1921 – Maximizing Your Impact with Jessica Rhodes

Rhodes Wide

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Founder and President of Interview Connections,Jessica Rhodes.

Jessica Rhodes, the founder of Interview Connections, a leading podcast booking agency, recently shared her insights on the transformative power of podcast guesting as a marketing strategy. Jessica emphasized that successful podcast guesting hinges on authentic connections with hosts, which can open doors to future collaborations and opportunities.

Jessica also covered the importance of repurposing interview content. She suggested that transforming a single podcast appearance into various forms of content, such as blog posts, social media snippets, or YouTube videos, can significantly enhance visibility and audience engagement across multiple platforms.

Interview Connections operates by representing entrepreneurs and business owners, assisting them in monetizing their interviews and converting listeners into leads. The agency offers a tailored approach, including creating a guest expert media kit and strategically selecting podcasts that align with the client's objectives. Additional support is provided through group coaching calls and interview audits to ensure sustained engagement and success.

Jessica also addressed a common misconception about the importance of audience size in podcast guesting. They highlighted the advantages of focusing on quality over quantity, advocating for appearances on niche podcasts that target ideal customers to foster more profound impacts and higher conversion rates.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Impact of podcast guesting as a marketing strategy
  • Value of relationships and networking in podcast guesting
  • Repurposing interview content for increased visibility and engagement
  • Importance of targeting specific audiences through podcast guesting
  • Democratization of voices in podcasting
  • Role of Interview Connections in representing entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Strategies for monetizing interviews and converting listeners into leads
  • Misconception of focusing solely on audience size
  • Importance of diversity in the podcasting industry
  • Support provided to clients by Interview Connections

About Jessica Rhodes:

Jessica Rhodes is the visionary founder of Interview Connections, the world’s pioneering podcast booking agency established in 2013. At a time when the concept was novel, Jessica’s agency broke new ground by being the first dedicated service of its kind. Under her leadership, Interview Connections has achieved remarkable success, booking over 30,000 podcast interviews for more than 800 clients, significantly enhancing their online presence and business growth. Her innovative approach to marketing and commitment to creating authentic connections have been pivotal in transforming the digital landscape for entrepreneurs.

Beyond her professional achievements, Jessica has diverse personal interests that ground her in community and wellness. She actively participates in health practices such as using a sauna and cold plunge and enjoys managing her backyard chickens. Despite her initial hesitance, Jessica has also embraced the role of team mom for her daughter’s all-star cheer team. Her multifaceted life reflects her dedication to her career, her personal life, and community involvement in Rhode Island.

About Interview Connections:

Interview Connections, co-owned by Jessica Rhodes and Margy Feldhuhn, is a trailblazer in the podcasting industry. It is credited with being the first-ever podcast booking agency. Since its inception in 2013, the agency has transformed how entrepreneurs gain visibility and leverage strategic connections to advance their businesses. Recognized by Corporate Vision Magazine as the Best Specialty Podcast Booking Agency of 2021, Jessica and Margy have demonstrated exceptional leadership, guiding their team in providing impactful publicity solutions that have reshaped the landscape for service-based entrepreneurs.

The ethos of Interview Connections is rooted in innovation and a commitment to excellence, focusing on aligning client appearances to specific business objectives rather than convenience. This approach ensures that each podcast interview is a strategic tool for business growth. The company employs over 25 full-time local staff and offers business mentorship, emphasizing their investment in client success and community development. Through dedicated service and strategic insights, Interview Connections has cemented its role as a pivotal player in enhancing entrepreneurial success through podcasting.

Tweetable Moments:

2:39 –  “We represent entrepreneurs and business owners who often feel like the best kept secret.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Interview Connections’ website at

Check out Interview Connections on LinkedIn at

Check out Jessica Rhodes on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Are you looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers and clients? Well, I've had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video you can watch with no opt in required, where I'll share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales. What I teach has worked for me for over 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence comm and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for great guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. I'd love to have you. With us right now. It's my good friend Jessica Rhodes, founder of Interview Connections. Jessica, your website, interview Jessica, it's great to have you.

Jessica (00:01:18) - Thanks so much.

Jessica (00:01:19) - Josh. Good to be here.

Josh (00:01:20) - Absolutely. I think you and I may have originally connected, I want to say maybe back in 2015 or somewhere in there is either podcast movement, which I think the first year was 2014, both podcast and podcast movement, and may have been there the year after something like that. But it's great to have you listen, you know, of all, I'm just going to say this right at the top. You know, this is a world we know very, very well up. My influence has helped launch over 200 shows. And of all of the guesting agents, we know pretty much every guesting agency out there. There are some really good ones and there are some that are not so great from our experience as as the host. And certainly, you know, getting to know the guests and stuff. Interview connections is absolutely one of the best on the planet. And when people ask me, you know, who is one, you know who are some of the top guesting agencies? Interview connections is always in that list.

Josh (00:02:11) - And again, I feel like I have really good objective experience and data on this. So I just want to at the very top. Jessica, I'm going to sing your praises before I allow you to kind of share a bit more about what you do and kind of the state of the industry, but as just a way of welcoming you and saying, thank you so much for joining us.

Jessica (00:02:27) - Thank you so much. That means so much coming from you. I really appreciate that.

Josh (00:02:31) - Yeah. So so do tell us who interview connections is, what you do and and why. What you do is so impactful in the world.

Jessica (00:02:39) - Yeah, we were the first ever podcast booking agency. So quite simply, we represent entrepreneurs and business owners who often feel like the best kept secret. We help them to get booked on the best podcast for them, and we guide them in the strategies for monetizing their interviews, guiding them in the strategies for converting listeners into leads, networking with the host, repurposing their interview content into social media posts.

Jessica (00:03:02) - So, that is what we do. And we've been doing it for 11 years. We're super passionate about it. And yeah, we love working with hosts like you.

Josh (00:03:11) - Yeah. and so as a, as a company, can you share maybe just a little bit about what, you know, the podcast, you know, guesting industry or, or what, you know, as a service provider who comes to you and, and generally, what are their goals and why might podcast guesting be a great strategy for them, given what it is that they want to accomplish as a guest?

Jessica (00:03:36) - Yeah, the guests that come to us, the business owners that come to us to leverage podcast guesting, are people that their content is best when they are responding to questions and when they have a long form opportunity to have a conversation about what they do. So think about a coach who helps people with their energy or their mindset or transformational work. It's difficult to simplify that into very short written content or a short form reel or TikTok.

Jessica (00:04:01) - But when they have a whole conversation to go deep and to go back and forth with the host, that's where the listeners can really get it, to hear their story and feel their energy and feel aligned with who they are as a person. That is the ideal person for us to work with and who is great for podcast guesting because this is a long form, you know, type of marketing content. And so people that, you know, feel most aligned with the marketing strategy that involves relationships and connections and educating and serving and giving value, that is who this strategy is best for.

Josh (00:04:34) - So you're using the word relationships. And I really want to underline this because I think it could be there could be a misconception out there. And I've seen some folks in the industry that, you know, they treat it more much more. Transactionally. Right. So, oh, great, you're going to get on this podcast and you're going to get X number of exposures and you're going to get this, you know, number of leads.

Josh (00:04:53) - And I understand that those might be, you know, some of the metrics that are attractive. Right. But why are relationships why you know, why get all ooey gooey and talk about human connection. Why, why, why talk about that when we're talking about, you know, what could be, you know, equivalent to just PR x?

Jessica (00:05:13) - Yeah. So when a lot of people like to compare this to their advertising strategy, because when they put money into meta, into Google ads, they can see right away, okay, I got this many impressions and this many people clicked and this many people converted. And so they think, well, I'm going to invest in being on podcast. So what are the numbers? How? I'll just track back how many impressions I need in listeners. And right away you're hitting a wall because you don't know how many people are listening to each podcast that you do. A podcast host can log in to their hosting and see how many downloads, but not everyone who downloads actually listens.

Jessica (00:05:45) - And so there's just not that data available. So right away, if you're just trying to look at the numbers and look at this as a transactional strategy, you're not actually going to be able to evaluate it that way. And you can get such an amazing return on investment if you only focus on your relationship with the host, because it's usually the host that is able to refer people. To you to make recommendations to other podcast hosts who may want to interview you to promote your episode, maybe a bit more because it was so valuable and so beneficial to their audience. So even if nobody actually listens to the podcast, which they will, you can get an incredible return investment just by being interviewed on podcast by hosts that are in alignment with you.

Josh (00:06:27) - Yeah, absolutely. You know. What would you say? You know, traditionally or historically. So we've talked about networking and you're welcome to talk about that a bit more because I agree with you. And I'm, I'm in fact I'm kind of like just commenting I comment on your stuff a lot.

Josh (00:06:41) - Jessica, you know, because again, I think in my experience, most podcast host and I've guested on over 300 shows myself, most hosts, our are really good centers of influence. They know people and they know things. And I would not discount the value of that host. So you don't want to look at them as just, okay, you know. All right. Some sloppy podcasters are going to ask me questions. And the real prize is exposure to their audience. I think you're really missing the boat if you don't stop to think. Well, wait a minute. this host probably knows some other people that might make really good connections for me. Why don't I get to know them a bit? You know, or at least kind of treasure or value? This one guaranteed relationship that you get is is with the person on the other side of the microphone. So there's that. And then I'm hoping maybe you could talk about no, no, no, Jessica, let me just let me finish that up and then I'll get into repurposing.

Josh (00:07:36) - We'll talk about that in just a second. Okay. Go. Go for it.

Jessica (00:07:39) - Yeah. Well the networking is huge. We often talk to our clients about the green room chat, which is that conversation that you're having before the interview actually starts. There's so much gold in the green room chat. In fact, you and I were just in the green room and talking backstage and you're like, we got to get to the interview. I'm like, I would be happy if we just had a green room chat and no interview was even recorded. Like, obviously I'm so happy to do the interview, but even like the opportunity to talk with you, a fellow entrepreneur in my space, that is valuable in and of itself. And I get exposure to your audience, like day made. And so that is the perspective you need to have about these podcast interviews.

Josh (00:08:17) - I love your expression. They made what's right. So you know what's really interesting to I know you and I have spoken at some really great conferences, social media, social media marketing.

Josh (00:08:27) - Let me use this as an example. if all I got was, entrance to the two hour VIP speaker mixer, that right there is where I get 90% of my goal. Like, it's great to go and hear what has to be shared. And I like the party and I like the fun, but honestly, it's the VIP mixer. It's, you know, that is where that is, where real business gets done. It's in the quiet. I like to refer to it as the Whisper Network. Right? It's not flashy. It's not showy. It's the quiet, subtle leader conversation conversations behind the stage. All right. We've talked about that. I feel like we can talk about that for an hour. Okay. I want to talk about this, Jessica. And that is, you know, this idea that if a guest, you know, and my background's in PR, so I've got my biases on this. but if you think as a guest, your job is just to go out on the stage, you're going to record an interview, and then you go, okay, job done.

Josh (00:09:27) - I'm just going to now count on the host to celebrate me far and wide, and the business is going to come in, and that's all I have to do. Again, missing what I would refer to as part two of this equation, which is so critical, is that you are just in the interview chair. Hopefully you're going to get, you know, if you didn't get a recording of that yourself, you're going to get it. Jessica, I don't know how much more clearly I could connect the dots on this question in terms of a softball, but, what should the guest be doing if they really want to max out the value of this opportunity?

Jessica (00:10:01) - You need to, as you say, slice and dice that interview into dozens of pieces of content. If you are not leveraging and repurposing your interview appearances, you are totally missing the point of this strategy when you get interviewed on podcasts. Most of the time, the host is also going to put it on YouTube. You can grab that YouTube clip.

Jessica (00:10:19) - I use a great tool called Get Munch. I cuts it up into dozens of pieces of short term short form videos. But then I put on Instagram and LinkedIn. I write a little post. I have gotten so much social media content and inspiration for articles that I've written from my podcast interviews, and I can see the numbers, how that actually improves the viewers on the views on those videos. I was interviewed on Cliff Ravenscroft Podcast, which is such a great experience, and I promoted the heck out of that because Cliff was such a pro. The interview is such a good spotlight of interview connections and my story that I wanted to promote that so much because it made me look good and so why wouldn't I want to promote that? And so when you promote these episodes, that's what gets you more viewers and more listeners on those interviews.

Josh (00:11:04) - Yeah. So, Jessica, your website is Interview Connections. Com let's talk about what it actually, looks like to to work with interview connections as a potential guess. Like, what does that experience.

Josh (00:11:18) - And then, you know, when you do start working together, what does that feel like? What are the outcomes that you hope to co-create together?

Jessica (00:11:25) - Yeah, we work with clients long term. So our minimum engagement is 30 guaranteed bookings. We create our our clients one sheet for them. We make a guest expert media kit. We strategize on the right types of podcasts for them in their business. So looking at what are your goals for podcast guesting? Who is your target audience? What's your unique story? What topics do you want to be interviewed about? And then that helps us to identify what are the right types of podcasts that are a good fit for you. So our team is all full time in-house. We do all the research to identify the shows, we do all the pitching, and then we're as the name implies, we connect our clients directly with the host and then schedule the interview and and do the interview and maintain that relationship. And then we're guiding and coaching. So something that's unique about interview connections is we incorporate group coaching calls where we're teaching, you know, how to repurpose, how to network with the host, how to increase leads coming from the audience of the show.

Jessica (00:12:14) - So we do interview audits. We'll listen back to an interview and give you coaching and feedback. So there's you know, our program is really great for those entrepreneurs who want that concierge level experience, want the coaching and support. You know, oftentimes our clients are these successful business owners who are a little bit nervous to get the visibility. They're like, I've never done visibility in media before. I really want to, but I need support, and that's what we're here for.

Josh (00:12:36) - Yeah. Jessica, I want to dispel, you know, maybe some idea, too. And I'm sure that this comes up quite often where, you know, a guest says, well, I just want to be on the biggest shows on the planet. Big, big vanity metrics. I want big audience numbers. how do you usually address that, that, topic?

Jessica (00:12:54) - Yeah. I mean, number one, audience sizes aren't public, so there's no way to know for sure how big or small an audience is. Now, you could then say, well, I just want to be on shows with, you know, a thousand reviews on Apple Podcasts or I just want to be on really big shows.

Jessica (00:13:06) - And what I say to that is, who is your ideal client? For most of the people that I'm talking to and working with, these are small business owners, entrepreneurs, business coaches, marketing agency owners. You don't need to be on a show with millions of normal people listening for entertainment. You need to be on a really targeted podcast with maybe 200 of your ideal clients listening. That's where you're going to get your leads and your traffic, not from being on a mass media show. Now, some people say, I only want big shows, and they actually do have more of a consumer audience. And to that I say, you need to go work with PR, you need a PR firm that's going to get you out to mass media. But podcasts aren't really the medium for mass media exposure.

Josh (00:13:48) - Yeah. And, you know, the way that I look at this is like, listen, do you want to be in front of 5000 randos or do you want to be in front of 50 CEOs? So and this gets to my final question I want to ask you about.

Josh (00:13:59) - And that's the beauty of podcasts is unlike traditional media, which is a mile wide and an inch deep, podcasts are really exceptional for targeting and being in front of like what you were just talking about being in front of that ideal group. So, you know, looking at the the concept of the podcast, you know, who do you imagine is listening to that very particular show? And so you think about hyper segmentation, about finding your tribe, finding your people. Well, yeah, they might be smaller, audiences, but they're exceptionally concentrated for people who share that value. And if you can start to connect with those pockets of people, I think there's so much good to be had. And kind of this final thought on this, sorry for my long winded question here is, you know, and this is part of the beauty and I one thing I want to really celebrate interview connections for is celebrating not just, you know, again, very specific voices, but but diversity of voices. And that's the one thing I really love about podcasting too, is that it's just this ultimate platform for democratization of voices in a little bit of a longer form format.

Josh (00:15:08) - So for someone that wants to get their voice out to the world and traditional media, there's not a whole lot of opportunities for them based on what they're advocating. Guess what? In podcasts we have a stage for you.

Jessica (00:15:20) - Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we have we're very passionate about diversity. We have largely an LGBTQ team. We have a client, Wendy Cole, who's a transgender coach. And so she's out there being so brave, sharing her story. Honestly, she is dealing with hateful comments. But her target audience, they're in hiding. They're so afraid to be visible. So she is being that person that is leading by example and helping people literally saving lives by providing them that support and that that's really what motivates us to do this work, is that we know when our clients get their voices heard, it changes lives.

Josh (00:15:55) - It truly, truly does. Jessica, your website again is Interview for a friend that's been listening. What would you recommend they do? Listen to anyone who's listening.

Josh (00:16:07) - Please do what Jessica is about to share with you. Go for it.

Jessica (00:16:10) - Yeah, we'll go to Interview Connections. Com from there we have a ton of resources. You can read some articles, you can book a call with me, reach out to us because we want to support you. We do free masterclasses every month. So just go to Interview Connections. Com that is our home on the web. Whatever makes the most sense for you, whether it's reading some articles or booking a call, we are here to guide you and support you in leveraging podcast guesting your content.

Josh (00:16:34) - Jessica is excellent. so it's just any other kind of blog. It's exceptionally practical. a lot of very actionable advice. And I would also, again, as I alluded to earlier, you're a very good social media follow. So, you know, so go on LinkedIn and I'd highly recommend following either interview connections, page or Jessica, your personal account if you don't mind. Yeah. Honestly, really, really good content.

Jessica (00:17:01) - Thank you.

Jessica (00:17:02) - Yeah. Follow me on LinkedIn. That's probably a really great next step. Just follow me on LinkedIn. Add a note that says, you found me from Josh's podcast and we can connect directly. But yeah, I write very valuable articles. I don't outsource to social media companies like it is straight from my experiences. so yeah, I'm a good follow. Definitely would love to connect with you.

Josh (00:17:20) - I, I also I love there's so much I think that you write that I kind of it's easy to chuckle at what you write because it's I think it's just very honest about the reality of like outcomes of awkward sales conversation, for example, stuff like that, which I'm like, oh yeah, had all those conversations.

Jessica (00:17:37) - I love that post because I love pulling back the curtain. I had so many agency owners saying like, oh my gosh, I have the same type of experiences. And so I like just sharing. Like, this is the reality. This is what we can learn from it. Yeah.

Josh (00:17:49) - I love it in our view. Jessica Rhodes you're the founder. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jessica (00:17:55) - Thank you Josh.

Josh (00:18:02) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together we are empowering one another as thoughtful leaders. And as I mentioned at the beginning of this program, if you're looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers, and clients, I have had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video that you can watch right now with no opt in or email required, where I'm going to share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales.

Josh (00:19:00) - What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence comm and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Make sure to hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right, seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes every single day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

We're actively booking guests for our DAILY #podcast: The Thoughtful #Entrepreneur. Happy to share your story with our 120K+ audience.Smiling face with halo


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