What we’ve learned running a local media company

Interested to start a brand, newsletter, or media company?  We started a local media company called The Mobile Rundown that connects the community to events via online an print.  It also produces events to connect the community.  Listen to more episodes here.

Transcript

0:00 

Hey guys, I’m Brooks and I Mandee. So we’re husband and wife, entrepreneurs. And we believe that life and business are a giant adventure and we want to live it with you guys. So let’s get

0:11 

To it.

0:25 

Maybe how’d it

0:28 

Get out of

0:34 

The country? I’m doing great

0:35 

Tweet me too. So what I want to connect with people on today is kind of tell them a little bit like of our story in regards to what we’ve learned and where we are going and where we find ourselves now with the local media company, which I now call it a media company, the mobile rundown. Yes, so if you’re cool with that, we’ll kind of just talk through that a little bit and kind of we can get people to the quick overview. So the 32nd overview of what it is, I guess, get people to give people the 10 second version of just what it is the mobile rundown.

1:09 

Rundown is a publication that comes out weekly that tells you everything that is going on in and around the city of Mobile, Alabama.

1:17 

Very good. Okay, cool. And so this this media company, which I’m now calling, I’m still getting used to calling it a media company, because it’s like, it’s a publication you call it a publication and it is. So eight years ago is when it began.

1:31 

As far as I know, we have not missed a week of none

1:33 

Publication letting people know. And it began eight years ago as an email. And that’s all that it was. Very quickly, we created a website. So it was an email that was sent out to people with a list of hey, here’s what’s happening connected to a website. Then obviously, from there, you have to have social media pages. So we had you know, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And that’s just that’s blossomed and into now currently today, we also have text subscribers where we’re now sending it out via text. We have now gone into print after like seven years or after six years, maybe we’ve gone into print and now into event production. So that’s like, that’s just the overall view. But what’s what I want to talk about, what I found really interesting is that we didn’t have we didn’t have all of that planned, right, that was not like a part of our master plan and the business plan for the business. And I think as well that we’re also going to morph even more, I think as the next you know, two to three years rolls on, I’m really excited to see like, where we’re going with that company, what the direction is, I think we actually have the ability to be one of the main kind of media sources in our in our city, you know, I do think we’re a viable outlet of information people, a lot of people know about us. But I think we could really, we could really double our footprint. And at least probably in I think the next two or three years, I think we could double our footprint where even more people know about us. And so, so what we’ve learned, it’s been really amazing. So we decided to get into print a couple of years ago, we said, Hey, so we have this digital online version of like, here’s top events or stuff going on. And we sold some advertising in that, which is, you know, partly how we generate revenue. Some of the people that run the printing produce their events or paying us to promote them further in advance and stuff like that. Well, we said, Well, okay, like, how can we how can we advertise or how can we promote stuff happening further in advance? So maybe that’s where the idea of the of the quarterly magazine came from,

3:53 

Is that it was sort of born out of that. So for a year or two we had talked about or we had been asked, hey, do you have way further out calendar more than just one week. And with the game of advertising and the way that all of that works, it was not it’s not the easiest thing to just throw together a calendar of everything going on. So yeah, so that was the first thing that we were asked to do. And I think the idea of the publication definitely did come, come as a an answer to Hey, what’s going on a little bit further out.

4:26 

Gotcha. Gotcha. And, and so that’s where the idea came from. I’m trying to decide if did we do that and say, hey, let’s see if we can create one and sell advertising. I’m trying to kind of rewind back and refill our first magazine. I think we did. I think we’re like, hey, let’s, let’s try this. Let’s do it. Let’s at a minimum, let’s see if we can like you know, break even hopefully, profitable or whatever. In advertising sales. And I if I recall correctly, I feel like what we found out was like, wow, there’s a lot of advertisers that are actually more comfortable with print advertising and are local community than they are with like our digital platform, because they get it tangible. They’re like, okay, cool, these magazines are going to be in my business, people will get them, people will share them, they’ll read them, they’ll keep them, they’ll look and see what events are happening. So like they were some advertisers were actually more willing to advertise in the magazine.

5:17 

Definitely.

5:19 

And so something else I wanted to kind of bring up, which I found really, really, really interesting is that so a section in the magazine was called do some good mobility. And you actually would like have this really discounted rate and you would let a non a 501 c organization, like have that spot to talk about what are they doing, there’s good stuff, you know, to hate. This is what we’ve got coming up, here’s how you can help us whatever. And

5:45 

Well, the thing with nonprofit organizations or any community organization is that they want the world to know about them, but they don’t always have the budget to do so. You know, some of them do. Some of them are very well funded organizations, but a lot of them are not and so we get asked a lot about hey you know can you do a trade or hey you know we’re a nonprofit. So we came up with the idea of giving a free in the digital publication giving it free do some good section first okay and then out of that was born the print publication do some good in that does have a discounted cost but inside the event publication this section the do some good section right Got it. Got it. Okay so okay

6:30 

So it originated from a free section and the weekly that we gave and then inside the print quarterly event magazine, we were selling a section to an organization but so this kind of comes to where I am currently where what I found really interesting was that I remember you telling me man, I like these are sold out and I’ve got the next magazine like this and you’re like this is the easiest thing for me to get filled right to get kind of sold. And that I think we were having a brainstorm lunch. Doing some work and stuff and said, Man, what if there was a standalone magazine that did nothing but highlighted 501 C, or nonprofit organizations in the community? Like how cool would that be? And like we didn’t we didn’t recall having seen any kind of magazine like that, or any kind of write outlet like that. And so we said, let’s do it. So, so born out of an event, quarterly magazine was now a standalone magazine called do some good ngmodel. And so we launched that I think we had about 20 or so nonprofit organizations and what we did as we you know, we charged them array, we try to make it as affordable as possible. But the a lot of these organizations were able to do it and if they weren’t, we encourage them to find a sponsor to sponsor them and a company could sponsor and, and have that, you know, page of information about the organization paid for. And that’s been a really cool magazine. We’re actually just about to produce our second one right now. And we’re even in talks brainstorming with each other on. Wow, what if we could find a major partner to help us literally underwrite the whole project. And we could even be able to include even more organizations without having to have them pay maybe a large business could underwrite and be like the major sponsor partner exam, this magazine and help pay us to have us put it together and produce it and distribute it. So, you know, that’s one of our brainstorm thoughts. But so, just to share with you guys that journey, it’s been amazing because the idea was never a magazine called do some good that highlighted nonprofits like that idea. I don’t think that would have come as a standalone idea. Like, would you agree with that?

8:46 

Oh, yeah, I think the idea

8:48 

Only came from the morphing over time, and taking action on other ideas, right. So you started with the idea in the in the email newsletter, and then Oh, one Well, let’s have a section in the magazine. Oh, wow, that’s really going well. Wow, let’s try a standalone magazine with this and yeah, and it worked. And you know, that’s business like, that’s life. I think that’s the way a lot of business it sets out. You know, you guys, you guys know that we think life and business is a giant adventure well, that’s a perfect example. It’s being flexible, it’s being able to mold and adapt to what you see in the marketplace and, and kind of take some action on that. So there’s another there’s another space where we have taken action in. And so for years, we have promoted and marketed events. And we’ve talked about, hey, here’s what’s going on and helping people you know, promote their events to our audience. And then a couple of years ago, it dawned on me well, okay, what like why aren’t we producing events? Why can’t the mogul rundown produce its own event? And in the community. And so I had this criteria I said, well, as long as it’s, it can be fun, as long as we could make some money in order to pay our bills, and as long as we can connect the community, like I want to, let’s do it like if it fits those criteria, well, right, let’s tackle right let’s tackle the idea. And so, so my ultimate goal was to have okay approximately four large scale events in a year that we could grow and they could become really big staple events in our city in our community and on the Gulf Coast.

10:30 

And within less than two years, I think we’ve got three of those ideas already kind of like rolling so we’re in year two of two events. One is called King Cake off where it’s like a giant King Cake festival kicks off Mardi Gras in our in our city. So if you’re hearing this it may be too late but if not, check out King Cake off calm and you can you see what that’s all about. We the next event that is in year two for this year as well is called biz cons Gulf Coast biz con. Yeah, which is an event to empower and connect entrepreneurs, small business owners and side hustlers. And that is, it can be a staple event, you know, it can be a huge event on the on the Gulf Coast and it’s a part of our mission, it totally fits in line with connecting the community, you know, we can be profitable and then we can definitely have fun at that because that’s like one of my goals is to produce a conference produce an event that I want to attend, right that we want to go to. And so um, so that’s approaching year two as well and then we’re having the first annual as I said, First Annual or inaugural I always forget you can’t say first annual can’t say first as a first annual it’s can’t be a first inaugural so it’s the first ever toys for big boys it’s a it’s an expo for men were men grown men can go and be boys again. Can women go to women can definitely get one they can play with they can play with the big boy toy. Like tractors, boats, and RVs, and all that kind of stuff, yes, drones and stuff, or there’s potentially going to be a woman area where they can get like some pampering done and stuff like that right on the street. And so that event is a is like kind of a weekend Expo, that’ll be my first that’ll be our first kind of Expo style event in originally. And so what’s interesting with that is that we’re actually partnering, we have a joint venture partnership actually with an organization called the grounds that produces the greater goal state fair, like a 10 day fair festival. And these guys are professionals at putting on events, that’s what they do. They have event space in their turn in events. And so it’s a perfect partnership for us to put together with them. And so, um, yeah, I mean, like super, super excited about that event as well because I think that can just be a huge event on the Gulf Coast. I think it’s got I think it’s got legs and I say, right now our plates are full like we want to get you We want to get year to these first two events out of the way, and I want to get your one of toys for big boys come out kind of. So that’s in May, at the end of May 2020. But then, but then we’ll be our eyes are open, our eyes are open for a fourth event, you know, and in the future, who knows, and that’s the thing. It could be. It’s just where I’m going with all this is that to share this with everyone is to say, we didn’t know we didn’t have those ideas, right, two years ago, they’ve happened within the last couple of years. And, you know, we put everything in motion. That last idea, I don’t know what it is, maybe that’s not the last idea. It might be that we do 50 events in a year, and we become a full on event production company and there’s 20 employees or whatever, you know, right? Honestly, five employees probably like, you know, run all these events, we following an outline and we just and it’s and these events are things that help us grow our community of the mobile rundown of the media company, everything connects everything is one giant web, right? None of these things are separate projects or disconnected everything. Everything I see it in my head is like a giant spider web. Like it all connects together. So yeah. So is that our future? Is our future potentially helping other companies and organizations produce events? Because they’re like, Man, you guys produce some really cool events. We’d like some ideas. I mean, maybe we maybe, maybe we’re consulting with companies on ideas on what makes a successful event and how to do this, how to do that and, and assist with that. And so I don’t know exactly where our local media company is going in the next 24 months. But it’s exciting. Yeah, it’s exciting to see where we’ve come the last 24 months, and I’m really excited to see the direction that we’re heading in, in the next 24 months.

14:50 

Yeah. From year to year. When I look back, I kind of see like, Wow, I didn’t expect us to do that or I didn’t expect us to do that. So fast. I didn’t I didn’t know we would have this or that something. Yeah, I think we’re definitely evolving and changing at a rapid pace, probably more than we even realize.

15:08 

But that’s great. Yeah. Wonderful.

15:10 

Yeah, you kind of have to, I think it’s a two, one, you have to, you know, we all have to wait. And that’s kind of the kind of culmination of this conversation, right is to say like we all as humans, as people in relationships in business, like, it is one giant adventure, and you do have to adapt whether something happens to you, or whether there’s changes that you want to make in order to make some adjustments or changes. Either way, it’s being flexible. It’s being you know, being adaptable to your environment, your surroundings and just being willing being willing to pivot being willing to make changes adjustments, either because you have to reference or something you want to do. Right? So I’m, I’m pretty excited. If you can’t tell. I mean, you know, I am. I just can’t wait to see what the next three or four months ago and obviously you guys will keep you updated with what we’re learning and what we’ve learned from the process. And so hopefully we can, you know, share that with you where if we, if we make mistakes, you’ll be able to not make those. If we have some cool successes and some of the stuff we’re doing, we’ll share that too. And, and tell you about that so that we can share that journey with you. Absolutely. Cool. Well, that’s it for this time. And we’ll, we’ll talk to you

16:19 

Guys next time.

16:30 

Hey, guys, thanks for hanging out with us. We’d love for you to share it maybe with a friend review it don’t hesitate to reach out and say hello. You can connect with us and see the resources that we talked about at destroyed the box with.us that’s www dot destroy the box with us

Disclosure:  this article might contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

Brooks Conkle

Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Sponge, Father, Husband, & Follower of the Golden Rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a BSBA in Finance from Auburn University. He’s addicted to growing new business ideas and any food that includes chocolate and peanut butter. Brooks is a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income and creates content here on BrooksConkle.com to help other hustlers in the areas of marketing, online business, personal finance, and real estate. 

Brooks Conkle

About Me

With 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, I help hustlers build multiple income streams so that they can control their financial future.
how to start a blog

Disclosure:  these articles contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links from Amazon and other companies, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

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