Creating a Content Emergency Fund with Sam Chlebowski

Creating a Content Emergency Fund with Sam Chlebowski
Audience
Creating a Content Emergency Fund with Sam Chlebowski
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Episode July 08, 2021 00:26:27

Hosted By

Matt Medeiros Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

Content emergency fund with Sam

Today's guest is none other than our very own Head of Growth, Sam Chlebowski.

Over the last two months, Sam has been helping our team iron out some of the creases in-between the marketing & sales teams here at Castos. His background in the web services industry and managing expectations of small business owners navigate uncertain waters is a huge boon to our podcasters.

Sam and Matt help define what the "Head of Growth" role means along with his day to day responsibilities. They will unpack the lessons learned to help apply some of the same tactics to podcast creators looking to grow their audience.

The duo eventually came across the idea of investing in a "Content Emergency Fund" illustrating how podcast content can easily feed into your "banked" content.

Content Emergency Fund

A successful podcast which continues to increase downloads and broaden its reach doesn't stop at the audio file streamed to an app. It requires you to invest in other areas of content marketing, like blogging and/or email marketing.

The bad news? It takes more time to create more content.

The good news? Repurposing old podcast episodes to feed new areas of content, even if it's years old, is an affordable route to take. Sam refers to it as the Content Emergency Fund!

Wether you're stuck or crunched for time, you can lean on old episodes to draw new ideas from.

- Write up a new blog post about the book a guest mentioned
- Post audiograms from your top episodes
- Email out a series of mini-courses quoting the best lessons from your back catalog

Keep the content flowing; keep repurposing your old episodes!

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:05 Guess who's here today. The big Lebowski. Now I can't say Jesus. That's Sam <inaudible> Sam. Welcome to the welcome to the program. Welcome to the team. Thank you. You can, it can also be the dude Speaker 1 00:00:17 Due to Reno, whatever you'd like Speaker 2 00:00:20 Freaking a white Russian right now. I think it's 9:45 AM where you are right for 8 45, 8 45 Speaker 3 00:00:26 Out here in Denver, not drinking a white, Russian drinking, a non-alcoholic white Russians. So just, just coffee with a little bit of cream. Speaker 2 00:00:35 Sam has recently joined the castles team. You might have seen an email announcement if you're on the Castle's email list, why wouldn't you be it's castles.com/subscribe? He's our head of growth, Sam, what, what does that mean? What does that mean? Even? I don't know what that means. Explain it to our listener. That's actually Speaker 3 00:00:54 A really good question because the concept of ahead of growth and when I was looking at new roles and I had found the Castillo's role head of growth, isn't a role that is really out there in the wild. People are used to a head of marketing, a head of sales, even directors of demand generation and things like this. So I actually really liked the role and I did some research into it and it's made a lot of sense, especially over the last month and a half. But what a head of growth primarily is doing is it's a combination of marketing and sales, all kind of smashed into one where you're creating the things that are going to build interest. And then you're looking at the ways that you can turn that interest into action. And I think there's a lot of crossover there with anybody who's trying to market their brand, their business, their podcast. There's a ton of crossover between that idea of where it's, you're building engagement through content. Maybe you're giving away this content for free, but you want some sort of long-term action. It's sort of like a call to action in a podcast episode, where you're either at asking somebody to subscribe or somebody to become a private member of, you know, your content network that you're building, things like that. So long story short, head of growth. It's a true mashup of sales and marketing and putting that together in one, in a really holistic sort of way. Speaker 2 00:02:28 And for the average podcaster and by average, I mean probably 98% of us where we're doing all of that sales, marketing, promo strategy, drafting, editing, we're doing it all right. I don't want to say you have the luxury, but you get to come in and oversee what's happening with our sales team. What's happening with our marketing team, make that cohesive plan. And I think in a moment, we'll talk about what podcasters can do to help grow there. At least from your perspective, help grow their audience. So somebody who is doing this all day long, thinking about growth, thinking about making the connection of sales, marketing, and promotion, we'll give you some of Sam's tips, but Sam, you come from an interesting space. I came from the web sort of web services background web. I used to run an agency, obviously we're in a podcast, sold a bunch of stuff. And you came from a world which blew my mind from the website of, of, of what the, that market of helping people build websites that were in which particular space, Speaker 3 00:03:30 Mental health. So primarily in the mental health space, helping private practices, counselors, LCSW, use therapists, psychiatrists all start and market their private practices. And it was definitely a very interesting space to be in because we also were in that space at a very interesting time when mental health really became not only more accessible, but there became a real desire for mental health in America. And some of the stigma really got removed over the past couple of years, and it was amazing to see all of these various clinicians that we were working with, be able to grow their businesses and ultimately help more people. And I found that sort of work very rewarding, but it was a lot of people with small businesses who were just kind of in that startup phase. And maybe those businesses would go on to be bigger, larger organizations, multiple employees, maybe dozens of employees, but a lot of those same strategies that we saw people deploying that were really working, building out a blog, building out a newsletter, doing things like even starting a podcast or running live webinars and live events. A lot of those things I think transfer to what we do at Casta is helping creators, specifically those creators who are just in the early days of their show and get their work marketed to an audience and help people find out. Okay. Speaker 2 00:04:53 And I think the biggest, you know, just from my own perspective, and I guess this is what happens in every market that you don't, you don't know anything about. And all of a sudden you're just surprised or floored by the, the, and we don't have the name numbers here, or company names or anything like that, but just the sheer size of people spinning up sites in this space was sort of just mind boggling to me and it, and it goes to show like even in the podcasting space, when I joined castles, I was thinking, of course I know everything about podcasting. I have been doing it now for nearly a decade. And then I joined castles and I'm like, oh my God, this is whole other like genre market opportunity in podcasting and audio, which I wasn't even, I didn't even, it didn't even occur to me. Speaker 2 00:05:33 Some of these things that, that brands, businesses use podcasting for. And I, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised because in the podcasting space, one of the largest, if not the largest podcast, advertiser is bet. And they're a, uh, sort of like an online, online counseling therapy. I hear them all over the place with some of the bigger podcasts that I listened to. And you're right. Like a lot of these folks building out the sites, even though they were coming to you for the actual website for the technology side of it, they still had to go out and create their own content, or were you helping them create content as well? So we were doing Speaker 3 00:06:10 Some of that content creation for them. And that was one of the cool things that we did have was a system that would help with the social media marketing. Think of it sort of like a hoot suite. If the audience is familiar with HootSweet scheduling out tweets and social posts, Facebook posts, what have you. And it was kind of like HootSweet, but specifically for therapists where the content was built in there, it would share helpful articles with their network and it would help facilitate some of that. But a lot of times the most successful people that I came into contact with were really going above and beyond and doing things like launching a podcast for their mental health business or doing webinars and live streams for their mental health business. I think that that connectivity is something that plays just such an instrumental role in any new business, putting yourself out there, connecting with your audience. Speaker 3 00:07:07 I have found that it's something that's really, really impactful. And if you can do that and do it long enough and gain that experience and get that exposure, even if things aren't perfect in the beginning, it's something that's going to really make a large impact in whatever you're doing, whether it's a business, whether it's just a podcast that you are passionate about and you're trying to grow your audience, or whether it's a brand or a coaching sort of network, things like that, just putting yourself out there, getting your work published, even if it's not perfect right away is something that you're going to get better at. And it's going to really yield some phenomenal benefits in the end. So Speaker 2 00:07:47 I feel like that crowd that you were servicing at your last company would be very detail oriented because they, they sort of had to be, you couldn't take you couldn't like put out an incomplete blog post or podcast episode because there was a lot of risk involved, right? Somebody is looking to this person or this company for advice or for help. And you have to be so detailed oriented from your perspective. And I don't know if you've, if you saw this, like if you were sort of at the tip of the spear, if you will, but how, how did such a large amount of your customers manage time? Because in a small business environment, I don't think the challenge is like understanding what a blog is, understanding what a podcast is. It's just, how do you, how does a small business owner find the time to do that? We know when largely they're running their practice and they're trying to do everything else, accounting, janitorial services, everything that's involved with running a business. Do you know, or did you see a broad pattern over this D suite of customers that you, that you serviced, how they manage time or what their biggest challenges were in that space? Yeah. And Speaker 3 00:09:03 That is just a phenomenal question, man. It was actually something that we were trying to do from a content standpoint to help people with, because time management, especially for early stage businesses is really, really tricky. And one of our big suggestions was start small, do what you have time for and grow from there. So for example, if you don't have a blog right now and you say, I want to start a blog, okay, great. Don't overburden yourself trying to do four blog posts a month. While you are seeing clients while you are doing your organization's books, while you are hiring all of this other stuff, to start with one blog post and get the feel for what your voice is through your blog. Great. You've done a blog post a month for two months. It's going well. Okay, great. Maybe upgrade to two or three blog posts a month, then if that's still going well, but you say, Hey, I'm busier than ever. Speaker 3 00:10:02 Okay, great. Maybe it's time to either outsource or hire someone else to do that. And I think that was really one of the biggest transitional moments that I saw with a lot of the businesses we were working with was when to start delegating things. And when to start handing off things that they no longer had time for. I think starting on your own and figuring out a plan of action is a great way to get going. But once you are putting out more and more content and you're getting busier and busier, it's time to look for help. And don't be afraid to seek out help when you need it. Speaker 2 00:10:37 Yeah. Yeah. It was funny. Like there's, I look at content creation. Of course I'm kind of biased because here I am sitting at castles having this conversation with you on the audience podcast. So I certainly biased the podcasting, but I've been doing content creation for a long time. And I was just thinking, while you were saying that my wife and I are, are, are sort of opposite to a degree. Like I used to work out all the time. We had kids five years ago. So that was sort of nearly the end of that. But they're getting a little bit older now and it's a little bit more manageable to get out and exercise again. But, but here's how we'll do it. It'll be the summertime comes, my wife will be like, okay, we're going to get back into this swing of things. We're going to go on this diet. Speaker 2 00:11:16 We're gonna start exercising. My wife will literally just start or she'll be like, okay, I'm going to go for a three mile run today. It's like, I can't, I can't go from zero to three miles, like in a day. Right. So I need, I'll be like, I'm going to go for a walk. I'm just gonna, I'm gonna go, go for a walk for like 20 minutes, listen to a podcast and then come back. And then next week I'll jog. And then the week after that, I'll try for that mile. And literally, yes, I run, it ran a mile and a half yesterday and just like slowly improving over time. The goal here is that if you're a content creator, don't get overwhelmed. Like it's to be valuable that there you're going to lose weight. You're going to get customers, right? You're going to go for a run. Speaker 2 00:11:58 You're going to build that muscle up. And you're going to start to lose weight, get back in shape, get conditioned again, same thing with blogging. Like are you're going to, it's a good thing. No one ever said don't blog. Everyone said, go blog. You just have to do it in, in small baby steps. At least that's the way it works for me. Otherwise you just get overwhelmed. And we say this about podcasting all the time here in our success calls is what is your maximum amount of podcasts that you can do every month? A lot of people just say, oh, I can do four episodes. I want to do one every week. Okay. So how much time do you have to promote this podcast? After that's all said and done, you record the episodes, you do the scheduling and getting the interview guests and all that, and all the logistics around it. Speaker 2 00:12:42 How much time do you have left to promote? It's like, I just, now I'm out of time, then don't do four podcasts, do two podcasts every month and spend the rest of that time, promoting getting clarity and really pushing that audience. Because the worst thing you can do is just get burned out. And then you just say, listen to work for me, this whole podcasting thing. Wasn't fun. Let's because we didn't have a clear goal and you burn yourself out, give yourself some breathing room and promote the heck out of it. No real question there for you, Sam, just a soapbox moment. When I, when I heard you say those things. Speaker 3 00:13:13 No, and I absolutely love that because I'm so much of the same way. And I think that it's, it also kind of goes back to like the sticking power of habits. And if you jump right into something, at least for some people, I I'm this way, it sounds like you're this way, too. If you jump right into something and you're doing it every day for a week, or you feel like you have no time and you're running around trying to get these podcasts or these blogs or whatever it be within your business or your personal life or a change that you're trying to make, if you can't stick with that and make it sort of like a long-term habit, something you can keep up for 30 days or two months or three months, but you're going to burn out. And I think it's better to start small. Speaker 3 00:13:57 And then once you start figuring out some of the work that goes into these types of things, for example, you figure out how long it takes you to run a mile. Great. Okay. It took me 10 minutes to run, to run a mile this time, but then you start getting faster and faster and suddenly three miles. Might've taken you 50 minutes a couple months ago, and now you're down to 30 minutes. And as you get better at these things, it's a great way to be able to naughty, not only sort of manage your time, but optimize your time to a point where you're getting so good at recording episodes or writing content that it comes much more naturally. And one blog post a week is not nearly as much work as well. Maybe one blog post a month was traditionally. So is there Speaker 2 00:14:42 A con I mean, I'm gonna sort of put you on the spot, but is there like a content calendar that you've seen successfully work for small businesses when you were working at the old gig? Like something that you looked at them, and there was a pattern of one blog post a month, one a podcast every two months. Like, was there a certain cadence that you saw from those customers that, that worked really well for them after they sort of understood the challenge ahead? Yeah. Speaker 3 00:15:12 And there is, and I think there's a lot of different opinions around this and everybody will say something different, but I will just share my experience of what I saw was a really sort of good calendar after someone's content channels. If you will, were pretty well established. And that was two social posts a week, one blog post a week, and one newsletter a week. And the reason for this was very specific. It was that, okay, if you can put out one piece of original content on your blog a week, great, you have something that you can then put into a newsletter and you have that every week, the blog post is already written. You take a snippet out of that, out of that blog post, you put that in your newsletter and then you do on social one post promoting your blog. And then another post may be about something unrelated, or maybe it's some sort of fun theme that you have every week. And I find that that strategy blog post newsletter to social media posts is something that is very sustainable long-term. And it also is making sure that all of your content channels are tying back into one of another. So, I mean, even if it's a podcast, for example, if you want to swap that blog post for podcast episode a week, great. You put the podcast out, the podcast goes in the newsletter, you then do social about that same podcast and all of your content streams are working together for you. Speaker 2 00:16:45 One of the things that I think we can, we can really say to like put a bow on that thought is the idea of repurposing content. So even if you started with just a podcast, even if you just talk to somebody for a half an hour, you could 25, 20 minutes, 10 minutes. Yeah. I mean even 10 minute interviews or 20 minute interviews in a particular space, especially if it's B2B B to C, you can pull, certainly you can pull two blog posts, quotes, snippets of audio, a video. If you're, if you're also recording video for your podcast and you could, you're a single podcast, even if it was 20 minutes once a month, I'm sure you could fill out a full month's worth of content breaking apart. A lot of the, the, the, the, the quote and the content, and even third degrees away from that. Somebody mentions a book you're interviewing somebody, they mentioned a book, and then that's just another whole nother piece of content that you can go and pull from, and then have that one podcast as your cornerstone piece of content. Or am I crazy thing that you could repurpose a 20 minute episode into a whole month's worth of content? Speaker 3 00:17:49 Not at all. And I think that it's something that a lot of people might not know that they can do, or is even recommended to do the power of repurposing content is amazing. And I think that it's one of the things that when somebody isn't aware of that, it holds them back from really going into developing a marketing strategy, because they think they always need something new. The way that our world works on social media is people forget really fast. And there are things that are on the internet for 24 hours and they are gone forever. New people are seeing more minutes, 24 minutes, even. Yeah. New people are always seeing your content. They're always getting new ex there's always new people being exposed to the work that you put out. So don't be afraid to repurpose things. I think it's what some of the most successful creators businesses organizations do really is they're optimizing the content that they put out. So they don't have to constantly reinvent the wheel day after day, week after week. Speaker 2 00:18:54 Yeah, man. So many thoughts triggered in my head. Like I don't even want to get on my soap box about social audio and like even things like Instagram stories, Twitter fleets, right? Every platform now has stories. Man. I am not investing any brain cells into creating content on things that disappear. Now, I know there's space spaces where it works, the food industry, fashion sports. I get it, it works, works over there. But with the limited amount of time that I have left after creating all the other content, that's, archivable searchable. Repurposable I am not going to spend that free time creating stuff that simply disappears, but that's just me. That's just old curmudgeon, but content creator in this space, I just won't do it. A Tik TOK, forget about not happening. I'm not going to do it right. I am here. I'm here to create content that, that, that is everlasting because it's going to be some of your best content. Speaker 2 00:19:48 And I think you, you, you stole the next question right out of my head is, I mean, we have stuff on our site that we're co w w you and I were having a conversation the other day, we were like refreshing our podcast guide, which is like, I don't know, 4,005,000 words, a million images and links and videos like that stuff is just, yes, there's a front load of investment creating it probably a few weeks, if not a month to create that kind of content. But then it's, it's there. People are searching. It it's valuable. And then every so often, especially if it's something that impacts a fast changing industry like podcasting or any industry, really, you go back, you refresh it. And it's just another thing that you don't have to. It's a great thing. Like after a year of creating content, and then January 1st comes, you're like, oh God, I got to do a whole other year of content. Speaker 2 00:20:38 Guess what? You have this backlog of a year's worth of content. You don't have to rack your brain thinking about what you, what you're going to do again, go back updates. The list of cools. I mean, yeah, some of this stuff is thrown away, but it, it, it gives you the ability to jog your memory and just get that pen, moving on paper, or keep keys typing on your keyboard to create the next piece of content or speaking into a microphone to do a new version of XYZ. And I think a lot of people forget, because we're just, like you said, we're just moving on to the next shiny object. It's, it's, it's not good. It's not healthy as a content creator, at least in my opinion. And I would Speaker 3 00:21:14 Totally, we agree with that, Matt. I, the way that I've always approached content and the way that I've had things in my head is I look at every blog post, every recorded live stream, every podcast that gets put out is you're building that savings bank. And the great news is that if there's an emergency, you can't produce a piece of content that week. Great. You can pull from that savings account pool from your content emergency fund, if you will. And repurpose that using what you know has worked over that past year, and either putting it out in a different medium, or just refreshing the information in there. Based on the current times, I think that there's a lot of opportunity, especially for anyone who is creating content throughout the pandemic. There's a lot of posts out there. A lot of podcasts out there that could be updated that people might want to consider doing that. And so that would be my hot tip, or just updating those things to be reflective of where we are in the world now versus versus where we are. Then some things have changed somehow, but, you know, don't be afraid to pull from that savings bank to reuse that content. It sounds like we are definitely come from the same school of thought. Sam, when Speaker 2 00:22:28 I a little, I know you're going to be leading up. And this is sort of, as we wrap up here, leading up to how folks in the audience podcast are going to hear more of you. You are going to take the reins of the Casos creator spotlight series. And you're going to interview folks who are Castle's customers creating podcasts. So you're going to hear Sam's voice, uh, as much as you probably hear mine in the coming in the coming days. But Sam, what I normally do is I, as I'm talking to somebody, I'm thinking, what's the title of the show going to be, what can I pull from? And you just said it it's going to be how to create a content emergency fund. And that's going to be the title. I love the content emergency fund concept and title. So I appreciate that quick, a quick win in the, in the podcast title right there, Sam, what are you, what are you looking now? I'm going to reverse that. And instead of, instead of positive, let's go, let's go negative first. That's the kind of guy that I am. What are you most afraid of? Or what's the most challenging part of taking the reins of the castles creator series for you? Speaker 3 00:23:32 I like the, I like the Boston based question. Go with the negative first. So yeah, I'm from the east coast originally, now a mountain Denver world. Peace, love and happiness. But yeah, it was 90 Speaker 2 00:23:43 Degrees today. So everyone is already guide. Just give me October, Speaker 1 00:23:46 Like, like I'm Speaker 2 00:23:49 Done 30 days, I'm warm. I'm hot now get me a, get me back into October. Good. Oh, I Speaker 3 00:23:53 Love it. But yeah. So I think one of the most challenging parts of this podcast and taking over, and I certainly have big shoes to fill taking over for you, Matt, but it's lucky that I'm fortunate enough to be able to listen to all of our great work that's already in the podcast. Sorry. It's great. That I've been able to listen to a bunch of past audience episodes past Castillo's creator, spotlight episodes, and familiarize myself with that content. But I think that the hardest thing for me with taking over these episodes are to glean actionable items from each creator we speak with. And I think that that is, and I could be proven wrong in the coming months. I think that that is also one of the big challenges about podcasting in general is when you were trying to find some common theme, some common thing that you can share from the episode, whether it is just the title or whether it's an overarching lesson. I think that's something that's going to take a lot of practice. Uh, but I'm competent. I'm going to be able to learn how to do it over time. But I think initially that's going to be something that's going to be a real challenge for me is finding those actionable items out of the episodes, finding those lessons that we can share with people so they can grow their audience and they can use some of these insights from other creators, with a similar experience to get their work in front of more people. Speaker 2 00:25:23 If you're a Castle's customer and you want to be on the creator spotlight series, we're going to have a new landing page for it soon we promise. But in the meantime, send us an email. [email protected] say, Hey, I got a show. I'm a Castle's customer. I'd love to talk to Sam and I have a great lesson to share, not a dozen lessons. One, one really great one that you want to share with other podcasters and with Sam emails, [email protected] Sam, welcome to the team. Once again, we've been working now for what feels like six months, but it's been about 60 days, roughly 70. I forget. I forget where you're at little over two months, a little over two months. It's a pleasure working with you so far. The pleasure having you on the audience podcast, introduce you to the audience. Everybody. Thanks for listening. castles.com/audience. Subscribe to the show, share it better yet. Share it. Check out pod chaser.com. Search for us on pod chaser. Leave us a review over there.

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