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Discover How a Small Podcast is Powering Richard Mathews' Fast Growing Business
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Liana Ling: Welcome back, and I am so excited to welcome Richard Matthews here. Hey, Richard. Thank you for stopping by today.
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Richard Matthews: Awesome. Glad to be here. Liana, I always love being on the phone with you. Whether or not we're recording it or just in our own little masterminds or whatever we're doing, you're always a pleasure to be around and to talk to, and I've literally learned a ton from you over the years, so I'm excited to be here.
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Liana Ling: All right. And, I mean, we have been really good friends for a number of years, and every time I talk with you, I always learned something. Even before now, were just chatting. You shared with me some things that I had no idea about, so I said, okay, I got a press record. Let's do this. Let's dive in. By the way, Richard is a chronic rule breaker, so I'll probably have him back here a couple of different times. There's a lot we can learn from him. Today I wanted to focus on the interesting things that Richard is doing with his podcast. So, first of all, can you give us the background? Just let us know what's your podcast about so we get the context, and then we can dive into how it is basically doing the complete opposite of what everybody else is doing.
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Richard Matthews: Absolutely. Yeah. My podcast is called The Hero Show, and the purpose of the show is to change the cultural narrative we have about entrepreneurs being the quintessential villain in all of our stories and to change that to entrepreneurs being the heroes, which is more in line with what actual reality is. For whatever reason, if you look at any of our pop cultural narratives and kids TV shows, books, even some of the new movies that came out over the holidays this last couple of weeks, I watched many of them. 99 times out of 100, the villain is always some variation of entrepreneur spills oil and ducks for money. Right. I've always hated that narrative, and it makes a lot of entrepreneurs like yourself and myself and lots of people that I've interviewed have negative associations with the value we're trying to bring to the world and negative associations with profit.
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Richard Matthews: I think that if we're really going to change the world in a positive way, we need to change that cultural narrative that entrepreneurs are actually heroes. We tell stories of entrepreneurs, and we tell their stories as if they were a comic book superhero. We've been doing that for a little over 220 episodes now, and it has been a tremendous value to my life and to my business, despite us breaking a lot of the rules on how you're supposed to do podcasting.
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Liana Ling: Well, what's the name of the show? It's the Hero Show. Right?
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Richard Matthews: Hero Show. Yeah.
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Liana Ling: Okay, and where do you broadcast it?
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Richard Matthews: So, we broadcast a hero show on YouTube, and we broadcast a Hero show on the podcast networks. So those are the two main places. Then, of course, we have smaller bits that go everywhere 365 days a year. All the major social media platforms have clips and stuff that go to Instagram. And we're starting TikTok. And what are the other ones? LinkedIn and Facebook and all the major social media platforms. Twitter. There's little pieces of the content that goes out every day.
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Liana Ling: This is I want you to share with us how this podcast has changed your life and your business, because this is what to me is so impressive about what you're doing. What's been the impact of this podcast?
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Richard Matthews: It's really interesting, right? There's a number of really important impacts. The first one was that my desire to build the podcast for the story that it tells, led me to build the push button podcast agency that runs it. This is partially the fault of you guys in my Mastermind, but I knew I wanted to tell this story and I was really struggling to tell this story because doing the actual work of a podcast, all the stuff that you're done after you hit the Stop Record button, it's really difficult. I built push button podcasts as a service for myself. It wasn't called push button podcast when I did it. I built it as a service myself so I could go from struggling to get our first three episodes live to over the following year. After we built the push button podcast, getting 80 episodes live and having stuff published every single week and then doubling our production through the pandemic and everything, it was really about building the company behind it, the push button podcast that publishes it.
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Richard Matthews: Building it allowed me to get my story out. The result of it has been really interesting, right, because we're 220 episodes in to the podcast now. It's been out for several years. My goal was never to attract an audience with the Hero show. My goal was always to change the story of the people I was inviting on. That was my goal. Right? The podcast is for my guests, for them to look at their life and their business differently than they did before they talked to me. So, as a result, because I'm not focusing on building an audience, I don't have a huge audience. The audience is maybe 200 and 5300 people over the last couple of years, which is not a success or a failure in that regard. It's just not something I focused on. I don't particularly care because it's doing its job, which is to have an impact on the people that I invite on.
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Richard Matthews: The other result of that is that it is driving networking for my push button podcast business. Push button podcasts has turned into a full time business for myself. We employ four full time people, so it supports my family and it supports the families of four other people right now. All of the business from Push podcasts has come from the networking from the Hero Show. I guess the rule that you might be talking about is that you build a podcast to gain an audience. I'm here to tell you that it's not the only way and sometimes not even the best way to build a podcast.
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Liana Ling: Yeah, because one of the things we think about when we want to launch a podcast is we want to get in the new and noteworthy category. We want to launch giveaways and launch parties and just kind of get this whole momentum going. You get a ton of subscribers and downloads and make a really big splash. That's what we're taught we should do when we're launching a podcast. We look at I know one of the dashboards we want to look at is see, hey, how many downloads we have? How many subscribers do we have? We just get all really excited, which in and of itself is not bad at all. I mean, I think that's amazing. If people do that, I want to celebrate it, and we're going to do that with this podcast, too. What's so interesting about what you're doing, Richard, is like the fact that you've been doing this for a couple of years, and after a couple of years, I think somebody would look at it and think, be very discouraged, thinking, I only have less than 300 subscribers.
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Liana Ling: What blows my mind is that this is literally, like you said, it's supporting four families. It's giving you almost all of your clients for your agency right now.
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Richard Matthews: Yeah, absolutely. It's driving my agency. There's some tactics behind how we're doing that. I think the important part for what we're talking about here is that it's a break of the mold. It's a different understanding of how podcasts can be used. I think part of that is it's part of the story that we hear, right? Everything comes back to stories, which is why I like podcasting. The story, the cultural narrative, the marketing narrative around podcasts is build a big audience. Once you have a big audience, then you can monetize audience by putting offers in front of them. So we celebrate audience growth. What I have been doing, what I've been telling my clients for a long time, is that podcasting, it can be about that. It can be right. It's not a bad thing if that's your target or your goal, but it's not the only goal that is available to you.
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Richard Matthews: It is one of the harder goals with podcasting to achieve large audience and stuff like that. We've seen a lot of podcasts do it over the last five or six years. Things like the Steven Crowder Show or the Daily Wire, which has become a media multimedia powerhouse with podcasting and hopefully we'll see the same thing happen with your podcast network. You're starting at ad skills, right? You can build a podcast with the goal of building an audience and then you monetize that audience by putting stuff in front of them. I think one of the more powerful and more accessible goals of podcasting is to become a dominant force in your niche, right? That comes from using podcasting as a way to claim authority because authority is always claimed, it's not bestowed upon people. You keep it by showing up, right? And showing up consistently over time.
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Richard Matthews: I also think we've talked about before is the power of consistency over time. I've showed up in this space with this message and the opportunities that's given me has been tremendous. Where when we first started two or three years ago, I had to fight for every guest we got on, right? Meaning I had to go out and promote and ask people to come on. I started out with like friends and family and people who I knew who would say yes. Like, you were one of our first episodes a number of years ago and that was like our 1st 50 episodes. We had to try real hard and you get to our first hundred episodes and now we start getting like inbound of inbound, maybe 50 inbound and outbound, trying to get people to come on the show. When we crossed 200 episodes with our podcast, again, this is the magic of consistency over time.
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Richard Matthews: I no longer do outreach for my show unless I want to. I have a backlog of people who are asking me on a daily basis, can I come on your show and talk to you? Everything from small companies to big companies. I've had the CEO of AWeber, which is a big, and they asked to come on my show. They said, hey, we see what you're doing. Can we get our CEO on your show? Right? I had the CEO of a multibillion dollar social media startup in Silicon Valley asked to come on our show. And that's starting to happen. After we hit this, it was like about six months ago, we had 200 episodes. There's some power that comes from showing up every day in a space with a message. What's interesting to me is my message isn't particularly niche, it's a general message that's saying that, hey, entrepreneurs are heroes instead of villains.
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Richard Matthews: I could probably have a more powerful niche message for like if I was trying to drive specific revenue. The fact that you show up every day with a message is powerful in and of itself.
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Liana Ling: Name a couple of other people that you've had on because I remember they've all been really to me, they're fascinating because you are so good at storytelling and drawing stories out of your guests. But you mentioned two people there. I remember you had somebody else you were saying she was selling, like, candles for a million dollars, non million. But you know what I mean.
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Richard Matthews: Victoria Wick, she is a QVC seller who's been selling jewelry for 30 years on QVC. And she came to the US. 30 years ago with $39 in her pocket and has built a company that sells over $500 million a year of jewelry. She cracked me up because it was amazing to have someone who is like next level wealth on to talk to you. Because she just walked me through some things in my business that just blew me away. One of my favorite stories, at the end, she was talking about candles. She has this candle in her room because we have a candle company as well. She was like, I'm going to show you one of my favorite candles. It's a $10,000 candle. I was like, a $10,000 candle is something that you literally you light and it burns away. She's like, literally, she's burning away $10,000.
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Richard Matthews: I was like, that's the kind of money that I didn't even know existed. I can understand wanting to buy a yacht or something. I spent $3 million on a yacht. At the end you get a yacht. This is like having the kind of money you're like, I'm going to spend $10,000 and then literally light it on fire. I'm like, man, there's just a whole other level of wealth. Yeah, she was one of my favorite interviews. One of my other interviews I really loved was a coffee shop owner in the Philippines and just a local community business and loved hearing that story and how impactful a coffee shop is to a local community. I had a gentleman on that, him and all of his retired buddies. He built a business that is pulling for every single one of him and his employees six figures plus a year.
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Richard Matthews: All they do is they walk properties for commercial real estate owners and give them a weekly report on what their property looks like. The report is literally just like, hey, my property is in good shape. There's some trash that I noticed over here. I picked that up for you. It looks like someone left a mattress in your Dumpster kind of thing. That's all they do. They just have routes of properties, and they've sold the contracts to like, hey, we'll walk your property once a week. They go out with their wives or their dogs or whatever, and they take walks, and they get paid six figures to do it. It's just fascinating to hear the stories of entrepreneurs all across the board, from small local businesses all the way up to big, mega successful stories. You realize that every single one of them is working towards making our world a better place.
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Liana Ling: Yeah, because one of the rules people think about when they're starting a podcast is, well, I need to wait until I'm big before I'm even going to attract anybody, quote unquote important or even just to start to reach out. You mentioned in your first 50 episode, you're reaching out to friends and family to come on. What's been your process to get those guests before it started becoming more inbound? What was your process to get these amazing guests? Because you were getting amazing guests from the beginning. You didn't wait like 200 plus episodes before you started to get really interesting people on.
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Richard Matthews: The first part is I had a message. It's one of those things that I think people miss with the podcast is you have a message. You have to have a story you want to tell. If you have a story you want to tell, then people I said we're a story born people, all of us. That's how humanity works, is we build and judge our relationships and the depth of those relationships on the stories that we know about each other. You show up with a story, especially a story that is engaging and that is going to help lift up the other person, it's really easy to get a yes, right? For the hero show, it's like, hey, I would like to tell your story as if you're a comic book superhero. It's hard to say no to that. I see what you do. So, Leona, I see what you do here at Ad Skills.
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Richard Matthews: Would you come on my podcast? Can we tell your story as if you were a comic book superhero? Right. It's hard to hear that question and think about your work and not go, yeah, I want to do that. Or in the reverse that are around you ask. To me, it's like, hey, we're starting a show about someone who breaks rules and is disruptive in marketing. You want to come tell your story? It's hard to say no when you have a message. If you have a message and then that's the first part. Have a message. The second part is ask, have a message.
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Liana Ling: It seems hard because I go through this, right, imposter syndrome. I'm not good enough, I'm not big enough. They're not going to pay any attention. And here's you started one. You had, I think, like five subscribers, if that to start off. And you're asking everybody.
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Richard Matthews: What's interesting is I did get nos, right? I got nos from people early on, from people who understand the value of their time and their audience. I actually had a good friend of mine was like, your show is not ready for me yet. That's not going to happen. You're not going to get 100% yeses, but I got enough yeses. That it made a difference. Now I can go back to that same person and ask them, and they would say yes now. Right. I've had that happen a number of times where people who said no early on say yes now because of the thing we mentioned earlier, consistency over time. What happens now is people are like, oh, this guy is serious, because you don't get to 300 episodes. 200 episodes on accident.
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Liana Ling: Yes.
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Richard Matthews: The overwhelming majority of podcasts, I think it's something like 93% of podcasts don't make it past their 10th episode.
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Liana Ling: Wow. 10th, really? Wow.
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Richard Matthews: Yeah.
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Liana Ling: So why do you think that is? Not about getting past the 10th, but what do you think? It about just putting yourself out there? I know you kind of talk about creating your platform, but why do you think that's so effective, where you're just putting yourself out there and not having those maybe we call them vanity metrics, but not having a ton of subscribers and millions of views. But it still works for you?
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Richard Matthews: I think the reason it works for me is because I don't quite know how to say this. I know where I'm going, I know what I'm doing with my business. My business happens to fit nicely in podcasting, but it almost doesn't matter. I have clients in lots of spaces that are different, that do the same thing. I was like, well, one of my clients now got a huge audience, and he's been a business strategist for a long time. He wanted to shift from being known as a business strategist to being known as a community building expert. He showed up and we started running his podcast. His podcast at this point has 22 episodes published or, no, 29 episodes published as of today. I think it has twelve subscribers on itunes. 1229 episodes. Twelve subscribers on itunes. He's got about 1000 subscribers on YouTube, which is about accurate.
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Richard Matthews: Most of our podcasts have about ten times the subscribership on YouTube than they do on itunes. What has happened over the course of the last six months doing that, again, small numbers, is everyone who's coming to him and talking to him now versus even seven or eight weeks ago are showing up and saying, like, hey, I need help with my community. You're an expert in community. How can I get to know what about community? Because he's showing up every day in his face, talking about his message. I think the reason it works is because if you have a message and you show up every day, people start to recognize you for your expertise. Right? My podcast is about storytelling, and my business push button podcast is about storytelling, so it lines up really well. His podcast is about community, and the services that he offers are about community, and he's starting to get business related to community.
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Richard Matthews: I got another client who talks about ecommerce conversion rate optimization and their business on the back side talks about conversion rate optimization. Their message is essentially that you don't need more traffic, you need better conversions. And that's all that they podcast about. They show up every day talking about that thing. On the back side, people come to them and go to their they have courses and training that they sell. It's like when you show up in a market with a message and you do that consistently over time, people will ask you about your products and services that are on the back side of that. You don't have to have huge numbers. What you have to have is a message and consistency over time.
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Liana Ling: Okay, but what makes me scratch my head is on each individual platform, like you said, there's twelve subscribers on this platform, 1000 subscribers on this platform. You said over time, people start to notice you. If you have such tiny numbers so it makes me scratch my head is how are they seeing you anyway? Because if you look at each individual platform, the numbers are very small.
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Richard Matthews: Yeah, so I have theories about this. I don't have answers. My theory is, right, so we publish. Let me give you an example. I got a friend of mine from a number of years ago. I don't actually run this podcast anymore, and he's actually not in this space anymore, so he's not a public figure anymore. At the time, this was four or five years ago, he had a YouTube channel that had roughly 40,000 subscribers on it. He had a podcast covering the same topics that had little less than 1000 people on it. 1000 people to 40,000 people, so 40 times the number of people on YouTube. We had a couple offers that we put together in that space for him. One of the years, we tracked all these metrics really closely on where the sales were coming from. He sold $225,000 worth of courses and training to his two audiences.
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Richard Matthews: 200,000 of the 225,000 of them came from the 1000 podcast subscribers, and the other 25,000 came from the 40,000 YouTube subscribers. Which I think is really interesting because what it shows you is that the number is not nearly as relevant as the intimacy, the connection that you have with someone. The way that we structure our distribution at Push Button podcasts is there's a couple of reasons for this. We do a once weekly, long form episode that generally goes to YouTube and it goes to all the podcast networks and it gets put up on your blog with embeds and show notes and transcripts and all that. It's literally just we're showing up here and we have this content that has our story, and then you have weekly, or you say sorry, daily. You have daily pieces of content that are going out to all of the social media networks.
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Richard Matthews: The biggest problem that most businesses have is that your customers aren't going to buy from you today. It's just that the reality is most of your sales aren't going to happen today, and they're going to happen when the customer is ready to make a buying decision. The problem is, the buying decision is going to go to the company that they believe can solve their problem and is in front of them when they're ready to buy. The problem that podcasting can solve for you if you leverage it properly, is that you're always there in the marketplace. When the customer is ready to buy, you're there, right? Because you're everywhere, because you're on every major social network. If they are talking about or looking or thinking about it I have people who buy from me who don't listen to my podcast. Like one of the clients mentioned to you is not a listener of my podcast.
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Richard Matthews: It doesn't matter. He sees me every day because I'm in his feet and he sees me pop up and then he's like, I need to have that. I need to have what allows you to do that? I walk him through and tell him the story, what we do, and he's like, I need that. He does the same thing and he's like, I'm getting the same thing, right? His audience doesn't like the people who are buying from him aren't necessarily in your audience. My theory is that the audience numbers don't matter as much as people think they do. What matters is the showing up over time.
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Liana Ling: It's just really hard to get our heads around that, I think, because we're so conditioned to saying we need to see the big numbers. I mean, I've actually experienced the same phenomenon with short video when I started off on TikTok as well. The same thing. It really just exploded when I started repurposing it on all the other different platforms, like you were saying, instead of just focusing on the one. We see so many stories of well, let's take Mr. Beast, for example. Everybody knows who he is. You can't ignore him. He totally broke all the YouTube numbers recently too, right? But what do people know about him? It's the numbers, right? He's got this many subscribers and this many, and of course he's successful, but because of those numbers but we're not very few of us can be Mr. Beast, and I think that's very discouraging.
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Liana Ling: We're conditioned to think we have to get somewhere close to those numbers in order to matter and to have an impact.
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Richard Matthews: Yeah, like I mentioned before, it's all judged on the stories we're told, right? The stories were told are that the numbers matter. And in some cases they do. They matter to Mr. B, right? They matter to the Daily Wire. They matter to some of these creators that have created huge successful audiences.
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Liana Ling: Sure.
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Richard Matthews: Not that they don't matter and that if you build something well, if.
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Liana Ling: You'Re selling ads and you're selling sponsors, they have to matter because that's what matters to the people buying the ads.
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Richard Matthews: Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that business model, and it's not even a bad business model. It's not a bad target, even. It's not the only one and it's not even necessarily the best one for every business. That's where all I'm trying to do is tell people that's not the rule. Right. There's other ways that you can do this and it can be really successful and really impactful for your business and your message for your audience to show up, claim the authority in your space, and then be there every day.
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Liana Ling: Well, I think what you're saying, too, is it's also very approachable. It's very doable for most people. You don't have to be that rock star. You don't have to be in order to be successful. Like you were saying, in some cases, that's probably not the best way for you to be successful. Kind of in keeping with that theme, it can also sound very daunting to be, quote unquote everywhere. To be on all these different platforms like you were just mentioning and showing up in feeds everywhere. When you're solo printer or you have a tiny team, that just sounds almost impossible, right? That going to take me all day long? I'm never going to sleep because I just have to keep pushing these things out there. You're in the business of doing so. How do you do that and still have a life? Because we'll talk about this in another episode, because you do not work that many days a week.
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Richard Matthews: I don't, and I do that on purpose. I've learned for rules we break that you don't have to get what you want. The first thing I want to comment on before I get into the how is the why. You mentioned a second ago that you don't have to be a rock star. I think that's a really key point to this is you don't have to be a rock star. The reason I want to bring that up is because the magic, and this is something I know you and I have discussed a number of times over the years, the magic is in the doing. Right? I can't remember what were talking about a number of years ago, and I think were talking about email follow up. You were like, Why does it work? I was like, Because we do it. It doesn't have to be good.
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Richard Matthews: It doesn't have to be fantastic. It doesn't have to be over the top. It doesn't have to be Mr. Beast level quality. It just has to be done. You have to show up because if you show up, you are already beating most of the market.
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Liana Ling: Yes, I am. Still with you on that. It's unfortunate though, right, that the majority of people do not take that first step. Yes, if you do it, you don't even need talent, just do it.
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Richard Matthews: If you show up, you've already won. That's the important thing that I want to get across is if you show up and you show up consistently over time, you've already won. Because the overwhelming majority of the market does not show up. They don't show up. If you show up and you show up consistently over time, that's a message I'm going to drive home forever. I think it's consistency over time. It's really hard to lose. What is I remember is his name Weston Churchill, who's never ever, ever give up, right? That's his quote. Or the story about the guy who was digging for gold and he stopped 3ft before he hit it and then someone else bought it and dogged 2ft and they hit gold. It's that story we've all heard. But that's really where the magic is. The magic is in showing up and just executing consistently.
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Richard Matthews: With that out of the way, I'll talk about how we do it and the how I think is probably why I was invited on the podcast, because it's disruptive and it's of the rule breaking and taking advantage of some new technologies that have that are really setting us up for success in the future. So there's a couple of things. The first concept is on how we leverage the podcast. What I tell people is like obviously if you want to build audience, you want to get in front of people. Putting out more content is going to help you build audience faster than putting out less content. If you were to put out a full length podcast and all those short clips and everything every single day had a daily show all Gary V or what was his name, the grant card in ten X, they put out tremendous amounts of content on a daily basis.
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Richard Matthews: You will build audience faster. From a calendar perspective, you'll get there faster. The problem with that is Gary V has 26 full time people on his content team, right? And Grant cardone is similar, right. They have humongous amounts of resources that.
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Liana Ling: Are going towards that. Actually for a week I tried to post ten times a day on TikTok and I gave up after three days. Like I thought I was going to die. I could not take it. It's really hard. And these were seven second videos.
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Richard Matthews: It is very difficult and very time consuming, very resource of intensive to have that. If you go to monthly, a monthly cadence the calendar time it will take again, it'll still work. Consistency over time. You do it for enough years showing up once a month, you will build an audience of people who expect you to get there, but the calendar time it takes is going to be significantly longer than, say, if you were doing it every single day. My goal as an entrepreneur is how do we get the happy medium where people like myself or like you, how do we leverage the audience building and the showing up and being in the marketplace every day as much as possible? What we found over the course of our podcast and several of our clients is that once a week cadence is really good for a number of reasons.
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Richard Matthews: The once a week cadence allows you to do long for podcast interviews like you and I are doing now. You can back record them where you can record three or four or five or ten episodes at the beginning of the month and have an episode going out for four to six weeks of content that you batch record in a couple of days. It makes your inputs very low, right? You have just a couple of interviews, a couple of hours of interviews that you might do, or sitting in front of the camera and doing your solo episodes and then you have a cadence of once a week where you can hit all of the major social networks. Your big ones for the long form are going to be YouTube, itunes, and the blog which is going to hit YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, Google.
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Richard Matthews: Your blog hits the number one search engine in the world. Itunes, the radio shows and whatnot are the fastest growing segment of multimedia on the planet. They're expecting podcasting and consumption of podcasting to surpass video before too long, which is crazy to me. So those are your three big ones. What we do is we take the long form episodes and you cut out peace of them. What's interesting is you don't need to cut out a ton of them, right? You can, you can cut out hundreds of pieces from them and cut a bunch of them. What we found is six works about right, because you have long form content on Monday and then you have a short piece of content that you can put out every other day. If you say you publish on Monday, then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday you have a short form piece of content.
00:31:59,812 --> 00:32:40,254
Richard Matthews: They go to whatever networks that you care about, links back to the original one that gets you SEO back, links that's always fun. You're showing up on all the networks with the pieces of content that are coming out. And so that happens. Now you've got content coming out every single day. You do that for a little while and then as the content is coming out you can use things like Social Pilot or Hootsuite or any of the other ones that let you recycle old content where as you fill up the hopper with the new content you're putting in daily. You can tell it like, hey, all the stuff that engages with regularly. Publish two or three more times today and republish old stuff. Because chances are the people who, when they put that short piece of content out, not 100% of your audience saw it.
00:32:40,372 --> 00:32:40,654
Liana Ling: Right?
00:32:40,692 --> 00:32:45,630
Richard Matthews: The ones have already forgotten it because I saw 10,000 other pieces of content today. So you can reset.
00:32:48,530 --> 00:32:53,618
Liana Ling: That's another rule, right? People just don't see what you put out there in general. So it's okay to post it again.
00:32:53,704 --> 00:33:43,378
Richard Matthews: Yeah, post it again. If you keep up that daily cadence of we publish once a week and then we cut out six pieces of content from that gives you a daily new piece of content. You're always showing up in your market and then those daily pieces of content can be fed back into your I'm just going to call it a hopper that gets reshared on a daily basis. You get to the point where you have three or four pieces of content coming out every single day in every place that you want to be. You become essentially unengorable to your marketplace and you can boost things. That's the concept of how you do it and then how we actually leverage that on the back end. That still a lot of work, right? There's a lot of effort that goes into that. We use some AI tools that make that a lot simpler for us and for our team.
00:33:43,464 --> 00:34:32,739
Richard Matthews: The way I look at it, I think a lot of people have a misguided understanding of what AI is, right? You see all these discussions happening today that AI is going to replace humans or it's finally getting so good that you can just, I don't know, whatever. There's a lot of discussions about chat GTP replacing copywriters and stuff like that. I'm like the problem with that is it's just not true. It's just not true. AI is a powerful tool for leverage for humans. I think we'll continue to be that for a long time. What it's going to do is it's going to unlock your potential to get more work done in a shorter period of time at a higher consistency of quality and speed of output and whatnot. The way I've been talking about it to people is AI is giving a tractor to a farmer who's used to plowing his fields with a horse and a plow, okay?
00:34:33,989 --> 00:35:29,518
Richard Matthews: You can in the wrong hands, if he doesn't know how to drive a tractor, he could run it into his barn and knock it over and do a terrible job or he can 20 x's output on his farm with less staff. That's what we're looking at is how can we leverage AI to 20 x our output without having to 20 x our input where we have to show up every day. Tools that we use, one of them is Descript, which is an AI video editor. It's a collaborative video editor, highly recommend everyone check it out. If you do anything with video, they're sponsored by they just had their latest, what do you call it, the Venture Capitalist Funding round. They were funded by Open on AI, which is Open. AI is backed by Elon Musk, right? They're a big player in the space now. The thing that they do, which is really fascinating, is almost everything you're touching in their system is AI, but you're not going to look at it.
00:35:29,544 --> 00:36:23,894
Richard Matthews: It's not branded AI, right? It's not like Chat GT where it's like talk to the AI and get answers. When they do it is they're using AI to make your job, the output that you're doing easier. You drop there and it gives you the entire transcript that AI goes through and does the transcript for the video. Does about a good job. You go through and clean it up as a human. Now I can have my transcriptionist instead of having to transcribe every word. Only has to listen to the episode and fix the mistakes they made. Now her having to spend 4 hours per episode doing the transcription, she spends 20 minutes she can handle 20 shows that we're doing instead of two. Right? We're 20 x in her output on that. Our video editor, they do AI optimized editing boundaries around the actual spoken word.
00:36:23,932 --> 00:37:10,466
Richard Matthews: You can do the video edits with the text or I can be like don't like that sentence, cut it out or move things around. You can edit video by editing text like you're editing a Word document. What's cool is everyone can edit a Word document but not everyone can edit video. What does is that it uses AI to make it so that if you can edit a Word document, you can edit video. Allows you to increase your output without increasing your skill set. Like the composition pieces, they use some AI stuff and you can actually see it a little tiny little thing at the bottom. It will tell you what it's doing. And it's like optimizing editing boundaries. That's all the AI going to work into using its machine learning algorithms to do what it does. We go through the highlighted text and be like, hey, this was a good sentence from this video.
00:37:10,568 --> 00:37:52,242
Richard Matthews: Can you make that a new composition for me? You just click a button that makes a whole new video composition and it does all the work for you and highlight six pieces of the content where actually I have my transcriptionist. Do that while she's going because they listen to it and see if there's any mistakes in the transcript. She goes, oh, that's a good piece highlighted. That's a good highlighted. That's a good piece highlighted. Creates all the new compositions. You just click a button and you say, do I want it to be square for Instagram? Or do I want it to be portrait for TikTok? Or do I want it to be landscape for YouTube? It's literally just a button click and it'll reorganize everything on the canvas for you. With AI to fit that orientation, you can have pre designed templates. The pre design templates are where the human assistant comes in, right?
00:37:52,376 --> 00:38:41,902
Richard Matthews: I have video editors who professionally do our templates for us so that I can have the AI. What I mean by having the AI is like, I have a human VA, which is you have a VA person level person who can click on the video and be like, hey, use this template. The AI just gets to work and does what would have taken a professional video editor multiple hours in a few seconds. Now we produce 18 pieces of content for every 1 hour of video or one episode of video, because we do the six clips and we do a square tall version for TikTok and a wide version for YouTube and LinkedIn and places like that. We create 18 pieces and we just distribute that with one of the social media tools. So DScript is a really big one. The other one that we've been using is Jasper.
00:38:41,966 --> 00:39:31,314
Richard Matthews: Jasper is everyone's heard about chat GDP now, but Jasper is very similar technology. We use Jasper to feed in the transcript, the AI transcript that DScript give us. We take that transcript and we feed it to Jasper and say, hey, can you summarize this for us? It summarizes the transcript and gives us a bunch of bullet points. This is where one of the big failures of AI is not good at context. They're not good at understanding the story that's being told. They just see the words and the language patterns and the language model. It'll spit out things that are I don't know what the word is. It's not human yet. The work before for writing all of our show notes and writing all of the written assets would be generally a writer, a skilled writer listening to the episode. That's an hour of time plus writing out the summary points.
00:39:31,352 --> 00:40:24,930
Richard Matthews: Another couple of hours to write the show notes. Four to 5 hours per episode of writing time. Now it's about 10 seconds or so to summarize the points, and then 20 minutes to go through the summary points and humanize them, right? Put the context back in that the AI missed and get the language pattern so that they sound human and not robotic. Now you have really good because they say garbage, Jean, garbage out. You have really good summary points. You can tell the AI, write me the show notes, and write me the short description, and write me the Facebook posts, and write me the tweets, and write me all the other things. Now my writer, with the assistance of AI, can get all of the written assets done for an episode in 30 minutes to 40 minutes instead of 4 hours. So it's fantastic.
00:40:25,590 --> 00:40:33,240
Liana Ling: It's almost like you're the pilot, right? It sounds like you're taking these tools and then you're empowering your team to pilot as opposed to the doing.
00:40:35,050 --> 00:41:38,694
Richard Matthews: We're using AI tools to increase our productivity and make the consistency and quality of output more even, right? I got people in my master showing us how to build the agency, scale it well. The reality is, what we can do now with a couple of people who are trained to use these tools is instead of paying through the nose for high end video editors, I can pay the high end video. Editor to build our templates and then pay a VA to do the video editing because the AI tools give them a lot more leverage. Instead of paying a transcriptionist to transcribe every single word of my podcast, I can pay a transcriptionist to clean up the output that the AI put out, right? Instead of paying a writer to listen and summarize and then write 4 hours, because of the cost of that, we had to hire lower end writers in order to do it at scale.
00:41:38,822 --> 00:42:13,890
Richard Matthews: Now, because of AI, we can actually hire English speaking, first high end writers and pay more money for them to get higher quality written output because we're leveraging AI tools to do the bulk of the labor and then using the humans to come in and humanize the output so we get better output at a higher quality at a higher volume by leveraging AI tools. I guess we're breaking the rules because we're not using AI to replace humans. We're using AI to make humans superhuman.
00:42:14,050 --> 00:42:47,540
Liana Ling: Sure, but that's the fear, right? When they hear about a tool like Descript or anything else that you're using, where you're basically saying it's replacing certain functions that we previously had a human being, do we just think, okay, that person is now obsolete, but it sounds like you've now taken it and you're using it now to actually hire more higher quality people? It's not that we're taking the higher quality out, right? Because I think that's what people are afraid of is that we're replacing everything with just robots. You sound like you're making it more human.
00:42:48,230 --> 00:43:34,834
Richard Matthews: You can replace things. You could go down that road, right? You could just replace people and let the robots do it all. The problem with that is that you're going to have robotic output. The reality is, like, if you want to tell a good story, you need a human to tell a good story, because robots can't tell stories. They don't understand them. It's going to be a long time before they do. If you want to get deep into the weeds on that, there's some academic papers talking about the current state, like today, January 2023, state of AI, that it's very impressive, but it's still it still very much lacks context. It lacks creativity. It lacks it lacks the ability to tell and understand and synthesize knowledge. It doesn't know what it knows. Human beings know what they know, right? And there's a lot of stuff there.
00:43:34,872 --> 00:44:27,442
Richard Matthews: What it boils down to is you can't replace human beings with AI, and you'll never be able to replace human beings with AI because, for lack of a better term, we have a spark of divinity that robots don't have. I love that it's vital to our ability to tell stories and have creative output. What AI does have is it does have the ability to do the bulk of the work for you, right? To build the structure or the skeleton upon which you are putting the final coat of paint or paint, I don't know if you've seen those CNC built houses now where they have the machine that can go in there with concrete and build the whole house up, and then it's done. You have a house, but then you have to come in, and if you want it to be a home, you need to decorate it and build a family there, right?
00:44:27,576 --> 00:45:25,380
Richard Matthews: That's all I'm talking about, is like, if you want your output to be human, you can still leverage AI, and you can leverage robotics and leverage the stuff that we're building to create more human output at a higher volume, at a better quality than you would be if you were doing it all by hand. That's why I love the metaphor of the farmer who's been given a tractor, right? It's like you have freed up those 20 other people who were plowing the fields for the farmer to go off and do higher quality work to do. I say higher quality, it's more valuable work. This is probably deeper than you were intending to get. If you look at society since we moved out of the agrarian age, if you go back to the agrarian stuff, just a couple of hundred years ago, the average output for a human being was roughly the same as their input, meaning that we cost society as much as we give it.
00:45:28,730 --> 00:46:39,546
Richard Matthews: It was slipping where were starting to as technology started pick up, and the agrarian age wasn't quite transitioned yet, were starting to cost more. We were consuming more than were outputting. Technology started taking off in the early 20th century and all the way up into today. As of the end of 2022, I was reading some stuff on this, the average adult today outputs seven times more than what they cost society. They're saying, if this continues, our children so like my son and your son, when they hit our age, they're expecting that trajectory that they will output 25 times more than what they cost society. Right. That's really what's going to happen, is we're creating more output than we're costing. We can support more people, we can do higher levels of work, we can raise more people out of poverty. It's literally changing the world and embracing some of these tools and using them in ways that empower people to in our case, we tell stories, right.
00:46:39,568 --> 00:46:50,490
Richard Matthews: Empowering people to tell their stories and show up consistently. We are using AI to improve humanity and to improve the human experience so it doesn't have to be negative.
00:46:50,650 --> 00:47:29,930
Liana Ling: Yeah. And we'll talk about being a hero. Sounds like you're using AI as one of your superpowers to be a hero. I don't know if I want to say summarize, but just give advice to agency owners who are trying to AI proof their agency. Because I know that you're using AI, but I also feel like you really AI proof of your agency in a way because it went from being very manual intensive and now you're using AI as your superpower. What kind of advice or what approach would you give people who are just now starting to venture into that where it's all human labor, pretty much, and they want to AI proof their agency and improve their productivity.
00:47:30,350 --> 00:48:22,602
Richard Matthews: Yeah. The fear I think a lot of people have is that AI is a tool we don't understand yet. Like any tool, a tool can be used for good or evil, right. You give someone a hammer, they can build a house or they can bash someone's head in. You give someone the tool of persuasion and they can be a leader and change the lives of people around them by helping them for their own benefit. Or they can be in a manipulator and use persuasion for their own benefit and their own gain. Right. It's tools are neutral, and AI is a neutral tool. You can use it to help or to hurt, or it could hurt you if you're not paying attention to how to use it. I think my advice is to learn how to use the tool. If you learn how to use a hammer, you can learn how to build a house with it, learn what is there and what the capabilities are instead of being afraid of it and being like, I've never seen a hammer before, I'm going to continue.
00:48:22,656 --> 00:48:31,534
Richard Matthews: Bounding nails in with rocks gives you a hammer for the first time. It shows you how to use and you're like, oh, that's actually significantly easier to put a nail in.
00:48:31,572 --> 00:48:35,826
Liana Ling: You're using the wrong end or you're using the wrong side. Right.
00:48:36,008 --> 00:49:43,366
Richard Matthews: Learn how to leverage tools that are coming out and don't be afraid to fail with them to see like, what kind of output do we get? Does it work? Well, if we do this, what can we leverage with this? That's where all we've been doing is just looking at the tools and being like, okay, how can we either? Again, this probably comes back to asking yourself good questions, right? How can I increase the volume of my output without decreasing the quality? How can I increase the quality of my output without decreasing the volume? Right? How can I make my staff's life better? How can I make it easier for them? What's interesting is my transcriptionist is happier doing the fixing of AI transcriptions at a much higher volume than she is doing word for word transcriptions on her own. It's easier labor. Now we're putting out higher quality and she's happier with her family and her life and the things that she's doing because we're letting the tools make her life easier, right?
00:49:43,388 --> 00:50:30,440
Richard Matthews: Because we gave her a hammer nails in with a hammer instead of a rock. And she's like, oh, that's really cool. Now she can build more houses in less time, and it's empowering your people. It took us months of playing with it to see how can we make this efficient? Realizing that sometimes you might have to continue the human labor alongside of learning how to do something else. It's like any other skill, you're going to suck at it at first. Actually, I have vivid memories of my dad teaching me to use a hammer and smashing my thumb with it and being really upset. I'm like, why the crap would I want to use a hammer? He's like, I promise you want to learn to use a hammer at helping. Because were building, like, my bedroom when I was a teenager, and actually we built it from nothing, and I had to put all the nails in the boards myself.
00:50:30,890 --> 00:50:53,386
Richard Matthews: I remember being upset that the hammer was a stupid tool and I didn't want to learn to use it. But it's the same kind of thing. You have to go through the suck to get to the good. If you're willing to do that and play with the tools and see how you can leverage them, pay attention. Like pay attention to the tools that are coming out. Because if you don't, the team who is using the hammers is going to beat the guy who's using the rocks.
00:50:53,498 --> 00:50:54,320
Liana Ling: That's true.
00:50:56,130 --> 00:51:00,080
Richard Matthews: That's my advice, is play with them and see what you can do with them.
00:51:00,850 --> 00:51:18,680
Liana Ling: Well, thank you so much, Richard, for taking time out of your day to show us how you're breaking rules to thrive in this disruptive world. I do have one last question for you. What do you think will be a breakthrough strategy or tactic in marketing this year?
00:51:22,490 --> 00:52:33,210
Richard Matthews: That's a hard question. I think it's going to be the same thing that it's always been with a new flavor. Right? And you have to have a message. I mentioned this when we started. You have to have a message. With the preponderance of AI tools and everything else, there's going to be a I don't know what you want to call it. There's going to be a surgeon of people who are going to try and use AI to replace human. What that's going to do is it's going to be a lot of content that has no message, that has none of the human creativity, that spark of divinity that we talked about. It's going to look good for a while, until it starts to become boring and uninspiring, because it is boring and uninspiring. My piece of advice, I guess the thing that I think you should focus on is how can you build a message in a world where people are going to start trying to play with these new tools like AI?
00:52:34,030 --> 00:53:13,640
Richard Matthews: You're going to stand out when you can put those two things together, when you can take the disruptive tools and put them together with what is classically human, which is having a message and having a story. How do you use the new tools to supercharge your message? I think if you want to be disruptive today, it's not going to be I use AI for the sake of using AI. It's going to be, I use AI to make my message more powerful, to make it more accessible, to get it in front of more people. I think foundationally, it's get your foundation right for your business, get your message right and then use these tools as a way to supercharge it.
00:53:14,170 --> 00:53:18,500
Liana Ling: Well, thanks again, Richard. I'm leaning, and I will see you all next time.