NOVEMBER 1, 2012
TODAY ON THE INKANDESCENT RADIO NETWORK
Our spotlight is on: ERIC DYE
Our hot topic: The power of podcasts—Why they are such a valuable tool, and why the interviews and shows on ENP are a great resource for ideas and inspiration for entrepreneurs.
Your host: Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher of Be Inkandescent magazine, and founder & president of The Inkandescent Group
We are excited today to be interviewing seasoned broadcast journalist and entrepreneur Eric Dye.
He has interviewed more than 500 CEOs, small-business owners, top executives, doctors, lawyers, and hundreds of successful individuals for EPN. So it was a natural progression for the South Carolina native—who started his radio career as a traffic reporter—to create a network for entrepreneurs.
As you’ll learn in this podcast, Dye dreamed about being a traffic reporter since he was a kid. It’s a mission he accomplished as a freelance broadcast reporter for nearly a dozen radio and TV stations across the Southern portion of the United States.
Sports is also a passion of Dye’s, and throughout his career, he has produced game-day content for sports venues for the Atlanta Braves–Minor League AA, NCAA College Football, ACC Baseball Tournament, and the Atlanta Falcons.
An entrepreneur at heart, Dye loves to be busy and try new things. He has also been a public address announcer at dozens of sporting events, including NCAA National Championship Soccer, State of South Carolina High School Basketball Championship, Southern Conference Basketball & Soccer Tournament, the 1996 USA Baseball Tour, and the 1996 Olympic Games. A popular public speaker and master of ceremonies, Dye has also been featured on NBC and CBS TV stations for his achievements.
INSIDE EPN: A Q&A WITH FOUNDER ERIC DYE
Inkandescent Radio: Give us your background leading up to the creation of EPN.
Eric Dye: I can go way back to a 5-year-old child. Radio has been a magnet to me from as far back as I can remember, from listening to DJs playing music back in the 60s, to giving away my time listening to talk radio back in the day when I was growing up. Talk radio is still big to me today. From sports to news to journalist, I mean I have always been attracted to radio.
Without getting into too many details: what led to the creation of EPN? After graduating from college, I always had a desire to do traffic reporting. This was back when I was in my late 20s and early 30s. I went into a local media company that was over all of the traffic in upstate South Carolina. They were on 20-25 radio stations and three major television stations in the area.
They were the traffic source, and believe it or not, a lot of traffic moves around through the area, especially around the city of Greenville, South Carolina, which sits right in between Atlanta and Charlotte. I got to go up in the helicopter every day and report traffic—so a dream come true.
Inkandescent Radio: What turns you on about traffic?
Eric Dye: Well, I just love sitting up there and being on the radio. Remember when I said I loved radio? I was a nut to listen to the traffic guy. I grew up in Atlanta by the way. I lived in Atlanta a good while before we moved up the road to Greenville, but there was a guy called Captain Herb who did the traffic back when I was a kid and he is still doing it today, some 30-plus years later.
He is the traffic guy. I just loved it and I did it so it would open up doors to other radio opportunities. I was already involved in public address and announcing for sporting events in the area. I actually just went for it. I didn’t have any training, by the way, in anything in radio.
I was in the right place at the right time, but I got out of radio for some time and got into network marketing. This is the fact: Unless you’ve hit the big time in radio, you don’t make a lot of money.
So, I got into network marketing. I thought I’d never in a million years get into network marketing, meaning direct sales. I was selling a product that was a wholesale product online. Long story short, I became very successful with it. I had a big marketing team, so why the Entrepreneur Podcast Network?
Well, I love to be my own business owner, and I enjoyed helping others reach the success that I had. In 2005, podcasting began to be the big fad and of course being a radio geek or fan or a nut who is passionate about radio, I began to play with it.
I said, “My goodness, I could actually start creating my own content here.” I began to investigate it. One thing led to another and I began to look at the idea of leveraging my time and teaching my whole entire direct marketing team through podcasts, where I didn’t have to sit on the telephone, in a conference room, wasting my time doing the repetitive teaching.
I began to create podcast content, and that was the beginning of seeing how big this could get. Obviously it began to be a big thing. In fact, my marketing team began to double and triple. It was getting a lot of attention, and the owners of a marketing group reached out and said, “Why don’t you do some radio content and do the same kind of thing you’re doing and put in some inspirational tips and bits?” It just took off.
So I began to do programming for our marketing group, from the owners, from the CEOs of the marketing group. Then I was approached by another company that had seen what we were doing, and they hired me to do the same thing for their company and it continued. Other companies reaching out and wanting me to create a radio show for their company. At the same time, social media began to just take off. When social media, Facebook, and Twitter made it so easy to connect with other like-minded people, that is where the vision of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network began.
Inkandescent Radio: Who is your typical listener?
Eric Dye: The typical listener is someone who has the entrepreneurial spirit. Someone who is thinking about starting their own business, or they’re just inspired by other entrepreneurs and what they are doing or they are inspired by start-ups.
It could be someone who has always been a business owner who wants inspiration from someone else’s success or to get tips or advice from other people. Bottom line, anyone and everyone who’s looking for inspiration or information about business and small businesses and start-ups from an entrepreneur’s perspective.
Inkandescent Radio: What are some of the options your company offers via the EPN network?
Eric Dye: Well, we have quite a few options. Whether it is a place for advertising, banner advertising, the options are many. But just keeping it simple, we offer people to host their own show on the network, from doing advertising clips on other shows while promoting their business on our programming, and also we do company shows. We produce company radio shows, creating radio programming for other companies. Those are some of the opportunities that we offer on the EPN platform.
Inkandescent Radio: You live in Brazil, and work internationally. Talk about how you got there, and how you manage your business.
Eric Dye: I was assigned to live overseas, fell in love with Brazil, and decided to stay to each English. Before I knew it, I got married and have been here ever since.
I saw a lot of successful English schools here, but saw a different opportunity—to create a podcast network that would connect and give a voice to entrepreneurs around the world. Within three months, I had made back five times my investment.
Still, I miss America and definitely see myself living in both countries. I’d also love to get behind the mic in a pro stadium in the near future. I know that will happen, I just don’t know when.
Inkandescent Radio: Is that your dream?
Eric Dye: It is a dream, because being a sports broadcaster is my passion. I love being self-employed, and having worked for myself for the last 11 years, I know this is the way I want to live my life.
I like the freedom being an entrepreneur brings you. Yes, you have to be responsible, and you have to stay at it. It can’t be drudgery, not at any moment.
Inkandescent Radio: What is your one tip for all of your listeners today?
Eric Dye: One tip I would say is if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired of working 9 to 5, you are a candidate for entrepreneurship. Find out what your skills are, what your passions are, and what your gut tells you, then get out there and just do it. Don’t make up excuses. Make it happen.
Inkandescent Radio: What is the one magical tip that you have for people to sound great on the radio?
Eric Dye: Well, that is a great question. I would say practice and listen to yourself. Are you speaking slowly and clearly, and having inflection in your voice? Are you sounding squeaky? Maybe go deeper, or slower.
Just play around with it and before long you will find that magic pitch and that magic voice that you want to hear yourself sound like. You’ll find it, and that’ll be your secret recipe.