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Episode 8: 

Maximizing Your Reach: Using Podcasting to Connect with Your Community

--Nate Brown

In this episode, I talk with Nate Brown, Senior Director of Customer Experience (CX) at Arise Virtual Solutions. He is also co-founder of the CX Accelerator. Nate shares how Customer Experience is the differentiator that sets brands apart. He talks about why he started the Experience Matters podcast and the steps he took to set it up for a successful launch. Nate also describes how podcasts can both build community and help create leads for your business.

Nate Brown

Books mentioned in the podcast

 

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Transcript

Nate Brown: [00:00:00] the best way to attract your community, your tribe of people to you that I know of is a podcast.

You're just putting out that flame, that sincere authenticity of who you are as an organization and, and getting to share that unique fiber of, of who you're serving and why, and how you're getting to be the guide and still positioning the customer as the hero of the story. Even getting to give your customers this elevated seat at the table through the form of the podcast.

I mean, it just, it does so much psychological. In terms of introducing people to the brand in the right way and starting to build a community around that brand.

Eric Rutherford:

It is time for Build that podcast where we will discuss how you can use a podcast to grow your business and expand your influence. I'm your host, Eric Rutherford, and I am thrilled today because I am with me, Nate Brown. He is Senior Director of Customer Experience at Arise [00:01:00] Virtual Solutions. He's also co-founder of the CX Accelerator, a nonprofit community that exists to equip, encourage and connect customer experience professionals at every stage in their journey. Nate, welcome to the show, my friend.

Nate Brown: What's going on? Eric, it's great to see you. Not on a Sunday even cooler. I know you on a Friday. I know. Thrill be with you,

Eric Rutherford: Oh, I am thrilled too. And for everybody, listening or watching. Nate and I have been friends for a bunch of years. I started to do the math and then I just sort of quit because once you get to a certain point, it's like old friend. Right? It's just old friends.

Nate Brown: I remember Eric sitting at a cafeteria, like lunch table with you before our church had a building.

Yes. And we were talking about marketing. We were dreaming about marketing stuff. I mean, were you 10 years ago? It was awesome. I know, I

Eric Rutherford: know. I agree. And it's so funny that we are still. Jamming away on marketing stuff today. Love it. Love it. Oh, I love it. So, , [00:02:00] you've got a podcast. I want to get into that. I want to get into a rise.

But before we hit those things with CX, cause you know, every superhero has an origin story, so, How did you get into cx? Was it like you were eight years old and thinking, man, CX is my vision, this is my calling.

Nate Brown: How did you get there? Yeah. Well it's funny cuz in the work of CX we often say, and, and this is from Building a Story Brand, which I know you know of, Eric.

Oh, A lot of, you're not the hero of the story, the work of cx. You know who the hero is-- the customer. Absolutely. But we get to be the guide and there's so many thrilling ways that we get to be the guide, which I know that we're gonna drive into. But as far as like my navigation into customer experience, it was strange.

 I was selling postage meters on the streets of Jacksonville, Florida Wow. Right after college. Turns out I wasn't a very good postage meter salesman. But one thing I did love, Eric, you know, I had a few accounts spread across Jacksonville that had an existing machine, and I love to go in there.

Hey, how's it working for you? What, [00:03:00] what else are you trying to accomplish here? How can I help you? Just love that customer service element. And so it, once I finally tapped out of that job, I jumped into an adult learning an LMS safety science company that, that was doing safety training for construction workers and other folks that were in kind of precarious job situations that needed specialized training to make sure that they can navigate their job safely.

And I lovedit--loved customer support and finally found just a really great career in which I was able to serve people in these meaningful ways. But fast forwarding the clock many, many, many years, I had ownership of that team. We had acquired other teams into us, and I was kind of sitting there, you know, I'm tired of just waiting for our customers to come and engage with us.

And it was so reactive in the way that we were thinking about it. And I didn't know the word at the time, Eric, but what I was looking for was this magic thing called customer experience, which was that overall customer journey management, the thoughts and [00:04:00] perceptions that customers had of their overall relationship with us, not just my little micro area and customer service and once I understood, the impact that we could have as service professionals on the larger customer journey.

 I have made that my life's work, at least career wise to really help customer service professionals migrate and evolve into their CX power. And that really would be the hero story for me at least, is helping others to find that super power that's inside of.

I

Eric Rutherford: appreciate that so much, and it's like customer service.

That customer experience is one of those things that are, I say underrated because they are. Everybody thinks of the product, everybody thinks of the business, everybody thinks of everything else, but it's that customer touchpoint that really makes or breaks a sale or service.

Nate Brown: Oh, gosh, no. I mean, you're, you're, you're so right in this Eric.

I mean it a lot of times customer service professionals can be almost [00:05:00] regarded as second class citizens inside the organizations that they serve in, because you have all these problems that just roll downhill into the service environment, and it's just expected that they fix it, they clean it up, they just make the messes go away.

And that has changed in the age of the customer. As people have seen, the strategic nature of these interactions that people have with customer service and how, how much that ultimately dictates the overall loyalty, the share of wallet, the customer lifetime value of these customers. And so Eric, you see the rise of customer success,

which is this customer service, this customer-centric mentality, this way of doing sales and marketing completely differently. So it's really that customer service mentality infused throughout the entire organization and people are getting results from that. It's awesome to see.

Oh, that's, that is a

Eric Rutherford: wonderful thing because I think we need more of it.

We need to, as businesses or entrepreneurs or content creators, we need to be thinking about those customer [00:06:00] touchpoints. It's all about all about that. You know, I wrote about this recently. I went to Racetrac. Racetrac for everybody not in Murfreesboro. Yes, racetrack has invaded and they are here in mass and they're great.

I love racetrack in terms of their service, in terms of the gas. One of the things I was blown away with the first time I went into one locally here was they had the self-service kiosk

in the gas station. And so I was able to get my fountain soda. I walked up to the self-serve. I scanned it.

I went through it. I didn't have to wait in the line. It was sweet and I thought, this is a brilliant example of making the customer experience. Really reducing the friction and making it

Nate Brown: seamless. Well buckle your seat belts Racetrac, because Buccee's is coming in to Middle Tennessee.

They have taken the experience and elevated every component of it. But I do love racetrack and there is a magical element to just the [00:07:00] consistency of, of racetrack. I know what I'm gonna get. It's just what I need. I don't want to have to walk into the Walmart of gas stations and navigate a crowd of 2000 people to get my coffee and my key chain go to the bathroom and get outta here.

So, I mean, there, there's still very much a place for the great experience that racetrack has created, even when you've got the Buccee's of the world moving.

Eric Rutherford: And I think really it's even more important that they nail that customer experience when Buckys is trying to break ground.

Yeah. When, when the big elephant is a coming, you got to have your footprint in

Nate Brown: order. Yep. You gotta have your experience ducks in a row, which I think Racetrac does..

Eric Rutherford: So tell me about Arise and what problem does arise try to solve?

Nate Brown: Ooh classic story, brand question. I, I love you, Eric.

 Arise is a very cool company. I was working in this, this cool startup called Officium Labs as their Chief Experience Officer. We actually got acquired by Arise two years ago, and it's been a really fun [00:08:00] ride getting, getting into this organization of Arise Virtual Solutions.

 And the problem that we get to solve is, is a really exciting one. So think. All these people that are out in the gig economy right now that want to have the opportunity to service great organizations, but geographically, they don't live right there for one reason or or another. They're, they're working from home and they also are working probably like a part-time window of time in a flexible shift kind of manner.

And, and we have engaged these unique individuals, so many of which in our talent place are, are minorities and women and veterans and those that are disabled. I mean like 80 to 90% of our talent place made up of these folks that are looking for a little bit more flexibility in their life and work, right now.

And we have connected them with some of the world's greatest brands. So they're getting these really awesome, unique individuals that are an extension of their customer service capabilities that are servicing these brands in incredible ways. Saving so much money on the traditional service model but also getting [00:09:00] an incredible level of customer service quality.

So it's kind of right in that sweet spot of how can we do customer service the very best we can as an organization, especially, I mean, think about like a DoorDash as an example. Eric. I mean, you're gonna get overrun with calls and a window of time from like four to 7:00 PM. It's like there's no way that our internal customer service team can handle this burst of activity and do it well.

You're gonna burn out your team. So you've gotta extend that and you've gotta bring a capable partner in to be able to handle that flex capacity, and that's what Arise does very well. And

Eric Rutherford: that makes total sense because the flexibility of being able to manage your queue, manage those hot times of day

without having to bring people on premise. And I think that that virtual, the way we've, especially since Covid so much going remote, so much going remote and being supported as remote, it's not like second class citizens [00:10:00] or you know, something weird. So now you can bolster both parties and so that's even more.

that's not just customer, that's also sort of employee experience too.

Nate Brown: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Our service partners, you know, they are the heart of Arise. We exist to create a wonderful and unique working situation for them and, and by extension the brands that we get to service through those incredible individuals.

So, I mean, it truly is a, a win-win. You know, I kind of compare it like to an Airbnb situation. The way that they celebrate inside of Airbnb culture, they celebrate the role of host which just has this wonderful, almost biblical power. That word of host and hospitality is just such a cool concept. Well, I mean, same with service.

Say with customer service, and we celebrate our service partners in that same way. They, they are the, the magic and the secret sauce that make the organization what it is. So it's incentivizing. It's like we wanna create the best possible situation in which [00:11:00] these service partners can engage seamlessly, do the best work that they can possibly do for these brands that we love.

It's very motivating.

Eric Rutherford: As you're doing this, when we think of that customer experience with the brands that you're working with are you having to sort of help them understand or appreciate just this customer experience level? Is it like they come to you and they're asking questions, or are they just like, we need to spend a volume of money?

Like is it underappreciated? Do they understand it? Does that

Nate Brown: make. Yeah, no, it, it does make sense. We have a pretty mature demographic of brands that, that generally, at least to some degree, understand the power of customer experience and customer service, , and they're gonna wanna partner with an organization such as Arise.

That it has that premium level of service associated with it. So it is a slightly more mature demographic of customers that we're gonna have in this space. But the exciting thing is Eric, we get to surprise 'em and we do get to educate them. I was on this a amazing [00:12:00] call just last week with a team of customer success managers servicing I think the largest retailer of

like your kitchen sinks and, and all that. Incredible brand, legendary brand. And we were brainstorming on some incredible ways that we could reduce friction out of their service experience. And they're looking to us to help in that. And it's just tremendously exciting.

Eric Rutherford: I love it. And the way you mentioned earlier just that mind shift from reactive to proactive in terms of that experience,

is that something they, are they thinking like, Hey, we need to be proactive, or are they thinking we just need to figure out how to handle the calls that come in better?

Nate Brown: Well, funny enough, I have the effortless experience sitting right next to me. So I mean, this came out in 2011, Eric, but I mean, we, we use it daily, you know, in, in this work because it's just so legendary in terms of helping people morph that mentality towards that more proactive model anddoing incredible things like next issue avoidance.

I mean, think about the contact centers of [00:13:00] old that we're just about, let's get this person off the phone as fast as we can. Let's get this ticket done in the most efficient way possible and move on to the next ticket. Let's knock out this backlog. But now it's more strategic. These interactions have so much value to the overall customer relationship.

We're not trying to rush 'em off now. We wanna value their time. So what we're trying to do is make that interaction highly, highly valuable. So we're not taking longer than we need to, but what we are gonna do is be like, Hey, you know, I just helped you to get that dishwasher installed. Did you know you're actually gonna need these little special feet based on the wood floor that you have? Have you considered that yet? I wanna make sure that you've thought through that, cause I would hate for you to get this dishwasher and for it to mess up your beautiful new wood floor. Next issue, avoidance. Now that, that's being the guide, Eric, that that's not being a rep who's just sitting here trying to get through calls. That's thinking, what is this person that I get the opportunity, the pleasure to serve?

What are they trying to accomplish? And even if they didn't articulate that need [00:14:00] perfectly, I'm gonna dive in. I'm gonna figure it out and I'm gonna guide them to success. That's what great service looks.

Eric Rutherford: You're anticipating what the questions or problems they may or may not know, but that are next in line and that's, that's huge, right?

Because you don't know what you don't know.

Nate Brown: Oh, it changes everything. I mean, it is, people kind of make fun of this question. Is there anything else that, that we could do to serve you today, Eric? At the, at the end of a customer service call and now the classic response is you tell me, , you know what I'm trying to do, so I don't know the question to ask you.

You are the knowledge expert, so don't ask me what else I need. Guide me to success, and that's what great agents do. That's what great service partners do.

Eric Rutherford: Wow. That's a beautiful example. I had never thought of it that way, but if you're doing customer experience, right, if you are walking them down the path, you should know what their next step is.

And if you've completed that, if there's [00:15:00] nothing else, then that's great. That's really your objective.

Nate Brown: Yeah, no, and I'm, I'm not bashing the question itself. It's more the mentality of the person that's servicing the call. Have I done everything that I can to anticipate and guide this person to success?

Rather than putting the ball in their court to try to forge their own path and navigate their own journey to the outcome, which hopefully you've done the work to understand, navigate them.

Eric Rutherford: For CX improvements to stick. So they're gonna be part of the long term identity of the business.

where do the changes need to begin? Is this like executive level? Is this like grassroot frontline? Is it somewhere in between?

Nate Brown: What's that look like? I've done both. Eric. So there is a correct answer and the correct answer, Eric always is executive leadership. And why is that? My friend Annette Franz, a mentor for me has said that customer experience change is culture.

I mean that's what it is. We're changing the mentality of our employees towards our customers so that they will treat them [00:16:00] differently. They will behave in a different way that results in the outcome of loyalty, that's what CX is. We enhance those perceptions through the experiences that we create for these customers.

So it truly is a cultural transformation. Now it's nice to have that clarity, but it's also terrifying because go Google, Eric. The rate of success with culture change initiatives and the failure rate is between 80 and 90%. It's a little terrifying because people don't do the hard work required to make this work stick.

And a lot of times to, to answer your question, it's not driven at the right level in the right ways. So you can't do a cultural transformation without the endorsement, without the true participation of the executive leadership team. I mean, Mark Schaffer just articulated this, so be beautifully at an event he did last week at the Knoxville Entrepreneurial Center.

He's talking about you can't change a culture without true [00:17:00] endorsement and participation from executive leadership. And I, do believe that, but Eric, that doesn't mean if your executive leadership team doesn't quite get this yet. And I have been there, I was there for two years, and so I did start a grassroots movement, but it wasn't meant to be the entire CX initiative inside the business.

It was meant to awaken curiosity. It was to awaken the curiosity of everybody at every level inside the business in terms of the power of customer experience. If we do this well together, It will change the way we think. It'll change the way we behave. It will change the outcomes that we earn with our customers inside this organization.

And we had enough success with that grassroots movement, that original CX change coalition that the executive leadership saw, and they ordained a CX function an an executive leader inside that business unit [00:18:00] with a CX director, title that never existed before in the 12 years that I worked there. So it was so exciting to see that that grassroots movement do its job.

Its job was not to do cx, its job was to awaken curiosity and it worked.

Eric Rutherford: Awaken curiosity. I wrote that down. That's a brilliant description because like you say, culture starts at the top and works its way down, but grassroots on any level with cx, other things, you have a sphere of influence. And that awaken curiosity is a great image to hold onto.

It's like, this is my objective. That is brilliant. Now, anything in terms of your CX journey, anything unexpected or any stories you would like to share from that, because I am sure you have seen a lot.

Nate Brown: Sure. Boy did I mess up. So the sucker that took [00:19:00] that original CX director role was me

And I'll be totally, I just, I didn't do a good job with it. I just didn't do a great job. I would love to have a chance to do that, that whole role, inside that same organization, that same time, that same context, cause there was such an opportunity there. But one of the premier mistakes that I made is I just had a really selfish, greedy mentality about cx.

Now I was almost considering myself to be like this profit of cx, like I'm bringing CX to the organization and I've kind of, to some degree called it the Moses model of CX, where, I had the golden tablets of voice of customer data, and I'm standing up on top of Mount Sinai, just slamming the tablets down in front of the Israelites of the company and being like, all of you suck.

You've done a terrible job here. And look what this customer said, and we had this same problem last week. Why haven't you fixed this yet? You can imagine how motivating that was. It wasn't at all. It wasn't at [00:20:00] all. I mean, all I did was push people away. Whereas originally when I was doing that grassroots movement, it was bringing people in, it was being collaborative, it was awakening curiosity, and as soon as that role was formalized, I got addicted to that little tiny bit of hierarchical power and changed my whole approach.

 It was the dumbest, worst thing I could have done. So now I think about it as more the Gandalf model of, you know, Gandalf sitting there with the fellowship of the ring, you know, bringing the hobbits in there. Bringing the elfs and the dwarfs together, who would never work together. You know, the different races of human that hated each other, you know, between the light city of Gondor and the horse people of Rohan, you know, they actually worked together.

They came together and established this fellowship because there, there was something that transcended all that divide, all that animosity that existed in the inside their organization before. And in that, that thing was to [00:21:00] destroy the ring. So in the work of a CX leader uses that gandolf model of painting this vision of if we serve our customers better, here's what this means for us.

We accomplish our mission as an organization so much more effectively. We rise above our competition. We do this through customer centricity and, and this is the path and you can unite people into a CX change coalition and really make a special thing happen using that Gandalf model and, and not getting addicted to, to trying to be a bit of a Moses in that moment like I was.

So that's one small takeaway from, from my first year of the work to avoid.

Eric Rutherford: It's easy to put yourself in the wrong spot. I know. I've done it. It's the Story Brand model. I am not the hero. I am simply the guide. And when I get out of the hero role, I can do that a whole lot better.

Nate Brown: Ugh. It's tough though. It's tough. It's, oh, it's tough. It's hard for me cuz I'm a bit of a spotlight guy. I'm [00:22:00] a high I on the disc profile. You know, I, I like, I like the attention a little bit. So. But I mean, so much bigger than that is I love serving others and I love seeing them get this and being able to collaborate in awakening their ability to serve those around them, the employees around them, and the customers in ways that they just hadn't thought of before.

So it, it is just, it's just the best work in the world. I mean, it's the most conducive to servant leadership. I mean, there's so many things about CX work that really make it stand apart and it's what great brands are doing. I mean, to use that Denise Leone phrase, it's what great brands do.

They have found this beautiful fusion between their culture, between their marketing, their brand promise, that the core of the business, that brand core, and the delivery of that promise, through great customer experience, they have found that powerful fusion, that that's what all these great brands are doing to, to rise above,

even in these uncertain economic times. [00:23:00]

Eric Rutherford: It is a differentiator and it's a huge value prop that has nothing to do with the price of your product just it endears customers to you.

Nate Brown: Yeah. No, I mean, that's, that's Arise, right? . It is, and I, I, I don't think my boss will mind me saying we're not the lowest cost player in the shop.

But we are so good at delivering a unique and great level of service for the brands that we ultimately work with. And we do save a lot of money for, for those. I mean, there is that efficiency part as well, but that's why it's that sweet spot , you're not tossing out customer service and just doing the bare minimum to eek out the efficiency of it.

Cause it is such. It's such a galvanizing thing for the future of the business. You gotta treat your customers well. I mean, if you save a little bit of money in Q3 of 2023, but forgo that long-term partnership with your customers, you're not gonna be here next year. I mean, you can't cut yourself off at the knees like that.[00:24:00]

Eric Rutherford: That is true. You have to keep that in mind. And as we we're gonna transition just a bit, because I could talk with you about this forever and enjoy the conversation. We could just keep going for a couple more hours. You had started a podcast cause recently I saw a post that you were in season three, which meant you had to have seasons one and two, right?

Nate Brown: Correct. Deducting to three without one and two. We can do math at Arise. Yes. .

Eric Rutherford: Well sometimes, you know, I'm good with 10, right? Because I can roll with 10 .

Nate Brown: Right on. Yeah. Ditto.

Eric Rutherford: What motivated you to start a podcast? Because I think, me personally, I think podcasts are a fantastic way for brands to increase their exposure. Evergreen content. But what motivated you to, to start this?

Nate Brown: Yeah. Well so it was inside of Officium Labs. The company that ultimately acquired what was Arise, you know, in Officium lab. We started it there. So, funny enough, Eric, I had just left this [00:25:00] organization that I love, that I worked with for 12 years and jumped into this little startup.

This, this crazy move for me. And I had this, this CXO role of, of evangelism being at all these conferences, being out and teaching customers live and in person. And then within two months of me being in that role, COVID struck the world. And, and the, the format of my job was obliterated. My entire calendar just disappeared and I was sitting there.

I've gotta figure out how to do actual marketing. I've, I've gotta go from this like, fun event, and I'm not saying marketing isn't fun, but it was just kind of this super organic, almost whimsical approach to the marketing of this startup of we're just gonna go out and offer up thought leadership and have fun while we're doing it.

And just invite people on the journey with us to, wow, we gotta figure out how to do some marketing. And get this startup out in the world and talk about what the unique services that we offer here. And the podcast was [00:26:00] it. The podcast was it in terms of that coming into the market and speaking volumes about that we could fill for people, that unique territory that we could offer up and it wasn't gonna be, knocking people out with white papers and case studies and this and that.

There's a role for that. You know, that's a little later on in the cycle, right? But we just needed to let people know that we were there and that we had some great, unique things to say and to position our existing customers to be able to say the unique things that they had to teach the world around customer experience.

And so me and Sydnee Nelson we had this 1, 2, 3 punch idea and we did this little boxing photo shoot thing and we had flower tossing up in the air. We had so much fun doing this and releasing this compelling podcast, this Experience Matters podcast, this 1, 2, 3, punch to CX success. And you know, it was a bold approach, right?

I mean the leaders of the company were kind of like, [00:27:00] Well, I'm not, I'm not totally yeah, I guess. And, but me and Sydney were like, this is it. Like we gotta rise above the noise. Like, this is exciting. We gotta invite people into something that is compelling and bold and interesting and, and it, it absolutely did work to launch that organization out into the space

and attract the attention of so many that would later become a vehicle for many of the great things that are happening to us today.

Eric Rutherford: I find that that podcasts you can, it's a way to build familiarity and, and intimacy and trust with an audience before they, even, before they buy, it's a try before you buy kind of.

Nate Brown: Absolutely. I mean, Mark Schaffer's brilliant new book. He's the one that wrote Marketing Rebellion, you know, a couple years ago, but he's recently released Belonging to the Brand and he, and he talks very clearly and compellingly about how the future of marketing is community and the best [00:28:00] way to attract your community, your tribe of people to you that I know of is a podcast.

You're just putting out that flame, that sincere authenticity of who you are as an organization and, and getting to share that unique fiber of, of who you're serving and why, and how you're getting to be the guide and still positioning the customer as the hero of the story. Even getting to give your customers this elevated seat at the table through the form of the podcast.

I mean, it just, it does so much psychological. In terms of introducing people to the brand in the right way and starting to build a community around that brand.

Eric Rutherford: It does. Now, as you started going through this, did you use a specific format? Were you doing interviews? Was this like sort of a talking head between two people?

How did you set your format up?

Nate Brown: Yeah, I mean, me and Sydney and John Pompey really came up with this unique way of doing it to where we wanted to have a, a quote thought leader, like [00:29:00] a well-known author. Or an innovator who had a unique concept that that was pushing the world of CX in a good direction forward.

We wanted that thought leader role. Then we actually partnered them up with a practitioner, somebody in a great brand who was actually doing that thing and seeing results from it. So we took this hypothetical cool idea. Got got to introduce our audience to why this is a cool concept. Then we got to drive it home of Yeah, yeah.

It's working here. Here's how I applied that in my, in my hospital. Here's how I applied that at Midday Squares. Quebec's most amazing chocolate maker . You know, all these different brands. But I mean, that's, that's one of the glorious things about cx, right, is it's so translatable across industries in different types of organizations.

As we think about what makes people love a brand. So many of those magic threads are [00:30:00] the same regardless of the vertical, regardless of the industry. And, and so I mean, we're getting to learn everything from healthcare professionals to retail into the chocolatier of Quebec and, and so many more.

Eric Rutherford: And it sounds like then too, you are you getting to share this information with your community , but you are learning as well as you go. And so it's like, it's like everybody is winning by sharing this content.

Nate Brown: That's the way it should be, Eric. Yeah. And, and unfortunately there's a lot of podcasts that don't do that well.

And you know, and this is my opinion here, right? We, we've deviated from standard marketing wisdom to Nate Brown's Soapbox , but more that you're inviting people into a conversation in drawing out the unique voice of others. Rather than trying to offer some top-down gift of here's how, here's why we're so smart,, here's why this business is so much better and different than every other business, and we're gonna shove this down your throat again and again and [00:31:00] again.

You can still get that message across in terms of, we have great thought leadership here. We're doing something unique and different. Let us show you through the voices of all these amazing people that we're getting to serve and, and that, that's just a better conversation to me.

Eric Rutherford: It is just being able to let them see the results, let them hear those comments, hear that work play out is, is brilliant.

It really is. It's this, I, I think it's that idea of the abundance mindset and the scarcity mindset is I wanna lift people up. And by lifting people up, I know I'm gonna win too.

Nate Brown: Yep. No, it's funny that you bring that up. Our, our CEO, Jonathan Schwar, the, the CEO of Officium Labs and is now the Chief Innovation O fficer inside of Arise he uses that, that methodology a lot, that mentality, a lot. I think even at the start of this week he just put out in Slack, have an abundant day.

So he, he's really been drilling that into us with, with good, with good [00:32:00] effect.

Eric Rutherford: That's true. I love it. Now as you, as you started your podcast journey, for anybody who's thinking about it, who doesn't know how to actually start, it can feel a little overwhelming, right?

Yeah. There's a lot of unknowns. So how did you figure out what to do? And what do you use and is this, like you're in a studio, is this like you've got like 10 people working on it. What's that look like for you guys?

Nate Brown: Yeah, so I, I originally worked with an amazing gentleman named David Wilkinson.

Eric Rutherford: Love David. He is awesome.

Nate Brown: Yes, David is brilliant. Because I was sitting there. I never launched a podcast before and I could sit there and watch YouTube videos and fart around for, you know, three or four months and stumble through all this stuff. Or I could give David four hours of time and contract with him to just, just help me to accelerate this process and launch me off with, with a, a [00:33:00] legit podcast.

And he was exactly what we needed. So, I mean, just pay some money. and, and work with somebody that has actually done it. I mean, there's so many great organizations out there and individual consultants that offer that service of helping you to get over the intimidation factor and to launch this thing correctly.

So I would highly, highly recommend engaging in that service and setting yourself up for success. That being said there are some amazing new things out there like Adobe Podcasts, which I don't know if you've seen this. I haven't worked with known as Project Shasta. It's just making it so easy for people to do this themselves.

I mean, everything from just editing your own audio. Like it just, it just AI edits the, the entire podcast episode and hand delivers this beautiful crisp audio file to you. Even if you didn't have an ideal setup at all , it just fills in the gaps. You know, it does these things. So there are [00:34:00] some amazing new tools that are out there that are making it very, very easy.

Otherwise, you are gonna have to wrestle through and get a decent mic and, and figure out how to, edit this and to have individual audio files for each of your guests so that when I sneeze, I don't cover up the audio for Eric who's talking in that moment. You know, these are things that you learn and figure out over time.

But they, require a little bit of knowledge and a little bit of investment. When we got started, it was me and. Actually, it was just me originally and we launched several episodes. Sydnee came on and added so much just in terms of the production value. She was so helpful with the marketing, getting the distribution of the podcast and getting ad out there.

So I mean, very remarkable resource there to have kind of that producer individual you know, if you're able to, I, I would say that a podcast is definitely a two-person job minimum. Just, just to do it right, you know, it's really, really hard to do everything by yourself. But if you, if you've [00:35:00] got that partner, you know that behind the scenes person that's kind of tuning in and, you know, got the ear earphones in the back and let's try that real quick again.

Or there was a little bit of a hitch there and then also on the back end, you know, being able to help to distribute and do little snippet video pieces out of it. Little short form content that pulls people into the longer form. That was another thing that Sydnee was so good at that really helped us out.

So having at least folks and, and now, you know, I'm so wonderfully supported by Tone and by David and Erica. And Mary and Francis our incredible marketing team at Arise who all have a little piece in our podcast, everybody helps out with our podcast to make this the best season that we've ever had.

We're so excited about season three of this thing and we're, absolutely learning together new ways that we can make a difference with it and help to propel the brand forward.

Eric Rutherford: It sounds like then, just for businesses who are listening in, it's, it's very doable. [00:36:00] It's approachable.

There is a little bit of learning to, to get it set up, but it's not insurmountable. It's not like you're rolling out a new, you know, it's not like you're rolling out Workday. Right. It's not like you're rolling out anything like that.

Thank goodness . I know. Oh man.

I know, but, but you know, it's, , it's very approachable.

One or two people, some decent equipment and decent equipment's. Like a hundred, $150 mic. It's not like thousands. Yes. And so you can do a lot to really build that brand and launch it and, and expand it. So I appreciate you kind of talking through that. One more thing. So you did season one, so you decided, okay, we want to do, we wanna have a start and a finish Yeah.

To season one. And that's a smart thing to do. That really is there, there's different approaches you, you can do ongoing, but season means I'm only going to do it for this long, I'm gonna tell everybody how long we're doing it. and then we can do it again. And that sort of gives [00:37:00] you, it gives you a lot more flexibility.

What was the motivating part of getting to seasons two and three?

Nate Brown: Yeah, and I'm, I'm sorry, I'm making these crazy faces over here. I've got a foot cramp . Oh, no worries. . But yeah, I mean, it's, it's a great question, Eric. And this was something that David Wilkinson, before we even started, he, he put this in our head.

 He said, you gotta have three or four episodes in the can before you start release and you wanna do a season of like 10 or 12 episodes probably because it's sustainable. If you don't do this, everybody burns out. You as the creator burnout because there's just no end. And, and it is work. You know, it's just work and you lose that flare of excitement and your audience feels that flare of excitement.

And then, why would I follow this? It's just gonna be there. If I wanna pick it back up later, it's just gonna be there. It's just this never ending cycle of content. Whereas if you do it seasonally, you can bring unique elements into the season. We have done something unique with each of our three seasons [00:38:00] to add a unique flare to add an elevated production value or, or to even change the format to some.

We've brought new elements every single season, and we will continue to do that. And it just, it just makes it exciting. You're going on a journey with your audience. You're allowing yourself the opportunity to hit a strong pause button. Say, wow, this was season two. Awesome. We got a thousand downloads.

We reached these leads, we generated these leads from that, we furthered these partnerships with these customers. A lot of great outcomes here. What would we need to do in season three to where we can have an even bigger impact and really bring this thing even more to life and who would help us to be a part of that, start to get your guest together.

But, but if you can think about a season in terms of we need these 12 guests who are really going get this core theme across. I mean, that's a package, that's an experience that you're going on with your listeners. Versus just a never ending cycle of content where you're gonna find [00:39:00] yourself just mailing it in and filling gaps in just to get that Tuesday morning episode out.

Eric Rutherford: True. And just real quick, shout out. David Wilkinson, he was my Qui-gon. I learned from David so much. He really got me on the podcast journey as well. So I can't recommend him enough. But you're right, it's, it's, it's manageable.

It's a season, it's a start, a finish, and you can do different things. You can set it up differently each time, and it does take the pressure off. Mm-hmm. , it's like, we're gonna make it special, we're gonna make it an event, we're gonna make it a limited time offer.

Nate Brown: I'm already excited for season four, like I'm already dreaming.

 We are in the middle of season three right now, and, and we've got a great lineup, like we're gonna do some cool stuff in season. I'm already taking mental notes and thinking through how are, how are we gonna elevate this another entire level in season four.

Eric Rutherford: Now, one thing you mentioned, this isn't on our list of questions, but one thing you mentioned, [00:40:00] because not only is a podcast a way to leverage and expand your brand to expand your audience, but it's also a way to get hot leads and to call people to action. What's that look like for you guys? Information is great, but let's be honest, we also want ideally to grow our business outcomes.

Yeah,

Nate Brown: I mean, it is gonna be hard to invest the time and energy and money required to do this properly, if you aren't able to set correct expectations with senior leadership about what this podcast could, should, would bring for you. Now it is a top of funnel. Like we talked about before, you are introducing your brand to your community, to your tribe.

You're planting that seed of this is an interesting company. I would say, and this is going back to Story Brandism, the number one outcome that you hopefully will see is that your podcast will generate traffic to your website. It will awaken a little bit of curiosity. Now your [00:41:00] website needs to be good and ready to convert to take advantage of that traffic.

But you're reaching into a new demographic of people. You're introducing them to your brand in a compelling way. You're awakening that curiosity to get them to your website. Then you're positioning, we can solve this problem better than anybody else. Boom. Next step. We got, we got their email address now.

Now we have this great email campaign. And when the time is right, they're going to recognize us as the people that can help solve that problem in, in that moment of need. So, I mean, it, it's really hard for you to take a podcast and say, here's how many leads we generated from the podcast. It doesn't work that way because the podcast is driving traffic to all these other channels and it's planning the seed and it's awakening curiosity.

So that's the number one thing. You might very well have some true direct leads that, that come out of it. And we've seen some of that. And, and one of the greatest things you can do with a podcast, bring your potential, your prospective customers on , that's brilliant. [00:42:00] Further the partnership with them, I mean, they're doing something amazing.

You know that they belong with you and your tribe of customers. Honor them, honor them and feature their thought leadership and extend that relationship by featuring them on your podcast. That, was John Pompey's wonderful idea and we've leveraged that. And when the time is right, we're not like doing the, you know, we, that's not like the reason we do the podcast, but like there are moments where it's like, wow, this, this person's doing this amazing, why would we not feature this person?

And we've been able to further that partnership with them and extend that cycle in, in these great ways by, by using the podcast.

Eric Rutherford: And it's an abundance mindset mentality. It's like, totally, we just want, we want to serve our customers.

 We want to help them. It doesn't matter if we get anything out of it or not, because we know long term Yep.

We're all gonna win.

Nate Brown: We, we are, we are putting people, giving them an opportunity to vocalize things that are important Yes. That are synonymous with our [00:43:00] mission, our brand. And if our brand core is unique and compelling, then the ways that we feature that, the voices that we feature, the narrative that's coming out of our ability to serve our communities and serve people through that brand core, that should be interesting

And if it's not, then something's broken here. You know, maybe, maybe that brand core needs to be isolated. Maybe, maybe there's a bit of a cultural void that is there where there's not that spillover effect that would help your brand, your internal force to launch a compelling podcast. I mean, this should be a bit of an overflow of love from a great company that's doing great things.

Ideally. . Yes. Ideally .

Eric Rutherford: It's like you're just moving in the right direction. . Well, we are running out of time. This has been an awesome conversation. If our listeners want to know more about you, about your podcast, about Arise, where do you want them to go?

Nate Brown: Yeah, I mean, definitely come out to arise.com and follow us there.

 I'm about to [00:44:00] release a new blog out there that I'm really excited for around Brand Affinity. Would love for you to subscribe on our podcast Experience Matters podcast we host through Simple Cast, and you will find that on whatever your podcast medium is. So definitely look that up and subscribe and would, would love for, for folks to, to also hop over towards CX Accelerator nonprofit community for folks that are looking to, to grow in their CX career.

Take a look at cxaccelerator.com and join us there as well.

Eric Rutherford: Excellent. So if you're listening, Arise.com Experience Matters podcast CX Accelerator. We're going to drop all that information in the show notes Perfect. Along with the book titles that were mentioned. Definitely gonna put those in there as well.

Nate, this has been a treat today. I so appreciate you joining.

Nate Brown: That's been a treat for me, Eric. I lo always love talking with you. We'll have to do a follow up episode of, of this, you know, absolutely. When we're getting into season four and, and we've learned that much more, w would love to do this with you again.

Eric Rutherford: I would love that. Yes, you were, you were on my

[00:45:00] list to invite back.

Nate Brown: Perfect. . Thank you everybody. Thanks.

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