Podcasting Tips

Q&A with Jay Baer of Convince & Convert

Jay Baer is the go-to expert on using social media in conjunction with your business. His experience makes him a gold-mine of insight and great advice on using podcasting as part of your community building. Read up for tips on getting your business ahead in the social media game.

Do you mind introducing yourself?

I’m Jay Baer. I’m the President of Convince & Convert, a social media and content accelerator located in Bloomington, Indiana. I’m also a keynote speaker, co-author of The NOW Revolution (a book on social business), and the proprietor of the popular Convince & Convert blog. I’m also the host of the weekly Social Pros podcast. Lastly, I’m an analyst on The Social Habit social media research project.

Keeping busy, we see! How did you get into social media and digital marketing?

Accidentally, of course! I was working for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, giving tours of youth jails (seriously). I was looking to do something else – big surprise. Some friends of mine from college had started the first Internet company in Arizona (this is 1994, so a LOONG time ago) and they needed marketing help. I jumped at the chance. After that, I ran www.azfamily.com, a large local content website, started and sold two digital agencies, worked for a startup that was essentially Skype long before Skype existed, and then started Convince & Convert to specialize in social consulting – in 2008.

So, it’s been (for me) a logical progression from marketing to digital marketing to social media.

Awesome, you’ve been in the game since the beginning. What do you mean by “hype-free” social media?

Because I’ve been in marketing and business and digital for so long, we try to keep social in perspective at Convince & Convert. Is social media transformative? Of course. But the Web was transformative too. So was email. And SEO. Social is an ingredient in successful marketing, not the entire meal. People who say things like “get rid of all your traditional marketing, and just do social media” are both irresponsible and foolish.

How can businesses use podcasts to become more successful?

Podcasts are massively underutilized. They are a great way to demonstrate thought leadership, and give voice (literally) to your ideas in ways that blogging cannot. I also really like podcasts as an opportunity to have conversations with industry leaders, your customers, and your prospective customers that you might ordinarily have trouble lining up. It’s business development in a content costume!

Any social media pet peeves?

The belief that social media is primarily a customer acquisition tool, when it’s actually much more of a loyalty and retention tool.

Very true. Can good content and communication help save a business?

No. If your business needs saving you mostly likely have operational or product/service problems that communication can’t fix. Content and communication make good companies great. They don’t make bad companies good.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

It’s important to understand that content is a conduit for conversation. Too many companies use social media as a way to talk about themselves, when they should be using social as a way to talk about their content. Remember, content is fire and social media is gasoline.

Long live Podcasting!

Thanks so much Jay, that was great!

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