Annemarie Cross is the CEO and Founder of Ambitious Entrepreneur Podcast Network, Industry Thought Leader Academy and author of: Industry Thought Leader – How to Go From Invisible to Influential (and Profitable) with a Podcast.
Dubbed ‘The Podcasting Queen,’ she is recognised as a pioneer in this space having started her first podcast in 2008.
Since then she has interviewed thousands of guests, produced hundreds of episodes, won multiple awards, has been listed among the Top Podcast Lists for Entrepreneurs and small business worldwide, and has had her podcasts syndicated on both National and International Radio.
She now works with specialists who feel like the world’s best kept secret, cut through the noise, build their reach and their reputation as an Authority and build their revenue as they begin to nurture listeners into leads, enquiries and ultimately paying clients from their very first episode.
You can reach out to Annemarie at: www.PodcastingWithPurpose.com
How did you start out as a marketer?
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that as a business owner we are all in business of marketing.
However, my career started as a Personal Branding Strategist for executives and professionals that then pivoted into offering Personal Branding and online marketing for entrepreneurs, which I’ve continued to focus on, however now specialising in the area of podcasting.
Looking back what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
As an avid learner who LOVES bright shiny objects, the challenge for me was to FOCUS on leveraging the tools I was using as part of my marketing and to not become distracted by the next ‘best thing’ on the market.
I admit, the bright shiny objects oftentimes, won.
A lesson I learned was that it can take time to deliver results, which often requires learning how NOT to do things from your failures and to keep tweaking and trying until it works.
[Thankfully, there was ONE marketing tool (ahem: ‘bright shiny object’) I continued to persevere with over the last 12 years, and that was podcasting.]
Great lesson: stick with something long enough and it may just become your full time gig as others begin to see you as a trusted authority in that area.
How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?
First client: The Yellow Page and local newspaper. I’m sure some of your readers have NO idea what the Yellow Pages are – but back then, they were pretty much THE way you’d market your business.
After that – stone tablets… just kidding 😉 [Am I showing my age?]
The service I offered was Personal Branding, helping my clients define their unique message so they could stand out, be heard and be HIRED.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
Helping people recognise the incredible value they offer, which so often goes unnoticed and underutilised because people often take their brilliance (and what makes them uniquely distinguishable from everyone else) for granted.
The look on their face (or the sound of their voice) when they have that realisation that they ARE valuable in what they have to offer (i.e. their knowledge and experience), they ARE enough and they ARE ready – is priceless.
There’s a level of inner confidence that just shines through who they are and everything they do and THAT begins to attract their ideal clients, who are just intrigued and compelled to learn more from them.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing how else can someone earn online, and what is your advise?
I’m a service-based business owner who effectively sells her knowledge her expertise.
And, I’m a firm believer in that when you do so strategically, you can monetise your message; your expertise.
Everyone has walked a journey and overcome challenges that could just be THE steps that someone (or ‘many’ someone’s) needs.
You could be THE person with the right expertise, the right knowledge, the right experience, at the right time.
Many of my clients are now teaching, mentoring and coaching their clients in the steps they took to go from struggling to success.
When you take the time to document the learnings and the steps you took to go from struggling to successful – you can then go and teach that to others, especially if you’re able to position your expertise to an urgent and pressing challenge that your ideal clients can’t figure out on their own.
Because you’ve walked the journey.
You’ve done the hard yards. You’ve battled and broken through the barriers so you can now teach those breakthroughs and save people the time, money (AND heartache) you went through.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?
I’ve often asked that question of the thousands of podcast guests I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing over the last 12 years in podcasting, and I’ve come to the realisation that…
Every challenge I’ve confronted, every mountain I’ve climbed, and every valley I’ve found myself stuck in (again, and sometimes – A.G.A.I.N) has developed the perseverance, resilience, knowledge, wisdom, insight AND most important of all – the character I needed for the next season and stage of my life and business.
So, I wouldn’t change a thing, suffice to say I would whisper this to my younger (and quite impatient) self:
“Don’t be in a hurry to achieve ‘success’.
Be patient, remain focused, do the work, and above all, don’t compare yourself to what others are doing or achieving.
Because you have a path and a calling that is destined ONLY for you. And, every heartache, every challenge, and every obstacle is shaping the character you need for the next season in your life.
Everything you’ve been hoping for, longing for, praying for WILL come to pass – however you need to firstly become the person you need to be in order to make the impact you want to make.”
Those would be the words of encouragement I’d share with myself. And, with others who may be right in the midst of that ‘waiting’ period.
How is your typical work day structured?
As a creative soul, I can easily get distracted so for me the following structure has worked, giving me flexibility to get one what is needed.
BATCH LIKE-MINDED TASKS:
➞ Monday and Tuesday are for content creation and working ON my business
➞ Wednesday is for meetings
➞ Thursday and Friday are for my client and coaching calls
➞ I batch all of my podcast interviews in the 3rd and (sometimes) 4th week of each month
OUTSOURCE SPECIFIC TASKS:
There are tasks I know I just won’t or can’t do.
I know exactly where my strengths are and what I do best – I outsource the rest.
MY MORNINGS ARE SACRED:
HOW I start my day is key. Which is why I’m very protective of what gets scheduled in my mornings.
This means shutting off all noise (i.e. social media/emails etc) and blocking out alone time to journal and create. And, to just BE.
Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?
Yes, it’s the story of my ‘entrepreneurial’ life.
In fact, I’ve already hinted at my ‘success’ story.
I started my first co-hosted podcast in 2008 following the global financial crisis hit and many people around the world found themselves unemployed. A colleague and I started Career Success Radio to be the voice of hope and inspiration (amongst the doom and gloom mainstream media portrayed) and produced the podcast for two years.
One of the reasons we stopped the podcast was because despite being able to generate incredible reach and visibility for our podcast, we struggled to monetise it.
Fast forward to now, I have always had a podcast and tried numerous ways to monetise it and after accidently generating two 4-figure clients from a newly launched podcast with only three shows published, it was then I decided to retrace the steps I took to do that, so I could repeat those steps, intentionally.
And, that’s what I did.
My signature tactic and overall podcast strategy now helps my clients build their reach, their reputation as a trusted authority, AND their revenue by nurturing listeners into leads, enquiries and ultimately paying customers from their very first episode.
This became possible on the back of mistake and failure until ONE day; I accidentally stumbled across a method and process, which is what I now teach.
Moral of the story: celebrate your failures because each one is providing valuable insights that you can one day teach others. Hence, you can monetise your message and expertise.
You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.
This is something I typically do with clients as many of them are looking at either building their reputation as a trusted authority with their podcast, OR they have a podcast and are struggling to monetise it.
It ALL goes back to brand and message.
To go from expert to trusted authority you need three things:
– Content (the RIGHT content that cuts through the noise and challenges the status quo, including vision, mission, voice and values etc.)
– Community (the RIGHT community that is highly niched)
– Charisma (your unique, distinguishable YOU and the experience you create)
So I focus on clarifying the above and putting the right steps into place to build community and nurturing them into prospects with the right content, and enabling my client to become THE trusted authority that their clients want to work with because of the unique and distinguishable experience that only THEY can offer.
When you capture this correctly – you position yourself in a Category of ONE, speaking to your audience of ONE.
Of course you audience of ONE will continue to grow exponentially, BUT they feel like you are speaking just to them.
You get them. And, there’s NO other trusted authority that they would rather work with than YOU.
Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?
Our Podcast Production Company is constantly up against publishing deadlines to ensure our podcast episodes are prepped and ready to go. Both our own, our clients and alliance partners.
It’s imperative we have the right systems, structure and support team in place.
Prioritisation is key, too.
But, more so the systems.
Because without the right systems, the right structure and the right support – you can end up being less effective, having to put out unnecessary fires, or re-do things, which means deadlines are missed.
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
My signature Podcast Profit Pipeline, which incorporates the 3-Part Podcast Opt-in Tactic that enables businesses to begin to nurture listeners into leads, enquiries and ultimately paying customers from their very first episode.
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
I’m constantly looking at new ways to market myself BUT it must add value and be able to be integrated with what I am doing.
For instance, as part of my Podcast Profit Pipeline and Podcast Opt-In Tactic, I’m now live streaming ALL of my podcast interviews.
We have the live stream, the recorded video, and then the audio we can leverage as part of our marketing.
For me it’s not so much staying up to date – but NOT being distracted by new marketing techniques that are a distraction, which many have been over the years.
So much so, I had to come up with my own – as a service-based business leveraging a podcast as the main way to market my business and myself.
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?
Yes – my podcasts being syndicated on both National and International Radio stations!
One of the things I always say to my clients is you NEVER know where your voice will end up.
One of my podcasts – the award-winning podcast, Ambitious Entrepreneur Show was syndicated on a National radio station in Zimbabwe, inspiring aspiring entrepreneurs.
How cool is that!!
Since then I’ve had another podcast be syndicated on a national radio station in Australia.
You NEVER know who will listen to your message and who will continue to share your message.
I love this because my mission is to: Impact the world ONE message, ONE podcast at a time.
And, those radio stations are helping me do just that.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?
Well, if you’re looking to learn how to leverage a podcast to become a trusted authority – an Industry Thought Leader, I know a brilliant book that can help you! 😉
Industry Thought Leader: How to Go from Invisible to Influential (and Profitable) with a Podcast. www.IndustryThoughtLeaderBook.com
What advice would you share with other Marketer’s who want to become more productive?
Create a vision and mission statement and let that be your guide with the projects you do and the strategies you implement.
Say ‘No’ to everything else. It’s a distraction.
If there’s one Marketing Guru you’d recommend who and why.
I don’t have any marketing guru’s per se. Because I find it can become a distraction for me to come up with innovative ideas that’s not been done before if I’m constantly listening and looking to see what others are doing.
I tend to ‘loosely’ keep my finger on the pulse by watching what the market (i.e. my ideal customers and the community at large) are doing and then tweak my marketing efforts to align with market needs.