With the growing number of podcasters and podcasts in general, how do we create a community that fosters collaboration instead of competition? That’s the goal Corinna Bellizzi is working towards. Corinna is the host of Care More Be Better, where she shares stories of inspired individuals and conscious companies to show us all that one person with one idea can have a big positive social impact. In November 2021, with her business bestie, Julie Lokun, she co-founded The Mediacasters, a podcast and community that elevates the voices of people and supports their journeys through podcasting, publishing, and public speaking. In this episode, Corinna chats with Tracy Hazzard about the power of community in elevating the space and how staying true to your message is key to excelling.
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Striving For Excellence Is Key To Inspire And Support Your Podcasting Community Like Corinna Bellizzi Of Care More Be Better
I have another partner for you. I have got Corinna Bellizzi. Mediacasters is one of our favorite partners. We are so excited to be supporting some women network owners. Corinna is one of them. I’m going to have Julie Lokun on soon, so you will get both of them. Corinna Bellizzi is an amazing podcaster.
She hit the ground running when she started her podcasts and embraced everything podcasting, and then decided that the podcasting world needed a network that supports women and underserved voices, just like her podcast serves an important area that needs its message to be brought out in the world. Her podcast is called Care More Be Better. She also has Mediacasters as a podcast. It is housed on the Mighty Networks in terms of the organization and the network structure.
She has a podcast for it too. She is got a lot going on. I cannot wait for her to talk with you all about it, but let me tell you a little bit more about Corinna’s background because she has another podcast coming out, which she gives us a sneak peek at. Corinna Bellizzi is a natural products industry executive who’s earned a reputation for leading and developing growth of responsible brands. For example, Nordic Naturals, iWi, NutriGold. She is presently working tirelessly on the development of a new pre-market brand that seeks to achieve a carbon negative impact.
As a part of her lifelong education journey, she earned her MBA from Santa Clara University, graduating at the top of her class with a triple focus on entrepreneurship, leadership, and marketing. She launched her first podcast show, Care More, Be Better to share the stories of inspired individuals and conscious companies to show us all that one person with one idea can have a big impact. It now ranks in the top 2.5% of all podcasts globally. In November 2021, she cofounded the Mediacasters network with her business bestie, Julie Lokun.
The Mediacasters is a podcast and community that elevates the voices of people and supports their journeys through podcasting, publishing and public speaking. I am so excited to be partnered with Corinna. Her mind blows mine every single time. The amount that they can accomplish and think about what they are putting into everything goes to show you much she cares more and wants to be better with every aspect of her business and her life, not just in that sustainability and future growth world so let’s take a read to the interview with Corinna Bellizzi.
Corinna, thanks so much for joining me. We are going to talk about Care More Be Better, Mediacasters, and a whole bunch of stuff in the scope of what is going on in the podcasting world. I want to start with how you decided to become a podcaster. We have known each other a little while now, and I have not heard that story. I would love to hear that.
Podcasting can be an addiction. Like any addiction, what does it usually start with? Some gateway into the world. I listened to some famous NPR shows for years. One of my favorites of all time is Car Talk. I will still go back and listen to those episodes with the Click and Clack brothers and have fun, thinking about all the days I spent in garages.
Are you a Boston girl?
No, but I was a car fanatic and I used to race cars.
Those of us old-school Car Talk people are from New England.
If you are a gear head and you like to hear stories about how people fix cars on a budget or a shoestring or they are trying to figure out like, “What is wrong with my old, used junker?” That one was a lot of fun. I had stopped listening to radio because I got bored with ads and everything else. I had heard a lot about podcasting and what people were doing in that space. There was a show that my friends told me I had to listen to, which was called My Favorite Murder. Most people know that show. I was like, “I do not know if I can listen to that. I have lost a dear friend to murder.” It was one of those things where it is way too fresh still for me.
It had been years when they came out and I was starting to hear about it, and I’m like, “I’m not ready.” Fall of 2020, I was like, “I think I could do this. I could give this show a try.” I started with one episode and I heard between November 2020 and middle-to-end of December 2020 every single episode they’d produced, including all of their mini-sodes.
I’m just binge-listening like crazy. I was like, “I have a voice. I could do this. I could do something similar. If these girls starting with their Apple laptop and a couple of mics giggling and eating hamburgers together, can start a podcast that can create a movement, I could podcast about things that I’m passionate about. Why not?” That was the impetus. I looked at all my history. I have done media tours before. I have been a guest on radio shows. I had the training to be able to do that. I had even done some technical editing, audio editing, and technical directing when I was in college. I’m like, “It can’t be that hard. I could do this.”
I love to set that the tech is not a challenge. The tech is the easy part at the end the day. Although some people like to make it insurmountable, but it is also not where you want to start. You want to be like, “I have a voice.” That is what I think is so brilliant about what you have done since you have started podcasting because the reality is you are relatively new to the scene of podcasting.
You come in and you get so passionate about it that you decide you are going to create a movement and that movement is now called Mediacasters. It is about building more voices and making sure more voices are heard. Did you struggle with that at the beginning of starting your show with trying to figure out how to get your show heard?
The first step is confidence. It is hard to feel confident doing something so new when you know that the first episode is going to be public foreseeably forever if you keep paying to have your feet out there or that somebody could download it. Even if you decide to take it down later, it is out there. There is no real taking it back in a way once you get it out there.
That piece can feel daunting and overwhelming. When I was getting started, I was working with a particular production company. They were helping me get my intro and my outro together and they are going to edit my trailer. I was going to see if I could budget to have them keep doing it, but it was a lot of money and I was in grad school.
It is a lot of moving parts. Your confidence is a little bit not there right in the beginning. What I found is that I lacked community and people to talk to about it. I had reached out to some people that I knew in podcasting, where they were trying to get to know in podcasting, but they were so experienced that they were far from where I was in the process. What I longed for was people that could relate to me in my specific spot of trying to get started, who understood or remembered very keenly what it was like in that beginning phase and that were willing to spend a little time with me to help me figure it out.
Ultimately, I did not get that. That is part of what I’m hoping to do with the Mediacasters in collaboration with Julie Lokun because we have a lot of new or fresh podcasters or people who are getting started that we are trying to collaborate with and help them find their sea legs so that they are confident, not only in their voice but in their power in guesting and the things that they can do to get out there and gain that confidence so they can take those steps forward and ultimately succeed and not pod fade.
We are all told, “Do you want to start a podcast? Go ahead. Here is a speaker. We’ll make it easy for you. Here is this anchor platform. We are going to make it easy for you too,” but so many of those people pod fade. They come out with a show, they do not know what they are doing, they have not even found their voice before they started, they did not have a plan, and before you know it, they are five episodes in and they are gone.When we listen to a lot of these shows that are speaking to their own belly buttons, they don't necessarily provide a digestible story to somebody who might just be in that discovery mode. Click To Tweet
Five is being generous. A lot of them do not even make three.
They might make one. They just do the trailer and then they stop. That part, for me, is sad because so much effort and creative energy go into that early process where you are even deciding to do it. They do not have the resources that they want or need or the community. That is the piece that I can personally help to solve. One of the things I’m personally really good at is remembering what it was like before. That is a skillset that I have brought with me throughout my career. I remember what it was like before I knew anything about omega-3s. I remember what it was like when I was a little girl working in a retail shop in Vallco Mall in Cupertino.
I have always reflected back on those moments in time when I run into somebody who’s new to the thing that they are doing because I find that it helps me to both relate to them as a salesperson. I came from sales. You sell, learn, and market. How do I speak to somebody in a different language? They are not in the same space yet. They do not understand what a DAW is. What is a DAW? They do not understand what microphone if it needs a USB connection or another. They are starting out. We have to not necessarily dumb it down because that is not what I mean at all. It is remember and then give the tools to help people get comfort and get to the space where they feel.
It falls on support. I love that. That is what you are all about. It is interesting that all your podcasts, though, also have that same theme. Like what you are doing here, your podcasts have that same thing. Your main show is called Care More Be Better. That be better part, that is what I hear a lot from listening to the episodes.
I hear a lot of be better is about community and support. That is so valuable because you are tackling a big subject in Care More Be Better. You are tackling sustainability. This type of idea of things that we need to do as a society to become better, to make the world better, to make our climate better is daunting. I know because I personally worked in this for a long time from the early stages. If you can’t get enough to make that step one, then step two, you are never going to make it because that perfection is so unattainable in this world.
That is a nail on the head. When you talk about a lot of the sustainability podcasts out there, they come at the subject from a high-brow perspective. What I mean by that is they get technical fast. They start to talk about things in a jargoned way. I see the same thing when you are talking about entrepreneurial podcasts, like suddenly they are talking about, “What is your CAGR?” “Am I going to get a beer with my advice now? Is that what is happening here?” “Compound Annual Growth Rate.” “What does that mean even?” Not to approach things from an elementary perspective, but from a perspective of I do not want to alienate with jargon. When somebody says something like, “I was at COP26.”
People do not understand what COP26 is. It is a sustainability initiative that has been happening for many years. One happened in the UK. When we listen to a lot of these shows that are speaking to their own belly buttons, they do not necessarily provide a digestible story to somebody who might be in that discovery mode. How I look at what I do with Care More Be Better is I call that show as an invitation.
It is an invitation to care more so we can all be better. One of the things I keep in my signatures of almost every email I ever sent is a quote from Margaret Mead, which essentially says, “Never doubt that a small group of people could change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I believe that together we can move mountains and achieve more that there is power in community.
Without developing a community, you aren’t going to see the same successes or you are not going to enjoy it as much if you do succeed because who’s going to be there with you? You are off alone. One of the most powerful moments in my professional career was talking to my HR manager at Nordic Naturals. I was second in command. I have grown this company from less than $1 million in annual revenues to over $100 million. I have seen them through being a little professional brand into a natural products retail giant and now in 37 markets around the globe. I felt lonely at the top.
That is a sick thing I hear again and again.
It is hard because people look at you like, “They are so high above me from, let’s say, your rank or your status within the company.” Whether or not you even act like that, there is this innate alienation. When you are in that spot, it is harder to get perspective and understand when you may be making a mistake if you are not getting the right feedback, if people aren’t being honest in their feedback, because they are intimidated by you. Again, all these things can feed in. My HR manager said to me, “Corinna, it is lonely at the top.” I’m like, “This is a powerful statement. I do not like that. What can I do to change that?” I can create communities with other companies and with other individuals or in similar jobs. I can work to create better segues between myself and other leaders within the company.
I can work to connect more with people that are in the lower ranks of the company in a genuine and authentic way, but it all comes down to is this power of connection, building community, and trying to keep a real clear headset about what is real, because, in the changing world of podcasting, I have only been at it for a few years and few weeks in 2022 officially.
In that time, I have already seen podcasting go through a few changes. That is in a year. What happens in 2 years and 3 years? What are we going to do as a community to acknowledge the changes that are happening, to support communities that are up and coming throughout the podcasting world, and to be, let’s say, friendly and lock arms with one another as opposed to looking at everybody as competition?
If you continually say, “You are playing in my sandbox. I’m not going to be collaborative with you.” You are doing yourself a disservice, especially if you are talking about reaching a consumer. As for myself, I’m trying to reach people in the sustainability and social impact space. I’m networking with other podcasters in that space to see if I can invite them on or be on their shows or even listen to their shows for our potential guest ideas and find a through-line to collaborate in some way, even if it is not direct because there is power in that, I’ll learn, and grow more. I can support their growth. I can introduce them to people that may move for change that we both want to.
It is getting back to that power of community, power of collaboration, and the connection is important. Especially when we are living in this disconnected world where people are increasingly on their screens, they are also doing this, “I do not believe what you believe. I’m going to divide from you when we have more in common than we have this difference.” If I can be a part of a community that can foster collaboration and helps heal divides, I want to do that.
You have already because what I found is that you have some diverse guests on your show. I was reading an article about Design Matters, which is one of the oldest podcasts. It started in 2005. That is how long ago it started. Because I come out of the design world, I have actually been listening to it.
Was there podcasting back then?
Technically, yes, RSS feeds have a list that existed. You were doing that over your blog essentially back then. You weren’t syndicating in the same way that you are. Technically, iTunes came about in 2007 in terms of allowing RSS feeds into it. It did happen around that time period. I’ll have to look up my history on that, but she started the podcast in 2005 over her website. That was its purpose. As long as I have been listening to it over the years, I hear the same thing from her again and again, which is, “We are talking at an event and I decided I should have you on my show.” Everybody is connected to her. She is not always reaching outside of herself to bring on guests.
I hear that from so many hosts who either burn out because they do not get enough guests. It is because their whole guesting program is all focused on this. One of the three questions that I always ask in every show that I do here is about how you get great guests. The angle that I want to ask you about here is, how are you finding that outreach to find someone who you have never met before to talk to? I hear them on your show and it is not a direct link to you that you have invited them on. You have met out and reached out to them.
Sometimes it is just an idea. This guest, Ethan Welty, I was having a conversation with Julie Lokun, my partner for the Mediacasters. She is like, “I heard about this guy or this company called Falling Fruit. You should look into that.” Sometimes it is as simple as a suggestion coming from my community. I’m careful to actively listen when these things come up because if they touch on the subjects that I want to talk about, I’m like, “I’ll make a note. I’ll go look at that.”Striving For Excellence Is Key To Inspire And Support Your Podcasting Community Like Corinna Bellizzi Of Care More Be Better Click To Tweet
Falling Fruit, this example, was the idea child of two college kids that decided they did not like that all the fruit in their neighborhood was falling to the ground and wasn’t being harvested. Couldn’t they use their programming skills to create a log and go out there and have people in different communities around the globe log the trees in their area when they were in fruit so they could be managed and the food wouldn’t go to waste and you could feed people who might not otherwise have food, or just provide a great connection to your local environment and the food sources that are already there.
I’m like, “That is great.” I reached out to him on LinkedIn like, “I do not have a way to get introduced to you. I’m just going to reach out.” Another was Paul Hawken, which was a big guest. I did not have a direct connection to him. I had responded to somebody who came to me from one of the podcast booking agents. They’d said, “We think this guy will be a great guest on your show. His name is David Johnson. He’s a Stanford professor of law and design thinking, which I think you would appreciate.” I was like, “Is he going to be a fit for the show? I do not know. Let me at least have an intro call with him and I’ll figure it out.”
I had an intro call with David Johnson. During our interview, he mentioned that Paul is releasing a book in a few weeks’ time called Regeneration. You should look at that. I thought, “I have not read that book.” That wasn’t even on my radar because it was coming out in a few weeks. What I did not know is that David Johnson was neighbors with Paul Hawken.
He did not tell me this because there is this unwritten rule when you have friends that are borderline celebrities, you do not share their information per se unless you get permission before. What I ended up doing was I went to his website. I’m like, “I’ll reach out through the press contact and see what I can do.” I gave the story and they were like, “I interviewed David Johnson. I would love to connect with Paul. Here are some stats about my show. I understand I’m not in the top half percent. I’m definitely not Joe Rogan, but I would appreciate being able to have a deep discussion with you on my podcast.” They asked for a few more stats, came back to me, and booked the show. I interviewed him for an hour and a half.
There are various ways. I did find out about another doctor that I wanted to interview who’s also a very big name, Dr. William Li. He wrote a book Eat to Beat Disease. I’m getting ready to launch a third show. This is on nutrition. I’m like, “I need to meet this guy.” I reached out through his press contact form, I had to go through some hurdles with the PR agent, but I know how to speak the language of a PR agent. That helps.
The biggest thing is not to be afraid. Understand that these are people that you can connect with. They aren’t some person off in an ivory tower. I might not get their personal email. I might have to work through somebody else in order to get to the person I want to get to, but if these are stories that I’m passionate about telling and I’m going to have a fun time interviewing them, my audience is going to hear that. I had a great time interviewing Paul Hawken. I had so much fun with them.
It is so interesting because I think that PR agents, in general, underestimate how valuable your show was for selling the books. When you go to a larger audience, there is a much smaller percentage. They have a bigger reach but a much smaller percentage of people who are going to be the right fit for buying the book, actually reading it, sharing it with others, writing good reviews, and influencing the right group of people.
If you are the go-to expert in your small community about sustainability or nutraceuticals that are good for the environment and good for you, all of those things are valuable. Who’s going to come and ask you? More people. That has bigger waves of influence than does someone who just has a large audience because you are doing what I call the shotgun approach.
You are just shooting out there, hoping you are going to hit something. That is not always the best way to go. We did this test with a big author, a former Shark Tanker. His PR company came to us with a list of ten shows that they wanted to get on. I pulled a list of ten shows I thought they should be on. There was some overlap. About half of them were overlapped, but there were an additional five that I had that they had never thought of before. They went on those five and added those five to their list.
They did go on all fifteen and ended up doing more sales from the five than they did from the other ten. It is such an interesting model of looking at it from the idea that us small podcasters out there with the right fit community are much more valuable. If we can get that through the head of the PR firms by having good experiences with people like you and your show, they are going to be more open to that in the future. That is so valuable.
In Paul Hawken’s case, I enjoyed the interview so much that I did an eleven podcast series going through each of the chapters and sections of the book, almost like book report style, but with commentary and my own thoughts about what the material was and tips from my own experience feathered throughout, because I was like, “This is very important work. I understand a lot of people aren’t going to go out and pick up the book and read it, cover to cover.” It did something else. It established me as a more credible person in the space of the sustainability message of moving towards something like regeneration.
I even chose to adapt my podcast name to incorporate regeneration as a result. I was hearing people from this and the sustainability space. I do not like the word sustainability because I do not think these things are really sustainable. We are just paying lip service to the industry by saying, “We can create sustainable business practices. What we need is to regenerate Earth.” Therefore, I said, “Social impact, sustainability, and regeneration.” Even though regeneration might be the preferred term, it could also be misunderstood and be a religious connotation without the context of sustainability.
That is what you are talking about that so many shows head into the lingo. They are not looking at it from the perspective of if someone is new to it and they do not understand this term, they misinterpret it. It doesn’t mean what they think it means. I have to pull the two together for them. That is what you are doing well. I normally analyze everybody’s binge factor.
At some point during the episode, it is always random as to when I pull it in. I’m going to pull it in right now because this is what I want to point out. Corinna is doing so well with Care More Be Better and Mediacasters. I know she is going to do well with her new show as it is going to be the same. What she is doing is she is walking the walk and she is talking the talk.
She is doing both things at the same time. She does care. It is obvious in everything that you do. You have researched. You spent time on it. You put deep care into everything that you do. When you decided to podcast, that deep care accelerated you. That is what I think most people do not understand.
You can start your podcast up and you can get your microphone, get used to the tech, and you can get going on it, but you accelerated in what is a year of time. I think three years into podcasting. That is how I hear your show. It is professional. It is got all the good characteristics of the shows that have been around for quite some time. You have done that because you took all of that past experience that you have had in other places.
You pushed it right into the show and you delve deep into the podcasting community to understand more about how it works, what is working, what is not working, and filter that through how you want it to create a great show. People do not do that as well. They are just like, “I’m going to follow someone’s advice to the T.” That is great. It might help you, but if at some point you do not make it your own, then you are not going to hit that stride until you have gone through a period of time. If you want to hit that stride sooner, you have got to filter that into who you are, what you bring to the table, and you did that quickly.
Thank you. I did get some powerful advice from your team specifically. I’m a marketer. One of the challenges is what do they say like, “Go to a graphic designer or marketer and then do not look at their website. Look at the other work that they have done.” It is like the cobbler’s children have no shoes. You are busy doing the work for everybody else that you do not spend the time on it your own. I met your husband after a soft reach out on LinkedIn from one of your staffers. I knew I had challenges with my website. I would start off on Squarespace. I was satisfied with it up until I had about fifteen episodes.
At a certain point, all of the things that you want to do on your website start to feel like they are not there or like you have got so much content now, how do you organize it better? How do you make it a space where people can come and learn as opposed to be a cursory top-line view, like some podcast-hosted website? I heard some good feedback from Tom. He said, “I could do all these things for you, but the reality is, I do not know if you will get all the benefits of SEO from the things that I would want to.” I had to make the leap and come over to WordPress.
I have not looked back since. I know that WordPress is a little more challenging for some people, but there are some great templates. Once you get the structure set, it can be helpful. As a comparative spot, I think we went from something like 65 organic keywords to now over 700 just in a few months’ time, having gone through the conversion. I would say this to other people who are out there that are in a spot where you are growing your show and you think you might be ready for the next thing. It might be time to consider converting to WordPress.There is power in community. Click To Tweet
At minimum, this is what I also find often, is that we get into our own heads and we get an ego about our podcasts and how things are that we are not open to that idea that we should have an audit and we should have someone else’s eyes on it. That is the one thing I appreciate about my team so much, and Tom especially, is that when he sees somebody who is not going to benefit, he is not going to go into any sales mode.
This sounds like a head of a company should not be saying that to her sales team, but I actually think that at the end of the day, it does more to build our trust and credibility because some of the people we’ve turned away have referred other people through us. It has been more valuable because of that. The case is that if they can’t benefit from it and then you sell it to them, you are doing them a disservice. There is a lot of that in the podcasting space. There are a lot of tools that you will never use that you do not need that are wasting your time, energy, and money.
You need to be focusing on the things that you should be doing at this stage that are going to help you, your show, and your mission. That is why I think it is so valuable for you building that Mediacasters community. I want to talk about that. That listener growth is one aspect of it where there is not a single service out there that has been able to do anything for it. There are communities, though, that can talk about that. What have you learned from doing Mediacasters, the community that has helped you build more audience?
Listener growth is the number one problem at every level of podcasting that I have seen, whether you are just starting out. Joe Rogan is having a listener problem. Despite what everybody hears, he doesn’t have 11 million listeners. He only has about 2.2 million. He lost a ton of listeners, mostly viewers, but he lost them going to Spotify. Everybody has a listener problem. How are we resolving that? Is there some community engagement that has helped there for you?
There are two things that jump out to me. One is that, again, I think it is tough to get honest feedback. If you are doing something like getting an audit from someone who knows what they are doing, that is great. If you are in a group of podcasters, you can agree to do like, “I’ll listen to your show and give you some notes. You can listen to mine and do the same,” because another perspective is always going to help you. It is nice to get feedback from someone that may be your ideal listener or maybe just a listener, someone who’s going to take the time to give you notes. One of the things I do for our members is I go and I listen to all of their podcasts. I work to give them some good feedback about their show.
Sometimes the negative too, like, “Your audio quality is suffering because you are either too close to your mic or you are too far away. You get explosives like the B’s or the big P’s from mic placement or from the fact that it is a lower quality mic. You are not quite in the right spot for it. There are all sorts of reasons for these things. They make it harder to edit your show after. They make it harder for it to sound as good as it can.” That can be helpful for people. We do things like simple reviews like I’ll go and write them a review on Podchaser or on iTunes and both if they are in both spots and give them some honest and positive feedback in those spaces so that they can, again, continue to grow like you give them a five-star review here.
One of the things that I see is that the more that somebody has reviews on their podcast, it seems to affect their ranking on Listen Notes in particular. If they are using that to self-identify as, “I’m in this top 10% of podcasts or whatnot,” you can help them climb that list by getting more reviews. It is simple tips like that. It is also having a space where people can post their media without fear. I work to keep the scammers out, which I think is also important. This is an issue that has been covered pretty well by dark web podcast.
There are nefarious individuals out there that are essentially selling downloads, which is not going to create lasting listens for your show. Creating that safe space where people can collaborate, where they can share some tips, even cross-guest, and even when they do cross-guest, share that particular podcast on their own feed so it gets more listens and practice some of these collaborative types of efforts enables us all to reach more people collectively. That is the basics. At least, that is what I have found to be successful thus far.
All of that is organic. This is not stuff that you can create. The so important part is that this stuff happens over time. You improve your show over time because you take in a little feedback. Now the sound gets better and you retain more listeners. All of it does have an effect over time, but what I think you are pointing out is the collaborative spirit of what you are building everywhere. That collaboration is the essential part to being a better podcaster to being better at whatever the core of your podcasting message is, to begin with as well, the core business of what you are running and you are doing.
I love to know what your perspective on collaboration is because I know you well enough to know that you have viewpoints on so many different things, but I think you have probably considered and thought about what collaboration means and what you are building into the Mediacasters community to engender that type of collaboration.
There are a couple of things that we are working to do. There are a lot of podcasters who have more entrepreneurial-focused shows. They are likely to get more listeners on a spot like LinkedIn and Facebook. One of the things that we can do as the community grows is segment these groups into pods or whatever you want to call them, a group of people that can do things like give a little bit of love to one another when they create a post on LinkedIn.
I know that this may sound simple, but it is one of those things where your posts are only doing as well as their engagement is unless you are paying to promote them. If you do not get engagement almost immediately on a spot like LinkedIn, Instagram, or one of these other spots where you are working to get in front of your audience, those posts do not even get in front of the same people that you’d like to see.
I have struggled with this personally more on Care More Be Better than other shows or other media feeds because of uncovering social impact and sustainability. The moment I mentioned climate or social impact in a post, it was dampened because Facebook and Instagram see these as trigger issues and are actually actively working to make them less visible. I talked to a doctor about COVID. It is mentioned somewhere in the post. That is not going to get the same views either.
There is what I would call some mild censorship happening. The only way to break through those things is through collaboratively working with other people who care about those issues because then they are going to help you grow the exposure on those posts. The one thing that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn won’t quash is if they start to see a lot of engagement on something. They start to show it to more people.
This is just one small breadth of that collaboration. If I could drill home something to anybody reading this, it would be that there is a way to work through almost any fear by collaborating with somebody else. If you are running into something where you are like, “I feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall. I do not know what to do next.”
Even sitting down and talking to someone who has at least a remote idea of what the challenges that you are tackling are, you can work through that thing, come up with a new idea, and at least stay fresh on your approach. That is critical. We do host office hours every Thursday for our community specifically to engender this thing so that we can talk through issues like, “What is going on right now for us. What challenges are we facing? How can we support?”
This is critically you. It strikes me as being a thread from the beginning here. You were alone in your corporate leadership and then you found yourself alone in your podcasting journey, and you instead said, “That is not okay. I’m going to create a community here for myself.” That is so interesting because of what you said about needing to get someone else in it. You are not going to feel alone. All those fears start to dispel, but you also have resources then that you did not know you would have otherwise.
Resources you can trust to give you a frank view of what you might need next, what you might want to try, what you might want to test out. That is critically important to growth. You have built in a place where you can be better. That is also your theme. This is bowling through everything. It is why the name is so perfect for you. Care More Be Better is the perfect name for your show. I’m sure you agonized over it, but it is the perfect name for the show.
I have a secret and I do not reveal it often, Tracy, but I’ll tell you. Care More Be Better, CMBB, are my initials. A few years ago, I was thinking about an idea. I was like, “If I was ever going to start a company, what would I call it?” I’m not an egomaniac. I wouldn’t put my name on something. I was thinking about what my mission in life really is and what I want to be there to support and do.
I have always wanted to live well by doing good and sticking on that doing good space while helping others to do the same. I like giving people a leg up. It was like, “My initials are this. It would be a personal way for me to tie me as a person proudly to whatever the effort would be.” Initially, it was going to be possibly a line of products that would benefit bees. It would be Care More Bee Better and it became a podcast because sometimes you have to chew on things.It's nice to get feedback from someone that might even just be your ideal listener, or maybe just a listener, someone who's going to take the time to give you notes. Click To Tweet
I say to Julie, “I have to masticate or chew on that visual and tactile way of approaching everything in branding.” I have to digest it. I have to think about it and then create something. Now, I feel good about what I have worked to create with Care More Be Better. I feel inspired by what we are doing with the Mediacasters, because we are working to be at this intersection. That is not just podcasting, but also publishing and presenting and public speaking.
These things all tie together with a bow in my mind because podcasting is also presenting. As people get used to using their own voices and especially having to do so on something like a video application, they get more comfortable in front of a camera and then they have to get over the hurdle of getting up on a stage.
Maybe it is writing a book about the thing they are passionate about that is also the subject of their podcast, it is a media tour and then maybe it is something else. They can grow, develop, change, and become their own dragonfly, which is why we chose that in particular for our Mediacasters’ logo. While a butterfly is all about transformation, if you look into the symbolism of a dragonfly, a dragonfly is also about transformation but becoming your highest self. If that can be my contribution in some small way to the people that I’m able to affect, I feel like I’m winning every day. It is not about the paycheck. It is about keeping that fire in your belly and the inspiration to help other people succeed.
You are well on your way. I want to touch on one more thing that you have also pulled through because you believe so strongly in social impact that you are actually doing that with your show. Mighty Networks is a female-led and owned enterprise. You use Mighty Networks as, I’m going to call it, the playground for the Mediacasters. That is what it is.
There is so much new to it that we do not know how we are going to use it yet, but you are testing it out and you are using it continually, finding out what works and then adding more of that to the community. That is how I see it as a playground. You came to us. You may not realize this, but I usually say no to sponsorships all the time because it is such a dangerous ground to give preferential treatment to a group when we are trying to be very agnostic about it.
I felt strongly that you were hitting a point of being able to do something quickly, being able to tap into an underserved portion of the community. That is because you are touching on a lot of women, a lot of diverse voices that have not been heard before. I wanted to make sure that happened. That was why we decided to sponsor you and your community. Tell me a little bit about how difficult is it when you want to step out into doing an enterprise of any kind, in this case, the Mediacasters, but trying to live the social impact that you want to have in the world. That is not easy to find.
Before we were even into any revenue, like, “What is the charity that we are going to work to support?” Right now, we are the charity. Julie and I are working for I do not know how many hours a week trying to get everybody the support they need and help them watch some shows and things along those lines. I feel like the impact that we are working to have is the build of the community. They are connected.
We are going to continue to change the offering based on the needs of that community. Some of the things that we are looking at doing are, for instance, basics of 101 of recording your best audio or the 101 of creating an outline to draft a book and get people the basics of the tools that they might need to propel their voice into more spaces to give them an excuse even to be guesting on podcasts.
Sometimes you say things like, “Guest on other podcasts.” “What do I talk about? If I talk about my show, what if that is not a good enough subject to cover?” You need the steps to get there. As we talk through these things with our community, we are also deciding we are figuring out what tools are going to need and how best to get it to them. It is very much a community that is effected by the audience. A lot of the people that have come into this have come from social audio like we met them on Clubhouse or were meeting them now on Dayo’s app, another female-led company. That is the Wisdom app.
I’m now having to use an iPad to use that space, figuring out how to record the best audio quality there so I can also even show people that they could record an episode on the Wisdom app. The power of the community itself is creating the network. Right now, we have a total of about ten different podcasts that are a part of this so-called network that range from comedy to personal development, to travel, to my podcast on social impact and sustainability and the future show that is nutrition-oriented long-term that could end up being an advertising share model that helps to support these individuals. We are open to where that leads us based on what the community wants, needs, and what we grow into as our own dragonflies.
Before we go, I’m curious about your thoughts on what is going on in monetization in the marketplace and podcasting. I know this could be in a whole show on its own, but I’m curious what your perspective is. Are you seeing some good areas of monetization that you think are worthwhile? Are you seeing it go wrong? I know you and you are going to tackle it. It may not happen now, but you are going to tackle that. I want to hear your perspective on that.
I have a tough time with monetization, specifically, as it relates to my show, Care More Be Better. A lot of people will relate to this. The reason I have a tough time with it is that it is purpose-driven, that finding the right advertiser match feels like it could be challenging. That is one thing that doesn’t work for me. I have personally tried very hard to work the angle of having the Patreon piece.
I found that nobody donated. I have gotten one-time donations via PayPal from people that wanted to support the show. They are thousands of percent more because I have received zero from Patreon, but some individuals have seemed to be able to make Patreon work. Maybe it just doesn’t work for my audience.
I’m not sure what that magic sauce is going to be for everybody. What I’m sure of is that this constant thought that I’m going to start podcasting, I’m going to make money on it from day one, and I’m going to cover all my expenses from day one is not super realistic. You can do all of your own podcast editing and all of that own work, getting to a spot where you cover something like you are hosting and your website.
That might be relatively easy, but if you are talking about turning it into revenues that could support your escaping from your day job, that is a completely different world. People need to understand when they come into the world of podcasting that it is first and foremost about refining your voice, being heard, and reaching an audience that matters to you.
If you look at your revenues as being part of it, if you are in the coaching space, it is a funnel to your business. If you are in the nutrition space like I am, maybe it is also a funnel to your business. Maybe it acts as your advertising. This is one of the things I’m planning to do with my nutrition show. It is supporting the launch of a brand of omega-3 from algae and also some other algae supplements.
It is going to be hyper-focused on providing value to the community, specifically about things like nutrition, without compromising things like our environments or their morals and their ethics. It is not going to be a vegan show. I have already decided that. I’m not a vegan, but it will provide people with the tools that they need to consider their ecological footprint as well as their diet and their health.
That information will feed the success of the brand that is launching while still remaining true to this overall message of not being overly salesy and pitch-driven because the moment you get there, a lot of your audience will stop listening. You will lose a little bit of credibility and then you are not going to be able to get the big guests that you want to get on your show and reach the same broad stretch of audiences.
I look at monetization as something that needs to be a priority. Long-term, we should cover our expenses. We should grow. We should continue to see growth for the show. I come from the world of sales and going to think like that regardless, but I think the focus needs to be on producing good content and on also seeing where are the other benefits to you are.
Are you establishing yourself as a thought leader? Are you also able to connect with people that end up forming partnerships with you? Are you able to see many more people and then think about the quality of engagement you have with them and getting your message to those people that might not otherwise have picked up your book or that might not otherwise have visited your website to figure out what products you sell? You are reaching them in a genuine way through this world of audio.The power of the community itself is creating the network. Click To Tweet
That is such great advice. I’m so glad you have entered the podcasting space and you are here because the value that you are adding to the world is important and valuable. Thank you.
Thank you. It has been fun. I look forward to many years more of being in this world of podcasting. I fell in love with it. That is what it takes.
I told you she was going to blow your mind a little bit. She is got that whole focus that is so intensely detailed. I love that about her. She has got all kinds of looking at all the layers and all the different areas, and where can I do better? Where can we accelerate this? What can we take on right at this moment and make it better?
To me, you do not have to be perfect, but you have to strive for that being a better part of it. That is what is so brilliant about her podcast or podcast name and everything that she and Julie Lokun are building over at the Mediacasters group. I hope that you are going to check out the show, the Mediacasters, and go join the network. Thanks, everyone, for reading. I look forward to featuring more Mediacasters’ network people on the show. I look forward to featuring you one day as well. Be sure to tune in next time for another Binge Factor.
- Care More Be Better
- Podcast – The Mediacasters
- Car Talk
- My Favorite Murder
- Julie Lokun – LinkedIn
- Ethan Welty – Care More Be Better Podcast
- Paul Hawken – Care More Be Better Podcast
- David Johnson – Care More Be Better Podcast
- Dr. William Li – Care More Be Better Podcast
- Eat to Beat Disease
- Mighty Networks
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