Growing Your Business by Helping Others with Deirdre Breakenridge

by Darrell Darnell | Pro Podcaster Stories

“As I got into my career as a public relations and marketing professional, it was just this natural tendency to start answering questions.” -Deirdre Breakenridge Click To Tweet

Today’s Episode:

Deirdre Breakenridge is Chief Executive Officer of Pure Performance Communications, a strategic communications and technology consulting firm in the New York Metro area. She’s a veteran in PR, marketing, and branding. She is the author of six books including her latest book Answers for Modern Communicators. She’s counseled senior-level executives at Fortune 500 companies, and she travels worldwide speaking to corporations and associations about the changing media landscape. 

She blogs at PR Expanded. She has six video courses on LinkedIn Learning. She is the co-founder of #PRStudChat a dynamic Twitter community dedicated to educating PR students, professionals, and professors. She’s also the host of the Women Worldwide podcast where she has published over 250 episodes. Deirdre shares the importance of having mentors and being a mentor. We also talk about how social media has changed the mentor relationship and has opened up new opportunities. We dive into why she started her podcast and how she is always experimenting and trying new things. She shares how her goals for the podcast changed and how she finally realized that the podcast was about helping people and building a community. 

Deirdre has taken a unique approach to forming a community around her podcast guests. They have a network where these women answer questions and help each other. She even ran a mastermind experiment with some of her guests that allowed them to celebrate what they were working on and ask for help. Deirdre is passionate about community, sharing information, and helping people. She is also passionate about how helping others leads to opportunities and connections you wouldn’t otherwise expect. She also shares a personal loss that led to a research journey with millennials and the FEEL Model. This interview is truly inspiring. 

“It's important for women to know that they don't have to have all of the answers. There are so many professionals who are more than willing to guide them and give advice.” -Deirdre Breakenridge Click To Tweet

Show Notes:

  • [03:40] Deirdre has been mentoring women for over 20 years.
  • [04:19] Deirdre had a mentor in high school and in college. She had a close friend of the family who was a mentor who helped her get her first job. Although, she didn’t actually realize they were mentors. It just kind of happened.
  • [05:04] As Deirdre got into her career, it was natural for her to start answering questions and taking others under her wing. Now mentoring happens on social media.
  • [07:13] It’s okay to ask for help.
  • [11:04] The fact that you can show up anywhere and speak is a sign that you could be a very good mentor. 
  • [12:29] Find the people you want to serve and find a way to help them the most. Find out what they care about and where they are. 
  • [15:00] Women Worldwide now has over 250 episodes.
  • [16:01] Podcasting was a reinvention and a passion for Deirdre.
  • [17:17] Women Worldwide is more than a podcast. They now have a network. The women are connecting and collaborating. She also tried a mastermind experiment with a handful of guests where they have a Zoom call. They meet once a month, and it’s called Women Worldwide Connect. The purpose is to celebrate what they are working on and ask for help.
  • [20:02] The listeners of the show also interact on social media.
  • [21:39] There are a lot of goals you can have with a podcast. There are other podcasters who see the opportunities with each individual guest. They may not take it as far as forming a network and mastermind group. 
  • [23:59] Deirdre’s first goal was to be a podcast host. Then she wanted 100,000 downloads per episode to attract advertisers. She put a lot of marketing dollars into this. She achieved her goal and then realized that wasn’t what the listeners wanted. 
  • [25:31] She realized it was about the community she served and helping people. She recently noticed, it’s all about the guests. 
  • [28:07] You should learn what your listeners care about and what your guests are willing to share. Guests that engage on social media and audiograms help increase listeners. 
  • [30:57] Deirdre has a project manager that helps with everything. They use Hootsuite, Basecamp, and Headliner. 
  • [32:15] The value from the podcast is flowing into the business. The greatest connection is to the guests through the network.
  • [34:33] Deirdre is a relationship connector.
  • [36:30] Her parents definitely shaped her. Her mom is very strong and passionate. Her dad is a mediator and a negotiator. Deirdre stepped away with a very strong foundation.
  • [37:39] The loss of Deirdre’s stepdaughter caused her to take a step back and re-evaluate her life.
  • [38:04] Deirdre went on a research journey with millennials. She learned what they needed. They built a model called FEEL. Face your fears. Engage with empathy. Use ethics and good judgment. Unleash the love.
  • [39:26] Her stepdaughter Noelle was a huge influence on her. 
  • [40:58] The Feel First Test evaluates where you are and gives you exercises to improve.
  • [43:14] Darrell’s takeaways: Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new ideas. Deirdre was all about cultivating a culture of collaboration and support within her community. When you are serving the needs of others, you and your business will be lifted up. Deirdre’s podcast is a marketing arm of Women Worldwide. It’s also used to build community. The FEEL Test will give you exercises that you can do to become a better rounded person.

“I believe in using media to reinvent. I was a book author, blogger, LinkedIn Learning instructor, and then, all of a sudden, there was this podcast thing.” -Deirdre Breakenridge Click To Tweet

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