Authority Marketing Strategy – Expert Interview with Andrew S. Kaplan (Part 3 of 3)

FunnelProfit’s Founder and CEO Lawrence Klamecki interviews expert author, podcaster and digital marketer Andrew S. Kaplan.  In Part 3 Andrew delves into getting results, acquiring new clients, and ramping up the interest and impact of your knowledge content to drive your authority marketing strategy.

Getting Clients With a Podcast

Lawrence: In your opinion, what could a podcast do for a business in terms of a strong authority marketing strategy?

Andrew: Well, the most obvious answer is marketing advice. Where the podcast gives you different hacks and different insights on how to better market your business. But to better answer that question I’d have to know what the specific business is.

Lawrence:  Let’s say a podcast as part of an authority marketing strategy for a corporate consulting business.

Andrew: Right, if it’s corporate strategy consulting then off the top of my head the two main things are getting clients and getting results for clients. So a podcast might want to give revolutionary, or just insightful or counterintuitive steps or approaches on how to get them better conversations.

Actually, I was just on Medium the other day, my friend sent me this article that’s a couple of years old that was basically analyzing a sales deck for this company.  And he basically dissected the sales deck into these main core ideas that you could apply to any kind of business. So if you’re a podcaster that wants to impress people with that, you’d probably want to give the guy credit.  You’d link his Medium article and talk about the slides and the ideas behind the slides and how they sequence the information.

It’s really about what kind of value can you give that people are actually looking for and that they can use. And you also want to blow people’s minds even if they can’t use it.

For example, if I’m giving advice to a dentist or a doctor, I don’t technically know that they can implement this. And I even tell them I don’t know how the hell you’re gonna implement this. But if you can find a way to implement it one thing that you probably never thought of is promising shorter times in the waiting room.

Now the logistics of actually achieving that — I don’t know how to do that — but if someone knows how to do it and they can advertise it as a unique element of their business offering, that is something that demonstrates that the doctor actually understands one of the issues that a patient has, one of their frustrations.

And by shining a spotlight on that frustration, they’re both consciously and subconsciously communicating to patients, “I understand other things as well. I understand if you’re scared of needles. I understand how to help you when you’re having a health scare. I understand how to talk to a spouse if I have a frightening diagnosis to give.”

If a doctor or dentist can communicate that they understand something as obvious as the waiting-room thing, then they’re communicating so much more than what they really are.

Lawrence:   If you were a consultant to physician and dentist offices, how to run a practice better, you’re talking about the day-to-day workflow and getting you know your customers and your patients.  You want them to trust you, to have a great experience regardless of the diagnosis. And to refer other patients to your practice. You would want to share techniques on how to make the business run better, then probably techniques on how to implement it, knowing that it’s unlikely they’re actually going to implement anything without hiring you. So you’re saying you should basically share all this knowledge openly as part of your authority marketing strategy?

Andrew: Yes. Exactly right.

Lawrence:   So, it’s not the knowledge or even the idea that actually generates the value. It’s getting hired from it.

Andrew: Yes, absolutely. There are things that I am aware of in business that seem to work. You know in all my years I remember encountering things that were probably good for my business that I didn’t do. And it wasn’t because I was lazy. I just I didn’t have the bandwidth for it, even though it seems like it would work. I’m like “oh I don’t want to go through that”. I remember distinctly feeling that in many different situations.

Give out what you can do for free. Let people know you want to establish yourself as an expert that people can always turn to.  For example, I don’t even think you could hire Dr. Phil… I mean he’s got his own TV show… but if someone is willing to pay enough money… I mean he’s gonna charge a premium even though he’s giving away all this stuff for free.

Communicating Your Authority with Compelling Content

Lawrence:   This takes me to how to communicate what you know as part of a cohesive authority marketing strategy. When I listen to your podcast you do a couple things.  You do a solo podcast, just you talking about the topic, waxing on and sharing your thoughts and knowledge. Then you do the interview podcast.  And you tell the occasional story to demonstrate. How do you go about communicating so it’s interesting and useful, not just some boring content?

If you’re utilizing digital content to not only teach people, but to engage them, and you want them to come and become your customers or your clients, you have to do a little bit more. How do you go about developing a sort of entertaining and interesting way to communicate what you’re trying to accomplish?

Andrew: Wow, it’s so funny because a lot of the stuff I do is almost on autopilot, I will say this — we’re always gonna judge ourselves very harshly. If you really want to run a podcast, you have to be willing to accept the fact that you are probably gonna suck for a little while.

Some people say “no, Andrew you were good right away”.  If that’s true then I am grateful and I’ll gladly take the compliment even though I’m very critical myself.  But you have to be willing to suck because a lot of this just comes down to getting used to it and getting in a flow for doing things.

I’ll tell you a little secret. When I try to record a show on my computer it’s an editing nightmare.  In the back of my head I’m wishing that I could do something even more perfectly and I’m always holding myself up to a higher standard.  I’m pausing and I’m saying “umm” and all these things. And then I’m starting over a sentence because I didn’t like how I enunciated it or whatever. And then something that’s a five-minute segment takes me a half-hour to edit.

What I like to do to force myself out of that is I’ll do Facebook Lives.  There’s no new take. You have to say whatever you’re saying and if you stutter or you use wrong wording or whatever, you’re stuck with it.  A lot of times it just comes out so well.

Ultimately it’s something that comes naturally as long as you’re coming from a place of wanting to help people, and you’re willing to make mistakes and not be perfect because it’s never gonna be perfect.

Lawrence:   Yeah that’s so true.

Andrew:  I’ll tell you something else.  I’m about to destroy whatever perception you might have of me and those in the show. You’re probably gonna be like “wow, Andrew’s so creative, he’s thrown me interviews, and he’s doing solo, he’s got Facebook lives, this guy’s amazing”.

What I’m really doing is just haphazardly putting together anything I think works whenever I get it. Those interviews are sporadic because it’s taking me that long to get people.  Other times it might take me awhile to upload an interview because I’m running out of space on Libsyn and they won’t let me upload any more episodes that month. There are reasons behind the scenes of why there’s a “variety” of what I’m doing, that might not even be an actual strategy.  It’s more me haphazardly holding on for dear life trying to offer value.

Stick to a Single Theme for Your Authority Marketing Strategy… Or Not?

Lawrence:   This goes to one of the questions I was gonna ask you…  I think you answered it… which is… when you select a theme for your podcast and where you think it’s gonna go, how do you know it is okay to drift?

Andrew:  Yeah well, so here’s the thing.  More often not I will title the podcast episode at the very end after I know what it already is. And I will record the intro, the teaser to the podcast, saying what you’re gonna get in this episode, as the very last thing. And then I just edit that and put it in the front.

A lot of what I try to do is I just stay topical. So here’s the thing.  There’s a certain value of SEO and keywords. So if Avengers Endgame is having a tremendous run it’s probably in my best interest if I can speak intelligently about it and use it to make an important lesson for my viewers. It’s important for me to talk about Endgame. Because it’s not only topical, not only am I talking about stuff that’s in their head right now, but I’m also getting the added benefit of there being keywords in the title and the description. Learning how to weave in high-interest keywords throughout your different authority marketing strategy channels is really important.

So if you just try to say current and relevant and talk about things like that not only are you making it easier for people to digest, but you’re keeping yourself relevant. You’re keeping yourself on point.

One thing that I haven’t been doing it that I really should be doing is batch producing. I should be recording something today where I’m so far ahead of the game that it won’t be on a show for another three months. I just have been so busy with my own clients and everything else going on that I haven’t gotten around to that.  That’s the better way to do it.

But as long as I can’t do that I might as well lean into the strength of daily relevance and say “okay let’s be topical like South Park and talk about what’s going on this very week” so that when people listen it’s fresh.

Lawrence:    Yeah, I think that’s a relief to people.  I live in the B2B enterprise world. A lot of the time it’s relatively dry. There’s not a whole lot of talking about Avengers Endgame in the boardroom.

But that doesn’t mean that when people are listening and researching potential solutions for the business, that they’re not open to it.  It’s not a normally acceptable thing within the four walls of an office. But one of the wonderful things I think about digital media is that you can cross things over and it makes it very interesting.

The “Hollywood Method”

This goes to one of the techniques that you I know that you use — I think it’s called “The Hollywood Method” —  which is leverage off of something that you know like Star Wars or Game of Thrones where you know there’s a huge following. Anything with multiple seasons of content or a series of three hour movies.  Just weaving some of that in as examples or stories. If not the keywords like you mentioned. It’s a means of enhancing the interest level and making it consumable.

Andrew:  Yeah and so the funny thing is The Hollywood Method itself is actually a storytelling device that I give to people.  Like Star Wars opens up and it’s already in the middle… something’s already happening.

I use this as a bonus for my book. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. I share that it’s a free bonus, where it’s really just about leveraging that to make the storytelling more interesting so that people get engaged more.

To your point about using stuff that’s out there like in pop culture, I guess I have to come up with a name for that because I do that unintentionally or maybe sometimes intentionally.  If you’re in enterprise software there’s no reason why you can’t relate it to Game of Thrones or Avengers Endgame.

Let’s say you sell marketing funnels. You say “I’m gonna do marketing funnels for people”. If you want to keep it interesting and keep coming up with content you could probably say “okay guys let me show you a marketing funnel. And now let me show how I would tweak it for someone who’s a Game of Thrones fan.”  Or for someone who’s in the health and fitness industry. You could mix it up and niche it down. The “strategy” part of an authority marketing strategy campaign means it has to be strategic for somebody specific.

Just take what you’re already doing well and relate it to something that’s already out there and it’s just gonna keep the conversation going. It almost becomes a good excuse to repeat some awesome thing, the same insightful thing that you said last week, because there’s a different spin on it.  It’s going to appear fresh and it’s gonna reinforce your authority to whomever is listening.

Getting Your Authority Marketing Content Read

Lawrence:    Yeah that’s really valuable right there. I was thinking one of the core issues is there’s so much content out there.  So one of the challenges is you can invest in creating great content on LinkedIn or something and it won’t get read or listened to.

So any technique that is credible… if I can take it into “incredible land,” that will help it get consumed.  It got remembered and therefore implemented, or you developed enough “know, like and trust”. That prospect may want to reach out to you now. Or that prospect will recognize your connection as an authority to the product that you may be talking about.  

We know people buy things based on affinity. Particularly the younger generation, they want to know that you’re a socially responsible company.  Major global corporations utilize social responsibility as a marketing tool. As you’re speaking you can leverage off of different types of content — entertainment in your case.

Andrew:  And people’s attention spans are in the toilet!  So if you feel this extra pressure like “oh my god how am I going to create this really entertaining amazing content?”  It’s not that you want to be lazy, but just putting the word Game of Thrones in your headline… they’re already engaged more. Even if you haven’t yourself become more entertaining or more interesting. It’s just that you talked about like Tyrion Lannister in a sentence, that’s amplifying the interest level, and in their brain the “halo effect” is already making these connections.  It’s related to Game of Thrones which people still find interesting.

So, it’s about hacking your way through while you’re simultaneously getting better behind the scenes, so that it just becomes an easier and easier process for you. But you don’t have to wait until the process is complete in order to take advantage of it.

Launching a Successful Podcast for Your Authority Marketing Strategy

Lawrence:    Okay last couple questions.  

You recently launched your Shatter the Mold Podcast and it’s up in the top 200 on iTunes now, which is really impressive in a very short period of time. Let’s say I want to launch a podcast — you’re a professional, you have an area of expertise, perhaps you’re a coach, you’re in fitness, or you’re talking about artificial intelligence consulting. And you want to do a podcast as part of your authority marketing strategy. Let’s say you want to launch a podcast and you want to get it into the top 100 or 200 on iTunes. What steps would I need to take and how much investment in terms of time and money will that take?

Andrew:  Well so the main thing is you have to have some kind of way of making people aware of it. And if you have the money to advertise, fine. But like mostly you’ve got to basically pull in your whole network. I would hope that you’ve been building up positive goodwill with your network for awhile so you can say, “hey please check out my podcast and please share it with your friends”.

I know it sounds silly but literally every download counts. Every person that looks at it counts. And hopefully out of that you’ll get reviews.  Hopefully out of that you’ll get subscriptions.

This weekend basically it’s been dipping in and out of the top 200.  That’s the nature of it. It hit the top 200 within the first 48 hours and those first 48 hours I barely got any sleep because I was all over my phone, all over my Facebook, I was just basically telling everybody and their mother about it. It got to the point where I was getting warnings from Facebook because they thought I was a robot.  Like, two times it gave me one of those Captcha things, like “are you a bot because you’re not using the account the way you’re supposed to”. I pushed it hard and I barely got any sleep.

So besides the obvious fact that you want to have legitimate quality — because if it sucks then everyone’s gonna say that it sucks — you have to be willing to really put  yourself out there. Share it on LinkedIn, share it on Facebook, share it on Instagram. Tell your family about it. Tell your family to tell their people about it. Like, you need to get the word out very, very aggressively because if people don’t know about it no one’s gonna care.  No one’s gonna listen, nothing’s gonna happen.

Another piece is to get interviews and also get interviewed. Because if you get interviews with people hopefully they’ll tell their network about the podcast when it comes out. And obviously if you can get on other people’s podcasts and blogs and you get to talk about it that’s also gonna push people towards it.  So that’s a further extension you can do to get people aware of it.

If you have a friend in a high place who has like 300,000 followers, even if you have to pay him so that he shares it on his Instagram. Whatever you can do to get eyeballs, that’s what you want to do.

Content Quality is Key for an Authority Marketing Strategy

Lawrence:    That’s interesting.  To play off that… the act of doing it and getting it out to some key people, particular people that have a similar platform. Whether it’s a podcast or they’ve got a lot of LinkedIn followers, or you know they’re active on Facebook. Just getting it in their hands and then offering to interview them as part of your authority marketing platform is a tremendous way to get your name out there because they typically reciprocate with favor. This is what we’re doing right now.

So you know the goal here is that there’s mutual benefit.  And quality reflects quality. You’re not going want to be featured on somebody’s podcast if it’s not aligned with your level of quality and the quality expectations of your market.  

We’re talking about professional stuff.  We do a lot of B2B marketing-focused and strategy-focused content. A lot of our clients have deep channel knowledge.  They can place themselves at the forefront of their market as an authority really quickly, because they’re not competing against a lot of big names.

Andrew: Yeah and they also want to think freely and creatively. Because, like for example, I don’t think I’m gonna get a Kardashian on my show. But if I did I would take them. And someone might say “wait Andrew, hold on a second, they have nothing to with marketing.” I’m like “are you kidding me? They market themselves through Instagram and through social media better than most people in the world.”  And that’s the angle I could take in that interview. So if I can take someone that’s known for something else but has an angle that applies to my show you better believe I’m gonna do it. That’s not going to sink a good authority marketing strategy — it’s going to boost it.

And just to kind of piggyback on the whole thing about reaching out to everyone in your network… it sounds like such a cliché but it’s worth saying.  This is yet another reminder of why you want to treat people well, why you want to do right by people, why you want to be someone that people can count on.  Because there comes a time where you might rely on your network for something and you’ll be glad that you helped them when the time was there. And you were glad that you were just a good person because it does come back for you.

Lawrence:    Yeah, if you’re putting out bad work it’s gonna come back.

Andrew: Or stabbing people in the back or screwing them over.  Like, you could be doing the best work in the world but if you poached a client from someone else who’s a heavy influencer just because you thought you can get away with it, well I hope it was worth the money because you may have burned a really important bridge for yourself that you can use on a podcast or something else.

Using Publicity in an Authority Marketing Strategy

Lawrence:    Yeah, now just in that vein, do you know people or have you invested yourself in utilizing a publicist or facilitation firm to build your podcast following. Is using publicity a good way to fuel an authority marketing strategy and drive engaged followers?

Andrew: I haven’t.  I did a Kickstarter close to two years ago, and I had a bad experience with a publicist. I think there are useful publicists out there, but I am of the opinion that useful publicists are way too much money. And if you just spend a lot of money on one there’s a good chance you’re gonna get a bad one. But that’s my personal experience and things that I’ve been through. I don’t know that I can speak intelligently to finding a good one.

Lawrence: Yeah, my thought is you should be producing great content and get a good following before you invest in broader but potentially undifferentiated publicity.

Andrew: Yeah and if you’re gonna do publicity see what kind of track record they have, see if there’s other podcasts that they’ve actually served, that those people could actually recommend them freely. See what kind of credibility that’s behind them.

Shatter the Mold Podcast

Lawrence: Okay one last question. How do people find your Shatter the Mold podcast?

Andrew: Sure, the easiest way is just going to and that’ll take you to the show streaming right there.   it gives you links to iTunes, Google Play and everything else, and it’s even got a link if you want to pick up my book It Doesn’t Matter What You’re Selling, it’s direct on Amazon.  That’ll click right through too. But yeah, is the easiest way to reach me.

Lawrence: Awesome Andrew, thank you so much.  We’ve touched on a lot of different topics for implementing an authority marketing strategy:  developing authority, creating a podcast, engaging your audience, getting content out of your head, and lots of other things that I think are very useful to people. So thank you very much, I appreciate it.

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