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Chris & Katie Krimitsos: Profitable Podcasting

My guests are Katie and Chris Krimitsos. Katie is the host of the Biz Women Rock podcast and the Founder of the Women's Meditation Network. Her husband, Chris is the Founder of the Podfest Expo, an event that holds over 1,000 podcasters and he is the Producer of The Messengers, a documentary on podcasting.

In this episode, we have a lot of fun. Chris, Katie and I go way back. We used to all live in Tampa together. That was a real treat to have them in the studio. In this particular show, we go into profitable podcasting and how to start, launch or grow your own podcast. If that's something that you ever thought like, “That would be awesome. That would be interesting to do,” then you are going to love this show.

We also talk about how to create community. Whether you do this online, whether you do it offline, they both had this amazing ability to create a family-like atmosphere which creates this longevity, which creates people being rabid and excited for everything that they put out. We also talk about what makes a great interview, whether you're doing this live on a podcast, or in front of many others or interviewing to write. We talk about what makes that great interview.

If you've ever thought about getting sponsors for anything, whether it be a podcast or your business or maybe you do a live event, we talk about sponsorship. How to get them, what to say, how to package it, all that and a lot more. I'm super excited for you to read this because it's going to teach you about what we do here at the Get WealthFit! show. It's also going to open up new doors and possibilities to you. Even if you don't want to get into podcasting, you’re going to benefit from this show. With that said, let's get to it.

Dustin
Katie and Chris, it's 2014 and Katie, you are launching your first podcast, Biz Women Rock and you're set to record the intro, not a full-fledged introduction and it takes you over two hours. If the story goes how I believe it goes, tears are running down your face, yet here you are an incredibly successful podcaster. I'm very curious to know back in 2014, what happened?
Chris & Katie
Tears were running down my face. I had recorded a handful of different interviews already. I had them in the can ready to go live and officially launched the Biz Women Rock podcast. It was the night before my launch date. I needed to upload the shows and in order to do that, I needed to record an intro for this beautiful interview that I had for episode one. Chris dropped me off at our office and he was like, “I'm going to go run some errands. I'll be right back.” He took extra time. It was an hour or two hours later that he came back and he found me in tears. What had happened is I kept recording. The intro needed to be 30 seconds or maybe a minute, but I couldn't get it right. Miss perfectionistic was needing it to go from start to finish so perfectly. I had so many expectations of what it should be, how it should sound, was that energetic enough and what are the lines. I tried writing it out and it still didn't work.
He came back and I was like, “I can’t do this. I don't think I'm going to do this podcast. Who wants to listen to this? I can't even record an intro.” It was very painful. He calmed down and he said, “I'm going to give you a little bit more time. You're going to be fine. You've got this.” Another hour later passed, he came back and I still couldn't do it because I didn't know enough that I could cut it. I was doing one take. I need to do it in one take. Even on a hiccup of an extra breath or something, I would have to start over. Three hours into it, he finally comes back. This is one of the many reasons why I'm in love with this man because he talked to me off the ledge. He sat down right next to me. He fed me my lines and he was like, “We're going to hit record. I'm going to tell you what to say. You repeat after me.” He said, “Welcome to Biz Women Rock.” I said, “Welcome to Biz Women Rock.” He was like, “My name is Katie Krimitsos.” I was like, “My name is Katie Krimitsos.” Literally, that was it. If you listen back now, that intro is so bland but we were able to edit it all down. It was the twenty seconds that it needed to be to get out episode one.
Dustin
To give people a context, what does the show look like now and how far have you come?
Chris & Katie
I just released my 430th show. I've been in this for years. It's been a while.
Dustin
Chris, I want you to share the story. I love this because it's a powerful couple story, also a powerful story on focus, dividing and conquering. You both got excited about the idea of starting a podcast and you both wanted to start. However, you didn't. How did Katie come to start the podcast?
Chris & Katie
I had done a workshop at a local restaurant. I was so excited about podcasting because of the guy that was talking at the end of our workshop. We had thirteen people. I said, “How many people listen to your show?” He goes, “4,000.” I go, “Is that a year? Is that a week?” At the time, I knew nothing about numbers. He goes, “Every week.” I go, “How many shows did you put out?” He goes, “I put out one.” I go, “You have 4,000 people listening to your show.” He goes, “Yeah, I know. I’ve got to get my numbers up.” I was sitting there baffled because I was like, “I spent all month to get thirteen people in the room. You go home in your boxers and you have 4,000 people.” He goes, “Is that good?” I go, “That's phenomenal.” I got home and I said, “Katie, I'm starting a podcast.” She goes, “About what?” I go, “I have no clue. I'm so excited.”
I explained to her the concept and then she was like, “I've been thinking about doing something for women.” We were very fortunate. We have a very good friend who was a business consultant and he said, “You both can't launch a podcast at the same time.” At the time, we were doing 120 events. We have a live event company in a local community. He was like, “If you both start a podcast, something is going to give, but you could both choose one. One of you could get behind it and the other one could be the lead, and you can divide and conquer.” Katie had Biz Women Rock and I did some research. I was like, “There's no other real female-focus brand.” I know it’s hard to believe, but a few years back, there was maybe one or two and they were inconsistent. I go, “This area is right for a leader.”
I made her promise one thing and I said, “In the first year, you’ll only interview women.” This is a marketer thing. I was like, “Be true to your brand.” I knew my wife would want to also interview men, which she has since, but in the beginning year, I want it to be so focused that we could grow that brand. I became the Marketing Manager and that's what I did. I've since launched a whole bunch and I love the medium. I love YouTube and I love all of it but it's been amazing to watch her grow Biz Women Rock into a brand and now she has Meditation for Women, which is another amazing brand she launched.
Dustin
I am excited to talk about this topic. You helped me launch this show and giving me advice. I remember going to the first Podfest, the conference that you put on. I've seen it grow and I’m grateful. I want to give people some context because I know people are getting to podcasting. Maybe some people are a little nervous about the thought of being behind the mic, which is much easier than being in front of a camera. Nonetheless, will you talk a little bit about the podcast opportunity for people to get in while it's still the Wild West?
Chris & Katie
Right now, we're doing an interview show and most people think podcasting is an interview medium, which is not true. Podcasting is on demand episodic audio that is delivered through the internet that is searchable in nature. That's a very different distinction than an interview show. You could do a solo show and you don't have to have a host. You could be a subject matter expert. You could do storytelling, you could do an interview and you could do a comedy entertainment show. There are so many different facets to this. You could launch courses on the podcast platform. You've probably seen this, but some people will take a webinar, cut it down to eight different episodes and put it on podcasting just for the searchability of it. We’re living through a renaissance in audio and that renaissance is podcasting.
There are somewhere around 600,000 podcasts listed on the directories. The majority of them are not active. There's a couple of hundred thousand that are active, but we should have at least a few million over the next couple of years. There are so many niches still available for people to talk about and then we've seen other stuff. I remember Katie and I watched these two ladies created social media happy hour. Sometimes it's packaging it in a way that's digestible. Here's an area that's crowded, but social media happy hour created us a sense of place in someone's mind and that show took off. There's also a lot of cool tricks you could do with branding. You're tapping into listeners that are waiting for a message and that's very unique.
Dustin
Katie, you started a podcast. We're very fortunate here at WealthFit to have a very fancy studio. However, it doesn't have to be that. You said that you literally just need a laptop and a microphone. Can you elaborate so people know what it's like?
Chris & Katie
I want to do this very intentionally because so many people believe that it's too confusing and that there's too much tech stuff to be able to do it. I'm here to tell you my podcast set up which sounds very beautiful and highly produced and it’s done on my laptop with my microphone. I have a foam cap on the mic to make it sound pretty. I have a pop filter that sometimes I use, sometimes I don't and I have a software that we're recording in. For me, that’s Zoom and that's it. Because of that, I can take that around. I can travel with it. I can record from my car if I need to and I can record from another house if I need to. If we're traveling to see my family in Arizona, I can take everything with me and do a podcast there. It is very simple on the tech part. It can get very complicated. People can make it very complicated and that's awesome, but I didn't want that complication so it’s a laptop, mic and recording software.
Dustin
Katie, I want you to talk because this will come full circle from that story that we opened the show with. I want you to talk to the mompreneurs who are like, “I could never be behind the mic.” You struggled with the intro there. What do you say to somebody that is like, “I'd like to do that, but what am I going to say? Who's going to want to listen to what I have to say?”
Chris & Katie
There are a couple of things there. Number one, I always go back to what’s something right now that you could talk about forever that you don't get tired talking about it. That's how I knew that I wanted to do Biz Women Rock because I could talk about business forever. I love that topic. It gets me excited. Think about something that you enjoy talking about and you could hear what other people reflect back to you. If you have friends or family members that are always telling you, “You're so good at this or you’re so knowledgeable about that,” or they always come to you for a specific thing, that can give you some inkling on what you can talk about and what type of podcast you could have. If you have an interest in something that you love talking about, I guarantee that there are other people out there who also love talking about that no matter how specific it is. They're searching for somebody else to be talking about that.
Dustin
Chris, I want to come to you. A lot of people use it as a creative outlet. You've got members of the community that it's a hobby. However, we have a lot of entrepreneurial-minded people reading this and money is a big topic like, “How do I monetize this? How do I get clients from this? How do I justify the value of doing it outside of this just being a fun entertainment show?” What are some of the different ways you've seen people monetize a podcast?
Chris & Katie
If you already have a business, it's a very easy Swiss Army tool to have in your business. You have a book inside your studio Crushing Debt by Shawn Yesner. He's an attorney so he used that to leverage himself as a thought leader. He's getting leads, but his original thing was to be a thought leader and it opens up doors for him. You could use it if you already have a vehicle that you're making money with and you could use it to accelerate and intensify what you're already doing. If you're someone that's getting into a hobby, you want to make sure that your niches are one that people need the information and they might need a course. For me, I'm a live event expert. I've done 2,000. If I were to do a podcast, it would be the Live Event Profit Podcast and then I could sell a course very easily because as I'm teaching you, you're also like, “I would love to consult with this guy or buy a course to crosscheck what I'm doing.” That lends itself to monetization. There are so many different ways. Those are two off the top of my head.
Dustin
I want to take a step back. We do have a lot of business-minded people reading this, but I always marvel at some of the niches. You’ve got this conference that you put on and lots of people come to you from all around the world and from all different niches. What are some unique niches that you've witnessed or that you've engaged within your community?
Chris & Katie
I'm going to go into the weird business ones, but before we even go there, there's audio drama. Orson Welles, the guy that created Citizen Kane, did War of the Worlds where when he did this audio drama on the radio back in the day, everybody thought aliens were attacking us and they went hiding in their basements. Audio drama is literally actors acting out scripts through audio. The reason why I want to mention this is because a lot of those shows get 10 million to 30 million downloads. They're huge. They're at a whole different scale. You have these weird niches that these business owners find that you're like, “Is that even possible?” There's a guy that does a show about chameleon breeding and they're making money because the people that listen to something like that, they want chameleon cages. They want to know where to buy chameleon type heat light pads and misting systems.
You have Glenn The Geek with the Horse Radio Network. He has fourteen shows across the spectrum about horse husbandry. He has a thing called the Dressage Radio Show and that's about horse jumping. It’s one of his most niche shows, but it’s his most profitable show. Where are those people going find to advertise other than Glenn? What a lot of people don't realize is if you are the marketplace for that niche, then the value of those listeners exponentially expands. I've seen a guy that had beard casts about beard competitions. I remember he was telling me at the time, “I only have 300 listeners.” I was like, “300 listeners that listen to beard competitions. Sponsors want to get in front of those people. They're not going to pay you the same as if they were advertising on TV to the masses.” We have seen that big companies are getting very nimble to this and they're creating marketing arms because they've contacted Katie for stuff where they want niche audiences. They don't want big numbers. They want hyper-focused niche numbers.
One of our friends, Drew Ackerman, has the Sleep With Me Podcast. He has a podcast that puts people to sleep. Casper mattress advertises on his website. He has his own specialty code for people that want new mattress, but he gets patrons. People give them money every month to support him in creating his art and it is art. It sounds very funny to us, but millions of people have downloaded his show across the world. He helps them every day to shut down their overactive minds and go to sleep. The Medicare Nation by Diane Daniels and then she started Weight Loss Nation. The Location Sound Podcast for location sound engineers. I could keep going on and on. We've launched hundreds of these podcasts and they all do well.
Dustin
I want to give people a little taste of the course that you created because I didn't know about this. You can have patrons. If you've got a podcast in and you’re maybe not at the level of corporate advertisers you can get your audience to do, what's the website and how does that work?
Chris & Katie
Go to Patreon.com. They take 10%. That allows you to offer extra add-ons for those patrons. They could donate as little as a dollar and as much as whatever you want. I had a podcast that I was doing and I had two patrons give me $200 a month. I was getting $400 a month. I shot for the bigger dollar amounts and I got them. It depends on the relationship you have with your audience. Those patrons support your art.
Dustin
Katie, do you have advertisers for Biz Women Rock?
Chris & Katie
I have in the past and I've had a couple of different seasons when advertisers were a good fit for me. It’s in the early years. Within the first year, I was like, “I'm ready for advertisers.” My numbers were not such that it would fit a typical CPM model, which is a corporate advertising model where you need to have larger numbers in order to get a certain amount of dollars per episode. Outside of the box is exactly what Chris is talking about. If you have a niche and engaged audience, there are people who want to get in front of that. I went back into my catalog of guests that I had interviewed and said, “Who has a company with products or services that would want to get in front of my audience?”
I already have a relationship with them. Two advertisers came on within that first year and they were wonderful. It was a great advertising relationship and then it fizzled out. About a year later, I had another advertiser and that was great for a little while, and then that fizzled out. Chase Bank came and sponsored and they were doing what Chris was talking about. They were doing influencer focus campaigns for a particular arm of their marketing and they wanted to reach niche audiences. We did something creative with them. We added not only what was happening on my podcast listenership, but my social media presence and things like that under the Biz Women Rock banner. We were able to create something creative for them.
Dustin
You can monetize that way. You get these advertisers to come on the show, but you also two have built coaching, consulting and other business. Can we talk a little bit about how you're getting people from the podcast over into the thing that monetizes best for you?
Chris & Katie
This has been an evolution. The very first and most powerful way that I monetize my show and still what has come full circle to be the core component of my show is that I'm a business strategist and business coach. Over the course of all of these years, what my show does is it scales the trust factor. If you provide a service that generally is a high-ticket item and it usually takes many conversations to be able to build rapport, trust and one-on-one with somebody, what a podcast can do is it can showcase your expertise and it allows the listener to build a relationship with you. By the time they're calling you, they already know that they want to hire you. It's just a matter of the closing conversation, “What's the right thing for them?” My podcast remains as the largest marketing arm for me because people are listening to me over and over again.
I do some solo shows, but mostly 80% to 90% of my episodes are interviews. In that interview, people can still hear my expertise because I'm engaging with the guest. I have Work With Me page on my website and people are like, “I've been listening to you for years. I just discovered your podcast and I listened to everything over the past couple of weeks and I know I want to work with you. What do you got?” That remains to be the largest thing. In the years past, I've done masterminds, I've done live events, and retreats. I've had online courses and the whole gamut of different ways. It all comes from the podcast and people building that relationship.
Dustin
Mr. Krimitsos, I’ve got the million-dollar question. How do we get an audience? We get the equipment. It's not that hard to get in. We come up with some content. Maybe we interview people, maybe we do the other drama thing. How do we get ears?
Chris & Katie
The most important thing is what you name your podcast, believe it or not. It's one of the most important things. What is the name of your podcast? Will people find it when they're searching? A lot of people search on iTunes for certain subjects. What category would it be placed in iTunes? What are you going to tag your episode titles? What is the purpose of my show? What is it that I want people to say after they listened to my show? A lot of people just want to do an interview show and not have an objective. I’ll give you an example. Live Event Profits, believe it or not, I have a big philosophy of starting ugly. I did start ugly. I started with Conference Cashflow. I didn't like the name of that. Now I'm rebranding it Live Event Profits because it tells you exactly what it is. Get started and then adjust as you go accordingly. To build an audience, Overcast has a unique feature where you could pay for subscribers on their platforms. You could bid. You'd pay monthly depending on your niche. That's directly paying for subscribers.
Dustin
How do they track that?
Chris & Katie
It's on their app. You could subscribe on the app and it shows up in your numbers. It's verifiable. It goes up for bid every month. It's not an auto bid. If you're in there, every month you have to rebid. That's one way. If you have a great niche, you want to write blogs or you want to post on social media, find out which platform would be good for you and then focus on that as you build other social platforms. The other quickest way to grow your audience is to get on other podcasts that are like your podcast. That's the quickest. YouTube or podcast is collaborating with other content creators in your like niche.
In podcasting, we have two PR companies that most people don't even know about. One is called Interview Connections with Jessica Rhodes and Interview Valet with Tom Schwab. Those are two silver bullets. If you know who they are, you want to hire those firms to represent you. For those of you that don't know about PR, they’re so much more economical and they do something for the money you're paying them. If you deal with the big PR firm, they'll take $5,000 to $10,000 a month. You're lucky if you get one interview and it doesn't move the needle. This is more of the new model so I would highly recommend getting on other shows. If you don’t know how to, then hire an agency to get you on those shows.
Dustin
This is a blanket advice question. It’s always situational. If someone is dipping their toe in the water and they're going to get started, do you think the interview format is the way to go?
Chris & Katie
Here's the challenge with the interview format. I think it is the easiest way to start. People might not know, but you launched Business Credit Infusion. You've been in the financial space for a while so you know a lot about it but when you're interviewing us, we're the experts on your show. You're hosting us. What I would recommend for anyone that's doing an interview show is to do a solo show once a month to show their expertise. It also increases your downloads but it also increases the like and trustability you have with your audience. They realize that you're not just someone giving softball questions to your guests because you want them to be highlighted. They realize like, “This guy knows what he's doing. He's giving that platform to his guests, but he knows his stuff.” That helps you sell courses.
Let's say you do an interview. Jerry Springer used to do this. He used to call it Springer’s Take. He'd have his final thoughts. Maybe you have a segment at the end where you give your final thoughts. It helps build you as an expert. Most people who do an interview show and they do it because they want to either learn about the subject or be an expert in that subject matter. You have to have a segment that displays your expertise. The challenge with interviewing is if you don't have a segment, you're displaying everybody else's expertise, but you are. You want to have an additional moment where you could display your expertise.
Dustin
Katie, you said that reviews are part of the game in terms of getting eyeballs. Somebody said something about good reviews are good, but even bad reviews are good and that hit my head in a way. I was like, “Why are bad reviews good for my podcast?”
Chris & Katie
Bad reviews can be good for your podcast because they can give you somewhat anonymous therefore honest feedback about what a listener's experience is like. I'll give you an example. I have the Women's Meditation Network podcast and it goes on an app. In addition to the podcast itself, I also put it on an app called InsightTimer, which is where a lot of people who teach meditation can put their apps. A lot of people who listen to meditation can go there for some free guided meditations. I've gotten dinged on a couple of the meditations because people are super into their meditations. Here's what it's done for me. I will look at it. I have to practice not taking it so personally, but I'll be like, “That's a good point. The gong at the end, they didn't like that.” It has caused me to make changes in how I produce and create my show to make it better. If you look at it like that, it can ultimately help you evolve.
Dustin
I want to ask you this because you interview a lot of people. How does one get good or great at interviewing people?
Chris & Katie
Listening is the number one thing. Here are a couple of practical tips. Number one, know who you're talking to. I could put this under the line of research your guest, but you don't want to over research. I used to over research in those first couples of months of Biz Women Rock and I would have planned out the story that I wanted the guests to tell. What happened is that because I had the plan, we weren't naturally having this organic conversation because I was so focused on where I wanted it to go. Now, I typically know who I want to interview and I know why I want them on because I know that my audience wants to hear that thing about them.
At this point, I'm good friends with or know of at least the people who I'm bringing on. What I will do is I will know what angle I want to come in with. I know the ultimate takeaways that I want people to get or the feeling that I want people to get and I ask questions that I listen. By listening, as an interviewer, you're able to go with the flow. When they say something that you hadn't even planned on, you can dive deeper into that. The best feedback that I continue to get as an interviewer is you asked the exact question that I was going to ask. “Katie, you always ask the exact question that I'm asking in my head when she said that thing.”
Dustin
I want to talk about finding guests because it's an area that we skipped and you said, “Go and get on other people's shows.” You can use a service like Interview Valet and Interview Connections. How do you find the guests?
Chris & Katie
You've got to figure out who you're serving so you can figure out who is a good guest for your show. You could either find other people in the media. You can use some of those services to book guests on your show, but I would go network and go join groups where your target audience are. Go to the trade shows and find out who the experts are within your niche. One of the other cool ways for the people who want celebrities, join IMDb Internet Movie Database and then pitch the agents. If it's something that aligns with what that celebrity is looking to do, you might land a whale on your show.
Dustin
In terms of finding these guests, Chris, we know the answer to this. When I first got started, I was thinking like, “I’ve got a brand-new show. I don't have any stats or cred. No one knows me. I'm not famous. Why are people going to be on my little old show?”
Chris & Katie
Most times, people are honored when you invite them to your show. You do your research and you get them on there. You might not get the top of the top, but you'll get great experts. Honestly, what usually moves the needle with an audience is great information. If a celebrity has been interviewed 100 times, you're not going to move the needle unless you have good subject matter experts and they're honored when you invite them to be on your show.
As you grow your audience, a great thing that you could do is ask your audience members to be on the show. As you get to know your audience members and as you get to know your listeners, you can see who they are and how that can then be reflected as being a guest on your show. You can highlight them and feature them as somebody who they themselves as an expert or as a way for you to be able to highlight community members. I have brought on many of my listeners to feature them in their own space, or I've done live coaching calls and it's bringing on a listener of mine. I'm doing a live coaching call for them. They're bringing their one question, idea and challenge to the table. We have 25 minutes to strategize it out and it does a couple of things.
Number one, it allows me to get to know my community members well. Number two, it allows everyone else listening who probably has the same problem and challenge as that girl who's on. It allows them to get the benefit of that strategy and feel connected that they're not the only one with that problem. Third, it also gives me a very active pipeline of coaching clients because now somebody who's experienced what it's like to strategize with me for 25 minutes and then we can have a conversation later after that to see if they want more of that. Everyone else listening has got to have a piece of that magic too. There are so many creative things that you could do to be able to have content and a guest format on your show.
The one thing people don't foresee as you get momentum is you get pitched by too many guests. Katie is at the point where she gets pitched all the time. She has to filter through that.
Dustin
How do you say no? Do you have someone do it for you?
Chris & Katie
That would be the smart thing to do, but if I'm going to be honest, no. At this phase of my podcasting life for Biz Women Rock, I'm hunting. I know what I want to have on the show so I'm hunting for those people. If I don't already know them, then I'm trying to go find who that person would be to be able to talk about that topic. However, I do look at most of them coming through and there are some that will be like, “I haven't talked about that yet. I do need somebody to talk about that. That's an interesting story. I do want to bring them on.” It's the rare person that gets my attention on the pitch but it does happen.
Dustin
I want to dig a little here. What would be your advice if I'm not Oprah, but I'm somebody trying to get my foot in the door? Do I send you awesome direct mail? Do I buy a product of yours? What's going to move me at the front of the line?
Chris & Katie
I'm going to tell you to send a direct pitch because you might as well, you just never know. It's the long-term game. The best way is to build a relationship with me. The people I tend to invite on my show are women that I've built relationships within different Facebook groups. Here's a great way. I've done it where I want to be on that person’s show, I've invited them to my show so that we can start a relationship. I don't pitch myself on their show unless it's super appropriate, but oftentimes, it's very appropriate. If you have a podcast, that becomes a good medium for you to say, “You're interesting. I want you to come to my show because I want to be on your show.”
Dustin
Chris, I want to ask you this and Katie, I'm going to throw this one to you too. You've been behind the scenes helping launch this show. You've got shows out yourself. What has surprised you the most in your together podcasting journey?
Chris & Katie
I knew Katie was a techie, but it was interesting to watch her. She's good at technology. Maybe she figures it out, but it's been surprising to watch her troubleshoot stuff that I'm like, “There's no way I would be able to figure it out.” She figures everything out. It's been great to watch her grow as a techie. That was surprising. It's amazing to see how hard she works and how focused she is. It's amazing to watch her build these amazing communities throughout the year. We've had two kids in the meantime, so she hasn't let off the steam. I know I’m her harshest critic, but it's amazing to watch her do that while raising two daughters. One that's five months old and one that's three years old.
Dustin
You mentioned community and I marvel at your ability to create community. I've been seeing you do this together for fourteen years. It's funny because it's been traditionally in a live event format and now you're doing it in a podcast. You're doing it both in multiple modalities. I am curious about both of your keys to success in building family, community and a loyal following.
Chris & Katie
I'm going to direct that one to Chris because I have never seen or met anyone who is better at building a deep connection with people in a specific space. Whether that's a physical space of people getting together in a room at a live event or in a virtual community, he’s good at being able to foster a deep relationship. These are not hallway passer-by. This is like, “I met this person. We became best friends and at the next event, we're doing stuff together.” I'll default that one to you.
You’ve got to care. When I'm programming an event, I have to ask myself, “What's the objective?” There's a couple with Podfest like, “How do I make anyone that's a first-timer feel welcome? How do I make beginners not feel overwhelmed and get what they need? How do I make veteran podcasters create collisions?” That would be the word that Tony Hsieh uses. It’s the collisions amongst them to where it's valuable for them, and it builds and fosters community across the full spectrum. I always love when people are like, “When it gets too big, it loses his family.” It’s yes and no. It's up to the architect of that event to get that. Whenever I create something, I'm always thinking about, “How can I implement something that is special and I love doing it?”
You and I first met when I moved to Florida. We all become family. I consider you more like a cousin. You and I might not talk for a year, but the relationship is still there. You've got to invest in those relationships. When I need help, you’re there. If you need help, I'm there for you. You’ve got to be there for people. There are a couple of terms that I shy away that I don't like. One is people talk about individuals with net worth. That's a very dangerous term because you're allotting a money amount to a person. We're all worth the same. You can say accumulated worth. They've accumulated this much worth of money, but they're not worth something. The language is a little bit off. I'm careful about the language I use with the people I work with. I never call them employees. They're my co-workers because they have the choice to be there or not. You've got to watch the little things and that builds relationships that you have forever.
Dustin
How do you scale it? We're in this society or in this world where there's a focus on big numbers, attendance, audience and listenership. You say care and I get it. We can go deep on a relationship, but how do you scale that?
Chris & Katie
Podfest only had 100 people in the first year. The next year, we had 111 or 181 maybe then we got to 370. By caring, those people kept coming back and bringing friends. Now we're close to 1,000 in 2018. It can scale. You just have to have a vehicle. I was cognizant of in order for this to scale, I got to move it out to Orlando, which is a city that caters to people all over the world. You also have to understand that. The cool thing about podcasting is you could care about your audience, while you're sleeping, people are finding you. Podfest is a live event. You want vehicles where people could find you while you sleep. It's like financial planners. They always talk about making renewals or recurring revenue. A podcast is a recurring marketing system where people find you while you're sleeping. It's a very unique vehicle. You want to put a lot of TLC into that because while you sleep, you're converting people.
Dustin
Chris, I want to ask you about The Messengers. This is your documentary on podcasting. How did you get the idea to create this? What pushed you over the edge to execute on this?
Chris & Katie
We've got a guy that makes money talking about horses. We've got another guy that talks about gaming via audio. These people have massive audiences. We’ve got a guy that puts people to sleep and we’ve got my wife with Biz Women Rock so I called up Niel Guilarte, a friend of mine. I was like, “Niel, I know how hard it is to make a movie.” I wasn’t one of those people that are like, “It's going to be easy.” I knew it was going to be hard. I go, “We have all these people showing up. I want you to think about this. If you say yes, we're going to do this. Do you think we could make a movie based on these people? Can we make it visually stimulating so people could see them in their environments?”
He grew up in China. He calls me back and he goes, “I think we can do it.” I go, “Are you sure? If you say yes, I'm going to start marketing it.” We got to Podfest six days later. We had hired a crew in those six days to do interviews at Podfest at the Ramada, the old school hotel that we used to hold up. I took all the profits to fund the movie from Podfest. At the time. We had other events going on so Podfest wasn’t a big thing and it wasn't making a lot of money. I ran out of money within two months because a movie eats money. You can throw money at the fire as fast as you can. It eats that quick. We kept making the movie and I was giving promissory notes to the crew and they were passionate about it then we crowdfunded it to the community and so it became the communities. We have 123% goal. We kept filming and because we kept running out of money, we created a system where you could pay and come on the road with us. We had four people pay us $1,000 each to come on the road with us to be part of the journey. By the time it was all done, we funded the thing. We then released it at Podfest. It helped us grow our conference, the community and it was a missing piece in the ecosystem. Podcasting is audio, for the most part.
People kept saying, “I don't see what this is.” They didn't see this. Forget about the mics. They didn't see the impact that these people were having. We got on the road and we went to Glenn the Geek’s horse farm. We went to Danny Pena and these three at the gaming convention. We got Lily Wong traveling the world. We went to Guatemala, we went to Puerto Rico with John Lee Dumas. We show these people their homes and their environment so they could see what podcasting is. We show them the impact of having on other human beings. The Messengers is a podcast documentary. It was an amazing movie. It's up on Amazon Prime. Later on this year, I'm going to release it on Facebook for free for everybody in the world because Amazon Prime is free for all prime users. I get a fraction of a cent. We might as well release it to the world and let people enjoy it. I think I'm going to do that in September.
Dustin
Katie, I want to ask you now the million-dollar question. When Chris gets an idea, what's it like at home?
Chris & Katie
There are so many different types of entrepreneurs. The sexiest one that we always see is the idea guy or the idea person. I am not that person. I have good ideas compared to my husband who has many ideas. The challenge is that every single one of his ideas is amazing, life-changing and earth-shattering. When we used to own our local company together, my job was reigning him in and being like, “What's the most important thing?” I love seeing the light in his eyes and him so excited about it. The beauty about his ideas is that every one of them is about something that would deeply fulfill him and have an impact in some way, shape or form. It’s like, “I want to do this new podcast. I want to do this YouTube channel because it would really light me up. People can learn from it and it would help people do this.” I have learned to let him roll with it and whatever ends up winning for the long run wins for the long run. The things that don't, they don't and they roll off to the side. It's beautiful to see him put things into play because every piece of those he learned something else on how to move forward.
Dustin
What was it like when The Messengers idea came to him?
Chris & Katie
It was great. He was so lit up and like, “We're going to do this.” I don't think he even fully understood what was going to happen even though he's very well-versed in video production, but it was a year-long journey of his life creating this film and it was magical.
Dustin
I want to move us into WealthFit round, which is rapid fire questions. What's that investment you don't want to talk about? Where is that misstep that you took along the way?
Chris & Katie
For me, it’s Bitcoin.
Dustin
Did you get caught up in Bitcoin?
Chris & Katie
No, I had a friend telling me to buy it and I told Katie we should buy some because I'm a leader and I learned about these things before the public finds out about it. Bitcoin was at $60 apiece. I said to him, “I'll give you $2,000, can you help me with buying it?” He said, “Absolutely.” By the time I got home, I talked to Katie about it. I changed my mind. I would probably sell that $10,000 a piece, but you're talking $500,000. I knew I was getting in so early. I wouldn't get caught up because as a community leader, you find out about these things. I find it years before everybody else.
Dustin
Katie, this one is for you. When life is good, and Chris is deploying great investment strategies and buying Bitcoin at the right price and selling, life is good and business is humming along. You're getting sponsors, you're doing sessions, money is coming in and you want to treat yourself to something nice. What is that guilty spending splurge?
Chris & Katie
I would say time away, a Katie retreat. A weekend away at a nice place so that I can chill out, relax and have some alone time.
Dustin
How about you, Chris?
Chris & Katie
For me, it’s either one or two things. Islamorada on the water in the Keys and snorkeling with my buddies or having a huge surf and turf type dinner with my friends.
Dustin
Do you have any special routines or rituals you do to either get in peak state or start the morning or wind down the day?
Chris & Katie
Katie talks about what are you grateful for. She'll ask that a lot. She'll ask that of our daughter, “What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful for?” That's a common recurring theme. Lately, we both are making a thing to get up early for 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM. We have a couple of hours to ourselves before the little ones get up because you can't do it at night. By then, if you're a parent, you spent energy-wise. It's something we've learned. We’ve got to be creatures of the morning. I go for walks every day. Katie does yoga and meditation.
I'll meditate most mornings and journal, oftentimes. I do yoga or some form of working out or physical activity. Those are big important things for me.
Dustin
Fear and self-doubt often stop us from getting what we want in life. When you feel fear and maybe a little self-doubt, what do you do to shake yourself up and get back on track?
Chris & Katie
I have felt that a lot and I still feel it in many ways. One thing that I will do very practically is I will journal stuff out. I'll write it out because I can get to a point where I'm very self-aware where I realized like, “This is fear. I don't feel great about myself here. Who am I to do that?” All those things. I'll write it out and start seeing my words that have been in my head. Oftentimes, seeing those words deteriorate the actual emotion of it because it's like, “Come on, Katie. You know better.” If there are low moments, I usually will go on walks with Chris. He is wonderful and he will let me download on him. Hearing myself say some of these things out loud detoxifies a lot of it. I have a couple of other people in my life who will be a great sounding board and then reflect back to me who I am. It is a very conscious practice to get it out.
Dustin
Chris, do you ever have fear or self-doubt? You seem pretty composed.
Chris & Katie
Over time, I have periods of that. Right now, I'm in a great space. I go for walks on the water usually in Tampa. There's a place called Davis Islands. I walk along the water. It's about a one-mile track round trip and I talk to myself. I talk things out. I have a lot of ideas so I have to talk them out and expound them so that we can keep focus. I think about my family. I’m grateful for my wife so it helps refocus me on the positive.
Dustin
This is going to be a fun one because I'm expecting different answers. To be successful especially you, Katie, to be running a business, coaching, consulting, doing podcasting and raising two young ones, you have to learn how to say no to things. I'm going to start with you, Katie. In the last year or two, what have you become better at saying no to?
Chris & Katie
I'm going to make a bold statement here that I think most mompreneurs go through this process themselves as well just because we're forced to. Any opportunity that is brought to me, I'm constantly asking the questions of, “Is this worth it for me?” In order to determine that is, “Does this take me away from my girls? If so, for how long? Will this further what I'm trying to do in this world? Will it give me a great experience that I want to experience? What's the value here for me?” It's a high mark. The logistics of getting childcare is a lot. The financial responsibility of getting childcare is a lot. There are a lot of pieces to move around in order for me to do stuff. I've gotten good at saying no to a lot of things. A lot of business collaborations, people want to do business collaborations, want to have me speak somewhere, and all that sort of stuff. I'm not saying that I always say no to them, but many of them I do.
Dustin
What about you, Chris?
Chris & Katie
I say yes to everything. Thanks to Katie. I’m watching her lead by example. A lot of people want to have a one-to-one with me because they see me as an access point and a super connector. What I do now is I'll say, “I'm running a meeting on Tuesday. If you want to meet me before, I'd love to meet with you.” A lot of times, people get testy because they’re like, “Why can't you meet on this day or that day?” I'm like, “I'm sorry. This is when I'm available on those other days because it affects me seeing my kids.” That’s where I draw the line. I noticed that it's someone else's agenda for you and I do have my own agenda so it has to line up with everything.
Dustin
I could keep going and going. It's been a lot of fun. For people that want to continue the journey, we've mentioned so many different things. We've mentioned the documentary, Biz Women Rock, meditation, Podfest. Where is the best way to access all of that?
Chris & Katie
For me, it’s ChrisKrimitsos.com. If you want to watch The Messengers, go on Amazon Prime. It's free for all prime users.
Dustin
How about you, Katie?
Chris & Katie
It's probably on Facebook because that's where you'll get all of the pieces where I am and what's going on and all the resources that I have both on the meditation side and for Biz Women Rock.
Dustin
I appreciate you big time for coming all the way cross country to do the show and also to create a course for us at WealthFit. I'm excited to get it off to the world.
Chris & Katie
Thanks. I appreciate it.
Thank you so much, Dustin.

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