$800K Podcast Marketer Talks How To Get Booked on Top Podcasts

There could always be a more effective way of reaching your target customer. In this interview, I’m talking with Ryan Estes, Founder of Kitcaster, a podcast booking agency that helps entrepreneurs build authentic connections, as well as the TalkLaunch Podcast. Kitcaster has recently raised over $3 million as it continues to see rapid growth.

Watch the video or read the transcript to learn how to get a 20% discount.

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Jean-Marc:         

 

All right. Awesome. Everyone, this is Jean-Marc Saint Laurent coming to you recorded. I was going to say live, but I don’t want to be inaccurate here. Anyhow, I am super, super excited to talk with Ryan Estes. Let me tell you about Mr. Estes. I’ve met him personally in my own business dealings, but this is what really impresses me about him. He is now the leader of a podcast booking agency called Kitcaster.

 

Here’s some of the stuff that they’ve done. They have over 50 unique customers. They’ve raised over $3 million in crowdfunding. And personally through his own podcast, Mr. Estes has made over $800,000, folks. Let me tell you, that’s just $200,000 shy of a million. But you’re telling me you’re going to get there soon, right?

 

Ryan:                     

 

We’ll get there in 2020, for sure.

 

Jean-Marc:         

 

Nice, nice. Feel free to share that love as much as you want to.

 

Ryan:                     

 

Yeah. Coffee’s on me if I hit the goal.

 

Jean-Marc:         

 

That’s a good start. That’s a good start.

 

Ryan:                     

 

Yeah. Thanks for having me on this show. I really appreciate it, Jean-Marc. This is going to be really fun.

 

Jean-Marc:         

 

Yeah, looking forward to it. Let’s get into it. Why podcasting? Why should business leaders be taking their time out to do it?

 

Ryan:                     

 

There’s a lot of different reasons. But the one that I found really rings true the most is our ideal customer is a funded startup founder, or a founder that’s doing north of $40k MRR. These are people that live and breathe for their business. They bleed and die for their business, which means that it’s always on the tip of their tongue. That’s what they live for. That’s what they want to talk about. That’s what they engage in.

                    

 

The problem is is that the people that are around, startup founders, grow really tired about hearing about their business. In some places, it might not be appropriate for them to speak with their business with employees, and things like that. So, there’s a dire need … This is my cat. There’s a dire need, in my opinion, for a CEOs and founders to find an audience to talk about their business to. Because no one’s going to listen.

                 

 

Podcasting ends up being a very soft landing for them, and it gives them the opportunity to say what they’re passionate about. Podcasts also give you an awesome opportunity to reach prospective clients. It also gives you opportunity to network with podcast hosts who often are fantastic in their own right, and in the relationship can really bear interesting fruit. 

 

Also, a lot of our clients are interested in raising a round. You’re in SaaS, you’re in tech, you’re in software. You’re either closing a round, looking to raise a round, looking for an exit. You kind of need to fill your stable of interested venture capitalists, angel investors, or anybody who’s looking to get in on early investment opportunities.

 

                    

 

Podcasting becomes kind of an evergreen way that these investors can learn about their business. I think for podcasters, it really boils down to those three things. Prospective clients, relationships with the podcast host, investment opportunities, and then, of course, kind of a cure for their innate loneliness.

 

Jean-Marc:         

 

You know, I don’t think I’d ever heard of those qualities of podcasts being explained. That’s awesome.

 

Ryan:  

                    

Yeah. It’s great man. And what better way to sell your product or to really describe the problem, your solution … or the problem you’re solving for, rather, than just saying it yourself. You don’t need 140 characters of snappy copy dialogue. Just talk about it to people that are interested.

 

Jean-Marc:         

 

Speaking about talking about it, how do you generate leads using podcasts?

 

Ryan:                     

 

The best way to do it is to do it inadvertently, really. Podcasts are unique. People are listening in transition. They’re in their car, they’re at the gym, they’re doing laundry, they’re doing the dishes. If you’re like, “Hey, act now with the promo code … blah, blah, blah … if you type it in for the next 20 minutes.” No one’s going to stop what they’re doing. You know? They’re just not going to do it. That kind of conversion is very difficult.

                   

 

Where you’re going to see a conversion rate that’s going to be meaningful is, one, if your customer lifetime value is significant. And if the podcast you’re going on … the audience that is attracted to that podcast listens to that podcast, it overlaps perfectly with what you’re providing so that they’re going to be paying attention. 

 

Because we know that they’re not necessarily going to stop what they’re doing and go back. But if there is the perfect overlap of … for the solution, that’s going to increase your opportunity for a conversion, whatever that may look like to that person. You really want to nail down what’s the audience of podcast. Make sure you’re hitting that out of the park.

 

Jean-Marc:         

 

Oh, nice. What are some tips that you like to use for doing that?

Ryan:                     

For finding the ideal audience?

Jean-Marc:         

Exactly.

Ryan:                     

I personally think kind of validating who your audience is from a CEO standpoint, they should be spending a lot of time talking to the customers. Find out exactly who they are by talking to them. 

Oftentimes, podcasting can become a great avenue for that too, or recording a call like we’re doing now. You get to know your customers a little bit by actually speaking with them. You definitely want to to figure out who your customer is and check your assumptions.               

Let’s just assume you’ve done that. What’s maybe a next step of like getting booked on a podcast? I’m interested in lead gen. With podcasting, I’ve identified my ideal audience, kind of all the segments that I want to speak to. I need to go out and identify those podcasts. That’s kind of a tricky part. 

There’s several tools you can use. iTunes recently kind of reconfigured all their categories, so you have a master category and sub category. So, figuring out is your ideal audience listening to leadership podcasts, software podcasts, business general podcasts. How drilled down is it going to get with what they’re offering. You can kind of start looking categorically and kind of segmenting the different categories that you’d actually like to approach.

              

One of the challenges is all of the top podcasts, usually the top 100 podcasts, are pretty tough to get booked on. You need persistence and you’re also going to have to have kind of a significant story.

 My business Kitcaster does exactly that. We’re looking to book those top 100 podcasts. We represent people that want to be booked on podcasts. If you’re not there yet, that’s great. Just go down the list a little bit. Basically, work the bush leagues before you get to the majors. I think that’s a great strategy. So, find some of the smaller podcasts and then put some time into your media kit.

                  

We really kind of go completely over the top with the media kits that we build for podcasting. But what you should do is, is make a concerted effort. Open up Canva, get a couple of nice pics, put the talking points you’d like to discuss, maybe some questions you’d like to be asked, maybe all the press that you’ve gotten. 

If you’ve got a big social media following or email following, put that on there so that when you’re kind of presenting to a podcast host, they don’t need to do anything. They’ve got all the categorical identity information. You like to play golf, you got two kids, you raised gerbils on the side. I mean, who knows?

                  

Whenever you’re into, it’s all there. What you’re trying to do is get that podcast booked very quickly, so they can kind of look at your media kit at a glance and and say yes. From there, you’re in a great position. You’re booking yourself on podcasts now. You want to sure that you have all the pertinent information for the date.

                      

A lot of times you should … or the podcast hosts will send you kind of a calendar invitation. I would double that. Send them one as well. Have a little bit of redundancy. Make sure you have all the tech technology that you’ll need to record the show.

 Hardware … what are you using? Are you using your AirPods, or are you using kind of a microphone rig like this? Are you using the speaker from your laptop? Make sure the hardware’s good and then make sure you know what the software is.

         

Podcasters love to use Zoom. Sometimes they use Skype. Sometimes they use Zencastr. There’s a bunch of different tools. Make sure you have all that buttoned up, all the expectations that you possibly could have from the podcast hosts. “So, here’s a bunch of questions I’d love for you to ask me. In return, what questions do you have prepared that you’re going to ask me?” So that you kind of teed up to show up to have a fantastic podcast episode, or really just a great conversation in general.

Jean-Marc:         

I love that … what you said about having a media kit, because I was just thinking of it as you were talking about getting booked on these podcasts. I’m thinking, “What’s that thing called? Media kit.” But it’s interesting that an individual, the expert in question, needs a media kit as well.

Ryan:                     

Absolutely. And best way to do it, you could just do a little selfie video. Something like that. What you want to deliver is let the podcast know exactly the value that their audience can expect. You’re going to have a great conversation, but what are the outcomes and what are the expectations that his audience is going to get? Then they watch a little video, they’re like, “Oh, yeah. Actually, my audience would love that. Let’s get Jean-Marc on now.” Now you’re moving.

Jean-Marc:         

Tell me, you’ve probably had some situations where maybe the person thought they were ready for a podcast, but in actuality they really weren’t. What do people get wrong about actually delivering that value on podcasts?

Ryan:                     

Well, I think podcasting is for absolutely everybody. I think everybody’s ready for podcasting. Podcasting is just talking with a microphone. The coaching that I’ll do with clients is really like: here are some techniques just to relax. Nerves are going to come up. Just let it go. Just let it go. Have a conversation. Things are going to get weird. If you misspeak, just be like, “Oh, you know what? Actually, that was wrong.” It doesn’t matter. It’s okay.

        

So, getting better at just presenting your pitch. Typically the people that we work with, they’re selling all day long so they’re really good with the pitch. It’s just relax, get into a comfortable mental state, and just have a great conversation. I think what people really get wrong is that they need to be some kind of of like professional orator or something like that. 

You’re good, and it doesn’t really matter where you are. There’s going to be people that are either with you, a little bit in front of you, a little bit behind you that can benefit from what you’re up to. Let’s say this. You’re a startup founder. “I just got an idea. I want to go and podcast, talk to people about having ideas, and will this idea work?” Cool. There’s a place for you for that.

                 

Let’s say you’ve got an idea. You’re investing into it and you need to validate the idea. Podcasting is a perfect place for validation, which is to say, “I’ve got an MVP over here at whatever.com you know. I don’t know if people want it. But I built it, so I want to talk about that and see if I can get a little bit of validation from the audience.” Validation comes through. You’re making a little bit of cash. You’re like, “Hey, let’s get traction. I need to boost these sales to see if I’m really going to go all in on this thing.” You start talking about it on podcasts. Give yourself opportunity to make those sales. You’re selling. You’re doing great. Business is growing. We need to scale. So, podcast is a great opportunity to go talk about scale and find those investors that are going to help you scale.

                     

Podcasting really is for … wherever you are on your kind of professional development, podcast is only going to make it stronger. It’s ideal for people that that conversation has a self evident benefit. If someone’s like, “Well, what’s the benefit of talking to 100,000 people?” It’s like, “Well, man, if I’ve got to answer that question, then we’re probably having the wrong conversation.” For people that want to connect deeply, particularly at scale, connect with 100,000 people. Podcast is a great avenue for that.

Jean-Marc:         

I love it. I was talking earlier today about one of the misconceptions people have about sales is that it’s all completely technical, digital, robotic, API, whatever. I even get on a panel, and people will ask me about all the software tools. But for you to explain that the power of podcasting is one person being able to simultaneously share messages that matter with 100,000 people …

Ryan:                     

Plus or minus. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s like talking. The dialogue is central to the platonic method. I mean, there is kind of like a … almost a psychedelic experience from a great conversation. Podcasting is cool. Especially like this where it is microphones, and headphones, and the phones are off. I’m not checking email while while we’re having this conversation. I’m dialed into it. It’s an amazing thing, just in and of itself. The state it creates is kind of magical.

Jean-Marc:         

Well, let’s end on that magical note, Mr. Estes. I want to say thank you, Ryan, for taking the time to talk about getting people booked on awesome podcasts, using it for lead generation. And I think you had a goodie that you wanted to give away to the audience. Did you want to talk more about that?

Ryan:                     

Let’s do that. Absolutely. If you watch this video and you’re interested in Kitcaster as a service, you can go to kitcaster.com, navigate to the application. That’ll put you in direct communication with me. Mention Jean Luke in this video and-

Jean-Marc:         

Jean-Marc.

Ryan:                     

What’d I say? Jean Lou?                   

My bad. I’m so sorry.               

Jean-Marc Picard. You’re the only French guy I know, man. Jean-Marc. Mention Jean-Marc’s name, and I’ll give you 20% off your opening podcast tour. Any friend of Jean-Marc is a friend of Kitcaster, and I would love to speak with you. Either way. If you want to chop it up about podcasting, or see how we might be able to help you in your kind of business, I would love to have that conversation. Please reach out.

Jean-Marc:         

Awesome. All right. Well, the timer’s right. It’s been a great conversation, Ryan. I will talk to you soon, and keep on Kitcast-ing.

Ryan:                     

You know I will. See you, buddy.

Jean-Marc:         

All right. Talk to you later.