Kathleen Mills: Yeah, so you can post this on your website.
Phillip Crum: We can do a lot of things with it. But um, we have got to get started because it’s time for another edition of your weekly podcast show It’s Just Coffee, and here we go.
KM: Hi, Phillip. (Laughs.) I’m sorry.
PC: You okay over there?
KM: You know what?
PC: No, what?
KM: I’m so focused and then you just give me this look, it’s like I just start laughing. So you look funny. I don’t know. Your looks are funny. Hi, Phillip, how are you?
PC: I hear that at home, too.
KM: Oh good. So I’m not the only one.
PC: I’m good. I’m good. No, I’m just fine. I’m still Phillip Crum, content marketing coach. You are still Kathleen Mills, Lifetree Counseling.
KM: I am. Yep, Lifetree Counseling Center.
PC: Dot com. And I want to talk to you just a little bit. You are your own guest today.
KM: Wow. So I can answer freely? Are there any rules?
KM: What are they?
PC: Since you are your own guest, you’re both host, interviewee, interviewer – excuse me – and the guest. You do not need to jump up and switch chairs to answer your own questions.
KM: Oh, good.
PC: So that will take a load off there. Alright, what I’d like to talk to you about... you have been doing content marketing. You have a small business and it needs to grow. You also have a passion that you pursue on the side, which is helping other counselors learn to better operate their business. And the other side of that same coin is we’re focused on the target market for that, is the young’uns, the new counselors, future counselors that are still in school that are recently out of school and trying to figure out which end is up in this industry. And so that is your two-pronged attack: keeping your business running and helping others. So it’s been about a year, year and a half now, that we’ve been working together and I want your opinions on your broader opinions and then we can focus a little bit on content marketing. What is content marketing to you?
KM: To me. You know, I never really realized what content marketing was per se. I thought it was something that big businesses did exclusively. And it really was not an applicable thing for small businesses and then smaller businesses like mine. And when I say smaller businesses, I’m talking about one office, you know, eight therapists – that kind of small business.
PC: To underscore that point, my target market, the official target market, is small business from $2-15 million in annual revenue. Now I’d be happy to work with larger, and I’m happy to work with smaller if they can pay the bill.
KM: Right. And there’s a disconnect with thinking... I could have done that. I-I-just, there was a disconnect. I’ll be honest. Content marketing, I always thought it was for...
PC: Bigger businesses.
KM: ... the entrepreneur. Not private practice, right? So there’s a disconnect thinking of, “Well, wait a minute. I am an entrepreneur. I run a business. The model is the same.” I don’t think my profession thinks of it as an entrepreneurial venue, so therefore I’m not entitled to content marketing because I’m not a business. I don’t know. There’s just a disconnect.
PC: Or not a big enough business.
KM: It’s not big enough, or it doesn’t serve the smaller guys. And I think if you historically look across this great country of The United States, you know the percentage of small businesses are exponentially much more than large corporations. Or, just small businesses that have 50 employees and up. I think there’s a greater percentage of small businesses – you know, one employee to let’s say 20 – in this great country. And that’s what makes this country great. And so why not content marketing? It is for me.
PC: You have how many faces at your place?
KM: A total of eight.
PC: And the annual revenue at your place, we’re not going to talk numbers – nobody’s business. But do you fall between the $2 and $15 million bracket?
PC: Okay. You’re smaller than that. Alright. And you still managed to somehow afford a content marketing program that is effective.
KM: Yeah. We’ve had this conversation many times, Phillip. But I’ll just on the record say, I’ve been completely amazed at what this product can do for little people like me.
PC: Alright. Thank you. So how did you come to your involvement? How did it begin?
KM: How did we meet? (Laughs.) Isn’t that the question? Okay, well I’ll tell everybody. It was probably two years ago? Well...
KM: December of 2000...
KM: 2012. You remember! Oh my goodness. December of 2012.
PC: Thursday... 1:57.
KM: (Laughs.) And you didn’t get anything done that morning. You just listened to some damsel in distress or whatever. But anyways, we met and at that time I was really, I had just completed this social media examiner Michael Stellsner’s summit. And I completely loved every bit of it. And, at that point, I knew that there were some pieces that Michael taught in that summit, why not Lifetree Counseling Center?
PC: So your paradigm was beginning to shift because of that.
KM: Yes. It was very instrumental. Well, so then I’ll go into the Superman Syndrome. I thought, well surely I can do this. Running a business, I can just add the Facebook. I can just add a powerful LinkedIn profile. But then one of the sticking points was our website was not... our current website at that time needed a lot of work.
PC: It sucked.
KM: (Laughs.) Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but it wasn’t what it needed to be. So that’s how we met. We worked on retooling the website from ground up, put more content on it, and I think it just started honestly in my mind, build the website. I was able to very much be involved in that creative process. And I was surprised that creating a website is very creative. And it just, it was fun to me. It was a lot of work, as you know, but there were things throughout our history that I really wanted to showcase, if you will, on our new website. And I think we’ve done that really well. So, in my long answer, it then just kind of evolved with your encouragement – starting the blog, written, and then just kind of exploded into what we’re doing right now which is the podcast. But I’ve learned so much about why not have a content marketing piece on a small business under $2 million, let’s say, that’s whether you’re in private practice. And I’m talking about the mental health professional, because that’s what I’ve been doing for a really long time. So why can’t a single person do this? Or, why can’t a group of professionals who love what they do, add this component to serve whoever it is that they want to serve? And I can absolutely tell you that it’s really opened a lot of windows. For me, it’s been fun. I get to used my creativity. I get to share, meet people like you and people I would never have gotten to meet had I just stayed in my little cave. And I think that’s what mental health professionals do a lot. They just stay in there cave and they just wait for people to come to them. And I’m really saying, “Stop that. You have to get outside your box and run and go wherever you need to.” And it’s just been a blast.
PC: You’ve used the word creative several times, and I wonder if the word creative has a connotation that it’s all about pretty and entertaining. Is that all there is to it?
KM: I’m not sure what you mean.
PC: I mean, is there a strategy involved?
KM: I think there is a strategy and that’s where you come in. You take my creativity, you bring it down, and we work the puzzle. We work the matrix so there’s a strategic plan incorporates where my head, which is visual and creative because I’m a former musician. You marry those two pieces really nicely for me. And it’s been fun. You keep me (laughs) grounded. Don’t say anything! But you do remind me a lot to just, let’s just stick to this plan. Here’s the matrix. I’m just having so much fun that sometimes I get too excited and run ahead of myself. But I do think that content marketing via blog, other venues, social media, why not with the mental health professional? Why not? You and I are going to go to Podcast Movement conference here in Dallas in one more day. We’re going to be surrounded with people that is completely outside of my ...
KM: World! I’m going into a different universe and I am so excited. Had it not been for what we’ve been doing this last year, right?
PC: What is a mental health professional, LPC with a thriving little practice, doing going to an all-weekend podcaster conference? That becomes the question.
KM: Right. And I can tell you – I want to be around people who are jazzed with things that they do. And that is helping others. And the podcast movement is incredibly part of the content marketing, but the podcast movement to me is very relational. And as a mental health professional, it just seems to make so much sense to me – why wouldn’t I want to be around people that want to be relational, that want to help each other – it doesn’t matter what business that you’re in. Like the podcasts that I’m listening to, I shouldn’t be listening to. But they just so encourage me.
PC: Let me ask you a hypothetical, if ...
KM: It’s not a clinical podcast – there’s not one clinical podcast that I’m listening to.
PC: If Zig Ziglar was still with us, or Brian Tracy. If we could get either one of those to be a guest on one of your podcasts – the podcasts are aimed at those young’uns in school and the recent grads, that’s the primary market – why we would interview a Brian Tracy or a Zig Ziglar for a mental health professional podcast?
KM: Plain and simple. You got to keep yourself excited in doing what you want to do, and that’s helping others. If you’re not jazzed because you’re getting encouragement from who knows where, you’re probably going to suffer in your mental health profession. You’re probably going to, if you stick around he same kind of people all the time – you know, there’s something to be said about you become dull – and I just think the more you hang out with people outside of your shingle profession really can add such an extra layer and you’ll be able to create whatever you want in your practice. Because you’re learning from others.
PC: Adds a little flavor to the recipe. New flavor.
KM: Oh, it’s spicy. Love the salsa.
PC: Alright, so let’s clear the brush on something that you made me think of a minutes ago. What is the different, your understanding, what is the difference between a channel and a content format? Can you put that into words?
KM: I’m not sure.
PC: A channel is a podcast. A channel is Facebook. Actually, a podcast is a form of content – correction. A channel is your Facebook page. A channel is your Twitter account. A channel is like a pipeline.
KM: So ask me the question again.
PC: Alright. Do you understand the difference between a channel and the format the content takes. The content is the oil that we put through the pipeline, or the channel. So we set up our Facebook account. We set up our LinkedIn page. We set up Twitter. We set up whatever channels are appropriate to reach our target market. Then we put content through those pipelines.
KM: Right. And I think the more channels you create with your content through those different channels, it’s going to reach people in different areas. It’s the same content, but it just looks and feels a little bit different but it’s the same message. If that’s what you’re asking. So I think the more the merrier.
PC: That’s right. I simply want to... I was really trying to just simply make the differentiation between the channel, which is your pipeline – building your pipeline. You only have to build the house once, but you can put new content inside the house if you decide.
KM: New furniture?
KM: Change it up.
PC: Little rug on the fllor
KM: Yep. Right.
PC: Find one on sale somewhere. So yes, that’s the difference between channel and content. You can put one piece of content and repurpose it, which means reformat it, like we’re doing right now. We’re recortding an audio, which could become a podcast, which could become a video podcast quite easily – we add a few pictures.
KM: It could be just reading a transcript. Some people are readers. Some people are listeners. You know, the auditory, the kinosetic, all that stuff.
PC: We could have an editor cut this recording up, the transcript, into about 187 little Twitter tweets. So there’s lot of things we can do with this material. Okay. So content marketing in your business has evolved.
KM: I think it’s new in my area – mental health professionals. I know some that are doing it, not many. And I think that this is something that the young’uns, who are probably more well-versed with this kind of venue, might want to be starting to think about as they venture out into the universe of being a license professional counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, social worker, that kind of stuff. This is for us, too.
PC: Alright. Oh, one of the content forms... well, before we do that – you have a pipeline in place, yes?
PC: Alright. Your pipeline’s in place, so now we need some oil to put through it, some content. And we have done a number of things, test the waters and so forth. And the thing, the content form, that seems to have worked the best on the production end for us and worked the best on the other end as far as consuming that content, is the podcast form, or format. And we’ve been doing this now for a number of months, in fact this is recording number 32. And I believe we’ve gotten quite a bit better at this. People are listening. People are excited about doing this. People are excited about participating with you. And you are quite excited about participating with other people. Talking to them, getting their opinions about things, inviting them to become a guest. And that’s what I want to talk about.
KM: I’m not fearful anymore.
PC: Your role in this content marketing program that we have for you consists of three things in addition to the planning up front, which is brainwork. But the ongoing work is this: you find and you schedule the people you want to interview because you are the mental health person, I am not. I’m just mental. And you know more about the guests that you want to interview and the subject matter than I do, so that is something that you take on absolutely completely 100%. And then number two...
KM: You’re making me responsible for that part, aren’t you?
PC: Yes. You have to show up to record these things.
KM: I do? Really?
PC: Yes you do. And the third is pay the bill every month. That’s the only three things you have to do. Now, in addition to that, you do some other things which involve primarily social media work and you do that through our social media dashboard which is a nice little tool. So that doesn’t take very long unless you want it to take very long. So booking guests: let’s talk about that. Because you’re pretty darn good at it.
KM: You’re kind.
PC: You like it and you’re pretty good at it and there’s a lot of people going, “Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. I actually have to talk to somebody? I have to call them? Can’t I just text them and run and hide?” Okay, so let’s talk about how you do it and how you make it pretty simple. What’s working? What are you doing to put guests that’s working... in a minute I want to ask you what didn’t work. What’s not work that you’re not doing anymore? But let’s talk about what is working.
KM: Well, I think it’s a couple of things maybe. I think it’s really important to establish a relationship with the person that I would really like to interview first. I think it’s... podcast is very relational and I think there is an initial setup of establishing a relationship with that future interviewee first. The second is my responsibility to try to figure out what’s their passion. What excites them as it relates to the mental health profession? And why I think the mental health professional community needs to hear that particular person and talk about their passion. I don’t think our profession is very good at encouraging one another, except if they’re at conferences. But that’s just me.
PC: And the booze is flowing?
KM: (Laughs.) There you go. But I don’t think that we get a lot of encouragement from other mental health professionals who are encouragers of the community per se. I think we’re very clinically oriented. So I guess that’s where my podcast is real different. But I really want to excite my community because we have a lot of pressure with a lot of things, and who encourages the caretaker? And so I hope to do that. So in an answer to your question, finding people that can help.
PC: Let’s talk about building the list.
KM: Building the list.
PC: That’s what you’re talking about.
KM: Well I think I’m building my interviewee list with...
PC: Right. That’s the list I meant. The potential people you want to talk to and interview.
KM: By having a relationship with them either via social media, maybe LinkedIn inbox messages, or Facebook inbox message. Or picking up the phone and actually calling and say, “Hey, I’m Kathleen Mills. I know you don’t know me, but here’s what I’m doing.” I think it’s very important for them to review my... I just think it’s important... my vitae. And just like I’m not... there’s substance here and I want you to... you know, I’m somebody. I mean I’m going to be shameless about it. I think I can help you. I really want to help you but I really want people to learn about you.
PC: Okay. That’s really kind of step 3 is to pick up the phone or send them an email, which is great. We’re going to get there, to building your list.
KM: I’m not answering your question, am I?
PC: No, you are. You just moved right along like you always do.
KM: (Laughs.) Maybe that’s step one, I just don’t have any fear anymore.
PC: Step one is compiling a targeted prospect list of potential interviewees and... Do you have your criteria?
KM: Let me go back to that. Before you can, at least to me, before I have my list I’ve got to be thinking pre-list. What is it that I want to do? What is it that I’m willing to do? And what are the drilldown points of who I want to capture? Who my listening audience is? What is my listening avatar that we all hear with the podcast movement? Who do I want listening to this podcast? And the people that I want listening to this podcast are the interns, the college students, the Ph.D. students who are on fire for what they want to do, which is serving others. Or the LPC interns...
PC: That’s your audience.
KM: That’s my avatar. So I go back to what would I have wanted to know, or where could I go to learn the actual Lego part of how to... I got the smarts. I got all As in my class. I’m valendict- whatever. I got my diploma. My teacher says I can do whatever I want to do, just hang my shingle and they will come.
PC: Now you’re talking hypothetically as the student now, because I’ve seen your transcripts.
KM: (Laughs.) Yes. But that’s my avatar. And I’m saying, “You have all the smarts, but you don’t have any business sense.” Where can I go? And I want to be that for them. I want to be their champion, so I’m going to back to if I were a student or I had my diploma, now what? Because it’s not just hang your shingle and they will come. I think there’s an assumption that that’s what happens and I wish somebody would have told me that is so not even close. So my list is based on what I think I would have wanted to get a good start in what I needed to know, whether it was scary, helpful, or not.
PC: So you write down a list of subject matter, and then who do I know that can talk or speak to that? Or who do I know or know of that can speak to that subject matter, and that’s how you begin your list.
KM: Yes. Right. And it’s having been doing this for awhile, having my business, seeing a lot of stuff, weathering money storms, celebrating and not celebrating. I really think that my list, I’m drilling down to what I think would have helped, or has helped me, along the way – both. And so that’s how I build my list, if you will.
PC: Okay. And these people that are on your list, some of them you know for a long time?
PC: Some of them you met last week?
PC: Some of them you have not met yet?
KM: Yes, but I know of them.
PC: And, are there any good ways to meet a lot of people... I mean, I don’t know very many people. Yes you do, but let’s just say I don’t know very many people. How can I meet a lot of people or build my list – are there any little tips or tricks that you do to keep the fresh names and faces that you want to find coming?
KM: Well I think it’s contingent on what I have the heart to do. And I think the heart is to go outside my comfort zone and just go capture because what I want the interns, for instance, or the college students – my young’uns – to keep their passion energetic and forward, is you go ahead and do that because you’re going to have to start up anyways. The least I can do is just go find somebody to talk to.
PC: So do you use like...
KM: I read a lot, I guess, and I’m kind of in the business. My head is in the business world.
PC: Let’s do a little brain dump here. Where are good places to find people that are potential interviewees? And I’ll start. LinkedIn groups.
KM: Yes. Discussion groups are great. Getting I think your LinkedIn profile is profound and instrumental. If you have just sort of my name and my number with no website, there’s probably not going to be many people who are impressed with that that are going to want to, you know.
PC: Especially if nobody can find you, there’s proper ways to optimize those pages that LinkedIn doesn’t tell you about because they’re not in the optimization business.
KM: And I will tell you: LinkedIn, that profile page for me, was extraordinarily painful because it is a beast, in my mind, to set up. There’s a lot of stuff to do in order to get it.
PC: But it’s all done at a keyboard in the air conditioning.
KM: (Laughs.) Yes! But I think that’s key. I think your profile has to be stunning, whether you’re starting out or if you’ve been doing this for a long time.
PC: Okay so LinkedIn groups is a good place to meet a lot of people.
PC: Where else?
PC: Okay. Check your current Twitter list. Who’s subscribing to you? You may find somebody in there. Not everybody is a potential interviewee.
KM: I think doing, even having a business LinkedIn page so you can look at other businesses. Well, you don’t have to do that, but getting involved in knowing other companies through LinkedIn. Facebook posts, or Facebook pages, is good for that, too. But the LinkedIn I think is really nice.
PC: What about Facebook groups?
KM: Facebook groups are good. And also there are many Facebook pages. It’s almost like the yellow pages now for crying out loud. There’s a lot of CEU posting board, CEU online companies that are now on Facebook. So you friend them, you put them on your feeder page, and then you start inboxing them.
PC: Most of the groups online now will have a sidebar that tells you, here’s the top four posters and you can tell who lives in there. And you can tell who the “forum rats” are, as we call them. And who the authority figures are. And you can’t tell me that an authority figure is going to tell you, “No” to a platform where he gets to talk.
KM: I would be very surprised. But you know what, Phillip? I will tell you, I’ve been surprised.
PC: What about your email address list?
KM: Yeah, I think my email address list is... I think the more you get on your email lists and post to your email list of, “Here’s what I’m doing. Here’s what’s coming up.” Whether they respond or not. But then, you know...
PC: Just looking at the list, forget mailing something, just look at the list and see who’s in it. Who have I forgotten that’s been in my, you know, that I know. Oh my gosh, I know this guy’s a such-and-such expert.
KM: Well you’re going back to acquiring a hefty email list through a lot of different ways.
PC: Well I’m just talking about culling or scraping names out of existing lists that I know of and a Facebook or a LinkedIn group is really nothing more than a list of people.
KM: Yes. Correct.
PC: So scraping names of potentials out of existing stuff.
KM: For instance, I think we’ll go back to the discussion board on LinkedIn. If I liked some comment or something like that, I’ll look up that profile in a minute because like, “Ooh. They said something really profound. I really liked what they had to say.” Whether I agree with them or not, I really enjoyed how they said it, what they said, and all that kind of stuff. So you get on their profile, look, and then you ask if you can be accepted to their network and then you start having a relationship like that. I mean, that’s how we met the podcast that we did today – Rhonda Johnson. I think we were on a discussion board of some kind and then I was like, “I kind of like what she said, and she liked what I said,” so we just accepted each other as being LinkedIn buddies, if you will. And then the rest is history. And I’ve really enjoyed that relationship.
PC: We’ve interviewed a number of people that you’ve met on LinkedIn. And they’re not all right up the street.
KM: No, they’re from afar, aren’t they?
PC: Yep, they are.
(Pause. Music from a mobile phone? 30:53)
PC: Okay, so where else can we find names, people that we already have? You know, everybody has a circle of influence. Everybody. The most unpopular guy knows at least 200 people.
KM: Here’s an example that happened yesterday, and you know about this story. One of my colleagues, Amy Cole, we were talking and I’m saying, “Hey, it’s time for you to get back on the rotation. We’re going to have another podcast. It’s your turn. Here’s the date. Here’s the time.” All those kind of stuff, and, “Here’s what I would like you to do. Who would you like to do it with? We’re going to feature your subject matter, but I want to just kind of muck it up a little bit by adding somebody that you really appreciate having in your life.” Well, it took her about like two seconds. She goes, “Well, funny you asked because so-and-so is this-and-that and it’s a motivational speaker from the Zig Ziglar institute, which is here in Plano.” I said, “Are you serious?” And she said, “Yes.” I said, “Well, can you get him on?” And she goes, “Just a minute.” Emailed him, LinkedIn, however they do it. Facebook, whatever venue where it’s inboxing Facebook or LinkedIn, it doesn’t matter. One minute later he goes, “I’m on.” And so we decided what the topic was because her topic, what we’re going to talk about whether your glass is half empty or half full, was in line with Phillip Hatfield and where he’s been and what he’s talking about being a motivational speaker. He goes, “Absolutely, I’ll do it in a minute.” So we’re going to be doing it. So if you don’t think you know somebody or you’re too afraid to ask, look at the people around you.
PC: If everybody knows 200 people –
KM: Like in your practice. If you’ve got some little colleague or something like that, hey! Ask them!
PC: They’ll tell you.
KM: And I really encourage mental health professionals to not be afraid anymore. Well I’m supposed to know all that. Well, no you’re not. It’s hanging around the people who know more than you. I want to be the lowest man on my totem pole at all times.
PC: So what’s the criteria for that? You’ve got a list. Is there any filter or criteria that you put them through in your mind before they made your list? I’ll tell you mine in a minute, but I don’t want to pollute the well.
KM: Are you talking about who I’m going to ask to be on the podcast?
PC: Mmm hmm.
KM: Well, substance, character, mentoring-type. Somebody who knows more than me. I really want to pick their brain. You know, I think that’s so important. I don’t want to know everything. I don’t know everything. I just know about like this much, and I want people to know more than me in 20 minutes – hurry up, because we’re behind. I guess what’s motivating me to just go outside of myself in many respects is there are people in my community who are just suffering. They’re discouraged. They’re disillusioned. I don’t have time to waste because I want them to hear somebody that can hopefully maybe just get them out of that discouragement and despair because they don’t know what to do. And I’m talking about just the business aspect. I’m not talking about emotional components. I’m talking the mental health professional who’s really struggling for should they keep their doors open? Because there’s a lot of that going on and it just breaks my heart every time. So that’s the motivator for me. I have no time to lose on that.
PC: Yeah. We got another birthday coming up, don’t we?
KM: Yes, sir.
PC: I’m very well acquainted with your practice. You have six or eight faces down there?
PC: And you’re doing very well. So if there is a practice out there that’s not doing very well, and they’re not in the middle of the desert somewhere, seems to me they’re doing something wrong. As George Carlin would say, “You’re not doing it right.”
KM: I don’t know if it’s wrong per se, I just don’t think they know how to get themselves to water.
PC: Well, what they’re doing is not working.
KM: It’s not working, and I think there’s an old mindset of still the imprinting. I talk about that in my 12 must haves presentation. But the imprinting of hang your shingle and they will come is still etched in their brain. And they still continue to think that and they’re in the desert and there’s not an oasis. There’s no water. But they’re still hanging on to, hang your shingle and they will come. That’s sad to me. They hang on to the old tapes. We’re the ones who are reframing our clients to have new tapes, right?
PC: The folks that are on your list, that make it onto your list, that know more than you do – how do you know if they qualify? How do you know that they know more than you do?
KM: (Laughs.) I just assume that they do!
PC: What tells you that they...? I’ll tell you mine.
KM: Okay, go ahead.
PC: If it makes me nervous to call them or email them, the emotion – that’s my signal. If somebody makes me nervous about contacting them, it’s not going to stop me, but hey – everybody gets nervous about something. I get nervous about certain people I already know for a long time because I admire them. But I’m going to call them anyway.
KM: Right. And I think it’s okay to hear 20, “no”s, I mean, I’m used to it now. It’s not going to hurt me. It’s just like, “Okay, they said no, but I’m going to put them on my list. I’m going to keep calling them, keep doing what I’m doing. Keep my eyes focused on the prize.” That was very instrumental for me not so long ago, and you persevere and you just keep doing it. You don’t stop. You don’t stop. Just because somebody says, “No,” doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, it just means that, “Okay, I’ll just go bigger and better. I’ll go one up.”
PC: To me it means they don’t get it. Alright, so we have our list. Let’s move on to the second half of this question. Now how do you contact these people? There’s always exceptions to everything and, “Yeah, buts.” But we’re not really talking about the exceptions here. As a rule, in general, if I said, “Take you list and spend the next hour contacting some folks and line out your schedule,” what would you go do?
KM: Well I’d look at the person’s name on the list and I’d figure out, first of all, in my particular case what I’ve been doing, is going to the website that I can get to them the fastest. Some of them have more than one website. Some of them have a Facebook page. Some of them have LinkedIn. So I kind of have to decide how can I get my email to them the quickest? So it’s different for some...
PC: So you’re going to send them an email.
KM: Yeah, I’m going to send them a personal email.
PC: Or an electronic message of some sort. And you take the extra step of determining which of their online properties you think might get it to them the fastest.
KM: Get it to them faster. For some, it’s LinkedIn inbox. For others, it’s their personal website where you have to go through the whole gyration of leaving a comment, email, filling all that out so they know where it’s coming from. I don’t have any problem with it. And I’m just going to keep, you know.
PC: Do you ever use more than one channel for one person?
KM: Yes. I use Facebook inbox. I use LinkedIn inbox. And if I can find how to get a hold of their personal email at their website company, I’ll do that, too.
PC: So you do use their email?
KM: And I’m on their Facebook, too. I mean, not that I’m stalking. I’m on their company Facebook and I like their stuff. I’ll comment on their stuff or whatever because that’s how you build the relationship, too. You just can’t have somebody part of your email list and that’s enough. I think you need to really cultivate a trust and a relationship and an interest in what that other guy or girl or gal or whatever is doing. And then when you inbox them on Facebook, they go, “Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for your post. It really means a lot to me. Blah blah blah.” You know who I’m talking about.
PC: So essentially if you talk to them about them, and make your pitch, if you will, sound like you’re helping them, instead of talking about yourself.
KM: People always want validation. They always need to hear that you’re doing a job well done. I don’t care if it’s
PC: McCallagh, former Lieutenant Governor of New York?
KM: (Laughs.) Or other people. They need to know, they need to hear, “You are doing a job that is so difficult, I’m in awe. And I really respect that. And I’ve been following you and you’re right on point.” People need to hear that!
PC: Alright. Do you ever phone call people?
KM: I do!
PC: So you do whatever works.
KM: I do whatever it takes. I just want to caution that you kind of sound stalker-ish and I’m not.
PC: You’re not spamming people.
KM: No! I really do think that the whole personal- I mean, I hope that my message on their voice mail is how I want it to come off and how I want it to me is, “Hey my name is Kathleen Mills and I’d really like to do a podcast with you. You are very influential in the mental health profession.” All that kind of stuff. I just make it personal.
PC: Okay. Yeah, I don’t think it’s possible for you to sound disingenuous. Is that the right word? Except when you do that, “Oh, that’s so cute, Phillip,” and I think, “Oh my God, I missed the mark again.” Okay, so do you have... essentially you’ll use email, phone. Have you ever texted anybody an invitation? It would work.
KM: I guess it would work, but no. Unless I really know them really well, that’s my boundary. Then I would then put myself in the inappropriate category.
PC: That whole hot air balloon thing with a banner didn’t work either?
KM: Right. Flyover.
PC: Expensive that was. Okay, so do you have a script? That’s an ugly word. But do you have a script?
KM: I know you’re wanting me to do that, right? I think no, I mean yes but no. I think I tailor make it for that individual based on what I think they need to hear to capture that.
PC: But there has to be a core that’s the same.
KM: There is a core that is the same.
PC: And then you frame that core.
PC: Can you give me an example? Make one up and pitch me.
KM: Okay. Phillip – I’ve been following you on LinkedIn. I’ve enjoyed your discussion board postings on some of the discussions that we’ve having online. And I’ve really enjoyed your Facebook posts – or whatever it is. And I really think that you would be a great podcast interviewee for my show, It’s Just Coffee. And here’s what I would really like you to consider talking about. Here’s what I would want to talk with you about. And I would drill down that subject and then at the end, so it’s not perceived as being a spammy kind of thing, here’s a link of a podcast that I think you would like based on what I want us to talk about. So I try to pair it with something that they can identify because it’s in their niche, if you will. And then I give them all my information, my website, LinkedIn, so they can read my profile – whatever it is that you want.
PC: The whole open kimono policy.
KM: The whole thing. And so I really would love, I would love this time with you, please.
PC: I know there’s somebody out there that’s thinking, “Well I just got started and I don’t have a million subscribers.” Well, do you bring up how many subscribers you have, or not?
PC: Okay. Do people ask?
KM: I don’t think so. Do they?
PC: Not yet. I don’t think they have. They should, but they don’t.
KM: No. And I think one of the things that, this is the risk of doing business, is you can’t worry about that.
PC: You got to start sometime.
KM: You have to do this because you feel compelled that this is part of your business plan. Period! What will follow will follow.
PC: Right. Very well done. By the way, I have on quite a number of occasions, at very sales training weekends, done role-playing with people like we just did. I’ve had grown men wet their pants at having to do role-playing.
KM: Yeah, well.
PC: I’ve seen women cry. Small children running up the halls.
KM: I used to cry.
PC: But you did extremely well.
KM: Well, thank you.
PC: Thank you, I appreciate that.
KM: Well, thank you for the questions. You made it easy.
PC: Now. Okay, so what kind of reaction are you getting when you send out your message, that message which was very good by the way. I was afraid that I was going to have to throw a few things in there that you forgot and make it sound like you did it anyway, but I don’t. You covered all the bases. Very well done.
KM: I have a good teacher.
PC: Very well done. I’ll accept that credit.
KM: You will. Good job, Phillip.
PC: So are you batting 1,000?
PC: Okay. What do you think your number is? I know we haven’t calculated it. But if you’ve invited 100...
KM: Oh, probably 95%, out of 100%. You said 1,000 but I’m just going to...
PC: We’ll come back to the five. The 95 that are accepting, how long does it take them?
KM: About two seconds.
PC: Why do you think that is?
KM: I don’t know! I’m just kidding. I think it’s because they understand that this is something, another platform to get their message out. But they’re doing it with somebody who is very intrigued and wants their message to be out and they don’t have a problem with that. I think they just take it as, “You got to be kidding. You’re asking me to do what?” They just get all surprised all the time. But it’s like, “No – I think you have something to say and I want you to say it in this venue to help get your message out to the people that you’re massive media is not covering.” I think there’s an illusion that if you’re on television, or you do radio, you’re completing the whole coverage board. And that’s not even close to being correct.
PC: No, it’s actually getting worse. So, when you pitch somebody – I can tell you – when you pitch somebody to be a guest, their first thought process, when they see your message in whatever form, their first thought process is –
KM: Holy Batman!
PC: - “Oh my God, the restraining order expired.”
PC: Their second thought is, “Who is this person and do I even want to associate with them?”
KM: And I think that’s absolutely the truth.
PC: And you gave them the ammo in your contact – your LinkedIn profile and this, that and the other – to overcome that.
KM: I have nothing to hide.
PC: So if they can easily overcome that hurdle of, “Do I want to associate with this person?” and the answer looks like it’s, “Yes.” Then once they’re past that, then their next question is, “Why do you want to talk to me?” And you answered that in the email. You anticipated all the questions and problems and hurdles that you were going to get, addressed each and gave them the answer in the email. You know what drives me nuts in life? If I send an email to somebody and they don’t anticipate the next couple questions and just go ahead and answer it. So we end up spending three days on an email thread that could have been accomplished in about two minutes on the phone. So you have to outsmart them – this is a sale technique – outsmart them, anticipate their questions, include the answers so it doesn’t look like you’re dummying things down. Obviously you don’t want to insult people. “Hey, I’d like to talk to you but you’re so damn dumb I’m going to give you the answer.” No, don’t do that. Give them the answers and then that speeds up the process.
KM: Well, I’m going to go one step further. Yes, I totally agree with that.
PC: I never get to win, do I?
KM: No – I’m just adding! I really do think that yes, what you’ve just described Phillip is all about respecting someone else’s time. You’re talking about their time is full of other stuff. They don’t even know who I am. But if I can –
PC: They don’t want a three-day email thread with some stranger?
KM: (Laughs) No, not with me! You know how that works! But no. I think I’d like to think that I’m respectful of their time, their energy, and I know I’m the low man on the – this was not even coming up into their world. The people I’m wanting to do the podcast with, their plate is full. And I respect that. And that’s why I want to interview them, because they have a lot to say. They’re in it for the long haul and they’re experts.
PC: Are they going to have enough time to come to our studio to do this?
KM: No, because those people we’re going to do it on the phone.
PC: Some of them.
KM: Yes, because they’re far away. If they’re local, I would love for them to come.
KM: Again, it’s about the relationship. It’s about getting themselves in the microphone, in the studio, and it just is a magical thing. It cultivates the relationship. It’s powerful. It’s personal.
PC: It sounds better.
KM: Yes, it sounds better. I think it’s more about the relationship, actually.
PC: And what’s in the refrigerator over there. So, we get them in the studio if we can for all those reasons. And if we can’t, we can do this on the telephone.
KM: It has surprised me and I think it has you, too, that people would rather come to the studio if they’re in town. That has been stunning to me. “Oh, I want to be in the studio,” and then they come in here and look at just this cool little podcasting studio with what you’ve done decoratively in the walls and all that kind of stuff.
PC: I have a good interior designer.
KM: You do! I’m quite impressed. But it just, again, it’s about the environment and it completes the package - when they come here – completes the package of like, “We’re really serious about this. We’re giving you value.”
PC: I forgot to tell you the disco ball we ordered finally showed up yesterday.
KM: Oh no!
PC: It’s going to be great.
KM: I didn’t order the disco ball. I didn’t put that on the itinierary, or the little design.
PC: It’s here. And you were saying.
KM: I don’t know. You just threw me off. But no, I think it just completes the package of this is a legit – podcasting is a legit and it’s here to stay. And I think that you want to have that whole, they kinesthetic sensory – utilize that as much as possible to very impactful for all involved.
PC: Podcasting is not the only content form there is. It just happens to be riding a wave of popularity now.
KM: For many, many reasons.
PC: And it’s not going anywhere.
KM: No, it’s not.
PC: So where was I going with that?
KM: You’re just excited about the disco ball being hung from the ceiling.
PC: I am. That really threw me off.
KM: May I remind you that you are the one who brought it up and I did not divert that? I feel victorious for about five minutes right here.
PC: Disco’s my thing. Um, I think that being asked to do an interview is a lot like somebody from the newspaper calling you and saying, “I want to do an interview with you and my photographer’s going to come out and take a picture.” Now that has happened to me one time, and I remember the feeling. You’re not going to tell them no unless you’re just a total recluse.
KM: I remember - and I can identify with that – I remember it was a couple years ago when my... oh my goodness. Well, it was more than a couple years ago. It was when my number one son, oldest, was in high school and anyway, to make a long story short, that’s how long ago it was. And a friend, a parent of mine, was a writer for the Plano Profile magazine that comes out monthly or whatever, and she wanted to do a thing about scrapbooking. And she did it on me and they came in and they took pictures and the whole nine yards. And I just thought that was kind of so awesome to be in a magazine. That it just kind of struck me, like wow.
PC: You wouldn’t have entertained the idea.
KM: No. It was like, “Sure I’ll do it for you. That’d be great!”
PC: So you write a direct approach, and you’re getting probably 95% or better yes rate, acceptance rate, quickly. The 5%. Now, in general, no names about any association board members or anything like that. But why are people telling you no?
KM: That’s a great question.
PC: Do they even give a reason?
KM: No. They simply reply, “Thank you for the offer. It’s interesting. Let me get back with you.” And my takeaway on that is they really don’t understand what I’m doing. They don’t understand the podcast whole thing. They might have heard it but they don’t understand it. And so I completely get that because I just completely get that. I respect that. But what I will say is that I will wait a couple more weeks and I’ll resend it. “Hey, you said it was interesting. What can I do to kind of help?” And I’ll tag another link of a podcast that caters to what I think is important to them that they can just hear and identify with so they can get a little bit more comfortable with that.
PC: So how many guests, or let’s phrase it this way – a guest that really knocks it out of the park or at least we think we did, until you measure things. That’s a whole other conversation, which we do. How do you determine who gets invited back for another interview at some point in the future, and who doesn’t?
KM: May I be bold and say that I really would like all of my guests to come back because they have all been very incredible. I think what’s important is to know what your audience is wanting to hear, and so your analytics – that’s where the tracking is imperative. That you have somebody that’s good on tracking that and you can understand more of your audience preference.
PC: There’s a woman out there going, “Oh my God, I was told there’s no math involved!” Are you doing the tracking?
KM: I’m not doing the tracking. But you hire somebody who’s doing the tracking and then the tracker says, “Hey, these shows are like off the chart.” And we probably... what about that? What is in the content that you think is ratcheting it up a little bit?”
PC: Well then you can dig down deeper.
KM: Yeah you can dig deeper.
PC: And find out what really worked, but you know that that speaker has got it.
KM: Yeah, and they want to hear more.
PC: Right. So you’re developing a stable of proven speakers over a long haul that maybe once a year you have them in, or twice a year, but you won’t know until you go through... you kiss a lot of frogs to find the princes.
KM: You do.
PC: And you hire somebody to do the metrics. You mean I’ve got to hire a third party somebody else?
KM: No, I just hire you, buddy. I can only keep track of one and that’s you.
PC: It’s all part of the content.
KM: It’s all part of the content.
PC: Okay, do you have the core template that you send out, whether it’s by whatever channel, and you pretty much use the same thing on the phone. You know, it’s the same sort of content. Do you have that written down in a format where if somebody listening said, “I want that.”
KM: I do. I could get it. Yeah. It’s easy to do.
PC: Okay. So where would they send you an email if they wanted a copy of that if you’re willing to share?
KM: [email protected] or they can call me at 972-234-6634 ext. 104. But my email is probably the easiest and the best.
PC: And the fastest.
KM: The fastest.
PC: Alright, good. Well we’re out of time and this was very good stuff.
KM: I’ve enjoyed being the interviewee.
PC: We’ll do it again in about six months.
KM: Did I behave?
PC: Well, I won’t go that far but it was good stuff.
PC: I like it when you don’t behave. Things are a little more rocking.
KM: Which is 95% of the time?
PC: 95% of the time.
KM: So I’m in the 5% category right now because the microphone is intimidating, and maybe that’s part of it, too. But I do like it now. It’s my best friend. Well, not my best friend, but you know.
PC: Yeah, it’s something. Well, we’re out of time and I’m still Philip Crum, the content marketing coach.
KM: Thank you, Phillip.
PC: You’re welcome. At contentmarketingcoach.us. Give me a holler at 214-264-6297. If you would like to market your business this way, or if you just want to talk, I don’t know. Bored and lonely? Past president of the Addison Lonely Hearts Club. We can talk. And we’ll see you next time, and try and be good. On we go.
KM: On we go.