Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dave Jackson, Owner of School of Podcasting, located in Akron, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help people Launch, Grow and Monetize their podcasts. My customers are anyone who wants to be seen as an expert, get more customers, spread their message, and grow their network of influence.
I do get a broad mix. I have 25-35 entrepreneur who wants to promote their services. I also get the "boomer" who is now experiencing empty nest syndrome, has a ton of experience, and is looking for a side hustle as they consider retirement.
I also get that person who always wanted to have their radio show and is just doing it for fun and figures they will end up with a successful presentation or a great story.
Tell us about yourself
My background is in teaching. I've been helping people understand technology going back to Fax machines before email, the Internet, and Google. When I started podcasting in 2005 and got my first voicemail from the other side of the planet, I knew I had found my calling. I was all in on podcasting.
I get motivated by helping people harness the power of podcasting. I have a segment on my show called "Because of My Podcast," where people share things that have happened due to them being a podcaster. I've had people meet their spouse/partner, get a job, meet famous people, get book deals, and grow their businesses.
Beyond that, podcasting is still relatively young, and new technologies are geared toward podcasters, making it easier to create great content and grow their audience.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My accomplishments are helping thousands of people start their successful podcasts. Being inducted into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame in 2018 was remarkable and humbling.
I've been asked to speak at many conferences worldwide, and I got a book deal from podcasting. The email that left me speechless was when a listener said he was suicidal. He started a podcast instead of choosing death by suicide and credited me for saving his life.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Seeing the potential in my clients and knowing they will be successful, but having to help them see their gifts can be challenging. Seventy percent of humans have impostor syndrome (why would they listen to me?), so I have to deal with that regularly.
My other problem is that I enjoy helping people so much that I often give away all my time. I don't mind because I get so much of a boost helping people - but sometimes my life gets out of balance.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
When starting a business, be sure to do your research and see if anyone is offering something similar. If nobody provides what you have, you either have a first-mover advantage, or there isn't a market (again, do some research).
It doesn't take much to stand out. Do the little things nobody else is willing to do. I make a personalized video for every new member. People think it is some AI trick, but it's not. It's me sending you a customized menu.
Whatever you're thinking of charging for your product or service, it's probably not enough. When I first started, I thought I would price things love and make it up in volume. It was priced so low that the first impression was, "Well, that can't be any good." Every time I raised my price, I got a more dedicated customer ready to take action as they had some "skin in the game."
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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