Next up we have a spotlight on our speaker, Lori Rochino, who will be hosting a roundtable discussion ”How to Podcast to Create Authentic Conversations, Build Your Brand and Grow Your Influence.”
Lori Rochino’s own struggle with clutter, overwhelm and information overload led her to the declutter coaching and productivity world where she aims to use the 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle) in almost everything she does. She is the the author of Fifty Shades of Simple: How to Prioritize in the Age of Information Overload. Her professional background is in marketing communications in financial services and startups. Her work has appeared in both national (SUCCESS, Huffington Post, YFS Magazine) and local (Philadelphia Style Magazine, Wyomissing Neighbors Magazine and Examiner) outlets. She is the host of Simply Designed Life Podcast, created to serve mostly entrepreneurial women who want to simplify their busy lives in order to make room for the things that really matter. The show includes inspiration, motivation and everyday tips to help us live according to our values and purpose so we can truly thrive and help others thrive as well. The show seeks to provide coverage from amazing entrepreneurs, creatives, world travelers, and game changers with platforms both big and small. Visit and “like” the Simply Designed Life Podcast Facebook Page. Connect with her @LoriRochino on Twitter and Instagram. Visit lorirochino.com and subscribe to her newsletter for weekly updates and free Simply Designed Life E-Course, 4-Day Kickstarter to Zen-Like Productive Habits!
Here’s what Lori had to say about her passion for minimalism and podcasting:
What draws you to podcasting and blogging about minimalism, professional life, and home life?
While I love writing—I was an English major at Chestnut Hill College in Philly back—I was also getting frustrated with it. I’d do all this work, research, interviewing, file story for client or post on own blog, get a rush from all the social media shares, likes and mentions for a few days, then hear crickets. I felt that you were only as good as your last article, and you had to keep at it at all times. While comments are great, I felt I really couldn’t connect with the reader in the way I wanted to so I decided to try the podcast medium. Audio seemed like a good fit—especially during those times when my extroverted self, wanted to come out and mingle—not just read screen comments.
I also wanted to create a space to deep dive into certain topics in a way that was easier and more spontaneous, less contrived than writing. By just talking to an expert or two, it’s easier to have an actual conversation than to research from 20 different articles and get overwhelmed in the process.
In your own words, how can minimalism be applied while developing an online presence?
The nature of the online world is that there are just WAY too many shiny objects: text, email, pings, notifications, phone calls, the latest development strategy from such-and-such expert, and so these things can cause us to be reactive. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, so minimalism is a great tool to help decide what’s not important—particularly when building an online personal or business brand. Minimalism allows to get rid of that clutter so that we could better see the big picture. It can help not only all areas of life, but help in defining the goal for having an online presence. Which audience does you or your business want to connect with? What kind of call-to-action do you want to happen as a result of your online presence? One may have a plan for how to accomplish this, but with technology changing constantly, it’s a challenge to stay on track. Clearing out the non-essential tasks can help one gain clarity on what is important and what’s priority. If you know what’s important, it will be easier to tackle the smaller, day-to-day tasks making decisions for things like branding, email list and the content you decide to put out!
How is podcasting similar and different from writing through a blog?
Let’s start with similar. You as a personal or business brand have a core, unique, selling proposition—a message that’s the core the essence of what you’re all about. You have a certain goal or call-to-action (CTA) you want to initiate, so the message is not necessary going to change. So, the essence of the message or brand story is usually consistent. That same message can be communicated in a variety of outlets, whether a blog or podcast. Written blog and audio blog are types of medium, different ways and outlets can amplify the message to connect with the ideal audience to build one’s brand and influence. Both podcasting and blogging are readily available, self-publishing tools you could use at any time. The beauty of it is you no longer have to wait for a traditional publisher or radio station to get your message out there. You don’t have to wait for “them” to choose you. You get to choose yourself! And the processes for both are relatively straightforward once you overcome the initial learning curve of learning how to use them. Even the editing process for “cutting tape” on a podcast I find similar to that of writing in that I’ll only keep whatever is essential to keep the integrity of an episode for the audience’s sake the same way I would for a written article.
As for how they are different, the written blog as a medium is meant for the eyes, which mostly scans content. It’s easier to consume by just opening a web browser on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. The problem is, it’s easy to lose focus. We’re used to having 10+ browser tabs open, along with our iPads and iPhones out, and so with written blogs, the headlines you write need to be powerful and seductive enough to catch the attention of a reader in about 3-5 seconds, otherwise your reader moves on. The medium is easier to work with because you could just write a blog today and have it up and running and hit “publish” on a post. There isn’t a huge learning curve.
Podcasting on the other hand is a medium that’s meant for the ears and can either complement the written blog, or act as standalone content for another intended call-to-action or desired outcome for your ideal audience. With podcasting, you have the listener’s attention as it is more focused and concentrated. Your audience can hear your brand’s message in your earbuds, headphones or in the car. Granted, they may be driving, or going to the gym, or working out walking and doing errands while listening to you, but the medium is such that you don’t have 20 browsers up like the written blog post.
It also provides another option for consuming content. Sometimes you don’t have the time to sit down and read, so if there’s an audio component, it’s easy to just throw it on and listen to while there’s downtime.
There is a tougher learning curve though to creating a podcast unless you’ve had direct radio, multimedia or video type experience. This is probably why there are less podcasts than blogs, and many don’t get past the seventh episodes. It can be hard work!
Beginning a podcast can be hard — How do you find relevant content you know followers would enjoy?
I believe it starts from within your or your brand’s DNA. It starts with your message, your thoughts, you bringing your own uniqueness or unique selling proposition (USP) for business owners, and bringing that authenticity, even vulnerability where appropriate, can help in get that message across to connect and build a relationship with your audience.
Cliché but true, content is king, storytelling is important, as long as you’re authentic, and find fresh angles for what your main message is, you could always find relevant, entertaining content, whether based on a trend, what pisses you off about a topic, what you love about a topic, client case studies, etc.
Don’t expect to always have all your ducks in a row though in terms of content. As you know, tech and life for that matter is constantly evolving, and as you learn, grow and evolve with your voice, your audience has the benefit of seeing your brand evolution and learning from it. It’s okay to change it up or not have it seem “perfect” compared to the content already out there.
Really, if you enjoy the content yourself, find it exciting or fascinating, the audience you’re meant to serve will find it interesting too for the most part. People can tell if you’re not into enough, so as long as you convey your passion and interest in your own authentic voice and are consistent about it, you should always be able to provide valuable content.
What are three tips you would give to someone looking to begin a podcast to boost their brand or business.
- Decide and stick to a level of committed action. While it’s great to pull out stellar content, having consistency is actually better so you don’t risk losing traction in the podcast production process or your audience’s attention. Schedule in the time when you can to learn the basics, and commit to a time frame whether it be 3 months with 3 episodes, or a weekly show for 6 weeks to start, decide on something and stick to it.
- Start small. If just beginning, you could just record 5 minutes to start, and increase the duration with each episode. I myself did 5 minutes the first episode, 15 or so the second and it kept increasing with about 20-30 minute weekly shows being released weekly.
- Don’t get bogged down by tech. Start with where you are with what you have. Don’t go all fancy at once, unless you already know what you want, where you’re going and have experience. Practice with friends, family, colleagues or existing network with the free software like audacity or GarageBand. Get a cheap mic and just start. If you already have a blog, which most of you probably do, and you don’t have time to create more content for audio, start by just reading aloud and recording existing content. You’ll get a feel for what your “speaker voice” style is and how you sound, what you’re comfortable and not comfortable doing.
I know you said three, but here’s a bonus. Don’t get stuck on perfectionism, because you will get absolutely NOTHING done. Realize, it’s all trial and error and you won’t know for sure if podcasting is for you unless you try. Don’t forget, you could always change things later on.
Lori’s spirited discussion about podcasting will be in one of our afternoon roundtable sessions. Be sure to reserve your NEPA BlogCon ticket before they disappear – time is running out! Thank you for your time, Lori!