Speaker 1: 00:00:01 On this episode of EDGE of the Web.
Chuck Fields: 00:00:05 Just because you can press the record button doesn’t mean your listener is going to push the play button. You got to make sure that content is worthy of being listened to. You’ve got to think about your audience. It can’t be just all about you.
Speaker 1: 00:00:21 Your weekly digital marketing trends with industry trends setting guests. You’re listening and watching EDGE of the web. Winner of best podcast from the Content Marketing Institute for 2017. Hear and see more at edgeofthewebradio.com. Now here’s your host, Erin Sparks.
Erin Sparks: 00:00:45 Welcome back to EDGE of the Web radio episode 345. I’m your host, Erin Sparks, Site Strategics and Edge Media Studios. Every week, we bring you the cutting edge… Get that? Cutting edge marketing, digital marketing tactics as well as news of the week here at the show. We unpack a key marketing topic with our digital marketing audience and a deep dive with specialists in their field. Whether or not you’re part of an agency or a freelancer or part of a firm that’s doing marketing, this show is for you. Be sure to check out everything over at edgeofthewebradio.com.
Erin Sparks: 00:01:24 Let me give you the ropes of the show. If you haven’t been on the show before… I’ve been on the show, but I haven’t listened to the show or found us on all the different spaces in which we’re broadcasting, welcome. We love to have you as a new audience member. What we do is we go live regularly at 3:00 P.M. eastern on Monday. Unfortunately, I was a little bit under the weather on that day. In fact, I was right next to the toilet. Probably shouldn’t hear that but, hey, it was difficult. So we had to move the show today.
Erin Sparks: 00:01:53 What we do is we go live stream and then we actually swing back around and use our audio for podcasts and get it all into the different podcast aggregator such as Spotify, Player FM, obviously iTunes, and Overcast, all the different places in which you listen to your podcast. On top of that, we also take care of this content, get it into the show notes, as well as videos across the spectrum of the internet. We try to give you everything that you’re looking for in your space.
Erin Sparks: 00:02:20 Again, find all the information over at sites… edgeofthewebradio.com. From there… Also, let us know how we’re doing in that space. EDGE of the Web is actually brought to you by Site Strategics. See, I was a little bit premature there. Site Strategics is the pioneer in agile digital marketing. Their core specialties are SEO; search engine optimization, SEM; search engine marketing, social media, conversion rate optimization, the omnichannel media broadcast of what we’re doing as an example today.
Erin Sparks: 00:02:53 Everything is focused on results-based marketing. So if you’re interested and what that means for you… It’s really changing tactics based on the data that we get. Who knew? So jump over to sitestrategics.com, let us know if you’re interested in having a call. We’ll have a free hour consultation and be able to unpack some of the possible factors that could improve your business right then and there. You can also call us at 877-736-4932 or SEO-4WEB if you want to actually spell it out on the keypad. Gosh darn it, I get annoyed. I’m sure you do as well. Go over to edgeofthewebradio.com.
Erin Sparks: 00:03:28 In the studio booth, the production booth, we got Jacob Mann, studio creative director.
Jacob Mann: 00:03:33 Hello, good afternoon. Almost good morning. I don’t know what’s going on.
Erin Sparks: 00:03:37 Wow. You’ve been in that booth too long, man.
Jacob Mann: 00:03:40 That noon is right at that time whereas you start to say you’re not sure if you’re saying the right thing or not. But I want to say even though I’m sorry we didn’t get to do this on Monday. I’m really glad you skipped. The rest of us have not had to skip work. It would not have been worth it.
Erin Sparks: 00:03:57 This was a good time to be able to have a test of our lunch broadcast, right?
Jacob Mann: 00:04:02 Yeah.
Erin Sparks: 00:04:03 See if the audience wants to jump in and watch a video while they’re having lunch.
Jacob Mann: 00:04:06 There you go, if you’re East Coast. West Coast, I don’t even… Are they even at work yet?
Erin Sparks: 00:04:11 No, they’re not.
Jacob Mann: 00:04:12 At nine. They’re still because I-
Erin Sparks: 00:04:13 Do we care about the West Coast? Of course, we do. What am I saying? We care so much that we’re bringing you some great guests. Just do some housekeeping real quick. We’ve got Britney Muller from Moz next Monday. You must check that out. We’re going to be unpacking SEO in 2020. JD Prater from Quora PPC on the following week. Aaron Levy from Tinuiti, I never cannot pronounce that. Elizabeth Marston will kill me. Tinuiti, on the 23rd of March. Amy Bishop talking about PPC on the 30th of March. Jon Henshaw, a returning guest coming back from Coywolf on the 6th of April.
Erin Sparks: 00:04:51 If you’re interested in being part of the show, just let us know at info@edgeofthe webradio.com. Let us know what you’d like to talk about and we’ll connect with you and see how well we can possibly fit you in. But we’re always looking for some great subject matter experts. Let us know.
Erin Sparks: 00:05:05 Also, make sure you set the reminders on YouTube so you can see when we go live. Because we are doing a livestream, we can field questions from our audience. If you know about this, jump in because these are the moments that can really be some good, good quality content, if you toss us a couple questions while we’re doing the interview.
Erin Sparks: 00:05:24 Lastly, EDGE fans, we want to make sure that we hear from you. We have a quick poll on edgeofthewebradio.com, it’s completely anonymous, let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to hear more of, whether it’s talking about social media or thought leadership or SEM or SEO, advanced SEO, or I don’t know, tactical kills. Whatever you want, we can actually talk about on the show. Let us know. Again, an anonymous poll, we’ll not do anything with it and give us some feedback if you could because we want to hear from our audience. Go over to edgeofthewebradio.com and check that out.
Erin Sparks: 00:05:58 All right. There’s all the housekeeping notes for the week. We certainly want to recommend that you go over to the additional podcasts to do with the show, the entire news update, Breakout, as well as the Google updates Breakout as well. Check that podcast out as we talk about that with Chuck Fields. But I want to introduce our industry expert in the field here in Indy. This is Chuck Fields.
Speaker 1: 00:06:24 Now it’s time for the edge of the web featured interview with Chuck Fields, founder of SpaceTech Corp.
Erin Sparks: 00:06:35 How you doing, Chuck?
Chuck Fields: 00:06:36 I am great, Erin. Thank you so much for inviting me today.
Erin Sparks: 00:06:38 You are more than welcome. Chuck, we go away back, don’t we?
Chuck Fields: 00:06:42 Almost to the Stone Age.
Erin Sparks: 00:06:43 Almost to the Stone Age.
Chuck Fields: 00:06:44 Almost.
Erin Sparks: 00:06:47 You sound like one of my kids. We actually go back so far. We were just talking about this before the show. We met actually connected to a particular job posting mp3 files on a website before the term podcasts even existed.
Chuck Fields: 00:07:03 2001.
Erin Sparks: 00:07:04 2001, we were actually screwing around with audio.
Jacob Mann: 00:07:08 Were you guys optimizing for Lycos or Ask Jeeves back then?
Erin Sparks: 00:07:13 Infoseek.
Erin Sparks: 00:07:20 That was a lot of fun. And we were publishing… It was very similar to what you’ve got going on today. But that was a radio show from our common employer and we’re just churning out content. So wow. I hadn’t remembered that.
Chuck Fields: 00:07:35 Isn’t that crazy? We the planted the seed for how you and I are doing this together.
Erin Sparks: 00:07:38 I think so. Exactly. So Chuck is a podcast aficionado. He has had a couple of podcasts that we want to talk about. He also has a great company called SpaceTech Corp. Let me give you a rundown of who Chuck is and what he’s doing.
Erin Sparks: 00:07:54 He’s been developing robust applications and designing databases for more than 20 years. Before that, he’s actually a marketing director helping businesses both nationally and internationally. He fell in love with web technology in 1997. I think that’s about the time I did, too. So we’ve run the same course a bit. Transitioned to a full time developer and then focused on automating business through programming smart data design. He actually now works with mid-sized companies to streamline business processes, reduce the data errors, that is the human factor right there, and eliminate bottlenecks. Good for you, because there’s so much crap right now.
Chuck Fields: 00:08:29 There are and technology is getting more affordable, so we can make it a lot easier.
Erin Sparks: 00:08:32 Absolutely. Again, combined with that, you’re also running a couple different podcasts as well. You’ve developed Your Online Coffee Break as well as Your Space Journey. I want to get to those in a minute. I certainly wanted to unpack the business side of this so we can actually dive into some key concepts of efficiency but before anything else, give us your history in your words.
Chuck Fields: 00:08:57 In my words. Again, I actually started in marketing years, years and years ago and I guess when the web came along, again, the web wasn’t always around, especially when I went to college, I took some computer programming classes, but the web did not exist.
Erin Sparks: 00:09:12 We had Gopher.
Chuck Fields: 00:09:13 I just remember my-
Erin Sparks: 00:09:15 IRC channels.
Chuck Fields: 00:09:16 400 baud modem.
Chuck Fields: 00:09:26 Your inner geekdom is showing, I love that.
Erin Sparks: 00:09:30 It’s terrible. Go ahead, keep on going.
Chuck Fields: 00:09:31 The web came along and being in marketing, of course, most companies of any reputation were saying, “It’s time for a website.” [inaudible 00:09:39] “Hey, marketing director, we need a website.” Of course, we did what everyone else did. We don’t know where to start. So we called some company paid some outrageous fee for them to do a brochure website and then after doing it for a while, I thought, “Well, let me tackle this.” Because I get tired of paying for the updates, started doing myself, taught myself HTML.
Chuck Fields: 00:09:57 Really what I guess the biggest kick is we were… I worked for a bank back then they were, of course, acquisition of many other banks and they were growing like crazy. So when we acquire banks, we thought we had a call center. All the new customers would call in with all these questions and a lot of the questions were similar. And I thought, “Well, let’s just do on our website. Let’s have the frequently asked questions. Let’s drive them to that in the initial letters going out for them.” It was featured in Investment Banker magazine years ago and it was very successful.
Chuck Fields: 00:10:29 For me, that light bulb went off. I thought, “Wow, we can actually use this to improve the speed of technology, to make things easier for our customers.” That’s what sort of led me down the path of getting more and more into development.
Erin Sparks: 00:10:42 Jumping from marketing, you certainly had a good swim in site development on the public side of things. That’s where we actually met each other because we were actually running in the same space, producing content and having really… I think you actually went into PMI project management, if I’m not mistaken, were you?
Chuck Fields: 00:11:03 I actually did not do that as much there. But it was almost marketing and it was development. It was almost half and a half at that point. As the years went by, I got more and more into development and then finally just left that marketing field. Sort of. You can never really leave marketing field, okay?
Erin Sparks: 00:11:19 Nope, you can’t. It’s like The Godfather. It keeps on pulling you back.
Chuck Fields: 00:11:24 Exactly.
Erin Sparks: 00:11:27 You cruised into the inner workings of business because you saw so many problems. I think actually… I remember, we worked on a couple of couple jobs and there was such a… I remember one in particular that was such a client-oriented bottleneck. We couldn’t get past… We did some sizable customizations on the platform and it was always a churn as soon as we brought those revisions back to the client. If it wasn’t for client… And clients business would be perfect, right?
Chuck Fields: 00:11:57 But change is tough and a lot of clients are very apprehensive about that. But you’re right, you see the same mistakes going on and on over again. We still see it today. I still see it where sales teams bring back these Excel spreadsheets or handwritten pieces of paper and someone’s got to reenter the data somewhere. It’s like, “Why are you doing that?” Double data entry and that kind of thing. I guess I get another thrill out of that, too. If I can see a process and cut the staff time down by 30% to give them more productive things that they can focus on, that’s a lot better. I always like that.
Erin Sparks: 00:12:28 That’s a laudable and sometimes sacrificing job there because it’s the unsung hero for a lot of companies that don’t know how to actually do it themselves. You’re like, forgive the analogy, almost like a trainer for these companies to be able to figure out where they can cut the fat, so to speak, and also be efficient. You focus on back end development, usually working with clients upgrade, or rewrite their legacy system.
Erin Sparks: 00:12:58 Let’s talk about that for a second because there are so many platforms that have gone the way of the dodo, right? Let alone Lotus Notes. We just referenced that. But you get in there and you’re dealing with platforms that are not supported anymore and you actually have to make sense out of what they were using that for at the time and then find a destination for them. You’re cloud base now, right?
Chuck Fields: 00:13:23 Yeah. I’ll give you an example. There’s one project I’m working on right now that used FoxPro application. That is way back… Again, it’s 20 years old and what’s ironic about it and what’s neat about it is the clients are still trying to use it after all this time. But obviously it’s out of date. It was 20 years out of date. It’s a software installed on computers, it’s sharing files, so when a computer goes down or you lose a file, they get corrupt errors and all that. Anyway, we’re writing it as a cloud application.
Chuck Fields: 00:13:55 We just had it in with a client the other day for just the first prototype that we’re almost ready to release. Of course, they’re blown away. I’m like, “Oh, yeah, you can use this from any computer in the world just login. Of course, it’s secure. We’ve got some tremendous security built around it. “That’s a whole another issue on it. But again, it’s taking just that old legacy application that was high demand and then reengineering it and making it work for today’s marketplace, I guess.
Erin Sparks: 00:14:18 Again, it’s a laudable thing. There’s a lot of scenarios in which you get into multiple ownerships from previous IT individuals that manage those platforms and you find a heck of a lot of patchwork and peccadilloes in there.
Chuck Fields: 00:14:35 Oh my gosh. Yes. Database issues is crazy.
Erin Sparks: 00:14:39 Absolutely. Things that were well documented and things that you have to literally reverse engineer.
Chuck Fields: 00:14:44 I don’t think you ever get anything this well document thing.
Erin Sparks: 00:14:47 I’m just trying to put a little bit of hope.
Chuck Fields: 00:14:49 You might dream a little bit but no, that’s typically not the case.
Erin Sparks: 00:14:51 But that’s the whole point is that it’s a core sampling back 20 years ago. There’s always a need for efficiencies, documentation, and process. If you go by winging and prayer and just slap something together, obviously-
Chuck Fields: 00:15:08 Oh, you can’t do that, because you got to grow and every place… And that’s the goal of the business. You want to just keep improving your efficiency, improve your customer relationships, and just keep everything growing. Yeah, you’ve got to document. You’ve got to build it to the point that, I guess in the old days, you had the waterfall methodologies and I know you’re familiar with agile these days and all that stuff, but you just can’t build something and stop. You got to build it so you can keep building it and keep going. It’s like poetry. It’s never quite done.
Erin Sparks: 00:15:34 No, it never… And job security, right?
Chuck Fields: 00:15:35 Yes. That too.
Erin Sparks: 00:15:38 What do I want to take this to as another point of the business culture that makes these decisions and how they are… Some of those adherence to old processes are tough to be able to break away from C-suite individuals or what have you, how do you help them understand what the benefits are from eliminating redundancy? Because an old dog… Literally, they’re wanting to repeat what they’ve known for such a long time.
Chuck Fields: 00:16:12 You know what’s ironic, too? I totally agree with that. But there’s also almost a distinction between the level of leadership. If you’re at the CEO level, they see it, they understand. They’re just like, “How come we can’t do this?” Those are the people that I like to speak with the most because they understand. They will champion it. Probably the toughest part where I have to come into is the users. They’re used to a certain technology and my gosh, if you change… You have, say, a web screen or whatever it is, you got to make sure the tab order works and you’ve got to train them on, “Okay, this is how we do it now.”
Chuck Fields: 00:16:49 That’s probably the largest effort is change and being a championship of trying to get people to understand this change is good. It’s going to help and again, you got to ease into it.
Erin Sparks: 00:16:59 There’s a whole UX responsibility whenever you’re doing internal –
Erin Sparks: 00:17:06 Absolutely. There’s a lot of sloppiness in what platforms have been used over time. But we’re in the era of SaaS. Everything’s cloud based, software as a service. What are your observations about the focus of efficiency from business owners? You’re talking about the CTOs and the CIOs that understand efficiency and we’re surrounded by the cloud inside of native apps. Everybody’s immersed in it, but then you go to work and you’ve got this legacy system. The focus of business owners… I’m talking about the internal management, the ones that are a bit too tied to their legacy systems. How do you help them get by this or be able to process this? Because you do have the internal champions, but how do you paint the picture of that value?
Erin Sparks: 00:18:07 There’s the pun.
Chuck Fields: 00:18:10 Again, everyone wants to be successful. You want to have an efficient thing and when you get, I guess, to that level you’ve got to reach them and sometimes you can just show them. They see competitors are using something and they want to obviously stay up on that and if anything get ahead of the competitors out there. I think showing them examples of what you can do, an actual visual example. I’m very visual person. Again, showing that example and there’s a lot of statistics you can throw out, too, and you can walk them through examples.
Chuck Fields: 00:18:40 One client in particular throw out probably, again, one of those other pivotal experiences, is I had this web application we developed. Once we launch it, 30% cut of duties the employees had to do just because of all those repetitive processes. No one likes working that way anyway. Again, they didn’t get laid off. They went on to bigger and better things like building the business.
Chuck Fields: 00:19:05 Another one, same thing, for some we rolled out the first update to their going from Windows to a cloud-based application. We cut the equivalent of two full time employees. Again, they didn’t lay them off. They put them in better job duties. Once you, I guess, come into them and say, “This can have a real impact.” You don’t have to hold yourself back anymore.
Chuck Fields: 00:19:27 I guess you don’t have to worry about… And I’ve seen a lot of clients get burned on this, where they work with a company, a consulting firm, I’m not saying all consulting firms are like this, but they get charged an arm and a leg. The company takes forever to implement something and that’s where I guess I’ve come in and some others like me is I have a client contact me and they’ve been working with a consultant for two years and they’re paying out the lake and they still haven’t gotten the solution they need and then I’ve come in, okay, six months later, here you go.
Erin Sparks: 00:19:58 Yeah, I think there’s those type of businesses in every sector that are predatory and they prey on ignorance and keep their clients ignorant.
Chuck Fields: 00:20:08 They keep them paying on that monthly basis. “Oh, you want this fixed? Okay, I wasn’t going to charge you as much. Why didn’t it work in the first place?”
Erin Sparks: 00:20:16 That’s the bane of all industries is that type of factor. Getting back to it, we are in the SaaS environment. So there’s also something else that is I was thinking about. It’s very easy now… The cost of entry into these platform is much lower than-
Chuck Fields: 00:20:36 Absolutely. A lot of open source code out there.
Erin Sparks: 00:20:38 Absolutely. Would I be accurate to say that there’s potentially some kid in the candy store concept is “Hey, yeah, that looks good. That looks good. That looks good.” All of a sudden those same C-suites are now making buying decisions on $500 a month software and we’re going to have you over here and they have these disparate spaces that look like there’s efficiency platforms, but they’re now buying so many of these that they’re not integrated. They’re not working in… They’re looking for, “Hey, I need a solve here,” and they’re not looking into the software that they currently have. They’re just reaching out because it’s so easy to find that solution. Is that what’s happening?
Chuck Fields: 00:21:23 Yeah. That’s probably where I’ve come in, again. A lot of cookie cutter solutions out there. Off the shelf. “Hey, grab this, it’ll work.” A lot of client, those same clients have come to me and said, “Listen, this just isn’t working for us. We’re paying this huge monthly fee on this.” I’m like, “We can do this so much easier. You don’t have to worry about the paying on that.” Again, you build it and if you build it right, which we always aim to do, it’s going to be something you can always add on to. You can always start with phase one which usually gets rid of all the redundancies and gets rid of that… One thing that cookie cutter solution couldn’t do or that off the shelf solution couldn’t do unless you paid the extra for this plugin or whatever you needed to do. Yeah, we can always enhance things.
Erin Sparks: 00:22:03 You can also find yourself, as you come in as a consultant, you can help them cut costs of just the errant buys of software that have never been embraced, but they’re still on balanced sheet.
Chuck Fields: 00:22:17 Again, you can’t blame them either because sometimes the desperate decision, you want to keep business going. This sounds good at this time so you buy it and then you’re stuck with her.
Erin Sparks: 00:22:23 It’s reactive purchasing.
Chuck Fields: 00:22:25 Exactly.
Erin Sparks: 00:22:25 Right, right, right. What about the next step along this journey as these businesses buy that software or even consult and have a custom environment developed and then they poorly train the talent or the employees on that? Do you see that as a regular factor?
Chuck Fields: 00:22:46 Yeah, that’s more goes back to where I would associate as sort of the resistance to change. I think one of the most important things of deploying anything is you’ve got to get that user buy in. Who is the end user and how are they affected by this? They’ve got to be the new champion in the system. That’s what we have to do and that’s what other companies need to do is make sure the users who are going to be using this day in, day out are not only very familiar with how it works, but also that they like it.
Erin Sparks: 00:23:16 Do you sometimes poll or involve the employees on part of… Do you?
Chuck Fields: 00:23:23 All the time.
Erin Sparks: 00:23:24 All of a sudden now you’re getting buy in and ownership of, so to speak, the product, and what a gratifying factor that would be for employees.
Chuck Fields: 00:23:33 It’s important too. I guess that’s great thing by cloud we just deployed a major application upgrade yesterday for a client. Of course, before we went live, we’re literally asking a couple of the employees. “Okay, try this out. What do you think of this? What do you think of this?” And then we literally had one employee said, “Easier at this one point. I’m finding a bottleneck here.” I’m literally on site. So I walked into the room and actually added that feature and we deployed it immediately. Went back. “How was that?” And then they’re fine. That’s how quickly you can respond for cloud applications. You could not have done that with a legacy application.
Erin Sparks: 00:24:07 Especially if you’ve got different version controls. Pull things out of SourceSafe. I’m dating myself right there.
Chuck Fields: 00:24:13 That’s okay.
Erin Sparks: 00:24:15 All right. Quickly, we know our audience know that… If you’re wanting to go listen to us live, be sure to hit that bell and get reminded for the live broadcast of that because we certainly want to be able to have interactions with our audience.
Erin Sparks: 00:24:29 That’s a great segue to this next piece that I wanted to unpack with you. It’s about how quickly things can get deployed now and there are different methods of execution to be able to get it done. Long dead, hopefully, are the long burn project cycles where you’re waiting six months to a year to be able to see the first iterations-
Chuck Fields: 00:24:53 And here it is.
Erin Sparks: 00:24:54 Exactly. But we do recall those environments. I remember, with the company that we were working on together, is that literally there was a client who hadn’t seen the product rollout for about a year and a half because they were working on so many different features and functions. Along comes, iterative working. Iterative project management. You’re a champion of these type of deployment practices. Can you unpack some of the things that you’ve experienced and what your thoughts are on maybe your choice execution?
Chuck Fields: 00:25:30 Sure. By that, I assume you’re going down the methodology path a little bit more on that. Of course, I do like agile methodology. Although, I do have some things to point out about that. I very seldom have come across a company that does it right.
Erin Sparks: 00:25:45 It’s a buzzword. They’re using it as-
Chuck Fields: 00:25:46 It’s a hot word. “Oh, we do agile.” “You do? How long you’re staying at meetings?” “Oh, about an hour.”
Erin Sparks: 00:25:53 Nope, not agile.
Chuck Fields: 00:25:54 Not agile. “How often do you release?” That kind of thing. Agile methodology is really good. I do like that. I like the small iterations. I like getting employees involved so they can see the solution as it’s being developed and before users testing is a very important factor of it. But there’s a methodology that I absolutely love that I don’t see gets much pressed and I understand it’s kind of hard-
Erin Sparks: 00:26:22 Hold on, before you do that. Let our listeners know these are digital marketers who may not actually know the agile method. Unpack that in in two minutes what agile is to our listener.
Chuck Fields: 00:26:32 Oh, man, I bet you could do it much better than I can. But agile methodology is a lot different than the old methodologies of, say, waterfall, where you meet with a client, you find out all their needs are, then you develop a solution. You spend months, years even in some cases, and say, “Here it is.” Here’s a waterfall methodology. Agile says, “We need to find out what features we can do in, say, two-week time period and then let’s meet with the developer. Let’s get the project manager in here. Let’s get users in there. And let’s do this iteration and meet with it frequently every day, do it like a 10-minute update. Then in two weeks, we roll out that release.”
Chuck Fields: 00:27:10 Meanwhile, before it’s even rolled out, you’re moving on to the next iteration. You’re doing things in increments. You’re not waiting for some massive release. You can say, “Here’s 1.1. Here’s 1.2. Here’s 1.3 or 1.01,” whatever. You’re constantly upgrading. Again, the application never is finished, which is great, because it shouldn’t be, not in this day and age, but you can do small increments of it and just keep getting better and better. After a year, you’ve got maybe entirely new features that could not have been thought of and you can accomplish them quicker and better and faster.
Chuck Fields: 00:27:41 Again, if you have bugs that are introduced along the way, of course, you try to squash those, but you can immediately get those out with another iteration because you’re deploying every two weeks.
Erin Sparks: 00:27:50 It’s reactive. It’s actually a reactive use case but it’s also very gratifying to be able to see something roll out very quickly. Then you have the buyer or the product manager of that very, very happy about that particular piece and then actually inspires revisions of those over time, right?
Chuck Fields: 00:28:12 Yeah. For companies too, you could have different champions in the company. You could have your marketing team, your sales team, your business management team, or whatever and they can each have their own features that are coming out and they don’t have to wait quite as long for them.
Erin Sparks: 00:28:22 Yeah, exactly. Because if they have to wait three months because something else is in line, now you actually have different lanes in which they can all be rolled out. That’s a really good wrap up of agile. There are challenges. There’s a discipline of agile. Like we said, there’s misunderstandings and there’s a buzzword mentality, but overarching, it is good to be able to see different methods starting to rise up out of traditional waterfall, long burn projects. Now, what’s your favorite?
Chuck Fields: 00:28:57 It really depends on the situation, but the one I really like is called rapid application development or RAD. It’s been around for a while, too. But actually what I do with that one in particular for one of my clients is I sit with the CTO, side by side, and we literally can do more in three hours than I’ve seen other companies do in months. Quite honestly. We can roll out an entire component in three hours. It’s intense program. Honestly, it wears me out.
Erin Sparks: 00:29:26 You’re literally doing live programming right there.
Chuck Fields: 00:29:30 Yeah, absolutely.
Erin Sparks: 00:29:32 You’re navigating with that sponsor, with that CTO.
Chuck Fields: 00:29:37 We’re not always deploying it after three hours, but we can do so much than I’ve seen other teams that just take forever to do this stuff and we can be [inaudible 00:29:46]. Because again, he understands his company’s business models. He understands the database, too. I understand the database and o understand how to code efficiently. So together, we’re just an ultimate team. As a matter of fact, every time we meet, which is several times a week, I started the day saying, “Okay, how can we change the world today?” as I walk in and we do.
Erin Sparks: 00:30:05 At the core of this is user feedback is that it’s rapid deployment of small iterations. But it’s also combined with immediate user feedback while you’re developing it and that’s a key factor.
Chuck Fields: 00:30:22 Yeah, because you’re not in a silo anymore. He understands the business needs. This is where our need is. How can we accomplish that? Again, that takes… If you have a consulting firm that you’re working with, you take that element out of it because they’re developing based on what they think your needs are. But we’re developing based on what their needs actually are.
Erin Sparks: 00:30:41 What happens here is all of a sudden the veil is lifted and what companies were charging for ubiquitous concepts all of a sudden the transparencies there that… Guess what? It wasn’t that difficult at all. That’s where the radical change happens because you got to be able to not only be on your game, but also be as transparent as possible going, “Hey, this is not a $2,000 effort. This is working with you sitting down, maybe 750.” This type of connection to your client is an incredible build of trust and on top of it, they also can understand how complex things are. So now they’re alongside with you going, “Damn, I didn’t realize that moving that around affected these different things.”
Chuck Fields: 00:31:33 One thing that’s really fascinating about that, too, is this particular client that I’m giving example of, I will be at their location. If the CTO has a question, business question that he’s not sure of, literally, we’ll have the CEO and they’ll come in seconds and we’ll solve that problem. Or we’ll have one of the staff that’s in charge of a certain department. If we have a question, we can actually have them come in, show them what we’re working on and get immediate feedback right there before we implement anything.
Erin Sparks: 00:31:59 Got to have the right company that’s willing to be able to-
Chuck Fields: 00:32:01 It is a very hard fit. That’s the advantage of agile is that you can apply that model if you apply it correctly, you can apply that to a wide variety of businesses, if not all businesses. Rapid application development, RAD, is a little bit more special.
Erin Sparks: 00:32:14 Very good. One more step regarding the core element of RAD, which is user feedback, a feedback affects the success of the project. Can feedback get noisy at times? And can it actually distract? Because all of a sudden you’re letting the spigots open and we’ve had the experiences… We all have that. You start getting that client involved in that level of building, now, their entrepreneurial mind or their innovation mind kicks in, “Hey, wish list, wouldn’t this be great? Wouldn’t this be great? Wouldn’t…” It’s like a carnival.
Chuck Fields: 00:32:49 So creepy. Oh my gosh.
Erin Sparks: 00:32:52 Exactly. They got to be disciplined as well. You’re really training them as an employee of, “Okay, fence it in.” That’s also a whole another challenge right now. You’re really changing culturally, the client that you’re working with. Are there challenges there?
Chuck Fields: 00:33:08 Well, yeah, there always are challenges because like you said anything is possible As a matter of fact, I was kind of chuckle when someone says, “Can we do this?” Even before I hear what this is I’m like, “Yeah, we can do whatever you want.” But let’s be efficient about it. Yeah, it does require discipline and most, I guess I find once you get to the C level, I’ve ran into a few that might be full of ideas but most of them are, “This is what we need and I understand this will add time,” or “We need this by this point so switch your priority to this right now.” And they’re good with that. Yeah, that’s, again, something you have to feel your way through.
Erin Sparks: 00:33:47 There’s so much baggage on the other side not doing this type of process because you have unspoken expectations that never get answered and you’ve got sometimes mistrust of how long certain things take. You get them involved there and all that goes away and over time you’re honing a very well-oiled and very efficient delivery.
Chuck Fields: 00:34:12 Plus it improves your relationship with [inaudible 00:34:14] because again, you’re working on that. It’s more transparent. They can see what you’re doing, they can see the timeline, they can see deliverables coming through, as opposed to, “Oh, here’s this project. We’ll send you a check when this part is done,” and then you just sit back and wait, and then it’s not done the way you want it to or doesn’t work the way you want it to and they get to go back to the drawing board.
Erin Sparks: 00:34:32 Well, on top of that, yes. It solidifies that relationship and it protects from other vendors trying to dislodge you by trying to put apples to apples. “What are they doing? Oh, you don’t know everything about us? Well, we do this.” If they’re in lane with you, they’re bought in and they fully understand the efforts and the complexities and why have you. So there’s nowhere near a challenge opportunity.
Erin Sparks: 00:34:58 If the client doesn’t understand the aspects of what you’re doing, then they’re at risk of going someplace else where there is a nice bright, shiny something over here that’s being put in front of them. You got to bring the client into that relationship.
Erin Sparks: 00:35:12 All right, quickly, we want to make sure that our listeners join the edge newsletter. So if you go over to edgeofthewebradio.com, you can join it right now. It’s a free of charge newsletter. Of course, and we’re bringing you all the show notes, everything in the show as well as interview insights, as well as some of the links to the news articles that we cover. We won’t use your email for anything but sending you digital nuggets of gold. You can also text to the number 22828, the word EDGEtalk and be able to join right there. Do not do it while you’re driving, please. But we’d love for you to join the edge nation as we are continually unpacking some great concepts here.
Erin Sparks: 00:35:51 All right, third point, third topic that I want to cover with you, Chuck. I honestly believe we could probably do this for hours. Just saying, Just rolling with some of the things that you’ve experienced. But here’s a 90-degree turn on it, maybe 180-degree. All right.
Erin Sparks: 00:36:11 Most companies… We understand that podcasting is just a growth environment right now. What you’ve done is a good deal different than most here and again, this is a radical departure from what we were just talking about, so forgive me to jump in, but I got to unpack this thing.
Erin Sparks: 00:36:33 You’ve rolled out several podcasts tied to your passions that are not directly related to your industry whatsoever and that is such an anomaly, so to speak, because they’re seeing so many industry, so many organizations and individuals that are using podcasting to promote their business, be able to promote their authority in their space. We do this on this show. How did you choose… You didn’t do that. You actually stepped way off the boat.
Chuck Fields: 00:37:03 Yeah, typical Chuck style. Actually, I started that way. The first 10 or so episodes, I was at a place in business where I had a lot of clients asking the same questions over and over again. They were asking about cybersecurity. They were asking about web development, a lot of the topics of methodologies, and so I decided… I felt prompted. I was wanting to just get the word out and I thought, “Oh, how come all these clients are asking me the same thing. If I could just get this out to help others that would be great.” So the first 10 or so episodes were all about IT and all about my business. But then…
Erin Sparks: 00:37:37 Things changed.
Chuck Fields: 00:37:40 Yeah. As most podcasters are, you have these great expectations for… I don’t know thousands of downloads and quitting your day job and taking over or just a flood of clients coming in. Maybe I’m impatient. Maybe I’m not. After a couple months, I just wasn’t feeling that it was satisfying and I remember going on vacation with my wife. She had said… The title of my podcast was Online Coffee Break at the time. She said, “It is an online coffee break. You can talk about anything you want.”
Chuck Fields: 00:38:15 I had incidentally just met with my business coach right before the trip and she said, “What is your passion?” I said, “I love space. I love astronomy. I love it.” So we’re on vacation. My wife says that to me, and I’m like, “You’re right.” And I said, “There’s this one astronaut that I know that I like to reach out to.”
Chuck Fields: 00:38:35 After that little conversation, I walked inside from the beautiful Florida weather and I emailed the guy and it was happened to be Dr. Story Musgrave. He was an astronaut. He is actually on Home Improvement with Tim Allen, several years back, and I asked him, I said, “I’d love to interview you.” Within five minutes, he said, “Sure, that’d be great.”
Chuck Fields: 00:38:56 I get back from… Just a few days later, I’m back and I actually emailed Scott Kelly the astronaut. He spent a year in space about his new book that just came out. When I got back from vacation, I got an email from his agent that said, “Yeah, he can do it. He’s available in two hours.” So needless to say, I wasn’t going to turn that opportunity. I ran home, grab the microphone and my pockets recorder, went back to the office and had my first real life interview podcast with astronaut Scott Kelly. And then the next day with Story Musgrave and then…
Erin Sparks: 00:39:30 I bet you were star-struck.
Chuck Fields: 00:39:31 I was star-struck. Yes.
Chuck Fields: 00:39:34 I do. I do I get that.
Chuck Fields: 00:39:36 Of course, my company is called SpaceTech Corps. That’s where the space interest came. But yeah, it’s just sort of opening up the door. I thought, “Who else do I want to speak with?” I just started reaching out and I just… Again, when you follow your passion… And I’m a Christian, and I believe in the power of prayer, and I did a lot of praying on that and I just felt compelled that this is the direction I was meant to go. I started reaching out and I literally… I don’t get 100% response rate for anyone I asked, but at that time it seemed everyone I asked said Yes.
Chuck Fields: 00:40:09 We expanded up. I ended up talking with several people and I don’t know hundred or plus so episodes later, it has opened the door to some amazing opportunities. I’ve been not only NASA. I’ve been on site for several rocket launches as regular media with camera on the launch pad, which is cool.
Chuck Fields: 00:40:25 I’ve also met some very fantastic people not only in NASA but also in the music industry. I met Dr. Brian May. Queen if you like Queen? Who would have thought… If someone had told me years ago that I would have not only spoke with Brian May on the phone for a great 15-minute conversation while he was in the U.K. but also a week later, meeting, shaking his hands. Yeah, it was awesome.
Erin Sparks: 00:40:48 I had a bit of FOMO, well not FOMO. I had a bit of jealousy right there. That was too cool of an interview and just to be able to-
Erin Sparks: 00:40:57 Such a smart guy.
Chuck Fields: 00:40:58 Oh my gosh, really smart. Really… I guess he reminds me just what I like about him because I have nothing in common with him. I’m not near as smart or as creative, but left brain and right brain. He’s very creative and he’s very smart because he’s also an astrophysicist, which is really cool. Meeting him was just phenomenal.
Chuck Fields: 00:41:16 But I’ve also met Earth, Wind and Fire, Angela Cartwright, one of our biggest episodes, she’s the original Penny Robinson from Lost in Space, and u feel like I’m plugging this, but I could go just on and on about these fantastic people that I just want to have a conversation with them. I thought the best way… A lot of people want autographs from these celebrities. I thought, “What if I can have a conversation with them and I get to share it with my friends?” That’s just the ultimate to me. It’s become a lot of fun.
Erin Sparks: 00:41:41 It certainly sounds like it. Just for our listeners understanding Chuck’s diversity of topics obviously astronomy and space that’s… But books, Christianity, comedy, finance, health and body, inspiration, marketing, military, music, podcast, science, science fiction, software tips, TVs and movies-
Chuck Fields: 00:42:01 All over the place.
Erin Sparks: 00:42:02 All over the place. It’s like a giant Jelly Belly jar.
Chuck Fields: 00:42:06 But it’s evolved, like anything. Being the marketer in me came out after a while and notice, “I seem to get a lot of hits on space and entertainment.” Entertainment being TV, music, movies, that kind of thing. I have evolved the Online Coffee Break podcast to be more entertainment focused with some space elements in.
Chuck Fields: 00:42:29 Last year, I was pleased that it actually got nominated as a top 10 for the People’s Choice Podcast Awards for the Science Category. Obviously, I thought, “Science is doing really good.” That’s why I decided to do a spin-off podcast focus on space called Your Space Journey, which I just launched last November.
Erin Sparks: 00:42:47 All right. Before anything else, Jacob, I want to actually pull out a couple sound bites. Look at the intro for the Online Coffee Break first.
Speaker 5: 00:42:56 Welcome to Your Online Coffee Break where we discuss bite-sized topics that inspire, educate, and entertain. Here’s your host, a software innovator, award winning marketer, and astronomy and space boss, Chuck Fields.
Erin Sparks: 00:43:12 Cool, cool.
Chuck Fields: 00:43:13 And here I am.
Erin Sparks: 00:43:13 And there you are. Now, let’s pivot around to Your Space… If you don’t mind, this isn’t infringement, is it?
Chuck Fields: 00:43:20 Not at all.
Speaker 5: 00:43:27 Welcome to Your Space Journey, where we venture into the future of space exploration and the incredible leaders who are taking us there. Here’s your host, Chuck Fields.
Erin Sparks: 00:43:41 Very cool. Well produced. Some really good intro. There’s that level of podcast production that you achieved. You’re also putting together some formulaic so you’re actually getting some call ins from different space buffs and professionals in the industry. It’s very well done, very well produced.
Chuck Fields: 00:44:01 Thank you.
Erin Sparks: 00:44:01 You’re more than welcome.
Chuck Fields: 00:44:04 But important stuff in podcast-
Erin Sparks: 00:44:04 Oh my gosh, you better believe it.
Chuck Fields: 00:44:06 It’s overlooked way too much.
Erin Sparks: 00:44:08 I would wholeheartedly agree. But staying in that passion, staying in your interest-
Chuck Fields: 00:44:14 You’ve got to you.
Erin Sparks: 00:44:15 You then get into so many authentic conversations as opposed to any type of feign interest just to be able to get somebody in that’s got a particular name. What have you found in yourself as you really kind of unpack that passion project, so to speak, of just about yourself and possibly ideas about interviewing?
Chuck Fields: 00:44:40 I think what intrigues me… I think everyone has a neat story about themselves. What really fascinates me is when I find someone who I admire, I think, this is a really successful person. What made them? Where their passion come from? I always start off, say, if it’s space, where did your space passion come from? If it’s music, when you first start learning to play the guitar or seeing movies about acting that kind of thing too.
Chuck Fields: 00:45:05 It fascinates me just about the person. I want to hear their story and I also want to hear what’s human about them. What were their struggles? What would they have trouble with? I guess probably the key factor that I’ve done is I also keep my conversations relatively short. When I originally started this, it was for busy business executives. So I wanted to keep it short like an online coffee break, like 20, 15, 20 minutes or whatever like that. I always kept the conversation short and it amazes me how much you can really… I feel like you get to know a person in 15 minutes or so for these particular ones. [crosstalk 00:45:40].
Erin Sparks: 00:45:41 You cut it short for what particular reason?
Chuck Fields: 00:45:46 I cut it short initially because the Online Coffee Break seemed to be that format. I wanted to stick with the coffee break and I guess being a manager I didn’t want to say… Employees, I don’t want them taking hour long coffee breaks. I felt like it’d be a disservice to the community if I went too long for the coffee break. When the employees come back from their coffee breaks, “Hey, I just went in Online Coffee Break. It was great. It’s 15 minutes.” I don’t want the boss going, “Hey, you were gone 43 minutes.”
Erin Sparks: 00:46:11 Blame Chuck.
Chuck Fields: 00:46:12 I didn’t want to cause any ruckus there.
Erin Sparks: 00:46:15 It’s actually well known in podcast ads now that literally these snackable pieces are easily consumable and there’re commute podcasts, there are workout podcasts. There’s a promise that you’re making to the user that that this is all you need to spend because-
Chuck Fields: 00:46:35 Were they binge worthy, too.
Erin Sparks: 00:46:36 Absolutely.
Erin Sparks: 00:46:43 You got that. How do you keep on getting these great interviews? Because these are incredible individuals. There we go. It’s Providence. It’s really is.
Chuck Fields: 00:46:51 It really is amazing to me. Quite honestly, I guess the other thing that surprised me is the Online Coffee Break has been going on for a while. We just did 111th episode so we’re not near as up to 345 like you guys are. It almost went on autopilot. I literally have companies reaching out for interviews and I unfortunately probably have to turn away more than I can accept. I remember the first time that happened, it was like it was Earth, Wind, and Fire. Their representative reached out and said, “Can you interview Earth, Wind, and Fire?” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Yes, I can. I will squeeze it in the schedule.”
Erin Sparks: 00:47:26 “Let me see if I can get it on my calendar.” Of course.
Chuck Fields: 00:47:28 I’ve had that happened more than once. I’m like, “Yeah, this is great.” “Yeah, I’d be happy to speak with you.”
Erin Sparks: 00:47:34 That’s awesome. Congrats on your success there.
Chuck Fields: 00:47:36 Thank you. Good lord above.
Erin Sparks: 00:47:37 Absolutely. No, we’ve got to give him credit at the end. Thanks. How do you find your… As you’re interviewing the astronomy and space industry, and you’ve got to be on your game from a technical level, did this also really deepen your knowledge and take you into a whole another levels of understanding in this industry?
Chuck Fields: 00:48:02 It really did because there’s some people out there that just seem really good, really good space podcast and they focus on the technologies behind it. There’s one, Tim Dodd, The Everyday Astronaut, one of my heroes out there. Very nice guy. I’ve met him several times. He can tell you every detail about the Falcon Heavy or SpaceX or even rocket labs and just every rocket imaginable.
Chuck Fields: 00:48:24 I realized that’s not my skill set. I have a passion for space exploration. I think the universe is amazing. When I look up, I see worlds.
Erin Sparks: 00:48:35 You guys have killer telescopes by the way too.
Chuck Fields: 00:48:37 I just acquired two more. My wife has been wonderfully blessing and that’s… My whole office you see it, it has telescopes everywhere. One for each unique purpose. So I do like looking up, I do like space but I learned I just need to focus on where am I passionate? Where my interest is? Where my skill level is? But also, I’m not going to pretend to know something. If I don’t know something, I will ask. That’s why I have the guests on there because they can tell me. Their expertise is far better than I can fake it. So I don’t want to fake it. I want to become genuine.
Erin Sparks: 00:49:08 Because those guests can sniff out if you’re trying to play along.
Chuck Fields: 00:49:10 Exactly.
Erin Sparks: 00:49:12 Very good. Obviously, this is a true passion of yours. You recommend this to individuals if they’re entertaining podcasting to go non sequitur out of their industry?
Chuck Fields: 00:49:25 I think yeah. It comes down to several things on that. You got to find your passion. I understand if you want to start it for your business, that is wonderful. That is commendable. Again, that’s where I started and that’s where you’ve done and you’ve had tremendous success at it and I congratulate you on that.
Erin Sparks: 00:49:40 Appreciate it.
Chuck Fields: 00:49:41 Like you said, it comes down to several factors. You’ve got to set your goals up front. If you just want to talk about a subject or something that fascinates you, that’s great. But just because you can press the record button, doesn’t mean your listener is going to press the play button.
Erin Sparks: 00:49:55 Oh, snap.
Chuck Fields: 00:49:57 You got to make sure that content is working worthy of being listened to. You’ve got to think about your audience. It can’t be just all about you. You can’t just sit there with your buddy and talk. Well, you can and if that’s what you want, that’s fine. But if you want people to find you and you want more downloads or whatever goal is, you’ve got to make sure the content is worthy of your audience.
Erin Sparks: 00:50:17 It’s not just you looking at yourself in the mirror and actually saying, “Yes, it is.: You got to be able to try it out. You’ve got to-
Chuck Fields: 00:50:23 You’ve got to test it.
Erin Sparks: 00:50:23 You got to be open to feedback as well.
Chuck Fields: 00:50:25 That’s probably the hardest thing because I did it a lot at first, too. It’s tough because again it’s your baby. You’ve dedicated all kinds of time to it. You get this out. It does make you a little bit vulnerable. It’s hard too. I remember, the first time I did it, I thought, “Oh, my gosh, this is my voice.” Who likes the sound of their voice? I don’t. And then, once again, if you’re watching right now, YouTube, that was another big… I’m like, “Really, I’m going to show this bug on the air. Oh my gosh.” Once you get over that and realize… For the most part, people in this world are good and again, if it’s content, it’s not focused on me, it’s focused on what we can supply them.
Erin Sparks: 00:51:04 Got it. Got it. Got it. All right. Let’s quickly shift gears into promotion of podcasts as well because our listeners are certainly marketers and as much as we implore them to find their passion. Also, they got to get that out there. What efforts have you done to actually promote your podcast?
Chuck Fields: 00:51:25 That was an area that almost burned me out, quite frankly, at first because it’s hard to get the word out. You have 800,000 podcasts out there right now. Fortunately, according to Daniel Lewis, Audacity to Podcast, another one of my ones that I love listening to. He said through some software that he designed, he said, it comes out to about 125,000 active podcasts going on. Your competition isn’t quite as [crosstalk 00:51:50].
Erin Sparks: 00:51:50 What does active mean?
Chuck Fields: 00:51:51 Active means they post within the last month.
Erin Sparks: 00:51:53 Got it. All right.
Chuck Fields: 00:51:54 I think that was according to his stat. There is some competition out there, but there’s also some old podcasts where they might have been series where they’ve wrapped up but people are still listen to them. On a side note on that, I just want to say, this is just some weird statistic I just came across. If you’re so concerned about downloads, it really can be so cyclical that you have no idea where it came from. I told you I mentioned Angela Cartwright, those of you of my generation, you might remember she was the original Penny Robinson, Lost in Space. I interviewed her a year and a few months ago about Lost in Space and Sound of Music. Netflix, as you know, came out with their second season Lost in Space at the end of December-
Erin Sparks: 00:52:37 Which was epic by the way.
Chuck Fields: 00:52:38 So 13 months later, all of a sudden her interviews or her views jumped 25,000 for the month of January. Again, that was way more than it initially had. So you never know. Even after the show is released and people are like, “Okay, after the first month, how many…” Subjects are all over the place. It depends on what’s going on the market on that. So don’t get hung up on downloads. If you do, you’ll get terribly depressed when you first launch this thing because it takes a long time to build up.
Erin Sparks: 00:53:07 There’s a discipline and you got to stick with it. But there are certain strategies that you want to absolutely deploy. We cover SEO on a regular basis, obviously, so one of the first lead with SEO, key things that we would recommend, but I certainly would love to have your input in, choosing keywords going into the interview. What you’re trying to actually anchor to? Would you use that as a strategy not as an inauthentic way of marketing, but are you are you going to try and get to those particular phrases naturally?
Chuck Fields: 00:53:42 I haven’t really thought about the phrases as I’m interviewing a person but I guess when it comes up with the interview itself, I don’t know if this is selfish or not, but sometimes I do look at it going. “Is this person popular? Is this going to be…. How many social followers do they have? Are they active on their social accounts?” That’s no guarantee either because in my case, once I interview person, I have no guarantee that they’re going to share it. I have no guarantee that their audience is going to embrace it and listen to it as well. In that aspect of it, yeah, you want to see, okay, play the social media game. I don’t really want to call it a game, I guess. But is this person going to help? Is this topic of interest in the area? Is it trending right now? That’s kind of a big issue.
Chuck Fields: 00:54:28 When it comes out, I guess for me, for SEO, that’s when it comes down to the actual show notes that I’m doing and the actual title itself, which is a whole another ballgame for me.
Erin Sparks: 00:54:37 Yes, sir. If you’re doing an SEO podcast, you really don’t want to talk about SEO podcast too much. For example, if you actually use SEO podcast in that SEO podcast show multiple times talking about SEO podcast, you could actually be keyword stuffing.
Jacob Mann: 00:54:52 SEO podcast.
Chuck Fields: 00:54:54 SEO podcast. There we go. Three words ago.
Erin Sparks: 00:54:58 We hit our density. We can move on now. Just kidding. All right. Optimizing the feed as well, making sure… That goes so undiscovered as podcasters roll that out. Give us some dimensions of what you should care take in the feed itself.
Chuck Fields: 00:55:13 I’m going to say something first real quick, though.
Erin Sparks: 00:55:16 SEO podcast?
Chuck Fields: 00:55:17 Before SEO podcast. The number one thing you can do that we’ll actually put right ahead of SEO podcast, seven out of 10 people… I hear this from Dave Jackson, School of Podcasting, another great guy, seven out of 10 people find out about podcasts through word of mouth. That’s why every podcast in it you should encourage your listeners to share the episode and on your post encourage them to share that. That’s first and foremost.
Chuck Fields: 00:55:41 Title is incredibly popular and that’s an incredibly important place that so many people blow that. You’ve got to keep it short and pithy, but you’ve also got to have keywords in as well. You’ve got to emphasize [inaudible 00:55:55]. That is important. Honestly, I probably didn’t initially spend as much time on that part of it as I need to. I focused more in the beginning on social media getting the word out, Instagram and Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and incidentally, I don’t know if you experienced this but Instagram, I cannot correlate posts on Instagram with listens or views on my episodes. It’s negligible for me. I don’t know what the deal is. I always thought it was because I get lots of likes on some of the posts but Instagram for me, I’m still questioning, is that a viable thing for me?
Erin Sparks: 00:56:28 I think it is for awareness but it’s not for wrecked download because they’re not in it.
Chuck Fields: 00:56:32 They’re in it to look at pictures.
Erin Sparks: 00:56:34 Right, exactly. Any XML changes in the feed itself that you came across that would be benefit.
Chuck Fields: 00:56:42 Yeah, there was one that I came across just last spring. I use WordPress and I use something called PowerPress for my for my posts, and in that, there’s an author field that you can go into and I hadn’t been using that field on that. I always entered my authors from… I went back to all my episodes and have them in there. You cannot neglect that field. It’s important.
Chuck Fields: 00:57:07 If you go to iTunes, again… Say SpaceX, I did several episodes on SpaceX, if you go to iTunes and you type SpaceX and you’re searching, I come up is number one and like five, six, eight for some of my episodes and I think that’s funny because there are actually podcasts out there that are dedicated exclusively to SpaceX, but obviously, they’re probably not taking advantage of that field. Again, the author field. It doesn’t mean you as an author. You can put your guests in there or even your topic.
Erin Sparks: 00:57:35 That actually is a nice tip right there. Absolutely. Content curation, utilizing content in multiple ways especially the video with your shows you’re doing videos first and then producing those well produced videos. Taking that audio, using that as the predominant audio piece for the podcast so you’re killing two birds with one stone. That’s what we do over here.
Chuck Fields: 00:58:02 You guys were an inspiration for that, too. Some others were, too. I think that was one of the things when I was researching how can I get more downloads, more of an audience. Someone said, “Well, turn on your webcam.”
Erin Sparks: 00:58:14 There you go.
Chuck Fields: 00:58:14 And it is amazing. There’s a huge audience out there in YouTube World that it’s in demand. Again, if your content is something people want to watch, let’s get the word out so they can find you.
Erin Sparks: 00:58:26 Absolutely. Just to wrap up, what we would also recommend is social promotions, getting the podcast out to all the different aggregators, transcribing even writing some contests or things like that, get some traction out there. Doing live stream, do an audio. You can’t do everything at once, but if you’re hitting all the lanes in the omnichannel, then you’re going to hit somebody where they are in their consumption layer.
Chuck Fields: 00:58:52 Just focus on your end goal and don’t get overwhelmed.
Erin Sparks: 00:58:55 Very good, very good. While I appreciate that breakdown, sorry, we weren’t able to spend that much time on the promotions. I really wanted to dig into the business and just how you got to that space of understanding what you really wanted to talk about as opposed to being tied to trying to market the business. That’s an awesome thing.
Erin Sparks: 00:59:16 Swinging back around to just finish up here, what bugs you about your industry right now?
Chuck Fields: 00:59:22 Probably the lack of security.
Chuck Fields: 00:59:28 Oh, good. Okay. Not that kind of security. I should say cybersecurity. It’s just that I’ve seen so many clients that… I don’t know if they don’t take it seriously, but they’re using simple passwords and they’re not taking advantage of what we call multi factor authentication on that and what that is [inaudible 00:59:51] basically you have three kinds of authentications. One is something that says what you know, like your password. Second is something you have like your phone. And third is something you are like your face or your fingerprint.
Chuck Fields: 01:00:07 In this day and age, it’s amazing how many, I guess, just hackers are out there all the times going after sites and you’ve just got to make sure you’re more secure. A lot of companies forget this and they get hacked. There’s a headline every few weeks of talking about a data breach or that kind of thing. None of my clients have ever been hacked yet. We’re hoping that never happens. But you’ve got to stay up on that and if you had-
Erin Sparks: 01:00:32 You do have to have a mitigation strategy when it happens.
Chuck Fields: 01:00:34 Exactly.
Erin Sparks: 01:00:34 Not if.
Chuck Fields: 01:00:35 Yes, it will happen. You just have to be defended.
Erin Sparks: 01:00:38 All right. Conversely, what excites you about your industry right now?
Chuck Fields: 01:00:41 Oh my gosh.
Erin Sparks: 01:00:42 Besides space.
Chuck Fields: 01:00:45 It’s almost overwhelming. There’s so much technologies out there. It’s changing at the speed of light and there’s always something you can do. I love how you can really accomplish anything now. You don’t have to have a big company or a big IT budget to accomplish what would have deemed impossible years ago. It’s amazing. If you focus, you can accomplish anything. Isn’t that a quote from Back to the Future?
Erin Sparks: 01:01:07 I think so.
Chuck Fields: 01:01:08 Yeah, that was it.
Erin Sparks: 01:01:11 Congrats on the getting the award for the top 10 nominee from People’s Choice Award. That’s fantastic. Congrats on the success of the podcast and we applaud you for following your passion because it’s a road less traveled and you’re finding some great success there. Congrats on that. I would certainly lift you up from where we are. Let us know how else we can actually help you. We’re certainly going to give our listeners go over to onlinecoffeebreak.com and look at the episode. Certainly subscribe there. Yourspacejourney.com as well as Chuck’s own site, SpaceTech Corp. Is there anything else that we can promote free today?
Chuck Fields: 01:01:54 No. Just again, if you’re looking for another podcast, in addition this one, maybe you do want to take a short break, just go to Online Coffee Break. We do have our space episodes on there as well. That’s a great place just to go and kind of chill out for a few minutes.
Erin Sparks: 01:02:07 All right. We want to make sure our listeners actually dial into the news podcast that we did on the show with Chuck. It’s probably out tomorrow, I think. Also, follow Chuck and his social online coffee break OnlineCoffeeBrk at Twitter and SpaceJourneyNow on Twitter, Facebook is Online Coffee Break, Chuck Fields on LinkedIn as well as Instagram Online Coffee Break and Your Space Journey. Any final thoughts for our audience, either efficiencies or passion podcasting?
Chuck Fields: 01:02:39 If you’re a company and you see that you have bottlenecks, there’s ways to do things better. Just reach out whether it’s me or to Erin. We’ve got some great technology leaders in this community and around. They can definitely help you save time, save money, do things right, do things efficiently, and grow your business.
Erin Sparks: 01:02:59 And ethically.
Chuck Fields: 01:03:00 And ethically. So important. It’s so close to me. I just don’t even consider that anything differently but yeah, that’s very important.
Erin Sparks: 01:03:06 It’s still out there and it’s a briar patch. All right. Thank you so much for your time, Chuck. We appreciate coming in. It’s been great to be able to catch up with you. We got to do that more often. It’s been a while since we [crosstalk 01:03:16].
Chuck Fields: 01:03:16 Way too long. But thank you for this afternoon.
Erin Sparks: 01:03:18 You’re more than welcome. All right. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe to the YouTube channel over at Edge of the Web. Just search that, you’ll be able to find. If you’re really feeling up to it today, I want you to go over to the iTunes platform and give us a review because you know what? That’s some of the optimization that we need to have. Give our show lift. We certainly appreciate all of our listeners and our followers in all the different platforms. Go over to see all the must see videos as well as insider information over the edgeofthewebradio.com. That’s edgeofthewebradio.com. Sign up for the newsletter. It’s free of charge. It has great information coming straight into your inbox.
Erin Sparks: 01:03:51 Next week, we’re going to be talking to Britney Muller of Moz and that’s always a great conversation. Talking AI. We’ve talked AI and the business learning before. Now, we’re going to talk about SEO in 2020 right from one of the key advocates over at Moz. That’s going to be fantastic. Remember, don’t be a piece of cyber driftwood. We’ll talk to you next week. Bye-bye