The Jay Kim Show #72: Jay Kim (Transcript)
Hey, guys. It’s Jay, your host of the Jay Kim Show. It’s the end of the year, and we’re going to have a slightly different show format this week. We’re actually going to take a break next week for New Years. So, after today’s episode, I will see you back here in two weeks for a brand-new lineup of really, really interesting and cool speakers. I have a really good lineup, schedule set up for 2018. I think you guys are going to enjoy it.
But, before we do that and before I get onto today’s show, which is going to be a solo episode and not your usual guest interview format-style show, I wanted to take a moment and just thank all of you, my audience, for your generous support and all the great feedback, questions, and comments you guys had. It’s been an unbelievable year for me, for this podcast, for the show, for my brand, and I have no one else to thank but you, my listeners.
The podcast was started in January of 2017 and it was just an idea that was conceived in my head and I just ran with it. Because of that, and because of the great traction, and again, the awesome listeners that I’ve had, and the feedback you’ve given, this show has grown into something really, really special. I cannot wait to continue to produce weekly episodes that just really survey and interview interesting people in the startup community and investors around the world and hopefully, gather insights that I can deliver to you each week with every episode. So, thank you all, again, and I look forward to another great year in 2018.
For this week’s episode, what we’re going to do is I just wanted to do a solo episode. Basically, I was giving a speech back in the summer at a conference up in Shenzhen. It was a China Marketing Summit, and I was asked to speak about podcasting because podcasting has genuinely changed my life. I wanted to share with you guys a little bit of a part of the speech that I gave and some of the insights and highlights and the talking points that I delivered during that speech.
What we’re going to do is I’m just going to basically walk you through the speech and hopefully you guys will enjoy it. If you have any questions, again, you can always reach me at any time on Twitter @JayKimmer or just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Alright, guys, let’s get onto the show.
How to build a personal brand through podcasting
Have you ever been on Google and searched for your name, just for fun. Six months ago, if you had searched Google for my name, Jay Kim, you would have come up with one of the following results.
- a congressman from the state of California
- Jay Kim, a famous K-pop dance choreographer
- some juicy article about Kim Kardashian and her ex-boyfriend
Now, I know that Google is not a measure of one’s self-worth, but my point is that just one year ago, I literally had zero web presence. I had no blog, no social media following, and zero influence. Back in January of this year, I published my very first podcast episode. If you fast-forward to present day, I’ve published over 70 episodes. I’m approaching 100,000 downloads, averaging well over 1,000 downloads per episode, have driven a ton of traffic to my personal blog and brand, and I’ve had dozens of articles published, either written by me or about me.
Now, my point is not to brag here. I mean, anyone that knows podcasting and heard my metrics knows that I’m still very much a newbie. I don’t have the large millions of downloads every single month like some of the great podcasters do. But, the point of my illustration is to prove that anyone can start a personal brand and create influence in a small amount of time, just one year, through the power of podcasting.
What is podcasting?
Podcasting is internet radio on-demand. It’s been around for quite a long time. As a matter of fact, podcasting has been around for over a decade globally. It first hit the scenes back in 2006, but only recently has it picked up and gained popularity in about the last three or four years. In 2014 there was a crime podcast called Serial, which hit the scene. It caused a resurgence in popularity and in podcast consumption. Like I said, very simply, podcasting is Internet Radio On-Demand.
If you think of the way that Netflix has completed disrupted traditional cable television companies, in this very same way podcasting is disrupting traditional radio stations. The true power of podcasting lies in its casting ability. Once you publish a podcast episode, it can be delivered simultaneously to multiple destination points at the same time. A consumer can simply subscribe to the podcast and the feed will automatically be updated when the new episodes are released. Subscribers can also listen to previous episodes on-demand anytime they like.
I, myself, am a huge consumer of podcasts, which is the reason I decided to start one of my own to begin with. So, back two, three, four years ago, I was listening to a lot of podcasts on a number of different topics, whether ranging from entrepreneurship to investing. I just like to learn. This was one of the ways I was able to do so. At the time, I was also living a little bit further away out in New Territories, so I had a commute of about 35 to 40 minutes every morning and at night when I went home. This was my time to plug in my earplugs and just soak in information.
It was because of that that I made the decision to start one of my own because when I looked at the scene here, I noticed that there was hardly any podcast in Asia. Since I’ve started mine, I’ve seen a lot of other people start podcasts on various different niches — investing, entrepreneurship, start-ups, this sort of thing — in Asia, which I’m very, very happy to see because I’ve been out there advocating for people to start podcasts because I think it is great for your brand.
Just a couple of other points here. An online entrepreneur named Pat Flynn runs a website called SmartPassiveIncome.com. He actually posts his monthly income statement reports online for anyone to see, and he makes well over a million dollars a month, per month, just doing his various business lines, podcasting, and this sort of thing.
The reason that I bring him up is that Pat Flynn recently, in an interview, was talking about podcasting. He said that of all the digital assets that he has — websites, blog, and vlog, basically all of his business lines and everything, public speaking, books, and this sort of thing — if there’s one asset that he would keep, if he had to give everything else away, the one asset would be his podcast. That’s how strongly he felt about the power of podcasting.
Gary Vaynerchuk is also, obviously, a prolific entrepreneur. He is a huge social media guy. Always out in the scene. Always in front of the camera and dropping podcast episodes, giving public speeches, writing books and best-selling novels. He recently was here in Hong Kong in July for the RISE Conference.
During that conference, he gave a pretty powerful speech where he was basically talking about what he was super excited about in the future. Now, if you guys know Gary Vaynerchuk you know that he is somewhat of a profit when it comes to picking trends and seeing trends early on. He was an early investor in Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat, Uber, and a bunch of these start-ups because he was able to see the trends that people, that human beings were following and react in front of those trends before anyone else did.
He gave a very powerful speech basically saying that one thing that he is truly, truly excited about, which is contrary to what people think because people see him on video all the time — 18 months ago, he was really pushing video — now, he is really, really all into audio. He loves podcasting and he is a huge fan of podcasting.
Let’s talk about why podcasting? For me, the reason that I like podcasting is because it’s a good way to capture someone’s attention. The most valuable thing right now, commodity, when you’re running any sort of online business or trying to be an influencer is attention. You need to capture the attention of your audience. Human beings like to consume multiple sources of media at the same time. Right?
Whereas video requires the full scope of your capacity, of your attention… You see this all the time when you see people looking down on their phones when they’re trying to cross a street while watching a video and they almost get run over.
With video, you can’t multitask. If I’m someone trying to convey a message on video, I am not going to be able to do so unless my audience has their complete attention on the screen. Whereas, with audio, you can do both. People can basically plug in their headset, and they can be on their phone. They can be checking their Facebook feed. They can be messaging someone else, tweeting, or surfing the internet while at the same time consuming the audio that is coming through their headphones. Podcast and audio, in my opinion, are destined to win because of this.
Previous Podcasting Trends
Here are some podcasting trends for the last 24 to 36 months. Brands and individuals alike have seriously poured a lot of dollars into audio. That goes all the way from big Fortune 500 brands who are starting in-house podcasts all the way down to just the solopreneur, someone such as myself.
Audio streaming is up 76 percent year over year and that eclipses video with a total of 250 billion annual streams. Consumers are replacing entertainments and music with information/podcasting to get ahead. This is actually an interesting trend that a lot of people are picking up on, especially in sort of the online education space and this sort of thing. A very simple way of knowing this is that, like I said, I used to listen to music all the time in the gym, on my commute, and this sort of thing. Now, I feel the need to better myself somehow.
If I have 30 minutes in a car, I want to listen to something. I want to improve myself in some way — whether it’s an audiobook, whether it’s watching a YouTube video, a how-to video about Crypto, whatever the hottest trend these days is, or listen to a podcast. Maybe I’m listening to a very interesting interview. I can say that I have actually learned so much from listening to podcasts, other people, great podcasters, great interviewers, people like Tim Ferriss, or, in the investing space, people like Meb Faber. Just interviewing really good people, guests, and imparting a lot of knowledge to listeners.
I started podcasting here in January of 2017, this year. Again, the reason that I did was because there was a demand for it. When I was talking to people within the ecosystem here, a lot of them were trying to figure out how to contribute. For me, this was a very easy way to do so. I just had to buy a cheap mic, plug into my laptop, and I was good to go. It requires no gatekeepers. There is no advertising budget that you need. There are no big hurdles. You don’t have to pay a channel or a station to air your podcast. Literally, all you have to do is buy a mic, plug it into your computer, and start talking.
The format of my podcast was interview format. It doesn’t always have to be like that. A lot of people like to just talk into a mic like I’m doing on this particular episode. It’s very easy to get started and very low-cost to get started, a low barrier to entry versus video. It’s extremely easy. Also, not for nothing, I believe a lot of people are a lot better and more comfortable just talking into a mic than trying to perform on camera. I, myself, have done some video in the past, and I have to say that there is a bit of a learning curve, a bit of a hurdle, the stage fright that you have to get over. Once you get over that, it takes some time to actually perform well on video. Whereas, with podcasting, I was able to just jump on and start talking because who doesn’t like talking. Right?
Assets of podcasting
Let’s go over some of the good things about podcasting. Like I said, there are no gatekeepers. It is very easy to start a podcast versus video. It is very low-cost to start a podcast. I think my mic cost $50 US. You don’t need any fancy programs or anything like that. You can literally just buy a recording program or I think Audacity is free.
Number three, you can build authority very quickly online. Basically, there was an analogy that Pat Flynn, the entrepreneur, gave. It’s that whenever you go to a conference, imagine you’re having to speak in front of 500 people or 1,000 people. That’s a huge audience. That’s a lot of people. But, if you convert that into podcast listeners, you could be speaking into a mic and your podcast could be broadcast to thousands and thousands of people in the world, every week at the same time.
Imagine that power. Let’s say you had 100,000 people listening to your podcast on a weekly basis. Imagine giving a speech to 100,000 people every week at the same time. It gives you perspective on your reach then. It certainly builds authority and it expands your audience very quickly.
The last thing is that it really develops a certain skill set that I wasn’t aware of until I dove, headfirst, deep into this. No one told me about this stuff. I’m happy to be sharing some of this knowledge with you guys. In order to start a podcast, the actual setup and this sort of thing, there is a little bit of a learning curve, but you can actually ask people and set it up quite quickly.
The biggest time consumer for me is preparing for an interview. Every time I have a guest on, it actually takes me several hours, ahead of time, to prepare for that guest. I have to do web research, Google them, figure out, maybe listen to a few of the other podcasts that they’ve been on. If it’s a big guest, then I will literally spend a week, or two, or three, or four just really digging down, doing my hardcore research, trying to basically know the person, the guest that I’m interviewing, and be current and up-to-date with everything that they’re working on.
Then, also, I want to ask intelligent questions. I don’t want them to feel like they wasted their time by spending half an hour or 45 minutes with me on a podcast episode if it’s just the same mundane questions being asked over and over again.
Research is a tough one where it takes most of my time. Again, if it’s an author I usually like to read at least their last couple of books. Some authors have 15, 20 books. That is, obviously, hard to do, to prepare. Before I prepared for my Seth Gordon interview, Episode #40, which was also one of my favorite interviews… He has written well over 15 books. I had to read almost all of them. Luckily, his books are pretty short and they didn’t take too long. I think that this is actually a benefit, having to do all this prep work and research. It actually opens and expands your horizons. It makes you learn new things as you are preparing for these interviews.
Finally, being able to converse, prepare, and talk to someone on a phone interview-type setup is a skillset in and of itself. You need to think on your feet. You need to be engaging. When I first started out I struggled to keep the conversation going. I always had two or three or four questions ahead of time in my mind that I was going to ask. It is just something that you develop over time. It gets easier and easier to do.
Drawbacks of podcasting
It’s not all roses.
Number one, it’s a lot of work. It is a lot of work. As a single person doing a podcast, doing all the pitching, outreach, and prep work, it was a lot of work for me. It’s lot of rejection too. You have to be ready for people to say, “No.” Especially, when you don’t have a name for yourself and you’re just starting out.
The other interesting thing about podcasting, which not a lot of people talk about is that it never ends. Now I have to caveat this because there’s a new format of podcasting now where people are doing series. I think it is pretty smart. They will do a 12-episode series maybe twice a year, three times a year, or once a quarter. They will actually be able to cap it.
Whereas for me, I am doing a weekly podcast that will run into perpetuity until I die, or I can’t speak anymore, or I just get tired of podcasting. It never ends. It’s a commitment. You literally need to commit to doing it. Once you’re out there, you now have an audience that is listening, has subscribed to your podcast, and is counting on you each week to deliver new and meaningful content. There is a lot of pressure.
It is hard to monetize. The absolute first question that anyone asks me when they listen to my podcast and I meet up with them afterwards, or I meet them in person, they always say, “Hey, Jay. How do you monetize off of your podcast?”
I say, “I don’t.”
They give me this strange look as if “why are you doing this then?” The reasons why I’m doing this are—I mentioned this before, all the good reasons such as building a brand, building a network, and being able to build authority. I must say that a lot of good things have happened from my podcast but not just directly monetary.
So, how do you monetize off a podcast? Well, you need basically a boatload of downloads. If you get to hundreds of thousands of downloads-per-month range, then there are sponsors out there that will allow you to use their sponsor message, and they will pay you for downloads.
That all said, if you are thinking about podcasting, which I do highly advocate for people to do… It is obviously a time commitment. For me, I can basically pin and attribute, probably, nearly 100 percent of my personal brand-building and networking to podcasting because it really just has opened up all of these doors for me. Again, people ask me, “How do you get paid for it?” The payment is not monetary. It’s in connections, networking, speaking gigs that I’ve gotten, and this sort of thing.
Let’s talk about some of the podcasting basics if you are thinking about podcasting.
1. You have to start with the right intentions. A lot of people jump into podcasting because they think they are going to monetize off of it. Or, they listen to Tim Ferriss’ podcast. They thought he was cool and that they could be the next Tim Ferris. You have to have the right intentions.
You need to have an audience in mind ahead of time. This is what is called an avatar. Who is the typical type of person that you think is going to listen to your podcast? If you are doing a really obscure podcast that probably doesn’t have an audience, then maybe you need to think twice about it before you make the commitment.
2. Come up with your unique angle. No one needs another Tim Ferriss, or another Jay Kim, or another whatever. You need to have your unique angle. There are a lot of people out there now saying that podcasting is overdone and you should not start a new podcast. For me, my personal view is that it’s not. I think we are just at the beginning of spoken-word audio being in the next phase.
Perhaps in the West and in the US, particularly, it might be a little bit overdone or it might be just a lot of bad podcasts floating out there, bad/poor production quality, people that don’t even use mics, just have bad guests, and this sort of thing. My view is, particularly in Asia, I think podcasting is just getting started, and there is a huge opportunity ahead for anyone who wants to jump into podcasting. That all said, come up with your unique angle. Make sure that it is something that is unique to you because that is the only way that you are going to be able to keep doing it year after year.
3. The third point I want to make for Podcasting 101 tips is to streamline your workflow. For me, I started off by doing almost everything. The initial setup, I got the help of a friend of mine, Charlie Hoehn who is an internet, online whiz guy. Fortunately, he offered to help, and I was able to get my podcast online in a very short amount of time.
Also, the other thing that I intentionally did was I outsourced my backend. Basically, you have to figure out what works for you. I knew from the very beginning that after I recorded, if I had to go in and edit the audio, level the sound, publish to WordPress, then publish to iTunes, I would not be able to do that consistently. My podcast would have ended up coming offline and dying out very quickly.
For me, what I do is I do all the pitching and the outreach to my potential guests. Once I secure a guest I will basically do the interview, record the short intro, upload both of those files to Dropbox, and I’m done. Basically, it’s hands-off from there. I have a really good post-production team that will then take those files, level the sound, edit all the audio, take out all the mistakes, write up the show notes, transcribe it for me, and they will even go as far as scheduling it in WordPress, posting it in the queue. Basically, each week, each Monday, when the new episode hits, everything works very smoothly. You have to figure out what works for you.
4. The next tip in Podcasting 101 is to batch process. This is very important. The first couple of months it was a whirlwind. I was just trying to get as many good guests as possible, so I had my entire schedule available at any time. If any of these guests, these high-profile names responded, I would just clear my schedule, block everything out and just podcast. I realized that that is not sustainable. I have a family. I have three beautiful children now. I have a loving wife. I don’t want to be sitting behind my computer waiting for my next guest to accept an interview and just clear my schedule and not be able to have any routine in my life.
The number one tip there is to batch process your workflow. I record. I am always a month ahead. I basically have next month’s four to five episodes pre-recorded, already done. That just gives me a buffer in case of travel and this sort of thing. I usually only record and make available my time schedule two days a week. So, two days a week I will have the mornings and evenings open for podcasting. When I send out invites to a potential guest, they are able to choose between those two times. That’s it. Sorry, if it doesn’t work, then they can try the next week or the next week. If not, then I will find another guest. It is important that you maintain this balance when you are doing podcasting because, again, it is a continuous thing.
5. The final tip that I have for anyone that is starting out with podcasting is called trading up the chain. Here is how you hack podcasting. The second-most asked question for me after “How do you monetize a podcast?” is “How did you get so many good guests?” The way you do it is using a technique called trading up a chain. You look into your immediate network and you look at the most prolific, most important, or maybe most celebrity-type person that you have in your immediate network. Someone that you could literally just call on the phone or WhatsApp and say, “Hey, can you jump on my podcast? I need a favor.” You ask that guy or girl for a favor, and then you get them on your podcast.
Now, once you get them on your podcast, you’ve established a baseline level of authority. Let’s say you have secured a D-level celebrity on your podcast. Once you get one D-level celebrity you can get a number of D-level celebrities. You get a few D-level celebrities and then your start pitching to C-levels. So, when the C-levels get pitched by you, they will look at your podcast, and they will look at the episodes that you have had, and they will basically say, “Oh, hey. There are a couple of D-levels, but I guess I’ll do this guy a favor or this gal a favor and I’ll jump on their podcast.” That’s how you slowly, slowly trade up the chain. You just slowly reach higher and higher for bigger celebrities and bigger celebrities or influencers if you will. That’s how you hack it.
The other way you do it is you literally beg. You get on your hands and knees, or you call in all the favors you have, and you just beg. You say, “Hey, look. I really, really, really would love to have this person on my show. Can you make it happen?” Sometimes you get lucky, you get good referrals, or you get friends that pull favors for you. Other than that, you just have to grind it. That’s what I did. I worked on a handful of people for well over a year, engaging with their teams, just trying to add value to their teams, giving first, and finally to the point where when I did launch my podcast, I could call in that favor and call in and submit that chip for that favor. It was easy because I had asymmetrically given value to these influencers ahead of time.
Let’s talk about the opportunity now. Again, I was mentioning some of the benefits before, earlier, in this talk. Starting a podcast has given me a lot of access. It has given me a lot of access to a lot of high-level influencers. When you have someone like Gary Vaynerchuk on your podcast—he’s a great guy, and after I had him first on my podcast, he was in my network, but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily my friend or anything like that. He is in my network. I can’t call him on the phone and be like, “Hey, can you do me this? Can you do me that?” But, he is in my network. When he was in here in July, he remembered me. We exchanged some words. We hung out a little bit. So, you have access. It gives you access to that network.
Every time you have someone on your podcast, you can always go back to that data point, and you can say, “Hey, this is Jay. Do you remember me? You were on my podcast. I really appreciated it. Here is another opportunity that maybe we can collaborate on.” It expands your network immensely.
For me, I’ve had 71 guests on my podcast show. Granted, probably a quarter of them were friends that I knew from before, but the rest 50-plus are new people that I’ve added to my network. It just has a network-multiplier effect, as you keep going.
Other opportunities and benefits that podcasting has done… It has given me speaking engagements and news media coverage. I have even been able to guest post and submit to publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and this sort of thing because I had already built a pretty significant audience and brand name for myself because of my podcast.
Finally, I think that in Asia there are not that many podcasts. Like I said, there is a handful sprouting up now and then here, but if you are sitting in Asia, and you’re listening to my podcast show, first of all, thank you. Secondly, I think that if it is something that interests you and complimentary to your core business, then I encourage you to research it and give it a shot.
I just want to leave you guys with one little interesting fact. This data point is basically on what I call The Future of Storytelling. Peter Diamandis is the founder and chairman of X Prize Foundation and also runs Singularity University. He is this super-smart guy. He is a rocket scientist, and he works on these moonshot ideas to change the world. Basically, he wrote a pretty famous article that was featured in the Huffington Post talking about the future of our global economy. The quote by him was, “The most dramatic positive change in our global economy is about to occur between 2016 and 2020. Three to five billion new consumers who have never purchased anything, never uploaded anything, and never invented or sold anything are about to come online and provide a mega surge to the global economy.”
What Peter was basically talking about, and those of you in Asia will know exactly what Peter was talking about, is between India, China, and some of the under-utilized, under-banked places in the world that don’t have internet. Between those two countries and the rest of the world, there are billions of people that are going to come online in the next four to five years. This is super exciting if you are starting a podcast. Think about if/when these people come online and they start listening to podcasts. The sky is the limit here.
With that, guys, I’m going to leave you for the year. Thank you, again, for an amazing year. Again, I could not have done it without all the support, the help, and the feedback from my loyal listeners. I look forward to getting back to the interview format in a couple of weeks. We are actually talking here with the team about doing some interesting things. We might get a few different creative ideas happening in the new year. So, look for that. I’m talking to a couple of co-hosts that might do some guest co-hosting of episodes of interviews which might be exciting. If there is any feedback, questions, or comments you guys want to give, I’m always welcome to them. You can tweet at me at @jaykimmer or you can just shoot me an email, email@example.com.
Have happy holidays, guys. I hope you all have a wonderful end of the year. We’ll see you in 2018.
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