235: There's power in showing up - with Richie Burke
Meet Richie Burke
Richie Burke is founder and CEO of GGMM (GoGeddit Marketing and Media) a marketing agency that helps brands including Trek Bicycle, Colliers International, Thrivent Financial, Komatsu, Marquette University and many more grow through services including podcast production and marketing, brand strategy and digital marketing. He is the co-founder of PodFest MKE and regularly speaks on digital marketing, storytelling and podcasting. He is also the host of The GoGedders Podcast, a local Milwaukee podcast, which is syndicated by OnMilwaukee over 100 episodes, and it generates 10,000 downloads per month.
How long have you been podcasting and why you decided to get started?
We started our show in 2016. The GoGetters, it's a Milwaukee Community big show we do a very wide range of topics. I had the idea for it and kind of started it back in 2012 as a YouTube show. And then I pivoted my business in 2013. I was a fan of some podcasts and I saw an opportunity in the local market. Again, not very many people at all, were doing it here. I saw a lot of national podcasts on marketing and success and stuff like that, but nothing really being done on a local level to highlight interesting local stories or business leaders via audio and Facebook video. So we started that in 2016. Very naively, we did a lot wrong. I think there's something to being different and unique and the storytelling was still pretty good. And it did pretty well locally, surprisingly. And we saw what it did, from a business standpoint for an agency and thought, hey, everyone's listening to audio, no brands are producing audio. Why don't we start podcasting for other companies and start offering this as a service and launch that service in the spring of 2018, and thought it was going to blow up right away, and it didn't. We got our first client five or six months later, but now we get to produce a number of shows for some of the brands that you mentioned in the intro and we significantly upped our production game at that time for ourselves and got serious about the medium.
Let's talk about the Milwaukee focus a little bit. Why did you decide your content should be focused in the Milwaukee market?
I think when you're marketing or starting any product, it's good to really start narrow and then grow from there just because there's so much noise out in the marketplace, and I would advise that to anyone starting a show today. And in 2016 there were very few if any shows highlighting Milwaukeeans and for Milwaukee as far as podcasts and not a lot of people were producing Facebook videos telling these stories. There’s obviously, more now, but I saw the whitespace in the market, I thought it would be cool to do, I thought it would be fun to do as well. And selfishly, I thought it would be a good way to network and grow my business and I don't have people on the show to sell them on my services, but that typically just happens naturally.
So you talked about some of the hurdles. When you started your podcast, if you would do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I mean, there's a lot of things that I would have done differently off the bat like much better equipment. I mean, we had good guests, we did a pretty good job of marketing it that's why it kind of still took off. Although I look back at the old episode covers and I think the branding was terrible on it. There's little details like that. I also think going into something with kind of blunt naiveness can be a benefit because you don't exactly know what you're getting into and how hard it's going to be and I'm sure you've experienced that with your show and just starting a business from scratch. Going in kind of blind and really learning as you go and adapting fast, and it can be a benefit. I think a lot of people spend too much time planning or trying to get something perfect and then putting it out there, when in reality, you launch something and you never really know how the markets are going to respond. I think it's much better to put something out there, almost build it as you go a little bit, see how the market reacts and then adapt based off of that.
Can you share with our listeners, one of your favorite networking experiences that you've had?
Networking for me changed a lot over the years. I think when you're young and you're starting a business like I was, you're trying to get in front of anyone or as many people as possible. I started my company going door to door. I was walking into small businesses trying to get them to run promotions on my deal site and get in front of them. And I was going to a lot of networking events and I think at that point, when you're new to the marketplace, it's good to just get out there and I think there's value in showing up. You never know what's going to happen a lot of times. I've gone to events kind of begrudgingly because I didn't know anyone that was there where I didn't really feel like showing up those after a long day or it was an early breakfast, but I just showed up and introduced myself. And those have ended up being some of the best connections and have led to business. So I think it's important to be somewhat strategic about where you show up. But you never know, the more you put yourself out there, no matter what it is, the better chance you have of it leading to something.
How do you stay in front of our best nurture your network in your community?
There's a number of ways. Our current clients are a big part of our network. So we're in touch with them a lot, whether that's me or people on my team. You know, we've built out our email list. We send out, what I consider, value added emails. We've changed our email marketing strategy quite a bit just over the last few months here. And then on LinkedIn, I've been posting a lot more content on there. We have our CRM, I know we both use SharpSpring for that where we keep track of our sales pipeline and make sure I'm staying in front of them or inviting them to our webinar or events that we have. And I think the more interesting things that you have going on as a person or a company, that you can add value to people, the better off that you're going to be, whether it's holding a webinar that's going to add value or any event or being involved in a cause and you can reach out to people with stuff they're actually interested in.
Digital networking or traditional networking – which do you find more value in?
I think there's definitely a value in the online game. Being active on LinkedIn posting content, actually reaching out and connecting with people but nothing is going to be face to face contact. Face to face isn't scalable, obviously online is scalable, I can get in front of a lot more people on LinkedIn and today we sent off an email that went to thousands of people that took a few hours to create and I got a good response. Nothing is going to beat face to face so I think it's showing up to those events or if you don't like showing up to events, reaching out to people you have something in common with or you may want to get in front of on LinkedIn and inviting them to coffee. Maybe you're less intimidated and just better in a one on one situation. I think everyone's different.
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
I think not worrying so much about what other people think of you is important. I think I spent a lot of time especially after starting my business trying to prove something which served as a very big form of motivation, probably not the healthiest form of motivation and I have a very people pleasing personality on the other side, which can be good in certain ways. But I've also procrastinated or avoided a lot of confrontation or tough situations, conversations that happen in business for any business owner. I think just getting that stuff out of the way sooner rather than later. If your gut tells you something's not right, go deal with it right away. Don't sweat the small stuff because small shit happens all the time. I think being a little more patient as I can be kind of impatient, I tend to have a big vision for things and things typically take a lot more time, energy and money to get them to where you want them to be.
Do you have any final word or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
I think little things can go a long way. Again, some of my best connections have been from showing up to any event that I wasn't in the mood to go to. I think there's power in showing up. I would focus on what, high value, low effort, ways I can help my network out. And just simple stuff to separate yourself out if someone does something nice for you send them a thank you card. No one does that. Just those little things can make a big difference. And just looking to connect the dots for people can be very helpful and play to your strengths too.
How to connect with Richie