Ben Shapiro – CEO & Co-Founder of I Hear Everything | Using Podcasts To Grow Your Business

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About The Guest

Ben Shapiro is the host of both the Voices of Search Podcast and the Martech Podcast. He is a brand development & marketing strategy consultant that left a successful career in business development at eBay to become an entrepreneur that has run a bootstrapped startup, multiple marketing teams at early-stage VC-backed companies, and independent consulting & content business.

He specializes in helping growth-stage companies understand how to identify the overlap between corporate identity and customer needs to build an effective marketing strategy.

He has an incredibly impressive resume, holding several senior level (VP & C-Suite) marketing roles before pivoting and launching his own business and brand. He’s scaled his own shows to top charts globally with millions of downloads, as well as launched podcats for some of the largest brands in the world.

Talking Points

  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 04:02 – Ben Shapiro’s origin story 
  • 05:20 – Pivoting from a screw-up
  • 08:29 – Getting into podcasting
  • 13:37 – How to scale a business
  • 15:40 – Using podcasts to fill your sales funnel
  • 19:27 – The benefits of short-form podcasts
  • 23:46 – How to identify a podcast audience
  • 27:25 – How to hire and scale a podcasting team 
  • 35:22 – How to hire the right talent in a startup 
  • 39:17 – Hiring, staffing, and growth lessons
  • 42:08 – Why you should start more than one podcast
  • 47:47 – 10x-ing the efficacy of your advertising dollars
  • 53:30 – Scaling your sales efforts
  • 57:22 – The future of the podcast agency & media company
  • 59:50 – Why more businesses will start podcasts
  • 1:03:20 – Leaving an impact on the marketing industry
  • 1:04:36 – Where to connect with Ben Shapiro 
  • 1:05:36 – Ben Shapiro’s biggest career challenges
  • 1:07:03 – Ben Shapiro’s mentor
  • 1:07:56 – A book or podcast Ben Shaprio would recommend
  • 1:10:28 – A lesson Ben Shaprio would tell his 20-year-old self about
  • 1:10:44 – What does success mean to Ben Shapiro?

Show Links

Podcast & Newsletter Sponsors

  1. HUBSPOT – https://hubspot.com/
  2. EXPRESS VPN – https://expressvpn.com/successstory/
  3. FACTOR – https://go.factor75.com/plans (CODE: SUCCESS120)

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What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.

Website: https://www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: https://www.successstorypodcast.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/scottdclary

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scottdclary

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scottdclary

Facebook: https://facebook.com/scottdclarypage

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/scottdclary

Medium: https://medium.com/scott-d-clary

Newsletter : https://newsletter.scottdclary.com/

Machine Generated Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

podcast, people, business, marketing, year, build, marketers, content, audience, hiring, vpn, sponsor, running, building, months, sponsorship, host, scale, customers, sell

SPEAKERS

Scott D Clary, Ben Shapiro

 

00:00

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Scott D Clary  00:35

Welcome to success story, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary. The success story podcast is part of the blue wire podcast network as well as the HubSpot Podcast Network. Now, the HubSpot Podcast Network has incredible shows like The Hustle daily. It’s hosted by Zachary Crockett Jacob Cohen, Rob literalist, and Juliette Bennett RYLA. Now the hustle daily brings you a healthy dose of irreverent, offbeat and informative takes on business, tech and news. And it happens daily. So if you want to stay up to date on the latest and greatest, and some of these topics are interesting to you, then you’re going to love the hustle daily topics like Amazon’s grocery strategy. The rise of the ugly shoe economy is AI the secret to love and America’s sleep deficit problem. So if these are topics you want to get into and you love hearing up to date content whenever you wake up in the morning, go listen to the hustle daily wherever you listen to your podcast. today. My guest is Ben Shapiro. He is the founder and CEO of I hear everything and the host of the mahr tech podcast podcast that’s also in the HubSpot Podcast Network. Now Ben is a brand development and marketing strategy specialist. He left a career at eBay to become an entrepreneur that has run a bootstrap startup, multiple marketing teams at early stage VC backed companies, as well as an independent consulting and content business expert. He specializes in helping growth stage companies understand how to identify the overlap between corporate identity and customer needs to build an effective marketing strategy. So he’s built business focused on content as a service and podcasts as a service. He’s obviously done it for his own podcast. He’s built now three shows total including the mahr tech podcast. And now this is something that he actually builds out for organizations that are better looking to marry up performance marketing and brand marketing to effectively target reach and convert their customers. So we spoke about his transition as VP marketing into entrepreneur how the failures that he experienced as a VP of Marketing at an early stage company translated into what he now does for organizations. And then it was basically after that a masterclass in podcasting. We spoke about how he chooses different guests, we spoke about how we target his listeners, we spoke about everything from his recording process, all the way through to his editing and distribution process, why he gets and how we can get 100% of that audience to listen to the podcast versus many podcasts that perhaps your audience only listens to 50% of it. We spoke about long form podcast versus short form podcast, we spoke about daily podcast, we spoke about his team, how he scaled his team, how he finds talent, all the different roles, they fill the automations that he’s built in to help basically build his podcast and media empire. We spoke about growing a show we spoke about audience behavior, audience avatars, editing at scale bashing episodes, driving traffic, using podcast listeners, as an audience that you can now retarget and sell to so more data driven b2b podcasting. So basically, everything podcasting from a building your show and getting it off the ground all the way through to how do you use podcasts to actually turn listeners into paying customers at scale. So a ton of great podcasting lessons plus some great entrepreneurial lessons, as Ben has built out an incredible business from the ground up, leveraging technology tools, resources that has allowed him to stay relatively nimble and not require any sort of outside capital to build up this business. So let’s jump right into it. This is Ben Shapiro. He is the founder of I hear everything as well as the host of the mahr tech podcast.

 

Ben Shapiro  04:38

I failed as a marketer. I worked early in my career to get to the point where I could take on the VP of Marketing at a venture backed early stage startup role. And I finally got there, and I did everything wrong, just like I did when I had my first startup. And you know, that’s part of the lessons is you’ll Learn everything you’re not supposed to do. And that’s why when venture capitalists are looking for good people to invest in, they’re looking for somebody that’s run two companies already. So you get the first screw up out of the way, you, you know, second one, you have some success. And the third one hopefully really take off. And so, you know, my first time running a marketing department, I relied way too much on writing the performance marketing, social media wave, and I totally forgot all the things that I had learned early in my career, which was, you know, how do you figure out who your customers are? And how do you build content that they find interesting. So you could build a relationship without having to constantly pay for user acquisition. And so you know, that’s my first screw up inevitably led to what I’m doing today. And hopefully, that’s a good cold open for you.

 

Scott D Clary  05:55

It’s great, no, but and then, but but at an early stage startup, I want to understand why you consider that a screw up because for for a VP marketing and early stage startup, to not focus on performance marketing, like you, I feel like you’re gonna get fired tomorrow. Because yeah, you need need,

 

Ben Shapiro  06:13

you need both of them. And honestly, that’s what our business model is now is you need, I will call it awareness and demand generation, right, you need both sides of the coin, if you’re early stage, you need to build content, and develop, you know, some traction with Google, get your SEO going. Build your audience, whatever the channel you’re gonna use, that’s going to get people gravitating to your content, to exposure to your brand, all of those things that build your core actual audience, and retain them and nurture them and keep in front of them. So when they’re in market, they remember you, you need all of that stuff, you need awareness before you can sell. But you need the demand generation tools to get somebody into your funnel with an idea of converting them and monetizing them. And so the mistake that I made was, I was on Facebook all the time, I was sitting there doing the creative myself, managing the campaigns, we didn’t spend a lot of money on agencies, we didn’t have a big enough team for me to step back and say, Alright, I’m going to hand off, what’s the revenue driver. And so at an early stage company, that’s always the challenge is you need to cultivate these organic growth channels, while keeping your business afloat and getting your first you know, 10 100,000 customers, depending on your business model, through your paid channels, and your personal or professional network. So, you know, I lost sight of the building the organic piece. And so after I had worked at this startup, for a year, year and a half, whatever it was, you know, the founder came back, the CEO came back and he was getting pressure from the venture capital company saying, quick, lower your LTV, you know, or sorry, raise your LTV, lower your CAC, and that you can’t do that quickly, right, you need to cultivate channels that bring in organic growth, so you’re not paying for the customers. So your CAC is lower, and the highest LTV customers are the ones who come to you organically through content. And so quick, you know, move away from performance marketing will take six months to a year to cultivate those channels. And so I basically caught got caught flat footed. All I had done for a year was buy, buy, buy, buy, buy. And then when we hit that I have a round or B round funding, you know, milestone, whatever it is, for each company, it’s a little different. When you get to that point where you’re like, Okay, we’re going to course correct. And we’re not just going to buy to prove that there is product market fit. But now we need to start focusing on unit economics. You can’t do that in a second. You need six months to a year, I didn’t have six months to a year. And the next thing you know, I didn’t like them. They didn’t like me and the relationship soured. And that was, you know, now my talking head, there’s a couple steps in between there. But that’s how it became podcast.

 

Scott D Clary  09:04

So So why did you jump into this? So you said you were you said the version of your business now of creating all this content and also what you do for other businesses? That was sort of birthed in your understanding of building relationships. So yeah, did you understand that podcasting was the way that you wanted to go, and you didn’t just want to turn into a brand specialist or customer success or retention specialist you very, very targeted.

 

Ben Shapiro  09:30

I’m a marketer by trade, so I’m more of a generalist and a strategist and an individual channel expert. I’m also extroverted. So I really feel things and kind of live on the outside as opposed to the inside. And so when I had this job that I’d worked so hard to get, and then it didn’t go well. You know, there was the emotional personal part of my career that I needed to feel through and reconsider. So I was hurt, I was frustrated, I was upset. And it was either they were gonna fire me or I was gonna walk out the door, I still don’t know, to this day, whether I quit or was fired, but it’s a little of both. And so I walked away and said, I’m going to take three months off, I’ve never really taken three months off from working, and I’m gonna go figure out what I want to do with my life, or at least what my next J. OB is going to be. And after three days of sitting at home, I had rebuilt my personal website, Ben J. shop.com, to basically be an online resume, which was basically the homepage for my consulting practice. And so I launched that website on a Friday. And that Monday, I launched the website on a Thursday, I got a note from a friend on Friday saying, I need to hire you as a consultant. And I was in the office on Monday. So I took three days off in between jobs, even though I plan on taking three months off, but they were short term projects, it doesn’t count, right? It wasn’t a full time w two job with health care and equity and all this. The money was better than what I was making. Right? My wife had health care, I guess I still probably had cobra or you know, I was sort of covered in terms of all of the like life, things you need. Yeah. And I started taking on short term projects, one short term project lead to the next lead to the next lead to some process. And three years later, I looked up and I was running a six figure consulting business, and I had done it for years. So I just never hit that point where the short term projects dried up. And I built, you know, outreach and processes and use marketing technology to scale the business. But I, after three years of being an independent marketing consultant, all the sudden, I was walking around saying I do brand development and marketing strategy, help people figure out the overlap between who they are and who their customers are. And then how do you cultivate marketing channels to get them off the ground stuff that I was inherently good at, because I had experience in performance marketing, but new brand marketing as well. And so after three years, I came to the realization that I was building consulting network off the back of my personal network, consulting business off the back of my personal network. So I was reaching out to the 1500 contacts that I had on LinkedIn talking about what I was doing and how it was helping other companies that were in similar stages and found enough work to survive. But after three years, I was running at it. What’s that?

 

Scott D Clary  12:29

Did you enjoy it? Did you did you enjoy jumping into this? Or was this like, I’m just curious, because

 

Ben Shapiro  12:33

I loved it. Yeah, I loved it. I loved the independence. I loved the autonomy. I felt I had more respect in my career. By me being the product people were buying the sounds bad buying me. Yeah, right. Not buying a marketer, they were hiring Ben. And so you know, call me egotistical that felt good. And when the project’s went, well, it felt like I was doing well. And so I enjoyed coming in and, and having respect and authority and autonomy, as opposed to all of the pressure from being an in house marketing, you know, VP that was hoping that the equity that I was going to earn in four years from now would be worth something. And so I felt, I was able to realize the work I was doing monetarily faster, I got more credit. I enjoyed running a business, I enjoyed growing it, building my own products, thinking about my own branding. And then I wanted to expand and so after three years, I started the martec podcast, because I needed to reach more people. So my, my clients became early and growth stage marketing companies. And so I created the MAR tech podcast to interview the people I wanted to have as my customers not thinking that the audience would grow very quickly. And I didn’t have any, any plans on being you know, web famous or pod famous, or whatever it is. I definitely wasn’t thinking about being a b2b influencer, which is, you know, part of what my business is now. I was just thinking I was gonna go interview people, I wanted to be my clients and help promote a piece of content for them to build a relationship.

 

Scott D Clary  14:12

And that was gonna be your sales strategy. Basically, you’re using the podcast as a sales strategy.

 

Ben Shapiro  14:16

Yeah, exactly. And it truthfully, it was an experiment that went completely wrong. So I, I wanted to get a couple months into building the podcast to get some traction to then show people that I had credibility. Look how good this podcast is. I’ve been doing it for three months. We’ve got 15 episodes and a little traction. And what ended up happening was I realized that an individual episode was being consumed an hour long episode, people were consuming 25% of it. So I cut the episodes I was recording in half and then people were consuming like 55% of it. So the shorter I made the episodes, the higher percentage people were consuming them. And then when I cut them in half again, instead of it going to like 75% It was you know, almost all all of the episodes. So I found this format where I was able to interview someone and get, you know, somewhere between two to five pieces of content out of an interview. And all of a sudden, the audience was listening to the entire episode. And since we had five episodes, instead of two a week, now we had a daily podcast, there was more organic growth, there was more virality, because the guests were sharing the content because I was producing more for them, and the audience grew faster. So I looked up after three months, and said, God, I’ve got like 3500 downloads a month, and we’re growing at like a 30% clip, I’m just gonna keep doing this for another six months, and somebody told me I can make more than beer money. When I get to 10,000 downloads a month, that doesn’t seem like it’s that far away, I’m going to half consult and half do this podcast thing. And after 11 months, we had 10,000 downloads a month, and I said, I’m not going to do the lead generation thing I was going to do originally, I’m not going to try to sell to my guests. I’m gonna see if I can sell sponsorships to people that want to reach marketers. And I sold $25,000 of inventory in the first 30 days. And the next thing you know, that was off to the races, and then we

 

Scott D Clary  16:10

were really good beer money. It’s great beer money at that point.

 

Ben Shapiro  16:13

I don’t drink that much beer anymore. So I mean, that’s like a lifetime supply of beer for me.

 

Scott D Clary  16:18

Did that did that also have the added effect of creating a nice inbound funnel for your business? Did you start to get leads from that as well for some of the consulting things or did you never really explore that?

 

Ben Shapiro  16:30

I pushed him away. When I went to the sponsorship model, and this is probably a mistake, but I put a lot of chips in the same basket of like, I’m doing this thing, I’m gonna go see if I could sell some sponsorships. And so I got some, you know, interest in consulting work. But mostly what I was doing, was starting to off board my consulting clients, saying I’m doing this podcast is taking half of my time, I had an anchor client that paid the bills that took half my time. And all the other relationships, I started to basically, put them on ice and the life of them, wrap them up, hand them off to do the podcast, figuring I would be able to monetize the podcast. And what I was trying to do originally was diversify my revenue streams. I’ll make $100,000 a year, if I’m lucky, as a podcast host, I’ll make $100,000 a year from this anchor client, I’ll split it 5050. And then the podcast revenue just outpaced all by consulting revenue. And so what I did was I transitioned the anchor client, to being a sponsor of the second podcast, I created the voices of search podcast. And then I had two daily shows, and, and was able to basically leverage the same monetization model, which was helping us monetize at a faster rate than the industry average.

 

Scott D Clary  17:53

I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode ExpressVPN. Now ExpressVPN is my preferred VPN of choice. I use it, I’ve had all my sponsors, but I actually have used ExpressVPN. For years now, in the online privacy, safety and security world, they are the best. And I think we can all get behind how important it is to have safety, security, and privacy online. Not all VPNs are built the same. Which is why when you’re choosing a VPN to protect yourself, you have to choose a VPN you trust. These are the reasons why I trust ExpressVPN. The first thing they don’t do is they do not log your activity online. Lots of cheap or free VPNs make money by advertising or selling your data to advertisers. ExpressVPN doesn’t do this. So they’ve developed a technology it’s called trusted server that makes their VPN servers incapable of storing any data at all. The second thing they do well is speed. So ExpressVPN uses something called liteway. This is a VPN protocol, they engineered to make it user speeds faster than ever. You’ve tried VPN before I’ve tried VPN before, where you try and load a site, you try and watch a movie, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work at all, or it doesn’t work well. ExpressVPN solves for this. So it feels like you’re browsing the internet without a VPN, even though you are. And lastly, it’s extremely user friendly to set up. So it’s not complicated. You load up the app, you press Connect and you’re online, you’re protected and you’re safe. So extremely user friendly, which is important for people that just want an easy browsing experience. That’s what a VPN should be. It shouldn’t be technical, I always recommend protecting yourself with a VPN ExpressVPN and success story we partnered up, they put together a special link expressvpn.com/success story. And if you go to expressvpn.com/success story, you’ll get an extra three months free on a one year package. So that’s Express vpn.com/success story. Three months free on a one year package. expressvpn.com/success story go visit express v pn.com/success story to learn more. So So to break that down how you structured your podcast format is extremely short form. So you’re 15, you’re 15 minutes, basically. And then you you take this long form episodes long form piece of content. And you’re not only using that as like for your content marketing, but you’re using that to create this daily show. I don’t think a lot of people that I know have actually adopted your strategy. I think a lot of people do more of the long form strategy to do like a show per week or something like that. Is this the way that you feel that all podcasts should be built out because like, I’m taking notes, and now I’m thinking through if you

 

20:35

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Scott D Clary  21:42

like how the hell do I turn my show into a daily show without doing daily hour long conversations with different people so curious about people starting to show? Is this the format they want to go for? Is this just because you have a certain niche you’re trying to serve?

 

Ben Shapiro  21:57

I think it depends on what you’re talking about and the audience that you’re trying to profile? trying to reach? I think it also depends on who the host is. Your shows great, and it’s longer form content than mine. Don’t change a thing. I love your show.

 

Scott D Clary  22:13

Hyper so but I know it works that it works. But I mean, for somebody starting out this is this is a conversation for somebody starting out, because then you have you know, you have the opposite end of the spectrum. You’re talking about this before the Joe Rogan’s at the three hours and like the, the the audience obviously, is there, too. So then the question becomes, so how do you understand your audience? How do you best serve them? This is a classic marketing problem now. And you figure it out? And I’m curious, because is it because your podcast is highly actionable, like sort of bytes of of things that they can do tomorrow? Versus I really want to get to know someone, so I’m gonna have a three hour conversation with them. And I like understand the inner workings of their mind. Maybe they maybe the business leader doesn’t care about that. Maybe that’s why it works.

 

Ben Shapiro  22:56

Yeah. So I, I always think of our podcast. And the reason why the format works is because the, the content is dense. And so for people to understand, you know, the ins and outs of the choosing a CD P that meets the needs of their business, there’s a lot of acronyms, there’s a lot of word salad flying around. And it’s hard to sort of comprehend all of it. So after 15 minutes, your brain is just like, I don’t get it, listening to something that’s a little bit more narrative driven, like, what’s the story? How did somebody go through the hurdles, I would consider your podcast to be more entertaining, because people are telling their life stories and how they became successful. And so I think that, you know, it’s easier for people to listen to that format of content. You know, it’s kind of like, well, what’s better? A short, or a long YouTube video or a short or a long blog posts? Well, it depends what you’re talking about, right? If we’re talking about math textbooks, you know, you need to give me one line at a time. And let me think about it. True, I’m not that smart. You know, some people can can digest that format quickly. So I do think that it all comes down to understanding who your customers are, who you’re trying to reach with the content, what the purpose of it is, and that should dictate the format for us. marketing technology can be complicated and dense. And after 15 minutes, I work in marketing technology, I don’t want to listen to it for more than 15 minutes. So, you know, it’s hard to to get more out of that sort of 15 minute timeframe, or at least that’s my philosophy, and why we’ve created our show. So what we do is we break down dense content into short form so people can digest it daily and start to build the overall understanding of the genre and the topic. We do it for marketing. We do it for organic growth, you know, SEO we’re slideshow our third show the revenue generator, which is you know, rev ops and combining marketing and product and sales. So you know, there’s a lot of complication in mastering these types of business mediums. And so we try to make it easy and digestible, and we keep it light and we keep it fun. But, you know, if I was having an interesting conversation with somebody that was meant to last an hour, and I cut it off after 15 minutes, I think the audience would be annoyed. So I think it’s depends on what you’re what you’re really trying to accomplish.

 

Scott D Clary  25:30

When you started this, you mentioned that you started cutting that podcast down in time, and you notice that you are getting sort of a longer listening session. So you know that you cut it down to 30 minutes to listen to 50%, cut it down to 15 minutes, listen to 90 to 100%, did you do any additional work to figure out who that audience was? Did you have like an audience avatar that you nailed down like this person is at this type of company, this type of industry, this type of job role,

 

Ben Shapiro  25:54

it’s really hard to figure out in podcasting, who your audience is. And there’s some data that we look at now to get a better proxy. At a high level, I think that our audience are marketers that are interested in learning about how to use technology to grow their business and improve their career. So inherently built into that we’re reaching marketers, and that’s kind of as profiled as we get. People have asked me, you know, what split of it is b2b versus b2c? I say we cover both of them, because we talk about both b2b and b2c, what industries are they in, we talk about all, you know, ecommerce, in media, and SAS, you know, so I don’t think that we have an industry that is very specific, you know, probably not a lot of manufacturing. But, you know, marketers or marketers or marketers, they’re,

 

Scott D Clary  26:43

you know, but I find it interesting, the only reason I bring that up is because you optimized your show a very different way than what I’ve heard JL do John Lee Dumas and entrepreneurs on fire. He says that he has such a specific custom audience avatar that he can tell you like their name, their hobbies, like when they drive to work, and how they listen to the show, I just think it’s interesting how different people approach like, I don’t know what the best way to call it the best, the best way to call it like a show optimization differently, you just,

 

Ben Shapiro  27:11

I could go into more detail about who a marketer is, right? He’s he, his audience, I would guess, is entrepreneurs. So I would guess that most entrepreneurs are, you know, 25 to 40, probably closer to 35, probably skew heavily male, hopefully, that’s changing more and more, you know, more hustle culture than chill work. So they’re getting to work on the earlier side, and not listen to the podcast late at night, you know, like, I could make up a profile, I’m guessing what his is, and, you know, for marketers, and I think that when I say marketers, I don’t mean entrepreneurs who are responsible for marketing, I mean, people that have careers in marketing and to hire marketers, you know, those are funded businesses to mature companies. Yeah. And so the profile skews a little older, we see that from our data in charitable, where like, our average age is in the 30s, or 40s, the average income, you know, we kind of see this pile of household income that centers around 100 $125,000, let’s call those marketing operators. So that’s your mid career 20s to early 30s. And then we get a big spike in $200,000 of income or more. So that’s probably your 35 to 45 year olds, you know, and so, like, I have personas and customer profiles, based on the data that we can get out of podcasting, but I can’t tell you what type of music they listen to, you know, like, I it doesn’t get that sophisticated. I’m not making up a profile based on what I think of marketers, but honestly, it’s the people that when I go to a marketing conference, yeah, I’m looking around at so you know, like, I know, they’re sent because I’ve been in the room with them.

 

Scott D Clary  29:00

So now you’re you’re what three shows now, I think you mentioned just

 

Ben Shapiro  29:04

launched our third show, actually. So

 

Scott D Clary  29:07

and I want to know your process because that’s, that’s incredibly fascinating to like, you have you have a you are the most processed driven operator, I think I’ve met outside of me because I also obsess over how to figure out how to everything that I do down the line all the way up to distribution, like it has to be like written out codify. Like, everything has to be perfect for me, so that I don’t lose my mind. But you’re taking it to an extreme because your your the, the amount of stuff that you produce is absolutely insane for and I know how big your team is, too. So break it down.

 

Ben Shapiro  29:38

So well. Here’s what happened. Right? We started the mahr tech podcast, we launched the voices search podcast, I built this sort of sponsorship model, but I was doing most of the work manually and so my team wasn’t very big. I had Todd who’s been working with me, you know, as a contractor since basically day one, and he started running The content operations that turned into Todd, you write the show notes, I don’t want to write the show notes. And then it was the the publishing getting stuff into Lipson and then rt 19. And then it was what we’re doing ads. So somebody’s got a flight yet. So I, I built all this documentation and training materials to hand it to Todd. And then he became too busy, because we were doing two shows, and we started doing other activities, that we said, hey, let’s go get freelancers and contractors around the world, take advantage of the economics of geography, and start documenting what we’re doing. So we can hand it to somebody else. And then let’s build automation. So we can let the team that we’re building know when they’re responsible for executing a given task. And so you know, it was kind of like, we did everything manually for a year. And then I started off boarding it to Todd. And then he started bringing on other people. And we realized that we needed business automation, we went from airtable, to monday.com, to sort of build in more automation rules. And then last year, we basically spent the entire year other than running the sponsorship models and producing the content, blowing out all of the automation. And so everything from which guests do we reach out to? How do we evaluate who the guests are? How do we invite them who’s sending the emails to make sure that they know when to show up and schedule the content? How do we publish the content, who’s doing the show notes, the quotes, publishing social media, who’s sending the stats to the guest after the downloads after the episodes have been published, so people know how many times they’ve been downloaded, like, all of those tasks are handled by a writer, a publisher, a communications manager, we have a list builder on staff. And then, you know, we basically hired duplicate teams. So we’ve got one team for voices search, one team for martec podcast, and we were able to duplicate the automation we were using, from one show to the next. And so at the beginning of this year, or the end of last year, I said, Hey, I’ve got this automation system on rails, I can spin out another show tomorrow. But the biggest problem that I have is my personal bandwidth. It takes a lot of energy and effort to be the host of the show, as I’m sure you know. Yeah. And I didn’t want to do a third one. But I wanted my business to keep growing because we needed more inventory to sell more sponsorships. And so what we did was we said, well, let’s go package our marketing automation or content automation, we’ll call it content as a service. And we will go sell to, you know, an enterprise, hey, we will create a daily podcast for you, you’re going to provide us with the hosts. So we’re going to build influence for someone in your organization. We’re going to manage the entire process, the host only has to show up for three hours a week to record two interviews and do some content planning. And so in three hours a week, you get a daily podcast with social media, a newsletter, and we have the ability to grab all of the data from who’s listening to the podcast and retarget it. And we can drive not only that awareness that it talked about before, but the demand generation as well. And so out of that now all of a sudden, we were looking around and saying hey, we’ve got a content as a service business. And then that’s what led to the recent rebrand was. It wasn’t really my consulting practice anymore. We didn’t need a name to describe what we were doing.

 

Scott D Clary  33:27

I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode factor. Now it’s a new year I’m busy. I always always always am running out of time. So when it comes to meals, I don’t want to wait in line at a grocery store. I don’t want to even have to drive if I don’t have to. And I definitely don’t want to spend a ton of time cooking in the kitchen. But now I don’t have to meal plan or prep thanks to factor factor makes it easy for me to eat clean 24/7 They deliver fresh, never frozen prepared meals that are so delicious, you won’t believe they’re actually good for you factor saves time by delivering chef crafted meals directly to my door eliminating the hassle of grocery shopping, meal prep and most importantly, eliminating the hassle of cleaning and have 27 meal options every single week. So I can guarantee you’re not going to be bored. They also offer tons of great nutritional additions. They have vegan and veggie meals, they have cold pressed juices, smoothies, energy bites, plant based bars, extra protein, veggie sides, and what really whatever you want to keep you fueled and focused all through the day if you want to try out factor they’ve set up a special code just for success story podcast listeners, so head over to go dot factor 70 five.com/plans That is go dot factor 70 five.com/plants use the code success 120 That’s going to give you $120 off your first five weeks of meals I remember that is code success 120 at go dot factor 70 five.com/plans for $120 off. Alright, so, no, I think the only thing that you have to worry about when you’re building this out is is talent is because copying and pasting the team you already have, so that you can scale it up.

 

Ben Shapiro  35:20

I don’t worry about scaling the contractors, right, there’s not that they’re not valuable. We put a lot of work into finding and training great contractors, but there’s a huge supply of wage workers. I don’t know what the appropriate way to say it. But you know, people that we’re paying on an hourly wage to do a repetitive task. So finding them and sorting through them, like we’ve built in the processes to understand who’s good, and give them the materials they need to be successful. What I worry about is me. And my ability to get out of the company’s way to scale, right, I need to go figure out how to scale monetization, which means I need to go find someone to run monetization for us, we need to go build out a customer success function. And so the the low wage, repetitive task workers, I think, are easy to find, and easy to scale. It’s the great when we go from three podcasts to 30. And there’s that middle level of someone that needs to go manage the operations and customer success and revenue generation and ad sales and marketing that tear of me running my organization. That’s what keeps me up at night. Like can I go find that talent and understand what makes them tick and onboard them well enough that they are hungry and motivated to stick around and see the mission all the way through? Like, I think that’s my biggest challenge, not just, Hey, we need another writer. The writers aren’t great, and they’re important, but I think we can find those at scale.

 

Scott D Clary  37:06

Just a to think through that problem. Are you trying to as you scale this out? Are you trying to hire like a jack of all trades generalists to fill that gap? Just a very experienced, like, in house entrepreneur that would take on the sales and the customer success and everything that you’re doing? Or would you just perhaps, model out your business differently, and then start hiring specific roles. So now you have a VP sales? And now you have a customer success person? And you’re going to turn into three people or something like that?

 

Ben Shapiro  37:42

Yeah, I mean, right now, I’m, I have five roles. Yes, carving out the individual roles, for somebody to run revenue monetization, like that’s one role. I think customer success is another one, right? There’s somebody who’s gonna go sell the content, as I figure out how we’re going to sell this content as a service business, package it up, make sure people understand what it is, there is somebody that is going to take the sponsors, once they’ve been, you know, signed the contract and make sure that they’re successful and run the campaigns for us. Those are two different roles. So I think that, you know, when I think about what my job is, it is, you know, the executive function. It is ad sales for two of the three shows, it is being the podcast host, I manage the operators, the operations, but there’s a middle level there. So it’s basically what I’m doing in operations, where I’m not in the day to day content publishing operations. There’s somebody else there that’s reporting up to me saying, you know, here’s what’s happening with operations. Here’s the problem that we’re having, how should we solve it? So basically, building in that management level, is the next challenge for me, as I’m moving now into the executive function and away from being sort of a primary operator.

 

Scott D Clary  39:01

I don’t think that I think that you’re concerned about it. But candidly, you already know that you know, that you have to do it to grow the business. So I would say that people that have grown businesses much larger than yours, into the, you know, the 10s of millions, like sometimes they still have a hard time extricating and removing themselves from the day to day operations. And then you have this micromanaging CEO, you’re very cognizant of it, that you’re very, very aware that you have to do that. So I don’t see that as a I don’t see that as a concern. I would say it’s more of a concern. If you weren’t aware of that, at this stage in the game,

 

Ben Shapiro  39:34

zoom, all those people are smarter, better looking and more educated than I am and so I have to go figure it out for myself. But you know, it’s not exactly a Ferrari I’m driving here.

 

Scott D Clary  39:45

It’s like honestly, though, but like knowing that you have to solve for that and it’s half the battle that you can like, really knowing that you solve for the

 

Ben Shapiro  39:52

look around but the whole business model is built on the idea that there is a I called it the economics of geography. But there is this huge talent pool. And we’ve already built out the documentation. And we’ve proven that we can scale hiring multiple teams. So hiring the people to staff, the teams are not the problem it is building in the quality assurance to manage that as an example, or kind of building the same processes and the other functions of the business, which is marketing, revenue, customer success,

 

Scott D Clary  40:25

are you are you like an upward person or top towel or a marketer higher? Is there something else that you record all

 

Ben Shapiro  40:32

over the all over the map, we’ve done up work free up is a good one of a handful of fibers. I know that there’s a couple other that we’ve kicked the tires on Upwork seems to be kind of the dominant player in the space and for all of the sort of technical challenges that it has, it’s got the largest pool of talent. Yeah, to me, that’s what really matters.

 

Scott D Clary  41:00

It’s good man. And when you do this, like, you have to staff up a whole lot because you have automations built in, but there’s also some people executing. So you’ve now you’ve figured out the ideal, ideal person to staff up and then you just sort of scale out all these different job positions. When you do the service or

 

Ben Shapiro  41:16

do documents, a handoff, I’m sure there’s a better acronym for that process. But you know, I took the things that I was doing, and I documented and handed it off. And then we automated the notifications of this task needs to be done. Now, when we hire, you know, there’s, let’s call it three people per podcast other than the host. So four people total. I forgot the editor, five people total for a show. You know, someone can do multiple shows, I’m the host for the voices of search podcast in the mahr tech Podcast. I’m not the host for the revenue generator podcast, our third show, right, but our writer is writing for two shows where basically, we what we’re figuring out is, each individual contractor can basically handle the workload for three shows. And so we already have to, let’s call them teams of the four people will exclude the host for now. So there’s two teams of four. So we have the capacity for six shows, we’re doing three, so I don’t have to hire anybody until we get to the sixth show. Now in reality, when we bring on more shows, we won’t have a team operate at capacity, we’ll bring on more staff. So we always have capacity to bring on new shows, and get people trained on shows that are already up and running, and have you know, process and other team members that can rely on but that’s basically the model that we’re building out now is we go find companies that want to build awareness and demand at the same time, we’ll help them build influence. So we’ll have a member of their team be our host, we’ve got the process already figured out. And then that helps us produce the content without taking a lot of work on their end. And the output of that is not only a daily podcast, so they’re out there nurturing, you know, being visible, staying in front building thought leadership, owning the conversation. But then we take the data that is spun out of the podcast, the social media, the newsletter, the website, and we build retargeting a direct response campaigns to feed into their funnel. And so that’s kind of the the other piece of the puzzle for us. It’s not just where a podcast production shop, there’s lots of it is that we can convert podcasts into actual like site visitors that have listened to content and know your brand.

 

Scott D Clary  43:48

Amazing. And I want to understand a little bit more of your mindset and your sort of your posture towards monetization, because obviously, this whole exercise and building out all these different shows is how you’re choosing to build your business. So the question I’m asking is, why would you not just grow that one show grow that audience? And then maybe it’s just easier to sell an advertising spot against that larger audience? Maybe it’s, I guess now, you know, actually, as you as you describe it, I kind of get it, because now you have opportunity to monetize and do like a b2b sales play. But then ultimately, so you can sell that way. But then you can also sell against each audience for each podcast, you can sell advertiser spots or sponsor slots as well.

 

Ben Shapiro  44:30

I’m going to answer the question you’re, you’re dancing around. Yes, please. Yes. Focusing on the martech podcasts that are presented well, and all of a sudden, you’re spinning out three shows why why do this? So a couple different reasons. One, there are only so many people interested in marketing and technology. So there is a ceiling on the size of that chat. We have not reached it, but it’s a niche audience. I don’t pretend that the martech podcast is going to be 10 million downloads a month show it’s not, right, it’s going to be multiple hundreds of 1000s of people listening to the show, hopefully at scale. Right now we’re 10s of 1000s of people listening to the show, we get 60 to 90,000 downloads a month, that’s 10s of 1000s of people. So we’ll fill a basketball arena, with people that are interested in marketing and technology. Maybe someday it’d be a football stadium. It’s not, you know, an entire state worth of people. For us to continue to expand, we either, you know, try to grow the martech industry that’s going to be challenging for us to do, we can pick off other verticals. That’s the model that we’ve chosen. So we went martec and SEO and the revenue generation industry, you know, we could do sales, we can do all sorts of other verticals and sort of build this podcast network that generally owns the b2b business influencer space, that’s probably where we’re gonna land with our podcast network. It’s easy for us because we built this automation to spin out new shows, get them to scale and get them to monetization quickly. So, my rationale for not focusing on the mahr tech podcast, I am focused on the MAR tech podcast, it’s the show we’re trying to grow the most of the fastest and the biggest of our properties. I just don’t pretend that the mahr tech podcast is going to be the Bill Simmons podcast or Joe Rogan, or, you know, heck, I’m not even pretending it’s going to be success stories with Scott Clary. You know,

 

Scott D Clary  46:45

it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be there Don’t Don’t you worry, you’re not, you’re not that far off. You can already good, you’re doing pretty good.

 

Ben Shapiro  46:52

But because we were able to monetize that 10x with the industry averages, I don’t need the martec podcast to be a step level function larger for it to monetize enough to merit me doing it. So I’d rather have each podcast make 150,000 to $500,000 and have 10 of them then to have one podcast that I hope maxes out and gets to a million dollars of revenue.

 

Scott D Clary  47:21

I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode ExpressVPN. Now, ExpressVPN is my preferred VPN of choice. I use it I’ve had all my sponsors, but I actually have used ExpressVPN. For years now, in the online privacy, safety and security world, they are the best. And I think we can all get behind how important it is to have safety, security and privacy online. Not all VPNs are built the same. Which is why when you’re choosing a VPN to protect yourself, you have to choose a VPN you trust. These are the reasons why I trust ExpressVPN. The first thing they don’t do is they do not log your activity online. Lots of cheap or free vpn make money by advertising or selling your data to advertisers. ExpressVPN doesn’t do this. So they’ve developed technologies called trusted server that makes their VPN servers incapable of storing any data at all. The second thing they do well is speed. So ExpressVPN uses something called liteway. This is a VPN protocol, they engineered to make it user speeds faster than ever. You’ve tried VPN before I’ve tried VPN before, where you try and load a site, you try and watch a movie, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work at all, or it doesn’t work well. ExpressVPN solves for this. So it feels like you’re browsing the internet without a VPN, even though you are. And lastly, it’s extremely user friendly to set up. So it’s not complicated. You load up the app, you press Connect and you’re online, you’re protected and you’re safe. So extremely user friendly, which is important for people that just want an easy browsing experience. That’s what a VPN shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be technical, I always recommend protecting yourself with a VPN ExpressVPN and success story we partnered up, they put together a special link expressvpn.com/success story. And if you go to expressvpn.com/success story, you’ll get an extra three months free on a one year package. So that’s Express vpn.com/success story. Three months free on a one year package. expressvpn.com/success story go visit expressvpn.com/success story to learn more. And how did you do that? How did you 10x The average advertiser spent? Because that’s also very interesting.

 

Ben Shapiro  49:37

The industry standard is selling podcast advertising, advertising on a CPM basis, which is great for the advertiser and even better for the agencies. But the problem with that is not good for me and you right as the podcaster as the publisher. I built the martec podcast which in its 11 month I met intend to hit 10,000 downloads. So there was, oh, I don’t know, three 4005 6000 people that were listening to it. So I’ve got a room of 5000 marketers that make $200,000 a year and an agency wants me to sell the advertising in inventory for that. For Am I doing it right? 250 bucks a month about? Maybe it’s 2500 bucks. Maybe I’m missing a zero. But either way I can’t. I like to yeah, like I say 35 podcast hosts does it take to figure out what the CPM is? Yeah, moral of the story is, it’s not enough to pay San Francisco rent. So I’m spending half of my time and if it’s 2500 bucks a month, I’m making $30,000 a year from my podcast. I can’t do that with half my time. Now I’m making $60,000 a year with all of my time, I need multiple six figures to be able to afford living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m not doing this project for that amount of money. So how do I figure out how to scale the monetization without relying on, you know, sort of the industry standard of agencies coming to podcast and saying I want to buy your inventory on the cheap. They have to figure out other ways to provide value and go direct to the people that are interested in leveraging your audience. And so what we did was, we got five products, one advertorial content. We invite the people that are sponsoring our podcasts to be guests on the show. And we are very upfront about hey, this person is a sponsor of the podcast, but guess what, we’re not doing a sales pitch. We are just giving them more airtime to build thought leadership and expertise. So an advertorial sponsor gets five episodes that are 515 minutes each, instead of an invited guest who gets to now we’ve got a week’s worth of thematic content. So the success stories week on the MAR tech podcast with Scott Clary, a sponsor of the mahr tech podcast. Once we have that piece of advertorial content, we can do content syndication. So we take the piece of content and we syndicate it outside of our existing audience. So we are marketing that content, not just to our existing audience, but we’re going out and finding people that look like our listeners. And we’re saying, here’s a great piece of content, you should listen to it, it’s a win win for both parties, they get additional exposure, they’re paying for our marketing, because we’re going and finding people outside of our audience. Third, the audio advertising, right, everybody kind of knows, hopefully knows how this medium works, you put an ad into a podcast and people pay you for it. We sell on a weekly or a monthly basis. And it’s a fixed flat fee. It’s not based on the number of impressions that we serve, we have a benchmark, we serve 75 to 125,000 impressions a month. And we charge, I don’t remember what the rate is now 8000 bucks a month or something like that. The last piece is what differentiates us. So we have the ability to suck the data out of the podcasts, the IP address gets resolved into a mobile app ID which allows us to target the households that are listening to a given piece of content that are exposed to a given ad or just have listened to our show as a whole. And so because we can figure out who’s listening to our content, we can do two things. One GDPR compliant, CCPA compliant, we can share access to the audiences through social media channels. So I could take my first party data, the people that are listening to my podcast, I could put it into Facebook, create an audience, and I can share that audience with the sponsor of the podcast, because they are a contributor in creating the content. So they’re marketing to their audience as well, because they are a creator of the content. So we can share access, which means that the people that are our sponsors are able to retarget the people that were exposed to their ads or listen to their content. And then the flipside, we can also create look alike audiences from the people who listen to the content, and then do direct response marketing that drives traffic, from our listeners through Facebook, through Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, whatever it is, we create, basically direct response campaigns that use the seed data that we’ve got from the podcast listeners to drive traffic to the funnel and an offer from our sponsors. long winded way of saying we’re just not putting up an ad and saying I hope people heard you and I hope they get to your website because that’s what the CPM model works out to be. You want to buy some airtime. I’ll talk about you for 30 seconds. Thanks, goodbye. We are building the story sharing the content, advertising a specific offer to build awareness, giving people access to promote content and services to the people that heard their content. And we’re taking that offer that our sponsors are putting together and we are putting it in front of not only the people that heard it, but a look alike audience to drive traffic and adoption of that offer. So that instead of being 2500 bucks is a 10 to $20,000 a month sponsorship, which is why we’re 10x, the average podcast in terms of monetization.

 

Scott D Clary  55:14

Now, how did you scale that sales effort? Because now that’s the offer. But you still have to go outbound. So tips for people that say they do have an offer, they probably won’t, because complex is yours day one. But say they still want to skip the middleman, skip the broker or the agency, and they want to go to their clients. What’s your sales strategy? Are you using something like an Apollo or something like that? Or are you just hiring outsourced sales reps? It’s

 

Ben Shapiro  55:38

actually something that we are in the midst of renovating. So when we started doing this, four years ago, we went through the I mean, we’re the mahr tech podcast. So we went and looked at Scott breakers List of 8000 mahr tech companies, and we said, we’re going to email 10 of these people who are running the marketing department at these companies introducing ourselves a week. And we’re four years in, and we’re almost at the end of that list, because it’s an 8000 company list at this point. And so it has not been very scientific in terms of who we’re reaching out to. Now, the email copy is pretty good. Our response rates are good. We built lots of templates. So I don’t have to do a lot of heavy lifting when people respond. So 90% of the time when somebody responds to the templatized email, I have a templatized response that answers their question. And so that means I’m able to document process and off board most of that work. So you know, somebody else is sending the initial outreach campaigns. It’s a four email drip sequence. When the responses come back, I’ve got a VA that is sending the templatized response. And if they don’t understand what the person’s asking, or if they aren’t sure, we don’t have the right template. Then it goes into my inbox, and I’m writing a manual response. So that’s kind of how we

 

Scott D Clary  57:01

scale low tech, you have a very low tech sales, sales strategy. You’re not constantly prospecting, you’re going like your your response rate tie. You’re not running response, outbound on autopilot, ongoing.

 

Ben Shapiro  57:16

It’s also not great. Right now, it’s deteriorated over the years where it was a really good, well targeted, you know, cutting edge system four years ago. And we’ve been kind of running the playbook. And honestly, what happened was, we’re less reliant on finding individual sponsors. So let’s use round numbers here. Let’s say that the average sponsorship is a $10,000. Sponsorship. Instead of looking for 12 $10,000 sponsorships, we have two ad spots. There’s the presenting sponsorship, which will sell for, you know, $150,000. And that’s half of the inventory. It’s the first placement in every podcast. These are not the actual numbers. I’m just trying to use round numbers. And then there’s the 12 $10,000.10 to $20,000 sponsorships that we’re selling. And so because we’ve got this presenting sponsorship relationship, HubSpot Podcast Network, remember for the martec podcast, we had one for the voices, a search podcast for years. And then the revenue generator podcast, the company that’s providing us with the host lean data is the presenting sponsor of the podcast. And so basically, we’re able to make the $100,000 checks for these presenting sponsor relationships. And then it takes the pressure off of finding 1210 to $20,000 sponsorship. So honestly, we’ve let our sponsorship model the marketing campaign model deteriorate a little because we’ve been cultivating these sponsorship relationships, and building out the content as a service business so we can find more $100,000 checks, and not have to rely on 10 to $20,000 checks.

 

Scott D Clary  59:04

So you’ve built this, you’ve built this incredible network. Now, where do you want to take it going forward? Do you want to build out other mediums that you can eventually sell as part of this package? Would you go into other formats? That aren’t podcasts? Or is this something that you just want to scale up and have 20 different podcasts?

 

Ben Shapiro  59:24

I think that the there’s vertical and horizontal expansion on the horizon for us, I think the model is we find a presenting sponsor in a in a vertical that we were not already working and so we’ll go find a somebody who wants to own the sales tech podcast instead of the mahr tech podcast. And that’s $100,000 a year payment. Right. So we’re already monetizing the podcast from day one, because we’re going to build awareness for that company and build data for them to do demand gen. That gives us the excess inventory. to then go sell the secondary sponsorships, the marketing campaign the monthly sponsorship. So we make $100,000 $150,000 a year from the presenting sponsorship. And then it opens up somewhere between 120 to $250,000 of inventory that we can sell once that show has scaled. So now we’re looking at a $500,000. Annual, potentially, let’s call it $300,000 annual revenue opportunity for that show. That to me is the vertical the vertical expansion, the horizontal expansion is what we’re building out newsletters for each individual property. And with newsletters, we can go and say, Hey, do you want to be associated with the newsletter, give us $500 a month, and we’ll splash your logo on the newsletter. And you can do a piece of advertorial content on the podcast. And so now we’re building in another vehicle where there’s room for the $500, check the $10,000, check on the $100,000 check. And so there’s different, you know, properties, all that create data that and to me, that’s the whole idea is what are the different channels that you can use, that helped build awareness that we can gather data from to help support the overall mission of connecting brands, with creators that reach their audience? So, you know, I think that there’s expansion, not just in terms of which verticals are we taking? But also which mediums are we using to reach the audience?

 

Scott D Clary  1:01:33

And and you’re so entrenched in this industry. I’m curious, do you see more businesses turning to mediums like podcasting, as a way to connect with their audiences? Do you feel like this is the future of marketing?

 

Ben Shapiro  1:01:47

I think the future of marketing is bridging the gap between the what are traditionally the awareness driving marketing channels, podcasting is obviously new, and growing incredibly quickly. But you know, YouTube or video streaming on demand, even the old stuff, the TV, the radio, the stuff that you don’t normally, like, we’re going to get you in front of this large audience. Hopefully, it’s targeted, but basically being able to capture the data that comes out of all of those channels and use it to boost and target your performance marketing. So you get this connection between? Did you hear about my company? Do you think we’re smart, too, here’s the offer the company has. So to me, that’s really the future, that’s what our business is centered on, is making the connection between both of these channels, the awareness, driving channels, and the demand gen channels, I think that smart marketers are going to be really good at tying those two things together, as opposed to them living in silos.

 

Scott D Clary  1:02:52

Amazing. Okay. We’ve, we’ve absolutely dissected, how you’ve built your business. So I appreciate that, um, that was really, that was really insightful. And I do hope that some marketers can take some inspiration and how you can marry the two because I really do love the way that you have tied together the awareness, plus the performance, because I don’t really think I’ve ever seen somebody do it at the level that you’re doing it at, and then turning it into an actual service. To be quite honest, I’ve never really seen it that granular. I feel like even when I speak to marketers, they generally focus on performance. And then after the performance metrics are sort of dialed in, then they can focus on more of the fun stuff. But what you’re doing is effectively showing that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be both simultaneously. And that’s that’s essentially what you’re building for companies.

 

Ben Shapiro  1:03:47

It goes back to what we were talking about at the beginning of our conversation, you know, I screwed up because I just focused on the demand gen. At that role that to my last real job. Marketing is both an art and a science. Right? So you need to understand all the warm fuzzies of who my customers are, what are their pain points, you know, how do I articulate that I can solve their pain, but having them be aware of it is not enough, you need to put the vehicles to capture their attention and interest and engagement. And that’s not only building the awareness, but the demand gen hooks as well. So, you know, there’s multiple ways to skin a cat. We were trying to take advantage of sort of this new media industry and bridge the gap between the two of those

 

Scott D Clary  1:04:35

if people want to Well, first of all two things. So I’m going to do a couple rapid fire questions just to close it out. But fortunately, yeah, they’re not they’re not that stressful. I appreciate that. You think that I grill guests and give them the third degree on this but it’s they’re not that bad. So closing thoughts on on where you want to take, like where you actually want to take here everything Um, where do you want to take in the future? What do you what do you hope to accomplish? If you were going to look back on your life in 30 years from now? What impact do you want to have on the world of marketing? Business tech? And then there’s a two part question which everybody hates, but and then all your socials, your website, all that. So impact on the on the world of marketing when you’re when you’re done and gone in the future. And then where can people reach you?

 

Ben Shapiro  1:05:26

Okay. When I was writing the website, after I left my last job, I sat down and one of the first lines of copy was are you ready to give your brand voice and I was just writing some bullshit copy, excuse my language to try to get people to think I was smart and creative. But that’s really become the central thesis of my career is I want to help give brands their voice. And that’s not just soulless companies, talking about how they’re going to sell their products or services, it is highlighting the people that work in organizations, and helping them understand what their motivation is and connect with their prospects. So my goal is to help brands cultivate their voice. The second question was just how to get in touch with me

 

Scott D Clary  1:06:19

how to get in touch. I know. Screws people know, the second part was just how do we get in touch with you all your socials all your website.

 

Ben Shapiro  1:06:29

We just relaunched or we just launched this week, I hear everything.com. And for the record, it’s H E AR, not h iari. So I hear everything.com, which is the best way that I can articulate what my company does in a visual format. We’ve got three podcasts going out martec pod.com, for the martech podcast voices of search.com for the SEO community and the revenue generator podcast, which is Rev Gen pod.com. There’s a million different social handles and everything. And you could probably find me under Benji shabby, and JSA. Don’t

 

Scott D Clary  1:07:09

look up, don’t look up Benjamin Shapiro, you’re not gonna

 

Ben Shapiro  1:07:14

we’re not gonna get into politics right now. But I’m not him.

 

Scott D Clary  1:07:19

All right, let’s do a couple of rapid fire. And obviously, everything else will be linked up in the show notes.

 

Ben Shapiro  1:07:23

I thought those were the rapid fire questions.

 

Scott D Clary  1:07:25

Those are not rapid fire. Those are not rapid fire. All right, well, the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your personal or professional life, what was it? How did you overcome it?

 

Ben Shapiro  1:07:36

Biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome in my personal and professional life, or professional. I mean, that’s going deep. Um, I was pretty butthurt after leaving the last job. And and I think that, professionally speaking, that was the hardest thing that I had to deal with the record, I’d worked for about a decade trying to get this job and then it didn’t work out. And so I needed to course correct and do my soul searching. So doubling down on, I’m just going to do the things that I do well, and focus on my inherent skills without ignoring the things that I need to develop. But, you know, be who you are, was probably what got me through that tough phase. And fortunately, at the same time, my girlfriend at the time was, you know, on the verge of becoming my fiancee and is now my wife. And so, you know, I had a good support system, and my family and everything there that helped me get through the challenging times. But we all go through our stuff, just be yourself. And that’s my advice.

 

Scott D Clary  1:08:44

If you had to pick one person, obviously, there’s been many, but pick one person has had an incredible impact on your life. Who was that person?

 

Ben Shapiro  1:08:51

What did they teach you? I never had to look for a role model. Because I always had my dad and my mom as well. But, you know, my dad and I are similar in sort of how we think about and approach life. And so, and it’s funny, I think about this now that I am a dad and I have two young boys. And so being a good role model. There’s no one thing that my dad taught me. It’s the whole picture of how to be a good person how to be a match. And so that’s the easy one to answer of, like, who’s my role model and I didn’t have to look beyond you know, the front door to find him. And so, being a good parent is something that we all hopefully aspire to.

 

Scott D Clary  1:09:38

Very good. If you had to pick a book or podcast, obviously, none of yours, but another book or podcast that’s impacted you, but was it?

 

Ben Shapiro  1:09:47

Um I’ll give you two books, which is funny because I have a podcast I listened to most stuff but two books that really had a profound impact on me Hmm. And of course, I’m gonna blank on their name. John Warrillow is the host of Built to Sell radio, which is a podcast. I think the book was called Built to Sell

 

Scott D Clary  1:10:13

it, he wrote a book, is it? Yeah, it is. It’s built to sell as well. It’s his book, he’s got a couple of books. And I think

 

Ben Shapiro  1:10:19

the one that really made an impact on me was built to sell. And that was basically about standardization and building a process. And it was in a narrative format. So from a business perspective, that was really impactful for me. And I just, I think he’s a great guy, and an incredible podcast host, a good writer. So I have a lot of respect for John Warlow. Born to Run is a book about a tribe in Mexico, that are the fastest runners in the world. And basically, they run without shoes. And it basically goes into the dynamics and sort of the the reason why people run and how we were able to survive, and I thought that was a fascinating book, it was good, because I’m terribly slow, but enjoy running. And so that was actually an incredible read. And also something I’m passionate about as well.

 

Scott D Clary  1:11:14

Amazing. If you can tell your 20

 

Ben Shapiro  1:11:18

Let’s throw that one in there as well.

 

Scott D Clary  1:11:20

Why not? Why not? That doesn’t count? No, those are both good. Those are I just Googled border Born to Run to find the find the book and I got the Bruce Springsteen song, so I got to but I’ll have to find the book because those are two books that have never been have never been brought up on this show before so I always like when I like you get all the bases you get all the basics you get all the all the sales books, all the marketing books, all the all the lean startup to atomic habits, those are all the boring cliches but I love when the

 

Ben Shapiro  1:11:53

other guests are boring, but those seem like boring answers. They are boring

 

Scott D Clary  1:11:56

answers. I like books and when you tell me them, like five minutes after you tell me that we’re gonna go get them on Amazon and that into the shelf.

 

Ben Shapiro  1:12:03

But those are those are in audiobook format, which is probably why they stuck in my head so much because I read them and then I went back and listen to the audio books.

 

Scott D Clary  1:12:10

Very good. If you could tell your 20 year old self one thing what would

 

Ben Shapiro  1:12:15

it be? Don’t drink so much beer, you’re going to be fat when you hit 40 good advice and relaxed you’ll be fine.

 

Scott D Clary  1:12:26

And then last question, what does success mean to you?

 

Ben Shapiro  1:12:33

What does success mean to me I think being successful is a multi faceted prospect it is being happy doing what you’re doing. helping the people around you achieve what their goals are monetary success, you know making a positive impact on the people that you influence and work with. So I don’t know if there’s one thing that I think about successful thing about makes someone successful but it’s more it’s like Jerry Maguire the the the football player and Jerry Maguire talked about the QUAM it’s the whole package. You know being a success is being happy. Being excited when you wake up to go do your job, getting credit for it feeling like you’re validated and you can do the things that you want to do.

 

1:13:39

Hi, my name is Elliot Smith. I host a podcast in the blue wire network and we are fundraising to help child refugees from the war in Ukraine. Through Save the Children’s emergency fund we can make a big difference for these needy children. Please help us you can go to our website Arsenal vision podcast.com And click charity that will take you to our just giving page and when you donate you’re even eligible to win some prizes. Please help us raise money for these needy children at Arsenal vision podcast.com forward slash give let’s show with the blue wire network family can do

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