In this episode, Kirsten and Jeanne are joined by Ben Albert, owner of Balbert Marketing LLC and curator of the Real Business Connections Network, where he hosts five podcasts. Ben shares insights into his journey into podcasting and how it has evolved over the years.

Main Talking Points:

The Journey into Podcasting:

  • Ben shares his journey from being an accidental entrepreneur to diving into podcasting out of a passion for local music. Despite not having a clear revenue plan initially, he started a local music podcast in 2016, which eventually led him to the world of marketing and entrepreneurship.

Evolution of Podcasting and Business:

  • Ben discusses the evolution of his podcasting journey, starting from a local music podcast to transitioning into a business-focused podcast. Through networking and collaboration with local leaders, he learned valuable business skills while building relationships and creating content.

Finding Niche and Specialization:

  • Reflecting on his business journey, Ben emphasizes the importance of finding a niche and specialization. He shares how he transitioned from being a marketing generalist to focusing on podcast marketing and LinkedIn personal branding, which aligned better with his strengths and client base.

Starting a Podcast vs. Guesting on Podcasts:

  • Ben provides insights into whether individuals should start their own podcast or focus on guesting on existing podcasts. He highlights the importance of understanding one’s current situation and goals, whether it involves building thought leadership, expanding networks, or reaching a broader audience.

Continuous Improvement and Learning:

  • Both hosts and guests benefit from podcasting by continually improving their communication skills, learning from each other, and gaining insights into various topics. Ben emphasizes the value of mindful reflection and seeking opportunities for growth in every interaction.

Authenticity and Connection:

  • A key takeaway from the conversation is the importance of authenticity and genuine connection in podcasting. Whether hosting or guesting, fostering meaningful conversations and avoiding sales pitches creates a more engaging and valuable experience for listeners.

Subscribe to our channel for more insights on entrepreneurship, podcasting, marketing, and leadership success. If you found this episode valuable, don’t forget to hit the Like button and share it with others who could benefit from Ben’s wisdom and expertise.

Helpful Links:

Ben Albert Website

Ben Albert Booking Link

The Marketing VA Advantage 

Six Figure Business Coaching 

Mastering Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Double Your Income with a Marketing VA, even on a tight budget

Transcript
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Welcome to the six figure business mastery podcast, where every week

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Kirsten and Jeannie dive into the essential topics to fuel your business

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growth, from copywriting to course creation, mindset to video marketing.

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They've got you covered tune in for expert guest interviews on all things,

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marketing and business, and learn how to work on your business, not just in it.

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So get ready to unlock your business potential and take it to the next level.

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Welcome everyone to our podcast episode today.

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We are thrilled to have one of our favorite people.

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His name is Ben Albert.

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Ben is the owner of Balbert Marketing LLC.

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He's also the curator of the Real Business Connections Network

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where he hosts five podcasts.

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So we are excited to have you visiting us today.

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So welcome Ben.

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I'm excited to visit.

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Love both of you.

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Love your audience and let's bring some value today.

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This is going to be fun.

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Absolutely.

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I had the privilege and pleasure of getting to hear Ben speak at

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Traffic and Conversion in Vegas.

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And he was absolutely my favorite speaker, but I'm not just saying that either.

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So we're really excited to have you share some of your knowledge about podcasts.

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I think it's crazy insane that you host five of your own podcasts,

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but I would love for To hear about your journey into podcasting.

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Yeah.

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So I'll give you the short version because to me, it's amazing how all these little

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things happen in our life and they lead us to gaining new skills and new experiences.

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And then you end up doing something you never imagined you do for a career.

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Like I didn't think I'd be an entrepreneur.

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I was an accidental entrepreneur.

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I didn't have any.

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Jeff Bezos or Brene Brown or Oprah or Elon Musk on my wall when I was a kid.

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I just wanted to be a basketball player.

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And then I wanted to be a musician.

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And I was so obsessed with music that realistically, there is no entertainment

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industry without ticket sales.

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There needs to be people spending money at the bar and buying the

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tickets, but I was going to music like two, three, four times a week.

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And I was a consumer, but I wasn't producing.

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And I was like, I want to be a part of it.

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So I started a podcast because I was listening to a podcast and on

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the podcast, it said to do something you love and you're not going to

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work a day in your life and do something you're passionate about.

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And I didn't have an income plan or a revenue plan.

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I just thought I love listening to podcasts.

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I love my local music scene.

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Yeah.

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I started a local music podcast in 2016.

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So quite a bit ago by now.

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So I was earlier to the game and a lot happened in between became a marketer

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word, corporate sales executive, the whole shabam COVID hit, and I got

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let go from my sales executive role.

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I thought I was going to just float off into the sunset

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and then I didn't have a job.

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The music industry was not essential.

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A total mess of a situation.

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And realistically, music then was a night owl who drank a little

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bit too much and didn't have a job and didn't know what to do next.

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So I transitioned from drop the music podcast, started a business podcast.

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I started a Rochester, New York music podcast.

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I'm like, let's do Rochester, New York again, because I'm a

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minnow in an ocean of sameness.

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There's a lot of podcasters.

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There's a lot of professionals.

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There's a lot of entrepreneurs.

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There's a lot of marketers.

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Let's do Rochester, New York, business connection started

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collaborating with local leaders, and it was a Swiss army knife.

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Like I got to learn from a brilliant person.

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Objectively, I was starting a marketing firm.

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So they, in theory were a prospect of mine, but a lot of them didn't become

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clients, but they knew people that would.

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So I was building relationships, networking, gaining knowledge, and

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creating content while doing it all while Ben didn't know how to run a business.

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But I was learning how to run a business by having these conversations and

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really taking the marathon approach of just learning every single day,

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1 percent better every single day.

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And now we get to pinch ourselves cause it's 2024.

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And I've been like doing this full time over three years, but I never

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imagined I'd be here and I'm blessed to be with you guys to share that story.

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One of the things that I love that you and I talked about once

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before, Ben, which is, it's so true.

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When you talked about learning, we get to invite people onto our podcast

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that we get to learn from, right?

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Somebody you just want to connect with or get to know better.

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And I think hosting a podcast really allows you to do that.

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So congrats on three years in business.

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That's awesome.

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Yeah.

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Thank you.

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Tell us a little bit about the evolution of that and then

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the evolution of your podcast.

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And then how did you end up with two, three, four, and then five podcasts?

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Yes, I'll answer the last question for us, because it's way less

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complicated than it sounds.

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And if anything, it's good marketing and good framing.

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So real business connections.

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It started as Rochester, New York, Rochester, business connections

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rebranded for a global audience and real business connections.

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We're tackling personal growth and business growth, and there's a lot that

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goes in between sales, marketing mindset.

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Personal development, and then all the segments are basically it's

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all the same podcast, but they're just slightly different format.

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So panel discussion, local leaders in Rochester, international leaders,

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long form, short form, 15 minute, 15 minute Friday, like discussions.

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Ben's bites is just me talking about whatever I want.

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So.

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It's all the same focus.

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It's all the same audience, but we diversify the approach so people can

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listen based on their learning style.

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Maybe they want easy to implement business tips.

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Maybe they want a panel discussion with experts.

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So it's less complicated than it sounds.

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That's what we're doing.

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And I forget the other questions.

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You've been in business for three years.

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So how, how has your business evolved?

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Oh my God.

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It's lots of.

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Pinch yourself moments, because I came from a firm where I was very much a

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generalist because I was in a sales role.

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So I knew a lot about a lot of products, but it wasn't the best

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at any individual thing per se.

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So, search engine optimization, social media, web design, content,

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marketing, copywriting, blogging.

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It's like, I knew a little bit about a lot of things and I was

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pretty good at all those things.

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So, when I started my own firm, I basically, you know, Broken

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on compete, never got sued.

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Hey, we're good to go, but started offering similar services that I did at

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the previous firm and it ended up really serving me long term and we'll get to why.

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But most of my clients were coming through networking on LinkedIn and the

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podcast and then the content that came from it that I would post on LinkedIn.

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So many people gave me a great idea, which took me forever to

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roll out of bed and figure it out.

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Why am I a marketing generalist?

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Working with an esthetician, a real estate agent, a funeral home, which I can serve

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all of them when all my clients were coming through podcasting and LinkedIn.

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So I've transitioned to where we're basically a podcast concierge for

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thought leaders, and then we build out LinkedIn personal brands.

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But the reason I tell you the long version of that story is I didn't

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understand that from day 1, I just took the breadcrumb of doing what I knew best.

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Then I found a niche in this category, and now I get to do that for a living,

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which is super fun and super rewarding.

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And we'll see where it goes from there.

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It might change.

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I think a lot of people do that.

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They don't know what they want to do when they first start.

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They just go in a direction.

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And once you find, oh, I like that part of it.

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And when you do get that clarity, like things fall into

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place, which is fantastic.

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And isn't it funny, you said people started telling you or asking you

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why you didn't specialize in it.

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It's funny how other people see things we don't always see, like we're blind to

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the obvious sometimes as business owners.

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So I think it's cool that they were asking you about why don't you just

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specialize in this because you're so, you know, involved in it.

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You're so amazing at it.

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Real quick, they were right, but the thing is, I'm a huge fan of the generalist

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approach and taking time with the process because the 1 thing I missed that I

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want to add in is now that I'm like a podcast marketer, but I understand

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holistically how marketing works.

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I can do my job 10x better than if I just.

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Rolled out of bed and said, I'm going to market podcast, but I didn't know

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anything about video production, copywriting, any of that stuff.

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I wouldn't know where to start.

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I was a music guy, so I know audio editing.

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So a lot of people want to specialize too quickly.

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And they actually aren't good enough at that specialty.

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So by starting.

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Wider, you can gain a more holistic understanding and then

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oftentimes your specialty calls you.

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So that's happened to me and I just wanted to add that in that it's

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nuance because a lot of people are like specialized, specialized niche.

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I say good at a lot of things and then niche down once you

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already have a foundation.

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Yeah, I could totally see that.

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So, Ben, if someone were to ask you, should I start a podcast or should

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I maybe start guesting on podcast?

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What are your thoughts around both of those?

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It depends.

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Okay.

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It's like the most like, uh, doctoral answer you can give, but let me pull

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this out because I think it's fun.

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I have a key chain that says there is no key right on my key chain.

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And the concept is there is no key to success.

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There is no 1 right way for everyone.

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There's no key to revenue and resilience.

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It's a combination lock and each individual has their own

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unique combination, similar to how they take our fingerprint.

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When we get in trouble, we all have a unique fingerprint.

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We all have a unique DNA code.

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We are unique.

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That's why I opened with DNA code.

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It depends whether you start a podcast or guest on podcast is incredibly

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dependent on your current situation.

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For example, if you have not built any thought leadership.

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Whatsoever at all, and no 1 knows who you are, you could probably get on podcast,

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but you won't have a ton of clarity.

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On your vision just yet, and you won't know what to talk

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about on those interviews.

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But I didn't know what to talk about.

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I didn't know who I was.

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I didn't know what I was doing.

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I started a podcast to serve as a journal where I could just document

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my journey and learn as I go.

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And if you listen to episode one versus episode 200, it's

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amazing the evolution over time.

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But in order to do that, I had to, without getting paid, put tens to

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hundreds of hours of time and effort.

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Into it to get there.

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Now, do people want to put in the time and effort?

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I don't know.

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Another random scenario I'll give you guys is someone already is a thought leader

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and they've already built a following.

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They have the pick of the litter.

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They could get on a podcast quite easily because they've already written books.

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They've already scaled companies.

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People want them on the show or they could host their own show.

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And then the question's like, do I do solo episodes or interview episodes?

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If you already have a big audience, you can do solo.

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But if you don't have an audience, you might want to do an

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interview based show, so you can.

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Pull people in and then have their audience come to you share audience

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relationships, so on and so forth.

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So I'm giving a lot of different answers, but my assumption is most of

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your listenership has a baseline of who they are, what they offer, what they do.

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They've helped clients, they can share some examples, they can share their story.

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In that case, I usually recommend is just get on a few podcasts, reach out to your

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friend that has a podcast, ask around.

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Post online, go to a website like podmatch.

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com or matchmaker.

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fm, join a Facebook group, meet a guest.

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There's find a guest, meet a guest Facebook groups and get

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on some podcasts and see if you even like it in the first place.

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And the beauty is you're probably going to stink, but you'll get

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better with every single rep.

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And that's another nuanced beauty in it.

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You might get on a show, and then I get asked a question that's just out of left

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field and I don't know how to answer it.

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The reason the question was asked is because people are curious about that.

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So wouldn't it be important to learn how to answer that question?

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So by getting on a lot of podcasts, you get to answer just about any question,

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get better at talking about yourself, get better at explaining and helping people

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understand what you do and why you do it.

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And then on the flip side, if you're hosting a podcast, You get

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to learn from brilliant people.

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So I feel like I'm like all over the place right now.

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You can tell I'm going a little ADHD with my brain, but it goes all

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back to there is no key to success.

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It's a combination lock.

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What feels right?

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Take that bread and move in that direction.

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Maybe you start a podcast and you go live the first time and do like a Facebook live

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or an Instagram live or a LinkedIn live.

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Maybe you guest on a live.

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Maybe you jump on a podcast.

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Maybe you record something and you never publish it.

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But take that breadcrumb and just start moving forward in the right direction.

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Yeah, I totally agree with that because we started doing that.

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We started doing Facebook lives and the first ones were terrible, but then like

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you said, you get better over time and then we got better guests over time.

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And then we thought, why are we keeping this in our Facebook group?

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Let's put it out on a podcast.

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And I feel like for me, I feel like every time I'm a guest on a

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podcast, it makes me a better host because I learn things from the host.

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And I'm like, Oh, I love the way they said that.

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Or I love the way they did that.

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And so I feel like that just builds.

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And I think on the flip side of that, I think being a guest or being a host gives

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me some insights about being a guest.

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Like we, what really works or what doesn't work.

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So I feel like I'm always learning if we're hosting, I'm learning

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from our guest, and if I'm a guest, I'm learning from the host on

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how I want to improve my skills.

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I think that's pretty cool too.

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I know I can be long winded, but this is short to quickly talk on that.

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Anytime you mindfully enter a social interaction, and you're

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trying to be better, and you're willing to do the hard work of an

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analysis, like, did this go well?

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Did it not?

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Anytime you go in mindfully, you're going to get better.

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So it doesn't matter if you're a host, a guest, or listening

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to an episode and taking note.

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If you're mindful and trying to get better, it's just more actually

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equals more in the scenario.

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You need to get some nosebleeds, you need to try it out, and

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then you get better over time.

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Yeah, it's funny too, because one of the things we always try to do is Assess

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whatever happens, assess what happened, and then what can we learn from?

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How can we improve it?

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That kind of thing.

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I think every day in business, you're always looking at what's working.

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What can we improve on?

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And I did a podcast interview.

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It was actually yesterday.

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And you know how sometimes you just feel like you're on.

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It was just like this great conversation.

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And the host was amazing.

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And we were just having this great conversation.

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And then it gets to the end.

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And she's like, ask me, tell people about you and your business.

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And then I feel like I was like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

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Like it just was like a one running sentence.

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And so I left the podcast thinking, okay, that was a learning lesson.

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You need to have clarity around how you're going to answer that.

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And which is so funny.

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That's the one thing I should have clarity around.

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But in that moment.

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I went off the rail, so to speak.

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And I think that's normal.

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Hopefully it's normal.

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I'm not just going to lose, but I think it's one of those things.

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Like each time you sell, each time you get better, you're learning

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something and you're growing from it.

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And I think the other thing too, is.

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I think especially as women, we would tend to normally get off and

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beat ourselves up about it, but I got up and just laughed about it.

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I was like, oh, I can't wait to hear this.

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I don't even know if I want to, uh, the first part's good.

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I can zoom past that.

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I want to hear this ending so I can figure out how to do better.

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It's, it's totally normal.

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And a quick example is I had Chris Doe on the show and he has a

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book called A Pocket Full of Doe.

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So I set him up.

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I'm like, so Chris, like, how can I go deeper with you?

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I can have you like in my pocket.

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At all times.

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And I thought I was being cute and sending them up for pocket full of dough.

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And then he provided a different call to action.

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And I'm like, that wasn't the way I imagined it in my head.

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Now what's the craziest question anybody's ever asked you on a podcast?

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Oh, I don't know the craziest question.

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Yeah.

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There isn't bad questions.

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That's why it's hard to answer a crazy question for me.

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It's like the most boring podcasts or when there's no dialogue at all.

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Okay.

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Or they just walk me through.

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I've been on a podcast that had me walk through my history chronologically.

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Like, where were you when you were born?

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And what did your elementary school look like?

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And this and that.

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And I'm like, I think I have a lot of shame and inner work to do.

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Because I blocked out like 10 years.

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But, I don't know if there's crazy questions.

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But there are bad questions.

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And it's usually not even the words of the question.

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It's the context.

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And, I don't know.

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I don't know how you guys feel.

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Sometimes the vibe just isn't right.

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But yeah, I think you're right.

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It has to do with the energy and the chemistry that you have with the host

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and the topics that you're talking about.

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I think most of our clients are so excited about who they are and what they do.

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It's like you said, it's just being able to share that information, but

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also do it in a way where it's more of a conversation and not a sales pitch.

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I think that's something that.

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Can be for people when they first start guesting is it's not

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a, it's not an infomercial, no one signed up for my webinar.

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And if they did, I might give them a webinar, but people listen to podcasts

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for information for inspiration.

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Oftentimes, just to not feel alone to be a fly on the wall

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and listen to a conversation.

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They're not here to be pitched.

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Don't pitch them.

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Well, Ben, if people wanted to reach out to you, how would you

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like them to get in touch with you?

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Let's take a step back.

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I would not be here without you two.

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So show some love for the ladies for us.

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Subscribe on this thing, leave a review, comment, send a DM, send an email.

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You really want bonus points, take a screenshot, send it, do any of that

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stuff to show a little bit of extra love because none of this would be possible

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without hosts making it possible.

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And you can find me where you found this.

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Just type in the words, real business connections, real business connections.

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Or if I failed you as a marketer, you can just Google it and you'll find me.

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Ben, thank you so much.

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That is so sweet of you.

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We, we are so funny.

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We very seldom ask for the follows and the subscribes.

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It's a, but we do really, we just really appreciate everybody

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who listens and we value, um, we just value our audience so much.

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So thank you.

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Thank you.

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Thank you for being here.

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Yeah, keep doing it.

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Thanks for listening to the six figure business mastery podcast.

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