Billy gives his advice on how to start a podcast. He discusses what he has learned through successfully producing 100 podcast episodes.
Billy Bateman is the Co-Founder and VP of Operations for ChatFunnels, a digital conversation analytics, and optimization solutions provider. He has a background in digital marketing, business operations, and entrepreneurship.
Billy grew up in Idaho and graduated from Brigham Young University and has a Masters of Business Administration from Boise State University. While at BSU, he completed Boise State’s Venture College Entrepreneurship Program and became a mentor and entrepreneurial lead on a technology commercialization project. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys fishing and hunting.
Tanner Sundwall 0:00
No, yeah, there we go. All right. Welcome, everyone to the Digital Conversations podcast. I’m your host, Tanner Sundwall. My guest today is Billy Bateman, our usual host of the show. Today’s our 100th episode. So, I thought we’d reverse the roles a little bit and ask them some questions about how the podcast started where it’s headed. Just some of his thoughts on the 99 episodes so far. So how are you doing today, Billy?
Billy Bateman 0:26
Dude, I’m doing good, man. I’m doing good. I’m at a you’re in the ChatFunnels studio HQ. And I’m so yeah, man. It’s awesome. So yeah, this is a fun idea. The marketing team had, you know, we’re like 100 episodes coming up. We should do something a little different. And, you know, actually, Alyssa, who’s you could call her like, the current producer of the podcast was like, why? What if we just have somebody interview you?
You know, and let’s do that. So, we thought it might be a fun idea. And I’m excited to do it. Tanner. Like you used to be the producer of the podcast. Tracking down guests getting online jobs, helping with postproduction to get it ready to go out to the world. So yeah, man, I’m excited to do this.
Tanner Sundwall 1:16
Yeah, I remember when we hit the, like the 51-year mark episode, like 52nd or 53rd. And that was that was crazy. And now we’re almost a whole nother year past that. So, it’s crazy to think about Well, yeah, for anyone that’s new to the show, or doesn’t know that much about you? Do you want to give a quick, quick introduction of chat funnels or yourself?
History of the Podcast
Billy Bateman 1:39
Yeah, yeah. So, I’m Billy Bateman, one of the founders of ChatFunnels, runs day to day operations and product are where I spend most of my time. But, you know, we’d be doing anything from HR to accounting to working on sales on any given day.
So, we started ChatFunnels three years ago now. And we actually started out as a consulting company, and then transitioned to a software company about a year and a half ago, selling our own solution, we really specialize in account-based engagement using live chat, chatbots, email, all of that to bring your sales and marketing team together to have a cohesive message and experience for your prospects and your customers.
So, we’ve been doing that for about three years. We’re doing the podcast for just under two years now. I think it’ll be two years on the 30th of next month was when we published the first episode. And we’ve had a ton of great guests. It’s been awesome. have learned a ton and love it.
Tanner Sundwall 2:47
Awesome. Yeah. So, I mean, chat. You guys have already started ChatFunnels about a year before you finish the podcast. What? What made you guys start the podcast in the first place? Like what were your intentions behind that?
Billy Bateman 3:00
Yeah, so a couple of different things with the podcast. So, one, like we were startup, we’ve been self-funded the whole time, kind of bootstrap, self-funded type business and, and so it’s not like we had, you know, $10 million to go out and hire a huge marketing team. and a sales team and everybody all at once and just be like, we’re here, we’ve arrived, you know. And I will have podcasts myself, like, every day, I listen to at least one podcast a day, whether it’s, you know, something like business related, or sports or hunting, or even just like kind of random things.
Well, I love Joe Rogan, don’t listen to all of his episodes. But Dude, I love the Joe Rogan experience. So, I thought podcast would be an easy way for us to get started creating our own content. and, and also build the tribe. ChatFunnels, like we’re new. So, we wanted to bring people in, give them a chance to share what they’ve learned with everyone and, and also just make an introduction to ChatFunnels as well. So really build content and tribe building was why we started the podcast, and it’s proved to be awesome for us.
What Billy Learned in the Process
Tanner Sundwall 4:19
Awesome. Yeah. So, I mean, there’s been 99 episodes so far, I guess. What have you learned as you progress through those 99 episodes? Has anything changed? Has there been any adjustments made? What I guess are some of the key findings that you’ve had from doing this podcast so far?
Billy Bateman 4:37
Yeah. So, we’re going to talk like the podcast itself. What’s changed? At first, like, I was just getting anybody that was kind of related to what we were doing to be a guest. And we kind of just shot from the hip like, we just record.
Our first office was in this dingy little building. We didn’t do video because yeah, I would have been coming for two from like, a utility closet essentially. So, so that’s where we started out. And you know, like, I was figuring it out, like, listening to podcast and hosting podcast like whole different, whole different. Yeah. So, I had a lot to learn. We keep changing things, refining things, like our process of recruiting guests with preparing for the podcast has gotten more refined, and better. And we have more of a formula of who we’re looking for, and what we want to talk about on the podcast now than day one.
Like, if you go listen to Episode 123, it’s going to be way different than what you hear on our latest. So yeah, I started out there. And like, you know, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just talked to a few friends that I had, who had, we’re doing podcast with their business, and said, okay, like, what do I need to do? How do we get started? Anna, was we called EP, the executive producer, for about a year of the podcast? And she helped me figure it out. And we just started rolling.
So, I learned a lot about how to actually make a podcast. But then also, what you learned from the guest is amazing. Like, I did an MBA, and I love the MBA, great experience. But I’ve told this to a few people, I was thinking about going back and getting a graduate degree in something, unless it’s very technical, you know, like, I’m going to get a master’s in computer science or engineering, something like that. But it’s more like a business focus type thing.
I would say, you might just try starting your own podcast, and you’re going to learn a ton from getting experts and being able to ask them questions, like, whenever we bring somebody on, there’s always something to be learned from them. And it’s been great. I’ve learned a lot about just, I mean, Tanner, you can, you can talk to this a little bit. Sometimes I’ll do a podcast, and I’ll come out after recording and being like, hey, guys, just did this podcast, I think we need to look at trying this. I mean, I’ve done that to you more than a few times. So, tons of great ideas for our own marketing and sales team.
And then with our own product, because we sell a product to marketing and sales teams, I get to hear, okay. These are what people are talking about. This is what they’re trying to do or what they’re wanting to do. or even what they just are doing right now. How do we, you know, sometimes it is like, yeah, that doesn’t make sense for us to try to help solve that problem. But other times, it’s like, wow, like, we could easily just make an adjustment to the product, or, or just educate people like, hey, they could actually solve this problem with our product.
So, ton to be learned. it’s helped shape the product. It’s helped shape our own marketing and sales. And then just the relationships I’ve been able to, to get started with people has been awesome. Like, I love a lot of our guests or most of our guests are awesome. Like all of them are good. Some, most of them are awesome, though. Like they’re experts or whatever they’re doing. And they’ve got a lot of great insights to share.
Tanner Sundwall 8:27
Yeah, I liked your idea of starting a podcast instead of not instead of going to school, but I feel like it’s a good networking opportunity. And any knowledge you gain, there’s probably going to be at least a slightly cheaper graduate degree.
Billy Bateman 8:41
Yeah, like if I hadn’t got a scholarship, I wasn’t going to go do a graduate degree. Like I was lucky. I didn’t have to graduate with any debt. But like, dude, if you start a podcast. you know, like, hey, I want to do this. Well, if you start a podcast and just start reaching out to people, like people love to talk about themselves and what they’re passionate about.
So, like, we were nobody when we started this. and a lot of the first guests were people I already have a relationship with. And I could say, hey, we’re starting the podcast. We’d love to have you on. And that’s probably what anyone will have to do when they first get started. Unless you’re like working at some big brand, you know that people like oh, I want to be on their podcast, you know? Then you know, you can probably just start cold outreach.
But after you get a couple episodes done, like just doing some cold outreach, easy, easy to like people can see it’s real, like you have a podcast. Whenever people reach out to me asking me to be on podcast, like if I can make it work, and the topic actually fits to something I can speak to which it usually does if they reach out. I’m happy to hop on, you know, so.
Tanner Sundwall 9:55
Yeah, you’re talking about how you’ve taken some of these ideas and stuff. from, from your guests and apply them to marketing and both marketing and product itself. Do you have any specific examples of times that that’s really been effective?
Billy Bateman 10:12
Yes. So, I wouldn’t say this is one guest. But doing the podcast, I was able to hear that the way that people are passionate about the last two years was, especially with a marketing standpoint was like ABM (Account Based Marketing). And how do we get more value out of ABM? We had a lot of episodes about that. or even just conversations like after we’re done recording, you know, sometimes we just end up talking some more. And that was one of the things I really saw that we needed to be able to complement ABM within our product.
And then from sales, I got this sense, there is some frustration like marketing’s doing ABM. But maybe we’re not like seeing the results that we want to or not getting the insights from marketing, like, it was a lot of different things from different people. And, and then, you know, we read this article put out by BCG (Boston Consulting Group), Scott Rhodes and his group over there at Boston Consulting Group that I was like, Man, this wraps up everything we’ve been thinking about and talking about how we need to get into our own product of account-based engagement.
And it just validated everything, like all the bits and pieces I’d been hearing for the past year doing the podcast. So, we built a whole feature suite that’s now included in all of our plans to some level for account-based engagement. which we saw as the trend of the future, like people are going to have to not just market to accounts but engage accounts holistically.
Tanner Sundwall 11:46
Yeah, that’s awesome. It’s kind of cool that that didn’t come just from one guest. But you kind of saw it as a theme. Yeah, I saw a lot of that language outside of the podcast to just, you know, I feel like companies like Demandbase in 6sense kind of spearheaded. the everyone’s kind of got their own term for the that account-based experience or account-based marketing or whatever they’re calling it.
But yeah, it’s cool to be able to implement something that you’re seeing throughout the industry like that. So, what is do you have any novice? No, they don’t necessarily have a favorite podcast episode. But what are some memorable episodes that you can think of? are memorable guests. And the first 99 episodes of Digital Conversations?
Billy Bateman 12:37
Yeah, so there’s a few here that are very top of mine that were just like fun episodes that I really liked. So, one was a really early episode that I did with Gabe Larson. And I’ve had the chance to work with Gabe before. He’s awesome. He’s fun. I love the episode with Gabe because he just like, like, if you haven’t listened to it, Gabe brings it at whatever he does, like his and 100%. He’s always going to hit you with some cool stat, some cool insights that maybe you weren’t thinking about.
That one was really fun. Jon Miller was a great interview. Really, it’s always fun to talk to Jon Miller. Bernie Burgess was awesome. Dale Dupree was really fun. David Delaney really fun. Tim Ash. Dude, Tim, if you haven’t listened to that episode, Tim has got some amazing insights on what you can do to help increase your conversion. So, Tim was awesome. I mean, I’m no, I’m leaving people out that, right. So, if I leave you off, I’m sorry. Like I loved every all of the conversations are fun. But those are just the ones that come to mind right off the top. Swag was really fun, actually, now that I’m thinking about that. And yeah, dude, just tons of great people that we’ve had on the podcast, Jim Huffman that. Yeah, the Jim Huffman episode.
Tanner Sundwall 14:09
I remember I remember that one. I definitely when I was, I think I was producing it during that one.
Billy Bateman 14:13
I think you still were Yeah. So, Jim, and that was almost a year ago. Now. It was the end of last year beginning of the of this year, when we published that episode, but Jim goes through and breaks down. The funnels for a few people unlike that one is one that you probably do want to actually watch the video, which you can on the website, but he goes through, and he goes through resume.
There was a cosmetic or beauty company, and there was one more, but it was just really interesting to get his insights on what they’re doing to help you move you to sign up for a free trial and then to become a paying customer. Jackie Hermes, super fun episode with Jackie that was Really awesome. Matt Wallach great episode I love Matt, that guy knows how to close deals, he’s got a lot of good insights. So, I’m going to stop there. But tons a ton of great, great guests. And it was really fun.
Tanner Sundwall 15:17
Yeah, I remember, I remember a few of those from when I was when I was producing and I don’t necessarily remember all the topics they were talking about specifically, but sometimes just the energy and the, and the conversation itself can be really obvious, obviously, it matters what you’re talking about, but just from something being memorable, like, the only reason I remember them, it’s just because of how like engaging It was not necessarily like, the topic itself. So
Billy Bateman 15:46
I mean, life a little bit. Like, if you’re passionate about something like, people are going to remember you, and you’re going to get things done. But like, like, especially at work, like if you just come in to punch in and punch out and you’re not passionate, like you could do okay, but you’ll never do great.
Yeah, and sometimes it’s just like, confidence or like, not that you have to pretend like you know what you’re doing. But if you like, if you like, have the energy where if you, you’re passionate about something, and you’re sharing stuff with, with people or your coworkers, and you come across as being not that you have to be everything. But if you come across as being excited and knowledgeable about what you’re doing it can have a right, yes, perfect. So
Just be excited about whatever you’re doing and like, you’re going to enjoy it. And like, if you’re not excited, everybody picks up on it. We all have things that we aren’t excited about, we have to do. But I mean, just get those things done out of the way and go to the stuff you’re passionate about.
Tanner Sundwall 16:47
Yeah. So, you talked, you talked a little bit earlier about, you know, people starting their own podcast, obviously, a lot of people probably have that idea. What advice do you know? When someone decides that they do want to start podcasts, what advice would you give people about starting it, whether it be how to find good topics, or you know how to how to reach out to guests.
Billy Bateman 17:09
Yeah. So, without like just going through, because we could do a whole podcast on just like, here’s how you start a podcast, like step by step. And maybe we should like write a guide to that, actually. But this is what the advice I’d give you. If you want to do it, like just start doing it, you can record them on zoom, like just get a free zoom account, and you can record it, you know, it’s not super pretty, it’s not great, but it works.
Don’t worry about it being perfect, like just recording an episode record two episodes. If you’re not sure how to do all the technical side of things, there are plenty of guides that can help you do that and figure it out. And then there’s also like, we use a lot of people in the beginning of Fiverr and Upwork, to get things created to get some assets made to help with transcription, things like that. But like, it doesn’t have to be everything you dream up for Episode One, it just has to be done, you know, and you can keep going from there. So, you need to like,
oh, sorry, from like a production standpoint, like people, I think people care way more about the content and whether you know, if there’s video the first time or like how bad the sound quality is like people, people, you know, the main reason people are listening is for the content and for the dialogue. So
for sure, for sure. Like people want to be entertained. Like the reason you remember a lot of those guests I mentioned, the reason I remember him is because they brought it like they had passion, they brought it. And that’s what was fun about, you know, having them on. So just bring your passion, like passion can get you a long way, it’s not going to get you may be exactly what you want to get just by itself. But start with your passion.
Start doing the podcast, you know, like, like, and it doesn’t have to be about like, whatever you’re passionate about, like, I love ChatFunnels. I love our product. I’m passionate about it. But I got to be honest, like sometimes I think about, like, if you look behind me, I love hunting, I love fishing. I would love to start a podcast about hunting and fishing. But right now, I’m just like, I got to focus on what’s going to help me pay the bills. And I can listen to other podcasts on hunting and fishing. But just get after it if you want to do whatever podcast it is to learn.
Like, even if you just do like 1020 episodes tomorrow and like, do it like it’s a nice hack. You know, like I mentioned, you know, so love doing the podcast, we should you know, like, let’s do that. Let’s write a little guide about how we do it. There’s a lot of different tools to start in your own podcast and it’s not, you know, a snap, but it’s not that hard either.
Tanner Sundwall 19:58
Yeah, and it’s really not I mean a lot of the tools will Even user either very cheap or for free. I mean, it’s not like a big financial investment to get one started. So
Billy Bateman 20:09
I think we’re all in at the tools we use less than 50 bucks a month for the different tools we use.
Tanner Sundwall 20:15
Yeah, yeah, that’s probably about right. Yeah. Cool. Well, is there anything else you want to tell everyone? But the first nine episodes are,
Billy Bateman 20:27
go back, go listen to some of them. Give me feedback, like hit me up. LinkedIn is where I’m most active. I’m not on Twitter, not really a Facebook or Instagram guy. But, but LinkedIn, I log in a few times a day. Probably too much.
So, give me some feedback on
on the podcast, what you like, what you don’t like, what you’d like to see more or less of. I’d love to get feedback. We’re going to keep doing the podcast. It’s not going away. It’s going to be part of the ChatFunnels for a long time. And yeah, no, it’s been great. And hopefully, you know, we have got another 100 episodes in us.
Tanner Sundwall 21:05
Yeah, that’s, that’s the goal. Um, well, great. I’m good. Thanks for talking to you today, Billy. We’ll be back next week with episode number 101. So, get the next 100 started off.
Billy Bateman 21:20
Awesome. Awesome. We’re going to have a great guest for it. So, stay tuned this week. Awesome.