Jun 21, 2021
Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. 37% of the US population (104 million) listen to podcasts at least every month (Source: PodcastHosting.org). That’s millions of people we can reach every month. In today’s episode, Jeff Mendelson and I will discuss the benefits of running a podcast, along with tips for working with virtual assistants and communicating value in pricing.
Jeff Mendelson is the host of the One Big Tip podcast. He runs a full-service digital marketing agency where he works with developing comprehensive digital marketing campaigns for startups to establish businesses. He focuses on lead generation and ROI-based initiatives.
Jeff is based in Miami, Florida but works worldwide. He helps entrepreneurs conceptualize, develop, and then execute all-encompassing digital marketing strategies, sales funnels, paid campaigns, and getting the right people and disciplines in place. With over 15 years of continuous digital marketing experience in all formats, Jeff has a wealth of information on what works and what doesn't in the digital marketing space.
How Jeff’s Podcast Changed His Life
Jeff started his podcast in December 2019, taking the advice of Steve Larson to publish every day for a year and then see the change. “That's what I've been doing, and it's just been taking me in all kinds of great directions, [and I’ve had] all kinds of new revelations. I guess the biggest thing is that I'm just mad I didn't do this like five or 10 years ago, but I was just like, ‘Why do I need a podcast?’ . . . Now I'm all about it, and I'm ready to kill it and really help other people to do it as well.”
Benefits of a Podcast
Jeff explained that having a podcast is a great way to network. “There is no better networking tool, COVID-19 or not COVID-19,” Jeff said. With the many communication tools we have—Zoom, Microsoft teams, WhatsApp—the world is so small, and having a podcast is one way to find and connect with people all over the world using those communication tools.
Jeff said he was interviewed by a British guy located in Doha, Qatar, and they had a great interview. “I never would have met these people without [my podcast],” Jeff said.
A podcast can be a great way for people to thrive in a situation they can control. “I'm an introvert already,” Jeff explained. “I'm a wallflower at conventions. . . . but once I get in front of [the camera] . . . [I] can talk about this all day.”
Jeff also said podcasting is a great way to establish and control the conversation. It becomes a no-pressure invitation to speak with really interesting people we might not have spoken with otherwise. If we see someone at a shopping mall and try to talk to them, they might just ignore us, but most of the time people are a lot more willing to have a conversation with us if it is in a setting like a podcast.
When we invite someone to our show, we provide them with value. They get positive exposure to our audience with good reciprocity.
We can also have fun conversations. Jeff used the example of his video background, which has a lightsaber and some Star Wars figures on a shelf. He doesn’t mention it, but people often bring it up and they get to talk about Star Wars for a few minutes. “It's just a great connection tool,” Jeff said. We need to find ways to build connections with our guests and listeners. Personally, I wear shirts for some of my favorite movies and shows, some of my favorite sports teams, and some companies I have worked for in the past to help build connections.
Podcasts can also help you make higher connections. “Being a guest and also hosting people, you have a direct connection to the top. You interview the CEO of the company. You bypass all the gatekeepers, you bypass all the VPs, or directors, or whoever it is. You talk to the source of the information, and now you're connected with that person who knows you on a first-name basis. And that for me is mind-blowing.”
Tips for Effectively Working with a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant (VA) is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client's office. They typically operate from a home office but can access necessary files and documents remotely (Source: Investopedia).
I've been working with a team in India for more than 20 years and I love it. It's nice to be able to leave for the day and they work on it during the night. We usually overlap for an hour or two in the morning, and it's very effective. I love the work ethic, and I find that I can keep people on the team longer. These are just some of the benefits of having those remote teams.
Jeff has also worked with VAs for most of his career. “It's a little bit of a mindset shift,” Jeff said. “[But] it's really quite simple. I don't care whether you're across the street or halfway around the world, you are remote to me.” He views everyone as remote because, at the end of the day, they are all a four-inch square on a screen, and that's all he has to connect with them.
“When you lose that ability to have coffee with somebody . . . you need to be super clear. Overcommunicate. You just need to make sure that whatever it is going on in your head, whatever your wants and desires [are], . . . you have to be able to communicate it, and that does not matter whether you're working with someone in Argentina, in Ukraine, in India, the Philippines—doesn't matter. You have to be able to communicate.”
Once we figure out how to communicate with our VAs, the next step is to train them and give them work that is interesting to them and they can succeed in.
Jeff said the last thing we need to keep in mind with VAs is the time zone difference and how it affects our work. “These people are not going to be working the same 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time that you are. Someone in India, they're 10 hours ahead of me. So I have to make sure that I get in all of my requests before I shut down for the evening, and my requests . . . need to be clear enough that they can work independently because they are going to be doing this when it's two [or] three in the morning my time.”
To help us with our communication, we can use tools like Loom or ScreenFlow. We also need to make sure that we have standard operating procedures and that we train our VAs on them well.
Communicating Value in Pricing
Jeff said the biggest mistake he has made several times throughout his career is with pricing. “When you price something out,” Jeff said, “what you're trying to do is deliver a product that delivers more value to the person you're selling to [than] the amount of money they're going to pay you.”
In other words, what we’re giving them is worth more than what they’re paying. For example, if we build them one sale funnel that's guaranteed to make them a million dollars, we can’t accept $500 for it. That funnel is going to categorically change their life. If we underprice it to that point, they will think that it has no value or it won’t work.
“I've made that mistake maybe five or six times where I realized that I undervalued something, and, of course, part of that comes with experience,” Jeff said. “On the flip side of that, when you overcharge someone [it] can have the exact same effect.” If we overcharge someone, they’ll just say, “You're too expensive,” and find someone else. In these cases, it really teaches us to hone in on what we are worth and how much we can charge for a particular product. It also teaches us how to sell the value of our products and services well.
Part of pricing does come with experience, but we can also do our research. We can look at what our competitors are charging and see, based on our experience and value, what we should charge in relation to that. One of the most important things, though, is communicating our value. We need to make sure our customers know how much our products or services are worth.
Thank you so much Jeff for sharing your stories and knowledge with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
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