In episode two of Podcaster Stories, I sit down with Gini Dietrich, CEO of communications agency Arment Dietrich, Inc., and founder/host of the award-winning Spin Sucks blog and podcast.
Having made the move from co-hosting a PR podcast into her own show where she takes the led, Gini shares what that transition has been like, along with lessons learned along the way, how the show has grown exponentially, and more.
She also talks about the personal change that came in her life seven years ago, and how that’s changed the way she’s approached life and business in general.
Topics on the menu include:
- How the data that showed only 1% of podcasters were female spurred her into action
- What’s been the biggest challenge
- How the Spin Sucks podcast is the #1 lead driver for her agency
- The best piece of advice she has for new podcasters
- How she came to adopt her daughter Addie
- How it took almost three years to finalize the adoption
- Who Gini’s all-time hero is
Settle back for a fun and enlightening conversation on podcasting for communicators, and how business owners need to look after themselves and their employees first.
Connect with Gini:
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rode Podmic
- Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen
- TRITON AUDIO Fethead In-Line Microphone Preamp
- Denon DJ HP-1100 Over Ear Headphones
- RockJam MS050 Adjustable Mic Suspension Boom
- Dragonpad Pop Filter
The following transcript has been created using an automated service, so may not be 100% accurate.
Hi, and welcome to Podcaster Stories. Each of us will have a conversation with podcasters across all mediums and share their story of what motivates them, why they started to show how the group, for sure, and more, but also talking about the personal lives at some of the things that have happened that made them the person in the afternoon and know who is your host Danny Brown Hey guys. And welcome to another episode of Podcaster. Stories where we talk to the people behind the voices of the show is the lesson this week, as you could, maybe here we have more than one guest. We have, we have Jenny Dietrich who’s the CEO have a PR and communications from in Chicago, Illinois, and she is also the founder and host of the Spin Sucks blog and podcast.
And at the podcast will be talking about today. And we may also be talking about the little monkey that’s in the background to we’ll see how it goes.
Gini (1m 2s):
You had to be quiet. And she said he can’t hear me.
Danny (1m 7s):
Yeah. That was going to take some major noise. And so Jenny, welcome to the show. How are you doing? How is that?
Gini (1m 14s):
Hi, I’m great. I’m great. How are you? It’s been a long time since I’ve actually seen your face.
Danny (1m 19s):
I know. And, and now my internet is choppy. So the camera is all choppy in, what have you seen? It’s all fun. But yes, I was thinking about the other day I was thinking in the last time we caught up was probably the, the event and Ottawa. Oh yeah. Yep. That’s probably the last time that I think we’d caught up. Cause it, we got
Gini (1m 37s):
Together, wasn’t it?
Danny (1m 40s):
Yup. Because I know I had been done in Chicago and 2010 before Ewan was born and then maybe prior to that, where we’re at, BlogWorld in Toronto. Yup. And then in 2012 we did social media.
Gini (1m 54s):
Yeah. So I think it has been since then. That’s crazy. Wow. Eight years. Wow.
Danny (1m 59s):
So some form of normality was to fix up. Yes, we do have to fix it up. So Gini, tell us a little bit about your show to them.
Gini (2m 8s):
You know, it’s funny. I was at content marketing world probably three years ago and I met the chief marketing officer from Libsyn and he said to me, you know, you should start a podcast. He had been to my break out session and I was like, yay. Yeah. Okay. Whatever. And he said, the interesting thing is that less than 1% are women posts. So you would do really well just from that perspective. And I was like, Oh, well, that’s interesting. So I thought about it and I thought about it. I thought about it. And then I talk to my team about it. It was just the, one of those things. That was another thing that we had to do. Right. And finally, a friend of mine said, you need to meet the woman who used to produce my podcast.
Gini (2m 50s):
They’ve just started their own business. And so they came to me and they said, we’re going to make it really easy for you. We can take your blog post and repurpose them into content. And all you have to do is record. So that was 100 episodes ago.
Danny (3m 4s):
Well, and that’s crazy that you mentioned this was three years ago that you met with the person and you said the only 1% of hosts were female. I wonder what the numbers do you have like an idea of what that number is increased
Gini (3m 20s):
Danny (3m 23s):
I know we see a lot of shoes are on the web, like APO or whatever that are either cohosted are hosted, sold by a woman, but then you see that’s a crazy stat. You might have guessed in indicative of communications industry in general, a lot of business in general, in general. Yeah. But wow. So that was three years ago and you are a a hundred episodes. And could you do like a week with Joe? Right. And you’ve been in for two years.
Gini (3m 50s):
Well, I did. Yes. For the Spin Sucks the, I’ve done inside PR for gosh, 10 years now.
Danny (3m 56s):
All right. Because you did it, the lifeline, I think it did for a live podcast.
Gini (4m 1s):
Yeah. Yeah. So that was probably one of our first I would have think 10 years. Yeah.
Danny (4m 7s):
So what’s been the biggest challenge now that you’ve moved on your own because obviously, like you mentioned that you’ve done the insight PR podcast for X amount of years, you’re the sole cost of The Spin Sucks podcast is the, so what, what sort of lessons did you take from doing it on it and say PR and what do you know, what challenges you face in doing your own show at home?
Gini (4m 26s):
So the biggest challenge for me is that I’m not an auditory learner and I’m not a podcast listener. I just don’t have time. And so going into that medium, it takes me twice as long to do that than it does to write a blog post or, you know, I can sit down and pound out for a thousand words in about an hour, but I can’t, for some reason, the podcast takes me significantly longer. So, and I think that’s why it’s because that’s not how I learn, but I keep at it because it is our number one driver of new business.
Danny (4m 57s):
Oh, wow. Well, that’s cool. So that we were actually getting leads and on the podcast, that is awesome. I’ll be speaking to our mutual friend, Bob Reed. And he had mentioned he got a lead from Reddit of all places. It’s like a lot of conversation on Reddit and has gone back and forth with this guy in South Korea about a, a lead for this agency, which is awesome. That’s cool. So what, when you, when you mentioned it like that, so that’s your, your primary lead driver at the moment is that from clients that have listened to a show where it’s spoken about something specific to their needs are how has that played out?
Gini (5m 31s):
And I think its more along the lines of they listen and you know, I mean you listen to this stuff and you put somebody in your ears and you feel like they say, you start to note that to know them and trust them. I think its more of that then really specific things like, and, and, and certainly I talk about, you know, some of the things that we do as an agency and it’s been Sucks and so it, it does lead to that thinking of, gosh, I think that they can help them.
Danny (5m 56s):
And so to that point then M what’s your goal? How have you been driving the, the growth of the show? Obviously you’d been gone two years. I didn’t know that she knows how ignorant I am and I thought it was like a fairly recent may have been the last six months that you’d launched the podcast.
Gini (6m 9s):
You know, what’s funny about that is we exploded in November. There were a couple of things that happened in November one I so the, the, the production company used to write the scripts for me. And I took that over in November. So I think it became more authentic. And we promoted Laura to Laura Petra Leno to a chief marketing officer and S and podcasting is her thing. She loves it. So she created a big promotional plan around it. So those two things, I mean, it exploded, we went from 70 or 80 downloads per, per episode, and now we’re at 5,000.
Danny (6m 42s):
Oh, wow. That’s great. And that was just since November, right? Yeah.
Gini (6m 46s):
Yeah. So it makes sense that you would think that its in the last six months,
Danny (6m 51s):
Well, honestly, a lot of the smarter, one of the two. So you can notice a difference in the way. So what are some of the things that you’re doing then that to promote the podcast? So obviously, you know, your share it on your networks, where are some of these other things that you have phoned have worked for growing a show?
Gini (7m 4s):
Really? We just, we shared an email and we share it on a blog and we shared it in social work. We don’t really do anything beyond that.
Danny (7m 10s):
All right. And then obviously you’ve got, you got word in my life. I noticed that you’ve got a good chunk of us on iTunes, which is always good for, you know, helping show it to your phone or on the directories.
Gini (7m 20s):
Yeah. The reviews have helped. We also moved from Libsyn to a megaphone and that the data in that is better I think. And it’s, I, I think it’s helped us reach new audiences through that as well.
Danny (7m 34s):
And so Microphone is a host to do is promote it on their own channels as well. You’ve got like a section there where people could find you and Microphone. Yep. Yep. And how has the experience of moving from C co-host and with that? Or is it marketing joke and say PR are you doing yeah. Marshall and Jo, right. That’s all right. So moving from a cohost to just running that for yourself, what are the expectations are that has the, has it lived up to your expectations? So have you had any specific challenges of a solo podcaster from a team of three?
Gini (8m 2s):
I mean, yeah, so we probably shouldn’t admit this out loud, but we would show up for our recording and spend five minutes beforehand discussing what we are going to talk about. And then we would record and now I’m like super methodical and I think about what I’m going to do and how can I involve the community and you know, do we need to bring in lists of your comments? What does that look like? And there was a script and you know, that I write a blog post, so it it’s a, it’s a bigger commitment.
Danny (8m 28s):
Oh, for sure. And then to that point, let you mentioned, do you plan ahead? I mean, obviously because of the industry, we can, you can flip on a coin in and have a new students break and email that you came in to use a content calendar and plan ahead what you want to speak about it like eczema a few weeks and months down the line, or how do you plan that out?
Gini (8m 48s):
Well, I will tell you that we did until the Corona virus. And then when that happened, we did on a dime and we haven’t gotten back to the plan that we had because we’d been sort of navigating the waters of what people are talking about, especially in the Spin Sucks the community and what we think they need. So at first it was, you know, here’s a, here’s how you go virtual. And then it was, this is really hard and here are some mindset things that you can be thinking about. And then it was, you don’t have to hustle and learn a new language or to start a new business doing this, like just protect yourself. And so we’ve kinda gone down that road versus more PR stuff for now eventually will, will flip back to the business stuff, but that’s where we are right now.
Danny (9m 30s):
Okay. And do you think that maybe that’s because a lot of businesses, but obviously in the same ball as yourself and they are looking at challenges facing they’re the client’s, you know, are coming in and signing clients and keeping the team members employed. Do you think that switch has led to some of the, you mentioned the leased out of there come on in your company, is that the leaders that are looking to do the same thing that would allow them as they go on?
Gini (9m 54s):
And I would say it’s yes. It’s been interesting because we’d been virtual since 2011. So the idea that people, it is overwhelming for people and that they don’t know what to do. It’s funny to me, cause it’s just how we work right now. And we’ve had a lot, a lot of people come to us and say, can we hire you to help us kind of build this infrastructure and understand what it looks like and to be for us, we were like, just getting, get zoom and Slack. Right. But it’s, it’s a bigger than that. So if some of the business that we’ve done during this is that kind of stuff, which isn’t to say.
Danny (10m 27s):
And what are your goals for the future of the show? So you mentioned that I would say it, that that was a PR book podcast, and that can be taken a little bit of a backseat at the moment, but do you have like a big one-year five-year plan kind of thing for the shore and the direction is going to take all of us to continue to look to offer leads, et cetera, and how that plays in to your, your business?
Gini (10m 49s):
Yeah, I mean, for sure we want it to, to drive leads and we launched the peso model of certification in February with Syracuse university. So that’s our big push for the next 12 months at, at, at the very least. So we want to see, you know, the podcast help with that. I really see it as an extension of the blog, which is professional development and it’s just a different way to get it. And if you’re an auditory list of an auditory learner, it’s an easier way for you to get it. And then just sit down and read and read a blog post or read a 4,000.
Danny (11m 18s):
All right. And I know you can create the, was it the Spin Sucks the online Academy? Did the podcast, is that going to be featured as a part of our like exclusive stuff for Academy members or will be
Gini (11m 32s):
Eventually? Yeah, we’re not quite there yet. We’re actually working with a university in Canada that will help us build into that for us. But so that’s coming,
Danny (11m 44s):
So obviously a great Canadian mind’s again, help in the U S or just for who you are with you like to say it. I’m not allowed
Gini (11m 55s):
To see it yet, but it’s somebody’s you would recognize it.
Danny (11m 59s):
Okay. Okay. So I would imagine that maybe you have a, look it up. How could we Sue Sue? Oh, I’m going to sit down by, in case I’m not, I’d like to say after this is going to be thinking of my Indian friends that are at university of Utah, isn’t it. I want to get to look forward to that. Ask someone that’s been on my podcast app. And then what one piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in following your footsteps? You know, either start a podcast or expand in their, their cutting content plan to compliment it with some podcast apps is now. And again, what was your piece of advice?
Gini (12m 41s):
I would say two things. I would say find a cohost because it’s easier, you know, than having to do it yourself. And I also would, the other piece of advice is I would look at different models like everybody who podcasts does the interviews. So is there a different way that you can look at podcasting that doesn’t, that helps you stand out? That doesn’t make you look like everybody else?
Danny (13m 1s):
What is basically to give to me that not to sound like anybody else? I mean, first
Gini (13m 7s):
Of all, listen to you, you, you don’t sound like anybody else,
Danny (13m 10s):
The squash podcasters,
Gini (13m 12s):
You get it, get an accent. You know, I think that the way that you’re is that the I’m going to say something nice about you in this relationship is really hard for me. Here we go. The way that you market your are the things that you’re doing, and I’ve seen you evolve over the, you know, the last decade get even longer. You do such a nice job of promoting what it is what’s coming guest that you have. I mean, they’ve done a great job and that’s been kinda fun on Facebook. I’ve talking about this podcast and see what’s coming in the line up for this one. And you do such a nice job with that in a way that’s authentic and interesting for people. You also are doing.
Gini (13m 52s):
It’s a different topic. You know, you said you’re not doing something about marketing or communications like everybody else. So that the topic is interesting to me.
Danny (13m 60s):
I want you to tell you, is that a $47? That’s it go and write, right? Are we still in that four to $7 go and write it up to 97, 97 or an inside joke on going rate for social media wanks and gurus to selling courses, to change things up a little bit. Obviously we’ve got a little guests, a special guest with you today in the backroom there. I’m not sure my, the list. It will pick up on that one up. So Addie, do you want to talk about Addie in how she came in to be in your life with the nurse or a hue? It was like a big secret for the longest name. And then you were finally three to open up about that. I mean, that’s going to have, who obviously has been a huge change, you know? So if so, how did that come about? And, you know, what’s been the biggest changes for that.
Gini (14m 42s):
You can’t have my own children and we looked at different ways to grow our family. And then we went through, we went and talked to our adoption agencies and, you know, we did all of this stuff. One of the things we found two things about adoption agencies here in the U S and one was that they needed you to have W2’s to show that you are employed. And because Kelly and I are both self-employed, we don’t have W2’s, we had tax returns, but we don’t have to agree to. And so they had a really hard time with that. And the other thing is that, you know, this was 2012. They wanted me not Kelly, but me to be available, to drop everything and go live in another state for three to six months until the baby was born.
Gini (15m 22s):
And as a business owner, that wasn’t something that I was able to do. And so it was really tough to sort of go down there and I’m sure that we could have jumped those hurdles, but it was, it was if they made it harder than it needed to be. And so we looked at foster care and we went, you would go to foster care class and you sit in a room without windows every Saturday, all day. And you really, you learn about the bureaucracy of the foster care system is what you learned. And so then you pass and you get certified, and then you wait, and on January 14th, 2014, we’ve got a phone call. And they said, we have a baby girl she’s in emergency care. Can we put her with you while we figure things out? And we were like, wow, like we’re not in this to give the child back essentially were in the school, in our family.
Gini (16m 9s):
And then the social workers said, you know, it just, I really have a feeling about this. I don’t think she is going back to her mother. And she did it. So we went through the whole process of, we had to show up three days a week to the library so that the biological mother could see her. And that the biological mother didn’t show up at night. We had to prove that we were there and I have to fill out these forms every three days a week that prove that, you know, showed that we were there and that we waited for an hour and all those kinds of kinds of things. And after 90 days have not showing up. And they said, okay, well, you only have to do at once a week. And, and so we did that once a week, every week. And again, she didn’t show up. And so the 90 days after that though, they reduced it too once a month.
Gini (16m 49s):
And one of those times she did show up and she said to me, can I talk to you alone for a minute? And she pulled me aside and she said, would you be interested in adopting Addy? And I was like, Oh, well, and there was a lot of back and forth. Like she, she was, she was very young and she knew that that was the right thing to do, but she was also getting pressure from her family not to do it. And so there was a lot of back and forth and a lot of appointments in dates and all that kinda stuff. But I, November of 2017 who you were able to finally adopt her. So it was, it was almost four years of that back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.
Danny (17m 31s):
And that must of been, I mean, I can only imagine how frustrating it must’ve been to be so close at times, but then the way we have, is it going to happen? And then, I mean, was there any, was there any things that you just thought this is not going to happen? And we can keep doing this or was it not enough of an option? Really?
Gini (17m 47s):
So it sort of, wasn’t an option. Like I don’t, I don’t think we ever thought that it wouldn’t happen, but you know, you, they have to do everything. The court system has to do everything they can to make sure that later one of the parents, biological parents does not come back
Danny (18m 2s):
And try and get the child. So they had to try,
Gini (18m 5s):
So it will alert the father, but she didn’t know who the father was. So we had to alert three different men, and then we had to put something in the paper. And so there is like all of this stuff that has to happen and there’s time in between that it takes. And finally, the judge was like, yeah, you guys don’t need to worry like that.
Danny (18m 21s):
We just need to run through them. And that was to be some teas to know. She just told you to be six per three recently. Wow. And she is like a, a chirp a little while. And I said, well, what are the things that have been enjoyable and on Facebook and that I saw it. And I think that’s been one of the cool things to fall on this story along is you’re a, PR outgoing and gregarious person generally, but you couldn’t obviously share what was going through, you know, your life at the table body right now. You’d like to speak about it in general, the quality, the time, one of the things, the cool things that we are seeing, as you share it on, on Facebook, you are daily updates about how your family Dietrich is going through this and, and that’s going to be fun.
Danny (19m 7s):
But you also share that like any parent, the kids think the rotten and they want to be in a different file. And I got a pack up and leave, but it’s been some of the, the fun challenges, you know,
Gini (19m 20s):
You know, I mean, it’s my favorite, favorite title of all. And you know, you love being a parent too. It’s, it’s one of the best things ever, but yeah, she’s a sassy little thing. And she, it’s funny because people will say she’s so, you know, I mean, nature versus nurture there, but she’s just like every other kid, you know, she did, she did pack her suitcase at the start of this. And it was like, I’m going to live with my friend because I don’t like you are. And I was like, all right, well, you’re not going to like your friend’s mom more than you like me, but, okay.
Danny (19m 52s):
All right. And then, has there ever been in the more like that, or was it just like your little daily battles or is it pretty much it,
Gini (19m 59s):
I mean, right now it’s more along the lines of, you know, she’s just, I’m sure your kids are doing this to you. Do they miss their friends? They miss the routine. They miss being able to be outside. They must going to recess or they missed the social piece. They miss the routine and the structure of school. There’s, you know that we’re recording this on a Friday and we haven’t done any school today because I’m just like, it is what it is, you know? And, and she’ll say things like, you’re not doing it right. Or you’re not my teacher, or, you know, it depends on a day, some days I’m just like, yeah, I get a kid. Then other days it makes me cry. But
Danny (20m 33s):
Yeah, no, I hear you. It’s a joy. I always think being, being a parent is one of the most equally reward and an underwater, you know, because no matter what we do, we will suck at something. And so, okay. So who is your all-time hero and why?
Gini (20m 54s):
This is my all time hero and why? I would say my mom, you know, she’s just, she’s just my rock. She was my rock. She has always been there for me. She’s always known exactly what to say. Sometimes she says things that I don’t want to hear, but need to hear. And she’s my best friend.
Danny (21m 13s):
Well, it was mother’s day coming up soon. Mother’s day is coming up soon. So you can have like a double celebration I can give of yourself and I’ll see your mom. So what are you guys doing to do you guys communicate via zoom at the moment then when you’re do you go, you like screen time, FaceTimes, FaceTime in text or text or a constant. Yeah. I know how to do a blog post a few years back about, you know, why you shouldn’t be scared of upset and Jenny districts, mum, after she died. See what I said? I said from others, this is funny. So if you need it, this is like, I really enjoyed catching up with you. Like you say, we it’s been almost 10 years since we’ve actually been in the same room, which is kinda weird to think about that for people that want to find you online, listen to the podcast and connect with you.
Danny (22m 1s):
Where’s the best place for them. He catch you
Gini (22m 4s):
In Sucks dot com.
Danny (22m 6s):
And so everything will feed up from there. They can find you on Facebook where they can find the podcasts that are everything over there. And I would drop them the links to the, the sh the show and the site and everything in the show notes. Thank you. Thank you. Okay, well guys, that I, again, Janine, thanks for being on the show. I really appreciate it. I love the fact that we had a lot of guests for about three quarters of the show, which I think it’s going to be. So like, everybody’s got to realize that this was what we do during the day, right? We’re trained to do what we did. Hopefully your, your farm is keeping, well, I know what’s Kelly doing this. This is, he still worked on in the political arena.
Gini (22m 44s):
And people are so mad at Trump that he’s doing very well.
Danny (22m 49s):
So that sounds good to, it has gone up a lot of leaders that you’d be hoping for that. I don’t know. Well, I appreciate your coming on the show, but I hope that people, you know, I’ll check out your podcast player, the see. So it’s a, it’s a different kind of podcast for the communications industry at the moment. So really helping people understand, you know, what’s going on now and how it works, you know, how do we get through it and, and get them back into the communication site later until the next week, guys, this has been Danny on Podcaster Stories if you enjoyed this big show up, be sure to subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode when it comes out until the next day take care and we’ll speak soon. You’ve been listening to podcasts or Stories. If you enjoy this week’s show, be sure to subscribe.