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How to Promote Your Consulting Firm on Podcasts (Without Being Boring or Annoying)

Podcasts are (relatively) easy to produce, the barrier to entry is virtually zero, and they’ve become more popular than cabbage patch dolls in the 1980s. Should your consulting firm have a podcast? Probably. Can you leverage the podcast movement to your consulting firm’s advantage? Absolutely.

My consulting firm can trace a substantial portion of our revenues to podcasts. Your firm can enjoy this success too.*

Your consulting firm’s podcast strategy can be bifurcated based on your position: are you the host or are you a guest?

HOST – Use your consulting firm’s podcast to create deep relationships.

GUEST – Use partners’ podcasts to create broad interest in your consulting firm.

You’ll find that being a guest is a far easier, less expensive, more sustainable path to gaining clients for your consulting firm. So, for this article, let’s focus on being a guest!*

Promoting your consulting firm through guest appearances is easy:

  1. Find partners
  2. Be a fabulous guest

Part 1 – Find Partners

Partners are podcast hosts who generously share their “tribe” with you.

Good podcast partners are like yellow flowers. You don’t have to search or employ a specialist to find them because your yard is overrun with dandelions.

There are over 1.75 million podcasts and you can safely assume at least 100 of them focus precisely on your consulting firm’s target.

If you expand to podcasts whose audience overlaps with your consulting firm’s target market, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of shows you can appear on that will make prospective clients aware of your consulting firm.

Start your search for suitable partners by searching podcast sites such as iTunes and Spotify.

Then, expand to additional partners by looking for non-competing firms that serve your market, adjacent markets or overlapping markets—many of them will have a podcast.

Finally, every time you appear on a podcast, ask your host which other podcasts target her market.

Part 2 – Be a Great Guest

The first, and most important rule of promoting your consulting firm as a guest on others’ shows is to be Right-Side Up! Remember, the show isn’t about you or your consulting firm, even when you’re in the spotlight.

Yeah, I know you want to talk about how great your consulting firm’s work is, how amazing your process is, all the spiffy stuff you’ve developed, and the results you’ve produced.

Don’t.

At least, don’t make that the point of everything you say.

Podcast appearances are not commercials.

Treating your podcast appearance like an advertisement for your consulting firm limits its effectiveness. You won’t receive high listenership (listeners pass along engaging content; they don’t spread commercials), you won’t receive an invitation to return for another episode, and other potential partners won’t invite you to join their shows.

Instead, approach your podcast appearance with four intentions:

  • Add value to the listeners. What listeners want to learn about is far more important than what you want to talk about. What can you offer listeners that will make them better off after your episode?
  • Offer practical, immediately usable guidance. Listeners will appreciate your episode if you’re smart, interesting and informative. However, they’ll love your episode and remember your consulting firm if you give them a useful activity they can easily, repeatedly implement.
  • Engage with your host. Remember, your host is sharing the stage with you and also wants an opportunity to create value for her listeners. Helping your host shine makes for a more enjoyable episode and a happier host who will invite you back.
  • Exude fascination with your topic. When you strive to be interesting you risk coming across as phony and salesy. In contrast, when you act interested in the audience, the host and the topic at hand, you draw listeners in.

Finally, make sure you have at least a passable audio setup so that you sound clear, confident and competent every time you appear. Speak into a USB mic (Samson’s Meteor mic has a nice sound) or USB headset (Sennheiser makes terrific units).

With a modicum of effort, your consulting firm can appear on at least a couple of podcasts per month, borrowing your partners’ tribes to increase awareness and demand for your consulting services.

How have you used podcasts to promote your consulting firm?


8 Comments
  1. Will Bachman
    February 24, 2021 at 6:45 am Reply

    In addition to building relationships with clients, podcasts are a great vehicle for building relationships with peers in your industry:
    1) Learn about the types of projects other consultants are doing
    2) Pick up tips and tricks on technology, process, best practices
    3) Connect with consultants you might bring in to your work as subcontractors
    4) Connect with consultants with a different focus area who might introduce you to their clients
    An example of this approach is the podcast that Umbrex produces: Unleashed – How to Thrive as an Independent Professional, where David A. Fields has generously joined as a guest on half a dozen episodes

    • David A. Fields
      February 24, 2021 at 8:27 am Reply

      Will, you are very kind and the four benefits you enumerated are right on the mark. There are huge wins for parties on both sides of the mic, as you have so masterfully shown with your own podcast.

      I’m hugely appreciative of the opportunities to appear on your podcast, Will, and also of your kicking off the discussion this morning!

  2. Kevin Dougherty
    February 24, 2021 at 8:57 am Reply

    David, Thank you very much for sharing this information as it’s most helpful and believe right on target.

    • David A. Fields
      February 24, 2021 at 10:00 am Reply

      Three huzzahs for being helpful and on target! Thanks for your feedback, Kevin, which I appreciate you posting on here.

  3. Mahan
    February 24, 2021 at 11:28 am Reply

    Great post David.

    You cover the key elements which include adding value to audience and then helping promote the episode along with the host.

    One other thing is that As a podcast host I am amazed at the number of consultants and authors that reach out to appear on the podcast without first having done some due diligence (read about target audience and at least listen to an episode or two). Those are easy ‘no thank you’s.

    Like everything else in sales, doing some homework on a few is a much better strategy than canned approach to many.

    • David A. Fields
      February 24, 2021 at 12:10 pm Reply

      Wise counsel, Mahan. You’re right that consultants should always learn about a host before reaching out to appear on the show.

      Again, this is part of being Right-Side Up–remembering that the show is about the audience and the host, not about your consulting firm.

      Thank you for contributing a host’s point of view, Mahan.

  4. John Ray
    February 25, 2021 at 4:50 am Reply

    Hi David,

    Great post, and thanks for the splendid work you do.

    Several points to confirm and add:

    1) A big “yes” to doing your homework on the show you’re interested in. As a host, you’ve got my attention when you tell me you’ve listened to a couple of shows (and maybe you throw in a specific fact or two which confirms it).
    2) Be enthusiastic! It’s not a hostage tape.
    3) Don’t just tell, show. In other words, come ready to share a success story or two.
    3) Relax. The host isn’t going to ask any “gotcha” questions. You’re the expert!
    4) If I see a guest coming on with a script prepared to read, I tell them to tear it up….because they can be assured I won’t follow it. It’s for the guest’s own good, and that of the audience, too. Reading answers makes a guest sound wooden.
    5) Please don’t go on a show and answer four or five questions when only one was asked. Allowing the host to create a conversation with you makes YOU look better.
    6) I’ve hosted around 400 or more shows on the Business RadioX network and produced many more, and two things amaze me every time they occur: a) when a guest never replies to our after-show email with a simple thank you or some acknowledgement. Trust me, you’ll be remembered, but not in the way you’d like, and b) guests who don’t share the show themselves, whether on their website, social media. Isn’t assembling this social proof part of the point of the whole exercise?

    Thanks again David!

    • David A. Fields
      February 25, 2021 at 8:48 am Reply

      Great perspective from behind the mic, and excellent tips for all the consulting firm leaders out there who want to step up their podcast appearance game.

      We’re all in the service business, which means you should treat the hosts of podcasts you appear on with the same intent and respect you’d like from your clients. Show up ready to have a conversation, not to pitch, and follow up with a thank you!

      Excellent to have your voice in this conversation, John.

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