We dive deep with Andrew Allemann from PodcastGuests.com and discuss the process behind the microphone, and what it's like to be backstage in the podcast industry.
Tell us about yourself and what your company does, & how long you've been working on it.
I'm an online media entrepreneur and have started several businesses around delivering niche content and services over the internet. PodcastGuests.com was founded in 2016 as a way to help podcasters find interesting guests to interview on their podcasts. It's a simple idea, but the network effect of having over 20,000 users makes it powerful for both podcasters and experts who want to be booked as guests on shows. Podcasting has exploded in recent years, and PodcastGuests.com has ridden this wave upward.
What inspired you to start your own company - tell us the story?
One of my online publications is Domain Name Wire, a trade publication for the domain name industry. I also publish an accompanying podcast. I ran into a problem after about a year of interviewing people for my podcast: I needed to find more guests! I searched for a service that would help me find guests for my podcast. There are some agencies out that there charge hundreds or thousands of dollars to help podcasters find guests. I couldn't find anything free and simple. So I decided to build it.
How did you decide on your company name and logo?
As a domain name person, I'm a big believer in picking a name that instantly tells people what it does. You expect to find logos at Logo.com. Where would you expect to find podcast guests? Yep, PodcastGuests.com. Someone already owned the domain name so I bought it from them. For the logo, I wanted something simple that would look good in monochrome or full color.
How long did it take from having the idea to your first customers?
Just a few weeks. I created a minimum viable product to get it running and see if the idea had legs. Most of my users don't pay anything, but I'd consider them customers in a way.
Who were your first customers? (Or: Tell us about your first sale. Or: Tell us about your opening day.)
I started by emailing podcasters to see if they wanted an easier way to find guests. I told them I was starting a service and it was free to join. I leaned on some of the podcasters I knew to seed this.
What's been a good way of growing your customer base and sales? Can you share a few success stories with us?
I've done a few things. The most valuable way to grow the business is to turn customers into evangelists. You do that by exceeding their expectations. I've had some users who were so blown away that they told friends and posted in private social media groups. Organic growth has really taken off. I also have an affiliate program that pays people to refer new users and I run ads on social media platforms.
What did you wish you knew before you started your company? What advice do you have for first-time entrepreneurs?
My service started out very simple. My initial idea to make money was to sell advertising. But, over time, my customers told me what they wanted and were willing to pay for. Free users told me they wanted to get booked on more podcasts and urged me to create a way for them to create profiles. That was the idea behind the directory https://podcastguests.com/directory/ that now has hundreds of people.
What are trends in your industry that you are excited about?
In a word: GROWTH! Podcasting is having its moment as people realize how spoken-word content can be a powerful way to grow their audience.
What are you looking forward to in the next week/month/quarter or year and what are your aspirations for your company?
Right now I'm dealing with a huge influx of new users because of the pandemic. People are using their lockdown time to start podcasts. Others realize they need a new way to get in front of people because they can't go to tradeshows and conferences to find new clients.
Any particular books or podcasts you can recommend?
Of course. The Domain Name Wire Podcast :)
What’s been your biggest challenge in life thus far and how did you overcome it?
Overcoming anxiety and imposter syndrome. You never really overcome this, but you can train yourself to thrive with it.
Thank you Andrew for sharing your story with us today. We at Logo.com believe in the power of podcasts and hope that you will find us on various business podcasts as we spread the news of our AI powered logo maker!
Andrew Allemann is the founder of PodcastGuests.com, a service that connects podcasters with guests for their shows. Founded in 2016, the service has grown to over 20,000 users and helped facilitate thousands of guest expert bookings on hundreds of podcasts. Both podcasters and experts can use the service for free. Each week, PodcastGuests.com highlights podcasts looking for guests and their guest qualifications. People that meet these qualifications can apply to be on the shows. The service also has an online directory of experts that podcasters can invite on their podcasts. Andrew is an online media entrepreneur, and is also the founder of a trade publication for the domain name industry. Of course, he's also a podcaster, publishing the Domain Name Wire Podcast.