FYB 025 | Background Vetting

Podcast hosts as influencers have a strong responsibility to provide valuable and proven expert guests. Guests become immediately (and permanently) associated with your brand and with you so care needs to be taken with who you invite and you research and vet those associations.Former government counterintelligence agent, Justin Recla explains why background vetting speakers for events has become such an important part of their business and has emerged as a way to operate in greater transparency and service to attendees. He also talks about ways for podcast hosts to do some digging and look into potential guests.

We have a slightly different episode. We wanted to bring you somebody who we really value. Justin Recla from the Clear Directory is a due diligence, vetting expert. This is really valuable in this day and age because we’ve had a lot of episodes about guests and we’ve also had some questions about whether or not you have confidence in yourself. We’ve been doing some episodes on your fears and other things about whether you have confidence in yourself and your background and whether you’re qualified to be a podcaster in your mind.

I really want to set that apart and start to think about this. Eventually, this is a business or it is a significant portion of your business and so we need to take it pretty seriously. You need to take it seriously who you associate with and you need to take it seriously about how you present yourself and how you share. The great part about podcasting that I really love so much is that you have to be yourself. Eventually, you can’t put on a persona for the whole thing. You can’t do 500 episodes and not beat yourself. You’re going to have a grumpy day, you’re going to have a slip up, you’re going to tell stories, you’re going to go into things that who you are, authentically you. In a way, being a podcast host is operating in transparency, which I love.

I think that’s why so many listeners respond so well to calls to action that podcast hosts give out or even to endorsements they make or advertisements that they allow in their podcast. The listeners really do feel and believe that they know you if they’re a regular listener. They wouldn’t be listening if they didn’t like you and even though it’s one-sided, there’s a certain amount of trust that actually builds there. That’s why see higher conversion rates and responses. With that, comes responsibility for you as the host and that’s really why we wanted to bring up an option here for some of you especially if you’re in a world at which you’re advising something at a really high level or you’re in a really scammy industry and you want to set yourself apart. These are things that we really want you to consider. Justin Recla is just such a knowledgebase for all things due diligence because he has a counterintelligence background, which is so cool.

Listen to the podcast here:

Background Vetting Speakers & Guests with Justin Recla

Justin, I’m so glad to have you back. Chatting with you is always so much fun.

Thanks so much for having me back and the opportunity to connect with your audience.

I really wanted to dive into the subject of the idea of due diligence and events and I know you’ve been doing some things in this realm. Why don’t you give us a little bit of background about how you started and how you headed into the event space?

Just a quick background, my wife, Tonya, and I were both former counterintelligence agents for the government and now we help people protect themselves by making sure they’re being involved with the right people and not the wrong people. We speak at a lot of different conferences, CEO Space and Business Acceleration Network and so forth. What we were seeing across the board in the industry was that there were a lot of events that were putting people on their stages that had some questionable, at best, business practices. We’ve all seen it. If somebody gets up there and they’re selling from the stage or whatnot, really what we identified was that it actually presents a huge risk to the person that is putting on the conference or the seminar because now the person that they are putting on stage is not fully reputable. Then that puts their business at risk because now they’re guilty by association because they’re promoting somebody’s stuff that is potentially putting their members at risk. What we’ve done is we started working with seminars and conferences to vet the speakers before they get put on stage. That way, the conference goers who show up to the event know that the people on stage are trustworthy, their business history has been vetted, and they’re not going to be put in front of somebody that is out to take advantage of them.

I think that’s so smart because we’ve had this conversation in the past because that happened to me that I was on stage with someone at a smaller size event. It wasn’t like it was a big exposure. I didn’t know someone who was speaking earlier in the day before me. I thought, “I should know who this is.” I Googled him and sure enough to find out all these scam reports and all these real estate things and he was in prison, all these stuff and I thought, “Someone should have at least mentioned it to me.” It’s not like I haven’t been on stage before with someone who has a prison story or has a story about what they’ve learned from there and how they’re turning their life around and I’m okay with that. I feel like that’s operating in transparency. This guy didn’t say one word about it when he came up and spoke and that’s when I felt really uncomfortable. I went up to the organizer and I said, “That’s really not okay.” If I was in the real estate business in any way, shape or form, you could have just put my whole entire reputation at risk. Luckily, it didn’t harm me but it could have. That’s really where I think we get to this place. Let’s talk a little bit, Justin, about how broad a scope you do when you guys do your due diligence background checks?

FYB 025 | Background Vetting

Background Vetting: When we vet a speaker, we look at their attitude. We look at anything that is associated with what they do and how they do it.

A lot of times we’re like, “I don’t want people to find out the thing that I did in my grandmother’s basement when I was thirteen years old.” By all means, we don’t take a look at that. When we vet a speaker or somebody is going through what we call the clear process, we look at their businesses. We look at their attitude. We look at anything that is associated with what they do and how they do it. If you have a speeding ticket, that’s not going to have an effect on who you are and what you do in your business. However, if let’s say you’re a financial advisor or somebody in the real estate business and you’ve got multiple judgments, multiple liens, multiple bankruptcies in your background, that provides a little bit of insight to your ability to actually do what you say you do. If you’ve got a lot of law suits out there or civil judgments against you because you’ve ripped people off and people sued you for it, then that’s another thing as well.

Here’s the thing. Even if somebody has something in their background that is associated with their business, that’s not necessarily a red flag. If you’ve been around business long enough, somebody doesn’t like you. Our perspective is, how do you approach that? The example you just gave, the guy on stage that you found had some criminal stuff out there. One, had you known that, there’s a good chance that you probably wouldn’t take the stage with him because that puts your reputation. Two, the fact that he wasn’t willing to talk about it said something to his own character, his own business ethics. The people who really aren’t affected by that, who aren’t afraid to share that, usually are open with it and talk about it. If they’ve got shitty business practices, it’s the last thing they talk about.

In this case, this guy, I met him a couple of years later. I bumped into him again at an event and he was talking about it. I think it was raw and too soon for him but it was probably not time for him to be stepping out on a stage.

That’s the beautiful thing about our process is that when somebody does have something out there, we are able to guide them and assist them in such a way that it shows them it’s really not that big of a deal because it removes the emotional attachment to it. By operating in transparency about those experiences, it really allows you to leverage that transparency and build trust and expedite trust with potential clients. If you’re a conference organizer and you’re putting people on your stage, then by having them go through that vetting process, you’re essentially telling your membership base that, “We know the value that you bring to this organization and we want you to get the most value for attending that’s why we have everybody go through a vetting process.”

Justin, I’m curious, this is your business, you do this all the time and your wife also has a couple of podcasts. Do you actually ever vet potential guests you’re going to interview on your podcast or do you draw a line there as to being associated with them on your podcast show?

This is something that Tonya and I went back and forth on, back and forth on all the time. A lot of times, yes. I had a couple of people that came on the show. We actually did the interview because we wanted to capture the information and then we vetted them and, “We’re not going to put this on. We’re not going to air this. I’m not going to associate my brand with that.” That’s the case. Just because they come on our show, doesn’t mean we get to vet them, which leads to the next level of that. If they’re not in the Clear Business Directory, if you can’t find their profile in the Clear Business Directory itself, it doesn’t mean that I have removed them because we vetted a lot of people that are not in the directory. Just because they’re on our show, if they’re not in our directory, we highly, highly recommend that you can always do your own due diligence or go to that person and ask them, “Go get vetted.”

What does that look like? We’ve talked about this before that there is some minimum you can do to at least decide if there are enough red flags that you should do some vetting.

The first place to really start with that is, do you like the person, do you get along, and does it feel good in conversation with them? If you’re in a hint that just something’s off or it doesn’t resonate or the person rubs you wrong, that’s definitely a good place to start with. You definitely need to do a little bit further digging. Then from there, if you get online and you do a little bit of digging and you start seeing some things on Ripoff Report or other complaints and stuff, then that’s definitely time to slow things down before you put any more time or money into it and actually have the person vetted.

We’re in an interesting world right now with all of the sexual harassment claims that are coming out and all of those things. Does that show up when you vet someone if there are complaints like that?

Absolutely. During our vetting process, if there is a track record or pattern behaviors, Rip will find it. That’s only if the person’s been doing something and it hasn’t been caught, hasn’t been reported, then that takes a little deeper assessment and our hands-on involvement with the individual to further assess them directly. If there has been a pattern behavior especially in the frauds and scams arena, we’ll show the indicators of past performance and predict future risks.

It’s so important especially when you have organizations like CEO Space. Our daughters are there. There are young kids, there are teens there, so there’s a teen program. I think you have a greater responsibility there and that’s one of the reasons why I love that they do vet everyone on the faculty and I appreciate that that safety net is there for me.

That’s the one thing that comes up especially with faculty select. If somebody is a registered sex offender, that automatically pops up during our checks. Especially when you’re at conference and you know there are kids, you want to know that the people on stage are safe. That’s one of the immediate things that we always look for our conferences because you know that people are going to be bringing their families to these conferences. While that in and of itself may not necessarily pertain specifically to a person’s business, if they’re going on stage, it definitely pertains to that business.

I don’t want to go and look at my neighborhood on the National Sex Offender Registry. I think I live in a very nice area but people are everywhere. I don’t want to know when it comes to my neighborhood and then maybe that’s bad because I have three kids but I do want to know when it comes to my business. I really do want to know.

Your business is like your kid. You definitely want to be able to protect your business as much as you can. The only way you can do that is to have as much information as possible so you can mitigate your risks.

I don’t want it to sound before what I said like I don’t care to protect my kids, I do. Obviously, I protect my kids. The reality is that just because someone has committed an offense in the past, doesn’t mean they’re not going to be living on this Earth and in our country. Of course, they have to live. What are they going to do? You can’t completely put your kid in a bubble and protect them from everything.

That’s the point of operating in transparency, that you have the option to look at that. You mentioned something about that not everyone that you vetted chooses to be in the Clear Directory. We should dive a little deeper into that. We went through the vetting process and you fill it all out and there is a history and we are very open about it. There’s a history of lawsuits and other things that happened in our past, which happen all the time when you’re an intellectual property. It just happens. You have an ability in your directory to write an explanation in which I really appreciated that you gave you us an opportunity to basically say, “This did happen and here’s how it turned out,” and you can give a little more than might me be in this one little line item that’s from a court that says there was a case.

That’s really where the power of the Clear Directory and our vettings comes in because a lot of people are just thinking, “You do background checks.” No. Background checks are just part of the process because really what counterintelligence is, is risk mitigation. It’s taking a look at what we call the whole person concept and analyzing the information that was found to identify potential risks. Like you said in your case, there are lawsuits out there that people can go take a look and see it in the Clear Directory, and there’s an assessment of the information based off of what was provided, what you guys provided based on what was discovered, and the assessment is made from that place. Because our firm is not attached to anybody’s outcome as to what happened, we’re able to look at it unattached as an information first.

You’re not making judgment essentially.

It’s, “Here’s the information.” The people that read the information in the directory can asses it for themselves. They can read the information and they can make an educated decision, which is ultimately the purpose of the directory is to give people enough information of what’s out there versus what somebody is just tooting their own horn on so they can make that educated decision.

It never really bothers me when we see that someone in the directory or that we’re vetting in any way had been involved in past lawsuits. We’ve been in business since the mid-90s in one form or another. We were involved in several lawsuits early in our career. I had to sue someone to get paid who tried to stiff me on something and there’s a countersuit always involved. They always try to fight back and sue you too and we had intellectual property disputes and other things. What’s the big red flag for me is if a company you’re considering doing some significant business with has a lot of current active lawsuits against them like you talked about earlier, is there a pattern going on? That would cost me more concern. Everybody is going to learn and everybody is going to probably get involved in litigation at some point because they think they’re in the right but if it’s someone that’s like perpetually in court, that maybe something different.

That always brings it to, “I get it. That happens. My next question is, why? Why does that happen?” There are certain indicators of risk. When you’re seeing that, you’re seeing a pattern of every two or three years, there’s a lawsuit. Every two or three years, there’s a bankruptcy. Every two or three years, there’s a judgment or a lien. That’s indicators of risk that we discussed from a place of transparency. When you have something that happens like that over a period of twenty years and this happens three or four times, that’s one thing. It’s another when one, the company is not talking about it. Two, there are six or eight in a period of two to three years. You have to take all of it into consideration and none of it in and of itself is a deal-breaker. However, the accumulation and the whole person concept of looking at the information really paints a clear picture of who you’re involved with.

Justin, I appreciate everything you do and I appreciate how much value that this ad has added to our business. Design for us is a very expensive sale. We charge a lot of money for our services and you get into that place of, “Am I going to get value back?” It’s a hard thing to value. Design is an intangible for many people. To be able to see that we have a good business history and we have that, being able to point to that has been a value to our business. We appreciate the Clear Directory so much because of that. We didn’t have an option anywhere else.

FYB 025 | Background Vetting

Background Vetting: Background checks are just part of the process because really what counterintelligence is, is risk mitigation.

I really appreciate that because the goal is that there are so many reputation sites out there. There’s one out there right now that is targeting people claiming that they have information on you and then charging you to release it from actually existing and displaying it on their website. It doesn’t feel good. It’s bullying tactics and things like the Better Business Bureau or whatnot just really no longer work because people know that those are pay to play sites to where Clear Directory is just a straight transparency piece. I love the fact that you guys use it like that. The best thing for your business deal is you can leverage that transparency. It does expedite the trust process and say, “We’re not going to rip you off and we’ve been third-party verified. You can go read about it.”

For us it’s like, “We’ve been in business this long.” A lot of people don’t even really trust that. Justin, it’s also been really valuable to us as entrepreneurs because we don’t just have one business. We originally were vetted for the Clear Directory before this podcast business, Brandcasters, Inc. existed but it’s still us. We’re the only owners of this business and we’ve been vetted and we get re-vetted or updated yearly. We started the new business and then a lot of times when you’re a new business, other businesses maybe apprehensive about doing business with you. That’s been an advantage for us that we can say from the get-go with Brandcasters, Inc. and BrandcastingYou.com, “We’re in the Clear Business Directory,” because we are associated with our core business. You’ve mentioned something really cool. I want our listeners to hear it, even though it’s maybe not totally relevant to Feed Your Brand but it’s very, very cool. You’ve started a new offshoot having to do with crypto-trading and cryptocurrency. Tell us just a little bit about that because it’s very cool.

People can find more information out at CryptocurrencyDueDiligence.com. Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin is hot right now and there are a ton of frauds and scams that exist. People know that there’s a lot of money to be made. We’ve already identified a list of 90 plus frauds or scams. Our team has really dived into the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency world and we’re driving education, training and guidance on how to navigate the crypto world so people can make educated decisions on whether or not they want to get involved with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and really leverage that in a powerful way. The cryptocurrency due diligence world is super exciting because really, there’s nobody else out there doing cryptocurrency due diligence. They could be providing training but not offering the level of due diligence under different opportunities that exist out there so we’re super excited to be playing in that arena.

It’s so important because here you go it’s an easy thing. In a way, that was the way podcasting was when we first started. There weren’t that many podcasters so you join in and you start podcasting and of course, everybody thinks they’re a podcasting expert and they sell a course, which we decided not to do. A course just didn’t seem like the way to go because it seemed like the cheesy thing was, “I learned how to do this.” If I were successful, I’d just keep doing it instead of teaching it. That’s the thing that happens is there’s always a new digital thing each year, a new thing, a new way to make money on Facebook. Because it’s new, we discount the fact that we do need to check these people out. It doesn’t mean that people are new. That’s really the difference there is it’s a new thing. Do we have qualified people actually exploring that new thing? You clearly have that background.

It’s like the Wild, Wild West out there right now in the cryptocurrency world. I tell people to make sure that you know what you’re getting involved with because making an educated decision and understanding the ins and outs of what the opportunity is, what the coin is, what the company is doing behind it and so forth is one thing. In my opinion, that’s the smart way to go about it but there’s a lot of people out there that are hoping to strike oil or strike coal and they’re just throwing tons of money at it only to find out that what they got involved with was not legit.

We appreciate everything that you do, Justin. We thank you so much for joining us today.

Thanks for having me.

Background Vetting Speakers & Guests – Final Thoughts

I just want to be completely clear and transparent with our audience and it probably came through in that interview but just in case. We met Justin and Tonya Recla and saw what they were doing, vetting individuals and companies and creating this Clear Business Directory a few years ago. We decided at that time we want to operate in transparency and we went and paid for ourselves to be vetted and to become a part of that Clear Business Directory. We wanted those that we do business with to not just listen to what we are saying about ourselves, but to have a third party who is verified that, “We operate in transparency about everything that’s happened in our past. We are people of integrity,” I think is the big thing.

It also was a solution to a problem we had, which is that I didn’t really trust the Better Business Bureau. You can’t register our business. Our business isn’t like it’s a brick and mortar so doing a Yelp listing just didn’t make sense, plus Yelp in and of itself is with its own frauds and scams. You look at all of those things and there just wasn’t a really good way for us to just say, “This is who we are. We have been operating in businesses in various business models. Although this business might only be at this stage eight years old, it’s been a pattern of the same business over time, just different entities and different states because we’ve moved.” We really wanted to be able to tie that all together and have that conversation if a client wanted to. It’s a bit extreme to expect your podcast host to do due diligence on a guest. We don’t ever expect you to do it. I think many of you are in business for yourselves in one way or another. I would think that you should be concerned about those other companies you’re doing business with and your clients might be concerned about your integrity and your background and doing business with you. I do think in a bigger picture of being in business, this is something to consider.

Justin’s first point is such an interesting thing. Coming from someone who is all data and counterintelligence and yet the first thing he said, “Does it resonate with you? Does it feel right to you when you’re doing business with this person or when you’re having this conversation? Does it feel as if they’re telling the truth?” That’s the sense because we have an intuition about whether or not people are right and we shut it down a lot because we’re like, “They’re in this group. I’m seeing them on Facebook everywhere. They must be good.” If it doesn’t feel right to you, that is the first red flag and you should take that. This is your show. You’re the host. You cannot air something. You can run the interview and go, “The audio just crapped out. I’m so sorry.”

Truth be told, in the interest of full transparency, there have been a few podcast interviews we’ve conducted over our time podcasting that have never seen the light of day on iTunes, just a couple. One, because we didn’t think the person was credible. We just didn’t think the information was any good. The other is because they were boring. They really were more interested in reciting something from a script to try and make themselves sound good and they weren’t being real with us. That’s your choice as the host and you need to take that. We love that, number one. Number two is Google it, Ripoff Report. Just check it out. How hard is that for you to just do a quick search? It’s not that hard. We have done that for ourselves. We did that for our business before we ever knew Justin and Tonya and the vetting services that they offered. We would go on Google and Google a company and the word fraud. Google that company and the word scam. If there are things out there, Google doesn’t discriminate. Complaint is another one. It’s going to tell you everything that’s out there. It may take you a little time to be involved to do all these digging and research, but if it’s somebody you’re considering doing a lot of business with, it’s worth doing.

FYB 025 | Background Vetting

Background Vetting: When you see stuff that you don’t understand and you see these red flags pop up, the best thing to do is to see how they respond to it.

If you are considering interviewing somebody for your podcast or you have interviewed them and it just doesn’t feel right, spend a little time and do a little bit of your own due diligence and either confirm that you have a comfort level, “This person seems to be legitimate. I’m okay airing them as a guest on my show,” or “It still doesn’t feel right.” That’s when, to get out of it gracefully you may have to say, “There was something wrong with the tech and it just didn’t record. My schedule is so booked up for the next three months,” and you can eventually get out of having to interview them and not do it again. There are ways you can do it.

Here’s another example of where I had someone who came to us as product design client. It was really more on the product sourcing side and it’s not our forte. I do turn away a lot of business there. It’s not that we’re not good at it. It’s just that it’s not what we love to do. If there isn’t some amount of design and development involved, then I don’t like to get involved in the sourcing side of it. That’s how we operate. That’s when someone came to me and they needed more of that. I just met someone at an event and I just had a conversation with them. They seemed interesting but their business was very new and I had not done business with them so I said, “I think this might be an interesting connection for you. You should try this out,” but I would go into it very cautiously. I’ve not done business with them and I only just met them and I know that their business is only six months old. By my saying that, that person decided that they were going to, as they got a little further along, vet them and a bunch of red flags came up. She didn’t know what to do about it. She calls me up and she says, “I see all these red flags. Did you know any of this?” I said, “No. I didn’t but I’m really glad you told me because I’ve been continuing my conversation with them and something wasn’t feeling right. I think you should ask Justin what you should do now.” Justin replied that she should ask and that’s really something that I feel really you don’t do.

When you see stuff that you don’t understand and you see these red flags pop up, the best thing to do is to see how they respond to it. This is why when we met Justin and Tonya, I had already done this before and it was the reason I chose to do business. We’ve been considering doing something that was a very high-ticket item for us, very, very high level of business. We were considering paying another company a large sum of money and engaging in a certain level of business with them; a long-term level of business, multiple years. It was a big decision. I did my search and came up with a Ripoff Report; one entry that was not flattering. I read it and it sounded a little weird and then there was a link to a response that was filed on the Ripoff Report page. They had their response and it linked to their website in which they had this blog post that was their response to it. I read through the blog post and I felt that the blog post was really well-written. It was a measured response. It wasn’t like, “This person is a joke.” It wasn’t character assassination at all, which I would have found out and I would have not liked.

It was really all about the data. “Here’s the data. We screwed up. We didn’t perform well and they had a right to the complaint. We take issue with the Ripoff Report characterization of it because they were as responsible and here’s the data as to why they didn’t bring this to our attention or they were doing these things.” I thought, “That was a really great response to it. That was equalizing the two things in my mind but now I need to ask the question. This is a big long-term investment for us.” Now, I need to see how they respond to it. That’s what we did as we get on a call and I said, “I read this Ripoff Report,” and we didn’t get any further before the sales person replies to me and says, “We really hated that we had to write that response to it but we felt really strongly we had to because we had to present the information clearly.” Their very honest response to it was actually the reason that we ended up choosing to do business with them. That felt right. That felt like, “This bad happened and we feel bad about it and we’re not happy that a customer wasn’t happy and had to complain like that or did complain like that but there isn’t anything we can do but do better and we’ve learned.” I liked that response.

That’s reality of life. People make mistakes. It’s unrealistic for any of us to expect that someone we’re going to do business with or even politicians we elect to have pristine, flawless records. It’s part of how you learn in life. People make mistakes. It’s what you do after that mistake is made that then determines if you are someone of integrity or not, if you really are committed to improving and to being a better person. We’ve made some decisions about who we associate with on the show because we do this post the way that we do. We don’t just air an interview because we air this after a portion in which we can have this conversation about how we felt about what Justin said or whoever our guest is. We can be honest about that at that post. We don’t have to be complimentary. We don’t have to just have only the interview standing on its own. We get to have this conversation with you and share our real thoughts about that.

That gives us this chance to say, “I thought this person was really interesting and I’m glad they brought up some things but they also bring up a lot of questions or a lot of doubt in my mind about whether or not this will work for you or be successful.” You don’t have to just treat it like an association. You can treat it like information, “I’m presenting a person for you. I’m presenting something interesting for discussion for you.” It’s when you’re getting closer to the association stage where you’re endorsing them, where you’re affiliation with them and that’s really where it gets dangerous. We’ve taken it one step further. We do that by ourselves vetting of the people. We check them out and we feel how it resonates and we ask the why questions when we see a red flag. We go one step further if they’re not willing to share their course with us if they have a course, if they’re not willing to let us test it out ahead of time.

We do this all the time with printers. We don’t endorse a 3D printer unless we’ve tried it. We’re not going to just go out there. They can put an ad on our site if we think that they’re a valid company and going to stick around. That’s also another criteria for us because we don’t want someone who is going to be a fly-by-night. We really are very careful about it. We also really feel strongly that we’ve made the association for events that we don’t want to do business with people who won’t do business with us. That’s a big difference for us as well. If they aren’t willing to be in stronger affiliation with us and either represent our podcast, services and/or our product launch services if that’s what the case is, if they are just asking us to be on their stage because of our popularity or our speaking ability and not really standing behind a good product that we provide, then that’s not where we want to go. That’s a decision we’ve made just recently and that we’re moving forward with. This doesn’t mean that every business we do business with needs to be vetted. That’s not the case. It’s not that it’s very strict. “Everybody will be vetted or we’re not doing business with them.” That’s unrealistic because the Clear Business Directory is only a few years old. It’s relatively new. I hope it becomes this big nationwide database honestly at some point. I wish it would actually stretch beyond our nation’s borders too because there’s a whole lot more risk involved doing business internationally but it’s a subject for another time. The reality is it does breed trust.

We have a company that we’re doing more and more business with now that’s a very incredible web development company. We actually interviewed Sam Natello from DotCom on this podcast and this is something that’s been building over time. If a client comes to us and they need not only for us to launch their podcast for them but they need a starter website, a simple WordPress site with just a few pages and a podcast page, we’ll actually do that internally. We can do that. If you have this big business plan and you get a membership site, you really need a full-powered site, when you have a site that’s really a serious business site, then you need a serious web designer developer company that can do that for you. We’ve come to believe DotCom is that and we refer people to them.

We’ve been through dozens that I’ve tried to go through the process and tried to get an understanding of and just couldn’t even find good references of their clients who are happy. We were building our own websites in the late ’90s where we had to build our own shopping carts that weren’t existing ones you could plug into them. We’ve been building websites for a long time. We know how tough that can be to find a company that’s trustworthy and reputable and on time. That’s why when we learned that Sam and DotCom had been vetted by Justin and Tonya and are a part of the Clear Business Directory, that spoke volumes to us. Still we’ve spent at least a year and a half getting to know them before we really started to do business together, where our clients that need web development, we’re recommending them and they’re actually bringing us business of their clients for podcasters as well. It’s a good relationship.

I want you to think about this in terms of your guest. At some point, you can be discerning. You can be the decision-maker. Who do you want to associate your brand with? It’s really important for you not only to find people who are going to help your show grow and do all of that and that’s what we talked about in earlier episodes about choosing your guest. Those are choosing them wisely to help you. Once you get to a certain point, your audience is not to be taken lightly. That audience is devoted to you and you owe them the due diligence. You owe them a chance that you’ve tried this stuff, you’ve investigated it, you’ve checked it out. You’ve done some amount of work on their behalf and that’s why you’re recommending this person or bringing them forward. Not doing that is selling out your audience and we want to be really careful with that.

A good place maybe to end is talking about guests for podcast. I speak with a lot of you out there who are our clients and I’m sure there are many of the listeners out there who are not our clients yet or maybe will never be but the reality is, we have a lot of podcasters we’re associated with and a lot of businesses associations. All these different podcasts, you all have had guests and we all also can share those guests or make recommendations of guests for other podcasts. We actually have had people who had experience with these different people. We have our own little network here as podcasts hosts, “What did you think of this guest? Do you have a good guest that would be appropriate for this type of subject?” There’s a bit of vetting going on just in all of our experience with it that we can help and share with each other.

The way that some of the guest placement services work, they mass place you on a ton of them like twelve at once. They’ll just do that. Jennifer Spencer is not one of them and we’ve had her on the show. Some of them really that’s what they do. They are there to cram through almost like a book launch. You want to get as many interviews as possible. The problem with doing it in that compressed timeframe is that you can’t ask the other host how good they were. You can’t really hear the other episodes. You can’t always tell whether or not they were worthwhile. Not checking them out is a problem.

I’m always skeptical when the services push someone through and you know that they’re trying to place them on a dozen podcast at once. They don’t really care the quality level or really care about your podcast. You have to be that discerning voice. You have to make that decision for you. They have been paid to place them on as many podcasts as possible at a given period of time. They don’t care about a lot of those details. You have to care. That’s your job. We want you think about yourself as the keeper of your audience. You’re responsible for them not getting scammed, them having good resources available to them, them making progress. We feel very responsible to you out there. We want to make sure that we bring you the best people, the best ideas, the best resources going on because it’s in best service to you and I know that means that you’ll reward us by telling other people about our podcast and bringing us more listeners. We’ve seen it happen. We’ve done it already before. That’s the process. It’s a service and in service, we need to be at our best.

This is a different episode. I hope you enjoyed it. It’s a little about podcasting and considering what you’re doing with guests but it’s also a bit of a bigger business lesson, and exposure to somebody you might not know otherwise. A lot of you are in business for yourselves in some way, shape or form and we think this is applicable to many of you in that regards. We hope you enjoyed it. If you’d like more information about the Clear Directory and Justin Recla and also about that cool cryptocurrency stuff, you can find all of that on our Facebook page @FeedYourBrand. Thank you so much. We will back next time with another great episode. This has been Tom and Tracy on Feed Your Brand.

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About Justin Recla

FYB 025 | Background VettingJUSTIN RECLA has over 14 years experience and advanced training with the US Army and government defense contractors abroad. He is a subject matter expert in tactical questioning, surveillance, counter espionage, threat and vulnerability assessments, investigative techniques and developed standards for these specialties while working for the US Army. He is an educator in concepts of effective communication and has taught hundreds of future federal agents how to conduct subject interviews, source interviews and report on investigative functions. Justin brings his skills from the military sector and delivers them to the boardroom to help business owners protect their two most valuable assets: Time & Money.

 

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