Boosting Your Sales Network and Reputation with Podcasting
In episode 82 of Pit Stops to Podium, we sit down with Collin Mitchell, the Vice President of Sales at Leadium and an accomplished entrepreneur. Collin's journey is nothing short of inspiring, from founding Salescast to hosting the Sales Transformation Podcast, where he shares daily episodes to revolutionize the way we approach selling. In this episode, Collin delves into the incredible potential of podcasting for sales professionals.
Collin emphasizes the importance of delivering value and building a strong personal brand through informative, entertaining, or inspiring content. He also shares valuable insights on cultivating lasting relationships with guests and listeners, which can significantly expand your network and enhance your reputation as a sales professional. Collin’s expertise and practical tips will empower you to grow your network, establish an impactful personal brand, and foster meaningful connections through the power of podcasting.
If you’re ready to learn from one of the best, then buckle up and hold on!
Collin's Road to Podcasting
A few years ago, after going on a podcast for the first time, he decided to start his own. After originally planning to do only one a month, he was advised by an established podcaster to release one episode every day for three consecutive weeks, which would enable him to be listed under the "New Noteworthy" section of the Apple podcast charts. However, he was never listed. Ultimately, though, this proved to be the beginning of Salescast.
Value of Podcasting for Revenue Leaders
Number one, you're building your brand.
Number two, it's a lot easier to get access to the people you want to build relationships with.
Number three, it works as a marketing engine as you as one of the pieces of content a buyer is consuming before they make a purchase.
Number four, if you're a guest on a podcast, you can conclude with a good CTA.
Creating Relevant, Informative, and Entertaining Podcast Content
The bottom line is--you're not going to figure it all out, but that shouldn't hold you back from getting started. You need to figure out the things that are necessary to get started, and then just see how it goes.
Questions like, "how are you going to make it interesting?" often can't be answered ahead of time, you need to figure it out as you go along in the process.
One good rule of thumb: super long podcasts usually don't get listened to.
The worst that can happen is that no one listens to the podcast, but you build up a network of awesome people in the process.
Successful Tips for Relationship Building and Prospecting with Podcasts
You sell more by not selling.
People are naturally curious, so if they have a good experience on your podcast then they'll be more interested in you, and, by extension, your product or service.
Connect with Collin
Brendan: Hey everyone. Welcome to Pit Stops to Podium, the RevPartners podcast where we talk to execs who competed and won in taking their companies from high growth to high scale. My name is Brendan Tolleson. I serve as the co-founder and CEO of RevPartners and I'm delighted to have with me today, Collin Mitchell for this episode of Pit Stops to Podium. Welcome, Collin.
Collin: Yeah, hey, thanks so much for having me. Excited to dig into this conversation.
Brendan: Yeah, likewise. You know, I've been a big fan of yours from afar. So it's fun, fun to finally get to connect with you. So say face to face, but I don't know if that's really what I should say in a virtual zoom meeting, but it's fine. It's fun to finally get to talk to you. How about that? And so for those that may not know who Collin is, Collin serves as the VP of sales at Leadium and then for a lot of folks, they may know him from his podcast around sales transformation. And so Collin, what we like to do is just really as we get to know you, it's just the origin story. How did you get to Leadium? How did you start the podcast? So you know, it gives the necessary context as we get into the big idea later on.
Collin: Yeah, I'll keep it fairly short so we can get into, you know, some of the good stuff here. But, you know, just for a little bit of context, I was raised by a single mom, you know, four boys, we were pretty much dirt poor, like literally, you know, struggled to pay the rent and keep food on the table and got kicked out of places and lived out of motels, like you name it, you know, grew up on food stamps and government cheese. So, you know, as a young adult, I didn't have a lot of ambitions, didn't really know what I was going to do. Um, frankly, it was a bit of a trouble maker and then, you know, it was kind of starting to get onto the right path and got my first sales job. And, uh, you know, I had to pretty much beg for that opportunity because I wasn't the most responsible young adult. Uh, so when I did get that opportunity, I knew I had to make the most out of it. And so I worked my way up to the top, um, uh, to one of the top reps fairly quickly there. And then, you know, shortly after that took a VP of sales position at another company where I got some more business acumen and learned how to manage people, which was something I was not great at. And then from there, I've had a few startups, scaled my first business from zero to five million in 26 months, started a couple other companies, had a few small exits. And then now I'm over at Leadium as their VP of sales and partner and also been doing the podcast like you said for. you know, almost three years now.
Brendan: That's great. I appreciate you sharing a little bit about kind of your, uh, your past doesn't define you, but it certainly influences you in terms of how you think. And, um, so I appreciate you sharing a little bit about that background. And, um, you know, as our audience just knows you a little bit further, I mean, you kind of gave the background, but we do have a tradition is to get to know you outside of work. So, uh, what does life look like now? You know, grew up with four, um, I think you said four siblings or at least four in the household. you know, as we kind of talked in the prep, you have a busy household yourself. So what are some of those things that our audience should know about you outside of work?
Collin: Yeah, so I live in Los Angeles with my wife and four kids. So my son is the eldest, he's eight. And then I have three girls, seven, four and 15 months. So they keep us very busy. We're a sports family, so outdoors, my wife and I run and swim. And we actually met in a running club together and ran marathons together. And so our kids are very active, soccer, baseball, swimming. Pretty much every day there's activities, some sort of activity or activities going on in our house. And so, you know, and honestly, you know, for where I come from, like I couldn't even have dreamed of having a life as good as I do.
Brendan: That's great. Yeah, I imagine, you know, similar to you, I've got three and it's getting ready for summer is an interesting time. So as it was recorded, so I don't know when you when that happens. But to your point, I just think disruption is coming. I know we look forward to summer, but it's all like, how do I manage my office space in the midst of the chaos that's about to occur in my household?
Collin: Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. I think that, you know, with the, with the kids home, I mean, I have a lot of respect for people that, you know, work from home and, you know, had kids from home, especially like, you know, when schools were closed and stuff like that, because it is, it is extremely difficult to manage, you know, but summer, you know, summer with four kids is a little crazy, but it's also nice to have them home and, you know, have a little bit of a break from, from the day-to-day madness.
Brendan: Absolutely, our daughter just, she played softball for the first time, just, she got to the finals of her little playoff team, say like a three games this weekend, which I've never, you know, I've never been a softball fan, but I, or never experienced softball, I should say, and now I have become a softball fan. It's a great sport for the girls.
Collin: My daughter's playing softball too. And they're young and they have them pitching, which is interesting. Haha
Brendan: It was a coach pitch that I think that's next next year. So I can only imagine what that's like trying to get the girls to start pitching that just to learn that muscle movement is that's great though. It's a good it's a great sport.
Collin: Yeah, yeah, at this age, as long as they're having fun, that's all that matters.
Brendan: Exactly. Well, Collin, I appreciate you sharing a little bit about kind of your past and your current. Let's talk, you know, you mentioned what you've done. And so there's, you know, you've had a lot of seats in terms of a founder, you have a VP of sales, and you've also been running a podcast. I think it'll be great for us to park on a little bit as just, you know, the podcasting element of what you've done from a professional standpoint, because I think it influences other areas and allows you to have those connections, but ultimately, grow as a personal brand, but also for your professional brand. Um, and so I'd love to just understand what caused you to start a podcast or what was the inspiration?
Collin: Yeah. So, um, I actually was running, um, one of my companies that I sold a little bit over a year ago, uh, or maybe almost two, wow. It's been, yeah. Uh, almost two years ago, I sold this business and, uh, I went on a podcast for the very first time. And it was, you know, pre pandemic in studio where there was far less podcasts. Most of them, a lot of them were still done in person. Um, and it was with, uh, somebody that I had built a relationship with and business relationship with, um, prior to, uh, uh, in a, in a previous company, they did some marketing and stuff for me and, uh, went on the podcast. It's talking about like work life balance or whatever, cause I was running a couple of companies at the time and just had a really good time and, uh, knew nothing about podcasting, frankly, wasn't even a podcast listener at the time. And, uh, just. And his name was Chris. So he was my co-founder at Salescast, which I said, Hey, I think I want to start a podcast. Like, can you help me? And, uh, and he said, yeah. I said, what do I need to do? He said, you just find interesting people you want to interview and I'll take care of the rest. And, uh, so it made it super easy to just get started. And, you know, I was, um, I was really busy. So I said, I think I can do like one a month or something, and then, uh, a very successful podcaster. told me, yeah, you can't do that. Like if you're gonna do one a month, like don't bother. He says, but there is a way to hack the algorithm and get listed on the Apple charts and be like a top podcast. And I said, okay, I'm listening. And he said, yeah, you gotta release 21 episodes daily. Like, 21 like consecutively, like 21 episodes in 21 days, like daily for three weeks. Then you'll get listed on the new noteworthy section on the Apple podcast charts and you'll pick up tons of listeners sounded like he knew what he was talking about. He had a successful podcast. I said, all right, I'm up for the challenge released 21 episodes in three weeks, never got listed on the new noteworthy section, but built up that habit and that frequency and like a really scalable way to have a podcast on a high frequency. And, uh, initially, I was interviewing people that I wanted to build business relationships with. So it was a little podcast prospecting way of building relationships and networking with folks. The one thing that kept coming up is they kept asking me the same exact questions that I asked Chris. I think I want to start a podcast. How do I get started? So I told Chris, I said, I think we're onto something here and we should help these folks get their podcast started. That's when we started Salescast. I grew that business from zero to a million plus in revenue in like 18 months. We had like 85 shows that we produced. And in that time we used my show as sort of like the testing ground of all the new like strategies and growth tactics to grow shows. And it was a crazy good run. And then I decided to move on and do something else and Chris still operates that business and Salescast still produces my show. They do incredible work. Um, and just recently, you know, the show passed pretty huge milestone where we hit like 250 K downloads in the last 30 days last month, which was pretty, pretty impressive for us.
Brendan: That's great. I'm sure that was a little demoralizing when you did the, you know, get 21 straight days and not hit the note where they are new because that's a lot of hard work and for that not to happen. But kudos to you for your perseverance.
Collin: From thinking I was going to do one a month to doing like 21 in three weeks, uh, and then, and then not getting what I was hoping for. I was definitely disappointed, but then I found something even better, right? Which was like, we, we basically out of that, you know, we was born a whole other business.
Brendan: Yeah. For those that are saying, you know, that's great. I'm glad you were able to figure it out. Like I guess maybe let's take a step back to when we talk about podcasts. And to your point, there's been a proliferation of podcasts, but what, as you look at a revenue leader who's listening to this, what's the pitch or why should they even consider starting their own podcasts or trying to get on podcasts? What's the value there for them? It may be a layup question, but I think it's a good one.
Collin: There is so much value in it. And I mean, one, you're building your brand, we all get that, okay, but I'm a revenue leader, I need pipeline. If you start a podcast, you can bring anybody on. I mean, it's so much easier to get access to the people you wanna build relationships. I mean, look. pipeline revenue, you know, it's all about building relationships with the right people. So the podcast allows you to open doors that would be more challenging to open and build relationships with people, you know, under a bit of a different, you know, context than just reaching out and asking for a meeting. Are all of them going to do business with you? No. Do you want to be a sleazy, you know, salesperson that says, hey, come on my podcast and then let me sell you some stuff? No. but there's a way, there's somewhere in between there that makes a lot of sense and works extremely well. Two, it works as a marketing engine. So you're putting out content, like the B2B buyer is consuming at least 13 pieces of content before they make a business decision. Do you wanna be one of those pieces of content or not? So you can be left out of the conversation or you can be producing content around the topics that the people you wanna do business with care about most. Um, now if we look at guesting on podcasts, that's a little bit more, you know, straightforward. If you go on a podcast, you deliver a good message and you add value. And then you have a good call to action at the end to get people into your world. Whether that's, Hey, come listen to my podcast. Hey, I've got this super cool guide that you might be interested in, or maybe you're a SaaS that offers a free trial or extended trial or something, whatever the case is, don't just go on podcasts without a plan. Like you need to have some concise talk tracks. You need to have a good call to action that's gonna get people into your world. And you can't show up on there and pretend like it's just one big sales pitch of like, come buy my stuff. So with the right strategy, the right targeting and the right plan, either one can be very effective. I've driven millions of dollars in pipeline from guesting on podcasts and from having my own podcasts and closed. you know, tons of business because of both of those.
Brendan: Yeah, I love that answer. Um, I mean, to your point, it's a, it becomes a more effective way to do prospecting with a value added offer. Um, and so like, who do you want to, like what persona, who do you want to talk to and leveraging a podcast to be that way to create that connection? Um, so let, for those audience say, okay, I'm convinced that's a good way for me to connect with folks and to get them to a meeting, but gosh, what the heck do I talk about? Um, so like, how do you think through? the content or the structure to make it relevant, informative, entertaining. Because some people may say that that's just too intimidating. I don't even want to take that step because I don't know what to even do once I got them on a call. So what would be your input or guidance for people on that side?
Collin: Yeah, I mean, the real answer is you're not going to figure it all out. So to let that hold you back from getting started is foolish. So what that means is, yeah, there's people who are just super big planners and want to have like, you know, the next 12 months figured out, but like, that's just unrealistic. Figure out the things that are important that you need to know in order to get started, and then you kind of have to see how it goes. And for some people, that's like a terrible answer. They hate that answer. Um, but ultimately. you know, what are you going to talk about? How are you going to make it interesting? Like, those are things that you're going to have to figure out. I mean, the one thing that I do know is super long podcasts aren't listened to very often. There's some exceptions to the rule, obviously, right? But not everybody who's, you know, listening and maybe wanting to start a podcast is going to be the next Joe Rogan. Like, it's just not. So like having these like 20 minute conversations with people, how is it going to be different than every other podcast out there, which is something that people often ask. It's gonna be different because your podcast and the conversations that you're having the questions you're asking and so on but ultimately The worst that could happen is nobody listens to your show and you build up a network of awesome people
Brendan: I love that feedback. Yeah, to your point, it's don't overthink it, fail forward, learn and worst case, you've got access to the people you never would have had access to before. And so I think it's a good segue into the last topic, which is okay, you're using it to prospect or it could be a reason you're doing it. And then as you learn as you go in terms of what is actually resonating with the market. But as you mentioned, if it is being used as a way to get access, How do you maintain those relationships and using your kind of language of not a, you know, a sleazy salesperson, but truly treating them as relationships that could lead to that, you know, million dollar pipeline that you've talked about. So what are some tips, tricks that you've seen be successful in that?
Collin: Yeah, I mean, the thing is, is it's kind of you sell more by not selling, you know, and there's some tricks that you can do, like running your own live read commercial ad, like on the podcast. Uh, like if you do that, then, you know, people are going to be intrigued. If you have a good, like onboarding process and flow, um, part of that onboarding process and flow could be asking specific questions. that are high value information that you wouldn't be able to find out otherwise. And then you can kind of structure the conversation in a way, but look, people are naturally curious. And so if you give them a good experience, if you give them a good experience through them coming on your podcast, they're naturally gonna be curious to know more about you and what it is that you do. And then there's ways that you can continue to add value to these people post recording an episode with them That makes it easier for them to raise their hand if they're a good fit for what it is that you do
Brendan: Yeah, I love that. And I think, look, everything you just said is consistent with our experience of building this podcast. So I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I wanted it as a platform to connect with people and to get access. And we've kind of learned as we've gone and but it has opened doors. And to your point, not all of them turn into long term business relationships, but their relationships nonetheless, and some of them work and some of them don't. That's not the expectation. It's just to to build those relationships and connections. So I can speak firsthand to what Collin is saying that it truly is valuable and would encourage those revenue leaders to take their next step. And Collin, to your point, there always needs to be a next step for podcasts. And if our audience wants to take that next step with you or to learn more from you, where should they go?
Collin: Yeah, I mean, best thing to do is honestly, you know, number one, you know, if you're listening to this podcast and you've made it all the way to the end, like write a review so that, you know, this show can reach more listeners just like you. And then second thing you can do is that, you know, if you're looking for a daily sales podcast where we're dropping daily content every single day of the week, that's 10 minutes or less to help transform the way that you sell. You can check out sales transformation. on whatever podcast app you're listening to this episode on right now.
Brendan: That's so good. I love less than 10 minutes to your point. Not everyone's going to be, or very few people are going to be Joe Rogan. And so having those practical, actual insights that folks can take and apply into their own respective places, immensely valuable. So, Collin, thank you for what you're doing for the profession and for equipping these revenue leaders to be more successful in their role. Really do appreciate the time and the opportunity.
Collin: Awesome, thank you.
Brendan: Thank you.