Persuasion is a skill that can be learned, practiced, and perfected.
James Mulvany is the Founder of MatchMaker.fm.
James Mulvany is a serial entrepreneur who loves to share actionable advice about business, storytelling, growing an audience plus some radio and podcasting tips.
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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
On with us right now we've got James Mulvany, who is in Manchester, England right now. And James, you are the Founder of Podcast.co, Radio.co, and your latest business, Matchmaker.fm. Thank you so much for joining us.
Thanks very much for having me, Josh. It's a
you know, it's a pleasure to be here. I always enjoy these conversations. So can't wait to see what you've got in store.
Favorite music artist from Manchester Ah,
you know there's so many good ones
you know i'm i'm into like dance music like house music from like the mid naughties and there's a geocode heard and fits. No one will have heard of them but they had some great tunes out and and of course the obvious ones, you know, people like oasis. Everybody knows, of course, there's so much music that comes from from Manchester.
Yeah. So you have you born and raised there, or did you move there at some point?
No, I moved here. And I actually grew up near London. So I'm suddenly I have a Manchester accent. And I've been in Manchester now since 2010. So I'd moved here just after I graduate, I went to university in a town not too far away from here. And Manchester seemed a great place to set up shop in terms of, you know, I kind of validated my business idea while I was at university. Got it to a level where I didn't need to go out and find a job after I graduated and, you know, Manchester was it's changed so much in the past 10 years, but actually, you know, seemed too good I alternative to London in terms of setting up a business, you know premises staff costs, all that stuff was a lot less than the overheads that I would have if I was to base in London. And it wasn't too far from from where I went to university. So it seemed like a great place to be. So I've been here ever since. And what was this first business that you launched, that you'd proven out in college,
so it was called wave streaming. And we actually only just recently closed it down, it was still still still hanging in there. And basically, the way I got started was I was I was always interested in radio and and I sort of looked at going into radio as a career as a DJ. DJ decided it wasn't for me, and went off to university. I was doing interactive multimedia, which is like a posh term for web design. And I kind of learned how to code learn how to build websites, put the two and two get together and wave streaming was born. And that was basically selling services services to radio stations, streaming media services, and app development and that kind of thing.
You know, I you I have similar paths. So when I was in school, my ambition so I was in the US Navy, I was a journalist, I did radio my last year and when I was in Hawaii, actually did overnights and am radio, you know, just to get experience. And, and so my big dream was to become a love doctor on the radio, and then I got distracted with internet development. And, you know, I think what I stressed what I think it gives you is
a billion a great ability to communicate You know, I think that's the thing you know, if you go off and even if you just do it for like you say when you're a college or university and you join the student station, it's just great experience talking down the microphone effectively into nothing. Yeah, you know, you have to think on your feet and it gives you a good way of a good ability to communicate and kind of get your point across really so I think that's really valuable in business and when you start going into like everyone now has in front of the microphone in front of cameras and you have to do it if you're running an alarm. online business. So it's tremendously important to get those skills. Early evolution then to radio. com. Yeah, so we've been we were running wave streaming, it became pretty successful. You know, I grew it to sort of six figure turnover business. By the time I was about 2324 years old. Wow, was really happy with that, you know, but we had, what part of the success was we managed to forge a deal with a company, small company called AOL that owned this bit of software and called shoutcast. And that was kind of the core of our system at the time. And then, as quick as that deal came around, they were referring us leads constantly like so we were getting probably 20 customers a day from them signing up. They then decided to sell that business. So that deal went away. And at that time, you know, I was kind of freaking out thinking, Oh my God, I've got this business at that stage. I maybe had like 10 staff who are working for me, you know, we would probably turning over, you know, just north of half a million. And I was thinking everything I've got everything I've worked for is going to go away. So I sort of had to kind of think of it as a solution. I thought, right? Okay, what is next? There's no point of continuing to sell this service because these new these new owners of this product and aren't interested in working with us. So how can we do better? How can we make something that's, you know, a natural evolution of what we were selling before, but but 10 times better. So that was how radio co really came about. We just took on board all the customer feedback. And initially we were selling services to what you'd imagine is tradition, like a radio station, but really then it became more entrepreneurs, brands, musicians, DJ is all sorts of people who were wanting to leverage their broadcasting power to Seoul grow their brand, but didn't really understand traditionally, you know, how to stream media and all this other stuff. So that's why we decided to create radio to make it super simple for anyone to get on air easily and broadcast from anywhere into
anywhere. That's amazing. So now when somebody starts a somebody wants to start a streaming radio station on Radio.co obviously they they as well, they need to take care of their licensing separately. Is that right? Yeah, absolutely. And so, so the advantage then is assume now is this mean? Do you mainly have a lot of terrestrial broadcasters? Or do you just see a lot of people that say, No, we see some great advantage to having our own stream?
I think it's a real variety. You know, we have a lot of traditional sort of what you'd imagine is a radio station. We also have a lot of entrepreneurs doing really interesting things, radio stations with for sort of either hyper local markets or hyper sort of niche genres of music. And you know, everything you can imagine so, we've recently had, you know, we have Brett had brand campaigns. charities use us for broadcasting, lots of channels and different languages. So the Global Goals campaign, which was a few years back was one of the first big clients we had when we were actually testing the software out and it was a great use case scenario because they broadcast and Think of something crazy, like 300 million people tuned in and all different countries around the world and it was sending streams out in like fingers, six different languages. So it was great validation of the platform. And you know, we've had more recently whiskers cat food we're using our products are power cat radio station. So it's kind of not just what you'd imagine is traditional, like broadcast radio, and obviously lots of stuff like talk shows, newscasts, religious broadcast, all sorts of things.
Nice, nice. Okay. And then obviously, it you know, as you're operating Radio.co, you're watching the podcasting space. And so then what?
So Podcast.co was a sort of natural evolution from Radio.co. Initially, we looked at building the podcasting functionality into the existing platform, but it made more sense to roll it out as a separate business just because I think the podcasting space is very exciting, you know, as you'll know, and as I think a lot of your audience Be aware, you know, there's tons of opportunity in podcasting right now. It's a really good tool. If you want to grow a business, it's a great tool. If you're, you know, if you're creative, and you've got an idea or a story wants to tell, it's a perfect platform to do it. And the good thing about podcasting, I think, is, you know, anyone can do it and the cost to entry so low, you know, you don't really need to go out and spend a fortune on, you know, a lot of equipment or anything like that. Go invest in a good quality microphone. But then, you know, the world is your oyster Really?
Yeah, it really is so much easier today. And the tools, the platforms are you have a lot of options. So what separates Podcast.co from say, another podcasting platform.
I mean, the goal really was to make a product that was really straightforward and simple to use. This is the success we've had with the Radio.co platform. And so we really drawn out spirits to make a product a super slick, clean, easy to use, and we've added some various Just to it. So like automatic transcription, you know, a video video asset creation so that again, it's really easy to market your podcast and get the word out there. And, you know, we've we've thought more recently, what else can we do to help our existing customer base plus also, you know, add like another funnel, and which is how much make it come along and matchmakers a platform to basically Connect podcasters with podcast guests.
Yeah, talk about that a little bit more. Why is that a big deal? And then I'll definitely chime in
on this. I'm sure you know, Europe, you'll be fully aware, Josh, I think that I can't remember the exact statistic but I think it's something like 63% of podcasts are based on interviewing guests. Right. So the huge chunk of podcasts are interviewing guests. But there doesn't seem to be a sort of solid and reliable platform out there to connect people together and if you want to find good guests, you can spend a lot of time doing it. Quite often the guests you have weren't always know how to set everything up. Again, you know, if you're reaching out to people on LinkedIn, For example, that's great, there's easy to find people who are experts in different fields on LinkedIn. But then how do you know that they've number one been interviewed on the podcast before? Number two, they've got the right equipment. You know, I noticed in your onboarding email, that was one of the things you mentioned. And I think that's quite common. And so, you know, what we want to do with this platform is basically allow people to filter you know, vast amounts of people based on criteria. So for example, what's for the areas of expertise they have, but also they look at things like Do they have a good internet connection? Do they already own a decent microphone so immediately when you contact that guest, you can then perhaps preview interviews they've done before so you know, will they sound good at the know exactly what they're doing and therefore they'll make it a good candidate for your show? Because I think, Gone are the days where podcasts are just, you know, two guys down the pub speaking, you know, crap to each other. I think you need to have good quality these days. You need to be pushing out content that people really are engaged with you really want to listen to and and quality is a big part of that.
Yeah. Now talk about it from the perspective of a guest. So it's a if I'm an author, speaker, coach, I'm the founder of a company. Why do you recommend that a guest really take a good look at getting on podcasts?
Yeah, great question. I think podcasts are one of the new forms of media. If you look at sort of YouTube, Instagram are the new TV podcasts are the new radio and they're becoming the new radio very, very quickly in terms of they've hit the mainstream. I think five years ago, you went up, someone in the street said, What's a podcast, you might get, you know, a third of people who say, you know what podcasting is nowadays, you've got to the street on someone on the street, say what's a podcast, pretty much everyone you speak to is going to exactly what you're talking about. So if you're an entrepreneur or a public speaker, or a coach, or someone who's looking to promote themselves, promote a product, whatever. You know, podcasting is such an easy way of doing it. As I mentioned before, you don't need to spend a lot of money doing it. It's free advertising effectively. And all you're doing is having an interesting conversations just like, you know, you and I are doing right now. You know, and once you've done a few, you kind of get the hang of it and it becomes easier and easier to do. But, you know, there's other benefits as well like backlinks to your website. You know, just general connections, I think, the more podcasts you feature on, the more connections you build, you know, it's great as a business development tool. I think there's just a multitude of benefits and also, you know, it's just, it's just really spreading, spreading your words to a to a bigger audience that perhaps you would have had access to before.
Now, you know, it really the podcast from a business owner perspective, and I'm talking about, you know, should I start a podcast? Well, the reality is, is it really doesn't take that many resources today. You can actually do something as simple as just make it a part of your regular networking, and so use the podcast Reach out to the people that you want to network with. Go ahead and do a solid for them first and kind of take a page out of the Bob Burg go giver book and and just give value to them first and see what happens to the relationship. And another thing too, is that you might also consider beyond just networking, what would happen if you actually started interviewing guests that could be potentially your customers and your clients? Who's the platform to, again, do them a solid first, what does it cost you? It's very minimal,
but yet it allows you to get straight to the headline, get straight into the C suite and and interview or, you know, build a relationship with whoever you want. So I think that's that's the main thing, isn't it? Like once you've had a conversation with someone for half an hour about them and their expertise is building rapport. You can't get like A normal sales scenario when you're on the phone and trying to sort of sell something here. But once you've had that conversation with them, they're more likely to speak to you again. And it's a fantastic business development tool then, and it's just, you know, the other thing from it by interviewing guests, or by being interviewed on an interesting podcast, you learn a lot of stuff, but you get to speak some really interesting people. And I think it's just great for personal development as well.
So, um, so again, the Podcast.co platform. What is your I want to go back to that one more time, just for people that might be discovering this podcast episode, and they're like, well, I want to learn a little bit more about the future of Podcast.co. I just want to make sure you know, it sounds like the major advantage to it is it's a very simple, easy to use UI, compared to perhaps some other solutions in the marketplace.
Yeah, we also handle the distribution as well. So you don't need to worry about what an RSS feed is. We'll take care of all of that for you out all the major channels, Apple podcast, Spotify, etc, etc etc.
is I heard I didn't see I heard listed yet.
Yeah, so we do we do push to I heart It is with I heart. I think their approval process isn't is kind of predictable as we'd like. Right? So I think we had it on the list of the approval of the partners at one stage but we may be taken off just because we were finding that we were submitting clients and we're getting approved somewhere some weren't. So we really want to kind of guarantee results where we know that we can get reliable results but there's nothing to stop me submitting to I heart my podcast on I heart. Sure yours is they do focus but I think maybe they just a bit picky about who they're accepting etc.
Okay, um, so what if someone's already hosting with another provider? How easy is it for them to migrate to podcast,
super simple, you just give us your existing RSS feed link and our system takes care of everything. So it will literally put in all of your existing episodes. It'll put in your artwork, all of the other descriptions, etc, etc, and presented to you on our interface, just as you would have seen on your previous providers. So, so migrate across and pricing, where do you aim to be in terms of pricing compared to other platforms, hosting platforms. So we are aiming really to, we're sort of, we're actually in the process of changing the pricing at the moment. So I don't want to sort of quote anything here. Sure. Just due to change, but basically, where where we're heading is two businesses with multiple podcasts. And we're really focusing on you know, our agency clients rather than just someone with a single podcast, we're still going to obviously accept everyone, but we're sort of changing our pricing at the moment to make it more friendly to people with multiple podcasts.
And and just in case we didn't hit this hard enough, matchmaker FM is a platform that connects guests and hosts. What's the future for that?
So as I mentioned, the third we've got a big job ahead of us. Because we're obviously in the process of populating the platform is completely free to sign up and completely free to use. There's no limits on usage currently, both for guests and podcasters and we are using AI to try and connect people more intelligently. So we're looking at as we progress, developing more and more tools, so you can log in, you know, using things like your show description, etc, it will naturally start making more intelligent recommendations. And you know, also when we were using it, we want to create a really kind of almost like a social network for podcasters. So you having a great profile, you can show your, you know, you can show off your guests, the interviews that you've just done, or if you're a podcast, you can show off the shows that you're involved in. And you know, just make it a really productive place to quickly book high quality guests. Or if your guests looking to get booked on podcast, find some really awesome podcast to be featured on that already have momentum and traction, and going to be showing you off in the best light in terms of you know, if your business This owner or if you're just taking a product to market, you know, find some really relevant podcast to quickly get on on board with and just really break down the barriers or hassle of communicating, you know, again, one of the sort of one of the one of the things I'd like to do with the platform is just try and make it more unified. So currently, you know, you're, you're done this yourself, a lot of people use third party services, but calendars, you know, tools to to actually conduct interviews. So really further down the line. I'd like to try and build all of this on the one platform. Yeah.
You know, that's the ultimate goal.
Well, James Mulvany, you are the founder of Radio.co, Podcast.co and now Matchmaker.fm. And you're also podcaster of course, you've got your podcast is Create, Reach,
Inspire. I'm actually branded up today as you can see, yeah, most days to be honest. But yeah, Create Rich Inspire. We've actually just started the second season where I'm speaking some really interesting guests, the first one was around finance. The second episode is about the music industry. So having some really interesting conversations over on there as well. So it's great fun. It's a fantastic place to be in a bit a moment from my perspective as an entrepreneur. James, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you very much, Josh. It's been a been an honor and a pleasure.
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