First Customers podcast episode 31: Billy Samoa Saleebey
Billy Samoa Saleebey is an Ex-Tesla Global Leader and Cofounder/CEO of Podify, a service that produces podcasts like Language of Love with DR. Laura Berman from Oprah’s TV network. He’s also a slef-proclaimed ramen addict.
Billy gives great advice for entrepreneurs and podcasters on this episode. Anyone who is just getting started or wanting to learn new ways to grow, check it out. I learned a lot. Listen in.
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Paris Vega (00:00.758)
Welcome to the First Customers podcast. Today we have Billy Samoa Salibi, who is a former Tesla executive, and now he’s the co-founder and CEO of Podify, a service that produces podcasts, podcasts like Language of Love with Dr. Laura Berman from Oprah’s TV network. Billy, honored to have you on the show. Thank you for being here. Welcome to First Customers.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (00:22.712)
Oh, Paris, it’s an absolute delight. We got a chance to meet last week, and I’m super excited to have our conversation today.
Paris Vega (00:30.882)
So you’ve got an awesome resume, obviously, big name like Tesla on there. You worked with some big podcasts. So you could start wherever you feel like, but how’d you get your first customers?
Billy Samoa Saleebey (00:43.960)
Yeah, well, you know, I love the premise of this show because it allows me to reflect and think back to the beginning of forming my company and I’ll start with that because I left tesla and I I thought you know I could do whatever I wanted to do at that point I could Get another job and incorporate I could work for a big company a small company a startup There’s so many different things that I could do but ultimately I felt a
Paris Vega (00:53.663)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (01:14.756)
to podcasting. And I just had to start with my own show. And so I started my own show in 2019 and based on my experience very early on in starting my own show I realized quickly that it takes a lot of work. And so I decided I needed people to help with my show so I made the priority
Billy Samoa Saleebey (01:41.296)
finding great people to help me produce my podcast. And basically what I realized is because of the volume of work, I needed people to help me with my show. I knew other people needed help with the show. And so I started my own company, Potify, to do just that. And so when I think back to my early customers, I thought, you know, go to my own warm market, go to the people that I know, because ultimately,
Those are gonna be the people that have the instant trust. They know me, they like me, they trust me. And even if they themselves don’t have a podcast, they may have somebody in their orbit that has a podcast. So one of my first customers was the person who you mentioned, Dr. Laura Berman. And Dr. Laura Berman, she had her own show on Oprah, she had her own radio show, nationally syndicated. And so she came with a fair amount of celebrity status and credibility.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (02:39.532)
way for me to get my first client. And so she wasn’t my very, very first client, but one of my first clients. And the way that I found her was through my old boss, a guy that I used to work with about a decade before that at a small solar company in Orange County. And so the key point though that I really want to remind every listener who’s listening right now is you never know who might know someone. And so I like the idea of always
Billy Samoa Saleebey (03:09.668)
building relationships that last. And this particular relationship, this is a guy that I talk to off and on throughout the years, I didn’t lose contact with him. And the fact that I didn’t lose contact with him made me top of mind. And so I’ll share a little exercise that I learned from Jordan Harbinger. And Jordan Harbinger is a podcaster, is a huge show. I got a chance to interview him and he talks about this idea of going back and looking at your text messages and going back to the oldest text message that you have.
and start engaging with those people. It may be a weak or dormant tie, somebody that you haven’t talked to a lot. And ultimately, those people, they’re not expecting to hear from you. So if they hear from you, they might be a little bit skeptical at first. So you just gotta remind them that you’re just calling to reach out, you’re just calling to catch up or see how they’re doing, or they popped in your mind, because you don’t want people to think like you’re after something, and you shouldn’t. You don’t wanna dig a well when you’re thirsty.
Right? You want to dig the well before you’re thirsty. So you have that water. And Jordan shared that, that quote. And I think this is a really key thing to remember about the power of relationships. You never know which person from your past could open a door of opportunity. So in this case, I got a call from, from my old boss. He says, Hey, I have this, I know you started a podcast company and by the way, you need to let people know whatever it is you’re doing, whether that be through social or through talking.
You let him know, and I have this friend who wants to start a podcast. I would love to connect you to her. And then one thing led to another and that’s how it started.
Paris Vega (04:45.530)
Okay, here we are again, the power of the network seems to be a common theme that shows up on the show. All right, do you remember the very very first customer that you onboarded onto Potify? So you got that specific one, the bigger name customer through your old boss. Is that similarly how you got the other ones just talking to different people, working the network?
Billy Samoa Saleebey (05:13.144)
Yeah, it’s so funny because as I look back and think about, okay, where did this person come from? And where did this person come from? So there’s really three places where they came from. Number one is referrals. And that means somebody that I know, somebody that I built a relationship with referred somebody. Number two, through LinkedIn. And when I say LinkedIn, I didn’t do cold outreach. I was posting on LinkedIn.
Paris Vega (05:19.990)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (05:42.256)
And because I was posting on LinkedIn, people knew what I was doing, and people started asking me questions. So tell me about what you’re doing. Okay. That’s, that’s the second place. And then the third place it came from is conversa- what I’ll just call simply conversations. So people reaching out to me because they were referred, people finding me or knowing about me because they saw me on LinkedIn, or people who-
I’ve reached out to, I’ve started a conversation. So to answer your question about my very, very first customer.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (06:15.664)
Well, there’s probably two that happen simultaneously. One was a referral from a person who I used to work with at Tesla. And, but here’s the interesting thing. He was also somebody that got to know me through the power of LinkedIn. He saw my posts. So I got introduced through a connection on LinkedIn, through a DM on LinkedIn. And then he saw me making posts. So then he proactively, we scheduled a meeting and got to know each other. But then he scheduled a second meeting because he wanted help.
with his podcast. And then the other person that was early, early on, it came because I believe in what I call backyard barbecue conversations. And what I mean by that, well, when you have a conversation with somebody on the DM in LinkedIn or any social media platform for that matter, what you don’t want is a monologue and a long paragraph to paragraph thing with somebody.
telling you everything they did. That would never happen in a backyard barbecue where you meet somebody, hi, my name’s Billy and this is what I do. Do you wanna sign up? That would never happen. And so I just like to have casual conversation where it’s get to know you conversation. I always like to look at the profile and say what areas of common ground exist that doesn’t feel forced. Example of something that feels forced, hey, I see we have connections in common. Well, I have 35,000
Paris Vega (07:18.187)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (07:42.832)
Connections. So yeah, there’s probably gonna be a few we have in common. So that’s not really what I would start with What I would start with is is there something unusual about their Background like I in my in my headline I put ramen addict So if I was reaching out to me, I would say I noticed you’re a ramen addict. I am too. What’s your favorite spot? That’s a backyard conversation. Okay, or another thing that I like to do is I like recommending things or asking questions about their show so like hey, I see you should have a show about
Billy Samoa Saleebey (08:13.420)
Somebody has a show about people who didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame of baseball That that maybe should have and I said, you know, your show premise is really interesting Would love to know who do you think out of everyone that you’ve talked about? Who do you think is most deserving of being in the Hall of Fame that never made it? So that’s a backyard conversation
Paris Vega (08:32.402)
Yeah, just taking it to the personal interests. Okay, so working the network, getting referrals, it sounds a lot like the Benjamin Franklin, the squeaky wheel method where he would make sure that he didn’t grease his wheels so that everybody would know he was working whenever he was pushing his cart back and forth across the town square or whatever. And that’s kind of like social media today. You just wanna let people know, as you’re going about your business, at least put it out there. Let the wheel squeak a little bit.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (08:52.289)
Paris Vega (09:03.034)
Um, so had you transitioned at all to doing like traditional advertising or, you know, digital marketing and other ways of actually like paying to promote your services or moved into that at all.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (09:16.772)
I haven’t and honestly, I don’t know if I will with the current structure of my company the way it is Because we don’t it’s not like we can take on unlimited clients and what I mean by that is we have the luxury of being selective with who We choose to invite to be a client of ours and who we choose not to there’s sometimes where I meet with people And it’s clear that it’s not a fit. It’s not a fit because they’re not someone who I think
we would mesh well with as a company. Either we can’t provide what they’re looking for, or maybe it’s something else that makes me have some reservation and 1% doubt and you’re out. I kind of subscribe to the philosophy of life’s short, work with people who you wanna work with. And so for me, I don’t see a need to do some sort of mass marketing strategy that’s gonna push out the company to the masses yet.
Now, if we had technology or if we were trying to promote some SaaS product or digital service that, you know, our course or something like that. Yes, we could do it for that. And we will do that for some of our clients. But as far as for our core service offering, we won’t do that. And especially because I firmly believe that the best way to attract the right people is to show up in places where your ideal customer avatar hangs out.
Paris Vega (10:43.038)
Okay, there we go. Okay, talk a little bit about that. Like what is your target customer, your ideal target customer? Because you could say, well, podcasters, but there’s probably a smaller niche within that that you’ve defined. So it’d be good to hear you talk about that.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (10:53.529)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (10:58.312)
Yeah, totally. There’s really two core client avatars. The first one is we’ll call them the solopreneur, entrepreneur, or personal brand that is a speaker, is a consultant, is a coach, or maybe they have a small service business. Someone that wants other people to know what they do, that wants some credibility for what they do, and wants to build a loyal following.
That’s one core bucket. And maybe they use it as a networking tool or as a marketing vehicle, something of that nature. And then the other one is what I’ll call a celebrity or influencer who has a known and existing, pre-existing audience. So Dr. Laura Berman would be an example, or Danny Lopriori, who’s got off the cuff, he was a Vine influencer. People like that who have a following, maybe some comedians, for example, because if they have a following,
Paris Vega (11:46.070)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (11:58.064)
Chances are people are gonna wanna be a part of whatever they’re doing in a podcast or other kinds of media. And so we, yeah, we’re a podcast production company, but we do more than podcast production. We do video production, we do social media, and we do all sorts of written content and web development, things of that nature. And so we always look for people who will attract an audience because of who they are. So those would be the two core.
Paris Vega (12:27.230)
Okay. And it sounds like it’s, it’s more of a white glove service. Like you’re saying you’re not doing mass scale advertising because it’s, it’s not just some automated service. It’s more of a high touch manual effort. Okay. So that makes
Billy Samoa Saleebey (12:41.272)
Yeah. Yeah. And then like, I mean, I’m, we use some things that are like tools that help us with our, with what we do, because we’re certainly not ignoring the ground swell of momentum that is happening because of AI and all the things that are allowing people to work more effectively and efficiently. And so we employ those, all those that we can because they’re helpful. But as a, as a business, we recognize that people want human.
interaction. They want that one in one attention. And even though there is going to be a subsection of the market that wants all AI and nothing else, I’d say there’s also a very big section of the population that wants to know they have a person who may be using AI tools, but a person who’s really making sure that everything runs smoothly. And that’s what we provide.
Paris Vega (13:28.918)
As of right now, there’s not the marketing robot or the podcasting robot that just is the all powerful that you can just say, make me produce my podcast, please. And it doesn’t everything. Right, it seems like it’s a matter of time at this point, the way everything’s moving so fast.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (13:38.870)
Not yet, it’s coming though.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (13:42.812)
Totally. It really does.
Paris Vega (13:47.374)
I was just talking to somebody yesterday about that. It’s like they were asking me how I saw marketing in the next five years. I was like, five years? I have no idea about five years from now. There’s no way to know what’s gonna happen by then. It’s like maybe one year we can make some predictions, but things are changing so fast at this point in time. Wow.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (14:04.696)
It’s crazy how fast things are happening. And if you’re not, look at the way I see it is if you’re not at least, if you’re not using the tools, you’re going to get beat by somebody who is using the tools. That’s the thing. So.
Paris Vega (14:15.278)
For sure. Yep. Yeah, I think that’s a good point that there’s always going to be a gap between the businesses who just want to focus on their core business versus the people who are using all the latest tools and staying up to date on those latest tools. Until of course, if there does become some all powerful AI that can just be a human for you. But okay, so we can still all make money until that happens.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (14:38.932)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (14:42.279)
Paris Vega (14:44.110)
You can get back on track now. All right, so no advertising, the traditional way or digital marketing, but it sounds like you’re using content marketing, so to speak, like putting out good bit of content on social media. Which platforms do you prefer?
Billy Samoa Saleebey (15:03.152)
For me, I think the go-to, well, one, I know it has been, and I think it will continue to be LinkedIn, because there’s enough people on LinkedIn who fit one or both of those client avatars that I just mentioned, more the former than the latter, but both exist on the platform, especially there are some influencers who we’ve produced podcasts for. But I would say LinkedIn is very interesting
Paris Vega (15:08.205)
Paris Vega (15:11.054)
because you’re deaf, people aren’t just there. You’re deaf.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (15:33.552)
There are very, very few relative to the number of people who are viewing content, very few content creators. Now more and more are coming into the mix, more than when I started three years ago. But still the ratio is relatively small. When you look at something like Instagram, for example, almost everyone who uses Instagram also posts photos. Not everyone, but a lot, a lot do. And so with LinkedIn, it’s a little bit different. There’s a lot of lurkers. There’s a lot of people that just go there to consume content.
Paris Vega (15:43.801)
Yeah, for sure.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (16:03.344)
They’re not necessarily going to create content. The other thing about LinkedIn that’s really fascinating is there really is absolutely zero that can get in your way of being successful except for your own work ethic. And what I mean by that is if you dedicate the time, you can see success. If you dedicate the time to one, making, making it a priority to pour into other people.
and get to know other people and be there for other people. If you come into LinkedIn with a selfish or what I call a getters mindset, you’re going to get nothing. You’re gonna basically waste your time. But if you come in with a heart full of giving and you give relentlessly through engaging in other people’s content, celebrating other people, making it a priority to set time to meet other people.
Paris Vega (16:45.645)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (17:00.504)
and you build a tribe and you get to know other people on the platform, it’s very reciprocal, right? It’s very like, you shouldn’t do it with the idea of like, hey, I’m doing this so I get it back. But the reality is you do get it back. It may not be directly, hey, I’m gonna engage in Paris’s post, therefore Paris will engage in my post. Sometimes it happens that way, but it doesn’t always happen in that way.
Paris Vega (17:25.538)
So I think that that message needs to go far and wide to all the salespeople selling call services, Legion service, all the things that I think blow up everybody’s DMs on LinkedIn constantly. It’s like, I have no idea who you are. I’m not gonna do business with you from these random, you know, like you were saying, just here’s all my services. You know, notice me and connect with me. It’s like.
It’s so worn out. So yeah, that makes me want to think. Right.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (17:57.936)
Well, trust but verify. I mean, you might trust that the message is, you assume positive intent and you assume that what they’re saying is real, but look at their content, look at their digital presence. Do they have the elements out there to back up what they’re saying with something that you could see and also get to know them? I mean, that’s why video is so powerful. Somebody watches a video of you talking, of me talking,
Even this podcast. I mean, somebody could watch this and get to know me. They could watch this and get to know you. And it builds that trust. We trust people who we get to know. And the better we know people, the more likely we trust them more. And the more we trust somebody, the more willing we are to give them a shot.
Paris Vega (18:50.382)
Yeah, and I think that LinkedIn might could do something to help sort through just the loads of spam that come through so that you can kind of tell some kind of quality ranking like, yeah.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (19:01.604)
You would think so, right? I mean, they are Microsoft, owned by Microsoft. You think they can figure that out.
Paris Vega (19:06.926)
Yeah, there’s gotta be some kind of metrics. What’s like if you have certain connections or I don’t know, there’s gotta be an algorithm you could write to where you could see, hey, this is most likely somebody that you’d wanna talk to based on your past conversations or something. Okay, so content marketing on LinkedIn. Do you still post just for the sake of awareness on other platforms, like just to get it out there or are you just hyper-focused on LinkedIn?
Billy Samoa Saleebey (19:20.440)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (19:33.368)
Yeah, well, I would say super candidly, it’s gone in waves. I’d say there’s been times where I post more on Instagram. There’s been times where I’ve posted on YouTube. I don’t post on Twitter that much, although I have. Um, and, and yeah, so I’d say for me, it’s, uh, LinkedIn’s always been the constant, the other platform that I went knee deep in and maybe more waist deep or maybe even more up to the neck deep is clubhouse.
But Clubhouse isn’t really anything like it used to be. So I spent an obscene amount of hours on Clubhouse, probably like eight, 10 hours a day in some cases. And it was an amazing experience. I got to meet some incredible people. But what a lot of people don’t tell you is the less glamorous parts of social media. And so yeah, while there are some examples of people who are brilliant and can come up with great content and it blows up and they’re just…
Billy Samoa Saleebey (20:30.588)
They have a knack for creating content. There are a lot more people out there who have grinded, who have put in the work, who have tested, who have put in the time. If you look at like quote unquote LinkedIn influencers, the stark reality is they’ve just put in more time than everybody else. Now they’ve gotten better at creating content and that didn’t happen by accident, it happened by doing. And so I think if somebody is looking for a free pass, I’d say,
Paris Vega (20:53.582)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (20:59.652)
better off picking a platform to focus on and go really hard at that platform. So to get to the spirit of your question, which is, you know, am I spending time on other platforms? For all intents and purposes, no, because most of my traction has been on LinkedIn and most of my time has been on LinkedIn. And I don’t know how to quantify how much time I put on early on, or I don’t know how accurate I’d be, but it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say I spent at least 25,
to 30 hours a week on platform in the early stages. That might be underestimating it. And so what does that look like? I’ll just give a few quick tips because it might be helpful for somebody. The first thing is find people like you. I always say, find your you. Find somebody out there who’s doing something like you do, maybe it’s your industry, maybe they’re a podcast or maybe they’re a business owner, maybe whatever it is, they’re a coach, but they’re really…
Paris Vega (21:33.230)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (21:59.056)
doing well on LinkedIn, they’re crushing it on LinkedIn. Follow them, connect with them, and most importantly, engage in their content, not just to engage in their content, but engage into the comments in their comments. So other people’s comments, you comment on other people’s comments, not just the post. Guess what? Now you get to know them, and you also get to know their audience. And as you get to know their audience, some of those people also post, so you connect with them, you…
follow them and you comment on their posts. And all of a sudden you have this tribe of friends that you’re creating because you’re building relationships in the comments. So you build those relationships in the comments over time and you don’t need to force it. It doesn’t need to happen overnight. So maybe in the first week, you’re connecting with people, you’re sending a few backyard conversation type messages, you’re commenting.
And then make a list of everyone that you want to engage with, making it a hot list, an engagement list. And what that does is it gives you the ability to regularly check in and chat and be top of mind with those people. Because people who are commenting on other people’s posts likely will comment on your post. And so when you post, they’re going to be notified they might comment. And the more people engage, it’s kind of like a pinball machine. And I took this from Andy Foote.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (23:23.376)
He basically says LinkedIn comments are like a pinball machine because when you put the ball out there Every time it hits something is like a comment or a like and to keep the pinball in the game You need more of those comments and likes and the flippers are like more comments, right? And so you want to keep the the ball in the game as long as possible And so you want to get that early traction with your posts and the more your posts get visible the more people start following you connecting with you
Paris Vega (23:44.974)
Yeah, keep it moving.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (23:51.332)
and then just builds from there. But it all starts with you finding those people who are in your niche or in your domain expertise that you get to know and that you build relationships with and it’ll expand from there.
Paris Vega (24:04.462)
Yeah, I think that the comments are definitely underrated because I’ve seen even on other platforms like Facebook and there was like a viral, I think TikTok going around recently about using your Facebook ads and realizing that every ad has a comment section and that’s like a whole other aspect of the ad, not just the direct impressions and clicks or whatever, but every question in there.
is the potential to like you’re saying, it’s like to bounce the ping pong ball back up through the system through notifications. Because every time somebody comments and you respond, they get a notification. And back in the day, they were way more generous with notifications. And like if you commented on one person’s thing, it’s kind of more like LinkedIn is now. They’ll notify like everybody who ever commented on that post and say, so and so also commented on that post that you commented on, even if they’re not responding to your comment specifically.
Paris Vega (25:03.502)
pounding or exponential awareness builder by just engaging in the comments. It’s such a simple hack that is powerful.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (25:11.592)
Well, a lot of this stuff, it goes back to what I said a minute ago, which is it’s got to put in the work. Yes, there’s strategy and yes, there’s hacks or secrets or things like that, but ultimately a lot of it is really basic stuff done over and over and over again. And Instagram is the same way. I mean find people who you want to, you know, they’re in your space, you engage in there, you follow, you engage, and you follow other people and you’re, it’s like kindling for a fire.
In order for a fire to start, you need to have that kindling. And that kindling is those early relationships that people will, you know, see your content and like your content, and it builds from there.
Paris Vega (25:53.486)
good. All right, so we’ve got working your personal network and then growing your network through LinkedIn, social media, engaging in the comments. Is there anything else in your tool chest you think that would kind of…
Billy Samoa Saleebey (26:11.200)
Yeah, yeah, I mean I would say podcasting itself is really important and the reason why You can build immense loyalty through the power of audio communication and The reason why is that when you speak to somebody in their ear? It’s probably the most intimate form of communication and So there’s three things that you’re getting you’re getting intimacy You’re getting
Frequency, you’re getting duration. What is frequency? Frequency means on a regular basis, you get this connection with this person. Duration is that the length of time that you get that communication is greater than any other medium out there where it’s a one-way communication, right? So you’re talking to somebody for 50 minutes, an hour, 60, you know, 30 minutes, whatever that may be. It’s a long duration of time.
You really get to know people because of that and you hear them over and over again through that frequency You really get to know them and then the intimacy hammers at home and makes it so much more Just at the heart level right like somebody listening right now really hears the inflection They hear the character of another human being’s voice and we relate to that because we’re all human beings and so I Love the power of the medium So I would say for anybody who wants to build loyalty that it’s a great great
medium to choose. But you got to be willing to, guess what, put in the work. Or pay somebody to put in the work. In my case, you could hire me, or you can hire a company like mine. And so I’ll give you a couple really quick hits about how to think about starting a podcast. So the first one is I’m going to do a book recommendation. The book is called Make Noise. And I often recommend this book. Great, great book. It really covers the.
Paris Vega (27:46.414)
I’m going to go ahead and close the video.
Paris Vega (28:00.270)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (28:05.616)
full spectrum of what it takes to be successful in the podcast space. It’s a little bit older, so some of it’s just a little bit dated, but honestly, the principles apply. It talks about interviewing. It talks about show concept, talks about show structure. I mean, it’s a fantastic book. So that’s the first thing. The second thing I would think about with the podcast is get really, really clear on why you’re doing it. And if your idea of doing it, it really is ego driven.
then check that at the door and figure out what is the other reason you’re doing it. Cause that exists, that will exist regardless. Your ego is your ego, but what’s the other reason you’re doing it? Are you doing it as a business development tool? Are you doing it to gain clients? Are you doing it to, uh, raise awareness for a cause? Everybody’s going to be different, right? So figure out what that is. And then the third piece is clearly identify who it is. Will listen to your show.
Paris Vega (28:43.694)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (29:01.476)
why they will listen to your show and what I mean by that is you could have like an idea of like a broad sense of like who might be interested but Why does it matter? Why would they care? And so I always strive when I’m thinking of show concepts to think about what can I do to differentiate my show from any? Other show that’s out there so that it it gives the potential audience some kind of feeling that
what they’re getting with your show, they can’t get everywhere else. And that’s one of the things that Make Noise talks about. So when I’m coaching and helping podcasters, I like to use the s’mores analogy because this graham crackers great, right? Bar Spelos great and Hershey’s bars, they’re great too. But you put them together and it’s magical. A s’mores is such a great treat because of the combination. And in the same way that a Hollywood producer is gonna say it’s Gremlins,
meets Titanic, right? It puts two dissimilar things together and joins them into one. Think about that for your show and think about that for your niche. And so I interviewed somebody, she was gonna do a wellness podcast, but then she said, I need a niche down. She said, I’m gonna do a wellness podcast, but more on like the spirituality. And then she said, well, you know, maybe not spirituality, but I’m gonna do oils, essential oils.
And she’s like, okay, but that’s too, even that’s too broad. So she did a specific brand of essential oils. She went from wellness, spirituality, to essential oils, to a specific brand of essential oils. And so niche down, niche down again, and then niche down till it hurts. Now that’s conventional wisdom. And what I’ll say is there’s not podcast police out there. So you can always choose to go wider. Just know the wider you go, generally speaking, the longer it takes. The more narrow you go, the faster you’re gonna find your audience.
And so when you identify what that list, who that listener is and why would they care, really try to give yourself the ability to narrow and sharpen the focus because then you, you can always expand from there.
Paris Vega (31:13.262)
Awesome. That’s some gold. And we’re coming up on needing to wrap up here soon. So if someone is, let’s say we’ve got a thousand, ideal, Spotify target audience, exact listeners or that you’re going for, exact audience, what’s that pitch kind of going on what you’re saying off of what you’re saying?
of what it takes to get a podcast going. What’s that overlap to where they should reach out to you guys and use your service?
Billy Samoa Saleebey (31:51.340)
say we buy people back their time and it’s really as simple as that. So if you’re a business owner, if you’re a influencer, if you’re somebody that wants to do a podcast but does not have the time or wants to use their time in other ways because we all have the same amount of time, then you’d reach out to Potify or another company and we’re not the only players in the space. I’d say
What makes us and what separates us that makes us different that would make it the right fit is the people And you wouldn’t know that until you until you meet us So i’d say schedule a strategy call and see if it’s the right fit Starting with me. Am I the right fit? Am I not and then my team members? we have an extremely dedicated and talented team of artists who help make whatever it is you want to make a reality and I
having been at Tesla, I take a lot of pride and care into the recruiting of team members. And so for me, I always avoid the settle on talent thing that can happen. 1% doubt and I’m out. And so I use that phrase again, because it is not worth my time and it’s definitely not worth my partner clients time to have people on the team that are slowing us down or
making it challenging. And so we always, always, always strive to hire the best people. It’s so, so important for me to have those high levels of standards. And then the last thing I’ll share is, it really comes down to your needs. Every provider out there can accommodate you in certain, in different ways. And so where our sweet spot is, is do you host a show?
that you want to have the show edited, a video podcast, show up on YouTube, maybe some help with some social media, might need help with web development. We can do all those things and monetization and creating courses, doing all of those types of things. Or creative producers. So we have a pretty wide spectrum of services that we offer. And then there’s some companies that just specialize in editing. Or you can go hire a freelancer and do just one thing.
Paris Vega (34:12.206)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (34:14.172)
custom and white glove service, then we’re probably the right fit. If you’re looking for just one or two things done, then you might want to go with a company or an individual who could just do those one or two things.
Paris Vega (34:26.989)
Is there a threshold where you’d recommend like your target audience being a certain like downloads, tier or, you know, certain amount of popularity that usually fits? Or is that not a metric?
Billy Samoa Saleebey (34:40.068)
Yeah. Good question. I’d say it’s only a metric in that if it matters to you, you should think about it and figure out why it is important. But for us, downloads might not be important for some of our shows because they’re doing it as a networking or a business development. And yeah, downloads matter to a certain degree, but if it’s a niche show, I was just talking to a guy right now, he’s a podcast consultant.
Paris Vega (35:01.774)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (35:08.472)
And he’s working with a show that has a total potential audience of 3000 people. But one of those 3000 could be a seven figure deal for that podcaster. So downloads don’t matter for a show like that. What matters is, is he getting the right people to listen to the show? And so every show is going to be a little bit different. So we, what we do, and this is our kind of our sales process is we don’t know until we’ve met you.
what is, if it’s A, if it’s going to be a fit and then also what package would make the most sense. And so I always meet with our prospective clients, first myself and then the team. And the reason why is that we want to get to know you and understand what’s important. And even if you’re not a client, we’re going to give you strategy and say, hey, maybe you could think about this or maybe you think about that. And here’s what we’ve seen successful for other shows. Cause we’re always going to pour into you no matter what. Cause not everyone’s going to be a good fit.
Paris Vega (36:05.070)
So we’ve gone over a great set of advice for any business trying to get their first customers, starting off with building your network and leaning on that network when it comes time to get customers for your business. And then defining your target audience super clearly. And then I think, what was it? Working the network and then using social media, engaging with that target audience. That’s what it was.
And then you switched over to, okay, specifically for building a podcast, similar to a business defining their target audience, niche down the topic of your podcast as far as possible, niche down till it hurts, and then put in the work of producing that podcast or hiring a service like yours to get it produced and putting it out there. Um, what about, so there’s, there’s somebody listening here, probably thinking about starting a podcast. Um,
Can you set their expectations a little bit for that, let’s say first month to three months of what they should expect? Cause I’m sure that a lot of people listening to some famous podcasters thinking, I can do that. They’re just talking to their friends or whatever and jump in and then maybe first week, they’re not famous yet. And they’re like, wait a minute, why am I not on the top of the charts?
Billy Samoa Saleebey (37:20.124)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (37:29.800)
Well, you know it is interesting because I think I think most people instinctually know they’re not gonna be the next Joe Rogan But despite them knowing that they do have often unrealistic expectations, especially when it comes to what I’ll call The vanity metrics right everybody wants downloads and so can you get the downloads? Yes, but I want you to think about your podcast like you would a book a book will not find readers
unless you put in the work to help them find your book. And it’s the same thing with the podcast. It’s like throwing something in the ocean, expecting someone to find it. They’re not gonna find it. You gotta leave the bread crumbs for people to find whatever it is you want them to find. And in this case, the podcast is no different. And so I think the advice I’d give is like, how do you think about show growth? Cause that’s what people want. And so I’ll give three ideas for show growth and an answer to your question.
The expectation is don’t think of it like a short term gratification opportunity. Think of it like a long-term tenure opportunity. And if you’re thinking about it short term, that’s okay. Just realize that you’re doing a seasonal show for fun. It’s a passion project. If you want to see long-term results, you got to put in the long-term effort. And so doing something over the long haul.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (38:57.904)
is really key to 90% of shows success is that they’ve done it for a long enough period to where they found their audience. So now to my three points on how you find your audience. There’s really three levers you can pull. First one’s organic. Second one is collaboration and the third one is paid. And I think you and I spoke about this in a previous conversation. And when you think about organic, think about ways that you can step in front of success. There’s a lot of momentum generating.
vehicles out there like YouTube shorts Instagram reels tick-tock for social media like SEO and Which include transcription blogs Show notes anything that’s written 74% of podcasts are found because people search it’s getting them into the news cycle Right and that’s from podcast movement, you know getting into the news cycle right now We have a bunch of shows that are talking about things that are on Netflix
Paris Vega (39:46.126)
Billy Samoa Saleebey (39:56.368)
talking about things that are in the news, talking about things that are trending. And why? Because we wanna get into the news cycle. So we could create a short that might get go viral. So we can create other content. And the podcast is really a vehicle to create other content because podcasting by its nature is not a distribution vehicle, it’s a loyalty vehicle. But how do you get that distribution? Well, go to distribution vehicles. So YouTube, Instagram, TikTok.
The second lever point is you collaborate with other people in your medium. So if you’re a YouTuber, go on YouTube. If you’re a podcast, go on podcasts. So that’s the second one and do it at scale, do it as frequently as you can. And then the third thing is you pay for people to find you. You could pay through podcast platforms or players like Castbox, Overcast. You could use tools and platforms like Mopod or Headliner. Um, a number of tools out there that help you get downloads and listeners.
Or you could pay in other ways. The most effective way I’ve found is podcast promos. So if you, like, if I were to do a promo for your show on my show, for example, that will work really, really well. And so those are just some ideas of how to grow an audience. Again, knowing that it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to take some time and attention over the long, longterm. Those would be some of the, I’d say most common and
Paris Vega (41:00.750)
Hmm. Okay. Yeah. Yeah.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (41:23.152)
most effective ways to grow a podcast audience.
Paris Vega (41:28.718)
Billy, this has been awesome. You’ve packed a ton of value into this for anybody starting a business and especially starting a podcast. So thank you for being here today. Listeners, if you’re thinking about starting a podcast or if you know somebody who has a podcast or is thinking about it, share this episode with them. A ton of value here that applies directly to what they’re trying to do. Thanks again for being here, Billy.
Billy Samoa Saleebey (41:51.396)
It’s been a joy. Paris has been a real fun conversation and always love hanging.
Paris Vega (41:57.134)
All right, everybody, see you next episode.
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