Podcasts are all the rage with over 50% of all homes being podcast fans according to (https://www.podcastinsights.com/).  With more and more people listening to podcasts, many business owners are looking to podcast as a form of brand advertising.  If you step back and look at podcasts,  typically listeners are loyal, highly interested in the subject matter, and craving information.  Doesn’t this sound like the perfect customer?  We meet up with 25 year veteran Ben Baker as he shares with us his secret to telling your story in a meaningful way to build trusted relations both inside your company and with vendors and clients. 

Video Transaction

Harry Brelsford  0:05 

Hey nation nation. I’m with Ben Baker at what is What’s your story? Love. Love that trademark, sir. How you doing?

Ben Baker  0:13 

I am doing great, Harry. And you know, we’ve been having so much fun off camera. I’m glad we just did this thing to be able to have the story together.

Harry Brelsford  0:21 

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Because for many moons, I probably owe you a few pennies. I’ve used that phrase, What’s your story? In my podcast interviews, you’re actually doing it? That’s great.

Ben Baker  0:33 

You know what I have? I’ve been telling people stories or helping them tell their stories now for 25 years. Yeah. And you know, it’s it’s always fun to to help other people tell their stories. That’s, that’s where my Mojo is. That’s where you’ll My passion is, is to enable people to be able to tell their stories effectively. So people listen, understand your value to them and engage.

Harry Brelsford  0:57 

Well, let’s back up. We’ll come back to that. Let’s back out. So what was your career path? How did you get to where you’re at today?

Ben Baker  1:03 

Well, I came out of high tech 25 years ago. I am an X Ingram micro guy. For all your SMB guys, I am an X. Ingram micro guy. I was on the retail side I handled a company called future shop which ended up being bought out by Best Buy. Okay, and they were a North American retailer. But $100 million account and I was in the Air 200 days a year while I was away from home 250. But I was in the Air 200 days a year. I mean, go see the movie, George Clooney up in the air. That was my life. You know, I never knew where I was going next. But 25 years ago, I got married my wife and I took a look at this and said this is divorce waiting to happen. And what we did is I went up to my bosses said you have two choices. You could double my salary to pay for the divorce or you can cut my travel days and a half. He says what am I buy you out? I said done. And what he did is he bought me out over the next six months. I hired my replacement. I flew them around North America, I introduced them to everybody. And then then I got an override on this. And I basically went and played golf. Yeah, and met this guy who got me into the direct mail business because back then they were looking for tech people could understand technology and understand direct mail and I fell in love. I absolutely fell in love with the whole marketing, storytelling branding side of the business. And we worked with casinos, and grocery stores starting out. And you know, I mean, I killed trees, I killed forests. And we had a really good time doing it. Yeah, no, let me show you that. Yeah.

Harry Brelsford  2:40 

Yeah, I was involved in 07/08 with a direct mail piece from Microsoft, this is a screen. And as you can see, there’s the label for the mailing. We I think we call this a lumpy or with some

Ben Baker  2:52 

natural, lumpy bumpy mail and, and you know, and that’s where things go, you know, lovely. Exactly. I mean, that’s the beautiful thing about promotional marketing is where I ended up in about 20 years was promotional marketing, we did custom done for you only do you promotional marketing, like hundreds of 1000s if not millions of pieces, where it was custom 3d drawed for you direct promotion, marketing that went in direct mail and other pieces. But it was all about storytelling. You know, it’s always been about how do we build your brand? How do we get people to understand you? How do we get people to understand what differentiates, differentiates you? How do we get people to care about you. And that’s where I’ve been in the last 25 years. And it’s it’s got into tradeshow development, digital marketing, and podcasting over the last eight to 10 years. So right now what we do is we have a program called communicate your y, which is designed for small to medium sized businesses. And what it is it’s fractional podcasting. Because most people don’t want to do a podcast every single week. It’s a lot of work, you know, week after week having to do a podcast, you know this, I know this. I’ve been podcasting for years as a lot of work in a magazine. Exactly. And I write five, I write five columns a month. But what we’ve done is we’ve taken all that away from people, we have a team of professional hosts, that interview people, we take care of the entire back end, we you know, we put together all the content marketing. So for every show, you get 25 pieces of content. And all you have to do is give us four hours of your time, and you get your social media content for a year. So we try to make it as easy for people humanly possible. So they can buy in, they can buy in four episodes a year, they can buy 12 episodes a year. We have companies that buy their own show, and have distributors across the country. And what we do is each distributor gets gets a week where they get to talk about their own thing. So there’s lots of different ways to use a podcast to build the social content, the post, the audio grams, the short videos, the the web tools, you can build an enormous content library just out of a podcast.

Harry Brelsford  5:13 

No, absolutely. And here’s what I found. In my traditional world of SMB Nation, we’re in a subset of a subset of a niche, right? So this is not b to c this is not ESPN. And so you know, if you look at my colleagues who do some podcast and mine, and it’s not super burning traffic, I mean, you go up on YouTube, where we host a lot of this and you see the number, okay. But But here’s what I know to be true is number one, your absence is more conspicuous than your presence. So you know, you got to show up and suit up, right? So you have to do it. Number two, it’s great search, you know, material, right? YouTube is a search engine and beyond, you know, with Google, of course, so it’s good for search. And then number three, and my friend and yours, Tim Kubiak shared this insight, is it helps you make introductions in the industry and attract guests when you have a podcast, and then the guest can socialize that. And I hadn’t really viewed it that way. But you know what? That’s that’s a third dimension. Do you have other dimensions about doing a podcast? The benefit statement? You I’m sure you got another couple points?

Ben Baker  6:28 

Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I find that the doing the podcast is a great way to build trust and relationships, both inside your company, and also with clients and vendors. Because you can either have your employees take the point and being on the podcast, and be able to tell their story in the story from their point of view, and give a more rounded view to your podcast and a more, you know, humanistic view of what your company is all about. Or you can use your podcast to interview clients or vendors, build relationships, build trust and gain insights about what’s going on in different places. The interesting that you said his thing is like, do people sit there go, Oh, my God, I need to have 100,000 downloads, I need to have a million downloads a half billion dollar downloads. Guess what, the 99% of podcasts never will matter. It’s a matter of understanding Who’s your audience? If the right 500 people are listening to your podcast, that’s all you ever need. If you have if you have the right people, like for me, it’s chief marketing officers, its people, the ad agencies, that senior executives, those are the people that listen to my podcast, and those are the people that six months a year after listening to my podcasts, call me up and said, Ben, I’ve been listening your podcast for six or eight months, can we sit down and have a conversation? It’s long tail marketing. Yeah, you if you expect that people are going to listen to your podcast today and call you with a million dollars to tomorrow. I’m sure it’s happened. It’s never happened to me. But what does happen is, it builds up your credibility, it builds up your trust, and it lays the foundation for people to sit there going, Hmm, I should go find out more about this company. And all of a sudden you find them on your website all the time you find them in your social media, all sudden, they’re watching videos on your YouTube channel. And they’re gaining information because 70% of the buying decision is made by companies before they even talk to you. Yeah, so that that’s what you’re doing is you’re building up a content library for trust.

Harry Brelsford  8:34 

Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you what, let’s listen on this by analogy. And again, I’d welcome your comments. But, you know, back when I was doing the books, occasionally still do but the latest one is the Pocket MBA or better yet. That’s that’s one example. The latest one was ghost written for a client in Austin, Texas in the data center space. It’s a smaller book. That’s important, because people don’t really want to read a you know, it’s a dummies book, right? This is great. This is a calling card. Right? You freely give it away. They got instant on demand print down so good that we can get the 60 page book out for in color for about $3.03 $4. It’s your calling card. And by analogy, I want to say your podcast is your calling card. Any final thoughts on that?

Ben Baker  9:23 

No, it’s true. I mean, I’ve written two books. I agree with you. 100%. I give away probably more books than I did I sell because on purpose. You’re there relationship builders, they open doors, though. I use them too, which literally could hold doors open if they’re slowly and they’re great for that. You know, and I also stacked my computer up on top of them and they’re perfect for that too. But, you know, if you take a look as your your podcast, your podcast is not one episode. It’s the catalogue of episodes. So what you’re doing is you’re building your brand consistently you’re telling a consistent story, week after week, month after month, year after year. That enables people to sit there and say, Oh, this is why I should contact this person. It’s not one episode that’s going to get people to talk to you. Sure enough, if they listen to one, they’re probably going to listen to four or five. And if they listen to four or five, they may listen to more. And it’s getting people to skip the tip, get a more human view of your company, a more human view of you, and reason why they should talk to you and some of your customers or your competitors.

Harry Brelsford  10:27 

Yep. Well, I’ll tell you what, when we get you back next quarter, so we’re in q4, but what a quick here. We’re gonna get you back after the first of the year. And let’s double click into my community specifically a managed services providers and technology and how they can benefit. And with that, I guess May I be the first to wish you a happy holiday season that’s kind of goofy. It’s

Ben Baker  10:52 

crazy to even be thinking about that. So hearing your best of the holiday season to you to your guests, and if anybody needs to find me, please come and find me at communicateyourwhy.Com.

Harry Brelsford  11:03 

Absolutely. Thanks, Ben