Vinny Potestivo is an Emmy award-winning media advisor and talent development executive. He discussed his journey to becoming a casting director and how he used technology to innovate the casting industry. He also discussed the importance of having a good pitch deck, team, and culture to help with content creation. He encouraged listeners to create something that makes them laugh and build their creative muscle. He suggested trusting yourself and taking trends, and making them your own. He also discussed the importance of applying for awards, leveraging distribution platforms, repurposing content, and using social media platforms to reach a wider audience.
- Take a chance on a $20 ad in a magazine.
- Prepare and challenge yourself to learn something new.
- Create a good pitch deck.
- Use Notion and Clarity to keep projects organized.
- Build a good team and culture to help with content creation.
- Leverage distribution platforms to increase discoverability.
- Repurpose content and use platforms such as IMDb and PodChaser to increase visibility.
- Leverage social media platforms like Instagram to reach a wider audience.
- Create something that makes you laugh and build your creative muscle.
- Trust yourself and take trends and make them your own.
- Contact Vinnie on LinkedIn and his website vpe.tv.
- Share, like, and subscribe to the Dead America Podcast.
Vinnie Potestivo is an industry-leading talent & media development strategist widely known for launching celebrity brands & media properties that continue to influence modern pop culture.
With over 25 years of experience, he and his teams have become well-trusted connectors who sell, develop, produce, launch, distribute, and amplify some of the most talked-about original series & talent brands in modern pop culture.
Talent brands Vinnie has helped elevate through the use of original content include Mandy Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Ashlee Simpson, Jessica Simpson, Tyrese Gibson, Lauren Conrad, Diane von Furstenberg, Nick Cannon, Danielle Fishel, Peter Thomas Roth, Kelly Osbourne, Kristin Cavallari, Molly Sims, Vanessa Lachey, Damien Fahey, Quddus, Suchin Pak, Gideon Yago, DJ Clue, LaLa Anthony, Hilary Duff, TJ Lavin, and Leah McSweeney among others.
Television series cast or produced by Vinnie include Punk’d, Wild ‘n Out, The Challenge, TRL, The Osbournes, Newlyweds, Laguna Beach, The Hills, The Ashlee Simpson Show, 8th & Ocean, Pimp My Ride, Cribs, The Tom Green Show, 2gether, All Things Rock, Headbanger’s Ball, Direct Effect, YO! MTV Raps, Loveline, Man & Wife, Making the Band, Fashionably Loud, VMAs, MTV Movie Awards, Sunset Daze, Biography, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, The Millionaire Matchmaker, Dogs In The City, Celebrity House Hunters, I’m Married To A, House of DVF, and A Question of Love.
Multimedia series cast or created by Vinnie include Macy’s Million Dollar Makeover, Samsung’s Private Island Giveaway, YouTube Originals’ Kid Correspondent, Vevo’s Certified, Simplified with Josh McBride, and Day One Stories by Prudential.
Podcasts include Man & Wife (Fatman Scoop & Shanda Freeman), Whistleblower (Natalie Khawam), Absolutely Danielle (Danielle Staub), Success by Design (Elizabeth Sutton), The Polished Woman (Jessica R Bunevacz), Ritch In Life (Ritch Erani), and Camera Ready & Abel (Barbara Barna Abel).
Corporate brands Vinnie has worked closely with include Macy’s, Samsung, Nikon, MLB, Peter Thomas Roth, Naturally Serious Skin, Kiehl’s, Hope Fragrances, Ciroc, AARP, Prudential, and Allstate.
[00:00:00] Ed Watters: How do you handle workflow on a professional level to keep it all straight?
[00:00:07] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah. That's awesome. Well, first off, I, I use Notion, um, and are you familiar with Notion the platform?
[00:00:13] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:00:13] Vinnie Potestivo: So, so I use Notion for two reasons. One, because the, there's an internal facing component to it, and then there's, within that, there's an external facing component to it. So I can work on a project, I can have me and my team collect the 75, uh, digital awards that I don't think people are aware of. We can create a, a whole spreadsheet within Notion and then I can publish that and embed it in my creator hub afterwards. So there's, there's a lot of flexibility that I get with that. Um, also understanding, you know, just how, how, how, how, how foundations work, I'll go to a classic S.O.P. I love, I love S.O.P's, the Standard Operating Procedure.
[00:00:52] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:00:52] Vinnie Potestivo: There's an, by the way, there's an, for anyone out there who isn't aware of this, there's an awesome, uh, service that's called PodcastSOP, uh, PodcastSOP. It's made by the same guy who actually built PodMatch and, uh, he's part, it's part of the PodPros family. But PodcastSOP, you know, identifies that, acknowledges the fact that there are so many different ways to make podcasts and they're all right. And some people have two people teams, some people have seven people teams, some people have three people. Some of them are heavy with social assets, some of them are heavy with newsletter assets, some of them are heavy with blogging. So I, I happen to love blogging because of the aggregation that you can get on blogging. So anyway, so, so all the unique ways that we, so, so PodcastSOP is one of my favorite platforms to recommend to independent creators who are working with more than one person, who, where they're paying for a service and, and there's a handoff, uh, and, and, and you need to flag the handoff. What I sort of dislike about a lot of the project management tools that are out there, is that like everyone my age says, At their age, well, we didn't need that software back then, we just trusted everybody. We believed that people, you know, there's accountability. And so there, there's something to be said too about, about companies that rush to software to solve. Some issues that are not software or not, not flow or workflow related issues. Um, and, uh, so, so that being said, Notion and clarity of mind.
[00:02:26] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:02:26] Vinnie Potestivo: And, and, and, you know, clarity and, and, and Notion. Clarity of a mindset, you know, clarity of vision, clarity of focus, clarity of goals, you know, and, and, and Notion for me have really helped. Um, I, I would recommend Notion almost across the board, nowadays.
[00:02:45] Ed Watters: To overcome, you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand, the way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself. Reach out and challenge yourself; let's dive in and learn something right now.
[00:03:37] Today we are speaking with Vinnie Potestivo, Vinnie is an Emmy award-winning media advisor and a talent development executive. Vinnie, could you please introduce yourself, let people know just a little more about you, please?
[00:03:52] Vinnie Potestivo: Thanks so much by the way. Yeah, that's cool. That's cool to hear you say what I am because that's what I am now. Just last year I wasn't even an Emmy award-winning TV producer, just a 25 year vet is what I was. But the story changes and that's what I think we're here to share about, uh, and I'll, I'll explain my award strategy a little later in this episode too. So just a little hint, cause I'm big on helping people win awards.
[00:04:16] Um, uh, but I, I've been, uh, graced to have a career in TV since the nineties. Um, I started in Community Access in Staten Island where I learned as a data engineer the power of recording and re-recording, and trans, transcribing, and transcoding and all the, all that work. I was, I was basically the guy that you called if you needed to get your photos to, uh, scan for MySpace if you needed a printer fixed and you were creative, I was that guy. Um, by way of, uh, school, I have a business degree in theater arts. Um, I was going to be a casting director so I put out an ad, uh, I got a big response. And that, that sort of techy, creative techy inside of me said, VIN, create a database so you can store all this information in. And that, that database in casting was a, an unique step then, which led to,
[00:05:11] um, the, uh, to, to connect me with some of the awesome people at MTV, and Fox News, and CNN, and a bunch of news platforms. And, and I got to redefine MTV News and, and then our department, the talent development department, was launched where I got to be a part of Modern Story, revolution of Modern Storytelling, which is unscripted programming with the Osbournes, and Newly Weds, and Punk'd. And, and I, I bring all this up as a, as a way of flagging my shared experience with all y'all. I, I worked on a lot of MTVs for many, many years, many decades. And, um, uh, I like bringing that up because it's fun to say I was there if you watched it and I, I got to make it. Then we have something in common and that, that's nice to know that all those hours spent back then off social media can still play a major role in how we connect now.
[00:06:05] Ed Watters: It's major. And, and I love some of the things that you've done, you know,
[00:06:10] Vinnie Potestivo: Thanks.
[00:06:10] Ed Watters: working with some of the talent that you've worked with, it's incredible. And you do this behind the scenes most of the time. But the big news here is Vinnie is a podcaster and I love podcasting. So you know, taking it from backstage and bringing it to the forefront, that's scary to a lot of people. How did you handle it and how did you bring that into the forefront?
[00:06:43] Vinnie Potestivo: Oh, that's a great question. Um, I did it with friends, I did it with people I trusted, I did it with content that I owned that no one else had control over. That, I'll tell you what, we'll talk about this a whole bunch. I, I am such a fan of creating, I have created way more content in my iPhone than anyone will ever see. And it's not because it's not appropriate, it's totally appropriate, it's just, it was just my, it was an audience meant for one, for me. And I, I love creating that much and I, I hope people pick up on, on, on creating for them, not creating for the audience.
[00:07:21] So many times we create, we pick the best photo, we delete the other ones, we post it on social. That's the end of creating, maybe there's networking and socializing afterwards, but in terms of the actual act of creating, uh, it was something that, um, I wasn't exposed to. I didn't have anybody to know, like really sort of to, to, to teach me that, other than blindly going in and saying I was here and I wanted to learn it.
[00:07:47] I had the tech skills and, and, and the capabilities of quickly moving and, and it worked, it worked. Uh, and, and it was, it's powerful, uh, to see it all, you know, come together. And it's fun even more so now, technology and creativity go hand in hand now. 20 years ago, 10 years ago even, people were like, I don't get it, you, how do you do websites and databases, but also like cast and do unscripted shows? I'm like, it's, it's only because you don't own the show, the network owns the show, that you don't understand the process of creating. But now, but now I can come into this world and, and, and by the way, I almost know too much,
[00:08:29] sometimes it's bad. Sometimes I know things that I shouldn't know, and it's not, it doesn't apply to podcasting, um, rules or, or, you know, music cues, or some things that are permissible, you know, and not, not punishable. But I, I learned otherwise. So, and, and times change and, and often the trickle on rules updating is, is one of the, unless it's an Instagram , it's slow to trickle up.
[00:08:54] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:08:54] Vinnie Potestivo: But, but I, I appreciate what's happening in technology now. I believe that there's no necessary way to catch up in technology, but only to be prepared for the next new tool, new surface, new platform. It's a lot like surfing, if you wanna get ahead in surfing, you don't catch up on a wave that already passed. You just get, you, well, I never said this before, but this is really a great metaphor actually, it's a great visual for it. But you really don't, right? You wait for the next wave, you get ready, you prepare, and when that next wave
[00:09:23] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:09:23] Vinnie Potestivo: comes, when that next social platform comes, maybe it's, maybe it's Amazon Amp, maybe it's LinkedIn Audio Live Events. Maybe, there's so many more that are popping up that, uh, or maybe there's a new tool that will pop up. But it's about being prepared.
[00:09:38] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's right, preparation is key. And going back and studying what you actually wanna do with your message. Message is key when we start doing interviews like this. My message is simple, we want to change lives and stories change lives. So this is what [00:10:00] you do well, I mean, the
[00:10:04] Vinnie Potestivo: Now
[00:10:05] Ed Watters: obvious success here. Yeah. Now, exactly.
[00:10:08] Vinnie Potestivo: I'll tell you, the epic scale for me was in my own life when I realized I was a horrible storyteller. And, and someone taught me the power of storytelling, and I realized how, how much my bad storytelling controlled, literally dictated the success levels. And that put a glass ceiling on and tightened restraints on everything. And, and when I went, when I went into MTV with that philosophy of we have the power to make, to be storytellers and story changers, that we can make our, with that philosophy, it was cool to help artists step into themselves as hosts. That was like my first innate way of putting that into action was like, don't just be yourself, don't just be a great person who could read the script, show up. If you, if you want to talk about your background, if your nationality, your sexuality, if your height, if the, if the, if these cultural things matter to you, bring it up. This is, this is the network that we can do that on. So that was my first innate way of helping people develop story, storytelling.
[00:11:07] Where, where MTV News, where the personalities themselves became the news, not, not like you'd see on traditional, you know, like hard, hard news, you know, platforms before. And then, and then with reality tv, you know, what MTV did right that no, no, no music video lover loves when I say this, but what music, what MTV did right was, it, it made space for storytelling in a, in a 30 minute increment.
[00:11:32] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:11:32] Vinnie Potestivo: It had, it had given the power of storytelling to the artist in the three, to four, to five, if you're, uh, Aerosmith, nine, ten, Michael Jackson, fifteen.
[00:11:42] Ed Watters: Yeah. Right.
[00:11:43] Vinnie Potestivo: But mo, Right? Most three to four minute videos, it gave, it gave the power to the music artist to, to, to tell that story because they were the gatekeepers to culture and community. They were, you know, representatives of culture and community in a lot of times as well, so it made sense. But, but what I got to be a part of at MTV was, was literally the handing of the, of the, of the microphone and the camera from celebrity to the people, to us, to us, the creators. Even, even Ashton Kutcher on Punk'd,
[00:12:09] right? Like you think that modern creator, like he was kind of doing selfies back when no one was doing selfies. And
[00:12:15] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:12:16] Vinnie Potestivo: it's a very disruptive way of showing the creative process without it being refined when it could have been refined.
[00:12:22] Ed Watters: It's pretty big what MTV did. I, I remember when MTV first came out, it was like shock.
[00:12:28] Vinnie Potestivo: Oh, yeah.
[00:12:29] Ed Watters: What? You know, and
[00:12:30] Vinnie Potestivo: TV became
[00:12:31] Ed Watters: it brought in, yeah, it brought in the culture of Shock Jock TV, Howard Stern and things like that. It, it changed the culture of entertainment, and
[00:12:41] Vinnie Potestivo: It truly, truly did.
[00:12:42] Ed Watters: really it, it did. I, I really think, uh, it empowered the individual to reach out to himself to understand he does have the power.
[00:12:54] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:12:55] Ed Watters: And then with the internet coming in, it just gave us this sense of recognition of ourselves.
[00:13:03] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah. Right. Like the, the internet is almost, is, um, yeah. The internet, the internet coming in a, a allowed us to have control, I think, over what we saw. I think the foreshadowing was the cable boom, like in the late nineties, you know?
[00:13:16] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:13:16] Vinnie Potestivo: When I, when I made a conscious effort to, to work in television, uh, I saw CNN get built, I saw Fox News launch, I saw MTV 2 get launched. I saw, I grew up watching MTV, um, also things happened on television back then and television mattered. I was so lucky to work at MTV when people watched television, that a bunch of 16 and 18 year olds would fall in love with Ozzy Osbourne's family for no reason other than the fact that MTV gave them the space to do that.
[00:13:49] And, and, and, and I, it could have been so many other families, it could have been so many other versions of that show and there, there were many of them after. Um, and that's, no, and I'm not being salty, I'm, I'm, I'm sharing the inspiration cause it's super cool. Um, and if you're gonna be first, you're gonna get copied a whole lot. So get ready for that, y'all creators out there
[00:14:09] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:14:09] Vinnie Potestivo: who are so sensitive about someone taking their ideas. Take my idea, by the way, I have great ideas, take them. That's why I surround myself with talent, I'm not precious about my ideas. I'm precious, I'm precious about networking, about, about relationships, but I'm not precious about ideas. Those, I don't own those, those were given to me by a greater power. Singular or, or globally. Yeah, right?
[00:14:31] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:14:32] Vinnie Potestivo: Somehow someone, some, so I really truly do.
[00:14:35] Ed Watters: Well, you really, you really find the power of creation when you have that sense. You know, because it flows freely then and what goes out comes back. It, it's always exciting in many different ways.
[00:14:50] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:14:50] Ed Watters: It's like this podcasting thing, who would've thought 20 years ago that me and you would be sitting here on Zoom speaking face to face? This is awesome. So the power that technology has given us, you've gotta recognize it and use it.
[00:15:11] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:15:11] Ed Watters: You can't just sit on it, you have to figure it out and challenge yourself. It's entertaining in itself to mess up and fail and try again, because then you're going to get a formula of success, and that's where it really matters. Let's go back to 1998, the Fall, you purchased a $20 ad in a magazine to get yourself started. How has that really affected Vinnie and why did Vinnie even take the chance in the first place on that $20 ad?
[00:15:52] Vinnie Potestivo: Oh yeah. Oh, it's so serendipitous that you brought up Howard Stern because it, it is, it's, it's, it's so indicative of the mindset that I was in, the awareness that I had of media and my surroundings then. I remember staying up late to watch Howard Stern, by the way, that, that late show, and I would almost cry cause I found him just being mean and,
[00:16:12] and, and I, and, and I always, I was always like, who's that? And then Robin Quivers was there, who I just always loved. And she kind of put up with him and she, she didn't in any way, like, um, give, uh, provide, I don't know what to say. Uh, uh, she, she wasn't there to like buffer him, she wasn't there to make it sweet after, you know, she was there to like empower him and make it him.
[00:16:36] But she had a really strong point of view. What happened to me my senior year in college, and, and though you're talking in 98, um, I, I took a, a class called the Landmark Forum. Robin was actually in, in it with me, um, and in that class I learned the power of storytelling. And it was in that class that I decided I would be a, I would be a casting director. But I couldn't wrap my head around, if you just say it, then, if you just be it, then you are it. If you just claim it, then you can be it. And
[00:17:08] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:17:08] Vinnie Potestivo: if you wanna be it, then just start using the words like, future tech. I felt like a little, I felt like a liar. I felt, uh, is this, is this really true? Like this, What if someone asks me to do something, I'm not gonna be prepared.
[00:17:21] And by the time I got to school, by, I got back to school. From that, I went to school at Staten Island so maybe a 45 minute commute on the, on the ferry. I had landed on, well, if I get called to be a casting director, I have to have headshots. So I'm gonna have to take out an ad because I'm gonna have to have actors that wanna be in projects cause I'm telling people I'm a casting director. So at the very least what I should do is take out an ad and ask people if they wanna send me their headshots and their resumes for future projects. Not even a current one, but for future projects and they can send it to me, uh, you know, here and I start, and I started on my company that way.
[00:17:54] And that was the, that was what, I got like 500 responses back. As I said, you know, I, I turned and created a, I created a spreadsheet cause I didn't know how to handle that much information. But I knew it was really valuable information and I wanted to stay in touch with these people. Um, and I cast them in everything from Whitney Houston videos to, uh, uh, uh, let's, I don't know, I used to work on Ready, Ready... Set... Cook!
[00:18:21] Um, uh, had a name called, I mean, I worked on so many, to the Tom Green Show, I worked on so many weird shows in the very beginning part of my career. But they were, they were all down for it and they, they came with me and I got to work with them in commercials and some films. And so those are, those initial 500 people have really stuck with me, by the way.
[00:18:38] Uh, I can tell you when I run into someone on social media who's, who's part of that group, because we are, it, it's a pretty fruitful group of people, um, who were willing to take a chance, willing to, to risk, you know, uh, a dollar or two to send me a headshot. Not knowing who I was, little did they know, I didn't know who I was, but, but they would be the ones that discovered me and, and, and, and them finding me.
[00:19:02] It empowered me to lean into my strengths, at that point, which was technology, um, which worked out because there was a tech gap in the casting industry generally. And then television, uh, generally, uh, that I got to facilitate and fill because of my relationship building skills in casting and then being able to organize that information.
[00:19:24] I mean, I used to, on MTV, there used to be a show called, Wanna Be A VJ, and it was a nationwide search and, I don't know, like we'd search for the next host and there was, thousands of people would show up. That was the kind of stuff that I was built for, oof, grids and databases, and I couldn't be happier, you know? You know, my Microsoft Access and Excel, and everyone's like, Vinnie, what are you doing? I'm like,
[00:19:46] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:19:46] Vinnie Potestivo: here it is, here's a spreadsheet. Here's how everyone, here's your login information. And, and, and, and I've always used technology to innovate casting. I've used technology, I, I have a, my [00:20:00] Facebook account is at .edu because I got on Facebook in like 2005 when they only let academic institutions in. So I had to get an alumni account from school to qualify in and I'm just, I'm, I, I just appreciate what tech does. And I, I've leaned hard on technology to introduce my friends, my personal, my, my boyfriend of 11 years now, um, I've used tech a lot to connect with people, not just on TV shows. So it's funny when you say 20 years from now, who would've thought we would be talking on Zoom? I've been using Skype recorder for, for about that, well, probably 2008, maybe.
[00:20:34] Ed Watters: Skype. Yeah, yeah.
[00:20:35] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I do all those.
[00:20:37] Ed Watters: Yeah. But the technology has, the technology has improved quite a bit since that
[00:20:44] Vinnie Potestivo: Technology has
[00:20:45] Ed Watters: Skype.
[00:20:45] Vinnie Potestivo: improved, oh, the technology has improved, but more so, uh, uh, the act of talking to a camera with a microphone and headphones. To me and you, this feels very normal. I don't feel, uh, an intense spotlight, I don't feel performative.
[00:20:58] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:20:59] Vinnie Potestivo: I'm not slipping into a different version of, of me that I'm not able and capable of being. So all, all of that has to do with timing of, of tech and culture. For me, that's why it took me so long to get into podcasting. In 2006, I converted my first, my first podcast, a broadcast TV show called, Man and Wife. So I've been aware of podcasting and, and the power of it a long time. Um, But I think it's the perfect storm of, of, of technology and culture, like this is a very normal pace and that's how I record my podcast as well with my friends. And then I cut it up, and get super heady and creative, and over creative and over edit it, and, you know, all that stuff.
[00:21:39] Ed Watters: I, I don't see how you find the time for all of it, vinnie. Because
[00:21:42] Vinnie Potestivo: Oh gosh.
[00:21:43] Ed Watters: boy, it, it is just so much compiled to do podcasting in itself, and then you're doing things for everybody else. It's,
[00:21:54] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:21:54] Ed Watters: you've got a busy day.
[00:21:57] Vinnie Potestivo: Um, I gotta, I, I gotta be, I get a little itchy on this one. Um, I, I have a kind of busy day, I, I do the same thing over and over again. Um, it's, create a project, bring two people together, feed that project. That project could be a sales project, it could be a creative project. I have a lot of support in the way that I work that, um, that I'm, I'm needed and available throughout the day. But very rarely do I, am I in a situation where, um, there's an emergency and I'm the person that the people need to call. I, I probably have something in place already. If, if you are a client that has a certain type of emergency, I've already figured out where that emergency comes from, so that you have a better source to be able to fix that. Than like having to, you know, if you're constantly getting locked out of your account or, I don't know, I give horrible examples.
[00:22:48] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:22:48] Vinnie Potestivo: But like, there's some repetitive, repetitive things that happen. This thing also, um, uh, uh, I actually, I, I, I work strict hours. Um, uh, like Tuesdays and Thursdays generally tend to be client days, and Mondays and Wednesdays tend to be days that I can be creative, whether I'm creating my content or your content. And, and otherwise it's, it's been a nice flow and I'm not saying that I'm at a place in my career where I can pick and choose the projects I want to work on, and, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I, I do not work on casting projects anymore. I'm happy to take those on and, and, uh, recommend, uh, a casting director that I've worked with and, and point you in the right direction. Um, but I'm at the point where I have to pick and choose my projects cause, uh, like, I'd rather be broke than broken. And I, I know a broken fear rep.
[00:23:43] Ed Watters: Yes.
[00:23:43] Vinnie Potestivo: I've been exhausted and, and I've done that for other people before. So now that I have full control over my company and my business, my, my, and I'm lucky enough to have control over all of those things, I'm, I'm pretty mindful about how, how, how I set up situations. Also, I try not to do anything once. I try to set it up so it's a stream, not necessarily a one-off. Um, like, you know, how we think we should be thinking in evergreen versions of content, thinking in like newsletters that we can then turn, turn into social posts as opposed to social posts that we could be turning into newsletters and sort of that, that social trend.
[00:24:20] Ed Watters: Yeah. That drip content, it, it really matters a lot. And another big important thing to enhance yourself is a good pitch deck, and I'm guilty of this, not having a good pitch deck. But, you know, I, I'm just now starting to really get serious about podcasting. Seeing, hey, this is kind of enlightening in many ways. So, you know, I'm, I'm really starting to wonder, what makes a good pitch deck for a podcaster in particular to
[00:24:55] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:24:55] Ed Watters: send out to people?
[00:24:57] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah, sure. I haven't, so as you know, as you've seen, I have a pitch deck. Uh, I call it like a 15 page 2 pager. What, what it really is, is it's in my two pager, it's about my podcast is one page, all the guests that I'm having, have had, the business side of me. And then one page about me and some of the short successes and top line stuff. Uh, the information, the topics that I like to talk about, uh, accreditations that give me the, uh, expertise to talk about some of those things.
[00:25:24] Any, any, anything that I think might differentiate me with anyone else you've had this conversation with before. So that out of the gate you sort of like see where my point of view is. I have about 10 pages of like, maybe you would call it like, a press kit. Like, uh, just appearances, things that I've done that have been relevant in major magazines. Um, just to show reach, to show that I've, that, that the names have been relevant and have been published already. And, um, if, if, I know you can go and Google me, but what I'm trying to do is save you time and give you the best 10 stories or best 10 projects that I kind of really wanna, you know, talk about.
[00:26:06] So I'll have, I'll have some press that I used to get from casting Real Housewives of New Jersey or Millionaire Matchmaker. And I love talking about Bravo, you know, in that sector of time where, where people and brands became, so that's where personal, when, when, in my opinion, people really understood the power of the personal brand was those housewives, man. And to, to see, to be part of the alchemy of that, those franchises and, and, and those women's success. I can speak to that. Um, But yeah, and, and podcasting is just, podcasting isn't, I just love, fascinated with, I'm fascinated with podcasting. It's a, it's a whole new business sector where hundreds of thousands of people with experience in way different sectors, business,
[00:26:53] Ed Watters: Yes.
[00:26:53] Vinnie Potestivo: psychology, arts, science, dental, legal, uh, creative art, you know, so many different perspectives and it and expertise that are coming into podcasting right now. Uh, when everyone started doing that, and TV, it, I don't know, I don't know. It felt a little bit, it didn't have that same impact on TV. Everyone kind of felt like experts, they, they, they got the TV through the expert funnel or the expert mold, you know? That's how they, they took their thing, they turned it into an expertise. But here you're really seeing, I think it's exciting and you own it. It's intellectual property that you own.
[00:27:31] Ed Watters: That's right. That's right. So let's talk about putting it all together and keeping it all structured.
[00:27:40] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:27:41] Ed Watters: Technology is great, I've had that fail on me, so as you can see behind me, I have a board and I have many notebooks that I use to reinforce and reassure that I know my structure and my flow in case my hard drive fails or whatever. How do you handle workflow on a professional level to keep it all straight?
[00:28:09] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah, that's awesome. Well, first off, I, I use Notion, um, are you familiar with Notion, the platform Notion? Yeah. So, so I use Notion for two reasons, one, because the, there's an internal facing component to it and then there's, within that, there's an external facing component to it. So I can work on a project, I can have me and my team collect the 75, uh, digital awards that I don't think people are aware of. We can create a, a whole spreadsheet within Notion, and then I can publish that and embed it in my creator hub afterwards. So there's, there's a lot of flexibility that I get with that. Um, also understanding, you know, just how, how, how, how, how foundations work, I'll go to a classic s.o.p. I love, I love s.o.p as the standard operating procedure.
[00:28:54] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:28:55] Vinnie Potestivo: There's an, by the way, there's an, for anyone out there who isn't aware of this, there's an awesome, uh, service that's called, PodcastSOP, uh, PodcastSOP. It's made by the same guy who actually built PodMatch and, uh, he's part, it's part of the PodPros family. But PodcastSOP, you know, identifies, acknowledges the fact that there are so many different ways to make podcasts and they're all right. And some people have two people teams, some people have seven people teams, some people have three people. Some of them are heavy with social assets, some of them are heavy with newsletter assets,
[00:29:26] some of them are heavy with blogging. So I, I happen to love blogging because of the aggregation that you can get on blogging. So anyway, so, so all the unique ways that we, so, so PodcastSOP is one of my favorite platforms to recommend to independent creators who are working with more than one person who, where they're paying for a service and, and there's a handoff, uh, and, and, and you need to flag the handoff. What I sort of dislike about a lot of the project management tools that are out there, is that like [00:30:00] everyone my age says, At their age, well, we didn't need that software back then, we just trusted everybody. We believe that people, you know, there's accountability. And so there, there's something to be said to, about, about companies that rush to software to solve
[00:30:17] some issues that are not software or not, not flow or workflow related issues. Um, and, uh, so, so that being said, Notion and clarity of mind.
[00:30:29] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:30:29] Vinnie Potestivo: And, and, and, you know, clarity and, and, and Notion. Clarity of a mindset, you know, clarity of vision, clarity of focus, clarity of goals. You know, and, and, and Notion for me has really helped. Um, I, I would recommend Notion almost across the board nowadays. Um, I, I've worked with Asana, I've worked with social scheduling tools, and, um, I've, I've been the head of social at, um, at, at larger skincare companies that have multi-channels. And, um, I think that I would recommend any modern business that was looking to really successfully grow their content team to stay away from as much automation as possible. Uh, it's really about who, who can help you, not, not how can you get the results that you're looking for. And if you, if you really, to any small business out there or medium sized business, you really focus on the, the culture, the employee culture, the talent retention, right? If you're really focused on the people that you have around you, they should be extensions of the brand too.
[00:31:26] Um, but PodcastSOP is a great one for podcasters, which I love. Um, uh, and, and it, so yeah. Otherwise, I, I hate, I hate overcom, you know, there, there are systems for onlining content. So like, uh, you know, when you're onlining content, you have to share a single source file with 50 people who all have to edit it at the same time and you get it out, you know. Maybe a modern, a modern case for that would be a, a, like a, a, a, a fashion show where there's content and then it needs to be quickly cut and disseminated out, you know. Um, or, or, or an award show, you know, would have the sort of same, the same need. Um, but I think clarity and more than, more than technology, to your point, um, and, and, and, okay, here's my three answers, clarity, Notion, and Post-it Notes. I like
[00:32:21] Ed Watters: Post-it Notes.
[00:32:21] Vinnie Potestivo: Post-it Notes. Yeah. I love a good old post-it note cause you can crumble it up and throw it away in success or in failure.
[00:32:27] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:32:27] Vinnie Potestivo: I like the physical, the physical, I like the, there's the folding artistry,
[00:32:32] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:32:32] Vinnie Potestivo: punching of the paper and, you know, just the finite, the finality of it, I don't know. Um, yeah, I do, I have a bunch of, I have a bunch of white Post-it Notes, by the way. It's the weirdest thing, but it is what it is.
[00:32:45] Ed Watters: Yeah, I, I love to tear a piece out of the notebook and crumple it up too,
[00:32:51] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:32:51] Ed Watters: and that,
[00:32:51] Vinnie Potestivo: It makes space.
[00:32:52] Ed Watters: that gives you a sense of responsibility, I think.
[00:32:55] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah. When I create, the first thing I do when I create is make space. Um, it's kind of like, I think what I loved about creating in technology was that, I, I didn't have to move to make the file size bigger, to make the hard drive larger, to make more. I can make the project bigger without, you know, I, there was, it wasn't as locked, you know, as you are here. But, um, but yeah, I, uh, I, yeah, I've gotten, I've got, I've got checklists, and boards, and projects in motion, and, and also, but a real rhythm to how everything goes. And they, and they all work together too for me, that was important. Was that I didn't do anything that, like, didn't, didn't support the thing, I was, you know, everything needs to support each other. Otherwise, then I'm doing too many things. Now, what I'm doing is just a lot of little things that just make the bigger goal
[00:33:45] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:33:45] Vinnie Potestivo: that, that much, you know, sweeter for me.
[00:33:48] Ed Watters: Yeah. Yeah. So how do we, uh, define a celebrity?
[00:33:57] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:33:57] Ed Watters: You, you've worked with many celebrities, how do you define a celebrity?
[00:34:03] Vinnie Potestivo: That, I think a celebrity is someone who's celebrated. Yeah, I think plain and simple, someone who's celebrated, I think. So there could be local celebrities, there could be national celebrities. Also, my definition of talent has changed, you know, talent, you know, and I would say actually, if you were to look globally, I think talent is probably skill. Uh, it can be innate, you know, or learned. It can be, you could be born with it, or it can be something you study really hard at and get great at, and exposed, exposed to it for 10,000 hours, and, you know. Um, I think that combination of being celebrated and having unique skill is really cool, that, that's what makes us different.
[00:34:41] That's what, that's what makes us stand out is, is, is, is this tool that we have and the way that we use it. If we just stood out because of the tool we had and we didn't use it, there would be fizzle and there would, that would not be a sustainable, you know, strategy.
[00:34:57] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:34:57] Vinnie Potestivo: But it, it's, so, for example, if an artist figures out they stand out with a certain vocal trill or a certain octave thing, you'll see that they tend to stay in that place because that's where they stand out and they stand out successfully. Mariah Carey, Whitney, I can think of some of the, some of the singers that, that don't even need to sing up more than one or two notes before you know, you know where they go because they come in so high and they register and, and, and that stands out, you know. Or low, by the way, too, right? So, and, and I think it's that ability of, of practicing that skill, knowing that it's never gonna be perfect, but you're just practicing it. Practicing it as if you're performing in front of the Emmy's, practicing it as if you're performing on the Tony's, or practicing it as if you're, you know. Where, wherever your special skill is, um, it's constantly sort of elevating and, and, and,
[00:35:52] Ed Watters: Let's talk about, oh.
[00:35:53] Vinnie Potestivo: I was just saying, the modern celebrities, the modern celebrities, you know, it's, it's, uh, I would say this, you don't control your celebrity brand. People wanna build their celebrity brand, like, oh, you don't, but you don't. That's, I don't know. I don't know how to do that, how do you do that then? No, everyone, your, your audience, your fans, you know, you're following your fans, your audience, your public, we control, we build your celebrity.
[00:36:15] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:36:16] Vinnie Potestivo: So you have to give us the pieces to build it with, an album, a show, a story. If you're Jennifer Lopez, a marriage, a breakup, a marriage , if they give us these pieces so that, but it's all part of it.
[00:36:29] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:36:29] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah, that's great.
[00:36:30] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:36:30] Vinnie Potestivo: It's, and it,
[00:36:30] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:36:31] Vinnie Potestivo: It's, that's what makes, that's lifestyle, by the way. That's what makes her lifestyle brand is like, that's lifestyle. That is like emotional love, tormented, but not, not afraid to try it, who can't relate to that sometimes.
[00:36:43] Ed Watters: That's right, that's right, that's right. And, and you know, standing out comes in many forms, you've just gotta pick one and go with it.
[00:36:52] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:36:52] Ed Watters: So,
[00:36:53] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah.
[00:36:53] Ed Watters: let's talk about awards, Vinnie. You, you bring up, uh, you have to apply yourself to get awards, to stand out and get known in the industry. How do people do that?
[00:37:06] Vinnie Potestivo: Oh, there, by the way, I did some research, there're about 75 digital awards I found that I don't think people even know exist. I mean, if you send emails, if you're a marketer, if you're a podcaster, if you've been a guest on podcasting, if you, if you stack a bunch of, you know, projects, uh, uh, uh, if you stack a bunch of like technology together, IFTTT and you've, you've got a bunch of things, you know, stacked on top of it. There's even the stackies, which is like my literal favorite, you know, awards. There, there's a way to stand out and, and some of them are more expensive than others, but all of them require, uh, an application. Some of them require an application fee, but all of them require intent. So there's no one walking around saying, Hey, would you like an Emmy? Hey, you should be Tony nominated, hey, you were, hey, you came out with an album so you, obviously you're gonna be up for the best album of the year, right?
[00:37:56] That's not how it works. Like the label has to pay money to be considered, that's what thank you for your consideration means.
[00:38:03] Ed Watters: Right on.
[00:38:04] Vinnie Potestivo: It means I paid you
[00:38:07] Ed Watters: Yes.
[00:38:07] Vinnie Potestivo: so make it count. And depending on, depending on what award, there are even more expensive campaigns that come in. You know, we hear often, thank you Hollywood Foreign Press. You know, there are, there are press campaigns that are going on that, that when someone's winning, thinking of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they're, they're thinking the, the campaign, the way that the, the project, their image was used in promoting that project as well. They're thinking the Cooperation, you know, of the press. So, so anyway, I love helping people stand out and, and I urge you to come to my creator hub on my website, vpe.tv, it's a free site. Come and sign up and get access to podcast awards, TV awards, video awards, audio awards. Um, You wanna be on awards because, uh, one, when people are looking for the best of the best, we will oftentimes start from award list and move backwards.
[00:38:59] If I need to find a public, a, a, a lawyer to speak in my class, I might go to legal podcast award winners and see if anyone in my area, cause I just know that that person would be A, a good speaker, they've won an award, so a group of people have already, you know, voted on them. And then there are some really cool benefits to it if you have your podcast uploaded to IMDb, um, which, which most people don't, and you can't listen to podcasts on IMDb, but you can get credit as an executive producer, as a host, as a production company, as an award winner. You know, all of those data points can get converted into, get, get converted there on IMDb. And I don't know any place else, uh, on the internet that's selling Google, your production company, that's an award-winning production company that you're an executive producer and the host. I don't know any other website other than IMDb that feeds that to Google right now. And it is power, it's a powerful tool for podcast discovery.
[00:39:57] Ed Watters: Yeah. Uh, another good one [00:40:00] like that is PodChaser, I think they're pretty good packaged together.
[00:40:04] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah. PodChaser.
[00:40:06] Ed Watters: Yeah. It, it outlines guest and host very well and their shows. So I, I really like what the space is doing for people and podcasting. Uh, let's talk about distribution. What is the best form of distribution and how can you leverage that to your advantage?
[00:40:29] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah. Look, I think that the, the more distribution cooperation you have, meaning like the, the more strategic relationships you have where someone is waiting for your content to distribute it, you know, then, then you're, you're getting in a, into, into territory where your podcast is no longer just for fun. And you've got someone's ecosystem, depending on your content, you've, you've now got a publish date that you're locking into so there, there are commitments that come when you start to grow your distribution.
[00:41:00] So I just wanna throw that out, out first and foremost. Uh, and also there are, I promise you, this is funny to say, but I promise you, whenever you became a podcaster, I promise you there are more podcast platforms now than there were back then. So
[00:41:16] Ed Watters: Yes.
[00:41:16] Vinnie Potestivo: I promise you there's a new list of platforms you need to go and just make sure.
[00:41:19] Ed Watters: Yes.
[00:41:19] Vinnie Potestivo: We know that Apple and RSS and, you know, and Apple's changing a lot. Apple's, Apple's made a lot of changes in the indie podcast space from the way we're discovered in charts to the information that's being shared in our RSS links now. Um, which might compromise platforms like PodChaser who, who have, well, PodChaser is different because they have access to our usernames and our email from us. But there are other ways to get our email addresses through our RSS link that, you know, are now going away for protection purposes.
[00:41:53] Ed Watters: Yes.
[00:41:53] Vinnie Potestivo: Uh, so first and foremost that, right? So go back, look at your podcast discovery, uh, discovery platforms and make sure that you're, you're there. The other thing I, I focus on is, uh, is a lot, oftentimes we'll come up with an episode and then we'll think about how, how to repurpose it, how to advertise it sort of afterwards. So I love to throw this, this idea of repurposing out there to be aware that you're going to have to advertise for this episode. So before you are even done finishing the episode, to be mindful of what does that 15, 30, 45, what does that, so what do, what do the pieces look like, feel like? What are you creating that you can potentially be pulling from it?
[00:42:32] Um, I love podcasting and blogging right now, uh, because I think that, because I can make podcasting topics stand out as strong as blog topics are standing out, um, using an, I use Q, the aggregator Q. So, uh, vpe.tv/quuu, three u's. And what that does is, if you, if you log on and you just want podcast marketing blogs, you'll now be served my podcast episode as a blog. You don't need to know my name, my podcast name, what channel I'm on, who my guests are. Well, all the things that we tend to spend time and energy marketing and, you know,
[00:43:13] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:43:14] Vinnie Potestivo: devoting 90% of the energy on for, for discoverability purposes. What I'm able to do with the blog, is take a topic and put it, put it under a person's nose who's looking for it. I, I like for people to be discovered where they, where they want to be found. So, if the conversation that we're having is about podcast marketing, when someone wants a podcast marketing blog, You better believe , that I want them to find my, otherwise, I'm not gonna try to magically have them land on my term from the middle. Maybe they'll land, maybe they'll find me on Google, maybe they'll, you know, I can be a lot more specific and direct and with the intent of when and how and where I wanna be discovered.
[00:43:54] So, so that's a, it's been a really fun, uh, uh, way to help distribute the content digitally. Not, not from an audio perspective necessarily, um, but more so from the blog perspective. So people discredit, you know, the blog and they, they we're focusing a lot now, I feel like on social media content, which is so fleeting.
[00:44:15] Um, in fact, the only thing I would say is if, if you were lucky to get Reels Pay, Reels Play, if you're lucky enough on Instagram to get Reels Play, then make as many reels from your podcast content as you want. Cause, you know, and, and luck, you can get paid for the distribution and reach of that. And, and Instagram really is rewarding reels.
[00:44:36] Um, maybe on an Instagram account, maybe I wouldn't recommend that strategy on someone's personal account, um, just because of the, because I like to separate, I like to separate podcasts and personal accounts. So that's just my own, my own personal preference of strategy. Um, And have fun, I think it's just about, about make, making a mess and making it make sense.
[00:44:59] Sometimes, you know, creating with curiosity and with, with mindful collaborations, it's, it's in the alchemy. You can't, you can't mess up if, if the intent is right, if the steps are right, um, if the timing is right, you know, all, all, all that.
[00:45:16] Ed Watters: Uh, collaboration is very important. You know, reaching out to people, it's some of the hardest things to do. Uh, could you touch on that really quick for us?
[00:45:29] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah, collaborating. Yeah, yeah. It's, uh, um, I, I laugh because I struggled, you know, in casting, I struggled. You know, I, I could go up and approach almost anybody. I can talk to anybody as long as I, I had something to talk to them about, casting wise. I put a lot of emphasis on that opportunity that I was presenting to them, more so than the value that I brought into the room just by being a human being.
[00:45:58] Um, when I created my podcast, I created my podcast to go back and talk to friends and people I've worked with already. As I'm sitting around in the podcast circles, everyone's talking about how much fun it is to meet people on podcasts. And I'm like, oh man, I don't, I don't get to have that experience cause I, I chose to, you know, cast and stunt my shows slightly differently.
[00:46:21] So I'm, I'm, I'm talking to people I already know and it allows for a very different type of relationship than, you know, first, meeting first time. But because of my casting background, I'm, I'm strong in the room in getting to respectfully know people. And I love asking questions and taking them on journeys and I've been doing that my whole professional career.
[00:46:40] So I, I created, I have a podcast.com so that I could be social with people, so that I could be networking with people, um, that I, I otherwise wasn't. And it's, that's important to me. Uh, I'm not trying to grow a following for no random reason, I'm just trying to make impact. If those people stick around, that's great and I'll have lots of reasons for them to do so.
[00:47:02] But my real goal, like, the reason why I make podcasts, and I don't, I don't call it a podcast network is, I don't want your journey to end with me. If I'm a podcast network, then my goal is to bring in advertising and I, there's ownership rights. And I don't wanna own your content, I want you to own your content.
[00:47:20] I already, I already worked, I already bought other people's content from them for a living, gave it to a publicly company, TV company, media company, and I've already sort of done that. And, uh, I think it's magical what we could do here now. And, and all that comes from collaborating. And, um,
[00:47:37] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:47:39] Vinnie Potestivo: And, and, and, and I've never had an hour that I was collaborating on a project where I felt, you know, it, I, I, I, I didn't bring, I didn't get what I was hoping for. Or I didn't bring what I was looking to, you know, give. So,
[00:47:56] Ed Watters: That's right. Well, our time is fleeing us, Vinny. It, it's fascinating talking to you and, you know, you have a lot of great things to offer. What would a call to action be for our listeners today?
[00:48:15] Vinnie Potestivo: Create, just create. Just pick up your phone, whatever. Don't even post, don't even publish, I'm not even there yet. Just create something that makes you laugh, create something that makes you wanna share it and then you can share it. I'm not telling you to create something that does not have the intent to see the light of day.
[00:48:31] I'm just saying pick up that phone and create, create that muscle memory of creating. I was lucky to work at MTV, as you may have heard in this interview, when live TV mattered. I went to, I went to, I was gonna say school, I went to work every day. There I, I, we gotta be at a show called Total Request Live, TRL Live, at 3:30.
[00:48:52] Uh, showing up and being there, it matters, it matters, it matters. And I was lucky to build that creative muscle back then. But, uh, that's something that I think we all, all can be working on, is just our ability to create. Create when we want to, not when it's the right time for our audience. It's not when they want it.
[00:49:10] That's publishing and posting, different story. When it's time to create, follow your heart, follow follow your mind, follow your gut. Otherwise you'll just, we're just gonna end up poorly recreating trends and missing the mark when, when we could be trusting ourselves a little bit more. And then taking those trends and nailing it with, you know, our goals and our, our, you know, the ethos that make us, us. So create, all that comes from creating.
[00:49:40] Ed Watters: Yes, create. I love that. And, uh, how can people get ahold of you, reach out to you and share your passion with other people?
[00:49:51] Vinnie Potestivo: Yeah, I'm on LinkedIn, Vinnie Potestivo on LinkedIn. I respond pretty quickly and my website's vpe.tv. Five letters, v, p,e. t,v, [00:50:00] super quick. Come on over, I got my creator hub where I, I share all the digital awards I think that you probably aren't aware of.
[00:50:07] I also have about 50 influencer creator marketing platforms. So if you're looking to make money, you don't know how to make money in, in podcasting or in social, here's a place to start. This is where brands are looking. Uh, and access to my whole toolkit, about 500 links that I use literally every single day and, well every month I should say. Um, from publishing, to aggregating content, to analytics, you know, verifying social media, all, all of it. I shared all there.
[00:50:38] Ed Watters: Well, I wanna say thank you.
[00:50:40] Vinnie Potestivo: Thank you.
[00:50:40] Ed Watters: Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Vinnie. You're a fascinating person with a lot of experience in the media world, so I encourage people to hook up with Vinnie. Thank you for being here today.
[00:50:53] Vinnie Potestivo: I appreciate you.
[00:50:58] Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational, in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.