Bernie, podcasting authority, explains his strategy account-based podcasting, which targets your ICP as guests on your podcast.
Bernie Borges was CCO at Vengreso, and is now Vice President of Global Content Marketing at iQor, where he is focused on planning and execution of the content strategy to amplify the iQor brand.
Billy Bateman 0:01
All right, everyone. Welcome to the show today. I am your host, Billy Bateman. And today I’m joined by Bernie Borges. The one and only. How are you doing Bernie?
Great, Billy, great to be with you.
Awesome, man. I’m excited to have you.
You’ve been in the podcast world for a while with Modern Marketing engine, which is a great podcast that I believe you just wrapped up your last episode of it. But Congratulations, you guys had put together some great things there.
Bernie Borges 0:33
Thank you. Yeah. Episode 300 was the final episode. nothing like ending on a nice round number like 300. Yeah, so yeah, it was a great run. I had a blast with it. I learned a ton from not just about podcasting, but I learned a ton because I interviewed marketing executives. It was like free education.
Billy Bateman 0:59
Dude, I couldn’t agree more. I wouldn’t. And I went back to school a few years ago. I did an MBA before we started ChatFunnels. And honestly, after doing this podcast, we are almost two years into it. And part of me is like, man, I should have just done a podcast instead of an MBA.
Bernie Borges 1:20
I hear you. It’s a great experience, and you’re doing it yourself, right? You talk to so many people that you have that you feature on your podcast. And you get into the conversation. You unpack things. And you learn so much. It’s just, it’s amazing. I love it. I love it.
Billy Bateman 1:34
You do? After almost every podcast, I’m either talking to our sales and marketing team. And I’m like, well, I had this guy on or this gal, and they have this great idea. I think we should at least look into it and think about it, you know?
And I don’t know if they get tired of it or not. But you learn a ton from everybody that you have on exam. Yep.
Well, before we get into the meat of what we’re talking about today, which is actually podcasting. For those listeners that don’t know you Bernie, would you mind sharing a little bit of your story? And your background with us?
Bernie Borges 2:10
Yeah, sure. Great. Actually, when I graduated college with a marketing degree, I went straight into sales. I spent the first about 10 or so years, little more than 10 years in b2b software sales.
And then kind of by accident, Billy, I got invited into a marketing role. I loved it. And the premise for moving into a marketing role was I was in sales leadership at the time, area sales leadership. Working for a company where I was physically located in the headquarters office, when I was in the office, I got to know the marketing team. They invited me in just to help them out and help them really deliver good marketing to the sales team.
Yeah, I really lost my marketing career. Eventually, I had my own marketing agency, a writer for 15 years focused on b2b content marketing, and kind of found podcasting along the way. And then merge my agency with our mutual friends are my co-founders at Vengreso, Mario Martinez, Jr, Kurt Shaver, Viveka von Rosen, and, and it just recently, at the time of this recording, exited the business.
Moving on from Vengresso
Still, I’m still a co-founder, still on their board, very amicable exit to really pursue an opportunity that I just couldn’t say no to. I’m Vice President of global content marketing at a company called Ichor, which is a 22-year-old company that’s in the BPO business process outsourcing space.
I’m really focused on their content strategy. And Billy, I’ll give you one guess what kind of content we’re going to be focusing on out of the gate. I would guess podcast, it’s podcasts and videos.
We’re going to conduct interviews with people inside the company and outside the company. And really just find all kinds of ways to just add value to the whole BPA BPO marketplace. And, and do it both through video, just like right now. We’re actually on video, right, even though most people may listen to it as audio, right. But we’ll do that video and audio podcast. And so yeah, that’s, it’s just a great opportunity. I couldn’t say no to Awesome, man. Well, happy for you.
Billy Bateman 4:16
And so, with that, I mean, let’s get into it. You spoke at our Demand Gen summit a few months ago. And you shared a little bit about account-based podcasting. Which I love the idea of. Everyone’s always talking about account-based marketing, but that’s so just big and kind of nebulous. Like, what does it really mean different things to different people?
But I loved the ideas you shared about account-based podcasting and wanted to make sure that the audience here on digital conversations could learn from you and about it, so I’ll turn it over to you just give us, what’s the overview and the big idea behind account-based podcasting?
Bernie Borges 4:57
Yeah, so the big idea is really, it’s, think about account based anything, right? You start with a list of target accounts. And in this case, you go to that list, and you identify the ICP, the ideal customer profile that you want to basically feature on your podcast. And you invite them on your podcast, to tell their story.
Now, when I, when I say tell their story, I don’t mean like, literally just come on the show and tell your story. But like, pick up a topic that is meaningful to that person to that individual who is your ICP at a target account, and give them a platform, give them an opportunity to tell the story around that topic that is meaningful to them.
Choosing a Topic
Billy, it’s important that you select a topic for each guest that you invite on the show that they’re comfortable speaking to, maybe they’re already speaking about it in other ways. Maybe it’s a current campaign or initiative or drive or announcement, or just whatever it might be that is totally meaningful, current relevant, they could just talk about it on a dime without any preparation, although I do advocate preparation for the podcast. Yeah.
And it’s just really, it’s as simple as that. Just give them the opportunity to tell a story on a topic that they’re really passionate about. And then tell that story. Let them tell that story like we’re doing right here in a conversation on the podcast.
And then at the end of the day, and both literally and figuratively. I mean, about the end of the day, Billy, because at the end of the podcast, you’ve now developed a little bit of a relationship. Yeah. Now, you might be wondering, Billy, well, it’s just a 30-minute podcast, how much of a relationship can you build?
Well, I skipped one step, let me go back to the step-in front of the podcast recording. And you and I did this as well. And that is what I call a planning call. I always set up a 30 minute, and sometimes it would go longer, but a 30-minute planning call, to plan the topic that we’re going to discuss on the podcast. And there’s a few things that I accomplished from that.
Billy one is, I give the guests the opportunity to completely control what they’re going to talk about. I manually do all the work by typing up the talking points for the podcast. At the end of that conversation, we have an outline of talking points, and I get their buy in on it. Like they’re totally bought in, because they were in the conversation. And then I actually share the document with them and say here’s the document, here’s the outline that we built together. Then I give them any opportunity that they might want to edit it.
And a couple things come out of that Billy. One is they appreciate that; I really do appreciate that. Because they feel like your show is legit, like you’ve got a process and you care, like you care about helping them tell a good story and be prepared so they really appreciate that. That first call is your first opportunity to build a relationship, then the actual podcast recording now that your second conversation.
Telling Their Story
And that’s where you’re actually live, well not live in terms of, broadcast live, right, but now you’re recording the podcast. They get the opportunity to tell the story and just be on stage. They just really, really appreciate that at the end of the day, sorry, I know, I use that cliche a lot. But it’s people working with people, right. And we all work with people, and they just really enjoy it.
And I always say, Billy, look, I really want my guests on the show to have a great experience. I always tell them that, like, hey, that’s a rule I have, like, you’ve got to have a good experience, and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to help you have a good experience. And that does enable you to build some relationships.
Billy Bateman 9:03
I agree, man. I agree. And I think just as I speak from my own experience, we’re not necessarily doing the account-based play that we’re going over. But just in podcasting, in general, when we started, we would just tell you most of them were people I knew. I’m like, hey, we’ll just record, we’ll talk a little bit beforehand.
But it went so much better once we started doing like a planning call, essentially, like, okay, what are we going to talk about, let’s at least hit the bullet points. We have a plan. And you really do start a relationship. You’ve had two conversations at that point. And it’s a lot easier if you’re like maybe I do want to buy from them.
I bought from several the guests that we have in this man like yeah, like, what you guys have we actually need and then vice versa as well. You’ve started that relationship. with the account-based podcasting let me ask you if you’ve been doing this for a while. Do you have any success stories? Can you share?
Bernie Borges 10:04
Yeah, yeah. I’ll give you one that really comes to mind as one of my favorites. At the end of each podcast recording, because remember, now we’re in the second conversation, the planning call is the first conversation, podcast recording was the second, at the end of the podcast recording, I would be prepared to start a conversation with my guests about some observations that either I made or someone on the sales team made about how their sales team exhibited weaknesses in their ability to do what we call social selling, right?
Starting a Sales Conversation
So, remember, this was with Vengreso. My objective was to start a sales conversation about ways that Vengreso can help this company. An example that comes to mind is the CMO of a large technology company, with hundreds and hundreds of salespeople in the organization. And at the end of the conversation, which again, second conversation, great, great podcast recording.
And I was prepared to show her this individual, the CMO, some examples of some people who had really not so terrific LinkedIn profiles that potentially could be damaging their brand, which the CMO would care about, as well as potentially damaging their ability to start engaging sales conversations with their prospects. I started that conversation, it was very brief, she immediately acknowledged, like, yeah, that’s problematic. And of course, I said this is something that we can help you with. I simply asked the question; would you be interested in setting up a dedicated conversation to explore how we can help you with that? And our answer was, yes. We had that conversation separately.
Then it was multiple conversations. Eventually, we got a contract from it, we actually were engaged by them to help them address that problem. Well, that story, I can repeat a few times. It really believes the same story, because the method the approach is the same at the end of the podcast recording, I was prepared to show some examples. And there were times when the guests said, Now, I’m not worried about that. Now, I don’t really care about that, now that we got that covered, whatever the case may be, right. But about half the time, they were at least willing to have a conversation.
Now, I’m not saying that half the time that they had the conversation, we got a contract from it. Yeah, not half the time they were willing to have the conversation, because we had developed some relationship. And I brought a real issue to the table. About half the time, they acknowledged that it was worth the conversation. Nothing happens in sales before you have a conversation. Right? For sure.
Billy Bateman 12:56
I love it, man. I love it half the time, have you? That’s a great essentially, if you were to think about the podcast as a lead, and that lead turning into a possible up if you’re getting a conversation with half your leads, like even if they don’t turn into a sales op or a customer like having that first conversation with happier leads. Anyone would take that?
Bernie Borges 13:20
Yeah, the only downside is that there are a lot of words for one lead. Yeah, well, not just that. That’s one downside. The other downside is that we’re not doing this in volume, right. yeah, you need leads and volume, whereas you’re not podcasting and volume. Even if I was podcasting daily, which I was not always podcasting weekly, and then we went to three times a month. That’s not a lot of volume. Yeah, yeah. It’s quality, though.
Billy Bateman 13:49
You got to have the balance like, you’re going to have your volume leads coming through the website, whatever your other offers are. And then getting some of those better ops tied up for your sales team, like they’re going to love you if you, you can team up with these really quality ones, even if it’s only a handful a month, you know?
Yep. Yep. Thanks. I love it. Exactly when you’re working with the team to identify who are our target accounts, who should we be going after? Like, what does that process look like? Are you working with the sales team, the marketing team? Was it just you in your own head? Like, I think these guys look great. How did you identify what guests you were going to go after?
Bernie Borges 14:31
Yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s better that it’s an important part of an account based podcasting strategy, Billy, so it’s a great question. Ideally, it should be a very collaborative effort with the sales team. Ideally, you should be in conversation around who the target accounts are, and then identify the individuals by name at those target accounts, who are the prospective guests for the podcast, and then put together the outreach strategy and we had an outreach strategy as a comment. have email and video where we might seem to record a short video and send the video message to them.
Yeah, and in that video, message included samples of previous podcasts because I mentioned that we sunsetted the podcast episode 300 for all the north of 150, I was able to show social proof like, hey, Billy, I want to have you on the podcast. And here’s why. Here’s the last 20 guests that we’ve had on the show that kind of thing, right working with the sales team to identify who they are, and then having an outreach communication plan to, to invite them, and the way that I chose to do it.
Again, you can’t do this in volume, because it doesn’t scale as I would do the outreach myself. Because this way, it was more authentic. Like I was saying, I want to have, I want to invite you to be on my podcast. Here’s a screenshot of the last 20 episodes, you’re in good company. And I’d like to talk to you about one of these potential topics, etc. And often they would accept, again, somewhere around, 50, even north of 50% would accept.
Billy Bateman 16:05
Awesome, man. Yeah, we see, we see similar results when we reach out to people and we’re like, hey, we want you on the podcast, about half of whom are like, Yeah, let’s do it. It may take some time, but, but we get it done. Yeah. Okay you guys reaching out social email, you ever could call anybody to get them on the podcast.
Bernie Borges 16:26
Now I have not done what I’ve done in collaboration with sales, just cold outreach to CMOS or VPS of marketing? And again, like anything else in prospecting, right some except and some don’t? Yes, it really comes down to when you reach them? Are they interested in it? Do they have a story they want to tell? Are they inclined to want to tell a story? Because I do let them know that it is an opportunity for them to get exposure for themselves and for their brand, the brand they represent. Right?
Reaching out to Guests
And, and again half to more than half would accept because it was a good opportunity. Because, again, we had an established podcast now. There’s a question in your head, I’m a mind reader, I’m going to pull it out of your head. And that is, what if you’re just getting started? And you can’t show the last 20 episodes? Cuz, you don’t have the Yeah, that was actually that really was my mind reader. Billy. I wouldn’t kid you.
Alright, so yeah, so start with people ideally, start with existing customers, showcase existing customers if you can. And, and by the way, this is a key point. It’s not about showcasing that customer and how they’re using your product or service, even though that can be part of the conversation, showcasing the customer on whatever it is that is meaningful to the customer. Yeah, give them a stage average meaningful to them.
Billy Bateman 18:02
Let me pause you for a second. I agree with you like what’s meaningful to the customer? Often, I think when you reach out, I’ve reached out and I’ve had customers on our podcast, and I don’t want them to talk about Chatfunnels. But they assume, oh, they want me to talk about Chatfunnels? What’s the best way to message that as you’re reaching out to say, Hey, what’s meaningful to you? If you don’t know, like, you may not know what they’re really passionate about yet?
Bernie Borges 18:31
Well, I mean, if they’re an existing customer, then hopefully, you can just have a conversation with them and just say, I’ve got, we’re launching a new podcast, and we’re looking to showcase our customers. And I want to know, is there a particular topic? First of all, your podcast needs to have a theme. Right? So, your theme is digital conversations? So, approach your customers and say, under this theme and in your case, digital conversations, is there a topic or story you’d like to share? That I like to showcase you on the podcast?
Get a Few Topics
And it’s usually very hot or cold? It’s usually like, now? I don’t think so. End of conversation, right? Or? Absolutely. And then you just get into the conversation. Um and the conversation I had more often than not, Billy was the person that I’m talking to would have two or three topics. And then we would talk through the two or three topics. And then I would, and this is important, as the host as the host, I would play the authority figure. So, let’s say they gave me three topics, I’d say topic one, note, topic two. I love topic three. Nope. Let’s go with topic two. I’m going to tell them why. Right. And it’s always worked out. It’s always worked out.
Billy Bateman 19:48
Great, man. Great, somebody is just getting going. Reach out to your friends, reach out to people, and have a relationship. Once you’ve been Through that, where do you suggest you start looking?
Bernie Borges 20:05
Well, again, back to the account page, list, right? Yep, go to that list. And then start identifying the people that you can go reach out to on that list and invite them onto your podcast. It’s really important though, that this plan, this strategy that I call an account-based podcasting really emphasizes the relationship building part. Because if you overlook that if you just do a podcast with someone, and it just kind of hits them up with a sales pitch, it’s likely to backfire. You’ve got to build a relationship with them.
And the only way to build a relationship with them is not just to have that to call approach, but to really demonstrate to them authentically, that you want them to have a great experience. You want to give them an opportunity to tell a story on a topic that is truly, truly meaningful to them. And if they see that authentically, like every opportunity that turned into a sales conversation happened, because they had a great experience. Yeah, if they didn’t have a good experience, then when I asked that question, they wouldn’t have responded the way they responded.
Billy Bateman 21:18
I agree, you got to be authentic and make it fun. Make it fun yep, as you’re talking that had, so you did 300 episodes of your podcast, did it? How did you come up with this? Was this from the beginning, like, hey, we’re going to be very deliberate. And we’re going to use this podcast, not just for kind of awareness, but we’re going to try to do lead gen with the speakers, or did you find that along the way?
Bernie Borges 21:43
Well, I’ll give you a little spoiler alert on something that I discussed in Episode 300. I still want you to listen to it, though. I will on episode 300, I revealed that the Modern Marketing engine podcast which we just ended is Episode 300. Although you never know it could be released one day down the road. But it ended Episode 304.
Starting a Strategy
Now was my second podcast, not my first podcast? Okay, the first podcast ran for 49 episodes. And Billy on that podcast, I had no strategy. I was there with a buddy kind of like you and I bantered about digital marketing topics. there was no shortage of stuff we could discuss. But it was just he and I just bantering back and forth on a particular topic that we chose ahead of time. Yep. And then we just kind of hope that something good would come from it. And you know what they say about hope, right? It’s not a strategy. Yeah. I knew that when I was thinking about the next podcast that I needed to have a strategy going into it.
And I’ll admit, I didn’t go into the strategy, thinking account-based podcasting. I’m using air quotes for those that are listening, right. But I did go into it thinking I want to build relationships with each guest. And I want to be strategic about the guests that I invite onto the podcast. consequently, I’d say no to a lot of people who are interested in coming on the podcast, because they weren’t necessarily the target that I had in mind, they might have been a great conversation and totally qualified for a great conversation, but not really qualified for the strategy.
Billy Bateman 23:14
Yeah, right. I get Yeah, no, man, I’ve learned a lot from you. This has been really good. Before we wrap up is there anything I should have asked you that I didn’t, that I dropped the ball on Bernie?
Bernie Borges 23:32
Um, I mean, I think we covered most of it, Billy. And I mean, let me just say that, and this, and that is that podcasting is a lot of work. Right? And it takes a team, right we record this and then best-case scenario, you’ve got somebody that you can deliver these digital assets to, to do the postproduction, right, a show notes page, which is basically a blog post to create social media images. It takes work and it takes a team. just anybody listening, be mindful of that.
Podcasts Take Work
That’s why and I don’t know what the latest numbers are, Billy, I don’t know if you do on how many podcasts what like the percentage of podcasts that fail or don’t get past episode 10 or something like that. I think he’s pretty high. It is pretty high. I know that. And the reason is, obviously, because a lot of podcasters start a podcast, and then they realize, wow, this is a lot of work.
I mean, I thought about quitting around Episode 10. I was like, Man, this is way more work than I thought it was going to be. But I’m glad we didn’t. And for anybody listening, that’s thinking about starting the podcast. Honestly, if we quit even after year one, I don’t think we’d really have started to see the ROI that we’re seeing now from it you got to be consistent and, and just keep doing it and get better every week.
Billy Bateman 25:00
Exactly, exactly. And there are side benefits, right? You occasionally get invited on to other people’s podcasts like this, right? So, you are getting exposure in the marketplace. you’re building your brand and just getting other opportunities. Now, you can’t bank on those because that falls into the hope category. Right? Yeah.
Each podcast needs to have a strategy. The most important thing is to have a strategy going into it, know that it’s work, have a team that’s going to help you with the postproduction. And then of course, you’ve got to market it right. You know, the old saying, market you’re marketing once your podcast is out there in the wild, you’ve got to promote it. and don’t just assume that the world’s going to be downloading it left and right, just because it’s available in the wild.
Bernie Borges 25:46
Yep, got promoted, got to promote. Awesome, Bernie, dude, thank you so much. I have learned a lot. I’m sure everyone else has as well. And people want to get in contact with you and continue the conversation. What’s the best way for them to reach out?
Yeah, Billy, thank you so much for having me. I’ve enjoyed this conversation. Easiest way to really connect with me is just my name, Bernie board just last name spelled Borges. So pretty much any social handle. I’m very active on LinkedIn and Twitter as the two most active so Bernie Borges on LinkedIn or Twitter. Follow me, connect with me and I’m happy to engage.
Billy Bateman 26:22
Awesome, Bernie, thank you so much, and best of luck with your new endeavor, and we’ll chat later. Thanks, Billy.