$2m Raised, SpokenLayer Turning Blogs Into Audio Content with CEO Will Mayo

will-mayo

In Episode #461, Nathan interviews Will Mayo, founder of SpokenLayer. Being dyslexic led Will to find an alternative to written text and he thought of an audio solution. Listen ad Will talks about how SpokenLayer changes mainstream reading and how it helped him personally.

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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The E-Myth
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Streak
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20-year-old self know one thing, what would it be? – “Just keep trying and you’ll figure it out”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:13 – Nathan introduces Will to the show
  • 02:05 – How is a podcast different from SpokenLayer
    • 02:28 – “Spoken edition is a different interpretation of what audio can be”
    • 02:44 – It caters to listeners first then letting them choose the experience
  • 02:53 – Working for about 30 properties
  • 03:13 – SpokenLayer distributes articles for Playboy
  • 04:10 – Different publishers work in different ways
    • 04:15 – Some publishers would pay to have a spoken edition
    • 04:27 – SpokenLayer help publishers sell advertising and sponsorship
  • 04:50 – “In the long term, the growth of ad revenue will be the largest component of a business but it takes a while”
    • 05:05 – They make more revenue from the SaaS side
    • 05:15 – The other side of the business works with non-media clients
  • 05:50 – The pay depends on volume of content
  • 07:05 – SpokenLayer started as an iPhone app in 2012
    • 07:17 – They didn’t pursue the app idea
  • 07:35 – They did Angel finance and tapped family
    • 07:50 – Price rounds and notes
    • 08:08 – Raised over a bit of $ 2 million for the past 6 years
  • 08:20 – Expenses for the team and the studio
  • 08:37 – Technology and infrastructure fund the SpokenLayer
  • 08:52 – Handling 40 or 50 clients at the moment
  • 09:16 – Getting customers through inbound
  • 09:25 – They’re getting more requests than they can handle
  • 09:55 – Focused on English and other local languages
  • 10:27 – Focused on clients that have over 10 million audiences
  • 11:25 – Content analyzing
    • 11:35 – Not all content is worth voicing
    • 12:00 – “There are great content and great stories that people want to consume”
  • 12:06 – Example of phenomenal contents and stories
    • 12:19 – “Anything that is written as a first person is a personal story destined to be an editorial or an opinion”
  • 13:05 – There are different types of distribution
    • 13:30 – Some people use different platform to consume the audio
  • 13:50 – They’ve been working with Time, Reuters, and ZY to name a few
  • 14:24 – Some of the team members are based in Manhattan
    • 14:40 – 10 full time
  • 14:50 – Raised capital
    • 15:03 – The core team is interested in raising capital
    • 15:20 – Their another product Audio
  • 16:06 – How much do you want to raise?
    • 16:25 – “Somewhere between third or half of the round”
  • 17:05 – Connect with Will through his website and Facebook
  • 18:17 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Disabilities can turn your life around—it all depends on your attitude and ingenuity.
  2. Not all content is destined to be vocalized.
  3. Keep trying until you figure it out…whatever that it may be.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • SpokenLayer.com-Will’s business website
  • Facebook – Will’s business Facebook account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

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