182 podcast episodes 🎙️

In today’s episode, Joe talks to Corey Haines of Swipe Files, a community hub focused on content and courses to master marketing by taking the best ideas from other industries for maximum business growth and pushing the boundaries of what is called normal.

Corey narrates his experience in building and creating a community focused on content strategy, marketing best practices for marketers, and the idea behind founding Swipe Files. 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:28 Welcome back to the pod, Corey!
  • 05:45 What is Swipe Files?
  • 07:21 Marketing ads that pique customer interest
  • 11:37 Switching to Webflow 
  • 14:23 How does Webflow work?
  • 17:09 The community at Swipe Files
  • 21:17 Bigger communities become less valuable
  • 22:48 Managing the community, keeping the subscriptions
  • 27:46 Strategies to attract people to join the community 
  • 31:50 Calendar plugin for easy access to sites and apps
  • 33:48 Get to know Everything is Marketing podcast
  • 38:21 The story behind the first episode
  • 44:24 Marketing Rule of 7
  • 46:30 Connect with Corey online!

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] Howdy folks, Joe Howard here this week, I got to sit down and chat with my old internet buddy Corey Haines. Courtney was on the podcast previously. He was on episode 73, talking about his unique approach to growth. The company listed for him. Then. Bare metrics, but it is no longer. He talked a little bit about that.

On today’s episode, he left shortly before the acquisition of bear metrics and moved on to work on his own project and community called swipe files. So today really. It kind of features on his circle community, how he launched and grew that paid membership and how he adds pretty crazy value for the people who are part of that paid community.

But we also talked about some other stuff as well. We talked a little bit about his transition from bare metrics to swipe files. And then also about his new podcast that he launched. He launched 10 episodes at once, which is pretty crazy. We talked about his reason for doing that. And then also how he got Rand Fishkin as his first guest on the podcast.

He tells the whole story of how that happened. And I think it’s really eyeopening for anybody who wants to potentially start a podcast or get a big guest on the podcast or someone who already runs a podcast, myself included. How do I get some really big names on my podcast? This is a strategy that he talks about that I think will work.

Literally for anybody. So that’s all for the intro without further ado, please welcome Corey hand to today’s episode and do a podcast.

Corey Haines: [00:01:42] WP MRR WordPress podcast is brought to you by WP buffs. WP buffs manages WordPress websites, 24 seven and powers digital growth for agencies. Freelancers and WordPress professionals join our white label program. And by next week you could be offering 24 seven white label website support to your clients and passively growing your monthly recurring revenue or become a WP buffs affiliate to earn 10% monthly payouts.

Every month for the lifetime of every client. And finally, if you’re looking to sell your WordPress business or website, check out the WP buffs acquisition unit, learn more about all3@wpbuffs.com.

Joe Howard: [00:02:24] All right. We are live this week on the podcast. We’ve got Corey Haynes on the podcast this week. Corey, it’s nice to have you on for the second time on the podcast.

Why don’t you tell folks a little bit about what you do

Corey Haines: [00:02:35] on the web. Yeah, thanks for having me on a second time as well. But, um, today at this time, what I do on the web is a little bit different. So today I’m the sort of founder creator of swipe files. Basically it’s a hub, a membership site for all things, content, community, and courses on marketing.

And so marketing is my thing. I was previously the head of growth at Baremetrics, um, spent about two years there, doing all things, marketing and sales and growth. And then before that was the first marketing hire at cordial also had my hands on homes out there. Things like. A job board, just from marketers called the marketers and a couple of courses today, my main focus is on swipe files and then a sort of a pay the bills.

And just for fun. Also, I do some consulting and advisory work for startups on marketing as well.

Joe Howard: [00:03:19] Cool. Yeah. Yeah. So you’ve been friends for a little while now. We’ve kind of known each other through the web, since you were at bare metrics, we’re still bare metrics, bare metrics recover. We still use. And I remember.

Working on bare metrics and meeting you, you know, it’s like, Oh, this guy, Corey, you just working at bare metrics, this cool guy. And then it like kind of kept me kind of connected with the company. And I was always, I was always like, I want to stay connected with Corey. I’m gonna keep my subscription, which I think is like another, like, no, you gotta have good people at your company.

And now I appreciate that. And yeah. So Josh sold bare metrics. I think it was like. Months ago. Now we’re used to working in there a little bit after that acquisition happened. And you’ve recently transitioned where I think you started doing swipe files. I’m not wrong. I saw on Twitter like a few months ago, maybe a little bit more than that is that when the transition happens after the acquisition.

Corey Haines: [00:04:11] I left right before. So I left in September and I think that it was sort of officially, you know, closed and done deal and announced in early November. I want to say that it was of 2020. Uh, I actually started working on swipe files this time, last year. So in March of 2020 back then, it was sort of like, uh, you know, seedling of an idea.

And it was just like a web flow prototype. And I sort of launched with like these tear downs that I was doing, and I was writing every week and it’s like commentary on the best. Ads and emails and landing pages that I was seeing. And then in October is when I launched the community and started, started building on the whole kind of hub.

And so now there’s the tear downs. I have like a actual swipe file that people can sort of download it and look through, uh, there’s the community and at these courses as well, that are bundled under it. But it was about October, I think when sort of the swipe files, as we know today started to start to kind of sprout out a bit.


Joe Howard: [00:05:05] totally. I think is a good lesson in there, which a lot of people have been on a similar journey, which is had a side project was kind of working, you know, maybe full-time somewhere, but you know, it was working on this little cool thing. I was tinkering and eventually it turned into a bigger project and I think people maybe see swipe past it, like, Oh my God, like, look how amazing this website is.

Look how cool this looks. How did Corey do this all overnight and not to take away from how amazing you are, but over a year or so, it kind of developed into what it is exactly, because it was just, that’s how most entrepreneurs function, right? It’s like from the outside, it may look like whatever, quote unquote, overnight success, but in reality, a lot more time and energy is and put in, in the backend.

Um, so swipe files, I’m on the website right now, but give folks your, like, what is swipe files?

Corey Haines: [00:05:50] Yeah. So it’s basically, there’s a couple different, uh, hubs to it, but like what you see, if you just go there, it’s actually more of like a landing page. And so I have the privilege and the challenge of marketing to marketers to a certain degree, or I was just gets a little bit meta and marketers know all the tricks, all the tricks.

Right. But at the core of it, of what you see there on the landing page is a newsletter. So I’m working on a lot of content around just marketing and sort of giving my opinion. It’s not like a, like a practical kind of like SEO type. Articles around like, you know, here’s how you do X, Y, and Z. They’re more like opinionated pieces on what I’m seeing the market, you know, cutting edge strategies, even crazy stuff that I see sometimes.

So I just want to like give a light to, um, just to help people get outside of that echo chamber, really like the premise of swipe files is how can we take the best ideas from other industries and very like disparate practices and backgrounds and skillsets. And use that for ourselves to like really push the boundaries of what’s normal and do like really creative, kind of outside the box type of marketing, rather than just the rinse and repeat copier competitors type of marketing that, um, it’s very easy to, to fall into.

So the newsletter highlights allows a lot of those ideas. I also have a podcast called everything is marketing. There’s the swipe files, private community. So you can buy it. There’s a pro membership, which basically gives you access to the community. And then the actual swipe file. Okay. And the tear downs as well.

So again, it’s a little bit hard. Like when I tell my mom, for example, what I do, I just called it a membership site that helps people learn marketing because at its core, that’s really what it is, you know, but when I’m talking to people in tech or in marketing, right, there’s all sorts of different facets.

And it’s kind of like this, uh, this amorphous blob has all sorts of different arms and tentacles. If you will, to, to what CFLs actually is.

Joe Howard: [00:07:34] Yeah. I love the like marketing to marketers is like definitely a challenge. It’s like trying to write SEO articles that will get a lot of SEO because you’re competing against all the other SEOs.

We’re ready to go to sales, like super chat live, most challenging probably to do in SEO. Right. So I’ve seen this meme going around. That’s like the, there’s all this like Royal drama right now, which I don’t follow really very much at all, but I’ve seen some like the Oprah memes where it’s like, You know, marketers or people who are not marketers watching Superbowl commercials or watching commercials.

They’re like, no, but Mark Miller is interesting. Cause they’re like marketers analyzing what other marketers are doing, which is always interesting. I kind of like watching super bowl ads, not cause I like. Really like watching ads or commercials, or even specifically super bowl commercials, but I’m just interested in like how companies are positioning themselves to such a huge audiences.

Yeah. It’s interesting.

Corey Haines: [00:08:24] Hulu has this little experience where sometimes they’ll allow you to like pick which quote unquote ad experience that you want. And so before the next ad plays they’ll have like two or three different options. It’s like, do you want the dog. Um, ad or like the cat ad or like, do you want like the light one or the dark one on the summer or the winter?

And I always love in those pop up and it drives my wife crazy. Cause I’ll sit there for like 10 seconds, just like, Oh, which one do I want to see? And like, I need to like write this down for later so I can go watch the other person. But, uh, like I said, it’s more just pure curiosity seeing how they do it and what they do.

And you sort of become an ad aficionados. Yeah,

Joe Howard: [00:08:59] they get the data, you get to self select. What kind of ad you want, even though sometimes no ads are the best. It’s like, well, at least I get to choose. It’s interesting. How, like, I actually think about that experience being like a pretty, pretty decent ad experience versus like YouTube, because YouTube, even it asks like what my preferences are, but it’s not like asking what kind of ad I want.

It’s like, it’s much more clear that it’s like, they’re just like data mining, like make better. Commercials, which I get, like, I understand that practice, but like, do you want a dog commercial or a camera? At least that’s like more fun for me. Like I literally get to choose what commercial I want to watch.

That sounds like a better experience. Yeah.

Corey Haines: [00:09:32] That’s a fun one. So like I said, super bowl commercials, Hulu commercials. My wife sends me Instagram and Facebook ads all the time. Cause he knows that I’ll like her, if it’s a funny one, it’s a video and especially I’ll, I’ll swipe that and put it in my swipe file and it’s a good practice to be in.


Joe Howard: [00:09:48] definitely. You’re obviously on like a WordPress. Podcasts right now. So I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little bit about how swipe files.com was built, which I believe is on Webflow. Is

Corey Haines: [00:09:59] that correct? It is. Yep. It’s not on WordPress, somewhat flow. So I still love WordPress. It’s the OG no-code tool.

So yeah.

Joe Howard: [00:10:06] Yeah. I so. Interesting. I have this, like, I have this challenge with WordPress. Okay. Full transparency. I’ve got a lot of issues and challenges with WordPress. You know, there’s WordPress. Isn’t perfect by any means. But one of the issues I do have with it is like, whenever I land on a website, I feel like I almost always know when it’s WordPress.

Because it has a certain feel. It has a certain, like the footer looks a certain way or the header is built a certain way, or it has a certain, there’s just a certain aspect of how it’s built and how the designers it’s like this is built on a WordPress template, or this is using a page builder on WordPress.

And a lot of times, I don’t like that experience because it doesn’t feel novel. It doesn’t feel innovative. It doesn’t feel like a website maybe should look in 2021. So from a design aesthetic, like I land on this website and I’m like, no, it doesn’t feel like WordPress like feels more modern. I know that’s like a kind of whatever it’s like, is your website beautiful?

Like, there’s a lot of objective or a lot of subjectivity to that, but. I’d like to think I have pretty good design tastes. When I land on this website, I’m like, Whoa, this looks like really cool. I love the little, like the little circles of people who are already like joined, I guess, to your email list, like join 4,642 plus they’re marketers.

Right now. It has a little pictures of them. You know, your product hunt up, like the kind of rainbow imagery behind. It just seems very well-designed and. I can kind of tell it’s not a WordPress site. So that’s, to me, like it says something, but tell me about kind of the decision to go web flow. And is this something like, do you have a lot of design experience?

Did you have a lot of web flow experience or was this kind of new for you as you were building out swipe files, you were just like, Oh, web flows really easy. I should just like. Build out a dope website

Corey Haines: [00:11:53] using it. I originally got set on Webflow because back in college I was doing some like, you know, basic web design, setting up websites for friends and local businesses and stuff like that.

And I’d use WordPress a couple of times, but then I found that it was hard for. Sort of clients to, to maintain and to sort of customize. So

Joe Howard: [00:12:11] yeah. That’s WP boss was born. Right,

Corey Haines: [00:12:14] exactly. Yeah. Amazing. Right. You get to fill that gap and sort of in solve that need. But then I started working with Squarespace and that was also good.

But it was also a little bit too basic and it has, I think, some of the same problems as like whenever that Squarespace site that I go to, I immediately know that it’s Squarespace, which again, it’s not a bad thing per se. It’s just, I started to know because they’re all based off of certain set of templates, usually a certain design aesthetic.

Yeah, yeah. A certain aesthetic. And that I really craved a lot more flexibility around the customization and the design and sort of, you know, trying to push things outside of like the normal box a little bit. And here’s the thing too, is that I’m not a designer. I had sort of done it just as like. More of a marketing play of just like, let me, Hey, let me get you a site.

Like I can, I know I can spend something out for you. I’m not like, let me like build you a brand guideline and like, you know, build all these custom icons and a logo. It was just like, I can get you a site basically. And so started working on working with Webflow first, built a couple of sites for people, and then built my own site on there.

And so by the time, so I fells idea kind of came around. I already knew that, you know, Webflow was like what I was most comfortable with basically at the time. And so it was an easy decision just based off of my skillset personally. I like it because it makes me feel like a designer, even though I’m not a designer, that’s one of the, one of the big value props.

I feel like it just appeals to me is I’m like, you know, I can have a dope site and feel good about it. Right. And really I have nothing to do with it because I’m sort of just, you know, following directions, I’m experimenting, uh, it’s actually built off of a template. So I gotta give a shout out to the panel’s template.

I forget who built it now, but I sort of customize it from there and it’s allowed me to, you know, feel and act like a designer without actually being one. I’m an imposter

Joe Howard: [00:13:57] to me, that’s like sheds a lot of light on this whole situation because yeah. Most people I think would go to your site would be like, Corey’s a dope designer.

Like, look at this site. He put together, not really. It’s kind of like use this template and web flow kind of do the rest for me. So to me, that’s like, Yeah. What better thing could you say about a tool and you could have like the coolest looking website, one of the coolest looking sites I’ve seen and just, you know, you didn’t do much work, then we probably did less work than putting a WordPress website together.

And forgive me. I don’t exactly know how a website works. Is it, did you like buy that template in like a store area or is it like, do they have the templates as part of web flow? Yeah, you have to

Corey Haines: [00:14:32] buy it. They have a little marketplace, but basically I just bought anything was like, you know, 49 or 99 bucks or something like that.

And so I start with the template that allowed me to get up and running pretty quickly. And then I also started new. Like I had this idea like, Oh, maybe it’s, my files could turn into more, you know, later, but I’m just going to like, you know, so I wanted to sort of give myself the optionality to allow it to expand into maybe more of like a membership site or a no-code site, or, you know, do something outside the realm of just like a normal website.

And so I knew that web flow had those capabilities that have integrations with other tools, like, you know, member stack and outset, uh, and, uh, Zapier and sort of other email marketing tools and jet boost actually. So when I built the job board for marketers, that was one of the other sites that I built.

On Webflow, because I knew that there was like a tutorial out there on maker pad for how to build it. And so I was like, Oh, I’ll just build it on Webflow. If there’s already something out here that can teach me how to do it. And so, um, Ngukurr worked with jet booze, which I might need later for searching and filtering.

And so at that point, I knew also just beyond the design and the template that I could make it work as like a no-code, you know, membership site. Eventually, if I wanted to, which I ended up doing.

Joe Howard: [00:15:36] Yeah, just like no code movement is really starting to gain a lot of momentum. I listen to a lot of indie hackers podcasts and like, you know, chanting and Cortland over there.

A lot of people it’s like, maybe it’s brought in this like yeah. Ability to like really put together a business, not having to be a developer, but you’re able to do a lot of things that maybe 10 years ago, definitely 20 years ago you would have needed to hire, develop, or be a developer to put these together today.

It’s like sign up for swipe files for nine bucks for a template, put a little website copy together and like, boom, you’ve got it. You know, I say put together, so yeah, that’s really cool. And the other thing I did want to for sure talk about was that community around swipe files. So here’s the landing page, just, you know, subscribe to the newsletter, but you’ve got a whole community running.

I know that because I knew how to community running and I told my head of growth to go over and make sure he joins. So Alex, a member of the swipe files community. But tell us a little bit about that. He just built on circle, got a bunch of people in there probably. Doing all sorts of

Corey Haines: [00:16:32] stuff. Yeah. So the community was it’s funny because that was actually a separate idea.

Like I keep this big idea log in, in notion and now in where I’m sort of like, it’s all over the place, grab it. Just like I’ve always made a habit of writing down ideas and thoughts about them in my head just to like get it out. And so I had, you know, one of my like top ideas was the sort of swipe files, you know, curated examples and tear downs idea.

And I had another idea. I was originally going to call it like the marketing assembly. Or the marketing society or something like that, because I was really craving a private marketing community where I could come together and it wouldn’t be like a really noisy experience. And I could sort of like, I even thought about doing like a really small one.

Like I’m just going to invite 10 kind of close friends, and we’re just going to have like a. Telegram chat or something like that. So I launched my files with the tear downs and sort of like the, you know, this curated library. And then people are kind of kept asking like, Oh, it was like a way to like chat with other people or like, do you have any sort of like community?

And, and then that thought I’d kind of been brewing in my head of like, do I want to do this as a separate thing? Or do I want to add this on top? And then I sort realizing like, Oh, this would actually work perfectly with. Sorta like the total offering and be like another thing that I can provide to members and like keeps waiting in the pot, you would pay, you know, 99 bucks a year.

And now instead of just tear downs, you also get a community. You know, you also get, you know, X, Y, and Z, and sort of adding more and more onto that into the offering over time. But I wanted to do it the right way and it was actually really nervous because I had never started or launched a community before.

And a community is. Is a, it’s actually has a lot of the same dynamics as like a, a marketplace kind of site or a business where you have to fill the supply side and the demand side at the same time. And then like, the community is interesting. Cause you have to like, then, you know, make them co-mingle where like everyone is sort of supply and demand side of posting and interacting.

So I knew that it was like this delicate thing that I needed to get right. To be able to like launch it. So there wasn’t just like crickets and everyone felt awkward. Like, you know, it’s completely silent. Like, I don’t know who’s here, what we talk about, but that it actually felt lively and engaging and people would feel welcome to come in.

So it was just art. And I kind of, I started with my newsletter and I said, Hey, I’m thinking about starting. I didn’t even say I was starting a company. I said, who is a part of a community or who is not a part of a community who wants to be? And I had all sorts of people say, Oh, I’m parts of communities, but I don’t really check in very often or like they’re too noisy or they died.

Or, you know, maybe like, it’s not really right for me. And that a whole bunch of people who said I’m not part of anything. And I would love to be, I’ve been looking for something. So I thought, Oh wow, this is actually some pretty good indicators that maybe there’s something here. So then I emailed every single one.

I think I probably had like 200. Emails and DMS. I was like going through at the same time, just trying to have a conversation around, well, what are you looking for? What’s important to you? How would you imagine that it would work? I very much doing a kind of product discovery kind of exercise of seeing what the needs are and trying to build something based on what people are saying and not just, you know, do what I think is good.

And then try to find people for that really involve people. In the process of building something that they would be a part of. So after I sort of had a lot of those conversations, I think I’m going to start something. If I did, would you be interested? I, you to people said, yes, I invited about 10 to 20, like close friends in pretty early on and said, Hey, can you post something?

And just like, it was basically very like scripted. It was like, can you ask a question? And then like, can you comment to all the other ones in there just like make a seam lively. And then like a couple of days later, I basically just opened the flood Gates and said, Hey, there’s community. You’re already a member jump in.

And then I announced to, you know, Twitter and other places, Hey, if you want to become a member, here’s how you do. So sign up here, join us. And then it was kind of just like this, you know, it kick-started the flywheel a bit and now it’s been rolling ever since. Yeah,

Joe Howard: [00:20:14] it’s cool. I really like that idea of.

Inviting kind of close friends in first and getting it kick-started and honest, almost like as kind of part of asking people for feedback, what’d you like about the community? What would, how would you foresee a great community being using some of that feedback, but when you really start don’t invite everybody only invite a few select people and literally like DM them on Twitter or like email them, like, Hey, can you post something today?

Thanks. Cause you know, everyone out of your a hundred friends, maybe like 80 of them are like, Yeah, they’re decent friends, but you got your like 20 core friends who were like, yo, do this for me. Sure. I’ll do that. And those are the people you want to lean on. And so getting the community kind of rocking and rolling, even though it’s still starting off small.

So when other people come in, they see something that’s already rocking and rolling, even though. It’s small. I think most people don’t care about size. They care about value management and maybe some people want to be in like a group with like a hundred or a thousand people, but they see a Facebook group of like 50,000 people are going to be overwhelmed and be like, this is going to be crazy.

Like exactly. It’s too big for some people. So that’s a use it to your advantage. Right. So, yeah.

Corey Haines: [00:21:16] That was part of my like core thesis was a lot of people said, well, the marketing communities that I’m part of are usually free and they’re noisy and they’re spammy. And you know, I’m not a part of them.

There’s too many people here. And there is an interesting kind of dilemma with a lot of communities because the bigger they get. Potentially the less valuable they get because they get more noisy or you feel less connected or there’s more things going on. It’s harder to jump in the conversation or, or to just feel like you’re really a part of it, you know?

Cause it’s a bigger, bigger group. And so I knew that sort of the core thesis was it was going to be private and it’s going to be paid so that people were bought in and that they didn’t have to feel like, you know, it was going to be the, this. Big thing. And that kind of gets out of control. And I have plans, you know, as we grow to sort of expand and give people like these smaller kind of water cooler experiences where maybe there’s smaller groups or masterminds or things like that.

But it’s been very important for me to like, maintain that culture of it, feeling small and engaged and tight knit. That way people actually, you know, do engage and they still feel comfortable to be a part of it. Yeah. I

Joe Howard: [00:22:16] love that idea of. Battling the big, noisy free kind of their advantage is their scale.

And it’s like a numbers game sort of thing. Battle app by saying, let’s go the other direction. Kind of do the opposite. Well, make it small. We’ll make it small by making it pay it. So only, you know, a hundred people see it. Maybe only 10 will sign up, but those 10 will be power users, you know, they paid, so they want to be involved.

And so that’s almost an automatic vetting process. It makes your whole community and most of your community better. The thing I want to learn more about is it’s a paid community. So people swipe their credit card to be part of, I mean, among other things, the community swipe files all sorts. Oh, you know, everything that you’re working on over at swipe files, but they’re effecting this paid premium experience.

Are you the, like. Community manager, like is only you, is there anybody else on your team helping out with like posting stuff on a day-to-day basis? Do you like captain certain members to like post on certain days? How do you feel like you create enough value for people within the community to make it a no brainer?

That’s like, of course I’ll keep paying for this. You know, this is awesome. Yeah.

Corey Haines: [00:23:22] That’s a good question. I mean, I’m definitely like the community manager really haven’t even gotten needed to get to a stage where, you know, I have like. You know, strict moderation or other things, you know, that, um, that I’m doing to kind of like keep things under wraps, because really, I think the culture that’s kind of grown out of it.

It’s been very asynchronous and there’s not very much like everything that’s posted in there is like a high value conversation. And so it’s not, you’re never going to see like a. You know, what are you doing today? Or like, you know, asking a dumb question that could just be Googled, right? They’re all like, Hey, I’m looking to hire someone or like, here’s like a budget.

How would you spend it? Or we do something called a think tank Thursday, where we feature a community member and we basically brainstorm how would be market. Your business or your product for you. Um, so you kind of like crowdsource all these marketing ideas. I reach out and connect with every single member personally.

One-on-one do like these workshops series, where right now we’re actually starting with research. So every week we kind of have like a expert within the fields this time it’s research do like a curated workshop just for members and some members can ask questions. We have AMS. And to be honest, I mean, the bar is very low.

Compared to other communities. And so most people come in and they even just see like the interaction they get when they introduce themselves. And I’m like, this place is amazing and I love it. I’m like, that’s awesome. I’m glad you feel that way because we’re kind of still getting started to be honest, like there’s still so much more that we can do.

Uh, but even then, I mean, at 99 bucks a year, it’s basically as low cost and entry-level, as you can get. And that’s intentional because I don’t want to turn people away from, you know, just a across perspective, but just from a value perspective, it’s very. High touch that’s. I mean, it’s one of the reasons why I picked circle as the platform, you know, a lot of people say, Oh, well, like the technology doesn’t matter.

And like the platform doesn’t matter. I think it really, really does because the platform is essentially where you meet and where you meet determines a lot of the traditions and the culture and sort of the way the interact with other people. And for me, Slack was too much of a synchronous. You had to be there kind of environment.

Facebook groups is a little bit. Kind of the opposite where it’s a little bit more noisy, but it’s more about like posts and comments. I felt like it didn’t really have like a good way to do like an asynchronous conversation where anyone at any time could come in and add something to the conversation.

And so circle has a great kind of threading and a forum. Yeah. Type style without it being like too much forum where it’s just, you know, uh, very disconnected and doesn’t, it feels more like a bunch of different posts connected together. So I dunno if that makes sense, but basically I think that a combination of sort of the practices that we’ve been instilling in the platform, as well as the actual platform itself has really helped to make sure that people are getting value out of it.

Joe Howard: [00:26:02] Yeah. I love that idea. I think you actually like beat me to the punch because that was the next thing I want to talk about. Like, cause I remember at some point on your website, you were like, Join our community. We have our community on circle because Slack sucks for a search for community. I don’t think you said it exactly that way, but like, that’s kind of what you’re trying to get across is like, exactly.

It’s sucks for a certain type of community. And I agree with you that Slack is like, you have to be there, like I’m part of some Slack communities. And like, I don’t know how to. Keep up with stuff they’re like, I’ll see. Even I have some notifications turned on for like some more important ones and it comes up, it just disappears forever.

I never see a conversation again. And so like I had to be there, so I missed it. And Facebook is the other way. It’s almost totally asynchronous. It’s like, and the posts and. Comments all in one single like thread in one single area it’s like all so congested, like there’s a hundred posts a day. Like, well, how are you finding anything?

Use the search feature that sucks. Like there’s no also bad, but circle, I think is a great marriage between the two, because I love that. It, it kind of like. Has similar UI and UX to Facebook, but like, there’s a nice left-handed bar where you can like, have all sorts of different conversations going on and you can like, literally go and join where you want to.

I’ve been part of circle communities where it’s like, these are the free areas, but here, Oh, go in and become a paid user to get access to this. AMA area or this tear down area and Hey, it’s just five bucks a month or, Hey, maybe it’s a hundred bucks a month, but you have to pay to be part of that. And that, to me, like makes the actual experience of being there in the community.

Really powerful. The one thing I had a question, so yeah, full transparency, like WVU MRR is thinking, I’m thinking about doing a circle community for us. So I’m actually like picking your brain. Like what should I do? What shouldn’t I do to think I have a challenge with, because I’m part of other circle communities is.

Like, how do I get people coming back in and making it like a destination for themselves? Because that’s the challenge of it being like, not Facebook is like, Facebook is like, people are already there. Right? Slack is like, people are already there circle. It’s like, it’s just new domain. Like you have to go there to be a part of it.

So how do you strategize, like. Getting people there regularly, isn’t kind of a slow and steady burn and just kind of like improving over time. Are you using like email in conjunction with that? I think circle sends out its own emails with like a recap of like, what’s happened that day. Do you send those out daily?

Do you send those out weekly? How do you make your own community in itself? A destination when that is the destination and it’s not just. People are already on Facebook or they’re already on Slack.

Corey Haines: [00:28:31] Yeah. I think there’s two parts of it. One is I think like the beginning of the routines and traditions and kind of culture of the community itself.

And so bringing people a reason to come back on certain days. So Monday is, for example, is kind of like our work in public day where I have like a. A weekly thread. And I asked people basically they can post like, Hey, what’d you work on last week? What’s your plan for this week? Anything you learned, uh, anything you need help with just like people know that they can come on a Monday at least.

And just like post that and interact and sort of, and have a place and an outlet to do that. Wednesday, Thursday, we do think tank Thursday. Right? So there’s kind of like these excuses for people to come back in and they know, okay. That was Thursday, you know, I wonder like who we’re featuring today, or I wonder, you know, who we’re featuring next week or the last two weeks, I’ll go back and look through those.

The second part is the communication and yeah, I mean, they do have like a native, you know, like a weekly recap, basically that, that, that they’ll send out to all of the members in the community, which helps. There’s also a good notification system. So members can. Sorta subscribe and get notified on different levels.

So like it could be like for every new posts for only, you know, posts that they’re tagged in or for, you know, not at all for each individual space and a space is basically like a channel equivalent to Slack. And so some people, for example, they might get notified every time there’s a new post in the general channel space.

I always want to call them channels, the general space, which is like the most like active sort of catch all space and the swipe files community, which would be a lot. Right. So they’re probably getting. Uh, at least a couple of emails a day, but then there’s also the things that I’m doing through emails.

So for example, I just launched this new workshop series. So we have like, you know, seven or eight over the next, you know, two months now. And so basically just send out an email to all the members and said, Hey, here’s, what’s coming up. You know, book your calendars, find the passwords to the workshops in this post.

And so that’s also, if I do have something regular like that, drive people back into the community, you know, send an email about an AMA we’re doing, or even just like a, you know, a meetup that we’re doing. So it’s not as hard as you would think. I think that. I understand the argument of people are already in Slack or people are already in Facebook personally.

I’m not a huge Facebook user and you’re sort of battling with a lot of other noise. Even people are, they’re never

Joe Howard: [00:30:37] log into Facebook. I like it. I have a newsfeed Eradicator.

Corey Haines: [00:30:41] Yeah. Okay. Okay, great. Perfect. Right. And it’s the same thing with Slack. Like I log into Slack mostly for work things, but like I said, even if people are there.

I don’t open a lot of the workspaces that I’m a part of just because there’s so much to catch up on and because they’re noisy. So I think it’s actually an advantage to not have like this constant, you know, notification or something like within the browser. That’s trying to bring people back. It’s a little bit better to do it through something like email or there’s also a mobile app now as well.

So you can get push notifications and it’s a little bit more organic that way.

Joe Howard: [00:31:14] So you can have like an app for your specific circle that like connects right to your specific circle. Oh, wow. That’s really cool. Nice. Okay. That’s I’m gonna write that down too. So I have this idea of, I try to learn from myself as like, If I was going to get me to be part of something your basis, how would I do that?

And I know myself and that, I know I’m not alone. When I say I live and die pretty much by my Google calendar. Like, Oh yeah, I’ll miss a flight. If I don’t have it in my Google calendar, you know? So it’s like, I need to have it all there. Cause that’s literally, it’s just like, I know what’s happening on a day to day.

So I have the strategy kinda in my head of like things wanna to implement. That’s like, Calendar invite. It’s just getting into people’s school calendar or giving them something to click on to add it to their calendar. So that, cause I know a lot of people have like their built-in notifications, like, Oh, I got a notification 10 minutes before we hopped on this podcast.

Right. What if I got notification 10 minutes before the AMA you’re throwing Corey or the tear down. You’re doing that on your part of her. Hey, it’s Monday. Here’s the link? Like just write in the Google calendar, right? It, you know, 9:00 AM log in and feel free to join our Monday. What are you up to this week?

And here’s the link right to it. So it’s easy to just like go right into the right to where you want to be. So I think that the calendar to me, like getting in people’s calendars and interesting way to, yeah. Continue to make it as not to like force them to come in, but it’s like, Hey, this thing is in your calendar.

Like, it’s, it makes it easy. It makes it much the, the friction between like, how did, what was the link again, to get to the thing I had to type it. Oh, okay. Nope. Click boom. You’re in. And there you are. So I have that in my head. Do, what do you think about that? Does that sound like something you feel like would work for calender users?

Corey Haines: [00:32:59] Yeah. I mean, I’m in my calendar all day long. Like it’s literally a tab that’s constantly open and something that I’m spending on for swipe files right now. There’s a couple of other communities. I’m a part of, like, I just joined a writing group called compound writing and they have, uh, like a calendar that you can sort of subscribe to.

And then other events are just there on the calendar. So then I just click yes. To whichever ones I plan on going to, and it’s there. Right. I don’t even have to like register. Yeah. Same thing with, uh, I’m a part of the on-deck no-code fellowship and they do the exact same thing with a Google calendar is separate.

That’s basically you can toggle on and off within your own calendar and that way can I know exactly what, ah,

Joe Howard: [00:33:32] so they’ve created a separate calendar that you can subscribe to that has all the events there that’s, that’s smart and easier. So you don’t have to send out a separate calendar invite every time you teach one to the shared calendar and then it pushes out to everybody.

Exactly. Cool. Good strategy there. Nice. The other thing I did for sure, want to touch on here is the podcast. You will obviously have a podcast and I’m a big listener, too. People are on YouTube. They can see I’m already a subscriber of the show. Um, I have a few questions about the podcast because okay.

Corey’s also on Twitter. Corey, what’s your Twitter handle? I forget, is it just  headquarter, Haynes, Cub. So corny tweets a lot. Um, you always show up in my feed, Corey, I don’t know if you beat the algorithm or you just know what you’re doing, but I’m always seeing like all the stuff you’re doing. And a lot of it recently, or like in the last month or two months, since you launched podcast has been like podcasts stuff.

And I noticed when you launched the podcast, you’re doing some stuff before you launch a podcast, but when you launched podcasts, you launched 10 episodes at one time, I’d like to know a little bit about. Why you did that and some of the strategy behind it, or if it was just like something you were trying.

Corey Haines: [00:34:37] Yeah. So part of the strategy was one, I think, close to the premise of swipe files. Again, I wanted to have like a really diverse set of. Um, content and speakers and backgrounds and topics, just because that’s what sort of swipe files is about is having like this really, you know, getting outside of your echo chamber.

I didn’t want it. I feel like if I launched with one or two or three episodes, and maybe it wouldn’t be clear, you know, what the premise really was? Is this the, a B2B SAS? Marketing podcasts. It’s this e-commerce marketing podcast. This is a email marketing podcasts. Um, and it’s none of those things. It’s, it’s a marketing podcast.

And so with 10 guests, I got to bring on 10 people with very different backgrounds and skillsets and, you know, just came from all sorts of different diverse trains of thoughts and skillsets to really showcase sort of. What the podcast was and to set expectations that this is something where you’re gonna learn something new from someone in a completely different industry, every single week or episode.

Essentially, the other part of that was I figured that if I was going to have a chance to sort of climb the new and noteworthy ranks and like get featured by Apple, that I needed to. Like really pump up the downloads and the easiest way to do that is with more episodes and just to like release more, more content essentially.

And so I asked for a bunch of reviews, I released all those episodes. I had a ginormous spike in downloads. I don’t think that I made it in the new and noteworthy, which is totally fine. And I don’t know really how it works very much. Maybe it’s not too late, like maybe, maybe next week I’ll get featured or something.

Yeah, that’d be, that’d be awesome. Um, but that was also my shot at trying to make that work. I don’t think that I really did, but it was still good, nonetheless, because then there was all sorts of a whole feed for people to go through and download and, and consume to get the, you know, feel the premise of the podcasts.


Joe Howard: [00:36:19] I remember when I launched this podcast, I did three episodes at one time because my editor was like, it’ll give you a higher, the opportunity to be in whatever trending or category. I don’t know. You know, I was like, sure, okay. Record the episodes. You know, I didn’t know much about it, but you know, 10 is like the next level of that.

So I think that, yeah, who like, exactly knows how the algorithm works, but I think like getting more downloads. Faster at a higher clip, like probably gives you a higher chance to be mentioned in something like that. So I’m totally down with that idea. And I think also in terms of setting expectations for the podcast, also what you said is right, it’s just like, what is this podcast about?

I can scroll through and. Check out all the guests or the titles of all the podcasts. I actually don’t even really read the descriptions very much unless the top I’m titled titles for interested me personally, but seeing like the title and like what the episode’s about. Okay. This gives me a good idea.

These 10 episodes. I know what this podcast is about, so I know, Hey, is this something I want to listen to on regular basis? It makes it easier for people to make the yes. Decision. Yeah. And plus we kind of live in this Bingy society anywhere. Right. It’s like, people want to binge stuff, so why not give them like, Oh, I can just like every walk I take this week with my dog, I can continue to listen to Corey.

Right. It’s like, I know he has 10 minutes. Like I don’t have to like, Oh, listen to one or two. It’s like, I can just like, listen as much as I want to, you know? So that’s. More incentive for more downloads and that kind of stuff.

Corey Haines: [00:37:42] Totally. I had a guy, I don’t know. I forget who it was. I would give him a shot if I knew, but he was like, I think I had launched the podcast on a Monday.

I want to say. And on a Thursday he was like, he deemed to be on Twitter at like 11 o’clock at night. And he was like, I just listened to every single episode back to back today. I was like, Whoa, that’s great. Good for you, man. I don’t know if I could do that. Yeah,

Joe Howard: [00:38:06] that’s good feedback. I mean, you can’t get much better feedback than that though.

That’s the kind of thing that like keeps the podcast going, right? It’s like, Whoa, like someone loves this podcast. If you’re like one person loves this podcast this much, like I got to keep rocking

Corey Haines: [00:38:17] it. Right? Yeah. It was encouraging for sure. Yeah.

Joe Howard: [00:38:20] Very cool. The other thing I noticed first episode off the back, Rand Fishkin was on the podcast.

Everybody who wants to start a podcast and many who have started podcasts, a lot of the questions. How do I get like the big time guests? So my show. So, you know, I’m gonna ask you the question again, which I’m sure you’ve gotten before, but tell me about how’d you meet ran for the first time. See an old friend of yours, who back in the day, did you do any.

Cold email in doubt, reach out to them. Did you hit him up on Twitter with some stuff? Did you reply to one of his spark Toro newsletter emails is something cool. Loom video? I don’t know. These are all ideas I have to potentially get in and talk with people, but maybe you just know him from back in the day.

I don’t know. So how did Rand end up as the first episode on the pod?

Corey Haines: [00:39:02] Yeah, I’m happy to chat about it. Cause I actually haven’t really talked about it very much elsewhere and uh, it’s a little bit simpler thing you would think. So they’re the original. Sort of story is that I was trying to get Seth Godin on as the first guest, because I figured that’d be like a, really like a wow, like, Oh, how do you get Seth Godin?

I actually emailed Seth. And he responded like within a few minutes and was like, Hey, we’d love to love the premise. Like, it’s really fun product guys. But like, I have a rule that I don’t come on a podcast and let’s us. Already done 50 episodes, just because most podcasts don’t make it sort of past that threshold.

And I want to make sure that I’m, you know, placing my time strategically. So like amazing. I love that. I’ll let you know when I’m at 50 and I’ll have you on the, on the show. So then I started to brainstorm. Okay, well, who else can I get on and who would make for like a good first guests? And I sort of felt like Rand also.

Encapsulated a lot of the different sort of what I was going for with the podcast and that he, uh, was a founder. He is a marketer, you know, he was with Mazda SEO, and now he’s doing spark Torah, which is much more about like audience research and audience intelligence. And he has his hands in a lot of different things and sort of represents a lot of different things to different people.

So I liked that he sort of any, as a drain on was following which I was, I mean, just being honest, like, you know, he is a well-known person, right? And he would be who just, it would be a great fit for number one. And so he’s like the best of

Joe Howard: [00:40:16] both worlds. He’s like super popular and has that huge influencer following or whatever, but he’s also like a super awesome dudes

Corey Haines: [00:40:22] down to earth.

And yeah, so I had, um, I had been following ran for a long time and I’ve just been engaging with him on Twitter and engaging sounds so weird, but like I was just replying and commenting and like, I think I sent him a couple of DMS about just like random thoughts I had or, you know, I retweeted him or I would always sort of sing the praises of, of Rand.

And then when he started spark Toro, I showed a lot of support. I, you know, did the early access shared some thoughts with him? Um, I replied to a couple of his emails about, you know, becoming like a beta user and I was a beta user and giving some feedback. And so at that point, like he knew who I was, but we never really like talked formally or introduce ourselves, just, you know, my face.

I knew his face and like I was, I existed in his world and, um, So when I emailed, it was kind of a similar thing as Seth Godin, I was just like, Hey, Ron’s like, I’m starting this thing. I think you’d be a great, like first guest, a promise, you know, it’s not going to fizzle out. I’m gonna have lots of more guests afterwards.

Here’s who I’m also reaching out to you and would love to have you on. And he was like, sounds great. Like, let me know when, and then we booked it and scheduled it. So it was pretty easy. You have to answer your question as mainly because. I’d sort of put in the hard work of establishing some sort of, not even relationship, but just awareness around who I was and that I was a credible person.

And then I could sort of cash in that favor, uh, when I wanted to have them on the podcast.

Joe Howard: [00:41:41] Yeah, man, I forgot a lot of thoughts there, but the thing that stood out to me most from what you said is like, He knew my face.

Corey Haines: [00:41:48] That’s exactly what he said too, actually, because we were talking when I, when I first sat him on and I was like, by the way, you know, thanks for coming on.

And he was like, Oh yeah, like I’ve seen you around, like, I know your Twitter avatar. And, and, you know, I think he was like, didn’t you weren’t you like a, a beta user? And I was like, yeah, he’s okay. Yeah. So like I knew who you were. And so when you reached out, I thought, why

Joe Howard: [00:42:05] not? Yeah, totally. I think that a lot of times, like I’ve called emails, people in the past about an assortment of things.

Like we don’t do any cold email for like. Like sales stuff, but like, I’m going to like talk to someone like, I’ll shoot him an email. Or if I got referred to someone’s like, Hey, this person gave me an email. I just hope you don’t mind, but I just want to reach out. And a lot of times when I shoot that email, I will also find them on Twitter and just follow them.

And maybe I’ll even if I’m like, I’m feeling fancy or if I’m feeling myself, I like like one of their tweets and it’s like, not even a big deal. Right. But it’s like, they see me on Twitter. Oh, he’s a real person. Oh, that’s what it looks like. Oh, he emailed me too. It’s like this snowball of trust. Right.

Because when, you know, when you, don’t not in super circles, there’s zero trust. And maybe when did the, for the first time, okay. Maybe that’s a real person, twice, three times beta user. Now you’re actually providing him a lot of value, right? Like people keeping positive or negative connotations in their minds of who people are.

And a lot of it is based on one or two, like small interactions, like a micro interaction. Like that person was a beta user. That means they helped me and gave me some, maybe some feedback, proactive feedback. You applied to some emails. Okay. Now Rand is like, Yeah, this guy is not just like a real person.

He’s like a good person who was helpful for me. And even if it wasn’t this huge thing, like you were this multimillion dollar investor in like his business or whatever, what people are looking for is that micro interaction, especially when, what you want them to do is spend 45 minutes at a time on a podcast.

Like not the hugest ask in the world. Right. But you need something soda foundation. And I really liked that story because it. Told me about all the little micro interactions you had before that led to having someone really big on the first episode. And I think a lot of people can learn from that myself included.

Like, if I want to have someone I can, for people who I want to have in the podcast, I got to think like three months ahead, or like six months ahead, like, what are they doing now? What project? How can I get involved in that? How do I make sure I provide value by. Maybe I’ll become a subscriber to their thing or a paid subscriber saying maybe I pre-cum a beta user or even a free user.

Maybe I just replied to one of their newsletters that they send like, Hey, great newsletter. Like I’ve met a lot of people that way by just replying to the newsletter, being like, Hey, this was really cool. What did you think about that? And they’re like, Oh, and then we get into conversations like, Oh, this person’s awesome.

And that leads to all sorts of stuff. So I’m with you, man. It’s a cool story. Yeah,

Corey Haines: [00:44:24] thanks. There’s this marketing rule of seven, which kind of stays to like on average, people need to see or interact with a brand seven times before they buy or purchase from, you know, it’s sort of just like a, a heuristic, like a rule you can kinda like have in the back of your head, but it works the same way just for like relationships in general and like co-marketing or partnerships or fill in the blank, X, Y, and Z.

Like you need to, you know, show and sort of like consistently be there multiple times over and over. Not just once. And you also need to. Do it within like a, not a short amount of time, but like, you need to do it consistently because if I, if someone like, yeah, today, you know, I get like a few followers every day.

And like, most of them, I don’t really see them. But then, like I said, if they like one of my tweets or if they comment and or if I see that they just subscribe to my newsletter or if they popped up as a member on a swipe file, I was like, then I’m like, Oh, this person’s really so like, engaging with me. I remember them.

I know who they are. I remember their name. I’m looking into them, um, you know, doing research and so. I’ve tried to make a, it was sort of like a, just an organic, like accidental thing. But a couple of years ago, I decided like, when I was first on Twitter, I’m not going to try to like tweet a bunch and like, I’m just going to like interact a bunch.

And so I followed a bunch of people. I would always like, and like giving away a like is completely for free. Right. But to that person, it’s important. It’s, it’s some sort of engagement and then my face pops up on there. I will comment ask questions, DM retweet, ask if I can help with people. I’ve made it a point also to meet.

One to two new people a week for the last, you know, four years. And so they were able to realize a lot of relationships that without any sort of hard ask, and then later they’re referring new clients or they’re, re-tweeting your stuff, or they’re subscribing or they’re paying, or they’re a customer now.

And so it’s all about putting the hard work, right? Organically before you need to make that ask and sort of capitalize on the trust that you’ve built.

Joe Howard: [00:46:09] Yeah. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Uh, so I think that’s a good place to wrap up for the day. I didn’t want to give the name of the podcast.

Shout out. Everything is marketing as pupil. If you’re. Listening to this podcast in your podcast player, just go ahead and search for everything is marketing and give that subscribe to Corey. So second to last thing, Corey, where can people find your folks online podcasts, but also website Twitter?

Corey Haines: [00:46:34] Yeah. So on Twitter at Cory Haines co also my personal site is.

dot co. So that’s sort of where that connection came from. Maybe one day I’ll get greens.com and then the Twitter handle at Cory Haines. But for now you don’t have to deal with that and find it. It’s also swipe files.com. And by the way, if you’re a marketer and you were looking for a kind of private community and resources around marketing, you can use the code WP MRR for 50% often.

I don’t do any sort of like public. Ish discounts or, you know, like deals or anything like that. I pretty much exclusively do them for podcasts. And so if you want it to, it’s just WP MRR and you can email that to me and, or, um, I think you would put it right into the signup form.

Joe Howard: [00:47:12] Nice. Very cool man. And last thing I ask our guests to do is to ask our audience here on the podcast to give us a little iTunes review.

So if you wouldn’t mind, excuse me, it’s not even called iTunes anymore. It’s called Apple podcasts. I gotta get my, my verbiage. Right? Which you wouldn’t mind asking our listeners right now for a little Apple. Podcast review. I’d appreciate it.

Corey Haines: [00:47:31] Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s a, it’s a no-brainer, especially if you’re in WordPress.

Uh, I love the premise. I think it’s a super solid podcast. I hope that I’ve been a solid guest and I’m going to go leave a review right now. So you should too.

Joe Howard: [00:47:42] Awesome. Appreciate it. Corey, if you leave a review for the show, make sure you leave Corey’s name or something you’ve learned about in the episode.

I’ll shoot Corey screenshot and thank him for helping us get that review on Apple podcasts. If you are a new listener to the show, we’ve got a ton of old episodes. This is going to be episode 140 something we already talked about. Bingeing stuff on this podcast, but don’t go and there’s all sorts of stuff to Binjon TV, but don’t go waste your time being in something that’ll help you grow your business.

We’ve got all sorts of older episodes on all sorts of topics on the podcast. So go and finish them. All the episodes. Get us a few more downloads, maybe WP MRR, or joins. Everything is marketing and trending area on Apple podcasts. Wouldn’t that be cool. If you have questions for us on the show, feel free to email them into yo at WP MRR.

Dot com I actually do Q and a episodes every once in a while. So shoot those into me and I will get those answered live here on the podcast. That is it for this week’s episode will be in your podcast players or on YouTube again next Tuesday, although YouTube is Thursday. So Corey, thanks again for being on man.

It’s been real. Thank you for it so

Corey Haines: [00:48:50] much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

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