#255 – Harry Morton on Lower Street Beginnings & Podcast Strategy

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the episode today, we have Harry Morton. Harry, welcome. Thanks for having me, pleasure. It is my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Sure, so my name is Harry. I Run an agency called “Lower Street”, we work with brands to produce podcasts and have been doing that for five years, although I’ve been a lifelong audio nerd, so this is just the latest focus of that audio nerdom. Thank you for the introduction, especially for the word nerdom. Definitely a real word. Regarding your business, how did you get started? Well as I say, I’ve been a lifelong audio nerd, so I left university having studied audio production and went straight away to work in a post production studio in London where we work mostly with sort of kind of the big agencies, the Saatchi’s and the Mother’s and the, all of the large agency campaigns doing kind of ads for tv and I was a sort of you know, very entry level dogs, body type person there and I did that for a couple of years and loathed it.

That was not a particularly fun time, but it did kind of, that was my education in the advertising industry and in audio, so I’ve been working in audio since then. After that and after sort of leaving that world ended up working in sales and marketing positions and knowing I wanted to start my own agency for a long time. And it was in the sort of mid teens that I really started to listen heavily to podcasts to educate myself around how I was going to start this business, what it should be and probably the light took a little too long to come on, but eventually I did have the realization that actually this is the medium that I’m really engaged with and actually have some expertise in the production side and this was probably the industry for me to to sort of focus on. So it was in 2016 that I did that and we have slowly built up in an attempt to ride this wave of podcasting that’s really come along since sort of 2015, 16., and the two years of the pandemic were a wild ride to say the least.

It’s definitely been a pretty, yeah wild two years as people sort of adapt to ways to communicate remotely and podcasting is obviously a really wonderful part of that mix, so we’re really lucky to have seen a lot of growth and a lot of interest in podcasting, both for listeners and people that are trying to make content, and I built a really kind of cool team of people around me to to do that. So yeah, that’s all, that’s a bit of back story. When you said you went into sales and marketing jobs, did it sort of a light switch on for you in the sense that I’ve got the skill and now I know how to do sales forward slash marketing. If I combine them together, I could actually have my own company. Was that the thought there? yeah, I mean, to be honest, ever since I was about 11, I used to buy magazines, skateboard magazines and pull out the like the pictures and sell them as posters. I’ve always been somewhat entrepreneurial I guess.

So I’ve always known that I wanted to start a company and the agency model just is always what’s made sense to me. My main problem with that is that I just never saw myself as a salesperson. I really actually pushed it, pushed back pretty hard into getting into sales. I was just, I happen to live with a guy who worked for this company. They needed salespeople. I was like, I’m not a sales person, this is like my absolute worst nightmare. I don’t want to go and sort of flog, you know, second hand cars or insurance to old ladies and all these things that I thought were just like, I just thought sales was synonymous with just gross, icky, sleazy people. But I learned actually that firstly I was all right at it because I just, I can talk a lot and then secondly, actually if you’re selling something that’s genuinely of value, then you can be a decent human being and and not feel bad about what you’re doing on a daily basis. And so I found that actually I took to it quite well and also just that was the time in which I really understood the language of business.

I come up from an audio music background and actually musicians are usually pretty terrible business people or at least a lot a lot of them. and uh and so I was sort of really, that was a big kind of education in sort of how the world of business and, and agencies worked. so yeah, it was sort of, it was, it was an interesting, I always knew I was going to start a business of some sort, didn’t know about the sales part and then, and then kind of, you know, matching those together is what’s kind of made it work when you make the decision to start, I’ve decided pretty much by 2015, but it took me, a while to, you know, pull my finger out and do it. but I did it in the absolute worst and most un advisable way ever. Most people are very sensible, they sort of save up, they work hard on their job, they save a little nest egg so that when they start they’ve got some buffer, I had absolutely no buffer, no sense whatsoever, but just this conviction that I had to do it. So I quit my job and got a job as a waiter in the in the evenings so that I could spend the day kind of, you know playing at business at that point, I was just like, okay, I’ve got an agency who wants podcasts and of course, you know who the heck I am.

And uh and so it was very, it was a sort of slow iterative start. So yes, can’t advise that anybody does anything like the same, but luckily for me we’re all right at what we do and and there’s been a really sort of increasing demand in in this sort of space. So we were it’s worked out for us, but yeah, well I kind of like that, it’s kind of cool to hear that you you got a job in the evening so that you could spend that time in the day in your business. At what point do you do you get your first client? We I got little bits of freelance work here and there, because I always, I called, I named the company Lower street right from the off, even though it was just me and my pants in my bedroom, you know, it’s all very sort of fake it till you make it kind of thing. But so I got lots of sort of freelance bits and pieces here and there, but the proper, the first real kind of clients kicked in by about April the following year. So I’ve worked on it for about six months probably before I really start to get actual regular kind of clients that were legitimate companies and not just sort of one off people working on a podcast.

So so yeah, that’s when that kind of kicked off and then once you’ve got one you’ve got a regular paycheck coming in and you can invest in this and that and then before you know the snowball starts to build and and it actually starts to look like a legitimate operation and not just some bloke in his pants. Do you remember your first paid job or not? I do. It was for, it was it was for a gentleman called Chris said Valero from ST louis Missouri in the US who had a podcast. I don’t believe it’s it’s live anymore called the Ultimate Leadership podcast. He was a sort of a an author and a business coach and and that was his thing. So we started very much a lot a lot of our early clients were sort of coaches, consultants, small agency owners and we’ve now built over time to working with kind of you know, Fortune 500 enterprise companies and things like that. So it’s been a Yeah a lot has changed since 2000 and change since since your first client. Yeah.

Did you get a kick out of it was an exciting moment for you? It was amazing. It was sort of you know, you’re sort of working at something for a really long time and then when it actually lands and someone says okay, like we’re gonna, we’re agreeing to months and months of this together and they’re putting their trust in you, you suddenly think, oh wow, someone is actually stupid enough to believe that we can do this. And then, and then the job of course is to back it up and actually be able to do it. And so yeah, it was a real kick. And uh and and ever since then, I mean to be honest, it’s never got old. I’m six years in and every new contract is just as much of a thrill as the first one to be honest, because it’s still just like great, that’s another vote of confidence. We’re doing the right thing and we’re confident in what we can produce. So yeah, for me personally, it doesn’t doesn’t get old. It was six years in. You are, shall we say beating the statistics in terms of how long you’ve been in business for. So what have you learned in that time? Well I think the first thing is just stick, stick to itiveness. I think that sort of, there’s obviously naturally ups and downs with everything and what I’ve learned is just keep plugging away and it will, you know, you will push that rock up the mountain sort of thing.

And the other thing, the big thing is just that everybody, nobody knows what they’re doing is what I’ve learned after six years of doing this, you sort of feel like you’re the impostor and everybody’s got it figured out and you’re you know, trying to pretend that you’ve got it figured out until you have, but actually what I’ve realized as time goes on is that nobody has and we’re all we’re all figuring it out as we go along and that’s just fine and just be confident in your ability to figure it out. And I think that’s what I’ve gained over the six years is just confidence in my ability to well my ability and the team around these ability to figure out the problems that were presented with. I think I’ve just learned a degree of confidence and assuredness, I suppose certainly a good a good one for self esteem, that lesson at what point do you go for? It being beyond yourself doing the work that was fairly early on, it was always my intention to be an agency and not a freelancer. So I brought on contractors initially. so it was probably me and about, well one and then two and then three and then four kind of contractors within the first of 36 months of that chris caballero contract that I mentioned.

Yeah, pretty early. Again, I just wanted to I didn’t want to spend too much of the time doing the work, I wanted to spend my time building the company and and marketing us and and and sort of learning as well, you know, there’s so much to be learned at that time, that podcasting spaces has evolved just a huge amount in the last kind of six years. So that was that, but it wasn’t until probably around the beginning of the pandemic, actually, just before that we actually brought on our first, or, you know, converted some of our longtime contractors into real employees, full time employees. So actually, we’ve not been that long in that sort of position because it just, it worked incredibly well having contractors as a small business owner, having contractors, it makes it a lot more flexible, a lot less risky, but then it reaches a point where, you know, you can’t firstly, you’ve got to do right by the people that you’re working with, and secondly, just from a sustainability point of view, you just have to be able to deliver on stuff and it’s, it actually becomes risky in the opposite direction, if we, if we have contractors then suddenly they could be too busy to work on stuff for us.

And so it made sense to, to bring people on. And I will say the difference that’s made culturally, and in terms of the, the amount of brain space we have in the people that work with us, it’s just been night and day, like everyone is so much more on board with what we’re doing, they care about it, they’re a part of this kind of journey that we’re going on together and and the sort of work that they do as a result is so much better as well. So it’s been really exciting to kind of make that shift. So would you say you have a preference for having employees rather than contractors? Yeah, at least for my business, like it really depends because you know, some agencies bill themselves as Product Ized Services where the deliverables of that agency and I’m getting very business here, but like I don’t know whether this is if this is interesting to everybody listening, but hopefully the what you provide as an agency becomes very product Ized, it becomes like we do this thing for this person on these terms. And so it makes it very easy to package that up.

And if you’ve got something that’s so neatly packaged, that means there’s very little opportunity for things to go outside of that scope. And that means that you can then just hire contractors in to do those specific things which it makes it much easier to scale and much less you kind of reduced your your your risk and you’re kind of the bet that you’re taking on the salaries that you need to pay because you can scale up and down as and when you need to. And I think that model is really interesting. But I think that once you get into running an agency where you’re dealing with you know, decent sized budgets and projects it necessitates a certain level of flexibility and custom nous between clients. I love inventing words today and I and I think you know if you’re building yourself as sort of a premium service or a high ticket offering as our American friends often describe it. I think that it’s very hard to do that in a product Ized way and to do that with contracts.

I think it makes much more sense to have people that are just that are on your team that are like a core part of what you do and are able to sort of, as I say, like solve all those problems that you deal with on a on a daily basis when working in an agency because no client is the same. Right? What would you say? Some of your biggest challenges have been in your business hiring for? Absolute sure. Finding the right people and maintaining a culture. So we’ve gone from kind of 57 between five and seven kind of contract workers to now 18 full time employees over the last two years, since the pandemic. So that’s just an enormous rapid growth and at those early stages when we were seven people we just sort of I mean I had flu looked a culture, it was just working like there were a great collection of people and we all jelled in the right way and knew how each other how each other worked and it was just a wonderful environment to work in. And so my obsession over the last two years has been okay, That’s, that’s can’t, we can’t mess with that.

So how do we scale really quite quickly hire lots of people? It’s all relative, you know, lots of people for a company my size and uh, and not break that, not mess that up. You know, there’s only so many kind of Introverted creatives you can hire before eventually we have to start hiring other kinds of personalities, we’re storytellers, right? So it leans heavily or skews heavily towards introverted creative types, which is wonderful. That’s, that’s what we’re all about, and that’s why we all gelled so well, but as you get to a certain scale, it’s just, you can’t just, you can’t have 20 different people that are the same personality is just not going to make sense. So, I’ve really, really, really obsessed over not just the ability of the people that we hire in what they can do and help us to achieve, but what, how they’ll fit with the rest of the group and how they perpetuate this culture that we’ve created, so defining what that culture is, and then making sure we find the people that match it. So, for me, that’s been the biggest challenge for sure, because it’s just, there’s no shortcuts, it’s just a lot of time and work goes into finding those people, screening them trialing them, you know, uh, and bringing them on and making sure they have a really kind of robust onboarding, so that they’re, they’re kind of, they understand everything that they need to in order to do the work that they do, so, so yeah, I would say people is without question, the biggest challenge, I think, I mean, I don’t know, I can’t speak for agency, I think that’s a pretty common thing for agencies because it is so people heavy, right?

Like you just need people to do the things and so, so yeah, that’s been the biggest challenge for sure, and if you could share, let’s say your, your best learnings about hiring people, what would you share? So I think the sort of high level, most important thing beyond all that cultural stuff that I mentioned is giving everybody work to do before you work with them, we give every potential hire a test project to work on, which we pay them for, to make sure to give them a chance to test drive us and vice versa is how we sort of word it, so we want to know because it’s very easy to see to, to really like someone get on with them, think that they, they’re taking all your boxes, their CV looks great, you know, they’ve got everything that you need. But actually, until you work with them, you really don’t know how that’s going to shape up and so the only way that we’ve found two to fix that is to give them actually a piece of work to do and that will be, you know, less than a day’s work will pay them for it, but it really gives us a chance to understand, okay, Like can you do the things that you’re saying that you can do, are you interpreting things in the same way that we are, are you communicating in a really great way?

Are you asking the right questions? You know, we make these tasks have little holes in them here and there on purpose, so to make sure that people are okay are the kind of person that’s gonna come back and say, oh actually can I just check this and that and the next thing, so I would say that has been absolutely key. Now, does it mean we get it right, 100% of the time? No, it still doesn’t mean that, but it gives us a much, much higher hit rate, so that that has been, that’s been a big one for me. So if you had instances where you’ve given someone a project and you’d be like, oh my goodness, I can’t believe I was close to hiring this person after seeing all that more often than you would hope. Yes, people are incredibly good at interviewing and they’re not bad people, it’s not necessarily that they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes, but it just the way that they interpret things and the way you interpret things actually don’t necessarily match up. And so when they say I can do this and I can do that, they don’t necessarily mean the same thing by that as you do. There’s only one way to find out and that’s just to give them an actual, an actual task to work on and we try to break that by the way, literally as close if not the work that we intend for them to do when they get here.

We don’t want to give them like a random task to give us an idea of how we really want it to be like specifically what they’re going to be tasked with when they start with us interesting. So I’ve asked about the challenges, what would you say your biggest wins have been biggest wins? Well, you know, we’ve won a couple of awards for our work, which has been hugely gratifying. We’ve worked with some, some really big brands, which has been really fun. I would say the biggest win though if we’re talking about sort of hiring and culture as well as we’ve just got back off our first ever team retreat. So we’re fully remote company. I’m here in the UK. There’s four others who are based in the UK, although we’re spread out between London Manchester and and a few places in between, but also much of the team is based in North America, some in Europe, some in Asia. So we’re a bunch of different time zones. And a few weeks ago, the beginning of august was the first time ever that we’ve all been in the same place at the same time. We brought everyone together in Spain and had a meet up, which was absolutely amazing. And for me, that’s been the biggest win since starting the company just bringing all these humans together.

And actually seeing, seeing in the flesh, like all this work that we’ve done over the last last six years, bring all these folks together was just absolutely amazing. So yeah, that was, that’s been, it’s been a good month actually, Why do you think it was significant a significant moment for you? Well, I think it’s just like firstly for me personally, just seeing 18 people in the same room and going, Oh my God, look what’s happened. What? Because you’ve been working from home the whole time, actually my boxes until just the other day, it feels like, so how, how are we here? But also like solidifying all of that cultural stuff that I mentioned seeing some of the relationships that have started to build virtually really start to grow stronger in in person. You know, it’s wild to me, someone sent me a graphic where you kind of, it shows the number of interconnections between the people that you’ve got. So there’s sort of a block of four dots and then the lines that interconnect them and there’s like whatever there, how many other lines there is there? Like eight or something? And then five people, how many interconnections and so on and so on.

By the time you get sort of six or eight people, the number of interconnections is so great that it sort of was a great way for me to visualize just how complex actually a relatively small company is, in terms of the number of different people that interact with each other in different ways. So being able to make that happen in, in in person and allowed to facilitate some of those connections that just can’t really happen on zoom or it’s very inefficient for it to happen on zoom was just was wild. It was really great. So the stuff that came out of it was was was was wonderful. Thank you for sharing that. And it is, well, congratulations on what you’ve built, what you’ve done, you feel proud about it, quietly, British lee proud, you know, I’m proud about it. I wouldn’t get too carried away. I’ll tell my wife, I’m proud, but I don’t know if I shout about on the podcast, but thanks for asking. Yes, you’ve got a certain expertise given what you do and it’s about podcasting, What would you say? The most interesting podcast stats are the most interesting podcast stats you mean of the industry at large.

I think the first one is just that there is a very steady path of growth in listenership in podcasting, we’ve sort of Edison research, a company that does a lot of research in this industry has studied the number of people that listen to podcasts on a regular basis in the U. S. But I think that is broadly applicable everywhere. They do similar studies here in the UK, that number is just increasing all the time. That means there’s more people that are integrated are listening to podcasts as part of what they consume on a daily basis all the time. Um, and that’s, that’s really exciting. I think podcasting was seen probably during the pandemic is a bit of a hot medium, right? Like a sexy thing that everyone should be getting into. And so we saw an explosion of, of kind of content that didn’t necessarily match the growth in listenership. We’ve just been steady plodding away now. The reason I find that interesting and positive is that it’s very sustainable.

Like podcasting isn’t, it’s not like Tiktok for example, is this incredibly explosive medium and it’s, it’s so, so important all of a sudden. But so was clubhouse. And remember clubhouse, I don’t know how if you ever go into clubhouse was, you know, an audio platform where it was sort of like, I guess you could liken it to live radio or it was a live chat and you could join these different chat rooms. Well, I say in the past tense, it’s still a thing, it still exists there, but it was very, very hot for a moment and then suddenly it wasn’t, I’m not saying Tiktok is going to disappear overnight, but I think some of these things are very transient, they can be hot for a moment and then not anymore. And I think podcasting was seen as perhaps that next hot thing, and what I’m excited by is that it was that hot thing for a moment, but now it’s less trendy, but actually it’s still there, it’s still it’s still growing each and every day. And that to me is a really exciting sign that it’s a, it’s just a part of the marketing mix that’s going to be here for a long time to come. So I think, and that’s a really interesting one.

I think it’s, you know, it’s something that everyone will, will want to consider over the next couple of years, I think the other interesting stat is that podcasting is, is great for business. So, particularly if we’re talking about B two B audiences, a lot of our podcast that we produce are for B two B brands, business people listen to podcasts over index. So we said that the audience is growing over time in the business world, the average is much higher, much more people, you know, if you’re, if you’re a marketing manager in a reasonably large organization, you’re much more likely to be a podcast listener. so, you know, if we’re thinking about using podcasting to market our brand, particularly its B two B, although certainly for B two C as well. It’s a really wonderful medium to, to consider, because we are reaching senior level people, the level of engagement we see with audio is dramatically higher than we might see with video.

So, for example, if you put out a five minute video on social media, you might be lucky to get a five or 10% completion rate as a sort of industry benchmark with podcasting. It’s very, very common that you’re getting 80 plus percent completion rates of the audio and the episodes, by the way, 30 40 minutes long. So you’re getting an incredible level of engagement with relatively, well, not relatively with senior level people, but also the interesting stat for me is when they engage with podcasting. So they’re listening typically at the gym when they’re driving, walking the dog cooking dinner, we’re reaching a bit of time when we can’t reach them with video because, well, at least I hope you’re not watching YouTube while driving. Um, and they’re not at their computer, writing their emails were not, it’s not like an interruption medium. It’s not like, you know, reaching for Tiktok because you’re trying to kill 10 minutes, it’s something that you really opt into and choose to spend 30 to 40 minutes listening to. Um, so that’s a level of engagement I think is incredibly high and really exciting. Um, so those are some of the stats that I kind of focus on.

But yeah, you know, if you’ve got anything specific that you want to know more about gladly make it up, interesting stuff, Thank you for that. It makes me think about the people who perhaps haven’t started a podcast yet. And the should we say, the process that that person goes through, if you were to meet someone and they were like, all right, it’s interesting that you edit podcasts. I’m thinking about doing one. What advice do you have for me if you weren’t able to, let’s say, dig into the specifics, what general advice would you give them? Yes, I think generally it’s important to understand, given all that I’ve just said where podcasting is strongest and where its weakest podcasting is not viral. It’s not like a Tiktok campaign where you might explode overnight and have millions of viewers. It’s something where you are going to growing quite often quite a linear fashion. You’ll just get new listeners the way that people discover new podcasts, primarily the most common way is by referral, someone saying you’ve got to check out this show.

So it’s not, we shouldn’t view it as a a massive, quick audience growth channel, What we, what we should see as is a long term engagement channel. So that means that it’s really good for if we view the sort of the marketing funnel, the sales funnel, it’s very, very good for the top, the top of the funnel, it’s not going to be, someone’s not gonna listen to your podcast for the first time and then immediately pick up the phone to do business. I mean they might do, but that’s primarily not what we see instead, what it is is um allowing you to get a bit of brand awareness, build that audience over time, But educate your audience and really allow them to build a relationship with you over time to, you know, the whole know like and trust thing. I think podcasting is incredibly good at building those relationships over time. So I think first of all, the first thing I say to, to folks that are interested in podcasting is just understand where it fits and what it’s for, because so often people come to me and say, we want to start podcast, great, what are your goals? We want to get X number of leads off the back of it from day one.

Well then you should probably go and speak to, you know, tom Thomas about, you know, google ads, Facebook ads, because that’s going to get you that sort of result right podcasting is not that. Um, so I think that’s firstly a really, really important thing to understand. Um, and then the other things is just to, to focus really, really heavily. I think, again, it’s, it’s quite a fun medium. I think people get excited by the idea of starting a podcast because it’s, you know, you get to buy some cool gear and, and, and you sort of, it’s it’s an entertaining thing to make. So people often will say, great, we’ve got this amazing idea, I’m so excited, I’m gonna make this thing, we’re going to interview these experts on this topic and it’s gonna be wonderful, we’re gonna call it this, we’re gonna put it out there and it’s gonna be great. Um that can work, but it’s increasingly hard for that to work um because of the amount of competition, there’s so many other podcasts out there. So instead, what I really want to encourage everyone to do is to think backwards from who is their target listener?

Who are they trying to reach and why, what are those listeners already listening to and how can you create something that is actually a genuine value that is different from what they’re already listening to, so that you can justify a weekly slot in their media diet. Um, so, so that’s the number one thing I I think, is to really understand your listener and make something for them, not something that you think you can make and then try to go out there in the world and hope that you can find some listeners, because I think that’s what we see most people do and then they struggle to get that listenership. So really thinking about the content. Um I’ll stop, I’ll just otherwise I’ll just waffle on forever because it’s all I talk about every day. So you’ll have to ask me questions rather than just giving you everything that’s in my brain, it means you’re a good podcast guest. If you can do that, let’s say I had a I had a podcast and I was sick of doing the editing. Is there a let’s say, a ballpark price per episode that you could give me of, what you could expect to pay for podcast editing?

Um So podcast editing is is probably um 10% of what we do. We’re really a we helped to develop those ideas for podcasts, create the concept and the strategy, the marketing plans, research, write, script, the content, record it, and then we do the editing, and then we sort of put it out there and promote it. So for us like, no, there’s not sort of a number is because there’s a lot going on. Um if you Basically, there’s just an enormous spectrum right? You could be paying 50 quid from someone from Fiverr um to to edit a podcast. Or you could be paying, you know, tens of thousands of pounds from from an agency to create one for you. So very hard to answer that. Thought I’d have a go anyway, let’s see what you said in terms of mistakes? Like, let’s say production mistakes, Is there anything that you see far too often I do. Um and so there are a few very doing it now before you answer.

Sorry. So there’s another one thing you’re doing that that I want to suggest recommend that you consider. Um So anyway, first thing, so one of the big mistakes, not having the right microphone using it properly, I’m very happy to say that you are, which is wonderful, not wearing headphones is the next big one. Um and you are, so that’s wonderful. So the reason for that is that often we’re recording, especially this is a podcast for our business. We’re recording in a office, right, Which are typically the most ideal recording scenarios and what we’ll see lots of people do is sort of plant the microphone in the middle of the and then they’ll sit here and their colleague will be over here and all of a sudden you can probably hear how reverberant my spaces and how echoey that sounds and that’s not great. What we want to be doing is sounding much more like a radio presenter and being closely might. So what you’re doing right now is really great. Um the second stage then is where we’re recording it. So right now we’re talking on zoom, which is great, but what zoom is optimized for is very robust connectivity bandwidth to make sure that no matter how crappy my wifi is, we’re still going to have a great conversation, which is fine when we’re having a conversation, but for recording purposes, that means it’s taking our audio files and cramming it into the tiniest space it possibly can so that we don’t have an interruption.

So that means the audio quality is not not as it could be. Um And so instead, what we recommend is using a platform that is dedicated for recording what it does. So there’s there’s a bunch of options at riverside, the squad cast, their zen caster, there’s there’s lots of others Um and they allow you to and it’s sort of $20 a month or something. So it’s not a huge investment, but what they do is they record the guest and the host at source and then upload the files afterwards. So you’re not getting the any way I could get very boring with technical but basically sounds better. And the video is high quality as well. So um I would really recommend doing that. Um it just, it’s a very easy way to level up the quality of your of the production values. I have tried riverside and I did about 10 or 15 episodes on it. It just added so much additional time to the back end. The difference in quality versus the time spent wasn’t it wasn’t doable for me, but I’m in relation to the podcast anyway, I do most of the work.

So it’s it may be different from what you got going on in your business, that’s that’s right. I mean if it’s, you know, yeah, if your D I Y ng it then efficiency I guess is king. Um But yeah, we’re talking sort of ideal scenarios of what we want, what we want to try and strive for. I think that those are those are some quick wins anyway from, Well I appreciate the share anyway, I think that’s beneficial for a lot of people, as you said, um you didn’t mention that you help with the reach or the promotion of the episodes, so it’s the same thing, same question, but in relation to people who are attempting to get reach, what are the main mistakes that they tend to make? Yeah, well I don’t know about mistakes but I think the sort of common wisdom or the kind of assumed channel to promote through is social um because that’s where our audiences are a lot of the time and that’s that’s great. Um and certainly we should be putting out content on social because it’s a great way to repurpose the stuff we’re making on social on on the podcast to fuel our content calendars.

Um it’s a great way to engage with our communities to get conversation going around the podcast and just to make people aware that this thing exists, but what we found after doing this for a very long time is that it’s very hard to make that user journey if we talk about it in really kind of quite technical terms from Instagram, twitter, Facebook, whatever it is when you’re in twitter mode, you’re in bite size short form content mode, you might be sitting on the loo, you’re just looking for something quick to like hit the like button and comment on. It’s very hard to, to make that jump from there into Okay, now I’m going to spend the next 30 40 minutes listening to an in depth piece of audio. That’s oftentimes where people will focus a lot, they’ll make audio grams will do text, post an image cards and all these kinds of things to kind of get content from the podcast onto their social, which is great, but it’s just not going to typically generate huge growth. Certainly not in the long term. So instead what we want to do is focus on in channel basically want to reach podcast listeners when they’re already in podcast mode, which is of course listening to other podcasts. So the channels that we really recommend are can you literally get on to other podcasts that are relevant to the audience you’re seeking to serve.

So if there are shows like yours or shows that share the same audiences you but might talk about a completely different topic. Can you cross promote? For example, you might be able to go on their podcast, they come on yours or shout out one another’s if you don’t want to be a guest on each other’s shows or in our case often we’re buying sponsorships on those other podcasts. Um, they have engaged listener ships that are relevant to yours and if you can point them towards your content, then that’s gonna be great. The other layer layer is through the apps themselves, so through, you know, Apple and Spotify, they have editorial teams that control the content that makes their home screen. So that’s harder to too, you can’t gain that. You just have to make great content and try and pitch those teams to get your, your show featured. Um, but other apps outside of those ecosystems have pay to play options. You can buy a banner ad within cast box or stitcher or pocket casts or overcast, um, to get access to those audience with, when people are actively looking for more content to listen to. Um, and, and then the other thing, um, is around the kind of Apple podcast ecosystem is the number one, right, 60% of podcast listening is still happening on apple.

So that’s the channel that we want to optimize for and what the Apple charts or trending charts cares about is the number of new subscribers that the podcast has received over the last 24 hours. So what we need to do in order to climb up the ranks in apple and get more kind of organic exposure is get new subscribers within a fairly condensed period of time. So the way that we can do that. One of the mechanics we can use is using a contest. So we can say, you know, for your chance to win X massive amazing prize. Subscribe to us on apple podcast, leave us a rating or review share this with some friends, you know, whatever the thing is that you, that you choose to do and that can help to kind of spike some activity in a condensed period of time that will then hopefully project you up the up the ranks. Um, so there’s just a couple of three sort of high level thoughts, very clever. Thank you for sharing. Um last thing I was going to ask you about picking your brains on this topic is actually the content itself. So have you got any thoughts on mistakes that people make regarding the actual conversation?

Yeah, so I think the first one is preparation. So I meant, you know, I mentioned our producers are researching writing scripting episodes before they’re recorded, um and I think that is so, so important. I think the majority of podcasters will find the guests that they want to speak to have some bullet points of things they want to chat about and then just sort of get into the conversation and see what happens. Um, that can work, but it rarely does work. People are generally not as interesting as we hope they’re going to be or they’re awfully people like me and they just go on and on and so it’s it’s hard. So we need to really kind of carefully prepare who is this guest? Why are they relevant to my audience? And what are the what are the key stories that I’ve researched ahead of time that I know that they’re in a position to answer, How can I tease those out in in in the right way. Um And so really structuring your interview. So it’s not just sort of I don’t necessarily encourage just reading questions off the list because that can sound quite robotic and boring but just sort of like these are the things that I want to get to in this order to to sort of structure a conversation in a way that is compelling and interesting.

And then the second point is editing I think a lot of people will just take the conversation, edit out a few arms and others and and put it out there. Um And I think every podcast in existence will benefit from a greater level of editing. It’s really common for us to take 45 minutes worth or an hour’s worth of recording material down to a 20 minute episode. Really taking a lot of the stuff out because most of it is fluff and we want to make sure that only the good stuff makes the cut. So I think for a lot of people, those those are some um some big wins plan really carefully ahead of time, which by the way makes editing it down really hard. Um sorry, editing it down really easy because you know, the point that you’re trying to get across, right. So anything that kind of falls outside of that unless it’s amazingly interesting should be cut out. So those are the two the two things I would say. But to your point earlier, if you’re a one man band, that is a lot more work. Right? So that either means finding a good editor um or it means the editing piece, it means just sort of really being quite structured in how you perform the interview to make sure that everything you get is really great.

Thank you for that for sharing your expertise. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. Is there anything that I should have asked you about today? Is there anything you should have asked me about? Um no, I think that the the thing that I’m really passionate about and and strongly believe it’s not that everybody should be podcasting, but everybody should be making noteworthy content stuff. Like I think we were gone past the age of ballistic AlS and you know, writing articles to sort of game the google system. I think that game has been played to the extent that now there’s just too much noise and I think all we can do is as content people as marketers is try to make stuff that can stand above the noise. The only way we can do that is by making something that’s genuinely worthy of note. And so my, my position is that instead of trying to do lots of things, right, really great articles and do a podcast in a YouTube channel and social, we should go, look, we’re really gonna be, this is gonna be our main focus and make one thing, whether it’s a podcast or something else, we’re gonna make this thing just absolutely amazing because it’s the only way we can be the tool, um poppy flower.

It is. But anyway, the tall one, there we go, poppies. So that’s um that’s what I would, that’s what I I strongly sort of believe is don’t try to do lots of things, try to do one thing really, really well. And I think that the sort of benefits are, will outweigh the alternative. There’s a question that I ask everyone that comes on, How are you, what does success mean to you? Um I mean, ultimately we’re getting philosophical about it just being happy, I think. Um yeah, I I listened to a lot of business podcasts, a lot of, you know, people that are that that sort of celebrate hustle, you know, um and an achievement for them. Success for them is is sort of a bigger bank account and and look, certainly earning some money is good and we all want to do that, but I don’t think that’s how I measure success. So for me it’s happy, it’s about sort of being happy with what you’re doing with the people you’re working with, with community and all that sort of stuff.

And so that comes back to sort of cultural thing I mentioned with hiring and that sort of stuff I think, you know, I want to get up every morning and be excited about the people I’m surrounded by and that sort of stuff, so if I can continue to do that and get some sleep in the meantime, you know, being an agency owner is definitely not, it’s not without its stresses, but I would consider that a success. Well, thank you for sharing your expertise today. If people want to connect or to follow you, where do they go? Thank you, it’s been really fun Thomas. Thanks for having me. I hang out on Twitter a lot, so you can find me at podcastharry on twitter or I’m on LinkedIn and everything about what we do is at lowerstreet.co. Well, for everyone listening, please review the links in the description. Harry, thanks for being a great guest today. Thanks so much, appreciate it.