Rob Cressy is a entrepreneur and creator with a background in improv and comedy writing who helps brands tell their stories and engage audiences on multiple channels. As the founder of Bacon Sports, a content studio and sports publishing platform, his mission is to help others achieve their dreams through a love of sports. He believes that life and business should be fun, and through creativity, building relationships, and loving what you do anything is possible.
“At the core of everything I do, I want to have fun with everything that I’m doing. By being a creative person, it was just a natural extension for me…the way that I’ve built my life and my business. I want them to be one in the same. So I started building the podcasts knowing that if I can make money from this – it would be the greatest job ever. I’m having a blast doing this and so are the people who are jumping on the podcasts was me.”
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Rob is a champion for podcasting because he knows the positive impact it can have for others. Tell me more.
ROB CRESSY: Yes, So I've used podcasting as a way to grow my own brand, tell my story, as well as tell the stories of others and in the process, I use it to help inspire other people. So, one thing that's a hallmark to everything that I do, from a content creation standpoint, is you want to be able to provide value and my brand is very much entertainment, dropping knowledge and providing value to others. So, a podcast is a great way to take the things that I've learned, tell the story, and then give other people the opportunity to implement that in their own lives or learn from the things that I've learned along the way.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Okay Robert, when you share this knowledge with other people, do you find them like “catching the bug”?
ROB CRESSY: Well, they catch the listening to the podcast bug, not necessarily wanting to create, though some people are creators out there and do like that. But I very much find that once you provide value to others, then it speaks to your brand, and who you are and they're going to keep coming back. So, one of my hallmarks is certainly the level of engagement that I deliver in everything that I do. I'm very authentic, I put myself out there and I do like helping others, because I very much believe, by helping others, it’ll come back to help me tenfold.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Absolutely, it sounds like you're a subscriber of karma.
ROB CRESSY: Very much so and if nothing good even a happens, that's okay for me because I'm fine just helping the others because I know somewhere along the line somebody else helped me. Podcasting gives you the ability to be timeless and location-less and get your brand, story and message out there. So, giving people the inspiration to help them along on their journey regardless of what it is, I love that opportunity.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Do you by chance, keep that in the back of your mind as you're creating your podcast? Do you go into it with that intention while you're doing?
ROB CRESSY: It depends on what my subject is about. So I guess what sort of makes me unique is I host three different podcasts. One about Real time sports marketing topics, one having conversations with creators and entrepreneurs about their excellence and another one that's more sports entertainment focused. So, on the sports entertainment one, I certainly channel more of my improv in comedy writing skills where I drop knowledge and have more fun. But on the Rob Cressy show and Sports marketing huddle, it’s very much value driven, especially the Sports Marketing Huddle. the reason that we created that podcast, It's myself and Ryan Cristiano, the C.E.O of [inaudible] [03:15] Worldwide. A sports marketing agency out in New York, is we realized that there wasn't a sports marketing podcast that gave actionable insight and advice on what's going on in the sports marketing world, because people can learn from this stuff. So, one of the great successes that we had with that is our podcast got implemented in the course curriculum for three different universities as a way to teach sports marketing students about real time sports marketing topics. So, if you think about the way that colleges are currently set up, they're probably reading textbooks about things that are outdated. But if you're a sports marketing student with a background in digital, you're expected to know about Facebook live and Snap Chat and Instagram but that's not taught anywhere. So, our podcast, mixing sports marketing and digital, ended up being that opportunity to provide value both to people in the industry currently, as well as people trying to get into the industry.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Well, that's just mind blowing, it’s amazing. Sports Marketing Huddle is part of some college curriculum?
ROB CRESSY: Yeah, three universities, what they do is, the teachers would assign the podcast episodes as homework, and then they would come back the next class and discuss it. So, an example would be the Pittsburgh Steelers, Antonio Brown, when the Steelers beat the Cheifs in the playoffs. He jumped on Facebook Live and showed what it was like in the locker room and what we talked about is the branding of athletes and the power that they have now and is this something that we can expect to see more of? And, and how is giving them a platform unlike any other time in athlete history to build their brand and then how that translates to even you and I building our own brand, jumping on Facebook Live or telling our story in different ways. So yeah, it was certainly a good opportunity for them and then once a month or once a semester, we would jump on a Skype with them with the entire class and let them ask us questions about whatever they wanted.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Does it make you feel like an educator?
ROB CRESSY: Certainly, I love it.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: It just it blows my mind really, because of the potential of podcasting and podcasts and then you tell me this and, I don't know if I can like podcasting any more than I already do. So, it's a really wonderful and amazing. I have to ask you this Sports marketing huddle, Rob Cressy show, Bacon sports podcast. How do you manage three podcasts?
ROB CRESSY: Well the answer is, you just do. I’m very systematic in how we do things. So for the Sports marketing huddle, we actually produce that five days a week and the way that we do that is by batching. So, we record three or four episodes in a one-hour period. And one thing that makes that podcast unique, is our episodes are between eight and ten minutes long and the reason we did that is we want to make sure that there is as actionable as possible without right to the meat of the topics. What we found out is that people had the ability to binge listen to our episodes because they were so short. It was “boom, boom, boom”, here's the information and “well, I want more.” And lucky for you, you get it five days a week because we're able to deliver that in a short digestible format and that's something that I think we're going to start seeing a lot more of in podcasting. As much as I love chopping it up for fifteen minutes, we oftentimes as podcasters haven't earned that credibility and at the end of the day, you have to say “why am I doing what I'm doing?” And for some of us, it might just be for a fun, you jump on a podcast for 15 minutes, chop it up with their friends but in the case of the Sports marketing huddle, our goal is certainly to provide value to others in the best way that we can do that. While still being respectable of our own time which is to make it micro episodes. Other than that, is just planning ahead, knowing that I'm going to be creating one episode a week for each of these shows and then five episodes of the Sports marketing huddle, put it on your calendar and anything in life that is important, you'll make time to do.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: I love it and certainly I totally agree with you, more Podcasters should be creating smaller podcasts, eight to ten minutes. That sounds great. When I see an eight to ten-minute podcast, it doesn't seem so overwhelming. When I see a 90-minute podcast, I'm like: “oh my goodness, we're am I going to find 90-minutes to listen to this podcast?” So, I think that's great. Can you tell us a bit more about the Rob Cressy show and Bacon sports podcast?
ROB CRESSY: Yes, so the Rob Cressy show I actually did, one, because I'm very curious about other people and I get inspired. So really I created the podcast where I'm excited to talk to the guests. Little do they know that, as much as I'm excited, I’m like: “holy smokes, I can't believe I got this person on the podcast to get the information, so their often times telling their story about their creative journey, what makes them tick, their success habits, things that others can do to be successful that they've learned along the way.” And it just so happens that I'm recording this so that everybody else can listen to it as well. So, number one, I'm just excited to talk to these people so that I can learn this information and then the podcast, others can learn it as well and others can end up using that as well to lead generations. So, one thing about podcasting is, you’re building relationships with others and as you continue to get better guests on your show, you're naturally going out to their networks as well. And once other people start seeing you associated with people that will consider on a higher level, then your brand increases as well. So, for those out there that want to use podcast as a way to do sales is 100% a way to do that and then for the Bacons sports podcast, that's the podcast for our sports comedy website, “baconsports.com”. The goal of that is to have fun, chop it up about Real time sports marketing topics. We love all things sports, so no matter the sports, we're going to come at it from a unique and creative angle and our philosophy is very much on the channel content. So, we're creating podcasts, life streaming articles, videos, Instagram posts, pictures, things like that. So, it's a natural brain extension for us so, for anybody out there that loves sports with a communicating and entertaining tilt, I think making sports podcasts is for you.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: When you started podcasting, was your intention on business or was your intention on pleasure, or maybe even both?
ROB CRESSY: Both. At the core of everything I do is, I want to have fun with everything that I'm doing and being a creative person, it was just a natural extension for me and with the way that I've built my life and my business that, I want them to be one in the same. So I started building the podcasts knowing that if I can make money from this, this is the greatest job ever and I'm having a blast doing this and so are the people who are jumping on the podcasts was me.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: What's the 4th podcast going to be about?
ROB CRESSY: Well, the 4th podcast, I would love to be able to start creating more podcast for brands. I really think that that's the next level of where the Bacon sports brand is going from a content studio perspective. The biggest challenge in that is I don't think brands grasp the potential of podcasts. They still don't understand the medium and realize the opportunity that’s in front of them to go to engage their audience via audio.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: I can see any brand doing it. I remember I posted something on LinkedIn a while ago saying something about branding and podcasting and I thought: “even Q-Tip could do a brand.” Or, “Q-tip could do a podcast. Why not? It probably could be a lot of fun.” So you're professing that? You're sharing that message?
ROB CRESSY: That's an understatement. I see it as a missed opportunity for every brand that is not doing that; both personal brands as well as actual brands who are trying to market to an audience. If a brand is on social media, then they should have a podcast. Why? Because we're a mobile-first audience where we can listen to a podcast wherever we want, whenever we want. And, guess what? Social media, as much as it does the same stuff, when I’m walking down the street, or I'm at the gym or walking my dog or on the bus, I can listen to a podcast. But, it's hard to multitask, if you're watching a video. So podcasting allows you to cut through that clutter and people can still consume your brand, while their doing other things.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Rob, you sent me this wonderful e-book “Podcast hustle: the step by step guide of how to create a podcast”. Awesome, it looks awesome, let me say that again: “Podcast hustle: the step by step guide of how to create a podcast and grow an audience.” Okay, and you mentioned you're willing to give it away free for anyone who's part of this audience who's listening, in which is awesome. So it's a wonderful resource when I looked at it and you had a section on building authority, could you expand a little bit on that?
ROB CRESSY: Yeah, it's very similar to what I mentioned about the Rob Cressy show, of interviewing others who are like-minded and when you put yourself out there and give people an opportunity to consume your content, all of a sudden you're seen as a thought-leader. So, brands don't get built in the dark, brands are very out there and forward-facing. So, even thinking about what you and I are doing right now, you're going to go out to my audience, I'm going to go out to your audience and both of us are going to be seen as thought-leaders because my audience is going to say: “man who is this ‘Alexander guy’ who's got Rob on a podcast? I'm definitely going to check this out because I trust Rob and I like what he does. So naturally, I'm going to trust what Alexander does.” On the flip side, your audience is going to see the exact same thing because you've got a list of credible guests. So just by doing that and putting yourself out there, you naturally become an instant authority.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Do you have a favorite podcasting moment?
ROB CRESSY: I don't know if I do, I actually have a lowest podcasting moment if you prefer that. My lowest podcasting moment is also my highest podcasting moment, how about that?
ALEXANDER LAURIN: I like it.
ROB CRESSY: With Bacon sports, one company that we certainly look up to and not completely model ourselves after, but they've done a good job of showing us the path, is Barstool Sports. And their C.E.O. Erika Nardini, came on the Sports marketing huddle podcast, and I was doing backflips with excitement. I was like: “I'm so excited to have her on the podcast because I was going to ask her questions, very pertinent to the digital industry, publishing industry and the sports landscape of which I can then implement in my own business which was also relevant to the audience. So I spend all morning crafting the perfect questions, I'm super excited, she’s super engaging. The podcast goes, great I'm so happy afterwards and like happens sometimes with podcasting, guess what? There’s a technical error and long story short, the podcast was salvageable but at seventy-five percent of the quality that I typically would like and we have a safeguard in place so we're recording it twice which we always do. I call it the highest and lowest moment because the second I played it back and you hear: “Shhhhhh,” like: “Oh, my God, no, not today!” because I’d done everything in my power. And here's the thing about podcasting that can be so frustrating, I've done that process hundreds of times over and over again, the exact same process, so why on this day technologically it didn't want to work? I have no answers for you whatsoever, but I can actually give you quick better best fun cast moment and it's how the Sports Market Huddle got created that very much speaks to authority. I had a question read on Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Ask Gary V. Show”, and because of it, my now co-host Brian Cristiana followed me on Twitter. I checked him out and I was like: “whoa, this guy's got a couple of thousand followers and he’s a C.E.O. of a sports marketing agency.” I followed him, hit him up and I was like: “hey, you want to come on the rock Cressy show and talk about your excellence.” He’s like: “Sure, I would love to.” Never met the guy in my life. We chop it up and had an absolute blast on the podcast. A day later, he’s like: “hey, would you ever be interested in doing a podcast together about sports marketing?” I was like: “of course, I would love to do that!” And 250 episodes later, there's the Sports marketing huddle. So there is the power podcasting for you!
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Holy cow! That is so awesome. How did you learn about podcasting? How did you learn to podcast? Are there any mentors out there that you want to pay homage to?
ROB CRESSY: The way that I learn is the way that I learn everything, it's YouTube and self-learning. The number one that I'll give a shout out to my man John Lee Dumas over at Entrepreneur on fire. When I wanted to take my podcast game from good to great, I joined on podcasters paradise, the podcasting community that he has and I'm self-taught in everything that I've done. I've learned more out of college than I ever did in college. So I went two years to figure out podcasting on my own. I had zero background in podcasting. No technical skills, no on camera work, no script writing, nothing. I started from zero and built that up for a few years and then said: “I'm going to try and find people who know more than I do.” I'd listen to Entrepreneur on fire for a while in the Podcast paradise community, and it was a huge step for me to pay a couple hundred dollars to join a community to learn how to get better at podcasting. But guess what? It was one of the greatest things I've ever done in my life because it foundationally set me up for much of the success that you see right now. So, shout out to my man J.O.D. at Entrepreneur on fire.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Is there anything that you still struggle with would podcasting?
ROB CRESSY: Oh of course, you kidding me? I'm less than perfect. I struggle with the consistency of Podcasting when I'm not in a routine. So, the Sports marketing huddle podcast is nothing less that clock work as we do five days a week. But with the Rob Cressy show, I use it when I find somebody that I'm interested in talking to, so my format is less structured. I can go a few weeks or a month without interviewing somebody on there, not because I don't want to, it's just because I'm going to a lot of stuff going on there and certainly I know with a podcast fundamentally, you want to go consistency: “every Friday, I’m going to be giving you this podcast.” So there very much is the struggle of me wanted to do more because in a perfect world, I would podcast 24 hours a day because I love talking to people, I love telling stories and I love providing value. So, that is the biggest challenge for me is even though I do three podcasts, I still struggle not necessarily with how do you create a podcast? But it's the process that leads up to it to get into that podcast flow. Maybe that’s the best way to describe it, getting into podcast flow for three podcasts.
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