How to generate high-quality B2B leads from the podcast with James Carbary

How to generate leads from the podcast

Have you ever wondered how to generate leads from the podcast?

Well, I had.

I was always suspicious about podcasting as a content marketing tool for several reasons.

This channel has unpredictable ROI. It’s hard to track whether your episode attracted the target audience or no. You can’t add sales pitches to the episodes.

As well, people listen to the podcasts from mobile devices, and the chances they will tap into the browser the show producer’s website is minimal.

One man changed my opinion about podcasting as a B2B inbound lead generation tool by 360 degrees. Meet James Carbary!

James is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, an agency that produces podcasts for B2B companies.

As well, James is my co-author of B2B growth marketing deconstructed ebook and co-host of one of the most popular B2B marketing podcasts called The B2B Growth Show

Once, I reached out James and asked whether daily podcast production worth its efforts.

He replied:

– “Do you want to meet with high-quality leads every day?”

– “Sure.”

– “That’s why we produce everyday B2B Growth Show”.

While most SDR and BDM try to get appointments with cold outreach and prospecting playing the game of numbers, James figured out how to schedule meetings with high-quality accounts that fit his ideal customer profile every day.

This unconventional approach helped him growth Sweet Fish Media agency in 1 year and acquire as clients “big fishes” like Terminus, Unbounce, Prezi, Acumatica, and others.

So I decided to talk to James and make a detailed in-depth guide on how to generate leads from the podcast based on his methodology.

Chat With James Carbary On How To Use Podcasts As ABM Tool

Featured Download


 Download the 26-step checklist and the detailed process which explains how to launch a show for your B2B brand and generate leads in the next 30 days. The checklist is added to The B2B growth marketing deconstructed ebook with 7 other marketing guides.

James' approach how to generate leads from the podcast

Here is a step by step process how James generates leads from his podcast:

1. Create an ideal customer profile

2. Create a list of target accounts who fit ICP

3. Outreach them with an invitation to be a guest on the B2B Growth Show

4. Talk about a relevant industry topic

5. After the recording, present own services

6. Send a follow-up

Pretty easy?

But many companies will never take this approach!

That's why when I decided to launch my own podcast The System B2B Marketing Show, the first person whom I reached out was James.

Key takeaways

The most common mistakes with podcasting

The biggest mistake according to James is to think about podcasting in terms of the show listeners.

Sweet Fish Media produces The B2B Growth Show for 2.5 years and James sure that they made hundreds of thousands in revenue from the podcast, but their revenue comes from their guests, not listeners.

Another mistake is to brand the podcast around your own expertise instead of the ideal client.

Marketers tend to think that in this case, they'll miss their audience but, James says, that listeners will come later as they will want to hear the conversations you're having with your guests. Because if your guests are the same persona as what you want your listener to be, they're going to be interested in that content.

How Sweet Fish Media generates leads from the podcast

For example, Sweet Fish Media sells to B2B marketers from 50+ employees fast-growing companies.

They invite CMO or VP of marketing to be their podcast guest.  As you guess, everybody agrees because everyone wants to be a guest on a podcast.

They're going, then, to build a relationship with guests by collaborating with them to create a really quality piece of content. Once that content is created, they have a relationship with this exact account.

Once they built a relationship, they segway into having a sales conversation, but in a much more natural way.

Sweet Fish Media do it at the end of the podcast interview. 14 of the last 20 clients that they've brought on so far in 2018 have been former guests on The B2B Growth Show.

So podcast is a great ABM and B2B lead generation tool for modern B2B marketers.

Why most shows fail and how to make popular niche podcast

Once more, the reason why podcasts fail is that they think about podcasting in the term of the listeners, but I mentioned it already that the key benefit of the podcasting is building a relationship with your target audience.

Still, besides passive methods of audience growth there are some rules that can help you to make a popular podcast:

  1. iTunes SEO. You should include your show keywords in the name and description of the show. As well, be sure to optimize the description of every episode. James underlines that during audience surveys most people mention that they found The B2B growth show by keyword searching on iTunes.
  2. Branding. Make a great logo, use smart podcast player, make a clean page. The show should be branded around ideal customer profile, not about your company. This is very important to make a great first impression for potential guests and listeners.
  3. Don't rely on influencers. The biggest myth in the content marketing world is to invite an influencer with a big audience, so he'll then promote this episode. In 99% influencers even won't share this episode or just tweet like: "I was featured in a new podcast. Liste here", which definitely won't generate you lots of visitors. Influencers have their own content to promote and secure their audience from external resources. James mentions that he had Gary Vaynerchuk and Noah Kagan as guests in his show but the stats show that downloads for these episodes aren't higher than for average episode.
  4. Record first 5 episodes with existing customers or referrals. These people already know and trust you. They had a positive experience working with you. That's why they'll eagerly help you to get initial traction for your podcast by recording an episode with you and promoting it.
  5. Repurpose your podcast as LinkedIn native posts. B2B audience hangs out on LinkedIn. This is your opportunity to drive target traffic to your podcast. But remember that when people are scrolling LinkedIn, they aren’t in the podcast listening mode. They aren’t in the place where they can listen to the podcast immediately. So you will never catch their attention with the episode teaser like many people do. What to do instead? It’s better to take 3-5 actionable and valuable pieces of advice from the episode.
  6. Add a link to the episode in the comments. Remember, that social media as LinkedIn hates when you try to drive people outside of LinkedIn, so add the link to the episode in the first comment and mention that the link is in the comments at the end of the post. This way you won't hurt the LinkedIn algorithm and can drive massive traffic to your post. As well, as attracting the attention of your target audience, so they can easily consume 3-5 valuable and tangible points, and save this link to listen later.
  7. Join the engagement pod. Engagement pods are the chats where people from different industries who work with the same target audience share links to their LinkedIn posts, so other people can like, share and comment under these posts to give them additional traffic.

What metrics you should track

As a B2B marketer, you should first of all focus on the number of leads you generated.

It is hard to track how many people visited your website after listening to your podcast, because they can type in google your website, and Google Analytics will show these people as a direct traffic.

Here are some tips by James what you can do:

  1. Buy a domain with the name of your show. You can also add a redirect to your main website but in the stats, you'll be able to see how many people visited this branded domain.
  2. Mention a special lead magnet on the separate landing page. James started to host B2B growth dinners with guests and listeners. In the episodes, he mentions these dinners and suggests to sign up to be notified when he'll be in a new city. People just reach him out and say: notify me when you’ll be in my city. James generated around 200 sign ups in this way. I'd like to underline that these are people who are highly interested in what he is doing.

Besides these metrics realize that podcast can give a boost for your LinkedIn profile and attract target audience to follow you, and, then, reach you out.

James mentions a case study when he closed a Fortune top-100 company. He realized that multiple people from this company read his LinkedIn content for several months and then reached him out for producing the show for them.

If people also visit your LinkedIn profile after you post valuable advice from the episode, it is also a strong indicator that your podcast is working.

Featured Download


 Download the 26-step checklist and the detailed process which explains how to launch a show for your B2B brand and generate leads in the next 30 days. The checklist is added to The B2B growth marketing deconstructed ebook with 7 other marketing guides.