Episode 008

Tom Fox

The Compliance Evangelist and Voice of Compliance


About Tom

Tom Fox is literally the guy who wrote the book on compliance with his seminal one volume book “The Compliance Handbook” published in May 2018 which was the No. 1 new bestseller on Amazon.com through its initial run. Additionally, Tom has authored 16 books on business leadership, compliance and ethics and corporate governance, including the international best-sellers “Lessons Learned on Compliance and Ethics” and “Best Practices Under the FCPA and Bribery Act” as well as his award-winning series Fox on Compliance.

Tom leads the social media discussion on compliance with his award-winning blog, The FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog and is the Voice of Compliance, having founded the 40 show Compliance Podcast Network. He is also a member of the C-Suite Radio Network. He can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

What You’ll Learn

  • [01:29] Tom Fox, the compliance evangelist, shares his mission and how the term “evangelist” reflects his goals as the voice of compliance.
  • [02:36] With most of his time occupied with managing 40 podcast shows, Tom shares what his processes are and the basic overview of the wide array of content he does.
  • [06:25] Tom shares how he strategizes promoting all of his shows on social media.
  • [08:58] “The only thing I swear by is doing more.”
  • [10:37] The importance of consistency in scheduling and creating content to garner a loyal audience and reaching more people
  • [11:59] Tom shares two of his best podcasts he recommends for business owners and marketers to check out for tips and strategies.
  • [14:30] Tom swears by repurposing the coolest parts of his podcasts and sharing them on social media, and no matter how old the content is, you can always breathe new life to it.
  • [16:52] What’s his best performing piece of content? Tom shares the most unique and successful podcast episode he’s ever done.
  • [18:10] Number one: go niche and go big. Number two: do a daily topic that you are passionate about.

About Shaina

Shaina Weisinger is the Founder and CEO of Repurpose House, which turns long-form content into optimized videos and images for high engagement social media strategies. Shaina has a background in video production for digital marketing and is on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content that they already have. She has taught about content in many publications including DigitalMarketer, Inc., and Startup Nation, and continuously offers valuable takeaways by interviewing industry experts from world-recognized brands such as GoDaddy, HubSpot, MarketingProfs, and more through her podcast, Content Karate. She loves to laugh loudly, be obnoxiously competitive on the volleyball court, treat her dogs as her kin, and recover from tripping on or running into almost everything within a five-foot radius. Learn more about Shaina here: ShainaWeisinger.com

Read Episode 008 Transcriptions

Sarah Guidas: Hey, everybody. Thanks so much for tuning into Content Karate. My name is Sarah. I’m the director of operations here at Repurpose House and Content Karate is a marketing show. Our whole goal is to interview amazing people who use content and then repurpose it in unique ways to drive traffic, leads and revenue to their business. Today, we are here with Tom Fox, who is first one of our OG clients of Repurpose House, which I’m thrilled about. He’s like the podcast guru here. So it’s been amazing to see all the different types of content that he is creating and funneling. So to give you a background on Tom, he is literally the guy who wrote the book on compliance in 2018, it was called The Compliance Handbook and it was number one bestseller on Amazon through its initial run. And he’s since then also authored 16 different books on business leadership, compliance and ethics. He leads the social media discussion on compliance with his award-winning blog as well. And is the voice of compliance with having founded the 40 compliance podcast network. Wow. So that’s a lot. So Tom, we’re so excited to have you here. Thank you again for taking the time to sit down and chat with us.

Tom Fox: Thank you. It’s really my pleasure, Sarah.

Sarah Guidas: Awesome. So I would love to start just kind of by breaking down what it means in your voice and your opinion to be the compliance evangelist and the voice of compliance. Like what does that mean?

Tom Fox: So the term “evangelist” is actually an ancient Greek term and that means the bringer of the good news. And I believe that compliance in the corporate setting really is, not only good news, but great news for compliance. I started off in an area of compliance called anti-corruption compliance, and it’s much broader now, but what we’re I see is compliance in this day and age is absolutely necessary to prevent legal violations, but more importantly, to keep companies out of reputational damage. And as social media expands and amplifies the voice of people who are injured, compliance programs help companies avoid that and they actually make companies more profitable. So when you can do some good and make some money from it, I’m a pretty big believer. That’s the way to go.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah. That’s a fantastic mission. I love that. So obviously all of your shows, which we’re going to dive into revolve around this as well. So can you also kind of break down for everyone listening, how many podcasts you’re managing and kind of what that looks like in the backend there?

Tom Fox: So, uh, it’s crazy. First of all, I have a 40-show podcast network, 28 of which I produce. So I have 12 non-Tom Fox podcasts. And if you’re listening and you want to go onto a podcast network, please contact me. I’d love to talk. Uh, particularly if I don’t have to produce it, but I really wanted to bring any, all compliance topics, any way, shape and form. Um, so it’s as broad as women in compliance, movies and compliance, sports and compliance, Shakespeare and compliance, Charlotte Combs and compliance, innovation and compliance, compliance news, daily news, weekly news compliance, round tables, uh, geeking out and compliance the law and compliance. All of these shows. I have international shows. I have shows from Brazil. I have a show from Russia and I just try to bring the message of compliance in all its way shapes and forms.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah. So that’s outstanding. First of all, to be managing that many shows like 28 that you are personally hosting, making sure they’re running and the majority of them are weekly podcast. Isn’t that right?

Tom Fox: So about, probably a little over half or weekly? I do have some dailies. I have some that are bi-weekly and a couple of other monthlies.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah. So that’s just hours and hours of so much recording and so much content and so much value that you’re putting out into so many different industries clearly based on the compliance team that you’re really wanting to focus on. So taking a look at the content marketing aspect, what is one of your biggest goals when you’re distributing those podcasts in terms of content marketing?

Tom Fox: I will have to say it starts with the cool factor. I’m a huge believer in the cool factor– the cooler, it looks the cooler, it sounds the cooler you feel and the better off you are. So you guys have a really cool product and I’m continually asked by people, where did you find that cool product? So never underestimate the cool factor, but kind of tactically, what Repurpose House brings me is two or three different types of content that I can use in content marketing. That’s a short snippet; either a snapshot, meaning just texts or, um, uh, evolving or, or rather rolling text with audio about a topic or a show. And so that’s how I utilize you guys. And I push them out through all forms of social media that I use: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well. So it’s, it’s hugely popular. It’s hugely cool. It looks great. And it’s something that draws attention to not only my podcast, but the specific content I’m trying to push out.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah, that’s great. And then in terms, since we’re talking kind of specifically about funneling into Repurpose House right now, if you had one wish really around like Repurpose House created content, what do you think that would be?

Tom Fox: More. More.

Sarah Guidas: Okay, ’cause you have so many shows and you’re sharing them on so many channels. Just keeping up with, you know, 40 plus different podcasts, especially, you know, the ones that you’re hosting, of course, that to me would just almost be overwhelming. So how do you strategize the actual sharing component once you have all of these assets, um, actually getting them onto your social platforms to increase that traffic, to get those eyeballs on them and everything?

Tom Fox: So part of it is, uh, all my podcasts are like  my children. I love them all the same. Well, I do love some more and those tend to be the older ones. So I’m the oldest. So of course that’s the way I rule things. But the podcasts that I either are my favorites or barely that stuff, the better, the better word — the ones of the most popular, they tend to get the most, uh, uses of those content marketing strategies. So that’s really how I think through it.

Sarah Guidas: So in terms of the ones that are most popular, then are there certain shows out of the 40 that usually tend to perform best? Or can you expand on that a little bit?

Tom Fox: Sure. So I have 10 of my shows are half of my numbers. So I have about 200,000 monthly hits and downloads. And, uh, 10 of those shows are a hundred thousand of those. So those 10 shows get Repurpose House content. Some of the other shows where the numbers aren’t that great or are, are don’t break into the top 10 are still my, some of my favorites. So I utilize you guys for that. And I finally figured out, it only took me how long a year and a half, but I have some shows that have one story theme per month. So this month I’m doing a series on leadership lists and lessons from theater Roosevelt. I have a show where I focus on one chief compliance officer over one month, four episodes. And I finally figured out that if I recorded or submitted one set of requests for content, I could use that same content four times if I thought through it properly. So I’m doing that and getting a little more bang for my buck, but, uh, literally I’m — unless I’m really up on my game, it’s 4:30 PM Pacific time and I’m uploading my content for the podcast, which posts tomorrow into my ticket for. Yeah.

Sarah Guidas: Nice. Awesome. So then like basically for those 10 that are always constantly performing really well, what strategies work and perform best for sharing them on social media? Like what have you realized worked really well when you were trying to get that in front of your audience? Are there specific social platforms or strategies that you’ve implemented that you swear by for these podcasts?

Tom Fox: The only thing that I swear by is doing more. A long time ago, as an athlete in high school, I learned that I wasn’t the best, but if I worked the hardest, it would get people’s attention. And so I’ve always done that. And so I try to post more social media sharing materials than anybody. So I’m constantly on Twitter. Uh, each podcast has eight to 10 tweets a day. I post on LinkedIn. I post on Facebook. Those are my three platforms I’m continually trying to push out the content. And then we start again on the weekends, the weekends are plaster on Twitter. All of my posts for the prior week, I send out daily or a newsletter summarizing the podcast I’ve put out with the last week. I’ve just believed that the more you put yourself out there, the more hits downloads you’ll get.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah, absolutely. And you’re swearing by that consistency factor too. You’re not just posting once a week at random times. You’re, you’re being really, really extremely consistent about it, which is something of course that the algorithms love. And that’s going to give you the leg up too. So, um, for me the thought of like managing so many podcasts and even creating so many podcasts, always recording so many podcasts just seems like such, such a feat. So can you kind of break down like one of the biggest hurdles that you had in getting kind of where you are with developing all of these shows and this awesome compliance podcast network that you’ve created, um, what that hurdle was and how you overcame it?

Tom Fox: Mmm. So it started that each show got its own day. So my number one show goes out Monday and then I started dedicating each day to a different show. Well that I ran out of days pretty quick. So then it became well, who gets the 5:00 AM slot who gets the 6:00 AM slot who gets the 10:00 AM slot, is the noon slot better. And so I just kind of keep in my head, everybody’s got a day, everybody’s got a time and I know what podcasts need to go up on those days in those times. The tool I use is called Trello and yeah, so I used that to list out all my podcasts, but once I get the dates and time sort out in my head, I know what needs to go up when

Sarah Guidas: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah. Trello’s a great way to stay organized, any type of board management software like that as a huge, huge help. That’s awesome. So if you — I know you love all of your podcasts the same, but which one would you say for people listening to this, this, you know, show right now for content karate, people who are interested in learning specifically about content, lead gen, growing their business, anything like which of your many, many shows would you want them to kind of check out and learn from?

Tom Fox: So the show would be two shows, actually Innovation and Compliance. And although the word compliance is in the title, it’s really about innovation and lead gen content, all of those concepts. And what drew me to you guys, frankly, was I saw the message that you help people like me, your customers put out that’s absolutely needed in the corporate world. So my audience is corporate types, business executives. And what you guys are putting out is what corporations need to think about in terms of bite-sized content for employees for just regular communications. The more interesting it is, the cooler it is, the more people are going to listen. It doesn’t have to be one hour PowerPoint training. It could be two or three concepts that you guys could put out in a two minute audio clip, uh, with a great graphic and that’s going to grab people’s attention and they have a better chance of remembering that.

Tom Fox: So that’s sort of podcast #1. Podcast #2 is another podcast. I decided my role in, in kind of the situation we’re in now is to start a podcast called Compliance and Coronavirus. And although once again, the word compliance and title, it’s really about a B2B information around coronavirus. How do you communicate? How do you, Sarah and I’ve and I’ve interviewed, uh, you guys on this, how do you guys successfully work remotely? And you guys are, you know, the prime example, I point to you — don’t work from home. You work literally across the globe every day, Hey, you’re managing a team in the Philippines and they’re communicating with people like me on an ongoing basis. So I hold you guys up as a model of this is how it can be done when you’re delivering a service. So, um, those would be the two I’d start with.

Sarah Guidas: That’s awesome. Okay. Everyone be sure that you check this out. I still have a couple more questions for Tom, but those are awesome ones that I want everyone to be able to refer to as well. So jumping back, Tom, to like those awesome snippets that you’re talking about, turning into audiograms, image quotes, things like that, anything to be able to post this optimized content on your social channels, to lead people back to that original long form episode. How are you strategically deciding which clips to pull out as you’re re-listening and going through the podcast episodes that you’re recording? What strategies do you like to implement there?

Tom Fox: So it is less strategic than more cool. Uh, I try to get kind of the coolest clip I can, uh, sometimes I’ll tell my a person I’m interviewing. Look, I want a 30, 60, 90 second. Wrap-up at the end. So think about what you want to say sometimes it’s me introducing, uh, I do a roundtable for instance. So I’ll introduce everybody’s topic and I’ll use that as the clip so that the, uh, the listener to the social media content knows what this podcast is going to have. And other times, if somebody just, like I said, says something cool that I think would sound good in their voice. I cut that out. So I use a variety of strategies.

Sarah Guidas: Awesome. And then in terms of once those assets are done, they’re repurposed, audiograms are created. They look very, very cool. Um, do you share those with your guests afterwards so that they can push them on their social as well?

Tom Fox: 110%. All the time.

Sarah Guidas: Awesome. Do they usually actually go and upload them to their social channels? Because once they have the assets, it’s pretty simple to simply just upload it to your Instagram, your LinkedIn, et cetera.

Tom Fox: That’s what I haven’t really been able to convince people to do. I have a few who do that. I have some podcasts where I have a permanent partner and they will do it, but I haven’t had as much luck with that strategy as I would have hoped.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah. Got it. Well, worst case scenario, you can always just upload them on your end, which you’re already doing and tagging and hope that they’ll reshare it once it’s already been uploaded and they get notified via tag. Yeah,

Tom Fox: Absolutely happens. But, uh, the one thing about Repurpose House, think about the word repurpose. I mean, I’m posting content that, uh, that I posted last year, because the asset you have created for me is so cool. And it, if the subject is evergreen… people, they don’t care if it was posted in, June of 2019. And if I got a cool graphic, that points in that, it tells a little bit about it more, the better/

Sarah Guidas: Uh, absolutely. I love hearing that. That’s like the whole mission of what we’re doing here. So that’s awesome. Has there been through the years, like one specific episode that’s really stood out in your mind or that’s performed, outperformed over all of the others? Like maybe someone you interviewed, Something that’s really memorable?

Tom Fox: Well, yes. I wish I could tell you why, but I will tell you, and maybe you’ll know the reason why it was in November, excuse me, October, 2015 as a podcast to, uh, talk about leadership lessons around Halloween that year. I have a leadership podcast. I do a partner and we did leadership lessons from Count Dracula. And that podcast is my single biggest seller ever. Almost 20,000 downloads of that.Who knew? I don’t know if I’ve tapped tapped into the vampire market…or what?

Sarah Guidas: Topic like that definitely has the cool factor, like the Count Dracula association. And it was so timely and how it was being published around Halloween. That’s awesome. So any tips that you have, we can do like a 30-second round-up, just like you do with your guests, but any like tips, tools, like big things that you’ve learned that other podcasters who are currently managing a show or are thinking about, you know, adding a second or third show to the content that they’re creating any advice for them as they start to grow in that capacity?

Tom Fox: Sure. Number one: go niche and go big. The more focused your podcast is the more audience you will generate. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but if you dig more into one topic and become the expert on that topic, uh, that will really lead to huge growth. But number two, I’ve seen this work. I can’t say that I thought this went up. I took it from someone else, but do a daily show on whatever your podcast topic is. So mine is compliance. So I have the daily compliance news. If yours is ripening tomatoes in Northern Arizona do the daily news, and that will people in that area, people in that niche, what should say, we’ll listen to that podcast. And that is now my second arch is podcast compliance news. That is four minutes. It’s four stories that just interests me and I do it every day and it’s hugely popular. So do a daily news.

Sarah Guidas: That’s awesome. That’s great. Thank you, Tom. Okay. So where would you like for anyone who’s listening or viewing? Cause this is a video podcast to everybody. Um, where would you want them to go in order to see examples of these awesome shows that you are creating so they can learn more?

Tom Fox: So ,I’m at www.compliancepodcastnetwork.net. I lead the social media, uh, discussion on Twitter at @tfoxlaw. And if you go to at @tfoxlaw, you’ll see some great examples of, uh, the work that you guys at Repurpose House do for me, but those would be the two sites I’d start.

Sarah Guidas: Awesome. That sounds great. So thank you, Tom. This was hugely valuable for me. Um, just the amount of content that you’re managing and creating and distributing so well and making sure that you’re growing and actually getting listeners to tune into is really impressive. So thank you for sharing all of this value. And if you guys found this as valuable as I did be sure you share this with your friends, your family, and remember, always go to contentkarate.com because this is not only an audio, but video podcasts as well. And there you’ll be able to see everywhere that you can listen to or watch on your favorite platform. So thank you again so much. Is there anything else that you would like to add to wrap up?

Tom Fox:  So I would just say check out Repurpose House. The people are great. The services are great. The service is first rate and the content’s great.

Sarah Guidas: Thank you so much, Tom. You rock. I appreciate it.

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