Host of high-rated podcast creates networking software

Travis Chappell was making a nice living in his early 20s in door-to-door sales when he heard a podcast by John Lee Dumas, a storied entrepreneur and dominant player in the podcast industry. Before long, he was on his way to visit Dumas at his house in Puerto Rico.

Chappell decided he wanted to go into podcasting, with an exclusive focus on professional networking. After four years and almost 700 episodes, his Build Your Network is consistently in the top 25 business podcasts in iTunes. The podcast is now his primary tool for building his own network.

He is also the founder of Guestio, software that connects high-level guests with high-level content creators. Chappell responded to these five questions from Inventors Digest.  

Tell us a little about John Lee Dumas and that trip to Puerto Rico. John was one of the first podcasters I listened to, and I respected the multi million dollar podcast empire he was able to build from nothing. When I saw that he was hosting a small, private mastermind at his house in Puerto Rico, I knew I had to make the trip. It was a big deal for me at the time because the investment was not small, but I was able to create a real relationship with him there that continued through the years, and now he is an investor and partner in Guestio. 

Does it take a certain personality type to be able to network well? If not, what is required? I think most would assume that extroverts make better networkers, but what I’ve found is quite the opposite. Introverts tend to be better networkers from what I can tell because networking isn’t about going a mile wide and an inch deep. It’s about quality. Most expert networkers are usually pretty quiet around others. They tend to ask good questions and then listen intently to the responses. They tend to build deeper relationships centered around trust. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a good networker if you’re an extrovert. It simply means that in some contexts, you should focus on active listening, adding value, and building deeper relationships with a few people instead of building shallow relationships with hundreds. 

What is the main myth about networking that you would like to dispel? The main myth is that networking and building friendships are two different activities. This is what people get wrong. It’s not about the business cards, the cocktail parties, and the nametags. Think of it the same way as you would think about hanging out with your friends. Don’t think about prospecting or selling. Think about common interests and connections. Don’t think about what’s in it for you. Think about how you can help the other person. Don’t think short term and transactional. Think long term and relational. The most well-connected people I know have just been treating people extremely well and adding value to the lives of others for so long that people can’t help but continue to connect them to everyone else they know. 

What is the most inspirational conversation you had on one of your shows? This question always makes me feel like I’m picking between my children, but if I have to pick one, I’d say I really enjoyed my conversation with Tom Bilyeu (co-founder of billion-dollar brand Quest Nutrition). I respect Tom and his awesome wife, Lisa, so much for so many reasons, so when I got to interview him at his house in Beverly Hills, I got to ask some questions that I had personally been wondering about for a long time. I left feeling inspired and invigorated just being around the two of them. 

How did you come up with Guestio?

I’ve been a podcaster for over four years now and have produced over 650 episodes. I was always trying to level up the quality of guests that I was interviewing on my show. But the higher up you go, the more difficult it becomes to book talent. I just thought there had to be a better tool to be able to make the process easier and make the talent more accessible to people who traditionally didn’t have access to them. It’s as simple as browsing our marketplace for guests that fit your show, booking them through their profile, and messaging them on the platform to schedule an interview. You can also book them for Facebook, IG, or Youtube Lives, virtual speaking events, Miniviews, mastermind or company Q&As, or even media/blog interviews like this one.