Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 237: Q & A with Susan Finch @susanfinchweb
By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
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This week’s show is called “The Power of Podcasts & Radio (Why You Need One Too!)” and our guest is Susan Finch, President of Funnel Media Group LLC.
This week we talk about the podcast format and the power of podcasting in a digital world. In this age of video, in an age of clubhouse, we talk about the continued power and importance of audio content. Susan also shares some of the biggest hurdles people don’t think enough about before they start.
The biggest thing you have to know is, why are you doing this? And be so brutally honest.
Learn more about what goes into the before and after to do a podcast well. If you are literally at square zero, what do you do to get started? She shares why is it useful to have a third party like Funnel Media Group come and help you build this foundation from scratch. Listen in to hear Susan’s go to for transcripts and time stamping too and A LOT MORE.
To learn more, we highly recommend you reach out to Susan at Susan@funnelradio.com.
Matt Heinz: All right. Welcome everyone to another episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. Thanks so much for joining us. If you are a long-time listener, thank you for continuing to listen. We are almost 250 episodes strong here on Sales Pipeline Radio over the last five plus years. And a new format, if you’re watching us on LinkedIn, thanks so much for joining us. We will be here every week, Thursday at 11:30 Eastern, 2:30 Pacific, going multimedia with Sales Pipeline Radio. And we will continue to have audio, we will continue to publish in the podcast feed and we will continue to publish highlights in the Q&A on our blog, but excited to take this into the video as well. Listen, I’ve got a face for radio, so I’ve been fine with the radio format, but everyone’s watching video these days. So happy to be doing this here as well.
If you are watching live with us on LinkedIn, if you have a question for me or for our guest today, feel free to throw that in and we will get that into the stream as well. If you’re familiar with the show you know the drill, we are featuring some of the best and brightest minds in B2B sales and marketing each week. Today is absolutely no different. Susan, I got up pretty early this morning. So I did a workshop earlier. I recorded a session. So a lot of microphone time today, and thankfully I’ve got a better microphone now for this. Susan Finch, she is the president of the Funnel Media Group. Susan, thanks for joining us today.
Susan Finch: Oh, thank you for having me, Matt. I mean, it’s bad enough I don’t get to talk to you every week now because you’re doing this on your own, but what a success you’ve made of your show.
Matt Heinz: Well, one of many reasons I wanted to have you on was just to recognize and thank you and Funnel Media for making this possible. I mean, it was you and Jim I think about five and a half years ago… I’m a print journalist, right? I write blogs and I write little LinkedIn things and I’m a writer. And so Jim calls and says, “You should think about having a podcast.” I’m like, “Ah…” So literally, it was did it as a test and almost 250 episodes later, here we are. And it’s still, I mean, similar format, similar everything, but it’s been amazing to watch the impact it’s had on our business, the impact it’s had on just our awareness and thought leadership in this space. And that’s due to you and Jim and the work you guys have done. So thank you so much for all of that. And you will always be a part of Sales Pipeline Radio forever. So don’t think you’re getting off that easy.
But I wanted to have you on today to talk about this format and to talk about the power of podcasting and the power of radio in a digital world. And yes, we’re doing this in a video format now as well, but the majority of our audience is still listening through a podcast. And so in an age of video, in an age of clubhouse, I want to talk about the continued power and importance of audio content, of a podcast, and sort of radio comment. So I know something near and dear to your heart, so would love to; let’s just dive and just kind of see what you’ve got to share on that format.
Susan Finch: Well, I’m glad you brought in the current distraction, I will call it, clubhouse. Man, is that an animal. I find that it’s a lot. I see so many familiar people there. I see so many of the same people there on show, to show, to show, to show, if I put a topic in which at least the alerts work. But what I do miss, I love live and the spontaneity of live. There’s so much great that you get in live. And live video is a lot of fun because of the unexpected, because we’re waiting for the bus crash, we’re waiting for everything to happen and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, what’s going to happen? Is a dog going to run across the screen? What’s going to happen?” But you have hit on it.
The ones that listen audio wise, they do it for convenience. They do it because they can take it to go. It’s on the treadmill. It’s walking the dog, it’s waiting in line to get a vaccine. It’s everywhere you want to be, you can take it with you on call. And I love that. I like being able to pause things and catch up on it later. I make my own playlist of “Listen to on Saturday”, I call it. And so when I’m doing things on Saturday, I put it in and I just play that list that I’ve collected from iTunes or from Spotify and some of the others, because you can make custom playlists and that’s a pretty fun thing to be a part of. And so the power of podcasting is that flexibility to be where they want to be. And VOD casting with the video, it isn’t just about this moment in the moment and if you missed out, oh, too bad for you; it’s lovely to be able to go back.
And people like you and the people that I work with, we do extracts from every single podcast that we do, because most of our folks do record. Whether it’s through Zoom, through StreamYard, through YouTube even in private mode, but they record it and have these videos. And you can have this little extract, just that teaser. And that’s a way to reach people. Some people are visual, and some it’s like, “Yeah, I don’t have the time to sit there and look at things anymore. I’m doing things. Just tell me what you want me to know.” And it works out well, except in the cases where people insist on showing their PowerPoints. “And then on this slide.” And that doesn’t translate very well to audio. That’s a fun thing to edit when you have to do that part.
Matt Heinz: Yeah. I don’t actually believe that at all. But I think when you’re going to do something that is both audio and video, you do have to be very cognizant of what you are presenting. Even before LinkedIn Live, this is a format that has proven to be successful. There are many successful radio programs that basically simulcast on TV. I think about political shows, I think about a lot of sports radio shows like the Dan Patrick show is a syndicated radio show, you can watch it on the NBC Sports Network. And you literally are just watching them record a radio show, right? I mean like Golic and Wingo, there are all these shows, but it’s kind of fun to watch. You can almost feel like you’re sort of inside the show. You feel like you’re getting a backstage pass. And it’s kind of fun to see the interaction sometimes between people. I mean, there’s an entertainment value to having that for sure. But you also have to make sure that whatever you’re doing, people don’t feel left behind if they’re just listening to the podcast or just listening to the radio.
Susan Finch: Right. It’s hard for them to see it when you’re pulling faces.
Matt Heinz: It is, it is. Most of the podcasts I listen to are actually not business podcasts. I’ve got a couple of food podcasts, I’ve got couple college football podcasts. If I happen to miss our church service on Sunday, the sermon’s on a podcast. And this last Sunday, there was apparently some visual thing he did and I’m out walking. I got nothing. I didn’t get it at all. But I do want to unpack this concept a little bit because I referenced Clubhouse, and listen, it’s this bright, shiny object now, but not recorded, it’s got a lot of things that it just doesn’t really have going for it. Let’s break down some of the building blocks of doing this well. Because I look at what Funnel Media is doing, both in terms of having a block of time, in terms of having an association with other successful shows, in terms of there’s a difference between saying, “I have a podcast”, and, “This is Sales Pipeline Radio.” It’s not just optics. Talk a little bit about that difference and why that’s important.
Susan Finch: There is a power of a network, of a collection you might say, because we’ve done this on LinkedIn where we do our little pod messaging where you have your little squads of 10 people. And it’s like, “Okay guys, what are we all talking about to help each other today?” It’s the same concept. It’s lifting each other up, but people that don’t directly compete; maybe they do, because there’s enough of the pie for everybody if you’re any good.
Matt Heinz: Absolutely.
Susan Finch: And the power of that is huge to me. Like you said, rather than just going at it solo, it’s like, well, what if we all liked each other’s stuff? What if we all shared each other’s stuff? What if we were all cross-linking and guesting on each other’s shows? That increases your audience immediately. And you find what you have in common, which may give you even more clout with people you’ve been trying to approach. It’s like, “Oh, wait a minute. They are all over the place. They are on all these shows.” And there is a beauty to that and a lot of fun to it as well. But I will say the biggest hurdles that I don’t think enough podcasters consider before they start; a lot of people say, “Oh, I got to have a podcast, my competitor, they say I have a book, I need to have a podcast,” that isn’t the reason.
And one of the classes I teach for the Direct Marketing Association of Northern California, the Beginning Podcasting class, I spent 20 minutes talking about the five things you need to know first. And the biggest thing you have to know is, why are you doing this? And be so brutally honest. I mean, the honesty, it might be, “Oh, we got to raise the ego of our CEO because he gets all butthurt over this and that.” It’s like, “Okay, then you do.” So you know that that has to be the ultimate goal, whatever you do has to support that true honest goal. Is it to give credibility? Exposure? Whatever it is. But if everybody isn’t on board with that common goal, respect it, understand it, and is willing to stay to it, it will fail.
Matt Heinz: Well, I think if you do it because everyone else is doing it, I almost guarantee you you’re not going to stick with it because you’re just going to follow the next shiny object afterward. Right? And I think it’s okay to try some things, I’ve seen some podcasts that are really just intended to be limited series, right? Like if you’re saying, “Listen, we’re going to do a podcast series about the 10 episodes from season four of a certain show,” then there’s 10 episodes of your podcast and you might be done, right? But you can continue if you want, but otherwise you can say it’s over. But I think that if you’re going to do this right, this isn’t just showing up at 11:30 and doing this. You’re thinking about what you want to talk about. You’re planning for guests in advance. You’re ideally promoting it in advance.
I mean, people don’t just show up to a podcast. You have to build an audience and that takes time as well. So to your point, understanding how that fits into everything else someone’s doing… But the other advantage, and I’d love to have you talk about this, is you can go and you can say, “I’m going to guest post on someone else’s thing, or I’m going to go get on someone else’s podcast.” You can rent and earn attention from other channels. But there’s no reason why brands and individuals can’t create their own media channels today. So when you can own the channel, and this isn’t going to happen overnight, but when you can create and own the channel, then you have a direct voice. You have a direct audience that other people are going to want to have access to as well. That becomes an asset for sure. Talk a little bit about that opportunity for companies.
Susan Finch: Oh, I’m in the middle of it right now with a client. I help Quest produce some of their podcasts. And we started with one with drug testing, all about drug testing, and now we’re doing four because they want to have that brand, that stability, they want to be the go-to company because they have so much expertise, so much experience under their umbrella that they want to be able to speak on all of the hot topics right now in the medical fields. And they’re able to, because they have the resources. And I mean resources by people, with knowledge, people who are willing to speak and are committed to it and so passionate.
And suddenly then we have four little teams working on all of this, but four little teams all promoting all the other teams and all the other shows. And that right there gives it strength and it gets everybody excited. And I think that is one of the missed pieces when people watch this, it’s like, it isn’t just you committing to getting behind a microphone and maybe an editor. It’s who else is going to get behind this in your squad, in your team, on your company, on your board. If they aren’t all behind it, it will also fall on its face and you will all burn out, I promise you.
Matt Heinz: And your point about knowing why you’re doing it up front. There doesn’t have to be just one answer to that, right?
Susan Finch: No.
Matt Heinz: I mean, you can say, “Listen, I want to do this because I want to increase our voice in the industry. I want to increase the reach in which people hear about us and think that we’re smart people.” I don’t think that podcasting is ever a direct response lead generator, but I can tell you for sure that I look at some of the companies we want to do business with, and I am inviting their CMOs to come join Sales Pipeline Radio to talk about what they’re doing. Right? So to use this as a way to earn attention and establish credibility with an audience that you care about as you build this up.
I mean, it doesn’t have to take 250 episodes. I mean, just with a logo and with some optics and some visuals you can make this look like a real thing, even though I’m clearly recording this from my basement with my Peloton and piano behind me, right? But it becomes a thing. And sometimes the feedback I’ve had; well, this has been a very professionally produced show, thanks to you and the team and to Paul and everybody. But we don’t have a bunch of crazy professional graphics. It’s just, it’s a one-take conversational show. But I think people like listening to things that are approachable. And so I think that’s partly why this has worked. And so you want to be intentional about how you do it, but you also want to make something that is for your audience, that is consistently applied.
Susan Finch: And that’s the other piece of that too, why are you doing it, then you do have to identify that audience. Because if your guests don’t support that audience, then when are you having them on for? It’s one thing, like you said, it opens doors and that has been wonderful. It’s so much easier to open a door and say, “Can you please come on my show and tell me why you are wonderful and your company is wonderful?” Rather than saying, “Hey, you want to buy my stuff?” There’s a huge difference. Talk about the optics. Like, “Oh, sure. You want my opinion? You want my advice? Yeah. I’m down with that. That feels good.”
Matt Heinz: Absolutely.
Susan Finch: And you know how to make your guests look good. You always do. And so when the guests look good, they’re going to share it out.
Matt Heinz: Yeah. Well I want to talk about that as well. Talking today on Sales Pipeline Radio, we’ve got Susan Finch. She is one of the originators. She is one of the creators really of Sales Pipeline Radio, Susan and Jim Obermeyer, and can’t forget Paul Roberts as well who really sort of has made this show where it is today. Talk a little bit about what goes into the before and after to do a podcast well. Because the 30 minutes we spend every week recording this is probably, this is what most people see and hear, but talk about the best practices of preparing for a podcast. Everything from preparing for the content, to pre-promotion, to what you need to do afterward to make it not only polished, but also increase the shelf life of the content.
Susan Finch: So we’re going to skip the whole; we’re going to assume you have your podcast, you’ve set it all up, and we’re just going to talk about the episode itself.
Matt Heinz: Cool. Yep.
Susan Finch: So the episode itself, it’s finding a great guest. Who are you going after? And meet them ahead of time, make sure that you have that connection, that there is going to be good chemistry. Make sure their voice is okay because not everybody can speak. And be kind to them by like, “Okay, let’s do a blog post instead.” And a written interview is just fine. It doesn’t have to be on video because not everybody wants to be on camera, they’re so self-conscious. So once that’s determined, you set up the time and if you’re going to prerecord rather than doing live, you make sure you do the equipment check. Where are they going to be? Is it going to be hardwired? Is it going to have good equipment, a good mic, Matt. And we razzed Matt for two years about his mic. So I’m very happy he has such a wonderful mic now.
Matt Heinz: Took me a while. I’m a slow learner.
Susan Finch: And then as soon as you have them on the calendar, start talking it up. Tell people, let them see how excited you are to have them on. Let their company see how excited you are to have them on. Get people showing up, get people anticipating what’s coming. Have those questions prepared ahead of time and outline, just bullet point something so you don’t blindside them with something, so they don’t spend half their time pondering the answers. Hit their sweet spots, what they’re comfortable with that they can talk about no matter what, if they’re mowing the lawn, they could still talk about it. You want them to be able to talk about it.
And so we have the during. Okay, great. Maybe you’re going to have a comment wrangler that, if it’s live, they can do tweets for you. They can do commenting. They can handle all that. If it’s recorded, fine, get it to the editor, make your guest sound amazing. Don’t let them ever be embarrassed. If they mentioned a company that you’re wondering, “Maybe you shouldn’t have said that,” you might want to go back and edit that or ask them, get the transcript, get all the words and make it easy. Because when you have a package you can give your guest that has the transcript, the graphics you used to promote, links to the episode, the embed code and all those pieces, they’re more apt to share it. And they also know you cared enough to put all that together for them. It makes them feel super good.
Matt Heinz: Yeah, it does. And I think that, as a host, as you do more of these, you get more comfortable with the format. You get more comfortable having a conversation in the moment. But I think it’s kind of like being an actor. If you go on stage and you don’t know your script, you’re going to spend an awful lot of time trying to remember your words and not acting. The better you know your process, the better you do your homework and do your preparation and you know what you want to talk about, you know what questions you want to ask, the less time you’re worried about that, and the more time you’re authentically engaged in a conversation that people want to hear. And I think that’s an important part of this. So you mentioned earlier, as you were talking about preparing for an episode, let’s assume you have a podcast, let’s assume you’ve already got something set up.
Let’s assume you don’t. Let’s assume that you listen to this and you’re like, “Well, it might be kind of fun to do something,” whether it’s for your side hustle, for your brand, for your personal brand, for your company, for your industry; I mean, if you think about it, I mean, if someone watching this is thinking, “Okay, we’ve done this for a while, we got graphics, we got all this infrastructure…” I mean, look, a lot of that is incrementally built over the years. It doesn’t all happen from scratch. When we started, we didn’t have a lot of this stuff. But if someone’s sitting here from literally square zero, what do they get started with? And I guess I’m looking for you to maybe pitch a little bit of Funnel Media Group here as well. Why is it useful to have a third party come and help you build this foundation from scratch?
Susan Finch: It’s helpful to have us because we dig into it all the time. We keep changing the procedures. We keep changing the tools, changing the methods, to go with best practices, to go with most effectiveness. We want to have an effective tool. We want to take you down a path that’s going to get you the most exposure, but we already know that. We already have all those connections. For us it’s minutes, hours, or whatever; for you it’d be months or never, because you would give up with the frustration. The key is to be ready to be able to launch it everywhere. Let us support you, help you build your list. How are you going to get alerted? What lists do you have?
All these things need to be considered because it’s like a book. When people write a book and say, “Oh, now I want to go talk about my book…” No, you should’ve been talking about your book when you thought you were going to do a book. You know this, Matt. Authors do that all the time, but it’s the same with podcast hosts. “I don’t really want to talk about it, I just want to have a podcast and then I’ll tell people.” No, that isn’t the way to do it. So to have somebody like Funnel Media Group come behind the scenes, we can guide you through all of that. We can train you how to do a lot of it. And you say, “I can do these pieces. I hate these pieces. Can you do those pieces?” And we do those pieces.
So we have like three packages that we offer for that purpose. And we have some people that have us do all of it. I am the cohost, we’re their editor, we’re the promoter, we do the Instagram, we do everything for them. And others we just publish, because they don’t know how to edit and create the post and put it out there. The variety of needs depends on your team. So that’s what I can say from the beginning. But really, I mean my classes I teach on the Direct Marketing Association, DMANC.org, the classes are fantastic because I found my best show hosts now have taken my courses first and then they become clients. And some of them have come back later, it’s like showing the teacher, “Look what we made after we graduated.” And they’ll show me their podcasts later. But understanding what you need to know behind the scenes first and the logic. That’s the key.
Matt Heinz: Yeah. If you’re thinking about doing a podcast, if you haven’t done it yet, I would highly consider hiring Susan and Funnel Media Group. Find someone that can guide you in this process. You will learn a lot. It’ll accelerate your learning curve. It’ll accelerate the success of your program. Just like a lot of things, you find the experts that know how to do this, and you figure out how to do it from them. We have an audience question, Susan.
Susan Finch: Yes, I see it.
Matt Heinz: I want to introduce… There are two, I don’t know that they’re related. So we’re going to put them both up here, let’s do both. So Lori has two questions. “First on the backend, talk about how to get transcripts. Also, if you could talk about Podbean, because that’s one of my favorite tools you guys introduced us to.” So talk about a couple of the key tools you use to make this possible. And then we can get into the other recommended podcast question.
Susan Finch: Sure. Tools for backend and grab transcripts, I have tried several. And the ones that are straight AI, I cannot stand. I get transcripts to save myself time and to not embarrass myself so I don’t have to go back and edit every word. I use Rev.com. I love Rev. And I get it with time-stamping, because especially if I have the video and things, and I want to upload the SRT file, I want to know where these things are for the YouTube descriptions, because I like to timestamp it for the little jumps. Helps you go to key points, which is also our SEO goodness. So I spend that little bit of extra money, they turn it around quickly, it costs a little bit more, but boy, I don’t edit it. I cost a lot more per hour to edit stuff, and so do my editors, than having Rev.com spend a little bit more to be more accurate.
Matt Heinz: Yeah. That makes sense. Okay. Let’s also; her second question around are there podcasts that inspire you? Again, assuming it’s kind of a two part question, are there podcasts that inspire you and are there podcasts that you think are just really good examples of well produced podcasts?
Susan Finch: Oh, that’s a tough one. And I’m going to be as honest as I can with this, and you guys aren’t going to like this answer, but I’m on podcasting editing all day long. So my downtime is Richard Blade…
Matt Heinz: You don’t listen to podcasts?
Susan Finch: I go to Richard Blade on Sirius XM.
Matt Heinz: Oh yeah.
Susan Finch: I do alternative rock from the 80s.
Matt Heinz: Nice, nice.
Susan Finch: And Richard was our DJ when I was in high school, and for KROQ, I listened to Richard.
Matt Heinz: Nice.
Susan Finch: I have to unwind because I am editing “ums” and “ahs”, and my team is too, all the time. So do I have any favorite podcasts right now? No, I pop in and out of a lot of them mainly to see, if somebody says, “That podcast is hot,” I want to say, “Well, why? Why do you think that is? Really? Could I improve on that? What is it that does it?” Many times it’s because the personality is known and that’s what makes; I have friends that it’s all the crime ones, that’s all their favorites. That’s all they want to talk about. Not me, because it gives me nightmares.
Matt Heinz: Well, Susan, we got to wrap up here, it’s been great to have you on. Thank you just again, thank you so much to you and the team for all you’ve done for Sales Pipeline Radio. If you liked this show it’s Susan’s fault. No, seriously, you guys were inspirational in helping me jump into this and then just continuing to make it better and better. So thank you so much for that. If others want to create their own version of this, if others are listening to this and want to learn more about you, where can we send them?
Susan Finch: Susan@funnelradio.com.
Matt Heinz: Susan@funnelradio.com. We will put those links into the notes of our podcast. Thank you Susan, again, so much. Hopefully we gave you a brief respite from editing the “ums” and “ands” and “uhs” from your upcoming podcasts. Appreciate everyone watching, again thank you Lori and others who are watching us live on LinkedIn live and on YouTube today. And for everyone else, thanks so much for joining us and listening. We’ll be back here next week, 11:30, live Pacific, for another episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. Thanks for joining.
Susan Finch: Thanks so much.
I interview the best and brightest minds in sales and Marketing. If you would like to be a guest on Sales Pipeline Radio send an email to Sheena.