Podcast Interview with Susan Bratton, CEO of Personal Life Media.
As a podcaster, I have long been a fan of a handful of other podcasts that cover the topics that I cover, namely web marketing, new media, online marketing, and all related topics. One of my favorite podcasts is produced by Susan Bratton, called DishyMix, a podcast show where Susan interviews interesting and accomplished guests in and around marketing, advertising and new media. So, I invited Susan to be interviewed for my podcast and she graciously accepted…Boy was it fun!
Susan has many attributes I enjoy and I will share them with you in this blog post. But, you should listen to the entire podcast to learn how Susan is making an impact in our economy and how you can too by following her tips. No matter your industry, Susan’s advice can be applied with measurable results.
Susan is the co- founder and CEO of Personal Life Media, a media publishing company for people on the leading edge of culture. Susan is a Silicon Valley exec who knows everybody in new media, advertising and anything marketing. Susan is widely adored and recognized as a “super connector” among interesting and influential people in the web 2.0 and new media world.
PLM is about helping people change their lives. Susan calls it edutainment. Each one of Susan’s DishyMix podcasts make me a little smarter. She interviews fabulously interesting people. In each of her interviews she seeks to bring her audience “brain science,” personal growth and leadership examples. She brings her guest’s deep expertise to her audience while also about allowing you to get to know each of them as a human being. This combination of professional expertise and human interest makes DishyMix a very engaging podcast show!
From 16 to 40 and Counting
Susan launched Personal Life Media with 16 shows. Now PLM is comprised of 40 shows and growing. Susan recognized that podcasting is a communication platform that allows anyone who views herself as a publisher of content (an individual or a business), to do just that. Publishers have always produced a profit through paid sponsors, paid advertisers and paid subscribers. That’s exactly how Personal Life Media exists in our eco system. Susan has transferred this economic model to the podcasting medium with success that isn’t slowing down.
In addition to the 40 shows PLM is launching a new category called “online information products.” These will comprise ebooks that offer their target audience multiple benefits through a combination of audio lessons, video lessons and text based content. PLM has 15 information products in the hopper!
Podcasting as a Business
In December 2008 Lee Odden created a list of the top podcasts. DishyMix came in first in social media podcasts and my Find and Convert podcast came in third in the fan voting (Susan referred to it as a bake-off).
Susan is quick to point out that podcasting is a medium for marketers to get their message out to a target audience. Susan’s advice to businesses is to consider podcasting when one or more people in their business are comfortable in front a microphone and/or camera and a commitment can be made to producing regular podcast shows. Most businesses have plenty of content which can be re-purposed into a podcast. Interviewing interesting guests is a common approach in any industry. While monetizing podcasts can be achieved through advertising, sponsorships and a subscription model, most often a business can monetize their podcasts by using it as an effective way to communicate to their customers and surrounding community. In short, podcasting is an effective medium to build relationships with your customers and differentiate your business.
Susan’s advice on business podcasting includes the suggestion that a podcast can be better than a blog if the podcaster is one who doesn’t like to write but likes to speak. “You must love it. If you like to talk rather than write and you can sustainably do it, it’s a great communication medium,” says Susan.
Any business can tap into an existing or new audience through iTunes, which is a free distribution channel for podcasts. Businesses who create a podcast show are using new media as a corporate communications vehicle.
Talk Show Tips: 72 Secrets “Master Host” Techniques
Susan’s new e-book was inspired by her rapid success in podcasting. She humbly realized that her success qualifies her as a “master host” and she set out to create a package of information sharing tips. And boy did she ever! Talk Show Tips is packed with audio, video and text based tips that will make any podcaster, no matter how experienced, a more effective show host.
Talk show Tips provides podcast show hosts practical ways to organize a show. It offers awesome preparation tips for each interview so that your guest sees how prepared you are for the interview with killer questions and background. It also offers communication guidelines with your guest so they feel prepared for your interview. The ebook also shows how to conduct and promote a flawless podcast interview.
I suggested that Susan come back on my show in the future after I have finished consuming all the content in Talk Show Tips. I was truly blown away by all the content in her ebook but I didn’t finish it in time for this interview. She agreed to come back to see the difference (before and after)…
I asked Susan how she measures results for all PLM shows, including DishyMix. Susan uses a service from VoloMedia. This service measures how many people have downloaded a show with ads in it. It measures completed downloads, not just clicks on a podcast file. Their numbers are reliable allowing her to measure the penetration of her shows. Volomedia allows Susan to say that there are about 1 million downloads per month of her 40 shows on Personal Life Media. Of course, the ultimate measurement is the revenue she produces through her advertisers and soon from subscription sales and online information products.
Memorable Show Guests on DishyMix
I asked Susan to name some memorable guests from her DishyMix show. That’s a tough question with sooooo many fabulous guests. But, here is a short list she mentioned: Sir Ken Robinson, author of The Element; Dacher Keltner, author of The Science of a Meaningful Life; Linda Resnik, author of a new book, “Rubies in the Orchard: How to Uncover Hidden Gems in Your Business” is half marketing genius and half auto-biography of an amazing billionaires. Other notable guests include Steve Wosniak, Marcus Buckingham and Bert Decker.
A Memorable Speaking Experience
Susan emceed a conference called Happiness and Its Causes. Susan was a little nervous before the event due to the anxiety from some of the organizers. A friend advised her to imagine a golden chord extending from her body as a tap root anchored into the earth. She advised Susan to take a deep breath and blow it through the grounding-chord to relieve all the stress. It worked and Susan went on to emcee a very successful event, which is a common occurrence for her.
Susan’s Three Pillars of Social Media Marketing in Business
Listening: The most popular action in social media among businesses. You can learn a lot about your customers, your market, your competitors and your employees by listening.
Appvertising: As Susan explains “Brands who create useful aps or sponsor useful aps for their target consumers are brilliant players at a high-level of sophistication in the social influence marketing sphere.” She cites examples such as ClearSpring, Gigya and RockYou! as well as SocialMedia.com and ContextOptional.
Participation: Facebook fan pages such as the Find and Convert fan page and the DishyMix Fan Club where Susan gives away all kinds of goodies to her listeners (I could learn something from this – huh). Susan also cites consumer generated content experiences like HP on YouTube described in an interview with Daina Middleton as well corporate Twitter accounts like Personal Life Media’s Twitter account.
Inspiration, Entertainment, Education
My interview with Susan Bratton was inspiring, entertaining and educational. I guess I can say it was edutainment! Susan’s passion and intellect are enjoyable. Her advice is commendable. Her enthusiasm is contagious.
Susan is simply a fun gal with a ton of wisdom and success to share with you and me. I hope you enjoy the podcast. I’d like to hear from you with your comments about this interview including questions for Susan for the next podcast.
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