Category: blog

11
Dec

3 Reasons to Start Using a Podcast For Your Political Campaign

I had an unsuccessful run in 2014 for the county council person seat now held by Derrick Davis. One of my shortcomings aside from being a Republican in Prince Georges County was that I was an unknown entity to both my party and the county I sought to serve. The one thing I do know really well is podcasting. I’ve been podcasting and in this space since 2007. There are three strong reasons why you and the party need to start a podcast. There are more reasons but let me share just a few.

1. Podcasting can build stronger relationships
2. Podcasting can connect with local influencers and donors.
3. Podcasting gives you, your own private stage.

 

I should have used the power of podcasting earlier in my campaign to grow my base. I should have used my podcast to answer the frequently asked questions of my position. I could have used podcasting to interview donors and activist in the county that in turn would have supported me after we built a relationship.

Podcasting is great from building relationships. Whatever platform do you have where you can take advantage of the commute time around the beltway? According to the US Census Bureau the average time we spend is 25.4 minutes travelling to work. That’s 25.4 minutes of podcast audio your potential audience can learn more about you and your brand in an environment where the other content platforms can’t really go.

When you think about it, when a person is listening to you, your voice is in their earbuds. It’s intimate. You will be able to find common ground with your listener. They will “get you” on a deeper level. When they finally meet you, they will feel as if they have known you for years. That is the power of the connection. You can be personal. And I think you should. You should show your heart. You should and can give them a reason to identify with you.
I know this to be so true that I created a business to provide this service to the busy professional that needs to get their message out.

In addition to connecting with your supporters, podcasting is an amazing platform for you to connect with influencers—people who may possibly donate to your campaign, endorse you or that you may look up to. If you were to go and ask a person who you look up to if you could spend thirty minutes to an hour to speak to you; they might say no. Schedules being what they are…. But the moment you have a podcast, it shows them immediately that you have something to offer them. You have a stage to give them. An audience. An opportunity to speak about themselves and show off their thoughts to an entirely new group of people.

 

And, conversely, you get a chance to gain more listeners of your show and more exposure to your campaign from their audience. By connecting with these influencers, as I mentioned earlier, you are also building a relationship with them; you’re getting to know them better and you’re providing value to them. In return, they’ll likely be able to provide value right back.

All the World is a Stage.

If you were an unknown like me, the stage can be daunting. It is owned by the opposition. It is regulated by the same cast of characters. On your podcast you control the tone, the tempo, the time, everything. You can deliver your message, your way.
The power is also in the niche. Let’s say an NPR style podcast gets 100,000 downloads a show and your new podcast only gets 100. That would seem small accept that those 100 people are your people. They purposely subscribed to your show. They are your disciples. They are your super fans. A room with 100 people is pretty impressive. They can take your message and build a base. You can truly communicate with them and have them share your message with their friends.

Good luck on your next campaign. This works in small business too.

PodcastSolutions.us is a new podcast editing and producing company in Prince Georges County owned by Rev. Kenn Blanchard.

11
Dec

Podcasting Is Dope

You know that the business world is crowded. It is challenging to get found without paying a lot of money to people that are supposed to know where your audience is. No matter what you business is your key to success is podcasting.

Podcasting as a medium is less than twenty years old as of this writing and has grown organically ever since it started. It has now entered into our culture enough to be the brunt of jokes, mentioned on television and celebrities are starting to use it. It has become a norm for the under thirty demographic. It has become a golden parachute for radio personalities. It can work for you.

Podcasting is Dope.

Urban Translation: Used to describe something that is cool, awesome, exciting, etc. 2. Short for Dopamine, which is a chemical produced within the brain when something good happens. It is the pleasure chemical, that also regulates mood, focus and appetite.

 

Podcasting is on demand audio where people can actively listen and learn from a podcast while also doing something else. People fit podcast shows into their schedules and listen longer than they would a TV show, or YouTube video. I know folks told you that Youtube is it.  If your demographic is under 35 then maybe.  Successful people don’t watch much video or TV.

Your podcast audience chooses to listen to you by “subscribing.” It’s different than traditional radio where ads haphazardly pop up. In radio, businesses pay to be heard on your music or talk stations.

 

Be you. We are all selling something. You don’t know it yet but there are people that like your style. They probably don’t live near you either. You can find them by putting out a podcast. Most folks don’t like their voice or something but you can get over that. You can find your “tribe” through podcasting.

It’s not all about the money either. You don’t have to monetize your podcast. Even if you don’t directly monetize from your podcast, you will indirectly benefit from it in other ways. You can be seen as an authority, an influencer, the trusted one in this space. You can use affiliate marketing. Or you position yourself to sell later.

People listen to podcasts because they have something in common with the speaker and the brand the speaker is representing. Such a good relationship helps in building trust. This encourages listeners to be associated with the brand. This, in turn, leads to improved conversion. People are more likely to buy something from a friend than a stranger.

Do what others don’t, to get what others won’t.

You can use your show to teach them. You can use your show to educate your audience and save time repeating the same “frequently asked questions.”

You can use your show to entertain them. You can interview people you know and use your show to get to people you would like to know. You can do a combination.

The only rules in  podcasting success are (1) don’t be boring. (2) don’t waste your listeners time. (3) be purposeful. Make it so they look forward to listening to your show. (4) Be consistent.

 

Ask yourself, what is so difficult that most people aren’t willing to do it consistently? Do that…

 

Podcasting is great business and lead development tool. In this world of automation, outsourcing and delegation, the last remaining bottleneck in your business is YOU. We can be there all the time for all our folks but the podcast can keep you out there while you sleep.

From what I have seen at podcasting events, people aged 25-54 are the demographics for podcast. But that is changing too. Which is great news because that age group is the most influential, affluent audience in business. 45% of monthly podcast listeners have household income over $75K – vs 35% for the total population in the US. My audience “avatar” have an advanced college degree and are in business.

When it comes to podcasts, the people who love them– are all in. Nielsen reports that 16 million people in the US are “avid podcast fans.”  According to Edison Research, 85% of listeners listen to most of the podcast. That’s a big deal because the average YouTube viewing time is measured in seconds.

Relationships are based on audio communication. How many couples have fights because of a lack of communication? If you want to build a relationship with someone in your network, interview them for a podcast. It’s better than meeting them at Starbucks. You are making them a star on your “network.”

I believe the key to your success is either starting a podcast or making yours better. After thirteen years of playing with podcasts, I have learned some valuable lessons. I have an app that I use to keep me out there for one of my shows. I have sponsors and I crowdfund. I have Facebook pages and a YouTube channel for my audio podcast. I’ve talked about the hard subjects in a hard culture.

I think I can help almost anyone do better than I did when I started. I just started forming a new podcast editor business that will help folks get started. And do the heavily lifting if they don’t want to do it called PodcastSolutions.us.

If you are interested let’s talk. Remember Podcasting is Dope!

22
Oct

Baby Has Arrived

Love Never Dies Now Available.

There are few things that excite me as much as creating something original.  The latest book I have given to the world of story lovers features African American history, werewolves, romance and crime drama all rolled up into one in this new book from my Solomon Love series called, Love Never Dies.

 

I did at least three different things for this book.  The first is I didn’t beg my friend Derek Ward to work with me again.  I created the character years ago but was afraid to do fiction without a writer familiar with the genre.  Derek is a great writer.  Secondly, I changed the cover from the piercing smoking blues man on the cover of the first two books and featured a representation of what I thought Magdalena would look life.  I had to change the cover design when it finally went to print because the original art I had created over ran If sex truly sells, we will see.  There is a raucous, not so safe for conservative folk’s scenes in this one. And finally, I had this one edited professionally at a high level so that the typo’s that snuck in the first books don’t here.  I also gave some background for the story that fill in some gaps of the first two stories.  It is still a fast, comfortable and easy read.

The editor did his job and had me pull some of the story out that I am saving for book four.  Get a copy today and I’ll sign it for you personally when I see you.

 

Love Never Dies

 

What would happen to a young African musician kidnapped and sold into slavery in North America; later seduced by his slave masters’ Druid daughter? Then he is caught and beaten, presumed and left for dead only to escape to the swamps where is bitten by a werewolf in whom he falls in love with? This is the continuing story of Solomon Love, who became bound to the world of the supernatural. Now a reclusive blues musician, he is haunted by his past, hunted for his curse and is fighting for his survival. This is the third book of the series by Kenn Blanchard.

30
Aug

Writing Business

The business of writing is more fun than the writing business.  It is exciting to develop a character and have them come to life on the page.  It is a thrill to hear someone read your story and share it in their own way.  That is what motivates me to do the needful marketing things that make you wonder if you are being a pest to those that already know you.  It is that hope that someone out there in the great unknown of the internet or maybe even someone you think you know shares your passion for storytelling, life or fantasy.

One of my friends is a talented voiceover actor that no one knew about.  He bought the first copy of Solomon Love, “Where the Moss Grows.” And voiced the title poem I wrote.  I added a little video to go with it on my iPhone.  It moved me like the Muddy Waters song.

Michael Aguilera nailed it in my “book” so take a listen to the audio from this video when you get a chance.  I created a poem for my main character that is the title of the first book.

Another reader told me she was ready for the movie.  She gushed about who could play certain characters and invoked the thought of hiring cosplayers for book signings and parties.  I got a friend that says if it is good he may try to make a movie out of it.  The thought of seeing my characters become real almost made me cry.  This is serious.

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

I know that today you can get attention from almost anyone if you prove you have a community.  I created the kennblanchard.com to showcase the two books in the series and to announce the third.  I create a fan page on the Facebook to do the same.  I dragged a few of my friends onto it in hopes they would at least prime the pump, with book sales and share their influence but it has been slow.

I created a Kickstarter project which is way over the top at this point but I am in beast mode.

I’m trying kick starter to crowd fund the editing for “love never dies” book.
The process to start was fairly simple. you had to have a compelling title photos videos and stories and of course he had have a funding source.

And although I have the best friends in the world Fox will be following me for 20 years online I don’t understand why stranger would want to help me.

And so this is an experiment of kickstart it because it was not 100% funded you don’t get any of the money is going to save and paint at the

The tee shirts I designed are ready and the logo is looking fierce.

John Wooden said it best,

“never want to confuse activity with accomplishment.”

I’m busy but I ain’t there yet. 

Sometimes all you need is encouragement. I got a nudge to do what makes me happier and that is writing. I’ve done a lot of things in my life and would like to add being a successful fiction writer to my list. It’s not easy doing this solo. Like the song, “I get a little help from my friends.”

Do you think writing is hard?

What is really harder is selling what you have labored over. You have share value to others enough that they will buy a copy of said writings. Selling is the transfer of trust. Marketing almost takes the joy out of creating for me.

Do you feel like that too?

I have good news. It is easier selling to friends. It is easier to put your “baby,” warts and all in front of people who already trust and know you. The technical phrase is you have to leverage your existing network.

Do you have a small network?

We all started somewhere. Even if all your physical friends don’t “follow” you on social media, I found something that helps. There is definitely a demographic that is not active online. You have to learn that. There are plenty to people that are still “you’re kinda people,” in the social media using, group. To find them on Instagram(IG) one of the more popular platforms out there, I use a service from Social Network Elite. They helped me almost triple my number of followers on my IG account. Shoutout to Social Network Elite for helping me grow my Instagram.

Life is for the living. Live.

If you haven’t bought your copies of Solomon Love yet, get on it.

16
Aug

Cosplayers Wanted

I love the fall of the year here in the Mid-Atlantic. Especially around the Halloween time. We start to see the Pumpkin lattes, muffins, and themed everything in the stores. It’s also the perfect time to do a book launch for the Solomon Love book number three, Love Never Dies.

To make it fun, and memorable and fun. (so nice I did it twice) I am going to throw a series of Werewolf themed parties. Going to try to have a book signing at my friend’s shop in Annapolis, Maryland Third Eye Comics, and a couple of other places in the month October.

I found a delicious whiskey too from Kentucky that I will have on hand. And we are just getting warmed up.

William Wolf Pecan Whiskey

I’m looking for cosplayers to dress like characters from the book, blues musicians and werewolves for these parties. If you are interested in cosplaying let me know. You’ll be the VIP’s.

Did you know that I won first place at a community Halloween custom party when I was nine years old dressed as a werewolf? I got a wig from the Goodwill, cut out the eyes, nose and mouth. I put it over my face and wore a leather jacket with hair coming out of the sleeves. Will try to find that picture.

Join The Pack and follow us on Facebook at the Solomon Love Fans page and here on kennblanchard.com.

Tee shirts and swag available too

13
Aug

Five things you need to know to write a successful book

If you want to write a book or have one already that isn’t selling let me give you some insight.  If you are doing it to make money then I have some sage advice from Thomas Edison.  

This week I received a proof of two books I published through Amazon’s CreateSpace program.  I am excited about it.  It looks great.  It was a side project that I had to do like a drug addict needs a fix.  I gave up sleep and money I didn’t have to do this.  The story is one of many I have in my head that needed to get out.  A really good friend of mine who is also addicted to creating helped me make this happen.

Derek is a gifted writer that works great with me.  He can do what I have trouble doing.  Together with the concept, composition and design we have made two short stories called Solomon Love.  I didn’t plan it but would love to make this a series.

I do hope also that I can find people that want to buy the book.  In my dreams this will be a successful series that becomes a movie or graphic novel like The Walking Dead or Harry Potter. 

When Tower Records and Borders bookstores closed I weeped.  It is said that people did more looking than buying.  As a writer I thought, “there goes another instance where what I do is not esteemed in my era”.  The phrase ‘starving artist’ comes to mind.  If nobody is buying books why should I write them?  I write because I love doing it.  This is not the way of success.  

Successful writers have a sales plan.  Everything is selling.  Just like with any product, you need to know how to sell it before you create it. 

“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”  Thomas Edison

Here’s what I learned. 

If you want to make money on your book you need know five things.

  • Who you’re going to sell it to.
  • Who the end user is (sometimes the buyer and reader are different).
  • What price point you’re going to set it at.
  • How you’re going to distribute it.
  • What you’re going to do to promote it.

The answers to these questions will help you write a book that people want to read. If it’s not marketable, it won’t sell. 

I hired a sales coach that helped/hurt my feelings with almost everything he said to me.  It helped me because I learned.  It hurt because it made me realize how much time and money I have lost over the years.

I have come to realize also though that everything isn’t money.  Sometimes you have to do things that make you happy.  Writing does that for me.

Now that you know, what are you going to do?

My short stories are about a runaway slave that is “rescued” by a supernatural entity.  He becomes immortal and hides in plain sight as a blues musician.  His secret is uncovered when he becomes the target of a corrupt police officer and unleashes his dark side to protect himself.  It also involves others and the world that was once the thing of myth becomes reality for those who encounter Solomon Love.  

12
Aug

Love Never Dies

Coming Soon

Ever wonder what happened to Magdalena?  You’ll find out that and more in this third edition that promises to be the best of them all.  She is hot.  She is dangerous.  She is looking for Solomon.

Follow the journey of Solomon Love as the monster that turns him finally meets him again in Love Never Dies.

 

12
Aug

Voodoo Child

Solomon Love finds himself in New Orleans after being warned never to go there.  Find out what happens when a werewolf that has been hiding in plain sight for centuries in nightclubs playing the blues finds himself in trouble with the practitioners of Voodoo seeking to kill him and take his life force. Voodoo Child.

new orleans street

12
Aug

Where The Moss Grows

This is the first book of the series.

These are the tales of Solomon Love. Who while escaping American slavery became bound to the world of the supernatural. Now a reclusive blues musician, he is haunted by his past, hunted for his curse and fighting for survival in the present.

swamp

What would happen to a young African musician kidnapped and sold into slavery in North America, seduced by his slave masters Druid daughter, caught and beaten, presumed and left for dead, escapes to the swamps where he is lost but before he dies is bitten by a werewolf in whom he falls in love with? Where The Moss Grows.