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How To Grow Your Brand Faster Through Podcasting – Erik Jacobson

In this episode, we talk to Erik Jacobson, CEO and founder of Lemonpie and Hatch who is a firm believer that podcasting is a fast-growing industry. He shares how on-demand audio is changing and how it is affecting the media landscape.

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About this episode:

In this episode of The Ecommerce Insights Show, we interviewed Erik Jacobson, CEO and founder of Lemonpie, a podcast PR and production agency that helps brands grow through podcasting.

During the episode, we cover topics like:

  • On-demand audio is changing and how it is affecting the media landscape
  • How does a business benefit from having a podcast
  • Ways to get started with podcasting
  • Unique ways to approach your podcast

So if you’re interested in getting some valuable podcasting tips from a podcasting expert who’s team has helped brands like Freshbooks and HubSpot successfully grow their podcasts, this episode is for you.

Learn more about Eric and his resources here:

Want to be a guest on our show? Have feedback or ideas for how we can improve? Send your thoughts over to podcast@thegood.com. We’ll be keeping an eye on that inbox. 🙂

The Ecommerce Insights Show is brought to you by The Good, a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) consultancy specializing in helping ecommerce businesses accelerate their growth through better research, testing, and design. Learn more about our team, our work, and our services at www.thegood.com.

Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] James Sowers: So here’s the question. How can you, Congress leaders make sure that they are producing a great product, providing a world-class customer experience responsibly managing the finances and still reserve time, energy and resources for marketing their products. My name is James Sauers, and you’re listening to the e-commerce insight show.

[00:00:16] The podcast that gives you a specific, actionable advice for growing your e-commerce business. Every Monday, you’ll get a conversion rate optimization tactic that you can implement quickly to make your business 1% better. Every single. Every Thursday, we sit down with industry experts to go deep on a specific aspect of running a successful e-commerce business.

[00:00:34] It’s the perfect blend of learning and application, which means that you maximize the value of every single minute you spend with us. We’re just as committed to growing your business as you are. So if you’re looking for a partner to help you crush your revenue goals, you’ve come to the right place, roll up your sleeves and grab a notepad because it’s time to get to work.

[00:00:52] Awesome. Eric, thanks so much for coming on the show. Really excited to have be here. I know we’ve connected personally in the recent past year and become pretty good online buddies. At least hopefully meet in person sometime soon when it’s safe to do that, but appreciate you taking the time to come on this.

[00:01:04] And maybe to kick things off, I’d like to just get your 62nd overview of, you know, what you do at lemon pie and maybe an interesting project. That’s got you excited that you’re working on right now. Yeah. Cool.

[00:01:14] Well,

[00:01:14] Erik Jacobson: thank you, James. Thank you for having me. Yes. Hope we can connect in person here someday soon, but yeah, so lemon pie, we are a full service podcast agency.

[00:01:23] We work with brands to help them execute podcasts strategies so that they can grow. It’s quite an underutilized channel for a lot of companies, especially e-comm, which we can get into today. Obviously we help execute podcast tour strategies where their CEOs or executives get interviewed on other shows.

[00:01:42] And launch and produce their own branded podcast with a few variations of how that could actually manifest for them depending on their market, their industry, their customers, what might work best within that framework. And yeah, that’s what we do all day. Every day. We’ve been doing it for four plus years now at this point, and we think podcasting is just getting started and that’s sort of, our premise is like we’re at the early days of.

[00:02:05] And excited to explore with you how e-commerce companies could take advantage of it. The one project that we’re excited about right now is we’re actually launching a new company, a spin-out company called hatch, which is unlimited podcast editing for companies who want to sort of DIY a podcast, but they need help with editing for personal brands or thought leaders who need some help on the editing side, they want to stand up a podcast.

[00:02:30] They can do some of it themselves, but they need a little bit of help. That’s our newest sort of evolution that we’re excited to pursue. But yeah, we’re all in on the podcast channel. So really excited to dive in. Yeah.

[00:02:42] James Sowers: Awesome. And if you’ve been at it for four years, I guess you time that wave about right.

[00:02:45] Like there’s a lot of momentum behind it now. And it’s kind of like to the point where every person has a podcast, it feels like sometimes like, oh, this is my personal podcast where I just share what I’m working on or whatever. And sometimes you get that eye roll, like, oh, I don’t need another podcast in my feed that can feel like it’s a saturated space, but obviously you’ve decided to dedicate your professional life to that for the foreseeable future.

[00:03:05] So like what excites you about podcasting as a medium? Like why did you get started into this particular versus paid ads or SEO or any other kind of like marketing effort that you could’ve gotten into? It’s a great

[00:03:15] Erik Jacobson: question. And I got a little bit lucky. I just so happened to fall in love with podcasts around 20 11, 20 12.

[00:03:23] When I was working in a job I hated and became obsessed with podcasts. That taught me more about what is possible in life, in business, in health, in personal development than I ever learned anywhere else. And I knew if it had that impact on me, it like. Could have that same impact for a lot of other folks.

[00:03:41] So I knew this was an industry or a category I wanted to pursue just because I loved it, where I got lucky was that the natural momentum at the time that I picked it up was still in its infancy, but it has grown significantly just naturally over that same period of time that I’ve been sort of working in it and doubling down on it.

[00:04:01] And while it’s been around for a long time, you know, it’s mid two thousands is when it like first kind of came online even now, 2020. I still believe we are in the first half of the first quarter of what on-demand audio is going to be for how brands can use it for how individuals can use it for how we operate in the world, how people learn, how they communicate.

[00:04:26] The same way that Netflix, Hulu and all these streaming platforms are disrupting cable. I believe on-demand audio is going to be that next evolution. And the reason why it’s different and why it’s interesting is because it is found time. As we all know, like most people listen to podcasts, not when they’re sitting and doing something else where they would be watching a YouTube video and listening to a podcast.

[00:04:51] What they’re doing is they’re walking the dog or they’re driving in their car. This is like time where they otherwise would not be able to be consuming your content. And so now that is a window that’s open for you as a brand or a person to get that awareness and get that connection with folks at times they would otherwise just be listening to music or what have you.

[00:05:11] So you don’t have to compete with every other thing online to get their attention from YouTube, from a blog from newsletter. You know, when I’m in my email inbox, I’m trying to get to inbox zero. I have a hundred emails, the newsletters. Great. But when I’m walking my dog, I’ve only got a few options and your podcasts could be one of them is the premise.

[00:05:32] James Sowers: Totally agree. And I think that for all the folks who may feel like it’s saturated, like that’s your personal worldview, but ask your parents, ask your friends, parents ask your aunts and uncles. None of them have probably even touched podcasts yet. And so those are all opportunities where like, if their favorite author launched a podcast where even where they were doing something, as simple as reading excerpts from their new book, or, you know, rereading past books, they’ve already published some of their classics.

[00:05:54] Like that could be enough to get my mom involved in podcasts. I know that that was my initial entry point was like, I loved audio books, but as we all know, like, especially in the business world books often are extended to fit a certain page count, whereas the most important and most valuable insights from them, it could be condensed into a 60 minute conversation, which ends up being a podcast interview.

[00:06:12] Right. So that’s what I liked. I could accelerate my learning and it could be hands-free and I could do other things at the same time. Whereas with a blog post, or like you said, a news. I have to have my device in front of me. They’re sitting in front of my laptop or I’m carrying my phone and I’m looking down.

[00:06:23] And how many times, like, obviously you shouldn’t be doing that while you’re driving, but how many times do you walk by somebody who’s walking their dog and staring at their phone almost runs into you or like almost walks through a crosswalk during a Greenlight or something like that. Like, you’re just like, how can you be so dumb?

[00:06:35] Right? Like, but we don’t want to do that. So podcasting is just a way to kind of free up your physical attention while your mind is still at work, getting better at, or being entertained, whatever your preference is. So, yeah, totally agree. I love, I love podcasts. And I think today, what we really want to talk about is the value of podcasting for e-commerce brands.

[00:06:51] And that’s something that I haven’t seen a lot of personally, and I’m a guy that’s probably subscribed to a hundred podcasts that might not be an exaggeration. Like I don’t listen to every episode from every single one, but I probably have a hundred items in my feed and I pick the best ones and the most timely, the most relevant ones.

[00:07:04] And I don’t see a whole lot of like e-commerce brand marketing, the consultancies, the agencies a hundred percent. But as far as the product companies, I don’t see a lot of that out there. And I really think that’s an untapped channel for. So I was hoping that we could get into that. And I know we have two specific kind of approaches or strategies that we’re talking about in terms of podcast tours, and then launching your own podcast.

[00:07:24] Maybe there’s another one I haven’t even thought about. I’m not sure, but, uh, is there any particular place you’d like to start?

[00:07:29] Erik Jacobson: Yeah, I mean, we can start maybe with the podcast tour, the third one, which we actually don’t facilitate, but I know a lot about, and a lot of direct to consumer and e-commerce brands do it, which is podcast ads.

[00:07:40] So like those 30, 60, 90 second sponsor spots, you know, Casper’s of the world. And what have you like have gone all in. In a lot of ways with podcast ads. So that can be something maybe we touch on as well. But yeah, with the podcast tour, if you want to start there, I’m happy to give an overview of what that is, and then dive into any specifics you think would be most helpful.

[00:08:00] But the podcast tour in essence is your ability as a founder, CEO, head of marketing, head of product, head of brand, whatever sort of thought leadership subject matter expertise you have inside of the company. There are podcasts that exists, dozens or hundreds. That potentially have your customers listening to them already, that you could pitch yourself to the host of those shows and possibly get interviewed on them for 30 to 60 minutes.

[00:08:31] And so the benefit here is that a few things, one, the audience is already built. So in comparison to starting your own show, which we can talk about later, you don’t have to start from scratch. Like day one, you show up, you do an interview on someone else’s podcast and they either have hundreds or potentially thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of listeners already who have built a relationship with them for months or years.

[00:08:59] And you’re coming on as an expert thought leader to share and help and teach them things that will improve their life or business. And as a by-product of that, the level of connection that the listeners feel with you. And it’s not just about pitching your product. This is not a webinar. This is not like an ad it’s genuinely about adding value to the listeners lives.

[00:09:20] And so as a by-product of that, they feel a connection with you. And oftentimes the framework of the conversation is around your business or around your product. And so there’s a few things that can come from that. But what we believe is having someone feel that personal connection to you in a way that a podcast interview allows on a show that they already listened to is very.

[00:09:41] Unparalleled with other forms of marketing. If you compare it to paid ads, if you compare it to SEO articles, if you compare it to all these other channels that you get a fraction of someone’s attention, it’s usually from a completely cold standpoint. There’s no by-product of trust built in, and you’re sort of up against a lot of questions and scrutiny to get someone over the hump, to engage with your brand in a lot of these other direct response marketing channels.

[00:10:10] But with a podcast tour, you can build trust in our belief, unlike any other means possible. And what you want to do is have it such that over time. People are listening to a variety of different podcasts usually. And your name appears, or they listen to your interview on multiple shows. So this is very common where if you’re in a particular vertical and you have a particular set of expertise, you can get interviewed potentially on many shows in that category.

[00:10:39] And a lot of those listeners are listening to multiple shows. Just like you said, you listened to what you got, like a hundred shows or something like that. And I do too. So the whole point is to have multi sort of touch with these listeners who potentially could become customers and build a brand affinity, unlike any other channel that there is available.

[00:10:59] And the cool thing here. It’s technically free. You could hire a company like us to help you with it. If you don’t have the bandwidth internally to do it, but the podcast hosts that you don’t pay them, they don’t pay you. It’s totally earned media. You just have to do it in authentic and genuine and personal way to build that relationship with the host.

[00:11:20] But it’s essentially free to execute this. If you have the time to do it, there’s a lot of other specifics I could go into, but that’s sort of the broad overview of the podcast. Yeah. And

[00:11:29] James Sowers: I think that was a great description. I mean, when I think about it, people have been doing this since the Dawn of time, really like people go on the today show and all the other talk shows to talk about their new movie or their new Broadway play or the book they’re publishing.

[00:11:42] Like people have been doing tours like this and getting interviewed about products that they’re creating forever. And this is just a new medium to do that through. And what I think is particularly valuable about podcasting is if you default to. Well, this is kind of like a guest blog post, right? Like I get to tap into their existing audience with my own thoughts or whatever, or it’s like, I’m featured in their newsletter.

[00:12:03] Sure. That’s fine. But let’s say they read your whole post. Like those typically you’ve seen the little counters on medium or whatever that says, this is a 10 minute read, right? So let’s say that they read that whole thing. Well, if you have a podcast interview, that’s almost always 30 to 60 minutes. I don’t know the specific stats around how many people listen all the way through, but I bet they’re listening longer than eight or 10 minutes.

[00:12:21] And they’re listening only to you. In theory, they don’t have any distractions around them. They don’t have 50 other tabs. They don’t have slack notifications popping up. Like they hit play, they put their phone in their pocket and most of the time they go to something else, they go for a jog, they walk their dog, they do the dishes or whatever.

[00:12:34] Like they’re driving the focus in on that. They’re pretty much focused on you at least much to a much greater degree than they would be if they’re reading a blog post right next to their email and their chat app. So that’s why I love it. So I guess maybe the next step then in terms of, so we’ve quantified the value of doing a podcast or, and kind of describe what it is, but like, if somebody wants to get started with this, how do they even find the.

[00:12:55] Shows to go on. Is there some kind of search directory or a tool that you recommend to find a good fit and like, how do they determine if they’re an e-commerce leader? Should they go on to show where they interview other e-commerce leaders or should they try to go like where their customers are? So if I sell outdoor equipment, should I go to adventure shows and outdoor and camping shows?

[00:13:11] How do you think

[00:13:11] Erik Jacobson: about that? It’s a good question. And if you don’t mind, I’ll circle back one quick thing on the value. So why a lot of folks who don’t invest in podcasting in general, but the podcast tour specifically and branded podcasts is because it’s hard to measure. So like podcast listener listens to you get interviewed on a show, a notable show that potentially has your customers listening to it.

[00:13:35] And what do they do? Most likely, even if you give them a coupon code or direct landing page, most likely they’re going to Google and typing in your brand name or they’re going direct and typing in the URL. And what attribution is that tied to? That’s tied to Google that’s coming from direct or organic.

[00:13:55] And so you can’t actually tell that they came from your podcast interviews. And so a lot of marketing today is so predominantly skewed towards if we can’t measure it, we shouldn’t do it. And that’s why I think this is such a big opportunity for folks who can see the value here, because a lot of their competitors are not doing this simply because.

[00:14:18] Unlike Facebook ads and things like that, where you can literally get cost per click cost per acquisition. You can have every touch point attribution along the funnel that doesn’t exist here as much. But what you will see is when your interviews go live, you should see a spike in organic traffic. You should see customer purchases over that week or month.

[00:14:38] You should feel it on social media or people mentioning it and talking about it. And if you aggregate all that stuff up, you will see that it’s working, but it won’t be have that same granularity in terms of like understanding every metric as you would on other channels. So I just wanted to mention that.

[00:14:56] Well,

[00:14:56] James Sowers: yeah, hold on. So I think that’s a great point though, because well, spoiler alert attribution has been solved anywhere. Like even your Facebook ads, attribution isn’t perfect. Right. People will see a Facebook ad not buy because it’s not right for them, but go tell their friend about it. That friend buys.

[00:15:10] And that came from that Facebook. Yeah. It drove the personal referral, but you’ll never know about it. So if you want a hundred percent accuracy in your marketing attribution, that’s never going to happen. Right. Even down to Google analytics, they have this category of just other where they don’t know how to attribute this traffic.

[00:15:23] They don’t know if it was direct or referral or if it came from email. So they just put it in this catchall bucket called other or whatever the proper term is. But like, yeah, you’re not going to get that anywhere. So I always think it’s funny when marketers want a guaranteed return on investment, they want guaranteed attribution.

[00:15:35] Like that’s not going to happen. So you got to get over your risk aversion around that and just know that this is kind of an awareness play. Right. And it’ll be a little bit softer. Like I know my CEO has prospects come into the pipeline for our agency. And he’ll say, I specifically ask, how did you hear about us?

[00:15:49] And a bunch of times they’ll say I heard about you on a podcast. I can’t remember which one, but I heard you speak on a podcast. And so, you know, that might be the best you’re going to get, but at least, you know, what’s working. So that’s the kind of like piece of evidence that you would want to be looking for.

[00:16:03] And then, like you said, more traffic, more sales, a general increase in those at the same time that you’re running your tour. So sorry to interrupt you there, but. Double down on the attribution piece, because I hear that over and over from marketers is like, you’re never going to have it, man. If you wait out for perfect attribution, it’s not going to come.

[00:16:17] At least not anytime soon. So you’ve got to get over that. Totally.

[00:16:20] Erik Jacobson: And that’s the only reason I wanted to bring it up because I see it as a massive advantage right now, for those who can believe in a awareness strategy that isn’t necessarily easy to measure, but you will feel it and see it. If you can get to that place, you’re going to have a massive advantage right now for the next few years, until everybody realizes three years from now, that podcasts are an incredibly powerful channel.

[00:16:45] The other two things I’ll mention quickly on the value is backlinks. And these are going to be more quantitative things that you’ll be able to see most podcasts, I’d say 90 plus percent of the shows that you would get an interview. We’ll have a show notes page on their website. A lot of those websites have been around for a long time, are influential in their industry.

[00:17:05] They have high domain authority. Since you spend an hour with that host, they’re happy to put whatever backlink you want an anchor text you want on that show notes page. And I’ve talked to brands that have done 40, 50, 60 interviews over the course of 12 months. And their domain authority has completely skyrocketed, which means their Google search results are now going from page two to like high page one for certain ranking things.

[00:17:33] So not just like the traffic and the awareness you’re going to get from the listeners, but a almost equally valuable benefit of this is what’s going to happen to your search results. If you are looking to build backlinks and build up your domain authority, it is a great way, one of the best to build up high quality backlinks as well.

[00:17:51] So I just wanted to mention that, but in terms of executing the strategy itself, so. How we think about this is you may be in a position where you sell to a market that you don’t have expertise. And so that is a challenge of this. On the flip side, you may sell to a market that you have immense expertise and experience in.

[00:18:14] So if you’re an adventure brand and you created the brand because you yourself are an outdoor adventure, that is the life you’ve lived. Then you were in the sweet spot now, because you can talk about building an e-commerce company. You can talk about your specific areas of expertise within the business world, but also all those adventure type things and the actual customers that you’re trying to appeal to.

[00:18:40] Like you live the life that they live. So how you can think about this is two ways. One, if you are selling to a particular type of person that has specific interests, there’s likely going to be shows that cater to them. So in this case it would be adventure and there’s a lot of adventure shows you can try to go get on all of those.

[00:19:00] And that’s highly recommended because your customer base is like, there’s no other reason you would listen to it in venture podcast, unless you are interested in adventure. So that one’s obvious. The interesting thing is like adjacent categories oftentimes can perform as well, if not better than the core category.

[00:19:21] So an example here is we worked with like a real estate client, for example, there’s a ton of real estate podcasts. So we got them on a lot of those, but then when we started getting them on like personal finance podcasts, for example, they were one of the few folks in that feed, talking about that particular.

[00:19:41] Topic of real estate. So it stood out more. It was a novelty in the feed itself. And. As a result, the listeners took what appeared to be from our client’s standpoint, more action than going on a podcast that every single episode is talking about. That topic and listeners may just be interested, but they’re not taking as much action necessarily because it’s a very repetitive topic and it’s harder to stand out.

[00:20:07] Our belief is like any area you have expertise in is open discussion for you potentially appearing on whether that be in this case. It may not look at surface level that like adventure people would be listening to e-commerce shows, but that would be something I would strongly encourage you to test because you may see, like in an e-commerce feed, you stand out as a novelty, a novel product, a novel concept.

[00:20:34] And that may actually perform even better than like these adventure shows that you could potentially get on. So yeah, I’m happy to dive into like where to find the shows and how to do some of the outreach. But I just wanted to mention that I think the adjacent categories are really interesting. Yeah.

[00:20:47] James Sowers: I think that’s a great point.

[00:20:48] And maybe it’s a good time to share with the audience that you guys did an episode on your own show brands, that podcast about a particular brand called Huckberry that does outdoor apparel and adventure gear and how they could use a podcast to grow their business. So a lot of the examples that we share and we talk about adventure outdoors, it’s coming from that original conversation, which of course we’ll link to in the show notes.

[00:21:10] But I love the example that you brought up in terms of the real estate, because you could go on the real estate podcast and that’s the no brainer. But if you go on personal finance, there’s a different angle there where it’s like, maybe I’m trying to figure out. How much I need to save to buy a house.

[00:21:23] How much house can I afford? What are the unforeseen expenses with buying a house like utilities and maintenance and property taxes and all this stuff that like I might have no clue about because I’ve never owned a house before was a realtor. You can come in and add value because you talk to your clients about that every single day, and you have resources to point to.

[00:21:39] And then when they’re ready, they come back to you to help them buy their house. So I love that example. And you know, maybe in the adventurous scenario, it could be something like you don’t have to go on shows that talk specifically about adventuring or going camping or whatever. It could be a show about travel because a lot of people travel to go to a specific destination hikes or destination camping experiences or something.

[00:21:58] And so that could maybe be a tangential topic that you could go share your expertise on that would drive traffic and attention back to your adventure products on your site. So that was one idea I had while you were covering all that, which like thank you so much for sharing. I do think I would like to get into the tactics a little bit because people are probably thinking like, okay, this sounds great.

[00:22:15] How do I get started? So it starts with finding the right shows. It kind of talks about that. Conceptually, if you have any tools or resources for finding the shows, and then let’s say, how do you make that first point of contact, right? Like, how do you say, Hey, I’m James, I’m representing this brand. I’d like to be on your show.

[00:22:29] Here’s what I think I can offer. You know, that. Yes, this is crucial to

[00:22:32] Erik Jacobson: get, right? So the first step is finding the shows. I hate to inform that there’s no great tool right now. There’s no one-stop solution to plug in your topic or your category or your expertise, and find just a perfectly curated list of shows.

[00:22:50] Right now, it is a bit of piecing it together between different tools, literally using apple podcasts, typing in adventure in this case, if we want to continue with that analogy and finding a high quality show that has a lot of apple reviews. And I would say like, what you want to look for is a show that likely has.

[00:23:12] At least 10, 15, 20 episodes produced consistently. You can like go to their website and see that like, okay, they are putting up show notes page. They care about it. They’re promoting it on social media. They have a decent amount of apple reviews. You know, people have left them reviews for the podcast and things like that.

[00:23:31] You just want to look and make sure, like, this looks like a good opportunity. It’s you’re not going to know how many listeners the show has exactly that information is held with just the host themselves. But what you can do is sort of get an understanding of like how serious the podcast is taking the show and any other publicly available quantitative information.

[00:23:53] You can find social media followers, maybe, you know, how many newsletter subscribers that have things like that. But if you go to apple, for example, and you find a good show that fits like all that criteria, if you scroll to the bottom, you will see subscribers also listened to show. Like these, it will give you shows that are similar to that.

[00:24:12] And so you can literally just scroll through at the bottom of a show that you found and find 5, 10, 15, 20 other shows just by going through that sort of loop, like you would in YouTube videos where they just keep showing you stuff that is similar to what you’ve just watched. So that’s one, the other tool is listen notes.

[00:24:30] We think, listen, notes is a good tool. Think of it like Google search, but for podcasts. So you can plug in keywords, you can plug in topics, you can plug in people and it will send you back, you know, a list of shows or list of episodes and things like that. So that’s a good place. It’s listen, notes.com. I think it is.

[00:24:46] That’s a good place to do some prospecting for shows as well. You want to make sure before you do outreach that number one, the show is still active. And number two, that they do actually, in fact, do. So be careful with those, because it can definitely be like a face Palm moment. If you reach out to a podcast and number one, they haven’t released an episode for seven months or number two, it’s just a co-hosted show or maybe a solo show.

[00:25:13] They’d never had a guest on ever in their history. And you’re reaching out to them saying, do you like to be a guest on the show? So you definitely want to avoid those situations. But, but yeah, it’s really just a matter of like hunting and pecking, to be honest with the Google searches, apple podcasts, listen notes, putting all that stuff together.

[00:25:32] Spark Toro is another interesting tool. Recently, Rand Fishkin, the former founder of MAs. This is his new company and it’s a place where you can identify where your audience that you want to get in front of is paying attention to. And so podcast is part of his platform where if you plug in your keyword, he’ll send you back.

[00:25:51] Like here’s where they hang out on Twitter. Here’s where they hang out on blogs and some podcasts as well. So those are a few options that is a bit easier. Just takes a little bit more time. You know, you can put a list of 25, 50, a hundred shows to. If you just spend a couple of days doing it for the most part, you will want to go through and filter and prioritize those.

[00:26:11] The more important thing is how do you reach out to those shows? And this is where a lot of folks go wrong because they’ve never done it before they’ve seen or got bad advice from somebody or what have you, or just other agencies or PR folks like are doing it for them. And it’s more of a spray and pray approach.

[00:26:32] Like most folks are reaching out to shows with the focus being on themselves. I would say just from a high-level perspective, the number one thing is the focus needs to be on what value you can give their listeners. And what can you give without asking? Can you do something cool for them? Can you, can you like buy their book?

[00:26:53] Maybe the host has a book before you reach out to them. You should buy their book and let the host know that you just bought their book. Like they get pitched thinking about it from their perspective. Let’s say they get 50 pitches. How can your stand out? Most of the pitches are coming in and saying like, Hey, I’m Eric and I am super cool.

[00:27:09] I’m like 30, under 30 Inc 500. I’m this I’m that like, you should definitely want to interview me because I’m the best. That’s literally how most people and they maybe put the podcast name in the email somewhere and it’s not personal and it’s not effective. And so what you want to do is not spend 30 seconds on each pitch and send a hundred pitches at once.

[00:27:33] But you want to spend maybe like an hour or two, three hours figuring out how you can stand out amongst the crowd and it’s worth it because there is a finite number of shows that will be a good fit for you. So it is worth it to spend the time. Let’s say you spent the time and there’s a hundred total podcasts that you could go on.

[00:27:55] If you sent a hundred very surface level, poor pitches, and you did that in one day. You would maybe get a few people to say yes, maybe five. If you spent a few hours on each and you really took your time and you iterated and you learned, and you did something nice for the host and you shouted them out and you like, did something surprising, maybe you get 40 or 50.

[00:28:17] It’s literally that wide of a difference, the amount of energy and effort you put into it. There’s really no secret sauce. It’s just about caring. It really is just about caring and having empathy for what it looks like for the host to get pitched, you know, 25, 50, a hundred times a week. And especially the more popular shows that are going to really move the needle for you.

[00:28:37] They are getting pitched hundreds of times per month. So. You really have to get creative

[00:28:42] James Sowers: with it. Yeah. It’s unfortunate. Cause I know that’s not what folks want to hear, but I’ve said it several times on the show already. Like there’s no shortcut to success. If you want like outlier results, then you got to put in outlier types of effort.

[00:28:53] And I think it comes down to like finding that initial list. Prioritizing your tier one, tier two to three, maybe that’s based on listenership, but maybe that’s based on the subject matter and the fit between your business and theirs or what. And then you just got to put in the work and personalize your outreach.

[00:29:07] And I mean, we’ve all received a really poor cold sales email, or a cold pitch, and it just feels gross and disgusting. But for some reason, like when we look at a list of a hundred people that we’re trying to get in touch with, we default to let me just copy and paste the same message to all of them and hope that it works.

[00:29:22] And so, you know, one thing that jumped out at me while you were talking, there is not knowing the number of downloads. So I wanted to come back to that because I think a lot of people will attach the value of a show to the audience size and they want to know, they want to know, am I going to reach thousands of people or whatever, but I would encourage them to think about this in terms of like, if I sit and have a 60 minute conversation with the host of that show, And they get even 200 downloads of that episode.

[00:29:47] What is that worth in terms of the time to value ratio? Like where else can you find 200 target prospects and get 60 minutes alone with them? Right. Like maybe you go speak at a conference and it has a full room, but how often are you doing that? Right? Like how much would you have to pay to reach 200 people with a Facebook ad and how many sales would that drive?

[00:30:03] Like, I don’t know. You’d have to weigh it like that. It’s not as easy as like, oh, I need to go out and be on the Joe Rogan experience. Like good luck with that. Right. But you can hit a lot of singles and doubles that add up to more than hitting one home run. I guess. That’s what I’m trying to say. Like, you don’t have to shoot for the number one podcast in your category or in your class.

[00:30:19] You can take everything from 12 or 15 below and get better results that way. And they’re more likely to respond to your message and everything like that. So, yeah, that jumped out at me. Oh. And in terms of finding shows, one thing that I was thinking of is you could also just ask your customers like what they listen to send an email or through the live chat when you’re offering them some products, sports, they, by the way, are you a podcast fan?

[00:30:38] And if they say yes, then what are you listening to. And then just start collecting a list of those and start there and use that to initiate your research. So that’s an idea I had around that. Let me think. So the next thing I had on my notes here is about equipment and like setting up your environment for actually appearing on these shows.

[00:30:51] But I think we’ll cover that when we talk about like creating your own podcast anyway. So maybe we’ll table that if you’re interested in that, just stick around, we’re going to cover it later. But I think really what I’d like to talk about now is like, okay, so you sent your outreach, you landed a couple of shows.

[00:31:03] Your tour is kicking off here in the next couple of weeks. Like, what should you be thinking about to make sure that you get the most out of every episode, every touch point that you have with these shows, are there things that you need to set up in advance or are there things you need to think about strategically to make sure that like you’re investing an hour or two of your time to actually create the episode, let’s make sure that you track that and transition that into like tangible sales results or at least exposure and awareness around your brand.

[00:31:26] For sure.

[00:31:27] Erik Jacobson: So there’s a, a few things here. I would say you don’t want to under optimize and you don’t want to over-optimize. And what I mean by that is some folks get real hung up on every interview, needing a dedicated landing page and a dedicated code and specific calls to actions and getting really, really in the weeds of the direct response mindset kind of thing for every single interview.

[00:31:53] And if you believe in this strategy, you should likely do it over a period of months or like a year plus. And it’s going to get quite unwieldy if you’re having 50, 60, 75 separate landing pages. And then all of a sudden you’re like copy changes or your positioning of the product changes. And you now have 75 landing pages you need to update and things like that.

[00:32:15] So our recommendation here is number one. This is not a webinar, like give as much as you possibly can during the interview, be vulnerable. People build trust, not by like, hearing about how cool somebody is or how impressive they are. Like a little bit of that to share like social proof and credibility, but like then open up and be vulnerable.

[00:32:37] And like, whatever that means for you, that could be in business that could be in whatever your category is. But I think that that is one of the best things you can do. Like the reason podcast works so well is because of that vulnerability aspect. So my recommendation for the interviews themselves is to listen to a few episodes of that podcast beforehand.

[00:32:58] See if the host has any specific questions they’re going to ask you, just say like, Hey, is there any particular way you’d like to cover this episode or any questions you’re thinking about? No worries. If not, but a lot of times they will send you something in advance and then if they don’t just make sure you listen to a few episodes, understand, like, is this gonna be.

[00:33:17] A wide ranging unstructured conversation or does the host seem to have a very specific path that they like to go down for every single episode? And you’d be surprised if you listen to one or two episodes, how much better you will perform with that understanding going into it because your mind can marinate on like how you’d like to drive that conversation, knowing where it might go.

[00:33:43] And really it’s just about being likable. It’s about giving us as much information as you possibly can, being as vulnerable as you can and being likable don’t pitch your product super hardcore. It will make sense to talk about it within the context of the conversation. But it really is just about giving as much as you can.

[00:33:59] And like that is when the good things are going to happen. The second thing is on the actual call to action. So at the end of most of these interviews, like the host will say, Hey, thanks so much for being a guest. Like where can listeners go to learn more? And if you haven’t already given a direct call to action within the context of the conversation where it might’ve made sense, oftentimes it doesn’t, but maybe it did.

[00:34:23] Our recommendation here is to have one landing. Or one place that you’re driving people to, like, don’t say, follow me on Twitter here, follow me on LinkedIn here all, and by the way, we’ve got a great newsletter and we just did this article and we’ve got a, co-promote a webinar. Some people just leave way too many things to remember.

[00:34:42] And as from our conversation earlier, like most people are doing something else when they’re listening to these podcasts. So they can’t remember all of these. So what I would do is make a really strong landing page. Maybe it is your domain slash podcast or slash podcast interview, or like whatever you want to make it and have that be optimized to welcome podcast listeners.

[00:35:05] Again, a lot of people are just going to go straight to your homepage and they’re going to skip this landing page, but maybe you have an incentive to go there and that will capture some of that. And then this to your point earlier will help you identify is the podcast strategy as a. Working to some degree, like is the traffic we’re seeing come through that specific landing page?

[00:35:24] Is that something that we can quantify and see, okay, this is trending in the right direction, as well as all the other value ROI points we talked about earlier. But yet again, there’s no secret here. It’s just about preparation and being likable and not over optimizing for like angles or positioning of how you want to really pitch your product and things like that.

[00:35:47] And some hosts, a heads up here is like some hosts will be more prepared and some hosts will be very under prepared. And so just be okay with that and just know that, like, if a question gets asked to you during these interviews where like a host is pretty under prepared in terms of like, just knowing your general background or like having some prep work done that they did for you, you will get better at practice and like being able to flip questions in a way that will actually give helpful information.

[00:36:17] Instead of the question that they actually asked. So that is sort of like transitioning a question into an answer that touches on the original question, but then like actually, you know, a better question could have been posed. And you’re just going to go ahead and give the answer to a question that should have been asked and like, things like that, that you can pick up along the way and study.

[00:36:37] But again, no secrets. Yeah.

[00:36:40] James Sowers: Yeah. That’s definitely like an advanced level tactic and it comes with time and it comes with practice. Right? The other thing I think that is important for listeners to keep in mind is as you go and you be a guest on shows, there’s a lot of magic that can be worked in post-production.

[00:36:51] And so if you stutter or you lose your train of thought, just pause, restart, they’ll crop everything out in post-production and it never happened. I mean, if it’s a good show, they’ll take care of that for you. And they want you to present yourself in a professional and polished manner. So don’t worry about it in the moment.

[00:37:06] Don’t get stressed out. I know public speaking can be a struggle for a lot of folks, but if you’re worried about that, Don’t be because they’ll clean it up and they’ll do you a solid and nine times out of 10, right? I think the single clear call to action is the absolute best advice. That’s like a pillar of any good marketing.

[00:37:21] If you give people too many calls to action, they won’t take any of them. And then I would say with the URL or the landing page, definitely keep in mind folks that are listening and they’re not in front of a machine most times. So make it easy to remember, right? Like you said, if you’re using a landing page builder or some kind of default naming convention that would be in WordPress or Shopify or whatever, you don’t want it to be huckberry.com/d/ e-commerce slash insights slash show slash discount slash code, right?

[00:37:46] Like. High-grade dot com slash podcast interview or something like that. Or if you’re going to give them a discount code and you want to pitch the sale, make it the name of the show. They’re already listening to the show. They’re a fan of that, or make it your brand name, make it something super simple so that when they get home, it’s already like top of mind for them.

[00:38:02] I love that advice that you shared there. And then I think on the podcast tour side of thing, I just wanted to share a couple of examples of people I’ve seen give great interviews on behalf of their e-commerce brand. So one that I found, or one that I was aware of from my personal listening experience is Dan Demsky of a company named Unbound Merino.

[00:38:18] They make wool t-shirts and other apparel items. He talked about raising funds in a Kickstarter fashion on the unofficial Shopify podcast run by Kurt Elster. So I’ll link that in the show notes. Another one is Vivian K of a company called I’m going to mess this up, but it’s kinky curly Yaki, I think. And she talks about how she was.

[00:38:35] 1 million in revenue without investing any money in paid ads on the e-commerce marketing show, that’s run by a company called privy. So I’ll link those in the show notes. Definitely go check those out. The other thing you can do is go to a site called listen notes at where he talks about, and you can put in their names or put in the name of a CEO at a rival company or a rival brand and see how those people are interviewing on shows, what shows they’re on and just get a feel for like how they’re presenting, because there are a couple of steps ahead of you, right?

[00:39:01] And just take notes and do the best that you can, and just know that you’re going to get better over time. So I think maybe that puts a nice bow on the podcast tour aspect. Maybe we’ll shift gears over to launching your own podcast for your brand. And there are several different ways that you can approach that.

[00:39:15] I know you guys did this detailed dive into Huckberry, so I don’t necessarily want to cover all the details because I want folks to go listen to that episode. I think it brings its own value to the table, but let’s just say like before we get into the different types of formats that you could choose.

[00:39:29] Practically from a tooling and hardware perspective, what does somebody need to get started in like a minimum viable podcast today? If they want to launch their own a

[00:39:40] Erik Jacobson: few things strategy, plus like the actual. Equipment and tactics and things like that. Most people spend, this is an 80 20 thing. Most people, when they think about starting a podcast, focus all of their energy effort, research on what Mike to buy and like what recording tool to use and what hosting platform to use.

[00:40:02] 80% of the focus is there. And then 20% is like, okay, what is this podcast? And like, what’s the positioning of it. What’s our strategy. So our premise is you actually need to flip that the tools are there. If you read a few blog posts, if you type in, Hey, what’s the best podcast Mike into Google, you know, you’ll get a bunch of Les, you’ll get a bunch of articles telling you that that’s the easy stuff.

[00:40:24] And I can give a list to right now, like off the top of my head, if you’d like for like equipment and tools and things like that. But our belief is you need to focus mostly on the strategy of the podcast, which we can dive into. In that episode, we did called how Huckberry could podcast was 45 minutes on deep strategy of how Huckberry could use different types of podcasts, as well as a podcast tour to help them grow the company.

[00:40:50] And this is where you figure out what do your customers, what do they like? What do they listen to you? You said earlier, maybe reaching out to some customers and seeing what sort of podcasts they listen to and stuff like that. You can do that here as well. And like, are your competitors in the podcast space already?

[00:41:06] Like, do they already have shows? Do you need. Do something that diversifies, from what they’re doing, how can you stand out? How can you get listeners so excited to hit play? But then when they hit play, they make it to the end of the episode. And they want to listen to every other episode after that, it’s shocking how many people are good at marketing their podcast, but they don’t have a podcast that people want to stick around for.

[00:41:29] So like, there’s two things you have to think about. There is how do we get people to hit play? And then how do we make this one of their favorite podcasts? And that is the stuff you should spend 80% of your time on in the beginning phase, like workshopping and strategizing on the tools are important.

[00:41:45] But luckily like it’s very affordable to start a podcast. If you DIY. You can start a podcast for hundreds of dollars, you know, not like thousands or tens of thousands. If you want an expert team to help you, obviously it’s more, but like, you can definitely DIY this for very affordable amount. It does require time.

[00:42:04] And you’re going to want to make sure you, like, don’t just sort of push something out with no strategy behind it, but also don’t overthink it again. There’s like, you don’t want to under optimize and you don’t want to over-optimize some folks are like, okay, I’ll just get it out and I’ll figure it out on the fly.

[00:42:19] And that’s great. But you made like, take two steps forward and like three backwards. Like you keep doing that back and forth, but some people could spend six months trying to figure out what podcast strategy to do. And that’s like probably spending too much time. So those are a little things. I, it really just comes down to the two things I mentioned is like, how do we get people to hit play?

[00:42:40] And then how does this become one of their favorite podcasts? Our customers listening to this podcast, people we want to build an audience of answering those two questions will be hugely, hugely impactful. Yeah. That’s

[00:42:54] James Sowers: why I was going to take it. So I’m glad you brought up because like at the end of the day, our goal would be to raise awareness for a brand and, or to drive more sales.

[00:43:01] Right. And so you want to think about your customer first and what they’re interested in and spoiler alert is probably not like the specifications and nuances of your product, right? Like it’s probably something about how the product improves their life or what aspect of their life that has an interested in your product or whatever.

[00:43:16] It’s probably something that’s less quantitative and less scientific than just like, let me tell you about our new product launch. And let me tell you about the material that we’re using in our next round of hoodies. And like, they probably don’t care that much about that. Keep that for email or ads or whatever.

[00:43:30] Like that’s where you can share those benefits or those are really features actually. But what they’re probably more interested in is something around like. Hey, I’m coming to you to buy workout gear. Like I want you to tell me how to further optimize my health and fitness routine. I want you to bring experts in to teach me about nutrition or high interval, intensity interval training or something like that.

[00:43:50] Right? Like that’s probably the more interesting angle. And I think there is some validity and we talked about earlier, people are starting to roll their eyes and say, not another podcast. I don’t support that motion from folks. Like, I don’t think we’re anywhere near the saturation point, but I do think that there is some validity to like, oh no, not another interview podcasts.

[00:44:08] And I realize the irony of that as I sit here and do an interview podcast with you. But I think like it’s okay to do that. You just have to have a unique perspective or a unique spin. So maybe let’s talk about some of the format ideas that you and Jeremiah came up with on your show. And let’s try to present them in the context of how an e-commerce brand might explore for their own use case.

[00:44:27] So I know you talked about episodic versus serial shows. Maybe we’ll start by explaining those and then get into some examples that we have of each.

[00:44:33] Erik Jacobson: Exactly. So episodic versus serial. So you can work through this sort of series right now that we’re about to go through, to identify a few concepts of your show potentially, and then select based on a variety of factors, maybe run some surveys or you have internal discussions to figure out which one would be the best one to go with.

[00:44:52] But one of the first decisions to make is, do you want an episodic podcast or do you want a serialized podcast? And what we mean by that is with episodic. Let’s say it’s a weekly show. Every episode stands on its own. So they’re not tied together. They’re tied together in premise, but they’re not tied together in content.

[00:45:10] And there’s a lot of benefits to that, which is it can be easier to produce because you, you’re not creating a 10 episode series. You’re creating a 45 minute episode. That can be tighter and you don’t have to like, maybe have as many story arcs or, you know, different things like that that you have to consider.

[00:45:30] And you may be, if you’re going to do stuff with guests, you might have an opportunity to have a lot more guests every single week who potentially could help promote the show or like you build relationships with and things like that. So that’s some of the benefit to your point. That is the most common style.

[00:45:49] So I do not believe it is harder to stand out with that necessarily, but it is more common. There’s more competition like that is not going to make as much of a splash necessarily as something like a serialized podcast, which less people are doing an example for this is. Obviously cereal, but more specifically for like e-commerce companies is a company called buffer, created a show called breaking brand.

[00:46:19] And I would recommend everybody check that out. It was about five episodes and it covered the direct to consumer. Branding agency gin lane and gin lane is quite notable. I think they’re one of the most popular, like they were one of the most popular branding agencies for direct to consumer brands and they were going, they had never done any PR any press, but they had helped grow multiple billion dollar direct to consumer brands.

[00:46:44] And so buffers, some of Buffer’s greatest customers are direct to consumer brands. So they thought, well, let’s actually create a really cool five episode series covering the story of gin lane with gin lane, having multiple voices on every episode, having high production value, telling a story over five episodes, having ups and downs and emotional moments and sad moments and happy moments and getting people wrapped into the story.

[00:47:12] There’s a lot more production that goes into that, but it from a, how do we get people to hit play standpoint that does stand out quite a bit more potentially. Then like a more common episodic sort of interview format, style podcasts. So I would say just inherently, the easier place to start is the episodic, because that’s just a more, well-structured like understandable path forward on starting a show, but a higher risk higher reward potential is the serialized.

[00:47:47] Format. So that’s kind of how I would categorize those two.

[00:47:50] James Sowers: Yeah. And one thing I would add there is that this isn’t an all or nothing decision, right? Like you can start with episodic and you can have season one and it can be all about interviews. And that’s the easy way to kind of get your feet wet and see if this is even a channel you want to continue to pursue.

[00:48:04] And then if you find that you enjoy it and it’s driving results and you want to keep it. You can always publish an episode that says like, Hey, we’re wrapping up season one. Hope you enjoyed it. We’re going to be coming back with season two. And this time around, we’re going to tell the story of whatever, a person, a brand, the journey, producing a new product and taking it all the way from inception to launch, like something like that.

[00:48:22] Right. So you can always come back around and do that after the fact and bounce back and forth and continue to do that. Perpetuity. So I would say like, start with what feels right for you and your business right now, but know that it’s not a lifelong commitment and you can always launch a new show or you can always have a new season.

[00:48:36] That’s a totally different arrangement. So let’s get into it. Just a couple of examples of each category that you guys came up with and contextualize them in terms of like what an e-commerce brand might do, or like which type of e-commerce company would be a good fit for each one. So maybe the first one that came to mind for me was this ambassador stories, which I think is a great example of the serialized podcast.

[00:48:56] So most brands out there, if they’re fairly established, they have affiliates or they have brand ambassadors and it’s like, Hey, you love our products. You have a big audience, come in. Maybe we’ll give you some product and you can promote it because you actually love it. And we’ll give you some kind of affiliate code.

[00:49:09] And for every sale that you drive to us, you get a commission. So these are like the brand ambassadors and they each have a story and they all theoretically fit with your brand because their lifestyle lines or their personal perspectives align or whatever. So it sounds like you guys are talking a little bit about bringing them on to tell their story.

[00:49:25] Serialized

[00:49:26] Erik Jacobson: format. Yeah. And you could do this with episodic as well, so you could actually use it. But the point is like, if you’re creating content with ambassadors or you’re not, and you want to, our premise is that the top place you could start potentially is like an audio series or a podcast with them.

[00:49:45] Because the cool thing with that is that that then can turn into social content articles, newsletter content. You can get the absolute most out of that, that singular piece of content with them. But with episodic or with serialized, you could do this two ways. One is you take one ambassador, maybe your biggest, most notable ambassador, and you follow them for a period of time.

[00:50:10] If it makes sense, whatever way that makes sense for you and your brand. And you create a five episode six episode seven episode, 10 episodes. Covering the journey of what that ambassador is doing day in the life, or like, however it’s relevant to your product and what your mission is as a company. But that is like a journey over many episodes.

[00:50:30] The other option is to take ambassador’s episodic episodes with one. So do one at a time and show that diversity of different backgrounds, different types of folks who maybe you have like persona, maybe you have 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 personas of buyers while then maybe you want to actually have ambassadors that would fit each one of those.

[00:50:54] And tell the stories of those folks over, you know, an episodic sort of framework such that you could capture, like the deep interest. Of each one of those buyers specifically. And so there’s a lot of ways to sort of frame that, but at the core it’s like, what does your audience pay attention to? What are they interested in?

[00:51:14] And how can we create episodes that would appeal to them such that like, not only do they listen to it, but they tell their friends and like the level of brand affinity that they have now, because you’ve inspired them or like you’ve helped them with in their lives or like improve in their hobby or their career or whatever your value proposition is.

[00:51:34] Like, that’s the goal here is to build super fans. And we think audio, like in one of these frameworks that we’re describing here is like one of the best ways to do that because it’s hard to build a personal connection, like newsletters. I love blogs. I love social. I love, but it is inherently harder to build a deep, personal connection with those mediums than it is.

[00:51:56] If you hear the person who like you were inspired by is in your ear, Every week for 30 to 60 minutes. And these are ambassadors or folks who like are a few levels up from where your audience is right now. And they want to get to that level as well. Or they’re just inspired by them. Like, it’s very tough to find a medium that can have that level of intimacy.

[00:52:18] And so that’s why it’s so. Yeah, I

[00:52:21] James Sowers: think the ideal form of communication and the way that we are evolutionary evolutionarily programmed is to have face-to-face communication in person, right? I’m standing three feet away from you talking to you. You can see my reactions on my face and my hand gestures and all that kind of stuff.

[00:52:36] The next best thing is probably a video call like this. And then the next best thing after that is a voice. And there’s a reason that science tells you to, I don’t know if like, if your wife is pregnant, they want you to get down there and talk to her stomach. And it’s weird, right. But the baby knows that, right?

[00:52:49] And they have some evidence behind like that being a reassuring thing and play music for babies and stuff. It seems to have some evidence, at least that that is beneficial for them. And so simple audio tones and getting familiar with those builds a subconscious like attachment, or at least some kind of like intimacy between the listener and the speaker that you can’t get through a written medium.

[00:53:10] So that’s another reason why I love podcasting. I think specifically about this ambassador stories, mom, It has a lot of the same benefits as the podcast tour, in terms of like, when you do a podcast tour, you’re going to somebody else’s show you’re tapping into their audience. When you do an episodic show where you have the traditional interview format, you’re tapping into the guest’s audience because in theory, they want to promote each episode too, with the ambassador stories.

[00:53:33] A lot of times these folks are Instagram influencers or YouTube, or they have their own blog or they have some audience of their own. And that’s part of the upside of bringing them on to work with you. So if you tell their story, they’re going to want to promote the hell out of that. And they have their own audience.

[00:53:47] That’s probably like if not red, hot than at least warm for buying your product. Right. And so getting out in front of them is I think an undervalued aspect of telling stories of other people who are already kind of in your network, but sitting right next to your owned audience, for lack of a better term.

[00:54:04] Totally.

[00:54:05] Erik Jacobson: The point here is like, you want to give your customers something to follow the cheapest way to grow your company is word of mouth. It costs. And how can you help facilitate word of mouth? Usually that’s by building such strong brand affinity that like, they feel a part of like the mission that you’re on, or they feel so close to you that they have to tell their friends.

[00:54:27] And it’s tough to do that without something to like follow or like be a part of, or feel a part of. And so if you don’t have a community or you don’t really have a place right now for that, a home for that to facilitate that with this ambassador example here of podcast is like a great option to help facilitate.

[00:54:45] James Sowers: Totally agree. And let’s run through one idea. I’m going to put you on the spot that I brought to the table, and I want to hear your feedback on it. And I’ll ask folks to go to the Huck bay episode to learn about the rest of the ideas that you guys shared. But one thing I was thinking about as I prep for this episode, or this interview is this model of an e-commerce founder mastermind, right?

[00:55:03] So if your founder gets on a show with a different mutual e-commerce founder from another brand every week, and they just talk about the trials and tribulations of running their business, right? Like what’s going, well, what’s not going well, what challenges are we facing? Basically you just two people that are kind of in similar positions, but running different companies, kind of getting, being vulnerable for a little bit and, and sharing like what they’re loving about life right now.

[00:55:24] And what’s keeping them up at night. I’ve seen this work really well in terms of like bootstrapped software founders who are like both trying to create something from nothing and find market demand and stuff like that. But I’ve never really seen it done in any e-commerce format. You know, I just feel like, especially with the way the world is now and logistics are all over the place, nobody knows what’s going to happen with black Friday this year.

[00:55:43] You can’t get product in to actually manufacture, you know, your end products or whatever. You can’t get raw materials in. So, like, I imagine there’s a lot of interesting stuff that people could commiserate. And even though it’s not directly addressing the needs of your customers, I bet customers would enjoy seeing you in a situation where you’re peeling back the curtain you’re being transparent about the business operations.

[00:56:04] They get a peak at your mindset and your decision making process. And theoretically, you’re talking about their wants and needs and your concern for serving them better or missing a deadline or whatever. And so that builds trust and empathy, and then they go from customer to like loyalists basically. So I’m just curious what you think about the idea in general,

[00:56:21] Erik Jacobson: that idea, the last thing you said was key, which is like that is a tool to be able to take folks who are like generally interested in your company.

[00:56:30] Like maybe the debit bought once or twice and like, cool. I like this brand, but you’re now giving them something to have a transparent look into the company and have an opportunity to feel connected and move up a rung in the ladder, in their care about your company. And I think like the way the world is moving, like transparent.

[00:56:50] It’s a winning formula. People are wanting transparency more than ever before, and that trend is not going to slow down. So if you get ahead of the curve and like you share some of these stories or share what you’re thinking from a company level, and you give people to follow in that way, you’re going to be ahead of the curve and then you just choose what format do you want to use that information and be transparent.

[00:57:11] Do you want it to be written? Do you want it to be audio? Do you want it to be video, but would you rather read a newsletter from Tesla about what’s going on at Tesla? Or would you rather hear Elon Musk talk for seven minutes about what’s on his mind? This.

[00:57:28] James Sowers: Yeah, you want an Ilan all day. I want from the desk of Elon Musk, that’s, that’s what I want the show to be

[00:57:33] Erik Jacobson: exactly.

[00:57:33] That’s this concept that you just came up with, which is fantastic. And I think that it’s very easy to disregard an update email, or like whatever from just the company, but from the founder itself or from the CEO itself, and then hearing them in their own voice, I think super powerful to build that connection.

[00:57:49] James Sowers: Awesome. Well, there’s a free idea for everybody listening out there straight from the mind of James Sauers. Thank you very much. All right. So I want to share just like I did with the podcast tour, a couple of examples of e-commerce brands I think are doing podcasting, right? And then we’ll wrap things up and we’ll get you out of here, but I know you shared breaking brand from the folks at buffer, so I’ll definitely link that up.

[00:58:06] Cause that was not on my list originally. Thanks for sharing. One that I love is bear performance, nutrition. They make health and fitness supplements. Like pre-workout protein powder, that kind of stuff. Their CEO, Nick bear has a fantastic YouTube channel where he basically peels back the curtain and shares exactly how they’re running the company.

[00:58:21] He takes you straight to the manufacturer, whereas the white gown and the mask and everything, and like says, here are the ingredients. Here’s why they’re throwing this one out because it didn’t meet our quality standards, all this stuff. Super awesome. I really am a super fan of them. And then one other one that I’ll share is Bulletproof coffee.

[00:58:35] Their founder has a show where he interviews, experts about nootropics and biohacking and general health and wellness type of stuff. And I’m sure that’s driving a ton of sales for them. So those are a couple of go check out if you think about launching your own show. So, Eric, thanks again for coming today.

[00:58:49] If I could give you just a couple of minutes to get up on your soapbox and tell us where we can go learn about more about you or more about lemon pie, what do you have

[00:58:55] Erik Jacobson: to say? Yeah. Thank you, James. I appreciate it. Yeah. So I would say two things. One is just hit me up eric@lemonpie.fm. If you have any questions, I love talking about podcast strategies all day long.

[00:59:07] So feel free to hit me up. If you have any questions. The other thing is we have a podcast called brands that podcasts that James mentioned, you can find it everywhere. You listen to podcasts. And we, this is what we talk about every week is how brands can win with podcast strategies. So if you’re interested in that, we have a whole lot of episodes that cover deep strategies around that.

[00:59:26] So feel free to.

[00:59:28] James Sowers: Awesome. And what I love about that show is it’s a combination of how brands are already podcasting. So you can learn from people who are actually in the trenches and then episodes like the one that you did for Huckberry is like, here’s a brand who’s not podcasting yet. And here’s how we think they could take advantage of it.

[00:59:40] So I love that it’s those two unique perspectives. And I will go ahead and say, you need to follow Eric on Twitter, but it’s Eric bison, which I love E R I K B I S O N because you drop a lot of insightful Twitter threads about podcasting. And I’m sure that from there you can connect with some of the other folks at lemon pie who are doing this.

[00:59:57] So, yeah, again, Eric, thanks so much for coming on the show today. I really enjoyed it. Always love connecting with you, man. And we’ll have to have you back some time for some of the more advanced topics when we get down the road. Love it. Thank you,

[01:00:06] Erik Jacobson: James. Awesome.

[01:00:09] James Sowers: Hey everybody. This is James again. And before you go, I just wanted to invite you to join one of the coolest things I get to work on.

[01:00:14] As director of marketing here at the good it’s called the e-commerce insiders list, and it’s a private version of this podcast feed that gets you access to tons of additional bonus content like extra interviews, Q and a. Website tear downs and anything else we can dream up. It doesn’t cost you anything, but your email address.

[01:00:29] And we promise to always respect your inbox. This is just our way of forming strong relationships with our listeners and making sure that we produce content that is actually valuable to you and to your business. If you’re interested, you can join the rest of the e-commerce insiders by going to the good.com/podcast and dropping your email into the form at the top of the page, we’ll follow up with directions for how to access the private feed and you’ll be off and running.

[01:00:51] Like I said, this is one of my favorite things that I get the opportunity to work on because it lets me interact directly with e-commerce founders and leaders. Just like you. If you’re interested, I’d love to see your name pop up in my notifications until then keep an eye out for the next episode of the e-commerce insight show.

[01:01:05] And we’ll talk to you soon.

James Sowers

About the Author

James Sowers

James Sowers is the Director of Marketing at The Good. He has more than a decade of experience helping software and ecommerce companies accelerate their growth and improve their customer experience.