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Podcast Guesting Pro founder Graham Brown joins podcast host Hugh Liddle on "Sales Chalk Talk" podcast to discuss ideas and strategies about how you can use podcasts, branding and storytelling to build the business you really want. The following is a transcript of their conversation. For more tips on podcast guesting success, go to our podcast guesting resources.

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Hugh Liddle 00:14
Hey, y'all! Welcome to the Sales Chalk Talk Show brought to you by Red Cap Sales Coaching. I'm Hugh Liddle, your sales wizard at Red Cap Sales Coaching, an elite sales academy, where you can learn to make selling easy, fun, and profitable. If you're a chiropractor or realtor, sell HVAC products and services or run any kind of a service oriented business, you can learn how to serve more people and dramatically increase your conversion ratio, sales and revenue. Stay tuned, and you'll find out how you can take the first step to get started growing your business into the successful enterprise you really want it to be.  

Hugh Liddle 00:53
I'm broadcasting today from Sebring, the very best part of central Florida. My awesome co-host Gene McNaughton is not in the studio today. Our special guest today is in Singapore and there's quite a time difference. It's four o'clock in the morning where Gene lives and we decided to let him sleep in this morning. He gets a little cranky when you wake him up too early. He's the president at Geobear USA, America's newest premier ground engineering company. Geobear helps customers improve the ground they live and work on. In his prior life, Gene ran a successful business growth firm having consulted more than 159 companies over 12 years. He's worked with brands such as T-Mobile, Panasonic, Targus and one of the top 15 accounting firms in the United States, just to name a few. Today, Gene is aggressively building the US branch of a global firm, Geobear Global, building the US location from scratch. He's the author of a tremendous book titled 'The Sales Edge'. You can read a free chapter at thesalesedge.co and the book is available at amazon.com.

Hugh Liddle 02:10
Hey, you're invited to continue making Sales Chalk talk a part of your learning in 2021 and beyond. Every week, you'll be able to get inside the heads of some of the most brilliant people in the areas of sales, marketing, leadership, business, and success. You can listen to all the past and future chalk talks at redcapsalescoaching.com/podcast or you can listen on iTunes and we're just about everywhere else you listen to podcasts too. Our upcoming shows, we'll have a great lineup of guests coming up for you here on Chalk Talk. So stay tuned and learn more and more about how to build your business and your sales.

Hugh Liddle 02:49
Our very special guest on this episode of Chalk Talk is podcast and storytelling expert Graham Brown. Let me tell you just a little bit about Graham. He's the founder of Pikkal and company, Award-winning Podcast Agency, an AI powered data driven B2B podcast agency in Singapore. He's a published author on the subject of the digital transformation of communication, works with 'The Human Connection Playbook', ‘The Mobile Youth: Voices of the Mobile Generation’ documenting the rise of mobile culture in the early 2000s in Japan, China, Africa, and India, and Brand Love: How to Build a Brand Worth Talking About. He also hosts Podcast Maps, the Be More Human podcast, the XL podcast, XL 10 minute leaders live and Asia Tech Podcast. He's published over 1500 podcast episodes.

Hugh Liddle 03:52
His work has been featured in the financial times, the wall street journal, and he's worked with McKinsey, Leap, UTI investment bank, Air Asia, the Singapore Institute of Management, Vodafone, Nokia, UNICEF, MTV, the European Commission, Disney and Monster energy drinks. He's also an ironman triathlete having completed one full iron man and four half iron mans. Born in the UK, lived in Thailand, Spain, Cypress, and Japan, he now lives in Singapore full time with his family. Graham's websites are pikkal.com and podcastguesting.pro. We'll tell you what's available to you there just a little bit later in the show. I think you can tell we're in for another fun, fascinating half hour. So sit down, buckle up and hold on folks beause here we go. Hey, Graham. Welcome to Chalk Talk.

Graham Brown 04:56 

It's great to be here, Hugh. Really looking forward to this, had a good chat off air. Let's hope we can keep it going on here. 

Hugh Liddle 05:01

I've been looking forward to having you on the show. So you have an interesting name for your company pikkal. Yeah, spelled P I K K A L. There has to be some kind of a story behind.

Graham Brown 05:19

You want the origin myth of Pikkal. So, I mean, I could give you a story about it's a lime, the logo's a lime here in Asia. Pikkal is a lime. It's a bit different in different parts of the world but the reality is here that firstly it's like pikkal, Google, Apple, doesn't really mean anything. And it was one of the few six letter domain names available when we registered it. Unique and readable as well. So that's the real origin myths. It just happened to be something that was flexible. I wasn't tied to a specific industry or a specific way of doing things.

Hugh Liddle: 06:00

That is interesting. We're gonna talk a little bit about brands today and about podcasting and just how to make your company stand out and be different maybe from other companies. How can brands use B2B podcasts to engage business audiences and communicate authentically? 

Graham Brown: 06:26

Well, you mentioned a really good point there, Hugh, which was podcasts in B2B space is what we're looking at now. The point you mentioned was about how you can stand out. It's an increasingly noisy marketplace, isn't it? It is. We're all competing for attention and we're all competing for that space in somebody's mind to be that X guy. So here's you with his red cap? His red hat. You'll all remember him as the red hat guy, but the red cap guy, red cap sales, right? It stays, it's a brand. It may be on one sided gimmick, but it works. It gets into people's consciousness. And that little bit of real estate you occupy is really valuable. So you have to be the X guy. How do you become the X guy? Well, podcasts are a great way to do. For two reasons. Firstly, it's a great way to meet people. We increasingly have a problem now of how do I get hold of that prospect? How do I get hold of that partner? And to get hold of people, you know, not even talking about travel here, but just to get somebody's attention, a sales call or a meeting or a coffee, but if you had a podcast with somebody and they were the guest on your podcast, think about that. So, I've done business with clients who were guests on my podcast originally, and I never would've got hold of them. You know, I've done business with CEOs who are very hard to get hold of, but by putting them on the podcast as a guest, you've got an hour with that guy. That is to me, one of the most effective business development tools out there, especially if you're in high value ticket sales. So that's one reason. Secondly, it's something you can refine as you go on. So often people don't start out. With a clear idea exactly what they are the ex guy for, but the more you get out there, the more you practice, the more you refine your messaging. I mean, you've been doing your business here for what, 13 years now. So that's a lot of refining and practicing of your messaging, right? It takes time and podcast is a great way to accelerate that just in the same way. You know, I say to clients that no comedian was ever born funny. You know, they got on stage and they practiced their material and they bombed and they got feedback and that's how we need to do it as well. And I think that works great for salespeople, constantly refining and finding the right messaging to resonate with an audience. 

Hugh Liddle: 08:56

That's really strong. And by the way, being a podcast host and having a guest, who's a world class expert in podcasting, I took a little bit of a dare here.

Graham Brown: 09:13

you know, I don't think there's anything to be scared of. Is there really? when you think about starting a podcast, you just be yourself. Maybe that's harder said than done. Isn't it? I'm so used to having polished presentations. 

Hugh Liddle: 09:25

Yeah. Sometimes it is just hard to relax and go with the flow. You are an expert at, among other things, thought leadership for B2B influencers. What is thought leadership? Exactly. And how can we build that in our businesses? 

Graham Brown: 09:44

Well thought leadership really is something I feel we can demystify that, it really isn't anything more than being that ex guy. So if I think about who do I go to, if I need help with sales, I'll ask a friend over the desk or via zoom or WhatsApp, and they'll tell me. Speak to Hugh because he's the red cap, you know, Hugh. No, no, he's the guy that wears the red cap. Ah, yeah. Yeah. I know Hugh I've I've seen his videos of, listen to his podcast, right? So really thats thought leadership, thought leadership is really occupying a space in people's attention and for us, and this is important for everybody here for us today in communication, especially B2B communication, attention is our biggest cost. So the most important factor is to win the attention of your audience. Because if you don't have their attention, you can't become a thought leader. Once you have their attention, you have permission to impress upon them. What, you know, so a key part of thought leadership is really occupying a space and understanding what is that X that you are known for and a good way, you know, people often don't know their X, a good way of understanding it is. Think of. The forces at play, the ones that pull you and the ones that push you. So maybe you've been pushing for the last few years uphill to be the crypto guy and trying to get your name out there in a very competitive marketplace to be an expert or thought leader in crypto, you're doing your blog post and your videos, but it's just hustle. It's like the constant hustle and it keeps decelerating. But then maybe there's something that's pulling you. Maybe people are reaching out to you and saying, Hey hu. Uh, I heard that you are really good at putting together presentations for blockchain startups, and you keep getting asked about this thing and people are pulling you in this way, even though you're pushing another way and be sensitive to that because that's your avatar. There's an energy that everybody has. The way we communicate a personality, physical, emotional in, you know, in intelligence as well that we project this avatar. That's what people respond to. And often you can't push against that. You have to listen to the way the market's pulling you. So once you get those pull signals double down on and that becomes you. That box you've gotta put yourself in and people say, oh yeah, I don't wanna be in a box. I don't wanna be pigeonholed. But to be in a box is to be in somebody's consciousness. When I ask Bob for a recommendation about sales, there you go. They're gonna require, you know, they're gonna recommend me to you so that is powerful. And that's how a lot of B2B business is done. 

Hugh Liddle: 12:40

Over the years, I've had the experience from time to time of getting in contact with somebody who did a great job of branding and marketing and found out that they really didn't have the goods. They didn't have the expertise, they didn't have the ability that they actually advertised. How important is it to do the work of becoming an expert in whatever field you're in. 

Graham Brown: 13:10

Yeah, putting in the work is really important because now we live in a world where social signals really determine expertise. It's more of a democratic process. Isn't it? As opposed to being an award-winning or having some kind of title, you could be the CEO of ABC marketing company, ABC branding, but unless you've got a lot of social signals, people effectively giving you social proof or social proof that you are that guy then it's really not valid and that exists, obviously, Google type in a word type in a key phrase and see what comes up. You can't compete against that. So that's really what the work is. How do you get out there? How do you build the content that points back to you? And obviously, blog posting is one, but really content marketing and thought leadership is employed across many, many different channels and one of the most effective coming back to podcasting is getting on other people's podcasts. That's doing the work, getting out there because you know what Hugh built an audience and somebody else has built an audience about something they care about. So maybe there's a branding podcast out there with only 200 people in the audience listening to it, but that's 200 dedicated people who listen every week. Doing the work means going out and doing those gigs, getting on stage, getting on those podcasts because every podcast you get on, guess what? It's there for a year, 10 years, there are a podcast that are 17 years old, potentially out there. Right? So they last. That content is out there pointing back at you and you get out there, do the work and build up your portfolio. And over time, people will find you and seek you out. 

Hugh Liddle: 15:02

I get messages from SoundCloud telling me that somebody liked a podcast that was done years ago. 

Graham Brown: 15:12

Hmm. That's powerful. Isn't it? Because you think of that set and forget power of the it's an asset isn't you've created. Almost like passive income in marketing, that's out there constantly producing for you. You're you're, you know, we are having this conversation now here and somebody's listening to another podcast you did five years ago.

Graham Brown: 15:34

That's right. Yeah. You can't clone yourself, but it's as close as we can get.. 

Hugh Liddle: 15:39

Right. Absolutely. Well, Graham, you say that thought leadership and brand authority are key to shaping demand and awareness at the top of the B2B funnel. Unpack that for us some.

Graham Brown: 15:51

yeah, I'll give you an example sometime ago,  a friend of mine forwarded me a WhatsApp message. She was an Australian, so it's gonna be humorous and it's gonna be rubbing me as they call it in Australia. So he forwarded me this WhatsApp message and it was a message that had been circulated around. Aussie's and he's Australian. He sent me this message and it said, it was a video recorded by Australians and it was about the pandemic and it was this sort of done as a public service announcement, but as a spoof and it was the gist of it was please, please, please, whatever you do during the pandemic, don't start a podcast because at the time everybody was starting a podcast, so it was humorous. It was a spoof. But the thing that he did, and this is top of funnel is the first thing he did was when he saw it. He forwarded it to me because in his consciousness, I was the podcast guy. And people will say, you know, Graham, no Graham who? Graham podcast. Graham. Ah, yeah, I know Graham. So that is top of funnel because we are unaware Hugh, the, the volume of those conversations out there, it's like top of funnel in the old school vernacular was a billboard or a hoarding, you know, it's a bus shelter, a bus stop, coke ad or, you know, the big hoardings you may see around town advertising Coke, is it, you don't go and buy a Coke when you see it. It's not getting you over the line. It's not like paper click, but when I walk into the store and choose between Coke and Pepsi, I'm picking up a Coke and I don't really know why, that's top of funnel. So the ability to influence conversations at that level is key to decisions where people place a lot of emphasis on reputation and trust. And that applies to particularly in B2B high ticket sales, where you're selling a concept or something that may be beyond your typical over the counter sale price. So getting out there doing the podcasts, creating thought leadership content. The great thing about this here is that it's out there working whilst you are not, or whilst you are elsewhere, just like the example that you said, you're putting hundreds of podcasts out there that all working like billboards out there talking to people and influencing them.

Hugh Liddle: 18:31

So sometimes, being top of mind, doesn't even mean that you have the very best product in your product line or service in your service line. An example of that is McDonald's. If you play word association and you say hamburger, almost everybody says McDonald's and they don't have the best hamburgers in the entire world or the best food in the entire world for that matter. Everybody knows the golden arches though and you deserve a break today and all of the things been done to themselves. And so they're just worldwide. They are top of mind. And so for us in our own circle, we want top of mind. We want to be the one company that everybody thinks about. I, I wanna be the, the guy that everybody thinks about when it comes to sales coaching. Hey, he's the sales wizard. He's the red cap guy. You know, he's got 51 years of experience. So you should talk to him. Being top of mind is extremely important and that's certainly what we're talking about in terms of branding. Folks will be right back with podcast and storytelling, expert Graham Brown, and talk more about how you can increase your brand awareness. We wanna encourage you to visit his websites at pikkal.com and podcastguesting.pro. On the site, you'll find a variety of free articles, blogs, and guides that will give you expert advice about how you can use podcasting and storytelling to build your company's brand. Podcast guesting pro is a dedicated podcast booking agency that works with B2B thought leaders. Podcast Guesting pro helps podcasters reach new audiences and build authority. Podcast guesting pro is a team of podcast booking specialists who do all the heavy lifting to make great appearance process seamless and enjoyable. For more information, you can go to podcastguesting.pro . Among other things, you can get a free podcasting guide that will give you a ton of great information about how you can start and run an awesome podcast. You can have Graham and his team help you build a successful podcast that shows off your expertise and helps you gain new clients for your business. Graham's client list is impressive and includes the National University of Singapore, Air Asia and IBM, just to name a few. You should get in touch with Graham and his fine team and have them help you build your brand through podcasts and branding and storytelling. So go to Graham's websites at pikkal.com and podcastguesting.pro right after the show or you can even pause the recording and check it out right now and take advantage of all the good stuff there. I promise, you'll be really glad you did. Now, if you leave to look at the websites, be sure you come back and listen to the rest of the show though, because Graham has some more great stuff for you.

Hugh Liddle: 21:49

We're back with our very special guest storytelling, branding and podcasting expert. Graham Brown. Again, Graham's websites are pikkal.com and podcastguesting.pro . Great branding really is vital in building a successful business. So how can I build a brand that's worth talking about? You refer to it as the psychology of storytelling. So tell me about that.

Graham Brown: 22:18

Well, your example is a good one, because you occupy a space in somebody's attention in their memory. Then the question is, is how do we do that? Well, the key is storytelling. Let's unpack storytelling a little bit here is that storytelling isn't once upon a time. Yes, that is a type of storytelling, but in the business concept, context, storytelling really is about helping people put information into boxes. That sounds really basic, but that's what it is. For example, if I stood up on stage and said this MP3 player is the best MP3 player in the world. He might not be interested, but if I asked Steve jobs, stood up and said, this is a tool for the heart, which is what he did when he launched the iPod. That's a story. It's what I call a short form story. A short form story is really, in other words, an analogy, it's describing something that's unknown and unfamiliar in known and familiar concepts. So in this case, I don't know what an MP3 player is and why I need it in my life. However, I kind of understand what emotions and heart and love songs and why we all love rock and roll or blues or jazz, whatever it is you're into.

Graham Brown: 23:49

And that connects with me. So building a brand is really about connecting. The unknown with the known and you look at how brands tell stories. And it's how we tell stories as individuals as well is we anchor our story to an existing story. And no, this is the insight that I would like the audience. I remember listening you listening now to think about is that when people talk about storytelling, they think, oh, I have to be this amazing storyteller. You know, that really engages people, but the good news is, is that all the good to stories have already been told. You know, you look at Avengers, you know, the best selling movie of all time, 3 billion at the box office it's the same as Lord of the rings or Harry Potter or star wars, or it's the same plot line, different characters and it's the heroic narrative. It's the hero myth, the hero's journey, according to Joseph Campbell. And this is the point you can use these existing stories to tell your story, and that creates powerful brand association, so Steve jobs was a master of this. He wasn't a master storyteller in the sense he was manufacturing these myths. He was borrowing myths that already were out there. When he launched the iPhone, he stood on stage and he used what many professional storytellers would know as the accidental hero narrative. The classic is, you know, he never chose this destiny, but destiny chose him. It's like one of those kind of movie show reels, but that's how he did it. He stood up there and said, you know, everybody else has had a go at producing manufacturing an amazing phone, and they've all failed. So we had to do it. We were called upon that's the accidental hero narrative. You can use study storytelling, look at these myths, these familiar plot lines and tropes and characters and leverage them for your own brand and that's powerful because if you go out there and try and manufacture a new brand with a new story, it doesn't work. That's the, you know, best MP3 player in the world, narrative find what's out there, you know, the challenger brand, the accidental hero, or, you know, the promised land, all these narrative vehicles exist already. So I think, you know, if you're gonna get into storytelling, study it, start looking at it, start looking at the scenes, look at the hero's journey by Joseph Campbell as a starting point and become a student of that. And you'll learn a lot about how to tell powerful stories. 

Hugh Liddle: 26:35

I was bitten by a nuclear spider and that's how I became the sales wizard so 

Graham Brown: 26:41

Isn't that Peter Parker? 

Hugh Liddle: 26:43

I think it might have been 

Graham Brown: 26:46

I like that story because we already, even that story of like Spiderman, the nucleus spider it's an accident, isn't it? Yeah. I didn't choose to become this superhero, but I was endowed with these special powers of being this sales wizard. And now I will, you know, make humanity better for my endowment, which is effectively that narrative, isn't it. It's not like, oh yeah, I'm just an opportunist. you know, which is the alternative, right? I'm a mercenary who just saw money on the table. 

Hugh Liddle: 27:18

Now I must teach the world to take the icky and scary out of sales. 

Graham Brown: 27:23

Yeah, I like that though, because you are like a guide aren't you? You're sort of unpacking a problem that people have. You know, people are scared of sales. I think they have some, a lot. There's a lot of negative connotations with sales, even though it's the life blood of business. 

Hugh Liddle: 27:41

Yeah. That's because they think that selling is about getting other people to do what they want 'em to do and actually selling is about helping people do what the people wanna do. Mm-hmm yeah. You get that mindset, right. It's not so scary. Well, Graham, it's been a ton of fun having you with us on chalk talk. And before you go, I do have one more question for you. And it's one, we ask all of our guests on every show, the questions based on one of my favorite books, the one thing by Gary Keer of Keller Williams real estate. So if you could give our listeners just one piece of advice, that you consider to be the most important in gaining success in their businesses, their sales, their branding, their relationships, their lives. What's the one thing Graham? 

Graham Brown: 28:32

Yeah. And I do like that book as well. The one thing I would say to you, the listener is stop trying to find your why, and instead find your start. What I mean by that is there's too much cultural premium placed on this idea of finding your why. And I think that we feel somehow imposters in a world of these people who have these mission statements, they were born into nobody really was born into that reality that we look around and we see all these people like, oh, this guy's talking about his why and why he's sort of changing the world and look at little old me, I'm just kind of doing my thing and it's insignificant and we feel somehow disempowered by all of that and then we procrastinate. Oh, I won't get started in my sales business or I won't get started on my podcast. Cause I don't have a why. Yeah. It goes back to comedy again. It's like, no comedian was born funny, you know what they got on stage and they got started. They rehearsed, they practiced this skits and their material and they took the feedback and took all the arrows. And the hair close and they improved on it. And that's what finding your start means. It's getting out there without having to find a why. And you know, what a, why is almost a post-rationalization of your journey? Nobody discovers their why until later on, you know, I'm sure we all, in our later stage of our careers, start to discover a why, but that's 20, 30 years of practice folks. And if we start that journey thinking I need a why you'll never start the journey. So finding your start is one of the best ways to start the journey and also get over that hurdle that stop so many people on the journey that is entrepreneurship, self development, sales, whatever you call it but I guess that's why you're listening to this podcast today to improve. Find your start. 

Hugh Liddle: 30:45

Here at Sales Chalk Talk, we believe in taking action. So go to Graham's websites at pikkal.com and podcastguesting.pro. Check out all the free articles, blogs, and guides that will give you expert advice about how you can use podcasting and storytelling to build your company's brand and implement those in your business. Go to podcastguesting.pro. Get your free podcasting guide and have Graham and his team help you build a successful podcast that shows off your expertise and helps you gain new clients for your business. Take massive action. Don't procrastinate. Do it now. Go to Graham's websites at pikkal.com and podcastguesting.pro right away. I promise, you'll be really glad you did. I also promised to give you some information about how to increase your business in sales. So here it is. If you'd like to start scaling your sales and revenue, you can have a free sales strategy session with me. Just go to redcapsalescoaching.com and click a button on any page to schedule your free, valuable no pressure session. You'll also find a ton of free information at redcapsalescoaching.com. that will help you tremendously in increasing your sales. Read a free chapter of Gene's book at thesalesedge.co and get your copy of his awesome book, the sales edge at amazon.com. Graham, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day and I know it's almost 8:30 at night in Singapore, where you are and taking your time to just come on and share all of this great stuff with me and with the sales chalk talk audience and please come back and do something similar again, real soon. 

Graham Brown: 32:43

Yeah. I'd love to. 

Hugh Liddle: 32:45

And folks, when you get yourself into pikkal with Graham, it's not a bad thing. So be sure you do that. 

Graham Brown: 32:54

That's right and if that doesn't work, then Hugh will charm you with his magic, magic tricks. The sales wizard in the house. 

Hugh Liddle: 33:06

Magically delicious.

Hugh Liddle: 33:10

Well folks, that's about it for today's sales chalk talk. We'll be back on November 15th with another edition of Chalk Talk for you. The special guest will be Tom Foster, the receptionist. We hope you'll join us then! Until then, make it fun and make it profitable. So long Graham, so long everybody and good selling.


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About The Author Graham Brown

Graham Brown is the founder of Podcast Guesting Pro. Graham is a published author on the subject of Digital Communication and Personal Branding (Amazon titles include "Brand Love: How to Build a Brand Worth Talking About" and "Mobile Youth: Voices of the Connected Generation). He has produced, project managed and guested on over 2,000 podcast episodes.