Podcasts are often an underutilized marketing method. But when used correctly, they can be a major way to generate exposure and credibility for your business. In today’s episode of CEO Sales Strategies, Doug C. Brown talks all things podcasts with Ashley Graham, The Conscious Publicist, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in amplifying her clients’ media presences – including podcasts. Join Doug and Ashley as they discuss pitching podcast hosts, how to leverage podcast appearances, and much more.
Ashley Graham is an advocate and provocateur for storytelling, voice activation, and media integrations that raise consciousness in the media. As Founder, Publisher, Conscious Leader, and Editor-in-Chief of The Conscious Publicist, LLC, she is a sought-after leader in coaching radiant human beings on discovering their conscious voice within.
Recognized within global media partnerships and a number of leadership-based media channels, Ashley’s methodology connects her influence and the creditability of her clients with loyal audiences who crave the right conversations.
Visit her website: www.theconsciouspublicist.com
We have Ashley Graham through The Conscious Publicist. We are going to talk about podcasts, what is the value of podcasts, pitching podcast stars, and how to pitch. Here’s the reality. If you are not putting yourself on podcasts, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities. There are so many people listening to podcasts. They are people in B2B, B2C, and B2E, Business to Entrepreneur. The reality is that the more you can get yourself out in that public square, the better. Why not do it through other people’s networks and podcasters of those ways of absolutely doing that.
When you are pitching yourself onto a podcast, there is a process. For our folks in Europe and other places, it’s a process. You must understand what that is to have success. Otherwise, you are going to pitch, and they are going to say no. Without further ado, we are going to go right to the interview. Let’s welcome Ashley in.
Ashley, welcome to the show. I’m so grateful you are here.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
I am grateful because you and I have had several conversations. Each time we have it, I love our conversations. You are so smart. I think I called you the Goddess to PR before. You said, “Let’s have that stick.” Your company is The Conscious Publicist, correct?
I’m excited to have you here because I get asked this question that we are going to talk about all the time, which is, “How do I get on podcasts?” You have this program that you put together on how to pitch podcasts and win a conscious conversation. It’s the A to Z of how do you get on a podcast? How do you pitch it? How do you do it the right way so that you win? It’s a win-win play. Did I get that right?
Yes. There is so much information in this thing. I keep referring to it as a wealth of knowledge. Everything is more from the traditional PR sense, covering how to build relationships, especially if you have never had a preexisting relationship with somebody on the media-facing side before. What’s the appropriate way to make conscious relationships with those media and individuals, regardless of what media platform it is and the elements and the ebbs and flows of what it’s like to more or less cold pitch media?
If you have never had an existing conversation with them before, and then how to nurture your preexisting media relationships through a podcast, specifically? How to own and get your message out there? How do you create your assets needed to be on podcasts? Basically, every other thing that goes within the podcasting space, as well as the PR space of understanding your reach, the results that come out of podcasts, and all the things.
If you are not on podcast actively, start doing it. Here’s the reason why. I started my show in 2021 but I was getting on other people’s podcasts at the same time. I put some money into the show to build it and all but I got a 4X return on my first year in my show. Here’s the reason I’m telling everybody to get on their own podcasts because what happens is people hear us on other podcasts, and they go, “Who’s this person?” They checked me out and found out I had a show. They started reading my blog, and that deepened the relationship.
I was able to book quite a few for reasonably large-sized clients off that particular podcast. I wouldn’t say they are mega clients but they are reasonably sized. You never know where it’s going to come from but if it started with other podcasts, then translating into them coming and exploring mine more, as well as exploring a lot of other things that I do. I built some great relationships through podcasting. I want your opinion on this. To me, it’s not even “should I” anymore. It’s a must.
There is a huge opportunity you are missing if you are not pursuing being on other people’s podcasts. I also think it goes on the other tail end of that. There is a huge opportunity also to explore yourself being a podcast host or launching your own podcasting platform, which is another way of getting your message out there. Everything is very synchronistic at the end of the day, and everything feeds one another. It’s where you want to put your time and attention. There’s a huge opportunity if you are not exploring the podcasting space because it’s so prevalent in our conversations nowadays, always for me.
There’s an age difference between us. I’ve got 30 years on you, basically. In my generation, which is the end of the Baby Boomers, podcasts were even popular there. A lot of people think, “They are getting older. Why would they listen to these podcasts?” The reality is we do. I remember when podcasting was starting to come out. Many years ago, people talked about podcasts and were like, “What is this crazy thing?”
Now podcast is starting to supersede traditional radio. We used to advertise all the time on SiriusXM radio, to different radio stations, and things like that. We don’t do that at all, not just for this business but for businesses that I have been involved with. We have spent a million for a year on SiriusXM radio broadcasting. The reality is we wouldn’t even entertain that because you could do this now through podcasts, much more effectively, much more targeted than putting it out on, say, a radio broadcast. You have convinced me, let’s say, I’m listening, and you’ve got that far. How do I pitch to a podcast? What do I do? What’s the first step or stage that I need to figure out?
We all have the same human experiences at the end of the day. And in our own unique way, we can learn from other people in different periods of time. Click To Tweet
The first step is always good to have an understanding of what the purpose of pitching podcasts and what you hope to get out of it. I have never been a data and analytical person. There’s a lot of value there but the relationship part and understanding the story and message that you have to share is what drives the value. If you have had a stream of consciousness or a thought that you wanted to appear on a podcast, it’s good to tune in to that thought process as to why you want to appear on podcasts?
What are the steps that you need to take from there, which would be steps 2, 3, and so on? Usually, anybody that has thought about getting on a podcast has a statement or a purpose as to why they want to appear on the podcast, and they follow suit from there. Step 1 is always leading through the impact and the purpose through what you have to share through the podcast and continue with the steps moving forward.
It’s important to understand what people are looking for when they are going into a podcast and trying to get onto the podcast. I know at the beginning of my career, when I was doing this, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I would be like, “I will get on anybody’s podcast. I don’t care.” That was good in the beginning to get some understanding of what they were like.
I had a broadcasting background or a DJ background. It was a lot easier for me to get onto a podcast. I know some of my clients that I have helped understand what to say on podcasts, how to say it and how to present themselves. They didn’t have that experience. For me, I want to get on there and try and get some experience out of there.
I absolutely agree with you that we should know our target. If we are getting on to say a personal development podcast but we are selling business to business, and we don’t have a spin on the personal development, then we get to practice. It’s not bad. You are probably not going to get a lot of calls or contacts out of that. You can tell I’m older because of calls. My daughters tell me, “Dad, I already know if you are over 40 or under 40 because if you are over 40, you make a phone call. If you are under 40, you don’t.”
There’s a lot of social media and a lot of things and contacts that happen through LinkedIn, Facebook or whatever. The reality is once I started getting much more targeted, then I was having targeted conversations, which led to actual sales. It’s important. I figured out, “Who I am and what I want on the podcast.” Now, what do I do?
Step two from there would be understanding where you would want to show up or how you want to position yourself as what I call a thought leader. I believe that guests who do appear on podcasts are thought leaders to some degree because they are using their own personal experiences and their expertise as a way to not only gain influence and awareness but also know how to naturally fuel that conversation that is being taken place on the podcast.
It’s not that difficult to position yourself as a thought leader but there are things that you can be mindful of, again, of where you want to show up and other potential marketing elements that do connect with the podcast itself. I will like to spitball some ideas about natural things and how you can start to think about positioning yourself as a thought leader. Once you have come to the realization of step one of understanding your message and your story is to start to build the elements that do give you that credibility.
It’s spit-firing some ideas. It would be your website, having a social media presence on LinkedIn, nurturing an email newsletter or other marketing things that could be through unique pieces on your blog and other things that are connected to a lot of marketing drivers but also feel into again, that message, the story and what your expertise is.
You said some gold there that I’m going to repeat back. This was one of the things like I have a blog. Firstly, you’ve got to get out into the public square. Sales is changed. Business is changed. If we are not out in that public square, which is the media at this point, the digital media forum, people would be checking us out. I never realized this but I used to do a lot of videos and a lot of recording because I liked to do it. I was putting them out there and stopped for a while. I was getting people contacting me and going, “What the heck is going on?” I’m like, “What do you mean? They are like, “You haven’t put out a video in three weeks.” I’m like, “I don’t feel like doing it anymore.”
It’s not part of my business model. They are like, “I liked them.” They would get into arguing and yelling at me because I wasn’t putting this content out. What happened was I realized that you never know when somebody is going to call you from this particular type of content. If you do a show like you and I are doing now, it might be when thing releases and you get calls from it or it might be somebody who reads these several months from now, and all of a sudden, you get a call. I realized that when people were calling me off of the show that I was doing, sending me an email or sending me something on LinkedIn. It didn’t happen on day one.
That’s the message. You’ve got to be out there on a consistent basis. That’s brilliant that people must realize. I always tell people, “Don’t prepare for now. Prepare for a year from now because you don’t know.” You’ve got to look out for about a year and keep doing it. If they do that, they keep pitching and keep positioning, and somebody is going to respond. I want to go back to the thought leader thing because traditionally, thought leaders thought about coaches, authors, speakers or whatever but it’s not. It’s anybody in any industry, I suspect. Would you agree with that statement or refute it?
Absolutely. I will tie into what I believe a thought leader to be. It does ring true to those titles as well. It’s coaches and authors. They are taking their experiences and bringing them to the forefront from an audience perspective, a client’s perspective, or even a media perspective, usually through written or spoken word. As human beings, this always speaks to more of the conscious element, which is why I call myself The Conscious Publicist we all have the same human experiences at the end of the day.
It’s in our own unique way and at a different time that we can always learn from other people. We or you would get our title as a thought leader because you continue to nurture your experience and find little nuggets of information and transformation that you can then give other people to help them along their journeys may be professionally or personally.
The thing I have also learned about being on other people’s podcasts or doing my own is that the initial fable of only people who have smaller businesses are interested in doing podcasts, being listening to podcasts or doing anything like that. I heard that a lot through the industries, “Who’s listening to us? We are a $400 million manufacturing company. Why would we want to do a podcast?” I also realized even guests who came and applied to be on my show, this one here. I have had people who have billion-dollar companies. I have one guy who sold his company and made over a billion personally on the sale. Never mind the other people that were in the company as well.
Certainly, there are lots of $50 million to $500 million companies. There’s a lot of power in podcasts where those who haven’t embraced that are missing out because there are people who run those types of companies. There are also people on the B2C side of the thought leader of the B2E entrepreneur side who is listening. A lot of times, people think, “It’s the people who don’t have much to do are the people listening to the podcast.” My experience has been totally different. What about yours? As far as like, you deal with clients all the time. Are they listening to podcasts or not?
With my clients specifically, I don’t know too much about the experience of them listening in on podcasts. They do know the value of what it is to be a guest on other people’s podcasts because they understand their expertise and their message of impact. I know that some of my clients do listen to podcasts, which is one of the conversations that we usually have before retaining myself as a publicist.
They are aware as far as their attention in all forms of media, which is usually the things that it takes for someone to get to a place of wanting to work with a publicist because they already have that understanding of what it’s like to be in the media facing and what return they get from that. Let me know if that answers your question.
It does. What I loved about how you answered it was with the highest integrity ever. You are like, “I’m not sure of this part,” where other people who might have come on this show would have gone, “Let me give them the answer they may want to hear,” which tells me the integrity in which you carry yourself that you always have in all our conversations. It’s nice to see it demonstrated while doing our episode.
I figured out why I’m doing this and want to do this. I now know I have some possible bigger exposure than I even had thought about. I can even maybe get more clients and certainly utilize podcasts for other purposes. I’ve got there. Now, what do I do after I have identified, “This is what I want to do, how I want to do it?” How do I get to the pitching part? That’s the fun part.
From there, understanding what the pitching process looks like is already having an idea of where you might want to start pitching. This is where there is a lot of value for thought leaders or in this case, it will be my clients are such as yourself for them to listen in on podcasts to understand where that connecting point on why they would even want to be on podcasts. It is always good and recommended to listen in on other podcasts, small and large, for you to naturally start thinking about maybe potentially being a guest on there.
This comes from research and development, which is an integrated part of anybody’s role. It’s starting to do some due diligence, looking at what podcasts are out there again, small or large. Tuning into preexisting episodes that they have already published, how they nurture their marketing and relationships online, and then maybe start pulling them into your podcast target list on who you would want to pitch to before you get to the pitching part. There is a lot of value from due diligence and listening in on the podcast that you want to pitch. This is definitely from the DIY side of things. As a publicist, that is my responsibility to listen in on the podcast to understand where that connection point is made. I do listen to a lot of podcasts.
It’s nice to know you do. When we are starting to identify in the beginning doing that due diligence, I would always go up, and you don’t have to listen to the whole podcast but you’ve got to listen to enough. I would always make the reference, “I listened to episode 32, episode 147. I like these two things about what happened in each episode.” The people knew it was real at that point. They are like, “Thank you for listening.”
The other thing I found, and again, I don’t know if this is supposed to be done or not, but this is what I did, was I many times went up and reviewed and gave that podcast a good review if I liked it for sure. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t apply for it anyway and wouldn’t review it. You subscribed to the podcast and let them know, “I subscribed. I gave you a five-star review. Here’s my review.” They loved that. That’s what I found anyways.
Integrity is important, and it's what we need more of in the media space, regardless of what it is. Click To Tweet
I can always speak more from content creators or creators who are utilizing their skillsets or their time and energy to create things for other people, we all like to be appreciated. That’s giving them that appreciation like, “What you are doing is incredible. Keep it up, and I’m going to support you with something as easy as leaving a review on what my experience was tuning in.”
I even know when people do that with me on this show because it’s lonely out there when you are doing your own podcast. It’s like, “Is anybody listening?” You can see the numbers but the reality is when I get people sending things in, it’s like, “I appreciated what you were doing.” Even those people that yelled at me when I stopped doing certain things, it was nice to hear from them. Even though it was like, “They were not even kind about it,” they were like, “You are letting us down, pal.” It made me feel valued.
Sometimes, you are putting all this content out and never know. You can normally see it in the rankings and stuff but that’s not necessarily how it’s even touching the human being. Here’s what I learned on podcasts. We, being guests on podcasts, sometimes say the things that we’ve got to go, like, “That was okay,” but someone else says, “That changed my life.” I’m hoping that people cue in on everything we are talking about. I hope they cue in on the fact of the integrity, which you carry yourself because when we carry ourselves with such integrity, as you do, it makes it easy to refer you.
Now, as the referrer, and I have already talked with people about who you are, one of those things, when we are making that referral is the biggest consideration is the relationship we are referring to. When we know this person has high integrity and does what she says, in your case, speaks the truth, not honesty but the truth, then it makes it so much easier. I’m hoping somebody picks that up and uses it in sales, for example. They are not bending the truth to manipulate the sale because it comes back at times and bites people.
The reality is there’s so much that we have talked about even in this on how do you get ready to pitch? Speaking of pitching, I’m not going to end this show without pitching. You’ve got a program on this called the Podcast Pitching Bundle. It’s chock full of way more value than I will say you are asking for in return. Can we talk for a few moments about that how to pitch with conscious conversations? I’m going to come up. I’m going to invest in this thing. What am I getting?
I will start with all the elements that are in this bundle. I’m probably sure I could come up with an even more clever creative name for it but I’m like, “It is a bundle because it’s everything from the pitching side.” It comes with a 117-page, basically training manual with actual prompts and cues that you can do to understand what your core message is and maybe questions that you would want to be asked on the podcast.
As far as information on where to even find podcasts, something like bare roots for the potential podcast guest who has never even truly listened to podcasts yet, I’m digressing but it basically covers everything from the bare roots of understanding what it is to be a guest on a podcast and understanding what your message is, everything from the publicist or PR side of things of pitching a podcast.
That’s in this 117-page eBook but there also are prebuilt training pages where you can go and start writing out your message, the questions you want to be asked, understanding where you want to start being featured as a podcast guest but also how to track the more measurable things from the numbers. You will learn through even my messaging and how I positioned this. It’s not to start thinking from a number’s perspective.
It is to start thinking about, “What the purpose of the message is? What is your expertise? How that’s going to impact the audiences that are already found within those podcasts that you are going to be pitching?” That’s basically everything in there, and everything is on the page too that goes into that a little bit further.
We are speaking with Ashley Graham of The Conscious Publicist and one of the most humble people I have had on this show. How long did it take you to put this thing together?
It took me about three full months to understand the content part of it. It probably took me another 3 or 4 weeks to build and design it. I’m also a recovering perfectionist. That’s probably another reason why it took so long but I also am a busy individual. I had clients to serve as well as manage all their outreach campaigns.
The reason I asked that is that I know what it’s like to be on the other side of this and not have that ability to have something put together. I will tell our readers and promise you that if you don’t have your act together when you are pitching a show, they are going to feel like any type of a business relationship, they will feel any level of fear. What’s going to happen is they are going to turn you down. I know this because I do the same thing. People pitch to come onto this particular podcast. I look at it, and I go, “Something is not right here. No, sorry.” By the way, guys and gals, even the pictures you send in, that can be from the way your website is set up.
For a lot of these things, people like myself will have one of my team members go look and say, “Okay.” My team members will bring it back to me and say, “Look at these pictures that here on social media, the guy doing questionable things on a beach party or something like that.” I deal with a lot of high-integrity businesses that are not going to fit my brand. I tell people to think about this as a resume. If you are sending in a resume, it’s got to stand out from all the other resumes. Otherwise, it’s not going to, especially when we are pitching shows that have very high traffic volume, those are all the ones we all want to be on.
What I love about what you put together was you took the complexity and the mystery out of doing it painstakingly over four months because you are an ultra-perfectionist at this. The reality is you did all the work. Someone doesn’t have to spend not just four months because you know what you are talking about.
They could spend four months burning $30,000 making mistakes. You’ve taken that and put it all into a cool bundle for people. I highly recommend it. It’s called how to pitch podcasts win the conscious conversation or doing the conscious conversation, and you call it the Podcast Pitching Bundle. Check it out on The Conscious Publicist. Ashley, I appreciate you being on here. It’s a pleasure, as always, to speak with you. Every time I talk to you, I’m like, “Integrity.”
Thank you, Doug. That honestly means a lot. I hold that very near and dear because it is important, and it’s what we need more of in the media space, regardless of what it is.
That’s the truth because I have dealt with a lot of people in the space that you are in. There are a lot of great people but a lot of them are just there to sell something versus to deliver the value on the PR side that can significantly change the trajectory of a business if it’s done the right way. Thanks for being on the integrity side of that. I appreciate it. Ashley, thanks again. I would like to have you back on another episode.
That would be great. You let me know when and I’m there.
I hope you’ve got from this episode, “I’ve got to be a guest on podcasts,” and it’s not that difficult. If you want to understand how to do it appropriately, get the podcast bundle that Ashley’s putting out. I purchased it myself to read through that because I wanted to see if I was missing anything. The reality is that the more podcasts that you can get on, and by the way, it usually costs nothing to get onto a podcast. Your marketing budget is usually pretty close to zero on this thing. Once you are on these podcasts, you get exposure to other people’s networks. People share podcasts, and you get the actual exploding or exponential growth of people’s networks.
The reality is you get credibility from the other person validating you because you are on their podcast. You’ve got an instant rapport with that audience and knowing what you want to know, what you want to talk about, you will be very targeted on that, and it will bring you leads. It may bring you leads tomorrow after the podcast runs or may take time to do that. The more you do these things, the better you will get at it. The more people will respond, the more you will extend your reach. Until next time, go out and sell a lot of things, sell them profitably, be happy, and make a lot of money.
If you want help with any aspect of either hiring, managing, training, supporting or how do you become yourself a player, an elite performer or one of those top 1% of sales producers globally, reach out to me at @DougBrown1234 on LinkedIn, Doug@CEOSalesStrategies.com or give us a call at (603) 595-0303. If you liked this episode, as always, please be a subscriber, tell your friends about it, and put up a five-star review. I would be very grateful if that would be the case. Until next time.
Ashley Graham is an advocate and provocateur for storytelling, voice activation, and media integrations that raise consciousness in the media. As Founder, Publisher, Conscious Leader, and Editor-in-Chief of The Conscious Publicist, LLC, and Co-Partner of Big Aura Energy, LLC, she is a sought-after leader in coaching radiant human beings on discovering their conscious voice within.
Recognized within global media partnerships such as the Entrepreneur Leadership Network, Forbes Next 1000, Forbes Women, and a number of leadership-based media channels, Ashley’s methodology connects her influence and the creditability of her clients with loyal audiences who crave the right conversations.