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Q&A – Part 1

Louis Grenier

No-BS Marketer, Everyone Hates Marketers

We’re going to switch things up this week.

Last month I asked if you had any questions for me. Quite a few of you reached out to me via LinkedIn, Twitter, and email.

Now I’m going to spend some time answering everything you submitted over the next two weeks. I’ll cover what you want to know about the podcast, dig into some marketing topics and discuss the future of Everyone Hates Marketers.

listen to this episode

We covered:

  • The top 5 most downloaded episodes of the podcast
  • What the future is for the Everyone Hates Marketers brand
  • How I organize my daily and weekly work schedule
  • What I wish I’d known before I started this podcast
  • 5 lessons on how to start your own podcast
  • How I deal with information overload in digital marketing
  • My biggest aha moment while interviewing guests
  • How I get high profile marketers to join my podcast
  • And more…


Full Transcript:

Bonjour and welcome to another episode of EveryoneHatesMarketers.com, the marketing podcast for marketers, founders and tech people who are just sick of shady, aggressive marketing. I’m your host, Louis Grenier.

Today is a very–not a very–but a special episode because I’m not interviewing someone, I’m answering your questions. Questions that you submitted a few weeks ago when I asked you if you had any questions that I could answer. And also questions I received over the past few months of your emails or LinkedIn, Twitter.

So I tried to compile them a bit into two parts. This episode is about questions you asked Everyone Hates Marketers and myself. And the second episode, one week after this one, is going to be about marketing, questions you have about marketing.

Let’s get started straight away, shall we? First question from Michael.

Question: He asked, “When I signed up for your newsletter it was because you said you would share what your numbers looked like. Maybe it’s me, but I have no idea what those numbers are, or number of listeners, etc.”

Michael, you’re absolutely right. I don’t do a good job at informing you of the numbers. I don’t have a lot of time to send a detailed email every week. So I usually result to just sending information about the episodes. So let me give you an update on the stats and numbers.

I’m recording this episode on the 13th of July. So far, since the beginning of the podcast, which started in April of last year, April of 2017, I got 88,156 downloads. That comes from iTunes, from the website, from any other podcast app. In addition to that, 2,521 Spotify listens. They are counted differently for some reason. So in total, that’s 90,677 downloads.

Nearly 100,000 which is fucking amazing. I never thought this day would happen, but it is going to happen. That’s the first stat I can share. The second one is the top ten countries. I shared that a few months ago, but I’m more than happy to re-share. I don’t think it has moved that much.

In terms of the top ten countries: the United States, our number one by far. Followed by the UK, followed by Australia, Canada, France, which is quite fun, Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain. So those are the top ten.

In terms of the top five episodes, the episodes that have been downloaded the most: the first one is Seth Godin, second one is DHH from Basecamp, third one is Mark Ritson who talked about branding and marketing bullshit. That’s already the third most popular and I suspect that it’s going to rise to number two soon enough.

Number four is Sean D’Souza with the Brand Audits, the title of the episode is How to Convince People to Buy Without Being Pushy. And finally, number five is the episode with Dave Baker on How to Start a Marketing Agency. I would absolutely recommend that you listen to those five if you haven’t already.

In terms of weekly downloads, weekly episodes, back in November of 2017 we had around 1,200 downloads a week in total. So all the episodes combined, 1,200 a week.

Nowadays it’s around 1,800, so plus 600 in a few months. So more than a 50% increase, which is quite nice. And in terms of email subscribers, I had around 800 in November and now it’s 980, so nearly 1,000. But it’s pretty clear. You might be surprised by those numbers, you might think it’s a lot. You might think it’s not that much, actually. Because of the experts on the show and all of that.

But one thing to remember is that I don’t do that full-time whatsoever. I spend around an hour a week on the podcast. And the growth is coming from word of mouth. I don’t do anything else, but posting an episode every week.

It’s still growing, which is amazing, but I’m really relying on my guests to spread the word. And I’m relying on you as well to spread the word. So that was the first question.

Question: The second question, “I’m always happy to hear about your plans for the future and whether you have any big ideas?” That’s from Emil.

Question: And the second one is very similar from Cassandra, “Do you have plans to do anything more with Everyone Hates Marketers, like creating revenue, extending the brand, etc?”

I consider this project to be a marathon and not a sprint. This is the first side project that I’ve been able to keep doing for more than a few weeks. What I’m really focusing on right now is to be able to deliver one episode every week. As I mentioned, I do have a full-time job that takes a lot of time, that is my number one focus.

Therefore, I cannot spend time on anything else but that right now or else I’m going to burn out. The way I treat it that it’s my personal MBA to learn as much as I can from marketing experts. I would, almost every week, talk to someone I admire and therefore I get a lot of insight from them, a lot of interesting learnings, and that contributes to my career as a marketer.

It also helps me build a network. I’ve made many friends from this podcast, a lot of listeners, as well as people I’ve interviewed. And it’s also helping me to build credibility, which is something I’m going to mention in a bit in the next few questions.

It’s been helpful in my job and career already, and yes I could spend time to get sponsors, I could spend time doing all of that. But at the minute, I’d rather focus on the process of delivering one episode every week. Because I simply do not have time to do more than this. What matters to me the most is to run this project as long as possible without burning out, without feeling sick of it. And this is more valuable to me than trying to squeeze a quick buck.

You might have noticed a light rebranding recently. The first logo was designed by myself on Canva. But I asked a friend of mine based in Venezuela to update the brand a bit. The logo is different now. Same vibe, but much more professional and there is maybe a few changes on the website going forward, but nothing crazy. Nothing that would take me too long.

For the short term, the next 1, 2, 3, 4 5 years, I don’t think I will be doing more than the podcast. We never know, but for now, this is my number one focus, is my career and my job.

Question: That’s a question from Annabel, “How do you organize your work and your daily schedule?”

In my day-to-day work, we work in weekly sprints. That means we build our week based on the amount of stuff we can accomplish during this week. We split tasks into small chunks so we can achieve them and move fast. And we ask ourselves, what is the number one thing that needs to be done, that matters?

That’s really what I do. Every Friday I would actually go through my task for the next week. That has been super valuable to me. Instead of trying to figure out what I need to do today, I’m going to work and wondering what I need to focus on. It’s much easier to have a plan for the week that is already ready. Especially on Monday mornings, so you can hit the ground running almost straight away.

The other thing we have it a one-page VVMUM. It’s an acronym that stands for vision, values, method, upcycle and measures. This is just a way to have a one pager, to understand what are the key projects, the key things we need to complete as a team. We focus on that to understand what is the one thing that we need to do?

We use Asana as a project management software. And the way I like to work is in the mornings, I set up my time to do some thinking, to do some proper work. While in the afternoons, I tend to have calls and project updates and all that. So I do value my time in the morning. I like to wake up quite early. So I would wake up at quarter to seven every day.

I would go to work around 8 am. So usually from 8 am to noon, I’m super productive. I feel I’m doing a lot. And then in the afternoons, I spend time doing some speaking with the team, updates and all that.

Question: Another question from Cassandra, “What’s something you wish you had known when you started this podcast?”

I think I wish I had known I was a good interviewer before I started this podcast. I wish I had started this years ago. Because you can’t really buy credibility and you need to understand your strengths better. I didn’t know until I started that this was something that I was enjoying very much. And a few years ago when I started my consulting business that failed, because I burned out and I had no credibility … I think I should have started the other way around.

I probably should have started a podcast or YouTube channel interviewing people who are much smarter than me. Instead of trying to get into consulting and trying to get clients to pay me, even if they did not know me.

So that’s kind of the big thing. The big thing is that I wish I had known that it’s actually something I enjoy. It’s actually something that I’m good at, as well and you seem to enjoy as well.

Question: Another question from Goche, “What would you suggest to someone thinking about starting podcasting? What are the steps, what is the most important but overlooked? What are the lessons learned from you?”

As I just said, I think if you have no network or credibility in the space that you want to start a podcast, whatever it is, I would say interview people. Associate yourself with others. It’s incredibly difficult to start a podcast–let’s say a podcast where you talk about your work and trying to teach people lessons about, this is what I’ve learned, the key things I’m learning, etc. etc.

Or trying to act as a thought leader. It’s incredibly difficult to have any traction when you do that, because you have no credibility originally, and usually no network. Therefore, what you tend to do is, you would record a few episodes and you would publish them and then you have no traction and you stop.

I think that’s probably the biggest thing if you’re looking to start a podcast, please … If you have no network or very little credibility, try to associate yourself with others. Don’t try to do that on your own.

Another thing I’ve learned is to stick to a schedule. Absolutely from day number one, I decided that this podcast would be weekly and there would be an episode every Tuesday. This is important to build trust, it’s important to build habits. A few people have mentioned that they are looking forward to a new episode every Tuesday at the same time. So to build habits, you need to stick to a schedule.

I’ve seen a few podcasts around, we have podcasters who post whenever they feel like it. And I really don’t think that’s the right approach. It definitely goes against the typical behavior from people.

Another thing is to get a good microphone from day one. So I remember my first microphone was a blue Yeti. Which was good enough, to be honest. But now I have a better professional one and that makes a difference. It definitely makes a difference in terms of quality audio.

The other thing for quality audio, is I would recommend to record your episodes in a room that is properly insulated from noise. An easy way to do that is to put paintings on the walls, to add chairs, to add a lot of things so the sound can stop when it travels, instead of bouncing on the walls. Also, that makes a big difference.

Another thing is, I know you are listening to other podcasts that are super well-produced. I don’t know. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I know that a lot of them are super well-produced. Where they have good music, a narrator that would say, this is what we talk about.

Things are cut very well, it fits into 30 minutes and all. I think if you start to do that from day one, if you have no expertise in audio editing, you are going to burn out. You’re not going to be able to keep up your schedule. Especially if you don’t have money to spend on someone to do audio editing for you.

What I would recommend there is to not overproduce it. And to be willing to have something that is not perfect, because people make mistakes when they speak. I do, all the time. Yet, I don’t cut anything out of every episode. It’s a habit to take and it’s about shipping rather than making it perfect. And the last one that I would suggest if you’re starting, is to build a backlog.

Let’s say you stick to once every week, if you don’t have at least 5-6 episodes in the backlog, that you can schedule in advance, then it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to keep it up. Because there will be times when you have no energy to record new episodes. There will be a time when you are on holiday for 2-3 weeks. There will be a time where, it’s Christmas time or it’s another holiday or something happens to you and you can’t do it.

So this is kind of the biggest, the thing I’m the proudest of, I would say. Is that I always have a backlog of at least 10 episodes. Because I have a very demanding job. When I need to spend time in the evenings to work on my job and all of that, I can, because I know I have a backlog. So that’s kind of what I’ve learned. That is what I would suggest to people if you are getting started, in terms of podcasting.

Another question from Christina. Christina is a friend of mine, she listens to the podcast. She also invited me to her … I’m going to have to find the name of the podcast now. One second, because I can’t just say that I’ve been on to hers and then not mention it. I’m actually going to my emails now, because I have a terrible memory. Absolutely terrible. So Christina Chipurici on … Let me try to find, why can’t I find her podcast now? I’m terrible at this. There we go. The CEO Library Podcast.

Question: Her question is, “How do you deal with digital information overload?”

That’s an excellent question. I’m very deliberate in the way I receive information. I block my Facebook feed. I almost deleted my Facebook, because I work. My family is in France; I keep it to get in touch with them. I also have an extension on Google Chrome to block websites that I don’t want to go to when I’m trying to focus. I think it’s called Block Site.

When I need to read about a topic or learn about a topic, I tend to read books about it, selected books. But I also find myself actually listening back or reading the transcripts of previous episodes. Because I’m learning so much from listening, that this is what I tend to focus on. My knowledge in marketing comes from conversations I have with guests. And from doing stuff everyday, like my personal project, which is the podcast.

But also my day-to-day career. I actually tend not to listen to other podcasts. Especially marketing. I also don’t read a lot of blogs. Which might sound surprising, but I think to keep your sanity, it’s important to really select the information you receive. Or else you’re going to burn out, you’re going to constantly feel like people are ahead of you. You’ll feel like your constantly missing out of something else.

If you focus on marketing foundations, which is something I talk about in the next Q & A session about marketing, I don’t think you need to be exposed to that much information every day.

Question: Andrew, who is one of my colleagues, actually. “What has been your biggest aha moment when interviewing all your guests, that really got you thinking about your approach to marketing?”

One thing is that they all talk about the same thing to start with. It’s funny, because every single time we go through these step by step metals, where I ask them: How do you do that step by step? Whatever it is. Ninety percent of the time, they all talk about understanding people.

What matters the most is that you understand people. You understand what they like, what they want. Why they want it, who they are. That’s the basis of marketing.

So it’s funny that every single one of them almost are mentioning this as the first step. That’s what I’ve learned. And therefore, my approach to marketing has really changed based on that. Because this is kind of Marketing 101. If you’re not able to understand people correctly, then it’s not going to be good.

Andra, one of my friends as well, made on the podcast. And she has a podcast as well, which is called How Do You Know? Andra Zaharia, you should check it out, about decision making.

Question: She’s asking, “What is one question you wish people would ask you more often?”

I think the question should be, I wish people were asking me more, “Can you help me?” And the reason why I say that is not because I’m trying to sell anything but I think being open and vulnerable to others is the only way you can really succeed. If you’re trying to act as someone who knows his stuff and who knows everything, it isn’t likely that you will make strong connections with others.

So I think asking the question, “Can you help me? I’m struggling with this …” Is probably the question that I wish more people were asking. Not necessarily to me, but to their colleagues and to their friends in general.

Question: A question from Preshent who is a listener to the podcast as well, “What inspired you to start this podcast?”

I’ve answered this question a few times, but I think it’s worth repeating. Because a few of you are probably new to the podcast as well.

I’m a contrarian by nature. I have this way of thinking that if everyone thinks a certain way, I tend to think the other way. Or to at least question this way of thinking. I always kind of loved the psychology of understanding people. I’ve always found it super interesting.

And I really come to it with honesty. That’s also a part of my personality. I just like to be super honest and blunt and transparent. I really don’t like people who are trying to be sleazy and trying to sneak in. I just don’t like that at all. It never was me. All my friends and family, we are the same.

So it took me years to refine this idea for Everyone Hates Marketers. As I said, after a job in marketing, I started my consulting business. At the time, I organized two events for bootstrappers–for entrepreneurs who are not using outside money to build their business. I had invited one guest at a time; it was in the chamber of commerce in Dublin. I was interviewing them for like an hour. We were recording the video and there were around 50 people at each event.

What was interesting was that a lot of people enjoyed my style of interviewing, they really enjoyed the questions I was asking. I discovered at this time that I was a good interviewer. That people enjoyed it. So that’s when I started to interview marketers after that over Skype. Just to see what I could do.

And this is how the podcast was born. But the idea behind it, the idea of Everyone Hates Marketers took me years. And I always was kind of pissed off by the mentality of marketers trying to sell bad product and trying to lie to you, just for the sake of making more money.

Because of my contrarian nature and also the dissonance that I really hated, it just got refined and refined. I realized that a lot of people felt the same way. After a while, everything just connected together. But it took me maybe 8 years to get to this point.

Question: Another question, I don’t have the name though. How did I manage to get such high profile people on my podcast? The short answer is that I just asked them. That’s really the truth. It’s really about polite persistence. I really don’t get discouraged if I send an email to someone who is not replying.

I would send this person a reminder two weeks after. I would tweet at them. I would send a connection request on LinkedIn. I also keep the email super short, so I like to keep them under one sentence. So one or two sentences.

I think the key, or the reason why I was able to get high profile people is purely because of the angle of the podcast. I don’t think I would have been able to get Seth Godin on the show if my podcast was just about marketing, like any other digital marketing podcast out there.

I think you attract the people who are in alignment with your values and your vision. The stronger your vision is, the stronger your principles are, I think the easier it is to get people who believe in the same thing. That’s probably my advice as well, is to pick a battle, pick an enemy and go for it.

Because you can’t please everyone, far from it. It’s much easier to please a small portion of people than trying to please everyone. You cannot please everyone. That’s how I did it.

And finally, the last question for today.

Question: “How did you get credibility as a French person working internationally as a marketer?”

I’ve been living in Ireland for the last 8-9 years at this stage, right? I’m French as you know, originally. And when I came to Ireland, I wasn’t working as a marketer. I was just working in business. I was doing some admin work, mostly.

I managed to get into marketing a few years after I had a full-time job in a mobile marketing startup. Then I created my consulting business. Then I burned out and then I started with Hotjar and I’m still employed there.

I think the key here is I never really … I kind of forgot I was French. That sounds weird, but I think I made peace with the fact that I was working in Ireland, that I was working in an English environment. This is probably, I would probably live there for the rest of my life, or at least in an English speaking country. Even though I’m very proud to be French, I think it’s important to connect with people where you live and not try to overly advertise the fact that you are from France or wherever.

I quickly realized I had to get much better at English. I quickly realized I had to just do a good job and focus on that. S forgot after a while that I was French. I think this is what I’m doing with the podcast. If I have that in my head, “You’re French” or “You have a French accent” and all of that jazz, I would have never started.

I don’t think being French or being Spanish or being whatever matters to get credibility internationally. I think what matters is just to connect with people, to be genuinely nice and honest and to adapt to where you are.

Those are the questions I chose for you for today. I hope you get some information that you wanted to know about me and the podcast. Feel free to keep sending those. If you have email, you can sign up for the newsletter on EveryoneHatesMarketers.com.

If you send me an email, I will reply. I can guarantee that. So don’t be afraid to ask me more questions. And next week, I will answer questions that are marketing related this time. There are a few interesting ones. I’ll see you next week, and thanks for listening.

Next: check out the 500+ marketing resources mentioned on the podcast over the years (sorted by the number of mentions and format).

Become a confident marketer that gets real results (without treating people like garbage)

Bonjour bonjour! I’m Louis Grenier I’m a no-fluff marketer living in Dublin, Ireland (but yeah, I’m French).

Sign up to receive my no-fluff, 7-lesson email course based on what I’ve learned over the last 10 years as a marketer (+ more than 150 hours of interviews with no-bullshit marketers like Seth Godin, Mark Ritson, or Joanna Wiebe).

I believe you can treat people the way you’d like to be treated and still generate results without using sleazy, aggressive, hack-y marketing. This is why I’ve started Everyone Hates Marketers – a no-fluff, actionable marketing podcast – as a side project in 2017.

Since then, EHM has been downloaded more than 500,000 times and got praises from many from industry leaders as a marketing podcast you can learn stuff from (crazy, right?!).

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