I Made a Big Mistake with my CTA (Plus, a New Episode on How to Command Attention in a Noisy World)

published2 months ago
2 min read

Hey Reader,

Did you know that Netflix is also a gaming platform now? That Apple make TV shows? That Disney own a number of YouTube channels without the Disney branding? It’s because they know what Steve Woodruff knows.

If you’re a podcaster, you might think the competition is other podcasters. If you make movies, you might think the competition is another movie. You’d be wrong.

See, what Netflix, Apple, Disney, and Steve know, is that the competition is everything. People are assaulted every day by stimuli, and if you want to cut through all of the noise, you need to stand out by being an effective communication designer. And there’s no better person to tell us how to do that than the King of Clarity himself.

Plus, in the PRO show, we talk about using AI to write books, and Steve’s process for writing his latest book, The Point.

Thanks to Hostinger, Lulu and Sensei for sponsoring this week's episode.

Top Takeaways

  • The average American spends 7-10 hours per day in front of a screen. On top of that, we see 4,000-10,000 ads every day. In other words, there is a lot of stuff competing for our attention.
  • You want to be pigeonholed! Instead of an “Elevator Pitch,” which sounds stuff and outdated, Steve prefers the term “Memory Dart.” What’s one sentence you can say to people so they know exactly what you do?
  • If you’re not communicating clearly to an outsider, you’re not communicating clearly. You want to make sure your copy (website, LinkedIn profile, Twitter) makes sense to people who don’t know your work well.

Behind the Scenes: Placing the CTA

We’ve all had the experience of an over-eagers salesperson. The moment they see you, you're marked as a potential sale and you’re immediately asked if you want to buy whatever they’re selling. 

And even if you walked into the store, expressing some level of interest, you still want to browse before getting hit with an ask to buy. 

I realized when I started doing the cold open that the first thing I was doing to listeners (especially new listeners) was asking for something before they had time to browse. 

In fact, I doubled down on this philosophy: a short CTA right at the time was a completely reasonable thing to do in exchange for 40-60 minutes of good, helpful content.

I made an honest, calculated error. Your goal as a podcaster is to get your audience quick wins – not you. 

That means you want to hit them with value before asking them for something. 

So you may have noticed that I’ve dropped the pre-roll CTA in recent episodes (in-fact, it will get dropped from any that had it dynamically inserted). 

My next step: figure out the best way to insert it after a value point. My thought is to do it right after the intro. Listeners already have the cold open and the top takeaways at that point. An intro followed by a 30-40 second “by the way” feels right. 

I’ll give it a try and report back – first to members, then here!

Until next time,

Joe Casabona
The Podcast Systems Guy

Podcast Workflows

Save 12+ hour per week producing your podcast by seeing how the pros do it. Get in-depth breakdowns from podcasters like Jay Clouse and Wondery, and behind-the-scenes insight into how I produce my 6-figure podcast, and actionable advice you can implement today.

Read more from Podcast Workflows