unsuitable on Rea Radio

Thanks to Dave Cain, CPA, Executive Principal at Rea & Associates, and host of unsuitable on Rea Radio, for being my guest on this episode of Note To Future Me.

Brett Johnson 0:00
Before we get into the weeds of business, I want to talk to you about any or a nonprofit that you give time, talent or treasure to.

Dave Cain 0:12
We actually have a very large not for profit practice in our Dublin office. By that it’s consulting, it’s auditing its tax work. It’s serving on boards, it’s consulting. So we understand that industry very, very well. In fact, we, we look for opportunities for our people to participate in not for profits. So and, you know, not for profit industry means a lot of things for us, like associations, those are not for profit, which sometimes people don’t think of those as, you know, as not for profit, but they are, and then you’re, you’re basically you 501c3.

Dave Cain 1:02
So, yeah, we give, we try to get back in the form of time, sometimes services, although, although lately it’s been a little bit difficult to do in kind services, especially if it’s some tax or auditing services, or just some more ethical things surrounding that, then then maybe before, especially on if you’re auditing somebody financial statements, you know, it’s a, it’s a bit of a challenge to give back some in kind stuff there. But we find that the way.

Dave Cain 1:38
I’d say out of our see, we have, we have 12 offices and the majority of our auditing practices here in the Dublin (OH) market, or Columbus (OH) market and a lot of that is inside I-270. So it’s inside the city. Lot of arts and a lot of associations give you an idea. Farm Bureau is one of our clients. We see if I’m pointing right where’s where’s The Shadowbox?

Brett Johnson 2:15
Oh, probably back behind you.

Dave Cain 2:17
Yeah, you there. Yeah. There we go. There. There. Yep. They are a client of ours. So that kind of gives you a picture of our different clients.

Brett Johnson 2:26
On your website, where could they a non profit or not for profit, find that information?

Dave Cain 2:31
They can just go on and there’s a services box drop down. And it should be easy to find, if you can navigate website. We’ve tried to make it as user friendly as possible. We just actually kind of redid a lot of things in the last year, I have to make it easier for you to go in and search because if you spend and you know, from being in the business, you go there, you can’t find a you’re out of there.

Brett Johnson 2:58
Don’t take a lot of time before you do.

Dave Cain 3:01
Yeah, exactly.

Dave Cain 3:07
Do you happen to know Brad Circone? He has helped us with our branding, and actually is producing our podcast in our website. And that was kind of the glue that helped us put everything kind of together. You know, somebody that had that, that background. So he’s the one that comes in, brings the mix in and produces and edits and, and we’re pretty committed to releasing once a week.

Brett Johnson 3:44
That’s good. Well, it helps to have that person directing and professionally, I put that in quote marks, because directing can mean a lot of different things. But it’s keeping you to task. Saying that we’re going to be in the room here doing this next Tuesday. Be prepared for four of them, and you walk in, it’s gonna be ready for it.

Dave Cain 4:03
Yeah, and I think that’s in your notes. And that’s one piece of advice I’d certainly would give someone as you have to have it professionally done. This is this is not something you do it yourself, you probably could. But if you’re not trained in it, it’s just it’s just…

Brett Johnson 4:22
I don’t think you’re gonna be happy with the end result.

Dave Cain 4:24
You’re not. And it would be inconsistent. Because then you would say you something else would get in the way then? Oh, we’re not recording podcast. Alright, so it’s on our calendar. And it’s the second Tuesday or second Thursday of every month. And if you miss it, we will break your leg.

Brett Johnson 4:47
Well, let’s talk about your background. Obviously, you mentioned earlier to me whether I’ve recorded it or not, you’re not a broadcaster.

Dave Cain 4:56
I am not.

Brett Johnson 4:57
So let’s talk about your your adventure to this point. How you started with your career moves. And now you’re a podcaster.

Dave Cain 5:06
Yeah, how about that. I started with ran associates just about 40 years ago. And my, my specialty if you will, is I work with emerging businesses, both on tax consulting, planning and things like of that nature, and really enjoy, you know, that aspect of it. And it just so happened, the podcast spot came open after about 50 episodes. And they asked me if I wanted to do it went for a tryout if you will. And I won of course, I was I was, I was in pretty good shape doing that. But what helps me with with being the host of the podcast, which which you can, again, relate to it, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to be the host.

Dave Cain 5:59
You’ve got to figure out the right questions you got to study. But one of the things that helped me is virtually all of the topics that we cover, at least with it’s if it’s tax and consulting in, in business, I know a little bit about each of those topics. Sometimes I gotta do a little bit of studying. But for the most part, I’ve either touched it, felt it, read it talk to somebody had a client in that in that industry. And so that’s what makes it work for me as far as being able to ask the questions and the right questions.

Dave Cain 6:37
Now, we’ve, we’ve discovered a little bit by design, is there some things that we don’t touch. Obviously, the political side of things is, is been a little bit challenging the last year, especially with new Tax Act…

Brett Johnson 6:53
I was gonna say that it kind of meshes together. You have to touch a little bit upon it, but do you don’t necessarily have to make a comment on it. Just this is the way it is now.

Dave Cain 7:02
We see where our guest wants to go. And, and I’ll I’ll typically talk about the new tax law and winners and losers under that, and what do they think about that? And if they could change the tax law, you know, had one day to change the tax law, what would they do, we can take them up to the edge without making it, you know, too political.

Dave Cain 7:33
And that’s by by design, because you never know your listeners where where their platform is. So we steer clear of that. Some of the things that really work for us are when you talk about topics that are Hey, we’re CPA firm, but you know, we had one where we talked about opioid addiction, and that was a very well received was a very tough one very, very challenging one.

Dave Cain 8:05
A fun one is when we talk about millennials versus baby boomers always, always always fun.

Brett Johnson 8:17
And that can be politically charged as well!

Dave Cain 8:19
It is politically charged, you could get some folks going on that. HR, human resource, always very, very popular. Some of the real technical deep dive stuff is ok, but not as not as great as some of the non technical. Certainly the recent change in the sales tax rules, some of those with the South Dakota vs. Wayfair, that’s that we’ve had a lot of broadcast on that. And that’s been very, very, very popular also. So we try to change your topics and we study. And our marketing team does just phenomenal job of getting me prepared. Here’s the the notes, the cheat sheets, our guests come in, and we we try to have fun.

Brett Johnson 9:08
How did the process begin? I know this would before your time. But how did it begin to talk about having a podcast for a CPA firm? That really isn’t usually the business category, you think about having a podcast.

Dave Cain 9:26
Well, you know, I can tell you how it started in in I was a bit on the ground floor is there were three of us, Mark Van Benschoten, a fellow partner mine, myself and Brad Circone, we’re just brainstorming, and we were off site having a libation if you will. And it came up that we should do a podcast or start thinking about a podcast. And we started challenging that. And so do you know what, that that’s maybe an avenue to go, because it may help us with our overall theme of what our culture is, and what we want it to be and what we wanted to, you know, to project it to be.

Dave Cain 10:12
Plus showing off the incredible talent that we have around the firm. So we started thinking about that, and how would that mesh with our overall strategy and our strategic plan. And what we what we found is that boy, it meshes pretty nicely.

Dave Cain 10:32
But I’ll tell you, it was a hard sell. You know, we went to our marketing team, and they said, You guys just how long were you at happy hour, we’re going to do a podcast? And and we said, Sure. And we explained it, and they got on board. And then we went to firm leadership. And they said, “You guys are going to do what? You’re going to spend what? What’s our rate of return on this? What’s going on?” Must have did a pretty good job of selling it. And, and we sold it, and off we go. And we’ve had leadership on we’ve had our marketing team on and they enjoy it, and we have fun with it. And that’s, that’s one thing.

Dave Cain 11:15
But I would say going back is we try to tie it into what our culture was in what our strategic plan would be in in with that we wanted to, like I mentioned earlier, we wanted to highlight the incredible talent we had around the firm. You know, we’re a firm that has specialists and we wanted those guys to, and gals to, you know, just come on in. And that would be part of their personal branding. And so we use that to to our advantage. And also tied it into the content marketing that our marketing team was doing at the same time. So it’s it’s all tried to tied together. And that’s what I think would make it work versus if we just went and said, “Hey, we’re having a podcast, we’re just gonna have fun and see what happens.” We we probably wouldn’t have lasted this long, but tying it together to our strategic plan and the mission and all that and never lose sight of that. That really helps solidify where we want to go with it.

Brett Johnson 12:21
How long from first discussion to first episode published did it take?

Dave Cain 12:25
I would say, I’m just going to guess on that. But just kind of the time frame probably six months. So it didn’t take long. And I was actually our first guest, unofficial guest. I was not the first host. And so we experiment a little bit and said, Well, that sounds pretty good. Second one, it sounded pretty good. Third one, not so good. Fourth one, not so good.

Dave Cain 12:56
And, and so, you know, first of all, we were batting 50%. And then it started getting a lot better, just as everybody got kind of comfortable with, with what it is. But I would say our message we try to keep it consistent. Meaning we’re gonna we’re going to release every week. And I think we release and maybe Monday evening, Tuesday morning, somewhere in there. I don’t know what what the total schedule is. And so we have one being released every week, different topic. And we haven’t run out of topics you think you you run out of topics to talk about. But in accounting, the tax, the consulting, healthcare, you never run out.

Dave Cain 13:42
And then we also invite our clients in and do a webcast with them to help them maybe as as part of their marketing. But again, we’ll talk to them does that fit with what what you guys want to do? And a lot of times it it does. Or they come in, they have a cause they want to talk about and and we build and try to build in the, you know, the message in there

Brett Johnson 14:09
You are in deep with scheduling, obviously, what is the process? How are you doing this? I mean, and technically that have just a Google Calendar set up? How are you nailing these interviews that they know exactly when they need to be there, what’s being covered? This is a weekly interview podcast. It’s a lot of machinations going on in the background to make it work, especially when you’re batch recording four or five at a time.

Dave Cain 14:38
Right. Right. You know, hats off to to our, our marketing team at Rea & Associates. They do i’m not involved with the scheduling, thank goodness. I, I I’m I’m being scheduled just like everyone else. But let’s say, Brett, that we wanted to schedule you is you would get you get a phone call from Abby from our marketing team, see if you were interested. And then tell you a little bit about the podcast and the points that you want to, you know, emphasize, what do you want to talk about, not what we want to talk about. And then those are shared. And then you get a Google invite on your calendar and I get one and boom, it goes on. And and our team knows that it’s you know, every other, you know, every month every second Thursday, and you can’t cancel because when you’re scheduled that tight and you have one release a week, if you cancel we we’ve got a hole in the schedule.

Dave Cain 15:41
So we always try to stay one ahead. And so some some weeks, we’ll do five instead of four. But that is a challenge is someone scheduled. So you got to have something in your back pocket that maybe there’s a staff member that you can call in and and just get them off guard. But you got to be ready for those things because it is a little bit disheartening when someone is scheduled. Of course, we’re paying for production time. So you know, we’re going to produce I don’t know, I don’t think we turn in, you know, a bill for for that. That’s kind of the scheduling is a challenge. We don’t do telephone interviews.

Brett Johnson 16:20
I was going to ask about that in regards to, you know, logistics because you have to travel to your office. But obviously, if you’re getting the reverse that people want to be on your podcast, they have no issue of traveling. I still think that businesses need to get over that. Don’t worry about it. Unless, again, it’s something from California. Yeah, or something. And, you know, again, your, your focus is different.

Dave Cain 16:43
We would do it if if the topic was right. And the and the person the guest was was was awesome. We would do that. We just found better success doing it in person.

Brett Johnson 16:59
I think it’s difficult to do an interview that’s not face to face. It’s hard as right. There’s an art form to that, especially with video. Even though you think that it will bridge the gap, it doesn’t do it.

Dave Cain 17:13
There’s something missing we’ve, we’ve experiment is just something missing with it. It’s okay. But there is something missing, you know, the stuff going around, you know, the, the outside everything. And of course, you know, we use our, our, our team and some of them are, you know, extroverts. Some are introverts and some love doing it. Some are, like, scared out of this world. And so we try to loosen them up a little bit. When they get in there. Once they get loose, and they they go.

Brett Johnson 17:50
The biggest compliment, you can probably have to say, walk out going, Wow, that was fast. That was easy.

Dave Cain 17:55
That’s what they said. It was 20 minutes, you know.

Brett Johnson 17:58
And that’s the best comment an interviewer can have.

Dave Cain 18:01
We’ve tried to keep it 20 to 25 minutes depend on the topic. And then we try to break it on to but somebody comes in, it’s really uncomfortable. We, we, we kind of know that going in. We bring a little portable bar into the, you know, into the room. And hey, you want to you know, you want to have a beer while you’re doing this. And some yes, some no. But after they’re done, they’re drinking the beer they want to stay around for the next podcast. You can’t make them leave. “Get out of here.” You know, it’s time go.

Brett Johnson 18:35
But I have a beer!

Dave Cain 18:38
So you know, we we do it in in a fun way to try to try to get it going and trying to keep the topics fresh. Again, that we by the time we record and release there might be three weeks to a month, so we pay close attention to what the calendar is. Like right around the election right around the time the tax law changed, we were ready to go it right after they released it. Now our our our information wasn’t the freshest because we had been studying and we didn’t know the final results we had to go back and and work through that. But you know, we tried to stay ahead of that keep it topical.

Brett Johnson 19:28
How is the the podcast been coexisting with the blogs that you do, or newsletters?

Dave Cain 19:34
What we do is we try to have those interact. In other words, if if you were to go on to our web website, and you would look at your bio, for example, in your bio would be any blogs that you’ve written any podcasts that you have done, so they’re tied together, if you would receive an email communication or email newsletter or blog from us, there may be a short blurb of what this week’s podcast is all about. So we try to make sure that those interact and and that’s been that’s been very successful for us. And I would say our marketing team has done a great job of doing that.

Brett Johnson 20:26
There are some nuances to those touch points without being too much in your face. But reminding the recipient that the podcast exists, that a new episodes coming up that this might be one you want to listen to.

Dave Cain 20:38
Sure. We will push it out to our clients. Our marketing team will say, Well, hey, Dave, why don’t you send this podcast out to all your manufacturing clients or all your professional clients? There was one that we did a podcast that we did by our the head of our tax team Chris Axene, and he dissected the deduction for meals and entertainment, and the tax impact and the tax changes. And it was it was really good. And so what we did is we sent that out to a lot of our clients and said, here’s what you have to do to deduct those type of expenses. So and that one was kind of kind of charged up so we we had fun with that one.

Brett Johnson 21:29
Are you using the podcast then to focus on new clients, sending them your expertise in an audio format that “we know how to do this.”

Dave Cain 21:42
It’s part of the process. Yes, I would say we use it for that. Not primarily.

Brett Johnson 21:50
It’s the tool at your disposal

Dave Cain 21:52
It’s a tool at the disposal. You know, if we were let’s say we were in a proposal for a manufacturer we may we may send them a couple podcasts on manufacturing. Or invite them in for a podcast to present their business or present a topic. For example manufacturer we may we may call you in and so in in call you it’s not the right, but invite you to come over have a good time talk to us maybe about tariffs. You know, we’ve heard a lot in in in in the news about tariffs especially with the auto industry now. And and and in the course of our discussion of tariffs we’ll talk about your business as a manufacturer. So so you may be invited to come in and talk about a a very sensitive issue to you or one that has passion but we’ll try to tie it back to your business.

Brett Johnson 22:55
You’ve made mention, and I’m glad you have, made mention of your schedule of how demanding it is, but rewarding. How did you decide to do a weekly schedule, or continue to do a weekly publishing schedule?

Dave Cain 23:10
Well, first of all, it became a challenge to get people’s schedules coordinated and and you being in the business, can appreciate that. And so we decided we were going to stick to it and stay with one day a month. And that was it. The marketing team knew it was would that was going to be it, our production team knew that was going to be it, I knew it was going to be it. I tried to sneak out a couple times playing golf or vacation, they wouldn’t they wouldn’t let me. I had forgotten that it was that day. But they send those calendar invites out. It’s on my calendar for the next year. And I would say scheduling would be one of the challenges that’s way up there, you better have a game plan of how you’re going to do that. Because if not, you get you get stuck a little bit. And and so that’s one.

Dave Cain 24:04
The second, we we talked about earlier is tied into what you’re doing, you know, around the, you know, the company or the firm as far as your blogs or or your newsletters or your marketing. I don’t know that we would have been successful if we wouldn’t have done that.

Brett Johnson 24:22
Right. Yeah. So with the guests coming in? Are you offering any collateral, I guess you could say, or any anything to help them share those episodes as well, to their people?

Dave Cain 24:35
They can use that at their, you know, well, however they want to use it will ship it out to them. And, and if they want to edited it a little bit different way or cut up. We can we can do that. But we do have a little bit of limitations. Because you got to be a little bit careful with that. But yeah, if if, let’s say your business came in, and you said hey, can I get a copy of this podcast? Can I put it on my website? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Dave Cain 25:05
Now what we we do do we also while we’re doing it, do a YouTube release, that’s a lot tougher. And I some days I don’t even know they’re doing the YouTube channel. Oh, boy, I wish I wish we wouldn’t have done that. But it gives us a chance to, you know, wear ugly Christmas sweaters and dress up for Halloween. And, and have some, you know, I guess some visuals that may make some sense.

Brett Johnson 25:36
Now, the artwork for your podcast is great. I mean, who’s putting that together, that the visual presence that you have is, is top notch.

Dave Cain 25:48
Thank you.

Brett Johnson 25:49
Who’s putting together for you?

Dave Cain 25:50
Our marketing team is involved in that. And they spent a lot of time doing that. I mean, they, I spent enough time with that group to know just how hard they work to get it, they get it right. And they have won awards, especially when we first started producing, they won awards, after awards in our industry in the CPA industry for the podcast, because we were one of the first to, to do it on a consistent basis. Now there’s podcasts that are on training, more of a training issue. But these are just general conversations with, you know, “Main Street” type businesses, we love those kind of stories. So we try to mix it up.

Brett Johnson 26:43
I’m going to get into the nitty gritty here that the businesses need to address this when they walk into looking at a podcast, it’s not the same as putting it together a video that, you know, you can slap it up to YouTube, that’s universal. That’s kind of where you have to go. There are a lot of hosting platforms, lots of technical pieces to this, that yes, can be overwhelming and may stop you from doing it. But at the same time can be navigated through. Lots of podcasting platform hosts, do you remember why you chose Libsyn versus other platforms out there?

Dave Cain 27:16
Uh, I do not. But I did a little investigation because I saw your your question I knew you would kind of ask that. I think it was some of the diversity that was offered. In the different platforms and again, I I don’t get too involved with that. Thank goodness. But our team the feedback I get is it is is good. And so I think that’s the right place to be.

Brett Johnson 27:42
And I think all platforms have their pros and cons. And my question that is not designed to promote one over the other. But I think there are choices that need to be made when you consider because some will do better than others, for your situation. And there’s not a bad thing decision necessarily, you can always move from one to another one. That’s that’s not a big thing.

Dave Cain 28:04
And we’ve I think we have moved to maybe a couple times until we got it right. But researched a few things and, and that’s one of those things it happens behind the scenes that has the host of the podcast. I never I never see but I hear them talking about that our marketing team all the time. It’s like, like they listen to me talking in tax code. They’re talking in marketing code. And so we go back and forth with that.

Brett Johnson 28:32
And you mentioned earlier, you have a gentleman coming in, Brad coming in setting up the equipment doing all the equipment work. What’s your setup? I know, we can take a look at video as well. But in the office space, how are you putting this all together?

Dave Cain 28:46
What we, what we what we do is, is we can be versatile, we can be on the move. And so what we do is we set up a conference room use a small conference room in our office, it’s not a studio, it’s a small conference room, and it works. It’s not the greatest. Of course, we, we’d love to build a studio to do all this. But, but that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to the, to the bottom line or some other things we have to do. And it works.

Dave Cain 29:19
And the equipment is is top notch similar to your setup here. And it has to be or it doesn’t work. Occasionally it doesn’t work and we got to go chase somebody down.

Brett Johnson 29:33
Always the “ghost in the machine.”

Dave Cain 29:34
But you know, Brad our producer, he’s an old musician, old “rock and roller.” So he understands, you know, the, the microphone. Every now and then we’d like to kind of rip it out and and you know, do something different with it or or dress it up a little bit but the equipment is critical. I mean, I don’t know that I had a podcast we went where we’re doing go we’re didn’t go well. So I kind of take it for granted about the equipment. But you know, this is not like bringing in your your microphone from from home. It won’t sound the same.

Brett Johnson 30:13
Businesses that are taking a look at this as well. And maybe thinking hey, we do have office space that’s not used very often or could be situated as such. What would you suggest as a room to dedicate to one. Size-wise, as well as maybe off the beaten path? Any suggestions?

Dave Cain 30:31
Yeah, I would say doesn’t have to be very large You know, it has to be comfortable I think. Just like here in your studio very very comfortable that way your your audience is comfortable. I think maybe out of the way and soundproof is is important maybe out of the way more than soundproof because out of the way is soundproof

Brett Johnson 30:52
By default.

Dave Cain 30:53
By default, you know, every now and then we’ll hear the landscape guys cranking up their mower, or the siren going by, or, you know, alarms going off, things like that, or shutting the door. Sometimes we leave it in there. It’s just kind of natural, but it is distracting when you’re trying to conduct an interview. So I would think out of the way and we were careful not to use chairs that squeak by design.

Dave Cain 31:25
So the equipment is critical. And it has to be professionally done. I would say has to be that would be a you know, again, as as the host and not behind the scenes. It’s way easier when somebody comes in and says, Hey, here it is. Here’s your timer go. And it’s going. Of course, I can always tell when we make a mistake because they’re all kind of typing and doing some editing there.

Brett Johnson 31:52
I’ll do the same. They’ll mark down the time on the recorder. Oh, yeah. Yeah, they Yeah, that’s a nice feature reference. And hopefully it’s not distracting to someone. I’m talking. Oh, yeah. I’m just making notes.

Dave Cain 32:00
And we have bloopers. You know, we have, we have bloopers, and bloopers are fun. And we track bloopers. You know, they’re, they’re things that have sometimes I I just one time I just lost my voice couldn’t talk. You know, I when you get that cough, you just can’t say the next word. And I had to leave the room. And I just I just gave the speaker kind of the motion to keep on talking. And then and she just kept on talking. And, and she you know, somebody else came over, jumped in the seat. And she just kept talking. And that was I get I get all squared away. And that’s been got back in there. But yeah, we we we certainly have bloopers

Brett Johnson 32:41
And Brad is taking care of the editing and mixing them as well.

Dave Cain 32:44
Yes. And, and we sometimes will kid and make mistakes on purpose. But we try not to. Because editing as you know, as you know, makes your job a little bit a little bit tougher.

Brett Johnson 32:58
Editing is fun. But you don’t want to have to do it. It’s always nice to do a one and done. You add the music and it’s done. It’s just a satisfying.

Dave Cain 33:06
You know, you mispronounce words in you, don’t you? But okay. You know, as long as it’s not egregious. It’s, it’s okay. We like to have I know, there’s some some things we can’t do as far as music. But man, I’d like to take some really good rock tunes or classic tunes and put those in, but, you know, we got to make up around music now. But, you know, I guess I guess being we don’t want to pay the pay the fees.

Brett Johnson 33:41
Not worth it. You think you can’t find the money for studio space? You won’t find it for the music!

Dave Cain 33:46
Yeah. And so we totally as we totally respect that and follow that.

Brett Johnson 33:51
So you tried out for this position? Why did you want to host a podcast? Even though you were at the very beginning stages? I understand. So you had that, you knew where it was going, but that didn’t necessarily mean you wanted to host it?

Dave Cain 34:05
It didn’t. But I had my eye on when it came up. And, and I was semi recruited. Because they wanted a host that had business experience in multiple areas, which, which I fit that bill. They wanted somebody that maybe wasn’t afraid to get in front of the mic. And, and in speak and work at it. And, and, and I was willing to do all of that. But again, the host and you’ve done enough hosting. You know, it’s not the easiest thing. For some it comes natural. Sometimes your guest just isn’t knocking it out of the park. If you get a good guest. It’s great. When you’re your guest is is is giving you one word answers. It’s going to be a long 20 minutes.

Brett Johnson 34:54
Then your interview skills come into play. Why am I asking them Yes or No questions? Stop that.

Dave Cain 34:59
That’s right.

Brett Johnson 35:00
Because they’re taking advantage of it.

Dave Cain 35:01
Yes. And they take away I have this I have a little cheat sheet, you know, in front of me. And it’s a it’s a, it’s a piece of colored construction paper. And, and it reminds me ask, you know, what, why, how to, to get those answers. And then they’ll they’ll take it away.

Dave Cain 35:19
And we also try to this is kind of interesting, we try to do it without notes. Sometimes I’ll have, I’ll have some notes that I have to, because they’re points that I don’t want to forget. But as far as the guest, we, we try to encourage them not to bring notes.

Dave Cain 35:39
And because they’ve already given us their their talking points. But the notes are distraction, because sometimes somebody is looking at the notes. We want it to be just conversation like we’re, you know, sitting at a desk or office. As long as you can get, you know, the micro microphones kind of out of your mind that they’re just, they’re just there you have a conversation it goes goes pretty easily

Brett Johnson 36:03
Future plans for the podcast?

Dave Cain 36:05
We are going change it, we’re going to change it.

Brett Johnson 36:09
I would say I think that’s good. Because it does bring freshness for the listeners as long as it’s not a tremendous amount of change. But for the host, how many times can you do the other than, of course, all the interviews are fresh. Sure, of course. But it is kind of fun. To change it up a little bit,

Dave Cain 36:25
We want to change it up. We want to change it up, and we’re looking at time of the podcast. Now we try to stick to 20 minutes, maybe 23 minutes. Some will go a half hour only if the guest is you know, just just hitting on all cylinders. And we can’t get out of the conversation. We think that’s maybe a little long for some of the topics and so we may take a topic and divided into two podcasts and instead of maybe 30 minutes we we divided into do two separate recording sessions, and can dig into it a little bit a little bit deeper.

Dave Cain 37:05
We try also to keep the topic very narrow. If you and I are talking about the new tax law that’s a pretty in depth conversation. We won’t cover anything. But hey if we want to talk about this deduction or that we can have a good a good conversation and in a period of time. But change you’re going to have to change it and we will and we’re looking at some some ways to do that.

Brett Johnson 37:32
You think your podcast is a template, a good template, for CPA firms?

Dave Cain 37:38
I believe it is. I think they’re to me the equation if you will is our marketing team is phenomenal. And they’re the ones that make it happen. I mean they they’re directing traffic and they’re teaching us how to tie everything together with the content that that they have. And so even though we look at the topics we try to keep it into the you know our content marketing scheme in our strategic plan. And we got to stay focused on that because when we you know take a detour on that it’s it it doesn’t work as well. So that’s you know, that’s very very critical for I think a podcast is somebody outside of the host behind the guys behind the scenes the gals behind the scenes make it they’re the ones that that make it happen.

Dave Cain 38:41
They make my job pretty easy some days. Some days they make it really hard.

Brett Johnson 38:46
Just to make Dave’s day!

Dave Cain 38:48
Yeah when they write the the intros and we change that. We we try not to read stuff but you gotta read things. Reading is way more difficult for certain for me but it’s just I gotta I gotta practice it but it’s just you can tell when somebody is reading and we try to stay away from that. We got to do a few things but freelancing is is better because that’s what when you and I have a conversation we’re freelancing in a conversation we’re not looking at notes or phone or laptop you know things like that.

Brett Johnson 39:24
What advice would you give any business of any category if they’re interested in starting a podcast, how do they begin?

Dave Cain 39:33
I would recommend a couple things. One is I think you have to be very consistent with your processes, in your messages. It’s not one of these things you can produce a podcast for three months, take a break and then get back after it. I think you have to give it a fair amount of time to take its course, see where it goes.

Dave Cain 40:00
For me again, this is as a CPA, and as an as a as an owner in the firm, I need a rate of return, so I need some kind of feel good that it’s working. Whether it’s my buddies call me or I go to their house and they got the podcast playing on the on the loudspeaker you know or or something like that. I get an email jag about it that way I know it’s working or competitor talks about it. But you have to do that. So I would say consistency and be prepared that in the beginning it’s probably not going to go the way you want to go.

Dave Cain 40:42
We also talked about scheduling. Stay way ahead of the schedule and be prepared that that schedule may may change. those are the things that have helped us out tremendously.

Brett Johnson 40:57
What key people should be involved?

Dave Cain 41:00
Certainly the marketing team, they’re number one. I’m not a marketing person never have been and they’ve helped me kind of design how we want to do that so because they can control the strategy for the content. So definitely your your marketing team.

Dave Cain 41:17
And then as far as producers, everyone needs it professionally produced. I’m convinced. I don’t know how we could do it alone. We have microphones, we have the ability to do it, but we decided we don’t want to do it, it’s not the same. We need that professional taking a look at how we’re doing it in in in in tying it together and they and they can bring the equipment. I mean our equipment is is for you know having a listening to a a webcast, not producing a podcast

Brett Johnson 41:59
unsuitable on Rea Radio. Where can our listeners find the podcast?

Dave Cain 42:03
They can find it almost anywhere that podcasts are available. I hear our team say, you know, they listened to an iHeart Radio, they listened to an iTunes, they can go on to our website at ReaCPA.com find it there. If if we have an email if we’ve emailed you there may be a link in there to that webcast. So that are the places that that can be found. It can be found pretty easily if you’re into to podcasting. And what we found the podcast communities alive and well. They love it. They just they love it. Same listeners they know they’ll call us back and say “Oh boy, you know you blew that one.” or you tackle that issue or or or you didn’t go you know you didn’t go far enough with the political debate so you know there’s some things there.

Brett Johnson 42:58
And that and that’s a bit “Thank you.” You’re right, we didn’t.

Dave Cain 43:02
We didn’t. Did you want us to? So we get to feel for that right and you know, mistakes are going to happen and sometimes mistakes are are fun to work with. You know and and you get your your you know, you get you get good people involved with it. They know what they’re doing. And and it’s been I would say it’s been a lot of fun as the host but it is a lot of work. At the end of the day when I’m done. So if we did five podcasts I’m ready. I’m ready for nap.

Brett Johnson 43:38
I can believe that.

Dave Cain 43:39
I’m ready for a nap. But it is a lot of fun because you get to talk about stuff business stuff and some stuff that’s non business stuff and try to mesh together and that’s what made it work for us because that’s the culture of our firm.

Brett Johnson 43:59
Thanks for being guest, I really appreciate it.

Dave Cain 44:01
It was a lot of fun.

 

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios, located in the Brewery District in downtown Columbus, OH!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these worlds together with Podcasting.

You can email Brett at podcasts@circle270media.com to talk more about your new or established business podcast. www.circle270media.com

BBB SparkCast

Brett Johnson
Before we get into the business piece of this podcast, I think it’s nice to counter it with nonprofit. So tell me about your, your favorite nonprofit that you give talent, time, and treasure to.

Jessica Kapcar
And so my favorite, I have to say, and I think it’s probably, you know, a big one for a lot of people. But I have a very soft place in my heart for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. And I actually in a previous lifetime, worked for Nationwide Children’s Hospital doing fundraising. So have a lot of experience kind of just knowing on the back end and what it takes to give the care to the children that they need, and went through a personal situation where my child was being treated there.

Brett Johnson
So whose children have not been through there? Right?

Jessica Kapcar
I don’t know if anybody.

Jessica Kapcar
I can remember my parents like, oh, we’re taking a trip to Children’s. And it’s just so I’m so thankful that we have it and it’s so close to you know, it’s right now backyard and it’s just a it’s a great resource. I think they do a lot of really wonderful things there. They’re starting on sorts of new initiatives. So that is the kind of one that really sticks out for me in terms of my personal

Brett Johnson
So what volunteer opportunities there that you take advantage or, you know, people that do?

Jessica Kapcar
Sure, yeah, so I think there’s a variety of opportunities to volunteer, it just kind of depends on what level. I think one of the things that my sister and my parents and my whole family has kind of said, like, Oh, we just love to go down and like, rock the babies or, you know, help with that. So, there are opportunities to do that.

Jessica Kapcar
But there are also opportunities kind of right in your neighborhood to take advantage of supporting the hospital. We have had experience and I say, we, when I was working there, you know, of just kids saying, hey, instead of bringing me a gift for my birthday, I want you to buy a gift for a kid at the hospital or I want to, you know, take up a collection at, you know, school and donate the money to the hospital or, you know, so things like that. Anything that’s really grassroots. Like lemonade stands. You’d be surprised how far that goes.

Jessica Kapcar
One of the things that I think is, you know, a really great resource for the hospital as well as the Ronald McDonald House. It’s right across the street. It’s one of the largest in the country. At one point, it was the largest, but that I think, I just heard that somebody built another one that’s a little bit bigger. Corporations, companies, individuals, you can volunteer there. I know that some companies have taken the time to help clean the Ronald McDonald House, provide some supplies for the Ronald McDonald House. Food, anything like that.

Jessica Kapcar
So, I would just say that reaching out. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation is a great resource for figuring out where they kind of need time, talents or treasures. That’s the fundraising arm of the hospital. So they’re a great resource to kind of say, Hey, you know, I’m looking to help. Where can I put my time where can I put my time to use so good?

Brett Johnson
Yeah, I’ll put some links in the, in the podcast show notes.

Brett Johnson
Well, let’s talk about your professional background, where you were before the BBB of Central Ohio, and what you’re doing now, with the BBB as well.

Jessica Kapcar
Absolutely. So as I mentioned, my first, as I call it, big girl job out of college, I worked for Children’s Hospital in Columbus. And I worked for the Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the hospital. So I was kind of a go between with the volunteers and the community and the hospital. So I was able to just get out and meet all sorts of fabulous people.

Jessica Kapcar
Part of what I did was, I worked on our team that was involved with the Children’s Miracle Network charities and the companies across the state who are raising money. So I got to go out to the Speedway locations and say, you know, thank you so much for collecting money, and selling the little balloons and putting them on the windows, that sort of thing.

Jessica Kapcar
I was also able to experience a fundraising effort through The Ohio State University, and they do a dance marathon called Buckeye-Thon, so I was kind of the point person for the hospitals can say to these students who were amazing. Here are some patient families that would be willing to come to the event that just really kind of was a great way to tie our mission and with what they were trying to do. So I worked there for about three years,

Jessica Kapcar
And almost nine years ago, started with the BBB of Central Ohio. My role when I first started is vastly different than what it is now, but really not so different at all. I was originally brought in to fill a role that they hadn’t really solidified yet. So they knew that they wanted someone to come on. At that time, our vice president of marketing and PR was doing everything by herself, so that they knew that she needed a lot of help. So I kind of came in to help fill that role with her. And then they also wanted someone who could be a touch point for our accredited businesses. So someone who they could call and say, I don’t know where my logo is, I’m looking for this, I want to put this on my website. Tell me about the benefits that go along with my accreditation. So I also filled that role.

Jessica Kapcar
My role has morphed and changed. Our team has grown a lot over the past almost nine years. So now I’m kind of in a similar role. But my title is technically Communications Manager. So we cover a little bit of everything for our BBB. We do all of our social media, we do all our website maintenance, we put all the content for BBB in our 21 County service area in Central Ohio, we do our blog, we do our podcast, we do all of the video creation that our BBB team does. So it’s a little bit of everything, but it’s it’s all good stuff. And it’s just grown and changed.

Brett Johnson
The last nine years have been a huge evolution for the BBB. That leads into your podcast,

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah. I think when I started, I don’t even there may have been one past podcast that I knew about. And it was something that was so far out of the realm of relating to what we were doing. And now it’s almost a no-brainer.  It’s very, it seems natural for us to have a podcast and to have gone down that avenue. But if you were to ask us two or three years ago, if that were the case was going to be the case we would have left and said, No way. It would have seemed so far out out of reach.

Brett Johnson
So, how did that process begin? That first discussion of, okay, you know, there’s podcasts? We should. Why should we think about that?

Jessica Kapcar
Part of what I think is interesting for the BBB is taking our message and our mission and translating that across the board for businesses and consumers. So we really kind of are trying to figure out is, is it a space that we can occupy and do it well, and be successful in giving the information that we feel is beneficial to the audience that we’re looking for.

Jessica Kapcar
One of the things that really kind of helped solidify the fact that we thought we had a message and a niche to get in was the creation of our Spark Awards, which is really targeting our entrepreneurial businesses. So businesses that were kind of, in the space of, maybe they were on the newer end of the spectrum hadn’t been in business for very long, but just had a solid foundation and we’re committed to, you know, this tenants of character, culture and community, those are the three kind of criteria that we kind of look at.

Jessica Kapcar
So, we thought what a great resource for us to provide giving those entrepreneurs kind of some of that, okay, well, here’s a company has been doing it for 15 years, here’s how they did it, when they started off, here are some of the resources that they utilize, here’s a nonprofit that doesn’t have a huge budget to work with, but here’s what they’re doing. And you can actually make it a very successful thing, whatever that topic or subject might be we just really thought that we could help kind of connect businesses who have been doing it for a long time, and doing it well to somebody who wants to do something or wants to do it well, but doesn’t quite have the roadmap to get there yet.

Brett Johnson
So who was all involved in that initial discussion?

Jessica Kapcar
When I first started, it was just myself and one other person, our VP of Marketing PR. And over the course of the past four years, we have added to our team. We had two people are contacting communication communications coordinator, who really is kind of the role that was instrumental in helping push that push our podcast forward. And then we also added our Director of Visual Communications. So she was the person who was able to say, Okay, here’s the technology that we need. I have the, I have the ability to edit the audio, because I knew where I wanted it to go. I knew that we wanted it to happen and be successful.

Jessica Kapcar
But, it’s all about kind of pulling together the people or the resources to actually be able to do it, I knew I did not have the talent to edit audio. So once she came on board, and then like I said, the person who was in the role of our content coordinator, Jordan, she really kind of just took it to the next level. And she was able to say, you know, here’s a resource for where we can house it.

Jessica Kapcar
You were a great resource to us,

Brett Johnson
Thank you.

Jessica Kapcar
Just kind of answering any question, because I feel like at first we were like, okay, Podcast, where do we start, right? So you were just such a great resource to say here are the four or five things to to look at, to decide on what you want to do with them how you want to  how’s it here, some resources to do that. So, yeah, it really kind of, I would say, in the last two years, we were able to take off with it, because we, we did kind of say, Okay, now we’ve got the team in place, we’ve got the resources in place, let’s, let’s get let’s get going on that.

Brett Johnson
Were you discussing any success factors at the very beginning about measurement marks in time?

Jessica Kapcar
Yes, I don’t know that we really kind of had a good handle on what measurements we wanted to talk about? I think we knew that we needed to have a solid base of content. And if that was there, that I feel like we even if, again, we kind of had a roadmap that was a little less defined than some,

Brett Johnson
But you had a roadmap.

Jessica Kapcar
We did, we had a roadmap. It changed it morphed, which I think has to happen with any plan for any, you know, project or new endeavor,

Jessica Kapcar
But we kind of just said let’s give it six a six months goal and a year goal and see, let’s make it very realistic for ourselves and see how we do.

Jessica Kapcar
I think that because we were able to utilize some of the resources and talents on our team and we’re able to do a little bit more of it internally, we didn’t feel the pressure to set some of the loftier goals maybe for, you know, the ROI right out of the gate. So maybe we had a little bit of an advantage to say, well, let’s take our time, see how it goes work through some of it. We also, like I said, we also knew that we had some great talent and content that we are going to be able to utilize.

Jessica Kapcar
Our podcast is made up of external participants. So we utilize our accredited businesses, we utilize our partners, we utilize our nonprofits, and we know that they have the expertise, the knowledge, the content, that is going to be such a great resource for the people who are listening to it that we weren’t at all concerned about that aspect of it as well.

Brett Johnson
So that that content piece, the interview style, is really what drew you into it because of the opportunity to talk to somebody.

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah, and we knew we wanted to make it very casual, conversational. We wanted to make sure that we made it friendly and approachable. And so we knew that, having somebody come in, and being able to have that conversation with them utilizing their expertise was going to be just a great way to kind of go to get things started. And it’s worked well for us.

Brett Johnson
So how long do you think it took from the very first discussion to the first public publishing date?

Jessica Kapcar
Oh, I’d say every bit of two years. Once we kind of figured out here’s where the responsibility of the podcast is going to lie. Here’s how to get all of the logistics setup. And then we did again, because we could take our time with it, we did populate a little bit more of the content. So we knew we could utilize our Spark Award companies. We knew utilize our Torch Award companies. So we’ve built out I’d say, probably a solid six months of content prior to that first podcast interview. Actually, the first one technically, was with Kip Morris, who’s our president and CEO. And that was just the way for us to kick it off and kind of have him introduce it. So I’d say it was probably ever been to two years before we kind of really, we’re recording the podcast itself

Brett Johnson
With an interview style that has its ups and downs, especially the scheduling piece of it. So talk about your interviewing scheduling, your strategy, that how, in the process of how you go about doing it.

Jessica Kapcar
So for the I was, like I said, we kind of had that content generally built out for the first six months. And what we did was, we really just knew that we were going to pick these the Spark Award companies, there were three recipient companies that we had, that we wanted to utilize right away. So when they found out they were the Spark Award recipient, we said, oh, by the way we’re going to be contacting you for that. So be ready. Yeah, we need to get you in the in the door. So we kind of gave them a heads up so that was a little bit easier to kind of draw them back in on

Jessica Kapcar
We have had our Torch Awards have been going on for this will be that we just had our 24th Torch Award event. So we had a pretty big pool of companies to choose from for that.

Jessica Kapcar
But what we did was we just use, we utilize the three recipient companies that we had honored that the year prior. Again, kind of give them a heads up, like, Hey, we’re probably gonna be tapping you for for an interview. So stay tuned.

Jessica Kapcar
The way we did it, in terms of the interview conversation, we picked a very specific topic, and when we felt that the company could speak very comfortably to. And we kind of scripted out some questions ahead of time, just to kind of give them a roadmap of, hey, here’s what we think we want to go, here’s the topic that we think we want to talk about. You’re the expert. So you you fill in the blank, if you think there’s another direction we should take or more wish to add in, please, give us your feedback

Brett Johnson
How has that been received?

Jessica Kapcar
Everybody has given us feedback that it was a very easy way to do it. Now, we by no means felt like we needed to stick with it. But we try to keep ours to about a 15 minute conversation. So it helps in terms of making sure that we kind of kept things narrowed, narrowed down a little bit.

Brett Johnson
So do you think that the podcast itself is is helping you showcase the BBB’s expertise?

Jessica Kapcar
I do, I really feel that it’s been a great resource for us.

Jessica Kapcar
Our mission is to educate businesses and consumers about you how to either be a better business or how to find a business who is going to be a trustworthy business or nonprofit, I shouldn’t just say business. You know, the nonprofit side of that as a really big aspect to as well because we do have accredited charities, especially local ones. And it’s been a really great resource for them to say here’s what we do, here’s our mission in the community here’s we can help or how you can  maybe start a nonprofit of your own or so, it’s, I think that it’s been a great way for us to just further our mission by utilizing the experts in whatever topic we’re trying to get out there,

Jessica Kapcar
Because we do have an entrepreneurial sort of focus, I think that that’s been a really great way.

Jessica Kapcar
Columbus is growing so much. And we’ve got Startup Week, we’ve got all of these great young businesses that are coming in, and they’re thirsty for information, and they’re looking for resources to do things the right way. So I think that’s been a really great addition to the BBB mission. We can say here’s how to do it. And here’s how to do it right.

Brett Johnson
And that’s not the first thing you’d really think about it from a BBB is to showcase something like that. You’re breaking new ground

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah. And traditionally it’s always kind of, no, the BBB, you guys handle complaints, right? And we do still do all of that. But we do a lot more as well. So, you know, that’s one of the things that my team has kind of been really focused on, especially in the past, I’d say, five or six years. Just getting that message out, that we’re not just a place to go for complaints we are a resource to utilize on the front end of things for businesses, consumers, nonprofits.

Jessica Kapcar
As a consumer, we always say, check with us first, before you commit to doing business with any company, because you may find that there’s information that you didn’t have prior to looking at our website.

Jessica Kapcar
For businesses, we say, we’re a resource for you to start with that foundation of trust. And that really is what will translate to a consumer that you’re looking for, or a donor that you’re looking to solicit.

Jessica Kapcar
We just actually found out that we are number four behind Facebook, Google and Yelp, and terms of review sites, so we do customer reviews as well. So it’s just kind of one of those things where we’re trying to get that message out there. And I think this has been a huge resource to do that, that the podcast has been instrumental on that.

Brett Johnson
How is the podcast and your blogs coexisting?

Jessica Kapcar
So what we found is, we actually have some really great crossover in terms of content that we could utilize for our blog. Because, again, the blog was one of those things that we were like, We really want to do it, we just need to have someone who has the expertise, some time to get it done.

Brett Johnson
Somebody to feed the machine.

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah, it just so happened that that same person was who was doing the podcast, so it was kind of this perfect marriage. And what our model is, is we have our own BBB content, but we open it up to guest blogs as well. So we reach out to our accredited businesses, our nonprofits, our partners and say, give us your expertise, we’ll get that message out to our audience.

Jessica Kapcar
And there’s been some great tie in with the podcast and blog, there’s been some crossover, we’ve been able to take content that we originally thought might be a podcast and get a blog post from it. And the flip has also been the case as well.

Jessica Kapcar
I think that anytime you can utilize content across all of your channels, it’s a great way to do that.

Brett Johnson
It’s time saver.

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah, for sure. Especially when you have a smaller team than doing it all.

Brett Johnson
So adding content to your website, have you seen any uptick in the site’s performance in regards to search?

Jessica Kapcar
We just actually went through a whole website redesign. And because we are one of about 110 BBB’s across United States, Canada, and Mexico, it’s been an overhaul of combining our website, but also building out our local content a little bit more.

Jessica Kapcar
So we really have seen some great results by embedding our podcasts into our website, pushing people straight there from our social media channels from our blog. Having added a little footer at the bottom of our blog posts about podcast and vice versa on podcast.

Jessica Kapcar
So yeah, we’ve I don’t know that I have the numbers necessarily to back that up. But it climbs every month, and we see more and more listeners. And we’ve kind of compared to podcasts similar to ours. There aren’t a lot of BBB’s who have podcasts. I think I know of one other BBB, a local BBB that has one, and then our Council For Better Business Bureaus has one for businesses and consumers. So it’s a little bit difficult to kind of compare in our industry.

Jessica Kapcar
Yes, so there aren’t many to compare ourselves. Anybody else just yet.

Jessica Kapcar
But I can honestly say that we’ve never said Well, maybe it’s not worth doing this. Because the time given is that we don’t feel like we feel like it’s being rewarded, for sure.

Brett Johnson
Well, staying on that same topic of marketing, what was your publishing schedule strategy? And what is it right now, how you began those talks in regards to, well, how many do we put out per month, per week, every day? Every hour? It can be extremely stupid, you know? And so, what was that discussion like?  How did you firm up what you wanted to do?

Jessica Kapcar
So originally we kind of took a look at the, the time that our team had to dedicate to it. And we wanted to be very realistic and say, Oh, you know, we would, we didn’t want to say, we’re going to do one every other week, because then we were like, oh, if we don’t do it every other week, or we’re going to be disappointed in ourselves. So our goal was to do at least one a month to start.

Jessica Kapcar
We found that we could do one about every three weeks, which is what our standard has really been. We’ve been able to maintain that we’ve been able to get the scheduling where has worked.

Jessica Kapcar
The benefit for ours is that we can kind of back schedule a lot of content. And we did that. We knew that summertime is going to be hard for people to maneuver their schedules with vacations. So we kind of stockpiled a little bit in the spring and had some content.

Jessica Kapcar
The other thing that we really kind of looked at was because we’re utilizing some of our nonprofits is that time of year. So we wanted to be mindful of the holiday season. A lot of people are more interested in looking for local charities and nonprofits that they can support. So we wanted to be able to showcase and highlight some of those, and the time of year that was maybe a little bit more beneficial to them.

Jessica Kapcar
So we just hit a year for our podcast in August. So, last year around Christmas time, we really kind of tried to utilize some of our nonprofit and charity content.

Jessica Kapcar
The other part of it is really just kind of who we can get in the door when. We don’t want anything to get stale, we did utilize some of our Spark Award content right around when we are going to be doing the Spark Awards last year, so it really just kind of depends on the topic, and what’s relevant to your audience. You know, for our audience, it’s pretty, pretty open. So we have a little bit more flexibility in terms of that.

Brett Johnson
Well, tied into that, what is the social media strategy on when you publish? And what do you do to support that?

Jessica Kapcar
At first, we were like, oh, we’ll just Blitz it out everywhere. And then we kind of pulled back a little bit. And really, we’ve taken more of a staggered approach.

Jessica Kapcar
What we do first is when the, the podcast episode is ready, we send it to the person that we recorded with, and we just say, Hey, you know, thank you so much. Here’s the podcast episode, it’s going to be, you know, live this date, we’re going to send it out through social media on this date, please feel free to share it on your channels, which we’ve always gotten good support from, you know, anybody who’s recorded a podcast.

Jessica Kapcar
So some of it is we’ll push it through our channel. And then some of it is, we are a little bit more reactionary. And we’ll share the posts that the the company or organization has done, because, we really want to promote them as well. It’s a partnership at that point in time. So we want to make sure that we’re saying, here’s some great information, but also here’s the actual content, here’s how you can connect with this business or organization.

Jessica Kapcar
So, what we typically do is, I think the first posts will be on Facebook, and then three days later, we’ll kind of shoot something out through LinkedIn, we share it on Twitter, and we share it on we usually try to do something kind of a little bit on our Instagram. For Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn every so often, we put will put some money behind it and boost the post or promote it, minimal. I mean, maybe $10. So nothing, over the top.

Brett Johnson
The social media conversion rate is questionable, unless you have a very good tracking system.

Jessica Kapcar
And an algorithm changes every day. So, who knows, but, but that has seemed to work really well, for us the staggered approach, kind of not pushing it out all at once because people go to different channels, and sites with different frequency. So, that’s been a really effective way for us to get that out there.

Brett Johnson
You have some great artwork, thumbnail artwork, everything.

Jessica Kapcar
Thank you!

Brett Johnson
Who is doing it for you? How did you start that whole process? Because I know again, that’s another piece to this going, Yeah, okay, we have somebody that can record it, we have, we know we’re going to do Oh, we have to have artwork, I have to create this new look, or whether incorporate our logo into it, or create something new. Talk about that process, how you get it looking really good.

Jessica Kapcar
I cannot take any credit for that. That is all Courtney, who is our digital communications manager. She does all of the design work for us. Part of what we kind of have to work through as well is that the BBB is a brand, has an international kind of brand, that we we have to maintain.

Jessica Kapcar
But we want to make sure that we’re creating something new and fresh and clean and fun to engage people. So she has just done a great job kind of taking our brand guidelines and morphing those into something that is brand new.

Brett Johnson
It’s a natural extension. It looks perfect.

Jessica Kapcar
Thank you. Yeah. And she works really closely. She tries to tie it into the topic of the podcast as well. So she is the person who sitting there kind of listening. And we always take some video clips as well. So she’s got a good idea of what the content is. So she does a really great job of kind of translating that into the artwork for the specific episodes. And yeah, she created the logo for us. And she, so she’s, she’s a great resource, and I don’t know that we’d be able to do without her. Yeah, I do know that we probably wouldn’t be able to do it without her.

Brett Johnson
It’s important, because the visual piece of it is, is pretty vital. When you want to direct listeners back to your dot com or your dot org, it has to look nice.

Jessica Kapcar
Absolutely. Yeah. And it has to be, especially for us because BBB is such a, a brand with with longevity. We wanted to make sure that it looks unique, but not so unique that people didn’t realize, Oh, this is BBB, you know, so it’s that it’s that fine line. But yeah, so it’s really helped in our marketing of it, I think to just kind of having that clean, fresh look,

Brett Johnson
Let’s get into some technical stuff. But it’s important, but at the same time, it can be overwhelming, deer in a headlight kind of, wow, what do I do here? So when we talked now, a couple years ago, I mentioned lots of different hosting platform options, but also dug a little bit deeper in regards to Okay, here’s the pros and cons for them. They all are kind of the same, it just comes down to what you choose to do. There are some nuances to some that are better than others. For example, one company may have a better embed player look than others. And that could be something vital for the website. You decided to go with Blubrry. What were some decision processes that helped you decide on Blubrry?

Jessica Kapcar
Yes. So we went with Blubrry. They are actually a local company, and they’re an accredited business. So those were two of the really great touch points for us. But beyond that, we knew that the capabilities that they had for us again, because we were so new at we were kind of, again, as you mentioned, deer in the headlights were like, We don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know we need to do.

Jessica Kapcar
They actually came in, they talked us through it, they explained the platform to us. I felt like they were also a great a great resource, just in terms of like, okay, here are the four things that you need to have to get it up and running. Just to get the lights turned on and everything ready to go.

Jessica Kapcar
So from there, because it is an easy platform, we enjoyed it, we were able to kind of create the way make it look the way we wanted to create what we wanted to. We were able to embed it into our website. So it was just a great choice for us and you know, anytime that we are looking for a partner or a company to do business with, we kind of hope that they’re an accredited business.

Brett Johnson
And that was one reason I suggested them. I think again, this is not a Blubrry commercial, but at the same time every company has its pros and cons.

Jessica Kapcar
Absolutely.

Brett Johnson
And you have to make your own choice. And for you, that made sense.

Jessica Kapcar
It absolutely did.

Brett Johnson
And obviously it’s worked out very well.

Jessica Kapcar
It has. And I’m sure that they’re great resources out there for at any you know, capacity. We knew what our capacity was and this was a great fit for us so it’s yeah it’s worked well.

Brett Johnson
So the equipment you’re using. What is your setup? I know that was kind of a building process. Because one thing couldn’t happen till another thing happened to another thing happened. How do you do your recordings?

Jessica Kapcar
So it was a building process for sure. We finally now have what we call our media room. We redesigned our office two years ago almost three. So with the redesign we were able to have a space completely dedicated to the video and content creation. You know used to be that we’d have to go into the conference room of tables turn off music you know like it was moved lights it was a it was a process. Now we have all everything set up in there

Jessica Kapcar
We have two lavalier microphones that are attached to our point and shoot camera. It’s a little bit more than point and shoot, I guess. And we have someone on staff who kind of just is able to capture all the audio and she edits it in house. I think she uses Final Cut.

Jessica Kapcar
And it’s very straightforward. You don’t really need a lot of equipment, which is the great. I think an easy part of the podcast like I said, you know, we have two lavalier microphones, they plug into the camera, we do take video just again, for posterity sake. But you don’t have to. So it’s a really straightforward process for us.

Jessica Kapcar
And we’ve never had, well I shouldn’t say never. One of the biggest issues that we’ve run into is the memory card fills out. And that does happen. It’s kind of one of those things where we just take pause and refill and go from there.

Brett Johnson
I’ve been a guest on an episode.

Jessica Kapcar
Yes, you have.

Brett Johnson
It’s really a comfortable setting, honestly, because it’s a much different feel. And I was impressed because I’ve always been table, microphone and something physically in front of you. Where, in your situation, you’re sitting on a couple of chairs, lavalier microphone on, nothing in front of you. So it’s almost, you’re at a restaurant feel to it. Almost you go into a coffee shop that it’s really open.

Jessica Kapcar
We’ve got a little bistro table in the middle. Yes, we kind of try again, we wanted to make it very comfortable, casual, conversational. We’ve actually had one person walk out of the almost walk out with the mic on you kind of forget that it’s there were like, Oh, wait, hold on. “Hot mic.” Don’t leave.

Jessica Kapcar
So yeah, that and that was one of the goals that we had. And it might not be the most elaborate setup, but it works for us. And we hope that it’s a comfortable situation for people to come into.

Jessica Kapcar
Because we reach out to people and say, Hey, we want your talent, please come in. There are some times that people are like, Oh, no, I’m not good at that. Like it, you’ll be fine. Will coach you through, it’s going to be okay. So I think maybe, hopefully, that’s contributed to putting some people at ease that may not have been otherwise.

Brett Johnson
With businesses deciding to go with podcasting, I think this can be true of any social media planning, blogging, whatever, there’s that potential of the transition. One person leaving that was key to doing it. Now, you’re walking into that situation. Jordan has been hosting the podcast from the get go, transitioning to you, which actually is an easy transition, because you’ve been a piece of the party all the time. But what were those discussions like, to where to go with this now that she said, “I’ve got to go.”

Jessica Kapcar
So we’re in it. I mean, we are just on the tip of the iceberg. There’s always a little bit of transition in our team. She’s got a new adventure going on, I just kind of came back in after maternity leave. So it’s kind of that Okay, let’s catch up with each other. And where are we? What do I do? So that’s always a process.

Jessica Kapcar
But the really great thing about our team, and the thing that we knew going in was, we’re going to have changes come about. So that’s why we kind of laid out that plan ahead of time, we really made sure that we had a plan in place in terms of, Okay, what did we want the podcast to be? What do we want it to be about? What do we want the topic to be. We kind of honed in on that, and then we built out that content part of it as well. So, here, are the 10 people that we think might be potentials for interviews for this year. Here are the topics that may work for them. Here’s kind of some, maybe some of the conversation starters that we have.

Jessica Kapcar
We did that because we knew if, for some reason, something, someone left or you know, somebody was out of the office or somebody had to pick up or somebody else left off, at least we have a little bit of a plan in place and document it.

Brett Johnson
And breathing room as well.

Jessica Kapcar
Right. Jordan did a great job with kind of just taking things and running with it. So, I have stepped into a very comfortable position in terms of what it could have, like, so I feel very confident that will that will be okay.

Jessica Kapcar
And because our team was so collaborative at the beginning and we were all kind of there to talk through those things and instrumental in making the decisions about okay what platform Are we going to use?What’s our look going to be like? The rest of the team is still kind of in the know. So I just have to get my interview skills brushed up and hopefully we’ll be able to soldier on.

Brett Johnson
Let’s talk about that. With a transition, it can actually be an opening for maybe tweaking some plans.  Nothing negative about a previous host. It just comes down to a fresh start, maybe we can go in this direction, just tweaking. Let’s go into future plans for the podcast. What’s to be expected?

Jessica Kapcar
So going forward. I think, obviously, we still know that we want to utilize the resources that our businesses, nonprofits, charities have. I think, what what we might try to take a look at is, okay, do we need to focus in a little bit more? Do we need to be more laser focus? Do we need to open it up a little bit more? Do we need to take a look at the process that we’re using in terms of, Okay, here’s the content that we want to talk about, let’s find someone to fill it in or do we want to say, here’s the person that we want to have. Let’s let them say this is, this is what we need to be talking about with you guys. Right now.

Jessica Kapcar
We’re pretty flexible. In terms of that. We’ve never really tried to pigeonhole ourselves necessarily. But I do think there’s something to be said, kind of, for having a plan and sticking with it.

Jessica Kapcar
The plan is changing.  It’s working. I think that Jordan did an amazing job. However, now that I’m the one that’s going to have to be doing the interviews, maybe there’s going to be some benefit to bringing someone else in and saying, you know, for example, Kip, you know, this person, why don’t you here’s kind of what we’re thinking, why don’t you do the interview with them? You know, I think it would be just great

Jessica Kapcar
Because I think there’s something to having a person sit down with another person, that they have a relationship with having that conversation. Things come out of that, that maybe don’t, wouldn’t have come out of that if the person was just the interviewer. So I don’t ever want to limit ourselves saying, you know, I’m the host of the podcast, believe me, I am more than happy to share that. So, you know, just kind of taking a look at that and saying, who, on our staff or on our team, may be a great resource to tap into. Or who, as a partner in our community, would be a great resource to maybe have a guest host right, for? Maybe you?

Brett Johnson
Always up for conversation. I’ll always help in any way that I can, of course. So let’s end on this. Advice for business owners who are considering podcasting as a marketing tool, what would you advise?

Jessica Kapcar
I think the biggest thing that, and I was having this conversation with Jordan, actually, before she left, because I was picking your brain about everything, but especially this, I said,  what do you think that you would tell people in terms of starting a podcast.

Jessica Kapcar
She was like, I don’t think I would just do it to do it. I think I would decide what you want to say. And stick with the message. So having a plan again, doesn’t mean you’re going to follow it to the tee. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to change every month that you know, you do it, but having something planned, whether that’s your message, whether that’s your audience, whether it’s the people that you want to have on it and just sticking with that, that was one of the things that we were we both kind of decided that probably is why our podcast didn’t feel like a burden. And I think maybe has worked the way it has, because we kind of said, Okay, here’s what we know, we want to do, here’s who we know, we want to reach here’s who we know, we can utilize as experts.

Jessica Kapcar
Ours is a little bit different. Because we’re not the people imparting, necessarily our wisdom, we know what we know, we know are good at and we know we don’t. So we’re going to pull in the people who do know what they’re good at. So our model’s a little bit different than maybe some people’s model might be.

Jessica Kapcar
The other thing that I would say is, don’t let not knowing how to do something, or maybe not having a very specific roadmap, hold you back from getting your content out there. Because you never know you could do one podcast and then a light bulb will go off and whole door will open up and there There you have it.

Jessica Kapcar
If you have the drive and you have the time and you have outstanding resources in the community like you, go for it. It took us two years to get it up and running probably because we were a little gun shy but now we know that we probably could have done maybe a little maybe a little sooner so not to not to shy away from just because it seems like it might be daunting or you might not have exactly what you know exactly the plan in place that you want to have in place. You can always mold it.

Thanks to Jessica Kapcar, BBB of Central Ohio Communications Director, and host of the BBB SparkCast, for being my guest on this episode of Note To Future Me.

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios, located in the Brewery District in downtown Columbus, OH!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 30+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these worlds together with Podcasting.

You can email Brett at podcasts@circle270media.com to talk more about your new or established business podcast. www.circle270media.com