What should a new podcast be about? Justin Jackson (Transistor.fm) helps me figure it out.
Am I overthinking this new podcast? Should I stick to a tried-and-true format? Justin Jackson helps me sort through all these creative content ideas in episode #1 of Open Threads.
‘Am I overthinking it? Am I trying to be overly creative with it? Trying to go back and forth between should I be super innovative with this thing, or just stick to a tried and true formula? And then I also need to balance in like, how much of my time am I investing into this? Because I do have a lot of other things to do. But I really care about keeping a high level of quality here!’
These are the questions you may face when you want to launch a new podcast and there isn't obviously any single correct answer to these questions.
Justin Jackson is one of those people who have found a way to make a work-life balance in the podcast world. How did he do it? Is there something you and I could learn from his experience? Let's ask the man himself!
In today’s episode of Open Threads, we are joined by Justin Jackson. He is the Co-Founder of Transistor.FM. They do podcast hosting and analytics for folks like Indie Hackers, the Vegas Golden Knights, and VH1. You can hear about his journey on the Build your SaaS Podcast.
Who you're listening to:
Justin’s company, Transistor
Justin on Twitter: @mijustin
Brian’s company, ZipMessage
Brian on Twitter: @casjam
Thanks to ZipMessage
ZipMessage (today’s sponsor) is the video messaging tool that replaces live calls with asynchronous conversations. Use it for free or tune into the episode for an exclusive coupon for Open Threads listeners.
“Building anticipation, I think is the most underrated marketing tactic around.”-Justin Jackson
“You have to do whatever it takes to be interesting and compelling, that is the key.”-Justin Jackson
“I've always been interested in the, like, one of my favorite things about listening to podcasts is, is when there's some vulnerability that pierces through the public politeness like the stuff that is often felt internally but never articulated externally, and as a listener, it's such a gift.”-Justin Jackson
“Podcasts, there are all these strings you can pull on that makes something compelling, and vulnerability and the expression of inner human stuff that often doesn't get talked about is the heart of what makes them great.”-Justin Jackson
“I'm doing this podcast, not necessarily, so that I hope it will grow traffic to my product, and the people who listen to the podcast will go buy my product, they might hear an ad for that message on the show but the goal is mostly to just have conversations with more people, and just keep that that marketing activity going, just meet taught and keeping relationships going with people.” -Brian Casel
“It's a series of events that culminate in the future, and the only way to create that magic is to show up and do stuff like podcast.” -Justin Jackson
[02:11 - 02:43] Building anticipation, I think is the most underrated marketing tactic around. It's like people once the show's already published once the event has already happened. It's kind of like, okay, but the way to capture people's interest is in the weeks or months leading up to the launch like this thing's coming. And it gives you a chance to bring it up multiple times, like, Hey, I'm working on this new thing. It's not out yet. But if you're interested, you can sign up and get updates here.
[03:31 - 03:57] The old playbook used to be like, store up to three episodes, and then launch them all at once because the thinking was Apple's algorithm rewarded people downloading a bunch of episodes at once. And it that's still part of it, but from what we can tell, the algorithm will highlight folks that are getting lots of subscribes and are getting lots of listens.
[04:06 - 04:46] The more important thing is it's like it's getting people to put the date on their calendar. It's getting people to you know, it's like getting their email address or their mailing address before you send out the initial thing, right? You need that spot in their podcast app where they're already subscribed. And when you do launch that first episode, you've got people waiting to hear it, and then it'll pop up in that kind of that walled garden of their podcast app, which has this very special inbox. That's the key you want to get in there. You want to have a place in their inbox before you launch.
[05:00 - 05:25] Building anticipation is something they're waiting for. So like when Ali Abdol launches his new show that he's been talking about and teasing on Twitter and YouTube for months, when that episode pops into my podcast player, even though I have hundreds of other episodes to listen to, I'm gonna check that one out first, because I've been hearing so much about it, right? Like, oh, I got to, like, listen to this, see what all the fuss is about? Right?
[17:11 - 17:48] I think some effort in the prep really helped really goes a long way, like more than people really Yeah. It all depends. Because like, there's some people who prep and they're just super boring. I think what you have to do whatever it takes to be interesting and compelling, that is the key. Nobody wants to listen to a podcast because they think it's just gonna be formulaic. Or like, this is why corporate, like branded podcasts, often don't work, because it's like, I just, I don't want to listen to just garbage. I want to listen to something that's intriguing, that has some sort of compelling promise.
[32:27 - 42:40] Email subscribers, or people who you know, are interested on Twitter, or whatever, like those first people that sign up based on a teaser, or based on a landing page, I find their feedback is so helpful. And it's exactly like the things you think about when you're launching a product early on are the same things that you should think about when you're launching a podcast early on