Episode 30 of The Verblio Show
Wonder what marketing is like down under, or how to produce not one but two successful podcasts?
In this episode, Steve talks with Clodagh Higgins, who currently helps agency owners worldwide grow and scale their businesses as an agency coach with the Growit Group. Clodagh’s experience both as a consultant and former program manager at Hubspot have given her an in-depth look at what makes successful agencies tick, and their conversation covers everything from marketing trends in Australia to the latest updates from her hometown of Sligo, Ireland:
- What it means to be a Certified Reinvention Practitioner
- How marketing differs around the world
- The differences in communicating with men vs. women
- Why you need a podcast now, and the best practices for making it happen
Name: Clodagh Higgins
What she does: Business mentor and performance coach with the Growit Group. Former program manager on Hubspot’s Agency Growth Team.
Get smart: “Nobody’s going to spend 45 minutes or an hour on your website. But they will put your podcast on and go for a walk and spend an hour with you.”
Top Tips from This Episode
Want a podcast? Have a process
Clodagh currently has two podcasts: Agency Life and Sligo Life. For Agency Life, she works with a producer and editor, and her only responsibility is for the conversation itself. When she started Sligo Life this spring, however, she took on all the responsibilities herself. “It’s about having a process and having things set down,” she says.
For herself, designating one night per week to record her show and knowing she’s going to publish it on Saturday mornings has helped keep her consistent. “If you don’t have it set up and you don’t have the support structure, it can be overwhelming.” By having a regular schedule in place, people know when to expect the next episode, and the accountability keeps her on track.
Focus on your agency’s pillars
In her work with agencies, Clodagh has seen that the successful ones have six strong pillars forming the foundation of their business. She expands on these pillars in her latest book A Happy & Healthy Digital Agency, but it comes down to asking some simple questions:
“Have you got the right people in the right seats and the right culture? Have you got a good strategy?” she asks. Look at your growth, sales, services, and marketing. “You’ve got to buckle down and start focusing on all those pillars and making sure all of them are strong.”
What Australian businesses need right now
“In Australia, they’ve just announced a huge push for digital funding to help businesses get online. It’s simple things that they still haven’t done yet, where government organizations still send paper invoices and pay by check. And if you’re a company that supplies them, you have never had the incentive to move.
So now they’re realizing, ‘Oh, we gotta get our government structures online,” which means they now have to have companies get online. So they’ve made available, I think it’s 800 million, to help businesses move forward digitally. And while this might be a concept for a digital agency to go ‘Oh, I do ABM marketing,’ ‘I do custom this,’ ‘I do fancy technology,’—I invite agencies to look at what the basics are right now and go, ‘Can you help a company get up on Slack?’ ‘Can you help a company set up e-purchasing, invoicing, online proposals?’ …There’s an opportunity now, while the fancy stuff is on hold.”
Podcasting is a largely untapped market
“The thing about podcasting is there’s currently I think around a million podcasts are in the world. But there’s 1.7 billion websites. So in comparison to websites, the podcast market is tiny. And it’s even smaller, again, because there’s only 250,000 podcasts that have more than 14 episodes—i.e. that are regular.”
Clodagh’s process for Sligo Life
“I’ve made it quite simple: I have a pre-interview questionnaire that the person fills out. That provides the backbone for my conversation.
…I usually start the Zoom interview a little bit before I’m meeting them, and I record their bio. And I press pause, and then I bring them back in. So, you can edit out the glitches there. …Again, I’m working on how can I get this down to the minimum amount of time possible? And then my editing is, I just convert it to MP3. I switch it over to Audacity. I take the bugs out and normalize and share it out in an MP3 file.
And then I use Buzz Sprout, which I have just found to be the most amazing software distribution platform. They have editing as well, so they’ll clean up the sound, and they put you on all the distribution platforms.”
One big difference between interviewing men and women
“Men like to share a story. And they don’t really like when you interrupt them. Now, women are much more comfortable being interrupted because that’s their flow. They’ll go, ‘Oh, and blah, blah…’ ‘And what was she wearing?’ ‘Oh, she was wearing the red dress. And then she said…’
Right? You do that to a man, it sends them up the roof. That’s only something I learned in the last year and I wish I’d learned it 40 years ago. But I understand now that when a man takes a pause in a conversation, it’s not an invitation for me to ask a question. It’s just that he’s thinking about more information. And that has been a game changer.”
Successful podcasting requires consistency
“You need to have a routine. It, it’s exercise. It’s going to the gym. You ain’t gonna get the abs by going a couple of times. You get the abs by reps, constant reps, constantly going and giving people that expectation that you’re gonna be there.”
[1:38] “I’ve always been fascinated by how do we change? How do we reinvent? How do we reinvent ourselves?”
[12:04] “Don’t be bothering looking at your competition. Know that there’s market there, but I wouldn’t get hung up on, ‘Oh, someone else has started it.’”
[16:19] “Any business anywhere can have a podcast.”
[16:24] “Nobody’s going to spend 45 minutes or an hour on your website. Very few people are going to do that. But they will put your podcast on, and their headphones on and go for a walk and spend an hour with you.”
[21:57] “You wouldn’t not have a website. I invite most companies to go, ‘Why don’t we have a podcast?’”
[15:57] “[Podcasting] is basically all the best parts of networking, which is deep human connections, with none of the worst. Everything can just be genuine. You can talk to whoever you want and it actually has marketing benefit.”
Check out Clodagh’s book A Happy & Healthy Digital Agency for more on the six pillars of a successful agency.
Want to hear Clodagh’s interview with her father on Sligo Life? Catch the episode here.