The Brandon Zhang Show

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

January 12, 2021 Brandon Zhang
The Brandon Zhang Show
#044 "Bilal Zaidi - Getting Early Traction for Creator Lab"
Chapters
The Brandon Zhang Show
#044 "Bilal Zaidi - Getting Early Traction for Creator Lab"
Jan 12, 2021
Brandon Zhang

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 development, 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.

Links:

Creator Lab
Creator Lab Youtube
Bilal's Twitter Account

Contact Me:
My Twitter
My Website

5 Key Takeaways: 

1.  I ended up selling that knowledge [from building an Arsenal Fan Blog to half a million unique] as like 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. And if they didn't know how to do it, I would either teach them or I'd make it for them.

2. I think there are types of luck that you are completely like, you know, dumb luck, like, you know, our DNA, where we're born, what our parents are, like, a lot of what our families like, that stuff has a huge impact on your life. And then there's the other sort of luck, which is, you know, the stuff that you either are doing things to increase your surface area of being lucky. 

3. 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. I'm quite careful to say the word depressed because I don't know if it was actually fully depressed or not, but it was, the worst I'd been inside and 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. So that's when I started saying, Okay, I need to go and find stuff outside of my job to fuel me and that is why I started the podcast initially. 

4. All I asked [to the Chief of Staff of Cenk Uygur] was How's your summer going? And she responded back to me, and was like, Oh, thanks for asking. It's actually about to get married. And we just kind of had this back and forth and had email chain with like 43 emails. And by the end, she sent me her wedding photos. It was genuine, I was just being nice. But that's the sort of stuff that it takes sometimes to land your first big guests, it takes a bit of luck. But it takes like going the extra mile. 

5. The other big thing I mentioned a 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. So 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 TuneIn Radio. I ended up like pitching them finding someone who worked there, having a call speak, you know, traditional sales, business development, 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 where interviewed like Rahul vora from Superhuman, Hiten Shah and more! 

Show Notes

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 development, 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.

Links:

Creator Lab
Creator Lab Youtube
Bilal's Twitter Account

Contact Me:
My Twitter
My Website

5 Key Takeaways: 

1.  I ended up selling that knowledge [from building an Arsenal Fan Blog to half a million unique] as like 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. And if they didn't know how to do it, I would either teach them or I'd make it for them.

2. I think there are types of luck that you are completely like, you know, dumb luck, like, you know, our DNA, where we're born, what our parents are, like, a lot of what our families like, that stuff has a huge impact on your life. And then there's the other sort of luck, which is, you know, the stuff that you either are doing things to increase your surface area of being lucky. 

3. 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. I'm quite careful to say the word depressed because I don't know if it was actually fully depressed or not, but it was, the worst I'd been inside and 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. So that's when I started saying, Okay, I need to go and find stuff outside of my job to fuel me and that is why I started the podcast initially. 

4. All I asked [to the Chief of Staff of Cenk Uygur] was How's your summer going? And she responded back to me, and was like, Oh, thanks for asking. It's actually about to get married. And we just kind of had this back and forth and had email chain with like 43 emails. And by the end, she sent me her wedding photos. It was genuine, I was just being nice. But that's the sort of stuff that it takes sometimes to land your first big guests, it takes a bit of luck. But it takes like going the extra mile. 

5. The other big thing I mentioned a 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. So 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 TuneIn Radio. I ended up like pitching them finding someone who worked there, having a call speak, you know, traditional sales, business development, 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 where interviewed like Rahul vora from Superhuman, Hiten Shah and more!