The Idea That I’ve Thought About For 6 Months Is
Finally Becoming A Reality…
As a businessperson and entrepreneur, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t rub shoulders and brains with other fascinating people and entrepreneurs. Many of these people have incredible stories to tell. They are smart, intelligent; some are leaders in their respective fields, not to mention, many have discovered unique ways to impact the lives of their customers, clients and patients. And while I’ve always enjoyed these conversations, about six months ago it occurred to me, so would others.
So I asked, “Why not share these stories? Why not interview these people? Why not launch a Podcast? Why not create a site where they could be posted and listened to?”
With that, the concept for Concord Advice Givers was born…
This is something I have been thinking about for a long time, but never really knew how to bring it to life. Podcasts have existed on iTunes for nearly a decade, but it was only recent that they became a viable media platform.
You’re seeing this explosion right in front of your eyes.
According to USA Today, Apple announced that it has surpassed 1 billion subscriptions for podcasts via its iTunes app. And in a study by Edison Research, an estimated 39 million people have listened to a podcast in the past month. Even the large media networks: CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX now offer audio versions of many of their favorite TV news shows. Why do this? Clear Channel’s president of digital said it best, “We need to be wherever the consumers are.” And right now, podcasts have exploded onto the scene.
In today’s technology driven world, the barrier of entrance to get into the media business is easier than ever. It used to be that you needed an expensive studio, equipment, and a team of audio and video experts. Not anymore. And it’s the consumer that is driving the popularity of Podcasts.
As more people own smart phones, and as more car manufactures manufacture cars with built-in Internet connectivity, (about 50% now, and by 2025, all cars will have Internet) soon Podcasts will no longer be classified as Podcasts, instead, according to a recent Forbes article, “It will just be radio.”
The article goes on to state, “If you’re thinking about launching a podcast, you’d better do it soon,” says Harbinger, the author of the article, “Because the competition is only going to get more intense.”
With that, let me tell you a little about the Podcast I’ve created.
Podcast Name: Concord Advice Givers. [The program will be featured on iTunes as well as on Stitcher—the #1 and #2 largest Podcast platforms.]
Podcast Mission: To interview Vancouver business owners, entrepreneurs, our local authors and thought-leaders to bring Vancouver residents the best advice from our community’s brightest minds. As you know my purpose in life is to help people, to inspire people, and above all, to tell stories. I see Concord Advice Givers as just another Platform that is capable of helping me to pursue each of those goals. In creating the identity of this program, from my own internal convictions and from talking with others, there are four Core Beliefs that will guide the guest selection, focus, and what strive to deliver to Podcast subscribers and listeners.
Core Belief #1: We believe if you can’t trust the person. Then you can’t trust his work. Here is the truth. Trust is a function of “getting to know” someone. What is their story? Why did they choose the career path they chose? What drives them? What motivates them? What is their philosophical viewpoint? Does it align with yours? Do they have a family? Have they experienced tragedy? Adversity? Have they bounced back? When put into a difficult situation, how do they respond?… These are the kinds of question that can only be answered, by having a conversation with someone. This is why Concord Advice Givers is a site dedicated to interviewing local experts. There are no reviews or ratings. Only stories. Only conversations. And you’re welcome to listen in, to find that next professional you may hire. The idea, frankly, of hiring someone, when you’re in need of critical advice, from an ad or marketing piece, is ludicrous. As the saying goes, “truth in advertising.” HA!… Truth lives in stories, real, authentic, stories… Only by hearing someone’s voice, and understanding their thought-process, can you come to trust them.
Core Belief #2 : We believe relationships. Actually getting to know someone. Is more powerful than a Google or Yelp review. Let’s face it. Aren’t most review sites bombarded with fake and fraudulent reviews, or reviews, written by people who tend to over-exaggerate or under-exaggerate their true experience. How can the same establishment, for example, have so many 5-star reviews and 1-star reviews, at the same time? Time Magazine recently published an article titled, “9 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Trust Online Reviews.” But this just gets to the bigger point, accurately expressed by entrepreneur and angel investor, Peter Shankman, who wrote, “A business model [i.e. online review sites] that allow anyone to review, at any time, with no structure or background is a flawed model. There’s no reason for me to trust anyone I don’t know. It’s the INTERNET, for the love of God. Why should I?” He has a point doesn’t he? “Why do people allow themselves to be influenced by complete strangers?” I suppose when the decision is trivial, like which restaurant to eat it, then its no big deal. There is little at stake. But… when it comes to getting real advice, for an important decision… Really? You’re going to trust a stranger? We believe, bluntly, there is a better way. To first hear their story…
Core Belief #3: We believe the consumer is too smart to fool. And even though some aren’t, they shouldn’t be misled. You don’t really think these review sites are “objective” do you? Of course not. You are too smart. The reality is, many of these sites allow businesses and service-providers to “pay for” top rankings. Take Angie’s List for example, according to Consumer Reports, “Angie’s List misleads consumers by prominently promising that “businesses don’t pay” and that it’s a consumer-driven service supported by membership fees. But almost 70 percent of the company’s revenues come from advertising purchased by the service providers being rated.” Huh? But the real kicker is that Angie’s List then charges consumers a “membership fee” for the privilege to view their skewed and misleading ratings. Or take Google + whose reviews have also been called into question… because businesses can reach out to customers who’ve posted bad reviews, and beg, bribe, make amends, or otherwise convince the aggrieved to change or delete their original opinion. “This can skew the ratings positively,” states Consumer Reports. That being said, we believe the public deserves better. The consumer is not stupid and he shouldn’t be treated as such. This kind of “false objectivity,” many online review sites are guilty of, speaks to the character of their site.
Core Belief #4: We believe trust can’t be bought. It must be earned. Unlike other sites, we never sell out. If someone is on this site, interviewed, it is because he or she earned it. It is because they are smart. Intelligent. Have contrarian beliefs and views, and thus, something to offer—a different perspective. Or they have a long, celebrated track record of delivering their customers, clients or patients superior results. Unlike popular “review sites,” which are big Wall Street businesses disguised as consumer-sites, we are not. We have no shareholders to appease or keep happy. Our trust. Our integrity, cannot be bought. On Vancouver Advice Givers, those featured, are the experts that we believe will have the greatest impact. And be of the greatest service, to Vancouver residents. And, we are committed to helping these folks impact more lives, through spreading their stories…
So what do you think? Don’t you agree that we have some bright minds right here in the greater Concord and Charlotte area, that have incredible stories to tell, that can really help people? I’m working diligently to get the Podcast up and fully launched in March. Along with the Podcast, I will also be publishing Concord Advice Givers MONTHLY—a print magazine featuring those I interview each month. If you think you, or someone you know, would make a great guest on the show, and is aligned with the beliefs of the program, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Neal@ConcordAdviceGivers.com. This podcast in a sense is really no different than Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. Just as Mike was on the constant hunt for new dirty jobs, I’m on the constant hunt for new bright minds.
THANK YOU for all your continued support. We look forward to hearing from you!