How The Pros Create A Powerful Call-To-Action – Episode 150


How The Pros Create A Powerful Call-To-Action – Episode 150

Copyright: ninamalyna / 123RF Stock Photo

Are you looking for more listeners? Are you trying to build your list? Do you have a product you are trying to sell? How is it going creating that engagement?

Are you actually asking your listener to do exactly that? Why would they join your list or get your lead magnet or buy your product of you don’t ask?

Let’s figure out how to get your listeners to act.

It was 2006 when I fell in love with “The Power of Cult Branding” and the work of BJ Bueno.

That was the year I attended Dan O’Day’s PD Grad School. It was a unique conference for radio program directors. One of my favorite conferences every year. I’m bummed that it isn’t around any longer.

Dan would get some of the best minds as speakers. His guests were not only radio thought leaders, Dan would guests in the worlds of branding, marketing, online and research. The conference was amazing.

BJ Bueno’s session was “The Power of Cult Branding”. It is also the title of his book.

As I sat in that hotel ballroom with 100 other radio programmers over ten years ago, BJ flipped the way I thought about branding and marketing.

For ten years, I had been selling the great features of my station. We were more entertaining. We had your favorite music. We had the best contest. We had longer music sweeps and fewer commercials. And, we were telling our listeners all about it

Then, BJ showed a video his company produced. It featured Bob out on the sidewalk in front of the office building. Bob was wearing a sandwich board that was simply a huge photo of himself. We was telling everyone that passed by about his attributes. And … he was doing it with a bullhorn.

It was classic. At the very end, the video stated, “People are more interested in themselves than they are about you. That is why ads that work are more like mirrors than bullhorns.”


The Importance of Effective Communication from The Cult Branding Company on Vimeo.

It is ten years later and we hear it a lot. Make your marketing outward-facing. Focus on your target listener. Sell the benefits of your product rather than the features.

There are many ways to say it. But BJ was the first that really opened my eyes to it.

When you are creating your call-to-action, make it a mirror. Focus on the needs of your avatar. That ideal listener. What do you want them to feel? What problem are you solving for her? What benefit are you delivering?


Great marketing makes selling easy and unnecessary. That is according to Joe Polish.

As we discuss this, think of selling as simply getting your listener to take a particular action.

Joe does a few podcasts. You can hear him on the “Genius Network”, “10x Talk”, and “I Love Marketing” podcasts.

Each issue of Success magazine is accompanied by an interview CD. On one particular disc, Success publisher Darren Hardy was talking with Joe when he made that very statement.

You may not be selling in the traditional sense of products or services in exchange for money. However, you are making a call-to-action within your podcast. It may be selling for money. It may also be inviting your listener to come again, asking him to visit your website, requesting that she join your mailing list, inspiring him to get involved with a cause or any other action. It all involves selling yourself.

Polish’s statement was bold. As he went on to explain himself, Polish made perfect sense. In fact, his comments were very similar to the marketing and branding information we’ve been discussing with regard to your podcast.

We have discussed the call-to-action in previous episodes of Podcast Talent Coach. We simply need to determine what we hope to accomplish with our podcast episode before we begin recording.

In summary, Polish said great marketing gets people properly positioned, so they are pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre-qualified, and predisposed to do business with you (or act on your call-to-action). Great marketing therefore makes selling easy and unnecessarily.

If you have truly engaged your listener and created that strong relationship we’ve been discussing, the selling should take care of itself. Selling becomes difficult when you are trying to get your listener interested. Selling before your listener is motivated is a challenge. Trying to sell to a listener that isn’t qualified is hard work. If your listener isn’t predisposed to taking action, you will need to sell hard.

Building relationships with your podcast involves telling great stories. Revealing things about yourself through stories makes you real. Your listeners get to know and like you. As you continue to help them over time, you build the trust they seek.

When you have taken the time to build the relationship, your listener will be pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre-qualified, and predisposed to do business with you. They will be ready to buy. Selling, in terms of convincing your listener to buy, will be unnecessary. Your marketing and engaging relationship will have them ready for your call-to-action.

Do the hard work up front to make selling easy.


So, how do we build that relationship? We go back to the bullhorn video by BJ Bueno. We focus on our listener rather than ourselves.

You can’t shout your way into a person’s trust circle. They only way to gain trust is to add value. Give them something they can use. Building trust is the foundation of revenue generation for your podcast.

As you build trusting relationships with your podcast, continue to ask yourself, “How am I helping my listener?” Continue to give, and the trust will develop over time.

When you begin every discussion with your product, needs or wants, people will tune you out. You will begin to sound (and be treated) like advertisements for used cars. Shouting doesn’t work. Your listener won’t care and will rarely return.

Serve first, many times over. Then and only then can you effectively sell.

Shows like the “Dave Ramsey Show”, “48 Days To The Work You Love” and “Smart Passive Income” are all designed to help their listeners first. Sure, they all have products to sell as the end result. However, they never begin with their product. The discussions on these shows always begin with the listener’s needs in mind first.

As you prepare for your show, find great ways to help. Your help may come in the form of entertainment. You may serve as companionship for your podcast listener. Help them find other forms of companionship as well. If your podcast is only one hour per week, there are 167 more hours in the week that aren’t occupied by your show. Your listeners will surely need more companionship to fill a few of those hours. Help your audience fill those hours, too.

Are you building trust, or are you shouting?


After you’ve done the hard work building the relationship, don’t forget to ask for the sale.

One afternoon last week, I stopped by the quickie mart to get something to drink. As I waited in line at the cash register, the gentlemen in front of me set his purchase on the counter.

Among his items was a 2-liter bottle of soda. The bottle of soda was $1.69. The clerk said, “Did you know these are on sale two for $2? You can grab another and save yourself some money.”

The customers responds with, “Looks like I need to grab another bottle.”

By simply asking for the sale, the clerk doubled the purchase. The customer also benefitted by saving some money.

In fact, everyone wins in this transaction. The store is paying the clerk an hourly wage whether he sells one bottle of soda or 100. The cost of the clerk’s time to the store remains constant. Wages are the biggest expense to the store when figuring cost of goods sold. Therefore, by adding another bottle of soda to the purchase, even at the lower price, the store makes more money also.

It all happened because the clerk asked for the sale.

This week, review your show to ensure you are building those relationships.

  • Start with the listener instead of your product or service
  • Determine how you are going to help your listener with this episode
  • Put a strong call-to-action at the end of the episode

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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