Becoming A Content Leader with Srini Rao


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Becoming A Content Leader with Srini Rao

Being a content leader (as opposed to a follower and copying what everyone else is doing) is scary, especially for first-time podcasters. In Audience’s episode 5, we’re taking a closer look at podcast content tips.

But this “Blue Ocean” of content for your listeners creates an opportunity for you to explore what you really want to talk about on your podcast and creates for your audience that engaging, share-worthy material that they so desperately are looking for.

In this episode, I sit down with Srini Rao from the Unmistakable Creative podcast to talk about how he’s followed the ethos of their podcast brand to talk to interesting people who are forging their own paths. In so doing he has built a large, and loyal, audience and their brand now includes a private social network, several courses, and a podcast library that is 700+ episodes strong.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:08 Hello and welcome back to audience, the podcast where you follow us as we build a podcast from scratch here. We’re early on a quest to find the best tactics and strategies to grow a podcast audience literally from zero to tens of thousands of listeners each episode. Today I’m joined by fellow podcaster Srini Rao from the unmistakable creative podcast. I really liked the conversation I had with Srini here because he talks about a lot of his kind of reason for creating content and the way that he creates it and a lot of the, the motivation behind the, the style he has with his content and where that’s going to driving his brand. I’ll let Srini talk a lot more about this in the episode, but wanted to continue this thread of what constitutes really good content. Uh, and our second interview here in the audience podcast because I think this is a real key driver of the organic growth side of your podcasts. Uh, we’ll experiment with a lot of different marketing tactics paid and organic, but I think creating really good content is the cornerstone of a lot of what makes our content shareable. And kind of go viral. So here to share more about kind of how he creates this kind of viral content that his audience obviously loves.
Speaker 1 01:23 Would you mind kind of sharing with folks who aren’t familiar with you and you’re in your show, kind of what you guys are all about?
Speaker 2 01:29 Yeah, I think that, you know, so it’s funny because Simon Sineck once told me that my why is that I am obsessed with people who are good at unusual things. And I think that if you look at the guests on unmistakable creative, that’s a pretty clear reflection of that. I mean our guests have ranged from bank robbers to drug dealers, to billionaires, you know, all sort of with this theme of, you know, unmistakable or something that they’re, you know, makes them very distinctive and interesting and fascinating. And I think the whole idea of creative is one of those things that I think we gave a very sort of broad definition to the word creative. And we did that on purpose because we wanted to make sure that our focus was interesting people. And I think that the problem is you nowadays, you see a lot of like early podcasts like, Oh, I want to get these like famous internet celebrities on my podcast cause they’re gonna make me like grow and you know, be really successful.
Speaker 2 02:14 But they don’t, that’s, that’s far the furthest thing from the truth. I know this only because that was my thought process when we first started. And you know, I, I got a rude awakening pretty quickly that that wasn’t going to be the case. Yeah. So we ended up basically starting in 2009 as this podcast for bloggers. And it kind of evolved and you know, today we have, you know, we’ve had I think more than 700 guests. I think the best summary of what we do is what some, one of our listeners said. They said if Ted talks meant Oprah, you’d have the unmistakable creative, which is like as flattering as it gets in terms of the compliment. But you know, it was one of those things where we’re like, yeah, that’s, that’s great. I mean, you couldn’t, you know, it makes sense in a lot of ways. Just based on the nature of the content
Speaker 1 02:49 and, and it sounds like this was kind of an organic growth of like what originally was podcasts on FM and then into the unmistakable creative. Was that kind of an intentional evolution on your perspective or on your end or was that something that was kind of grew
Speaker 2 03:04 now it got more intentional as time went on? I think it was one of those things where the more time we spent like the more it became clear cause I think that people have this idea when you start something you’re going to know exactly, you know how it’s all going to go, you’re going to have this sleep plan. And I mean life doesn’t go according to plan. So it was you know, largely accidental and organic. But I think what happened was with that sort of organic growth we started to become a lot more intentional about how you know, how things were going.
Speaker 1 03:28 Do you think that’s a reasonable thing for other people who are just starting out to, to kind of follow that playbook to say like kind of follow your heart, create something that you like, and then once it gets some traction, you can figure out, I’ll say what to do with it from there. Like how to add to make it a business, how to make it a real brand after it’s kind of successful. Here’s the thing, right?
Speaker 2 03:47 I think that if you go into it with this idea of, Oh, I’m going to create something that is, you know, based on what I think will get a lot of downloads is what I think will be popular. You’re going to make decisions based entirely on numbers right from the start. Now is that going to work? It might. I mean, I, I don’t, I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. It’s never worked for me. I mean, I wrote an entire book about why that’s a terrible idea. I think that if you go and look at the earliest creators, you know, or the, not even podcasters, but generally generally like some of the most successful creators world hell Oprah, right? One of the things that Oprah did was she refused to compromise on our values when, you know, Donahue and some of these sort of crazy people were going up in the ratings and she could have basically produced trash television and instead she decided to stick to her guns.
Speaker 2 04:26 And I think the results speak for themselves. I mean, she took a hit in the ratings in the short term. And so I think that that’s kind of one of the things we, you know, in the world we live in today, people don’t have hobbies, every hobby as a side hustle, you know? And so when you turn your hobby into a job, it kind of defeats the purpose of your hobby. And that’s kind of a sad thing. So it’s hard to say. I don’t know that I have prescriptive advice for somebody who wants to start a podcast. I think that prescriptive advice is, is dangerous because the problem with all prescriptive advice is that it’s formulaic. And the other problem with anything formulaic is there’s one variable that throws off every formula for success and that’s the person who’s applying the formula. So that’s, that’s something to think about. So I think that you have to kind of go towards what you are naturally interested in because there’s going to be a period of time in which you’re not going to see any traction and you’re not going to see any results. So if like you’re only doing this thing for some sort of external result, you’re going to have a hard time staying motivated when you’re not getting that result.
Speaker 1 05:24 The dip. Right. So I know you’ve had Seth Godin on your podcast before. That’s what kind of comes to mind when you talk about this time where you’re, you’re creating what you want for your own sake and it might not be kind of resonating with your audience yet. And that the sticktuitiveness to stay with that path to see it through to the other side of this dip is, is kind of where the people end up winning, right? Yeah, absolutely. I mean everybody, everybody starts with zero. As
Speaker 2 05:45 soon as every writer starts with zero readers, every company starts with zero customers. You know this from starting a company. So I think that, you know, this sort of idea of I’m going to be, you know, famous or I was like some, you know, I’m going to be the next Joe Rogan. I’m going to plug a microphone into a laptop and all that. You know, I don’t think people see everything that comes before, like these moments in the spotlight.
Speaker 1 06:03 So your book and audience of one reclaiming creativity for its own sake is just over a year old. So August of last year, 2018 how did the book come about and kind of how is it playing off what you’re doing with the podcast
Speaker 2 06:18 booking the podcast are kind of birds of a feather. You know, the book came about because I got a two book deal with penguin and one of the books was about this idea of writing a thousand words a day. And when we started to look at it and it just started to evolve more and more into a book about not just you know, writing, but a book about creativity in general. And so as a result, you end up with sort of this idea of the value of creativity for its own sake. So we’re, we’re in this interesting world where you can go from idea to execution at a record pace. The thing that that brings also though is unrealistic expectations and impatience. So people think, Oh, you know, I can start a podcast tomorrow. I can have everything up and running in a plug, a microphone in, and by the end of the week I’m going to have a million people listening to what I do.
Speaker 2 06:58 But that does not, that’s not how this works. And so, you know, the idea behind that book was really, Hey, you know, if you start with yourself and it’s kind of echoing what we just said, you know, when you’re talking about, you know, how should people start. But basically, you know, a lot of my ideas are often informed by my, my guests. You know, a lot of my thought process, a lot of my writing is inspired by the people that I interview. In fact, so much so that I’m right now in the process of pitching a new book proposal for a new idea that is as insane as a, you know, but friends seem to have really kind of started when I’ve told it to people. They get a good sort of like, Oh yeah, that sounds hilarious and amazing and entertaining. So, you know, the new book idea is called, this might not work.
Speaker 2 07:33 What I’ve learned from field testing, the life advice from 700 insanely interesting people as opposed to a book about sort of, you know, cause if you look at most books in this genre, right, what they focus on is, is you know, distilling information. None of these books are about implementation or experimentation, you know, they’re all prescriptive saying, Hey, you know, unlike, so the idea was not to give a prescriptive self help book but to write an experimental self help book based on all these ideas. And you know, when you’re sort of people that you’re field testing advice from is bank robbers and drug dealers and the world’s hot, you know, the new York’s highest paid dominatrix. That leads to some potentially interesting ways to feel test, you know what they’ve said.
Speaker 1 08:07 Do you feel like getting too much input on like the creative process or being around too many creative people is a hindrance to you actually being creative and coming up with unique perspectives and ideas on things?
Speaker 2 08:19 So no, not necessarily. This is, the way I would describe it right, is you basically take different ingredients from different people and come up with your own recipes. The problem is that most people look at something that works and they’re like, Oh well you know, X person did this. So you know, for example, this is a, this is an example that you know, we can use for the podcast walls. Like John Lee Dumas ended up starting, you know, entrepreneur on fire is like, Oh it’s a daily show and you know, within a matter of months he’s crushing it, making a ton of money. And suddenly you see all of these sort of copycat shows pop up, you know, all of which trying to do the exact same thing, falling in the format and you know, sounding exactly the same I that there is this sort of, you know, idea that, Oh, I’m just going to follow this person.
Speaker 2 08:59 Like, so here’s, here’s what I think is that if you, you know, imitation, you know, they say as the highest form of flattery but only in the short run, in the long run, it’s just laziness. Yeah. You want to learn from somebody else, but, and the only thing is you live, we’re in a world full of noise. You do that, you’re going to get washed up in, you know, sort of a sea of sameness. And then something like, I pulled different ideas from different people. And so I think that it’s really about mixing all of them. So no, I don’t think that being exposed to so many ideas actually prevents my creativity. In fact, I think back to the analogy that Robert Green once gave me, he said, you know, the analogy is biodiversity, the more species you have in an ecosystem, the richer that ecosystem. So like if you think of my brain as the ecosystem and the people that I talked to as the species, then you know, the more creative it makes me.
Speaker 1 09:40 Right, right. Yeah, no, I, I, I like to think about taking advice from a lot of different people and getting a bunch of different perspectives and then you have to frame it in the lens that those people are coming from and their experiences and the things that they’ve done well and the troubles they’ve had. And you take all of that with a bit of a grain of salt and know where someone is coming from to say like, okay, you know, this advice they gave me or this thing they said it makes sense for them in that and their context but might not be kind of universally applicable. You mentioned uh, John Lee Dumas and there’s several other people kind of in the online marketing world that do kind of similar things and you think a lot of podcasters start out with something like that in mind, you know, Hey I can, yeah, like you said, plug the mic in to the computer, publish it on iTunes, whatever, Apple podcasts and get a bunch of downloads and sponsors the next month. Do you think that’s why like going into it with that mindset, do you think that’s why people fail at podcasting at such a high rate? Or is there kind of something else to kind of why that doesn’t, more people aren’t successful with that kind of mindset?
Speaker 2 10:39 Okay, so there are a couple of things here. I mean this is like a very layered question, which you know, we can do an entire hour on just this question. So the thing that you have to realize is, is like go look at stuff that started a year, year and a half ago, right when everybody was like gung ho, you’ll see the feeds haven’t been updated in months. I only know cause I have, you know, podcasts that I’ve been on where that was the case or podcasts where you know, friends had said that they want to, even in my book launch, I had friends who had big audiences who were like, you know, on hiatus from their podcast and you know, many of them are like, Oh this is the last episode ever. And so that’s one thing, right, is attrition. That’s an inevitable sort of by-product. The other thing is consistency.
Speaker 2 11:16 So this is the example I always think of when you know, or I always kind of refer back to is you want your content to be a habit, not an interruption. So like, you know, think about it this way, right? For whatever, 13 years or however long it was on the air. Every Friday night or every Thursday night, we all got in front of our TV and we knew that NBC was going to have friends on the air. Now let’s say that you know, the writers or friends said, you know, like we’re going to only write episodes when we feel like it. Well, they would have never built an audience because how could an audience know that, Hey, you know, every Thursday night this thing comes out. Now how do you turn that into a habit that you produce consistently for years on end? I don’t think that people really want to do the actual work of mastery, right?
Speaker 2 11:52 Because this, one of the things I said, I wrote this on Facebook the other day, which seemed to really strike a chord with people. I said that, you know, don’t build a personal brand. Develop rare and valuable skills. And if you go and look sort of at the NPRs, right? Like you look at the of the world or you look at iron glass or you’re looking at Alex Blumberg, you look at Sarah Kane egg, all that stuff was like years and years and years and years in the making of people working in public radio, getting really good at what they did, learning from people who are better than them and then basically launching, you know, this stuff like, you know, if you listen to the most recent episode of how I built this, it’s out. It’s with Alex Blumberg talking about his first job working at this American life for iron glass where he was just like a, an intern or Lackey or something.
Speaker 2 12:33 Like he didn’t really do anything glamorous. He wasn’t Alex Blumberg and you know, there’s a lot of grunt work. I’ve always thought that early podcasters should edit their own episodes. I think it’s a terrible idea for people to outsource their editing when they’re starting out. And the reason I believe that is because I think that editing my own episodes was one of those things that made me a substantially better interviewer because it forced me to go back and listen to every single thing I did multiple times. And I just kind of understood. The other thing is like you don’t understand how something is put together, it makes no sense for you to outsource it. You know? And the reality is that you can’t succeed in a noisy ecosystem by creating something that sounds the same as everything else. That’s, that’s, you know, sort of hard. And so those are the things that I think about, right? So I think the reason people fail is they’re numerous reasons, but I think one of the big ones is that they’re focused on metrics instead of mastery.
Speaker 1 13:22 Well, that’s a big one. Yeah. I, I, I can relate him. And as someone who runs a hosting an analytics platform, I think analytics is something that we have a lot of people are interested in for sure. And the people who are the most interested in it have 30 downloads an episode, which is really interesting because those are the people that should just be out there doing more of it.
Speaker 2 13:40 Exactly. So this is the paradox, right? I mean, I don’t think I, I’ve very rarely look at my analytics on your website. You know, it’s one of those things where I’m like, all right, you know what? I’m busy producing content. It’s this whole stupid idea that refreshing your analytics is going to make them go up. It’s like, no. What makes sure, you know, analytics go up is creating something worth listening to. But that’s a lot harder.
Speaker 1 13:58 Yeah, I mean that, that, that’s an even, I mean the, like you said, this is a whole nother kind of discussion, but I mean for folks who are really just starting out, I think that one of the really intimidating things about creating any kind of content and podcasting maybe in particular because there’s a limited amount of feedback you can get are limited ways that you can get feedback from podcasting. Because we talk and people listen and there’s not like this discussion. It’s not a Facebook group or something like that. Well what are, what are some things you might recommend to people who are just starting out to say like, okay, stick with your guns, create the content you want and like the people will come in the end. That’s kind of what I’m getting from you is like if, if the content is that good, it will all work out in the end. Um, is there any more kind of like specifics you would guide people to on that? Okay. So there are a lot of things, things
Speaker 2 14:44 that I think would be insane for me to tell you to reverse engineering cause there are a lot of factors here that nobody wants to admit. Play a role. Like luck played a role in me getting to this point. Like I started in 2009 like I, unless I, you know, this is one of the reasons I’m like, well I can teach a podcasting course cause what am I going to say? Hey, you know, get yourself a DeLorean and go back in time and start in 2009 like that’s not feasible. Yeah. It’s like, okay, I can’t help you reverse engineer that. Or Hey, hope that Glenn Beck finds your book on Amazon when he’s, you know, bruising it one day. Like these are all sort of weird inflection points. And so for me, like the only parts of this that I can actually reverse engineer are the process parts.
Speaker 2 15:21 So as far as feedback goes, you know, this is a complicated one you because you’re right, like how do you get feedback when you have nobody listening? I was really lucky in that I got some positive reinforcement early on from a very small group of people. It’s, yeah, I think, you know, Chris Guillebeau had this sort of idea of what he called a small army strategy. I even wrote a book about this called the small army strategy, which I think is more relevant today now when you’re competing for so much attention than it was when I wrote this book. So the idea was that, you know, if you have five people in your audience, you treat them like the most important person, people in the world because they are like, they’re the ones who are choosing to listen to you, you know? Then you know, and with podcasts you may not have their email addresses, whatever it is.
Speaker 2 15:59 So you go and you ask friends, you ask family, you ask anybody who will give you feedback to listen. You know what I mean? It’s that joke of Hey, you know, your first read on your blog is your mom. And you know, it’s funny, I think my mom to this day still reads my stuff. But yeah, I mean it’s your earliest readers are anybody who will talk to you says, I think that the idea that this is another one of those things, right, is you don’t start building an audience by interrupting strangers on the internet. Like that’s not how an audience game gets built. My earliest sort of blog readers were my family members, people that went to Pepperdine, some classmates of mine from Berkeley, my study abroad coordinator from Pepperdine. And that’s it. Like five or six people who used to read this stuff. There’s a guy who hired me to be, he was my first freelance client.
Speaker 2 16:41 He hired me for 50 bucks to come in and teach them a few things I knew about public speaking and social media, which I didn’t know much at that point. So I think it’s, you know, what I would say is okay, if you do have anybody there, treat them like the most important people in the world and then go out and actively seek feedback. I mean, one of the big pieces of feedback that led me to start the podcast was from my friends. It’s Avara who said, he’s like, you’re a much better interviewer than you are a writer and I think you’d be more successful if you actually took this interview series and spun it out into a separate site. So, you know, I think that there’s that whole thing, right? It’s, I wish I could tell you that there’s like some sort of formula.
Speaker 2 17:12 And the thing is, the formula is super seductive and there are tons of people who will sell it. Just go look at the sales pages for any podcasting course. It’s like, here’s my, you know, six step formula and how I’m going to tell you how to set this up. You know? And of course the person, this is one of those things that I think is something people need to consider, right? There’s these, all these people sort of saying, Oh, everybody should start a podcast. Well, yeah, okay. If somebody who has a course on podcast is saying everybody should start a podcast, then maybe you should consider context there. It’s kind of like those people who say, Oh, everybody should be on this app. And it’s like, well, of course you think everybody should be on the app. You have a massive equity stake in that company, you know?
Speaker 2 17:47 So I think that’s important to those kinds of things. And if anybody is looking for a shortcut, then they shouldn’t start at all. That’s my advice. Let’s just sum it up pretty simply. There are no shortcuts to this. You guys crossed a pretty big, uh, chasm recently, uh, to, to receive some funding for your podcasts. Talking about like ways, different ways that people can monetize their podcasts, you know, sponsorships or whatever. You guys received some funding from pod funds to just create more awesome content. Right? Well, I mean not just to create more awesome content. You know, and this is one of those things that I think that people, I remember the day that pod fund announced the fund because I was watching, you know, what was happening in the Facebook group for podcasters and the conversations were kind of insane because people were just talking about what they would do with the money.
Speaker 2 18:31 And the problem is with that, it’s like, Oh well if you don’t know what you would do with the money, nobody’s going to invest money in you. You know? Like I’d been really lucky in that I interviewed a lot of venture capitalists. I also, and we ran it as a business and you know, it had its challenges or even running it as a business. So I understood that if you were going to get funded, you had to make a business case. It wasn’t just going to be, Hey, create awesome content and we’ll give you money. You know, it was like, how are you going to generate money and how are you going to produce a return? So, you know, I understood this from having worked, you know, like I said, having had mentors who have invested in companies, having talked to literally every sort of person under the sun on the podcast itself, many of who were investors.
Speaker 2 19:08 And I had an idea of what these people look for in terms of a pitch deck. Like I went in with a pitch deck and said, okay, this is what we project as our financials. These are our financials before, these are the ways that we envision making money and these are the things that we will use the funding for. And this is our team. And you know, I literally, I treated it like I was going to apply at Y Combinator for funding from a VC. Not, Oh I’m, you know, people are funding your personal art project. So you know, as much as I wish, they were like, here’s some money to create awesome content. Now it’s here’s some money, how are you going to return it multiple times over? Yeah. Has taking the investment from pod fund changed how you run the business? Yeah, absolutely.
Speaker 2 19:48 In good ways and in a lot of good ways. One, it holds us accountable to a whole other standard. But the other thing, the big thing, the reason we took the funding was because it allows us to stop thinking short term. It allowed us to basically have a much more longterm perspective and, and think through initiatives because, you know, I was just finished reading Simon Sinex new book, the infinite game and you know, when you’re struggling to survive month to month, you know, you’re like, Oh if we’re going to run into cash, that makes it hard to have a longterm perspective and think strategically. So you just kind of do whatever you can to get cash in the door. You take any advertiser will pay you money. And you know, we, there are a lot of initiatives we couldn’t pursue because we just didn’t have the funding.
Speaker 2 20:24 So recently we hired a community manager, you know, cause we grew very organically, almost entirely through word of mouth and we thought, you know, it’s timely activate this word of mouth component because if we do this right and we saw what, you know, the hustle and the skim and all those folks had done with their word of mouth component. And so yeah, we, we basically, you know, hired a community manager is one of our listeners who’s been amazing and we’re building an entire network on mighty networks, like a private social networks specifically for our listeners. Uh, mainly because we want to get the hell off of Facebook because, you know, we want to be somewhere where you don’t have to pay to play and people actually see our damn content.
Speaker 1 20:56 that’s a whole, that’s another whole nother episode. But yeah, I mean I think communities around your podcast is by far the most powerful kind of Avenue people can take to continue that discussion.
Speaker 2 21:08 Well, not only that, you know, one of the things that we want is we want to get to a point where we can generate subscription revenue from the community. Because if you think about it, right, even the biggest media companies in the world, like the New York times are, you know, looking at advertising and saying, okay, you know what, we don’t want to be dependent on advertisers, you know, entirely. And the biggest issue with advertisers in general, when you look at it from like a New York times or you know standpoint or even, you know, mainstream media is that it’s very hard to have. You can’t have truly objective journalism when there’s advertisement interest involved. And you know, for me, and this is something I’ve held to and you know, we paid for it in terms of metrics is that I was, I said I will never compromise the editorial in order to hit the numbers.
Speaker 1 21:47 Yeah, no, for sure. And I think that like your, the, the growth of your podcast and the successes is a reflection of that, right? You get, you tell interesting stories, have compelling content and that that drives the success of the podcast, which then allows you to do interesting things with monetization and subscriptions and sell advertising spots, but not the other way around. Yeah, exactly. We took a small amount of investment earlier this year as well, and I absolutely agree on the longterm thinking aspect of what you’re talking about. And now we think in terms of years and not weeks or months, which is really nice. And I think we’re making much better decisions for our customers in like the longterm life of the business. So it’s been, it’s been a positive thing for us. Very cool. Yeah. Without kind of giving away the secret sauce, what is kind of the general plan for your show in terms of subscriptions and selling subscriptions?
Speaker 2 22:33 You know, I think that the thing with the subscriptions, right, is that, so let’s say that you, you, you were selling subscriptions. I think there’s this idea that, you know, you’re gonna basically go and you know, it’s like, Oh, I’m just going to put a bunch of people in here and they’re just going to pay for, you know, whatever. Your good well is like one thing we realized was that community manager position was like, this is a job. Like somebody needs to do it and somebody needs to own it. It is a straight up like OKR. It has to be because like, you know, w I’ve seen how much work is going into it. There’s no way that it can be like, Oh I’m, you know, the host of the podcast and I’ll just do this thing. Like, you know, on the side of it, it doesn’t work like that.
Speaker 2 23:08 Like you will not succeed like that. I saw it, you know, like anything else, it’s strategic. It involves, you know, really thinking through and having a plan. The other thing is is you know, what is the value that you’re providing to people inside of the community. Like, you know, Tim Ferris has, you know, no sponsor’s experiment was a failure, but then you go and look at what people got and I’m sure he probably made money off of it, but because he’s Tim Ferris, but then you looked at it and you’re like, okay, well there’s not a lot here that’s, you know, really worth whatever he was, you know, asking for. So anyways, yeah, that’s, that’s the gist of it. It’s, you know, it’s still in the works to be honest. So you know, part of it is like we were looking at the possibility of taking all of our online courses and moving them into that to the point where it’s like, okay, you don’t just get, you know, the, the community. But everything we create from this point forward as a course, you not only end up supporting the podcast, but then you also get all our courses too.
Speaker 1 23:57 Hmm. Interesting. Interesting. Kind of generally from a a content and kind of strategy perspective, looking forward with the funding and different monetization things you have kind of going on. What is the, what is the future for the unmistakable creative look like for the next year or two?
Speaker 2 24:12 Well, I think right now it’s, you know, increasing the size of the audience and hence, you know, increasing ad revenue. But alongside that also building this community aspect of it. And we really kind of pushing, I think that, you know, we want to get our listeners to the point where, you know, there, I would like our listeners to be our most effective source of marketing, not advertising, you know, LA in terms of growth. Like, you know, because if they do their job, you know, and the thing is, it’s not like, you know, we’re like holding a gun to their head and say, Hey, you’ve got to spread the word. But they’ve all, they’ve always been our biggest advocates. You know, it’s, it’s, these people are the ones that really make things happen for us. And so we knew, we’re like, okay, if we start this program, it’s going to take some time to build.
Speaker 2 24:47 But you know, if we do it right, it could be really valuable and have a pretty substantial payoff. And so, you know, I think that that’s one of those things. And you know, we, like I said, we hired a community manager who was really working hard to, to basically learn everything she needs to about how to properly build a community. And it’s funny cause she’s like a, not even a social media person. She’s a civil engineer. So we’ve been, that’s one focus of it. We’re planning on conference that’s coming that’s in April of this coming year is called the architects of reality. And you can find out about it at the architects of reality outcome are bringing you know, former podcast together to speak at the event of an inviting our listeners. And then, uh, you know, another thing that we’re doing is we’re playing with a new format of the show, which is more of an NPR style approach of, you know, instead of taking, you know, a person, let’s focus on an idea. And we just released the very first one, you know, this week or last week, it’s called the life changing magic of meeting people in person. You know, this one was kind of a shameless plug for the event, but we also wanted to see it. It’s like, okay, let us show you that we can do a hell of a lot more than do interviews. And I remember the feedback from a couple of our friends was like, wow, this sounds like Radiolab and this American life. I’m like, great, that’s, that’s a, you know, that’s a great compliment, you know? Yeah,
Speaker 1 25:52 yeah. It’s, it’s a, it’s gutsy to change the format of a podcast with how many episodes of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds.
Speaker 2 26:00 We’re not going to abandon the interviews. We just wanted to introduce a new format because I think that, you know, we want, here’s, you know, a 50 cent and Robert Greene wrote a book together called the 50th law. And one of the things they talk about is the need to continually reinvent yourself. You know, you don’t want to be a one trick pony. And to us later, we’ve always had other capabilities up our sleeves. And we’re like, okay, well let’s show people what we can do and show them we can do far more than, you know, an interview. Like we’ve got all these really interesting things we can do. And you know, the thing is that, you know, for the person who doesn’t want to listen to an interview, that opens up a whole other audience for us.
Speaker 1 26:29 Yup. I love it. Last question. You mentioned the tool that you’re using to kind of base your, your kind of internal private network or a social media network on, can you, uh, share more about kind of how you made that decision and you know, obviously the, the why to get off Facebook is clear, but,
Speaker 2 26:44 no, no. So, so we made that decision because of a podcast guest who told us it was Cal Newport who had talked about this sort of, you know what he called Longdale social media. And he wrote a lengthy blog post about it, but he did this thing where he just meant he dropped it, you know, and said, Hey, you know, like the neat thing about this is that it’s so, it’s social media that allows you to meet people, you know from your community in person. Cause you can see who’s nearby to you. And one of the things they encourage you is, you know, don’t post here more than like twice a week. Which is funny cause it’s the polar opposite of Facebook, which is like, you know, create as much content as possible. It’s funny cause Ryan holiday the other day was just telling me, he’s like, yeah, he’s like, you know, people wonder why they’re not productive, but they’re working for Twitter for free for six hours a day by tweeting constantly. And then people do the same thing with Facebook. And so, you know, Cal told us about it and we knew that if we had a community, if we’re going to launch this ambassador program, we needed a tool and it kind of fit the bill for all of them. It kind of was like, Oh, we can launch the ambassador program, have a community component and run this network in here. And so that’s where we’re at and we just launched the ambassador program about a week ago or actually this week. Awesome. Yeah,
Speaker 1 27:42 we’ll definitely link to that in the show notes for this episode. Sharnee for, for anybody who kind of wants to learn more about the ambassador program or what you guys are doing with the show, where’s the best place to,
Speaker 2 27:51 let’s connect so you can go to unmistakable creative.com and then I think if I remember correctly for the ambassador program is unmistakable creative.com/tribe
Speaker 1 28:06 hope you enjoyed that interview with Shreeny Ralph from the unmistakable creative. I really like what she needs doing with the brand and creating content for, for himself and for his brand and as a result it’s clear that the audience size is growing and listeners are coming in droves. As a result, they’re doing things like raising funding for their podcasts to, to make their podcast into a real business, which is I think a lot of the, the goals for a lot of us is to, to build, uh, an asset and a tool for our business or make it a business in and of itself. And Shreeny has certainly given us kind of a roadmap of how to get from just starting, even though he started years ago now, uh, to, to building something that’s really sustainable and a real asset to, to his brand. So I think this is a really good example of, of what this can be for all of us.
Speaker 1 28:51 And uh, I hope everybody enjoyed. We back again in the next episode with an update on some of our analytics or listenership as it’s growing here in the first a handful of episodes. And then we’ll be getting into our marketing plans for how we’re going to be growing both organically and in a paid way. Uh, with the, the audience podcast questions or comments for the subset are certainly welcome. Please go to dot com slash podcast to leave a comment for this episode. And if you haven’t, please share this podcast with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. So new or existing podcasters who are looking to up their game and grow their audience, share the audience podcast with them. We would really appreciate it. And on kind of a personal note, happy new year to everyone. This episode will be going out on Thursday, January 2nd so here a fresh start, the new year. I hope everybody had a great holiday season and is rested and ready to go with their podcasts here in the new year. 2020 promises to be an extraordinary year, I think, for all of us. So a happy new year to everybody and happy podcasting. We’ll see you next time.
Speaker 0 29:56 .

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