Before the Podcast Rebrand
As a musician, audio was already my playground. So when I wanted to exchange ideas with the world beyond my little 26 square mile hometown in the British Virgin Islands – podcasting was a natural choice. The experiment called Focus The Fire podcast started four years and 40,000 downloads ago. We (mic, a MacBook and myself) learned many lessons and gained more clarity each year growing from experiment to mission to movement. This is the brief story of how we got here.
The human voice is one of the most engaging and intimate forms of expression. When used well, it can communicate multiple layers of information through what is said, what is omitted, and certainly how words are delivered. Think about it. In a world where ‘happy birthday’ and ‘congratulations’ are commonly communicated through a mindless “like”, the human voice is that classic sophisticated hand-written note that cuts through the monotony of modern life.
“I refused to let a name be an excuse to avoid facing the fear of pushing record. It was time to start ugly and improve later.”Dalan Vanderpool
At the beginning the idea was to help young professionals who had strong passions to learn how to focus that energy and find success. Admittedly now, that was a noble but fairly vague plan. We covered various topics in personal development, work life, careers, money, and even dipped a pinky toe into relationship advice for a successful career. These themes piqued the interest of different people, but it was always hard to gather a tribe.
Confession time. From day one, I was never 100% in love with the name Focus The Fire. After months of delays and brainstorming it was the best name I could muster. I had refused to let a name be an excuse to avoid facing the fear of pushing record. It was time to start ugly and improve later.
Picking a Name
Here are a few other challenges with the name that aspiring podcasters may consider:
- What is this about exactly? While the name sounded catchy, there was not much in it that pointed to the type of content a listener should expect. Why should someone give their time to listen to the podcast and for what benefit? When scrolling through thousands of podcasts, people need a legitimate reason to stop.
- Discoverability. For search engine optimization (SEO) the name was also weak. If someone does a search for podcasts about careers or money, the podcasts named Focus The Fire will not appear. Trust me, I tried.
- Niche. Focus and fire are both strong words but they need more context to indicate what specific niche they are addressing.
So despite having time, money and logos invested in the name, we decided it was time to change in order to reach the people we really want to help. About two years in, the show description evolved to include:
“…helping young professionals build a meaningful career that leads to more time, money and freedom”.
Time, money and freedom? Now that’s something people can relate to easily. The decision to rebrand started about six months ago in early 2020.
We looked at the data to determine what really interested the existing audience. This data included statistics for the episodes that received the most:
- Shares and social media traction
- Email clicks
We also asked a loose pilot group to describe what they thought the show was about.
The true moment of clarity came when chatting with my friend and fellow podcaster Michele Badie of Career Tipper podcast. In the conversation she said (paraphrasing), “You sound very comfortable talking about financial things. It’s what you’ve been doing through your whole career as an accountant and banker. Lean into that. You help people connect their career moves to their wealth goals.” With that nugget and the other data we were set!
Stop trying to be too clever and just call the show by what it’s about. The new(ish) focus is about work and money, and it’s called Careers and Cash Flow. We are now carving out a proper space in the personal finance podcast space.
Careers & Cashflow
While being an entrepreneur is the latest internet fashion trend, growing up in business and managing money for high net worth clients over the past 20 years a few things are clear:
- For many people, their career will be their highest source of income. Make the right moves and you can spin that into serious wealth.
- You don’t need to choose between having a career or a business. You can and should do both.
- Rich people get a different education outside the standard classroom. They operate from a mindset of abundance and financial education is mandatory. It’s a second language that many of us need to learn fast to escape being prisoners to our paychecks.
Like most independent podcasters I had little to no money available for new logos and website design. I hate asking for favours out of respect for my creative friends’ expertise, so nervously I hashed out the design work in-house. As in my own house and smart phone. These things are important, but having a $10,000 logo and website won’t bring instant success unless you focus on meeting a need consistently with quality content, and reaching your tribe with that message.
The new direction brings everything more inline with my personal brand and streamlines the process. I get to spend all day managing money, use that as training and research, then teach those skills to young professionals.Dalan Vanterpool
A New Way of Thinking
Growing up in the Caribbean it was common to see black people and other people of colour running businesses and leading governments. However the glass ceiling and effects of colonialism still stand firm, as beyond a certain point, demographics change drastically. With tools such as Careers and Cash Flow we can perform some colour correction through education.
The new direction brings everything more inline with my personal brand and streamlines the process. I get to spend all day managing money, use that as training and research, then teach those skills to young professionals. This theme will continue in the upcoming book to be released later this year.
If you are a podcaster thinking about making a pivot, fear not. Communicate with your audience, no matter how small, and make them feel like part of the process. To hear more about the rebrand listen to episode 188.
Connect with Dalan
The goal is to raise up a new generation of financially savvy professionals who can build wealth for their families and use that to transform their communities. If time, money, freedom, and connecting your career moves to your financial goals sounds interesting, come check us out at Careers and Cash Flow today.