- Jonas Woost
Jonas Woost, Will Bachman
Will Bachman 00:02
Hello and welcome to Unleashed. Unleashed is produced by Umbrex. And I’m your host will Bachman. I’m excited to be here today with Jonas Woost who runs a firm called bumper that helps podcast grow their audience. Jonas, welcome to the show.
Jonas Woost 00:20
Thanks for having me.
Will Bachman 00:21
So why don’t you start by giving us a bit of an overview of your services and how you decided to start Bumper?
Jonas Woost 00:30
My business partner Dan and I, we’ve been working in podcasting for, for many, many years. We worked with a podcast production company until quite recently, we made a podcast for large brands, typically multibillion dollar sort of fortune 500 companies and making a podcast as you know, well, you know, making a podcast is not easy. Making good podcasts, it’s actually quite hard. We were part of an agency that created those podcasts, part of our services also included, in addition to the production of the podcast, we also help promote podcasts, we help those clients also find an audience. And what we’ve realized over the last religions, the last two, maybe three years is that the audience development part of podcasting, the piece where you’re gonna find your audience, the piece where you need to market and promote the podcast, that’s become the hard part. Not to say that production is easy, but there’s a lot of talented people out there. They make wonderful stories. They tell great stories, they make great podcasts, we have. I mean, from a consumer point of view, we have so many awesome podcasts out there, just from the from a storytelling quality point of view, what a time to be alive. It’s absolutely wonderful. But it’s the audience development part is the marketing promotion parts. That’s where we felt there was a real gap in the market. And we decided, you know, there should really be an agency that only focuses on working with podcasters, to help them find a bigger audience or find the right audience basically make the podcast more successful. We’ve solved this gap in the market. And we started Bumble, actually, fairly recently, it was only four months ago in August 2022. And the response so far has been outstanding. It turns out, if you ask a podcaster Hey, do you want to grow your audience? Typically, the answer is yes, please.
Will Bachman 02:23
Yeah. So I want to definitely explore that. When you say that you’re helping big brands start podcasts, like I’m not familiar with, like the Exxon podcast, or the IBM podcast, maybe they have one, but are big companies making their own podcast. It’s just a genre I haven’t explored. But tell me about that. You don’t have to list your clients. But give me examples of what you’re talking about.
Jonas Woost 02:48
So at this point, any large company any large brand you’d be talking to, they have a podcast strategy. They like to have a podcast. And maybe the strategy is we don’t have a podcast that that’s one version. But it’s basically at this point for for most big corporations is just another pillar under marketing tactics. They might have a newsletter strategy, they probably have one, maybe they have a content like a blogging strategy. They, you know, have a paid strategy. And you know, podcasting is now part of that as well. It’s very, very standard for big brands to have podcast IBMs, quite a few podcasts, actually. So when, when our previous company started about eight years ago, I remember, there was a headline that read that first client was slack. You know, the popular messaging platform, Slack was a client and the headline was, Slack has a podcast, for some reason. Just the fact that slack had a podcast to your point was it was a thing, it was kind of like, why would they have their own podcasts? Why is that even a thing that has very much changed now. And we worked with companies like Charles Schwab and with Adobe, and with Morgan Stanley and, and and with Facebook, with Ford, we work with all those brands to make a podcast. Absolutely. Having telling your own stories as a brand is very much sort of part of your your toolkit, your marketing toolkit right now. But again, making those podcasts that’s one thing, that is not easy, but it’s a thing, there’s a lot of talent out there, getting in front of the right audience. And this is kind of your reaction that I’m hearing about, like, why would the brand have a podcast? You know, it’s even harder for brands to find an audience, right? Because you’re gonna have to consider someone not only to check out the podcast, you’re gonna, you’re gonna have to convince someone that this podcast is not just a marketing collateral, not just an ad that you know, I’m asking you to listen to. It’s actually like a real story. I’m going to give I’m going to tell you some stories that are actually valuable for your life, which most of these podcasts actually are. They’re not about the company that about sort of other broader themes, but convincing someone to like hey, listen to my IP In podcasts, by the way, I’ve never worked with IBM just using it as an example, because you started, right if IBM wanted to speak to us happy to do that. For IBM to convince someone, Hey, listen to my podcast. It’s not just about the service that IBM provides, but it’s actually about broader themes. It’s really, really difficult to market a podcast like that. That’s what bumper comes in.
Will Bachman 05:20
Okay, got it. So, talk to me a bit about how you are, how you are helping to promote podcasts in this audience development, maybe it starts even thinking about what is the right audience to serve? And what’s the content that they want? And why are you serving them? And what’s your goal in life with your podcasts? Are you trying to make money from ads? Are you just trying to sell your consulting services or sell your book or, you know, talk to me about how you would interact with a new client, and what the typical range of requests and services,
Jonas Woost 05:54
we will have not surprised you basically picked up on how we start with a client, because I’m sure you start exactly the same way with your clients. Because when we when we talk to a new client, and they have a podcast already, or maybe they’re just developing a podcast, or maybe they’re just considering that they want to have a podcast, we start exactly where you started. Use this for why does it exist? What is your goal? And yeah, absolutely lots of podcasters want to make money through advertising, that’s one thing. They just want to have a bunch of listeners, and then they have those listeners and they can sell out. That’s a completely legitimate way to run a podcast. Many podcasts run exactly like that. The type of shows that we discussed earlier kind of branded shows or shows by brands, they don’t sell ads, they are the ads, if that makes sense. So there’s a very, very different objective, which really changes the conversation. So absolutely. Have you engaged? It really starts with the Who’s your audience? And how does the how does the show fit into your business as a client? There’s one other nuance that we’d like to discuss, and we go quite deep in on this is not so much what is the podcast is what’s the podcast doing to you? Client? It is? What’s podcasting to the listener? Why would they be listening? And, and often we hear things like, well, you know, this thought leadership or you know, gonna say awesome stuff. I really like to think about podcasting as an The truth is, No one wakes up in the morning, and says, I want to listen to podcasts. They wake up in the morning and have a problem to solve. I wake up in the morning, I have a problem to solve. And I might be looking at a podcast to solve that problem. Popular problems that Podcasts can solve is boredom. I just want something to happen because I’m bored. Or I want to be entertained. And maybe another version of boring, I want to laugh a little bit. I wanted to have a little chuckle, or I want to learn something I want to maybe learn about the news, I want to know what’s happening in the world today. Or I wake up and say like, I want to go in depth into a topic that I’m normally not, you know, that’s the kind of problems that people try to solve. And then they’re looking at different options. Should this be YouTube video? This is a white paper, this is the book that I’m going to buy? Or is this a podcast. So we’ll really like to think about when people consider or listen to a podcast, there’s a there’s a job that they’re hiring the podcast to do for them. And that is, especially for our brand clients, but even our non branded clients, they missed that part. They think just because we have a story to tell there’s an audience that really wants to hear it. But that’s just not how it works. So going back to actual question, we’ll start, we start every engagement with exactly asking these kinds of questions, finding the right answer with a client to those kind of questions. And, and then once we really know like, what is this podcast? Who’s it for? What problem is it solving? We’d like to start thinking about in order for this podcast to be successful in the long run, we need to have a sustainable and a measurable growth strategy. We use the term strategy, it sounds more fancy, we can charge more money for that it’s a plan. What’s the plan with your podcast? How are you going to grow this thing? Well, it’s not going to work as he was going to put it up and people are going to find it. Well, you know this right? If you just published his podcast and never promoted it to your clients, no one would ever listen, right? There’s just too much content out there. There’s too many podcasts out there. They’re not being discovered automatically or by accident that was maybe different 10 years ago, when people were just searching stuff, and they would you get 10 results. You search for podcasts about history and you get 15 results, you might check out those 15 shows. If you type in history right now into your podcast app, you know, you get 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of results. And so we work that work out with our clients to come up with a sustainable long term growth strategy. What’s the growth plan and we look at stuff like what how are you going to utilize your own audiences? For brand new clients that often have huge audiences already? Right? They have clients, they have employees, they have partners, etc, etc. What is your page strategy? If this one are you going to spend money to promote a podcast that can be done that’s the thing can also be done poorly and you’re not going to ever Make your money back. And what’s an ad strategy, we look at many measurement solutions, we look at how video fits and fits into the podcast. So the way to kind of look at is we come up with a strategy with all these different modules that we pick from. Then at the end of the engagement, we deliver to our clients, here’s how you grow your show. And I make it sound like we just do the work for them, really, and truly, as a collaboration, we work together with our clients to come up with this growth strategy, and then we deliver it to them. And there’s also a whole execution piece that you can ask me about later, if you want to where we actually help our clients execute the plan that we put together.
Will Bachman 10:34
So talk to me about some of the common strategies people think about, and which ones can actually work. What’s What do you have to do to make them work and which ones are usually not a great investment. And you can maybe start with one that I think our mutual friend who introduced us, Keith Quinn said that you have a pretty good ability to and maybe talk about this first, analyze the audience’s of different shows and think about ones that might be good to do a sort of a swap on where you get on their show, they come on your show. And you can kind of analyze the audience’s of existing shows, maybe maybe start they’re talking about, you know, being on another podcast and having them on your show, et cetera.
Jonas Woost 11:23
So you’re absolutely correct being on another podcast is a great way to to get a big audience. So the idea is that maybe you as a host, and we’ll I’m just going to use you as an example, you could become a guest on other podcasts. And then that’s how people new potential listeners get introduced to you. And then you can mention other podcasts to people are going to find it. One of the most popular ways out there. To discover podcast is on other podcasts, we kind of Tuesday makes sense. But I’m listening to something, the thing I’m listening to is about to run out, right? There’s the ticking time bomb, every podcast episode is literally going to run out at some point. So I’m likely going to like looking for something else to listen to. So this sort of idea, how can it be another podcast is a strategy that works very well. But what other podcasts should you be on? And will I’m just going to make an example. If you go on a podcast that talks all about gardening, I don’t know you’re very well, maybe you’re really into gardening, you have a lot to say. But there might not be a lot of overlap between the gardening podcast and the podcast that you’re running. Right. So we want to make sure that when we do things like what we’re calling a guesting strategy is sort of the term that we use for you to be another podcast. What we want to make sure is we want to identify the podcasts where there’s actually a lot of overlap between their audience and your desired audience. Ie you want to, you know, go to another shows that actually make sense. So how do you identify those, there’s millions of podcasts out there. So we have a tool we call a podcast neighborhoods, where we analyze overlapping audiences between different podcasts. We visualize that in this sort of a biggest how to produce in a podcast webinar. But imagine like a big map, lots of dots, and then lines connecting those dots. And, and that sort of is literally a map. It’s a visual map, where we can look at where does your podcast live? What other podcasts is your podcast already connected to? And connected to means? What other podcasts have an overlapping audience, people that listen to your show? What other shows are they also listening to? Then we can sort of expand that? And what about those shows? Then? What are they listening to? So we can kind of do this sort of, you know, one to three degrees removed from your show? Once we visualize that, it’s a really awesome way for us to identify. So what are some shows on here that maybe we’ve never heard of? What are some shows on here that maybe are not a great fit for you. But it’s an awesome starting point to identify shows that are similar to yours, and most importantly, that have similar audiences. And then we can try and get you booked on those shows. That tactic is great for sort of guessing and, you know, sort of what we would call an earned media opportunity, but as same as paid. So you want it to buy ads?
Will Bachman 14:07
So how do you get the data to do that? So how would you know, someone is listening to Unleashed and they also listened to, you know, some other podcasts? How would you know?
Jonas Woost 14:19
That’s a very, very good question. You know, when you go on Apple podcasts, and on any podcast page, you can scroll down. And at the bottom, you might find something that they call it the changes recently, you know, people who listen, listen to this, also listen to that. Sure. That information. People who listen to this, also listen to that. We extract that information. Okay, Apple podcasts. All
Will Bachman 14:43
right. So you’re relying on Apple podcasts. It’s not like you have this sort of database of 5 million listeners and access to their app or something like that, which would be nice.
Jonas Woost 14:54
That would be nice. Yes. We don’t have that we won’t have that. We get that information. Indeed. We get it
Will Bachman 15:00
Apple. Okay, gotcha. Okay, so you’re able to, from Apple figure out who’s listening to that, and then you look at all the shows and sort of get all of those people are also listening to you put those together.
Jonas Woost 15:12
Okay, cool. So go back to your question, do you wanna hit some stuff? That doesn’t work? Yeah, I want to hear what doesn’t work in. Maybe keep this one brief, because it’s maybe less useful. A lot of the time, we have this idea, we have a show, we’re going to use social media to promote the show. Okay, but sort of a common practice, right? I don’t think it’s nothing wrong with that. But then when you dig in a little bit, you go a little deeper. Okay, we’re gonna do some social media. That’s great. Let’s just say I’m just going to illustrate my point, we’ve got to make some little Instagram, little short little videos of the guests with a little code, you know, subtitle in the middle and put it on Instagram and ask people, Hey, here’s a little teaser, we’ve got a new episode, check it out. Does that feel familiar? Does that kind of sound like a strategy?
Will Bachman 15:51
That sounds like something I’ve tried? Yes. I did it a little bit. And that didn’t work that much. But I didn’t, I didn’t really do a great job at it either. So So does that work? Or does that tell?
Jonas Woost 16:04
The question, I think is a great strategy. I think it’s a wonderful strategy. The next question I will always ask is, So how big is your existing Instagram audience? And for a lot of people, the answer is, oh, no, we’re building we’re going to start, we’re going to start an Instagram account for the podcast, and we’re going to post these little clips, and then they’re going to promote a podcast. If that’s the strategy, you just got to tusks, you want to build a podcast audience. But you also want to build an Instagram audience, you just doubled your work, because you don’t actually have an audience yet on Instagram, and it, you know, be so nice, if it just goes viral, and the algorithm is going to pick it up, I’m going to share it with all these people, that might happen. But that’s likely not going to happen. So for that kind of strategy, that’s kind of social media strategy, which I think is wonderful. It really only works if you already have an audience. Or,
Will Bachman 16:53
or I mean, the alternate version of that, which I’ve thought about, but I haven’t, I haven’t had the follow through to do it would be you prepare this nice little, you know, Instagram post, or micro video content, micro content, and then you give that to your guest. Right? If you’re a guest ratio, and you and maybe they post it and says, Hey, I was on, you know, Unleashed. And here’s a little snippet.
Jonas Woost 17:21
I love that. I think that totally works. 100%, getting your guests and asking guests to help you promote the podcast, promote the appearance, completely legitimate, everyone’s doing it and giving them sort of material, as you describe, you know, maybe you give them the video or you give them a an image that can put on LinkedIn, that kind of stuff that 100% works. And we definitely recommend doing that all the time. The things, the bigger your guest, the less likely they are to do that. And some some podcasts will have a strategy to say like, you know, we’re just going to invite people on the podcast that have a very large social media following, right. So they can help promote the podcast. But if you have a very large social media following, you’re very much aware of the value of that. And you might not be willing to promote a podcast all the time, you know, because you might have other sort of deals or you might have other things you want to promote maybe on property. So it’s kind of like diminishing returns, like it’s almost like the bigger the guests, the less likely is for them to promote you. Which is ironic, maybe maybe counterintuitive. But we see that a lot that the biggest.
Will Bachman 18:23
So you need a large guests with a big following who’s also generous, or a guest with a medium sized following who’s who’s happy to promote the fact that they were on a podcast. Yes, there’s they’re not on one all the time, but they’re not like a super superstar. So
Jonas Woost 18:40
that’s what Okay, another thing that doesn’t work, before we, before we get to the maybe do the good stuff, the stuff that works, all right. A lot of paid activation, sadly, don’t work. And it’s very sad to see podcasters invest money and invest money, like where it’s easy to spend money. And I’m thinking search, I’m thinking social, where you can just pick up a ticket or credit card, and you can go to one of these services and you can buy a bunch of ads. We have not seen those convert, and
Will Bachman 19:09
what hasn’t maybe not on search, but what about on say, like overcast or one of these things where you can post an ad that gets inserted in a related podcast, right. I’ve I have heard some people who got got some mileage out of that. But I don’t know if they got listeners that stayed long term, but
Jonas Woost 19:28
it is you know, getting to the stuff that works. Oh, okay. This is good. No, I love this. Now, let’s do that. On the paid side. Absolutely. If you use audio promos, yeah, that’s what you’re referring to to promote your podcast. Absolutely. That can work. Again, the targeting is really important. You better put an ad on a show that’s, you know, relevant, right? For your show as well. If it’s again, we go back to my example if you buy an ad on a gardening show, those listeners are going to be like me to gardening like I don’t we’re not really looking for. So the targeting is really, really important. And then there’s different formats like Audio Ads can work. really well, and there’s also display ads you can buy on within certain podcast apps. And they will have a little, little display. AD, those can also work really well. Those can convert really well. Paid is not our favorite overall not our favorite strategy to grow podcast, it works, but it’s expensive. So it is nice to have somewhat guaranteed results, you know, you’re gonna get something out of it, but you’re likely going to spend a lot of money. Some people have a lot of money good for them, they can do that. But for us, it would always be more towards the bottom of the list of recommendations. You mentioned earlier being another podcast, doing swaps, all that kind of stuff, it’s more work. It’s can be a lot more work. But often it’s free, and and you build relationships with other podcasts. Then over time, this is never something where you have, oh, we did this one thing, another podcast. And now you know, everything’s through the roof. This is days, weeks, years sometimes to really grow that audience. So patience is very much part of a, a piece of the recipe as well.
Will Bachman 21:05
Okay. What about reviews? How important? Is it to get reviews? Does that raise you in the visibility on iTunes? Or is it just a vanity metric?
Jonas Woost 21:17
From what the data suggests? It is largely a vanity metric, but a nice one. I sometimes read reviews of other shows, like I do this. Do you remember making a decision whether or not listen, just as a listener? Right? Will I decide to listen to podcasts based on reviews? Maybe? Maybe not. I think it’s a nice to have. There’s no evidence that suggests that having reviews having many reviews, changes how you get recommended changes where you shop, and then search results. Apparently, it really doesn’t make a difference.
Will Bachman 21:49
Is that right? Okay, I had the impression that if you had a lot of reviews, iTunes would sort of show you higher up in the rankings, when someone does a search on some term, but maybe I’m wrong,
Jonas Woost 22:00
I have not seen any evidence where it really makes a difference. To think that we could just talk about Apple, the thing that does actually help not so much in terms of getting your high up in the search rankings. But getting you high up in the charts, which is also a bit of a vanity metric. Do people really go through the charts all the way down might might look at a top 10, top 20, maybe top 30. But nevertheless, the thing that does move you and the charts is there, the new followers you get. If you get a bunch of new followers one day, you have a better chance, you will likely go up in the charts that it seems like we don’t know this, of course, Apple has not published the algorithm that they use for their charts. But the data we’ve seen suggests that it is either entirely or largely based on just new follower count.
Will Bachman 22:49
What about having really good show notes and detailed show notes. So maybe you have if someone’s searching on a term and it’s in your show notes, you’re more likely to pop up or something like that.
Jonas Woost 23:00
100% You’re not. And the big thing to look for is the series level description, your description for the overall podcast, that is really important that’s indexed by what we believe pretty much all podcast platforms, the words you put in there really, really matter. Of course, for the people that read it, because someone will read your description before they make the decision to to actually listen. But then also what we call the robots will also go through, they will index the stuff in there. So you definitely want to make sure that any search terms that are relevant for your show, there should definitely be mentioned in that description. But the same goes for the title, the title might be the biggest one there. So we talk a lot with clients a lot of times around what we call podcast packaging. This is basically everything that’s not the mp3, everything that’s not the audio, that’s the artwork, that’s the description. That’s the word that’s the show description, or the episode description that just the show notes or the the episode description. That is the release frequency that is the website, everything that’s not the actual audio and we want to make sure with our clients that when someone discovers your podcast somehow, somehow they see your podcast wherever they listen to podcast, we want to make it as easy as possible for for for listeners or for potential listeners to clay. So describing, for example, what the podcast is about, which is maybe an obvious thing, but lots of podcasts have sort of obscure titles. I’m going to make up I don’t know this podcast, but I bet you there’s a podcast that’s called Never Say Never bet up look right now, what is that podcast about? No idea, but a podcast that is called and we’re making this up on the spot right now. Breaking through how entrepreneurs can succeed in business. Okay, I know what that podcast is about. And if I’m literally in a subject matter, I’m gonna listen to that because I know what that’s about. Never say never. I don’t know what that’s about. So, my point is that this sort of description, any sort of metadata is real It really, really important for discoverability for the robots that index stuff, but also for individuals that come across it. So we actually spent an incredible of time with our clients just on the packaging.
Will Bachman 25:11
For, let’s say, one of the listeners of this show as a podcast and a bunch of listeners do. If someone’s not ready to step up, and you know, employ the services of a firm like yours, and they want to do a little bit of do it yourself growth plan, right? Maybe someday they can, you know, higher bumper, but right now, it’s just they’re doing it to help promote their independent consulting practice. With some of your guidance be,
Jonas Woost 25:42
I’m going to give you, I’m going to start with a thing that is maybe least useful, but definitely most important. It’s got to be a good show. It has to be really good. And there’s nothing that we can really do if the show to my earlier point, the show needs to solve a problem for the listener, there needs to be a reason why I’m listening to the show. And the reason is not to, to listen to the thought leadership that that person can demonstrate. There needs to be real reason why the listener is going to say, I’m going to check this out. And reasons include, yeah, we’ll learn something, or I just want to have company, I’ve got an hour drive. And I just want company, that’s a completely legitimate problem that I’m trying to solve, right? I’m controlling for all our, it used to be the radio, but maybe the radio quality, I don’t know what’s gonna listen to the podcast. So what is the reason someone’s listening, and they’d better deliver on that promise of like, I’m going to promise you company for an hour, and I’m going to entertain you for that hour. better deliver on that promise. So that’s the one thing like the show actually has to be really good, more sort of growth tactics. The idea of we talked about this earlier, the idea of how can I? How can my show be exposed on other podcasts? That’s a really nice low hanging fruit. What should we do on other podcasts, and again, it could be your own opportunity. It could just be a guest on another podcast, there’s a deal as it is, like, collaborations, maybe there’s another podcast that’s quite similar to yours. You know what, maybe it’s not even similar. Maybe it’s the gardening example from earlier. And we’re going to do a, you know, consulting and gardening and we do a collaborative episode, we make an episode together, and we’re going to publish on both feet at the same time. Yeah, it’s a fun idea. Maybe the garden example doesn’t quite work. But it’s those kinds of ideas, collaborate with someone, be a guest somewhere, do a guest swap, do an episode swap, I tell you what I’m going to, you’re going to publish one of my episodes, I’m going to publish one of your episodes, and all our listeners are going to find out about these other shows. And you said at the start, hey, listeners, today, we’ve got something different. I really just discovered this other show, I’m really enjoying it. And I thought you might too. I’m back next week with my usual programming. So these kinds of swaps doesn’t cost anything. It’s very common. And it can be especially when you’re starting out, and you’re kind of looking from like, maybe from hundreds of downloads, you want to get into the 1000s of downloads, like that sort of scale, those kinds of tactics can work really well.
Will Bachman 28:03
Yeah, I agree. And my vibe on that would be that, rather than just going out to another podcaster and saying, Hey, do you want to do a swap? You could just reach out, especially if you have a smaller show, reach out and ask, Would you like to be a guest on my show? Just full stop, right? And you get to know them and stuff. And then maybe they’ll say, Oh, why don’t you come on my show. But don’t just like reach out? Hey, let’s be transactional, let’s do a swap. And you know, maybe they don’t offer fine. Okay, so you had another guest. My son actually did some of those collaborations he talked about, my son has a show that Half Blood report about the whole universe of Percy Jackson. And he’s sort of kind of tailed off in terms of publishing it, but he did about 80 episodes, 70 episodes. And so he did a couple of his collaborations where there were some other Percy Jackson podcasts, and they got together and they did some like live YouTube stuff for people streaming and everything. It’s very effective. And it’s fun to get to know some other people and sit in the same space. So what would you say would be a good way to do that research? Right? So let’s say if you don’t have access to a firm like bumper, in my world, okay, independent consulting, you know, other related shows who do management consulting? What would be the way for someone to research other shows in that space? And then you come up with a list, but then you also don’t know, necessarily, which ones have like no listeners, or 10 or 20, and which ones have 1000s. And you’re probably not going to get on the show with millions of listeners. So how do you kind of do that research to figure out, you know, who is a potential? You know, someone that would be a possible swap for you?
Jonas Woost 29:53
I think the the real answer is you’re going to be doing a lot of listening. So I think one great starting point, which is similar to our start same point, going to Apple podcasts. See if you have a podcast already. Your listeners, what else are they listening to? And you can see it at the bottom. It’s right there, right? And then from there, you can like what are people those shows listening to, you can kind of branch out. And you can start listening to a bunch of stuff, you will come across stuff that is clearly very, very big. Because maybe it’s an NPR show, there might not be a collaboration that’s possible, and that you can kind of maybe start weeding them out, you’re going to come across shows that maybe don’t publish anymore, or they haven’t published in two years, that doesn’t really make any sense, you’re going to come across some shows that are just not a great fit, because you just don’t feel it is the fittest, right? The brand isn’t right, the tone isn’t right. We’re going to start listening, and you’re going to start finding a couple of shows 2345, we say like, oh, wow, this is actually maybe not necessarily similar in subject matter, but similar in tone or similar in what they’re trying to achieve or similar in size of operation or similar in whatever that might be. And listening is really the trick there. And you got to start finding those. And then to your point around like building a community, absolutely showing generosity, and just not just reaching out to say like, Can you do something for me? Right? But something like, what can I do for you, we have this one thing that we recommend clients, it’s a little thing, but it can make a difference, which is, once you find 10 shows where you really feel like that’s really something that I would love to get to know them. Write a blog post, when social media posts, my 10 favorite shows, just you know, help promote them, no shows they’ll see it. They know you’re doing it. You can also let them know that you’re doing this, you can put a playlist together, you can do a whole bunch of stuff to promote those 10 shows. Because yes, you liked them. Yes, you think your audience would enjoy them. But also because you have a motive here too. We want to get to know those shows, and doing that by showing generosity. Absolutely. I think that’s super smart.
Will Bachman 31:48
I love that idea. In fact, Umbrex has done that idea. So I love that. That’s wonderful listeners. If you go to umbrex.com and under for consultants go down to resources, and then click on recommended podcasts. We have curated about 1000 podcasts by topic by industry, so amazing. I’m following Jonas’s advice here. Let’s talk a little bit about your services on the execution side, Jonas, talk to me about you help come up with the plan or the strategy. What what is the how do you help podcast podcasters execute on that, in terms of finding other swaps, or helping them create all of the packaging, you know, the graphic design and all that stuff. So talk to me about your services.
Jonas Woost 32:40
So essentially, we have a number of clients that want to do the execution themselves. And they’re being very clear about it. They have big teams already, or they have other agencies that they work with, they’re really just looking for the expertise, they’re going to take the expertise and are going to execute it themselves. That is great. That is a great success. And to those clients, we use this line, I don’t know if it’s a good line, but we use this line to say like success means you’re going to fire us if we’re successfully going to fire us because we’re going to give you everything you need, and they don’t need us anymore. That is awesome. That is success for everyone. Then there’s other clients that don’t necessarily have resources in house, they don’t have any agencies to do the work. And for those clients, they want to, we’re available to do that to everything you just described, you know, execute a paid media campaign to help with social media, do outreach to other shows, you know, graphic design, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that we can and will help with, if the client wants to. The important thing is and we make this very clear that there’s no obligation to work with us in the future. In fact, we tell people don’t commit to us long term. At the start of an engagement, we say you don’t even know us, like let’s work on the strategy. And hopefully you’re going to like what you what you experience you can like working with us. And then afterwards, we can talk about working with us if you want to on the execution side as well. It’s worked well so far. I mean, in your business, maybe it’s not very smart business sense, maybe should tie people to bumper like right from the start. But it feels like the right thing to do. And anyway for us in this very, very niche business of a niche business, podcasting. And then within podcasting, it’s podcast growth, and we really work with enterprise clients. So it’s a niche within a niche within a niche. Word of mouth is so important. It’s all recommendations. There’s no marketing tactics for us where we can get in front of the right people through, say ads. So it’s all word of mouth. We want to make sure we need to make sure that our clients are really happy. I can’t afford the client to be unhappy. Because I need that recommendation from the client. I know that every successful every client that is happy is going to recommend me to someone else. And so I can reach that. So with with that in mind, we say let’s do this strategy first. Afterwards, we can figure out whether we’re the right people to also do the execution.
Will Bachman 34:55
So what’s the kind of laundry list of services that you could provide? For the execution piece.
Jonas Woost 35:02
So the two big ones that people ask for all the time, the biggest one is probably paid. So the idea is we work with a client, they have a budget, and they want to make sure that budget gets deployed towards a paid activation to promote a podcast, that can be done in a way that’s effective. And it’s quite easy to do this in a way that’s a complete waste of money. And we’ve seen both, frankly, we’ve seen both. So spending money on the right ads to promote your podcast and measure it the right way, which is possible, but not always possible. And as it gets quite complicated, we do that as a standalone service. For existing clients, I should say, afterwards, we go and we can do media buying, in service of growing a podcast, that is probably the the execution side, probably the most popular option right now. Then there’s also what we’re calling a sort of burn site. But let’s call it publicity, or we can call a PR as well get a guest get a host of a podcast on another show do the swaps, we describe anything that is sort of get trying to get featured by Apple, Apple, Apple podcasts has it sort of called the homepage where stuff is recommended. This is an editorial area that’s individuals that review content to put it up there. So there’s a whole PR angle that bumpers doing, those are the two big ones. Then there’s other stuff where we’re working with a client right now it’s more like it’s almost project management, where we look at the different pieces, and we kind of help the project along and over time we work with the Creator, to make sure all the different growth tactics are being executed. This is more like kind of advising, almost like checking in on a regular basis. And then other options are social media support, copywriting, artwork, designs, those are all options, although less popular with our clients, but all those options are available.
Will Bachman 36:52
One thing that I have not seen, and maybe it exists, but I just haven’t seen people like, at least pinging me about it is a kind of podcast coach, not so much on the promotion side, but on the actual content itself. And I imagine that there’s all great kind of out of work, radio editors, and people who are, you know, or, you know, on the side or something would be great at coaching someone like me, who’s just hacking away at it and say, Look, your show is too long, we can get an editor to come in and make it you know, snappier and 15 minutes long or, or your your voice is terrible. You do this instead or you really should have some music or something or could actually help on the content. Have you seen people who are trying to make a go of it as a coach on the content piece? Like just I mean, if if you were a radio journalist, you would have an editor, right? If you worked for all things considered, there’d be an editor who knows how to turn your stuff into better, you know, more listenable stuff, but I haven’t seen that people promoting that service.
Jonas Woost 38:06
So yes, it totally exists. And there’s the sort of podcast consultants more broadly that come up with a strategy for podcasts. And then there’s also the idea of just sort of content consultants, trying to make the show better 100% exists. I think that this is a theory. I think the reason that you don’t see this more often, and you didn’t already have 20 people getting in touch with you to sell you this kind of service. Not that you needed. Well, I think your podcast is great. The reason why you didn’t have 20 people already getting in touch is that those people right now, they can make a podcast on awesome. They’ve got work. They employed, the you know, they’re not looking to like pitch their services, because they’re working right now. They’re working podcasters. So I think that’s just one thing. We have clients also asking us for editorial feedback, we’ve worked podcast production company in the past, we’ve made podcasts we make actually quite successful podcasts. It’s very much part of something that Thumper can offer as well. But we are very clear with our clients. That is not our role we can as an option, we have it, we’re always happy to give feedback, who doesn’t like to like criticize someone else’s work, right? And but we make it very clear to our clients like they hire us to follow a growth service. And to sort of editorial support or editorial feedback is we’re super happy to give it but we don’t want. We don’t want clients to feel that we’re going to come in and say like, Well, you gotta change your podcast all the way. Because this is not our role people make podcasts for certainly have this stories that they want to tell. And it’s not really our role to kind of judge them on how they want to make a show or what stories they want to tell.
Will Bachman 39:46
Gotcha, interesting. So there are people out there but they’re the good people are already already booked. Interesting. Okay. So do you have kind of a crew of freelancers Those who are can help with the paid and with the help with the behind, you know, behind you and your partner. I know, or how are you delivering on that execution side.
Jonas Woost 40:10
So at this point, we have a team of three, it’s myself, my business partner, we’ve hired one person, we are working also with freelancers. But maybe this is the time to let you know that we launched bumper in August. Yeah, August of this year going. So we’re just getting going right? If the truth is, and the funny thing is, on the execution side, you asked me about the laundry list. We’ve, we’re working with quite a number of clients on the strategy, and we’re just coming out of the strategy work now. We’re having conversations right now I am learning. And I’m not joking. Every day I’m learning something new that clients might eat on the execution side. And I’m surprised as well. So if you asked me again, in a year, we I would, I’m expecting that there’s going to be a small in house crew, maybe less than 10 people are going to be doing stuff in house for our clients on the execution side. And then for very specialized work, we’re probably going to be partnering with freelancers, or even with external agencies. Like I mentioned social media earlier, are we ever going to have enough social media worked for us to have a social media specialist in house? Maybe? But also, maybe not? Maybe that is something where we just partner with someone else. I mean, you and your listeners, and your clients would know like, this is kind of the fun part about starting this right? You’re learning as you go along, from clients, requests and from clients questions. And when you do kind of readjusting our products based on, frankly, what we hear from our clients.
Will Bachman 41:35
What’s a typical budget for your clients, like enterprise clients? for producing a podcast? Like, can you share order of magnitude? The budget per episode,
Jonas Woost 41:49
I’m just of course, on, not on just on the production side. Again, we don’t do the production, but kind of what we hear and what we know and what we’re aware of. And from our past experience, like a corporate client, the range is big, but on a per episode basis, I would certainly on the very low end think about 10 to $15,000 per episode, per episode. Yeah. Oh, high end, maybe $40,000
Will Bachman 42:14
per episode, holy smokes. You have to
Jonas Woost 42:18
think about like, those are different shows. This is not this type of show, right? These are shows these are often shows what that I describe as documentary style shows, okay, shows that have multiple characters, multiple scenes, we’re going to go on a whole journey here. And the episodes would take three, four or five weeks full time to produce a single episode. Wow. Okay. But you know, because you do all the research, you do all the guests, you talk to a lot of people you don’t actually not everyone you talk to will actually make it on the show. So a lot of writing involves a lot of writing. So for corporate clients, that can be it typical budget can.
Will Bachman 42:56
Wow. So that’s serious. And then how much would they pay to promote those kinds of shows?
Jonas Woost 43:04
The paid budget is it really ranges? I’m trying to think right now, if there’s a typical spend, I don’t think that is, I think, for those big clients, and I’m talking corporate brands, when they’re looking to produce a podcast. Typically, whatever they spend on production, they’re going to spend the same amount again, on promoted. Wow. Okay, that is sort of, a lot of the times this is sort of wet nets out, sometimes more, sometimes it’s less, again, these are four, these are for multibillion dollar companies, they’re very much used to the fact that whenever piece of content that they produce, they’re not just going to post it up somewhere. They have a strategy behind it to actually promote it.
Will Bachman 43:48
Yeah. That’s interesting. I had no idea there was I mean, because I haven’t I haven’t been exposed to ads for these. But I just looked up on iTunes here while we’re chatting. Ford Motor Company has bring back Bronco, the untold story at the podcast. And they also
Jonas Woost 44:05
produced that, did you just pick that because of because they produce that podcast? Thank you very much. I was very much involved in the show. Yeah, that’s a funny one, isn’t it? Is it? Is that the first result you see when you search for Ford? Yes, it is. Oh, that’s very good. So I see. That’s actually Oxfam Thank you. This is we didn’t plan this. We did exactly the point of like, audience development and making sure that when you put it forward now, it’s because I have a bunch of other podcasts. Right, right. It’s a podcast that we produce that little, that is not an accident. That’s what we tried to do. Make sure it’s at the top.
Will Bachman 44:34
They have the lift, also powered by Ford, the lift powered by Ford, auto repair professionals. Listen to the lift, powered by Ford for insights and stories to help lift your business and your day. So in each episode, host Chris Zimmer did an expert guest talk about the business of auto repair. So that’s kind of targeted auto mechanics. And and then that’s the Only two Ford branded shows that are in the top, like, here are the shows that show up.
Jonas Woost 45:06
Yeah. And then you might have some mug if you go down a little bit more, but there might not be showing up at the top.
Will Bachman 45:12
Yeah. And then there’s other ones about about Ford, but not by Ford, but maybe they maybe show. So that’s so nice job. So yours was at the top of the top of the heap there, the one that you guys produced. So that would be an example. All right, well, well, we have a couple minutes left. You said you, we can turn the tables, you might have some questions for me. Go ahead. I’d love it. I’m happy to have the tables turned.
Jonas Woost 45:35
I want to know how this podcast fits into your growth strategy and your business strategy. And and how you who you have, what do you do with 500? Plus, I look last night 500 Plus episodes at this point, right? This is awesome. I think this is great. And for the listeners, you might not know this, but we’ll and I just met so the fact that normally would have a kind of conversation, you basically just recording a conversation that we would have had maybe anyway, right? I think that’s super interesting. Tell me more about that.
Will Bachman 46:03
All right. So the it’s a little bit of a not very sophisticated strategy. So bumper wood, would get would fail if they came up with my strategy, because it’s, you guys wouldn’t, wouldn’t recommend it. So it was a couple things that came together. For this show. One I was listening to Tim Ferriss show at the end of 2016. And I thought to myself, Oh, that’d be fun to have a podcast. And then that bubbled for a month or two. And then I launched the show in like, April 2017, I think, for a few reasons. One is I, you know, help build and, you know, connect this community of independent consultants. And I found myself saying the same things over and over to a lot of people about certain topics, right? So like, Okay, I’m getting tired of having the same conversation with people. So what I’d like to do is be able to put that out there. And then I’ll say, Oh, you want to learn about whatever how to find executive assistant? Or how to get health insurance? Or how to get, you know, contracts? Or how to develop, you know, get leads or whatever? Or how to manage a CRM system. Fantastic. Listen to this episode. And then if you have questions, then ask me, so I don’t just repeat myself. So part of it was that wanting to just make it more accessible to people the stuff I was saying, that’s number one. So some of the episodes in this show are just me talking with some on some specific topic. The other thing was to help promote members of our community by interviewing independent consultants. It’s a way for me to get to know them, like you said, I’d have the conversation anyway. But this way, I have the conversation, I get to know the person and you know, we help provide some level of visibility to that independent consultant. And it’s really nice when we’re looking to recommend a consultant to a client. It’s super impressive to the client, when I say, Oh, I really recommend, you know, Jane Smith, and she was on my show. So listen to episode 337, you know, and that often really works. The client will listen to that. Oh, yeah, she’s really impressive. I’d like to speak with her. So that makes it feel like Yeah, we really do know, the consultant. And then it’s a way to get to know people, right? things I’m curious about, like our conversation here. It’s, you know, we might have a conversation anyway. But this maybe gives you a little bit more value, because now you’re not just wasting an hour chatting with me. But we also get to share your insights with a broader community of people who might be interested. So and then, like, a fourth reason is, it’s kind of a platform for me to talk to some of my, you know, heroes or people that I would really love to have a discussion with or get to know, they probably wouldn’t say, sure I’ll get on the phone with you for an hour. But so, a series of writers and thought leaders and so forth, we’ve had Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield, Jean martinet, who wrote the art of mingling, we’ve had the author of the book about management consulting, Ethan Rozelle the McKinsey way. So a lot of authors Tyler Cowen that, so that’s been fun, as a way to kind of get to get to know, thought leaders that I’m interested in. And so I hope it’s useful to consultants. It’s maybe not as consistent where every single episode is useful. So, you know, some would be particularly useful for people on some specific topic. But then once it’s recorded, I can send people that episode and say, hey, you know, listen, listen to this one. So, I see that we’re coming to the top of the hour and I want to Thank you, Jonas, and where can people find you? If they want to learn more about your firm? Where would you point them online?
Jonas Woost 50:06
We are bumper.com is the best website to use and everything’s on there and you can get in touch there. Thank you for having me.
Will Bachman 50:13
listeners that will be in the show notes. And as Jonas would say, if you are so inclined to give this show a five star review on iTunes, but only if it does help others discover the show. Thanks for listening