There’s nothing more relaxing than playing your favorite podcast while you go about your day. Hearing different personalities share random bits of stories helps us stay grounded despite our hectic schedules. In fact, it’s no wonder that the number of average podcast listeners has climbed to over 67 million monthly.
One of the biggest factors for the current generation’s love for podcasts is how easily you can digest information — passively and with little effort while you do your daily routine.
For marketers, podcasts are a new emerging way to grow brands. It’s accessible, quick, and easy to digest, making it an effective medium for advertising.
We sat down with Podseeker founder Simon Thompson on his new business startup and his future plans.
Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?
I have a background in marketing and technology at companies like Mi9 (Microsoft) and Meltwater, as well as running my own small marketing agency. Recently I’ve shifted my focus to software and am the founder of Podseeker – a podcast research and intelligence tool for PR and marketing professional.
What motivated you to get started?
I experienced a gap in the market, so it was a “scratch my own itch” scenario. There are an abundance of tools out there for researching and understanding traditional media formats, but nothing really for podcasts. The tools that can be used for that are simply repurposing other solutions – they’re not ideal. So I built the tool for myself and it turns out others needed it too.
What went into building the initial product?
A large amount of determination and a very small amount money for a developer. I got a very minimal MVP up and running in a few months, which was enough to get in front of a few users and test the hypothesis that this would be something people were willing to pay for. It turns out the hypothesis was correct, and since then I’ve invested significantly more time and energy into it, so the product is vastly improved from the first little hacky MVP.
How have you attracted users?
1-1 outreach to the types of people I built the platform for – PR and marketing professionals who are working in the podcast landscape. I also wrote a very extensive guide on one of the key problems that Podseeker aims to solve – getting booked as a guest on podcasts.
I’ve also run some small Facebook campaigns which I’m looking to scale up in the coming months, along with some other marketing initiatives I’m testing.
What’s your business model?
Users pay $50/month for unlimited access to the Podseeker platform.
What are your goals for the future?
I’d like to expand the platform into a more extensive suite of products for podcast advertising, podcast influencer marketing, as well as expanding on our capabilities for podcast PR. In practice, this means more data, and more advanced algorithms for calculating audience metrics, as well as additional features such as a light “podcast CRM” for outreach campaigns.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
Product and data issues are always frustrating. They need to be addressed, but that kind of work is rarely proactive or based on genuine improvements – they’re just making the product do the thing it’s meant do in the first place. If I could start over knowing what I know now, I would take a few different approaches to data collection and how the platform was architected. That being said, I optimised for moving quickly which involves trade-offs such as issues arising – and I wouldn’t change the fact that I optimised for speed.
Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Being a “customer” myself has been extremely helpful to get to this point. I didn’t need to continuously gather feedback and requirements from prospective users to get the tool ready – I just built the features I needed. Now, as I expand into other use cases I will need to do this since people are asking for things I don’t know that much about. But just knowing intrinsically what needed to be built in the first place was very helpful. That, and cold email outreach has been highly affective in gaining first users, and very cheap/free.
What’s your advice for other startups?
Get something out the door as quickly as possible. You have no idea if people want and will pay for your thing until it’s available for them to buy. Before then, people will tell you how much they “would” use it and pay for it, because they want to encourage you and make you feel good. It comes from a good place but they cannot be trusted! People need to put their money where their mouth is to truly validate your idea.
Where can we go to learn more?
Learn more about Podseeker at https://podseeker.co