Kap Chatfield 00:20
Hey gang! Welcome back to B2B Podcasting, the official show for B2B CEOs, brand leaders, sales leaders and marketing leaders to help them skip ads and be the show. I'm your host, Kap Chatfield, CEO of Rveal Media. Today, we got Stewart Hillhouse on the show. He is the head of content at Mutiny and he's also the host of Top of Mind, an amazing podcast about building a brand, and about marketing yourself in this new digital landscape that we live in today. Stewart, thank you so much for joining us on the show today.
Stewart Hillhouse 00:51
Yeah, awesome Kap. I'm so excited to be here and get nerdy with some of these topics we're about to cover.
Kap Chatfield 00:56
It's gonna be fun! We're gonna get tactical, we're gonna get strategic, we're gonna talk about LinkedIn today. We're going to talk about your show and how you used it to build your brand, and build your business. But let's talk a little bit just to kind of give some context about your role, your new role, Head of Content at Mutiny. Tell us a little bit about what it means to be to be a content marketer or to help direct content for companies in this space today.
Stewart Hillhouse 01:21
Yeah, absolutely. So Mutiny plays in the B2B, SAS world. So our customers are B2B companies and we help them to create web experiences that are like totally personalized to the person who's visiting the website. So like right now, trillions of dollars are spent on ads to like, acquire people to your website. But once they get to your website, the experience is kind of lackluster, it's the exact same for everyone. So what we do is help customize those headlines and everything like that. And so our customer base is essentially like VP's of marketing, or content marketers, or anyone who kind of touches the website, from the marketing standpoint. And so at some of these big companies, a lot of the effort is put towards, "okay, let's make the website work quickly and look good and do all the things we need it to do". But in order for a marketer to change a headline on their website, they need to bug someone technical and have them like adjust it or whatever. So so this one allows it for no code, and the marketer can just go in and test headlines, A/B test them, one to one, so that every every web experience is like already optimized. And so content marketing, from my perspective now comes down to like, how do we get more people to a website, because now we're going to optimize the experience of that site. And so that's top of funnel, like getting as many people as we can. But then it's also about sort of using content as a tool to grow your addressable market. Like the thing I'm talking about here, doesn't really have a name yet, we're kind of trading a category because there's been so much effort put on the acquisition side, this is the conversion side of the equation. So that category is kind of being created and so we want to use our content as a way of helping people understand that they have a problem, even if they might not know about it yet. So by creating content, you're effectively growing the total addressable market of people who realize "oh, yeah, I guess our website is pretty un-personalized, even though we spend so many millions of dollars trying to customize our Facebook ads to get people to our website. But once they get to our website, it looks the same to everyone". So that's where I see content marketing playing a role in this new gig. And happy to dive into every single bit of that, where how I'm doing that top of funnel stuff and how we're creating, crafting kind of this new narrative around what it means to be a content marketer.
Kap Chatfield 03:47
I want to ask you as a guy that's you're clearly good at what you do, you clearly have a unique perspective on content. And I think it's so needed in the b2b world today. And I feel like the b2b space, you know, everything we see on LinkedIn, from companies typically, it feels like it's a decade behind where current conversations are really happening in regards to content and, and how people consume content, how they educate themselves about your product. So I love that, just let's just go into the problem real quick. What do you think is the biggest problem today in regards to B2B content marketing?
Stewart Hillhouse 04:26
It's still kind of the old school way of distributing your content is like sharing blog posts on your website. I know that's not like new news. People, people are realizing that b2b is a little behind in the sense that there's a lot of things on the go like I've been I've been a marketing manager at a b2b equipment company, and they're more focused on the sales and like, "Okay, let's get people, let's let's convert our pipeline into customers". And then I would say, "Well, can I have some time to like distribute this blog post that someone spent hours writing". And they're like, "Yeah, I mean, like, just share it on LinkedIn, like, whatever, just do it". And it and then when it asked if their founder or like the CEO was interested in creating content, they're like, "No, that's your job, like you're the marketing person, like you're the one creating the content". And so there's that disconnect between, like, not having a person at the helm who's driving the content forward, and putting a flag in the ground saying, like, "here's what our company's thinking about, you should follow me and buy from my company, because what we're doing is interesting to you". Instead, it's the opposite. It's like, "you should buy from our company, because our, because we tell you to", you know what I mean? And so that's, I think, the the missed opportunity is to add that personality to your brand. D2C, and like direct to consumer and b2c companies do this a little better, because they're having to sell to a person, who's having to spend their own money. That's the difference between b2b and b2c is, a b2b company, or the decision maker is not spending their own money. They're just asking for a budget. And then they'll say, "okay, yeah, sure. You have the budget, go buy it". Whereas a way to sell like direct to consumer to sell a software product to a consumer, let's think about like Duolingo, like the language app. It's like $16 a month, but that's coming directly out of my pocket to pay for that. So like, that's a small sum. But the amount of effort they need to do to get me over the hump to spend $120, $130, $160 a year is like, huge. And so how do they do that? They create the most fun content, I don't know if you've seen it, but like they're blowing up on tick tock right now because they're their logo is this big green owl. And so they invested in a mascot suit, that is this big green owl. And they're filming it running around their office doing dumb stuff, and like following all the memes and stuff. But of course, each one's getting hundreds of millions of views because it's fun. It's not about their product. It's just following a trend. But, of course, they're going to be like, "Oh, I've seen this owl 100 times. What is it? Oh, it's this is this language app, right?" So b2b has that disconnect where they just don't think about the buying process as much, in my opinion. And as a result, they don't focus on creating personalities within their company who share content on the regular. And that is, I think, the huge opportunity. And I've seen it time and time again, that there are individuals within b2b companies who post maybe three, four times a week on LinkedIn. And I can see that driving like 50 to 60% of their like, meaningful leads and pipeline that comes through because they see this individual posting cool stuff. And they say, "Oh, well, that's the person I want to do business with. I agree with what they're talking about. What's their product? Oh, that's actually a problem I have. Let's do it".
Kap Chatfield 07:59
That's so, I love the Duolingo analogy. I haven't actually seen that content. So I'm gonna go check it out today. I love I love that, you know, they're thinking more of like the long term, right? Like, they're not just thinking, "how do we put an ad out that gets someone to make a conversion just on this ad?" Which is you still got to do but you're, how much more effective would that be if you try to build relationship with your audience through content, and make a really interesting and valuable experience? So I love that approach. And one thing that you said that really stuck out to me was that you said b2b companies aren't focusing on creating personalities within the company, that create content and basically become like an ambassador. And you also made an allusion to the executive of these b2b companies, they're typically not thinking about being involved personally in the content creation process. They're thinking more, that's marketing's role, I'm just going to throw that down the chain of command, I'm not going to have any say in it. I'm curious, from your perspective, how involved do you think, as we go forward in this whole world of b2b, digital media and communication and marketing, how involved do you think executives need to be in the content creation process?
Stewart Hillhouse 09:14
Yeah, I mean, like, the short answer is, it's going to depend on your industry and like what the role of the of the executive has in the in the day to day of the business. But the long answer is, think about what the executive is offloading onto the marketing manager. And if you're running like, if you're a smaller company, like under 50 people, chances are the mark like there's three or four marketing people. The the marketing manager who's going to be in charge of doing content on behalf of the company and on behalf the CEO is probably like a 23 year old in their first marketing job, right? Like they're just gonna be trying it out and they they're definitely not exact experts in the field that they're marketing to. Like I was, I was is trying to market like six figure equipment to research and development labs all across the world. Like I know nothing about what we're trying to do, I know nothing about the life of a lab technician. And yet I'm creating content about it, right? Had I been had access to talk with or had had he had executives, think about the opposite that was like, imagine how an executive is willing to give that the content marketer like an hour a week to have a conversation like this over video. And the marketer can say, "hey, I've got an idea about a topic, can you riff on this for 45 seconds?" And then the executive who's been in this business for probably years knows exactly what to talk about, knows, like, they know what the pain points are, they can be interesting, they can be agile, like on their feet, and all it takes is like a prompt from conversation. And then all of a sudden, you've got 45 seconds worth of content. And then you kind of follow the classic kind of content pyramid where you've got a video that can then be turned into a clip, or it can be turned into a blog post, and then it can turn into LinkedIn, like, that kind of chain of command happens that way, it can be outsourced, no problem. But it still requires from the top down being like feeding ideas that then kind of create the brand around the company. You can't expect a 23 year old marketing manager working at your company to seam up simultaneously know exactly what the customers need, content wise, and drive the personality of the company and create the content and build a brand around the company, because they're not going to be there forever. So you may as well choose an executive who is going to be around for the long time, can spend years building a brand around them, and cares about the company enough that this is like becomes a priority because they see how effective it can be. You don't want someone who's just going to be there for eight to 12 months, and then move on to the next company because they're gonna bring their audience with them. Like it doesn't benefit, it benefits the company for the short time that they're there. But if you want to see real long term meaningful results, it needs to be an executive who's like bought into the company and is going to be there on the long term.
Kap Chatfield 12:17
So that's a that's a great point, specifically for those who are in the B2B, I think, to be honest, in the b2b SaaS space, that are the CEOs, you're the leader of the organization, you're really, like, you're the thought leader, you're, you're, you're the gated expertise. And you it sounds like I would agree with you, you really need to make yourself available to the marketing team so that they can know how to communicate the expertise at a high level. And really, you know, you basically shorten the distance between them with you know, where they're at, and their understanding now, and where you where you are as the executive. I think that's it's a great point to make that if you want to, if you want to get that expertise out there, through marketing, you got to make yourself available to the marketing team in that way. I'm curious from your perspective, because you're obviously a content expert, you've been creating your own content. We're going to talk a little bit shortly about how you're planning on using LinkedIn moving forward, to build a personal brand and to build the corporate brand that you're a part of. But I want to talk about podcasting right now. I really see podcasting as an amazing tool, or, you know, video podcasting, particularly, that can help shorten that gap, or in other words can help that marketer within these b2b organizations, help them become a subject matter expert, and help them mine out the content from the people around them. How would you, how could you talk about how a podcast can help the marketing team or a marketing leader that doesn't necessarily know the technical language or doesn't know all this stuff about the product? How can a podcast be a useful tool for them practically, to to become a subject matter expert and to be able to reach that target audience more effectively?
Stewart Hillhouse 14:07
Yeah, I don't know if you've felt this as much recently. But recently, I love listening to podcasts. Probably more than I like actually making them right? But I love listening to them and the shows that are getting my attention recently, are when two people who know their stuff just jam for like 35 to 40 minutes. And they're just like, talking about the nitty gritty, it's not scripted, there's no there's no agenda. They're not doing any, like there's no bits or anything. It's just straight up them saying like, "what do you think about this?" And then the person says an off the cuff thing, and then they're like, "wait, what, what do you mean by that?" And then the whole conversation is the nuance you hear, like sitting at a at a at a bar at a coffee shop or whatever. Like that kind of those kinds of conversations, if you're a fly on the wall, of two people who you're interested in what they're building and you want to learn more about them and you hear them just being themselves over audio or video. Like that is such good content right now. And so so I think what a if you're a marketer at a b2b company, and you might not be that subject matter expert, and don't necessarily think that you would play the good role as the co-host, or like the, the anchor of a podcast, to shoot the shit, about that specific industry, then I think that's, you need to then kind of bring it to the attention of someone in the company who is technical or, and, and, and that's very, that's very important and, don't get a technical person who's boring to listen to. Because this is like an auditory experience, if the person is monotone, and doesn't really care about what they're talking about, even if they're passionate and know, know the details, if they're not interesting to listen to, that's you can never get over that. So make sure the person is animated and fun to listen to. And then like, get them on board with saying like, "hey, if I were to set, I'll do all the work, I'll hook you up and who are the 10 people in the industry that you'd be like really excited to listen to? Or who in the industry's content do you already consume?" And because they're the subject matter expert, they will get to the real people, not just like the influencers, but the actual people who are doing cool stuff. And say, "if I were able to book you an, like book you a zoom call with this person, would you would you want to do it? I'll help you prep, I'll do all this, I'll do all the editing, don't worry. Like, there's nothing you need to do. Let me just organize this call for you." That person's probably gonna say yes, right?
Kap Chatfield 16:28
Stewart Hillhouse 16:28
So that, but that's that's essentially what a podcast is, is like, let me organize a call for you. You can jam with this person, talk for 45 minutes, and then we'll turn that into a podcast. It doesn't need to be polished, there doesn't need to be a script, like you just start that way, I think, is get like five calls it, just call them calls be like, Can I set you up with a call with expert A in this field? And then once that one goes, well, you're like, "Hey, do you want to do another call next week, I'll set it up with expert B?" And then you start going down that line. And the next thing you know, you've accidentally turned a person in your company who probably has never created content, probably has no interest in creating content, you've now turned them into a podcast host. And you as the marketer have a whole bunch, have just like hours of content, a feed that you can then turn into every piece of social and every piece of written content, every video if you want and outsource it all. But you've just kind of like accidentally turned one of your colleagues into like a industry thought leader.
Kap Chatfield 17:28
Man, Man, I'm like fist pumping over here. I'm just sharing silently, because I'm like, you're just, you're saying exactly what I've experienced personally. So like, even with this show that we're doing right now, this show B2B Podcasting has been like, it's truly been our own case study as far as how this is the most fun and efficient and effective way to create content at scale. And what's been really cool for me, I mean, you being on this show, transparently, is exactly what we're talking about. Because I invited you on the show, I want to ask you questions that I'm gen genuinely interested in. I'm learning from this. But you you said yes. You said yes to being on the show, we're having a just a simple conversation right now. You better believe we're gonna cut this thing up, and we'll give you all the content later too, I already told you that we do that. But we're gonna cut this thing up, we're gonna use it as content. And really, it's as simple as us having a conversation. But I think what's so interesting is, I put out a little post about this over over the holidays, I shared with my audience on LinkedIn how I did a little study, like a little micro study for myself. And what I did was I DM'd 100 people, the traditional way that you would do it on Sales Navigator, and just kind of pitched what we do, try to get them on a demo call, see where it would go. Out of like over 100 people that I reached out to, I'd say like maybe five responded. And most of those responses were "not interested, thanks". Like the can,
Stewart Hillhouse 19:03
And that was a sales. So the content of that message was, "hey, let me do a demo call". Right?
Kap Chatfield 19:09
Yes. 100%. And, and, you know, I have most only five people responded. Four of them said "I wasn't interested". One said, "I am interested, I want to learn more". But I couldn't for the life of me get them to actually schedule the call with me. So out of over,
Stewart Hillhouse 19:28
1% hit rate on that.
Kap Chatfield 19:30
Yes. So like 5% response, 1% 1% positive, zero demos scheduled. However, conversely, I reached out to about 100 people that matched, like who I'd want to maybe do business with, or at least just get to know and be in that same network with them and learn from them. Reached out to 100 people to ask them to be on my show, direct message on LinkedIn. And by the way, I didn't even know that my profile picture was set so that if people weren't my connection, they wouldn't actually see me. They just saw this gray blob avatar. So they didn't even have like a face to connect with, like, who like who this person was. So that's just to show you how crazy this strategy works. But I reached out to 100 people. 50%, I would say, responded, and all but three people that I that I reached out to said, "Yes, I'll be on the show with you". And that, like, I was like, "Are you kidding me?" I just, I just won the trust for a 60 minute conversation. And really, like, you know, obviously, on the show, I'm not trying to sell them, but I got the time with them. And I could build that relationship with them. And I discovered like, dude, for whatever reason, the show is the ultimate hack. But you, you said it yourself. It's really just a call. We're just doing a video call. What do you, why do you think that tactic or that strategy is so effective, in just getting the relationship going with people?
Stewart Hillhouse 21:00
I think two reasons. Like first there's flattery, like just being said, being told, "Oh, you're good at something, I want to pick your brain". But if, don't say "pick your brain", like do it in a do it in an effective way, which is like, "hey, let's get you on the show". So like being flattered, that's cool. Whether you never get invited to things or you always get invited to things I don't think that'll ever like where wear away. Like that's, that's a cool feeling. And then the second piece is, it's, it's worth their time, like to have a piece just just to talk about the thing I know about and have it recorded, and then you do all the work of making other people listen to it. There's nothing higher leverage, like an hour of my time and you'll spread this around, even if it's only listened to 50 times for my hour. That's like 50x leverage of my time. I was just I just I just spoke to 50 people by only talking to you for an hour. That's crazy.
Kap Chatfield 21:54
It's like, and then it's amazing. Yeah,
Stewart Hillhouse 21:59
Well, so it's worth their time, right? And they know that by talking to another business person, there's gonna be like, some overlap in what they're interested in and what they could do for each other. And even if it leads to nothing, like you've just kind of personality wise, just like shined out from every other person who might just cold DM them, but never actually gets on a video call, right? I will say though, to your point about like cold as cold outreach and stuff like that. You do need as the podcast, producer, creator, host, whatever role you play, you do need to do the work so that it is like useful to them to say yes. Like make it an obvious yes why they should do it. So like, you reached out to me, I'd never like we'd never seen each other. We didn't know no previous like, back and forth, or whatever. And you just said, "Hey, like, let's talk about these views? Like, are you interested in talking about these few things?" You made it an obvious yes, for me, because I you know, that I'm trying to grow an audience like I'm talking about these topics, you knew why I was relevant. And you made it clear what the benefits of me being on it, right? If you'd sent the same cold message to me, but it said, like, "come on this to like, talk about the company your founding." It's like, "Well, I haven't founded a company. So like, that doesn't help like things go wrong, right?" So you do have to be clear about what's in it for them, and do your research ahead of time. I will say that as people as as someone who's starting to get invited to things, I start seeing blanket like just automated messages. And that's a that's a quick no for me.
Kap Chatfield 23:31
But that's like, I don't understand why people do that. To me, that's so stupid. Because what you're basically doing is you're create, you're intentionally creating a terrible show, when you're just inviting random people on you don't have like a clear direction for who you're trying to serve. Who's the audience? What do you want them to get out of it? To me, it's like, why you're, you're just shooting yourself in the foot. But I think people just love taking shortcuts. They're just like, "hey, here's a trick. Let's just try this thing". But what I love about what you're doing is like, even with your show, we'll kind of transition to talk about your show, your show has a really clear premise. I mean, I love even in your intro Top of Mind, you know, you talk about like, "hey, the you everyone on the internet, there's so much information coming out. People are bombarded with messages all day long. Their brains are overflowing". That's literally what you say in your intro. And you said like, "if you can at least just get like one fraction, like one sliver of that space in their brain, you're in a winning position". And so you've created this show, to really help people think about how do you stay top of mind in this very cluttered and very noisy internet landscape. And you've had some really interesting people on your show. I mean, just a recent episode, I forget her I forget who what her name was, but it was all about content, or course creation and and how to how to strategically put together courses. And so you guys are doing some really cool stuff. But you know, through our conversations, you and I, I understand that you're you're leveraging this show, not so much as like, this is like the one marketing vehicle to rule them all for you. But you're using it as like a strategic relationship accelerator. Why don't you tell us a little bit about your show and how you're using it to build some really cool relationships in your industry?
Stewart Hillhouse 25:13
Yeah, the the, the podcast episode you're talking about is with Wes Kao. And she's the founder of of Maven, which is this awesome, kind, of course creation platform that they they help people launch their courses and stuff. And but she's been someone who I've followed on Twitter for like five years, and she used to be like Seth Godin's right hand person and was, was helping him build Akimbo and like the altMBA and all his projects, right? So she's been someone I wanted to talk to forever. And by reaching out and starting to talk a little bit, and then finally getting the go ahead to say, "oh, yeah, it's worth my time to be on Stewart's podcast". Like she's hard to get ahold of, because she's, like, pretty busy and very well known, right? But then once you got a call on her, now, all of a sudden, they'll show like, send me opportunities to be like, "Hey, I'm too busy to do this. But like, are you interested in doing this for me?" I was like, of course, right? But kind of rewinding to what the kind of premise of my show, which is this like, positioning kind of idea that I've never been able to get out of my head, I think it's just so kind of crisp is like, everyone's mind kind of categorizes things into what they think it is. And you can really only have one product, person, thing, object, in each of those category buckets. So for example, if I say like, "laptop", you're immediately going to say like, oh, a "MacBook". If I said, like, a net "water bottle", you'll you'll be like, oh "Nalgene" or like "Yeti" or like, you know what I mean? Like, depending on who you've been marketed to over time. But even if I say, like, "writer", you'll immediately think like, oh, okay, who's like, "Who do I think is the most prolific writer?" And like, you kind of just like, immediately think of one, right? So that's kind of the idea of like, if you can own that, like sliver of someone's mind about that specific thing you want to be known for, like, that's all you need to do. And so I love so I kind of use, I positioned it as that because I wanted I don't want to be competing with like, the best marketing hacks on a podcast, I don't want to be known as the one who, like you've chosen, like the b2b side, like to be known as the B2B Podcast, right? I wanted it to be like broad enough that it could be multi useful for me, because I didn't know where it was gonna go. And so where I've taken it was, it started off as like a career accelerator to like, when I, when I got into the marketing industry, I was like, "Okay, how can I learn the quickest?" And that was by talking to other marketers. And I just do that virtually is a fastest way. And then once I was in marketing, I was like, "Okay, I think that content is about this. Let me test that on my own brand". And so then I would meet with content marketers, and be like, "how do you do this? How do you do this? What are you thinking about?" And then I would practice it. So whatever they tell me on the show, I'd then go on LinkedIn and try try doing the tactics they told me. Try writing about the topics that I was learning about. And then as I kind of progressed, and kind of getting a little bit of traction and knowledge in the industry, I was like, "Okay, now I can use it as a tool to like, talk to other practitioners who are doing sweet work at cool companies and become pals with my peers, essentially". And so now I just like whenever I see a cool company, or someone posts a cool piece of content, I'll just kind of reach out and start a conversation with them. And if it progresses, like a couple DMS later, it'd be like, "hey, well, I actually have a podcast would you be interested in like chatting about this?" And so that's become kind of like my, my personal top of funnel to meet cool people. And I have nothing to sell, I have nothing that's it's not attached to my, my career, like the company I work at or ever. Like, it's not sponsored, I make no money off of it, it costs me maybe like, two or $300 a year just in like, the software that I use to edit it, and my time and like a free Zoom account, right? So the cost to me is like, okay, it's a bunch of hours. But the result is like, very quickly, being able to kind of connect the dots of like how, how I can best position myself in a career, how I can switch jobs, how I can get into a different part of marketing, how, what's working, what's not like, it's, it's, it's allowed me to progress over time and change the use case of having that podcast has evolved over time with my career too. So that's kind of a long way of saying it's, it's been very helpful in a lot of ways so far.
Kap Chatfield 29:48
So you, you there's a couple things you said that were cool. Number one, we talked about the relationship accelerator, getting people you know, getting access to people really quickly, that you're you're really would love to build a business or professional relationship with. And the other element too is the market research part, which I think is so cool. It's so true. Like, you pick them, you bring them on your show, you pick their brain, and then you're asking them questions that you actually want to know answers to. And then you actually go and apply that stuff. I've had that I've had some people on our show, and like, you know, whether it's like account management or something like that, or, or LinkedIn ads, I'll take, I'll ask them questions like, no, actually, I really need to know this for my own business. And then I, you know, it's like, you get you get a consultation, really, for the price of, here's, uh, you know, I don't know, if you do this with your show, but we handle we give our featured guest content. So we'll give them all the content, say, "Hey, this is for you to use however you want, we're also going to publish it". And so it's a PR opportunity for them. And then for me, it's like it's a free consultation. So that's pretty cool. But you know, one thing that we talked about pre show was that you've actually seen some business opportunity generated, even though that wasn't necessarily your main MO with the show was to monetize it. Why don't you share with us a little bit about some of those business development results that you've experienced because you started doing this show?
Stewart Hillhouse 31:14
I've kind of flipped flopped a few times about whether I should try and monetize it. But from what I've learned is, there's kind of two ways to monetize it. There is ads, like kind of any popular podcast has mid roll ads, or pre roll ads that play before the episode starts. But typically, to get to that point where that is like a profitable and useful tool you need, it's about I think it's like, I think it's something like 25 no, no, it's like $20 per like, 1000 listens or something like that. Like so that's like the cost per impression if you're wanting to like compare it to like Facebook ads or something like that is like $25 per 1000 listens. And tu, like just full transparency, my podcast doesn't get 1000 listens per episode, right? I don't I don't perps, I don't push it so hard to try and get people to listen, because it's a really hard medium to grow. But on the backside, it helps me grow so quickly. So it doesn't matter to me, like the cost, the ROI is still there. So you can go that like ads route. Or you can use it as like an opportunity kind of magic passage door, where it's like, "oh, I never would have talked to this person before, but I get to chat with them for an hour". If I'm talking about them the entire hour, like we're I'll, like, I'm asking you questions, and you're talking the entire time. Inevitably, at the end of the conversation, you're gonna feel a little weird, you're gonna be like, "Well, geez, we only talked about me for this hour", even though that's like the point of the podcast. So the biggest, but I wouldn't, I'll call it a hack, just because it's kind of like a tactic that works really well is once the episode ends, you then like pause recording, but you don't hang up on each other. And you say, and then you then you get a little like off the record time with the person who's now been warmed up and talked about themselves for an hour. And they're gonna be a little tired. They're gonna say, "anyways, like Kap, tell me about yourself, like, what are you working on?" And then that's your time to like, pitch, not pitch, but just talk about the thing you're working on. And so the best transition to go from a podcast to like a business opportunity is well actually like I'm in between jobs. I'm kind of I'm kind of interested in like pursuing something in SAS. And so that's why I was really interested in talking to you about blah, blah, blah, something about SAS? Is there any like resources you'd recommend? Or like people, I should talk to you about that? And then that gets their mind turning about like, do I want to hire this person? Should I work? Like, should I introduce them to? The same can be happen if I had something to sell. I could be like, "oh, yeah, I mean, like, we're our company, or we're doing pretty well. We're working on this. We're growing at this rate, like, we're kind of looking for customers in this place. If there's anyone that you know of that I should be kind of talking to." And if they don't, if they don't identify with that, they'll probably still say, "Oh, well, yeah, I mean, I should introduce you to this person". And then the last little bit that I'll say that's the tactically works is if they kind of start talking and it feels like it's starting to get too salesy, or you feel the urge to start trying to sell them or close them on that call, resist that urge. Do not continue with trying to close them on that call. Say, "hey, look, this has been a great call. I don't want to take up any more your time for today. Let's end this and I'll follow up with you. And we can find another time to talk about that specific thing that you you expressed interest in." And then you close close the call, end on a really high note and them feeling good that they just provided so much like cool content, you felt like the relationships off to a good start. End the call there and then follow up and then do a second call that is completely, it's not a podcast episode, but it's 100% about you then, like it's kind of like the discovery call. Right? And so that's how you can transition a podcast into an actual sales process.
Kap Chatfield 34:52
And but it really it's like, it's so genuine, it's so relationship first, which I think is like that's the key. I mean, if if it's not going to be a fit, you don't want to try to make it work anyway, because everyone's gonna be frustrated, all you're looking for is I just want to get in front of the right people. And if they are looking for this, then at least we found each other faster. And I feel like that's what, that's what this allows you to do is get access to people, because you're providing you're providing a platform, you're not just saying, "hey, I want to pick your brain, I want to take valuable time away from you". It's, "hey, I want to present you to other people, I want to give you something that you could use on your own. And all I ask is for this much time." And it's it's such an amazing way to do that. But back to what you'd said before, you need to have a really strong premise, and a strong show strategy so that they feel like, is this really is this an alignment with who I am? Is this in alignment my message and my goals? Is this in alignment with my audience? Is this something that I could share with my audience and then feel like I'm actually providing them more value? We're running out of time,
Stewart Hillhouse 35:57
No just, can I say one more thing about sort of, like, bring it. I've got time. So we can go over, it's all good.
Kap Chatfield 36:02
All right, well, I got time too. Let's keep rolling.
Stewart Hillhouse 36:06
The other thing I found too, is if you are using podcasting as like a business development tool, and you want to kind of like get in front of your ideal audience, or customers or people you think you could sell to, and this works especially well for like, if you're in startup mode, is get the get on the call, like do the podcast episode. But if you feel like it's not actually going to be a good episode, like your audience, like it's not, there's no good tactics, there's no good insights, it's just kind of like, the person's robotic and it's not going anywhere. Remember that you don't need to publish every single episode. So like, if the episodes going great, follow through and finish the episode and get the content you need to publish. And then do the tactic we just talked about about like trying to move it into a sales call. But if like 20 minutes, 30 minutes in, it's just like, pulling teeth and it's not great, feel free to like pivot the conversation and then mentally be like, "I'm just not going to publish this one. But I still want this time to be useful." Turn then pivot into like a customer discovery, customer research call. Don't don't, don't talk to them, like all of a sudden change, use a different tone and say, "Okay, now we're done with podcast, this is crap, let's start talking about like you." But just change the angle of your questions and instead of saying, "Hey, can you tell me about like, tell me about b2b whatever" you should, say, "hey, how do you think about this?" And then you like, ask them a specific question that you're pondering about your business or like the thought process of your customers. And then you can go down the whole list. So you can start saying thinking about like, asking them questions about buying triggers, like, "hey, when was the last time you had this problem?" Or, "hey, like, I see you guys do this already, what prompted you to start looking for that solution?" And then you can just turn the questions into like a customer research call. And kind of salvage that last half of it. Now all of a sudden, you've just turned like the podcast didn't go great. So now I'm just gonna actually, now I've got 30 minutes of of like a prospecting, customer research call that you can then turn into, like insights for how to rewrite your landing pages. Pain points that you want to start talking about in your next email newsletter, like you can turn that into then more content, even with never publishing that podcast episode. So that's just another kind of little, little pivot you can do if you've noticed that that it's not going to be entertaining, because podcasts do need to be entertaining, for people to want to listen to it. So if it's just a boring conversation, don't maybe don't carry finish it, just turn it into a customer research call.
Kap Chatfield 38:41
I love that. Yeah, don't you got it. And that's really about keeping your audience the main objective, too, because you want to make sure that you're continually providing them value. And if you recognize, "hey, this, this one, sometimes you swing and you miss". Doesn't mean that you couldn't get them on the show again later and try to try to make it a better experience. But you got to make sure that you're really protecting that relationship you have, that trust you have with your audience and providing great content every time. So yeah, I thank you for giving me a little bit extra time because I did want to pick your brain about some LinkedIn strategy that you're working on this year. You mentioned that you're like 2022, one of your main goals is really going to be LinkedIn content creation, relationship building there. What, why don't you tell us tell the audience, what's like the main thing that you're focusing on for your LinkedIn strategy, and why?
Stewart Hillhouse 39:32
I focus a lot like in early 2020, I was like, doing LinkedIn every single day. And that was my main channel focus, and then started working at Demand Curve. And we we worked like our top of funnel was a lot more Twitter so I started having to spend more time on Twitter and then I was like, "Okay, I'll try Twitter. I'll see if I can grow on Twitter". And I never really did and I never really focused too hard on it. So then all of a sudden, I had two channels. I had LinkedIn and Twitter going and I just doing neither of them while so like the second half of 2021 was just like kind of stale because I wasn't doing well on either. So 2022, the new resolution is just LinkedIn, like five times a week, just get the habit going again, get the like, start feeding the engine that eventually turns into a landslide, right? So what am I thinking about this year when I'm creating content? So what I've been doing, that I didn't do previously when I was trying to grow on LinkedIn was like, comment on other people's stuff. And so I've started doing that this week. And it's, I've noticed two things that make it really useful. So one is it gets you in front of a lot of new audience people. You want to try and comment on the posts of people who are respectable, like you vibe with their what they're doing, because there's a lot of like spammy stuff on LinkedIn. And if you're commenting on the spammy stuff, like, whatever, it's not gonna, it's not it's, you're, you're making yourself look bad. So find content creators who are legit, who are doing really good work, who you want to be associated with, and comment on their stuff. And it doesn't matter if the comment is from like, if the if their post is from like, a day or two ago, maybe don't comment on anything that's like old, but as you go through your feed. So what I do is like, first thing in the morning is I open it, and you want to post, you want to post like 9am your time, right? You want it to be first thing in the morning, I found those work best. And I scroll for I scroll until I like I'll scroll and then I'll find people who I like and who content is good. I'll read it and then I'll comment and I'll not just saying like "great post" or whatever. But you either ask a question, here's what you do is you either ask a question, you build on a point that they made, and kind of offer your two cents, or you disagree with them and say something that you believe in place of what they're talking about, right? So what I do is I comment on five posts, before I write my own post. And I do that just because then it like creates a habit of like commenting on other people's, but it's a lot easier to write on other people's posts, than it is to create your own fresh one. So what I find is, after writing five comments, one of those comments, I'm gonna be like, "Ooh, that was actually a good insights, do like let's build on that". And then I will turn that thing that I've already written, which is already a 50 or 60%, done post, I then copy and paste it, and then I put it in my publisher on LinkedIn. And then I build on that idea and write my own post about that topic. If I if I had something specific I wanted to talk about that day, then I wouldn't copy and paste it. But I would be like mentally recorded be like, "Oh, that was a good point. I'll add that to my queue of other things of like half baked LinkedIn ideas that I can post about another time". And so then I would build that post out and then publish it ideally around like 9am, early in the day. And I guess just like sort of a little tip I'm experimenting with this. I don't know if it's true. I've just seen some other kind of big LinkedIn people do it, is just to use like two hashtags at the end of the post that are kind of relevant. So for me, I usually do like hashtag content marketing, hashtag content strategy, hashtag marketing, hashtag copywriting are kind of the ones I rotate between, because you only want to kind of like you want to stay focused on a couple topics. Right? Um, yeah. And honestly, like that's kind of it that's that's sort of the the input all the inputs you need to think about as you feed that engine is consistency. Like, I was getting really good traction, or like mid last year, and then I stopped posting all the time. And it was like maybe I went like three weeks without posting on LinkedIn, and then all of a sudden I posted and like the engagement was just like super low. It didn't get distributed very far. I was like, "okay, yeah, I deserve that, like It was my fault for not feeding the algorithm, right?" So don't be don't be discouraged. Like it will take time to build up that like to get the get the flow of it going. But just to put things in perspective of how few LinkedIn connections you need for your content to be seen by the right people. So like I've I haven't taken off yet on LinkedIn. Like, I don't have a big audience on LinkedIn. I'm about to break 3000 connections slash followers, which isn't that big at all. And that's come organically just by like, the people following me and then me like adding people who I find are interesting. But some people who, and I still every post I do, even if it's a bad post still gets seen by like eight or nine, usually 1000 people. And even if it does poorly, it might get like five or six likes, and if it does, well it gets 90 or 100 likes, but it gets seen by like 5000 people. So like, that's the power of having like a person in your company who is the voice of the company, ideally in the leadership role, talking daily about the industry and the space you're in and providing valuable insights is they'll be seen by like 5000 of their peers and prospective customers daily, like that's so valuable. Yeah, I think that's it, I have to say on that. One other point that is just kind of the reason why LinkedIn I I'm personally into into is, it's a two way communication platform. I know you can DM people on any platform. But what I mean by two way is like on Twitter, they need to opt in to seeing your stuff. Like they can still DM you, and they still can still comment on your stuff, but they don't need to follow you. On LinkedIn. If someone likes my post. I then go in and if I'm not a connection, I add them. And like I add every single second degree connection, who likes my post, because I'm like fresh in their mind. "Like, oh, Stewart wrote a cool thing". They don't know who I am, but they still liked my posts. So like, that's an indicator that like they're interested in what I'm talking about, that's great. By adding them. I'm just like, I'm growing my audience, and I'm finding people, I'm actively being able to grow it instead of waiting for people to have to follow me back. So that sort of just, I don't know if that's cheating or not. But that's the way I think about it.
Kap Chatfield 46:12
I don't think that's cheating at all. It's it's building relationship. But what I think is so interesting about your strategy, Stewart is that so many people are, you know, and rightfully so, I mean, you got to keep posting, you got to be consistent, you got to keep bringing ideas. But so many are so many people are putting their LinkedIn 2022 goals around, just content output. And I'll preach that all day long. I believe in it, I know that I need to do it. But your strategy of I want to focus on, on contributing to what other people are already putting out, I want to I want to focus on commenting and engaging, and bringing meaningful comments to what people are posting so that it doesn't appear like they just posted something and I just said "great post", but didn't actually read it. Like having an actual thoughtful comment, because to your point number one, it can generate ideas for your own content, which is so so valuable. But then I also think algorithmically, it's going to help you get your post out further when you do post because you're communicating to LinkedIn, hey, I'm actually engaging in the in the platform, I'm here. And I have a big network. I'm talking to a lot of people. And I actually I've seen it myself when I do that. When I when I take the time, before I post to kind of warm up the algorithm so to speak, it actually has a lot more impact that way. So it's such an amazing tactic. Now I'm excited to see how it grows your your influences or,
Stewart Hillhouse 47:38
Thanks, yeah. And if we even want to tie it back to like the whole podcast scenario, say you want to be finding people for your podcast. If that's person's like a big name, and they're like, you're kind of intimidated to reach out to them and say, "come on my show." Start by commenting on their LinkedIn posts, or you can do this on Twitter, you do this on any platform, but like, start by start the relationship by commenting on them and being insightful, not just "hey, great post". If you do that 10 times that person, even no matter how popular they are, is going to be like, "Oh, I recognize that avatar". If you use the same profile picture, when you DM them, and the same profile picture in your email client and your Gmail, when you reach out to them. They're gonna be like, "Oh, I know that person. They're legit. They comment on my stuff". You're top of mind and then they'll it'll be an immediate Yes.
Kap Chatfield 48:24
That's Oh, that's such a good tactic. You're gonna see that become a micro video for sure. Because people. Stewart, we are we are coming to the end of our time here right now. I mean, I'm just so grateful that you take the time to connect with us. Just as a reminder for everybody you can check out first we're going to put your LinkedIn profile because LinkedIn is going to be your focus this year, connect with Stewart on LinkedIn this year, see his content, comment on his content. And he's just a great, great guy to follow in regards to just such a thought leader when it comes to how to do content well, in this space. We're also going to put the link for his company Mutiny HQ, in the description of this of this video and of this episode. We'll also put the link to his show Top of Mind, so you guys can check it out, subscribe, see some of the episodes and see some of the people that he's brought onto the show cuz he's got he's got some killers on his show as well. So, Stewart, my man, thank you so much for joining us on B2B Podcasting today. This was a blast.
Stewart Hillhouse 49:24
Wicked Kap. Thanks for having me, man.