Joe Rogan is arguably the biggest podcaster out there. We already covered his historical move to Spotify and now that the first episodes of The Joe Rogan experience (out of a space ship) aired on said platform and basically started a new era, it’s a good a time as any to look at what we, as digital strategists, can learn from JOE ROGAN (*said that in Joey Diaz voice*).
1. Do what you love but also do what you need to do
Joe always talks about how lucky he is doing what he loves. That doesn’t only relates to podcasting but also to his other jobs such as stand-up comedian and UFC commentator. He also said that he didn’t necessarily always enjoy his previous jobs as moderator or sticom actor but that this brought him to where he is right now. That shows us that, of course, sometimes you have to make decisions to take gigs (clients, campaigns, etc.) that might not be exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life, but it will bring you several steps closer to what you are aiming to accomplish.
If you are a marketing agency that might mean your goal is to only work for clients that make a real impact, that have products worth advertising and that help the human race. In order to get to that point however you might also have to work for other products that help you pay your bills until you achieve the financial freedom to make such decisions.
If you are a corporation and your goal is to deliver the best possible services/products to your customers you might also make decisions (e.g. investments) that don’t affect that goal right off the bat but will be helpful to achieve said goal later on.
2. Do it with conviction
Once you found what you really want (or have) to do, do it with conviction. Don’t half-ass it. Customers, clients, colleagues, employees, etc will always realize if you are doing something because you believe in it, or if you just do it in order to get it done.
If a client sees that you’re not really into creating a unique solution for them, they will feel less important and might even drop you. If your customers feel like your product/service isn’t as good as it should be, they will move on to the competition, and if your campaigns are just lackluster all you will reap is ignorance or ridicule.
That also means that you rock tasks that you might not necessarily love at first sight but succeeding here will get you closer to what you want to do. That’s like Rogan succeeding in his moderator / sitcom days. Make the best out of it, make the audience feel special, be successful, and then move forward and focus on what you really want to do.
3. Don’t expect immediate success
No matter what you do, the likelihood of hitting the jackpot and being immediately successful are rather slim. There’s simply so much distraction and other choices out there so that it can take some time for a critical mass to get behind you.
This means if you are doing something, you really need to do it because you want to (see previous points) as in the beginning you might only do it for yourself, your staff, colleagues, etc – but not for a wider audience.
If you are going for immediate success you could, of course, copy existing approaches that seem to work well but this would lead to you being one of many. That could help bring some decent success right off the bat (depending on how you define success) but will not establish you as someone unique and worth following / supporting and as soon as the trend that you copy is over, your success will fade. Don’t be defined by current trends and hype, be defined by your uniqueness.
4. Keep doing it
Don’t stop. Easy as that. There’s a saying that goes something like ‘if you keep showing up you’re already doing better than most of your competition’. Lots of competitors will give up if they don’t see immediate success and don’t get praise right off the bat. If you can make it through the valley of ‘nope’ and ignorance, you will eventually reach the peak and get the attention you deserve. The way is just not always straight forward and super fast – so even if you move slowly, you do move. Keep moving.
In regards to marketing this could mean keep improving your campaign ideas. Don’t give up if a pitch didn’t work. Keep working on it. From a digital transformation point of view not every change you are trying to implement will immediately affect your bottom line. You gotta keep going though and keep changing / improving processes in order to eventually see the results you want.
No matter which side you are on. Keep going.
5. Listen to feedback, but don’t let it define you
This is something Rogan is doing really well in my opinion. He said he doesn’t read comments and tweets etc which is fair enough as a celebrity. One example where that makes sense would be the backlash he is receiving for the new studio setup right now. I also don’t really love the new setup, but from his point of view he clearly had a plan here, it’s a test run right now, they will improve the lighting, sound, etc so it will be alright. So just because people on instagram and twitter complain that doesn’t mean he has to change everything that they’ve been doing so far.
On the other hand however he does listen to feedback if it is merited. When he had Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, on the program and failed to ask the pressing questions he listened to his audience who criticized him for that, invited Dorsey back into the studio, and conducted a much better interview and asked the questions everybody wanted to hear.
Our learning here is that, of course, you should keep track of feedback to some extend but need to find a way to assess the feedback and see when it is merited, and when it is not.
6. Don’t buy into your own hype
Once you have some kind of success you will eventually face the hype train coming your way. “You’re the best”, “you’re so awesome”, “I love what you do”….etc. That’s all cool but don’t forget that those compliments don’t necessarily mean a lot. If anything it means you have to work harder as you now have some kind of following which expects valuable content / insights from you on an ongoing basis.
That means, if you had a successful campaign, won a pitch, or implemented a digitally improved process there’s no time to sit back and relax and chill and bask in your glory; it means now it’s time to buckle down and work even harder to keep coming up with even better campaigns, better pitches, better implementations.
The biggest threat to success is complacency and it is really easy to become complacent once you achieved some kind of success. Don’t be satisfied, always strive for more.
7. Know your weak spots
“I’m not the guy to look at for political guidelines” is a phrase Joe Rogan repeats frequently. Even though he discusses politics quite often, he makes no secret about that he’s not a professional and that his opinion might lack knowledge. That’s why he’s always eager to learn from his guests.
That’s a good trait. Know your weak spots. Nobody can be all perfect. That’s just impossible and that’s ok. So knowing what you excel at and knowing where you need help is not a weakness, it’s a strength.
Rogan asks his guests to help explain politics, finances, immigration, health, etc. and everybody loves him for that.
So if you face a situation where you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Being that asking another agency to help out with production, a consultancy to help with your digital transformation, or alike. It’s always better to ask for help rather than trying to make everything work by yourself and then running into problems / failing / disappointing your audience, clients, or customers.
If you do this, you might even have more success than just on your own!