Jessica Kupferman , the co-founder of the largest online and in-person community for women podcasters, and an expert in community building and podcast marketing, joined me on the Grounded Content podcast. I asked her how important diversity is in marketing? What is the most effective way to grow your podcast? Where is the line between selling and sleaze? And we talk about selling itchy overstock T-shirts and metaphorical underwear sizes. Hear more Grounded Content here.
I love these events for the incredible expressions of drive, will, strength, and determination written across the faces of the athletes and for the images they create.
I'm honored to have Joe Polish as the the second guest on Grounded Content Podcast. He learned marketing to survive. Forged in fire his techniques are tested and proven. Joe co-hosts the "I Love Marketing Podcast," and says "I never thought I would consider [marketing] one of the most important ingredients to not only business success, but life success." Joe also founded the Genius Network and now operates Genius Recovery. We talk tactics, ethics, addiction, and recovery.
Find out more about the show and give feedback HERE.
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Grounded Content - Advertising, Marketing & Content Gets Real
With the launch of the "Grounded Content" podcast, I finally get to ask the best minds in marketing, messaging, advertising & content creation all the questions I want! In this clip from episode one my guest Chris Brogan, author of the classic book "Trust Agents," founder of StoryLeader and host of the "Backpack Show" tells me why he doesn't like the term "authenticity." The episode title is a nod to fear driven sales tactics and listicles as well as Chris' quirky sense of humor.
Chris: I don't like the word authenticity, because I think that the most people trying to use it, utterly lack it and they are trying to emulate authenticity, which kind of goes against the word, right? So let's pretend I'm using it for now just because you like it.
Marion : No, no, no, pick a better word. I pick a better word
Chris: Just be helpful. You know, the advice I started giving in 2006. Anytime someone says whatever advice if you ask me this question, 20 minutes or now I'm gonna say be helpful.
Listen to the podcast at HERE or subscribe on your favorite podcast app:
Looking back it was a little more than two years ago that a producer, Tim Joy, hired me to shoot a 5-day wilderness canoe expedition. Just to begin meant 11 hours of driving north from my already rural home in Pittsfield, Vermont to lake Temagami. Then a quick boat trip to the island that served as base camp. In my career, I have shot hundreds of subjects in hundreds of locations, and I find every single one unique and exciting - but this ranks among the top 15 along with shooting for Landrover in Sabi Sabi, documenting traditional Greek weavers in small mountain towns, and interviewing Richard Branson on his island.
5 days with no cell service, living 100% outdoors rain, sun, bugs, and all. Capturing the struggle and triumph of a group of amazing young girls as they learned to paddle and portage heavy canoes and gear through thunderstorms, mud, rocks, and sunshine. To set up camp, cook over a fire, and "up and roll" every morning.
Today, after I got this week’s episode of the podcast out, I needed to reignite the creative spark. So I dug up this footage and put together a little video. ( In the original footage there are lots of close-ups and faces, but this was shot for a client and I don’t have the rights to those - so it’s all blue skies, rainy skies, and water. )
Watch the video for nuggets of podcasting wisdom. At the Guinness world record-breaking Podfest Global Expo event we ran an afternoon conference for and by Fitness and Self-Improvement Content Creators featuring Gabby Reece "The Gabby Reece Show," Mark Divine "Unbeatable Mind," Matt B. Davis "Obstacle Racing Media," Anders Varner "Barbell Shrugged, Dr. Lara Pence "Spartan Mind" and "Curious Minds Podcast," and moderated by Marion Abrams producer of "Spartan Up Podcast" and founder of Madmotion.
Gems of wisdom from the guests, including a quick intro by Chris Krimitsos founder of Podfest Global Expo.
I hope to find more ways to serve the Fitness & Self-Improvement Creator community, if you'd like to stay in touch drop your email HERE.
Here's the full text:
Chris Krimitsos 0:00
What's cool is all of us are focused on something positive, helping each other. While people are basically going through different phases of quarantine globally, how are you feeling? basically putting this together Marian?
Marion Abrams 0:18
I feel grateful. I mean, I just forgot how smart and inspiring the group of friends that I have collected since I started podcasting. And since we started inviting other podcasters into the circle has been and why I I just love listening to them. And I think expanding beyond the fitness space and being part of the pod fest global Expo has been a really great opportunity. So I thank you, Chris for for setting this up.
Dr. Lara Pence 0:46
One of the phrases that I like to use and probably this will come as no surprise to individ any individual that's ever been in therapy is I like to use the phrase. So what I'm hearing you say is and what that allows is for the, for the guests to feel really heard to feel like you're there with them, not just that you're worried about your next question. And when the guest trusts you, because they know that you're listening, they're more willing to go there with you. And so and so what that can do then is not only it helps build trust and rapport with your guests, but it also then allows them to go that one step further, right.
Gabby Reece 1:31
I realized that there was a part of me that was dreading doing a podcast on my own. If I can be really honest, I thought, well, I could probably do 10 and then I probably be boring and I don't know and this is like 25 years into it. So the other point that I want to share with you is, is this idea of really trusting yourself, which is hard to do. So I will do an interview last week or next week, and before the interview, I will always think, okay, I've done my homework, which is obviously really important. And I hope it goes, Okay. And then when they leave, I always think I hope that I hope that we had a good show and that that I remember also all the things that I should have asked.
So you're always going to feel that way. And I want to remind you that whatever conversation needed to be had at that moment, on that day was the one that you were supposed to have.
Matt B. Davis 2:27
It's gonna come out pretty clearly if you care about what you do. Early on, in the process of me doing this show... I would have people say, you know, we really like what you're doing because you actually care about the sport. You're not just reporting on it. And I thought, well, how is there any other way to do it? I mean, to me that was like, why would I be here, like, I guess to try to make a book, which there wasn't much books to be grabbed, but to me, it just, it just made sense to do that.
Anders Varner 2:58
My attention to fitness has to be delivered to the people that I'm talking to, in a manner that resembles my life and the thing that I'm learning about because I want them to go on the journey with me, I want them to feel like they're in the room every single time we turn on the microphones, and I talk about the struggles that I, as a fitness professional have turned into music on and finding 45 minutes in my day to work out. I don't know, I never thought that there would be a day that fitness would be hard, but I get it now. And that is the most authentic conversation. That's where all of my attention is when I think about fitness. And the next piece, you could call me as woo is woo woo as you would like. But every time you turn the microphone on, I want you to think about how much you love somebody that is willing to take time out of their day and listen to you on their commute to work.
Mark Divine 3:57
So if you're in an interview, or you're in any any type of scenario where you're like, Oh shit, you know, this is gametime and you're uncomfortable because it's gonna be uncomfortable. Then you come back to that tactical breathing and just kind of like, pause for a moment. reconnect with the breath and and with your nostrils with your nose, mouth close, and your mind soft and think about your mind like gripping, gripping, gripping.
And then inhale, just releasing, no need to think no need to do it, just notice what happens. And then with your eyes, instead of looking looking looking, release, go soft, peripheral vision. So this is profound because when you release the grip of your your thinking mind, and then you soften your gaze, and you breathe deeply through your nose and suddenly what happens is you your mind, your conscious expands out into what we call context. And guess what, right then and there, all that fear and anxiety goes away. And then while you're in this interview, you try to maintain that kind of relaxed awareness so that you're accessing kind of right and left brain synchronicity, right so you, you have the pattern recognition, the spontaneity to respond in a way that's not going to be as controlled or fear based. Or like I have to remember what I studied or you know this net
As more people enter the podcasting space, the need for solid reliable information is greater than ever. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Here are some of my favorite online podcasting communities. What are yours?
Part 1: FACEBOOK GROUPS
Podcast Movement Community - For Podcasters
This group has over 41k members and has good rules to prevent spammy self-promotion. It is a part of the Podcast Movement conference, the largest podcasting conference in the world. This year their event is moving online. PM Conference PM Facebook Community
She Podcasts is a large and active group with over 17k members. It defines its Facebook community as a safe place for women or non-binary ONLY who podcast or who are setting up a show currently to ask questions, provide support, share resources, wins, and advocate for each other. The admins have done a great job of creating an inclusive culture with lost of great information sharing. She Podcasts started out as a podcast and has grown to encompass the Facebook Group, a smaller paid group (She Podcasts Super Squad) and their own event She Podcasts Live. She Podcasts Facebook Group She Podcasts Live
This group is smaller, with about 3k members, and has a more grassroots community feel. Please - don't go to this group to post links to your own show, but DO go to ask questions and learn from other podcasters and experts. The founder, Chris Krimistos is an active participant and community builder. Like PM it was created as a part of the Podfest Multimedia Expo which is also creating an online experience. Podfest Facebook Group Podfest Expo
Podcast Editors Club
Podcast editors club is an active and growing group with frequent webinars and educational resources founded by Steve Stewart. It's a place for indie and professional podcast editors to share tips, ideas, and find help with editing podcasts. Podcast Editors Club
Just Busters: Female Podcast Editors
With just under 1k members I LOVE this group. It's full of powerhouse editors and podcast industry leaders and has regular live educational sessions, but it's small enough that it's a place to make real personal connections. Their motto is connect, learn, and grow. Among the group rules: No Mansplaining allowed.
Just Busters Facebook Group
Podcast Monetization Secrets
I know, sounds like a get rich quick scheme. The group is new, with about 100 members to date. But it's run by Christy Haussler who is well established in the independent podcast world and so far has had excellent information. I trust this group will grow into a strong resource.
Podcast Monetization Secrets Facebook Groups
Let's be real. We all want to look our best on camera and in videos, and we want to be real. Here are 3 simple tips that will make you look better without changing your make up or using filters. 3 simple tips so you look better in your videos.
If you want to see more like this, please subscribe to my youtube channel.
I was doing a footage search for a client yesterday and came across this gem in the archives. On a sunny day, I loved nothing more than shooting on snow. On the sleety days where I made up rules for how long I'd go without feeling my feet before heading inside or calculated the body mass to surface area ratio to determine how much more likely I was to become hypothermic than the big guys I worked with ... that was what they call "level 2" fun. The kind that builds camaraderie and leaves you with great stories and a sense of accomplishment.
Today the cameras are smaller, lighter, cheaper, more versatile and best of all take better pictures, but the basics are unchanged.
I challenged myself to create a series of four videos with myself as host, and to talk about my own creative and personal development journey. I have made fun of people who do this for my entire life...until I started producing Spartan Up podcast and listening and learning from them. There is still a high proportion of blowhards and snake oil salesmen in the self help arena, and yet those reminders, hacks and lessons propel me forward.
As Doug Comstock said - I'm not telling you anything new, I'm just reminding you.
So here is video three of the series. In this video I talk about the two most helpful tactics / principles I have learned.
Social media has a lot wrong, especially now as it heightens divisions and eats up days with “doom scrolling.” But I don’t know that I would have kept up with this without you guys holding me accountable. I’ve run something like 270 miles so far this year, and for the last 100 straight I haven’t missed a day.
Running every day is good for my health, but it’s about more than that. It’s about keeping my word to myself, building productive habits as a baseline, trying my best to be a role model for my kids.
The private messages I get ( “ did you run yet today?”, congratulations”, “have you thought about running farther”?) are such a powerful model of encouragement. Celebrating success while gently nudging for more.
It’s about 7am. I’m getting ready to head out and run 5 miles, and just like every other day - I don’t feel like it.
Surround yourself, even virtually, with people that make you better. It will cross over to every aspect of your life & career.
I challenged myself to make 4 videos about my own personal creative journey. I've been a producer of podcasts and videos for my entire career helping others convey their messages. Now I'm coming out from behind the scenes. This is the second in my self-challenge series and explores the conflict between humility and self expression, and the changes in the video industry.
I'm collecting my "creative Journey" video series here.
When I posted the video about podcasting safely while social distancing a few people asked me about wind noise. I realized that things I've been doing for 30 years are second nature to me, but not everyone knows them. So - here's a quick video about 4 ways to stop wind noise from ruining your shoot when you get to record outside.
Find more technique and "how To" videos for podcasters and YouTubers here.
It started when I heard an interview with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. He said to establish a habit start with something really small, for example one push up a day. It sounds ridiculous. But when you start with a small commitment you'll be more likely to keep it. Once you start keeping it you begin to see yourself in a new light - as someone who does a push up every day.
So I decided I'd run one mile every day. I've written about that, and it's been going pretty well. And James Clear was right. Success there lead me to take on another challenge. When COVID times started I committed to posting a daily photo journal here on my blog for a month. I did that too. I realized that the simple practice of writing and photographing every day was helping me grow as a creative, whether anyone read it or not.
Now I'm challenging myself to create a video, with me as the on camera host, talking about my own creative journey, every week for the next four weeks. Here is the first:
Next week I'm going to talk about the value of keeping your work to YOURSELF.
How are we podcasting in these complicated times? We managed to pull off an in-person Spartan Up podcasting session this week with Joe De Sena and Sefra the Seedhuntress. Here's how we did it:
I’ve worked from a home office since I took out my first business loan and bought an edit system in 1995. I have always loved the flexibility. Taking calls while pacing around the yard. But equally important have been the trips and adventures that break up the time at home. That’s what I’ve always loved most about my job as a videographer, producer, and photographer. The places I get to go, the people I get to meet and spend time with.
For me, the part of life that happens at home hasn’t changed that much, I cherish that as much as ever, but I do miss the rest!
On January 2nd I wrote in my journal "Run 1 mile every day. More is ok, but always 1 mile."
I hadn't given much thought to that fact that it was January and the days were short and cold. I figured I could do one mile. I had heard an interview with James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, a few days before. He suggested picking something small, like one push up, every day. Through my work at Spartan and the Spartan Up podcast I've come to think of ultras as no big deal. A mile seemed so small. But I started.
For 44 days, usually in the dark and usually in the snow, I ran one mile every day. I never looked forward to it, but I was always glad I had done it. I made it public - told my family and friends. But on day 45 I mixed up time zones coming back from a conference in LA and missed a day. So I started again at one.
I made it through another 25 day streak then one night sat up in the middle of the night and realized I had completely forgotten to run. Today is day 61 of my third streak.
Here's what I've learned:
1. I've heard it takes 30 days to create a habit. I disagree. It's been over 150 days (minus the two I missed) and it's still not a solid habit.
2. That moment of decision - "should I run today or take a day off?" - that is where the greatest challenge lies. Knowing that I will run every day, removes that hurdle.
3. In COVID times I've had the most consistent and predictable schedule I have had in years! Probably ever. I miss unpredictable, but the sameness has made me start look forward to my daily runs.
4. It's about more than running. I'm starting to think of myself as someone who runs every day and that starts driving me to keep doing running, but also to take on new challenges.
5. It's a bare minimum that I always know I've accomplished when my head hits the pillow. That's good.
Ultimately I think of it as practice keeping my word to myself.
So... the home haircut didn't quite turn out as planned. But it provided a few of the best laughs we've shared as a family since COVID times began!
The good news:
1. His beautiful smile is even more visible
2. Hair grows back
3. Mac is a great sport, with a great sense of humor who doesn't let the little things like an unintended shaved head get him down.
8 years ago the small town of Pittsfield was struck hard by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. In a town of fewer than 500 people more than 10 homes were completely destroyed. The town, with little official infrastructure, was completely cut off from the outside world. Pittsfield did not have it's own police force, ambulance, hospital or school. What it had was strong resilient community.
Our house was among those hit hard, but still in many ways it was a glorious time. Days filled with sunshine and community. The roads were closed so everyone walked, the pace slowed down and everyone was looking for ways to help their neighbors.
That first Sunday when the storm hit was frightening, we saw the river rise higher than we'd ever seen it rise. Friends had to be rescued by volunteer fire fighters and neighbors just minutes before their house collapsed, my husband was stuck for the night in the car in the driveway. Unable to get back to our house as it was slammed by 8 feet of raging water, and unable to cross the bridge from our road into town. Meanwhile I had taken our two young kids and my mother to the Swiss Farm Inn for refuge.
By 7am the first morning the town gathered at the town hall to start coming up with a plan. Already neighbors were feeding each other, taking each other in, and sorting through debris for prized possessions. Soon after families with heavy machinery started building roads, the two general stores in town set up a massive BBQ on the town green with the food from their quickly thawing freezers, medical facilities were set up in the library, and an outdoor school was set up on the green.
I did what I knew how to do. I started to capture the story. It was awkward at first. I wanted to be part of the story, part of the effort to rebuild, but eventually I realized this was my best way to contribute.
The film aired on PBS 4 or 5 times, now I'd like to get the word out - community resilience comes from strong community bonds. Here is the complete documentary.
I do feel a little heartbreak on their behalf - at a time in life when they should be spreading their wings they are pushed back into the nest. But it's just a speed bump in the story of their lives.
And - they are learning a set of skills that will set them up for life. The skills of the "digital nomad." If you can work independently, digitally, you can work wherever and whenever you want. You need to have work that can be done virtually, you need the ability to manage your own time and deadlines interspersed with scheduled meetings and phone calls, and you need a sufficient self drive.
Their school right now is very much like 80% of my work.
Of course I look forward to the day when we are all able to be more human and social again, but it the meantime I'm focusing on what can be learned. What we learn is not always in the classes we take or the books we read, but in the way we live.
On March 27th I was envious of the "pause" to reassess and learn I kept hearing about. I was fortunate enough to still be working, so I committed to a more active blog. This is my chance to think out loud about podcasting, messaging, story, nature, family and life.
~ Marion Abrams