Michael Greenberg shares his authority marketing success formula with Susan Friedmann on the Book Marketing Mentors podcast.
If you’re an author or plan to be one get excited because this podcast is for you. Book Marketing Mentors is the only podcast dedicated to helping you successfully market and sell your book. If you’re ready for empowering conversations with successful marketing mavens, then grab a coffee or tea and listen to your host international best selling author Susan Friedman.
Susan Friedmann 00:30
Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today my special guest is an entrepreneurial growth strategist. Michael Greenberg is the founder of Gentleman Of Technology, a B2B venture creation and growth consulting firm which specializes in B2B and service businesses, as well as personal advisory services for serial entrepreneurs. He launched his first independent venture Call For Content in January of 2017. Call For Content is a full-service podcasting agency for content marketing, audience growth, and monetization strategies. Finishing his transition away from day to day at Call For Content at the beginning of this year, Michael is excited to expand his businesses further into podcasting and B2B services with new acquisitions and partnerships that are going to be announced later this year. Michael, welcome. And thank you for being this week’s guest expert and mentor.
Michael Greenberg 01:53
Thank you for having me on.
Susan Friedmann 01:54
Michael as a weekly podcaster. I’m really interested to learn more about why you decided to start a podcasting agency.
Michael Greenberg 02:07
It’s actually a funny story. We didn’t start as a podcasting agency. We started as a B2B Content Marketing Agency. We were writing blogs and making ebooks and all that stuff but the area where we saw the most success with our clients was using a podcast. We launched a little offering that we called white label podcasting services, reached out to some other agencies and a few podcasts producers and said, Hey, we want to offer some stuff that goes just beyond editing your show. Would you guys be interested in offering these services under your brand for us? They said, Yes. We started seeing a lot of success there. Then I actually lost one of our biggest content marketing clients when they decided to go in-house and at that point, it seemed like the perfect time, this was about nine months ago to say, Okay, let’s go all-in on podcasting. That’s where we’ve been since. I’ve been working with podcasts for a little over three years now. I started what I was doing with growth strategy consulting, and I was working with a business Podcast Network.
Susan Friedmann 03:22
Podcasting is really taking off. I’m constantly seeing the growth in it. Why do you feel that it works, let’s say, as a positioning platform for Author marketers?
Michael Greenberg 03:36
It’s deep content. The amount of information in a podcast and in the short amount of time of a podcast is generally going to be higher quality information packed more densely in that you’re going to find in most other formats. We started our podcasts with clients just because we were already interviewing experts. We were doing that sort of knowledge extraction is what we call it to be able to create content. Along the way, we’ve realized it’s better if we just create this content, as audio, as a podcast, have these conversations on-air, then we can transcribe and reuse them any which way we’d like afterwards.
Susan Friedmann 04:20
Yes, you and I need to talk because I transcribe these but I’m not sure what to do with them afterwards. So that’s a good conversation for you and I to have. Michael, what’s the first step that you would recommend our listeners take when it actually comes to using podcasting in Author marketing?
Michael Greenberg 04:42
Know your audience? I can’t say that too many times. You’ve got to actually research and know and find out are these people listening to podcasts, because if they’re not listening to podcasts, your uses for a podcast will be totally different because we developed shows for people who are going to have no listeners. Those shows are for creating blogs and creating ebooks and creating full-length books. We don’t love creating shows like that. But from a cost perspective, from a content perspective, they work. If you want to create a podcast and you want people to listen to it, and you want it to be effective, find out what other podcasts your audience is already listening to. See what they like about them, what they don’t like about them, and use that information to design a show that’s going to help them
Susan Friedmann 05:33
Know your audience. That’s something that I talk a lot about with my authors because of the whole idea of niche marketing. Now, I know that mindset is very important in terms of positioning, talk to us a little bit about that.
Michael Greenberg 05:54
When you’re looking at a niche market. I think the biggest thing to do is go through a mindset shift Understand the authority that you have is entirely relative to the market that you’re targeting. I’m not a podcast expert at a conference full of podcasters. I am a podcast expert on a show talking about how to use a podcast to market your book. And I am a podcast expert when it comes to B2B content marketing with podcasts. So when I’m speaking to those audiences that are interested in those more niche topics, I become the expert because of the shift that occurs in the relationship between myself and the audience.
Susan Friedmann 06:39
I have to pick up on that whole idea of marketing your book through podcasting. Talk to us more about that.
Michael Greenberg 06:50
If you have a 30-minute conversation on-air or 45-minute conversation on air, about your book and the topics in it, if people want to know more they’ll buy your book because they’ve got a real taste of what’s inside. They’re going to trust you a little bit more because they’ve been listening to you talk. That’s why now, especially with book marketing, you see people appearing on podcasts as a growing channel for sales and for placement. This might be a little controversial, but I think of a podcast very much in the same way I think of a speaking engagement, in that the audience is going to listen, they have purposefully chosen to listen, you get deeper engagement with them as a result, then you could ever get through a blog or through social media.
Susan Friedmann 07:43
You’re saying that they should go out and look for being a guest on other people’s podcasts, versus starting their own podcast? What’re your thoughts there?
Michael Greenberg 07:54
I’d say do both. If you have the time, if you have the resources, go do both. If you have a book, you know your books, good. Go talk about it on other people’s shows first. Get comfortable talking on shows and then once you’ve sold a few thousand copies, let everyone know that now you’ve got a podcast. Ideally, you can take some of your existing audience and transfer them into that podcast. Because those people who are listening to a show that you control you are the host on they’re going to become your most dedicated audience members. Whereas going out and placing yourself on shows that’s about finding new audience members.
Susan Friedmann 08:37
That’s a good transition into finding shows because I know many of my authors will say, Well, okay, which podcast should I be on and how do I find them or which is the right one for me?
Michael Greenberg 08:52
If you don’t want to do any of this, a shameless plug for Call For Content, I think we do a great job placing people on shows. We get compliments from hosts all the time. I would recommend for finding shows, listen notes is the search engine for podcasts. That’s the best place to find shows to appear on. If you’re interested in a guide in instructions on how to actually pitch yourself and get yourself on shows, Kai Davis is a good friend of mine. He has written in my opinion, the best guide on how to do that, how to get yourself placed on shows. We actually use it as part of our training materials at Call For Content for new employees.
Susan Friedmann 09:38
Sounds as if I need to have him as a guest on our show.
Michael Greenberg 09:42
Definitely. He’s awesome.
Susan Friedmann 09:44
You talk about podcasts as a way to generate leads. You’ve talked about it being a lead generation machine. How’s that the case? How do you get leads from a podcast?
Michael Greenberg 10:01
This is really poor B2B for business to business work. It works best for high ticket sales. The simplest way to generate leads with a podcast is to design your show from the start, to have members of your audience on the show, and have the show be about conversations with your ideal prospects. Then every time somebody comes on the show, they’re a potential lead for you. And it’s a matter of crafting the format of the show, in the questions the chat before and after the show’s recording that allows you to actually go through the qualification process during the interview. That way, you’re all teed up for the conversation afterwards if it turns out they are a good fit for your services, to discuss that with them. For everyone else where maybe you can’t have people who are your target market on the show, or maybe it’s a lower ticket item we’re starting to see good success with ad-based funnels around podcasts. That’s a whole another world entirely.
Susan Friedmann 11:04
From what I understand you have to have serious numbers for somebody to consider advertising on a podcast. Is that the case?
Michael Greenburg 11:13
I wasn’t actually talking about advertising on a show, but using your podcast and using ads to promote your podcast for the podcast to then sell your services. Using the ads to grow your audience for the show. Though you’re right, you need high download numbers high listenership numbers to be able to secure sponsorship or ad placement in a show that makes any actual money.
Susan Friedmann 11:39
I’m sure podcasters make mistakes. Let’s talk about some of those common mistakes that you see people make.
Michael Greenberg 11:49
The number one mistake I see people make is not planning for monetization from the start. If you don’t know how you’re gonna make money from the show, you might want to hold off starting it. The reason there is because podcasts are really easy to get started. But they’re actually pretty hard to keep going. The consistency, the editing, the promotion, all those things have costs via time or money associated with them. And those costs add up. The biggest mistake I see people make to repeat it is just not thinking about how they’re going to have money to fuel the show and how that show is going to produce money for them. What generally happens is I see somebody start a show, and they love the concept. They love the idea. They get six episodes done. They launched the show when they had two episodes done. It’s a month later, and they realize, oh, I’ve been spending six hours editing every episode, and I don’t really have time to keep this up. And then they get a few more episodes out. They take a break. Maybe they record one or two more and then the show dies. I see that too often. Which is why monetization is such a priority for us.
Susan Friedmann 13:00
I also felt that the structure that I’m using where I’m interviewing experts in various fields that relate to book marketing makes it easier for continuation. Because I’ve got content, I don’t have to constantly find the content. So I found that to be very helpful.
Michael Greenberg 13:21
And we recommend for all of our clients that they do at least 50% of their episodes as interviews.
Susan Friedmann 13:28
I should be doing more of me on there rather than just interviewing. So that’s something I have to think about.
Michael Greenberg 13:34
One of the popular things we’ve started to see with clients is creating audio courses or special release seasons, where they’re really talking and then having an ongoing show that’s interview-based.
Susan Friedmann 13:47
What other mistakes do they make?
Michael Greenberg 13:49
Not putting enough time into promoting the show is always a big one. Your audio quality is probably good enough, but if nobody listens to the show, it won’t matter. And that’s a mistake just throughout the content. People create a lot of content and they post it on social media. But you’ve got to put in actual work to promoting these things. And to make them well known. That’s at least 50% of the effort, if not more.
Susan Friedmann 14:14
I’m starting to feel very guilty here. I’m thinking, Well, I’m making a lot of mistakes. And I know I have over the years, but we keep going.
Michael Greenberg 14:24
But you keep going is a big one. That’s another common mistake giving up too early. We often don’t launch shows now until we have at least five if not eight, or 10 episodes already recorded, and we’re likely going to release with at least half of those episodes for when we start a show. And the reason is, so that way people have something to listen to. It’s not just one episode, but having the extra months’ worth or two months in your backlog gives you some breathing room. For my own personal show, I record an entire quarter worth of episodes at a time. I’ll record one month, and then it’ll be two or three months before I have guests on again. Then we just released those episodes over the following months. That’s worked out really well for me because I can batch my recordings and save my time.
Susan Friedmann 15:16
I love it when I can do that. Doesn’t always work, but my goal is exactly that, that I build up the interviews and then can release them week by week and not worry about it
Michael Greenberg 15:30
So long as you try. That’s what’s important.
Susan Friedmann 15:33
Oh, yes, I’m good at that. One of the reasons that I personally started this was for positioning and being a little new into the book marketing author marketing space, as it is, even though I’ve been doing author marketing for a long time, but not sort of made my entree into space. I thought to have a podcast and getting out there on the reason that I started this.
Michael Greenberg 16:03
That makes sense. If I were you, I would do the same thing. I would say, in going back to the transcripts, if I were you, I would also plan out or try to plan out a series of 20 episodes over the course of a year and have those 20 episodes relate back to specific topics in my next book, so that way I can use the transcripts from the episodes and get a head start on that first draft.
Susan Friedmann 16:28
Yeah, that’s exactly the direction I’m going with that. So thank you for endorsing. If listeners want to find out more about your services, how can they do that?
Michael Greenberg 16:41
They can find us online at callforcontent.com. There you’ll find playbooks, that’s the Authority Marketing Playbook, theB2B podcast playbook and the Ebook ebook which is actually a playbook. And those walk through the processes we use those various categories.
Susan Friedmann 17:06
And if you were to leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be?
Michael Greenberg 17:10
Research your audience. You might think you know them, but you don’t. I haven’t had a long career, but I’ve done a lot in it so far. Every time I go and speak with a new client unless they’ve actually had some background in customer research, where they’ve really gone out and done in-depth work on their own, they don’t know their customers as well as they think they do. They don’t know their audiences as well as they think they do. Even in big marketing organizations, in companies that are spending 10 or 20,000 a month just on ads in marketing. I’ve seen time and time again, they think they know better than the facts they could just go out and get. If you do the research, you’ll never be wrong, because you’re taking the time to make sure you’re right. Most people don’t want to do and I’ve been wrong about our audience many times, which is why we still do research as well.
Susan Friedmann 18:05
Great wisdom. I know when I ask authors, who’re their target audience, who’s this book for? So often I get the answer, everybody. How are you going to market to everybody?
Michael Greenberg 18:22
If you’re using every in that answer, it’s wrong. The analogy I like to use here is a floodlight down to a laser. Every business owner is a floodlight. Every small business owner that’s a little more narrow, every small business owner with a professional service firm. Now we’re getting to a spotlight. But if we go all the way down, and we say, owners of accounting firms with less than 50 employees, that’s specific, and if we add in owners of accounting firms between 10 and 50 employees, that’s a laser. That’s targeted enough that you will be able to learn what they need and speak to them directly and they will feel like you’re doing so. One of the guys who I know who’s a former client of ours, not current, but has done amazing work is a guy named by the name of Art Snarzyk, and he’s a hiring coach. His business was built on referrals and speaking as a hiring coach, a hiring specialist for painters because he used to own a painting company, and he understood that market, and he had those friends. And that’s where he focused. He’s built well into the six figures now off of starting is that hiring coach for painters, and then expanding out to hiring for other areas.
Susan Friedmann 19:47
I talk about niche marketing all the time. You’ve just endorsed that. I love you for it. Michael, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today. And thank you all for taking the time out of your precious day to listen to this interview, and I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Heres wishing you much book marketing success.
The time is now to take action and finally build your bookselling empire. And the great news is that Susan is here to help you visit bookmarketingmentors.com and sign up for a free 15 Minute book marketing strategy session with Susan. She’ll help you discover your first steps to marketing and selling your book. Only those who take action are rewarded. So visit bookmarketingmentors.com, and we’ll see you again next week.
Susan Friedmann 20:46
Hi, Susan again with another marketing tip. I just recently opened one of my favorite books 1001 Ways to Market Your Book byJohn Kremer. One of the first things they read was a message that I know that I’ve repeated many times, but I don’t think there are enough times that I can repeat it. And that is that selling your book is your responsibility. No matter how you choose to sell your books, whether through bookstores, via direct mail, via the internet, or however else one thing you will always have to do, you will have to sell your books. No one else can sell it for you. I really wish they could, but they can’t. You’re the only one who feels the way you do about your book. you’re passionate about it. It’s your baby. You’ve sweated blood, sweat, and tears over this book. You’ve put your heart and soul into it. It’s yours. No one else can sell it the way you can. Even if you sell exclusively through bookstores, it’s still your responsibility to see that potential readers know about your books and where to find them. Don’t expect anyone else to do your selling for you. Because that’s your job. At best others can only provide channels. It will always be up to you to provide the motivation for readers to buy your books. Until next time, remember to keep exercising your marketing muscle.