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, 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 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

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 and terminated our exclusivity contract with our outside sales broker.  When I established inside sales at, 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  I also wanted to separate our content company,, from our ad sales business, which is why Leo Laporte and I created Artisanal Agency.

Leo Laporte and I are the partners at 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 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