Welcome to another edition of the "This Week in Podcasts" series! We know how hard it can be to keep up with all the great podcasts out there and find new ones worth listening to, so every week, we're posting insights and takeaways from recent episodes of our favorite podcasts.
The goal? Help you get right to the nitty-gritty, and introduce you to some new podcasts (and resources) - maybe even start a conversation!
If you have a favorite podcast you'd love to see in the roundup, leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter at @_chelleshock and I'll add it to the list. Without further ado, here's this week's takeaways:
Inc Uncensored: Episode 26 (Hiring Secrets from Warby Parker's Neil Blumenthal)
For their show notes, head here.
Discussed on this episode:
- Hiring secrets from Warby Parker and other companies
- Mr. Robot and the vigilante hacker archetype
- Crowfunding for established businesses
Takeaways on how to make great hires:
- The biggest issue with hiring is finding a way to get underneath all the superficial questions and find out as much as you can about the candidate's true personality.
- One of the ways the Warby Parker crew does that is by asking questions that create examples. So instead of saying, "Would you consider yourself proactive?" (to which every candidate will answer yes), they say "Tell me about a time when you were especially proactive."
- They specifically look for proactivity and willingness to work hard as character traits during interviews, and try to spot entitlement very early on in the hiring process. (Read more on that here: Why Entitlement Is the Root of All Evil in a Company)
- There's also the Zappos trick: "A lot of our job candidates are from out of town, and we'll pick them up from the airport in a Zappos shuttle, give them a tour, and then they'll spend the rest of the day interviewing. At the end of the day of interviews, the recruiter will circle back to the shuttle driver and ask how he or she was treated. It doesn't matter how well the day of interviews went, if our shuttle driver wasn't treated well, then we won't hire that person."
Further reading on hiring: Retail Staffing 101: How to Hire, Train, and Retain The Right Employees
The crew also dug into crowdfunding as a tool for established businesses, discussing the IndieGoGo campaign that Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard ran to create a completely new wine by breeding new grape varietals. (Interestingly, he had to go with IndieGoGo because Kickstarter wouldn't let him give wine to backers.) It might sound odd for someone well-connected who could easily get investors to use crowdfunding instead, but it's becoming more popular because it has several advantages:
- It validates the ideas ahead of time, before time and resources are poured into it (this is why companies like Sony are turning to it more and more).
- It's a great venue for press (which is why Shopify Plus client Hawkers did it, despite already running a wildly successful ecommerce business).
- It also creates a built-in community around the product and business, giving you brand ambassadors from the get-go.
Ecommerce Influence: Episode 90 (How To Turn Your Ecommerce Store Into A Content Marketing Machine Without Adding To Your Current Workload)
For the show notes and transcript, head here.
Our very own Tommy Walker was a guest in this episode of Ecommerce Influence. Topics discussed include:
- The reasons that content marketing might not be right for your ecommerce business
- How to hire writers for your content team
- How to create great content
- The best ways to streamline content production and manage writers
Takeaways and resources for further reading:
- If you sell a service-oriented product - toothpaste or bedsheets, for example - content marketing might not be a compelling way to market, but if you're a lifestyle oriented brand (Urban Outfitters is an example), content marketing is a must to differentiate yourself.
- The study he references: The 2014 State Of Ecommerce Study by Meclabs (More here: The Curious Case of the Underwhelming Ecommerce Blog)
- When you start to look for guidelines, make sure you have a style guide (or "code," as Tommy calls his) in place - not discussing superficial things like word length, but talking about your brand values, your ethics, what makes you stand out in the marketplace, etc.
If I were to look at skateboarding, say I sold skateboards, I wouldn’t be looking at, "here’s a skateboard, and here's how you do techniques," I'd be looking at culture and music and cool things that are going on like graffiti artists and everything that surrounds that lifestyle. I'd be looking to either write about that lifestyle or show that lifestyle, so I can get people for more continuously invested into my brand, because I am exposing them to a world that either they don’t know or they don’t quite have 100% access to where they are. - Tommy Walker
- Examples of brands doing this well: Urban Outfitters, BeardBrand
- For more on his tips for staying organized, check out the notes underneath the Being Boss episode below
The UnPodcast: Episode 88 ((Un)Inflated Statistics and DMCA Takedowns)
Grab their show notes here.
Discussed in this episode:
- Don't pad content; classes should be as long as they need to be (along with some HR 101 tips)
- The Pixels movie studio issuing a DMCA takedown to all videos on Vimeo containing the word "pixels"...which, among other things, resulted in their own trailer being removed from the site
- Inflated statistics and vanity metrics
- Facebook's reach (as an app and a company), along with Instagram, WhatsApp, and how to decide where to spend your time
- Which Social Media Platforms Drive the Most Sales? [Infographic]
- WhatsApp to Change Social Media Marketing?
- 4 Ways Online Stores Can Drive Engagement and Sales With Instagram
- Why You Ought to Throw Away Your Vanity Metrics for These 5 Customer Metrics
- Metrics, Metrics On The Wall, Who’s The Vainest Of Them All?
Being Boss: Episode 36 (How to Not Be Lazy)
Get their show notes here.
This Being Boss episode was another one to have Tommy as a guest! With Kathleen and Emily, he discussed:
- Staying motivated in tough times & in easier times (and why, surprisingly, it's often harder to stay motivated when things are going well)
- How processes and habits complement each other
- How those habits and processes can come together to create stronger boundaries and a better work/life balance
Lots of great quotes/takeaways from this episode, especially if you struggle with productivity:
- "My habits are terrible, my processes are immaculate - and my processes are immaculate because my habits are terrible."
- Tommy uses Trello to keep all of us writers in line, along with Slack - two great tools to look at if you manage a remote team. There's a great process for managing a team of writers here, with more details on using Trello as an editorial calendar here.
- "As we move forward, we won't be working in a world where your boss dictates everything you do." (click to tweet)
- "Time passes whether you're sitting on the couch or hustling, so you might as well make something of it."
That’s it for this week — if you liked the feature, post your favorite takeaway in the comments. See you next Saturday with another round of tips & takeaways!