B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 1662 · 4 months ago

Behind the Scenes of B2B Growth with Benji Block

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Rex Biberston, VP of Revenue at Sweetfish, is interviewing Benji.

If you've ever wondered what goes into producing a daily podcast or how to up the quantity and quality of your content today's episode is for you. Today we pull back the curtain on B2B Growth and giveaway Benji's learnings from his first 4 months as B2B Growth Host.

Conversations from the front lines and marketing. This is be tob growth. All right, welcome back to be to be growth. You are used to hearing the voice of Benji Block, our full time host, and I'm not him. I'm REX Biebersen, vp of revenue and sweet fish, and today we're turning the tables and I'm going to be interviewing Benjie. Now you're probably wondering, why the heck does this matter? Why do I care? Well, maybe you're taking over an existing program or you're trying to start a podcast or another creative endeavor within your business. Benjie's got a little of all of that. Here is the host of be to be growth. So let's dig in, Benjie, welcome to your very own show. What a Weird Day, but I'm so glad to be here. Rex, thanks for turning the tables. This will be fun, absolutely, so let's just dive right into it. What was it like taking over the reins of a show that already has literally thousands of episodes? Yeah, be tob growth is a monster right, like in the best way. So it's an honor. You're kind of handed keys to a Ferrari and you're like I hope I don't crash this thing. I think that was my first initial response, like Oh, this will be great, but also, I mean, where do I even start when there's two thous episodes already a following? So in honor, it's nerve racking. And then I think, like you know, that there's some big shoes to fill. I also think I had an initial like response of do I like, how do I know what content we've covered? Does it matter if we start? You know, you get you get in your brain a little bit. You can get some mind games about how do we make sure we're covering new topics? And maybe we'll dive into that a little bit more down the road in this but it started to matter less and less to me because personality starts coming out. But at first for sure you're like, I mean we're a couple thousand episodes in. What thing that's new can we possibly cover? And I'm sure there's someone listening who's an seo manager who just got a new job, or somebody who's managing a paper click campaign or series of campaigns who's like, this thing is working and they hired me because someone left for a better opportunity, or you know there's just they're growing the team and, oh my Gosh, how do I make sure that I keep my hands on the wheel and I don't screw this thing up? Any advice form there? I think the biggest thing is coming in with your own point of view. You want as much insight as you can gather. That was huge coming into be to be growth, like who are the past host I should talk to, engage with? What are even great guest suggestions from previous host, like who are people that you're already connected with in your network that you know would be great for the show? And asking those questions was helpful. But then being like this is a new season for the thing that I'm taking over and I want to own it in my own way huge. I mean, otherwise you start limiting your creativity right from the start because you're looking at what has previously been done. That could be for anybody doing a blog, for a website that already has a bunch of content released. Anytime you come into an existing organization, they're already going to have content of some kind, media of some kind. Making sure you don't cap your own creativity because of the way it was done before takes it a little bit of time and a little bit of I mean I'm still getting pushed into that more and more, but that would be my immediate advice. Yeah, it's a good point. We have to trust that we were hired to do the job because we're the right person for the job, right, not just filling someone else's shoes, but actually wearing our own shoes to the role. But so hard to actually do that right away. At least for me, it was super easy to doubt. Like okay, I know you're telling me to do be, to be growth, but like, what is that actually mean? How much control should I actually take? What should I actually try? And even if you have to ask for permission a few times, even though you already have permission, ask those questions so you can gage it and prompt yourself into it. I like that...

...and maybe reminder ourselves to give ourselves a little bit of grace that. Yeah, we're going to be a little nervous at first and we'll grow into it. Well, next question maybe a bit loaded, but who's your favorite past host of be to be growth, and why is it me? This question is so unfair, but yeah, I mean of course it's wreck. He was so far superior to every other guest, our host that we've ever had. No, we had a lot of good hosts. So that's also fun to listen back and the things we've tried around hosting, having several and then we're doing these throwback episodes on Friday now. So when I go back and look through the whole catalog and like we could feature different hosts almost every week if we wanted to from the archive. So obviously, when you have six years of content and two thousand episodes, it's fun to watch the evolution and here past hosts. Yeah, yeah, well, what do people say when you describe your job and you say like, well, I'm a I'm a podcast host, that's what I do for work. Do People even believe you? First of all? So I try to think of other ways of saying it other than saying, like I'm a professional podcast host. What are your euphemism's? Well, I say I'm in marketing. That's an easy one. or I'll say, like I interview people and then it'll lead into podcasting. I work for a media company. But I will say my wife is a seventh grade teacher, so I get so much Kudos from her students because they all want to be you tubers and the like. You get to podcast for a living. You get like they think it's this crazy thing and then they hear that I'm in be TOB SASS marketing and they lose all their interests, like it's not Gamer podcasting. But yeah, I mean podcast hosting in general is it's new, it's exciting and it's real. It really is fun. But there's always lots of follow up questions when I say that that's that's what I do. Yeah, well, thinking about day one, right, you just walked in and of course we're remote company, so you just showed up at your own house and you're taking over the show. You kind of set the stage as far as like lick their styles and of episodes. Are Been Multiple hosts in the past. You've got to go gather some Intel around, like what should we do next? But what was the condition of the show as you looked at it with fresh eyes? So it was successful, it was working, but it wasn't anybody's really their fulltime thing, and so I would say one of the first things I noticed was it lacked sustainability in the way it was being run. So we said we were and we say a daily show, but really what we mean is a every workday show. We were hoping and aiming for five episodes a week and there were times when we got close to that number. I looked back through our archive and we were sometimes hitting it, but it definitely wasn't consistent and people were still listening and they were engaged in that format. But if we're promising something, obviously we want to make sure that we're delivering on it, and so I wanted to shure up, you know, more consistent quality conversations and then also those interviews being with chief marketing officers, directors of marketing, and really having the content that we're producing being content that is from the front lines of marketing, like it's in our intro now, right. We want to shore up what we're doing so people know what to expect every day and in my mind it's like let's honor the past six years of be to be growth by then kind of bringing it into something. It's not entirely new, but it is like, all right, we're doing four interviews a week, you know what to expect. We have a throwback episode on Fridays, like there starts to be some structure to it where we really know what to anticipate and I think then people tune in. It's it becomes a cadence, a rhythm in their life as...

...well as a listener, and I always appreciate that in the podcasts that I love and enjoy is I know what to kind of expect and then get into this rhythm. You feel like. That's the core reason behind a daily cadence as a goal for the team. That is one of the main reasons. Absolutely I want be to be growth to stick in a part of your schedule. I imagine this is because of me. Right I listen to podcast at one point five or two speed, which I recognize I talk fast sometimes, so if you're listening to me and two speed, I apologize. I should probably talk a little slower. But let's say the episodes thirty minutes. I'm listening to about fifteen, twenty minutes. That is a really easy daily task that I can set for myself with be to be growth. I'm going to listen to the show and I'm going to get some sort of marketing insight five days a week. That's going to help continue to further my education, continue to further my evolution in my marketing and the episodes are going to be relevant to you, marketing teams, to leaders, and that cadence is great because it's like, I know, I work five days a week. If I have an F twenty thirty minute conversation, I can listen while I'm doing another task. Just those insights are, I think, so valuable. So that would be definitely one of the main reasons we want to be a daily show. For those who are taking over something or maybe think about starting something new, I think daily or some high velocity or high volume of production is sometimes the long term goal, but it doesn't seem realistic to get there. You've talked about how at one point this show was maybe a couple times a week or maybe a little bit more frequently, but not truly daily on a consistent basis. I mean it's it okay to look at that and say like hey, it's going to take us some time to get here. Frankly, maybe looking at how long you've been host of the show, how long is it taking you to get to that daily cads? Yeah, so came on the team November first and we are daily as of March, the beginning of March. So and this is your full time role. I mean this is some people that's just a part of what they're producing in terms of content, or maybe as a marketer or maybe as a team. Maybe you're an entrepreneur and you have this goal of like Oh, we want to produce all this stuff, but ultimate it's not realistic. So how did you how did you kind of set the goals to get there? How did you get to daily? The runway is important, so it's over communication with your entire team to go. We're not going to jump from once or twice a week or whenever we, you know, get an interview we post it to to daily, like there has to be some sort of buildup of episodes to even feel comfortable with it. And I'm still figuring out that cadence quite honestly, because I've done shows in the past but I've never done a daily cadence. So we were over a month ahead when I felt like we're okay, now we're comfortable and we have some runway to be releasing content every single day. But again it was like, okay, if we're at to a week, let's go to three. Let's not go from two to four. Let's not go from two to twenty five. Let's just go up one and let's see how that feels. And we did that for an entire month, which then gave us another month of runway to get more interviews locked in, and then we're just slowly building. And obviously three to twenty four. I actually jumped us from three to five, but that's because we haven't a back catalog of two thousand episodes. So Friday became throwback episodes, and that's also a great way of repurposing which I think needs to be in the conversation, like do you really need a daily show? I think that's a conversation worth having. I definitely think bringing back old episodes is worth it and I don't think people mind. We look, I look at our Listons. It's one of the metrics I'm tracking, obviously, and we get the exact same or more on old episodes because people like, Oh, I think I might remember that, like I should do I should re listen to that because I need to rehear it right. Yeah, there's so many times when something smart said to three years ago that...

...when we see it again, somebody reposts on Linkedin or we read that same book again. We're like oh my gosh, it takes us back to that moment where we learn something pivotal or you're in a different company, a different context. So now new insights come out of it. If you've ever read an old book, you're like this didn't jump out to me at all the last time and now it's totally relevant, and I think that's what's great about podcasting. It could resonate in a completely new way when you hear it a second time. Yeah, absolutely true. Well, what are some of those lessons that you've picked up on as you've gone from the less consistent, maybe less frequent production of episodes all the way to a daily show? Maybe some pitfalls or some some structures you've had to build. One of those lessons. So calendar view in a sauna is a lifesaver. I know that that's hyper practical, but we all use some sort of task management APP and we, you know, here at sweet fish, we use the sauna when you have so much content coming out, being able to just rearrange it on a calendar and see where things flow and when hiccups come up you can just easily rearrange and change things. For a production of a daily show, you got to have some sort of calendar view where you can see how far out you are and and can plan easily. I'd say batching. batching types of work is super helpful. So I only do interviews with guests or pre interviews in the afternoon. My mornings are times to make micro videos or right interview content or all that behind the scene stuff outreach. That all flows in my mornings and that batching really helps. On Fridays I will get the next week's episodes scheduled on our website or all the background, but batching the content becomes really helpful. You need a fast, excellent editor. I would definitely say for podcasting specifically, but if you have multiple eyes on a blog that you write or whatever you mean, you always needed an editor that's quick, and so shout out to Ze, our German, wonderful editor who's listening to this and editing it right now. He's fatimatist, wicked, he's a magician. And then I'd say do your best. I mentioned this earlier, so I'll be brief on it, but do your best to stay ahead. You know, three weeks, two months for us with the daily show. I think is is about. I think that cadences is going to work great for us. So that speaks to kind of like how do you plan to go from nothing, or maybe less production, to that daily or that high production? It means you've got a plan for even getting ahead of it, not just getting to it, which is really I thought that was really smart when you started coming up with a plan for that. Is We can't just get to daily and then everything depends on the next day's interview going live two weeks later or something like that's got to be fully advanced, fully ahead. When you talk about especially guess outreach is something for podcasting, but think about all the folks who want to write a blog with someone else, want to interview someone else for maybe thought leadership piece. Want to collaborate with them on a ticktock video. Maybe they want to run a Webinar with somebody else. There's a lot of this coordinating with third parties people have nothing to do with your brandon, especially if they're strangers. What have you learned about that process in getting folks involved with the show? You didn't have a million followers on Linkedin and a hundred thousand connections like you couldn't go just draw from that well, constantly, so you're talking to strangers. What do you guys learned or what have you learned from that? It's actually an interesting part. Picking off your last question too, because when you're talking about staying a month ahead and now we're at a daily show, it's something I'm actually right now thinking about because managing third party connections and having to like stay ahead in a daily cadence is a really difficult because schedules shift and change and we do a pre interview, which we might talk more about, but the pre interview process means that we're going to meet this person twice, so we don't just have to get one thing on the calendar. We have to get to and the time in between those things matters how fast you can actually get somebody to recording. So I think I've learned...

...a lot about guest coordination, but the next couple months will be really telling. So for me, I would say, because I'm reaching out to a lot of CMOS directors of marketing, the amount of time it takes to coordinate with their schedule. We make it as easy as possible with hub spot and my calendar links and all of that. We try to explain the whole podcasting process and make that seamless for them as a less the least amount of friction possible, right. So the email cadence and making sure it's personalized up front, but then also like there's constant reminders to them to make sure that they're actually following through with getting a time set up. So that becomes a potential bottleneck that we're I'm still constantly working on. How do we make sure that they're set up to win and then for us as a show, we're set up to win and we're still far enough out. It also means that we have to constantly continue to do outreach even when we feel like we're at a pretty good place right now. That's something I've done wrong. I think I sat on like Oh man, we're getting pretty far ahead, maybe I should pause outreach, and then it's like, no, crap, I should probably keep doing outreach and if we're a month and a half, two months out, that's fine, I'll just tell them that on our interview or pre interview and so they can prepare for that mentally. But we need to be set up as a show to not like be worried or nervous about how much content we have kind of sitting and ready to post. Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Well, what have been some of those unexpected surprises, whether good or bad, in hosting a daily show? What something's come up for you? HMM, so a good unexpected surprise, you know, when you're like scrolling linkedin and it's there's it's buzzword heavy. So yeah, you might see like alignment, ABM, like these things that just people throw out. I was a little nervous coming into be to be growth, that it would be hard to get unique lanes for this many episodes. And I've said to you rex privately offline, like the pre interviews become one of my favorite pieces of this whole process because you're locking in what that marketer is specifically passionate about. Yeah, so even if they start with a buzz word, we end up finding unique lanes that they're trying or doing in their organization that go far beyond just, you know, surface level. And even when there is recurring themes and pre interviews, if you look through our past episodes, we're not like hitting on the same topics over and over and over again. There's been more differentiation than I anticipated, which is Great. And then the other side. One other good unexpected surprise would be, following episodes, we do original research. So I created a just a google form. It's about eight questions. We've been doing it, say, the last couple weeks, and now we're every interview I do. I'm doing these questions and afterwards it's just like, what are the KPI's that you're, you know, looking at and track? What's a team goal for this quarter? Even just like a book or a podcast that you really enjoy and had a big impact on your career. Hearing their answers to those questions not recorded just for research on our part, things that we probably share on be tob growth episodes in the future, but you get an inside look at what's caused massive success for these CMOS or these market leaders, and hearing that and the conversation that comes is just been a huge I don't know, it's awesome and it's so personal and it's a fun surprise for me. That's great. So you gave us too good surprises. Tell me one pothole you've fallen in, just one. I won't make you drag us through them up, but just telling one pole you fallen in, whether it's because you're going to daily or just taken over his new host. I have so many but I think my my add brain is an advantage in...

...interviews, but also is a disadvantage when it comes to organization. So I don't want to act like I've just had these systems that really work well. It's been a lot behind the scenes to make this work and I alluded to it a minute ago, but I'll go into a little greater detail here. In February I was really far ahead. I was suit, I mean like I was a month and a half of interviews ahead, and I'm like, okay, if we do more and I tell someone their episode won't go live for two months, that, I mean, that's a little hard to like figure out and I've never been that far ahead with previous shows I've worked on. So I stopped outreach for like a couple weeks and now I'm in a spot where will be fine, you know, but I do wish there was a lot more interviews that I have not even held pre interviews for yet, because I'll say, with our where we're at right now, I have held a ton of pre interviews. So like April should be taken care of, but every time someone has to reschedule. What does that do? It bumps timelines and changes things and moves thing so how I'm anticipating the time in between. Okay, you want to be on the show to pre interview to interview actually held. That's the sore spot right now. That's the Pothole that I'm trying to address to make that as easy as possible for us. So if you do have third parties that are involved in the content you're creating, I think the takeaway is as easy as you can make the scheduling and as often as possible to reiterate, hey, we really don't want to have to reschedule this, so make sure that the time can stick. I know stuff comes out, but there's also obviously things we can do as hosts, as the ones having to facilitate that will help make that a more smooth process and I'm learning that right now. Yeah, that's awesome. I learned a pretty hard lesson trying to create like co marketing efforts with other brands at previous companies how hard it was. We used to do webinars and then, if there's anything that takes so much coordination, it's a you know, forty five minute piece of content and and really thought out with visuals and how do you engage the audience? And it's all live. There's also gonna be a recorded version and who promotes and how much and who distributes into what degree. I mean there's there's so much work that goes into it that. Yeah, removing all the friction, making sure that things don't get rescheduled, because one pre interview rescheduled or one content planning session rescheduled by a week can are off for counter by a month. For sure on that front it well. Let's talk about the future of the show, because we've been talking about a lot of lessons that people can apply to to various facets of marketing and content marketing, especially co marketing, codebranding marketing. But let's talk about where speed to be growth going from here, and you've you've already kind of hinted it something related to original research. So I'm sure you'll pull that out of the hat. But like, what are some of the things that are loyal listeners out there can can expect from the show? So recently I posted on Linkedin asking what marketing topics you want to see covered, and so I think you're going to see US intentionally cover topics that you're asking us to cover. We're hitting on topics that matter and are important and we're getting great feedback. I know that these episodes are resonating with people, but I think if we can speed up that time and make sure that, hey, you guys are interested in this topic right now and we can post an episode about that topic, I would love to see that. I think it will help build community around the show. I think two words really stick out to me right now that I'm thinking about, and it's distribution and creativity. So I want the content that we're making in long formats to also be easily digestible in short formats. So, Hey, thank you for subscribing to the show. You know, if you're listening on Apple podcast or you listen on spotify, wherever you get podcast like thank you for listening to the long format. But also how do we bring to the surface those small moments in a show that are really helpful and bring those to...

Linkedin and so are you know, our listeners can interact with us in multiple ways and then once it's on Linkedin, then people can comment and, you know, share what they're learning, which I think again reinforces community and helps us just be more creative, because we want even the people that are on the show to just be excited right like the guests that are here. They're already they love what be to be growth is, but if we can give them content to share and it's helpful for them, I think that's a huge win too. So just better distribution, more creativity topics that really aligned to what you guys are thinking about right now. That's my hope for the show. Okay, so if you're listening right now and you have a thought, you have an idea, you have some you want to explore, go find Benjie on Linkedin, because he is incredibly open to connect, open to chat those talking about marketing, and I know this just seeing the conversations he's having there. So if you've got recommendations, please hit him up. You're always welcome to find me as well. REX FIVERSTON on Linkedin. Benjie, what are you most excited about, probably in the next six months for the show, for the audience? Man, I do think we just hit on a main one in it's just interaction. Even survey is such a boring word. I wish there was a better way to say this, but I mean now you want to hear from you. So I'm I am creating some sort of survey for our audience where they can give us some feedback and give us some context into to their world and what would be most beneficial for them. Ultimately, that's what I'm here to do as a host. Like I don't want to just create something in a silo. I want to be involved in a community and be beneficial to your marketing efforts, and so I think the next six months is exciting from that vantage point. You're going to be able to expect, which I think you're already getting this, but quality, engaging marketing focus conversations five days a week. That to me is a win, something that can be baked into your schedule, that you know you're continuing to evolve and learn as a marketer, and it's it's quality and, if fun, hopefully right. Like conversations, we don't want to be static. As B tob brands and as a Bob Podcast, like our marketing efforts are fun. The hopefully the job that you're in right now is work that you know matters and is something you're engaged in, and so hopefully this will just fuel your passion, and that's what I love, coming to work to create that kind of content. Awesome. Well, Ben Thanks for joining me on this very special episode. Thank you, listener, for hearing us out, for taking a peek behind the curtain with us. And, has been always says, keep doing work that matters by everybody. If you enjoyed a day show, hit subscribe for more marketing goodness, and if you really enjoyed the day show, take a second to rate and review the podcast on the platform you're listening to it on right now. If you really really enjoyed this episode, share the love by texting it to a friend who would find it insightful. Thanks for listening and thanks for sharing.

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