How I started a podcast and got 30 episodes recorded w/ just an email & LinkedIn

Let’s look at being a lean mean startup machine. You need users before you have a product or getting an idea of if people need your product. In an interview based podcast your product is your recordings between you (the interviewer) and your guest (the interviewee). How do you get guests onto a podcast that doesn’t even have a website (you have the domain, and an email with the domain but that’s it). There is just a (insert your webhost) construction page.

You have to be creative and think outside the box in this case and do a snowball to snow boulder move. That means you start small and build the snowball up. Here’s how I did it and later you can see in this post how you can use a similar strategy for B2B products and perhaps with twitter for B2C products:

#1 – Find who your main interview guest will be, in my case for http://www.eztechstartup.com it was a startup podcast that interviews startup founders.

#2 – Connect with everyone with the title of founder on LinkedIn

#3 – Do the above as fast as you can with as many as you can until LinkedIn sends you a message saying you connected to too many people you don’t know (at that point stop because LinkedIn will ban you if you go any further and it would really suck to start again from scratch).

#4 – Anyone that connects back send a message, I said for the first 20 connects back that I was looking to record episode one of my podcast and I needed a guest for it, once the first person answered back sure (it was about 15 no responses before that 1 yes so don’t give up).

#5 – Repeat saying to every new connection you message back (I’m starting a podcast and I have XYZ guest as episode one would you like to be guest #2?)

#6 – Build your snow boulder, once you get three guests, start messaging connections that connect back that you have three guests that will be on the show

#7 At some point (once you hit 15 guests or so), you will no longer be denied by most of the founders because they can tell you gained traction.

So it seems so simple but for most of you readers, you probably don’t want to start a podcast, so how can you get users for a B2B product or a B2C product with this strategy? Here’s a few thoughts for B2B:

#1 – Offer your product for free to the first 10 users, regardless of money you need user feedback and no one wants to provide feedback and pay for it (unless you r product is truly amazing, but honestly most first iteration products aren’t)

#2 – Based on feedback of the first 10 users, offer it to the 11th user as paid but mention the 10 users who actually use your product (remember give them a discount its not a free product, it’s a paid product that they get free because they are early adopters, if you have licensing for your product you could give the first X number of licenses for free)

#3 – Build your snow boulder the same way, connect to people who are in SMBs or smaller based businesses that actually read LinkedIn Messages and start seeing if people want it.

For B2C I don’t have much experience but perhaps the following might work:

#1 – Offer the product as a promotion for free for the first 100 users who retweet you.

#2 – Get the first 100 retweeters feedback and include customer testimonials or something on how much the product rocks on your site

#3 – Have the consumers build the snowball in this case, 100 retweets and if you target the right twitter users could give you potentially 100s of thousands of impressions.

Did any of this work for you? Please comment and discuss I’d love to hear your feedback.

Nikita Eelen

Nikita Eelen is an Ohio based co-founder of a startup (amvonet.com) that pivoted three times and has over 100,000 end users in 14 countries. He also likes to interview startup founders for his podcast EZ Tech Startup which has interviewed founders who are boot-strapped, to YC alumni, to $30+ million exits.