#044 "Bilal Zaidi - Getting Early Traction for Creator Lab"


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On today's episode I speak with Bilal Zaidi, an ex-Googler and the current founder of Creator Lab, a leading entrepreneurship podcast and digital marketing consultancy. Bilal has had over 15 years of experience helping startups and fortune 500 brands grow through marketing, partnerships and business developing, including 7 and a half years at Google and Youtube, 6 years on his own venture and 2 years at charity water. On today's episode, we talk about how he was able to get large guests like Gary Vee and Daymond John early in his podcast, the future of the creator economy and how he is hedging risk while transitioning to a full time creator.
Creator Lab
Bilal's Twitter Account
Creator Lab Youtube Channel
Contact Me:
My Twitter
My Website
5 Key Takeaways:
1. We're all getting used to seeing paid communities, substack paid newsletters, courses, etc. And more and more people are willing to spend money on those things. But there's gonna be a time where we're all sick of paid newsletters, probably, there's gonna be a time it might be 10 years from now. But you know, over time, things become saturated, the more people do it. So I think what's interesting is always, as the person who's an entrepreneur, whether as an individual creator, or like starting a bigger company, with employees and stuff like that, you always need to at least be experimenting with that 20% of trying new stuff.
2. What I do on the podcast is publicly talk about business level with the best entrepreneurs in the world. So wherever, whoever we're talking about how they grew to strategy, innovation, marketing, branding, all that sort of stuff, we cover all of it. So that is kind of my equivalent of working in public, people get to hear how I think, you know, and if you listen to the show we're talking about like real, tangible business conceptshow they invested millions of dollars in paid advertising, and how they were able to change that over time, or how did they hire their best people, etc,
3. I ended up selling that knowledge as a mini consultant, I was about 18 when I started doing that, and just going around, I was doing an internship and I would go knock on doors at lunchtime, because we were in this wholesale district in East London. And I would just like pitch these old-school business people like how to build a website.
4. When I left Google, it was actually started maybe two years before so in 2015. It actually coincides with the podcast because I was kind of in a pretty bad place. Like I'm quite careful to say the word depressed because I don't know if it was actually fully depressed or not, but I felt like I lacked any meaning of my work, I would go to work, I could do it really easily. I wasn't challenged, I didn't feel like I was reaching my potential. And my learning curve had essentially flattened.
5. The other big thing I mentioned are second-tier podcast platforms, so for me to be featured on Spotify, or iTunes, trust me, I've tried, right, like it's very difficult to do that. They're too busy. I looked at well, who the other players that they have millions of people, but I can actually do something with them. So one of them was tune in radio. I ended up like pitching them finding someone who worked there, having a call speak, you know, traditional sales, partnership stuff, tracking them down saying, "Hey, I'm a podcast, I've got an idea for you can we talk about it", and they put me in touch with someone. And then the punchline is I hosted an event at TuneIn radio, where I interviewed like Rahul Vora from Superhuman, Hiten Shah and a bunch of people.