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The Pomp Story: From Podcast To Media Empire In 10 Simple Steps

It's April 2018 and in the past five years Anthony Pompliano has:

  • Served his nation in Iraq
  • Run growth teams at Facebook and Snapchat
  • Invested in over 50 startups

Productive would be an understatement... so what next?

Obviously: a podcast.

A podcast then leveraged into a personal media empire generating millions of impressions, clicks and downloads every. single. day.

How?

This post explains...

Step 1 - Ride A Wave

Pomp's first VC fund: Full Tilt, started after leaving Snapchat, was purchased by Morgan Creek Digital.

Through this experience saw the potential of blockchain technology and realised there could be an opportunity to dominate the niche.

So he did...

For the first 1-2 years of Pomp's media career he focussed all content on bitcoin and blockchain:

  • Podcast interviews
  • Newsletters (more on that in the next Step)
  • Twitter presence

Niching down in the podcasting world is a must.... but if you can niche down just as a massive wave is forming, there will be little competition as it will take months or even years for others to notice and start creating content in the space.

We did the same thing with a client podcast in the wonderful world of sales operations, which in a relatively short period of time: six to twelve months, became the #1 most downloaded podcast in the niche.

Pomp managed to niche down at a time when bitcoin and blockchain were entering the mainstream, and has been reaping the benefits ever since.

LEARNING: Niche down... but try to niche down on a tidal wave.

Step 2 - Build An Audience... Elsewhere

Interestingly... Pomp actually started a newsletter in the bitcoin/blockchain space FIRST, before the podcast.

This went live on May 6th 2018 on Substack: pomp.substack.com

The newsletter started off summarising news in the cryptocurrency space but has since transitioned over to more Pomp's commentary on the same topic, it is still sent daily (more on this in Step 5!)

The Pomp Podcast dropped on August 27th 2018, three months later.

Why?

There is a big misconception about podcasting: that it's a good way to build an audience.

It isn't.

There are actually many better ways of building an audience online:

  • Post content to a social channel (see Step 6)
  • Build a blog/email list
  • Start a YouTube channel

The core reason being is that audio search hasn't been solved yet... with these other options you can generate organic traffic, that compounds over time.

Podcasting isn't the best way to build an audience... but it IS the best way to build a relationship with an audience once you already have one. Nothing beats being the first voice your potential customers/partners hear first thing in the morning.

The majority of Pomp's audience didn't come from his podcast, they came to his podcast from his newsletter and Twitter following.

LEARNING: Don't start a podcast to build an audience, start a podcast to build a relationship with an audience.

Step 3 - Take A (Controversial) Stand

Pomp took a stand: Bitcoin will be the next world reserve currency.

Whether the prophecy comes true or not, doesn't really matter. What matters is that Pomp's audience knows what he stands for and can choose to align with that or not.

This allows Pomp to fit easily within a category within someone's mind:

"Pomp? Oh yeah, the bitcoin guy?"

Fitting into a single, simple category makes Pomp, and will make you much easier to remember.

In addition, bold statements or predictions also can elicit strong emotions, whether positive or negative. The stronger the emotion, the more likely someone is to remember you (and that you get more Retweets).

LEARNING: Take a stand. The more controversial the better.

Step 4 - Leverage Downloads Into Media Appearances

Though eroding fast, the mainstream media still leads the race in terms of the number of eyeballs aggregated in one place.

Pomp is a regular face on CNBC where he shares bullish sentiment about the crypto wave he is riding... interested viewers may then search "pomp" on Google:

Who is currently ranking above the Cambridge English Dictionary...

This throws more attention back at Pomp's Twitter account which then leads to the podcast and newsletter, and the flywheel continues.

LEARNING: Leverage your existing audience to get exposure on bigger channels.

Step 5 - Be Mind-numbingly Consistent

Since launching in May 2018, on pretty much every weekday, a podcast episode:

And a newsletter...

...are published.

Pomp is a machine.

I suspect that Pomp has a person/people in the background supporting with the podcast process, he probably also batches interviews to build a backlog to reduce stress. These are the tools Pomp uses to ensure consistency.

He also has a routine:

  • Wake up
  • Gym
  • Write

This is the other tool.

This is a habit for Pomp, it's harder for him not to wake up, gym and then write.

LEARNING: Create a backlog, build a team and refine your content creation routine if you want to be consistent.

Step 6 - Nail A Social Channel

Whilst at Facebook... Pomp was a product manager of the Facebook Pages product. He learnt about social algorithms and how to leverage them to gain cheap attention.

Pomp has transferred this knowledge over to another social network: Twitter.

Why Twitter?

It's where his audience live: finance/blockchain/bitcoin.

When asked about his secret on a recent podcast interview, Pomp simple said that hustle and trial and error are responsible for this growth.

Which has been rapid.

He started off in 2017 and now has amassed close to half a million followers, and it shows no sign of stopping.

And he's now moving onto the next channel: YouTube.

LEARNING: Find out where your ideal audience members are online, and engage.

Step 7 - Generate Value From Guests

Few people in the podcasting world know this.

In the early days of a show, the proportion of the value that your podcast delivers to you or your business will skew heavily to the guest side.

If you can generate value from guests, you will invest more in awesome audio content, which will in time, build an audience.

Pomp does this in three ways:

1. Building Relationships With Founders

If Pomp can add value to exciting founders in the areas in which he invests... this can increase the likelihood he will be able to invest in their business.

If we take this episode with Jack Mallers, founder of Strike and this episode with Zac Prince, founder of Blockfi... both of these are businesses that Pomp has invested in as part of Morgan Creek Digital.

Regardless of whether these interviews happened pre or post investment, the relationships are being built.

2. Lead Generation For Investors

Pomp has recently started his own rolling fund, he raised $20m in a matter of weeks... how?

His podcast and newsletter audience of course ;)

3. Learning

Pomp has said himself that if he finds a guest that he thinks is interesting... he will bring them onto the show, for him to learn from them. Instead of paying an expert their typical hourly rate, Pomp brings them onto his show, exposes them to his audience to acquire a very cost effective education.

LEARNING: How can you realise value from your guests?

Step 8 - Be Congruent

Pomp has said himself when asked that he only brings on guests that he thinks interest him... in this way, the podcast is adding value to him.

The astute readers may have noticed that this is actually the key to Step 5, in order for you to execute over years, the podcast has to work for you. If it doesn't, your willpower won't be enough to pull you through.

Presumably, Pomp wakes up and is excited to interview guests as they are people that he wants to get to know and learn from... so even if he wasn't generated X from ads, X from investor fees... whilst also finding deals: he would still run the podcast.

As an extension of this, Pomp also has catchphrases... here are two:

Long Bitcoin. Short The Bankers

Primarily used on Twitter, this rally cry drives engagement from those with a similar view on traditional financial institutions.

Bang Bang

Pomp starts each episode with this... it doesn't mean much, but that's not the point!

It's because of this congruency that The Pomp podcast cannot be copied... because no one else can be Pomp.

LEARNING: Be unapologetically you. Say what you want, when you want. (As long as it doesn't offend)

Step 9 - Diversify Revenue

Let's break down from where and how Pomp makes cash:

  • Advertising

Pomp sells advertising subscriptions that cover both his newsletter and podcast. He has up to nine sponsors at any one time.

A conservative estimate of the amount a sponsor would pay per month for exposure to Pomp's 100,000 email subscribers and millions of podcast downloads would be $10,000 per month.

9 * $10,000 = $90,000 per month

  • Newsletter subscriptions

Pomp's newsletter Off The Chain also has a paid subscription, he has quoted that approximately 10% of subscribers pay, at $8-10 per month this equates to...

10,000 * $9 = $9,000 per month

  • Investment fees & carry

Pomp is currently co-founder and partner of Morgan Creek Digital, I assume there may be some kind of salary, carry or commission there. Though he has also recently raised his own personal rolling fund. He has reportedly raised approximately $20m, with a 2% management fee, minus AngelList's 0.15%:

0.0185/12 * $20,000,000 = $30,833

That appears to be all the cold hard cash Pomp is generating right now: a cool $129,833 per month.

But don't also forget the more nuanced benefits Pomp experiences from his work such as access to the best deals, appreciation of the bitcoin price due to his education and other media appearances.

LEARNING: Think about how your podcast creates value for others, and test to see how much of that value you can capture.

Step 10 - Copy & Paste

Pomp is breeding mini Pomps.

He has a proven process for aggregating mass attention online, and is now teaching this to others:

The revenue model is unclear, but I assume a type of agency may appear where upcoming, niche influencers would apply to be managed by Pomp and his team to grow their attention assets. With Pomp taking equity or a cut of the profits.

LEARNING: Once you have executed, reaped the benefits... the leverage lies in helping others, and taking a cut.

And there we go team...

Pomp's strategy and focus over the past three years has seen him go from a relatively unknown investor to CNBC, 100,000 email subscribers and household name in the crypto/finance/investing space.

If you can take just one or two of these strategies and apply them to your podcast or personal media business, then I suspect you will experience more growth in the coming years.

If you want to be the first to receive future case studies of other rapidly growing podcasts, then simply enter your email in the email subscription box on the right of this page.

To the growth of your podcast and media empire ;)

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