What A Joe Rogan Show Taught Me About Marketing

Photo by  BossLogic

Photo by BossLogic

I went to a Joe Rogan show the other night with some friends. 

I’m not much of a Joe Rogan follower — I don’t listen to his podcast regularly, don’t watch his comedy specials, and don’t consume any of his other content. 

I saw the night more as a fun time out with friends, and comedy shows are generally fun even if you don’t know who’s up on stage.

The only thing I know about Joe Rogan is that he has one of the most popular podcasts on the planet right now, and that a lot of my friends listen to his podcast, especially for his more science-y and political guests.

That’s why when I walked into the theater for Joe Rogan’s show, I was surprised by the audience I saw in there — it was the complete opposite of what I thought I’d see. 

Being in the audience of this show was incredibly educational from a marketing perspective and I was so glad that I went.

There are a lot of brands now that revolve around a podcast personality, influencer, coach, and more. One’s face, personality, likes, and dislikes are now grounds for a brand identity, and being able to see Joe Rogan’s audience in the flesh, where I could get a clear idea of who responds to his marketing and sales funnel was a real treat.

Here are some of the observations I made while I was at his show — 


Maybe Your Customer Isn’t In Pain, They’re Looking To Belong

Before going to Joe Rogan’s show, my profile of his podcast listeners consisted of millennials freethinkers who are into tech, and generally like learning about the nitty-gritty of various health and science topics. 

I expected Joe Rogan’s comedy show audience to be similar, but I was pretty surprised to find that the majority of his audience basically looked like him — muscular, rocker-esque vibe with a lot of tattoos, and around Joe’s age.

I found that Joe’s podcast audience (or at least my assessment of it) was starkly different from his comedy show audience — the audience that ponies up the cash and drives out to one of his shows is an audience that looks just like Joe.

A lot of small businesses are taught that when it comes to your marketing and sales funnel, that the customers who buy are the ones whose current pain aligns the most with the products/services you’re selling. 

They buy because they see that your product/service will relieve the current pain they’re experiencing. 

At Joe Rogan’s show, the people who showed up weren’t the ones in pain, but the ones who identified with Joe the most — they possibly felt a sense of belonging and community at Joe’s show, and that was why they bought a ticket.

I know that the psychology behind why someone buys a product/service vs. tickets to a comedy show is different, but this insight gave me an important, additional tool to bring out when making a marketing and sales strategy work for a business — is our customer strongly motivated by their pain point, or by their need to belong? 


We Need to See Your Face and Personality Before Buying

Speaking of identity, this show solidified the importance of visibility in one’s brand. If you run a one-woman or man shop, the pictures you choose to show of yourself, the personality you exude, and the language and copy you choose to represent yourself online is really important, especially nowadays where consumers have less face-to-face interactions with a business.

If you’re a one-woman or man shop that sells anything, make sure that you are visible — it may be the one thing that helps close a sale. 

For Joe, it helped fill more than 80% of the room at his comedy show. If Joe didn’t broadcast a video stream of his podcast interviews on Youtube or didn’t have an online presence where his face and personality were always visible, he wouldn’t have sold out a whole weekend of shows.

A huge fear that I hear from numerous people (including myself!) when building out a brand is the fear of one’s face being plastered all over their website, and generally being super visible online. It’s awkward and uncomfortable to have pictures of yourself everywhere, but the truth is it’s a damn good sales strategy and it works.

I recently did a characteristic breakdown of all my clients in the last year and I found that 92% of my clients were either a minority-owned, women-led, or millennial-owned business, or had a people over profit theme to their business. 

These are all characteristics that are physically visible or personality traits that I choose to share about myself in my online presence. Because of this discovery, I’m completely revamping my whole website right now so that I’m more visible.

Making your identity a key part of your sales strategy is important for business — it’s a like, know, and trust factor that shoppers need recon on in order to be confident in their purchase. 

If you don’t have many pictures of yourself and are generally closed off in your online presence, start thinking about your visibility as a sales strategy rather than a vanity call to take more photos of yourself. 


Struggling to pinpoint who your startup’s customers are? Grab my ‘Find Your Customers’ worksheet to figure out your ideal customer.

Sophia Sunwoo