Learn How To Bootstrap A Profitable Startup Here

Justin Jackson
Jon Buda
April 28, 2019 - "Share your story in a transparent and vulnerable way."
Since 2018
Management & Marketing

►Tell us about you and your podcast

My name is Justin Jackson. I've been a Product Manager for software companies for quite a while.

I teamed up with my friend Jon Buda (a software developer) to launch Transistor.fm together. It's a podcast hosting & analytics platform.

Our podcast is called Build your SaaS. We wanted to share the journey for what it's like to be a startup founder now, in 2019. Every week we record a call, where we talk about what we're wrestling with and working on.


►Why & how did you start this podcast? 

I've been podcasting since 2012 (I started a show called Product People, where I interviewed startup founders). I've been listening to podcasts since 2007.

We had a bunch of motivations for starting Build your SaaS. Because we're running a podcast platform, we wanted to use our product on a daily basis. But even more: we wanted to talk honestly about what it's like to bootstrap a company.

We started our podcast in February 2018, shortly after we signed our partnership documents.


►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?

We've managed to release an episode almost every week since then. Generally, we'll record on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and then Chris (our editor) will edit it on Monday, so we can publish it on Tuesday.

Finding time to record is a real challenge. Currently, it falls to Friday evening or weekends (which isn't ideal). Ideally, we'd record on Thursdays during the day. We're hoping to get there once we're both working on Transistor.fm full-time.

We pay about $320 a month for editing. Hosting is handled through Transistor.


►What do you gain from podcasting?        

Currently, we have two ad spots a month. They each get two pre-roll ads and two mid-roll ads. Each spot costs $250 for the month, so about $500 per month total.

We also have about 12 supporters on Patreon. We earn about $200 per month from Patreon.

Each month we'll get about 13,500 downloads (although this last month we had a big jump to 25,000). In episode generally gets 2,143 downloads in the first 30 days.

A big benefit for Jon and I as co-founders, is our podcast forces us to talk on the phone every week.

It also connects us with a lot of customers. Other businesses hear our podcast and think: "I should do that too."


►How does your podcasting process look like? 

I have a pretty simple setup (I talk about it here: transistor.fm/diy-podcasting-studio-justin-jackson). Basically, it's:
- Pre-amp: Behringer UMC202HD
- Primary microphone: Audio-Technica AT875R
- A pop filter

We'll prepare the show outline beforehand in a Dropbox Paper doc. This includes sponsor spots,

We do the call over Skype, and each record our audio locally.

When we're done, we throw our individual audio tracks in Dropbox, and Chris collects them to edit them.


►How do you market your show?

Before launching the show, I'd built up a pretty big personal following on Twitter and my newsletter. That really helped to get the initial word out.

A lot of our audience are people in tech, so we also launched it on Product Hunt.

I've set up an automated email campaign that automatically emails our show list every time we put out a new episode (I have the instructions for that here: transistor.fm/automatic-podcast-email).

We have a social sharing link that gets shared automatically to Twitter (which is where a lot of our audience hangs out).


►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?

It depends on your show, but to get noticed you generally have to be first, different, or better.

One way to be different? Share your story in a transparent and vulnerable way. There are lots of folks who put on their professional "radio voice" and try to sound really put together. But podcast listeners want to connect with genuine human stories.

I've put everything I know about podcasting into this guide here: transistor.fm/how-to-start-a-podcast


►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?

Twitter: @mijustin
Personal blog: justinjackson.ca
Company: transistor.fm

Updated: 5 months ago