Personal branding is key. Jeremy Slate, founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity. For him, boosting a company’s brand is more than just strategic visibility and conversion. He’s more focused on helping them identify their message and their mission and how they can express that. He adds that building a community around this goes a long way. He believes you can optimize personal branding and getting your message out through podcast guesting because you're building an asset that you can then put behind any business you want to do. He helps companies or entrepreneurs build awareness for what it is they're doing and creating that awareness on the right shows, promoted in the right way, and connecting with the audience in the right way.
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Jeremy Slate of Create Your Own Life Podcast on Podcast Guesting
Hello, Jeremy Slate. Welcome to the Business Building Rockstars Show.
I am stoked to be here since I know we've both been following each other for awhile. You've done a lot in the podcasting space and it's cool to hang out.
We've also met a couple of times and I've enjoyed that. Meeting in person definitely is super powerful and I've been talking a lot with my tribe about that. I have put together some live events that people are coming out for and it's a lot of fun. When we connect with others personally in a deeper way, we can open up so many doors and possibilities. We're going to do things a little bit different than I usually do. We'll get some of your back story and everything, but you and I, for all accounts and purposes, are direct competitors.
We service different people.
We have very similar things that we do, which is we focus on podcast guesting. Before we met, there was maybe a bit of assumption about who the other person was or how they operated or something like that. By meeting in person and by having a number of conversations, we like each other.
It was at Podcast Movement and I was like, “Nicole, I don't not like you because we do the same thing.” I gave you a hug. I'm like, “I'm totally not that kind of person.” I love people. You do what you do, I do what I do. We're podcasters. We love each other and it's great.
I saw you at Podfest and I was like, “Whatever.” I talked to you a couple of times and I was like, “I'd love to learn about you and refer,” and you were like, “We don't do that. We've got a brand ambassador thing.” I'm like, “Whatever.” It's taken us a while to develop a relationship and I'm so appreciative that we have. This is something that everyone can learn a lot from.
Oftentimes, we know of others who are doing the same thing or similar things. We're not doing the same thing. Nobody ever is. However, similar things and having similar messaging and a lot of times people think, “I don't want to play with that person,” or, “I don't want to tell them anything because that could hurt my business.” I'm looking forward to talking about that. Before we jump into it in too much detail, why don't you let everyone know how you discovered that podcast guesting was something you wanted to teach about and help people do themselves and how you got started in that pivoting from what you were doing.
I've been podcasting for quite a while and I had been through a lot of different businesses. I hadn't figured out like, “How do you monetize this whole podcasting thing?” The first thing I had started doing was production. I started doing this whole big production thing. My wife's been in PR for a long, long time. She's like, “If we're going to do this, there has to be some awareness because you can't just launch a show and say, ‘I'm out.’” We went through this whole action plan for what are the things we're going to do.
One of them was getting people on shows. Because I had built relationships, I had figured out a lot of the ways you can pitch for cold pitches and things like that. We had done that for several of the health shows that we launched. One of which did very, very well in the health space called Take Back Your Health NOW! He interviewed people like Tony Horton and lots of cool well-known people in the health space and it all started from guesting. We then got a phone call and we were out in San Diego. He said, “I'm considering starting a podcast guesting company.” I'm like, “We’re already doing that.” We've already been doing it. I have all the methods going down. It'd be great to have somebody do sales because I don't enjoy it. We brought him in. We started a company called Get Featured and we did very well, but we had different ideas in where we wanted things to go. Our current brand is called Command Your Brand Media where it's just Brielle and I and our team making things rock and roll.
What's that like working with your wife? I know a little bit of the dynamic. A lot of entrepreneurs, especially who are starting out or who have been in business for a little while and their company is growing and considering bringing on their life partner, it brings up a lot of questions and curiosity. How have you guys navigated that to ensure that your business and your personal romantic life both are on point?
I don't know if I'm the perfect person to ask about this. We're always on the same page. She gets me and I get her. She did this contest. It’s called The Rose of Tralee. It's like Miss Universe for Ireland type of thing. She was third place finisher. She was doing this parade and she had her little cousins with her and stuff on the parade and I had a sudden thought, “Brielle lost the kids.” I'm like, “I got to go find them.” I go looking for the kids. I find them. When her cell phone finally worked, she gets through to me and she goes, “I lost the kids.” I'm like, “I know. I found them.” We've always got each other and I can't explain it. It’s on a higher spiritual level or whatever. We get along well. Her family has been in business her whole life. She’s always been in entrepreneurship. Her mother is a doctor. They’ve rolled this from their own practice and all that stuff. For her, it was part of life. It’s how it was.
For me, I came from a very blue-collar family. My dad didn’t finish high school and my mom didn’t go to college because her father died during school. It was always blue-collar. You do it and make it happen. The best thing I could do is be a teacher, so that’s what I did. We were in very different places when Brielle and I met. It was because of her that I got into business. The first thing I jumped into was network marketing, which you're not going to make a million dollars in 30 days, but I thought you were going to. That was my first jump and then it took me from a bunch of different things until I finally arrived at podcasting. She's always been my biggest fan, my biggest supporter. Whenever I had a struggle, it would be the sanity to sit down and say, “Let's plan this out, figure out what's going wrong, and write an actual action plan on how we're going to do this.” I don't say that there's a life and business balance because we get each other. We always have the same goals. We’re always working together, and we get along well. That's just life.
You guys are working together, and you were working together when you founded the first company for podcast guesting. Now, you've got your own company and you've got a team. What do you think makes you standout as a company and you as the face of the company? You're adorable Jeremy, but why is Brielle not the face of the company because she's flipping gorgeous?
Though she is, she doesn't enjoy media attention and I do. I love it. I've always been somebody that's done a lot of speaking and things like that. For me, it's been second nature. I'm very good at that and I know what my strengths are. She knows what her strengths are. Although I've gotten her to do more press, which excites me because she's good at it. She didn't think she was initially. I've become the face of it because I've been the podcaster. I've done a lot of these interviews. I've been positioned with well-known people in the business space. For me, we've always been building that so it seemed the natural way to go.
Although a lot of what we do and what we use inside of strategies are because of her and all of her experience. I'm the face just because I've been the face. She's all the strategy and knows everything behind it. We have this interesting meld of what I know and what she knows. Now, I know everything she knows, but early on, I didn't. That was what was interesting about what we were doing. It's also interesting too because there are lots of companies that are doing what we do. We have a very different more traditional PR type of spin on things since she’s been in that space for a long, long time. We operate in a different way. I guess that's what's different about it. We’re looking at operating in more of a traditional PR sense.
Who is your ideal client? Who lights you up and gets the greatest results from working with your team?
The first thing is somebody that's coachable. That's important and we probably both see that because we're both experts at what we do. It's important that people allow us to be experts. That goes for you and I, but mainly, we work with a lot of bestselling authors. We've worked with a lot of founders and CEOs. That's typically who we are working with. The way to put it is they're Gary Vaynerchuk before he became a Gary Vaynerchuk. He had all this success but he hadn't told anybody about it yet. We want to take people that have had that success and help them spread the mission because they have something beautiful to help people with. We're very mission-driven in what we do because for me, it unites well with what I do on my podcast, which is creating life on your own terms and what that looks like. That’s why it aligns very well with what I do. Everything I do is very story and message-driven.
We have a lot of synergy there because I completely agree about the coachability. It takes time in any business. You may have an idea of what you want and who you want and how you're going to do it and then the reality is you can't know what's going to occur until it occurs. It's like, “I learned a lesson there. This is this, this is that.”
That’s a great point because people think, “You decide your avatar and here we go.” That's not how it is. You learn by working with people what that's like and you also learn what are the best industries to work with. Some industries are different than others. They're going to take more effort, less effort, whatever it may be. Those are the things, you don't know until you do them.
When I first started, I was working with people that I thought, “No problem. I can do this.” Even though I am mission-centered, and I have these values and ideas, I wasn't vetting enough the people that I was saying yes to, to ensure that theirs matched mine. It wound up feeling transactional, which is the opposite of what I ever wanted to do. For me, I don't work with people transactionally. If somebody is looking for high volume, I am not their girl. I am looking for people who are looking for collaboration with me and are not Gary V. I have a bit of a softer way and more subtlety and I love that you do attract people. The people that I've noticed that you attract are those go-getters and that's you. You have so much energy.
It’s like my own being-ness. I'm very like, “Let’s go do it.” You have to know what that is for you because I did take clients early on that didn't fit that. Early on, it becomes about, “I'm going to startup. I need to make money.” Too often, that's what we base it on.
“Who's willing to pay me to do what I want to do?” Then we do something we think we want to do and then it's like, “This does not feel good.”
One of the big pieces of advice I end up always giving on my podcast is like, “When you're going to start something, have something else.” Cal Newport has a book called So Good They Can't Ignore You and he always talks about why following your passion is a bad idea. Having a day job is not a bad idea. Cal does all this stuff but he's a college professor. It’s like you have something to allow you to go at that mission of it and not take things just to take things.
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You and I came into the podcast guesting arena around the same time. For me, it was late 2016 and I think you you’re in mid-2016.
Mid until late 2016. We had one client that was on the production side of things that wanted to get on podcasts and we had been doing it. We didn't start delivering it until at the end of 2016.
I don't pay a whole lot of attention on what's going on around me anymore, but at that time, there were, in my awareness, just two companies known for doing what it was that we were doing. I was doing it in such a different way that I didn't even see myself as a competitor with them. I saw myself as a complete alternative to them, but that was hard at that time to let people know because people knew that way in their conscious awareness. It was like a lot of education. It’s funny because now, I'm aware of companies that existed long before they did.
There are a lot of them out there I didn’t know about.
They were not getting visibility. They were doing it, but they were doing on the down low. As podcasting got more and more attention over the last twelve to eighteen months, they're like, “There are other people doing what we've had a domination on? No, we're going to step up.” I'm seeing them every day hearing about new people who are doing it as well. There are a lot of “competition.” There are a lot of people looking at this podcast guesting opportunity and going, “I want to get on that.” This happens with anything in marketing. We go through these waves.
How do you feel about that there are so many more people “doing” what you do even though we know it's not the same? Do you find yourself attracting people who are shoppers and looking just to say, “What are you going to give me?” They're looking at all the different options and looking for what their best deal is. Are you finding that at all?
That’s interesting because it's the same thing. There were two competitors I thought about in the beginning that were out there. It's interesting because I feel like our messaging is very different. I know at least one of them is usually talking about podcast marketing. I don't see it as marketing. It's not what it is. It's PR. It's awareness. Our messaging is very different than a lot of other people out there. We're all about awareness, building a brand, and things like that. We usually get people that came to me from hearing my podcast or something like that. They're usually coming to me because they experienced me somewhere. It's not because they're looking at, “I want to go get on podcasts,” or something like that. It's not usually what happens.
It's more because like, “He's done something right. I want to learn how to do that. They can do it for me, great.” It wasn't until the beginning of this year that I even became okay with teaching other people how to do that, building a course to do that because I don't want to give away all my goodies. Then when you realized there's so much space for so many people to succeed in their own way, why wouldn't I want to fully support the other entrepreneurs? That's the biggest thing you have to realize. The number was last year, it was 450,000 podcasts out there. I'm like, “Are you kidding me?” That's so much space. That's interesting to look at. Our messaging is different. It's not a competition because we're all serving our own peeps in a different way.
I love that you said that because that identified something different between us. For me, I am about visibility but more strategic visibility and I'm about conversion. I'm about sales, leveraging visibility, podcasts opportunities, and other publicity in order to convert listeners to leads, leads to sales and so on. I'm also like the tortuous. One of the other companies that you're referring to is about podcast marketing. What I have found from people who've worked with me after that type of experience is that that's what it is. It's very transactional. What I do is a deeper dive into what are their underlying needs and messages and stuff. I love that you are more focused on helping them identify what their message is, what's their mission, and how can they express that.
That’s a big part of what we do. We may see this as people don't always know what the message you'd be putting out. We help them with that. That's one of the biggest things that we do is helping them with that. Then also, we do some of the marketing with them because that is important. You need to tell people that you're on a podcast and we have different ways to do that. One of the big things we've done is we've built community around that as well. We have a private Facebook group for our clients and we're bringing in experts every week and doing interviews. We're trying to help them build awareness for what it is they're doing because personal branding is key here. You're building an asset that is something that you can then put behind any business you want to do. We have done things like launches and whatnot. Our real sweet spot is creating that awareness on the right shows, promoted in the right way, and connecting with an audience in the right way.
How do you know when you're approached about an opportunity to collaborate and it's the other person looking to take advantage of your platform or what you've built or what your strengths are for their own needs versus connecting with somebody looking literally to collaborate or get to know you with more of a selfless way?
Maybe it’s because I have a high BS meter. Usually, I'm very good at weeding out certain types of people. I do a lot of collaboration and I'm a very giving person. Usually, I'm good at making people keep their promises. I haven't had an issue with that. Maybe it's just me.
Now, that I brought it up, I think it's an opportunity for me to talk about it then and maybe you'll have some things to chime in on. I've experienced, as I've grown my business and gotten more publicity and more visibility, that I have personally struggled with is on that climb up. The more you get seen, the more people want things from you.
I get people that want me for this opportunity and that opportunity and this opportunity. What you have to understand, at least for me, is what you're doing is. So many times, people want you to write this article about them or involve them in this or be part of this product they're launching. You have to realize if it's something that aligns with what you're doing. I know for myself, I'm not big on doing virtual summits because for me as an attendee, they haven't worked out well in the past. I had a bad experience with a guy agreeing to do it with me and then queering how big my email list wasn't saying, “You're not important enough.” I'm like, “You told me how awesome I was, and you love my mission.” You have to understand what works for you, what you show up with in the best way, and also your core purpose and stay to that.
My purpose is all about storytelling and messaging. If I can stay to that, I'm in great shape. If somebody else wants me to do something that's way out in left field, I have to understand that and be able to say “No, I love what you're doing, but it’s totally not for me. Maybe I know somebody that I could connect them with.” I've done that before too, where I'm like, “These two people play some beautiful music together. Let's connect them.” There's been stuff like that as well.
I love playing the connector and that's one of the things that the more visibility we have, the more opportunity we have because we get connected and we know people in different places and ways and all that.
I was hanging out with a rabbi and I connected them with another rabbi that I had interviewed. It was like cool things that happened.
It's very important to stay focused on what's in line with your stuff. As we get more and more visibility and publicity and more offers come in, they may be all on the same theme because it's easy to know if it's not. Looking at not only what do they need me to do or what do they want me to do, flipping that around was hard for me because I'm a very giving person as well. I was looking, “How can I serve?” Then I've had to slow it down a little bit and go, “Is there a synergy? Is there a two-way street here where they're also in it to support me and not just for me to support them?” That was something I struggled with for a while.
Now, what I'm finding is that it's on the other end. Now, I'm winding up having more and more people that are coming to me because they think I'm flipping awesome and they want to support me. Then there's that opportunity. Now, it's all these opportunities and it's a question of, “How do I identify which opportunities are ones to say yes to and ones to say no to?” This is something that all entrepreneurs, as they're growing at the very beginning because I see this all the time with startup people.
This is in podcast guesting. I'll see people post in groups. I want to be on a podcast and then everybody would be like, “I’ll interview you.” They have no idea who you are. “I'll interview you.” “Be on my show. I'm just starting up a podcast.” In fact, I interacted with a woman on a Facebook group looking for a particular type of guest and she's just starting. I said, “Once you get up and going, definitely let me know. I'd love to see if any of my people are fit for you.” She instantly sent me a calendar link and said, “Book them now because I am filling up.” It's like, “That's a great idea but it doesn't work like that.” At every stage of business, we get inundated with opportunities, identifying which ones are ones to move forward with and which ones are ones to let go of. Do you have any other ideas on that?
There are two things to that. The one thing is I got a great piece of advice from Steve Harvey. It was the word that no is a complete sentence. That's one thing to understand first because we’re always like, “No but, or no because.” He's like, “No is a complete sentence.” That's first and foremost. The second thing is something that I've gotten from listening to Tim Ferriss where he's always talking about, and I know Derek Sivers talks about this a lot too, like, “If it's not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.” If you are not so excited to do this that you're like, “Let's do it. I'm all in,” then there's no point to doing it. You're going to half-ass it. You're going to not do a great job at it and then you're going to hate it. They're going to hate it and nobody's happy. If it's not a hell yes for you, it's a hell no and no is a complete sentence. It is. You don't need an explanation. If it's no, it’s no.
If you can think back to the beginning, you may have seen these kinds of things with the podcast guesting arena, especially now as people are getting on the bandwagon faster to start podcasts and also getting on the bandwagon to be guests. Do you have any tips for everyone who are thinking about, “I think I need to start a podcast or I think I need to get out on podcast and get more visibility”? Do you have any tips for them for avoiding rookie mistakes and getting the best opportunities on their own as a DIYer?
First of all is if you're going to start a podcast, have something different, unique or special about what you're doing. We all love what John Lee Dumas has done but stop copying him. If I'm on another podcast where they say, “Please fill in the holes in that intro,” be original. John did it. It worked. It's great. He's doing very well with it. Have your own thing. There are too many people trying to do exactly what he's done. Don't do it. That's the first thing. If you're going to have a podcast, have a unique point of view or don’t start a podcast. Then you're going to be talking about, “How do I help my traffic so I can get sponsors so I can do all these other things?” That's not the point. This is a vehicle to either promote your product or brand or educate people or things like that. It's a very giving platform. It's not about, “Get up my CPM and get some sponsors.” That's not the point.
The other side is if you're going to be a guest, a couple of things to it. You want to show up valuable. Don't show up as that scarce person. When you're going to be on a show, people are having you for the expert for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever it may be. Be open and be willing to give. Don't say, “Check out my YouTube channel or buy my course or check out my book.” People don't want that. They're not going to listen to you. It's also being able to tell your own story through different lenses.
I interviewed somebody on my show that's pretty well-known and it sounded like he was reading off a piece of paper. It's like, “Don't do that.” Be able to tell your story through different lenses. There are certain parts of my story. On this show, we haven't even talked about my story because it's not pertinent to what we're talking about and you have to be able to tell your story or whatever it is you're doing through different lenses because different shows need to receive it in different ways. That's the thing I would say is don't get on and just start reciting your life story like that. Have that down, have down what you're going to teach and be willing to give and then also be willing to start small when you're new. When you are new, to be willing to start with shows that have less than twenty episodes, less than twenty reviews because you need to build a portfolio. It's like building up things in PR. You build up samples of things to show people you can do a good job. You're probably very well-known in what you do, but you aren't in the podcasting space. You got to start somewhere.
When we talk about being new, that doesn't necessarily mean being new as an entrepreneur. That means new to podcasting.
You need to build up a portfolio, show people what you can do. It's awesome how many stages you’ve spoken on, but if you haven't been on podcasts, it's different. The space doesn't know who you are yet. Just build up some samples, not that many, three or four and then start climbing the stairs. I always like to say this, “Success in media, and podcasting is media, is not an elevator. It's always stairs.” They're always stairs. You have to know what they look like. Grab level one to get two, to get three, to get four. You're not going to jump right on the art of charm day one and most people aren't going to anyway because they just want to interview celebrities. That's what you have to think about in being on a podcast is be willing to give, have your story through different lenses, and be willing to start from ground zero even though you're probably very well-known for what you do.
Jeremy, any final words of wisdom? Anything you want to leave my audience with and please let them know how they can further the conversation with you.
I would go back to what Cal Newport said, which is, “Be so good they can't ignore you in what you do.” Don't follow your passion. It’s bad advice and it's going to take a lot more action to get what you want than you think it's going to. Be willing to stick to what you're doing longer than you think it's going to take. If they want to find me, I have a free five-day e-course on how they can create celebrity in their niche over at JeremyRyanSlate.com. They can put in their email on the pop up there and they can get videos and emails from me for five days about lots of cool stuff.
Thank you so much for hanging out on the Business Building Rockstars Show. Until next time.
- Jeremy Slate
- Podcast Movement
- Take Back Your Health NOW!
- Command Your Brand Media
- So Good They Can't Ignore You
- @JeremyRyanSlate – Twitter
- @JeremyRyanSlate – Instagram
- Jeremy’s LinkedIn
- Jeremy’s Facebook
- Jeremy’s Amazon Author’s Profile
- Create Your Own Life with Jeremy Ryan Slate on iTunes
About Jeremy Slate
Jeremy Slate is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, which helps entrepreneurs live the lives they know they were meant to. He studied literature at Oxford University, Specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity and was ranked #1 in iTunes New and Noteworthy and #26 in the business category. After his success in podcasting, Jeremy Slate and his wife, Brielle Slate, found Command Your Brand to help entrepreneurs get their message out by appearing as guests on podcasts.
Thanks again to Tess Hansel for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.