#227 – How To Win Awards With Vinnie Potestivo

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the episode today, we have Vinnie Potestivo. Vinnie, welcome. Yo, how are you doing Thomas Green? Thanks for having me. I think I’m pretty good. It’s my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Oh yeah, sure. I’ll tell them what makes my mama proud, how about that? In the late 90s, I was the guy at MTV who helped usher in a whole new talent of unscripted celebrities. I got to give voices and shapes to stories that otherwise wouldn’t have been told and and got to be part of the teams that created Newlyweds and Punk’d and Osbournes and Laguna Beach and the Hills and so many unscripted programs, and for the 1st 10 years of my career I literally watched talent brands being built in front of me. For the next 15 years I went and did that with businesses, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a business owner, a founder of a business, the CEO of a business and we’re looking to get on television in a long form way. I was the person that networks were calling to find people who were ready to put their money where their mouth is and show up And it’s been an amazing career, and in 2017 I pivoted into digital.

Really focused on the social component of media to understand the social media world and I understand the public media world brilliantly, because I was trained there, but understanding the social media world, the difference between earned reach and paid reach and how to create content that leans into those strengths. I really became a student again and that fast forwards me to where I’m at now. So I’m currently sitting on top of VPE TV. I have the verified podcast exchange which is a platform for podcasters to connect with brands that are looking to get brand sponsorships, so I’m helping podcasters not only just be discovered, but also monetize their brands before they hit the 10,000 episodes stretch threshold. I’m also launching and have launched the creator accelerator hub, which is my way of giving back all the tools that I use.

I’m a firm believer that people aren’t winning awards right now because they don’t know how to apply or when to apply. So I’m giving an awards library literally of over 50 awards that I’ve identified that most of you will qualify for. Also branding, so I get a lot of calls about how to monetize the brand and how to make money on all the hard work and branding that you’ve created, so I’ve created something that allows marketers and podcasters to connect via ihaveapodcast.com, so if you’re an independent podcaster and you’re looking for — first off, if you’re an independent podcaster who is unverified as most of us probably are, my ihaveapodcast.com aims to give you something in your arsenal when you are talking to Instagram and some of these platforms that require news specifically that’s focused on you, something credible, so getting a feature article on ihaveapodcast.com helps you along your journey to get verified, which, unfortunately that blue check means a lot.

It signifies a lot these days to people, and again, I was lucky enough to start my career at MTV in the late 90’s. I grew up with a tremendous amount of people that were traditionally creative and non-traditionally creative, and I’ve seen many of them thrive in the industry, and I’ve seen many of them leave the industry, because success didn’t come soon enough. So anything I can do to connect creators, whether you identify as being an influence or a podcaster, a content creator or you own a company and you just, you create content, you create words and videos and action and put them out on social media, even those creators as well, you deserve a little bit of success, and I like helping people find that. The success between creativity is not a linear path. It is not create, and then I’ll get a lot of likes and then I’ll get a lot of money.

These things don’t like, they’re not dominoes that constantly fall in the same in the same direction, and I think that if anything we’ve learned that the funnel is broken, there’s no one way in, but there are many ways in, and I think that what I try to do is help people identify the many ways that people, brands, companies, platforms, clients will be able to connect with them so that they can best be prepared to be successful, to be impressive, to be impactful, in the every step along the way of the relationship. That’s what I do now and that’s what makes my mama proud. Well thank you for the introduction, there is an awful lot to ask you about there. So I have to — what I normally say is, of all the things that I could ask you about, what do you prefer to talk about, what’s your passion? Oh, that’s a great question. I appreciate you creating a space where where options like that do exist and we can even just talk about the act of what you’ve just done here is creating an operation, you hear how my voice just like totally got brighter and I just leaned into my core, because I don’t feel rushed in this conversation and I feel really happy to be able to answer lots of questions.

I think I would start with what I think is like the number, you know, the number one way to stand out. I love helping people win awards. I mean I mentioned it already, I might as well, I’d love to talk about awards and credits the power of credits the power of uploading your podcast as data to imdb dot com right now. Like the power you can’t listen to podcasts on imdb but you can get credit for creating for hosting for producing, for writing for music supervision, for being a guest for being yourself. There’s lots of credits to give yourself by uploading your podcast to imdb as as an intellectual property, as a as a creative property. And the cool thing about what’s happening on imdb right now is that amazon has put as much weight on podcast as they have on television shows and films. So, so for years we’ve seen digital series that don’t live on imdb and don’t have credits on imdb because most digital series don’t um they don’t they aren’t in the approved list of content types that I M D B is giving organized credit to.

But podcasts are and man, I love that I M D B was generous with. I mean for for us to be able to upload our podcast and by the way, anybody who has no clue what I’m talking about, I created a link at www dot audio linked dot com. So A U D I O L I N K E D dot com. I had to think about that. Audio linked. My accent comes out when I say these two words apparently, um to walk you through, you don’t need to have an imdb pro account to be able to set up, you know, your profile, you do have to have already appeared in a production. The production comes first on imdb and then you can attach yourself to that production, whether you were a guest host, you know, um featured actor, an editor or whatever it is that the property needs to lift first and that’s how people create new imdb profiles. But I’m telling you this imdb saying I stay away from the word hack because it tends to be like a cheat, it tends to be like a skip the line thing, This is a whole new, this is like we were playing monopoly, you know, everything was very, very linear, you know, make a right make a right make up for rights make you know, and you back in jail pretty much and now we’re playing chutes and ladders, you know, now we’re able to create newsletters on linkedin that I can have posts from every single social platform or podcast that I’m putting out there, you know, sort of there’s a whole decentralized community here of content that I’m really enjoying, that.

I love helping people lean into that, that credits are helping people get discovered. Um If you were to type in, I have a podcast which is the name of my podcast, you know, I need my podcast, I have a podcast because everybody says it, I sat back, I listened, you know, and one of the things in tv they teach you is like to come up with a title that people think they’ve heard before. So it’s easy to remember, but it’s it’s quite not something that they it’s it’s still like a new, it’s a new version of something that they’re already familiar with, but it’s a brand new sort of value proposition. So I heard a couple of people saying, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, my name is Vinnie and I have a podcast and and I thought that’s wonderful to identify as a podcaster because it’s one thing to be on social media and make content. But if you make podcasts, if you make the time to sit down and have focused conversations and edit those conversations and promote those conversations and research those conversations, this is, this is the creator for me, by the way, this is someone I can completely connect to. So I’m very passionate about credits first and foremost and that sort of leads to awards.

The wonderful thing about winning awards is you’re now an award winning communicator on this list as an expert. So whether you’re a landscaper, a cake baker, a tv host, a journalist, you know, winning an award means simply you’re just a great communicator in that field and in this world of experts. Winning an award is one of the key differentiators, then, you know, to me, it signifies that you believed in your work, you asked for it to be verified by a group of people, you wanted it to be acknowledged in a group setting and there are very little awards that you actually win just yourself, like most awards are a team award a team win. And so for those of you who are like oh who am I to win an award and it feels selfish to win an award and it’s not, I mean to to get to be on stage with two other people, let alone 10 other people who all had our individual goals. We all had our individual hurdles but we were able to overcome them as a team.

Give me give me emotional talking about that and I’m passionate about teaching people how to win awards. Um I won my first three media awards last year, I’ve been in tv for 25 years, I’ve won you know, 30 under 30 and I’ve been a part of shows that won Emmys, I didn’t qualify for them. I was like either a producer or a casting director. Casting directors don’t qualify for Emmys on tv shows, only executive producers do. So I said all right, if that’s the game then I gotta figure out how to be an executive producer, you want me to, you know, and then being an executive producer meant I had to work on a show that was going to be nominated, you know, that’s actually gonna be submitted. So I went out and found the team, I went out and found the team of people who I know we’re capable of making award winning content who were passionate about award winning content and and I’m so happy to say that my first Emmy Ever that I won just last year, last December of 2021 is about a project called Red Flags um uh and it follows the journey of a woman after a rehab, you know, where I felt like there was a lot of shows that are like something’s wrong and we see all the wrong things and ends in an intervention, it ends with them going to rehab, you know, we’ve seen these shows on tv before and to me that’s just where the story begins.

It’s it’s easy in television to say this is really hard, this person’s having a really hard time then then they go to rehab and the episode ends well as I don’t want to say as everybody knows, but I can say as I know as a child of being an in and out of Elena and palatine because of my parents choices um that I was I had to find support as a teen and as a child and as a young adult through therapy to deal with the creek coping mechanisms to deal with the addicts that were in my life to understand how to deal with those situations. I know that the journey just only begins when that person goes into rehab because the the rules change the dynamic changes the story. The words change, the experiences change and and how we support those people post rehab matters and I thought that would be awesome for a show to highlight and and focus, you know that idea and and we won an Emmy, which is the coolest thing and I want it with like some of the smartest people in tv I I got to win it with Jeff Hoffman, with the man who literally created like Priceline.

He put he put um airplane kiosks in in the airplane in airports. Like the reason why we could digitally check in is because of this man, Jeff Hoffman and and one of our other producers is Kevin Harrington, the original shark and shark tank. He’s like the richest, he by far by far the richest shark and this of shark tank. And then as an infamous latino, Mark Cuban took a C season two and beyond. But Kevin created the infomercial kevin Kevin created the ability for businesses to buy time on television to own 30 minutes to demonstrate, to articulate, to show people what their services were. He had this innate instinct to say, storytelling is important, but so is the amount of time that we spend on developing the characters and story and solutions. So By a 30 minute show, own 30 minutes of air time so that you can really turn it into your energy as opposed to trying to fit it into a talk show or fit it into an existing news program.

And those are great ways by the way to get out there and and and and grow your audience but to sell and show your audience, I think that Q V. C. H. S. N. You can look at all the networks that spawned, you know, and digital ones. So and all that comes from just wanting awards and wanting credit. And I’m so passionate about people getting credit. That’s what helps them get their next gig. It’s it’s what we’ve done and and we do so many things as creatives, you know, off the digital space that it’s hard to translate that. You know, maybe we can put on linkedin. I worked at this job. Maybe we can. You know, I’m thinking of some other way, maybe we’re putting posts out there, you know, this humble post, so grateful to have gotten to work on this project because we just want people to know that we worked on it. I want you to know that I M. D. B. Is there for you. Like I M. D. B. Is the new linkedin for me, linkedin is my jam. So linkedin and I M. D. B. The two like platforms that I will push people to nonstop um because people who are not creatives really stand out beautifully on I.

M. D. B. People who are lawyers and mechanics and business owners who are not traditionally hosts and creatives and actors, you stand out on imdb, you stand out like a sore thumb and that’s a wonderful, beautiful way to be discovered. Um And I say the same goes for all the creatives who are flocking over to linkedin now linkedin has been for so long a resume website and up until everyone became a coach and and and an adviser. It was where we would go to find jobs. Now we go to find gigs, you know, on linkedin to creatives that are coming over there now because there’s a whole suite of tools that linkedin just launched specifically for creators um to be able to go live, to do linkedin audio live, I no longer need people to go through, you know, a third party software to be able to talk to me live in front of people on linkedin. They made it so that it’s all end to end within linkedin. It’s seamless. So I love it seems, you know, Lincoln It’s been around a while, I think it’s almost 21 years it’s been around.

So there’s new tools that are coming to old platforms as opposed to new tools on new platforms like clubhouse. And I love clubhouse. By the way, clubhouse and linkedin clubhouse, everyone has access to Lincoln Audio live. Only creators only, some creators who have creator mode access currently have access to it. But when I talk about building a celebrity brand, you know, awards are important. Credits are important and the red carpet is important. It’s the red carpet is built so that news outlets know who to expect when to expect how to expect somebody so that they can get a soundbite and send it back to the news team so that it can make news that night, right? Like the red carpet isn’t about what am I gonna find the red carpet is I have a list of actors, I have a list of presenters, experts, people that are going to be on that red carpet as a journalist as a new source. I will go to that red carpet because I’m expecting that person to be there and we can do that now. We don’t, we don’t have to be celebrities to have our own red carpet. You know, we just have to have a consistent clubhouse room so that people know where to find us every thursday at four o’clock, every thursday at four p.m. Eastern, you can always find me on linkedin audio life.

Like that is my, my HQ for where I will always be an audio life. But if you can’t find me there, well then you would look around and then you would see that that’s where I’m at all. All sort of arrows point back to that moment. I want people to have access to me there, It’s not about me showing up and not knowing what I’m gonna be talking about, it’s about me showing up and knowing that the people that matter most are already aware of how and when to reach me, they’re not anxious throughout the week. When can I give any what? Oh, this new tool came out, this new, this new button came out instagram rolled out a new feature. I don’t know how to use it, No thursday’s four p.m. You know where to reach me. And I co hosted with this wonderful woman judy Fox. She is really, she’s a sales pro um and I just love the way her mind is wired and um so and she just really gets the linkedin platform really well, I’m a creative like I know how to make newsletters stand out, I know how to make podcast stand out and how to make you stand out.

But what I love doing is partnering with these platforms, people who are just so smart at knowing how how the platform works because I take my methodologies and then I use the tools that I know the platforms give us to sort of I don’t want to say trick or hack, but I’m using these words, you know, to to play into the lean into the algorithm, you know that we know is there it’s powerful and I want to make sure people have access to that because because no one’s walking around handing out Grammys and Emmys and W three awards and local, you know that there’s no that’s not how it happens, you know, you’ve heard someone say uh an appreciation thank you for the consideration, which means I just paid money for you to consider maybe nominating my you know my show for an award and then after consideration comes thank you for the nomination. And then I’ve been nominated. Now I’m hoping to be considered again to be a winner. And there are some really cool awards out there that don’t pit you against other people.

You know like, like we look at the Oscars and Grammys and you know, there are five people in the category and there’s one winner. Um I’ve done research to make sure that I’m finding awards that are also meretricious based on and self evaluated. So there are awards that basically the judges get, you know, to get to 100 points. The judges give you 20 for individuality and 20 for design. 24 um maybe interview technique and depending on the category, right that you’re applying for those would be different. And you get a grade, you basically it’s like school, you get a grade and hopefully, you know, anything over 70 most likely is gonna get you in like the silver category. The top 1% of of those grades are probably going to get in the gold category and then you will get your best of class. You know, there there still is the best of class, but but award winning has sort of just been changed and I just people don’t know that people don’t know that you have the ability to win an award. They think that you know, only one person in this category will win as opposed to all of us are capable of earning the credit for a silver or gold or or even a more prestigious award.

So I love sharing that information thomas. Congratulations on your Emmy. Yeah, it’s our Emmy. It’s the coolest thing. Thank you so much. Just to summarize people should do. If they’re, for example, podcasting, people should do I? M. D. B in order to get credits in order to potentially qualify for awards. What happens? Let’s say they were to get an award or they should aspire to get an award. What happens then? So on imdb the way it works is you actually, the awards are already listed on imdb the award category. So you go to the award category and you tell the award category that you your podcast won the award. The award category will approve you if you did win the award. And now according to imdb, you’ll be able to see that this is an award winning podcast and if I M D. B knows it, I promise you google will know it one or two days later, you have the ability to upload.

If you create a podcast, you have the ability to upload an infinite amount of videos and photos to support your podcast. So, if you’re anything like me and you have like, I don’t know one or two photos of you in an X on google, photos that still shows up by by uploading 20 100 150 videos and photos of me and my guests. All the social media content that I created to repurpose my podcast, I uploaded all of that to imdb I want imdb to know everything about my podcast because they they’re they’re starving for podcast information and they’re putting out that information to google the tab lines in such a big way that the H one headers in such a big way that it’s changing how I appear in google searches just by uploading my podcast to imdb. It’s that heavy of a data point that it will one I hate to say with 100% with uncertainty because it depends on execution.

And again, that’s why I created this audio linked dot com website to make sure your, you know, your methodically giving the information, you know, that that that imdb needs to share and be successful. But it if discovery ability is something that you’re struggling with imdb dot com. If partnering by the way now you can say, hey, come on, come on my podcast and by being on my podcast, I can get you on imdb dot com because if you’re a guest, I can say you were a guest on my podcast. So now as a podcaster, that’s pretty cool to be able to turn around to people who are not already on imdb and be the first, I love being the first, it would be the first person to give them a credit. That’s the best feeling in the world and even better is when people go to find them. So I’ve had some guests on my podcast, Mandy moore and Christina Milian and Jamie Sigler. When you go to their imdb pages, you see my podcast. So you whether you love this is us or Rapunzel or you know any other, any other uh walk to remember any of the movies that Mandy moore has been in.

Whatever reason you go to her page. If you scroll down to podcasts, you’ll see my page and not only that, but it tells google. So if you type in mandy moore of any positive, oh my I have a podcast will come up and a lot of news will come up with it because um of the data points that I’m creating here. So I found the hardest thing about podcasting was podcasting except for a couple of platforms, tune in is a pretty strong I think SEO platform where if you’re posting, you know, podcasts on on tune in, it’s pretty much I’m pretty much guaranteed to get a google alert of my name showing me in in in the digital world. But other than that on social media, it’s really hard to get attraction, you know, in google. But that’s what I liked about about linkedin linkedin has an ability for creators to create something called a newsletter. And the newsletter is an S. C. O. Enabled page that you’re able to publish. First off the newsletter feature on our hands up to the newsletter feature on linkedin.

If you don’t, if anyone doesn’t know about the newsletter feature on linkedin, we’re familiar with male champ. And like all the other ways that we have to pay to get newsletters out there, linkedin has the ability to create a newsletter which acts almost like as a web page within linkedin. So I embedded my podcast episodes. I say all the all the all the places you can hear me live almost a dashboard so that when people are in Lincoln, they don’t have to leave linkedin to be able to engage and listen to my content and they can look Lincoln is kind of like if you’re if you’re accessing it from work and it needs to be like for work, you know, it needs to feel like it’s work otherwise it feels like a blog and a silly thing when someone walks into the room you’re gonna hit the button and try to quickly change change the screen so that you know, people don’t see your folding around but you’re learning. So I love that you can learn you know in linkedin now. And and this newsletter feature it when you, when you publish it first off, when you publish it for the first time it sends every single follower that you have an email a timeline alert an inbox alert.

And it shows up on their uh on their in their login feed as well. Like that’s these are four high touch points that I didn’t even pay a penny for if you have 3, 15,000 people in your newsletter, you know, it costs 80 bucks, 100 20 bucks. It starts the cost every time you send these newsletters out. But with link linkedin right now, I’m able to send the message out and I know that it goes into their inbox in their regular, like regular old fashioned mail. Is that weird that we say old fashioned email now, like snail mail, you know, old email. Um and then all of the alerts, you know, and then and then it’s waiting for them in their inbox in linkedin. Like that’s these are really high, valuable high traffic areas, that high touch points that Um people are looking for opportunities, they’re looking for ways to make money or, or B2B, they’re looking for ways to collaborate or or grow sponsorships or opportunities. So, as a creator to be in this space, to be offering your information, your creativity and also all of it to be encapsulated within, like, I’m speaking your language, you know, and Lincoln I’m not asking you to go places.

So how we distribute, how we amplify, you know, these podcasts matters, Can I throw out one more thing to, I’m thinking about it for people who have podcasts. one of the great ways to grow a podcast is by taking your podcast episodes and turning them into blogs and the blog then becomes something that’s a little easier to share, right? Like people can find it if they find you, they can take and they can share to their, their instagram and they can share it to facebook or linkedin or youtube wherever, wherever people sort of talk about things. I love people upload. So there’s a a product called Q so VP dot tv slash Q U U U. And it’s a blog amplifier. It’s an aggregator. It takes your blog, you tell the, you tell this platform what this blog is about. So this is about podcasts and podcasts and marketing in the digital space. And people subscribe to queue for free. They say I want to be a thought leader, but I don’t know how to make content or I don’t have time to make content.

I’m looking for other people who are creating valuable content. Thought leaders in my industry. I wanna find their blogs and I want to re share them quickly on facebook and on. So I’m gonna, when I find something, I want to put it in my heart, sweet. And then just like program it out. Q V P E dot tv slash Q U U U allows you to be discovered without needing to be found like your, your blog can be discovered because people are looking for that subject without them needing to find your profile or your podcast or your page and then see what you’re talking about, which means that people are sharing your story with their crowd and their audience and that’s a high value. I mean now you have third party support, you have social proof that what you wrote was relevant because now people are sharing it right to their audiences because they found value in it. Meanwhile this is probably the best way to be discovered because you’re allowing someone else to discover the brilliance that is your message. Let them see, I hate to be Biblical, let them see the North star, you know, let them, let them let them get credit for being the people who looked up into the sky and said, look, there’s a north star, I gotta tell a friend because this is discovery.

This is now there’s ownership in this story, I found it, I found it and I can share it and you have to see that. And and there’s this idea that I did something right, and and we can give people that opportunity, we can put the north star in the sky for them to see it. We can put the chicken bone in the corner wall. If I’m thinking, I’m looking at my dogs right now, I’m thinking of other high value, you know, the piece of turkey bacon that my dogs would literally trade me for. If I were to give them the option to um you could put that in front of them because they’re looking for it. And if you’re able to to put this in front of people where they’re looking and it’s high value, they’ll take it and and I’m sensitive about teaching people this because I don’t want people to be divisive in terms of like what they’re putting in front of. I’ve used this trick, so to speak, my entire life. I sit back. I think the MTV is telling me we need to create a show because this audience isn’t watching television.

They’re saying they want all of these characteristics or characters to be in the show because they want them to do all of these different things. This is literally true. This is not figurative. This is like what, how, how bravo calls me and says, go find an ensemble. Oh, you know, and I sit back and I said, well, how am I gonna do this? Who do I know that knows these people, My, my version of casting, you know, it’s very different than many, many casting directors out there. Many casting directors out there. Well, put their glasses on and we’ll look for what they are searching for. I had never done that. I’ve always looked for somebody who’s going to introduce me to the person. That is right for the project. I’m not gonna go and look for a needle in the haystack. I’m gonna go and look for like, I don’t know what that little tomato thing that has all the needles in it, you know, I want to look for one of those people who has like lots of needles, you know, because I’m not saying I’m an expert in subcultures or micro cultures or but but but respectfully I built a career representing people on marginalized voices on television.

Every show that I’ve ever done falls into that category for me to think that I could find them. I mean I give myself credit but not that much credit but for me to be able to take that opportunity with me to curiously meet people and then when I meet them, oh trust me, they know I’m Vinnie and Popeye did the MTV and bravo and cbs and A and E. And I’m passionate about finding new talent and I’m passionate about about adding words to our vocabulary, adding shared experiences to our netflix viewing so that we all have something to relate to. Like we can all relate to binge watching tv. Now that’s pretty cool regardless of whether you’re left or right in the political spectrum old or young, you know, male female, however you identify. I think binging is one of those things that most of us now can like identify. That’s really that’s really cool to have a common experience where I can say oh did you watch that series?

Yeah, but I binged it. You know, I watched it all in a week me to the last season of of um of pretty much any show to be really honest is always been doble for me. And I think that those, those shared experiences, that’s gonna be the thing that ties us together globally, like those shared experiences, you know, some of them can be traumatic, you know, we can certainly talk about um things in America that happened. Where were you when 9 11 happened, Where were you when Princess Di, you know, there are some sad, unfortunate things that rocked this world that that we all breathed in and breathed out together in. Um there are some fun ones, you know, Halloween christmas finding out the first time santa wasn’t true, you know, these are these are fun shared experiences actually, I hope it’s fun, some kids that Spoilers on that one. Yeah, that Santa Claus one is a pretty tricky tub subject nowadays just because I just want to touch on one thing before we go away from it, because it’s the awards.

One of the things I was going to ask you about was how do you win awards? And I feel like that based on what we’ve talked about so far would be beneficial for your expertise to come out there. Yeah, so so some of it is standing out, some of it standing up. Um so the standing out, standing up piece is first and foremost like um having a purpose, standing up for a topic, a culture, a group of people, a community, something, something that really has mattered, something that matters more than just within this episode, something that people are gonna share at the dinner table, something that people are gonna say, oh well you have to hear this episode because she really went out of her way to talk about, she really, she really nailed it when she stands up and create something that people want to talk about, not just listen, So that’s, that’s the first step, to be honest, whether that is led through curiosity, whether that is lead with really strong research and great questions, whether that is led through access, like there are lots of ways that you can stand up and create something that will have impact, that’s like really the first thing, right?

So if you’re not making impact, it’s gonna be pretty hard to, to win an award. And then the second part I want to say is um is literally being able to getting into the system and identifying how your property, how your creative property performed slightly differently than everyone else is how the goal was to get people to maybe think about their age or to think about what’s next or to to do something that that isn’t necessarily a call to action, but allows them to take action and is built for them to move and by creating this movement by creating this stir by creating this energy, this this this friction, whether it’s positive or negative and discord not the platform, but the word, you know, discord is a wonderful way to grow, you know, I can bring up to Ashlee Simpson show is a great example, Ashlee Simpson for some people, people for some reason, people loved to hate Ashlee Simpson, but they loved to hate her, like she was so fun to champion because she’s the underdog and I can’t, you know all but they still showed up for her as opposed to the people who just truly don’t appreciate you and don’t like you and those people, you know, those people aren’t the ones that sign up and go to your website and complain about you, those people who are taking all that time, they love to hate you, they get joy, you know, so you give them this opportunity, you give them this opportunity.

And it also comes down to like any good story, the title, so you want to pick a category that suits the title appropriately. Um maybe I’m not gonna put my podcast up for um for best host. Um if I feel like I’m a pretty average host, but what I do great is um have conversations about creativity. I will specifically look for categories that are meant towards towards education versus tv and film in my podcast. I don’t really talk about like um tv and film reviews, I really talk about the process, the creative process I want to know from mandy moore, why she said yes to the Princess Diaries, why she said yes to um the movies, how she, how she prepared for those roles versus what I think about the Tv show or what I think about the film. So my podcast for example won’t win gold in tv and film because in that category the judges are asked, does this reveal the tv, does this reveal a tv processes their opinion about the Tv show?

Does there are specific questions that that category will be tasked with in terms of waiting the merit? Whereas an education or even in careers, my podcast does pretty well in careers because I’m really talking about creative careers and the cool thing about creative careers is that’s all that’s so cool to say this, but it’s all of us now. It used to be So it used to be so weird, it used to be lonely. It used to be weird. I used to only be able to work with celebrities or people who got passed through the networks and and people who were on paper, you know, it used to be I could only work with a certain level of people because of how the industry worked, how the industry monetized. But the best thing that happened to me In 2007 was the iPhone and suddenly I had millions of more collaborators that I was ever able to have. And I responded really well to that I with open arms welcomed this new error of creators who are just not gonna get bogged down with all of the bad sort of experiences and and old school things that happened in television for years and I don’t blame tv, I blame advertising, I want to point that out, so just be very clear.

I think there’s no such thing as a tv industry. I think that there’s an advertising industry and advertisers can promote things you know publicly, which is how they do it on television or privately, which is kind of like what films are. Um, so this whole social media and digital media piece, you know, I’m not quick to want advertisers on my digital media, I love sponsors on my digital media, I love working with people, I want people along the ride with me, I want them who wants to go to a barbecue and not not have anybody you know, to to play with, you know, I want them to support me but the advertisers, the advertising is a different beast. You know, advertising is at a certain time and place that you have to commit to showing up to and I don’t know if I would, I would ever allow my podcast to be stuck to someone else’s timeline. I worked too hard in tv to not allow myself to be told when and how I have to post my episodes because I know sometimes we need a breather, sometimes we’re going way too fast and I don’t want anything to get lost so I can pause.

I haven’t, I haven’t, I haven’t played an I haven’t pushed a new episode out to my podcast since the end of november and I know that next week I’m starting to have 30 episodes. I’m very excited. Jamie Lynn Sigler. Um The hosts many of you might know her from um sopranos. Um She’s got some great podcasts out there. Mama says the pajama pajama podcast. Um Yeah pajama podcast I think it’s there. Um the name of her podcast just have some fun podcasts that are out there. I want to learn how to create with these people you know um I already know how to sell these T. V. Shows and I know what comes from that you know some of that’s good and some of that’s bad but you don’t own any of it. You own the intellectual property that is your podcast and if you if you trade market and register it that that ownership expands beyond just this country and just this vertical and just this audio platform and expand that. So I took I have a podcast. I got it registered. I turned I have a podcast into a tv show that’s where I let advertisers tell me what to do.

Don’t tell me what to do as a podcast that’s mine but but I take I take the three minutes of me and mandy moore and I take that video just like you would see Mandy on maybe like the late late show with James corden um that he’s leaving the show by the way. But I can’t wait to see who fills his, his spot and I can end my episode with a great a list star that I’m not using that video for promo. I just use the audio from that so that I can use the video to create a television show. Um, and then I created a platform and then I said, wait, wait, I spent money like $2000 to register your globally register, you know, an intellectual property. So I said, wait, I spent $2000 to register, I have a podcast, I need to do more with that. So I created, I have a podcast dot com which is a platform for podcasters to get discovered. They come to our, it’s news and entertainment. I want you to learn about the opportunities that are happening in podcasting. But I also want to find and discover them.

I want to write featured articles about them so that when they apply for verification on insta or Tiktok or wherever it is that you’re seeking verification, you have a featured article from the news section of google that has your name in the header. That’s what instagram needs specifically. Not elliptical, not like five podcasters you should watch or even here’s a podcast, you should a podcast, you should know about, it’s not about the podcast, it needs to be about you. So I know that. So I built a device that specifically lets me find people and give them that peace, that data point so that they can leverage it. Um, and then, and then I felt motivated because I’m looking around and I’m seeing how influencers and creators have all the support from brands, all these vocabulary around creator economy influencers, you know, for some reason the podcasters, we don’t feel like we’re part of that group. For some reason I laugh because I’m thinking except for the accountants out there, except for the sales people out there who say, wait, where’s the money going?

You call me a podcasting and call me an influencer. I don’t care, I’ll be a podcaster In the influencer bucket because I’m gonna stand out, I’m gonna, I went and signed up for 50 literally and I have this link, so if you come to the creator accelerator, You will have access to this database that I’m talking about. I signed up for 50 influencer platforms as myself, I didn’t try to overwhelm them by being some fabulous influence or I’m not, I’m like, dude, boring old, I’m an old guy from TV. I talk about like the 90s and 2000’s um I kind of, I don’t, I don’t try to grow my social media audience. I’m not trying to find new people, I already know the best of the best and I’m so they’re already in my ear and in my head I have to let people know what I know, I have to decompress and share these stories and I’m the guy who, I’m the guy who I was a casting assistant in the room with Beyonce.

I was I was auditioning Beyonce to be in her first film. I can tell you a thing or two about how to talk to talent and give them notes so they feel empowered by the correction quote unquote that you’re giving them, you know like I wasn’t, I was Beyonce’s audition for for hip hop era Carmen a hip hop ra she read her lines and then it was just me, her and the director and the director said to me not to Beyonce, he said to me then I want you to get about like one ft away from her eyes. All I wanna do is see her eyes, I know what she looks like in the room, we have videos, we have music videos, I know what the body looks like, I know what the mechanism looks like. All I wanna do is see her eyes. Alright Beyonce, are you ready to go? I’m ready to go. And then we did it again and I thought to myself, why did he tell me that? Like he could have That was an interesting way to like I felt almost like on like a spotlight on me and it occurred to me afterwards that he wasn’t giving me that note. That note was for Beyonce that was like he was telling this star what he, what he was trying to capture and how he was going to capture and gave her the opportunity to do it the way she best knew how and I saw her, I’m getting goose bumps on goose bumps when I tell you I contacted and break man, it was like laser beams um and it was in that movie that Beyonce talks about developing this character for herself called Sasha fierce.

Sh my accent, Sasha fierce, which is like her, the version she thinks of as Beyonce on stage, like she created this character character of Beyonce that she could believe in that was sustainable to her because she can step into it and step out of it as Beyonce, the performer versus Beyonce, the woman, they’re very, very similar, but she’ll tell you when it’s time when it’s show time, she turns on Sasha fierce and that’s when it gets all like Beyonce but although I can’t complain because I think I think that Sasha fierce has infiltrated the real B she’s just everything, even when she’s like grocery shopping, it just seems like every move is right. You know, I could take the, can you know, there was like a dance growing up to take the can take everything she does is just like grown everything she does just seems like so so right, it just feels so right, but she’s she’s really tapped into into this into the awareness that people have of her and she plays into that.

And and I got to see that happen. Like I literally, I’ll tell you this, I’m am I some I’m not a guru, I’m not a genius, I’m not the smartest person, I’ll tell you what I did write that, that I think set me up for success. I sat back and I watched like, I’m the dude who watches buildings get made. I have I have you have you know that app, one second every day, there’s this project that’s being recorded that’s being built around my block, and every time I take my dogs for a walk, I snap a photo for two years. I mean, it’s just mine. I’m probably never gonna air it. I just love the process of c something being built. I watched these platforms get built and I watched how creators use them. I now get told what tools are being introduced, so I can see how creators, I’ve watched these platforms get built, I’ve watched this industry get reconnected and rewired based on these new platforms. I have a really strong understanding of of how these platforms work and when you layer that on with the individuality of creativity, whether you’re a performer or a business owner, whether you’re a student or, you know, a broadway star or a journalist, it doesn’t matter.

We all have our processes, we all need certain tools, you know, we all we’re gonna we’re gonna build a house, we’re all gonna need a hammer or someone’s gonna have a gun nail or something, you know, there’s going to be alternative ways, you know, to sort of do that. So you mentioned the celebs a few times, I I would I did want to ask you about because they’re perceived as quite successful by most people. What does success mean to you? Oh, that’s a great question. Uh success, accountability and innovation, accountability and innovation. Success, success for me as a creative means. I’m accountable for the steps that I’ve taken, the every step that I’ve taken had um real purposeful impact and and and and and was inspired to take that action. So I think that there’s a real account, I think there’s a real accountability to success and I think we have to be innovative, I think we can’t stand to just be best in class.

I think we have to stand and I sort of hate the square box um, analogy. So I like to sort of think of it as a sphere because like this is a little bit closer to like the world that we live in in the universe, and like to understand how the Big Bang works is like we’re constantly growing like how many platforms entered our world since we’ve been creating. So people say, all right, have podcasts had their day, no, there’s 80 billion more podcast platforms that are gonna come out that are dying for brand new podcast and also to repurpose the old ones, maybe there’s even gonna be a platform for podcast that didn’t have their day, It didn’t connect in 2010 because it for whatever reason you didn’t get out of the clutter. But that conversation was evergreen and so concise and so and so right that 10 years from now, 15 years from now, it will be more relevant. And I’m thinking of a couple of movies that we watched 20 years ago that we started watching at the beginning of this pandemic that we were like, oh too close to home.

They did, they know something that we didn’t and the answer is yes. And if you watch Bill Gates then the answer is very much yes by the way, what’s out there? But I have a very, very, very strong belief system that if you create it, there is an audience for it. If the audience hasn’t found it yet, it just has, it’s not, it’s time and sometimes you need more context for your content to stand out. Sometimes, sometimes for the really happy stories to really resonate. We have to go through really dark times to get there and and vice versa. So do I I think podcasts, you know, I would never, I would never stop anyone from creating a podcast, it’s your property, there’s nothing that you can do in America creative wise, like you when you sell a tv show to a network, they they own it outside of America, that’s not the case outside of America and europe in certain city in certain countries, if you sell a show you retain ownership, you actually legally have to retain a percentage of ownership of it.

And those formats you get paid differently when you own it and you bring it to you and you license it to America versus sell it to America where they own it. And I think you know, we talk about the american dream and I’ve been very, very disenchanted, dis hearted and disenchanted, disenchanted, Disfranchised. I don’t know what the word is. Yeah. Bum man, the american dream is like, is the american dream to pay taxes and the american dream to own a business so we can pay more taxes uh podcasts to me feel like it’s weird to say this is the first thing I’ve ever created that I have full ownership over from the second I posted by the way, by the way, depending on your, your podcast host. So if you’re like if you’re on anchor that’s similar to like instagram the that app for example, that platform has rights to your tier podcast versus some of the other podcast platforms like pod being for example, that doesn’t retain any part of ownership of your right.

So there you know, even that is something to bring up because instagram Tiktok, their centralized platforms, youtube, you have to play by their rules by their terms of service and if you don’t agree with their terms of service, they can easily and rightfully just cut you out. So if you’re a liberal, it’s worked to your benefit because these companies tend to feel liberal and be on liberal markets and act liberal and it’s, that’s sort of here in the states been like the safe way, the safe space to be. Um, but whether you’re ultra liberal or conservative and or or don’t just identify, you know, in that space, there’s a lot of of ways that we should be having conversations that, that we can’t, you know, to bring up a really sensitive topic. You know, Roe v wade is obviously globally, hopefully people know it’s like is on the table again for us, you can only talk about that topic in a certain way on these social media platforms before they will stop your content from being seen by other people.

There are other ways to get your content out there that are decentralized. So that facebook instagram, Youtube aren’t the only mechanisms that you’re using to push your continent and podcasting right now is one of them. And that’s really why I love the podcast. It’s like, it’s, it’s yours and and it’s an address that people subscribe to and they ask to be notified when you create something they ask to receive that. That’s wonderful. Instead of hoping that they tune, I hope I came out with a new podcast today. Gosh, I hope everyone goes to instagram to see my post so they can click so they can go to my Lincoln bio so they can go to my episode, you know, that’s a hard path for people are going to instagram. The last thing they probably wanted to do was find your podcast to go listen to it, but when they’re ready to find your podcast, when they subscribe to it and they’re ready to and this is the future of content. You know, I grew up watching literally watching the, the uh channels like what’s it called? Tv guide, You know, the Tv guide was a magazine for me growing up a little booklet, but tv guide became a channel and it was this terribly slow scroll, Tuesday five o’clock, here’s all the channel, luckily there was only like 50 channels back then, so that would really stink now, there’s 2000 channels, imagine that, but what they did instead of speeding it up so we can get the information we want instead of making us wait on that channel.

So slow, you know what they did, They put a tv show up on top, here’s five commercials, here’s five videos in the pizza and now let’s talk about with this director. So they put programming up there to slow us down instead of to speed us up and I think that this is why on-demand content is shift — and will continue to change the content and disrupt the content, that’s what happened on TRL. I was there on TRL on MTV, when people no longer needed to watch their favorite video between 3:30 and 4:30 on MTV, they can go to aol music or they can go to YouTube and they can watch it instantly and they were there before the artist to figure that out. Like the labels figure that out first and then the audiences went there and then once the audiences go there, well then, you know what happened then, then the artist says, well that’s that’s where my people are, they’re expecting me, I need to make a video and welcome them and show them my life and show them the backstage version of you this tour and that is what in my opinion sort of came from the reality tv world into the social world was like that, that mechanism, that storytelling mechanism and and the fact that they can now show as people instead of as performers, they don’t have to be so polished for a two minute clip on TRL for one interview hit to be able to talk about what’s important to them.

They now have the ability to put that out there beyond just those press moments. That big, that’s a big moment. Well, I appreciate the value today. I think you’ve given a lot of of insight into what people can do to get better reach and I think if people implement some of this stuff, I think it would be highly beneficial, so I appreciate that. For people that want to know more, do you mind sharing the URL again? Oh yeah, sure. vpe.tv. You can find all the links that I talked about, they’re five little letters. V P E dot tv. I’m Vinnie Potestivo on all social media networks. I do love Twitter and LinkedIn, so if you reach out to me on Twitter and LinkedIn, you’ll probably get a quicker reply back to me. If you have any questions I’m here, I’m here to help, and our creator accelerator is free, so please come and sign up for it and I have a support system within the creator accelerator and access to me live throughout the week to answer questions, so I’m offering lots of support free for people who are new to the industry who are looking for success or to be honest, for people who are reimagining themselves in this industry, so not just the newbies, but people my age too.

Vinnie, thank you for being a great guest today. Thank you