Why Podcasters Should Care About Member-Only Sites

Why Podcasters Should Care About Member-Only Sites
Audience
Why Podcasters Should Care About Member-Only Sites
/
Episode October 08, 2020 00:35:55

Hosted By

Matt Medeiros Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

Creating a traditional podcast that's available to the public isn't what you need for your premium content. It's public for anyone to hear, both paying members and anyone else who stumbles across the show.

Instead, you need a private podcast where you can restrict who has access to the content. That's where Castos' latest integration with MemberSpace comes in. Check out this week's Audience episode where we sit down with Ward, the co-founder of MemberSpace.

He fills us in on why podcasters should care about member-only websites for their premium content. And how these paywalls can help you monetize on your own terms. 

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:05 Everybody welcome back to another episode of the audience podcast today. It's Craig and I interviewing ward from member space. Now ward runs member space. And you might recall recently we have a new integration with private podcasting and with member space. So if you have a member space community, you're protecting paid content, a membership core, something like that, you can then pipe in your member space account to a private podcast [email protected] So we said, Hey, wouldn't it be great to interview ward the creator of member space and talk about the value of creating a membership site, a paid course, and what are people doing in a COVID world? How are other businesses pivoting to online education? That's everything in today's episode. We really hope you enjoy it. Don't forget casos.com/subscribe. If you haven't already joined the email list and check out our latest podcast, greater Castillo's dot com slash podcast greater, not only will it give you a little grade on your journey through podcasting. I have a bunch of resources there for you. So if you already haven't downloaded the podcast interview blueprint checklist, go to castles.com/podcast, greater get those free resources. We have a whole course on setting up your interview show, maybe improve things a little bit. Maybe you're going after building a community, growing your audience with your podcast, even monetizing it. Lots of great advice over at castles.com/podcast greater. Okay. Let's get into the interview with ward. Speaker 0 00:01:45 Hello. Welcome back to the audience podcast. I'm your host Craig Hewitt, along with Matt Maderas from Casto smack, how's it going? It's going well, Craig, uh, excited to do our, this is our first tandem. Is that what it's called? Tandem podcast? I think so. Yeah. We have a, it's both Matt and I on today with ward Sandler from member space. And so I'll give a bit of folks of background about wards so we can just dive right in and talk about kind of what they do. But folks who kind of have listened to some of our recent episodes, we've talked about member space, being a membership platform that is kind of platform agnostic in a way headless is the technical term to where it works on WordPress and Squarespace and any other kind of content management system and member spaces, a platform that lets folks run membership sites across a variety of, of kind of technologies. So, or it is going to be chatting with us today about membership sites, but also about podcasting because they have their own podcast for their brand. And so ward, welcome to the show. Hey Craig, Hey man. Thanks for having me really appreciate it. Yeah. Yeah. I'd love to start by kind of just chatting through a bit more maybe about kind of what member space is and what y'all do. And then it would love to hear about kind of how you all got into podcasting for to hear more about Speaker 1 00:03:00 Yes. Speaker 2 00:03:00 I mean just kind of build on what you said already about member space. The simplest way to understand it is we give you the ability to make any page of your existing website pay walled so that people can't just get to any page of your website and have to be a member and potentially pay you to get access to that page. And we work on all the major platforms out there like WordPress web flow, Wix Squarespace, et cetera. And recently we actually now work on notion as well. So that's kind of a fun little thing. We just, Speaker 1 00:03:28 So you all are kind of at heart, a software company kind of like cast us and have a podcast. So would love to, to kind of dig into that. Cause I think a lot of folks that listening to this I'd like to say have some kind of brand, right. They have a company or a nonprofit or a church or a sports organization or a local business and they want to, or they have a podcast, but I know you all are a relatively big company and have a podcast. So we'd just love to hear why do you have a podcast and what made you all just start, decide to start doing it? And how do you approach it in term from a marketing perspective? Speaker 2 00:04:01 Yeah. So it's kind of a big question and it's kind of hard to give like one quick answer. So I'll just kinda elaborate a little bit. So kind of our philosophy with marketing is we don't really like the idea of buying ads or supporting, especially places like Facebook and in more and more, uh, Google with ads. Um, if anyone's seen the social dilemma on Netflix, they would understand why. Um, so instead, right, so if you're not going to do traditional buying ads marketing, what do you do? So when there's organic marketing, right? And so that's generally content marketing is the most popular form. And so for us a podcast is, sounds a great version of organic content marketing. I personally like listening to podcasts. I like doing interviews like this, so it's a medium that I enjoy. So it makes sense too, as well. And yeah, we just kind of thought Speaker 1 00:04:50 There's not a ton of podcasts out there Speaker 2 00:04:52 That are really focused on building and growing membership businesses. Like it's pretty specific. So yeah, that was kind of our general thinking on it and yeah, like I think it's important to kind of do the kind of stuff you want to be doing. Right? So like if I was being forced to write a blog post every week instead, I wouldn't like doing that. I'd feel like I'm walking uphill. So instead we want to opt to do a podcast instead as is really kind of the thinking around, Speaker 1 00:05:16 Or do you look at other software companies that are already doing podcasts and sort of model your approach to it based off of somebody that you, that maybe your team or marketing team looks up to, I guess for lack of a better phrase, Speaker 2 00:05:28 Not really. And to be honest. So like we had like, you know, quote unquote season one that we wrapped up, I think it was maybe like a month or two ago and we're kind of planning out what season two is going to be. So it's just a little tangent here. I think it's important for folks that, that are either Speaker 1 00:05:43 Have a podcast or want to start one too, Speaker 2 00:05:45 Remember that you can actually pause, like you don't have to do it every week. You can have seasons and that can give yourself a bit of a break because for anyone who's done a podcast for awhile, it can be a lot. And to give yourself kind of permission to take a breath by splitting things into seasons, it gives you that we don't really look at anyone, particularly in terms of how we should do our podcast. We're trying to really figure out what is the most useful thing for people who are either customers of member space or might be customers of member space. So, and then even if you're not ever going to be a customer of member space, how can this still be useful to as someone trying to start a membership business? So that's kind of a big question. There's a lot of ways to answer it. So it's something we're still figuring out and debating internally and, and figuring out. So like we, right now, like the podcast, hasn't been like some giant success or something like that. It's not driving a ton of traffic or anything like that. But anecdotally I have heard from multiple people that use member space, like, Oh, I love the podcast. I listened to it every week. Really interesting, really useful. So we're definitely doing something right. And so I just want to dig into that more as time goes on. Speaker 1 00:06:51 Yeah. I would say Matt, from our perspective, we hear a lot of the same things customers coming in, Hey, I heard about you on the podcast or I decided to join Costos because I listened to the audience podcast and yeah, I totally agreed that. Especially in a B2B setting, it's maybe tougher to align like podcast listenership to customers or business, a business outcome, but we see like a lot of indirect or benefit that's, that's tough to, to align or attribute directly to the podcast, but hear a lot of those anecdotal things, which is plenty enough for us. And we're not, we're not going to stop this anytime soon for sure, because we enjoy the heck out of it. And I think folks get value out of it. So that's two really good reasons to keep trucking. Or do you mention something that you want to do the podcast instead of writing a blog post every week? Does that mean that you all don't like write written content on your site regularly as well? Speaker 2 00:07:42 So we've kind of vacillated here. We have gone through periods of writing a blog post every week. I wasn't the one necessarily writing it and we may come back to that at some point. But our approach currently is more like releasing long form guides or occasionally special pieces of written content. It's not any kind of schedule that might change. Like we're hiring like a marketing specialist soon to help cause we have a head of marketing already. So that might be something we can pump out more often. But the big thing that I always try to hesitate and, and, and, uh, feel a little weird about is I don't want to create content for content sake. Right? That's there's enough stuff on the internet. We don't want to keep adding to it just because that's what you read, you read you're supposed to do. Right. I, I want to create stuff that's truly useful for people and that maybe that means you can't make it every week, right? Speaker 2 00:08:31 I'm not sure yet. So it's something we're still figuring out, but I think it's good to try different mediums. You know, maybe some people really do like writing. Maybe some people are getting a lot of traction with, with writing blog posts. So I'm not trying to discourage that or say, Oh, you should definitely do a podcast instead of a blog. For some people you should do both for some people you should do either. Or for some people you should do neither. Maybe that's not the best use of time. Maybe doing a webinar would be a better use of time for you, your audience. You know, Speaker 0 00:08:56 One of the things that that we're doing at Casos is for marketing sake is to dog food, our own private podcasting, right? So that's a thing that member space and castle has worked on together. And this joint sort of relationship to, you know, pass member space customers that use it into a private podcast. If they're selling a membership on their website, I'm curious, and we're using this as a marketing tool ourselves. So we can report on the success of what we find with private podcasting. I'm interested to learn how, how, and if you dog food, your own product and use it as a marketing tool, or at least a marketing example, you know, join this membership where we give you private content or something like that. Are you all doing things like that with the product itself? Speaker 2 00:09:41 Not directly in another way. We, we definitely are. So like, we don't have like a separate membership that you can join to like learn about member space or to buy something from us. But we do use member space to run member space. So like, which is kind of Metta. If someone like when someone goes to member space.com, it goes to pricing and then signs up, you're signing up using member space, like the form, you see the editing, your account, that's all member space doing that. We just kind of have like our own special version of member space or some of the more backend and heavy and stuff that we're doing. Cause obviously it's a software, but yeah, I mean, we, we, we use member space for our member space. The backend that we see is, is pretty much the same thing that our customers see. Speaker 2 00:10:22 So that alone has been our version of dogfooding and it's been super, super useful, not all products, not all people are able to do that with their product. I think it is a stronger way to have a product though, if you can dog food it for obvious reasons, right? Like if you're using your own thing every day and it's super annoying to add or edit a new widget, right? Like you'll notice that cause you have to do it and then you'll be like, this needs to get fixed. This is ridiculous. Um, or if there's some major typo or styling issue or the fonts too small, whatever, whatever, like if you're using your product every day, that kind of stuff just grinds on you, it's in, you can't ignore it the same way you could. If you just hear a handful of customers complaining about it. And then on top of that, it helps you kind of, you know, understand your own user experience because you're using your product. And it's the, obviously that sounds obvious, but there is something special about using your own thing every day and you very, very quickly, you start to see where the rough edges are. Speaker 0 00:11:18 Yeah. I'm, I'm, I'm smiling and nodding as you're saying this because yeah. I mean, we, we test a lot before something comes out to our customers. See it. And so we're using tools for weeks. A lot of times before anybody gets to see it and yeah, absolutely using it for our own podcasts behind the scenes has been a great way for us to, to improve the quality of what customers get to see when it's first released by a loss. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:11:43 That's a really cool approach. It would be crazy right for Casto is to not have a podcast, for example, right. Hosted on cast hosts, like that'd be pretty absurd, right? You say, so if you have a podcast hosting company to not host and run your own podcast, what would just be pretty silly, but you can make that same argument, right? If you have a, a software out there that sells X, but you know, you don't ever sell X yourself. Like you're just not really learning the same way. So it just, it's one of those things that I really just want to emphasize dogfooding is a really smart, smart thing to do. If you can, Speaker 1 00:12:16 Rumor has it, Craig was ready to delete the podcast before I started going to work. I said, let's, let's hold on to it. This is our second iteration of a kind of cast dos led or sponsored podcast. And I think that, you know, what, the lesson that I take away from that is the first one didn't have like a really clear vision and goal. And that's why it wasn't successful. I think mostly in my eyes. But, but I think that that translates to what listeners kind of see and hear is like, there's no like point to this. There's no like goal that we're trying to get to. I think with audience it's really simple. It's, you know, our podcast is an educational resource to make everyone better podcasters and like that's the gun and guiding light that we tried to drive towards all the time. Speaker 1 00:13:05 And I think that without that, it's easy to get lost and say like, man, I know that an episode has to come out on Thursday, but I have no idea what to talk about or who to interview or whatever. And so like our past failure with our previous podcast, I think has informed a lot of, of this one. Cause actually this one is relatively new. It's only the very end of 2019 that we launched it. So yeah, for a time we definitely didn't have a podcast, but I think it was because we like a lot of folks we got in got on the content hamster wheel and said after a while, like 20 episodes, like what are we doing here? This is not kind of aligning with the bigger picture that we have for like the company and the brand. And so kind of took a step back and refactored that. And I'm much happier now with, with what we're doing with audience, Speaker 2 00:13:48 I would imagine or hope that some of those lessons and some of that pain you went through with the first version of your podcast that could be translated into content in the future of like, here's what we did or here's what we did wrong or here's how we're thinking about it now, because if you went through that struggle, there's probably a lot of people that went through that struggle. Right. So that's another example of why dogfooding makes sense and it can help you and can help you and your customers. Speaker 1 00:14:13 Yeah, no, we don't ever talk about it. No, I think I'm a little self conscious of it honestly, but, but that's a very good point is, you know, Matt, maybe you can interview me sometimes about the failure of our first podcasts, that that actually would be a really valuable thing for folks to that. I'm sure you would love that. Yeah, that'd be great. So yeah, I'd love to kind of switch over to talking more about membership sites. Cause I think a lot of people, especially now with COVID and the, honestly just kind of the changed interpersonal life that we all live, our putting stuff online and wanting to go online to connect with people and really would love to kind of take the lens through Speaker 0 00:14:52 Which you view membership sites and kind of put a filter on that that is podcasting. So like maybe starting with like, why should people think about membership sites and podcasts in the same boat is maybe a good way to start this conversation? Yeah. Speaker 2 00:15:06 I mean, it's a good question. I think for some folks out there, it simply makes sense that, okay, you're offering a membership and maybe that membership includes a downloadable content. Maybe it includes video tutorials. Maybe it includes like courses or workbooks, some kind that you can download, but maybe it also includes a private members only podcast where maybe there's exclusive content for premium members or something like that. Right? Maybe it's a special tutorial. Maybe it's a behind the scenes thing. Maybe it's an interview with an industry leader or someone that your audience would care about. There's lots of things that you can make premium and that you'd want to get across via podcast. And if you have a membership, it makes sense that you could, you know, say, Hey, this is, this is a private podcast and it's available as a perk of being a member. Speaker 2 00:15:57 And maybe in addition, you could have your normal podcast stream, so you don't have to just have one or the other. And then the other example is, and this is becoming a more and more popular business model. The membership is the podcast, right? Like that's what you're offering is a member only podcast. There is no public version. It's only a member only podcast and you can just simply charge money for that. Now that's a different kind of a road. You certainly need to have some kind of an audience I would imagine to kind of make that work. But it's, it's definitely, uh, something that's becoming more and more popular. And the reason you would do this would be, you know, instead of doing ads, for example, which is kind of the typical model for podcasting, right? You do a podcast, you get a few ad spots and they pay you money. So instead of that, you just say, you know what? This podcast is really good quality. I don't want to interrupt it with ads. I don't want to dilute the brand by having ad reads. Instead, I just want to charge money, maybe a reasonable amount, right? Like five bucks a month or something. And that gives people access to this private podcast feed via Casto some member space Speaker 0 00:16:57 Ward. Has it been challenging with the pandemic servicing new customers that have been thrust into now launching a membership site because they're, they're in survival mode. Like they can no longer service people in person or stores closed and they're shifting to some kind of online education or membership site. Is there an uptick in that kind of customer persona coming to you and, and has that been challenging or not so much? There's nothing, Speaker 2 00:17:25 Some challenges, right? Uh, in terms of like people in emotional state, especially like we have a lot of customers that have come to us recently that are more brick and mortar types like gyms and yoga studios and Pilates studios and things like that. So for a lot of them, it's like, you know, overnight, suddenly your business is shut down and people can't come to the studio, so you need to start doing streaming or video library type courses immediately. And so for those folks, yeah, there's definitely like an underlying current of anxiety and stress that we try to manage as best we can, but it hasn't been anything like overwhelming, like to our support team, but the other, you know, the, as with everything right there, there is a silver lining to it by having this, you know, financial pressure to kind of make something work right, to get your service online and get a membership going. Speaker 2 00:18:12 It does drive people to action and it drives them to get things set up quickly, right? Like get your online content going immediately, get it launched immediately and then start marketing it immediately. We've seen a lot of people kind of repurpose or jujitsu that, that anxiety and stress into productive behavior in terms of launching and growing an online membership. And there's a number of success stories. We've had people who like, Oh wow, things were not going well when COBIT hit. But now look at this, we have this thriving online digital membership, and this actually is a better and more profitable model anyway. Like I'm happy that we're doing it this way now. And this is what we're gonna continue to do regardless of what happens with COVID. So yeah, there's been some interesting success stories there too. Speaker 0 00:18:53 One of the things that, that we have at Casos is a plugin for WordPress called seriously simple podcasting plugin. And that's sort of like one of our main value adds if you're going to podcasts and you're going to use WordPress, then we are the best solution for that. You mentioned at the top of the show that you are now supporting notion and without getting into the crazy world of no code, low code and all of these microservices and platforms that are out there that you can integrate into when a customer who's coming to you thrust into this because of COVID. Do you point them into a particular platform that you say, this is the best platform for you to get this up and running? If so, I'm curious to hear what you think it is. Is it WordPress? Is it notion like what's your favorite platform to push people onto? And do you find that a particular challenge on maintaining that product with all of these platforms that you support? What's your favorite one to support at the end of the day? Speaker 2 00:19:48 Well, you know, it's kind kinda like your children, right? You don't technically have a favorite. Um, they're all special in their own little way, but yeah, that word breasts. Yeah. Real rascal. Um, so I'd say that most folks that come to us, they generally have a website already, right? Even if you have a traditional gym, you generally have a website of some kind, unless maybe you're a franchise, but you usually have some kind of website. And a lot of folks are using the popular website, editors like a WordPress or Squarespace. So that's, what's kind of nice about member space is that, Hey, you don't need to go and create a new website and launch a membership. You're just going to add a few pages onto your existing site and make those member only. So that's kind of a nice value add that we have. So we generally aren't having to convince or recommend website platforms to folks, but to answer your second, the second part of your question. Speaker 2 00:20:38 Yeah. It's definitely one of the challenges of running a service like this, where we are like an unofficial third party for all of the CMS is we do have to kind keep up to date with what they change when they change their, you know, their backend, when they change functionality, when they remove functionality, it is kind of a constant game of kind of putting out a fire or finding something that's going wrong as with every business. Now that's kind of how things work, right? There's always going to be that uncontrollable variable that you need to pay attention to. And that's just how it is. So yeah, that, that's, that's our special challenge that we get to deal with. But at the same time, by expanding to other platforms like, like a notion recently, for example, it opens us up to be able to help more people. And for folks that say are on Squarespace and want to move to WordPress, it makes it really easy because because of our status as a third party, it can basically bolt out of a WordPress site and bolt into a Squarespace site without your members having to recreate logins or re-enter billing details or interrupt their billing cycles. It's all seamless. And that, that's kind of the nice part about being available on so many CMSs. Speaker 0 00:21:39 Yeah. Not being locked in. That's that, that's definitely a great thing, right? The million million solutions out there for WordPress, but if you're on WordPress, you're stuck, right. If you're having to make that shift, right. Speaker 1 00:21:49 You know, ward, one thing that I am curious to see if you all have seen with, with COVID is, you know, this whole kind of change in how we socialize and, and how we express ourselves online, we are seeing a lot of people coming into podcasting and wanting to get started here, I guess. First of all, you all sounds like are seeing that, that increase in interest at members space to, for folks to want to create membership sites. Do you feel like folks are coming in, like earlier in their membership site journey to you all to say like, Hey, I think I want to do this, but I don't really know kind of how I want to get started. Are you all like doing more early education with customers to help them be successful at this point, then you were a year ago. That's a good question. I don't know Speaker 2 00:22:32 Actually is the answer. I mean, the majority of our customers that come to us are definitely more in the new phase of starting a business. This is maybe their first one, or like they're just starting a membership or they're kind of new entrepreneurs, or this is sort of a side hustle. Like that's definitely a large percentage of our customers. And our hope obviously is to grow with them, help them succeed, help them become successful. Right. And all that. So, you know, we definitely have on our marketing roadmap, the idea of being able to provide more education and more help to these folks. So one thing we did launch as a community recently using an awesome platform called circle, and this community is going to be a way for folks to ask questions about getting started or just share, Hey, what do you guys think of this landing page? Speaker 2 00:23:16 Where my, where my pricing model, that kind of stuff that is really helpful in that our support team can, you know, give you some thoughts, but asking a community of membership site owners is way more valuable. So yeah, leveraging that kind of thing is something that we want to do more of creating more guides, more tutorials. I think that there can always be more, I think the big challenge when it comes to content, I don't know if you guys have experienced with this, but when you create enough content, eventually it gets a little overwhelming for folks, right? If you have much stuff Speaker 0 00:23:46 That, you know, maybe collectively answered any question that someone has is great, but if people can't easily find it, if they can't easily digest it, if it's not super actionable, it just becomes sort of muddy and murky and people get kind of frustrated. So that's also the challenge of creating really useful high quality content. That's easy to find and answers their question in the way that they're, that they're imagining it. So that's a forever challenge that we're always working on. Speaker 1 00:24:13 Yeah. Yeah. And I think that was you, you did a better job of kind of exposing the question I was trying to ask was I think podcasting and membership sites are similar in that they're an aspirational kind of thing. People want to have a podcast, they want to have a membership site, but a lot of times that wants, definitely comes before understanding the nuts and bolts of how all this works. And so folks come in and yeah, I mean kind of like y'all, we have a blog post about the whole thing. We have an entirely free course. It's all on YouTube anyhow, but I mean, Matt and I get on the phone with, with customers and folks can book time with us twice a week to get on a totally open kind of forum and say, like, ask us any question you have. And we get on, on chats with folks and yeah. Speaker 1 00:24:55 Regurgitate a lot of blog posts and videos that we've done because there is so much out there. And I think it's just so tough for, for a lot of folks to get started. I would suppose with either membership sites or with podcasts, maybe because there's so much content out there and maybe we all need to just cut half of it out and then make like a couple of blog posts that are just the entire kind of process. But yeah, I don't know if, if you know, I think community is a great sounding resource for folks and, you know, that's something that we definitely have in Facebook, but, but maybe look at bringing that kind of in house to where something that we own entirely. Yeah. I know Matt, does that kind of spur any kind of thoughts or questions from your end? Speaker 0 00:25:35 I shouldn't say that I do have a Casto plus circle tutorial coming soon to actually to demonstrate that platform. So, uh, we, yeah, we've been exploring the enhancing the, the community here, again, like Greg said, we have it in Facebook, but you know what I actually think I saw, sir, when I was doing the tutorial for your platform, I saw a circle come from member space when somehow I was either reading a blog post of yours or doing something in the, in the docs and I saw it and that's how I found circle. And, um, yeah, it was looking to tie that into a Casos and private podcasting. And so on the tutorial channel 100% agree with you ward on when you start making too much content, it does muddy the waters. How do you translate that back to your own customers? Right. A lot. I think a lot of people want to create, you know, videos on YouTube, get people listening over there, creating private content on their WordPress website. Let's say how to most folks deliver content in your camp and your customer camp. Are they just doing written content? And that's what they're protecting. Are they protecting email newsletters or videos? Like what's the most popular type of content people are protecting numbers space. Speaker 2 00:26:44 Yeah. I mean, it's a good question. I don't know, honestly, for sure. It's all over the place. Like everyone has different kinds of audiences, right? Like for sure, we have folks who are doing like member only blogs, right. Or there's long form blog posts kind of like essays that only their members can get access to videos are definitely popular. A lot of people are protecting video content. That's that's on a page of their site. And we do definitely have people who are protecting podcasts, private podcasts, people who are protecting, like we're talking about circle as a community forum, for sure. People that are protecting that with member space. So only members can get to their community forum. And so, yeah, it's really all over the place. We even have people who are protecting images, right? Like templates or images that you can download if you're a member kind of thing. Speaker 2 00:27:31 So there isn't really one particular type of content that our people are protecting. And I think that's important to know because you really need to cater it to your audience, right? Like what are you trying to provide? And what is the best way for people to digest that? Because it's probably not a blog post, an image, a podcast, a video, and a PDF, right. It's probably too much. So you gotta kind of figure that out yourself in terms of what's the best way, one or two mediums for, for providing this, this value to my, to my audience, Speaker 0 00:28:02 Biggest challenge, lowering friction for content access, because I think that's what I mean, not to toot your own horn, but I think that's what member space does really well because it, it is that third party and you don't have to jump through as many hoops. I feel like when you're using member space, I noticed like the cookie follows me around when I go to my own test site that I had running. Like, if it reminded me like, Hey, you're logged in. And they exempt that content access, the lowering that friction, the real challenge here, like how quickly can I get somebody, this content without having to think about, Oh, I gotta get on my credit card. I got to go through all these steps of buying something like I have to log into this site or remember all of these sites that I have access to. Is that a thing like, that's something that you guys critically look at to lessen that friction for users accessing? Speaker 2 00:28:49 Yeah. I mean, a big focus is trying to make this easy, right? Every aspect of this buying, accessing the content, managing your membership, setting up the pages, we're going to have the content like making that all as easy as possible is another one of those forever challenges that we have. And we still have long ways to go until, uh, you know, I'm fully satisfied, but we're definitely, uh, we've made good progress that that's that and our customer support are the number one things that people like about our software. They say it's really easy to use and we have really good customer support. So we, we always are trying to double down on that. But yeah, I mean, that's the kind of people that we attract are generally nontechnical. So making things easy is so important. So like if they're able to use their existing website editor that they're used to like WordPress or, or web flow that reduces a whole thing for them, right. They don't need figure out another platform in terms of how to like arrange their content. It's just their websites. They can put the content on the page, however they want, and they already know how to do that. So by removing that step for folks, that alone is a huge boost for them in terms of, you know, getting this going and getting your first customer right away. Speaker 1 00:29:57 You mentioned before, like you kind of, you and Matt were chatting about the different types of content that, that folks can look to restrict, as people are listening to this and saying like, Oh, maybe I should have like a restricted part of my site or my brand or membership site. What kind of like decision making methodology or approach do you help your customers go through when trying to decide to go from a totally open site to some kind of membership or restricted site and like how they think about what should be available and what should be available only to members. Speaker 2 00:30:31 I mean, I think you're exposing some weaknesses in our, uh, our resources here. Cause we don't, I'd say do a good job of that. Generally, most people that come to us already kind of have an idea of what they want to do and they just need our tool to execute it. So we're generally not starting at complete zero where it's like, I have nothing, no website, no content, no idea what I want member space, tell me what to do. Like those aren't really our people. Usually the people that come to us have a website already, maybe are selling things on off or, or off, you know, our through PayPal or, you know, uh, through Venmo or something like that. And then they're like, all right, all right, this is getting a little crazy. Let's just get everything on the site and protect it with member space. Speaker 2 00:31:13 So that's where we generally don't need to help people with that step. You know, that being said, I think that could certainly be an Avenue to help folks if we did a better job of like, Hey, here's some things to think about and here's some ways to execute it. Like we do have case studies and we do have some long form things about how to think through with marketing of a membership site, how to think through a pricing model of a membership site. But I'd say we don't really lead with that because that's not usually what people are looking for, at least that we've found so far. But it's a good question. Speaker 1 00:31:42 Yeah, no, I can imagine those case studies would be helpful because I'm sure they are from different kinds of realms or types of customers and topics that, that you all serve. So folks who are listening to this and say, huh, that could be for me, I'm sure it could go and check out your case studies area to kind of find something they can relate to. That might spark an idea of like, Hey, I could do this kind of like the person in this case study. Uh that's, that's kind of what I was getting at. So that's really cool. Yeah. I'm kind of interested to learn, like maybe if you can reveal it, what are the next integrations you have lined up from, for a member space? I'm fascinated by again that no code low code movement that's happening. The web flow, the notion, the air tables, like how people are connecting all this stuff together. It's pretty awesome for you to be sort of again, that third party that, that can integrate and monetize all of these, these apps. How fascinating is that world to you? And can you reveal any of the next upcoming CMSs that you'll be attached to? Speaker 2 00:32:37 So right now I honestly don't know what our next one's going to be. Like, we don't even have a roadmap. We don't have a public roadmap. We don't have an internal roadmap. We just kind of decide week by week, you know, what are we doing? So I don't know what's next CMS is what's interesting is we have heard a lot of interests on Shopify, which was surprising to me because I didn't think people who use Shopify are generally like selling, like e-commerce right. You're saying like a tee shirt or something. So why would you need to protect certain pages of your Shopify site? So that's something we need to explore some more. Cause that's like our number one. Wait-listed CMS. Not to say that we're doing that next, but it's definitely something we we're we're we're interested in looking into more. Yeah. The whole no-code world though is certainly interesting. And anyone who wants to learn more about kind of know, code and hooking up third party tools together, instead of having to hire a software developer to make something from scratch, I would definitely check out an awesome resource called maker pad. I have a lot of good tutorials and information there for you, but yeah, I mean the whole world of no code is really interesting and complicated, no code fool. You, Speaker 1 00:33:40 I have a bit of a learning curve to go through to get it done. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:33:43 The people who are really good at no code definitely have a developers mindset because like you think about layers of systems and connections. And if that else's, um, it gets not, it's definitely not low tech at all. Um, like most of these people, they, I feel like could learn to code if they wanted to, but regardless, yeah, it's a whole interesting world. Uh, it's, it's expanding every day in terms of more tools and more flexibility. And it's really cool to kind of be in the center of that. Right. Cause at the end of the day, all these tools are great, but people are generally using them to run a business, right. And member space at the end of the day is the, is going to be the engine of that business. Right? We're the thing that's taking the credit card via Stripe and allowing access to your various pages with your no-code integrations. Speaker 2 00:34:23 So it's cool to be at the center of that. And you know, that's stuff that we want to focus on more, right? Making it easier for you to make money, making member space better and more use cases. Right. Cause people use member space and lots of different ways for lots of different business models. So that's something we're looking at for sure. Enhancing our Zapier integration. I'm sure a lot of folks out there are familiar with Zapier. So we have a lot of interesting plans there to make our integration more robust and flexible. That'd be really cool. So yeah, that's probably one of the, one of the big focuses for now. Speaker 1 00:34:52 Hey, if you know anybody at maker, Pat throw in a good word for us, cause I just applied. So you gonna get them all out. Speaker 2 00:34:58 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:35:00 Awesome. This is really fun to chat through. Yeah. Both kind of how y'all think about podcasting for your business and your brand, but also, you know, membership sites and why folks might want to think about a membership site that has to do with their podcast or, you know, my power, their podcast. Certainly I've seen a lot of folks come in and using member space to, to kind of be that first point of contact, especially for wanting to monetize some kind of exclusive audience and then using cast to deliver that private podcasting experience to those members. So yeah, it really cool to chat through all this for folks who want to kind of check out more about kind of you and what you guys are up to, where is Speaker 2 00:35:35 Member space.com. So it's there. If anyone Speaker 3 00:35:38 Wants to email me directly, it's just ward w a R [email protected] Awesome. Well, thanks so much for coming on the show. I appreciate it. Thanks a lot, Craig. Thanks man.

Other Episodes

August 06, 2020

How To Record A Podcast With An iPhone & On-The-Go

Given podcasting’s spontaneous nature, it’s more than likely that you’ll run into a time where you want to capture a conversation that needs to be heard, but you don’t have your usual equipment with you. That’s where recording a podcast on your iPhone comes in. On this episode of Audience, we're shifting gears to highlight Castos creators who are podcasting in unique ways. Rob and Jill from Fearless Camping are the first to join us to talk about how they record their podcast on-the-go. From the mountains of Pine Valley, Utah, the duo fills us in on how they produce the show from hotel rooms, the car, and campsites. Listen to the full episode to learn why you might not need the latest gear to create an incredible podcast. Top Tips For Podcasting With An iPhone Recording a podcast outside of a standard studio presents a new set obstacles. More noises, environmental factors, and finding a stable internet connection to name a few. But we learned from The Fearless Camping hosts that they share similar challenges to others who record inside. Here are their top tips for podcasting in general and on the go: Don't forget to outline: no matter where you're recording from, you can't forget to outline what an episode is about. It takes Rob and Jill no more than 10 minutes to figure out what they ...

Play

00:19:18

Episode cover

November 19, 2020

Looking back on a failed podcast

In this episode Matt and Craig look back at the first iteration of Castos' podcast. Questions that we (and you if you've ever 'podfaded') are asking ourselves are:  Why did the podcast not stick the first time? What are we doing differently this time around?  The new Audience podcast is resonating with our listeners a lot...why is that?  Are there system or process things we can do to make running the podcast easier and more sustainable for the long run?  Once you have solid answers to these questions a few patterns typically start to emerge about why some podcasts are successful and we stick with them, and why others start, stop, and ultimately fail.   Having the two podcasts that we've run here at Castos to compare and contrast is a good case study in what to do, and what not to do, for us all.  ...

Play

00:27:52

March 12, 2020

Become A Better Interviewer By Asking These Questions

In this episode of Audience, we’re taking a break from interviewing to talk about…interviews. Being a good interviewer means asking thought-provoking podcast interview questions but what does that mean? To answer that question, we’re taking a step back and analyzing how to interview someone for a podcast. From the prep work to the questions you should consider asking, this is a comprehensive look at how to generate a great podcast interview. If you’re using Kai’s tips from our last episode, you’re hopefully already booking new guests for the show. So let’s get to it. Podcast Interview Questions That Create Interesting Answers As the interviewer, it’s your job to make the guest feel comfortable. The goal is to have them tell stories that they haven’t divulged in other interviews. To do this, you need to ask questions that guide the guest to immediately talk about the emotional parts of their story and skip over the pieces they’ve said on repeat. These responses are more likely to tug at your audience’s heart strings, keeping them on the edge of their seat until the final minute. Do yourself and your guest a favor by skipping over their general answers. Instead, try these 10 interview question frameworks that promise to generate interesting stories. Tell me about a time when…What was the hardest part about…How did you feel when…Describe your process behind…What is one common myth about…Who are three people who have helped you…On a scale of 1-10…What do you wish you had known when…What would you change about…How has X changed your thinking on… You’ll notice every question ends in ellipses. That’s because the ...

Play

00:20:42