June 11, 2020

JF2109: Launching A Thought Leadership Platform | Syndication School with Theo Hicks


In this episode of Syndication School, Theo, will be going over the topic of how to create your own thought leadership platform. He will be going over how to successfully launch your platform and how to continue to grow it. 

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To listen to other Syndication School series about the “How To’s” of apartment syndications and to download your FREE document, visit SyndicationSchool.com. Thank you for listening and I will talk to you tomorrow. 


Joe Fairless: There needed to be a resource on apartment syndication that not only talked about each aspect of the syndication process, but how to actually do each of the things, and go into it in detail… And we thought “Hey, why not make it free, too?” That’s why we launched Syndication School.

Theo Hicks will go through a particular aspect of apartment syndication on today’s episode, and get into the details of how to do that particular thing. Enjoy this episode, and for more on apartment syndication and how to do things, go to apartmentsyndication.com, or to learn more about the Apartment Syndication School, go to syndicationschool.com, so you can listen to all the previous episodes.

Theo Hicks: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Syndication School series, a free resource focused on the how-to’s of apartment syndication. As always, I’m your host, Theo Hicks.

Each week we air two podcast episodes that focus on a specific aspect of the apartment syndication strategy. For the majority of these episodes we offer free resources. These are free PDF how-to guides, PowerPoint presentation templates, or Excel calculator templates that help you along your apartment syndication journey. All of these free resources, as well as previous Syndication School episodes can be found at SyndicationSchool.com.

Today we are going to continue talking about branding. Yesterday or the episode before this we talked about the four tips for nailing a podcast interview, so that’s going on someone else’s podcast or thought leadership platform; I guess the same lessons technically apply to a YouTube channel, or really any sort of interview you’re doing. I guess, heck, even a blog post where you’re being interviewed. These are gonna be about how to actually create your own content platform. But we’re not gonna go into the specifics on how to actually create a podcast, the name, logo etc. Instead, we’re gonna talk about how to actually successfully launch it once it’s created. So if you wanna know how to create a thought leadership platform – and again, these include things like podcasts, YouTube channels, books, blogs, newsletters – then check out those branding episodes at SyndicationSchool.com. Just type in “how to create a *fill in the blank*” and we’ll have a resource on that.

We’re gonna talk about – okay, so it’s created, you’ve got a launch date set. What are some of the best practices to make sure you’re maximizing the number of viewers, of buys, of clicks that you get from the get-go. So I’ve got five tactics I wanna go over. These are all kind of related, but the first one is to create a win/win/win scenario. If you’re doing a podcast or a YouTube channel, this is gonna be a win between you, the interviewees, as well as the listener. That applies for podcasts and a YouTube channel… Because typically, what you wanna do is you wanna have a batch of episodes ready to go.

Let’s say you decide to release one episode every week. Typically, it’s really good to have 3 to 6 months of audio or video content on-deck. So if you’re doing one per week – six months, that’s about 26. For three months, that’s 13 episodes. Let’s say you’re going three months ahead, so you’ve got 13 episodes prepared… So you have 13 guests who are going to be released in those 13 weeks. Or maybe you wanna do something where you do every single week, but you wanna release every single day for the first seven days. Whatever it is you wanna do, you wanna create a win/win/win for you and whoever those interviewees are, as well as the customers. I’ll talk about how to create that win/win/win in a second, but I just wanted to define what that win/win/win actually even means.

For the book, it’s gonna be you, the reader, and then anyone who’s actually featured in that book. So the win/win/win is a lot simpler for the book, than the podcast. For the podcast, if it’s just you talking, then it might just be a win/win for you and your customers. Now, how do you create this win/win? You want to promote content that is exclusive, and that is valuable. These are going to be content that costs money, or something that was previously unavailable. And then you’re gonna go ahead and give that away for free. Let’s just do some examples.

Let’s say you’re launching a podcast, and you’re gonna follow the strategy of doing seven podcasts in the first week, and you’ve got seven different guests… Then maybe you can ask all seven of those guests to send you the eBook version of a book that they have, so that you can use that when promoting the podcast. We’re gonna talk about promoting the podcast later on in these tactics. That’s just one example.

So ask the seven guests “Hi, I want to –” and I’ll explain what to do later. “So if you don’t mind, could you send me a copy of your eBook?” Or it could be something as simple as you personally buying seven hard copy books and then doing  a giveaway at the end of each episode. So be really creative about this, about how to actually do a giveaway… But the whole point is to find something that is valuable, so it actually costs money, and that is going to be exclusive. Something that is not easily found.

The  book idea is valuable, but not necessarily easily found, so another example would be some unreleased piece of content that you’ve been working on and haven’t sent yet. Or maybe you can create a specific piece of content for the promotion of this podcast. For example, for a book, you can create some sort of content for that book that you can give away to people who pre-order the book. So if you pre-order the book, that’s helpful for you, because obviously you’re able to get more sales upfront. You’re also able to leverage that “Hey, I’ve got 100 pre-ordered already. Don’t miss out.” But at the same time, the buyer is gonna get some sort of free extra-content from you. And again, it could be something that is elaborating on something in the book, it could be something completely different… It’s really up to you. But again, the overall idea is to find  a piece of content that is either unavailable, so it’s newly created specifically for this purpose, or it’s something that they can only get by paying for it, and you’re giving it away for free. So that’s the first thing, create a win/win/win by finding and having free content to give away that either costs money, or is unavailable. I gave a lot of examples there.

Now, what do you do once you actually have this content? Well, you’re gonna give it away. The way in which you give it away is really up to you. As I mentioned, it could be if you pre-order the book, then you give it away. “Each day, for the seven days, we’re gonna give away a free book that was written by the interviewee. In order to enter, follow A, B, C, D steps”, which hopefully captures their email address.

That brings me to number two, which is to promote your new content platform to your email list. So this includes obviously the day that it launches, having a banner or a section in your email list that promotes this new content platform, but you’re gonna wanna do this actually ahead of time as well. I’m gonna kind of keep using the same two examples – either a book or doing the seven podcasts in one week.

Let’s say you’re gonna do seven podcasts in one week. Obviously, your not gonna do all seven of those episodes the day before, and then the next day you release the first episode. It takes editing, it takes time… So once you know what the seven podcasts are gonna be, then over the several weeks before it launches you could feature each of those episodes each week, to create anticipation for those episodes. Maybe seven weeks is a little too much, maybe you can do a month, or two weeks.

The whole goal is you don’t want to blindside your readers, your followers with a brand new podcast, because you’ll get some interaction, but you’re not gonna get as much interaction as you would have if you would have created a bunch of anticipation leading up to it. And one way to do that is on your email list. And then obviously, once it actually launches, you go ahead and promote it there. Since you are creating this win/win/win, you’re gonna want to promote the giveaway that you’re doing, or the book, if they’re pre-ordering it, just the “Hey, if you pre-order this, you’ll get the giveaway.” Or if you do A, B, C, D, E, F, G after listening to each podcast, you get the chance to win the free book.

So however you’re giving away the free win/win/win content, make sure you include that in your promotion as well, on your email list.

Number three is to promote the new content platform in a Facebook group. It’s basically the same thing you’re doing on your newsletter, but do it in the Facebook group. So figure out “Okay, how far in advance do I wanna start promoting this podcast? Okay, I wanna promote it for a month, so each day for 30 days I’m gonna have some sort of post on my business page that’s promoting my new podcast.” So pretty easily, you’ve got seven for the actual podcast guests, you can ask questions to generate conversation on what types of guests you should interview, things like that.

For the book, maybe you’ve got 30 chapters in your book, so each day you can feature a different chapter in that book before it gets actually launched. So a lot of different ideas, but again, the purpose is to do something on Facebook.

You can also create a brand new Facebook group that’s specific for that new content. Podcasts, for example – we have the Best Ever Show community, that’s specific to our podcast. So everything on there is to promote engagement, to talk about topics from the podcast, or in a sense miniature interviews that are happening on the Facebook page. If someone asks a question and then a bunch of people who would be interviewed on the podcast go in there and answer that question.

So in that Facebook group – you create that Facebook group for this new podcast that you’re gonna create, and then in addition to posting that 30 days’ worth of content on the Facebook group, also post that in that Facebook group community. Make sure you share that Facebook group community on your personal Facebook, on your business Facebook, so that you’re able to get people to join that before the podcast actually launches. So that’s number three.

Number four is to get on other people’s content platforms to promote the launch. We actually talked about this yesterday, the four tips for successfully being interviewed on someone else’s podcast or YouTube channel or blog post. So a great way to promote your new podcast is to promote it on other people’s podcasts. As I mentioned in one of the tips, have a call to action that sends them to your Facebook group, or sends them to your email list. Mention the free content you’re giving away.

So if you know when you’re gonna launch the podcast, try to get on other people’s podcasts and have those episodes go live before yours launches. Again, you’re creating anticipation for your new podcasts. If something applies for a book you’re launching, go on there and talk about your book. You can talk about five topics from your book, and then say “If you want to learn the next 10 or 20 topics, you can buy my book. It’s available for pre-order now. If you pre-order it, we’re giving away this free thing.” So that is number four; we talked about that a lot yesterday, so I’m not gonna elaborate more on what to do when you’re on other people’s podcasts; just go listen to that episode.

And number five is to have something else to give away. Going back to number one, creating a win/win, let’s see say you’ve got a list of ten different pieces of content you wanna give away, and maybe two of those are exclusive and valuable, so you only give away those two. Once you give away those two, you can also give away the other ones as well. So when we did our book, some of the content was exclusive and valuable, and some of it wasn’t. Some of it was stuff that we’ve used before, some of it stuff you could find elsewhere, some of it was repurposed content from before… But we wanted to give away a ton of resources, so whenever we were promoting the book on the podcast, on the Facebook group, on the email list, we focused on those exclusive and valuable pieces of content, and then once they actually received the content, not only did they get that, but they got the bonus content of the extra five, six, seven, eight in the example I just gave, where two were valuable and eight weren’t. They are surprised when they see the bonus eight pieces of content.

So those are five things you can do to successfully launch a new content platform, whether that’s a podcast, a YouTube channel or a book. The first one is to create a win/win/win, which is to offer exclusive and valuable content to the listeners. Some of that content can be from the interviewees or people who are featured in your book, to again, get that third win in there. Plenty examples of that.

Number two was to promote your new thought leadership platform to your email list. If you don’t have an email list, you probably should create one. We’ve talked about that in previous Syndication School episodes as well. Number three is to promote the new thought leadership platform in your Facebook group. And again, for both the email list and for the Facebook group you’re not only promoting the platform, but also the free content you’re giving away.

Number four is you get on other people’s thought leadership platforms to promote the launch of your book, your podcast or YouTube channel. And number five is to focus on the exclusive and valuable content pieces when promoting the book, but then once you actually send the content, have something else included in there. It doesn’t need to be valuable and exclusive, but just have some bonus material to provide to the winner, or those who pre-ordered the book.

So that concludes this episode. I recommend listening to the episode from yesterday, or if you’re listening to this in the future, the one before this… Because it ties in to that number four, getting on other people’s content platforms, like talk about some tips on how to perform while doing your interview on other people’s podcasts or YouTube channels. Or you can just find that at SyndicationSchool.com, along with all of our other Syndication School episodes and free documents.

Thank you for listening. Have a best ever day, and I will talk to you soon.

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