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    • Please join me in welcoming Len Markidan, CMO of Podia, a platform for creators to sell online courses, membership sites and digital downloads, for a Cake Panel! This panel is open for questions.

      About Len: Len Markidan is the CMO of Podia, a platform for creators to sell online courses, membership sites and digital downloads. Previously, he was Head of Marketing for 5 years at Groove. His work has been featured in Forbes and Entrepreneur, and Len has consulted for clients like Prudential, Chegg, Jet.com, Groupon, Healthline and more. 

      About Podia: Podia is a platform used by 20,000+ creators to earn a living from their passion. It's the easiest way to host and sell online courses, digital downloads and memberships all in one place, replacing 5 or more tools for many of our creators. Podia allows you to create a beautiful storefront in minutes and start selling your digital products, with no technical knowledge needed, and no third-party plugins required. Podia allows you to handle everything from content creation to sending newsletters to your audience to securely processing payments, all on one simple platform, and supports free migration from your existing platform.

      Welcome Len!

    • Thanks so much, Victoria! Excited to be here.

      Before I joined the Podia team, I was actually a customer. I had been looking for a platform to host my own online course, and after demo'ing a lot of the options out there, Podia was the clear winner.

      Over time -- and lots of unsolicited feedback sent to the team :) -- I grew close with Spencer, Podia's founder and CEO. Eventually, he asked if I wanted to come and run marketing here.

      I love creating content myself, and I especially love helping others become creative entrepreneurs, so the decision was an easy one.

      And now here we are :)

    • If you want to sell an online course, digital download (think ebooks, PDF's, audio downloads, etc...) or membership site, Podia handles all of the technical stuff so you don't have to worry about hosting your content, accepting payments, managing access, building sales pages or anything else other than creating and selling your work.

    • I love that Podia users range from painters and artists to vegan chefs, all the way coding classes to fitness professionals. What are some of your favorite ways you’ve seen people leverage Podia? Is there anything that stands out to you?

    • I LOVE whenever someone who doesn't consider themselves tech-savvy makes their first sale on Podia, and has that light bulb moment of "oh wow, I CAN make money from this passion of mine".

      For example, we had a grandmother and breast cancer survivor create a course to help other patients cope with their treatment and stay positive.

      Even though it'll never be the subject of a blog post about some 7-figure launch, it means the world to that creator and their students, and that's amazing to me.

    • One of the neat -- and challenging! -- things about marketing Podia is that absolutely anyone at all who has something to teach can use it.

      That includes content creators like bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, service professionals like consultants and freelancers, and anyone under the sun who wants to help other people learn to do something that they know how to do well.

    • As the CMO, what are some of your favorite marketing tools? Are there any sources or outlets you rely on to keep informed on the marketing space?

    • We use lots of amazing tools to make our marketing work. A few of my favorites:

      - Heap is the best analytics tool on the planet for marketers. It tells us what's working, what isn't and where we should be focusing our efforts.

      - Ahrefs is our SEO tool of choice for tracking our performance and learning what people are searching for that we need to help them with.

      - Grammarly isn't a marketing tool per se, but we publish A LOT of content at Podia, and this tool saves us from a lot of nitpicky grammar correction emails from our readers :)

      - Rewardful powers our referral program, making it easy to reward our customers and partners for sharing Podia with others.

      As for outlets, I read some marketing blogs, but truly the best way I stay informed is to read what our customers are reading and explore the other products our customers are using. We ask about those things in our twice-yearly customer survey, and I spend a lot of time going through those responses and thinking about what our customers are looking for in those outlets and how that's changing over time.

    • Let’s say you’re a professional photographer who wants to start their own photography course. If someone like that wanted to get started on Podia, where would you suggest they begin?

    • This seems like a cop-out, but it's so easy with customers like ours.

      I've been marketing business software my entire career, and while many aspects of those jobs have been fun, there's definitely some self-motivation needed to get excited about selling HR software.

      But when you get to see your customers sell things and realize that their dream of becoming entrepreneurs isn't as crazy as they might've thought? We don't need a lot of help getting inspired to keep doing what we're doing.

    • Thanks for the question!

      People from all walks of life, industries and areas of expertise sell on Podia.

      Travel bloggers, marketers, math teachers, organizational consultants, architects and graphic designers, just for starters. Here are a few dozen diverse examples.

      And you're right, there's a lot of AMAZING free information out there!

      But just because someone can get information for free somewhere, doesn't mean they wouldn't pay a course creator who can promise that they'll achieve their desired outcome faster (and with a higher chance of success).

      Why do online courses sell so well (projected to be selling $325 BILLION/year globally by 2025) when most of the information is out there for free?

      Some people don't want to browse podcasts and articles -- and then work to figure out what advice is worth taking -- to solve a problem...they just want someone they trust (that's you!) to tell them what to do.

    • Well for starters, we're having poke bowls for dinner tonight, which I'm super excited about.

      After that...

      Next week we're starting production on a reality video series following a creator building their first online course. We've never gone THIS behind-the-scenes before, and I'm excited to share that with the world to show just how do-able it is, while being honest about the challenges involved.

      We're also hiring a video content marketer to help us do some other really cool things with video.

      And finally, we have a lot of fun under-the-hood projects going on at Podia, which you'll be able to see in a couple of months at Podia.com :)