Writing a book is one thing. Getting it out there is another. One of the great vehicles for writers to share and sell their books in this day and age is through podcasting. Juliet Clark talks with Daniel Gefen, the CEO of Gefen Media Group, about how he helps people become a number one bestseller in their niche through podcast guesting. Discovering the value of podcasting in his underwear, Daniel relates how he started building a business that has the potential of making him a billionaire. He shares how he went with networking and relationship building, and later on, how he prepares his clients to guest on shows. Daniel also shares his strategies to engage listeners and convert them into buyers.
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Becoming A Bestseller By Podcast Guesting With Daniel Gefen
I’m excited about my guest. His name is Daniel Gefen. Daniel teaches people how to sell thousands of books and become a number one bestseller in their niche by guesting on podcasts, which you guys know I have a show. I love books. He is the perfect guest for me. I sought him out on LinkedIn. He’s been featured in Forbes, Inc., CIO, Influencive and was recognized in the Top 25 Influencers in 2017. He’s the CEO of Gefen Media Group. What we’re going to talk about is speaking to thousands of people in your underwear, which I have to say that’s a guy thing. Us women do this in our PJs, but your underwear for guys probably is your PJs.
I don’t know how deep we can go here. I sleep in my underwear. I don’t do PJs, maybe when I was ten. You could also be in your PJs. It’s totally cool.
Women can be at a PJ. She can be in underwear. You could even be in the buff, which I do have a pretty funny story about someone who ran an auto webinar and it got jammed up. He was in the hot tub naked. You could do it any of those ways. Welcome, Daniel.
Tell us about how you put this all together, how you got this idea about books because you do have your own book, The Self Help Addict. What prompted you to put all this together into one platform?
Here’s the backstory. A few years ago, I had a fairly successful online business. I had no social media presence whatsoever. In fact, I didn’t even have a social media account, Facebook account or Instagram account. My wife had a Facebook account and she would post the pictures of the kids. I would go on there and look at the pictures, but I didn’t have my own account. I was an introvert. I’m an extrovertial introvert. I didn’t have a following online or anything. The only time I ever spoke was on a table in high school trying to get attention and instead, I got detention.
My first exposure to podcasting, a few years ago, I get a phone call from someone who said, “Daniel, I heard you’ve got a cool story about how you grew your business.” To cut a very long story short, in my business, my COO was suicidal and couldn’t come into work and my whole business went into turmoil. We had hundreds of clients and I didn’t know what to do. I ended up coming up with this crazy idea to outsource the whole business and fired everybody, left the office, went to a hotel lobby and with my laptop and my phone built up my business from a hotel lobby. I outsourced everything to one of my competitors. He called me up asking me if I could be a guest on his podcast.Everybody loves a great story. If you know how to position yourself and tell the right story, that's going to make all the difference. Click To Tweet
My response to him was, “What’s a podcast?” I had no idea. I had no clue. He explained to me what it was and I thought, “That sounds cool.” The next thing I know, I’m sitting in my pajamas at my house, in Israel. Israel is a tiny country. To give you an idea of how small it is, you can drive from one end of the country to the other end in about four hours. It’s the size of New Jersey, the whole country. Imagine I’m in this tiny country and I’m in my house, in my underwear. I’ve got these headphones on and I’m talking to this house sharing my story and I absolutely fell in love with it because I was like, “I was meant to do this. I enjoy this.”
At the end of the hour, he’s like, “That was amazing. Thank you so much, Daniel.” I said, “How many people were listening to that?” Because I’m here sitting, staring at a wall. If you would’ve told me 50 people, I would be, “That’s amazing, 50 people, 100 people.” He said, “Over 1,000 people were listening.” I almost fell off my chair and I said, “What? Where are these people?” He said, “All over the world.” He starts listing countries, Japan, China, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, America, Canada, England, France. I was like, “What? That’s insane.” Guatemala, I didn’t even know that was a country. I didn’t even know where that was.
That’s when the light bulb moment went off for me. I said, “I need to go all-in on this podcast thing because this is huge.” To cut a very long story short, I ended up starting up my own podcast. I loved interviewing people. As I interviewed more people, I got good at it and I was meeting some great people. Here’s the problem, I wasn’t getting a lot of listeners. I didn’t know how to get myself out there. I didn’t have any social media experience. I didn’t know how to promote myself. I wasn’t a marketing guy. I’m a great sales guy. Get me on the phone with anybody and I will close the deal. I will sell. There’s a difference between being a salesman and a marketer. Getting myself out there and attracting a lot of attention, I didn’t know how to do that.
I thought to myself, “What’s interesting is people coming on my show, they’re getting automatic access to my audience that I’ve built up myself.” I’ve spent a lot of time building up this audience. They’re coming on and within an hour, they’re getting access to my audience. I thought, “Why don’t I go on other people’s podcasts and get access to their audiences so that I can leverage their audience.” That’s what I started doing. Every single time I went on another podcast, my podcast download started to spike and I saw an increase in the number of listeners. I thought, “This is incredible.” By getting on other podcasts, I managed to grow my own podcast to over 250,000 downloads. I ended up becoming a top-rated podcast in the business space on iTunes, interviewed billionaires, New York Times bestselling authors, incredibly huge influencers on my show.
The way that I started Gefen Media Group where the booking agency was, I started getting inundated with pitches people trying to get on my show. It was awful because everybody’s trying to get on the show and it sucks. The pitches are boring and lame and everybody’s trying to get in and say the same things. That’s when the next light bulb moment went off, which was, “I’m friends with all these top-rated hosts. I’m a top-rated host myself. I’ve been on over 60 podcasts. I’ve had over 150 high-profile guests. I know what a great guest sounds like and I know how to pitch a guest because I’m being pitched all the time. I know what doesn’t work. Why don’t I start a podcast booking agency?” That’s how it happened.
I get lame pitches, probably not as much as you, and most of the time, I reach out on LinkedIn and choose my own potential because I see the things, but I get PR people all the time, “Interview this guy. He has a book.” That’s not what my podcast is about. It’s annoying when they don’t take the time to listen and understand what you’re doing. “My boss thinks he’d be good.” “Has your boss ever listened?” “No.” Nobody thought you’d ask that.
They don’t have any relationship with you and they haven’t done their homework. It’s a very lazy approach to doing things.
Tell us about how you book. You’ve done a lot of networking to be able to do this and relationship building.
What I’ve learned over the years in the podcast industry and in the branding and marketing space is everybody loves a great story. If you know how to position yourself and tell the right story, that’s going to make all the difference. I watched The Joker and probably a lot of people reading this have already watched it. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It’s very disturbing if that’s your thing, but it’s incredible acting. I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time. I was enthralled in this movie. It’s a story. You become part of the story. You relate to the character in a story and you relate to the person.
The second thing that’s interesting about is what the Joker did without realizing it. That’s what’s genius about this movie. He didn’t even realize he was doing it. He was a nobody. He was a bum clown, a psycho guy who everyone picked on, bullied and beat up. He created a massive following because they believed in his mission, in his message. That’s what people want. They want to belong. That’s what it is. We all want to belong to something greater because everybody goes to work. They did it to pay the bills, come home and take care of the kids. They eat. They go to the bathroom. They shower. They go to bed and wake up and do the whole thing again.
It’s like, “Is that what life is all about?” We all want something deeper and more meaningful. We want to be part of something greater. If you can build a movement by creating a mission that people want to stand by and belong to, there it is. That’s what I do for my clients. It’s not just about the relationships that I have with the hosts, but I know how to take someone and position them in the right way so that a host looking at the bio says, “This is the guest that I need. This is what my listeners are going to relate to.” Once you’re on the show, if you had to convert the listeners into followers, buyers, clients, that’s the secret sauce. You can go on lots of podcasts but if you don’t know how to tell the right story and create the right message and the right mission, you’re just another podcast episode.
I want you to notice something here. He told you that he’s a great salesman. He told you how, relationships and storytelling. He doesn’t sell. I’ve been on the other side of finding out what he does. The way he did it, I was asking questions, how much is this, but not like, “How much is this? What are you trying to sell me?” I was intrigued like, “What is the price point on this? This sounds incredible.” That’s the whole secret sauce behind you being a salesperson. A lot of it is that storytelling and the way you go about it. When I’m working with authors, it’s about taking them from the consumer side into being content creators. I hear a lot of excuses like, “I don’t have time.” How do you get that transition for people? What do you suggest to get them out of their own way and into something like this where they’re creating content that they love creating?
I struggled with this for so long where I became addicted to consuming information. Every single new self-help book that came out, I was there. I was like, “I’m buying a copy.” I would get a copy of the book and it’s always so exciting because it’s hope. That’s what we want, we want hope. Maybe this is going to change my life. Maybe this is going to help me to get to that next level. This is going to be out of my financial situation. This is going to get me to inspire people and build a whole following. What you do is that I would open up the book and I take out my yellow marker pen, which all self-help addicts have this special marker pen. We’re all part of the club.We want to be part of something greater. We all want something deeper and more meaningful. Click To Tweet
It’s like, “Hold out your marker pen, everyone.” It’s like, “I’m part of the club.” Those of you that know what I’m talking about, you’ll be nodding like, “The marker pen.” What’s the point of a marker pen? It’s to highlight the main things in the book so that when you go back to the book, you can look at the main parts. The problem is if you highlight every line on the book, what is the point of marker pen? I would be that guy who literally every page is filled with marker pen because, “This is a game-changer. This is life-changing. This is amazing.” The problem is as you get to the end of the book and there’s this deep sense of, “It’s over. Now, what do I do?”
What happens is I would go and feed the addiction. I would go and consume another book. I would go onto YouTube and find myself binge-watching how-to videos. I would go and listen to podcasts like, “How do I do this?” What you end up with is a brain that’s absolutely filled with information, but you’re doing nothing. You end up with information overload. The way I like to describe this is people who suffer from obesity and food addiction. It’s very clear and it’s very easy to see the issue because the more you eat, the bigger you get. From the outside you can see, I’ve gained weight. I’ve gained twenty pounds. I’ve gained 50 pounds, whatever it is.
What happens to someone who is obese? You get heavy. You get slow. You feel tired. You feel lazy. You feel demotivated. You don’t feel good about yourself. What’s interesting about what I call emotional obesity or mental obesity is that you are filling up your brain. You’re overloading on information and you’re becoming obese. What happens to your brain is it slows down and it becomes heavy. You start getting lazy and you get overwhelmed. You feel not good enough. You’re like, “What do I do?” Nobody sees that. It’s usually like a normal person. On the inside, you’re struggling. What’s the solution? Like an obese person physically, what do they need to do? They need to take the food that they’re eating.
The answer isn’t don’t eat. We have to eat. You’re human. You’ll die if you don’t eat. You need to convert the food into energy. You’ve got to work out. You’ve got to exercise and it’s also about eating the right food. That’s another thing. It’s the same thing here. If you are only consuming information but you’re not converting it, what does converting it look like? What does exercise look like in that respect? It’s going out and doing something with that information. It’s going out and writing that first chapter of that book. The first thing that you need to do to start that business. It’s going out and launching that first episode of the podcast or getting yourself booked on that podcast so that you can start sharing that information. It’s all about expressed expression. If everything’s stuck in here, you’re not expressing it outwardly and you’re not putting it out into the world and that’s a big part of the issue.
I work in that get coaching space where we all bounce from event to event, book to book and podcasts to podcasts. 99% of people don’t implement it. They mean well and when they do, they get into that, “This is the magic bullet” mode. There is no magic bullet to all this. It’s a combination of good habits, good things. That is an amazing analogy. That’s fabulous. What was that one where we talk about the analogy?
We were getting on Zoom and you couldn’t see me because it looked like the lights were too bright. I was shifting around, moving around and we couldn’t figure out what it was until eventually, I was like, “There’s some dust on my camera.” As soon as I moved the dust away, the picture was clear. It had nothing to do with the environment, the surroundings, other people or anything else. It just had to do with the camera lens. In a way that’s an analogy for our lives where we blame everybody else, but maybe our own glasses are dusty and we need to clean them.When you overthink things, you end up talking yourself out. Click To Tweet
We could relate that back to what you talked about too. When we see other people out there being successful, it’s not that they did anything but act on that obese brain.
I always say, “What’s the difference in you in Tony Robbins when you’re at a Tony Robbins event?” The only difference is that he sold the ticket and you bought it. He’s the creator and you’re the consumer in that relationship. Once you become a creator, the transaction changes and somebody else is the consumer and you’re the creator. I want to get practical because I feel like a lot of times people hear things like this and they go, “It sounds great. That’s amazing.” How do you get super practical with it? What can you do to start changing that? I want to give you a story that happened to me. I was on a plane once watching a movie. It was a movie about father and son. I grew up with a very cold relationship with my dad.
My father’s father was a Holocaust survivor. He grew up without love, without hugs and kisses and things like that. His mother drowned when he was about thirteen, so he didn’t know how to express himself in the way that he wants it to. I’m watching this movie. The father and son get into this big full-out. In the end, they reunite and they embrace. I have tears rolling down my face and I’m thinking to myself, “I should call my dad and tell him I love him.” The thought at that moment was so powerful and so real that I wanted it. We can all relate to this where we get inspired at that moment and we get what I call in heat where we emotionally are charged fully.
What happens though is if we wait too long, we start to cool off. What happened to me is I went onto the next thing and it was just a nice idea. Now it’s like, “Maybe not.” Contrast that to about several months later, I was in a workshop dealing with relationships. One of the people was sharing about an issue with their father and how he had reunited with his father. I was again, with tears in my eyes, thinking about I should call my father. This time I didn’t wait. I got up and I left the workshop straight away. I picked up the phone without thinking because the problem is sometimes, we get too analytical and we overthink things. When you overthink things, you end up talking yourself out.
What I did was I didn’t allow myself to overthink it. I just went into action. I started doing it. I dialed the phone and he picked it up. He’s like, “What’s going on?” I said, “I want to let you know that you’re amazing and I wouldn’t want any other father. I know that you always try to give me things. The only thing I want is for you to one day call me up to tell me you love me. That’s it.” His response was, “You know I can’t.” I said, “I know it’s hard for you but I believe in you.” I hung up. Two days later, I was playing tennis and it was a Friday afternoon. I was in the middle of my tennis game and I saw my phone ringing. I see as my dad and I freak out because usually my dad only calls me in an emergency like someone died, someone’s in the hospital or something serious. He never calls me. I ran over. I quickly picked up the phone and there was this total silence on the other end. I was like “Hello.” I hear, “I love you.”
I almost dropped the phone. That was such a breakthrough. I think back to it because it’s so easy to miss that moment, to miss those opportunities. The only difference is you’ve got to take action immediately because if you wait, you cool off and you don’t do it. You’ve got to do it while you’re in that moment. What I take away from that and what I think people reading to this can take away from it is get into a habit of when you’re reading a book or when you’re watching a YouTube video and you suddenly get that inspiration to do something like, “I should do this. I should do that,” stop the thing that you’re consuming, put it on pause and go do it. Do one thing to start the process because everything nowadays is on demand. You can pause anything. You can stop reading this and go and do something. You can pause the book by closing and putting a bookmark. You can pause YouTube videos and do something with it.
That was such a great story. Thank you for sharing that. I’m sure a lot of people are thinking, “I have to pause Juliet’s show and start my own.” Here’s the thing where they’re going to overthink. How do I get an engaged audience and convert those into buyers? That’s the piece where people avoid content is they haven’t been able to grab ROI from it in the past.
First of all, I noticed you said, “Let me pause and let me go start my own podcast.” I get this question a lot, “Daniel, should I start my own podcast, or should I go on other people’s podcasts?” Here’s the difference. When you start your own podcast, it’s going to take you a long time to build an audience. There are 800,000 podcasts active. Every day there are 500 new podcasts launching. There are over 100 million Americans listening to podcasts. There’s a huge market for it, but it’s very hard to build your own audience. Getting on all the people’s audiences is the quickest way to build an audience. The short answer is both. You want to have your own podcast because that’s yours, you own that. You also want to be leveraging other people’s audiences because that’s instant access. However, if the question is I only have time to do one, my answer to you is going on other people’s podcasts because that is going to be the quickest way to build your audience. You can always start a podcast and you’re going to start a podcast with a following already there.
To answer your question, Juliet, about how do you get an ROI? The problem is in this generation is everybody wants to make $1 million in two weeks. It doesn’t happen. Those are the people who happen to be in a very unique situation at the right time with the right client. Otherwise, for 99% of people, you’ve got to have patience. You’ve got to build. You’ve got to grow and building an audience takes time. The reward that you get after you’ve managed to build a solid audience is incredible because anything that you promote, anything that you come out with, you’ve got raving fans. Imagine if you’ve got 1,000 raving fans who will buy anything that you put out. You never need to chase clients again. You never need to sell. People will want to buy from you. That’s the power of positioning yourself as an authority. That’s the goal.
Clients come to me and say, “Daniel, I want to get out there. I want to become an authority in my space. That’s what I want.” It takes time to do that. Once you’ve established yourself and positioned yourself in that way, it’s a whole different ball game. It’s a different world. You don’t have to chase anymore. People come to you and here’s what’s exciting. You get to choose who you work with. When I first started my agency, I would take on anyone who came to me with some money. I’d be like, “Give me your money.” It was terrible. It was a nightmare to deal with these people. I hated it. I wake up on Monday morning and I was like, “I’ve got to work with this guy. He’s going to drive me crazy.”
It’s hell until I was able to get to a point where people would call me up and be like, “Daniel, I want to work with you.” I’d be like, “I don’t know if I want to work with you. I don’t care how much money you’ve got.” For me, quality of life is more important. I’ll make less money and work with people I love working with and enjoy working with. I know we’re going to have a good time and we’re going to enjoy this. I’m going to get you great results. You’re going to be happy and I’m going to feel fulfilled and accomplished. That’s the life that people want. You can have that when you’ve established yourself as an authority and when people are knocking on your door because they want to work with you.
If you’ve ever done what Daniel was talking about, worked with someone who you knew you should’ve said no, they will suck the life out of you. They truly do. There’s a lot to be said there, but also you get to meet great people when you’re doing this. I talk to people every day that I consider for my show and I only ask the ones that I liked, but I get to meet a lot of people. It enriches my life because you were talking about that extrovert introvert thing. I’m an introvert, but I love talking to people. I need to know when to shut it off.
I tend to ramble as well. We’re all guilty of it.You've got to take action immediately because if you wait, you call off and you don't do it. Click To Tweet
Where can we find you if we want to reach out and find out more about how you get people on these shows, what you do, the storytelling that you do behind the bios?
My company website is GefenMediaGroup.com. If you want to hire my agency to get you booked on a podcast, you can apply on booking a call with me through the website there. Everybody’s in a different place in their life. Some people can afford to hire an agency and some people are at a level where they want to do it themselves. We’re creating a course on how to do it yourself and we’re also creating a platform so that you can go on and get yourself booked on podcasts. It’s going to be called PodBooker.com.
I would love people to reach out to me because the key is to engage and to start a conversation. I reply to every email that I get. It takes a while, but I get to it because I’m all about human connection, building relationships and trying to help people at different levels whatever I can do. Obviously, I’m very selective when it comes to the agency side of things. If I can help somebody by giving them advice, I’m open to that. I’d love to give back. Email me at Daniel@GefenMediaGroup.com. Send me an email, reach out, tell me where you’re holding. Where do you want to get to? I’d love to help you.
Go check out PodBooker.com. That sounds super interesting. Thank you so much, Daniel. Go check out Daniel.
Also, my podcast, if they want to check that out, it’s Can I Pick Your Brain?.
Thank you. You’ve been a wonderful guest.
Thank you much, Juliet. I appreciate it.
- Gefen Media Group
- The Self Help Addict
- Can I Pick Your Brain?
About Daniel Gefen
Daniel Gefen teaches people how to sell 1000’s of books and become #1 bestseller in their niche by guesting on podcasts.
He has been featured in Forbes, Inc, CIO, and Influencive and was recognized as a Top 25 Influencer in 2017. He is the CEO of Gefen Media Group.
Our topic today is Speaking to 1000 in your underwear. Underwear? Is that a guy thing? I think us women prefer to speak to 1000 in out PJ’s.
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