Creating a Podcast to Help MSPs by Sharing Useful Information with Jennifer Tribe


“IT and network management can be very technical, so the polar bear gives us a chance to add some fun and personality to it.” -Jennifer Tribe Share on X

Today’s Episode:

Jennifer Tribe is the director of content at Auvik Networks. Auvik makes software for Managed Service Providers or MSPs. MSPs are the companies and people that handle IT solutions for businesses that don’t have in-house IT departments. Auvik has focused on content marketing from the beginning. Jennifer is the perfect person to head up this effort. She is a trained journalist, a huge fan of writing great copy and Copyhackers, and has worked in multiple content roles from blogger, to book publisher, to podcast host.

Jennifer is also the host of the Frankly MSP podcast. Many vendors in the network and MSP space have “company name” podcasts, but Jennifer and the people at Auvik decided to take their podcast in a different direction. They wanted to focus on sharing great content and helping MSPs not advertising for their company. That’s why they chose The Frankly MSP name for their podcast. The podcast was so popular that they now have a Frankly MSP resource section and just held their first Frankly MSP Live event. Jennifer shares some interesting facts about her company and her podcast, and why they deliberately have an accessible conversational tone in all of their content. 

She also shares how the Auvik polar bear mascot can help lighten the conversation about IT and networking. His name is Nanook, which is Inuit for polar bear. She also shares what Auvik means in Inuit and how it fits in perfectly with their fun arctic theme. We talk about the usefulness of having a blog and newsletter before starting a podcast. Jennifer also shares how Frankly MSP has evolved and why it’s important to pay attention to what is and isn’t working. We learn what Jennifer believes is the key to podcasting success, her regrets, and why her favorite vacation spot might just be one of the world’s most beautiful places.

“We very deliberately try to cultivate a very conversational and accessible style in all of our content.” -Jennifer Tribe Share on X

Show Notes:

  • [02:56] Jennifer works in marketing at Auvik Networks. They make software for Managed Service Providers or MSPs. These are companies that other companies outsource their IT to. 
  • [03:43] The Frankly MSP mascot is a polar bear named Nanook which is the Inuit name for polar bear. Auvik is also the Inuit name for a block of snow used to build an igloo. 
  • [04:01] They use an arctic theme in their marketing. 
  • [04:41] Nanook adds personality to technical IT work. 
  • [06:12] Auvik has been focused on using content marketing from the beginning. They want to add value and not just talk about their product, but they also want to help MSPs be better.
  • [06:29] They had an established blog and newsletter. In 2017, when they were launching the podcast, they wanted to call it something other than the Auvik podcast. 
  • [06:54] The name needed to convey that the podcast was about helping MSPs by providing information. They named the podcast Frankly MSP and after it’s success, they spun Frankly MSP into a broader content brand including the blog and Frankly MSP Live.
  • [07:34] The first Frankly MSP Live event was in January in Santa Barbara, CA, and it was so much fun. They had speakers, and Jennifer did a live podcast recording. 
  • [09:45] Jennifer met many fans of the podcast at the event. 
  • [10:26] She does pay attention to downloads. Numbers do tell them if they are resonating. The real goal is to put Auvik forward as a valued content brand. This strategy has been working. 
  • [13:09] The sincerity of the people at the conference was awesome. One listener even prints out the notes and takes them to meetings. 
  • [14:17] The podcast was intended to expand the audience. They had a news portion, but it wasn’t evergreen. The news portion also bogged down the production schedule. They now just focus on the interview and skip the news section. 
  • [16:31] The podcast has helped increase their profile in the industry and their brand.
  • [17:46] The sales reps and business development reps listen to the podcast and it helps them understand their customers. It’s a great internal communication tool now. 
  • [18:51] Jennifer uses Todoist to keep track of everything. 
  • [19:29] They had a blog and newsletter to get the word out about the podcast. Having avenues of communication are key to starting. 
  • [20:22] The podcast comes out every other week. The newsletter comes out in the weeks in between. Each issue of the newsletter features the last two blog posts and the latest podcast. They will also have more detailed blog posts about some of the podcast episodes.
  • [21:52] Jennifer regrets not starting the podcast sooner.
  • [23:36] Consistency is key with podcasting just like it is with blogging. Choose a schedule that you can commit to and then make sure you hit your schedule every time.
  • [24:12] There are a lot of things you can do with your podcast so put a lot of thought into your format.
  • [25:08] You want to work your podcasts into the rhythms of people’s lives.
  • [26:00] Jennifer’s copy writing hero is Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers. She has all of their ebooks and refers to them often. The Copyhackers blog and courses are also excellent. 
  • [27:02] The most recent book she read was Profit First by Mike Michalowicz who was the keynote speaker at Frankly MSP Live.
  • [27:20] A goal is to grow the podcast audience and get people more involved.
  • [28:13] Jennifer likes to vacation in Northern Ontario in the Muskoka area where there are lots of lakes, evergreens, and rocky landscapes. She thinks it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
  • [30:17] Darrell’s Takeaways: Jennifer’s journalism background came out during our discussion. She talked about establishing a blog and a newsletter. These are important pieces. You can leverage these items to grow your podcast and gain momentum through the podcast. The podcast isn’t focused on the company, it’s focused on helping MSPs. Ask how you can create a podcast for your audience? Clearly discover how you define success. Be consistent with your release.
“Our software helps MSPs with network management. IT and network management can be very technical, so the polar bear gives us a chance to add some fun and personality to it.” -Jennifer Tribe Share on X

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