Chasing The Bright Lights

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As I write this I may or may not have healthcare. If you're young and reading this, like fresh out of highschool young, you probably don't care yet. If you're older, like you hate your job because you've been there so long -- healthcare might be one of the things keeping you at your job besides the paycheck.

To be honest, I may not have health care and about 5k in credit card debt -- I may not even have a job and have chosen instead to be a freelance podcast producer as a way to put food the table, but i'm just thankful I don't have any kids or a wife.

This would make my situation a lot harder to live out and grow past.

Living in a live/work office for a home on a two-year lease and add to that a three year lease for a 2018 car of the year with all the bells and whistles. I’m without a clue on how to make all these ends meet. So how did I get here?

It's simple. It's a mix of making a lot of mistakes and lying to myself here and there--from not being true to who I am and what I want actually want from life to taking big risks without calculating too far ahead or at all. Trusting my gut, as they say.

See I want to be famous--I used to confidently believe I wanted to be famous for singing or acting and I dedicated damn near 14 plus years of life to the pursuit of this "happiness". So far I've recorded at least 100 songs only 3 of which had ever been published. Self published at that and I've been in two bands and a few partnerships with a couple of producers. None of these projects ever grew legs enough to be taken seriously by anyone but the people involved in making the music.

To say the least, i'm a bit bitter and disappointed in myself. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret it and that's mostly because regret won't change a thing about the past. If anything, I've met some of my favorite people in life because of these choices.

From making a best friend or two to meeting my only two girlfriends at different periods in the journey, chasing the bright lights has given me many gifts in the form of people that i'm lucky to have ever met in this world full of chaos and political gossip.

I'm only 29 years old but if I ever met my 14 year old self -- I'd probably think that's old and mostly because i'm afraid of getting any older. When I watch elderly people who have trouble crossing the street and hold up traffic, something deep inside of me is buried even deeper. Fear.

For two reasons. If they're that old and crossing the street on their own, chances are high they didn't end up rich. In fact, chances are high that they ended up alone too. Obviously no one is caring for them as they work to cross the street. Not a butler, nurse or family member. Just alone.

The second reason is that their bodies aren't working the way they used to anymore -- so health is an issue and it gets in the way of living a good life.

Ironically, my desire to be famous drives me into such a work-a-holic frenzy that I never make ANY plans -- including making plans with friends or enjoying life at the beach, a park, or even going for a hike. All the reasons people usually want strong and healthy bodies. So, I suspect I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

To add to the irony, my father fell into full blown illness by the time I was 8 years old -- that illness is known as Lou Gherigs disease or ALS. This disease was made famous by the social media viral contest known as the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The reason I say it's ironic is because ALS completely paralyzed my father in every way except his mind and eyes so living a normal life was out of the picture fast. So, here I am a healthy able bodied adult male who fears growing old and unhealthy -- who doesn't take advantage of his health in any way and aimlessly makes efforts at becoming world famous because he believes deep down that the fame and influence that comes with will make him happy.

It's ironic because I know it won't make me happy and I know that the dream isn't reachable if I don't make it more specific -- and even then fame is a crapshoot.

So those are a few reasons why you might want to care if I have health care or not -- if you have health care or not because famous or not that age is coming. Life has a way of making sure that happens and no religion or doctor has yet to find the antidote for it — since the dawn of civilization.

A few questions come to mind that need to be asked right now -- How does one live a life of a purpose and can a person actually know their purpose?

Does it matter how old you are or does that affect your ability to live your purpose?

Should you quit your job or stay and deal with what's going on inside of you that's making you feel miserable at work?

How about staying in school or dropping out?

Chase fame or live in the shadows?

All of the questions lean on extremes of emotion. The trend is pretty clear.

People never really talk about how extreme it is to make a decision with certainty. Sure, you could find a way to argue that not every decision is extreme but is that really true in regards to making choices about how you should live your life?

Any person who takes the time to ask if the way they're living their life is the right or wrong way has taken an important step. An extreme step.

This type of question is aimed at your fundamental beliefs about yourself, others and life as whole. Even if you take no action the question is extreme.

One of the reasons I don't have too many close friends, no matter how outgoing I appear to the world, is because not too many people invest enough energy in the direction of this question.

I'm confident that my intuition is accurate because I go out of my way whenever I meet people to engage them in this idea in a manner that is hardly noticeable because of my background as entertainer.

From making corny jokes at the expense of my own ego, to deflate the defenses people put up at social gatherings, or behaving assertively as an intellectual to establish myself as a person worthy of being hypothetically placed at the top of a social gathering hierarchy. EIther way, when done correctly it puts people in a disposition to listen to enough of a degree that I'm given a look at their character as a person.

This doesn't mean i'm good at math or that i'd win every argument -- when I say intellectual i'm referring to the ability to understand from a top level view what the social gathering would see as the highest moral position possible at the gathering.

There's something fascinating that happens when you don't fight for the Alpha male or Alpha female position in a group while simultaneously not allowing yourself to be put into line as a follower of the group.

To lone wolf personalities -- this is second nature and hardly begs to be examined as long as it works. It's in my nature to intuitively make sense of things at all times so concepts as abstract and highest oral positions at a social gathering happen under the radar of my awareness or intentions. It's just how I operate.

A friend of mine named Chris Lee once argued that it takes a real genius to be a successful fool. Whether that his original thought or not I can't say but i'm glad he shared that thought with me because it makes good sense in a Machiavelli sort of way.

So, making a decision is just like the saying that goes -- when you say yes to one thing you're saying no to another. It's binary and black and white and extreme.

Yes, life has shades of grey so where does that leave the statement I made in the paragraph just before this one?

Who cares?

Only someone who is really at the end of their rope and truly has the desire to live their life on purpose would have read this far -- anyone else has better things to do with their time. For example, maybe they're enjoying their life in a carefree manner without asking such complicated questions that us overthinking souls tend to do.

So, what now? What can you do with this information? How can you apply it practically? Well, it depends on what you want out of life.

Part of the challenge of living on purpose is being content with what you're not doing, what you say no to when you said yes to something else. No fear of missing out. No looking back.

It took my 14 years of self help to realize I wasn't going to the books for the advice they gave me but for the questions they helped me raise.

My mentor Joe Apfelbaum once told me that there is nothing worse than the right answer to the wrong question. This idea implies that the question is important than the answer.

So, if you're looking for answer you're putting the cart before the horse. If you're looking for a question -- you've got the right idea.

You are as unique as you are similar to every person in this life. Put your pants on one leg at a time, eat, shit and sleep. Shit, shave and shower. Yet, the order of your experiences shape everything you've become and are becoming.

The way you interpret your experiences and relate it to what's happened in your life and what could happen in your life is all you, baby.

So I can't give you what you're looking for but I hope i've helped you think of some questions you might ask yourself -- hopefully it leads to more questions and efforts of discovery.

In this case, the process is more important than the product because the process is the question and the product is the answer.

We assume that we can only know if we've lived a good life once we die -- I think we may never know and it's probably better to assume that we never will know if our choices were the right choices.

Imagine going bowling with a curtain over the pins or playing video games with the tv monitor off so that you can't see what you're doing.

This is life -- to a large degree so we have to re-evaluate the way we're keeping score in life if we want to enjoy it.

Keep in mind just because i'm making this argument doesn't mean i'm living life this way. I'm learning to live this way too. I'm in the process.

It's like the say -- the journey is what matters.

Most of us just want to make sure we're on the journey that matters but the question is who gets to decide which journey is the journey that matters?

To quote Shakespeare's Hamlet -- That is the question.
 

The subtle way podcasting fits into the world of B2B lead generation

The subtle way podcasting fits into the world of B2B lead generation

The opportunity in podcasting being a workable model to be used as a loss value lead generation channel still exists — its ROI is equivalent to your Minimum Viable Product and your invited guests need for your MVP.

If you’re interested in why I’m in a position to bring this this topic up for discussion — it’s because I’m in the podcast production business.

5 Reasons Your Family Doesn't Need Christmas Gifts This Year

5 Reasons Your Family Doesn't Need Christmas Gifts This Year

Today millennials are strapped for cash like never before as the job market moves further and further into the gig economy. Let’s not forget people are graduating with masters degrees but little work experience and almost crippling school debt. The thought of working at Starbucks after you wrote a 15 page thesis on the impact of artificial intelligence in the digital marketing industry for your communications final makes little sense. Overqualified is a real thing. Starbucks knows it and so do you. So, what can you do about gifts for the holiday? Keep the following 5 things in mind for the holidays.

How To Tell A Story With Video

Recently spoke to a colleague of mine trying to get his recording studio on the map for would be recording artists located in Hollywood, CA. 

My colleague has a regular clientele and his recent investment in a suite of film post production tools has inspired him to find more clients. I told him that this is a perfect opportunity to apply Local SEO tactics but he'll need a strategy and KPI's to make sure he understands whether it's working or not.

After grabbing a pen and paper to outline our goal and strategy I wanted to give him a visual tool to understand the power of storytelling in marketing.

This video of the New Google Pixel 2 effortlessly tells the story of a day in the life with a Pixel 2 at your hands. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot0O9iSxzgQ

Just like this video depicts what happens outside of a game of practice -- all brands should follow this lead. I suggested to my colleague that he include the things you do before and after a session. People want to be family, not customers. Think of the ice breaking banter before a recording or mixing session and then what happens as you go to eat afterwards.  This type of storytelling can help tremendously. Those are important brand representations that can only be done with video. :-)

How To Book A Guest For Your Podcast

Deciding to launch a podcast is a great step forward if you want to build a new community and launch a new product. Yes, you can educate, inspire and entertain but for the most part there is usually a financial objective at hand if it’s a podcast is being launched by an entrepreneur or small business. 

    The good news is that you don’t have to feel bad about starting something only because there’s a promise of money involved (A good business person usually doesn’t feel bad here) because there is a lot of value created by a podcast and if there isn’t a good deal of value the chances of the podcast helping you achieve your goal are slim to none. 

So, let’s take the first step and launch a podcast, if you don’t know what it’s going to be about the first read my article on deciding the subject of your podcast. 

 

    The rest of this post takes it for granted that you’ve already decided what the podcast is about and that you’ve hired a production professional or team. If you haven’t hired a team yet or don’t know what kind of team you would need read my article on choosing the right team for launching a podcast. 

    Once you have the team in place and you chose your topic, it’s time to choose who you will invite as guests to your podcast. Keep in mind there are different formats for a podcast that you can choose to do and not all of them involve finding a guest to interview. 

The formats that typically involve guests are the interview, the roundtable and the documentary types. 

 

    For all of these mentioned above you can develop a strategy for how you plan to reach out to them--the first strategy that comes to mind is to take an interest in the work of a professional who complements what you’re trying to achieve with your podcast and find a specific example of something they’ve done and make your first point of contact with them about that work. If they respond positively invite them to explore the idea of being a guest.

 

So here’s the to do list: 

  • Use social media like Twitter or LinkedIn as a channel of communication and reach out to your targeted guest. 
  • Make sure to have an understanding of how their work relates to what you hope to achieve before reaching out to them in any fashion. 
  • Make all your interactions with them as easy as possible to make it a positive experience every time. 
  • If they agree have an outline that they can follow to help them prepare for your recording session and this helps get the most out of them because they’ll know what isn’t relevant to your podcast audience. 
  • Ask them if there’s anyone they might know who would make a great guest for your podcast 
  • Repeat this process with each guest until you have reached your episode goals.

 

    If you’re looking for a template to use on social media or linkedin I would ask you to take a deeper look at why you want a template? If you did the work and took the time to learn about your guest simply making the mention of their work and the effect it had on you is enough. 

You want to personalize your outreach if you expect them to share the most valuable resource of the 21st century, Time. 

Even 15 minutes is a big ask these days so it’s worth it for the right guest to invest in them first. If you have any questions or would like to ask me to brainstorm with you feel free to contact me at philliplanos@gmail.com also feel free to add me on LinkedIn

5 Team Members To Hire When Launching A Podcast

When it comes to launching a podcast one of the most important aspects involved is choosing the team that will help you meet your goal to launch. One of the best examples I’ve found for understanding what a good team looks like comes from a book I once read called, Connected by James H Fowler. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

Imagine your house is on fire. Luckily, a cool river runs nearby. But you are all alone.
You run back and forth to the river, bucket in hand, 
toting gallon after gallon of water to splash on your burning home. 

Unfortunately, your efforts are useless. Without some help, you will not be able to carry water fast enough to outpace the inferno. 
Now suppose that you are not alone. You have one hundred neighbors, and, lucky for you, they all feel motivated to help. 
And Connected each one just happens to have a bucket. 
If your neighbors are sufficiently strong, they can run back and forth
to the river, haphazardly dumping buckets of water on the fire. 
A hundred people tossing water on your burning house is clearly better than you doing it by yourself.

The problem is that once they get started your neighbors waste a lot of time running back and forth.
Some of them tire easily; others are uncoordinated and spill a lot of water; one guy gets lost on his way back to your house. 
If each person acts independently, then your house will surely be destroyed. 
Fortunately, this does not happen because a peculiar form of social organization is deployed: the bucket brigade. 
Your hundred neighbors form a line from the river to your house, passing full buckets of water toward your house and empty buckets toward the river.

Not only does the bucket brigade arrangement mean that people do not have to spend time and energy walking back and forth to the river; 
it also means that weaker people who might not be able to walk or carry a heavy bucket long distances now have something to offer.
A hundred people taking part in a bucket brigade might do the work of two hundred people running haphazardly.

 

    When it comes to producing a podcast the right team is important to your successful launch and maintenance. While it isn’t rocket science, it does require a little bit of thinking and mapping out. Like any content with a goal, a strategy is required. Part of this strategy involves identifying what team members you’ll need for your particular podcast goals.

A few standard team members will be: 

-Audio Engineer for post production

-Graphic designer for visual assets used in promotion of your episodes

-Social Media Managers and Strategists

-Content Strategist to manage what the above mentioned teams have created

-Project Manager and Email Campaign Manager to keep communication strong between the different teams and Audience


    Once you have this team in place not only will your podcast succeed but a majority of your digital marketing. One of things to understand is that choosing to launch a podcast is the modern day version of launching a blog. 

Granted, podcast’s have been around since 2004 and even before then some version of the podcast was around--the only difference is that now it can be utilized as an additional marketing channel. The latest permission marketing rules still apply, please do not use this channel to spam or create junk without any value. 

 

Make sure your podcast is either entertaining, educational or inspirational. If it offers none of these value propositions then it’s a waste of time and energy. 

 

    On the other hand if it can offer even just one of these types of value you may find yourself making new friends across the digital space because of how intimate this platform is in nature. When people listen to you in places no other channel can then you have a relationship with people that no other channel has other than competing podcasts. 

    If you did your due diligence and identified why people should listen to your podcast and not another then you shouldn’t have any concern about competing podcasts. You team is the backbone to your podcast campaigns, themes and outreach. If you have any questions about which of these team members to find first I suggest you find yourself a decent audio engineer. 

If your podcast doesn’t sound good it doesn’t matter what the rest of the team is doing. For any questions you might have or if you just want to get in touch feel feel to email: philliplanos@gmail.com or find me on linkedin

Why Start A Podcast | Building A New Brand

My clients often here me hail the mantra "Audio content is a good strategy for backlinks. In the long run the organic SEO game pays off." 

Podcasts are able to facilitate the reinforcement of your brand and place you directly in front of your audience.  Consider the fact that video and blogs force your attention to focus not allowing for multi-tasking in a world of multi-taskers.

Where as audio content, like podcasts, audiobooks and music offer the freedom to people to do other things like walk their dog, even take a shower. 

Not to get all weird on you or anything. 

Taking advantage of this content format while podcasts are on the rise would be a smart move. You can reach your audience, build connections, and reinforce your brand. You can even take the transcripts and repurpose them as blog posts.

That's the most important thing. That's our mission. To get your message heard.