Mailbag Monday: "But I don't have a fancy offer!"Hi Naomi,

Thank you so much for doing this! Here’s my question.

Someone I know has recommended I start pitching podcasts as part of my reach-building efforts. I know it would be good for my business as I’m good at speaking and have a lot of radio experience in my past life. But the truth is that I’m scared and I’m embarrassed.

My business platform is ok – it’s somewhere between 1.0 and 2.0 in your terms. I know I can speak and help and be useful, but I don’t have anything to offer. I don’t have an exciting freebie or download or signature program. It’s just me, and I feel foolish going onto these things without anything to promote. I feel naked.

The logical thing to do would be to put podcasts and things on hold until I get something sorted out. But I don’t know what I would sort out! I’m intimidated by the technology. I don’t know if I’m ready to hire designers and things. I don’t even know if I want to make one of these things.

What should I do? Should I wait? Should I make something anyway even if it’s not very good? Should I send people to my (very neglected, very small) newsletter? Tell me, wise Naomi, what I should do.

Naked in Nan Francisco

Dear Naked,

Please know that right now, people all over the world are jealous of your name.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ll address your question.

You describe a very real and very common concern. It is de rigeur to come to podcasts (and guest blog posts, and telesummits, and… and… and…) poised to shill Some Flash Thing that fascinated readers, listeners and viewers will be able to download and get into your funnel and then give you permanent, unfettered access to their wallets. (Or something like that.)

However! Many of us do not have Some Flash Thing, and do not have the ability, or the bandwidth, or even the desire to make Some Flash Thing. What to do?

I’m very glad you asked.

The answer is get on the podcasts anyway.

I shall expand.

There are three possible people who could be affected by you not having Some Flash Thing. We will look at each of those people in turn, and see if this is as dire and nudity-inducing as you fear.

The first person who might be affected is the host.

Unless there’s some back end wheeling and dealing going on – cuts or kickbacks or affiliate deals and the like – there’s no earthly reason your host is going to care if you have an offer or not. It’s got nothing to do with them. I don’t interview people on my podcast, so I can’t say for sure, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that “facilitating a sales pitch” is not the host’s favorite part of their job.

So unless they’re expecting a cut of profits or some such, the host shouldn’t mind. They might mind if you get all awkward when they ask if you have something, but that’s because awkwardness is awkward. It has nothing to do with you not having a thing.

The next person who might be affected is the listener.

I’m going to come out right now and say they’re not going to mind. Nobody has ever walked away from a podcast saying, “Dammit! I was hoping for a hard sell! What a waste of my time.” Maybe if they really liked you, they’d wish you had something for them to go munch on. But they’re not going to write a letter of complaint.

We listen to guests and speakers like this all the time. You listen to an audio interview with the president of something important, like a nation, for example. You hear a podcast guest who’s an expert on some weird thing. You catch a webinar with some respected leader in some unique field.

When they get to the end, and the host says, “Where can we find you?”

You know what they say?

They tell you their website, or maybe a social handle. They don’t invite you to their free training, or give you a coupon code for some limited time deal. Their name and internet location is enough because they have the gravitas to pull that off.

So do you. You may not know it yet, but it’s in there.

The third person who might be affected is you.

This is where it starts to get sticky. You might have serious doubts and concerns. (Who am I kidding? Of course you have doubts and concerns – you emailed me about them!)

In your situation, the most beneficial thing to do is get on those podcasts. Even if you don’t have an offer. Even if you don’t have a freaking mailing list. If all you have is a contact page, it’s still the most beneficial thing to do.


Because the alternative is doing nothing, and doing nothing has no known benefits.

It’s a common fallacy to think that in this situation, you might be wasting a call to action. People will get to the end of your audio and then you just waste a perfectly good opportunity to capture a potential lead or prospect. The thought gives us FOMO.

But it’s not wasting a call to action. At worst, it’s under-optimizing a call to action, which is neither a crime nor particularly a waste.

When we’re in a situation like this, we have to compare the thing that we’re considering to what is, not what we wish it was, or what it should be. We have to compare the thing we’re considering to reality, not an ideal.

At this point your options are:

  • get your name out there, even if your lead capture is less than optimal,
  • make something you don’t want to make (ugh) and then promote it (double ugh),
  • do nothing.

Option A wins. No contest.

Go get your rad self on some podcasts, Naked. You got this.

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