Transcript for "Pitfalls - with Jennifer Myers Chua"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Konine Jennifer Myers Chua is both a podcaster a cco and entrepreneur. Um, her business is called hip mommies and her podcast is the cost of goods sold.

00:01.39
Jennifer Myers Chua
Hi Craig is Jennifer here.

00:18.35
podcomm
And today. Ah by now anybody listening should know yes, there’s a little pre-conversation. So we already know where we’re going to talk about so we wanted to talk about pitfalls today and Jennifer I’m wondering you had. We started talking about this and you rattled off a couple things real quick. So what do you think is um. Something that if you had a time machine and you could leave yourself. A note you would have said to yourself at the beginning of your podcast journey that maybe would have avoided a pitfall.

00:43.20
Jennifer Myers Chua
Oh that’s a good question. So our business is seventeen years old this year I’ve been involved 7 years thank you I’ve been involved 7 years is kind of a family business thing and I came on board and we’ve had obviously in 17 years of a small business.

00:51.82
podcomm
Congratulations congratulations.

01:01.18
Jennifer Myers Chua
A number of pitfalls a number of failures some big some not so big. Some wonderful life lessons. Ah so originally when I started going through the podcasting journey about three years ago when I originally wanted to start a podcast. This is actually what I wanted to start it about.

01:04.56
podcomm
Failed forward. Yes.

01:19.36
Jennifer Myers Chua
I Wanted to do failure like talk about failure talk about recovering from failure lessons. We’ve learned from failure and I did quite a bit of a deep dive on that topic. So you think I would be like more ah able to deal when things come up. However, it actually.

01:30.95
podcomm
Yeah.

01:39.10
Jennifer Myers Chua
In my podcast in the fourth episode I talk about some of our business failures and kind of tell my story and how we got here but over the years some of those business failures did lead me to becoming more selective about what kind of. Brands we partner with who I want to spend my time with what kind of brands I want to focus on and then that kind of led me to podcasting about what I podcast about now which is like the focus of brands with sustainability or social impact.

01:55.65
podcomm
Um.

02:12.55
Jennifer Myers Chua
As a part of their business model so exactly and I’ve become more and more passionate about this over the last few years and because of the people I hang out with and the places I hang out you know I was.

02:15.37
podcomm
Broader context of cost of goods right.

02:29.42
Jennifer Myers Chua
Just assuming that a lot more people were also really interested in this topic and I I hope I still hope they are I still hope I just haven’t found my audience yet. But what we were chatting about offline and what I just find so amusing is that with our business over the years

02:32.58
podcomm
Um.

02:48.74
Jennifer Myers Chua
We’ve developed a fairly strong social media presence across a number of platforms with decent engagement I have an ambassador’s program of. Parents mostly moms that I interact with several times a year who give me feedback on all of the things that we’re doing and they seem very engaged and everyone seems like they’re a pretty big fan of our business and of me and I have all of you know these follower accounts to prove it.

03:14.78
podcomm
Um.

03:18.36
Jennifer Myers Chua
So I Thought that this was going to be a lot easier to get people to actually commit to listen and in the beginning before I launched this podcast I did some polls with my existing audience and and asked them. How interested they were in podcasting if they listen to podcasts which podcasts they listen to on and on.

03:37.92
podcomm
Oh that demonstrates foresight I don’t have that much fores I keep going.

03:42.98
Jennifer Myers Chua
But you’d think I had all this information So I was just very I was just very overly confident and I actually kind of sound like I’m whining and complaining right now because I am very grateful for The. Listeners I do have and the downloads and if I had that many people in my home For example, listening to me right? run on about this I would be absolutely Thrilled. Ah, it’s just funny because I thought that I would be able to convert my existing audience.

04:01.81
podcomm
Yeah, that’s a big party.

04:15.16
Jennifer Myers Chua
Into my new audience a lot easier and that has been the challenge of the last couple of weeks is trying to figure out if I am needing to tailor my content or tailor the podcast itself or if my existing audience is just not interested and I need to. Step up and find new people to listen and whatever.

04:35.72
podcomm
So what would you have told if you if you had some way to pass yourself that note where do you think you could have avoided the current mindset or the current like the way you’re thinking about it today like whoa. It’s a pitfall I felon is think you could have actually steered around that with some.

04:47.80
Jennifer Myers Chua
Her.

04:54.55
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah I think I needed to I think I needed to adjust my expectations a little bit more um I also felt like just coming out of the gate this was going to be a lot easier than it was and.

04:55.50
podcomm
Note from your future self.

05:10.45
Jennifer Myers Chua
You know how this goes learning the technology and all that is also a big push right right? and I really actually enjoyed that piece and I really love editing and I really love connecting with my guests and I just put so much effort into learning what I thought was really important like good.

05:12.64
podcomm
Yeah, Rabbit holes right.

05:30.42
Jennifer Myers Chua
Interviewing skills and how to build rapport with people and I put all of this effort in and I think the episodes are great but it’s been a lot harder to get people to listen than I thought it was going to be and I’m still a little stumped so this has been my pitfall in this area so far has been like kind of my expectations. And like adjusting those and then also reaching new people and um, one thing I will say is that I tried really hard I had ah I had a good launch strategy I thought I I used my existing audience and was giving away.

05:51.49
podcomm
Um.

06:07.98
Jennifer Myers Chua
Gift cards from some of the businesses that I was featuring in the first couple episodes as well as a gift card from ours and I asked for people to download and rate and review and and whatnot and you know was sending marketing collateral and all of our packages coming from our warehouse had some stickers.

06:21.20
podcomm
Right? right? cross promoting it and your other things.

06:27.47
Jennifer Myers Chua
Did everything by the book marketing one one. But um I think I was really just not well versed to how podcasts operate and how podcast audiences are built and all of that So I am still learning but that has been one of my big ones so far.

06:44.67
podcomm
Um, I find that I still get hung up while I are still fall into the punge trap of failing to separate or trying to separate or needing to learn how to separate? um the motivation that comes from knowing that people are listening.

07:01.34
Jennifer Myers Chua
A.

07:03.29
podcomm
And like to to a certain extent depending on how everybody’s business or podcast is structured needing them to listen so you know like if your whole business was and and the the podcast that I have this isn’t the case. But if your whole business was like people need to listen to the show because I’m using downloads to pay for.

07:08.90
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah.

07:18.58
Jennifer Myers Chua
Right.

07:20.78
podcomm
Thing by selling advertising like you know if you need in the listen that would be a drive or that like ah those are 2 different things I need people to listen for some specific reason and gee as a human being I kind of need the reinforcement and I have a terrible time separating those two because I don’t actually need people to listen to any of the things that I create. Um. So I’m in in one sense I’m looking for ways to do podcasts where it really doesn’t matter if people listen so I have a podcast switch is called little box of quotes which is just these little sometimes they’re 7 seconds sometimes they’re 30 seconds and it’s just me. Reading from a collection of approaching a thousand quotes that I have on little cards and I just you know hey this is Greg and here’s my quote and like it doesn’t link to anything. It’s not a business It’s just completely random and I just put the effort in and then I walk away from it.

08:03.87
Jennifer Myers Chua
Here.

08:10.60
podcomm
And then I came back I mean I I mean it every week or 2 of putting in episodes I came back a year later I’m like whoa. It’s got like 17000 downloads on it for these little things and some of them are ridiculously shared and the most popular episode of all time is a quote from my mom which is nothing tastes as good as skinny feels that’s like the number 1 winner so far. So. I kind of I fall on that all the time of like I put large amounts of money and huge amounts of time into making these episodes and it gets like 78 downloads in the first week I’m like ah but then I I try to zoom out and go like the node I needed send myself was if you are looking for.

08:29.85
Jennifer Myers Chua
Who who.

08:38.70
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah.

08:48.15
podcomm
Motivate you know Craig if you were looking for motivation. There’s no ata boy people do not but every once in a while I get some feedback or I physically have run into people who have been excited about the show I like okay, that’s great that that works for a whole day. Um, but it’s that’s a big part of what I think is the pitfall is. Just not used to people don’t engage like ah on Instagram they do press the heart you know on they do comment on platforms. They do comment on Linkedin but on on your podcast. It’s just crickets.

09:17.41
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yes, exactly and we’ve been fooled by met by Metrics haven’t we really I mean I went to art school. Yes.

09:22.14
podcomm
Yeah, well the people selling the people selling us podcasting services. They want you know they want to sell us look at all these metrics. Otherwise you’re like what are you guys actually doing what do you really do for me so you say and you went to art school.

09:33.39
Jennifer Myers Chua
Absolutely yeah I went to art school So I understand like creativity for Creativity’s Sake. So I Wish I could just focus there. Ah this podcast of mine is kind of a passion project. It is something I’m very passionate about like sustainability is a huge topic in my own life and. Making the world. A better place is a huge thing for me and I’m really really really hoping that people listen to this content because there’s some learnings in here that like I’m gobsmacked and I think I’m already really you know I read about this all of the time and then some of these founders are telling me things that I’ve never even heard about just like.

09:53.47
podcomm
Um, yes.

10:10.58
podcomm
Um.

10:11.53
Jennifer Myers Chua
This is I’m the person standing outside telling my neighbors like guess what I learned this week about whatever but I would love I would love that messaging to resonate and get out there because I think it’s beneficial for the world like that sounds silly, but that’s I’m not.

10:15.11
podcomm
About whatever exactly.

10:27.94
Jennifer Myers Chua
Ah, relying on this podcast I don’t have ads like I’m not here to make money with it. So the metrics should not be important and my art school background should tell me that creativity is 1 thing and then I also started it.

10:35.24
podcomm
Ah.

10:41.56
Jennifer Myers Chua
Realistically because we’ve been I’m in canada’m in Toronto we’ve been in lockdown. We’re out of lockdown now but it was like it’s been like four hundred and sixty five days or something eighteen almost eighteen months so I have no idea I don’t know what day month year

10:48.75
podcomm
For let’s go say like thirteen months fourteen months yes is what what year is it right? like? yeah.

11:00.85
Jennifer Myers Chua
Um, so I really did want to start the podcast to have meaningful connection with other humans like that was a guiding principle in the beginning and I have a girlfriend who’s a podcaster and she said like oh I just started it because I get to talk to interesting people and I remember just lighting up.

11:16.15
podcomm
Um.

11:19.38
Jennifer Myers Chua
On that idea and then as soon as your hosting provider. Whatever starts sending you these reports? Ah yeah, they’re like look how many downloads you’ve gotten and look at you and compare.

11:25.54
podcomm
Try some crack. You know you like just the first hits free. Try this? Yes, bad.

11:37.20
Jennifer Myers Chua
Comparison to other podcasts in your I don’t even know when I’m in society and culture I think and then look you have 18 followers from Vietnam this week because I had a guest who who is popular in Vietnam like it’s just it’s hysterical. It really is and besides.

11:45.63
podcomm
Yeah.

11:56.24
Jennifer Myers Chua
Technical pitfalls which have happened to all of us a million times. Um, the audience is really been my big wine messaging trying to get through to those audience members and trying to get the people that I already thought were interested in this topic and interested in what I had to say to actually press play. And listen to the episodes.

12:17.86
podcomm
Yeah, there’s so much to say there. Um I Um I’m like a process experimental. That’s like my that’s my shtick and I’ve that is like meta this thing that we’re recording right Now. It’s like a you know real Podcast. It’s on all the platforms. But. I Also grab a web player. It’s hosted on Simplecast I Just grab a little web player and I dump a web player in the podcaster Community. It’s a discourse-based platform I dump a web player in there and I think and those count like if you hit play there simplecastst tells me but I think people are engaging vastly more with this because.

12:50.93
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yep.

12:56.77
podcomm
This podcast goes with a thing but they’re playing it in the space where they feel they are already. They are already a community member So I’m just wondering like my my other big podcast big in terms of how much effort I put in Movers mindset.

13:03.71
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah.

13:13.28
podcomm
Doesn’t actually have I mean has a forum but there really isn’t on a very active community I’m using forum software as like a souped up website which is fine. Um, but people listen in their audio podcast players and I’m convinced that it’s basically impossible to get anybody to do anything from their podcast player like wherever they listen. They are not generally sitting in front of their computer and that’s where the web is and yes Instagram is also like 1 app to the left on our phones but I think the audio experience is it’s like if you call that the medium that we’re working in people don’t change mediums out of that one and.

13:33.46
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah.

13:50.84
podcomm
Yeah, that’s a bummer but it also means they must really be connected to us. Um like nobody listens unless they really love it if they didn’t love it. They they’re either not actually listening. It’s just playing in the background or they skip over it So anybody listening loves our work That’s like ah, a fact of like that has to be true. So.

14:03.80
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yep.

14:10.63
podcomm
Okay, that should be enough for me. You know, like how do I learn the lesson of that should be enough and the other thing I’ll throw out there is um I interviewed a woman on movers’ mindset and long. The conversations are like an hour hour and 45 after we edit them so they’re big conversations and. Along the way she mentioned that she creates a thing she calls her self-esteem box she took she has an instagram account that nobody follows. It’s a wacky name that nobody knows exists so she uses instagram as like her own personal photo sharing platform and every time she sees something.

14:35.11
Jennifer Myers Chua
Ok.

14:45.12
Jennifer Myers Chua
Ok.

14:49.63
podcomm
That is a positive like hey this was good like she takes a photo of it and sticks it in her self-esteem box and then when she’s in a bad mood or like things are going evil she breaks the glass I’m air quoting on her self-esteem box and opens up her own Instagram account. And scrolls through all these photos. She’s taken of like comments that people have made or she’ll point her phone and take a picture of a Facebook anything somebody says something awesome. She’ll record it. You know, like as an audiogram and then that’s just she just scrolls to it. She’s like I’ve got like 350 just.

15:08.33
Jennifer Myers Chua
Oh.

15:22.33
podcomm
You know mad props from and she’s just like if you can scroll through that list and not smile and ah so I I keep thinking how do I build that for the podcast I need to break the glass on that once a week um so I mean maybe this pitfall that we’re kind of talking about here is just human nature like you know humans are.

15:29.73
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah.

15:41.52
podcomm
Um, communal humans are societal. You know the old no man is an island. Um, so I think maybe it’s just a challenge and and I believe part of the answer is to commiserate. You know there’s it’s an old Drew Carey Drew Carey joke it goes like oh you don’t like your job. Why didn’t you say so we have a support group for that. It’s called everybody. It meets at the bar you know like so this idea of just go hang out with the people who have the same problem as you and like we you like literally we you and I we do that we show up at you know the forward link monthly call and I think.

15:54.57
Jennifer Myers Chua
Ah, yeah.

16:13.30
podcomm
We get together and like Wow we all have the same problems. It’s like I feel better after that.

16:14.52
Jennifer Myers Chua
It does make you feel better. It really does and I mean this is not a new problem or a new thing for any podcaster or anyone who’s starting anything and want to get it out there I find that there’s only like 2 real reasons that you want followers. Or downloads or whatever number 1 is ego right? like you want to be popular or you want to be whatever you want to make a point in your social circle you want to get invited to better parties I don’t know there’s that or there’s people like I’m really determined to make a difference in this world.

16:39.90
podcomm
Yep, look at me right.

16:52.89
Jennifer Myers Chua
And I feel like after 40 years on the planet I finally found the way that I want to make a difference and it’s something that I’m super super passionate about which is like taking my personal feelings about like minimalism and sustainability and all these things I’ve been talking about for years and then small business which I am.

17:09.80
podcomm
Right steeped in it. Yeah.

17:10.23
Jennifer Myers Chua
A child of a small business owner. My husband is a child of small business owner. We own a small business together like we are Multi-generational small business owner humans I’m very very passionate about small business and it’s like I finally found a way to intersect everything that I’m super interested with in. Also like this could help change the world for the better and I think I’m just reaching a point of like frustration like you guy I’m like holding onto people’s shirt colers you know like you guys need to hear this these are the businesses that you should be supporting. This is what’s going on in this world.

17:30.94
podcomm
Um.

17:37.91
podcomm
Are you listening to me Eve I.

17:46.62
Jennifer Myers Chua
And I think it’s a little bit of that too. There’s a little bit of that like also hesitancy for people to absorb new information right? now is super high like Covid and everything has disrupted some you know, thoughtful communication in some places I think.

18:02.90
podcomm
Yeah, um, what’s the word Dictionary Lookup Fail curation like museum curation. The act of curating is really extremely valuable So as um as a podcast host I’m like.

18:09.25
Jennifer Myers Chua
A.

18:21.73
podcomm
There are lots of people who’ve been already on this show that most people haven’t heard from yet. They’ve seen a little avatar. They’ve seen them type up messages but you just haven’t heard them talk why? well because they just aren’t like so I just ask everybody hey show up click this link show up for 20 minutes and do the thing but that’s just me doing curation now that curation is I’m just trying to you know.

18:26.28
Jennifer Myers Chua
Um, yeah.

18:33.60
Jennifer Myers Chua
I Love it.

18:40.96
podcomm
Um, gather all the pokemon but on on my normal show I’m very intentional about who I choose to speak with and then we do all this work to try and capture just the right thing and create the right environment. So I think that hard work of curation.

18:52.40
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah.

18:58.39
podcomm
Is is really what makes the change like people might only be exposed to maybe 100 things a day 100 new things a day and if you’re one of those hundred things. Well there’s like 7000000000 other people who didn’t get into their awareness that day. Um, but again, it’s one of those. There’s no.

19:12.64
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah.

19:18.25
podcomm
How do you? How do you measure your efficacy like what you accomplished and how do you detach your personal sense of like I feel like nobody loves me how do you detach that from I’m also a big fan of like spades or spades Trump from you know pinole this is like yes, somebody loves me. That’s my problem.

19:31.72
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah I do feel loved I’m not going to lie and like you said before or finding a community like the community of podcasters that I’ve met um, have really been helpful In. Talking about these things and usually we talk about these behind closed doors like no one wants to put out into the world like I feel like no one loves me but I’m okay with being vulnerable. It’s like part of my personality. So. It’s cool but I feel like it is.

19:51.97
podcomm
Yeah, nobody’s going to hear this ever. Yeah.

20:03.71
Jennifer Myers Chua
Having a community of other podcasters to talk to has been remarkably helpful if they would all download my show that would help a lot more. Um, but yeah, you’re right? It’s just about getting past this mindset and and I love the idea that you’re that your guest.

20:12.30
podcomm
But ah.

20:22.44
podcomm
Yes, yeah, how to like talk myself out of the hole in advance I’m like going to queue up all of my positive talk. Yeah yeah I have a problem with quotes.

20:22.51
Jennifer Myers Chua
Had put out there with kind of this like inspiration ah area.

20:31.58
Jennifer Myers Chua
I Think people that care a lot feel a lot and.

20:39.41
podcomm
And there’s a great one about I don’t remember exactly I’m not looking it up, but it’s something the effect of when people ask me why I cry a lot. It’s basically I tell them because I’m paying attention you know like and that empathy that compassion is a super awesome thing.

20:44.92
Jennifer Myers Chua
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it is I completely agree with you and I feel like part of this process for me at least like. Pushing through past my own barriers to like create a podcast which is scary for a lot of people to be honest with you and then meeting these people that I don’t know that I you know look up to that are doing really fantastic things for this world has been challenging as well. But now it’s like getting past that mindset of. Yeah, like do I need a thousand people to listen to this today to get this message across or is it going to be meaningful to 5 people and they take real action to do something significant for this world. So maybe that’s just it.

21:25.30
podcomm
Yeah. Yeah, what would happen if we poured all the love and attention and money and whatever it is that we’re pouring in to our show and at the end of the year like that was it like would that be so bad like I didn’t spend it on donuts you know I could’ there are all these other things I could have done with the money right? I could have what you know. Clothing from the wrong mander like all these things you could do wrong and I tried to create something nice I I made art. You know, whatever art you know audio. So that’s another thing I tell myself all the time is like you you like? do you like the work. Do you like what you’re creating Craig okay, just make more of it. that’s that’s enough

22:00.49
Jennifer Myers Chua
Yeah, and if you are interested in Donuts I Just booked a guest who has a social impact donut business So stay tuned for fall.

22:05.41
podcomm
Ah I have a problem with donughuts my favorite donut shout out. My favorite donut is a thing called the Brooklyn blackout from donughnut plant which can be found in Manhattan and Brooklyn sorry yet.

22:20.30
Jennifer Myers Chua
Oh cool. Okay I’ve never had that.

22:24.31
podcomm
Oh it’so. It’s to die for. It’s a chocolate. The donughut itself is chocolate. It’s got chocolate filling. It’s got chocolate icing has got chocolates to Brooklyn. It’s all like really dark chocolate but good chocolate. Not not super sweet chocolate. Anyway, how did I do rail talk about donuts I’m sorry all right.

22:39.76
Jennifer Myers Chua
Um, no worries.

22:42.41
podcomm
Well I think that’s a great place to call it for the day Jennifer thanks a million for taking a half hour out of your busy schedule to sit down and talk with me. It’s ah been a pleasure. Thank you? Um, you’re very welcome have a great day bye.

22:48.86
Jennifer Myers Chua
I am always happy. Thank you bye.