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In this week’s In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris evaluate what marketing tactics are worth doing and not doing, based on data, experience, and company values. Learn how we decide what events to speak at, what podcasts to guest on, and more. You’ll see a practical use for attribution analysis when it comes to making very tactical marketing decisions.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.

Christopher Penn 0:02
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Again, that’s Trust insights.ai slash contact in this week’s in In-Ear Insights, we’re talking about reviewing sort of end of year stuff.

And one of the things that has come up for ourselves internally is what stuff is worth doing.

What stuff is not worth doing.

So Katie, you wanna set the stage in terms of how we’re thinking about like, what what podcast should we guest appear on and things like that sort of like where your where your mind, is that for evaluating the efforts that we’ve been putting into our own marketing for the year?

Katie Robbert 1:28
Yeah, absolutely.

So this all came from sort of seeing a little bit of conversation about, you know, your time, specifically, Chris.

And so you are a known entity in the marketing and technology and data science space.

And, in my opinion, as the business owner of, you know, with the talent, there should be, you know, some value put on your time.

And, you know, right now, and you know, we’ve been able to operate this way for a while just because it’s what made sense for the business.

But one of the things that we need to figure out moving forward moving into next year is, when is your time or my time free? And when Is there a price tag on it.

And so that sort of started this, like larger conversation of, you know, that creating value, and you know, when you’re a small business, when you’re just starting, you do tend to do more things for free, more things for barter, because it’s good for networking, it’s good for growing your audience.

It’s good for demonstrating your capabilities.

But at what point do you start to make that transition into, I know that you’ve gotten these things for free for before, but now you’re going to have to pay for it.

And that’s a tough conversation to have with your longtime audience and your longtime customer base of now you’re going to have to start paying for these things.

So that’s, that’s kind of what we’re navigating now is trying to figure out, you know, what makes sense for us to still give away? And then what things do we have to start gating or charging for, in order for us to scale because we’re trying to strike that balance between what’s best for us? And what’s best for our customers? And if what’s best for our customers is they get a bunch of stuff for free.

Great, but then we can never make money in scale.

So that’s that’s the conundrum.

And I know that it’s not unique problem to us.

And so Chris, how are you seeing it?

Christopher Penn 3:31
The way that I’ve always looked at stuff like this in the past, and this is where really good analytics helps huge surprise is to look at the data and see like, okay, I did a bunch of these podcasts or the you know, these shows, or whatever the thing is, whatever you’re doing, run an attribution analysis, you know, you make sure that if people are doing things like you know, making sure that your your links are in their show notes on their podcasts, or whatever, you know, the live stream stuff so that you can track, how much traffic are they sending, and then doing something like, you know, our customer journey reporting, and looking at the different sources and mediums over time, and seeing Okay, did, did this thing, move the needle at all? Do we get? Did it participate even in the slightest conversion? If the answer is no, you know, it had no part in conversion whatsoever, then you have to say, you know, that maybe we need to add a little more of a gate, put some put some money on there.

On the other hand, if it turns out that it was like, oh, wow, so it was brilliant, like, Oh, yeah, then we should do some more of that.

So I want to show something if you’re just listening to the audio of this, you can actually go watch this is this is on our YouTube channel, the Trust insights.ai slash YouTube to find that.

And so this is our customer journey report for calendar year 2020.

And these are essentially the things that helped conversions on our website.

Obviously No newsletters, things like that.

But when you start getting into sort of the middle of the pack, and you know, towards the end of the pack here, we see things like the Agorapulse.

summit, right, that helped out 19 conversions.

That was, you know, there’s we do that for other reasons as well.

But even if we didn’t like that, that would be worth doing again, that seemed to work out, you know, we see some stuff from IBM showing up like, hey, that that worked out pretty good.

We system software partner Talkwalker.

that blog post I did for srini Erlich over business wire has participated in five conversions.

So these are the kinds of things that when I think about what should we do more of or less of, I look at a report like this and go, is it there at all? Now, these are only the top 25, you can look, we can dig into the data to see like everything for the year, because again, we’re looking for did it participate even one conversion.

But if it’s not on here, then you’d say, yeah, you know what, that was fun enjoyed being there, I’m going to need you to provide some other form of support, that makes the value exchange mutual because you’re right, our time edit your time, if you’re listening to this is valuable.

And the time you spend on somebody’s podcast is time you could have spent doing something else.

So there has to be some kind of exchange of value.

Where you’re saying, Yeah, my time is valued at x and and I need you to provide something that equates to that.

Katie Robbert 6:22
Now, I would say the alternative to this.

So not everybody has the means to run an attribution analysis.

And obviously TrustInsights.ai is happy to help you do that.

But if you don’t, a more stripped down version is so let’s say for example, Chris, you spend an hour of your time on, you know, somebody’s podcast.

And let’s say that you did 30 minutes of prep.

And, you know, there was like 30 minutes of email exchanges back and forth, getting it all sorted out.

So let’s say two hours total.

And then your hourly rate is you know, x.

So you know how much money you’ve spent, or you know, how much money you’ve invested in this podcast.

When you look at your CRM and you look at your leads and your sales, you should be capturing things like how did you hear about us? Or where did you come from, and when you start to do your analysis of here are the deals that I’ve won, here are the ones that I’ve lost here, once they’re in the pipeline, the likelihood, you can even just start to see the sources of where those things came from.

And if this particular show, interview, podcast, whatever it is, doesn’t show up on the board, then that’s problematic.

And so that’s, you know, without having access to being able to do an attribution analysis, that’s a little bit more of a stripped down way to do it.

Because you should be able to figure out where these things were these leads where the sales came from.

But if you look and you won, you know, a $5,000 deal and your hourly rate is only $200.

Well, you’ve made your money back, because that investment was worth it.

So there’s obviously different ways to look at it based on what you have access to, to do that analysis.

But Chris, I absolutely agree with you, there should be some sort of analysis involved, not just a randomly, I’m going to charge you but I’m not going to charge you but I’m going to do your thing, you might have a great network, like you need to understand where your customers are coming from, in order to be able to determine what things are worth your time, and what things we’re not.

Christopher Penn 8:35
I mean, if you want to get more stripped down or like, you know, dead like naked badger now, just look at the traffic in Google Analytics by source medium.

If you did a podcast and within 30 days that podcast, not a single visitor, your website has come from that show.

They probably don’t have the juice, right? Because in that podcast, they should at least put a link to your website.

in there.

By the way, if you go on podcasting, they don’t do that.

Don’t go into podcast like look at previous episodes, there’s no links to previous guests websites don’t go on the show, because that show is not trading any kind of value whatsoever.

But yeah, you just look at your traffic analytics, if they didn’t even send you one human beings walk by the front of the store and look at you, then you gave more value than he got.

Katie Robbert 9:22
I agree.

And that’s definitely you know, take a look at your referral traffic report.

And that’s something that we do for ourselves in terms of being that sort of that stripped down.

Because when we do guest articles, or you know those guest blog posts, we want to see that that is driving traffic back to us.

And that’s a really good tip, Chris, is that, you know, yes, it’s exciting, especially as you’re just starting out to have people noticing you paying attention and asking for your time you’re like, oh, somebody thinks I have something of value to say that’s pretty exciting for someone who’s never had that opportunity before.

But keep your head on straight.

Do your homework and make sure that the things you’re saying yes to are worth your time.

And so you’re doing your homework ahead of time to say, you know, does this podcast when they post episodes, post my bio, does my bio, go back to my website? Do they post the link to my website? Do they post the right link to move? Say, do I have control over what I’m asking them to put up? Or are they just scraping some, you know, random information about me from 10 years ago that’s out of date, and I don’t have the opportunity to ask them to update it.

So those are the kinds of things that you definitely want to watch out for, as you’re trying to figure out what is worth my time, and what is best for my business.

Christopher Penn 10:40
Another thing you can look at, if you if if you are like really vetting like maybe you’re not vetting for yourself, or maybe you’re vetting for like a very important personality.

So like your CEO, you can go into the analytics of Twitter’s API, from Instagram from Facebook.

And if it’s a show where you pull up, you know, just the data on that shows last five or 10 posts, if nobody’s engaging with it, then the audience isn’t there, right? You can’t even get one person to retweet a episode of podcast, it’s probably a good sign that podcast just doesn’t have the juice.

Now, the other hand, you know, if you see a show, it’s got good traffic, look into an SEO tool, they’ll put that shows URL into an SEO tool? Do they get any inbound links? Do they get any organic search traffic? How many searches occur every month, keep it really simple.

Go to Google Trends, type in the show name like marketing over coffee or In-Ear Insights, if nobody searches for it.

Again, probably not a show that has a lot of juice.

And it’s an indicator that maybe you want to ask up front to pay for it.

Or you know, you take the philosophy, I was going to get the first one for free, and then then we measure you and you come up short, you’re gonna be not receiving guests in the future without some other form of compensation.

Katie Robbert 12:04
So Chris, the the other side of this conversation is, when does it make sense to give away your time for free? And that’s a really tough question to answer.

Because, you know, you could argue that, you know, it’s sort of that like, karmic universe thing of like, the more you give, the more you get, which is absolutely true.

But when you’re running a business, you cannot pay your bills with karma, unfortunately.

And so we want to make sure that we are getting as much as we’re giving.

And so Chris, obviously, you’ve been someone who’s been Your time has been a demand for much longer than mine.

And so for me, it still makes sense to do more free stuff than it does to do paid stuff.

But we’re starting to make that transition.

What is your so I know your philosophy is you get the first one for free, but what if the person doesn’t come back? And they always, you know, you’re always doing these like little one off free things.

What is the How do you know when it’s makes sense to do something for free? For how long?

Christopher Penn 13:08
You know that? I keep it super simple.

And it is I look at my calendar, right? And I look at my calendar and say, Okay, what am I got going on? Is there time enough for it now, like when I’m guest appearing on a podcast, that doesn’t really require any prep? I don’t need to think too hard about it.

I send somebody a Hubspot link.

And either they book the time correctly or they don’t know how to operate Hubspot, which case definitely want to show and, you know, 15 2030 minutes or whatever is done.

I said no to is this other show that they’re like, Oh, we need an hour half like nope, not happening.

I don’t have an hour and a half free in my in my day.

I can spare 30 minutes and like, oh, what our show takes an hour and a half to produce like, cool.

I can’t be there.

You know, it’s that just outright saying No, there isn’t enough time in my calendar to permit that.

So it really comes down to at least for me, just common sense judgment.

You look at something and go Yeah, I can squeeze that in.

Or you look at go now I just don’t have room in the day for that not with other valuable stuff.

Now, again, if you’re just getting started out and things like that you may have the time you may have that that bandwidth in which case Yeah, go for it.

You’ll fill up your calendar if you got nothing else going on.

Or if you’re doing it in your leisure time.

Like if that’s what you want to do on Saturday night at 7pm go wild

Unknown Speaker 14:33
hard pass for me.

Unknown Speaker 14:37
But

Christopher Penn 14:39
that would be my starting point is is Do I have the time to do this and to do it you know credibly Now the nice thing is with a lot of shows they keep asking the same seven questions over and over again.

So I literally is no prep whatsoever.

You know first question is tell us about your story like could have just copied and pasted the audio from like But whatever.

But after that, the second level is, if you do have the time, it is the old adage from Tom Hopkins selling, I took one of their sales courses he used to go.

And he, he exhorts people.

And it’s good advice.

You have to still use judgment.

But he always says, You must do the most valuable thing possible at any given moment, right? Because a lot of times he’s saying the sales guys, you doing stuff, anything other than selling, spend your time selling, that’s the most valuable thing you can do.

And so when I look at my time, like I look at my to do list, are there other things I could be doing? That would be more valuable than the exposure on on relatively unknown podcasts? And sometimes the answer is yes.

Sometimes the answer’s no, you know, if if they see like, Oh, look, expense reports.

Now, I’m going to podcast

Katie Robbert 15:51
noted.

Unknown Speaker 15:54
Noted.

Katie Robbert 15:57
Expect those on my desk tomorrow, by the way,

Christopher Penn 16:00
I won’t forget the cover sheet.

Katie Robbert 16:02
Um, you know, and it’s, it’s interesting, because I think that that’s a really smart approach of what else do you have going on that, you know, is going to help move your business forward? Now, again, you and I are in very different places in terms of our I don’t know, notoriety, wellness, whatever the thing is, whatever you want to call it, in terms of, you know, the marketing space.

And so obviously, when someone says Chris Penn, they know who you are, but when they say my name, they don’t necessarily know.

And so unfortunately, at this point, I need to spend more time building that audience building that network, if that’s what I want, you know, if that’s what makes sense for the business now, you know, that’s a whole other conversation of whether or not having that like large public persona, is something necessary in order to move your business forward? Or is it just something that is nice to have? For us right now, it definitely makes sense for us to be as known as possible so that people can get to know our services, see what it is that we do, because to be quite honest, marketing agencies, you know, there’s hundreds of them.

So how do we stand out? Well, the way we stand out is by who we are, and what we bring to the table, our value as people and our unique sets of skills, just putting that information on a website.

Not super helpful, because you are a dime a dozen with every other marketing agency that’s trying to compete for the same amount of business.

You know, so I’ve been taking more of the, you know, unpaid stuff, to get my name out there to get the company name out there, where is, you know, you are about a decade ahead of me in terms of that public persona.

And so you have more of a leg to stand on to say, I’ve done these hundreds of things, publicly already, you have to pay me for my time.

And I think that that’s also something that you know, right out of the gate, if you’re saying you have to pay me for my time, but I haven’t done anything that I can show you.

That’s a really tough, you know, pedestal to stand on, because there’s nothing supporting it.

Christopher Penn 18:14
Exactly.

In a lot of cases.

And I know, this is the case, for a lot of the, you know, the newer podcast, they ask for guests up front, what they’re hoping is actually access to your audience.

And you know, so that’s another important delimiter in my head is like, I will show up on your show, you are responsible for promoting it.

And if you want me to promote it, to my network, to my newsletter list of 100, you know, some 1000 people that requires money, right? That that’s something that because there’s a real opportunity cost there, every every line of text in my newsletter that goes to something else is something that you know, that independence all value based, right? So there’s like Trust Insights, ads in the newsletter, if I take that away to give to your podcast, then I’m taking money literally out of my pocket to do so.

So I would separate the appearance from the promotion as well.

And, you know, I, I got a note before a CMOS last week saying, oh, here’s all the things you could do to promote our show, like, cool when you pay me, I’ll do that.

Otherwise, I’m just going to show up and chat.

And so I think that’s an important distinction to make too, is that there’s a difference between appearance and promotion and don’t fall for the trap of leveraging your audience to promote somebody else’s show in exchange for no value.

Katie Robbert 19:34
What if you feel like okay, you’ve gone on this show, they haven’t paid you and you gave a really stellar interview, you’ve really highlighted all of the things that you can do that your company can do, but they haven’t paid you would you then promote the show in order for people to hear what you have to say.

Christopher Penn 19:55
So it’s funny have mentioned that I’m I’m actually doing something on my personal blog right now I’m calling 2020.

Rewind, because one of the things that shows don’t do enough of is they don’t make enough use of the media that they’ve created.

We know the Trust Insights transmedia framework.

And so what I’m doing is I’m taking the audio from shows I’ve been on this year, I’ve running it through our transcription tool Otter.ai, go to Trust insights.ai slash otter Ott, er, you can see what it does, like the animal otter, and I’m taking those transcripts and putting up blog posts on my blog, I will link to the original show.

But all the texts from the interview on my site along with a link to the audio file, and things like that, so that if it was really good if you my site benefits from my own words, right, because, again, a live podcast, don’t spend the time or invest the money in the technology to get the five or 7000 words of spoken word out.

And I want that, because it’s all topics that are related to what we do.

So I would say that’s my little fun hack.

That is if you got a show out there, that you think is good, great.

import it, and, and put it on your site.

Be careful.

I’ve never had this happen.

But it’s not too hard to imagine it happening.

Somebody’s saying you can’t cross you can’t take our content, put it on your site like Well, yeah, Benny, I don’t need to be a guest on your show.

Because I am the content.

So just be Be careful of that.

Katie Robbert 21:23
I think that that’s also a really good point when you’re doing your homework is finding out that information up front, because you don’t want to spend all this time, you know, to prepare and you know, make sure that your points come across eloquently and succinctly.

And then find out that you can’t do anything with your own content, you know, it’s the same sort of idea of, you know, other people taking pictures of you, just because you’re in the picture, doesn’t mean you own it, the person who took the picture owns it, it’s the same thing with you know, podcasts, just because you were a guest doesn’t mean you own what you said.

And so those are really good things to find out ahead of time.

You know, think about, you know, when we used to go to conferences, and do speaking engagements, which will come back at some point, but now they’re all virtual.

Those are questions that we had up front of, you know, if I spend, you know, five hours practicing this really good keynote talk, and then I give the keynote talk, and then I spend the time at the conference.

Do I own that content? Can I reuse it for my own benefit? Or do you now own that? And those are really good questions to ask, especially if you’re just getting started out, and you have limited resources to create this content.

Now, you know, Chris, you and I are sort of in the space where we’ve done the same talk multiple times.

And so if for some reason, we had to do a riff on one of those talks, that was just for Trust Insights, it wouldn’t be that big of a lift.

But a couple of years ago, for me, that would have been a big deal.

Because it would have been the first time I was giving a talk on a certain topic.

And so those are just the things that you want to make sure that you’re aware of, of how much of your own content Do you own? Or are you giving it away to someone else? for them to do something with it? Yep.

Christopher Penn 23:14
Yeah, it’s very, it’s important, especially when it comes to talks and conferences, to read the fine print on the contracts very carefully, like one of the things that we’re going to be doing for Trust Insights is taking some of the workshops and stuff that you’ve done, Katie, you did a couple earlier this year.

In the contract, there’s a 90 day lockout, and said, you may not use this content for 90 days.

Now the ones that lock has expired, that obviously we’re free to use it, but you got to be careful to make sure that you’re not you’re not signing away the rights to your own intellectual property.

One of the workarounds for that is you publish a talk on your site, onto your accounts first, before you give it because then you’ve established pre existing intellectual property in almost every contract I’ve read says, you know, we obviously make no claim to existing intellectual property.

And so if you’ve got to share is valuable that obviously, you want to, you want to try that approach.

First, to make sure that you’re legally covered.

It’s the same as any kind of copyright.

You establish evidence of the copyright first, and then you have ownership of it.

So to wrap up, look at your data.

Get once you’ve done something to see what’s working and do more of what’s working any kind of year end review of any kind, something you want to do there.

Set good boundaries, that have clear rules that you can defend to somebody else and explain to even explain to somebody else and be really cautious about how you evaluate opportunities, make sure that you’re not being taken advantage of, and that the value exchange is fair, even if no dollars or pesos or euros exchanged hands.

It should be valued for value, if it’s a truly equitable trade.

If you’ve got questions about what we’ve talked about in today’s episode, pop on over to our free slack group analytics for markers over Trust insights.ai slash analytics for markers, where you have over 1400 people We can chat about analytics and marketing to your heart’s content.

And if you’re watching this wherever you’re watching this, hop on over to Trust insights.ai slash ti Podcast, where you can subscribe to the show on the platform of your choice.

We try and publish everywhere reasonable.

Thanks for listening.

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