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Win More Clients by Working With Your Competitors with Dana Lindahl

June 14, 2021
Episode 14
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!.

It can be difficult to reach out and connect with new people on LinkedIn without coming across like a spammer.

In this episode, Dana Lindahl and Alastair McDermott discuss how to use LinkedIn to win more clients through outbound and inbound lead generation.

They also discuss how working with your competitors can be a positive, and how podcasts can play a useful role in increasing trust with your prospective clients.

Show Notes


Books mentioned:

Link to the gift:

Guest Bio

Dana Lindahl has been in the outbound lead generation industry since 2014 when he started his company Legendary Leadgen. Dana has seen the industry change rapidly over the years and has had to adapt his company’s approach to generating B2B leads multiple times to stay relevant. Today Dana’s company focuses primarily on using podcasts as well as joint ventures/partnerships for growth of his own companies and his clients businesses.


people, podcast, clients, linkedin, outbound, automation tool, business, customers, inbound, outreach, audience, reach, message, industry, network, agencies, connect, bit, talk, free gift

Alastair McDermott, Dana Lindahl

Dana Lindahl 00:00

LinkedIn is a content deficient platform, which means that as you scroll through your newsfeed, you’re seeing things from people outside of your own network, they don’t have enough content simply from people inside your own network to only show you that. So that doesn’t sound like a big deal, or even something that’s a value to you as you scroll through your own newsfeed. But as you post things to your newsfeed, those things go outside of your own network. And as you grow your your first degree network, all those people who you’ve now added to your network, their network now becomes your second degree network and all those people can see your content as well.

Alastair McDermott 00:45

Hello, and welcome to Marketing for Consultants. This is the podcast that helps independent consultants and subject matter experts to get more clients without having to beg for referrals or make soul-destroying cold calls. I am your host, Alastair McDermott. Today, my guest is Dana Lindahl. Dana has been in the outbound lead generation industry since 2014. When he started his company, Legendary Lead Gen, Dana had seen the industry change rapidly over the years, and he has had to adapt his company’s approach to generating B2B leads multiple times to stay relevant. So today, Dana’s company focuses primarily on using podcasts, as well as joint ventures and partnerships for the growth of his companies and for the growth of his clients businesses. So Dana, before we get into lead generation and tactics, one thing I really want to talk to you about for a minute is your mindset, because I think this is really crucial. And I know from talking to you already, that you don’t really consider direct competitors to be direct competitors. And you described as a mindset of abundance. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Dana Lindahl 01:48

Yeah, so I’ve seen this as a trend that’s been accelerated in the in the COVID era, especially as some agencies shut down or were acquired by other agencies, but particularly where they needed to lay off a big portion of their staff, but still needed to fulfil on things for their clients as well. And so that sparked a lot of agencies realising that they can actually partner with people that they previously considered to be competition. And I think that sparked a big mindset shift for agencies, we’ve never considered that. myself personally. And a lot of the people that I, that I enjoy working with the most have have had this as a value for a long time. You know, personally, I’m in masterminds with my direct competitors. We’re primarily a lead generation company, and we do a lot of outbound as a service. And I’m in masterminds with multiple different agency owners doing the exact same thing as we are. And it comes from a place of understanding that there’s, unless you’re in an incredibly, incredibly niche industry, where there’s only a handful of clients to go around, which are not most industries, there’s so many clients out there, that you actually will serve your clients better and win more clients by taking this advice, sharing advice with the other people that are in your industry. And using all those to push each other up. I think the the quote is a rising sea pushes all boats up. I’m butchering that one. But the you know…

Alastair McDermott 03:12

“A rising tide lifts all boats”? Yeah, yeah.

Dana Lindahl 03:14

there you go. Yes, much better than than my version. And I’m a big believer in that simply because we all know, good things, but we all have blind spots, as well. And you know, when we can combine those things that we know, with the blind spots that we hold, we get a much bigger picture of things. And if we just keep in mind that there’s enough clients for us to go around, and we can all grow together, this creates just a much better way to, you know, run your business service clients and work with other people.

Alastair McDermott 03:43

Absolutely. I think one thing that I think about it? Well, first of all, I think that there’s rarely, at least in my field, there’s rarely somebody who’s an as an absolute direct competitor, somebody who’s a perfect fit client for me, won’t just won’t quite be perfect for somebody else. And so rarely, you’re competing directly for the exact same client. I think maybe that only happens, you know, with it with the really large firms. The other thing I was talking to somebody about, and they gave me a great image, which was, you know, imagine if you’re standing at the bottom of the Hoover Dam, and they open the sluice gates, and all this water starts pouring out this big turns, and you have a little glass, and all you need to do is fill up your glass. And that’s enough for you. And so this is the picture I have when I think of all the clients that are right there. Because most small firms, most small agencies, they don’t really need that many clients. I mean, David Baker, I think talks about having 10 to 20 clients per year. And that being enough, and so, when you think about the millions of potential clients that are out there, I think, you know, if you look at your direct competitors and say, I don’t want to talk to them, I don’t learn from them. I think you’re showing off a really, really important place that you can learn from so that’s why I really resonate with what you’re talking about with the abundance thing.

Dana Lindahl 04:54

And you made a really good point and sort of just blew past it and moved on to the Hoover Dam and something that I want to touch on is that we any any given customer is only a perfect fit for a couple of different companies. And so you’re not always in direct competition with a lot of your competitors. But what I find is a strong correlation. And of course, correlation does not equalization. But a strong correlation that I find is the types of agencies that are willing to collaborate with others and do see their competition, not as you know, enemies. These are the ones who are focused on finding their perfect customers, the people that are just trying to bring in any sort of business that they can. These are the ones that are afraid of their competition, and don’t want to share secrets for their competition, because they actually are going for the same clients, because they’re not going after their best clients. They’re just going after the people who can hire them.

Alastair McDermott 05:42

Because they’re not specialised or focused or positioned correctly. That’s a really good point.

Dana Lindahl 05:46


Alastair McDermott 05:46

Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So we talked beforehand about podcasting, and this outbound outreach, and like, are two very different philosophies. And you use both. So I’m really interested to talk to you about that. So podcasting being this inbound method of getting clients coming to you. And then this outreach, I think you do through LinkedIn, and maybe maybe through email as well. So can you just talk about when outbound is right, when inbound is right, or how you kind of mix the two of those?

Dana Lindahl 06:15

Sure. So I’m of the opinion that that outbound always works, if you can do it, right, the issue is that lots of people don’t do it correctly. And add on to that it has become more difficult in the past couple of years, a few things are contributing to that one is just the increase in the popularity of automation tools, and also the decreasing cost of automation tools to allow the the barrier to entry to be so low into being able to just spam your entire target market, you know.

Alastair McDermott 06:45


Dana Lindahl 06:45

It’s a very tempting prospect for people to say $30 a month, and I can just spam everybody. I don’t agree with it. But I can see the thought process of business owners as they’re, you know, purchasing these tools. The second is that COVID has definitely accelerated a bit of desperation for sales in a lot of companies, and they’ve gone out and just not put their best foot forward. And when the average quality of outreaches is low, the average perception about reach is lowered to so specifically for for consultants and coaches, outreach can work. But it is a very difficult thing to be able to differentiate yourself from all the other people out there with a similar message. And the thing that I always say about coaches and consultants is that most of them do have a very unique and proven process of how they work with their clients. But that’s very, very difficult to convey to somebody online, how they’re different than all the other people that you know, these people might be receiving messages from, or they might be talking to, with the limited attention spans that most people on the internet are operating with these days. So most people online, they have five seconds attention span, that they’ll they’ll dedicate to something before they either decide that it’s worth more of their time, or it’s just needs to be written off entirely. And that makes it very difficult for the average consultant who may have something very unique and special to how they work with clients. But that’s very difficult to convey in those five seconds. So while I do believe that outbound can work for anybody, it can be a time consuming process it especially in these days of LinkedIn, it can require a lot of back and forth, you know, it’s no longer a feasible strategy to connect with somebody and send them a calendly link with a short value proposition and say, let’s, let’s talk if you’re interested you to work, and it’s sometimes still can, but it’s not the best way forward anymore. So that’s where we come into the podcasting side of things or inbound. And I should be clear that we’re not generally inbound marketers in terms of content marketing, and that’s not our, our specialty of, you know, helping people create blog posts and drive traffic to them. And, you know, that’s one form of of inbound marketing. But we’ve been utilising podcasts, especially over the past year, to produce a lot more inbound leads and interest for our clients. Because it is a much better way to get your authority out there and to get your your message out there in front of people. So to contrast it to my example of how most coaches and consultants there, they have a difficult time showing how they’re unique and different in the five seconds of attention span that they get in an online medium on a podcast, they have 30 to 60 minutes directly in the earbuds of their audience to show exactly why they’re different. And some people will use that opportunity to promote themselves and pitch a product that they’re doing or something like that. And some people will use it to share stories and examples of how they’ve worked with their clients and things that they find to be working in their industry. And let people self select as Hey, this is actually really resonated with me, I need to find out more about how I can work with with this person who I just listened to on the podcast. So that’s what we’ve been finding is a much better strategy for not just coaches and consultants, but a lot of b2b companies. It works great for bringing in new high ticket clients and it works really, really well for just get an exposure to a project that you’re working on or anything at all provided that you, you know, get on and talk about things in the right way with the hosts.

Alastair McDermott 10:09

Okay, so, I mean, I’m on board the inbound train. Absolutely. I’m with you on that. It’s not easy, though. It’s very time consuming. But we also talked about outbound being time consuming as well. So we’ve got, we’ve got the two of these here. And I think somebody is listening to what you’ve just said, they’re not going to be I mean, if they’re, if they’re coming to this brand new, from what you’ve just said, outbound sounds like it’s very difficult to make work. So how is doing it? Right? What is doing it right, if you if you’re going to go down the route of doing outbound?

Dana Lindahl 10:40

Sure. So it is a difficult thing to to make work, the number one thing that I can can say to people is just be a human. You know, we talk a lot about marketing tactics for b2b and for b2c. But the really only category that exists here is h two H is human to human. And so many people miss that as they use automation to try to accelerate this relationship building with other people. And you know, just try to get as many conversations going as possible without any thought to through the quality of things. So that doesn’t quite tell people how to do it, it tells them how not to do it. But what I always recommend for people, let’s just take LinkedIn as an example, because it’s the you know, it’s the popular platform where people are trying to generate leads right now. So the way that most people do lead generation on LinkedIn is they they purchase a Sales Navigator account, and they purchase an automation tool, and they load up the filters and Sales Navigator, and they, you know, copy and paste that Sales Navigator link into their automation tool, they spin up a message that usually, you know, after someone connects, they send off a calendly link, or they send off their their pitch. And you know, the automation tool runs this to every single person who’s in the Sales Navigator list, and it sends them this pre-written template that’s meant for everybody and not for exactly the person that they’re reaching out to. Now this can work. And the funny thing about it all is that it works just well enough to keep people doing it. But it doesn’t work well enough to actually grow your business at scale. So people continue to do it, because they’ll send out 1000s and 1000s of messages. And after a couple months, they’ll get one client and they’ll say, Okay, we’ve got a return on our investment, their investment was very low. But for all the time that they spent doing all that they didn’t take their own time as into account for the investment that they’ve made.

Alastair McDermott 12:33


Dana Lindahl 12:33

So our methodology is a little bit different, we still do use Sales Navigator, if we’re reaching out to people through LinkedIn, or depending on the targets, we might need to build our list off of LinkedIn, and just do you know, manual research. And I always recommend for, you know, busy business owners to have a VA helping them, you know, some sort of an assistant helping them with this. Basically, you know, unless you’re just just getting started out with your business and you, you have a very, very limited budget, your time is worth much more than these repetitive activities. But if we’re working from a Sales Navigator list, or whether we’re working from you know, outside sources, we always want to be making sure that everybody that we’re reaching out to is a good fit to receive the messages that we’re we’re sending to them. Because nothing will kill your campaign or your reputation more than sending something to somebody who’s obviously off target. And Sales Navigator is notorious for including things that actually just don’t fit. Because they’re incentive when you sign up for it, and you put some things into their their filters and save the search. If it shows you only, you know, 50 or 100 people who fit that search, you’re going to go “What am I doing paying for this product, like it’s only showing me a handful of people.” So they want to show you anyone who’s even just remotely a fit, which doesn’t actually help your goals at the end of the day. So you need to be actively removing and qualifying people into your funnel before you even reach out to them. The second thing is reach out to them and make it clear why you’re trying to connect. And the reason that you’re trying to connect is not because I want to sell you something, even if that’s the reason that you do want to connect with people, that obviously doesn’t incentivize people to want to connect with you and to start a meaningful conversation or dialogue with you. So put something out there that puts their needs first, the what’s in it for me, is something that always needs to be everything needs to be brought back to a what’s in it for me question. And obviously in this scenario, what’s in it for them. So when I reach out to people, I like to tell them, you know, I published content about this, I think it’ll be interesting for you if you want to follow me, you know, I’m not asking anything from them. I want them to know that I’m here to help. And that if we get connected, that I’m not going to ask them for anything outside of maybe their feedback on some some new content that I’ve posted.

Alastair McDermott 14:55

So do you say that in the actual message and when you when you’re connecting with somebody that you found true, you’re Your prospecting and your and your research?

Dana Lindahl 15:03

I will, yeah, I’ll tell them outright that, you know, I published a lot of content on a given topic, something that I know that will be of interest to them. And I hope that we can be connected so that we can, you know, follow each other. And that’s that there’s no ask involved, it’s all value based. And, you know, it shows me as the type of person who didn’t just lead with, hey, I saw we have a bunch of mutual connections, and I think that we could, you know, benefit from being connected. And, by the way, here’s what I do, which is always a big red flag that, okay, as soon as I accept this, within sometimes seconds, I’m kind of receive an automated message that tells me exactly what they want to sell me. And, you know, obviously, that’s not what we want to be going for. So then people accept or they deny, you know, not everybody accepts, some people don’t even see it, it gets ignored. Some people reject it. And that’s totally fine. But anybody who does, except they’ve basically said that they opt in to receive more messages from me. So the next thing I want to do is I want to actually start a real conversation with them. The thing that most people do wrong at this point is they start talking about themselves, they jump immediately into what their company does, what they do, and why they’re so special. And the thing with with people’s motivations, especially on the internet, is they do not care about you, all interest is self interest. So if you can tell them something or say something to them up front, that’s interesting to them, then you’ve lost their attention from the very beginning. And it’s a hard pill for some people to swallow. But they are not interested to strangers no matter what they say in the in their outreach message. So to contrast that a little bit, the first message after the connection request that we do send to people is generally the only time that we talk about ourselves. And the only reason that we actually want to talk about ourselves is that we want this to be a reciprocal relationship in conversation, because we’re going to be asking them questions about them. And it’s a little bit weird if I show up and I start asking you all these questions about you. But I keep myself shrouded in mystery, and I don’t share anything about myself. So the next thing that we do is we send out a very brief intro, hey, I’m glad that we’re connected. Here’s a little bit about me, it is not a pitch. And it’s not meant to show our value proposition or anything like that. Generally, it’s, you know, something along the lines of I love to network with new people. I’m an open book, and I’m always happy to share, you know, anything that I can with my new connections, things like that. And then we ask them a question about them, we want to get them to open up. And this is very, very important here is that this question cannot be a yes, no question. Because yes, no questions, kill conversations online, with prospects and with anybody that you’re speaking with. If someone answers with a yes or no, it’s very difficult to move that conversation anywhere else. You’re, you’re grasping at straws trying to, oh, well, what about this? Or Oh, what about this other thing you said, whereas an open ended question generally gives them something that they have to give some thought to. And that acts as your jumping off point. So when we write templates for our clients, we write them fully with the intention that we do not want to reach the end of the sequence, right? If we reach the end of the sequence, then it was not engaging to the person that we’re reaching out to. So not everybody’s going to respond back at this point, after we’ve, you know, introduced ourselves lightly ask them to share some more information about themselves, they might not answer. So our next step is generally to share some helpful content with them. And again, we’re not asking anything of them whatsoever at this point, just, Hey, I recently wrote this blog article, I think it might be of interest to you, given the the industry that you’re in, I’d love if you could check it out. And tell me what you think about it. And one thing that works well, it also is not even sending something that you’ve written, sending across something that’s from a trusted third party, you know, a high level publication of Washington Post or Business Insider or something like this, that makes a good case for the type of service that you provide, doesn’t mention your competitors. And, or doesn’t mention a direct, you know, competitor because you don’t want to send them something and they go, Oh, I’m gonna work with this company instead, but puts you in a positive light and gets them thinking about what it is that you used to offer. And still, sometimes people will not respond back to this. So our next message is often “Hey, I just wanted to follow up and see if you had a chance to read the article that I sent last week, as an expert in your industry. I’m actually really curious what you thought about this part. It’s something that I think is a little bit controversial, and I’m curious to hear what people think,” something along those lines. The key here is putting your prospects up on a pedestal is maybe not the right word, but you are elevating them as an expert in their field. People love to be recognised as an expert, and people love to respond back as an expert. So this is often the the tipping point where people go “Okay, I’ll actually respond back and we’ll To start a conversation with this person has been reaching out to me, they’ve been sending me content, and now they want to know, my expert opinion.” Now this all falls apart, if the moment someone responds back to you with something, you go, “Well, I’ve got exactly the solution for you, here’s my calendar,” you know, it still needs to be a relationship that you, you know, nurture people through and get to a point of actually realising that there’s a need from your prospects. And this is all sounding like a very complicated and time consuming thing. And it is. But making sales and growing your company is a complicated and time consuming thing to do. That’s why we spend all day working. So this is, you know, for, especially for people who are, are just getting started out, or they’re the only employee or consultant in their practice, then, you know, this is the lifeblood of their business, there’s, there’s no reason to put yourself in a bad light, simply to save time, by automating everything or, you know, sending out non thoughtful or personalised messages to people, because people do remember that. Yeah, I mean, sales is a numbers game, for sure. But sales is also a quality game, you know, simply having a lot of brand new customers who are all a terrible fit for your company, does not help whatsoever. So you know, if we approach things simply like a numbers game, then oftentimes we lose the quality game.

Alastair McDermott 21:22

Absolutely. I like that. It sounds very much like what you’re doing there, what I found, is actually making it like building out your network. So you’re not actually pushing for that direct sale. During that conversation. You’re building your network and getting to know people building relationships through what you’re doing.

Dana Lindahl 21:40

Yes, exactly. And the other part of growing your network that’s so powerful is particularly with LinkedIn, LinkedIn is a content deficient platform, which means that as you scroll through your newsfeed, you’re seeing things from people outside of your own network, they don’t have enough content simply from people inside your own network to only show you that. So that doesn’t sound like a big deal, or even something that’s a value to you as you scroll through your own newsfeed. But as you post things to your news feed, those things go outside of your own network. And as you grow your your first degree network, all those people who you’ve now added to your network, their network now becomes your second degree network. And all those people can see your content as well. So there’s quite literally a network effect happening here, where the more people you add to your direct network, the more their network is able to see the things that that you are posting as well. And people tend to have networks of people who are like themselves. So adding one high profile person to your network, can actually get your message out there in front of so many more people. So I often recommend for our customers and people that I coach, to sometimes reach out with no intention whatsoever, except to gain the connection. And you know, even after they connect, maybe don’t even send the same sort of sequence and just thank them for connecting and make yourself available to them. Let me know there’s anything I can do to help out, you know, something like that. Having this person in your network can expand things so much farther for you with the content that you do put out there to the world.

Alastair McDermott 23:13

Sure. So what you said there about posting on LinkedIn, that sounds a lot like inbound, like an inbound strategy. So you’re combining that outbound outreach with also posting on the network itself?

Dana Lindahl 23:27

Exactly. So I describe what we do these days as being primarily an outbound strategy to drive inbound leads, because people are finding this content. And then they go and they find your profile, they learn about what you do, and then they reach out. And I describe it to people as almost like an SEO strategy, where you’re driving targeted traffic towards an optimised landing page, except in this example, the targeted traffic, is your audience on LinkedIn, and the optimised landing page is your LinkedIn profile that’s been optimised for inbound traffic.

Alastair McDermott 24:00

Right. And that’s got to be a crucial part of the puzzle is having your profile, having everything filled out having a good value proposition or, or some sort of clear value in in in what you’re showing on there. What about the posting on LinkedIn is, is that a crucial part of it?

Dana Lindahl 24:17

I think it is. Yeah. So one thing that always helps people to me, as a as a spammer is if I receive outreach from from somebody, I receive a connection request. And, you know, obviously, if they’re pitching me in the connection requests, then that’s pretty obvious what their intentions are. But, you know, I don’t really need to be pitched by a lot of people. I tried to curate my network very carefully. So one thing that I look for from people is, if they’re reaching out to me, they have more than 500 connections. They have a LinkedIn Sales Navigator icon on their profile, which generally suggests that they’re trying to discover new customers on LinkedIn, which is fine, but they’re not posting any content, then I know outright, this person most likely is only interested in blasting out messages to people. They’re not interested in being a thought leader, they’re not interested in showing people in their industry that they’re actually the ones that are they’re actually the one that they should be working with. They’re only interested in the spray and pray technique that so many people are employing right now.

Alastair McDermott 25:19

Right. And you said something important there, which is being a thought leader, which I think a lot of people in this space should be aiming for, if they want to do inbound properly. At least, that’s what do you think about that?

Dana Lindahl 25:33

Yeah, I agree with 100%. And a lot of people are, you know, they get anxious, or it causes a certain emotional response with to them when I say, you know, become a thought leader, almost like an imposter type syndrome of like, Oh, well, I’m not good enough to be a thought leader. Yeah. But the thing about it is, is that you’re able to find your tribe of followers anywhere. And there’s always going to be people out there who resonate with the way that you think about things and the way that you view the world. So I always, you know, tell people not to sell themselves short, because everyone has a good message to share. Obviously, if they’re running a company, they have clients already, and they’re bringing in revenue, somebody trust them with their expertise. So why not get that out there to to more people, it’s oftentimes just people getting out of their own head and accepting, we’re not accepting but coming around to the the idea that there actually are people out there who are interested in what they have to say.

Alastair McDermott 26:26

Absolutely. And so that kind of brings us around to to the inbound thing we’re talking to received by podcasts. So and I know like one inbound strategy is to guest on other people’s podcasts. Another inbound strategy is to start your own podcast. I think we we both believe in both of those given what we’re doing. Can, can you tell us a little bit about you know, how to do inbound properly and make it work with the outbound because you talked about making the to work together?

Dana Lindahl 26:55

Yeah, sure. So also, the podcasting is an outbound strategy that creates inbound leads as well, because most of our customers aren’t just sitting around waiting for podcast host to reach out to them and ask them to come on to the show. Certainly, there’s people who get, you know, organic inquiries and outreach to have them come on all the time. But those are already very high profile people. So we help our customers to go out and identify the types of podcasts that will help them to grow their business. So we start off by creating a strategy for them. Most people want to get more customers directly from their appearances. And some people simply want the exposure and we take a slightly different approach for both. But what matters most is that we get people on the right sorts of shows with the right sorts of audiences. And a lot of people, they think that they should just go on a show that’s directly related to their area of expertise. And oftentimes, this is the worst way to do it. So I’ll provide an example, we actually just brought on a new customer. They’re a fitness coach, they work primarily with busy CEOs and entrepreneurs to help them to improve their health, which in turn helps them to improve their productivity and focus. So when they came on with us, we got on our onboarding call, and they were like, yeah, we want to get on a bunch of fitness podcast. I was like, hey, let’s back up for a second, I don’t think getting on fitness podcast is going to enhance or, you know, move the goalposts forward for you. Why don’t we get you on entrepreneurship, you know, CEO and leader podcasts, because if we get you on a bunch of fitness podcast, it’s going to be people who are already familiar maybe with you directly. But they’re going to be very familiar with the concepts that you’re talking about. And maybe dismissive of them, because they perceive they might have a better way already. That’s why they’re listening, activate fitness podcast, right. But if you go to, you know, a CEO podcast and start sharing stories about how you’ve helped your clients before, and how that one CEO that you worked with, who, you know, he was eating McDonald’s every day, because he didn’t have time to focus on a healthy lunch, and how you, you know, helped him to improve his health. And that improved his focus. Well, the people listening to this podcast are the people who are going to be most receptive to that, because they’re not coming from a background of what you do already. So one, they’re a new audience to you, and two the concepts that you’re talking about to them are actually novel, and not something that they’ve heard all day day in and day out, anyone in the fitness world knows that fitness and productivity are tied together. Whereas, you know, the average, you know, busy CEO, might know that, but doesn’t have the time to actually focus on that. So that’s how we want to be strategizing our appearances for our clients, getting them in front of new audiences and talking about things that are novel to these audiences. Then there’s an element of how do you actually drive this traffic from the podcast to what you do? How do you gain more exposure through doing that? So one of the ways is having your own podcast when you guest appear on somebody’s podcast if they liked what you had to say or If the if the audience likes what you had to say, they’ll often go and listen to your podcast. But I’m going to guess that for a lot of the listeners here, simply going and starting a podcast is a little bit outside the realm of what they had planned for week three of January, that we’re in right now. So the better way is to direct people to something where they can stay in touch with you and learn more about you in a way that builds upon your appearance. So most hosts will ask you a question at the end of the episode. And that’s how can people get in touch with you. And the worst answer to this is all “Just just go find me on LinkedIn,” or something similar, because oftentimes, people won’t be incentivized to do so.

Alastair McDermott 30:46

Or can’t spell your name.

Dana Lindahl 30:48

Or can’t spell your name. And I have a difficult to spell name for particularly most Americans, I have a Swedish last name. And they don’t know how to spell it. The better way is to direct people towards some sort of a free gift or an opt in or something like that. And ideally, this is something that builds upon what you’ve been talking about on the podcast. So when we work with our clients, we help them to strategize what are the topics of discussion they’re going to be having on certain types of podcasts into which audiences, then we help them to build out lead magnets, so that they can mention those at the end of the episode. And this is very important. When you mentioned one of these lead magnets, it needs to be set up on a landing page with a URL that’s easy to remember and type in manually. Because a podcast is inherently not clickable. Sure, you can go to the show notes and do it that way. But that’s not how many people consume their podcasts, their podcasts. So this is something like slash gift, slash ebook, something like that, that you can direct people to people go there, and they either opt in to to download the ebook or the free gift, or you can retarget them. And that’s very, very cheap with this this level of traffic so that you can always stay top of mind with them afterwards. So rather than saying, “Oh, yeah, well just go find me on LinkedIn,” why go to my website, I’ve actually prepared a free gift for all of your audience. And the secret about this is that it doesn’t have to necessarily be directly for the audience or this one show, as long as you can make it so that, you know, it’s applicable to the topic. And oftentimes, if you’re doing a podcast tour, you’re going to be talking about the same things over and over on different podcasts to different audiences. So it’s okay to recycle this free gift, but direct people to something where you can provide more value to them. But also stay top of mind and keep marketing to them through, you know, sending them emails after they’ve signed up for the free gift, retargeting them after they landed on the webpage and didn’t opt in and make sure that you know, whenever they think of the type of thing that you do, you’re the first person that comes to mind, because you’ve stayed, you know, within their realm of attention.

Alastair McDermott 32:57

Absolutely brilliant. Well, well put. I want to just take it a step back or step up for a minute. How do people listening to this, figure out which of these strategies is right for them? If they’re if they’re considering outbound, and they’re considering inbound and podcasts? Are there any any guiding factors? Maybe it’s the amount of time you have or budget or something? How can people decide what is right for them?

Dana Lindahl 33:20

Yeah, so podcasting is something that does tend to take a little bit longer. But at the same time, it’s also works for much longer. So we’re in January of 2021. Right now, I’m not sure when this is going to go live. But we’re we’re definitely January 2021. Right now,

Alastair McDermott 33:37

About two weeks time. Yep.

Dana Lindahl 33:38

Okay. And just this week, I’ve gotten leads and inquiries from people who heard me on a podcast in 2019. So that being said, there’s production times, you know, sometimes they’ll get booked onto a podcast and you’re not even scheduled to interview for another four weeks. They need to produce the show, and they have a backlog of their publishing before you so it might not go live for three months after you do the interview. So I usually tell people that podcasting is not generally the way you make money this month. So if your goal is to make money this month, you might want to start somewhere else that being said, guesting on other people’s podcasts. If you can put together a strategy for getting on there efficiently, is generally one of the cheapest ways that you can do the types of things that I recommend for people to be doing. outbound on the other hand, there’s an art to it for sure, and most people are trying to create this art with a crayon, and it’s, it just doesn’t come out looking very. So there is going to be a lot of trial and error, and it could be done cheaply. I don’t recommend going as cheaply as you possibly can, simply because that’s going to require you to use automation tools and not do things thoughtfully. I would say if you can afford a budget of you know, three to $400 per month for a part-time, overseas VA then this is the place where you should likely start. But just be very aware and intentional about the messaging that’s going out on your behalf. And it’s a, it’s a skill that people really need to learn. It’s almost like going to the gym, you need to, you know, you need to do a lot of reps to build this muscle. And I often consult with people, and we’ll go over in in great depth and detail how you need to not promote yourself, or talk all about yourself and just talk about your business and why it’s great. And then they’ll go away, and they’ll they’ll write their outreach templates and come back to me and say, “Hey, Dana, can you give a look at this and tell me what I should improve,” and the whole thing just about them. And it’s a very difficult thing for most business owners who operate day in and day out inside their business, to pluck themselves out of there, and now put themselves in the customers position, or the prospects position, and talk about their company and their services in themselves, from the way people perceive them, rather than the way they want to be perceived. And it’s a difficult mindset shift for a lot of people. But he mentioned the valuable mind mindset shift, if you can, if you can flip that. And you can get into your your clients head, your prospects head, I think that’s one of the most important things you can do in your business. For sure, there’s there’s a huge element of of psychology in there. And I’m probably not qualified to, you know, coach people on the psychology side of things. But it’s something that’s once you can learn how to do that and do that over and over again, it’s it’s massively valuable.

Alastair McDermott 36:31

Yeah, absolutely. Okay, I want to switch gears for a minute, I just want to ask you a question. I ask people about your your own business. Is there a failure that you’ve encountered in your business that you’ve learned from? And how did you get through it? And what did you learn from it? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Dana Lindahl 36:48

Yeah, definitely. So GDPR almost put us completely out of business. And I think the lesson that I learned is not to have my my blinders on or be over confident about the consequences or lack of consequences for any given change or disruption to the industry. So a lot of people who are listening in from the US may not even know what GDPR is, it’s the the data regulation in the EU, that basically says you can’t store identifiable customer data on any customer without their permission. There’s more nuance to it than that. But that’s basically

Alastair McDermott 37:27

That’s a good summary.

Dana Lindahl 37:28

And so we basically thought at the time, well, we have a couple of customers in the EU, it’s not really our focus, so we’re just gonna have to reach out to these couple customers and say, Hey, you either can’t target people in the EU anymore, or we’re going to have to, you know, stop working for you, because our work would literally become illegal. And that’s not the business that we’re trying to operate in. So that’s what we did. And we thought, okay, we’re going to be totally fine. And no need to plan anything else in 2018, because we’re good. And then about a week before GDPR hit, we got hammered, and not in the way that we expected. And basically, Gmail, Outlook, all of the major players, they started to change up their their algorithm for inbox placement, and all of the very thoughtful messages that we were crafting on our client on behalf of our clients and sending out manually all sorted to go immediately to spam. Meanwhile, I was getting Viagra emails into my primary inbox tab in Gmail, because the algorithm just needs time to work itself out, you know, it’s a big change that’s happening worldwide. And we were unprepared for it. And our revenue in those months dropped to almost zero, while incurring more expenses than normal, while we were trying to hustle and you know, set up new email accounts for our clients and figure out what’s going wrong and hiring consultants and all these other things. Whereas if I had, you know, planned for this little bit more and said, hey, what if I just take a, you know, what’s the worst case scenario that could happen here? And then what would I do in that worst case scenario, we would have been two months ahead of the curve. And we would have probably found something that would have been another great market for us to enter, even if GDPR didn’t affect us. So my big takeaway from all that was, you know, look at the things that are happening around you. And don’t spend your time dwelling on worst case scenarios, but at least have a plan in mind for when that hits. So you don’t get caught with your pants down. Like, yeah,

Alastair McDermott 39:26

Yeah, fascinating. I’m hard pushed to think like how you could have foreseen how exactly that would happen. And you know, you did well come through that. So it’s very interesting.

Dana Lindahl 39:37

Yeah, our our solution was to move to LinkedIn, because LinkedIn bypasses GDPR entirely. And we were able to take our expertise and copywriting and targeting and things like that and apply it to a new platform. And so

Alastair McDermott 39:51

It actually shifted your business model.

Dana Lindahl 39:53

It shifted our business model in the direction that the industry was headed anyways. GDPR accelerated the shift over to LinkedIn. Especially for people who are in the EU. But yeah, if we had foreseen that or just, you know, made a little bit more of a plan, then we could have been on LinkedIn, as before GDPR even even rolled in, and we would have just been much farther ahead of the curve.

Alastair McDermott 40:16

Right. Right. So, because of, you know, COVID, as well, it’s, it seems that LinkedIn is has just become a much more popular platform than it was, you know, a couple of years ago.

Dana Lindahl 40:27

Yeah, for sure. I mean, they’re, they’re rapidly growing. And they’re, they’re always putting new features into place. And from my side of things, I’m on LinkedIn enough that it annoys me more often than it doesn’t because the UI can be bad sometimes, but they do have, you know, they, they’re very heavily invested in how people are using their platform. And they know that people are using it for this. And they’re in kind of a delicate balancing act of, you know, wanting their users to be able to use LinkedIn to to make more money, but also wanting to, you know, have the rest of their users have a good experience on LinkedIn, and not be spammed by their, you know, all the people that are reaching out to them. So that’s their challenge to figure out on how they, you know, foster a comfortable environment and let people use it as a platform where they can make connections, but not as a platform where they turn away or turn off their, their connections.

Alastair McDermott 41:19

I’m going to wrap up now I just have a couple of quick questions for you. First, is Do you have a favourite business book or something, uh, something that you’ve read that inspires you?

Dana Lindahl 41:28

Yeah, I always recommend “Built to Sell” by John Warrillow. I like it for a couple of reasons. One is just the way it was written. Most business books I find, are about three times as long as they need to be because they just, you know, go over the same points over and over again, so that it doesn’t, you know, look like a book, that’s this thing on the shelf. Whereas the Built to Sell was was written as a story. And whether the story is actually true. I don’t know and don’t care. But it’s one thing that we, you know, urge our clients to do is use stories as their their form of marketing on the podcast. So that makes it very, very interesting to read. The second part is that even if you’re not planning to sell your business, having a sellable business is a much healthier business to have in run and provides a lot more freedom to the founder. And so I think implementing those principles, whether you plan to have your business for another year, and then sell it or whether you plan to hold on to it forever. I think it’s one of the best business books for any business owner out there.

Alastair McDermott 42:26

Super, thank you. What about fiction books? Do you do you read fiction? Do you have any?

Dana Lindahl 42:32

I’m embarrassed to admit this. But I don’t read a lot of fiction. I do like to read fiction before bed? Because nonfiction keeps me up at night.

Alastair McDermott 42:42


Dana Lindahl 42:44

Oh, wow. I don’t usually share this too publicly. I basically just read the “Harry Potter Series” from the first one to the seventh one. And then I start over on the first one. And that’s my bedtime routine. And it puts me to sleep. Outside of that I don’t do a tonne of fiction.

Alastair McDermott 42:57

Well, what I’ll say is, I’m exactly the same I read a tonne of business books. But I don’t read business books in bed. I only read fiction. And I think it’s because when you’re reading a business book, it’s it starts to get firing all those ideas. But when reading fiction, it forces you to concentrate just on one storyline. And it’s actually like almost like a form of meditation I find. So I read science fiction and fantasy. So I’m right there with you. So I’m going to come to the question that you predicted earlier. So where is the best place for our listeners to find you online?

Dana Lindahl 43:31

Yeah, so they can all find me on LinkedIn? No, just kidding. So I have prepared something for the audience here today. If they go to, they’ll be able to download something that will help them to put a lot of the things that I’ve talked about today into practice, and get started on getting themselves on to more podcasts and using those podcasts as a form of being able to win new clients. So if they head over there, they’ll be able to download that and just stay in the loop with everything that we’re doing. Because I see everything that we do and I I’m always an open book. I like to put our strategies and thoughts and methodologies out there and let people do what they will put them.

Alastair McDermott 44:13

Super okay. And I will put a link to that in the show notes. Dana, thank you so much for being here with us. I really appreciate it.

Dana Lindahl 44:19

Thanks had a great time and can’t wait to hear the episode when it goes live. Cheers.

Alastair McDermott 44:26

If you gained any insights or tips from this episode, please share it. It might just be the thing to help someone in your network. If you share the shownotes link it will include a podcast player and all the other information from today’s episode. Thanks for listening and see you in the next one.