Building a Business on the Back of Interviews

Do you interview people for your blog or podcast? You’ll discover how Nathan used expert interviews to build his business. Much of Nathan’s interview preparation involves his day-to-day reading about and listening to the topics, brands, and people Foundr covers. To help find guests, he looks for people who have books coming out or otherwise need press. By consuming a lot of content, Nathan is aware of what’s happening in his space and how to guide the interview so it’s interesting to his readers. To find the gatekeeper, use a tool like Hunter or search on LinkedIn. Repurposing Content Around each interview, the Foundr team builds podcasts, blog posts, email blasts, Instagram quotes, and a magazine feature. Then the team produces interviews and stories for the weekly podcast so each magazine issue and the podcasts reflect a theme or topic. By pulling content from the podcast, the content for the blog is different than what’s in the magazine. When she started her show, the audience watched because of the people she interviewed.

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Do you interview people for your blog or podcast?

Want to discover different ways to repurpose those interviews?

To explore how he built his business through expert interviews, I interview Nathan Chan.

More About This Show

The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

In this episode, I interview Nathan Chan, the founder, CEO, and publisher of Foundr Magazine, a paid digital magazine that profiles well-known entrepreneurs. He’s built a huge following of almost 1 million Instagram fans and 300,000 email subscribers.

He’s also launched a new book, Foundr V1.0: Everything you need to know about starting and building a successful business, from the world’s most influential entrepreneurs.

Nathan shares his interviewing process.

You’ll discover how Nathan used expert interviews to build his business.

Building a Business on the Back of Interviews featuring insights from Nathan Chan on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.
Building a Business on the Back of Interviews featuring insights from Nathan Chan on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

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Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Building a Business on the Back of Interviews

The Start of Foundr

In 2013, Nathan was working in IT support at a travel company. He loved the company culture, but the work wasn’t a fit. As he searched for something more fulfilling to do, he noticed that the major business magazines, of which he was a fan, were difficult for him to relate to. His life wasn’t like the lives of the people on a Forbes billionaire list.

Nathan started his magazine with about $3,000 and a goal of filling the gap between major business magazine content and entrepreneurs like himself. He wanted to speak to aspiring young entrepreneurs (he was 26 years old at the time) and provide in-depth content about what it takes to build a successful business.

Nathan says that podcasts inspired this vision for his magazine, too. Podcasts were becoming increasingly popular, featured stories about relatable people, and could cover a topic in depth.

Nathan created Foundr to fill a need for a magazine that speaks to young entrepreneurs.
Foundr magazine is filled with advice that speaks to young, early-stage startup founders and entrepreneurs.

Four months into producing the magazine, Nathan and his startup magazine faced a major roadblock. A large business magazine sued Nathan’s startup magazine for trademark infringement. Luckily, Nathan says, the rebranding of the magazine resulted in the name Foundr, which is a better fit.

Listen to the show to learn more about how Nathan responded to the lawsuit by improving the magazine’s branding.

The Business Model

Foundr has three main sources of revenue: magazine subscriptions, the membership site, and courses. The magazine subscription is $2.99/month or $21.99/year and is available through the iTunes and Google Play stores. Across monthly and yearly subscriptions, Foundr has 20,000 monthly readers.

On the Foundr membership site, subscribers have access to premium content, an online community, and exclusive training. In addition to the main revenue sources, Foundr includes a bit of sponsorship and advertising.

Listen to the show to discover the similarities between what Nathan and I do.

Nathan’s Interviewing Process

Nathan has interviewed successful entrepreneurs including Richard Branson, founder of Virgin; Steve Case, founder of AOL; Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post; Gary Vaynerchuk; Barbara Corcoran; Tim Ferriss; Robert Herjavec; Jessica Livingston, founder of Y Combinator; and others.

Much of Nathan’s interview preparation involves his day-to-day reading about and listening to the topics, brands, and people Foundr covers. He regularly looks at Facebook, reads what’s happening in TechCrunch and Mashable, and follows podcasts to see what they’re doing and whom they’re interviewing. To help find guests, he looks for people who have books coming out or otherwise need press. By consuming a lot of content, Nathan is aware of what’s happening in his space and how to guide the interview so it’s interesting to his readers.

To prepare for interviewing a specific guest, Nathan shares that he does less work than you might think. Nathan spends no more than an hour understanding his or her accomplishments, what might be interesting, or what the interview’s angle might be. He listens to at least one interview…

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