Ideal Founder Series 004
Leo Hsiao, Founder & CEO of
Sounds in Taipei
Apr 17, 2023
Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1474532785
《 Perceive the World with Traveler's Eye 》
As a founder of Sounds in Taipei, a podcast studio located in the heart of Taipei city, Leo views the world not only through his eyes, but also through listening to what the city has to share, and portraying Taipei through his voice.
Q. 請用三個詞形容你自己 / Use three words to describe yourself
Ｗarm, friendly, hard-working
Q. 在創業的過程中，你面對最艱難的挑戰是什麼 ? / What significant challenges have you faced when working on this company?
媒體產業是瞬息萬變的。2019 年是 Podcast 在亞洲快速崛起的一年， 2022 各大媒體傳播平台推廣短影片，為全世界帶來數億的流量。
2023 Open AI 更改變了媒體創作的生態，我們更堅持用有效率的方式把 AI 加入在我們工作中
Media industry is constantly evolving. 2019 was the year when podcasts emerged in Asia, while in 2022 major media platforms promoted short videos, with billions of traffic worldwide.
Podcasts allow brands to share unique stories, insights, or perspectives through immersive stories or thought-provoking conversations. This can help audiences gain a deeper understanding of a company's values and background story, thus increasing brand loyalty.
Short videos (such as Reels, Tiktok, Youtube Shorts) can reach a large number of new audiences in a short time through natural algorithms, expanding the product marketing funnel.
Open AI in 2023 changed the ecology of media creation, and we insist on efficiently integrating AI into our work.
However, the essence of media communication still returns to humanity. In this rapidly changing environment, we still need to continuously collaborate with customers, understand the audience's preferences, and meet their needs.
Q. What was the biggest surprise or obstacle you encountered while building your startup and what did you learn?
Back in 2020, Sounds in Taipei faced quite a challenge when we brought two more people onboard, just as COVID-19 was hitting hard. Our financial situation got pretty tight since we had to cover additional employee costs while our income took a hit.
To tackle this hurdle, we had to buckle down and make some tough choices, like cutting back on expenses and re-negotiating deals with our vendors. We also had to put our focus on revenue-generating activities and hunt for new business opportunities to keep our startup running in the long run.
This experience taught us a valuable lesson on the importance of financial discipline and having a backup plan. Plus, we realized that when it comes to hiring, it's crucial to be cautious and consider the current market situation.
All in all, it's been a challenging journey that has helped us grow stronger as a startup.
Q. 如果在創業過程中你可以做一件事情不同的事，那會是什麼? / If you could have done one thing differently while building your startup, what would it be?
Looking back at building Sounds in Taipei from scratch, if there’s one thing I would've done differently, it would be to really hone in on the bigger picture of our brand and invest more energy into the areas where we truly shine, while collaborating with a professional team for other projects.
This has been an eye-opening experience and a valuable lesson for future ventures. By focusing on our strengths and delegating tasks to a team of experts, we're able to maximize our potential and build a stronger brand. But never forget to reevaluate what's important
When you're aiming to establish a powerful and successful brand, it's crucial to regularly reevaluate what matters most to your brand. This involves taking the time to figure out which aspects of your brand are critical to its success, and which areas might be of lesser importance. By determining where to focus your energy and resources, you can ensure that you're using your time and effort as effectively as possible.
Q. 你是怎麼衡量你的成功? 你衡量的標準是什麼? / At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your metrics?
再來就是觀眾的參與度，我們希望可以看到聽眾們在社群媒體上與我們的內容互動。透過網站流量、訪問者數量、他們在我們網站上停留的時間以及他們訪問的頁面，我們可以進一步的了解我們的觀眾樣貌。此外，YouTube和 Tiktok 等平台上的觀看次數也為我們提供了許多有價值的分析和見解。
When it comes to running a media-producing company, there are a few key metrics that I always keep an eye on. It's essential to understand where our success is coming from and how we can continue to grow.
First and foremost, revenue is a significant factor. It's a direct reflection of how many people are consuming our content. We monitor ad revenue generated from our website, social media channels, and other platforms. We also look at subscription revenue from people who pay to access our content and merchandise revenue from selling related products.
Another important aspect is audience engagement. We love seeing how people interact with our content on social media. We also pay attention to website traffic, including the number of visitors, how long they stay on our site, and the pages they visit, this allows us to know more about our consumers' persona. Plus, video views on platforms like YouTube and Tiktok give us valuable insights into our content's reach.
Lastly, brand recognition is something we're really proud of. Our social media followers across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been growing, and we really like to interact with different audiences through different channels. It's also gratifying when we receive awards and accolades for our content and achievements.
In summary, as a startup founder, I'm always focused on revenue, audience engagement, and brand recognition. These metrics help us understand our strengths and areas for growth and ensure we're on the right track in building a successful media company.
Q. 你會對其他的有野心和熱情的創業家說什麼? / What would you tell aspiring startup founders?
Starting your own business is a challenging and rewarding endeavor that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It is important to remember that there will be inevitable ups and downs along the way, so it's essential to be prepared for the challenges!
About Sounds in Taipei
Q. Sounds in Taipei 是誰? / Who is Sounds in Taipei?
聲動台北是一間致力於幫助企業、組織和個人為目標受眾創建相關且吸引人的社交媒體內容的錄音工作室，在以 podcast 做為主要服務項目的同時，也協助客戶在新平台（ TikTok、Instagram reels ）等媒介和觀眾互動。
Sounds in Taipei is a media production company that helps companies, organizations, and individuals create relevant and engaging social media content, such as podcasts, TikTok videos, and reels, for their target audience. Our services include concept development, recording studio rental, editing and post-production, distribution, and marketing. We work with our clients to ensure their content is precise and accessible to their target audience. Come to Sounds in Taipei, and we’ll add more possibilities on top of your current success.
Q. 聲動台北是怎麼誕生的？ / How did Sounds in Taipei start in the first place?
聲動台北當初在2019年成立時還只是個台北的夜間計畫。最初的目標是去探索那些時常被忽略、不被了解的台北故事。即使當時的我們仍缺乏相關的經驗，但整個團隊都對於成立自己的 podcast 這件事情躍躍欲試，於是開始在一些酒吧開始了單口相聲的表演，而那時候的環境還鮮少有人聽過 podcast 這個概念。
於是兩年後的2021年，聲動台北決定向我們的目標邁出關鍵一步。在完成了12頁的提案後，我們終於成功在一間旅館設立了我們的錄音工作室，那是個不同文化交流、對話的地方。我們也開始邀請創作者來參觀我們的工作室，而我們也是從那時候開始和 Firstory 以及 KKBOX 等民間單位合作，同時和政府部門也一起啟動了一檔為期半年的 podcast 訓練營，協助新興的 podcaster 了解他們該如何建立、經營 podcast。
Sounds in Taipei was founded in 2019 as a late-night project as a city walking tour guide. Our initial goal was to explore stories in Taipei that are often overlooked, neglected, or never deeply understood. Although lacking relevant experience, the team was eager to start a podcast, and so they began recording in a stand-up comedian bar during the day and promoting it at the bar at night. At that time, barely anyone knew what a "podcast" was.
In 2021, Sounds in Taipei took a huge step forward. After a 12-page proposal, the team set up a recording studio in a hostel, a place where aspects of different cultures meet and conversations happen. We invited creators to visit our studio, since then we partnered with Firstory and KKBOX, as well as the municipal government, to launch a half-year long podcast boot camp, assisting new podcasters in establishing and realizing how they could be running their own podcast.
Q. 用幾句話說明你的公司還有你要解決的問題 / What is your company and problems you are addressing in a few sentences?
Our company's primary mission is to support and guide those who are just starting out in the world of podcasting but may feel a bit lost or overwhelmed by the whole process. You know, there are so many people out there with fantastic ideas and incredible stories to share, but they might not have the technical know-how or the confidence to dive right in.
At Sounds in Taipei, we want to bridge that gap and empower these budding creators by providing them with the tools, resources, and guidance they need to kickstart their creative journey. From setting up their first recording session to learning the ins and outs of editing and promoting their content, we're here to support them every step of the way. Our aim is to create a nurturing environment where they can learn, grow, and ultimately shine in their respective platforms.
Q. 用簡單的句子形容，你能為誰提供什麼服務 / 產品? / In a few sentences, what do you offer and to whom?
聲動台北希望可以幫助人們，通過 podcast 將他們天馬行空的創意和想法中變成現實。我們理解要在這個完全陌生的世界踏出第一步是有多麽的困難、可怕，也因此我們提供各種數位媒體相關服務，希望能為創作者們的每趟旅程更加舒適、盡情創造。
At Sounds in Taipei, we're all about helping people bring their creative ideas to life through podcasting. We understand that getting started in this world can be daunting, so we offer a wide range of services to make the journey smoother and more enjoyable.
Q. 為什麼現在是你的公司存在的時間點? 是什麼讓你的服務受市場如此的歡迎？ / Why is now the time for your company to exist? And what’s most exciting about your traction to date?
在2023年，對於品牌和公司來說，學著接受並善用 podcast、Instagram Reels 和 TikTok 這些平台是至關重要的。
Podcast 近年來已經有爆炸性的表現，並且還在持續成長。它們是品牌建立形象、呈現專業度、與受眾建立深度連接並創建易於消費者接收的內容的絕佳途徑。隨著智能裝置和語音助手越來越受歡迎，podcast 讓觀眾們能夠方便地享受創作者們的內容。
下一個要提到的會是 Instagram Reels，reels是個十分受歡迎的媒體接收管道。品牌若可以善加利用 Reels，以有趣且吸引人的方式展示其產品或服務，並添加音樂和特效使內容更具吸引力，品牌將有機會在這個新創品牌林立的環境中脫穎而出。
最後當然不能忘記 TikTok，Tiktok 受到 Z 世代和年輕受眾的最愛，是個品牌可以輕鬆和更多受眾互動的媒介。TikTok 讓品牌能夠創建兼具娛樂，同時和使用者有高度互動的內容。
You know, in 2023, it's super important for brands and companies to embrace platforms like podcasts, Instagram Reels, and TikTok. And here’s why.
Podcasts have just blown up in recent years, and they're not showing any signs of slowing down. They're such a great way for brands to position themselves as industry experts, really connect with their audience, and create content that's easy to consume on the go. And with smart speakers and voice assistants becoming more popular, podcasts are perfect for hands-free engagement.
Now let's talk about Instagram Reels. These short videos have really taken off and users are loving them. Brands can use Reels to show off their products or services in a fun and engaging way, adding music and special effects to make their content pop. It's an awesome chance for companies to let their personality shine and set themselves apart from competitors.
And we can't forget about TikTok. This platform has become a favorite among Gen Z and younger audiences, making it the perfect place for brands to reach these demographics. TikTok allows brands to create content that is both entertaining and highly interactive with users.
So, as a fellow entrepreneur, I highly encourage startups to try and make good use of these tools to establish deeper connections with your audience and make your brand stand out.
Q. 你認為在今年你的成長里程碑會是什麼 ? / Where do you think your growth and milestones will be for 2023?
將我的個人 Instagram 粉專 @leofromtaiwan 往5萬粉絲的目標經營是個相當有跳戰的旅程。從創作可以和聽觀眾產生共鳴的短片和 podcast 過程中，我學到了很多寶貴知識，也正是這樣的旅程，賦予了我幫助其他創作者一起成功的熱忱。聲動台北與創作者們共同合作，創造出能夠將他們獨到想法分享並與聽眾產生連結的內容。
我們也想趁這個機會和大家介紹我們正在開發中的新一代「Taipei in the Box」。我們非常期待 Taipei in the Box 可以繼續茁壯，並推出新的設計款，吸引更多的餅乾愛好者。我們相信，將台灣文化與美味的餅乾相結合，將能吸引本地和國際上的民眾的支持。
通過社交媒體活動和與 KOL 的合作推廣品牌，我們相信「Taipei in the Box」的知名度將繼續上升。我也相信透過 Instagram 帳號的成功經營，以及我們在聲動台北未來的所有計劃，我們將在社交媒體內容創作領域取得真正的影響力。
It's been quite a journey aiming to build my personal Instagram page, @leofromtaiwan, to over 50k followers. I've learned so much from creating short and podcast content that resonates with people. And the process has inspired me to help others do the same. We work hand-in-hand with our clients to craft engaging content that truly reflects their unique voice and connects with their target audience.
But our commitment doesn't end there. We will continue to support content creators, ensuring that their presence and activities on social media maintain a consistent image and establish a connection with their audience. Our team is always there for them, ready to answer questions and make any necessary adjustments to their strategies.
Now let me tell you about an exciting project we're working on - a new version of "Taipei in the Box." We're super passionate about expanding the brand and introducing new landmark designs to capture the hearts of cookie lovers everywhere. We believe that the magic lies in the fusion of Taiwanese culture with delicious cookies, which can appeal to a wide audience both locally and internationally.
By promoting the brand through social media campaigns and partnering with influencers, we're confident that "Taipei in the Box" will continue to grow in popularity. And I truly believe that our success with my personal Instagram account, combined with all our future plans here at “Sounds in Taipei", we’ll be able to make some real impact in the world of social media content creation.
Q. 目前你的公司正在尋找什麼? (例如:資金、新市場擴張、人才?) / What would be the 3 things that your company is looking for now? (e.g. Funding, new market expansion, new hires?)
Right now we're actively looking for some extra financial resources to help us bring our upcoming projects to life. And as we grow, we've realized that we could really use a product manager on board. Someone who can help streamline our production process and make sure everything is running smoothly and on schedule.
Meet The Team
Q. 你有團隊嗎? 請介紹一下團隊成員，以及你是如何找到他們並且建立現在的團隊? / Do you have a team? If yes, who are they, and how did you go about building your team?
2022年底，聲動台北迎來了一位新的夥伴。Michelle Shen 任職觀光巴士的專業乘務員，她將她發揮在巴士上及人群中的熱情與活力帶到了聲動台北，這樣的新血加入也拓寬了我們彼此的視野。
Towards the end of the year, new faces and aspects were brought into the show. Michelle Shen, a professional bus attendant on the sightseeing bus, brought her passion and energy from the bus to the podcast, broadening the horizon of the show.
We also have a group of professional content editor, which are Fan and Chou, they are in charge of the content producing and quality managing
Ｑ. 你會如何和其他新創公司的創辦人分享你的經驗和感想，關於成為理想Ideal 社群中的一員？ / What would you tell other startup founders about being part of the Ideal community and your experience here?
我們的高品質錄音工作室位於台北最熱門的共享空間之一 - 理想創業工場。
Our high-quality recording studio is located in a co-working space of The Ideal Venture Studio, one of the most popular co-working spaces in Taipei. This not only provides an acoustically optimized environment for recording voice overs, music, and other audio content, but it also allows us to build connections with other professionals in the creative industry.