Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Security Now 600th Episode

Congratulations Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte on your 600th episode of Security Now!  I recall skipping over this show when I first started at TWiT.tv because I didn't understand the content and after a few years it became one of my favorite shows.  I look forward to listening to it each and every week, and I look forward to another 600 episodes.




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Podcast Advertising Advice

Now that podcasts are hot I've noticed the rise of "podcast sales experts" that have minimal sales experience but tout themselves as experts and sell their advice for profit. It's sad that so many people are trying to profit from podcasts without actually working and my best advice it to speak to someone who really sells for a living. I've worked with Podtrac, now Authentic, for years, and they had sound advice and inspired me to create Artisanal Agency.  My boutique agency super-serves tech podcast audiences by working closely with tech networks, sales brokers, sales agencies, and direct clients.  I continue to work with Authentic today, and they don't charge for their sales advice, and neither do I.



Friday, September 16, 2016

Host-Read Ads




I'm following a series of articles from NeimanLab's and while I think there is some padding to the numbers I agree with several points they make about host-read ads.  If you are a podcaster or a podcast network, then you should follow the series and read the articles and today my focus is on their latest article Host-Read Ads by Ken Doctor.

The biggest challenge that Artisanal Agency faces is the lack of downloads on a show. The smaller the show, the harder the sale. The larger the show, the easier the sale. Advertisers want audience reach, and our most successful podcast sales are for shows with over 50K downloads an episode. Weekly podcasts are more successful than daily, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or monthly.  

If you want to have a successful ad-supported podcast, then focus on growing your audience, and then ad sales will follow.





Sunday, August 28, 2016

Artisanal Agency Evolves




One year ago I launched Artisanal Agency, and have made progress in moving my company forward, and I have also struggled with setbacks. It is now time for me to make tough but positive changes if I am going to succeed in my new venture.

First, I need to stay true to my initial business goal which is to partner with high-integrity networks, and I have learned that it is ok to walk away from amateurs.  In 2017 my deck will be reduced to 25% of what I signed in 2016, and it's the smartest decision that I have made this year.  I also learned that the podcast advertising space is still the wild west, and most networks do not know how to navigate through the sales landscape, which is what I have mastered over the last five years at TWiT.tv, but new networks do not want experienced advice, and they need to discover it themselves.  Hence why I am moving on from amateurs because my time is valuable and I can focus my energy on networks who value my partnership and actually want to go forward today.

Second, I need to work on my team and add personnel who want to partner with me and grow Artisanal Agency.  This requires my time to interview and hire employees with a startup mentality as I do not need another employee, I want team members with an entrepreneurial attitude.

Third, I need to modify my sales pitch.  Leading with integrity, facts, passion, and honesty are not enough to close sales deals for podcast networks in this digital world.  Most advertisers want to track campaigns similar to Facebook, banner, Google ads, and they do not understand the value of host-read ads and the impact generated from them.  I am taking Lynda.com courses, talking with experts/colleagues in my field, and listening to "Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal" by Oren Kaff.

I am intrigued by his STRONG approach:
Setting the frame
Telling the story
Revealing the intrigue
Offering the prize
Nailing the hookpoint
Getting a decision

Finally, I am reaching out and joining professional organizations who face the same challenges as me as well as adding an executive coach to my team.  I realized that I do not have enough equals in my organization, and I need to grow as an entrepreneur in this space.  I believe Sir Isaac Newton said it best, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Goodbye Twitter



Artisanal Agency is proud to work with high-integrity networks and advertisers, and will not tolerate the targeted abuse of our partners or our employees on social media platforms.  Many of our staff, advertisers, and networks are the focus of targeted attacks on Twitter, and Twitter has been notoriously slow to take action.

In a recent statement, Twitter admits it has "not done enough to curb this type of behavior" and promises to improve enforcement of their hateful conduct policy.  While we appreciate Twitter’s commitment to "take faster action" on its platform, we have decided to stop posting to our Twitter account.  For future network and sponsor updates, be sure to "Like" Artisanal Agency on Facebook or visit our website.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Artisanal Agency and TWiT.tv



I realized that I launched Artisanal Agency without providing an explanation as to why I created it. Over five years ago I started inside sales at TWiT.tv and terminated our exclusivity contract with our outside sales broker.  When I established inside sales at TWiT.tv, I also opened up our ad sales to other sales brokers and added a few people to my inside sales team.  Over the last couple of years, I realized that I wanted to help other podcast networks succeed in becoming an ad-supported network by mirroring the process that I created at TWiT.tv.  I also wanted to separate our content company, TWiT.tv, from our ad sales business, which is why Leo Laporte and I created Artisanal Agency.

Leo Laporte and I are the partners at TWiT.tv and Artisanal Agency.  The partners did not change; our ad sales process remains the same, and the only change is the name of the company.

By establishing Artisanal Agency, I can super-serve other high-integrity podcast networks who can benefit from the process that I established at TWiT.tv without working under our content name. Leo and I chose the name "Artisanal" because I want to super-serve other network audiences with marquee advertisers that they can benefit from by carefully matching advertisers to their networks.  I am not trying to compete with large ad sales companies but work with them and other direct advertisers to establish amazing relationships with podcast networks.  Therefore, Leo and I felt that Artisanal Agency was the right name for our ad sales business.

I am in the process of signing other networks, signing new advertisers, hiring employees, and establishing a strong foundation for Artisanal Agency.  If you are interested in becoming an Artisanal Agency advertiser or network, then please reach out to me at Lisa@artisanalagency.com.






Sunday, May 25, 2014

TWiT Network Changes and May 2014 Update from the CEO

Our vision is to build a tech community and serve it well.  Leo and I want to cater to a tech-centric audience and deliver intelligent, thought provoking content.  We made changes at the beginning of 2014 and we will make more changes before the year is over.

Earlier this year we hired Mike Elgan to join our team as News Director and lead host of "Tech News Today".  We also launched "Tech News 2Night" because I wanted to provide our audience with an afternoon tech news show using a shorter and different format from our morning news show.  We also promoted one of our editors, Bryan Burnett, to cohost "Know How..." with Father Robert Ballecer and Shannon Morse shifted roles and is currently a co-host on "Coding 101".  We recently hired Tonya Hall who launched "Marketing Mavericks" and she also works with our production team on supporting existing shows and creating news ones.

We expect to launch more shows this year and continue to make changes to existing shows.  Some shows may have host changes, some shows may be retired, some shows may have format changes and all shows will be given a tremendous amount of energy and support to succeed on our network.

We are launching four new shows in the next couple of months and we anticipate launching more shows next quarter.  Jason Howell is launching "Android App Arena" on June 13, 2014 and we are very close to launching "RedditUp".  We are finalizing the details and set for "I'd Fund That!" and wrapping up the graphics for "Padre's Corner".  I have several show treatments on my desk that will be addressed as soon as we get these shows off the ground.