When I began my journey into professional speaking, I was overwhelmed with just how much I did not know…and the same holds true today. As entrepreneurs we are constantly (or should be) on the lookout for ways to further build our brand, our following, and our message. One of the platforms that has provided awesome opportunities for me to share my message with audiences I might never have reached without this platform, is appearing on podcasts.
My first podcast interview took place within my first 30 days in business and as a result of that podcast I was able to gain great insight into precisely how my message was being received by my intended audience or market. Since that initial appearance with Michelle Madrid Branch, I have appeared on nearly 20 podcast shows and each and every time I have left the experience feeling empowered and deeply humbled by the opportunity.
The element of podcasting that amazes me the most however, is the fact that those who invest countless hours in the building of their shows, seeking out stellar guests and awesome content, do this at no cost to the guests that they invite onto their shows. I realize that once a podcast show reaches a certain level the opportunity to sell advertising space exists, but that does not happen overnight; and I was interested in what drives these podcasters in sticking with it until that day comes wherein they themselves can profit financially from their efforts.
My most recent guesting opportunity on a podcast was just a few weeks ago when I appeared on “Coffee With Tracey” hosted by Tracey Osborne, and I have two more scheduled for later this week…one of which is being hosted from the Philippine Islands! I spoke with Tracey Osborne last week and asked if she would be willing to share with all of us her thoughts regarding the relevance of podcasting in today’s business world, and just how it can benefit entrepreneurs in growing their message, their brand, and their business…here is what Tracey had to share:
LMH: Tracey, at what age did you realize that you were destined to become an entrepreneur and how many other jobs had you held before beginning your first business?
TO: I started my trek into entrepreneurialism when I was 18 years old and became an Avon rep. I had the dream of making thousands of dollars a month just by hanging order books on peoples’ doors in the neighborhood. Needless to say, I learned pretty quick that it didn’t work that way…I was my best customer! Lol
I have held multiple jobs in various industries throughout my life, from managing for JoAnne Fabrics to becoming the Vice President for a small accounts receivable finance company.
LMH: Can you share with our readers a bit about companies that you have started and a few of the challenges you had to overcome in adjusting to the learning curve of owning your own business(s)?
TO: Sure…, In 2002 a friend and I had the bright idea to purchase the convenience store across the street from us. This friend was the financier and I was going to run it with my husband and kids. We went in completely blind, my assistant managing for the fabric store was the extent of my experience in managing, so of course I was completely ill prepared for the running of a gas station/convenience store. My partner and I assumed the assets from the current owner and took over the lease on the property, all without consulting with an attorney first…NOT the most brilliant idea! The landlord on the property never provided us with a signed contract so when we attempted to obtain branding and a liquor license, we were shot down. Moral of the story…, we ultimately ended up in court and lost right around $100,000 in the entire deal. To make matters worse, I was VERY pregnant with daughter #3!
In 2004, after I had delivered daughter #4; I decided to open an in-home daycare operation. I obtained my license and everything else that was required to begin bringing in clients, but I had no idea at all of how to properly market the business. Like so many new entrepreneurs I had the mindset that all I needed to do was slap up some ads and the clients would come running, WRONG…, so yet again another failed business!
Of course there were several other “futile attempts” at successfully starting a business over the years, but let’s fast forward to today. I now coach and teach other women in how to use the skills they have to create their own money making machines, all while working from within the comfort of their own homes.
LMH: Wow Tracey, that’s awesome…so what exactly led you to beginning your own Podcast show and how did you decide the format of your current Podcast show “Coffee With Tracey”?
TO: I started Coffee With Tracey in 2009 as a way for me to position myself as an expert, gain exposure, meet amazing people, learn some really cool stuff and get free books from my guests. (lol) However, I quickly learned that putting together a one hour show would take me at least 5 hours in prep and marketing time. Back then I didn’t have a team and could not handle the staging of a show and juggle my client load so I had no choice but to take a step back…a step that proved to be much further back than I had planned on. In March of 2017 I decided to bite the bullet one more time and bring the show back, but this time with an entirely new look, new flair, and a much stronger host!
I decided on video this time around because for one, video is what’s hot currently and will continue to be for some time, not to mention I love the personal connection it provides. I love being able to see the expressions only guests faces as they share their stories…and so too does the audience members. Video creates that deep connection that one can’t achieve via listening to simply audio.
LMH: I understand it takes quite a team to pull off a show like yours, can you tell us a little about that aspect of your business?
TO: I have a fairly large team; there’s Emily my guest manager who handles all of the recording details and promotional materials. Mark, my husband executes all of the technical aspects and gets the show up on my website. There are copywriters who write marketing material and handle social media promotions, my business manager Mea, who makes sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing…and when. I also employ a couple technical Virtual Assistants who jump in if a video needs editing, and then there is my transcriptionist who transcribes those over-the-top awesome interviews that I just know I am going to want archived for use in the future….so there it is, a lot of players in pulling of my show.
LMH: Please tell us why you feel it is a good idea for entrepreneurs to utilize Podcasts in the growing of their businesses and messages?
TO: Podcasts are a blast! They bring valuable information to your target audience and your speakers help by cross-promoting, so you are gaining more exposure than you would on your own and it’s a great way to position yourself as an expert in the market place.
LMH: Can anyone become a Podcast personality?
TO: Podcasts are not for everyone, when I initially began I was nowhere near being a strong host…I would ask a question, my guest would answer, once I ran out of questions I was stuck…not good. I am a much stronger host today, I now can carry my guests and the topics. I create questions based on my guest responses which allows for a much more fluid interview and the audience then feels part of an authentic conversation instead of the usual interview.
My professional advice for anyone considering developing their own Podcast is simple; be personable and not timid, be prepared to handle the guest who never shuts up (insert face of shame from Loren here since when I appeared on CWT…I never shut up lol), be comfortable on camera or audio, whichever platform you prefer, stay away from script reading…it is very distinguishable, and most importantly…relax and have fun!
LMH: Well Tracey, thank you so much for sharing your story and all this great insight for all of us who are constantly on the lookout for better ways in which to grow our businesses and our messages.
TO: Thank you Loren…it was great being here!
For more information on how to begin building your own Podcast platform in which to grow your business, please visit www.lorenmichaelsharris and leave a detailed message on how we can help. To find out more on how you can appear as a guest on “Coffee With Tracey”, simply visit www.coffeewithtracey.com And for those of you who are ready to get your message out to the masses by speaking your way to more business; www.howtogetspeakinggigsfast.com