Build Credibility, Authority, and Connection As a Local Business Owner Through Podcasting

Every business has nuanced needs. And sometimes, the advice you hear comes with caveats or might be the opposite of what’s best for your business.

For instance, I’ve warned against the idea of a podcast guest format as the main structure for your show. Too often, it can distract people from your business (or just fails to bring right-fit clients in).

However, a recent Podcasting for Profitability Roundtable brought something new to light on this topic, specifically for local-based service providers. A participant introduced an idea for their show that highlights something locally-based entrepreneurs need to consider and remote businesses typically don’t.

In this episode of The More Profitable Podcast, you’ll learn why regularly having podcast guests isn’t a distraction for local service business owners. I’ll give examples of how it helps build credibility, authority, and connection and also teach you how to use nuance to better serve your business, even if you work with clients nationally/internationally and aren’t locally based.

3:35 – Why there’s not always one solution for everything

9:41 – The nuance that locally based service providers need to consider

13:48 – Examples of how local business owners can use their show to connect with their community

17:26 – A really powerful way to supercharge your networking as a local service-based entrepreneur

20:35 – Questions to help you bring nuance to tools and tactics for your podcast (even if you’re not a locally-based business)

Mentioned In Build Credibility, Authority, and Connection As a Local Business Owner Through Podcasting

Defining Audience Education and How to Do It Effectively

Choosing the Right Podcast Format (and How to Make a Change)

Podcasting for Profitability Roundtable

Podcast Strategy Intensive

Podcast Production

Podcast Newsroom

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Quotes About Podcasting for Local Business

“There’s not one answer for every solution. There is nuance in play, and you’ve got to be protecting your business.” – Stacey Harris

“Too often we forget to give ourselves the acknowledgment, credibility, [and] level of expertise that includes our own business.” – Stacey Harris

“Use storytelling to talk about what’s happening in your community. Ideally, we’re doing this in a way that helps us speak to our own business.” – Stacey Harris

Let's talk about podcasting for local business owners. This came up recently in a Podcasting for Profitability Roundtable. I'm so glad it did because it was a reminder that I can use this as a really great example of why no one person can give you one right answer that will apply to every circumstance. Nobody, not even me, and let's be honest, I am very, very smart.

No one, no one, no one can do it. You have to be including the nuance because in this episode you're about to listen to, you are going to hear me tell you things that I generally say the opposite and I'm going to be honest, I'm going to highlight them at every stage because the largest point I want you to get from this is yes, how, as a local service-based business owner, you could be using a podcast but also that there's no one right answer, that you have to be including your nuance, your perspective, your needs into evaluating some of these options. The strategies, the tactics, the process, whatever you want to call it, you've got to be factoring in the nuances, the shifts that are unique in your business. Let's get into it.

Welcome to The More Profitable Podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey. This is the spot to learn more about the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast. My team and I work every day with podcasters like you to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team, because your show should be built to generate and convert leads. So let's get into it.

By listening to this podcast and being here, I already know you're on board with the idea that podcasting is a powerful way to generate, educate, and convert right-fit clients. But most often, in the context we talked about podcasting here and the work we do with our clients, we're not working with businesses generally who have a specific physical area they serve.

They’re service-based business owners who generally work with clients all over their country, and oftentimes even internationally. Recently, though, we had someone join us for a Podcasting for Profitability Roundtable, which by the way, we have another one coming up so make sure you head over to uncommonlymore.com/roundtable to reserve your seat and submit your question. I'm super stoked to be doing one again this month. Check it out.

Anyways, we recently had someone join us and they brought up the idea of “Could this work for a local service-based business?” They themselves were a local service-based business owner who could potentially work with clients outside of their area, but their focus really is on their local network.

In fact, they have built their business up until this point, really mostly without the normal trappings of an online business. They haven't done a ton of content, they've got a website, they've got a social presence. There hasn't really been a big content element to their website.

What was interesting to me is the main goal, the main pull for this was as a way to feature some of the people they regularly refer business to. I thought this was incredibly interesting. As I told them on that call, it’s a really, really smart way to be using a podcast as a local service-based business owner.

We've had a couple of instances where we've talked with or worked with a local business where they have been working specifically in their targeted area, and we've helped them build content plans and social plans over the years but it had been a while and I had never seen somebody come in. It was interesting because the premise was really like, “I know you say I shouldn't have guests but…” and I'm like, “Okay,” and then they shared with me their purpose, the reason, and it was so smart.

It's why I wanted to spend at least a portion of today's episode because, in a minute, we're going to be talking about some of these ways that we can be using the podcast if you are a local-based business, but before that, I wanted to spend just a minute really talking about what I mentioned in the intro to this episode, which is this is why even with me, there's not one answer for every solution. There is nuance in play and you've got to be protecting your business.

Now, I want to be aware that there is an opposite side of this because I have absolutely gotten on calls with people who—and if you're a service provider, I know that you've had this experience too so I'm going to say this as plainly as I can and as nicely as I can—but we've all had an engagement, a project, a client, or a team member of a client, which is where I find this most often happens, who it doesn't matter what you say, they have a list of reasons ready for you why it won't work, and why it's imperative that they continue doing what they're doing, even though what they're doing right now isn't working, which is why they're in a conversation with you.

Yeah? Nodding along? You've been there too? Okay. We've all had those clients. There is that end of the spectrum. However, I find that too often, most of the people who I talk to actually sit at the opposite end of that spectrum. They sit closer to the side where it's “I'm investing with you. You're an expert. Tell me what to do, and I'll do it,” which is awesome except you know more about your business than I ever will.

I have clients who I have been in the trenches deepen their business with them for 5, 8, 10, I think we've got one at 11 now years, a decade in one case. I've been working with a client and still, I will never know the inside of their business, the inside of their offerings the way they do because I'm not on the phone with them with clients. I am not the expert that they are. I am not them. Plain and simple.

I only have access to the information I'm given. I cannot be given all the information that's inside of your head. It's simply not possible, or every inside conversation that happens inside of your business with your team, the rest of your team, with your clients, with your leads, whatever. I can't. No one knows your business better than you.

So it's your job to say, “I need to understand how that works in this context.” Notice the difference there. This wasn't, “Nope, that won't work.” It was, “Tell me how this accounts for this nuance. Tell me how this makes this other piece work. Because I don't have that other piece but I am interested in seeing how this serves that. I want to know what's happening.”

I get it. I get the instinct to hire an expert and hand the ball over to them and be like, “Run with it.” One of the things I pride myself on as a service provider is being able to pick up the ball for clients when they don't have enough capacity to hold all of them and to help them juggle this one. That's my job in the maybe simplest form. That's my job.

I pride myself in being able to do that. But I can only do that to the point in which my clients show up and say, “I need to understand how this works here.” I am incredibly lucky and incredibly grateful that, I'm going to say all of it, I can't think of a client I have right now or have had in recent years where this hasn't been the case, they have the ability to say that. Certainly, in production. Occasionally, I'll get it in the mastermind. I don't think I've ever had it happen in intensives.

More often than not, I find it happens on sales calls, even after like it's clear that this is not going to work. I will say that most often I say, “Here's what I'm going to recommend. Look at these things. Have a good day.” But that happens partially because of the show.

I'm using the show to educate, not just generate, not just convert, but educate. We've talked a lot about this this month about where this education component fits in. We've talked a lot recently about this idea of educating our audience. This is where that is. It's me doing stuff like this where I say, “You not only have permission, but I have the expectation of you that you are going to present me with the nuance that might make something I'm suggesting not work. That's your job. I have an expectation that you will show up and say, Cool, tell me how this works for this.”

Again, today's episode is such a good example of that but I didn't want to miss an opportunity to highlight this because I think too often, we forget to give ourselves the acknowledgment, the credibility, the level of expertise that includes our own business.

So this person showing up on the roundtable and saying, “Stacey, I know you talk a lot about not having guests, but here's what I want to do, here's how I work, and here's my goal for my show.” That's why today we're going to talk about this shift, why as a local service-based in-person service provider, there might be some nuances.

After saying all that, I will say that the first piece of this, the first way that you as a service-based local business owner can be using your podcast to generate, educate, and convert right-fit clients is actually the same as somebody who's working remotely, somebody who is working and providing services internationally via Zoom, whatever. You're building authority and credibility. That is the same regardless.

However, here's where we land some nuance, because when we're talking about a local business, it's not just about establishing that you know what you're talking about, it's also about establishing yourself as part of the community. So yes, your show is going to be about positioning yourself as an industry expert in your area but it's also going to be establishing your credibility as a part of your local community.

It's going to be about showcasing your case studies and success stories that help establish your social proof and the impact of your work. But it's also going to be establishing yourself as somebody who is supporting other local businesses and doing that.

Those case studies are going to need to be, and this comes to mind specifically for people who maybe work both ways, who have a strong local presence but also work with people remotely at a distance. Maybe you are a project manager who is working with people in person, you go into their offices and you support them but you also work remotely via Zoom calls and handling things from your home office or whatever. Maybe you've got both elements.

If you want to be leaning in, in the next quarter, the next six months, or the next year into your local network, which is something I see a lot of people in the experts face doing, you're going to need to make sure some of those case studies, some of that credibility is local businesses.

Somebody who, when you hand your card and say, “I would love to work with you, here's a conversation I had with so and so,” that so and so is possibly somebody that person in your local network recognizes, a business they've seen, a person in your local networking meeting, whether that be a chamber of commerce situation, BNI, or whatever local networking community you're in.

You're going to want to have those case studies, that social proof, that authority building, not just in your expertise, but as part of the community. That's where, even in this instance where honestly, this is the same, we're using the podcast to generate, educate, and convert right-fit clients, that means the primary job of our show is to build authority and credibility. That's the same whether we're talking about working remotely, or we're talking about going in and working with somebody in their office or going in and working with somebody in their home. Whatever it is.

However, the kind of authority and the layers of credibility we need, that's our nuance. That's where, again, it's our job as the business owner, because nobody knows our business like our business, to apply that nuance and say, “I gotta be speaking to the locals. I got to be speaking to the peeps who I run into every Thursday at my BNI meeting, or who I see every third Wednesday at my [insert networking group here].” You've got to be building the local credibility.

I want to shift gears here and I want to talk about something that is more specific to just a local service-based business. This is one where we don't have that, well, this is pretty much the same kind of element, this one is all about connecting with that local community.

This is going to be some of that social proof from businesses that they may recognize. But it's also going to be about just being a part of the community using your ability to come into this platform and storytell honestly, about what's happening in your local community.

My favorite example of this is in the best way realtors can use a podcast, which is to basically become their directory for what happens in the neighborhood they sell houses in. The same can be absolutely true for your plumbing business, your construction business, whatever it is.

This is my favorite way to think about this. Any business who's interested in sponsoring the community baseball team, or who is sponsoring the local school’s Jog-A-Thon, school dance, school fair, or whatever local thing, this is the way you can also use your podcast. Highlight those local events. Speak to what's happening. Talk about your local networking meetup. Talk about the restaurant you ate at that you're obsessed with. Use storytelling to talk about what's happening in your community.

Now, ideally, we're doing this in a way that helps us speak to our own business. Maybe it's that you're in construction and whenever you finish a project, you feature the local business to announce their grand opening, celebrate what's happening, talk about their business, and introduce this new business to the community. Because you have a unique line of sight.

You help open businesses. So with your podcast, you can help by introducing those businesses to the community. This allows it to be part case study, part social proof, but also community growth, community connection. Using this to connect with the community in your local area is powerful.

Let's go back to our examples of sponsoring a local baseball team. Give them a shout-out when they win. It doesn't have to be whole episodes. It can be features. It can be an intro moment. We talk a lot about show structure in the show. Maybe your freebie pitch that we talked about, when I mentioned the podcasting roundtable earlier, maybe when we talk about that segment of the show, it's actually not a “Hey, get on my list.” It is a “Submit your local event,” and each episode, you highlight a local event and the call-to-action is to obviously check out that event but also “Here's how you submit your local event.”

This is how we are becoming a part of the community. We are connecting ourselves to our local area, really cultivating and growing that sense of belonging by using a podcast, by using an internet tool. Where I want to wrap this up with is a step further in the same idea. Start highlighting other businesses.

This was the bit of nuance, the point of contention maybe that this future podcaster who joined us for the roundtable was really coming from, I want to have people on the show who I meet at networking events. I want to have people on the show who I haven't necessarily done work with or for. They're not hiring me. This isn't social proof. Is this also a distraction? This is the time where it's not.

Again, this is why this context matters because this is one of the places where I would say guests should be a regular part of your show. Now my nuance here is it can't be every episode. Every episode cannot be about introducing your audience to a different local service provider or a different local business if your goal is to get them to hire you as a service provider.

We have to make sure that we're doing that first thing we talked about too, we're still building our authority and our credibility. It's a critical element. But maybe once a month, you feature a local business, somebody who you're meeting at your networking event.

This is a really, really powerful way to supercharge your networking because now it's not five minutes where we talk to each other, exchange business cards, never to speak again. What it was, was us coming together, establishing that there was some level of connection, and saying, “Hey, I would love to follow up and have another chat, spend some time together talking about whatever, your expertise, my expertise, where the two come together.”

You've got to figure that nuance out of what makes sense. It may vary by guest but I'd love to come on or have you come on and talk to each other because now you're using the podcast as a way to have regular follow-up conversations with the people that you're meeting.

These are the people who you want to become your referral partners. That road goes two ways. Let's say you're a copywriter and you meet a web designer at a networking event, and they specifically work with local businesses, and so do you, aces to match made in heaven do an episode together.

We have a lot of crossover. We can talk about how our expertise has come together and that's going to be a huge benefit to us building on our credibility, us building authority. It is us having a leveraged coffee chat because we're going to share it with others so that they can hear about our expertise, so that they can hear about how we work with clients, so that they can hear what other opportunities they have to work and support businesses in their local community.

This is how I want you to be using nuance in your show is “How do I shift these big ideas, these big possibilities, these 10,000-foot tactics and tools that are being broadcast to me as the only way to get results? How do I refine them? How do I bring them to a place that works inside of my needs?”

I hope if you got nothing else from this episode, it was that. And if you're listening to this episode, and you're like, “Oh, I'm not a local service-based business owner,” great. This is a great exercise for you to look at “How can I make that information that wasn't necessarily for me, work for me?”

Maybe it's that last piece of building relationships and your local network isn't local. Your local network is online. You regularly have coffee chats with people you meet on LinkedIn. Great. How can you be turning them into a semi-regular feature on your show? Where can you be leveraging that kind of networking, even if you're not a local business?

For those of you who are local businesses, I hope that you got the insights to be better using your show, which feels too big, which feels like, “Well, it goes out to the whole world, how is that helpful?” to really speak to the people in your neighborhood because now you have something worth sharing with them. You have a connection point for them right there in their own backyard.

If this is something you are looking for support to figure out, if there are nuances that you know you have but you're having a hard time figuring out how your nuances fit into the kinds of strategies we talked about, the kind of tools we talked about, the kind of tactics we talked about on this show, it’s a really good use of a Podcast Strategy Intensive.

Let's sit down and let's build your content plan that works for your nuances, but still builds the assets we talked about on this show that you need to be generating, educating, and converting right-fit clients into your business, not just building them a fantastic distraction because that's not what we want to be doing. It's not good for anybody. Not good for us. Not good for them.

Head on over to uncommonlymore.com/intensive and you and I can have a chat about if this is the right place for you and how we can together build you a more profitable podcast plan with the Podcast Strategy Intensive. Again, uncommonlymore.com/intensive to book yours, and I'll see you right back here next week.

Thanks so much for listening to this show. Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode. Maybe it's taking action on what we talked about. Maybe it's reaching out to me and learning more about Podcast Strategy Intensives or what podcast production looks like with our team. All of that is over at uncommonlymore.com.

If you haven't yet signed up for The Podcast Newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step. If you're not really sure what comes next, hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes. That's over at podcastnewsroom.com. The last favor I will ask, because social proof is endlessly important for sure, is to leave a rating and review for the show. If you go to ratethispodcast.com/more, that's the easiest way to do it. But I would love to hear what you thought of the show, what you think of the show, and if the show has been helpful for you. I can't wait to chat with you. This is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep it going. Talk soon.

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