From unremarkable to extraordinary: How podcasting can help your clients get to know, like, and trust your brand
By Jim James, Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur.
Jeremy Ryan Slate, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder of Command Your Brand, joined me in the new episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur to talk about how entrepreneurs can get noticed through podcasting. Apart from running his own agency, he’s the host of the massively successful podcast, “Create Your Own Life Show,” and has recently released a book called “Unremarkable to Extraordinary.”
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Defining Who You Are
Getting noticed comes down to defining your message, knowing your public, and differentiating yourself from others.
Too often, people make the mistake of thinking that their public is everyone. And because of that, their message resounds to no one. But whether it’s a podcast, an article, or a TV placement, you have to define who you help, how you talk to them, and what your brand story is.
Many people tend to rely on rote understandings of what the public thinks about what they do — when in reality, they actually know nothing about it. You have to get the right people to know, like, and trust you.
Jeremy has been in the podcast space since 2015. Since then, he’s been helping people to identify their message and find the right podcast for them.
Today, podcasts are the best vehicle to communicate your value because you get these long-form conversations that you don’t get in any other type of media. These conversations help people get to know someone.
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Historically, some of the biggest and most important messages came in the form of audio. For instance, Winston Churchill’s “We shall fight on the beaches” speech. The impact of this speech shows that audio indeed has an incredible way of creating relationships and building those up.
On Influence and Positioning
Jeremy also attended a university in the UK and part of what he studied is about influence in Roman times. And interestingly, what’s happening now is similar to what happened then.
Caesar Augustus (previously known as Octavian) is the first Roman emperor. What he did is to look at what his adopted father, Julius Caesar, and Pompey the Great did. Pompey the Great positioned himself with Alexander the Great, calling himself Pompey Magnus or Pompey the Great. Julius Caesar, on the other hand, positioned himself with the goddess Venus.
They both positioned themselves with people who are already perceived as divine. Doing the same, Caesar Augustus was able to convince people that he, too, was divine.
In today’s context, people are following the exact same blueprint or model. What simply changed is how we view that — because today, people are now more celebrity-focused.
People are trying to figure out how they can position themselves with high-level celebrities who seem untouchable, such as the Kardashians. And in some ways, they can be considered the modern version of the divine.
All this shows is that influence can actually be traced back to ancient times.
Podcasting as Part of Your PR and Marketing Efforts
One of the best ways to connect with people who need to hear you is podcasting. It’s also the best way to get the message of a business’ CEO out.
In other mediums — let’s say it’s a one-minute clip or an article — if a CEO says something, somebody else may come out with a different opinion or interpretation. But with a podcast, a CEO can speak directly to the right people.
And if you come into the podcast world, you should have the right expectations.
Many usually think that it’s going to be something that they can simply start and get a whole bunch of advertising money from; that it would be an easy additional revenue stream for their brand. The truth, however, is that a podcast is primarily a medium to which you can position your company the right way. And you can do that by communicating to the right people and getting them to know, like, and trust you.
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It’s a huge education platform. If you can be seen as one educating your public, it will help your brand grow and make people trust you. Whenever they see a marketing message, it will be much easier for them to decide, “I recognise the person. I’ve actually learned from that person. I’m ready to make a buying decision with this company.”
In this light, podcasting can be considered a part of your marketing strategy. Because in this space, you can also see some kind of direct response marketing (e.g. in the way people do calls to action on podcasts they’re in).
However, it’s still primarily a public relations (PR) action.
A “public” is the kind of audience who you wish could understand your brand. “Relations,” on the other hand, is how they relate to you — how they know, like, and trust you. In podcasting, what you’re really getting people to do is to take that first step to know who you are, like you, trust you, and understand your brand. But, at the same time, it also creates pieces that you can market.
To Host or To Be a Guest?
Jeremy’s agency, Command Your Brand, helps people to produce podcasts and be guests on podcasts. But which one is better for a company or an entrepreneur — to have their own podcast or not? For him, you have to do both.
To be a good host, you have to be a podcast guest first. It helps you understand the other side of the microphone — How’s somebody feeling? Why are they using so many filler words? Why are they not using filler words? How do you ask and answer a better question? When you become a guest for a few shows first, you get to understand that viewpoint. From there, you can start your own show.
There are too many podcasts out there doing the exact same thing. So you have to wait a bit first before you start a podcast, figure out how to differentiate yourself from the competition and be a guest on other shows.
Then, once you have your own podcast, it’s also a good idea to go on other podcasts to promote the show that you have. Podcasting is basically a cyclical thing.
One issue that people have when they start a podcast is they think that the show they will start today has to be the show that they will have a few years from now. However, there’s a caveat that you need to understand: The purpose of your show can change and grow as you change and grow.
And no matter how you and your show change, podcasting comes down to getting out there enough.
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Many people think that when they start a show, they’re simply going to get found. The truth is you have to get out there.
When Jeremy started his podcast in 2015, there were only 240,000 shows in the podcast space. Now, there are about 3 million. But even though it was a lot less then, he had taken a lot of action to get his podcast out there. He sent hundreds of emails asking people to subscribe. He was texting friends asking them to subscribe. He was grabbing people’s phones to do the same thing.
To get noticed, you have to be willing to take these actions up front while making sure that you have really good content.
When he was starting out, Jeremy also admitted that he was absolutely not a great host. He was not used to talking in front of people or doing things similar to that. But the more conversations he had, the better he got at it.
The calibre of the people you’re speaking to is also important. When he began his show, he made a list of the top 100 people that he admired the most and reached out to those. He got a lot of negative responses but he got enough yes to get him going. You’ll find that as you collect more of those names, it becomes easier to grab more of those names because you now have social proof.
In sum, having good guests, continually working on your interviewing chops, and taking enough action are key to getting people to notice your show.
On Having a Team
When producing a podcast, the production side is one of the key bottlenecks that people encounter.
And whether you’re brand-new to the space with no team or you’ve been doing this for a while and you already have an established team, you may be hearing this bad piece of advice: Don’t do things that you don’t like to do. Just focus on the things that you’re good at.
In reality, you have to do a lot of things that you don’t like to do. You have to understand these things so you’ll know the adverse effect of not being able to do them. Only then you can properly get someone else to do those for you.
During his first three years in podcasting, Jeremy did all the editing, graphic designing, and interview preparations himself. After some time, he hired somebody else and instructed them how he wanted things done. Later on, they were able to get better in podcast production. But, in the event that something goes wrong, he knows how to jump in and handle it because he has experienced doing it previously.
It’s important to understand all the aspects of your business, especially when you're producing things. Because then, if something goes wrong, you can figure it out and fix it and you won't get taken for a ride. At the same time, as the founder or as the person wearing the CEO hat, you can also ensure that things are exactly the way you want them.
Why Hire an Agency Like Command Your Brand?
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Jeremy’s agency has been helping people get onto other shows. They have connected with a lot of podcasts and they know what these podcast producers want.
With their assistance, you can locate the right shows that will help your brand positioning and help you tell your stories the right way. And when working for each booking, they also make sure that it’s great positioning for you as the guest and for the host as well.
By outsourcing their services, you can also focus on what you’re good at. The biggest help comes in the form of them helping you run your calendar and all the preparations needed. When you're running a company, you don't need to do all these other things. If there's somebody who’s already got the hat for it, then they should be doing it for you.
Like how a PR firm will help you get an interview with a journalist, their agency can help you get an interview with a podcast host.
Getting His Business Noticed
In his early years in podcasting — back when he didn’t have a budget and a team — he was writing for several publications. He was able to figure out how to get himself in as a contributor and he used that to get positioning.
Now, apart from guesting on other podcasts, he’s also focused on creating content around his personal brand. In fact, just last June, he was able to publish a book called “Unremarkable To Extraordinary.”
Before writing the book, he had thought of writing a podcast or a PR book. However, this has been done so many times. For his book to transcend, he has to write about really big concepts so that people could know him more, like him more, and trust him more. And by virtue of that, they can also trust his company more.
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If you want to get your business noticed and you have the time, his advice is to find some publications you can write for in your niche because that's going to help you get more established. Then, book guestings on podcasts that you can go on.
The Importance of Having A Personal Brand
Today, brands have become much more personal. People will trust a company because they know the personal brand of that company’s key figure. This is why in any marketing activity, it should be given that entrepreneurs and CEOs have to have a personal brand in addition to the company brand.
There are two different ways to look at it. First is that it helps the company because people like, know, and trust people more.
The other is that as a CEO or founder, you’re also able to build an asset. Whether you want to launch a new product or move into a new vertical, you can put your asset behind that. If one day, you leave the company, you’ll bring that asset with you and you can put it behind whatever it is that you’ll do in the future. It can be viewed as a sort of personal protection.
One example of how a personal brand helped a company brand is what happened with Elon Musk and Tesla. Before he came in, Tesla wasn’t doing that great. When he joined, he didn't do anything vastly different other than putting his name behind it.
Look at a personal brand as having that power to put a marketing engine behind anything that you’re doing.
Success is Available to Anyone
This July, the Create Your Own Life Show podcast is about to hit a thousand episodes. Throughout the years, Jeremy got to talk to several people, including a former Central Intelligence Agency director, National Football League and National Basketball Association Hall of Famers, and platinum recording artists among others.
From these conversations, he realised how the prevalent information surrounding success is really bad. For instance, you may have been told that if you find something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. In reality, you have to work to find something you love.
In his book, he wants to show that success is available to anyone. We're all initially born unremarkable, but it's the things we do that make us extraordinary.
Based on his conversations, he shares real-world experiences to help people how they can find their version of extraordinary. Because extraordinary varies from person to person. After all, we’re different from one another. And you can find what extraordinary is for you once you look at things from the right viewpoint.
If you want to go to the next level, it’s also important for a brand like yours to educate (Think Apple University, which is Steve Job’s legacy). This is also why this year, at Jeremy’s company, their big theme and mantra is education. From being an agency, he wants it to become an education company.
To find out more about them, visit www.commandyourbrand.com. To learn more about his book, visit www.getextraordinarybook.com. When you order a book, you’ll also receive a free audiobook version and a free 30-day guide on how to be extraordinary. You can also find Jeremy Ryan Slate on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
This article is based on a transcript from my podcast The UnNoticed Entrepreneur, you can listen here.