Founder marketing: Hiring a media creator

The important role of an in-house media creator (or content creator) to a brand, especially in the software space, has been a topic weighing on my mind for a while.

In today’s episode, I break down a few clips from a recent episode of Bootstrapped Web, where hosts Brian & Joran discuss their challenge of filling this role.

I refer to this as Founder Marketing.

When a young company is hiring for this role, it’s a responsibility that can’t be left to the fundamental content creation tasks. A capable candidate must be able to channel their inner founder in order to create content that resonates across: sales, marketing, product, and support.

Someone that not only knows how to create a piece of content, but that also is as passionate for the business as they are the audience.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or engage with the following Twitter thread.


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[00:02:02] Welcome back to another episode of the Maryport podcast. This is a topic that we’re going to talk about today. It’s called something. I call founder marketing. Uh, my friends, Brian castle and Jordan Goll recently talked about this on their podcasts. They’re both hiring. For this media creator role.
[00:02:19] And I guess it’s going to come in many forms. Uh, and fashions. This is something that I do here at my day job at Casos where I create the podcast. I do the YouTube channel. I do some marketing stuff generally is about creating this content. To help. Not only promote, uh, the Castle’s product and the brand.
[00:02:38] But to know where the synergies needed to create. You know, sales. Um, onboarding product enhancements, support enhancements, building out community. It’s not just do a podcast. Get listeners get downloads, that kind of thing. Or do a YouTube create a YouTube video. And try to get likes and views and subscribers, although.
[00:03:03] It does contain the sum of those many pieces. This founder marketing thing or this creator It’s a bit of a unicorn. If, if I pat myself on the back just a little bit, it’s a bit of a unicorn. Because when you’re hiring for this role, As Brian and Jordan, uh, find themselves in. The challenge is to find somebody who can, can understand.
[00:03:25] The business and the opportunity in the market and the customers. Just like the founder. So, this is where I get the founder marketing title from it. Maybe could be ironed out a little bit more, you know, into something else or a little bit something more direct that you could put into a job listing. But the way I see it is as you have to.
[00:03:44] Feel like the founder and know the market and the product and the customer, like the founder in order to create the content that attracts. And the customers to it. Otherwise you’re just telling somebody to go create this piece of content and they can shoehorn it. Right. And they people do it all the time. People outsource this to agencies and there’s nothing wrong with it.
[00:04:04] But it’s very much from a. A strategic standpoint. Uh, almost utilitarian, I guess, where you make a top 10 list or, you know, do a tutorial or a how to, or comparison piece of content, which can be researched. And understood at that capacity, but the emotional side of it is, is very hard to fine tune.
[00:04:28] So on bootstrap web, where Jordan and Brian host their podcast, uh, I’ve had both of them on the show before countless times. They started talking about this journey of hiring this media creator person. So number one, if that’s you check out that episode, it’ll be in the show notes. And reach out to either Brian and Jordan for a potential role. It’s going to be kind of interesting to see them.
[00:04:48] Going head to head. In this space and seeing who they hire and how they hire. Uh, I think it’s a great time. It’s a great opportunity for us creators that are out there. So if that’s you. Creating your own little, uh, YouTube channel or podcast. And by little, I mean, maybe you’re just starting out and you’re trying to gain traction, but this could be a great opportunity to say, you know what.
[00:05:09] I have a small audience here it’s growing might not be growing as fast as I’d like, but this is an opportunity for us. It really puts the power in the hands of the creators. I think. When software businesses, or any businesses in general think like media companies. Because if you looked at. Traditional Hollywood, let’s say.
[00:05:28] And how much of a closed ecosystem that. Well, probably still is, but was definitely 20 years ago. Four. You know anybody to produce a movie, any actors to show up comedians, et cetera, et cetera. And then you look at. Introduction of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon. Everybody is now. Now has this secondary market of content.
[00:05:53] Where it’s not just the big television channels and the big movies. So that’s the only distribution points anymore. There are far more distribution points, far more opportunities. For creators to create no, the traditional media that we, that we think about movies and television. Let’s break down a few clips. Uh, I also have a Twitter thread on this, which will be in the show notes. If you want to engage with the Twitter thread and see some of the activity happening over there. So we’re gonna play each clip from.
[00:06:20]This episode, the most important clips I think from their conversation. And then i’m gonna break it down uh verbally here okay so let’s dive into the first clip
[00:06:28]Brian Casel: The first and most important position I think is, is the media creator, uh, role. And so this is a person who I’m, I’ve been talking to a couple people, but it is a really difficult one to find potential candidates.
[00:06:42] So I’m looking for somebody to essentially like co-host podcasts, be a show runner for, for new podcasts, video content produce videos. Um, so somebody who is like a great storyteller and has the technical chops, like the video production podcast, chops, you know, doing interviews with other people, uh, coming up with creative, uh, premises for a new show and just, you know, being like just driving the creative content that comes out of this.
[00:07:10]Matt: So we go back to, this is the founder marketing role, right? This is why it’s so important to me. For somebody to have that founder, like experience. Which again, I know it was very difficult. It’s that unicorn position, but I think the best candidate for what Brian. Is looking for. Is going to be somebody who has, uh, that close relationship to the customer, to the product, into the market. Somebody who’s as excited.
[00:07:37] For his product. Uh, as they would be, if it were their own product now, again, very difficult to find, but I think that’s where he’s going to find. Uh the best candidate for
[00:07:47] Jordan Gal: it feels like what you’re really what you’re saying is that there needs to be a function. That creates an audience and does that by understanding what the audience wants and providing value to it.
[00:08:00] And then the media that supports it and delivers that value,
[00:08:04] Brian Casel: I would say yes. And coming up with creative, new ideas, like a new new premise, not just find a hundred founders to go interview every week. Like. New angles, new, new premise.
[00:08:18]Jordan Gal: that you, you emphasize that in the job listing where it was like, we don’t want to do the same stuff.
[00:08:24] We want to really think about why we would do something. And then, and then look at the format that way. Not just, well, let’s just do another podcast because that’s what everyone does.
[00:08:34]And this is on the flip side. This is where a great creator is going to really enjoy a role like this because. Which, and I’ll preface this preface, this breath preface with saying that. This is also a challenge for, uh, Brian and Jordan. I feel. Because they have to be hands off. They have to let the creator create because that’s, what’s going to yield the best result.
[00:09:01] And if you’re a creator out there, Doing your thing. You know this, you know, that. If there’s less restrictions. Uh, You know, unless sort of control and you have more autonomy to do. What you need to do to create a great piece of content. That doesn’t have to be just a podcast. It spans across podcasts, audio, video.
[00:09:21] Written, uh, email newsletter, even if you were doing some kind of like social campaign. You understand where. Your strengths are and how you’re going to communicate this message. And if Brian and Jordan can, can let the creators create, I think that’s going to be the best outcome, but also the hardest for them.
[00:09:42] To not manage, but I have expectations for, because I think so many founders might be. Uh, so goal oriented or developer oriented where there’s sprints and there’s sales goals. And there’s marketing goals where like visits and conversions that the creative side is very hard to measure, especially when you turn to them and you say, Hey, I need, I need time.
[00:10:05] To do this. The more time you give me the better it’s going to get, but it’s not going to be like this constant production wheel happening. I mean, it eventually will write, like I found a pretty good stride at Casos. But in the beginning it’s like i just need time to absorb this I need the time to look at my creator canvas and i think that’ll be the biggest challenge for brian and jordan moving forward
[00:10:27]Jordan Gal: So first step. Audience. And now this technical marketer role is really the transition between the audience and the product.
[00:10:37] It’s like the bridge on identifying some people in the audience. Are are, are going to be interested in what we’re doing as a product, not everyone. And, and you’re not building the audience solely for the purpose, like, cause that people see through that you want the authentic version of media and an audience and value and then allowing for a bridge from there over to the
[00:10:58] Brian Casel: product.
[00:10:59]Matt: And just to wrap some context around this. This is Jordan, uh, explaining back the technical marketing role that Brian also wants to hire. So he wants to. Hire it in tandem. This content media creator, plus a technical marketer to sort of carry the ball. The other. Uh, half of the way down, down the field to use a sports analogy, terrible one at that. But.
[00:11:23] Hiring the media creator go out and do the creative. Do the show running, create the actual content, hire a marketing technical marketing lead. To help distribute the content, help convert the content and, and measure the success. Of the content. So number one, very smart move for, uh, for Brian to be thinking that because it can’t, it can be two people.
[00:11:47] In a very low pressured setting. Um, and by pressures, not even just the pressures of, uh, of the owners or the other teams, but just the market in general, like how much content do you need to create to compete with others? Uh, how much time do you need for each piece of content? Having somebody else carry the ball. The rest of the way on the marketing side is very smart.
[00:12:09] Uh, you definitely gonna need a budget to do that. You need to be able to hire two people at once. Um, you can do it in the beginning. It really depends on what your capacity is as a creator, but also, uh, how you can streamline your processes and, and what the actual overall goals are. So very smart to have these two separate roles, because largely they are two separate. Parts of your brain thinking about how to approach this stuff
[00:12:33]Brian Casel: it’s about thinking about that target audience and distribution before we even create. The content. So if the technical marker and myself are in the mix on coming up with ideas in collaboration with our, with our, uh, media creator, It’s about, we know that at the end of the day, we want to reach this segment of people.
[00:12:57] So how can we start to come up with creative ideas for, for a show, with an awesome premise for, for that, that, that, that audience would just eat up every single day. And the technical marketer can think about as we’re ideating on this stuff. Okay. If we’re going after that audience, these are the types of channels that we can go to distribute that, that show and grow the audience for it.
[00:13:19]Again, this is where I go back. Let the creators create. This will be the challenge. All right. How do we give somebody the freedom, but also at the same time, like push this marketing and promotional thing forward so that we know it’s working. I would say it’s going to take a solid six months in order to really hit a stride.
[00:13:37] You know, working together. How content calendars are created, how content is created, how it’s shipped, how it’s promoted, how it’s repurposed. Which is very, very difficult. Two. Even like, think about and make time for it because you, you create so much content. That you just don’t want to let it.
[00:13:57] Be done. Right. You spend all of this time, all this investment in it. How do you keep that? Content fresh. Newsletters communities, et cetera, et cetera. So things like that big challenge, but good that Brian’s thinking about it as two independent. Uh
[00:14:12] responses.
[00:14:13]Jordan Gal: I’m going to argue that there’s a third function, a third role that we we’re going to bump up against immediately.
[00:14:23] And that is of community. Because it is a really tall task to ask someone to lead the media creation efforts and also focus on community. Some people are like magically talented and do that almost like inherently. They just can’t even help it. They just create media and form an audience around it and communicate with that community at the same time.
[00:14:49] And it can be the same person for a certain amount of time, but they are like, Uh, there’s a third element there around community and fostering it and, and kind of
[00:15:00] Brian Casel: communicating with, for that community piece
[00:15:03]So my last comment, just foreshadowed this clip. Uh, in, it’s interesting to see Jordan already with the wheels turning you’re you’re already thinking about, okay, what’s that third pillar that comes next and he’s saying it’s it’s community. And it most certainly is maybe not for every product and brand that’s out there.
[00:15:22] But the key thing here is that, that. That, even those two people, the creator and the technical marketer. Can not be responsible for. Building and cultivating and supporting a longterm community. Again, everything can be done temporarily. Just won’t be done. Great. And it. Won’t be done. Very organized.
[00:15:44] And there’ll be a lot of pressure on one person to do everything. But hopefully what this does is bring it to light. Because a lot of people just say, oh, I’m going to hire somebody who does marketing, oh, by the way, do a podcast, do a YouTube channel, do this marketing thing, report on the metrics. Tell me what the conversions are, do the email newsletter. And can we do it a community with that? I mean, sure. Anyone can tackle all three of those at once, but it’s just going to be done poorly to the point where the person who’s responsible for it is ultimately just going to burn out because.
[00:16:16] Uh, approaching a community, which is something that I even struggle with at Casto. So it’s something that I want to do, but I’m quickly realizing I can’t do all the content creation. And do the community well. What I can do is I can see the foundation of the, of the community. I hope. And then that can be carried through.
[00:16:34] By somebody else in the future. Uh, or I take it at a really. Minimal viable product approach, where it’s just very, very. Small chunks of what a community aspect might be. And that could just be conversations that are happening. Uh, in a circle app. Right. But a true community is going to be just constant engagement.
[00:16:53] Constant engagement, constant, you know, pruning and supporting and making sure people are engaged and that there’s. Value being taken away from it, because if there’s not somebody doing that, it’s very, very hard to get the momentum for our community to take off where it just supports itself. I think a lot of people think community cause they’re like, oh great.
[00:17:12] This will be interaction that’s just on autopilot. Yeah, everybody gets into a room and of course they want to talk about. The product, the brand and you know, what their experiences are. But you need somebody. Constantly engaging in that. Again, whole new responsibility, smart to think about it. Smart to think about it as an independent responsibility
[00:17:32]Brian Casel: My thinking on that is now if you want like a, like a, an engaged community who, who is interacting with each other. The audience has to come first,
[00:17:42] Jordan Gal: the audiences, the is the raw material in some ways that, yeah.
[00:17:46] Brian Casel: And, and like for a brand new community, like if you want to start slack group or a circle or whatever you’re going to use for your community, it’s just such an insanely difficult Boulder to push up a hill.
[00:17:59] If you don’t have an audience to begin with, or if your audience is very small, because truth of the matter is for every hundred people who follow you. Only five of them or less are the type of people who will actually leave a comment in the community. The other 95 might lurk. They might watch, but they’re just not commenters.
[00:18:18] That’s just the nature. So you need thousands and thousands of followers to just spark a community
[00:18:25]I think that too early on trying to create a community out of a very small audience, you’re going to waste resources.
[00:18:32] You’re going to waste like people or waste hours waste money on a extremely difficult uphill battle.
[00:18:40]And that’s Brian, just proving my point. He’s been doing it now for a while. He understands. Um, The challenge of community so i have nothing much more to say on that other than what i just said previous to brian what brian just said in that statement
[00:18:56]Brian Casel: especially for that media creator role, it’s a really difficult, I am talking to a couple people, but I think what I’m also starting to look at, I don’t even know how viable this is, is to sort of be like a scout and try to find.
[00:19:10] People who have like a small, like a young podcast or YouTube channel or both sort of in the space. And maybe look to acquire them and that show and, and enroll with that, you know, but like how do you find someone who hasn’t blown up yet? You know, um, this is what we talk. You can see, you can see the talent, like on the page and it’s.
[00:19:36] So, yeah, so about that
[00:19:38] Jordan Gal: too, and this is kind of an opportunity for someone listening or someone that they’re familiar with to just raise your hand and basically say, well, I’m talented. I just need a chance. I just need some budget. I need, I need a bigger stage to perform on
[00:19:53]Again, finding this person is. We’ve been talking about all these challenges, but it’s going to be finding this person who, who meets this criteria. Who’s able to produce this kind of content. Uh, it’s just a super challenge. So I’ll speak towards just who the creators are. If you’re a creator out there listening to this, and I can tell you from my firsthand experiences,
[00:20:13] You start running with a project. You love the project. You never want to see that project go away. Uh, or yet you could never consider yourself part of another brand. You just let it go. Right. Like at some point you realize like, okay, In order to get better as a creator in order to challenge myself and then move on to something else.
[00:20:33] Then, if this is something that’s interesting to you, what Brian and Jordan are talking about. Look. Being able to, Hey, I got my, my YouTube channel up to whatever, whatever your number is, a thousand subscribers, 5,000 subscribers or whatever it is. And you’re, and you’re feeling like you’re hitting a plateau, both from the growth side and from the creative side.
[00:20:54] Then you have leveraged there. So I guess what I’m getting at is if you’re building something and you’re not super happy with it, It’s valuable to somebody else valuable to somebody in this position and Brian and Jordan, aren’t going to be the last brands, hiring somebody to create content for them and create to create content well.
[00:21:11] That you can leverage that. And I’m not even saying you necessarily get rid of it. Uh, or give up on it or, or, or sell it so where maybe you do sell it. Right. So if you are in the technical space, cause there’s lots of us. That do the technical review, the software. The plugins, the tutorials, that kind of thing.
[00:21:29] This would be a great. In road to say, well, look, I’ve, I’ve built up this. Audience. This brand, I have this many subscribers. I’ve had this many videos or this many listeners. Let me sell this value to you and, um, I think that’s perfectly fine. And one that you know is only up to you as a creator, whether or not you want to do it.
[00:21:49] But the options are there and the options are, are going to keep coming. I think. Um as more people invest in this space
[00:21:56]Jordan Gal: I can’t help, but I keep going back to news, like what’s happening here, industry. Who’s doing what who’s collaborating with, who, who raised money, who hired, who, who left this, who starting something new? Like that’s the stuff you talk about on a day-to-day basis. And I think there’s an opportunity.
[00:22:11] To create media around that, that turns that media brand into a destination and somewhere that people look to regularly, and that would be, that would be power.
[00:22:24]Uh, the context around this clip. From Jordan was he’s looking for something that’s that’s unique. Like what could he produce? At his new company rally, that would be a unique twist on content creation that isn’t just the interview trans. Uh, the interview podcast or even well, a high produced podcast where it’s more storytelling and engaging.
[00:22:46] Um, you know, in much, in much higher production. Is thinking about news and sort of just staking a claim in whatever market you’re in, you can’t report the news and have your unique angle on it. And I totally agree. This is a huge opportunity in this space. For many reasons. One it’s more topical and.
[00:23:05] When you’re creating content like this, like I do with the WP podcast. It’s very specific. It’s very specific to WordPress news. It’s very specific to only five minutes. And that is. The premise there because. I’m serving. I have clear definition of the audience that I’m serving no more, no less.
[00:23:26] It’s it’s targeted. So. I know who I’m serving. I know why they listen. And I know how to produce it on repeat. Whereas even a show like this, which is much more long form. Sometimes it’s solo shows sometimes. We’re talking to somebody and doing an interview. You know, it’s 30, 40, 30 to 45 minutes, maybe sometimes an hour. There’s a lot of stuff that can happen. It’s it attracts different types.
[00:23:52] Uh, of listeners production is always different. Uh, shownotes are always different. Value is always different. And while it’s it’s great. And it’s, it’s a brand building experience and it’s engaging for a lot of people. Uh, the audience that tunes in and the brand awareness that it raises can kind of be all over the board, which is.
[00:24:14] It’s good. It’s still good. Um, but when you do something hyper-focused as a news, Or a super, super hyper-focused, um, maybe educational podcast. Then you just have clear definitions and things or. Are much easier that way. Um, From, uh, from an audience perspective, maybe from the creator’s perspective.
[00:24:36] A little bit harder to just stay within those lines all the time. Depending on what it is that you’re, that you’re doing and covering. Uh but definitely easier to create a process for and ultimately uh raise awareness
[00:24:49]Jordan Gal: This is the same thing that we talked about with Barstool. Sports wear is a draft Kings, right? The gambling site, they just bought the exact audience that gambles. So it’s very natural alignment. Yep. Yep. Cool man. Well, I have a feeling we’re gonna, we’re gonna talk a lot more about this and we’re going to pretend not to be fighting over people for the same world.
[00:25:13] Right. But we,
[00:25:17] Brian Casel: so, uh, yeah. What, what else you got going on?
[00:25:19]So I’m really interested to see how Brian and Jordan end up, uh, sort of tongue in cheek here, like feuding with one another. Right? Sort of you think about like big Hollywood executives sort of sparring over the, the, the, the best actors and actresses and best, uh, directors and, and scripts to buy. And, and, and it’s almost like that huge.
[00:25:40] You know, world of Hollywood that’s feels so water out of touch being really shrunk down to this, you know, finite thing that could be. Uh, happening across many brands trying to hire talent. Um, trying to find the talent is a challenge at a higher them trying to acquire them. Put a number on it. It’s very difficult.
[00:26:01] Uh, and to find the right person to do it all. So it’s, uh, I I’m sitting here smiling ear to ear because I’m really interested to see this challenge unfold for both of them and how they both go about it. And interested to see if they do cross paths and find somebody who has applied to both because they have a strong listenership. And if you are listening to this, you could be applying to, to their job openings as well.
[00:26:23] Um, But at the same time, lots of opportunity in this space now. And I think this is sort of validating it. This founder marketing role. Um, And I think that there’s going to be a lot more of this happening. Because there’s a lot of, at least in the WordPress space. And even the people that I talk to now and know code and software as a service.
[00:26:44] Founders are either. Hyper-focused on sales. And growth. So that’s the other angle of it. This is stuff that you need sort of after, I’ll say with air quotes, after the content creation. Um, or they’re they’re founders and they’re the founder developer, right? So they’re actually building the product. There’s no time.
[00:27:00] Uh, there’s no creative aspect. There’s no social aspect for some to just get out there and create that content. So. Big big opportunities ahead. I don’t know. Let me know what you think if you, uh, are interested in, uh, number one, applying for that role, check out the bootstrap web podcast. What Brian and Jordan are doing. Jump on that Twitter thread, click on that in the show notes. And you can just engage with them right there. If that’s the quickest route to it. I have a let me know what you think about founder marketing right on twitter okay that’s it that’s the Matt report. we’ll see you in the next episode


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