This is my first ever “guest post”. I’ve known this guest poster for a number of years, during which time he’s developed quite a niche for himself in the realm of podcasting. We actually first met during a podcast he recorded of myself on the subject of SEO. You can listen to that podcast here. Without further babbling, i’d like to introduce Michael Surkan of PracticalPodcasting.com and his guest post. Thanks for contributing Michael!
It’s all about who you know…
Whether you are trying to get new customers to grow your business, establish lucrative partnerships or even just get a job, it has always been important to know the right people. Having good products, skills, or qualifications, is all well and good, but unless you have a relationship with a person at a company you want to do business with no one will ever take the time to discover how great your products or skills really are.
With so many people and products competing for attention these days the only way to break through all the marketing noise is to go to a friend.
We all know this in our own lives when our first instinct is to get on the phone and call a friend when we need something. It is so much more comforting to know we are buying a critical service for our business from someone we know rather than an anonymous web site. Hiring someone who we already know, and trust, is far in a way preferable to taking a gamble with someone we have never met who sent in a resume. It simply takes a LOT more effort from our overworked lives to do the necessary research to ensure that the supplier or job candidate is dependable.
This leaves business people or job candidate who don’t have those critical friendships at the companies they want to do business with out in the cold. Advertising and direct mail have become ineffective. You’d stand as good a chance getting an interview for a job by placing your resume into a black hole as filling out a job application.
Unfortunately, all the new internet social media venues just make things worse. Twitter, Facebook and blogs are just creating even more noise. Whether you are a sales or marketing person trying to find customers or a job seeker looking for a job it’s become a Herculean task to stand out and be noticed.
Podcasting to the Rescue!
When Microsoft let me go in July 2009, after 9 years in product and program management, I was up against the wall of one of the most challenging economic climates any of us can remember. My 20 years of experience in the IT industry didn’t seem to count for anything. No one was returning my calls and submitting hundreds of job applications never got more than an automated response. This was the first time in my career I was not able to quickly hop on a new job or find a business opportunity.
It quickly became apparent to me that I just didn’t have the friendships I needed to succeed professionally.
Out of desperation I started using podcasting as a networking tool and, to my utter amazement, found it exceeding my wildest expectations!
For years my friends and I would record a weekly phone call where we ranted about the economy and posted the conversation on a web site. I had no idea that the simple act of offering to interview people over the phone, and record the conversations for a web site, would open doors that had previously been locked shut.
No sooner had I created a web page with the title “Entrepreneurs Northwest” and sent out e-mail invitations to local entrepreneurs and professionals than I started getting responses from people who were eager to be guests on my podcast show. It wasn’t long before I had published recorded interviews with dozens of managers and owners of businesses. I created another web page called “Tales from the job search trenches” and began inviting recruiters and career coaches to speak to me with similar success.
The simple fact is that everyone wants to be famous! My podcast shows might not have many listeners but that really didn’t matter to the people I was inviting to speak with me. In a very real sense building an large audience has never mattered to me. The only audience that matters is the person I interview.
Not only was I able to build relationships with the people I interviewed but I also discovered that these people were doing their level best to promote these shows. Each of my guests would post the link to their interview on their web site, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Thanks to podcasting I am now gainfully employed once again. I have also been helping other people start podcast shows of their own and have now proven that this strategy can work for ANYONE!
You can learn more about my podcasting ideas at www.PracticalPodcasting.com where I offer advice, webinars, and services to help businesses and job seekers use podcasting as a networking tool.
I believe in Michael’s program and that’s why he’s given me a discount code to share with my audience for his upcoming webinar. On March 2, 2011 Michael will be hosting an hour long webinar program entitled “Podcasting – The Indispensable Tool for Building Relationships”. When registering use the code “beamond” to get a $50 discount on the program. Sign up for “Podcasting – The Indispensable Tool for Building Relationships” today.