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Behind the Scenes: Authority Rainmaker, the Next Wave of Rainmaker.FM Shows, and the Departure of Robert Bruce
21st May 2015 • The Digital Entrepreneur • Rainmaker Digital LLC
00:00:00 00:34:07

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Here’s the too long, didn’t listen version …

Authority Rainmaker was awesome (if we do say so ourselves). Especially Henry Rollins.

We’re launching a whole bunch of new shows on Rainmaker.FM. This is exciting.

Robert Bruce is leaving the show. He makes Benedict Arnold look like Arnold from Happy Days.

In this 34-minute episode Robert and I discuss:

  • A look back at Authority Rainmaker 2015
  • The amazing Henry Rollins experience
  • A quick rundown of what’s coming on Rainmaker.FM
  • My new, new podcast (yes, I’m starting something else)
  • Why Robert is betraying me and what I’m doing about it

Listen to The Digital Entrepreneur below ...

The Show Notes

The Transcript

Behind the Scenes: Authority Rainmaker, the Next Wave of Rainmaker.FM Shows, and the Departure of Robert Bruce

Voiceover: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at Rainmaker.FM/Platform.

Robert Bruce: Sometimes I think I’ve had it with this computer stuff.

Brian Clark: It’s going to make your job difficult to do.

Robert Bruce: I know. That is the only problem. I got an email from somebody this morning saying something. Then an hour and a half, two hours later, I got another email from this person saying, “I know you opened my email. Why haven’t you written back?”

Brian Clark: Seriously?

Robert Bruce: Yeah. It’s one of these tracking things. These little tracking dots that everybody uses now.

Brian Clark: That’s awful.

Robert Bruce: I’m sitting there thinking, “How, in what universe do you think that makes me want to email you back now?”

Brian Clark: Exactly.

Robert Bruce: Right? I don’t know.

Brian Clark: Do I know this person?

Robert Bruce: No. It was something else. Someday I am going to end up in the mountains of the Oregon Coast Range. Well, we can take it offline, but we need to figure out how to do that.

Brian Clark: Well, do they have Internet in the mountains?

Robert Bruce: I’m sure they do. I’m sure it’s expensive, but I’m sure they do.

A Look Back at Authority Rainmaker 2015

Brian Clark: I think it’s doable if that’s really what you want. You’re not worn out from sharing emcee duties from last week’s event are you?

Robert Bruce: Oh yes. I’m running on fumes.

Brian Clark: I’m a little, definitely felt good that Saturday morning. I woke up at 5 as usual. I’m like, “What are you doing? Go back to bed.” Next thing I knew, it was 9:45, which never happens. But I didn’t feel as bad as last year when I did it all myself, so thank you, Robert.

Robert Bruce: You’re welcome. It’s odd because it’s not like breaking rocks, obviously, but it’s the intensity of always waiting for the next thing. Wanting to do a good job, hoping you can pull it off, but you’re sitting back there waiting for your next queue, thinking about what you’re going to say — all of that stuff. Everybody is running around. It was fun.

I felt bad, though, because throughout on both days, I’d be running through the lobby or whatever and someone would stop me, and we’d get into a brief conversation. I was like, “I’m sorry. I got to go. Literally, I got to be backstage like right now, or somebody’s not going to get introduced.”

Hopefully, those of you who were in Denver, first of all, thank you for coming. Secondly, if I seemed rude — hopefully that was not the case — but I was being called backstage at all times for two days straight.

Brian Clark: You also were probably exhausted from the intensity of laughter after you watched Michael King try to slide across the stage in his socks and then wipe out — five seconds after I said, “Michael, don’t wipe out.”

Robert Bruce: Yeah, that was something. You called it.

Brian Clark: You got the video. It’s hilarious. “I got it, I got it. No problem.”

Robert Bruce: That’s the only reason I saw it. It was your video actually because I was coming on as he was actually doing it. I was in the wings when he went down.

Brian Clark: That was so great. Thank God he wasn’t hurt. He did break his mic pack or whatever, but that was one of the many highlights. But, yes, let me thank everyone who came out. It was a whirlwind, but it all just seemed positive. People were happy, and Jessica and Kim pulled it off without a hitch. Dan Pink was amazing. Sally Hogshead was amazing, Chris Brogan. Then, of course, Rollins comes in at the end. It was so interesting to see the mixed reaction of the crowd. The reaction was uniformly the same, but it depended on who you were.

The Amazing Henry Rollins Experience

Brian Clark: If you are a Henry Rollins fan, a Black Flag fan, a Rollins Band fan, whatever the case may be — like me — then you knew what you were in for, yet your expectations were still exceeded. I thought it was more amazing to see the people who were like, “You know, I knew who he was, but I didn’t really get it. Of course I was looking forward to hearing it because everyone said how awesome it was going to be.” Those were the people whose minds were blown.

Robert Bruce: Then, of course, his epic after greeting time. I think it was two and a half hours — I think it went, somebody said almost 8:00 — he was out there.

Brian Clark: I couldn’t believe it because I figured we got to get him backstage and get him to a car or whatever because the poor guy is going to get mobbed. Nope, he announces from the stage. “I will be out front, and I will talk to every single person who wants to talk to me.” I got to escort him out front, and I’m like, “Here we go.”

When you and I walked down the hall, we’ll constantly get stopped, and that’s very flattering and everything. But this was an entire mass of people. I got him far enough to where it could reach critical mass, and he’s just sitting there holding court — signing autographs, taking pictures.

He even for one guy, he said, “Record a message on my phone for my kids.” It was just the most perfect Rollins message. It said, “Don’t follow the rules, and do what you want to do and make your dad insane.” And the dad was like, “That’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Robert Bruce: That’s great.

Brian Clark: I’m like, “Are you sure?” Overall, it was a good thing. The first year we did it had this kind of special thing to it. In part, I think because we tried to produce a different event from the larger, multi-track events. We have a flare for theatrics this year with the stage setting.

The comments we got all the time were, “You are playing the coolest music throughout the entire show.” A little bit of that was me, but a lot of that was just Jessica. You can’t really touch her. She’s a former DJ. She knows her obscure hipster music fairly well.

I’m still reflecting on it, but it’s been cool to see various people doing wrap ups and reflection pieces. It’s all got that same vibe. People kept saying, “I found my people.” We heard that the first year, but to put on a little bit bigger event and have, still, people come away with that feeling I think is pretty cool. I think I need to do some thinking about how big do we ever want to make this thing. Do you at some point you lose that? What would be the point?

Robert Bruce: Yeah, because you hear it all the time. Things get too big and unwieldy and out of control, and people longing for the good old days when it was a small deal.

Brian Clark: We don’t do it to make money. I’ve said that over and over. We do it to break even, if we’re lucky, because we don’t skimp on food or AV or the experience at any case. If it’s really just to have people have that feeling of “I belong here, and that was fantastic. I’m inspired to go take it to the next level.” It seems to me that it makes sense that we don’t let it get too much bigger.

Anyway, I’m trying not to think about it right now. I can’t think about next year right now. I’m thinking about summer. I want to sit down. I want to stay at home. I want to write. I want to record. I want to create. And, of course, that’s how you set the stage for next year. That’s what you do, but it’s time to lay some new groundwork. I feel that way, and that’s, in part, coming away from my own conference as inspired and fired up as anyone. It’s not like I’m immune from it.

The fact that I got to drive Rollins the next day from Denver to Boulder for his show at the Boulder Theater. Me and Jerod and his fiance got to be Henry’s guests in the VIP sections. Only one there, velvet rope and everything, and you think his presentation at Authority Rainmaker was amazing. He went two and a half hours at the Boulder Theater. I don’t think he took a breath, and it was hilarious. When he’s unrestrained topically, he’s hilarious. He just meanders, tells stories, but it’s all perfectly orchestrated.

Robert Bruce: Yeah, it is incredible. I’ve never seen him live, but I’ve seen various versions of his shows over the years — the ‘talking show’ as he calls it — and it is really incredible. He’s got a really great thing going now because he travels the world. He has all these experiences. He sees all these places, and he goes to some pretty incredible places — both in the sense of culturally, crazy political things going on.

He doesn’t call himself a journalist. But he comes and he reports back, and he uses all that material in these live shows. But you’re right, to go two and a half hours without a stop, it’s just like a freight train.

Brian Clark: He doesn’t even really move. He stands in one place. He’s got the microphone cord wrapped around his hand. Anyway, let’s move off of this, but one last thing. During his presentation at the event, he made a reference to Henry Miller and said, “This guy just lives life and then writes about it.” And that’s what Henry does.

When I’m in the car with him for 45 minutes and he’s telling me stories about David Lee Roth and the Ramones and he’s got this great Guns N’ Roses … Black Flag loaned Guns N’ Roses their PA equipment. He said they were the most scruffy, attitude-laden, smelly people he’s ever met in his entire life. And he said 15 minutes into their set there are 35 people in the room — he said they’re going to be huge. I think he was right a little bit about that one.

That’s his whole life. What he does becomes his material. He just delivers it with a lot of amazing wit and showmanship that I don’t think people realize — just go online and look at Henry Rollins’ Spoken Word, and you’ll get some videos. I suggest the one where he talks about trying to compete with Iggy Pop on tour. That’s the funniest thing you’ll ever hear.

A Quick Rundown of What’s Coming on Rainmaker.FM

OK, what else do we have today? We’re already talking 10 minutes, and we haven’t got out of the intro. We’ve got more podcasts coming to Rainmaker.FM. Why don’t we talk about that?

Robert Bruce: We got a whole list of stuff. So right now we have 13 distinct shows live over at Rainmaker.FM, and that is not including, of course, the crowd favorite, the all shows feed. Yeah, we’ve got a number of things coming up here. I’m just going to list them out. We can talk about it, talk about the hosts a little bit, and then keep going.

In no particular order, we’ll start with Andrea Rennick is going to be doing a show called Humans of WordPress, and this will be interesting. A little bit different than anything that’s on Rainmaker.FM right now, but she’s going to be talking about WordPress, talking to big WordPress people, what’s going on in the WordPress universe, and as that relates to, of course, the DIY side of our business with StudioPress and all of that.

So that’s coming up. All of these, actually, this whole list is going to be coming out within the next month, month and a half, but that’s Humans of WordPress with Andrea Rennick. Then Mr. Sean Jackson– I think you still call him Action Jackson.

Brian Clark: Action Jackson. Absolutely.

Robert Bruce: He’s doing a show called The Missing Link. This is something that we went back and forth on, and you hit upon this idea of Sean — true to his nature and his interests — really focusing on the LinkedIn experience and as it relates to digital marketing and talking to people within LinkedIn, talking about strategy, of course, and using it. We’ve often said this is one of the most powerful social networks in the world.

Brian Clark: It really is given that it’s the only one that’s primarily business focused. I keep looking at LinkedIn. I’m seeing more and more original content being published over there. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but the smart ones are always pointing back to home base.

Really, it’s guest posting, yet instead of doing it at Forbes, Entrepreneur, or Inc., what have you — nothing against writing there, obviously — but it’s within a social network where people congregate to get smarter about their careers and about business. Then you’ve got all these content. Then, of course, that content is fueling the traffic back to their own site. It seems to me to be a fairly direct guest posting strategy. I’m looking into it more, but obviously I’m going to be listening to Sean’s show.

Robert Bruce: Jessica Commins and Kim Clark are going to be doing a show called Misbehavior. Love this show title. Jessica is a serious data nerd, and Kim is on the support — many, many different sides of this — but mainly the support side of our business. She runs things over there.

They’re going to be talking about all things data as it applies to business. One cool little tweak is, on a regular basis, talking about how deceptive certain statistics or certain numbers can be or the way in which people use them and what things really mean when it comes down to business.

Brian Clark: Lies. Damn lies and statistics.

Robert Bruce: Yeah, correct. That’s exactly right. It’s been around for a while. There’s one here that I’m not going to talk about, Brian. The only reason I’m not going to talk about it is because you, just a few moments ago, told me not to talk about it. Anything you want to say about that thing that I won’t talk about?

Brian Clark: Yeah, why do you always do that to me?

Robert Bruce: Wait, we’ll come back to this.

My New, New Podcast (Yes, I’m Starting Something Else)

Brian Clark: I am working on a new project, everyone’s like, “Wait, didn’t you just do that Further thing?” Further to me, at least now, is like my once a week personal blog. I’d write it if no one were paying attention because it helps me learn. Thankfully, I’ve got a nice email list that pays attention to me, but I have no idea about selling people anything or whatever. I hope to demonstrate the Rainmaker Platform a little bit more with my ideas that I have over there. Hopefully, again, this summer, I’m going to have the time to implement that stuff.

I think there’s something that’s more congruent with what I’m really good at. What do I have actual expertise in that I