Passion for Podcasts: How Lindsay Tjepkema is Empowering Brands To Rewrite The Content Marketing Playbook

The Crunchbase “Female Founder Series,” is a series of stories, Q&As, and thought-leadership pieces from glass-ceiling-smashers who overcame the odds and are now leading successful companies.

Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co-founder of Casted, a content marketing platform built around B2B brand podcasts, is a marketer at heart. She started her career in the discipline and rose through the ranks before taking off her marketer’s hat to become a SaaS founder.

Now, she’s helming the entire ship, raising money for the first time, and looking outside the marketing silo to run operations across the entire organization.

We asked Tjepkema about the challenges she’s experienced as a first-time CEO and SaaS founder and how she’s tapped her marketing background to succeed.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I actually had no intention of ever being a founder or a CEO, and sometimes it’s still hard to see myself as one as I certainly don’t fit all the stereotypes. But I’m so passionate about marketing and really love creating things that never existed before. In founding Casted, there was an opportunity to combine the two.

Q: What inspired you to start your company?

At my last role I spearheaded our brand podcast, which not only provided great content for social, blog posts, email and even sales enablement, but also established real connections between our brand and our audience in a way our traditional content hadn’t been able to do. I knew if we saw that success, other marketers should benefit from it, too. There was no software to support this approach, though, so we created it with Casted.

Q: What problems were you trying to solve with your company?

The content marketing playbook most brands use was written nearly two decades ago. It prioritizes SEO over audience engagement and shoves rich content into the margins. At Casted, we introduce the next generation of content marketing, which is instead fueled by expert voices. We say to B2B marketers, “Go have a conversation with an expert. Record it. Turn it into a show. And then wring it out to amplify that expert voice across all your other marketing channels.” The results are a more efficient process within a more effective strategy that produces more engaging content. 

Q: What is your advice for other female founders at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journeys?

Boldly be yourself. That’s my mantra and has been since before I became a founder. Things like imposter syndrome and self-doubt are very real and everyone experiences them. They won’t go away if you achieve some milestone or special recognition, the bar just gets higher and the competition fiercer. So trust your instinct and that you belong here, and show up each day as your truest, most passionate and authentic self.

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as the founder of your own company?

The sooner you get comfortable with being uncomfortable, the better. Being a founder means waking up every day and doing something that has never been done before. Sure, there are books and mentors and lessons to be learned everywhere, but all of those things come from other people’s experiences building other companies, other brands, other teams, in other times. YOU are the expert and, while it is SO important to always be learning, it’s equally as important to trust your instincts. 

Q: What is your advice for other entrepreneurs trying to scale their own company?

Trust your gut and the people around you. Remember that you’re the expert in your business, no one knows it better than you. If you feel strongly about something, it’s probably for a good reason; don’t ignore that. At the same time, though, definitely surround yourself with really, really smart people you trust. Their advice and guidance will help you take your own instincts and translate them into solid action. 

Q: Do you have a favorite quote or “personal mantra” you use to keep yourself motivated?

I already mentioned “Boldly be yourself,” which is definitely my mantra. I even had a huge sign with it in my office so I am reminded of it each day. Throughout my life, there has never been a shortage of people eager to tell me that I wasn’t enough of one thing or that I was too much of another thing. As women, we’re especially subject to that “feedback.” At some point a few years ago I was just done with it. In the words of my beloved Brene Brown, “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

Q: Any thoughts/advice for entrepreneurs in the current economic climate?

Take care of your people–including yourself. Some businesses are suffering in ways they never predicted. Many won’t survive. Others are thriving or pivoting in ways that will bring them success they didn’t see coming. Regardless of your situation, your people need to know that they are supported. They need to know that you care about them and they need your encouragement to take care of themselves and each other. Lead with your words and with your example.

Q: How have you integrated your values and mission into your own company structure?

Obviously, we drink our own Kool-Aid here. Our mission to make podcasting the engine to a marketing team’s entire content marketing strategy comes in handy in our own efforts. We use our brand podcast as the source for our blog posts, social content and more, saving our small-but-mighty startup team a tremendous amount of precious time. Marketing is hard, and there’s more to it than drafting a piece of killer content. With our podcast as the throughline of our efforts, we can make sure that our message is seamless across all channels and that we’re constantly giving our audience a unique experience.  

Q: What qualities do you possess that you think have contributed most to your success?

Like most founders, I’m competitive, driven, pretty type-A. But the things I believe have really set me apart are my passion and my obsession with learning. When I am passionate about something, everyone around me knows it. I dive in–deep. I am eager to learn anything and everything I can. I love consuming information and want to soak it up and apply it all as quickly as possible. These are actually big reasons I love podcasting. Whether we’re the host, the guest or the listener, we get to dive deep into new perspectives and feed our passions.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about your experience as a founder so far?

Hands-down, the best part about being a founder is building so many things that did not exist before Casted. The product and overall solution we provide, of course, but also the brand, the team, the culture, the work environment and the relationships. In addition to solving a problem I experienced as a marketer, I really love seeing Casted grow as a place that I really love to work, filled with people I truly admire and enjoy working with. That’s the best part.

  • Originally published January 20, 2021