How to Rock the Virtual Stage on Your B2B Podcast - With Rich “Trigger” Bontrager

Is your audience captivated when they see you on the virtual stage? thinking face 
Too often businesses assign a leader to speak for the brand without giving them training on how to properly present the brand voice and engage an audience. 
As a result, the brand reputation suffers tremendously. chart decreasing 
Rich “Trigger” Bontrager, host of Rock the Virtual Stage show and head of podcasts and TV content for the C-Suite Network, has found the solution that most businesses need—coaching. 
Rich coaches business leaders across multiple industries on how to bring high energy, passion and vision to any stage, virtual or not. 
His 30+ years of experience in broadcasting and content creation will help your business and brand grow like never before. 
Check out our latest episode where Kap sits down with Rich and they discuss brand voice, marketing content at scale and strategies on how to get the job done. hammer and pick 
This episode is for YOU
Main Takeaways:
gem stone How to become a better communicator
gem stone The importance of storytelling for your business
gem stone The best way to scale your content across multiple platforms
gem stone How to evolve the way you present your strategy, product or service to an audience
gem stone Building your brand through show marketing
alarm clock 00:00-05:31 | The problem most leaders face when communicating to an audience
alarm clock 05:31-09:16 | Who should be the spokesperson for your brand?
alarm clock 09:16-15:35 | Learn to evolve the way you communicate with your team
alarm clock 15:35-20:37 | Business leaders need to learn to tell their brand story
alarm clock 20:37-27:12 | The benefits of a live show for your audience
alarm clock 27:12-29:20 | How to scale the content of your show 
alarm clock 29:20-32:37 | Show marketing provides tangible business ROI 
alarm clock 32:37-37:52 | Learn to actively engage your audience
speech balloon Every executive needs to learn how to be the new Walt Disney.“ - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon More businesses need to learn who is the dreamer, who is the architect, and who's the nuts and bolts and get them in their sweet spots.” - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon When you give someone that opportunity to feel like they're in control, and it's in bite sized pieces, oftentimes it makes them lean in to consume even more of your content.” - Kap Chatfield
speech balloon Cliffhangers work in every movie, every TV series. Leave them with something so they have to come back for more.” - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon So what is your story you want to convey to get people, your teams, your consumers, all involved and go deeper with it? Storytelling is central.” - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon 'I’m communicating at a higher level when I add story into it.” - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon You're not going to make money unless you get people empowered, excited and equipped to get on board with you. That's where the story now pulls them in.” - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon Your environment helps you communicate.” - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon The live allows you to build an audience where people are showing up at a specific time, and you've created these pathways where they can actually communicate back to you.” - Kap Chatfield
speech balloon “Repurposing content is a big part of helping people learn how to grow their brand.” - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon “You need to have high energy, and present with enthusiasm and passion—if you’re dry and boring people will turn you off.” - Rich Bontrager
speech balloon “The four E's for everybody: be engaging, create an environment, entertain and educate.” - Kap Chatfield
Reach out to Rveal:

210501_RM_B2BP_Ep_How to Rock the Virtual Stage on Your B2B Podcast_QG1

Full transcription: 

Kap Chatfield  00:20

Hey guys, welcome back to B2B podcasting. Today we're gonna be talking about how you can rock the virtual stage, how you can become a better communicator. And whether it's through your podcast or your YouTube channel, or just the content that you're putting out on LinkedIn or whatever marketing channel that you're using. It's so important to be an effective communicator and that's why I'm so excited to have my friend Rich Bontrager, we call him "Trigger" on the show today. He is a TV host and head of podcasts and TV content for the C-Suite Network. He does a lot of other stuff, too. He's also the host of the Rock The Virtual Stage show, it's a weekly show, a live show that you could find on LinkedIn when you follow him. And that's exactly what they talk about is how you can become a better communicator, not just on stage in person, but as we've seen through COVID, in the virtual stage as well. So Rich, thanks so much for joining us on the show today.


Rich Bontrager  01:10

Kap, it's a pleasure to be here. Finally, we got to get this done. And even though we're going to talk virtual, we're also going to be, go back live in person in several weeks. So you and I will be on stage together, so we're kind of double dipping on all the fun here, man.


Kap Chatfield  01:22

I know it's so exciting. It's really exciting to be able to meet you in person. And obviously the dynamic of communicating from stage with a crowd that you can see, and you can kind of interact with them, that's gonna be a lot of fun. But man, the virtual space, it's so important, but it's so challenging. And I'd love to just kick off this episode by asking you, why did why did you begin doing coaching for communication in general? And why do you see such a need for communicators, business leaders, to embrace engaging an audience, particularly through a screen? And what have been some of the challenges with that?


Rich Bontrager  01:58

Yeah, great. The first reason I did it, I've got 30 years of broadcasting in me. So all I know is a microphone. I've tried other careers and I always go back to the studio, I always go back to the microphone. I've got 30 years of play by play sports work. So to me, it is in the storytelling, it is the creative narrative. It's fun, it's exciting. So when I look at communication, so many leaders I've seen have gotten on stage live, mostly prior to COVID, live and I'm like, you really don't know what you're doing. Sorry, but you don't. You You You have great content, you have great ideas, but you don't know how to communicate that amazing wondrous thing. So I began to think I'm going to help you, I want to help you because you can't get up there and keep missing and swinging. Like, it's too important. So that's where the coaching idea came out was I just want to take what I have learned and help other people succeed better. Then of course, when COVID came, and everyone jumped on the zoom cameras, everyone jumped on their laptops and thought "I could do this". I actually have good friends Kap, that actually were on and I was crying going, you're killing your brand, you're hurting yourself. You don't know how bad this is. So I I literally got some of the broadcasting friends and started Rock The Stage Show, Rock The Virtual Stage. I just began with interviews of let's talk about voice inflection. Let's talk about storytelling. Let's talk about brand recognition. I just began this thing. And three months into it, I realized I'm booked six months out now, I'm really running a show that people are liking and giving causes. So then the virtual stage really became my new focus, was how can I help you virtually communicate because this is ever expanding, and it's going nowhere. This is going to be here, probably forever in some fashion from here on out.


Kap Chatfield  03:44

It makes, I think the benefit of the internet is it allows us to connect with an audience like never before. I mean, here we are, I'm in Omaha, Nebraska, as we're doing this recording, you're from the DC area. And we've gotten connected and we're able to have a conversation, and we're able to collaborate and create content for an audience that's going to be you know, all over the United States and maybe even beyond as well. So the opportunity has never been more interesting and more accessible. However, I think you can also admit, and this is probably why you cringe when you see some people try to create their own content and they're just they're just missing, is because the it's like a double edged sword. We have more opportunity than ever before, but that also creates more noise than ever before. And so how are you going to stand out and how are you going to captivate attention?


Rich Bontrager  04:35

No, and that's key to it because everyone did. I mean, we'd like the floodgates opened up. Everyone grabbed their iPhone, everyone went to Tick Tock, everyone went to LinkedIn the day everywhere. They just blew up and thought as long as I'm talking, I will make sales, I will make progress as long as I'm on camera. And we found, many people find that doesn't work. The noise does not work. It is the content and the presentation skills. People watch TV, and every seven minutes is a commercial. Now that we're all media people, now that we all run our businesses this way, you have to think about that. If we don't like the first action scene, if the actors are lousy, if it's a B-rated movie or show, what do we do? Click. Yep, everyone got online and begin to flood it. And that's what happened. They went, I'm trying so hard. But they're not sticking, because you aren't presenting, communicating and packaging in a way that people want to watch.


Kap Chatfield  05:31

What do you think is the biggest problem when people, particularly business leaders, because I think, you know, what we're looking at now is, what we describe in our company is that every company should be thinking of themselves as a media company first. 


Rich Bontrager  05:44

Exactly, that's exactly how I coach it. 


Kap Chatfield  05:47

So, and the problem, though, is that you have business leaders who they are really, as far as like thought leadership and casting vision and being a face of the brand, there's probably nobody in the organization that's going to be better than them most of the time. But they're not trained entertainers. So it's like, how do you, how do you rectify in your mind, "I'm a business leader. But I'm also supposed to be like this media personality"?


Rich Bontrager  06:11

So first of all, I do not assume the top person is the right person to be on camera. I have seen too many people on stage, and especially on video now, who they are the CEO, they are the executive, they think I'm the guy so I've got to do it. And honestly, I've seen people on their team that can do it better naturally. So maybe they have the right ideas, but they should not maybe be the mouthpiece. That's number one, I do coach people to give up the platform for the right people, because your message and your idea is good. However, I do coach many people on if you're going to do this, if you are going to be that face, you have to know how to talk, look at the camera, eyes to the camera, body language, all the things I go through, because now you are media. Like you said, you are now a media star. I always compare the Walt Disney. You're probably not old enough to remember this, I'm sorry, man. But Sunday nights where the Wonderful World of Disney, it was an amazing show. And every Sunday night, it would start with Walt Disney, the creator of Disney, the dreamer of Disney would come out and do 15 minutes from his office desk. He would have toys, gadgets, maps of the new building out of Disney. And he would storytel and tell you the amazing things. He owned the camera. He owned the room. He was in a studio with him and probably five other people. And then he would say and now here's your feature. Half the time Sunday nights movies were not as good as Walt was, looking back. Walt was better than the feature. But what got everyone to watch it was they wanted to watch Walt every week give an update about where they're going to be able to take vacation. Of where the new amazing Animal Kingdom was going to be. All these different dreams he had. People came to watch Walt and stuck around for the movie. Every executive needs to learn how to be in the new Walt Disney. 


Kap Chatfield  07:58

Wow, I didn't realize that. That's that's pretty remarkable to think about that people bought into him. They bought into his ability to cast vision. And, and they stuck around to actually watch it. So that's a,


Rich Bontrager  08:14

He was the dreamer. Because he he went bankrupt bankrupt several times. His brother handled the business and handled the construction. Walt tried that, and he could not do it, so he was the dreamer, the architect. And they would doodle and dream and he would tell you wrong color, wrong this. But he left all the business side, the structural sides to his brothers, they made a great team. But he was the face, the mouth, the dreamer. More businesses need to learn who is the dreamer, who is the architect, and who's the nuts and bolts? And get them in their sweet spots. And sometimes the CEO is not the guy to be on camera.


Kap Chatfield  08:50

Yeah, that takes some humility to recognize, and also you need to, in an ideal world, you know, you would have the team to be able to help with that. I mean, I just think about even like, you know, presidential cabinets, for example, like if any administration has like a press secretary or spokesperson that's in front of the camera. Organizations have spokespeople all the time. So it's it's helpful to think about that. But let's let's, you know, let's think about the leader that might not be in the place where they have that luxury readily available. And here's another thing that I would say, maybe it's not just communication for the sake of building brand externally. But I have a team that's 100% remote, for example, Rich, and so I'm in, I'm in a place where I have to communicate with my team, cast vision, get them to buy in, get them excited about what we're doing. And I have to do it through a computer screen. I have to do it through my phone. And so let's say that there's another business leader that's in a similar scenario that I am, right at work, or maybe it's a hybrid, they have people in person or people online. What are some things that you or maybe your process, what's your process in order to coach that business leader to to go from a zero, to get them to a place where they're actually engaging and inspiring their team to take action?

210501_RM_B2BP_Ep_How to Rock the Virtual Stage on Your B2B Podcast_QG2

Rich Bontrager  10:06

So there's a lot of mental obstacles to overcome with this. Because we're used to running board meetings with everyone in the same room. You can do a two, two hour huddle board meeting, and you think you're accomplishing things with it. People jumped on line thinking, let's do a two hour board meeting virtually. EHH. Doesn't work. Because people are not wired to just be hearing, unless you're really captivating, it's very, very rare. No matter how good you are. You don't do a marathon anymore, you do episodes. So you have to change their mind to think about episodes now. How long is the retention until you turn them into action? So let's say you turn your two hour board meeting into three sessions over the week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You do an hour or 40 minutes or whatever, but you always give them action on it. And then you also turn it into interactiveness. You don't need to be the only one speaking all the time, share the microphone, give it off to the accounting team for a while, give it up to the marking team for a little while. So now your shift is we're going to do our meeting, but we're going to collaborate together. And you can then do breakout rooms. Oh, we've never done that before in a boardroom meeting. Let's have the accounting and huddle up for a couple meetings with a couple marketing people, put them together, come back, and what do you guys get out of that live? So now you're bringing creative mindset to what was information before and now you're having activation with your mind, not just information. There's so many different ways to strategize, or make it episodic instead of a long, boring meeting.


Kap Chatfield  11:40

I love that. I think the episodic, I think about TV in general versus movies. And I think one thing that's so interesting about TV TV series is, if you look at like the whole season of content, it's significantly more content than a movie. But for whatever reason, people will still like sit and binge watch an entire TV show at some point sometimes. It's like, because you kind of give them the opportunity to choose if they want to keep going down rather than like you're forced to sit down for seven hours and and listen to this presentation. People, when you give someone like that opportunity to feel like they're in control, and it's in bite sized pieces, oftentimes it makes them lean in to consume even more of it.


Rich Bontrager  12:25

Also leaving with a cliffhanger. Yeah, I mean, cliffhangers work in every movie. Every TV, series. Leave them with something like, I'm setting you up for the next meeting, but I'm not gonna give it to you, you have to come back for more. And then with that action step, your team comes back with an action, and they're waiting for the next morsel. So now you have that whole lean in thing going much better. But again, we're not used, were used to information dumps. But you have to change your mindset. And there's an element of entertainment in this Kap. You have to learn this is TV. It's not a zoom call. It's not a Google box, or whatever platform you're on. This is not that. It is media and TVs. We have to learn to present and think like, media strategy, now.


Kap Chatfield  13:07

When I went to school, I went to the University of Miami for college, I actually went to study film, I think I might have told you that on a previous call that we did. And when I went to film school, there's two things that I learned that really stuck with me through the rest of my career and I really apply today. One of them was the business of film, which to be honest, I wasn't super interested in, I was more into the craft. And now I look back and I think, golly, like that, I should have paid more attention to that. Because so many kids went through film school and didn't end up, you know, using their their degree or use their gift after. And it's kind of sad because they weren't able to monetize it. But the second thing that I learned that was really transformational for me, was understanding narrative arc. And understanding how story structure like what is story structure, and seeing story structure in every piece of effective communication out there. Whether it's a movie, whether it's a play, whether it's a 30 second ad on social media, whether it's a meeting, whether it's a brochure, it's everywhere. And so once I learned that narrative structure, and the reason why it's coming to mind is because what you're talking about is, whether or not you realize it, it's it's such a strong narrative structure. And so do you, I don't want to presume but are you consciously thinking about how to apply narrative structure to content creation, even in an executive setting?


Rich Bontrager  14:31

Totally. Again, don't just give the data, give the story about the woman, the family that used the product and the value of the product, storytelling. Read an email, show a testimonial. Again, that's what people really care about. You know, going back to the, the whole Disney Experience. People save up for their family go to Disney, it's highly expensive. They go and they gush over their experience, the testimonials and the storytelling and we went here we did that. We experienced this, we took pictures here. People eat that up. Bring that into your business. What was the thing that that story that week, with that new marketing plan, that new strategy and bring it to life. Now that we have social media, you can do video testimonies, you can do graphics, you can do sound, little memes. There's so many creative elements that you can do and business people have never really thought about the value of that up until now. So what is your story that you want to convey to get people, your teams, your consumers, all involved and go deeper with it? Storytelling is central to this.


Kap Chatfield  15:35

I want to play devil's advocate a little bit because I can imagine, you know, you, you and C-Suite Network. By the way, if you're listening, and you haven't followed the C-Suite Network and what they're doing with C-Suite Radio, it's like this whole this whole network of B2B Podcasts. And they've also got C-Suite TV, which they're, they're growing. But but that audience, particularly the b2b audience, I feel like there's a lot more hesitancy to embrace this mindset. And we're seeing in b2c, for example, there's just a lot more creativity, a lot more risk taking, a lot more storytelling. But in b2b, I feel like it's this kind of this this. It's, it's a big ship to turn and it's it's turning very slowly, but I think executives can be very hesitant about is, is doing storytelling going to come off too corny? Is it going to come off like we're trying too hard? Is it going to be authentic to who we are? Is it going to feel unprofessional? What's your take, and how important storytelling at that level is for the b2b space?


Rich Bontrager  16:34

The ones that are getting it are now understanding, I'm communicating at a higher level, when I add story into it. There are those that think oh, I mean, I have to be funny. I never said you had to be funny to do story. You don't have to do stand up comedy. You need to capture a story of thread, a highlight of something. And I usually talk to them about how many emails do you get saying, I love this, I got this, our company grew here, we did this, we have a new partnership. That's a story. Even take those emails and say, we just did this new conglomerate growth deal we grew 5%, 10%. Tell the story of the growth and tell them now we're gonna go another five, we're gonna go another 10 by adding this. They just have not thought about what they literally already have in their hand and how to storytell, because you're exactly right, they're afraid it's gonna come up goofy. It's going to take up time they don't have. Look, time is money. That's all they've ever heard. No, you're not going to make money unless you get people empowered, excited, equipped, to get on board with you. So that's where some of the story now pulls them in. They they they do get ownership, like you talked about earlier. They feel they're more a part of it. Because part of what I love is, and C-Suite does this well, we do Friday celebrates. You know this, we celebrate successes every week. That chat box blows up every week, with anniversaries, with birthdays, with business deals, with affiliation. People celebrate that, and draws everyone together. It's simple. But that's the new thought process, the story that the leader, the executive have to take through the virtual landscape now.


Kap Chatfield  18:12

What would you say is the most important component of a story? Because businesses are talking about doing storytelling a lot these days. It's kind of like a buzzword now, but I think sometimes people are kind of hung up with like, well, what's the difference between a story, quote, unquote, and how we're currently running our meeting agenda? What's like, what would you say are some components that you need to have for it to truly be a story?


Rich Bontrager  18:37

You as a film person know that there's the beginning, the middle, the end.


Kap Chatfield  18:41

Part one, part two, part three. Yeah.


Rich Bontrager  18:44

But really, I coach, takeoff and landing. Your takeoff has got to be captivating. It's got to be exciting. It's gotta be something that grabs them. And what's that first story? What's that first exciting attaboy? What's the name you're going to pull out? Hey, Steve in accounting did really great this week, and Steve's gonna share with us later on. What's going to be the takeoff? Middle will be your information. And I do have a structure for that we break down later on. But then it's the landing. If you do not land the plane right, it crashes. So with me storytelling is you want to take off and you want to land it. Whether it does take them to that cliffhanger, or the other action point, or whether it's a nice bow on it. And everyone knows, we're gonna go do A, B and C next. Thank you very much. Go get it. So take off and land here are the two critical points and I'm always coaching on.


Kap Chatfield  19:33

That's so great. It's so simple. I love that picture too. It's, you know, getting, once you're, once you're in the air, it's like that's kind of the safest place to be, even in in flying. It's like most crashes happen at takeoff and landing. And so if you don't get those two things, right, man, it's it's really hard to gain people's attention and then actually compel them to do something. Because what we're talking about here is actually, is that communication that moves people to take action. Whether it's people within your organization, getting them bought in on a new policy or a new, a new strategy for the next quarter, or for your customers to get them to actually take the call to action to buy the product, to invest in the service.


Rich Bontrager  20:16

So think about how many business team calls, outreach calls, sales calls you've been on, and how many times you've got on, "Oh, I thought the button was gonna work. I'm sorry. Are you there? Oh, wait, hang on. I got the wrong camera on right now." How many times have we've heard all those things? You've already crashed the plane before you've done anything. 

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Kap Chatfield  20:35

You're muted! You're muted! 


Kap Chatfield  20:37

I'm sure there's people listening right now who are like, "Man, I need this personally. My team needs this". I know a lot of people that I know, they did, they moved from doing all of their sales meetings face to face to now doing them behind a screen. And to better understand how do you how do you create connection with an audience, even an audience of one, if it's just another individual, How do you create connection even through a screen? I'm sure that they want to hit you up. And so we'll give them the call to action at the end when we land the plane of this episode. But I want to talk now about the show that you're doing. The what was it, How to Rock the Virtual Stage Show. It's such a clear picture of what you're going to offer your audience. And so the question I have for you is how are you using this show? Tell us about what got you to start it. How you're how you're practically putting it together? How often is it is it you know, released? And who you have on the show, just tell us the whole gist about the show.


Rich Bontrager  20:37

Right? You're, you're muted again. And by the way, there's gonna be a big T-shirt sent just saying "the muted generation" or whatever big mug. But how many times has the take off, never even gotten off the ground and consumer confidence and sales go right down? You're not ready for me. So why should I listen to you? You have so much ground to makeup now. You have to be prepped so when you step on stage, like like the physical stage, I coach people, when you walk on stage, you own it. You step on stage with swagger you a you cheer, you're excited to be there. But you're ready to go. You know your opening line, opening story. So now virtually, are you completely locked and loaded so when you take off, you take off with no hesitation? Or  are you fumbling a mumbling? It sets the mental mindset of the viewer, of the participant, or the client of really? I have to listen to this guy now? Takeoff and landing, it's so important.


Rich Bontrager  22:30

Yeah, alive, I would love to. How to Rock the Virtual Stage came about through those early conversations I had with people that were struggling and getting other communicators broadcasters on. And it went from a help early on in pandemic to literally becoming a show. So and one of the coaching tips I give people, if you're on camera, if you're presenting, stand up. It's a stage, it's a mental shift, you go back that mental. People have sat down. Communicators, broadcasters have sat down. So this is boring. I stand up for all my shows, because standing up brings you energy. I'm back on stage, I also have green screens that I use to whatever my environment is, that's one of the things that I coach: your environment helps you communicate. So my environment is I'm on TV, I make it look and feel like I'm on TV. It has that vibe to it. And then I lead with different experts. So the first half hour is 30 minutes of interview with different experts from authors, to speakers, broadcasters, to voiceover actors and TV producers. And we come on for the first 30 minutes and interview, discuss the topic of the night. Coming up tonight as we're recording this. It's a Wednesday, I'm going to have a bilingual virtual expert on. Talking about using the virtual stage to talk about bilingual and learning how to communicate across language barriers. Ingenius. Yeah, so we're gonna have the whole conversation tonight. And by the way, I can't speak another language. So I'm going to be learning. Then then the second half of the show, we go backstage and everyone watching. I actually use Zoom for this because it's easy with cameras on and off. Everyone gets to come in live turn cameras and microphones on and they get to ask the expert their questions after the first half hour of interview. So I break that glass. So you're asking, how do you break the glass? Getting them into the conversation. Set them up, get them excited. And then literally say, "you're on." It goes back to my radio days. Hi, you're on with Rich, what's your question? I'm doing it now with Zoom. "Hi, welcome to How to Rock the Virtual Stage. What's your question? But it's much more inner, interactive and much more fun. That's just one of the tips I give for breaking that virtual glass. Again, there's tools now. You have the chat box, you have the whiteboard, you can video share, you can share documents. My chat box is going when people ask is in questions and comments and attaboys even during my show, so we have tools now that you must use like that. Plus, I welcome my guests throughout the show. I'll say hey, Cory has got a question here for you. Even thought it's my interview portion, I'll take Cory's question and bring Cory into it, even though later on Cory may get to ask another question. So you keep them involved in different levels, and not make it linear.


Kap Chatfield  25:12

I think one thing that you've done through the live format, through everything that you're saying, we talk about the power of doing podcasting, particularly because it builds an audience that you can, you know, briefly provide value to eventually sell them what you do, if they are the right, if they fit your your ICP. And then that obviously helps you grow your business. But what you've done is you've almost taken it a step further. And you've turned an audience into a community, where it's not just one way communication, but it's reciprocal, it comes back.


Rich Bontrager  25:45

Yeah, and many of the same people do come back. And they'll tell their friends and whatnot. Also, my guests always filter that out to their fans and their social media. So I do have a rotation of different people who find it new and fresh. And I'm also now moving this over to C-Suite TV, Roku TV and Amazon Fire. So my TV Empire, we talked about way back in the beginning, my little TV empire, my media empire is growing by using other platforms on replay now. And replay is really where you get the following. It's not always the live or the first time play, it's through the replay that expands your reach. And all those platforms are global.


Kap Chatfield  26:26

When you're able to do the live, here's a great tactic for people listening. The live allows you to build an audience where people are showing up at a specific time, you've created these these pathways where they can actually communicate back to you. So it's not just receiving information, but they're actually part of the conversation, they're staying engaged. So that's huge for engagement. But then what you're doing is you're taking the live recording, or the live stream, and packaging that as something that people could listen to after, so that those who missed it can still can, they can still engage and you have somebody who gets you know, tipped off to your brand six months from now, for example. They're able to go back and consume, let's go back to binge watch or binge consume all of the content that you had put out previously. So,


Rich Bontrager  27:12

Let me add another step into there because you're missing one vital element. So my shows an hour. I do a false ending at the halfway point. So the first 30 minutes is my show that goes to Roku and Amazon. The second half of the show is bonus content. I can now repurpose bonus content, then have them come back to my website and other things and either purchase it, rent it, I have other material that the regular audience does not always see. And if you want the full interactiveness, you must come to the live show. Wow. So I've chopped it up into segments where I do it all at once. But now I have different portions for different audiences. And repurposing content is a big part of helping people learn how to grow their brand.


Kap Chatfield  27:56

So you, if I'm if I'm not mistaken, what you're saying is, half of your show is like the you know, top of funnel, open anyone. But then the second half is like a behind the paywall experience, so that you actually can provide an audience that's even more invested in what you're communicating and what you're bringing to the table. They learn more tips and tricks. They get to actually kind of network together in a deeper way. And then because you've made that, you know, a profitable endeavor, you can actually use that to sustain the actual show itself.


Rich Bontrager  28:29

Exactly. And then also, you can chop up all these things in a little soundbite. So every show I do live on Wednesday, Thursday, somewhere on LinkedIn, Facebook, you'll see "here's what you missed last night" and you know, quick little highlight reel for a minute half, two minutes. And so people go "oh, I forgot to go last night. Yeah, that was really good. I have to watch the replay". Yeah, this is all media tricks, 101. Right? And again, going back to helping businesses and leaders. This is how you repurpose your content to keep everyone engaged on how good your products and things are. You need to always think in TV fashion now. You did the event. It's the rerun. It's the post credits. It's the promo after, the promo before. Well, what are you doing with lead in lead out? But besides the event, how are you building it all around you? It's just total thinking that's totally different.


Kap Chatfield  29:20

You clearly I mean, I know that you have a background in radio hosting and sports, you know, casting and all that stuff. So it's it's clear to me that you're you know, you understand the strategy, you're basically applying these principles to this, this business context that you're working in right now. It's brilliant. I'm curious to know, I'm sure that there's some results that have come from this. How has this, how has this media strategy actually impacted your business, whether in a quantitative way or in just some sort of qualitative way?


Rich Bontrager  29:51

The biggest way is my reach has expanded. So go back to the C-Suite Network. When I first came in, I brought my show on there, and I was a part of the community. My email my guest clients, I had a pretty good arsenal beforehand. But that arsenal of guests went up through being in the executive C-Suite Network. Different authors, speakers of higher caliber wanted it. Now they've been on, they're saying, "Oh, I have another friend that wants to be on." So I've moved levels of talent and expertise higher and higher. So they're there, they're seeing the value themselves. Sure. For them, I'm also trained into a business funnel for them. Every guest, I always offer them, because many guests don't have good video content. They don't have good curated content itself. Also, hey, for 250 bucks, by the way, this is dirt cheap compared to what many companies do, I'll make three curated clips of you, not me, you talking about you, as an expert, whatever great phrase you come up with, I'll do an opening, I'll do a closing with your content. For 250 bucks, I'll curate three clips out of your interview with me, for your social media, put them anywhere you want. Well, now they're getting something out of it, besides just talking once. They're getting content to repurpose, after a good interview that they really crushed it on. So now they're getting the benefit on the backside, I get the benefit on the backside. And the engine just keeps rolling and rolling. Also, it leads into the funnel of my coaching. People come to the show, and then they find out they go, "You know what? The guy is not a crackpot, he actually knows what he's talking about. Maybe I can use them in my business."


Kap Chatfield  31:30

Yep. So you're willing to give away some value for free because you know it's marketing yourself. But you're not. The whole show itself isn't this like, you know, 20,30, 40 minute sales pitch, you're providing value, interesting conversation. But what they're doing is it's like the free samples at the mall or Costco, right? Like they're tasting what you have to offer. So that you know you they go from being a cold lead to a warm lead, and then eventually, you know, they say, "You know what, I'm ready to do this". Like you clearly, as you said, you know what you're talking about.

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Rich Bontrager  32:01

Yeah, because people want to see before they buy more and more, right? Proof is in that. Also, I've gotten affiliate relationships out of this. I've gotten business deals out of it. I have some partnerships that have grown me now they've come on and said, "Oh, you fit over here in my business". So now I'm growing relationships on the business level. And I'm getting clients are knocking on my door now because they want my services. And I'm not doing a hard like you said this is not as pitch, pitch pitch. It's educational. It's entertainment, it's engagement. It's fun, and people want to come back for more of it.


Kap Chatfield  32:37

That's so smart. I'm, I'm so thankful that we get to talk on a talk on this episode together. Because, you know, so there's so many different angles that people have been able to share about how they're using their show and what their expertise is. But yours is so specific. And I think it's so needed for today in regards to knowing how to how to create an experience that actually feels human and actually creates connection between people. And so, as we close out the end of this episode, what are some final tips that you would give to somebody who's who's in that place of particularly the business leader who's thinking, "Okay, I want to start creating content. I don't know like, I trust that there will be some sort of ROI on this thing". But from what I'm hearing from you is that connecting is one of the biggest things that the the show model, what we call the show marketing model, it allows you to do, is it can it helps you connect with people, whether they're guests on your show or your audience in such a unique way. How would you encourage that business leader, in how the ability to connect even digitally can transform their business? 


Rich Bontrager  33:41

So, I'll give you one that's going to sound so counterintuitive, but then I'll explain a little bit. Okay, education comes last, not first. Okay. So you start with, to create this experience to get people to interested is you create energy. You need to have high energy, present with enthusiasm, with passion. Don't be dry and boring, because people will turn you off. You need to learn that this is that engaging fun thing, energy engages people. Turn it into an engaging thing. Use them those trips and tips I had that I was talking about and make and break the glass, intentionally break the glass and make an engaging with your people. Then you want to bring in the environment. Whether it's a physical set or a virtual set, what's your environment to communicate you and your brand? I use blue and gold. I use TV colors and things. But if you don't have the green screen, which I love to do, because I can change the environments, depending on my audience, I actually have a virtual curtain. It looks like I'm on stage. But that then environment helps me to present. So what's your environment? If it's a virtual set, put your book behind you, put your brand, put your. If you're into toys and gadgets and you're comic book fan, put some comic book things behind you tell people I'm a comic book fan. What's your environment? Then you go to the entertainment. Make sure you have fun and it's entertaining for them. Make sure that they get a laugh or chuckle they get something to go, "This was fun to watch. It wasn't just another webinar". And please do not overdo the PowerPoints, please, please, please, please, you are the star of the show and your guests, not the PowerPoint. And finally, give them the education. That's where you land the plane. After you've done the energy, the environment, the entertainment, all those things, then you can say, and I have good content for you. Most people start off with education first. "Let me tell you about this, Kap". You're not hooked at all. You're not sold on anything yet. Are you?


Kap Chatfield  35:47

Sure. No. 


Rich Bontrager  35:48

You do it the other way and then by the end, they're like, "I really gotta know, it's really this is really about." And you are now the authority, you have now gotten in a position where the brand matters, the story matters. And they'll go "I'm really, really into what this is. I've got to learn more."


Kap Chatfield  36:07

The four E's for everybody. Be engaging. Create a an engaging environment or something that speaks to your personal brand. Entertainment factor. And obviously entertainment doesn't mean don't be authentic to who you are. But think about how you can be interesting and have fun with it, as you said. And then number four education. Those are the four E's. Rich, "trigger". Man, it was so good having you on the show today. How can people follow you and follow your show?


Rich Bontrager  36:34

Well, the easiest way is to find me on LinkedIn. Rich "Trigger" Bontrager, very easy to find me. My website is Rich Bontrager dot net, I would love to have you check it out. I also do book launches. I also emcee other people's virtual events. I am kind of a talent, I hope you better get your stuff done. In fact, Kap and I are working on a project right now together, we're gonna be live and I'm helping to produce and work on that project. And then How to Rock the Virtual Stage is every Wednesday night. It's live from eight until 9pm Eastern Time, and you can find that on all social media. There are links to register and join the audience live anytime.


Kap Chatfield  37:10

Follow Rich on LinkedIn. Make sure to stop by, virtually stop by, Make sure to tune in to the show How to Rock the Virtual Stage. You won't regret it. Rich, thanks so much for joining us today. I know our audience would be impacted by it. 


Rich Bontrager  37:23

Kap, it's my honor. Thank you very much. It's been a blast. And again, if anyone wants to learn anything more: rich at rich Bontrager dot net. Email me personally.


Kap Chatfield  37:31

You heard it from him first. And you'll see those links in the description in the show notes of this episode. Check it out.

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