In increasing exposure and capturing your target audience, you have to literally standout. For Donna Shannon – career coach, speaker, stand-up comic, President of the Personal Touch Career Services, and the host of Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits podcast – being bingeable means leaving a lasting impression to anyone who knows you and your business. Today, she shares how she runs her podcast and creates bingeable content, from the microphones used to manipulating the environment and getting people to listen to her on a regular basis.
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Creating Bingeable Content By Being A Business Freak With Donna Shannon
I have a fun show title for you, Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits. Does that not sound like a fun show, like a show you should binge on? That sounds completely interesting. I met Donna Shannon at The Dames, which is one of the networking groups as many of you know. I talked about people I’ve met on The Dames before. We’ve had a couple of other people who come from the Dames who’ve also been here as well. Donna is a Career Coach, a Speaker, and a Standup Comic. She’s the President of the Personal Touch Career Services.
She’s been empowering business professionals with high-quality classes, coaching programs since 2004. She has eight years of experience in human resources and recruiting, which she talks about on her show sometimes. You’ll hear this interesting dynamic about recruiting practices and other things. One of my favorite episodes, which you guys have to check out because I did not know it was a thing until I listened to Donna’s show, ghosting is going on in the recruitment world. I thought it was going to be an episode about ghosting like the companies were never getting back to you and you were never getting hired.
It’s actually the opposite. It seems that potential employees are ghosting their future employers. It’s an interesting episode. Those are the different types of things that she brings. She’s got, Get A Job Without Going Crazy. She’s the author of that. She’s the host of Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits podcasts. She’s presented in national conferences in Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Orlando, and her Personal Touch Career Services is Denver’s top-rated resume and career coaching services on Google with over 80 five-star reviews. That’s a great resume, Donna. I love it. Welcome.
Thank you much for having me.
What made you decide to go for a name like Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits?
It’s a silly name, but has a serious purpose as one of the tattooed freaks myself.
I can’t tell because it’s winter and you’re all covered up.
I’m Gen X. There’s a joke between Gen X and Millennials. Gen X, we always started our tattoos so they could be covered up when we got real jobs. Millennials, it’s on the hands and on the neck and, “No, don’t put a face tattoo on first.” Sorry, I digress.
Lessons learned. Donna’s learned.
It’s all about us Gen X and Millennials that are stepping into these leadership roles and we still want to be ourselves.
It has a sense of the tone and the timing. What’s going to happen and who’s going to be on it? We’re going to get these interesting stories and interesting people.
I do try to bring in a pretty good mix of that. Sometimes we talk about dream careers or careers you’ve never heard of before. We recently had a gentleman on talking about breaking into voice acting and voiceover work. It was a great episode. We do talk about those recruitment strategies, tips, and tricks. We bring in real-world recruiters as well as fellow coaches. Diving deep into some of the other basic business leadership potentials, such as the importance of emotional intelligence and things like that.
What made you decide to start the show?
One of the things that are not on my resume anymore, because I haven’t forever in a day. I actually used to be on radio. I was a morning show producer as well as working in the business office for many years. Honestly, I love the type of radio format you get from that.
You have a good voice, by the way. It has that nice deeper tone that is so necessary for us women.
If I concentrate on it.
That’s right, and you get in close to your microphone, right?
You sound like you had radio experience. I would have guessed that.
What’s beautiful about podcast is, there’s so much freedom with them now. I don’t have to worry about making a certain audience share. If there’s a topic that’s a little bit of an outlier, a niche market, I can totally dive into that and then bring it to a wider light.A podcaster needs to be able to define and go after his or her audience. Click To Tweet
That’s great that you found that shift for yourself. Was there a reason you started it for business purposes?
Part of it too is to increased awareness of who we are and what we do. Especially since I’m a speaker, attracting clients and things like that. It’s always been part of my philosophy way back since 2004, is about providing quality content. Making sales is almost secondary. My biggest motivation for the past years has been that light when people get in their eyes when they realize it’s not them personally that their career’s not taking off. It has to do with their strategies, tactics, and just practical tools. Those things can easily be changed.
You can get your dream job and you could still be that tattooed freak. I love that.
Absolutely, and it’s way more accepted now than it used to be, but it’s still by region. I’m out in Colorado and Colorado by and large, is a heavily tattooed state.
I did not know that but that sounds accurate.
The further east you go, towards the east coast. New York, Connecticut, Boston areas are going to be more conservative. It’s not quite as accepted. I actually had one podcast guest on. She was a digital nomad international. She would bounce between New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and all over the United States. I talked about, “How different is that in other countries?” She goes, “No, it is not accepted it all. You have to cover up all of those tattoos.”
I’m starting to feel like that outlier. Tom and I’ve talked about this, my husband and partner. We joked about this, that we’re like the outliers in the family. We’re the only ones out of all of our siblings who don’t have tattoos and we went to art school. We should have been the ones who got them first before anyone else. Now it’s this thing of, “We didn’t get one. We haven’t done it yet.”
It’s never too late.
I love that. What are some funny, interesting, different stories about podcasting? Have you had some big tech mishaps, some guests that just blew your mind? What are some things that have happened to you as you started this podcast?
I always do things in redundancy. On radio, anything can go wrong. I was recording a gentleman who’s a business leader here in the Denver market. He made a big impact in Denver on Startup Week and well-known voice and all this. I normally record on Camtasia, which is a heavy-duty editing suite. You can also record directly on a computer as well as running my Zoom recording. I was halfway through the podcast and I realized neither one of them were recording.
It has happened to all of us.
It was early in, just like my first few podcasts. I’m like, “Do I try to salvage it from this point? Do I just bite it and tell them I just made this massive mistake or do I just act like nothing happened?” “Sorry, Peter. We’ll get it posted next week.” I did not handle that one well.
It’s better to be straightforward about it. I find that people are forgiving.
There are also beautiful things about technology, too. I was speaking at a conference in Orlando for one of my niche markets, which is private service. These are the people who manage multimillion-dollar luxury estates. Like butlers, personal assistants, yes, that’s a real thing. I was speaking with a lady that I’ve known several years now. Her name is Bonnie Low-Kramin. She teaches this personal assisting and her program is to be the ultimate assistant. She’s taught it literally around the world. She was Olympia Dukakis’ assistant for 25 years. She was the longest podcast interview I’d ever done. We were just like sitting in the lobby, running the tape from my phone. I was amazed at how good the sound quality was for that.
I know it’s shocking sometimes that our lower-tech just works out great for us and the high tech we sometimes make too many mistakes on. You’ve gotten quite a few shows on your belt. Is there something that you love about it by now or something that you don’t love. How is it going for you?
One of the things that I do love about it and that my guests love about it is, number one, I provide them an outline so that they know where they’re going. It’s my job as a host to make my guest look good. It’s kind of old radio mentality. Based on my work, helping people with interviews just for job searching and things like that is that, how am I going to get them back on track? How am I going to make sure they’re going to stick to the topic and not go off on tangents, unless the tangents are interesting? That’s one of the things that I love about it.
What about things that you’re not in love with that you wish you could change?
I am not good at advanced planning. Our podcast right now is once a month. I love to do it more, twice a month. I know with consistency, you get more listeners, but life invades. As a business owner, there’s just so many things going off everywhere.
I love that. Life invades. It’s such a great term. This is the thing. There are some special practices and some best ways to do things. I’d love to go into our five things that we normally talk about that make our shows better. Sometimes they make our shows more successful. Sometimes they’re special to us and the way that we like to do things. I’m going to start with the best way to get great guests. How do you do that, Donna?
I am always paying attention to the people that I meet at conferences, business meetings, and what I’m reading in the local business magazines and try to contact those people. That is right in line with what our show’s purpose is. Early on, there were a lot of people who wanted to get on my show to promote their stuff. I’m like, “No.” I know a lot of people through the chamber that just wanted to go on and talk about their real estate business. I go, “Okay, we could talk about real estate, but you need to talk about how do you find someplace that’s affordable here in Denver? What are the strategies that somebody needs to take? Give them key takeaways. This is not a platform to sit here and sell your stuff.”
Especially when you’re used to utilizing it for business purposes, you only are doing a few episodes at a time. You want to be careful about curating those. How do you increase listeners? What are some of the best ways you found to do that?
We have done a lot of cross-promotion on multiple different sites. We are hosted on Podbean, that’s our home. We have our website, TattooedFreaksInBusinessSuits.com. We keep that up and running so you got the direct link. We’re cross-posted on Spotify, and my assistant handles all this stuff. Technically, she’s my producer in this role. She does all that for me.
You’re syndicated everywhere and you should be.
How about producing in a professional way? You said you use Camtasia and some other things. Did you plan out how you produce the episode and how you wanted it to flow? What did you decide in that process?
A big thing is using the actual outline itself. Because I oftentimes deal with people who have not done a whole lot of voiceover work, radio, podcasts, or anything. They’re all newbies in this. I make them as comfortable as possible and get their minds off of the fact that they’ve got a microphone in their face. That’s not what it’s about. I want to have a normal conversation. Technical things, sometimes I invest in the best equipment I could ever get and then regret it.
Yes, I have a Yeti Blue, the intense $100 microphone, which is awesome in some cases, but then I had to buy soundproofing materials.
That’s because it was bouncing off everywhere and coming into your mic.
It’s picking up everything.
We have the same problem with lots of other clients. You’re not alone. How do you encourage engagement on social and other places to hear if you’re doing a great job on the show, if you’re giving them what they’re looking for?
Always getting engagement is a challenge. Anytime I get a like, I’m like, “Somebody hit a Like button.” If I can get them to do a comment, that is so much better. I always make sure to reply back to comments. In any guests that I have, whenever we’re posting it on social media, I make sure to tag them or hit them with a hashtag so that they know that they need to share and get the word out as well.
I’m just going to stop Donna, right there. She just said the one thing that I actually find goes wrong often. A lot of times, we’ll be talking, sometimes a book will come up. An author’s name you just mentioned. I made a little note to myself to make sure I get her name spelled right so that I can tag her in the episode. If you don’t do that, you’re doing all of this work and not reaping the benefit on the other side. If you want to get the engagement, you want to increase the listeners, and you want to get better guests, then you need to do a better job just like Donna is. You are making sure that you’re doing that. I love the idea of hashtagging. I never thought about that. Usually, I do normal tagging, but hashtagging makes a lot of sense because what if other people are out there searching for that person? Now your podcast is going to show up.
That’s one of the cross-promotion things too. LinkedIn has put a lot of effort into making their hashtags more responsive. If a company page is out there, that’s another thing I encourage you to do. You can put in three hashtags that will always tie back to your company page. You could post your podcast on your company page, then within your newsfeed. You hit it with that same hashtag. It’s going to not just be picked up by your own page, but by other pages that are following that same hashtag and then you’re getting more cross-promotion going.
Everyone out there, Donna’s an expert in resume building, on Career Services and all of those things because she has her company Personal Touch Career Services. Obviously, LinkedIn is a big part of that. You probably have better LinkedIn skills than many of us. Are you utilizing them to your best abilities on podcast? On sharing your show?
I tried to and I will admit there are some areas that I am weaker than others. My Instagram feeds sucks. That’s one of the things that we need to go back and do. Repost or create the links for all of our most recent podcasts or the ones that have been the best, our stellar ones. I have Twitter.
For those of your reading, you can’t see her almost shiver as she mentioned the word Twitter. Twitter makes me twitch, literally. I have the same problem. It happens.
That’s also understanding where your audience is going to be, our business professionals. That is why we hit LinkedIn pretty hard. On our Facebook, we know our followers, because oftentimes we picked them up at my events. We understand that they are going to be interested in it.
The last of the best ways we go after. The fifth one is the best ways to monetize your show. In your case, you’re monetizing into your core business, because your core business is actually the sponsor of your show, which is an interesting way to go. Are you finding it translating into business for you? How is the podcast doing from driving that alternative monetization?With good content, people will keep coming back to you. Click To Tweet
It definitely does help, like any marketing mix. We engage in several different types of marketing and the content generation is just so important for any coach out there. If we’re not creating content, there’s no reason for someone to keep coming back to us. I talked to a different career coach here in Denver. I’m not going to mention names because it’s definitely to protect the guilty. We’re talking about new books. He goes, “I wrote a book, too.” “Mine was published in 2003.” “Things haven’t changed too much since then.” I just released the third edition of my book in 2019. The first edition was in 2009. The second was in 2012. This is the Get A Job Without Going Crazy, which was released in 2019. He’s like, “Well, you know, LinkedIn, so there’s that.” I’m like, “Yeah?”
My readers know that I have my book sitting on the credenza behind my desk not published on those books. It’s the manuscript on that side of the desk. It’s still sitting there because every time I go to do the final edit, I’m like, “This has changed.” I can’t even publish it because things are changing so fast in the podcasting industry. In my industry, it’s like too fast for books. You’re right, that’s not okay. You got to find a way to keep up. If this is the media process by which you can content create, serve your audience, and do that. That’s going to have to serve your business at the end of the day. It’s going to drive the right people to you.
It’s also understanding that the way people are consuming content has changed. Since 2009, I have led a jobseekers networking group here in Denver called the Brown Bag Job Search Group. I use that for a long time as a way my content generation works. Back in 2009 was the recession. We would get anywhere from 20 to 50 people in a room. Nowadays, I’m lucky to get ten. We started adding a virtual meeting. We do a virtual meeting once a week, and then we do the in-person meeting once a month. We’re starting to see people log in for the virtual meeting from across the country, not just here in Denver because it’s so much more convenient to log in, and still interact. Treat it like actual humans talking to each other versus, “I have to drive halfway across Denver.”
That’s how Donna and I met. We met in a virtual networking event. We met in a virtual meetup. That’s the beauty of what we’re doing nowadays. These things have changed and have become more convenient, more fun. It has given us more of the ability to reach farther. It’s to reach outside of our local communities. The other thing I like to ask everybody on the show is, how podcasting raised your authority? Has it gotten you speaking events? Has it helped you get an article published, has it gotten new exposure? What has it done from an authority-building standpoint?
It definitely has given more depth through spreading goodwill. I’m a pay it forward kind of person. One of the things that I always encourage job seekers, and this falls in the same category, too, is you want to do favors for people. You want to give them something of value. You don’t want to just always be contacting somebody and say, “Can you put my resume in front of the hiring manager?” It’s like, “I don’t even know you. I just connected to you on LinkedIn. Why would I do that?” A good example of this is Yvette Costa, who was on my show talking about Emotional intelligence and yoga, in between those for senior leaders.
I’m part of one of the SHRM chapters here in Denver, the Society Human Resources Management. Because I knew her work, I was able to recommend her when I saw that she was applying for one of our speaker spots. We snagged her. We’re going to do this cool, innovative thing that the team has never done before. I saw Yvette and she’s like, “Thank you so much for doing this and supporting me.” I’m like, “My pleasure, of course,” then we get the reciprocity of that. Where others are willing to share our name, our voice, links to our podcast, and that’s the organic growth side of things, which I think is important.
Donna, every time I talk to someone here, obviously this is called The Binge Factor to identify their binge factor. For you, your binge factor is that you are tightly focused in a niche. You are focused on providing great career advice, professional services, and giving them exposure to how the workplace is working right now. Yet allowing that person who says, “I need a job but I’m not so sure that this is right for me because I still want to be me at the end of the day,” and you’ve given them that viewpoint on, “That can happen.” Once we tap into a single episode, we go, “Donna’s got this. She’s guiding me to the right advice and the right people. I feel at home.” You’ve given that tattooed freak, that person who feels like the outsider, this hope. They go back to the beginning. They listen to all your episodes.
We also talk about tattoos. That was the binge factor.
One of my big regrets is that I was asked at one point to quote a job to design a tattoo chair. I totally wanted to do it because the tattoo chair was not for the person getting the chair but for the tattoo artist. I thought these poor artists are hunched over. They need support. This could be such a great challenging chair for me. The quote never went through into a project. I’m disappointed. I thought this would have been so much fun and would have been the great resume. It’s like, “Look, I designed a tattoo chair.” It’s a fun conversation piece.
Yeah, but you don’t have a tattoo.
I don’t have one, it would have been a good excuse to get one. The funny thing is, because I’m an artist, because I went to art school and I’m a designer, it was picking a design that kept me from ever getting a tattoo. It got to be the point where everyone around me had one and I was like, “Now it’s not so rebellious and not so exciting.” I just never even went further at that point. I think I’m going to wait until I’m ten years older or something, and then get a tattoo old. This is the cool old lady thing to do, something like that. Try to make it cool again for me.
It’s interesting too, I ask for the stories behind them and do they have meaning, things like that is you get a certain point of view when somebody’s talking about their business or what they do? You ask them about their tattoo and now we’re diving into something. In my case, most of my tattoos have meaning. I have some that are just jokes, which is like who gets to spend several hundred dollars to get a joke tattoo?
I love that. That says a lot about you, Donna.
It’s not like a script for Who’s On First or whatever. Here’s a meme that you can go lookup. It’s like the facehugger from Alien. It’s a little facehugger and he’s holding up a sign that says, “Free hugs.” I totally trapped myself because people look at it because he’s also surrounded by flowers because that’s ironic too. They go, “Look free hugs,” and then they hug me, but it was all supposed to be so people would not hug me.
It backfired on you. That’s the case, that’s what Donna brings. That’s the binge factor that Donna brings. She brings the humor. She brings the fun. She brings that comfort zone of “I can be me. I can have my stories. I can be myself. I don’t have to assimilate to go get a job.” What are your job prospects? What do you think about podcaster as a job? Are there good prospects out there? Should we hold back, should only certain people start?
No, I say, “Everybody go for it,” but like anything, you need to learn what it’s about. You need to be able to define your audience and how you’re going to go after it. I am a huge Welcome to Night Vale fan.
I know what it is. I’m not a fan.
For anybody who doesn’t know what that is, it’s like a town out in the middle of the desert, and then there’s a break off from that. It’s called Dream Boy. Warning, sexual content included. I was listening to Dream Boy one day, just working in my office and it was all of a sudden, they get into the hardcore. I’m like, “This is porn,” but they are clear on what makes them successful. They have a quality product. It follows a set format. The listeners know what to expect, as far as you know, “This is porn.” Welcome to Night Vale is not porn.
There are so many different genres and different types of shows out there, that as long as you’ve defined it, and you know what it is, there are good prospects for you out there. There’s a place for it to work for you. There’s also a place for it to work for you in terms of building up your authority, building up your resume in a way of saying, “I could be a great speaker. I can be a great salesperson, look what I can do.”
It is like running a business. You do have to keep in mind, “What are my metrics? What are my targets? What’s our revenue goals,” if that’s tied into it? Whether you’re monetizing through clicks, or through generating business itself, you need to watch that stuff. My first degree is in music business management and audio engineering. I always like to point out who’s the best guitarist in the world.
The one who puts the many hours in.
Not necessarily, the best guitarist in the world, nobody knows who it is.
They don’t know their name?
They’re sitting on their couch playing guitar right now.
They’re still putting their hours in, even though they don’t need it, right?
Right, or because they’re not getting up off their butt to promote themselves and play shows and get their word out, get their music out. The difference between success in a creative industry where you control everything 100% and not.
Such good advice. Donna, I’m glad you came. I’m glad we got to talk about Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits. I’m glad we got a little more time together than we get in our short virtual networking. That’s always the other the fun part about doing a podcast. We get to relationship build a little further and get to know each other. You all can find the show on your favorite podcast player because she’s out there syndicated everywhere, Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits, be looking for her next episode. Go ahead and subscribe and binge listen to it. Check out some of the cool tips and interesting things that she talks about on the show. Thanks so much for joining us, Donna.
Thanks, everyone for reading The Binge Factor. I’m glad I could bring you Donna and I could bring these interesting shows, Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits. I love to get new titles and new exciting shows for you and different people all over the place who are doing wonderful models of podcasting in the business world. In turning it into money-making for their business, alternative monetization, different ways to grow their brand authority. All these different models that might work for you and ways at which you can be more successful at your podcasting journey. If you have a show and you’d love to be featured on it, make sure you apply it to TheBingefactor.com. Make sure you also go to TheBingefactor.com and check out the blog post for this episode and all the links to catch up with Donna and her show. Thanks so much, everyone for reading. I’ll be back next week with another Binge Factor.
Don’t miss Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Donna Shannon too!
- Personal Touch Career Services
- Episode – The Ghosting Epidemic in Business
- Get A Job Without Going Crazy
- Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits
- Episode – Unusual Careers: Breaking into Voice Over Acting
- Bonnie Low-Kramin
- Facebook – Personal Touch Career Services
- LinkedIn – Personal Touch Career Services
- Yvette Costa – Why Does Emotional Intelligence Matter?
About Donna Shannon
Donna Shannon, career coach, speaker, stand-up comic and President of the Personal Touch Career Services, has been empowering business professionals with high-quality classes and coaching programs since 2004. With over eight years of experience in Human Resources and Recruiting, Ms. Shannon knows the tactics that get past the HR department’s screening process and impresses the hiring managers.
Donna is the author of “Get a Job Without Going Crazy,” host of the “Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits” podcast and has presented at national conferences in Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Orlando. The Personal Touch Career Services is Denver’s top-rated resume and career coaching service on Google, with over 80 5-Star reviews.
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