Michael Greenberg talks about establishing your authority in the market, letting your clients know you’re the expert on what you do, and how to establish yourself as an expert with Kyle Carpenter on the Clients From Hell Podcast.
Kyle Carpenter 0:26
Welcome to the Clients From Hell podcast. I’m your host, Kyle Carpenter. My guest today is Michael Greenberg. He runs an agency called Call For Content. He literally wrote the playbook on Authority Marketing. His method kind of blew my mind. It’s all about going out, finding the clients you want, interviewing them, and then turning those interviews into more content so that you can market yourself as an authority. I said it in the interview, it feels like Steven Soderbergh met an Ocean’s 11 movie, about freelancing. It was awesome. I think you’re really going to dig it. We’re brought to you once again by Easily, the Infographic Design Service. Easily will turn your data into beautiful infographics within 24 hours. They look awesome. They’re really professional. We’ve got some great examples up on the Clients From Hell website. I think you’re really going to dig them, and you should check them out.
Michael Greenberg 1:31
Yeah, I started as a B2B growth strategy consultant after some startup stuff, and I was working with B2B SaaS and a few agencies. And then I got hired by a podcast network based out of Atlanta called Business Radio X. I saw some potential with podcasts. Put together some plans for them, and then moved forward. So I had a lot of podcast based plans lying around. While I was on the engagement with them, they had shipped me all the equipment for a local podcast. So I started recording one. Enough time passed where it was clear, they weren’t taking forward any of the stuff that I had worked on with them. The engagement was over. I had launched a little B2B content marketing agency called Call For Content. We were doing all right, but I was still making most of my money consulting. And then, we launched a white-label podcasting program to other agencies and to podcast producers. To take our services and layer them on top. And that started just to explode. And so from there, we went all-in on podcasting.
Kyle Carpenter 2:55
Beautiful, but you’re here to tell us about Already marketing. Can you kind of define that for us and tell us how you go about doing that?
Michael Greenberg 3:06
Really authority marketing, at least the way I used in the systems we’ve built out, is designed for that solo business owner, you are the expert, you are the knowledge of your business. And how do you take advantage of that and build lead gen out for B2B? We start with a podcast. And there are two pieces to why we start with a podcast. The first reason is that a podcast creates content for us. And the second reason is that a podcast lets us get in contact with the people we want to be talking to. In order to actually develop a podcast. You have to know who those people you want to be talking to are. And that means you really want to be talking to prospective buyers on your show, especially if you’re a solo business owner. If you’re a freelancer to know that you’ve got to do some research. And you’ve got to get yourself into a market. And so we start with the podcast. But really what ends up happening is most people I speak with most freelancers aren’t specialized enough. They don’t have a targeted enough service for a targeted enough market for them to really develop any sort of authority. One of my favorite examples, because this is a guy with a digital presence you can really look back over, is Neil Patel. He started as an SEO expert, and in the software, and then over time, he’s become a marketing expert. And how that happened. Well, he talked about one thing, he made some money there, and then he paid a bunch of people to get them talking about the other stuff to people, the key there is paying a bunch of people because it cost a lot of money to be a general marketing expert. But if say, you’re the guy who specializes in Facebook ads for massage therapists, that’s something you can be the expert in looking at, who you’re talking to and who you want to be talking to. And looking at the skill sets that you have that they don’t. That’s before you start finding your expertise. Really, the guy who I think talks about specialization best for freelancers, is Philip Morgan, he just put out a book, but he’s been writing about specialization for web designers and developers for years now. And that’s a highly competitive market. And so to stand out, you’ve really got to specialize in a niche, down accordingly. And that’s what I see in every market now. If you want success, if you want fast sales, if you want clients who respect you for what you do, you’ve got to choose that niche. You’ve got to hone down to that market.
Kyle Carpenter 6:15
Right. So it’s not enough. I guess maybe the problem that your average freelancer has to crack now is that it’s almost impossible to get abroad authority. Like Gary Vee already exists. You’re not going to be Gary Vee.
Michael Greenberg 6:31
Right? And Gary Vee didn’t start as Gary Vee, right? Gary Vee started as a wine guy.
Kyle Carpenter 6:37
Michael Greenberg 6:39
And so he won in wine and then he expanded. You’ve got a Peter Teal actually talks about this for startups a lot. And this is a big thing in startup land, where you want to dominate a really small section of the market. And then you can add on another, and you dominate that. And so, to take this all back to the freelancer, once you have that market, then you start your podcast. And your podcasts can interview the people in that market. And you can talk with them and learn from them and teach them about what you do at the same time. And that’s the start of your show. And then when you’ve got a dozen good interviews, you can start making an ebook or some other bigger content. And you’ll be the guy that people know in that really tight niche very quickly. When I say highly targeted when I say a niche, I mean, if you can, you want under 10,000 customers, the potential for you. You want to get it as narrow as you possibly can because the more narrow, the easier it is to conquer.
Kyle Carpenter 8:04
Make sense? Okay, so I know you have a few playbooks available on your site. But I’m wondering if you could break down kind of the decision-making process for, let’s give the example of a designer. So you’re a designer, you’ve got a few clients, you’ve done maybe a few websites for a few businesses in your local area, maybe a few sort of outside, you’re working remotely. But you need to find that niche. You need to find that area to conquer. How do you start thinking about, this is where I’m going to be moving?
Michael Greenberg 8:41
Yeah. So the first thing to look at is that local area, if you’re in a small city, so let’s say 500,000 population or less. There’s a good chance that there are one or two web design companies that built most of those websites five years ago or 10 years ago. They’re probably small agencies now of some sort. And they’re not doing a good job of selling a new site to their clients. So the first thing I do is that the designer is going to find out who those couple of agencies are. And I look up all their client sites. And I’d see which ones had been updated in five years. And then I’d give those people a cold call. I’d call those companies up directly. Now, that’s just to sort of getting your foot in the door locally. But really what you want to do as that designer is taking a look at who do I like working with who gives me the budget that I need to survive and who do I really create work for. So I’ve got a friend who’s a web designer. He’s down in Chattanooga. And he’s worked as a designer for three, four years now. Maybe a little longer. His major clients are the local venture capital firms in that region because one company like that, they trust him to do good work, and they’ll refer to the startups they invest in him.
Kyle Carpenter 10:33
That makes great sense.
Michael Greenberg 10:35
His next big client base is nonprofits. So he’ll work with a nonprofit hospital or any sort of nonprofit really, and he loves working with nonprofits. So he gets a lot of joy out of that. He’s got an MBA, he knows a little about the marketing stuff too. So he’s able to help them there and provide that additional expertise. Now he’s not selling digital marketing services to them, necessarily, but he’s selling them his complete package of digital expertise. I can’t just build you a website, I can also make sure that your website aligns with the goals that you’re trying to reach in digital.
Kyle Carpenter 11:24
Yeah, finding ways to package out your client base and to new services, a broader spectrum of ways to make money from them.
Michael Greenberg 11:35
Not necessarily. So that’s what’s really interesting about what he does, is it’s not that he’s selling them digital marketing really. And he doesn’t do digital marketing for most of his clients. He sells a web designer who understands digital marketing so that you have a website you can do digital marketing to.
Kyle Carpenter 11:58
Okay, I think I might need a little bit of clarification on that distinction?
Michael Greenberg 12:03
Yeah, so the thing they buy is a website, and the thing he does for them as a website. But the reason they buy from him rather than some other freelancer is that he understands the marketing. So that when the website is built, their marketing team can market effectively with it. So it’s his expertise that gives them the trust in him. To be able to go out and do that. And it’s him talking about the marketing that makes them buy the website from him, even though they’re never planning on spending money on marketing with him.
Kyle Carpenter 12:40
Yeah, and this is one of those situations where success begets success, the moment you’re able to have a happy client, you can parlay that into another one in the same field elsewhere.
Michael Greenberg 12:54
Exactly. So with Call For Content, we have these big playbooks, and they are almost exactly what we do. Like you could follow it. If you took the B2B podcasting playbook and authority marketing playbook. And you follow them step by step, you’d have the package that people pay three to $4,000 a month for us to do for them. And people read those, and then they say, I don’t want to do it myself. Here’s the money instead. We don’t try to hide, we just show off.
Kyle Carpenter 13:25
Right, that works. Well, I’ll definitely include links to those playbooks in the episode description. But I am curious. So part of what I think you pitch your company as is. As a podcast consultancy, you help people make those podcasts and run the playbook, which is awesome. I’m kind of in awe here. I am curious. A podcast in my experience has been one of those things like it’s developed out of interest. You’re appealing. You’re sending content out in another way. You’re making this really focused decision. Who are my clients going to be? And how can I get them with this medium? And I’m curious, again, with our hypothetical example of a designer. What does that designer do? Say the one who’s making nonprofit websites. What’s their idea for a podcast?
Michael Greenberg 14:24
Yeah, so actually, he’s getting started on one now. And the idea is to focus on sort of the mid-sized nonprofit and interview them around the challenges they have moving to digital.
Kyle Carpenter 14:44
Michael Greenberg 14:45
And so it’s talking with leadership that has just gone through that change, who might not be a client for them, but it’s still a great way for him to show his authority in the space. And it’s talking with some nonprofits that are looking to move in that direction. Or that have been successful without any of that. And so the content of the show is about how nonprofits do their thing. The person who hosts the show just happens to build websites for nonprofits.
Kyle Carpenter 15:16
The joy of that is, of course, we all know the litany of ads that we’re familiar with and the podcasts we listen to in our day to day life. The stamps.com the Casper Mattresses, the MeUndies, but if you can remove that and make the actual content itself the ad, that’s kind of a beautiful thing.
Michael Greenberg 15:37
Yeah. And that’s what we try for, and we try to reuse that content too. I’ve started to do more season based shows now. And so if we’re planning a season of a show, we will plan out an ebook that we’re going to create from the interviews of that season before we record the first episode. So then we’ve got the podcast, the podcast comes out, maybe we’ll create a blog post from it a couple weeks later and put that out. But then the season drops and the season wraps up to three weeks later, maybe even two or three months later, we’ll take all those episodes, and we’ll have this awesome ebook, talking through some in-depth topics and getting the opinions from all the interviewed guests on it. And then that ebook turns into a new piece of material for them to share out. And it solidifies the authority around that topic. The reason I go to ebooks is that you can publish an ebook on Amazon if it’s long enough. But it doesn’t really make a difference. The thing that people care about. Is that you’re capable of speaking on that topic or writing about that topic for that much. Most of the time, your clients are busy. They’re never going to read that t, but knowing that you can write it gives them confidence you can carry out the job.
Kyle Carpenter 17:07
Yeah. And if we’re being honest, if their name is attached, they’ve got that ego boost, and then your names also attached to that positive feeling.
Michael Greenberg 17:16
Exactly. But I think of that as borrowing authority from clients or others that you feature.
Kyle Carpenter 17:24
Right. It’s a beautiful plan. I’m mesmerized. I feel a little like I’ve watched a good like Soderbergh heist movie here.
Michael Greenberg 17:36
This is a model you’ve seen about, I’m sure, but I think we’ve, quite frankly, perfected it at Call For Content. Especially for B2B lead generation with podcasts. We’re the only company I know of that has specialized offerings for that specific thing. And it’s taken us a while to get there. But I think it’s a great process and if you dedicate four hours a week to it, you can do it yourself, which is fantastic.
Kyle Carpenter 18:14
I might ask you. I’ve got the kit, but I’m curious what you think if somebody is thinking, Okay, that’s a great idea. I need to get out there. I need to start interviewing people. What do you recommend that go out and set up right now, just so that it sounds as good as it possibly can?
Michael Greenberg 18:31
We actually have it in the B2B podcast playbook. We’ve got a list of our recommended equipment. But what I recommend for people starting out, first off, know if you are going to be interviewing guests in person or remotely, because those are two completely different kits.
Kyle Carpenter 18:50
Michael Greenberg 18:52
In-person I use a Zoom. And then there are a few different mic options we look at, but the one that I really like is the Sennheiser, I think it’s an E385. And the Zoom I use is an H six, you don’t need an H six, you can probably get by with like an H three or four. The H six is kind of the professional-grade. It’s the top of the line. If you’re recording remotely, a lot of people like Zoom. But the other option that you’ve got is an app called Ringer. And Ringer records as what’s called a double-ender, which allows each person to record a lossless audio file on their side and then upload them afterward. And Ringer handles that whole process for you. I think that probably gives the best quality so long as you’ve got a decent mic on both ends. I like the Blue Yeti stuff. If you’re getting started, those are good podcasting mics. But if you really, really want to upgrade, then Shure microphones. They have what’s called a USB to XLR converter. And so that lets you put a professional microphone and plug it into your computer. And so that’s going to give you your absolute best quality.
Kyle Carpenter 20:45
Man, I’m impressed.
Michael Greenberg 20:49
Glad to hear that. I don’t come from the creative side of podcasting, right. I come from technology and from business and so everything we do. We try to be professional. And we try to focus on developing content and developing shows that make money. And so everything we do is really based around that at the end of the day because I see too many shows and because it’s a hobby for somebody and they can’t afford to keep it up.
Kyle Carpenter 21:21
Well, I think podcasting has that air. You know, you start a bad movie podcast because you loved bad movies or what have you. But you’re right. You’ve got to focus on those issues that you actually do.
Michael Greenberg 21:35
Kyle Carpenter 21:38