The Value of Livestreaming and Podcasting with Russ Johns

TLEP 53 | Livestreaming And Podcasting

 

“Make sure you’re seen as someone who cares”

Our special guest Russ Johns is a content creator and technology enthusiast. He is certified in Dubb training, livestreaming, and podcasting. Russ believes that everyone has something valuable to share with the world, and he enjoys helping people find their voices and share their messages. When he’s not creating content or helping others create theirs, Russ can be found exploring new technologies or spending time with his family.

Find out how Russ uses Dubb to build engagement, communicate with podcast guests, and create funnels. Get tips on offering value during your outreach and go the extra mile to build relationships. Uncover the advantages of live streaming over podcasting, and how to engage a live audience. Hear Russ’ tactics for creating memorable, interactive experiences with his community. Gain an understanding of the journey of a business podcast and how to avoid treating it as just another task. Learn Russ’ perspective on why it’s time to shift to a different online/social media model. Discover the art and science of marketing to create superfans who are involved with your professional mission.

 

This episode is brought to you by CreatorsLegal.com.

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The Value of Livestreaming and Podcasting with Russ Johns

Our special guest is someone that we’re looking forward to speaking with because of how much we align on our passions and on the work that we’re doing. His name is Russ Johns. He’s a content creator and technology enthusiast who’s certified in Dubb training, live streaming, and podcasting. Russ believes that everyone has something valuable to share with the world, and he enjoys helping people find their voices and share their messages. When he’s not creating content or helping others create theirs, Russ can be found exploring new technologies or spending time with his family. Russ, thank you so much for joining us here on the show. Before we get into our conversation, Nicolas has a brief eStreamly update for us.

First of all, thank you very much, Russ, for coming here. Whitney, you forgot to mention the big thing. Russ has created over 568 episodes of live streaming on a podcast. That’s a pretty astonishing number right there with his show, the #PirateBroadcast™. I can’t wait to dive into that. Regarding the eStreamly update, we’ve talked quite a bit about this for a few episodes now.

eStreamly has been doing a lot of work around social media and integration with social media. As a company, we believe that we should give the opportunity to people that want to go live to be able to sell where their audiences. I’m officially realizing that the social media integration is ready. When you go stream on your website, we can also stream on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram and have shopability there. It’s pretty cool. At least, I think it’s cool. I’m pretty excited about that. That’s for eStreamly for now.

Russ, one question that I have right off the bat is based on some ignorance because, despite my live streaming podcast technology background, I have no idea what Dubb training is. Can you start off by explaining that?

One of the challenges podcasters have, and a lot of live streamers as well, is this workflow to book guests and get people on and engaged and follow up with their showtimes. I love video, so I found a platform that allows me to use video to book calls and guests, organize, do outreach, and follow up and everything. That’s a platform called Dubb.com. It’s a video platform that integrates with Gmail and Outlook and a lot of platforms that I use.

I started using it to do outreach to guests. There were times when I would have guests booked out over a month in advance because of this process that I developed using Dubb. I became a fan, I became a trainer, and I trained sales teams on how to use Dubb and video for engagement, building relationships, and communications. I’ve built funnels with it, and it’s pretty amazing. if you go to LoveMyDubb.com, you can check it out and take a little look at that.

That’s cool because I love what you’re saying when you say, “I built a funnel.” What we are doing with the film is thinking it through the lines of the shopper, seeing a piece of content, getting educated about the product, about who you are as a person, as a host, or how the company and all your values. At some point, hopefully, that is going to convert to a transaction. When you are in a B2B setting, your goal is not always a transaction. It is ultimately a transaction, but let’s say you are selling technical ingredients that have to be custom-made, or you are selling a service that has to be coated first. Live shopping, in these cases, is not something you can easily utilize.

There’s not a product at the end that people can go to. What you’re saying is that on the B2B setting, the selling experience is sometimes much more complex, and there is a funnel where you do your wellness and the action and all that, which is what you have on the shopping side, but those have different steps and you’re using video to make this happen. It’s fascinating.

When you think about that funnel, how do you approach that? Do you have a different piece of content that you will serve your audience at different times based on where they are in their journey? What does that look like? Let’s say I’m on a B2B side and I want to reach out to a B2B community. How would you approach that? How would you coach someone that says, “I want to try?”

You bring up an excellent point, Nicolas, because one of the primary challenges that we have is there’s so much information, there’s so much noise, and there are so many opportunities to be distracted, all the shiny objects over here, the shiny object over there. What happens is, whether you’re sending an email out or a message on LinkedIn or connecting on Instagram, whatever method you choose to connect with or do outreach with, you have to think, “What’s the value I can offer the individual?”

TLEP 53 | Livestreaming And Podcasting
Livestreaming And Podcasting: Whether you’re sending an email out or a message on social media, always think about how you can help someone else.

It’s not about me. It’s about how I can help someone else. We’re moving into an arena where there’s less about being the influencer and building authority, which I endorse. However, it’s also about how much value can I offer until somebody says, “I want to work with Nicolas. I want to work with Whitney because they gave this so much?”

When I send an email out and it has a personalized video that says, “Nicolas, thank you so much for following up. I appreciate being on the show.” Whatever it happens to be, I get responses back saying, “I’ve never had this experience before. Thank you so much. That’s a cool email you sent me.” It’s a nice video, but I seldom get any response back from regular emails. Nobody says, “That’s the greatest email I’ve ever received.” It’s a change in the way we think about opportunities.

I’ll give you another example. When I did an experiment a couple of years ago, when I would see somebody on LinkedIn that hadn’t customized their header yet, I had a video that I would attach and I would do an intro and say, “Thanks for connecting. I noticed your header and your profile wasn’t completed. Here’s a tutorial on how to update your header in Canva so you can have a customized header in your profile,” and something that. It’s that one little check mark that says, “I appreciate that. Thank you.” Some people say, “What’s wrong with my header?” It’s like, “Nothing’s wrong with your header. It’s just an offer.” You have to be building a relationship, adding value so people notice. It’s attention.

After having of our guests that was talking about this specific point, thinking about, “How do you have value?” I know personally that before sending an email to a new person that we haven’t had a relationship with yet or a connection with, I will take the time to dive into their social, look at maybe something that I will enjoy more than others, and then start with that. Say, “I love that specific video where you talk about your kid or what you’ve done. That was pretty funny.” I thought this one was a little weird, but I do that work and it’s not so much that I’m providing value, but I personally try to acknowledge a part of the due diligence and recognize something specific good point in time.

Everyone can testify to how many emails we receive every day that is called emails, whereas they’re all automated. Even now, Google is so strong with that. They will put them on the spam list right there. If it’s an automation thing, boom, it’s already gone. Still, it is a challenge. Thinking that video can be something of power. It is interesting.

I’d love to transition to the live stream space. Part of your work is around live streaming. When we talk about that B2B conversation, this is more like a video. You’re creating a video. You’re posting that video, you’re pushing that video, so there’s not that engagement. Do you feel that live stream has a place in the B2B world? If so, what place does it have in your point of view?

One of the advantages of live streaming over podcasting, in general, is that, and I was podcasting long before I was live streaming because live streaming hadn’t quite matured enough yet. The thing that I like about live streaming is it’s fresh and engaging. If somebody’s watching, you can bring them into the conversation. You can bring their comment up and they feel ownership toward that.

Also, it’s a great way to create content that doesn’t require a lot of pre-production or post-production. You can put out their interview just like this and make sure that people have an opportunity to invest in the conversation rather than sit back and listen to it passively. Now, where we are in live streaming right now is it’s still early. What you’re seeing now is there are a lot of shows that are merging.

In the Joe Rogan podcast, he does a live stream, and there are a lot of different live streamers that are on a lot of different platforms, and their numbers are increasing when traditional news and shows are decreasing. We’re going to see more and more of that as that live stream evolves and we can get the interaction, and we can see that community grow.

It’s more about the community and how we can develop that. With live streaming, you can also take that content, slice it up into individual pieces and sound bites to push back to, “Follow us on Spotify. Leave a comment. Like us and share this content if you found it valuable.” It’s easy to create additional content from that as well. It’s an ongoing thing. It’s the top of the funnel where you can bring it into your community and share additional value as a con continues to grow.

You’re speaking so much about community adding value, and you also use the term engagement, which I would love to touch upon because whether you’re trying to engage as a podcaster with a private community, with live streaming, we’re doing all of those things over at eStreamly, but getting people to engage can be challenging. I would love to hear what has worked for you.

The thing that I have used in the past and will continue to use in the future is going out and commenting on other people’s work and engaging with other people that are in the same community, in the same vertical, or in the same market. Make sure that you are seen as somebody that cares. We’re all in this together and in 2020, there was a 40% increase in entrepreneurs starting up businesses.

Make sure you are seen as somebody who cares. Go online and comment on other people’s work and engage with a particular community. Click To Tweet

There are a lot of individuals that are starting up that could use the services that you’re providing and developing. If you can be seen as someone that’s helpful and supportive, and you can offer them some assistance along their journey, then you have somebody that’s going to be coming to you every time you show up to see what you have to say to be able to do that. It has to go both ways. I’ve tried it and broadcast because I come from a radio background. You’re broadcasting, hoping somebody will hear it. The engagement has tenfold helped me grow my audience and grow my community as well.

I love the fact that you bring the entrepreneur into this whole conversation because, first of all, that’s the audience you are catering to. In some way, in this community, we do have these readers, the entrepreneurs and when an entrepreneur comes to you, are those entrepreneurs generally coming to you with the idea of doing a live stream, or they’re already experiencing a live stream and saying, “It doesn’t work for me and I’d love for you to help me grow my live stream and make it better?”

What we experience on the outside when people come to us is generally, they have never done anything and they are discovering the space. It’s pretty steep. Going live stream for the first time is a journey. I wonder if they are seeking help, from your perspective, from a professional like you at the moment when they start or after they have experience. I’d love to know your perspective on that.

Let’s step back and talk about the journey of a podcaster and the business owner because there’s an intersection where a lot of people that start a podcast have enjoyed listening to a podcast, and they think it sounds easy. When you practice a lot and you make it look easy, there’s a difference. It seems fairly simple. However, a lot of business owners go into podcasting thinking, “I’m going to try this out.”

They don’t necessarily approach it as a business goal where they say, “This is going to require time, effort, and energy.” When they get to episode eighteen, they’re going, “Why is nobody listening to my podcast? Why don’t I have any downloads?” It’s because it’s almost like writing a book. Writing the book is only a piece of the process. Distributing, marketing, making those engagements, those connections, building partnerships, and developing a product which is your podcast, takes time, effort, and energy or you have a team that’s going to assist you along that journey.

TLEP 53 | Livestreaming And Podcasting
Livestreaming And Podcasting: Podcasting is almost like publishing a book. The writing is only a piece of the process. You still need to distribute, market, and connect with people.

There’s a lot of content marketing that goes involved in it. There’s a lot of connectivity that goes on involved in it. A lot of entrepreneurs are focused on, “I need to build my widget. I need to market my widget. A podcast is another task.” What happens is they’re shifting their minds. They go from podcasting thinking it’s another task, and then they lose the enjoyment of engaging in the community to promote their product and services as a part of the process rather than another task that I have to do.

They get discouraged because they’re not getting the response or the reaction. Yet they turn around and buy newspaper ads that’ll go out to 10,000 people who will never look at their ad. You have to decide what my mindset is, what my goal is, what my initiatives will be to support that podcast, and how I will grow the podcast after it’s produced.

I love what you say. If I could speak from my own personal experience, years ago, I was that entrepreneur that was exactly at the intersection of what you were saying. I remember this whole journey vividly so far. It’s been a fun ride. What was helpful for me not being from the podcast world was meeting with Whitney, who had this deep experience with podcasting that co-hosted the show. I didn’t have to learn everything from zero from the moment where I was there. I already had a professional that knew how to run a podcast.

That made for an important lift. I encourage the audience that if you go to the first episode of the show, you will see that my voice is terrible, I’m freaking out, and all that but we’re here. We tried Twitter and then we do a similar casting to Clubhouse on Twitter. We went with video and no video. We tried pretty much everything for the journey. It was fascinating.

Now, I will say that there was a comment that a marketer made and I noticed a comment because Marcus Sheridan, which I’m a big fan of, commented on that comment. The person making the following comment said, “People who think that podcast is about awareness are doing it wrong. A podcast is not about awareness. It’s about the idea that you already have a conversation and are building trust. People have listened to you first, they understand where you are, and they want to discover more about your product. That’s when they come, listen to your podcast, and get to move on with you.”

I felt that was powerful because it is true that I go into customer meetings and people will have learned about us through the show, maybe before the meeting. They generally don’t come, tuning in to the show, saying, “I need to talk to Nicolas.” It’s more like I engage with them, and then all of a sudden, they say, “That sounds interesting. Let me discover more,” and continue the conversation.

For the entrepreneur out there, I encourage your thinking in that way because the real value in my point of view of the show as an entrepreneur is on the continuation of your first engagement as a way for your audience to get to learn at their own pace what they want to know about you and your service, or how do you serve the community altogether. I don’t know what you think on that, Russ, if you think I’m on the right track, but that’s my takeaway so far.

That’s a great point, and I’d like to get Whitney’s take on it as well. However, we have to think about video, and podcasting accelerates the understanding of who we are, how we work, how we communicate, and the personality we’re putting out there to the world. Now, it’s not always 100% accurate. However, for the most part, if you’re doing life well, you’re the same person whether you’re working across the country or across the street. You’re the same individual that’s talking about your topic of interest or delivering a subject with value.

There are probably 1,000 people around the world that can do exactly what we’re doing. However, certain people fall in line with your personality, the way you act, the way you think, the way you talk, the way you communicate, and your interests. What podcasting does is allow that conversation, you said, to take that personality to the next level. When somebody meets you in person, especially with video, you have an opportunity to accelerate that connection and that understanding of who you’re working with or who you’re meeting with.

I could pick five people to do something, and I would like to work with a person I would like to work with, and podcasting and live streaming allow that to take place and accelerate that goal. We’ve seen in the last couple of years, Zoom calls have built relationships around the world. It’s a global connection now, and that’s something many years ago didn’t exist. We have to understand what we’re putting out in the world is exactly what we need to put out in the world to serve the community in the best possible way. I don’t know, Whitney, if you have any other aspects, ideas, or suggestions on how to go about that.

First of all, I love that term, accelerate your connection and do that in an authentic way, not contrived, not just, “I’m doing this to get something from you,” but let’s cut through all the small talk. Let’s jump to what’s important to us and make this happen. Most people want that anyways. When I go on LinkedIn, I’m not looking to ask somebody how they’re doing and hear random things.

I want to know, “What value can you provide to me? Here’s the value that we can provide to you. How can we support one another together?” That’s such an important point. It’s oddly still missed. A lot of people don’t think that way. They’re still in that mindset of what they can get from somebody else without giving to them first.

I’m curious, speaking of developments we’ve seen since you’ve been in this world for so long, Russ, how you feel about social media. As we’re recording in mid-November 2022, it’s been an interesting time with both Twitter and Facebook, or Meta, what the changes they’re going through, the things they’ve been trying, and the things that aren’t working. Maybe as a tie into this conversation, do you think these platforms are too focused on themselves and not giving value or not sticking to the core meaning of social media and how that ties into our goals with our personal and professional lives?

You bring up an excellent point that I’ve been talking about for a while. One of the things that I see in social media that is evolving is the idea that if we’re out there building a community, which I encourage everyone to do, you have to think about what the end goal is. If you have a product or a service and you’re going after likes, I’ve never had a like pay a bill or fulfill an invoice.

I have a relationship with individuals in that community who want to be served by what I provide. What we’re going to see, rather than expansion and growth, which we’ve seen in the last several years, is building a community around and moving an evolving off-rented space to more in-depth, more useful, more Patreon kind of community-supported individuals that are providing value.

That’s what’s going to happen. The advertisers are going to have to shift to a different model. Think of it this way. If I’m a manufacturer and I’m manufacturing a Skilsaw for a general contractor building homes, I would much rather have a connection with carpenters than soccer moms. I’d be able to serve that community even more effectively and more focused, so my ad dollars and my revenue for the audience is going to be increased over time.

Just like the analogy of going back in the radio days, you broadcast to everyone and hope someone will hear it. We then went to social media where you have a more focused approach and you can pick out groups of individuals. Now, we are evolving into this community where we can talk to individuals and serve them the best possible results we can provide. If we think about it that way it’ll evolve and change into, “How can I serve more and expect that conversation to take place so I can improve how I serve more?”

Speaking of community, from the conversations I had with many entrepreneurs and brands, the notion of having a community is something that’s appealing. The challenge is creating a community is hard work. Our personal experience is that right now, we are getting the community. We created a platform where people can engage and talk about live shopping and all that. I probably try to spend an hour every day to try to activate that, but it’s difficult. The engagement is low. It’s hard to find people that are interested to come in and join and then have them engaged.

Everyone wants to be in a community, but for someone that is starting from the ground, how do you go after thinking about that community aspect? Do you think that if your work leads to community, it will naturally lead to it? Do you think you have to force it and try to implement some structure to make it happen? I’d love to have your perspective because I do believe a lot of people want to do it, but they either don’t know or they are afraid of doing it. Can you give us an insight there?

Yeah. That’s a great point, Nicolas, because it’s not easy. Marketing is an ongoing process. Marketing is a journey. It’s something that we’re continuing to have to evolve in because of the platforms we’re engaging in. Building a community is art and science. One of the things that I would recommend business owners do is build a team around that.

It doesn’t mean you have to hire people to plant stuff into the community. However, if you look at what HubSpot has done, this huge abundance of content adds value that people come back to. Morning Brew is a newsletter that goes out and it creates a lot of quality information. They have this almost Dropbox-style engagement where you give something away and it continues to grow.

Building something that you can leverage other people’s efforts that are involved in the community, build super fans of your product and services as I did with Dubb. Dubb doesn’t pay me other than an affiliate commission if I get somebody on board. However, I still promote them by having a show which is funded by myself, and I promote this idea because I believe in their product.

If you could get others involved in your community that believe in what you believe, and there’s a mission involved, it’s a bigger story arc than what you have to tell because you’re biased. You like your product because you created your product. However, if you can get other people to talk about your product because they love the product, then it’s a much easier push to build a community around favorite fans. It’s like Kevin Kelly’s article on 1,000 True Fans. If you can build 1,000 true fans, they’re going to support your community, come rain or shine.

If you can get other people to love your products and talk about them, you have a much easier time building a community around your favorite fans. Click To Tweet

Before we wrap up, I want to highlight something that you say is important from my point of view. If you remember, for the readers, we had an episode with John Roman coming on board that was talking about how he found his creator, the brand person for his own live stream show. If you remember the episode, John was mentioning that he was looking at who the super fans out there that are producing content are. Bring them on staff to represent the brand, and now, he’s creating a show. His company and his product blew away because now they had the creator 40 hours a week, creating specific content that audiences resonate with.

What you said, Russ, is you are a super fan of that company, Dubb. You are not getting paid by the company, but still, you are producing one show per week at your own cost, devoting an hour of your own time because you love the product, the value, and the mission. What I want the audience to take on with that is if you are thinking about doing live stream shopping, if you are thinking about going into this space and you still don’t know who will be your host, I cannot encourage you more than looking out there. Is there anyone, any creator, that produces content for me that people react to and enjoy? At the end of the day, that may be the best brand spoke person you can have.

What do you do to feed them a little bit better in a sense of for them to continue creating, starting to build that relationship, and then, at some point, bring them on board with you? That’s what we had with Dr. ELO, which was brought on board by Be.Live and now with you for Dubb. I want the brand and the retailer out there that are thinking about getting into this space to think through that.

You don’t have to hire the shiniest creator out there. You have to find the one that is passionate and truly dedicated to your product that can resonate with the product through a different lens. I want to take that opportunity because I didn’t know that about you, Russ, on that. I felt it’s a great point to bring on because a lot of people and brands are asking the same questions, “Who is going to do my show?” I just told them, “Naturally, look around.”

As you said, you don’t have to hire a person immediately. If you can work with somebody that loves what you’re doing, supports you, and has the opportunity to support you, allow people to help you. A lot of entrepreneurs are independent. They’re like, “I need to do this. I need to figure this out, and then I can put it out to the world.”

There are so many people out there willing to help. That’s why I say kindness is cool and smiles are free. You don’t know where people are. You don’t know what they need to do to fulfill their life goals and how they can help and support other people. People are willing to help if you ask them, “Can you offer some assistance here?” A lot of people will step up and say, “How can I help you?”

In this amazing world we’re living in, we can do that globally. We’re living in the most amazing time in human history where we can connect, have conversations, build companies, and have adventures like we’re having right now in these conversations. We’re in three different parts of the world and it’s amazing to me. When people realize how incredible it is, take ownership of that opportunity. Get help, get support, build your brand, and tune in to the show. Enjoy it. Lessons learned.

Russ, you had so many wonderful words of wisdom. You’re very articulate. I took a ton of notes. It’s going to be tough. We’re working right now, speaking of adding value, of creating short video clips of some of our favorite moments from each episode. It’s going to be tough to narrow it down. We’ve been aiming for 3 clips per episode, but yours could easily be 10 clips because you had wonderful ways of articulating these points.

You added so much value to us and, hopefully, our readers as well. We’re deeply grateful. That feels a good time to remind the reader that if you found this episode or other episodes of our show as well as Russ’ show, any show that you tune in to, if it feels valuable to you, one easy way you can give back and help spread the word is to leave a rating or review.

You can do this on some of the platforms on Apple. They’re known for leaving written reviews. Spotify, if you’re listening on that platform, it’s easy. You write underneath the podcast name or description. There are stars. You can give it five stars if you would like. That helps promote it to other people to let them know it’s of quality. I’m curious, Russ, real quick. Have you noticed that making an impact on your show? Do you focus on ratings and reviews after all of the episodes that you’ve put out?

Whitney, I have not pushed that as much as I have pushed the relationships I have with the guests because a lot of the guests I have developed into a business over the years. Developing clients from my community versus developing an audience from my podcast has been a little bit of a different structure for my personal goals.

However, I do encourage people to rate, review, and share. Sharing is the secret sauce from my perspective. It is sharing it with people that are in like-minded communities, like-minded attitudes where they need their help, assistance, and support, especially in the eCommerce space. I have a couple of clients in the eCommerce space that I truly love and enjoy.

I’m helping them with some activities in their marketing. It’s a tough business right now. As you said at the top of the hour, it’s evolving. It’s changing, and we all need to be a little patient with each other and compassionate and support each other as much as possible. Go rate and review. Leave a comment and share it out if you found value in this episode.

TLEP 53 | Livestreaming And Podcasting
Livestreaming And Podcasting: Marketing is a tough business right now since it is evolving. Everyone must be a little patient and support each other as much as possible.

Thanks for adding that perspective, Russ. That’s true. People can search for things, but people tend to go to people they know and trust first to ask for recommendations. That’s why sharing something like a podcast, whether it’s an episode or the entire show, can be so helpful. It’s not just about us. We’re here trying to add value so that you want to share it so that you feel good about sharing it. Thank you for adding that input. Nicolas, I want to turn it back to you before we wrap up this episode.

I want to thank your special partner, CreatorsLegal.com. This is a company that has been providing. It’s interesting because, as we had Eric Farber on the show, they had an offer for the community of creators the opportunity to have access to legal documents and God knows that this is an important thing for creators and brands. They have offered a coupon that is exclusively for the audience. It’s not a paid sponsorship. I want to share that back with you if you want to take advantage of that. You can use the code Daily Creator at the checkout for 25% off their monthly subscription.

Thanks, Nicolas. Thanks again, Russ, for being here. Thank you, Nicolas, for all your wonderful questions, as usual. Thank you to the reader for tuning in and hanging out with us. We’ll be back with another episode. Until then, wishing you all the best with your live eCommerce journey.

 

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