EP 390 – Podfest Expo Family with Chris Krimitsos

NCS 390 | Podfest Expo

NCS 390 | Podfest Expo

 

Scott interviews Chris Krimitsos who is the founder of Podfest Expo. They take us into what happens in that event, what to expect, and when to expect the next. They also got down to it and talk about podcasting and its growth over the past couple of years. Chris shares his own background of doing events to phasing into podcasting, giving some insights on the biggest things people struggle with when starting something and providing some suggestions to overcome them. Seeing the growth of his event, he talks about some of the things that still surprise him until now. Finally, Chris shares some great advice to those who want to jump in with podcasting on how to find their message and their voice.

Listen to the podcast here:

Podfest Expo Family with Chris Krimitsos

I’m honored to have an amazing guy that may not know what an impact he has had on the show, believe it or not. I went to an event down in Orlando, Florida. That is a family atmosphere and so close to what my Note Mastermind is like. I met this amazing guy there who’s been putting it on for years. I’m a big believer that if you’re going to be podcasting and looking to start a podcast, this is the one must-attend event you must go to. I’m honored to have Chris Krimitsos. He is the Founder of the Podfest Expo. Thanks for joining us. I know you’ve been busy. You’ve got a little one on the way here as well too. You are a man and a legend. I would say one of the biggest advocates for the podcasting community. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us.

Thanks, Scott. Thanks for asking me to be on. What people don’t realize is I don’t get asked to be on a lot of podcasts because people assume I’m busy, which I am. I am still honored when friends and peers invite me onto their podcast. Thanks for having me.

You come from the background of doing a lot of events. Why don’t we talk a bit about your background and how it phased into podcasting?

My background originally is media. I started in the real estate circle. It all seems the real estate circles breed a lot of people. I would go to real estate events, like Larry Harbolt has a Monday night meeting in Tampa, Florida that’s legendary. It’s been going on for many years every Monday night. I started going to those real estate events and then I figured, “How can I differentiate myself?” and like what you’re doing. Back then it was easier to get on TV. I got on terrestrial TV and I created a show called Millionaire Mindset where I would interview a lot of these real estate speakers that would come through the town. All of them had different topics and niches that they focused on. We started The Bleepin Truth. The Bleepin Truth was a political debate show that was extremely controversial for the time. Long story short, the shows were doing great. We had a fight break out on the political debate show. One of the guests left the set and threw a chair at the other one on live TV. I had to get one tough First Amendment attorney and he represents the adult industry so he’s a great First Amendment attorney to represent me and my plight at the station. I was able to get my show back, but a year later they took me off the air.

It was all on a technicality and if anyone knows anything about corporate America, they’re always going to get you on a technicality. I learned what P&P means, which is policy and procedure. I would read that book and find the loopholes. Eventually, they wrote a loophole out of the book. I didn’t realize they passed the amendment under the cover of darkness and it took me out about a year later. What I did was I took the real estate show. Even though it was more of a business show, but real estate in Florida in ‘05, ‘06 was the topic. I took that show and we created a community of like-minded individuals back then and we called it the Tampa Bay Business Owners. I didn’t realize this, but my show had built a lot of influence locally. I sent out an email to 300 people and I got 99 people to show up. I had an immense amount of influence in the local area and we built this community of entrepreneurs. Out of that community, we would create events based on the feedback we got. I averaged about 125 to 150 events a year for the first few years and then we slowed down.

Within that course of many years, I did over 2,000 events. We were talking about meetups, were talking about symposiums with 500 attendees, but all local business owners had to buy tickets to the events where they were members. It was a lot of work. We did a lot of different masterminds and I learned a lot through the event process. During one of those events, one of the speakers talked about podcasting. My one good ear perked up and I said, “That sounds like my old media background.” Even though I was doing live interviews of entrepreneurs in front of 100 people seated in a theater, I was looking to get back into the TV game or the radio game. I knew it had changed. I was looking for an opportunity. In podcasting, the audio medium seemed a lot easier to get started. That’s when I went home to my wife, “I’m going to start podcasting,” and she said, “I want to start a podcast.” We had a great business consultant and said, “You both can’t start one at the same time.” We said, “Why not?” He goes, “It’s because you’re doing 150 events a year. You can’t take your eye off the ball, both of you and think it’s still going to go.”

My wife had a great niche, Biz Women Rock!. I said, “I’ll be your marketing manager and I’ll get the psychic benefits of helping you launch your podcast.” I still didn’t know what show I wanted to do, because I was a generalist. Her show took off. She’s one of the top podcasters in the world, but I saw my wife put 30, 40 all-nighters where she didn’t sleep trying to figure out the technology. I said, “There’s got to be an easier way.” After we had done two workshops, I said, “Let’s organize everybody do a yearly conference. Let’s do a meetup here locally and let’s see how that would grow.” Now, we’re celebrating a few years. Over 1,000 attendees will be at Podfest 2019. It’s all happened out of wanting to help my wife and other podcasters through their growth cycles. In the process, I have seven or eight podcasts. You never hear me talk about them. I’m more of a producer. I love producing my podcast and have other people working on them with me.

You do have several ones. You’ve got a little variety of little niches aspect that you found out there. We were visiting in San Antonio with Tom at the San Antonio Small Business Expo. One of the great things you talked about and I’ve brought this up as well too because I run a snitchy podcasts with what I do in the real estate community. We were talking about how there was a couple and they’ve faded off and vice versa. Hopefully, we got a few more people that are going to come on consistently and doing the show. That’s the biggest thing a lot of people struggle with is they like to start something and then they have pod fade or they don’t stick with it consistency-wise. Any suggestions you can give to somebody to stick with something or to keep rock and rolling things to help them be clear on their message or any tips?

NCS 390 | Podfest Expo

Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business

Early on in my business career, I had the pleasure of bringing in the author of Guerrilla Marketing Jay Conrad Levinson. He has since passed, but he did two keynotes for me. I have to release those. The recording of him is amazing. He said something that was amazing. If you don’t know who Jay Conrad Levinson is, he created the cowboy for the Marlboro cigarettes. He created the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, DieHard battery, on and on. The guy who created some of the most iconic brands we all know. He said something that I’ll never forget. He said, “I hate to say this, but this is true. Bad branding with consistent marketing will beat exceptional branding with inconsistent marketing.” Consistency over time builds trust. When you have the trust of the public, your sales increase.

For instance, Scott for you, you and I are talking about podcasting. You’re asking my history, but you have behind you We Close Notes. They think of you as The Note Guy, even though right now we’re not talking about notes. Your branding behind you is consistent. Being consistent about what your brand is and if you’re a podcaster, do it consistently. My advice to you is if you start and you find that you want to change things up, it’s okay to pause and then restart. When you restart, try to consistently because the consistency is what’s going to win over time. At the same time, we’re in a period of time where you could find a niche and there’s no competition. You could inconsistently do it and still win because you have no one to play against.

It’s such a growing a genre of media out there. People are used to TV, people are used to radio. People are used to email marketing, lead pages, but the podcasting side is the next new frontier. Podcasts are the next generation of marketers out there. You do a great job at Podfest about blending the audio side of things. You also brought on some of the YouTube guys or YouTube experts that are using video primarily for stuff like that. Where do you see things going here in the next couple of years?

You’re going to see a lot more of the voice-activated devices. We’re already as a culture started using those Alexa and Google Minis or whatever tools that are voice-activated. A lot more streaming, you’re doing streaming on Facebook and then your podcasting this out. There’s going to be a convergence of all of it. I see YouTubers jumping into the podcasting space. I see podcasters not by and large, but a few jumping into the YouTube space. You’re going to see it all converge and as we get into driverless vehicles. We still got some time before everybody is in driverless vehicles, but when that happens, that convergence is important. If my car is driving, I could watch something. I might rather watch Scott Carson’s podcast instead of listening to it.

That’s not going to happen in the next couple of years, but that’s going to happen around the corner after that. You want to play with all the mediums and you want to find what does well. Here’s what I found, dominate one medium. Let’s say you have trouble focusing. Find one thing that you’re good at. For instance, Scott, you have your podcast and what you’re doing is you’re promoting it through social media. You’re good at multitasking, but let’s say someone’s not as good as you multitasking. Have your podcast and then find your Instagram or your Facebook. Find the plus one that you’re good at that moves the needle and get good at that and then once you have time scale out to the next things. We’ve seen that with YouTubers and podcasters. The most successful ones are tunnel-visioned. As money starts coming in because they’ve built something great, they start implementing different verticals as they have more time and energy to put into that.

What’s been one of the biggest surprises that you’ve had from the last couple of years of running Podfest Expo? You’ve started small, having over 1,000 people.

I can’t tell you the names of the sponsors that we’ve been talking to. Companies that were on my wishlist are getting introduced to me, asking me to sponsor when I was not begging but I would send emails like, “You guys should be here.” It’s surprising me how big these companies in the billions of dollars are now paying attention to podcasting. Whereas a couple of years ago, they knew they needed to pay attention. When I say pay attention, they’re putting their money where their mouth is. It’s a pleasant surprise. I know that would happen, but it’s a pleasant surprise that they’re calling me because they know from people like yourself that our event’s quality and they want to be in front of it. I can’t release the names yet, we’re in negotiations. There’s a company out of China called Himalaya. They have 450 million users and they’re the Audible and the podcast player in one in China. What I enjoyed learning about them was they’ll have artwork on a train that might depict a story and that artwork is a QR code. You could put your phone up to the artwork and then listen to the story.

NCS 390 | Podfest Expo

Podfest Expo: I’d rather you start ugly than trying to figure everything out.

 

They’re doing high-end marketing. In the US, it hasn’t taken off. They’ve tested it, but Himalaya is coming into the US market. I’m happy about the competition because the more competition we have, the better it is for the podcasters because the tools are going to get better. There’s a lot of money in venture capital being invested. Most of these companies will not survive, but the cool thing is hopefully the best of the best survive. Right now you’re using a couple of tools to get this out to Facebook. Eventually, we almost want it to be seamless where maybe you’re just using Zoom or Facebook integrates it and you don’t have to think about setting up two or three things before we get on our call. That’s going to happen in the next couple of years.

You do an amazing thing the first night of Podfest. The first night you bring everybody together. Share a little about what you do because that’s one of the most valuable things about the event.

You and the attendees would call it speed networking. I would call them more of a strategic alliance. Everything I do is intentional. After many years of connecting business owners, we tested stuff out over and over. You’re the beneficiary of 2,000 events when you come to Podfest. What we do is I had an actuary. An actuary is someone that creates math equations to figure out weird things. When you look at pensions for when someone’s going to die and how much he has to pay, an actuary figures it out. I found an actuary from Wells Fargo. The guy as a hobby would go to events where they crack codes and trivia and stuff for a hobby. I said, “This is my guy.” I said, “I have a problem.” He goes, “What’s the problem?” I said, “We’ve done this speed networking thing where we match people chair to chair like you see in the movies. The problem is if half the room is talking, it’s tough for the other half to hear and then there’s a proximity thing. Now you’re changing too many chairs. Is there a way for us to put people in a roundtable, seven people per roundtable and only switch them once every fifteen minutes and never meet the same person again? If we could do four or five rounds?” He goes, “Let me take a crack at it.” He figured out this equation that I have.

I share everything, that’s the one thing I won’t share. It’s a trade secret. He figured out this amazing equation where you show up. You get a table number. It tells you what table to sit at. The part that I engineered was I orchestrate everything from the stage. That way you never have to worry about what your elevator speech is. All you have to do is tell the group your name, your company name and then whatever questions I asked you to answer and they’re simple questions. That’s strategic alliance. It brings everybody together. It is the kickoff of the event, but now you just met 30 people and we haven’t even started the meat of the event. That’s probably one of the greatest things that we do for Podfest and then we end with a gratitude ceremony. The audience becomes the closing keynote, which is unique.

Those are two definitely hugely unique things at your event that nobody else does. It makes some great connections at the roundtables and on the opening night. It helped Steph with the idea of doing the Furbabies Podcast. I guess she got tired of talking about my podcast. I started hearing everybody talk about everything else. She was like, “Nobody is talking about pets.” I was like, “You should do a podcast.” Kudos to that for the aspect of things there. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people that are jumping in with podcasts? Besides not being consistent, do they overthink the technology? Do they overthink the audio, the setup on things? It’s gotten a whole lot easier in a podcast than it was a few years ago.

They overthink everything. I have a book that’s coming out and the philosophy is simple. It’s two words, Start Ugly. I’d rather you start ugly than trying to figure everything out. I’m using the ATR2100. I have it connected to the computer. You’re using Zoom. When people ask me what I use, they’re always surprised to know that I don’t know how to use editing software. I tell them I use Zoom and some people will ask me, “It can’t be that easy.” I said, “It is for me.” I don’t want to complicate things. I learned this a long time ago. When we were building the Tampa Bay Business Owners early on, we’d get our friends who were tech savvy telling us, “You should get WordPress and then this plugin and that plugin and now you have your online community.” Every six months to a year, one of these plugins WordPress would update and the plugins didn’t communicate. I realized it was cheaper to pay some company that had an all in one solution, $99 a month or whatever. Now it’s a lot easier, back then there weren’t always industry leaders like we have now.

What I always tell people is don’t overcomplicate the simplicity of podcasting. Get one of these microphones that you’ll hear most of us recommend, they are dynamic microphones. They have USB capability. The other thing that people don’t do is they don’t niche down their topic. When you niche it’s so much easier to compete. I helped Tyler Sheff create Cash Flow Guys. He was already doing real estate. I said, “Real estate’s a great niche.” If you were to ask me now to compete with Tyler and Kevin Bupp, a couple of our friends, have grabbed a majority of that market share. You come in with We Close Notes. No one grabbed that yet. Scott comes in and now you’re pulling in big numbers. If someone’s coming to the real estate market, I highly recommend having a niche because that’s a broad one. If you don’t have a niche, then figure out how you’re delivering the information. What format might you have an advantage? We have a gentleman that’s a CEO, Dean Akers. He started doing video podcasts. You could upload video to iTunes. He’s getting 10,000 downloads a month because there’s not enough people video podcasting in iTunes. That little niche, a format change, helped him find a whole audience that was looking for short videos

Is there a time limit on the videos on the episodes in iTunes?

His are short like ten, fifteen minutes. I don’t know much. A lot of us tried video years ago, but there was no audience there, now there is. That’s the other thing about timing. There is some luck to play. I’m big in making your own luck, but there’s some luck to play. A few years ago, a lot of us tried video. Nothing happened. All we heard was crickets. Here comes Dean, he doesn’t know any better. Had he asked us, we’d tell him, “Don’t bother. Don’t waste your time.” He tries it and he hits it out of the park because the listeners are savvier and the technology is easier for them to watch a video on their phone. Sometimes there’s some luck to play on being in the right place, right time. The other thing with your interview is to get right into the content. If you have a subject matter expert, introduce them and try and get into whatever it is that you want them to share right away.

You lose the audience if you dry too much stuff off. They click over something else when they’re there to get to the meat and potatoes of the episode.

Unless you have a fan base that’s here for you, it doesn’t matter who you have. That’s someone that’s pounded on the street, building up their celebrity. I do a podcast called Conference Cashflow Podcast. If I have someone on and they’re a specialist in retreats, I need to start with, “Tell me how you got into retreats.” If someone’s a mastermind specialist, tell them about your masterminds and you specialize in high-ticket items. “How did you get into the high-ticket item mastermind instead of the low-ticket item?” I explain the difference and then we get into the content. Instead of saying, “Tell me your life story. How’d you start in general?” People that are listening to my Conference Cashflow Podcast care about one thing, how to run their own conference in their live show, whatever it is and they want you to get into the content.

When’s the next Podfest taking place?

It’s March 7th to 9th in Orlando, Florida. PodfestExpo.com is the website. I highly recommend if you could, get stuff now. During Christmas, we have a lot of cool specials coming out. We’ve had a lot of people purchasing tickets. We’re going to have a lot of cool surprises for everybody. We have our treasure maps. Scott, I highly recommend you fill yours out. We’ll have $30,000 worth of prizes that we’re going to be giving away, which will double what we did in 2017. In 2017, we gave out a lot of stuff.

You did give us a lot of stuff out there, great vendors, great speakers and great sessions. You also had a Pecha Kucha. Talk about that a little bit because a lot of people if they get an opportunity to sit there and learn a lot about other podcasters, be guests on, have them on their shows or learn some of the things. That was great. I was honored to be a part of that in 2017. My five minutes, I felt pretty well.

Those are one of the greatest events we do because they always pack in. We’ll get 60 to 100 people watching the fellow presenters and you get five minutes to present your case, twenty slides. The slides automatically rotate every fifteen seconds. You could talk about anything that you’d like, anything you think is pertinent to your message. It’s a great place to get to know speakers and get to know one another as attendees. In 2019, the Pecha Kucha is only open to attendees, if you bought a ticket. We want the attendees to get to know each other even more. We’re opening it up to anyone that’s an attendee, plus it’s a big thing for us to produce. We know attendees at least are more invested in that because we have to collect everybody’s PowerPoints. We got to automate it. We’re excited to do our Pecha Kucha. People might know it as Ignite, that’s a brand it’s more formalized. The original intention and what it’s called is Pecha Kucha. It’s little five-minute speed round presentations where people get to share what is special to them.

NCS 390 | Podfest Expo

Podfest Expo: Be yourself. That’s the only thing you can truly be. If you come out and try to fake it, it’s going to crash and burn.

 

It’s a mini Ted Talk aspect of things.

If you hit a bad one, you know it’s going to be four minutes or five minutes. By the time they’re done, then the next one comes up and they’re usually amazing.

One of the things a lot of people struggle with is finding their voice of what they’re going to talk about. You talk about briefly on what is their unique aspect. A lot of people are like, “I want to try to be like Joe Rogan or I want to try to be like the guys on ESPN.” Be yourself, that’s the only thing you can truly be. If you come out and try to fake it, it’s going to crash and burn. Would you agree to that, Chris?

I’ll agree on that. The challenge with Joe Rogan, he’s one of the best interviewers on the planet. There are a couple of things that people don’t understand. He has built a 30-year career in entertainment. He has access to people that you might not. If you do want to have deep conversations with people, wherever you live you need to be what I call a production heavy show. You need to research who are the most interesting individuals in your local area and then you need to get them out. All of his interviews are live in a studio so it creates a different element. You could definitely do some great interviews via Zoom. He goes for two to three hours. There’s a lot of chemistry. Anyone could do what he does, but it will be a lot tougher for you so you got to be willing to put in the work.

What’s one of the best ways for people to leverage Podfest Expo who are coming onto it?

Connect with the people attending. I get people all the time like, “I don’t know if I want to podcast.” I’m like, “Are you doing anything online though?” They’re like, “Yes.” I go, “I’d recommend you come to meet some of the top influencers in the world.” Of the thousand attendees, we’ll have 200, 300 beginners. Which we have a whole startup workshop for the beginners. We’ll have some of the top YouTubers in the world there. Everybody comes to Podfest to connect and meet with their fellow peer group. It’s a special event. I’ve gone to other events where speakers are separated from the audience. What happens is you can’t network and create important connections. Podfest is different. We’re all one big family and we try and help each other. If someone’s acting douchey, they’re not going to fit into our group. Like you Scott, you came in and you were adding value. You’re bouncing all over the place, meeting people. You’re having a great time. We have a lot of introverts in our space. We rented even more space for 2019. There is space and quiet spaces that they could go relax, but people are friendly at Podfest. We want to make sure that you have a great time and that’s the philosophy of the whole event. You’ll meet a lot of amazing people making a great living through online mediums and tools as influencers.

Plus you can also get an active Facebook group as well too. That’s phenomenal during, before and after the event.

Facebook Group is amazing. We released one of the videos from The Roast of Dave Jackson. It’s Rob Walch’s birthday. We released his video of The Roast. Glen The Geek had his Radiothon. He goes twelve hours live and his whole community comes to life. It’s amazing what you can learn. What some of our podcasters do is amazing.

You were also part of International Podcast Day with Tom and Tracy Hazzard.

They’re awesome, Podetize and the whole company over there.

They do a lot of our productions. We’re partners with them on some stuff. That’s something a lot of people often overthink everything. I couldn’t know how to edit a podcast if I wanted to. I know how to upload it to Dropbox and that’s about it. Get out and do it. There are plenty of vendors. You got a lot of great people coming out that can help people with their business as far as the production side of it. It’s affordable. You’ve got hosting. You’ve got all sorts of different sponsors coming out to help them from the A to Z of getting a podcast going.

I know some people might not have the budget to hire editors and I get that they have to learn to do it until they have money. What baffles me is the majority of people have the money. I know they have the money because you know their profession. They’re flying different places. We get to see them on social media. They won’t invest $200 a month or whatever it is. I get some people don’t have it. The people that do have it and won’t let go of the control, I don’t understand that because they’re trying to control all aspects. Try an editor. It doesn’t go well, get another editor. For a low cost, you could have someone do your editing for you. There are people creating tools to make it even easier, but I wouldn’t let the technology stop you. When I do my interviews, the Zoom file will show up. I’ll save the audio because I don’t do a video side of it. I put it in my Dropbox folder and then my editor then takes it from there. He takes the intro and outro, pastes them together. They’ll put them up on Libsyn or whatever hosting you have. It’s not as hard as you think it is. Some of these words I’m saying might confuse people. It’s easy.

Are there any big surprises for the upcoming event?

I do, but I can’t share anything yet. What I could tell you is in 2017, we had William Hung from American Idol. We’re definitely stepping it up in 2019 coming up. There are going to be a lot of amazing individuals and creatives. We are doing a Roast of John Lee Dumas. He’s signed the paperwork so we’ll be roasting him at the end of the whole event, the EOFire community. As far as cool presenters, there are many. We haven’t released them all yet. We still have an update of our phase two, phase three speakers. We did phase one. You’re going to see a lot of people coming online. There are going to be some big names on the corporate side that you need to meet and then there’ll be some entertainment people.

We’re definitely looking forward to it, Chris. I don’t want to take too much of your day because I know you’re a busy man running all over the place. You have been a big advocate of a little movie that’s growing big leaps and bounds, The Messengers. Share a little about The Messengers.

NCS 390 | Podfest Expo

Podfest Expo: Investing money in a documentary can be an expensive endeavor. You don’t want to chip away at your retirement for it.

 

It’s been a couple of years now when we created The Messengers because we wanted to have a video representation of an audio medium. We wanted our relatives, our friends and our family that was asking us, “What is this podcasting thing? I don’t see it.” They literally were saying, “I don’t see it.” We created The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary. We entered a couple of film festivals in 2017. We did two semifinalists, one out of LA, one out of Sydney, Australia. We got chosen by two in Florida. We did well. It’s up on Amazon Prime, free for everybody. The Messengers is a podcast documentary in iTunes. It’s been amazing. I’ve always wanted to make a documentary film. I want to make a couple more, but I did learn that it costs a lot of money to do it and do it to the level that I like.

Investing money in a documentary can be an expensive endeavor. You don’t want to chip away at your retirement for it. If you have extra money, you put it aside and if it’s a side project you have a pool of money. We crowdfunded it and we were fortunate to get 110% of goal but as much as we crowdfunded it needed double what we crowdfunded. It’s an amazing thing, but it’s tough to make money on movies unless you have a back end. For us, luckily, we have Podfest but it’s a tough endeavor. Hopefully on January 1st, I might release it on Facebook for all of us to share and share with all our friends. The whole purpose of the movie is to get it out there.

It’s a great documentary, The Messengers. You can download it. I’ve watched it a couple of times. I enjoyed it from the get-go. It does paint a picture visually of what podcasters are dealing with and going through.

How has doing what you’re doing impacted your business We Close Notes?

It impacts it daily because I get phone calls, emails or text messages from many people that listen, that take tidbits from the show, tidbits from the episodes and they apply it to their business. I get that constantly. Monetary-wise, it’s helped us in a variety of ways. It helped us raise capital, several hundred thousand dollars in private capital raised from other people. It’s helped us with our webinar and coaching sales. I’ll you give an example. We had seven people in for private, high-end training. Three of them came across it because of the podcast. It’s been a significant addition to our bottom line, so much that I’ve tweaked up what I’m doing in 2019 to bring the podcast a little bit more at the front seat. I’m doing all usually here in the office. As we go out to Podfest, as we go out to other events that we’re going to, we’ll be doing live events with live episodes recorded and bringing guests on that are in the local community. That’s one of the big things for 2019 because it does add such a big value to it. It’s led to me getting booked on other podcasts which have helped us get the audience out as well.

Are you getting speaking gigs at other real estate events because of the notoriety?

I was already speaking quite a bit anyway. I’ve built a pretty good name for stuff like that. I’m getting asked on more podcasts a lot. We’re also helping market for those speaking gigs. I’m slowing down on my going out speaking because I travel a lot already.

Katie and I both are being more selective of where we go because you could only travel so much, then you’re going to travel where you would like to go. We’re doing everything through the internet. It’s amazing the world we live in.

In 2017, Steph and I took a three-week trip to Europe. We took a cruise and stuff like that. We had some guests hosts come on the show. Eight of our students rotated through these episodes and downloads didn’t drop, they boosted for that time period which was great to see. We’re going to definitely do that again when we take a vacation. We’re going to have a couple international episodes in January 2019. I’m speaking in the Bahamas at events. We’ll do an event live from there. We’ll be in Barcelona and Portugal. I’ll do a live episode from there as well too and some other places. It’s some fun stuff. We’re definitely using part of the podcast to get more bang for our buck. If I do travel again, let’s do a live episode or live Meetup and go from there.

When you say podcasts, are you also including your live streams on Facebook? For you, it’s all-encompassing?

It has doubled our audience. We’re under 200,000 downloads of The Note Closers Show in the first many months. If we go back to the views on Facebook Live, for our episodes are at about 100,000 if not more. Our videos across YouTube and Vimeo that we both use are coming up about another 80,000 to 90,000 as well there. Using the video to record it and then live streaming it and then sharing across the platforms has doubled our audience. We know our audience is 35 to 65. They may not always have the time or may not know what a podcast is, but they like to watch the video replays. On our YouTube channels where the average person watched, the view is two minutes on the video. Our average watch time is close to fourteen, fifteen minutes. That allows us to get a lot more feedback, a lot more actions from our audience as well.

I’m assuming what happens for you and correct me if I’m wrong, you’ll have someone. They’ll be like, “I’ve been watching you for the last few months. I figured I’d reach out to you now and I’d love to learn from you. I’ve been watching you since you began. You’ve never seen me comment or anything, but I’m ready to work with you.” Do you get a lot of that?

Every single day.

That’s a normal occurrence for anyone watching or listening to your podcast. My wife gets that too. You could call them cyberstalkers, but they’re not stalkers. They’re people that enjoy what you’re doing. They don’t even comment. They’re passive and when they’re ready a year from now, they’re like, “I’m ready to be coached. I’d like to join,” and it’s weird because in marketing you want to see people go through your funnel. What they’ve done is bypassed it by ingesting your content. They’re ready to go high-end and the sale is a lot easier because they already know you, trust you, like you. They want to know, “What am I getting when I enter this? Here’s my credit card. Let’s do it.” Do you get that?

I totally get it. I see many people who want the instant reaction. I only have 500 downloads. That’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week advertising. It’s a lot. You build from there. You never know when someone’s going to come across it. That’s why I like the fact of the video is out there and then the audio as well. It’s two dynamic platforms that people learn differently from. We’ve got some realtors that are watching us, some mortgage brokers and stuff like that. There’s a big niche for that aspect in local markets, like our guys over at Selling Sarasota, Ed and Shelley Panas. They do a great job with the local market interviewing local features. If I wanted to add another show, I’d be Eating Austin or things here locally. If I wanted to add something different, that’s what I would do. I don’t have the bandwidth for it. You never know who’s going to listen. I’ve had people reach out to me like, “You listen to my show? I’m honored that way. Do you want to be on?” You joked about, “You’re The Note Guy.” I got that originally years ago from sharing Facebook videos back before, but this has led to a whole different level of notoriety across the country.

NCS 390 | Podfest Expo

Podfest Expo: Starting ugly is probably the best antidote to overthinking anything.

 

Have you been offered for people to pay for sponsorship on your wall, over your left or right shoulders? You got to put a little sign, “Sponsorship available.” That’s got to be worth something.

I need another bookshelf I’m putting in there for all my books I get. It’s worked out well for some of our guests that have books. I’ll bring them on and like, “Give me 60, 100 your books to send out to my membership,” and they love it. I’ve had other things, some more trinkets. I’ll put the sign over there, but that’s a good idea like, “Get this spot here.” We’ll offer that up. We’ve got our sponsors.

That spot is worth something to somebody, especially for your niche. In 2019, I’ll be releasing the Start Ugly book. When it is, I’d love to come back and talk about that philosophy. It’s based on what you and I are talking about. I’ve heard a lot of consultants, strategists and they’ll tell people all kinds of convoluted stuff. I get that it works for that person, but starting ugly is probably the best antidote to overthinking anything. I don’t mean start lousy, all I’m saying is put all the stuff that’s fear-based in your mind aside and start. I get people to ask me all the time, “What if someone listens to my podcast?” I’ll look at them like, “You asked me what if someone listens to your podcast?” They go, “Yes.” I go, “That’s the whole point,” but that question is a fear-based question. It’s not a stupid question. What they’re telling you is, “I’m afraid of people judging me.”

If you think about that philosophy, it happens with you or me. We started companies. You and I are both bulls in a China shop, but there are moments where we’re like, “What if someone’s in there?” Usually, we’ll put aside like, “We’re going to do it anyways.” A lot of us, including me depending on what it is we get stuck sometimes overthinking something. Instead, we should be thinking, “Start ugly and perfect it as I go.” My daughter is three years old. She will go up on a slide and there are times that she falls off. As a parent, it’s not pretty to watch, but she masters it eventually and she’s always trying new stuff. If as little children we didn’t do that, we would never have survived.

Instead of, “What if it fails?” “What if it succeeds?”

That’s the other mindset. When we get older, our habits become more entrenched and it’s a lot difficult to transcend that. That’s your brain, the way it starts getting wired. You have to always remind yourself, “Start ugly. What if it succeeds?” and move forward towards that. I hope if anyone takes anything away from our conversation. What you’re doing is amazing, but you’re willing to start ugly and figuring out as you went along. The same thing with Podfest. I probably should’ve started it sooner, but I was afraid about dealing with resorts. Even though I did 2,000 events that were all localized and I would only use a hotel for the day, I never did the sleeping rooms. I had to step out of my comfort zone and say, “I’ll sign a six-figure commitment with the hotel and I have to have faith that I’ll succeed. I did and I over succeeded. Still, if I wasn’t willing to do that I wouldn’t be talking to you. You would have never found me.

You’ve done an amazing job. Guys and gals go out and check it out, PodfestExpo.com. It is an amazing event. It will change your business up. If you’re a brand-new starting a video, podcast or you’re looking to get into it, come out and learn. Network with 1,000 plus other people, you will not be disappointed. It was one of the most business-changing events for us in 2018, bar none.

Join our group on Facebook Podfest Expo Community. It’s a great group of people. Over 1,000 people that care for one another. We’d love to have you apply and then I’ll make sure to accept you. The other thing is we have a code HOLIDAYGIFT. Use that if you’d like our HOLIDAYGIFT code, we’d love to have you. Scott, thanks a lot.

Thanks so much for coming on The Note Closers Show and sharing some great nuggets. We appreciate it. You’re doing a great job. You built a great community and keep up the good work.

Thanks for being part of the community. Thanks for having me on.

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About Chris Krimitsos

NCS 390 | Podfest ExpoTalk to people that Chris Krimitsos has spent any amount of time with and you’ll hear descriptions like “changemaker,” “motivator,” “catalyst for change,” and “inspiration.” Whether it’s a major corporation’s CEO or a solopreneur, Chris is passionate about being a difference maker. Unlike the featured guest who comes in and delivers a keynote and leaves, slipping out the back door like a national celebrity, Chris Krimitsos is the passionate professional who hangs around talking to anyone who wants his time – to listen, evaluate, and affect change.

Chris brings the unique perspective of success from both sides of an event. He understands the challenges of the organizer that needs to move an audience, having himself facilitated over 1,000 events that have brought together business owners, toward economic growth, under the umbrella of Tampa Bay Business Owners, which he founded in 2008. That success regionally was the springboard to launching a national event, Podfest Multimedia Expo, which he grew to over 500 attendees in just three years, with an expectation of 1,000-plus in year four, thanks to his ability to communicate key messaging to that community.

Channeling that energy into creating a documentary, now he is making an impact globally. Under the CK Productions banner, as a filmmaker and producer, Chris has successfully birthed The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary, which has obtained worldwide distribution and theatrical screenings. This after having hosted and produced two TV shows earlier in his career. Of note was one of those projects being archived in the Library of Congress.

With a unique skill set programmed to stay out in front of rapid change, Chris Krimitsos – as a speaker, as a business leader, and as a source for growth – is empowering audiences toward better opportunities for succeeding in business in the 21st century.

 


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