Welcome to the Adventure, Grasshopper!
Oct. 8, 2022

Calling all Podcasters! πŸ“˜ New Book: Permission To Speak

Encouragement and actionable guidance is something the world needs more of, and on October 10, Permission To Speak launches into the universe. Perfect timing, eh?

On this episode I interview Dan R. Morris of Audience Industries. He and 26 other luminaries in podcasting (including me) wrote this book to encourage podcasters and would be podcasters to take the next step in their journey of getting heard. 

If you've been wondering when's the right time to plug in that microphone and get started, this is the book for you. Take it from the experts. 

There's also an early bird package with fabulous prizes. Check that out here.

And if you're listening to this after Oct 10, order the book here.

Thanks for listening, Grasshopper. 


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Interview With Dan R Morris

RJ Redden: My friends. Uh, I'm gonna introduce you to somebody that you may know already cuz he's that good. My friend Dan R Morris is here with us today. Dan is a master of building it by our own bootstraps, venturing out into territory unknown, and doing creative things. And being successful at it. In short, he's my hero.

Uh, Dan, tell us a little bit about you, man.

Dan R Morris: Well, I can't drink orange juice anymore. Upsets my tummy. Yeah. Why is that? Orange juice is very good, but now that I got older, not allowed to drink it. Not a fan.

RJ Redden: I mean, that's, that's huge.

Dan R Morris: Orange juice was the key to my success early in my career. sometimes. I would sit at my computer with a blank screen, but if I had orange juice, I had all the ideas.

Now it just gives me acid reflux, which is the opposite of ideas. So now I just do zoom calls. This is what keeps me creative. Okay.

RJ Redden: Well, in that case, I'm kind of grateful for your acid reflux.

Dan R Morris: Thank you. Thank you. I don't let it show though. Yeah. Yeah. Keep it under control. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, I do run a company, uh, I run a company called Audience Industries, and I named it Audience Industries because I really liked the word industries, sounded like General Motors or something big, gigantic, so that's why I picked it. But what we really do is we help people grow audiences, we do that in two different ways. Rachel, my wife, she runs this book called Finding Net. It's not called Finding Net. That's where it's, it's called Finding Jewel. Oh, and she has about 900,000 Facebook fans on page, none of which, not a single one has she paid for, because she's figured out the entire concept of building an audience using social media. Like how do you actually connect with, you know, she's got posts that have shares many, many, many, like the site's big. So then the second thing, uh, is on my side, we used to do these workshops around the world where we taught, uh, we did eight-hour workshops. We, went to cities everywhere, uh, and we taught bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters how to turn their craft into their career.

That's what we do. You know, we've been doing this since 2013. Um, uh, so in, in that process of traveling the world, doing these workshops, um, we were in New Zealand. We did a seven-city tour and we, uh, we came across some folks who didn't know Gary Bench. And I thought that's interesting. How are you in our world?

And you don't know him. So that made me realize that maybe the internet is not the great equalizer that I thought it might be. We also noticed when we did some web services that they didn't use the same plugins. Like on WordPress. Everybody uses like, yo. And if you people ask in a Facebook group what plugin, they are all the same, the same thing.

It's like ancestral marketing. Like everybody does the same stuff. Um, so we decided on our, upon our return that we should do an event where we marry the gurus we met abroad with our local and vice versa. Like maybe some people needed some new ideas, but that wasn't enough because you can do a summit and do that.

Right? But I never understood the point of something because ultimately, I mean, whoever shows up, great. Some people show up, maybe they take notes, uh, and maybe amongst those notes, they take your name down, or do they just have one sheet where they're writing all the nuggets they gathered from all the different talks, in which case at the end they heard 16 people and they have two pieces of paper of notes.

But like, did you, did you really read anyone? Like did you, did anything happen? And then the experts, just press end the call on Zoom, and then they just go back to vacuuming. Like, there's like, like there's nothing that happens, you know? Like they don't walk away with anything. They don't build an audience. They just have to hope.

Like when they're done vacuuming that somebody went to their site and downloaded their books. Oh. So we thought we should do an event where the experts grow an audience. Cause that's kind of weak. So it all started by doing what we call a product summit. We do two of them a year. Uh, and one is for digital marketing, and one's for podcasting.

Uh, so we invite a bunch of experts to bring a product, uh, and then all of the attendees, all of the buyers, they get to walk away with the product, not just two pages of notes. They're welcome. And then all the experts walk away with the brand audience. So people actually meet each other. It's like an exchange of ideas.

And you were in one of our podcasters kits because, well, the reason, and to be honest, the reason that you were in it is because, one, I could find you, you were excellent. Um, and two, that I didn't know you and we didn't really have friends because I think if, if every year 80 to 90% of the people are far away from it and they're not connected then it's actually meeting new people. It's not like six friends from your normal friend group get together, talk at a summit, and then you just share the same audience you've been sharing for the last three years in all your different summits. Like then nobody really, nobody really meets anyone new.

So we scour Amazon for the top books or SlideShare top presentations. Uh, LinkedIn for the top people in the niche. We do Google searches and check on Facebook, look at conferences where people speak. And then every year I do about 200 cold calls to say, Hey, this is what we do. Would you like to be part?

Um, and that's kind of, that's kind of the idea. And everybody walks away with a new audience and people walk with products and we walk away knowing a whole lot more people. And then this last time we decided we should turn one of these and do a book. That's what we should do. We should take the experts that know something about a topic, put them all into a book, and we created this book called Permission to Speak, which I didn't know that's what it was gonna be called until I read a story.

Um, but the concept behind permission to speak is if you wanna. Well, really it's based on a podcast, but if you wanna start a business, a lot of people feel like, maybe I'm not worthy of this. Maybe I haven't done enough to deserve this business. Like I can't be telling people what to do if I'm not Elon Musk or something, I guess.

Um, so a lot of people wrote about that, how they got over that. Like how did they decide, you know what, I do have something to say. Uh, and it became really, it's really quite motivational and there's Hall of Fame podcasters in there, and, uh, people that have, you know, 15 million downloads a day.

And just talking about the ups and downs of podcasting, the ins, and outs, the, you know, what does it take, what does it take internally, not just, you know, on the microphone, but what does it take internally? How do you, how do you get over yourself? How do you get excited? How actually talk to people who are bigger than you.

Although in reality, nobody knows how big you are, you just, you determine that for everybody yourself. You like, you could call yourself audience industries or you could call yourself Tom and Dick's podcast club. You know, like, which one's bigger? it's up to you. Um, so, uh, so it comes out, uh, October 10th, and RJ is the star of the book actually.

She's exactly the star. Yes. I know it's hard, it's hard to be humble. Did it? It really is. Yeah. But you, I mean, you have to take credit, credit. Just do you're, you're clearly the star.

RJ Redden: I accept Dan, and, uh, I, I loved being part of this book because, you know, I signed up to be a part of it and. And you, you sent me a list of questions, you know, by way of kind of guiding, you know, here are some things people wanna know about.

And, and so I, as I was answering those questions, it really did feel like a motivational, encouraging thing. So, one thing about your, the title of your book again, it's called Permission to Speak, uh, coming out October 10th, did you say? Yep. Yep. Yeah. Permission to speak. I am a human who has always had crazy awesome ideas.

Mm-hmm and in, in the, in the work world, I had the same degree as everybody else. I had the same, you know what I mean? I, I was on equal footing until I got in a room and then everything I said was talked over. Your title to me is that basic idea of, you know what, there's nobody to talk over me here.

This is me, you, when you download my podcast or when you listen to an episode, you, there ain't no filter. There is not even a visual filter between me and you, and that creates a deeper connection than if you hit like on a post or something like that. You know? It really creates a deeper connection and it draws people to me that have this same kind of thinking and ideas, and that's what I love about the power of podcasting.

Dan R Morris: Yeah. I think most people don't. I mean, they know what a podcast is. It's like an audio program. Yeah. That's basically, uh, you know, and it's not that much different cause it's an audio, it's not that different from a record, you know, anything you listen to. But I think what people miss is that in a world of busy, everybody's busy, podcasting is the only form of communication where people intake your voice and your ideas when they tell everyone else they're busy. So I have to drive to the store, or I have to go to the gym, or I have to move along. Like they're too busy for everyone else except you. And road trips, oh, you know, in fact, when I started my first podcast, I actually started for the wrong reason.

But, uh, in our Facebook group where I teach digital marketing, somebody was telling, somebody was like, recounting the things they learned on the podcast they listened to while they were mowing the lawn. And I thought, were they listening to some other group? Group? Like, that can't be right. I need to have a podcast.

See totally wrong reason. So that was our first one. That's why I started. I was like, well, like how come they're not listening to me basically when they're mowing the lawn? And that's because I'm not there. I, there's no voice. Like I can't be heard if there's nothing to don't. Um, so, but it was there that, and then when I started to listen to podcasts, cause I figured I'd better listen to a few in order to figure out what it's about.

There is where I remembered my childhood, where I used to listen to this radio guy named Paul Harvey. Sure. Paul Harvey told this, he had two programs. One was four minutes, one was 15 or 10, and the second, the 10-minute one was called The Rest of The Story. And it didn't matter where I was or how late I was too. There was no way I was turning the car off until the story was open, like none. I did not care if I was gonna get fired. I was listening to the end. So once, I mean our, our first podcast was going, even though it started it for the wrong reason, it was going pretty well. But when I remembered back to Paul Harvey, I thought, man, I wish kids had that.

So, my second podcast, which is my real podcast, is, oh, is that, is me trying to recreate that feeling for the kids, because in a YouTube world, TikTok, where you've got three and a half seconds before the next TikTok starts, I, I thought, you know what? They needed to be engrossed. And you know, of course, when you're a parent you try to do stuff to your kids and they don't give a crap.

You know, you know, that's, that's the way. But millions of boomers seem to like it, so, you know. That's good.

RJ Redden: Nice. Um, Yeah, and I, you know, I've been doing some experiments lately with, with the podcast in which I kind of changed the format, uh, which is also something that I know that you've, you know, had some experience with before.

Um, and I find that I am so passionate about changing my format, and that's another one of the lessons that your book teaches is that you know, don't be afraid it's okay. Yeah, it's okay to experiment. It's okay to create a party that you wanna come to. Create something like that, Paul Harvey, you know, that you would always listen to, no matter what, create a party you wanna come to and you know, and get you, get yourself out there.

You don't have to be afraid to experiment on a podcast because, It's not Law and Order S v u people, uh, you know, it doesn't have to follow the same pattern every single time. It can be different. And uh, and that's one of the other things that I love about the book because as I was reading some of the other authors, encouraging people to pick up that microphone. Hey, there are so many people out there who do not feel heard, who do not feel cared about.

Yeah. That need a voice. And the podcast is such a great medium to be out there with your ideas.

Dan R Morris: So the concept of success, I think is also a stumbling book for people. Yeah. Like I don't wanna start something that people don't listen to, but I was once told this analogy, it changed everything and I, I think it was Danny Osby. But he said, could you imagine if 50 people showed up on your front lawn with lawn chairs to listen to you tell a story every week? Wouldn't that seem like, oh wait, my God, there are 50 people on my lawn? And I thought, yeah, that would be pretty awesome. That would be pretty awesome. So when I first started sort of got to that, to that number.

I just remember that would be super cool if those people came and they were just sitting in there or came to your house, you know, like your living room, like 50 people piled in to hear you talk like that would be cool. And it sounds strange in the light of, you know, Gangnam Style and like 4 billion views on YouTube.

But, uh, connecting with someone is still the same. I'm, I'm in Nashville, Tennessee, which you know, is considered a music city. Um, and, and a thing here that's pretty popular is backyard concerts where like real musicians, you know, like Amy Grant or something will do a backyard show and you just volunteer your home and then you invite all your friends and then your friends bring 10 bucks or something like that, and then they play like a little concert in your backyard.

You know, if you think about it in terms of that, those people also aspire, you know, to be, Gangnam Style to have 4 billion views. But right now they're pretty excited about just playing their music in front of people who appreciate it. Uh, you know, and making few dollars. Uh, we've seen some pretty crazy concerts and in fact, I just went to David Lances, you ever heard of him?

He's like this famous, famous pianist, like a famous pianist, and he played in someone's house, a grand piano. When people came and listened to this guy who you normally would like to see, like in New York City or you know, some major place, but he was just playing the piano in the living room. And I know that the only way that I made it is that I was googling like this, David Land's concerts, and then I came across a Facebook post looking through Google about someone saying David Land is coming to their house and here's a form if you want to come, which meant that I really wanted to be, the guy searched for it. I seek it out. I signed up, I drove there, and he was playing in front of fans. So in order for people to listen to your podcast, as nobody listens against their will.

That's not a thing. You just turn it off so the only reason that they're listening is that they've searched for something, they've read a description, they thought it sounded good, and it was right up their alley. And now they're one of 50 people in your lawn, which basically is, you're in their ear, uh, and they're there on purpose.

They're the people who want to hear you, whether you like it or not. They just have decided, this is the person that I'm gonna spend my commute listening to. They could listen to anyone, anyone, but if they're listening to you, when you're really talking, you're talking to your people.

RJ Redden: And I mean, it begs the question as you were saying, that you find that people maybe define success in a way that makes it a stumbling block for them.

Um, for me it really is. I just wanna find my people. I really do. And if there's 50, there's 50. And if there's four, there's four. But it, that connection. I'm seeking connection through podcasting. I am not seeking a billion downloads.

Dan R Morris: I am seeking a billion downloads.

RJ Redden: Okay. Uh, Dan, uh, everybody. Dan is seeking a billion downloads.

Uh, I would also like more than four. Uh, so, you know, but like, but my North Star. For my pod, my podcast is a connection because it's so... You know, you were saying it's, it's that thing. You looked in Google, you clicked through five or six times and you got to attend a dream performance. Yeah. Uh, that is committed.

You know, uh, so many coaches that I talk to are like, I, I gotta, I gotta have this number in order to get these many people committed, lie, why it's wrong. Um, you know, depending on your message, depending on how you've pointed it. You know, uh, it's not always a, it's not always the funnel that they're showing you.

You know, sometimes it's getting a hold of people who will click through several times and and just go, this is the most awesome thing I've ever heard. Yeah.

Dan R Morris: Yeah. You know, people, for me, people like David Lanz, um, I will see anytime I will. I went and saw Bill Collins recently perform. I saw a Genesis concert, and I was really sad to hear that Huey Lewis lost his hearing cause he's one of my favorites.

But you know, from a messaging standpoint, once you find something you like, I don't really care what the messaging is. If Bill Collins is gonna play a concert, like, uh, I just wanna go see Bill. So, um, what's the guy's name? The guy who did the first Lost podcast, why can't I think of his name? Mr. An Answer Man Podcast.

Answer man. I will think of his name, right? He's like one of the first podcasters and he, uh, he was an avid listener of the show Lost, and he created basically the first lost TV show podcast. Eventually, I mean...

RJ Redden: I believe I listened to that. I love lost.

Dan R Morris: Cliff Raven's crap. Well, he, it, it got pretty big that even cast members of the show came on and he interviewed them podcast well, when it was over, um, he and his son decided to start a health podcast.

And he thought maybe some of the lost listeners would come over, but most of the lost listeners came over because they weren't there for the show Lost. They were there to hear Cliff talk. So once you, once people find you and they realize, you know, you're my people, then you get to do other things and take the audience with you.

You know, like if Phil Collins was in a movie, I'd probably go see the movie. He's not an actor, but I like Phil Collins. Uh, I don't know why. That's just the way it is. You know, like I was, uh, I was a Patriots fan, but then Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay, and now a Tampa Bay fan. Uh, cuz I liked Tom Brady. So if you think about that, you, it's no different at any level.

Once people like you, they find you have a quirky sense of humor. They enjoy like they're your people. You can do anything. As you said, you could change formats. Now, you know, some people might be cranky, um, but other people will just be like, whoa, this is cool. A person had a new idea. So yeah, I think, I think, I don't think you should podcast if you like I did, if you just wanna do it because it's a thing. I think that's probably not the right, but if you know something, if you have some opinions, if you'd like to change the world, you'd like to teach somebody how to take care of their house plants, cuz that's just what you are really good at you totally understand the spider plant, how much water it needs.

Then you know, maybe a podcast is great. People who really love house plants can listen to all these cool tips, tricks, and your. They could try stuff at home cuz it's the thing that they're proud of. People come over, and they have all their cool hanging plants in their living room. They're excited people seeing us.

You know, those are the people that actually wash the leaves, you know, to dust them. Yeah. Yeah. That's not, I'm not listening to your podcast, but there are people who do this and they will listen. They will be fans. So if you got that knowledge, I mean, share it and, uh, somebody out, there's gonna, yeah.

RJ Redden: Well, and uh, folks, if you thought that was enough encouragement, I would encourage you to pop over.

Dan's got kind of a special package, uh, that comes with the book. Uh, okay. Do you wanna talk a little bit about that?

Dan R Morris: Sure. But you gotta act quickly cuz it goes away on the ninth. So basically, if you're into podcasts, you would love the RJs book because she's the superhero of the story. Oh, then if you do so we have 30 products that we're giving away as a bonus to go with the book.

Like how to, like Podcasting 1 0 1 or Finding Your Voice, or you know, how to become a guest and other people's podcasts. They got 30 different courses that would teach you how to become a great podcaster. You know how to pick the mic, uh, you know, all the things that you need to know. How to make money doing it.

Monetization, uh, editing how to use Audacity, which is free editing software. There's a whole course on that. Uh, there's a course on how to use, uh, air Table so you can schedule your, you know, keep your stuff, keep your stuff scheduled, learn how to do that. Uh, but anyway, there are 30 different things and they're all, and none of them are free.

They're all normally paid. So it was like $4,000. Uh, to make it a package. Uh, and we're doing that kind of as a, you know, like a kickoff from the book. Like, Hey, get it now. Get ex, you know, get all this fun stuff, get it going, and then, uh, then it launches on October 10th and then all that stuff goes away because, you know, the idea is to incentivize you to get the book early, not to wait, and then just get the book and not all the fun stuff. So we try to make it as fun as humans.

RJ Redden: That's another thing I like about you. I think that if it's easy and fun, it gets done.

Dan R Morris: That is what I think too. Even if it's not easy, it will get done. That's right.

RJ Redden: Uh, beautiful. Uh, so not only do you get the book, which contains, and I know because I have taken a read, uh, contains a lot of different perspectives and points of view about podcasting, different ways to start different means, and lots of encouragement. You also get from these authors, you get special stuff from everyone teaching you different aspects, like and, and how mu how much is this? Cuz this kills me. Tell me.

Dan R Morris: Oh, I think it's only 47.


RJ Redden: it's, it's 47 bucks for all that.

Dan R Morris: Yeah, I hope it's not more than that. I mean, that's what I put it, it should be 47 for like $4,000 stuff and a book Facebook group. I mean, it's pretty darn, you know, and even Dan class who ran the Bitters Pill, who's a Hall of Fame podcaster in the book, he talks about the internal struggle of having a podcast about his own life, his family, like a, a personal thing.

It just, the. The insight that he gives, about that. Like even now he struggles cuz his podcast is over pretty much. But then he wonders, how do I market podcasts where it includes family members? Now the family members are older and it's like, maybe it's their story tell and not mine. Just reading all that is very, just somewhat the different things people wrestle with in their own life. So I, I just thought it was cool.

RJ Redden: Um, yeah, it's, uh, it's a beautiful thing. I, I totally encourage you to, I'm gonna drop the link, uh, in, uh, in this so that everybody can pop over and take a look at that. But really, really what it's about is permission to express those ideas. That have been lurking around in the back of your head.

Permission to engage, permission to build your audience, build your tribe. This is the heart of what we are in business for. If you're a coach, awesome. This is right up your alley. If you're an entrepreneur of any kind, this is a deal to look into. Even if you're not necessarily interested in podcasting, maybe it's live streaming, which is similar, but different.

The same principles will apply. So I encourage you to get out there, take a look at this book package, uh, cuz it's pretty tremendous. Because Dan's pretty tremendous, let's just say. And, uh, and yeah, I, I highly encourage you to do so. Um, and I'm in the book, you know, uh, on, on a page or two. Um, but I'm with some really excellent people as well.

And, uh, I just want you to know that you know, those of you who are seeking what they, you know, authentic. That was the big buzzword a couple of years ago. Authentic everything. If you are seeking true connection with people, hop on this thing. Hop on this thing because it's absolutely worth your time.

Dan R Morris: It's totally authentic.

Unlike the Mexican restaurant.

RJ Redden: Truth, uh, unless you see people of color working at your Mexican restaurant, that's what I've always been told about that. Uh, any final words of wisdom for us, Dan?

Dan R Morris: If there are Mexicans eating at the Mexican restaurant, it's good. Yes.

RJ Redden: Very good. Very good, Dan. Well, we started out with orange juice.

Yes. And we ended up with Mexican. I just wanna say we weren't here to talk about food.

Dan R Morris: You've been listening to reflections with RJ.

RJ Redden: The NPR ladies. Uh, anyway, thanks for coming on, Dan. Um, I can't wait to see what the book does. We'll have you on the regular podcast as well. Uh, and, uh, we'll check, we'll check in a couple of months, uh, how the book is done and, uh, and anything else you wanna say because you're pretty great.

Dan R Morris: The boats are rocking, baby. The boats are rocking.

Dan R MorrisProfile Photo

Dan R Morris

Dan R Morris is the founder of Audience Industries, an audience building company. He and his partner Rachel Marie Martin do 2 day in-person workshops around the globe. They also run BC Stack every June, and Podcaster’s Kit every October. Dan does the behind the scenes work for Rachel’s FindingJoy.net, a motherhood blog that sees 100,000 people per day.

His podcast, Tracing the Path, is an ode to the storytelling days of Paul Harvey, Charles Kuralt and Charles Osgood. Each episode is a story you don’t know about something you thought you did.