Episode 53 – The Real Secret to Podcasting Success with Mark Asquith

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What We Talk About

If you’re reading this, let’s be clear on one thing: It’s NOT too late to start a new podcast. BUT we’ll discover in this episode that there are a few really important things to consider before you do.

Namely, what your purpose is for doing it, what your plan is to make it work, and what your worst-case scenario is to be happy with the result and consider it a success.

Mark Asquith – of Rebel Base Media, Captivate.fm, Poductivity and a host of other podcast-related companies – breaks down exactly how you too can be a podcasting success story.

Resources

Looking for a podcast hosting platform that focuses on GROWTH and analytics? Captivate.fm is by far the best platform we've found. (Grab your free trial when you use our link above)

See how Mark can help you at Rebel Base Media.

Ready to launch a podcast? Get your free course that will help you launch your podcast, attract your first 100 listeners, AND cover your costs (all in just 28 days)

Get podcasting tips on YouTube

Listen to Mark's podcasts (on podcasting) … and see the Captivate player embedding in action! (PS – we use it here on our blog posts, too. Told you we love it!)

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex
As you probably know, in July of 2020, Jenny and I started this podcast. And we both considered podcasts for a while, but we weren't sure that we could really make them successful. We didn't know what platform to be on. We didn't know how to market ourselves. We didn't really understand what it took to make a podcast grow our business the way we knew we wanted. Not to mention all the competition out there makes it feel like jumping into a swimming pool full of people, and no room for you to splash around. We now No, that's not true. And we are so excited that mark Asquith of Rebel base media who owns the very platform that we host our podcast on captivate.fm, as well as a whole bunch of other amazing podcast supportive companies like podcasts, websites, podcast success, Academy productivity, Rebel Bay studios, I could keep going, probably. But he's here to talk to us today about making your podcast successful and what it takes. So Mark, thank you so much for being here with us.

Mark Asquith
Thank you very much for having me. It's a pleasure.

Alyson Lex
There are a ton of podcasts out there already. I think the last I mean, millions, right? I don't even know exactly how many. But if our listeners don't already have one, is it worth starting one?

Mark Asquith
I think podcasting is one of those one of those endeavors that you can you can undertake for so many reasons. You know, podcasting is not necessarily something that you have to succeed at, you know, I play golf, and rarely succeed at it, but I really enjoy doing it. And I spend a pile of money and time doing it. And podcasting can be that is the worst case. You know, that is always the worst case with podcasting. And it really randomly we're talking off air, Jennie mentioned about about Gary, a new designer starting here at captivate, and gaz was actually the guy that got me into podcasting. I didn't do any of this stuff. I didn't have captivate or rebel based media, I didn't have the studio, I didn't have podcast, websites, productivity, all this stuff has come because I loved it. And I started off being a hobbyist podcast, I was just a podcast enthusiast that talked about Batman and Star Wars, and that was guys's fault. And I think there's certainly a need to label this requirement for success early on. And that's a fantastic thing to do. There's nothing wrong with that. But I always suggest protecting the worst case in anything, you know, you always protect and upgrade your worst case, you know, what is the highest level that I can fall back on at any given time. And with podcasting, the highest level that you should always fall back on is just Well, you know what, I enjoy doing this, even if nothing else happens, I can just enjoy doing it. And I'll become a better speaker, or become more articulate more thoughtful with my words. And I think if you approach it like that, you end up seeing podcasting for what it is, which is something to enjoy. And when you get the success, and you put the time in, and it starts to bring the dividends in, it's actually really quite a nice bonus, because it's not what you set out to achieve as the number one goal. It's just where you want it to be after two years, three years, four years, five years. So I think everyone should be doing this to a degree and I do believe that really helps personally, like it's helped me through some serious stuff, you know, really serious stuff. It's just been able to talk to people and connect with people is just really helped. So maybe redefining what success is with podcast is a really good place to kind of reframe things.

Jennie Wright
I think that's incredible. What you're saying really resonates with Allison and I because we started the podcast during the pandemic right in the middle of it. My partner's The one who suggested that Alison, and I do this and we kind of looked at each other through zoom call. And we're like, Yeah, why not? And the growth that we've seen personally from doing this is incredible. You're so right, it has improved my speaking ability. I'm a lot more thoughtful with the way that I intentionally talk and the things that I say, it's helped up my game and a lot of ways and I listen to and it also I think give Allison and I both separately, and together some confidence in our ability to help people we are the people behind the scenes. Allison is a direct response copywriter. And she's also a strategist and a coach. And I do list building and lead generation and funnels and strategy as well. But we're the behind the scenes people were the behind the curtain. And to come out in front and do a podcast was incredibly scary. But we love it. And it's been really, really fantastic actually. So I think that's pretty interesting to talk about. And the thing that I want to mention is how do people set themselves up for success however they define that success to be from day one.

Mark Asquith
So, podcasting is is one of those endeavors that will will take time to build, you know, each an audience game at the end of the day requires people. And just the same as anything you you know all about this from what we both do day to day. Anything that requires audience requires trust and requires time to cultivate trust. And I think one of the most interesting problems that people find themselves suffering from early on in their podcasting lifecycle is that they don't appreciate that. So they never set themselves up for people there set themselves up, because they've been, you know, given a podcasting course, for $97, you know, on offer from for 997 for 15 minutes only, like, there's a lot of that rubbish around. And people aren't really interested in what makes something good. They're usually interested in what it takes to get something out. And I think there's always a point, like I said, a planning problem. So the way to set yourself up for this success is to be really well, I think there's a couple of things. Number one is you got to be really, really clear on the fact that you are going to have to talk about the thing that you said, you're going to talk about a lot. So if you don't like it, do not podcast about it. Or if you think you're gonna make a quick buck doing it for a year, don't start a podcast about it. Because even if it becomes a wild success, you know, you end up being Bon Jovi singing living on a prayer for 35 years, and great song. But they probably hate singing it especially because of the key change at the end, and he's getting a lot older. So you've got to think about, exactly, you can't even sing the verses anymore, bless him. And you've got to think about that, you've got to think about the fact that you have to love. So that's the first thing just make sure you love what you're talking about genuinely. The second way to set yourself up for success with this is make sure that you're actually owning something. So let's use the bond you're ever living on a prayer analogy. The Club Band, the kind of jobbing gigging band that you see down at a local bar, they will do a a deliverable version of that song, and it will be fine. But they don't own that song. And they're not going to get 60,000 people singing it when they stop singing, you know, they're not going to get that kind of vibe. So you've got to stand by something that you can earn that you can, you can create a legacy around, but also that, honestly will maybe little be a little bit divisive, and not for the sake of it. But where you own an opinion, or you own a mindset or you own an approach or a format, or a way of delivering things. And you know, I do this a heck of a lot. You know, this is when I first entered podcasting, it annoyed a lot of people, because it was. And these are all people that are now my friends. By the way, I should just preface with this, like a lot of Dr. g podcast as well, who is this awkward English guy, this is in 2013 2014. Making out the podcasting easier than we are telling people is because they were able to own the complexity and sell things based on complexity. And I owned the fact that actually, it doesn't need to be this complex. And even if it is that complex, let's not explain it in complex terms, let's let's just make sure that normal people understand. That was the thing that I earned. And if you stand by something, you'll attract the right people, and you'll attract them quicker. And you will be known for something you know, my tagline on LinkedIn is that British podcast guy? Why? Because that's how people explained me to other people. When I went to podcast movement, you're gonna see Mike speak like this in 2014, when no one knew me, you're gonna see marks, but it was nice, that British podcast guy that we always keep seeing everywhere, like, Alright, okay, I should probably get that. So there are two real solid ways that you can start to set yourself up for success. And there's a lot more that you can do, you know, format in segments in all the kind of technical wizardry and geekery that comes with it. Those two conceptual pieces are what most people tend to miss.

Alyson Lex
And I think it's funny. So when, when we were talking about the flow for this interview, and coming up with things that we wanted to talk to you about when we came up with this question, we thought about the technical, actionable stuff, but it's not as game changing, if you will, as the conceptual stuff. And as you were speaking, I'm like, with our podcast, we're standing really strong on the transparent and authentic style of marketing, and taking a real stand against some of the sleazy and scammy or not so feel good ways of marketing. And it's not only brought us the right audience for us, but helped us grow into that as well. So I can really see application of that we apparently did it right, even if it was maybe by accident?

Mark Asquith
Well, I think that's a genuine approach, though from you. And so that actually raises a really great point. Allison insofar as a lot of people do come into podcasting, especially business and marketing podcasters, they come into it, because they've seen a guru doing something that worked 10 years ago, or five years ago, or two years ago. And all they come into it for is to emulate emulate that success, because they've seen podcasting, as a way of getting cheap attention and positioning quickly, you know, that. That's the old story. Now, you know, if the same amount of time has passed since I started podcasting, is had passed between when I got into it, and when podcasting was invented, you know, so we've developed that far. And a lot of people don't see that a lot of people still see the fact that you can come in with these sleazy marketing tactics. And, you know, if you can, you can put the word authenticity, and you can put the word, you know, scarcity. And all these buzzwords that, that those who don't really know about marketing will think are marketing words. And you can approach podcasting like that, and they believe that that will be the case. But I think, you know, you you stumbled upon those concepts that I mentioned, because you are good at what you do. And you respect where podcasting fits into being good at what you do not as just the next quick thing. Because if you were if you were that person, you'd be selling at the moment, as we're speaking today, you would probably be offering a clubhouse buyer review for $97. Like you are not that person. So I think that's why you stumbled into that brilliant approach, because it's just a genuine human thing to do is to be good at something and love doing it. And that that's a, it's a really interesting distinction to make. Because a lot of people come into podcasting for the wrong reason. They come in because they see as cheap attention quickly, or as a way to become, quote, unquote, friends with every business person on the planet, like, you have someone on your podcast, it doesn't mean that you are friends with them means you had them for 20 minutes. Like don't put that on your LinkedIn bio, you know, so there's a lot of that going on that we've got to get over. And I think you've absolutely nailed it, you completely nailed it with what you just said. So yeah, that's a prime example of me owning something that will annoy some people.

Alyson Lex
You know, that's okay. And I, I do think that we, we get to use the podcast as a relationship launcher, we do get the opportunity to connect with people just like you that, you know, we're big fans of everything that you're doing. And we're excited to have this conversation with you and just be connected with you and learn from you. And we feel this way about all of our guests. And some of those have led to more relationship type things, we have guests that we're friends with and be talked to regularly on dm, and we have guests that we don't speak to because that's not where the relationship grew to. And, and that's okay. But that's another another opportunity for your podcast is really to build relationships, if you do it and approach it in the right way, I think.

Mark Asquith
Yeah, I agree with that. And it's, it's interesting that the podcasters that stand out are the ones that genuinely do build the relationships, and I mean, properly build them. You know, there are so many of the people that listen to the podcast accelerator show that I do or even spark rebellion that the Star Wars podcast that I do. And I might get an email from Kevin McGee, you know, he's a regular listener. And he'll just email me like I do, you know, what do you think of the new Justice League movie, and I'll email him back. You know, we're not talking about gurus and entrepreneurship and business or marketing. But when we do talk about it, that's as invigorating and as important. And you can, you can spot the people that come into podcasting from the perspective of wanting to get something very, very easily, very, very quickly, like I see this all the time. Can I be a guest on your show? I've done this thing. I've sold 40 to 2000 books in the last 12 minutes. And I've built a startup just using shoelaces and buttons for the last 26 years. And it was in AI before AI ever existed. And all this kind of rubbish that you get through, you know, I was very flippant example. And I'll just email back saying, you know, there's no way that what you wrote in that email can possibly be true, because you said that you really admire what I do. And you've asked to be a guest on my solo podcast. Like I have a little think. So there's, there's a lot of that that goes on and it's again, it's demystifying what podcasting will do, but more importantly in the timeframe within which that it will do it. So there are some people now that I work with never worked weekends is a prime example. So guys, I knew how to design. He did a little bit of freelance work for us. But he's now the head of design of rapid growing podcast company, which is his dream job. We started podcast together nearly 10 years ago, we've not done a scrap of work together before this. Likewise, there are people that I still work with To this day, who I met when I first started my podcast in 2013. And I've worked with them since 2013, never stopped, never been interrupted. I've always, always worked with them. And there are some people that I've been friends with, that have enabled me to do things. So Kip is a great example is a friend of mine. He is a genuine friend. And he started through listening to the podcast. And the amount of help that I've given him is nothing in comparison to the intros that I've got from him and the work that he's done for me, but with no expectation. And that's the key thing to wrap that bit up, because I know I digress. But the expectation thing is the key because now people expect that kind of thing to happen quickly, because you're doing a podcast. And podcasting is cool. And all these benefits that people are now reaping seven, eight years after starting a podcast, I the new podcast or want to reap those benefits within a month. And it just it doesn't work. Like you wouldn't think of doing that in any other industry. So that's so real. You know, Jenny, you talked about how you set your podcast up for success and add in a realistic realistic expectation on what the time will, what the time taken will really be, is a really important piece of that puzzle. I think we touched

Jennie Wright
on something that actually makes me giggle. Actually, I love the fact that you're you know, you you think you're bringing up something that's slightly abrasive. I don't, I think it's awesome. We have people who were contacting us now we're at that point where people are starting to contact us and pitch us their clients to be on our podcast. And Allison and I have a process. Because we two we have two separate companies like two different Alison does her stuff, I do my stuff. And then we come together to do this and a couple other things. And we have a process to bring people onto the podcast. And these people don't follow the process. But they're like, hey, I've got a client. She just launched a book, she sold 1000 2000 3000, whatever they are, and you know, we think should you She should be on your podcast. And this happens to us. It's starting to happen to us more and more. And Allison, I look at that and go, No, and we'll get on a call with somebody the pre call and we're like, Do you know anything about Allison? And I Have you listened to the podcast? And we will get people who say no, I have no idea. I've never listened to you guys. And that irks me a bit, actually a lot. And also knows this because it means that they haven't taken the time to understand who we are and what we do. And we want people who were a real fit for us, right? We want people who have the same values and beliefs in terms of how we approach marketing. We didn't start this podcast to make oodles of money. We actually started it just a little bit for our own mental health a little bit to stand on our soapbox, and to talk to some pretty cool people, which we totally put you in that category. Heck, yes. Right. Which is great. I'm curious, and I'm going to put you on the spot. But I'm very curious, because Allison and I picked you to be on this. What made you say yes.

Mark Asquith
Just because your actual human beings, you know, it's very clear that it was just an interesting chat with two people that email like their actual people. You know, it wasn't Hi, I'm you know, I'm Louise from Jenny and Alison's team, and we think it would be a great fit, because we've got 50 bucks to sell. And, you know, here's all the thing, all the all the accolades that we've gotten, you should be on my podcast. You know, it wasn't that which is the inverse of what you just mentioned there, Jenny, which is, you know, I get the same thing. And it was just a logical conversation to have when you can, you can tell when it is a genuine email from actual people that just want to have a good conversation. But here's the here's the thing as well. You also kind of alluded to a great point there, which is, in order to set yourself up for podcasting success, you've got to understand that your audience you have to be protective of your audience, like your audience trust you, you know, we talked earlier on and your audience has spent ages building that trust up. If you get someone on that just wants to sell a book, even though it's a great, great marketing tool for the author. you're exposing your audience to repeatable rubbish, because all that person is going to do is say the same thing on every podcast, and the the listener doesn't tune in for the guests. They tune in for what you are going to do with the guest. They don't care about the guest until you the host. Make them care about the guests in your own inimitable way. So if they want to go and listen to someone doing the rounds, just search for that person's name in the podcast app, go and just search for them, and then come back to this podcast when you actually want to have a decent chat. So I think there's a lot of that going on, it's a bit of a bugbear of mine in in more recent years, it was much less like this, you know, up until about 2016. And then it started going crazy, you know, you've only got to look at the amount of guest booking agencies and platforms that exist like it. Honestly, I wish I wish I could sell captivate for like two books, and then invest that two books into just some fund that would give me $1 for every time someone create a guest booking agency, because I would just be able to retire. And the reason for that is that it's it's because of that attitude, people are seeing podcasts as a way of taking what I want as the guest. And giving it on my terms, to someone whose audience looks up to them, not to me, the guest. And again, like this doesn't track with anything, it doesn't track with YouTube, doesn't track with the written word, like you imagine pitching a blogger, or a YouTuber saying, I'm going to come on to your YouTube channel with no training. I'm not used to being on video, and I'm going to talk about my book to your YouTube audience. Just Just that feels unnatural. So why is it alright, for podcasting? It's weird baffles men and frustrates me as you might be able to tell.

Jennie Wright
Same frustrations gotta say, and Alison and I are seeing something and we work in the coaching world and the coaches and and of course creators and authors sort of world. And what we're seeing with a lot of coaches, these high level coaches that are charging 10,000, or $15,000, or $25,000 for programs is one of the things they're trying to get their clients to do right away, even if they have no, I don't know, no historical background in what they're doing, is to get them to create podcasts. Because they're seeing it not as a they're seeing it more as a way of of positioning, and growing their business at an accelerated rate or something like that, which I kind of get, and I'm on the you know, I kind of get but at the same time, I think it has to be very intentional. It's something my partner and I have talked about a lot because he was the one who was actually like two years ago was going to launch podcast. And he's like, because he took this great course. And he was like, I think you guys should do this and stuff. But his view of it, I believe is like you should have intention behind this. I think that's a really good point that you're making. I'm on board with what you're saying, I'd like to invest for that $1 that you're putting back into creating an agency, we would we would retire rich just say,

Mark Asquith
oh, hugely use it. And you know, I'm completely on board with the positioning, because that's what works, it does work. That's why podcasting works for businesses to be positioned as the trusted guide and the expert, but it takes a lot of time. And it does work, you know, to create an arsenal of content. One of the examples I always use, because I used to own a digital and design agency was that if I ramp up to a pitch, and you know, everything is everything else is equal, the price is equal, the talent is equal, the requirements are equal, the deadlines are equal, the deliverables are everything is equal, the person that gets the job is the person that can prove that they're good enough to do the job. And the easiest way to prove that you can do the job is to make it easy to say yes, the easiest way to make it easy to say yes, is to preempt every single question, the easiest way to do that is to have a back catalogue of content that you can point people to so it doesn't look like you're answering on the spot. So if you can turn up a pitch and so most of all, this website design, what happens when PHP updates or what happens when when actually responsive design comes in? This is old school stuff. And if you can say well, actually, that's funny. I did an episode of my podcast, where I talked about this two years ago that a lot, right? This person knows what they're doing. They get the job. You know that very quick, simple example. But that's the notion of that. What grinds my gears with the coaches is when they're the coach is coaching on podcasting. What is that all about? Just like I wouldn't coach on building a house just because I know how to move bricks. What's that all about?

Alyson Lex
Thank you. Thank you so much. And I will say I actually remember how we reached out to you. We saw you comment on something in a Facebook group. And we totally jumped in that comment thread and we're like, Hey, Mark, big fans want to be on our podcast.

Mark Asquith
Oh, was it but I was probably being grumpy wasn't being grumpy.

Alyson Lex
Remember? No, you weren't

Jennie Wright
actually you were you were making a comment about something and Allison and I were like, That's amazing. And we were both just like, what do we have to do to get Mark Asquith on our podcast? I think I literally said that and you're like, email me. And you're like, you know, and then we emailed you and we're like, hey, it's us from the mention, you know the comment in the Facebook group.

Mark Asquith
Well, at least I wasn't being grumpy. That worked out Alright, then few,

Alyson Lex
but it does bring it does kind of play to your point that we were real. We were human, we were interacting in a social way. And we put ourselves out there and ask the question. And, you know, it was something that worked out for both sides. And I do set a goal to be a guest on podcast, because I love to deliver a ton of value, I love to build those relationships with the hosts. I've thought about hiring a booking agency. And I know I would lose that personality, that personal connection in that relationship. And that's really important to me, I still do it myself. It's It's something I've not been able to justify letting go of, for a lot of the reasons that you've just been talking about, because I don't want it to feel like, oh, whatever podcasts will have me as a fit. I don't always go on business podcasts, I go on personal story based podcast, too, because I feel a connection with the host. So it's not always even just about my business. It's about making those relationships, making an impact. And hopefully showing somebody something that helps them some way in their life.

Mark Asquith
Yeah, it's a good point, actually, because people are people the I get more work from having a company that is a clear Star Wars reference than anything else. And more partnerships, because people like stuff. And some people like the same stuff, as we do. And that's where we have the common ground. And the requirement for work or the requirement for a job is that's just a given, you know, there will at some point, if they are in business probably need marketing work. But if they wanted to just work with someone on marketing, they would just get Google. And what they want to do is be able to spend the first 20 minutes of the conversation talking about why the Mandalorian is better than rise of Skywalker, which it clearly is. And there's just so much of the old school business that was around way before podcasting, and microphones and recording and electricity. You know, the commerce that was going on 1000s of years ago, that existed based on personality and trust in conversation. And people forget that people really still forget that. And it's you know, I don't want to kind of beat up too much on the guest booking agencies or the people that start launching podcast coaching programs. You know, that's because we all have to start doing something. But I think what really frustrates me is that when you pretend that the medium that you're in is something that is not is happening now we clubhouse drives me insane. There are people just there are people saying I will audit your clubhouse buyer for money. And you just think you will. What are you talking about? Like? Where is the proof that your audit will benefit me like? What qualifies you to do that? And also, and you the same social media trainers from 10 years ago? And Weren't you the SEO experts 14 years ago? And Weren't you the people that two years ago are in podcasting? You know, and it's the kind of rant that I'm going on there is again, not to be decided divisive for the sake of it. And it's not to poopoo any of these positions because there are good people doing good work in every every range and every facet of business. There are good coaches in podcasting. There are good clubhouse, bio reviewers. And so but the point that I'm making is it's when you pretend that the medium is something that it's not, it's when you assume that because podcasting is trendy now, somehow that correlates to rapid results, like popularity does not equal rapid results. It's just that there's no correlation between the two. And I think that leads right back to the What does it take to be successful in podcasting, whether it's as a business, you know, podcasting, as a business or podcasting for business. It takes an understanding of where it fits in, not only to your life, but also to your business, to your timings. And if, if you can't produce an episode one week, and he's a Star Wars podcast, that's all right. Right? That's all right. Don't worry about it. It's a podcast, like everyone's All right, we're all good. But at the same time, you've got to respect the listenership and you got to set yourself up for that success by saying to people Guess what, guys, I did this last week, guys covered for me. Well, it's not guys, boilers, broken. Freezing is completely going wrong. Now with into week two, it was Friday when the boiler broke. We're into week two with AC. It's an absolute nightmare. I'm going to be out this Friday. I might be back next Friday. Until then, you got gas or until then see you next week. Guess what happens people tweet me I heard the boilers, alright. So it's, you know, it just becomes one of those things where success could only be bred on the backs of people like no one's self made, no one is a runaway success on their own, you know. And the other, the other last part of this run will be about the egos of the podcasters as well.

Just because you can press record doesn't mean that anyone owes you anything, like get off that just get off that a little bit. And to set yourself up for success, you have to understand that the second one person listens to your podcast, it's not your podcast anymore, is ours. because it affects other people, you know, if you get bored, listening to the same stuff, you better tell the podcaster that you're bored, because they don't want you being bored. They want you to keep listening. And likewise, I've done this a few times. If I get bored of talking about something, I'll just ask people. And you know, I'll say to them, Okay, listen, I'm bored of this format, email me, tell me what else you want me to talk about or what other format and people do you know, I have a laugh with it as well. I sometimes tell people to email, email Kiran, at Rebel base media.io with the word trombone in the subject header, just to give him 10,000 emails in his inbox. You know, it's, it's just, he's had that a few times.

Alyson Lex
But I love it. I am

Mark Asquith
that happens a lot. But the point I'm making is that there's a humility that you've got to bring to podcasting. And since podcasting is being touted as the next silver bullet, for marketing, and for network building, and for authority building, podcast hosts, a lot of them lose that humility, they will say they're humble, because that's what entrepreneurs say online, and they learn how to spell authenticity in the first business book they read, but they never actually practice it. And, and again, not poopoo in people, because there's a heck of a lot of great people doing this, doing it respectfully and humbly. But right back to the beginning, what does it take to stand out and to succeed as a podcaster, you have to be able to live that instead of just say it. So if you get into podcasting, and think you can pretend to be authentic, or what you believe a version of authenticity is, you will soon get tired of that. Like, you have to be able to genuinely live the podcast. Because if you can, there's only one thing that gives away the emotion, you know, and if you can't see someone's face, the only thing that gives it away is what it sounds like when you say something, you can't pretend. So that, again, bit of a run, but I think it's it comes right back to just to succeed in podcasting, you got to be humble, your audience, are there to be protected by you until such time that they're telling you that it's all right, to do something that's new or different. And you've got to continually communicate with them is a two way street. It's not a one way street, just because you own the host and account and it's you that bought the microphone. It's their podcast as much as it is yours. So yeah. And rant, sorry.

Alyson Lex
Well, and you know, at the risk of kind of maybe starting another rant, do you think that the download numbers, mad? I mean, you know, I love looking into our analytics. So it's no secret that Jenny and I use your platform captivate FM for this podcast, and it's got incredible detailed analytics, and we love looking at everywhere that our listeners come from, and diving into what they're interested in by download numbers and things like that. But does that overall ranker I have x number of downloads? Does that matter? As much as kind of everyone seems to think it does?

Mark Asquith
Hmm, it's a funny question. And it's a good question. Because it doesn't it doesn't. It depends on you guys know this from marketing perspective, it depends on what you're actually trying to measure. You know, we measure downloads because the The only thing that we can measure as a direct response to pressing publish on an episode, it's the only direct response measurement that we've got. Because it doesn't require conversions. It doesn't require a funnel, it doesn't require pushing people down a specific path to get them to take an action on their own merit are then relying on remembering something it doesn't require any of that stuff. It's a true reflection of a file being delivered to a device. That's what the download is. So if you're if your goal is to sell sponsorships, and you know, your business is your podcast, then yeah, the downloads matter, because if that's what you're selling, you're selling that number until until podcasting develops a better number, which we're all working hard on. Rest assured we're all working hard on on it's the only number that we've Got to sell. But, you know, I don't want to kind of tell you guys this because you know it better than me. But, you know, if you've got 100 people, and 80 of those will always do the thing that you ask them to do, then it doesn't matter if what the downloads are because what matters is their response to the thing that you want them to do. It's the conversion rate later on whatever it is, you know, whether it's clicking through to your thing, whether it's interacting with your other thing, you know, the range run the entire gamut of marketing calls to action, you know, if, if that is your goal, then the download doesn't really matter. So it's, it's one of those interesting things, you know, I'll tell you what it is. It's like It's like when you're in the pub, or you're in the bar, and you're saying, I got 50 hits to my website, I brilliant, but do you make any money? You know, like, Alright, okay, that's cool. And it's a really good example of this is like, SEO back in the day. My word 2008 cast your mind back 2008 bleach tips. You know, big baggy diesel jeans. They were in fashion. No one's clothes seem to fit back then. Which was weird. Yeah, I missed those days as well.

Jennie Wright
But I've seen a picture of you with the with the frosted tips. You have it

Mark Asquith
off. I was smashing it out. Yeah, yeah. Look how slim I looked as well. I mean, I was like, almost ill. When it came to how skinny I was back then. I was like this like you should everyone go and look, it's on my about page easy's hilarious. So that Yeah, imagine back then you're in the SEO game, right. And all you're wanting to do is give people genuine organic search results that up their traffic, and genuinely lead to more and more sales for the business so that the kid can go to college, and so on and so forth. Right. And the thing you're battling is, I am calling from yellowpages, or wherever I'm calling from, I can get you number one, for best plumber in Barnsley that wears red shoes on a Saturday night, but only between seven and 8pm. I can get you to number one on Google for that keyword, do you want to buy it? So the people buy that thing, and they check that meaningless number. And then they go down the pub and tell them it's that they're at the top of Google. But it doesn't really matter what for? It doesn't really matter what the results are from it. And downloads can be very much like that, that you can say down the bar down the pub. Yep, got 10,000 downloads last month in like, brilliant. How long did that take you? Well, I put 12 hours into my podcast last month, right? If it's for your business, did it push the other metrics in the right direction? Or if you are actually selling your podcast? And you want to make money from your podcast? Did you make $1 from it? Because if not, why don't we forget those numbers and start at one and look at trying to make $1 from one download. And then $2 from two and so on. So again, a very extreme and almost flippant example. But it's I find, that's the easiest way to illustrate it. Because otherwise people they get fixated on the download because there is simply no other metric. And I talked about this at pod fest and podcast movement, the only way and you'll know this better than me, again, as marketers that the only way to get away from thinking about a download is to create your own metrics is to create the other things that matter to you. And to decide what other things should I be looking at what are the key performance indicators will actually prove that this business in this podcast is moving in the right direction? Because let's not forget as well, you know, as a, as an IRB certified has to get geeky for a second, you know, the parameters are always changing on this, you know, there are always parameter tweaks, there are always things that the IRB and the podcasters are doing to really get much closer to what an actual person looks like as a instead of a download. So the most recent probably easiest example is over the last two or three years. The very quick kind of primer on this, the download will only count if it's downloaded to one device on one IP address. This is a very kind of simplistic view of it 111 IP address one device. And it will only count as one download, regardless of how many times one file is downloaded within a 24 hour period. So if you just say, wait a minute, I know I've downloaded my podcast 50 times and this episode 50 times today to test it Why am I not seeing 50 downloads. That's why because you're a person, you're a real person, we try and demystify 50 and turn it into one to represent the one person. So that could change again. The board of the A B and O's as podcasters might said you know what, actually the data shows that that should be 36 hours. And suddenly 5% of you download disappear. because there weren't real downloads. They were just File requests, there weren't people. So that's a really good example of why looking at the download is probably the only thing we've kind of got unless we, unless we force ourselves to think of other things. But he's probably not the best metric for a podcast, which is exceptionally an exceptionally weird thing to say. I do realize how odd that sounds.

Jennie Wright
Well, the The great thing is, is you were talking about KPIs before. And when we look at the KPIs from this particular podcast, it's not always the downloads, because we've had to, like, I'll admit, in the beginning, Allison, I probably had our captivate.fm browser open 24 hours a day, and we were checking it and refreshing it every five minutes. Not gonna lie, not just

Alyson Lex
the beginning.

Jennie Wright
No, that's true, too. But the, but we had no other key performance indicators that were coming in at that time. Now, we have other things that we look at, you know, we're looking at people who connect with us who say, Hey, I heard you on your podcast, or, hey, I listened to Episode 10. And I thought it was good, or I did the download clip downloads that are associated with a lot of our podcasts, episodes. And we'll have people with that, you know, the fact that we've closed clients from it, that's a great KPI from the fact that people like I heard you on your podcast, I think you guys are great, I'd like to connect, and then they end up closing a sale with us. Those things are the other metrics that we're absolutely using. But you're so right, because in the beginning, we're looking at that, I think, because I'm from the world of list building. And with list building and email marketing, one of the big vanity numbers is the size of your list, which I think can be very, very false, and not a true or authentic number. Because you know, you can grow your list to 25,000. But it could be 25,000, poorly nation, badly situated email addresses, on the end of every email addresses a person, but they may not be the person that you absolutely need. And when I look at downloads and things like that, sometimes we'll have this leg bump. And it's great to see the bump. But then I always have to investigate. I'm like, Oh, that was one person in the north of England that downloaded 32 episodes. Right? And then I think, is that a mistake? Or did they just like, go into their Apple, you know, to their eyes, that they're up like, podcast area and just like, download a whole bunch? We don't know. But in the moment, it feels kind of nice. Or like, ooh, we saw a bump, you know, but at the same time, I wonder I do absolutely wonder. So having said that, which I think is kind of funny. And Allison saying that, you know, rank and everything that was that was a very interesting rant and I it's actually not a rant, it's actually really good information. I want to ask you how we can find out more about you. Where can people find you? How can we connect with you? I'm sure you've caught we're going to get a lot of interest from people just listening to this because you're so knowledgeable. So tell us all the details there?

Mark Asquith
Well, it's very kind of you I like to equate knowledge to age because I am now getting old. I can confirm a middle aged which creeps up on you, weirdly doesn't.

Jennie Wright
You still feel 18 or 20. But the the birth certificate does not represent that anymore.

Mark Asquith
Now the whole my knees do not represent that either. I'll just run upstairs to get this thing. Nope. Not doing that again. Well, this this has been a pleasure. Thanks. Thanks for thanks for hosting me and letting me kind of rant on about things. Yeah, just just if anyone needs anything the public ways, probably at Mr. Asquith on Twitter. And then just email me just market Rebel base media.io. Just just email me. People tell me I should be protective over my email address, but you can literally Google it. So I see no point. So yes. Market Rebel base media Daya.

Jennie Wright
And you're very, you're very, like easy to get in touch with this is, which is great. And I think that's awesome. And don't forget, obviously, you know, Mark does have podcasts that you guys can go and check out. I have definitely googled this before. So there's a podcast accelerator design, low design, launch and grow your podcast, there's a personal development interviews that he's done. There's the straight talking guide to launching your first product which is in there as well. And there's different obviously, there's lots of different places where you've guessed pause podcast, so they'll find you there as well. Check

Mark Asquith
out a guest booking agent, I should point out Jennie

Jennie Wright
Wright. The guy, the guy who runs and owns a podcast platform doesn't have a booking agent,

Mark Asquith
I love that do not have a book in it. And that's probably a good thing. On another note, I'm gonna just give a shout out some of the shows that I've got a new podcast launch in about podcasting. So I'm gonna get you guys on as a guests, I think. So I'll drop you a line about that one. That'll be good. It's gonna be an interesting concept. I'll not tell you too much. But it's going to have some. I'm going to try and pitch it like a 70s soap opera from a musical perspective and graphical perspective. So I'll get you involved in that one. That would

Jennie Wright
be awesome. I'm big. I'm a big fan of the 70s. So was my partner we listened to 70s music and it's great. So it's awesome.

Alyson Lex
I like wacky podcast concepts.

Mark Asquith
Well, this is perfect then.

Jennie Wright
That's awesome. Thank you so much mark. We really appreciate you taking the time to be on with this. We I mean, this is a longer episode by far but it was well worth it. I think we've pulled out a ton of really good information here. Definitely check out what Mark is doing. Definitely check out the new podcast he's going to come out with and Allison and I are now completely stoked to be asked to be on that. Thank you. And check out for sure. captivate, captivate is an incredible platform, we use it. Absolutely, we are going to plug it for a second because it makes so much sense. If you want to check it out, go to System to thrive.com forward slash captivate. There's a seven day free trial if I'm right that you guys can get and check it out. But we're, we're sure that you're going to want to keep it after that. And if you're listening to the podcast and you're enjoying these episodes, please do consider subscribing. Alison and I are dropping three episodes per week. We have our Monday quick tips, Tuesdays with great guests just like Mark Asquith here who we're so excited to have. And then Thursday is just Alison and I. So make sure you check those out. And if it feels good to you, please leave us an honest review. Let us know what you think of the podcast and what you think we should be covering. Just like Mark said, asking for feedback. We love feedback, honest feedback and let us know what you would love to hear from us next. Thank you so much, everybody, for listening to this episode. We are so happy that Mark has been here with us and we'll be back again very soon answering another big question.

Listen Now:

What We Talk About

If you’re reading this, let’s be clear on one thing: It’s NOT too late to start a new podcast. BUT we’ll discover in this episode that there are a few really important things to consider before you do.

Namely, what your purpose is for doing it, what your plan is to make it work, and what your worst-case scenario is to be happy with the result and consider it a success.

Mark Asquith – of Rebel Base Media, Captivate.fm, Poductivity and a host of other podcast-related companies – breaks down exactly how you too can be a podcasting success story.

Resources

Looking for a podcast hosting platform that focuses on GROWTH and analytics? Captivate.fm is by far the best platform we've found. (Grab your free trial when you use our link above)

See how Mark can help you at Rebel Base Media.

Ready to launch a podcast? Get your free course that will help you launch your podcast, attract your first 100 listeners, AND cover your costs (all in just 28 days)

Get podcasting tips on YouTube

Listen to Mark's podcasts (on podcasting) … and see the Captivate player embedding in action! (PS – we use it here on our blog posts, too. Told you we love it!)

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex
As you probably know, in July of 2020, Jenny and I started this podcast. And we both considered podcasts for a while, but we weren't sure that we could really make them successful. We didn't know what platform to be on. We didn't know how to market ourselves. We didn't really understand what it took to make a podcast grow our business the way we knew we wanted. Not to mention all the competition out there makes it feel like jumping into a swimming pool full of people, and no room for you to splash around. We now No, that's not true. And we are so excited that mark Asquith of Rebel base media who owns the very platform that we host our podcast on captivate.fm, as well as a whole bunch of other amazing podcast supportive companies like podcasts, websites, podcast success, Academy productivity, Rebel Bay studios, I could keep going, probably. But he's here to talk to us today about making your podcast successful and what it takes. So Mark, thank you so much for being here with us.

Mark Asquith
Thank you very much for having me. It's a pleasure.

Alyson Lex
There are a ton of podcasts out there already. I think the last I mean, millions, right? I don't even know exactly how many. But if our listeners don't already have one, is it worth starting one?

Mark Asquith
I think podcasting is one of those one of those endeavors that you can you can undertake for so many reasons. You know, podcasting is not necessarily something that you have to succeed at, you know, I play golf, and rarely succeed at it, but I really enjoy doing it. And I spend a pile of money and time doing it. And podcasting can be that is the worst case. You know, that is always the worst case with podcasting. And it really randomly we're talking off air, Jennie mentioned about about Gary, a new designer starting here at captivate, and gaz was actually the guy that got me into podcasting. I didn't do any of this stuff. I didn't have captivate or rebel based media, I didn't have the studio, I didn't have podcast, websites, productivity, all this stuff has come because I loved it. And I started off being a hobbyist podcast, I was just a podcast enthusiast that talked about Batman and Star Wars, and that was guys's fault. And I think there's certainly a need to label this requirement for success early on. And that's a fantastic thing to do. There's nothing wrong with that. But I always suggest protecting the worst case in anything, you know, you always protect and upgrade your worst case, you know, what is the highest level that I can fall back on at any given time. And with podcasting, the highest level that you should always fall back on is just Well, you know what, I enjoy doing this, even if nothing else happens, I can just enjoy doing it. And I'll become a better speaker, or become more articulate more thoughtful with my words. And I think if you approach it like that, you end up seeing podcasting for what it is, which is something to enjoy. And when you get the success, and you put the time in, and it starts to bring the dividends in, it's actually really quite a nice bonus, because it's not what you set out to achieve as the number one goal. It's just where you want it to be after two years, three years, four years, five years. So I think everyone should be doing this to a degree and I do believe that really helps personally, like it's helped me through some serious stuff, you know, really serious stuff. It's just been able to talk to people and connect with people is just really helped. So maybe redefining what success is with podcast is a really good place to kind of reframe things.

Jennie Wright
I think that's incredible. What you're saying really resonates with Allison and I because we started the podcast during the pandemic right in the middle of it. My partner's The one who suggested that Alison, and I do this and we kind of looked at each other through zoom call. And we're like, Yeah, why not? And the growth that we've seen personally from doing this is incredible. You're so right, it has improved my speaking ability. I'm a lot more thoughtful with the way that I intentionally talk and the things that I say, it's helped up my game and a lot of ways and I listen to and it also I think give Allison and I both separately, and together some confidence in our ability to help people we are the people behind the scenes. Allison is a direct response copywriter. And she's also a strategist and a coach. And I do list building and lead generation and funnels and strategy as well. But we're the behind the scenes people were the behind the curtain. And to come out in front and do a podcast was incredibly scary. But we love it. And it's been really, really fantastic actually. So I think that's pretty interesting to talk about. And the thing that I want to mention is how do people set themselves up for success however they define that success to be from day one.

Mark Asquith
So, podcasting is is one of those endeavors that will will take time to build, you know, each an audience game at the end of the day requires people. And just the same as anything you you know all about this from what we both do day to day. Anything that requires audience requires trust and requires time to cultivate trust. And I think one of the most interesting problems that people find themselves suffering from early on in their podcasting lifecycle is that they don't appreciate that. So they never set themselves up for people there set themselves up, because they've been, you know, given a podcasting course, for $97, you know, on offer from for 997 for 15 minutes only, like, there's a lot of that rubbish around. And people aren't really interested in what makes something good. They're usually interested in what it takes to get something out. And I think there's always a point, like I said, a planning problem. So the way to set yourself up for this success is to be really well, I think there's a couple of things. Number one is you got to be really, really clear on the fact that you are going to have to talk about the thing that you said, you're going to talk about a lot. So if you don't like it, do not podcast about it. Or if you think you're gonna make a quick buck doing it for a year, don't start a podcast about it. Because even if it becomes a wild success, you know, you end up being Bon Jovi singing living on a prayer for 35 years, and great song. But they probably hate singing it especially because of the key change at the end, and he's getting a lot older. So you've got to think about, exactly, you can't even sing the verses anymore, bless him. And you've got to think about that, you've got to think about the fact that you have to love. So that's the first thing just make sure you love what you're talking about genuinely. The second way to set yourself up for success with this is make sure that you're actually owning something. So let's use the bond you're ever living on a prayer analogy. The Club Band, the kind of jobbing gigging band that you see down at a local bar, they will do a a deliverable version of that song, and it will be fine. But they don't own that song. And they're not going to get 60,000 people singing it when they stop singing, you know, they're not going to get that kind of vibe. So you've got to stand by something that you can earn that you can, you can create a legacy around, but also that, honestly will maybe little be a little bit divisive, and not for the sake of it. But where you own an opinion, or you own a mindset or you own an approach or a format, or a way of delivering things. And you know, I do this a heck of a lot. You know, this is when I first entered podcasting, it annoyed a lot of people, because it was. And these are all people that are now my friends. By the way, I should just preface with this, like a lot of Dr. g podcast as well, who is this awkward English guy, this is in 2013 2014. Making out the podcasting easier than we are telling people is because they were able to own the complexity and sell things based on complexity. And I owned the fact that actually, it doesn't need to be this complex. And even if it is that complex, let's not explain it in complex terms, let's let's just make sure that normal people understand. That was the thing that I earned. And if you stand by something, you'll attract the right people, and you'll attract them quicker. And you will be known for something you know, my tagline on LinkedIn is that British podcast guy? Why? Because that's how people explained me to other people. When I went to podcast movement, you're gonna see Mike speak like this in 2014, when no one knew me, you're gonna see marks, but it was nice, that British podcast guy that we always keep seeing everywhere, like, Alright, okay, I should probably get that. So there are two real solid ways that you can start to set yourself up for success. And there's a lot more that you can do, you know, format in segments in all the kind of technical wizardry and geekery that comes with it. Those two conceptual pieces are what most people tend to miss.

Alyson Lex
And I think it's funny. So when, when we were talking about the flow for this interview, and coming up with things that we wanted to talk to you about when we came up with this question, we thought about the technical, actionable stuff, but it's not as game changing, if you will, as the conceptual stuff. And as you were speaking, I'm like, with our podcast, we're standing really strong on the transparent and authentic style of marketing, and taking a real stand against some of the sleazy and scammy or not so feel good ways of marketing. And it's not only brought us the right audience for us, but helped us grow into that as well. So I can really see application of that we apparently did it right, even if it was maybe by accident?

Mark Asquith
Well, I think that's a genuine approach, though from you. And so that actually raises a really great point. Allison insofar as a lot of people do come into podcasting, especially business and marketing podcasters, they come into it, because they've seen a guru doing something that worked 10 years ago, or five years ago, or two years ago. And all they come into it for is to emulate emulate that success, because they've seen podcasting, as a way of getting cheap attention and positioning quickly, you know, that. That's the old story. Now, you know, if the same amount of time has passed since I started podcasting, is had passed between when I got into it, and when podcasting was invented, you know, so we've developed that far. And a lot of people don't see that a lot of people still see the fact that you can come in with these sleazy marketing tactics. And, you know, if you can, you can put the word authenticity, and you can put the word, you know, scarcity. And all these buzzwords that, that those who don't really know about marketing will think are marketing words. And you can approach podcasting like that, and they believe that that will be the case. But I think, you know, you you stumbled upon those concepts that I mentioned, because you are good at what you do. And you respect where podcasting fits into being good at what you do not as just the next quick thing. Because if you were if you were that person, you'd be selling at the moment, as we're speaking today, you would probably be offering a clubhouse buyer review for $97. Like you are not that person. So I think that's why you stumbled into that brilliant approach, because it's just a genuine human thing to do is to be good at something and love doing it. And that that's a, it's a really interesting distinction to make. Because a lot of people come into podcasting for the wrong reason. They come in because they see as cheap attention quickly, or as a way to become, quote, unquote, friends with every business person on the planet, like, you have someone on your podcast, it doesn't mean that you are friends with them means you had them for 20 minutes. Like don't put that on your LinkedIn bio, you know, so there's a lot of that going on that we've got to get over. And I think you've absolutely nailed it, you completely nailed it with what you just said. So yeah, that's a prime example of me owning something that will annoy some people.

Alyson Lex
You know, that's okay. And I, I do think that we, we get to use the podcast as a relationship launcher, we do get the opportunity to connect with people just like you that, you know, we're big fans of everything that you're doing. And we're excited to have this conversation with you and just be connected with you and learn from you. And we feel this way about all of our guests. And some of those have led to more relationship type things, we have guests that we're friends with and be talked to regularly on dm, and we have guests that we don't speak to because that's not where the relationship grew to. And, and that's okay. But that's another another opportunity for your podcast is really to build relationships, if you do it and approach it in the right way, I think.

Mark Asquith
Yeah, I agree with that. And it's, it's interesting that the podcasters that stand out are the ones that genuinely do build the relationships, and I mean, properly build them. You know, there are so many of the people that listen to the podcast accelerator show that I do or even spark rebellion that the Star Wars podcast that I do. And I might get an email from Kevin McGee, you know, he's a regular listener. And he'll just email me like I do, you know, what do you think of the new Justice League movie, and I'll email him back. You know, we're not talking about gurus and entrepreneurship and business or marketing. But when we do talk about it, that's as invigorating and as important. And you can, you can spot the people that come into podcasting from the perspective of wanting to get something very, very easily, very, very quickly, like I see this all the time. Can I be a guest on your show? I've done this thing. I've sold 40 to 2000 books in the last 12 minutes. And I've built a startup just using shoelaces and buttons for the last 26 years. And it was in AI before AI ever existed. And all this kind of rubbish that you get through, you know, I was very flippant example. And I'll just email back saying, you know, there's no way that what you wrote in that email can possibly be true, because you said that you really admire what I do. And you've asked to be a guest on my solo podcast. Like I have a little think. So there's, there's a lot of that that goes on and it's again, it's demystifying what podcasting will do, but more importantly in the timeframe within which that it will do it. So there are some people now that I work with never worked weekends is a prime example. So guys, I knew how to design. He did a little bit of freelance work for us. But he's now the head of design of rapid growing podcast company, which is his dream job. We started podcast together nearly 10 years ago, we've not done a scrap of work together before this. Likewise, there are people that I still work with To this day, who I met when I first started my podcast in 2013. And I've worked with them since 2013, never stopped, never been interrupted. I've always, always worked with them. And there are some people that I've been friends with, that have enabled me to do things. So Kip is a great example is a friend of mine. He is a genuine friend. And he started through listening to the podcast. And the amount of help that I've given him is nothing in comparison to the intros that I've got from him and the work that he's done for me, but with no expectation. And that's the key thing to wrap that bit up, because I know I digress. But the expectation thing is the key because now people expect that kind of thing to happen quickly, because you're doing a podcast. And podcasting is cool. And all these benefits that people are now reaping seven, eight years after starting a podcast, I the new podcast or want to reap those benefits within a month. And it just it doesn't work. Like you wouldn't think of doing that in any other industry. So that's so real. You know, Jenny, you talked about how you set your podcast up for success and add in a realistic realistic expectation on what the time will, what the time taken will really be, is a really important piece of that puzzle. I think we touched

Jennie Wright
on something that actually makes me giggle. Actually, I love the fact that you're you know, you you think you're bringing up something that's slightly abrasive. I don't, I think it's awesome. We have people who were contacting us now we're at that point where people are starting to contact us and pitch us their clients to be on our podcast. And Allison and I have a process. Because we two we have two separate companies like two different Alison does her stuff, I do my stuff. And then we come together to do this and a couple other things. And we have a process to bring people onto the podcast. And these people don't follow the process. But they're like, hey, I've got a client. She just launched a book, she sold 1000 2000 3000, whatever they are, and you know, we think should you She should be on your podcast. And this happens to us. It's starting to happen to us more and more. And Allison, I look at that and go, No, and we'll get on a call with somebody the pre call and we're like, Do you know anything about Allison? And I Have you listened to the podcast? And we will get people who say no, I have no idea. I've never listened to you guys. And that irks me a bit, actually a lot. And also knows this because it means that they haven't taken the time to understand who we are and what we do. And we want people who were a real fit for us, right? We want people who have the same values and beliefs in terms of how we approach marketing. We didn't start this podcast to make oodles of money. We actually started it just a little bit for our own mental health a little bit to stand on our soapbox, and to talk to some pretty cool people, which we totally put you in that category. Heck, yes. Right. Which is great. I'm curious, and I'm going to put you on the spot. But I'm very curious, because Allison and I picked you to be on this. What made you say yes.

Mark Asquith
Just because your actual human beings, you know, it's very clear that it was just an interesting chat with two people that email like their actual people. You know, it wasn't Hi, I'm you know, I'm Louise from Jenny and Alison's team, and we think it would be a great fit, because we've got 50 bucks to sell. And, you know, here's all the thing, all the all the accolades that we've gotten, you should be on my podcast. You know, it wasn't that which is the inverse of what you just mentioned there, Jenny, which is, you know, I get the same thing. And it was just a logical conversation to have when you can, you can tell when it is a genuine email from actual people that just want to have a good conversation. But here's the here's the thing as well. You also kind of alluded to a great point there, which is, in order to set yourself up for podcasting success, you've got to understand that your audience you have to be protective of your audience, like your audience trust you, you know, we talked earlier on and your audience has spent ages building that trust up. If you get someone on that just wants to sell a book, even though it's a great, great marketing tool for the author. you're exposing your audience to repeatable rubbish, because all that person is going to do is say the same thing on every podcast, and the the listener doesn't tune in for the guests. They tune in for what you are going to do with the guest. They don't care about the guest until you the host. Make them care about the guests in your own inimitable way. So if they want to go and listen to someone doing the rounds, just search for that person's name in the podcast app, go and just search for them, and then come back to this podcast when you actually want to have a decent chat. So I think there's a lot of that going on, it's a bit of a bugbear of mine in in more recent years, it was much less like this, you know, up until about 2016. And then it started going crazy, you know, you've only got to look at the amount of guest booking agencies and platforms that exist like it. Honestly, I wish I wish I could sell captivate for like two books, and then invest that two books into just some fund that would give me $1 for every time someone create a guest booking agency, because I would just be able to retire. And the reason for that is that it's it's because of that attitude, people are seeing podcasts as a way of taking what I want as the guest. And giving it on my terms, to someone whose audience looks up to them, not to me, the guest. And again, like this doesn't track with anything, it doesn't track with YouTube, doesn't track with the written word, like you imagine pitching a blogger, or a YouTuber saying, I'm going to come on to your YouTube channel with no training. I'm not used to being on video, and I'm going to talk about my book to your YouTube audience. Just Just that feels unnatural. So why is it alright, for podcasting? It's weird baffles men and frustrates me as you might be able to tell.

Jennie Wright
Same frustrations gotta say, and Alison and I are seeing something and we work in the coaching world and the coaches and and of course creators and authors sort of world. And what we're seeing with a lot of coaches, these high level coaches that are charging 10,000, or $15,000, or $25,000 for programs is one of the things they're trying to get their clients to do right away, even if they have no, I don't know, no historical background in what they're doing, is to get them to create podcasts. Because they're seeing it not as a they're seeing it more as a way of of positioning, and growing their business at an accelerated rate or something like that, which I kind of get, and I'm on the you know, I kind of get but at the same time, I think it has to be very intentional. It's something my partner and I have talked about a lot because he was the one who was actually like two years ago was going to launch podcast. And he's like, because he took this great course. And he was like, I think you guys should do this and stuff. But his view of it, I believe is like you should have intention behind this. I think that's a really good point that you're making. I'm on board with what you're saying, I'd like to invest for that $1 that you're putting back into creating an agency, we would we would retire rich just say,

Mark Asquith
oh, hugely use it. And you know, I'm completely on board with the positioning, because that's what works, it does work. That's why podcasting works for businesses to be positioned as the trusted guide and the expert, but it takes a lot of time. And it does work, you know, to create an arsenal of content. One of the examples I always use, because I used to own a digital and design agency was that if I ramp up to a pitch, and you know, everything is everything else is equal, the price is equal, the talent is equal, the requirements are equal, the deadlines are equal, the deliverables are everything is equal, the person that gets the job is the person that can prove that they're good enough to do the job. And the easiest way to prove that you can do the job is to make it easy to say yes, the easiest way to make it easy to say yes, is to preempt every single question, the easiest way to do that is to have a back catalogue of content that you can point people to so it doesn't look like you're answering on the spot. So if you can turn up a pitch and so most of all, this website design, what happens when PHP updates or what happens when when actually responsive design comes in? This is old school stuff. And if you can say well, actually, that's funny. I did an episode of my podcast, where I talked about this two years ago that a lot, right? This person knows what they're doing. They get the job. You know that very quick, simple example. But that's the notion of that. What grinds my gears with the coaches is when they're the coach is coaching on podcasting. What is that all about? Just like I wouldn't coach on building a house just because I know how to move bricks. What's that all about?

Alyson Lex
Thank you. Thank you so much. And I will say I actually remember how we reached out to you. We saw you comment on something in a Facebook group. And we totally jumped in that comment thread and we're like, Hey, Mark, big fans want to be on our podcast.

Mark Asquith
Oh, was it but I was probably being grumpy wasn't being grumpy.

Alyson Lex
Remember? No, you weren't

Jennie Wright
actually you were you were making a comment about something and Allison and I were like, That's amazing. And we were both just like, what do we have to do to get Mark Asquith on our podcast? I think I literally said that and you're like, email me. And you're like, you know, and then we emailed you and we're like, hey, it's us from the mention, you know the comment in the Facebook group.

Mark Asquith
Well, at least I wasn't being grumpy. That worked out Alright, then few,

Alyson Lex
but it does bring it does kind of play to your point that we were real. We were human, we were interacting in a social way. And we put ourselves out there and ask the question. And, you know, it was something that worked out for both sides. And I do set a goal to be a guest on podcast, because I love to deliver a ton of value, I love to build those relationships with the hosts. I've thought about hiring a booking agency. And I know I would lose that personality, that personal connection in that relationship. And that's really important to me, I still do it myself. It's It's something I've not been able to justify letting go of, for a lot of the reasons that you've just been talking about, because I don't want it to feel like, oh, whatever podcasts will have me as a fit. I don't always go on business podcasts, I go on personal story based podcast, too, because I feel a connection with the host. So it's not always even just about my business. It's about making those relationships, making an impact. And hopefully showing somebody something that helps them some way in their life.

Mark Asquith
Yeah, it's a good point, actually, because people are people the I get more work from having a company that is a clear Star Wars reference than anything else. And more partnerships, because people like stuff. And some people like the same stuff, as we do. And that's where we have the common ground. And the requirement for work or the requirement for a job is that's just a given, you know, there will at some point, if they are in business probably need marketing work. But if they wanted to just work with someone on marketing, they would just get Google. And what they want to do is be able to spend the first 20 minutes of the conversation talking about why the Mandalorian is better than rise of Skywalker, which it clearly is. And there's just so much of the old school business that was around way before podcasting, and microphones and recording and electricity. You know, the commerce that was going on 1000s of years ago, that existed based on personality and trust in conversation. And people forget that people really still forget that. And it's you know, I don't want to kind of beat up too much on the guest booking agencies or the people that start launching podcast coaching programs. You know, that's because we all have to start doing something. But I think what really frustrates me is that when you pretend that the medium that you're in is something that is not is happening now we clubhouse drives me insane. There are people just there are people saying I will audit your clubhouse buyer for money. And you just think you will. What are you talking about? Like? Where is the proof that your audit will benefit me like? What qualifies you to do that? And also, and you the same social media trainers from 10 years ago? And Weren't you the SEO experts 14 years ago? And Weren't you the people that two years ago are in podcasting? You know, and it's the kind of rant that I'm going on there is again, not to be decided divisive for the sake of it. And it's not to poopoo any of these positions because there are good people doing good work in every every range and every facet of business. There are good coaches in podcasting. There are good clubhouse, bio reviewers. And so but the point that I'm making is it's when you pretend that the medium is something that it's not, it's when you assume that because podcasting is trendy now, somehow that correlates to rapid results, like popularity does not equal rapid results. It's just that there's no correlation between the two. And I think that leads right back to the What does it take to be successful in podcasting, whether it's as a business, you know, podcasting, as a business or podcasting for business. It takes an understanding of where it fits in, not only to your life, but also to your business, to your timings. And if, if you can't produce an episode one week, and he's a Star Wars podcast, that's all right. Right? That's all right. Don't worry about it. It's a podcast, like everyone's All right, we're all good. But at the same time, you've got to respect the listenership and you got to set yourself up for that success by saying to people Guess what, guys, I did this last week, guys covered for me. Well, it's not guys, boilers, broken. Freezing is completely going wrong. Now with into week two, it was Friday when the boiler broke. We're into week two with AC. It's an absolute nightmare. I'm going to be out this Friday. I might be back next Friday. Until then, you got gas or until then see you next week. Guess what happens people tweet me I heard the boilers, alright. So it's, you know, it just becomes one of those things where success could only be bred on the backs of people like no one's self made, no one is a runaway success on their own, you know. And the other, the other last part of this run will be about the egos of the podcasters as well.

Just because you can press record doesn't mean that anyone owes you anything, like get off that just get off that a little bit. And to set yourself up for success, you have to understand that the second one person listens to your podcast, it's not your podcast anymore, is ours. because it affects other people, you know, if you get bored, listening to the same stuff, you better tell the podcaster that you're bored, because they don't want you being bored. They want you to keep listening. And likewise, I've done this a few times. If I get bored of talking about something, I'll just ask people. And you know, I'll say to them, Okay, listen, I'm bored of this format, email me, tell me what else you want me to talk about or what other format and people do you know, I have a laugh with it as well. I sometimes tell people to email, email Kiran, at Rebel base media.io with the word trombone in the subject header, just to give him 10,000 emails in his inbox. You know, it's, it's just, he's had that a few times.

Alyson Lex
But I love it. I am

Mark Asquith
that happens a lot. But the point I'm making is that there's a humility that you've got to bring to podcasting. And since podcasting is being touted as the next silver bullet, for marketing, and for network building, and for authority building, podcast hosts, a lot of them lose that humility, they will say they're humble, because that's what entrepreneurs say online, and they learn how to spell authenticity in the first business book they read, but they never actually practice it. And, and again, not poopoo in people, because there's a heck of a lot of great people doing this, doing it respectfully and humbly. But right back to the beginning, what does it take to stand out and to succeed as a podcaster, you have to be able to live that instead of just say it. So if you get into podcasting, and think you can pretend to be authentic, or what you believe a version of authenticity is, you will soon get tired of that. Like, you have to be able to genuinely live the podcast. Because if you can, there's only one thing that gives away the emotion, you know, and if you can't see someone's face, the only thing that gives it away is what it sounds like when you say something, you can't pretend. So that, again, bit of a run, but I think it's it comes right back to just to succeed in podcasting, you got to be humble, your audience, are there to be protected by you until such time that they're telling you that it's all right, to do something that's new or different. And you've got to continually communicate with them is a two way street. It's not a one way street, just because you own the host and account and it's you that bought the microphone. It's their podcast as much as it is yours. So yeah. And rant, sorry.

Alyson Lex
Well, and you know, at the risk of kind of maybe starting another rant, do you think that the download numbers, mad? I mean, you know, I love looking into our analytics. So it's no secret that Jenny and I use your platform captivate FM for this podcast, and it's got incredible detailed analytics, and we love looking at everywhere that our listeners come from, and diving into what they're interested in by download numbers and things like that. But does that overall ranker I have x number of downloads? Does that matter? As much as kind of everyone seems to think it does?

Mark Asquith
Hmm, it's a funny question. And it's a good question. Because it doesn't it doesn't. It depends on you guys know this from marketing perspective, it depends on what you're actually trying to measure. You know, we measure downloads because the The only thing that we can measure as a direct response to pressing publish on an episode, it's the only direct response measurement that we've got. Because it doesn't require conversions. It doesn't require a funnel, it doesn't require pushing people down a specific path to get them to take an action on their own merit are then relying on remembering something it doesn't require any of that stuff. It's a true reflection of a file being delivered to a device. That's what the download is. So if you're if your goal is to sell sponsorships, and you know, your business is your podcast, then yeah, the downloads matter, because if that's what you're selling, you're selling that number until until podcasting develops a better number, which we're all working hard on. Rest assured we're all working hard on on it's the only number that we've Got to sell. But, you know, I don't want to kind of tell you guys this because you know it better than me. But, you know, if you've got 100 people, and 80 of those will always do the thing that you ask them to do, then it doesn't matter if what the downloads are because what matters is their response to the thing that you want them to do. It's the conversion rate later on whatever it is, you know, whether it's clicking through to your thing, whether it's interacting with your other thing, you know, the range run the entire gamut of marketing calls to action, you know, if, if that is your goal, then the download doesn't really matter. So it's, it's one of those interesting things, you know, I'll tell you what it is. It's like It's like when you're in the pub, or you're in the bar, and you're saying, I got 50 hits to my website, I brilliant, but do you make any money? You know, like, Alright, okay, that's cool. And it's a really good example of this is like, SEO back in the day. My word 2008 cast your mind back 2008 bleach tips. You know, big baggy diesel jeans. They were in fashion. No one's clothes seem to fit back then. Which was weird. Yeah, I missed those days as well.

Jennie Wright
But I've seen a picture of you with the with the frosted tips. You have it

Mark Asquith
off. I was smashing it out. Yeah, yeah. Look how slim I looked as well. I mean, I was like, almost ill. When it came to how skinny I was back then. I was like this like you should everyone go and look, it's on my about page easy's hilarious. So that Yeah, imagine back then you're in the SEO game, right. And all you're wanting to do is give people genuine organic search results that up their traffic, and genuinely lead to more and more sales for the business so that the kid can go to college, and so on and so forth. Right. And the thing you're battling is, I am calling from yellowpages, or wherever I'm calling from, I can get you number one, for best plumber in Barnsley that wears red shoes on a Saturday night, but only between seven and 8pm. I can get you to number one on Google for that keyword, do you want to buy it? So the people buy that thing, and they check that meaningless number. And then they go down the pub and tell them it's that they're at the top of Google. But it doesn't really matter what for? It doesn't really matter what the results are from it. And downloads can be very much like that, that you can say down the bar down the pub. Yep, got 10,000 downloads last month in like, brilliant. How long did that take you? Well, I put 12 hours into my podcast last month, right? If it's for your business, did it push the other metrics in the right direction? Or if you are actually selling your podcast? And you want to make money from your podcast? Did you make $1 from it? Because if not, why don't we forget those numbers and start at one and look at trying to make $1 from one download. And then $2 from two and so on. So again, a very extreme and almost flippant example. But it's I find, that's the easiest way to illustrate it. Because otherwise people they get fixated on the download because there is simply no other metric. And I talked about this at pod fest and podcast movement, the only way and you'll know this better than me, again, as marketers that the only way to get away from thinking about a download is to create your own metrics is to create the other things that matter to you. And to decide what other things should I be looking at what are the key performance indicators will actually prove that this business in this podcast is moving in the right direction? Because let's not forget as well, you know, as a, as an IRB certified has to get geeky for a second, you know, the parameters are always changing on this, you know, there are always parameter tweaks, there are always things that the IRB and the podcasters are doing to really get much closer to what an actual person looks like as a instead of a download. So the most recent probably easiest example is over the last two or three years. The very quick kind of primer on this, the download will only count if it's downloaded to one device on one IP address. This is a very kind of simplistic view of it 111 IP address one device. And it will only count as one download, regardless of how many times one file is downloaded within a 24 hour period. So if you just say, wait a minute, I know I've downloaded my podcast 50 times and this episode 50 times today to test it Why am I not seeing 50 downloads. That's why because you're a person, you're a real person, we try and demystify 50 and turn it into one to represent the one person. So that could change again. The board of the A B and O's as podcasters might said you know what, actually the data shows that that should be 36 hours. And suddenly 5% of you download disappear. because there weren't real downloads. They were just File requests, there weren't people. So that's a really good example of why looking at the download is probably the only thing we've kind of got unless we, unless we force ourselves to think of other things. But he's probably not the best metric for a podcast, which is exceptionally an exceptionally weird thing to say. I do realize how odd that sounds.

Jennie Wright
Well, the The great thing is, is you were talking about KPIs before. And when we look at the KPIs from this particular podcast, it's not always the downloads, because we've had to, like, I'll admit, in the beginning, Allison, I probably had our captivate.fm browser open 24 hours a day, and we were checking it and refreshing it every five minutes. Not gonna lie, not just

Alyson Lex
the beginning.

Jennie Wright
No, that's true, too. But the, but we had no other key performance indicators that were coming in at that time. Now, we have other things that we look at, you know, we're looking at people who connect with us who say, Hey, I heard you on your podcast, or, hey, I listened to Episode 10. And I thought it was good, or I did the download clip downloads that are associated with a lot of our podcasts, episodes. And we'll have people with that, you know, the fact that we've closed clients from it, that's a great KPI from the fact that people like I heard you on your podcast, I think you guys are great, I'd like to connect, and then they end up closing a sale with us. Those things are the other metrics that we're absolutely using. But you're so right, because in the beginning, we're looking at that, I think, because I'm from the world of list building. And with list building and email marketing, one of the big vanity numbers is the size of your list, which I think can be very, very false, and not a true or authentic number. Because you know, you can grow your list to 25,000. But it could be 25,000, poorly nation, badly situated email addresses, on the end of every email addresses a person, but they may not be the person that you absolutely need. And when I look at downloads and things like that, sometimes we'll have this leg bump. And it's great to see the bump. But then I always have to investigate. I'm like, Oh, that was one person in the north of England that downloaded 32 episodes. Right? And then I think, is that a mistake? Or did they just like, go into their Apple, you know, to their eyes, that they're up like, podcast area and just like, download a whole bunch? We don't know. But in the moment, it feels kind of nice. Or like, ooh, we saw a bump, you know, but at the same time, I wonder I do absolutely wonder. So having said that, which I think is kind of funny. And Allison saying that, you know, rank and everything that was that was a very interesting rant and I it's actually not a rant, it's actually really good information. I want to ask you how we can find out more about you. Where can people find you? How can we connect with you? I'm sure you've caught we're going to get a lot of interest from people just listening to this because you're so knowledgeable. So tell us all the details there?

Mark Asquith
Well, it's very kind of you I like to equate knowledge to age because I am now getting old. I can confirm a middle aged which creeps up on you, weirdly doesn't.

Jennie Wright
You still feel 18 or 20. But the the birth certificate does not represent that anymore.

Mark Asquith
Now the whole my knees do not represent that either. I'll just run upstairs to get this thing. Nope. Not doing that again. Well, this this has been a pleasure. Thanks. Thanks for thanks for hosting me and letting me kind of rant on about things. Yeah, just just if anyone needs anything the public ways, probably at Mr. Asquith on Twitter. And then just email me just market Rebel base media.io. Just just email me. People tell me I should be protective over my email address, but you can literally Google it. So I see no point. So yes. Market Rebel base media Daya.

Jennie Wright
And you're very, you're very, like easy to get in touch with this is, which is great. And I think that's awesome. And don't forget, obviously, you know, Mark does have podcasts that you guys can go and check out. I have definitely googled this before. So there's a podcast accelerator design, low design, launch and grow your podcast, there's a personal development interviews that he's done. There's the straight talking guide to launching your first product which is in there as well. And there's different obviously, there's lots of different places where you've guessed pause podcast, so they'll find you there as well. Check

Mark Asquith
out a guest booking agent, I should point out Jennie

Jennie Wright
Wright. The guy, the guy who runs and owns a podcast platform doesn't have a booking agent,

Mark Asquith
I love that do not have a book in it. And that's probably a good thing. On another note, I'm gonna just give a shout out some of the shows that I've got a new podcast launch in about podcasting. So I'm gonna get you guys on as a guests, I think. So I'll drop you a line about that one. That'll be good. It's gonna be an interesting concept. I'll not tell you too much. But it's going to have some. I'm going to try and pitch it like a 70s soap opera from a musical perspective and graphical perspective. So I'll get you involved in that one. That would

Jennie Wright
be awesome. I'm big. I'm a big fan of the 70s. So was my partner we listened to 70s music and it's great. So it's awesome.

Alyson Lex
I like wacky podcast concepts.

Mark Asquith
Well, this is perfect then.

Jennie Wright
That's awesome. Thank you so much mark. We really appreciate you taking the time to be on with this. We I mean, this is a longer episode by far but it was well worth it. I think we've pulled out a ton of really good information here. Definitely check out what Mark is doing. Definitely check out the new podcast he's going to come out with and Allison and I are now completely stoked to be asked to be on that. Thank you. And check out for sure. captivate, captivate is an incredible platform, we use it. Absolutely, we are going to plug it for a second because it makes so much sense. If you want to check it out, go to System to thrive.com forward slash captivate. There's a seven day free trial if I'm right that you guys can get and check it out. But we're, we're sure that you're going to want to keep it after that. And if you're listening to the podcast and you're enjoying these episodes, please do consider subscribing. Alison and I are dropping three episodes per week. We have our Monday quick tips, Tuesdays with great guests just like Mark Asquith here who we're so excited to have. And then Thursday is just Alison and I. So make sure you check those out. And if it feels good to you, please leave us an honest review. Let us know what you think of the podcast and what you think we should be covering. Just like Mark said, asking for feedback. We love feedback, honest feedback and let us know what you would love to hear from us next. Thank you so much, everybody, for listening to this episode. We are so happy that Mark has been here with us and we'll be back again very soon answering another big question.


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