Rob Warlow set up Business Loan Services after 25 years in banking, including senior roles with banks in Africa. Rob now uses that knowledge to help businesses access growth finance and get that elusive ‘yes’ from the bank.
Rob is also an accomplished speaker and seminar host, who issues a weekly business finance newsletter, The Business Finance Bulletin, both as a video and as a podcast.
Getting your new business noticed
[2:05] Rob describes his move from banking into running his own business as ‘“the classic way of how not to do a start-up”! He decided pretty early on that the way to get his business noticed was by producing digital content.
The first pieces content Rob made were videos of his live seminars, which he posted on You Tube. He realised he needed a more consistent approach to publishing regular content, so the idea of the Business Finance Bulletin came about. He aimed to share knowledge and information for small business owners, through weekly short videos. The Bulletin still keeps that aim and format today.
Repurposing content for a podcast
[6:35] Rob realised he was spending more time listening to podcasts in the car and thought he ought to be podcasting too. He found out he could extract the audio content from his videos and post that as a podcast, reaching more people with the same content.
Considering himself a ‘technophobe’, Rob uses the easiest possible ways to produce his content. He talks us through his workflow.
[9:45] Knowing he’ll repurpose his video content as audio means Rob needs to be very aware of the need to make sure his dialogue doesn’t refer to any visual prompts.
Raising your profile with a podcast
[11:30] Podcasting about business finance is quite unique and Rob feels this has made his business noticeable – the podcast has encouraged people he wouldn’t have met otherwise, to contact him. He drives more listeners to the podcast using social media channels.
Creating content consistently
[13:24] Rob feels that, to be noticeable in your space, you need to be consistent with your podcast output. He made a public commitment to produce weekly output straight away and a challenge from someone in his network spurred him on! He sets aside the same time every week to create the content, so he can ensure his publishing cycle continues.
I wondered where Rob gets his inspiration from every week and he points out that, when you start looking for it, you will find content everywhere. He shares some of his best sources of fresh ideas.
Demonstrating your expertise
[16:45] Rob selects the right type of content according to the audience he most wants to attract. He chooses topics that help demonstrate his expertise and he realises that podcasting regularly has made him take more notice of exactly what’s going on in the market.
Importantly, Rob describes why you need to communicate your own view on your topic area and not just read the latest updates. His confidence with his topic area has got him noticed by the media and interviewed for television.
The benefits of credibility
[19:25] To be known as an expert in your field gives you a competitive edge and makes you much more credible in your market. Quite often, Rob’s podcast content has acted as a ‘trigger’ for people to approach him and formed an effective ice breaker with new clients.
It also helps him to establish trust more quickly, in a market where integrity is vital.
How long should a podcast be?
[22:10] Rob talks about the optimum lengths of video versus podcast content. He’s aware his videos are a little too long, but his podcasts are too short. To combat this, Rob is aiming to upgrade his podcast to longer episodes, including interviews.
Rob’s advice for a new podcaster
[24:03] Although he considers the technology a barrier for him personally, Rob has learned how to do it as he goes along and feels that a podcast doesn’t need to be expertly made. His advice is to just get going and do whatever you can to get the job done.
“If you’ve got a message to get out there, there’s no better way than this route. It does get you noticed; it gets you in front of your potential future client and gives you that chance to sell your expertise, there and then.”
[27:11] For Rob, being known as an expert in your market makes you a Bigger Fish and he feels that podcasts help him achieve this and stay top of his game.
You can find Rob at businessloanservices.co.uk; he’s Rob Warlow on LinkedIn and on twitter @bizloanservices