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The Portable CTO
Startups · Technology · Leadership
My Podcast Marketing Campaign - Part 1
At the end of last year, I decided I was going to try to take my side project, CFP Land to the next level. One of the marketing strategies I wanted to try was a podcast marketing campaign.

The idea is simple: I create something of value to listeners of specific podcasts, then I reach out and ask if they'll have me on as a guest.

The great thing is that unlike many content marketing efforts - writing a guest blog post for example - going on a podcast typically only takes about 45 minutes to an hour, then you sit back and wait while the podcast host does most of the work editing and uploading the show.

At the same time, I know these podcasts are always looking for guests. I run a meetup group here in Chicago, and finding speakers takes some serious work, so I know the podcasters appreciate when people reach out to them with a good topic. They also like having guests who bring their own audience as I do with CFP Land, because that means there's some cross-promotional benefits.

I started my podcast outreach efforts after publishing the Guide to Speaking at Tech Conferences in January. I've already been invited on 7 shows, and recorded 4 of those. Two were published last week, so I figured I would share them here:
Now, the big question is, "Will this pay off?" I'm probably going to spend 10 hours of time over the course of 2 months recording and promoting these shows, which is pretty significant for my side project.

It's hard to measure exactly, but I will be keeping up with the referral traffic and spikes around the episode release days to see if this tactic works for me.
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I've tried dozens of tools like Buffer, Recurpost, and Tweetdeck, but none have gotten as close to my ideal social media automation workflow as RiteKit. Schedule posts, automatically enhance them with hashtags, mentions, and emojis, and add custom calls-to-action on each of your links.
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To Niche or Not to Niche?
On one hand, Li Jin says you just need 100 true fans to make a living on your business: 1,000 True Fans? Try 100
"If you can convince a small number of super-engaged people to pay more, you can also have a general audience that pays less. By segmenting the customer base and offering greater value to top fans—at a higher price point—creators can earn a living with a smaller total audience."
On the other hand, Justin Jackson points out that your growth will be significantly slower in a small market: The Myth of the Niche Market
"If your total market is only 10,000 people, and you charge $100 per month, you might think: 'I only need to find 100 customers to earn $10,000 a month.' But smaller markets have significant challenges...It's not until you launch that you'll realize how hard it is to grow your business."
I think I lean towards going niche first with an avenue to expand, but what do you think?
"Before you can have a maintainable product, you should first strive to have an actual product...it’s essential to realise that it’s not a tug of war. It’s better to look at it as a process that needs some leniency from both sides."
Investing time on test coverage for an MVP feels like a waste, but what do you think? Some good options here in this thread.
Debt financing only comes along when a market is in mature - in the deployment phase - and we're starting to see pieces of the tech industry get there.
"Engineering constantly acts like a strong gravitational force that drags you from business tasks again and again. Nontechnical entrepreneurs usually perceive development as a cost center...But for developers, writing code is relatively easy, so we often jump into adding extra features or overcomplicating the project without thinking twice."
"Most founders start off with an intense focus on product excellence. But as the product and feature set expands, strategy starts to drift, bloat creeps in and the user experience degrades significantly...you can make sure that discipline remains front and center by identifying and then obsessively focusing on the two to three most important qualities of your product."
"The biggest lie in personal finance is that you can be rich if you just cut your spending. And the financial media feeds this lie by telling you to stop spending $5 a day on coffee so that you can become a millionaire."
Hollie Lambert - one of my coworkers at The Graide Network - is mentioned in NBC's article here for her work making a safe, alcohol-free space for queer people in Chicago. Super cool to have coworkers creating awesome stuff like this!
"Thinking about things is a massively valuable and underutilized skill. Most people are trained to not apply this skill."
"Melinda Gates is investing $50 million in creating more tech opportunities for women—outside of the industry’s usual power centers."
After quitting his job at a big software company, Matt has been building a collection of little software products. It's super interesting to hear how the projects have grown and evolved.
"As a developer I’ve probably had contact with 300 open source projects, components, and applications. I estimate 80% of them required substantially more time to install, use, or maintain than commercial counterparts."
Personal Updates
My son Joe started daycare last week. It's a bittersweet moment for our family, but we really love his little home daycare in our neighborhood.

The other bright side is that I now work a split schedule - I'm off on Wednesdays and work Sundays instead. This has been great for my productivity as I can really crank on some code on Sundays.

That's all until next time!
Karl Hughes
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