FYB COI 5 | Podcasting

 

Podcasting may seem simple, but as with any marketing medium out there, the process requires analysis and tedious preparation. Jim Beach, the Founder of American Computer Experience, talks about how his book, School for Startups, became the force that made him create a podcast of the same name. Jim shares some interesting things about podcasting, including creating breakthrough products because of the interviews. He also shares some insights on how you can increase the volume of your shows, how you can position yourself as an authority using your podcast, how you can monetize your podcast, and what makes a podcast binge-listenable.

Listen to the podcast here:

Center of Influence Podcasting with Jim Beach

I am excited to have a great podcaster here, Jim Beach from School for Startups. It’s actually one of my favorite podcasts. I know you don’t know that about me because we mostly talk about podcasting here, but I’m always interested in innovation startups launching because I do have another show called Product Launch Hazzards. School for Startups is a great show. It’s always touching on some really interesting guests and I’ve got to say deep dives into sometimes the education side of things like how startups move through the process, how marketing needs to happen. You cover everything, Jim, on your show.

Absolutely anything.

Your first book was called School for Startups and it was published by McGraw Hill in 2011. You have started businesses and taught entrepreneurship around the world.

All over in fourteen different countries.

At the age of 25, you founded American Computer Experience and grew the company with no capital infusion. I love bootstrapping startups. $12 million in annual revenue and to over 700 employees operating in 39 states in three countries. That’s amazing. That’s quite young to be doing that, Jim.

I couldn’t find a job and it was easier to start a business than get a job. I said, “I’ll just start a business.”

You teach entrepreneurship at Georgia State University and that is a great business school to be teaching at. In 2010 you founded the School for Startups, which is not just the podcast, it’s more than that. You’ve taught over 7,000 people to be low-risk entrepreneurs. I really like that term, low risk. I definitely want to talk about that. You’ve been featured in a UPS commercial. CNN called you the Simon Cowell of small business and corporations like Wells Fargo, Toshiba, UPS and SunTrust have hired you as a speaker and consultant. Your radio show, School for Startups, is nationally syndicated. Welcome, Jim. Thank you so much for joining me.

Thank you. It’s my honor and we’re going to have some fun, I promise.

What made you turn all of the things that you’ve been working on into a podcast?

It was that McGraw Hill Book that you alluded to, School for Startups. I thought that with a book tour, they were going to help and I would get marketing help. I was naive. They did close to nothing and I’m 100% sure that I would’ve sold more books if they had not been involved at all. There’s a story behind that that validates it, but they didn’t do anything. I realized one day that if I ever anticipate this bookselling that I need to go out there and make it happen myself. I started emailing podcast out of the blue, say, “I’d love to be a guest on your show.” I ended up doing hundreds of different interviews. Along the way someone said, “You’re really natural at this. Maybe you should have your own podcast.” I had never thought about it. Eventually so many people offered and suggested. I said, “I’m going to start my own podcast.” It was an extension of the book, so I just named it right after the book, School for Startups. It became School for Startups Radio.

FYB COI 5 | Podcasting

Podcasting: The value of being a bestseller used to mean something, and today it doesn’t; everyone can be a bestseller.

 

We started with a one-day show, one day a week, 30 minutes broadcast out of a studio where guests would actually come. I didn’t enjoy that so much and it was a pain to go to the studio. I said, “I’ll just start doing and producing it myself.” I got the gear and was able to do it in the office. Eventually, I was offered a slot on a daily internet platform and started broadcasting daily. That turned in to my first AM/FM station. We’ve grown to 25 AM/FM stations around the country. We broadcast six days a week, an hour day.

What most people don’t know is that I like to listen to it while I’m preparing dinner or doing dishes. I put it on TuneIn or on the Amazon Show.

I appreciate that so much.

My kids are getting lessons subliminally whether they realize it or not.

That’s an extra challenge and burden for me. I have to be not only kids-safe and friendly, but have some guests that are dedicated to keeping them as good, loyal listeners.

Unfortunately, they’re probably mostly plugged in somewhere else and distracted, so you probably don’t have a hefty job to do.

It’s getting through somehow. I know that.

What year was it then that you started?

2012, I think.

Only about a year after the book launched?

It's easier to monetize something when you're doing it every day than every week. Click To Tweet

Yes.

That’s a classic story. What you’re alluding to is that most authors find out that they can’t sell their books at all, even if they get the book deal. Getting on the top list doesn’t mean it’s going to sell either.

The Amazon, I love it but it’s also done a really horrible thing for authors. It has eliminated the value of being a bestseller. Those words used to mean something and today they don’t. Everyone can be a bestseller and we can generate that in one hour. It means you sold seven books in one hour and that doesn’t mean anything. A bestseller could have in total sold seven books, which is a bad thing.

What you’re doing is you’ve built a platform and that’s what most people assume when they go in and get a book deal that they’re providing that for you. They’re providing circulation and they’re helping you. The reality is that most publishers are looking for a platform nowadays. They’re looking to say that you’ve got people, you’ve got ways to access them, you’re going to get them to follow you and of course then buy the book.

Yes, I did it in reverse. I really didn’t have much of a platform when I started with McGraw Hill. I think the thesis was so compelling that they were able to take a shot on it. We went and used the book as the leverage and as the authority to build the platform. We did it in reverse and said, “We’ve already got a book by McGraw Hill, so it must be good. We must be legit and therefore you should listen to whatever else are our other products.” We did it in reverse. The book gave us the credibility to attract a platform.

That is also some way you can salvage it. If any of those bestselling authors out there, those one-hour bestselling authors who are worried, “Why have I not made anything of this bestselling status?” Let’s start getting you a tribe, authority and think about following Jim’s lead and starting a podcast. Do you have some advice for them?

I could talk about advice for a podcast all day long. I don’t think people are going to like this, but the breakthrough stars, the people who are podcasting and making money from it tend to be people who are doing it five days a week. That’s not what a lot of people are going to want to hear. The step below that, and I don’t mean to say below in a derogatory way, but when you broadcast once a week, I find that those are people who are going to be successful using their podcasts for networking, for marketing principles or purposes, things like that. It’s a great marketing tool. It’s a great networking tool, but if you’re doing it once a week, I do believe you’re going to have a hard time turning it into a profit center.

I know that there are examples that are contrary to that, but that’s just some sweeping generalizations. If you are going to start, I’d like you to start with that in mind. Do I intend to do this as a “loss leader” that’s going to get me new business for my existing business? Am I going to get clients for what I already do? That’s a great place to be. You can say it a little further. Either I don’t care about getting clients or my ultimate goal is really to turn it into a profit center in and of itself. I think that then you need to start thinking about doing it on a daily basis and becoming successful that way. It’s easier to monetize something when you’re doing it every day than every week.

The statistics that we have behind the scenes here at my company show that, that the shows that do three or more a week do better than the shows that don’t. You’re right on with that. It builds a business better if you’ve got more time invested in it.

It’s easier to sell ads and sponsors that way as well. If you go to a sponsor and say, “We’re on four times a month,” that’s not going to be enough traction for them to sell something. Most of our marketing and sales gurus would tell us you have to touch someone five, six, seven times before they’re going to buy from you. If I only mention your name once a week, and therefore it could take two months for you to get enough name recognition before I go check out your website, to see if I want to buy your security product or not. A lot of people are going to say, “That’s just not fast enough, that’s not compelling enough. I need something that’s a little quicker.” The decision to go multi-show per week is going to have a huge impact on the fiscal pieces of the business as well.

FYB COI 5 | Podcasting

Podcasting: Once you start getting a show that’s successful, you will get inundated with the people that you want.

 

Another thing is if once your show gets good enough, you should be attracting so many guests that you have trouble getting all of them on the air. Eventually you should have a hundred guests approaching you a month and you say, “If I do one show a month and one guest or two guests a month, I’ll never get them. These are people I do want to network with. These are people I do want to get to know. Even more importantly, these are people I do want to share with my growing audience and growing tribe.” Eventually you’re going to be compelled to do it more days a week simply because you have so many great opportunities. You’d be crazy not to do a show with this person. Imagine one month you’re going to get Ken Blanchard, Simon Sinek, Steve Olsher and the Dalai Lama. How are you going to turn them down?

What are some of the most interesting things that have happened to you since you started podcasting?

Interesting you mean like crazy little stories of weirdness?

It could be weirdness or it could be just like fantastically interesting. You’ve got to interview someone you’ve always wanted to interview.

That happens frequently.

It’s a daily occurrence.

Once you start getting a show that’s successful, you will get inundated with the people that you want. You will get amazing opportunities that you had never expected. I think that’s almost a given. If that’s not happening, you’re not doing something right and you need to call me back in. We’ll fix it and figure out how to make that happen. The moments that stick out in my mind are the twelve-year-old kid who’s already doing $4,000 a month in revenue, those moments where you are so inspired by someone’s story that you just feel good about humanity. Another, I interviewed the founder of Taser, the Taser guns the police use. I had a breakthrough moment in my life where during that 22-minute interview, I realized something that I had never seen about life before that turned into a book idea.

I now am going to do a book on the idea. It’s a piece of fiction. Make a great thriller type thing about the idea that follows on to the CEO of Taser’s book that he had just released. His book was called The End of Killing. It’s the idea that we could evolve to a point where no longer do people get killed with guns. Is that possible? If you look over the 3,000 years of recorded history, death by strangulation, murder, getting hanged, being in a war is going down, the trend is decreasing. Even over the life of guns, the trend of gun deaths is decreasing. We could get to that point. What if you took that and turned that into a movie? That was a cool fictional story. That’s a breakthrough that I had only because I was podcasting.

I love that flash of genius, that connections that you make in your mind of things that you’ve been mulling about and it turns into something new that you would never have considered before.

You get inspired. This is the coolest story ever to listen to this story. I had a guest on and we were talking about Wi-Fi and out of the blue he mentioned how detrimental Wi-Fi is to the development of a child’s brain. He pointed out that France has banned Wi-Fi within 200 yards of every nursery in school and all of Europe is thinking of following on. We continued on the interview, “How do I get in touch with you? How do I find out more?” Put it away. Three months later I was sitting in a room of Indian high school kids and these are Indians from India, but living in the United States. They are American-Indian high school kids. We were sitting around thinking about a business that we could start that would make an impact on the world. I had this idea and I was like, “I didn’t know if you know this, but Wi-Fi is really bad for the development of babies and brains. France banned Wi-Fi. Why don’t you do something that solves that problem?”

Sometimes you can have thousands of listeners who don't choose to listen or write to you that day. You just have to keep battling through. Click To Tweet

A year later, the six of us have a patent on a paint that blocks Wi-Fi signals. It’s designed for babies’ nurseries. You paint the walls with this paint and now Wi-Fi won’t get into the room. Your baby’s brain doesn’t get all messed up, but it’s so precise that your baby monitor will still work. That idea and the fact that I now have a patent in chemistry after getting kicked out of high school chemistry because I wasn’t smart enough all happened because of a nugget I got off of my podcast.

I want to volunteer to design your colors because that’s my experience. I’ll do the palette. You have to have great colors for babies’ rooms. I’ll do your colors. Now you’ve got a complete package. How about some of the funny things that might have happened early on? The mistakes you made, the shows that you were like, “I really should withdraw that show.”

I still do those things. The time you interview someone for 27 minutes and you forgot to hit the record button, that has happened. My favorite story though is one time I had a kidney stone and there isn’t a treatment for kidney stone. You just sit there in pain and the only time you’re not in massive pain is when you relax certain muscles of your body and just relax. You don’t want to do that unless you’re sitting on a toilet. I do remember doing one interview with a superstar that I couldn’t delay. It took two months to get him on the schedule in the first place. I interviewed him naked from the toilet. Is that the kind of thing you were asking about?

I think you’re definitely hitting on that, Jim.

I was naked on the toilet for one of my superstar interviews. I’m not going to tell you who. If you go back and listen, I bet you could figure it out.

It’s a little more echo-ey than your normal.

Funny things like that do happen and mistakes happen as well. By far the best way to handle it is to immediately call the guest and say, “I forgot to turn it into the record button on. I’m a moron. Will you be kind enough to record again?” I’ve never had anyone not say yes to that.

Usually because they enjoyed it the first time. Thank goodness.

Hopefully they did. If your guests are not telling you that it was fun, you need to reconsider how you’re doing it because it should be fun. If it’s not fun, I can guarantee you no one’s going to listen to it.

You’ve been podcasting since 2012. How many shows?

FYB COI 5 | Podcasting

Podcasting: You should use your podcast as the rung on your ladder, and hopefully it should help you get closer to whatever your goal is.

 

About 1,500.

I calculated that because I have multiple shows, I’ve done over 1,200, so we’re pretty close there. I stopped doing five days a week on my one show. We lowered the volume on it because it just wasn’t making much of a difference to what we wanted to do. That’s a lot of shows under your belt. How has your position as a podcast host and your authority helped impact your business and increase opportunities for speaking engagements, things like that?

The expression visibility begets visibility is very true. The podcast has turned into multiple different books and speaking engagements. It gives you a sign of credibility and I think that’s a huge reason to do it. I’m also a big believer that you should make the jump to, and a lot of people call it backwards, to terrestrial radio. I think that that makes a lot of sense. If you’re interested in the authority piece, the speaking piece, if two guests or if two potential speakers were to come across an event planner’s desk and they’re the exact same except that one of them has a normal radio show, I think the guy with the normal radio show is going to get the ad sale, the sponsor and the speaking contract.

That’s partially why I went the publicity media route, where you go to getting a column because it’s the same thing. It does have a higher level of authority at the end of the day.

I think that the podcast, you should use it as the rung on your ladder and hopefully it should help you get closer to whatever goal is. It should sell stuff, it should make money and it should give you great introductions. All of those things should be a piece of it.

What makes your podcast binge listenable? I know people do that all the time. What’s special about it? The content that you bring that makes those that are saying, “I’m going to start a business. I’m starting a brand. I’m going to listen to School for Startups nonstop.”

I don’t think you mentioned any of what it is. It’s not the content. I don’t think the guests are relevant at all. I don’t think any of it’s relevant. It is the content in one way. You have to have a thesis that you defend regularly. There has to be a spine to the show and it has to represent something. You can’t just say, “I’m going to have a show on parenting.” I don’t believe that’s enough. You have to have a show that says, “We’re going to have a parenting show with the thesis that you were a complete family before you had the kid and the kid is a really cool add on to your family, but the kid is not in charge. That’s what we’re going to talk about. That’s the underlying point of my show.” It’s something that is tangible. I believe that number one, you have to have a thesis to your show.

Even if you don’t mention it every show, it should be mentioned in your introduction and maybe you have an ad in the middle of the show that talks about it or something like that. Whenever anyone bumps up against it you say, “That’s really great. That reinforces our thesis about babies and your point that it’s bad to throw babies off of bridges really reinforces the thesis of our show. That’s great.” It’s got a big ribbon on, you tie the whole thing together. Number one, I think that you have to have a consistent thesis because that way I know what I’m going to get. When I watch Game of Thrones, I know what I’m going to get. I’m going to get a dragon, I’m going to get some naked people and there’s going to be a head cut off. It’s definitional, number one is that. Number two, and this is the hard piece and I think it’s hard to talk about this. You have to like the host and the host has to be your friend or you pretend that the host is your friend.

Who do you listen to in the big world? Do you listen to some of the famous right-wing talkers or do you listen to some of the progressive left-wing young Millennials? Those people need to be people that you’re friendly with and that you’d have a relationship with. I talk a lot about my kids. I tell kids stories. If there’s a kid sitting in my lap for an interview, I mention that. I let people know what businesses I’m doing. I tell entrepreneurial stories from my life and things that are happening to me. I think that it’s important that I come across as a person that even if the interview is boring and useless to you, you still want to listen just to see what the person, your friend has to say. Why don’t we listen to Howard Stern? We’re interested to see what disgusting comments he’s going to make next.

That was my favorite parts of the movie, by the way, if you’ve ever seen Private Parts. This scene is where they talk about why he’s in the ratings and why he’s still hot so high in the ratings when people hate him. He was like, “Because they want to see what he’s going to say next.” That’s exactly why the people who like them show up too. It’s the same thing. I think that’s so interesting.

Do not wait for an idea. Find something you already know about and start a business. Click To Tweet

That’s what we need to be as a podcast host. The idea is we are opening our lives, ourselves and our topic to you. You know what my thought is on that topic, you know how I think about it. You know my life and you know a little bit about Daenerys and Jon Snow and therefore you’re interested to see what happens to your friend. You were talking that you started a paint business. That sounded really cool. What’s up? What’s happening with it? You want the follow up. I think that that’s the personality piece that’s important as well.

I remember very early on in one of our shows, we did a show on 3D printing. That’s my oldest show. We talked about getting ice cream delivered and it was a brilliant business model. That’s what I used it for as an example because the woman who started it couldn’t get a dairy license. Dairy licenses are harder to come by in Orange County, California than a liquor license. She couldn’t get the license she needed to start this ice cream shop. She was going into a commercial kitchen, making ice cream batches and selling them on Facebook. She would say, “Here are my flavors today. I’ll deliver it to your house by 5:00 PM.” You would order it on Facebook that morning, it would come by and she would deliver it to you that evening. I’m telling the story of how she didn’t let something stall her business. She kept it moving and she kept making money while she was waiting for that dairy license to show up. The tweets that I got were, “You didn’t tell us what flavor you ordered.” I loved that. It taught me a lesson early on about how important it is to say, “It’s not that my life is irrelevant. It’s very relevant.”

You have to pretend like you’re talking to your friends. Your friends are going to want the follow up and they’re going to want it some inside secrets and stuff like that. One of the things I do is I have two alerts that I do. One is we have billionaire coming up and I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell a billionaire that he’s a billionaire as part of his interview. Frank Smith, he’s also a billionaire. The week beforehand I’ll tease it and say, “Next week we have a billionaire coming up. I’m not going to tell you who it is. I’m not going to introduce them that way, but we’ve got a billionaire coming up.”

Another thing I’ll do, I do this to drive downloads and stuff a week or two after a show. I don’t know if this is right or not, but this is what I do. I’ll be honest with you and tell you this. I will say to you, “Do you remember that guest we had last week? Worst guest I have ever had. I disagreed with everything they said. Of course I couldn’t say it to them. I was polite. I didn’t disagree with them to my face, but what a moron that person was. That was last week. I’m not going to tell you who it was, but you all go listen to all the downloads from last week and figure it out. You’ll figure it pretty quick.”

It will be your most popular episode. I found that so funny and in a way sad, but people don’t even like to listen to themselves on your episode. Sometimes Tom and I will do a post after an interview, we’ll do this post discussion and because it’s between the two of us, we’ll debate it like why we didn’t agree with that, but what we didn’t agree in person. It’s still a part of the same episode and no one has ever said anything to us or called us out about it. I don’t think they actually listen to it. I’m sure some PR agents do.

A lot of people are listening, chuckling and then moving on to the next one. That’s one of the hard things about podcasts. You don’t get a lot of feedback sometimes. Sometimes you can have thousands of listeners who don’t choose to listen to or to write to you that day. You just have to keep battling through. If your numbers say that 10,000 people downloaded it from iTunes, you have to assume they listened and that they enjoyed it. That’s the thing to focus on.

You mentioned your thesis, so would you tell the audience your angle?

My show is very simple. It’s that entrepreneurship is not about creativity, risk or passion. Once you get those three things out of your concerns, then it’s easy to be an entrepreneur and anyone can go and do it. The average person on the street says, “I have to double mortgage my house. I saw it on 20/20. This billionaire guy double mortgaged his house. That’s how I have to do it.” No. That’s not it, please don’t. My favorite is creativity, “When God strikes me, when I get my lightning bolt, I’m going to go crazy. I’m receptive to big ideas.” No. 93% of businesses are copies of other businesses. We have some famous entrepreneurs like Henry Ford. He didn’t invent the car but he’s still an entrepreneur in the auto space. If you go start a new restaurant today, you’re still an entrepreneur. I feel bad for these people waiting on an idea when in fact what they need to do is find a thing in their own industry, somewhere that they already know a lot about, and go start a business really similar to the job they already have.

Readers, this applies to you too. You don’t need like a lightning strike to say, “That’s my show topic.” You just need to get moving because there are lots of other podcasters, models out there you can formulate and make a difference with who you are. Let’s touch on a couple of the five things. I call this, The Best Ways To. The best way to book guests.

Let publicists come to you. I don’t go after guests, I go after publicists. I don’t date guests, I date publicists. The publicist will give you 100 guests if you let them. That’s their job. It makes the job easy.

FYB COI 5 | Podcasting

Podcasting: Having a great show in the first place increases listeners.

 

They bring you better and better ones. What’s the best way to increase listeners?

Have a great show in the first place.

What’s the best way to produce in a professional manner?

I have no idea. I don’t know what that means. You edit to the west.

What does that mean?

This is one of my pet peeves actually. I think a show should be the same length every time. I don’t know why I think that. I guess it’s my radio bias, but a radio show is 54 minutes. Therefore, my podcast is 54 minutes. I start at the outro, the bumper music that ends the show. I go to the left and to the left is generally considered west. I put the last interview up against the bumper music, then I put some bumper music and then I squeeze out all of the stuff I want to edit out. I put the second interview and so I go to interview three, then I put bumper music. I’m going left toward the west, toward the beginning of the show. I then drop in interview two, I put some more bumper music, drop in interview one, more bumper music and whatever is left over, the three minutes, twelve seconds, the eight minutes, nine seconds is my introduction. I record that introduction directly to the tape listening to the bumper music. As the bumper music starts, I know that I got to shut up. I’ve got eight more seconds to go. I call it editing to the west.

First off, I don’t edit my own show, so I wouldn’t know how to do that. That’s how I do mine professionally, but that’s a really interesting methodology. I like it because when you do your intro last, you also have the energy of knowing what came after it. I think that’s brilliant.

You can say something like, “You’re going to love this interview. We talked about sex. Make sure you listen because we’re talking about sex next.” Who’s going to turn off then? No one’s going to turn that off.

It gives you great energy in through the show too. What’s the best way to encourage engagement?

Contests. Call and get something free, a giveaway. I’ve added a section on my website called Gifts. It’s important and I’ve never seen it on any other podcast website where a good guest is going to offer a gift at the end of the show. That’s best practices. The gift is usually something to entice the listener to give their email address. It’s a free book or something like that. I have built a page on the website where it’s called Gifts and I list all of the gifts that my guests are giving away, so that if you just want to go get all the free stuff, it’s like going to Costco and just eating the samples, that kind of thing.

Your self-esteem is not based on how many people liked you. That's not appropriate. Click To Tweet

You’ve got me thinking, so I’ve got to think of a great gift when I come on your show. I’ve got a good one I think.

If you’re going to be a guest, you’re stupid not to have a gift because if you don’t have a gift, you don’t get the email address. That’s part of the system, the best practice. You’ve got to have a gift and you should have multiple choice gifts, depending on what kind of a show you’re on.

What’s the best way to monetize it? You talked about having lots of shows, doing five days a week, taking sponsors and some other things. You monetize mostly through the core business because you’re obviously running 7,000 people through your Startup School. That’s a lot of people.

The monetization, people are surprised how easy it is to get a sponsor. I have seen shows that have 500 downloads a week get a sponsor for $1,000 a month, and that’s big money. That’s worth doing. If your show has a definable niche, it’s back to the thesis. If I can define the niche, you should be able to define the sponsor that wants that niche. It’s easier to get sponsors than people want or people believe. If you can’t get a sponsor, it’s probably because you can’t tell me what your show is about. “My show is about parenting. That doesn’t mean anything.” That’s generic. That’s totally void of anything. My show is I can teach you how to have low risk, zero creativity and no passion and still make $100,000 a year. That’s what my show is about. Any business that is interested in people who are going to try them start $100,000 a year business, then those are my sponsors. It’s easy to define to them what I’m talking about, and so it’s easier for them to tell their boss what the show is about. A super strong niche will get you a good sponsor with 500 downloads.

Jim, everyone has a preferred method of social media. They actually monitor themselves, connect in with their listeners. What’s your preferred method?

Not at all. I hate social media. I think it is a destructive thing. There’s nothing sadder than seeing a twelve-year-old taking a selfie or a food picture. What is that person thinking at twelve? They’re building their core self-esteem on the wrong thing. Your self-esteem is not based on how many people liked you. That’s not appropriate. I do use LinkedIn personally. I am on LinkedIn. I do like that. I have relationships and stuff there. I use the others via outsourcing. If you see me on Twitter, you’re 100% sure that someone in the Philippines was tweeting on my behalf.

I always say, “You’re pretty sure it’s a bot on my end because I only auto tweet.” I’m not going to play there, but I agree with you. I prefer LinkedIn as well. That is my preferred playing field too.

I’d rather just not even have LinkedIn. I like email. I’m old. I’ve become a curmudgeon now. I’d rather look at your website on my computer than on my phone. I am old fashion, I’m 51.

It’s amazing how quick we get there. You’ve already had some amazing guests, but who would you really like? Who’s your big get?

I get those people sometimes and sometimes I don’t even air it. I’ll get someone that’s interesting to me as an individual that I know my audience won’t want to listen. I will air those on the AM/FM stations. I’ll just drop it at the end of a podcast to kind of bury it. I’ll tell the person I’m going to do that. I don’t have a superstar that I am dying to get. In my first business, you talked about I was 24 when I started that business. By the time I was 27, our customers were people with famous last names like Lucas and I was invited to the Star Wars World Premiere in 1999. When you’re getting invited to the world premieres like that, game changes.

FYB COI 5 | Podcasting

Podcasting: With podcasting, you need to turn up your personality and be more you. Being a little funnier or a little more willing to be self-deprecating makes it more interesting.

 

I don’t care who the guests are. What I want is to be at the airport, not in my city and see someone wearing my logo. I want an audience. I want to meet my audience, not my guests. With my business that I ran in my twenties, it was a summer camp business, but we got into anything involving technology and kids, so we had movie making camp and Shakespeare camp, anything. The coolest thing that ever happened to me was seeing five kids wearing my logo in the Denver airport. That blew me away. Those kids chose to wear my logo that day. That’s a cool moment.

Do you have anything you want to share with us before you go? Any pieces of inspiration for aspiring podcasters?

I’m not going to remember the movie. It was the fake rock documentary Spinal Tap, where they say you have to turn it up to twelve, “I wanted to go to twelve, not to ten, to twelve.” You need to do that when you’re podcasting. Eight or nine is not interesting. You need to take your personality and turn it up and be more you. Otherwise, I don’t think I’m going to listen again. It’s got to be fun, energetic, entertaining or I’m not going to learn from you. The way to do all of that is to turn it up as much as you can and be a little crazier, a little more psycho, a little funnier or a little more willing to be self-deprecating. That just makes it more interesting. Turn it up to twelve is my advice.

Thank you, Jim, so much. School for Startups, nationally syndicated, so you probably find it on it on your local radio stations, as well as on any podcast player out there.

We were number six on iTunes.

You definitely can find it there. Thank you again, Jim Beach.

Thank you. It’s been fun.

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About Jim Beach

FYB COI 5 | Podcasting

Jim Beach’s first book, School for Startups, was published by McGraw-Hill in June 2011. Jim has started businesses and has taught entrepreneurship around the world. At the age of 25, Jim founded American Computer Experience and grew the company with no capital infusion to $12 million in annual revenue and to over 700 employees, operating in 39 states and in three countries. Jim taught entrepreneurship at Georgia State University for nine years and ranked number one in the business school for 12 straight semesters. In 2010, he founded School for Startups, which has taught over 7000 people to be low-risk entrepreneurs. He has been featured in a UPS commercial, CNN called him the Simon Cowell of small business, and corporations like Wells Fargo, Toshiba, UPS, and SunTrust have hired him as a speaker and consultant. His radio show is nationally syndicated.

 

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