As a growth marketing mentor for early-stage startups and podcasters, I spent two weeks reviewing podcast applications and speaking to founders. Here are my observations and some tips.
- Both have the same mentality of "if we build it, they will come." Not all though, but most think marketing is not important or have a twisted idea of what marketing is.
- Both are creative with different outputs. That's not to say there can't be a podcast business nor a business with a podcast. Being creatives, I understand why there is an emphasis on what they're building and not so much as WHO they're building it for.
- There is a misnomer that marketing = social media. Which is also to say, most only understand channel-specific tactics. Their eyes glaze over just thinking about everything they think they need to do in marketing. Strategy is key to this overwhelm.
- Key tip on building a strategy: start with The Immovables: think DEADLINES and also TIME. Then fill them in with other tasks and learn to prioritise. It's easy to fall into the hustle culture of 80-hr weeks, running on no sleep and pumped with litres of coffee. Don't.
- If you want a simple way to understand marketing, it's finding & knowing your audience. When I say finding, you should not be wondering who will use your product or listen to your podcast. It's about FINDING where they hang out & being there. You do that by KNOWING them.
- Ask yourself these questions. For podcasters, ask yourself: Is audio the format that's best for my idea? Is my audience listening to podcasts? For startups, ask yourself: Is there a problem I'm trying to solve and are there existing solutions? Or am I creating a solution and looking for a problem?
- When it comes to solutions or competitors, don't just think direct but also indirect. I have seen way too many say they have no competition or no one doing the same thing. Your audience is smart and has done a lot of workarounds to solve their problems.
- Most pitfalls I see are having goals or targets plucked out of thin air or having no targets at all. It's important to have an understanding of what success looks like for you. And don't fall into vanity metrics.
- It's okay to shoot for the stars but also know if that's doable in a reasonable timeframe. I repeat: in a reasonable timeframe You can't say you'll get a man to mars and then go and build a car. Yes, I know Elon Musk is technically doing this. But you know what I mean.
- If there is one thing I shall all leave you with. It's this: Be steadfast in the problem you're solving and hold loosely the outcome of how you're solving it.
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