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In Growth We Trust: Marketing | Growth | Startups

🔮 AI-Influencers, 2024 Side Hustles and Supercharged Content Marketing | Cody Schneider, Co-Founder at Swell AI

Wed Jan 03 2024
AIPersonal BrandingContent RepurposingAI-generated InfluencersPodcastingProduct DevelopmentOffline ExperiencesOnline Content


The podcast episode features discussions on various topics including AI, personal branding, creating agencies, content repurposing, AI-generated influencers, and more. The hosts delve into the challenges and opportunities in these areas, providing insights and strategies for brands and individuals. They also touch on investment strategies, making money online, and the overwhelming nature of online content. The episode concludes with a focus on offline experiences and the value of exclusivity.


AI-generated influencers are on the rise

The emergence of AI-generated influencers like Lil' Michaela opens up new possibilities for brands to avoid risks associated with real-life influencers.

Content repurposing is key for differentiation

Brands can differentiate themselves by repurposing content through AI tools like Swell and building internal libraries of original content.

Podcasting as a marketing tool

Leveraging podcasts as a tool for opening up conversations with target audiences is becoming valuable for founders and C-suite individuals.

AI-powered automation for product development

AI-powered automation can streamline processes in various industries, including product research and understanding customer feedback.

Capitalizing on major technological shifts

Founders should seize opportunities presented by major technological shifts and market trends to stay ahead in the industry.

Offline experiences are gaining value

People are increasingly seeking unique offline experiences that evoke strong emotions and provide an element of discovery and surprise.

The overwhelming nature of online content

The addictive and overwhelming nature of online content poses challenges for individuals, but also presents opportunities for capitalizing on trends and market gaps.


  1. AI, Personal Branding, and Creating Agencies
  2. Content Repurposing and Distribution
  3. Differentiating Content and Building Libraries
  4. AI-Generated Influencers and the Future of Social Media
  5. AI-Powered Content Creation and Personal Branding
  6. Podcasting as a Tool for Marketing and Content Distribution
  7. Content Distribution Strategies and Marketing Insights
  8. AI-Powered Automation for Product Development and Customer Feedback
  9. Cost-Cutting, Social Media Scheduling, and Investments
  10. Challenges with Twitter and Investment Strategies
  11. Creating Content for LinkedIn and Podcast Management Services
  12. Making Money and Building Sustainable Businesses
  13. Web Applications, Short-Form Video Content, and Revenue Generation
  14. Google Analytics for Chrome Web Store and Offline Experiences
  15. Overwhelming Online Content and Capitalizing on Opportunities

AI, Personal Branding, and Creating Agencies

00:00 - 07:35

  • The podcast episode features Kody Schneider as a guest, discussing various topics related to AI, personal branding, creating agencies, and supercharging content for marketing teams.
  • They also talk about making money online and share some business ideas.
  • The conversation delves deeper into these topics compared to their previous discussion.
  • The hosts express excitement about starting the year with such an empowering conversation.
  • Despite some technical difficulties and distractions during the recording, they manage to have a productive discussion.
  • They mention that the podcast is now available on Spotify with additional features like leaving voice messages for the host.
  • There is speculation about why Spotify laid off employees in the podcasting sector despite investing heavily in it.
  • They discuss the trend of hosting platforms offering a full suite of services for recording, editing, publishing, and repurposing podcasts.

Content Repurposing and Distribution

07:14 - 13:58

  • Riverside and Descript are examples of platforms that repurpose media in the podcasting space.
  • The majority of podcasts are not part of networks, but networks have more money and downloads.
  • HubSpot has a podcast network with 35 podcasts that operate with more autonomy than other networks.
  • HubSpot has account managers who work with individual creators within their larger ecosystem.
  • Sam Par believes podcasting is not a good space for venture capital investment.
  • The speaker's company is self-funding and pivoting into content repurposing powered by AI.
  • They use AI to create transcripts and timestamps for their podcast episodes.
  • The goal is to create templates for the AI to generate desired outputs based on raw materials provided.
  • The focus is on content repurposing and distribution rather than audio editing or sound production.
  • Social media scheduling will be built to distribute the generated content across various platforms.
  • The speaker mentions customer feedback as a driving force behind their product development.
  • They also invested in Draft Horse, which helps write SEO optimized articles quickly using AI.
  • With the increasing availability of cheap AI-generated content, brands will need to find new ways to differentiate themselves.

Differentiating Content and Building Libraries

13:38 - 20:11

  • The cost of creating content has become very cheap, leading to an abundance of written content.
  • Brands will need to differentiate their content by talking to experts and using AI tools like Swell.
  • Swell allows users to provide multiple sources such as videos, PDFs, and links for AI-generated output.
  • By interviewing experts and uploading their transcripts into an AI, brands can create thought leadership pieces that use the language of those experts.
  • Companies can build an internal library of content that becomes a valuable asset for differentiation when general knowledge content is widely available.
  • SEO becomes challenging when everyone uses the same general knowledge from AI models like GPT.
  • Building a library of original content through podcasts or YouTube channels is beneficial for brands.
  • Utilizing specific moments from episodes through data mining and slicing can enhance content creation.
  • For B2B brands, it is important to talk to the target audience and transform that base content into various formats.
  • For B2C brands, creating original content by talking to customers or conducting street interviews can be effective.
  • Agencies may emerge in the future that specialize in building AI-generated influencers for D2C brands.

AI-Generated Influencers and the Future of Social Media

19:53 - 25:48

  • Agencies will emerge that create influencers specifically for D2C brands, allowing for drama and storytelling within the group.
  • There is a technology that can clone an influencer and allow them to sell ads without any effort on their part.
  • CGI-generated influencers like Lil' Michaela already exist and interact with each other in real-world scenarios.
  • Brands can avoid risks associated with real-life influencers by using digital personas they own entirely.
  • Social media platforms like TikTok are ideal for this type of AI-generated content, which keeps users engaged and constantly improves.
  • The downsides of AI-generated content include addiction and manipulation of human brains.
  • The next major social app will likely be entirely AI-generated, as seen in YouTube shorts channels with AI-written scripts and generated images.

AI-Powered Content Creation and Personal Branding

25:27 - 31:28

  • Faceless YouTube channels that use AI-generated images and scripts are growing rapidly and getting millions of views.
  • AI is being used to analyze drop-off points in videos and generate new content continuously.
  • Social media listening using AI is becoming cost-effective, allowing companies to extract key takeaways from large amounts of data for product development.
  • AI is also being used for personal branding, such as repurposing interviews into clips, tweets, LinkedIn posts, and blog articles.
  • Personal branding with a strong online presence can provide leverage within a company and during salary negotiations.
  • Follower count on social media can impact response rates in professional interactions.

Podcasting as a Tool for Marketing and Content Distribution

31:11 - 37:34

  • The trend of leveraging podcasts as a tool for opening up conversations with target audiences is becoming valuable for founders and C-suite individuals.
  • Companies are starting to allocate budget for podcasting as a marketing line item to create content that grows the company and provides more value.
  • Leveraging media as a negotiation point can be effective, especially for smaller companies who can produce more content in a week than larger corporations can in a quarter.
  • Barriers to content creation are expected to be completely removed by 2023-2025, allowing for instant article and video podcast creation with AI-generated hosts and scripts.
  • Distribution remains an issue, but platforms like TikTok are leading the way with their "For You" page content algorithm.
  • Consistency and volume will be key factors in gaining reach and impressions on platforms. Brands may need to focus on producing high volumes of content to increase their chances of hitting viral moments.
  • Automation tools like Swell aim to help brands capitalize on long-form anchor content by distributing it across various channels and providing analytics for optimization.
  • Social scheduling tools like currently dominate the market for distribution, but there may be other options available.

Content Distribution Strategies and Marketing Insights

37:12 - 43:27

  • Many people are using a tool called for content distribution.
  • Content creation and distribution have evolved with the rise of different channels and formats.
  • There are tricks and strategies to maximize reach on platforms like Reels, but they require effort and experimentation.
  • Marketers who understand these algorithms can provide valuable services to companies.
  • Moments of arbitrage in marketing always exist, where one can gain additional organic reach at a low cost.
  • Mastermind groups or small circles of trusted individuals are used to share marketing insights and data.
  • Surveys powered by AI can help analyze customer feedback and prioritize improvements in products or services.

AI-Powered Automation for Product Development and Customer Feedback

43:12 - 49:11

  • The use of AI-powered automation can solve problems and streamline processes in various industries, such as product research and understanding customer feedback.
  • Existing companies like SurveyMonkey can benefit from incorporating AI technology to improve their services.
  • Dynamic surveys that adapt in real-time based on user responses can provide more accurate and up-to-date insights.
  • Combining technologies like public product roadmaps and dynamic surveys can enhance the understanding of customer frustrations and preferences.
  • Async methods, such as audio messages or recorded transcripts, can be used to gather deeper knowledge from customers without the need for synchronous conversations.
  • Focusing on people who don't take desired actions rather than those who do can lead to product improvements and increased conversions.
  • Offering incentives, like free months or discounts, in exchange for feedback or re-engagement attempts can help retain customers who may have left due to lack of understanding or usage issues.
  • Price-sensitive customers may require more customer service attention but further data is needed to determine their retention rates after receiving offers or discounts.

Cost-Cutting, Social Media Scheduling, and Investments

48:49 - 55:03

  • Solo creators focus on cost-cutting for smaller enterprises, while larger enterprises prioritize overall cost reduction.
  • The market for podcast agencies and networks is different from VC-backed companies like Riverside and Descript, as they handle a large volume of content from various sources.
  • Lifetime deals in the consumer space can hinder product feature parity and sustainability unless the company is well-funded.
  • Building a sustainable company is a priority, even if it doesn't become a massive success.
  • Social media scheduling powered by AI aims to distribute content across all channels and analyze data to suggest high-performing content.
  • Existing scheduling apps are outdated and lack efficient technology, creating an opportunity for improvement in the market.
  • Injecting analytics data through APIs is possible on most platforms except for Twitter, which currently faces issues with outstanding bills.

Challenges with Twitter and Investment Strategies

54:39 - 1:01:22

  • The speaker discusses issues they are facing with their Twitter account, including an outstanding bill and difficulty contacting support.
  • They mention that their Twitter account was banned twice, once for promoting a podcast and another time for unknown reasons.
  • The speaker expresses frustration at being blocked from spending money on the platform while promoting a marketing podcast.
  • They talk about using Python libraries like pandas for data analytics and understanding good performing posts on social media.
  • Two potential business ideas are discussed: an AISEO agency specializing in e-commerce and a podcast agency for coaches or course sellers.
  • The speaker suggests targeting college students with a class on side hustles and mentions their goal of getting students to drop out of college.
  • They discuss the challenges founders face in personal branding and suggest offering a weekly conversation-based podcast as a solution.

Creating Content for LinkedIn and Podcast Management Services

1:00:55 - 1:07:12

  • One way to generate content for LinkedIn is by spending 20 minutes each week answering five questions about cool things seen, good calls had, and business updates.
  • There is potential to make money by offering podcast management services to founders who are interested in starting a podcast.
  • The ghostwriting space and transcription services like can be utilized to easily create content for different social media channels.
  • The hosts discuss their thoughts on investments and where they put their money.
  • One approach is to invest in funds or collections of projects that can provide long-term returns.
  • The hosts express a preference for focusing on building businesses rather than actively managing investments.
  • They mention investing in pension plans and safe savings accounts, as well as using ETFs like the S&P 500.

Making Money and Building Sustainable Businesses

1:06:43 - 1:13:01

  • The speaker is considering whether to invest in themselves or continue with their current job.
  • They suggest building a small product, having a side hustle, or becoming a consultant as potential ways to make money.
  • The speaker mentions that entrepreneurs have different risk tolerance levels.
  • They discuss the idea of doing something that requires zero mental energy for management and utilizing tax incentives.
  • The speaker talks about the possibility of getting married for tax benefits and their partner's reaction.
  • They mention affiliate marketing, courses, software as a service (SaaS), and agencies as ways to make consistent money.
  • The majority of their monthly revenues come from SaaS currently.
  • There is a discussion about paying for software subscriptions versus owning the product outright.
  • The speaker expresses frustration with paying high subscription fees for software like Adobe Premiere Pro.

Web Applications, Short-Form Video Content, and Revenue Generation

1:12:39 - 1:19:15

  • The speaker discusses the challenges of dealing with monthly infrastructure bills and costs in the context of web applications.
  • There is a mention of the financial success of software as a service (SaaS) due to its ability to generate recurring revenue.
  • Concerns about data leaks and security risks associated with connecting bank accounts to government organizations are raised.
  • The potential for short-form video content creation as a service, particularly in the consumer-based business sector, is discussed.
  • The idea of creating unique and trend-based content using young creators is explored as a way to differentiate and build defensibility.
  • The profitability of websites that offer simple tools or services, such as percentage calculators, through ads is mentioned.
  • Monetizing software through affiliate networks is considered an interesting approach, citing examples like MP3 to MP4 conversion services.
  • Chrome extensions are highlighted as a low-cost option for generating revenue without incurring significant processing or financial burdens.

Google Analytics for Chrome Web Store and Offline Experiences

1:18:59 - 1:25:25

  • Google Analytics has been released for the Chrome Web Store, allowing users to track conversion events and cost per install or sign up.
  • There is a website called "boring cash cow" that interviews founders about how much money their simple websites are making, such as a site that measures watch accuracy earning $2,000 to $20,000 per month.
  • AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) is much more difficult to achieve than anticipated due to the significant amount of computing power required.
  • It is important for founders to capitalize on major technological shifts and market opportunities as quickly as possible.
  • People are increasingly willing to pay for unique offline experiences with an element of discovery and surprise.
  • The internet can become static and monotonous, so it's important to seek out extreme experiences that evoke strong emotions.
  • Reddit can be both a degenerate cesspool and a source of interesting content, such as subreddits featuring memes with Renaissance paintings.

Overwhelming Online Content and Capitalizing on Opportunities

1:24:57 - 1:28:07

  • The speaker discusses the overwhelming and addictive nature of online content, particularly in their line of work.
  • They mention a subreddit called "tripping through time" that features memes with Renaissance paintings, which they find enjoyable.
  • The speaker highlights a larger trend of people focusing on offline experiences and real-life connections.
  • They mention predictions for 2024 related to going back to real-life events and connections.
  • The speaker appreciates the element of exclusivity and surprise in events where attendees only receive last-minute details.
  • They compare this trend to techno events from five years ago that operated similarly.
  • The internet has made things less exclusive, but exclusivity is becoming valuable again as a signal of wealth or community value.
  • The speaker knows people who are doing cool things but don't talk about it because they think it's dumb.
  • The speaker acknowledges their own willingness to capitalize on opportunities even if they feel like selling their soul.