Soar

Using Podcasting to Grow Your Business

February 17, 2021 Taylor Shanklin Season 3 Episode 25
Soar
Using Podcasting to Grow Your Business
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Soar
Using Podcasting to Grow Your Business
Feb 17, 2021 Season 3 Episode 25
Taylor Shanklin

Erik Jacobson had a life-changing experience when listening to a podcast, and he saw an opportunity for podcasts to help businesses grow their brand and reach.  So, he started a podcast company, Lemonpie, that helps companies get their podcast built and launched.

In this episode of Soar, Taylor sat down with Erik to talk about the ins and outs of podcasting, how to use the channel for growth and how to get started.

The two talked about:

  • Using podcasting as a channel to build your brand
  • How to get started
  • Will Clubhouse app kill podcasting?
  • Defining your podcast niche

Check out Lemonpie and Hatch, the companies that Erik founded and leads to help companies achieve their podcasting goals.  Meet Erik on LinkedIn.

Show Notes Transcript

Erik Jacobson had a life-changing experience when listening to a podcast, and he saw an opportunity for podcasts to help businesses grow their brand and reach.  So, he started a podcast company, Lemonpie, that helps companies get their podcast built and launched.

In this episode of Soar, Taylor sat down with Erik to talk about the ins and outs of podcasting, how to use the channel for growth and how to get started.

The two talked about:

  • Using podcasting as a channel to build your brand
  • How to get started
  • Will Clubhouse app kill podcasting?
  • Defining your podcast niche

Check out Lemonpie and Hatch, the companies that Erik founded and leads to help companies achieve their podcasting goals.  Meet Erik on LinkedIn.

Speaker 1:

What, if you could highlight only what truly matters in life and achieve liftoff. This is soar and I'm your host Taylor Shanklin. I am on a mission to find stories and people who have so passion, grit, and an ability to focus in on only what matters to reach next level. We're here sharing stories of inspiration to help you lift up . Check us out at soar that happen

Speaker 2:

What is up Soar listeners Taylor here with a new episode of soar . We are dropping episode three in season three with a special guest to talk about very, very meta podcasting on the soar podcast. All right. I sat down in this episode with Erik Jacobson , who is the founder and CEO of the Lemonpie, a company that helps other companies, startups, entrepreneurs get going with their podcast. We talked all about the ins and outs of starting a podcast. Why podcasting can help your business grow? And we got into a little new hot topic about how does podcasting work when this new clubhouse phase is showing up in our lives. So I hope you enjoy this episode. It was a lot of fun. Erik was an phenomenal guest and has tremendous wisdom to share in the area of podcasting . All right . Now, if you are looking for how to grow your business and your brand, be sure to go check out barlele.com. And I can help you out with building out your brand identity so that your business can grow. Okay. Here's the episode with Erik? All right . Hello. Hello listeners. This is Taylor Shanklin back with another episode of soar and I'm really, really pumped to welcome Erik and Jacobson on the show today. Hey Erik, how are you? Good

Speaker 3:

Taylor. Thank you so much for having me really appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's good to have you here. We're going to talk on a podcast about podcasting and building a business around podcasting and your, your master in this arena. So it's , it's going to be great to have your expertise on first, just to get us started. Tell me a little bit about who you are, what you do, why you do what you do and like give us the Erik story.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I mean, as we all know, podcasting has been around for a long time. I've developed a big interest in it decently early around 2010, 2011, and it fundamentally just changed my life. Like what I was learning was possible in , in life, in business in health and entrepreneurship were things I was never exposed to, but realized I was deeply interested in, in podcasting as the thing that, that brought my attention to it. And I became obsessed. And so ultimately I ended up quitting my job and just trying to figure out how I could do something in podcasting was able to pitch my way into a couple of deals with some, some large podcasters at that time to embarrass Jason Calacanis of this week in startups, in a few others. And ultimately just saw a need to build a company, helping businesses use podcasting as a strategy to grow, to develop more connection with their audience, to build an audience, you know, all of these things that I saw as valuable. But then, and now it's hard to figure out really from a company standpoint, which podcast strategies should you do. And then when you decide, how should you actually execute it? And so at Lemonpie were , you know, I created the Lemonpie. We're a full service podcast agency Veneta for four years, and we help CEOs get interviewed on other podcasts as a guest. And then we also help brands create their own shows from scratch and utilize that for marketing, for sales, for brand building. And then recently I created a , another company called hatch, which is a productized service for podcast editing effectively. It's unlimited podcast editing for one low flat monthly rate and just saw a need after more and more companies that we were talking to, where they believed in the podcast strategy, they were going to do it, but they wanted to either want it to DIY some of it in-house and just utilize their internal resources or just didn't really have the budget to work with a full service agency to do everything. And so we built this to help folks who will DIY a lot of their podcast strategy and execution, but we will take something that most people should not be doing as part of their podcast, which is the technical piece editing, doing all the audio engineering and sound design and stuff like that. So, so yeah, we kind of have the two, two companies and just going all in on podcasting.

Speaker 2:

Well, I love it. And this season of soaring particulars really focusing on, on a couple of things, entrepreneurship and transparency in business and transparency around entrepreneurship. So I love that you are like, well, I started this one company four years ago, and so it felt like a good time to start another one. That's the sight of it. I think that's really interesting. And also it does fill a need because one of the probably biggest reasons people don't start a podcast is this fear around, well, I don't know how to produce a podcast, right? So let's talk about how you get started. What are your recommended steps? You know, I feel like, I think we need a podcast or let's say you want to get buy in with the rest of the leadership at your company to do a podcast and maybe you still have naysayers. How do you get started?

Speaker 3:

There's there's really four steps to this. And actually recently I put all this together inside of a course called podcast in a week two . So podcasts in a week.com has all of my techniques that I teamed up with Dave Gerhardt, the CMO of privy on that. But the fundamental premise is there's four parts to knowing what your podcast strategy should be. So it's what is the goal that you're seeking out to accomplish with the podcast? And there's actually more things that the show could accomplish. Then a lot of folks, even thinking , I'm happy to dive into some of those from a marketing and sales perspective, but knowing what that goal is not being vague about it. And just saying like, Hey, I heard we should have a podcast and good things will happen if we do. Like, that's actually not true. And so you want to be very deliberate about your goal. And then the second thing is your in-house expertise, internal expertise. Like, do you have the talent on your team for someone to host this either just from hosting talent and question development and interviewing techniques as well as domain expertise in the , in the topic of the show. And then the last two things are doing competitive research in terms of understanding what other shows are in your category and how you can be different. And then audience research, and a lot of people skip audience research. So they usually there , these are marketers. And so they're very creative folks and they have a good general sense of like a concept that they usually want to go forward with. Most folks don't validate that idea though. And so they will create a show that they haven't asked their audience. Hey, w what type of podcast would you like us to create and what would be most valuable to you? So we recommend getting on calls and doing surveys with customers, with prospects, with your audience and saying, Hey, we're creating a podcast and asking them some very open-ended questions about what problems they have, what challenges they have, what content they like to consume, all of these sorts of things. And all of those four things will help hone in on what should your show actually be in a way that would get the results that you want.

Speaker 2:

So, can we dig in a little bit to the competitive research section when you start to do that, you start to either find what's already out there, or maybe what's not out there and you find things that are already out there, right? And you're like, well , this is kind of what I want to do. What do you do at that point? Like, do you have, maybe you're like, Hey, try to make something that still lines up with that goal and in that industry, in that niche, but make it better, make it different. Like, how do you then different intiate if you've got a competitor out there that's already doing a podcast, really similar to the one that you are dreaming up.

Speaker 3:

Great question. And there's a few things here is we fundamentally believe it's still early, just from a quantity of competition of podcasts . No matter your category. If you go to a category like marketing, which is just broad, but marketing, there's actually a lot of shows in that category. But if we fast forward three years from now, it's going to be triple, quadruple 10 X, the number of shows in that category. And so what we believe in content marketing channel, you can either be early to the channel, or you need to be highly differentiated on the channel. And ideally you can be early and differentiated. But I guess the point here is that there are some categories in podcasts that even if there's 10 other shows in your category, like you actually don't have to be that differentiated to still win. But if you go to a category that has hundreds of shows, you are going to want to look and say like, okay, what are the things that people are loving about certain shows in this category? What are the things that people are saying? And you can read reviews. Like we actually go in and we read reviews of, of podcasts. We have found the podcast ecosystem and community to actually be fairly friendly. So it's not, there's not a ton of like negative reviews usually, but you can pick up some things from that and ultimately culminating with like, what opportunities are there, what weaknesses, what strengths do you see in the , in the competitive landscape? And then see how you don't have to differentiate like wildly. You can actually just put a little tweak on it, your own little spin on it, and that's enough to win because it's very interesting, like podcast listeners don't think to themselves, I am interested in marketing content and I only have room to listen to one marketing show. It's very interesting. How many shows in a , in the same category listeners will actually listen to, they'll listen to like some will listen to five shows, 10 shows just on a rotating basis, maybe not every episode, but they will have those for different reasons that they like in the same category. And so your goal is to be one of those shows and ideally the one that they don't want to miss. And so the best way that you can hone in, on creating a show that they don't want to miss is simply asking your customers, your prospects, your audience, you know, what would be a show that they wouldn't want to miss, you know, and , and trying to create something that would feed that desire that also lines up with your skillset . And one, one actual tactical thing here that I think people can take is if you look at other forms of media and you take a concept that is interesting in that channel, like TV or YouTube series, or what have you like a TV show, and you look at your category of podcasts , and if it's highly differentiated, maybe you just combine concept from a, from a popular show and you just create your podcast mixed with that concept. So an example of this is shark tank. So there was a show, obviously everybody's aware of shark tank, but there's a podcast that was created a few years ago called the pitch. And it actually got acquired by Gimlet media. And it was literally the concept was just shark tank in podcast form. So they just lined up a panel of judges who were venture capitalists and angel investors, a company would come on and pitch them. And that was the concept. It was just taking that format, putting it into podcasts. And you could apply that, that methodology to anything you want, you could take chef's table and do chef's table for marketing. You could take the amazing race plus entrepreneurship. You know, you could just, this is just sort of a way to like, think about a fundamental approach to differentiating is just taking concepts and sort of taking two or three concepts and then merging that together into yours to make something unique that no one else has.

Speaker 2:

I think that's interesting. It's a channel where you can get creative. You don't have to do just a show like this and this format where it's conversational interview. Like there's a lot of different ways to take things. And I actually I've listened to other Gimlet shows. I didn't know about pitch. I'll have to go check it out. Cause that sounds really interesting. Yeah. Taking a TV format, turning it into audio so people can, I don't know about you, but like, I don't feel like I will have it's time to sit down to watch TV, but you can listen to things while you're doing other things. And so that's a way to think about your podcast, being a mechanism to allow people who aren't going to maybe watch something or read something, but can listen as they're doing other things, I've got a, I've got a question for you. That is something that's coming up as a hot topic right now in the world of podcasting. So like before somebody even gets started, what's this new clubhouse thing, should I really be, should I be doing this clubhouse thing? Cause it's like the cool new kid on the block, or should I still be doing a podcast like this clubhouse going to kill podcast team? I I've got some thoughts on this. I know you probably have a thousand thoughts on this, but where are you at with this right now?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Our stance on this is that clubhouse is a great, beautiful supplement to podcasting and they actually line up very nicely with each other. They're not in competition with each other. They actually solve two fundamentally different things. Um , is there is our view. Some folks, you know, this is, this is a , a point of, you know, conversation for a lot of folks sort of in the industry right now. But we actually think that clubhouse is actually disrupting talk radio and live events more than it is disrupting podcasts. And so for folks who aren't aware like clubhouse , essentially an audio first social community platform that you can create a room. Anybody can create a room and anybody can join that room and just have a broad open range or very specific conversation around a topic. But there's no recording like after the fact that people can listen to asynchronously and it's not really produced, it's more of like conversational format, like you would at an event or a round table or a panel discussion. And so the hardest thing with podcasting, one of the hardest things is building a two-way connection with your listener because when we're creating our shows, they're going out to the world via RSS feed and people are downloading them at their leisure, but we don't really have a way unless you have a call to action to get them on your email list or something else to actually hear feedback from them in real time, you know, and continuously and often. And so we've always thought that anything you can do to get your listenership into other channels that allow you to have that conversation is very valuable. So why I like clubhouse is because it's a way to do supplementary sort of activities or events, or what have you with your community that you've built with your podcast and build that intimacy while still producing your show in the way that you did. So we just think that they're really complimentary honestly. And , um, you know, I don't , I don't, I don't see it being the question will be how once the pandemic's over, how sticky is clubhouse with people who are using it frequently right now, I think I'm very bullish on it. I think it will succeed, but I don't think it will replace or hurt podcasting at all. But I'm curious to hear what you think.

Speaker 1:

Hello, my friend, I hope you are enjoying this episode so far. I want to let you in on a little VIP growth activity that I'm doing, you want to get in on some simple little nudges, couple of times a week that could really help you think about where you are on your path to growth . I've got a VIP text list you want to receive just a couple of very short to the point. S M S text nudges each week. I send only a couple of week. They're short, no spam and text (917) 905-8801 with the word growth. And you will get on the list, right? Text grow to (917) 905-8801. All right. Back to the episode now I'm with you. I think it's, I'm thinking of clubhouse.

Speaker 3:

We're all new to it, but there are certainly people who used a lot more than I am. I think that similar to you, it's going to sit alongside

Speaker 2:

Other marketing channels. It's a place to have collaborative audio connection as opposed to, Hey, we , we produced this show and you can listen to it whenever you want. I think that's one of , yeah, that's one of the big differences I see in it is people can show up and they can be in the conversation with you if they want to be active in that conversation with you, or they can listen versus a podcast where that's, where they can, they can follow an ongoing storyline with you on demand. And it's that on demand , nature of podcasting that I think will make it not be killed by clubhouse. Cause I think some people are saying that and they're like, Oh, this is going to kill podcasts . And I'm like, I don't think so. Like I still like the shows I like, and I want to just listen to them on a dime when I can listen to them. Versus I get these clubhouse notifications all the time now. And I'm like, Oh, it. I missed that one. That one looked interesting. You know, like I just have to tune in right at the time and it's not recorded as you said. So I think it's just, they're different channels and are different ways of tuning into audio thought leadership and collaboration or clubhouses. The more collaborative audio channel and podcasting is the more you're gonna search for what I want to learn about. And then I'm going to listen to it in an on-demand fashion when it works for me and my schedule.

Speaker 3:

And that's, I mean, they're solving two different pain points. The reason podcast consumption is as high as it is, is because it's played during fountain time where, you know, you may not be in a position to talk to somebody or what have you. But the other thing is, I don't think clubhouse is ever going to, this is just like a bold take, but I don't think they're going to actually have functionality for these to be recorded in the future. If they do, then you could argue that sort of is like bumping up against podcasting a little bit more. But I think this sort of like ephemeral nature of it, like you either have to be there or you miss. It is actually part of what is driving so much like engagement and adoption of it. And that's what they want. They want this to be a social thing, not a like asynchronous thing. So I think there's a pretty good moat around the differences between both of them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Maybe part of their whole strategy is driving FOMO, you know? Yeah . I like that . We digressed on that a little bit. I want to get into how do you define your niche? Okay. So we talked about the four steps. You said first off, you have to be super clear on your goal. You got to make sure you have expertise in-house on your team. Do the competitive research and do the audience research. Now that we've gone through those four steps, how do we really define the niche? What are we, what are we talk about on our show?

Speaker 3:

So this will be related to your goal, but how we think about this is top of funnel or bottom of funnel. So we have a podcast called brands, that podcast that is a bottom of funnel show for us. And the concept of the show is we talk with world-class marketers who are in brands who are using podcasting to win and we're sharing their stories and we're asking them how they did it. The people that we sell to and the people that buy from us are CMOs and VPs of marketing, who aren't using podcasting currently. So by, by nature, they're not going to want to listen to every episode of our podcast because it's not something that they're doing right now that that will help them every week. So it's the ceiling on how big our audience can be for that show is quite low, but the impact is very close to the bottom of the funnel. So when folks are starting to think about a podcast strategy and they start typing in Google or Apple podcasts information around how to podcast for a brand or what have you, our show will come up and they might sort of binge through some of those episodes on a one-time basis. And the impact is strong there. As well as during the sales process, I send our podcast to prospects, proactively certain episodes that we've created around how to do different things. And it has huge impact on the bottom of the funnel. You could also do a top of funnel show where maybe the show is not related at all to anything that you do as a company, but it is specifically created for the person that you sell to, to want to listen to every single episode. So maybe you sell to HR directors and you're a marketing expert. So you're not creating a show that has anything to do with marketing. You're actually creating a show that HR directors would want to listen to every single episode. And so it sort of is a different approach for both top of funnel. You have a bigger opportunity to get the largest number of listeners who could be your buyers listening every week, but you have a lower opportunity to highlight your expertise potentially. Whereas bottom of the funnel, you have a lower ceiling on how many, like total people will probably listen to every episode because it's more about like the things that you help solve as a company, but it has bigger impact potentially on the bottom of funnel because you're actually highlighting your expertise and bringing to light a lot of the philosophies that you preach. So those are the two ways we kind of think about like broad perspective of like niching on your show. A lot of people mistakenly choose like a bottom of the funnel show and they create a show that is built around like the things that they do versus the things that their buyers would care about every week, every month. So we chose bottom of the funnel very strategically, but I would approach that one with a little bit more caution. And typically like the guidance is to, is to go with the top of funnel show, unless you're very clear on like going in knowing the bottom of funnel show is not going to be like knowing the restrictions with it, basically that come with it.

Speaker 2:

I love that you broke it out into top of funnel, bottom of the funnel shows. Cause I don't think a lot of people are thinking about it in that way. I think a lot of people tend to think about it as this overarching top of the funnel, very distant to sales approach. But when you talk about the things and you get into your buyer's head and you talk about the problems that they're trying to solve, I think that's when it's like, it builds that interest at the top of the funnel, you start to build trust and authority around that expertise. And then as you mentioned in specific parts of the sales cycle, you can strategically plant episodes for the person who you were talking to, that you were in that, you know , bottom of bottom of the funnel cycle with to get, to get them across the finish line. I think that's really smart. And I don't think a lot of marketers are thinking about it in that way. So I am glad that you called it out in that way. This is why I interview people who started the week. Cause I learn new stuff all the time. I'm like ,

Speaker 3:

No, yeah, we love it. And the cool thing too, with the bottom of funnel show is it's very referenceable . So it may not be like broad mass market appeal to your persona for every episode. But when that problem, when a marketer is talking to their friend or your buyer is talking to another buyer who, you know, could be buyers about this particular problem. And they're like, Hey, there's actually a podcast I listened to one episode and the whole show is built around that exact problem. Like it's just a little bit more referenceable than a broad, a more broad like top of funnel show that may be just about HR directors or what have you. So it's a little bit more problem focused than audience focused.

Speaker 2:

Love it. All right. To wrap us up, I've got a couple of close out questions for you. First stuff. This came to me while we were talking, as you were introducing yourself, do you remember the first podcast you ever listen to?

Speaker 3:

This is crazy. The very first podcast episode I ever listened to was Travis Kalanick on this week in startups. And this was in 2011 and Travis Kalanick was the CEO of a company called Uber app or Uber cab at the time. And Jason and Travis were doing an interview and Jason said, Hey, I think this Uber company can be like, it might be to be a billion dollar company or whatever. It was very small at the time. And I just so randomly stumbled on that one for like my very first one. And that episode just blew my mind and I was like, okay, I really love podcasts. This is fantastic. And then obviously Uber has gone on to do what it did. So it was pretty cool .

Speaker 2:

Well , that was that life-changing moment that you talked about in the start of this conversation. I had a similar one with podcasting too, where a colleague was telling me we got to do a podcast. You got to listen to podcasts. I was like, don't just listen to this one. And I listened to being boss and a few episodes of that one. And it was like, Oh, I get what you're saying. Let's just figure this out. We have no idea what we're doing, but we're going to do this too. So it's a, it's a lot of fun. And it clearly took you down your entrepreneurial journey. You now have two companies that help people and businesses with their podcasts, any closing thoughts to other entrepreneurs out there who are maybe potentially interested in just using a podcast to build their company, whatever it is, or to other people who are trying to get further alone along down the road on the podcast and game.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. I think the one, the one thing I would say that we hadn't touched on yet is the serendipity that can come through podcasting. It can't be accounted for when you're starting your strategy, but it oftentimes is the single thing that ROIs for you, the quickest and the most throughout the entirety of your podcast, you know, marketing channel marketing strategy. So just by nature of connecting with people through your podcast and what may develop from that, I haven't spoken to a client or a podcaster yet that hasn't had something small, medium or big happened just because of the people they're meeting and the friendships they're building through the show. And you know, the fact that I'm now kind of working with Dave Gerhardt on a lot of things is because I interviewed him on our podcast brands and podcasts like 10 months ago and didn't know him before that. So I just will say that I think podcasting can help through your journey as an entrepreneur for your business, that you may be running marketing at or anything in between. If you build a show that is authentic, but you also get to connect with people and highlight their stories and promote them, but build friendships with them and do that in authentic way. And good things can come just from that as well.

Speaker 2:

1000%. Yeah. It's , it's incredible. The amount of people who I've started building relationships with just through this channel and saying, we just have a conversation and I'm going to record it. Thanks. All right. So let us know how can people find Lemonpie or hatch, get in touch, learn more about you and your company and potentially get help on building their podcast. Absolutely. So you can check us out Lemonpie .fm . That's the full service podcast agency and then hatch. You can find this , that use hatch.fm and feel free to email me if you want, or find me on Twitter. Erik bison, U R I K B I S O N. But I love talking podcasting, as you can tell, and the happy to help anybody out there who may have any questions as they face their journey. Great, stop and go follow Erik on LinkedIn as well. That's how I found him and we started following each other and we put space stuff out there. So I highly recommend following him there. All right , folks, hope you got some good podcasting inspiration and learned a little bit about clubhouse. If you didn't know about it. And some thoughts on that until next time, I hope you soar

Speaker 1:

Here is to you getting some inspiration that you can leverage to lift off. Thank you, my friend for tuning in to soar today. I'm your host Tabor Shanklin. If you want to follow along, stay in [email protected] You can shoot me an email. I [email protected] or get on the ground and follow me on the ground . I am T shank soar s . That's T S H a N K S O R S until next time.