Welcome to the very first episode of the ActiveGrowth podcast. Let me start with a rant. If you're into online marketing and you like to listen to podcasts, then I'm sure you've encountered this problem as well. Online marketing podcasts, well, there are many of them, of course, and they're sometimes difficult to tell apart from each other. There are many formulaic “episode of the week”, “interview an expert” kind of podcasts. Honestly sometimes I don't know which podcast I'm listening to because it seems like they're always talking to the same experts. They're always asking the same questions. Often they're so formulaic that they even ask every single guest the exact same questions.
Sure, these kinds of podcasts… probably the problem is that they're made for passive consumption. The idea is that maybe you're on your commute. You're in your car. Maybe you're at the gym or something and you have some noise in your ears which is this podcast. It's mildly entertaining. They talk about stuff that is somewhat related to what interests you, but really they're made for this kind of passive consumption. They're made for helping you get through your commute. Then you just forget about it.
I feel like there's something really missing in podcasts which is that they're actionable. That they're actually useful. That I come away from a podcast feeling like, "Yes, I've actually learned something. I'm going to do something different now. This has benefited me and my business." That is really, really rare. To me, personally, what I find worst is if a podcast basically tries to be inspirational and motivational. I'm not a huge fan of motivation because motivation is just like this brief boost that just fizzles out. It makes you feel good in the moment. It's like a little hit of a very mild drug but it doesn't actually do anything. It just fizzles out and goes away.
I think there's even another problem. Actually I love consuming podcasts. I'm a super huge listener to podcasts, and the thing is I have different podcasts on my iPad, but they all seem the same because they are actually interviewing the same people who are, at that moment, in some kind of book release or some kind of online program that they are promoting. This gives the same interviews with the same guests with different podcasters and this gives also a lot of fluff information because the guests will only tell you why you should do something but not how to do it because they are in this promotion mode. They want you to buy the book or they want you to buy the online program to actually learn how to do something.
In the end, it seems to be that we have a very bad signal to noise ratio in podcasting. There's a lot of podcasts but really not that much information to go around. There's another thing about podcast which is that they are a one-way communication. It is the podcast host and the guest talking to you and the communication only ever flows one way.
Now, the ActiveGrowth podcast is an experiment. We want to see if we can do the exact opposite of almost all of that and still have a successful podcast because let's be honest, these podcasts are all very similar. They're formulaic because that formula works. We're looking at them going, "Can we do something totally different and still make that work?" We don't know whether the answer to that is yes or no so this is an experiment. We're going to try with the ActiveGrowth podcast something totally different and want to see if you like that.
Now, I mentioned one-way communication. For me, if you have followed me before, if you have any idea about what I do, then you know that for me this dialog, this two-way communication is extremely important in everything I do, and I want to see if we can establish that in a podcast because for me I know that this is one of the basic things about marketing that I hold true and hold to in the way I run my businesses. I know that I cannot develop a good product unless I get regular honest feedback from the people who'll be using that product. Look, a podcast is just another product. Sure, it's free but you pay for it with your time and you essentially have to make a purchase decision in terms of where do I spend my limited time when you choose a podcast to listen to.
Really this is just another product and I know that I cannot create a good product by just thinking about it and talking about what I think matters and answering the questions that I think you might have. The only chance I have to create a really good product that's really worth your time is if I get feedback from you. I have to hear from you. I have to get feedback from you to find out: Was an episode any good? Was it useful for you? Did it make sense? Do you have other questions? Are we basically talking past the thing that really matters to you or did we nail it? Without regular feedback about that, the podcast is always just going to be lukewarm. That's one of the goals we have here. We want to see if we can make a podcast where communication flows both ways and where we can build content, and topics, and episodes around your questions, and around your input, and around what matters to you, and what is really useful to you.
Also, a problem with podcast is the shallowness. If you have a different guest and a different topic and a different thing every week, you can never really go deep. We want to see if we can do the opposite of that as well. We want to identify topics that are really crucial to entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and online marketers and see if we can do a deep dive on those topics and provide you with real actionable insights with stuff that actually makes a difference in your business. That will mean that sometimes we will spend several episodes talking about the same topic because that's what's needed to really go deep and not just provide some surface level feel good information.
Also, quite simply, we want to see if we can make this more than just once a week you listen to a few people talking to each other because that's quick and easy to do. That's one of the appeals for a podcast creator. It's like, "Oh, yeah. Let's just hit record and talk a bit and then we have got an episode. We've got a new piece of content. That's easy." We want to see if we can make a podcast that's more than that. Those are the goals we have for the ActiveGrowth podcast, and we're really excited to have you here on the intro episode.
By now, you probably understood that this is not going to be just one simple interview per podcast. This is going to be content series, and this is actually almost going to be like mini courses that we're going to do about different topics and let's take a look at some of the topics that we are already planning on covering in the following episodes.
The first series of episodes we're calling Forget About Traffic. In this, we want to address one of the big problems that many online businesses face. If you are looking at your online business right now and you're thinking, "What I need is more traffic," then this is going to be very, very important for you because there's a traffic delusion. People think they need traffic when really they need something totally different. This we've identified as one of the most common and one of the most critical problems that starting online businesses have and that's why we are covering it first and in depth.
In the second series, we're going to talk about another problem and that is about shipping things. What do I mean by shipping? Well, that is that you actually have to produce something. You have to put something out there. You have to be able to get people to see it, and that's where many entrepreneurs go wrong. They stay in the wantrepreneur phase and think about their thing, but they never put anything out into the world and that's what we're going to cover in the second series.
The third series we plan is to talk about what really is a good offer. If you ask a conversion expert, they will often tell you that the most important thing on your page is the offer itself. If you have a fantastic, irresistible offer, then even if your landing page isn't that great, and your graphics aren't that great, and your copy isn't that great, people will still sign up for it. If you have a bad offer, a boring offer, then you can try and dress it up with great copywriting and stuff but people are still going to be difficult to convince. What does that really mean? What makes a really good and irresistible offer? That's what we're going to examine in series number three.
These are already three topics that we identified as being super important for online businesses but it's not the end. It's just the beginning and everything else will depend on your questions, on your comments, on your feedback that we get in this series, so we will really need you to participate and to make this the best podcast possible for you.
All right. Apart from all that, we will also have some mixed up episodes outside of the serial content. We might do some questions and answers type episodes or talk about some things as they come up. That is roughly the plan for the ActiveGrowth podcast.
By now you might be wondering who you're actually listening to. Well, I'm here with Shane. He's the founder of ActiveGrowth and CEO of Thrive Themes. And, over the years, he has built a ton of online businesses and learned how to improve and become better with each one of them. If you ever see him in the streets, don't bother offering a beer. A green tea or a slice of vegan cake will be much more appreciated.
And, the much more charming voice you'll be listening to is Hanne. She is the head of the marketing team at Thrive Themes, and I don't know anyone who gets more excited about online marketing strategies, funnel diagrams or even spreadsheets filled with analytics data than she does. She's also an enthusiastic traveler and a staunch defender of Belgian beer over any other kind of beer.
That's our grand plan for the ActiveGrowth podcast. This right here is just an introductory episode. We wanted to make a short episode to give you an overview of what we plan to do and let you know what you can expect. What you can do right now is you can go to activegrowth.com/0. That will take you to a short show notes page about this episode where you can also leave a comment. You can let us know what you think of the plan that we've laid out. Do you think this is great? Are you looking forward to listening to every single episode or do you think this sucks? Either way, let us know by leaving a comment.
What you can also do is you can go and listen to the first real episode which is already live when you're listening to this. You can go again to activegrowth.com/0 where you can also find links to sign up to this podcast on iTunes, or Stitcher, or wherever you prefer to listen to podcasts, and you will find that the first episode is already there waiting for you and ready to listen to.
Also worth noting is that we're doing a podcast launch experiment. We want to see if we can get into the new and noteworthy category in iTunes. For that, of course, we will want you to rate and review our podcast, but actually we don't want you to do that yet because this isn't a real episode yet. It would be too early for you to judge. Go ahead and listen to the first episode, and there we'll tell you more about what you can do to help with our podcast launch experiment.
In any case, thank you very much for spending this time with us, and we really hope you tune in for the first real episodes.