Hear From Courageous Founders Behind The Most Successful Brands

James McKinney
Aug. 30, 2019 - "If you lead the journey with money then when it gets hard, and IT WILL GET HARD, you will throw in the towel."
Since 2019

►Tell us about you and your podcast

I'm James McKinney the Creator and Host of The Startup Story podcast. I created The Startup Story after a year of running live entrepreneurial events. During those events I would sit side-by-side with a highly successful founder and realized that because of the live event they would not reveal the true challenges that come with entrepreneurship.

The Startup Story podcast brings transparency and authenticity to the entrepreneurial journey. We unpack a featured founder's ENTIRE journey that led them to their current startup. We unpack the successes, the failures, and all the doubt they had to overcome to get to a point where they truly believed they could pull it off.

The listeners of The Startup Story are current entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs.


►Why & how did you start this podcast? 

Podcast interviews allow the guest to be more vulnerable as the conversation is just between them and I. The Startup Story launched in January of 2019 with the singular focus of bringing authenticity and transparency to the challenges that entrepreneurs will face when bringing their dreams to fruition.

I started recording interviews in November of 2018 and released our first three episodes in January of 2019. The hardest part to get through was knowing exactly who I wanted to be listening to the show.


►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?

I release an episode every single Tuesday. I have a producer that handles all the sound and mixing elements of the show. Audio quality is critical for me. Being that I have the production side taken care of I spend my time in marketing and interviewing guests as well as lining guests up for the show.

I spend $19 on hosting and about $1,000 on production for my weekly 60 minute shows. I was fortunate enough to have a sponsor fund the first 6 months of our launch. Since then I have been self-funding as I grow a listener audience to a point where seeking advertising makes sense. We are now at that point.


►What do you gain from podcasting?        

No real revenue yet. Our first sponsor covered the production costs for our first 6 months. Our first sponsor was an entrepreneur that saw a need for a podcast like The Startup Story, which is great because I had an audience of zero when we started. Today we have about 20,000 listeners each month.

I do this because it fulfills me personally. I love storytelling, people, and entrepreneurship. I am blessed to sit with the founders I have met thus far. To learn how they overcame their respective challenges to get where they are today is an absolute joy.


►How does your podcasting process look like? 

I use two Audio Technica 2100 mics and a Zoom H6 for all in-person interviews. For remote interviews I leverage Zoom.US and require that the founder have a USB microphone to ensure great audio quality. I also walk them through how to record audio on their side so that I can get the best possible listening experience for my audience.


►How do you market your show?

How to market your show?! This is the question for the ages...

Because I am an entreprenurial podcast I started with my LinkedIn connections and grew organically from that. I leverage LinkedIn and Instagram more than anything else. I have not figured out paid ads yet to help grow my audience but I am still trying to figure that out.

Now that my numbers are appealing for my founder guests I also ask them how they plan to promote their episode. I lock down that plan prior to scheduling their appearance.


►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?

I do not even know where to begin...

Part of the blessing in interviewing successful founders is that I get to learn from each one, and each one has something new to share. If I was to offer any advice it would be this...

Do not pursue podcasting for fame and fortune. If you lead the journey with money then when it gets hard, and IT WILL GET HARD, you will throw in the towel. If this meets a need you have internally and personally then you will be able to endure the challenges you will face, and YOU WILL FACE CHALLENGES. Yet, on the other side of those challenges is incredible upside.


►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?

thestartupstory.co is our website and the best way to discover more about the show. The show's Instagram account is @thestartupstory.

Also, you can find me on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/jamesmckinney1

Updated: 18 days ago