ebook.
We now have an email list of potential customers who trust our message and people and are likely to make a decision.
That’s how we grow our business by selling our service on podcasts without sounding like we are selling anything at all.
We know our audience, tailor a message to what’s important to them, and we find another way to talk to them off the air.
About Sara Lohse
Sara Lohse is a writer, marketer, and formerly broke millennial. After taking a job as the Director of Marketing for BFG Financial Advisors, she realized how much she–and most of her generation–didn’t know about finance. Alongside her team at BFG, she launched Brotman Media Group, a media, and publishing company dedicated to spreading financial literacy. The company produces a weekly podcast, has published books and articles on various finance topics, hosts regular educational webinars, and develops online courses to learn more about money.
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