Josh Peacock: Welcome to the Gym Heroes Podcast. I’m your host, Josh Peacock. Today’s show is brought you by Gymdesk, the easiest gym management software you are every use. Take payments, create marketing automations, track attendance, and much more. To try the software out free, go to gymdesk.com. No credit card or painful sales call required.
Our hero today is James Patrick, a media specialist who’s worked both on the production and pitching sides of getting published magazines, radio, TV, podcasts, and more. In this episode, he uncovers the secrets to getting published and quadrupling your business leads in the process. Without further ado, James Patrick.
Alright, welcome to the Gym Heroes Podcast, James, welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you on. If you don’t mind, could you please go over or introduce yourself a little bit and then go over your background in media and business?
James Patrick: Sure, thanks, Josh. Thanks for having me on. So, I’ve been a photographer for little over 20 years. Most of that time in the health and fitness space and also within that time, I’ve been privileged enough to shoot more than 600 magazine covers. In that, what I’ve really done is start to learn and to leverage the power of earned media, earned media, be it getting published. Whether it’s magazines, podcasts, television, whatever platform, you are getting in front of how to cultivate earned media features and how to leverage earned media features to grow one’s brand or to grow one’s business. So, whether you’re a personal trainer or gym owner or a fitness influencer, how can you truly take advantage of the power of earned media to grow your brand, amplify your authority, and generate leads for your business.
Josh Peacock: Excellent. So, why would anyone want to be published in media versus running ads or focusing on SEO or other traditional forms of fitness marketing because those things seem easier to do. So, why should they put resources into earned media?
James Patrick: And really it comes down to easier can be a little bit of a misnomer. I would say the amount of hands-on work it takes. Yeah, perhaps but trying to navigate the advertising platform right now is tremendously difficult as someone who runs and by the way, I run lots of ads. There’s nothing against ads. So, when we think about and I’ll start with goals of earned media and then why earned media can actually be more beneficial than advertising. So, we think about goals of earned media. It comes down to three things. Number one is vanity which is fine like we can admit it like it’s cool to see ourselves on TV or in a magazine.
Josh Peacock: Absolutely.
James Patrick: The other two is authority amplification. So, to say that you’ve been profiled or featured or your business has been showcased within these outlets builds trust. It builds credibility. It raises your clout. Okay. And that’s really hindsight marketing. It’s like I’ve been featured in all these places. That goes on your website. Goes on your media kit. Goes in your email goes on your Instagram bio. So, a lot of individuals who are coming across your content or your profile or whatever it is you are putting out into the world. Having that media feature or having that showcase can just be that little push they needed to trust you or to want to do business with you realize that you know what it is you’re talking about. The third goal for earned media would be lead generation. So, someone sees the feature, they immediately jump into your ecosystem and then they want to purchase from you. So, knowing those three goals can determine where you’re putting your efforts and energy like which publications or podcasts or TV spots are going to generate the best results based off your goals.
Now, let’s look Apple’s, Apple’s earned media versus paid advertising. One earned media is free which is great, but paid advertising will get sometimes 25% of the engagement that an earned media spot will. So, we’ll take a magazine for example. Let’s say you get a full-page write up in a magazine, right next to an advertisement. That magazine article is going to get four times the engagement that that one full-page ad. So, you’d need to buy four full-page ads to equal a one-page article in a magazine. And the reason for that Josh is we as consumers are adept at tuning out advertisements. We’re hit with advertisements all day long and I mean, I’ve seen estimates up to 10,000 ads per day that we’re exposed to and we just don’t want to see them, but what we do wanna see is what we showed up for.
So, if I’m flipping through a magazine, I want to see why I’m flipping through that magazine. I want to see the content of the publication, not the ads, okay. Unless I work in advertising, in which case, right there. But it’s same thing with like social media, like because we run lots of ads on social media. We have to be very, very creative to, to create advertising collateral, that does not look like an ad. Because if it looks like an ad, it’s just so easy to move past, and that, right there is once again, the power that creative, or that earned media can have, is you’ve earned the platform. You’ve earned that media exposure.
Josh Peacock: So, that’s exposure you’re gaining is getting in front of people who are really kind of want to see that content. That’s why they’re following that media source versus advertising where it’s usually intrusive. And even if you’re doing something like Google Ads which is not like popping up out of nowhere. You know that those are going to pop up every time you search, you still eye gloss over them, right. Most people gloss over them. It’s hard to catch somebody’s eye when you’re doing that. So, you’re really getting yourself in front of, I guess you could call them almost a warm audience, people who want to see that kind of stuff.
James Patrick: I think so much of it is where you’re capturing people’s attention within their journey of wanting to hire someone. I mean, I’m a homeowner. I get ads all the time for landscaping, for window cleaning, for plumbing, whatever it is, right. But I don’t think about those things if I don’t need those things until I need that thing and then I’m scrambling to think, well, I need a plumber and I need them yesterday, who’s, oh someone just sent me this plier two days ago, right. So, there would be an example of interruption happened at the right moment. The idea of earned media is to build awareness and attention before someone might want to purchase from you, okay. And once they become aware of you, then, the earnest is on you to nurture that lead and I mean, that’s the power of social media and I’m sure you’ve talked about social media on your platform before. But that’s just because someone knows you exist, doesn’t mean they trust you, doesn’t mean they want to do business, with you. It just means they know about you.
So, it’s about earned media that builds the right awareness to the right audience looking the right people to see you. And then once they have entered into your ecosystem taking care of them, nurturing them and that’s through your social media, that’s through your email newsletter, that’s through your podcast. It’s the content you are putting out that supports your audience and their desires, their needs, solving their problems before they’ve ever asked for something. It’s that additional layer of value building that given to your clients.
Josh Peacock: Absolutely. So, we’ve established the value of earned media and it and it often works better than trying to run ads. So how do you go about getting published? What’s the nitty-gritty of gaining those media spots?
James Patrick: I think the first thing as I alluded to is to know what the goals were. So, for myself and my business if my goal and by the way it’s okay to have different goals at different times or to have multiple goals at the same time. For me, vanity is not a big push for me. It may have been at some point, so I have to look at the other two. Authority amplification versus lead generation and there are assets that I will pursue just for authority amplification like the other week we got a feature in Entrepreneur Magazine. That has been on our radar for 10 years and we are finally able to secure it. That right there to be able to use that asset in all of my future marketing to say I’ve been profiled in entrepreneur magazine became invaluable to us. So, that’s authority amplification, alright. So, we targeted that one intentionally.
For lead generation, well, the individuals I’m going to be targeting might be different than the individuals who read entrepreneur magazine. Entrepreneur magazine is great for authority but how many health and wellness professionals which is most my clientele are reading entrepreneur magazine. That percentage drops a bit, okay. Versus, let’s say if I get a feature in Oxygen Magazine. Well, now I’m right on the head or I just did a feature with a magazine called Personal Fitness Professionals Magazine. Well, the only people who get in read this publication are fitness professionals. 100% of that audience is the target avatar that I’m trying to get in front of, okay.
So, a feature there is directly lead generation. It’s not going to do much for my authority because no one really knows unless you’re a subscriber but you might not have heard of that publication because it’s a trade magazine. So, you’re selecting where you want to go based off your goals, right. So, if I’m a trainer and I’m trying to get, let’s just say I’m a trainer, I own a brick-and-mortar gym and I’m trying to Get lots of people in the doors of my gym. I’m going to look at local media. I mean, local media is phenomenal for lead generation, landing a feature on your morning news. Like we had a trainer here in Phoenix where we’re based out of. She landed a cover of a local magazine. She 2X her inbound leads in that single month. 2X it. Like right there, that many more people saw that feature like, oh, this individual’s in Phoenix. I’m looking for a trainer. I got to hire this person. I want people want to hire local.
So, right there is to set your goals. Once you’ve set your goals, then it’s really about Doing a little bit of research of the outlets that you feel are best in line with your goals. And when I say research this is not studying a magazine cover to cover although please do but really, it’s just about understanding a few basics. What is the media outlet run? Who is their audience and is there a connection between what you have to offer and what that outlet is trying to push out, okay? Can you see yourself fitting within their ecosystem within their editorial content? Do you have something to contribute to them? And that’s really the first thing is just to get a sense of what is this outlet and what do they do. Like I run a podcast much like yourself and I and I’m curious like do you ever get pictures that one get your podcast name wrong? Two, don’t know your name or three, have no idea what your podcast even generates as far as content.
Josh Peacock: Yeah, I’ve got some form generated. It looked like it was generated out of a tool. Basically.
James Patrick: Or copy and paste, right?
Josh Peacock: Right.
James Patrick: Like I got one the other day that’s like, ‘Hey Justin. We’d love to be on the Image Podcast.’ I’m like, ‘Oh nice. So, I have no idea who Justin is but that was the name at the last you sent this email to and just copy and paste it and forgot to change Justin to James.
Josh Peacock: Yeah.
James Patrick: Okay. Or people who think Beyond the Image which is my podcast is a show for photographers because I’m a photographer and I could love to come on your show to talk about photography.’ ‘Well, I don’t talk about photography on my show. It’s not what my show’s about and all you’d have to do is read the 2-sentence description of my show to know what it’s about.’ Or people pitching to be in a show that doesn’t even take yes. That would be an issue, right. So, just basic information What is this outlet? What do they feature and is there a fit? Okay?
Once you understand that, then it comes to the pitch where you are proposing yourself where you are introducing yourself to them. Two big misconceptions about earn media. Number one, you have to be a celebrity, you don’t. Alright, out of 600 covers maybe, I don’t know, 50 or celebrities like and that’s just covers. Like the thousands upon thousands of interior features, not a single one, I would say would be of a celebrity status. It’s individuals who had something to off to that publication, a story, an idea, a pitch that worked for that that publication and their readers or their listeners.
So, the pitch is, oh second misconception is you have to do something really big and then they’ll notice you and they’ll come to you. Chances are they’re not looking. And if they are, they might not find you anyway because they’re overwhelmed with so much stuff. We have so much work to do as producers. So, you have to go to them. Now the pitch is where a lot of people get hung up because there’s a lot tied to our ego with pitching and fear. Am I going to get rejected? What if they don’t like this pitch? It doesn’t need to be as complicated as one thinks, this is a pitch. This is who I am, this is what I do, this is what I want to do for you. That’s a pitch. That’s it. And by the way, that’s all you need. You don’t need, like I don’t need a page-long email telling me why you’re good for my podcast. Because I’m not, I just don’t have the time to read it.
If I’m working for a magazine, I don’t need an essay on why you are the best person to write or feature in this publication. I just need to know who you are, what you do, and why you’d be a good fit for this magazine and the answer to that question is what are you offering to the publication? So, the offer is your idea. Okay, so like if I were to pitch to be on your show it would be, I want to talk about the four things you need to get published. Okay, so I’m offering value to your show and if at that point I think that’s the most important thing and then you can look into who I am and what I do. Oh well, James is a photographer who works in the industry. Okay, that’s a fit. I will always look at idea before I look at who’s pitching the idea and what they do.
Josh Peacock: Right.
James Patrick: It’s like, is this idea worth it to my audience, alright? And magazine editors work the same way. Is this article idea this feature idea, would this be good for our audience? Would this add value to our audience? Yes or no? If it’s yes, okay. Well, who’s the person pitching it, okay? Yeah, they look like they know what they’re talking about let’s bring them in. This is who I am, this is what I do, this is what I want to do for your magazine or your podcast or your television station. So, all you have to have as someone pitching to outlets four to five ideas. That’s it, and ideas can be offering value, insights, solving problems, solutions. Could be about something within your backstory that would be important for others to learn from or to gain insights from. That’s it. It’s all you need. Just a couple ideas.
When you position one or two of those ideas, that’s what you’re trying to get in front of these media outlets. That’s the value that they’re looking for. And once you do that, then it becomes a practice of following up because most individuals, 90% will send one pitch and only one pitch. That’s it and they never up. They figured why didn’t hear back? I must not have what it takes. I’m going to move on.
Josh Peacock: Yeah.
James Patrick: And the truth is it can take upwards of 8 to 12 pitches before someone notices you and I’m talking national spots. But even local spots, like it can take a while. Like I mentioned like we’ve been targeting Entrepreneur Magazine, not obsessively but they they’ve been on our radar for about 10 years and we finally had the right pitch to get in front of them. I was pitching a TV show about a year ago. And after 4 months of pitching ideas, none of the ideas were landing, okay. They were close but they just weren’t landing and I developed a good relationship with the journalist and reporter and so they’re like, ‘This is okay but it’s not really what our audience sees.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, what about this idea? What about this idea?’
And after 4 months, I had an idea. They’re like, ‘Oh, that works. Okay, let’s have you on.’ That’s what it takes. I was pitching to a magazine couple years ago and every month, I would send them a new postcard of my work. Every postcard had a different photo of my work on it and I’d write this really nice handwritten note on the back saying, this is the type of work I want to do for your magazine. After 9 months 9 postcards, I’ve heard nothing. Zero response, and I’m feeling what we feel. I’m feeling like they don’t like me, my work’s not good enough, I don’t have what it takes, whatever.
I’m on social media and I happen to follow the photo editor of the magazine and they post on Instagram something about like working late on a deadline. It’s a photo of them sitting at their desk and there’s one thing on the wall behind them. It looked familiar, so I zoom in and sure as hell is one of my postcards. I went back looked and it was actually the first postcard I sent them back in January. We’re in late September now. So, they’ve had this postcard tacked on their wall. The only thing on that wall by the way for theoretically up to 9 months. Okay, and that was that light bulb. Okay.
Josh Peacock: Wow.
James Patrick: They just don’t need me yet. Remember those mailers we get. They still need me yet. Keep pitching. Keep pitching. It was a few months later they ended up hiring me. The fortune is going to be in the follow up. So effective follow ups matter and a good follow up is not just making sure you got this. One of the reasons that’s not a good follow up is because well, if I get that, I’m going to feel like, yes, I got it but now I feel like an asshole for not responding. So, follow up either adding more context to validate your idea or pitching a new idea and do it like every three to four weeks.
So, how you validate an idea is I’ll just use the example I gave to be on your show. I could follow up and say, by the way, did you know that Earned Media gets four times the engagement that paid advertising does. That’s why this is so important for personal training and fitness professionals. That’s a follow up. Or follow up is, hey, by the way, I just did this other interview on this topic that went really well. I just want to let you know about it because I think this would be great for your show as well. That’s a follow up. Or you could even point out something that happened in a media outlet that had nothing to do with you but it just validates your idea. Like, oh my gosh, look at this, look at all the, media that came out after this one cover landed and what happened in this person’s business. Well, this is what I want to talk about on your show, right? So, you’re validating the idea. You’re giving more context.
If that doesn’t work then you just say, ‘Hey, by the way if this idea doesn’t work or it’s not the right time. No worries, here’s another idea. I want to put in front of you and this is why you come up with a couple different ideas,’ Okay, and you can attach ideas seasonally. You can attach them to new trends. You can modify ideas based off what is happening in the world today and every three to four weeks you’re just following up, until they say you know what, you can stop. Like it’s okay. Like chance are you not bothering them, because they get these pitches all the time. It’s about earning their attention so that you can start a conversation. So, it’s not about one pitch being the perfect pitch. It’s about getting the pitch to try to get the attention so you can have a conversation.
It’s not a question of if it will happen. It’s a question of when. I’ve never had a client not earn media. It’s just a question of when they get it and when you get it, you over deliver. You deliver so well. So, like that TV show I mentioned that finally had me on after four months of pitching. I really put a lot of energy into that segment and that production and it went so well and we were promoting it on our channels and trying to drive a lot of traffic. It went so well. They’ve had me back on four times since.
Josh Peacock: Wow.
James Patrick: That’s repetition okay because much like it might take an editor to notice your pitching. Hey, wouldn’t behoove you to be in front of that audience more, right. So, being featured in the media multiple times matters and that’s why we have to do that fourth thing which is stay in touch. Because once you earn the trust of someone in the media whether it’s a podcast host or journalist or magazine editor, you’ve earned the trust, and you do good work. They’re going to want to work with you again and it behooves you to keep that relationship and to find out what they need next. Because guess what? You’re in the front of the line. They don’t have to think of, oh I need a writer for this thing. No. I know a writer. I got that.
Josh Peacock: That’s really excellent information. You always hear like; hey you need to stick with it. Stick with it and something will eventually shake loose. But there’s not a lot of advice on how to stick with it because there’s good ways to follow up and bad ways to follow up and then understanding how things work with your anecdote about the little postcard that was set up on the wall. You realize that they were putting you on the back burner because they realized that you were going to be useful later. And you just didn’t know because they didn’t have enough time to let you know that basic. So, knowing how things work behind the scene also, I think on a psychological level will embolden somebody like me and many of the listeners to actually not be discouraged and to continue to follow up and to continue to generate those ideas and not be so, I guess timid or defeat us about how they go about trying to earn media.
So that is really excellent advice and I’m glad that you added that anecdote because that really pulls back the veil a little bit. Excuse me, it pulls back the veil a little bit and makes me realize that this is actually how this works and it’s not a bad thing if I’m not hearing anything yet.
James Patrick: I mean, worst case scenario, let’s say you do hear no, I mean, play that through. Okay. And that’s it. Okay. I would say like and this is not touting expertise or ability but I can remember the times I’ve been told no. I don’t know. I probably count them on one hand and that’s not to say that my work is exceptional or that I do something that others don’t. It’s just that it’s so rare it happens. It’s so rare that someone says no. They might say not the right fit right now and then you can start a conversation. Well, what is that right fit? What does that look like? And let me figure out, because if you are constantly putting yourself in the posture of my job is to help you the outlet. I want to help you get more podcast downloads. I want to help that magazine sell more issues. I want to help that digital publication get more clicks.
If that is your position and that is clear in your messaging and your communication, they’re not seeing you as hey feature me, feature me, feature me. they’re seeing is this person wants to help. They are an asset. They are committed a partnership. This is this could be a great long-term relationship. I need to work with this person. It behooves me as the media outlet to work with this person and that’s what we’re looking for because it does become mutually beneficial. As that media outlet showcases great content, the readers are happy or the listeners are happy or the downloaders are happy and it benefits you as the person being featured because you’re getting the authority and you’re getting those inbound leads generated into your business.
Josh Peacock: Absolutely. So, I’m curious about this. I like to write but a lot of people, especially business owners do not like to write. Do you need to be a good writer to get published?
James Patrick: No, not necessarily. I mean, I I’m a writer. I like writing. That was my background before I got into photography. So, it’s one of the toolsets I’ll use when I’m pitching to outlets is that in fact, when I first was getting my photo business up and running, I was nervous that, I’ll be honest because we all have imposter syndrome at some point. That my work as a photographer would not have had enough value on its own. So, I actually pitch myself both as a photographer and a journalist. Alright, so that was just me. But if this isn’t your skill set and you don’t want to be a writer don’t be a writer. Don’t pitch yourself as a writer. That’s okay. You could pitch yourself like number one as a podcast guest. You can be interviewed. That’s fine. You can do TV. And you could pitch yourself as a guest expert. Okay. I can be interviewed about these things.
Now you’re still offering value. You’re still trying to showcase what you can do for a media outlet but you’re not requiring that you pursue a skill set that either you don’t have or that you’re just not interested in. Which is okay. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Josh Peacock: Yeah absolutely. So, let’s say that you’ve got something published. I imagine that there’s a temptation there’s the release vow. There’s the celebration. There’s a temptation to let up on the strategy. What are some tactics or strategies that you can use to maximize the momentum that you generate after you’ve scored a publication?
James Patrick: So, I think really, it’s a two-prong approach. I think recognizing the shelf life of a feature. So, let’s say a print magazine feature about a 30-day shelf life. So that is a very important time to capitalize on lead generation opportunities. So, trying to get as many people to see this feature as possible both within your audience but leveraging the power of your audience to reach additional individuals. So, let’s if I have a magazine feature come out, I might encourage my audience and I might do a little contest or something to, hey, by the way go to the news stand, take a photo holding up that magazine cover, and I’m going to award someone a shoot or a you know whatever it is, right. Now my audience is going out, buying this magazine which is driving up sales of this magazine, which is good. And then taking photos holding it saying, ‘I know James Patrick shot this. I’m entering for this giveaway by James Patrick.’ So, now their audience is saying, ‘Well, who’s James Patrick that shot this cover and what is he giving away?’ which is going to sell more magazines, which is going to get more people involved.
You’re basically adding fuel to something that is already working and this is great for the publication. Because once again any media outlet looks at numbers. They’re going to look at downloads and issues sold and clicks that they got on a feature. So, if those numbers are going up, that is proof that they want to work with you more, okay. So, once again we’re leveraging features, a friend of mine calls it says PR your PR, alright. So, that’s the window. A podcast shorter because, how often do you put out your podcast?
Josh Peacock: Roughly every 2 weeks.
James Patrick: Every 2 weeks. So, 10 to 14 days. Is the shelf life of a show for you. And after that like when you put out a new show my name is not going to be what’s shown on the Apple Podcast app or on Spotify. It’s the new show, right. Unless I go back and listen to the archives, which people do. But it’s not going to be the most recent show. And that’s going to get I mean your most recent shows probably if your shows like mine account for 90 to 95% of downloads is the most recent episode. So, capitalizing on that window of release is critically important.
Now, once the media outlet passes the shelf life, it does not expire for you and the reason it does not expire for you is number one, you can always reference back to it and you should be. Your audience is always changing, shifting, evolving, and growing and because we are always be held to an algorithm, just because you land a feature and you talk about the feature, you promote the feature, doesn’t mean that more than 15% of your audience ever saw that you got the feature, right. So, referencing back to it or reminding people, oh yeah, this happened at one point. Or as your audience is growing, there are going to be people who see it for the first time as you’re bringing it back into people’s awareness.
So, I referenced previous media features I’ve had. Hey, by the way, here was this cover I got a year ago and this was what was really special about this cover. Or here is this media feature we had and it was just been so amazing to reflect back on all the things I’ve changed since this feature dropped, okay. So, were using it as leverage. And once again, I would start collecting social logos, so the logos of every media feature you land whether it’s ABC, NBC, CBS, Entrepreneur, Forbes, whatever it is. And you’re placing those logos on your sales pages, right below the fold on, on your websites, in your media kits, because you can leverage media to get more media, by the way. So, I have this podcast with you, I might say, oh, by the way, I did this really great interview with Josh and I take this to, I don’t know, another show, and I’m just like, hey, by the way this is what I want to talk about on your show you have to hear this amazing interview I did with Josh, right.
So, we’re leveraging media to earn more media and we just keep building and building and building. And the more we do it and the more we commit the time to do it, the more we start to see a regular influx of leads versus trickles. Now it becomes a stream and that’s what I think ultimately is the goal that some of us have with earned media.
Josh Peacock: Absolutely. So, are there, I’m interested to know specifically how you can use your own owned media channels maintain that momentum for the duration of that shelf life or maybe even extend the momentum.
James Patrick: So, what do you say own media channels? You mean like social media, email list, things, things of that nature?
Josh Peacock: Email list, I guess you could blog, social media if they don’t really own it but your Email list, your own website, publication blog, or however you decide to style your articles on your website Those types of media.
James Patrick: Absolutely. So, this goes back to consumer journey, alright. And I like to look at consumer journey. I like to put in three columns. Column A is awareness, alright. And most of our is to build awareness, to get people to know we exist. Column B is reinforcing value. This is they’re aware of us. Now let’s get them to like us and trust us. Okay, and the way we reinforce value is through our content marketing. Is through offering information, inspiration, entertainment to our audience that satisfies the reason why they sought us out in the first place. So, for myself it’s lots of information and education about earned media about leveraging features about how to get published about how to send that pitch, about what pitches stand out, what pitches don’t stand out, about what topics. Go to the top of an editor’s inbox versus what goes to the bottom of the trash bin, right.
And if I’m leveraging my platform to share that information, which by the way, the way to think of the content to put out is just look at all the questions you get from your audience. That right there, that’s your content marketing plan or the topics that you’re going to be covering and then just cover those exact topics and cover them in a myriad of different ways. Some I think that how to get published is a myopic topic, but I’ve been able to extrapolate hundreds of sub topics from that. I could do a topic just on local media. I could do a topic on speaking on stages. I could do a topic on pitching to podcast. I could do a topic on how to leverage your own podcast to pitch to podcasts. All of it is just pulling from what people are asking you.
So, really what is the goal of the second pillar of the second phase, it’s to deliver amazing content that solves your audience’s needs or gives them a clear benefit before they’ve ever chosen to engage with you. And when you do that and when it’s consistent and when you do that and when it’s predictable and when you do that and it has immense value, people want to pay attention. They want to see what is coming up next. I have a client who, the system was so simple. It was so simple. It was almost silly that it wasn’t going to work like it just worked. Her whole thing is helping people make better decisions when purchasing foods.
Now that is a hefty topic that could be approached in a lot of ways that could just get the messaging lost if it was too confusing. So, what she did instead was she would go to a grocery store and say don’t buy this buy this. That was it. If you buy this it has 500 calories, if you buy this as 240. That’s it. And she made dozen. She’s probably up to over a hundred of these videos. And start releasing them. One a day. And they start to get such traction. That people would look at her account and realize this account is binge worthy. And that’s a cool thing. We think about Netflix as being binge worthy. A show comes out. Oh, I got to watch the whole show. But what if our accounts were like that where it’s like this thing is so good. Now I have to binge it.
Like I found this vegan chef out of New York. My son has a very severe dairy allergy so I’ve gotten really into vegan cooking. Well, I found this vegan chef out of New York and his content was so simple. It’s like, ‘I’m just going to make this amazing thing. Here’s 45 to 60second video of me making this amazing thing. The recipe’s in the description. Enjoy.’ That was it. But it was done so well. So simple. But well immediately start binging his content. So, who do you think bought his cookbook when he dropped a cookbook? Right. This is how we nurture. We nurture. We nurture by delivering great content. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Simple. That solves a client’s problem or delivers a clear benefit and that’s when you can hit that third pillar of those three which is conversion opportunities.
When you can invite that audience who’s been nurtured enough to enter into that next phase. Not everyone will and that’s okay. Some just need to stay in that cooker a little longer before they’re ready to move over and that’s why you have conversion events at different intervals so that some people are going to be ready now, some people, they’re going to be ready in 6 months and that’s okay. But once we that system set up, we can easily see how people move from becoming a prospect to becoming a lead to becoming a client.
Josh Peacock: Excellent. So, it’s funny you say that because when you say that your newest podcast usually accounts for most of your views that have happened recently and that’s true. But with episodes that are particularly good or they hit something that the audience is looking for. There’s always a cascade effect with the older episodes. Even episodes that I thought would just people would just stop listening to. You’ll see oh there’s 5 of this one and there’s 2 more listens of this one and there’s 10 more listens of this one. So, people even though you think something’s gone or it’s there but you think it’s nobody it’s dormant and people aren’t going to listen to anymore. No, if they like what they just heard from you the most recent thing, they’re going to go back and say, well, what else can I find from this person.
James Patrick: You bring up such an important point because often times when we think about, I’ll just use the phrase getting published. We think a Print magazine. A print magazine has a very tactile lifespan. Meaning, it’s on a news stand, it’s off a news stand. And the potential of getting long-tail traffic which is what you’re describing off a print feature after it’s out of circulation is really small because unless someone sees at a doctor’s office, and they’re like, oh, I never saw this magazine before. It’s just because it’s non circulation. Digital features, however, do not expire in the idea of the online ecosystem for the online landscape so that always exist. It is indexed. It always links back to you and that is so valuable for lead generation. Doesn’t do a lot for vanity, which is okay. But for lead generation, digital features are critically important. And when it comes down to if I have to make a decision of whether I want a print feature or digital feature, I want a digital feature. Absolutely. I want to that links back to me. I want to feature where if someone is listening to a podcast are great because the device, we listen to is the same device we need to take action on. All you need to do is click a name and now I’m in that person’s funnel or that person’s ecosystem or down that person’s lead magnet. Okay.
So, that right there has such inherent power to it and you’re right because it does not expire. You are going to get those long-tailed content. Like I think the number one blog article I have on my website was one I did back in like 2011.
Josh Peacock: Wow.
James Patrick: And it was like just because it had the right headline and for whatever reason that headline hit in the Google search algorithms. And thus, it comes up a lot when people are searching for topics. I remember my first eBook I ever wrote. I signed up a bunch of affiliates and I had one affiliate write a blog article about my eBook and even after I took down the website for my eBook. This person’s blog article still driving sales, because I had a cart set up still. So was still driving sales into a book where I didn’t even have a website anymore. Years after I’ve taken it down. That right there indicates the power of long-tail content. So digital features are tremendously valuable and should not be overlooked at all.
Josh Peacock: Yeah, absolutely. Something that I’m curious about because you worked in in publishing behind the scenes and you work as a pitcher now. I always see like these sorts of features of the if somebody is in a recognizable publication. They’ll say as seen on or trusted by. I imagine you need to get permission for that but how do you go about asking for Permission for that. What are the terms of those types of agreements?
James Patrick: So, I as featured in there’s no permission needed. If you’ve been featured somewhere, you’ve been featured somewhere you’re just telling the truth. As trusted by, I’ve not seen that. That one I imagined want to ask the editor of the podcast I was like can I use this phrasing to connect my brand to your brand. But the fact that a publication featured you, in an editorial sense, meaning, you just remind me of something I want to circle back to. But as long as the publication featured you, in an editorial sense, they featured you, you’re not, you’re misleading, you’re not lying to people by saying, I’ve been featured here. But that actually brings up something interesting, which is, what I’ve seen some do, it’s some being companies. I find this to be, borderline nefarious is, they will purchase ad spots in a media outlet. Let’s say I bought an ad in muscle and fitness and then I put on my product page as seen in muscle and fitness.
Josh Peacock: Oh.
James Patrick: Am I lying? No. Am I telling the truth? Also no.
Josh Peacock: Yeah.
James Patrick: I purchased an ad spot that was a media placement that I did. Not the same, not all together untrue but it is a little bit misleading. And as a lot of magazines in particular have dealt with a lot of strains in the economy and strains in publishing and you see a lot of national titles either condensing shrinking becoming more niche or disappearing altogether. A lot of publications are trying to figure out new ways of revenue and selling editorial features or sponsored placements has become part of it. It’s definitely made things a little unclear in regards to what genuine editorial versus what is not. But to circle back to your question really if someone is running a genuine editorial on you absolutely shout that from the rooftops that you’ve been featured in a place. You earned that feature with what you put together.
Josh Peacock: Awesome. How does that fit in with the logo? Because I’m unsure if you can just use the logo because that’s one of the best ways in terms of design on the website to immediately build your credibility to somebody who’s reading that page. Do you need to ask permission if you’ve been on that publication to use the logo or?
James Patrick: 99.999% of the time no one’s going to care.
Josh Peacock: Okay.
James Patrick: I think I’ve had and this is so irrelevant but I’ll just say like for full transparency, I’ve had a cease and desist on a logo one time in 20 years.
Josh Peacock: Okay.
James Patrick: And it wasn’t even a media feature. I like as a joke; we made some fake James Bond movie posters and we dropped the double 07 logo in them just. So, we got a cease-and-desist letter from the Lawyers of United Artists right away. I don’t even know how they found it to be completely honest.
Josh Peacock: Yeah.
James Patrick: But I’ve never, that issue has never come up. I get asked that question every now and then and I could tell you as a publisher, I am just as happy to send out my logo to individuals. I’m just as happy to like if someone lands a feature on my podcast, I want them promoting it. Because I want to drive, if someone gets a feature in one of the magazines I own, absolutely, promote the hell out of it. Here’s a logo. Here’s your tear sheets and the logo, like, use all of this, because I need people to know about my validity as a publisher. I think the only time you’re going to run into an issue with that is if you were actually featured or they didn’t want to associate their brand with what you’re doing. And if they gave you an editorial feature, it’s hard to imagine that’s the case.
Josh Peacock: That’s a good point. I didn’t think about it that way. You are basically offering free promotion and if you’re building an audience and people like what you’re what you’re putting out. There’s going to be sort of a halo effect on all the publications that that you mentioned there. So, there’s like a virtuous cycle of credibility and also of cross marketing that’s going on. So that’s a great way to think about it.
James Patrick: And if you’re really worried about, just ask the editor. Like whoever you’re working with the journalist, the editor, the reporter like, hey, can I do this? Like if it’s a concern of yours ask and they said you’re not going to hear no.
Josh Peacock: Okay, excellent. So, final question, how do you become a publication that somebody would want to target to get published in?
James Patrick: Wow, that’s a really good question and something I’m trying to navigate myself right now. think what I’ve seen working in publishing for now 20 years is the days of generic and attempted ubiquitous media are done. The idea of a bloated magazine that covers a little bit of everything, does not offer value to an audience.
Josh Peacock: Right.
James Patrick: There’s no reason that I’m going to pay $8 a month plus shipping and handling to have this thing delivered to me that I flipped through once that gathers dust on my coffee table until I throw it out or really, I just used to swat flies in my house. Like it is offensive when I look at some of the things magazines have done to cut corners in regards to how they are respecting their readers and they’re now paying the price for it. Like I have this example. I give a presentation on magazine covers, but I have this example of two different men’s health covers. 9 years apart that have identical headlines.
Josh Peacock: Wow.
James Patrick: The only difference was the photo. They literally just took a design from nine years ago and popped in a new photo. Which means that the content of the magazine was identical to the content they put out 9 years ago. They’re doing that so they don’t have to pay new writers and they don’t have to pay the editors. They don’t have to pay like when you start cutting corn like then take advantage of your audience. Your audience is going to start unsubscribing. If I don’t put time and energy into my podcast, why would people listen to it? I don’t own my listeners. You don’t own your listeners. We have to earn the right for them to listen to the next episode by putting out a really good episode. So, I think it’s knowing your audience and giving them specifically what they need.0
I work with a company right now that I’ve seen purchase a lot of different magazine assets. And any magazine that is unspecific or does not have a niche audience they’re shelving. Because it’s not going to move, it’s not going to sell and it’s harder to sell ads too. Because like well you can buy this ad in this magazine that targets everyone?
Josh Peacock: Right.
James Patrick: But if I have a magazine exclusively about rock climbing, well we know who the audience is. We know what they want, and it’s going to be very easy to find the companies to sell ads to support this publication. And it’s going to be very easy to drill down on the demographics and the psychographics of the audience who’s going to read this magazine. The more hyper specific you can get within the content you’re putting out within it is no different from what makes our social media successful. When we get into the specifics of what our audience, our audience, not someone else’s but our specific audience needs and deliver them exactly that content, that’s when our channels do better.
The same goes for publishing. When we get very myopic on what our audience cares about. People are going to want to support that. They’re going to want to have a copy of that whether it’s listening to a podcast or getting a print magazine because that media outlet supports their worldview and that’s really what we’re doing as publishers.
Josh Peacock: Excellent. Awesome. So where can people find you? What do you want to plug?
James Patrick: So, I will let them know that I have a conference coming up. It’s October 13th through 16th. You can do it virtual or in person. The conference is called Fitposium and here’s the pitch on the conference. You’re going to learn everything you need to how to get published A to Z. But what’s more important is not just what we teach you but we’re going to give you direct opportunities for media features including your podcast which I’m so excited. Thank you so much for being one of our partners. We’ve partnered with over two dozen magazines, over a dozen podcast and over a dozen digital media features. All of them are going to give at least one attendee from the conference feature within their magazine on their podcast, on their TV show, on their website. The amount of earned media potential just from attending even virtually is astronomical. Last year, a 124 media features were booked at our conference Fitposium, a 124. I want to beat that this year. I think we will beat it this year because we have so many amazing media partners.
Josh Peacock: Yeah.
James Patrick: So, you can sign up at Fitposium.com, virtual or in person. If you go in person, it’s a workshop. It’s not like a conference you’ve been to. We just sit and listen to speakers. The in-person attendees, it’s a workshop. We do your photo shoots. We build your media kits. We put you through media training. We build your, we help you write out your bios. We come up with your talking points so there’s topics that you’re pitching so that you walk out of the conference with all your assets done. You have your photos, you have your media kit, you have your pitch page, you have your topic, everything’s done. That’s the benefit. So, all the details are at “Fitposium.com”. But I’ll give an incentive to your listeners. If you use the code GYM20, GYM20 all upper case, you’ll get 20% off any pass.
Josh Peacock: Awesome. Well, thank you for coming on. This has been a really, really excellent episode. I’ve learned a lot even as a content marketer myself. This is something I’ve wanted to know more about and it’s definitely something that Jim Heroes and Gym Desk wants to be doing more of is reaching out to other publications and getting ourselves featured. So, thank you for coming on. I think my listeners are going to be really, really delighted with this episode and I hope we can actually do this again sometime.
James Patrick: I would absolutely love that, Josh. I really appreciate you having me on. Thank you so much.