Have you ever wondered how serial entrepreneurs create businesses?
My guest today is James Mulvany, serial entrepreneur and founder of Matchmaker.fm a platform that connects podcasters with potential guests for their shows. Since it’s launch just 5 months ago, Matchmaker.fm has already signed up 5,000 members which is an incredible achievement!
In our interview, you’ll hear James’ entrepreneurial journey for sure – including how he started out with his first business at just 16 years old – but you’ll also hear James’ view on the traits you need to have as a business owner, the #1 thing that’s more important than revenue in your business, how he tested the concept for Matchmaker.fm and began building the brand before he actually launched it (a key lesson for all of us launching new things in our businesses) and why James believes that podcasting is THE channel that business owners should be focusing on right now.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I always find it reassuring when I hear that other successful business owners have had to deal with failure in some way and listen out because James definitely spills the beans on one of his biggest failures too.
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Michelle Reeves (00:00): You're listening to the ideal life club podcast, episode 61. Have you ever wondered how serial entrepreneurs create businesses? Let's find out on today's show as we go behind the curtain with a 15 year strong entrepreneur, whose latest project has grown from idea to 5,000 customers in just five months.
Intro (00:24): Welcome to the ideal life club podcast, where it's all about fast tracking your ideal life. Join your host life coach and author of the happiness habits, transformation, Michelle Reeves for inspiration and practical tips to finally claim success on your terms with clarity, confidence, and the courage to unleash your passion on the world.
Michelle Reeves (00:50): Hey there, friends, Michelle here and welcome back to the ideal life club podcast. My guest today is James Mulvaney, serial entrepreneur and founder of matchmaker.fm - a platform that connects podcasters with potential guests for their shows. Since its launch just five months ago, matchmaker FM has already signed up 5,000 members, which is an incredible achievement in our interview. You'll hear James his entrepreneurial journey for sure, including how he started out with his first business at just 16 years old. But you'll also hear James's view on the traits you need to have as a business owner. The number one thing that's more important than revenue in your business, how he tested the concept for matchmaker FM and began building the brand before he actually launched it - a key lesson for all of us launching new things in our businesses - and why James believes that podcasting is the channel that business owners should be focusing on right now.
Michelle Reeves (01:50): Now I don't know about you, but I always find it reassuring when I hear the other successful business owners have had to deal with failure in some way and listen out because James definitely spills the beans on one of his biggest failures too. I really enjoyed chatting to James and of course, as always, I will share all the links that we've mentioned in the episode on my show notes page at michellereevescoaching.co/listen. But before we get started, have you ever wondered what it might be like to have a podcast just like this one? If you have, then I have some exciting news for you. My brand new online program, Practical Podcasting for Beginners is now open with step-by-step videos, covering all aspects of creating and launching your first podcast, even if technology is not your BFF, plus you have access to me for help and support when you need it, and all the worksheets and checklists that you could possibly need. This program has already seen business owners just like you launching their podcasts. So what could a podcast for your business? Find out more and get started today at michellereevescoaching.com/podcastcourse. Okay. Back to today's show and my chat with James.
Michelle Reeves (03:17): Today, guys, I am absolutely delighted to be joined on the show by James Mulvaney from Matchmaker.fm first guy on the show, which I'm really excited about. And I as always, I want to really start James by first of all, welcoming you to the show. Thanks so much for joining us today!
James Mulvany (03:38): Thanks, Michelle. Pleasure to be here and yeah, really excited to kind of get stuck into everything.
Michelle Reeves (03:44): Absolutely. So let's start off. I really do want to share your story with the audience out there because it's really, really interesting. You've been an entrepreneur for 15 years, but tell us a bit about how you got started with that and how you ended up kind of where you are today with matchmaker FM. Cause I'm expecting it's going to be a really interesting journey.
James Mulvany (04:08): Yeah. I mean, I'll go back to the beginning. I started out when I was 16 years old, I just sort of finished doing my GCCS and I, a lot of my friends are going out and getting part time jobs, doing paper rounds or working at McDonald's or whatever it might have been. And I was just like, my dad had started his business just before I was born. And he always said throughout, you know, my growing up starting his business was the best decision ever because he had so much more freedom. You know, he wasn't kind of constricted to certain w working time schedules, et cetera. And like I lived near London when I grew up. And most of my friends had parents who would commute into London quite often, and they wouldn't see their dads during the week or they would get, be, be getting back into sort of 10, 11 at night.
James Mulvany (04:45): And so he always had that time available to spend with us as kids, which was fantastic. So it was never kind of expected that I should start a business. I think because I had that kind of reassurance as a child, when I kind of got to the age of 16, I was like learning how to use the computer. And I kind of saw people making money online. I kind of taught myself how to use Photoshop. So I thought I'm just going to see if I can start making some money. So I managed to get a PayPal account. I think we had to be 16 to get a PayPal account. So I remember registering PayPal account on my 16th birthday. And then I spent the next year really just doing odd jobs on the internet, you know, designing logos for people, those little annoying animated banners that used to be everywhere, did quite a few of them.
James Mulvany (05:23): And, um, and then kind of moved on, uh, sort of subsequent years. I was interested then into getting into the radio industry, um, as a, as a sort of presenter as a DJ. So I sort of started getting some work experience at local stations. Um, all the while I was still kind of running my web business, you know, making, you know, there's a couple of hundred quit here and this, this, that, and the other. Um, and I kind of thought, well, actually there's a clear market here for selling streaming media services to the radio industry. There was a few companies already offering this. They weren't particularly presented very well. And I thought I could just do a better job of designing a sales process and a good website to sell to this industry. Um, but what I didn't really know about was how to set up a managed service and all that kind of thing.
James Mulvany (06:06): So I kind of blagged it really for the first year in a sense, I kind of found someone online. He was actually going Australia who could kind of do the techie stuff for me. Um, and I kind of, I suppose like the sales guy designed a website and sure enough, I sort of then started forming the basis of, of a business, which I still have today, a company called radio.co, which obviously has come a long, a long way since then. Um, we've got about 5,000 clients and, um, you know, more recently we launched podcast.co, which was the, the kind of foundation to, to kind of then build matchmaker.fm, which is a kind of complimentary product really. Um, so, so that in a nutshell, very kind of condensed version of my journey, but yeah, I've never really known any difference. The one interesting fact about me, I've never had a job working for anyone.
Michelle Reeves (06:55): Oh, wow. Well, that's quite interesting because coming from my corporate background with gosh, 16 years corporate, so before I started my own business, that's a whole other world out there. So in terms of, um, how you kind of, as an entrepreneur obviously that's kind of been your whole life, but for a lot of my listeners, they've been corporate side and then are maybe starting their own business or they've kind of been in business for a couple of years. So what would you say are some of the key kind of things you need to think of in terms of an entrepreneur mindset? What were some of the key traits that you think you have that's made you successful?
James Mulvany (07:36): I think sometimes just giving it a go, uh, I think that's really important. Uh, just the idea of coming up with something and just true testing it to see if it's kind of, it's got legs is really important. I'm sure we get onto that later. Um, and also perseverance as well. I think, you know, you've got to what you've decided to commit to something you've got to stick at it. Um, certainly back in, you know, when I was at university, I decided even though I have this kind of business, which was started, you know, very small business at the time, but I kind of thought, well, I'm going to go off to university kind of just to make parents proud. And also just in case I have like a fallback. Um, and it was interesting. I, when I first started at uni, I wanted to get an office cause I kind of thought, well, and I need to have that sort of work life balance that separation.
James Mulvany (08:18): So I moved into a shared office environment. It was like a kind of incubation type scheme, which was run by the union. Everyone else in the office was like in their late twenties. And they were people who sometimes been at, you know, I went to uni in Huddersfield. They'd been there, they'd gone off and they've done a few years in the corporate world and you know, they've got to sort of 28, 29 or early thirties and they thought, right, we don't like this let's start business. Um, but I was 18 at the time, you know, and it kind of in exactly the same shoes, I just sort of wanted to kind of grow and scale my company to a point where, you know, the beginning, it was just, well, when I finished uni, I don't have to go out and get a job. That was really the goal.
James Mulvany (08:54): I didn't really have any, any kind of vision beyond that because when you're in a student you're in this kind of little bubble, I think. Um, but yeah, I think so persevere, it's just, just having that goal in mind and working towards it and just try and be realistic as well to begin with, you know, because you don't have to conquer the world. Uh, you can just, and again, like you don't have to come up with a product that's completely different to everything else that anyone else has done. I, I, I'm a firm believer that there is no harm in going into a market that you already knows this, you know, it's working and just doing things a little bit better than everyone else and just time it kind of taking a slice of that pie. Um, so kinda think those are the sort of the key points that I try and make when someone's thinking about like launching their own career as an entrepreneur or, you know, transitioning from more of a corporate environment, but also as well, you've got to be prepared to fail sometimes I think, um, not everything I've done has worked out.
James Mulvany (09:43): I've been lucky. I've had some huge successes, but also I've had some pretty monumental failures as well.
Michelle Reeves (09:48): Oh, tell us about one of those failures. You opened the door there - I'm going to walk through it!
James Mulvany (09:53): You know what, some people don't like to talk about their failures and I'm quite happy to happily talk about them because it's one of these things that yeah. Everyone goes through it. Um, so for example, about three or four years ago, we launched radio.co and you know, it was going very well as a business had lots of radio stations are joining our network, but we didn't have our own station. So we thought it'd be great to actually create a project here in Manchester, which was based. So, you know, based on radio, um, but kind of make it more like a content network. So kind of a bit of a hybrid between like a social media platform and a radio station. And there's no shortage of Manchester of interesting music going on, lots of bands passing through town. There's loads of DJs and people who live around here.
James Mulvany (10:36): So it's kind of a real kind of creative music hub anyway. So it seemed like a perfect project. The mistake I made is I didn't really have a direct route to monetize this project when I started out, I thought, okay, was called MCR live. So we launched it and we built a very successful audience. Um, you know, so we had about half a million people engaging with us every single month, which is fantastic, but it's just in the end, after two years, um, we had, we decided to pull the plug just because it was kind of costing us a lot of money to run. We had studio facilities, we had staff who were maintaining it and kind of looking after everything. And obviously we had lots of lots of volunteers. So in a sense, I sort of see it as a successful project. You know, we got the community involved.
James Mulvany (11:21): We had probably about 50 different contributors who were creating content for us on their DJs, musicians, bands. And also lots of people are writing contents that go out and review, you know, go to gigs and write reviews for us. But for whatever reason, we just failed to sort of track sponsorship. I think sponsorship was what we were, what was sort of leaning towards. We had some promising conversations, but it didn't get get there. Um, and unfortunately, you know, it got to a stage after two years where I was like, this is not going to make money. I think if we were going to attract a headline sponsor, we would have done so by now. So it's time to pull the plug when she was, which was really sad to do, but it's one of those things,
Michelle Reeves (11:58): But that's a really interesting point you've made, there's two really interesting things I want to pick up on there. First is the whole idea of, you know, you might have a passion about something. You have a great idea, you try it out, but you've got to know how you're going to make money from it because there's so many business owners out there that are really passionate about what they do. And you know, I've worked with some and they're just not making money because they haven't baked that profitability in from the get go.
James Mulvany (12:28): Yeah, I completely agree this, this was my main failing there really. Um, you know, even though I have other businesses, which I don't know, I've always been very profit driven actually. I think I thought sort of thought, well, okay, let's build it first and then worry about monetizing it later. And you can sometimes do that. And there are lots of, um, you know, case studies of entrepreneurs who have built projects, really got that momentum going and then kind of figured out how to monetize it because sometimes when you have that momentum and you've got, you know, if you've got eyeballs, if you're creating a media company, you've got your audience, um, you know, it's worth something ultimately, but you know, if you're not good at attracting sponsorship or you're just your market offering isn't right. Or maybe it was a little bit too premature, um, you know, it can be very dangerous because obviously the main pitfall with this is this business costs a lot to run. I was, I had like at the beginning six full time staff working on this plus a separate office and a studio, which we were renting. So all of this was costing, you know, my current business, a lot of money to actually to, to kind of keep going. Um, so, you know, ultimately it's kind of, let's go all in and see if it works, but like you're dead, right. We didn't have any kind of monetization baked in from the get go. And I think that was probably one of the downfalls really.
Michelle Reeves (13:39): I think the other thing that you touched on there that is so important is knowing when to pull out. So knowing when to say, okay, this, this was a project, it was fun. We tried it, but it's not working. Let's pull the plug and move on to something else. And certainly with the, um, you know, lots of entrepreneurs that I've interviewed on this podcast and many that I know, you know, the true one of the true skills of an entrepreneur is to know when to say, okay, enough is enough. And then to move on to, you know, get past that kind of those feelings, maybe of disappointment, which we all get when something doesn't work and, and to, you know, to start on, move on to the next project, how did you overcome any kind of disappointment or feelings of failure that you might've had when that project didn't work?
James Mulvany (14:29): Yeah. So it's an interesting one. I think, I think on the lead up to sort of right. Finally saying, okay, enough's enough. We're going after, sorry guys, but we're going to have to call this a day. You know, I think you kind of mentally sort of deal with it because I knew this was coming probably for like six months before. And, you know, I remember just having this kind of internal dialogue constantly going, you know, should we just give it six months or should we just see a field? Because we kept, what was annoying is we kept having these conversations with potential sponsors, some of which were, seemed like they were positive and they seemed like they were going somewhere. And then I was kind of thinking, yeah, if we could just cover our costs and not actually worry about profit, but actually just get to a point where we're breaking, even that would be a good step forward.
James Mulvany (15:09): Um, but yeah, I think the two year Mark was like two years. And then when you start thinking about what you've spent on it and trying to actually tally up, okay, this is the amount of resource we've put towards this. Here's what that resources cost in terms of staff. Plus obviously equipment we've invested in, you know, advertising fees, blah, blah, blah, all this sort of thing. And you start looking at actually over two years, what you spent and, you know, you think, well, this is just going to continue going on and on and on, you know, uh, I think it's, it's always a tricky one, uh, sort of deciding where to stop. And of course, uh, there are other things you can do. Sometimes you can go there, then sell that business on and kind of sometimes you might not make a profit entirely of what you've completely spent on it, but sometimes you can kind of at least offset that cost. Um, again, I had a business which was underperforming, which I ran for a number of years called CD NFI. That was a similar situation. We, we decided to sell it and, uh, you know, the acquisition was went pretty smoothly, but ultimately it probably really counts as a profitable exercise still.
Michelle Reeves (16:10): Yeah, absolutely. And, and, you know, profit at the end of the day, if we're not making a profit, we're not running a business through running a charity. Right.
James Mulvany (16:18): Sanity, I completely agree with that. I've always been a firm believer of that. Yeah. So, yeah,
Michelle Reeves (16:22): Absolutely. And one of the things about how we get to that point for me is all about clarity. So, um, you know, the clarity of who we're serving and how we're helping them. So let's fast forward a little bit to matchmaker.fm, which I absolutely love is fantastic concept. Tell us a little bit about it first of all. And then I'd love to know kind of the process that you went through to help get the clarity around the whole concept. So how did you decide who you were going to be serving and what the right product was and how did you test that in the market?
James Mulvany (16:58): Absolutely. So matchmaker just as a sort of brief summary is a platform to connect podcasters and guests. Uh, so we have, excuse me. And so we have about four, 5,000 members now that's grown really quickly because we only launched this platform in February. Um, and you know, we were expecting it to probably be the 20,000 by the boat's kind of one year anniversary. So it's growing really, really rapidly. So it's a really exciting platform. And really the, the idea came about when we were launching podcasts.co last year, we'd spent about a year developing that platform and we were looking at marketing funnels and we were sort of deciding, okay, before we actually launched the podcast.co platform, we decided to create a website and start putting out content, you know, so that's another important thing. If you, if you're working on a software platform, it takes time to develop, use that time to actually start building a brand in the marketplace.
James Mulvany (17:50): Right. Um, and we were looking at different funnels and different ways we could get people onto the site. And one was guests, you know, obviously there's about 60% of podcasts I think are based on interviews and having guests on. So we thought, well, okay, there's going to be people searching for, you know, how to get booked on the podcasts or how to find really interesting guests for my podcast. So initially matchmakers, just starters like these two landing pages, which we just saw as a funnel to, um, you know, to build our list and get people engaged with the podcast or co-brand. And we had two Google forms. One said, if you want to be a guest on podcast, please complete this. Tell us what sort of podcasts you're looking for. And tell us about yourself when your areas of expertise. The other one was, um, if you're a podcaster and you have a podcast, you want to interview people, let us know what sort of guests you want and what we were.
James Mulvany (18:38): The first thing we noticed was people were actually going to great lengths to complete these forms. It wasn't just like a case of enter your name and enter your email submit. It was, you know, quite a few questions. So people were almost completing an effect like profiles about themselves. Um, and we were kind of getting quite a few responses on this over a period of like a couple of months, we had a few hundred people submit these forms, and then we thought, well, maybe we're onto something here. Cause we didn't actually have a way of connecting these two groups of people together. We just saw it as a marketing funnel. Um, so cause you know, obviously a lot of people are start with the guests on podcasts, then we'll start the road, which was one of the reasons we wanted to do this. Um, so yeah, so it kind of came about because we sort of had this marketing funnel, we then sat down with our design.
James Mulvany (19:20): We said, look, let's try and put together something. And then we kind of this idea for like 10 different podcasts came around. And so yeah, let's just put something together, really simple. Let's do some wire frames just to kind of come up with the concept of how this thing could look. This was probably a bit about may last year, May, 2019. Um, so we have this sort of designs mocked up fast forward till probably like late summer. And we thought maybe we should actually build this. Um, obviously again with matchmaker, it's one of these platforms we have yet to monetize. Um, but we do have a firm strategy of exactly how we're going to be doing that. Um, and we're gonna be sort of rolling that out in September. Really the core, the sort of the main focus to begin with was actually like, let's just get some users on, let's get them engaged and, and working with the platform which we've done quite successfully.
James Mulvany (20:10): Um, so yeah, so, and, and it came about because we, we sort of been through this process, we kind of effectively created this really small MVP, which basically costs nothing to put together, but it tested a demand for the market. Um, and you know, and, and of course we've now created the platform. It probably, we spent about sort of four or five months building it launched in February. And yeah, it's been a, been a great success story so far. And what I really love about matchmaker is just hearing about how, how many people have used and kind of got value from it. How many people have created really valuable connections. That's kind of exciting for me as an entrepreneur. Um,
Michelle Reeves (20:48): Why really love about matchmaker and, you know, I think the whole, the whole story around it is, is great that, you know, and often this is the case, isn't it you'll, you'll create one thing and it turns into something else. Um, and so being able to actually, um, feel at the end of the day, brave enough to jump on that and say, Hey, let's give it a go. You know, that, that, that's, that's, that's really, um, you know, great to hear and it's very inspiring, but I think one of the things I really love about matchmaker is, um, as a podcast and myself, it is provided a real benefit for me in finding guests because, um, one of the things that you want to do as a, as a podcaster is have your schedule booked out. Personally, I like to batch content. I like to get that done ahead of time.
Michelle Reeves (21:38): And I certainly recommend that in my podcasting course, practical podcasting for beginners, we talk about guest interviews. I sort of show people how to do guest interviewing and a whole workflow for doing that. And part of that is batching content and being able to have, um, you know, a plethora of potential guests on your show that are right for your audience, which is really key, um, and you know, is real, real benefit. But at the same time, being able to put myself or does a guest on other podcasts, which is definitely something that's on my agenda for the rest of this year. I haven't, haven't done much of it yet, but I definitely want to do that. It's a platform that is providing more than one benefit for a user, which is quite unusual. And I almost see it as a new, almost like a new social media platform in a way for, for podcasters.
James Mulvany (22:30): It is, it is in a sense like a, I don't know if we were kind of ready to call it a social media platform yet, but I do feel like there is certainly an element of that. Yeah. It's kind of cross between, I guess, social media and kind of like dating for podcast is really, um, it's, it's really interesting because you know, a lot of people will come on as a guest to begin with. Um, and they don't have their own podcasts. And then they'll sort of start thinking, Oh, maybe I should start my own podcast. And likewise, you know, lots of people who have their own podcasts, like as you just mentioned, um, actually being a guest on other people's podcasts is a great way to promote your own podcasts. There's a lot of podcasts in one sentence right there. I know. Um, so it's kind of you're right.
James Mulvany (23:06): It is, there's a sort of like a double edged benefit to, to, um, to matchmaker and what it can offer. And we've been really focused on just building quality as well to begin with. So a lot of it's been via manual outreach. So what I didn't want to have is a platform, which was kind of like a ghost town. So obviously, you know, like when Twitter first started and do you remember that there was loads of profiles? I just have like a little leg. Uh, so we just didn't want to basically get loaded Twitter, eggs all over the platforms. We wanted to make sure that, you know, people are actually engaged with it. They were spending time creating a profile and, um, you know, it's telling, putting their best foot forward, ready to make sure we kind of create that value from the get go.
James Mulvany (23:41): Um, which was why we decided to launch it as a kind of a closed environment. EG, you have to sign up to actually get into it and to see who's in there rather than being able to kind of browse to like the public directory. Um, just because I think that's ensured that we have this quality from the get go, which is really important because if you deliver that quality for you, your users, ultimately they will benefit and reap the rewards from it. And it will encourage them to keep coming back if they sign up. And it's just like a load of blank profiles, you know, where's the value people will just get bored and go away.
Michelle Reeves (24:10): That's a really interesting point. You made that and I'd love to know what your strategy was that, how did you do that first outreach? Because often that's an issue, isn't it. And even if we're talking about something as simple for my listeners who are maybe starting like a Facebook group and they want to kind of promote their business through a Facebook group, having a Facebook group with four people in it, it's a bit like a ghost town, isn't it? You can see the tumbleweeds going through. So how did you start that process of doing that one-on-one outreach?
James Mulvany (24:36): This is, um, this was a concern of ours because, you know, like you say, when you launch, you don't want podcasts, this is a sign up and be like, Oh, there's only 10 guests here. There's no value in this. And likewise, you don't want guests to sign up and below. There's only a handful of podcasts to choose from. Um, so it's kind of like, how'd you get that momentum going? Um, so our initial outreach was to start with our existing customers, you know, because we knew that they'd be on board with the idea of, of course it's completely free to sign up and use, and we will always have a free tier by the way. Um, but you know, it's, it was, it was kind of, let's start with the customer base. We know they have podcasts. We know a lot of them are on other podcasts as well.
James Mulvany (25:13): And also because we have this MVP and we create, we kind of collected all this data from users who are interested in this, they were kind of like our initial customer base, you know, so it was a case of, or an actual user base and matchmaker. So it was a case of, you know, just reaching out to them saying, look, we've now straight, this, this, this platform we'd like to invite you to try out before everyone else. So we kind of had probably, I guess, maybe a sort of base starting point of like 200 odd users who were a combination of the people who fill these forms out and also our own customer base. So it kind of immediately started to feel like there was something there not just like two or three profiles. Um, so I think that's really important, you know, again, if you're building a Facebook group, just start with your friends, just said, can you just do me a huge favor and just join this because you completely, right. If you're then sort of trying to promote a Facebook group and people can see this and he got 10 people in there, it kind of is off putting feeling well, isn't it. I'm not gonna get any value from that. So if you can try and get out to sort of 50 people just by starting with your friends and family, um, I think, you know, you're, you're onto a good start then.
Michelle Reeves (26:13): That's really good advice and great to hear that even with, you know, sort of someone that's been in business for as an entrepreneur 15 years, you know, it's the same fundamental building blocks for any business, isn't it?
James Mulvany (26:27): Yes, absolutely. You know, when you start, so you've got to start somewhere and you're always going to be starting from nothing ultimately.
Michelle Reeves (26:33): Absolutely. Um, just a quick question for you about podcasting, because I know it's an area that so many people are now listening to podcasts. It is probably the fastest growing content platform or it's certainly one of them. Um, and I love it, you know, who doesn't love creating content in their PJ's and reusing it all over the place. Um, but why would you say podcasting is a great platform for business owners in particular?
James Mulvany (26:59): My main thing is you have the intimacy with the listener, which you don't have via other mediums. I think if you look at the average watch time of a Facebook video or YouTube video, it's something like 30 seconds, right. But if you have, it's been proven that 75% of podcast listeners will actually tune in for the entire episode now as marketers or business owners to have that 20 minute conversation is really, really gold. Um, I think we need to make sure that you're doing is providing value and not make it too, too much like a sales process. Um, so if you are going to be starting a podcast for your business, a good place to start, that's what we recommend a lot of our clients do is just start with like an FAQ, you know, look at the kind of common questions that come into your sales team and just create an episode on each of those questions.
James Mulvany (27:43): You know, that's a great way of just sort of building 10 episodes to begin with and you kind of, your team should already have that content anyway, because you know, that stuff you're answering on a regular basis, I'm also looking at kind of the sort of needs and wants of your marketplace. What troubles are people having and sort of treat it like yeah a sort of resource for potential customers and also existing customers as well. You know, I think I'm sure you, you, you need to be able to measure your KPI and kind of get a result from it. And again, I think the way to do that, I'd have to call to action at the end of the podcast, but actually in terms of the podcast itself, I always think you should try and make it personal, make it sort of entertaining as much as you can and just try and provide some kind of educational value to, to your audience.
Michelle Reeves (28:29): Yeah, I completely agree. That's definitely my advice that I give as part of the podcasting course. And certainly I think for me as well, I think that when people first start podcasts, especially if they've been listening to podcasts for a period of time, there's that kind of nervousness about being themselves on a podcast. And, and I always say, you know, absolutely be yourself. You've got to create some polarity. You know, people are either going to love you or they're going to hate you and that's totally fine. You know, you really want to be attracting the right people to you. And some people are not going to be your people and that's okay.
James Mulvany (29:08): And likewise, you know, you don't have to be, if you're a business owner and you're just launching a podcast, just see it as part of your marketing mix, so see it like having an Instagram channel or a YouTube channel and just see it as an extension to your existing marketing efforts as well. Um, you know, you mentioned cross purpose in content as well. Podcasts are a fantastic way to do that, especially if you're recording video as well. We also suggest that if you can try and record video, you know, cause you can then clip that out and take the best bits out and use it for other channels or other platforms. And, um, yeah, I think it's just kind of one of those things you've got to get stuck into. I think this, this sort of some people are like, it's the first time you record yourself on tape and you're like, do I really sound like that? And it's like, well, yes, you actually do. But then think about it this way. People listen to you all day, every day anyway. So it doesn't really matter. I think, you know, starting is the main point. And I think again, when we speak to a lot of people who are businesses who are looking to start podcasts and they sort of think about it for far too long.
Michelle Reeves (30:01): Yes, absolutely. I am a big believer in just give it a go because you can start podcasting for practically nothing. You know, it is probably one of the cheapest content platforms to get started. Where do you don't need lots of fancy lights? You don't need a lot of fancy video equipment, the production values on, um, uh, quite a simple microphone. I'm using the blue snowball mic right here. The production values are really pretty good. Um, and I think also, you know, there's a slight expectation on other channels, particularly things like YouTube. There's a more of an expectation now that businesses are going to have a higher production value and people are starting to look to that. Whereas podcasting, it's still very much that intimate feel like you say, people tend to listen to podcasts while they're doing other things. They're not really kind of just sitting and watching something.
Michelle Reeves (30:51): So it's a great way for business owners to get started with reusable content, without having to spend a fortune, which as we were going back full circle, brings us back to profitability. It's a really good way to create some content that you can reuse for for next to nothing. Um, James, it's been absolutely amazing having you on the show. I really would love to ask you a question that I asked a lot of my, um, in, um, interviewees, which is, who inspires you. So as an entrepreneur yourself, you know, obviously very successful running a number of businesses, but who do you look to for inspiration on a daily basis?
James Mulvany (31:26): I think it's very difficult to ask that question. Um, I don't, I'm not one of these people who kind of like chases gurus or, uh, you know, business moguls or anything like that. You know, I've read quite a few books over the years, a lot of biographies. And, um, I think one of the things that does inspire me now is actually my team. Uh, I'm really lucky, you know, we've got a team of about 34 and you know, always think hiring people who are, you know, impress you and kind of wow, you, um, is, is a great way to hire. And, um, culture's always been a big part of my business. Obviously things are really different at the moment cause we're working from home and kinda miss it missing everyone. But, uh, we're starting to kind of gradually go back into the office for a few meetings and things here and there. Um, you know, obviously have to rearrange it and stuff, but I think, yeah, I draw a lot of inspiration from, from my team and just seeing, seeing the great things that they do
Michelle Reeves (32:18): That's right. And that's lovely, isn't it. And I actually really liked that that tip goes either in hire people that inspire you, hire people. And I think it's always a great thing to do anyway, when you're hiring people is to fill the gaps in your own expertise and knowledge, you know, don't, don't hire a carbon copies of yourself. You're looking for people that fill gaps, aren't you,
James Mulvany (32:40): We will not try and hire people who are better than you. You know, this is the thing, you know, back in when I first started out, I learned to code and, um, probably haven't written any code now for about eight years. But to begin with, I was kind of, I consider myself an amazing program or I thought I was the, you know, I thought it was the best programer ever. Um, and then I hired, uh, one of my first ever hires was, was taking on a developer who this was about nine years ago. Now he's now my CTO. Um, and you know, at the time he just finished college and I was just like, wow, this guy is so much better than me. I thought I was good, but I absolutely know I did now. And, uh, you know, he's obviously continued to impress me and he's, you know, as I say, he's now CTO within our organization, but you know, that, that's a good example.
James Mulvany (33:22): Like, you know, you don't want to hire someone who knows less than you. You want to try and get someone who's going to bring value to the business. And you know, it's always important to do that. I think sometimes people think that maybe is a bit intimidating to begin with because, you know, if you hire someone who doesn't, you don't understand everything they're doing, then it's kind of always that sort of scary or is it, you know? Um, but I think actually you need to kind of get over that, um, mindset block and just try and get the best people you can. And if someone scares you because they know so much, it's probably a good thing.
Michelle Reeves (33:52): Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, and again, a really good mindset challenge to overcome. James, thank you so much for joining us today. I feel like we've learned so much from your journey, some great tips, um, for clarity, for trying new things, for getting out there and just giving things a go. Um, but what I would love to know from you is how people can connect with you. So if they are interested in finding out more about you and your business, what's the best way to get in touch.
James Mulvany (34:22): Uh, so if you want to check out matchmaker it's matchmaker.fm and also, uh, all of my social media handles are on James m.com/connect.
Michelle Reeves (34:31): Fantastic. Thanks so much again, James
James Mulvany (34:34): Thank you for having me Michelle, it's been a pleasure.
Michelle Reeves (34:41): So there you have it. My interview with entrepreneur and founder of matchmaker.fm, James Mulvaney, do leave me a comment or drop me a note on Facebook or Instagram and let me know what your favorite part of this interview was and what resonated most with you. I do read all your comments and reply personally, so get in touch. Okay. That's it for me today. Thank you so much for tuning in. I know your time is valuable, especially now, and I really appreciate you taking the time to join me. I'll be back with another episode soon, but before I go, I'd love you to join us in the ideal life club, Facebook community, a space I've created for ambitious women who want to grow themselves as well as their business. So to find out more, join us by heading over to michellereevescoaching.com/ideallifeclub. And finally, if you liked this episode, would you do me a favor? Would you head to iTunes and leave me a comment and review it really does mean that more amazing women will be able to find the show in the meantime until next time, be positive, be powerful, be productive and keep fast-tracking your ideal life. Bye for now.