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Radio For Small Business, Interview with Lee Kantor & Stone Payton Business RadioX


HBusiness radio x interview _ Logo 2017 Jan.docxow to get the word out about your company and products is a one of the biggest challenges facing many small business owners.

As we often discuss on Diva Marketing, the digital world provides a multitude of of opportunities from blogs to social networks to online advertising. For good measure, let's throw in eMail and websites.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting two guys in Atlanta who have a little different approach on how to promote your business. Lee Kanter and Stone Payton are telling the stories of local metro businesses through a digital radio program -- Business RadioX. There are usually several guests, discussing diverse topics, on each show. In additon to being interview by Lee and Stone, who do the show in tandem, the hosts take great pleasure in initiating networking among their guests. 

Lee Kanter Business Radio XAbout Lee Kantor from the perspective of Lee Kantor - I think that having a degree in Advertising from a school of journalism gave me a unique perspecitve to disrupt the media. And as a social entrepreneur, I founded Business RadioX out of my frustration with traditional media's anti-business bias. Some media leans left, some media leans right, we lean business.

We help companies of all sizes get the word out about the good work they are doing for their profession and their community.  

 About Stone Payton from the perspective of Stone PaytonJust a guy who "hit the lottery" when I stumbled on to Business RadioX ® and met Lee Kantor. In the beginning, as a guest -- and later as a client,

I found this platform to be ideal for building relationships and creating original content -- which of course, helped me serve my market and grow my business. Stone Payton _business radio x

Now, as Managing Partner I get to help all kinds of businesses share their story and promote their work -- and now my sole focus is expanding the Network so we can do it all on a much larger scale.

Diva Marketing: Let’s kick this off with a media question. In this age of digital video why produce a ‘radio’ show?

Lee Kantor, Business RadioX®: I think radio or audio interviews are a more effective way to capture authentic, deeper conversations. While some people are comfortable being videotaped, we have found that a lot of people get self-conscious and in their own head with a camera in their face. Video interviews tend to be superficial and sound bitey.

At Business RadioX, the way we conduct in studio interviews is very intimate and comfortable. Within a few minutes, everyone relaxes, opens up and shares their story. Since we are long form the business person’s passion for what and more importantly why they are doing what they do comes out.

Diva Marketing: Lee, what does Stone bring to this party that you do not?

Lee Kantor, Business RadioX®: Stone has taken a lot of the business functions that I am not good at off my plate. He is great at selling and articulating the Business RadioX mission and value proposition to prospective partners and sponsors. His ability to see the client's ultimate objective then reverse engineer an elegant solution that helps them achieve their goals has been critical to our success.

Diva Marketing: Same question for you Stone. What does Lee bring to the Business RadioX® that you do not?

Stone Payton, Business RadioX®Well, Lee founded the company, developed the original idea, and refined the concept long before I became involved.  He had a great lifestyle business going -- helping people and earning a comfortable six figure living working 2 or 3 half days a week when I met him . . . And then, I took him away from all that (smile).

We're still a small company, so Lee wears a lot of hats like we all do . . . but I think the two most valuable contributions he makes on a consistent basis are Vision and Empathy.  I don't know how to explain it, but I swear the man can see "around the corners and behind the doors."  This gives us the ability to consistently ensure we're meeting needs and solving problems for our customers -- sometimes, needs and problems they don't even realize they have yet.

He's remarkably adept at Empowering Others as well.  Candidly, that's a major hole in my swing personally -- letting go, delegating . . . and equipping others to get the job done.  I'm still working on that one.

Diva Marketing: When I was a guest on Business RadioX ® I found your questions to be thoughtful and well… smart. Your guests come from diverse backgrounds. What prep do you usually do for each guest/show? Toby bloomberg on Business radio x _ 12_16

Lee Kantor, Business RadioX®I try to be an active listener and really be in the moment with our guests. I want to understand what they do and more importantly why they do it. I am not afraid to ask "dumb" questions, because I'm trying to educate our listeners no matter what stage of business they are in.

 We like to joke that both Stone and I are both curious and ignorant about so many things that those equalities help us do pretty effective interviews.

Stone Payton, Business RadioX®Almost none in most cases -- I want the conversation to be fresh and authentic, so I'm going to be asking the same questions our listeners would be asking.  My prep is in the inviting. I reach out to people I find interesting and want to learn more about -- always searching for compelling stories that should be told.  And I know in most cases -- if we don't share them, they'll go untold.  

Sharing positive business stories simply does not fit the Big Media economic model. Unless there's a scandal, fire, or crime to report, most businesses in your community and mine are not going to be invited to tell their story.

Diva Marketing: In terms of how a guest comes across on-air, what makes a good guest for a radio show?

 Lee Kantor, Business RadioX®: A good guest is someone who is passionate about what they are doing and is willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly about what they do and how they got to where they are at.

The best guests talk from the heart not from notes or by inelegantly forcing in memorized talking points.

 Stone Payton, Business RadioX®: Substance . . . If you're the "real thing" -- actually out there providing genuine value to the marketplace, that will come shining through in a Business RadioX ® interview.

Stone Payton  and Lee Kantor _business radio x _2

Diva Marketing: What is the value for a guest in taking the time from their busy schedules to come into the studio and be part of Business RadioX

Lee Kantor, Business RadioX®: I think there is a lot of value for the guest. 1- They are given a business centric platform to get the word out about what they are doing in their business 2- They get a long form interview, which means they can talk in normal sentences not in sound bites. They can share real stories not talking points. 3- We are a pro-business earned media network that will not humiliate or ambush our guests, we are there to support and celebrate them.

Stone Payton,Business RadioX®: If someone I invited were to really ask this, I'd simply ignore thequestion or politely uninvite them and move on. They probably shouldn't be a guest on our network. Their value system is not quite aligned with ours -- too transactional (vs. relationship and service oriented), and they wouldn't leverage their appearance properly anyway. But I understand why you might ask the question in an interview like this -- so here's just some of what I've observed . . .

First and foremost, it's an opportunity to serve. If we've invited you to be featured on a Business RadioX ® show, you have knowledge and experience that would be tremendously valuable to other execs and entrepreneurs.

2.Participating in an authentic conversation like the ones we facilitate -- a conversation solely focused on you and your work -- helps you crystallize your own thinking. (You're doing the same thing for me right now.)

3.In most episodes, you'll meet other bright, passionate people with compelling stories.  You'll almost certainly learn something -- and in many cases, we've seen enduring relationships evolve from people who have first met in our studios.

4.In the space of 45 minutes of less, you'll capture a great deal of thought leadership-- original content that can be re-purposed in a variety of ways to help you serve your market and grow your business.

Diva Marketing: As some one in the media once told me, without an audience there is no business. What does your listening audience get from the shows? Or the biz question, “What’s in it for me?”

Lee Kantor, Business RadioX®: Business RadioX listeners get a front row seat to stories of real life business people battling every day to make it. We tell real stories, right from the horse’s mouth. We aren’t theorizing about business, we are going deep and immersing ourselves in a business person’s everyday world. If you need to know what is happening in the business world in your community you would be well served to listen to the stories we tell on Business RadioX in your market because they aren’t being told anywhere else.

Stone Payton,Business RadioX®:  Original thought leadership and practical ideas from people who are actually in the trenches getting it done.

Diva Marketing: I really liked Stone’s tweet.

Twitter Stone Payton Business Radio x

Your business model is interesting, different and if I may say so – brilliant in the way you help your guests network with each other. Please tell our community a little about the model and how you developed it.

Lee Kantor Business RadioX®: Our mission is to amplify the stories of business in every local market that we serve. We think it is critically important to support and celebrate the small to mid-sized business people in every community. We believe that every community needs a media outlet that will give them a chance to tell their story and amplify their message.

Our business model serves each constituent in business.

Listeners can access all our interviews for free. If they resonate with what we are doing in their community they can support our mission by nominating guests with interesting business stories and if they want to financially help us tell more stories they can become a member of the Business RadioX community at brxmember.com

Guests can support us by coming on a show and sharing their story. We are earned media and guests never pay to be a guest. Guests can also support us by becoming a member.

Business people who philosophically believe in our mission and agree with us that it is important to have a media outlet in their market that supports business financially support us by becoming sponsors. Businesses can sponsor a series, a show or even a studio. We create custom sponsorships with a handful of clients in each market we serve that helps them elegantly meet the hard to reach people they need to grow their business as well as show the community that they want to help get the word out about the good work that is being done in their market.

In each market we serve we find one or more entrepreneurs that wants to use our platform to capture business stories. This person can be a consultant who want to leverage our brand to just serve the industry they work in or they can be a business person looking for a more meaningful second act to their career.

Stone Payton,Business RadioX®: Yeah -- what he said.  Again, I can't take any credit for the core business model . . . I just jumped on Lee's coat tails -- and I ain't lettin' go! I am thoroughly enjoying helping to refine the business model for expansion and scale though . . . That's a great deal of fun -- bringing this platform to other markets.

Diva Marketing: There are two sides to the mic. What skills and talents should a host have to be successful?

Lee Kantor Business RadioX®I think a level of humbleness is needed, which I think is lacking among most interviewers. I think a lot of interviewers want to be the star, so they monopolize the time, or wax elegantly about how smart they are too often. We encourage our hosts to make the guest the star. Listen well, ask clear questions, one at a time. Dig deeper with follow-up questions when the opportunity presents itself. Ask more why questions.

Stone Payton,Business RadioX®Emotional maturity to shine the light on the guest (vs. themselves).

Genuine desire to help the guest share their story.

Business acumen can be helpful -- but some of our best questions -- and resulting conversations -- have come from students with little or no practical business experience.  I don't know the first thing about aerodynamics -- but in spite of that, maybe even because of that -- I'm confident I could facilitate a very powerful and productive interview with the nation's leading authority in that field . . . And so can you or any of your readers -- if they have the right mindset.

Diva Marketing: What role does social media play in your communication plan?

Lee Kantor Business RadioX®Social media plays an important role in distributing the content we create. We use Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to share the stories we collect.

In 2017 we are going to explore using Instagram to share some of the photos we capture in studio and use our email newsletter in a more strategic fashion. We may even play with YouTube by taking some clips of audio we capture and using them as a soundtrack for some photos we capture in studio and making a video. We also sometimes use social media beofre a show to ask our community for some questions they want answered from upcoming guests.

Diva Marketing: Which social media channel is most effective for you and why?

Lee Kantor,Business RadioX®We lean on Linkedin. We are business people talking to business people so Linkedin is a logical channel to communicate with our community and distribute our content.

Stone Payton,Business RadioX®: Lee's absolutely right if you're going by today's definition of Social Media  -- but my answer is "Lunch" . . . or dinner, or the boardroom, or the golf course, or the telephone -- anywhere Execs and Entrepreneurs are actually engaging one another and exchanging ideas to serve their market and grow their business.

Diva Marketing: RadioX ® has been around for a while and in that time I suspect you’ve interviewed thousands of small business owners. How has the small business/entrepreneurship world changed in terms of product/service innovation?

Lee Kantor,Business RadioX®I think that as technology has become faster, cheaper and more powerful we are in an interesting time.

It's hard to look at things from 40,000 feet when the ground is moving underneath your feet. When we started, smartphones weren't so smart. Now we need a mobile first strategy. When we started it was cumbersome to listen to our content live or even get the recording on your phone. Now I can watch everything from a movie to live NFL game on my phone.

Business owners have to stay focused, stay in their lane and use technology to work for them.

It is easy to get distracted and follow every shiny object that you hear about.

Stone Payton  and Lee Kantor _business radio x _1

Diva Marketing: What trends do you see happening in marketing media for business owners on limited budgets?

Lee Kantor,Business RadioX®I see a trend of forward thinking businesses supporting media that are authentic, long form and who creates meaningful relationships with their listeners.  There is a wave of socially conscious businesses that have figured out that there is a lot better ROI with fewer (but more engaged) “hearts and minds” rather than with more (anonymous and superficial) “eyes and ears.”

I think the majority of traditional media outlets are desperate and are spiralling down the clickbait path. Sadly this strategy is making them less relevant in terms of influence. Because of the use of this click bait strategy their consumer can’t tell fake news from real news.

Stone Payton,Business RadioX®: Limited budgets are a product of limited revenue, limited thinking, or both. We can help change that -- and I'm delighted to say we provide substantial value at any financial budget from $0, to $129 /year, to $5k /month, and beyond.  

As for trends . . . Access is higher, Quality is lower. Distribution is much higher, but tools for measuring haven't caught up. Most metrics in marketing media today are meaningless (impressions, viewership, coverage, clicks,)  . . . It's like trying to measure fluid ounces on a bathroom scale . . . in an effort to find the best route to Boise. So we simply measure ROI.

Diva Marketing: As we enter 2017, what are your plans for Business RadioX®?

Lee Kantor,Business RadioX®:  We want to tell 1 million business stories. And to help us do that we need to find socially conscious businesses that want to partner with us and help us put studios in markets around the United States. Together we can tell more stories and help more small and mid sized businesses get the word out about the great work they are doing for their profession and their communities.

Stone Payton,Business RadioX®Increased Access For All . .

1.Expanding the network to other markets

2. More stories, more ways to access what you want, when you want it . . . and we're launching our BRX Member program so more people who resonate with our mission, enjoy serving their community, and appreciate authentic conversations with local business leaders can join our cause.

Diva Marketing: As is Diva Marketing’s tradition, we’re throwing the virtual mic back to you. Wrap it anyway you’d like!

Lee & Stone, Business RadioX®: If you know anyone with an interesting business story please send them our way. We want to interview them and help them get the word out! If you know any sponsors or entrepreneurs who resonate with our work please send them our way as well.

Business radio x interview _ Logo 2017 Jan.docxContect with Business RadioX®, Lee Kantor and Stone Payton

Website |Facebook |Twitter @LeeKantor|Twitter @StonePayton