They help you engage with your audience (hearing your voice is that bit more personal than reading your blog). They're often more intimate (people listen while jogging or in their car so you get more of their attention than if they're speed-surfing). They help you reach a wider audience via iTunes who might not have found your material. And they help you build your authority and perception of you as an expert in your field.
But many people hold back from doing them because it all seems quite technical and tricky.
I've been asked by a few people recently how I make my podcasts – so I've made a short video taking you step by step through everything you need to do. From creating and formatting the audio to getting it on your website, to getting it onto iTunes.
Just click on the video below to watch.
And get podcasting…
(Update: since I made the podcast iTunes have updated the requirements for cover images – they now need to be 1400×1400 pixels)
Our next Authority Marketing podcast is with Jane Mason, founder and director of Virtuous Bread.
Jane's probably not as well known (yet) as some of our previous interviewees – but within a year of founding Virtuous Bread she's gone from a standing start to being fully booked and having a waiting list of people wanting to work with her.
She's proof that you can apply the principles of Authority Marketing to grow your business – even if you don't have a best selling book under your belt. She's built a business based on her expertise in strategy consulting, her love of breadmaking, and her passion for building communities tbased on positive and progressive relationships.
Jane's used a very focused approach to establish her business, marketing to infuential opinion leaders in her field. She's harnessed social media and the power of relationships. And she's turned her website into more than just a resource for all things bread – it's a community hub where people go to learn, to get involved, and to be entertained.
But it wasn't all plain sailing. In the interview Jane's very honest about the doubts she had early on – ones I'm sure will be familiar to most listeners. But by establishing a supportive network of friends and associates she pushed through the doubts to make her business a success.
There's a lot to learn from this interview – and an inspiring story to hear – enjoy!
Charles Green, leading authority on Trust in Business explains how he found his niche and grew his reputation.
This is the second in a series of interviews with leading authorities and experts from the world of consulting and coaching.
Charlie is recognised globally for his expertise on Trust – yet as he explains in the interview, he didn't set out with the deliberate intention of building an authority position in this area. However, the approaches he “accidentally” used are certainly ones that aspring authorities can reproduce to build their reputations.
Tom Searcy explains how he established himself as an authority in the field of Winning Big Sales.
This is the first in a series of interviews with leading authorities and experts from the world of consulting and coaching.
The purpose of the interviews is to identify how they established themselves as authorities in their fields. What marketing strategies they used (or whether it happened by accident). What their advice is for other budding experts who want to build a reputation as a leading authority.
This first interview is with Tom Searcy who many of you will know as the author of Whalehunting and RFPs Suck! Tom's recognised globally as a leader when it comes to winning big sales.
Tom's been touring Europe running seminars for senior executives as part of establishing a European office in Switzerland. I caught up with him in a coffee shop in Manchester – so apologies in advance for the background noise on the audio. The content is excellent though.
If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know I'm a big fan of Tom Searcy's new book RFPs Suck! It's the first real coverage of how to win business by effectively responding to Requests for Proposals and Tenders.
As all professionals know: RFPs and tenders are becoming increasingly common. It's no longer possible to ignore or avoid them and focus on relationship approaches to developing business. More and more large companies and government organisations are mandating the use of formalised RFP processes. If you want to win big projects, you have to know how to win tenders and RFPs. And Tom's book is by far the best guide I've seen to doing so.
I caught up with Tom via teleconference recently and asked him a few questions on how professionals can improve the way they deal with RFPs. Tom gave some great insights into RFP-winning strategies we can all learn from. A couple of the areas covered include:
How to decide which RFPs to respond to and which to avoid
How to overcome barriers to accessing key personnel
How to differentiate your response from your competitors
How to overcome large companies fears of dealing with small professional firms
The line is a bit crackly – but the content is sparkling!
In most businesses, between 70-80% of your leads are long term. They're potential clients who pass all your qualifying criteria – but they're just not ready to buy right now.
Ideally, you want to begin to build a relationship with these potential clients so that when the time is right to buy, you're in the front of their mind.
Unfortunately, most firms tend to drop leads the moment they find out they're not going to close in the short term. This is a huge mistake. Almost all these potential clients will buy from someone in the next 24 months. The role of Lead Nurturing is to make sure that someone is you.
Mike Southon is one of the UK's leading business experts and entrepreneurs. He's best known today for his best selling “Beermat Entrepreneur” series of books and his regular column in the Financial Times.
Mike built his reputation, however, in sales – and in particular: selling professional services.
I caught up with Mike recently and asked him about how professionals can differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace; and how firms can build more sales oriented cultures.
Back in 1999 “Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play” was published. It was a groundbreaking work – one of the very first books to focus on selling for consultants and other professionals; and one of the very first to take the stance that selling should be about seller and buyer working together to achieve mutual objectives – not one trying to manipulate the other.
10 Years later, and Let's Get Real is back on bookshop shelves with a new edition, with additional chapters on “advocacy” and initiating new opportunities.
I'll be publishing a review in a few days time (I'll let you in to a secret – I'm a big fan). Co-author Randy Illig generously offered to by interviewed for the blog – and in this podcast you can hear the full interview. In it, I ask him questions on:
The changes in the sales environment for professional services over the last decade
How salespeople with limited contact networks can still use referrals to generate high quality opportunities and business
What experienced professionals starting out in business development should focus on
His one best piece of advice for new salespeople
Randy gave some really interesting and insightful answers – listen to the podcast below:
Stories and Anecdotes can be one of the most powerful tools in the professional's sales armoury. And yet they're often overlooked in favour of more rational approaches: facts, figures and statistics.
However, those who learn to sell with stories find that they gain credibilty, are able to make complex ideas more concrete for clients, and are able to challenge clients effectively without getting into face-on confrontation. They are able to create a powerful emotional connection with their clients and prospects that those following a “facts and figures” approach simply can't match.
This 12 minute podcast – the first in the Sales Excellence Podcast series – looks at how stories can help in selling, and shows how professionals can develop a bank of stories which can be used in key selling situations to enhance thier credibility and believability.