Join us at Agency Transformation Live 2022, an in-person here in the UK.
S41-E4 - Featuring Lee Matthew Jackson
July 21, 2021
Since 2015, many of you have left reviews that have helped spur me on and have helped change the direction of this podcast. In this week’s episode, I read just some of your reviews which had a massive impact on me and share some of the background stories as to where I was at.
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Join us at Agency Transformation Live 2022, an in-person here in the UK.
Welcome to the Agency Trailblazer Podcast. This is your Host, Lee. Today is episode number 326. That means we have hit three and a quarter centuries worth of episodes, and it felt appropriate to spend some time kind of looking back and reading some of the reviews that have come in over the last few years. Can I encourage you, before we carry on, that reviews are the lifeblood of this podcast. I don’t monetize this show in any sort of intensive way. Yes, it does make money, which is great. And thank you to people such as our sponsors Cloudways. You can find out more of them on trailblazer.fm/cloudways. Very good little plug going on there. But other than that, it’s reviews that get us through. We are doing this because we want to, help you build an agency that you love. We want to help you, the agency owner create your own adventure, create something that you think is phenomenal and that you enjoy as your success. We’re not after trying to make people millionaires and selling you on fake promises, as you well know. So these sorts of reviews are phenomenal.
Let’s go on to mypodcastreviews.com. I’ve added Agency Trailblazer Podcast. And what it’s done is collated 88 different reviews that have come in from all around the world via different platforms, such as iTunes. And I found a few that really encouraged me. First of all, like we always do, let’s go back in time to some of the earliest reviews that really helped get this show going back in 2015 and 2016. The podcast launched in November of 2015, and our first review came in saying, “Great work. Good luck, Lee. Can highly recommend your services, and this is just another great idea of yours. Looking forward to seeing more.” A simple five-star review absolutely blew my socks off. That came in on the 1st of December. I remember that one and I was so encouraged. This was my first ever review for a podcast.
I’d launched a podcast with a microphone that was probably way too sensitive and had to record each episode under a blanket. I didn’t really know what to ask people who were coming onto my show. I felt nervous. I felt discouraged. And then, something as simple as that one-liner came in from AP1972. “Great work. Good luck, Lee. Loved it.” Then more started to come in. Just one-liners. Those one-liners really started to make the difference. Another one came in saying, “Perfect. Loving this podcast already. Can’t wait for more to rock my WordPress.” That was pretty good. If you don’t remember, we were called WP Innovator right at the very beginning. Slapshot Shed, “This is a great show. I love WordPress. I can’t wait to hear future episodes.” Hey, I wonder how Slapshot enjoyed the “I’m moving away from WordPress” episode recently. Sorry buddy. But things do change, and whilst I’ve not completely dropped WordPress, certainly this podcast has changed significantly, as has the target audience.
What was really encouraging throughout December, as this was a brand new podcast, was new reviews were coming in every few days. Many of them just one-liners, but they all really helped to encourage me and push me forward. By mid 2016, it was clear to me that the audience wasn’t just people within the WordPress space, but was agency owners who were looking to increase their value to their clients and to build a better agency for themselves. And we had a great review come in from Ashley Longmeyer saying, “Lee’s podcast has been incredibly valuable to me. It has inspired me to take steps I probably wouldn’t have taken otherwise. Great for both beginners and veterans and everybody in between. Awesome guests, educational and entertaining. I highly recommend this podcast.”
For me, Ashley, if you’re listening still all these years later, thank you so much. That was at a point where I wasn’t 100% what direction I needed to take the show, and that was one of the biggest encouragements for me. I remember proudly showing this review off to the team, and it did spark more conversations as to where we were going to take the podcast in the future.
Nearly a year in and we were starting to get longer form reviews. A great one came in from, I Am crispy from Canada. “Insight, instruction, indulgence” was the tagline. And I Am crispy said, “Let me say, I swore I would not return to Apple, but after a few months of listening to Lee Jackson, I could not let the world not know about how the investment of listening to him and his guests has transformed my thinking about WordPress. Lee is insightful with his topics and the depth of knowledge. The podcast is instructional in that it makes me think in new ways about how not only to get new business, but to look deeper than just the code and technical issues. And it’s become an indulgence for me that I can’t wait for each new episode. Regardless of your preferred method of listening to a podcast, WP Innovator,” as it was still then, “is my first choice.” I Am Crispy, if you are still listening, that was absolutely crazy for me to read that on that day, when that came in. Thank you so much.
If we skip forward a few more into October of 2016, my favourite title here, “nuclear power for your brain” from Frederick in Sweden. Again, Frederick, if you still listen to this podcast, thank you. Here’s what Frederick said. “Let’s put WordPress aside for a moment because this podcast brings so much more to the table than how to use a hammer. This podcast comes packed with knowledge so important that you ask yourself how the hell you survived without it”. Well, that’s pretty phenomenal. Thanks, Frederick. “Lee interviews from very interesting people that makes you really stop and think. This podcast will make your brain go pop and expand the way you think about web and the digital market as a whole. Your vision will go from, I want to learn about WordPress, to I want to create products that matter, innovate and then conquer the world with my new-found knowledge.” That was approved the epic review. And it does carry on. I won’t read the whole lot, but be sure to go check out Apple Podcasts for some of these awesome reviews.
Frederick, thank you so much. This, again, was a massive encouragement for me. We’d only been going for nearly a year. And I remember thinking, as the year was coming through, that this had been a great experiment, but I should probably give in. But by leaving reviews, people just kept pushing me a little further. I recognised that, hey, people are getting value. And when I read how expressive you were, buddy, in this review, that was one of, again, those moments for me, where I thought maybe I can give this another six months. Maybe I can continue to push on with the podcast and see where this goes. I enjoy doing it. And if people are being this expressive about their experience of my little show, I think it’s worth carrying on a little longer.
Long time loyal listener, Greg Sweet from the United States, left this in November of 2016. “Shiny, happy innovation. Not since those sailors learn to put limes in their rum has so much innovation come out of that dingy island known as Great Britain. The WP Innovator podcast is a meaty stew tech design marketing and community seasoned with super…” Oh, whatever that says, “and quality production. Lee Jackson imbues every episode with an unparalleled enthusiasm for all things WordPress and leaves one suspecting that the ghost of Huell Howser is inhabiting Mr. Jackson’s body. This follicly-challenged gentlemen with a funny accent and penchant for industrious book [inaudible 00:09:13] effortlessly delivers the content of each podcast and documents it with copious show notes on his website. Whatever your interest and skill level in WordPress, you’ll undoubtedly find an episode that interests you. And Lee’s…” I don’t even know what that says, “tones will surely entice you to learn more.”
So as you can see, it was a little bit difficult to read that one out loud, but I really enjoyed that one, Greg. And Greg has been a part of our community for many years, still interacts with us on Twitter as well. So thank you, Greg. That was one of the only reviews I didn’t fully understand because of the incredible use of the English language. And I’m not 100% sure who Huell Howser is. So hopefully all of that was a great review. It was a five-star review, so I do obviously appreciate that.
Now, as we continued into 2017, things went a little bit quiet and I was a little bit worrying. I wasn’t really sure of the direction. I was still doing WordPress, but I also wanted people to see us as a predominantly agency-focused podcast. I didn’t want it to be about the tool or the tools necessarily, but I wanted it to be about what the listener wants to achieve, that is to build an agency. And I was really encouraged by Pete Everett. He’s been on the show a few times since. But in August of 2017, he left this review. “Way more than a podcast,” is the tagline. “Yes, this podcast covers everything you need to know about web design, SEO, running an agency, operating a business online, et cetera. But what Lee has really created here as a community, and a growing community at that. His infectious personality runs through every episode, supported by a Facebook group where learning development and friendships can flourish. This really is way more than a podcast. Come and join the community.”
That was very encouraging. Thank you, Pete. Another five star review. And folks, if you are not part of our community, we do still have the Facebook community over on trailblazer.fm/group. I would say, though, it’s gotten a little bit big, nearly 4,000 members. It’s kind of hard to show up in a huge community like that, so we’re looking at ways of changing how we connect with each other over the next few weeks, months and years. What are the tech we can implement? And what other events can we put on to get people together? I think once you’ve got thousands of people, it becomes very hard, doesn’t it? To capture that old community feel where there’s just a few of you in this together. So I do miss those days of the Facebook group.
Another one came in just a month later from Chief Hustler of the United States. “What an awesome podcast. If you’re a developer and you’re not listening, then you’re hurting your business.” Simple one-liner. Absolutely made my day. We didn’t only, though, get reviews in from Apple Podcasts. We also got them in from places such as Stitcher. So if you’re listening to this podcast on Stitcher, can I encourage you, go ahead and give this podcast a review. Who knows, you could really make my day, encourage more years of this podcast and eventually make an episode where I read it out.
This was from Steady Ed and he said, “A great show about web agency life. A lovely style of podcasting, relaxed, conversational, whilst at the same time useful. He manages to tease great nuggets of helpful info from his guests. His was the first podcast I subscribed to and I look forward to each new episode.” Steady Ed, whoever you are on Stitcher, thank you, legend. That was, again, the tonic that I needed to keep pushing forward.
Right, let’s jump now, and let’s skip over 2018, 2019 and into the most recent reviews that have been left by you wonderful folks. A great one-liner from Andre is, “The best in the industry, an old time classic.” And he can say that because it had been five years by then. And he did that review via Podchaser. We had another one that came in from M&W in Canada, and it said, “Your go-to resource for your agency.” This is about June of 2020. “Lee is a true leader in the industry and is always looking for ways to help others. His podcast takes a practical, holistic approach, sharing technology tools and agency management strategies to set your business up for success.” Holy moly, I should totally steal that for our website. That’s phenomenal. “The guests on the show are knowledgeable in their field and share useful advice from their experience, which you can turn into action for your situation. Thank you for everything that you do, Lee.” Well, M&W from Canada, thank you for leaving that wonderful review for me in 2020.
Now, at this point in 2020, I’d been quite discouraged because that had to take the event digital, which really, really hurt, just kind of on an emotional level. I was so excited to meet everyone physically. And I was also questioning the sanity of continuing with this podcast through all of the lockdowns. I did go through a period of time where I did lots of solo episodes. I didn’t want to bother people during lockdown or people who were struggling, et cetera, and just wanted to try and create a whole load of helpful content that would help people weather the storm. And receiving this review, again, was such a boost for me. Every single one of these reviews is a boost. I use this website, mypodcastreviews.com, and I get notified every time a new one comes in. So thank you so much.
And I’m going to wrap up with one from Robin Smith from the United States. This is one that came in again in June of 2020. There are some more, which I might say for another episode, but this one from Robin Smith. “I’m so glad I found this podcast.” That’s how he starts. And his actual tagline is, “renewed my passion for my web business.” Let me read it again. “I’m so glad I found this podcast. Listening to the stories and advice from other web designers and agency owners really helped renew my passion for my own business in WordPress website development. The hosts and guests are very transparent with some of the issues that they’ve had in their business and give great advice on how to set up systems and processes that have helped me build a better agency, be a better web developer and serve my clients better.” If there is any review that sums up what we are trying to achieve with this podcast, this is certainly one of those. Robin, thank you so much for the encouragement.
Guys, the purpose of this episode is to celebrate with you several years now of this podcast, going strong with wonderful guests, with a wonderful community. And I do truly believe that we do have a wonderful future as well. If you get value from this podcast, I’m going to encourage you to pay me in kind by jumping on Apple Podcasts, on to Stitcher, or however you consume this show, and drop me a review. Not just some stars, although five would be great, but some comments as well as to what the show means to you, how it’s changed your life. I would really, really appreciate that. And, of course, I believe it will help the algorithms so that more and more people can learn about this show and we can help transform more lives on into 2022 and beyond.
So that wraps up this episode. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for celebrating with me, and thank you in advance if you are going to drop a review. You are a legend.
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