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Celebrating 3 Years In Podcasting

By Cheval John

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

As SuperBowl 50 is about to begin in about two hours, national media outlets from CBS, the NFL Network, ESPN, USA Today, the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle etc. are providing a whole lot of attention and buzz around the different strategies that lead either the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos to winning the championship.

A new wave of media is making the national media to take notice and even adapt to how they broadcast events like the SuperBowl.

Live streaming applications like Periscope and Blab have allowed people who are not with the official media to broadcast their expertise in entrepreneuership, social media and even sports.

In the case of blab, their application makes it easier for someone who is a podcaster to record their shows in front of a “live audience” and overtime build their fanbase for their shows.

I can say that I am one of the podcasters who have started to record my show, What’s The Word? on blab from September of 2015 and have been putting the show’s recordings on BlogTalkRadio to come out at a later time.

BlogTalkRadio was where I started my show three years ago on this very day.

I never thought I would still be podcasting even now because most podcasters don’t make it past the seventh episode because they don’t see the immediate results of getting rich from their podcasts in the same way that John Lee Dumas has become rich from his “Entrepreneur On Fire” podcast.

Dumas is the exception because he was the first to have a 7-day a week podcast and that is the reason why he is extremely successful with his podcast.

Many don’t understand that podcasting takes hard work and dedication and that you will not achieve a million downloads overnight according to this article on Libsyn’s blog.

I know that I was blessed to have begun my podcast which is an extension of Vallano Media from Huntsville, Texas, a small city which is an hour north of Houston and that the guests from the early episodes of my show were faculty and sports coaches from my alma mater, Sam Houston State University.

The very first guest for my show was Peter Roussel, former White House spokesperson and current adjunct professor in the Mass Communication Department.

Even though my first episode did not start out well, I have learned how to become a better podcaster over time.

I am still learning to this day of how to be a great podcaster for the better.

Plus, I am not going after the A-listers as much to be on my show as I did before (even though my intention was to lift them up to another level of success) because I want to treat everyone the same and not give special treatment just because they are a well-known name for the better.

Also, you will get a whole lot of value from a guest who is not a well-known celebrity and will uplift your audience and even yourself to be better people.

A couple of my favorite episodes showcases that example of not too well known guests who have uplifted me and my audience for the better.

Christin Kardos, who is now a community manager for Convince and Convert

Kelly Hungerford, Digital Strategist

Greg Walker, Author And Entrepreneur

Jackie Bernardi: Entrepreneur And Beauty Industry Business Catalyst

Tamara McCleary, Creator of RelationShift

So the most important message that you can take away from this post is to always be consistent with putting out uplifting messages on your podcasts, blogs, YouTube videos, etc. and don’t ever look for the “overnight success” because overtime, you will achieve important milestones that will make you appreciate the hard work that you put into creating quality shows for the better.

The Most Wide-Spread SuperBowl In History

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

The most anticipated event of the year in the National Football League (NFL), the 50th SuperBowl is set to become reality tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. eastern, 3:30 p.m. pacific.

For a lot of people, this SuperBowl is the most spread out in history.

According to the Houston Chronicle‘s John McClain, the NFL’s media center headquarters is in the city and county of San Francisco, while the media day event that took place on Monday night is in San Jose, 48 miles south of San Francisco.

And Levi’s Stadium, which is the setting for the big game, is in Santa Clara, California, 45 miles south of San Francisco.

Another observation that Mr. McClain noted in his article for the Chronicle is that the teams who are participating in this momentous event are based in different parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Denver Broncos are practicing and staying at a hotel in the city of San Francisco.

The Carolina Panthers are practicing and staying in San Jose.

So the logistics of the whole SuperBowl events taken place in the San Francisco Bay area, are in a lot of ways a nightmare.

For veteran sports journalists like Mr. McClain, who have covered the NFL for the Houston Chronicle for 35 years, and Charean Williams, writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who is in her 22th year of covering the NFL, the travel will be challenging and at the same time fun.

As Jackie McMullan mentioned years ago during an behind the scenes of ESPN’s, “Around The Horn,” the SuperBowl is where journalists are working extremely harder because they have to cover stories like never before.

They have to showcase every angle of what is happening at the city that is hosting the SuperBowl.

In the case of this SuperBowl being held in the San Francisco Bay area, these journalists will have to travel long distances to do interviews with the football players who are participating in the SuperBowl, go to the NFL Awards show, plus go to the NFL meetings where the commissioner of the NFL address the state of the football league that he is in charge of.

One can ask, what if the 49ners was still playing their football matchups at the old CandleStick Park in the city of San Francisco, would there have been a SuperBowl in the Bay area?

I can honestly guess that the San Francisco Bay area would not have hosted the SuperBowl if the 49ners have played their home matchups in their old stadium.

But because of the newly built Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara, which has a population of over 120,000, they were able to lure the NFL to host the big matchup in their area and bring in a whole lot of revenue to their respective cities.

Plus, they will be able to gain more national and even international attention like never before.

For example, the mayor of Santa Clara, Jamie L. Matthews, was featured in the New York Times about how he will not attend the SuperBowl despite getting a free ticket.

Though it was not planned, Mr. Matthews’ “refusal” to attend the SuperBowl that is being hosted in his city, has gotten a lot of press because people were curious to know why he would turn down a free ticket when many others are paying thousands of dollars to be at the stadium.

So for those who have traveled to the San Francisco Bay area for the SuperBowl, I commend you because y’all can say that you were at the most wide-spread SuperBowl event in history.

As for the predictions of who will win the SuperBowl?

I will say that the Denver Broncos will surprise everyone and defeat the heavily favored Carolina Panthers.

And everyone else who live in the Denver area like my friend and coach, Tamara McCleary, are also believing for a Broncos win.

Five Years And Counting As A Blogger

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of Forbes via

Photo courtesy of Forbes via

I still remembered the day I first started blogging five years ago.

I was about to start graduate school and was at an on-campus job fair at my alma mater, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

There were many university departments ranging from the career services to the athletic department looking for people who would fill their positions as an intern or part-time work.

I first approached the athletic department about the possibility of working with their marketing team.

I felt that I was qualified because in the previous semester, I interned at an on-campus public relations agency called Priority One.

The public relations agency is part of the class where students form a company and do real work for clients with the SHSU university departments and in the process gain class credit towards their Mass Communications degree.

In my case, I was auditing the class (which mean I got no class credit, but payed less money for the class)

I took that route because I knew that I would have the opportunity to gain actual public relations experience that would give me an opportunity to compete with other graduates for work at a marketing/public relations company.

So I applied for the marketing position at the athletic department’s booth and got rejected because I was overqualified.

A couple of minutes later, I saw the booth of the college’s newspaper of record, “The Houstonian”

I went up to the booth and the editor-of-chief of the newspaper had asked me if I had wanted to be their blogger.

Prior to her asking me about becoming their blogger, I had a vague idea of what a blog was.

That idea of a blog probably came about from an NCIS episode when the main character, Gibbs, asked the forensic scientist, Abby, what a blog was since the sister of special agent McGee, who was portrayed by Trioan Bellasario, had a blog.

And since I did not had any prior blogging experience, I could have told her, “No, I don’t want to work as a blogger.”

However, I said yes to the opportunity of becoming a blogger because I knew that it would allow me to become part of the college newspaper and gain experience as a journalist.

I was then connected with the person who was in charge of their social media to set up an account for the blog.

She had “recommended” using WordPress to set up the blog.

It was at that time, I came up with the name, “What’s The Word?” and created the blog with the free account.

After that, the social media editor linked the blog to the school’s newspaper account.

Then, I written my very first blog post on January 27th, 2011 entitled, “Hello Everyone,” which for some reason, the blog date is 6 hours ahead of central time.

It was awesome to realize that I was simultaneously blogging for the school newspaper and myself because I was the only one who had access to this blog.

I also knew that I had the platform to share my opinions of what is happening on my college’s campus, the sports world, etc.

It was also cool that blogging led me to become a sportswriter because of my curiousity to see what it would be like to cover a sporting event.

And the opportunity came about when the SHSU baseball and softball team was hosting a weekend series during spring break.

I decided to attend the softball double-header matchup on Saturday and then the baseball matchup on Sunday.

This blog post, “A Weekend Not To Remember” came about from covering both athletic teams that weekend.

Also, that spring break weekend of covering those sporting events got me hooked on being a sports writer.

As a sportwriter for the college newspaper, I was able to cover the SHSU Volleyball team and simultaneously covered the SHSU Football Team run toward the national championship for the blog.

Eventually, I “left” the school newspaper after I took a semester off from graduate school and converted this blog into my media company, “Vallano Media.”

At the same time, I became a freelance sportswriter for the Huntsville Item in addition to running this company and covered teams that won conference championships in their respective sports.

I have also written two books and hosted a podcast called, “What’s The Word?” on BlogTalkRadio (now recording the show on the live streaming platform called blab first).

The reason why I will continue to blog is because I still have the desire to make a positive impact in the world for the better.

Plus, I know that I am apart of a crowd who are setting themselves up for success for the better because of their blogs, podcasts, YouTube channel, etc.

The people above will thrive for the better despite the continued layoffs due to companies shutting down or merging to become a giant corporation.

Established Companies Needs To Engage On Social Media

By Cheval John

In the age of social media. it is important to build trust with your audience if you want to succeed.

There is no more putting out advertisement in hopes of making a sale like it was before social media.

Unfortunately, many businesses have not got the message that engaging with your audience on social media is the only way to be successful.

The only time you would see them on social media is if they have something to sell to their followers.

In a lot of ways, I understand why they believe that they can do business as usual because they are already established in their respective industries.

For example, Coca-Cola has been in business since 1886 and they have built a strong brand throughout the years.

Take a look at this tweet that documents Coca-Cola’s relevancy in the world

That is why when they or any other established organizations like Pepsi, American Airlines or celebrities join any social media platform, they have a large following very quickly.

Now what would have happened if social was around in the 19th century or the 20th century when these same organizations like Coca-Cola was starting out?

Would they have been doing a lot of self-promotion about their products or services?

No, they won’t.

What they would have been doing is building trust and friendships with people in order to gain business and be profitable for the better.

One could believe that what they were doing before the age of social media.

But we do know is that they established themselves with old school advertising in newspapers and television stations in order to gain recognition.

That is why most large companies can get away with promoting their products or services on social media because they have an established audience.

One could wish that most larger companies will take the time to engage with their audience to build a deeper trust with their brands.

The good news is that some larger companies are taking the initiative to adapt to the changing times of social media and live streaming platforms like most small business owners, entrepreneurs or solopreneurs.

Examples of larger company who are doing well with social media are Applebee’s.

Applebee’s are doing the same thing in buying ads and using social media to promote their different type of foods on social media like their competition.

They were the official sponsor of ESPN‘s Monday Night Countdown which get fans ready for the already established Monday Night Football between teams that are part of the National Football League (NFL).

Applebee’s could have said, “We don’t need to do more because we are already recognized by millions of people.”

But they didn’t because they understood that if they were going to succeed in social media, they had to engage with their audience.

So they went the extra mile and participate in different social media group chats and even host their own Twitter chat every Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. eastern, noon central called #livelunch, where they chat about different topics related to food.

People who are food lovers can interact with each other in the #livelunch chat and share about their favorite foods.

In turn, Applebee’s wins because they build a deeper trust with their audience because of their transparency.

Take a look at this tweet from AppleBee’s in asking Marsha Collier to be a part of their #livelunch twitter chat and Ms. Collier’s response to their invitation:

This alone shows why Applebee’s will be fine in this social media age.

Another thing that is happening is that most of these larger businesses are hiring people who are succeeding at social media to teach them how to succeed with social media.

One of the influencers that larger businesses are hiring is Tamara McCleary.

Mrs. McCleary is one of the most influential person on social media because she showcases her personality and brings a positive energy that draws people to her speaking engagements.

Tamara also provides insights to why people cannot separate their personal and business lives because they both are interconnected with each other.

Her signature trademark, “Relationshift” showcases that if you are going to be successful in your business, you must know how to treat people correctly and uplift them to be better people.

When people do the above, they will be successful.

Her Maverick Mastery Group program gets to the root of helping people to figure out what they want to accomplish in their lifetime so that they can make the world a better place.

That is why many businesses like IBM have brought on Tamara to work with them on how to be better organizations because she uses the same methods from her coaching program that have made them better businesses

And I know this because I am a part of Mr. McCleary’s Maverick Coaching Program.

You see, she has earned my trust because she always bring valuable content everyday whether it is through social media with uplifting quotes or her uplifting content from her blog.

And she has also shared her story of how she became a national speaker on my show What’s The Word?” that has inspired me and the listeners to continue to be better people and make the world a better place.

So in the end, a business must provide uplifting content that will allow them to build trust with potential clients if they are going to succeed for the better with social media.

Even if they will not become your customers, they will spread the word about your business to their friends and family about how your business made their lives better which in turn, made the world a better place.

College Football Playoff’s Impact on Phoenix

By Cheval John January 11th, 2016

Tonight, the nation will see who will win the College Football Playoff National Championship matchup between No.1 Clemson Tigers and the No.2 Alabama Crimson Tide in Glendale, Arizona on ESPN.

Everyone will expect Alabama to win their 11th national championship in the sport of football and fourth in seven years because they have a tradition of winning.

Many can almost compare Alabama to an NFL powerhouse because of the way their head coach, Nick Saban run the program.

No one would expect Clemson, who is seeking their second ever national title, to beat Alabama despite being the lone undefeated team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

History have a way of repeating itself.

Clemson’s last national title in 1981 has some similarities.

In that year, they opened the season against Wofford, an Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponent en route to their first championship.

In the 2015 season, the Tigers opened their matchup against Wofford.

Just maybe, Clemson will pull off the shocking upset.

What is really interesting is the way the coverage of the national championship game has been displayed leading up to the matchup.

ESPN, the world wide leader in sports, have been broadcasting the events and interviews with the football players and the coaches today.

You can at times have a sense of the atmosphere that the fans of both Clemson and Alabama are experiencing at the pre-championship football matchup events.

You might come to a conclusion that the events is almost like the Super Bowl.

And you can expect to see major corporations and non-profits capitalizing on the opportunities to promote their uplifting services and products during the national championship game.

Looking at these tweets below:

And even some are using this matchup to promote their causes.

Like this tweet from the U.S. Fish and Wild Life

And let’s not leave out the SEC Network:

And this tweet from the College Football Playoff

Now with all of the media attention that the national championship is getting, you can expect the Phoenix metropolitan area to benefit financially from this.

In a lot of ways, Phoenix is benefiting tremendously from the media exposure that they are receiving.

But from an insider’s perspective, the media attention that they receive is only when a major event like the Super Bowl or in this case, the national championship, happens in their surrounding area.

Monique Hoffmann, a.k.a. Q The Brand, shared with me on the live streaming platform called Blab, that many people don’t know about the positive offerings that the Phoenix area gives to businesses.

She also brought a bigger perspective on the fact that many large businesses are not taking advantage of social media to promote their businesses for the better.

She also mentioned that if they do use social media, they are looking for the quick return on investment (ROI) and not looking at the long term positive results due to their efforts from being on social media.

It is like they miss the boat on the fact that they have to build trust with their customers and fans if they want to be successful.

And the most interesting thing that was mentioned in the blab show about the College Football Playoff by Clair Wyant, a fellow Phoenix resident as Q The Brand, is that Clemson Athletics have been utilizing social media the correct way to build further trust and engagement with their students, faculty and alumni base.

So in essence, Clemson understands the true value of social media.

So if you can continue to use social media correctly to build a loyal audience, you can succeed in your business as an small business owner or solopreneur for the better.

As for my predictions regarding the national championship matchup, my intuition says that Clemson will pull off the shocking upset and win their second national championship.