‘Trendy Knowledge’ Is a Media Sensation

Chris Williamson is a modern-day polymath with a becoming podcast. It’s known as “Trendy Knowledge.” Launched in 2018, it’s skilled a whopping 30 million downloads throughout 400 episodes.

He informed me, “We speak about human nature, advertising and marketing, philosophy, life, life hacks, biohacking, health, well being, just about every part.”

The podcast seems on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, amongst different portals. He’s on main social channels, and he’s began an e-mail publication.

“Trendy Knowledge” is a media sensation, in different phrases. In our latest dialog, he and I mentioned the challenges of continuous content material manufacturing, development techniques, and extra.

Our complete audio dialogue is embedded under. The following transcript is edited for size and readability.

Eric Bandholz: It’s at all times enjoyable speaking with different podcasters. Inform us about your present.

Chris Williamson: I run “Trendy Knowledge,” a podcast from the U.Ok. with roughly 400 episodes so far. I’ve interviewed outstanding friends corresponding to authors Ryan Holliday, James Clear, and Seth Godin. We speak about human nature, advertising and marketing, philosophy, life, life hacks, biohacking, health, well being, just about every part.

I’m additionally a membership promoter by commerce. I’ve spent a lot time filling nightclubs with younger guys and ladies within the U.Ok. who need to exit and get drunk. And that’s given me an fascinating overview of how advertising and marketing works, particularly with model constructing. That’s actually what retailers are competing on.

It might sound unusual going from membership promotions to a podcast. There’s a connection, nevertheless.

Bandholz: Why podcasts?

Williamson: I loved guesting on podcasts. The easiest way to do extra is to have my very own present. It’s just like people who convert avocations into occupations. Somebody as soon as gave me good recommendation for what to do in life. He stated, “Take into consideration what your folks ask you to do. In the event that they ask in your assist in relationships, perhaps you’re relationship coach. If it’s enterprise wants, then maybe you’re a enterprise coach.”

I really like having conversations. So I made a decision to begin the podcast. It’s been three and a half years, 400 episodes, 30 million downloads — I’m not slowing down.

I’m doing three episodes per week now. I initially did one per week.

Bandholz: How do you line up three folks per week?

Williamson: I ebook my friends about two months upfront. I can see the place I’ve received gaps. The extra outstanding the visitor, the tougher to nail down.

The worst-case situation is when friends reschedule on the final minute or don’t present up.

One concern I had with rising the frequency is that it will unfold the identical variety of performs over extra episodes — extra work for a similar publicity. Fortuitously, my viewers listens to every installment for essentially the most half.

I’ve received advertisers on the present. The extra episodes, the extra advert stock. And with extra listeners, I can get away with going from one advert per present to a few, max. I’m not a fan of mid-roll advertisements.

When it comes to earnings, I can now rent an assistant. My video man can spend extra time on the undertaking as a result of he’s higher remunerated. We’ve received a man taking care of social. So I’m slowly constructing the staff.

Bandholz: How do you develop a podcast?

Williamson: YouTube is improbable for development. Any podcaster that isn’t utilizing YouTube is lacking out. It’s troublesome to develop an audio platform alone as a result of there’s no “up subsequent” auto-play. There’s nothing trending. There aren’t any urged podcasts.

The easiest way I’ve discovered to develop the audio performs is by crushing YouTube. We deal with it. It’s the vast finish of our acquisition funnel.

That stated, hyperlink to the audio while you tag a visitor on-line. One play on audio is price about 100 on YouTube. The identical goes for subscribers. We’ve received a couple of quarter of one million subscribers on YouTube. That many on audio can be unbelievable. So it’s a matter of discovering new listeners and filtering them right down to audio listeners.

If I uncover a brand new podcast on YouTube, I’ll subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. I’m not going to observe each one in all them, however I would pay attention.

Bandholz: Are you producing your episodes with YouTube in thoughts?

Williamson: They’re optimized for each — video and audio. We’ve stepped up the standard on YouTube over the previous 18 months. I’m filming on a stunning DSLR digicam. We’ve received a compelling intro and outro. We’re making use of finish playing cards and tags. We rebranded and redesigned the thumbnails. We did that for YouTube, however we additionally get good audio episodes.

Our development on YouTube is solely natural, I ought to add.

Bandholz: So it’s full episodes on YouTube after which clip them for audio.

Williamson: Sure. Watching an hour and a half dialog is a big dedication. Listening to shorter clips is far simpler. If the clip is fascinating, they could watch the complete episode.

Plus, repurposing from the principle podcast video into clips with totally different codecs works nicely. It’s the identical viewers that’s following on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. In case your staff understands the edit, your voice, and what you need, the entire thing turns into an infinite flywheel of content material. File your long-form piece and cut up it up for YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, no matter.

It’s an infinite content material engine. A visitor as soon as used the right analogy. He stated, “It’s such as you write a ebook and promote it by the sentence.” So no matter model you might be, produce long-form and even medium-form content material after which divvy it up.

Bandholz: Who decides methods to clip the content material from the grasp model?

Williamson: The social media staff can do no matter they need. We now have a full-time marketing consultant who understands my messaging. He listens to the present, which, by the way, is a aggressive benefit. In the event that they hearken to it as a result of they need to, your workers is motivated and aligned. So the social staff has full autonomy. Nevertheless, I resolve the vital YouTube stuff — tags, titles, thumbnails.

I’m all for outsourcing duties. However you may take that too far. There’s a motive I’m saying sure issues and addressing particular subjects. My staff wants to know the important factors and goal. In any other case, it’s on me to get it proper.

Each time I’ve seen content material producers completely outsource the vital choices, their channel underperforms and turns into soulless. It’s apparent that it’s not coming from the creator.

Bandholz: Is your income solely promoting? Any ecommerce?

Williamson: No ecommerce. Promoting pays the payments. I a lot choose rising income by way of extra performs. One of many greatest issues that we did during the last 18 months was launch a weekly e-mail publication, which I really like. We’re as much as about 25,000 subscribers with an open charge of about 40%.

The publication is named “3 Minute Monday.” It’s an perception into one thing I’ve been pondering. Plus, there’s a life hack in every situation.

Bandholz: What do you visualize your life being?  After you’ve reached a nirvana enterprise, what’s subsequent?

Williamson: I need to deal with conversations with folks. There’s not a lot in my life now that I might eliminate. I like what I do. I like doing the analysis, as an illustration.

My two longtime enterprise companions — one for nightclubs and my video man for Trendy Knowledge — are each pals. They have been pals that turned enterprise companions. I do know that that’s fraught with hazard, however I’ve managed to get fortunate.

Bandholz: The place can folks be taught extra about you?

Williamson: Trendy Knowledge is on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever else you pay attention. We’ve mentioned my YouTube and Instagram channels. Plus, I’m on Twitter. I’ve revealed on my web site a free checklist of 100 books — fiction and nonfiction — which have influenced my pondering.

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