Millette Jones is a podcaster, speaker, contributor at major publications, frequent podcast guest and the founder and CEO of Cast Global Media. Cast Global is a podcast consultancy helping organizations reduce customer acquisition costs and increase employee retention rates through strategic podcast marketing. Cast helps corporations utilize podcasting to support firm initiatives, transform employee downtime, build executive and corporate thought leadership and drive brand loyalty through podcast advertising, interview marketing, internal podcasting, and custom podcasts.
Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Tools: None
Millette starts off by talking about the need for corporations, the brick and mortar type, to understand the importance of podcasts for their business and how Cast Global Media fills this need.
Millette talks about how she got into this specialty business after starting as a career coach. As her partnership with another coach fell through, Millette got the opportunity to explore podcasting and selling it to entrepreneur and businesses.
Millette got her first paying customers by working with entrepreneurs she had in her coaching business and she explains how she is trying to engage with large corporations and businesses as well.
Millette’s focus is on helping businesses connect with their customer via podcasting, connect with their own employees as well, and connect with their stakeholders.
Millette traces her personal journey where she started in route sales where she travelled extensively, started entrepreneurship with affiliate marketing, then extended into coaching. She now extended her business into podcast marketing connecting her online expertise with brick and mortar businesses.
Millette talks about one thing she could have done is instead of starting her entrepreneurship as a full blown affair, she should have started it as a side gig while still having a job.Her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to figure out what you are good at, where your talents lie, and exploit them. Whether you like writing or speaking or just hustling, just find them and start with those talents.
Episode Transcript (Click to expand)
Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Agile Entrepreneur podcast. This is your host, Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance on possibilities. Today I have a guest who he's also in the same business that we are doing right here, which is the podcasting, so Millette Jones. Millette Jones is the founder and CEO of cast global media. She's a podcaster, a speaker and contributor at major publications and she's been a frequent podcast guest, the cast global media, it’s a podcast consultancy helping organizations reduce customer acquisition costs and increase employee retention rates through strategic podcast marketing. Hi Millette, welcome.
Millette: Hello. Thank you so much for having me.
Ramesh: Wow, so case global media seems to be a very interesting space as a podcast themselves are growing in popularity, so you are working with companies to market themselves both internally and externally with podcasting. So if you could, in your own words, tell us what casts global media is about.
Millette: Really, we're just about helping corporations understand what podcasting is and what it can do for their business. It seems like most entrepreneurs, they kind of already get it, especially online entrepreneurs, but corporations really haven't jumped on the podcast bandwagon yet. And there's a lot of space for corporations to build their business, to gain customers, to really connect with millennial employees by jumping on the podcast bandwagon.
Ramesh: So when you say corporations, do you mean medium sized businesses or the large corporations? You know, really
Millette: Really more like just brick and mortar businesses. It just seems like, if a company has a really strong online presence, they know about podcasting, you know, it's just seems like that's kind of the space. If you're in the online space, you get it. If you're more brick and mortar or you're more of a local business, you do, you know, you have a location that you really focus on. You really just don't think about podcasting the same way that online marketers think about podcasting.
Ramesh: Correct. So one thing, I don't know, it's just me. You know, it's like this, right, when you have a certain brand car, when you go on the road, you see the same car that you're driving all over the place. So like why is that? Since I started doing podcasting, I'm seeing everybody trying to jump on the podcast. As an example LinkedIn started promoting their podcast more recently. Is that what you're seeing?
Millette: That's one thing that I find really interesting is when I talk to people in the online space, they're like, oh my gosh, everybody's got a podcast. Everyone has a podcast. But I was just at a meeting the other day with a nonprofit and the first thing out of the founder's mouth was, I know what they are, but that's it. Yeah. She had no idea what a podcast could do for her business. You know, how she could use it, how it would help grow, you know, her little nonprofit, you know, she was so interested in it, but she never really thought of it in that way. Whereas if you go to a networking event where it's all online folks, they're just like, everybody's got one.
Ramesh: Yeah. And then, some of the statistics are staggering because it seems 54% of the US population, adult population, they have heard at least one podcast. That's half of us. Yeah.
Millette: Yeah. And the interesting thing is, it is only about 18 to 19% of businesses are podcasting. And I have a feeling that that 18 to 19% are people that have that online presence that are aware of them.
Ramesh: So let's talk a little bit about your company, cast global media. When did you start it?
Millette: I really got started last year. Probably in January of last year is when I started to make that shift from, I was really working solely with other online entrepreneurs, more in the coaching side of things. And I started to see that there was this very slow trend of businesses starting to jump on the podcasting bandwagon. And I thought that, that would, that was really the direction I wanted to go. It seemed like there was a lot of folks in the online side of things and I wanted to go a little bit more offline.
Ramesh: So how did you get this idea? Is it that you are a business coach and then he wanted to niche down a little bit more and then you pick the podcast? Or how did this idea come about?
Millette: Really, I had started as a career coach, so I had a partner, we started a business and we were doing career coaching, the whole online thing. And there came a point where she suddenly decided that she didn't want to be an entrepreneur. And unfortunately that quick departure caused that business to go under. But it really gave me the space to explore podcasting, which was something that we had talked about in our business for about six months, but never really jumped on. So when I got that chance to start over from scratch, while it wasn't, you know the way that I would've chosen to do it, it really let me jump into podcasting with both feet. And once I started podcasting, I was like, this is just, you know, I really enjoy this medium and I'm an introvert. So it really to the way that I communicate much easier than being in a group of people or even, you know, face to face with a small group. I'm just, I'm much happier being behind the Mike and that was kind of like, that was the niche for me.
Ramesh: So if I understand correctly the paying customers for your business or the corporations?
Millette: I'm shifting to corporations. I still work with entrepreneurs, with individuals, more helping them to get onto podcasts, helping them to use the interview marketing in their business. And also, I help people start podcasts. So I have a couple of courses that, you know that are geared a little bit more towards your individual entrepreneur or business owner. But yeah, the shift is I'm starting a slow shift to less of the coaching and more of the consulting.
Ramesh: So if I had known about your business before I started my podcast, I probably could have come to you.
Millette: Exactly. You know, it's like one of those things where, you know, everybody says, you know, you only have to be a few steps ahead of your ideal client. And once you get into podcasting and you kind of know the tricks, it's really easy and it's really fun to help other people get their podcast started.
Ramesh: Yeah. So let me ask you this question. As you are shifting your focus, so you are in the career coach business also, you are working with, I'm assuming individuals and then entrepreneurs and then maybe small businesses, but now suddenly you're shifting your focus to corporations, but corporations have a different way of buying purchasing, right? So it's not the same as a solopreneurs or entrepreneurs or you know, how individuals or small businesses buy. So how are you adjusting to that shift?
Millette: Interestingly, it's, it's much more, it feels better for me, because it is more of a professional, you know, it's not nearly as familiar or, you know, it's almost like comparing, you know, Facebook to LinkedIn. You know, I fit better over on LinkedIn. I fit better with the corporations and that whole, you know a bit of structure, I guess.
Ramesh: Good. So yeah, let's trace the history here. So you started last year and then how long did it take for you to get your first paying customer?
Millette: It really only took, I mean, of course I’ve been working with entrepreneurs all along, but it probably only took a few months because I had a lot of people that I knew that I was doing the individual coaching. So I was able to connect with some of those people that had small businesses. So, you know, it really wasn't a huge stretch to go from working with some executives to being able to transition into some smaller corporations.
Ramesh: I don't if you could share, but what are you able to crack the large corporation yet or are I still working on it?
Millette: Yeah, I'm still working on that. That's the next step in the business.
Ramesh: Okay. So what's your pitch like if you don't mind me asking like sorry, not even pitch, let's talk about where are you trying to meet these large corporations. Like what's your plan to promote your business and then be able to connect with them so you could make your pitch.
Millette: Sure. Really what I'm focusing on right now is getting into LinkedIn and just connecting with, you know, business owners, CEOs, CMOs that are in my local area and just really sharing a lot of content and tracking to get out and speak locally at different networking events and just, you know, really letting people know that, podcasting is available and how it can help their business. I think that's sort of the learning curve right now is a lot of companies just don't really understand how they can integrate podcasting.
Ramesh: Excellent. So actually it's very interesting to me and I am definitely assuming for the audience because we are really learning from you how a business is evolving, right? It's step by step. So then you have, the way I understand is you have a bread and butter of the entrepreneurs and individuals in a where the current money is coming, but you are investing as you, you get that the revenue coming in into shifting into large corporations.
Ramesh: Okay, excellent. That's good. So, and then for the small, medium businesses or the entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, how do they find you? Is it organic or you do some promotions or how does it work?
Millette: I'm doing Podcast interviews like this one, I do get quite a few people that find me through the interviews that I do. Also, like you mentioned in my bio, I write for different publications. So I'm getting people that will find me from one of my articles and then come and check out the website and or find me through LinkedIn, my LinkedIn articles and content. So it's really just sort of laying that foundation of different, different pieces of content and then it sort of builds over time.
Ramesh: Excellent. So one thing that was interesting to me while I was on your website, because it says cast global media helps corporations utilize podcasting to support form initiatives, transform employee downtime and build executive and corporate park leadership and drive brand loyalty. So can you just like, let's say if I'm a corporation, a purchasing manager how will you drive your message about these four things that you mentioned? My initiatives and my employee downtime and brand loyalty and things like that.
Millette: Right. Well, it really just depends on who approaches me because that's sort of the difference is that if you're talking to someone in marketing, they're going to understand the idea of the B2B podcasting or if you're talking to an executive, it's going to be more like, this is how you can grow your thought leadership or even the CEO. This is how you grow, you know, the brand awareness with the thought leadership of your organization as a whole. And then with the internal podcast that's really geared more towards, you know like human resources department, you know, people working with the internal you know, employee engagement, you know, keeping that group of employees connected and happy.
Ramesh: Okay. That's good. Actually. Another thought on this one, because you've been studying this industry for quite some time, at least a year and a half or so. Is there a situation where you have too many podcasts and too much noise and too few listeners kind of situation, did we reach that or not yet?
Millette: You know what's interesting is I was reading an article a little while back that I thought it explained it really well and it was, you don't even necessarily as a corporation, you don't even need to have an audience per se. You could be interviewing the type of person that you want to do business with. You could be closing deals just by interviewing the type of person that you want to have as your client. So if you're using your interviews as a way to really strategically connect with other businesses, other business owners that you want to do business with. Now obviously we're not talking about jumping in for a hard sell, but you're building that relationship. You're giving them an outlet to come and speak about what they're really interested in. You continue that relationship and then you know, strategically you're able to, you know close deals. And that's to me, that's sort of the future in a sense. You know, it doesn't have to be, I'm a huge name in the podcasting business. It can just be, I'm using this as a way to get an introduction that maybe I wouldn't normally be able to get.
Ramesh: That is an excellent insight there. So actually me as a podcast host what I noticed, the benefit of podcasts is, apart from the, you know, listeners and all that stuff is twofold. One is, it generates automatic content, right? So because there's so much inside knowledge that comes from these discussions, the content is there really valuable content. That's number one. Number two is networking. I think I know you talked about the corporate to the customer kind of networking, but for me, networking with other people like you and in the industry, right. So I think those are the two you know benefits I am seeing from hosting a podcast.
Millette: Oh, absolutely. I mean, it just, when you think about the different ways that you could take this audio recording and turn around and make just dozens and dozens of pieces of content, it's a great, it's a great way for companies or small businesses to create one thing and then be able to just, you know, branch off of that and have multiple pieces that they can share in a lot of different places.
Ramesh: Excellent. Now let me switch gears here a little bit and then we talked about your company, what it does. Now I want to talk about Millette Jones as a person. So you said prior to cast global, you are a career coach. So that tells me is that you're a serial entrepreneur. You've been into this business for quite some time. So if you could trace your journey as a person in different things that you've done.
Millette: Sure. Well when I studied recording industry in college, I did a short amount of time at Sony Music and decided that my personality just really wasn't suited at that age in my twenties. I didn't want to be, you know in a spotlight. I didn't want to; I didn't want to have to go and network and talk to a lot of people. So I shifted into sales and I did route sales for I don't know, 15 years maybe.
Ramesh: What are route sales?
Millette: So like I would travel around the state of Tennessee and I had different businesses that I would promote or different companies and I worked mainly in like big box retailers and I would make sure that they had the products that they were supposed to have, you know, just selling different promotions to the different big box retailers. But what was, what I enjoyed about that was I was driving, so I was able to listen to the radio. And when podcasts did come out, I started listening to podcasts, driving all over the state of Tennessee. And you know I went through a lot of different variations, I guess. Not really, not really iterations, but a lot of different things. I tried a lot of different things. So I wrote a travel guide. I started a business that focused on homeschoolers. I had a travel website for a little while, and just gradually I started finding the things that I really liked, and I started figuring out what I didn't like. So when I finally got laid off from my job, I really jumped into online and my first business online was affiliate marketing. So I had quite a few little review sites, I was on review sites and, and I really enjoyed that. But then I realized that, you know you're sort of at the mercy of the search engines with sites like that, that really focus a lot on the SEO. So I just kept honing down. It was like I would find one thing that really spoke to me and then another that didn't, and I would make a small shift. So I shifted from the review sites into, you know, the online coaching course creation, which really spoke to me. And now just shifting a little bit more from everything being online to bringing in more of the face to face, you know and working with businesses one-on-one.
Ramesh: Yeah. It looks like you're connecting your intermediate online experience to the original corporate, the brick and mortar companies that you had. So it's an interesting intersection that you have here with this new thing that you're doing.
Millette: Well, I think that it's, it takes the best of everything because at this point, what I'm really focusing on with the corporations is just going in and doing, you know, training them, helping them to, you know, whether that's a, you know, a two hour, four hour, an all-day training, it's training them to understand what podcasts can do and, you know, so that's really like, to, to me, that's the best of both worlds. I love to talk; I love to go in and help people learn. So being able to sort of connect those dots is just, I don’t know, it just seems like that's, that has been the way things have gone. It's been the best path for me.
Ramesh: Excellent. So I want to understand the motivation here. When you were doing affiliate marketing and those things, was it more for passive income or was it that at some point you wanted to quit what you were doing and wanted to experiment with is businesses or what was your motivation at the time?
Millette: You know, I think the motivation really was finding something I was interested in, because I never really enjoyed doing sales as far as, you know, having to go in and speak to someone and convince them. And I don't think it was really the sales. I think it was the product that I wasn't really interested in. It was, you know, grocery and nonfood type products and then it wasn't exciting. So when you can kind of shift and figure out what it is that you can get excited about, then it doesn't feel like selling. It just feels like helping someone else understand.
Ramesh: So I mean, your transformation into an entrepreneur was somebody coaching you, guiding you? What was the inspiration? I mean, is it books, movies or some family members?
Millette: I think it's really just getting, you know, honestly it goes back to the podcasts. I mean, you know, I started way back listening to Pat Flynn and smart passive income. And I’ve never really wanted to be completely passive. I've always wanted to do something. So there were elements, but just listening to the different people that he interviewed and just really having my eyes open to the possibilities.
Ramesh: So that's excellent. So I'm in this entrepreneurial journey then everybody has ups and downs. So I mean up when things are going up and you don't think of anything else, but when you're going down, so then lots of thoughts come. So what was the, what were the downtimes like and what did you think and how you pull yourself up?
Millette: Well, I would say definitely there were a lot of ups and downs. I would say that two big downs were when I had, I had maybe four affiliate sites that were running really well and then I got hit with a Google update and everything tanked, and I went from thousands to zero overnight. So that was a huge shift as far as me realizing you can't have all your eggs in one basket so to speak, and just being able to diversify a little bit more and, but I really hadn't been working on it that long. I'd only been doing that for about eight months. So it was like I was going to diversify. It just hadn't happened. But then you know, to get hit with an update and lose all your rankings overnight, it was like, okay, I’ve really got to take a step back and try to regroup. And that's what led me into working with other people, with entrepreneurs because I felt like, well, I can control that a little bit better. I can't control Google, but I can at least control how many people I talk to and I can control, you know, the content I put out in the articles that I publish, you know, so I felt like I had a little more control there. And then I guess another huge down was when my partner decided that she didn't want to be in business anymore. And that was a, it was a blind side. It was a huge surprise. So, and I just wasn't passionate enough because it was a business idea that we came up with together. I wasn't passionate enough about it to try to continue it on my own.
Ramesh: You switched gears and then got into the podcast. Excellent. So just the last two questions. First one is looking at your own journey, anything's that, it's not like a regret, but things that you could have done as a source of learning for us.
Millette: Definitely. I would say when I got laid off, I tried to just do everything, you know, on my own. Like instead of going back and getting another job, I just, I tried to rely on, you know, investments and savings and I went through all of that and then ended up having to do some side hustles and looking back on it, it was more of a struggle than it needed to be. It would have been better to go ahead and get another job and try to grow the business slowly instead of jumping in and not knowing a thing about starting an online business, but trying to do it from, you know, from zero.
Ramesh: Okay. So I mean like keep your job as long as you can and then keep the side hustle going until you feel comfortable kind of thing. Okay. And then the last question is as a piece of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs or people who have started businesses are struggling to grow or finding ways to grow, what kind of advice would you give?
Millette: I would say that you need to figure out what you're good at, where you are, where you feel you're really talented, and then exploit that as much as you can. So if you feel really confident as a writer, write, try to get into different publications, you know, do that. And if you feel good speaking and talking, get speaking engagements, get on podcast. But whatever you feel really comfortable doing, do that as much as you possibly can.
Ramesh: Excellent. So actually it's interesting that I'm working on a book and then the very first chapter of my book is, start with what you bring to the party. Say exactly the things that you're saying, by the way, so we've been trying to connect with each other, so I'm glad we connected. So a lot of excellent advice here. A good luck as you are focusing on large corporations with your business.
25:30Millette: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.