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Marketing Showrunners

Helping makers and marketers find their voices and make a difference through their podcasts.

By: Jay Acunzo on May 15th, 2020

An End-to-End Guide to Crafting an Irresistible and Original Podcast Premise

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“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” — Anthony Bourdain

Today’s internet culture seems to reward people who profess to have the answers — a “smug clarity” the late, great Bourdain criticized. The formula for being one of these modern “gurus” is pretty straightforward: figure out what causes most people to panic about their work or lives, then position yourself as the hero who has a magic, instant solution. Everybody in this crowd sells miracle diet pills but in knowledge form. They dangle secrets for success behind a paywall (or at least a lead-generation form), and they apparently secure bonus points in their own minds by filming YouTube and Instagram ads applauding themselves, posing in front of cartoonish mansions and cars. Best of all, as “teachers,” they claim, “I can teach you to…”

“I can.” Not you can learn. Not we will accomplish. Nope. It’s all about them. Because whose favorite teacher didn’t make the class entirely about their own gifts? Naturally.

Smug clarity indeed.

The thing is, what these people really do is actually not too far removed from what much of marketing does: pander. Obviously, the intentions may be a bit different. Most of us aren’t in the business of trickery. Most of our projects don’t start and end as egocentric ploys. But many of us, however unknowingly, end up pandering. We examine the status quo, look for existing demand, and try to capture it as plainly as we can. This often makes our real jobs harder:

To make things better.

To provide refreshing changes compared to the status quo.

To ship work — and encourage work — that refuses to pander.

As makers and marketers, we face a choice: we can play into the status quo, or we can push people to be better. If we choose the former, we often assume an air of “smug clarity,” that we have answers others seek. But the path of making things better? That promises each of us far fewer moments of smug clarity, that’s for damn sure.

When we strive to make things better for others, we aren’t likely to stand at the end of a path, shouting backwards to those we aim to serve. “I’ve made it! I know the answers! Come this way! I can teach you.”

Instead, when we want to make things better, it feels a lot more like a journey — one Bourdain hinted at when he stated that there is no final resting place of the mind, and that we all have a long way to go.

Journeys require guides, not gurus. (I mean “guru” in the modern, self-proclaimed influencer sense, not the traditional or religious sense.) When we embark on a journey to make others better and, together, make the world better, it’s like we’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them. As the guide, we may point out what feels interesting and important, but we never profess to be all that far ahead on the path, declaring that we have the answers.

There is no smug clarity to be had.

That journey to make things better, to realize a vision of something in the world, is what a show should feel like. It’s the attempt to bridge the gap between status quo and … what? What are you imagining for yourself, your audience, your niche?

Continuing this journey metaphor just a bit more: When we plot the terrain we plan to explore, that’s like picking our show’s topics. When we decide how we’ll go about exploring it, the path or approach to the journey, that’s like our show’s hook.

Combining the two — important topics to explore, and a great hook, i.e. angle or conceit for exploring it — yields your show’s premise. And a great premise is often the most defining trait of any show. It’s what causes others to self-select into your show, almost instantly. They can quickly see how the show is very much for them — and very much not for others.

A great premise also helps others eagerly anticipate the journey to come. They can see how much there is to explore, how many exciting things might be discovered or discussed, as well as some potential to remix and reinvent and refresh the journey.

Great premises are magical. Others self-select into the show AND eagerly return and await more.

Magical.

 

How We Make the Magic Happen

Throughout the last four articles in our journey together, we’ve uncovered and/or built some helpful tools for creating someone’s favorite show. These tools are intended to evolve our shows from something rather forgettable (what we’ve called “transactional value” — cheap commodities without much cause for listeners to stick and stay with the experience) to instead ascend towards something more powerful for us and our audiences: transformational experiences.

Transactional shows can help people, but transformational experiences can change them. One panders. One pushes.

If you’ve missed any of that journey so far, I’d suggest these four articles:

1. The Experience Spectrum (a framework for understanding how others experience our shows, so we can avoid creating commodities and focus on making proprietary experiences)

2. The Style Spectrum (a framework for understanding how our own personal involvement in the experience can radically effect it, and how to be proactive about that)

3. The Fortress of Favoritism (more plainly referred to as the Audience Relationship Pyramid, a framework for understanding how #1 and #2 combine to make the audience feel a certain way. We want them to feel like our shows have personal meaning to them, like our work is irreplaceable in their lives. That puts us on the short list of their favorite things, despite a world of infinite choice.)

4. The 3 Fs of a Great Show Premise (a revealing look at the core attributes of any great show premise such that we can evaluate our own)

Based on the progress we’ve made in this shared exploration, we now arrive at a rather pivotal question: How can we craft a great premise for our shows? 

What is actually required of us now?

Put simply: We need to get angry.

“HULK PODCAST!”

Unlike Bruce Banner, I think your audience will very much like when you’re angry. Don’t misunderstand: I don’t think you should get angry on the microphone. Instead, I think the result of your anger is what the audience will delight in receiving. We can funnel your anger — or maybe better said, your “righteous indignation” — into making an irresistible show. No need to smash anything…

(By the way, for a previous post, I created the graphic below, and given the Hulk joke, I just need to bring it back. This isn’t for you. This one’s for me.)

Anywho, as we discussed in the Experience Spectrum essay, your show should avoid being a cheap commodity at all costs. The opposite end of the spectrum is when a community of people join together based on shared beliefs and a shared vision … then goes exploring. What questions need answers? Who can we meet and who will join us? What obstacles stand in our way? That extreme right side of the Experience Spectrum is to create a show which is experienced as a proprietary journey … not a cheap commodity.

Those journeys are sparked from a place of anger — or, maybe better said, righteous indignation.

What’s broken that you want to fix? What’s wrong with the status quo? What’s an obstacle you’d like to overcome with and on behalf of your audience?

For those of us working at a brand, why do we as an organization even exist? It’s not to “increase shareholder value” or “sell more stuff.” What customer problems do we solve? Why did our company have to exist when it started, and why does it have to exist now, especially given plenty of competitive options for our customers?

How do our views of our topics or niche differ from competitors? Where do we fundamentally disagree with the conventional thinking or the latest trend or market momentum? What’s our rallying cry to others?

Why us?

In thinking through these questions, try to avoid comparison terms (“better than…”) or needless benefit statements (“this should be simple” — because everybody else proudly declares how complex they aspire to be?). Instead of describing yourself and your place in this world in contrast with other organizations or individuals, try to describe in plain language why you exist and what you believe in — without comparison terms or needless benefit statements.

e.g. “We believe that each and every marketer should find and share their own voices to make a difference. A ‘brand’ is just the sum total of the individual’s doing the work. In a world full of technology and automation, we want to put the people at the core of what we do.” 

So what are you mad at in that example? The stripping away of the personal element. The increase in brute-force tactics enabled by technology or inappropriate automation where personalization is needed.

In your situation, it’s whatever you’re mad about the way things are. Your show premise begins to form there. It then takes clearer shape when you move from the way things are to the way you’d like them to be.

What’s a better way? What’s your vision of the future, where this issue has been solved?

Your vision can be something grand and personal. Author and speaker Simon Sinek is famous for saying he imagines a world where the vast majority of people wake up inspired, feel safe wherever they are, and end the day fulfilled by the work they do. Me, I’m trying to help people find and share their voices to make a difference through the created work. Maybe that sounds somewhat grand?

Your vision can be something community-based instead of personal. The software company InVision earned the trust and love of thousands of UI/UX designers because they imagined a world where designers were more strategic, not last-mile project bots asked to tweak a color scheme, move buttons, or make the logo bigger on the home page. They wanted to vault product design as a concept into the forefront of modern business, because it’s that important to companies and customers alike. In doing so, they wanted to give designers a strategic seat at the table.

Your vision can also be narrow or even playful instead of grand and far-reaching. It only matters that it deeply matters to the people you aim to serve. For instance, you might imagine a world where sci-fi and fantasy geeks get to spend more time enjoying the works they admire or participating in the material as fans and creators themselves.

These visions of the world that a person or a brand possesses begin with anger, or righteous indignation. The status quo is broken. It needs fixing. Something isn’t happening. Let’s go make it happen.

The exploration of that gap between the status quo and your vision of what should be? That’s the show. That’s what the episodes are supposed to do.

You have no smug clarity, nor exact answers for important questions Google can’t answer. Why are things broken? How’d they get that way? Who believes what we believe? Who doesn’t? Why the difference? How are we trying to get to achieve that future vision? You may not have the answers, but you’re asking important questions, and your show is a journey of understanding to answer them.

Listeners are invited to join that journey.

At MSR, I always say we want to help makers and marketers “find and share their voices.” That happens when you ask questions you genuinely don’t know the answers to, then use your episodes to hunt for clues.

The next part of our tagline is to help makers and marketers “make a difference and shift the culture.” You make a difference by surfacing important clues through your episodes. Even just alerting them that they’re not alone, that you share the vision of the future they want to make a reality — that can make a difference. As the community grows, the group helps its members change for the better as well as pushes for positive change out in the world — and thus the culture shifts.

This all begins with a premise. Start with anger, or righteous indignation.

Then, force yourself to write out the vision that explodes out of your anger in a more logical fashion. We can use a set framework to do that which I call the One Simple Story.

The One Simple Story

Every brand can be distilled down to a “one simple thing” or OST. For decades, Coke’s was happiness. Uber’s is mobility. Google’s might be access.

That one simple thing can evolve into one simple story, a sort of lens through which an entire team can view the world — or, if you prefer, a filter through which any decision should be pressed to find the appropriate way to proceed.

The One Simple Story framework contains three parts, because every story contains three parts: a status quo, some conflict, and a resolution.

1. Status quo. This is a simple statement of fact. It answers the question, “What was happening?” or, “What is happening?” This is where a fairytale opens, “Once upon a time, there was a princess.” That’s not a story. That’s a statement of fact. What was happening? There was a princess. Maybe she lived in a castle. Maybe she was asleep. Maybe she’d had it up to here with the typical bland podcast experience. Regardless, something WAS or something IS, and it WAS or IS a certain way, with certain traits, feelings, emotions, and outcomes.

That’s the status quo. Nobody’s debating it. It just was. It just is.

We need two more elements to create a story.

2. Conflict. Disrupting that status quo is some kind of central enemy, some threat, some tension. Literally, what force comes into conflict with the status quo, necessarily changing it? It WAS or it IS … but then … something changed that simple fact.

The princess met an evil warlock. The proven playbook for business growth was thrown into disarray by a new technology or consumer behavior. The creator hears the call towards an atypical career path. The genre of literature became devalued as people turned to gimmicky content … etcetera and so forth and so on.

And so, on the story goes. We have a conflict. We have a status quo. And much like the universal force of entropy pushing against all life, the story must necessarily arc back down as we reach the final piece, the payoff of the rising tension provided by that central conflict.

This is where your anger can emerge. “Look, it was/is THIS way (status quo). But then THIS happened (conflict). We simply can’t continue with the status quo!”

Okay, so what’s the better way? What is your vision to resolve this?

3. Resolution. We’ve reached the better way, however grand or focused it is. You have an opinion on more than just what was or what is. You have a point-of-view on what could be or should be.

True love’s kiss reawakens the princess or, in a more modern, more realistic version (especially if you know anything about daughters, as I now do with my 1-year-old): the princess punches the warlock straight in the mouth and she becomes queen of the land.

Oh and she marries whoever the hell she wants after that.

The business does X, Y, or Z to adapt to the new way business must be done, given the conflict.

The very notion of a career “path” that caused so much turmoil for the creator in the first place gets tossed out the window, in place of a long, happy career leaping joyously from project to project.

Whatever your vision of the world might be. You arrive at that vision in the form of the resolution. YOU are not the resolution. It’s not your brand or your podcast, either. Instead, it’s the state of the world (or something specific within the world) that you’re building towards. (“Oh by the way, we happen to have products/services/content that align with this story. In fact, they’re driven by that story. We want that world to exist. Do you? Join us.”)

The One Simple Story is a crucial step in developing your show’s premise. You aren’t merely documenting the facts of the world as it is. You’re not just getting angry about what is. You’re crafting a story of what could be. You’re offering a point-of-view and inspiring others to join the journey with you as you seek to understand some important topics (WHAT you explore) but through a specific lens or taking a hard angle on the topics (HOW you explore it, i.e. your hook).

Most podcasts don’t lead with that story. Instead, they stop at the topics, effectively describing only WHAT the show explores. But a great premise is about HOW the topics will be explored. It’s the angle, the lens, the concept driving the entire show. It’s not what you explore. It’s how you explore. Articulating that immediately tells listeners WHY they should care.

The One Simple Story gives us our most condensed description of exactly what we need to hear to make smart creative decisions that shape one coherent show. But as I just mentioned, the story of our show is really about the audience. The OSS may make total sense to us, but we need to expand it from a few lines to a few paragraphs to really convey the value to the audience.

The expanded version of the One Simple Story is something called an Empathy Statement.

 

Evolving Your OSS into Your Empathy Statement

An empathy statement is a description of your show intended to answer a single question posed by your audience: “Why is this for me?” 

There is no set formula, but it should use the building blocks of the One Simple Story: status quo, conflict, and resolution. You’ll see all three informing the example below, albeit they aren’t mentioned overtly.

By writing out your One Simple Story, you’ve tried to evolve vague anger or righteous indignation into a clear, compelling articulation of your vision, i.e. the journey between the status quo and the resolution which your show is exploring.

By expanding your OSS into an Empathy Statement, you’re forced to write some more, which helps you refine your thoughts even further. You get better at articulating this stuff because you’re explaining it again, this time in more detail. The more you have to articulate something, the clearer your thinking becomes.

So, let’s move from a One Simple Story to an Empathy Statement. This set of paragraphs is NOT public promotional copy, but your show’s trailer, or intro, or landing page copy (and so forth) may very well sound like the Empathy Statement.

Let’s say our Anger was this: 

Why don’t more creative people ship their work? Why don’t they pursue their creative dreams? I wish they would. I imagine a world where all the BS that gets in the way, like over-researching or negative self-talk, is no longer an issue, and people just ship their work and go for it more confidently and more often.

Now let’s say our One Simple Story was this:

Status quo: Creative individuals often have aspirations to launch their dream projects, and when we do, we often look to our heroes and the works we most admire for inspiration.

Conflict: But today, all our creative heroes are more visible and accessible than ever before. This means we can easily see things that feel out of reach for us: massive follower counts, sponsorship deals, amazing projects, and lots of the trappings of big things they do. Creativity feels big. Achieving our dreams feels big too.

Resolution: We have to redefine creativity, or at least reclaim what creativity is supposed to be. It doesn’t mean big. It’s just the sum total of lots of little things. By redefining and reclaiming creativity as lots of little choices and steps and wins and lessons learned, we empower ourselves to take action towards our creative dreams.

That OSS may evolve into this Empathy Statement:

You’re a creator.

Sure, you might have a day job that gives you some other title — marketer, accountant, bartender, waiter, consultant, creative director, designer, lawyer, you name it. But that’s what you DO. But a creator? That’s what you ARE. And few things excite you like the rise of the passion economy — the increasing number of individuals who turn their creative craft or side projects into their income. “Pursuing your passion” is no longer about finding a dream job, then staying there for 30 years. In your mind, it’s all about bridging the gap between “making a thing” and “making a living.”

So who’s done that? More importantly, beyond all the tips and tricks and bogus hacks, how do labors of love really become projects people pay for? What are all the hidden decisions creators had to make along the way from side hustle to main job?

We are [Acme, Inc], and we believe in putting creators first. We know that the best creators earn a living not by “going viral” or experiencing overnight success, but by relishing and reflecting on the little decisions that add up to something big over time. So we’re going on a journey to find some of the world’s best creators, then we’re ditching the nice, neat success stories to instead dive deep into ONE project and deconstruct it together with them, and with you.

The passion economy is gaining momentum. We want every creator to participate. This is our mission. This is our shared journey. This is [SHOW NAME].

The One Simple Story and Empathy Statement play off each other, aided by any discussions you have with your audience and/or peers, as well as any content you publish which is informed by these two writing exercises. You should refine each of them as the other improves, in a virtuous cycle, all of which leads to the culminating piece of this show development phase: an irresistible, original, deeply beloved Premise.

It’s time to build your premise.

 

A Great Premise Combines Important Topics with a Unique Hook

The topics you explore are WHAT you’re exploring, but the hook is HOW you’ll explore them. Ideally, both feel different, but it’s essential the hook is unique in your competitive set of shows. (The topics may be familiar, because it’s part of how your audience sees that the show is for them.)

Think of it this way: In prior posts (the Experience Spectrum + the Style Spectrum + the Audience Relationship Pyramid) we were building our compass. We want to be able to find True North and get our bearings each step of the way as we build our audience’s favorite show. But now, as we craft a premise, we’re drawing our maps.

The topics are the boundaries of the maps. It might change and update later, but for now, we’re saying, “This is WHAT we will explore.” The hook is how you’ll explore it, the unique blend of the gear you take, the people you wish to meet to help you, the path you draw on the map.

“We explore leadership in business” is the outline of a map — and a very common one at that. So HOW would you explore it to make your show proprietary? “We explore leadership in business … by disguising a company’s CEO as a frontline employee and embedding them in their daily experiences.” That’s a refreshing twist. That’s the hook. That’s how one particular show (Undercover Boss) likes to explore a familiar set of topics.

Maybe a show declares something more specific, “We explore business success stories about DTC startups in Europe which believe in being customer first”? That’s still just the outline of the map, albeit a smaller one than “we explore leadership in business.” It’s still the topic, however niche it is. Let’s talk about HOW we explore WHAT the show is about: “We explore business success stories about DTC startups in Europe which believe in being customer first. To do so, we ask real customers and prospects about what they really experience of the marketing and products of each company we profile, then play the tape to the company’s executives for comment.”

This is where a hook matters. It needn’t be gimmicky (“interviews with marketers while we blast them in the face with a fan”). It should be more about your philosophy and belief system, your vision for the world outlined in the One Simple Story.

Rather than a marketing advice show using a needless hook to grab attention (“blasted with a fan!’), it can be more authentic, using the hook as an opportunity to say something that truly matters to the brand and the audience. Let’s build that premise right now.

Anger: I can’t stand how much of marketing is focused on cheap tricks and “growth hacks” and short-term BS. I wish we would be more focused on the actual human beings we want to serve, and creating quality content for them.

One Simple Story:

Status quo: Marketing focuses a ton of time trying to generate traffic.

Conflict: But thanks to the internet, people flit between tons of sources for information all the time without loyalty. In every niche, there’s more competition for traffic, too. And focusing on “traffic” is both shortsighted (it’s not actually our goal) and de-humanizing (we’re supposed to solve people’s problems and help them with our content). All of this leads to marketing as a constant process of gaming systems to juice numbers.

Resolution: We need to stop focusing on traffic entirely. We need to move from traffic to audience to community. The only way to build community is to provide a better experience, focusing more on who sticks and stays than how many people just “arrive” but never form relationships with us.

Okay, so if THAT is our One Simple Story, then we can evolve our show’s premise quite nicely. Instead of just talking about the topics, i.e. WHAT we explore on the show (“marketing advice” or even “community development and growth”), we can describe HOW we explore it. Maybe we land here:

“A marketing advice show (topics) where we solely focus on how brands evolved from and now prioritize community over traffic, people over leads, and purpose over profit. (hook)”

As you can see, a hook doesn’t need to sound gimmicky or even game-like. Many are, but they needn’t be that way. A hook is your angle into a topic. It’s your approach to exploring the territory outlined by your map.

Topics + hook = premise. What you explore and how you explore it. We often miss that second part, and so our premises fall flat and fail to capture the imagination.

Below are a few more theoretical examples, followed by some real examples of shows I admire. But before we list them out, a helpful heuristic to craft your own premise, from Anger to the One Simple Story to the Empathy Statement to the Premise itself:

“This is a show about X, where we Y.”

The X may or may not feel unique. It varies show to show. But the Y should always feel original, especially within your niche. That’s what causes people’s eyes to light up, self-select into the show, and eagerly return for the journey that unfolds.

To make progress with your show premise, it’s more important to write out a rough idea that you refine later. The writing exercise is not about drafting promotional copy for public consumption. The framework above is meant to illuminate WHAT you explore and HOW to you and/or your team, giving yourself a helpful reminder every time you make a creative decision about the show.

Theoretical Examples (This is a show about X, where we Y).

  • This is a show about startup success, where we explore the role of VPs and department heads and only talk to the longest-tenured such people we can find to hear how they survived all the stages of growth at the company.
  • This is a show about political news and issues, where we take the words a politician said, then try to understand the subtext and real reason they’re saying that by looking at their political career, voting record, and donors, so you can understand a politician beyond their carefully crafted public appearance.
  • This is a show about ethical business, where we talk to customers and prospects of a given company about their actual perceptions and experiences, then play the tape back to executives for their reactions.
  • This is a show about social media marketing, where guests bring their weirdest experiments and walk through the process and results with us.

Real Examples (This is a show about X, where we Y).

  • This is a show about music, where artists take apart a track and piece it back together through story. (Song Exploder)
  • This is a show about sports and pop culture, where Bill Simmons is the host. (The Bill Simmons Podcast — he’s so famous and so beloved by his fans that he is the hook.)
  • This is a show about doing work that matters and shifting the culture for the better, where Seth Godin is the host. (Akimbo. Same deal as the Simmons example.)
  • This is a show about fads, opinions, groupthink, and science, where we pressure-test the popular understanding of a concept against the actual science to see how it stacks up. (Science Vs)
  • This is a show about legendary brands and their most pivotal moments throughout their histories, where we share the stories of their biggest rivalries with one competitor. (Business Wars)
  • This is a show about popular fantasy and science fiction series, where we binge the entire thing as a group and analyze it using a series of smart, irreverent segments each time. (Binge Mode)

Let’s revisit our example from earlier, the one where we talked about creators pursuing their creative dreams for a living. Let’s put it all together now.

Anger:

Why don’t more creative people ship their work? Why don’t they pursue their creative dreams? I wish they would. I imagine a world where all the BS that gets in the way, like over-researching or negative self-talk, is no longer an issue, and people just ship their work and go for it more confidently and more often.

One Simple Story:

Status quo: Creative individuals often have aspirations to launch their dream projects, and when we do, we often look to our heroes and the works we most admire for inspiration.

Conflict: But today, all our creative heroes are more visible and accessible than ever before. This means we can easily see things that feel out of reach for us: massive follower counts, sponsorship deals, amazing projects, and lots of the trappings of big things they do. Creativity feels big. Achieving our dreams feels big too.

Resolution: We have to redefine creativity, or at least reclaim what creativity is supposed to be. It doesn’t mean big. It’s just the sum total of lots of little things. By redefining and reclaiming creativity as lots of little choices and steps and wins and lessons learned, we empower ourselves to take action towards our creative dreams.

Empathy Statement:

You’re a creator.

Sure, you might have a day job that gives you some other title — marketer, accountant, bartender, waiter, consultant, creative director, designer, lawyer, you name it. But that’s what you DO. But a creator? That’s what you ARE. And few things excite you like the rise of the passion economy — the increasing number of individuals who turn their creative craft or side projects into their income. “Pursuing your passion” is no longer about finding a dream job, then staying there for 30 years. In your mind, it’s all about bridging the gap between “making a thing” and “making a living.”

So who’s done that? More importantly, beyond all the tips and tricks and bogus hacks, how do labors of love really become projects people pay for? What are all the hidden decisions creators had to make along the way from side hustle to main job?

We’re [Acme, Inc], and we believe in putting creators first. We know that the best creators earn a living not by “going viral” or experiencing overnight success, but by relishing and reflecting on the little decisions that add up to something big over time. So we’re going on a journey to find some of the world’s best creators, then we’re ditching the nice, neat success stories to instead dive deep into ONE project and deconstruct it together with them, and with you.

The passion economy is gaining momentum. We want every creator to participate. This is our mission. This is our shared journey. This is [SHOW NAME].

Show Premise: 

This is a show about creativity and pursuing your creative dreams, where world-class creators select a favorite project and dive deep into the process of making it, revealing the small, hidden choices, moments, and emotions that go into making something big.

 

Premise Development is Show Development is Audience Development is Trust and Love Development is THE JOB.

There’s a huge difference between the modern-day guru, full of smug clarity, and the Bourdainian interpretation of enlightenment. It’s the willingness to embrace one’s own lack of answers. Bourdain famously had a tattoo reading “I am certain of nothing.” It was a reminder that we are always becoming, never arriving.

That was “enlightenment enough” for him. Perhaps it should be enlightenment enough for us too.

As makers and marketers, we aren’t in the business of sharing any kind of smug clarity. We aren’t handing answers TO others. Instead, we’re inviting them into our process, into the journey we’re on, born of anger, evolved into a simple story, fleshed out for our audience using empathy for their situation, and packed neatly back into an irresistible show premise.

We’re not handing them the results of our journey. They’re journeying with us. We’re all striving towards a vision of the world that doesn’t yet exist — and likely won’t exist before we leave this world. But maybe we can leave this world a little bit better than the way it was when we found it.

Find and share your voice. Make a difference. Shift the culture. This all begins with your premise — your show about X, where you Y.

As Bourdain concludes, “Perhaps wisdom is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

To spark and lead a movement, you don’t need to have all the answers. You just have to admit the truth: I don’t. There’s so much to explore, and this journey matters.

Let’s go.

 

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Founder of Marketing Showrunners, host of 3 Clips and other podcasts and docuseries about creativity, and author of Break the Wheel. I’m trying to create a world where people feel intrinsically motivated by their work. Previously in content marketing and digital strategy at Google and HubSpot and VP of brand and community at the VC firm NextView. I write, tinker, and speak on stages and into microphones for a living. It’s weird but wonderful.

Get in touch anytime: jay@mshowrunners.com // Speaking inquiries: speaking@unthinkablemedia.com

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