entrepreneurship

5 Small Business Podcasts For Growth That We Can’t Stop Listening To

Let me set the scene for you.

My business partner and I stood with beer-in-hand, kicking new ideas (and a little PandaDoc stress ball we got at a conference) back-and-forth across the room trying to come up with a better way to build a network of solid promotional partners.

This was about 60-days ago as I write this, and man were we stressed.

“We’re having tons of success with the few channel partners we can get in front of, but it’s so hard to turn our initial conversations into actual promotion.”

We needed a better way to get a foot in the door and create some momentum.

About an hour in with no progress, and my business partner looks up and says matter-of-factly, “well, I guess we’re just going to have to start a podcast.”

After a quick chuckle (there was beer involved), we decided that actually wasn’t such a bad idea.

Fast-forward two months and it could be the best decision we’ve ever made. We’re 10 episodes in with at least 5 new promotional partners in the fitness and wellness industries that we never would’ve locked up without starting the process by dropping a simple line like, “hey, we should really get you guys on the podcast, our audience would love it!”

Since then I’ve gained a whole new respect for this medium, and wanted to share the top 5 business podcasts on growth that you should be listening to in your car, while you’re eating, or while you exercise (2 with a little health and fitness bend - hey, that is my focus).

1 Simple Thing with Dave Kirby

iTunes | Stitcher

Dave Kirby may not be some Silicon Valley legend or a career CEO, but he does an incredible job with this podcast, highlighting potential pitfalls, blending in personal anecdotes, and contextualizing exactly what you need to be thinking about as a small business owner in an amazingly relatable way.

I also like the length - 15-20 minute episodes - and the fact that Dave does a great job hitting a specific topic with each guest making it extremely easy to reflect on what was said after listening.

Basically, it’s the perfect podcast for all of you small business owners out there.

Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Sui

iTunes | Stitcher

Unlike Dave from 1 Simple Thing, Neil Patel is about as famous as a marketer can be, and Eric Sui is no slouch either. So for a marketing podcast, these are some serious heavy hitters. However, much like Dave’s show, Neil and Eric focus on one, super-specific marketing solution in each episode in a way that makes it feel like you’re actually learning a lot given the hyper-speed 6-10 minute episode length.

It all makes this podcast perfect for anyone who needs to learn more tactics to improve their marketing results … so probably everyone.

The GaryVee Audio Experience with Gary Vaynerchuk

iTunes | Stitcher

Gary Vaynerchuk is loud, intense as hell, and probably takes some getting used to for slow-talking southerners like myself. With that said, he ain’t wrong. The dude is a go-getter through-and-through and when you listen to one of his rants, you’ll find you have a tendency to become a go-getter too.

This podcast is ideal for any business owner who could use a quick, honest kick in the butt to get in gear on that next campaign to grow their business.

Evolution of Medicine Podcast with James Maskell

iTunes | Stitcher

This podcast with James Maskell and Gabe Hoffman, the creators of the Functional Forum is an incredible business growth show masquerading as a niche medical podcast. I’m not saying it isn’t niche - don’t bother if you aren’t into new innovations in medicine, wellness or fitness - but James comes from a practice management background and the backdrop of every episode is how these innovations can help you run a more profitable practice or business.

Spending 30 minutes to an hour with James, Gabe and their guests is the perfect prescription for any wellness business or medical practice owner, looking for new ways to unlock more revenue.

Scale Well Podcast with Phil Beene and Mac Gambill

iTunes | Stitcher

Remember the story I opened with? It’s time to bring it full-circle.

That after-hours idea session on a cold December night turned into the Scale Well Podcast where my business partner at Nudge Coach, Mac Gambill, and I chat with entrepreneurs and thought leaders about how simple technology tools and platforms are enabling more scalable business models.

The list of people we’ve been able to book in our first 10 episodes has honestly been nuts, including a great chat with Zach Olsen, the CEO of Bookly which you can watch in video form here.

This podcast is perfect for any fitness or wellness entrepreneurs and business owners out there, but the episode with Zach is a great listen for any small business owner.

Hope you enjoy these 5 podcasts as much as I have!

---

Phil Beene is Co-founder and President of Nudge Coach, a software company that gives gyms and wellness businesses a whole new way to support and engage members through a custom-branded mobile app. He also co-hosts the Scale Well Podcast with Nudge Coach Co-founder and CEO Mac Gambill. You can learn more about Nudge Coach at http://nudgecoach.com.

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

5 Business Trends to Look Out For in 2017

business trends 2016

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

1. Native Advertising Will Become More Popular

The popularity of ad-blockers is steadily increasing. The end result is hard to predict. Powerful companies like Facebook and Google drive major revenues from their advertising platforms and will not want to let go easily. But with the recent announcement of Apple, things are beginning to change.

Writing on the impact of ad-blockers on Facebook, Biz Carson of the Business Insider writes:

The threat to its mobile advertising market comes directly from a September Apple software update that introduced ad-blocking apps to iOS 9. Ad blockers became some of the top-selling downloads in the app store, although some have since been removed over privacy concerns.

iOS will also automatically be including an ad-blocker with Safari on their mobile devices—a shrewd move against some of their biggest competition in the tech space like Google. 

The increase of ad-blockers will most likely force companies to look for alternative methods to get their brand's voice heard. Native advertising is a likely candidate to fill the gap. This will allow products to appear in casual settings where they don’t appear as outward advertisement—for example, a picture of Kylie Jenner drinking Coca-Cola. When it comes to native advertisements, ad-blockers will not be able to properly distinguish between an honest photo and a sponsorship.

2. Subscription Based Services Will Increase in Number

Netflix, Hulu, Audible—millennials have spoken. Consumers don’t like hourly fees, and subscription services are an effective way to do away with them. In fact, it’s one of the reasons Bookly has adopted such a model—we don’t want our customers to feel as if they should be afraid to ask their accountant questions. A monthly subscription model gives our clients unlimited access to a CPA without having to worry about each passing minute costing them money. 

Equally important with subscription based services, is the removal of friction at the point of purchase. When a client can make automated recurring payments—there is little pain associated with the purchase or hassle of paying each time. Harvard Scientists have studied this phenomenon with brain scans and have discovered that humans experience physiological pain at the point of purchase, but that this pain can be mitigated through various marketing techniques. (Read our article about neuromarketing for further reference.)

Michal Lev-Ram of Fortune writes: 

Subscriptions should certainly be an option for consumers, regardless of the product type. Consumer behavior, especially among younger people, is changing, and the need to own and house goods—from music to cars to physical documents—is waning. While Wall Street grapples with how to evaluate some of the subscription-only companies (à la Box), it has clearly worked up an appetite for a recurring revenue model that gives companies all sorts of new ways to engage with old and new customers. But transitioning isn’t easy, and each company needs to evaluate the needs of its customer base—and how subscriptions could potentially open the door to new users.

3. Content Marketing Will Become Essential

Another result of ad-blockers will be the increased importance of content marketing. As services move to block traditional advertising, value-based content will become more and more relevant. Articles, photos, and videos that can organically drive traffic will become essential components of running a proper ad campaign. 

John Miller of B2C writes: 

While many of the skills of content marketing and traditional digital marketing overlap, the intent is very different. While digital advertising can clearly play a role in marketing the content, the key is to start with awesome, audience-focused content rather than traditional in-your-face promotional copy. Your audience – almost regardless of who they are – wants content that helps them do their job better or live their life more enjoyably; telling them how fabulous your products or services are doesn’t accomplish that.

4. Increased Focus on Workplace Culture

More and more businesses are ditching suits and ties for t-shirts and ping pong tables. Simple gestures such as these are effective ways to boost morale and generate good will amongst employees. Upgrades such as these are often inexpensive and go a long way to ensure a happy workforce. With articles all over the internet touting the fun vibe found in startup hubs like San Fransisco and Austin, look for this trend to continue in 2016 as companies attempt to attract top talent. 

5. The Rise of the Solopreneur

With an increase in tools available (many of them free and inexpensive), look out for the rise of the solopreneur. iPhones are able to produce great photos, instructional YouTube videos and articles are widely available , and services like Canva put the power of graphic design into the novice’s hands. With services like these, technology is creating a generation of Renaissance men and women. 

Not only are companies giving the power to the consumer, they’re also allowing them to outsource their business needs at prices that sometimes make it more convenient than hiring in-house employees. Bookly for example offers accounting services that most often outpace more traditional methods in terms of cost and efficiency. This gives the consumer the ability to spend more time doing the parts of business they enjoy, and get quicker updates on their financials without ever having to leave their office. 

Audio Interview With Fundraising Fiend—Jess Larsen

Jess Larsen Podcast

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

Last week we sat down with Jess Larsen, founder of the Ideation Collective and Child Rescue (an organization that helps save children from sex trafficking and slavery). He's raised millions of dollars in funds for  non-profits and for-profits alike, rubbed shoulders with NBA players, Hollywood Actors, Special Forces, and high powered CEO's. Throughout his journey he's picked up a thing or two about starting a business. Luckily for you, Jess was willing to share his wisdom with us. 

Side Note: The recording begins mid-stream as we've edited the conversation to contain only the meatiest parts. Bookly was also acquired by KPMG Spark in 2018.

Why Your Small Business Needs to Consider the Customer Testimonial

customer testimonial

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

These days customer testimonials have become standard practice for nearly all business models. From big time investment firms to sellers on Amazon, everyone’s looking for a blurb telling you why you should trust their service. Customer testimonials serve several applications that will boost your business’s success. We will go over these uses and how you can solicit them from customers.

Validation:

Validation is two-fold in its service. Not only is it important for your customer, but it can serve as fuel for your business as well. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an established company rolling out a new product, there’s always that anxiety of wondering how something will be received by the public. Getting positive feedback from consumers will give you the confidence to keep pursuing the avenues that are working. 

Just as important if not more so, is the confirmation potential customers will get, knowing that they’re not alone in their decision to purchase your product. It’s no secret that humans like to belong or fit in with others. There have been numerous psychological studies proving that in times of uncertainty, people will tend to copy others' actions. (You can read about one of these experiments conducted by Opower’s Alex Laskey by following the link.)

*Scenario* Imagine you’re on a road trip and you’re in the middle of nowhere when you pull over for food. There’s two BBQ joints that look similar, except for one’s completely empty and the other is full. Barring that there’s no line, which one will you choose? 

That’s the power of validation, that's the customer testimonial. 

Vantage Point:

Whatever our title, we all experience it—tunnel vision. We see things through a particular lens because that’s what our professions teach us to do. As hard as we try, we can never quite see things the same way someone else does. And when it comes to business, no one’s viewpoint matters more than the customer’s. Customer testimonials will allow you to see things through the eyes of someone else and provide you with unique insights you couldn’t get in any other way. Which brings us to our third and final point.

Unique Insight:

You’re sure everyone loves your product because of it’s beautiful design. You’ve even poured thousands of dollars into marketing based on that singular fact. And then you speak with your customers, not one mention of design. In fact, some people don’t even like the look of your product—but they love how sturdy it is. 

Get the picture? Customers see things you can’t. And even if you're aware of all your product's uses, can you be sure which one is driving them to purchase it?

Customer testimonials can give you a sense of what makes your product shine, how people are using it, and how you need to market it. 

Conclusion: 

  • Use customer testimonials as a mini compass for your business. They will help you and your customers consistently make smarter decisions. 
  • Basic web analytics can measure a lot things, but hearing testimonials directly from the mouth of your consumers can reveal things numbers aren’t always capable of doing.
  • Be wise and diversify your strategy. Customer testimonials aren't a magic bullet for all your marketing woes. A well rounded plan that includes analysis of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and traditional word of mouth will be the most advantageous.