In episode 57, I bring on good friend and fellow podcaster Matt Medeiros, who cannot be easily labeled. He has so many different things going on around WordPress that he created a single-paged site to give you a nice bird’s eye view.
In today’s show, we are talking podcasting and your online store. When I contacted him about my idea for this show and asked him if online store owners might want to consider doing a podcast, his answer was simple.
I think it’s crazy if people don’t have one and are selling products.
So listen in as we talk about podcasting for your online store, or just about any site where you are selling products or services.
We chatted about:
- The benefits of having a podcast for your online store or business
- How to address the issue of limited time and resources
- What can you talk about without it just sounding like one, big ad
- Deciding between a podcast and a blog
- Matt’s thoughts on what a shop owner should consider before starting a podcast
Thanks To Our Podcast Sponsor: Bluehost
Bob Dunn: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to The WP eCommerce Show. Bob Dunn here, also known as Bob WP on the web. Today, we are talking about podcasting. Not just podcasting in general. We are looking specifically at podcasting and your online store. To help me dive into this, I’ve invited podcaster, agency owner, miscellaneous WordPress guy, and good friend, Matt Medeiros. Hey, Matt. Welcome to the show.
Meet our guest, Matt Medeiros
Matt Medeiros: Hey, Bob. That’s probably the best title that anybody has ever labeled me with on an introduction. I appreciate that because there is in fact miscellaneous stuff for sure.
Bob Dunn: Yeah. I started listening and I thought, “Well, I could really do, like, a five minute intro to you of everything,” and then … Not this time.
Matt Medeiros: I’ve actually recently solved that issue for all of the things I’ve done. I created a microsite. It’s called craftedbymatt.com. It has all of the stuff that I do on there. Like you said, agency owner, podcaster, all around WordPress advocate, and product builder for your specific audience.
Yes, I do a lot of podcasting and I also put out a plugin that you’ve taken a look at before, conductorplugin.com. We finally gave new life to the website which was after, I think, you and I talked. Two years ago I was working on that website. it finally relaunched.
For your audience, anybody who does WooCommerce stuff, it’s a plugin that helps you show WooCommerce products in a grid, in a list, in a slider. That kind of thing, along with other WordPress content. Yeah, that’s what I do.
Bob Dunn: Very cool. I’m glad that I made the perfect intro. I’m going to actually put that … Maybe I’ll put that onto your name on the graphic, actually.
Matt Medeiros: Miscellaneous guy.
Bob Dunn: I did check out your site, that one you were just talking about.
Matt Medeiros: Yep.
Bob Dunn: In fact, it was funny because I was thinking, “Man, I’ll just copy Matt and do something like this,” but now I’m not quite as scattered. I thought, “Well, it’s going to be kind of boring.” I blog, I podcast, bye-bye type of thing. Maybe I’ll save it for another time.
Matt Medeiros: Yeah. I’s also important for folks to realize that while I might be the face of a lot of these things, there’s a team behind me that keeps everything moving along. Especially in the agency, at the agency, and the products being developed by my lead engineer, Scott. Whereas, a lot of people in this WordPress space, not only are they the president and CEO, but they’re also the developer, right? In terms of creating a product you sometimes wear multiple hats.
I don’t touch any code. I’m just the guy who does the marketing stuff, the overall architect of the products and services we have. I certainly don’t actually roll my sleeves up and build them day to day.
Bob Dunn: Yeah. That’s good to note. Even when I do build things I stay away from code. I like to keep it simple.
Matt Medeiros: Absolutely.
Bob Dunn: Okay, let me set the stage. First off, I had some general thoughts on how to benefit having a podcast that’s aligned with starting a blog as well. You start a podcast to build your own brand, to bring conversation to the site, to monetize, or maybe to mix up all three.
What I noticed, though, was it was hard to find online retailers who were doing a podcast in the WordPress community, as you are doing, Matt. A lot of vendors use their podcast to build their brand and sell their products. When it comes to eCommerce, there’s such a broad spectrum of offerings from services to online courses to ebooks. On and on and on. Yet I still wondered about that on my store. The store that sells spices, watches, music, hats. Whatever.
When told you that I was thinking about a podcast about podcasting and online stores, and asked you what you thought, you replied, this comes directly from your email, “I think it’s crazy if people are selling products and don’t have one.” That settled the deal. Before we move into the questions, is anything else you want to add to what you’re doing these days?
Matt Medeiros: No. I mean, it’s just really, like you said, it’s finding focus amongst the chaos. It’s happy chaos, right? Where there’s a lot of things going on. My thing is when they look at me and they say, “Boy, he’s doing a lot. There’s a lot of irons in the fire.” Yes, but again, it’s all centered around WordPress and either products or services within the WordPress space.
Stay agile and don’t be afraid to fail
They all feed each other in terms of reinvestment. The biggest part of my business is client services. That really feeds everything, right? That gets us the R&D into products. It gets us some plugin work. It gets me into doing some consulting stuff. It’s really all connected.
I’d invite anybody who is running their business to stay agile if they can. A lot of people talk about focusing and hunkering down and being great at one thing. I just don’t know how to be great at one thing. The way I work is to try things out, and constantly be creating, develop new things. That allows me to see things fail really fast and fail often, right? I don’t know about you, Bob. I just hate sort of lingering on with an idea and, boy, I wonder if that would work.
Bob Dunn: Yeah.
Matt Medeiros: I’m just the type of person who throws it out there, right? If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t, right? I’m not afraid of that sort of failure. Even amongst my peers, I’m not afraid to say, “That didn’t work. It’s in the filing cabinet now. I’m not going to do that anymore.” That’s all I would say in terms of advice for somebody out there who might be trying to do the same thing we’re all doing.
Bob Dunn: Yeah. You know that I’m the same way. I don’t beat it to death.
Matt Medeiros: Right.
Bob Dunn: It’s like, okay, this doesn’t work. I’ve told people, “Hey, I tried this. I tried online courses. I tried this. They sucked, they failed, whatever.” But that’s what makes it great. You try things lots of things. Bcause, hey, you just never know.
Matt Medeiros: It allows you to find the stuff that you’re really good at, right? You might do a lot of things, but, again, it might be all around the same thing. Again, WordPress for me allows me to stay agile and again have those irons in the fire without taxing myself.
I’m really interested in the internet of things and drones and robotics. I don’t know anything. I’m just a fan of that stuff, but it’s not like I’m going out there and star, like, a review blog because I just don’t know the space. That would be pulling myself away from something I’m really comfortable with.
But I’m not really splitting myself totally, right? Where I have to look at two different markets. It’s all under the WordPress umbrella.
Bob Dunn: Yeah, focus on what you know.
Matt Medeiros: Absolutely.
Think of podcasting as another content creation strategy
Bob Dunn: Now, let’s go ahead and dive into this topic that I brewed for the both of us. I’ve mentioned a few reasons, similar to blogs, for why you may choose to start a podcast. But how about sharing with us your thoughts on how it might fit with someone running an online store?
Matt Medeiros: I think the biggest roadblock for somebody thinking about starting a podcast is just the word. Podcast. If we dissect that word, it sounds techy, geeky, out of reach maybe for a lot of traditional business owners. They might say, “That’s not for me. That’s for somebody who’s buying all this audio equipment and doing geeky radio thing.”
I attribute that same feeling to the word blogging. Like, the word blog. What is that? People hear that, and when I talk to businesses in my community, the traditional business, the pizza shop owner, the accountant, the lawyer, the professional services consultant, they’re like, “That’s just out of reach. That’s not what I want to do. That’s not going to help me build my business.”
I think it’s important that we look at podcasting and blogging as content creation. It doesn’t have to be in WordPress. It doesn’t have to be this 1,000-word blog post that you put into WordPress. Reaching an audience with written content, can be on Twitter. It can be on LinkedIn. It could be on Facebook. It could be on Medium.
Now I have strong opinions about putting it all on WordPress, but for people who are just starting out, getting into the act of creating written content to reach an audience is super important.
On the other side of that coin is audio and video content, which I label as podcasting. It’s another great way to build an audience. That can happen on Facebook Live, YouTube Live. What’s the other one? Periscope, right? Instagram, Instagram stories, Snapchat. These are all bite-sized bits of what you and I enjoy, which is maybe a 45 minute to an hour long podcast. These social platforms enable the store owner, the they follow Gary Vaynerchuk: If you’re not thinking like a media company these days, you’re going to lose. That’s a loose paraphrase of what he coined, but people have to create this interactive content, and many forms of content, to reach and grow an audience.
If you sell shoes … there’s a gentleman that just moved into our local co-working space up here in Massachusetts. He sells shoes. He imports the materials and he has an in-house designer. He’s building and selling shoes. He is going all in on Instagram right now. He was talking to me the other day. He was like, “Hey, how can I leverage Instagram stories?” That’s a no brainer, right? You’re going to record your team designing a shoe, putting it together. It’s really about getting much more personal with today’s potential customer. You’re going to have to do it through video, audio, and written content as well.
Sometimes starting slow is the answer
Bob Dunn: Good points. You were talking about one of the top barriers, the word podcast freaking them out. You work with a lot of businesses through your agency. You have the opportunity to try to pitch people on some of these ideas.
I’m going to ask you two questions, or questions that might actually come from that person sitting there. After you’ve gotten them over the fear of the word podcast, they’re like, “Okay, now I can kind of get it.” First question they’re going to say: “How do I have time for a podcast, Matt? How can I make time for it? I run an online store.” What would be your answer?
Matt Medeiros: Yeah. Well, hire me, right? To sort of manage all that? Having a client in front of me, I would suggest that they look at what are the biggest wins? What’s the fastest way? What’s that 80-20 rule? What’s the minimal viable product that we can launch to get you into that win? You can measure this. You can say that this was successful.
You don’t have time to do it? Do you have a staff? Do you have somebody on the team we can train to oversee it? I don’t mean that a pitch for our services because we would really only do this with local companies, this sort of media creation thing. Just saying, “Look, you need to dedicate somebody on your team. If I you don’t have the time because you’re a busy business owner, you need to educate somebody on your team to handle that stuff for you.”
How much time are you going to dedicate to that? It’s all up to sitting down and measuring what the potential benefit is. If you’re a pizza shop, how much foot traffic do you have/ How many take-out orders do you do? These are all metrics. Maybe you already have a strong presence because you’re and visible to people driving by, let’s say.
Versus somebody like the gentleman I mentioned before. He is virtually unknown in the shoe world and he needs to dive into that market. There’s no storefront. There’s no big retailer displaying his products. This is his only outlet, so he looks at this as, well, this is my storefront. I have to invest in this. Maybe more so than the pizza owner.
How much time do you spend on it? Well, again, one minute-long Instagram stories. Can you bang out a one-minute video on your product or service every single day on Instagram? Build up that following, get people leaving engaging comments. Then, after 90 days, well, maybe then you roll out a monthly Facebook Live show.
Once you have traffic and traction, think about longer forms
So, it’s starting to kick up, to get traction. You are adding more people to your email list. Then you invest in a 30 to 45 minute-podcast production, which takes up more time, but is a way more engaging experience. Take it in chunks. Start small and grow into it. Don’t try to get it all done at once.
Bob Dunn: You talked about the person selling shoes who might try doing Instagram stories. Now, the second question they come back to you with might be, “Okay, you’ve explained what podcasting is. I can make the time for this, or have somebody do it.” Then they start to freeze up because they’re thinking, “What do I talk about? I don’t want to sound like a big ad: Buy my shoes. Oh, my shoes, my beautiful shoes.”
Matt Medeiros: Right.
Bob Dunn: When they ask you that question what would you say?
For content ideas, recapture the passion you once had
Matt Medeiros: This becomes much more of a therapy session when we get into talking about this. Traditional businesses, like the restaurant owner, like the accountant, even like this shoe manufacturer, at one point in their life they were passionate about their business, right? They started it for a reason.
People in the traditional world, they eventually get into these ruts, right? They were passionate when they started their business and now, years later, they find themselves saying, “Oh, the taxes that I pay. Oh, the the water bill went up. Oh, I have to get insurance. Oh, there’s a repair to be done on the building. There’s a new sign I have to order.”
There’s all this stuff and they fall into the mode of it becoming just a job for them where they’re just trying to get through the day with all of these things that get in the way.
What I try to do is get them back into feeling. What’s the passion? Again, this all depends on the business. From a “boring” business, you have to find that passion because you want to get people excited, right? To do their taxes with you, hand over the books to your accounting firm, that kind of thing. Maybe even get them into your restaurant over another big chain restaurant or another competitor down the street. It’s about getting creative, finding the passion to do that.
Tell stories about your products
If you’re in a business where maybe you don’t want to be their face, you really can’t put on that show or it’s just something that’s not of interest to you, look to the product itself. Tell the story about the product.
Again, back to the shoe guy, where is he sourcing these materials? In this example, he’s going to places where he knows they’re manufactured well. He’s outsourcing to good quality workers who are getting paid fair wages. That kind of thing. Not these other stories that we hear that other big manufacturers do.
Tell the whole lifecycle of how a shoe is born. There’s a billion minutes that you can create content from, along with photography and text. You really have to take a look at that from that angle. Look at the lifecycle of your product and finding the exciting things.
There’s a lot in there and we just don’t see it with our blinders on, right? We forget how they’re manufactured. We forget how all the magic happens behind the scenes because we’re in it all day long. Being able to decipher that is super important for your product and the marketing behind it.
What content vehicle should I choose?
Bob Dunn: Now they’ve listened to everything you’ve told them and so far you’ve got them on the hook. They’re thinking, “I’ve got to do this,” and then they kind of seem to wander back to where they were when they first sat down with you. Now it’s, okay, I only have time for a blog or I only have time for a podcast. I can’t do both of them right now. Would you still try to encourage them to make time for both? Would you look at it depending on their business, their product, what they’re selling? That, well, maybe a blog would work better for you, or maybe a podcast would work better for you.
Matt Medeiros: We would take a look at it from a holistic level and say, “Okay, what kind of budget can you put towards this? Not only in time but also in dollars.” There’s always that balance. I know I’m in the unique situation because I’m also trying to sell them on some kind of either consulting or service, but you take a look at the dollars you would spend in traditional advertising, right?
If we’re talking to a client who maybe does television or radio or newspaper ads, we would take a look at that budget. Say, “Okay, where are the dollars going? How can we make this more effective on digital where you can potentially own the audience way more closer than you can with traditional media?” We look at it from those angles. Say, “Okay, how can you split up this budget, not only in dollars but in time?”
We would just take a look at it from their business objectively. Say, “Is blogging going to be the best route or is a YouTube video going to be the best route? Or is a audio podcast going to be the best route?” Right now I’m consulting with a local politician. I am trying to get her to do an audio podcast, right? To get people who are so engaged with—and who isn’t these days—local politics, to get in their ears.
She wants to do Facebook Live. I like that and I encourage her to do that, and she does it a lot on her own, but an audio podcast where she’s really talking about the issues and how she’s working them up in the state house. People are listening to this at the gym for 20 minutes a day, or on their commute. That is going to be way more intimate than the Facebook Live because people are like, “Oh, there she is at another event.” They can scroll by and it’s done. That kind of thing.
That’s how I’m deciphering those two. She really likes the Facebook Live. It’s easy for her to just whip out, her aide, to whip out the phone and record her. For me, I’m trying to encourage her to get a much more intimate audio show because I feel like that’s really going to connect her constituents in this area. It’s taking a look at what pieces of media are going to be most effective for somebody.
Bob Dunn: In that same question, let’s say it’s an online store.
Matt Medeiros: Yep.
What if you, say, sell coffins?
Bob Dunn: I’m going to throw a tough one at you. Let’s say they’re selling coffins. And they want to do a blog or a podcast. Would you really look at their product? Would that decide whether a blog or a podcast would be best for them?
Matt Medeiros: I’m glad you brought that up. I’ve consulted with somebody who was creating a product line. He owns a funeral home. He’s creating a product line for the services that come through the funeral home. Funerals and, I guess, burials. He’s creating this thing. I don’t know if I’m really allowed to say it. I think he’s trying to patent it.
Bob Dunn: Yeah.
Matt Medeiros: Obviously it’s a very touchy subject. It’s a part of life that nobody really likes to really talk about. For me, in that scenario I look at the type of content that you’d be producing. Will somebody actually tune into an audio podcast for, let’s say, coffins or something like that? Probably not. Will they connect with maybe an explanation video about the different types of coffins and the quality and the materials that they use, price points, how to select one? Probably yes, right?
Is that going to work on Facebook Live? Probably going to go with no. On YouTube or a private collection of videos done on vimeo.com? Probably yes. Even in that situation just an introduction to what’s going to happen when you are going through this sort of life-changing event. Maybe a collection or a playlist of well-done audio tracks on SoundCloud. Where somebody can go to and play two-, three-, four-minute explanation steps of a process.
It’s matching up the medium of content to the experience and the context of that business. You’re not going to be, I hate to say it, you’re not going to be Facebook Live streaming a funeral, right? I mean, that’s probably not going to happen for your business. Sort of when somebody needs those types of services, who can they turn to to learn about this stuff? Because I know nothing about this stuff. If I need to turn to something like that, having those pieces of content at my fingertips would answer that.
Bob Dunn: Yeah. Here I thought I could throw a loop with the coffin thing.
Matt Medeiros: Come on, Bob. I’ve been doing this for years.
Bob Dunn: Hey, we’re talking to a former car salesman.
Matt Medeiros: That’s exactly right.
Bob Dunn: Can’t throw you in any direction that’s going to knock you off balance.
Matt Medeiros: Right.
Bob Dunn: Last question. Any other deep insights or advice you might have for a shop owner who is considering a podcast that we haven’t touched on?
Check out Matt’s book at thepodcastbook.com
Matt Medeiros: The cliché is, just go out and do it, right? If you’re going to do that, I have a book. You can read it. It’s a perfect place to get your feet wet in this stuff.
Look, you have to take the advice that Bob and I talked about so far and really looking at it objectively. Saying, “Okay, what’s going to give me the best result? Do I have to do a 45-minute audio podcast every week?” Well, let’s say, if you’re in the financial space and you’re selling portfolio stock management services, you probably need to be a lot more intimate and long-form.
We have another client who sells handmade pet accessories, mainly for dogs. Leashes, collars, that kind of thing. Again, Facebook Live, Google Live, is going to be more engaging for their audience and have a way better return. Nobody’s really going to tune into a 45-minute podcast about what happened at the dog store, unless it’s super fun and entertaining. You really have to look at who’s going to be creating the content from that perspective.
Don’t feel overwhelmed. Don’t feel like you have to make this huge production. Take it in small bites and just get your feet wet on the path to building that audience.
Where to find Matt on the web
Bob Dunn: Cool. This has been excellent. I think we’ve set the stage for the shop owner to give it a try. If you are listening and you know an online retailer who does a podcast please leave the url in the comments. It’d be great to see what people are doing out there. Before we go, tell us where people can find you, Matt. I know you’ve touched a bit on that, but tell us where you roam around on social and on the web.
Matt Medeiros: Twitter it’s @MattMedeiros. All of my links are over at craftedbymatt.com. Thanks for having me on, Bob. I really appreciate it.
Bob Dunn: Thanks. Take care, Matt.