Being Authentic and Sharing Your Real Self With Your Audience with Melissa Radke
What do you get when you take a fun loving Southern family with a hilariously authentic mom and combine that with media? You get the Radkes. The Radkes are a loud, sweet, and charming family from East Texas led by David “The Attorney General” Radke and fun loving mom Melissa. Melissa Radke is the author of Eat Cake. Be Brave. The host of the Ordinary People Ordinary Things podcast, and the star of the family sitcom The Radkes featuring her family. I talk to Melissa and David about the podcast and ask a couple of behind the scenes questions about the show.
Melissa’s wit and offbeat humor made her a social media success when she recorded a rant about the inconvenience of “Red Ribbon Week” at her children’s school. She is no stranger to being in the limelight. Melissa spent 15 years in Nashville, Tennessee pursuing her dream of singing and performing, before returning home to Texas. Melissa’s career has taken some twists and turns, but she believes she’s where she is supposed to be helping people by being her true authentic self. She is someone that other people can relate too, because she is just like them.
I talk to Melissa and David about their podcast. I get the inside scoop on how they organize the show and schedule guests. They also offer wisdom on being authentic, knowing the audience you are speaking to, podcast categories, and how real life can’t be scheduled too far ahead. Melissa also talks a little bit about her and David’s morning show and how being themselves just works. I ask about what the future has in store, and Melissa shares that she is working on a new book and shares the name of the second podcast she is starting. She also shares her biggest dream for the future in this fun show.
- [03:13] Darrell’s wife is from East Texas similar to Melissa.
- [04:47] About a year after things took off for Melissa online, she got a message from a woman who said she didn’t have a reason to live, but then she saw one of Melissa’s videos, and it sounded just like her.
- [05:44] Melissa realized that people were listening and it was meaning something.
- [06:29] Melissa has an ability to tell stories and share her life in an authentic way.
- [07:57] We wanted every episode of the show to be based on real life that really happened. Some things had to be relived a bit.
- [09:12] Melisa and David have a live morning show on YouTube, Instagram, and IGTV. They are just themselves and it works.
- [09:56] Now in the evening when they check their views, they often have about fifteen thousand viewers.
- [10:45] Melissa thinks one of the reasons that things have spread like wildfire is because she just looks like other people.
- [12:31] The things that Melissa used to want to change about herself are now the things that make her stand out. She likes herself a lot better in her forties.
- [13:41] Melissa is the creative and David is the technical side of this marriage. David is very good at staying ahead of the Curve.
- [14:21] Melissa started listening to podcasts and she found herself thinking about the things that she would do differently. David was the motivator behind the podcast.
- [15:18] David knew that podcasting was a great way to get their voice out and communicate with people while they were in transit or at the gym.
- [17:26] When you’re trying to get your voice out there and build your brand, it’s important to be on as many platforms as possible.
- [18:36] Melissa’s podcast was put in the religious category. It allows her to bring out a different side that she doesn’t show on other platforms.
- [20:40] Knowing your audience and categories is important. Know what audience that you are speaking too.
- [22:04] Melissa and David are rolling out a new podcast that is completely different than their current one. She is super excited.
- [22:29] The new podcast is going to be about Melissa’s reviews of binge watching streaming services. It’s going to be called Streamher.
- [23:43] Streamher should debut in the middle of February.
- [24:47] Don’t get too obsessed with download numbers or 5 Star reviews. Everyone’s show is on a different journey.
- [27:20] Melissa’s podcast is interview based. David is the one who keeps everything organized.
- [27:52] He uses Calendly to schedule interviews. He uses Air Table to get all of the guest information. Then they use Zoom to record the episode.
- [29:22] Batching too early can be a mistake when you are talking about people’s lives. Their stories can change. Batch maybe four episodes ahead, but don’t go months ahead. Fresh shows are also better for cross promotion.
- [32:16] Melissa’s jam are boy bands. Her current favorite is Jonas Brothers, but she loves New Kids on the Block and even got to meet them when she was 16.
- [34:02] Melissa’s parents were extremely generous people, and she learned generosity from them.
- [35:14] Melissa’s family agreed to be part of the show, because Melissa always respected their privacy in the past. She also doesn’t want to embarrass her children who happen to be really great sports.
- [36:19] Melissa feels like she’s just getting warmed up. It’s her dream to have a talk show one day.
- [39:24] Darrell’s takeaways: It’s really clear how authentic they are and how people are drawn to that. It’s challenging to be vulnerable when you are in the driver’s seat. If you find yourself saying I would do this differently, you might be onto something. Identifying your own uniqueness will help you stand apart. It’s important to remember who your audience is and where they’re at. Downloads don’t define success but reviews are a good indicator. Batching too far ahead can be a mistake.