We have arrived at Part Three of our three-part series on creating a show that has meaningful differentiation — the kind of differentiation that will attract and retain an audience in a time of more and more podcast clutter.
This lesson is all about how to display your differentiation visually, and how to use the “Hell Yes” principle to iterate yourself to the best shared show experience for you and your audience.
Over an hour of intense discussion, Jerod and Jonny cover the following topics, in the same 3 ideas/3 bullets format that they have used for each of these lessons in their mini courses:
1. Create remarkable show art
- The importance of research when creating show art
- Why it’s imperative that you not overcomplicate your show art
- How your show art can (and should) evolve as your show evolves
2. Be strategic and intentional in your use of visuals
- Have a logo that is instantly recognizable as yours
- Should you use an image of yourself?
- How to think about color and font
3. Double down on what works, and iterate on what doesn’t
- Why you should never capitulate to appease people on the fringes
- How to use the “Hell Yes” principle to know what works and what doesn’t
- The importance of iterating to “Hell Yes”
Remember: indifference won’t differentiate! We discuss that principle as well.
Plus, we offer up two new podcast recommendations:
- Tony Robbins Podcast: Are You a Wantrapreneur? — with Noah Kagan
- The Hack the Entrepreneur Top Ten … it’s out! Be sure to take a look.
- Part One: No. 057 How to Decide What Your Podcast Should Be About
- Part Two: No. 059 How to Differentiate Your Show in Meaningful Ways That Create Connection
- No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no. — by Derek Sivers
- Follow Jerod on Twitter: @jerodmorris
- Follow Jonny on Twitter: @jonnastor
Listen, learn, enjoy …
The Show Notes
No. 061 Why the ‘Hell Yes’ Principle is the Key to Differentiation That Impacts an Audience
Jerod Morris: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.
Welcome to The Showrunner, where we have one goal: teach you how to develop, launch, and run a remarkable show. Ready?
Welcome back to The Showrunner. This is episode No. 61 of The Showrunner. I am your host, Jerod Morris, the VP of marketing for Rainmaker Digital. I am joined, as always, by my co-host, Jonny Nastor, drummer of punk-rock beats, connoisseur of sandwiches … no, connoisseur of coffee, maker of sandwiches, lister of shows. I don’t know. There’s a whole bunch of things. He’s the host of Hack the Entrepreneur. He’s a bestselling author. He is Jonny Nastor.
Mr. Nastor, welcome. It is always a pleasure to speak with you.
Jonny Nastor: Wow, thanks for the lovely introduction, Jerod.
Jerod Morris: Yeah, I apologize that I’ve forgotten some of the descriptors, but there are so many.
Jonny Nastor: There are. It seems like every two weeks there’s another one.
Jerod Morris: It does indeed. Hey, so we’re recording this on the 24th of May, and next week, by the time people listen to our next episode, you actually are going to be over in Europe. You’re taking a big trip. You’re going to be there for several weeks.
You and I actually, last week, recorded some episodes ahead of time to plan around the times when you’re going to be traveling and not able to make our normal recording sessions, so we recorded a couple of episodes ahead of time. What’s the impetus for the trip to Europe? What are the highlights going to be as you look ahead?
Highlights of Jonny’s Europe Trip
Jonny Nastor: I have a mastermind group. It’s only three of us left, but for two years, we’ve been meeting every single week. We’ve decided to make it this event where we meet places. We originally met in the Philippines, so in Asia. Then last year, we just randomly said, “We should meet in Lisbon, Portugal,” for some reason. But then we didn’t because I ended up in Vancouver, so they wanted to come to Vancouver. So they met me there.
Now, this year, we’re part of this forum called the Dynamite Circle, which is a huge forum of 1,000 people, 2,000 people, or something. They hold two conferences a year. I believe it’s two, yeah. This one, the Dynamite Circle’s in Barcelona. As soon as that came up, they instantly just sent links and said, “Hey, we should go to this together,” so I said, “Okay, let’s go.”
Then it was like, “Wow, what about Lisbon?” We’re stopping in Lisbon, me and my two friends, for six days, we’re going to spend, just the three of us, working, talking about stuff, and doing whatever it is we do. Then the three of us are flying over to Barcelona, where my family will already be waiting for me. Then we’re going to hang out there for a couple weeks. Go to a conference, and check out the Pablo Picasso Arts Museum, which I’m looking forward to.
Jerod Morris: Very nice. That sounds great, man.
Jonny Nastor: It’s going to be cool. It’s going to be really cool.
Jerod Morris: Lisbon, of course, not to be confused with Libsyn.
Jonny Nastor: Not to be confused with Libsyn.
Jerod Morris: A little podcasting humor there for you.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah, and also with Lisbon, my audio editor, the editor of my show, he’s edited the last 202 episodes of my podcast, he lives in Portugal, so not in Lisbon, but I’m going to be going there. He’s going to take a train to Lisbon, and we’re going to go out for dinner.
Jerod Morris: Oh how cool.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah, which is really awesome, so I’m going to actually get to meet him rather than just talking to him via email all the time.
Jerod Morris: That’s amazing when that gets to happen, when you’ve worked virtually and then you get to meet in person. That’s phenomenal.
Jonny Nastor: I love it. Yeah, and obviously, it just helps the whole relationship. He does great work for me. It’ll be fun. Plus, it’s really cool to always have somebody who’s from there because they know the language better than me. I don’t know any Portuguese. You don’t just see the tourist stuff. They’ll take me somewhere interesting. I’m looking forward to it.
Jerod Morris: Very cool. Very, very cool. Well, before we begin, obviously, here in this episode, we are doing the third part of our second mini course. We completed Jonny’s mini course last week. If you missed that episode, make sure that you go back and listen to it. That was Jonny’s mini course on how to plan … what was it? Schedule, plan, and execute engaging podcast interviews? I believe those were the three verbs.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah, book, plan, and execute.
Jerod Morris: Plan and execute. There we go. How to book, plan, and execute, so those three episodes are in your archive. We, of course, will be turning that into a mini course because that’s what we’re doing with this series.
Today, we are going to be doing the third lesson in my mini course, the 3-Step Process for Creating a Unique Podcast That Will Attract and Retain an Audience. We are going to get to that here in just a few minutes. We’re going to be talking about how to differentiate through design and then how to double down to ‘hell yes.’ You’re not going to want to miss this one. It is the ending to this mini course.
New Listener? Get on The Showrunner List to Elevate Your Showrunning
Jerod Morris: Before we get to that, we do want to remind all of you, especially those of you who may be here for the first time or the second time, we just had someone email us a couple of days ago and say that he had just found The Showrunner and was going back through all the way from the beginning, starting from scratch, and listening to all the episodes, so he’d be caught up.
If any of you are listening here for your first time, your second time, your third time, make sure that you go to Showrunner.FM, and join The Showrunner. You get a lot of goodies when you do that.
You get our content series, the Four Essential Elements of a Remarkable Podcast, so that you understand our core curriculum and so that you know what we mean when we talk about authenticity, usefulness, sustainability, and profitability. There’s even an ebook there, and if you just email us, we’ll be happy to send that to you if you’d rather have it in PDF form.
But you’ll also get our weekly newsletter. Our weekly newsletter includes updates of new episodes, announcements of upcoming events–like our Showrunner Huddles, some of which are public and which we love having you there for–then our world-famous, highly renowned, ‘we highly recommend’ section, where we find really cool links, really cool resources, new ideas, just something to spur your thinking.
Sometimes there are great opportunities, like the opportunity that we put in our last newsletter about a way for folks on the list to be part of a free Digital Commerce Academy Q&A where you can go and actually ask Brian Clark and Chris Garrett questions.
There’s always something new, something exciting in there, so make sure that you go to Showrunner.FM and get on the list. Jonny, any final comments here before we jump into today’s main topic?
Jonny Nastor: No. I think I’m too excited to get into today’s topic. This has, by far, the best title out of all six of these that we’ve done up till now. I think we should just do it.
Jerod Morris: By the way, I just skipped ahead and saw what you put in the podcast recommendation section. Won’t that be interesting? More on that to come, folks. All right, let’s jump into today’s main topic.
Lesson 3 of the 3-Step Process for Creating a Unique Podcast That Will Attract and Retain an Audience
Jerod Morris: All right. Welcome to the third lesson in our mini course, the 3-Step Process for Creating a Unique Podcast That Will Attract and Retain an Audience–in other words, how to create your unique snowflake in a blizzard of podcasts.
Of course, the big idea that we are talking about with this mini course, and this goes back to a line that Chris Garrett gave me when I first asked him about how does he think about differentiation, making a show, making a blog, or some piece of content unique.
His idea was this. “Unlike most shows about ______ , our show is ______ , which means ______ .” The whole goal of this mini course has been to teach you, show you, and guide you how to fill in those blanks. We’ve gone through three steps.
The 3D Philosophy for Creating a Unique Podcast
Jerod Morris: We started with this 3D Philosophy for Creating Unique Podcasts. We started with deciding what your show will be about. Then we talked about differentiating your show so that it stands out.
Lesson 3 of the 3D Philosophy for Creating a Unique Podcast: Differentiating through Design and Then Double Down on the ‘Hell Yes’ Principle
Jerod Morris: Today, we’re going to talk about how to display your differentiation and then double down. It’s a couple of different topics here that we’re fusing into this one lesson to put the perfect capper on this mini course so that when you’re done, when you’ve gone through all of these three lessons, hopefully through the process of going through this and thinking this, we’ve jogged your thinking, jogged your imagination, your creativity a little bit, your motivation to research.
And you have come up with some ideas that you can incorporate into an existing show or incorporate into a new show you’re planning to start that will help make it more unique, more differentiated. If not, then you’ll have all the tools now with these lessons to go back and work through this and think through it very strategically, very intentionally. That is one of the biggest ideas as we’ve gone through this course–the idea that a unique show, a differentiated show, it doesn’t just happen by accident.
There is a process that you want to go through to do this. There is research involved. It’s not sitting in a chair, staring out the window, and expecting the perfect idea to come to you. It’s really being intentional, putting in the work, being strategic, so that you can create something that is perfectly positioned within a market to attract attention. Not just attract attention, but then also retain attention as well.
This is the last part of that, which is differentiating through design and then of course doubling down to getting to the ‘hell yes,’ which we’re going to get to here in a minute.
Jerod Morris: Let’s start with differentiating through design.
Step 1 of Differentiating and Doubling Down: Create Remarkable Show Art
Jerod Morris: The first step in differentiating through design is creating remarkable show art. I’m sure, as we’ve gone through the first two lessons, you’ve been wondering when we were going to talk about this. Because a lot of times, when we talk about differentiation and making your show unique, show art is one of the first topics that comes to mind because it’s such a visual identifier of your show.
We’re so used to scrolling through iTunes, scrolling through the listings on whatever podcast app we use, and looking at the show art. Whether we think we are or not, every time we look at the show art of a show, we’re making little judgments. We’re having little emotional reactions.
Sometimes, it compels us to click through, and we give that show a chance. Sometimes, if the show art doesn’t grasp us, we may look right past a show that we otherwise would have liked. You show art is extremely, extremely important.
Just like your show’s format and your voice need to stand out–we’ve talked about how important your voice is, how important your format is, in the last couple of episodes, and the last couple of lessons–your show art needs to stand out to attract attention.
Do Your Research
Jerod Morris: To do that, you really need to do your research. It’s not just, “All right, let me go create this great show art, and I’ll submit it. I just hope that, when I go to iTunes, that my show art will stand out. It will look different, and it will grab attention.”
Well, how are you going to know what’s going to grab attention unless you know what’s already there?
It’s like if you want to stand out with what you wear to a certain event, don’t you have to know what most people are going to be dressed at, at that event? If it’s a black tie affair but you really want to stand out, then maybe you decide to sport the blue and orange tuxes that Lloyd and Harry wore in Dumb and Dumber. That would allow you to stand out. I guess, to a certain extent, those tuxes would allow you to stand out anyway. That’s not exactly the way that you want to stand out.
But the point remains, you need to understand what else is going to be there, so you know how to differentiate yourself. Do your research. See what trends are there. You may want to zig when other people are zagging.
Let me give you an example. Go to iTunes right now, as you listen to this, and go look in the iTunes section for podcasting, which you can get to through technology. Start scrolling down and start looking at these. This is going to be true, at least as of May 24th, because that’s when we’re recording this and that’s when I just went through and looked at this.
You won’t find another show with a bold red show art design, at least through the first 100, 150 results. There’s a good reason for that. Well, you will find one, which is The Showrunner, and that’s what there’s a good reason for. We knew that to stand out, we wanted that big, bold red color and that there wasn’t something else like that out there already.
If you go look in college sports, and you start scrolling down, you won’t see another one where the show art, the square of the show art, is circular, and the circle takes up the entire width of the square. That’s The Assembly Call logo, that circular logo, and it fills up the entire square.
There’s a few others where the circle is a little bit smaller. Most of them are the normal square, but with The Assembly Call logo, it’s a circle, and it’s a white space–and it stands out immediately. The color also helps because it’s just red and white, so it’s simple colors that stand out. Those aren’t by accident.
So you really want to make sure that you go do your research, that you understand what other shows are there, and think strategically with your show art so that it will stand out from the other shows that will be competing for your audience’s attention.
Don’t Overcomplicate Your Show Art
Jerod Morris: Now, there is a danger in trying to differentiate your show art that you will overdo it. That you’ll go so crazy, and you’ll do all these complicated things. You don’t want to do that. Your show art needs to be strong and simple, and instantly recognizable. Don’t complicate it.
You want it to stand out, but you want it to stand out because the colors are bold, because the text is bold, because it’s simple to see, because the color and whatever graphic you may have and the text, they work together well visually. You don’t want it to be just this mishmash that doesn’t say anything. It needs to state something clearly. That something needs to be simple.
Here’s an example of one that I just found. If you go look at the show art for the Irish Sports Daily Power Hour … and I’ve never listened to this show. It’s probably a great show because it is actually ranked pretty highly. If you look at the show art for that show, I think they’re probably missing some opportunities here.
Look at all the information on that. Everything I’m about to read right now is contained in the little show art square. “Notre Dame Power Hour Podcast, Mondays at 8 PM. An Irish Sports Daily production. Mike Frank, Sean Stires, Sean Mele,” with the ISD logo. All of that is on that little square.
Now, if you view the show art huge, like on a TV, it probably looks fine. But think about where most people view your show art. They’re either viewing it in the main listing on iTunes, which is really small, or they’re viewing it on a mobile device, in which the show art is going to be small.
If you have all of that text crowded on there, number one, people probably aren’t going to strain their eyes to try and read it. Number two, they’ll just glaze right over it. So make it simple, and make sure that it looks good big and small. Focus on the small because that’s where most people are going to see it.
Evolve Your Show Art Over Time … As Your Show Evolves
Jerod Morris: Now, the third part here of creating remarkable show art is that you don’t need to overdo it from the beginning, investing a lot of money. That’s the danger. I don’t want you to feel like, “Oh crap, I’ve got to go out and spend $300 on my show art like Jerod did for The Assembly Call logo right away to get started.” I didn’t do that until before our fifth season. We had already done four seasons.
Your show art can and probably should evolve as your show evolves. You don’t need to spend $300, $400 right away to begin. Yeah, you may want to invest $15, $20. You want to go check out Fiverr. That’s totally fine. You can even create something on your own. You can create something with bold colors and strong lettering using Canva.
You may not be able to get a real fancy design if you’re not a designer yourself or if you don’t have a good designer friend who can help you out, but you don’t need to break the bank doing this in the beginning, especially if you’re just getting off the ground.
Once you reach a certain point, then you should invest in remarkable show art, like we did for The Assembly Call, like Jonny did with Hack the Entrepreneur when he updated his show art. One thing that it can do, especially once your show reaches that 50-episode or 100-episode mark, in addition to, again, standing out better–and you’ll probably have a better idea of what shows you’re competing against–so you can get even more granular with your decisions, more intentional with your decisions on color, graphic, and text so that it really stands out against these 10 to 12 other podcasts that you know you’re competing against.
You’ll be able to zero in more on all of that, but it can also reinvigorate your show. You might even be able to sell gear with your logo and show art on it. We’re going to get to logos in a second, but that’s the power of show art. It can reinvigorate your excitement in the show. It gives you something to announce to your audience. It shows your audience that you’re growing and that something bigger is happening here. You’re investing in show art, and look at this new show art.
This is a process. It doesn’t all have to be done in the beginning, but you probably do want to make some decisions in the beginning about colors, maybe even about font–and we’re going to get to those here in just a minute. Those are actually bigger decisions than just your show art. Those will probably be consistent, but your show art can always get better as you go.
Again, when we talk about this, creating remarkable show art, it starts with doing that research and really understanding what’s out there, so you can actually strategically position your show art against the other shows–just like you’re strategically positioning your format against other shows and everything else that you’re doing.
Make sure that it’s strong, that it’s simple, that it’s instantly recognizable. Your show art needs to communicate a feeling in a moment. That feeling needs to be, “Hey, podcast browser, you need to become a podcast listener.”
If your show art is trying to do too much, people will probably skip over to the next one. That is definitely not what you want. Now, you don’t even give yourself a chance to get the attention, let alone retain the attention.
Create Your Show Art with the Right Dimensions
Jonny Nastor: I hope I didn’t miss you explain this because I did get sidetracked looking at Irish Sports Daily Power Hour, trying to read all of that. It’s a shocking amount of information on their artwork.
Jerod Morris: It is.
Jonny Nastor: I love that you mention Canva, and with Hack the Entrepreneur’s original logo, I used Fiverr. It cost me about $40 to get the revisions done and then to get the proper format. If you’re doing it on Canva, which I strongly suggest it … I use it daily for Hack the Entrepreneur. Do you know what the dimensions are that iTunes requires nowadays?
Jerod Morris: I believe 3,000.
Jonny Nastor: Okay. Yes.
Jerod Morris: I believe it is. It used to be 1,400 by 1,400, but they changed it, so I believe it’s 3,000 by 3,000. There’s no reason to not do it that big. You might as well just go as big as you can so that your show art looks good on any size screen.
Jonny Nastor: Exactly. Just so you know, if you do go to Canva, make it 3,000 by 3,000. I believe iTunes will still accept 1,400 by 1,400, but they recommend 3,000 by 3,000. It does look much better when somebody’s viewing podcasts on a TV and a bigger device. It’s just as easy on Canva to make it the proper size. That’s all I wanted to make sure we’re sending people on the right path, so they don’t create a small little artwork.
Jerod Morris: It is important, though, to reiterate, you do want it to be big, but make sure it looks good small.
Jonny Nastor: I was just going to say.
Jerod Morris: I see more people making mistakes trying to make it look good big than small. Sorry if I stole your thunder.
Jonny Nastor: Exactly. Right, because you’re making it 3,000 on your desktop computer, and it’s huge. It’s like, “I’ve got so much room. I can put in these tiny words, and you can still read them really well.” But then make sure you download it and look at it on a phone, just the art itself. Make sure you can still read it really clearly. Less is always more. In this case, make your point, but don’t over complicate it at all.
Jerod Morris: Yep. Excellent. That’s step one, create remarkable show art.
Step 2 of Differentiating and Doubling Down: Be Strategic and Intentional in Your Use of Visuals
Jerod Morris: Now, let’s talk about other imagery and visuals that are going to be part of your show and part of your overall experience. Remember, you are a showrunner. You’re not just creating a series of podcast episodes, a series of audio episodes to be consumed on demand.
You’re creating an experience, and that experience should go beyond iTunes and go beyond the experience that people are having just listening to your show in their ears. It should go to your website, and it’s probably going to go into social media. It hopefully has tentacles that reach out in different ways.
In all of those places, you are going to be using visuals. You want to be strategic and intentional in your use of those visuals. Not just with your show art, but with all of the visuals.
Have an Instantly Recognizable Logo
Jerod Morris: Step number one here is to have a logo that is instantly recognizable as yours and that you use across your properties. A logo is different from show art. Now, they can double as one and the same. They can. For instance, The Assembly Call, we use our show art and our logo–they’re the same thing. That is possible, but a lot of times, it will be different.
In some ways, maybe it should be different, and in fact, I designed The Assembly Call logo, if you look at it, that little part in the bottom with the circle and the microphone, you’ll notice how the legs and the arms of the microphone actually form an IU, which is kind of cool, for Indiana University, which, again, that’s what the show it about.
I designed that so that I could take that small little piece and use it as a smaller logo, where appropriate, which we may do in the future, especially if we start, let’s say, an Assembly Call podcast network. We’ll take that little part, and we’ll put it on all of our shows. That is similar to the Rainmaker.FM shows. They have the little Rainmaker.FM logo, the four lines that look like rain falling.
Look at Hack the Entrepreneur. We’ll talk about Jonny’s show art here in just a second in the next section, but if you look at the show art, it has a little microphone logo above the title. That little microphone logo, it’s on the show art. It’s at the Hack the Entrepreneur website. Jonny put out a Top Ten podcast series on iTunes. It’s on there.
So it’s this visual marker that shows you that you’re in the right place. That’s important. It’s like little bread crumbs that let people know, “You’re in the right place,” that let people know that this show is connected to that show. It’s really important, and it can be very, very valuable when you do it correctly.
It doesn’t have to be just for a podcast network, as Jonny is showing. It’s something that will, again, allow your show to grow bigger and bigger while maintaining continuity. Because as Johnny continues to release new Hack the Entrepreneur Top Tens, extensions, or whatever, books, he can always have that little logo there, and people who are part of his audience, part of his tribe, will know, “Okay, this is Hack the Entrepreneur. I know where I’m at,” and that’s really important.
Because part of differentiating and part of the retention strategy … I don’t know if a logo like that is going to help you attract, but it is really important in helping you retain. It’s that little thing that lets people know, again, that they’re in the right place and provides that continuity. That is a big part of your differentiation strategy.
Differentiation is not just a strategy to attract attention. It’s a strategy for retaining attention, too–almost more so. Remember those little visual cues that you can give people to let them know that they’re in the right place.
Consider Whether to Use Images of Yourself
Jerod Morris: Now, for the second part of this section, let me ask a question. Should you use images of yourself? The answer is that it depends. It’s going to depend on the type of show that you do. It’s going to depend on how long you’ve been doing your show. It’s going to depend on how associated you are with the show, how associated you want to be with the brand of the show. It may have to do with what your future goals are for the show.
If you’re developing a show because you eventually want to sell it, roll it into something bigger, or have someone else take it over, then putting your name in the show, putting your face on the show art, or putting your name in the domain, may not be the smartest thing. You may not know right from the beginning, and that’s okay.
Let’s use Hack the Entrepreneur as an example here. Jonny, after how many episodes did you change your show art, when you put your face on it?
Jonny Nastor: It was about 150.
Jerod Morris: Okay, 150. Originally, the show art was, correct me if I’m wrong, it was a bold yellow background. You had that logo on it that we talked about earlier and then Hack the Entrepreneur text. That was pretty much it, right?
Jonny Nastor: That was absolutely it.
Jerod Morris: Okay. It was great because that bold yellow color, it really stood out. It was simple. You didn’t need a whole lot of other description because the name of your show is descriptive enough. That was really, really good show art, and it helped you build this great audience through 150 episodes.
Well, after 150 episodes, number one, you’ve realized, “Okay, this is sustainable.” You’re going to keep doing this show, and you’re Jonny Nastor–Jonny f’n Nastor, the host of the show. In a sense, you had earned the right to put your picture on the show art.
Originally, when you came out with Hack the Entrepreneur, you weren’t necessarily well-known in the entrepreneurship space. Obviously, you had a lot of friends, a lot of contacts, a big network, but not necessarily with people who will be listening to podcasts.
The name Jonny Nastor, the face Jonny Nastor, wouldn’t have necessarily moved the needle like if some famous person–like Marc Maron starting a podcast. Well, that name is going to move a needle, especially now. If the president of the United States does a podcast, he can put his face on there because that’s going to be an important part of the whole brand of that show.
Well, after some time, you had earned that right. You were more well-known. You had become associated with that show, so it fit. You changed the show art. Now, it’s got this great picture of you, looking to the left, looking at the name of the show. It’s great, and it fits really, really well.
Again, in the beginning, no one really would have cared, so you almost would have been wasting your valuable show art space putting your picture on there.
To contrast that, when Brian Clark started The New Rainmaker show, well, Brian has been around in the space for eight, nine years, has 170 Twitter followers–a guy with a very recognizable brand and face. For him, putting his picture on the show art was a great idea because that instantly was going to attract attention. People see that, “Oh, Brian Clark has a podcast now. Let me go check it out.” You’ll notice that none of the other shows on the Rainmaker.FM network did this.
At the time that we started The Showrunner, who really are Jerod Morris and Jonny Nastor teaching us about podcasting? Now, 60 episodes in, where we are as we’re recording this, maybe it’s a little bit different. Who knows? At the time, it certainly wasn’t. Same thing for a lot of the people on the Rainmaker.FM network, but it was different for Brian.
If you want a rule of thumb for whether or not you should use an image of yourself, especially on your show art, obviously, on your website, things like that, you have more real estate, but on your show art, in the header of your website, in places like that, ask yourself these two questions. Number one, will it make a difference? Number two, have I earned it?
It does seem a little bit presumptuous to put yourself first, to put your face out there, when no one really knows who it is and when you haven’t developed enough of a brand, enough authority, for that to really matter.
So ask those two questions: Will it make a difference? Have I earned it? If you answer yes to both, then include your image in your show art. Make it a strategic decision, not one driven by vanity.
You see a lot of podcast show art out there that has people’s pictures on it. They may be great pictures, but what is that picture really communicating? You’re just another face unless people recognize that face. Use that real estate for color, which creates emotion. Use that real estate for bolder text, so people can see what your show is about until you get to that point where your face is going to make a difference.
Will it make a difference? Have I earned it? Ask those two questions.
Be Intentional with Color and Font Choices
Jerod Morris: Finally, in this section, be intentional about your choice of color and your choice of font. This could probably take an entire other lesson to dive into, but understand that every color that you choose is communicating something emotionally–to the audience, to the person who’s looking at it.
We chose red for The Showrunner specifically because The Showrunner is about being bold. It’s about having pride in your message, standing up, saying what you have to say, getting out there. Red is a very bold color. That communicated that.
Jonny uses yellow for Hack the Entrepreneur, and to me, it works because he’s shining a spotlight on entrepreneurs to uncover the mindset that makes them successful. Yellow also happens to be a color that not a lot of people were using for their show art, so it really stood out, especially that bright shade of yellow. The Digital Entrepreneur is green because we’re teaching people how to make money by building digital businesses.
Colors create emotion, and you want to understand what emotion your colors are going to create and communicate so that you make sure that you’re communicating the right emotion to your audience. The one that you want to get them to listen to the show in the first place, and the one that is going to continue communicating to them after that as they go through, so that when they see that big, red logo pop up, they get that instant excitement, to listen to this week’s episode, or that yellow, or whatever it is.
They’re matching that emotion, that emotion they have when they first listened to your show, when they first found your show, that will continue as they continue listening.
It’s not just your primary color, but think about your color combinations. They create contrast that determine how easy something is to read. You want to be mindful of that. You don’t probably want to put oranges and yellows together. You may not want to put greens and blues together, or purples and blues together, especially depending on the shading, because you may not be able to read it. You especially may not be able to read it on a small screen.
So make sure that there is good contrast. Red and white. Yellow and black. Green and white. Make sure that there is that contrast. Again, going back to what we talked about before, you want what your show art represents to be bold, but to be simple and instantly recognizable.
The same is going to be true for font. Now, you ask Rafal Tomal, and he can tell you all about what a sans serif font does, a serif font, and all these different fonts. I can’t really explain to you what it is about a font that makes a font right, but I can tell you that, when I go through and choose fonts, I cycle through 50 of them, 100 of them, to find the one I like.
For a while on Primility, I was using impact font. I liked the word ‘impact’ because I wanted Primility to have impact. That’s why it was red, and the font fit. It looked like impact, and it worked. I’ve changed to a different one now because I just like the font a little bit better. I just felt like even the change in font communicated a bit of the change in tone.
Sometimes, it may not be something that you can articulate in words, but it’s a feeling. You are the conduit between all of your content, all of your ideas, and your audience. If you’re having that feeling, then chances are, in your content, and in just everything you do with your show, that feeling will come out.
Even if all you’re doing with your font is going through and just trying to find the one that just looks right, to where you just say, “Yes, that looks right,” kind of like we do with music. For those of us who aren’t real musically trained, we just go through and listen until it sounds right.
You can do the same thing with font, but make sure you go through the process. Make sure you make a choice. Don’t just default to a font. Choose a font. Same thing with colors. Don’t default to a color. Choose a color because what it communicates will be important–even if that message is subtle.
You want to make it an intentional one, and a strategic one. Don’t just leave it to fate. If you just choose by default, that’s what you do. Don’t do that. Be strategic. Be intentional.
Should You Use ‘with’ or ‘w/’ in Front of Your Name If You Include It?
Jonny Nastor: If I go back and think about my cover and if an image of myself should be on it, what if I answer that it won’t make a difference and that I don’t feel that I’ve earned it? I’m Canadian, so I never feel like I’ve earned it. What about then making a concession? How do you feel about making the concession of putting that little, like you see on lots, ‘w/’ for with, and then the host’s name, or ‘hosted by’ but not an image?
Jerod Morris: I think that can work. Again, I think it depends. Let’s make this distinction. Sometimes people will know you more by your name than they will by your face. Take a guy like Chris Garrett, who doesn’t like putting his face out there, anyway, or Robert Bruce. People that I work with at Rainmaker Digital. People know their name even if they don’t necessarily know their face. Your name might make a difference.
Really, it just depends on the rest of what’s going on with your show art. If you have a real long title, you may not have room for a name. If you have a title that doesn’t communicate what your show is about–let’s say that instead of your show being called Hack the Entrepreneur, it was called Stories from Canada or something that didn’t communicate what you were doing–you may have needed to have said Stories of Canada, Stories about Successful Entrepreneurs. It’s a bad example, but you get what I’m saying.
If your show requires a little description for people to know what it’s about, maybe you use that real estate for that. But if you have a show name that’s really good, really descriptive, then I think you can use your name. If it looks good stylistically, then I think that’s fine.
Again, I would go back to, will it make a difference? Have I earned it? Those two things will go together, especially with your name. If you have a name people will know, then it will make a difference, and if you don’t, then maybe you want to use that real estate for something else.
The big point I want to stress with that is, again, to really be intentional. Be strategic with it. Make it a decision that you have a process for, that you really know why you’re making the decision. Not just vanity because I’m hosting a show, and I want my picture on it.
I fear that too many people do that, or they just think, “Well, show art with pictures gets clicked more.” I don’t know that there’s really any evidence to support that. I think show art with recognizable faces will get clicked more, but just make sure that you’re being strategic and intentional with what your choice is there.
Jonny Nastor: I like it. When I launched Hack the Entrepreneur, I actually originally had ‘with Jon Nastor’ at the bottom. I still have the artwork with ‘with’ and ‘w/.’ I think that it was ego, though, so I originally launched like that. Then I went to without it, and then I went back for a week or two just to see if there was a difference. Then I ended up just cutting the name out altogether. I thought that it actually detracted from the clarity of the message, and the message wasn’t about me.
But this was the whole struggle I think I went through just with the first 50 episodes of my show, wanting it to be about me. The show actually became better when I realized it wasn’t about me. It was about my audience and the guests that I had on. So I got rid of it. I think it goes really well to your idea of just really worrying about impact and clarity. The fact of my name, that somebody doesn’t know, does not help that clarity in any way. It was just ego. I wanted my name there.
Jerod Morris: There is a beautiful irony in what you just said. If you go back to the first lesson in this mini course on differentiation and creating a unique show, we talked about how you’re always differentiating your show. Your show is always unique because of you. You are always your first differentiator.
There’s a danger in that, of course, because if you try and make your show too much about you, it may detract from what your show is really about. I think that is one of the things, Jonny, that really differentiated your show, is your struggle with your ego, and your vanity, to get your name out there, and to tell your stories, and to make it about you.
Your ability and willingness to pull that back and make the show about the guest, which a lot of interviewers will not do, but your willingness to do that, and to keep the show consistent, to make it about the audience and the guest, is what eventually allowed it to differentiate. It was that humility of you that won out, is one of the big differentiators of your show, even though you kind of warred with the other side.
For a podcaster, especially one doing interviews, that is always going to be a struggle. While you are going to be your show’s differentiator, make sure that the differentiation you’re creating is for the right reasons and in a way that actually serves your show, not just yourself. That can be difficult to parse out sometimes, but it’s really, really important. I think your story shows the benefits of it.
Step 3 of Differentiating and Doubling Down: Double Down on What Works, and Iterate on What Doesn’t
Jerod Morris: Let’s move on to section three now. This is section three of differentiating through design, and doubling down to ‘hell yes.’ We’re going to have some fun here.
Now, we’ve got our format. We know what we’re doing. We’ve got show art. We know what we’re going to go out the door with, with different segments of our show and everything. Now, we want to double down on what works, and we want to iterate what doesn’t.
Don’t Capitulate to Appease People on the Fringes
Jerod Morris: This is where it’s so important to remind you, and to remind yourself, as you go through this process, that your goal as a showrunner is not to please everybody. It’s not to create a show that is perfect for all audiences, for general audiences. Your goal as a showrunner is to repel the people who are not part of your tribe and bring those who are in your tribe as close as possible.
You have to do those things together. The only way, really, to bring the people in your tribe in as close together is to repel the people who are not part of your tribe. Because if the people who are really part of your audience, your core folks, if they look around, and they see, “Wait a minute, I’m not really like that person. I don’t share the worldview of that person,” well, now they’re going to feel a little bit less strong about your audience and about your show.
They’re wondering if it’s really the place for them. How people respond to your points of differentiation will determine where they fall along these lines, and that’s why these points of differentiation are so important.
That’s why these points of differentiation need to be accentuated, not minimized. You don’t want to minimize it and say, “Well, okay, this is really what my show is about, but I want to kind of put that over here in the corner because I want to attract all these people.” No. Don’t. Don’t capitulate to appease people on the fringes. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.
It’s hard–especially for a new showrunner. We want to do it. We think we need to cast the widest net possible to get as many little people to trickle in over to our show as we can–but don’t do it. You’d rather have two people that are really in your audience than 100 people that are just kind of, sort of in there, but they’re on the fringes.
Don’t capitulate to appease the people on the fringes because these people will rarely become your core audience. The problem is that you will lose the ones who are.
Let me give you an example. When we started The Assembly Call … it’s a show about sports. It’s a show about Indiana basketball. If you’re part of any sports fan base, you know that there are many different types of sports fans. There are the fans that stay supportive of their team even in the rough moments. There are fans that will just jump and use personal attacks, call guys bums, and say they suck at the first sign of trouble.
You can create content to appeal to both. You can create that lowest common denominator content and get all of those people down in the gutter, talking trash about the team, and doing all of that, or you can stay above it. You can stay supportive, and you can actually feel, in your own little way, as a fan, like you can make a difference by giving fans something to be positive about, even when things are negative, and staying supportive. When you do criticize, when you do critique, keep it constructive. Make it about an action, not a person.
We determined early on with The Assembly Call that that’s what we were going to be. We were going to stay supportive. We weren’t going to talk crap. We weren’t going to make it personal. We weren’t going to speculate about job security during the season. We weren’t going to speculate about transfers. You want to go in that gutter, there are message boards over here. You can go over here. There are other shows. That is not our show.
A lot of times, we’ll be in the middle of a show, and we’ll get Tweets where people say like, “Man, you guys are just sugarcoating it. How can you guys try and stay supportive when the team played this poorly?” Hey, guess what? That’s what we do. We believe that’s what fans should do.
We’ll give you honest critique. We’ll talk about things the team did bad, but we’re not going to call a guy a bum, and we’re not going to say he sucks. We’re going to remember these are students playing a game and treat it like that. Well, guess what? Doing that, we don’t get any of those people in our audience–but the thing is, we don’t want them.
The people who are in our audience, our core audience members, they like that. If they saw those people in our chat or in our Twitter stream and we’re constantly engaging with them, they’d be like, “Well, okay, maybe The Assembly Call really isn’t my place.” But we have made that clear, and we are not going to capitulate to appease those people on the fringes.
I urge you, I really urge you, not to do it. I stress that you will feel like doing it, and you will want to do it, and it will almost be a natural reaction in the beginning. Fight it. Fight it, or if you do capitulate once, just look at what happens. Really take an honest assessment of what happens. You won’t like it.
Maybe you’ll need to learn that lesson by doing it, but please, if at all possible, listen to me when I tell you, don’t do it. Accentuate your points of differentiation. Do not minimize them. That’s step number one here in doubling down on what works.
Use the ‘Hell Yes’ Principle to Know What Works and What Doesn’t
Jerod Morris: The next step is consider the ‘hell yes’ principle. I believe this is something Derek Sivers has talked about many times, in many places. He talks about how he decides if he is going to accept a project, accept some kind of offer, or whatever, some opportunity. If it’s not ‘hell yes,’ then it’s ‘no.’
We can follow a very similar framework here when it comes to our show and differentiating our show. If elements of your show don’t make you go ‘hell yes’ and if they don’t make your audience go ‘hell yes,’ then why are you keeping them? Because those things aren’t really creating any type of differentiation. They’re taking up space, and they’re taking up time. The elements that both you and your audience say ‘hell yes’ to, those are your differentiators. Those are them. Indifference will not differentiate.
Here’s an example. Part of what makes doing The Showrunner enjoyable for me, and for Jonny, is the part at the beginning, where we enjoy some unplanned banter. It’s just kind of casual. We get into it a little bit. It’s like our on ramp to get into the show. Jonny and I, we don’t talk all throughout the week. We’ll talk on Slack sometimes, but sometimes we just start recording right from the beginning. It’s literally us catching up on what’s gone on.
We like that part, and we decided to put it in there on a few episodes, and people liked it. There’s similar hijinks at the end of the episode sometimes, where we’ll leave the microphone on. We’ll leave Call Recorder recording, and we’ll just allow some of that relaxed banter at the end to just play out and see what happens. If it’s kind of good, funny, or useful in any way, we’ll leave it in there sometimes.
For us, it’s a ‘hell yes.’ It makes it fun, and it allows us to take this topic that we take very seriously. It allows us to take the time and the process of bringing it to you. It allows us to not take that as seriously. We take it seriously, and we give you good content–but we have fun doing it. That is part of how we do it.
A lot of our audience members have told us, it’s a ‘hell yes’ for them. They haven’t used those words, of course, but they tell us, “Man, we really feel like we know you guys, that we’re just kind of hanging out with you. Kind of the banter at the beginning, the stuff at the end, we wait around for that stuff.” People like it, and they feel like they know us a little bit better. It helps us create that companionship.
Guess what? A few people don’t like it, and they have told us that they don’t like it. They’ve said, “Man, I wish you guys would just get rid of the casual stuff at the beginning and get right to the point. I wish you’d get rid of all the other stuff and just teach us the lesson about podcasting.” And you know what? If we didn’t think it was a ‘hell yes’ for our core folks–and we’ve interacted a lot with our core folks, via email, at events, and things like that–if we didn’t think it was a ‘hell yes’ for them, we would suppress our own desire to do it and leave it off, but people like it.
So guess what? We are not the show that is just going to jump right into talking about a very technical aspect of podcasting, and get in and out in 10 to 15 minutes. If you want that, you got to go to another show. If you want two guys that get really enthusiastic about not only their relationship as co-hosts, but also showrunning, sharing stories about their shows, and just the entire process of creating an episode, and if you don’t like the whole peeking behind the curtain, taking a little bit more time to hear that, but that’s what our show is.
That’s what we originally envisioned it to be, and we’ve iterated some, which we’re going to get to in a second, but that’s it. We’re not capitulating to the fringes. We’re following what we say ‘hell yes’ to. We’re responding to what our audience says ‘hell yes’ to. That’s how we make that decision.
I urge you to do the same. Follow that ‘hell yes’ principle. If you’re not saying ‘hell yes’ to it, chances are, you’re not bringing much enthusiasm to it, so your audience probably isn’t liking it. To some extent, vice versa. If your audience isn’t responding to something, your enthusiasm for it may wane, so maybe that’s not something you should be doing.
Iterate to ‘Hell Yes’
Jerod Morris: Maybe it’s time to move on to step three, which is to iterate to ‘hell yes.’ If you’re not at ‘hell yes’ or if you have something that doesn’t feel like a ‘hell yes,’ iterate to ‘hell yes.’ Don’t be afraid to try new things.
You’ll have a core differentiation–you. Maybe your show art. Maybe your topic. Maybe the basics of your format. Those things, hopefully you have some of them in place in the beginning, but don’t be afraid to take that core, that foundation, and then try new things on top of it. Iterate.
Example, The Assembly Call started as a call-in show, but the portions of the shows with callers weren’t a ‘hell yes,’ for a number of reasons. They weren’t a ‘hell yes’ for us because we had other stuff that we wanted to get into. They were a pain from a production standpoint to try and screen the call, and then sometimes people weren’t there. It was a real pain, and our audience didn’t like it.
It wasn’t a ‘hell yes’ on either side, so we switched it–even though that was a core concept of the show in the beginning, Assembly Call. That was our whole idea is it’s a call in show, but we switched it. We decided to add video so that our audience could see us. We thought it would help us engage better. Then we could leverage YouTube and Google Hangouts, and that became a ‘hell yes.’
We found our engagement level and our ability to build an audience just skyrocket when people could actually see us talking and see our interaction–see that banter happen physically, not just listen to it. It became a ‘hell yes’ on both sides, so we iterated to ‘hell yes.’
Jonny has talked about how he iterated with his hack and putting it at the end of the show. Instead of trying to put in the middle or put it right where it happens, he iterated and changed it a little bit. We’ve iterated with our Showrunner format. We started out one way, and now we’ve added the little sections where we have the casual opening, we have the main topic, we have the podcast recommendation, we have the ending. We’ve iterated to that.
I iterated at Podcast on the Brink. I added a new intro to each episode that takes the episode number, whether it’s 100 or 120, and then I find a number that links up with some special moment in Indiana history and talk about that. People really like it, and that also helps me brand who I am at The Assembly Call because that’s another part of our differentiation. We focus on tradition and celebrate tradition, so it all goes together.
You want to understand your differentiation. If you’re going off on other shows or if you’re guest hosting other shows, what is it about you that makes you different? Carry that over there. You can have little verbal logos as much as you have visual logos. That’s important, and it may take you iterating to get there.
So try something new. Gauge the reaction to it. Gauge your reaction to it. See if you really like doing it. Gauge your audience’s, and get to ‘hell yes.’ Keep iterating until you get to ‘hell yes.’ Then keep the stuff that you say ‘hell yes’ to, double down on it, and then continue to iterate, to make it better.
Recognizing the Difference Between Iterating to Make the Show Better and Capitulating to Appease People on the Fringes?
Jonny Nastor: I absolutely love this. I love the ‘hell yes’ principle. I think it’s a struggle, and I would love to hear your opinion on it. When we get feedback from somebody, via email, Twitter, or whatever, and typically negative feedback, how do we know when we are iterating to make the show better or we’re capitulating to appease people on the fringes?
Jerod Morris: It’s an awesome question. The first thing that you have to do is stop. When you get that, there’s always going to be an emotional reaction. That emotional reaction can be on one of two sides. Your pride may really be wounded, and your initial reaction is just to dismiss the criticism and be like, “Well, screw you. I’m happy with my show.”
But there’s also an opposite reaction folks can have, where they take every criticism to heart and immediately think they need to go change it because one person said something. Stop. Don’t allow that emotional reaction to take over. Take a step back, bring your reaction more into the middle, and ask yourself this question.
This is the question to ask yourself when you get criticism from a person: “Is this person invested in my show?” If they are, then what they’re telling you, it may be something in your show that they’re not saying ‘hell yes’ to, but they are part of your audience. They do care. It comes from a place of kindness, because they want to help you, because they have this thought.
They’re actually doing you a great service because they’re not risking you viewing them as some un-nice person. They’re putting themselves out there to give you this critique. If it does come from a person like that … and you may have to dig in a little bit. Maybe you recognize them right off the bat, but if not, see if they’ve commented before. Do they listen? Maybe you even ask them. If they are, then take that to heart. It doesn’t mean you have to change something based on it, but really consider it.
If it’s just some drive-by troll, then you’ve stopped, you’ve looked at it, and then you say, “Okay, you know what? This person actually isn’t the type of person I’m trying to attract.” You may just be able to look in their Twitter feed, see the things they say, the things that they stand for. If you can find out from that, that they’re not the kind of person you’re trying to attract for your show, then you can be polite, but you ignore that criticism. They’re not the person that you’re trying to attract anyway.
That’s the thing. You have to have your way of figuring out, “Is this person on the fringe, or is this my real audience member giving me a really worthwhile and kind piece of constructive criticism?” If it is, you consider it, and maybe you act. If you don’t, if it’s not, then you don’t waste time worrying about it because it’s just taking away time and energy that you can be spending iterating to make your show better for the people who really care.
Jonny Nastor: Makes sense, and I think it’s that initial reaction, which is really just emotionally driven at first. Like, “Who are you to tell me?” Then, also, that could actually be the case, but you’d need to step back for a second, and maybe dig deeper, and find that out. Because lots of the feedback isn’t useful, and lots of it really, really, truly is. It’s your job, I guess, as a showrunner, to differentiate between the two.
Jerod Morris: It is, and it’s our job to just understand our natural human emotions and just prepare for them, kind of train ourselves, that when we get that, any type of criticism or critique, just take that short mental step back. Allow that emotional reaction to pass, so then we can make an intentional decision afterwards.
Jonny Nastor: This is good, man. This has been excellent.
Jerod Morris: Thank you. Do you want to go through and give folks a summary?
Summary of Lesson 3
Jonny Nastor: The summary of the 3-Step Process for Creating a Unique Podcast That Will Attract and Retain an Audience? Yeah. It starts with that big idea, which, to me, this is crucial to the whole lesson. If you only got one thing out of it, it’s you need to be able to answer, “Unlike most shows about ______, our show is ______, which means ______,” which is then the 3D Philosophy for Creating a Unique Podcast–to decide, differentiate, display, and double down to ‘hell yes.’
With this, you differentiated through design. At first, you talked about creating that remarkable show art that stands out, not just to you and on your site, but also within iTunes and within your market that you’re going to be. It needs to be strong, simple, and instantly recognizable.
I loved how you talked about my little microphone and the Rainmaker logos. I do really like having that standard thing that goes across your artwork, across your website, across any piece of social media. Well, it’s proven that branding in that sense definitely, definitely does help.
Then I love how you went into how you can create this completely yourself, for free, using Canva, or you could go to Fiverr if you wanted. Then when you’re ready and you feel like you are ready to invest in a remarkable show, then you can spend that $300 on 99designs, or hiring a designer on Upwork.
Then the second part was to be strategic and intentional in your use of visuals. That was the discussion on whether or not to use your face and your name on it. Then those questions that you need to answer to do that. Then to be intentional about your choice of colors and fonts.
Again, I loved your description of, you’re not a designer like Rafal Tamal, but with Canva, they even put fonts together for you that work really well, and you can just put them over top of your artwork, and see which one looks. It’s really just about spending that time, and you don’t need to know the ‘real design reasons,’ necessarily, why it looks good and feels right because it’s your choice, and you need to make sure that you communicate that to your audience.
Then you finished up with doubling down on what works, and this was that whole don’t capitulate to appease when you do get that. Be aware of the feedback and where it’s coming from. Then make a decision based on that. Really, stick to the ‘hell yes’ principle and really, truly saying ‘hell yes’ to everything about your show. I believe we really have to trust ourselves at that point to know that if we keep going with ‘hell yes,’ that eventually our audience will find us. They really, truly will. It just does take time.
Just even when you asked me back with the artwork, when I changed to putting my face on it, I said 150 episodes. That’s a lot of episodes. All of this stuff takes a lot of time, so if you’re thinking of changing too many things at episode 10, you might want to think that, if you planned everything and followed this, what we map our for you at the beginning, there’s a certain part of it you really just have to trust it, and go for it, and just keep putting out the episodes, and putting in the work, and just staying with the ‘hell yes.’
Then, eventually, you just start to iterate. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Find out what truly does work. Iterate until you do find that ‘hell yes,’ and when you get it, then you’re golden.
Jerod Morris: Hell yes. Are you ready for some podcast recommendations? Because we teased one at the beginning of this episode of The Showrunner, and I know folks are waiting on pins and needles just to find out what it is. Are you ready?
Jonny Nastor: Born ready.
Jerod Morris: Can I get a hell yes?
Jonny Nastor: Heck yeah.
Jerod Morris: Is that the Canadian version?
Jonny Nastor: That’s the Canadian version of ‘hell yes.’ Sorry.
Jerod Morris: All right, here we go. Onto podcast recommendations.
Podcast Recommendations of the Week
Jerod Morris: I’m going to go first. I want to get out of the way and cede the spotlight to Mr. Nastor for his epic podcast recommendation. I just want to say that I found a new show recently. It’s the Tony Robbins podcast. I’m sure everybody here knows who Tony Robbins is.
I particularly liked an episode that he had recently. It’s called Are You a Wantrepreneur? It’s with Noah Kagan, of course, who founded SumoMe, AppSumo. I had a chance to meet him, actually, in Philadelphia, at a conference we were both at. Really, really nice guy and has just a ton of great experience. Worked at Facebook, worked at Mint, so he’s worked in some big startups, and then obviously has done it on his own.
He really gives some great advice about how to get started and just some really practical advice. Being an entrepreneur can be scary, and sometimes the difference between being a wantrepreneur and being an entrepreneur is just having some of that info, some of those proven steps that other people have taken to help you walk forward with confidence. You’ll get some of those with this episode–so Are You A Wantrepreneur with Noah Kagan, a recent episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast.
Now, without further ado, my co-host, Jon Nastor.
Jonny Nastor: If you’re listening … well, you are listening. If you’re listening and think that you’re not an entrepreneur, so why would you possibly listen to that? You’re a showrunner, so you are an entrepreneur.
Jerod Morris: That’s right.
Jonny Nastor: Really, truly entrepreneurship, which I get to talk about way too much throughout the week, what I can boil it down to is literally just the creation of something out of nothing. If you’ve created a podcast and put it out to the world to build an audience and find your people, that is entrepreneurship in its most basic form.
Anything that Noah Kagan or any other entrepreneur that might even be building massive businesses, it’s the exact same premise of what you’re doing. Some people have built massive businesses around a show, and if your show’s small or if it’s large, it doesn’t make a difference. That is truly entrepreneurship. I just wanted to make that clarification.
Then we’re going to roll into my podcast recommendation, which is my very own show, but I created a brand new feed. I’m going to be doing some stuff on this with the course members to show exactly what I did, but Hack the Entrepreneur Top Ten.
At episode 225, it’s a lot of episodes for people new to the show, finding me, and trying to know where to start rather than just the last 10 episodes. So I’ve created a Top Ten of all episodes–the top five most popular of all time, and then five hand-curated by me–to really round out what I think the Hack the Entrepreneur experience is.
Posted to a brand new feed through Libsyn, submitted to iTunes, to hopefully get some new eyes in front of it. I literally just cut out ad spots from the old ads from the old shows and put in new ads with FreshBooks, who sponsored the whole Top Ten completely.
For nothing else, go there and check out what I did on the site. I’ll link to it, but it’s HacktheEntrepreneur.com, and you’ll see it up on the navigation menu. You can go to Top Ten, and I’ve created a separate page. All the episodes are on one page. Obviously, some fancy buttons I made for subscribing to it, which is all made in Canva. Then you can listen to all of them right there, or you can subscribe through iTunes, right off that page.
It’s an experiment. It’s an experiment that I’m doing in real time, for myself and for you listening. I will bring you the results that I get as they come in. Then hopefully learning from what I’ve learned, you will hopefully do something similar with your show. I think, so far, my plan is to keep putting out new feeds every few months to really be able to take advantage of New and Noteworthy and more exposure within iTunes and Google Play to bring more people back to the main feed of Hack the Entrepreneur.
I’m going to see how that works for it, so check out Hack the Entrepreneur Top Ten, and then I’ll keep you updated as we go along.
Jerod Morris: I love it, man. I love this strategy. I really recommend everybody go check out what Jonny’s doing with this. Your archive could be as small as 35 or 40, and you can start thinking about this. Maybe even less than that, frankly. I’m not saying you should do it, but start thinking about it. We’ve talked about it on the show. Look at the thinking behind it, the strategy behind it, how Jonny is using this.
It is a great, great way when you have started to build up an archive, to really use that archive, leverage that archive, to give your new audience members something useful, and to continue growing your audience.
Quick question for you, Mr. Nastor. I can go to HacktheEntrepreneur.com/Top-Ten to get there? Could I also go to HacktheEntrepreneur.com/Top10, like with the numeral? Do you have a redirect created for that?
Jonny Nastor: I don’t.
Jerod Morris: Do you think that would be a good thing? The reason I ask is just because, whenever you do something like this, spoken URLs can be important, and especially with numbers, people can misinterpret. If you have three or four different iterations people might hit–like people might use the numerals, 10. They may forget the dash–you can set up four or five redirects to all go to one page, so you still capture those people.
Jonny Nastor: Right. The URL that I should say, and that I say on my show, is HTE.io, which is the URL I have just for saying on my show. That’s HTE.io/10. That’s either the numeral 10 or spelled out, ten.
Jerod Morris: Oh perfect, so you did both redirects.
Jonny Nastor: Right. Those will both take you to that page.
Jerod Morris: Perfect.
Jonny Nastor: I was getting into the explanation.
Jerod Morris: Cool. Yeah, because that’s always important with numbers, when you speak them. People will do the number.
Jonny Nastor: Yes, and that’s the only reason … even with Hack the Entrepreneur, I can’t spell ‘entrepreneur’ correctly the first time. Most people can’t, so I’ve had to create HTE.io. I have HTE.io/Convert, /Hosting. Affiliate offers and sponsorships go through there because it’s something easy for me to say, which I guess is a whole other lesson.
Jerod Morris: That is a lesson.
Jonny Nastor: Because not everybody has a complicated title like I do, but Hack the Entrepreneur is not an easy title. I think it sounds good, but it’s not easy for someone to then type in on their phone when they hear it.
Jerod Morris: Yep. Very cool.
How to Take Your Showrunning to the Next Level
Jerod Morris: You want to give people one final reminder about why they should go to Showrunner.FM before we head on out of here?
Jonny Nastor: Yeah. You should get on that email list. I think it’s cool. I’m enjoying writing it. Jerod’s enjoying writing it. I’ve just got it set up so that, when you hit reply and ask us a question, and tell us how much you love us, it comes straight to Jerod and I’s inbox, and we can just have a conversation.
If you have any questions, just need a bit of advice, or maybe a bit of a kick in the ass to get your show out the door and make it really a ‘hell yes,’ then by all means, hit reply to any of those emails, and Jerod and I are at your beck and call–at least for that email.
Jerod Morris: Right. That’s right. All right, everybody. I hope you enjoyed this latest mini course. Of course, Jonny’s mini course. We are now going to be actually putting these onto the site, and actually using them. So this process is not over.
Again, if you missed any of the first couple episodes of my mini course or Jonny’s mini course, go back in the archives. They’re there, starting around the mid 50s, and you’ll be able to listen to all of those. You can find that at Showrunner.FM, too.
Again, the other reason to make sure you’re on the list is that when we have these mini courses ready, you’ll be able to get in there and see how we actually took these podcast episodes, turned them into mini courses, and everything that we’re doing with them from there.
Otherwise, have a wonderful day, a fantastic week, and we will talk to you on the next brand-new episode of The Showrunner.
Jonny Nastor: Take care.