By Cheval John
The National Football League (NFL) playoffs began yesterday.
You can say that the playoffs set the tone for what we are anticipating to see.
Except someone forgot to tell the Houston Texans.
The Texans was shutout by the Kansas City Chiefs 30-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 71,000 people at NRG Stadium.
It was the worst loss in playoff history for the Texans.
Video courtesy of NFL
The last time Houston, who was at the time the Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) experienced a loss in the opening round of the playoffs was in 1993 against the same Kansas City team.
Joe Montana,who was a former San Francisco 49er quarterback, led the Chiefs to a 24-21 nailbiter at the Astrodome.
What is ironic is that another former 49ner by the name of Alex Smith, led the Chiefs to that epic beatdown that left the city of Houston wondering why they could not score a single touchdown.
In reality, the Texans was doomed from the start when Knile Davis returned the opening kick-off for a 106-yard touchdown that took the life out of the crowd.
The kick-off return was the second longest in playoff history.
Then the Texans offense could not muster a drive for most of the matchup as Brian Hoyer, a.k.a., Mr. Interception waiting to happen, threw four interceptions and had a fumble.
One of those interceptions happened when the Texans were in the red zone as they were trailing 13-0 at the closing minutes of the second quarter.
Before that, head coach Bill O’Brien send out J.J. Watt, who led the league in sacks,and Vincent Wolfork out on offense to try and throw off the Chiefs’ defense.
Watt, who was suffering from a hamstring injury and a broken bone in his wrist, was stopped at the line of scrimmage for a 1-yard loss.
Then “Mr. Interception waiting to happen,” threw an interception that killed the drive and hope of a chance for the Texans to make a comeback.
The fans booed their team like they deserved.
And despite the worst loss in playoff history, I still see the Texans and their fans as being one of the classiest and well-run organizations in the NFL.
Which leads me to the Cincinnati Bengals and their fans’ lack of class.
The Bengals was trying to win their first playoff game since 1990 when Boomer Esiason was their quarterback.
Cincinnati’s previous 6 losses were heartbreakers.
Many were questioning if head coach Marvin Lewis, who have a 112-90 regular season record with the Bengals was the correct person to be their coach since all of his previous 6 playoff appearances were losses.
But before we get into the implosion of the Bengals, let’s focus on the fans.
When Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlesberger went down with a shoulder injury, the fans not only cheered, but they threw stuff towards his direction.
That classlessness by the Bengals fan base made the Philadelphia Eagles’ fans look like saints.
It was clear that they were bad blood between the Bengals and Steelers.
However, one have to understand that it is just a game and life moves on.
The fact that some of the fans or the majority of them threw stuff at Roethlesberger showed their true characters.
And maybe their disgraceful behavior inspired the Bengals defense to commit two stupid penalties on one play with less than a 1 minute left that allowed the Steelers to kick a game-winning field goal.
The Bengals scored 16 unanswered points to take a 16-15 lead with about two minutes left.
Then Jeremy Hill fumbled the football trying to run out the clock.
During the Steelers march across the field, Roethlesberger fired a pass for receiver Antonio Brown and Brown missed the football.
On that same play, defensive player Vontanze Burfict hit Brown in the head and was called for a 15-yard unneccesary roughness penalty.
During that moment when the referees was discussing the penalty, Bengals’ defensive player Adam Jones threw a punch at Steelers’ assistant Joey Porter that led to another 15 yard penalty on the Bengals.
All of a sudden, the Steelers was in field goal range and they were able to convert the game-winning field goal that sent the Bengals packing.
Video courtesy of NFL
If those two stupid penalties did not occur, Cincinnati would have broken their playoff winless streak and Mr. Lewis would not have to worry about having an 0-7 playoff record.
However, this also shows the lack of leadership that Cincinnati has because coach Lewis allowed his team to lose control.
He did not stress to his team that despite the bad blood, they had to maintain their professionalism during critical moments of the game against the Steelers.
If an employee was to act like an idiot during an important meeting with a potential client that would lead to them gaining business for their company for the better, the CEO and executives would not only fire that employee, they would fire their boss as well.
The reason is because the employees are a reflection of their bosses.
If they act correctly for the better, then their bosses will look good in front of the CEO.
In this case, the lack of discipline by the Bengals defense made coach Lewis look bad in front a national audience.
And if coach Lewis is not fired because of the mediocrity and lack of discipline that the Bengals shown during his time as their coach, then the Bengals organization is sending a message that we accept mediocrity.
By Cheval John
The Bison won their fifth consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Championship after defeating Jacksonville State 37-10 in Frisco, Texas.
The five consecutive national championships won by the Bison is an NCAA record in football at any level.
It seemed as if they were not supposed to win anymore after their third national championship when Craig Bohl had left for Wyoming in 2014 and Brock Jensen had graduated.
But somehow, some way, North Dakota State have kept the winning streak going under coach Chris Kleiman.
The journey for North Dakota State was tougher this year than their previous championship runs.
The Bison lost to Montana in the opening matchup of the 2015 season.
Then their senior quarterback, Carson Weinctz went down with a wrist injury on October 17th during their 24-21 loss to South Dakota at the FargoDome.
Video courtesy of North Dakota State Athletics
That injury to Weinctz brought further doubt to the Bison faithful that they were not going to return to Frisco.
They even thought that they would have gotten their refund because they buy their championship tickets to the National Championship matchup in August.
However, the Bison football team believed that they were going to turn their season around because they have won before when nobody thought that they would win.
Freshman quarterback Easton Stick stepped up and led the Bison to an 8-game winning streak that includes securing their fifth consecutive conference championship and also keeping their playoff winning streak of 16 matchups in the Fargo Dome alive and well.
However for the championship matchup against Jacksonville State, the coaching staff decided to let Weinctz start after he was cleared to play football by the doctors.
And Mr. Weinctz went 16 of 29 for 197 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 79 yards and two scores on 9 carries.
The Bison’s mindset of believing that they can win despite the obstacles that they face is a testament to what the residents of North Dakota love about their team.
Did you know that the Bison is 8-3 against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) since they joined the Division I level?
Do you also know in those 8 wins against FBS teams, five of those wins are consecutive against the Big Ten and Big 12 combined?
The Bison football team also have a strong fan base in Fargo, North Dakota and probably in all of college football.
The Bison faithful travel well whenever the football team is on the road
That is evident whenever the Bison are playing in the championship matchup in Frisco.
North Dakota does not have any professional sports teams.
So the only sports teams that come close to professional is the collegiate sports teams from the different universities that are in the state.
And the fact that North Dakota State has a rich history of winning national championships when they were in Division II before transitioning to Division I tells a story of how they have captured the hearts of the residents of North Dakota.
Video courtesy of North Dakota State Athletics
The residents of North Dakota understands that hard work and dedication is what gets them to be successful in life for the better.
North Dakota State exemplifies the work ethic that the residents of North Dakota share that makes them proud for the better.
The Bison also showcases the importance of having a positive mindset and working hard to achieve your dreams for the better.
When a person have the positive mindset and the work ethic to succeed in their respective careers for the better, they will eventually have the same success like North Dakota State.
By Cheval John
2015 was a challenging and fun journey with my show, What’s The Word?
I had the opportunity to meet some of the employees of BlogTalkRadio at Podcast Movement in Fort Worth, Texas.
They shared about the evolution of their platform and how it will enhance the audio quality of podcasters who are using their service.
The best part was discovering the live streaming platform called Blab.im where anyone can showcase their expertise if they are entrepreneurs, marketers or even sportscasters.
And the fact that they send you audio and video file of the show if it was on the record makes it easy for anyone to launch a podcast.
To me, blab is more interactive and you can engage with your audience while they are watching your live recording of the podcast.
With that being said, I will continue to use BlogTalkRadio because they are making improvements on their platform and I really don’t have to do much editing of the show.
And I am looking forward to what 2016 has instore for my show and also to uplift people who listens to the show for the better.
So I am delighted to share the top ten episodes of What’s The Word? from 2015 (not in order of course):
1. Laura Wilkinson: Olympic Diving Gold Medalist
2. Greg Walker, Author And Entrepreneur
3. Nicole Welch: Host of Real Time, Real Men Only
4. Patty Elizee: Host of The Brand You Economy
5. Kelly Hungerford: Moderator of #BizHeroes
6. Brian Fanzo: Partner and Chief Digital Strategist At BroadSuite
7. Adel de Meyer: Social Media Specialist and Hootsuite Ambassador
8. Gordon Tredgold, Author of “FAST”
9. Christin Kardos: Social Media Strategist At BayLeaf Digital
10. Melodee Meyer: Founder of The Fit Free Project
And here are a few honorable mentions from What’s The Word?
Amy Robles: Host of Think Enriched Podcast
Lara Galloway: Author, Speaker and Coach
By Cheval John
Everyone is in planning mode on what they want to accomplish in 2016 for the better.
It is understandable because we are one day away from closing out 2015 and are excited about the possibilities that awaits us in 2016 for the better.
The problem is that we overlook the positive things that we can do to finish 2015 on a high note that can launch us into a thriving 2016.
Before, I would always plan out what I wanted to accomplish in the new year to make my life better.
This year is different because I am more focus on finishing 2015 on a high note because I want to know that I did everything I could to make the year successful for the better.
I can say that I finished the first half of my goal as I made an appearance on The Tonya Hofmann’s Fabulous TV Show to share about my company, Vallano Media, how businesses and sports organization can use social media to build a loyal community that will in turn help them to be profitable for the better and my favorite sports teams.
I also decided to provide my second book, “8 Lessons Every Podcaster Need To Learn” in its entirety below as a free gift to the audience of Mrs. Hofmann’s show and also the readers of this website.
In closing, I want to share that you must focus on finishing 2015 on a high note so that you can enter 2016 running for the better.
Hope you enjoy the free gift below.
Podcasting has made a resurgence in the last 10 years.
It was a once forgotten medium because the technology was only available on computers.
After Apple created the iPod in 2005, many flocked back to podcasting because they believed that they could reach a wider audience.
There are signs that podcasting will continue to grow in the near future.
The reason is because Apple has led the way in innovation again with their new product, the Apple Carplay.
Carplay allows anyone to connect their iPhone to their cars.
It was released earlier this year on selected car models like Ferrari, Honda, and Hyundai and will be available on all newer models with the rest of the big name brands in 2015.
Even if you don’t have the cash to spend on these newer model cars, you will have the opportunity to still get Carplay because Pioneer Electronics were one of the premier aftermarket manufacturers to collaborate with their new Firmware For Pioneer NEX In-Dash Receiver.
The product was released late last year and is available for any model type of cars.
One might think, This is all great, but what does all this have to do with podcasting?
The answer is everything, because the iPhone has given people the capability to download their favorite podcasts and listen to them anywhere.
That means that if you are small business owner, freelance writer, or a college student who is trying to showcase your expertise in order to land a dream job, etc., starting a podcast will allow you to reach your target audience and establish your credibility.
And it gets even better with Carplay because podcasters are able to reach people who have to commute to work on a weekly basis.
So you might still wonder, Why I should journey into podcasting when the medium is the 11th social media platform used by 6% of marketers, according to the 2014 industry report by Social Media Examiner?
The reason is because that same report has indicated that 21% of marketers are going to create their own podcasts this year and 24% are thinking of the possibility of having a podcast.
So if you are convinced and are ready to have your very own podcast, I salute you.
As you are thinking about what platform will best fit your podcasting needs, the third chapter, “Start A Podcast” in my first book, 8 Things You Need To Do Before Quitting Your Job explains what platform will work for the newbie podcaster.
When you come to a decision on which platform you feel comfortable with in creating your podcast,
more questions will enter your mind like, How do I secure my first guest? Should I reach out to that A-Lister or should I start local with the people I know?
This book, 8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn will be the step-by-step guide to grow your podcast the right way. It is based on the lessons I learned the hard way while hosting my very own online radio show/podcast, “What’s The Word?” on BlogTalkRadio. My hope is that you will avoid the same mistakes as a podcaster and that you will grow your personal brand and establish yourself as a thought leader, whether you are a business owner, freelance writer, college student or even an employee.
Let the lessons begin.
Social Media Examiner :
1st Lesson: Start Locally
When many people are first starting out, they are tempted to reach out to the most recognizable person out there.
The logic is that the recognizable guest will ‘drive’ many listeners to the show.
It is very reasonable if you want to start your podcasting journey on the right foot.
However, this is the wrong approach.
Many of these big name people will not even give you a second thought because you are not big enough, especially if you are just starting your podcast.
They will feel nervous because they do not know what to expect.
That is why it is important to start locally because your potential guest already knows you and trusts you.
If you built that relationship with the people who are prominent in your area, then it will be easier to approach them to be one of the ‘first’ guests on your new show.
And once your podcast gains traction, it will be easier to reach out to the ‘big name’ people because they will see your track record and, nine times out of ten, they will accept.
When I was in preparation to launch my show, “What’s The Word?” I reached out to a ‘prominent’ person and she accepted the invitation.
Three days before the show was set to launch, she sent me a message saying that she was not able to do the show because she had to focus on her new clients and wished me luck.
Though I was bummed, it was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to reach out to the people I already knew at my alma mater, Sam Houston State University.
The show launched a few weeks later and from that moment, I had many ‘well-known’ guests on the show.
So if you want to have a great start to your podcast career, it is really important to start locally.
2nd Lesson: Choose Your Niche
You might be wondering if you should aim for a general audience or go for a niche market.
You would think that it is easier to go after a general audience because you want to show that you are well rounded and also want to cater to everyone.
In a lot of ways, it might work if you want to display your experiences to a potential employer, or in the case of a freelancer, a client.
However, that can cause you to lose your audience because you are trying to please everyone and are stretching yourself thin.
The best thing to do when you are starting a podcast is to go for a niche market.
Whether it is marketing, sports, self-help, etc., you are solving a specific need and, in the process, creating a loyal following.
Dori DeCarlo, a seasoned entrepreneur, first got into podcasting after launching the show, “The Three Wise Girls” with co-hosts Debbie Barth and Linda Alexander.
During one of the shows, Dori did a two part segment on Mompreneurs, women who are moms and also entrepreneurs.
In the process of that segment, Dori found her niche.
With the encouragement from her co-hosts, Dori launched her own show called “Word of Mom” which evolved into the network, “Word of Mom Radio.”
In the four years since launching, the network has received over 70,000 downloads in 2013 and is continuing to grow.
So if you want to grow your podcast, focus on a niche market because, in doing so, you will separate yourself from the crowd.
Word of Mom Radio:
3rd Lesson: Research, Research, Research
So now you have landed your guest for your podcast and are counting down to the show.
One of the most important things you must do before the show is do your research.
You might say, “That is so obvious.”
The sad reality is many people don’t do their research on their guest.
The host might think they can ‘wing it’ with the guest on the show, however your audience can tell right away if you are on top of your game.
When you do your research on the guest, you will find out interesting things you never knew before, and from this research you can create some talking points which will be a guide for you once the show begins.
And when you ask your guests specific quotes, they will feel very valued because of the research you did before the episode.
Once that happens, the guest will refer your show to their friends who are also influential.
In addition, you will gain greater credibility with your listeners because they know that you are very disciplined in preparation and also your audience knows you value them.
Jared Easley, co-creator of the Podcasting Movement and author of the Amazon best-selling book,Podcasting Good To Great: How To Grow Your Audience Through Collaboration, grew his podcast, “Starving The Doubts” into a popular show.
His meticulous research on the guests before every show has made them feel at home.
As a result of his efforts, Jared’s podcast has been named the No.1 emerging podcast by both Entrepreneur.com and the Huffington Post.
So if you want to gain more credibility with your podcast, you must research, research, research because, like Mr. Easley, you will earn respect from your guest and your audience.
Jared Easley: www.starvingthedoubts.com
4th Lesson: Send The Reminder A Day Before The Show
I had booked a guest who was coming out with a new book.
Everything was scheduled and we were counting down to the day of the show.
Once the show began, the guest did not call in and I had to improvise while I was waiting for the person to dial the number for the show.
The guest sent me a message and said, “Her assistant did not send her the number to call into the show.”
So I gave her the number and the show went on as usual.
I could have avoided the blunder if I had sent a reminder to the assistant the day before with the number to call.
You might think you do not need to send them or their representatives a reminder because they said they got it jot down in their calendar.
However, it is always important to send a reminder because it can determine if you will have a great show, a mediocre show or no show at all.
As in my case, the show was near perfect after the blunder.
So how do you send a reminder the day before the show begins without feeling like you are being rude?
Below is an example of how to send the reminder notice for your guest:
“Jane Doe, I hope you are having a great week and I can not wait for the show tomorrow. Just in case, here is the number to call five minutes before the show begins at 3 p.m. eastern, 2 p.m. central, 1 p.m. mountain, noon pacific: 1-888-888-8888.
Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to make an appearance on the show.
Have a great day.”
Host, “Name of Podcast”
So to recap, if you want to make sure that you and your guest or the representative of the guest are on the same page, send a reminder the day before the show because you will avoid the awkward moment when you are by yourself doing the show without a guest.
5th Lesson: Be Yourself
Even though it is very important to have talking points from your research, you should not stick to the script.
You should try and be as conversational as possible with your guest and show your personality because a audience loves a person who is very authentic and willing to be real.
That does not mean you should talk about yourself the majority of the time while you are doing the show because it will come across as self-promotion.
Your main job is to showcase the guest and lift them up to your audience, not in the way that you do not have some disagreements about a particular subject.
If your guest ask you about your work, then you can chat about yourself for a bit.
Always keep in mind the 80/20 rule.
80% of the show is focused on the guest while 20% is focused on you.
6th Lesson: Be A Good Listener
One of the most important things a person can do during a podcast is listening carefully to what their guest are saying.
Most of the time, the interviewer will ask a question and then focus on what they are going to ask next.
When a person only focus on what they are going to ask instead of listening to their guest, they miss out on an answer so insightful that can benefit the listener.
If you don’t listen, the guest will believe that you do not care about what they have to share with you and your audience.
When that happens, your podcast might suffer and it will be hard to build it back up again.
So if you want to gain insightful information during your podcast that will benefit your audience, be a good listener.
Your guest will appreciate it so much that they will give you praise when they are showcasing their appearance on your podcast.
7th Lesson: Send A Thank You E-mail
When you finish your show, the first thing you should do is send a thank you e-mail to either the guest or the representative of the guest who made it possible for your show to happen.
The reason is it shows proper etiquette to the person who worked behind the scenes to connect you to their client.
Another reason is the person might be connected to someone who you admire and want to have on the show.
Let’s say you don’t send the “thank you e-mail” or even a thank you note to the person, you might think you are not hurting anyone.
However, your guest will remember how you showed no appreciation for them taking the time out of their busy schedule to be on your show.
Secondly, the person will tell their friends about how you did not send them a thank you e-mail.
Once that happens, it will be hard for you to gain more guests because of the negative perception you have created because you did not send a thank you e-mail.
On the flip side, when you send the thank you note, your “guest” will speak well of you because they have seen you have taken the time to thank them for being on your show.
When you least expect it, the person will connect you to their clients that would make great guests for your show.
As a result, your podcast will go to the next level.
8th Lesson: Network With Other Podcasters
Networking is one of the most tried and true ways to get yourself out there and promote your show.
One way you can network is by commenting on your fellow podcasters shows.
If you do that on a consistent basis, they will take notice and it can lead to them promoting your podcast or even landing a guest appearance on their podcast.
One thing you must remember is that networking is about providing value to the other person and not just asking for something.
If you go to a networking event and only hand out promotional materials about your show, you are sending a message that you are not interested in building a friendship and that your work is more important than theirs.
You must go into any networking event with a giver’s mentality and really be genuine about your fellow podcaster’s work.
Once you establish the friendship, then they will be eager to help you to take your podcast to the next level.
The only question now is where do you meet your fellow podcasters?
The places you can network with your fellow podcasters is at conferences, online groups, etc.
One conference that comes to mind is the World Domination Summit (WDS), an annual conference held in Portland, Oregon.
WDS is the place where you can meet fellow bloggers and podcasters like Jaime Tardy, John Lee Dumas and Chris Ducker.
They have an established audience and always share what worked for them and how their strategies of growing an audience can work for you.
So if you want to grow your audience, network with your fellow podcasters because you will build your credibility as a thought leader and also lift up the people who are doing great things in the world.
World Domination Summit:
Podcast South Florida:
You have reached the conclusion of this book.
Hopefully, you will apply these lessons in order to be successful as a podcaster.
This book can be applied to whatever work you are doing.
Whether you are in public relations, journalism, etc., you must establish trust with your clients, readers or your viewers if you are going to succeed.
Podcasting may not be for everyone because what works for one person may not be a good fit for another person.
The only way that you can know if podcasting is right for you is if you try it out for yourself.
If you decide to go a different route, these same lessons will be beneficial for you to succeed in the long run.