Building Big Brands and Creating Big Impact with Vinnie Potestivo

Apr 17, 2023 | Assembling The Band, Gathering Fans, PodCast, Practice Makes Progress, Season 3

The Back-Story

Vinnie Potestivo is an industry-leading media and talent innovator widely known for his inclusive and impactful approach to brand building and personal brand development. He is an Emmy Award-winning Brand Advisor with a 25 years track record of guiding personal brands and founder-led businesses to new heights through strategic content distribution, brand visibility, and media reach.

As an advocate for independent creators, he hosts “LinkedIn Presents: I Have A Podcast®” and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of, the #1 source of creative and career inspiration. He also shares valuable Creator Economy business strategies, insights, and experiences with co-host Judi Fox on “Podcast to Profit.”

As a television network executive at MTV Networks (98-07), he discovered talent & developed new ways to support their goals. Pioneering how brands and business owners could contribute to their public narrative, he helped them become hosts, stars, and producers of their own tv series. Early hits include Punk’d, The Osbournes, Wild ‘N Out, TRL, 8th & Ocean, Laguna Beach, The Hills, The Challenge, and many more.

With over 25 years of experience, he and his teams have become well-trusted connectors who sell, develop, produce, launch, distribute, and amplify some of the most talked-about original series & talent brands in modern pop culture.

Show Notes

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In This Episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:41] What’s Vinnie’s good note?
[5:02] On working with big names
[10:37] Leveraging podcasts for personal branding
[17:21] What’s his bad note?
[26:19] What’s his strategy for getting fans?
[31:18] Visibility vs. shareability
[37:56] Guest solo: What’s exciting in his business?
[41:35] Where to find Vinnie
[42:51] Outro


Read Transcript

Vinnie Potestivo: [00:00:00] Are you a work at home rockstar or do you dream of becoming one? Then you found the right podcast. Your host, Tim Lanson, talks with successful work at home rock stars to learn their secrets and help you in your journey. Are you ready to rock? Here’s

Tim Melanson: Tim. Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

Very excited for today’s episode. We are talking to an Emmy award-winning media advisor, and what he does is he helps you grow personal and founder-led companies by scaling content, distribution, market presence, and media reach. Very excited to be rocking out today with Vinny Pat TiVo. Hey Vinny, you ready

Vinnie Potestivo: to rock?

Yo, Tim? Well man, I’m born ready Rock. Are you kidding? This

Tim Melanson: cool man. Well, let’s start off here in a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we can be inspired by.

Vinnie Potestivo: Oh yeah. Oh, okay. I appreciate this. Can I start from day one? You sure can. Oh, man, I was frustrated. I was in college. I was a senior.

October, 1998. I’ll never forget it. And I wanted to be in casting so bad. I was [00:01:00] good at databases. I was good at computers. I took out an ad on something called Backstage. It was a magazine back then. Now it’s dot com, and it was the opportunities for on camera. Opportunity. So you would meet actors. So I said, I wanna be a casting director.

Send me your headshot so that I can, I can keep you in mind for future projects. And I had maybe just under 700 submissions sent to my dorm room at wag, sent them to Vinny, pat Divo student Box 5 77 1 Campus Road. Uh, I had no clue what I was in for. I had no clue that, that I would end up that, that database.

So, so by the way, 700 people respond to. I go to databases, I take all that information and I start organizing it the way that I just know I know what to do with data and then it’s, it’s how to, how to use it. Afterwards, I started staying in touch with them. I had access to this thing, this magazine that I said backstage, and I would email people opportunities.

I’ve worked in the computer center at Wagner College. I would [00:02:00] scan in an opportunity, a casting notice, and I would pick a couple of people in my database that I thought might be right for, and I would send it to them. And then one day I saw this ad that said, you know, M T V is in Times Square and just show up at four 30 on 1515 Broadway and bring, you know, X, Y, Z.

And I said, let’s go. We don’t have class. Let’s go. And I went and I met this casting director. Long story short, I got to ask Whitney well. The short story is, I was supposed to ask Whitney Houston a question. Uh, what it’s like recording with Mariah Carey on the Prince of Egypt soundtrack. Uh, when she heard the question, she’s, she passed, she said, no, she didn’t want to answer that question.

And I turned to the casting director and I said, if you ever need more talent, if you ever need, you know, any help. I’m here. I’ve, and I’ve got a, a database of 700 people in this New York area that are looking for opportunities like this. And he was like, what? And that was the beginning of my M T V career.

I, I didn’t get into M T V because I was a great casting director yet, [00:03:00] um, I hadn’t even developed any of those interpersonal skills or networking skills. I was just really good. At, at making sure that I was taking information at the P the information I was I was receiving was collected and used, and I was able to support, you know, um, the talent, the talent executives there.

And ultimately, when M T V in 99 launched the talent development department, um, I was the first person they hired to help bring in structure to, back then it used to be want to be a vj, you know, all these big weird casting calls that we would do. It was my little database that was the, uh, the backbone of those, those giant opportunities.

Wow. And I got to work with the best and the top one. Percenter creators, you know, Beyonce and Ashton Kutcher, Sharon Osborne, Jessica Simpson. These are people who came through M T V because of the audience that M T V had. I got to work with them on their projects. I got to help them develop. They’re new reality.

And then watch reality TV boom [00:04:00] as a response to when people take control of their lives and take action and let people see those actions that reality changes. So all that from a little database am my, am my, uh, In my dorm room, and I created Vinny Pot Divo Entertainment a week later because back then you needed to have a business to get insurance.

So like if I wanted to have a service, I needed to work for myself and myself needed to be a business. So the idea of freelancing hadn’t even occurred to me. Yeah. And then I returned back. To my business. Uh, in 2007, it took some shapes and shifts, and ultimately in 20 15, 20 16, I was able to downsize and get to the point where I can work from home.

And I’m excited to share it, continue sharing that journey, but thanks for letting me start with the victor. That’s a fun one though. It’s, it’s nice when you look back in history and you’re able to connect the dots that way. Yeah, some struggles in between, but it all worked out pretty.

Tim Melanson: Well, and yeah.

That’s amazing. And it’s amazing that, uh, it must have been so awesome to be able to work with some of these big, you know, big names [00:05:00] and big talents. Right.

Vinnie Potestivo: I mean, they’re big now, which is a weird to think it’s a weird thing. Isn’t that weird to say? Like Beyonce and Jessica Simpson and, um, I mean, Ashton Kutcher was world famous.

He was in movies and, and Ozzie Osborne was famous, but Sharon Kelly and Jackie, uh, Jessica Simpson and Nikola, these were, these were people that started their career at MTV the same time I. Uh, we were in the same conference rooms for the same talent showcases and, and that small sort of community building piece that happens in a and r and and networking.

So, um, I, I was very lucky by the way that I ha I ended up ha to to be, to have worked with Mandy more since she was 15 until she, you know, until where she is now. So, I’m so lucky to have had friends and people like that, but I. Watched the Sopranos and became friends with Jamie Lynn Siegler and some people who like, people say, who do you get stars struck by?

And I’m like, sometimes I’m like my friends. Yeah. Like the weirdest thing though. You can’t separate it. I’m like, why would I ever wanna separate it? [00:06:00] Like this is like the magical part of us and you want me to like not get to enjoy it. This is, I’m not, I’m not leveraging it. I’m not exploiting it, but like, yeah.

I’m not blind to it. I’ve always been attracted to talent. Um, actually I dropped my voice as I, as I said, I’ve always been attracted to talent. Um, because I think because someone in my life told me as a kid I didn’t have any and I had to find it, and I found a way to find talent in myself and the thing that makes me unique and special and fascinating, whatever talent, whatever, whatever we wanna call it, then I got really good at helping other people figure that out with their businesses.

I didn’t realize this until maybe five years ago, but Sure. I was a casting director at M T V and I’ve cast many shows on Bravo, but like, I also bring businesses along with those characters like the, the Women of the Housewives of New Jersey that I cast, have businesses. Those businesses are on television just as much as those people are.

And when I realize that I can get businesses and [00:07:00] people on television, that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life and I, and I, I appreciate production. I find the television industry frustrating just because of the checks and gates and balances and approvals, and ultimately it’s an advertising driven world.

So there’s a lot of challenges there, but none of that it, I could not keep, I could not keep TV on a pedestal when we, the people have the ability to create ip, intellectual property that we own. Uh, Ashton doesn’t own punked. Nick Cannon doesn’t own While and out, uh, TJ la Well, t uh, uh, Buna Murray actually owns the challenge, but Mt.

MTV owns the challenge. Buna Murray doesn’t even own the challenge. MTV owns real world. There are lots of formats that I can give you that were pitched to Sweden and Norway and other countries where that allow the creator to retain rights. Mm-hmm. And then license. That, so, like Apprentice for example, was created outside of America.

It was brought to America and it was licensed. And we had, [00:08:00] um, three different hosts on, on Apprentice, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Martha Stewart being two of the lesser known ones. Mm-hmm. Um, but the production company made a Boku Bucks because they owned that content. They owned that, the, the licensing rights to that content.

I shouldn’t say they, they own that content. The content’s for higher and the platform. But helping people leverage that, helping people leverage that media, it’s not about creating it. Creating a reality TV show does not change your reality unless someone sees it. That’s when reality changes. Yeah. So, You can record all you want and you can make all the changes you want.

And hopefully those changes are real changes and those have impact. And then, and then people will see that impact. But it was in the visibility of the change that reality changed. And that’s, that’s what I experienced firsthand at M T V with even Diddy, when, when, when Puffy would start to come to M T V and almost just hang out.

He would just show up for like T when T R L was on and just kind of co-host and it was kind of funny [00:09:00] at first, and he’s a big star. It’s kind of cool that he just came across the street, but he said it once. He was like, of course I’m gonna be here. This is the place to be, three 30 to four 30. Back then, the early two thousands was the place to be if you wanted to connect with the world that was watching, or modern creators.

And I, I truly think that what’s happening in podcasting right now is the same thing. Yeah. Uh, no one owns podcasting and Nope, it’s, it’s the, it has the most promise. It’s Creative Play-Doh and I’ve already leveraged it into TV shows and book deals and, uh, In 2006 at mtv, I took a podcast called Man and Wife and turned it into a late night sex talk show.

So like converting podcast to broadcast is something that, it’s weird to say it’s almost been almost 15 years now, I guess It’s been, yeah, it’s been happening. And even more so now that podcasters have, uh, the press. That we have the visibility Yep. That we have. And, um, [00:10:00] and that people, there’s education out there.

People understand now businesses understand the KPIs, the reach that podcasters have, and how different that is than the influencer world of, of independent media. Yeah, exactly. Well, it’s a

Tim Melanson: bit of a, a playing field, leveler. You know, because like we just said, I mean before, if you needed to get something done, you’re, you’re puffy.

You’re going to frigging mtb. That’s where it is. Yes. Yeah. Now, I mean, he can, I mean, if, if, if this were today, he’d probably have a podcast.

Vinnie Potestivo: He would’ve started a podcast. That’s what he in fact, doing. I’m looked at, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna reach that out. I, I’m find out where he is with that, by the way.

He probably has one. I, no, I met, I saw this platform called Pod Match, and there’s about like, I. As of, as of the end of 2022, I think there was about like just under 13 or 14,000 people there. I, I’m exclusively, and this is like just a, an emotional exclusive, but I’m exclusively meeting hosts and guests in this smaller community because of Diddy, because I remember.

The [00:11:00] visibility he had in a small room. He didn’t need to make big moves to have big reactions and big impact. And that when a smaller group of people have the ability, ability to have visibility into what you’re doing, there’s a stronger emotional connection with that. Uh, I would want to be in the studio when Diddy was in the studio because when Diddy’s in the studio, people start talking.

New projects and new businesses and things start to bubble up. But, but I had access to that room. I had a card that gave me access to that room and I leveraged that. Um, I did an interview with Christina, a Emilion, and she goes, Vinny, do you remember when you introduced me to Janet Jackson? And I was like, wait, what?

You’re gonna have to tell me this story? I’m like, what? She goes, yeah, I was in your room. We auditioned. We auditioned for a, a show she hosted called Wannabe. And we saw on the email that Janet Jackson was down in the studio and the studio was closed. They weren’t letting you know, staff in. Um, but I had a different clearance and I knew that I would be able to get in through talent.

So I said, let’s go downstairs. John Jackson was downstairs. [00:12:00] It’s not gonna be difficult. I can get in the door and the rest. The rest is up to you. Yeah. But leveraging, getting people in, that was my, by the way, that was my secret sauce at M T V as a supervising casting executive, I get credit for casting Laguna Beach and The Hills and Mandy Moore and Kelly Osmo.

A tremendous amount of talent that I got to work with. Uh, the truth of the matter is, is very rarely did I ever find the person with my own eyes. Like, you know, like very rarely did I ever say like, Lala, she’s the one, bring her into M T V and yeah, yeah. I looked for people who. Were outliers, Mavericks in their industries, and I left that door to MTV Open for them, and those people became executive producers and stars of their own show and empowered.

And I would give them information. I would say, MTV’s looking for a half hour show on a Thursday. It needs to appeal to this demographic. Or we would get information that says like, we have a studio that we need to use. So we have to back, we have, so we have a line in the budget that’s. Zeroed [00:13:00] out. So we have to create a project around the space that we, you know, isn’t gonna cost us anything, and that’s gonna get the show green lit.

So helping people understand how to shape, shift their ideas and concepts. It’s really not about the, i, it, it, it used to be about the idea a bit, and it used to be about access to talent and, and worlds more so now than ever. It’s. All about execution and that’s why you’re gonna see and continue to see more celebrities hopping on podcasting.

It’s IP they own, like we just discussed, or it’s ip they own that they now leverage and license. Yeah. In response to, I have a podcast as my podcast name, I got that sucker registered and then I created, I have a as a Google news verified platform. So, so when you have a blog. And you, if you have a podcast and you have a blog, and, and hopefully you do, and you’re, you’re out there sharing the word, you can take your blog.

R s s the same way that podcasts have RSS blogs, actually, I know you know this, but blogs had RSS links first. Yep. And you take that RSS link to Google [00:14:00] News. So go to and add your blog as a source to Google News. And what that allows you to do is have visibility in a marketplace where thousands, if not millions of other websites are looking for content that you are writing.

And because you’re on the Google News Verified Exchange, they pull your r s s and now your content is appearing on their platform. And then I. Once I did that with Google News, it was really easy to do it to, um, Bing, pub Hub and Yahoo News and Flip book. Apple News is a, you gotta go through the developer and there’s a couple of extra steps, but, but staying in touch with your fans, building that relationship with your fans, giving your fans access on different levels like that, that helps.

The process that it’s more than accountability. Um, it’s, it’s empowering. And by the way, every leader needs a following and every following needs a leader. So there’s a reciprocity in doing and, and opening up these gates. But that’s, you know, [00:15:00] as we look at, as I think of some of the celebrities and star brands that I’ve known and.

US podcasters even. Right? The one thing we have in co, the two things we have in common is we create content. No one asks for that. We hope people like Yeah. And we need fans. We need, we need fans. We need people to support us and champion us and not just like mention our name when we’re not in the rooms, but like scream our names when we’re not in the rooms.

That’s how I felt about TJ Lavin. Uh, uh, who hosts MTV’s The challenge, uh, TJ and I were friends when ultimately it became time to cast that host for, uh, the challenge. First I did, we got Johnny Mosley, uh, then God Rest is sold, Dave Mira. But both of those were high, high, high earning athletes that were seasonal.

I needed someone who was more neutral and. TJ and I had a killer conversation about my sexuality at a point in time where I was so insecure. And in the early two thousands, [00:16:00] unfortunately at a publicly traded company, there was no rights and privileges. So it was, it was, it was different than it is now.

And with tj, an athlete, I found that I would be covered, that he would actually fight for my rights and stand up for me in rooms and in the future. Cause I’ve seen him do it for other people and it’s so cool to see him. Being one of the other MTV’s got a lot of old white guys on that network right now.

Thank God for Nick Cannon too. It’s Rob dk, uh, TJ Lavin. Uh, they just, you know, so it’s cool to see, uh, him be the face of adversity and challenging on that. But, um, but that’s me being his fan, you know, he allowed me into a time where I can champion him and he kept doing things as an athlete. He kept winning and losing and winning and losing, and I’m all, I’m along on the journey for that as a.

I’m winning and losing with you. Like I’m, I’m, I feel I’m on that emotional journey with you that makes us root for you failing sometimes in front of our audience. And this is a strategy. It’s intentional by the way, [00:17:00] because it’s really, really awesome to see people get back up on their feet. Yeah. And land sometimes, and I’ve known this to be true, sometimes people fail specifically so that they can succeed afterwards.

Yep. Um, cuz if you don’t do it, sometimes the media will do it for you. It’s better, it’s better for it to be on your terms than theirs. Well, casting allows us to do that now. Well, yeah. And, and I,

Tim Melanson: I mean, we talk about the bad note as well on this podcast often. And, and you know, the, the, the, the theme of that is that every bad note ends up being a good note in the end.

Yeah. Because you learn something from it. But yeah, that’s a really good point that you’re making that. That, uh, you know, if you can fail on your terms, it’s way easier to handle than Yeah. Something blindsided you.

Vinnie Potestivo: Right. I’m thinking, you know, in my mind right now, I’m thinking of that Ashley Simpson moment on SNL in 2007 where she was so new and it was such a huge opportunity and the.

Band. It was the big opportunity for her band, and it was the first time her band was really in, in an ownership position. And what happened [00:18:00] on that show was the, the, the cue to the song was in the pedal and the drummer’s pedal as it often is, and the wrong, the wrong cue was si synced incorrectly. So the wrong, the wrong song played and she didn’t know how to recover from it.

They cut the commercial break and my phone blew up. Mt. Like the, the advertisers were furious. I mean, this, what a stupid time in media where people had opinions about like, someone messed up on stage. There, there was an example where she, where I can promise you that was not done intentionally, but the lesson learned, you know, we, I, and I had this conversation with Joe Simpson, with her father, specifically it, we wanted her to be empowered.

We wanted her to be the boss, but also we knew that this was new to her and. Mistakes can happen, but you don’t wanna unempower somebody. And there, there was a real lesson learned there in making sure that from a technical perspective, uh, that recovered regardless of expertise, expertise versus experience, those could be two different things.

And, uh, on live television, something like that matters on live [00:19:00] tv. And that’s a, I hate to say this, but like a permanent mark on your record until, until you do something. You know, remove, uh, uh, uh, goes on top of that permanent mark, and then people forget, you know what happened next. Hi, it’s Mark Moony from Natural Born Coaches, and I want to give two very big thumbs up to Tim Lanson and his Creative Crew agency.

I have been using them for a long time and I am 100% happy they get the job done. They’re fast and they let me focus on my business. I don’t have to worry about anything. So again, I want to give them two very big thumbs up. I have no problem recommending them. I don’t give testimonials for everyone because my name is attached to it, but I gladly do so for Tim and the Creative Crew Agency.

So use them. You won’t regret it and good luck.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. That’s, and, and that’s the thing. She was probably w w what, she was fairly new in

Vinnie Potestivo: her mm-hmm. Career, right? Yeah. A here, I mean, as a [00:20:00] singer performer in charge of her. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. May maybe under two years singing and. In front of people. Yeah. And, and

Tim Melanson: that goes to show, uh, so I’m a musician.

I’ve been playing for a long time. If something like that were to happen to me right now, I’d be fine. I would go with it. Yeah. But that’s a matter of like, uh, you know, a lot of people like to fast track their way to success and. That’s one of the things that can happen if you fast track your way to success.

You don’t experience the things in a small bar with one person watching. Uh, you know that, that you would be, oh wow. That, because, you know, that did similar stuff happens to me. Sure. You, you fall flat on your face, but there’s two people in the bar. Well, you know, next time I’ll know what to do. Yeah. And then by the time you get to a live show in snl, you know, you know what to do, right?

Mm-hmm. So, um, so I guess, I guess maybe, uh, maybe that’s a way to embrace all of the struggles that you go through in small rooms before you get to those big shows, right? Oh, yeah.

Vinnie Potestivo: Uh, my, my [00:21:00] anxiety kicks in Everything you’re saying is like triggering anxiety for me. And I have this quote that I’m just saying in the back of my head that says, the fastest way to get to where you’re going is slowly.

Just say that again. Like, the fastest way to get to where you were going is slowly Yeah, and it’s, and it’s, and it’s not, A nice play on words that just sounds good. When I say that, I can actually literally feel my blood starting to go. My blood pressure starting to go down. It gives me, it’s the, by the way, I am all about the scenic route.

It gives me the ability to go into smaller rooms and make one-on-one relationships with people that I can do. I can do that easily, but when we talk about some of these celebrities, or even just experts in our. That have the visibility of thousands or we feel we have the weight of those, those eyeballs, that’s, that’s where the relationship is tested.

Uh, I, I’m taking the long approach to podcasting and I’ve carved out two, if not three days a week, to recording other people’s podcasts. I have about 150 days a year that I’m recording other [00:22:00] people’s podcast. Six days a year I record mine cuz mine is weekly and I record four episodes in a day with two people and my episodes are 10 minutes long.

So I’m just creative inspiration here. Here’s a tactic that I know works. I sit down with somebody that I’ve worked with before. Um, uh, in 2023. I’ve got Mandy Moore Ja Rule. Which is a good one. We talk, uh, which go back and listen to this jaw rule when we talk about the power of collaboration, which is really sick cuz for me, him and Ashanti, it is like the male voice and the female voice vocals.

Like he was the king of that for me in the early two thousands. And um, when I learned that he turned to the soft female voice to soften his own tone, because to him he thought he sounded spooky. So this is. Part of, like, when I say taking inventory of the people around you, looking around, not focusing on how am I gonna get to the next level, but who am I gonna get to the next level with?

That’s where Tim, you and I forever, you’ve changed the [00:23:00] alchemy of my output. Like the, this questions, the, this conversation, input, uh, changes, you know, what happens next. And I think that that’s, that’s what I’m doing. Presently is working on my one on one-on-ones, so that if I’m lucky enough and when I’m lucky enough to be in a top 100 position or whatever that is, that I’ll look around the room and I’ll recognize everybody and I’ll know you all and we’ll all have done it together.

And I, I do. The last thing I want to do is fast track. Any part of that because it’s not

Tim Melanson: worth it because Yeah.

Vinnie Potestivo: The, you’re vision ready? Yeah. My vision of how I want success to look like if I’m winning an award and I’m, I’m thinking people who aren’t in the room, in front of people who I know are, and I think that that’s, and I’m getting those people who aren’t in the room.

In the room next. By the way, that this is always my mo so you’ll see this with me. Um, And that, and that’s powerful. That’s powerful. And, and now with podcasting, we can own it. And, and for the longest time to build an [00:24:00] audience, you needed to leverage your visibility on a platform, on a single platform with a single project in a single, you know, performer or group.

And, and in the singularity we build our audiences, but it’s in the collaboration where community comes from. Like that’s where fandom can really explode. It’s Beyonce didn’t need to go to Coachella. She didn’t need a special super deal for an. Whatever we say Why she did Coachella. Yeah, she did Coachella for us.

Yeah, she did Coachella. So that Beyonce fans who usually see Beyonce and Beyonce stadiums are now seeing Beyonce with other artist fans and that. Collaboration that space. Collaboration is what creates community is when two audiences collide. Two or more, I should say is community and um, podcasters are great at it.

Yeah, we’re inherently great at it because we like and appreciate working with each other. Artists a little territorial, you know, for different reasons and, but we have more. Right. Think of this podcasters we have and we almost have more rights than Beyonce and [00:25:00] Mandy Moore and, uh, Taylor Swift. Like these people, we hear about their catalogs and who owns it and it’s a sure do.

IP is a tough market. Um, uh, but it, it shouldn’t scare you from sharing your expertise, especially considering that no one owns podcasting. What’s gonna happen, I’m gonna show up with Tim and Tim’s gonna ask me a tough question that I might not get. So why? Yeah, it’s Tim. Like I’m not, it’s not, we’re just having a conversation.

It’s not like, it’s not SNL in front of millions of people that could potentially ruin my entire. That being said, I know. You know, I wanna point out that these podcasts are evergreen and powerful. Nick can I, can, I can name some people who have had conversations on podcasts in an evergreen capacity where it’s come back to bite you.

Time changes facts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t time. I’m sorry. Facts don’t change. The truth changes. So, so it’s, it’s a tricky, it’s a tricky dichotomy between, um, what we’re recording and what we’re publishing and how, how it’s being perceived. But don’t, don’t [00:26:00] let the fear of. Set you back from creating an audience, from diving into building fans and from leveraging those different fans.

For me, in high school, I had a bunch of different friend groups, so I would say like I was a community organizer when you have all those different friend groups coming together, that was a moment of community for me, for sure. So let’s talk a little bit

Tim Melanson: about fans then. Um, what’s your, what’s your, you know, strategy towards building fans in your.

Vinnie Potestivo: Uh, first off, it’s about visibility, uh, discoverability and shareability. Uh, I think we, we want to get discovered so that we have more opportunities, um, for monetization, for awareness, for growth, for conversion. I can, you know, go down all the list of things that come as a result of being discovered. To get discovered, you need to be.

So this idea of creating content, being a guest on podcast, putting writing books, get, getting myself, my voice, my words out there is [00:27:00] visibility. Most people think to increase visibility would be to increase discoverability. And I have to be honest, if I were just to increase your visibility, all that would make you be is the person who people say, oh man, that podcast again, that TV show again, like, I have no value in sharing you.

Everyone’s, it’s like Mariah Carey in December 15th, we stopped talking about, it’s a weird thing to say. We stopped talking about, about Mariah the Queen because everyone’s talked about it for two weeks and we’re almost talked out about it and we don’t feel valuable. I’m really grossly general gen generalizing on a topic here, but trying to prove a point.

We stop sharing the fact that she’s the queen of, because everyone’s seen it. The Today Show, the gma fa, everyone’s covered it. It’s no longer news. And us talking about it doesn’t serve. The community that we’re sharing it with. So what do we do? A defense mechanism kicks in and says, Ugh. That person again.

Yep. Because it’s almost, it’s almost better to share that disdain for the level of [00:28:00] visibility. So instead of increasing visibility to get more discoverability, I want you to increase shareability. And I want you to really think about this. These are things that we’re doing that are holding us back from getting discovered is being more shareable, quicker sound bites.

Um, episode, you know, some people will ask me, what’s the perfect podcast episode length? I make all of them. Like every single one. Every single minute interval is the best one. Because there will be days that I will come to your podcast and I’ll say, I would love to give it a, I would love to give this a chance.

What should I listen to? And I look at your list and it says 45, 45, 45, 45, 45 minutes. I promise you, if one said two minutes, I promise you I’m gonna click on the one that gives me two minute sample of who you are. Yep. Quicker than the 45 minute sample of who you are. It’s this awareness that people, viewers, and listeners have a very non-linear relationship with our content.

We have to receive that. Like I grew up in the nineties and eighties with TV Guide. I used to watch a channel. Called the scroll, and I would slowly watch my shows come [00:29:00] up. So much so that in the early two thousands they actually put programming up on top and it was like, yeah, here’s advertising in a movie.

Let’s talk about the back. You know, here’s like when this movie was happening, da, da, da. And I would sit there and I would’ve watched that cause I didn’t wanna be. Out. I wanted to be in. I wanna watch what everyone else is watching. I, I need to be connected there. Building communities, building audiences, and allowing yourself to be highly shareable.

If there was one metric I looked at on in social media, it would be share. That’s my goal. If anyone’s using chat, g p t, whatever you do, whatever input you put it into, the next thing you say is make this more shareable. Make sure that people, and for me, that’s where the value comes into play. That’s how I can measure.

Am I, am I providing value? Um, more so than saves. More so than saves, um, share to me because like if I do a great job and I’m your landscape. What’s the best thing that, that, if, that, if, if, if, if I’m your client and you’re a landscaper, what’s the [00:30:00] best thing I could do for you? The most valuable thing I can do for you would be to share network.

Absolutely. Oh my gosh. Call my friend. I got the best experience. I’m sharing experiences, I’m sharing results. I’m sharing your number, which is networking. High, high value touchpoints. Uh, it, it, it solves the problem. To if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, you know, if this shareability solves that problem, you know how people find out that it always comes down to this.

You know how people find out if the tree fell? Someone will say they take a photo and then what? Share it. They saw it and then what shared it, they wrote about it, and then what? Shared it. Like sharing is is where if you were to chase after anything, cuz I’m not a big fan of being behind stuff, especially my goals.

Yeah. If you’re gonna chase after anything. Chase after sharing, yeah. That’s like, that’s like, uh, riding the waves behind a powerboat. That’s what I mean. That’s, that’s sharing is carving a path for yourself. Where your, where, where, where your story can take your [00:31:00] places, where your story can take your character.

That’s, that’s the power of sharing and that’s how I’m building these platforms. And that’s how, and when I say platforms, it could be, uh, talent, careers or, or. Media connects, however brands, you know, have output. That’s the, the media platform that I’m helping them build. Yeah.

Tim Melanson: Uh, that’s, that is so good because especially nowadays, um, visibility’s easy to get.

Mm-hmm. I mean, you know, you create a whole whack load of social media, you know? Mm-hmm. You can, you can start to get a bunch of. Of content out there. And I, I do work with a lot of companies that they do focus their metrics on how much visibility they can get. How can I get this out there, get this out, get this out there.

But they don’t put as much thought into the message that they’re getting out there in the first place, which is mm-hmm. You know, how shareable is it? How are people going to share this and other people, or is it gonna be all me putting it out there and doing a whole bunch of places? Mm-hmm. I put it into one place [00:32:00] and then it goes.

That’s way different, right?

Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah. And also, and also let’s re I wanna reframe this from creative also. How can I be so, okay, so say I’m not creative. Say I have no zero creative skills and I, um, maybe I have a band, a jam band, and some of those artistic, creative skills. But I am talent. I am an accountant, I am a doctor, I am a florist.

I am, you know, a business runner that has nothing to do with creativity. How, how do, how does shareability. Serve me. And I would say most, most of us are focused on sharing the story right now, a lot of us focus on the story, maybe even the character. And what I wanna do is reposition you instead of the story provider, but as the source.

That when you’re seen as the source, when you are Disney, you can pitch other shows. But if you were Lion King, why would Lion King pitch Aladdin? That’s a weird, I’m like the weirdest metaphor guy today. Right now I have no clue where my media’s pulling from, but like why, why, right? Like Lion King couldn’t [00:33:00] Disney gets you to, to those places because it’s the source.

Yeah. Um, so, and, and what I’m pointing out is, On LinkedIn, I’ve had a couple of brands reach out to me and ask if I can make videos for them and, and blah, blah, blah, and maybe start to sponsor and work back and forth. And I have my own goals. So I reply back to them and I say, look, I’m I, I’m, and the truth is that I’m at capacity and I’m already focused on what I’m committed to over these next few months here in 2023.

Um, but if you, if I can give you a quote or if I can give you a, a quote or a fact or a data point that could help you in. Um, in some type of, uh, post or in some type of report that you’re creating, I’d be happy to send you, or, or if you need my a quote for like a news article, I’d be happy to send this to you.

Now they didn’t ask me for a quote. They asked me to work with me. Yeah. I said, no, I’m busy. I’m focused cuz I can get defocused, unfortunately, pretty easy. So I know my strengths, but I do [00:34:00] throw out the fact that I’d love to offer value by and how I can offer value. Is give you a quote. I didn’t say, let me know how I can help you with that.

I don’t say that anymore. I learned that. I said, let me know how I can help you. I can write you a quote that you can leverage and, and what that allowed me to do is create a relationship. And I have some really cool deep relationships now with clients, sponsors that sponsor my content on a, on a. Global perspective because I know annually what I’m talking about as opposed to needing to be transactional, um, and of the story because I’m seen as a source, not as the story.

And by being the source that allowed me to be in a bunch of end of 2022 reports for a bunch of different types of platforms that I was then able to create a LinkedIn audio event for that we turn into a newsletter and now I can show people how to network. With a value. Cuz that’s kind of like what I like doing is like, by the way, credits, credits to me are the, like the, it’s, this [00:35:00] is the, I never thought about this until recently.

Credit. I’ve been networking through creative credits for a long time, uh, on I M D B podcasters have the ability now to take our podcast as I. And put it as a title onto imdb the same way TV and film has as intellectual property in December of 2022 imdb, which is the internet movie database owned by Amazon.

I M D B created a new job category, a metatag called Podcaster. So I can, through I M D V, an Amazon owned company, I can give data points to that platform, like the awards that I’ve won. Right. We talk about winning awards as a visibility. How do you share awards? The thank you speech. We talk about thank you speeches more than the awards themselves.

We talk about who didn’t get nominated more than the people who won. So think of all the ways that we share this. And I wanna point out that this is not a once in a lifetime opportunity. These are annualized events and we [00:36:00] realize that in media there’s a reason why there’s a cycle, and this is an annual opportunity for.

And visibility and more shareability. And more discoverability. And I like pointing that out to us to be seen as the source, um, to, to offer data points based on the action. You know, we’re working hard and we’re creating data points. Google takes our search queries and turns it into data points. So why aren’t we taking our actions and turning it into data points? is the only, and it’s free. And anyone who wants con, I have v It’s a free creator hub where I have, I’ve documented all the tactics that I’m sharing here step by step. You don’t need to spend a single. To get on I M D B and you and the, the benefits are ridiculous. The benefits are networking.

The be social proof ex, you’re, you’re proving your expertise and, and, and even possibly connecting awards. You’re giving credits to the, all the people who may be volunteered to work on [00:37:00] your podcast or, or you were paid, who are paid to work on your podcast. But it becomes a point of discoverability for.

So when I, when I, it was time for me to edit my podcast. I went to series, I went to, I went to a series. I went, there was a specific podcast that I wanted to make sure I had engineers working on my podcast because I wanted people to know that, that I was. A legit, uh, uh, entertainment focused. And with my background, I needed, I wanted to have a little bit of technical expertise to my mm-hmm.

My podcast where I don’t think most people actually need it. Um, but I specifically wanted it. And, you know, picking and choosing the people that I work with, again, like that’s, that’s inventory. That’s the who, not the how that gets me there. And that’s, My entire career is based on who, not how my entire career, all the successes and failures.

Man, that’s gold.

Tim Melanson: So I wish we had all day to talk. Yeah, this is a great talk. Thanks man. Chat. But at this point it’s time for your guest solo. So tell me what’s exciting in your business.

Vinnie Potestivo: Oh [00:38:00] man. Uh uh. I geek out over intellectual property. The, the, the ownership we have over our own content, especially non-social media content, uh, podcasting specifically, maybe even newsletters.

And I can come up with a bunch of other forms of media that we own the opportunities for us. To leverage that, to syndicate it, to aggregate it, to amplify it and get paid along the way to license it is tremendous there. I think of, I think of how many podcasts I know right now. Can you name five new podcasts, new podcasts?

Probably, can you name five new podcast? Can you name five new content platforms? No, maybe on Apple TV that came up over the last, there’s a lot and we talk about the the amount of podcasts and how quickly this space is growing. The space isn’t growing. We are, yeah. If our episodes, our series, [00:39:00] our voice, our likeness, and the amount of content we’re creating, let’s think about, this is upsetting.

The big market of media. Oh, there’s so much growth, saturation, beware. Saturation, saturation. How many poems, how many songs, how many movies? Why is there this weird energy around a refrain from individual people creating an empowering themselves by creating podcasts? And when I realized that you don’t even need to be a host to be a guest.

And being a guest is actually one of the most gracious seats. It’s like, I feel like than Thanksgiving dinner. I’m the oldest son in my family, so like I know how to be a guest. I do my work. I know, you know what, what, what kids are doing, what the school projects. I come with the gifts. I, I come with the goodie bags so I can take some stuff with me afterwards.

Like I am ready to experience this and, and let it experience me and, and inform me. So just hope to inspire people to leap. To [00:40:00] podcasting to share your expertise, your experiences, and in this era 2023 of chat, G P T and ai, where, where we’re going to find a lot of new playing field leveled playing field, like I, I personally am not a strong, I thought I was not a strong writer.

Chat. G p t is something that’s really helped me get through that bubble and then allows me to get quicker and closer to what I want to say. That, that, that, that it’s not about what is being said that matters. It’s who’s saying it. And there isn’t anyone else out there like you. And I know this because.

It’s my job. This is like my calling, is helping people lean into their fascinating individual awesome self. Um, maybe in the nineties, in the early two thousands, it was for better or for worse, you know, like the worst part is a little bit of reality too. A little bit of Bravo and housewives and matchmaker, you know, got, I got a couple of those shows on my resume.

Um, but, [00:41:00] uh, I’m so focused on helping. Personal brands and and small business owners be empowered by content and helping them leverage it to make the impact that I know they’re set out to do. It’s really, it’s really a rewarding time right now to be in content and, and anyone with a phone has access to creating content.

I love that. That’s why in 2007 I had to leave M T V. I suddenly had millions of people I was now qualified to work with. Yeah. Up until that moment, it was a very small industry. I’m ha and I’m happy to have feet in both ends, but it’s all about empowering the the independent creator for me.

Tim Melanson: So how do we connect

Vinnie Potestivo: with you?

Oh, I appreciate that. V P is my website. That’s where I, I, I mentioned the creator hub. Um, if you’re looking for awards 90, I have 99 plus awards worthy of winning. Uh, if you are brand new to creating content and looking for ways to monetize your podcast, I have over 50 monetization platforms.

Monetization platforms. I strongly recommend you beyond. [00:42:00] I’m on them myself. I’ll make between. In starting out, even in starting out in month one, three to $300 to $5,000 a month, sometimes, depending on the brand that reaches out to me, you gotta put your name on the list and I’m a big social person, so say hi to me on LinkedIn.

Mm-hmm. Like you don’t need to wait till the big moment to reach out to me and ask me for an advice. Like I hang out on LinkedIn. I’m empowering the community to be creators and. Some of that just means being available. So I make myself really a available on LinkedIn. Uh, and I appreciate that question.

Thank you, Tim. Wow. Well,


Tim Melanson: definitely gonna be in touch. I’m not a part of any of these, uh, communities and I’d love to be. So, uh, so thank you so much for all that information and thank you so much for rocking out with me today. It’s been a lot of fun.

Vinnie Potestivo: Thank you.

Tim Melanson: So the listeners, make sure you subscribe right in comment.

We’ll see you next time with the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

Vinnie Potestivo: Thanks for listening. To learn how you can become a work at home rockstar or become a better one, head on over to today.[00:43:00]

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