How do you turn your passion into a new business? The show’s guest today is Gayle Martz, the creator of the Sherpa Bag for all the different modes of pet travel. Gayle shares with Dr. Diane Hamilton about her journey from jobless to successful entrepreneur. At the end of the day, Gayle explains, your idea means nothing. You need to do your research and lay the foundation to make it a reality. And if you fail, find another way! Do you want to know how Gayle made it? Tune in to find out!
I’m glad you joined us because we have Gayle Martz here. Gayle invented the iconic Sherpa bag, which led to a successful business for decades. She has a book. It’s going to be fascinating.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Sherpa Bag: Turning A Passion Into A New Business With Gayle Martz
I am here with Gayle Martz. If you’ve ever taken a pet with you on an airplane, you have her to thank. She invented the iconic Sherpa bag, which was a soft-sided pet carrier. That led to a successful business for decades that she started from scratch. It’s so nice to have you here, Gayle.
Dr. Diane, I’m grateful and happy to be with you and Luna, the Labrador that’s right with you as well.
It’s interesting because the smaller dogs do a little bit differently in terms of what keeps them busy, I’ve noticed. My last dog was a Dachshund. She was 9 pounds. The amount of work it is to have the bigger dog I forgot because I haven’t had a Labrador in a long time. I feel like I have a two-year-old. I’m loving it but it’s also exhausting. I was thinking about how much you changed pet travel. Without a lot of people traveling and/or the changes with some of the animals who can travel, I had a lot of questions for you. How do you travel with a huge Labrador?
Let’s start with we’re in our homes, offices or wherever we are. The safety of the small dogs in the Sherpa bag in the home is one of the things that is needed. That’s the first place to start where you could have started with Luna when she was very small but that didn’t last long. Traveling by car is what most people are doing and then we have the airlines. There are different modes of travel that we have.
Let’s talk about Luna for being eight months old. If you want to travel by car, there are many products that are out on the market now that weren’t around many years ago when I started and created a category, the soft-sided pet carrier. There are many different products that are out in the marketplace. It’s so much easier now because you can go online, “Let me go on to Safari, Google or any of the social media platforms and find a product.” At that time, there wasn’t the internet. Traveling with a pet, first, you want to consider safety at home. That’s one of our most important things.
There are many fires and happenings going on that we have to make sure we can carry our pet to safety or you know and are prepared how to get out. There are fires up in Oregon. How do you get out safely with your dog? It’s all a question of being prepared. Let’s go back to when we had 9/11 in New York City. I didn’t know what’s going to happen. I lived on the twentieth floor. I had two small dogs and Sherpa bags at the door. I wasn’t going to be able to go down the elevator because we’d have blackouts. We have all the different things that happen.
You would have your dog on a leash but then you want to make sure you’re prepared because you have no idea how long this is going to be. When you look at these disasters and different things that are happening globally with climate change, go over to Germany and picture what happened over there. If you weren’t prepared, you can’t walk, take, run, drive or do what you have to do to safety your pet. That’s the big concern we always must have.
You originally had started with these pet carriers and done some work with American Airlines years ago. You authored two books. One is It’s In The Bag. Is what you’re writing about safety? I’m curious about the book.
I had to write the book because when you find your purpose, you need a larger platform to spread the word. I kept having all of my notes from all of my years. I always knew that I had to write a book. The book deals with all of the aspects of starting a business and, “What do I do? I have an idea. How can I take this idea? Is there a void in the marketplace?” There is a void in the marketplace. There was not a soft-sided pet carrier in the world. I professionally shopped all over the world. I knew there was no soft-sided pet carrier in the world.
I came up with a great idea and then it was to find a manufacturer. As the quintessential entrepreneur that I am, I went to the next step and build the business so that I can help to bring the people’s lives and help them to be able to take their smaller pets with them wherever they go. We have many different ways we can go but do we want to talk about car and home safety? I had been working at TWA when I was twenty years old. When I was in college, I thought, “I’m going to be a psychiatrist,” then I thought, “If I do that at this age, I can always go back to school but I’ll never be this young again.”
I decided that the best thing I could ever do was go with the airlines. I worked as a hostess for TWA. I had the most fabulous life experience where I was traveling the world. I had many different special assignments. I was involved in the fashion industry when I was in Paris and then the luggage industry. I had the opportunity to have so much time to learn many other things about life and the different things that were advantageous to me that I loved with photography and fashion.
That’s a little bit like my cousin’s story who was on my show. She used to work for Tory Burch. She had this whole background in the fashion industry. She started her own company, EyeJust, to help with the safety of looking at computer screens. Her name is Gigi Mortimer. I found that when you have this background of all these different artistic creativity things like you do in the fashion industry, it bleeds into all the creativity you have and the ventures that you start. You had a passion for photography and fashion. Where did that help you with the Sherpa bag and everything else you ended up creating?
I created and designed the Sherpa bag. At that particular time, I’m well aware of fabrics, fashion and what’s going on. The quilting had come into the marketplace. Chanel and other people use quilting. I did the Sherpa bag that was lightweight, stylish, comfortable, well-ventilated and fashionable. It was then to have the sample. I had Sherpa, the dog who was my Lhasa Apso. Being a photographer, I had to take that first picture of her in her Sherpa bag. When I see that picture now, I say, “This built an empire.” I love that picture of her. Photography, writing copy and fashion helped me.
Being the quintessential entrepreneur, I want to find a solution. I want to fix this. I want to do it better. How can I do that? I was fortunate that I was in New York City. I was looking through one of my press kits from way back then. I had Joan Rivers who had done a book, Bouncing Back. She tells us a little story about, “I had hit rock bottom.” She found herself with no home, no money and no job. That’s what Joan Rivers would say, “The triple crown.”
I had hit rock bottom but I had Sherpa the dog. That dog would give unconditional love. Every second with her built me back to a place in my life where I found my purpose in life. It’s that total emotional and unconditional love that we get from our pets. Your Luna, when they’re a puppy, you’re not getting much sleep, and there are different things but they pass that stage. You keep continuing on. It’s rewarding the love that we received from our loyal four-legged companions.
It’s hard to beat it. It’s harder with a large dog because you can’t take them on airplanes. They don’t even have emotional support dogs on airplanes anymore. I started to look for some airplanes and different things because I wouldn’t want to put her down in the luggage or whatever they do with dogs. I hear that’s awful. I know a lot of people have gotten more pets because of COVID. People have had more time to stay home, train them and do things. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the pet business. What do you think is going to happen?
The pet business is increasing. I look at the statistics on everything. There haven’t been any shows for this period of time, but I have a pet product show in August 2021, the SuperZoo, which is in Las Vegas, if you want to be in the hottest place in the world. We have to find a way and a solution. There is a solution to being able to take a pet. I had this issue when I was booking the flight to Las Vegas. I’ll go this way. There’s no business class or first class. I had to go coach for all of the years when I started my business.
Working as a flight attendant, I was always in first-class because we didn’t have to pay anything. You go anywhere you want to go. If that plane has a delay, you get on another plane and go someplace else. It was an exciting live life experience because I was able to take so much time off, study, work and learn other things at the same time.
Taking a larger dog, it’s one of the things that we look at, “What is the very best thing you can do for your pet?” I have another dog, Cartoo. She’s going to be fifteen in September 2021. She is not interested in getting on a plane. I have the young Coco who turned two. She’s only 3 pounds and that’s all she’ll ever be. When she sees me putting on my pants, she’s right there jumping all over my legs. It was like, “We’re getting ready to go somewhere. I’m excited.” She knows exactly how to get into the many different styles of bags that I have for her.When something doesn't feel right, find another way. Click To Tweet
We want to appeal to all people. We’re talking about cats and dogs because cats are 50% of the market. I don’t want people to think it’s all about travel because it’s not. The big thing that people have missed through the years is to address the fact of safety at home or wherever you’re going to be going. It’s about safety. Turn on the news if you want to see every single thing that’s happening all over the world and what do we need to be concerned about? It is safety.
In my book, I wanted to help to hopefully motivate and inspire people. I didn’t have my MBA and Doctorate but I had the emotional intelligence that I knew this was what I was meant to do. When they say, “If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right.” It probably will work out that way. When something doesn’t feel right, there’s a little clue in that to finding another way.
I have many friends who having a passion for a pet is the same as having their children. For a lot of people and for me, my pet is huge. It’s high on my list. Safety issues are many things that you don’t think about. Your book is interesting to me because people like to see the journey that ignites a big business like what you did. You say you have this natural entrepreneurship thinking but a lot of people want to be entrepreneurs.
I teach a course for entrepreneurs. They’re always trying to come up with ideas. That’s what we come in now in that particular course. I play these bits in my courses as well as on the air and everywhere else. What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business? What challenges did you come across and what would you want to say to them?
Want-to-preneurs is a very big topic to go over but it can be at any age. When you look at, “Here’s this important person that started this business at 65.” It could be at any age and whatever age I am now, I know that I’m going to do something else that is beneficial. What must be done first is to shop the global marketplace. It’s so much easier now because you have all the social media platforms. I’m sitting here with three computers. I have every tool. You shop the market. When I’m living in Paris, I get out in the streets and shopping the market but I’m not in Paris right now. That’s not the time in my life to be there.
It’s most important that I get the message out to the media, to you and everyone that will be interested to pass on the part of the purpose of why we want to be speaking for our pets because they can’t speak. We have to take the lead for our pets and you’re putting it in two ways, which it’s the same with my book, It’s In The Bag. It’s that double entendre. When you are in business, “This deal is going to happen. I know it’s in the bag. Everything is pointing to this, with all of the criteria, all of this, it’s a done deal. It’s in the bank.”
The reason why I said the bank was because if that money isn’t in your account and clear, so you have cash in your hand, nothing is in the bag. It’s like, “How many deals did you look at doing?” “All of these different deals. I thought it was in the bag.” It didn’t happen. I had many experiences as you will have. If you don’t fail, you don’t know that is the way that you learn as well because you must try. As I always say, “Try and try again.” It’s good to have a plan but then the plan can change every single day because the world is changing constantly. It’s not every day. It could be every minute or second, all of these things happen.
You have the Sherpa bag, and it’s the story of Sherpa the dog, the Sherpa bag and the motivation that I received from her and the people. I have my own 800 number. I was my own everything I had to do. The people would write me these testimonials. It would be affirming that what I was doing was what I was meant to be doing. That helped me so much.
My advice to anyone that has any idea, the idea means nothing. You must do your research, lay a foundation, and build with the proper tools that you need to build with. In the beginning, I couldn’t afford anything, no home, no money, no job. I was grateful that my business partner and mother gave me $5,000. We have to go back a long time. It’s like $5,000 way back then, but I didn’t have anything.
She said, “Whatever you want to do, I am with you.” That was the best thing in the world because she totally put the financial house in order, which is important. She was with me. I was creative or the right side and she was the left side or the analytical. We were a fabulous team. I had the opportunity to build my business with her. I’m very grateful for that.
I work with my daughters quite a bit to give them financial and other types of advice. I know one of them is much more creative and I’m much more the business thinking. It’s fun to see the differences. That’s wonderful that you had that family background. You’ve obviously done so well. I’m sure that picture of Sherpa and everything else must bring back some great memories when you see it. A lot of people will be interested in finding out about It’s In The Bag. Is there a place that they could find it?
GayleMartz.com is the website. It’s on the website as well as the photos of Sherpa the dog and all the different dogs that have helped me. All the dogs in the world are helping me, two dogs and cats. It’s 50% of our market and we don’t have to talk about traveling because cats don’t want to travel but they do want to play. They love that den environment. It’s a fact. If you do want to travel with your cats, they’re much safer in the Sherpa bag. If it’s another trip to the veterinarian, you can buy another bag. One for the veterinary and one that sits around the house. I always say, “How many purses do you have as a woman?” It’s a real seasonal fashion item as well.
It’s fascinating that you’ve touched on not just the importance and safety of pets but how to turn a passion into a new business in your book. A lot of people are looking to do that and they could get a lot of inspiration from that.
Especially at this time and all the different changes that are happening. That was why it was so important that the book was published on Valentine’s Day 2021. It’s all about love. My philosophy in life is to do what you love in the places you love, with the people and the pets that you love. You have to find a way to do that. If you don’t know how, you must be able to reach out and ask for help. I’ll pick up the phone and ask Siri but there’s help. I have to ask so many things. It’s as a lifestyle.
I rely on them a lot. Everything that you worked on is fascinating for those people who haven’t had a chance to check out your site. My Luna looks a little bit like your No Pet Left Behind dog.
I have to see that. No Pet Left Behind was Suney which meant true love in Korean. Suney came in when Sherpa was ten. It’s very important to know that the dog does not live a long life. That’s a real opportunity to be able to take your pet with you and know that you have that unconditional love. You want to do that. They’re with you all the time and they want to be with you all the time. We have so many different things that are happening now that I think it’s important that people find a way.
You don’t have to read the book. It’s on audio. That’s another great thing that has taken place. It’s like, “Here’s a book but I don’t have time to sit around and read.” I might be driving in the car or I’m doing something else. When we used to go to the gym, I do other things. Listen to the audio and there’s a great audiobook of It’s In The Bag by Valerie Smaldone as the narrator. She’s absolutely fabulous. I was happy that she undertook the job of being the narrator. When I would listen to her, I would totally relive every second of what that led me. It was great. The audiobook is fabulous. That gives you an opportunity when you’re in the car, and then you’re free to be entertained and learn.
I love the covers on both of your books. They’re very creative. I hope people take some time to go over to your site. Gayle, this was so much fun. Thank you so much for being my guest.
Dr. Diane, you deserve your title. Thanks so much for having me.
You are welcome. This was a lot of fun.You can be an entrepreneur at any age. Click To Tweet
I want to talk about something a little different because many people ask me about my podcast, my radio show and how to do this? How did I get into this? How do you figure out how to do it and the ins and outs of it? I have created a course. I do teach people how to do this but I thought it would be nice to talk about it on the show for those of you who want to know the secrets to create a popular podcast and radio show.
I’m going to touch on some of the things that I’ve learned because I had no idea, first of all, that I would ever have a show. I never had aspired to do this. I had somebody interviewed me once for my speaking and consulting. He had a show and I loved talking to him about what he did. He shared some of his tips and tricks that worked for him. I said, “How do you get this?” He said, “I could probably get you a spot.” He found me a spot on his AM/FM station.
The shows would air. They weren’t live. They were prerecorded but they had airtime that I had to fill three hours a week. It inspired me to continue to interview people and grow the show. One of the things I learned was that there’s a lot that goes into it. It doesn’t have to be a radio show. It can be a podcast. You could even have it on YouTube or a website.
There are all kinds of platforms involved when you create your own show. You have to have an idea of how much you want to spend. It’s going to cost you money initially unless you have somebody that you can get to a company or some other way to fund or monetize it, which is very difficult. Initially, you’re going to have to host it somehow on your website, a podcast site, YouTube or somewhere. You have to keep that in mind.
The radio stations, some of them will charge you for airtime. You would own your time slot. For my show, I air at 10:00 AM Monday, Wednesday and Friday Eastern Time on many different markets throughout the United States. That’s my airtime. I could talk about anything. I could interview someone or do advertisements for everything I sell. The whole time, I could do whatever I want. That is my point.
The only thing I can’t do is let people swear on the air or something like that. In general, it’s pretty open. It’s a nice option if you want to do a combination of a podcast and a radio show like I do. I also put my show on YouTube and all the links to it on my website. I make sure it’s everywhere. The hardest part for me initially was setting up the hardware. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it. I was using Zoom for some initial things but the sound wasn’t quite as good. You couldn’t separate the tracks from my track or from the guest’s track if I had an issue on one of the tracks, for example.
Initially, I went with using my phone. I wanted people to be able to call into the show. The problem I was having was I usually like to use PCs. My PC didn’t have the best software. I didn’t like any of the software for all the editing. I do a lot of videos and audio editing with Camtasia, which I love. I wanted it to be simple like that, but getting the audio from the phone into the computer was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated. That to me was the hardest part, which is silly because it turned out all you needed to do was go to Guitar City and they’ll tell you how to do it basically.
I bought a Focusrite, which is the adapter box that connects to your computer. There’s a cord that comes off of that. I bought a little adapter that went on to the cord that would fit into the cell phone. When somebody would call in, I take this plug and plug it into the phone. It goes through this Focusrite equipment which goes right into the Mac. I used Mac because I liked GarageBand the best for the software. As long as you have a good microphone and a headset to listen to, you’re set. It is easy to edit. The Focusrite equipment captures the data and goes right into the Apple device.
That worked well for me. I also use Zoom sometimes and then I’ll edit what I get from Zoom with Camtasia, which is software editing. You can do so much with it. I love it. It’s great for video editing. I use it more for that but you could do audio editing. If you have options, if they are calling on the phone and you’re having phone issues, and then you send them a Zoom link, you can do it that way if you need to. It’s also important to be able to do that for people who are in other countries. They can call in through WhatsApp, which is an app that doesn’t charge them. That’s another option for people.
Depending on whether you want to use your phone, Zoom or something like it, there are a lot of other options that are similar to Zoom that you can use. What I found was Mac and GarageBand worked great. I got SRH240 headphones. I got the Focusrite Scarlett interface. I got a Sterling Audio SP50 microphone, and that adapter that plugs into your Apple phone is the Lightning 3.5-millimeter headphone jack adapter. If you can remember those things and write those very fascinating things down. That’s basically all you need to record into a Mac. You make sure you have GarageBand installed.
What I found was it was much easier to create a shell like a dummy file that had all my files in it. You don’t just record without intro music, outro music, ads or whatever you’re going to put in your show. You’ve got to have music. You have to have “Welcome to the show” stuff. I created little files onto my GarageBand saying, “This is the Dr. Diane Hamilton Show,” or whatever it is it says at the beginning.
I didn’t record my own. I paid for files to be created. I did a lot through Fiverr online. You can get voiceovers and different things. They’ll give you a little sound file, MP4, MP3, whatever they save it as, and you can put that into the shell that you create. What I do is I have an intro at the beginning of the show and an outro at the end. It’s an intro would be the guy saying, “Here’s Diane,” kind of thing. The outro would be the music ending the show. I have those saved so that I don’t have to put those in every single time.
I also put in three separate ads, which is how many ads I like to have on my show. I saved those to drag them around to wherever I’m going to edit them later. I do the ads myself. I like to have it in my voice usually, but sometimes I’ll go to Fiverr or someplace else to have them create an ad. If you have a sponsor, they have ads they can give you. The point is to save your document like a file. You don’t have to keep putting ads, intro or outro music all the time. I save it as a shell on my desktop. Every time I have a new show, I open up that shell document and save it as the new name of whoever is on the show. That works out well for me.
When I first started, I wasn’t sure where else I wanted to host the podcast because I wanted to get onto iTunes and different places. I started with Podcast Garden originally because it was cheap. I know a lot of people like Libsyn. There are a lot of podcast hosting sites. There’s Blog Talk and all these different things. I ended up with Podetize because Brandcasting You is a group that I use. Tom Hazzard is the guy there. He does a great job because he transcribes the show and puts in all these tweetable moments and pictures. He hosts it on Podetize for me.
That’s the only thing I have somebody else to do for me. I only started having him do it when I wanted the transcription so it’s easy to get on sites like the ones I was on before or Libsyn or one of those. You can get some of your data records. They’ll tell you how you’re doing. It’s nice to get your statistics and you can find out how many people are listening to your show. Those will usually have ways for you to have them shared through iTunes and different means. I know my shows are on iTunes, iHeart, Roku, you name it. It goes everywhere.
A lot of it, Tom does with Podetize for me, but I was able to do a lot of it myself whenever I hosted it myself as well. It’s good to look at your options. Do you want transcription? Do you want the sound? If you’re doing the sound, are you using GarageBand, Camtasia, Zoom or Skype? Zencaster is one that a lot of people do. Are you going to do your own editing? I like to do my own editing. I don’t do a lot of it.
I like it natural. If somebody says something, I don’t necessarily want to change it. I think that it’s real. I’ve had to cut out 1 or 2 different things. If somebody was driving in their car and police stopped them for being on their cell phone, that got cut out. Other than that, I left it in unless it was something that I thought was a super inappropriate thing to say. I only did that once that I had to cut something out.
One of the hardest things when you first start is finding the right guests and a lot of people ask me about that. I would go to speaker sites a lot of times to look at the top speakers. I was the MBA Program Chair at Forbes School of Business. Part of my time there was working with the board members and some of the board members did the show.
Steve Forbes was one of them who was wonderful to do my show. Before I had been asked Steve or the other board members, I went to some of the speakers we had who had spoken for our school, which were a lot of the Forbes 30 Under 30s, young people who had become very successful and are looking for more publicity.
Looking at sites like that, people who had been nominated and received some honor, would be a great place to start it. When you get people who have recognition behind their name like that, you could show that you’re not just interviewing anybody. You’re having good, solid people on your show. Going to speaker sites, you might get some of them. Some of them might turn you down.
Sometimes they get newsletters from different sites that say, “This person’s speaking here or there.” I’ll connect with them on LinkedIn and say, “I saw you were speaking at this event. I love to have you on the show.” Sometimes you see them speaking at the convention or on LinkedIn with a great post and people are following them. There are many ways.Your idea means nothing. You must do your research and lay the foundation to build on it. Click To Tweet
Once you start getting people on the show, at the end of the show, after you get off the air, I would talk to them and ask them if they thought of anyone that would be a great guest. I’d love to have them on the show. Those are ways of expanding your reach. Some of the best people I’ve had on my show were suggestions from other people who had been on my show. One of the things that a lot of people forget to do is to ask for a referral, “Who would you think would be great? Who’s got a new book coming out?” Whatever you’re trying to find for a guest.
A lot of what goes along with the show is creating graphics. I know Tom creates some stuff for me for my website, but I also was doing it long before he did any of the graphics. I used Canva a lot for that. There’s Bizme and all these different virtual assistants do it for you. You can hire somebody. Canva is great. It’s one of the easiest platforms. I use it for everything. I’m not as affiliated with any of these names that I’ve mentioned so far. These are all great programs and you can create a graphic. I’d come up with an overall graphic designed for the show and keep changing the picture for whoever the guest is on the show. It worked out well for me.
To find more people, you start networking. You get your circle of influence and ask them if they know people. You go on social media and tag everybody when you’re posting these shows, make sure you tag the people who are in your show. You have hashtags for whatever you talk about on the show. On Twitter, I have #DrDianeRadio as a hashtag. All of my shows, if you click on that hashtag, you’d be able to find them all easily. You get to do that through social media. That’s important.
When you’re on the show, thinking about the questions is an interesting thing because I always ask my guests to give me questions that they’d like to ask. I don’t go down the list and ask them those questions but I have them. I can think about the kinds of things that they like to be asked. When I first started, I would create a whole bunch of questions before the show. I would go through everybody’s bio, read everything about them, watch all their videos and do everything I could to research them. I still do a lot of that but I don’t create questions like I used to.
I don’t spend the same amount of time because I find that a lot of what I want to ask, I learn while we’re on the show. If they have a TED Talk or something that’s important, I watched that for sure. I think the questions are important to have them send to you. When they sign up for the show, I use ScheduleOnce, which will send them a notification for their calendar and reminders. It’ll ask them, “Please, give me your bio, headshot and any questions you want me to ask.”
What I find I do is while we’re talking, I had a paper wall. If they say something, I’ll make a note like, “I’m interested in this or that.” I might circle something that I want to come back to. All those notes are my way of keeping track of what we’re talking about and what I want to ask next. I also sometimes ask them things off the air if I don’t want to put them on the spot. I might make a note of something I want to ask later. There are a lot of things that continue in our discussions after we get off the air.
I usually schedule them for an hour. Most guests, I don’t keep for an hour on the show. It’s a long time to interview somebody but I do have some for that long. I sometimes do two 25-minute shows then I add them together and put ads. You have to decide how long you want to talk to somebody and how you want to set it up. I schedule an hour so that we have time to talk after the show and it’s not like, “Thank you and goodbye,” and hang up on them. That’s pretty uncomfortable. It’s nice to build that relationship afterwards.
Beforehand, there’s a lot of preparation that you need to do. You look at their LinkedIn profile, websites, YouTube. If they have a book, you look on Amazon. Sometimes their bios are good on Amazon and not so good on LinkedIn. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Read their bios, find them online, learn as much as you can about them. Read the description of their book because that’s important. Prior to the show, I’ll ask for all the things that you asked for before the show.
After the show, you either thank them and send them a note. For me, when the show comes out, I thank them. I send them all the links and graphics so they can post. I ask them to post a testimonial. If you go to DrDianeHamilton.com/testimonials, you can see what people have said. It’s great because it links to their site and it gets them noticed. It gets you some great stuff on your website.
When the show comes out, you post it all over social media. You might have a newsletter, you put it in that. If you do retweets on the sites like MeetEdgar or whatever sites you use to repost things, you can put it in there. I transcribed the blog, which gives you a lot of content for your site. You got to think if you do an hour show, that’s a lot of words. People coming to your site would think it’s great for later advertising and taking advantage of that traffic.
A lot of people do shows for different opportunities. You might be a consultant or a speaker and want to be on boards. You might want to go to events and shows or do different things. The radio show or the podcast can do a lot for you. I had no intention of using it for anything other than my curiosity to find out about people and learn what made them successful, but it did lead to a lot of things. I do a lot more speaking and consulting. I’m on more boards and found companies in which I was interested in investing and things like that can happen.
Being realistic that this is not going to be something that you’re going to probably be able to monetize. If you want to monetize it, you’re probably going to have a better chance of monetizing it through the things that lead to than to get sponsors because you have to have quite a few downloads. There are a few people who can monetize their shows but the majority aren’t able to.
Be realistic. Think about the return on investment and the traffic. Think of your show as a loss leader, similar to a book. Most people do not make money off of their books. They’re making it from the things the books lead to. Make sure that when you schedule things that you use a good calendar for everything to keep track of it. I use ScheduleOnce. I’m able to send the link to people and say, “Here’s how you sign up.” I’ve set it up to ask them to give me all the information. I schedule follow-up reminders and they’re able to reschedule. All that stuff is important.
I also want you to think about any potential issues you can run into like sound quality. If they’re calling long distance, if you’ve dropped a line, there’s some editing that might be required. Some of the stuff is a good learning experience. If you don’t think you like it, don’t rule it out until you’ve tried it because there’s a lot that goes into it. You can learn a lot. There are some negative things.
Some people ask me sometimes, “Did you had any guests that are rude?” I have had very few problems with guests. You’d have to remember. You’re providing free showcasing of what they do. You’re doing them a favor for free if you think about it. There are some who’ll bully you or overanalyze. You’re doing this for free and they may say, “I wanted to say this. Can you edit that? Can you do this?”
As a guest, I would suggest not doing that if you’re on other people’s shows. I’ve had thousands of people on my show now. That’s a lot of work. It’s hard to go back and micromanage every single show. People aren’t worried if something is transcribed not perfectly. People realize it’s a transcription, for example. Some guests might not value your time. They want to meet, talk about the show and spend a lot of time doing things before the show.
For me, I found shows are a lot better if you don’t meet prior to them because you will ask them everything you want to ask. When you get on the show, you’re not as inquisitive. It’s not as fresh. I avoid meeting guests prior to the show. You can own your own airtime. If it would be a podcast, you definitely do. It’s good to refer to your site once in a while.
I mentioned before that you could go to DrDianeHamilton.com/testimonials. It’s part of my conversation, but that’s referring to my site. If you were going to refer to your site for sales of something, I might say to go to CuriosityCode.com because that’s where I would sell my Curiosity Code Index. I use the site once in a while for things like that. I also have ads between guests that talk about my assessments, certification training and all the things I do.
You want to tie into what you do when you’re doing your ads and speaking alone. Like now, I’m speaking alone and that’s harder because you’re not going off of what somebody else has already said, even saying that was not as smooth as if I had somebody on the air. It’s not scripted but you can script your show. I don’t like to do that. I talk off the top of my head. I get some great sound bites that I could use but maybe not.
When you’re speaking alone, I think the hardest part for me is at the beginning of the show what I do is when they get on my show, I’ll introduce them, read their bio and we start to chat. Later, depending on if I have 1 or 2 people on the show, I don’t know usually. I see how the shows go. If I decide to have 1 or 2, I didn’t create the intro to discuss who’s on the show on that day to get people interested. That’s the part where I’m speaking alone when it’s later. I have the hardest time doing that for some reason to say who’s on the show and what we’re going to talk about.
Sometimes I have to redo that 3 or 4 times. It drives me crazy. I don’t know why that’s so hard for me. A lot of people will start to contact you to get people on your show. PR people are contacting me constantly. I get people signing into my site looking to be on the show. I have an outgoing message that says, “If you meet the requirements, we’ll get back to you,” because I get too many people who will have weird content that has nothing to do with what my show’s about contact me.
You want to make sure they’re a good match for your show. You have something that says, “I’m sorry, we can’t have everybody on the show.” That’s important that you take a look and you build good relationships with the PR people so that they know who to send to you. When you’re planning things, you have your content calendar. On ScheduleOnce, I’ll go in and I’ll pick the times. I will allow the show to be scheduled and take holidays off. It’s almost always a new show but I take a couple of weekends or weeks during the holidays where I’ll have reruns.
You can have some content that’s evergreen. This is an evergreen type of show until there’s no such thing as a podcast or whatever. This is constant. As long as you have constant evergreen content, you can replay these kinds of shows over more than once. They’re good things for reruns. One thing I found was that there’s a lot of stuff that I liked that they put into my transcribed shows that I hadn’t been doing like tweetable moments, visuals and bullet points.
I think that it’s nice to look at a bunch of people’s blogs that they’ve set up from their shows to see what they share, what they conclude, pick and choose what you want to have on your site from the show. You can also have a lot of different areas on your website like landing pages that you might mention. Refer back to your website when you’re on the air but you’re going to need to buy maybe some site URLs if you’re giving away certain things or landing pages in general. It’s something to think about.
You can also have affiliates or be an affiliate and have a lot of different aspects. I recommend looking up for affiliate programs if you want to have people be affiliates for new products. With me, I have assessments. I have landing pages for that. Think about the kinds of things you want to talk about when you’re referring to your site.
When people are trying to get on the show, it’s important that they send me their one sheet. They have types of things that they include like their bio, picture, questions. It’s good to give an example of what you’d like to people if you have one like, “This is a bio that works great. This is a picture we’d like to see. This is the question,” but you don’t have to have that. The best people know what to send when they give you their information and they don’t always. That’s why I put it in the calendar invitation of what I’d like.
Once they get into your ScheduleOnce app, you can connect that to AWeber or whatever database that you use. You keep track of everybody. I like to keep a personal database on ACT because it’s an old program and I’m used to it and I love it, but I have AWeber as well. It’s good if you send newsletters. Make sure whatever you send to your database adds value. You don’t spam or overwhelm them.
They’ve opted in and all that if you do that. I noticed I go on a lot of people’s shows and they’ll automatically put me into a mailing database. I haven’t signed up for anything. Even if they’re on my show, they put me in their database. I don’t recommend doing that. You can grow your following through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. That’s what is helpful.
The more content you have out there, the more you like other people’s content and share what they’re doing, the bigger you can grow your following. Don’t make the mistake of having a sale in mind if you have somebody coming on your show. If you invite a CEO on your show because you want to get his business, that’s nice if that’s in the back of your head, but if that’s what you come across as what you’re doing, that’s bad.
I’ve never done that but I know a lot of people do that. They want to be hired by this company. I will interview this person and that’s what they do. If you’re going into it having a sale in mind, asking for favors, wanting to spam them and not showcasing them, that’s a huge mistake. If you are thinking about being on somebody else’s show to be a good guest, I always have good stories, refer to your site once in a while but don’t overdo it. You can say it at the end.
If they’re going to let you say it at the end, pay attention to time and talk in sound bites. Don’t have super long times where you have no break at all and you keep talking. You can always offer free information. That’s always a good thing, “Get a free chapter at my site if you go here and go there.” I don’t think you should meet prior to the show. It takes away from it. Jumping in and having a lively conversation is the best way at least is for me. I hope that this was helpful to you. I hope you found this interesting. I think it’s fun to talk about this stuff.
I like to thank Gayle for being my guest. I get many great guests on the show. If you’ve missed any past episodes, please go to DrDianeHamilton.com for more information. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Gayle Martz
- It’s In The Bag
- Bouncing Back
- No Pet Left Behind
- iTunes – Take the Lead Radio
- iHeart – Take the Lead Radio
- Curiosity Code Index
About Gayle Martz
If you’ve ever taken a pet with you on a plane, then you have Gayle Martz to thank.
Gayle invented the iconic SHERPA bag — creating the soft-sided pet carrier category — and led a successful business for decades that she started from scratch. Now, she continues to advocate for a world that responsibly welcomes pets wherever their humans go, and advises companies and government agencies on pet-friendly policies, just like she did starting with American Airlines years ago.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!