Demian is on vacation, so Jerod has been left alone in the house with his microphone and a stray recording from Podcast Movement. The result is this sprawling episode of The Lede.
This episode is brought to you by StudioPress Sites.
Jerod begins this episode by introducing his new side project, Primility Primer. More importantly, he describes the long and winding road to its beginning and provides a framework for getting unstuck from any projects you’ve been struggling to get started with.
Then, Jerod continues with the five lessons he’s learned from working with Demian Farnworth (unbeknownst to Demian Farnworth):
- The value of curiosity
- The importance (and joy) of diving truly deep into a subject
- The benefits of experimentation
- How to be a mentor
- The power of humility
And finally, hear from Copyblogger employees and team members Jessica Commins, Caroline Early, Jacob Moses, Toby Lyes, and … Demian Farnworth … as they deliver their biggest takeaway from Podcast Movement 2015.
We hope you enjoy this episode, and we look forward to Demian’s return next week.
Listen to Copyblogger FM below ...
This episode is brought to you by StudioPress Sites.
Lede Potpourri: A Big Idea, Talking About Demian Behind His Back, and Lessons from #PM15
Voiceover: Rainmaker.FM is brought to you by The Showrunner Podcasting Course, your step-by-step guide to developing, launching, and running a remarkable show. Registration for the course is open August 3rd through the 14th, 2015. Go to ShowrunnerCourse.com to learn more.
Jerod Morris: I believe you prefaced it as, “Jerod’s a technical idiot, and he still did this.”
Demian Farnworth: I don’t use idiot. I use a different one. Or just like me, I say, “I’m a writer, and I don’t know. Jerod’s a writer and a speaker, and he doesn’t know it, either.”
Jerod Morris: Hey there, and welcome back to The Lede, a podcast about content marketing by Copyblogger Media that is brought to you by Rainmaker.FM and sponsored by the Rainmaker Platform.
I am your host, Jerod Morris, the VP of Rainmaker.FM, and that’s it. I don’t have a co-host to introduce today because Demian is not here. He is off with the family taking a week off, so I told him, “You know what, let me take this one. I’ve got it. You go enjoy time with Angie and the kids, and I will put together this episode.” So it’s just me.
What’s in the Mix
I think we’re going to do a little potpourri. We’re going to do three different things in this episode. I’ve got a big lesson that I learned recently through one of my projects, and I want to relay that to you and maybe issue a bit of a challenge.
Then, we’re going to talk about Demian behind his back, but not in a bad way. Don’t worry. Not that there’s anything bad that we could say about Demian. I want to go through five lessons that I’ve learned by working with Demian Farnworth.
He and I have worked together now over two years. I’ve learned a lot by working with him. Each one of the lessons are lessons that are very applicable for what we’ve been talking about here. This might get a little weird and awkward if I tried to do this with him here, so we’ll do it with him not here. Perhaps he’ll listen. Perhaps he won’t. But you’re listening, so you’ll get the benefit of these lessons — which I’ve certainly benefited from.
Then, finally, Demian will actually make an appearance because I am going to play you some audio that I recorded from the exhibit hall floor at Podcast Movement.
We had a nice little group of Copyblogger folks there, and I went around and asked everybody what was the biggest lesson that they took away from Podcast Movement. Demian was one of those people, so you will get to hear his voice and find out his lesson there.
With that said, let’s jump right into it. Let’s go into this big lesson.
Part 1: Jerod’s Big Lesson Learned on the Importance of Self-Honesty and Defining Yourself
I started a new project recently. Actually, it’s not really starting a new project because this is a project that I’ve had for a while, I’ve talked about on here before. But kind of a new extension of this project. I’ve talked about my site Primility before. For a long time, I’ve wanted to launch a podcast with Primility. ‘Primility,’ of course, is the power of balancing pride and humility in our daily lives, a concept that I’ve talked about from time to time.
I’ve wanted to start a podcast. I’ve really struggled to get a podcast going with that site — getting a plan, making the commitment to do it. I’ve even struggled on that site with staying committed to the content, to set a schedule, won’t necessarily keep it. Frankly, it’s just been at the bottom of my priority list.
I’m sure we all probably have a project like that where it’s not specifically work-related. It may not even be our number one hobby or the hobby that has maybe turned itself into a business a little bit. Even though it’s a real passion project and it’s important to us, we can’t invest the time in it that we want to.
That may be something at work, too. We have things at work that maybe we want to get started on, we want to try, and for whatever reason, we struggle to do it. Whether it’s the idea, whether it’s just the push to get going, fear, whatever it is — there’s lots of reasons why we don’t start projects that we want to. This has been a really tough one for me.
I did a little soul searching, I guess you could say. I don’t know if ‘soul searching’ is the right term. I tried to look at when I’m really good at showing up consistently for content. That’s what I needed for this site, clearly. I needed something that was going to compel me to show up consistently. Things I had tried hadn’t necessarily worked.
I realized that every single time that I have a live event scheduled, I’m there. I’m prepared. I’m ready to go, and it usually goes pretty well — whether that’s an Authority seminar, whether that’s one of the Rainmaker webinars that I do with Brian Clark, whether that’s The Assembly Call, the IU postgame show that I do. When there’s a live event scheduled, I am there and ready for when that green light goes on.
I thought, “I wonder if I could leverage that into this project.” Not only into starting the project, but maybe even into the idea itself. This crazy idea hit me one day — I was in the shower, I think — actually to start doing a daily show. I guess there are six ways that I’ve been inspired by Demian Farnworth since he’s got four days with the Rough Draft.
The thought of doing a daily show had always been interesting to me, but I thought, “What would happen, if every day, I scheduled a Google Hangout at 6:30 and said, ‘I’ll be here, and I’m going to talk about Primility.’ I wonder what would happen.” I was terrified at first, yet I couldn’t get this idea out of my head. I didn’t jump and do it the next day. I thought about it, let the idea simmer a little bit. It wouldn’t go away.
I thought, “You know, maybe there’s something to this.” And so I did it, and I did it quietly. I didn’t really announce it to anybody. I even did it while Heather was away on work, so it was literally only I knew that I was doing this. I didn’t Tweet out the first few.
I tried to keep it hidden because what I didn’t want to do is say, “Hey, I’m doing this,” and then realize I couldn’t keep the schedule. Or I didn’t like it. Or it wasn’t working well, and then stop after three or four episodes. Then it’s like, “Oh, great, okay. You started this new thing. You stopped it after three or four episodes. That’s wonderful.”
Well, now, by the time this episode comes out, it’ll have been about four weeks since I started this project. Every weekday getting up at 6:30, the light goes on, and doing a quick seven- to 10-minute lesson, story, or something that relates to primility somehow. It’s going really well. I haven’t missed any days. I overslept one day, so I had to do the episode in the afternoon.
It hasn’t been perfect, but I tell you what, momentum is just building every single day. I’m really, really glad that I took the leap of faith, that I jumped and just said, “Okay, I’m just going to do it, and let’s see.” It wasn’t a total jump. I had a parachute on. I eased into it, like I said, with not really announcing it, not making a firm commitment, but taking the first few steps to see, and then slowly going from walking, to a fast walk, to a jog, to hopefully running. Hopefully, this is a project that continues. I have some big plans for it.
I tell you this story for this reason. I don’t tell you this to say that you should do a daily show, that you should do a live show. That’s just what worked for me. But it really helped me get unstuck from this idea that was just percolating, but sitting there and then frustrating me because I didn’t know what to do with it. You can probably relate. Maybe if you can’t relate right now, you’ve probably had something like this before. You know you want to do something with it. You just don’t know what.
I guess what this experience has taught me is the importance of really having an honest conversation with yourself about what your goals are for it, number one. What do you want to accomplish? I had a really clear idea. I knew that, with whatever show it was, I wanted to impact people on this idea of primility and do it consistently. I wanted to create content that would help me flesh out the ideas and one day be able to turn it into something more substantial like a course. It needed to be semi-regular content.
I had an idea of what I wanted it to be, and then it was, “Okay. How can I play to my strengths here?” There’s no sense in making it a daily blog post when I like writing, but I don’t love writing to the point where I do it every day. But I do record. I do podcasts every day, and I know when there’s a live show that I’ll show up.
I just thought, “Let me play to my strengths here and try and find a strategy that will allow me to fulfill the vision, the passion part of it, and then playing to my strengths so that I set myself up to succeed.” Sometimes it’s almost like we set ourselves up to fail. Like we try and make it harder or we … I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me.
But that’s what that’s taught me. The reason I tell this, and the challenge I want to issue to you now as this first part of this episode of The Lede comes to a close, is if you have any projects like that, whether they be professional, personal, whatever it is, and you’ve been really struggling to start with them and you need a push or you need something, I would urge you to take those two actions.
Number one, really sit down and define for yourself what it is you want to accomplish. Don’t let it be nebulous. Make it be really clear what it is you want to accomplish and where you want to go with it. What’s that vision? You don’t have to see it crystal clear, but you want to at least be able to make it out, like have a good understanding of what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Then think of yourself. Think of what you genuinely like doing, where you’ve succeeded in the past, and maybe what has helped you overcome a similar obstacle in the past. Then play to your strength, and try to set yourself up for success.
Maybe it doesn’t come to you right away. Maybe it does, and you kind of sit on it for a little while. Make sure it’s what you want to do. Then take the first few steps. Don’t make a big public commitment. Kind of relieve that pressure a little bit. Then just start doing it. Whether it’s a blog project or a podcast or maybe you want to start writing more thank-you notes — whatever it is, whatever that thing is that’s been in your head that you’ve wanted to start, I’m not saying go start it right now. I’m saying right now sit back and really consider those two questions that I considered.
I think through the process of thinking through that, if you can answer the first one and then figure out that second one — what’s your purpose behind it? Then how can you set yourself up for success? — if you can define those two answers, I think it’s a project worth pursuing. If you can’t, if you’ve struggled to define those, then maybe that’s the reason why you haven’t started it. Maybe that’s the reason why starting it right now isn’t a great idea, but then revisit those.
Times change. We change. Circumstances change. The time may be right later. I’ve been thinking about doing a project like this literally for years and finally started it, finally gained clarity on these two things. I’m hoping that by telling you this, maybe you can do it intentionally, so instead of almost waiting for happenstance or serendipity like I did, you can get to it a little quicker. Do it intentionally. Hopefully, whatever you’re stuck with, whatever project it is that you’ve wanted to start and you can’t, maybe this helps push you to do it.
Thank you for indulging me in that story. I hope you got something out of it. If you do this, I would love to know about it. You can Tweet me @JerodMorris, email me Jerod@Copyblogger.com, go comment on this page, whatever, but I’d love to hear about it. I’d really love to know if this is the kind of model that can work for other people. I just know it worked for myself, so I wanted to share it with you.
If you’re interested in the show, you can go to Primility.com. Actually, all the episodes are at Primility.com/Show. 6:30 Central time every day, we’re there, Primility.com/Live. You can watch it as a Hangout. Then I post it as a podcast. It’s been a lot of fun. The response has been really positive, so I’m really, really excited about it moving forward.
Part Two: 5 Lessons Jerod’s Learned from Demian
Okay, so that was part one of this episode of The Lede, this potpourri episode of The Lede. We’re going to go right now into part two. This is lessons that I’ve learned from working with Demian Farnworth. The great thing about this is, they’re probably lessons that you’ve learned, too, especially if you’ve been listening to this show for a while, ever since Demian and I started doing it together.
Frankly, Demian, obviously, he’s in St. Louis. I’m in Dallas. We get to see each other every now and again at events like Podcast Movement. We do have a weekly editorial call. We get to talk to each other some, but a lot of our interaction is what you guys hear on this podcast. I consider Demian a good friend, but it’s interesting that you guys hear a lot of our interaction together. That kind of stinks in one sense. I mean I wish he lived in town that we could spend more time together because he’s such a great guy, as you know having listened to the show.
These are five lessons that I’ve learned from him, five really important lessons. I think what would be really cool is for Demian to come back from his vacation, see this episode, and then see in the comments section other lessons that you’ve learned from him. I highly encourage you to go to the show notes. If you go to TheLede.FM, you’ll see the show notes for this, and of course, I’ll Tweet it out. But go there and comment on lessons that you’ve learned from him.
Lesson #1: The Value of Curiosity
These are my five. Number one is the value of curiosity. I think Demian is one of the most curious, just naturally curious people I’ve ever met about a range of topics. That’s why, when you have a conversation with Demian, he can pretty much hold his own no matter what the topic is. Granted, he’s not great with pop culture. His curiosity doesn’t necessarily extend to pop culture, so don’t ask him questions about Breaking Bad or The Wire. But about subjects that actually matter, Demian’s really good. I mean he’s well-read. He’s interviewed and talked to a lot of people. It’s a function of his natural curiosity. You can’t spend 10, 15 minutes talking with him and not realizing that.
He asks great questions. He listens. There’s real value in that for all of us, in being curious and trying to unlock our natural curiosity. Maybe it’s something that, if we struggle with, we have to be really intentional about doing. I’d have to ask Demian. I don’t know how intentional his curiosity is and how much it’s just a part of who he is, but I do know that his example has helped to make me more intentionally curious about subjects that I wouldn’t have been curious about before. That’s added a lot of value to my life, both personally and professionally.
Lesson #2: The Importance (and Joy) of Diving Truly Deep into a Subject
The second lesson that I have learned from working with Demian Farnworth is the importance and the joy of diving truly deep into a subject. If you’ve read Demian’s work on Copyblogger, think of the Native Advertising series, think of a lot of the other series, the Google Authorship series that he did, some of the posts that seem like they go on forever, yet you can’t help but just follow along down the page, like running water down a screen.
You’re just captivated by what he’s saying and the value you’re gaining. Obviously, we live in a quick attention span world where people recommend that your blog post be 500 to 750 words, and I’m not disagreeing with that. I think a lot of times you do need that, but there is a place for the 4,000-word blog post that dives really deep, gives real value, and doesn’t give you surface-level information. It gives you a true understanding.
It takes a special writer to pull that off. I think what it takes is someone who doesn’t just recognize the importance of writing a long blog post, or a long anything, and not just someone who can do it technically because there’s a research part of it. You have to be able to write and know the 11 elements of a blog post like we talked about.
I think what really makes it work is someone who takes joy in doing it, who takes joy in diving deep, and just trying to uncover every stone, find every morsel of information, talk to as many people as possible. If you follow Demian on Instagram, you’ve probably seen him post pictures of his whiteboard that, when he’s diving deep into a subject, it’s incomprehensible, what all is written on there. Probably it makes sense to no one else but Demian, but he loves diving deep.
Times when I’ve really dived deep into a subject, I’ve gotten so much out of it. Frankly, I’ve been more willing to do it since I’ve met Demian. I’ve seen the joy with which he does it. I’ve seen the success that he has had doing it. It’s inspiring in that way. That is the next lesson. We’ve got the value of curiosity, the importance and joy of diving truly deep into a subject.
Lesson #3: The Benefits of Experimentation
The third lesson that I’ve learned from Demian Farnworth that I hope you all have as well are the benefits of experimentation. We recently did a series about syndication. Demian will have hypotheses, like we all will, on whether something will work, whether something is good. Then he’ll go test it. He won’t let his hypothesis prejudice him against for the final conclusion. Meaning, he will let the experience speak, and he will let the experience teach him.
A great example is when he went out and tried out Medium when everybody said Medium was the hot new thing. He went and tried out publishing on LinkedIn when everyone said LinkedIn was the hot new thing. He actually found out real data, saw whether they were real results or not, and allowed himself and his content to be the guinea pig and to just experiment.
Obviously, we all know that’s a lot of what learning is, is being willing without fear and without judging yourself to just go experiment and try things. Again, I think a lot of times when we do that, we allow our hypotheses or our preconceived notions to color our final verdict. In my experience with Demian, he really hasn’t done that.
The Native Advertising series was another great example where I think his final conclusion was different than what he thought it was going to be, and he’s open and honest with it. He’ll tell you what he’s thinking at first and then tell you what he’s thinking later. There’s no pride there that gets in the way of him giving you the honest assessment of what it is.
As a content creator, as a content marketer, the value of experimentation, it’s beyond explanation, really, and we all know that — but Demian actually does it. He shows it. That’s the third lesson. We’ve got the value of curiosity, the importance and joy of diving truly deep into a subject, and the benefits of experimentation.
Lesson #4: How to Be a Mentor
The fourth lesson I’ve learned from Demian is how to be a mentor. I’ve learned that both in the example that he set for me, because in a lot of ways Demian has been my mentor as a copywriter. I did not come to Copyblogger from a copywriting background. I had not done any formal copywriting, did not have any formal copywriting training. I had written sports blogs, and I had written blog posts about web hosting.
A lot of the training that I got and a big influence for me was reading Demian’s work, talking with Demian, asking him questions, getting recommendations from him on books to read, and trusting that if I sent him something and asked for advice or for feedback, he would give it to me and be honest. Not sugarcoat it, but not make me feel awful about it. Find the ways to help improve it and build my confidence.
That’s what a mentor should do. Demian has been that in so many ways. I really thank him for that. I hope I’ve thanked him for that in person. I think I have, but if not, I’m going to. And I’m thanking him here. It’s not just me. I’ve seen this impact that Demian has had on other people.
Again, if you’re one of these people, this would be a great post to comment on. People that he has taken under his wing and trained in content marketing, in copywriting, and really worked with them, and made them better because he cares. I don’t know if he gets paid, if he has like a paid copywriting course. I don’t know about any of that. I know that there’s a lot of people that he’ll work with just as a friend, as a volunteer, to help them because he cares.
I see people on Twitter. I’ve seen people on Google+. I’ve overheard conversations at Authority Rainmaker and Authority Intensive. I’ve had people tell me the impact that he’s had. That’s a lesson that we can learn. Really, there’s kind of two lessons you can learn there.
Number one, how to do it, and I kind of described it in how Demian has worked with me. Then number two, to actually be that ourselves because Demian remembers what it was like to be someone who is still new in copywriting and still learning. He’s certainly remembered what it’s like to be struggling as a freelancer and to be kind of out on his own, scared. He’s talked about that a lot on The Lede, and he has turned that right back around and helped lift other people up.
It’s so impressive. It’s so inspiring. Of all these lessons, if we can take something from him, that willingness to, as we progress in our careers, as we progress with our sites, or with whatever our goal is, to not always be looking forward but to actually take some time, look back, and help lift somebody up, someone who’s in a position that we were because we’re in a position to help them because we’ve been there, so we can really, truly empathize. Man, you can’t put a value on that.
Those of us who have had people do it for us, like Demian when I joined Copyblogger, understand the value that it has and the importance and the meaning that it has on us personally and professionally. Of all the people that I’ve met and had the good fortune of working with, Demian is as good at doing that, of balancing that mentorship with doing everything else that he’s got to do. He’s great at it. I think it’s a great lesson that we can all take from him.
Lesson #5: The Power of Humility
We’ve got the value of curiosity, the importance and joy of diving truly deep into a subject, the benefits of experimentation, how to be a mentor, and finally, when I think of Demian, I think of humility. Demian is a prideful guy, extremely prideful in his work. Very confident in his work, frankly, based on the experiences that he has had, but he just has an immense humility as a person and as a professional. Really in this sense, I’m talking more about him as a person.
His ability to balance his professional duties with being a husband, being a father. I am neither of those. I’m engaged, and I’m a homeowner. I don’t have kids, I don’t have a wife yet, although Heather and I look forward to that being the case, but I know that when I do, part of the influence will be Demian and seeing how he handles that, how he’s balanced that. Again, the reasons why he’s good at that and why he’s also a good mentor, they kind of go together.
This isn’t to say he’s perfect. He’s frank about his personal struggles and ups and downs over the years and all of that stuff, but you meet him. You meet Angie. You see them together. You talk to them. Frankly, they’re two people that I want to spend more time with. Demian’s humility just emanates out of really every personal interaction that he has. When you combine that then with his incredible capability, with his incredible skill, with his incredible competency as a writer, as a professional, those two things combined really are the definition of primility as I like to look at it.
What really stands out with me for Demian is just that power of humility and how it helps you to have a balanced life where you can succeed as a professional, succeed at home, and really get the ultimate definition of success.
Bonus Lesson from Demian: Coming Out of Your Shell
Those are the five lessons I’ve learned from Demian. The value of curiosity, the importance and joy of diving truly deep into a subject, the benefits of experimentation, how to be a mentor, the power of humility, and I guess, number six, a bonus episode, is that Demian has inspired me to come out of my shell, in some cases, to not take myself too seriously. I don’t know how else you would describe what he did to get me to sing that song a few episodes back. The Vest Was Coming Off song, but I’ve got to credit him for that — or I don’t know, maybe we should discredit him for inspiring that because that never should have been created. Anyway, those are the five lessons I’ve learned from Demian.
Again, if you have lessons that you’ve learned from Demian Farnworth, especially if they are relevant to what we’re talking about here on The Lede, which is content marketing. Frankly, every single one of those lessons if we internalize it, it will make us better as content marketers. If you have any of those, drop by the show notes, send us a Tweet, whatever. It would be a great way to welcome Demian back from his vacation, a great positive way for him to get right back into the swing of things.
And, hey, if we’re feeling positive, if we’re thinking positive thoughts about somebody or something, it doesn’t really matter very much if we just keep them all up in our head. If I’m thinking all of these things about him, it doesn’t do him a whole lot of good if I’m thinking them. Saying them out loud, doing something about them, allowing people to know that you appreciate them, and that you feel gratitude, I think it helps. I think that just makes the world a little bit of a better place.
I think especially if we tell people specific things that they’ve done that we’re grateful for, it just helps to reinforce those things and the person will do that more because they know that it’s having a positive impact. Imagine the impact of that, of us all telling each other what we really appreciate and what we’re grateful for, and then we all start doing more of that. I mean you can just kind of see how that can spread through relationships, communities, the world, and make this a better place for all of us, above and beyond what we do content marketing.
Anyway, that was a big idea. Thanks for indulging me, a little tangent there, but I believe it. I think it’s true. I know it’s true. All right, so we’ve gone through the first two sections of this potpourri episode of The Lede where we are doing our best to overcome the absence of Demian Farnworth.
Well, now, in Part Three, we will get an appearance from Demian Farnworth. He will be here for a short time. I think we get to him a little bit toward the end of this, but as I said at the beginning, I recorded some audio from the exhibit hall at Podcast Movement. A bunch of people were there, and I think you’ll enjoy. You’ll enjoy the ambiance of the recording, of the audio. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the enthusiasm of the people, and hopefully, you’ll learn a little bit from the lessons that we all learned at Podcast Movement.
I probably won’t come back to say anything at the end. We’ll just let the episode end at the end. Let me just say right now that The Lede is brought to you by the Rainmaker Platform, as you know. Go give it a try, give it a 14-day test drive. I wouldn’t be able to do what I talked about doing earlier on my site, Primility, without Rainmaker. That’s where I’m building the site.
That is one of the beauties and benefits of the Rainmaker Platform. It will help empower you to get started on that project that you’re stuck on or that you want to get going on. It removes some of the technical hurdles. You can actually just focus on the content and focus on yourself, focus on your audience, and focus on putting yourself in the best position to impact your audience.
That’s what the Rainmaker Platform was meant to do. That’s what it does for me, and I think it can do the same thing for you. You just have to go give it a try. RainmakerPlatform.com. Check it out.
Part Three: Biggest Takeways from #PM15 from the Copyblogger Crew on the Ground
Now, here are our thoughts from Podcast Movement.
Hey, everybody, this is Jerod Morris, your host here of The Lede. Demian and I were talking earlier today, and we realized that Demian is actually going on vacation the week after Podcast Movement. We told you before that we prepared an episode the week before so that we were good for the week after Podcast Movement, but now we don’t know what to do for our next episode.
We’re all waiting to go into Sarah Koenig’s closing keynote. I’ve got a group of Copybloggers right here that were manning the Rainmaker Platform booth. I figured for this episode of The Lede, let’s go up, and let’s get one Podcast Movement takeaway from everybody from the members of the Copyblogger team that are here at Podcast Movement.
We’re going to go around and do this now. The first guy who’s here is Toby Lyles of TwentyFourSound. He actually helps us do all of our audio production for Rainmaker.FM. We’re recording an episode of The Lede right now live, and I’m putting Copyblogger people on the spot to get your one key takeaway from Podcast Movement 2015. It doesn’t necessarily need to be just podcast-related. It can be anything involving content marketing, whatever, but just your biggest takeaway from this weekend.
Toby Lyles: That’s interesting. I think my biggest takeaway from what I hear people saying is that the people who care about people seem to be doing very well at their podcasts. They’re established. They’re going already. They’re doing good. The people who are wanting to make a quick buck, wanting to get into it, or maybe got into it and are having issues. The people who care about people are totally just blowing it out of the water and making great money. The people who want to make great money are not doing as well.
Jerod Morris: I agree. That has definitely been a theme running through — passion for your topic and really caring about an audience, helping people. Again, that works for podcasting, but that’s general content marketing advice that we talk about all the time on Copyblogger. Cool, well, Toby, thank you for indulging me in this impromptu interview.
Toby Lyles: Good microphone by the way.
Jerod Morris: Thank you. Okay, let’s go talk now with Caroline Early and Jacob Moses. These are actually our two newest fulltime Copyblogger employees. How about that? This is for an episode of The Lede. We’re doing key takeaways from Podcast Movement 2015. The one key takeaway, and doesn’t necessarily need to be podcast-related because this is a content marketing show, so anything about marketing content that you’ve taken away. Who should I go to first? Who’s ready to jump in? Okay, here’s Caroline.
Caroline Early: Okay, so I just had a really nice lunch actually with a great group of people. I met a guy who is so, so passionate about video games, and you could tell in the way that he was talking that he’s just been this gamer his whole life. He did a podcast about leadership and then inspiration and blah, blah, blah. Then he took a step back and he said, “Okay, why am I podcasting? What am I doing here?” Then he realized, “I love video games so much. How can I turn video games into this amazing podcast, but still be inspirational to people?”
What I’m going with here is that my biggest takeaway is authenticity. He said as soon as he decided to do this video game thing, he released 40 episodes in a matter of days because he had so much to say, so much good content. I just thought that was an amazing story.
Jerod Morris: Great. That is a great story, and authenticity has been another really key takeaway from all the presentations and just the conversations. Mr. Moses?
Jacob Moses: Yes.
Jerod Morris: What has been your key takeaway from Podcast Movement 2015?
Jacob Moses: Well, I will kind of continue off what Ms. Caroline just said. You don’t have to be into entrepreneurship, writing, or blogging. There’s not a core topic that’s reserved to podcasting. You can bring whatever your passion is and make that work to draw an audience into podcasting. It’s everything on the table. If you’re into it, you can make it into a podcast. That was what was most inspirational for me.
Jerod Morris: Yeah, that’s awesome. I talk about this on the episode of The Showrunner that I just recorded with John Naster, too. We talk a lot about passion. Sometimes that seems like simplistic advice, yet you hear that people here who have been most successful, Roman Mars and Aisha Tyler, and a lot of the people who did the keynotes, and that’s what they say. It’s almost like don’t even start if you don’t have passion for it. Don’t do it to make money. Don’t do it because you think you should. Do it because you’ve got this passion bursting out of you that you’ve got to get out there.
Then when you’re smart about it, you learn the right ways, and follow the people who have done it before, you can build a business around that passion and the audience that you build from it. That’s great. Awesome. Thank you both for doing this.
Jacob Moses: Welcome.
Jerod Morris: Let’s go talk to Jessica now. Jessica Commins, who has just done an incredible job of manning the Rainmaker Platform booth, being an incredible ambassador for the platform to everybody. I’m recording an episode of The Lede right now and from all the Copyblogger folks who are here. We’re getting a takeaway. Like your big takeaway from the event, not necessarily podcast-related, but something that our content marketing listeners can really take away from what you’ve learned this weekend.
Jessica Commins: Well, first off, that is a wonderful recording studio that you have. I don’t know who picked that out, but …
Jerod Morris: Somebody awesome picked it out.
Jessica Commins: Yeah, clearly some great taste going on there. The thing that surprised me the most are how many people really believe that podcasting is a giant piece of the future of content delivery. I grew up with radio, but podcasting takes the control back. Like for musicians, the biggest barrier to entry was always distribution. You had to have a label that talked to record stores. Now, you could have a radio show that can reach people in Uruguay just because you have an awesome platform to just upload your MP3, and all of a sudden they can find you.
You can’t see me online, but I have goose bumps right now. It’s been really moving just to see how many people believe in this and are really putting their money where their mouths are.
Jerod Morris: Well, and The Lede is part of Rainmaker.FM. Rainmaker.FM is, of course, sponsored by the Rainmaker Platform. We’ve been out here talking with a lot of people about the platform. How’s the response been with everybody just talking to them about the platform?
Jessica Commins: My favorite is, “So you don’t have plugins?” We’re not an entry-level product. There are plenty of entry-level products here that are fantastic. But, at a certain point, you outgrow that $5 solution, and you need something that’s got your back. You really do get what you pay for.
When people are learning that you can do so much more than just publish a podcast, you can create a full membership site, sell digital goods, have an affiliate program, I mean set up an entire learning management system to distribute content to your members, they’re really blown away. They start to see how you can make a ton of money while providing a lot of value with your podcast.
Jerod Morris: You’re good at this. You should start a podcast on the Rainmaker.FM.
Jessica Commins: I don’t know that I’ve got the voice for it.
Jerod Morris: I think you could do it. Let’s talk with Robert. Let’s make that happen. All right, so there’s one voice that we haven’t heard yet on The Lede, and no episode of The Lede is complete without this voice. That is, of course, Demian Farnworth. Demian’s actually right here, but he’s talking with someone right now about the platform. When he’s done, we’ll see if Demian has time. Demian, I’m recording an episode of The Lede right now.
Demian Farnworth: Okay, great.
Jerod Morris: I’m getting everybody’s thoughts on Podcast Movement 2015, so I’d love, of course, to get yours because no episode of The Lede is complete without your voice, input, and perspective. What’s your biggest takeaway so far from the weekend here at Podcast Movement 2015?
Demian Farnworth: My biggest takeaway would be there’s a lot of people doing podcasts, and there’s a lot of great information out there. I think the biggest takeaway, and I’ve heard this so many times, this is true for any kind of content, is finding that niche. One of the best conversations I had, I think the person who had the best unique selling proposition was the guy who’s doing the classic video games and training people, showing leadership skills through that. This is a guy who married what he loved, kind of grown up doing, with that he’s really knowledgeable about. He’s redeeming video games for us guys now.
That’s going to be my go-to example of like, “Here is a content tilt that Joe Pulizzi talks about.” It’s that idea of we find what we love to do and we have the knowledge, but then we need that content tilt to stand out. He’s done successfully well. He’s done really well. He’s got a lot of attention for what he does and stuff like that. That’s my biggest takeaway.
Jerod Morris: Did you by chance go to lunch with Caroline Early?
Demian Farnworth: I did.
Jerod Morris: Because that was the same exact example that she gave.
Demian Farnworth: Did she really?
Jerod Morris: Yeah. It’s okay, though. It just reinforces how great it must have been.
Demian Farnworth: Well, she and I were talking about that before. We were talking about video games before that, so it was really interesting that he starts talking about that. Then we’re like, “Oh,” so it was confirmation. That’s awesome. Well, good. Yeah, that was totally unscripted, everybody.
Jerod Morris: Yeah. We’re just going around here through the exhibit hall. This has been fun. This has been a really good event. I’ve really enjoyed it. I was just talking with Jessica, too, I know you spent a lot of time here at the Rainmaker Platform booth talking with people about Rainmaker Platform. What’s been maybe the question you’ve been getting the most or the response that you’ve been getting about the platform?
Demian Farnworth: Well, of course, like all the conversations that we have, we hone our sales message each time, so you learn a lot about the platform and what people are interested in. I think it comes back to people want to focus on creating and not the backend stuff. People always seem to be pretty amazed when I tell them that you created an online course yourself using the Rainmaker Platform and how robust that program is. You don’t need technical skills. You don’t need how to code.
Jerod Morris: I believe you prefaced it as, “Jerod’s a technical idiot, and he still did this.”
Demian Farnworth: I don’t use idiot, I use a different one. Or just like me, I say, “I’m a writer, and I don’t know. Jerod’s a writer and a speaker, and he doesn’t know it, either.” People want to know they have that support, too. They want to know that there’s going to be handholding there, too. Because not only do we have a lot of great documentation, we do have a lot of great customer service people, too.
Jerod Morris: Cool. Well, thank you, Demian. Thank you for showing up for this episode of The Lede.
Demian Farnworth: Great to be here.
Jerod Morris: Yeah.