Holly Shannon is not only the best selling author of Zero To Podcast, but also the Producer and Host of Culture Factor 2.0 – which explores the company cultures of today and what businesses are doing to adapt very quickly.
Holly also has a tremendous passion for working with podcasters of all levels and gives some great strategies for all of us. Get ready for takeoff!
Full Episode Transcript:
If you've ever thought about starting a podcast for your own business, or maybe work in the podcasting industry and you just want to know what it's like behind the scenes. I don't want to stick around for this one. Holly, Shannon is not only the best selling author. Zero to podcast, but also the producer and host of culture factor 2.0, which explores the company cultures of today and what businesses are doing to adapt very well quickly.
Holly also has a tremendous passion for podcasters of all levels, and also gives us all, some strategies that we can take. Our podcast to the next level. So get ready to take off. Thank you. Thanks for having me, Chris. Thank you for having me, Jim. We're just great. I ate all the cookies and milk in the back, so there's none left and I actually brought the champagne.
Cause you said it was a party Oh, nice. You got a headstart on us. Very nice. Yeah. So Holly you're you actually are now living in where I grew up the Washington DC area. Person. I always have fun talking about with the Washington football team. So now I know you're a recent arrival to that area from our conversation.
So we'll see. Maybe you'll like the football team, maybe you won't, but I'll be nice to do a live event, right? Yeah. Oh, geez. Yeah. You in your position, maybe prior you did that, right? You worked in the event space. Maybe you could talk a little bit about that because that did lead you to where you're at now and writing the book and being involved in the in the podcasting space.
Yeah. So I had always been in the event space. I've done trade shows, conferences, which he costs fatality, very large events, very small curated ones that are for like the C-suite board level retreats had a history of that. And then I got into doing more of the marketing strategy, which I did towards the tail end of last year and into this year.
That was really great. Actually it was with Oh, bears, resorts collection, really great team of people. They have 25 properties. I really got to work on my my strap size side of marketing, which is really fun, really understanding, the why and the end game of the goals. So I got to do that and then COVID hit and the whole event, industry and hotels, everything took a nosedive.
So I actually got into podcasting a bit by accident and have come to really enjoy it and thought this is really great. It's such a great marketing tool. And so I have built out of it the ability to get businesses B2B and in individuals into podcasting because there's so many. Great benefits to it.
I just love it so much. I could sell it all day long. It's really great. Yeah. So that's the. The trip, the trail my, my road was never linear. It was always a little bit of that, but it's all good. You were meant to be here, right? It, who knew, we weren't in control.
We didn't know that we were going to have this pandemic and it sounds like you're absolutely passionate and happy where you're at, which is awesome. So did you. When you were in those spaces, when you were doing what you were doing there, what exactly got you into doing podcasting?
Did you have those relationships from what you were doing prior and said, Hey, I'm going to see now that COVID is happening. How I can work with these businesses to help launch their podcasts? Actually, no. That would have been an easier way, but it just didn't happen that way. Cause a lot of those businesses imploded, at least for the time being.
What I did is I leaned into my other marketing sides. I like to joke I'm like a Swiss army knife of business and marketing. Cause I have a little bit of expertise in everything and I really just dove into the content creation side of it, the branding, all the other elements that come with the work I had done in the past, I had done it live and in person, experiential events, that type of thing.
And then it was translating it to the page. It was translating it to the voice. So I built out content for a lot of websites and had learned that podcasting would be a really good tool. Four companies got into it. I was actually working with a startup that was looking for a poll marketing tool.
So it was a great fit. And I created the podcast. The conversation in the podcast is about company culture. And that wasn't necessarily my area of expertise. But the thing that I've learned is that in podcasting and it's what I teach now is you don't have to be the expert, right? Like you. Need to be curious and you need to be open to conversation and you need to highlight and find the best people that are open to having that conversation because they're boots on the ground.
They have the chops as they say. It's just finding the right people and hopefully asking the right questions. I think I do pretty good job of it. I've definitely gotten the podcasts up to a really good level now. I'm happy to say it reached a top 10 spot with feed spot and it's ranked globally in the top 3%.
So I think I've found the secret sauce if you will, but I just really liked podcasting and the direction that it took me and ultimately doing all the writing that I do with content, it was a natural progression to start helping companies do that and to write a book it doesn't seem like the obvious path, but it actually is.
So you already liked writing, doing that sort of thing, but then you got into the audio. I think a lot of times it's I think it's that struggle to go from audio to written, but cause obviously you, if you're able to put that stuff out, so really what drove you then to write the book zero to podcasts.
So I had the podcast and I realized that I am very curious and I might want to start another podcast. And so I. Was also transitioning. The startup I was working with was going one direction. I was going another. And I wasn't sure if I'd still have the podcast. So I decided, let me write myself a how to manual.
So that way, if I have to start something else. I have the cliff notes version, if you will. Because I took really good notes. I, I sat down and I really put all of my notes together. And really, it was just, for me, it was literally how to guide so that I could start other podcasts and do it more for other people.
And when I was done, I was I should share this with people. Like I should not keep this just for me. And so I wanted to share it with the world. So I went about turning it into an actual book and not just something for me. And so now it's out there so that other people can get their idea on iTunes.
Oh, interesting. You're the original premise of you sitting down and writing. This was just so that you could have your own manual. So when you decided that you wanted to do that again, you can go, Oh, let me crack open this thing. I. I wrote down all of my notes and then as you're going through it, you're cause you're Hey, this could actually help thousands, tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people on down the road.
Yes, exactly. So how much of the book is based on, let's just say. The philosophies of podcasting, not necessarily like the tech and stuff. So on Dealcasters, Jim and I talked to a lot of people that their first question is the type of microphone that you buy. And they immediately go into the, the delivery systems and, Oh, like what do you use as your hosts?
Do you use simple cast or do you use Lipson or. And they immediately go into that kind of thing before they think about actually the content itself and why they're doing it, what they want to accomplish. So how much of the book is based on, that philosophical? Cause I know when you're working with a lot of businesses, I'm sure, as I do as well you'll talk to them about developing a podcast and you ask them why they're doing it maybe or what they wanna accomplish.
They don't really know what they want to accomplish. They just know they need one. And that's not really a reason. So philosophically how much of that process is involved in the book? Actually quite a bit. I do address all of what I call the static pieces of it. Okay. What's the microphone I'm going to use.
What are, what's the headset I'm going to use? And yes, like you said, the podcast host, is it simple caster or Libsyn? And I do discuss all of that in there because they are legit questions. But to me there's so much more. And so when I addressed this, when I addressed this book, I took it from the standpoint of I was new to podcasting.
And I needed to know more than that. I had imposter syndrome. I wasn't sure about interviewing. I wasn't sure. About social media and all the other things. So those components I needed to address in there because I lived through it. Like this was real and it wasn't, I tell people. The reason why the book I feel is very genuine and really heartfelt is that I didn't have experience in audio when I started.
And so I designed this book with. My personal mindset where I was so no technical expertise in the area, didn't have money to throw at it for a big fancy equipment. Didn't know the first thing about how to do a podcast or what an RSS feed is, which is real simple syndication. I didn't know any of this stuff.
So it was really written from a very raw and genuine newbie. I have no clue what I'm doing, but I want to have one. Position. So I made sure to tap into all of that conversation in there. I'm on clubhouse often, and I do clubs there where I talk to aspiring podcasters, whether it's for business or individuals.
And then we dive into some of the other important topics that I cover in the book like that magic is in the niche. Like you want to get that niche, right? You want to drill down your podcasts because. It's not for everybody, even if you think it is, it's not for everybody. So you could say I'm doing a podcast on health and wellness and it's for anybody who's age 18 to Eddy 85.
Cause they all care or care about health and wellness, but. You're not going to find your audience. So if you say, I'm really into really interesting modalities, like in the wellness area, like mushrooms and CBD and things like that, then you're starting to already drill down. And so who is your audience?
Do you find the people most receptive to that are maybe more like between the ages of 20 to 40? Like we start to drill it down. So that's for like maybe an individual for a business. I am always asking the why do you want to have it? Because it there's work that goes into it, but it could be really beautiful work and it could be something that could be a tool that builds company culture.
It could be a tool to really highlight the thought leaders that work in your company and to get them future keynote. Speaking positions it could get them a TEDx. If they learn to speak and interview well and be a part of that community they could build a conference from there. They could build a virtual conference if we never get out of our house.
So there's a lot that can be done. And those are things I address in the book. I bring those questions up by dive into there so that they're thinking about. The big picture at the end, what they want to do with it and the refined picture of why they're starting. Yeah. So Holly, that you, now that you've you've written the book and you've had some time, are there things now that you're like, I almost need to go back and write the second edition.
And these are some things that I wish I had put in the first edition. Are there any things like that you have discovered, it's funny, like you were saying you have some new tools that you use to. Lately descript, hello, audio. There's like a lot of new kids on the block. And I think if I did another iteration of the book or the next copyright or whatever I might address what some other software's are doing out there, but there's only so much you could keep up with the tech piece of it.
In a book because it's ever changing. I do a section, there's a chapter on editing and I use garage band. As the example in there, I could do examples to five different types of there's ProTools, audacity, garage, but there's all kinds, but at some point you have to just pick one. Give them a taste.
They might have to go to YouTube university for a little bit more, do tutorials, and there'll be new kids on the block that change the way we do it. So perhaps there'll be another version at some point, or maybe there'll be sections that I dive deeper into. Like for example, for businesses, I really could practically write a book about all of the different components.
Of building one for company and the why behind that. So I probably could do podcasting for B2B. And have it be its own separate entity. So zero to zero to podcasting business. I don't know. There you go. There we go right here on dealcasters. . Find out the next book from Holly Shannon just now.
So we had Mitch Jackson, the streaming lawyer on a few weeks ago and he wrote a book on mastering social media. And the reason why I bring that up, is it somewhat parallel to what you're talking about? If you spend too much time writing a book. And you're too involved in the tech, by the time it's published, there's some outdated stuff in there.
So it sounds like you really spent an inordinate amount of time on the mindset on developing the plan on all of that. And I think one of the things that, you know, as a podcaster myself and where I also work with podcasters, I find that there's a. It's a lonely thing. And I think a lot of content creators, especially early on, it can be very lonely because you're you record something, you've got it in your, you've got your MP3 and you upload it to your host and then you sit back and maybe you shoot out some audio grams or whatever, and your socials, and then you don't hear a peep and you poured yourself into this thing, right?
How do you work with someone that you mentioned imposter syndrome and then, there's also, a lot of people that compare themselves to, especially in the content and when you're looking at subscribers and all that, but in podcasting, it's it's a smaller pool, then YouTube channels. And but it can be very lonely. So what's your take on that and how have you maybe historically worked with people that, that are battling those kinds of things? Those are all really good questions. So I think that when you're doing something new, I think there's always a certain measure of imposter syndrome.
I usually try to say that. The more you interview, the more you work through that, and then you don't have it anymore. It's like lifting away. I always say the microphone is a hand weight. Like you have to keep lifting it up and speaking into it. And before you know it, you really do. You're not thinking about that anymore.
Then you start to think about what could I interview, like that's another really great thing. Yeah. There's some loneliness, but I love when I can sit and I can. Strategize for myself, like who do I want to interview or to be spontaneous? Like I read like a really cool article on LinkedIn about somebody or I just hear about something and I could like immediately act on it.
Like I could just fold email that person pull, DM them and ask them to come on the podcast and being curious. Like you can interview so many different people. It's ridiculous. Everybody says yes to a podcast. So it's just a great way to meet people. Hell if you're on a job search, like it kicks doors in, like you can talk to two people that would never even look at your resume.
So it's just such a great tool. I think it's it does have its share of loneliness. I suppose if you do a podcast with somebody, like if you have a cohost, you'll have like that relationship, like you guys have where you could sometimes interview people and then sometimes just be the two of you having conversation.
So that might be a way to not feel lonely or maybe you have somebody who's really good at the social media strategy. So you can have somebody to work with. I love that. I think involving somebody else. Is key, whether it's hiring something, someone like you, or just having a partner, to just bounce some things off that will help you sharpen the irons and give you some honest feedback.
Lots of times people will say what do you think about this? And the reason why they're asking you is because they want you to give them a compliment. But I think. What I do is I try to surround myself with people I know will be honest with me. And if they do give me good feedback, then I can truly feel good because, I knew they would, let me have it if it sucked.
So I think it's important to surround yourself. And, yeah, I'm lucky to have Jim here on, on this thing, and I'm sure along the way for you when you were doing, when you started culture factor and you started doing that. Along the way you found somebody that was helping you through your journey.
Can you talk a little bit about that? I had some interesting cheerleaders, so it's funny how social media has become where a lot of our relationships have been forged. Of course my family supports me. It goes without saying my son has been like amazing. He listened to my podcasts.
He subscribes, he does all that stuff and he listens to it and then he talks to me about it. He says, he actually helped me improve some of my interview techniques because, you don't know what you don't know. And I so that was pretty cool for me. I am surrounded by that and being on social media, I've had so many interesting conversations with people on LinkedIn clubhouse, Instagram people I've met.
And it's so nice because you can riff with them. You could collaborate with them. Sometimes they become people that you interview. So yeah, I think I've had both what I'd love to say though. Chris is to what you said about being able to take criticism. I think it's all about active listening on both sides.
So being able, when you're interviewing somebody to actively listen, to hear what they're saying without already formulating in your head, what you want to say, but I think it's the same thing for criticism. Like being able to actively listen, absorb what that person's trying to share with you and not try to be looking for compliments.
Our validation and more just being open okay, they're sharing something with me for a reason because they trust me and I trusted them. And even if it hurts a little bit I could grow from this. So there's just got to be in that moment. So even when my H my son said to me, mom, you don't have to say.
Let me ask you this question, you said, because you're already asking the question, that type of thing, like I was like, Oh my gosh, like I could have taken that personally and been like don't criticize me. I'm doing the best I can, or I could say, yeah. You know what? That's redundant, I don't need to say, can I ask another question when I'm going to ask another question? So we're all just learning again. We don't know what we don't know. It's all good. Exactly. Yeah. It's those conversational things. And Jim gets me on this all the time. He's in Toastmasters. So he catches me all the time on things like, can I ask you a question?
Of course you can ask her a question and we're on a podcast. You don't have to ask me to ask a question. So Jim, you have to teach me some tricks. Yeah. So Holly, another example, I guess you, you were talking earlier about whether you have a co-host or not. I know for me with this show and with the live show I've been doing since 2018, Having a co-host in a sense puts you, you have an accountability partner.
Have you had that or have you found that sometimes can be a challenge if you're solo? Because it's really easy to say I know I should be getting a podcast out, but got some other things I got to do right now. I have to say I'm one of those people that ever hear that saying, if you want to get something done, give it to someone who's busy.
I somehow. I just get stuff done. I'm a creator, like I'm constantly creating, so I just get stuff done. I'm also of the school of thought that good is better than great. And I will put something out, even if it's not my finest hour in terms of editing or just something about it's not perfect.
I just. In the essence of keeping the content and the rhythm going and keeping the audience happy that they're receiving something every week. Cause I told them it will be there every Tuesday. I just do it. I have to admit, right? No, that's great. I'm one of my favorite sayings. Chris has heard me say this before.
The P imperfection is poison. So I think it's great that you actually feel like I don't have to be perfect. I'm just Good is better than great. I like that. That's a new one. I hadn't heard that before. Good is better than great, but you're right. Get it out there. Because just the fact even the fact that you wrote this book because you wanted to help other people get started.
It started out as you know what I mean? That's a brilliant idea. I think a lot of times Chris and I have fallen that we have all this information in our head and we can talk about it. We've done clubhouses where we've talked about Amazon lie, but it's We need to write something down or we need to do a video.
So we can, yeah, so we don't have to keep repeating or you write, you don't have to keep repeating yourself. Just go read my book. True. Yes. Go read my book, everybody.
Yeah, no, you should. You should write an ebook. You guys are next. Oh yeah. It's I guess it's hard to write a book when you're on clubhouse. It's, you got to set parameters for yourself when you get yourself involved in it. And I love how. We've just, we've touched on all of these sort of, elements of mind junk that keep people from starting something, and it could be a podcast.
It could be a YouTube channel. It could be writing a book, could be a blog even, yeah. I know. It's 2021. There's still a people launching blogs every day. But when it comes to podcasting, there's, there's around 2 million podcasts, but like what a third of them are really active, meaning, putting content on every 90 days.
And I think a lot of people, they see podcasts as being, the hot thing and they think they're maybe late to the game. And they think, Oh I wish I had gotten my podcast started five years ago. I, it would be just so big right now but, and especially in the last year, there was a lot of people that launched a podcast, but are now fading away after, pod fading after six or eight episodes when you're working with businesses.
And by the way, go to Holly shannon.com. If you want to work with Holly, to individuals and businesses that want to work with. With Holly, but when you're working with these businesses, how do you keep them move? Like you just talked about moving forward, not, pushing past perfectionism and really some of it is how do you get the content if you're not necessarily guest reliant.
And so how do you work with a business? Obviously it varies depending on what the business is. But I be curious to find out how you get, how you stop them from fading after so many episodes. That's great. I love this. So first of all, a podcast is such a great marketing tool. So let's just say we're starting from a place.
Whereas business says, we think we'd like a podcast. And we're not a hundred percent sure, but we think we want a podcast talk to us about it. So the first thing that I would be asking them is. What is your goal ultimately with it? Is it just to have a podcast or do you have that longterm game for it?
Are you looking to have virtual or live conferences at some point? Are you looking to build some sort of thought leadership tour? Are you looking to get speaking engagements? What are you looking to do? So I think understanding that and creating a pipeline for success is being consistent about putting out the podcast, because it gets you from the beginning idea through to all of the vision that you have.
Let's say you want to highlight the thought leaders that work in your company. You have all of these amazing people that work for you, with you and around you. And you want to start sharing what you're doing, trends, conversations. You're having, you want to share it with the world, right? Like you want everybody to know what, like you go on clubhouse and you're sharing with the world, everything, now you're specializing, it's your own conversation. It's your own story. And you're highlighting all of these great people and really showing them for the expertise that they have that makes them appealing now. So now people have heard them speak and be interviewed and they'll get asked to be on other stages.
I got lucky. I got asked to be on two stages this past February. So it happens once your voice is out there and people hear you and they know that, you know what you're talking about. They invite you to speak on platforms. So what does that do that elevates your brand that elevates the individual that makes people want to subscribe and download past episodes and listen to what you guys are talking about.
It lets you build things. Maybe you're going to build an ebook. Like I was saying about for you, you're talking about all different things. Like each of the people that you interview could be a chapter and you could be creating content. That also builds on your brand. Again, conferences is, maybe another step.
The flip side is the complete flip side is if you don't want to do something publicly on iTunes, you might say we need something to rally around. Like we want to build our community within our company. We want to enhance our company culture. So we want to build an internal tool. So you could create, I call them privately integrated podcasts, and it allows you to highlight different things happening in your company because let's face it.
Nobody's opening that email that you sent with the company newsletter, nobody. So if you have a way to highlight different things happening in the company and the personalities and the lives of the people to work with, you become closer. It's a cool tool. And if everybody's involved and you have a team of people, you start to build some muscle around what the brand is really about because now everybody's contributing towards what are we talking about?
What are the topics, how are we covering this story? Who's doing editing. Who's going to do, the audio brand and it becomes collaborative. When you collaborate, you're building community. So there's so many things you can do for a business with a podcast. I love that.
And not once did you mention downloads? It's why? Whenever I work with someone, I say it's six months, because you'll know before then. And thing, but it just, it's a bit of a long game. It takes a while for the lights to come on everywhere and free to start to get into, 40, 50, 60 countries, and getting that activity.
You're basically available in all of these countries, but people don't know who you are just yet maybe. And I think a lot of people, when they say they first launch a podcast and they want to monetize right. And if that's a reason, and if somebody says, I want to start a podcast to make money, okay.
Now how are we going to do that? And also gotta be patient unless you've got a really good idea. Okay. Then maybe it happens a little quicker, but it's, it really is a bit of a long game. And I love how you touched on all of these things, like community and the the internal company aspect. And how many times did we work for companies and, historically where it's just Oh, look, it's blahdy blah month.
And here's this saying, go to our internal web portal and read an article. Nobody's go in there, right? Nobody's reading those emails. You can do something original and you're actually interviewing someone and that person in the company is on it. What are they going to do? They're going to tell everybody about it so that they'll listen to it.
And so you're getting more activity, you're getting that different kind of energy. And so I love how you're not just dwelling necessarily on the downloads, which. If you keep at it, like you said, I'd love it. I love it. Another thing that you said was the microphone is like a, like a dumbbell, right?
It's and we say it all the time, you got to put the reps in, but I, but the microphone being a dumbbell is just it just adds to that. But once you get those reps in and you're a real podcast or after six months or so then you start seeing. What you hoped you would start to see at the end of it.
And if that's, driving them to more products or creating a community or any of those things, that's when those things start to happen. I agree. I'd like to make two points. So you spoke about the downloads and everybody gets so caught up in these vanity metrics. So let me ask you a question.
So you're a company and you want to have a podcast and everybody's how do we get. Hundred thousand downloads or some numbers, some arbitrary number that they picked up on the internet and they think I have to do this. So my question is, okay, so if you have a hundred thousand people and your goal is to have a conference, okay.
If there, if that's all your goal is, and they're not engaged because you're not putting out good content because you don't care enough about what you're doing. You're just focusing on the numbers. Then you're going to have a hundred thousand people that stop listening to your podcast a long time ago, but because they subscribed.
It's automatically coming to their phone. So it's not even a real measurement of where your community actually is. So would you rather have, a thousand completely engaged. Listeners that are interacting with you on LinkedIn that are subscribing, that are rating and reviewing or writing into your company and that are willing to pay a very high ticket price by the way, very high ticket price for that live event.
That you've put together that is, a mastermind retreat where they're going to have, really great things to learn when they're there. Some of the best speakers you have will be highlighted there. They'll have ways to grow themselves because the people you're talking to obviously have a growth mindset.
So do you want to have a really high ticket, very exclusive mastermind retreat down the road. Or do you just want a hundred thousand people? So you could just say you had a hundred thousand and then you got some ads that were some monthly recurring revenue, but does not beat that nice price ticket right.
For the conference. So they're not all created equal. That's a great point. And actually our friend Phil is chimed in and he has a question. And in this still part of what poly just said, we'll help you. I think so bill has said he's been on some radio talk shows before. But hadn't really thought about podcasting.
And now he's thinking about it more and I want to say he's in cybersecurity, home security, Chris, is that right? So he's thinking would this book be a good place for me to start learning about podcasting? I think he's in the perfect one of those niches that. A lot of people would say, I'd love to listen to somebody.
Talk to me about this subject. That's an expert. What do you, Oh, a hundred percent. First of all, like we said, the magic is in the niche. So the fact that you're already niche down and you specialize in that fill, and it's something that you are knowledgeable about it. That is perfect. And you could.
Interview people. One of the things I tell people is if they're very busy with their work, so obviously you're busy with your cybersecurity. You can interview people, but you could also do moderated versions as well. So it's just you speaking on a very specific topic, so you could keep your content very consistent and coming all the time.
But when you don't have time to interview somebody, you're interviewing yourself and speaking about, one aspect of cybersecurity, for example, Yeah, he's a great example of it. I've watched a couple of he's an Amazon live creator as well. And I, you can tell like within five, 10 minutes, I'm learning something already and you can't turn away.
You're like, I didn't know that. I didn't know that, I started asking some questions about voice activated home security. I didn't know about it. And that's the great thing about podcasting is that, like you said, you could be super niche. In fact, you should be super niche because I think a lot of people think that barrier entry is just, Oh my gosh, it's just so huge.
There's 38 million YouTube channels, there's 600 million blogs. There's there's all of that stuff. Or six, I should say there's like a billion websites or something there's less than 2 million podcasts. And a third of them are active. Yeah. I want to go there. I want to go there and be there where, like you said, Holly, it's I've worked with people that are getting calls from India to be, to work with them.
Getting calls from all over the world because they heard a podcast and one person said I just wanted to be sure that you were the same person that I heard on that podcast. And they got the business and. That is, that means so much to someone. Cause it's a, it's maybe not financially, but it's a payoff.
It's that's what I needed to hear. That's a payoff. This is why I'm doing it. This is why I lifted the microphone and did the curls and put in the rep. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So Holly, tell us about the podcast itself. Yeah. And maybe Chris, if you want to, a lot of times we'll listen to a podcast and we'll make it personal and we'll go, Oh man, I just love this.
And I love this and I love this podcast. And then all of a sudden it's like, why aren't I, I think one of the greatest things you can give to a podcaster is to share it with somebody else. And I don't think there's any greater marketing thing. There is for podcasts. Other than somebody go, have you heard culture factor 2.0 by Holly, Shannon.
Man this interview she had with Steven Eugene Kuhn was just man, she talked about this, he talked about this or whatever, and share it with somebody. I think that is the greatest marketing engine for podcasts. What are your, what's your take on that? I agree. I share podcasts all the time. I enjoy listening to other people and the different stories that they share and.
Word of mouth is always the best, right? So if you could share culture factor, that would be really great. And eventually I'll have another podcast I'm building zero to podcasts now. So there'll be another one. So please share because that's what it's all about.
And yes, you had asked me about the podcast and what it was about. And so what I'd like to tell you is that culture factor started out around the concept that culture eats strategy for breakfast. So it's a famous thing, and it was one that really reflected classical business and the way it's always been done and started the podcast with that in mind and was interviewing people about.
What makes a healthy company culture for them, and it was from the C-suite talking with founders and leaders and really having that conversation along the way. I changed it again because it, what was difficult is that. COVID changed the narrative, right? Like it changed the way we traditionally do business.
So not everybody is going to those skyscrapers that are, up and down fifth Avenue in New York city anymore. And we're in a fragmented world. We're all remote, somewhat hybrid. There's some companies that have just gone under some are just trying to figure it out because maybe they're in like manufacturing and distribution.
Thank you, essential workers. And so it's changed. And I felt that the old model for doing business was not the conversation anymore. So I took a look at company culture and said, it's different. Now we have to talk about how COVID is shaping it. What are leaders doing now to keep their businesses afloat?
And what's happening with the people who work there. Some are having excruciating levels of burnout and some are becoming emerging leaders like there's this whole new dynamic happening. And so it was really important to me to reframe the podcast. So I actually rebranded it in October to reflect a saying that Seth Goden said in his book, this is marketing.
You said, culture is strategy. So I shifted it to really focus on that. And I shifted my conversations to talk about how leaders are managing what they're doing. And I actually have interviewed, up and coming leaders that are in the ecosystem of their business to try and understand what are they doing?
How are we all working together? W our work life and our personal life are so intertwined now, there's no. Work-life balance is a fallacy, right? Like it's really hard to say that even exists anymore. It's one thing when work takes away from being with your family, which happens often people have overtime and all that, but when work physically infiltrates.
Your home space. It changes the dynamic, everything that's like personal and private and special is now up for public consumption. So it's really hard. So that's been the conversation. And then I recently had the thought that I almost want to take a slight break from it to watch the next iteration of company culture, because now that we're getting vaccinated and there's hope.
In the future what this is will go back to brick and mortar. What businesses will adopt fully remote, what businesses will go hybrid and what will work, not the same for everybody, but what will work and what does business look like then? And how are you building culture now? So the podcast really has taken on a lot of different lives and I'm not even a hundred percent sure where it's going.
So maybe that's the beauty part of it. So we'll see where it goes next. Holly, you mentioned that there you've talked to some people on the podcast that are emerging leaders and that have developed great. I don't know, strategies, tactics, whatever, what have you to develop and make their company grow during this time and the happen.
What are some examples, maybe the people that you've spoken to during this time, and maybe some things that they're doing that are changing this whole narrative. And then when we get to. Whatever the other side of this, or when, like you said, the fact scenes out and people start to feel more comfortable, coming and together and whatnot.
Are they going to thrive and be that further ahead from those that are just sitting and waiting back for the doors? You just open again, such great questions. There's so much to unpack there. So the ROI that's always the end goal, right? Have we increased productivity? So the answer is yes and no, right?
There's certain companies that have really thrived through this. You look at the tech industry, for example, make no mistake they're years ahead of us now. If you're a store that made cookies in your store who made a SAS platform, it's like a completely different animal. So I think that people are moving forward.
And what I'm seeing is that when I say emerging leadership, I think that companies, because it's happened so fast, they were open to people within the company morphing the company, like helping it make changes and open to new ideas because it was overnight. For the first time we can really say was overnight.
The only way to really survive is to really lean in on the talent that's there and let them rise to the top with ideas and hope something sticks to the wall. So that did happen. There's just been a lot of people who are rising. And that doesn't mean by age, when I say emerging leadership, I don't necessarily mean that like the youngest are thriving because actually what I'm seeing is a unique.
Dynamic that people that were starting to be looked upon as aging out of certain communities, businesses are now being looked at a little bit differently because they bring a different experience to the table about how to maintain relationships. How to communicate, how to cross mentor. They bring other things to the table that somebody who's new to the business world doesn't bring in.
It doesn't mean that they won't have those skills at some point, but somebody who's 25 does not have the same amount of knowledge that somebody who is 40, they might be extremely well-schooled and they may have great. Things to share and they will, and they're going to grow and everybody's can thrive with the company.
I'm just saying, make no mistake. There's been emerging leadership happening in a lot of different ways. And I think that's, what's so beautiful is that I think everybody can win in some way. If companies recognize that if they can pull together and allow for that to emerge.
And when I say mentor, cross mentor, like I think it's really important that somebody who's 25 years old in the company is mentoring somebody who's 50 and somebody who's 50 is mentoring somebody who's 40 and that it's going back and forth because there's. I learned from my son, how to use six and I'm technically proficient.
Like I've been on a computer forever. I launched a podcast in three weeks. Like I'm technically proficient, but you know what, sometimes I lean in and I say, okay, what's just happened with my computer help. Yeah. It's about being open to anyone around you, whether they're in your company or around you that cause there's.
There's okay. There is, there's some bad information out there. Let's not, but you can learn a lot. Like I used to, whenever I would go into a company, I would spend time with. Whoever was in reception, I would spend time with, I would go walk into the mailroom. I would go, not these aren't companies that I actually worked for.
I think there's ways for you to, it could be a client. It could be whatever. And then there's gotta be ways to do that virtually now as well, whether we're going to be there physically or eventually in a hybrid sort of situation. How can you. Transfer that energy. How can we share that information regardless of age and everything else?
In terms of diversity how can we learn from each other? How can we listen, right? How can we listen to that person? Who's 24 years old and how can we listen to that person? That's 58 years old and everywhere in between, no matter what gender color, anything. And I think there's something to be learned.
So that, I'm glad you brought that up and it's just. It can be disappointing at times to think, boy, I wish that had happened prior to COVID and then we didn't, we never had COVID. And then, that would be fantastic, those are things that you have to go through in order to learn, for some company.
Yeah. I'm not saying it's perfect for every company. I think a lot of them are still struggling, but the ones that I have seen that have embraced That emerging leadership mentality a growth mentality to let people school up, learn up in any way they want, because they have a an idea and they want to see if it helps Those are those companies are really, they're doing well.
They're doing really well. It's why the podcast I'm hopeful, like people listen to what other companies are doing because we learned from each other, we learned from the people we work with, but we also learn by listening to podcasts and finding out what different companies have succeeded at.
Some are killing it on Twitter. They're building morning brew is a perfect example. They're building and scaling publicly on Twitter every freaking day. And they're building the the individuals that work there. Personal branding is happening as well. I had Toby Howell on my show. He's 25.
I learned a lot from him. I'm not 25. So I learned a lot from him. He's amazing. There's just so many people we all have something to share. Just gotta be like open to the process and open to the dialogue. Actively listening. I love it. So Holly you made a major shift, like a lot of us had to, because of what happened with the pandemic, where do you see yourself going?
Now that you've you've got this business, you're working with other companies to help them with podcasts. Do you see yourself staying in this space? Or do you think you may go back into the event industry? It's probably the second time. I've watched the event industry. Have it struggle.
So I'm a little reluctant to put all my eggs in that basket. Again, I'm not exactly sure. Right now I'm building a, this is like my passion project is, the audio excellence and building for businesses and individuals. I think I can see this actually morphing to a bit of an agency model.
I actually have been approached. To possibly buy what I've built type of thing, but I don't know which would leave me open to building something else. So I don't know. I'm open right now. I'm I think my, like I say, I'm a bit of a Swiss army knife, so we'll see. I don't know if I need to build it out more and make it something bigger, like a full service.
For lack of a better way of putting it agency where, I can bring other talents in and we work together to create, great products or what, I don't know. What's next for Holly. Shannon. What do you guys think? I'll ask you, have you on later and then you could share all the fantastic things that have happened since we stopped.
Holly. Thanks again. It was a pleasure. Like I said, when I, and you and I had that conversation a few weeks back, I said, yeah, we gotta get you on here. Cause you got a great message to share. Thanks again. Thank you. Thank you. Both of you. This was really great. And I enjoyed being ideal.
Castro's live. I first made him voyage in the Amazon. So thank you guys for being gentle and thanks for everybody listening and feel free to great question. Thanks. Or, and everybody we'll see you next time. Don't fear the gear. Thanks for listening to Dealcasters. Congratulations, you've taken another step forward in your content creation journey.