Promotional products, corporate gift Los Angeles.

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I recent had the opportunity to guest on the Promo Marketing Magazine’s podcast,  with host Sean Norris &  We talked about how to position yourself as an expert and build brand awareness with guesting on podcasts.

Podcasts allow guests to grow their reach with the show’s target audience.  Similar to finding your niche or target audience, try not to book every show, you should only consider ones that share the same value or topics within your expertise.

Benefits of Guesting on Podcasts

Starting a podcast might not be for everyone, you might not have the time or the technologies set up for the recording.  However, being a guest on other people’s podcasts is an effective way of marketing your brand, and position yourself as an industry expert.

  • Brand building for you and business
  • Engage with audience and the listeners of the podcast
  • Networking opportunity with host of the show
  • Re-purpose content for blogs, newsletter or press release
  • Build credibility and authority as a subject matter expert

Have a listen to the episode and let us know what you think!

Listen on Promo Marketing

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (17:29):

Yeah, man. That’s I feel like I want to just road trip that traveling care of animal with our power meetings, but especially ended up in San Diego in November. Oh my God. You can’t beat that. Butuall right. Let’s get to that interview. Here’s a here’s what’s Swire. You can say about expanding your business. Swire are we really appreciate you making time to be here? I know you’ve got a lot going on with, you know, running your own business and creating a ton of your own content. So thank you for joining us. you had a really interesting story path to promo that’s a little, we’ll say traditional. I mean, you started your career as a sound engineer working in recording studios in LA, I think, right?

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (18:14):

Yeah. It’s long time ago and surprisingly with the pandemic. This actually works out with engineering setup that we’ve been doing on soon.

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (18:22):

You were just preparing your whole career for this moment. You didn’t even realize it. Do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and, you know, your, your company and how you got to promo from that sort of start that you had?

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (18:33):

Sure. That’s all thank you for having me as a guest, you know, long-term listener and honored to be a guest. My name is Swire. I also call myself hashtag the promo guy name of my company is Garuda promo and branding solutions. We are located here in Los Angeles. I started as an engineer somehow got into CD and DVD replication. We actually were a supplier for the promotional industry when people used to buy CDs, any of these and now became a distributors about seven, eight years ago, and then been doing that since it’s a fun industry.

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (19:10):

So the big reason we wanted to have you on was to talk about some ways distributors can expand their business networks and market themselves outside of some of the, you know, I’m going to use air quotes, traditional means of advertising one of those ways. And this is something that you’ve done and that you’ve done really well. It was starting a podcast for your business and kind of using that as a platform to get yourself out there. But can, can you talk a little bit about that? You know, how did that all come about and what has the results been and sort of, what’s your strategy there?

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (19:40):

I think it’s keep evolving. I’ve been doing it for about over a year now. So it started, I just wanted to have conversations with business people that I felt very interesting. It could be, you know, a top sales at a solar company or maybe a SEO expert. You know, I basically asked them to question that I would want to ask and know myself, but it kind of evolved. And as I talk to a PR expert, you know, she actually taught me a great advice. Normally when you know me as a salesperson, as a business professional, if I reached it a prospect, they know that I might be trying to sell them a product, but now if I reach out to a dream prospect and my approach will be, no, I have a podcast. And I would like to have your CEO to be on my show as an expert, you know, to tell about your industry says this, that for me, going through doors with a podcast behind my back, it’s a lot easier. I could honestly say with that approach. I was able to connect and network with a lot more people online and offline.

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (20:42):

And you had mentioned off there, you know, that there were kind of ways to look at this one was more big picture, you know, what were some of the benefits from, as a distributor for your business? And you sort of mentioned those just now, but you also talked about the nuts and bolts aspect of it too. I mean, do you want to get into that a little bit, kind of what goes into starting a podcast and what are some, some things, you know, if, if you are a distributor that, you know, w what would you need to know starting up?

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (21:07):

Well, I think we all are expert right now for zoom meetings. So if you don’t invest in other platforms, you can use zoom for recording, which is what we are doing right now. UI would suggest if you’re interested in doing that,uhave a good set of headsets so you can hear properly. So,uyou should also buy a microphone, you know, using your,ubuild in mic from the laptop is not good enough to have a podcast. You know, like, you know, all of us doing right now, we have an external microphone, I think cost maybe $200. So you could, you could start, but then as you get more serious, you know, invest in a better microphone,udefinitely have a quiet room. And, you know, if all of us working from home, let the kids know that don’t walk in. When you know, mom and dads are recording a podcast.

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (21:58):

That’s part of my, my standard operating procedure for podcast recording right now.

Brendan Menapace, Promo Marketing (22:04):

So, you know, starting a podcast might not be for everyone. Some people might not have the time, whether it’s might be, you know, intimidated by some of that tech that you just mentioned. Others just might not be that interested in it, but being a guest on our podcast is a really effective way of marketing yourself. If you’re a distributor, can you explain that a little

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (22:21):

Bit? Yeah. I think it’s a very good concept, but then most people don’t understand that, you know, why would I go on other people’s podcasts? Am I selling myself, or am I unloading what my supplier t send me for the entire product catalog? First I wanted to point out if you ever be a guest on other people’s podcasts, never sell, you know, you don’t want to sell when you’re a guest, you know, don’t do that. You know, I know that they like to ask this, you know, what’s the best promotional product I can buy. So be tempted and hold yourself back, not to unload all the product that you have. What I would like to, to ask for listeners to consider is how can you bring value to the show? For example, a good example for a distributor to consider I’ve recently be a guest on a podcast.

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (23:12):

The podcast title is trade show university. So the podcasts actually teach people how to exhibit at a trade show. And one of the aspects, as we know, is they will get promotional products. How do we bring value to the listener to find the right promotional products for a trade show. And then what you can also do is you knowing that every podcast as the listener, you know, how can you use the podcast audience to grow your visibility. And I think listening to one of the PR experts on my podcast, she’s saying you want to be the go-to expert in your industry. And I thought about that deeply. For example, the promotional product industry is big, we have a lot of big distributors that do multimillion dollar business. They have over a hundred employees, but on the outside market, if you never bought a promotional product before you could, you could probably not name a single promotional product company’s name, right? So what if me Swire ho hashtag the promo guy can become the go-to expert for promotional product because I have been on other people’s podcasts and their listener, however many listeners that they have heard my name and the name of my company. So how would that increase my visibility and my credibility to the business? I think this is an untapped market, and I think the opportunity is enormous. That’s why I love to be a guest on other people’s podcasts.

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (24:43):

So essentially this, you know, being a guest allows distributors to position themselves as, you know, those subject matter experts. And it also is a way to get out there and kind of cut through some of that noise. That’s out there. There’s like you said, there’s so many huge companies in the industry, and a lot of them are really good at marketing themselves online, through video and all that stuff. So it’s, you know, in search results, this kind of gives maybe smaller distributors and other way to, you know, drive some visibility to themselves and things like that. I mean, what are some of the other marketing benefits there for, for a smaller distributor business? I mean, can you take us through a couple of those

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (25:19):

Sure. For example, what you can do is I always, like, I like, I love networking, so you can definitely network with the hosts. Sometimes, you know, at the end of the show, I will ask them, do you know other podcasts that I’m going to be good on, that you can refer me to? Or if I know that, you know, sometimes I go on digital marketing podcasts, or sometimes I go to for example, like I said, teach people how to go to a trade show. Do you know, there are companies out there that might be beneficial with my services. So I actually asked the host for referral and sometime I do get them. So that’s another lead generation process that I do. And then another techniques that I use is I would ask the host sometimes, you know, when we talk about podcasts nowadays, it could be a streaming tool that goes on YouTube and Facebook.

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (26:06):

I’ll ask them for the video and the audio portion of the conversation. I’ll actually use a transcripting software to transcribe all the conversation into words. So I put that as a blog post. And then, you know, since I’m in the promotional product industry, I mentioned my keywords over many times or a custom, you know, pens custom t-shirt wherever the keyword that is good for me on SEO. I put that as a blog. So if you guys think about the social media marketing, the SEO for your website, these are tremendous and good informations that were actually drawn into the transcript that you have.

Brendan Menapace, Promo Marketing (26:49):

Now, it seems like there were a lot of applications or avenues here. In addition to just podcasts, maybe you write an article appear in a video or give some quotes for a story for an industry publication. The cool thing about with all these is that you can repurpose that content afterwards and sort of put it to work marketing your business. Would you agree with that?

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (27:11):

Yeah, I would say so there’s actually a lot of tools that, you know, free tools, that you can actually use. And I think one of the most kept secrets is you can actually write your own press release for free. So you know, what I would do is if I appear on certain podcasts, I’ll actually write our own press release and I’ll send it all out there. So there are people who are looking for relevant content. I’m sure that, you know, being active on looking for news, that you are Brendan then you’re constantly scanning for news where if he articles to write about, you know, your goal is, you know, for the compensation and the time that you spend as a guest, you want to get picked up by, you know, certain other articles or other magazines, or even the TV news station. Think about if people want to get a quote on from the promotional products industry would you be the person that they could think of? So if you appears enough to have more releases written about you, it says this, you might be getting that call one

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (28:13):

Day. So one of the cool things there is that, and, you know, this might be purely anecdotal, but like you said, Brendan and I are always online, always looking for news. And, you know, we see a lot of stories come in you know, to, to bring to the promotional products industry. But one of the things that we’ve seen is there has been this rise in stories in whether it’s Forbes or medium, or, you know, non-industry publications that are covering the promotional products industry. So to your point, you know, if you’re able to get yourself out there as a distributor and get in front of some of those, you know, writers and journalists and whomever, it is that’s looking to cover the industry that is a golden opportunity to get into some of those articles. And, you know, who knows what happens once you get into a publication like Forbes or New York times or Washington post that have all had stories on promotional products. That’s a, a huge benefit from a marketing standpoint and a brand awareness standpoint. But another thing that you had mentioned off there, and this was a big one, it’s something we’ve covered a ton of is expanding your business network, using social media, particularly LinkedIn. And I thought it was really interesting how you specified that, that helps you find connect with meaningful content contact. Sorry. you know, can you talk about that and, you know, maybe give an example of how distributors can do this.

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (29:28):

Yeah. So one of the ways that I use as my podcasts actually live stream on LinkedIn. So we got approval, LinkedIn live. So, you know, I do the live first and then I’ll take the audio portion, the conversation and turn it into a podcast. So I cross-promote with my guests. So for example I’ve come in guest is coming out with a book right now. That’s going to be my guest. I create a LinkedIn event, and he will invite his contacts I will invite my contacts to watch the show. So in that way, I can kind of see what kind of Linkedin contacts that they have. So at the end of the conversation, going back to what I told you before I ask them, Hey Joe Smith might be a good contact for me. Would you mind to make an introduction for me on LinkedIn?

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (30:15):

So that’s the way that I am able to grow. So, because if you are friends or connection with a person, you can, you get to see their, their who they’re connected with. So when you ever network with people on LinkedIn I will throw this out there, you know, as a networking, let’s hop on to a 15 minute call on zoom. And then I will show them, take a look at all my LinkedIn contacts. If you think that there’s a referrals that I can introduce, you let me know and I’ll do the same. And then we hop on a call and kind of like a brainstorming session for referrals.

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (30:50):

That’s such an interesting approach to it too, because that’s so much more effective than just throwing a bunch of content out there that you’re posting yourself when you do it that way, you know, you’re, you’re putting the content to work that you already have, that you might’ve just been posting, but now you’re able to get gym. All right. You know, like you said, meaningful connections with that way and, and create, you know, referrals that can lead to actionable business opportunities, which is great.

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (31:16):

Yeah. I think, you know, it’s un-obvious, but then if you have the right mindset, I, I don’t think it’s difficult to do at all. But if you have the time, right. You know, Sean, Brandon, as you know, it takes a lot of time and commitment did your good podcast, but then to be a guest, you know, there are a time commitment, but then I think the reward, you know, it’s, it’s tremendous, you know, there, it might be the way that I’m doing it right now, but feel free to, to spin it your own way. Maybe there are other you know, areas that, you know, being a guest can open up for you. And I think try it, you know, there’s there’s a lot of resources available. There are so many podcasts that are looking for, for good guests right now. So just think of it, be resourceful. You know, we are in marketing, we are we have tremendous resources. We talked to a lot of suppliers. We talked to a lot of clients, you know, how can you be resourceful for, for the podcast? You know, that’s the number one goal that I would suggest when you’re thinking about being a guest on other people’s podcasts.

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (32:17):

And w we’re always looking for guests too. You know, there’s so many good stories to tell. So if they, if you have any good stories, like Swire said, you know, hit up your local podcast and we’ll, we’ll have you on is there anything else you want to add before we let you go here? And we haven’t covered.

Swire Ho, Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions (32:32):

I think if you’re interested, you know, I have, you know, I think their question be, if are a sold, you want it to be a guest, but, you know, the question is how do I actually become a guest, right. Who do you reach out to, you know, for, you know, tell you a story, you know, I actually email and pitched Sean and Brandon to be on the show. So definitely email, you know, podcasts that you always listened to and then tell them why you would be a good guest. What’s the value that you could bring to the podcast. And there also a directory that lists all the podcasts that are looking for guests. So obviously you look for relevant, you know, podcasts that you could be a good value for. So I, I, that’s what I was to go, but as you develop a credibility, there also a directory that you could actually put up your appearances kind of like a, IMDB for podcast, guests and podcasts you know, show you could be on there, people see your references, and then they will book you for more shows.

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (33:38):

And on that note if, if anyone listening is interested in, you know, starting your own podcast or just investing in some good audio equipment, or kind of checking out any of these other resources, Swire was kind enough to share out a ton of links to some more of these. I’ll share those down in the show notes. Once we publish this episode should be really easy for anybody to check out. But Swire, thanks so much again for joining us and for working through some of those technical difficulties in the middle, that hopefully our audience will be blissfully unaware ever happened, but best of luck to you with, with Garuda and you know, all the cool stuff you have going on. We really appreciate it. Thank you so much. And that just about does it for this episode. If you like, what you heard, please leave a review on apple podcasts or Google play. Be sure to subscribe on promo marketing.com, Google play, apple play, wherever you get your podcasts.

Brendan Menapace, Promo Marketing (34:26):

And if you have any tips, comments, you can always send them our way on Twitter at furlough underscore marketing. Thanks

Sean Norris.  Promo Marketing (34:32):

For listening everybody until next time for Brendan manifests. I am Sean Doris. This is the promo marketing podcast.

About the Author

Swire Ho

Swire migrated to Los Angeles in 1996. He is a proud Chinese American who speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English. He trained as a sound engineer, working at recording studios and entertainment agencies before starting his own firm, Hellman Production, Inc, 2003 in Los Angeles. Swire and his team successfully produced attractive, personalized DVD and CD cases and custom merchandise like T-shirts, earning a Score award in 2009, for small business success. His business eventually grew so popular, he decided to sell Hellman Production in 2013 to focus exclusively on the promotional product industry.

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