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Finding The Balance Between Traditional And Digital Marketing with Stefanie LaHart
International Podcast Day Marathon
I am very excited to share with you all, Stefanie LaHart. She has a business called BoomTown Marketing. She is a social media marketing consultant and she just launched a new podcast. We’re going to have a very interesting and a little bit different conversation. Her new podcast is called The TraDigital Talk Show. Stefanie is all about how marketing your business doesn’t have to be total mayhem. For most of us, this is a complex and confusing world of mayhem. There are tons of techniques old and new that can help you get your business in front of the right customers. She helps to sort those out and help you understand what’s going to work and what are the right mindsets? She explored the crossroads between traditional PR in new media digital marketing as it relates to our changing business world. Welcome, Stefanie LaHart. Are you out of the country or in the country?
I was in the country. I was in Orlando for FinCon, the big financial tech conference, because I have two clients that are there. I got off the plane. I had a run and go pick up my dog, Lacie. It’s just a whole conglomeration and I get back to Hollywood and they have one of those big bike rallies going on. There are sick lobbyists where they closed down all the streets and it’s been crazy. I was listening to you talk about the barriers to people doing videos. I can’t wait to talk about that.
It’s important to talk about that because that is daunting. We have so many things that we could talk about. Since you brought that up, let’s go with it. You’re a social media marketing consultant. Being live on video is where it’s hot now, is it not?
Once live video got launched on all the different social media platforms, promote that aspect. In fact, I tell all my clients that no matter what the tool is like Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or any of them rollout, immediately start using it because they want to promote the use of it and you will get higher in the newsfeed. When the live video came out, I was telling all my clients, “You’ve got to get on live video.” Of course, I was getting, “No, I don’t want to get on video. That’s terrifying.” Here’s the funny thing about me. I love live, I hate recording and having to edit stuff. I feel that when I’m live, I’m unfiltered and it’s just good to go. If I have to go back and watch what I’ve done, I get so critical of myself. I would never publish anything. Once it’s live, you’re like, “If it’s out there, it’s done.” I try to tell my clients and say, “It’s going to be a lot more freeing for you.”
You never have to edit your own stuff. You don’t have to look at it if you don’t want to. You can pay someone else to do it. Now, not everybody has that budget. Don’t you think that people being real, being authentically them is what people want to see anyway?Rip off the Band-Aid and just start doing. Click To Tweet
That’s just our culture. The way that we’ve now evolved even years ago. That Real TV cops was one of the number-one rated shows because people want to see people being real. When you still watch network primetime news now, that’s very canned and they’ve lost a lot of their authenticity and their believability. With the aspect now that we are a live society, everybody expects everything to be live. They expect it to be real. It’s something that businesses can leverage to their advantage, but they do have to get over that fear of self-criticism. We’re afraid of being judged by other people because we judge ourselves so harshly. You don’t have to look at your stuff but there is a way like, “I know that I’ll have the chance to go back and correct it, it still gives people an out.” I love the live aspect. We’ll segue into my whole podcast. It was hard for me to launch my podcast because I did go back and re-listen to stuff and I got supercritical. It took me six months, I was delayed because I couldn’t get over certain things. Whereas if it went out live, I would have been fine with it.
Do you think that in retrospect you should not have looked at it again and put it out as a podcast or did you feel that as a podcast, it needs to be more polished for some reason?
If that’s their thing, they were more polished like NPR situation. There’s one podcast that I listened to all the time called Far From Home where the guy, Scott Gurian, does come from traditional NPR style. He tells it like that story and it’s very posh, but he’s telling a road trip story. It totally works. Changing on almost a daily basis with social media marketing. It doesn’t matter how polished it is. We’re more like a news source where people want to hear stuff going on. They don’t want to wait a week out to hear something. We’re trying to get our turnaround a lot quicker. You know how long it took me to get my five episodes because you did do our editing and we’ll talk about all that. I love what Brandcasting You did for us.
Whether your issues are getting in front of the camera and having stage fright or the difficulty getting behind a microphone. When you’re trying to come up with a solo cast, trying to talk about bringing nuggets of wisdom to your audience in a certain subject area. There always seems to be with people one form of apprehension or another that sometimes it’s this inertia that they have to get past in order to start to just do it. I’m always in favor of ripping off the Band-Aid and start doing it. You’ll never be perfect in the beginning and maybe, you’ll never be perfect ever. It doesn’t matter, but if you’re going to be you. You will improve. Everybody improves over time. Whether you’re going to do live or you’re going to record podcasts, everybody gets better in time. As long as you have a point of view, a story, a subject that you are an expert in, there is an audience that wants to hear that from you even if it’s not perfectly polished like a broadcast television program or something. Would you agree?
I agree with that. It is hard to start. It took me awhile. I first got introduced to the whole podcasting community in 2018 because I went to Podfest Expo, which is down in Orlando. I originally went down there because I had met them at another convention. In fact, I think I met the guys at FinCon in 2018 and we had started a conversation and I learned about their whole expo. What happened was that they got closer to the expo. I jumped in and started helping them with social media and they were like, “You should come down and be a speaker.” I went down there and then I met all these great podcasters and they were like, “What’s your podcast?” I’m speaking at a convention and I didn’t even have a podcast yet. I was speaking just on social media to build audiences and with that, I was like, “I need to get a podcast.” It was one of those things where it took me a while because I had to figure out, “What do I want to put out there? What’s going to make sense?”
I’m very outgoing. I had no problem talking and I’m like, “I’ll just launch a podcast by myself.” As I got more involved, people are like, “It’s a great idea to have a cohost. It moves the conversation along. You’ll have things to talk about.” I said, “Okay.” I started looking within my own business and social sphere of that who would be a good cohost for me. I was able to quickly realize that one of my best friends, Sharon Noot, was on the traditional PR side of marketing. Wouldn’t that be an interesting podcast to talk about how old meets new? It’s traditional and digital. That’s how it became TraDigital. When I was at Podfest, I started throwing that name out there and people liked it. I’m like, “You don’t think it’s too tongue trippy?” They’re like, “No, that’s cool. Go with it.” That’s how it was born. I got back and I said, “Sharon, do you want to start this podcast?” She’s more of a perfectionist than I am and because she is so traditional, she’s very conservative. She’s like, “We’ve got to make sure we do this and that and all this.”
Did you hear the professional intro that I’ve recorded? If you haven’t or if the rest of the people haven’t, my podcast is over at TraDigitalPodcast.com. I had one of my friends who is a professional voiceover artist do our intro and I love it. I call it sexy robot voice and Sharon hates it. She’s like, “That is not right for our brand.” I talked to her and she’s already like, “We need to change that.” I’m like, “We just launched our show.” I’m going to throw it out there to you. You listen to it and let me know because I think it’s awesome, but I’m also edgy and crazy. It works for me. I would love to get feedback on it. That’s one of the things you’d have to think about like, “What’s my brand? What’s the sound going to be? Maybe I’m going through my own filter or maybe she’s right.” I want to hear what other people thought.
You just launched on iTunes. I’ve been following that. iTunes has been so slow to launch shows lately. I saw it on iTunes, but right now I’m not finding it for some reason.
I will be back at our little Podfest Expo next 2020. I’m also doing social media for them again. I saw those guys at FinCon, Chris and John.
Chris is going to be with me. We are sponsors of Podfest this 2019. We’re gold sponsors. We love Podfest. If any of you, podcasters out there, have not been to Podfest Expo, I highly recommend it.You may not become perfect but you are going to be you. Click To Tweet
I was hanging around with them at FinCon. Those guys were both big. I don’t know if you remember what I look like, but I’m very tiny. I’m 5’2. They’re walking on either side of me. I’m like, “I feel like I have my own bodyguards. This is awesome.” I feel like a celebrity with my bodyguards because we’re all wearing the same shirt and everything. It was funny.
I am bringing up your podcast now and I have to turn a dial on my mixer.
I want feedback because if people hate it, then I’ll think about it but I’m not saying I’m changing it because right now, I love it. Being in Hollywood, I do have friends that are professional voiceover actor. I have other people I could choose from, but the woman who recorded this is named Karen and I love her work and I’m like, “Would you do this for me?” It turned out great.
I’m going to play a little bit of it. “Welcome to the TraDigital podcast. The show that explores the crossroads between traditional PR and new media digital marketing. Our hosts are digital experts, Stefanie LaHart and PR pro, Sharon Noot. Each week we discuss marketing tips and techniques to help build your business. Stay tuned for insightful conversations and often hilarious real-life experiences about marketing matters from two best friends with very different perspectives. If you’d like to listen to the entire show series, visit TraDigitalPodcast.com for instant access. Here are your hosts, Stefanie and Sharon.”
Give me honest opinions.
It’s a very sexy voice, I have to say. I like it. One thing I would say about the intro is it’s a little long in total. This is the subject that we’ve been talking a lot about internally here. Tracy and I both listen to podcasts. She listens while she’s exercising every day and I listen when I’m driving and other times when I can. You listened to a lot of episodes back to back. People don’t always just listen to the one for this week. When you’re listening to a bunch of episodes back to back and one goes into the next, you don’t want to have to skip over, you can push a button to skip ahead a little bit. You can if you want to, but it’s not always easy if you’re driving or if you’re at the gym or something, so you have to listen to it over and over. There is something being said for less is more. Stylistically, music and the voice, I love it. I think it’s great.
Honestly, this is a personal preference. It’s a style choice and you need to be happy with it. It’s your show. People are going to listen to your content regardless. The only comment I would have is sometimes twenty seconds is ideal. Her voice was low seductive voice, but it’s also a little slow speaking. I’m not saying you have to redo it, but you can. If you did want to redo it and make it a little shorter, one way is to have a shorter script. Another way is to give a little direction to the voiceover artist to speak at a little bit faster pace. If you like her tone and approach, then that’s great. That’s what I would say about it. We’ve been experimenting with this interesting technique. We’re using our ad insertion system. In Podetize, you can put ads dynamically into your episodes and you have complete control of it as the host. We’re experimenting with using it to do two different intros. You could have your most recent episode have a long intro and then all the previous episodes could switch to a shorter one.
Sharon listens to an extensive list of podcasts and she’s like, “All the podcasts that I listen to, they don’t even do intros.” That’s because they’ve been running for a while so I feel that people already know. I like that idea of the shorter and longer. I do agree that ours is long, but that was because some of the shows that I listened to, they do have longer intros. It’s good to get feedback from you who’s been in the space so long to see like, “Do you want to make it shorter or longer or whatever?” I’m open to it.
Now, you have the ability because you can either leave your first episode with a longer one and maybe your most recent published episode if you wanted to. People that are going through your catalog, when they find it six months from now and listening to each one because all the subjects you’re going to talk a lot about digital marketing and traditional marketing are evergreen. Digital stuff changes a lot, but they’re going to be relevant for a long time. People are going to listen to all of them. I do think it’s important you have an intro that lets people know they’re listening to the right show. They didn’t accidentally hit the wrong button and they’re off on something else. They’ve heard your intro once. They don’t need to hear it for 40 seconds long every episode they listened to. This is something we’re experimenting with and I think we can do it without needing to re-edit podcast, which is the fun part.
Let me know how it goes because whatever you guys are doing, that’s what I’ll do too. I’m new to this space so I’m just sucking up information and suggestions because I don’t know. I’m a live girl. You can put me on any stage in front of any camera. I tell everybody that I am camera ready 24/7 because I don’t have a problem being live and being myself. I tell everybody my real age and I don’t care. For some women, there is more of like, “I want it to be perfect. I want it to be a certain way.” Can we talk about the whole female thing with the video?No matter what platform you use, creating the content is key to get more exposure for your business. Click To Tweet
Yeah, because I’m not a woman. Tracy would definitely shy away from video because she had to get her hair perfect and wants her makeup perfect. She’s still very much that way, although she’s gotten a lot more comfortable with video. She’ll jump on when something inspires her at a moment’s notice, but she’ll go to the powder room and make sure that her makeup is perfect and her hair is brushed at least. What are you feeling on that as a woman?
There are different expectations, especially in US culture. The expectation of appearance is what we call it. You can sit there and be like, “Go out, be you and be real.” Even women that are on network news television are so harshly judged. You sit in a room to meet people and it’s not just guys judging. In fact, it’s girls that more harshly judge other women. There is that barrier of like, “I’ve got to look perfect or the only thing they’re going to talk about is my appearance instead of what I’m delivering.” That is a barrier for a lot of people. In the beginning, I was a little bit of it. I was like, “I’m not a twenty-year-old. I do feel that I need some lighting and some makeup and stuff.”
What I started realizing with the live video is, first of all, I’m not on a high definition camera so there’s a lot of blur going on anyway. If I was in network news situation, I don’t think I’d be walking on camera with no makeup. Then again, the men aren’t either in that situation because you see every pore. It’s just as a culture that we’re moving forward away from that. As we move forward, women will start being more comfortable and not feeling like, “I need to have my hair and my eyelashes and everything done.” Hopefully, we’ll see that because I envy guys. You guys get to brush your teeth and maybe mess up your hair and go and then we sit there. Live video now is helping us do that.
That’s the reality of it. I remember in the days when we would be recording a video series and a series of episodes or segments of a course, they would tell you, “Even if you’re recording a bunch of them in one day, make sure to change your shirt in between each one so that it doesn’t look like you recorded them all in one sitting.” There were all these different techniques and it was all about appearing perfect on camera. Our phones and social media have adjusted the etiquette and protocol around your appearance as to what it should be.
That evolution takes time to go. That is something that we have to stop judging ourselves so harshly. You don’t want to miss out on stuff. I kicked myself because when live video exploded and we had Meerkat and Periscope and all this, I didn’t get involved as much because I was still in the mindset of like, “I’ve got to be perfect. I didn’t have a nice office space to show. I didn’t feel that I looked great on camera.” I look back now and I’m like, “I could have moved my business forward a lot quicker if I would’ve jumped in there as I saw with other people.” Thankfully, I started following a lot of great people on YouTube that have gotten me over my own issues. There’s a gentleman named Roberto Blake, he helped me get over my own fear of seeing myself. If it’s live, I’m great. I’ll get on any stage, but having to see that playback, I was like, “Oh my God.” With the podcasting thing, it is interesting because now we can do audio and everything.
It doesn’t matter whether you start from video or start from audio. It’s still putting that content out every way. Creating the content is key and using it to get more exposure for your business, which you know everything about because you are in the business of social media marketing. I would encourage everyone to go and listen to your new podcast. It is live on iTunes now. It has just come out. You’re one of the few guests who has a brand-new podcast, but because you’re such an expert in social media, I wanted to have you on. BoomTown Marketing is the company. Give her show a listen. She and her cohost have a lot of very important nuggets of wisdom to share with you.
Thank you so much and thank you for inviting me. I do appreciate it.
- BoomTown Marketing
- The TraDigital Talk Show
- Far From Home
- Brandcasting You
- Podfest Expo
- Sharon Noot
- iTunes – The TraDigital Talk Show
About Stefanie LaHart
Stefanie LaHart is the Founder of Boomtown Marketing, a social media marketing agency that helps businesses connect with their ideal customers. She is an award-winning social media strategist and speaks about social media for professionals and businesses on national stages. She recently participated in the Social Engineering Capture The Flag contest at Defcon in Las Vegas.
Stefanie has helped hundreds of businesses launch their online presence and create the digital conversations that convert to real-world customers. She also focuses on helping her clients to understand security implications for their business while using social media. Stefanie has worked with a variety of clients developing strategies to build their customer base and create strong online reputations. Her client list most notably includes Robb Report, Nickelodeon, Live Earth, CityGrows, Lusive Decor, Ronin Lift, Geomni Inc., Podfest Multimedia Expo and CardCon Expo.