Break Into a New Industry & Gain Influence (Podcast Style)

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Switching high schools is never easy. There’s a whole new set of social nuances to learn. You haven’t yet earned the other kids’ trust. You have to try to find your place again.

It’s a lot like breaking into a new industry. People don’t know your name and don’t want to risk associating themselves with “the new kid.” In case you’re a weirdo or something.

There is, however, one way to fast-track your influence in your new high school industry. It’s called a B2B podcast. Today, we’re learning how a B2B podcast can help you build relationships with industry authorities in order to boost your influence.

Specifically, we’re talking about…

Let’s get to it.

B2B Podcasting Strategy: Industry Influence

Trying to break into a tough market? One of the smartest things you can do to make it easier is start a B2B podcast.

A Podcast Helps You Meet People

Take, for instance, the music industry. A big part of making it in music is relationships — connections.

What if you had an excuse to speak with any music exec or artist you wanted to? A conversation where you could ask them about getting into the industry, their advice on industry news, or their next big project. By the end of the conversation, you two know each other pretty well. Maybe you’re even on your way to friendship.

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That’d be kind of amazing right? Well, it’s 100% possible to do with a podcast. And you can take this approach with literally any type of industry.

Host the Party

One analogy that illustrates the industry influence podcast strategy really well is GaryVee’s high school party example.

You’re the new kid in high school. You could wait around for someone to take you under their wing.

Or, you could throw a house party.

Bring the band kids, jocks, theater kids, artsy kids, and nerds to you. Gain influence by associating yourself with the already influential people.

Your podcast is the party. Use it to associate yourself with industry authorities and skyrocket your influence in a new space.

Industry Influence Strategy

Industry Influence is one of five B2B podcasting strategies a business can use. All five strategies include

  1. Demand Gen: The goal behind using a demand gen strategy is to build an audience for your brand.
  2. Industry Influence: The goal of using Industry Influence is to build relationships with industry authorities in order to break into a new market.
  3. ABM (Content-Based Networking): The goal of an ABM or content-based networking strategy is to build relationships with potential customers.
  4. Customer Success: Taking a customer success approach with your podcast ideally reduces churn.
  5. Internal Use: The goal of an internal use podcast is to engage employees and pass on organizational information.

Which sounds most like your organization? The chart below compares all five strategies side-by-side:

STRATEGYGOALCONTENT TYPETIME TO IMPACTTARGET AUDIENCE SIZE
Demand GenAudience GrowthThought LeadershipLong TermLarge
Industry InfluenceBuild Relationships w/ Industry InfluencersInterviewsMid TermMedium
ABM (Content-Based Networking)Build Relationships w/ Potential CustomersInterviewsShort-Mid TermMedium
Customer SuccessReduce ChurnInterviewsMid TermSmall
Internal UsePass On Organizational InformationThought Leadership, InterviewsShort TermSmall

You might use an industry influence strategy for your podcast if…

  • You want to break into a competitive market
  • You want to become known in a space fairly quickly
  • You want to expand your network within an industry
  • You want to build meaningful relationships with key industry folks

If any of these ☝ statements describe your primary goal, your podcast’s focus should be on industry influence.

More Than One Goal

You might be thinking…

Well, building relationships with industry influencers is one of my goals. But I also want to meet potential customers and build an audience.

It’s completely normal to have more than one goal — most businesses do. However, when it comes to your podcast, it’s important to stick with your primary goal.

Like with any marketing campaign, there has to be a #1 priority. What is the purpose of your B2B podcast? Whichever goal you most resonate with from the chart above should be your priority. If you focus on too many goals, your show’s premise — its purpose — is weakened. And, you end up not achieving any of the goals you set.

Luckily, when you prioritize one goal for your podcast, your subsidiary goals often benefit as well. Plus, your show has a strong and purposeful premise.

How to Break Into a New Industry Using a Podcast

Let’s get into how to actually do the thing.

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Find Your Place

You know the industry you want to get into. Do some research on industry podcasts that already exist.

Find out what’s already out there. Then, think about what could make your show unique. What’s an angle that hasn’t yet been explored? How can your show’s format be more conducive to the kinds of guests you want?

Just like you found your niche in a new industry, find it in the podcast marketplace. Fill a need that isn’t being filled.

Podcast Branding

Your podcast is the party, right? So make it appealing to the people you want there.

That means naming your show after the industry you’re trying to break into or after your ideal guest’s expertise. If you’re trying to break into the music industry, call your podcast something like The Pop Rock Music Hour or The Business of Rock Show.

[READ: Learn about everything from naming your B2B podcast to booking guests here.]

Make sure your cover art and other graphics match the vibe of your show and appeal to your guests too.

Book Guests

Building relationships with industry influencers is all about booking interviews. While GaryVee might be booked until next Christmas, there are plenty of other influencers to choose from.

There are several places to source influential guests:

  • LinkedIn search
  • LinkedIn network
  • Conference keynoters
  • Coming Soon & New Releases books on Amazon
  • Similar podcasts
  • Podcast booking agency

If you decide to do guest outreach yourself, feel free to use this guest pitch template:

Email 1:

Hey [Name],

I saw your recently published [article, book, TedTalk, etc.] where you discussed [topic]. I would love to invite you to be a guest on my show, [Show Name].

I think my audience could learn a lot from you. Are you interested?

Email 2:

Hey [Name],

I still think you’d be a great guest for our show. Did you know [Name] was a past guest?

Email 3:

Hey [Name],

Haven’t heard back from you about being on the show. Can we set up a quick call to see if this opportunity makes sense for you?

Email 4:

Hey [Name],

I didn’t get a response to my last three emails, so I’m going to assume that your schedule is just too busy right now. If it clears up down the road, we’d still love to have you as a guest on [Show Name].

You could also try using an in-email video service like BombBomb to pitch guests. Videos can pique more interest and feel more personal for the guest. You can even use the pitch template as a script.

Impress Your Guest

Once you get your guest to say yes, there are some things you can do to make yourself stand out:

  1. Engage with them on social media.
  2. Use a calendar scheduling app.
  3. Do a pre-interview.
  4. Send a prep doc.
  5. Research your guest.
  6. Make them feel comfortable.
  7. Use a proven production process.
  8. Make micro content.
  9. Follow up with them.

Doing these things will increase your legitimacy and impress even the most experienced podcast guest.

Ask the Right Questions

If you’re going the industry influencer route, you’ll likely have some pretty experienced speakers on your show. They’ve likely been interviewed before.

So, it’s important for you to take at least a slightly different angle from interviewers before. Listen or read those past interviews and note the questions that the influencer gets asked all the time. You might want to leave those out.

Try asking some questions that tend to uncover revealing and novel answers.

Questions like…

  • What’s a commonly held belief about your role that you passionately disagree with?
  • What do you wish your younger self knew about your current profession?
  • Do you agree with the common perception about your work? Why or why not?
  • If you had 10x the budget you have now, what would you spend it on?
  • What’s something everybody in your industry should stop or start doing?
  • What’s the biggest challenge the industry is facing today? In 10 years?
  • Where do you self-educate?
  • If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?

The better your questions, the better the content.

How to Gain Influence Using a Podcast

Once you have at least one episode recorded and edited, it’s time to market that sucker.

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Launch Promotion Plan

It’s essential to nail your podcast’s launch promotion plan if you want to shake hands with industry influencers. Luckily, we have a comprehensive plan made for you with templates you can literally copy and paste.

The things you’ll need going into launch are…

  • At least one episode (we recommend having 3 or 4, though).
  • A podcast hosting service.
  • A dedicated podcast website or page.
  • One or two blog posts based on your first few episodes.
  • An announcement email.
  • LinkedIn posts.
  • Tweets.
  • A Facebook “business” page dedicated to your show.

Have all of these components created and ready to go once your show goes live.

Content Planning

Even though your primary goal isn’t to necessarily grow an audience, it’s still recommended that you discuss topics that listeners care about.

[READ: Making a podcast? Might as well make it a YouTube podcast. Here’s how to do it in 10 steps.]

Choosing relevant topics to discuss on your show should be done in tandem with the kinds of guests you book. Make a list of key phrases that your target audience is interested in. Then, once you book a guest, decide together which topic they’d like to talk about.

This way, you discuss subjects relevant to your listeners as well as your guests.

Plus, when you plan episodes around key phrases, it’s easier to create other content based on the interviews.

Repurposed Content

If you don’t repurpose your interviews into other pieces of content, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to gain influence. Why not use content from your podcast to build up your credibility on other channels?

Influencer content you can make from your podcast:

  • Blog posts
  • Micro videos
  • Full-length YouTube videos
  • Audiograms
  • Written LinkedIn posts
  • LinkedIn carousels
  • Quote graphics
  • Instagram posts
  • Tweets
  • Email copy

Share the love and the insights you get from talking to industry influencers. When your name is associated with those insights, it automatically boosts your credibility.

So, repurpose as much content as you can. Maybe your guests will even share it with their audiences.

Break Into Even the Most Saturated Industries

Even the hardest industries to get into are penetrable with a podcast. Know why?

Because podcasting — especially B2B podcasting — isn’t saturated. It’s actually a relatively new space with very few players.

And, if you do it right, you could become the cool kid in your industry. 😎

For more on #HowtoPodcast, subscribe to Mic Club 🎙 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Emily Kingland

Lead Writer at Sweet Fish Media

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