Tom Schwab – How to Profit as a Podcast Guest (358)

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As the podcast world grows, more and more people realize the power of podcast guesting. While getting on other podcasts as a guest can be an incredibly valuable tool to grow your impact, you want to be podcast guesting and not just podcast guessing. This should be a strategic process in which you first evaluate your goals, and come up with a plan that makes the most sense for you. Some people start out by wanting to just get on the “biggest” podcasts possible, but that doesn’t always make the most sense. Today’s guest is here to explain how you can profit as a podcast guest by coming up with a plan that aligns with your goals.

Tom Schwab is an entrepreneur, engineer, US naval academy graduate, and expert in the art and science of podcast guesting. He is the founder of Interview Valet where he helps thought leaders get featured on leading podcasts that their ideal prospects are already listening to. Then he helps them to turn listeners into customers. Tom is also the author of “PODCAST GUEST PROFITS: Grow Your Business with a Targeted Interview Strategy.” 

In this episode of the How’d it Happen podcast, Tom shares how he got the idea to start one of the first podcast guest booking services and why his company is unique compared to other agencies. In a world where AI is becoming more widely used in text sources, audio and video are becoming more and more impactful because people know they are really hearing from you. Podcasts are an incredible tool to build that “know, like, and trust” factor that people need to buy from you. The key to being a guest on podcasts is to know the importance of leading with value. Tom explains how to use your knowledge and expertise to provide value to other people’s audiences and turn them into customers.

Quote from the episode: 

  • “What’s the goal? What are you trying to do? Because we’ll have some people come to us and say they want to get on podcasts. Well, that’s not a goal. That’s a means to a goal. If that’s your goal, you’re going to get bored after about 5 or 10. What are you trying to accomplish with this?” – Tom Schwab

Key Highlights:

  • How’d it happen for Tom? 
  • How Tom got into the naval academy due to a clerical error
  • Why you should stress test your business 
  • Content is king but context is god
  • Repurposing podcast content
  • How one podcast episode can grow your impact significantly 
  • Why should thought leaders want to be on podcasts? 
  • Mike explains what chatGPT can do with producing text content with a simple question
  • The more automated the world gets, the more personal people look for
  • How Tom helps people get a clear strategy
  • Tom’s advice on CTAs: keep it simple
  • We all underestimate what we know, and we overestimate what others know

Episode resources:

Get Tom’s book: Request a free copy of Tom’s book

Check out episode 214 with Jeffrey Madoff: The Power of Curiosity Fuel 

Get Jeffrey Madoff’s book: Creative Careers

Connect with Tom Schwab:


Instagram: @iamtomschwab

Twitter: @iamtomschwab

Facebook: Tom Schwab

YouTube: Interview Valet

LinkedIn: Tom Schwab

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Video version and full transcript below:


podcast, people, book, business, interview, called, work, tom, nuclear power plants, clients, ship, leaders, valet, audience, jeff, write, funnel, ai, easy, ran


Mike Malatesta, Tom Schwab


Mike Malatesta  00:03

Hey, Tom, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me today.


Tom Schwab  00:11

Like I am thrilled to be here.


Mike Malatesta  00:14

So I told you a little bit about in the very episode intro a little bit about Tom and what we’re going to talk about today. But here’s the rest of the Tom Schwab story. So Tom Schwab is an entrepreneur, an engineer, a US Naval Academy graduate, and an expert at the art and science of podcast guesting. He’s the founder of interview valet, where he helps thought leaders get featured on leading podcasts that and this is the key part, their ideal prospects are already listening to any helps them turn those listeners in to customers. Tom is the author of two books. The first podcast guest profits, grow your business with a targeted interview strategy. And his newest book one conversation away. I love that title. By the way, Tom, a manifesto for a rich life and a profitable business. You can learn more about Tom and what he’s doing at interview And he’s on all the socials with the handle. I am Tom Schwab, S C, H, W. A. B. So Tom, I start every podcast with the same simple question. And that is, how did it happen for you?


Tom Schwab  01:33

It is one of those things where it only makes sense in the rearview mirror. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. And this is not where I figured that I would be, you know, four decades later, right? I didn’t know what a podcast was back then nobody did. But life has just been one series of one event leading to another. And I always look at it as an evolution, not a revolution. Right. So by technical error in the grace of God, I got into the US Naval Academy, if you’re a US taxpayer, thank you for paying for my education. I graduated as an engineer, and at that time they did to nuclear power officers. Well, I ran nuclear power plants on aircraft carriers and love that job. But you know, my commitment was up just about the same time the Soviet Union was dissolving. So I looked at it, I’ve done everything I’ve done wanted to do here. What’s next, came to Michigan, to work in corporate America versus an engineer than an operations and was a great experience. Right and gave me a lot of background. Ran sales, ran a distributorship. And once again, you think this is how life’s gonna keep going. And then all of a sudden, 2008 hit, right and 2008 and Michigan led the country into the Great Recession. They the distributor ships, came to us with the manufacturers and said, We want to buy back the distributor ships, right? Made a whole lot of sense to cut out the middleman until you look in the mirror and go, Wow, I look like the middleman. Now they did. They did right by us. But we had a sideline business. And it was rental of direct to consumer durable medical equipment rental. HubSpot once voted us the second unsexiest thing to sell online. But we were doing it in Michigan. And Mike, you know, I can count the number of thank you notes I got from orthopedics on one hand, but we would send these units out and half of them would come back with thank you notes. So I knew we were doing good with it. Right. The question is, could we do well with it? And so I read a book by two smart guys out of MIT, Dharmesh saw on Brian Halligan who formed HubSpot. And I read their book on inbound marketing. I’m like, hey, this should work for E commerce. And no one had ever tried it. So we tried it. It worked. Well, we were there. First e commerce case study, built it up from regional player to a national leader sold it off. And then I started to think, well, you know that, remember how we used to guest blog to grow our business? I bet you could guest blog on podcasts as a guest. Right? And that same way to to get that know, like and trust. And we started that about 2014. It was really early. Nobody knew what a podcast was. But as we were able to learn the process, get the data, build the team. We were really ready when podcasting took off in 2019. And now, here I am in Kalamazoo, Michigan, leading a team of 30 people in Europe and North America and most days I have to pinch myself on what I get to do.


Mike Malatesta  04:57

So congratulations, by the way. That’s the online business. Was that goodbye, crutches is that the it was? That’s how did you come up with that name? Like, what was the Oh,


Tom Schwab  05:11

Mike, you know, I, I come up with the idea that everybody’s got their opinion. But your customers have the answer. Yeah. So goodbye crutches was named by a client, right one of the doctors that always used to call us and say Hey, can you bring one of those nice scooters. And he started calling us the goodbye crutches guys. And so looked up. And sure enough, that URL wasn’t taken. I mean, I can still think of the night I was having dinner with an early beta tester for interview valet and we were talking about different things. And he says, it’s like, you know, you’re setting up all the interviews, you’re taking care of anything is sort of that white glove, valet service. And I quickly pulled up my phone and thought interview valet. And sure enough, I bought that domain for like $10 and registered the company is that


Mike Malatesta  06:06

that’s, it’s funny that you you’re always sort of on the lookout for domains that are available. I do the same thing. I have a whole bunch of them. I don’t know what I’m going to do with. I mean, I don’t have 1000s. But every time I think of an idea that could be a company name or something, I tried to grab it and figure what the heck, maybe someday, someday I’ll do something with it. You know? You mentioned the first I wanted to ask you did you sell any products from there’s a company in the Milwaukee area called Brewer? br e wer that makes all kinds of devices like that, to help people? What is it called convalesce? When you get better, you know?


Tom Schwab  06:51

Yeah, we did not. I’m familiar with them. But we were really focused on just one niche, one vertical, one product. And it really was nice, because it allowed us to get expertise in there. Get known. You know, there were a lot of people saying you should you should do everything. Well, I didn’t have the capital nor the time to do everything. So I’d rather do one thing really, really good. You know, some people call me an idiot savant. I joke some people don’t know what a savant is. So they just say, idiot.


Mike Malatesta  07:25

And you said the orthopedics didn’t like it. But is that because you were competing with them for the sale of the scooter or whatever time? No,


Tom Schwab  07:34

actually, so it was just a sideline business. And orthopedics was was fine. It’s just when they wanted to start to go direct. And this was just a little almost passion business or when it first started out, because I had clients that were therapeutic surgeons, and I remember them asking, Where do you find these things? And back then they were incredibly hard to find. And so I showed him the business model. You buy these things and just rent them to your patients as a service, it would work great. And they all looked at it and said, No, I’ll just call you, you take care of it. And so it was just a really little sideline business that was never meant to take off. And then goodbye, crutches became the largest distributor of crush alternatives in the United States before we sold it.


Mike Malatesta  08:23

So tell me about the sale. What did you end up doing with it


Tom Schwab  08:27

ended up selling some of the, the the line some of the products, the all the inventory, we sold off direct to consumer on that. And it was interesting, one of the things I thought the market was going to be around longer than it was right. And, you know, Chinese imports came in that were on regulated by Earth, they should have been regulated by the FDA, but they weren’t. And so all of a sudden, the quality went down the availability went of them went up nationally. And then ecommerce got a lot tougher, right? My hat hat goes off to people that are in E commerce right now. That is a tough business. And I think you know, FedEx ups and Shopify are making money on Amazon. I’m not sure if many of the sellers are. So as I look back at that now, with everything with COVID and the shipping prices and stuff like that, I am glad that I wish an early, early person in ecommerce and that’s somebody that came late to it.


Mike Malatesta  09:37

So that’s interesting time because I feel like and I think I probably fall into this too sometimes but I feel like everybody that’s doing ecommerce has got the world right where they want them you know, because it all looks so sexy and it looks it looks great. It looks like you’re printing money but but you’re saying that ship the shippers the ones who are delivering it are the only ones really good paid.


Tom Schwab  10:01

Yeah. And I think as I look at it, I like to be at the front end of a trend, right? Where it’s still messy, you’re still figuring it out. It’s still exciting. And then I think after whatever it is a decade or whatever, everybody pretty much figures out the best practices. They they do the same things. And I’ve seen that on podcast guesting too, right? Where we were early into it, we were probably the second agency out there. And while people were just trying to do these random connections, I’m like, just just maths, or just just random exposure isn’t doing it. So it’s got to be more targeted. And then from my engineering background, tried to say, how can we make decisions based on data? And then also from my inbound marketing? Days, looking at it and saying, it’s not just about an appearance, right? I’ve never understood PR. To me, you know, this is this is marketing. If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. So really looking at it from How could you use podcasts interviews, like we used to use guest blogs, and take the best that we’ve learned before and start to refine it?


Mike Malatesta  11:13

Okay. So, um, I want to back up for a second, if you don’t mind, you mentioned that you attributed a technical error to you getting into the Naval Academy, and I wanted to make sure I understood what you meant by that.


Tom Schwab  11:29

It was a complete clerical error. So you cannot you cannot be in the military if you have depth perception. Right. So I’ve never had depth perception since I was a was a kid. And so when you look through binoculars, the two images fused together into one, when I look through it, I just see two, two circles. And I usually end up closing one of my eyes so I can watch it. Right. And it’s just something I had, it was written all over my medical charts. But I’m old enough that it was written, right. It wasn’t all electronic medical records. So it wasn’t till my senior year at the academy, that I’m going for my pre commissioning physical and they’re given me the standard test. Remember that one? Is the ball inside the box or outside the box. And I basically told him, I have no idea. You know, I’ve got monoscopic condition. I can’t use images. Well, next thing I know, I’m at Bethesda, seating everyone. And finally the senior optometrists, ophthalmologists whatever, at Bethesda is like, you’ve got monoscopic vision, you can’t be in the Navy. And I was shocked. I was like, oh, you know, I’ve spent three and a half years at the academy, they had to kick me out. And he was like, oh, no, they’ve invested enough money with you. You know, you’ll graduate. But you know, you’ll never go on a ship. And if somebody’s always thinking, Yes, I never have to be deployed, this is going to be great. You know, I’ll be a CB and and all this. And instead, the needs of the Navy were that they needed nuclear power people. And I was a mechanical engineer. And they like, oh, well, we’ll give you a waiver. And you can go on on surface ships. So, you know, it’s, it’s one of those things by by the grace of God, everything sort of worked out. It wasn’t by my plan.


Mike Malatesta  13:23

Okay. So it did save you from being in a submarine then at least? Yes, it did. Okay. And I noticed that I noticed time that you also went to military academy for high school or Yes. So what was was where you were your parents in the military, what what was the what was going on there that took you down that that track? It was


Tom Schwab  13:46

I had a couple uncles that went to that school. And so I grew up Roman Catholic, and you know, there was there was a couple schools around, and one of them at the time was called Marmion. Military Academy. It’s now just Marmion Academy, and they had Junior Junior ROTC. Right? So it was sort of an add on class there. It was taught by Benedict. Well, the school was run by Benedictine monks. And I think the monks were harder than the army people ever were. So just just went there. And it to me, it was normal. And I think it really made the transition into the Naval Academy that much easier, because I sort of understood the culture a little bit more. It’s not that that culture shock when people turn 17 And they get their head shaved and somebody yells at them for the first time.


Mike Malatesta  14:38

Yeah, okay. So you sort of knew what you’re getting into? I think so. Yeah. Okay. And I don’t want to I don’t want to I just want to jump over this nuclear war. Did you say it was your you were a nuclear Well,


Tom Schwab  14:58

the title is new. Nuclear Propulsion operator. So okay,


Mike Malatesta  15:02

so give us give me Tell me and tell me in as in as much technical but layman understandable terms what that actually means. What does it mean to to be that? And you’re How do you do that on a ship or whatever,


Tom Schwab  15:19

it’s scary to think about it. Now, as I look back, you know, right now, as we talk, there are people running nuclear power plants on submarines, and aircraft carriers, the vast majority of them are enlisted, right. So they’re high school graduates, the average age is about 21. And they’re very smart, very, very educated through the Navy, on how to safely run nuclear power plants. And I was one of the officers that that was in charge of that, I ran one nuclear power plant. And then before I got out, I was in charge of overseeing the two nuclear power plants. And people are amazed by that, that, you know, they’ve been doing this for decades and decades from the, you know, the 50s, the 60s, and they’ve done it safely. They’ve done it reproducibly. And I think it’s really because of the culture and the processes with it. And it always strikes me now when I hear people say, you know, you don’t understand my business, my business is so complicated. I could never, I could never teach it, I could never else, I could never find someone to do what I did. And if I just pause and think back on that, like, if they can teach people how to run nuclear power plants at 21 years old, you know, and they do it safely and efficiently. Our businesses aren’t that complicated, right, we should be able to learn that and the cultural thing to have that’s just as important as the as the processes and the training, to have the culture to know what’s the right thing to do. And to do that, and so that’s the always the biggest thing that I’ve taken away from nuclear


Mike Malatesta  17:08

power. And just from a practical, like, practical standpoint, is that nuclear power is, is powering the engine of the yes ship. Is that what’s happening?


Tom Schwab  17:20

So nuclear power is basically just boils the water to make the lights turned on, and the propellers go. And you’ve used it in new N submarines since the heck, the 50s. And then in aircraft carriers since the 60s. And so it’s just running the run of the plant running all the machinery.


Mike Malatesta  17:41

Okay, got it? And is there like a nuclear power plant? Is there spent, like nuclear rods and something like that? Or is it a different type of technology?


Tom Schwab  17:51

same technology that you see like, Oh, I think in Illinois, they used to have Zion, they’re designed nuclear power plant, same, same pressurized water technology, and the fuel was good for about 25 years. So every 25 years, they bring it in, cut a big hole in the ship, they take the spent fuel out, they put the new fuel back in, and she’s good to go for another 25 years.


Mike Malatesta  18:17

And what was it, Tom, that kept you from being a career? Nuclear Propulsion? Yeah.


Tom Schwab  18:28

Thank you for asking that. And when people say like, Thank you for your service. I always feel uncomfortable with that, right? Because I had fun in the Navy. But that is hard on a family. Right? So I, by the time I got out, it was married, I had two kids. And you know, another deployment was going to probably wreck the family. So I just looked at that and said, I’ve done everything that I’ve wanted to do. And then the other thing, too, is that by your group was such I graduated the academy in 87. And by 92, what I got out, there was so many budget cuts, right? Because they were the old Clinton peace rebate, right? A lot of my classmates didn’t get promoted from 92 Up till about 2001. Just because there was no money there. And then all of a sudden, it was, you know, September 11 hit, and everybody got promoted. So I just looked at it and said, I, I appreciate an honor the families that do that, and what they do for us, but I knew my family could not not survive that. So that was probably the biggest reason to get out. And I can still remember when I got out, you know, my dad called me a fool. Right? It’s like all you got to do is put another 15 years in, and, you know, you’ll get a retirement. And then about three years later, I went straight commission job in sales, and that’s when he called me a dang fool. He’s like, I can’t do this. Right. Right, you’re married, you’ve got a house, you got a mortgage. You can’t do these things. But I know he wanted the best for me. But I think, you know, that’s that whole thing of how did it happen? I don’t know, just sort of seeing what opportunities you had and walking into them.


Mike Malatesta  20:18

And where were you living at the time when you got out?


Tom Schwab  20:21

I was in Alameda, California. Okay. And you want to talk about sticker shock. So all I’d ever lived on was base housing. And so, base housing, we looked out our window, we saw the Oakland Bay Bridge, we saw San Francisco was beautiful. I got offered a job there, by Stryker Corporation in San Jose, California. And I’m like, Ah, this is great. Right. And what I didn’t realize is that the people I was talking to, there was like four engineers that lived in a two bedroom house together, just to make ends meet. And I looked at what the cost of living was what they were paying. And I said, I can’t afford this. You know, I’d love the job, but I can’t afford it. And so that’s when they said, we’ve got a facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, right? Would you would you like to interview there? And so I went from sunny, beautiful Bay Area, California, to taken a job in snowy Kalamazoo. But it was a great experience.


Mike Malatesta  21:24

Yeah, and you’ve been there ever since


Tom Schwab  21:28

30 years? Literally, literally, when I took the job. I told them, I’ll take the job, but I’m not dying here. And family grew up here. We’ve got grandchildren now that live here. So it’s home.


Mike Malatesta  21:43

Yeah. Okay. Well, thanks for sharing that I sort of asked the question awkwardly, but I’m glad that you took us through that is, I think that’s really neat, especially what you said about 21 year olds, you know, doing this now. The cause, and I’m off on a little tangent here. But there’s so much discussion about the value of college and what you know, your prospects are out of college versus what you, you know, what your prospects are, say, if you enlisted in the military, or if you go to trade school, or, or whatever. And obviously, you went to, you know, top college, but you’ve been around all these other people that in the right situation with the right leadership with the right training, they can, you know, they can do anything, or nearly anything, or lots of things that you wouldn’t ordinarily think without, you know, a degree of


Tom Schwab  22:37

some sort. Yes, there. Yes. And also believing in them. The same the same way somebody believed believed in me to do that. And I have to remind myself, that as a leader, right, are they going to do it perfectly? Are they going to do it? As well as I would know, but that’s my job is not to keep doing that for the rest of my life. Right? It’s to build up that next level of leaders. And there was a thing in the Navy that said, you don’t judge a ship, by when the captain’s there, judge the ship after the captain leaves? So he does, does he leave a mess? Does? Was it all personality driven? So I always think of that, you know, how does my company operate when I’m not there? And then even more, if, you know, if I wasn’t running the company, how would that next levels leaders do it? And that’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of my business is the leadership team.


Mike Malatesta  23:41

That is what you just said, there. It’s so important. First of all, this you know, once you’re gone, what have you left behind? There’s so many stories about that. It’s almost like this stories about people who have you know, big brands around them are more important in the press, at least than what the company is, like, once they’re gone. And oftentimes, the big personalities well, they don’t want to build a team, right? Because they don’t want that they want it to be about them. And then the other thing you mentioned about which I think is so smart, you know, and and I learned this in strategic coach, a program that I was in, in the early 2000s. That, you know, if you want to know what’s wrong with your business, you just leave and come back and you’ll find out you’ll find out who all the wrong people are, you’ll find out what all the wrong processes are all that you’ll find out all the things you’ve been covering up or masking or band aiding or being the hero for. You’ll find all that out. So if you really want to have a business that’s worth a lot more and that can can, doesn’t it is not dependent on you forever. As a result is more valuable. Yeah, maybe start by just stepping away and seeing, but it’s, that’s a fearful thing to do. Because you may not want to, you may not want to see what’s actually there, right?


Tom Schwab  25:13

It’s sort of that stress test your business. So you say, Well, you do with your kids, right? There’s a certain point where you’ve always got to see them. But then after a certain point, yeah, you can go over to the neighbor’s house and play, you can be outside of AI, eyesight, you know, then you can go around the block all the rest of that. It’s scary. And yeah, they make it fall down and get hurt, but they’re only a block away. Right? So is that that stress test. And I love Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach, I always joke that we both went to school in Annapolis. He went to St. John’s, which is like, classic education. And then I went to the, you know, the Spartan engineering school there. And so it’s like two worlds, but it’s a great, great city. And it’s a great dichotomy there, too.


Mike Malatesta  26:01

So, I’ve met you a little over a year ago, I think it was, and it was Jeff Matt off that introduced us, Jeff was on the Podcast, episode number 214, if you want to check that episode out, and I was so it’s so he was my first. He’s how I met you. And it was my first introduction into what you do at interview valet? And so I thought, well, maybe we use him as a sort of a test, you know, subject for you to, you know, explain to us what you do.


Tom Schwab  26:40

Yeah. And so, Jeff, great, great man wrote a book called creative careers. And it’s really based off of his experience, and also a course that he does at Parsons School of Design there in New York. And so he came to us wanting to use podcast interviews, to promote his book, right? Called a virtual book tour. How do I get out there? How do I get more known. And the goal is one to sell more books, but then also, to to gain the social media, there’s SEO value, because every podcast he’s on, you know, you linked back to him. And you’re basically telling all the search engines, I think his site is so good, that I would send people from my site to his site. And so it’s a very, very powerful thing. And so we work, we’ve been working with him for quite quite a long time to go out there. And he talks about the book. And one of the things that we really, we learned from all of our clients, and working with Jeff really showed us that content is king. But context is God. Right? Small G. And so if you just say, want to talk about creative careers? Well, as we listened back to the market, there’s a lot of podcasts that said, Yeah, I don’t have a creative podcast. And my book is not about careers. But it was still, you know, a great audience, right? He got on the Tim Ferriss show. And so we started to look at it and you know, his book is amazing, you could take that book and break it down. I think there’s 13 chapters in it, each one of those chapters could be a standalone book. Right? That means he’s got one that’s like the, the myth of the lone genius, right. And another one about relationships, and everything gets done through relationships. And so we started to take those and really work with him to say, Okay, on on this podcast, let’s really focus on this, this aspect of the book, right. And then at the end, he can always say, you know, this is just one of the portions, you know, in there, and it gives people a reason to go back and get the other portions of the book. The other thing is that podcasting content is so, so valuable, right, because you can repurpose it so easily. So now it’s a proof source, and he can take that audio talking about that one chapter. And he could turn it into a blog, he could make reels out of it, he could make social media posts out of it, you know, you can get a bunch worth of inventory out of out of every episode. And so, you know, that’s a way to really get the maximum return on investment of your money invested, but even more so of your time. And, you know, so it’s, like I said, it’s marketing. Because at heart, I’m an engineer, I’m a marketer, and it’s got to do something. It’s got to drive results. And I’ve been pleased, thrilled working with Jeff and everything, but also the people that he introduces us to, and, you know, singing our praises and, you know, 70% of our clients come through for us.


Mike Malatesta  30:00

And just just to add a little bit about his book now that we’ve we’ve brought it up heat I thought he did. So he basically it’s basically a collection of stories from people he’s interviewed or had in his classes at Parsons. But he didn’t just say the easy way to write that book is to just have a chapter about each person and have lessons that they gave in that particular class. That’s, for me, that’s the easy way to write that book. But he didn’t do that. Instead, he came up with these chapters, as you said, and then he weaves the portions of the stories from some of the individuals into each one of those chapters. So it’s not like, Oh, here’s what happened when Debbie Millman Milman. I think that’s her name came to Parsons. No, no, it’s not about that at all. It’s, it’s about this idea. And then how these people either explained or explored, whatever talked about that, and he just did a really nice job weaving that together. It’s almost like a fiction book. It’s not Not really but sort of like, like, he didn’t take the easy way out of that book. Like I see a lot of people take the easy way out. And it’s tempting to take the easy way out.


Tom Schwab  31:20

And it’s easy to take the easy way out, too. It’s like Tim Ferriss book was a Titans, right. It’s basically a transcript of all his different interviews, right? It’s great book, right? People like it. They like reading. I’m sorry. I’m add, there is no way I can sit down and read through a 700 page book. Right? That’s a homework assignment.


Mike Malatesta  31:45

And if we weren’t Tim Ferriss, nobody would read it. Oh, it’s


Tom Schwab  31:49

right. It’d be a good doorstop. That’d be about it. But how Jeff could really boil it down into here’s the one key takeaway message in there. And then he had, so he’s one of the most diverse guys as far as of his friends network, right? Of who he knows. And he was able to bring in stories from different people. And there were certain people he would reference in there. And I would say, I have no idea who that person is. Yes, yeah. But there was other people. And I’m like, Oh, that is so great. You, you’ve got to interview them for your class. So it’s like that cross pollination of ideas. And people, I think that’s one of the great reasons that his book has such wide appeal. Because everybody can find, you know, of the 50 people, maybe he quoted there, there’s like 10, that on your bucket list to have dinner with.


Mike Malatesta  32:47

And I’ll get off of him in a minute. But the the, I heard him on the Tim Ferriss show. And, and I heard him on a Strategic Coach podcast, one or the other. And I just reached out to him called and said, hey, you know, I was in strategic coach from blah, blah, blah. And he, you know, responded, and then actually came came on the podcast, which I was very surprised about. But ever since then I’ve remained, you know, in touch with him. And every time you meet this guy, and he’s in his 70s, he will recommend a book, a person, a TV show, a documentary, something that’s impacted him that he wants to share with you, because he thinks it will, you know, positively impact you as well. And now he’s doing this musical called personality. Lloyd Price story, which is going to open in Chicago, in May of 2023. I believe. So, the guys guys, the guy is, he’s a creative he is he has had many creative careers. Let’s put it that way.


Tom Schwab  33:53

He has. And I think he’s an example that you just put put out, you know, ask the question what we did for him? Yes. But I would say you could look at the same thing, what he has leveraged in podcasting, right, because he is the ultimate in relationships, right? There’s some people that are very, very transactional. Jeff is relational. And I think that’s what works out best in podcasting. Because you’ll hear somebody on a podcast, and you feel like you already know them. Right? Because they’ve been in your ears. He also does a great job of connecting with hosts. Right? If if there’s an influencer that has this podcast that you know, you want to get in front of their audience, well, why wouldn’t you want to build a relationship with the hosts? And that’s one of the things that we teach our clients but also one of those litmus tests, right? If they’re just there to use and abuse an audience, we want no part of that right. Our mission is to personally introduce inspiring thought leaders to millions of people they could serve for the betterment of all. And Jeff really lives out that right? When he comes on a podcast, he’s there to serve, right? And he realizes the more value he brings for the audience for the host, the more value he’ll get out, get from it, and realizing that it’s not just a 30 minute interview, it’s that first conversation that could grow into speaking at conferences could be a new referral source a good partner, it’s, you know, it’s sort of that idea of one conversation away. I’m so frustrated. In marketing, everybody’s talking about your one funnel away. Right. And it’s a good marketing marketing thing. They built some business around it, but nothing in my life of value has ever come through a funnel. Right? I did not meet my bride, because I had the perfect funnel to put everything through. No, it was a conversation. You know, I didn’t, I didn’t get my best employees because I had a funnel and got everybody through. No, it’s because somebody who knew me would do be what I was looking for. And what we were trying to do, introduced us to someone else. So I always just say, you know, funnels are great. I’m, I’m all for automation. But if you want something to value, it’s going to take a conversation.


Mike Malatesta  36:21

And I know I’ve seen you, you’ve written the big fish don’t swim through funnels, right. So the people, you if you want, if you want the best people, you have to figure out a way to appeal to them that doesn’t feel like they’re being put in people know, when they’re being put into a funnel, right? They know, when they’re being upsell. They know when they’re being, you know, targeted for something free. And then they, they they, they may do it, but they know they’re getting into something and people that a certain level just don’t don’t want to they don’t do that. Right?


Tom Schwab  36:56

Yeah, it’s, we had one client came to us. And I asked him, Why do you want to do podcast interview marketing? And I love this answer. This gentleman was a high level consultant. And he said, Because I think most of social media today is the digital equivalent of advertising above urinals. And I laughed, and I’m like, explain that to me. And he’s like, well, people say, you got to be everywhere. He’s like, if one of my clients saw me, in a men’s room, that’s a reason not to hire me. Right? There’s, there’s certain lawyers that you know, advertise on a bus or on a park bench. And then there’s other ones that are high level corporate attorneys. And to think that just going to work the same on both, I think is really mistaken there. And I think in some ways, digital marketing can hurt your business with that. And what works for us $7 tripwire product is not going to work for a seven figure consulting product.


Mike Malatesta  38:00

So in, in the bio that I read, we talked about, or I mentioned, thought leaders, so you work with thought leaders I’d like to get I mean, we went through the example of Jeff, but why? Why should thought leaders want to be on podcasts? Tom, that’s first and second. Why do they want a real strategy? Like what an interview valet can provide? As opposed to a podcast book or booking agency, for example, who might have a different approach?


Tom Schwab  38:40

And I think my answer has changed drastically over this last month. Right? Chat GPT when that came out? To me, that is times it scares me. And makes me so happy. Right? The possibilities with it. But I think often now what we’re going to see in print, you’re not going to know, did Mike really write that? Or was that just AI that did it and to to write a blog to write an article to pick to write a book is just, it’s going to be so easy, and everything’s going to sound so generic, that nobody’s going to read it anymore. Right. So is that going to cheapen the value of print? I believe it will. But right now, at least AI is not good enough to replace audio, or video. So if you want to get out there and get known. I don’t see how you could do that with a blog or social media anymore. I really think you got to get your your your voice out there. And or your video out there so people know which notes it’s you.


Mike Malatesta  39:47

So let’s dig into that a little bit. So you mentioned Chet GPT that is a product that open AI companies name is open ai Open You can sign up for chat CPT for free right now. And what time is describing as you, you basically feed it a question or an assignment of some sort. And it can be anything. And this, this technology will produce a letter, an email, a white paper, a song, a poem, whatever you are asking it for, it’ll produce, and maybe it’ll produce it, you know, where you’d be like, Yep, I’m going to use that. Or maybe you’d have to, but it’s incredible. And it does that in seconds. Like, I’ve used it, I’ve been playing around with it for the last three, four weeks. I wrote, I wrote four or five white papers for our, for our business that I’m that I have an ownership, and they were just doing standard white papers for content, you know, SEO type stuff, just fed at the question, and it wrote really good, you know, as good as like most people could do. And for me, I wasn’t scared by that, because I was just so happy that someone or me didn’t have to sit down and do that, but it will blow you away if you’ve never seen it before. But But So You Think You think that because of that and other types that I mean, our competitors charge up to the value that people will place in something that’s written will be diminished? Is that what you’re saying?


Tom Schwab  41:39

I believe so. Because the barrier to entry is so low now, right? It’s so easy to write a blog, it’s so easy to write an article. And add volume. So if it’s easy for you and I to do it, it’s also easy for the other billions of people in the world to do it. So I think that that volume is going to go up and the quality is probably going to go to the sort of middle of the road. Right? So if you if I if I go in there and say, What are the five biggest mistakes to make on podcasts? Right? I’m sure it’ll give me out a great blog. But they’re going to be the ones that everybody pretty much knew there’s not going to be anything cutting edge there. And so I think the power of audio, and the power of video is going to be so much more impactful. Right? Because people will know, hey, that’s really Mike talking. You know, that’s really Tom because no computer AI would say on and off and drop their G’s on on words as much as I do. Right. Yeah. And it’s too, it’s just too clean. And so I think that the cutting edge of ideas is going to still be in audio and video, because it’s a little bit more raw. I don’t know how long that’s going to last right AI will get into there at some point. But I really think over the next three to five years will be the heyday for that.


Mike Malatesta  43:21

I think I think you’re right, I sorry to interrupt you. I have seen a video of someone like Jerry Seinfeld, whatever the computer that it AI produced, and it’s pretty close. It’s well he didn’t produce they don’t produce the video, they produce the words that are then put on top of a video. But I think for those as a person, I think you have to have so much stuff out there that most people will never have, you know, in terms of source material for that AI to us where it would be able to, you know replicate you fairly well like if you’re a president or you’re someone who makes speeches all the time everywhere. That’s a difference or comedian for example, but but I think it would take a long time to get authentic about it most normal thought leaders for example.


Tom Schwab  44:17

The other thing too is that it’s the more automated the world gets. I think sometimes the more personal people look for, and I think audio is very personal. I think video can be very personal. If you look at what what audio and video is working best right now is the authentic conversations. Right? We’re not the look at podcasts. They’re not like morning radio, where it’s all super edited and you know, zany all this stuff. Now it’s real conversations and the same thing on video. Right? It’s the real background. It’s the it’s the it’s the raw Footage maybe even you know, it’s just not super overproduced. Right. So I think that’s one of the reasons that I think podcasting and podcasting is starting to Berge now to right 70% of podcasts have video. So podcasts are audio and video. And that your second question there as well. If that’s, if that’s what’s going, right, if that’s if that’s the new gold rush. Why, why can’t you just do more is better, right? Just just find somebody to book you’re on more and more and more show. Right? Right, right. And my word for this year, every every year, I have a word. And when I turned 50, I gave myself extra words, it’s better is better. And a client actually brought this to me years ago, he said, more is not better, better is better. And Steve ocho is a recruiter out of the Detroit area. And he’s like, you know, if I give you 4 billion resumes, does that serve you better than if I just give you three people that are perfect? Which one is better? And this idea of more and more and more, and I think it’s better, better? Better? Right? So the idea of how can you get in on that our podcasts, and better podcasts are not bigger podcasts? They’re better podcasts where you can add value to the audience, right? It’s it’s your people. It’s very targeted. It’s very topical. And then how can you get better results from every podcast? Right? What strategies can you use? And there are strategies, right? It’s not just going out on random exposure. What data can you use to get better? The data has gotten is starting to get better. And podcasting. And I honestly don’t know how people could do it without without the data. And I remember somebody saying, well, that costs a lot. I’m like, Yeah, but without the data, your podcast guessing, not podcast guesting, right, and you just wait wasting your time on that. What other marketing channel would you do just on? Well, I feel this and I’ll try this. No, there’s got to be that data. And even to the point where, you know, people will say, Well, you can’t measure the, the return on investment, you can’t and you can’t measure the impact. And then like, if you do it, right, you can write it should be closed loop, you should know what’s working. Because you should be doubling down on what’s working, and stop doing what’s not working. Right. So to me, an analogy would be like, Okay, if this is the gold rush, do you just want to grab a shovel grab a pic? And look at a place in the ground? You may find gold, right? But most people will, will not. And even if you do find gold? If you don’t know why it happened there? Why that? Vayner gold is there? How will you ever get to reproduce the success with that?


Mike Malatesta  48:07

Yeah, you’re just lucky. Yes. Just lucky. So, so when someone comes to you, Jeff, or whomever, and they probably all come and say, Hey, I’ve got a book or have got this and have got a coaching business or whatever. And I need to get more well known I need to get out there. They probably all come with this feeling that if I get on a lot of shows, it’ll be great. And of course your based on what you’ve already said, You’re gonna tell them well, maybe, maybe not. But how do you? How do you help people get a clear strategy for what they want to accomplish? And then, and then actually get them on the right shows? How do you do that without, you know, giving away any secrets? How do you actually do that?


Tom Schwab  49:06

I talked about this enough. And there is no secrets, right? Everything’s out there. It’s really just the execution. And you started with it. What’s the goal? What are you trying to do? Because we’ll have some people that will come to us and say, I want to get on podcasts? Well, that’s not a goal, right? That’s a means to a goal. And you’ll find if that’s your goal, you’re gonna get bored after about five or 10. Right? The novelty wears off. So what’s, what’s the ultimate goal here? What are you trying to accomplish with this over the next year? And then let’s use how we can use this to to achieve that goal. The second people the second time, or the second common question is people will say, Yeah, I want to get onto Gary Vaynerchuk podcast or I want to get on Joe Rogan’s podcast. They’ll think of podcast and not audience All right. So don’t think of what podcasts you want to get on. Think of what people you want to talk to. Because it’s not it’s not always the podcast. And you can start to say, well, I, you know, my people are like they follow. Gary Vaynerchuk. Right? Well, your chances getting on Gary’s Podcast is your first interview, are slim to none, unless you know him. Right.


Mike Malatesta  50:26

Yeah. Or unless you’re some big name that he wants to write. And, and he’s probably reaching out to you already. Yes, of course.


Tom Schwab  50:33

So what you’re really saying is, I want to talk to his audience. Oh, okay. Now, there’s data that you can use. And you could say, okay, of all the people that follow him on Instagram, or, you know, everybody that goes to Harvard Business Review, whatever it is, what podcasts do they listen to, and you could build look alike audiences? And so that’s really what we’re doing with our, with our clients. The first thing is, you know, what’s your goal? You know, is that achievable for podcast interviews? Who do you want to talk to? Right? So you’ve sort of got that the, the message the market, and then the machine is really, all right. Once you get on that podcast, based on all of the data, the things that we’re looking for, how are you going to move people from being just a passive listener to inactive visitor to an engaged lead? Going back to the analogy, you know, I could take you where the fish are. But if you don’t have the right gear, if you don’t have the right idea of how you’re going to land them, and then get them in the boat, you’re just going to spend a lot of time on podcasts. And we’re data driven, right IR engineer. And so we’ve tested this over and over. And like here’s, here’s something every digital marketer will tell you one call to action. I don’t disagree with them. But on podcast interviews, we’ve tested this over and over, HubSpot has been a client of ours, they’ve looked at the data. If you give people three ways to say yes, it always converts best. And you think about it, if you’re if you’re from us on the stage, right? You just don’t tell the people you know, sign up for my newsletter. That’s the only thing you could do. Now meet them where they are. Give people like a small Yes. Give them a way to to come back and get a free checklist of free assessments. Something’s not going to take a little, a lot of time or money, right? The medium Yes, could be something that takes a little bit more time or money, right, I give my book away. You know, your book is awesome, right? That would be an investment of more time than anything, right? Your ideal customers for coaching and stuff. The price of the book isn’t the isn’t the the sticking point. It’s Do I have the time to do this? Right. So that’s the small Yes. Than the medium? Yes. The heck yes. Is if somebody hears you on a podcast interview. And you are answered a prayer, right? They listened to you, this is a burning problem. Don’t slow down in a funnel, right? If they come with credit card and hand wanting to talk to the wizard, let them talk to the wizard. So the heck yes is you know, if you want to jump on a discovery call, you know, if you’re a business owner that you think could leverage this, let’s jump on a call and explore this. So meeting them where they are. And then the other thing is to send them to one page. Right? Don’t say, you can find me here on LinkedIn here on Twitter. You know, here’s my cell phone, all the rest of that, that will just confuse people. So send them to one place. And if you make it a unique place, then you that’s how you can attribute the traffic. Right. So okay, I’ll pull back the curtain, right? Give me an example. If I make a page that’s interview, forward slash h i h, for how, How’d it happen? Right? If you hit that page, I know the only way you did that, is because you heard Mike and I hear right. And then what’s going to be there. The data says the first thing you show is the podcast artwork, right? Because you have no idea who I am, right? You have no idea what Tom Schwab looks like your interview valets website. But when you see Mike’s artwork, there is going to be like, Oh, I’m in the right place. And then it’s some boilerplate text. You know, hey, if you’re here, it’s because you heard Mike and I talking on the podcast, here’s some things that we talked about. And here’s the three offers, right. The does assessment will podcast interview marketing work for you the free copy of the book, and then, you know, hey, if you want to jump on a discovery call, it’s right there.


Mike Malatesta  54:42

So it’s one place three offers. Correct. One place three authors. Yes. Yeah. Okay. That simplifies things. I love that. So I am thanks for taking us through that too, because the whole time I had been both I’ve been a podcaster for a while now. And you When I particularly when when my book was launching, I was on a lot of podcasts I’ve been on both sides of of it. And I don’t think I had an adequate I don’t I don’t think I had the right plan for, for, you know, all the podcasts that I was on with my book, I think it was more of a mid publisher, you know, put it together and stuff. And so I you know, I did what? I know how to do a podcast and get people on mine, but I don’t know, necessarily know how to get on shows or the right shows except people I know that would say no, you know if I asked them. So it’s been really interesting to listen to this. And, and I think I want to ask you this, the so many people want to start a podcast that are thought leaders, for example. And that’s, you know, he talked about e commerce being a crowded space podcaster of podcasts are very crowded space podcasts with longevity, maybe less, maybe less so, but still a very crowded place. Where if you’re advising a thought leader, coach, author, whatever, or even someone who’s got their own personal brand, you know, and they have they have, who knows what they do? Maybe somebody like me who got their hands in all kinds of different stuff. Would you recommend focusing on getting your audience built through other people’s shows? Or would you say, you know, doing your own podcast is a good idea. And I don’t know if this is a fair question. So if it’s not telling me, but I just am curious for your opinion.


Tom Schwab  56:34

Yeah, I don’t think it’s an either or I think you have to go back to what you were saying before. What’s your goal? Goal? What? What are you trying to do with this? It’s like Uber. Uber is an amazing platform, right? Should you be a driver or an Uber? Passenger? Totally different goals there, right? So the same way with the podcast, if you want to nurture your current leads, nurture your current audience, then you’d be a host. Right? Because you’ve already got that audience. If you’re looking to get new exposure, new leads, new backlinks, new social media, then you’ve got to go out on other people’s stages. Right. And this, this idea that, you know, 10 years ago, this person came out of nowhere, they got on the new and new and noteworthy. And their podcast blew up. Yeah, that was like 10 or 15 years ago, the idea now that with there’s 3 million podcasts, only 400,000 of them are active. The idea that you think I’m going to start a podcast from scratch without any following, and it’s going to take off. It doesn’t happen, right? The average podcast today gets 150 downloads per episode. And if you’re trying to grow your business, that’s a that’s a lot of work to just reach 150 people, it’s, it’s a whole lot easier to be a guest. And I would argue, if you’re trying to go out there and get new customers new following, it’s a lot more effective to


Mike Malatesta  58:06

Okay. Well, I can say as someone who did start a podcast with no audience, just, you know, for me, it was something I started because it was I was curious about it. And I wanted to see if I could do it. But I Tom is right, it’s not easy, unless you have a name that people will come to you no matter what you do. And those are kind of frustrating to and when people start podcasts because they have a name. And it’s just it’s, you know, it’s not as good as some of the others who are struggling, you know, to make make it good. But building an audience is very, very hard. Very, yeah. And


Tom Schwab  58:41

there’s a lot of people that say, oh, doing a podcast is easy. But it’s easy, like golf is easy. And, and football is easy, right? I just want to play football for two hours on a Sunday afternoon, and make millions of dollars. Well, there was a lot of work that went into that. You just see the good parts.


Mike Malatesta  59:04

Yeah. I’m glad you put that cherry on it. Because that is that is actually super true. Super true. Well, Tom, thank you so much for coming on today. It’s been great to get to know you better and to get to know interview interview valet better. Appreciate the link which will will repeat. I’m sure you will repeat it before you go. But is there anything else that I didn’t ask you or that you’d like to leave us with that? That I that I tripped over?


Tom Schwab  59:37

Well, there’s one phrase that I use in my life a lot. And it’s called What’s ordinary to you is amazing to others. Right? We all underestimate what we know. And we all overestimate what other people know. Right? And it’s one of the things I keep telling others so I can tell myself at the same time Right, we’re blessed to be a blessing. So if you’ve learned a lesson, share it with someone else. And I used to be able to say, Well, yeah, I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan, right? How am I going to share that? Now, you could do it over the internet, social media, writing blogs, whatever. For me, it’s easiest to talk, right? I’m not an expert on everything. But I’ve got a very small, narrow thing of expertise. And I love going out there and sharing it. So you know, as a, as a podcast guest, a podcast host whatever it is to go out there and, you know, share what you’ve learned to be a blessing to other people. And I think that makes the world a much better place.


Mike Malatesta  1:00:43

Well, Tom, thank you for sharing that last piece of wisdom. If you want to get Pam’s book, you go to interview, forward slash h i h do I have that right?


Tom Schwab  1:01:00

You do give you a free copy of the book. You can buy it on Amazon, but I’ll mail you a free copy. And there’s also an assessment there. Right. That’s that small yes, that I gave an example 10 questions will podcast interview marketing work for for you and your business. And then you know, if you listen to this and like, Hey, this is interesting. I’d like to talk about, you know how I could use it for my personal brand or for my business. I’ll put my calendar scheduling link there and we can talk about it.


Mike Malatesta  1:01:29

Wonderful. All right. Well take Tom up on his on his offer. I certainly have and yeah, I’ve learned a ton. So thanks so much. Thank you, Mike.

Alexi Cortopassi

Alexi Cortopassi

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