Nathan Chan is the founder of Foundr (https://foundr.com/), an online magazine for entrepreneurs. He started it as a side hustle, and over the last few years has grown it into a powerhouse brand producing content for entrepreneurs. They even had Richard Branson on the cover super early on, so they must be doing something right!
And they’re just getting started, if you listen to this full conversation!
John: Hello, everyone, welcome back to the show today. I have with me Nathan Chan who is the founder of Foundr, foundr.com, formerly known as FoundrMag, “Foundr Magazine.” So Nathan is a Melbourne, Australia-based entrepreneur, and I’ve been connected with him for a little bit now and found his content through a friend. It’s been super helpful for me growing my own company. So I’m super excited to have them. And today, we’re going to talk about Foundr and the growth of Foundr and scaling content. So, Nathan, welcome to the show. If you would, just introduce yourself quickly and tell us who you are, and what you do, and, you know, anything important that I didn’t cover.
Nathan: Yeah, thanks so much for the kind intro, John, and for having me, man. So yeah, I started Foundr about four years ago now, just started off as the digital magazine on the App Store, Google Play Store. And the reason I started it was because I felt that there wasn’t really any content out there that I could really relate to as an aspiring or novice-stage entrepreneur, and especially in the magazine publication space. So I also wanted to selfishly work on my own project as well and learn what it takes to build a successful business for myself.
So I started the magazine in the App Store just as a side hobby passion project, and it kind of took off, there’s a monthly publication. And we’re up to, I think, issue number 55 now. And we haven’t missed a shipping date since. So as things, you know, so I started on the side, had no big startup dreams or big vision for the company. I’m just literally started on the side while I was working my day job. And, yeah, it kind of took off. And after about a year, I built it up to be able to leave my day job, replaced operating costs, which is a beautiful thing about recurring revenue because it was a subscription-based magazine.
And, yeah, from there, I was like, “Okay, well, what can I do? I can either have a nice lifestyle business or I can, you know, really wanna make a dent in the universe and really grow this thing.” And as time has evolved, the vision has evolved, and really what we’re working on now is the question, the question and that what drives myself and everyone in the Foundr team because I can’t take credit for everything. We’re doing is, how can we build, you know, a significantly large entrepreneurial brand, a household name entrepreneurial brand that impacts tens of millions of people on a weekly basis with our content. So we’re in the millions right now. Millions of people consuming our content across all of our channels.
And, you know, where I left my job, man, we just launched a website. Like, before that we didn’t even have a website for the app. Well, we had a basic landing page. And, you know, we didn’t have a podcast. We didn’t have, you know, all these other channels that we have now. But no social media presence. Nothing.
And, yeah, that’s kind of how we started. And, you know, really the way that I’ve looked at scaling content, because, fundamentally, we are a content-based business. Yes, we produce courses. Yes, we produce magazines. Yes, we produce books. Yes, we have a membership site. Yes, you know, we’re building software, we’re building a SAS product. But, you know, we’re just starting to build a SAS product. We don’t even know what it is yet. But, you know, fundamentally, everything we do is content, whether it’s video, audio, premium, paywall, you name it. So what we’ve done, man, is really, I think, the way we’ve approached it is just really focusing, double downing on something, going really, really deep and getting really, really good at it, and then moving on to the next thing.
And as time has gone on, we’ve kind of, you know, really got good at one thing and then moved on to the next thing, and then now you’re just kind of focusing our attention in certain places which I see as trending.
John: What do you mean by you see it as trending? Meaning, other businesses are doing that, taking that same approach?
Nathan: Yeah, so, you know, I noticed… So when I first, as an example, I saw an opportunity in the magazine space, which I thought, you know, wasn’t being served very well for this startup entrepreneurial space. And I just focused on that for a very, very long time. And we got really, really good at it. But not only that, we got really, really good at building an awesome brand that the people know, like, trust, and respect if they know it or see it. And from that, you know, we were able to get really amazing, incredibly successful founders to come on the front covers of our magazine. And, you know, internal, sort of feature them on our podcast, which in turn we played the podcast game. And not only played the podcast game but, you know, there’s a level of skill required to grow a podcast. And there’s, you know, it’s an art, right? And, you know, we got really…you’re learning a craft and trying to get as many listeners to the podcast as we can.
And then, you know, from there, we moved on to social, you know. I looked at the social landscape, and I looked at… So podcasts were trending. I saw that as a trend. And still to this day, they’re growing. And we’ve got that, you know, that system really, really well-down and plat-down pat, a content-based system.
And then now, you know, I looked at the social media landscape and I looked at what platforms were trending. And at the time, two years ago, that was Instagram. And, you know, in two years, we’ve built that to, you know, 1 million people following, the 1.1 million people following, the Foundr Instagram accounts one of the largest in entrepreneurial startup-based Instagram accounts out there. And yes, it still drives us a lot of traffic no matter what algorithm changes anyone tells you. And it’s incredible, like it’s just absolutely unbelievable for brand awareness. That is so uncounted for, which is just insane. It’s generated just hundreds of thousands of email subscribers.
And then, yeah, we got really good at lead generation. You know, that I see, you know, there’s certain trends happening right now, which we, you know, there’s some that I haven’t touched yet, but there’s some that I want to and there’s some that I’m focusing on. There’s two trends that I see happening right now which I think are really strong is Facebook Messenger bots. I see that it’s going to be a big trend. And then also video and YouTube in a very, very big way. So we haven’t touched either of those, but we’ll start, you know, they’re gonna be in our goals for January. I think that’s gonna be very, very, a very, very big thing for us, you know, some big focuses for us at the moment is really, really getting good, not so much on the content side, but we’re getting really, really good at sales funnels.
And then also the blogging side as well. We haven’t mastered SEO and blogging yet, but we will. But, yeah, so there are a few focuses for us at the moment. So we really just look at trends, hone in on certain things, and then just really focus on them, and get really, really good at them, and put systems in place, and then move on to the next thing.
John: Yeah, totally, that’s interesting to me that you phrase it not as, you know, getting good at content or getting good at something like that, but two things that drove you. It kind of reminds me of Rumi Sethi who talks about, you know…he’s a fantastic business person and a fantastic personality, has built a great brand with how to teach you to be rich, and now working on growth lab. But what he talks about is, you know, he’s gotten really good at, like, three major things. The main one has been copywriting, right? And so, for you, it’s like you’re, you know. And everything builds off of that copywriting base. And so, for you, is like you’re really good at creating, you know, world-class content, but then you’re also then going and learning all the things that are around that, right, and repackaging it into other areas.
Nathan: Yeah. So I think we’re good at the channels. We’re good at certain channels. I don’t wanna sound arrogant. We’re good at certain channels, but I do…I, you know, we do work very, very hard. So we’re good at certain channels and we do work very, very hard to put the best possible content out there. Like, I was just putting, I was just working with one of our designers on the finishing touches of a repackage Richard Branson issue. So it’s gonna be a free plus shipping offer, which is going to be insane. So we give away a printed version of the Richard Branson issue for free. You just have to pay for shipping.
John: So cool.
Nathan: And the content, the design is impeccable, man, like some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen. Like, the content is so good, like… So, yeah, we really, really try and do content at really, really high level.
John: Yes, so that’s like…it seems to me like that’s…I’m obviously creating content, great content consistently like you all do is…I mean, that’s a skill in and of itself. That’s like, that’s an accomplishment in it and of itself. How do you think about that with, you know, with the needs to grow as well, right? Like, it seems like great content should, a great content such like a nebulous term, especially like in the SEO world that I come from, everyone talks about like just create great content. And it’s like, well, there’s really no just to it. Like, you have to have that base and then you build it off of that to grow. So how do you think about, you know, think about that?
And I guess like when you’re onboarding new people onto your team as well, right, there can be the…it can be tempting to focus on just growth, right, and saying like, “Okay, we’ve gone and done our keyword research for SEO. And so like, you know, let’s just go write some, like, 800-word blog post, but then let’s also, you know, write the really good stuff.” You guys don’t do the, like, 800-word blog post that people are, like, 10 ways to do X, right? You guys, you go all-in. So tell me about that? How do you, like, how do you personally think about that, and then how do you basically get your team onboard for that as well?
Nathan: So anything that we wanna do, John, I look at our landscape. I’ve always. Anything that we wanna do for any channel, I look at our landscape. So whether it’s the magazine space, I looked at the landscape. There was the podcasting space, I saw an opportunity and, you know, we had all these amazing interviews that were doing, we’re putting inside the magazine. Well, look, why not put them out into the world. We’re doing a disservice to the world not putting these awesome podcast interviews out there that, you know, these founders very rarely get on, and then very rarely people get to hear from, you know, people that, you know, do number 1 or 2 in their industry.
And, you know, same with Instagram. Every channel, I look at our landscape. And, you know, it’s just one of those things, right, where, you know, for example when you talk about, you know, these blog posts, I looked at our landscape, man. And I’m just like, okay, well, I know that we can’t compete in our current landscape on volume. We just can’t. We just can’t compete. We’re a bootstrap startup. We only have finite resources, so we can’t compete there. So instead of going on quantity, let’s go on quality, and let’s go in-depth. So we can compete if we just consistently put out some of the best stuff on X topic time and time again.
And, you know, we’re not that strong at SEO, like I said, we’re getting better, but we haven’t mastered blogging yet. But one thing I can guarantee is the content that we put out is strong. It’s valuable. If you read it, it’s gonna make your life better. If you wanna know about the X thing, it’s going to be very, very well-thoroughly researched and, you know, well-done with great examples, great experience sharing.
And, man, that’s all we can do. So how do I enforce that in our team? We just have a really high-level standard for anything that we put out, whether it’s, you know, social media post or, you know, on Instagram, a quote or something, it has to be well-designed, it has to be, like, good. We just have a really, like, I’ve just built a culture of having, like, one of our values is, you know, determined to deliver where we really hold anything that we produce at the
. So that’s really, really important.
So that’s how I have having, I guess, distilled that inside of our team is everybody knows just what’s Foundr quality, what’s up to Foundr scratch. And that’s at a very, very high level. If we don’t, then we are sacrificing and tarnishing the brand. And branding is absolutely everything, man, in today’s age. Because there is, especially in this landscape that we’re playing with Foundr, you know, entrepreneurship, startup space, there are so many gurus, there’s so many other brands. How do you get that cut through, man? The only way you can is if you just put out the best possible stuff consistently over a long period of time that builds trust, and you have an amazing brand that they would know, like, trust, and respect. And that’s what we’re trying to build.
Also, I’m all for the long game, man. I’m not about shortcuts, all about the long cut. And, yeah, that that’s kind of how we’re doing it. So we just have a really, really high standard. And we have content-based systems. So, you know, we have, you know, we have a system that we put a magazine out every single month in the middle of the month, rain, hail, or shine. We have a system that we, every single week we put out a podcast episode, every single week except during Christmas. So we miss one week. We take a one-week break. We have a system where we put out, I think it’s now two to three blog posts, you know, on certain days every single week. And, yeah, the way we’re scaling that is, internally, we have some great writers that are contributing content to us, and then we have some in-house content people.
And then also, at the same time, I’m also really trying to encourage out everyone in the team who can contribute really good content because it’s just fun. And it’s great that like, you know, if someone in our marketing team, you know, we do like a competition on VYPER, like we do a viral-loop competition and we generate 14k email subscribers. Well, why wouldn’t we share that with everyone? Because we’re living proof, you know. Everything that we’re doing at Foundr, you know, we’re, you know, we were told, you know, most people are told that it can’t be done. I’ve been told many times that magazines are dying, what I’m trying to do is impossible, and you’re going to fail. So we’re just as much, you know, trying to do the same things that you’re doing, John, or, you know, the person that wants to start a business is doing.
So, you know, we’re doing a disservice to our audience if we don’t share what’s working. And that’s kind of the ethos of, as well, within our values. You know, we’re all about learning and being curious, but also then sharing across our team, and then also within our community. What’s working, what’s not working, so it can be an actual source of truth.
And, yeah, you know, then across that as well, we’ve built up a brand, which when you build a brand, man, you can do some really cool things, dude. Like, you know, we can have all these crazy people contribute content to us. And, you know, if they want to contribute content on our blog, we have some pretty hardcore laws around, you know, if we will accept that content, it has to be long-form, it has to be, you know, really, really great. And if we do post on our site, and, you know, it’s an awesome piece, we’ll do good by you, and we’ll promote it flat out. We’ll put it into Edgar. So it’s constantly being, you know, pumped out to our 100k followers on Twitter. It’s constantly being pumped out across our LinkedIn, my LinkedIn, our Facebook page, which is now I think closing on a 400,000.
Now Instagram, we’ll put it, we’ll create a custom Instagram story for your piece and put it on Instagram story, so at least 30,000, 40,000 people will see it. You’re gonna get at least 5,000 to 10,000 views on that thing. So, yeah, man, like…and also we mail it to our list. So we have a newsletter of about 300,000 people. So we’ll put it in the newsletter so, like, we’ll do right by you as well, you know.
Nathan: It’s a win-win. So, yeah, man, like that’s kind of the way that we think about it, dude. We don’t really put, we don’t really produce the more than five pieces a week. Eventually I wanna get it up to probably about one a day, one to two a day, I think, or maybe even one to three a day. I think you can get there but that’s gonna take time. What’s going to be interesting is the next place we move our focus that we wanna master is YouTube. I think there’s gonna be some really, really, really learning for us on YouTube that’s gonna be killer, man.
John: Yeah, totally. I like your approach. Instead of, you know, you’re not thinking about scale, though obviously you want to grow. You’re focusing on, like, this is what our brand is. And then as you said, setting up those systems or processes for getting it out as opposed to, you know, you can always relax your editorial standards, and, you know, you could put out…you could, next week, be at three pieces of content a day, right? But it wouldn’t be Foundr content, right?
John: What you define content to be. And that’s refreshing to hear, man. And to be totally honest with you, because there are a lot of people that, you know, will just kind of, you know, scale back the quality in order to hit the quantity. But you’re, you know, as you said, you’re playing the long game, not the short game.
Nathan: Yeah, and I just know that, dude, no one cares if your stuff is 800 words and it’s not valuable. Like, no one cares. So what’s the point? It just doesn’t get any traction.
Nathan: You think, bro, like, we have tried. Like, don’t even hope, we have, we did, like, yeah, we have tried. We have put out some pieces that we probably should delete. If you go back to 2000 and, what…if you go back to 2015, early 2015 when we’re just starting out blogging, you can go and check, you know. We have put out at some mediocre stuff that we probably should delete.
So, yeah man, like, I think a good example…I think a good example to lead by is in-depth long-form that’s super valuable, that’s, you know, if someone reads that piece, it solves their problem on X topic if they read and take action on it, and they’re gonna, you know, their life is going to be more valuable if they spend 10, 15, 20 minutes reading that piece and implementing it. And then, lastly, man, it’s evergreen. So I see it as an asset. So I think of, you know, planting trees. We, every single piece we put out, dude, I just see it as planting a little tree. And it’s just gonna be the gift that keeps giving. And as long as we just keep doing that, and we can grow it slowly in a controlled manner, and we argue, you know, putting out one tw three a day, and they’re super epic, in-depth pieces, we will weed, bro. A 100%, we will win.
I was just reading an article that Sumo put out on the growth of Intercom. And I spoke to the founder of Intercom. Like, they’re like an extremely fast-growing SAS company, they’re just booming right now.
Nathan: They’ve grown to 50 million annual recurring revenue in two years. And when I spoke to the founder, one of the founder is Des, he’s like, “Yeah, man, it’s all content marketing.” They’re just really, really good at content marketing. They put out exactly, like I think it was, four to five pieces a week. And they have like, I think, 300 staff. And they get a lot of people in their team to contribute. So they might have two or three internally and then one guest post. And, man, they’ve done a killer job, dude. They’re very, very good. That’s all they focus on.
John: Totally, yeah. It seems like that, as you said, is that that hyper focused is really building companies and building brands these days, right? It sounds like you’ve done it with Foundr where, I mean, you have, you know, focused on building a brand, but you focus on putting out the best magazine you could, right? And then you focus on building the best podcast you could, right? And so when you go into YouTube, you’re gonna focus on building the best YouTube channel for entrepreneurs that you can, right? But you’ve also, as you said earlier, put in place the processes, where like when you start doing YouTube stuff, you know, YouTube channel, the magazine isn’t gonna fall by the wayside, right? Like you’re still gonna have one of the best, you know, entrepreneur magazines out there.
Nathan: Yeah, well, I’m trying. Yeah, I’m trying. And what it comes down to, man, is that Lego block marketing approach. So think of like building blocks. So if you, you know, you get your blogging down pat, you know, your podcast, your magazine, your social, each channel, and you just do piece-by-piece and then you move on to the next one, as long as those systems are in place and it’s still happening, you’re still, you know, kind of growing and still building it in the background. So it is a quantity game. I do know that. But I’m all about quality content at scale.
So you look at GaryVee. He’s a great example. Just puts out so much stuff. Why do you think he’s putting out so much stuff? He puts out way more stuff than us, man. And the way he’s doing it is he’s just flat-out doing video now and just repurposing video on a big way, and that’s we’re gonna start doing. So we’re gonna do, you know, the TV series, you know, and do four seasons a year and 10 episodes. So we’ll 40 episodes a year. And it’s just behind-the-scenes growing Foundr. And then, you know, Foundr TV behind-the-scenes, you know. Like I said, you know, everyone says that, you know, magazines are a dying trade, and, you know, we’re bootstrap this company to turn over multiples of millions, and we haven’t done with any venture funding what most people would think, you know, like, we should be doing can’t be done.
What we are trying to do now, we’re trying to build one of the largest entrepreneur brands in the world. So this is the behind-the-scenes of how it’s working. And then, you know, we wanna set up an office in the States next year. And then, you know, instead of me speaking to Mark Cuban over Skype and doing an interview from my home office on Skype via a podcast microphone, I’m, you know, we’re going to get him to go into one of our offices and do the interview from there. And we’re going to get a hotshot journalist that’s actually, like, have been doing interviews and journalism their whole life, that is actually 100 times better than me. And that we’re gonna interview, you know, we’re gonna interview Mark for our video. And then we’re going to turn it into a podcast episode, we’re going to turn it into a video, we’re gonna chop it up, we’re going to turn into meme videos, we’re gonna livestream it.
And, yeah, like what Gary does, it’s a very smart, and just collect all this content and just keep putting out these assets, and these assets just, you know, just keep sprouting.
John: Yeah, totally. And I think that’s super smart. It seems like the next, kind of the natural next iteration for you and for brands that have, you know, gotten really good at, you know, producing content at, you know, repurposing content, at doing multiple modes like you do, right, written, spoken, you’re gonna do video, right? And then you can start doing the shorter form stuff, you can do, you know, you already do the longer form stuff. So that makes sense where you build that, like, canonical piece. And then you can pull out highlights or whatever for the different mediums.
Nathan: Yeah. Another thing I like to look at, too, John, is I don’t just look at our landscape, like, you know, who’s playing and serving our market. I like to look at other landscapes of companies doing similar things to us or taking pieces of what they’re doing which could relate to us. Like, I find Vice, I find Vice quite inspiring. I think they’ve just absolutely nailed it when it comes to content. No, it’s got nothing to do with entrepreneurship. But that realness and that rawness of their documentary-style videos, it’s just absolutely insane. Like, it is so good.
So what if we started at doing a Vice’s kind of way of doing video content? So, like, not only do we have, you know, the founder behind-the-scenes stuff, that’s just one, kind of think of it as a TV show. But, you know, we could do other cool stuff where we have one season where we just follow around one of our, you know, students that’s ending like, you know, our membership site, Foundr club. And, you know, they’re trying to build a million-dollar business, and they’re doing, you know, $100k a year. What if we just followed them around for six months and, you know, we documented everything, and we turned into a TV series and did like really, really raw stuff.
And we could actually show, you know, none of the “Shark Tank” stuff, and I love Shark Tank, but, you know, what if we actually, you know, showed that and what that looks like. That could be a TV series, you know, it’s, like it’s, that’s the kind of stuff that’s cool, man. That’s the kind of stuff that’s raw, that’s real, that gets that cut through. And you can make, you know, you can find highlights and, you know, make a controversial, and really interesting.
One thing Vice does really, really well is they, is their clips that it gets shared on Facebook like wildfire, is their clips are really, really controversial. Like there was one, there was one the other day on a guy that, you know, he reckons, you know, that he’s convinced that something around, you know, aliens or something. It was really, really fascinating, you know. I just could not click on it. Like, I didn’t watch it. And they’re just really, really good and they’re really interesting.
So how can we create interesting, really valuable, entertaining content that is like nothing else out there? And I look at Vice, and it was like no one doing like something like Vice video-content in the entrepreneurial space. So that’s what we’re gonna do, man. You know what I mean? So, like, that’s how I have that stand of what looks good, you know. That’s kind of what I try and instill in everyone in the team, and like in within our team and our culture. Like, you know, what does, you know, really good content look like, or how can we get inspired by other, I guess, other media companies or other people doing really cool stuff?
Like, you know, as an example, we’re not a SAS company. I do want to build software. We’re working on just the very, very early stages of looking to go down that path. And, you know, I think a SAS company that’s doing a really great job at the moment was…there’s quite a few. But one that I think it’s doing a really great job is ClickFunnels. And I look at the things that they’re doing and, you know, I get inspired by the things they’re doing with their SAS company. So I think of, you know, I’m sure, for sure, I’m gonna steal things that they’re doing, and, you know, that’s how you, I think that’s how we look at it, is we draw other companies, other landscapes, other industries for motivation, and ideas, and how good it could be. And that’s why we aim for the best.
John: Right. Right, right. And so how do you balance that? Like, how do you personally balance that with, you know, the things that they’re, you know, that they’re doing with also things have been proven to work, right? Like, before we started recording, we are talking about, you know, about SEO, right, and how SEO is something you’ve mentioned as well since we’ve been recording that. You know, SEO is something that you’re not amazing at yet, right? You also feel like you haven’t nailed blogging yet, right?
John: Like from a traffic, a top of funnel acquisition driving channel, it seems like. So, you know, but SEO has been around for quite a while now, versus, like, you know, Facebook Messenger bots are pretty new thing, right? You got an Instagram when it was just starting to blow up, right? Messengers is just starting to take off, it’s a platform. So how do you personally think about balancing those two?
Nathan: Yeah, so you had to be patient and you can only focus on a couple at a time, and you have to get someone in your team to help you, or you have to assign that certain things to certain team members. That’s the only way to do it. Or you utilize consultants.
John: Tell me about that.
Nathan: So we’ve had a lot of success with using certain consultants for certain things like, you know, we haven’t internally have found a master at Facebook Ads. The jury is still out if we need to internally. We’re getting really good returns and really getting, you know, it’s well worth our while to just get a consultant to do that at the moment. So I wouldn’t say it was mastered. We definitely haven’t mastered Facebook Ads. Well, we’re decent enough that we were doing pretty well and getting great returns.
Yeah, look, it’s a great question, John. And it is difficult. You know what, it is difficult to balance. And you have to be patient. There’s only so many things that you can work on. But you have to try and get leverage as well. And that’s the most important thing. Like, I’m working on a lot of different things right now where I got so many other people in the company working on so many different things. But, yeah, you can just suddenly…you gotta set your goals at the start of every year, and you got to attack them, man. And, you know, one of our goals the next year will be YouTube. And truth be told, it was partly not. It wasn’t one of our goals this year for YouTube, but we did say that we want to create some video content. We never got there. We just didn’t have enough time. So, yeah…
John: And do you think that’s because…
Nathan: I’m not always mastering it, man, like a…
John: Totally, totally. We all start things and then we’d, like, they fall off or, you know, we set goals that then, you know, we don’t hit for whatever reason or…it sounds like with the YouTube one, you, like, it sounds like it was a bit more nebulous? At least like what you just said, where you’re like, “We want to create video,” right? I’ve always found that when you say, like, “We want to create video,” then it’s always like, “Oh, we’ll do, you know, video, this nebulous video thing next month,” right? Versus, like, now you’re talking about, we want to create a YouTube channel, right? Like, that’s very different from creating video.
Nathan: Yeah, well, look, with full transparency, what happened this year, John, we said we’re going to create two YouTube TV series. One, we didn’t know what they were, which is half the problem. And two, the person that was responsible just got smashed with all these other things. And this was pretty low priority on the chain. So I keep watching other companies or people’s YouTube channels and getting inspired, and just in awe of what they’re doing, and I just think it’s so cool, and I just think it’s such an opportunity for us. I’ve literally said, “Yup, okay, we’re gonna do behind-the-scenes, Foundr style. We’re gonna crush it with YouTube.” I’ve already locked down a deal with an amazing videographer, you know, worked at rates. We locked it in 10 episodes, bang. She’s starting in January, boom. So now, we got no choice but it’s gonna happen…
John: Right. You commit…
Nathan: You know what I mean? Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve got no choice. This year it was kind of, like, we said we’d do it but it wasn’t a high priority, and we didn’t know, what we didn’t commit to doing anything per se. Now I was, like, actually lined it up. We’ve got someone down pat. And, yeah, we’re just gonna get it done, man. So sometimes, you know, like, the best laid plans go astray. So, yeah, man, you just come at it next year. So that’s what we’re gonna do, bro. You know, we’ve wanted to really get better at blogging and content. We have got significantly better, but still haven’t quite got there yet.
Nathan: So, yeah.
John: So that’s the kind of thing that…that’s the long-term focus that you’re talking about where you’re, you know, you’re showing up every day, right? Like, you didn’t create a, you know, a great magazine by, you know, doing it every now and then. Like, you showed up every day and you, you know, and you pushed it forward and, you know, and you’ve built something worthwhile, very worthwhile. And then, you know, same with blogging, gonna be the same with video. But, you know, you identified the need, identified the opportunity, or just something that you wanted to, you know, something that you want to try and then you, you know, you commit to it, you know, for a set amount of time.
Nathan: But as I was saying, yeah. Look, the blogging one, that’s what that’s gonna be never-ending, dude. You know what I mean? Like, the podcasting one, I think that’s kind of easy once you get the guest piece down pat and, you know, just knowing what really good interviews look like, producing really good content, and, you know, working out how to promote the hell out of it. You know, but the blogging one, I don’t think that one’s ever gonna go away, dude.
John: You don’t think that challenge is ever gonna go away?
Nathan: That one’s forever.
John: …because the landscape changes so much? Or, yeah, why?
Nathan: Well, yes, the landscape changes so much, and it’s a pretty cool powerful business, bro.
John: Yeah, right.
Nathan: Like, yeah. Just, like, think of it like courses, like, we’re always going to produce courses, man. Like, yeah, you know, we’re always going to produce courses. We want to do 20 courses next year taught by influences.
Nathan: So, you know, that’s not gonna stop. I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. Yes, we will, from a revenue standpoint, we’ll hit a law of diminishing returns one day, but I still believe, like, you know, we’re doing a disservice to our audience if we don’t do what we’ve done with the magazine and dealt with courses. So, yeah, you know, it’s just one of those things, man, where I think, yeah, with blogging it’s an interesting one. Like, Instagram is always changing. And I’m always kind of keeping my eye on the pulse. But for the most part of the way, staying a step ahead. But, yeah, blogging, man, I don’t know. I think that’s one we’re always gonna have to be keeping, like, you know, working on.
We might get it to a certain level, like I’m sure Intercom has, where they’ve really got a down pat and they’ve just got a really strong growth engine and they’ve got really strong systems in place so they know what they’re doing. But, yeah, because SEO is constantly changing, and it is a core part of our business, I believe that one we can’t just kind of, you know, I just don’t know if we could master that one and be like, “Yup, all right. Let’s get five content writers on this thing and a director of content or a director of the blog on content marketing for the blog and, and then that’s it, come to the next thing, you know, and then just keep doing the same thing.” I think that strategy always needs to keep evolving.
John: Totally, totally. Because there are so many moving parts.
Nathan: Yeah, 100%.
Nathan: So there’s certain ones. With the YouTube, though, dude, like YouTube is a great example. We can get a system in place, we can just keep creating awesome, you know, pieces of video, and we can get someone that’s really strong on that, and we can just keep pumping out more awesome pieces of video, whether it’s different series, different pieces of content. And then, you know, eventually, you’ll have a system in place for new episodes, for new series, for more content, and spreading it all over social that…I think we can get that. Like, I have a goal of getting to 100k subscribers, YouTube subscribers by the end of the next year, starting next year. And, you know, once we get to that, I think the system kind of just lends itself and then we move on to something else. You know what I mean?
Nathan: Those ones, and it’s hard to describe or explain why or how, but for that one, I believe that ones, that could be a system that I set up and master it, go deep, really, really deep, and then move on to the next one after a couple of years, whatever that next one is, you know.
John: Yup, yeah, absolutely. That totally, that’s totally makes sense. I love your perspective of building a business, Nathan. This has been super inspiring to me. I want to be…I wanna be sensitive to your time, you taking time out of your day to chat with me. So why don’t you tell people where they can find you online, you personally, and as well as Foundr?
Nathan: Yes, so, look. You can hit me up on Twitter, Nathan H. Chan. And you can find out more, just foundr.com, foundr.com. So founder without an E.
John: Awesome. Well, Nathan, thank you so much for your time. And, of course, we’ll put, you know, the links to the different things that you’ve referenced, your courses and Foundr and your personal Twitter as well in the show notes. So thank you for being on.
Nathan: Awesome. Thanks so much for having me, John.