In this episode Adam (@AdamVazquez) and Carlton (@CarltonRiffel) are joined by Eric Dodds (@EricDodds) who is the Head of Growth for Rudderstack. Eric discusses the role content played in raising a $21 million Series A, the process they use to predictably create content that resonates + how to align your team around the core message.
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* (2:30) What we’d do if we weren’t marketers (trigger warning for pilots)
* (6:20) What is Rudderstack?
* (11:10) How to train your team to create content for you
* (15:05) Content creation process guaranteed to resonate with customers
* (23:33) “Greatest hits” start working just as you’re tired of them
* (25:12) How to grow a brick & mortar business
* (31:30) How Eric would spend $150k for content marketing
* (39:30) Have you Heard? Wyze + Rise and Fall of Mars Hill
Links & Resources:
Transcription generated by Otter.ai
Adam Vazquez 00:03
Eric Dodds is a marketer and entrepreneur who is currently leading growth for a San Francisco based startup called Rutter stack. Prior to his current role, Eric worked for the branding agency brains on fire before becoming a co founder and cmo for the iron yard coding school. He then started a digital consultancy called the yield group before eventually joining the team at runner stack where he is today. During this episode, Eric and I discussed this specific process he uses to build out content strategies, what he would do if you were growing a retail business and how content creation has directly benefited Rutter stack. British stack just raised a $21 million series A and Eric is incredibly busy managing and driving the growth of the company. So we’re very fortunate to have gotten him on the show his transparency in describing his content process as well as the brainstorming we did around growing a retail business for two of my favorite parts of this particular episode. So without further ado, let’s dive into this conversation with Eric Dodds of rush to
Adam Vazquez 01:23
Welcome back into content is for closers. For each episode, we talk to entrepreneurs, marketers and business owners about how they use content to actually grow their business. Carlton, are you excited for some content here on episode two?
Carlton Riffel 01:37
I love me some content. That’s what I love. That’s why
Adam Vazquez 01:41
we’re here. That’s why we like to do this. appreciate all of you who tuned in to episode one heard it shared it rated and reviewed it which I assume all of you did. Since you since you are good people and we’re excited to be here for Episode Two. I think what we’ve decided or kind of just fallen into is I’ll do this like salesy interview, and then Carlton gets to be the fun guy and like, give us a game to play. So what’s our What’s our icebreaker?
Carlton Riffel 02:06
Game of the Week that we should do? That’s absolutely we’re calling it the lame game. Yeah, so our icebreaker that that was not original with me. There’s somebody else who came up with that, I’m sure. So the icebreaker. I guess one question I’ve been wondering, Adam for for you, because you’ve been doing this marketing thing. Pretty much your whole career. You started out in a salesy sales job, as we heard last week, but then after that, you became pretty much a marketer right away. So if you weren’t doing that, then then what would you do? What would be your jam?
Adam Vazquez 02:38
So in my, like, dreams or something? It would, somehow I’m capable of surfing and I’m just like, cool and chill. And I just like, hang out on a beach, a pro surfer? You know, not even because like, I don’t even care. It’s just like, I’m just like, one of these people that exists. But the truth of it is, that’s not the way I’m wired. So I think realistically, I would have liked to do something in the, in the inner or around the world of sports, whether that be like some type of coaching or training or talk like content media stuff,
Carlton Riffel 03:10
I could see in the booth. Just doing a little play by play just some, just some very emotional takes. Because I get into it. I think, of course in Philadelphia. That’s that’s where you have to be. Yeah, what about you? For the longest time I wanted to be a pilot, and then I realized that like, pilots don’t really do much other than, you know, take shots fired at pilots. You know, they do a lot, but at the end of the day, a lot of it is letting a computer do the work. And unless you’re like some sort of test pilot or something, so I think actually right now, I would like sorry, pilots. I apologize. I just see the internet lighting up right now. whizzing Yeah, okay. Yeah, I think you hate me. Being an architect would probably be my my secondary choice. That’d be fun. I like buildings. I like construction. So yeah, maybe maybe if the show doesn’t go well, and I’m terrible, every single interview on just quitting and becoming an architect.
Adam Vazquez 04:11
Well, and people should know if they’d if you didn’t check out small home big plans. Is that what it’s called? Is it small and big plans last week, Carlton, and his wife did design and build their own homes. You’ve done some stuff in
Carlton Riffel 04:26
what they call a dabbling amateur.
Adam Vazquez 04:29
Alright, well, that is round two of lame Game of the Week. We need to find some way Carlton to quantify like who’s winning at this? I just want the pilots canceled by the airlines. I don’t think you won on that. But yeah, so this week, we have Eric Dodds of Rutter stack. He’s the head of growth at Rutter stack. coming on to talk to us about how to build a team how to align a team and just a quick refresher. Last week we talked about establishing the messaging for your content for your brand. And really what Eric is going to come in and talk about is how do you identify and build a team reasonably, that can tell that story effectively. He’s done this a ton as we talked about, and I was really good interview, I think you all enjoy it, Carlton, you’ve already heard the interview. So what are some things that people should look out for or pay attention to as we go through it? Yeah, he
Carlton Riffel 05:19
made so many great points throughout the whole thing, but just to kind of cover a few, a few things that he touched on, he really talks about how to build out high performing content teams. So he talks about scale, and how you can maximize the budgets that you do have to find the talent within within your company and then find talent, that’s without your company too. So, you know, really getting into best ways to find talent and some tips for where to find talent in less than obvious places.
Adam Vazquez 05:50
Alright, we’ve got Eric Dodds actually, Eric, you, you give your title, what is your title at rudder stack already gave the people kind of a quick synopsis of your background, who you are what you do, but I would love to hear first of all, what you’re doing rudder stack, and and also maybe in layman’s terms, because it’s taken me like a year and a half to start to understand what rudder stack does. Yeah, kind of what you all do.
Eric Dodds 06:13
Sure, yeah. So I lead growth and marketing and router sack, I’ve been doing that for about the past six months, I joined the company over a year ago to start building out the customer success team. And then around the beginning of year switched over to running growth and marketing. Rutter stack is a tool that makes it really easy for developers and engineering teams to collect data from different parts of the tech stack, and then send it to the teams and people who need it downstream. And I’ll just give a I’ll just give a specific example of that. So one of our customers is Crate and Barrel. And, you know, huge ecommerce company that sells all sorts of things, you know, lots of furniture. And if you think about just browsing the Crate and Barrel website, you’re producing a lot of data that’s very useful for a number of things, right. So you browse certain products, you browse certain categories, you may be exposed to certain offers or coupons, you know, that they show to you while you’re on the site. And as you sort of build that browsing data in your browsing session, the teams inside of Crate and Barrel can use it for all sorts of really interesting types of projects. And we’ll just think about one maybe making product recommendations, right, knowing the types of things you look at, and then comparing that with what you actually purchased. A not only helps not only helps designers understand how to present products better, right? So they need sort of analytics tools and other things like that to help them. But it also helps data scientists understand how do we make better product recommendations. And so what Rutter stack does, we build tools that allow you to easily collect that data, and then send it, you know, to the marketing team, to the design team to the data science team so that they can use it, because the dynamic you’ve seen a lot of companies is the engineering teams spend so much time just trying to get data from point A to point B, that they never actually get to work on the really cool, high impact problems, like making better recommendations. So we sort of facilitate that process so that internal teams can work on more important things and just moving data.
Adam Vazquez 08:27
Yeah, I was really excited to have you on because I think there’s just multiple things that you you bring to the audience, first of all, from obviously, what you just described as rather cyclic way upstream of even beginning to think about content and like the data sources that that would I know cratenbarrel you’re not doing content for them. But But that all plays a part in how they’re actually doing commerce. And then there’s the work you all do at Rutter stack to attract customers to get clients and your role as growth marketing. And I just know you’re a fan of from your previous experiences, content, marketing, growth, all of those things personally and through your career. So I guess walking through through a couple of these things, maybe in your role now, what is your obviously you are pretty I mean, extremely tech forward company, SF based, I think startup and so you’re attracting a different customer than maybe some of the people in our audience are but what was the process you were going through? When you were thinking about how we’re going to use content to attract customers, and you know, what distribution channels we
Eric Dodds 09:26
need to use, we sell to and market to developers, software engineers, data engineers, so very technical persona. And its content for that persona is really hard because they want to be spoken to by people who understand technical topics,
Adam Vazquez 09:51
right? Yeah, I can vouch for this based on I’m sure we’ll get to this a little bit. Just the transcripts from from some of your shows are very dense. So yes, under Yeah,
Eric Dodds 10:01
theory, they want really good content that helps them do their job better, right and or do their job faster become more efficient, they’re interested in tools and methodologies and processes and, and things around that, that that help them do their job better. And a big reason for that is an anyone inside of a company that has a tech team knows that their time is probably one of the most precious resources inside of an organization, right? I mean, website changes, app changes, you know, getting data here, you know, doing this tech project, I mean, they just have a huge backlog in every company, because tech is just pervasive across the organization now. And so we have this really interesting opportunity to create rich content that’s technical in nature, that’s very helpful. But that also happens to be one of the most difficult types of content to create, because it requires a certain level of expertise and knowledge. And so the channels and actually, maybe it’ll, I think it’d be helpful maybe to just talk about the way that we actually get content done here a little bit. Because hiring, the other thing is you don’t, it’s very difficult to find a software engineer who just wants to write for a living, right, they want to, they want to build software. And that’s, that’s their craft. And so the way that we’ve approached this with a high level is on the marketing team, we have framed ourselves almost as journalists, who are trying to educate ourselves on a topic that we’re going to write about. And we’re interviewing the people who are experts on that topic, right, because if you think about, you know, a journalist who’s writing about maybe an economic topic, or, you know, sort of a political topic, they don’t necessarily have to have a 20 year career in economics, you know, or as an economics professor to write a very well thought out, you know, piece on economics, and really the same principle is true with, with technical topics. And so that’s the way we frame ourselves. So we have a lot of connections to people on our engineering team, our product team, etc. Who helped us understand what did they value, what types of content, they value, etc. And then we also do the same thing with our customers as well. So we talk with a lot of our customers, we interview them, we survey them, to help us understand, okay, how can we build content that’s really going to speak to them? And then happy to talk about channels as well?
Adam Vazquez 12:35
Yeah, no, but I love that just to start off the journalist approach or taking a journalistic approach. So practically speaking, and yeah, I’d love to hear about your channels too. But is that typically within your company, so spending time with those people who are staffing those roles? You know, so if you were if you were teaching a marketer how to do this? What does that look like? Is it is it, you know, being out and about in the space? Is it starting right, within your company? how, you know, kind of how do you think about that, from a b2b perspective?
Eric Dodds 13:04
Yeah, absolutely. So we, in our training process, you know, we don’t have a huge team. But on our training process, the way that we’ve approached it, which has worked pretty well, I’m sure I’ll modify it as we grow, is, let’s, let’s work with people to define the topics that we know are going to resonate at a very high level, right? So let’s think about a topic like data quality, for example, right? That can mean so many different things to a software engineer to, you know, the people that they’re sending data to, etc. And what we’ll do is take a marketer and say, okay, you need to go research that yourself, and see what our persona is saying about that, you know, when they write blog posts about it, you know, there are lots of companies with engineering blogs, we reference, the best of the best, like Netflix engineering blog is, you know, sort of renowned among our persona, right? So how are they communicating about this? What are the things that they’re saying? And then, like a journalist, they do a lot of primary research, and they develop an understanding of the basic vernacular, what seems to be trending, the challenges, and then some, you know, sort of the solutions that are out there. And that allows them to have an intelligent conversation with one of our internal engineers or someone from our product team, to get their perspective, and, you know, sort of almost do an informational interview on the topic. And then that the result of that, you know, even just as primitive as conversation notes, that’s your foundation for producing, you know, blog posts, webinars, social content, etc. that is sort of the process that we go through.
Adam Vazquez 14:47
Oh, I love that. Thanks for pulling back the curtain on that. I think a lot of people struggle. And we talked a little bit about this internally, and even with you all like it’s it’s difficult sometimes to come up with that pill. content that serves as the foundation for everything else for the tweets for the social assets for whatever, what you’re saying is, instead of trying to come up with some, you know, Matthew McConaughey like, brilliant idea, you’re just using the the implicit subject that your customers care about, because you know it from the people on your team, right, essentially,
Eric Dodds 15:19
yeah, yeah, absolutely. It’s awesome. You know, an advisor said to us a while ago, and I, this is just resonated with me so much. And it’s one of those things that everyone knows this, you know, when we’ve all heard this, but it’s, it’s really hard to implement. He said, we were talking about the blog and our content. And he said, your customers have all the answers. Just go talk to them, you know, in a way of like, okay, I mean, and then we also have engineers, like on our own team, and they have all the answers, like, just go talk to them. And so two people on the marketing team actually did something that has paid so many dividends, even though it’s it’s still fairly primitive. But they created sort of this research council of our customers, and then non customers, but who don’t work for retter stack of 10 people, and they talk with they, they have a like a 30 minute call with one of these people every month. And then we also send out a survey, I think quarterly. But just the little bit of insight we’ve gotten from the first surveys, and you know, and multiple, you know, a handful of conversations have given us so much insight into where to focus, which is often the biggest challenge, right? You can write about anything, you produce content about anything, but it’s what’s important, and what’s going to resonate with your target audience. And it’s so easy to forget that you can actually just go ask them.
Adam Vazquez 16:46
Wow, I love that. So what was the breakdown there between customers and non customers,
Eric Dodds 16:51
that’s probably about half and half, they were really smart when they thought about how to do this. They said, you know, we think it’d be really helpful to have people who are using our product, because we’re selling our product, and they can help us help us think through the very specific things about our products that are valuable to them. But they’re biased, you know, because they’re using our product. And so we also want to talk to people who are in different cons, contexts, that doing similar roles or have similar responsibilities. And that will force us to have a wider perspective on the industry.
Adam Vazquez 17:23
That’s great. So two really strong takeaways, as of I feel like First of all, act like a journalist thinking like a journalist in your marketing organization. And secondly, having this this research council of customers and non customers that can give you kind of, and I’m sure it matters, who the customers are in terms of being able to get or reliable feedback, right? Like you need someone who’s that who’s willing to look past whatever it is that you know, relationally, or otherwise, it could filter the feedback, but that’s really good. So once you’re starting to take that now you’ve got content baked out that you feel good about that’s informed by your customer base. How are you? How are you looking at your channel mix from there?
Eric Dodds 18:02
Yes, sometimes we sit we joke, I wish we were producing content for marketers, because there’s a million channels, you know, to get marketing content for marketers out there. And it seems to be this you know, giant whirlpool of, of content moving around. That’s good. It’s good and bad from someone who asked is good and bad. Yeah, totally, definitely good and bad. I mean, I used to do that in a previous life. And so it’s definitely good and bad. One thing we do before we start publishing things is we actually have sort of a light editorial process internally continuing with, we take a lot of notes from journalism, but we call it kind of finishing, or maybe like the last 10 to 20%, which is someone technical, reviewing the content and make sure it’s up to standard, you know, or that it’s sort of ready for publishing, which I think is really important, because with our persona, the getting a detail wrong means lack of credibility in a big way, which reflects on our brand and our product. And so especially if it’s anything technical, we have to make sure it’s, it’s accurate. So once we have edited content that we feel good about, we publish it, we’ve done a number of things, but I’ll just give you the quick run of show. We publish it on our blog, we promote it on social, and we syndicate it where appropriate. So there are several sort of technical sites that will republish content or accept submitted content. And then there are a number of sites that we don’t do this for every piece of content, but for particular types of content that will resonate really well on very developer centric platforms. So the biggest one is Hacker News. If you can trend on Hacker News, that’s like the big leagues of you know, producing some content that’s focused on a technical topic, but also other communities medium has a very large community that produces and consumes Tim’s technical content. And so the person who manages our editorial calendar has done a great job of sort of coordinating the sequence of when we do that, and sort of how we, how we post it, and maybe even how we modify the content to distribute it. And it sounds pretty simple. The other thing that I think the person who manages all of our content has done really well is we repeat, when we distribute, we actually repeat a lot. You know, so will republish, you know, sort of republish repost the same things on social and other channels, you know, whatever, like 60 days, 90 days, six months out, because the audience has changed, you can get wider spheres of influence. And so I think he’s done a really good job of sort of getting a lot of use out of an individual piece of content.
Adam Vazquez 20:49
Very cool. Yeah, I mean, this is that whole idea of create once deploy everywhere, right? Like, I know, you all do this with with some of your podcast content, too, just finding new ways, different ways to take a long form piece of content, these very journalistic with, with like journalistic integrity, really, that takes all of this time. And then, you know, some of the things that we’ve seen with you, or maybe elsewhere is people finding ways to turn those into threaded tweets into LinkedIn, those like, bro a tree LinkedIn posts, right, like we’re, have you ever seen those before?
Eric Dodds 21:20
I just, I hadn’t heard that particular term. But again, I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s like, it’s like the recruiter who who’s talking about, Hey,
Adam Vazquez 21:32
I was trying to hire someone, I was walking by the URLs trying to get a job, I was walking, I walked by this dog, I fed him a treat. And Fast Forward six months, and you know, I was still looking for a job. And that dog was the guy interviewing me. And it’s like, supposed to be like this, you know, mind blowing thing, but everyone’s posting them. So annoying. Anyways, not that, but you’re finding ways to use this in in multiple formats, which I think is really important. A lot of companies and especially smaller businesses, or startups or whatever, get caught up in the novel, it has to be a new idea, it has to be a fresh idea. And obviously, there’s some of that, but you are a great example of being able to get run out of a core idea versus just trying to pump out volume, which I think is is important.
Eric Dodds 22:17
I ran marketing at a company several years ago, and we had, we were trying to build a brand in sort of an international market. And we our internal team, we did a lot of things that were very repetitive with the brand, you know, and a number of contacts, content, advertising, visuals, etc. and got to the point where a lot of people on the team, you know, and even employees would say like, we got to do something new to freshen it up. And the person who was sort of the the architect behind building this nationally recognized brand, said something that was really interesting, he said, you know, the point at which we start to get sick of it, that’s the point at which it’s probably just starting to work. And so we still have a lot more repeating to do. And so when you think about your sort of core values of the brand, or the core things you want, you can repeat them far more than you think you can. And they will still resonate with your target audience, you know, because that sort of changes and grows over time. The other thing I would say is, in marketing, I think there’s sort of this addiction to direct response where you like, want to put out a piece of content and then get leads from it. And I think if you have a much longer term view on your content, it allows you to produce a lot better stuff and sort of expect your returns down the road. And so one thing that we’ve done that’s been very interesting, is we’ve actually done paid advertising to long form content, sometimes it’s content that we’ve syndicated, it’s not even on our own site, to build credibility among our target audience. And, you know, it’s kind of hard to track some of that stuff. But, you know, if you kind of view your content as an asset that adds brand credibility and doesn’t necessarily have to create a lead the first time someone reads a blog post, and you know, sort of changes the way you think about distributing it.
Adam Vazquez 24:21
Yeah, I love that. It’s like the the store owner back in the day, who thought less about transactions and more about relationships. And so then they just got all the business right over decades of time, it’s taking that approach online, it is super, super powerful. And to your other point, as marketers, it’s easy to get tired of our greatest hits. But like, in every other industry, that’s what you lean into, right? Like, like there’s a reason that whoever may insert artists name is playing their song that they wrote 20 years ago, over and over and over again, I’m sure they hate that song by this point, but it’s just, that’s that’s what works. That’s what you Don’t buy and then that’s how you introduce other concepts as well as by getting people into the boat. So totally hear you on both those things. Maybe let’s shift gears for a second. That’s super helpful, very, very, I feel like transparent on on your process and how you all do it. And I think a lot of people could use that to apply to their own methods. But if you were, let’s say, tomorrow, you just like I’m done the internet, it’s these internet based businesses are, I’m sick of them. And it’s time to start, Eric, so you’re into you’re into cycling, so maybe you wouldn’t, you know, legitimately start a cycling company or something like this more, that’s a physical product or a service, how would you go about thinking about your content and marketing mix in that scenario, and let’s just say it’s, for simplicity, it’s literally just a bike shop that you’re that you’re maybe selling and doing repairs at,
Eric Dodds 25:48
I think the very first thing I would do is I would go have really long conversations with all of the bike shops that we’re going to be in whatever market I was competing in, and then also have conversations with their customers to try to understand if there is something unique I could bring to the table, you know, there is a lot of businesses survive simply based on, you know, the the volume of potential customers that they’re exposed to, you know, so you have a town with, you know, several million people, and you only have two bike shops, like, you know, people just don’t have options. And so they’re gonna survive, right, they’re not necessary, they don’t have to bring something unique to the table. You know, it’s kind of you think about how is, you know, someone on Wall Street, like a little deli on Wall Street in New York with really high rent making it it’s like the sheer volume? You know, it’s just sheer volume. Right? Yeah, yeah. So I think that’s the first thing that I would do. And then from a content perspective, when you have those conversations, that gives you the ability to understand on a, you know, sort of individual consumer level, what are the types of things that people care about. And I would probably, I mean, don’t quote me on this, but just my, my gut reaction is that, I would try to find a very specific group of customers who was underserved by everyone else. Because specificity is, is such a huge asset, right? Like, if you’re solving a problem that no other bike shop is solving, whatever that is, that is such a huge asset, because it’s hot. And if you get really, really good at that, it’s very hard for other businesses to replicate that. And so, and then it just makes your marketing that much more potent. Now, the flip side of that challenge is that specificity limits your customer base, right? So if you want to grow into something larger, you may have to expand into other areas. But if you’re just starting something brand new, and it’s especially if you’re going to use content, and marketing, a specificity is absolutely your friend.
Adam Vazquez 28:03
Yeah, totally agree. And I think the approach the key to that approach is just what is it you talked about is really making it totally customer centric, making it What I mean by that, that’s very buzzword II, but but I just met with a company last week that when you come to their site, the initial third with what you can see unless you had scrolled down, none of it said anything about my problem as a customer. You know, none of it said anything about even my desires or aspirations as a customer, it was all about the solution. It was all about selling bikes. And to your point, if you go into a market and realize that, you know, there there is a market for cyclists, we both are in Greenville, a huge cycling community here. But actually, there’s there’s a very underserved market of, I don’t know tricycle enthusiasts, right, whatever. And so you’re tailoring it to that, whether you do it as a business or not, if you at least tailor your content towards that, you’ll at least at the bare minimum hook into those tricycle enthusiasts, and be able to build from there versus shouting into the void. And that goes to what you’re talking about earlier. If you’re making content for marketers, which there’s a lot of it that that’s good and bad, but that’s that’s a huge problem in that a lot of people are saying very, very similar things because it’s easy to say versus having a unique point point of view or serving unique customer needs. So yeah, really, really I think that’s good. A couple other questions and then you can ask me one question at the end if you have any but just on the what’s on the horizon for understand what it could be marketing could just be something you’re excited about with the business and then you got a sweet new office location. Maybe it’s that but what are what are you looking most forward to on the horizon here for rotor stack?
Eric Dodds 29:48
I would say the thing that I’ve that’s, that’s excited me the most over the last couple of weeks is new. We recently raised a series A round of funding from an incredible investment firm called Kleiner Perkins, and Congrats, by the way, thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I mean, their, their team is awesome. The partner there that we’re working with is, that is incredible. And with those resources, we’ve been able to bring on some really incredible talent, we brought someone in who was a, you know, Product Manager at doordash, you know, is a gigantic company, other people from companies like Rakuten, you know, and so the, the level of talent that is coming in is just incredible. And, you know, being able to work with really smart, really experienced senior people, for me, personally, is just such a, you know, it’s so exciting to be exposed to, and then I just know, it’s gonna be really game changing for the company. And so, I mean, lots of cool things from a technology perspective. But when you think about growing a business, it’s, you know, if you can get the right people who execute well, that that, you know, that sort of solves a lot of problems. So very excited about the team. We’re building.
Adam Vazquez 31:01
Cool. Yeah, I knew you had raised the funnel or the round, I didn’t realize it was from Kleiner. That’s I have massive respect for them. Because of why cuz she’s not she’s in her own little thing now, but that’s where Mary Meeker was for a long time and her state of the internet. Yeah, we’re every year is is something I look forward to reading every year. In fact, we missed a year because it COVID she did like a COVID update last year. Oh, yeah. National report. Yeah. So yeah, hopefully, she’ll get back to that. Last question for you is, let’s say you had and this is probably a more modest number, maybe for you in light of what you just talked about. But let’s say that you had $150,000 budget, you had to spend on growing your brand, doing something that’s going to be brand building or or or content related, what’s your first thought in terms of where you’re spending that
Eric Dodds 31:51
I would probably go try to hire with all of that money, a single individual who could produce content for directly for our persona, and it’d be a huge added bonus, if they have a large network around it. And meaning like an audience, or an audience, you know, someone professional on the sort of developer data space, you know, if they have a personal audience, I mean, not that you want to hire someone just to exploit, you know, something that that bill, and I think you need to be right about that. But they’ve gained credibility in the industry, you know, there are a couple of reasons for that. One, it will increase our velocity. And two will increase sort of the volume of high quality pillar content we could produce. And when you think about content, I love an explanation that that one of my friends gave for it. It’s a little bit like real estate, if you make good decisions, it will create value over a long period of time, but you have to start investing in it now. And you know, there’s really no silver bullet for producing excellent content, other than just doing the work. And so I would hire someone who knows how to do that done really, really well. I mean, we have core competencies, and we have people on the team who can do that. But again, like we want to invest as much as we can now, you know, so that it continues to pay off in years to come.
Adam Vazquez 33:14
No, I love that. I think that’s a growing trend, too. I mean, you’re seeing on the macro level, you’re seeing companies acquire influencers or personalities as either their marketing, you know, folks or even as investors you’re seeing a lot of influencers who are getting part of a round because they can then act as that that market I’m seeing people like Jake Paul or Dave Portnoy, or either these people who are being are not traditional investors, but are being included because of their audience. So it’s, it’s kind of a technical spin on that and totally agree of the real estate thing, something we’ve talked about a lot we you know, it’s it’s the compounding returns of content and not enough people think about it that way. So love that. Okay, just to wrap it up any questions you have for me before we before we head out here?
Eric Dodds 34:00
Okay, so you run a podcast obviously, we’re out right now. You help lots of companies produce podcasts, you help our company produce one which you know, maybe we can do another episode around that because we didn’t even we didn’t even touch on it. What are your go to podcasts on a weekly basis? What are the ones that you you can’t miss that aren’t you know, you know, I know you probably listened to some of your customer podcasts and all that sort of stuff. But what are your go twos that you can’t miss?
Adam Vazquez 34:27
I do listen all the customer shows just to make sure you know things are going smoothly with them. Some of them I understand more than others you would be on that spectrum obviously your show
Eric Dodds 34:37
appreciate that. You do listen to the shows though. That means a lot.
Adam Vazquez 34:40
Yeah, yeah. I think I think several of us on the team do just to try to make sure we you know, do quality control. Yeah, so my personal shows, I think I mean, right off the bat pump, the pump podcast Anthony pomp Leon, oh, enjoy his show. I enjoy his style of interviewing. He kind of regardless of genre or what he’s talking about he’s he’s a really good question asker I think I like the my first million podcast Sam Parr and Shawn Paree kind of just brainstorming, I borrowed my Hey, let’s pretend we have a bike shop like that that bit from them. Or they do something similar to that usually. And then, man, a smattering of other ones. I’m trying to think of what else has been in the rotation recently, probably something around my my baseball addiction. And those all make me sad at the moment. So
Eric Dodds 35:34
we want to talk about those.
Adam Vazquez 35:36
Yeah, we can’t we won’t have other but yeah, probably those two, what about you? Any any I know is my question. But just any, any stick out that you really enjoy recently.
Eric Dodds 35:43
This may surprise you, but I, I do not consistently listen to any podcasts. It does surprise me. And I listened to podcast episodes, you know, because we share a lot of content internally. And you know, they’re all occasionally, you know, see something that interests me maybe, you know, around mountain biking or cycling. But yeah, I don’t, you know, I live very close to work. And so I don’t have a lot of commute time, and I don’t have a lot of time in the car. And even I used to listen to podcasts a lot when I would like run or workout. But I’ve more and more lately, like use my workout time to just kind of think about hard problems, you know, because it’s like you’re doing something and it’s almost like your mind can just sort of wander and so I have actually just I don’t know, I really haven’t had any over the past six months or so consistent pack. I mean, there’s so many good content, you know, so many good podcasts out there. But also we do a podcast. And you know, it’s, you know, it takes a lot of work to do that. And so I don’t know, maybe maybe actually starting on podcast is what made me stop, listen.
Adam Vazquez 36:52
Oh, trust me, I went through fatigue, for sure. I would say there’s a year in there where I didn’t listen really to anything regularly, just because I was I was sick of the format. But yeah, it’s probably probably healthy and good that you’re getting that time to clear your head, I probably need to do that more. Eric, really appreciate you joining the show, we’ll definitely have to do another one and get more into the details of maybe of your show specifically. But I think this was great, really helpful for people to understand the process and the thinking behind how you all go to market, and probably some stuff they can take away as well. So thanks for coming on.
Eric Dodds 37:24
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Carlton Riffel 37:29
Thank you for that awesome interview, Eric, has so many great things in there. But kind of recapping it a little bit. And talking about some of the things that stuck out to us. I know for me, thinking about your team, and all of the technical expertise that’s in your team is a resource that’s not tapped into a lot. I know just on our team, we’ve got so much expertise in other areas than than just what we’re doing and working on that when it comes time to make an article about design or websites, there’s so many things that can be pulled out from even our team internally. And so Eric made a great point about that. But I think specifically with technical subjects, you have to go really, really deep, instead of being really broad. And so your team can help you refine that. And it just helps everyone buy more into the content that you’re producing. Instead of just thinking about, I’m the sole person that needs to create all the content. So kind of working with your team and aligning everyone around that messaging really helps not only get buy in from your team, but also bring everyone together around the core ideas that you’re communicating, at the same time that you’re tapping into their expertise. So there’s probably some sort of overlap or Venn diagram of what your team’s expertise is, with what your your customers problems are. And that’s where you want to find a way to create content on
Adam Vazquez 38:57
my takeaway is just the simplicity with which he instructs the team to start. So like, Yes, he’s going after journalists. Yes, he’s trying to get people who are good at writing and can understand but the end of the day, the action is, they’re going to the target customer, or in this case, people who exist in his company that also fit that you know, persona, and and they’re just asking them, what’s important to them. And writing that down like that, at the end of the day is a very simple action that really anybody can do if you’re a landscaping company, we’re going to stick with that metaphor. I think throughout the course of this everyone in your or several people in your company probably have lawns. So going to them and writing down what matters to them. And building out some of your your future content based on that is a simple step that anybody can take.
Carlton Riffel 39:45
Absolutely. So now for our last segment on our podcast, it’s the Have you heard segment so have you heard Have you heard, I love different products. One of my favorite two of my favorite sites to keep an eye on is product Which digital products and Kickstarter, which is physical products, one product that I love, the one company that has just produced a lot of really neat and interesting pieces of hardware is wise. And I one product I use probably every day at some point in my day is their wise noise cancelling headphones. So they’re 50 $50. And they pretty much rival the Bose headphones. And so they’ve got Active Noise Cancelling, and they do a great job of keeping the baby screams out of my ears. And then on top of that, are those on? for them? I
Adam Vazquez 40:35
throw those on? Let’s see. Yeah, let’s see. I mean, those are Yeah, those are stylish. You can see that if you’re not watching the YouTube, it’s worth
Carlton Riffel 40:41
checking out. I couldn’t even hear you. I hear Yeah, they’re soft, they’ve got a feature where you can like put your hand over it, and it amplifies something outside. So a lot of cool features that you’d find in expensive ones. But for 50 bucks.
Adam Vazquez 40:55
Mine is a little niche. Some of you won’t be aware will not care about this, that’s fine. But there is a show, ravaging evangelical Christian internet, right now circles called the rise and fall of Mars Hill. And whether you are into that sort of thing or not, I would highly encourage everyone listen to like the first 510 minutes of the first episode, because the production value of that show is really off the charts. And I just appreciate the effort that they’ve put into it, the style and the thought of the research, the music, the sound, everything they did, was really well done. And I think it shows how you can have this type of sort of serialized, you know, investigative journal II type of content for something that is different. It’s not about a murder. It’s not about a some, you know, huge famous court case or like what most of the mystery type content series like that are about, it’s about something that is pretty niche is in some ways mundane, but they did a really good job telling that story. So just just from a storytelling standpoint, I thought it was really good. Alright, thanks so much for listening to Episode Two of content is reclosers. Next week, we are going to talk to Nicole warshauer. She’s the head of community for a platform called trusted health. They’re the biggest I believe nursing online nursing community that exists. And so she’s going to talk to us about how to build a community how to leverage that community how to drive business results from a community online. And it really just stacks on top of what we’ve already been talking about establishing your messaging, helping your team create and now tapping into your audience, making sure you’re creating about the right things based on what your community is going to tell you. So really appreciate you all listening. Be sure to share this with one other person. We just want one other person where it’s 66 reviews right now, when we get to 100, Carlton will do a one on one video with somebody like in the audience to talk about their business. So, you know, push this thing somebody’s getting very valuable.
Carlton Riffel 42:53
Some people pay 1000s of dollars. Not sure, but somebody Yes. Alright, take care. And don’t forget Carlton hates pilots.