MKG Marketing MKG Marketing Logo Quotation Marks
Podcasts > Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders

0-5,000-Marketing on Mars Podcast Success In Just 6 Months

Kerry Guard • Monday, July 31, 2023 • 55 minutes to listen

Subscribe to the Podcast or listen on...

Spotify iTunes Anchor

Join our weekly newsletter

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.

Simon Chou

Simon Chou is the Chief Marketing Officer of BC Jobs and the Host of Marketing on Mars Shares


Kerry Guard: Hello, I'm Kerry guard and Welcome to Tea Time with tech marketing leaders.

Kerry Guard: Welcome back to the show. This is my final pre recorded episode. That is audio only. We are officially taking these live on LinkedIn and YouTube. These will be cut and produced for audio only to still go across Spotify and Apple and all the other places that my podcast ends up through anger. So this is not going away, we are simply expanding our horizons. And you have today's guest to thank for this Simon show joins me he is the founder and host of marketing on Mars. He is also the CMO at BC jobs in Canada. Marketing on Mars has over 350,000 views. They only have about 50 episodes, y'all. This is kind of crazy. He's interviewed CMO, CEO and founders have on their marketing secrets over hot sauce. So here's what they do. It's kind of fascinating. Both Simon and his guest pick out their favorite hot sauce. And Simon asks some tough questions. And if they can't answer the question, they both have to take a shot of hot sauce and they do it live it do it live. And it's I don't listen to the show live. I always I've subscribed on Spotify, and I listen while I make dinner. But it's just this curious, wonderful concept. And the people who have he has on the shows are not messing around in terms of their caliber. Everywhere from KISSmetrics to SEMrush. to Microsoft, it's kind of wild what Simon's been able to accomplish in in just the short 50 Plus episodes. So I had Simon on Simon asked to come on the show. And I was delighted. A fan grown up fangirled a little bit sorry, not sorry. But what he's doing is pretty remarkable news. And so I asked to sit down with him and discuss what themes he's been saying, hey, you've hung out with some of the top VPs and CMOs and, and founders of really big, important companies. What are they saying? I've listened to all the episodes, but I thought it'd be nice to bring sort of a catch all trends. Episode to where he tells us what everybody's saying across the board in terms of where marketing is and where it's going. We sit for a while and community because for two reasons. One, that's where the markets going. It's it's building these really intentional communities around bringing people together and solving some challenging issues. Yes, and it's just near and dear to Simon. It's something he truly believes in. It's something he's personally doing and doing really, really well. I think it's what lends to some of the audience members he's been able to experience. So proof is in the pudding that way. So he really shares with us what community means and how he's been able to do it, along with some other tactics and channels that these CMOs and VPs and founders are talking about from these enterprise level brands that they're working at. It's really helpful, wonderful conversation. I'm so grateful for Simon. And I'm grateful that Simon pushed me out of my comfort zone and said, you need to do these episodes live and make it happen. Let's go. And sure enough, my very next episode was with Tara pollack. And we did we did it live and was spur of the moment. It was glorious. And I've been doing them ever since. And I absolutely absolutely love it. I love it. Because it's engaging. It's not just me talking into a microphone. It's somebody on the other end that and we're looking at each other. And then there's this chat component that you all can chime in on and ask questions with and join the conversation. And it just adds this whole new level and layer that I'm here for. I'm here for it. I love it. Absolutely love itself. To time. It's not going anywhere. We're simply expanding and you can come check out those episodes. It'll be in the show notes for you. But in terms of this conversation with Simon, it's the perfect conclusion to my audio only show. And it's been wonderful for years and I'm excited to take this next level. Let's do it. Let's do it. All thanks to you all. Here is my conversation with Simon Hello, Simon, thank you for joining me on Tea Time tech marketing leaders.


Simon Chou: Hello, hello Kerry. How's it going?

Kerry Guard: Good, good. I'm so excited to have you. Um, before I tell our audience why I was so, so excited to have you once. Tell us your story, Simon, what do you do? And how did you get there?

Simon Chou: What do I do? Oh my God, that's a loaded question. I do a bank right now, currently, I advise a couple of b2b company. I'm the CMO black, the CEO of one of the largest job or in Western Canada. And outside of that, I own two podcasts, one that I am a lot more focused on nowadays. It's called marketing on Mars, which I'm sure we'll get into. And outside of podcasting, and advising companies, I own two agencies. There, they've been operational for the last three, four years. And I'm more of an advisory position, I don't do any of the day to day. And on top of that, I started a lot of building a lot of different communities. Though I have a community just for founders locally in Vancouver, have a community just for HR and recruiter type people in Vancouver. Have a community just for young professionals in tech. So marketing sales and tech related role. And then I have an online community for LinkedIn creators that I started three months ago. And we've grown to probably around 4550 members now. So a lot of stuff going on. I also love jumping on other people's podcast to learn more about other people podcast, not just mine.

Kerry Guard: Do you sleep?

Simon Chou: Valid question. I, so honestly, I have I've suffered from insomnia. Since I was a child, that was a crazy result. So I do believe, but I can't believe more than six hours at a time. I'll wake up, I'll wake up until I've never slept more than six hours in my whole life. And that's an honest answer. But I do sleep.

Kerry Guard: Sleep, sleep is good. Even if it is only six hours. The no wonder why you have so much I always look at my calendar go where's the time gone. And I need eight hours. So I lose in two.

Simon Chou: You're one of those. You're there's like a long period of time. After university when I was trying to get my first job, you know, you know those times. And I was like really like networking and I was submitting like 2000 emails per hour, or resumes per hour. And I'll be like, I was running on two, three hours of sleep for like a solid six months now was like the worst time, worst time of my life. And that's when I realized sleep was important when I was sleeping two hours a day.

Kerry Guard: Oh my gosh, yes. I know. No, you don't you don't want to meet me. But I've had less than seven hours. So this is not pretty to ask my husband? Um, don't ask my husband. No, no, I take that. You have a lot of irons in the fire and you're very, very busy. But what's led you to be able to do all of these things from owning agencies and running them as both a CEO and cmo as well as having podcasts and being an advisor? What's what's been sort of your journey you mentioned, you know, at a university submitting to, you know, 1000s of resumes. What was your past to this moment?

Simon Chou: Um, yeah, so I graduated, I'll try to be as quick as possible because my life is boring. To most people. I graduated with a finance degree. I worked in banking, hated it. And then I could not break into any other job outside of banking, because I only had a finance degree. But I knew I would like being creative. And so I was like, How can I break up into this? How can I break into the startup world? Because at that time, 2015 2016 was when I was thinking about quitting career. And at that time, like Snapchat has got like an offer for like $4 billion Instagram got bought by Facebook, and so many things are happening in the tech scene. And now thinking, I want to be in a tech scene, I want to do marketing, I think that's what I want to do. And I applied to, that's when I applied to, like, so many different positions, got rejected to every single company. And I'm like, What's the best way for me to join a startup? Why don't I start my own company? That's what that's what my mentor told me. So I started my own company selling female food businesses to female customers. And I just had this idea that more and more females are going to be in leadership roles. More and more females are going to be in the in the workforce. So I kind of, I think it'd be a good business idea. Last $15,000, that was a burden, excuse me, lost $15,000 on that verse on my first rodeo, but I learned so much, I learned how to build a website, I learned how to do email marketing, I learned how to do social media, marketing and everything. And from there, I got really lucky. I went to a couple of networking events. And I met a company, a guy that was starting a cryptocurrency startup. And so I joined them. And then from there, the rest of the six weeks that cryptocurrency startup ended up raising $50 million in fundraising. And I was part of the first you know, to first first hire in marketing. And so I took that join, joined a couple of agencies, and then end up starting my own agency. That's kind of, I think, just like, not not taking no for an answer, and just finding a way to get things done. That is that is marketing in a nutshell, isn't it? Like, the platforms will change? Yeah, algorithms will change, like YouTube changed our algorithm twice in the last 12 months since I started my podcast, but we just had to adjust and adapt, like things are going to change platforms is going to change. But you got to figure out a way to figure out a way to get things done, and to reach your target audience.

Kerry Guard: It's so true, it is pretty much like as long. Forget your target audience, figuring out what to say your target audience and then figuring out how to reach your target. I mean, that's marketing, right, and then rolling with the platforms as they move our cheese on a regular basis. It's so true. Let's talk about we're gonna dig into your journey, especially where you are right now. From a podcasting standpoint, I can't wait to understand more about that. Things are starting to make sense now that I've heard your story. We'll dig into that. Before we get there. One of the questions I really love to ask people is what challenge they're currently facing life is hard. We're all human. Share with us something that sort of in your way or a roadblock that you're you're hitting up against right now?

Simon Chou: Yeah, I love that question. So I think I mentioned at the beginning, I run a lot of founder events, and a lot of events that I've been too focused on all the good things that are happening with startups, right. And so it just becomes this boasting competition, I raised 5 million, I raise 10 million, I have 20 employees, our 40 employees. And I'm like, it's not really providing me any value. I'm not learning anything from you just posting. And so one of the questions I like to ask as well, whenever I do my sound, or networking events is I get people that break everyone into smaller circles. And they go around, they talk about what they do, and the biggest challenge. So I love this question. Right now my biggest challenge is trying to figure out, do I double down on community and spend more time on it, because now the community sizes are getting larger. And I'm managing more and more different communities, do I double down on that, because I really do enjoy what I'm doing with the community because I get to connect people with other people. And it's, it's so powerful, especially when you don't, I mean, I'm in a fortunate situation where I don't think about money, as much. So I'm not running these events to make money. Because whenever people whenever event organizers start start planning these events, and you you go to events, and they're amazing. And then on the third event, you realize they're trying to sell you something. I've ran events for the last eight months, and I haven't sold a single thing of my truly I've just want to connect people with other people. And right now, however, getting to a large size, like I just recently find an event two weeks ago, 110 people showed up, I did it all on my own with like the help of one entry level social media manager. And so I'm trying to figure out the Why do I double down on this? Do I actually invest money into this? Or do I continue to do it on my own? And, you know, take a lot of time out of my day? And do I still continue to do it, you know, once a month or do I change it to once a quarter. So this has been my biggest challenge right now. The other thing is I've been very active on LinkedIn platform. And LinkedIn is taking up a lot of my time as well. So just trying to figure out, you know, where where do I? Where do I put my eggs? Which basket? Why double down on community and events? Or do I double down on creating more content on LinkedIn? Because they both require time or resources.

Kerry Guard: That's actually one of my questions for you down the road. So let's continue on this journey and unpack that. Let's talk about your podcast marketing on Mars. I said this to you before we started recording, and we just say it for re listening. I'm kind of fangirling right now, because I went to London a few weeks ago. And on my I was like, Ah, I'm gonna start listening to Simon's podcast and see what it's all about. And I just started binging like, I just got in it. Wow. Um, yeah, I just really love your format. Like, I also really love the way that you conduct yourself, and you really make it about, you have a very, you have a very clear format, which I appreciate giving you.

Simon Chou: What is the format. I'd love to hear from you. What is the format? What is it about the podcast that you like? I'm also like, I don't hear this to be on. I don't hear as often where we're not because I just started my journey eight months ago. So it's very cool to hear from someone else that I also look up to saying that my podcast is good. So yeah.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, well, for for one thing you do, you're a little better at this than I am actually have asked me very clear questions, and then stepping in and just letting the guests talk. And I really love that you have very clear questions, I sometimes have to talk through it to then get to my question where you're very concise, you're a little bit more direct and concise. You make a point. And then you ask a question, and you're very good at that. I'm working on it, you've inspired me. Oh, the other thing I really love is that you ask the same questions like, not the exact same way. But in a similar format, like you want another story of what they're doing and how they got there. You want to know what they're doing for their existing, you know, you let them do sort of a plug for their, their platform, or whatever it is that their company they're working for. And then you like, you double down, like you ask the tricky questions around what they're spending, how much they're spending, where they're spending, and they can't always tell you generally, they can't tell you, which is where the this shots of hot sauce come in. And so but you keep tweaking the question until you get some response, which I think is helpful, because we don't know what is sort of happening out there in terms of what people are spending, I love how you get tactical to you want to know what the channels are, you want to know where they're spending, you want to know what their percentage is like, you really keep pulling back that on the end until you you pull enough out of them that's like people feel like they can go do something with it. And so that's the format, I feel like you sort of, you know, you start high level, and then you start digging into the tactics and and they tell you, they tell you what is working for them. And for big fortune 500 companies to know what marketing efforts are working is pretty magical. And 

Simon Chou: Yeah, I mean, I appreciate it. First of all, I appreciate that, hearing it from from you and just someone who's a peer of mine. It means a lot. Yeah, that's exactly it. That's exactly why I started the show, I started the show because I wanted to become a better CMO, though I needed to bring up a better pMOS than myself on the show. So started off by, you know, bringing some of my friends who I thought were better than me. And still are they truly are better than me. And they're running marketing budgets for companies that make $20 million in revenue $25 million in revenue. And I just wanted to ask tough questions to them. And then I wanted to know, everything that they did, and ask them questions in a way where I wouldn't feel scared about asking any question because the concept is, if they can't answer, we just take out a hotdog and then we move on. So I'm not afraid to ask anything. And then from $25 million in you know, in annual revenue, companies started getting larger and larger, we started getting $50 million per year companies 100 million dollar companies. Sem rush him on the show, they do about $300 million. And we recently had a company come on, they do about $400 million a year in revenue. And to get the talk to the kind of the level people and founders and really dig into what they're doing. We kind of get a we can get a very strong sense of what's working out there. And what's incredible is hearing like one of the most common themes that I've heard one of the biggest reasons why I decided to double down on community this year with I've interviewed probably about 60 Different CMOs and founders all making 50 to $300 million in revenue and they're all thing to cutting back on PPC cutting back on, on on traditional demand like social media, doubling down on content, marketing and community And I'm like, when I hear that, coming back time and time again, like, wow, that makes a lot of sense. And this is coming from someone who, who owned performance agencies in the past, I am was the biggest performance marketing advocate ever like I, I fully put it put my truck on every single one of the platforms. And now it just doesn't make sense, the GPA doesn't make sense anymore, the car or the PVC that that makes sense. And just the overall returns doesn't make sense. And so doubling down on community, right, and that goes back to the like, it's all from the podcast, I wanted to know the truth of what's happening.

Kerry Guard: So I think a lot of companies are struggling with content. I love that companies are doubling down on it. And companies who have 50 million plus in revenue, it's been easier to double down on content, because content takes both time and resources. And resources means money. Right. And so for the smaller companies who are trying to figure this thing out, I think podcasting is viable means why we started one, one, because I'm similar. I'm like, Okay, I need to know what's happening out there with my audience and what they care about and what they want to be doing. And content storytelling. It's like so much of what I've been talking about the last year with folks. So that's why I started it and then trying to get you know, I think I think podcasting is just phenomenal. High quality content. It's consistent. Yeah, you're and you're probably I mean, you this is your second one. But I find that podcasts need purpose and value, right? You can't just start one because you feel like it. Shocks like let's start your podcast today. Yeah. They need purpose. And you've talked a little bit about it, like you're being a CML wanting to know what's out there in the world. It does need to serve. I'm going to this is my only spicy question. And I'm learning from the best here, do it, do it, learn it for the best year Simon, there's got to be monetary. Like there's got to be monetary value in some way. You said you haven't put any money into yet. Sounds like you haven't really needed to and you're thinking about it. Where's the been the payoff for you thus far? Is it just that you've gotten these amazing guests? It's just that you've gotten his you know, so much listens and growth? Is there actual payoff from this thing that you've created? Is it fueling your agencies and your job board? Business? Like?

Simon Chou: Yeah, okay. Great. Very good question. And probably a question that not a lot of people would want to answer. But I'll answer it. Because I feel I believe in the I believe that when you give the truth to the world, that the world will give the truth back to you. So when I started my first podcast, I'll be honest, I did not get any monetary rewards, because it was a podcast for b2c jobs, the role that I'm currently the CMO and P O for so but BT Jobs got a lot of benefits from it, because they start like every single big company, PayPal, Facebook, IBM, West WestJet, like these big companies all came on the show. And so it made the podcast look really, really big, and like a podcast to listen to. So that show grew really quickly. There were by month, by the very first month there, they were already getting about 3000 downloads or something per month on the show. And and so guess what, all these companies that are listening to this podcast, they started posting their jobs on the job board. Because they're like, Oh, I haven't heard a PC jobs in a while. They're still around. Because, you know, PC jobs. They've been around for 20 years. So people come and go indeed got really popular zip recruiter gotten really popular. But everyone's like PC jobs still around. And all these big companies are coming on the podcast, they must be doing something cool. So we saw an uptick, massive uptick in subscriptions, so it didn't serve me any personal benefit, but it benefited PC jobs a lot. Fast forward, like a year or so. I did receive some personal benefit. One of the guests that came on the show was the CEO of a really, really big agency. Probably one of the largest in Canada, you can probably pinpoint, there's probably only a handful like 10 that are above, you know, $80 million in revenue. So it's one of the largest agencies. I had the CEO and founder come on the show. And he gave me some work, which I've siphoned over to my agency That was the one time where I saw monetary benefits. Outside of that. Since I started marking on Mars 10 months ago, it's been a tough, and you know, the last six, eight months for the entire economy, and marketing agencies got hit really hard because of the introduction of AI, tattoo UBT, all these other tools that are making things faster and more affordable, add on to the fact that the world is now embracing remote workers. So a lot of the work that was in North America is now thriving, and, like, pushed out to cheaper and cheaper areas. On a like how a lot of manufacturing used to happen in the US, and then it got pushed to China. And now even China's too expensive has been being pushed in Vietnam, and Vietnam to Bangladesh. And, you know, yeah, I feel like we're seeing the same thing with the marketing world. So it's been a very tough last six to eight months for the marketing agency world. We're still doing okay, my agency is still doing okay. But I can imagine a lot of people listening, if they're, if they own agencies are probably wondering how the heck do I nothing's working for me, none of my paid is working for me. None of my organic stuff is working. Even my podcast was working, and it's okay. Everyone is experiencing it. I think we just got to wait it out a little bit until the market recovers. But you know, all this. In short, to answer your question, very, very little monetary reward from the podcast. It's mostly for branding. personal reputation.

Kerry Guard: Same, same. I mean, I've maybe gotten a few deals from from it from building but what you one of the things you say on your podcast, very, very often, that I believe in too, and why I think community comes into and here as well. Is that people to people, right? So b2b, as you like to say, according to b2b is a people to people business. And that's really what the podcast lends itself to is opening up conversations between people and then letting lovely listeners be flies on the wall to learn from our conversations. And that's really what this what's happening right now.

Simon Chou: Yeah, yeah. 100%.

Kerry Guard: And I have a question around the people, the people piece, because where did that? Did that come from? You just learning about the community aspect through your podcasts. And so that's what you have ultimately come to believe. Where's that personal experience from the people? The people aspect? Where's that? Where does that line sort of come from?

Simon Chou: It came from one of my mentors who I found through my podcast, by the way, I think it was, it was a mixture of everything, if you if my mentor if I had met my mentor, before I started podcasting five years ago, call it five years ago, time, and I was only seven, only 26 years old at that time. If he had told me people are the most important thing, you got to focus on people I would have been like, screw that. I'm gonna focus on experience. I always thought that learning about things and becoming smarter was the way to success. And then as I started my podcast, I realized that less and less, because I kept learning more through the podcast, by never got better as a person didn't become more successful, or didn't become a better person. But I met one of my mentors do the podcast, he was episode 36, or 38. And very successful founder as well. His company does well over eight figures in revenue per year. And you told me, he told me this. I stole this quote from him. He said, Yeah, business to business is not business people, the people, it's people at the end of the day making decisions. And you need to, you got to think about your career as a marathon of making these business relationships, some relationships, you'll build very close in one month. And you just hit it off, just like that. And you have some friends like that, that you just hit off in one in one month. And then their friends that you've known, you've known each other for a while, you don't have each other, you respect each other, but you don't really get close for a year, three years, some people you haven't talked to, and all of a sudden comes back. And you guys reconnected five, like five years later, and you guys are just best friends. Just like friendship in friendship, business is the same thing. Things come, things will come and wave, they will come to you very fast, or will come very slow. And you got to be ready for the long game. Don't just play business for the short game. And that's when I realized, like, all of these experiences that I get, as well, like, I can learn from people around me. I don't have to learn. I don't have to spend $20 million dollars a year in ads to know what it's like I can just talk to the CMO who spent $20 million a year and then I can learn from him or her right. And so that's when I realized the importance of of Have people. And so ever since then, ever since I had that conversation, and maybe learning through the podcast at the same time, I just realized the most successful people that I've ever interviewed, have all done one thing really well, which is cheat people very well around him, or her. And so I'm like, I want to do that. I want to be that person instead of someone who just knows everything about about marketing. Because I realized that didn't really work for me.

Kerry Guard: I gotta say, one of the worst experiences I've ever had on a podcast is having the podcast, which is very quick was like a 10 minute interview that felt very, I felt like it's being pushed through a system. And then right at the end, they pitch slap you. Like,

Simon Chou: Oh, God. Yeah.

Kerry Guard: So for anybody interested in doing a podcast, everything that Simon is saying is so true. Like, if you're going to start one of these, there isn't a lot of monetary value. It is about building brand. It's about building People to People connection. And for the love of God, please do not say, oh, no, like,

Simon Chou: Don't pitch this. Don't pitch. I haven't pitch a single person on my podcast. Because well, first of all, I really believe that you should treat people the way that you want to be treated. And I made some mistakes. Not gonna lie, I made some mistakes in the past, like, I gotten. I did not from podcasting, but just from networking. I've made very close friends. And then like, I just felt like, Oh, this guy has a really good business. And you probably had budget, let me see if he needs marketing services, boom, and then ghost, right, ghost. We've only known each other for a month, like just relax, right? And so I treated podcasting the same way I treated podcasting, like a networking tool. And if you treat it that like that, it will really work for you. But then you got to really think about one thing. There's one thing you got to really think about if you're going to do podcasting is what can you give to the guest on the show? That's all I think about ever since day one, what how can I? How can I provide value to the guests. Hence why I started doing the hustler shots because I knew the hot sauce shots would automatically put our podcast on the map, because no one else was doing it. And it's so unique. So that every single person I interview, hopefully I can drive a lot of traffic to this person's profile. And Munson. Each one of our episodes get about 4000 views per episode. And so that was that is my value. That is what I'm providing to the people that come on my show. They can give me $0 They don't have to give me any business. They don't even have to be my friend. If I can provide value to them and make them look good. That's all I care about. And maybe something will come out of it in a year or two years or three years, or when the economy recovers. But for now, I'm just gonna keep doing my thing keep providing value and someone will notice and that's how I

Kerry Guard: Absolutely I told him I was actually gonna ask you about the about the hot sauce bit because I love that I love how the guests get into it like some guests will bring like bowls suitable. Like some are like tainted easy so depending on the question, they'll decide, but this is like taking it easy shot or this is like okay, I got a I gotta take the real deal. They do the the Texans love it when the Texans Come on. And they

Simon Chou: Oh, they're serious. They're serious. 

Kerry Guard: Out so good. Where did that idea come from? In terms of the hot sauce. Because it's key, it's key to your show. 

Simon Chou: It is key to my show. It is me it is actually me as a person. Though people listening, I might even share this with my friends, I'm gonna they're gonna die laughing when I tell them. This is literally how my Hangouts On Fridays look like. My friends and I will play games. And if they lose, they gotta take a shot of something for them. And if I lose, I got to take a shot at something. This is how I like to have fun in my personal life. And I am a huge believer that your personal life and your business life should be the same. You shouldn't have to bring a different carrier to work in a different carrier to to to your personal life because our work lives pick up 40 sometimes up to 60% of our waking lives. Why be someone different? Why not just bring yourself to work? And so I this idea came out in Episode 11 When I was close to canceling the show actually, you wouldn't believe this. I actually was so close to canceling the show because Her show only had about 300 views per episode. And I'm like, why am I doing that out of pocket? Or 300? Views? Like, if I'm going to do it, I would rather have it do you know, 10 or 11,000 views at least maybe 5000 views at least. So I said, Okay, what's the one show that I liked the most, that I continuously come back to time and time and time again. And it's always been hot ones, the show with the spicy chicken wing. They've been doing it for 10 years straight, 10 years running straight, and every single episode still gets 10 million views or 5 million views plus, like, that's why I want to do it is my life. I'm gonna bring my life to this world. And I don't care if CEOs reject me or whatever. And we got a lot of rejections. In the beginning, people were like, why would I want to? I'm not going to do hot sauce shots on on a podcast, there's no way. But over time, as more and more CEOs started doing it, and founders started doing it. Other founders took notice and like, oh, oh, that founder with $20 million revenue did it. Okay, I'll do it to have that founders in it. I did, too. And then, after about 18, we grew to about 8000 views, eight to 10,000 views per episode by episode 18. And then Microsoft came on the show, once Microsoft came on the show. The rest is history, because there's no other company bigger than Microsoft. So all I had to do with the Microsoft came on the show. And then from there, aloe, Yogi CMO of aloe yoga came on the show, the CMO of stack overflow with him on the show, I that was a good episode. CMO of eventing came on the show. They're all 100 to $300 million in revenue. And yeah, the rest of history like just it just every single episode is fun for me. And I my goal, every single episode is just to make the other person die of heat. That's, that's my number one goal.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, yeah, it's fantastic. And you totally do. But what's important about it and what I didn't catch on until like, the fourth or fifth episode they listened to, was the reason why you take the shot.

Simon Chou: Huh, I should explain that. I should explain that. But you know, you know, now why don't

Kerry Guard: You explain it in one of the episodes, but you didn't explain it every episode. So took me a while to catch on. So for our listeners, why do you take a hot sauce shot as well?

Simon Chou: Yeah, cuz I, I feel like I'm responsible for the questions that I ask. And if I ask them really tough questions that they can't answer, I need to be held responsible for that, too. So I don't just get free rein to ask whatever I gotta pay for admission. You know, this isn't. This isn't an admission to a show, I can imagine you can sit down on a seat and ask whatever question you want to a CMO that manages $50 million in marketing budget. And you can ask whatever you want free rein you got to pay for that. So for me, I gotta pay up with hot dogs. And not just any hot dogs, the hottest hot dogs, you can find it because I do Carolina Reaper. Some of the episodes I actually. Like, I kid you not like I'll go straight to the washroom after and I'm just like, regretting. I'm like, No, but

Kerry Guard: You forgot a couple of times to my heart sort of hurts.

Simon Chou: I always do. And so what I usually do when I forget water is I would like I would reduce the load, like the size of the spoon outtake. But when I do have enough, when I do have water, I usually try to go pretty heavy. And it's like legit reactions. My face usually sometimes turned red on the show. Because you yo, it's spicy. 

Kerry Guard: I'm listening. I'm not even watching what you do these live, which is another fascinating input implication, which I'll dig into in a second. But yeah, you can really feel like you're the struggle is real. Real, real to questions. Two follow up questions. One is you've mentioned all these amazing guests you've had from Microsoft to SEMrush to a couple even Canadian companies I'd never heard of but are doing incredibly well. Where do you find your guests? I mean, this the this is part of the draw the hot sauce is definitely part of the job. But then the guests themselves are like, how are you getting in front of these folks and getting them on your show?

Simon Chou: Ah, he's talking about wages. But wait, Jack, the company that you're listening to? Oh, yeah, I think that was Canadian. Yeah. They do about like a billion dollars per year in revenue or something crazy. I don't know the exact numbers.

Kerry Guard: They're like the plumbing parts like the they're like everything parts like they're just.

Simon Chou: Yeah, like yeah, like anything. When you do construction. You need this machine and you need like a bulldozer like yeah, whatever machinery or any equipment you need. They got everything for rental or for sale. I didn't know that.

Kerry Guard: Billions of dollars. But how do you find these folks?

Simon Chou: Um, a lot of outreach in the beginning. A lot of reject Since the beginning, and then after a while, when you have big companies that come on the show, it gets easier. Like I just, I, I typically don't like to name drop. But in the podcasting game, you want to name drop, because if you can say that the CMO of Stack Overflow, CMO of aloe Yoga, you know, VP of global strategy for sem rush, and also Microsoft. And when you can get these big names, and you can name drop them, it makes it so much easier to get them. Like there's a company coming on the show. Crossing my fingers, it got postponed a couple of times, because you know, females are busy, because a female of a company of one of the largest financial startups in the US, and they're doing like north of $400 million in revenue. And he's gonna come on the show, he rejected me the first couple of times. But as I got bigger and bigger gap, I would always come back and remind them, hey, just wanna let you know, I still continuing I just recently interviewed the CMO, Stack Overflow PMO, Stack Overflow came on the show, they will ask him on the show, Allah yoga, and then and then they will turn around, it takes for bigger companies, I find it take more than more than four follow ups to get them. First of all, to get their attention because they're, they're legit busy. Like it's a legitimate excuse, they're really busy. And then once you realize that, your follow ups don't feel so personal, like the rejection don't feel personal. Because you know, these are the busiest people, these sort of you're taught you're literally talking to the busiest people that you can imagine. So don't take it personally and just keep following up. And over time, as the show does well, we've actually had guests referred their friends, their cmo friends, they Oh, you know, you interviewed my company. I've a friend cmo they manage their company does. But by north of $300 million in revenue, would you want to interview her? Yes, please. Introduce please. So over time. Yeah. Things like that happen.

Kerry Guard: So what's the outreach you actually do? Is this on LinkedIn, you're saying, like, direct DMS? Are you? Do you somehow, you know, through your network? How? How do you get in front of these people? It's not, especially when they love to ignore cold emails and cold DMs?

Simon Chou: Oh, they do? They do? Yeah, there's a, there's a lot of different ways, a lot of emailing a lot of sliding into DMS, like you said, and then. And then I'm very active on LinkedIn. It's not difficult to find my content. And but I'm very, very active. Like, I'm commenting, I'm engaging all the time. And so sometimes when I have a CMO that I really want to really want to get like there was a CMO. I don't know if I should, I'm just gonna say it's a CMO of a company that makes north of $200 million in revenue. And I've been wanting to her to come on the show, everyone knows that this company, like everyone knows this company. And I really wanted to interview her. And I knew that she was friend with the CMO of aloe yoga. They've actually, they've communicated back and forth. And so I commented her, she ignored my email, she ignored my DM. So I commented on her post. And I said, your friend insert recently came on the show shows App Store for free, I would love to interview you as well. And then she DM me right after and said, You had her on the show. Sign me up. And so it's like, you got to find different ways to reach out to people to get them on your show. And I think obviously, your show has to be good. And so you have to focus on good, your quality has to be good. So on crafting is a very difficult thing. Like it doesn't just go well right away. No, they give you it doesn't and but I think if you just put your put your mind into it and put really put yourself in the shoe, the shoes of the listener and the shoes of the guests. It's not about you, the podcast is not about the host is about the guests, and it's about the listeners, what do the listeners want to listen to? What would they feel connected to? And therefore you get why why would why would they want to come on the show, you got to think about them. And then everything will come together afterwards.

Kerry Guard: It's true, it's completely about the guest. It really is if it's and it's about the you know, the and how the guest connects with the listeners right and how you sort of bring that together. I always try and put my listeners of like what they're going to want to understand whenever I bring guests on what questions they would have and sort of put myself in their shoes as well. So I think it's it's the again, not about you.

Simon Chou: You know, what are your listeners, by the way, for your listeners listening who are your listeners?

Kerry Guard: Ideally, I have no control over my listeners. My listeners are the people that have on the show their tech marketing leaders who are trying to figure out what's happening in the world, just like, you know, that's why I thought was so cool to have you on is because not only were you attacked marketing leader, but the podcast you host is of tech marketing leaders as well who are generally focused on complex b2b clients contexts. And so you and brands, they're my customers. And so I want to continuously help my customers learn from what's happening in the market. And so that's what's so interesting about your show is it does something very similar, but on a much bigger scale. That's more enterprise versus mine more startup, scale up, sort of realm of the world. So I'm excited for people to tune into your show, because what I think is interesting about your show is the themes you've mentioned, you sort of are on the cutting edge of what's happening in the world content is definitely part of that, I would totally agree. I think the scale up in the startup world are still leading into SEO and digital ads, because that's how they gotta get on the map. But once you reach that enterprise world, and you have the resources at your fingertips, leaning into community and field marketing, you told this amazing story, one of your guests will have this amazing story about how they took out a cinema room for

Simon Chou: Overflow. That was Khalid.

Kerry Guard: Ah, and invited, not just prospects and customers, but their families. Like, oh, that's so cool, right. And so I want my listeners to feel like that's where they're headed. So that's why I was so excited to have you on the show.

Simon Chou: So by the way, I agree when when you're an enterprise, you obviously have bigger budgets, so you can rent out a whole movie theater and pay for everyone's popcorn and drinks out that one event probably costed them? I can't, I can't, I can't really put a number on it. But I'm guessing somewhere around 7000 to $10,000, I'm guessing they can correct me if I'm wrong. But I don't think community led events, or events in general is, is just for the enterprise. I think, at some point, these jobs. They're, I don't, I wouldn't say their enterprise level, their sub $10 million in revenue. So they're still kind of kind of small, relatively small. And when I run events with them, I've ran a lot of events for them. Since November, their budget is like 1000 to 1000 2000, sometimes less than 10,000.

Kerry Guard: So when you're looking at those kind of numbers, and you and you have that kind of budget, then and you're planning and you're planning the event, then what are some of your go to event tactics you go for?

Simon Chou: Well, like, think about thinking, I think everyone's gonna be different for PT jobs, their target audience and HR recruiters. They want, they want recruiters on the on the platform, because they, they're the revenue generators, and then they want more job seekers, as well. So we do a lot of young professionals in tech, networking, we just did one. Three and a half weeks ago, we had about 70 young professionals in tech come together in a room and we networked and we had drinks, I think that event costs $400.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, it can be done, it can be done.

Simon Chou: It can be done, we are 70 people in the room. And then for the one for the one with the we did one with HR recruiters, we got like a KPOP Dance Crew to come out to dance about making things fun. And then we just got HR people in the room and they just connected and networked with each other. That one cost a little bit more, we got about 4000 That's probably like four or $5,000 event. But when you have over 100 people in a room, you can get sponsors. And so we got sponsors to cover most of it. Right and there's just so many ways you can do it as a small team. And like right now community like growth. Sure, just just just gotta check up and search up company that grew with community led growth. I might actually be writing a post about it in the next couple of weeks. It's it's crazy the number of companies that have grown through community, you will imagine it's just the number one channel even pre COVID It's the number one channel.

Kerry Guard: People people suppose happening. Totally. Yes. And to all that. Simon, I could keep going forever. This conversation is so empowering. I hope people Check out your shell, I know that I am on the edge of my seat every week waiting for it. Before I can withstand small amounts of hot sauce. Yes.

Simon Chou: Well, we'll have to discuss about this after.

Kerry Guard: I'm intrigued. Before we go, I have one follow up question because you are a person who was more than a marketer that is nice to get to know you did share so much of yourself in terms of what you do outside of work as well. One last question for you in terms of just getting to know you a bit more. What are some new hobbies? I know it's probably your time is incredibly limited, you are incredibly stretched. And you're even trying to figure out like this tightrope now of like community or LinkedIn, your LinkedIn which I can still keep asking questions about in your free time, with little up there that it is, what are some hobbies that you've picked up? What are some things you do outside or even that helps create your creative juices so that you're not you know, you're doing something a little bit different to get your creative juices flowing?

Simon Chou: Yeah, I love hanging out with my friends. I reserved my my weekends for friend activities. Occasionally it'll mix with business, but most of the time, it's just friends. I keep them pretty separate. play golf, love board games. And I like to watch sports. So right now you might know this listeners might know that NBA Playoffs is going going on I don't know when that's going to be posted. But as of right now in June that we're we're we're recording NBA playoff. NHL playoffs love sports going on tennis. There's just so much like I love sports, though. Yeah.

Kerry Guard: That's awesome. That's favorite board game.

Simon Chou: Catan the classic risk is fun. I like to laugh at games. And then for newer games been really dig in like party style games like code names. Oh yeah, code names is a good one. What else? Oh, no. Play a lot of switch. Nintendo Switch with my friends like party games Mario Kart tennis golf. Every single Mario game I have. Yeah, pretty much have a pretty much a nerd.

Kerry Guard: I'm currently playing fall guys with my son. So that's been really fun. So I totally get it. Bog eyes. Fall, guys. Have you not played ball guys on switch? Or it's apart? Well,

Simon Chou: I'll probably have to.

Kerry Guard: That's gonna be good.

Simon Chou: That's it a list.

Kerry Guard: Simon, I'm so grateful. Thank you so much.

Simon Chou: What a great conversation. I think we're gonna have to do this again. Done. Let's well we'll talk offline. Let's try to figure out even if we just hang out no recording down to do this again. With hot sauce, though.

Kerry Guard: Bring it on. So you have it.


Kerry Guard: That was my final pre audio recorded episode with Simon Charles Simon. I'm so grateful. I'm grateful for this conversation, and what it means to build community. And I'm grateful that you challenged the challenges on and I have a few episodes under my belt. And it's starting to feel really it's it's a a whole refresh to the tea time brand. And I'm here for it. And I'm excited. And I can't wait to have you all join us in the conversation and in the comments and ask good questions. And help me host these shows. Yes, that's what life is all about. And I can't wait for y'all to join me. Thank you so much for all your support in these last four plus years in over 145 episodes with some top name brands. I'm excited to take this to the next level and to expand and to bring video and additional channels to the show. And I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you all so so much. If you liked this episode with Simon child please like subscribe and share. This episode was brought to you by MPD marketing the digital marketing agency that scales brands through meaningful relationships feeling their ability to push their mission forward. So it's by me Kerry guard CEO and co founder of MKG marketing Music Mix and mastering done by us Nelson if you'd like to be a guest, please visit MKG to apply. See on the other side.

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

If you'd like to be a guest please visit to apply.

Join our weekly newsletter

Get industry news, articles, and tips-and-tricks straight from our experts.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.