Dr. Heidi Kay Begay, a serial entrepreneur, and owner of Flute 360 and Red House Productions, talks about new income streams for musicians in this insightful episode. In her discussion, Dr. Heidi explores the potential of podcasting and corporate sponsorships for musicians to navigate the industry, launch their shows, foster growth, and monetize their content. Additionally, she offers tips on transforming a hobby into a wealth generator. By leveraging podcasting, corporate sponsorships, and adopting an entrepreneurial mindset, musicians can create additional income streams, expand their reach, and increase their overall financial success. Dr. Heidi Kay Begay’s expertise offers valuable guidance for musicians seeking to navigate the industry and maximize their earning potential. Tune in to learn more from her!
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New Income Streams For Musicians: Making Money From Podcasting And Corporate Sponsorships With Heidi Kay Begay
I’m excited to be here with my friend Heidi Kay Begay. It is cool because I was on her podcast first. I feel like we know each other even better before we do this interview, which is fun. Her podcast was all about me and my journey. I get to learn about her. This is going to be a great episode because we are not only going to be talking about her journey and how she started making money from music but also some side income streams that we haven’t talked about much here on the show, talking about podcasting and how that can bring in some income for you as well as corporate sponsorships.
You guys know I have been doing this for several years. I am all about how we can use a podcast to increase our income streams and increase our visibility but it probably seems a little daunting to some of you. Heidi is going to dispel some myths about it and make you feel a little more comfortable about how maybe you could add this to your portfolio of things that you are doing to promote yourself, your music, your teaching or whatever you are doing to make money in music. We will jump into that in a second but I would love to get your backstory, Heidi. How did you get started in music? You are a flutist. How did you get started in that? What made you decide to continue with that as a career and start helping other flute players?
Bree, thank you so much for having me. It is so great to see your beautiful shining face. I love that introduction to your readers about their portfolio and bringing in those different income streams. I can’t wait to talk about podcasting and corporate sponsorships. I can’t wait to learn from you. It is going to be a fun talk. I’m originally from Chicago. I’m the eldest of three. My first art and first love of art was in ballet. I had a fruitful ballet career. Around 13 and 14, I had to stop because I had an injury. I fractured my L5 vertebrae. Therefore, I was like, “This is not an option anymore for me and my body. What else am I going to pour my heart and emotions into? What is going to be my creative outlet?”
Music naturally was there because I was taking piano lessons. I was also a ballerina. Flute found me at that stage in life. I was hooked. At thirteen, I started going to flute camps in the summertime. I started building up my mentors in my orbit. I realized, “This is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” I said, “Someday, I’m going to be Dr. Heidi.”
There was a pivotal woman in my life. Her name is Dr. Diane Boyd Schultz. She exemplified so much grace, voice, intelligence and elegance on the stage as a teacher and performer. I remember pointing to that and saying, “I want to be that someday.” With that, from thirteen to the next several years was my journey to become Dr. Heidi. I did a Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctorate. We can talk about this element more of the business side of things but I had built up a studio.
After I graduated with my doctorate in 2018, there were a few rocky years from ‘18 to ‘20 trying to figure out where I fit into the music industry, what my voice was and how I was going to serve my people. In 2020, I discovered that my podcast, Flute 360, was my digital baby. This is how I was going to serve my community even further, which brings us here to talk about podcasting and looking at this portfolio career for your readers. That is a little bit of my backstory. I don’t want to go into the different rabbit holes of struggles and building up that portfolio career yet because I don’t want to lose the reader in all the madness.
We will probably dip into those as we are talking about other things but I was curious about what you suggested for people that are in school like that for a long time. You built up your studio while you were in school. Was that to help pay for it? Did you feel like it was way overwhelming to run a studio and be in school at the same time?
To clarify, I was smushing those years together to bring everything into a nutshell. I didn’t ramble but I can clarify. For my Master’s, I taught sparingly a few lessons here or there. I had assistantships but I built a massive flute studio from 2009 to 2015 in the Fort Worth Area. I was not in school during that time. I graduated with my Master’s in ’09. I went to Fort Worth, Texas and built up a studio of up to 50 to 60 flute students.
Were you teaching them all yourself or did you have people helping?
It was me. I was teaching adjunct at the community college in Downtown Fort Worth at TCC. I was also doing nonprofit work for the Texas Flute Society. Those were long days. It was 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day, Monday through Saturday. It was insane, Bree. At some point, I realized, “I love this. I love teaching. I see myself as an educator. I’m good at this but this is not sustainable. I can’t scale my time. I love my students but I’m going to work smarter, not harder.”
In 2015, I started my doctorate because the idea was if I got that DMA, I would have a better chance of locking in one of those full-time tenure track flute professor positions at some point. Life had other plans and we can talk about that later. To answer your question, I built up my studio of 60 flute students from ‘09 to ‘15 purely as a businesswoman and I was not a student at that time.
That makes sense because that is a huge studio. There is no way you could do that at the same time. It is also cool. You got all those skills to build that thing and business. You got to that point where you were like, “This isn’t scalable unless I bring in other people. Maybe I need to look at some other way that I can take all these skills I have built up from learning plus all that experience of teaching for those years.” Maybe you make it so that it is not sucking your time so much and you are able to be more for a one-to-many thing. My husband also has a doctorate. He is an English professor. I have been through that whole getting your doctorate thing. It is no joke.
I started my doctorate at 30. At that point, my husband and I were married. That would have been in 2015. We were married for several years. As a couple, we were established. I bring that up because that relationship was so crucial for me to feel emotionally and financially stable as he was supporting me through that degree. I could not have done that alone. We didn’t have a mortgage yet. We didn’t have kids. There were a lot of ingredients to this equation that allowed me to focus on that DMA, be selfish for three years and soak up that time to learn more. That way, post-DMA, I could be that much better of a teacher for my community.
I was supporting my husband. We got married right before he started his doctoral program, which was a Master’s and doctoral altogether. It was five years. I was working in finance. That was when I worked at the opera as Director of Finance while he was getting his doctorate. You need to be able to focus when you are doing it. After you got your doctorate, did you pursue tenure track positions and stuff? Is that when you were like, “I want to work online?” How did that go?
I have to back up one step for my answer to make sense. I’m a believer that God works in mysterious ways. At the end of the doctorate, my dissertation was my Flute 360 Podcast. To appease the degree, my committee said, “If you were to build out a website and podcast, make it this nice digital package. If you were to produce the trailer plus eight episodes, that would suffice for the degree.” I got to check off that box. It was a great means to an end for the actual doctoral degree. Post-degree in that summer of 2018, I was like, “I like this. This is fun.” I kept it going.
At some point around episodes 30 to 40, I was like, “If I’m doing this as I’m seeking out for that tenure track flute professor job, let me be smart about this and work smarter, not harder. I want to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.” That was, it is no longer a dissertation. In my mind’s eye, I’m not going to treat it that way. It is no longer this summer hobby project but it is going to be a resume builder because in our CVs as musicians, some main categories that we have are creative work and publications. I thought, “The podcast can suffice those two categories.” There is going to be a committee out there who is going to go, “This is cool work. You are hired.” It is going to be that easy.
The academic community was that forward-thinking.
From 2018 to 2019, I applied to everything under the sun while I was teaching. I was applying to adjunct flute positions, adjunct music business positions and full-time positions. The thing about it is nobody tells you this when you are in school but you soon find out that this is the case. Once a blue moon, a full-time flutes professor position is announced. When it was announced, there were hundreds of thousands of flutists who were all qualified to apply for that one job. I did that relentlessly for two years, Bree. To be honest and vulnerable, it was the two hardest years of my life. It sucked me emotionally, physically and mentally on so many different levels. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.
I remember my husband’s job market years. It is not fun. He was on the job market before. He got his doctorate pre-dissertation. After he was done, he had a post-doc. He had another year to find a position but it was stressful. It could be anywhere in the country. You have to think, “We got to up and move to wherever this place is.” He got offers from Oklahoma, which we ended up turning down because we didn’t want to move to Oklahoma. It was so different from Southern California. I couldn’t imagine it.
I’m so glad you brought that up because that is the reality. After two years of searching relentlessly, I was then offered a full-time job outside of Shanghai, China, in a town called Tangzhong. I’m willing to take anything and everything. If you want me to move to Alaska, I will move to Alaska. Yes, it was a great job. It had a great package but I was so desperate to say yes to something that I was willing to move halfway across the world away from my husband because he was a remote business owner. Think of China and its restrictions on the internet.
I was like, “It is a five-year contract. We could see each other for a couple of years during winter break and summer break. We will make it work.” In my mind, I had worked twenty years to get that doctorate. My identity was wrapped up in being a flutist and a flute professor so much so that I was willing to drop everything and move anywhere at any given moment, back to your husband and his story. As I was finishing up my work visa, the pandemic hit and bye-bye job.
It saved you in a way.
That was the defining moment to answer your question. I was going to go back because I’m a stubborn horse. I will keep at it. My husband lovingly pulled me over here and was like, “Heidi, let’s think about this. Let’s be smart about this.” He was the one who encouraged me to pivot. He said, “You had this podcast going on in the background from 2018 to 2020. You have 100 good episodes. Instead of it being a resume builder, why can’t it be your business? Why can’t it be your marketing arm that is shining a light onto who you are, what makes you, you and how you can serve your people?”
I had this a-ha moment of like, “You are right. I have Flute 360 community right there alongside me in my orbit. I can pivot and start thinking about business and bringing in those different income streams in and out of my portfolio career to have a sustainable financial plan and be financially and creatively fulfilled. I’m all in. Let’s do it.”
Your husband is super smart. He is a remote business owner so of course, he is. At that point, how big was your community that your podcast had drawn in? How were you connecting with them? Were you connecting with them on social media? Do you have an email list? People that are listening might think, “That is great.” A hundred episodes is a lot. How do you know when you have built something that can turn into income?
This is the question of the hour. If there is nothing else that anybody has learned from me during this time, this is it. I’m bold. I’m italicizing and highlighting this nugget. This sounds donkey of me but hear me out. You are going to be like, “Heidi, did you ever go to school?” Here was my realization. If you plant corn, you will get corn. If you plant wheat, you will get wheat. If you plant corn, you will not get wheat. What I mean by that is I was banging my head against the wall for so long when I was starting to do that pivot, Bree.
You are right. A hundred episodes is a big deal. If you are not sitting from the seat of a CEO business person, you are not going to reap the fruits that you want to see. As I was pivoting, I was still doing Flute 360. I had been for two years but I didn’t see the ROI that I wanted that I knew that I deserved. As a woman podcaster, one podcast episode takes some blood, sweat and tears if you want to do it well. I was like, “I’m putting in all this time and energy into one show. I do not see the fruits of my labor.” That was my a-ha moment.
I was still treating it like corn, like a hobby and a resume builder but I wanted wheat, which was business results. That is your coaching tip of the hour. If you want that business result and you want to see that ROI and several different income streams coming in and out of your podcast or business, you have to sit in the seat of a CEO because your steps from step zero one to your result is going to look much different than if you were treating that as a hobby.
That is true about anything that we do in music, performing even. If you treat it like a hobby, you are going to get tips and people saying to you, “We will let you play for exposure,” or stuff like that instead of thinking about it like a business owner. What did it look like to transform what you were doing from corn into wheat?
Here is your coaching tip number two for the hour. Before when I was a hobby podcaster, I was showing up, which was good. I was very consistent. That is a good, admirable trait to have.
It is always the first hurdle for podcasting. Most people podfade after four episodes.
It is hard work. It is fun but it is work. I was consistent. I was showing up but I wasn’t creating the biggest thing. There are many different factors to this but the one thing that I will focus on is the content. The content has to be and speak to your listener. If you are not going through deep dives and listening to your listener in the sense of, like, “Where are you on your musical journey? What are your hurdles? What are your pain points,” that is crucial to the success of your podcast generating income.
Before, I was showing up consistently creating content but it was content that interested me. It was content that I thought, “This is cool for the community.” It looked like a glorified flute magazine but through a podcast. It was very academic. For the last several years, I have been trained to be an academic.
No fault of my own. I can’t blame myself. That was my training. I was treating it like this glorified dissertation. It is a great contribution to the community but what I found to be true is that it is not going to convert. Your listeners need to feel like they are seen and heard. They have to know, like and trust you at a deep level. If that’s not there, they aren’t going to enroll in your different product services and offerings.Your listeners need to feel they are seen, heard, and they have to know and trust you deeply. Click To Tweet
I’m assuming that when you started monetizing, you started with your products. You weren’t getting sponsors. Your goal was to get people to do coaching with you, be part of your flute studio or whatever that is, which is what you were saying about people needing to know, like and trust you and know that you understand their ups and downs. You have been there. That is so important to them. What did you start offering first? What calls to action were you offering? Another issue is that people are delivering the content but they don’t ask them to do anything. They are like, “Why aren’t I making any income?”
You wouldn’t be wrong in coming to that assumption of like, “It is going to be Heidi’s services.” I did things backward. This was pre-pivot. This was like, “Where am I going with this?” The head-banging part was because I was in the podcasting academic world, I knew I was bringing on big guests and big names. Before I was even thinking that Flute 360 could be highlighting me and how I can serve my people, my first thought was, “If I had these huge names coming into my show, I should be monetizing through corporate sponsorships.” My first income stream was through corporate sponsorships. A year later, it was my own services, which was interesting.
Here is another huge tip. I was in that academic podcasting world so I was doing all of the interviews within the flute community. I was interviewing composers, performers and orchestral musicians. Any type of flutists that you can think of, I was interviewing them. That is why I could get corporate sponsors because these businesses were like, “That is a huge name. Yes, you are going to get great traffic. That is going to be good for my ad read.”
Here was another pivot. I am so thankful. My disclaimer is I am beyond thankful for any company that has ever invested in me. The issue is when you start to go advertising your product services and offerings and you are still only interviewing big names in the community, people don’t buy because they saw me as a glorified Oprah Winfrey in the flute community. Once I realized, “When people are coming through and buying a flute lesson or a masterclass, how are they finding me? What gets them to say yes, ‘I want to work one-on-one with her,’” it was solo episodes.
There is a perfect mix of getting these bigger names so people see you. They are posting on their social media or people say, “I can’t believe this person is on the show. I want to listen,” versus solo episodes.
I will try to mix it up going into July and August 2023. Probably July through September 2023. I’m going to be focusing on solo for the next twelve episodes. I will go back to showcasing my guests for some time. That alternation is healthy. I love my guests. To be clear, I love bringing people onto my show because I get to make new friends, build a relationship with possibly a new colleague or partner, learn from them and tap into their audience and make new friends within their circle. I’m not distancing the guests or sponsorships. If you wanted that portfolio career to have different income streams, like your product, services, offerings, sponsorships and affiliate links, you have to do a good mix of interviews and solo episodes.
At this point, are you mostly only advertising your services? Do you have corporate sponsorships? Do you find that doing it this way still attracts corporate sponsorships?
I am doing both. I want their ads to convert. If there are many ads, it is going to get busy. For 2023, this was the first time I have ever done this and I’m excited. I decided to have an exclusive onboard sponsor for 2023. That way, it was consistent. I can mix up Carolyn Nussbaum’s ads for her. She has a flute shop in Plano. We could change the placement mid-roll, B-roll, post-roll, different voices and different ad copy. Her link is consistently the one link seen as the number one sponsor for Flute 360 and all the show notes. When I do a marketing blast saying, “New episode,” she is tagged into it. It is a good relationship and partnership where I can fully support her going into those 50 episodes for the year. She can fully support me. It feels good to be in this place of having longevity in a partnership.
She is a local business. People might be thinking, “Can local businesses succeed on a podcast? Aren’t most of your listeners across the world?”
Before she even started partnering with Flute 360, she had a name in the international flute world. She does well for herself. Yes, it is a local business and a small business but she is at every flute fair, trade show and conference at the regional, national and international levels. She is a powerhouse.
As we wrap up the conversation about corporate sponsors, people would love to know, “How do you get that first one?” Once you have one, it is much easier to be like, “I have been promoting this on my podcast and they have gotten this many sales.” For example, I promote Van Zugel a lot on my show. I can say, “We had this many signups from it.” I know exactly how many we have. How do you get that first one?
I’m glad you have a show and you are doing what you are doing because you are such a good conversationalist. I sound like I’m giving you a blanket answer. I’m not answering the question but I truly am. You have to put yourself out there and ask. My podcasting clients, through RedHouse Productions, this is their biggest hangup. They are always like, “What do I do?” They overthink it and I get it. As a flutist, I’m type-A. I got to cross my T’s and dot my I’s. I get it but action.
You will find that clarity in the action. If you take the action, you are putting that out into the universe. It is going to start gaining momentum. That is why I say ask because we can get inside our heads way too much and overthink, break down and overanalyze these hypothetical situations or conversations. We are like, “They won’t say yes. Why would they even bother talking to me?” We come up with all of these misconceptions are myths and a lot of them are false. They are not true. If you put yourself out there, rip off the Band-Aid and start asking the right people, you are going to get that clarity and start boosting your confidence.You will find clarity in action. If you take action, you're putting that into the universe, and it will start gaining momentum. Click To Tweet
That is what I say to artists when I tell them to go out and get sponsors for their release party locally. It’s the idea of walking into a flower shop and saying, “I have this release coming up. I love to feature your flowers.” It is weird and uncomfortable for the first time but once you get that first person, you get that confidence.
Another way is you could start with affiliate products where you don’t necessarily even have to ask or you could approach them and ask but it is a lot lower level ask of saying, “Can I get a coupon for my people and also get this percentage?” It is no skin off their nose if you don’t get any people because they only pay if you get paid. That could be a start and you could show from that, “I made this many sales for this company.”
That was your huge golden tip from Bree. That was amazing. I teach that all the time.
For me, what happened is I did that for a few years. When I went to do my summits, I had the confidence to be able to approach real sponsors for summits where they handed me money. I could use it to promote the summit. It is by having some track record. Let me tell you, guys. They are going to want to know analytics but don’t feel like, “I have to have a show that has 10,000 downloads a month to start approaching anyone.” You don’t. It was like, “Are the people that you attract the exact people that would be interested in this particular product or service?”
In my first sponsor, I had 500 downloads a month. Thank goodness they saw the potential of Flute 360. They saw the value I could bring to a warm audience and the branding was on point. I had flutists.
You are not going to get pianists or guitar players. You are going to get flute players to listen to the show. It is very niche. You know that everybody listening will be interested in their thing if that is for that type of person.
I want to insert this for the readers. Remember that those you are reaching out to these businesses are real human beings and people on the other side of the phone or the email. They are mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, cat moms and dog moms. They’re like you and me. If you treat them that way and you try to find that win-win for both parties to excel and succeed in that collaboration, the possibilities are endless because that first sponsor, if you can gain the confidence and courage to reach out to the said company, the possibilities after that initial partnership are endless.
The Haynes Flutes makers were my first sponsor. After that partnership of a month subscription corporate sponsorship that they had opted in for, they were so happy that they said for the upcoming 2019 National Flute Association Flute Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah, they flew me out to share part of their exhibitor booth for this international flute festival and do live podcasting as they sold flutes in the other half of the booth.
Something similar happened to me. I have been promoting Van Zugel for a long time. In 2019, when I released my book, they were like, “This is awesome. We want to buy this many copies. We want to bring you to ASCAP Expo. We want to bring you to a taxi and speak on behalf of us because we are a sponsor. We will buy all these books and give them away.” It was all because I had developed a relationship with them. If I had contacted them out of the blue once I had my book and said, “Hey,” they would have been like, “Who are you?”
It is relationship building. That is what it is. We say in the music world and probably your readers have heard this to some degree. I’m sure they have. It is the power of networking. I don’t want you to hear the word networking and think it is this sleazy, outdated thing. It is building relationships. That is all it is. Bree nailed it on the head. She had that relationship so she could scale it to other opportunities because that foundation was there.
Let’s pivot into talking about podcasting. My guess is that our readers are thinking, “That sounds cool. I am used to talking on stage. Maybe I could talk on a podcast. How would this relate to my music career? How would I come up with something that would either relate to my artistic career or my teaching career in music that would interest enough people that they want to listen and I could eventually monetize it?”
To do your readers justice, the first thing that comes to my mind is a Venn diagram. There are four circles. These are questions that you are asking yourself as you are trying to figure out everything that Bree laid out. The first question that you are asking yourself is, “What are you passionate about? What gets you up in the morning? What is in your heart? What do you have to do?” The second question is, “What are you good at? What skills do you possess?” The third is, “What can you get paid to do?” The fourth circle is, “What is missing in the market?” At the intersection of those four circles, that is where you want to be.
I love that. That is so actionable. People are like, “Is there such an intersection? My circles are over here.”
That is okay. You could be multi-passionate about different things. I’m a flutist. How many flutists are out there in the world? Hundreds of thousands, if not millions. What makes you unique? It is the same concept and idea. If you need to figure out what your unique thumbprint is, a Venn diagram can help you find that intersection.
Another one that is similar in the crossover and the point is the same. It is like this funnel. It is this upside-down cone. The base is at the top. The tip of the funnel is at the bottom. You have the masses of flutists. The goal is to get to the tip of the funnel. How do you become 1 of 1 instead of at the base being 1 of 1,000? You go through and you are like, “I’m female. I’m married to a Native American man. I have done Native American flute research. I have a podcasting company.” You keep going down to figure out what makes you unique in your community.
I’m using the example of flutes because I’m a flutist. You go down and realize, “I have a flutes podcast. I’m 1 of 5.” What separates me from the other five flutes podcasters? I have a doctorate. There are two of us. There is Kate Mossad and Heidi Begay. I’m 1 of 2. I’m sure she is not married to a Native American man or has Native American flute research. Heidi is 1 of 1. That is empowering.
Both of those exercises will only take you 5 to 10 minutes. You can get so much clarity on that. You can get the wheels in motion and start going towards that goal of saying, “This is who I am. This is how I’m going to serve the market.” Once you get into the weeds of it, there might be small little pivots along the way. You may realize, “I can open up that because that would all still make sense under my branding. I can get rid of this under my product suite.” Don’t you agree, Bree? You start gaining that clarity once you are in it. Once you have yourself established, the rest comes organically.
I think about myself when I started looking at starting my show, which was in 2015. I had already been serving females with women of substance. I was like, “I got this list of 3,000 females and all these social media where I am attracting female artists. I’m helping them promote their music. It would make sense that I already got this group of people that I could then help. What could I help them with? Do I want to help them with writing music? What do I have that is different? I have a background in finance. Are there that many people out there teaching the cross-section of music and business?”
I think about my journey. I was like, “I had trouble combining music and business even though I was a music and business major.” I have a double major. I was like, “If I had problems, they must have problems.” That’s how I came to the idea of a Female Entrepreneur Musician, which was my first show.
I’m thinking, “My biggest thing that I see with them or they are stuck is they don’t think of themselves as entrepreneurs. Let’s try to make our goal teaching them that they are. Between 2015 when I started that show and 2019, the idea of female artists being entrepreneurs is like, “Of course, we are.” It became an understanding versus like, “This is my education. It is amazing.” I feel like I played a part in that.
The ripple effect can be huge. I love hearing about your journey. You have kept up with the podcasting world because you are seeing the fruits of your labor. It connects you with the people that you need to be connected with.
The podcast was the gateway to everything. I started as online radio. We moved that to a podcast, Women of Substance, in 2014. I started the Female Entrepreneur Musician in 2015 because I knew I was going to move into some coaching. I wanted to be able to serve them. That led to so many things. The podcast allowed me to be seen as an expert in my field. It led me to be able to be asked to be on a lot of other things. I did summits.
All of that was born out of podcasting, which is amazing when I think about it. That podcast, Female Entrepreneur Musician, is still around because it has been around since 2015. We have a lot of subscribers and listeners that still listen to it, even though I started a new one, The Profitable Musician Show, in 2020 because I was like, “I want to serve musicians all across the board who want to make more money,” that was the goal with that, there is a cross-section of those where they fit together. I can’t imagine anything I have done without podcasting.
The people, opportunities and open doors changed my career.
You get so much exposure from it. What about the artists? I was thinking about artists. Where could they have a niche? Should they do a music podcast or something? Maybe they got a cause that they are excited about or something that they do in life that is interesting. Maybe they are homesteading families. What could an artist do that was not just talking about their music every week?
That is the 360-ness of my show because it was a flute and that is very niche. I saw how I operate as a person in this world, as a teacher and a performer. My hobbies, family, friends and the things that take my interest all come together. I can’t compartmentalize my life. The answer is in the example of Flute 360.
Even though I’m talking with flutists and musicpreneur like you and looking at the flutist holistically, we look at these three facets. The human, the artist and the musicpreneur because it is all connected. We are looking at the entire flutist because if you aren’t taking care of yourself well, you are not going to be able to make money or play your instrument well and vice versa.
To answer your question, things that interest me and things that I have a passion for outside of flute easily come into my show when I get to talk about humans because I’m passionate about health. I love how food plays a huge part in how we function in this world. I get to look at that and bring that passion through Flute 360, even though it is not a health show.
I don’t know if that answers your question but what a lot of people get afraid of is getting into this niche and not bringing the other elements. You don’t want to confuse your listener. You don’t want to be talking about Korean barbecue and your songwriting the next day. These different things make you a musician and a songwriter.
If you love Korean barbecue or you are one of seven kids, that can come up naturally in your branding and messaging. It forms your unique perspective of the world. No other songwriter in the world will be 1 of 7 kids who love Korean barbecue. I don’t want to confuse anyone. I hope that resonates with you and you agree with that. I will put that to bed. Let me know if that makes sense.
First of all, the story is always going to be so compelling. Sometimes people are interested in whatever story you are telling because they resonate with it. They are like, “I remember when that happened to me in high school.”Sometimes it is because your experience is so different from theirs that they are intrigued by it. There are two directions to that. The thing that might get people tripped up is are they looking at their podcast from, “What audience do I want to attract? Who am I speaking to? What subject matter am I covering?” They are a little bit different.
My gut says my answer would be a follow-up question to the listener and that is, “What result do you want from your podcast?” Reverse engineer it. If you could have your cake, eat it too. It doesn’t have to be finances or whatever your goal is. What is your end goal? What is in your mind’s eye of what that is? You have to reverse engineer that and go back and say, “That is the outcome.” Go 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and figure out where your starting point is. If you want, the first proposition or the first option that you gave me was, “Am I creating content to bring people in?” For me, it is to serve people. The content has to reflect that.You have to reverse engineer your end goal and then go back and see the outcome. Click To Tweet
If I think about the examples of my show and my friend’s podcast, a lot of time, the title of the podcast is aspirational, like Female Entrepreneur Musician. I want to be that or The Profitable Musician. I want to be that or like my friend Tara’s podcast, The Engaging Voice. She teaches them to have an engaging voice. Her goal is to get students for her voice studio and any courses that she is teaching.
Think about what you want them to do and what action you want them to take. Reverse engineer that. What do they want? What is their aspiration? They want to be a profitable musician. In the case of Flute 360, you can tell me what the idea is behind that name but like to me, it says everything I ever wanted to know about being a flutist. That is my passion. That is my life. I am living that full circle.
Your other option to that question was academic. My disclaimer is I’m not always selling through my podcast. I’m not always going, “If that is your result, buy for me.” There is academic content. I need to build up those relationships because I do care. I want to bring my listeners value. There is that healthy balance.
The first thing I asked anyone that says they want to be on my show is, “What do you have? If we had this conversation, what could you talk about that we haven’t talked about that is unique and going to interest our people that we haven’t already covered?” You are always thinking about your user and also me. I’m super curious.
Even though I built my everything around the show, I don’t teach people to do that so I haven’t necessarily thought through all the intricacies of how I did it. I just did it. This has been such a great conversation. I feel like we could talk further on this but I do have to cut us off. I would love for you to tell everybody how they can find you online, on social media, on your website and all the things.
Thank you again for having me. I love learning from you, Bree. I love seeing this relationship starting to blossom. I have two companies. One is Flute 360. That is what we have been talking about with my podcasting world as a flutist. My handle is @HeidiKayBegay. You can find me through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. My website there is HeidiKayBegay.com for anything Flute 360 and flute to related. For the podcasting side of things, that is RedHouse Productions. You can find us through RedHouseProductions.net if you are more interested in the podcasting world.
I can’t think of anyone better to help you build a podcast from what I have heard than Heidi. If you are a musician and you think this could be an addition to your portfolio of ways that you connect with other people, reach out to her at RedHouseProductions.net. Thank you so much, Dr. Heidi Kay Begay, for sharing all your knowledge and experience with us.
- Heidi Kay Begay
- Flute 360
- Haynes Flutes
- Women of Substance
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- The Engaging Voice
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About Dr. Heidi Kay Begay
Dr. Heidi Kay Begay is a serial entrepreneur who owns two businesses, Flute 360 and Red House Productions. Flute 360 is Heidi’s flute studio where she serves the modern-day flutist to amplify their unique voice holistically on and off the stage! Red House Productions is a podcasting company where Heidi helps podcasters to launch, grow, and monetize their show.