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PodFest Speakers

Key Takeaways from this year’s PodFest Expo in Orlando, Florida

Erik Cabral On Air Brands

During PodFest I was excited to meet fellow leaders to learn more about how they are utilizing their podcast to speak out and inspire others. 

On the first day of PodFest, Thursday, May 26th, I attended an opening session with Erik Cabral, Founder, and CEO of On-Air Brands

Erik spoke about the limiting beliefs, fears, and doubts that keep leaders from sharing their message authentically on social media. He discussed the importance of focusing on specific a specific purpose. 


OAB catchphrase “ Changing the world one mic at a time” resonated with me as I’ve realized the power that podcasters have to share their messages to hundreds, thousands, or millions of people across the globe. 

The biggest takeaway that I can share from Erik’s powerful and energetic presentation is that he explained that a personal brand is an opportunity to share a message and that results times reach equal a reputation. 

As a podcast host, I take this opportunity very seriously but found his presentation helped inspire me to really provide a positive message for the listeners by speaking directly to them, as individuals. After all, I’m really just talking to one person, one interview at a time. 

Listeners are just as important to me as the guest on the podcast, so I plan to take Erik’s suggestions to heart and start speaking directly to my audience, one person at a time.

I also noted how many times he mentioned the word “community” during his talk, it was 7 times, making it clear that community is here to stay for every brand, big or small.

Do you like my notes? Say thanks with a cup of coffee!! 

Building a brand authentically

The next powerhouse speaker I enjoyed is Ashley Wilson who spoke about building a better brand. Ashley is the Co-Founder of Bar Down Investments LLC and she shared really great tips for podcasters and business owners looking to learn more about investing.  

As someone interested in learning more about building a brand, I found her talk really easy to listen to and insightful. I’ve felt that I’ve been doing all the giving and she spoke about “giving till it hurts” with authenticity. 

As a fellow creator who’s struggled with finding my voice, and now feeling like I want to build the “right” audience, I’ll continue to learn more about connecting with humans. 

My biggest takeaway from this session was her concept of a shift from the B2B market (business to business) to the B2H (Business to Human) market. It really resonated with me because I’ve noticed that there is a trend among business owners, they see they can’t just “get away” without having values, and beliefs, and telling others what their business stands for in the world. People want to work with and buy from other people, so the next generation of businesses will be aligning a business with individuals’ needs, and problems, and offering the best solutions for their unique challenges. 

Women in Podcasting

Women in Podcasting

Thursday afternoon I attended a Women in Podcasting series of guest presentations and panels which turned out to be the highlight of the entire event. A focus of mine this year is to align me with female leaders and entrepreneurs who really connect to my vision, message, and values of giving others a stage to shine. 

This series, led by Jennifer Henczel, filled up the entire room from the first session Panel, 5 Methods of Masting Your Podcast Mindset with Martine Cadet, Tiphany Kane, Marion Blinkoff, and Michelle Abraham. 

Each panelist shared their journey into podcasting and some statistics about the podcasting industry. As reported by Statista, 62 percent of consumers in the United States have listened to an audio podcast in 2022, up from 55 percent in 2020. 

Martine Cadet spoke to the packed room and shared that podcasting for her is part of visualizing and creating the kind of content that she is passionate about and wants to share with her listeners. 

Starting to create content for social media to build a podcast and a brand starts with curating the content for the audience, creating a program within that content, and repeating the message over and over for consistency. 

Some great resources noted included: 

  • Solvv – Hosts and panelists join together to answer unique questions and solvv modern-day obstacles in relevant and authentic 15-minute panel-based podcasts.
  • Instagram Guides – To tell a story, featured at the top of the IG account, provide another way to connect with brands and get inspired by the content created. 
  • Spotify Playlist – As podcasting becomes increasingly popular, it is noted that several people have recommended creating a playlist to share with your audience. 

Leverage Other People's Podcasts (OPP)

During the afternoon session still in the Women in Podcasting track, I listened to Melanie Benson, who shared her methods for gaining ideal clients within 14 days when getting on other people’s podcasts. 


She suggested, “follow the breadcrumbs” to become visible as an authority in the industry and create a brand through ROCS – Relevant content, Outcome-based solutions, Credibility Boosting, and Specifically topic focus. Melanie also shared that people enjoy talking to her and hearing that from another podcaster is a huge compliment. 

The biggest takeaway from Melanie’s presentation for me was that she suggested making sure to keep a “through-line” during the interview to set the tone for the interview for the best results and to ensure that the message gets to your ideal client faster than an unplanned conversation. 

In the afternoon session, I lost track of how many times the word “community” came up in the conversation among these inspiring women. All I can say is that the energy in that room allowed me to feel that I was in the right place, and with the right people, to develop a lasting relationship with several people, some of whom I’ve already made a priority to continue the conversation after this event. 

Do you like my notes? Say thanks with a cup of coffee!! 

Bernadette Joy

Financials on Friday

The PodFest Expo continued on Friday morning with a session from Bernadette Joy, Speaker and Chief Educator of Crush Your Money Goals

Her enthusiastic presentation to a room full of podcasters who are trying to monetize their podcast focused on “CRUSH” ing their goals by clearing the mental clutter, reverse engineering into one goal, aligning with a niche audience, and providing value as well as solutions for ideal clients and listeners. 

The biggest takeaway from her session I learned was that in order to monetize a podcast, a podcaster should consider several streams of income to balance their revenue. “Stop treating this like a hobby,”  she said. She recommended working smarter, not harder. 

Friday afternoon was my time to speak, and it wasn’t that I was nervous, I was really nervous. I had practiced my 5-minute talk and by the time I was up on the stage, it felt like I had 5 seconds to say a lot of stuff. My focus was to tell other community leaders that it can be challenging to launch a paid online community, but starting with a few basic tips can help them avoid the pitfalls of a failed launch. 

The takeaways from my session were: 

  1. Ask people before you create something to validate your idea 
  2. Bring people into the conversation by allowing them to be a part of the community-building process and do ith with them 
  3. Raise the pricing on your offer, so you can convert fewer people into your program and work on providing stellar value and experiences for the members who really need your help. 
  4. Ask for help from others, don’t try and build a community all by yourself. Find communities to connect with for your personal well-being that you enjoy. 
  5. Hire a professional to help you get started on your community-building journey. 

Outsourcing, Podcast Masterminds, and Accessibility for all

Earlier this year I’d met a few podcasters through community-led events. One podcaster I’d connected with is Mark Savant, Host of the After Hours Entrepreneur Podcast. I also joined his Mastermind, now on Mighty Networks called Podcast Savants! I’ve been learning a lot from Mark and wanted to support him during his presentation at PodFest.  


Mark’s session focused on utilizing virtual assistants for time-consuming tasks like podcast editing, production, social media, and promotion. He offered resources to help podcasters identify when is the right time to bring on an assistant and where to find one! Below are the takeaways from his session. 

  • Identify the most time-consuming tasks and identify your process so you can train a new assistant when you are ready to build your team 
  • A few places to find VAs are right in your current network and connections, so just asking some of your fellow podcasters is a great place to start. Some Facebook groups have VAs that you can connect with and see if they are a good fit for you. 
  • Once you’ve hired a VA, It is important to establish expectations, timelines, deadlines, and how you will communicate with them; email, slack, text, zoom call, etc. 

Following Mark’s talk, I attended fellow podcaster DeeJae DuRante, a recent guest on the Community Strategy Podcast whom I’d met during a pre-event networking event with fellow podcasters. Her presentation focused on how to create an online brand or company that is more inclusive and accessible to all. A few takeaways from her session are below and you should check out the episode here

  • 80% of people have experienced accessibility issues when trying to access content 
  • One in five potential customers is being excluded from content they can’t consume
  • To provide more accessible content, make sure to post audio, video, and written content including transcripts of all podcast episodes, or talks. 
  • Enable captions on your Zoom calls so that everyone can read, watch, and listen 
  • Be informed, accessibility is something that is not just for them, it’s for everyone 
  • Use Sans Serif text because it is easy to read for all and will allow better communication 

Takeaways from Callisa

Callisa Mickle is the Community Strategy Podcast Producer and attended PodFest to learn more about how to promote, cultivate excitement, and improve our podcast. 

Here are her takeaways from the event: 

“As the podcast producer, I attempted to attend plenty of sessions around audience growth, monetization, and also improvements in podcast technology.” 

  •  Video podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, to the point where YouTube has its own podcasting tab. The visual element also feels more personal, being able to see nonverbal cues and emotions. Video content can be broken into long-form (full episode) and short-form (smaller clips of key points/moments).
  • It is really important to create content that provides value to both your followers and non-listeners. They don’t care that you have a new episode, they care about the content inside of that episode. This approach to creating content can also be used for businesses that don’t have a podcast. Give them actual value to gain trust.
  • There are so many different ways to monetize including affiliate marketing, sponsorships, memberships, one-time purchasing, and more. Pick one or two lanes and do them well to avoid the overwhelm of trying to do everything.
  • Above all, find your community! I attended a couple of sessions in the Red Tent and found my people! Instantly I felt more comfortable to connect on a deeper level,and I loved hearing about the businesses they had created. I learned more about the type of people I would love to work with and support. 
  • I hope you’ve enjoyed my notes, resources, links, and takeaways from this year’s PodFest event. Please feel free to share them with anyone who might find them valuable. 
A Community Strategist who helps entrepreneurs find calm building


Deb Schell is the Creator of Find Calm Here LLC — As a community strategist, she helps female entrepreneurs and executives find calm in building, launching, and growing paid online communities. With experience helping over 80 Mighty Network Hosts, Deb’s combined experience as a journalist, copywriter, photographer, artist, and sales professional align to offer clients a streamlined experience that is fun! 

Inside the Find Calm Here Community, she brings together community-builders who feel overwhelmed and offers tools, support, and accountability. Together, members find calm in the process of building their online Mighty Networks, sharing their successes and struggles. 

As the Host of The Community Strategy Podcast, Deb shares conversations with community-builders who share how they’ve found calm in building, launching, and growing their online paid communities. 

Do you like my notes? Say thanks with a cup of coffee!! 

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