Podcasting is full of more opportunities than ever before. To take advantage of them, however, requires an evolution in how creators, brands, and industry professionals approach marketing.
Here’s what we’re building to help.
When I launched the first cohort of Podcast Marketing Academy in April 2020, I had no idea the journey I was setting off on.
For most podcast creators, “marketing” was still an afterthought at best, a dirty word at worst.
For brands, it was seen as an unnecessary additional expense. “I thought the podcast was the marketing…” the feeling seemed to be.
Fast forward to today, and marketing has become a buzzword, plastered across the websites of every conceivable podcast service provider and tech platform, even if the accuracy of its usage might be considered… questionable.
(In my opinion, auto-generated transcripts, audiograms, and posting to cross-posting YouTube hardly qualify as marketing…)
The explosion of awareness around the need for marketing has corresponded with podcasting’s own explosion as a medium.
In fact, it’s a result of it.
More shows means more competition for a finite supply of attention, after all.
And while the number of podcast listeners continues to grow steadily, the majority of creators and brands lack the understanding of how to reach them.
Starting a podcast has become easier and cheaper than ever with a seemingly limitless supply of tools, content, courses, and service providers eagerly willing to help new publishers get their show off the ground.
But once the show is launched, those resources dry up.
Our goal is to fix that.
At Podcast Marketing Academy, we’re building a modern marketing education platform for the podcast industry.
Our goal is to demystify marketing through approachable yet rigorous, fundamentals-first educational programs, courses, and content, created by the top marketers and creators in the industry.
Our marketing philosophy is based on the idea that the best marketing is about genuine connection and is rooted in empathy, generosity, and consistency.
Everything we do is driven by three commitments we make to each of our students, community members, and audience:
- Build A Marketable Show
- Understand the Components of Podcast Growth
- Develop A Sustainable Marketing Practice
Who We Serve
Eventually, we’ll serve three audience verticals: Podcast creators, brands, and podcast industry professionals.
Our initial focus is on the creator vertical (specifically those with an established business the show supports) which is the most mature segment and the core focus of our existing platform.
Our goal in the near term is to continue to iterate, optimize and scale both our product and content offerings related to this segment.
Next, we’ll use the foundation we’ve built with our creator-focused offerings to build out our brand vertical.
This vertical will consist of products, content, and programming specifically tailored to brands, networks, and media companies and the in-house producers and marketers who comprise them.
Finally, we’ll build out our podcast professional platform, consisting of training programs to create and equip the next generation of podcast marketers.
This vertical will be built to address two key groups:
- Non-podcast marketers looking to enter the podcast industry
- Podcast producers, managers, and other industry professionals looking to add to upskill and add their knowledge base
Each of these verticals will be built out in collaboration with our network of partner brands, creators, and the people we’re building them for.
Across all of our verticals, our product offerings will fall into one of three categories.
- Self-Paced Training
- Live, Cohort-Based Accelerator Programs
The Podcast Marketing Academy Community is the hub from which all our content and products extend from.
Community-based learning is a core part of our educational design philosophy and as such, the community plays a heavy role in all our products and programming.
The community will be a gathering place for people from each of our verticals with topic and vertical-specific subgroups being added as needed to support more focused, intimate conversations and programming.
Our goal with the community is to organize the densest collection of serious, growth-oriented creators, marketers, and professionals in the podcast industry.
We aim to be community-powered with a significant amount of our programming being created by our members.
Self-Paced Skill Development Modules
Our self-paced education will consist of a collection of discrete, highly focused training modules focused on highly specific skill development.
We aim to eventually have a collection of dozens of these modules taught by the very best practitioners in the podcast industry.
We’ll partner with our instructors to help them develop the content and map it onto our educational design framework to ensure each and every module lives up to the high bar we set for all of our training.
These self-paced modules will be available for purchase individually or as part of our community membership.
Our Accelerators are live, sprint-style programs focused on helping participants put a system in place to hit their next growth milestone.
The Accelerators will reference the self-paced training modules but are specifically focused on implementation with a series of deadline-oriented assignments, personal support, and group accountability.
Each Accelerator program will be focused on one of the following growth milestones:
- 0-100 Unique Listeners
- 100-1K Unique Listeners
- 1k-10K Unique Listeners
- 10k-100k Unique Listeners
In time we’ll also roll out a program focused on Career Acceleration for Podcast Marketers.
Our goal with these programs is to shorten the learning curve of the next generation of breakout podcast creators and marketers.
Building a Media Company
The marketing of our products will be fueled by high-quality free content and programming.
As a small (for now) bootstrapped company, this content will be generated in the short term by me (Jeremy).
As of now, our content offerings consist of the Scrappy Podcasting Newsletter, which is already read by many of the most influential creators, brands, and leaders in podcasting, the Quick Podcast Tips series and weekly deep dive threads on Twitter and LinkedIn, and a suite of free trainings and workshops.
Over time, we’ll work to build out an independent media company featuring a diverse and in-depth library of growth-oriented content from our network of community members, alumni, partners, and external contributors.
Our Guiding Principles
We care about good marketing.
Not just in regards to marketing that generates results, but the kind of marketing that leaves the people who engage with it better off and grateful for the interaction.
We’re a people-first company, with high standards for those we work with and higher standards for ourselves.
Our goal is to create experiences, products, and relationships that leave people changed for the better.
We’re optimists who believe marketing is the way ideas spread, and ideas, paired with action change the world.
We want to use our own marketing to elevate ideas worth spreading, and through our work, empower others to do the same.
While we don’t know exactly what it looks like yet, we want to be the Patagonia of the podcast world.
In short, we’re in business to leave the world better than we found it.
As of Q2 2023, we’re on the cusp of transitioning from V1 to V2 of Podcast Marketing Academy.
Our first version was built around a one-course model designed to teach students everything they needed to know to grow their shows.
Over the past three years and six cohorts, however, it’s become clear the box we’ve been building in needs to expand to deliver the experience, education, and support we believe will best serve our students and the broader podcast community.
This transition involves expanding our network of partners and collaborators, growing our team, and leveling up every aspect of our existing platform.
First up is the re-engineering of our education ecosystem.
The first step has been to transition from one static, lifetime-access course to a dynamic membership featuring access to an array of podcast marketing education, playbooks, and resourcing that is always both expanding and being revised.
With the foundation now in place, the next step is building out our library of self-paced, skill-development modules. This is the primary focus of the remainder of 2023.
The final focus over this span will be to overhaul our web & media presence to better reflect the vision outlined here as a robust and multi-faceted modern online education platform.
There’s a lot to do.
But we feel there’s no one better equipped than us to take this challenge on, and we’re excited to do it.
If you’d like to play a part in our mission to lead the way forward in the world of podcast marketing, I’d love to chat. Please reach out to me at jeremy (at) podcastmarketingacademy.com