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I love origin stories.
New beginnings are special to me because they mark a new chapter.
This story began in February when I received a LinkedIn direct message from Muhammad Umar.
Here’s what is said:
“I saw your post regarding the 10 things you love LinkedIn for, and I loved the post!
Let’s connect, waiting for your response from an ocean away :)”
Here’s my response:
“Thank you very much Muhammad! Happy to connect, especially from an ocean away. Glad to be on this journey with you and I look forward to learning more about you!”
And so it began.
At the time I had no idea where our friendship would go. As anyone on LinkedIn can tell you, there are countless messages that fly back-and-forth and often they are forgotten. But this time, it would be different.
In his next DM, he described what he did, or more specifically what he was passionate about…
“A lil bit about myself, working on my passion “passionately” 😉
I am a computer scientist with marketing specialties. In short, a fusion of Marketing & Technology.
I recently sold my software company and just now built a new Digital Marketing company and going all-in ✅
Would love to know about you Billy :)”
Over the next several weeks I noticed Muhammad’s name pop up in the comments of my posts and I always valued his contributions.
In one particular comment, we had an exchange that led to us agreeing to connect off-platform. In May we had our first face-to-face virtual meeting. We instantly hit it off, but the meeting ended abruptly as my next meeting was starting.
I said we should meet again to finish our conversation. What stuck out from that call was Muhammad’s passion for design and digital marketing.
We didn’t end up meeting again for a couple of months. We still saw a lot of each other on LinkedIn through comments which is one of the reasons I believe our relationship didn’t subside.
During our second meeting, I asked him if his company would be able to help with some web development work. He said yes, and we ended up having some meetings to discuss this.
The more we talked, the more I appreciated his attention to detail and thoughtfulness when it comes to having a digital presence. He even went as far as to send me some samples of what the website would look like if I used his service. His approach was exactly what you want out of someone you hire to support your business.
Then I got this DM…
“Billy, I have been pondering upon a thought after getting off from our call this morning.
I have an offer for you, I know you won’t reject it because it is WIN-WIN for both of us ????
It’s more like a collaboration rather than just a transaction!”
He suggested that he would build a website for a drastically reduced rate in exchange for me being an example that he could share with other potential podcast hosts.
By that point, I had ended up doing a lot of the web development work myself but I never forgot how much Muhammad impressed me.
What ended up happening next is the genesis of what has now become our business partnership.
Muhammad started a podcast of his own and knew the amount of work that goes into making and promoting them. He knew I often posted about podcasting and that I was developing a large network of people in the podcasting space. He told me he had an idea so we scheduled a time to talk. In the meeting, he asked what if we could create a podcast services company as a partnership?
Instantly, I was intrigued.
I had thought for some time that this is the type of business that is clearly needed. I also knew that others are in the space so clearly there is a demand.
We had a meeting to discuss possibilities, and before we knew it, we officially decided we would create a company together!
We had working sessions to discuss our vision for the company, including what we should name it.
We had a long list of potential names that we thought might work and then narrowed it down through many rounds of feedback from friends and family. There was one name that seemed to resonate more than any other name.
That name is Podify.
With that decided, we drew-up an operating agreement which included all the various tasks that each of us would be responsible for, with Muhammad as the Chief Operating Officer and me as a Chief Executive Officer.
Essentially he runs the day-to-day operations and oversees our team of editors, designers, and writers.
I handle all of the big picture planning and vision for the company including sales and business development.
The reason our partnership makes sense is we each have unique things that we bring to the table. He brings digital marketing knowledge and is able to manage teams to execute specific creative tasks like audio and video editing, design, and writing.
I bring to the table my network, podcasting knowledge, and sales background.
One of the many things we have in common is our attention to detail. It is rare that I met someone who has as high of standards as me…Muhammad is one such person.
As a result, Podify is a company that will always produce podcasts and media of exceptional quality. When Muhammad and I discussed our services we agreed to not compromise, take short-cuts, or do the bare minimum. As an example, we don’t have multiple levels of edit packages because we feel each show we produce is our show. We want to over-deliver in terms of quality, attention to detail, and professionalism. This means every show we work on will be edited to the same high level of standards.
We also agreed that not everyone would have the same exact needs. Some may only need our editing services, some may only want our marketing and promotion services, and some may only want our launch package. Regardless of what our podcast partners want, they can customize their package to suit their needs.
We also offer additional services like one-on-one coaching, website SEO, audio branding, sound design, and web development.
Our long-term vision is to build out technology platforms that will help podcasters produce and promote their podcasts. We are starting with our service offering because it is the fastest to implement and it will reveal what pain points we need to solve for our customers.
What blows me away is all of this started because of a post I made and a direct message he sent.
Without either of those things, this partnership would not exist.
While we are just starting our journey I am so grateful to have Muhammad by my side and I am so excited for what’s in store for the future!
– Billy Samoa Saleebey, Co-Founder & CEO