It's amazing to know that podcasters are now a more trusted source of information compared to other media channels, according to the Podcast Strategist. And in this episode, Anna Parker-Naples, CEO of The Podcast Membership and The Podcast Agency, explains how podcasts can help you create your sales funnel aside from just getting noticed.
She also explains in more detail what should be the content of your podcasts so your audience could trust you more, so you can build your sales funnel. Anna also explains how you could start with only 10 episodes and what should be the elements of those 10 episodes, and how The Podcast Agency can help entrepreneurs like you to do that to get more sales and #getnoticed. And lastly, she shares how she makes herself and her business #getnoticed.
Post-production, transcript and show notes by XCD Virtual Assistants
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The UnNoticed Entrepreneur is produced in the UK by the EASTWEST Public Relations Group.
Hello and welcome to this episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur. Today, I am staying in England, and I'm joined by Anna Parker-Naples, who is going to talk to us all about building a "Podcast Sales Funnel." Welcome to the show, Anna.Anna Parker:
Hey. It's great to be here, Jim. Thank you for having me. And, I love the fact that we're talking about being unnoticed, because a lot of my message is about visibility and how you get yourself visible. So, I think there's going to be a lot of synergy in what we'd discuss today.Jim James:
Yeah, absolutely is. And you're a best-selling author and you help companies, entrepreneurs, and larger businesses to build podcasts and take advantage of this really growing medium. Let's start, Anna, with building a Sales Funnel with a podcast, which I know you trademarked for it globally. So, tell us about it.Anna Parker:
We have. We trademarked "Podcast Sales Funnel" because I was going to all sorts of conferences and events about podcasting, and my company was already supporting podcasters, and early stage podcasting entrepreneurs, to catapult their brands into the charts. I was then listening to all of these stats and figures around - how influential and trusted the medium was. And I realised, that, what we were doing predominantly, those of us who might be selling through a masterclass or a discovery call, that a lot of those things, people certainly master classes and webinars, people don't want to turn up to them anymore, or the retention rate is really slow, and that felt to be problematic. Why are we sending people somewhere else when we already know they're listening to podcasts, loved podcasts, and they're getting people excited about working with us? So we came up with this concept of a 10-part complete series podcast, that the entire concept of it is to promote one specific offer or service that you have in your business. And, anybody listening to that is fully aware that this is how they find out more about working with you. So it's a little bit like bringing a sales page to life. It's a little bit like all those bits that you repeat on a sales call over and over and over again. Is or are the questions that are coming up in emails again and again, that you are putting them with a very personal stamp on it, you are answering all of those objections, demonstrating the benefits, really diving into exactly what it's like to work with you, and potentially showcasing through audio testimonials or interviews, case studies of some of your best clients. And, we have found, and these are short episodes as well, we have found, since we've been testing this over the last few months in my own business, and with our clients' businesses, that it's increased sales by 400% and reduced either the need for a sales call or the time on a sales call. So people are coming in, their questions are already answered. They've listened when they're in the shower, the bath, on the dog walk, at their time, and they know what your offer is all about. And then, to follow up that ten-part podcast series, they then enter an email funnel. And we create the email funnel off the back of the information you've shared on your podcast. And together, these two things mean you're building your list, you're driving sale activity, removing the need for sales calls or webinars, and developing what feels to the client, or the potential client, have a really intimate relationship with them. So, it's winning all round at the moment.Jim James:
Wow, Anna, 400% is amazing. I can completely buy into that concept. But, let's talk about some details, can we? Some mechanicals?Anna Parker:
Yeah, absolutely.Jim James:
Where should we start? Should we start with what is in the sequence? What is in the content, first?Anna Parker:
So, the content is imbued with lots of sales psychology. But crucially, one of the reasons that podcasts are so popular, is we feel as though we get to know each other; we feel as though we trust the host. And in fact, I've literally in front of me. Jim wanted me to share some stats and figures around podcasting when I came on today. And there was a report done just at the beginning of 2022. So it's very new by the podcast strategist. And they did some research into the trustworthiness of podcasts versus other major media. And across the board, it was found that podcast hosts were more trusted than a radio host, TV host, anyone posting on social media, or anything that we see on online news, even things like the BBC, even traditional news outlets, such as The Daily Mail, or wherever you read. Podcast hosts are trusted. And I think that the reason for that. So, for example, that's across the board in all age categories, but most staggeringly in the categories between the ages of 35 to 54 years old. So if you are ever trying to market or sell, or convert someone in that space, that 20-year demographic, their preference to trust someone is to go to a podcast. So this, for me, is really powerful. This is what influence actually means. I believe that when we're listening to somebody who's really talking about their stuff rather than actively selling themselves; we do hear in their voice because we are not distracted by anything else. Our senses are heightened and 7% of our communication is words. So when you can only hear someone you are actually tuning in to when they're speaking the truth, when they're excited about something, when they really mean something, when they were a bit vulnerable about saying something, we know all of these things instinctively by their voice, through their voice. And so that develops this sense of, "Are they my person?", "Are they not my person?" "How do I connect with them?" And again, that know and trust factor that's so important in business can be accelerated through audio.Jim James:
Wow, Anna, that's an amazing statistic. And I can't wait to tell my daughters that I might be more trustworthy than someone on TikTok. I think that's going to be something I'm going to dine out on.Anna Parker:
Well, yeah. Because actually, TikTok is huge, but actually podcasts when they're done properly, and there it's a really important word there: properly and strategically, they're more influential right now than anything, even TikTok ads, which are the most high converting video content out there. And yet, audio podcasts are still more influential.Jim James:
So I'm convinced, and obviously, from a demographic, if you're looking at that 35 to 55, that's a broad range. And certainly, for a job in B2B, that's where your procurement officers and CEOs and CFOs are going to be living. You've got 10 episodes. We'll talk later on about distribution, how you get the subscribers. But first of all, can you just take us through what would be the elements of the 10 different podcasts that you've mentioned?Anna Parker:
So, you would be looking at anything that might go into a webinar or a pitch, for example. So the reasons why, first of all, what is your product? Because sometimes in businesses we know what we do, but we're not very good at putting that out there so that somebody else understands. So, for example, I was on a call with someone today. It was the first time I'd met them, and he said, "Oh, this is what I do." And straight away, "I want to know, well, how does that work as a client? Would I be a client of yours?" But in order to understand that, I need to unpack that offer. The kind of straplines we have on LinkedIn aren't enough. We need to get beneath the surface. So it would be, what actually is the offer that you are talking about? How does that work? Who is it for? Are you the right fit? Is your business, or are you as an individual, at the right stage for that? So, that would cover a couple of episodes to get to that point. Is it what's the offer? How does it work? What are best-case scenarios when this works for my business? And then, actually, I think we have a chance to handle objections. What are the risks of working with whoever is on a set offer? Because, I think the more upfront we can be about that, and set client expectations that, "the results don't necessarily just come from us, you have to do some of the work, too", the more people trust you. You're not saying, "My offer is this blanket thing you purchase from us," and then that "the world is rosy." You're getting them to buy in that whatever you're doing in business is a partnership. You're able then to get on other episodes, bring in interviews with people who've worked with you, who know your work, like your work, and you want them to be honest about the working experience. Where they were when they came in, the highs and lows of that working relationship, and where their business or offer or personal development has moved on to. And there's something really powerful when you, you know, the listener knows that you, the host, you, the business owner, is sitting with a client. The client could say anything you don't know and allowing the client to talk about the highs and lows. Again, it builds trust. So, objection handling has already happened before someone gets on a call with you. And I think one of the most important episodes that you can put in a podcast sales funnel is literally breaking down the step-by-step processes. This is what it's like when from the moment you purchase from us, from the moment you agree to become our client, this is how we treat you, this is what you can expect. And then, it's this stage, and this is what our expectations, this is what we provide. And many times, there are things we do in our businesses in way we treat clients that often go unnoticed or uncelebrated and said, "This is the way to kind of position that we have this white glove experience inside what we do, who doesn't like finding out everything you can about a working process without having to sit and read the small print of a sales page?Jim James:
Anna, that's wonderful. So, I can see really how you can give the customer with the complete journey, the production and post-production podcast is quite a trial. To create 10 seems, you know, really quite a large project. How do you help people to do that?Anna Parker:
It does. So, first of all, we always come at it from a consultancy's perspective first. What are your outcomes? What are you looking for? We have audio knowledge. You don't need it. So we support podcasters to get started, knowing they know nothing about this space. And those 10 episodes, whilst that sounds huge, actually, when you are selling, you need micro-sized content. So your whole 10-part complete series podcast that you would never have to add to again, could actually be an hour or an hour and a half if they binge listen to all of it. And when you break it down and we have a very firm, rigid structure of what we want you to cover. When you follow that process and you know you're only speaking for 10 minutes on each episode, suddenly it becomes a very easy-to-do thing, if you know your client. And you should know your client, you should know what they're about.Jim James:
So, I think that sounds fantastic. And, as you said, you can interview your customers and different members of the team as well. Presumably head of engineering, for example, head of sales, not just the CEO and build more sense of a team inside the company. Anna, let's just talk about the Sales Funnel because the way you've talked about this, this is to attract new customers.Anna Parker:
Yeah. So, interestingly, when I had this idea, everything we do within our agency, we keyword to within an inch of its life. So that's not just for Google. And a lot of business owners don't realise this since Google podcasts came on the scene in April 2021, they changed how they did things lightly. And they developed a new technology, so that even if a podcast is not ever, there's no show notes, there's no keyword optimisation on the back end of it, it has the ability to read everything that is said on any podcast, as long as it is also on Google podcasts. And this then, increases your SEO as a personal brand and as a business, if you've been clever about the keywords that you use. Okay, so that's number one. The other thing is that the podcast directories are being used, such as Apple, and Spotify, and any of them. They are being used more and more as search engines. And they have a slightly different way of working as a search engine than Google, for example. And what we're seeing now is that 66% of people in the UK are regular podcast listeners. That's huge. That's absolutely huge. And if you know that people have an audio preference across every age group, and even both ends of the scale are catching up, as well. When you, when you take on that actually people are using a podcast as a search mechanism, it becomes a place you absolutely want to get noticed. So we, we launched a new offer within the podcast agency. So I tested all of these, this concept on several of our offers first. Hadn't really gone out on our social media, hadn't gone out to my list, it was just sitting there. Within three days, someone booked a call - they found the podcast because they did a Google search and because we key-worded it, and we hadn't even really gone to market with it yet, we were sort of under the surface. We had a 15-minute call and, and that was it she was in. Now, this was someone who wasn't on my socials, we weren't connected anywhere else, in fact, we haven't worked out any other way that she would've found me. She was ready to purchase.Jim James:
That's amazing NSO.Anna Parker:
This stuff can really..Jim James:
Yeah, so it's really creating, really, a rich environment for the search engines to come and find you. What about the impact of podcasting on internal audiences, Anna, because you talk about Sales Funnel. Do we want to talk about as well how you hop on to, for example, private podcast networks to help maybe with partners? Because it's not just about your external always, is it, especially as we're working remotely trade shows and memberships of trade associations is getting harder to stay up to speed with. What's your experience of using podcasts for that?Anna Parker:
Well, funnily enough, this is something that I was diving into some statistics. I recently got braces, so, it's really hard for me to say lots of Ss. There was a report done on internal communications, and a lot of businesses now, big companies with global presence, they're finding it harder and harder to get their own people to watch the masterclass or watch the webinar or turn up to the online meeting, it's becoming harder and people are switching off from those things. And it was found that they looked at all sorts of different industries and the willingness of individuals within those industries to listen to a private feed podcast. And it was absolutely astonishing because it was found that 84% of people said that they were most likely to listen to an internal feed podcast about their business or their environment. And in IT, and telecoms, HR and construction, and finance, there were 33% who said that they would definitely listen and they wished that their business provided that. And with a private feed podcast, depending on how you set it up, it could be that they can still listen on Apple or Spotify, but they're going in through a very special link that only your people can find. In the next three years, it's expected that every business that has a website will have a podcast. And at that point, it's harder to stand out from the crowd. Yeah, in the same way, it's like suddenly 10, 12 years ago, every website suddenly had to have a blog. Even if you didn't really know what to write on the blog, you had to have a blog. We're going to see the same boom in podcasting.Jim James:
Well, and that's good news for everyone involved in podcasting like yourself, Anna, and us here. So, Anna, you've trademarked already this Podcast Sales Funnel. How are you getting your own business noticed? You're an entrepreneur as well as a podcast expert for other people?Anna Parker:
First of all, I actually have three podcasts. One's a passion project about "World War II", but that's another story. I have my main podcast "Entrepreneurs Get Visible", so that captures lots of entrepreneurs. And then, we have one that's SEO specific, which is "Podcasting For Entrepreneurs", because, they both have different strategies behind them. And I think with podcasting, you have to remember the strategy - actively look for PR from time to time. I get on a lot of other business podcasts and we get our message out to as many people as we can. A lot of social media. So all the other things you would expect, our blogs for SEO purposes are created from my podcast content. I will live deliver, first. It gets keyword optimised and turned into a useful article later. And I know that's something you are very passionate about doing as well, Jim. In fact, you take it one step further. Don't you?Jim James:
Yeah, I put mine into a book. But, this is all about you, Anna, and the great work you are doing. So, carry on.Anna Parker:
And, what else do we do to get out there? I make sure that I'm seen and heard in the industries that I need to be in. So, I actively make sure that I'm a speaker as many different business events as I can be because you never know who's in the room. I am part of several different business communities and business masterminds, because business is personal, and the more people we can connect with, who understand what we are all about, the kind of person we are, and why our work matters, the more likely we are to have referrals. And I think in business, you need a little bit of everything. You do need to have your own voice out there. You do need a little bit of video content these days, whether that's something you are comfortable with or not. And, you need social media - you need blogs, and like it or not, you are going to need a podcast even if it's not something you've thought about until now.Jim James:
Anna Parker-Naples, you heard the lady to help people to create a podcast. If they want to come and find you, to get your help, where can they find you?Anna Parker:
Actually, I would be more than happy for you to grab a copy of my free e-book, which is at www.annapn.com/impact, or come and have a listen to one of my podcasts. Literally put in Anna Parker-Naples, anywhere you listen to a podcast, and you will find one of my shows.Jim James:
Anna, that's wonderful. And, of course, I will include Anna's details in my show notes, as always. And she has an amazing podcast. You've got three podcasts, World War II one sounds pretty interesting as well. Anna, thank you for joining me and all the fellow unnoticed entrepreneurs on the show today.Anna Parker:
My pleasure. Thank you for having me.Jim James:
It's been wonderful. And so, podcasting, as part of your Sales Funnel, either producing your own or guesting, or with Anna's strategy, just creating a mini-series of 10, which I haven't heard of before but I love, is a great way to leverage podcasting. So, hope you've enjoyed this show with me, Jim James. And until we meet again, I just encourage you to keep on communicating.