Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Mark Colgan, co-founder and CRO of Speak On Podcasts, on leveraging podcast relations for brand awareness and inbound leads:

Shaheen Samavati 0:13
Hi everyone, I’m Shaheen from The Content Mix and I’m excited to be here with Mark Colgan, co-founder and CRO at Speak On Podcasts, which is an agency that helps clients win podcast interviews. Thanks so much for joining us, Mark.

Mark Colgan 0:25
Hey Shaheen, thank you for inviting me. I’m really looking forward to this talk.

Shaheen Samavati 0:28
Yeah, me too. So just to start out, can you tell us a bit more about Speak On Podcasts and what led you to start this business last year?

Mark Colgan 0:36
Yeah, sure. So as you described quite eloquently at Speak On Podcasts we help our customers fuel their brand reputation and credibility by speaking on podcasts that their audiences listen to. The reason why I started the business with my co-founder is I was actually doing this before for myself when I was running another business. I started to see the really positive returns of being everywhere when it comes to repurposing the content from interviews, then also attracting inbound leads. So people would hear me talk about a particular topic, and then come to me and say, “Hey, can you help me and my company with this?” Now, we can’t promise to our customers that happens for every interview that goes out but if you hit the right audience, and they have the pain point that you’re talking about, then it certainly is a possibility.

Shaheen Samavati 1:21
Okay, so it’s kind of intimidating me having a podcast expert on the podcast. I hope we live up to the standards you’re used to. So securing podcast speaking spots is a very specific niche. Why did you decide to so narrowly focus on that?

Mark Colgan 1:42
Yes, sure. Well, I truly believe that you should focus on doing one thing very, very well to start with. A lot of businesses start and they try and offer too many services to too many different people and personas. Whereas when you offer just that one service to one particular audience, then it’s a lot easier to build a repeatable, and scalable customer delivery behind the scenes. So my previous experiences, I used to be a consultant, and I was working with software companies, helping them build out all of their marketing technology and marketing automation. But it meant that every project was completely different and it was only me that could actually do it. So part of the reason was we wanted to build a repeatable process that can be followed by a team of people rather than myself and my co-founder, Jakub. The second point is that podcasting was just booming. I saw the benefits of it last year, sorry 2019. Then when COVID happened, we saw a lot of people shifting a lot of their budget that they were typically spending on in person events and other marketing channels and we really saw the uptake of podcasts as a channel in 2020. So there’s a dual reason why we decided to niche in on podcasts.

Shaheen Samavati 2:54
I see. It’s the right timing, I suppose, for really focusing on podcasts with their rise in popularity. So you’ve done a lot of different things in your career, I can see from your LinkedIn, very varied. Could you tell us a bit more about your background and how you got to where you where you are now?

Mark Colgan 3:14
I’ll give the shortest possible answer. So I started off in recruitment, but I studied marketing at university. After about three or four years in recruitment, I moved into marketing and I was always the first digital marketer. So back then, kind of showing my age, they didn’t have a digital marketing person or one person to manage the CRM, the website, the marketing automation. So I developed my skill and my knowledge around building out the technology that sits behind all the marketing campaigns. I worked as a Head of Marketing for about a year and a half at an amazing company but I was getting to the age of 30 and I never took a gap year or a break. I went straight from university into work. So I decided to take an early retirement, I didn’t quite have enough money to continue doing it. So I only went away for a year, which was amazing, around South America and Southeast Asia. Whilst I was travelling, my old boss had contacted me saying, “Hey Mark, could you do a short project?” which was a CRM, customer relationship management implementation. I was like, “Sure!” I gave a ridiculous figure, because I didn’t really want to do it and he turned around and said, “Yep, we can do that.” So I then started realizing that I could be in Santiago, Chile, do a project for a week, get paid very well and then move on to another country. It completely changed my life in the sense that I knew that I could work remotely and I had a skill that I could offer and be paid well for. So the following two years, I set up my own consultancy and pretty much did that CRM implementations, marketing automation, working with software companies mainly that are just raised around funding and they needed to put in the infrastructure behind their marketing. But as I was mentioning before, I was the busiest person in the world. I could only work with a handful of clients at a time. I was getting a little bit tired of the rollercoaster of being always busy, then finishing projects and going, I need to find new customers and then being busy again. It was around this time I was introduced to David Henzel by the GrowthMentor platform, which I’m a mentor on. He asked me to come into his company and run it as almost like the general manager of a 100 person, remote company. So I went from company of one to a company of 100. So that was a huge learning shift for me, but an amazing opportunity to develop. I ran that business for about a year, I went in and made it a lot more efficient, improved the service offering that we had for customers. It got to the point around three or four months before I left, I started to see really great results in pitching myself and David and Jakub, the co founder on podcasts. I thought, if I’m good at this and I can train other people to do this, maybe I can offer this as a service. That pretty much brings me up to date.

Shaheen Samavati 6:02
Okay, that is a super interesting story that I didn’t expect. Very cool. Nowadays, who’s the typical client that would use your service?

Mark Colgan 6:17
So we have two types of clients. The first is a B2B or technology brand and the second client is usually an individual consultant or a coach that has a message that they want to share. But really the power of podcasting and speaking on podcasts, whether you do that with us or you do it yourself, is that it really can fuel your brand, your reputation and actually increase your revenue, because you’re speaking on the podcast that your ideal audience already trusts. So somebody has gone to great care like yourselves to build an audience of people who are interested in content marketing, or business or whatever the topic may be. So you can leverage that other person’s audience. If I was to give any advice to somebody just starting out in their business, I would go and look at podcasts as a very quick way of getting your name and your brand out there to your ideal audience.

Shaheen Samavati 7:04
So in a way, you’re kind of like a very specialized PR agency?

Mark Colgan 7:08
Yeah. You asked about my background as well and I think one thing I didn’t mention is, when you work in recruitment, you have to two sides of that. You’ve got the sales side, where you have to go and generate new business by finding companies who are currently hiring. We didn’t have LinkedIn like it is now when I was doing that to begin with. Then you have to find people who are looking for work. You play this matchmaker role of interviewing candidates and saying, you’d be good for this job, you’d be good for that job, you’re not so good for this job, because of the commute or because of your skills. It all became about that research and then the matching. That’s exactly what we do at Speak On Podcasts. Throughout my career, I’ve always done outbound sales and I coach sales development reps. I’m starting my third cohort on Tuesday, next week, and there’s over 100 reps that I’m going to be teaching outbound prospecting, which is all about outbound email, which essentially is what we do at Speak On Podcasts. We reach out to podcast hosts and make the introduction between our customers and them and their shows. So really, the service that we offer is a combination of all of my 13 years of experience today and it kind of all merges together quite nicely into the agency model.

Shaheen Samavati 8:22
So part of what you do is nurturing the relationships with the podcast hosts? And yeah, do you also have to like, match…I mean, do you end up putting people on the same podcasts or do you have to keep adding more and more? How does that work logistically?

Mark Colgan 8:38
Yeah logistically we could if we wanted to do it that way. Like I mentioned, I know marketing automation and what can be automated very, very well. But there’s certain things we do in our business where we don’t automate it at all. So for example, if a customer signed up with us and they had the exact same audience criteria than one of our other customers, we do the research from scratch, because we believe that there’s new podcasts that come out all the time and there’s podcasts that reach a certain qualification criteria that we look for. So we always restart the research from scratch because what we’re most important with and most careful of, is the relevancy. Just because a podcast says that they speak to content marketers, for example, there are content marketing related podcasts, but they only interview VP’s or CMO’s of large Fortune 500 brands, if our customer isn’t a VP or CMO of a Fortune 500 brand, then we know we can’t place them on there. So it’s really about finding the relevance between the topics, the audience and then matching that to the criteria of our customers. Which is why we just don’t simply reuse lists, I know other agencies out there do. So we take a very bespoke part of it, it slows the process down, but we’re very intentional about doing so and we communicate that with our customers and the first one.

Shaheen Samavati 9:56
Okay, so that kind of ties into the question, what factors should you consider when considering which podcasts to pitch to?

Mark Colgan 10:05
Yeah, so the most simplest way to think about that is think about who do you want to speak to. If you’ were on a stage, who do you want to be in that audience. So if you have a service or if you are consulting in the world of content marketing, for example, then you may want to look at the podcasts that speak about content marketing. One of our customers is in the HR space but he works with startups who are scaling. So for him, we’re looking for podcasts that are related to startups that are scaling, because he can foresee a lot of the challenges that these startups will have and the audience is mainly made up of the founders of the types of companies that he would love to work with. So really, it’s thinking about if you had a room full of people that would be your ideal customer, who are they? Then you need to go and research to find out which podcasts would they be listening to?

Shaheen Samavati 10:59
And how important is it to look at the audience size and their reach?

Mark Colgan 11:05
Yeah, it’s a really good question, we get asked quite a lot, well pretty much all the time by our customers. We very much say it’s a lot more about the relevance of the audience. So to give an example, I spoke on a podcast which only had 100 listeners per episode, which sounds tiny. But that podcast generated four new customers, because those people that were listening were the ideal target for me. They had the pain point that I was talking about which I could help them overcome. So it’s not necessarily about the numbers. We have quite a difficult job speaking to customers about this because everybody’s used to website traffic and paid spend on ads, how many clicks and how many conversions. Podcasting and speaking on podcasting is much more of a PR play than it is a demand generation or lead generation play as well. So whilst we understand, yes we don’t want to get you on podcast where they only have 10 people listening to, there is no definitive data source that we could tell you the exact audience size. Shaheen, I’m not going to ask you to answer it right now, but if I was to ask you as a podcast host, how many listeners do you get, you may not know with 100% certainty that is the right number because it’s such a disparate distribution of podcasts that it’s really, really hard to tell. So what we look for, rather than just the audience size, is we look for how many episodes do they have? What is the frequency of those episodes? Is it weekly, bi-weekly? Is it once a month? We also look at the number of ratings and reviews. One thing that I think is probably our secret source a little bit, is looking at the other guests that they’ve had on the show, using that as a determining factor of whether our customer is of the same level in the market, I guess, to also appear on the podcast.

Shaheen Samavati 12:52
Yeah, this makes me think about I don’t know if you follow Gary Vaynerchuk at all, but he famously will go on any podcast basically, even really small ones, well at least at one point, he was doing them every day or something just to put himself out there more.

Mark Colgan 13:09
Yeah. So with our customers, the usual services we offer four interviews booked per month, that’s kind of our promise that we offer to each customer. One customer turned around to us just last month and said, “Mark, I want to be everywhere. Let’s double up the amount of podcasts that I can speak on because I don’t want my ideal audience to be able to go on LinkedIn and not see my face and not hear my voice. I just want to be everywhere because it’s going to influence the purchasing decision!” Really that’s the smart way to be thinking about marketing, especially in 2021. When you have adverts, I’m not a paid ad specialist, I know they certainly have their place. But you’re interrupting people all the time. Whereas if you’re speaking on a podcast and you’re talking for 30 minutes, you’re in the ear of your ideal customer and you’re talking through challenges and pain points and how to overcome them. It really just helps you become known, liked and trusted, and build that authority and affinity with those people. So it’s hugely powerful. I don’t think enough brands realize how powerful it is. I’m not just saying this because I’m in the podcasting space. The evidence is I was doing this before I was in the podcasting space and it works.

Shaheen Samavati 14:21
Could you share what’s the advantage of working with you versus trying to set up these podcasts yourself?

Mark Colgan 14:29
So one of the things that takes the most amount of time for us is to do the research and to effectively find the right podcasts that match your criteria. Of course, there’s going to be lots of podcasts which are just starting out which will say yes to you, but is that really going to be the best use of your time? So the research is one thing. One of the things which was an unintentional benefit that a lot of our customers found from working with us. We go through quite a rigorous onboarding process. So I sit down and interview every customer that comes on board and they come into this conversation, thinking they know what they want to talk about. Then because of my recruitment background, I’m interviewing them, I’m diving deep, I’m asking “why, why why?” like so many times, so we actually then produce a number of different talking points or topics that we use to reach out to podcast hosts. A few of our customers have come back to me and have said, “This is the most clarity that I’ve had with what I do for customers. I’m actually using this messaging and terminology on my website now, because I’ve been explaining it in my terms, but having spoken to you…” I play dumb in the interviews and pretend I don’t know anything, so I can get the basics and understand what the benefits are. So they have a lot more clarity and confidence when they’re talking about what it is that they can do and how they help. So that’s number one. Also reaching out to podcast hosts and the follow up process is very, very time consuming. The booking process is probably the most time consuming, I mentioned to you before you’ve got an amazing process and Mary does a great job helping you out. But not every podcast has that so you’ve got to keep on top of that. But the biggest benefit for us is that we do have relationships with podcast hosts that say to us that you by far stand out as the best in the industry. There’s even some podcast hosts that say, if you have another guest that is right for me and it’s right for them, just schedule them in my calendar, you don’t have to go through the email, you don’t have to go through the process, just schedule them in. Lastly, the email drafting because I’ve sent thousands and seen hundreds of thousands of emails going out over my career. We take great pride in our outreach messages and we make sure that we’re not spamming, we have the reputation of our customers in mind as well. We’re very, very thoughtful with the messages that we send to the podcast hosts.

Shaheen Samavati 16:52
Great, yeah, it sounds like definitely there’s… I mean, I definitely understand the complexities that go into scheduling podcasts and all of that. So I imagine as a guest who wants to be on multiple, that’s a lot to deal with. So for someone who has never been on a podcast before, what would be your advice for appearing on one for the first time?

Mark Colgan 17:16
So first of all don’t be nervous. It’s just like having a conversation with a friend, a little bit like what we’re doing now. Most of them are pretty informal. What we recommend to most of our customers—and we speak to the podcast hosts about this as well—is to organize a pre-interview chat, so that you can just have a conversation to find out what the format is, if it’s going to be on video—because you don’t want to be surprised by that in your pyjamas. I put on a shirt today because I knew this one was going to be video. Also any questions that you’re going to get asked at the end. So some podcasts ask quickfire questions at the end of the podcasts and you want to be prepared for those because you don’t want to come across that you’re not prepared and you don’t come across too well. Also you get to know the podcast host and their style as well. So a pre-interview chat, I always encourage doing that, especially when you’re getting started. Other tips I’d say is to practice your topics. Think of the anecdotes as well that you can talk about when you’re explaining or giving evidence about the topic you’re talking about. Practice your call to action, most podcast hosts at the end of the podcast will say, “Hey, Mark, thanks for your time, where can people go to find out more about you?” So you might want to direct people to your LinkedIn or do you have a lead magnet that you’d like to direct people to? Is there a checklist you want to give away? So you want to have that in mind and have that practice so you finish strong and confident. Remove distractions, that’s another one as well, especially as we’re working from home, dogs, cats and then maybe if you have children as well, you might have to just say, “Mum or dads coming in here for 30 minutes, and not to be disturbed.” I think lastly, a lot of people get a little bit hung up on the technology. I’m using a microphone, which is a Blue Yeti. So it’s a Blue Yeti microphone, I think it cost just over $100. It gives you almost studio quality sound as well. So if you don’t have a microphone or don’t have access to it, usually the second best thing to do is wired headphones, just because the sound and the clarity is a little bit better. But I think the key is just to not overthink it. You’re having a conversation about a topic you love talking about and that’s a good mindset to have going into any interview.

Shaheen Samavati 19:23
Absolutely, yeah, that’s great advice. Some of the things I have to consider myself. The signoff thing, I gotta add that okay. So switching gears a little bit, I wanted to ask you when it comes to marketing your own business through content, what’s your approach to that and what channels do you use for content marketing?

Mark Colgan 19:43
Yes, so my approach to content marketing has always been a little bit controversial to what you’ll read on HubSpot blog posts, CoSchedule, Buffer. I just care about the challenges that my customers have in their role, in their responsibilities and that means that sometimes you might be creating content that has nothing to do with the service or product that you’re actually trying to sell or promote. But you are genuinely helping your ideal customers overcome their challenges. So to give an example of that, the previous company that I mentioned, which I ran, is called TaskDrive and what they do is they sell lead research and data to VP of sales as one of their personas. So a need for data is what TaskDrive can offer and we can solve that problem. However, a VP of Sales has challenges with hiring, with sales rep productivity, with the right playbooks that his sales reps or her sales reps have to follow. So we created a load of content around all of these affinity challenges that a VP of sales rep would have because we just generally wanted to offer value. Because we had so much more to talk about, the volume of our content was increasing as well. It was directing everybody into us becoming the trusted advisor and often times people would come to the website, sign up and say, I don’t need your services but can Mark have a look at my emails please. Or I don’t need your services, but we’d like to download the hiring interview questions that we were offering. So it’s just really important to take a step back, think about the overall challenges that your customers have. Then the follow up question I usually get Shaheen is, Well, how do I find out all of these different challenges that they have? What I recommend is that you take a look at the job descriptions of your ideal customers. I use LinkedIn all the time to look at job adverts. Let’s say I’m targeting HR directors, I will go and read five job descriptions a week about HR directors. So every week, I’ll read five new job descriptions and I’ll look for the patterns in what are their responsibilities and what are the objectives of them coming into that role. Then that is just a constant stream of content ideas I can produce for. The reason why it’s a little bit controversial is I’m not looking at keyword volumes. I’m not necessarily thinking about SEO. But I think the way that I use content in this sense is I use it in my outbound approach. So it’s not strictly for inbound. Looking at keywords, looking at the SEO, is very important from an inbound point of view. But when you have a well defined audience that you can target by email and you’ve created a very valuable piece of content which isn’t selling your product or service, using that to initiate the conversation through outbound is a really, really effective way to get your foot in the door and say, oh, while I’m here, what are you doing about x, y, and z? That x y and z could be what it is that you’re selling, or your product that you’re promoting.

Shaheen Samavati 22:34
Absolutely, yeah, totally agree. I was curious, I noticed, and I know your company is very new and you’re just starting to create lots of content. But I noticed, on your resources section of the site that you’ve put things into PDFs. I was just wondering, usually people gate PDF’s, so I was just curious why you decided not to gate them and also why the PDF format in that case, why not just the blog post?

Mark Colgan 22:59
Yeah, I’m not convinced that a form can change somebody’s mind from wanting to work with me or not. So if I force people to complete a form to access valuable content, it doesn’t mean they want to work with me, they just want that content. I remember first with the social media promotions, where it was like “Win an iPad!” or you go to an exhibition, and it’s like sign here and win a race day in a nice car—people are just signing up for the race day, people are just signing up for the iPad. That’s not a qualified lead for you just because somebody has put their name down—they want the iPad. So my attitude to this and you can probably tell through my tonality I’m getting quite passionate, is that don’t gate the content, give people the value. If they see the value in them working with you, then they will reach out to you because the buyers journey has changed. We all have more information. The buyer research I think is up to like 80% of the purchasing decision before they reach out to somebody by now. So if you’ve got all of your content gated and your competitor has it ungated, which company is your prospect going to have more of an affinity to and a more of a likeness to? Probably the company that hasn’t forced them to fill out a form. People put case studies behind forms—mad. Why would you put a step of friction in the way of somebody seeing how amazing you are and with all the customers that you’ve worked with. Now there is a place for forms and there is a place to collect emails. So we do that through content upgrades. So for example, the PDF or the resource might be a very valuable piece of content, but we’ve probably kept back something. An example being, I put together—with Melissa’s help—a mutual contact of ours, Melissa helped me produce a four and a half thousand word guide on how to land your first podcast interview. That is all completely free to access and look at. However, if you want to get the email templates that we use or you want to get the spreadsheet that we use for research, you have to put in your email address. So that’s how we do use forms but still somebody could walk away from reading that piece of content and go and implement and overcome the problem or the challenge that they were trying to overcome in the first place.

Shaheen Samavati 25:09
Okay, so when it’s the more specific super high value stuff, at that point you’ve gained their trust already and it’s fair to ask at that point.

Mark Colgan 25:19
Yeah, I believe so. I think there’s got to be that fair exchange of value. A lot of times, people will just put in a fake email address, especially if they know that once they put in that email, they’re just going to get forwarded to the landing page where they can download the piece of content. So always make sure that you don’t do that with your content. If you are putting in lead magnets or you’re putting in content upgrades, always make sure that you email the content to the people, not just forward them on to the page where they can download it, because you’ll get loads of fake emails that way.

Shaheen Samavati 25:48
That’s a very good point. So I wanted to ask you for a few of your tips to share. First of all if you have any productivity hack?

Mark Colgan 25:59
Yeah, so there’s two that I’d like to share. So the first one is just time blocking in your calendar. So my life is really represented in a very colorful calendar. I have different colors for different things. But even things like catching up with Katie or catching up with Melissa, for example, that will be in the calendar too. I also put blocks of time in and it will say “do random stuff.” First of all, it made me feel like “Oh, my life’s too boring, I have to plan everything out.” But I achieve more in a day than I ever have before because I have all these blocks of time which I stick to. Working out, eating lunch, not so much for showering, but there’s different times and with my time blocking the first two hours of every day of my work day, I don’t take any calls because that’s the time that I’m productive and I want to do deep work. Around lunchtime is when I’ll do presentations like this, presentations or interviews because I’m warmed up, my brains already in gear and I’m good to go. In the evening, I tend to do more sales calls and calls with the team as well. I find sales calls they come quite naturally to me because I’m an extrovert, I love talking to people and it doesn’t require that much of my energy, whereas it’s not the case with everybody else. So I save those to the end of the day, not 9 or 10pm where I’m tired, but just towards the end of my working day. Then my other tip for productivity is outsource. Outsource what you don’t know how to do. Whether that be creating content, whether that be having somebody set up your social media, having somebody manage your inbox, it might be something that you know how to do but is that really where your time should be spent? So outsourcing is probably one of the best ways to leverage your time, because we don’t get any more time in a day, it’s just how you use it.

Shaheen Samavati 27:45
Yeah, absolutely great tips. Do you have a favorite software tool or an app at the moment?

Mark Colgan 27:54
I do. Are you familiar with @UseLoom, or Loom?

Shaheen Samavati 27:57
Oh, Loom? Yeah, like the video tool? I’ve heard lots of people talking about it.

Mark Colgan 28:01
It’s amazing. It will change your life, Shaheen. I have a team of 12 which are distributed across the world from America to Brazil to Vietnam, the Philippines and Europe. So we’re not all online at the same time. Actually, when you look at it, there’s not that many times where you do actually all need to be online at one time. So for example, I just updated a template that we use to send out to podcast hosts once we’ve booked an interview with them. So I just recorded a Loom video saying, “Hey, team, here’s the updates I’ve made. Here’s where you can find it. If you have any questions, just let me know on Slack.” Rather than having everybody jump on a call for me to say the same thing, I use Loom in that case. I also use Loom for everything. I really can’t think of a use case that has come up yet, where it hasn’t been able to replace an in person call, unless it’s a sales call or a team meeting where you do need to get together.

Shaheen Samavati 28:52
Very cool. Actually, yeah, I’ve been meaning to look into that and you’re motivating me to actually do it. It’s very cool. Well, who’s a professional role model or a source of inspiration?

Mark Colgan 29:06
So I don’t have any particular role model that I look to and follow. What I do a lot, I’ve got a very analytical and logical brain. So I tend to reverse engineer a lot of successful funnels, and agencies as well. I go in and have a look at a 10,000 foot view, what are they doing, how are they doing it? Then I pick away at particular things and strategies that they’re using and then test them myself. I do love business books, I read a lot of them. I find that actually seeing what’s working right now is more effective than reading a book for the more tactical and executional things as well. So that’s what I’d say is my inspiration and is what other people are doing well.

Shaheen Samavati 29:51
Yeah. Well, anyone who’s doing things really well that you’re particularly looking at these days?

Mark Colgan 29:57
I think MasterClass is a fantastic example of building a brand and awareness through paid ads, they’re really, really good. From a content point of view, I grew up in the software world and a lot of people would ask me, “Mark, do you have any examples of great content that isn’t selling to software marketers, or salespeople?” And there’s a company called Trekksoft, they do tour operator software, their blog, and their resources, and just the way they structure their content is phenomenal. It’s a really good example of a non-software company selling to software people. So those would probably be two that I admire in the way that they do things.

Shaheen Samavati 30:36
Very cool, I’ll have to try to get them on the podcast. So speaking of business books, do you have any favorite ones to share?

Mark Colgan 30:47
Yeah, I do. So one of my favorite books is The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow. He also wrote a book called Built to Sell, which is a very influential book in the way that I’m building the business with my co-founder. He’s just released another book, which I’m yet to read. The Automatic Customer is pretty much talking about how to create a subscription business in any industry. So there’s a few examples in the book where he talks about how a floor repair company started adding in a monthly cost for repairs. There was a general handyman business and what they found from looking at hundreds or if not thousands of the call outs that they did, there was typically only one of 20 problems, it was a light that needed fixing, a fuse that went, maybe the extractor fan broke, so they just kitted their vans with those 20 things. So they always had a replacement for those 20 most common things. Rather than charging on a one off cost, they just charged a monthly subscription. The majority of people don’t use it on a monthly basis. But what’s really important in the book and the main lessons is that it’s all about the customer experience. Even if you haven’t got a subscription based business, if you treat your business like a subscription based business and you have multiple touchpoints in the lifecycle of the customer, it really creates a much larger trust and affinity with you as a brand. So it’s a really, really great book, even if you’re not in the subscription world.

Shaheen Samavati 32:11
Yeah, awesome. I haven’t read that one, I read Built to Sell so I’ll have to check it out.

Mark Colgan 32:17
It’s really good.

Shaheen Samavati 32:19
Cool. Lastly, I just wanted to ask about any resources you recommend for marketers, or for staying up to date on marketing trends?

Mark Colgan 32:28
So I use LinkedIn a lot, I follow certain influencers. So because I’m still involved in the sales and the sales development rep space, because of the coaching that I do, there’s around 30 thought leaders I’d say in that space and I have them on a list in my LinkedIn Sales Navigator and I just check in there and see what they’re doing. I also save a lot of articles, so I can read them later. In terms of staying up to date on marketing trends, it’s podcasts for me. Because by the time a trend is introduced to the market, it reaches maturity, then it’s put into a book, it’s probably too late. So I really like watching, listening to podcasts which talk about marketing trends and yeah that’s how I mainly keep up to date. So it’s all live, it’s not historic.

Shaheen Samavati 33:15
Any particular favorite podcasts at the moment?

Mark Colgan 33:18
Yeah, so I’m interested in product led growth from a software point of view. So Wes Bush has a great podcast called Product-Led Growth, the team over at CoSchedule do a great job of podcasts about content marketing. Then because I’m building an agency, I’m also listening to podcasts which are in the agency space as well, because there’s learnings that I need to absorb, or things that I need to avoid that I can learn from others. So I listen to a few of those too.

Shaheen Samavati 33:45
Awesome. Cool. We’ll definitely put links to all this in the blog post that goes along with this episode. So we’re reaching the end of the episode so I just wanted to ask if you have any parting advice or final takeaways for other marketers in Europe?

Mark Colgan 34:01
Yeah, sure. Well, if you’re in Lisbon, I’m here for the foreseeable so when we can meet up again, feel free to reach out to me and we can grab a coffee or a beer and just connect with each other. There’s so many people working here and unfortunately, we’re all working from home. We don’t have that collaboration that we’re used to. So just don’t be afraid to reach out to people and say, “Hey, look you and I do a similar thing for different people. It’d be great just to have a conversation with you and see if we can help each other in any way.” In general, people are kind and people are open to collaboration. We’re social beings, it’s part of our DNA. So never be afraid of reaching out, asking for help or just reaching out to see if somebody wants to connect with you. Just don’t be afraid. There’s a lot of a hesitant people feeling worried that they’ll get rejection. But from my background in sales, it’s full of rejection, but I’m still here and very happy.

Shaheen Samavati 34:55
Yeah, that’s a great note to end on and a great point. I totally agree. Also I wanted to ask you, if people want to follow you or find out more about what you do, where should they go?

Mark Colgan 35:07
Sure. So the best place to speak to me or reach me is LinkedIn. So just connect with me. It’s Mark Colgan and I’m sure we’ll put the link in the show notes. Just let me know which podcast you heard me on, I’m quite prolific on some of these podcasts. Then another way just to find out about all the things I’m up to is if you just visit, it’s just a landing page which can point you off to the various projects that I’m involved in.

Shaheen Samavati 35:31
Awesome. Well thanks so much for being on the podcast today, Mark.

Mark Colgan 35:35
Thank you, Shaheen. I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you so much.

Shaheen Samavati 35:37
Yeah, me too. Thanks to everybody for listening in. For more perspectives on content marketing in Europe, check out and keep tuning into the podcast for more interviews with content experts. See you next time. Bye.

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