Podcasts are a hot topic right now, and rightfully so, according to Podcast Insights, 44% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast. Podcast listeners are loyal, subscribing to an average of 6 shows, and they also skew affluent and educated. Podcasting has become a popular medium for connecting with your audience.
You may be wondering about starting a successful podcast for your own business.
In an engaging interview recently with 20-year broadcasting veteran, podcast expert and radio personality Shannon “The Shan Man” Hernandez, we discuss all things podcasts and all about starting a successful podcast. He shared some helpful technical pointers before we dove into the soul of the matter.
When you set up a podcast, nobody’s going listen if it sounds like shit.
Shannon shares the number one reason a business podcast will not work, or worse – backfire.
While some podcasts are purposely designed to sound raw and “produced outside the studio”, those that do so well are few and far-between. While some podcasters can intentionally make this work, most don’t have the technical know-how to make it sound better and it’s obvious.
Make sure your podcast is set up to succeed with high production value. Don’t have an expert on staff? Hire a consultant – in this interview, Shannon shares what he thinks you should be looking for in a podcast consultant, and the one thing that will set your apart when it comes to sounding great.
Focus on the ONE thing that gives your biz some heart and soul
We talk candidly about how Shannon got into broadcasting so many years ago for the fame and the glory, and hanging out with rock start (which he does regularly ), but he’s stayed in the industry for the personal connections he makes in interviews and with listeners.
He talks about ensuring that your interviews have heart and soul, and that they make an authentic connection so that you ring true to your audience – so what should your podcast focus on?
SH: ”One of the themes that I think that we forget is that we should focus on the one thing that makes us good, the one thing that makes us good. All the other little nuances that we have, whether it’s getting up and brushing our teeth, whether it’s going and eating healthy or eating unhealthy, they are habits that form around us all over the place. But what is the one thing, as an entrepreneur, as a female entrepreneur, that you do really well?”
JM: “And that you can do unlike anyone else, you do in a way that nobody else can do it.”
We also have some profound conversation about treating your podcsst like it’s your art, and then stuff gets existential. Trust me – you’re going to want to listen to this one from beginning to end for the technical gems and the meaningful insight. After all, podcasting is just another vehicle for connecting with others.
Want to Connect with Shannon “The Shan Man” Hernandez?
- Check out his amazing website at: TheShanMan.com
- Follow Shannon Hernandez on Twitter
- Join more than 2,400 fans! Subscribe to The Shan Man’s YouTube Channel.
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This next interview was so much fun to do. I just love sitting down and talking with Shannon Hernandez. He has been a successful radio personality for almost 20 years. As a top notch podcasting consultant, in my experience, he’s fabulous. As you can imagine, we spent some time talking about the technical expertise on what it takes to really launch a successful podcast. We also talked about why maybe you should not launch a podcast—and I’ll give you a little hint, has to do with making that meaningful connection. He admits that when he got into his career on broadcasting, it was for the fame and the glory, it was for the chicks and the free boost. But he stayed in it for the meaningful connection and really has spent a lot of a time thinking about the legacy that he’s leaving and the impact that he’s making on his audience. That is the making of a successful career and a successful podcast. I hope you enjoy it.
JM: Hi, Shannon.
SH: Hi, Jenn, how are you?
JM: I’m good. How are you doing?
SH: I’m doing well.
JM: It’s so nice to have you here. For those of you who don’t know Shannon, I’m talking to Shannon Hernandez, The Shan Man. I’m so glad you’re here.
SH: Thank you.
JM: We’re going to talk about some very exciting podcasting and broadcasting stuff.
SH: Yes, yes.
JM: I am super glad to have you helping me put together my entire podcast, the equipment, the syndicating it on iTunes, how to hold the microphone in the right position.
SH: You’re doing fine, you can hear this on the podcast, there we go.
JM: How’s that?
SH: That sounds even better.
JM: Alright. It does sound better.
SH: Yeah, yeah.
JM: Okay, now I know.
SH: Yeah, now you know.
JM: Good thing you’re here. Let’s dive right in. I just know that you are this wealth of information. I know you have this huge following from being on air, but I also think, in a very broad sense, you’re kind of a best-kept secret. I just want to sing your praises and have people know who you are and what you do. I want people to call you for podcasting because you have it incredibly easy. I think it’s going to be so productive and so exciting. Let’s talk a little bit how did you get into consulting on podcasts.
SH: This was actually part of a goal that I wanted to have about 1 ½ year ago, 2 years ago. I had spoken at a conference called Podcast Movement a few years back and I was looking to get something out of that. I was looking to get clients, I didn’t know really where I wanted to go. At that time I was trying to get clients to buy into the idea of Google Plus, that was back then, that was even further back then. I didn’t really know where my focus was.
But eventually, I had been listening to some audio books and there are all these leadership audio books and they’re all just talking about how you focus in on what it is that you want to do. They said, “Just do the thing that you know how to do that’s easy. Do the thing that’s easy and just keep doing that over and over. It gets easier and then you get this reward after.” I was like, “It really can’t hurt if I just do the one thing that I know that I’m good at doing—setting up podcasting equipment, producing podcast, and delivering on that promise.”
Ever since then, that’s where I have set my focus, I’ve really focused on not only at helping other people develop their podcast but providing that information for people to develop their podcast. Because there’s a million different people out there that can tell you how to start a podcast but what they don’t have is the broadcasting experience that I have had, the 18 years of broadcasting experience—
JM: And knowing what works.
SH: Right, like the whole microphone thing. Most people think that’s not a significant thing, but it really is a significant thing.
JM: Let’s do an experiment. Here’s me close and here’s me not close. That’s how I would have set if it weren’t for you telling me what to do.
SH: Yeah, it’s the difference. I have a video on my YouTube Channel that talks all about this, we can get into that later but—
JM: Your website is theshanman.com.
SH: theshanman.com, that’s where you can learn a lot about me and learn on how to get started with podcasting. It’s all right there. Those are those little things that people don’t realize—
JM: Make a big difference.
SH: That make a big difference in their delivery, the delivery of the podcast, the delivery of the interview. That’s where I really wanted to focus my efforts in consulting people—
JM: And help people make it really good.
SH: Right, make it sound like it came off of the radio. Because you hear a ton of podcasters out there—and there is style when it comes down to podcasting about having it sound raw and not like it’s produced on the radio. Some podcasts are really good like that, they don’t have that produced sound but there are a lot of podcasts out there that have that unproduced sound and they don’t actually sound great.
JM: It doesn’t sound intentional. It’s funny because I think we see a lot of that in social media where live streaming, for example, is very forgiving because you don’t have to have the best light, you don’t have to have the best sound. There is that exciting quality of that spontaneous—like man on the street thing that’s happening, I think—for podcast and other mediums where you can go in that direction like all things has to be super intentional and has to feel like somebody is getting something spontaneous, and in the moment for it to work, otherwise it just sounds like shit.
JM: That was one of the many things that made me love working with you is that I knew at the end of the day, I wanted to work with a really high-caliber group of people, interview really high-caliber people, have the audience be very high-caliber audience, and I wanted it to be high-caliber quality. I didn’t know I would get with you. That’s awesome.
Talk to us a little bit about why somebody would want to start a podcast. We did a Facebook Live Stream a little while ago—you can go back to the Facebook page and see that. We talked a little bit about why people would want to start a podcast. There is definitely this big wave of people who are getting into it. I think some of it, especially with my audience, that we are looking for what is working to get our message out—a lot of our audience, their personal brands, there are authors, there are speakers, we’re all fighting to cut through the noise. Now it’s like, “Oh, podcasting, I want to be a podcaster.” Why would somebody want to start a podcast?
SH: That’s the most important question that I think anyone that is listening right now has to ask themselves why do you want to do this. I would say, if you want to do one of two things, I’ll mention here in a second, those are the best reasons why you should do a podcast. Number one is you want to entertain someone, you want to be like a morning zoo podcast, radio, whatever it is you want to be.
JM: Fulfil your broadcasting needs.
SH: Yeah, you want to entertain. But even with entertaining comes skill and with skill takes practice. There’s this hierarchy of things that you have to do prior to saying, “Do I want to podcast?” Now, what I’m telling you is not to deter you from podcasting, what I’m telling you is that these are the things that you have to consider and it may take some work. If you want to entertain, you’re going to have to work on your delivery, you’re going to have to work on your research, you’re going to have to work on how you craft your questions, whether you write them down or whether you are someone who knows how to ask questions in the moment.
SH: Off-the-cuff and segue into new conversation. You’re going to have to practice in doing that. The other way is to educate. How do you want to get people to learn about you? This typically mostly, and I would say, really relates more towards your audience. I would assume that this audience is filled with a number of entrepreneurial mindset type of people.
SH: They want business. Who doesn’t want to get business? When we look at getting your message out there and allowing people to get ears on your message that you have to stand for something, what is it that you’re providing them with value?
JM: That is the number one question. I’m so glad that you brought that up. I know that you already know these things.
SH: Correct, yeah.
JM: This is why we’re working together. That is one of the things that I struggle with both in catalyst with helping our clients to develop their brands, and also with my other company in terms of helping people with their social media.
I think right now, we just see that there’s this trend toward video, there is this trend toward social media, people are freaking out because Facebook ads don’t work as well. I think that temptation to be in all places is even stronger than ever before. That’s like, “If Facebook ads aren’t as effective, I need to be on Twitter, and I need to be on Pinterest, I need to be on Instagram.” I always caution our clients, “Slow down. We really have to think about why are we doing this.”
I guess it does also segues into my next question. When would you not want to do a podcast? I think if it’s just this idea that you have that it’s one more layer of content to push out there, don’t do it. Everybody’s doing that right now, everybody’s doing that.
SH: Yeah. Podcasting, video, anything that has some type of media to it, a blog, those are the final products of who you are, of what you want to provide to your audience. If it’s a blog, maybe it’s 10 tips on how to become a great entrepreneur in a heavily dominated male space. You have a blog that lists out those traits, that’s the final product of you—
JM: I’m going to write that down.
SH: You should write that one down.
JM: That’s good.
SH: Like we’re writing it down as we speak right now.
JM: Right, right. It’s the magic of podcasting, you can’t see it but it’s happening.
SH: There are some really good idea, we can talk about that here in a little bit, about how you can generate brand new pieces of content just from your podcast alone. But it just comes down to the secret sauce of your podcast, or the secret sauce of your content, whether it be a blog, whether that is your podcast, whether it’s your Facebook Live, whether it’s a YouTube video, all of those are basically lists that you are writing out how you do it, how is it that you are successful at the thing that you know how to do the best? I don’t know how else I can explain it to people other than saying, how was it that you are successful at your own business? How can you share that knowledge and how can you share yourself like that in your blog, your podcast, or your video?
JM: That’s it, it’s sharing. I think it’s making sure you have something valuable to say. I think as long as we are seeing this trend of people who are just out there live streaming, creating video, writing blog posts, making podcasts, and they’re on every social media channel, we are going to continue to have sort of this [clod 00:10:40] of clients and prospects coming to us who are frustrated, burnt-out, and don’t see why it’s working. I tell people, “Start with one thing and make it really, really good. Think about what your audience wants.”
It’s so funny, we went back kind of old school. I used to do all of our social media posts from my companies and then got very busy and important. There is a disconnect that started to happen. I know that entrepreneurs don’t want to hear it because they’re busy, but the reality is that all of our social media that I do, when I sit down and I write a post off-the-cuff, and I think about my audience, what they’re expecting from me, what they need from me, and what I can share to make their lives better, easier, more fulfilling, that’s the stuff that people want to hear. I always say, “Slow down. Start with one thing and do it really well. Make sure that you are coming across.” I can’t help but already feel, in a very short time that—especially with podcasting—it’s such a personal media. You have to be committed to it and you have to know what you’re sharing. I really recommend that people slow down and think about the value that they’re going to bring to their audiences and what that message is especially at podcasting, it’s so personal.
SH: Yeah. It’s funny that you bring that up because I’m listening to this book right now called The Power of Habit. It’s all about how we build habits into our daily routines, how it can make us more money, how it can enrich our relationships, our romantic relationships. One of the themes that I think that we forget is that we should focus on the one thing that makes us good, the one thing that makes us good. That’s all it is because it’s the routine of everything that encompasses our being, it’s the one thing that makes us good. All the other little nuances that we have, whether it’s getting up and brushing our teeth, whether it’s going and eating healthy or eating unhealthy, they are habits that form around us all over the place. But what is the one thing, as an entrepreneur, as a female entrepreneur, that you do really well?
JM: And that you can do unlike anyone else, you do in a way that nobody else can do it.
JM: Yup, that’s spot on.
SH: That’s where you harness a lot of what the secret sauces of who you are as an entrepreneur, that’s what I believe, and that’s how you share it in a podcast. You share those experiences in a podcast. It not only validates but it creates that trust circle within your audience where they go, “I can listen to Jenn.”
JM: It’s what makes you relatable, it’s what makes you human.
SH: You had one of your employees go to a conference—as of this recording—last week that I was at. And the biggest theme there was like, “You have to be human, man. That’s the whole point of this whole game is that if you want people to buy into you, be human. Don’t be some Twitter churning machine that is just you’re pushing Twitter posts out all the time—”
JM: There’s enough of that crap out there.
SH: Yeah, there’s just noise.
JM: It’s already out there [or somebody else is at lots of somebody else are already doing that 00:13:39] It was interesting too because my team attended that, as you mentioned. They came back and one of the phrases that we’re going to experiment with is that supposedly, the words “I don’t know” perform really well in social media because they’re honest. Apparently, the algorithms, I guess, are picking up on the phrase “I don’t know,” I don’t know, I don’t know.
SH: I don’t know that answer, I can’t answer that for you.
JM: We’ll see what happens.
SH: I don’t know. It shows, I guess, that you’re human but I think also people will buy into the idea.
JM: It begs engagement, I think, anytime that you’re having that conversation with your audience where you’re not broadcasting at them and looking to have a conversation. It was a very interesting conference.
SH: I was in that session too. I think I was in that session where they talked about “I don’t know.”
JM: That’s good stuff.
SH: There’s a lot that could be said about that conference. But when we just boil it down to the very simplicity of why would I want to start a podcast? Do you want to entertain or do you want to educate? How do you want to do those? But when you answer that question, what do I want to do or how do I want to educate my audience, then I would sit down and I wouldn’t write this out on a Word document, I wouldn’t put it in a Google Doc, I would actually get a notepad and I would write it down. There’s a difference in how we learn when we actually write down what we want to talk about.
JM: I agree, yup.
SH: What I would say is, “Why do I want a podcast?” I would write that as a topic and then I would list out the reasons why you want a podcast. Do you want to impact other female entrepreneur? Do you want to impact people in the medical industry? How do you want to impact those people? If you have good reasons that you’ve written out that you can actually tangibly look at—
JM: And support.
SH: And support, then, maybe it is a reason for you to podcast, maybe you do want to share your voice. It’s just not about like getting all the glamour of the microphone, it’s actually wanting to share a message.
JM: So glamorous sitting in my conference room.
SH: Yeah, in your conference room.
JM: Lights and makeup.
SH: This is the best part about it. I’m looking around right now. This is every podcaster’s set up right now. There’s wires hanging everywhere, there’s things on the conference table. It’s not as glamorous as what it is but that’s the beauty of it, that’s the beauty of podcasting.
JM: No one can see it.
SH: No one can see it. It sounds polished.
JM: It does, it does. Thanks to you. I think that brings me to my next question. A lot of the people that we work with on a regular basis come to us. At this point, almost nobody is new to social media, nobody is new to branding, building a website, or getting headshots done, and any of those things. Unfortunately, a huge number of those people have been burned and they’re not getting what they want, so we’re having to work with our clients. We end up doing double time. I feel like our best clients are educated clients, clients that don’t know that we’re doing a good job for them. That’s a dangerous place to be for both of us and the client. They do have to be educated.
For me, personally, I get very overwhelmed by the technical side of podcasting in trying to figure out all of those pieces. I would venture to guess, everything I know from the technical perspective about social media, web development, and SEO, was largely self-taught over the last 15 years. Then I thought, “I can figure out podcasting.” At this point in my life is that what I’m spending my time, [money and service.” 00:16:56] But knowing that that is the case, what advice do you have for somebody who is shopping around and looking for a professional to help them? I felt like you were super organized and kind of have all the answers. It was obvious to me right off the bat that you were going to produce a high-quality product for me. But let’s say that somebody, they’ve listened this far, and they wrote down their reasons that they wanted to start a podcast, and they have some great stuff that they want to share, what are some of the questions that you would recommend that they ask to make sure that they’re working with somebody who is worth the results?
SH: I would say that in the beginning, when you are looking at someone who is of quality—not everyone’s going to come up across a radio producer who’s in the podcasting, not everyone—but I would look into how organized that human is, not just from a podcasting standpoint, when you talk to them and you say, “Let’s talk about creating a podcast,” and ask them, “What will you do for me? What will you do for me to help me create this thing?” Because it’s already an overwhelming feat for most people who are entrepreneurs, they’re just like, “I’m already dealing with the website, I’m having to fix a plug in this.” There’s just too much on your plate.
I would ask that person, that podcast producer, number one, “What do I need to get in order to create a high quality podcast? What will you do to get that into the iTunes store?” Those are like the pretty two basic things.
JM: Just basics that if they can’t answer, that’s kind of the first hurdle.
SH: Right. If they can’t answer those and say, “I’ll research it,” then I would say like, “Well, I don’t know.”
JM: “Am I your first client?”
SH: Yeah, I would say. As long as you’re being open and honest, say, “Hey, this is my first run into doing this,” because ultimately, what I’m trying to do with my own business is to create a platform where people can go in and edit their own podcast. That doesn’t mean whether or not they’re doing it for themselves, they could do it for someone else. The whole point is to say, “Here are the organized pieces that I have laid out for you,” because there’s a lot of nuances that go into this. There’s things I haven’t told you that we need to do.
JM: Oh, good. You’re leading me into it step-by-step.
SH: Right. There’s little pieces but I have told you I need to know which categories we’re going to be in, I need to know—
JM: On iTunes.
SH: On iTunes, I need to know, will you have the money to pay for hosting every month? Sometimes you’ll ask like a consultant or maybe a podcast producer, “Where are you going to host this?” They may say like, “Oh, it’s going to be on the backend of my WordPress website.” I’d be like, “Get rid of that guy,” There’s a whole video I did on YouTube about this. Just don’t do that, you want to get dedicated hosting. The number one and number two pieces that I would ask is like, “Which equipment are we going to get and where are we going to be hosting it?” Those are the first two things I would ask.
JM: Very telling questions. And to go back just a second to something that you just said, I think just because somebody doesn’t necessarily know or have the answer to your question, that doesn’t frighten me. In fact, I appreciate when somebody tells me honestly, “This is a medium that is changing every single day. Anything that is digital is changing everyday.”
One of the things that we learn about from that conference was how you really want your podcast to be accessible through Echo, Alexa, and some of those channels, and that’s new. So I sent you a quick email, I was just like, “Hey, can we figure this out together?” I wouldn’t be put off by somebody not knowing the answer, I’d be put off by the feeling that somebody is lying to you or trying to make up the answer on the fly far and away. Over the last decade of hiring employees to do social media, branding, and graphic design, the people who say, “I’m not sure but I’m going to come back to it and answer,” I would work with those people all day long versus somebody who supposedly has all the answers. There’s a happy medium there.
SH: There is definitely a happy medium. Even the Alexa question, when you emailed me and said, “Can we get this on Alexa?” I said, “Yeah, I’m sure we can get it on Alexa. I would have to look into it and see what it is.” I don’t know those answers but I do know that when it comes down to those types of devices, those home devices, they’re pulling from different areas, and where they’re getting your podcast, I’d be more happy to say, “I don’t know but let me look into it.” Because right now, it is a thing that is talked about but is something that most people haven’t executed on. I’m happy to learn about it but it’s something that people haven’t executed on. They’re the people who have podcast upon there, but does the average everyday a person say, “Alexa, play The Catalyst Podcast?” It may not know because people don’t know it’s there yet, it hasn’t become prominent.
JM: That’s what’s so exciting there. It’s kind of staying on the bleeding edge of things, sometimes it pans out and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s exciting to kind of figure out. What are some of those trends that you see coming up that you think people should know about either things that are already in place that maybe people are just not aware over things that are coming up that you think should know about?
SH: If you’re going to do a podcast, your podcast needs to be on some type of device that is available for home usage or it’s going to be in some type of car. The car was already something that was talked about years ago and here we are like three or four years later and it’s still something that is not as prominent. Podcasting is not as prominent in a car because there still takes that time and that effort to go into your phone or on the dashboard of your Apple pod, car pod, or whatever, and having to search for the podcast instead of saying, “Hey, Siri,” I don’t know if Siri answers anything like that but say, “Hey, Siri, play The Catalyst Podcast,” and it will automatically pop up on your car. I don’t know if that really works because I don’t have one of those, but I’m sure it does, I’m almost positive it does. But I think the same thing would be for Google car devices, something like that. But still people are having to tap it in and we have to remember most people don’t upgrade their cars for quite a few years, and so until they get the new technology, that technology is already far surpassed on what’s already been going on.
JM: Right, probably a few years away from that being a norm, if ever.
JM: When do you think people are listening primarily? It’s funny, I think so much of what we see and hear is conjecture because a lot of people are like, “Oh, they’re listening in their cars,” but you’re right, we have better things to do when we’re driving our cars, we have to drive and be safe on the road.
I am a podcast junkie, and a lot of the business coaching tools that I’m using, I record it. I’m already in that habit, I usually get in the car and I already know what I’m going to listen to on my drive, or making phone calls, or whatever. But I don’t know that a lot of people are in that habit. What do you think are some of the habits that people should be thinking about in terms of when they’re publishing and how people are consuming that?
SH: There’s a great study out there that was conducted by Triton Digital and Nielsen ratings. They asked a series of respondents, “Where do you listen to podcast?” We’re talking about people that, in radio terms, it’s 12+, that means anywhere from the ages of 12 on. Where do you listen to podcasting the most? The number one choice was—I can’t remember the percentage—but the number choice was at home. They’d listen at home followed by the car. Then it goes on down the list so it could be at home, in the car, on a commute, or it could be while they’re working out.
JM: That makes sense, that’s interesting. It’s so funny, I think of at home, me personally, I have 7 and 11 year old boys, there’s not a lot of quiet time when I’m at home so it tends to be in the car. But I could definitely see that if you’re at home instead of listening to music, listening to your podcast.
SH: Right, and example of this would be my brother. I talk to my brother every week and somehow, I don’t know, I always reach him whenever he is cleaning the yard, and I go, “What are you doing?” He’s like, “Oh, I’m cleaning the yard, listening to a podcast.”
JM: You’ve got a really nice yard.
JM: I’m assuming, I don’t know your brother yet.
SH: He has a really nice yard. But yeah, he’s a bow hunter and he makes his own arrows and so he goes, “I listen to podcast while I make my arrows.” And I’m like, “Really? That’s really interesting.”
JM: That’s interesting. Do you think he’s listening to podcast about hunting?
SH: Yeah, he does, he listens to podcast about hunting.
JM: I think that that just goes to show you it’s such a lifestyle choice, so you have to really think about your audience, what they’re into, what are they listening to, and what they’re doing, so that your podcast is even more relevant.
SH: Right. Let’s say you’re big into weightlifting, you may had listen to a podcast that is about CrossFit, I don’t know.
JM: While you’re making gains.
SH: Exactly, totally, or you might be doing it while you’re cooking. Who knows?
JM: Right, yeah.
SH: For me, I’m big into the personal development and that lifestyle. It’s funny because the podcaster and podcast producer listens to more audio books than he does actual podcast because there’s actual data that supports a lot of those points in a book. But with a podcast, you’re able to really dive deep into maybe that particular guest, or you’re able to dive deep into maybe statistics, if you wanted to, but it’s really more off-the-cuff with minimal amount of research, it’s not years of research like authors have done because they’re scientist, and they actually have the scientific proof to say like, “Oh, yeah, this is the reason why you’re not succeeding.”
JM: And the structure of something that’s been edited.
SH: Right, right. There’s definitely a difference in that. Therefore while I was listening to Lewis Howes, he has a podcast, the School of Greatness, and I would listen to that on my walks.
JM: That’s awesome, yeah.
SH: You just got to be aware where your podcast listener will listen. Most likely at home or on the drive.
JM: Yup. The how and why they’re consuming it, absolutely. I love that you are so well-rounded in the podcast and the audiobooks that you listen to. I think you are such an astute observer of people, and why they should do podcast, and why they connect with each other. Why did you get into broadcasting and podcasting, ultimately? What was that about?
SH: The ultimate first reason why I wanted to get into podcasting is it’s going to make me someone who can play it big, I’m not going to lie.
JM: The fame and the glory.
SH: But my philosophy has changed since then. In the beginning, it was really to get laid, that’s all it was.
JM: Yeah, to meet chicks.
SH: It was like the glamour, it was like, “I’m in rock radio.”
JM: You’d be famous.
SH: Yeah, I’m going to be famous, I’m going to get the chicks.
JM: Hang out with rock stars.
SH: Yeah. Hang out with rock stars.
JM: Which you do.
SH: My life these days weigh milk and cookies compared to that life, for the like I’m just like—
JM: No doubt.
SH: Yeah. I’m like, “Let me make a Turkey burger with all these spices and amazing things and let me look at—”
JM: Post it on Instagram.
SH: Yeah. Like my life is way different these days from what it was. But initially, that’s why I wanted to get in. I wanted to get in because it was a lifestyle, it was more about the lifestyle. I used to smoke, I used to drink. I never did drugs.
JM: You have changed your lifestyle, I mean, I think of knowing you maybe like a couple of years, maybe now?
SH: I think we knew each other a lot longer than that.
JM: Yeah, maybe. It’s funny like the digital community, you always know of people. But in the time that we started hanging out really talking, I feel like you have changed, even in that time, I’ve seen you become so much more aware of having a healthier lifestyle. That has been really cool to watch because I feel like I have been along a similar path. But you’re also really good at just connecting with people. The work of yours that I have seen, you’re really good at connecting people, and lots of diverse people, and meeting them where they’re at. Is that something that’s always just been a natural talent for you or is that something that’s developed over your years and experience? Because you’ve been at it almost two decades now.
SH: Yeah. I’ve always known that you have to connect with people regardless, you can’t just not connect with them or just sit there and be an observer. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone talks to you, and they ask you questions, and they just nod their head, and then they just move forward. They’re not engaged in what you have to offer. Typically, those people, I just ignore, because they’re not someone I want to really associate with.
JM: Is that an interview specifically?
SH: This is everywhere.
JM: Your whole life.
SH: It’s everywhere. Reading body language is a big thing for me. If I can see that someone isn’t interested on what I’m talking about, and if they’re starting to look off, and they’re looking in a distance, they start looking at their phone—like you’ve noticed, I have my phone upside down. I always have my phone upside down anytime I’m doing something. Because I believe that you have to live with the moment with that person because you don’t get those moments back—
JM: You’re going to miss it.
SH: Why would you want to trade that for some stupid notification on the phone? That’s why my podcast is called, Be The Experience. It’s all about being a part of the experience. If someone is up on stage and they’re performing for two hours live to give you an experience, how different is that from you doing that in everyday life giving someone else the experience of you.
JM: Yeah, I love that, I love that. That’s so great. It’s interesting, I’m in this place in my life now where we call it the even exchange of energy. It is what I’m in search of in my relationships, I think especially when you are in media and you put yourself out there as being this person who wants to share some part of you and some part of your life—hopefully you build this great audience of people and you have the right following—but inevitably, there’s just the handful of those people everywhere you go that want to pick your brain, and they want to kick tires, and they want information.
I have a girlfriend who is this very successful self-taught photographer. I have no qualms about sending her messages and saying, “Hey, can you send me a list of your equipment?” It’s like, “Damn, she just worked so long, so hard, to figure that out and people will just suck the energy right out of you.” That’s really finding like, “Where are you going to get that even exchange where it’s a give and take?” Those are the relationships that I’m looking for now.
SH: I got that question last week from someone, maybe the same person, I don’t know.
JM: You’re right, just making the rounds.
SH: Yeah, making the rounds. But I got that question. She’s a wonderful woman. I know who she is, I’ve been in the same circles, you probably know who she is too. But she asked me in a message the other day and said, “Hey, can I pick your brain on how to start a podcast?” Perfect opportunity for me to say, “Hey, here are all the links to all those questions that you might have about starting a podcast, there you go.” Then all she wrote was like, “Okay, thanks.” My big thing is also like I don’t like people picking my brain—I hate to sound like this, because I do love to give my time—but I don’t like people picking my brain if they’re not going to do anything about it.
JM: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think for anybody who’s listening, who’s started a business or is considering starting a business—guaranteeing to have that experience—anytime you become an expert on something and put your energy and hard work into something, there’s going to be somebody who will want to come along and diverge it. That is human nature. I deal with this with my kids all the time. It’s like, “Have you seen this?” “Have you looked for it?” We’re always going to go to the easy answer. It’s human nature. But I think it’s important that you protect your expertise, the value that you bring, and all of that, that’s intellectual property.
SH: Yeah. The work that you did that no one else wants to do and the hours that you spent grinding away on that one particular thing. I have a friend of mine, she’s into microblading, I have no idea what that means other than it has to deal with eyebrows—
JM: I want a referral. I know what that means.
SH: But you know, if someone were to go up to her and say like, “How do you do that?” I would tell her to tell them no.
JM: There are also some things that you should not trade home.
SH: Yeah. I just don’t know.
JM: Podcasting and microblading.
SH: Yeah, two things you just don’t want to try. I really value my time, I value the work that I have done with podcasting, I value the work that I have been able to accomplish with broadcasting, everyone wants to come in and they always want to be a star. I can’t do that overnight. I cannot do that, I can’t make that to happen to you overnight.
JM: That’s interesting that you say that. Have you had the opportunity to work with interns or people that are new over the years? I’m assuming you’ve had some new people that have floated in and out of the radio station. What advice would you give to somebody who’s new in broadcasting or podcasting? Because they’re not terribly different. They’re provided in different ways, kind of similar concept as far as somebody who is walking in the door and things like, “Okay, this is the ticket, this is the key to my fame.” What is the advice that you would give to somebody?
SH: It’s funny you say that because I’ve had—
JM: Shannon Hernandez, you’re starting out looking for chicks.
SH: Yeah, looking for chicks, looking for the easy way out. Granted for instance, in the beginning of my career, I not only did want that lifestyle, but I also really honest genuinely wanted to be on the radio. I wanted to be good. Because if I didn’t have that, if I wasn’t good in my mind, I wasn’t able to get the chicks, the free drinks, whatever. But later down the line, I had learned that how I perform on the radio makes me so much more valuable in the person of who I am and what people want from me as opposed to just the looks and the ability to get you backstage. There’s more substance that is there.
JM: Right. It’s the art of what you do.
SH: It’s totally the art of what I do. I’ve had promotions assistants come in, I’ve had interns come in, they’re like, “I want to do what you do,” and I go, “Oh, you do, do you?” They’re like, “Yeah.” I go, “How far are you willing to go to do this?” They say, “As far as it goes.” I say, “Does that mean that you will study, practice in the shower, and practice while you’re driving in the car?”
JM: Oh, that separates the men and the women from the boys and the girls.
SH: I go, “Will you do that?” They’re like, “I could.” I go, “I need to know yes or no. Will you do that?” They’ll say, “Yeah, I can do that.” I said, “I don’t know of that hesitation,” there’s a little bit of hesitation because that’s what I did, I practiced in the shower, I practiced in front of a mirror, I practiced while I was driving to work, I practiced that night. I still did not sound great but at least I tried and I continue to try over and over.”
JM: Right, to do my best. Absolutely. It’s so funny. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Danielle LaPorte?
JM: She’s amazing, amazing author, she’s amazing. I follow her on Instagram. It’s funny because she is starting a podcast too which I thought was just kind of fun timing as I embark on this journey. She quoted Erykah Badu and that was something to the effect of she’s an artist and she’s sensitive about her shit. It’s funny because I think a lot of people do make this ration to these new mediums because they just think it’s where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to be doing. But if you don’t see it as an art and you don’t see it as something you’re willing to invest in, I think it’s where a lot of people go wrong.
SH: Yeah. If you’re not looking at it from the lenses of a human that is looking to make an impact and looking at it saying, “Hey, I can also incorporate that art into this impact,” then you have something that you’re on to. You’re really onto something, instead of you saying, “Hey, welcome to the such and such podcast,” “Oh, yeah,” you’re fooling around for the first 10 minutes, like I’m tuned out, like people just do not care.
JM: There’s enough stupid entertainment for bored people. There’s enough of that out there.
SH: You see that on Facebook everyday. You see that Facebook—at least from the audience that I’m a part of—there’s a lot of that stupidity that is in my feed and its memes, after meme, after meme. I have to go in and I have to unfollow everything because the things that matter to me, I want to watch something that you’re doing, or all of my little entrepreneurial friends. Does that mean I’m disconnecting from my audience? No. Because they just don’t know I unfollowed them. I still get the audience.
JM: But it’s getting more selective too. It’s getting a lot more selective about what you consume.
SH: If you’re going to podcast, have a clear focus, not only personally but from a podcast stand point. I think I told you this before, if you’re going to do one thing, the thing that you’re doing at home affects the one thing that you want to do outside of work. I hate saying it this way because it’s so cliche, but if you’re not taking care of your health, if you’re not taking care of your diet, then it likely affects what you’re taking care of with your podcast.
JM: I completely agree with you. We have that conversation with clients all the time. I have this conversation and I have had to take or relook at that in my own life. But to be a strong leader, you have to have good health, you have to take care, selfcare. As of this recording, there’s a new post on the catalyst website, brandwithcatalyst.com, about self care. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not taking care of anybody else. Absolutely.
SH: I just said this, I think, in a Facebook post, I’ll have to post it on my blog because it will get lost in the Facebook—it’s a sea of nothingness. Because the reason shootings, as of this recording, the reason shootings in Florida had everyone all open arms about, “It’s a gun control thing, it’s a mental heath thing.” I thought, “There’s one thing that people are missing here,” I’m sad that that all happened but everyone has their opinions about why they think that happened wrong. I’m like, “You know what you’re missing? You’re missing this like, “What are you doing to make it happen? What are you doing?”
JM: Those high school kids are putting us all to shame. Honestly, it kills me. I watched an interview with one of the survivors. When a child has to look at us, and be that mirror, and ask us what we’re doing, wow. You better stop and think.
SH: You have to think about what it is that you’re doing to make an impact instead of just talking about it. What are you doing to make that impact? I don’t care if you’re on that one side of the debate or other because if I disagree with you but I do see you doing something, at least you’re doing something about it.
JM: That’s just a sign of our times, I think. You hear about fake news, you hear about politics, I could get up on my soapbox right now, preach to the choir. But it’s so true, gosh. And getting back to some of that being really selective about what you’re consuming online, consuming your food, what your dollars go toward purchasing, what media you created in me and for the people that you choose to talk to, the conversations you choose to engage. I see these things that people post that they would never say to me in real life. These are crazy things.
Again, whatever side you’re on, I will just tell you very openly that I am for more gun control, I’m for protecting the second amendment, I’m for making it a more responsible and revered gun culture where that is something for people who are trained, that know how to use guns. But I see people who are on both sides and they’re just saying this crazy stuff that just not go toward creating any kind of understanding, it’s not based on fact, it’s just pure emotion. Where does that get you?
SH: This all comes down to how willing you are to change. How are you going to change your philosophy, how are you going to change your opinion, how are you going to change the impact of someone else’s life, so whether it be about gun control or how are you going to change the nature and how your business looks a year from now, it’s about change. It’s about what you can do now, today, to change the outcome of what you want to see happen in the future
For you, if you want to see more gun control, what is it that you can change today? Maybe you go to your congressman, you start lobbying and doing a lot more of that, or what is it about, maybe say, catalyst that you want to change? What is that you want to include in your business that will help you grow and develop? Because I used to be so afraid of growing and developing in the past about like, “Oh, I’m afraid to get in front of a coach and they’re going to push me to do something.” But little did I know is that they were pushing me because I hadn’t even reached one level of my life. I never realize that they could push me to do things that I wasn’t even able to do and I was like, “Oh, that makes sense. I wasn’t perfect but it allows me to do the next thing forward.”
JM: Right, reach to the next level, absolutely.
SH: It is about the end game, it is about where you want to go. You may have that top-level goal that you want to be a millionaire entrepreneur and that’s what your goal is. But then you have all these secondary lower-level goals, that means like going to the office everyday, and what is the goal you got to do? I’ve got to push efforts—
JM: I like how your voice drops—It’s not the laptop lifestyle, head envisioned on the beach.
SH: Right, what is it that you want to do? What is it that you’re changing to reach the top level goal? It’s got to come from within somewhere.
JM: One of the questions that I love to ask—and I think about this from myself all the time too, but we are working on a personal brand just to bring soulful circle—is what is the legacy you want to leave? What do you want to leave behind when you’re gone? What’s the lasting thing—just to go completely off topic and super personal, we’ll just go there.
SH: No, I’m fine.
JM: After my step mom passed away, my dad had this big 3000 square foot house that he had no desire to be in anymore. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a spouse like, “Joe, I hope I die first, man. Sorry.” I can’t even imagine how awful that must be and how you do go through a phase of just being like you’ve given up. I just remember where we’re cleaning up this 3000 square foot house and we’re throwing away photo albums, pictures, memories. It kind of put me in this existentialist place for a while where I’m like, “Everything that I’m buying right now is just like on a slow parade from the cash register to a garbage drum somewhere. Why do I have all this shit? What am I doing? Why am I doing it?” You really do start to think like, “What is that legacy that you want to leave long after you’re gone? What’s the mark that you’re going to leave? Do it now. Do it right now. Embrace the change, get somebody who’s willing to push you out of your comfort zone and into that next level. Think about the impact that you’re having on people, don’t think about the vehicle, the medium, the podcast, Facebook, and the ads, think about what’s the message, what’s the grit of the message?
SH: Yeah, what you just said right there I think speaks to so much of what people don’t focus on. Because they’re too worried about the tech, they’re too worried about whether or not they got 500 likes on Facebook, they’re too worried about the views on Facebook Live, they’re worried about those things. Focus on what you can do. What are you changing in yourself that will make the impact outside? Just like what you said, you got to take care of yourself.
I know I’m speaking to a highly-engaged female audience right here, but one thing that I know as a man is that I have to be in touched with my emotions and my feelings because we make decisions on our emotions, every turn doesn’t matter.
JM: Yep, all day, everyday.
SH: How masculine you are? You still make a decision based off of your emotions, “I need that.”
JM: It’s human nature, man or woman.
SH: It’s just how we are. I say it all of the time, you can’t pour from an empty cup ever. That means you have to make time for exercise, you have to make time for diet, you have to take time for whether it’s prayer or meditation, you have to make time for your children because those things affect the thing that you’re going to be doing with a podcast, a Facebook Live, or your business. You might as well do those things so that you can thrive in your business.
JM: And leave your legacy.
SH: Yeah, that’s why you do this so you can leave a legacy.
JM: Yeah, good advice. I don’t think it gets any better than that. I mean, that’s it. I think that probably brings us to our conclusion. Good stuff. Please check out Shannon’s website, it’s theshanman.com. Definitely check out his YouTube. What is your YouTube Channel?
SH: It’s youtube.com/shannon.hernandez but you can get directly to it from my website.
JM: He’s got some things on his site too, sign up for it. He’s not this person who’s going to spam you at 47 emails until you either buy from him or drop out. That stuff makes me nuts. But he’s got just really good stuff. This sounds like an ad, it is not an ad. I’m telling you legitimately, Shannon has been working with me and he’s amazing. He’s definitely an expert. If you’re thinking of starting a podcast or just want to connect with a quality human being, definitely check him out.