How Podcast Statistics Find The Right Audience

In this episode, Barbara and Tom discuss:

Is podcasting or guesting on a podcast worth it?
Tom Schwab’s Interview Valet
Traditional Digital Marketing and Its Flaws with Tom Schwab

Key Takeaways:
“What’s ordinary to you is amazing to others. We all underestimate our experience and overestimate other people’s experience.” – Tom Schwab.

Connect with Tom Schwab:


Connect with Barbara Hales:

Twitter:   @DrBarbaraHales
Business website:



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Power to the Patient: The Medical Strategist



Dr. Barbara Hales: Welcome to another episode of marketing tips for doctors.

I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Today, we have with us a very interesting person, Tom Schwab.

Have you ever thought your digital marketing might actually be hurting your business? That sounds really counterproductive, doesn’t that that you are not breaking through the noise, you’re just adding to it. Perhaps you are not one funnel away.

Maybe that funnel is tapping the big fish you want. Our guest today has a refreshingly new view, Tom Schwab asks you to consider that you are just one conversation away. That is his experience.

And that data working with over 700 leading brands as the chief evangelist officer at interview valet, where he helps thought leaders get heard on targeted podcast interviews.

If you want a rich life and a profitable business, Tom believes you are just one conversation away. Welcome to the show, Tom.

Tom Schwab: Well, thank you, Barbara, I’m thrilled to be here.

Podcast Exposure

Dr. Barbara Hales: Tell me how can doctors with a local patient base benefit from national exposure on podcasts.

Tom Schwab: Right. And it’s like when people start to look at what physicians they want to go to where they want to get their care, I would ask you, are they looking at what park bench the rod? What social media? Or are they looking at who’s the expert?

And if you’re seeing on a national program that could give you expertise, you look at the doctors that have built up their practices, by being the medical spokesman for the local television station, or the national one, it gives you a different step statue of prestige, when you can say, Yeah, I was interviewed on this podcast.

And it’s a great proof source that people can use in order to use it in other marketing, you know, in your, in your emails to your patients into local articles, press releases, things like that, just that exposure on a national level, even if your clients are only local.

Dr. Barbara Hales: That’s absolutely true. When you can say you were on a TV station or when patients themselves say, Wow, that’s a celebrity, you know, I would like to go that person. Obviously, they think that you know, TV, that’s people. So if they were on a TV station, or a podcast show, obviously, they are the expert in their field.

Tom Schwab: And very much so and even the search engines value that too. Because often if you’ve got the same name as someone else, right? You google that person’s name, and it’s going to be the person that has the most links to them and the most exposure out there on a national level. So you don’t want them to be looking for Tom Schwab who happens to be a great search and up in Grand Rapids, not me, and find somebody in a different state just because he’s got more national media.

Podcasting or Guesting?

Dr. Barbara Hales: We’re not talking about Tom Schwab who is a financial guru either. Tom, should people be considering starting a podcast? Or should they just be guesting on other shows?

I know, obviously, when they’re first getting into that foray, it’s a whole lot cheaper just being a guest than trying to figure out all of the things that they would have to do in starting a podcast, not to mention the expense that they would incur. What are your thoughts about that?

Tom Schwab: Today, everybody’s saying, oh, you should have a podcast. And you know, I sometimes look at it as, like Uber, right? Should you be an Uber driver or an Uber passenger? Really, it depends on what your goals are. Right? So if you want to nurture your current customers, and your current clients, then you could have your own podcast.

But if you want to go out and get new exposure, get new clients get new backlinks to your website, you’ve got to go on to other audiences. And think about it from a local perspective, too.

You know, you could do a seminar in your office, how many people would show up for that, or you could get invited to speak at other people’s events, and if they’re willing to do all the work to set that up, and all you have to do is show up and talk about you know, your passion, which is you know, your practice and how you help patients.

Why wouldn’t you go that way? And I think you get much more bang for the buck return on investment of your time. The other thing I always warn people about when they start a podcast is it’s a commitment. Right? In most podcasts, 80% of podcasts die within the first 10 episodes, it’s harder to do than you would expect, to show up there week after week after week when you’ve got other commitments, is tough. So you don’t want to start a podcast, tell everybody about it. And a quarter later, they say, Well, how’s your podcast going? And you say, Oh, I killed that one off, right? Much better. Much better to be a guest on other people’s shows, and make the best use of your time.

Traditional Digital Marketing

Dr. Barbara Hales: Yes, absolutely. A little embarrassing the other way. You mentioned that traditional digital marketing could hurt your business. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Tom Schwab: There’s a prestige that certain, you know, professions have, right, I’m probably not going to hire a lawyer, a high-level lawyer for my business. If I see them on the bus that goes by, or if I see them, you know, above the urinal right? Now, they may work for them.

But I tell you what, they’re probably not going after the best clients, right? And there’s a prestige that goes along with that there’s prestige for the person that advertises on the placemats at the local diner, versus the one that, you know, advertises in the who’s who has the big city publication, right?

So you want to make sure that where you’re seeing is consistent with where your clients are, and where they expect you to be seen. And Barbara gave you an example here early on. My daughter said, Dad, you need to be on Instagram.

And that’s why, and she says, everybody’s on Instagram and granted, this was probably seven or eight years ago. And I said, well, who’s everybody? And she said, Well, all my friends and me. Right? So my clients weren’t there.

And if I was seen there, it would probably, you know, hurt me if your patient base is younger people, right? Maybe you want to be on TikTok. But if your patient base is older, that could actually hurt you.

And maybe it’s not even the patient base. Maybe it’s whose pain, maybe you’re not really going after the patients, but their parents, the decision makers on that. So always ask yourself, you know, I don’t need to be seen everywhere. I just want to be seen where it helps me.

And it helps my image and helps me get better clients. Because we’re all working harder for less at the end of the day. So instead of going for the lowest common denominator, use your marketing to find better patients that will appreciate what you do and pay for it also.

Dr. Barbara Hales: So I can assume that you and your daughter are not practising your TikTok dance moves?

Tom Schwab: She may be but I am not. I’m like I don’t have to prove to people that I’m okay. I’ll say an old white guy, a middle-aged white guy on TikTok that can’t dance. Right? My clients are more on LinkedIn. They’re listening to podcasts. They’re probably not making buying decisions, especially at that level, based on TikTok.

Podcast Interview Marketing Leverage

Dr. Barbara Hales: Tom, do you have an example of a doctor who leveraged podcast interview marketing?

Tom Schwab: Very much so I can think of a couple of them. One is Dr. Kaplan out of the Washington DC area. And so he’s a noted researcher, he’s also got a clinic there. He always talks about how he works with the people that everyone else has given up on.

And he did some great research that showed what the root causes of some of these diseases were. And he had a book that went along with it. Well, he had two different audiences that he was going after the physicians, right, who could potentially refer patients to him, but also he wanted to talk to his patients.

So he sort of had this business-to-business vertical and then a business-to-consumer. So he went out and ran two different conferences. He did one based out of Georgetown, talked about the clinical science behind it, and brought the physicians in there.

And then other ones he would do webinars for, for patients. But he filled up both of those through targeted podcast interviews because he was out there talking about it. And, you know, even if you are a great communicator, it’s 30 or 45 minutes. You can’t tell everything, especially without visuals.

So it was a natural thing where he set up the problem, teased the solution, and then invited two people to come back to find more. You know another is Dr. Tanisha. Ward down in Texas, right? She had a local following there. But she wanted a bigger presence. And even locally, she was having a hard time getting some local media, some local PR, because they’re like, well, who are you?

And she was able to use podcast interviews on a national level, to say, look, I’ve been talking to all these different places, and then give that credibility. So she had more credibility in her own community. Right, what was it? I think Mark Twain said you got to be 50 miles from your hometown to be an expert.

Well, go out and target podcast interviews to get the expertise. So when you come back to your hometown, they’ll go, oh, they are an expert.

How Tom Got Started

Dr. Barbara Hales: How did you get involved in this? I know when you were first looking at it, podcasts were probably in their infancy. So you know, like, how did you get started?

Tom Schwab: Well, going way, way back, right? So my first job out of college was running nuclear power plants in the Navy. So I am an engineer by degree, like an engineer with systems and processes. Then I worked for the Stryker Corporation as an engineer and was out in the field with the doctors. I loved that.

But then we had a sideline business, direct to-patient, durable medical, equipment, rental, and 2008. We were voted the second unsexiest thing to sell online, we lost out to industrial lubricants, right? But what we found is that you could use other people’s audiences online to build your business because we built that entire business off of guest blogging, you know, we had a website that was up there, and we’d go and blog on different sites.

Well, you know, that was 20 years ago, right? Blogs aren’t as popular anymore. They don’t work as well. And so back in 2014, started to test whether you could use podcast interviews, almost the same way we used to use guest blogging 20 years ago, to get in front of the audiences to get that know, like, and trust. And it works great.

And I would say it’s even worked better after COVID. Because so many more people are open to listening, to not go into events, you know, life’s busy, and they want to listen to you when they want, where they want, and at speed they want. Absolutely, I find that I do a lot of podcasts listening when I’m out walking the dog in the morning.

And I know that many people listen to their podcasts while on the treadmill or exercising in the gym. Because what else are you going to do? Well, to divert your attention while you’re doing your reps. So the great thing about podcasts is that you could download them and then listen to them anytime it’s not like a radio show where you have to listen to it at the exact time it’s being broadcast.

And it’s interesting, the data says 51% of the US population, the adult population listens to podcasts. And on average, they’re above average income. They’re above average in education. And I remember somebody saying, when do you think it’ll get to 100%? I’m like, I don’t think we’re going to get to 60%.

Because there are so many people out there that aren’t looking for new things. They’re not looking for better, right? While we’re listening to podcasts, trying to find new information. They’re listening to 80s Rock and roll, right? They’re so proud. They haven’t read a book since high school. Right?

And if those are the ideal customers that you want, well, don’t go on the podcast. But if you’re looking for people that are more educated, more discerning higher income, and are looking for what’s better, not just what’s cheaper, then you want to be on the podcast because they’re looking for answers. You want to ensure they find you when you’re looking for answers.

Dr. Barbara Hales: Absolutely. You know, it will never be 100% as you pointed out because there are people that are looking for ideas and the creation of solutions. And there are people who want to look at pictures and videos.

Tom Schwab: And even if 10% of the US population is hearing impaired, they will not listen to your podcast interview. But what I like about it is that you can create in the way that’s easiest for you and then repurpose it. So you know, if you can take 45 minutes away from your practice, go on a podcast interview, and talk about what you love, right?

There’s not much preparation; you’re talking about your passion, your experience, and your patience, and you’re sharing your expertise there. Then you go on with your day. And you’ve got that 45 minutes of content that you can take to other people, agencies, your team freelancers to repurpose, and now they can turn that into, you know, a blog and articles, social media posts, you know, I always say that writing a blog for me, is homework, right?

It’s like going to the dentist, and I apologize if there are any dentists here, right? It, I will avoid that, but getting on and talking. That’s easy. And it’s wonderful because I can use my time and stuff I do the best and then leverage that to create content and other ways.

Interview Valet

Dr. Barbara Hales: Interview valet is very clever in its concept; in that you are appealing to several different segments of the population in that you are producing podcasts. So that is something for people to listen to. But you’re also attracting people who want help getting on podcasts, which is how you help people.

So it’s like several different aspects of making your machine propel forward.

Tom Schwab: And I wish I could say it was my great plan. And just a backstory, one of my favorite lines that I would always say is that we’re all selling preparation. Ah, right. Nobody, nobody wants your product or service. Nobody wants a new hip, nobody wants a root canal or anything like that. They want their pain to go away.

And I had already joked about that. And early on, when I was teaching how to do podcast interview marketing, one of our clients came to me and said, Listen, I want my pain to go away. I don’t want you to train me to be a proctologist.

He says I work with interview valet because your doctor recommends or your recommended you give fast and he’s like, at the end of the day, I want to be the guest, and you take care of the rest. And I’m like, Oh, that’s good copy. I’ve got we that was our tagline after that.

Dr. Barbara Hales: That’s, that’s a great idea. By the way, not that this is a promotion for Preparation H. I used to tell all my patients that they should always keep Preparation H in their kitchen cabinets. And in case you’re saying, like, why? And it is because if you sustain a burn on your hand from cooking and put preparation on it right away, it prevents swelling and pain.

Tom Schwab: See, I never do that. So you always learn something from a podcast interview.


Dr. Barbara Hales: That’s true. That’s awesome. Now there is something else that I would like to touch upon. And that is, unfortunately, for you, that interview valet is no longer the only one that provides the service. You do have a little competition out there. So how is it that you, you know, get your eyes and ears on you, and put you ahead of the competition in the field?

Tom Schwab: Yeah. And I would, I would push back that I don’t think that’s an unfortunate thing. I think that’s great, right? The world needs more. The world needs better, right? We couldn’t serve everyone. We’ve got 35 people on our team. And as the markets grew, we’ve had different people come into the market. And they have different focuses, different verticals that they focus on different things, right?

Some people need very basic press training, right? We don’t do that our clients come to us. They’re experts, right? They have spoken before. And so I always look at it if somebody’s coming in here and helping the market. I’ll help them right I wrote a book I was talking to a gentleman the other day in Europe, and built his whole agency in Europe, based on my book and what it taught, it’s like, I am not going to start interview valet in whatever Eastern European language that was, God, loved them, I think that’s great there.

But I would say the same way with any professional, right, the way to stand out is always to be doing something new, right, the cutting edge. And you know, I always tell our team, they will always be able to copy what we did, right? Because we share it openly. But they’ll never be able to copy what we’re doing or what we’re going to do. So yeah, if you’re just if you’re looking for state-of-the-art five years ago, well, then that’s pretty easy there.

But if you’re looking at state of the art now, you know, every year, I give a keynote at Podcast Movement on the state of podcasting. And there’s a lot of you said, competitors, I would say contemporaries, that own other agency that is in the room for that, because we’ve got the database, we’ve got more experience, and we all we share what we’re learning with their, you know, our mission is to personally introduce inspiring thought leaders, to millions of people, they could serve for the betterment of all. And that’s what we’re really focused on.

And it’s not, I don’t see the world as, a win-lose, or a small amount of pie. I think there’s a place for everyone that’s adding value to the market. Just I want to make sure that I’m always the one that is seen as leading and giving our clients the best value.

Podcast Movement

Dr. Barbara Hales: Now that you have discussed Podcast Movement, it makes me realize that’s where I met you, originally. One of the assets of Podcast Movement was sort of like a speed dating room, where people who ran their own podcasts would have like a minute at the table with people who are looking to get on a podcast, and they would each discuss what they were looking for.

And then the whistle would blow, and you’d go over to the next table. But that made me realize I have listened to your lectures in the past. I was going to say I believe that was a Nashville. And we sponsored that because I loved it. Because in my mind, the greatest gift you can ever give someone is introducing them to a new person or a new idea. Right? Most people now you know, can buy what they want, right? And it’s probably one click away in Amazon.

But introducing somebody to a new idea. A new person, you know, often when you make a referral from one position to another, right? You get more credit for that because thank you so much for introducing that person to be. So I always loved, those introductions. I’m sure that more than one person has come to you saying, you know, I would love to go on a podcast. But what I talk about or what I specialize in, is not that sexy, and probably something that nobody would be interested in. I have no idea what I would say that would engage listeners, what would you tell them? Would you say that everybody really can be a podcast guest?

Tom Schwab: One of my favourites, I guess beliefs is that what’s ordinary to you is amazing to others, right? We all underestimate our experiences and overestimate other people’s experiences. Right? So if you’re a physician, and you’ve got a small niche, the grace, great part of the world is not going to care about that.

Nationally and globally, those people afflicted by that, that’s their whole world, right? They want to learn that those people with a loved one dealing with that mean the world to them, right? So today, it’s not just well, how many people in a 10-mile radius are interested, but how many people in the world are. And the other thing that I used to struggle with is well, I’m not the expert.

And a friend of mine, a lawyer helped me with this. And he’s like, Well, you know, what the legal definition of an expert is, right? And don’t quote me on this, but it’s, it’s someone by their training, their experience, and their knowledge has more knowledge than the normal person, right?

So if you’re working in your business 40, 60 hours plus a week. You got to hold a lot of expertise there, right? If you went through training, right, you got a lot of expertise after medical school, much less residency and practice.

If you’re trying something new, right? If you’re the first doctor to successfully use TikTok, for geriatric orthopedics, I want to find you because I don’t know how it would work. If you can do that you’ve got expertise in that. So I think you know, what you have is amazing to the right people in the world.

It’s just finding those people and, you know, today more than ever, it’s easy to get there. There’s a podcast for everything. There’s an audience whose life would be changed, just by hearing you.

Reaching Tom

Dr. Barbara Hales: I’m sure there are a lot of people, Tom that are listening now saying like, I want that. So how can they reach you? And how could you help them get on podcasts?

Tom Schwab: All right, look a little behind the curtain here. If you’re ever on a podcast, make it easy for the listeners, right? Because you’re driving, you’re walking your dog. So constantly give them one easy place to go to. So it’s interview valet with a, forward slash m. T. D, for marketing tips for doctors. Right? And on that page is three ways.

There’s one assessment, you know, 10 questions will podcast interview marketing work for you. You know, I mentioned my book before, you can buy it on Amazon. Or if you go to that site, I’ll be happy to mail you a copy if you are in the US or email it if you’re outside there. And then finally, you know, this makes a lot of sense if you’re like. I’d like to see how we could do this. Well, I’ll put my calendar scheduling link there. You can connect with me. So go to, and all that information will be there.

Dr. Barbara Hales: That’s wonderful. Thank you so much for being on the show today, Tom. I’ve learned a lot and I’m sure my listeners have as well.

This has been another episode of marketing tips for doctors with your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Until next time!