– Alright what’s up you guys, this is Alex Branning, Your Marketing Coach. I’ve got a super special guest on today. Chris Murphy, my man, and we met like three years ago when we were both living in Southern California. Our lives have both taken us up north. He went a little bit farther north than I am. He’s now in Washington. Chris is one of the coolest members of the Branning Group Team, because he has so many different things that he brings to us. He is our project manager, so if you have worked with us to build a funnel or website, you probably heard from Chris. Today I want to start, not by talking about the stuff he does for us, we’ll get to that in a little bit. But I want to talk about one of the things that he’s doing with a partner of his, called the Community Theater Heroes podcast. And then I want to talk about the Prodigal Warriors Facebook group as well. You got a lot of really cool things that you’re doing, Chris. And so let’s talk about the podcast first. Introduce the Community Theater Heroes podcast, your inspiration, who you’re doing that with, fill us in man, what is that?

– Yes, so the Community Theater Heroes podcast, it’s a bit of a silly name. But it’s a podcast about community theater simply. Mainly in the Portland, Oregon area, but we’ve been interviewing a lot of theater companies around Oregon and Washington, and companies that tour through the Portland area. Because the Portland theater scene is massive. And there was a need for a podcast, I believe, because community theater is the life blood of the American theater. So, like anyone’s that’s doing professional theater on Broadway or in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, anyone that’s you know, has a successful career in Hollywood, in movies, probably got their start doing community theater.

– I love that, I love that. I agree with you. I actually did community theater. My daughter’s involved in community theater. So we love it. You said you saw the need to get the word out. Why did you go with a podcast, as related to like a blog?

– Well, I wanted to do the podcast because I just like podcasts, for one thing.

– Nice.

– I think it’s growing, the podcast audience is growing each year. And I think that, well I knew that we were going to be interviewing a lot of actors and a lot of theater people that are very animated. And so I knew either video or podcasts was the way to go. I don’t know video very well, so I chose podcast because it was something that was familiar to me.

– I love it, I love it, and I think you’re right. Man I think the podcast medium as a whole is growing, and will continue to grow, and that’s why we’re doing this on a podcast, because I believe in it a hundred percent, so I love it. What is the future of the Community Theater Heroes podcast?

– Well we currently just finished season one. I originally wanted to do a weekly podcast, week after week after week, and never stop. But that’s a ridiculous goal to have, it’s not sustainable. Because theater companies, their seasons end. There’s dark times and it’s hard sometimes, there’s a lot of moving pieces when doing an interview style podcast. If it was just me talking, I could record every week, and it would be fine. But we have to find a theater company that is doing a show or some artist that is unique to our audience, because we don’t want to have the same content over and over again. And they need to have something important to say. We want our podcast to, not only advertise the theater in the Portland area, and surrounding areas, but we want our listeners to get some sort of value from it. So we need our interviewees to have something to say. Our guests have to have something, some important advice or wisdom to impart on our listeners. So, it’s been a bit of a challenge. We’ve done about 23 episodes since March. And we’re taking a five week break. But it’s been really cool. Our season finale episode was with the American Association of Community Theater, which was a huge thing to have on our show, because they’re a huge national non-profit program that supports community theaters nationwide.

– Nice.

– So, getting it on the podcast was like a huge win. We’re hoping that really broadens our audiences in the next year.

– I love it, I love it. Let’s go to one of your other side projects briefly, and the reason why I wanted you to share about this, Chris, is because a lot of my listeners, they are looking to build their own, I’m going to say personal brand, or personal influence, and I believe it starts with transparency, authenticity, being genuine, and just being real about where you’re at. And you’ve done a phenomenal job of that with the Prodigal Warriors. You started blogging every single day, and then that grew, and now you have a Facebook group, and I just see that becoming a really window into what’s going on with you, and all different aspects of your life. Share with us what’s going on with Prodigal Warriors, tell us more about that.

– Yeah, well, so it was June 6th, my father was getting knee replacement surgery, and so I was in the hospital, waiting in the waiting room, and I was just thinking about a lot of my health choices, and like I’ve gained a lot of weight in the last like six years. I had this weight gain, I had a sleeping disorder, I had a lot of just bad things happen. Depression, all sorts of things, and I realized how I didn’t want, when I turn 60, to have to get my knee replaced. You know, like, I really need to start making more positive changes. And I had been, I had been making changes. I’d lost 50 pounds in the last year, which was great.

– Awesome.

– But I plateaued, I plateaued. And so I realized I think one of the big things that’s going to change is if I start putting myself out there a little more. Start blogging, and telling people about my struggles. And so, it was sort of an experiment. The blogging every day, and it’s turned not into the blogging every single day now, because again, that got a bit overwhelming. But it was pretty much everyday I would post a new blog. But the idea was from a book I was reading by Ray Dalio called Principles, where he talks about radical transparency. And how it transformed and revolutionized his company, being radically transparent. And I really recommend checking out that book for more information about that. And so I started being radically transparent about my struggles and about my goals in this blog, and on Facebook. And it allowed me to sort of… It forced me to have accountability, when I didn’t have it. Because now I was putting it out there for everyone to read, and if I didn’t follow through, then I’d look foolish. So that was a huge plus, the accountability, but then what’s amazing is the support and encouragement that has come from it. Because now there’s a lotta people, and they may not comment, they may not even let me know that they’re reading. There was someone I ran into the other day, and they were like yeah, I’ve been reading your blogs, and I had no idea, because they have never commented on any of the blogs. They have never, they’re not following it. because like you could write a medium, and you can see who’s following you. You could see who’s subscribed. And they’re not, so I was completely shocked that they’d been following my journey for the last three months. So that was really cool. And what’s amazing is it’s made me realize how many people are also struggling with the same thing.

– That’s it, man, yeah you hit the nail on the head. You took the words right out of my mouth. You never know until you start sharing your personal journey how many other people can relate to that. And so like you know, like you talk about, you know, you were working on your physical fitness, you’re working on you know, your podcasts, which you know, is like your business, and then you’re married, and so you talk a little bit about that. And like all those, people can relate to all of it, I know I can. So, so I love it, I love it, I love what you’re doing, I love your journey. I love how radically transparent you are. One of the things that happens when we start becoming transparent is we attract people who are also dealing with those same things, they relate to you. And you inspire them to change, you know, and I’ve mentioned a couple times man, you’re inspiring me just by sharing where you’re going, what you’re doing, where you’re at. And there was one post, I don’t remember when it was, but there was one post where you were like you know, I messed up, you know what I mean. I forget what it was exactly, but you had, I don’t know if it was like bad food choices, or something, but you just like, you were 100% honest, like hey, I’m going in a very positive direction right now, and I had a bad day. And like who cannot relate to that, you know what I’m saying? So, it was really good, it was really good. So props to that man, I love it. Let’s talk about the Branning Group to close this out. And you are the project manager. You talk to a lot of our clients, work with them directly. We could talk all day long about the Branning Group, but let’s talk about some of the latest projects we’re working on so we can share a couple of the cool things. You’re working on a copywriter’s site right now, and she’s really got a specific vision for her brand. Talk to me about that project, and what you are seeing, what you think is going to happen once we launch the new site for her.

– Yeah, yeah I’m really excited about her website. At the beginning, I would say what helps is really listening to the client. Really figuring out what they want. And like a lot of times you could just, you know, you can ask questions and sure you could listen, but oftentimes it goes in one ear and out the other. And you end up making a lot of guesswork. But with her, I really tried listening and in figuring out, because she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted in some parts of her site. But I really honed in what she was, like the examples she gave. I would ask her to send me, like what are some things that you really like. And so she’d send me images, or just color choices, because she really wanted it to be colorful. And I don’t know colors at all. So, you know, that was a bit of a challenge. But really listening to her and honing in on what she wanted is really helped. And so without her input, it wouldn’t look as good as it does right now.

– Yeah, awesome. Yeah and one of the things that I love about the way that you work with our clients is you listen, you’re patient, and you know, it’s hard for us because you and I are both very creative, to not interject our own ideas and vision. And I think we’ve done a great job on her project, of just listening to her and being able to take her vision and execute it.

– We’ll post a link to the website in the show notes.

– Sometimes you’ll have an idea, and you’re like no, you should not do it that way. That’s ridiculous. But you have to listen to them, it’s what they want. And, it might be totally right for them.

– Yeah, I think we’ve created a killer website for them, for her, and I think, you know, I’m really proud of it, and I can’t wait to show it off. Let’s talk about another one of our clients, to close this out. One of our largest clients, out in Texas. We do a lotta work for him, my man Colby. We just finished up doing some stuff for him yesterday. Talk to us about the platform that we’re building for him because I think some people that are listening are going to be inspired by this. Talk about the platform we’ve built for Colby and everything they’re doing over there in Texas.

– Well they’re doing so much. It’s, it’s crazy, they have so many different funnels that they’re running right now. But I think the big thing is their Closers Club Membership area. He does like bi-weekly calls that we put on there, and there’s a lot of content for his clients. And it’s really cool though, putting that up. I think the main thing for Colby is, and all of the people working with ARM is just making myself available. So when they send something, try to get it done right away. Or, respond to every email, respond to every message. To keep them happy, I don’t know.

– Yeah, it’s been fun, it’s been fun. They have, for those listening that aren’t familiar, they have multiple coaching programs that we’ve built funnels out for, membership sites, and multiple webinars that they’re working on and creating. And it’s just been a blast working with them. And they have, they’re one of the clients with a really, really big vision, a lot of different moving pieces, and we’ve been able to keep up with them. Sometimes it feels like we’re getting content from a fire hose. So many different things coming at us. But it’s been a blast. And that is growing like crazy, and it’s been just so much fun to be a part of it. So, Chris, we’ll end on this note. For those that are listening that have their one business or their job, and they have that passion, they see the need within their passion, so you saw the need within community theater. What advice would you give them, as they feel that burning desire to get something started? What would be the thing that you would say to them right now?

– I’d say, well two things. First, you need to read, you have to read books. Really read books if you want to be an entrepreneur, or have a business or do anything or change lives. You have to read books, you do, like once a week, if you can, find some time. And you have time, you have time. You many not think you do but you have time to read. And second is trust yourself. Trust your vision. A lot of times in the past when I’ve started projects, I didn’t necessarily believe in myself enough to bring the vision to life, so I’d find partners to start a business with, or to start a project with. And that could be great for awhile, but the problem is, you’ll reach a point where the vision no longer aligns. And now you have someone to answer to. And so you had this vision, and this hope, and this dream of creating something at the beginning, but now it’s turning into something that maybe you didn’t want it to. So avoid that, trust yourself, you are good enough. And it’s okay to seek mentorship. It’s okay to seek help and have team members. But if you want to be the leader, if you want to start a business, if you want to create something, trust yourself, and trust your vision.

– I love it, I love it. Chris, I appreciate you man. Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast. And for those of you that want to work directly with myself and Chris on your next project, you can go to branninggroup.com. Contact us for a quote on your next website or funnel, and we’re here to help. Thanks Chris.


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