The Art of Successful Podcast Guesting - Margy Feldhuhn

podcasting May 13, 2021
Mark Struczewski, Margy Feldhuhn

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher

Margy Feldhuhn is the co-owner of Interview Connections, the first and leading podcast booking agency. Margy and her business partner lead a staff of over 20 full-time employees virtually and have successfully scaled the agency to multiple 7 figures. Their team of in-house Booking Agents are the podcast powerhouses behind many successful entrepreneurs and businesses including Ali Brown, Aweber, USA Financial, and more.

Mark Struczewski
Margy Feldhuhn, welcome to the show.

Margy Feldhuhn
Thank you so much for having me, Mark. I am thrilled you're here because you have a company that's all about helping people get on podcasts, and you are a guest on my podcast. So I think it's, if there's ever been a perfect fit for the show, let's think this is it? Yes, absolutely. We practice what we preach. And my business partner and I are both guests on podcasts consistently, at least four times a month. And thank you so much for having me on your show. It's not often that I get to go on a show that has over 800 episodes, you said, right.

Mark Struczewski
Yes, this is Episode 827.

Margy Feldhuhn
I am honored. Thank you so much.

Mark Struczewski
Now, what do you do? And what company do you work for?

Margy Feldhuhn
So I am the CEO and co-owner of Interview Connections. We are the leading podcast booking agency. So we book service-based, high-achieving entrepreneurs as guests on podcasts. And then, we also provide strategy coaching and support to help them grow their business through this consistent visibility on podcasts.

Mark Struczewski
Now, one of the things I really want to impress upon the listener if you're not that familiar with the podcast space, because everyone talks about podcasts, but let me put something some statistics in to their ear. Number one, there are over 2 million podcasts on the Apple podcast directory, okay. Seems like a lot. But I heard statistics that say 44% of those have less than three episodes, and up to 2,000,000 or 68% of them haven't been updated in the last 90 days. So if you're thinking about getting into podcasting, this is still fertile ground, I believe. Do you agree?

Margy Feldhuhn
Yes, absolutely.

Mark Struczewski
Now, what is it about podcasting that, you know, you obviously have a company that promotes people to be on podcasts? And I'll tell my story of why we're really working together in just a few minutes. But why do you think now is the time for people to as part of their outreach, to go on podcasts as a guest?

Margy Feldhuhn
Yes, podcasts are so powerful because the engagement and trust is so high with podcast listeners. And there's something about hearing someone's voice and hearing them in a long-form interview, tell their story, you really can get who they are and what they're about in a way that you couldn't from just like glancing at a blog post or a social media post. So for people who have service-based businesses, where whoever hires them has to really trust them, and it's probably investing a decent amount of money to work with them. It's an incredible way for listeners to go from people who don't know you to 30 minutes later, people who know a lot about you and either love you or hate you, which is good.

Mark Struczewski
Yeah, the old know like, and trust factor is alive and well in the podcasting world. Now, I am working really well with you, not like; I'm not a client of yours. But on January 1, as my listeners know, I had this crazy idea, Hey, why don't you create an episode a day, every day in 2021? Now it sounded really good. And I did the first couple of episodes. I'm like, wait a minute, Mark, you're not Gary Vaynerchuk with a team of 15. What are you doing? And so how am I going to fill 365 episodes this year? And I said, Wait a minute. If I have like Interview Connections, send me a guest every once a while. So I reached out to your staff and said, Hey, can you help me make this dream come true? And you guys just sent me some of the best guests in the world. So here we are on May 13. I've not missed a day, not just since January 1; my streak actually started Christmas Day 2020. So thank you, you're a big part of why I'm doing this and how I'm so successful with it.

Margy Feldhuhn
Wow, congratulations. That's absolutely incredible. I'm so happy that we can play a small part in this incredible goal. And I'm glad you love our guests. They're really, really exceptional entrepreneurs, the ones that we work with, and we're so grateful to hosts like you who are kind of our other clients who don't pay us this is how we describe it. Because relationships with great hosts like you who are really putting out quality shows, who care about what they're doing, who aren't just going to quit their show or not show up for interviews. Those relationships are so valuable and important. So we really appreciate being part of this.

Mark Struczewski
If everything goes as well, on December 31, 2021, I release Episode 1060, which is insane to think about. That's absolutely insane. Now, one of the things I like about Interview Connections is you vet the guests. Now yes, there are a lot of free places you can go get guests, and you can go find them on LinkedIn. And I generally don't invite people anymore. I did in the early days, from LinkedIn unless they're an established influencer, or they're a CEO or they're a name person. And having 827 episodes out, it's a little easier to get guests on the show than when you have three. But one of the roles you guys play is you will not just send a list of 50 people, you know, whatever, you really vet, so you get to know the show, the host of the show, and your client, and you send me qualified people, because, and I'm sure you agree with this. At the end of the day, I care about the listener; are they getting value? Because right now, they're plugged into their EarPods, or other headphones, and then maybe on the walk or run, and they're giving us their time and attention? And I don't want to waste that. And I'm sure you feel the same way.

Margy Feldhuhn
Yes, I totally agree with that. And so there are a few layers of screening that happens, we actually do turn clients away; we don't work with any person who wants to work with us. Because it's really important to us, that it's an entrepreneur who has integrity, who's authentic, who embodies kindness, leadership. So someone being aligned with our core values is extremely important, we will turn people away if we're just not in alignment and we're not the right fit. So anyone who is our client has already kind of been vetted in that way. And then yes, the agents do an incredible job of really understanding shows and really understanding their clients. Because the goal is the highest and best good, it's not just; we got to get them on a podcast because we owe them a booking; it's like, what's going to be a win-win-win for the host and for their audience, and for our client. Because if there's a show that, you know, the host would love to have them, but it's not a good fit for the client's target audience and goals. It's a mismatch. So it really has to be a home run for audience, hosts, and guests. And that is a perfect connection.

Mark Struczewski
Now, I'm sure you train your clients to understand that when you come on someone's show, it's not a pitch fest, you're not supposed to say, go to my website, buy my book, you know, invest in my course. I mean, certainly at the end, like at the very end of this conversation, I'll ask you where we can find out more about you. But do you educate your clients that way?

Margy Feldhuhn
Yes, we do a lot of training and coaching and strategizing and consulting with our clients. Because you know, so much of this strategy is about relationship building with hosts. And if you show up with no microphone, or you miss your interview, or you're pitching instead of serving, it's pretty quick that you get, you know, the word gets around like podcasters are close. And so we want our clients to be represented well and to represent themselves well. So we do training on the basics of like, order this microphone order these headphones, you have to use them every time. But we also do more extensive training on like how to deliver value in a way that's not salesy, how to attract clients without doing an infomercial, you know, what's a good call to action that's going to be valuable to listeners and easy for them to take action on that. So all that coaching on messaging and strategy and media training, all really comes together so that they're getting clients for podcast interviews, they're building great relationships, and they're not being salesy.

Mark Struczewski
That's really important because nobody wants to listen to a commercial, they want to go out for the run, and they want to be informed. And if you do your job, to your point, you deliver value. Then when I asked you the last question, Where can we find out more about you than like, Okay, I got value, I've already learned to trust this person, they gave me value. So I'm gonna go their website, when to go find them on social media, and then further the relationship. But if you just like, hey, like a used car salesman, hey, this is got this, I can do this for you, I can do this for you. Well, if they're not going to reach out to you, because you're like, you've already set the bar. And it's not a very high bar.

Margy Feldhuhn
Yes, absolutely giving value. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs who are new to this space, come into it with the wrong mindset. And they're really focused on what can I get or like, I don't want to give away too much value for free. And really, you can't give away too much value. If a listener can hear your episode and get a result to get a benefit in their life just from hearing a free interview with you. That's what's gonna make them want to work with you. So it's, it's not that lack mindset. It's genuinely wanting to give and serve and people feel that the host feels that the listener feels that and that's when things just start to you know, snowball and go really well.

Mark Struczewski
I will confess to you that I used to be that guy, I used to be like, I don't want to give all my secrets away. But then I heard Gary Vaynerchuk, a super entrepreneur says, Give it all free, because most people are not going to take action. And if they really want to take action, they're gonna reach out to you. So I just give, give, give, give, give, and I get more clients by giving everything away than I do. If I said, okay, well, I'll give you one part, if you want. The other nine parts of my success formula hired me for a billion dollars a month; they don't do that. But if you give, give, give, they're like, wow, if he gave this much value on a podcast, or on a Facebook Live, or whatever the case may be, man, if I hired him or her, I'm probably going to get even more than there. And I think that's the mentality, people have to go in with.

Margy Feldhuhn
I totally agree. And I think it is a mindset, it's this lack mindset, or this abundance mindset. And when you have this abundant mindset, you're just giving and giving and giving without holding back. And then people are attracted to you. We literally, we have a masterclass where we teach people live session by session, how to book themselves, like we there is no secret that we're holding back, we tell you everything. But our point. And I think this is true for a lot of services is good entrepreneurs understand who not how they're not trying to do everything themselves. They want to outsource things to an effective person who can get them the results that they want, so that they can focus on what they like to focus on. So I definitely agree, you can share everything. And there's still going to be people who don't want to do it for themselves or who want closer coaching with you.

Mark Struczewski
Now, let's talk about actually getting on a show because, as you know, and your agents know, I have some rules on my show, like there's zero tolerance for swearing, I don't edit the show, I release the next day. But one of the big things that a lot of people don't understand is I ask for a headshot. And if there's an individual that reached out to me, I have no fallback like your agents. Okay, so like, just before I got on this call, there's a client of yours gonna be on my podcast in a couple of weeks. I don't have her headshot yet. But I reached out to Alyssa, I send her an email and I said, Hey, don't have a headshot for this guest. And I know she'll send me one. That's the benefit of having an agency like you, because you have their headshots. And so if the guest doesn't send the headshot, I can reach out to the person, when it's an individual, I gotta hunt them down; email, call them, text, and I have this policy, if I don't get your headshot two weeks before the event, I cancel it. I don't tell you, I just cancel it. Because there's someone else who's willing to follow my rules, who would love to take that spot. So talk to us about the importance of a guest actually listening to the requirements that the host has?

Margy Feldhuhn
Yeah, the term guest is really important, you are a guest in somebody else's house. Like, you have to go into that with that mindset. And you need to follow the rules. If somebody has a specific requirement, you have to follow it. If somebody wants you to fill out a form or do a pre-call before the interview, it's very important that you do that. And also, the host has systems in place for a reason. And it's probably because it makes the episode better. And you want to be on shows where the host is taking it seriously where it's not an afterthought. But it's really something that's intentional, and well thought out. Those are the types of shows that your old results. So if a host is asking for specific things, and has systems, that's a really good sign that that's a quality show. And you need to start building that relationship from the second that you reach out to them and get connected by being really communicative, giving them everything they need. And that's really where that relationship starts.

Mark Struczewski
Now talk to me about your thoughts. There's no wrong or right answer to this about my requiring unless you're A-Lister and I don't mean to break your heart. You're not an A-Lister. Neither am I, who has to go through a 15-minute pre-interview call to make sure they're the right fit. Yeah, I can go look at other YouTube lives you've done, or I can look at other podcasts you've been on. But I like to have a conversation with the person. We don't necessarily talk about what we're gonna talk about on the show. I just want to know you're good conversationalist. What are your thoughts on hosts like me that require a pre-interview call?

Margy Feldhuhn
I really like pre-calls. I understand why busy entrepreneurs can be like, why do we have to do this, but every pre-call I've ever done has made for a much better interview. And if you're taking the time to do the interview, it's because you want it to be as valuable as possible. And pre-calls do make it more valuable. I do pre-calls for my own podcast as well. And it's just helpful. When you're not talking to the person for the first time, on the episode, you can feel the difference in rapport and comfort, you already understand each other, you know, it's a good fit. So I really like pre calls. And I think they're worth the time.

Mark Struczewski
Now, we've talked a lot today, is there anything that we didn't talk about maybe mistakes the first time guests make or something else that you want to make sure that the listener of this conversation actually gets from it?

Margy Feldhuhn
I think the biggest mistake people make is, besides not having a mindset to serve and not taking care of those relationships with the host is that they're not consistent. And I love that I'm talking to someone who puts out an episode every day because this is how you do it. Like we talked to our clients about going on at least four shows a month, every month. For years. It's just a built in part of your business. Podcast guesting can be a slow burn. And it's not the type of thing you can just like dabble in, do a few and then like, see what happens. Because if you're not consistently doing it, like most content marketing, you're not going to see results from it. So the biggest thing would be if you're gonna do it, really go all in and commit the way that you have. It doesn't have to be every day.

Mark Struczewski
But yeah, every day is kind of crazy. But that is a very good point. You know, we were talking before I hit record, you asked me a very interesting question. You said, you know, what happens when we're immediately done? And you know, we chitchat for a couple of minutes while we're letting the files upload to the server. And I shared a story with you, I was on someone else's show. And then they said, well, Mark, thanks for being on the show. And they just like ended the broadcast. I'm sitting here looking at my screen, like, what just happened right now? And it's like, so I don't, I would never do that. Even if it's an instant upload of the files. It's common courtesy to say goodbye, you know, thanks for being on the show. It only happened to me once but I just sat there for, like 30 seconds. Like what does have I didn't, I can't believe he just like hung up the phone on me or the zoom call. And it was hysterical. So I do the little things like we chitchat for a little bit before we start recording. And little afterward, because I want to build a relationship. I work with your company a lot. But I look at every guest as a friend, because you gave us your time today. And it's not just like, Oh, got another episode done. It's like I'm building all these connections, I have so many friends on LinkedIn. That's my main social media platform. But I don't look at you as like another number. I don't look at you as like episode number 827. I look at you as a live human being that gave me and the audience, your time and your insights today. So I want to thank you before we end the show, I want to make sure I do it twice today. Thank you so much for being on the show today. I really appreciate it.

Margy Feldhuhn
Thank you so much for having me.

Mark Struczewski
So let's talk about Interview Connections. Now if someone is listening to you on this show. And they're like; you know what, I really need to get into being a guest on the show. Maybe they're an established entrepreneur; maybe they're trying to build their business or brand. But let's pretend they have no clue what you guys do. So tell us the steps. So obviously, someone goes to your website; what's the process before they even become a client or get on their first show.

Margy Feldhuhn
So we definitely do a lot of educating the market because a lot of people are new to this; they're not even really sure what consistent guesting on podcasts looks like. So most of our clients either participate in our masterclass, which, as I said, is free content that we do in our Facebook group where we teach you everything you need to know, to understand the strategy and how to implement it and how to monetize it to the point where you could do it yourself. If you want it, we really don't hold back. So a lot of that and those trainings happen in our Facebook group. And that's generally where clients start; where they really get to understand us and how it works and what the strategy is. And then they'll say, Okay, great, I understand this. I know it's valuable, I understand how to monetize it, do it for me.

Mark Struczewski
You know, there's something to be said with someone doing it for you. Yeah, you could do it yourself, but you're going to Interview Connections and say hey, get me on shows and they do the work for you. You just show up and all you have to do is obey the rules and be your amazing self by providing value. So I think there's a place in the world for you. And I really hope people go out they go to Interview Connections on Facebook, that's where your group is.

Margy Feldhuhn
So they can find the group at interviewconnections.com/group; it's called the guest expert profit lab.

Mark Struczewski
Okay and they can go to interviewconnections.com as well. To find out more about you, what you guys do. You have sent me incredible guests. I'm so thankful for it because when you have a lot of people stop and think about this, you know people say Mark you have the greatest guests. That's not luck. I go through a lot of I don't want to say pain but a lot of effort to make sure I have quality guests because like I said early in the show, this podcast is someone's time and someone's attention and I don't want to waste that. So I want to make sure I get quality guests such as you who come on the show and add value. Now I am under no illusion that someone listens to 827 episodes of my podcast. If you've ever listened to every episode of my podcast, please go to misterproductivity.com and send me a message or hit me up on LinkedIn because I would love to know if anyone's listening. I don't think anyone has. I know people look at the title, and they go a podcast guesting. I mentioned that when we listen to it, so I want to thank you for being a tremendous guest. You gave us a lot of information. Thank you so much for your time.

Margy Feldhuhn
Thank you so much for having me, Mark.

 

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