GUEST: James Carbary, Founder and CEO of Sweet Fish Media
Everyone agrees that relationships are incredibly important in business.
But nobody is talking about how to consistently create those relationships, strategically…
Well, all except for one:
Content Based Networking is the term that he and his team created in order to describe the unique vertical they’re in. James defines this relationship-building strategy as such: “Using content collaboration as a way to build new business relationships.”
In other words, create some sort of Content Hub (James chose Podcasting).
Then, invite people that you’d like to build relationships with, to create that content with you.
Sure, this method requires investment initially.
However, after producing the first piece of collaborative content and establishing a relationship with that guest, it will pay off for a year’s worth of more content when you secure them as an account!
Even if you don’t acquire additional accounts right away - the content alone will probably be the most valuable asset that you attain. You’ll be learning so much about your respective industry, that it will give you a massive advantage compared to your competition.
And because there’s relatively so few people implementing Content Based Networking, the territory is wide open for growth opportunities.
“It’s not what you know; it’s who you know,” right?
Content Based Networking is the ‘how-to’ that you need in order to do it.
Leveraging Content Creation
If you know someone in your community and you want to connect with them… Having some sort of media outlet that you own, that you can partner with them to create content on, it’s a great way to connect with them and develop a relationship that way.
“It’s a gateway drug to a relationship with the right type of person,” James said.
Founder and CEO of Sweet Fish Media
The best part is that this works whether you’re selling locally and even globally.
Through Content Based Networking, you’re not limited to podcasting, either. You can do so through webinars, youtube videos, and other various medias.
For example, James told me that he knows of a few large brands even take it so far in creating content campaign centered around hour-long documentaries:
- One company based in San Diego crafted a campaign on SEO
- A Cyber Security firm crafted a campaign on the 4 largest, most recent security hacks
The point is, they’re creating phenomenal content - In the midst of developing that content, you’re also collaborating with people you can ultimately do business with by creating that content with them… creating this bond and unity with this potential buyer.
“When you’re strategic about who you create content with, you end up building a business relationship that can have enormous ROI.” … James
FOUNDER AND CEO OF SWEET FISH MEDIA
Content that Bridges the Sales & Marketing Divide
It helps bridge the divide between Sales and Marketing.
Consider for a moment, that there are 10 accounts that you’d love to acquire within your company:
Sales narrows their focus on those key accounts and crosses the chasm to fill in Marketing on that mission
Marketing owns the podcast itself and then reaches out to the key decision makers for each respective, potential account and ends up bringing them on as guests.
Regardless of whomever is the host for the show, the guest brought on now has a direct relationship with the brand - Sales could reach out a couple weeks later, following the prospects interview on the show, and continue the line of communication (perhaps asking to learn more about the message they delivered on the show)...
In that way, you’ve just penetrated into that account in a way where everyone wins.
And it’s not rocket science.
As James wisely put it, “It’s about adding value up front, independent of the product or service that you sell.”
“It’s about adding value up front independent of the product or service that you sell.” - James Carbary
On the other hand, when you go to someone that you have no established relationship with and try to sell them something, you get ignored more often than not.
But if you approach them and tell them you’ve got a show, that adds value to them - Even if you don’t have that many listeners at first, it’s still great free PR for them.
They’re going to be able to post on LinkedIn that they were featured on the podcast as an expert, and it makes them look really good both internally and externally. There’s clear benefit to them and because you’re not leading with any sort of “ask”, James said that it’s, “very powerful.”
Strategically Create Collaborative Content
I was in Marketing for 15 years.
When I transitioned to Sales, a huge contributing factor towards my success was that I had learned how to leverage Marketing content.
For most Sales people out there they’re showered with orders to hit the numbers!
Yet they’re not educated on:
- Methodologies, geared towards uncovering a prospect’s view on value
- Providing them with immense value prior to a sale
It’s not enough to reach out with some sort of statistic - nobody believes that sort of thing anymore.
You really have to work on forming relationships well beforehand.
“You’re putting your prospects in the driver’s seat of your content strategy,” James said, “Which is just a different way of thinking about it.”
“You’re putting your prospects in the driver’s seat of your content strategy.” - James Carbary
Take James’ show for example:
The B2B Growth podcast is all about B2B Marketing.
When he approaches a CMO or a VP of Marketing from a target account for Sweet Fish Media, he’ll say something along the lines of: “Hey, our show is about B2B Marketing - Is there anything under that umbrella that you’d be interested in talking about?”
Because they’re all in that role, they’re going to have something to say.
Also, the content isn’t scattered and all over the place just because they’re choosing the topic in which to discuss. If anything, it’s more targeted, because your guests are actual practitioners in the weeds, executing on different strategies and tactics within their own business.
And at the end of it - after you’ve prepped the interview with them, conducted the interview, sent them the link when it’s gone live - you have a real, human relationship with that person on an intimate level.
When you go to reach out later and secure them as an account, you’re not doing it blindly.
It goes astronomically beyond some promotional element; you’ve actually created the content with them, so you have such a meaningful relationship.
Create content with your prospects.
Then go one step higher and figure out a way to add value to your prospect, independent of what you’re selling them.
In other words, determine how you can bless the guests that you want to bring on your show in a way that almost has nothing to do with what you’d be providing to them in bring them on board as an account. If you can figure out how to do that, James said that you’ll be, “Massively successful.”
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