Share Your Story With Your Own Podcast!
0:00:06.8 Lynne Jarman-Johnson (LJJ): Money I’m Home, welcome in. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union. We sure do thank you for joining us today. Hey, you know what, we love this podcast because you join us every week, and we also know that we have so many people who are asking us about… There’s been this COVID thing going on, and I’m really loving checking all these new podcasts out, but we have a business partner who really has a great story to tell and can help you if you’d like to start your own podcast. Richard Piet, he is the founder, the owner of Livemic Communications. But he’s also the host of Richard Piet Show. So, thanks so much for being with us today.
0:00:46.9 Richard Piet (RP): Well, Lynne, thank you. It’s very nice to be with you.
0:00:49.9 LJJ: Tell me a little bit about how this all started because you not only have your own podcast show, but you help others.
0:00:58.2 RP: Right, right. Well, my background is broadcasting. I worked in news and talk radio for 14 years at WKZO in Kalamazoo, and a little over three years at WBCK in Battle Creek, and so I’ve spent years interviewing people, newsmakers, talk show guests and things of that nature. But I got out of the business for a while. And some friends of mine said, “You should do a podcast. You should do a podcast.” And I kept saying, “I have a job. I don’t need… That sounds like work.” But the pandemic came and suddenly we were locked down and I had extra time on my hands, and so I started to look into the idea, what’s involved in that? And how complicated would it be?
0:01:46.6 RP: And having been a radio person, I come from a time when we used to have to set up a lot of equipment and have studios and things, and if that’s what I need, I don’t know if I’m up for this. Well, it turns out that we can do this very simply, in fact, as simple as you and I are doing this right now, as we’ve learned. So, I found out that it really wasn’t hard to do this, and so I started it, and I took the concept from my radio show, the interviewing concept, and applied it to the podcast, and then my wheel started turning about, how do I make a business out of this? And off we go. So, that’s the short version.
0:02:26.7 LJJ: Well, and here’s what I love Richard, number one your voice is very familiar to many of our members, I know that we’re based out of our corporate office out of Kalamazoo and have offices in Battle Creek and all over West Michigan. And you have a very recognizable voice.
0:02:43.5 RP: Thank you.
0:02:44.4 LJJ: So, I think that helps in the sense of being able to feel connected right away, that trust and that feeling of connection. Tell us a little bit about how you decided to start a business because you’re our business partner, and we love having you bank with us, but when you’re starting something like that, it’s so unique and different, and not only are you having fun with the information that you’re providing on your show, but you’re also then helping others. Where did you start? How did you begin? And how is it going?
0:03:15.2 RP: Yeah, it really started as the notion of a hobby, I was going to do this for fun and just talk about things that I thought were interesting, which could be anything, and that’s a little bit against the podcast grain to begin with. If you’re thinking about doing a podcast, you’re probably much more focused than that, you’re thinking about your industry, your business, your hobbies, whatever it might be, and you sort of zoom in on those things. Well, Piet doesn’t do that, he’s got all kinds of things he’s interested in, so I’m going against the grain a little bit there, but I’m going to do it anyway, and just to talk about things that interest me.
0:03:55.2 RP: And then after a while, I realized that the way media has changed that folks out there are looking for new ways to engage their stakeholders, and another thing that’s quite noticeable is that folks who are in a certain business are probably focused on their core business most of the time, they’re not thinking about, how do I turn this into a podcast? And in fact, the thought itself might be daunting.
0:04:23.2 LJJ: Scary.
0:04:23.3 RP: I don’t know how to do that. Yeah, very. So, that’s when I started to turn the wheels a little bit in my mind about how could we help people do that? And so, the process of doing what you’re doing right now, interviewing me is what I’m doing with my clients. We’re establishing a series of podcast episodes focused on the areas they need to focus on, and then those things become engagement materials in their outreach toolbox, so we’re helping them with purposeful exposure with an interviewer who’s experienced in doing that. If you think about turning on a tape recorder, there’s a blast from the past, but turning on your camera and recording and just filling 10 or 15 minutes, it seems a little scary. What do I talk about for all that time? And if anybody has had experience with keeping time rolling and momentum rolling, it’s been me, so I can help with that, and then present it in a way that is useful and professional for my clients.
0:05:28.8 RP: So, as I was rolling these ideas around in my mind, I had to decide, am I just dreaming or is this really something that might work? And I started to talk to some trusted folks whom I had known for some time about this idea, and they would just look at me with this look and say, “Huh. Well, that’s really an interesting idea.” And one of them even said, “When you do this, you come back and find me. Because I’m going to buy that.” And so that’s when I realized, “Okay, I think you’re on to something here.” So, I started to do that, and this isn’t to say it was super easy, I left a very secure job and took a leap of faith in the middle of 2020 and said, “Okay, I’m going to do this.”
0:06:15.6 RP: And it’s been going pretty well, and I’m working with clients almost immediately, I was working with the clients. So, it is really an interesting thing, and as you know, Lynne, this is a terrific way to engage with people using a new way, and then of course, folks can take this and share it and say, “Look who Lynne’s talking to today, and look what she said about this or that.” And it’s really simple to do that, so it’s a really terrific tool.
0:06:45.7 LJJ: So Richard, when someone says to you, “You know, I don’t understand how I can take a podcast and use it for my business.” What have you found to be the most compelling reasons to do it? On the flip side if someone wants to do it, but they’re really reticent, this is where an expert like you comes into play.
0:07:05.7 RP: Right. Well, I look back on my history in radio, one of the things that folks really wanted, whether they were business owners or they had an event to promote or they had a story to tell was an interview on the radio. And so they would come on the radio and we would talk about whatever the subject was. And almost always after the microphones went off, they would say, “Could I have a copy of that?” They would want to share it with their mother or their grandma, or their children or whoever it was, but even better than that, maybe they wanted to play it for their clients or some kind of story that was inherent in that exchange would be useful to them.
0:07:51.9 RP: So fast forward to now, where we have this great technology that records for us, and you can take that and use your social media and share it, or maybe it’s an email blast or on your website and share this. So, when folks come calling on you for your company or your organization, there’s already immersive information in a nice neat little package, they can click play and hear all about it, and your engagement has begun before you’ve even met that person. And so that really is how I envisioned it, was taking that radio interview and modernizing it and making it a lot more versatile as a tool for outreach and engagement. And it really is, folks can use modern technology and make this work.
0:08:45.3 LJJ: One of the other things that I love about podcasts is the fact that you can transcribe them, and so if you’re in marketing or if you’re in a business that is… What are they saying now? Content is the royalty, it’s king and queen of everything, you can take really great quotes that people have given you and statistics and be able to help your audience even further.
0:09:10.6 RP: That’s true. And the other thing about it too, is if you… Let’s suppose you’re an entity that might have news coverage from time to time, if there’s a story you wanted to tell in the news, you might have had to write a press release, send it to a news organization and wait for the phone to ring, or wait for an email to come back, something like that. Let’s suppose it did. You submitted to an interview, that interview went through a process of distilling or processing at the news entity level, and then the story came out and you said, “Well, I don’t know if that’s the angle I would have chosen,” or maybe the details weren’t entirely right.
0:09:56.2 RP: So in this case, you can tell your own story, share your story, it’s right there in a usable form on your website, on your social media, you’re controlling your own message more than we’ve ever had the opportunity to do that. And so this is just so exciting because it’s evolved this way, and it gives folks more control. But the truth is that many of us just either don’t have the time to think this through, or we haven’t worked in this industry to know how to angle it so that folks are interested. And so I’ve tried to help with that, but it’s just so diverse and the opportunities are just waiting.
0:10:40.7 LJJ: Well, for anyone who is interested, it is Livemic Communications, you can also listen to the Richard Piet Show, and Richard, tell us how people can find that. I’m assuming that it’s in all of the places and you just search Richard Piet Show, correct?
0:10:55.5 RP: That’s correct. Yeah, the typical podcast directories will have it, so it’s Piet, it’s diet with a P as in Paul, so it makes it easy to just type that in, or you can go to richardpietshow.com or livemiccommunications.com, and there’s all kinds of info there and episodes that you can find.
0:11:15.9 LJJ: Number one, thank you so much for being with us, thank you for being a business partner, we absolutely love to share these stories, but I love the fact that now even more businesses can get help.
0:11:24.9 RP: I appreciate the opportunity, and I should say, when I came to Kalamazoo in 1997, I opened my account at Consumers Credit Union, who uses paper checks anymore? I guess some of us still do, but the ones I still have say 4/97 on them. I feel so seasoned. I’m a seasoned member, Lynne.
0:11:43.8 LJJ: You are. Well, I’ll tell you what, that is awesome, because that means you’re a personal member, a business member, you got it going on, Richard.
0:11:53.3 RP: I’m here, I’m here.
0:11:54.6 LJJ: Hey, thanks everybody for listening today. I’d like to thank Jake Esselink for his wonderful production skills, and listen, if you have a topic just like Richard’s topic, just send them our way we’d love to hear from you. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson, Money I’m Home with Consumers Credit Union.