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."