Stephen: Hey guys. Welcome back to another episode of the Digital Masters Podcast. Today we have Justin Brown from the Motion Agency, and we’re going to be talking about the hidden benefits and the ROI of podcasting, how to be a good podcast host, how to make a successful show, and a little bit about Clubhouse, the new audio-based social media platform, and some cool ideas that you might think about if you want to use it yourself.
All right, let’s get into it. What’s going on, Justin?
Justin: Hey, Stephen, how are you doing?
Stephen: Awesome, man. Thanks for being on the show today. I really appreciate it.
Justin: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Stephen: Yeah, for sure. I was doing a little bit of research on you. Just before the show — I saw this actually a little bit earlier too — I was looking at your LinkedIn profile and I saw the picture of you and Gary V.
So I’m curious, what the story is behind that snapshot there.
Justin: Yeah. On the side, I collect high-end sports cards and so does Gary. He and I have gone back and forth quite a few times talking about it. And we actually did a show together on a YouTube channel that I’ve since shut down. I got Gary on there. I had more high profile guests.
I decided it was taking too much of my time. I have a business to run but it was fun. Especially when COVID hit there was a big boom in the sports card game, which for me was great. Cause I had already been doing it. And there was also a boom in the podcast game. And so I picked. I still do that stuff on the side. It’s just a fun hobby.
But yeah, that’s how Gary and I know each other. It’s so interesting that you saw that.
Stephen: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Yeah. I was into baseball cards a while, way back when I was a kid too, back in ‘88 and ‘89, when it was a boom, I think. And then right after that, it all crashed.
Yeah. I remember going to the store and buying all these air packs and I remember they were going for outrageous amounts. And then It fell two or three months later. They were worthless.
Justin: Yeah. Couldn’t give them away then. It’s interesting.
Now everyone from that generation is having kids and they’re re-exploring the stuff with their kids. And I’ve been a nerd on the side, continuing to do it myself, no kids. But it’s nice that some other people happen to share that passion. And for me, I always have my hands in sports any way that I can.
It’s actually where I got my start. Doing a kind of media, if you will. In college I ran a sports talk show as part of the college radio station. So it is funny how life comes full circle. Here I am 10 years later owning a podcast company, continuing to do media. So yeah, I still have my hands in sports any way that I can.
Stephen: Yeah, that’s awesome, man. I remember when I was a kid the prize possession was the Honus Wagner. I think it was the most valuable baseball card out, out there.
Justin: The T206. It’s probably a $10 to $20 million card now.
Stephen: Wow. Cool man. So I was talking to your partner Tristan last week. Your business partner.
I was telling him it’s a real testament to podcasting, because the way I got introduced to you was I ran across a post from Nick Bennett. Then I reached out to him and I said, I noticed that you guys had a really creative video style going on with this clip.
And I was , man, how do you, first of all, nice to meet you. But I was , “Hey, who’s helping you out with your podcast?” Then he introduced me to you. It’s really interesting how those conversations go.
Justin: Yeah, for sure. Podcasting, when we started doing it in 2019, we weren’t a podcast agency at the time.
We were wanting to be able to have some sort of way to say that we had our finger on the pulse of the industry, which for us was B2B technology. People don’t want to listen to a bunch of agency owners, necessarily, always talking and giving their spiel, which is probably why you have me on here.
It’s not , “The Stephen Pope Show.” You bring on other folks to come and talk. And so when we launched our podcasts, that was the goal. But what we found was it gave us a voice. It gave us the opportunity to have something to say that people cared about and to connect them with people.
I know that account-based podcasting has really become a thing. But I think there’s so much more to it than trying to land a new account with your podcast. It’s getting to know the people in your space. Having something to talk about, having content to put out there that people care about and actually want to engage with.
Yeah, I completely agree. It’s such a phenomenal way to get to know people and learn from each other.
Stephen: Yeah. The thing is that sometimes I’m trying to encourage people that are really outside of that kind of space altogether.
I feel like the startup world knows this stuff a little bit better. But I’m often talking to professional service firms, other agencies, and consultants. Some of this stuff is really foreign to them. They always wonder, “Oh, how am I going to get subscribers and all this stuff?”
And it’s not even necessarily about that. That could be the long tail kind of advantage. Maybe that does happen. And maybe that is something you focus on, but there are so many different ways of creating conversations.
You learn about your customers. I can have somebody on and interview them. You learn a lot about your customers or, I’ve already learned a lot from you guys. I’ve literally taken things that you guys have said and adopted them. So I appreciate that. There’s so many different things that you get from it.
Justin: Yeah. And when it comes to professional services companies, sorry to cut you off there, Stephen, but I definitely have an opinion there when it comes to professional services companies. I think that there’s a really hard avenue of demonstrating how you’re different.
Financial services companies are a great example. Every single one of them is telling you they’re going to manage your money well, or whatever their spiel is. And what’s our difference? Our difference is our people. Sure. I believe you have the best people, just like every one of your competitors says that they have the best people.
But when you launch a thought leadership program, like a podcast, you actually demonstrate that. And that’s why we wanted to launch our podcast initially. It was to show that Tristan and I felt like we had something to offer to the B2B tech community. But if we didn’t have this podcast, there was no way for us to get it out there, that, “Hey, check me out, talking to the COO and being able to speak their language and have this engaging conversation.”
Wouldn’t you want it? To work with someone like me? Instead of me creating a 90-second video about my company saying how different Motion is, and everyone’s, “Yeah, you’re different from all the guys that all say you’re different,” versus a technology solution that solves a problem.
It’s easy to say, “Here’s an issue. Here’s how my technology solves it. Here’s my unique key differentiator with professional services.” It’s a lot harder to show that you’re different. And so for us, our podcast, was a way for us to have a voice and to show people, “Hey, you want to know how I’m different? It goes to my podcast, it goes to the way that I interact with the CMOs that are in your space. I talk to them like they’re my peers.”
And so for us, that was a big differentiator. Then because of that, we fell in love with the space and ended up transitioning our entire business to being a podcast agency.
But when we started a podcast, it had nothing to do with that. It was to show that in a very saturated market, in the landscape of professional services companies providing, for us, marketing services to B2B tech and SaaS companies, the podcast gave us a way to differentiate as a services business.
Stephen: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And you’re so right. Cause I talk to a lot of professional service firms, even strangely enough, a lot of CPAs and financial advisors, and you’re right. They all say the same thing. It’s, “We manage your money. We help you find your dream life,” or whatever it is.
And this is the way that I’m using it for myself. This is the way that I’ve been able to look a lot different. Because even when I’m in some of the traditional networking groups, as soon as they hear that I’m doing this, it really cuts through the noise. They want to know about it.
They’re interested in it. Even in the old traditional ways, it makes you look a lot different. So, cool.
So this is something I was curious about that maybe you could help me out on, cause I’m fairly new. And then other people that are thinking about getting into podcasting, you guys have done 300 plus shows?
What do you think goes into making a good podcast host?
Justin: Yeah. I think that there’s a variety of things. I think that being able to speak the same language as your guests, but if we take a step back… and it’s funny, cause Tristan did this too, but I haven’t heard his episode yet…
So I hope that I’m not saying all the same things he did.
Stephen: Yeah, I’m purposely asking different questions.
Justin: Okay, good. I think what it comes down to is, if we’re talking about a podcast for business, a host understands how to help the audience. Stephen, I can already tell you’re doing a good job as a host, but if I wanted to go listen to Adam Sandler, get interviewed by Jason Bateman, that’s going to beat this interview most likely in terms of entertainment value. So if people are going to look to laugh and cry and all those other things, or be shocked from a Dateline podcast that’s a different thing that they’ll take away from their podcast.
But when they’re going for a business podcast, a good host has the ability to take the subject matter they’re talking about and help the audience to get better at their job. My hope is that if somebody…for you as the host, and this is my kind of role as the guest, I hope that somebody listens to this podcast and they’re able to walk away from it, having gained something and learned something.
And I think the host has the ability to connect with the guest and then to extract that kind of information so that their audience is able to gain something out of the episode.
Because I’ll tell you this, from my perspective, there’s nothing worse than listening to a business podcast for 30 minutes, even if I’m listening to it on 1.5 X, then walking away not feeling I’ve learned anything.
It’s a conversation between two buddies and they talked about that time that they went to that conference in 2019, weren’t those times great! And I didn’t really, oh sure maybe they had a few laughs or whatever, but I didn’t walk away having learned anything from that.
And for me, I think that is a failed execution on a business podcast by the host to not give their audience something to walk away with. So I think what makes a good host is the understanding that these people are here for a reason. And I need to make sure that I give them the information that they came for.
Stephen: Yeah. That’s interesting. And when I think back to when I started to do my show, I did think about some of these things strategically. A lot of the time people start by asking the guests exactly what they do. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong, but I purposely said, okay, my audience mostly cares about getting information.
So I’m going to ask the guests what they do, but I’m going to do that near the end.
Justin: You don’t want to know where I started my career and how I worked my way up the ladder and started my own business. I’m with you a hundred percent. And what I tell my clients to do in that situation is if you do really want to tee up the conversation, have someone tell you their background in 60 seconds or less.
Let’s not spend seven minutes hearing someone’s background. How does that help your audience? And I think if you’re always focusing on that, focusing on helping your audience, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be funny. It doesn’t mean you can’t have good rapport. Tell jokes, talk about stories that make you very vulnerable.
I think all those things are welcome. Add them in as much as you can. But it’s also hard to replicate funny. It’s hard to replicate clever. I think what we’re going for is educational material that you can listen to in an audio format.
Stephen: It’s fun to listen to. Yeah, exactly. And one of the things that I’ve found for myself, and I’d be interested in your take on this too, is that it’s hard sometimes because I have to monitor a few different things as I do this.
I don’t have a producer with me that’s doing everything, but you have to stay in the moment and listen to what the person’s saying. And roll with it. You have a direction, but you can’t push it too fast and you have to stay engaged and really be a good listener.
And I take the curious approach. I brought you on here to learn from you. And then hopefully I can channel that into the audience.
Yeah, for sure.
And the other thing I realized too, is you have to get pretty good at being able to pronounce people’s names because…
Justin: Hopefully I’m an easy one for ya.
Stephen: You’re easy. I actually, I had to call Tristan and ask, “Hey, am I saying your name right?”
I was watching one of your podcasts and there were a couple of names in there I saw that were difficult for me, that’s actually hard because I’m dyslexic.
So sometimes when I look at people’s names, I can’t pull it right out.
Justin: I’m not dyslexic and trust me, I’ve had my struggles. It is embarrassing. Sometimes I’ve had a couple where I had to do my intro three times. “I’m sorry.” And they’re, “No, don’t worry about it.”
Stephen: Now I’m getting more worried about it!
Yeah. It’s funny, when you go through those, the second and third introduction, you start to feel the pressure. I was actually watching a live podcast the other day, and the host introduced the person and he got the whole profession wrong and what the guy was doing.
And it was interesting to watch too, because he actually recovered from it pretty well. And the guests took it pretty well. And I think it was kinda uncomfortable even for the listener when nobody was around for a second.
But I did kinda glean something from that too. And then watching them resolve that live, which was cool.
You’re in charge of customer success at sales and customer success at Motion Agency. So tell me a little bit about what customer success is. I feel the things that you’re making sure are successful are about improving the show and making sure that they’re getting what they want.
So maybe dig into that a little bit and tell us what you’re doing there. And then maybe we can learn a little bit about how to make a successful show.
Justin: Yeah, for sure. So I basically deal with customers from start to finish, which is never… Hopefully, finished is never, because the show doesn’t have to end.
Our clients have launched shows with us and just continue doing them, which has been awesome for us. And so what customer success looks like for us is, we talk to our clients once a week. And that’s really important to us. I don’t work on a hundred shows. I also don’t work on five shows.
I have a handful of clients in the double digits that I work with. I spend half an hour a week working on their show with them one-to-one or one-to-many, if they have three or four people from their team that are on the call. What we’re doing with our clients, and our belief is…you mentioned how you saw a video of ours, right?
Our belief is that just because a podcast is this audio medium, that’s not how every person consumes content. I’ll tell you right now that Tristan listens to more podcasts than I do. That’s my business partner for anyone who doesn’t know. He’s been on this show also. But he listens to more podcasts than I do.
He enjoys that medium of listening more than I do. I think I enjoy probably talking more than he does. So what you want to do with your show is make sure that you are connecting with people in the way that they like to consume content.
If you’re only putting out audio, then you’re missing out on people who consume video content. You’re missing out on people who like to read. Because those people do exist.
Some people want to scroll their phone and they don’t want to throw in earbuds and they don’t even have earbuds. When they sit on the couch with their wife, and I’m now I’m talking about personal experience, we’re watching The Bachelor together. I’m not going to sit there and watch The Bachelor with my 100% full attention.
But I’m also not going to throw in headphones and listen to a podcast while we’re watching The Bachelor. So I want to scroll my phone and read something. There’s still great written content that can come out of your podcast.
If you spend 40 minutes with somebody, you can write a killer article. That’s 1500 to 2000 words based on that conversation. What our firm does is make sure that all of that content is getting pushed out, that our clients enjoy the content that we’re pushing out.
But then also that their show is doing exactly what I said up front, which is providing good material for their audience. And making sure that we keep our eye on the prize, if you will, of who’s the audience and how are we continually providing them materials that are helping them to get better at what they do on a daily basis? And, all of our clients are B2B technology companies.
So, making sure to always look at their audience as their ideal customer profile. That’s who they want listening to their show. And so making sure that we’re putting out content that connects with those people, that it resonates and helps them to get better at what they do.
Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense.
One piece of feedback I got which I wasn’t sure about… I started transcribing the podcasts as well, and using Descript. I know you guys use that too. When I first did it, I wondered if this was going to be effective. Would people like it?
It actually got quite a few people that reached out to me. And they were, “Hey, that’s cool that you can transcribe it,” because they said they skimmed through it. And they didn’t have to listen for however long it went. My podcasts go from 20 minutes to 40 minutes sometimes. They liked that they could skim through it and find the information that they liked.
And for me, I couldn’t imagine doing that. But to your point, everybody consumes things differently.
Justin: Yeah. So we provide three types of written assets to our clients. We provide the transcripts, which are the raw, this is what was said. We provide show notes, which are 500 to a thousand words that are actually written in a narrative style.
Here’s some of the stuff that went on. These two talked about this. They hit on these topics and here’s three key takeaways. Here’s a profile on the guest. And then we do the deeper dive feature articles. And those are 1500 to 2000 words. And what you’re getting there is also the side effect of some SEO juice out of that long form written content.
We rank for a ton of stuff. We rank for stuff for our clients and for people who have come on our show because we write so much. And so having those things in place and the whole thing with the podcast, one of the big reasons that we fell in love with it, not only the ability to have a voice, but also the ability to do a lot with a little as a small agency.
Marketing has always been hard for us. And Steve, I’m sure you and your clients can attest to this as well. When you don’t have funding, when you don’t have a five person marketing team, and a lot of times you’re two owners or you’re a staff of 10 or less. And then you have to do marketing initiatives?
What we found was the podcast allowed you to do a lot of different things. You can look mighty when you’re small, where you have written content, you have video content, you have audio content. People are, wow, how’s this small company or this small marketing team putting out so much, they’re putting out stuff every day, this is nuts!
And the answer is because you’re repurposing that content out of this episode, really wringing it out until it’s, okay, we can’t do anything more with this episode. Let’s go on to the next one.
Stephen: Yeah, totally. Yeah. And that’s one of the main reasons why I started it too.
Cause I was posting on LinkedIn every day and basically writing unique posts every time. And I enjoyed that. And I was getting results from that. But then at the same time, I was, man, this is a lot. So how could I come up with a concept?
And then, truthfully, it wasn’t my idea. I was looking at other people. I think I actually got the idea from Chris Walker and I actually have him on my show tomorrow, which is cool. But yeah, I was, man, you can do a podcast and you don’t even have to come up with the content.
When you’re doing a webinar or a workshop or that stuff, those have advantages too, because they have this real focus, something that you’re going to walk away with. With a podcast, you’re not always going to be able to deliver the type of content that somebody wants every single time.
But yeah, now I can produce more content than a lot of big companies are. And I’m one guy with my wife and a video editor. With a half an hour or an hour a week we’re able to pump out tons of content, which yeah, like you said, makes you feel mighty when you’re small.
One of the interesting things, at least for me, when I do talk to people about this stuff, some of the hardest parts about it are creating all the processes around it so that you can pump out that much content.
When I talk to some of these more traditional firms, one of their biggest pain points is, man, how are we going to integrate all this into the company? It almost freaks them out because you have to layer it in and do a little training as you go.
So anyway a quick question on Clubhouse. I was chatting with you about it on IM the other day. I’m curious, because you’re an audio guy, you guys are doing podcasting. What has your experience been with Clubhouse?
I actually haven’t experimented with it too much. I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on it and what you guys are planning on doing with it.
Justin: Yeah, for sure. So Clubhouse is crazy. You can get into chat rooms about conspiracy theories. You can get into chat rooms about sports. You can get into chat rooms about inappropriate things. There’s all sorts of stuff on that application.
So you wanna make sure to find the things that you’re looking for specifically. But in that kind of noise, if you will,…because it’s different…
On LinkedIn we’re all professionals. I would equate it more to Twitter, where you can get Twitter to be whatever you want Twitter to be, depending on how you manipulate your feed.
For us, what our thoughts are on Clubhouse and the way that we’re going to use it–I’ve joined some rooms and they’ve been okay, some better than others. I’ve been in big rooms. I’ve been in very small rooms where they’re pining for people to join–
I think the way we’re going to try to leverage it is more as a branded aspect of our show which is going to be, let’s say I was interviewing you right now, Stephen. I think the way that we’re going to want to do it, and I think is going to be interesting, is to put out my podcast with Stephen.
And then a week later, Stephen and I do a Clubhouse room where maybe I set you up for some of the similar questions that we talked about and people can listen. And then maybe after 15 minutes or so we open up the floor to people to be able to interact with the podcast that they just listened to.
As you said, you have Chris Walker coming on tomorrow, who from his profile is probably a more interesting guy than I am. Although I’m sure, Stephen, you’ll say some nice things about me–don’t need to (both laugh).
But Chris Walker is a polarizing figure in B2B marketing. If you were to get him onto a Clubhouse with you after you put out your episode with him and say, Hey, you heard our episode now, come in, you get to interact with the guy that you were just listening to.
The thing about content is, there’s a theory or something behind it, I forget what it’s called, but when you hear people on mediums, or radio or video, or what have you, they become larger than life figures.
I’ve seen so many Chris Walker videos at this point to where if he’s in a chat room and you listen to a piece of audio of this podcast, this professionally done podcast, and then you get a chance to go talk to him, that’s pretty darn cool.
When you’re just listening to an episode, you have these thoughts and ideas. Then unfortunately, because it’s just a recorded piece of content, you don’t get to tell anyone your ideas. What are you gonna do, go talk to your significant other? Who’s probably in a different space and medium, and they’re, “Cool, I’m glad you listened to that podcast, thumbs up.”
But instead, you could go into a room and interact with the people you just listened to. It’s a surreal experience and it’ll make people think and feel like they’re connecting more with the show. They’re getting that opportunity, like on The Price is Right. You’re the audience, but you’re also the show. I think that’s a cool thing for people.
Stephen: Yeah, actually, I think that’s a great idea. What I also like is when people have a theme that crosses over to these different platforms, there are different platforms, it’s a different thing, but it’s still connected to your brand and it’s a cohesive idea.
So that’s an interesting idea. I definitely have to jump on there. I’ve been resisting. Not because I’m resisting Clubhouse in particular, but there’s so many things, man…
Justin: I’m the same way. There are people who live in Clubhouse and I’m not that way. You and I are small business owners, not to take away from anyone who’s not. But I don’t have the time.
Unfortunately I’m dealing with clients, as you mentioned. I head up customer success for us. I’m the point of contact for the shows that I work with. I’m doing things. So I don’t have the chance to mess around in there.
So what am I going to do? This is the way that we operate: I’m coming up with a system. And there’s going to be a system for the way that we interact with Clubhouse. We’re going to have our approach to it versus ‘I’m gonna hop in.’
That is a successful way, like any sort of social selling or personal branding. If you’re jumping into Clubhouse rooms all the time, people will recognize your face. You can build a personal brand that way.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do that. So I’ll take a different approach that’s going to be more time sensitive where, okay, I can’t spend an hour a day, but instead I’m going to do something that has another level to it, where I’m actually providing this show to the Clubhouse community.
So my one hour a week that I do is going to be pretty badass, the way that I’m thinking about it.
Stephen: I think that’s a great idea, man.
And yeah, there’s another place I’ve been playing around with a little bit, Tik Tok, just experimenting with it. And I’ve had to do the same thing there. I’m on LinkedIn quite a bit, posting. And that takes a lot of time.
But one thing that I’ve done in terms of repurposing the content, which works pretty well is stacking the hosts on top of each other. So it’s got a vertical look to it and when you do that, people can see that it’s formatted for that platform.
And it does a little bit better. Yeah, something I was thinking about. Cool
Justin: So do they have dance groups on there too?
Stephen: Yeah, there’s all sorts of crazy stuff on there, like Clubhouse. It’s funny, when you step off LinkedIn, it’s no holds barred on these other platforms.
One thing that I do find interesting about Tik Tok, though, is that it’s changing pretty quickly. So I’m seeing all sorts of different professionals giving away a lot of marketing ideas. People will draw out funnels and draw out marketing material on a pad of paper and then they’ll record it.
Yeah, it is interesting. And it opened my eyes up what else you could be doing. Because I will say on LinkedIn, it does feel like an echo chamber sometimes.
Justin: What gave you that idea? (laughs).
Stephen: You can even find yourself, if you consume too much of it, doing the same thing.
Justin: So for sure, I’ll talk about posts that I can’t stand. And then if I go a month back, I’d probably find myself saying the same post.
Stephen: I know. Yeah. I’ll go back and I’m, did I really do that?
That’s cool, man. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about what you do specifically and how you help people and then where people can get a hold of you.
Justin: As I mentioned earlier I run Motion, along with my business partner, Tristan. You can find us at motionagency.io. And what we do is help small scrappy marketing teams of one to five people in B2B, SaaS, and tech, to launch podcasts, and not only launch that podcast, but repurpose content, that’s audio, video, and written content.
You can find us on the website, like I said, motionagency.io, or you can find me on LinkedIn backslash Justin Brown Motion.
Stephen: Yeah, man. That’s awesome. I’ll link to your stuff as well. Awesome. But one thing, as a note, one thing I like about it, and I know you made a post on this about LinkedIn, but you really found your niche.
I like how you’re so specific in terms of the people you help. I know that has served you well. I’m always encouraging people to do that with their businesses and with their podcasts, but that’s pretty awesome.
Justin: Yeah, for a long time we were a company that’ll help anybody.
It takes a sense of vulnerability to be able to say that I’m not going to do that anymore. It’s scary to have a very unique and niche audience, either for a podcast or even more scary as for your business.
But what we have found is since we decided we were going to niche down and be very specific in marketing to teams of one to five B2B tech companies between 50 and 250 million we have more inbound opportunities now than we ever have.
And that sounds counterintuitive because we’re now telling a bunch of people that we’re not a fit for them. But what we are doing is we’re speaking directly to people. And when you’re something for everyone, you’re not anything to anyone specific.
And so now when people reach out, not only am I getting more inbound traffic, but also people are pretty far baked into the funnel where I don’t need to have crazy conversations to convert people into customers. It’s yeah, you came to me because this is what you were looking for. And so here we are, let’s talk about it.
So you know, maybe a conversation for another day, Stephen, but it was a scary thing to do and it served us very well.
Stephen: Yeah, I get you. We could have a whole other conversation about this. Because I did the same thing. My previous company was a tech company. We were building software for everyone.
And then after I sold that company and I started to get into my next adventure, I was dead set on doing just that. But yeah, it is scary cause you’re…that’s cool, man. Yeah, let’s leave a note on that and we’ll come back to it. And I wanted to say, man, Hey, thanks for being on.
It’s been a pleasure. Now talking to you and seeing you on LinkedIn, and I’m looking forward to continuing that relationship, figuring out ways to help you out. I’ll link to your stuff. And I will try to give you some assets that you can post as well. And I’ll see you soon.
Justin: Awesome. Thanks Stephen.
It was great being on here. All right, man. I’ll see ya.
Reach out to Justin: