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Give the People What They Want with Erik Jacobson

George Grombacher November 24, 2022

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Give the People What They Want with Erik Jacobson

LifeBlood: We talked about how to give the people what they want, how to produce the type of content your customers want, how podcasting fits into corporate media strategy moving forward, and how to get started, with Erik Jacobson, CEO of Lemon Pie and Hatch.

Listen to learn how to rethink the media arm of your organization!

You can learn more about Erik at LemonPie.FM, Hatch.FM, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review here:


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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Erik Jacobson

Episode Transcript

eorge grombacher 0:00
Have. One for this George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful. Eric. Eric Jacobson. Eric, are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:22
I am. Thank you, George.

george grombacher 0:23
Looking forward to and excited to have you on Eric is the CEO of lemon pie and hatch their organizations crafting podcast strategies for brands. Eric, tell us a little bit your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 0:38
so I have been obsessed with podcasting for the last 10 years, I got lucky that my passion for it just so happened to be at a time where it was a good time to get involved in it wasn’t too early to where the business wasn’t successful and wasn’t too late to where the competition was too fierce and we couldn’t be successful is right, right around the time when it was just starting to take off. And yeah, I got a family I live in Ohio. And just just a person who wanted to create a company found podcasting went for it took a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, but figured it out. And and have been really fortunate to, to be in the position that I am now.

george grombacher 1:23
Nice. Well, I appreciate that. So we’re on 2012.

Unknown Speaker 1:28
Yeah, is when I really started paying attention to the medium. And I essentially consumed, you know, 1000s and 1000s of podcasts between 2012 and 2016, to figure out what is possible in life and in business more so than I was able to learn anywhere else up until that point, and I was working a job I hated at the time, and I eventually quit. And so in 2016, I created lemon pie. And that was my first foray into starting my own business. And then two years ago, in 2020, we saw an opportunity to create hatch. And so our entire mission with both companies is to help brands win through podcasting, either by creating their audience’s favorite podcasts that they are excited to listen to every single week, or by appearing as a guest on their audience’s favorite podcast as more of a modern PR effort. One where you get to be the content and not the ad. And so that is really what we do with both companies.

george grombacher 2:31
It’s through the content and not the app. I think that that’s a good way to think about it. Nice. So a lot has changed in the world of podcasting. Now, everybody has a podcast essentially. Do you think that if you would start would you start learning pie today?

Unknown Speaker 2:48
I would, it definitely would have been more competitive, you know, had I started today. You know, now what the main thing that I have noticed is that the way that buyers are buying has fundamentally changed. This was true in 2016. But not as much as it is true. Now in my opinion, the writing is on the wall, you know, the Google and the old, traditional monolithic, you know, media entities that were basically the singular points of where information was consumed or learned or found is not the case anymore. People are learning about things, finding things and consuming content in all these niche varied formats, and from different sources that are actually either direct from the source like independent creators, or brands that are creating material that they love to consume. And I think that that has more influence over the way that people are buying now than going to Google search and typing in a search result and getting SEO optimized, really, you know, boilerplate templated articles that are not terribly helpful. And so I think there’s more opportunity now than ever before to get in front of your customers, where they’re hanging out. And podcasting, I think is one of the options and one of the best options to be able to do that. And really what this means is, companies can start thinking about their marketing as a media arm of their business. So instead of a, like, more traditional for the last 10 years style of marketing, where it’s like direct response, where you’re putting $1 into Facebook, and you’re hoping to comes out and you’re able to attribute and track everything. Now where I think the new frontier of marketing is acting more as what consumer media companies have been doing, which is creating content that your customers actually want to consume and not trying to get them to convert into a sale based on math and formulaic equations, paying the gatekeepers of Google, Facebook, Instagram, all those things. And so fundamentally, you know, I think, I think that the brands that are gonna win in the future are the ones where customers can name people who work there. And I think the best way to do that is to think about your marketing as a media arm. And podcasting is one vehicle to power your media arm.

george grombacher 5:36
That’s awesome. Companies where consumers can name people who work there. So maybe the best example of that is, is Tesla, SpaceX, because everybody knows who Elon Musk is. And so you look at that, and you say, This guy is is, regardless of what you think about the politics, he is successfully executing on what you’ve just described.

Unknown Speaker 5:59
Exactly, exactly. And he did that earlier than most and can be a prime example. And so for, for, for a real life example, based on that, the question would be if Tesla were to create a podcast, would it be more interesting, a Tesla podcast or a Elon Musk podcast, which one would be listened to more, which one would be more popular, which one would be more interesting, helpful, compelling, it would be the Elon one. Because people don’t. People are more interested in the people that work at the companies and building a relationship with them than the company itself. And so that is the fundamental premise of everything I believe about, about marketing is that people want to buy from other people, especially in b2b, it can be so easy to like lose track of we’re all just people, even if it’s inside of a larger organization, the influence you can have on buying decisions. But by thinking about the individuals on the other end, and not as a business that you’re selling to as one entity, I think can really, really, really help you in your marketing.

george grombacher 7:14
Podcasts are so it’s such a unique opportunity to do that. Because you listen to a podcast and you feel like you are getting to know this this, this this person, it’s it’s an intimate thing.

Unknown Speaker 7:29
Yes, exactly. And one mistake people make I think when it comes to podcasting, in, in this, in relation to this conversation is they hope that by creating a podcast, it will be the thing that is the place that people find out about them in their company for the very first time. So podcasting actually is not great at doing that with your own show. But it is great at converting audiences or awareness that you have, and get on other channels. And the podcast being the place to build the relationship. Because it’s really hard to build a very close relationship. So it’s something that we hear all the time with podcasts that are successful is when the hosts see listeners out in real life, the amount of connection that those listeners feel to the hosts, just by having listened to them and the host been in their ears for hundreds of hours, most likely, they already feel like they’re friends. But that connection on social media, even even if you follow somebody on Instagram for a long time, you may not feel that same type of thing. And it’s because the posts are much more ephemeral. You’re not spending as much time they’re not going as deep, you know, stuff like that. So I believe that podcasting is one of the best sort of mid funnel activities you can do, if you will, which is like building that ongoing relationship with the people that you want to eventually be customers or know who you are, or continue to double down on the relationship. It’s not one of the best channels for people to become aware of you for the very first time in creating your own show it is if you go on other shows that already have audiences, but just speaking about creating your own show, and I think that’s one helpful way to think about, you know, maybe which strategy is most beneficial to you, depending on where you are. Yeah,

george grombacher 9:32
like that makes a ton of sense. So is it safe to assume that five years from now every company is going to have a podcast but it might be the Elon Musk show brought to you by Tesla?

Unknown Speaker 9:44
I think so. Yeah. I believe every company could use a, a podcast as a strategy and have it be a specific strategy for something they’re trying to accomplish. But broader than that, I think every company is going to do need to start thinking about their marketing over the next 10 years as how to create the most helpful educational type of content that people want to consume. And this is what media companies do. So I do believe that companies need to start thinking about their marketing over the next 10 years as like a media company would. And again, podcasting is one vehicle for that. There’s also newsletters, and there’s also long form video, and there’s also events and things like that. But podcasting is one.

george grombacher 10:37
Yeah, to sort of circle back, I think you hit the nail on the head, I think I am sick, absolutely sick of, of having gatekeepers standing in my way of what I perceive to be the truth, like I can turn on Fox, or CNN or MSNBC and know that the information that I’m receiving is, is is affected by some kind of a bias in some way, shape, or form. And I do desire the truth. So what I like to have a reporter who’s on the ground in Ukraine doing a podcast and to tell him exactly what it is that is going on. Yes, I would, I would absolutely subscribe and like and share. So I think that what what you’re describing is 100%. True.

Unknown Speaker 11:20
Yeah, I’m really excited about that. And I think, you know, it’s tough to, there are more ways to monetize that for the independent creators than ever before. But it’s still it’s there still is some room for exploration. And folks being able to create a career doing that going the independent route, because I don’t want to trivialize the difficulties of going independent. But I do think private paid content from independent folks that you can look at substack as an example, substack, newsletters, private podcast, different things like that, not just the ad supported models, it will help the the creators being able to do exactly what you just described as time goes on.

george grombacher 12:05
And also great big brands that already have customers and clients or whatever term that they want to use, so that they will deepen that relationship and provide what people are sort of hunger, wanting. And that is immensely valuable, just on its own. So instead of looking at the profit center, this is just part of our, the term you’re using this is our marketing arm of our organization, or part of what our marketing arm is.

Unknown Speaker 12:36
Yes, and it it will only work if you judge its success based on the correct metrics. So if you’re judging the success of your media arm, on how many conversions to customers, did we get this month that are attributable in our analytics dashboard? You are going to be underwhelmed and think that it’s not working. But if you judge its success based on what is the feedback we’re hearing from the community, what is our is our listenership growing? Is our readership growing? Are people giving us unsolicited praise on social media, all these things that give you indicators is the content resonating. And then what will happen is when those folks are ready to buy, and maybe it’s not for until eight months from now, you will be the very first and probably the only place they come to because you’ve been developing that relationship and building trust and goodwill for that whole time. So you can’t measure it on short term metrics. Which is scary. I don’t want to I don’t want to trivialize that either. It is scary to to create a channel and a strategy that is hard to measure in the short term nature. But I do believe that there’s more marketers that are starting to beat that drum. And I think that’s where marketing is heading. Yeah.

george grombacher 14:02
What do you think about your you’re talking to a fortune 500 company, and they want to put a great product forward. So is the impulse to do this really large production and on a super produced show? Or do you say, You know what, you don’t need to do that, in fact, look at the biggest podcast and Well, Joe Rogan, it’s just you know, it’s not the super produced show, necessarily, what are your thoughts on that?

Unknown Speaker 14:29
I love this because I think that it can be easy to think that there’s a formula for success with media and with content with podcasts. And that couldn’t be further from the truth, because every example of what the best practice is, quote unquote, from the experts. There are counter examples to that exact recommendation that are successful. So for example, a lot of experts would say, Well, you got to have your podcast. Your Podcast can’t be longer than for 3045 60 minutes, but then to your point, look at Joe Rogan, he talks for for three hours. And you could say, well, he’s an exception that proves the rule. But there’s many other podcasts that are also incredibly long form that are still successful. And so I don’t think there is any one, you know, magic silver bullet to what the answer is that we’ll be successful. The question, though, is, what is your audience want? And what other competition for the type of content that you want to create already exists? And those two things will help you determine how, if and how you should differentiate? So literally getting on calls with customers and saying, What content do you consume? What content do you think is missing? What would you love to learn about that you are seeing is not being provided right now? Who if you could sit down with anybody in the industry? What who would it be? What would you ask them, doing some research to what your audience’s pains are in terms of the content they want to receive and consume? And then also going to looking at other shows that are already trying to service that market? And seeing, you know, what is their value prop of their show? What is the episode structure that they have, and all those things can help you to determine, you know, what you could create, I would argue that a, possibly even a highly produced storytelling driven show from Tesla would do would be less successful than a daily, seven minute stream of consciousness, Elon Musk podcast, that is just him talking into his phone. And it’s uploaded right to Spotify and Apple from there. And so it’s really not, you know, it’s it’s really about what the audience wants and what your internal expertise is, and how competitive the market is. And that determine will determine what you should create.

george grombacher 17:00
That makes a lot of sense. Is there any reason why companies wouldn’t do that?

Unknown Speaker 17:10
i Yeah, definitely. I think that every company should do this. But the question is, when. So I don’t I think companies should be cautious to do this. If they are at a place where they’re still working on what their positioning is, as a company, and what their messaging is, like, who do they sell, who are their best customers, and what makes them the best choice for those customers, if they haven’t figured that out yet, you might want to be careful before before standing up some of these like ongoing content and media executions. Also, if you’re unable to your website doesn’t convert visitors to, to leads at the at the conversion rate that you want, if you aren’t able to close deals at the close rate that you want. If you aren’t, if you don’t have a lot of strong opinions or expertise that you can share quite yet and you’re still working on your your strategic narrative and things like that. So basically, I think shoring up like the base of the foundation, and the pyramid to then be able to build on top of, because otherwise, you might set sail in a direction with your content, and spend all this energy effort, time resources, that actually is not the right direction, because you change, you’re not set yet in the foundation. And then six months later, after you created, you know, six months worth of content, you then update your positioning and messaging and strategic vision as a company. And you completely have to shift gears. So I just think you need to be a little bit careful about that. But otherwise, I do think every company should do this at some point.

george grombacher 19:03
It makes a lot of sense. Love it. Well, Eric, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And how can brands and companies engage with you lemon pie and hatch?

Unknown Speaker 19:14
Thank you, George. Yeah, this was fun. Yeah. So if you are interested in being a guest on your audience’s favorite podcasts, you can reach out to us at lemon And if you would like to create your audience’s favorite podcasts, one that is an own channel for you all. You could reach out to but, but I’m also here and you can find me on LinkedIn if if anybody wants to talk about podcasting in general. I love talking about this stuff. I’ve been talking about it for like 10 years straight and I’m still still as passionate ever as about it so always happy to jam on podcasting.

george grombacher 19:51
Love it. If you enjoyed as much as I did, check your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas if you are interested in being a guest on on some of the best podcasts in the world, go to lemon And if you are interested in getting your own podcast up and running, and have a conversation about the best way to go about that, go to and find Eric on LinkedIn and pick them up and chat about podcasting. Thanks again, Eric.

Unknown Speaker 20:17
Thanks, George.

george grombacher 20:19
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and we’d be grateful if you’d subscribe as well.

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