Building distribution: Notes on Nathan Latka Indie Hacker's Podcast episode (#171) 🎙️

Hey all! I've been writing notes down as I listen to the IndieHackers podcast. This particular one was a favorite of mine, so I decided to share them with everyone.

Here's the direct link to the podcast episode: https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/171-nathan-latka-of-founderpath

  • Distribution should come before the product
  • Real power is building a media business that locks down distribution in the industry you want to own
  • Nathan knew he wanted to build a b2b business, so he started with a podcast in that space (but it can be anything, not just podcast)
  • We usually beg people to be on their distribution channel; instead say screw it and build a distribution channel of your own
  • Nathan built each episode as cheaply as possible so even if no one was listening, he could still keep doing it
  • Podcast advice: Don't quit, especially in the beginning when its hard to find guests and listeners
  • Equipment is overrated, Nathan uses $80 worth of equipment
  • People look at the headline "0 to a million dollars in 1 year" and don't realize the amount of work that went into that success (barely making payroll, etc)
  • Shine light on the marathon, not just the sprints. Enjoy the process instead of trying to rush to the finish line
  • Saw the "what's the top podcast" phrase ranking high on Google and decided to name his podcast "The Top Podcast" to get in on that SEO juice
  • Nathan made an interesting offer to potential podcast sponsors: Instead of CPI, he looks at beating a potential customers current CAC and puts it in the contract
    • He utilizes all sorts of mediums to achieve the goal, not just his podcast
  • Educational content is widely popular but usually 100% churn (how many times will a person take an algebra course?)
  • Branding how you think: "I wonder what Nathan thinks about this"
  • It's more about your brand of thinking rather than the medium (like substack)
  • Whoever holds attention the longest wins
  • Take current audience → Ask them where else they consume their content → Do something there
  • Insanely hard working — has a schedule filled with interviews back to back
  • Utilizes assistants to help with design and research
  • Excellent copywriter, especially with headlines and openers
  • He says "I'll get back to that in 15 minutes" to keep the reader reading (story gaps). Asking a question and not answering it until later.
  • Focuses on audience rather than large consumer based reach
    • Podcast that has 100 CROs listening to it every day is worth a lot
    • Volume vs influence. Influence is less volume and more targeting
  • You're more likely to make money if you're helping your readers make money. Have to improve their lives in a very measurable way.
  • Published a book and would entice people by saying it was going to be a bestseller
  • Nathan showed authors before and after pictures of their Amazon rankings to display the value from his show
  • "You make things happen by how confidently you say them"
  • Block off 10 minutes a week to barf imagination in your notebook (grow your imagination)
  • Realize the power of media to power products (he discovered this reading Bloomberg's biography)
  • He found out that the founders he was interviewing needed help raising debt, so he built Founderpath to solve that problem
  • Nathan's thoughts on the future: More polarization. Less volume of software companies raising VC, but the ones that are gonna raise tons of money
  • Indiehackers will have so much more power in the future. Scarcity now is now capital, but attention. Big companies in the future are the media brands along with software projects.
  • Advice for indiehackers from Nathan: Build the attention first, product second. Momentum is always key. Momentum: Do people still believe you can do it? Even in the beginning stages, start putting big visions out there and create week over week momentum.

Are there other podcasts you would like notes on? Let me know and I'll try to post them.

  1. 2

    Thanks, very useful.

    I agree about the importance of building the attention and having your own distribution or broadcasting channel. I disagree about starting with building the attention first; the danger is that stories may become the product and we will live in a world where entrepreneurs just write and talk to make money.

    Engineering matters too, problem solving matters, even when it does not lead to making a lot of money. I think about all the free software that allow us and the Internet to work... People should build things, period.

    Now, if someone wants more dineros they'd better build the audience at some point.

  2. 2

    Superb post, Jerry! Gonna look more into Nathan and maybe write up a case study of him for Growthunt

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