As a podcaster, I have a marketing problem, I can’t upload an audio file to Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram. This is where Wavve comes in, Wavve turns audio files into engaging videos for podcast hosts like me.
You can also find Baird on Twitter.
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Here is an automated transcription of the Episode.
Gerard: In this episode, I talked through the seven pages of startup marketing with Baird Hall, the Co-founder of way. Welcome to fractal startup marketing, the podcast for founders who are frustrated, [00:00:30] their potential customers did not understand or they undervalue their innovative business solutions. My name is Gerard Doyle. In each episode, I interview founders who openly discuss how they’re tackling the seven p’s of startup marketing. We’ll talk about a startups pitch problem, promise, Arizona position promotion and propagation. In true startup fashion, we aim to learn through collaboration and discussion. Let’s get into it. [00:01:00] So bad. Thank you so much for joining us.
Baird: I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to it. So first things first, let’s jump straight into the first P, which is pitch and have you pitched over on is listening exactly what wave is and what it does from the high-level wave is an online tool or a group of online tools that help podcasters and other audio creators share their content more easily on social media and drive listeners to their content as quickly as possible. [00:01:30] So we have two little products within that. The wave umbrella one is way video, which allows people to turn audio clips into social videos for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, really anywhere that you want to post video content. So the big problem is audio is not a very shareable medium, as amazing as it is so or a tool that makes it really easy to convert that audio into video and share it on social media.
Baird: And we also offer a tool called wave link, which gives podcasters quick and easy web landing pages so [00:02:00] their listeners can get listening as quick as possible. Choose whatever podcast app they want to listen to, play the podcast and get [inaudible] more information. So it’s almost like a one link mini website for podcasters. So that’s the short version. That’s great. And I’m wondering if you can explain how did you get into this, but like how did this our dear awry, what’s your origin story behind wave? Because obviously it’s not something that just turned up. There was probably a catalyst. I wonder if there’s a story. Yeah, there is. It’s, I think it’s pretty interesting. So in 2015 my [00:02:30] business partner and I, who, our wives actually connected us because we were working on both working on failed startup ideas. They brought us together and we came up with this idea for a social audio network based on audio.
Baird: So we wanted to build actually specifically around sports. We wanted to give sports fans a mobile app where they were able to actually talk about their favorite soccer match, football game, basketball game, talk with other fans. And it’s actually called [inaudible]. You were this early [00:03:00] startup that we worked on and we built this mobile app all based around audio sharing. So it allowed people to record, share audio, join communities and talk with one another. And we worked on that for about a year and a half. All of my savings and we had a couple of like thousand active users and we had some partnerships with some pretty big like sports radio shows here in the US. We could never figure out the business model. Nobody would ever pay for it at. We couldn’t get advertisers. We tried paid plans [00:03:30] like sponsorships. We tried everything and after a year and a half we had to, unfortunately, kind of sell it for parts, which was not a very lucrative the thing to do, but we had to move on.
Baird: We were out of money, but it was interesting within the last three months while that product was kinda dying on the vine, we always had this problem with our mobile app that we had all this content that users were uploading all this audio content and we were thinking like if we could just get this audio content on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, more people [00:04:00] will hear it. And then more people were downloading our app. So literally over a weekend, my business partner, who is my CTO, he built the very first version of wave which turned in a little audio clip into a video and posted it on Twitter and it was pretty quick that people, sir, a lot of podcasters would see us posting these videos and they were like, your app is kind of dumb, but how did you do that? How did you create this video?
Baird: And the light bulb went off for like, we’re working on the wrong thing. That’s when we kind of made this shift. It’s a little bit of a long story, but I [00:04:30] think for other founders out there, there’s a lot of insights there where, you know, we didn’t test the market. We thought our own idea was really great and we didn’t really do any validation. We spent a long time building features thinking it was eventually going to take off, oh, this next feature, we’ll work, this next feature will work. It never did. The core premise was off and there was no business behind it and on one hand, we wasted a year and a half. On the other hand, we learned what not to do. So the second round has definitely been more successful. I think it’s a fantastic origin story. I mean it, it [00:05:00] straight away resonates like a tweet or a slack story, you know, the classic where we’re building one business and then in the process we encountered another problem.
Baird: We solve that problem and discover that it’s a better business. Yeah. So I think it’s, it’s a classic origin story that would get people to sort of going, yeah, yeah. You totally get what it is. That’s what you built it because you were trying to get your message out there. So yeah, I think that’s, you kind of tick that box. I can see that, you know, if wave becomes huge, you know, billion-dollar Unicorn, that’ll be the story that you’ll tighten up and everyone will love telling. So I’m glad [00:05:30] I got him before. You’re worth $1 billion. Yeah, I hope so. So moving on to, to the problem and you know, the problem for a startup is, its core, right? You know, you need to be solving your problem and you’ve articulated that pretty well already that you know, if you build something that doesn’t really solve a big problem, that’s a bit of a struggle.
Baird: Can you just [inaudible] a little bit more into detail about the problem that people have, whether they realize it or not. And when you say people, you know, and how, why that she solves that for them? I think it’s interesting to think the initial core problem from two [00:06:00] different aspects. One is this technical problem that they aren’t able, you can’t put audio on social media. Like if you have an MP three file for example, when we get done with this, as you will know, I can’t take an MP three file and actually load it into Facebook or load it into Instagram. So there’s this very technical problem that needed to be solved and there needed to be a tool out there to do it. But kind of another side of things is more on like the personal and like actually on the podcast or side. And the problem is that it’s really hard to grow a podcast audience. [inaudible]
Baird: [00:06:30] you really need every little advantage that you can get, especially when you’re kind of starting from scratch on social media. And people are always looking for ways to stand out, especially because so many people are starting podcasts. So that’s kind of maybe a little bit more on the positioning side. But that was really the big problem is that people wanted to showcase their audio on social media because they’ve put so much time into it and they’re proud of it. But there’s no way to do that. And that’s where [inaudible] the very core problem comes in for the wave video product. I [00:07:00] like that. So there’s a, there’s an immediate problem which is that you solve, which is putting audio onto social networks. But the bigger problem, hey, is that you’re actually helping people reach an audience. You’re helping people try to get their podcasts out there.
Baird: So there’s kind of a, there’s an immediate problem like, yeah, take that. That’s what I want to do. But actually, what am I really solving? I’m trying to, yeah, put that out. So is that the, is that the promise that, I guess you make, so when people come onto wave, did you highlight the, the primary promise and sort of say, hey, we promised to turn your audio into videos or do you actually [00:07:30] go that little step further and maybe allude to a promise of we’re gonna help you grow your podcast. We’re gonna help you grow your social engagement? Or is that a step too far? It’s a step too far, unfortunately, because there’s so much that’s out of our control as far as what clip they choose, the branding and it, if it’s used correctly, yes we can promise that. But a lot of times it’s not.
Baird: So we can’t always promise you’re always going to get new listeners to cause there’s a lot of other things that, you know, go into dry, you know, getting a listener from a call to action, actually [00:08:00] subscribe to the podcast. However, what we do promise is better social engagement. So whatever you’re experiencing right now from an engagement standpoint, if you’re only posting images, if you use wave and post videos with the animated [inaudible] forms and the captions and the audio content, we can’t promise that you’re going to be able to use your audio to get more engagement on social media, which is really what it’s all about right now in social media. It’s less about wide reach and more about how do I get my followers, like actually paying attention to what [00:08:30] I’m posting and taking action based on what I’m posting. So that’s probably where our promise lands right now.
Baird: However we do kind of going back to that, the core problem we’re solving for podcasters is we want to help them get more listeners. So that’s kind of where the company is going in the futures. What other tools can we build to completely take care of that funnel to get listeners from, you know, not engaged, to interested to actually listening and subscribing? So that promise that you mentioned, that’s [00:09:00] the future of the company that we’re hoping for. I like that. So there’s, right. So if we go to like using like assignments, any framework or sort of why, how, and what does an overarching why with your business, which is to really to help people like me get their message out, they get better social engagement and that might manifest itself in a suite of different tools in each one of those are a different part of the puzzle to, to track it all through.
Baird: Yeah, really liked that. I could absolutely say see where you’re going with that. I’m wondering is there a way that, you [00:09:30] know, cause obviously we’ll obviously to me, cause I use the product, but people download and then they upload the video themselves so you don’t get visibility over the Rachel what’s happening, you can’t reach out to people’s accounts. What do you use to kind of test whether people are getting that promise fulfilled, whether they’re getting kind of, you know, that kind of engagement is, have you got a north star metric that you use? If I, you know, if I achieve x then I know I’m going in the right direction with the business. That’s a good question. And you’re exactly right. There’s no way for us to actually see how the videos that are created [00:10:00] perform on social media. We wish we could do that, but that the whole reason this works is that the videos get downloaded and uploaded directly as native video files and we don’t have access to the social account once it’s posted.
Baird: So we’re not able to see that. But as far as the north star goes, really what we’re looking for is just consistency. We’ve, you know, if people are using our products and they continue to use it over time, then that shows that they are, you know, getting value out of it [00:10:30] and some forum or on social media, although we can’t really quantify it, that’s really what we look for from an internal standpoint. It’s probably about the best we can do there. And it’s, we’ve been growing every month since we launched in January 2017 so we like to think that it’s going in the right direction. Yeah, it’s usually a pretty good signal and the business is growing. Uh, obviously, you know, metrics like yeah, user retention and videos created, I guess they’re all the kinds of things you’d be looking at with your business. Right? So for example, a bad signal is, it might be great that you’ve [00:11:00] retained a customer for a year, but if I only produced one video in the first month, yeah, that’s actually a pretty negative signal.
Baird: So I’m guessing they’re all the kind of metrics that you kind of eight lives in, you know, do I buy? Yeah, yeah, we do. We look at a lot of, you know, people creating their first video is really important to our business growth because if they never create that first one, they’re never going to become customers and never going to get value out of it. So getting that first video created is really the most important thing. And I think it’s the latest I checked with like, we convert like 9% of users [00:11:30] that sign up. We have a free plan. So we have a lot of people that sign up and try it and you know, or just kind of testing it out. But every 30 days, about 9% of people that try it out actually converted into customers, which is in the land of marketing and conversion rates, 9% and really anything.
Baird: It’s usually pretty, it’s pretty impressive. So yeah, we look at that a lot. Yeah, I was going to say 1% is typically the freemium kind of thinking people work on 1% so I’d love to just dig into that a little bit about why you think that is. Do you think there’s a case of like loss of version [00:12:00] there where people get of really, I built this video and it looks really sweet. Yes, I definitely want to buy it. And I’m wondering, I kind of remember how I crossed over that chasm, right? Between free and paid customer, but I’m assuming you’ve got some kind of like, hey, you can see it, but if you want to download it, you need to pay us or I can’t remember what it is now, but I’d love to dig into how you get that conversion, right? Yeah. There’s a, so within the product, every free account gets a certain amount of time per month that they can create videos for.
Baird: We’re actually looking at upping that right now. Right now it’s just that one minute. So you can create one [00:12:30] video, try it out and there’s a watermark on the video. So that’s really the big thing is that lets people really try it out, see the video, they can post it if they want to. But really when you get that video file that’s usually when it clicks and you [inaudible] you’re seeing all the graphics moving at one time, you’re hearing your audio usually looks really sharp just based on the design tools that we have built-in there. And that’s usually the Aha moment when it kind of clicks over and when people subscribe. [inaudible] yeah, the freemium model is really worked for us and especially, you know, podcasters are, [00:13:00] it’s really, really wide range of podcasters out there from, you know, large corporations down to, you know, people that are doing it out of their home for fun on a Tuesday night with friends.
Baird: So the freemium model has just, I think it’s really fit our market very well. Yeah. I’m keen to just jump into that a little bit and talk about like the persona of your market and maybe how that’s changed. Yeah, I would imagine you would have had early adopters and I don’t know how early I was, but yeah, I’m keen to understand who you went off to first, what that person looked like and how that [00:13:30] decided may be growing. Yeah, that was an, I’m glad he brought that up just for other founders out there. This was the most, the most beneficial thing we ever did was we niched down as absolutely as far as we could. So the first layer was audio creators. So we do have a lot of musicians, audiobooks, audiobook creators, authors, I guess, and podcasters and a lot of different types of audio creators that use the platform now.
Baird: But we originally started with podcasters, but we zeroed in even more. We only focused on [00:14:00] pod-casters that had a personal brand that they were using podcasting to promote something. So they were selling a book or speaking engagements. And this is pretty, this is not a [inaudible], it is a very narrow niche, but there are thousands and thousands of these people out there. [inaudible] we tested a lot of different areas, but this was the first niche that we really zeroed in on and we focus just on people with personal brands that we’re really trying to promote themselves and you know, their course or their product, whatever it may be. And it just worked really well because [00:14:30] social media is very, very important for them. And podcasting was kind of a new marketing tool and they were all looking for ways to connect the dots there between the podcast and social media.
Baird: So we really zeroed in on that. First we kind of got the business going. It took us really a whole year just to even start making money. It’s been very consistent, linear 6% to 10% month over month. So it took a solid year for us to like get a foundation until we can really get up and going and focused on that, to begin with [00:15:00] in the market. Do you see yourself moving out too, now that you’ve sort of got a foothold, you’ve got to go back market? You’ve definitely moved into the, so the professional business podcasting market. So you know, people like me, one man, one person podcasts, putting it out there. Where do you see that moving out to? What kind of personas do you think that your tool’s going to be picked up by next? Yeah, I’d say the sweet spot for us right now is podcasters that they want to look like.
Baird: They have a video team that’s, you know, putting together content for them, but they want to be able to do it themselves easily, [00:15:30] quickly and still make it look as good. So that’s definitely the current persona and going forward is it’s really just all podcasters. We’d love the podcasting space, you know, we’ve seen growth in it ever since. We first entered well over two, almost three years ago. And [inaudible] really doubling down just on podcasting and all podcasters and really more moving from this one tool that solves social media and more. How do we build a suite of tools for every podcast, sir, that helps them? The way we look at it is [00:16:00] the moment that they publish their episode. We don’t help with recording or editing or anything like that, but once you publish it and you put it into your RSS feed, we want to build tools that help with every step of the growth and promotion phase and growing more listeners.
Baird: So that’s really what we kind of have our eyes set on goal forward. Yeah. And w the upsell cross-sell thing is just so much easy to do once I’m just living engaged. Once I trust you and the company and what you’re delivering, I’m much more likely to use your next tool than I am to try someone completely [00:16:30] new because there does that fear factor, right? There’s that fear that I’m going to make the wrong step. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I’m just wondering also thinking about that fee a factor in that like I said, the psychology that people don’t want to make the wrong mistake. Do you use lots of social proof in what you’re doing? Cause, I mean, I know you mentioned like even the, um, the watermark video, do people actually put those watermarks videos out there? Yeah, definitely. There’s a lot of that.
Baird: And what’s interesting though is we didn’t really add the watermark and until fairly recently, a lot of our growth originally was organic just [00:17:00] from these influencers that were using our product. The one strategic decision that we did make is that all of the animations that we use, our costume and these animations don’t exist anywhere else. So if you see [inaudible] away video, if you see away video, you might not know it’s a way of video. But it is because those animations are very specific to us. And I think that’s been one thing. It’s almost been like a [inaudible], as a quasi watermark. Like it’s not technically a branded thing, but it becomes one as people get to know it and say, [00:17:30] hey, how’d you create that thing? I’ve never seen it before. And they say, well, the wave is only a place that you can create this specific type of animation.
Baird: So we’ve really taken that seriously that we and our customers appreciate it too because they want to, you know, they don’t want to look like everybody else. They want to look unique and they want to stand out. So as we’ve grown we’ve had to build more and more so there’s a diverse selection. But I think that’s really helped the organic growth in though the word of mouth marketing force. Yeah. I mean that’s, I mean you’re in that luxurious position where sort of the propagation [00:18:00] of what you’re doing is happening naturally. Do you do, do you track net promoter scores? What do you use the sort of like business metrics to sort of guide that, that process? No, we, we haven’t implemented NPS at all. We’ve thought about it, but we just, it kinda feels a little too enterprise for us. You know, one of, one of our big metrics is churn.
Baird: Just looking at customers that cancel. And we actually implemented a tool for any other founders that are running a SAS business. We implemented a tool called bare metrics and they do a lot of analytics [00:18:30] all based on your revenue and stripe. Any income that comes through stripe, but when somebody cancels within Wavve, it goes through a process and we figure out exactly why they cancelled. And the data that we’ve gotten there has really helped us figure out like what’s missing from the product and why people are leaving. So that’s definitely been a big metric to make sure that we are, you know, if a lot of people were cancelling because we were missing some feature or they weren’t happy with the product, that would probably be our best indicator, but only about like 60% [00:19:00] of our customers leave because they stopped podcasting. So most of the people that we lose just quit podcasting all together and we were kinds of a byproduct of that.
Baird: So That’s interesting. Yeah, because you actually, you know, you benefit from the upside, which is your market timing is fantastic. You’re growing into podcasting. Podcasting is growing. So you go cool, take the market position. Well you know the market timing is great. Second tick is this beginning to get saturation. Like it’s like when apps first launched, you can’t, the chance of you being a top 10 app like you know, podcast, the [00:19:30] chance of me making a top 10 marketing podcast pretty remote. Right. So again, that frustration manifests itself in I’m going to need tools like Wave. Yep. That gets the downside that you just articulated is eventually that frustration results in someone going, ah, I give up on the podcasting thing. It’s too hard. I don’t get enough out of it. So yeah, that’s the downside of the wipe your writing I guess. Exactly, yeah.
Baird: It’s something that we’ve, I’ve been battling and we think we’ve kind of handled it as best we could. There’s [inaudible] you know, there’s just naturally the term is pod fading. People that [00:20:00] you know, it’s usually around episode six that people either decide they’re going to stick with it or that they bail. I think that’s what the statistics usually show and that’s about when they cancel. It’s about six months in. They either decide they’re all in on their podcasts or their, they’re jumping off. So I think the lesson there is, you know, every, and I see this too with Zeb title now that we have a second product that’s in a little bit, it’s a different market. It’s if video creators, not podcasters, but there are all these nuances and just very specific things about the little industry and niche that you’re working in that you really [00:20:30] need to understand cause metrics on themselves.
Baird: Don’t tell the story. You really need to, you know, talk to people and figure out kind of what’s driving these, what are some of the narratives that are driving these numbers and then you can really kind of start putting things together, figure out, you know, where he can make some impact. Yeah. I’m thinking about, you know what you’re talking there. We were talking about the market. It’s growing and I kind of also expect you, there’s going to be natural, there’s going to be competitors that come up. There’s going to be copycat clones. No, you’re a tech-based app. No matter what you do in tech, someone can always produce it cheaper. And once [00:21:00] we’ve done the pain. Yeah, I was going to say, you know, and then you know, they’ll come in, they’ll undercut your price. How, you know, one of the great ways to do that is around brand one and brand from me represents itself, usually ran a vision and mission statement and positioning.
Baird: I’m wondering how are you positioning wave in the market that solves these problems in such a way that you can defend it. I’m wondering like, Oh, have you done positioning maps where you’ve drawn out your axes or, or is it more of a sort of a, a one statement vision and mission that you’re kind of following through on? I’d say it’s been a little [00:21:30] less formal than that mainly because it’s been pretty easy. We’ve had definitely multiple competitors that have launched free versions of what we do. And at first I free, I always, you know, when competitors launch, and not so much anymore, but I used to just, you know, really freak out, get nervous and I never really knew how to handle it. But in hindsight, looking back, you know, competitors mean that your industry is growing and hopefully big enough for you know, multiple people that to operate in.
Baird: Of course you had to win. Not Everybody can operate. But what it really forced [00:22:00] us to do was to, I think the term that I’ve really focused on is differentiating and how like really focusing like how are we going to be different from everyone else? And what we’ve really focused on is it’s something that we’ve looked at from day one was just being the one tool that is custom and looked very professional and it’s easy to use. So some of these other tools actually have more features than we do and can do some more things. But ours is the easiest way to create a very, very professional [00:22:30] looking video. And we’ve really just focused on that. And as long as our competitors aren’t beating us at that, then we feel like we’re in a good position to keep growing within the market. So it’s definitely painful to see other people, you know, launch competitors.
Baird: But a lot of times be a good thing cause it really forces you to look at your business and differentiate and kind of, you know, grab your corner of the market and make sure you’re holding it properly. Yeah. Oh you’re in preparation for chatting with you. I was thinking about this and thinking about your positioning and I was trying to apply this into my own head and for what it’s worth, I came to a [00:23:00] very similar conclusion where I imagined the two axes based around ease, like spade and customization and yeah w what I thought was interesting when I started to place you guys in my mental map was that you know, for a lot of users customization is a positive thing. So you know, if you make horizontal positioning axes and you go, okay well customization or less. So in other words, all the bells, all the customization and less.
Baird: Now what that means is it’s also countered with time and effort. So what I felt with Wavve was that you know, you don’t offer [00:23:30] a huge amount of flexibility, but I don’t see that as being a bad thing because it means that I can pump out my videos pretty quickly. So I sort of thought, well that’s one side of it. And then I looked at the other side and went, the other thing you do is because you build custom animations because it’s in there, the quality tends to be a bit stronger. So I kind of came out, and particularly with the way you’ve got your translation tool, et cetera. So I kind of, when I imagined the top right of a positioning map for you guys, it’s about speed, ease and quality. And most of the competitors I see copy you [00:24:00] copy by adding more features and you go, well that’s kind of cool.
Baird: Like you can add that, but what you’re going to do is you’re going to add more time and eventually someone’s going to go, do you know what? Like maybe there’s a little bit more customization, but it maybe doesn’t look as polished in the end. And if it does, it’s gonna cost me three times as much time to do it. So I almost feel like Wavve has to just always be the easiest way to quality. Because when I think about your persona, your target persona, and again, completely being self-absorbed, I think about myself being your ideal customer. I’ve got a limited time. Like I’m [00:24:30] going to turn a section of this into a wave video. I don’t want to spend more than 20 minutes in there doing it if I’m being honest. And are there features I’d like to have in there? Of course, I’m a customer, I’m always want to go, oh, I wish I could do this or wish you could do that.
Baird: However I think about, you know you’re like the apple of podcast video and it’s like, yeah, okay, my iPhone can’t do all the things. It doesn’t do that picture and picture that android does really well, but you know what, it kind of works every time. So, yeah, I think you know, in my mind that’s where you guys are positioned. And I think if you can own that brand, [00:25:00] which I think you are at the moment, I think it becomes highly defendable where people just go, you know what, I just worked with weights because it works. It works every time. First Time it’s easier, it’s quality and you know, look, maybe there are not a thousand different animations I can throw in there, but the ones that are in their work and look good, so you know, why mess with it. Yup. Yeah. I’m really glad you said that because that’s exactly what we tried to do.
Baird: It’s happened through a couple of ways. One is we really want to think through how can we take the design process, not away from the user, but how [00:25:30] can we just limit their need to make design decisions. So, you know, having templates and animations that are kind of suggestive of where it should be placed and how it should be used, it just, it makes life a little bit easier. [inaudible] may be something that would be helpful to some other founders out there. And I had to learn this one the hard way. As I talked about with the first business that failed the first business that failed every feature requests that came in, we rushed to build it, get it out because we’re like, customers want this and we have to get it done and we have to get [00:26:00] it out to, you know, get more customers in.
Baird: It turns out that sometimes it’s the loudest minority that wants something. So two to 3% of your customers want something, the other 90% don’t want it. So we’ve made big mistakes of adding extra features and then the 80% of our customers that never talked to us, when we add that feature in, they come to us and like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, this was so easy. Why did you make things more difficult? And we’ve had to backtrack a couple of times and learn that tough lesson of okay, we can’t build every feature that people want and we [00:26:30] need to really build for that 80% or with some people with really we have a low price point. So for some businesses that have a high price point, it might even be the 20% it might be more like that 80 20 rule. So that was definitely a big learning for me, but my business partner and I, we’ve kind of made a pack to balance each other out and say, hey, if we’re going to do something we need to age, justify it, and B, make sure that you know, our core user base is going to be okay with it.
Baird: Yeah. I think if you, if you keep positioning where you make all the decisions around, is this going to be a feature that makes it easier [00:27:00] or it increases the quality or the speed, then yeah, we’ll do it. But if it’s a feature where it adds another layer of complexity, then you’re like, oh, okay, maybe that’s not what we want to do. Like you know, I’ll be honest, I’ve, I’ve wondered whether or not, you know, there’s a way to have two different sound files and we can change animations and two different talkers going back and forth. I thought that’d be really cool. But imagine if that was in the workflow for everything that I did and I’m like, oh, now I don’t want that. So yeah. Yeah, it’s a give and takes for sure. So the last thing I sort of want to touch on is just around obviously the key bit, you know, the promotion [00:27:30] of wave of all the different things, you know, you don’t have to wait for all the secrets, but of all the different sort of techniques you’ve used for marketing wave, what’s the one that you found you’ve had the most success or traction with?
Baird: And I’m thinking, you know, social or influence or anything like that. Yeah, yeah, I would say hands down, if I had to pick one, it would be really easy. And I would choose blogging and SEO. One thing, as I mentioned earlier, we really focused to niche down, not just to podcasters, but even more specifically to certain types of podcasters. [00:28:00] And once we validated the market and we started bringing those customers in, it was, you know, a lot of people are getting into podcasting and they’re so thirsty for content, education tips, anything that they can get their hands on to make themselves a little bit better at what they do, they love it. And the content really wrote itself. It was like how do we help people podcast better? And that [inaudible] list of topics that we can write about is pretty much endless. And we’ve been doing that for three years now.
Baird: That’s where the majority of our attraction comes from. I would say, you know, the word of mouth marketing [00:28:30] is really helpful as well, but that’s not really a marketing tactic that you get. That’s what you get from just building a good product. So as far as like, you know, a specific marketing strategy that we employ, I would say blogging and SEO have been the best. So just I’m going to just kind of dig it a little bit deeper on the SEO thing. So there’s a classic startup problem, which is you’ve got to do SEO because you go, look, this is what I can do. I can spend a lot of time doing it. However, no one knew that there was a wave as well. Very few people would be looking for the wave product because it’s a solution that no one knows existed. That’s [00:29:00] the classic innovators’ dilemma.
Baird: With SEO, there’s no demand. So what did you do to actually find your target persona or out there for an SEO target? Like what? What were the thought process and the strategy there to carve out a different niche? Cause then you know it’s different, right? You’re not going after buying keywords and not like people searching for it, you know, cheap APR credit cards. It doesn’t exist. Right. So what did you go after from an SEO point of view? We started really early just hammering away at how to pieces so you know how to promote your podcast on youtube, how to promote [00:29:30] her on Instagram. So we would talk about how to something your podcast on [inaudible], all these different social platforms because that’s what people were searching for. They were, you know, it depends really on your audience, but a good is, you know, someone that talks about fashion, they really want to share their audio on Instagram.
Baird: So we needed to create articles that talked about how do you promote your podcast on Instagram? And all of them would mention waive, but we talk about it in a lot of different ways. So it was just a lot of VR. It was a lot of variations at the same thing, just how to be a better podcast [00:30:00] or, and how to promote your podcast more efficiently and more effectively. So we just wrote a ton of articles that was really like the first year and a half. We do an article a week probably and let me tell you, it’s a lot of work and it’s slow going, but it compounds over time and you can repurpose that content and a lot of different ways. We’ve done a good job of that. And when you do, it’s just the most luxurious thing in our business. I think the thing that we appreciate the most is that people go on Google and they find [00:30:30] us.
Baird: It’s amazing. It’s amazing and it takes a lot of work, but it definitely is worth the effort. It doesn’t work for every market and every company. Everyone’s different. As you said, you may be just doing something that’s so out of the ordinary that real people aren’t even thinking about or looking at but might need. But for us, people were at least looking for how do I grow my podcast? And we could tap into that. Yeah, I think, well I think actually you’ve given a formula there that most obs could actually replicate, which is to Cole, back to the core problem, like Roe said right at the beginning of this, this chat, [00:31:00] it was about what’s the problem you’re solving and you know, you articulated that wonderfully that it’s about helping podcasters get their content out there and utilize social media. So that’s the problem you’re solving.
Baird: It matter that people aren’t looking for your solution yet. You can blog and SEO optimized to the problem. Oh go and then sort of like reveal that hey, it is a, there’s a tool that does that. So I think that’s something that most founders listening can probably, you know, probably replicate which is to get back to their core problem, look at what people research and talk forward to solve that problem, interrupt that with content and SEO [00:31:30] and then flipped them across to their new innovative solution that you’ve got. So yeah, I think the best approach there is, you know if this is so much acquired skill, but definitely I feel like I have a high amount of empathy. I’m able to put myself in the shoes of our customer and think what are they struggling with on a daily basis? What are the things that they’re looking to do?
Baird: How are they trying to get better or what are they searching for and just write content for them. It’s like I’m not even an SEO expert. Honestly. I don’t really know [00:32:00] all the ins and outs of you know, all the SEO tools and hacks that you can do. All I tried to do is write helpful content for our customers and do it consistently and the rest will work itself out. Now, an SEO expert might have something to say about that, but it’s worked pretty well for us. Hey, look, I’ve been doing SEO for 20 something years and that’s perfectly fine with me, you know, because this is the core, like you’re aligned to what Google is trying to achieve. Does that make sense? Yes. And what I love most about what you just said there is again, he wraps back to what we spoke [00:32:30] about at the start, which was your origin story.
Baird: You know, we spoke about, okay, but how did you get into it? Why did you get into it? That creates empathy because you’re building a product that is, it started a problem that you had. So you had that natural inbuilt empathy because you know exactly why you started the company, Ergo you can find that positioning and you can find the right sweet spot. So I think without even planning it, we’ve managed to loop back brilliantly with the last couple of points back to the stuff we started the beginning. So perfect. I’m going to, I’m going to assume that that was the most well-planned thing I’ve ever done and just say look, if people, [00:33:00] if people want to sort of, first of all, if they want to find you or follow your journey, you know, how can they find you on social media and then secondly, how can they find out more about your two products?
Baird: I’m pretty easy to find. I’m pretty sure I’m the only Baird hall out there so you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, not really. Facebook, Linkedin as well. I try to be active there. So it’s B, a I r e hall. That’s usually the username for most of the accounts. So you can find me there. I would love to connect with anybody that has questions or [00:33:30] if I said anything that resonates or that I can dive more into, I’d love to chat. And then you can find Wavve, which is W. A. V. V. E. So Two V’s is the tricky part of that one. You can find just type, waive into Google and then we should pop up pretty much everywhere. And then the other tool that we didn’t talk a lot about but is a video captioning product for video creators. It’s called subtitle with a z.
Baird: You can find that pretty easily too. So definitely comes out. If you go to a wave or subtitle, you get a little website popup that is slightly [00:34:00] annoying, but if you type something in there, it comes straight to me and I’ll chat with you. So that’s an easy way to find me too. That’s great. Well, we’ll put the links in the show notes for people and w we were talking about, hopefully, you’ve been able to find some kind of like Promo Code that people might be able to use and get a little bit of a bonus, but making it half an hour into this episode. Definitely. Yeah. If you’re still listening and you need to promote some audio content, there’s a promo code which will go in the show notes. It’s just podcasts and all caps that you can use when you’re signing up for wave and that’ll give you your first month free and you could cancel [00:34:30] out before the first month is up and so you’ll pay nothing so you can really try out the premium features completely free.
Baird: And then if you need subtitle too, just reach out to me directly and we’ll take care of it. We definitely want to help out all the listeners. Great. Well, thank you so much for your time today. It’s has been fantastic chatting with someone. I love it even more because it’s as a user of the product, I get to kind of look under the hood a little bit, so it’s been great. You have a great day and I hope, look, I hope everyone tries out that coupon code and gives waive a bit of a try. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me on. Cheers.
Gerard: [00:35:00] Thanks for listening to this week’s episode. I hope [00:35:30] we were able to provide you with some great marketing ideas that will really help your business. As always, if you’d like to support me and the show, just jump onto iTunes or wherever you’re listening to this podcast and write and review those reviews, really make a difference and help me reach a broader audience. If you’d like to connect, the best way to find me, of course, is on LinkedIn following me on social media or just connecting, and if you could ideas for future episodes or you’re a marketer and you would like to appear in a future episode, just hit me up on Linkedin as well. [00:36:00] I’d be happy to have a chat. Thanks a lot, and I look forward to speaking with you next week.