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Building Your Audience with Dan Sanchez

April 18, 2022
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Effective marketing is difficult to get right, and independents like us have a lot to juggle when marketing ourselves.

Hubspot says that the biggest determinant of effective marketing is your audience. If we’re not properly targeting our ideal clients, we might as well not be marketing at all.”

In this episode, Dan Sanchez and Alastair McDermott discuss how to start building an audience, what types of channel to target, and how the different types of content can work for each channel.

They also discuss Dan’s two channel rule, how to use long form and short form content synergistically, and how to use content to save time.

Show Notes

Guest Bio

Dan Sanchez is the Director of Audience Growth for Sweet Fish, a podcast agency for B2B brands. Equipped with his MBA and a career that has crossed design, technology, marketing and education, Dan is ready to teach others how to grow their audience in a digital age. He contribute’s regularly to the B2B Growth podcast, LinkedIn, and his own blog at Dan’s also an avid runner, yerba mate drinker, and resides in Nashville with his wife, a cowboy, and three princesses.


podcast, content, people, audience, books, questions, linkedin, interview, flywheel, bit, read, thought, consultant, talking, media, find, research, episode, growth, channel

Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Dan Sanchez


Dan Sanchez  00:00

As a consultant, you’ve probably done this, keep doing it keep a list of all the questions you have, write the best possible answer that you can without customizing it for the client and put it in that long post form or that long, single solo episode.


Voiceover  00:14

Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.


Alastair McDermott  00:30

Hey, if you are a regular listener, then you know that I’ve made a decision not to look for sponsorship for the podcast in a major part because I don’t want you to have to listen to ads before during the podcast. But I do want to ask you a favor in return. If you are enjoying the podcast and listen on a regular basis, can I ask you to take a minute to leave a review, it’s really easy to do this, you can go to And it’ll give you options that are appropriate for your device and your listening app. So that’s at and that link is in the show notes. So thank you, I really appreciate it. Now on to the episode.  So today, my guest is Dan Sanchez or “Danchez” as he likes, he likes to be known. Dan is the Director of Audience Growth for SweetFish who make podcasts, they’re a podcast agency for b2b brands specifically. And he has an MBA, he has a career that’s cross design, technology, marketing and education, and he’s teaching others how to grow their audience in a digital age. And he contributes regularly to the B2B Growth Podcast. He’s very active on LinkedIn, I love his LinkedIn feed. He has his own blog at, and he’s an avid runner, yerba mate drinker, and he is in Nashville, with his wife, a cowboy and three princesses – I love that. So Dan, thank you for coming on the show.


Dan Sanchez  01:49

Oh, thanks for having me.


Alastair McDermott  01:51

So yeah, there’s a there’s a lot that we can talk about. And we have a lot in common. And we were just having a little chat in the pre show about podcasting. But I want to talk first about audience growth, because well, frankly, I’m interested in picking your brains on this because I’m a podcaster. And I’m trying to build my own audience. But also the the listener is trying to build their own audience. Maybe they have an email list. Maybe they have a blog, maybe they’re thinking about podcasting, or they’re YouTubing or something like that, as well. So where do we start? We’re trying to actually grow our audience.


Dan Sanchez  02:20

I think the best place to start is by focusing on just two channels. There’s a lot of people like Grant Cardone and Gary Vee shouting from the rooftops that you need to be everywhere, posting 10 times a day. And honestly, unless you’re putting in the amount of time and effort that they’re putting in, I just don’t find it to be realistic. You could do it. I mean, if you want to work 60 to 70 hour weeks, and you love that kind of a grind. Will it work? Yeah. Will it go faster? Yeah, but I don’t know about you. But I actually like living some of my life. And I actually like marketing, I freaking love my job. But at the same time, I also like spending a lot of time with my family, I homeschool my kids, there’s a lot of other things I like to do too.  So I like to call it the two channel rule, because it just works. Have one channel for short form content, one channel for long form content. Usually they interact and work the most synergistically together. Short form would be like LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok. Long form would be blogs, podcast, YouTube videos, to kind of give you an idea. But by going all in on just to and literally forgetting about the rest, maybe maybe setting up your profile for someday maybe, or automating it and then just never touching it. And just be okay with just being all in on two mediums is probably the best thing you can do as a solopreneur, independent consultant, or if you have a very light and small staff


Alastair McDermott  03:42

really cool. I was just talking to Mark Schaefer on the podcast. And he had an interesting perspective on the channel thing. And maybe this fits in with what you’re talking about here as well. He likes to think of them as posting channels and distribution channels, which I think is an interesting frame for it. So but I’m in that boat, where I have a presence on a whole bunch of different channels. And I’m not like I’m not, although I’m technically I’m on Facebook, and my stuff is getting reposted there. It’s only getting put up there automatically. Um, I’m not logging into Facebook myself, and I don’t have my system login to Facebook, and I don’t really love that platform. I don’t embrace it. I don’t like their kind of philosophy of business. But I’m really active on Twitter, and then a little bit less so on LinkedIn. But the podcast for me is the big channel. So would you see the podcast then, as one of your channels? Would that would that fit in that kind of frame?


Dan Sanchez  04:38

Absolutely. All on on the podcast. And as much as I guess, like, Gosh, I really want to hit YouTube. I’ve wanted to do it for years. I even have like the studio setup. If you can’t see the video. Like I have a studio. I have cameras. I have lights, because I wanted to get to YouTube ended up in podcasting. And I’m actually really happy that I did because I actually think there’s more room for growth. podcasting, even then YouTube, and YouTube’s discoverability is better than podcasting. But that’s why you just, you just need the second channel to make that work. I’m very bullish on podcasting. And that’s, that’s my channel that I’m going all in on.


Alastair McDermott  05:12

Yeah, I’m the same about YouTube, I have a YouTube channel that I’ve put a bit of effort into. And I even did an expensive training course in YouTube last about six months ago, or four months ago. And the big takeaway for me from that, by the way, was that I need to bring more entertainment into my educational content, and bring more story structure, you know, three act structure, hero’s journey, things like that. That was the big takeaway I took from the from the YouTube training, but it just feels like so much effort. And like, we’re already like, if you take this advice that you hear of, you know, trying to be a media company, or everybody is a media company, whether you like it or not, it just feels like so much to do. So. What’s your thoughts on that about on the media company thing?


Dan Sanchez  05:59

On how to simplify it so that there’s not so it’s not overwhelming?


Alastair McDermott  06:04



Dan Sanchez  06:04

In what way? Is how it


Alastair McDermott  06:06

is? Yeah, it because it feels, you know, like if we take this advice, and there’s people who are independents, they don’t even have a VA. And I strongly urge anybody listen to this, who doesn’t have a VA or an assistant, you got to you got to start to outsource some of your admin, it just makes your life so much easier. But if somebody is doing this, and they hear this advice, you know, you need to be a media company, you need to create content. What’s your thoughts on that? Like, like, as an independent? How do people start with that?


Dan Sanchez  06:35

I honestly think it starts with trying to get more out of your content. So there’s a few ways this can happen. And this, I’ll give two different ways. One, use your content to save you time. Record podcast episodes, or write blog posts or whatever it is your long form channel is, use it to answer questions, you frequently get. B2B blogs are actually pretty good at doing this. Most of the time as a consultant, you’ve probably done this, keep doing it keep a list of all the questions you have, write the best possible answer that you can without customizing it for the client. And put it in that long post form are that long, single solo episode, because the more you do it, while the more you could just sling them the episode. I have a friend who has a theology podcast, it’s called theology for the rest of us. People ask him theology questions all the time. He’s recorded so many he’s recorded, like 250 Plus episodes now. And there’s hardly a question he gets that he has an already answered on his podcast. So he just pulls it up on his podcast, he built a little search engine on there, bam, pulls it up things that to him.  Here’s my answer on that saves time. So like, yes, it takes a little bit more time on the front. But instead of answering a client question, once you push record, and then upload it as a podcast, so first, use it to save time, and then you’ll start to see you build a little bit of an audience around it, even though your your primary purpose was saving time. That’s one, option one, option two, especially if you have a podcast, though, again, this works for Blogger, YouTube, I just find this works phenomenally well, podcasting is you can use this long form channel, to also build relationships. It’s one of my favorite things about podcasting. Because you can reach out to anybody you’d like to know, provided, they’re not a super celebrity, and say, Hey, I love what you’re mentioned talking about with such and such, I would love to interview you about it on my podcast, or YouTube channel, or for the blog, either one, chances that they’re gonna say, Yes, are really high. Hence, I’m here on this podcast today. Right? And I do the same thing I asked people I’d love to get to know or maybe I’d love to do business with them. Do I get on the podcast and then pitch them on my services? Heck, no. But I build relationship with them, they’re gonna remember me. And they better believe when they see my LinkedIn feed content next time, they’re probably going to recognize it a little bit more and start interacting and engaging with my material. But if they don’t, oh, well, they could be a future hire. They could be, they could give me a referral later. Because they’re gonna look me up and know that offer podcasting services with sweet fish. So you can use it to also network essentially, and build relationships as well as making content. So you’re double dipping. So in the beginning, when you’re so you got way too much to do double dip, use it to answer questions, and or use it to build relationships. That way, you’re getting more bang with your buck.


Alastair McDermott  09:08

Yeah, yeah, I’m with you. 100%. Okay, so one thing that you mentioned, and I want to call back to a previous episode with Marcus Sheridan, who wrote the book, they ask you answer, you talked about the idea of creating content and answering questions. And that’s exactly what built his business to be just a mega business. And I, I wholeheartedly agree with that concept. One place that I found useful to go and find somewhere you may already have answered questions is in your outgoing email. If you go back and look through your sent email, sometimes it’s hard to find them. But if you can find if you remember sending emails to people, or if you can sort your email by size, sometimes you can find that you’ve written the equivalent of blog posts in your outgoing email answering people’s question. And then the other thing is, I’ve started to take a philosophy of if somebody has asked me a question and it’s not a paying client, then I’m going to answer them in a non individual way. So I’m going to answer them, I might answer their question, but I’ll answer it, you know, with with an audience in mind, and I’ll create the content for the audience. If it’s a paying client, of course, I’ll talk to them one on one about their issues. But if somebody is not a paying client and asked me a question, wants to get on one of those, pick your brain calls, then what I’ll try and do is I’ll do that in a way that I can actually reuse that. So I think that’s, that’s important. I love the idea of you know, repurposing content. And I’m really trying to do that a bit more, hence recording the video, even though we’re not currently using the video. I want to use that again in the future. But I noticed, I realized that I’ve dragged you off topic a little bit, because we were talking about the the audience growth approach that you take. And you were talking about having the two channel Max as the as the first the first concept. Can you go through a bit more of that with us? And just kind of lay out your thoughts on that


Dan Sanchez  10:58

on the to channel or the audience growth approach?


Alastair McDermott  11:00

Oh, sorry. I thought the two channels was was one part of that audience growth flywheel? Yep. It’s not


Dan Sanchez  11:05

part of what I would call the flywheel. But it definitely makes a big difference in for people that are running, doing all the marketing themselves, that probably make the biggest difference. Even for teams that makes a big difference. Now, the flywheel the flywheel man, there’s multiple components to the flywheel. And I could go through each component. But let me tell you, let me give you like the shortcut on how the flywheel works. It essentially works by interviewing your ideal buyers, and then making them using that content to build a media outlet that’s targeting all the topics they like to hear about. Because what most people do is just talk about the topics around their expertise, which is good, but you’re not going to be the go to around the things that all all the things they like. But you could easily with a podcast, create a whole different destination around all the things they like. So if you interview your ideal buyer is on their expertise, they’ll provide all the answers, you just have to come up with the questions in the same time you’re getting to know them, you can ask them questions about what keeps them awake at night, what their team’s biggest challenges, what their biggest accomplishment was, recently, actually get a feel for where their heads at. And then you could start to custom customize your content for that you can actually produce better thought leadership content, to address the things that you’re hearing from them over and over and over again. Now, you might not have to go through this step. If you’re a consultant, and you’re constantly hearing the questions, and the pain points over and over again, already, you could probably skip that step. But then it comes about creating methodologies and thought leadership. And when I say thought leadership, I mean specific content that’s unique, that addresses their pain points. And what I like to do is help people package it up, I think everything single thought leadership idea needs to be packaged. And it needs to be packaged with a name with a description, a long description, some proof evidence that it works through through studies or case studies. And then an illustration a picture of some kind. If you put all that together in a good post or a podcast episode, you’d be surprised how powerful that is. And to really make it spin, I usually record a shorter video version of it of the long form, and then use LinkedIn ads to get it in front of the exact people I want to be in front of and the call to action isn’t hire me as a consultant, or book a free consultation. It’s listen to the podcast, listen to the full episode. So instead of getting them to buy, I’m getting them to become part of the audience, I’m getting them to be intrigued enough to listen to more of my methodology, my way of thinking, knowing that people aren’t in the market all the time, they’re usually in the market for a very short segment of time. But if you can be in their ear for days, weeks, months, maybe years, by the time they jump in the market, you’re probably going to be the one that they call because you’ve been in a year the whole time. Or if YouTube you know you’ve been in front of them. So running LinkedIn ads is probably the best arbitrage there is right now Facebook ads and Instagram ads are getting harder to do. You can’t in a b2b setting, you can’t target the right people with it, you have for every one, you have to target 100. But on LinkedIn ads, you can really focus on the few 100 or 1000, few 1000 that are actually your buyers. So that’s what I love there. And you’re targeting them with content, pushing them to longer versions of that content, where it’s hopefully you’re sending them to a site where the call to action is subscribe, not by


Alastair McDermott  14:20

Louis Yeah. So okay, there’s there’s a bunch of things in there to unpack. So the thought leadership content you’re talking about, you’re talking about packaging that up and kind of producing this in in a way that is kind of user friendly. You’ve got images in there, you’ve got case study kind of proof. But you also you also talk about how it is like its original content. And I think that you, you talked about that as coming from research or from interviews, is that right? So that’s that’s how you create that content.


Dan Sanchez  14:56

It could just be your unique approach, because of your background. expertise, you’ve found a different way of doing it, or have an idea for a different way of doing it. You can still promote that idea though usually you need some kind of substance to actually test it know that it’s going to work like this audience growth flywheel. We’ve done this with customers before, it’s sweet fish to know that running ads on LinkedIn with targeted pieces of content work to grow the audience. So hopefully, as a consultant, you’ve actually tried out some of these ideas. I know that they work before you actually start naming it and putting it on paper and all that kind of stuff.


Alastair McDermott  15:29

Yeah, yeah, of course. Yeah. I like the idea of because I’ve been wondering how to use paid ads. And I’m I do ads for the podcast. So I’m doing ads on on overcast, for example, and podcast addict, and that’s to grow the podcast audience. But I’ve been wondering about how to do paid ads into content, because that’s something I’m interested in doing a bit more of. So I might investigate the LinkedIn ads a bit more and see if that’s, if that’s something I want to do. So yeah, I really like the idea of the call to action being subscribed, because obviously, that’s a bit building your audience, which is what we’re trying to do here. What other elements are there in that audience growth flywheel he call it?


Dan Sanchez  16:14

I think there’s a different way of thinking when it comes to growing an audience, that the audience flywheel growth flywheel implies, and it comes with marketing, your actual marketing your media, if you’re into marketing, usually, we’re marketing our services. But you almost have to think about creating a marketing funnel just for your media, where you’re not trying to get them to buy but get them to subscribe. If you approach it with that kind of mindset, then you’re not just testing out your product or your services, you’re testing out your ideas, which is where the short form content, like really helps, right? On LinkedIn, I can test that an idea with a post. And if it goes well podcast, if it goes particularly well, a series of podcasts, right, you can start to uplevel your idea. But without that, you’re kind of shooting in the dark or just testing it with customers or clients which can be fine. Depending on who you’re working with. It come back to the the flywheel though.  One key component is that original research. With my podcasts I like to bake email into it. But as email light, it’s not like I’m doing a fully crafted newsletter. But I like to diversify a little bit with own media, with LinkedIn being somewhat owned media, because people can subscribe to me. But there’s there’s kind of this thing called LinkedIn and between us and an algorithm that keeps people from seeing all my content, podcasting doesn’t have an algorithm, but I don’t know who they are. So email is like the true owned media. Og, right. Like it’s the one where you have the most control, you can move from email provider to email provider, you get to own the relationship a little bit more. So I do try to push people to an email list with a podcast. And I would recommend the same thing for a YouTube channel or blog, right? subscribe to the podcast by email, most people will do it by Apple.  So you have to give them a reason to do it. And the way I do it is by collecting a little extra information, at the end of every single one of my episodes, I call that Fast Five. These are honestly research questions for me to get to know my audience better. But then I use their fast answers to these questions as email content. And at the end of my episodes, I’ll be like, Oh, to check out the Fast Five, subscribe to the newsletter, where you’ll get the Fast Five and the updated when new updates when new episodes come out. That way you drive people to email, email, people drive people to the podcast, and it creates a little bit of synergy there.


Alastair McDermott  18:19

Right. So that’s that’s like extra bonus content that they get if they if they subscribe. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. So when you’re talking about research, and this is something I’m really interested in, I’ve done some kind of mixed method research myself through both interview calls. And then I did a large kind of survey multi choice survey consisting of a bunch of different surveys, actually. So I surveyed over 1000 consultants to try and get a kind of a feel for the market and learn some different things. Is that the type of research that you’re talking about, or do you have something else in mind?


Dan Sanchez  18:51

There’s only one type of research that I like to do as a marketer. I think everything else to me is supplemental, whether it’s third party reports, whether it’s survey data, my favorite kind of research is impersonal interviews, which works really well with the podcast, because you’re practically interviewing and sitting right there across from your customer digitally via zoom or Riverside or something. And that’s what I that’s what the first five questions are from me. They are literally my research questions. And I’ve already I think I’ve already mentioned a few of them in the show, but it’s like, what’s, what’s something you or your team have recently achieved that you’re really proud of?  What are the KPIs your boss is holding you accountable to what influencer republication is the most influential to your work right now, the answers to these questions gives me an idea of like, what they’re thinking about what they’re hearing what they’re seeing, what they’re aiming to achieve, what they’ve achieved, that they’re really proud of, what their biggest obstacles are, and with just five questions, I can get a pretty good sense of where my audience is at and ask those all the time. And it’s ongoing research because the answers could change. My questions could change, but it’s actually packaging their answers into unique content, as well as using it to inform The thought leadership content I’m putting out, so it can actually align to their answers.


Alastair McDermott  20:05

Love it. And so does that. Does that mean then that the people who you have as guests on your podcast are all your ideal clients? Are they all potential clients for you or in that market?


Dan Sanchez  20:16

Right now, that’s all I’m interviewing for my podcast, I will take seasons, I actually have my show set up for seasons for this reason. So I can go and be focused for a season, my first season was all almost all solo episodes, my second season is all my ideal buyers, my third season, I will probably interview thought leaders on the space, and then do some more solo episodes, but there will be seasons, why always swing back to just interviewing my ideal buyers, to continue to understand where they’re where their heads up.


Alastair McDermott  20:45

That’s, that’s brilliant. I love the idea of breaking it down that way. Because then you can, you can be inconsistent in a consistent way. And you can you know, it, it feels congruent, that you’re what you’re doing. And I think that’s something that’s important for your audience to feel. Yeah, there’s actually a plan here, this isn’t just random,


Dan Sanchez  21:04

I like it. And I like being able to get in front of my customers and take large seasons I was I was, as we were talking about dress before this interview, actually think quantity makes a huge difference here. And I I’m going through a season right now where I’m interviewing 30 of my ideal buyers, so I can get to know them. And they all have great content to that’s the things I’m interviewing marketers, and they’ve all touched owned media, they’ve all touched audience growth, they all have some great nuggets and things that they’ve learned about how to do this. They have great content. In the meantime, I can also ask them questions and get to know them and see where they’re at. So that content is great. The insight I get to what’s going on is fantastic. And his fuel the next couple of seasons of the show, and then eventually I can swing back around. But doing 30 episodes in a month is a lot of work. You know, I’m spending at least 20 to 30 hours a week doing this right now, as a solo consultant, you might not be able to take that much time to do it. But at the same time, it’s like, I don’t know, can you take four weeks off to hit that hard knowing that you’re building relationships with people who could be giving you money later? Ah, you might want to think about it, especially if this especially if it’s slow right now, right? If you have more time than Cust client work, well, you might knock out some more interviews and do some more outreach, it’s not really hard work, I actually find it to be fairly enjoyable, because we’re interacting with people. And that’s for me is fun.


Alastair McDermott  22:22

Yeah. And going back to something we mentioned earlier, I think you should be outsourcing the hard work part, which is the the editing and the other parts of putting it all together. Because there is quite a lot of work in putting a podcast episode out the amount of moving parts, it’s a lot more than it looks from the outside, because you think, hey, it’s just a media file, or maybe a cover image, you know, but there’s a lot more to it when he started digging into it. So yeah, which is where, you know, companies like like yours come into it. To help with that. Because there’s just so much, there’s just so much little, you know, attention to detail stuff that, you know, like we put out, for example, we put out quote, images, writing the show notes, actually is one of the things that that takes the longest time for me, that takes me like 45 minutes to an hour per episode. And so I’m trying to put that down,


Dan Sanchez  23:12

what do you show notes,


Alastair McDermott  23:14

just just trying to describe the episode in such a way as to make it interesting. And, you know, try and make make it sound like something that that the listener is going to look for, I just find find that it just takes time to put that together. And I haven’t been able to outsource that part. Because I think it’s important that the episode description link is really important. But you know, there’s,


Dan Sanchez  23:34

it’s because the person who actually has to listen to the full episode, which is time consuming, and then to write it. So it’s actually better for the host, in my opinion to write it. But I would write a much shorter and simpler show note. Because I don’t some people read the show notes. But most don’t. The headline is actually if you’re going to spend more time I would write three headlines and pick the winner rather than spend time on the show notes.


Alastair McDermott  23:56

Yeah. And I, I have outsourced part of the the the headline or the title by asking the guest to give a suggestion as well now, which is simplify things, because quite often they will actually come up with a good title for the podcast. So if you’ve been if you’ve been a guest, in the first 30 episodes, I didn’t ask you for a title. If you’ve been in the last 25 episodes or so I have asked for a title so and that that has made life a bit easier. And just finding right there.


Dan Sanchez  24:26

I think I’m ready to place because that does take time to do and they might have Yeah,


Alastair McDermott  24:29

yeah, yeah. And so Okay, so, um, you know, obviously, I’m really interested to talk to you about the podcast stuff because I’m podcaster but I want to keep this relevant for people who aren’t as well. But so when I think of flywheel and I’m just coming back to the word flywheel, because I do think of that in terms of content marketing. And you know, the the, the original meaning of flywheel is is this big heavy wheel that that machines are connected to that keeps everything turning. And I feel that content marketing, inbound marketing is like that. It’s takes a while for that to spin up. It was that something like do you choose that were deliberately because it does take time to get it going?


Dan Sanchez  25:08

It does. It takes time. And but once it gets going, it gets so much easier, like part of my own flywheel just personally is that I’ve put a lot of time and effort into LinkedIn. So I have an audience there, which makes it a lot easier to kick off a podcast. And I can test ideas. Once you have an audience, a little bit of an audience, you can start use leveraging that audience, because they’re fans, you can build stuff with them. And they want to help ask for insights, ask for reviews, ask for help choosing a title as for questions for a guest. Ask for? I don’t know, like even today, I put out a poll because I realized I’m doing this whole show on audience growth b2b marketers, I’m starting to find after doing all these interviews, and I would have had this insight unless I talk to people, they define audience differently.  And it ranges drastically. I’m talking about subscribers, like to a podcast or a social media channel, and that sometimes they’re talking about people hitting your website. Sometimes they’re talking about target audience, which are people who don’t even know you yet. So we need to get clear I’m trying to I’m so I’m going to my audience on LinkedIn, and now asking them, how do you define an audience and I gave them a poll with some for easy answers. And I worded in such a way that a lot of people are commenting now, but I have an audience to go to. And now I can actually make a whole episode about that include that LinkedIn survey in the in the podcast itself, to kind of get a better representation so that it is more relevant to them. Because I have their thoughts.


Alastair McDermott  26:25

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. One thing that we talked about there, and so I’m a big, big fan of, of using that research and getting their thoughts. And using that to kind of to influence that the next thing that you do to use that input, you know, as ideas, and I have a whole bunch of research data, information, that is actually the guts of a book, or possibly five or six books, depending on the way I look at it. And its research is just so important for me. And it all kind of happened by accident. I was talking to my my business coach Philip Morgan. And he said, Look, why don’t you just just put out a poll, you know, put out a survey and put it out on LinkedIn.  And just start he said, Don’t Don’t worry about getting it right, just just get it started. So I put out that for a survey. And I have to admit, I was a bit bold, I did have it connected with a little bit of automation. But it worked really well. And I started to get responses. And I realized the questions weren’t right. I based on the answers. I was getting a nice ask different questions. So I started asking different questions. I got 100 more responses. And then I started asking different questions again. And each time I got answers, it helped me to kind of course correct in the questions I was asking. And I started to get some really interesting insights into what I was what I was researching. And I think that research doing research like that. It’s it’s been crucial for me. And I see that you mentioned it, like you mentioned it quite a lot. And it’s like it’s a core part of your your podcasting process. I think it’s something that is vastly underrated. So just wanted to get your thoughts on that.


Dan Sanchez  28:06

No, I think qualitative research is what powers content. If you’re not doing it, then you’re just taking swings in the dark. And hopefully you get lucky with some of your content. Because unless you are your audience, and even then you’re probably only a small segment of your audience, because you can only be who you are. Right and your audience is probably larger than your exact personality, gift mix, job, industry, all that kind of stuff. And if you’re a consultant, then you’re probably not in your audience. Because you’re a consultant, you’re the expert. Right? So chances are you don’t remember what it’s like to not be the expert. It’s really hard to go back. Right? The gift, the curse of knowledge effort called. So you have to be talking to them all the time, interviewing them, asking them good questions in order to realize what what’s what’s stopping them from working. Something I learned recently from a fantastic Well, actually, it wasn’t it was actually not a great book. But this one idea was fantastic. It was like this, like super cheesy, how to get 100,000 downloads in your first 90 days of a podcast or something like that.  But he dropped one golden nugget in the book that I’m still wrestling with is that you don’t just make content to tell your audience how to do something, you make content that kind of attacks, the reasons why they can’t, why they’re not doing it, the mindsets they have that are limiting them, which is something I’m still wrestling with. And I’m honestly through research now trying to find and really find the reason behind the reason for why they don’t grow an audience or why they don’t do this or why they don’t do that. I’m sure most of you if you’re a consultant, a really good consultant, you’re already kind of getting to that kind of stuff already in coaching through it. But that’s the kind of stuff you need to be recording content about. And the only way you get to it is by spending lots of time with your audience.


Alastair McDermott  29:46

Yeah, this is something I’m I’m really interested in. In particular because I one of the core things I focus on is helping people to make a specialization decision and helping people to niche down because I think that’s one of the most important things that you can do as a, as a consultant going from this place of being a generalist to be more of a specialist. And I think it’s, it’s a decision that is fraught with a lot of fears. And so that holds a lot of people back. But I was talking to somebody recently. And they said to me, you know, it’s not just about this fear of failure or fear of picking the wrong thing. But there’s also this thing where their identity is tied up in this, and it’s a mindset thing. So you know, you have a particular identity, and you don’t want it. And what I’m asking them to do is change their identity. I thought that was an amazing insight. And it’s something I’m thinking about more now, trying to figure out, you know, what does that mean, for me trying to help people with this? So do you have any thoughts on that? Is that something you’ve thought about? In changing their identity? Yeah, the fact that, you know, that that’s what we’re asking people to do. When we ask people to make these different decisions, or, you know, where people have these limiting beliefs. It’s just, it’s all of all of this kind of, like, I think that’s so much about business success is actually tied up in our mindset and how we think about things. It’s not actually about, you know, the conditions that are out there, or, or, you know, making a strategic decision. It’s much more internal,


Dan Sanchez  31:12

you know, because I only just got introduced to the topic a few months ago, I’m only just now starting to get into what this means to help people go through it. And I’m sure there’s a lot of coaches and consultants Listen, maybe and like, a newbie, right? Because I’m, I’m pretty confident that I mean, this is really the work of coaching more than consulting. Yeah, consultants, kind of, like lay out like this is, this is your problem, here’s the possible solutions. We can work through it together to identify the best one and help guide people through versus coaching is usually getting to that heart issue and helping them discover it for themselves, which really requires transformation. And I will tell you that I’m a little bit more of a consultant, a little less of a coach, but I’m so bright. Only recently have I started recognizing the need to coach more to help people through those transformations. I can’t say that I’m good at it yet. It’s something new to me. And I’m still learning gosh,


Alastair McDermott  32:02

yeah, I probably owe I probably own apology to any coach listening to this. Because they’re probably thinking, Oh, my God is the blind leading the blind here. This is something I’m trying to work on myself. I’m in that position where I’m trying to transition from going from a consulting mindset to thinking of myself as a coach. It’s something I’m trying to work on. And I know that I still have that consulting, problem solving mindset. And yet something I’m definitely trying to try to figure out myself. So look, maybe down, we’ll come back to that one and compare notes. And then in a year’s time and a new episode.


Dan Sanchez  32:33

Let’s do it. Let’s do it together. It’d be fun.


Alastair McDermott  32:36

Cool. Okay, so I want to come back to the audience growth. So you talked about, you talked about, you know, having short form content, long form content you talked about, he talked about thought leadership development, and how you use interviews to create that content, how you actually build that into your process. And then you talked about, you know, using things like LinkedIn ads, to, to market your media.


Dan Sanchez  33:02



Alastair McDermott  33:02

I love that. So what what are their steps are in there in that in that audience growth flywheel that you like that you you want to do as well to, to kind of help boost that?


Dan Sanchez  33:12

That is, for most b2b companies, I’m recommend recommending setting up a second second website purely for media. Positioning it as a media property versus your sales website. Now, if you’re an independent consultant, this is a little bit different. And I would actually position yourself as a media entity versus building what is typically on a website, which is a sales page. So when they hit your web page, it looks like more like wired than it does like a popular software tool called like gong or something, right. And there’s lots of go to any software to a website, and you can tell Oh, they’re selling software here, they’re selling a service or selling a product. You don’t want it to look like that. You want it to look like immediately you want them to consume content, you want them to come into contact and consume as much of your thinking as possible.  So again, everyone hitting your homepage, only a very small percentage is ready to buy. And some might say like, Oh, was it shouldn’t the hero at least mention what you do. Yeah, maybe the hero but everything else should be media related. And content focused, less testimonials, less sales copy, less products, let them figure that out later. Give them the goods and the answers to their questions by a content. And when you’re sending people from ad traffic over to your website optimized for subscribers more than sales. Yes, it will reduce things in the short term, but the long term gains, gains are through the roof. And of course, the longer you can hold back from actually making an ask the more trust and growth you can have. But we all have, you know, bills, families, kids. We got responsibilities to take care of so we have to get some sales to.  So I’m not saying don’t get sales like even on my podcast, You’ll see an ad for audience growth on it and it’ll lead you to a page where you can learn more about our audience grows services and connect with me on a consulting call, right? That’s still there. But it’s a little ad in the sidebar. It’s not in the head hurts not in the main, it’s probably one link in the main menu, but it’s the cont the whole focus of the site is so much more around the podcast and the content. And I tend to keep it that way. Because I’m interested in growing an audience more than sales, because even though I do want some sales in the short term, I’m optimizing for long term growth.


Alastair McDermott  35:25

Yeah, yeah, I love it. And there’s a book by a guy called Chet Holmes, the “Ultimate Sales Machine”, I think he mentions in there, I think he has a stat, based on his research that around six to 8% of people are in the kind of frame where they might be considering buying your product. And so probably, you know, 9092 to 94% of people who visit your website are probably not ready to buy. And so I think that’s the context really, for trying to build out that audience builder subscribers, it makes a lot of sense in from that perspective.


Dan Sanchez  36:02

Absolutely. And I think it’s a lot less like he wrote that book, like a long time ago. I think that books like at least 10 years, 12 years old, right? And it was a good book. I remember listening to it a couple years ago.


Alastair McDermott  36:12

Yeah, he published that in 2008. So I’ll link to that in the show notes. I think it’s um, yeah, which internet years, you know, that’s like 50 years ago. But I’ll link to the show notes, because I think it’s a great book. And it was, it was one of the one the first kind of how to put it, the first kind of internet marketing books that I read, and I thought I’d started was going to be a bit spammy, but actually, the content in there is gold. So look, that that kind of leads me on because I do ask about books in this podcast, and I’m really interested in in learning, you know, if there’s a business book or resource that you would recommend is do you have something that influenced you? Something that you’d recommend? Do you have a favorite business book?


Dan Sanchez  36:55

Gosh, I have so many I love reading books. In fact, right now, I have I have, I found that I, it wasn’t enough to just read a book on the topic. But I’ve gotten in the habit of finding a topic that I’m interested in, and then literally go into Amazon and buying every book on the topic, which is for most niche topics, usually between like seven and 15 books. So even now, I’m like, rounding off my list of like, audience growth books. These are the last three to read. I’m thinking, when you do that read?


Alastair McDermott  37:22

I’m interested in just your process for that because, like, it could be it could be, you know, it could be overwhelming, or, you know, do you even have the time to read every word of those books? Or do you have a process for scan reading them? Or how do you approach that?


Dan Sanchez  37:35

I do have a process. I prefer to listen to them because it’s faster, and I usually listen to x. The fun thing about reading all the books on a very niche subject is that most of the material is the same, right? So after your first two books, every book after that is has a lot of repetitive material. So you really can scan it, and you don’t need to read every single word in order to understand the full book. From there you are hunting for new information. And you I quickly turn the page scan, scan, scan scan, oh, that’s new, and you read that page, keep reading until it’s not new anymore.  So reading 15 bucks is more like reading seven, maybe. And then I just because I can listen to way more content than I can read the last three, it even just held up. If you can’t see it, I held up three books, those there’s no audio version for them which I’m amazed because this one’s even written by a podcaster. I’m like, how do you not make an audio book. But I so I’m gonna have to read them. And I will quickly not just scan them. But I will read everything in there that I haven’t actually come into contact.  Like if you’re reading a book on social media management, like how many times do you have to read about like the best practices, it’s kind of like the same over and over again, right, they’re gonna have to set context, give the meat which is usually only two chapters of the book is only is like their main thing, and then have some stuff stuff at the end. Most books, most business books are written that way. So it’s really easy to go through a bunch of business books quickly. It’s part of my process, I call the 30-30-30 plan, which is 30 bucks, it can be less 30 interviews with subject matter experts in that. And then if you write 30, blog posts, targeting the most frequently search for things related to that topic, will really accelerate your trajectory towards being an expert in the topic.  Because it’s very similar to the process you would take and getting a PhD, right? You’re reading all the topic all the material on the topic. So you understand what’s already been said. You’re testing it by interviewing those people, which means you can go way deeper by actually having conversations with people that are experts on the topic, and they’ve usually written the books. So you’re getting different understanding there and then by you forcing yourself to answer the most basic questions you’re really wrestling with, like the ground level questions that most people are asking when it comes to the topic. 30 Blog Posts long form blog posts are usually enough to get you there. Especially if you’re writing to rank like SEO. You’re trying to answer the queries the best way possible. You’re going to come a long way. So that’s kind of the process I take.


Alastair McDermott  39:56

And I hope that’s not in 30 days because that would be killer.


Dan Sanchez  39:59

No. Goodness no. No, I have done it. I’ve done it in maybe six weeks at the fastest ABM was fast.


Alastair McDermott  40:07

Let me, let me just ask you about this acceleration thing.


Dan Sanchez  40:09

I didn’t write. I didn’t write all the blog posts for that one. Account Based Marketing was a fun rabbit trail I took last year.


Alastair McDermott  40:14

Yeah, and I’ve done this myself before. A couple of years ago, I realized I needed to upskill on my sales, my sales meeting. And so I inhaled about five or six books on it. I watched every video from Blair Ennsm Chris Do, people like that. And I read by Blair Enns, “Pricing Creativity” book, which is quite expensive and worth every penny. I think he sells it for like $300. And, you know, he’s doing, he’s doing what he preaches, which I really love. So yeah, so I have done that all in kind of learning Blitz, like, it’s really good. But just in terms of the acceleration, in terms of content, you’re releasing, I think, almost on a daily basis now, or at least three times a week with your podcast, can, can you just go back to the acceleration? Like what’s your thoughts around that you said you believe it’s, it’s, it has a big impact?


Dan Sanchez  41:12

I do, I think volume of content makes the biggest difference, because you just get more practice personalized, you get better at it. And even though I’ve done a lot of podcast episodes, gosh, I’m still learning new things. Like I still made mistakes a couple of weeks ago that I’ve corrected for, and I’m still learning and getting better. And we usually think that oh, we can do more than this. And sometimes, I don’t know, sometimes we just don’t know how much we can do.  I’m a big distance runner. I love running long distance. When I was younger, as kind of like a metaphor for what I’m going to lead into next. Like, I picked out a horizon point on the horizon, I lived in Colorado, right up against the foothills, and I picked up this foot hill that was way out there. I’m like the top of that hill, I know there’s a road that goes up there, I’m just, I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna run to the top. And if I don’t make it, then I’ll just walk all the way back, I have a lot of free time today. Or I’ll call somebody to come pick me up. And I ran all the way to the top. And I was like, Oh my gosh, actually made it all the way top, I thought it was gonna take me all summer to build to the top of this little thing. It was probably like 10 miles, I just didn’t know. Later on that summer, I picked an even farther point out went all the way there and tried it, I only made it halfway back and I failed. But I didn’t know how long how far my limit was. And that one was probably like 1820 miles.  Since then I’ve gone farther, but you just don’t know where the limit is. So I like to constantly like push my limits. And I find that I just get stronger and better and become more competent in these topics. One of my favorite things to do is to do like a blitz and just interview a bunch of people in a short amount of time, which is what I’m doing with my podcast. It’s the same thing I deal with my LinkedIn. Most of the content platforms will reward you for putting out more content, Tiktok, this is absolutely true. You can put out a way more tick tock content, you will explode on tick tock, you will be more likely to explode this put it that way. LinkedIn, a lot of people like say don’t post more than once a day, I think it’s just bogus, you can totally put up more than once a day. It’s more at bats, it’s more chances that one of them’s gonna connect. There’s some reasons why you might want to slow it down. But honestly, if you’re just getting started, you need more practice anyway, right three times, post some visuals, post a video, see what works for you.  And then the algorithms usually prefer it, especially Google. Like if you write a lot more blog posts and their rank where the content, it’s going to be more likely to rank if you’re only right, if you have a new blog, and you’re only writing once a week, it’s gonna take forever for Google to like, take you seriously. But if you write 30 posts within two months, Google’s gonna be like, Whoa, that’s 40 to 60,000 words are out there. That’s word. I don’t know what happens but Google actually takes you seriously. If you put out that much content. I’ve done it. I’ve tested it. It works. So going going at it hard just makes the difference.


Alastair McDermott  43:49

Yeah. Does that apply to podcast transcripts as well?


Dan Sanchez  43:52

Podcast transcripts for SEO is kind of a different talk did like debate in the podcasting world. I actually think if a podcast ranks because because of a transcript, then it’s easily dethroned. Because it’s not the kind of content people like to consume via reading. I think it helps, it helps Google get a good idea because Google, for some reason is having a hard time really indexing audio content. They’re reading them all, but they’re not actually doing much with it so that the transcript helps. And B for accessibility reasons I think a transcript is a is a much is a is certainly a bonus. For those who can’t, you know, hear so for accessibility, it’s good. If it’s not too expensive, it’s worth it. But using it to rank is not my favorite tactic for using a podcast to create blog to create the kind of content that ranks on Google. I’d much rather hire a writer to turn that podcast episode into a blog post. And if you’re gonna go that far, you have to do the work of an SEO which is to find out what are the keywords?  If someone’s looking for how to become a thought leader, then you essentially need to write a blog post that’s the best how to content on how to become a thought leader, right. And then you have to find a subject matter expert that knows how to give you the content. And then you have to structure your interview in such a way to give you the answers, the writer is going to need to craft a blog post in the right sequence that’s going to rank for it. So there’s a quite a bit of work of SEO thinking that has to go into your podcast interview, in order to reverse engineer for rankings. So I know I just dove into the weeds there. But that’s how I like…


Alastair McDermott  45:22

That’s great.


Dan Sanchez  45:23



Alastair McDermott  45:24

I love it. And then you could take the Jonathan stark, stark approach, which is to just completely forget about SEO, and just write about what you think. And, you know, let Google, let Google take care of it if he wants to rank you, and just worry about the relationships and worry about the relationships on the audience. And it’ll work or it won’t work. But but if you focus on either


Dan Sanchez  45:45

The biggest bang for your buck for SEO for podcasting, is optimizing your podcast to be found in podcast apps, specifically Apple and Spotify. Like you have The Recognized Authority. So I’d ask ask yourself, like, what kind of terms are your customers using to find your podcast, if they were looking for it on Apple, you should probably add if the terms aren’t already, the word authority, or recognize the authority, whatever those terms are, you need to add them to the subtitle and into the description. But mostly just the subtitle will make a drastic difference in Apple specifically.


Alastair McDermott  46:18

I’m going to go check that out right after this interview. Very cool. Very cool. Well, look, I only have one short question for you, because we’re just about a time and I don’t know if you’re gonna gonna answer yes, this because you clearly spend a lot of time reading business books. Do you read fiction as well?


Dan Sanchez  46:35



Alastair McDermott  46:35

No, not at all?


Dan Sanchez  46:36

I should. I’ve heard a lot of people say good things about it. I like reading fiction. I’m just so addicted to business books that I it’s hard for me to take the time to read the fiction books, but I enjoy reading them. I just want to do…


Alastair McDermott  46:48

Let me let me share one thing about reading fiction. And I don’t meditate. And I know a lot of people meditate. But I find that when I read nonfiction business books, my mind goes haywire. As I start thinking, I go into kind of energetic mode, at when I read fiction it used to when you because you’re reading a single story, and you’re picturing it in your head. It’s almost like a form of meditation, it kind of calms things down. And so I find particularly late at night, but I find reading, reading fiction to be very good in that way. Now, I don’t meditate. And I’m sure that if I did do meditation, then it wouldn’t be as important for me to read fiction. But that’s that’s what it is for me. It’s like it’s almost like a form of meditation.


Dan Sanchez  47:26

Yeah, I, I like running. And that tends to be I’ve heard it called moving meditation. And I’ll either listen to some like really fast music or, or an audiobook or podcast.


Alastair McDermott  47:37

Of course you are. Awesome, awesome.  Dan, where can people find you if they’re interested in learning more?


Dan Sanchez  47:44

Awesome. I mean, you dropped it in the front, but I’m always on LinkedIn. That’s my again to channel rule podcast, LinkedIn, my podcast is that Find me at And those those are, that’s where I’m active.


Alastair McDermott  47:59

Cool. All of those will be in the show notes. Dan Sanchez, thank you so much for being with us.


Dan Sanchez  48:04

Thanks for having me on.


Alastair McDermott  48:08

Thanks for listening. I hope you found that interesting and useful. If you’re enjoying the podcast, can I ask you to take a moment to review it, it really helps us out. And it keeps it free from sponsor adds. You can review it by visiting And that will give you appropriate options for your device and for your listening app. That’s Thank you. I really appreciate it.


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