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Nick Koziol of That Sounds Terrific is the interviewee in the latest episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. In this episode, Nick talks about his "That Sounds Terrific" podcast, the vidwheel Creator Network, super connectors, analytics, using a board of people to help better your business, as well as making sure you are doing what you love and following your passion.
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(upbeat music) - Welcome to this episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. This is business advice with a video bent. What we'd like to do on this podcast, is talk to business owners, business people, who are doing interesting things with video to move their business forward. And today we have Nick Kozio, who's got a podcast called, That Sounds Terrific. He's also a jack of all trades, consultant at this point, and he has a lot of other stuff going on. So Nick, I will give you a chance to introduce yourself and what you're doing at this moment. - Oh, great. Well, thanks for having me, Neil, it's a pleasure to be on a show, and especially your show, and how supportive you've been through the vidwheel Creator Network, I love it. And part of the reason I joined was because that sounds terrific. I wanted to have a better video component, and I needed a great network to do that. And like you said, I'm the host of a podcast called That Sounds Terrific, but I also have that TST career support group, where we network with other individuals that are either unemployed or looking to switch careers. And I bring in different special guests to talk about those types of career transitions. And everything I do, like you said, a little bit of jack of all trades, I coach different clients in social media, and I help businesses with their startup especially around like websites, and like how to put together their first marketing plan. That's engaging the community, or at the very least their prospective customers. And video plays a big role in that, and it's just one of those mediums that we've always had someone else doing in the other positions that I've been in. So, I've done a little bit of a video, but I'm like what better place to learn than an actual creator network out of vidwheel. And so, that's a little bit about me. - Excellent. Yeah, and that's great to hear, because that's the role we're trying to fill, right? The folks who've had some exposure or maybe a little bit of success with creating their own content or utilizing video in sales or other communications. We wanna help push them forward and help grow their businesses through video. So, that's awesome. We're on the right track then. That's a good thing. - Yeah. No, I mean, it definitely is. And what I love about the network, is it's a different type of creator in each person that's in it. So, it's not just about video, it all has that video bent, like you said, in the intro, but there's a bunch of different ideas that come from different walks of life. We have people that are straight out consultants and people that are straight out video artifacts. So, what I like about that is I get a lot of really neat ideas on what what's working for them, and then maybe how I can twist it or contort it for a client or even for my own show. So, that's great. - Right. Yeah. Having that kind of diversity of industries and uses can really, it can help with a more well-rounded set up. And yeah, the other thing I was gonna comment on is that recording wise here on our system, your vid kit is looking real sharp. Soon you'll come into the TST podcast. - Yeah, definitely. Yeah, we were just talking about how I probably should have shaved a little bit, because it's a little too sharp. Where's that blur effect that we need? - You're right, you're right, you're right. It soften the edges a little. - Yeah. - All right. Well, I always ask my guests, and this may be harder to do for you than most because you do have your hands in some of the different projects. But if you had to boil down what you do to one sentence, what would you say it is? - I like to say that I'm a human puzzle architect. I connect other people to their passions and to other people that have similar passions or can help them. - Excellent. That's a great segue into what I was going to talk about next too. So, it'll hold down. - Setting things up, right? (giggling) - So yeah, that's what I wanted to chat about. Like I would consider you and have a few people in my network that I would call, kind of these super connectors. If I come up with a question about something, you've got a guy or girl or woman. - Yup, or person. (giggling) - Or person. Yes. - Or maybe a dog, I don't know. - Yes, yes, yes, yes. It could be anyone, but you have them in your network. How did you build such an extensive network? And was there kind of an eye on this super connector status that I've just given you, or was it like an organic thing? - I think it's a little bit of luck and a little bit of organic, and a little bit of hard work. So, it's all a combination. It's like one third of each of those things. And when I started my career, it was in higher education. And I remember being a residence hall director, and my connection to technology was really the students. So, when here's dating myself, when America online instant messenger was a big thing, I had to be on that. I had to learn that, because I needed to know what my residents were doing, and what my RAs were doing. And so, there was a lot of that. And then when LinkedIn launched, I found it was a great tool as an alumni person to connect with those past students that have graduated, and try to bring them back to the college. It was a great way to find people. And so, growing that over time, I always try to be really useful to the people I connect with. I don't like to just connect, chat, and then do nothing. So, that's sort of where that human puzzle things started to come into play, because I realized, I'll meet Neil, and Neil needs people to help with video, or needs people to help with certain issues. And I go, "Well, I just met this other gentleman or this other person, girl, whatever you want, whoever it is, and I tried to connect them back." And so, what that's done, is I scratch your back, you scratch mine kind of thing. I've found that the organic part is that people are coming back to me and asking me for other more advice, more connections, or, "Hey, how can I help you, you help me out with this thing?" - Right. Yeah, there's a reciprocal nature to any of those intros, just anytime you help somebody out, like there's definitely some level of debt there that I think people feel. Like they want you contribute to them, they want to contribute back. Like from a a good place, less a debt place, I guess so. - Right. It's a partnership. And a lot of my roles had a lot to do with fundraising, even if I wasn't being the direct fundraiser. We joke around and say we're the friendraisers in the alumni world. And so, a lot of that had to do with creating a real partnership. And that's like what I stand by. Some of the other people that I've worked with in fundraising, are go in and get the gift, go and ask for that money. And they'll make a very small connection. But to me, I've found that the larger gifts, whether it be monetary or even just time and talent, have come because we established a relationship that was sort of reciprocal, and truly reciprocal. - Right. - I could give you an award right now, Neil, for being the best videographer in the world and ask for $10,000. And I don't think that that's warm and fuzzy for everybody. Some it works for. - Yeah. It feels more transactional, right? - Right. - Well, that's like two philosophies on business there. Like the hunting versus gardening, or you're like growing this community around you, this network of people who want to do business with you, or are you just taking your shots when you can and just moving on? And one is a little more of a, I don't know, churn and burn destructive type process, while the other one is actually like building a lot more value for the future. So, it sounds like you're at least on the path that I like to be on. - Transactional is just that. You make the transaction and you're done. And there is a small percentage of people that really like that, and that's what they look for in a business, and they'll keep coming back and do that transaction over and over again, but a relationship can last forever, and you can keep on without having to push them up and up-sale everything. It kind of naturally happens where they want to use you more, if they learn to trust you and really connect. - Yeah. I was gonna go to that, the know, like, trust factor. That's ultimately where we're getting here, and it just makes such a huge difference. - Yeah. - Well, hat's the reason everybody should go out and build that network, nurture your network. It's not all about making the sale right away. Now, for my next section, I don't really have much of a segue here, so I'm just gonna jump into it. We mentioned a little bit that you have the podcast, that you're trying to video-wise it, we'll say. And I don't know, do you wanna, let's first talk a little bit about the That Sounds Terrific podcast. What is it about? Like, what types of people do you have on it? What kind of content do you cover? - Well, it started, kinda around the pandemic, I had an old supervisor that was telling me, "You're always talking about doing something, starting something, making a difference, that kind of thing." And he really pushed me. And I'll publicly thank Michael Scroll for really making me start a movement. And really what that sounds terrific is, and told this story once or twice before, is there's a lot of negativity in the world even around some positive movements for change. And I just want to highlight more of those positive movements, and those things that people are doing in the community to make an impact in a great way. So, that sounds terrific. Kinda came from an other podcasts that I listen to, called the Crime in Sports where there's two guys basically, they're both comedians, and one of them just, he made a thing called That Sounds Terrible. All right? And he highlighted, it was like a Twitter handle, and you just talked about the things that sounded terrible to him. So, I'm like, you know what? I was thinking of a time, at the time about a show title, that's when I'm like, "I'll just do the opposite of that." Right? - Yeah. - So, that's how that That Sounds Terrific was born, and really I go out, and find people that are leaders in the community and it doesn't have to be in New York here, it could be anywhere. And I just highlight what they're doing and it could be a corporate America, it could be nonprofit, it could just be one individual that is volunteering. So, it's pretty broad, but I love it because it expands my network even more. Right? - Right, right. Yeah, it probably works really well for that. And kudos to you for focusing on the positive news. We all know the reason it's all bad news on the news channels, it's bad news sells. So, to kind of counterbalance that we need a lot more That Sounds Terrific podcast, because then that is a, yeah, you're not just beholden to the sponsors, I guess, to get the. Well, I'm trying again, I've gotten a couple of little bites about sponsorship, and maybe sponsoring an episode here or there. And like you said, the other type of news really sells, so organically growing this audience has been tough. Right? - Yeah. - So, looking at the numbers and trying to figure out like, "Okay, I did really well on Apple this week, or why is that? Was it the guest? Was it the way that we presented the social?" Those types of things. - Well, so now you've given me another great segue, because the theme this month on the Creator Network is analytics, right? And we're kind of touching on it now. So, let's happen to that a little, I wrote in my notes that you're not an expert but you're not a novice when it comes to that stuff. So, it sounds like you're looking at your analytics, what's your opinion on the importance of analytics for your podcast? - Analytics are very important, more important than probably I've been treating them. To be honest, one of the drawbacks to being the jack of all trades right now, and doing all the different things I'm doing is you spread yourself a little thin. And part of what my grow this into is having either an intern or even an employee that's gonna help with some of these things. But in order to know where you're going, you have to know where you've been, kind of thing. - Sure. - And so, when you look especially at analytics and social media, around a podcast, you kind of try to see what is doing really well and what your audience is responding to, and where your growth or potential growth could be. So, when I look at, like, I just used the example before about like, okay, how am I doing on Spotify? How am I doing on Apple? I use Anchor as my podcast platform, and I usually steer people towards that. And I love it, I love the very simplistic use of that platform. But, I think that what I'm seeing in my statistics anyway that I'm getting more listens on Spotify and maybe Apple, Apple's a little hard because of the bridge that you have to find between the analytics on the platform, and the analytics in Anchor. - Okay. - So, but I have to make a decision based upon some sort of data that makes logical sense. Otherwise, I'm going kind of Willy-Nilly and going, "Well, I think that this might change." And some of that is important experimenting. - Right. Yeah, yeah. The AB testing can be really important for just kind of figuring it out. You have to win some and lose some, like by definition to find that right path. But what kind of analytics are you're looking at? So, is this purely downloads or do you get, I don't use Anchor FM myself. So, analytics wise to the give you kind of, I don't know, length of listen, anything like that, or is it purely download subscriptions, that type of thing? - There's definitely downloads, and there's people that like have automatic, because like right when I upload the episode, it almost automatically gives me like a couple. Right? - Sure. - But they do talk about, and when you really dive deep in that and on Apple and a few other places, the listen time, how long the average listener is? And then also looking down at the demographics. Now, I don't have a lot of international listens, but I have like a weird pocket in the UK. And honestly, I think I know who that person is because I recently interviewed somebody in the UK. So, but it's cool to be able to see some of that, and my audience is still growing. And part of it is, you talked about AB testing and I can't really compare Apples to Apples yet. I haven't had too many guests that have very similar backgrounds. The only thing I can kind of compare to, that I can figure out anyway in my small brain is like region to region. Right? - Okay. - So, if I have a guest from Rochester, New York, am I getting more listens from Rochester, or is it still like basically the same? And I have noticed that looking at the data that, and I kinda took a real peek at it before our episode recording here, because I wanted to be able to talk a little intelligently. - Excellent. - That you do get a spike, and it's logical in a local area from somebody that you interview in that area. And that could be from their social media, and sharing it with their friends and things like that. But it's a tangled web that is weaved around this data, and you gotta figure why did this happen? - Right. And what's important and what isn't, and yeah. Well that, as I mentioned, that's what we're gonna be learning about this month on the Vidwheel Creator Network. We do have a couple like events that are open to the public.Both are at 8:
00 PM on a Thursdayand on June 10th at 8:
00 PM, this is Eastern. We have Kanishka of Yamu Media, who's gonna come on and talk analytics with us. And then on June 24th, we have Dylan Staniszewski of Babyscripts, who's gonna come on and talk with us about analytics. So, with that in mind, and because I am gonna chat with these people before they're on, if there's one thing about analytics that you would like to learn during this month, what would that be? - I mean, I think in general, like I would wanna know what is the most important thing to them, to read and look at when it comes to reading a data. Like, it could be very customer focused, it could be how to build that community. So, what is the most important business? Because I guess the challenge that I always have, and we've talked about this right before recording, is monetizing the work that I do. I'd love helping, and there's a reason I probably work for nonprofits or things that are, volunteer and nonprofits, is because I very often forget to ask for money for my services. - Right. - So, I think that that's important. That's the question I'll ask both of them, is what is the most crucial thing that you need to be looking at and analyzing, when it comes to your business? - And it's specific to podcasts I think for your situation. That's your main kind of media channel. Are you making any other types of media, or do you have plans to once we push through the learning curve on the creator network? - Yeah. I mean, it picked up a couple of clients for different things. There's a gentleman that I'm trying to build a, basically it's a pitch doc video and commercial for. He has a new business that he's sort of started up, and we both talked for quite a bit and figured out sort of like a, it's one video that we're gonna break up into three parts that can play very seamlessly or standalone. One's a pitch to investors, one's to the general customer, and the other one's sort of an awareness video of like their branding and everything. So, I have taken a lot of what you've been teaching and definitely the equipment and try to use it in different ways for other clients that I'm consulting with or coaching. And that's what, again, what I love about your network is that I can call Sean, or Barb, or you, or Morgan, and ask her, "Hey, I have this person that I wanna with, I have a basic idea of what I want to do. What are your thoughts?" And they're gonna like give me a bazillion ideas which is great, or validate what my original thought was, which is often surprisingly enough what they do, is saying, "Hey, that's a pretty good idea, maybe take it from this angle." It's like having a team without having a team. Which is the hardest part about consulting or freelancing, is that you often don't have someone to throw your ideas at and seeing, like throw them at a wall and you can see if they stick for you. It's great to have advice. - That's a great point. And that is, as someone who on and off, has been on my own or this small business owner, never rarely getting up over small business owners status, but when you're in your own echo chamber, you can think something up. Think it's a great idea, and if you don't have anybody to validate it with, you could be just screaming into the void there. Like you're not talking to people about what they want to talk to or talk about, and it can be tough. It can be discouraging. So, I'm glad you're finding that value in the network too. - Oh, yeah. - I think that's a huge part of it, the whole like-minded people hashing out ideas together is, I mean, I use it for our own stuff. Like everybody's always willing to help and contribute. And it's great for that type of use case. - And they're honest, which is great, because I've been in other environments and like that's kind of why I do like working a little bit on my own, where staff have not been honest, and would let you fall on your face, and they're not gonna do that here, which is great. I had a friends in college, and I just thinking about him, he was brutally honest, but I loved it, because I would throw an idea by him and was like, "Oh, it stinks bro." And he really talked like that. And great, because then I'm not gonna maybe fall on my face. And there's been a couple of times where I said, "No, it's awesome. And it's gonna be awesome." And he was right, and it's done. - It turns out. Yeah, that's a great point, and that's a dynamic that I think maybe is, that I hadn't even thought about. But the employee to business owner dynamic or manager, or whatever, is certainly different than that like peer to peer conversation. - Yeah. And I mean, just one other point, the other thing I did not have to really deal with in this environment at least so far, because I don't, I mean, there's other podcasters, but there's not this competition. Right? - Sure. - So, if they steal my idea, I really don't care because you know what? I'm gonna steal it right back when I'm like, "Oh, they do that better" Right, like that. (giggling) And that's great. Whereas a company, like you're sometimes afraid to share your idea, because the boss might take it to the other boss, or your coworker will be like, "Oh, that's a great idea." And then all of a sudden it's theirs. Now, I'm not saying that happens all the time but it happens and it sucks. - Yeah. So, I'm gonna move into the one question I ask every time on this podcast, and it's called the Smarter Business, well, it shouldn't be too bad, hopefully. It's called the Smarter Business podcast, because we feel like, especially utilizing video, is what we usually focus on. But what we want to do is give people business tips on how to run their businesses smarter, little tidbits there. So, is what is one thing that you've done to make your business or your client's business smarter? - One thing. - And it's gotta be one or two, this thing. - I knew this was coming up, and I like to cop out and have many things, because of the jack of all trade thing. - Exactly. But, I will say that having a personal board, and this goes back to the networking thing is that one thing. So, you have, and I've honestly put people into like board seats. The guy that you go to about analytics, the guy that you go to about video, the girl that you go to about business transactions, you put together your own personal board of people that you help and that will help you. And that will do everything that they can to make you an expert in that area. So, I would put together a personal board of five to 10 people, and literally utilize them, and make sure you're helping them. And this could be through like a BNI, good to be through ripple effects, some kind of networking group, or honestly, it could just be how I have it set up, which is unofficial. And I don't even think half the people know that they're my board members. But I kind of stole that idea from someone that I connected with. And they said that, I'm like, "That is a awesome idea, and I already have it, but now it's official." So, that sounds terrific board of directors, right? - That's excellent. And I remember when I first started out in business I was told to do something like that by a business mentor they had through, I can't even remember what group it was through, but one of these business groups like a score or something like that, and I just blew it off. I would just like follow my own path. Probably, it's set me back years. (giggling) I should have been talking to people who knew what they were doing, versus just figuring it all out on my own. So, but now yes, I agree. I've got a couple peer groups that I think kind of fill that role for our company and yeah, you gotta be willing to take feedback and if you're taking it from people who know what they're doing, even better. Right? - Right. I mean, yeah. If you think about it, like even in every business you have a bookkeeper, you have, even if you're a single own person, you're utilizing some sort of service at some point or another. So, it's just sort of like your own personal board for your business, but there's also that for your life. So, you have that friend that you go to when something happens. I just have a file all the way in my head, but that's been extremely helpful, especially going through the pandemic and all those other stuff. What I've noticed about the pandemic and about my own personal experience with it, and some others that I've talked to is it's sort of that, there's like a COVID Renaissance. I like to call it that. You get that to your creative roots, back to your family, back to all these things, and sort of like regrow in it. It's gonna be interesting to see where business goes and where our country goes and the world goes, when this truly is sort of over, because it's not. That's my basic feeling on that, that we're gonna go through another change of culture in how we look at things. We're not quite there yet, but we're gonna get there. And I'm going to have my personal board advising me on what to do. - Right. Navigating those choppy waters. Right? - Yeah, totally. - Awesome. Well, that is the end of my standard questions for this podcast, but in every interview I do, whether it's testimonials or these types of interviews, I like to ask one open-ended, did we miss anything? Do you want to talk about anything else? And yeah, for anybody who, I usually say like very often, you start talking and then knock something loose or somebody really wanted to say something they didn't get there. Some people have recommended a book or software, mentality tied to business here. But I don't know, is there anything we didn't touch on that you would like to kind of push out there to our audience? - So being on the other side of the mic, I asked this question too. - Excellent, it's a good one. - And it is the stumper. It's like, what is it that I haven't said yet that I don't wanna forget to say? I think that the biggest thing that I've learned through like life, and especially this recent experience is that, it's very important to do something that you love to do, because you'll be much happier doing it. And obviously there are people that are in a situation that can't work. They do what they love to work. But there are ways that you can craft around that and finding different nooks that earlier passion, part of that job. So, my advice to people is, do make that time to be creative if you love being creative, but also just do make that time to find your passions. And know yourself, because I think the hardest part of my journey is that I do focus so heavily on helping other people, that I don't really take the time to understand what Nick needs. And it's funny, because I don't get much energy out of that. And I think I've shared with you a number of occasions that I love doing work for you or work for other people, because I kind of thrive on the energy it creates, whereas my own personal projects get put on the wayside. Right? - Right. So, the big thing is a change in perspective, and what I did, was I used my personal board member. I was talking to them about this, and this person told me and said, "Don't the people that are on your podcast, or that you're working with, need you at your best?" And I said, "That's true." So, just changing this perspective and saying, "I'm making time for the podcast. I'm making time for this, because people are depending on me for that too." Because I didn't think about it in that way. So, my advice is, do what you love, make sure that you're looking at it from the right lens and perspective. And that's why I have like 20 podcasts episodes pre-taped and recorded and ready to go. So, because I realized that the people that I'm interviewing need that attention, just as much as Neil and the Vidwheel Network and job searching and all those other things. - Excellent. Yeah, self care has been a big thing that's come out of of the pandemic too. Like everybody, a lot of the people who've had a chance to step back and figure out what works for them and so on. And one more thing I want to add on to what you said about like finding your passion is a lot of people, I think, feel like it's gotta be this like life altering, quit my job, go out in a blaze of glory, and go find my passion. Like there's some real value behind, just finding it, dedicating a small amount of time, to something that you're super into, and then seeing if it expands from there. You don't have to blow everything up to pursue your passion. Just do it in bite sized pieces, and before you know it, it may have expanded to something where you can quit your job and go out in a blaze of glory, if that's your vision. - Don't ever go out in a blaze of glory. Don't burn those bridges. - Right. Well, that's good advice. - I agree with you. I mean, and trying new things is something that I would always tell my, like, going back to my college days again, try new things, experiment. That's your time to experiment college, but it doesn't end there. Don't be afraid to try new things, because you might love those new things. And like you said, it could be as simple as going for a walk every day and you clear your head, and all of a sudden you're writing a book, or you're writing a song or, to mention Shaun Lewis, again, to playing guitar and getting right back into music. He's a part of our Vidwheel Creator Network, and I did the same thing. I have a friend who's reteaching me to play guitar, because I dabbled for years and created some really bad habits, but it's great to kind of know yourself and discover those things. - Well, we'll have to look into a Creator Network jam band or something. I can play the tampering, that's about where my musical skills hit the wall. - Is it on beat too? - No, no, it's pretty erratic. So, we'll have to deal with that. Maybe something a little less structured would be good. - Yeah, we can do something. (giggling) I'm better at singing than I am of actually playing guitar. - Excellent. - So, we'll get something together. - Perfect. Coming to a stage near you. All right, with that, I think I'm going to say thank you to Nick. - Thanks for having me. - Thanks for coming on. Thank you for sharing your insights. I will share in the show notes where to find the That Sounds Terrific podcast. If you wanna plug any other links, you can go ahead and do that now, and we'll do some closing notes. - Yeah, I mean the easiest thing is probably just to go to thatsoundsterrific.com, which is where all my social media lies and everything there, you can find it there, keep it short and sweet. It's just not something I often do. - Perfect. Single call to action. That's important marketing stuff. - I learned that from Neil. (giggling) - Excellent. And to everyone listening or watching this episode, if you enjoyed the content, I would love to have you subscribe either on YouTube, or wherever you're listening to the podcast, and feel free to rate this podcast. It helps us get noticed by other people, if you liked the content that we're putting out there. So thank you very much and we will see you next time. (upbeat music)