For anybody out there who wants to do a podcast on their own, three things.
A, make your positioning strong, sufficiently niche and differentiated of the show.
B, be consistent for six months.
C, be strategic about guests. In today's episode of the Pathmark Presents Podcasts, I have a very interesting guest actually, because today we want to be talking about podcasts and the shift in marketing that comes with it. So I'm with Tom Hunt here, who's the founder and co-founder of Fame and the bCast. And in their business, it's all about podcasting, growing B2B businesses through podcasts.
Something obviously that we're also doing here on the Pathmark side of things. So very curious to really deep dive into the topic. Curious to learn about sort of the services side of things, the product side of things, but also how Tom is thinking about growth and what is his perspective on changes in marketing.
So Tom, welcome to the show.
Lucas, thank you for having me. For sure. So maybe give us a 360 overview.
What is Fame?
What is bCast?
How they work together?
They've been sort of started around basically the same time. Give us an insight. Let me tell you a story. This is how the whole thing started. And it started in 2019. I'm not that good at having a job, but I had a job in 2019 at a B2B SaaS company, I was head of marketing. And we started this podcast because there was a persona that I thought we should be targeting.
We sold sales software and I was like, okay, this sales operations person, they do like operations for sale teams. I think this is the person I need to learn about because I think they're going to be perfect buyers for us.
So it was just like on LinkedIn, message some of them being like, can you give me some of your time for free?
I can ask you some questions so I can learn about you. It was a better message than that, but obviously no one said yes to that. Of course. Then the brain wave was, and I don't know if it was mine or not, but we were like, well, we can start a podcast called sales ops demystified and just bring these people on and just talk about them and their career.
That way we're going to learn about them. And then maybe we'll build, build an audience of them as well. So we started doing this and we did like 10 interviews. They're like very like low production value, but we did have these people that I believed and actually turned out to be good buyers, like coming into office, this was before COVID to be interviewed.
And so the business was like, wow, this podcast needs to be going great. And we're getting like a bit of SEO because there's blog posts and they were guests for sharing. So we're getting a bit of social engagement and this was all good. I was doing all the interviews, even though I didn't know anything about sales operations, but then something magical happened.
And like the 17th guest came on the show, randomly got started talking to the CEO on LinkedIn and then ended up buying. And he's like the VPS sales operations at a SaaS company that everyone knows. Randomly got talking to Theo and ended up buying our sales software for all like 180 salespeople. Right. And so obviously the business was very happy with that.
It was like a 10x return on the time and money we spent on the show. And I'm like, here's the holy grail of B2B marketing, because you can get this long-term brand building benefit. You can add value to your customers. We'll talk more about that later, but then you can also build relationships that can lead to partnerships or business. So I was like, I'm going to do this.
I said to the company, I'm leaving to do this.
Would you like to be a client?
And they fortunately said, yes, I would fill the host of that show up to 200 episodes, there's still a client today. And then all we really have done for Fame is copied and pasted that process that we started developing, didn't steal any IP and then just applied it to other companies and niches. And so now we have 30, 33 clients in total that we do this for.
So how should we imagine like, you know, company getting started with you guys?
Like what happens like, you know, podcasts, you know, you need some branding, needs some position, needs assets, like, you know, maybe tell us a little bit about some, you know, getting started with Fame, like what do I get?
Yeah. So typically people reach out to us. The idea of running a podcast has been like floated internally. And then normally the head of marketing or someone within marketing has been given the responsibility to find someone to do it.
And so then we would engage with the company and the most important thing you can do with the show and maybe we can get into this is ensure that your positioning is strong, strong, sufficiently niche and differentiated.
And so we like to get into that stage so we can ensure that if we get that right and there's two other simple things to get right as well, which is a, be consistent for six months and B just be strategic about guests. It's not like pitching guests.
It's about just building relationships with people that you can add value to in the future and that can add value to you in the future, whether that's being a partner or being a customer. So that's like for anybody out there who wants to do a podcast on their own, three things, A, make your positioning strong, sufficiently niche and differentiated of the show. B, be consistent for six months.
C, be strategic about guests. That makes sense.
How does bCast fit into the picture?
Great question. So as we were starting Fame, I typically like to like take on too much stuff. So we started bCast a separate corporation with me. I have a co-founder and bCast is the hosting software. That we've been building alongside fame.
And so obviously I spent all my day working with B to B companies on how to grow their shows and instead of like using some other off the shelf podcast hosts, and there are many good ones actually, we were like, okay, well, we may as well just like build something that is just for this kind of B to B process or just for businesses. And so we've been building this alongside Fame.
So I'm like the product manager for bCast really is because I spend all my time with these people and I bring feature requests over and then we're building Ccast alongside. That makes a whole lot of sense.
Now, what I'm curious about is who within the companies is typically the ones that reach out and that start a podcast.
Is it like a head of marketing?
Is that like a content person?
Maybe tell us a bit about sort of who is that ideal person that actually starts the podcast within your organization?
If it's below, typically we like to have a company that has like above like 40 employees. If it's below that, it could be a founder CEO. If it's above that, it's either the most senior person in marketing, most senior person in communications, or if it's a bigger company that has like thousands of employees, it would be like a content marketing manager or marketing manager. That makes sense. Very good.
Now, obviously people are probably curious, how do you guys grow?
You have a fantastic channel for others to grow.
Like what sort of client acquisition channels that Fame and bCast explore?
So we'll keep it to Fame, I think, unless we don't have that much time, but I'm of the thought that ideally if you're before you hit like a million dollars in annual revenue, you should only really have one channel, just do one channel, make it work.
Obviously, whenever you have a business, there are other like supplementary channels that you don't need to work on, but just happen, e.g. word of mouth and referrals. So we have word of mouth and referrals. And before I reveal the big channel, I probably would like to say that our growth has not been that much because of the big channel.
It's been because we've actually been adding more value than they have to pay us. And therefore that drives word of mouth and referrals. So that's the first thing for anybody trying to grow the company. I would actually just forget about any channels and just spend six months making your products or service better so that then you're adding more value than people are paying you.
And that means people are going to refer you or they're going to tell their friends. So that's the caveat. The one channel that we have been working on that has bought other customers is just Google Ads, like BT podcast agency, podcast agency. I think we spend the most, we rank number one. So those are the only few channels that we have been working towards.
Now, as we're about to hit the million dollar in annual revenue mark, I'm starting to work on the second big channel, which I'm calling the content machine, but it's really a combination of SEO content and social, basically all the same thing really. And just like working through that process.
I mean, I'm happy to go into that, but I don't know if we have time.
No, no, go in. Go in. Go in. So it's just like really all you're doing with that is like understanding exactly who that person is that you want to sell to. And then just trying to improve their lives, trying to get them promoted, trying to make them happier. And so you're doing that through information. You're putting that information on your own domain that has essentially content marketing.
If you do that and you put good information on your own domain, you're going to get back links that helps with SEO. And then you're also pulling out part of that content and then putting it onto social to get engagement awareness and then ideally linking back to your blog. So it's like one big flywheel. Rand Fishkin popularized this term with Moz, his business. He called it the SEO content social flywheel.
And it just goes around like that.
In fact, as I just discussed. So that's what I'm working on at the moment. That ideally is going to be second channel. Takes a while to get going, but ideally you'll start bringing customers for cheaper than Google Ads in the future. It makes complete sense. I think we also spoke a little bit prior to the interview, because obviously there's a lot of pitching happening all the time.
You get pitched emails all the time. Your LinkedIn is full of pitches. You mentioned that you see a shift in marketing. You see a shift in what actually is efficient when it comes to marketing messaging. Maybe give us an insight.
What you've explored and where do you see things going?
Yeah, I think specifically in B2B, I don't know why it is. I was thinking this afternoon, I wanted to give an intelligent answer to why I think it's happening. But it seems like maybe it's because the internet, I don't know, the proliferation of email and the internet that everyone's getting pitched all the time.
And I think what that means is that in order for people to actually buy, they need to have more trust. And I don't know why that is. I don't have a good answer for that. But I think that we can see this because like cold LinkedIn outreach or cold email, I don't think it works as well as it wants it.
And so this comes back to what I'm working on in the content social flywheel is that you want to get the people to like and trust you like years, months before they want to buy so that when they do that you're at the top of mind, they come inbound to you.
And so all we're trying to do at the moment with Fame on the content side, is just give away the best stuff you have, the absolute best stuff so that we're actually improving these people's lives so they remember you.
And when at some point, the thing with podcasts, right?
You can't convince anyone to start a podcast. You can't convince a hundred person SaaS company to start podcasts. They have to have the idea themselves.
And so, or at least at this stage, I think it's going to be maybe in the future, we can do that, but it's going to be very expensive. So we don't, we'll have the low hanging fruit first.
And so we want if that ideally in the world, every like marketing manager at B2S SaaS companies and service companies above a hundred people would just have heard of us because we're helping them with their job.
And then when, if and when they need to share in the future, they come to us, or if and when their friend needs to share in the future, they tell us, they tell them about us. And that's happened just through like LinkedIn posts I did like last year. But so that is a big shift.
And so for people listening, if you're spending money, I think, on like cold LinkedIn outreach or like cold email, or even spending too much on ads, I would like maybe reconsider that and just start to have somebody in your business or even hire somebody who's an expert in the pain points of your customers and just start like giving away your best stuff. You're that will, you'll start to become famous.
People will start to know you. And then ideally they'll come to you when they have the need to buy your thing. It makes sense. Very interesting. I was actually thinking about the story that you described at the beginning, how you even got into, into podcasts and how it's a very value driven channel in a way.
What do you think if you would extract that for marketers, like what are the aspects of that full concept of the podcast that you guys are offering that make it such an interesting and unique channel?
Is that because you're giving value?
Is that because you're giving exposure?
What is sort of the underlying mechanisms that you see on the post podcast channel that maybe people could think about to even, you know, spin up new ideas based on this content?
I think the podcast channel aligns with everything I just said, right?
If you as a business are just giving away the best stuff, bringing on the best guests you can find and giving away like the best ideas, then that may be the great medium for you to add value to the life of your customers.
Now, I always say podcasts are not a great channel to grow an audience, but they're an amazing channel to build that relationship. And so if you're like early stage, I would probably look at other ways to build like permission assets, but build lists and audience first, probably directly on social channels now. And then I maybe try and get an email list and then start a podcast.
So when you do, you actually have people that are going to listen that you can build the relationship with. So I think that's the number one reason why I think podcasts are useful marketing tool now is because you can really add value to people's lives because it's a very intimate relationship that will listen to you, to trust you. And then you can give them information that will make them like you.
And then the second thing, second reason why is like networking.
People call it content-based networking, right?
Even if the people are not going to be your customers, they might know people that are your customers.
And if you give guests like, I've had an amazing experience coming on this show, right?
I'm going to remember you guys. If people like need website software in the future, I'm going to recommend you because I know and like you. And so ensuring that every guest, whether they could be a customer partner or not have an amazing experience with you guys or with the, whoever's starting podcasts, then that will bring value back to you at some point in the future. Those are the two reasons.
Yeah, makes sense. Very cool. I would like to switch gears a little bit and get to know a little bit more about yourself. I have some rapid fire questions ready to wrap up the interview for today.
You ready for those?
What's the last book you read or the podcast you listen to for that matter?
Yeah, let's do both.
So the, my favorite podcast, was it the last one?
Okay. So my favorite podcast, the All In podcast.
Have you heard that?
Actually, oh my God, All In. It's with like four Silicon Valley billionaires released every week. So that's my favorite. The last one was actually a true crime one, but I just got hooked on. It's like 12 hours of episodes and I did like 40 hours. It's called Shandy's Story. Amazing Australian podcast about murder.
Book wise, I'm currently trying to read Putin's people, but it's an absolute monster. I'm like 32% of the way through. I don't know if I'm going to finish it.
What's one single thing your company is focused on the most at the moment?
The one thing I'm most proud of with our company is that we have had no one leave. And so that's always been a focus is that how can I improve the lives, not only of like customers, but also of team members and freelancers. And if you do that, it's going to be easier to hire because people want to bring their friends.
You're also going to have less disruption, less recruitment costs because people don't leave. And so I feel my job as a founder CEO to try to obviously grow the business. But a good way of doing that is by just making your employees happy.
If there would be no boundaries in tech, what's the one thing you would fix for your role today?
Good question. I think there's, we probably automate more tasks. So if there's more intelligent, like Zapier is amazing. But if there was more like, what would be amazing if you could just speak to Zapier and be like, I want to automate this task. You just tell them and then they automated that. That would be like so sick. I guess people would lose jobs, but then people could do more creative work.
It would just bring the cost of everything right down. Like we're able to charge less because we automate a lot of stuff. But then if you'd automate more, then everything would get cheaper.
The last thing that kept you awake at night about the company?
People problems. I say we haven't had anyone leave. That doesn't mean we don't have like performance challenges and stuff. So fortunately we've had no like major issues there, but that would be the answer. And for the very last question, I would like to do a little bit of time travel.
Let's go back to the days of Imperial College London, right?
Heading out of education, at least formal education.
What's the one advice you would give yourself for your journey?
I'd probably be less risk averse, which would mean I would want to be more risky, risk taking. Because I spent four years in management consulting, which was great. I learned stuff that really helped me today. Like that's the same business that I have today, some people and service business. So I learned a lot, but then I probably could have been like four years ahead of where I am now.
If I didn't do that, I think I would have been slower, but I think take more risk.
Cause you're like 22, you know what I mean?
So that would be the advice. So I really appreciate you took the time with us today to be guest on PathMob Presents. I want to give you the very last word.
If somebody forgets all we discussed about Fame and because what's the one thing that they should remember?
To just start giving your best stuff away for free on the internet. Thanks a lot. And you get some presents. Thank you for having me.
Tom Hunt, founder and co-founder of Fame and the bCast, was a guest on the Pathmark Presents Podcasts to discuss podcasting and its impact on marketing. Tom shared his story of how he started his business in 2019 while working as head of marketing at a B2B SaaS company. After 10 interviews, they began to get some SEO and social engagement from blog posts and guests sharing their content.
This successful experience with a business led to a 10x return on the time and money spent, inspiring him to leave his job and start Fame, which helps businesses create podcasts. He also started Bcast, hosting software specifically designed for businesses. The conversation discussed the ideal person within a company to start a podcast, typically someone with 40+ employees such as a head of marketing or CEO.
The primary channel used by Fame & bCast is Google Ads but they are beginning to explore the "content machine" which is a combination of SEO content and social media in order to bring customers for cheaper than Google Ads in the future.
They suggest that companies should focus on creating content that addresses customer pain points rather than cold outreach or ads in order to build trust before buying due to the proliferation of email and internet.
In conclusion, podcasts are not great for growing an audience but they are an amazing channel to build relationships. In this podcast conversation, the guest discussed their favorite podcast Shandy's Story, a true crime one that took 40 hours to listen to. They also discussed their current book Putin's People and the focus of their company on improving the lives of customers and team members.
The speaker suggested that marketers should focus on building permission assets and email lists first before starting a podcast, as well as using podcasts to add value to customers' lives and for content-based networking. Their favorite podcast was mentioned - All In - which is released every week with four Silicon Valley billionaires.
When asked what they would fix in tech if there were no boundaries, they suggested more automation tasks could be done with intelligent systems like Zapier.
Lastly, they discussed the last thing that kept them awake at night about the company which was people problems. The guest concluded by giving advice to take more risks when leaving formal education and suggested giving away one's best stuff for free on the internet as a way to gain fame.
1. Podcasting: A Powerful Tool for Marketing
2. How to Leverage Podcasts for Business Growth
3. The Benefits of Starting a Podcast for Your Company
4. Creating Content to Address Customer Pain Points
5. Building Relationships Through Podcasts
6. Automating Tasks with Intelligent Systems
7. Taking Risks and Giving Away Your Best Stuff
Tom Hunt, founder of Fame and the bCast, joins the Pathmark Presents Podcast to discuss podcasting and its impact on marketing. Hear how Tom's business achieved a 10x return on time and money spent, learn about their primary channel Google Ads, and get advice on building permission assets before starting a podcast. Plus, find out what keeps Tom up at night about his company and what he would fix in tech if there were no boundaries.
Podcasts have become an increasingly popular way for businesses to reach their target audiences and build relationships with potential customers.
But how do you make the most of this powerful medium?
Tom Hunt, founder of Fame and bCast, has some tips on how to use podcasts to build relationships and grow your business. First, Tom recommends that businesses focus on creating content that is engaging and informative. “The key is to create content that resonates with your audience,” he says. “It should be something they can relate to and learn from.”
He also suggests focusing on topics that are relevant to your industry or target market so that you can establish yourself as an authority in the field. Second, Tom stresses the importance of consistency when it comes to podcasting. He recommends setting a regular schedule for releasing new episodes so that listeners know when they can expect new content from you. This will help keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Additionally, he suggests using social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook to promote your podcast episodes in order to reach a wider audience. Third, Tom emphasizes the importance of building relationships with other podcasters in order to expand your reach even further.
He suggests reaching out via email or social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter in order to introduce yourself and start conversations about potential collaborations or guest appearances on each other’s shows. This will help increase exposure for both parties involved while also providing valuable networking opportunities within the podcasting community at large.
Finally, Tom advises businesses not be afraid of experimenting with different formats or topics in order to keep things fresh and interesting for listeners over time. He also encourages businesses not be afraid of taking risks when it comes their podcasting strategy; sometimes trying something new can lead you down unexpected paths which may ultimately benefit your business in ways you never imagined!
By following these tips from Tom Hunt, founder of Fame and bCast, businesses can use podcasts effectively as a tool for building relationships with potential customers while growing their business at the same time!
4. B2B SaaS
5. Content Machine
6. Google Ads
7. Customer Pain Points
8. Cold Outreach
9. Shandee's Story
10. All In Podcast
1. Tune in to the Pathmark Presents Podcasts to hear Tom Hunt, founder of Fame and bCast, discuss podcasting and its impact on marketing! #podcast #marketing
2. Join us for an insightful conversation with Tom Hunt on the Pathmark Presents Podcasts about podcasting and its impact on marketing! #podcast #marketing
3. Don't miss out on this amazing podcast with Tom Hunt, founder of Fame and bCast, discussing podcasting & its impact on marketing! #podcast #marketing
4. Learn more about how podcasts can help your business grow from Tom Hunt's experience as a guest on the Pathmark Presents Podcasts! #podcast #marketing
5. Hear from Tom Hunt, founder of Fame & bCast, as he shares his story & insights into podcasting & its impact on marketing - listen now! #podcast #marketing
Hey everyone! Have you ever wanted to learn more about podcasting and its impact on marketing? Then you won't want to miss this episode of the Pathmark Presents Podcasts featuring Tom Hunt, founder and co-founder of FirstFame and the Bcast. Tom will be discussing his journey from working as head of marketing at a B2B SaaS company to starting his own business, as well as tips for creating content that addresses customer pain points. Tune in now for an insightful conversation about podcasting and how it can help your business! #PathmarkPresents #Podcasts #Marketing
Check out the full episode linked in the first comment.
Are you interested in learning more about podcasting and its impact on marketing? Join me in listening to the Pathmark Presents Podcast featuring Tom Hunt, founder and co-founder of FirstFame and the Bcast. Tom shares his story of how he started his business while working as head of marketing at a B2B SaaS company, as well as advice on building permission assets, email lists, automation tasks with intelligent systems like Zapier, and more. Tune in now! #podcasting #marketing #PathmarkPresents
Check out the full episode linked in the first comment.