Grow Like A Pro Podcast

In this episode, I talk with Jason Fleagle and Adam Bankhurst, co-hosts of Grow Like A Pro Podcast from Jenesis Marketing Group

One great takeaway you’ll get from the podcast is how the two share duties as co-hosts. Ideally, co-hosts should divide the work in half. And these two talk about how they do just that!

Grow Like A Pro (transcribed by Sonix)

Brett Johnson: Let’s start off and talk about … We’re gonna balance this podcast with business, and nonprofit. I am a true believer that businesses need to give back to the community. I wanna give you guys an opportunity to talk about nonprofits that you work with, whether it’s time, treasure, talent … Let’s talk about those. Which one do you work with, or maybe it’s a multitude of them?

Jason Fleagle: Adam, you wanna go first?

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, sure. I worked at The Basement Doctor for about eight years, and I was the IT manager. The Basement Doctor, and Ron Greenbaum, himself, is very into working with nonprofits, and charitable organizations. We’ve worked with the Ronald McDonald House, and we’ve worked with Autism Speaks, and we’ve worked with all these other groups that really do a lot of good in the community.

Adam Bankhurst: I started doing that. In addition, personally, I am big into gaming, and technology. There’s a charity called Extra Life that is basically like a gaming marathon. Instead of running for 24 hours, you’re gaming for 24 hours. I started a movement in Columbus back in 2011, and we’re raising money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. We work with Ohio State, and BuckeyeThon, their big dance marathon. We’ve raised over, I think, about $250,000 over the past maybe four or five years, just helping kids, and playing games is kinda what we say.

Adam Bankhurst: Recently, we’ve gotten involved in Pelatonia, the big bike ride. For the last two years, I’ve done a hundred miles. We’ve worked on the board with Kelly … Kelly, and Maria Durant. We are really, really passionate about doing that stuff, because it’s just so important, and there’s so many good causes. It’s nice to just get out there, and meet people, and see people doing amazing stuff in the community. It’s a big passion of mine, and of the company’s.

Brett Johnson: That’s awesome. Jason?

Jason Fleagle: For me, Brett, I’ve always been passionate about wanting to give back. I love to … Especially being in the world of business development, and coming alongside businesses, and business owners, and helping them solve their challenges, nonprofits, giving back to them has always been something I love to do.

Jason Fleagle: Right now, I’m actually working with two really cool nonprofits. The first one is Autism Power. Tony Iacampo is the founder of that organization. We’re actually working on getting that off the ground. It’s basically a balance between a nonprofit, and a social enterprise.

Jason Fleagle: There’s a lot of businesses, actually, in Columbus, up in the Delaware area, that are getting involved. They’re going to donate some space within the company to have children with autism come in, and actually work a real job. The whole idea is to equip individuals with autism to live a normal life, or as normal as they can.

Jason Fleagle: It’s really awesome. I’m so excited to be a part of it. We actually have Austin St. John, the original Red Power Ranger on the board. There’s a lot of attention coming towards the organization. I just feel honored to help be a part of that, and develop the organization with Tony.

Jason Fleagle: Then, I also give back to an organization called inTeam. JD Bergman was a wrestler at Ohio State; one of the best wrestlers in the world; incredible friend of mine, too … I’m on the advisory board with that organization. They have a for-profit arm, and a non-profit arm. It’s a faith-based organization that is all about sharing positive messaging to help people overcome the depression, the anxiety that they’re facing.

Jason Fleagle: The whole idea is we’re inundated with negative things in our world today, so, JD wanted to create a positive platform that lifts people up, rather than drags people down. Those are my two nonprofits that are taking some of my time. I’m obviously really passionate about them, too, so I love to help them out the best way possible.

Brett Johnson: Excellent. Well, thank you for sharing-

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, of course.

Brett Johnson: -because I think that it also gives spotlight to a lot of nonprofits we don’t even know exist.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, for sure.

Brett Johnson: They’re doing great work, great work. Let’s talk a little bit about your professional backgrounds to set the stage, and then we can get into Grow Like a Pro podcast. Jason, we’ll start with you, in regards to where you started, and how it brings you here today.

Jason Fleagle: Like most people, I have, really, pivot points in life. I actually graduated from college with a biology premed degree. I was accepted early to medical school at LECOM, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. At that time, in college, my junior-senior year, I got involved in doing political consulting work at different organizations.

Jason Fleagle: They wanted to know a little bit more information on social issues, so I did research with them – financial research – and put all of that data in a fun, interactive way to display at different events, and conferences, and that kind of thing. Then, it opened up more into doing … I would create pitch decks for them. I started to do some business development for these organizations, and political think tanks.

Jason Fleagle: I was like, “Wow, man, I don’t think that medical school might be a good fit for me,” because I loved what I was doing. I was like, “Wow, these people …” It’s kind of second nature to me. I can see issues that … I’m like, “If I were in you guys’ position, this is what I would be doing, or thinking about.”

Jason Fleagle: I respectfully declined my offer to medical school, and stepped out into the dark, I guess. I pursued that; ended up doing an online MBA program, part-time, through MVNU, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, here in the Columbus area. Halfway through the program, I was like … As an entrepreneur, as someone that’s in the trenches working with these organizations on a day-to-day basis, I just didn’t feel like I was getting the information from that program that I really wanted to know.

Jason Fleagle: I ended up dropping out, and teaching myself web development. I ended up getting a job ,after that, at a digital agency. Short stint there, then worked at Abercrombie & Fitch as one of their web developers. Then, after that, worked as the digital director with a company called StoryBuilders out of Atlanta, Georgia.

Jason Fleagle: That’s where I was exposed to working with some incredible people, and brands. Had the opportunity to work with the John Maxwell Company, the Ziglar Corporation, Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, and so many other people that would be somewhat recognizable. That was awesome.

Jason Fleagle: Then I left that company in January of 2018, and then connected with the guys at The Basement Doctor. I actually applied for a web developer position with them. That’s when Mike Stiers, the President of Jenesis Marketing Group, was like, “Man, I need to have a conversation with this guy. Bring him in the office, and see what he’s all about. See if he’s making up his background.”

Jason Fleagle: Thankfully, Mike and I hit it off pretty quick. Jamie, the Web & Digital Manager, I hit it off with him really well. I’m the Business Growth Strategist, now, with that company, and then doing the Grow Like a Pro show with Adam. I just feel really blessed to be in a position to add value to other people who are trying to serve customer, or if it’s a nonprofit, serve the people that they’re trying to serve. I love that.

Brett Johnson: Great. Adam?

Adam Bankhurst: Hey, how’s it going? As I mentioned previously, I was the IT Manager of The Basement Doctor for about eight years, but, it’s interesting, because I graduated from Ohio State with a business degree in marketing. I had a big business background. My father, and other people in my family are huge in the business world, and I wanted to get into that world, but, like I said, I also love technology.

Adam Bankhurst: After college, I went down, and actually worked with my father a little bit, because he had a big real estate company. I just learned some of the business, and it was fun just to work with him for a little bit, and get my feet wet. Then, I found the opportunity at The Basement Doctor. Their IT Department was basically a storage closet at that time. They were using cassette tapes for backups, and certain things, and it wasn’t a huge importance.

Adam Bankhurst: I just saw a need; I saw something that could really help the company, so I just dove in, learned everything … Got me just running on the ground as soon as I could, and developed that company, over, like I said, eight years.

Adam Bankhurst: Brought all their servers up to the cloud. Got everyone new computers. Upgraded cell phones, and VOIP phone systems, and the internet, and all this stuff, and really made the base. Took The Basement Doctor to a different level, as far as technology has gone.

Adam Bankhurst: As I started growing, it’s getting to that point where I was kinda hitting a ceiling. There’s only so much more I could do, at this point, and I had a lot of ambitions, and goals, and dreams. I really have a huge creative side, because, as I mentioned, I did have a marketing degree. Alongside my gaming, and technology love, I also write for one of the biggest websites in the world, I’m an editor there- or a news writer there, and I’ve been working there. That’s something that has worked hand-in-hand with my charitable things, with Extra Life, and with Nationwide.

Adam Bankhurst: I wanted to transition into something where I was able to combine both of my loves. So that’s when Jenesis happened. Mike came and spoke to me, and was like, “Hey, we’re looking for somebody like a chief strategy officer; someone who’s able to have a vision of where we wanna go, what technology to use, what venues we need to go to, who’s up on some of the new trends, and stuff like that.”

Adam Bankhurst: It fell into place, and I knew that that was the best decision for me, because I was able to still use my love of technology, and be able to help people, solve problems, and be that go-to person, but also get more into the creative side, and hopefully merge, like I said, my two loves of technology, and gaming, and business, and marketing, and helping people.

Adam Bankhurst: As far as podcasting goes, we’ll get into this a little bit, but I’d been podcasting since about 2012-2013, and I started a gaming-technology podcast, and some other ones that I’ve done with some other people. It’s another thing that I love to do, and Jenesis afforded me the opportunity to make that into something that could really help people, help businesses, and help people trying to achieve their dreams, and goals. It’s been a little bit of everything to get me to this point.

Brett Johnson: That’s a good transition. How did the process begin about talking about this podcast for Jenesis?

Adam Bankhurst: It really just started because, once again, I did have background in podcasts. One of the podcasts I do, called The Gamer’s Advocate, we’ve been doing it, and since we do have a studio, and stuff, I was able to record there at certain times. It was something that we talked about.

Adam Bankhurst: Podcasting is a huge form of entertainment, and media. There’s so many different shows from murder serials, or different business things, or comedy stuff, or politics, and everything. It’s such a great way to get information out there. It’s such a great way to learn stories, to hear people’s successes, and failures, and learn something truly valuable.

Adam Bankhurst: At Jenesis, we really do try to position ourselves as authentic, and transparent, and we really do wanna grow alongside a business. As you know, you’re familiar with, there’s a million marketing agencies; there’s a million advertising agencies. We really are trying to say, “How can we separate ourselves?” Obviously, by being good people, and by really showing that we care, and not just having some cookie-cutter template, and kicking people out the door.

Adam Bankhurst: We thought of this idea of Grow Like a Pro, because it’s such a great way … When we’re helping people, we wanna get their message out. We’re a marketing agency. What better way than to have a business owner, or entrepreneur come, and tell their story, tell their successes, tell their failures, learn about them, learn what they like to do, what their hobbies are, outside of work?

Adam Bankhurst: It endears you to that person. It makes you have that other thing, instead of just seeing some website, and seeing some company. You’re seeing people. You’re seeing faces. We think that that’s hugely important, because people’s stories deserve to be told. There’s some incredible knowledge, and things that you can learn from people that you would maybe have never run into in your normal everyday life.

Brett Johnson: How did you two connect to do this, as co-hosts for the podcast?

Jason Fleagle: I think it was, I don’t know, a natural progression?

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, it was, because-

Jason Fleagle: -Adam balances me out, and I think I kinda balance Adam [cross talk] because Adam’s more, I don’t know … You’re always more energetic than me.

Adam Bankhurst: I’m like a five-year-old, basically, is how I like to say it [cross talk]

Jason Fleagle: -when I listen to some of our audio playback, I’m like, “Man, Adam is so much more exciting than I am …” or at least … I don’t think anyone really likes the sound of their own voice, but I think Adam has a good balance to my voice, and vice versa.

Jason Fleagle: I was talking with Mike, one day, and I was just like, “We need to think about ways to differentiate ourselves, and focus on different niches that really bring people into the door.” Exactly like Adam said, it is, not in a negative way, but disarm people from, “Hey, we just wanted to take your money.” That’s not what we’re about.

Jason Fleagle: We’re really focused on building relationships with people. Then, through those relationships we can kinda figure out, “Oh, you’re facing this issue?” Everyone’s facing issues on a daily basis, so why not be, as a community, offering our different services back and forth with each other, because together, it’s synergy. It’s about by working together, we can have a stronger output, than if we all tried to go, and do our own thing.

Jason Fleagle: Talking with Mike, he was like, “Well …” We had kicked around the idea of this Grow Like a Pro a little while back, and I’m like, “Aw, man, I’m a huge fan of podcasts.” I had heard that Adam was doing The Gamer’s Advocate. I’m like, “Yeah, let’s do a podcast.” I think Adam and I talked first, and were like, “Okay …”

Adam Bankhurst: We went out to lunch, actually [cross talk] which I don’t know if you’re familiar with, in Reynoldsburg. Great Chinese restaurant, I must say.

Jason Fleagle: We shoulda recorded that conversation [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: -we just had that conversation like we were doing a podcast. That was always our goal. We wanted to be conversational. We wanted to be with friends, talking. We wanted to do that. The first step is make sure we’re compatible, and friends.

Adam Bankhurst: Jason’s background. He’s very out there; he’s very outgoing. He talks to people; he’s talked to a bunch of business owners, and worked closely with some very successful people. As great as our team was … We have so many different people, from so many different avenues, that bring so much value to our team, but, when looking at the potential people for a co-host, Jason’s skills aligned with what we were looking for, and what we were trying to accomplish with Grow Like a Pro.

Brett Johnson: From the first discussion, the lunch, to first episode published, how long of a process was that? How many months, weeks?

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, it was a few months..

Jason Fleagle: Well, actually, we did Ron’s episode right away, Adam [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: -our latest episode, which is Ron Greenbaum … We had a conversation with him, and it was actually before we upgraded some of our equipment, and stuff. It was actually back in May. We started this conversation back in … It was funny, because I was editing the show, and publishing, and I looked, and I’m like, “That was May? Oh my God …” It didn’t feel that long ago, but, like you said, time flies with these kinda things.

Jason Fleagle: We did the episode with Ron, and, like Adam said, our equipment was not where it needed to be, but I think Ron was coming into town-

Brett Johnson: Knowing his schedule, you gotta catch him [cross talk]

Jason Fleagle: -when you can get it.

Brett Johnson: You bet.

Jason Fleagle: -we threw the studio together, and then used that as our kickoff time. We were like, “Let’s use this as our momentum to get going.” We used that time to start to get more equipment, and start to reach out to potential guests. After Ron’s episode, it was probably a few months where we scheduled our first guest to come in, and then record from there, and then it’s been really consistent so far.

Brett Johnson: So, two hosts … How do you handle duties? What do you handle? What do you handle, without stepping on each other’s toes, and know what each is supposed to do for each episode?

Adam Bankhurst: Obviously, we’re co-hosts, and we do things, but I would say that I sometimes take … One of my goals is I do the editing, and the publishing, and making that and Jason does more- some of the back-end stuff; gets it ready to post to the website, and do things.

Adam Bankhurst: Then, depending on who the guest is, we’ll do a questionnaire that we’ll send to each other, like a Google doc, and depending on who brought in the guest, they’ll put together something, and then we’ll share it out with them, and with us. Then, while we’re recording, we’ll be live in that Google doc, adjusting, and changing questions, and saying “Hey, you do this one,” or, “We’re gonna switch to this topic,” or, “We’re gonna go …” depending on the conversation, because we believe …

Adam Bankhurst: You could send us a great road map for this podcast, too, but I think it’s super-super-important to have an outline, and a road map of where you’re going, but not to be so beholden to it, because we like it to be fluid, and be able to go down a side street, or take a different tangent. That’s how we started doing that is we got a group of questions together, and we’ve evolved it as we go, but we jump on the fly, but just have a general idea of where we’re going.

Jason Fleagle: I’m sure you know, Brett, every guest is different [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: -which does make it fun. Honestly, yeah, because you know where it’s gonna go.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, exactly. Adam and I, we … Well, Adam’s such a … He’s a much better speaker, I think, on the spot than I am. Just with my personality, I like to have more of a framework, or a template that I’m working from. For me, it’s nice to have that in place, if we’re working with a guest who’s more similar to me, where they might need to write more things out, or they might need to see the questions, that kind of thing, in front of them. Then, other guests, they might not even need to see any of the somewhat prepared questions at all.

Adam Bankhurst: Like Ron, we could’ve talked for probably four or five hours with no prompts. He could just go forever, but [cross talk] some people need a little more order, which, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Brett Johnson: Exactly. Do you have any other people at Jenesis helping you with the podcast, or input listening each episode, giving you critique a little bit, or with the process itself [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, it’s a huge team effort. We have our developers, our designers that created the logo, and create things, and all that stuff. We have our developers, along with Jason, who help get it ready to push on the website, and to do all that stuff. Mike, and other people help getting it out there, with SEO, and helping with all these things.

Adam Bankhurst: Another idea that we’re working on, too, with our show is to do a little mini-podcast with each of the employees, to give them … When you go to an About Us page, you can learn about the people that are actually working on your projects, and stuff. Once again, that’s what’s so awesome about Jenesis is everyone works together for that same goal, and is very excited about everything. Some people are a little more shy than others, and are a little hesitant to being on the show, but besides that, everyone kinda does their part.

Adam Bankhurst: The main help, I think, is getting the message out there, posting on necessary social networks, helping with the development, and any type of logos, or assets, and artwork we need. Listening, too, and giving us feedback of what they liked, what they didn’t; maybe what else we should look for; what other types of questions we could ask, and stuff.

Brett Johnson: For sure. With any project up from a business, putting something out there, no matter what it is … What factors were discussed in measuring any ROI that’s needed for this podcast to continue on with the project? Because it does take time from your schedule to do what you need to do a Jenesis. Again, this is counted as your work, but, at the same time, there may be other things you can allocate your time to doing. Was there any discussion of ROI, and, if so, what does that look like, and how is it ever-changing?

Jason Fleagle: I can answer first, Adam. One of the things that at least Mike and I have talked about is the ROI for us is probably gonna be a little bit further down the road, just because, again, we’re thinking of different ways that people can see our authenticity, and see how we’re different, and building a relationship with us is so important.

Jason Fleagle: In terms of the amount of listeners, the audience growth is one big indicator data point that we’re looking at. We’re starting to do paid advertising, right now, in terms of directing traffic to listen to the podcast, so looking at those numbers, as well. Again, the biggest thing now, since we’re still relatively new, is just to continue to get more guests on the platform, and then equip the guests with what they need to share it with their own network, once their episode goes live.

Jason Fleagle: We don’t have any very strict plan, I guess, in terms of looking at our ROI. I’m sure, once we start … We’re actually growing pretty well, right now, organically, and then, also, with the paid advertising. It’s just gonna be looking at that as we go along. I wouldn’t say it’s something we’re constantly thinking about, right now, since we’re still relatively new.

Adam Bankhurst: It’s a marathon, not a sprint, as I like to say, because we have big visions, like I said. Right now, we set up our studio for audio, but we’ve started messing around with video. We’re ordering some new tables, and some new equipment to be able to upload our videos, and have some Facebook Live streaming.

Adam Bankhurst: We really wanna do some community events, live podcasting; go on the road. We have a few trips planned to the West Coast, and certain things, to get other people around the country involved in all this stuff. There’s a lot of things that I think will help build, and just make it a stronger product, but yeah, it’s a … Once again, we just released our sixth episode, right?

Jason Fleagle: Yeah-

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, still relatively new with things. You understand how these things go, but it’s definitely something we’re constantly looking at, and making sure that it is bringing back the business, and value that we put into it.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, and I would say, to further go on to Adam’s point, is we’re, at least for me, I’m looking at some of the purchases that we do as an investment, not just for the Grow Like a Pro platform, which I see as standalone to Jenesis, but offering that to other people who come into …

Jason Fleagle: Other business owners who come into the office are like, “Wow, you guys have a studio? Would you be interested in renting that, to do some of our work, too?” That’s another avenue that we’re thinking about, too, is looking at it from an investment, in a number of the different internal companies that we have, as well. To answer your question, it’s a little bit hard to measure the ROI, just specifically for Grow Like a Pro, because it’s kinda being used in a number of different ways.

Brett Johnson: Sure. Typically, with an interview format, it’s more of a networking opportunity. How is your interview format allowing you to showcase Jenesis Marketing expertise? How are you getting that accomplished?

Adam Bankhurst: There’s kind of a twofold way that we look at that. We bring in that conversation. We don’t wanna be that selly/pitchy podcast, because that turns people off [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: You’re not doing that, for sure. I think there’s an art form to this-

Adam Bankhurst: I agree-

Brett Johnson: -and that’s why I wanted to dig in [cross talk].

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, I appreciate that.

Brett Johnson: -how you’re approaching … Doing that.

Adam Bankhurst: Right. I think it’s very important to make sure that it stands alone from Jenesis, but not by itself, or stands aside from it, but not alone. You know what I’m trying to say with that is that we don’t want it to say “Hey, this is Jenesis, Hey, this is Jenesis …” The way we do it is, once again, having that authenticity; getting people to like us, because podcasting, in my …

Adam Bankhurst: I’ve been doing this for a while, and what I’ve really learned, too, is that the content in the podcast is important. It’s very important that you’re knowledgeable, you’re factual; you say everything right, but, what people come back for a lot are the people, are the actual individuals. They wanna be a part of a community. They wanna be a part of a family.

Adam Bankhurst: When people are in your network, and when they join you, and they say, “You know what? I like this guy. He’s very relatable; I trust him; He kind of aligns with my core values, and stuff,” that may force you, or not force you, but maybe incline you to look up what does this guy do? What’s more of what he is involved in, and how can we see more of Adam, or see more of Jason? How can we get more involved in this?

Adam Bankhurst: As you said, with the networking, and stuff, we have these guests on, but also, what Jason and I do, we do our standalone podcasts, or we do some other fun podcasts, where we’ll take a concept … We did a Toys”R”Us episode a few weeks ago, because they’ve had the issue where they went bankrupt, and they were going away, but now they might be coming back. Jason and I had the idea, let’s talk about Toys”R”Us; let’s talk about the history; then, let’s convert that, or take that conversation, and take it to a more marketing, and branding, and rebranding yourself.

Adam Bankhurst: We’re giving our tips, and ideas of marketing, and helping your business grow. Then, at the end, and the beginning, we say, “We’re sponsored by Jenesis; this is what we do,” and throwing that in there, but it’s organically giving people knowledge, and information. and not really trying to preach to them, but just say “Hey, we live in this industry, and we know these people, and we know these ideas. These are the ways that I think can really help you grow, and there’s ways to get in touch with us, and lead that into something more, potentially.”

Jason Fleagle: Was it Steve Martin who said, “Be so good that they can’t ignore you”? [cross talk] I think that’s like … Adam can do his skill sets, or things that I don’t have, and vice versa. Everyone on the team offers something really, I guess, particular to what they’re focused on, and passionate about. That’s why I love it.

Jason Fleagle: As people get to know us, they’re like, “Wow, I really … How can I work with you?” It ends up almost being like we’re never asking them. In some cases, it’s just a natural progression that happens, that they’re like, “Wow, you’re not just this normal salesy kinda person that I’m so used to seeing, or I get that contact form on my website all the time: ‘Hey, we can help you improve your SEO,’ and all this kinda junk.'” I’m like, “That’s not where we’re coming from.”

Jason Fleagle: By people connecting with us, and building a relationship with us, they’re like, “Wow, okay, these guys are really different. They’re actually … They’re thinking of us as …” We wanna advocate for them. We actually will treat your business like our own. We’re not just here to take money. We’re here to actually help you grow; achieve success that you wanna achieve.

Brett Johnson: Has the podcast been important in the blogging that you’re doing, and vice versa?

Adam Bankhurst: I would say having Jason … Jason does a lot of the content creation, and blogging, so I’d be curious to see what you feel about that.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, it’s gonna be … Not to give too much away, Brett, because that’s a really good question, but I actually-

Brett Johnson: No one listens to this podcast [cross talk] you’re good; you’re good.

Jason Fleagle: -Adam’s writing for IGN. I’m a contributor for some of the largest publications on I was just accepted into Hacker Noon, which is the fourth largest publication on Medium, and I think it’s in at least a couple thousand placement, in terms of the Alexa rank. It’s not quite IGN, Adam, but [cross talk]

Jason Fleagle: That’s something that we’re very much starting to focus on. I’m actually working on a blog post right now that’s gonna be in a publication on My Favorite Podcasts of 2018. I’m gonna put our podcast in there as something that it’s a personal project that we’re working on, so excited about it. It’s an idea that I’m putting value out there, again, at the end of the day.

Jason Fleagle: Adam’s the same way. Every article that we wanna put out, it’s a focus on … It’s delivering some kind of value, or entertainment factor to the end reader, but then, there is a call to action for people who wanna know more … If you follow our website, subscribe to the podcast, even follow Adam or me, personally, on some of the work that we’re doing, you’re probably gonna see a lot more of the blogging aspect of what we’re doing with Grow Like a Pro. It’s probably gonna be a important factor for some of the guests, as well, just to share some of their platforms that they’re doing, as well.

Brett Johnson: You’re early stages of the podcast, obviously, but are you seeing some growth for search for the websites, time spent on the website? Are you seeing some analytic love from the podcast, at this point time?

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, actually Mike and I just talked about it yesterday. It’s a little bit difficult to track, because he just started doing some of the paid advertising to get traffic to the site, but yeah, looking at our … Adam chose SoundCloud for where we host to the audio episodes to go out. We’ve been seeing a … I don’t know, how many listeners, in terms of growth, would you say? We’re up to at least 10 every 24 hours. 10 new listeners every 24 hours …

Jason Fleagle: Again, it depends on … Because we haven’t done too much paid … We just started the paid advertising, so it’s gonna take a little bit of time to see that return. Most of it, all the data now that we’re looking at has been like guests in their network, like social media, they’re sharing it out. Some of the next upcoming episodes, actually, we’re expecting to be pretty big, because it’s gonna go out to a large network [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: That’s another brilliant thing about the Grow Like a Pro show/broadcast is that it’s got that … Having these guests on, it’s marketing itself. You’re having that whole extra arm of people, where you don’t have to do anything. Something Ron always used to say is, “Have people carry your water. Have people help carry the load,” and stuff [inaudible] people wanna share their story, and share that, so that’s just another venue that helps get more eyes, or, in this case, ears on it.

Jason Fleagle: One thing that Adam always says, too, is that rising tides raise all ships.

Adam Bankhurst: Exactly.

Jason Fleagle: That’s like where we’re coming from, too. “Sure, we’ll help you promote your platform, and I would hope that you would do the same with us, too.” Helps everybody.

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, exactly. The synergistic partnerships.

Jason Fleagle: Win-win.

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, Win-win-win, in some cases.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, right.

Brett Johnson: That’s a good transition into marketing. How did you decide on your publishing schedule? You could do weekly; you could do biweekly; you could do monthly. How did you come to this decision?

Adam Bankhurst: I listen to a lot of podcasts, and we’ve talked about this, and we were saying, “Will we have enough content? Will we be able to have enough guests?” We came to the idea, where, you know what? We should do a weekly show. We should do it that even if we can’t get guests for a while, we have enough … There’s enough topics in the world to talk about, and make a show about it [cross talk] speak for 45 minutes to an hour. It’s not like we’re gonna be hurting for content.

Adam Bankhurst: Another thing that I learned, and that I really truly believe, and appreciate, as far as podcasting goes, and even in business, and life, in general, is consistency. We’ve decided on the schedule of doing Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m.; every Thursday, 6:00 a.m.. No matter what happens, we’re always gonna have a show going live, because once again, when people start listening to your show, and listening to your podcast, there’s an expectation … I listen to some shows, especially some in the gaming universe, where, if a show’s an hour too late, you’ll have people saying, “Where’s the show? What’s going on? I don’t know what to do with my life!”.

Brett Johnson: Isn’t that amazing?

Adam Bankhurst: It is.

Brett Johnson: It really is-

Adam Bankhurst: -because … It’s true; it’s like part of your routine.

Jason Fleagle: That’s right.

Adam Bankhurst: I like the 6:00 a.m., because it’s something where you can wake up, and a lot of people listen to podcasting in the car. On their way to work, every Thursday, they’ll know, “I have a new episode to listen to.” They have that because it’s not a, “When is this going live? Oh, there’s another episode? I forgot.” It becomes part of a routine that, “Every week, Grow Like a Pro, 6:00 a.m., on Thursday, when I’m driving to work, I know I’ll have a new … I’ll be able to hang out with Adam and Jason for an hour, and do that stuff.”.

Adam Bankhurst: That’s something that I really … We went back and forth with how we wanted to do it, but something that I really preached was consistency, never missing an episode, and making sure it goes live at the same time. Just doing that all the time, and making it like a comfort, like people know it’s gonna be there for them.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, for sure.

Brett Johnson: You had a little bit of that training, though, writing blogs, correct?

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, of course, definitely.

Brett Johnson: When you’re writing for one of the largest in the universe, they expect content from you at X amount of time [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah. You need to get content going, or what’s the point? When things are missing, then views drop, subscribers drop, things drop, and it’s [cross talk] You gotta keep it going. You’ve gotta keep that train rolling, as they say.

Brett Johnson: What are you offering your guests to help them share your podcast in the episodes?

Adam Bankhurst: $500 [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: You’re the folks doing that … Yeah, okay.

Adam Bankhurst: Obviously, we share the links. We always love to take a picture at the end, and we are gonna put it on our wall, like part of our studio; we’re gonna have a wall of guests, and things. We had this idea of doing things. Having just a shared … Letting people know that “Hey, we’re gonna be posting it at this time; we’re gonna start posting it … It’d be nice to share.” Tagging each other back and forth, giving people the knowledge of the right social networks to share, the right things to make sure people aren’t …

Adam Bankhurst: We actually had an issue with the company, last week, a different company, where they were tagging the wrong company in all their social posts. Communication, I think, is one of the biggest gifts you can give somebody, in my opinion, because if you’re not sharing the right message, or you’re screaming it at a wall over there, when people are looking at that wall, it doesn’t do anybody any good.

Brett Johnson: That’s right.

Adam Bankhurst: Just making sure we give people the tools. We know when it’s going live; we know when they can share it; what they can talk about. We like to ask the guests, too, “What do you want us to highlight? Is there anything that you want us to really – in our posts, and even in our conversations – that you really are passionate about, and really like to do?” It’s kind of a group effort, making sure that we’re hitting all the targets from both parties.

Jason Fleagle: Before every recording, we love to just sit there, and talk with the guest. I think Adam’s the same way, too; I don’t wanna speak for you, Adam, but I’m a huge experiential person, so creating an experience for someone is very important. The first moment that they walk up to the door is like that has to begin with a good experience. Giving them a good tour of the building, and the grounds, and then the studio; making sure they get water, coffee, anything that they need to make them feel more comfortable, because the last thing we want is the guests to feel a little anxiety, or nervousness. Everyone has that, to a certain extent, but try to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Jason Fleagle: Again, like you said, Brett, we wanna have a conversation style, and that’s what … It’s a conversation with friends, and that’s the best, because that’s so authentic. People can tell when you’re not … When you’re faking [cross talk] so having that experience is so important.

Jason Fleagle: After that, we usually talk for a good amount of time, too, because I don’t know about you, Brett, or … I know Adam gets the same way, at least for the shows that we’ve done. You get so pumped up.

Adam Bankhurst: I do. It’s like an ice-breaker. it really is [cross talk].

Brett Johnson: -you can’t just shut the recorder off, and then say, “See you later.” It doesn’t happen, no. You spend another half hour just defragging after that, and you kinda go, “Why aren’t we recording this, too?” [cross talk] It always happens.

Adam Bankhurst: -we had a conversation, I think, a few weeks ago, where it’s like you gotta just … I started learning this, too, is when you end the show, don’t actually hit end; keep it going, or before you record. Just record the testing of the levels, because-

Brett Johnson: Preamble stuff.

Adam Bankhurst: Preamble, because sometimes, the best things come from those moments, when you’re not actually recording, and you’re like, “Man, I wish I had that …”

Brett Johnson: I know.

Adam Bankhurst: We actually started … We’ll release this probably maybe for our year anniversary, or something, but we started compiling a blooper reel of [cross talk] They’re the best. I have this whole folder of all of Jason and I’s things, where [cross talk]

Jason Fleagle: It’s great. I don’t wanna give too much away, but Adam recorded me doing something really stupid, like what, last week?

Adam Bankhurst: Yep, like the Batman theme song [cross talk]

Jason Fleagle: Oh, yeah, yeah. He was playing it on looping, and I’m like, “Aww, this is so embarrassing.”

Brett Johnson: It’s amazing, microphones are like lubricants.

Adam Bankhurst: Oh, my God, for sure.

Brett Johnson: Just see how much you can get away with, and just having fun, which is good though, because it can be intoxicating, as well-

Adam Bankhurst: It is, it is.

Brett Johnson: -but you want to be a part of it.

Adam Bankhurst: Exactly [cross talk] that’s the whole thing. You wanna be a part of the party; you wanna be a part of the … You wanna be our friends, which that’s what we like to say. We wanna be your friends; we wanna be part of your everyday, and your network, and things.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, for sure.

Brett Johnson: Social media strategy. What did you decide upon for the podcast, to get the word out?

Adam Bankhurst: I know, Jason, and he can go into this little more, we talked about we started doing some paid advertising, and we started doing things … One of the biggest issues that we had was coming up with a name, because we wanted all the same name for all of our networks. We went back and forth with certain things. We came up with … Grow Like a Pro Show is one thing that we really like to do, but, on Twitter, the W doesn’t fit, or, the O, the last O doesn’t fit. We’re one character short from Grow Like a Pro, so that kinda screws everything else. That’s one of the most challenging things, especially with trying to get those handles, because it’s easier to find.

Adam Bankhurst: Just trying to make sure you have a consistent message across all platforms. You’re not leaving one platform behind, because there may be some people that really focus on those platforms. You wanna make sure all the cross-posting, and cross-promotion is in place. Once again, getting that post live, right as the episode goes, so people know it’s ready to go.

Adam Bankhurst: If there’s an issue, communicating issues, because when you set an expectation, and you don’t hit it, that’s when huge problems happen. If you say “Hey, we’re having some technical issues, or something happened; we’re not gonna be able to release our episode til noon on Thursday, or maybe we can’t do it til Friday,” or something, it’s a lot better than someone opening up their phone, and have this whole idea of, “Oh, man, I got my long commute. At least we have Grow Like a Pro, and this podcast. Where is it? What’s going on?” I think communication … Once again, transparency, authenticity is hugely important.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, for sure. In terms of when it goes live, like when an episode goes live, I usually share a little bit of information; tag Adam in it, from my personal platforms, and then I will … It’s usually one of our social media team members that handle scheduling a post from the Jenesis social media accounts. Then they’ll tag us in that, as well. We try to hit it at a number of different angles, and usually from that, by that point, the guest is tagged. They’re usually sharing it with their own network. Again, it depends on the guest, because every guest is going to be different, in terms of their network.

Jason Fleagle: We’re getting to the point where we’re going to be asking them “Hey, what’s the best strategy, or way that you will want to be tagged, or to share this out with your own network, as well?” We’re talking about equipping people possibly with sending it to their email lists, because that’s very important. Having an email list, today, is huge, in terms of building an audience, a tribe, so, talking about that.

Jason Fleagle: Again, we want it to be authentic to that guest. We don’t wanna have that cookie-cutter approach. Adam has been really good at balancing me out in that way, and that’s another really good benefit for having two co-hosts, two hosts, is that Adam is a good lens, like if I’m thinking of an idea, I’ll talk with him, and he’s like, “Nah, well, maybe we should do this,” and vice versa; we have that rapport back and forth [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: -soundboard; just going back and forth [cross talk] an idea, see what sticks. It’s nice to have someone else hear your idea, and perfect it, or do those kinda things. It’s always helpful.

Brett Johnson: You mentioned earlier, your artwork is done by somebody in-house.

Adam Bankhurst: Correct.

Brett Johnson: How did that come about? Did the person volunteer? Did you say, “Hey, we gotta have somebody do artwork. Can you do this, please, for us?” I’m looking at this as don’t allow the artwork to be a stumbling block. It’s important, but, at the same time, there’s got to be somebody on staff at a business that would be willing to put the artwork together [cross talk]

Jason Fleagle: For sure.

Brett Johnson: How was that process? Was it point a finger, “Would you do this for us?” [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: We have, and we have people on our team that have incredible eyes for design, and for artwork, and have all that stuff. It’s kind of a no-brainer. When we started this, that was part of the conversation was, “Are you guys okay with designing up some logos, and ideas, and artwork, and things? It was a pretty easy conversation.

Adam Bankhurst: That’s the benefit of working at a company like Jenesis is we got … You have those people that, if someone is starting a podcast on their own, needs to maybe outsource, or look for other things, but it’s nice to be able to have a lot of these things in our office.

Adam Bankhurst: Another thing that we really tried to stress is we wanted to have a logo, or a type of thing where people could identify with; fits well on a mug, or on a T-shirt, or on a hat, because when people are out in the community, and they see that logo, it should be a feeling. That’s what we talked about with, once again, with our Toys“R”Us ad, and even with Ron Greenbaum, with The Basement Doctor. When you see Ron’s face, or when you see Toys“R”Us … When you see these things, you have an intrinsic feeling; you have a actual reaction to what you’re seeing. There’s memories that come up, or your history with the brand, or good, or bad feelings [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: Sure, it can go either way.

Adam Bankhurst: -that’s what we tried to really do. We wanna obviously say that we’re a podcast, and we’re a radio thing, but also have a cool logo that’s catchy, and does stuff like that and also make it so we don’t sound like a landscaping company, with Grow Like a Pro [cross talk]

Jason Fleagle: In terms of getting the design of the current logo, I know … I think you and I, Adam, were just sketching out the different ideas [cross talk] and we gave it to the designer. Then, she worked up a number of different concepts. Then, I think, from there, Adam gave a few other, I guess, points to revise it, and then, we’ve settled on the final logo. It wasn’t too long ago [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: -another thing I do like … My stylistic choice is very minimalist. I like having that nothing too complicated, or flashy, or things; just something that gets the message across. We kinda had the idea of, yeah, with the microphone, and the growing- the symbol, too. It makes sense. It’s something that … It’s not too in your face; it’s not too crazy, but you get it, when you look at it-

Brett Johnson: Well, and you’re dealing with a thumbnail artwork, so you can’t put a ton of stuff in there-

Adam Bankhurst: Right. Exactly. You can’t have all this [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: -it has to look pretty clean in all the different podcast players; namely, iTunes, and Apple Podcasts.

Adam Bankhurst: Of course.

Brett Johnson: You don’t wanna stick too much into that, knowing it’s gotta be applicable, where most people are gonna see this, as well.

Adam Bankhurst: That’s right. Definitely, definitely.

Brett Johnson: A lot of different hosting platforms available … I’m sure you did the research. Why did you choose SoundCloud to go with?

Adam Bankhurst: We went back and forth. It was actually interesting, when I started doing podcasting in, man, 2012, I think it was, I used this platform called BlogTalkRadio. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it?

Brett Johnson: Sure. Oh, yeah, still exists.

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, it does-

Brett Johnson: Under a bigger umbrella company [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: It’s a really interesting company, because they really try to position themselves as having those live radio stations, where you can have people call in, and do stuff. When I started doing that, it was nice to be able to do this, but it seemed like there were a few limitations, and things that didn’t really give us quite what we wanted.

Adam Bankhurst: One of my friends who actually designed some of my theme songs for other podcasts, he’s used SoundCloud a lot. It’s a very popular name, and it’s an easy way that integrates well with all the other platforms, and things, and doesn’t really give me too much pushback, and things. It was just an easy way to host, and get things rolling, and get things …

Adam Bankhurst: It wasn’t too crazy of a conversation; just something that I’ve been using for a while, and has been just a point of comfort, because, like I said, I’d been working on it, since we switched from BlogTalk in maybe 2013, or something. When we started Grow Like a Pro, it was just an easy switch.

Jason Fleagle: One of the ones I was used to working with was Libsyn [cross talk] That was one that we went back and forth, but I relied on Adam’s experience, just because I was like “Hey, I’ve never done this myself.” I’ve worked with putting the content out there from a Libsyn account, but … That’s why having the team … again, kind of have a really good flow to get the content out there was really important. SoundCloud has been awesome, so far.

Brett Johnson: I think a lot of podcasters use that as a stumbling block. “Which one should I go with? Which one should I go with?” First of all, you can switch at any time [cross talk] It’s easy to transport … Most of them make it easy to go from … For example, you start on Podbean, and you don’t like Podbean; you’d rather good with Spreaker, or go to Blubrry. They work with you, as long as you’re doing a bigger brand name of a hosting platform. Just do a little research.

Brett Johnson: It really comes down to the nuts and bolts for the team members. What do you like? Do you like the look of the embed player, if nothing else [cross talk] a lot of variables there. They’re all about the same price point, quite frankly.

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, that’s true.

Brett Johnson: Answering all those questions ahead of time of how many times are you gonna publish per month? How big are the files, and such? They’ll help you. Make a phone call, or the help bubble comes up. Ask the questions-

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, what do you need?

Brett Johnson: Most of them play well together, and, again, the price points are about the same, when it comes down to it, if you are paying for hosting platform.

Adam Bankhurst: Especially, what’s nice with SoundCloud, it’s a huge company, very reputable, so you know they’re not … Their servers aren’t gonna go down; you’re not gonna have any issues with that. Also, when it comes down to it, as long as it’s getting it on iTunes and Google Play, that’s a huge thing, too. That’s where most people are listening to it anyway. Like I said, some of these other hosting services, people do go there, so I’m not discounting that, or anything, but the majority of listeners obviously come from people using iPhone, or their Google phones.

Jason Fleagle: Brett, you brought up a really important point that some people can use that as a stumbling block. No matter what it is, whether you’re talking about marketing, or even science, or … I was talking with a business owner today about a new project that they’re thinking about doing. They’re like, “Wow, these data analytics are just awesome from this tool.” I’m like, “But will that help your customer?” You’ve always gotta focus on the end-user, the people you’re trying to serve at the end of the day, because you’ve gotta have that as your priority. You can’t get caught up in “Hey, does this tool … Is this tool cooler? Does it have more gadgets?” [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: Watch out for the rabbit hole.

Jason Fleagle: -yeah, but what is the best thing that’s gonna be the best fit for the team, and then deliver value to the user?

Brett Johnson: We kinda talked a little bit about that, too, with the analytics for the podcast, itself. You can rattle off a few numbers, and such, that SoundCloud tells you what’s going on, or any platform, but there is a rabbit hole there that you gotta watch not going down. Let your podcast develop over time. Worry about the content more than about the numbers; the numbers will take care of themselves, and-

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, you get too caught up in that, it’s dangerous.

Brett Johnson: It is. That’s exactly the way to put it – it’s dangerous, because it’s a total distraction.

Adam Bankhurst: You focus on the wrong things, your content will suffer; it’ll get in your head. You just gotta keep going, and just believe in yourself, and know that what you’re doing matters, and you’re taking the right steps. It’s very important.

Brett Johnson: Your recording space – what’s it look like? What are you doing? I know you talked about changing it up, and making it even better, in your eyes, whatever that is. There is no definition to that other than what you want it to be. What space are you using, and what’s incorporated in it? What are you doing with it?

Adam Bankhurst: Right now, we took over a room that used to be our photo-editing room, where people … We had some set-ups, where they would take product shots for The Basement Doctor, and things like that. Then, we converted it to the studio. We repainted the walls. We fixed some of the outlets, and all this stuff. We added internet, and then we put up some sound-proofing equipment.

Adam Bankhurst: We’re not quite there yet, because we have a big conference-room table that’s a little too unwieldy that we have to keep sideways, so it’s not great for video. We’re in the process, like I said, of ordering new tables. We already bought some GoPros, and some other equipment, and video equipment to start filming, and getting things up there, and kinda do that.

Adam Bankhurst: We got the basic stuff. We got a huge deal from B&H, and we got a whole bunch of nice mics, and soundboards, and all this stuff. We have a lot of the really high-end equipment, and stuff. We’re just trying to perfect, and get our studio to the next level, like I said. I think the next step is video, because we’re getting audio at a pretty good place, but a lot of money, and value can be had with a video.

Brett Johnson: It’s another touch point.

Adam Bankhurst: Exactly, yeah.

Brett Johnson: Why not take advantage of it, when you have a studio that you do wanna put on video?

Adam Bankhurst: Exactly.

Brett Johnson: It’s comfortable, and everybody looks good. It works for the viewer, the end-user. Why not do it?

Adam Bankhurst: Why not. Exactly, that’s the thing – why not?

Brett Johnson: The editing, and mixing of the audio … Again, I keep mentioning stumbling blocks, but it’s all these little pieces that have to come together. How do you get that done? Once you record, it’s done … What’s the process of editing, mixing it, and getting it uploaded, in publishing?

Adam Bankhurst: I handle a lot of the editing, and mixing, and I do it through GarageBand … It’s a nice, easy, simple way to have nice control over it, and things. I’ve started messing around with Premiere Pro, and some other things, once we get a video rolling, for certain editing, and stuff like that. GarageBand has been pretty much my bread and butter of … It’s just very easy to clip things out, trim things; can have multiple tracks; put in the audio; put in the video, certain transitions, and stuff.

Adam Bankhurst: As Jason mentioned earlier, when we started that whole process from May, til … Our first episode was released in what? September, maybe, or something?

Jason Fleagle: Yeah, I think-

Adam Bankhurst: I think September … We had a backlog of about eight shows, or something. Obviously, when we went them live, some of these people were talking about timely things. Even Ron, in his episode, was like, “I’m doing all this stuff in June,” and we released it last week. What Jason and I do is, the week of whatever show we’re doing, we’ll come in, and we’ll just have a little banter back and forth, for an intro, and an outro, just saying “Hey, this episode was recorded before … What else is going on? How you doing?” Certain things; just like a little two-, or three-minute thing to say “Hey, this is what’s happening.”

Adam Bankhurst: Part of that goes into the editing, too, just making sure people understand, when they’re listening, and they hear someone talking about, “Oh, next week is Thanksgiving,” and they’re like, “What? No it’s not. What’s he talking about?” Once again, it’s something that we really value, and try to just make sure people understand what’s going on.

Jason Fleagle: It’s usually Adam making fun of me [cross talk] .

Brett Johnson: Future plans for the podcast? Any changes, tweaks you’re thinking about [cross talk] where to co-host.

Adam Bankhurst: -looking for a new co-host.

Brett Johnson: Well, okay. We just laid it out there in the world. That’s news to me, wow. Send resumes to Hello, at …

Jason Fleagle: That’s fantastic.

Brett Johnson: Do you also see this podcast as a template for other marketing groups?

Adam Bankhurst: I would say yes. I think it’s-

Brett Johnson: Without stealing your ideas, of course-

Adam Bankhurst: No, not at all.

Brett Johnson: -but, at the same time [cross talk] accomplish what you wanna get accomplished.

Adam Bankhurst: Here’s what I think is so valuable for other marketing firms, and other businesses that … Take this process that Jason and I have started doing, and are trying to perfect, and things … When you’re trying to meet people, and you’re trying to network people, and you try to bring people into your office, it’s different when I’m walking in, and going into a conference room, and starting to talk business.

Adam Bankhurst: The way we do it is you come in, and you hang out, and you have a conversation with friends, and you do this, so then, when you have the meeting, you already know each other. You already have background; you have some history. I think it’s a very valuable tool to really help people get into your business, and get into your network, and let them know who you are, before they decide if they wanna actually do business with you.

Jason Fleagle: One of the biggest things, too, for me, that I pick up on, when we’re interviewing a guest, is I identify their pain points, in hearing their story with their platform; whatever it is that they’re talking about. Then, in a follow-up meeting afterwards, I can usually speak from those pain points. “Hey, you mentioned this, Is there any ways that we could come alongside you, and help you solve that issue in the best way possible?” It’s very important conversation pieces, I think, through the interview.

Adam Bankhurst: Then, as far as future plans, I know we’ve talked about this a lot, but once again, having it a little like your set-up; getting more video, getting more things like that, and getting … I think that’s really the next big step. As I mentioned previously, we wanna do community events. We wanna do live shows at places. We wanna travel, and do on-the-road casts, and do more of vlogging, and things to just make it more of a … We’re a whole network of us doing all kinds of fun stuff.

Brett Johnson: What advice would you give a business owner who’s looking to get into podcasting? Obviously, you’re eating your own dog food, here. You would advocate, “Yeah, podcast is good for your business. We do it. See how easy it is to do,” and such. There are a lot of moving parts to this, you know, and now that we’ve all been a part of it, you kinda go, “Yeah, it’s all done,” but somebody looking this … We’ve talked about a lot of different things here. Key people that should be involved, and again, advice to a business that would be looking at this … What would you say to them?

Adam Bankhurst: I would say if you have that idea, I think it’s important to take a look at your team, to take a look at who you have there, who would be a good co-host. Do you have the tools necessary to be able to edit, to be able to do this? If you don’t, who can you get? What partners do you work with that you think can fill that slack, and make this happen?

Adam Bankhurst: One of the biggest things that … It’s the biggest advice that my dad always used to say to me all the time, and it’s a famous tagline of a company, but, “Just do it.” You learn while you do it. The biggest problem … This is something that I actually learned being an IT manager for eight years. The biggest roadblock for people is the unknown, is the idea that, “I don’t know this. I can’t do it. This is too complicated.”

Adam Bankhurst: Just Google it. I’ve learned so much of my skills from just googling how to do this. They’ve made so many tools, especially nowadays. It was a lot harder, maybe 10 years ago, or something, but so many people are doing podcasts, and so many people have ideas. There’s a lot of easy ways to start. You can go on B&H, right now, and buy a podcasting starter kit for a few hundred bucks, maybe less, depending on how sales, and deals are going. You just have to get in, and just start talking. You can even start doing it on your iPhone. Just see how it goes. If anybody’s listening to this, just take one of your friends at your office, sit in an office, sit in the conference room, and talk about something for an hour, and see how easy it is. You’re just hanging out.

Brett Johnson: Give it a trial, and hit delete when you’re done, if you don’t ever want to keep it, but I would suggest never delete it, because you never know when you might want to pull back on, “This was our beginning 10 years ago …” [cross talk]

Adam Bankhurst: That’s a great thing to do is do that. Like I said, that unknown, I think, is the biggest roadblock of people. You just can’t be afraid. All these people, these entrepreneurs, especially that we interview, and these people, they found this level of success, because they just did it. They weren’t afraid. If you fail, you fail, and you move on, but, if you fail to podcast, what’s gonna happen? Nothing. There’s not a lotta risk in it, but there’s a lot of reward, and a lot of fun to be had.

Adam Bankhurst: If you are overwhelmed, you should not be afraid to reach out to you, or to us, or to friends, or people in your network. Like I said, if people are doing this right, they wanna help you. They wanna help because, in helping you, it’s helping them. It’s helping everybody grow. It’s a very valuable thing that is really not too crazy, if you have certain things, and certain ideas, but it’s … I think the biggest roadblock is just that idea of, “I don’t know. I’ve never done it before.” You know what? People say that a lot before they do something, and then Mozart happens.

Brett Johnson: Yeah. That’s true.

Jason Fleagle: To go on Adam’s points, too, I think one of the biggest things that you can see from both of us is that we’re very humble, and we’re very open in wanting to learn from other people. I know Adam loves to learn new things; I love to learn new things. I think one of the biggest pieces of advice I would give is find a podcast that you really like, and study what they’re doing.

Adam Bankhurst: Definitely.

Brett Johnson: Kinda model that after your own platform. Figure out what’s working; what’s not working. Adam doesn’t have a degree in gaming. He doesn’t have a degree in writing, not that I’m aware of [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: -but put enough hours in, you’re a professional, right?

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah, exactly. That’s what it is.

Jason Fleagle: -like Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, and some of the … I’ve worked at a few billionaires, and then I’ve worked with people that are solopreneurs, and one of the most common things I’ve noticed is if they don’t know how to do something, they find a mentor that is in a position that they wanna be in, and they learn, and follow along on that path. That’s one of the biggest pieces of advice, I would say, is do that.

Brett Johnson: Where can they find your podcast?

Adam Bankhurst: They can find it on iTunes. They can find it on Google Play Store; on Stitcher; on all these things. Those are the main play … Obviously, SoundCloud, because that’s where it’s being hosted. Those are the main ones, but we try to get it to as many people as you want, as well as the web page. We have a whole section built out for podcasting, where you can learn more about the guests. You can see pictures. You can see show notes. You can see other things about if you wanna get … If you loved the guests, and you want to get involved with them; you think they may be a good fit for you, or you wanna learn from them, we have a lot of information there, as well.

Brett Johnson: I would suggest go to the, first.

Adam Bankhurst: Yeah.

Jason Fleagle: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: That’s the best way to learn more about what you guys, beyond listening this full episode, but, at the same time, you get to see faces to names, and also previous guests. Little easier to navigate [cross talk] big screen to see what’s going on. Thank you for being a guest on this podcast.

Adam Bankhurst: Thank you.

Brett Johnson: I appreciate it [cross talk] the focus is to really demystify a lot of what a business can do with podcasting. Your perspective, and your analysis, everything’s been … It’s been insightful, and worth a million bucks, and hopefully we can help everybody grow like a pro.

Adam Bankhurst: Definitely [cross talk] That’s right.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2019.

The above audio transcript of “Grow Like A Pro” was transcribed by the best audio transcription service called Sonix. If you have to convert audio to text in 2019, then you should try Sonix. Transcribing audio files is painful. Sonix makes it fast, easy, and affordable. I love using Sonix to transcribe my audio files.

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 to talk more about your new or established business podcast.

BBB SparkCast

BBB Sparkcast (transcribed by Sonix)

Download the “BBB Sparkcast” audio file directly from here. It was automatically transcribed by below:

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

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

Brett Johnson: Whose children have not been through there, though?

Jessica Kapcar: Right? I mean-

Brett Johnson: I don’t know of anybody.

Jessica Kapcar: I can remember my parents were like, “Oh, we’re taking a trip to Children’s; we’re running down to Children’s.” It’s just so … I’m so thankful that we have it, and it’s so close to … It’s right in our backyard, and it’s just a great resource. I think they do a lot of really wonderful things there. They’re starting all sorts of new initiatives. That is the one that really sticks out for me, in terms of my personal …

Brett Johnson: What are the volunteer opportunities there that you take advantage, or you know of people that do?

Jessica Kapcar: Sure, yeah. 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 said … They’re like, “Oh, we just love to go down, and rock the babies, or help with that.” There are opportunities to do that, but there are also opportunities right in your neighborhood to take advantage of supporting the hospital.

Jessica Kapcar: We have had experience – and I say we, when I was working there – 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 take up a collection at school, and donate the money to the hospital.” Things like that, anything that’s really grassroots … Lemonade stands. You’d be surprised how far that goes.

Jessica Kapcar: One of the things that I think is a really great resource for the hospital, as well, is the Ronald McDonald House. It’s right across the street. It’s one of the largest in the country.

Brett Johnson: That’s what I thought.

Jessica Kapcar: At one point, it was the largest, but then, 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; supplied supplies for the Ronald McDonald House, food, anything like that.

Jessica Kapcar: 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 say, “Hey, I’m looking to help. Where can I put my time to use?”

Brett Johnson: Exactly, yeah. Good, well, I’ll put some links in the podcast show notes. Let’s talk about your professional background, where you were before the BBB, and what you’re doing now with the BBB, as well.

Jessica Kapcar: Sure, yeah, absolutely. 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. 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 were raising money. I got to go out to the Speedway locations, and say, “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 Ohio State. They do a dance marathon called BuckeyeThon. I was the point person for the hospital to say to these students who were amazing, “Here are some patient families that would be willing to come to the event.” That just really was a great way to tie our mission in with what they were trying to do.

Jessica Kapcar: I worked there for about three years, 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 [cross talk] I was originally brought in to fill a role that they hadn’t really solidified yet. 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 they knew that she needed a lot of help. I kind of came in to help fill that role with her.

Jessica Kapcar: Then, they also wanted someone who could be a touchpoint for our accredited businesses; 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.” I also filled that role.

Jessica Kapcar: It’s morphed, and changed, and our team has grown a lot over the past almost nine years. Now, I’m kind of in a similar role, but my title is technically Communications Manager. We cover a little bit of everything for our BBB. We do all of our social media. We do all of our website maintenance. We put out 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 the BBB does. It’s a little bit of everything, but it’s all good stuff, and it’s just grown, and changed [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: I was just gonna say, the last nine years have been a huge evolution for the BBB-

Jessica Kapcar: Huge evolution.

Brett Johnson: -and that leads into the podcast of why you’re even doing that. Exactly.

Jessica Kapcar: Yes, yeah. I think, when I started, I don’t even … There may have been one podcast that I knew about, and it was something that was so far out of the realm of relating to what we were doing. Now, it’s almost a no-brainer. It seems natural for us to have a podcast, and to have gone down that avenue. If you’d asked us, two or three years ago, if that was gonna be the case, we would have laughed, and said no way.

Brett Johnson: Right, yeah.

Jessica Kapcar: It seemed so far out of reach.

Brett Johnson: How did that process begin? That first discussion of, “Okay, there’s podcasts. We should … Why should we think about that?”

Jessica Kapcar: Right, absolutely. 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. We really kind of are trying to figure out 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 was really targeting our entrepreneurial businesses. 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 were committed to those tenets of character, culture, and community. Those are the three criteria that we look at.

Jessica Kapcar: We thought, “What a great resource for us to provide,” giving those entrepreneurs some of that … “Okay, well, here’s a company who’s been doing it for 15 years. Here’s how they did it when they started off. Here are some of the resources that they utilized. 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.”.

Jessica Kapcar: Whatever that topic, or subject might be, we just really thought that we could help 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 road map to get there yet.

Brett Johnson: Who was all involved in that initial discussion?

Jessica Kapcar: Like I said, when I first started it was just myself, and one other person, our VP of Marketing and PR. Over the course of the past four-ish years, we have added to our team. We added two people – our content communications coordinator, who really is kind of the role that was instrumental in helping push our podcast forward.

Jessica Kapcar: Then, we also added our director of visual communications. She was the person who was able to say, “Okay, here’s the technology that we need … 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, but it’s all about pulling together the people, or the resources to actually be able to do it.

Jessica Kapcar: 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 is in the role of our content coordinator, Jordan, she really kind of just took it to the next level. She was able to say, “Here’s a resource for where we can house it; here’s a resource …” You are a great resource to us.

Brett Johnson: Thank you.

Jessica Kapcar: Just kind of answering any … I feel like, at first, we were like, “Okay, podcast. Where do we start?”

Brett Johnson: Right.

Jessica Kapcar: You were just such a great resource to say, “Here are the four or five things to look at, to decide on what you wanna do with them; how you wanna house it. Here are some resources to do that.” Yeah, it really kind of … I would say, in the last two years, we were able to take off with it, because we did say, “Okay, now we’ve got the team in place; we’ve got the resources in place; let’s get going with it.”

Brett Johnson: Were you discussing any success factors at the very beginning about measurement, marks, and 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 … Again, we kind of had a road map that was a little less defined than some.

Brett Johnson: But you had a road map.

Jessica Kapcar: We did. We had a road map.

Brett Johnson: That’s huge to have-

Jessica Kapcar: We did have a plan, and it changed; it morphed, which I think has to happen with any plan for any project, or new endeavor. We kind of just said, “Let’s give it a six-month 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 were able to do a little bit more of it internally, we didn’t have … We didn’t feel the pressure to set some of the loftier goals, maybe, for the ROI, right out of the gate. Maybe we had a little bit of an advantage to say, “Well, let’s … We can take our time; see how it goes; work through some of it.”.

Jessica Kapcar: Like I said, we also knew that we had some great talent, and content that we were gonna be able to utilize. Our podcast is made up of external participants. We utilize our accredited businesses; we utilize our partners; we utilize our nonprofits. We know that they have the expertise, the knowledge, the content that is gonna 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: That content piece, the interview style, is really what drew you into it, because of the opportunity to talk to so many businesses.

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. We knew that having somebody come in, and being able to have a conversation with them, utilizing their expertise, was gonna be just a great way to kind of get things started, and it’s worked well for us.

Brett Johnson: Good.

Jessica Kapcar: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: How long do you think it took, from the very first discussion, whether it was around the water cooler, to the first publishing date?

Jessica Kapcar: I’d say every bit of two years.

Brett Johnson: Two years.

Jessica Kapcar: Yeah. Once we figured out here’s where the responsibility of the podcast is gonna lie; here’s how … Got all of the logistics set up, and then we did … Again, because we could take our time with it, we did populate a little bit more of the content. We knew we could utilize our Spark Award companies. We knew we could utilize our Torch Award companies.

Jessica Kapcar: We 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 Morse, who’s our president and CEO. That was just a way for us to kick it off, and have him introduce it. I’d say it was probably every bit of two years before we really were recording the podcast, itself.

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

Jessica Kapcar: Like I said, we had that content generally built out for the first six months, and what we did was we really just knew that we were gonna pick the Spark Award companies. There were three recipient companies that we had that we wanted to utilize right away. When they found out they were the Spark Award recipient, we said, “Oh, by the way, we’re gonna be contacting you for the podcast, so be ready. We need to get you in the door.” We kind of gave them a heads up, so that was a little bit easier to draw them back in on.

Jessica Kapcar: Our Torch Awards have been going on for … We just had our 24th Torch Award event. We had a pretty big pool of companies to choose from for that, but what we did was we utilized the three recipient companies that we had honored the year prior. Again, gave them a heads up, like, “Hey, we’re probably gonna be tapping you for interviews, so stay tuned.”

Jessica Kapcar: We found that … The way we did it, in terms of the interview conversation, we picked a very specific topic, and one we felt that the company could speak very comfortably to. We scripted out some questions ahead of time, just to give them a road map of, “Hey, here’s where we’re thinking we wanna go. Here’s the topic that we think we wanna talk about. You’re the expert. You fill in the blank. If you think there’s another direction we should take, or more we should add in, please give us your feedback.”.

Brett Johnson: How’s that been received, doing it …?

Jessica Kapcar: You know what? We’ve had some really … 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 time. It helped, in terms of making sure that we kept things narrowed down a little bit.

Brett Johnson: Do you think that the podcast, itself, is helping you showcase the BBB’s expertise?

Jessica Kapcar: I do. I really feel that it’s been a great resource for us. Our mission is to educate businesses, and consumers about how to either be a better business, or how to find a business who is gonna be a trustworthy business, or nonprofit. I shouldn’t just say business. The nonprofit side of that is a really big aspect, as well, because we do have accredited charities, especially local ones. It’s been a really great resource for them to say, “Here’s what we do; here is our mission in the community. Here’s how we can help, or how you can maybe start a nonprofit of your own.”

Jessica Kapcar: 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. Because we do have an entrepreneurial focus, I think that’s been a really great way for … Columbus is growing so much. 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. 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: That’s not the first thing you’d really think about it from a BBB is to showcase something like that, which is great-

Jessica Kapcar: Right.

Brett Johnson: You’re breaking new ground [cross talk] like that.

Jessica Kapcar: Yeah, and traditionally, it’s always kind of been, “Oh, the BBB. You guys handle complaints, right?”

Brett Johnson: Take complaints, right. Scams, and such, yeah, right.

Jessica Kapcar: Absolutely. We do still do all of that, but we do a lot more, as well. 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’re 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.” For businesses, we say, “We’re a resource for you to start with that foundation of trust. 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 a number four, behind Facebook, Google, and Yelp, in terms of review sites. We do customer reviews, as well. 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. The podcast has been instrumental in that.

Brett Johnson: How is the podcast and your blogs coexisting?

Jessica Kapcar: 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 wanna do it. We just need to have someone who has the expertise, and 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. What our model is, is we have our own BBB content, but we open it up to guest blogs, as well. 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: 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. The flip has also been the case, as well. It’s just been kind of been … 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 a time-saver, as well, too.

Jessica Kapcar: It’s a time-saver, yeah, for sure [cross talk] especially when you have a smaller team that’s doing it all.

Brett Johnson: 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. Because we are one of about 110-ish BBBs across the 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. 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. We added a little footer at the bottom of our blog posts about the podcast, and vice versa on the podcast.

Jessica Kapcar: 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. We’ve kind of compared to podcasts similar to ours. There aren’t a lot of BBBs who have podcasts. I think I know of one other BBB, a local BBB, that has one, and then, our Council of Better Business Bureaus has one for businesses, and consumers. It’s a little bit difficult to compare in our industry, but I-

Brett Johnson: You become the standard, then.

Jessica Kapcar: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: There you go.

Jessica Kapcar: We’re kinda like, “Well …”

Brett Johnson: Everybody compares to you.

Jessica Kapcar: “… maybe it’s better to not have to compare ourselves to anybody else, just yet …”.

Brett Johnson: I think that makes sense.

Jessica Kapcar: “… they can compare to us.”

Brett Johnson: Sure, sure. Exactly. It’s the logical way to look at it, I think.

Jessica Kapcar: I can honestly say that there’s never been … We’ve never said, “Well, maybe it’s not worth doing this, because the time given isn’t being …” We feel like it’s being rewarded, for sure.

Brett Johnson: Right, right. Staying on that same topic of marketing, what was your publishing schedule strategy, and what is it right now? How do you begin those talks in regards to, “Well, how many do we put out per month, per week? Every day? Every hour?” I can be extremely stupid.

Jessica Kapcar: No-

Brett Johnson: What was that discussion like, and how did you firm up what you wanted to do?

Jessica Kapcar: Originally, we took a look at the time that our team had to dedicate to it. We wanted to be very realistic, and say … We didn’t wanna say we’re gonna do one every other week, because then, we were like, “If we don’t do one every other week, are we gonna be disappointed in ourselves?” Our goal was to do at least one a month to start. 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 it has worked.

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

Jessica Kapcar: The other thing that we really looked at was, because we’re utilizing some of our nonprofits, is the time of year. We wanted to be mindful of, in the holiday season, a lot of people are more interested in looking for local charities, and nonprofits that they can support. We wanted to be able to showcase, and highlight some of those in the time of year that was maybe a little bit more beneficial to them. We just hit a year for our podcast in August. This time last year, around Christmas time last year, we really tried to utilize some of our nonprofit, and charity content.

Jessica Kapcar: The other part of it is really just 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 were gonna be doing the Spark Awards, last year. It really just depends on the topic, and what’s relevant to your audience. For our audience, it’s pretty open, wo we have a little bit more flexibility in terms of that. Did that answer …?

Brett Johnson: Oh, yeah. For sure, yeah. Tied into that, what is the social media strategy on when you publish, and what do you do to support that?

Jessica Kapcar: Our social media strategy, we didn’t really … At first, we were like, “Oh, we’ll just blitz it out everywhere,” and then we pulled back a little bit, and we’re like, “Let’s just do …” We’ve taken more of a staggered approach. A lot of times, what we’ll do is we will … What we do first is when the podcast episode is ready, we send it to the person that we recorded with. We just say, “Hey, thank you so much. Here’s the podcast episode. It’s gonna be live this date. We’re gonna 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 anybody who’s recorded a podcast.

Jessica Kapcar: Some of it is we’ll push it through our channels, and then, some of it is we are a little bit more reactionary, and we’ll share it, share the post that the company, or organization has done, because we really wanna promote them, as well. It’s a partnership at that point in time. We wanna make sure that we’re saying, “Here’s some great information, but, oh, also, here’s the actual … Here’s how you can connect with this business, or organization.”.

Jessica Kapcar: What we typically do is, I think, the first post will be on Facebook. Then, maybe three days later, we’ll shoot something out through LinkedIn. We share it on Twitter, and we share it on … We usually try to do something a little bit on our Instagram. For Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, every so often, we’ll put some money behind it, and boost the post, or promote it. Minimal; maybe $10. Nothing over the top, because, again, nonprofits, and resources, and-

Brett Johnson: Well, and the conversion rate is questionable. Let’s put it that way, unless you have a very good tracking system.

Jessica Kapcar: Yes, and an algorithm changes every day, so who knows. That has seemed to work really well for us, the staggered approach; not pushing it out all at once, because people go to different channels, and sites with different frequency. 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’s doing that 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 know what we’re gonna do. Oh, we have to have artwork. We have to create this new … Or whether to incorporate our logo into it, or create something new …” Talk about that process, how you … It looks really good.

Jessica Kapcar: Well, thank you. 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 have to work through, as well, is that BBB, as a brand, has a national brand that we have to maintain, but we wanna make sure that we’re creating something new, and fresh, and clean, and fun to engage people. She has just done a great job taking our brand guidelines, and morphing those into something that is brand new, really.

Brett Johnson: It’s a natural extension. It looks perfect [cross talk]

Jessica Kapcar: Thank you. Yeah, and she works really closely … She tries to tie it into the topic of the podcast, as well. She is the person who’s sitting there listening, and we always take some video clips, as well. She’s got a good idea of what the content is, so she does a really great job of translating that into the artwork for the specific episodes. She created the logo for us. She’s a great resource, and I don’t know that we’d be able to do it without her [cross talk] 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 pretty vital. When you want to direct listeners back to your, or your, it has to look nice.

Jessica Kapcar: Absolutely, yeah, and it has to be … Especially for us, because BBB is such a brand with longevity, we wanted to make sure that it looked unique, but not so unique that people didn’t realize, “Oh, this is BBB.” It’s that fine line. It’s really helped in our marketing of it, I think, too, just having that clean, fresh look.

Brett Johnson: Let’s get into some technical weed stuff. It’s important, but, at the same time, it can be overwhelming. Deer in headlight, kind of, “Wow, what do I do here?” 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 all.”

Brett Johnson: Really, they all are kinda 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 you went with Blubrry?

Jessica Kapcar: We went with Blubrry. They are actually a local company, and they’re an accredited business. Those were two of the really great touchpoints for us. Beyond that, we knew that the capabilities that they had for us … Again, because we were so new at it, we were, again, as you mentioned, deer in the headlights. We were like, “We don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know what 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 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: From there, because it is an easy platform … Well, for me, at least, because I don’t do all of the technical aspects of it. We enjoyed it. We were able to 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. It was just a great choice for us. Anytime that we are looking for a partner, or a company to do business with, we hope that they’re an accredited business.

Brett Johnson: That was one reason I did suggest 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: You have to make your own choice. For you, that made sense.

Jessica Kapcar: It absolutely did, yeah.

Brett Johnson: Obviously, it’s worked out very well.

Jessica Kapcar: It has. I’m sure that there are great resources out there, at any capacity. We knew what our capacity was, and this was a great fit for us. It’s worked well.

Brett Johnson: The equipment you’re using … What is your setup? I know that was kind of a building process, as well, too-

Jessica Kapcar: It was a building process-.

Brett Johnson: -because one thing couldn’t happen, till another thing happened, till another thing happened. How do you do your recordings?

Jessica Kapcar: 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; two and a half. With the redesign, we were able to have a space completely dedicated to the video and content creation. It used to be that we’d have to go into the conference room, move tables, turn off music, move lights. It was a process. Now we have everything set up in there. We have two just Lavalier mics that attach to our point-and-shoot camera. It’s a little bit more than point-and-shoot, I guess, but …

Jessica Kapcar: We have someone on staff who just is able to capture all the audio. She edits it in-house. I think she uses Final Cut. It’s very straightforward. You don’t really need a lot of equipment, which is the great, I think, and easy part of the podcast. Like I said, we have to Lavalier mics. They plug into the camera. We do take video, just, again, for posterity’s sake, but you don’t have to.

Jessica Kapcar: It’s a really straightforward process for us, and we’ve never had … Well, shouldn’t say never. One of the biggest issues that we’ve run into is if the memory card fills up, and that does happen. It’s got one of those things where we just take a pause, and refill, and go from there.

Brett Johnson: I know; I’ve been a guest on an episode-

Jessica Kapcar: Yes you have.

Brett Johnson: It’s really a comfortable setting, honestly-

Jessica Kapcar: Thank you.

Brett Johnson: -because it’s a much different feel. I was impressed, because I’ve always been: table, microphone, and something physically in front of you.

Jessica Kapcar: Yes.

Brett Johnson: Where, in your situation, you’re sitting on a couple of chairs; Lavalier on; nothing in front of you.

Jessica Kapcar: No.

Brett Johnson: It’s almost you’re at a restaurant feel to it, almost, or going to a coffee shop, that it’s … Really, you’re open.

Jessica Kapcar: Yeah, we’ve got a little bistro table in there. 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 kinda forget that it’s there. We’re like, “Oh, wait! Hold on! Hot mic. Don’t leave!” That was one of the goals that we had.

Jessica Kapcar: 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. I think sometimes it can be … 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.” We’re like, “You’ll be fine. We’ll coach you through it. It’s gonna be Okay.” 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 podcasts … I think this can be true of any social media planning, blogging, whatever it is, there’s potentially of the transition. That one person leaving that was key to doing it.

Jessica Kapcar: Yes.

Brett Johnson: Now, you’re walking into that situation that-.

Jessica Kapcar: We are.

Brett Johnson: That Jordan has been hosting the podcast, now, 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.

Jessica Kapcar: Sure, yeah.

What were those discussions like, to where to go with this, now that she said, “I’ve gotta go”?

Jessica Kapcar: Right. Yeah, so, we’re in it. We are just on the tip of the iceberg in that. There’s always a little bit of transition in our team, especially when she’s got a new adventure going on. I just came back in after maternity leave. It’s kinda that, “Okay, let’s catch up with each other; where are we? What do I do?” That’s always a process.

Jessica Kapcar: The really great thing about our team, and the thing that we knew going in was we’re going to have changes come about. 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 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 honed in on that, and then we built out that content part of it, as well. 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 maybe some of the conversation starters that we have.

Jessica Kapcar: We did that, because we knew, if, for some reason, someone left, or somebody was outta the office, or somebody had to pick up where somebody else left off, at least we have a little bit of a plan in place, and it documented-.

Brett Johnson: Right, breathing room, as well, too.

Jessica Kapcar: Right. Jordan did a great job with just taking things, and running with it. I have stepped into a very comfortable position, in terms of what it could have been like.

Brett Johnson: Right. Sure.

Jessica Kapcar: I feel very confident that we’ll be okay, and because our team was so collaborative at the beginning, and we were all there to talk through those things, and instrumental in making the decisions about what platform are we gonna use, what’s our look gonna be like, the rest of the team is still kind of in the know. 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.

Jessica Kapcar: Yes.

Brett Johnson: Nothing negative about a previous host, it just comes down to a little 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: Yeah, absolutely. Going forward, obviously, we still know that we wanna utilize the resources that our businesses, nonprofits, charities have. I think what we might try to take a look at is do we need to focus in a little bit more? Do we need to be more laser-focused? 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 here’s the content that we wanna talk about; let’s find someone to fill it in, or do we wanna say, “Here’s the person that we wanna have; let’s let them say, ‘This is what I 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 is something to be said for having a plan, and sticking with it. The plan is changing, so that’s gotta change-.

Brett Johnson: Especially if it’s not broke.

Jessica Kapcar: Exactly, right.

Brett Johnson: It’s not broke, so …

Jessica Kapcar: It’s working. I think that Jordan did an amazing job.

Brett Johnson: Oh, yeah.

Jessica Kapcar: However, now that I’m the one that’s gonna have to be doing the interviews, maybe there’s gonna be some benefit to bringing someone else in, and saying … 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? I think it would be just a great …” Because I think there’s something to having a person sit down with another person that they have a relationship with, and having that conversation. Things come out of that, that maybe wouldn’t have come out of that, if the person was just the interviewer.

Brett Johnson: Right.

Jessica Kapcar: I don’t ever wanna limit ourselves to saying I’m the host of the podcast. Believe me, I am more than happy to share that. Just kinda 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 is a partner, or in our community, would be a great resource to maybe have a guest host for …?” Maybe you? You never know.

Brett Johnson: Sure. You never know. Exactly, yes. Always up for conversation. You know I’ll always help in any way that I can, of course.

Jessica Kapcar: Absolutely.

Brett Johnson: 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 … I was having this conversation with Jordan, actually, before she left, because I was picking her brain about everything, but especially this. I said, “What do you think that you would tell people, in terms of starting a podcast?” She was like, “I don’t think I would just do it, to do it. I think I would decide what you wanna say, and stick with the message.”.

Jessica Kapcar: Having a plan … Again, doesn’t mean you’re gonna follow it to the tee. It doesn’t mean it’s not gonna change every month that you do it, but having something planned – whether that’s your message, whether that’s your audience, whether it’s the people that you wanna have on it – and just sticking with that.

Jessica Kapcar: That was one of the things that we both 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 said, “Okay, here’s what we know we wanna do. Here’s who we know we wanna reach. Here’s who we know we can utilize as experts.” Ours is a little bit different, because we’re not the people who are saying, “Here’s what you …” We’re not imparting, necessarily, our wisdom. We know what we know; we know what we’re good at, and we know what we don’t. We’re gonna pull in the people who do know what they’re good at. 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 road map 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 a whole door will open up, and there you have it. If you have the drive, and you have the time, and you have outstanding resources in the community, like you, go for it.

Jessica Kapcar: 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 it maybe a little sooner. Not to shy away from it just because it seems like it might be daunting, or you might not have exactly what- exactly the plan in place that you wanna have in place. You can always mold it.

Brett Johnson: Oh, yeah, exactly. It’s the BBB Sparkcast. Let’s talk about everywhere they can find it.

Jessica Kapcar: You can go to our website,, and then you just have to look for the Central Ohio website. There’s a little hamburger menu up at the top. You can click right on it. You could also go to It’s on all of our social media channels – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram. We have a presence on all of those. If you happen to follow our BBB blog, you can also find it there.

Jessica Kapcar: You can always reach out to us, if you have a question about it, or wanna subscribe to it. It’s on all of the podcasting channels. You can get it through iTunes, Android … Anywhere you listen to a podcast, you can find it; just search for BBB Sparkcast. You can always reach out to us locally, at our office. We’re right here in central Ohio. We cover the 21 counties in central Ohio. That’s how you can find.

Brett Johnson: That’s good. We’ll be looking forward to hearing what you’re going to do with the podcast moving forward. Again, Jordan has done a fantastic job in the previous episodes.

Jessica Kapcar: She has.

Brett Johnson: I would encourage bingeing-

Jessica Kapcar: Absolutely.

Brett Johnson: -listening to them; listening to each, depending on your interest, the business is there, but you’ve covered a wide variety of businesses. It’s a really good way of getting a feel for the interview style, especially if you’re instead being interviewed by BBB Sparkcast.

Jessica Kapcar: Absolutely.

Brett Johnson: Take a listen. This is the style it’s going to be, and give some extra listens to you guys, as well, too-

Jessica Kapcar: Thank you.

Brett Johnson: We encourage that. Exactly, exactly.

Jessica Kapcar: Absolutely. They’re quick, about 15 minutes, so it doesn’t take a lot of time.

Brett Johnson: Right. That’s good. Well, thanks for being a guest. I appreciate it, Jessica.

Jessica Kapcar: Thank you so much.

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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 to talk more about your new or established business podcast.

Thanks To Business Inspires For Hosting Me As A Guest

Thanks to Michelle Wilson, Executive Director at TriVillage Chamber Partnership for having me as a guest on the podcast Business Inspires published on July 17, 2018. We cover a lot of topics about podcasting, radio, marketing and my thoughts on the future of this exciting medium.

The full transcript and podcast is available on my blog at

Be sure to subscribe to my daily email newsletter, Open The Mic. It’s free, and covers podcast news, sales tips, social media tips and my suggestions for podcasts to binge on over the weekend.



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 to talk more about your new or established business podcast.