In this episode, we chat with Nathan Barry, creator of the wildly popular email marketing platform ConvertKit and host of “The Art of Newsletters” podcast. One of the many reasons we wanted to talk to Nathan is because he’s been an avid podcaster long before it was popular (circa 2014).
In addition to hosting his own show, Nathan and his team created a network for ConvertKit where they currently run 3 different podcasts. Nathan is also a veteran of the podcast guesting world, appearing on dozens of shows to spread the word about the brand.
Listen in to learn more about how ConvertKit built their network and why, how they think about the ROI of their network, advice for guesting on other shows, and so much more.
Name: Nathan Barry
What he does: Creator of ConverKit, an email marketing platform powering 250K creators and host of the podcast “The Art of Newsletters” where he covers topics like marketing, self-publishing, and building a profitable online business.
Nathan podcasts for three reasons. First, he’s able to meet new people through the guests he has on his show, which allows him to grow his network and, in turn, convert some of those guests into customers. Second, he uses his podcast as an educational content machine for his 250,000 customers where he teaches them how to build and grow a business. And finally, podcasts are a great way to generate content ideas. He can refer back to his library of 50+ episodes to analyze how his guests answered a particular question and then write about it in his own newsletter.
Measure the success of your podcast doesn’t always go back to download numbers. For ConverKit, they use their podcast network as a powerful machine that feeds into their content ecosystem as a whole. Rather than starting from scratch on a specific topic, they can turn to their collection of episodes to pull insights from to build their next piece of content, be it a newsletter, article, case study, video, etc.
Nathan and his team are really careful about how many shows they add to ConvertKit’s network because too many people make the mistake of launching new podcasts without taking the time to grow the ones they already have. Growing a podcast is a huge challenge that takes a lot of time, dedication, and consistency of output. So think twice before you start a new show if the shows you already have aren’t hitting their growth marks.
Many projects in the creative world rise and fall based on the motivation of the person behind them, which is a terrible recipe for success. If you’re running a podcast, you’ll likely lose motivation far before you see results, meaning you need to push through and stay consistent before deciding whether to cut a show or not.
While Nathan believes it’s critical to have an honest assessment of your show’s downloads and subscribers, it is equally important to understand how your show builds brand affinity and helps to create deeper connections with customers. ConvertKit uses its shows to deliberately raise the profiles of the people on the team so customers associate the brand with leading voices in the industry.
When creating shows for a podcast network you run the risk of growing too big, too fast by expanding horizontally. Meaning, if you take 5 experts from your team and create 5 different shows, now you have 5 separate entities you have to take care of, much like a strip mall. Instead, Nathan suggests you create a Venn diagram to see where their expertise overlaps so you can dedicate your time creating one or two killer shows (a skyscraper) versus a handful of small ones with less of an impact.
If podcasting isn’t your full-time job (which it likely isn’t for most of us), you’ll benefit from breaking your show up into seasons. Produce a set of episodes in a season, take a break, and then come back and do another season. This gives your team the ability to step back and focus on the other priorities, and it gives you an opportunity to promote new seasons as they come out. On the flip side, seasonal shows don’t necessarily make sense for consistent interview shoes where there’s less continuity between each episode. It’s also important to not break your momentum between seasons by setting deadlines, which then forces you to plan your content better.
Being a guest on other podcasts allows you to speak to an audience that is already loyal and interested in the topics you cover. It also allows you to insert a more organic CTA where you have the ability to drive listeners to your show versus having to sell them on your product or drive them to a landing page.
Rather than going for the big guns, start with shows that don’t really feel “worth your time.” This is where you can refine your message, practice being in front of a microphone, and gain the confidence needed to be interviewed on bigger shows.
Think about things you want to learn from the host and work those questions into the conversation. This not only helps you elevate your profile as both a podcaster and a guest, but it makes the episode more interesting for the listener. It also makes it a win-win relationship between you and the host because you’re giving the host air time to talk about their own expertise.
Nathan Barry: In that is the whole question of like, why podcast for me, there's a couple of things. Probably the primary reason is that it's the best way that I've found for meeting new people, taking it, internet, friends, somebody you follow on. You've found their newsletter, any of that and bringing them into real life.
Jeremiah: Hey there, welcome to brands that podcast. Each week, we talk with the people running podcast strategies at successful brands. So you can learn how to grow your company through podcasting.
Today's guest is Nathan Barry. The founder of convert kit invert kit is a wildly popular platform that makes it easy for creators to market and grow their projects. Whether that project is a book podcast album, or really anything else at the time of this recording, there are about 2.4 million in monthly recurring revenue.
And if you're curious about their other metrics, they make them publicly available at convert kit dot bear metrics. I wanted to chat with Nathan because of a few reasons. First he's been an avid podcaster long before it was popular, especially long before it was popular among B2B or B2C brands. In addition to running convert kit, he runs the art of newsletters, a show, which he originally started back in 2014, where he interviews bright entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
Additionally, the convert kit team currently runs a podcast network of three shows. And Nathan himself has guested on dozens of other podcasts, including one really good interview that you should go check out with Pape Leia on his podcast, how to win. Clearly podcasting is an important channel for convert kit, and I was keen to learn the philosophy that Nathan had around it and get any insights he could share.
Some of the things you'll hear in this episode are why Nathan started creating podcasts before they were popular, how they built the podcast network at convert kit. And why, what was the reasoning behind it? Advice for guesting on other shows. And how they think about the ROI of their podcast network and how there's this really neat interplay between the podcast and the rest of their content, along with a ton more insights.
Nathan, thank you so much for coming on Brands that Podcast. I really appreciate your time.
Nathan Barry: Yeah. Thanks for having me on.
Jeremiah: I'm excited to talk to you about all things podcasting. You stand out to me for a few reasons. Like I said, in my email, I want to chat with you for a few reasons. One of which, and I guess like a good starting point for me that I'm curious about is it looks like, correct me if I get any of these numbers wrong, it looks like you started the Nathan Berry show in 2014, right?
So that's like five years before the earliest time possible that brands would have started podcasting or thinking of, I mean the only people that were podcasting back then were people that were like super into it or were really, really early to the channel. So what led you to start podcasting? Like what got you interested in it to start back in 2014?
Nathan Barry: Yeah. So I was learning from a bunch of people from their podcasts, trying to think who it was back then, Dan and Ian, who run a podcast called the Trop BA that was going strong back then. I'm trying to remember even who else, but a lot of people had podcasts. I was actively blogging. So I was a designer who got into blogging and was building an audience and email list all that.
Great. Everyone's starting a podcast. I'll start one too. And so I ran that for maybe a year. The idea was to do it in seasons, but I effectively did one season and then got into building ConvertKit and then didn't bring the podcast back four or five years later.
Jeremiah: You're currently running it right now. Right? Like you just had,
Nathan Barry: I am. So I brought it back about a year ago.
Jeremiah: That was another question I had for you was, is that like a personal brand decision or just, you want to get back to like your roots with that, that started as like a passion project or just a chance to like have great conversations with other entrepreneurs and creators.
Nathan Barry: Yeah. Okay. So in that is the whole question of like, why podcast for me, there's a couple of things. Probably the primary reason is that it's the best way that I've found for meeting new people, taking internet, friends, someone you follow on Twitter, you've gone their newsletter, any of that and bringing them into real life, or I guess it's still in their friends.
Right. But where you're actually having a conversation, you know, each other, all of that and podcasting is just so good for. And so that's the biggest thing of meeting new people, growing my network, and then getting new customers for ConvertKit in those people that I get to know. Then they're often, like, tell me more about ConvertKit I've been thinking about it, thinking about switching over.
So from my show, which is called “Art of Newsletters”, it's all about people who are building an audience online, running a newsletter. And so being able to interview about half the people who are already running newsletters on ConvertKit and about half who running on some other platform that I want to bring over to convert kit.
Okay. That's fantastic for starting those conversations. So that would be goal number one, goal. Number two is putting this content out there of what does it actually take right during the educational and the teaching side of how do you actually build and grow a business? How do you build or build and grow an audience and turn it into a business?
And that content feeds my personal newsletter. It promotes convert kit. And then most importantly, it educates our whole network of everyone who uses ConvertKit, you know, there's 250,000 accounts that people have created an ConvertKit and like 40,000 paying customers on. So it's teaching them, here's how to build a business.
Here's how to be successful. And that training part is really important. So that's that side of it. And then the last thing is podcasts are one of the best idea generation places, cause you can riff on things. You know, some asks a question, you answer it in a way that you didn't expect before, where they say something and then sparks what you want to write about in your newsletter.
Right? And so what I do for that is I use a service called daily content machine, which takes the podcast, cuts it up into daily clips, finds the best segments. You know, writes headlines and all of that for it. And so I have this crazy library of, you know, 50 episodes worth of content that I can go back through and see, oh, how does everyone answer this question?
Right? Cause every episode is transcribed and I have the seven best moments from every episode already pulled out and everything like that in a little clip. And so then if I'm looking for an example of, okay, how do I want to do an article on how people are getting their first 100 email subscribers.
I asked that question a bunch of different episodes. Now, when I write my article about it, I can pull in and be like, oh, Cheryl Dorsey from TBG Insights did it this way. Dan Runcie did it this way. I can pull that in. So it's just this great content. And then also this amazing farm for ideas and everything else that I might want.
Especially, because the hardest thing when you're writing, if you're not just running from your own experience, if you're trying to write and like pull examples from the community is coming up with those examples. And so having the podcast as this engine that just feeds you example, after example to use in content marketing is so valuable.
So those are all the reasons that I in. Yes.
Jeremiah: Yeah. I mean, oh my gosh. There's so much to dig into. A lot of them are like stuff we talk about on the show. Specifically one that we, I don't think we've ever covered those, what you just said, which is examples. It sounds like they use case of like how people, at Lemonpie we're redesigning our website right now, and we have a section on certain pages where we're like, well, let's not just feature customers or just talk about this. Let's grab tweets from people that say they want this kind of thing or social proof that's just out there, that's unrelated to us. And that is a super interesting use case for podcasts.
Being able to grab examples of like, they did this, they don't need to have done it through your product or your method or whatever, but it's a chance for you to feature them in the content. Yep.
Nathan Barry: Having a good process for collecting testimonials is really important. You know, it's the same kind of thing.
And so podcasting was just doing that for examples and everything else, because you always get to that point, whether you're writing a homepage or an article where you're like, oh, I need a perfect example. My writing. Okay. Who's a creator who tried. I worked really hard for two years. Didn't see results for a while.
You're like brainstorming, trying to come up with that might be, if you have a database to go to, then you can just pull that up and like scroll through your creators, scroll through the transcripts of the episodes and go, ah, there's a story that will fit nicely and make the point that I want it to make.
And then I come across so much more credible in my writing when I'm not just like, this is what I did. It's like, this is what I did. And here's what these other four people did. Here's where you can learn from it. Yeah.
Jeremiah: How are you structuring that? Is it like an air table or like some database or, okay. I guess for anyone who's listening on the practical side, if they're looking to do the content machine play, what are some like main fields that you find especially helpful as they pull those clips from that are like go-to for you?
Nathan Barry: Yeah, so, well, one important thing is I don't categorize the clips or do any of that. That is what this daily content machine service does. Okay. You know, and so they're, uh, like a productized agency, they make all those clips and everything. And so they pull those out. So there might be other great moments in the podcast, but I just trusted their seven that they put together are the best ones.
And it's good enough for me. And so then it's just a matter of dropping that in the notion database. I don't do a very good job of tagging things that would be a good thing to level up, you know, is like, what tags are you using to describe it? Yeah. It's really helpful to come back to the part that is still relatively early, that I want to add more to, I want to plug it more into ConvertKit's ecosystem because for ConvertKit we do three different or four different types of content.
We have our ConvertKit creative sessions, which are when we work with musicians because we have a lot of musicians as customers. And so we work with musicians to do these amazing at home or in-studio concerts, then talking about their art and their craft. Oh, wow. And then we do written stories that we do about creators.
So one of my favorite creators is guy named K. He who runs rad reads. And we have both a written version of his story and a filmed version. And so our brand team will go and create all of that. Write those stories, everything from there. And then we also do case studies as the last one. And a case study is more less of, um, your arc, how you became a creator, what motivates you? And more about how you launched a paid newsletter? Or how you did this other thing? And so a lot of the content that I produce for my show ends up going into some of those of like, we're doing a case study on paid newsletters. Then the team is coming to me and saying, 'Hey, Nathan, who have you interviewed who's running a good newsletter?" I'll run through all of my archives. Okay. Well, what I want more of is like a better integration there where we're all using the same content database. Yeah. And it's just a matter of setting it up because I do the same thing where the person when I'm writing an article, I go to Isa on our team.
She heads up all of our stories and I'm like, Isa tell me about a creator who showed up consistently every single day, but didn't have a breakout success for at least two or three years who like stayed consistent over time. And she's like, oh, well, here's the three stories that we've written on that.
Yeah. And then I can pull in examples and basically having this engine powering, all of this is so powerful. I guess another thing we have this other podcast called “The Future Belongs to Creators” that's more of a talk show, more of an interview show. And sometimes they are looking for guests for that.
They want to tackle a particular topic. Should you launch a paid newsletter and have a conversation about it? Then they'll look through the other shows that we've done the interviews that we've done and be like, oh, let's restart to any of these three people to see if they want to come on as a guest. So it's like this whole ecosystem of content and the podcasts honestly are not that popular right now, as far as run number of downloads.
But they're very powerful in feeding this flywheel.
Jeremiah: It's so interesting. So this gets talked about a lot, like this seems to be really picking up steam. It feels like this was semi-new in 2020, but now if you're on LinkedIn at all, like so many brands are looking to start a podcast and content directors or content managers are beginning to believe in podcasting for this flywheel effect.
Like exactly what you said, take one episode, turn it into 20 posts, one article, et cetera, et cetera. But the ecosystem, the interplay of the back and forth is something I don't hear a lot of people talk about. That's super interesting for me. Like, so to your point, it's not just that the podcast is churning out social posts or article ideas, or like reference clips that you could put, but that you're actually able to go back and look at a guest repository so you can do an article write up or vice versa and this interplay between them. Yeah, super interesting.
Nathan Barry: And I think the reason it's not really happening is because it's really hard because you both have to first design the system and we hired, um, someone who's really good at Notion her name's Marie Poulin.
We hired her and her team to put the system together for us. And then we're just going in and updating and adding to the content. And the thing is, it's only as good as the effort that you put into it. And so we're at the point where we're putting in an acceptable amount of effort, but it could be so much better if we put in more time, it's just, we're all busy with our main things that we're doing to build and grow ConvertKit.
Jeremiah: Yeah, it makes a ton of. So I want to talk about the podcast. Do you think of it as like a podcast network? Like you've got three shows on the website right now, in addition to your show, do you anticipate growing that in the future and continuing to add?
Nathan Barry: I think we're going to add one more, which is a creator sessions podcasts. And trying to use so much more of the content that we make with these creative sessions and bring more of that to life in audio form. We're on the fence about it, honestly, because I think one mistake that you could make is continuing to launch new shows rather than like growing the ones that you have.
So we might've even gone too far in having too many shows and then not enough effort into growing each one. Because growing podcasts is really hard. You and I were just riffing on this before we hit record of like, what do you actually do to grow a podcast? We know what our great content show up consistently promote it somehow, you know?
And so I think it could be a mistake to launch too many shows. We might launch this one more or we might decide, look, we're going to keep it at just the number that we have because each of our podcasts, you know, are in the thousand downloads and episode kind of territory. And that's, for a brand of our size, that's just not that significant. So the only reason they're worth doing right now from an ROI perspective is because of how they feed the rest of this flywheel. And so that's a decision that we had.
Jeremiah: Do you think it's enough for you? Like I was going to ask the philosophy of ROI for that. I know some brands are like purely subscribers downloads, and maybe if they're not thinking about it as fully orbed as you are, which I think is the right way, is like how many visits to a landing page is this driving, which is I think a terrible way to measure the north star metric of the success of a show or the worth of it.
It's the flywheel that it's the ecosystem, you've got it in and growing that ecosystem is that sort of the foundational ROI and worth it in and of itself and anything on top of that as nice, or how are you thinking about when would you cut a show? How are you thinking about the worth of those branded shows?
Nathan Barry: Well, most shows only get cut when the talent on the show gets tired of it. So you have to keep that in mind. So many things in the creative world rise and fall based on the motivation of the person working on which by the way is a terrible recipe for success. Because if we're doing a podcast or a newsletter software company or anything, you're going to lose motivation so far before you're going to see results.
If it's riding on motivation, you're dead in the water, you might as well give up on it to begin with. So the things that we look at and measure, we definitely measure downloads and subscribers, because I think it's important to have an honest assessment of where your. Right. Yeah. Don't delude yourself into thinking like, oh yeah, this show is doing so well.
And it's like, look, it got downloaded by a hundred people. Maybe it's having a huge impact on them. But a hundred people is still a hundred people. Right. Whereas when we do workshops, you know, teaching something, we'll get 3000 people to show up. So is that a better use of time? But then also we think a lot about how something is building a deeper relationship with our audience and customers.
Right. We want someone to use, ConvertKit not just because it's the best creative marketing platform, you know, or the best thing for this one service or aspect of it. We want them to have like a real amount of brand affinity to know that ConvertKit is built by creators. And so a big thing that we're doing with these shows is you'll see.
Well, I'm not on any of the shows except for my own. Okay. And I'm not in the creator sessions and I'm not in these other things. Cause I have the biggest profile being the founder of the company of anyone on the team. And so we're using the shows very deliberately to raise the profile of these other people on our team.
So for example, she's absolutely brilliant. Her name is Alyssa and she's our head of deliverability. And so she runs a podcast called deliverability defined. And now what happens, say we get a new account moving over to convert a hundred thousand subscribers and they have a question about deliverability.
What's going to happen when I move from MailChimp over to convert kit, right? If they're in the industry at all and they know that they will have heard of Alyssa's podcast. And so when Alyssa is the person who chimes in and says, oh, here's the plan on how we're going to do it. So your deliverability will increase.
And they're like, oh, well, I'm hearing from the expert in this, like she's known as an industry expert, well beyond ConvertKit and, you know, cause people at other competitors are learning from her and all of that. It's because of the podcast before the podcast, all that knowledge was hidden just inside of our own slack and our own documentation.
And so we've really elevated her profile, same thing across the board. And then that way, instead of ConvertKit being Nathan, it's this whole cast of characters, think of it like the Marvel universe or something. Right. You know, we're getting each person, their show and elevating each person in there. I mean, effects of the whole network rather than relying on one person's internet audience.
Jeremiah: Just for clarification, has she been internal or was she have like a personal brand in the email space before and you went and hired her or just formed like a partnership with her? How did you like work that out?
Nathan Barry: Yeah. So Alyssa is someone that we hired onto our team from another email marketing company. So she was an industry expert already.
And then over the last two or three years, she's been on our team three years, maybe, maybe a little more. She really leveled up all of her expertise. And then it was her idea to create this show and to start producing content, to bring that internal knowledge external. And I actually, we were sitting at dinner at a team retreat when she was like, I have this idea for a podcast and it's been a really great thing, still relatively small based on number of downloads, but pretty high based on reach.
And then when you get a big change, apple with making changes in iOS 15 for open tracking and stuff like that, then all of a sudden everyone's going to Alyssa and saying, what do you think about this? So then it's Alyssa from ConvertKit is the expert talking on this topic. We've always had great deliverability, but now we're known for having great deliverability and there's a big difference.
Jeremiah: Yeah, that's a really great case study of that. I'm curious what you think, like it sparks a question of other brands that would consider just handing over a microphone to internal experts on their team. Do you think companies, I don't really have an opinion. I haven't seen a lot out there because there's not a lot of networks built yet, but do you think companies should be more bullish towards entrusting people who want to run with stuff like she did?
Or do you feel like if you have five resident experts and your company's big enough, that could become five podcasts, if they're equipped with the right infrastructure and everything to run it. I'm sure it's not quite that simple. But do you have any opinion on that, the ability to sort of use podcasts to empower these internal voices, which then benefits the brand as a residual effect?
Nathan Barry: Yeah. That's a good question. I think it's worth doing, you can go too big, too fast, you know? And so you expand horizontally, I would think in real estate terms, right? So we have a piece of land. And do you want to build a bunch of small things on it? This is turning into like a shopping center or a strip mall or something like that.
Right? We've got a radio shack. We've got a subway. I don't know what else is in there. Right? There's a few of these stores and each one doesn't drive very much revenue. The building's not very tolerable that, or we could take our piece of land and we could build a skyscraper. Right. We can just go straight up and build something massive in that same space.
And so I would think about what you're trying to do. If you go and take these five experts, create five different shows. You now have like these five separate buildings that you've got to work on and maintain, and maybe you don't have the infrastructure to grow all of those. And then three of those people actually don't know what it takes to be a podcaster.
So they fizzle out after three months, six months, that kind of thing. The show disappears because no one else wants to take that on. I would think really hard about doing that. Instead, I'd probably look for who are the people who, well, first what's the overlap between those, if I have five experts, and if I put this on a Venn diagram, can I find the overlap of the topics that they care about, where they can make one show or maybe two shows?
And then the next thing that I would do is whatever shows come out the other side, we're like, okay, let's say we make two or three shows out of this. I would have them record at least five episodes, if not 10 episodes before publishing anything. Okay. Because the fun momentum is like, oh, I recorded the first episode.
That was so fun. Let's publish that. My a second episode. That was good. Third episode. It's a little hard to find time to record. We're busy this week, but we'll get it out there. Fourth episode happens, but it's a week late fifth episode. Like doesn't really happen, you know, like it just loses momentum. And so I would have people record five episodes and then say, okay, is this something that we want to do?
We now know how much work it is. Wow. It's not just a random idea in our head. This is a lot of work. And then look at how many ideas you still have for, for a continued episodes, because if you just recorded five episodes and that was all five of your ideas for show topics, maybe you shouldn't do this.
Shout out when, you know, you can come up with 10 ideas, but it's going to be short-lived. That was the last thing that I would say is I'd recommend doing the shows in seasons. And so don't do it continually. That's one thing with deliverability defined, they will produce a season of shows and then they'll stop for awhile.
Then they'll come back and do a season. Again, this is valuable because it's not someone's full-time job. And so you get to have momentum and effort on it and then take a step back and focus on the other things that you need to do. Also, when you come out with a new season, it gives you an opportunity to promote that.
So you can say, Hey, season three of deliverability defined is coming out, tune in. Here's the plan for the episodes. Here's what we're going to cover this season, that kind of thing. And the last thing is it lets you package. So, if you do say a season is eight episodes, long tower for long, you want to make it, let's say it's eight episodes and I do two seasons and then stop.
And that's it. I've got season one which covers X, Y, and Z season two that covers whatever other things I can package both of those up and put them on the deliverability resources part of our site and it can be done. And we don't have to do a season three. Whereas if you start a podcast and get to 16 episodes, Neve, don't do the 70, then it fails.
And that podcast is like, it's just another dead podcast. Right. But if you package it up into seasons, then it makes sense. Like Seth Goden has his, what is it? Marketing school or startup Kimbo. Well, uh, I was thinking of the, okay. Yeah. Startup school startup school. Exactly. It's a podcast, but it's not a continual, like he just made that it was his thing and no, one's like, oh, Seth Godin's startup school podcast failed after 10 episodes or whatever.
It's like, no, he deliberately made one season of a podcast and that is. And so it gives you a lot of more, a lot more flexibility. And then if you ever need to rotate cast members, rotate your company or whatever else, right. Season four is coming out. And instead of these two people, it's now this existing host plus this other new person and you get this continuity across seasons and it's a lot better.
Jeremiah: So I'll go back to my original question in a moment, but this leads, I'm curious to have you not challenged my thinking about way. Tell me how you would think about this. We would articulate it in the past as considered doing seasons, if, either like there's constraints, like what you just talked about, like people may churn, you only have bandwidth or budget for a certain number of episodes.
Or if the content is more like evergreen, like with Seth's stuff is going to be true. He typically tends to deal with more things that are fundamentally true about human behavior and business that in 10 years, that podcast will still be relevant. Do you think that if someone listening is thinking about starting a show for their company, if they wanted to do a more news or time-sensitive-based show, does that still work?
Because one of the things we would hear and pushback or concern might be like, it's interesting. You said there's actually a benefit of seasons because it gives you something to relaunch and restart and make a fuss about online. Sometimes you hear different advice, which is like, keep going or else you're going to lose momentum.
And if you stop a season, if you have to work to get everyone's attention all over again about the season. So I'm curious to hear how you would think about.
Nathan Barry: Well first the advice of ”keep going, don't break the flow, don't break that chain” makes sense to me, right? My wife and I were just having this conversation about going to the gym.
We're both pretty consistent now. Not a lot. And we don't push ourselves that hard, but twice a week, we're in the gym. Pretty much like clockwork. And we were talking about how the hardest thing is if we miss a day or miss a week or whatever, just making sure to get back into it. Because when you do break that, and it's like three months will go by and you'll be like, oh, remember when I used to go to the gym consistently, remember when I used to podcast, you know, and it is this momentum to restart it.
So doing it consistently like that, not ever missing something I think is really good. You can do that with seasons. One season can roll straight into the next season. What that does is it forces you to plan your content a little better forces you to have an idea for each arc of what this is. In this season of this interview show, I'm going to talk to people who are specifically growing podcasts, or, and this is I'm gonna talk to people who are running local businesses, who also are doing podcasts and online marketing, but they're primarily a local business.
You know, any of those kinds of emphasis. The times that I think seasons don't quite make as much sense because I don't do it seasons for the Nathan Barry show. It is I think when you're trying to hit this just like a consistent interview show where there's less continuity and less story between each episode.
And it's more of like, look, this just happens to be the order that people, that the guests scheduled, right. Trust me to come up with good guests, have a good conversation every week at this time, it'll be there waiting for you in your podcast feed. So I think it depends on the type of content, but if I were doing highly produced or topical shows where it's not interview, I think I go for a season format every single time.
And if I want to, I would just make them roll straight one season to the next, instead of taking a month-long break or a six-month.
Jeremiah: Yeah, it makes a ton of sense. The last thing on the network side of things is the concepts of the shows I stole this term from, I think it's some exec at Amazon that coined it, but art versus algebra and there being like a spectrum or like a both, and that was something we've worked a ton with on brands is like trying to develop something.
Like, I think a lot of companies just start something that they're either doing it as like FOMO or just hopping on a trend or the marketers are really, really opinionated about the exact show that they need. I'm curious, like you guys you're, so customer centered, you seem so in tune with your audience, how did the concept for the current shows come to be?
Was it mostly got feel art? Was it a ton of research? How do you determine concepts? And is there any insights there you can share for people?
Nathan Barry: I think it's all pretty organic, you know, so I had a show that I would want it to restart as an interview show. So that was one decision. The next show, talking about “Deliverability Defined” that was people on our team wanted to do a specific industry focus topic, and then make it approachable for general creators.
The show ”The Future Belongs to Creators” actually came out of a pandemic and the lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic. And so Barrett, who was our COO at the time, he and I would just noticing that all of these creators were every day, just like logging on watching case count numbers. This is when, like the COVID cases in New York.
There's a case in Seattle now. Oh, there's five cases in New York. And so we decided that we wanted to make a show that was all about helping creators channel like all of this anxious energy back into creating. It's like, yep. The world's falling apart, apart, all around you, but like, what are you going to make today?
And so it started as a daily show, five days a week. I'm trying to think how many episodes we did. Probably 70 or 80. Oh wow. Just days in a row doing every single day it was live. Live is a fun format to force you to show up. And if we have a conflict, for some reason, we'd get other people to fill in for us.
That was really how we elevated people in the company to talk about certain things, you know, so we could bring in Alyssa to talk about deliverability, Charlie, who's our creative director talk about the brand or whatever else. It was much easier for them to like Miguel who now isn't on the cast of the future, belongs to creators.
He just came on as a guest. He's on our, um, customer success team is one of our success engineers. And so he just cares deeply about creators and is embedded in the space and all of that. But it's a huge commitment to say, like, why don't you launch a show? And it's a fairly light commitment to say, "Hey, why don't you come on this episode of this show with another co-host who's already there and we'll talk about whatever topic." I think he might've joined a QA show as one of the first things, because we do Q&A every Friday. Okay. And so that's how it started. And then as we kind of got resettled into the flow of the pandemic, then we dropped it down to twice a week. And then eventually I decided that our time was best buy elsewhere.
That's when we gradually said, okay, who else wants to come on from the team and take over running this show and we'll come back as guests and help promote it and all that. And then we ended up with Charlie, who's our creative director, Haley who is our producer, is in charge of creator sessions. And then Miguel, who I mentioned before, you know, they have really taken the show and run with it for the last year and it's continued to grow.
It's elevated them. And it really contributes to this idea in a lot of our marketing, we talked about ConvertKit as being built for creators by creators. So we get what creators need or the product for them and all of that. And so having a show like this helped elevate that idea where we're able to talk about the different side hustles that people have.
So many people on our team are podcasting and are working as creators, that it reinforces those brand messages.
Jeremiah: When you did the live show, this is something I've seen a couple companies start doing really compelling to me. What are you able to like take listener questions at the time and like live on the show and everything like that?
Nathan Barry: Oh yeah, we did.
Jeremiah: It's a format that I think more people need to like consider doing. Cause it's a cool way, especially with some of the, like the streaming tools now to be able to solicit questions on LinkedIn or Twitter or wherever people are and incorporating them into your show. I think it's a really powerful way of adding something to your podcast.
Nathan Barry: Yeah. So now it's every Wednesday at 1230 Eastern for 30 minutes, our team is on there. There's this dedicated group of listeners, uh, probably 25 or 30 or so that are there live every single week. Wow. And then it goes out to hundreds or like about a thousand more, you know, in the podcast feeds and everything.
So live questions, make it fun. The audience interactions, you know, if you're listening, there's sort of the same cast of characters that you hear writing in questions and everything else. So, and then it gives us a reason to talk about it every week, because that's the other thing, is that going alive at a set time.
So we're sharing on Twitter and Facebook and other places and it, then we're able to push people out to it.
Jeremiah: Does the live feature of it and continually hearing all this customer feedback all the time. Does the impact, any product decisions that convert kit, does it help you just feel like you're more in tune with your audience in an ongoing way?
Nathan Barry: That's a good question. We would definitely ask questions. I think we did an entire episode once on, well, we didn't want to an entire one on announcing our new ConvertKit commerce functionality. As we built out ConvertKit into a creative marketing platform and we added this whole sell digital products, aren't a living component.
And so that gave us a platform to talk about it. We did like an extra long show, announcing it, demoing it and all of that. And then we've done other shows where we've talked about aspects of the product, whether it's new releases and then taking questions we haven't done as much on maybe even just a, like a company town hall of, Hey, what would you like to see us build?
And that'd be a good platform for it to be fun, to bring that back at some point,
Jeremiah: one of the things I noticed when I was doing some research is you've been on, I mean, I lost count, but I, I stopped around 24. So I'm saying dozens of other podcasts over the past few years, I'm guessing these are mostly like you, was this an intentional effort on your part to get on them or just, you just kept getting invites and saying yes to them?
Nathan Barry: They're just invites and saying yes, maybe with one or two exceptions where I've done a pitch. Okay. So, okay. Let's talk about growing a podcast for a second. This is where I ask you questions. Okay. Let's see. I know of two ways to grow a podcast. One is be a guest on other people's podcasts because you're like, Hey, this is an audience that is interested.
And they might be like, oh, this Nathan person sounds all right, like, I'll go check out art of newsletters or one of his other shows. And then pretty much other than that, you chop it up into clips and put them on social. You link to it from your newsletter. Yeah. Like those are kind of the main ways. And so going on other podcasts I think is one of the best ways.
And so that's what I do. Now I'm starting to be more deliberate about the level of podcasts that I go on. So what's an example. We're recording this in late January. Really like Sam Parr and John Perez podcast, My First Million. And so I was like, oh, you know, it's drawing like crazy big podcast. And I was finally like, Sam, I want to be on the show, like have me on.
And he was like, absolutely. You know, it's always a recording that, uh, later this week there might be one or two other examples like that, where my pitch has been like texting a friend in may, like, yo, next time you get a guest, like I'm in. Yeah. But other than those things, like, how do you think about growing a podcast?
Jeremiah: It's definitely the overlap. What you said. We often tell people, sometimes it depends on the brand. It depends on their situation, their goals. We would often advise them. If you're thinking about the two, but you don't know that you can make the commitment to build the audience and do the whole show going as a guest is a good way to get in front of a microphone and like cut your teeth and just see what the ecosystem is like, even.
But we did often say if you have a show, then it's a really compelling place to point them, because I think you're more likely to get them to like a better call to action is if you like this content, you'll probably love our content versus like go buy our product or check out the signing page. So I do think there's a really good interplay there.
The other benefits, like as far as like going on other shows for us, it's a big awareness and trust player for the brand. You're really well known. And that's what, like, we talked to Rand Fishkin, obviously anyone who's listening, formerly Moz spark tore out he's similar. And like, he just gets invites like all the time.
So he'll just kind of pick and choose what he wants to say yes to you. And he said, anecdotally, it was the biggest way. Spark Toro grew not with any like real data in front of him, but he said most of it was like urge you on the show. Right. There's a ton of benefits being a guest on podcasts. But to your question, as far as growing, I think the episode I'm keen to hear what you think about the episode with Jonathan, from HubSpot, we talked to one of the founders at Pacific content.
They've played with a bunch of ways to grow. I mean, they're run podcasts for like slack and Facebook and stuff. They've said, I believe it was paid ads on other shows is another way that they've found some sort of measurable way to grow. Jonathan and the team are trying all kinds of stuff. They're going heavy on Tik Tok.
They have tons of paid and organic ways, but I don't know that they had any, like from DCIS that came away with like Esau just the other day, like Sam park tweeted, good content, keep at it like what more is there than that? This is a non-answer, but people don't appreciate how much infrastructure is built for things like SEO and paid ads that we can just go learn from decades of trial and error and experience.
And this is so new. Jonathan I wanted, I said you, before we hit record, like I wanted to talk to him because I've never seen a company hire a podcast growth position before ever. Right. So I'll be super keen to see what his findings are. But all we do is like, for our purpose, we advise on the framework of where is your audience and how can you take the podcast content and present it to them, natively and contextually and we're advocates of, you know, it's like what you said.
Sometimes that's chopping up clips and putting it on social. But sometimes it's also like, is there a sub-Reddit? Is there a LinkedIn group, a Facebook group? Is there an email newsletter that you can turn it into? But our big thing is like, don't be so arrogant as to, to demand or expect 100% of your audience is going to be podcast listeners and ask them to leave where they're currently enjoying consuming content and coming over here to listen to this instead, isn't the end goal of your podcast, really just to build brand trust awareness, just go take those moments and deliver that value in a way that they want to consume them where they want to consume them.
I will say like on a more technical and some of like the research I was doing, I think there are ways we saw some success of playing Spotify as relatively early in their search algorithm. They seem to be pretty keyword dependent right now. They just added a reviews. So maybe some things that aren't as controllable will start to take place of where like you rank.
But I think things like putting the keyword is a version of keyword research. I think you can do when you launch a branded show, there's all kinds of like giveaways and competitions that my first million. They've done things like, Hey, create a eclipse channel on Tik TOK and promote us, or leave a review and you'll be entered to win this money or like all this different stuff.
So there's ways to do that. But Jonathan seems to think who I would defer to for like more expertise. He seems to think that the main thing is just the number of listens. You get over a set period of time, the length of time that they're listening into the episode. So there's these variables that you really can't control unless your content is good and people want to check it out.
Nathan Barry: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And then on the other side, I'm wondering about at lemon pie, you're obviously producing or helping, um, produce shows, but then also a big part of it is booking people as guests on other shows. Is that right?
Jeremiah: Yeah. We actually are only doing the booking shows. We ran a production wing for a while, but we've gone all in on the PR end is what we've done the longest.
Nathan Barry: So there are so many podcasts out there. And the thing that I'm wondering, I guess I have a two-part question. One is as someone getting these pitches to come on podcasts, I got the pitch from you to come on on this show. And at the same time, Dan pot, my executive coach, the next day, or the same day happened to mention that he's friends with the founders of lemon pie.
And they went and I was like, oh wow. Oh, I, you know, like it was one of the things. So I immediately was like, yeah, I'll say yes and come on. But, uh, one is, how do you filter through those requests? What would you, what do you look for if you're representing someone who has limited time and is trying to get the most reach and the most ROI from their effort.
And then the other side is when you're pitching, obviously getting on 10 podcasts is not like there's a handful of podcasts that I'd far rather be on than be beyond a hundred of these other shows. So how do you think about which ones are going to get really good engagement? What do you look for?
Jeremiah: Yeah, it's super interesting because we work with a wide variety at this point of people.
So there's founders like you who maybe 10 shows a year would be huge wins for, and you kind of have like more of your pick of the litter, like the fact that you can get on my first million, which is like, arguably one of the fastest growing best shows in its space, you would just be looking for help then finding like more of the same.
And once you're on a show, like my first million, right? There's not many shows. There are some pretty big show, like obviously Joe Rogan or maybe like a, how I built this or something, but like, there's not many shows you couldn't be on. And what we have found is like, then on the other end, there's these most founders or a lot of founders that we have worked with it's before they've made it big.
So they kind of have to like blanket at the industry in the 80%. It's kind of like what you said before. The first thing is, is your goal to be in the who's who of shows in the top echelon of podcasts or is it to blanket the industry? Your analogy with building shows before is like you can reach the same amount of people by going on more shows and you're reaching more of like the common person on all these shows.
Or you can just target these ones and certain people for like a PR and brand perspective only want to be seen in these top big shows. So to be totally transparent with you, I don't know all the factors that go into it, but we run what's called the team runs Josh and our team runs that service department and they have a lemon pie, health score, which is basically a number of factors that goes into, it's almost like an Alexa number for like a website.
Like these are all these things that dictate a podcasts. There's no real way to know like exact downloads for example. But one of the metrics we look at is number of reviews. So a good indicator is every X amount of reviews, roughly on average means X amount of downloads, unless the host is willing to share their numbers.
And a lot aren't looking at reviews, looking at who is the typical audience member of that show, is that someone that you want to be reaching as, this is a message. The other big thing is for us. Do you actually is exploring the different audience types you could talk to. And can you actually bring value there?
Because one of the things we won't do is we can't align with anyone who thinks that a podcast tour or guesting is a 30-minute advertisement. Right. So do you actually have, like one of the earliest things we try and suss out is, do you have internal expertise? Do you have domain expertise in what you're talking about?
And is this something that you actually can bring value to this audience? So, yeah, I mean, I'm not sure if that answers your question. What are your goals? Who are the people that you want to talk to? Do you have domain expertise, domain authority? Can you actually deliver value there? Like one of the ways we frame it as like, can you be one of the best interviews that they've ever had?
Right. If we don't feel like you can be one of the top 10 episodes that show's ever released, it's kind of like inauthentic or insincere for us to suggest that you should go on, because we don't just want to be like a spammy cold outreach agency. So yeah, for someone like you, some people in your position that could be on all these shows would still choose to blanket the podcast ecosystem because they want the perception of being everywhere.
People make memes now and stuff, but like blue apron or like manscape, or now athletic greens, it's like, oh my gosh, is there a podcast they don't sponsor. Like once you crack a thousand, like the ad teams like on you, but that's to give a perception of, gosh, these are everywhere. This is the 15th time across all these shows.
I'm listening to like this association of the defacto expert in this. So there's that move you can do, or there's the other move of, I'm very busy. I can get on my first million. So like what other 10 after I get booked on that, can I go to you? And it's like a brand perception thing, but generally, like, there'll be a minimum threshold that's worth everyone's time.
And there's a bunch of metrics that go into that. But one of the base ones for anyone listening is like, just go look at the number of reviews. If there's not any reviews or only it dozen or two it's a good indicator it's a fairly small show. Are people sharing? Like you can do a lookup in like, are people sharing episodes of the show?
Are they talking about it? There's a couple other things that you can look at,
Nathan Barry: but yeah. Yeah, that's good. It's fascinating because it's all about how you spend time and there's a limited number of time. That is the scarcest resource. And so then one thing that I'm trying to do is set aside a certain number of hours per week for podcasting.
Both for my show and then for guests, and then now way I'm just like, okay. And I'm still trying to figure out what that is this week I'm spending, I think like eight hours on podcasts. And so it's like, okay, that's more than I want to normally spend one money running a company. Yeah. But I'm also getting ahead from my show and things like that.
So it's just figuring out what the system is. So that it's the best ROI. And I'm treating everyone well, when they like asked to have me on an episode or whatever else, we're making sure it makes sense for the business.
Jeremiah: Yeah. It also comes down to goals. Like we talked to one founder who, their primary goal, like it was kind of funny, like their primary goal was to drive a ton of organic traffic to a couple like main pages that were like super optimized.
And like their whole thing was to try and like rank in Google for these keyword terms, like drive organic leads and stuff. Right. So they did a podcast like this wasn't with us, but they did a podcast tour simply to be like, Hey, when the show notes come out, can you link to this URL? Not that one, you know, As a way of building, just building backlinks essentially.
But then on the flip side, they were like, then they found when they had qualitative attribution that the bulk of customers, it became like a top two or three lead channel for them, just people hearing about them on these shows and coming over that. So they didn't get into it for that reason. But then they found like, oh, we need to keep doing this for this reason.
So it really comes down to goals. You know, like if that was your goal, you'd want to blanket with as many podcasts as possible. But yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. One question I have on this, I want to respect your time. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna wrap up here that we could probably talk forever on the strategy stuff, but what advice would you give to any founders who do want to guest on other shows?
Like if they're getting hit up with opportunities, you've been on so many now. You've been in the podcasting ecosystem for longer than most. What makes a good interview to you? What are some advice that you can give for anyone going on other shows?
Nathan Barry: And the first thing is if you haven't done very many, I would start with the ones that it probably don't feel worth the time, because then you can refine your message and you can practice and just get a lot more confident.
There's a lot of things like if I let's do an episode that I did five years ago or something, I'm like cringing messaging, isn't very good. And I hope that five years from now, if I listened to an episode like this one, I'll listen back to my answers and cringe again, because I've leveled up further. So I think the practice is worth a lot.
And then once you get to the point where you feel like your message is dialed in, you have answers to most questions that come up, you're able to position your brand in the way that you want to. Then it's probably not worth it to go on just to any show that reaches out. What I look for is, are they actually a fan of my work or is it just, I was on this show and they reached out to every single guest of that show to add them on their own show, you know?
Yeah. Are they converting. That's one, like the number of times that if someone's a convert customer and the show's not that big yet, I'll often come on anyway, if I have time. And then trying to think of what else, those are probably the biggest things in how I decide what shows to go on as far as what makes a good interview.
I think just figuring out what you want to talk about and understand the show a little bit, right? Some shows really want to cover your whole life story. How did you start ConvertKit what are you doing? What was this time period like? And I got to a point where it's like, okay, I've told that story so many times, like, I want to talk about where we're going.
And so it just did an episode last week I showed that was really fun, but that was this specific conversation we had at the. It was like, Hey, I'd like to do 10 minutes on the backstory and the rest of the time on like present and then future. And they were all about that. So I think probably my last point, there would be, don't feel like you have to follow the same script that the host wants to have, or like a host will often ask, Hey, is there anything in particular that you want to cover or anything you don't want to cover?
And almost everyone is like, no, I'm in wherever you want to take it as good. And if you say that and you can't be annoyed when they take it somewhere that you didn't want to go right. To like, actually think about that and just answer like, oh, I don't know if this is what you had planned, but I'd love to cover my backstory and just a few minutes and then talk about these kinds of things.
Yeah. Like actually, I guess take responsibility for the content of the show, even if you're coming on as a guest. And uh, oh, the last thing that I'd like to do, which made this is two medicines, I just did it to you like to ask, ask the host questions because as a podcaster doing an interview show, the reason to do it is that you get to elevate your profile alongside the guest.
I think some of the most annoying shows are when you get someone who's a relatively big name and they just sit back and they answer questions. As you ask them a question, they answer it and then say, yeah, it's not a conversation. Yeah. And so something that I always try to do is think what are things that I really want to learn from the host and work that it and ask those questions and turn it into more of a conversation.
This has been a conversation from the beginning. Right. But make sure that that's the case. Cause it's easier listening. It'll be a better episode. And if there's something that I want to learn that as the guests, that the host knows, probably the audience wants to learn that too. Yeah. And they might have come over.
It's also like, how can we make this more of a win-win for the host of the podcast? Right. If I send this out to my email newsletter and people will come listen to it because, oh, it's Nathan on this show, then how do I make sure that the, that the host has enough airtime and option to share their expertise so that, um, the fans who came for me then stay for the host and for the show and what that's all about. I love that. And then I think big picture, like people would just be like, oh, that's awesome. And they'll want to have you on more shows. And they'll, you know, you're just contributing to the ecosystem rather than just being like, Hey, what can I get out of this episode as a guest?
So. I don't know, never think about podcasts again and move on to the next thing. It's like, no, like contribute. Don't just be, I know a leach is too strong of a word, but you get the idea.
Jeremiah: No, I really appreciate that. I was like, well, I've never had anyone ask me a question on here before. Like that definitely was like, not like jarring is like a pleasant surprise and to your point.
Yeah. And that's like a feel I'm really trying to develop increasingly with the show. I'm trying to work on my hosting and trying to make it more conversational. And that's something I realized like in the shows I really enjoy is like, there's varying levels of it, but there's always some level of interplay.
It's never just like, here's the question. Now, listen to the expert talk like there's always like a sharing or exchanging of ideas or thoughts or, yeah, I really love that.
Nathan Barry: One fun thing that you can do is try to find what's something that you disagree on. Ooh, I like that. And it's hard of you because everyone wants to be agreeable on all that, but things that you both sincerely believe that disagree and then have some conversation on that, because then it has to be a conversation. It's not just like ask a question. Yeah. And all of that. So, and then you could check with the guests beforehand. Okay. I was doing a bunch of research and I'm pretty sure you think this, actually, I think this fairly strongly will you up for having a little friendly debate about it.
I want to show, and then is there anything else you think we disagree about? Cause then you can see where that goes. Yeah. And guests, guests will enjoy it, but then also listeners will enjoy it because otherwise everyone's just like, here's what we agree on. Here's the tips. Here's what. All right.
Jeremiah: Yeah. Well, and to your point about even like coming in and saying here's some talking points, if you're getting bored about the same old narrative, like, it was a period of time when, I mean, probably like anyone who's ever wondered, like bootstrap, a SaaS product, I learned about Jason Freed and I was like, oh, he does podcast interviews.
So, I mean, I must've listened to like, I dunno, 10 of them, anyone I could, I would just have to in Jason freed and Spotify filtered by episodes and like hit play on everyone, like in order and after three or four year, like, okay, has no one thought to ask them and then you'd get ones in like 20, 20 or 2021.
And they're still asking him the same things. And you're like, you could go listen to this. You could summarize it in five minutes and ask all these other interesting things. So anyway, I'm a fan of that as well.
Nathan Barry: Well, you can get to the point where it's like, you could do the episode, right? Where it's like, here are the five questions that everyone always asked Jason, and then you could be like, and here's what his answer would be.
There's two things to take away from that one is as an effective guest, you end up with these polished answers. Jason has mastered that. As each answers polished has been refined over years and years. And that's why when he comes on a show, he sounds really good and effective because it's not off the cuff.
Like these are his same five core ideas about how to work, how to market, sales, you know, earning money, all of those things, he talks about each one. So that side is really good. And then the other side, as a host, think more about your questions so that you can get to, I know you normally talk about this demonstrate, I know your content, I've heard you on three to five other shows.
And so for this episode, I want to go deeper. You can even say if someone wants Jason's story listened to them on whatever podcast, cause they covered a story, right? You don't know a story like hit pause, go listen to that, and come back. Okay. Now I'm going to assume that you all know his story. And so Jason, you said this and I want to deep dive on it and that'll be much better content.
Jeremiah: Yeah. I could not agree.
Nathan Barry: And then the other thing is the guest will often share that and say great episode. It went deep on stuff I've never talked about before, right? Yeah. I'm clicking that on Twitter. Someone says that, you know, I'm clicking that I'm coming through rather than like I was on another podcast.
I talked about the same five things and I always talk about, yeah, it's not nearly as interesting.
Jeremiah: No, I completely agree. And I like the point about disagreeing as well, except I just took a personality test and I'm very high in agree or I'm moderate to high in agreeableness. So I'd have to look for things and I don't want to make anyone mad.
So I have to work on that skill as a whole.
Nathan Barry: We can tell you about how personality tests are nonsense. I don't actually think that I was just trying to find somebody to disagree on.
Jeremiah: All right. You are busy. You've been super gracious with your time. I do have two listener questions we take, we're trying to take, listen, your questions on LinkedIn.
I love these. These are my favorites. So Jordan from LinkedIn asked, this is a three partner. I've kind of covered this, but feel free to summarize anything. Why are, how did you pick the three shows that you currently have for ConvertKit? How are you differentiating your shows? How are you making them stand out?
And why did you start your own show? We kind of covered all three of them. I think we covered all of those. Anything you'd add there?
Nathan Barry: One last thing I'd add. Cause I was thinking through all the shows that we have a lot of what we're doing that shows is repurposing content that already exists. The one show we didn't touch on is our creator stories show.
And because the creative stories exist in a few different forms, they are, it's a written interview. It's actually four different forms of the same content trying to get as much reach for it. So it's a written interview. That's what came first of like he's written stories. We actually produce a book as this is on video.
Oh, five different formats, same content, five formats I'm realizing. So it is a blog post that goes out on the website. That's item. Number one, those blog posts get reformatted into these books. This is called, "I am a Creator" here's volume, two beautifully designed books going through all kinds of originals.
Jeremiah: Where do people get those books? You just send them to like new customers or they order them, or what?
Nathan Barry: We send them to new customers and then usually once a year, we'll do an announcement in a release, like when the new volume comes out. So it was only two volumes. It makes it sound like there's all these volumes.
It's just a cool idea. So there's that the third format is video and that's like a whole thing to produce, right? Have to send a filmmaker out. We have Henry as a full-time filmmaker on our team. He produces all of that content and films. It, the fourth is audio. That is Isa who wrote the story, who heads up all of this.
She just reads the story. She's a great narrating voice. She reads the story in audio form. So that ends up being the short form podcast. I think each episode is like 10 minutes long and it's exactly the same thing, but be the audiobook version of a written story. And then the fifth one, which I think is a little off-topic, but very interesting.
Is all of these stores. We hire a photographer to go out, you know, for all the written stories, original photography, we give all that photography to the creator. So you often see that they redesigned their site later and use the photos that our photographer shot for them, for their headshots and everything else.
Oh, nice. Which is awesome because it's a big gift to be able to give to a creators, but then anyone who wants to, we have our own collection on Unsplash. Oh, cool. A free stock photo website. And so we release these photos for free on Unsplash and they get used like crazy. There's a amazing creators named Courtland Allen.
He started a website and show and everything called indie hackers. And we did a story on him, which is featured in this book and we did all these amazing original photography for it. His studio looks amazing where your podcasts, those photos got released on Unsplash and they have millions of downloads.
Now that's amazing. And so it's the whole ecosystem of how can we do this thing and get the most reach for. And then the last thing is we're working on building our Unsplash collection into ConvertKit so that when you're looking for photos, for your products, for your newsletter or whatever, that's awesome from this ecosystem of existing ConvertKit creators.
And like it comes full circle. So I don't know what part of that answered the three-part question, but we're going to say it was a good enough answer,
Jeremiah: Jordan, the whole episode answered your question hopefully, and I hope that that helped in some way too. I am super excited actually. I might send you an email to, to ask about the execution of that.
Cause that literally was like on my marketing plan that we're like going to execute. And then if time and bandwidth allow test ideas and I was like, there are not that many good like stock photos that people like podcasts and they're all kind of like cheesy and whatever. So we were going to think about doing like a similar thing.
So I of that, all right, Aaron asks, who is a creator, he has shout out to his podcast. I think. Seven Minutes Stories. I think it's called Aaron asked. Was there a moment or specific series of events that ultimately led you to quit your job and focus on creating your own product? If there was, can you share that story?
Nathan Barry: Yes. Good question. So the last job that I had was in 2011, so it has been 11 years since I've been employed. I was working as a software designer, a software company, good place to work as a software designer, I guess. And the thing that led up to it, the company was having some struggles and was like, all right, might be time to find another role.
But leading up to that, we had been designing and building iOS apps. So we had an app as part of work for a company that, um, was released the day the iPad came out, which was a really fun challenge to like design build for a device that you didn't actually have yet. Yeah. So we did that and then I wanted to keep learning.
So I started building apps on the side. And I had a couple of coworkers, right. Go over to the house. I'm like a Saturday at noon and be like, Hey, can you help me get unstuck with this, you know, side project? And so really it was just, I decided to go freelance and I had these iPhone apps in the store that were making two to $3,000 a month.
Wow. So in, uh, September, 2011, I quit. My job was actually right when my first kid was born, which I don't know if that's a great time to quit or not, but it was like, you know what? We're taking everything in life. Like let's just quit the job at the same time, too. It all worked out. But really it was having side hustle going already having money saved.
That's the other thing, a lot of people do a side hustle so that they can then spend money on whatever else. And I did my side hustle and just saved all the money. And so then when it was time to quit, had $20,000 saved up straight from the side hustle of selling apps. And that was a good way to go.
Jeremiah: That's awesome. Well, this has been super good conversation. One of my favorite so far, I really, really appreciate your time. I'm sure I'm going to be looking for the, my first that gets recorded this week. That my first million episode. Yeah. We're recording on Thursday nights. Do you have any idea when that releases are they, like, I imagine they're like quite a ways out.
Nathan Barry: I think they might only be one week out. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. They were telling me that Sam gets bored because they record something and then they go to promote it a week later and Sam's already bored of, and he's moved on. And so they're like trying to sign it. How can they. Release faster.
Jeremiah: Cool. Good for them. I would like to find me to be like one week at a time. Yeah. All right. Thanks so much for your time. We really appreciate it. We'll connect a little bit later. Sounds good. Thank you.
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