How Any B2B Business Can Create a Referral and Client Pipeline

April

28

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When most people think about having a podcast, they are hyper-focused on building an audience and getting subscribers/downloads, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The true value of a podcast is below the surface. Our special guest today, John Corcoran from Rise 25, has been helping B2B businesses use their podcast as a tool to create a referral and client pipeline. He’s going to break this down for us today.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and John Corcoran for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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How Any B2B Business Can Create a Referral and Client Pipeline

Tim Fitzpatrick
When most people think about having a podcast, they are hyper focused on building an audience. How am I going to get subscribers, downloads, that type of stuff. But this is really only the tip of the iceberg. The true value of a podcast is below the surface, and our special guest today has been helping B2B businesses use their podcast as a tool to create a referral and client pipeline. He's going to break this down for us today. You do not want to miss this. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult, and you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate revenue growth. Thank you for taking the time to tune in. I am super excited to have John Corcoran in with me from Rise25. John, welcome and thanks for being here.

John Corcoran
Tim, thanks for having me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I'm excited to dig into this, man. I think a lot of people don't think about podcasts in the way that you guys do at Rise25. So I think it's going to open a lot of eyes. But before we do that, want to learn a little bit more about you Rise25. I'm going to ask you some rapid fire questions. You ready to rock?

John Corcoran
Yeah, let's do it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

John Corcoran
Well, I got four young kids, so that occupies the majority of my time. But if I had my choice, probably on a hiking trail somewhere around here in beautiful Merin County, North of San Francisco.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's the age range on your kids?

John Corcoran
Oldest is 12, youngest is 4.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. I can only imagine how busy you are. Are they starting to play some sports?

John Corcoran
Oh, yeah. We're up to here in sports right now. Every weekend is back to back sports. For sure.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, with four kids and then they all get in sports, that can get tough. What's your hidden talent?

John Corcoran
You know what? I was thinking about this recently. I realized it recently. I think I've got some internal clock. This morning, I hadn't checked the clock in 20 or 30 minutes, and I said to my son, my six year old, I think it's 722, and they check the clock and it's exactly 722. And then also sometimes I'll set an alarm and it's like 20 minutes later. Then I'll be like, I think the alarm is going to go off and then it goes off within 30 seconds or so. I don't know if that's a hidden talent, but I just realized recently, it's some skill. I don't know. I'm going to claim it as a talent.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I'd say. I think that's definitely an internal hidden talent. I mean, if you know when somebody's alarm is going to go off, you could tell them, Hey, your alarm is about to go off. You might want to go over and pick up your phone.

John Corcoran
It's a stupid party trick for sure.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

John Corcoran
I guess it relates to a book. There's a book Give and Take by Adam Grant that's all about how to build great relationships. It supports my thesis that building relationships without any expectation of return is one of the best things that you can do for yourself, both personally and professionally. So I'll go with that one.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think that's a darn good one, man. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

John Corcoran
I'm a bit of a deadhead, actually. I like the Grateful Dead. I don't look like it. I tend to be clean cut. I tend to wear preppy stuff. I don't look like I'd be out rocking out to the Grateful Dead or Dead & Company, but I actually am a big fan.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What does success mean to you?

John Corcoran
To me, it's not flying on a jet. It's not boasting you're standing in front of a yacht or something like that. It's really about just control over your time and what you spend your time on and the ability to do things like go out and pick up your kid from school or something fun to do on the weekend. That's really what it's about for me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

John Corcoran
Probably going to Home Depot on the weekend and fixing up my house.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Is Home Depot very far for you?

John Corcoran
It's like 15 minutes away.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's not bad. I don't know about you. I usually find that whenever I've got a Home Depot project, I never go to Home Depot just once. There's always something that comes up.

John Corcoran
You never buy just one thing, too.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No. I always wonder, Gosh, what the heck do these people do that are an hour from Home Depot or something? It's got to be super frustrating when they're in the middle of a project.

John Corcoran
That'd be hard. That'd be super hard.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

John Corcoran
Interesting. Well, one of our core values is working with people who are nice. I'm a recovering lawyer, and when you're a lawyer, you work with a lot of jerks a lot of times. I decided I didn't want to ever do that again and didn't want to work with jerks. So that's one of our qualities, whether it's clients or team members, we have to work with people who are nice.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Just makes life a lot easier, doesn't it?

John Corcoran
It sure does.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So, John, tell us more about what you guys are doing at Rise25.

John Corcoran
Sure. So like I said, I'm a recovering lawyer. I practice law for a bunch of years, started a podcast 13 years ago, related to my legal practice, just started interviewing my clients. And about six or seven years ago, after having many years of talking to people, telling people you should start a podcast. It's an amazing tool. Just such a great tool for meeting interesting people, building relationships, getting clients, that thing. We finally decided to start farming out our team that we built and trained, and that turned it into full fledged business. And so now we help B2B businesses to get clients referrals and strategic partnerships. We're done for you podcast. But as you alluded to in the intro, it's not necessarily the way that you think. A lot of people just think of it as you go and capture a bunch of audience share. But really it's about having great conversations like this with someone that you are interested in getting to know on a deeper level. And if you do that on consistent basis, I guarantee you good things will come from it.

How to Choose the Right Types of Guests for Your Podcast

Tim Fitzpatrick
I can't wait to dig into this. So it obviously first starts with guests. And I'm assuming based on your guys' philosophy at Rise25, we've got to be really strategic about the types of people that we have on our podcast. So let's dig into this a little bit. What types of guests should we be focused on for our podcast?

John Corcoran
Yeah, and that's a big mistake that I see a lot of people make is either they take anyone, they'll interview just absolutely anyone without any relation to the work that they do or their business or something like that. Or they just choose one type of person. So they're trying to get the biggest, I call it B level celebrity that they can get on someone quasi famous or internet famous or something like that. Whereas actually just taking the time to interview your most important relationships, your most important clients, your most important advocates, champions, referral partners, strategic partners, just taking the time to have those conversations is tremendously powerful. Really taking the time at the beginning to think through who are the types of people that you want to build a relationship with. It might be a different group of people. A lot of times when we talk to people, they want to take their business in a different direction. They want to go this way, they want to go that way. They want to build a deeper relationship with a particular industry or niche. It's about going in a different direction and thinking about who are the centers of influence in that industry. Really taking the time on the front end to think that through is incredibly important.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It also seems like if you're going to get strategic about the types of people that you're going to interview, ahead of time, you also need to start thinking about, what the heck are we going to talk about? What is this podcast going to be about? When you guys start to work with the client, do you start with the guests in mind first, or do you look at what the podcast is actually going to be about first?

John Corcoran
A lot of times people get hung up on that idea of really getting fixated on, Oh, I need to have the perfect theme, or I need to know exactly what we're going to talk about here. And we take more of a guest centric approach. What's more important is that you give the guest a great experience that you make them feel like a million bucks. They make them feel like it was a win for them. And truthfully, it might take a little while for you to figure out the types of topics that you want to talk about. And after you've done this for 10, 20, 30 episodes, interviews, there will be certain things that you come back to again and again, certain questions that you're curious about, depending on the person's background. But we have conversations in our industry all the time anyways. All the time, we're talking to people. So a lot of times people get hung up on this idea of, Oh, I'm not going to know what to ask or what to talk about. And it just often is not the case. You have plenty of things that you can talk about. You have plenty of things that you're curious about. If it's an actual client of yours, you can take them through a case study where you can talk about what life was like for them before, why they came to you, what you helped them with. You can turn it into basically a case study. If it's a potential client, you can dig into some of their big challenges. One of the big revelations for people is that this is a way to get tremendous market research done because you can talk to potential clients and you can ask them about what their challenges are, and you can discover ways in which you can serve them on a deeper way. There's so many different things that you can talk about. I encourage people to not get too hung up on that idea of what's the topic.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. Just be open minded and let the process take you where it will.

John Corcoran
Yeah, exactly. You'll find that there are certain things that you are curious about and you want to ask about over and over again. You fall into that rhythm of asking those sorts of things. I'll give you an example. So on my podcast, I love to ask people about how entrepreneurial they were as a kid. And sometimes people were entrepreneurial, and sometimes they weren't. I'll ask them about, did they do a lemonade stand? Did they do a paper route or something like that? And they always smile when I ask them that question because they're never asked about it. And it gets them to talk about something that they often don't talk about. And it reveals a different side to them. We get to know them on a deeper level. I love to ask that thing. But I didn't ask that my first 100 episodes, probably. It was just something that eventually I realized I like asking that. And so I go back to it again and again.

Tim Fitzpatrick
But I think the more you do this, the more you get into it. Man, it's just a process. You're always refining it. I know I picked up a lot of really good tips, tricks by guesting on other podcasts and just seeing, Gosh, man, that process was really bad, or Wow, they have their process really dialed in. I need to take some of these things and incorporate these. So we continue to get better and better over time. It seems like you guys really take... It's a very relationship based approach. You're using the podcast to develop relationships. When that's the primary focus, do you really care about downloads, listens, how big is my audience? What are your thoughts there?

John Corcoran
I put it this way. I've been doing my podcast for 13 years. I love people listening to it, but I would keep on doing it even if no one was listening. I want that to be the case for everyone else, too, because if you focus on the end result, one, you don't have total control over that. And two, if it doesn't hit whatever high expectations you have for yourself, you're going to be disappointed. And so I've seen that happen over and over again where people inevitably fixate too much on the audience, and they might be having great conversations. They're talking their clients, they're talking potential clients. They may even get clients out of it, but they end up giving up because they're too focused on downloads and it doesn't hit whatever high expectation they have for themselves. And I've had so many conversations with people who've done a podcast at some point in the past, and they stopped doing it, often because they were fixated on this number or download. And then I trace it back for them and I asked them, Well, did you get any results from it? Meaning, did you get any clients? Did you get any referrals? Did you get any strategic partnerships? And oftentimes they don't even realize it, but we'll trace it back and they'll be like, I'll actually come to think of it. Yeah, my biggest client came from that, or I got this great association that now refers a bunch of business to me. I've really been able to piece it together. People are like, look at tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars that's flowing into their business because of this podcast that they did previously and they stopped doing. I'm like, Why did you stop doing it? And it's because they were focused on the wrong thing. Rather than just focusing on having great relationships, great conversations and doing that consistently, they were focused on the wrong thing. That's what I see happen over and over again. I encourage people to not worry about that piece. Maybe it'll come, maybe it won't, but even if it doesn't, have great conversations, make it worth the while, and you'll be glad that you did it and it will be well worth doing. And then that will motivate you to keep on going and really benefit from it in the long run when you do it for a long period of time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's so funny you mentioned that, John, because one of the lowest hanging pieces of fruit we always look for when we put together a marketing plan for clients is, what did you stop doing that used to work? And it's like, you wonder, you're like, Gosh, why did you stop doing... Man, there's all kinds of reasons why we stopped doing things that are working for us.

John Corcoran
Yeah, oftentimes it's unrelated to the actual result that they got. They don't realize that they got that result. And I realized, you're a marketing guy, I'm into marketing. This is anathema in the marketing world where you measure everything. The truth is with this, sometimes it's not just a marketing tool. That's actually one of the big revelations that we have our clients is sometimes we talk to bigger businesses and they want us to work with their CMO. And I'll say to them, we're happy to have the CMO involved, but really, we work with the CEO or the owner or a team that's designated by them because only those individuals are going to realize that this is not just a marketing tool. This is a networking tool. It's a professional development tool. It's a up leveling your network tool, personal development tools, all these different things at once. Content marketing, SEO, it becomes all of those different things at once. It's not just a marketing tool. So you can't really just use marketing metrics to measure whether you're achieving the results that you designate because that's just one of the benefits. I say to people all the time, look, if you have the ability to have on some incredible leader... I mean, here, this book is at arm's length, The Attraction by Gina Whitman, very well respected individual. I had him on my podcast. That's just one of many. I've got stacks of books back here of different authors I've had on there. But if you have a world renowned expert on your podcast, are given the ability to ask questions that you're curious about that could benefit your business, selfishly could benefit your business, and you get some insight or "aha" realization from that direct conversation that leads to tremendous results for your business. Do you care if you got 1,000 downloads to that episode? Do you care if you got 100,000 downloads to that episode? And conversely, I've talked to people... In fact, I talked to a guy a couple of years ago who'd gotten over a million downloads for his podcast, which is tremendous. That's great, wonderful. But I remember the guy telling me that he was actually working full time job. I'm like, Oh, cool. Well, what's your full time job? He was working in an Apple store. Not to denigrate someone who works in an Apple store, but he had not figured out how to make money off this podcast. If he had, he wouldn't be working a full time job in the Apple store. So on the one hand, he was proud of these downloads that he's gotten. On the other hand, that's a recipe for disaster because eventually someone's going to give up. If you're still making 20 bucks an hour working in the Apple Store, then you haven't figured out a way to really monetize that big audience. And I've talked to people that have much more smaller audiences than that, but they have figured out a way to generate revenue, referral, strategic partnerships from their smaller audience. And I'd much, much rather work with someone like that because they're much more likely to do it than long term rather than focusing on vanity metrics and not getting actual results from it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Well, and I think you said something there that is important to highlight long term. You can't start a podcast thinking this is going to revolutionize things in three months.

John Corcoran
And I challenge people to find any tool that allows you to build as many relationships as it does in the amount of time that it does. In fact, I actually wrote for Forbes before I doubled down on the podcast strategy, and I was writing these articles where I'd do an interview with someone, and it took a lot of time to interview them, to transcribe it, to turn it into an article, to go through the editing process. At the end of a year, I would maybe do 10 or 12 of these if I was lucky. And when I took the time that I devoted to that and I redivoted it to the podcast, sure, I didn't have the Forbes name, so you didn't have that cache to it. But I still found that with probably less amount of time, I ended up building 40, 50 relationships over the course of a year. And that's really what it's about is the amount of time that you put into it and the results that you get out of it. And a lot of times I talk to people that are getting on a plane, they're flying to a conference. They're three, four days out of the office. They're spending money on the plane flight, the hotel. And if they're lucky, they get a couple of good relationships out of that. And I'm not saying that this is going to substitute for face to face. I absolutely am a big fan of building relationships with people face to face. But you're doing business development already. You're doing networking for your business already. And this is a tool that allows you while you're in your office or at home or whatever, to build a tremendous amount of relationships with a 45 minute conversation once a week. And anyone can fit that into their schedule.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I was telling somebody this the other day, I had connected with them on LinkedIn early in the pandemic. Honestly, I can't remember why I connected with them. And I had outreach to them multiple times, I think, five or six times over the last couple of years. And recently, I outreached to them about being interviewed on our podcast. This guy had not responded to a single message I had sent him. I sent him a podcast message. He replied almost immediately.

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How to Approach Outreach to Potential Guests

Tim Fitzpatrick
So I bring that up to lead into our next question, which is, how do you guys recommend people approach and handle outreach to guests? I mean, are we cold emailing? Are we doing this on LinkedIn, social, all of the above? What are your guys thought?

John Corcoran
Well, first, use the podcast as your outreach tool. It's just an unfair advantage for the reasons that you pointed out right there. I don't have the co founder of Netflix and Kinkos and YPO EO activation blizzard, all these different amazing guests that I've had on. They're not hopping on a 15 minute get to know you call with John Corcoran so that I can talk to them about my services. That just doesn't happen. But they will hop on a call with me, and they have for a podcast because I'm recording it, I'm publishing it, I'm putting the word out about them, I'm promoting whatever they're focused on. So that's really what's more important. And then as far as what medium to use for outreach, you can use cold email, you can use LinkedIn. I use all of those. You can see someone face to face at a conference. You can ask them to be a guest on your podcast, so you can do that as well. But really, where people struggle is when they're just getting started and getting traction and they're fixated again on the downloads piece, they feel like they don't have a big audience or something like that. And so therefore, they can't get any good guests. And that's just not true. That's just a limiting belief that people have. And so what you can do, though, downloads... First of all, let me say that downloads are not public. The majority of the downloads come from Spotify and iTunes, and there's a bunch of different platforms, and the numbers are not released publicly. People lie about it all the time, not saying that... I'm not encouraging people to lie about it, but they're not totally transparent. People go out there and say they get some ridiculous number of downloads or whatever, but it's not a publicly available number. But it's really an element of social proof. It's saying to the guest that this is worth doing if you have a top rated podcast or something like that. But there are other ways to establish that. And oftentimes it has to do with the depth of your experience in your industry. So there are people that have worked with impressive clients, they have worked at impressive companies. They have something like that that distinguishes them, that makes it worth the guest's time. It could also be the fact that, as you said beforehand here, we're publishing this on LinkedIn Live, we're putting on Facebook Live, we're going to publish it later, we're going to make a blog post. All those things are attractive to a guest because you're thinking, Okay, I'm putting in 45 minutes of my time, and this person is going to promote me across all these different channels. So that is also social proof. So really, when you're doing outreach to the guest, you want to establish to them that it is worth their time. And mostly what we're talking about here is really cold outreach. I would even take a step further before that, earlier than that. Start with people that you know, people that you already know that already know, like, and trust you. Those people are much more likely to say yes from the get go without you having to do any of those things, without you having to prove all those different elements that I was just talking about, and then also getting direct introduction. Asking all of your guests to give you an introduction to someone else, then you've got that trust that is conveyed from that person that introduced you. So it's much easier to get those people that way. So those are some of my thoughts on guest coverage.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, that's awesome. I love it. One of the other things that popped into my head here that I think a lot of people wonder about, and you've mentioned this a couple of times now, focused on I've got to get these A level, B level guests coming on that are high profile. I've actually had people who have interviewed fairly high profile people tell me, Those people actually aren't some of my best episodes, right? Or My audience didn't necessarily shoot through the roof when I interviewed that person. Have you found that to be the case in your experience?

John Corcoran
Absolutely the case. Maybe 10 years ago, it might have been a little bit more true, but I remember I had a guest on a while back, and this person at the time had about one and a half million followers on Twitter. And after the episode went live, they tweeted about it, and I saw no hit whatsoever. No big sudden flood. You would think that that would suddenly lead to an influx. Part of it might be because it's a different medium. And people tend to be native to their medium that they like. So Twitter users might not necessarily be podcast listeners. But if you have the same medium, that might be less true. So for example, like you said, being a guest on other podcast, that can lead people to come back to subscribe to your show or interviewing someone who's known in the podcasting space where people like to listen to that person on other podcasts, if they are on your show, those listeners may be more likely to come over and listen to you on that program, on your program, your podcast, because it's the same medium. So sometimes just doing the same medium can make a bigger difference. But it's true. People sometimes think like, Oh, if I can just get some big, as I said, B level celebrity, internet famous type of person, or social media influencer, or something like that, that that's suddenly going to lead to some influx of attention and acclaim and downloads and all that stuff. And I've just not found that to be a true, at least in today's day and age.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Thank you for sharing that. I just wanted to get that out there because I think that's a common roadblock for people. So thank you for breaking it down. So we're starting a podcast. We're focusing on strategically the types of guests that we want to interview where we can build mutually beneficial relationships. We're starting to outreach to those people. Outreach when you are offering somebody a podcast interview is a completely different type of outreach and much more well received than, Hey, let's schedule a 15 minute get to know you call. I bring somebody on, I do an interview with them. What are we doing after that?

How to Move People from Guest to Client or Referral Partner

Tim Fitzpatrick
You guys have seven strategies that you talk about. Once we've done the interview, how do we continue to build these relationships and turn some of these people from guest to client's referral partners?

John Corcoran
Well, the most important thing is to think about after you've interviewed someone, there's going to be different levels. Some people are going to be completely, extremely warm. Maybe you already had a trusted relationship with them. Maybe for whatever reason, they love what you're doing. The timing is right. They're interested in knowing more about what you're doing. You've told them what you do so they understand what you do. And I'd call those the warmest type of people. And they might even say, and this is what happened to me after my very first podcast interview. I didn't even call it a podcast interview back then, but I interviewed one of my legal clients who had hired me for a tiny little matter. And this person said to me after it was over, Hey, John, that was a lot of fun. Thank you so much. By the way, I think I actually have some more legal projects for you. Are you available? Could you do a couple of these other legal projects? And I was like, Well, that worked really well. Let's just keep on doing this. So 13 years later, I'm still doing it because I was like, Wow, that was really a nice strategy. So that would put that in the classification of the warmest type of people where they want to know more about what you do. They're interested, the timing is right, all that stuff. Then there's the other end of the spectrum, which is they're warmer, but they're not totally ready to buy from you. So after that, what I seek to do, what I encourage people to do is continue to build and deepen that relationship because that will build greater trust with them. For example, after I'm done with a podcast interview, or as I'm doing a podcast interview, I'm often thinking about who can I introduce this person to? Who else do I know in my network would be a good person to introduce them to? Or are there any other resources or advice that I can help this person with? Is there anything uniquely mine that I can help? And so sometimes it ends up being you give them some specific advice on something that they could do. And then in the middle there between the warmest of relationship where a guest immediately afterwards wants to know how they can work with you. And on the other end of the spectrum, just warm, but you will need to keep on building and trust and building that relationship is somewhere in the middle, so warmer. And so there I would look for how else can you keep this relationship going? And actually, the podcast is one of the best ways to do that because a big question that we get from people is, how do I build relationships with this many people? How do I keep in touch with this many people? Especially as you interview dozens of people. Well, the truth is, after you've interviewed someone, they're going to subscribe to your podcast. They're going to be connected with you on LinkedIn. Maybe you have an email newsletter, so they're going to be on your email newsletter list. If you keep on putting out pieces of content, then you will be top of mind with that person. So I've had people that I had as a guest on my podcast, and then six months go by or a year goes by, and I'm still top of mind for them because they're seeing my podcast episodes show up in their podcast feed, or they're seeing my LinkedIn posts, or they're getting my email newsletter. And then all of a sudden, they send me a referral, or they reach out and say, Hey, I'd love to talk to you about working with you, or something like that. So those are the ones that are in the middle and you want to keep in touch with them. Or look for opportunities to connect with them at a conference, an industry conference, or if you're coming through their city or they're coming through yours, look for opportunities to meet face to face. And so many of my great relationships, including my business partner, started from a podcast interview. And then it led to something more. We met up at a conference, we had a dinner with a group of other people. I introduced them to someone else. They introduced me to someone else. We just looked for other opportunities in which you can take it further. And you can't expect that 100 % of your guests that you have on your podcast are going to become the tightest, best relationship and referral partner. It's just not going to work that way. But if you are strategic about it and you are really careful about the types of people you have on, then you're definitely going to find some people are going to be those really valuable referral partners, strategic partners and clients.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What I'm you hearing you say is we don't necessarily need to overthink this and try and steer people in a very specific direction. We continue to build those relationships after the interview in whatever way makes the most sense.

John Corcoran
Whatever makes sense, exactly. Maybe you know that they go to an industry conference that you are planning on going to. And we've done that a bunch of times before where we'll go to a conference and then we will have a dinner. And it started with a small, it could be two or three or four people, then six people, then eight people. At our peak, a couple of years ago, we had one time where we needed to rent out a whole hotel ballroom and we charged admission. We had this big party with 300 people who ended up coming to it. And a lot of them were either past podcast guests or people who we connected with through the podcast. And so just doing that built a tremendous network to the point where we go to these conferences and we are really well networked because throughout the year, instead of just going to a conference once a year and building relationships in a 24, 48 hours window, you're actually building relationships with the types of people who attend these types of industry conferences so that when you go to these industry conferences, it's actually a much better use of your time because there are people that you already know there, maybe some of the keynote speakers, you already have a relationship because you already interviewed them. Or there are people there that you could get introduced to from other guests on your podcast. So it becomes a much bigger win for you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I know people that are selling their podcast system, right? And it's super focused on interviewing ideal clients and then converting those people to clients. And frankly, as a guest, I have been on some of those shows.

John Corcoran
Me too. Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And as I went through the process, I felt like I was being taken through this sales process. It was almost like it was too automated, just super hyper focused on how can we convert as many of these people to clients. Although you guys have at Rise, you guys have a similar approach of, Hey, I want to use my podcast to develop relationships. It doesn't sound like you guys are so I don't know how to put it

John Corcoran
Sleevy?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

John Corcoran
I hope not.

Tim Fitzpatrick
This is the system. To go to the next level, you've got to check every box. Just a number and that's it. It seems like you guys have a process, but you're much more open minded as to who's going to come in there and where things are going to go throughout that process. Am I getting that right?

John Corcoran
Yeah, absolutely. Like any strategy or tool out there, it can be abused by some people, and I think that's unfortunate. I would never want to think about this in such icky way. This is not icky at all. And part of this is actually helping people to understand that there's nothing icky or sleazy about this. You are delivering tremendous value to the people that you're having as a guest on your podcast. And whether they ever become a client or refer you any business, you have done them a solid in many ways. You've promoted them, you've gotten the word out about their business. You're spending your own money and resources and time in order to promote them. There's no way that you should feel bad about that in any way. And look, if you are interviewing the right types of people, if you're structuring in the right way, if you are featuring them and taking an interest in them and there's alignment between the work that you do, some of them will turn into clients. Some of them will turn into referral partners and refer business to you. And that's a good thing. That's a great thing. What's wonderful about it is actually sometimes it's a wonderful match where there are guests who come on and you might not even realize this but as they're being interviewed by you, they're there because they're curious in knowing more about you and the services that you provide. Afterwards they're like, Wow, this is so great. I'm so glad that I met you. I've been looking for someone who can help me with this pain, with this challenge, with this issue that I have in my business. And that's a wonderful thing when that happens because you've delivered tremendous value. You've created free content that's going to exist out on the internet forever for people to consume it. And you've created this match, this wonderful pairing where you can help them in a deeper way through the services that you provide or through the system that you have through your business. So to me, that is a win win all around. And I would never want anyone to say that this isi cky or sleazy at all because it's not. It's a win for people. But as you said, there are some people are going to abuse it.

Conclusion: How Any B2B Business Can Create a Referral and Client Pipeline

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. John, this has been awesome. And I hope it's gotten people to start to maybe think differently than they have in the past about podcasts and how they can use such a powerful tool for their business. Any last minute thoughts you want to leave us with today?

John Corcoran
Yeah, I would just say, like anything, you can wait for perfection or you can get started before you feel like you are ready. And a lot of times I talk to people who will say to me, I've been thinking about starting a podcast for a while, and I'm like, Great, how long? And they're like, Three years, four years. I'm like, Look, in that period of time, think of the loss that you've experienced. Think of all the great relationships that you could have been building. So throw aside any expectations of this needs to be perfect. I have to have the perfect theme. I have to have the perfect artwork. I have to have the perfect intro music because people get paralyzed around all that stuff. I say when you start a podcast that it's like a blank canvas, and there are so many different things you can do that can be paralyzing. And you can spend a ton of your time making sure that the artwork in the corner of the canvas is perfection. But what we're talking about here is not building Michel Angelo, something Michel Angelo would build. We're talking about relationship building. And so oftentimes I'm talking people up off the ledge and just encouraging them to just get started having great conversations. When I started, it was video skype and it was just recording stuff and it looked horrible. It's going to look a lot better today, but just get started with it as soon as you can and you'll be glad that you did.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I will second that. Going into it, it seems like there's all these moving parts. Once you get into it, it's not as difficult as most people make it out to be. And none of us are perfect. Nobody expects us to be perfect. Take action, learn from it. Frankly, I don't know about you, John, some of the podcasts... One of the marketing podcasts I listen to, the guy films it. He recorded it on his iphone in his car. It's one of the most popular podcast out there. So, man, it doesn't matter. Too many people are, Oh, my gosh, the recording quality. No. Can people hear it? Yeah. Cool. Start doing it. I love it. Where can people learn more about you?

John Corcoran
Yeah, Rise25.com or I'm on LinkedIn. You can connect with me there, John Corcoran on LinkedIn. Happy to help any way I can.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. People, head on over Rise25.com. John obviously knows what he's talking about. If what we've been chatting about today is of interest, go reach out to John and see what they can do to help you. I will say I have been doing my podcast for two and a half, three years. Like John mentioned at the beginning, I would be still doing it whether I was making money or not because I just enjoy it and I have fun doing it. John, thank you. I appreciate you taking the time. It's been a great interview. Those of you that are watching, listening, I appreciate you for doing so. We've been talking all about podcasting, which to me falls really into lead gen, content marketing, all kinds of things from a marketing standpoint. If you want to determine which revenue roadblocks are slowing down your growth, you can head on over to revenueroadblockscorecard.com and we'll rate you on the nine revenue roadblocks that we help clients remove. In less than five minutes, you'll be able to discover what those roadblocks are for your business. If you want to connect with us, you can also do that over at rialtomarketing.com. Thanks so much. Until next time, take care.


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About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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