Author: rockthecast

IC020: Productivity with Amber De La Garza

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Margy has a fancy new title and Jess is free from her gym membership and committing to her yoga practice. Then, Jess and Margy interview one of our #RockThePodcast listeners, Amber De La Garza, who we met at Podcast Movement! Finally, stay tuned for our favorite segment: “Would You Rather… Listen To?”

Interview with Amber De La Garza:

How did you find #RockThePodcast?

  • Amber was in her learning phase about how to be a great host and guest
  • Googling these terms, she came across the show!

How many podcast do you listen to?

  • Too many!!
  • For some shows, Amber listens to every episode, and for other shows, she downloads only episodes that are specific to what she is currently learning for her business
  • As a productivity specialist, Amber warns against information overload from too many podcasts
  • Amber also categorizes her shows (she uses Stitcher for Android)
  • Margy only subscribes to My Favorite Murder
  • Jess has cut back the number of shows she subscribes to to limit info overload

When should entrepreneurs start their day and what is the ideal morning routine?

  • Amber calls this “bookending your day”
  • She recommends FOUR routines- so you can stay on track but still have the flexibility to address the unexpected
  • The four routines are:
    • personal morning routine
    • professional morning routine (when you hit the office)
    • evening routine (as you leave office)
    • nighttime/personal bedtime routine
  • Weave little habits into these four routines
  • There is no RIGHT time for everyone to start the day; it depends on you, your natural routine and your lifestyle

Mindfulness practice suggests that multitasking is NOT the best way to approach tasks. How do you feel?

  • Amber has strong beliefs about multitasking
  • She used to take pride in her ability, and now realizes it’s a myth
  • What we call multitasking is actually “switch tasking” and is very inefficient
  • It can be an unconscious stress crutch and also disrespectful to people around you

Tell us about your systems for your show, Productivity Straight Talk.

  • Amber has been launched for 3 months
  • She stays a few episodes ahead
  • Amber uses Trello to organize her show info
  • Amber creates content and has her team/systems do the rest

Would you rather…LISTEN TO?!

  • Hostile World: Exploring Our Universe OR Science Monkey
  • Drugs and Stuff OR We Have Concerns
  • Emotional Management OR The Self-Help Podcast
  • Inglorious Pasterds OR Pray-As-You-Go
  • What She Wants OR Tinder Tales
  • Filthy Casuals OR No Time for Travel

Resources Mentioned:

Podcast Movement

Amber De La Garza

Productivity Straight Talk


My Favorite Murder


Pema Chodron

The Myth of MultiTasking




Count Boogie

IC019: Podcast Promo Products Guide

Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher Radio | Google Play | iHeart Radio

Margy is saving kittens on the highway and Jess is back from a very zen vacay! This episode features an interview with our favorite promo products guy, Phil Brakefield!

Jess has used a bunch of promo products companies, and they pretty much all sucked. Some were wicked expensive, others made horrible mistakes and other sites were just confusing to navigate.

Phil is a super nice guy and you can just email and tell him what you want. He gets it for you at a reasonable price, and he also knows a lot about what kinds of products get more traction in different markets.

1. Do people ever get stemless wine glasses? Can I have four?

  • People DO get wine glasses- there are over 1 million items available!
  • You can’t get 4 because promo products are based on quantity, so just 4 would be very expensive
  • Better off doing “print on demand” for something like that

2. What types of swag are the most popular?

  • Standards in the industry that are always effective are: mugs, totes and pens
  • Cell phone chargers and screen cleaners are very popular now
  • SO many hats
  • Sometimes you will be surprised by what is and isn’t popular

3. Why should I have swag for my business?

  • DONE CORRECTLY, it’s an important part of your branding/messaging mix
  • You have to use the correct swag for your target audience (e.g. AARP crowd may not want phone chargers)
  • 70% of people you give a calendar to plan to do business with your company within the next year
  • Gain exposure through a useful, attractive and fun product

4. Do we have the cutest logo of any of your clients?

  • YES!
  • Good idea to minimize your logo and use a fun phrase instead (like #rockthepodcast!)

5. Why does orange look like sh*tty soda?

  • All manufacturers have at least one item that just doesn’t look great
  • Colors can come out badly on products if you’re not careful
  • Some shades of orange look sh*tty

6. How often do your clients tell you that their swag resembles a sex toy?

  • Only with Jess (LOL it was supposed to be a microphone)

7. What are the cheapest promo products that have the highest perceived value?

  • It depends on what the nature of your show/business is
  • Phil advises people to let him help them hone in on their message and their target audience
  • Then they give Phil their budget and he comes up with the best product
  • The key is NOT to go for the cheapest, but understand what is the most money you can comfortably spend reaching your IDEAL client
  • Things that always work like pens and mugs may not fit the profile of your podcast
  • Think about message first and reverse engineer from there

8. Is it worth it to sell your own swag?

  • If you want to do that, you should go through the pain of becoming a promo products distributor, which allows you to buy things at a lower price
  • Beware: it’s an involved process to become a distributor
  • If you have a really fun product that’s popular, you may be able to make a profit selling it
  • You can do a Shopify store and automate it

Resources Mentioned:

When Things Fall Apart

Pema Chodron

The Power of Now

Eckhart Tolle

Cafe Press


IC018: How To Rock The Podcast From Both Sides Of The Mic with Ty Crandall

Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher Radio | Google Play | iHeart Radio

Jess has found a passion for antigravity yoga, and Margy is obsessed with a new podcast! Then, listen to our interview with expert host AND guest, Ty Crandall, and a new segment called Would you Rather?! Podcast Edition!

Interview with Ty Crandall

What does Ty do for fun?

  • First of all, Ty finds work FUN!
  • Ty loves to go boating and he has his pilot’s license!

What does Ty watch on TV?

  • Ty spends most of his free time staying active with his kids, so not much TV
  • Ty and his wife do enjoy Big Brother and The Profit!
  • He likes to be always learning or doing something productive

How does Ty stay SO positive?

  • Every bad thing is an opportunity to help you level up and get out of your comfort zone
  • You have to experience pain to find what makes you happy, so all experiences are GOOD!

Did Ty start as a host or a guest?

  • Ty heard Jessica talking about podcasting
  • He then repurposed his webinars into podcast episodes, and months later had thousands of downloads!
  • Only at 6 months in did they start actually interviewing, up until then it was just webinar content
  • Interview Connections started booking more guests on Ty’s show, and then booking Ty as a guest!

What are the benefits of interviewing guests and being interviewed?

  • Relationships are the biggest benefit- amazing people with amazing stories
  • Ty has met people who are now his good friends through interviews!
  • Ty runs into people at live events who he has previously met on interviews
  • Huge SEO benefits from podcast interviews
  • All the interviews establish Ty’s credibility
  • 10-15% of Ty’s customers come from podcasting

Would You Rather?! PODCAST EDITION!

We’re judging shows based on the title alone! Would you rather listen to…..

  1. Thank God I’m an atheist OR Hugs from Heaven?!
  2. Love Me OR Wolf it Down?!
  3. Meditate with Mitch OR Meditate This?!
  4. Laser Time OR We’re Alive: Lockdown?!
  5. Flow Dreaming OR Ask the Cyber Dating Expert?!
  6. Magic Animal Club Podcast OR The History of the Ottoman Empire?!

Ty’s 2016 Episode on #RockThePodcast

The Business Credit and Financing Show

Credit Suite

Jim Palmer

Dream Biz Academy

My Favorite Murder



Thank God I’m an Atheist Podcast

Hugs from Heaven Podcast

Love Me Podcast

Wolf it Down Podcast

Meditate with Mitch Podcast

Meditate This! Podcast

Laser Time Podcast

We’re Alive: Lockdown Podcast

Flow Dreaming Podcast

Ask the Cyber Dating Expert Podcast

Magic Animal Club Podcast

The History of the Ottoman Empire Podcast

IC017: How Long Does it Take? Featuring Chris Dayley

Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher Radio | Google Play | iHeart Radio

Jess knows she’s fancy because she got turned away from a restaurant in Montreal, and Margy is clearing negative energy like a champ! Then an interview with Chris Dayley of Disruptive Advertising about the ROI of podcast interviews for his business. And stay tuned as Jess and Margy debut the Missed Connections segment!

Interview with Chris Dayley:

  • Why podcasts are so great for content creators who dislike writing
  • The reason for sticking with podcasting (even if results aren’t immediate)
  • Is preparing for interviews overrated?
  • Networking with hosts
  • What makes a good host?

Craigslist Missed Connections Segment:

Margy and Jess read Craigslist missed connections and offer these lovesick locals their top tips on respecting boundaries at the supermarket and taking responsibility for fixing your electronics.

Resources Mentioned:

Clearing Yourself of Other People’s Negative Energy Part I

Clearing Yourself of Other People’s Negative Energy Part II

Disruptive Advertising


IC016: How the Horse Radio Network Produces 80+ Episodes a Month

Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher Radio | Google Play | iHeart Radio

Jess is going to acupuncture, and Margy is painting cat portraits! Then, check out a great interview with Glenn the Geek founder of The Horse Radio Network.

Behind The Scenes at Horse Radio Network:

-Having systems in place (like Google Sites) allows for the huge number of shows

-How to audition potential co hosts and what’s most important in a co host

-How live events can build trust with potential clients and show your staying power

In our new segment called “Winne or Losie,” we discuss podcasting trends like…

-should you ask listeners to subscribe?

-are ratings and reviews BS?

-online groups and forums

Resources Mentions:

Horse Radio Network

Google Sites

5 Love Languages

Horse Radio Network App

IC015: Secrets to Team Building at Interview Connections


Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher Radio | Google Play | iHeart Radio

Episode 15: Secrets to Team Building at Interview Connections

Today’s episode features interviews with the booking agents of Interview Connections, Margy’s life story (as told by Margy), and Jess and Margy discussing their biggest leadership strengths and struggles.

Interview with Agent Ann Ducharme:

  • Ann loves to learn new things, and working at interview Connections is an opportunity for her to learn something totally new
  • Ann’s tip is to give your team opportunities to spend quality time together as people (after work or during work)

Interview with Agent Zach Davis:

  • Zach came to Interview Connections because he was looking for a life change away from the hospitality industry
  • Zach’s tip is don’t micromanage! Trust your team.

The Story of Margy

  • Margy went to the University of Rhode Island and double majored in Art and Latin (So basically it’s a miracle she has a job at all)
  • Jess hired Margy as an environmental canvasser for Clean Water Action in 2011, which is how they met
  • Jess sent Margy to the Austin office and became her mentor; Margy went to Austin and never came back (she was living her truth as a 22 year old flake)
  • After spending 2 years in Taiwan, Jess and Margy got back in touch
  • Margy’s dad died by suicide, and Jess adopted her dad’s cat
  • Margy moved to Colorado, and left her sales job in jewelry to work for the Interview Connections team as a contractor
  • Margy moved back to Rhode Island, which allowed her to become the first in house employee of the business, complete with a comically large cat name plate! #SheSaidYes

Margy’s Leadership Plus and Focus:

Plus- Flexibility, Loyalty and Empathy

Focus- Seeking First to Understand, Patience

Jess’s Leadership Plus and Focus:

Plus- Level-Headedness, Communication and Great People Skills

Focus- Planning Ahead, Slowing Down

Resources Mentioned:

Clean Water Action

Strengths Finder

Creating Disney Magic podcast

The 5 Love Languages


IC014: You Don’t Have To Do An Interview Podcast

Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher RadioGoogle Play | iHeart Radio

Jess is washing her walls with salt water to ward off negative energy, and Margy visits her first cat cafe in Brooklyn. Jess and Margy discuss the different styles of podcasting, and then interview Jonathan Messinger, producer of an amazing fiction podcast!

Different Kinds of Podcasts:

The style that is right for you depends on your brand, style and interest.

  1. Interview: Great for connecting with potential clients and bringing a variety of expertise to your audience.
  2. Solo Show: You have to be really entertaining! Examples are Grammar Girl and School of Podcasting by Dave Jackson. Dave is an introvert, which may be part of why he is such an excellent solo podcaster!
  3. Co-Hosted/Roundtable: We love Guys We F%$#@, co-hosted by two comedians. Choose your co-host wisely.
  4. Fiction: More like an audio book. Takes a lot of work to write the story!
  5. Journalism: Examples are Serial and Casefile (Margy loves crime shows!)
  6. News/Current Events: Not evergreen, but a great way to educate yourself about what’s happening. We love Congressional Dish, hosted by Jen Briney!
  7. Fan Podcasts: PLEASE do one for #Rockthepodcast. Jess has been a guest on The Walking Deadcast!

Jonathan Messinger is 7 Feet Tall and Surrounded by Robots:

1. How is it podcasting with your son?

  • Really fun
  • He is a very critical editor!
  • It’s very helpful because Jonathan can get feedback on the story before recording

2. What voice changer technology do you use? (Jonathan does all the voices in the show)

  • Plug ins: Waves Sound-Shifter, little Alter boy from Sound Toys, another Waves plug in called Morphoder

3. How did you come up with the idea for the show?

  • Was originally going to make a children’s book
  • Had the idea to do it as a podcast so the audience could be more involved

4. What is your writing process?

  • Procrastinate as long as possible
  • General outline of story, but episodes incorporate kids’ ideas that they write in

5. Where do you come up with story ideas?

  • Riff on elements of classic children’s books
  • Kids write in with ideas i.e. what animals live in space?

6. Do you ever feel weird sitting alone in your basement making alien noises?

  • Yes

7. Do people without kids listen to your show too?

  • Mostly for kids, but some jokes for the parents, too!
  • Geared towards 5-8 years old (Jessica’s 4 year old son loves it)

8. Tell us about leaving your job to podcast full time?

  • Really optimistic about monetizing
  • Audience growing steadily, at about 10,000 per episode right now
  • Not a lot of advertisers that are right for children
  • Created company called Gen Z Kids
  • Might pitch it as a kids’ TV show (Jess and Nathan would love to watch it!)

9. Why did your election episode make Jess cry?!

  • So bogged down, and his creativity felt stifled
  • Jonathan realized that he was overloading his kids with politics because he was so absorbed by it
  • It’s important to stay positive and creative, and let kids stay kids regardless of the political climate

Resources Mentioned:

School of Podcasting with Dave Jackson

Grammar Girl

Guys We F*&%$

The Podcast Producers



Jen Briney

Congressional Dish

The Walking Deadcast

Waves Sound-Shifter

Little Alter Boy From Sound Toys

Waves plug in called Morphoder

The Wild Robot

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel



IC013: It’s Time to Sell with Chris Spurvey


Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher RadioGoogle Play | iHeart Radio

On today’s episode, Jess and Margy interview Canadian business executive turned podcaster, Chris Spurvey. Chris shares how he balances his personal brand with his executive role, his top sales mindset tips for entrepreneurs and how he stays so productive by working smart not hard.

Also in this episode: Margy is getting outdoorsy with a handsome gentleman friend, and Jess has seen the light about Himalayan salt lamps (see what we did there?!)

How Chris balances in his role as VP of Business Development for KPMG with his work as a sales/personal brand consultant:

-was lacking fulfillment in a large organization

-decided to write a book, which started his personal brand

-KPMG is very supportive of everything because his personal brand is helping word get out about the company

-people already know like and trust him because they have read his articles and listened to his shows

Chris’s journey with podcasting:

-Chris always had a dream of writing a book

-He used to think sales was “pushing people” and objection fighting, but began to see sales as more relationship based

-His own book is a narrative about him becoming comfortable with sales and finding success, but writing the book made him realize he didn’t have an audience to read it!

-Podcasting is a great platform builder and multiplier to connect with people at your level and above and tap into their audiences (and also learn a lot)

How entrepreneurs can be more authentic with potential clients:

-Observe your buyer’s emotions

-Help clients feel good about themselves in your presence

-Personal branding is key! EVERY entrepreneur should write or podcast to get their personality out there

-You can hire someone to help with your writing or podcast, so don’t let a lack of confidence hold you back

-As you grow your personal brand, you find your potential clients come to YOU

Chris puts out so much content. How does he stay SO productive?

-He used to run around like a chicken with his head cut off, but now he is a well-oiled content machine

-He got a VA, and they learned to work very well together

-Chris makes a short video, and his VA writes a draft of an article from that video and creates quote cards

-For the podcast, he creates an article instead of show notes

Resources Mentioned:

The Greatest Networker in the World

Mach II With Your Hair on Fire

Stand Out

Chris’s Book


IC012: Listener Questions

Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher RadioGoogle Play | iHeart Radio

In today’s episode, Jess and Margy have to pivot after a last minute guest cancellation, and instead answer listener questions! Learn about what podcasting equipment Jessica recommends, productivity tips, text opt ins and more! (And stay tuned until the very end to hear tips on cat birthday parties and Margy’s latest online dating mishap!)

1. “Take us behind the scenes of your team’s social strategy.”

  • Our social strategy is … no strategy!
  • We don’t get clients from social, so our Instagram story allows our fans and clients see behind the scenes pics and videos of the team.
  • Our social is more of a client retention and relationship building tool.
  • We do post our weekly podcast and graphic (Thanks, Design Pickle!)

2. “How do you improve your podcasting space when you’re just starting out?”

  • We have acoustic wall panels our studio because it’s a big space (see our Instagram @interviewconnections for photos of our studio space!)
  • Condenser Mics like the Blue Yeti may pick up too much outside noise, so a dynamic mic may be a better choice.
  • Jessica uses the Heil PR 40.
  • Margy uses the Shure SM7B.
  • The ATR 2100 is another great dynamic microphone.
  • Keep the space quiet.
  • We just invested in a mixer so Margy and Jess can record in the same room. We bought a less expensive model- the PRO FX 8.

UPDATE on our “Jess Found Love in a Hopeless Place” segment:

  • We cancelled Nextiva because we continued to have SO MANY ISSUES.
  • It’s over with Jeremy, but Jessica wishes him the best

3. “What do you think of live streaming for podcasters?”

  • Check out Spreaker! You can air live and record.
  • Listen to #Rockthepodcast Episode 7 with Rob Greenlee to learn more about Spreaker.
  • You can also stream live on FB (we don’t because the comments distract us!)
  • Be mindful of how your engagement with live listeners may affect the way the recording sounds for on demand listeners later.

 4. “Discuss Your New Cover Art.”

  • Jessica recommends you refresh your brand once a year.
  • We updated the cover art to match our new branding.
  • Make sure your cover art is readable at a small size (how it will appear in the iTunes store).

5. “What do you do when you don’t have a guest?”

  • Booking guests is our specialty, but we sometimes forget to book our own!
  • We got some input from our listeners in a FB LIVE video on questions they want answered.
  • If the host isn’t having fun, neither is the audience!
  • Our highest priority is finding a relevant AND entertaining topic

6. ”Jess, how do you manage to be SO PRODUCTIVE?”

  • All our agents are big Google calendar fans; it helps us stay organized and accountable.
  • Jess is producing less new content recently, because she has so much evergreen content she can keep sharing.
  • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel!

7. “What do you think of text opt ins?”

  • Jessica thinks they’re great.
  • Edison Research shows most podcast consumers are listening through a mobile device, making a text opt in very practical.

8. “Discuss the importance of your podcast quality matching the quality of your content.”

  • Content is king (QUEEN!)
  • But quality needs to be equally high, or many listeners may not like listening.
  • Hire an audio engineer- post production is key!
  • Trust us, your unedited skype recording sounds like a dumpster fire.

9. “Margy, what are the dos and don’ts of throwing a party for your cat?!”

  • Dos: Get tiny hats! Hats for EVERYONE!
  • Don’ts: NO DOGS!

10. “Margy, how did you end up on an OKCupid date at a wake?”

  • Margy likes a bar that happens to also be a funeral home (It’s not weird, guys!)
  • She enthusiastically recommended it as a place to take a guy on a first date.
  • There was a very emotional wake happening during their date.
  • They didn’t go on another date….. Margy is happy OkCupid doesn’t have a feature where you can rate people.

Resources Mentioned on This Show:

@InterviewConnections on Instagram

Design Pickle

Blue Yeti Microphone

Heil PR 40

Shure SM7B

ProFX8 Mixer


#Rockthepodcast Episode 7 with Rob Greenlee

Englund Studios

Edison Research

IC011: Podcasting with Yann Ilunga and Improv Comedy Team Building

Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher RadioGoogle Play | iHeart Radio

This week’s episode is about repurposing your content and how Yann Ilunga vets guest experts for his 360 Entrepreneur Podcast. And later in the show, Jessica and Margy break down their experience of having an improv comedy workshop at the Interview Connections office.

Yann Ilunga Q & A

Yann is a successful podcast host and blog writer from the future, depending on where you call home. From his studio in Finland, he answers Jess’s and Margy’s questions about how he repurposes his content and how he determines who will be a great guest expert for his show.


Q. What are some ways podcasters and guest experts can repurpose their content?

A. Blogger, Vloggers and Podcasters often think about content at a surface level. Yann suggests approaching the topic from multiple angles.


Q. Why should a podcaster have show notes?

A. It’s a great opportunity to draw traffic to your website.

B. A listener can find all the information they need in one place.

C. Bulleted Timestamps could trigger someone’s interest.


Q. How does repurposing your podcast content expand the reach of your audience?

A. A blog post about your episode may entice your listener to dig a little deeper.


Q. How does Yann choose guests for his podcast?

A. Yann checks out their website and listens to other podcasts the guest may have been on.

B. Yann makes sure the guest is a good fit for his audience.


Improv in the Office

The team at Interview Connections recently welcomed improv comedian Melissa Bowler from the Providence Improv Guild (PIG) to their office for a comedy workshop and team building session.


The team participated in games exercises to learn lessons about:

1. Intent versus impact.

2. How to deal with unexpected change.

3. Why it’s important to listen before speaking.

4. Not to pick out other people’s failures.

5. Depending on your position in an organization, the company looks different.


Resources Mentioned:

Interview Connections

Interview Connections TV

@InterviewConnections on Instagram

@MargyLilly on Instagram

@theyannilunga on Instagram

Yann Ilunga

Podcast Success Academy

360 Entrepreneur Podcast

DIY Musician Blog — CD Baby

Sound Beats Blog

Melissa Bowler

Providence Improv Guild

7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey