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  • Writer's pictureChristy Pritchard

Seth Resler: Community Marketing Revolution

Updated: Mar 19

Seth Resler joins to explore the dynamic intersection of podcasting and community marketing. Reflecting on radio's digital evolution, Resler discusses content overload and the challenges of standing out in a saturated market. The conversation dives into the pivotal role of community building, particularly in the pandemic era, as a means of fostering engagement and connection. Insights on podcast monetization and social media dynamics add depth to this conversation, offering valuable strategies for content creators seeking to navigate the evolving digital landscape.

Full Show Notes compiled by the AI Machine.

Podcasting and Community Marketing: Seth Resler introduces his latest venture, Community Marketing Revolution, and shares insights from his extensive experience in radio and podcasting.

Radio's Digital Strategy and Content Overload: Reflecting on his time at Jacobs Media, Ressler discusses frustrations with radio's digital strategy and the challenges of creating and distributing content in a fast-paced media environment.

Content Abundance and Consumer Choice: Cundill and Resler delve into the impact of content oversaturation on creators and consumers, highlighting the struggle to find quality content amidst an abundance of options.

Community Building and Virtual Events during the Pandemic: Resler emphasizes the importance of community building, especially during the pandemic, and shares insights on fostering connections through virtual events.

Podcasting, Community Building, and Monetization: Resler discusses the significance of community building in podcasting and explores opportunities for monetization through sponsorships and collaborations.

Social Media Platforms and Community Building: Cundill and Resler examine the evolving role of social media platforms in community building, discussing recent changes and trends in content creation and distribution.

Building a Community for Arts and Entertainment Brands: Cundill and Resler explore strategies for building communities around arts and entertainment brands, emphasizing the importance of identifying target audiences and tailoring content to their needs.

Community Building and Rewards in Podcasting: Cundill and Resler discuss the value of incentives and rewards in community building, sharing insights on fostering engagement and strengthening relationships with listeners.

In this engaging discussion, Cundill and Resler offer valuable insights and practical strategies for navigating the evolving landscape of podcasting and community marketing.



Tara Sands (Voiceover)  00:02

The Sound Off Podcast. The show about podcast and broadcast starts now.

Matt Cundill  00:13

Seth Resler has appeared on the show a few times before as digital dot connector at Jacobs media. We spoke about what radio can do in the digital sandbox. We also talked about the skills personalities have, and being more than just what's on your resume. We've also done an episode on his podcast The Debrief, which was a geo-local show about the arts and entertainment scene in Detroit. Now you may not have caught this over the Christmas holidays and New Year's, but Seth departed Jacobs Media and started Community Marketing Revolution. I'm excited for Seth, because throughout the pandemic, we have been talking about the power of community when it comes to your podcast, your radio station, your show, your- whatever you got. If your only idea of metrics has been Cume, TSL, downloads and impressions, Seth is about to change your thinking. Now Seth Resler joins me from Detroit. Seth, how you been? Ah, that's not the first question, I'm kidding.

Seth Resler  01:08

Oh, okay.

Matt Cundill  01:10

No, I'm not kidding. Seth, how you been?

Seth Resler  01:14

I'm good. I'm good. How have you been?

Matt Cundill  01:17

I've been really good.

Seth Resler  01:17

Is it too late to say Happy New Year?

Matt Cundill  01:19

Let me be the last to wish you a happy new year.

Seth Resler  01:22

Yeah, yes, you too.

Matt Cundill  01:24

Yeah. Last we spoke was at- was at Podcast Movement. But I didn't necessarily see this coming that you would be departing from- from Jacobs Media. Yeah,

Seth Resler  01:33

Yeah, this is- this is exciting. I mean, this is something that I have been- it's been rolling around in the back of my head. And I've been thinking about for a long time, and finally pulled the trigger. My last day with Jacobs Media was December 31st, end of last year, and I just announced last week, as we're recording this, that I've got a brand new boutique agency. It's called Community Marketing Revolution. And really what I want to focus on is showing arts and entertainment brands. That includes radio and television broadcasters. But it also cos- also includes things like museums or event producers, or really anybody in the arts and entertainment industry. I want to show them how to launch and grow their own community. And it's something that's just really been a fascination of mine for a couple years now.

Matt Cundill  02:16

So you got to Jacobs Media in 2015, we had you on the podcast a number of times, and always excited to talk to you because we talked a lot about the digital space and how radio interacted in there. When you started in 2015 to when you left in 2023, I'm not going to stick this on you like like pin the tail on the donkey and say, did you leave it in a better place than you found it? But when you look at radio and how they're interacting with digital today, how much improvement has there been?

Seth Resler  02:17

Same. Not enough, to be blunt. The strategy that I learned, and my history is that I came up through alternative rock radio, I was an on air guy. And then I was a program director, I was one of these guys that moved from city to city and bounced every couple of years and packed up all my stuff, and was fortunate to work at some great radio stations. I left and went into Silicon Valley, which is where I grew up, and learned a lot of digital marketing tactics there. And in particular, learned content marketing, which is a strategy that we all know as broadcasters, which is create content, attract an audience and then monetize that audience. But companies were really starting to use that strategy, really online, in a way that radio broadcasters were not. And so my goal was to bring that content marketing strategy to broadcasters. And frankly, it was- it was tough, it was uphill, because they don't have the resources in terms of staff and budget for this, and what's really happening out there- and one of the things that ultimately led me to community building- was that there's just this content arms race, just everybody is pumping out more and more and more content. I mean, I was thinking about it as I'm putting together this speech. I was the music director at The End in Seattle, and I was an off air music director at a radio station that had an off air PD, an off air APD, an off air promotions director, an off air assistant promotions director. First of all, you don't see those kinds of off air positions anymore at all. But back then we really had two content streams, we had the stuff that went over the air, and we were putting out an email newsletter once a week. Now, radio broadcasters are being asked to put out all these different content streams. Not only what goes over the air, not only the email newsletter, but obviously everything to social media, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, podcasts, YouTube videos, you name it, they have to pump out that much more content, and they have far less staff and far less budget to do so. And meanwhile, everybody else is pumping out more content too. So there's- there's just this situation where there's just too much damn content out there, and we're drowning in it, and broadcasters are struggling to keep up. So too much content. Is that a problem for the consumer? It's a problem for the people who are making the content, and choices need to be made. So help me, because we're creating content right now. What are some of the things you're going to look at in order to cut through the clutter? Yeah, I mean, look, it's great for the consumer. It's never been better for the consumer, there are more choices than ever. There were two Hollywood strikes last year. I didn't notice either one, because my backlog of content that I had to consume was so big that, you know, the extent of the impact of the strike in my household was, hey, do you wanna watch Saturday Night Live? No, I think they're on strike this week. Oh, okay. We'll watch something else. That- that was it. So it's- it's great for the consumer. There are more viewpoints that are being offered through content that weren't offered before. But yeah, it's- it's really tough for the content creators, and particularly the content creators that are creating big expensive content that takes a lot of money and a lot of effort to get out, you know, the everyday person who's just going there and shooting something on YouTube and has figured out how to monetize that, they're doing fine. And you're seeing it in the legacy media companies, which suffered huge layoffs last year, over 20,000 media jobs last year. And I think that's a result of just too much content. And these revenue models that are left over from a world where there were three television networks, there were a couple of newspapers and a handful of radio stations in each market. And that was it. That was all you were competing against when you were looking for the audience's attention. Now, there's so much that we're competing against, that those old revenue models just aren't working anymore.

Matt Cundill  06:32

Yeah, I didn't want to let you know that I found it a problem for consumers of content. When I think of a problem for consumers consuming content, I think of the hide and seek game that has to be played in order to find it. It's harder to find, so yeah, a different problem. But- but to your point, yeah, I didn't really notice there was a writer's strike either.

Seth Resler  06:52

There is that. The way that I describe it is, my girlfriend and I have a ritual, right? We like- at night, we sit down on the couch, we log into Netflix, or Hulu, or Amazon Prime, there's 600 shows, we've never heard of any of them. Right? And here's what happens to us is we- you know, we'll sit there, we'll watch a trailer, and neither one of us will like it, we'll pass. We'll watch a trailer, I'll like it, but she has veto power. So we pass. Watch a trailer, it's the flip, we start cross referencing things against Rotten Tomatoes. And before we know it an hour and a half has gone by and we've done nothing but watch trailers. And it's like, okay, it's time to go to bed. So yes, there is that- that too much choice, and the paralysis that comes with that. That's one of the things that I started to notice, is that now I have a conversation, every time I get together with friends. There's a point inevitably where the conversation turns to, so what have you been watching lately? And every single television show I've found out about has been from other people, it's been filtered through my community. So that's how I found out about, you know, The Bear or Abbott Elementary or all these other shows that I've been watching, is somebody told me about them. So that was one of the things that ultimately led me to this community space, was watching community become the filter that people are using to wade through all the content.

Matt Cundill  08:07

And some of the things that you've done, we actually dedicated a whole episode to this, was the geo-local podcast when you were doing The Debrief. I kind of felt when you were doing The Debrief, which was a Detroit based show, that that's a community, that's in Detroit, so- but this is different, what you're doing. How does geolocation sort of factor into community building?

Seth Resler  08:29

Yeah, so The Debrief ultimately led me to the community space, I wouldn't say that The Debrief as a podcast was a community, it reflected a community. And I want to get specific here, because this is a word that gets thrown around a lot, particularly in the radio space, where we go, oh, my DJs are local, so community, or oh, we do a concert calendar or we do local news, so community. What we're really talking about when we talk about community is that we are building a space for people who have a shared mission, a shared goal, to get together and connect with each other. What happened with The Debrief is we were producing content. We were producing multiple episodes a week that were- you know, we interviewed over 300 museum curators, restaurant critics, comedy club owners, just anybody involved in the arts and culture scene. And there was this global pandemic, shut everything down. We didn't want to sit there and go, oh, we're doing another episode. Hey, this restaurant, guess what, they got curbside pickup this week, you know, it just got old. And so we- you know, I hate to use the word, but we did what everybody did, we pivoted, and I discovered some virtual event software. And we started hosting these meetups for Detroit artists and entertainers, where they could come together and network and mingle and meet with each other. And it was in a lot of ways similar, but- but totally different. And it was really what we wanted, was that we were creating a space where people could come together and could connect with one another. And that's what I mean, I think, when- when we say community, so it grew out of that. But it wasn't that to begin with, it was just sort of a reflection of that. And that ultimately led me to starting to look into the community building space, starting to really study it, starting to look at what Silicon Valley companies in particular are doing with community building and how that works. And ultimately led me to launch this company.

Matt Cundill  10:21

I felt in the pandemic for radio stations, that- and we saw this with the numbers- is that, you know, a lot of the commuter listening disappeared. And what morning shows and stations were really left with was the diehards, people who listen twice as much and longer. And community began to get born out of that, as well. And so much so, I mean, you had the software that you were doing, for instance, the P odcast Academy, we all got together to do that. We did some with Podcast Movement, we did a bunch of stuff like that. And I really liked, you know, getting that stuff together. So tell me about the piece of software, and what you learned from getting us together on all those meetups during the pandemic, when we were so lonely.

Seth Resler  11:03

Yeah, so this software is called Remo, it's not mine. You know, I stumbled into it. Actually, where we found it was- Jacobs Media every year put together a VIP tour of CES when we take out, you know, radio executives to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And one year, at the very last minute, CES said, nope, we're going virtual. And so we were scrambling, we didn't know how to put it all together. And we found out about this platform, actually, from CMB, the Christian Music Broadcasters, and I had about two weeks to learn how to use this platform. And it's a great platform, you've been on it, you've been to some of the events, it's essentially got two modes. One mode is called presentation mode, which is- it's a webinar, it's- you know, just everybody's looking at the same thing. And there's a chat box on the side. The other mode is called conversation mode. And what happens in that is, you are looking at a floorplan of a ballroom. And if you double click on a table, you join that table. And now you are video conference with everybody at that table. And you can move from table to table to table of your own accord. So unlike Zoom, where you're locked into a breakout room, you can kind of walk around the room and meet people. And that's what I found that it was really valuable for was, you know, if you've got just a meeting with 8 people who all know each other, Zoom is fine. But if you want people to make new connections, to meet new people, this platform was great for it. We had a moment where we were hosting one of these meetups for Detroit artists and entertainers and guy comes, you know, I asked him what he does. He says I fix up computers, and I give them to kids who can't afford computers. He said, I want to turn it into a nonprofit organization. And I said, well, what do you need to do that? He said, well, I need more computers, and I need more kids. And I said, okay, you should meet this woman. Her name is Anne Jatamac. She runs a nonprofit called Arts and Scraps, which does essentially the same thing, but for art supplies. And I pulled her over and I introduced the two of them. And I sat and I watched them talk for 45 minutes. And what I later found out is they now talk about once a month, they're still in contact, and she has given him a lot of advice. And he's actually been able to turn this into a nonprofit organization. He's in three states now. And so it's that kind of moment, those connections, that where you don't expect that something's going to come out of it. But something does. And it's great. And it turns out that there's a word for it, the word is serendipity. And you cannot make serendipity happen. But you can do what's called engineering serendipity, you can create conditions under which serendipity is more likely to happen. And that's what we're doing when we're talking about building spaces where community members can gather, is we are creating conditions under which those kinds of just fortuitous connections can happen, and maybe something great can come out of it. Maybe somebody forms a band or forms a company or gets married, you know, you never know. That's what it is. And so we started doing these virtual events, and started playing with them in other arenas. Like you said, I did one for Podcast Movement, we did one for the podcast editors club, did various others, and started to learn how you create that space and how you make that serendipity happen. And that's- that was what was really exciting for me.

Matt Cundill  14:05

So let's talk a little bit about generating revenue. Because some of the most unhappy podcasters I have dealt with in the last couple of years are the ones who are waiting for ad money to make their lives happier. And that's hard. And it's just one way to monetize. The most successful podcasters I've found are the ones that do have some form of community, something to sell inside there, and are generating revenues many, many different ways. And I think you've already identified that. So tell me a little bit about why that relationship that you have with your community is going to lead you to more ways to monetize.

Seth Resler  14:41

Yeah, I think because it becomes really obvious who to monetize to, or how to monetize it, who the sponsors are going to be. You know, one of the examples that I always kept coming back to and I always kept looking at are, you know, Dan and Jarrett, our friends who are running Podcast Movement, and what they have built with that conference, I think, is really amazing. And I think they would tell you that some of the community building aspects of it, they didn't purposely build, they kind of stumbled into it, but- but they knew enough to recognize it and grow it and feed it. Look, at the end of the day, Podcast Movement, largest podcasting conference in the world, about 3000 people. 3000 is not a huge number. I mean, just for comparison's sake, I used to DJ in a club in Providence on Saturday nights and we'd get almost that many people in in the club, right? It's not huge. But if you're Rode Microphones, you know, and you've got the RodeCaster 2, and all these different, you know, gear that you built specifically for podcasters, you need to be there, right? Like this is marked on your calendar, well, in advance, you don't care if the staff's got COVID, we're going to Podcast Movement, because it's that important, because it's everybody that you need to be in touch with, in one place. And I think that's what happens with community. But this is why a community has to be a group of people with a shared mission, whatever that is, a shared goal. You know, in the case of Podcast Movement, we're all podcasters who want to become better podcasters. And so we get together, and we talk to each other and communicate with each other, trade tips and tricks and things like that. And that's why it works. So I'm going to be speaking in Las Vegas later this week, and I'm speaking to alternative rock and rock radio program directors, and I used to be one of them. And if I were still a program director, the community that I would start with would be a community of local musicians, is how do we build a space for local musicians to come together? And, you know, how can we help them become better local musicians? And frankly, I think if you did that, the sponsors would be obvious, like Guitar Center, you know. What? You've got everybody who plays a guitar all in one roof? Yes, absolutely. I want to- I want to sponsor that. So I think it makes sense, once you have a real handle on who your community is, exactly how you monetize it, and it becomes a no brainer for the sponsors to get on board.

Matt Cundill  16:54

Well, if 3000 is not that much, you're going to be disappointed with this podcast, because that's what we get for downloads every month.

Seth Resler  17:02

But the thing is- is it's the right people. I mean, you probably have radio broadcasters and podcasters listening to this, you know, and if it's the right people, that's what matters. I mean, I think coming from radio, we're all used to the- what we always called the spray and pray technique when it comes to advertising. It's just hit everybody and hope that some of the right people are in the audience and respond. This is the idea of, let's go after the right people. And it's okay if we're hitting fewer people overall, as long as we're- we're hitting the people that we really need to be talking to.

Matt Cundill  17:34

Yeah, and I think back to Dan and Jared, and Podcast Movement, and the Facebook group that they have has 50,000 people in it.

Seth Resler  17:42

Oh, it's- it's more than that. It's like 80,000, 90,000, it's up there now. It's huge.

Matt Cundill  17:47

Yeah, and most of the people in there don't even know that it's attached to a podcast conference.

Seth Resler  17:52

Right. And this is one of the things that I really wanted to- to work on, is that there were these various pieces. And we've touched on some of them. Virtual events, in person events, online groups, like a Facebook group, like a LinkedIn group. And so you had those different pieces. And I was very curious about how those pieces work together. I mean, this is coming back to my days as the digital dot connector of Jacobs Media, how do you connect those dots, put them together? And if you want to launch your own community, what do you start with? And what goes first, and what goes second, and what goes third? You know, it's- it's tough to launch a huge event like that right out of the gate, because it's a lot of money and it's a lot of time and it's a lot of risk if you don't know if you're gonna have people who show up, so I've been working on that community building blueprint. That's ultimately what this new company's built around.

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Matt Cundill  19:14

I can't remember if I was on a show, or I was a part of the show. But the word community came up like five times during the podcast about- I think, something about how to grow your podcast, and I do a few of these things every week. I didn't mention it. But I think maybe in the roundtable discussion, it came up many, many times. But I also think that there are platforms like Facebook that are beginning to identify and understand the power of community, and I'll give this example of the conspiracy theory that I thought up in the middle of a yoga class. And that's- Facebook is, in the community groups, has stopped allowing video companies like Streamyard, third party wants to come in to stream content into Facebook. They're cutting that off, and I think Facebook has probably had a meeting with itself and determined that well, we want to keep the video in house, and we want to be the sole proprietary people of who- who would carry that video and sell the message. So how's my conspiracy theory doing? And I guess the question I would ask you is, when it comes to social media, and you've been around all these platforms and places to put your content, how should we be interacting with them?

Seth Resler  20:18

The decision you're talking about with regard to video and Facebook groups, I mean, surprised me as well. I'm in the eCam Live community, which is, you know, a sort of another version of Streamyard. And there's been a lot of talk about it there. And I know people in that community that are actually considering, okay, do we need to migrate our community to someplace else, because of this decision? I don't know why Facebook made that decision. Here's how I tend to think about it. I tend to think that when it comes to the internet and digital tools, over the course of the first 30-40 years of the internet, one of the big stories was publishing tools becoming more accessible to more people, that 30 years ago, if you wanted to reach a mass audience, you needed a printing press, a radio station, a television, you know, studio, something like that. And dozens of specialized experts in order to run it. It was hard. Now, anybody with a cell phone and internet connection can publish to the entire world. It's become much easier to create content and to publish that way. So I think you have this first class of tools that came from the internet, that are essentially publishing tools, you know, things like WordPress, things like YouTube, things like TikTok. You're now seeing the rise of this second class of tools that are space-building tools, where you can create a space for people to come together. And that's things like Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, but also Slack. Also Zoom, also Discord, also these virtual event platforms, where you can build a space. Facebook is kind of unique in that Facebook and LinkedIn, have a little of both, right? Your Facebook newsfeed is essentially a publishing tool. But Facebook groups, which really is the main thing that I use Facebook for these days, that is a space-building tool. And again, LinkedIn has that too. But there is no- there's no real space building tool, for example, on Instagram, or Tiktok, where people can sort of come together and gather. They can comment on each other's stuff, but it's not the same thing. And so I tend to think of it that way. And I tend to think of, where are we going to build this online group? What tool are we going to use to do it? Facebook groups, you know, for a lot of reasons is a- is a good tool for something like that. But then sometimes some people make a decision to go somewhere else, to another platform, to do that as well.

Matt Cundill  22:31

Yeah, I was thinking about things like Instagram, and Reels and TikToks. Those are turning into TV channels, YouTube as well. It's really- there's not a lot of community involved there, other than I like to laugh by myself.

Seth Resler  22:43

Yeah, there was a- I guess, I think it was- I think it was the Atlantic had an article a couple of years ago, where they talked about social media, the evolution of social media, and how in the beginning, the emphasis was on the social part of social media, that really, this was a place to post photos of your kids, so that all your family members can see them. And it was really about impressing people that we already were connected to, that we already knew. At some point, social media pivoted and became about media, and really the media side of that equation, and became about creating content for people that we didn't know, where we're all creating television, you know, where we're all trying to do that. And I don't like that side of social media as much, because it's just- we're all content creators, we're all trying to attract our own audience, and everybody's just trying to scream and cut through and get their 15 minutes of fame. I prefer the relationship side of it, I prefer building those, and having those conversations and building those relationships.

Matt Cundill  23:39

So one of the things that I've started to do is look at podcasts as having value, not necessarily in the number of downloads that you can get, but in its ability to get and to garner a community. When I started building podcasts for people, people are like, well, who do you take? And I said, I like entrepreneurs, companies and performers. How did I get to that? Well, that's the people who are calling me for help. And I see that's kind of a lot of the same thing that you're doing. But you know, comedians and bands and people who do festivals and Podcast Movement type grouping of people, but you know, it could also be churches, and it can also be bands. So, who's right to build a community? And I think it's everybody, isn't it?

Seth Resler  24:22

Yeah, you know, I mean, it is everybody. And that was actually one of the things I struggled with when we first started this, you know, I met with an advisor, and I sat down and I said, I want to do this community building thing, and they said, great, who can use this? And I said, well, everybody, and she goes, that's a terrible answer. That can't be your answer. And she said something that I really thought about a lot. She said, look, it's not just about who could benefit from this, because may- you may be right, maybe everybody can. It's also, who do you want to work with every day when you get up in the morning? Who excites you? And that wasn't hard for me to figure out. I stopped and took a look my own life, and the running theme throughout my entire life is I like working with what I'll call artisans. And this is sort of a- it's arts and entertainment, but it's a broad interpretation of arts and entertainment. I've done stuff, you know, starting with musicians and disc jockeys, people who view what they do as a craft, and do something that's public facing. But then I started working a lot with restaurants, with food tour owners, operators, you know, I started working with comedians, and I started working with festival producers. And I started working with, you know, all these folks. And I really enjoyed it. I love that part of it. And so that was where I decided to say, okay, I want to do community building for arts and entertainment brands. You know, again, I'll do it for somebody else, if they come along. If you've got a bank, and you want to build a community around it, I'm not going to tell you no. But the folks that I get really excited about working with every day are those folks that view what they do as a craft, and something in the arts and entertainment space.

Matt Cundill  26:00

And sometimes I'll say the same with a podcast. I'll go oh, there's a podcast here. And I remember back to a story that Fred Jacobs had where he was in a focus group. And somebody in the focus group said, I just love the recipes that he posts. And the personality was like, hey, you know, there's a podcast here of all the great things you're cooking at home, that you could talk about not. We're not talking about community building, but- just yet, but oh, there's a podcast in that. So I have a podcast, but I'm not thinking community wise yet. I've just been doing a podcast, I could build my business and do things. What's the mindset that I need to do to start thinking, oh, there's a community here, and I should be building that?

Seth Resler  26:44

So first and foremost, you know, I saw somebody post about this on LinkedIn the other day, and they were thinking, oh, I've got a podcast, how do I build a community around it? Frankly, I think you should start with I've got a community, and how do I build content for that community? I think it goes the other way around, really. Again, what it comes down to is when we talk about building a community, what we're talking about is creating a space for a group of people who have some sort of shared mission to come together and connect with each other. So the first thing is, much like the first thing in radio, it's- it's figuring out who your community members are, and what is their mission? Great formulation for thinking about this is we are a group of x, who gathered to do y, because we believe in z, you know, and if you can fill in the attributes of your community members there, I think you're in a good space to start. But if you can't, I think it's problematic. I think you've really got to dial in, who are the community members and what are they trying to do? And we say, what are they trying to do- it's about what the members are trying to do, not just the organizers. Take Podcast Movement, for example, right? I mean, you and I would both consider ourselves part of the Podcast Movement community. Our goal is not to sell more tickets to Podcast Movement, that may be Dan and Jared's goal. But that's not our goal, our goal was to become better podcasters. That's the shared goal that we all have. A side benefit of that community for Dan and Jared is that it sells more tickets to their conference. But really, that's- that's the mission. And so I think once you figured out what the shared mission is, then I think you start to go, okay, what content can we create that will help people on that journey? Again, it's a lot of brainstorming. It's a lot of sitting here and going okay, what do we know about podcasters? I like to use personas, because I came up in radio, and that's an exercise that we always use to create personas as stand ins for the audience, to help us think about what kind of content the audience would like. Now, it's what kind of content would appeal to the community members? And so you think about podcasters. And you think about, you know, what are the things that they're all struggling to figure out? How do I get my podcast into iTunes? Or Apple podcasts, showing my age, there. Apple podcasts. How do I get my podcast into Spotify? What mic do I use, things like that, and creating content around that. And then if you've got some folks who are more advanced in the podcasting space, you know, you create content for them as well. But you also create opportunities for them to come together and connect. And so, is that answering your question? Is that telling you where to- where to go? And how to think about it?

Matt Cundill  29:12

Absolutely. Yeah, a lot of people, they push me first, and I go, well, why would I do that? Or why would I want to do that? And I'll give you an example, going back to 2013. There was somebody on our digital team out of Toronto, I'll credit the person, it's Ira Haberman, who said you know, Matt, you should really think about this. Go find the person or the people who are opening up the newsletter every single day and getting to the end, and your heavy, super heavy users of your product. Go and give them a bunch of concert tickets to give away to their people, and tell other people about the radio station. Let them do the walking and the talking for you. And I said, well that sounds like a crazy idea, to give the prize pig or the over active person the- the tickets, but no, it's brilliant. And that was a form of of community building, the very same thing that you said, which is, oh, we're going to tell people about Podcast Movement if we're getting some benefit out of it in our community, and telling other people about the community.

Seth Resler  30:13

Yeah, I think that's absolutely right. I think that's a big part of community is- in some ways, it's just- it's crowdsourcing, right? It's getting folks out there to do some of the work and be a part of it. And I think rewarding them for that is key. I will say that- and this is one of the things I learned as I started to study the space. You know, we all come from radio. So we're used to that term prize pig, which is just the guy who shows up and always wants to win all the prizes and participates in all the contests. And I think we always used to think of t-shirts and swag. And we thought of that wrong. And I credit David Spinks, who was the head of CMX, and talks about this in his book, about the difference between internal motivations and external motivations. The guys who are reading your newsletter to the end are doing it not because they want concert tickets, or because they want cash, or because they want some sort of, you know, monetary reward. They're doing it because they care, and because they feel good about it. And so how can you come up with rewards that reward that internal motivation, not the external motivation? One way to think about this is, if I need a ride to the airport, I can call Uber to have them take me, and they are externally motivated. If I pay them, they will do it. If I don't, they will not. I can also call up a friend of mine and say, hey, Joe, will you take me to the airport? And Joe is gonna say yes, and it's not a quid pro quo, Joe's just going to do it, because he's internally motivated. And if I thank Joe with- by taking him out to dinner, it's not, oh, I have to give Joe this in order to get a ride to the airport. It's- it's just a sign of my appreciation for him and for the relationship. And I think as you start to think about how can you reward people in your community, I think think about it that way, don't think about it as I'm bribing them, or they're prize pigs, think about I'm, you know, acknowledging the relationship, and showing them how much I appreciate it. And so in the community space, they talk about a lot of the different ways to do this. And frankly, it has a lot to do with status, with access, with letting people know that they are helping other people, because that's why people are motivated by it, they want to- they just want to help other people, you know, and so you can reward them, for example, with inside sneak peeks at something before anybody else gets to see it, right? Like that's just a status thing that a diehard fan- you know, think about being a diehard Taylor Swift Fan, if you got to hear the brand new Taylor Swift song before everybody else, that means something to you, even though there's no monetary value to that. So yeah, I mean, I think rewards play a role. I always come back to the bumper stickers and the  t-shirts, that we frankly, for the most part, stopped giving away in radio, right? This swag. And I think that was a mistake. And I think what we didn't realize is that we're giving these to people who already love us, who are already fans. And it's not about bribing them to listen, or- or hoping that they become billboards to convince other people to listen. It's about rewarding them and acknowledging that relationship. Hey, we appreciate you as a listener, and so we want to send this to you to show how much we appreciate you as a listener. I think that that's really important.

Matt Cundill  33:13

As you're having that example, about the ride to the airport, I'm remembering back to your trip going to Podcast Movement where your car broke down on the way to the airport. Yes,

Seth Resler  33:23

Yes it did. Yes it did. That was not fun.

Matt Cundill  33:28

Yeah, the whole story came back.

Seth Resler  33:30

But you know, you know who- who I wound up riding back with on the way home, because I didn't have my car at the airport, was- was JAG. Was Jon Gay, who I know is a regular on your podcast.

Matt Cundill  33:41

Yeah, one of the Podcast Super Friends, we have an entirely other podcast called the Podcast Super Friends, of which we continue to build community around that. We all-

Seth Resler  33:50

Right, and again, you know, Jon wasn't- it wasn't a- yes, I'll give you a ride home. But you got to buy me a beer. Like it was just, you know, it's- it's that- that's what you do.

Matt Cundill  34:00

This is tremendously exciting that you're- that you're in here. And for those who want to reach out, you got a couple of offerings. One of them I see is a newsletter. And by the way, I just started up my newsletter again, because I'm taking my pages out of your book. So sign up for the Soundoff newsletter. Oh, and by the way, thank you very much for- you're the first person to ever say- we are doing this on video, right?

Seth Resler  34:22

Yeah. And I have a face for radio. We know the old joke, and I don't feel entirely comfortable on video the whole time because I'm a radio guy, but video's where it's all going man. You know, I think you gotta be there.

Matt Cundill  34:36 is the website, when we go there, I think there's two things that we pay attention to. One of them is the newsletter, and I think there's an opportunity where we can get together and reach out to you for some consulting.

Seth Resler  34:48

Yes. And if I could direct people to one thing in there in particular, there is a guide to- called 50 Ways to Monetize a Community, because I know that that's what- people are all sitting there going okay, this community stuff sounds all fine and good. But at the end of the day, how do I generate revenue from it? And so I actually spelled that out, and you can download that for free and look through it. Hopefully there's something there and you go, oh, that makes sense for what I do. That makes sense for what I'm doing.

Matt Cundill  35:14

Seth, thanks so much for being on the show. It's great. Thank you.

Seth Resler  35:17

Yeah! Thank you for having me, Matt. It's good to see you.

Tara Sands (Voiceover)  35:20

The Sound Off Podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Surminski. Edited by Chloe Emond-Lane. Social media by Aidan Glassey. Another great creation from the Soundoff Media Company. There's always more at


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