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Feb. 15, 2022

The College Tour: A Peek at Schools Across the Country

The College Tour: A Peek at Schools Across the Country

Many prospective students don't have the resources to travel across the country and tour all of the colleges and universities that interest them.

What if there was a TV show that offered an insider's look at each school—their values, the campus life, the academic opportunities—through the eyes of their students?

Alex Boylan, Co-Founder and Executive Producer of The College Tour, a TV series that tells the story of a single college with each episode, joins the show to explain what the show’s all about and how schools can apply to be featured on the show.

We discuss:

- What inspired the creation of The College Tour

- Why the show is told through the eyes of the students

- The unexpected benefits of working with the show

- How schools can partner with The College Tour

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.

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The Higher Ed Marketer podcast is sponsored by Caylor Solutions, an Education Marketing and Branding Agency, and by Think Patented, a Marketing Execution, Printing and Mailing provider of Higher Ed solutions.

    

 

Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:02.919 --> 00:00:07.190 You were listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals 2 00:00:07.230 --> 00:00:11.949 in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student 3 00:00:11.949 --> 00:00:16.269 recruitment, don'tor relations, marketing trends, new technologies and so much more. 4 00:00:17.030 --> 00:00:20.829 If you are looking for conversations centered around where the industry is going, this 5 00:00:21.030 --> 00:00:31.059 podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the High 6 00:00:31.059 --> 00:00:36.689 Ed Marketer podcast. I'm troy singer, with my cohost and fantasy football umpire, 7 00:00:36.929 --> 00:00:41.649 Bart Taylor, and today we are going to interview Alex Boylan. He 8 00:00:41.890 --> 00:00:46.450 is the CO founder and host of the college tour, a wonderful show that 9 00:00:46.609 --> 00:00:51.679 you can get on many different platforms that highlights a different college each week. 10 00:00:52.200 --> 00:00:55.520 This is a great episode. If you don't recognize Alex's name, you'll certainly 11 00:00:55.560 --> 00:01:00.119 maybe recognized his voice. He was the host of CBS as amazing race, 12 00:01:00.479 --> 00:01:04.189 and also many of the people on the team come from the background of reality 13 00:01:04.230 --> 00:01:08.189 TV, like survivor and several of the other ones. So I recognized Alex 14 00:01:08.269 --> 00:01:12.750 immediately when I watched the first episode and I just I'm fascinated with this, 15 00:01:14.150 --> 00:01:19.980 with this concept of having a television show with multiple seasons and multiple episodes focused 16 00:01:19.019 --> 00:01:23.900 entirely on higher education and specifically on the college tour. I love his vision 17 00:01:25.060 --> 00:01:29.019 and his passion and his mission to get to the college tour and the hands 18 00:01:29.099 --> 00:01:33.730 of every perspective college student around the world and I think this is a great 19 00:01:33.930 --> 00:01:38.810 conversation about not only the idea behind the college tour and then what that's doing 20 00:01:38.010 --> 00:01:42.609 and how they're doing it, but also just some key takeaways how you can 21 00:01:42.689 --> 00:01:45.769 take some of these ideas and actually start to implement them into your high end 22 00:01:45.810 --> 00:01:51.959 marketing. Yes, I think Alex presents how to best authentically tell the story 23 00:01:52.120 --> 00:01:56.599 of your campus. And without further ado, let's get into the conversation with 24 00:01:56.719 --> 00:02:04.510 Alex Boylan. Please welcome Alex Boylan, the cofounder and host of the College 25 00:02:04.629 --> 00:02:07.349 tour series, to the High Ed Marketer podcast. Alex, thank you for 26 00:02:07.430 --> 00:02:12.430 joining. Troy Bard, thank you so much for having me. What a 27 00:02:12.430 --> 00:02:15.020 joys it's going to be fun. You know, we talked to a lot 28 00:02:15.099 --> 00:02:19.699 of dynamic people, but we really don't talk to a lot of famous people, 29 00:02:19.699 --> 00:02:23.060 people that we would consider TV star. So we're excited to talk to 30 00:02:23.139 --> 00:02:28.419 you and let everyone know about the wonderful series that you have the college tour. 31 00:02:29.379 --> 00:02:31.810 If you could tell us a little bit about your background before we get 32 00:02:31.889 --> 00:02:36.610 into what the show is all about? Well, well, thank you. 33 00:02:36.729 --> 00:02:38.530 I don't know about famous, but you know, this is fun. So 34 00:02:39.169 --> 00:02:44.759 my background. I've been in the television space for or a little about twenty 35 00:02:44.800 --> 00:02:49.560 years ago. I was international business major, was in the business world and 36 00:02:49.759 --> 00:02:52.400 was, if you can believe it, twenty years ago, was cast on 37 00:02:52.479 --> 00:02:57.000 the second season of the amazing race. It was very blessed and up when 38 00:02:57.280 --> 00:03:01.509 in that series and most importantly, during that was I got this inside look 39 00:03:01.509 --> 00:03:06.710 in the world of television and I love every single second of it. I 40 00:03:06.750 --> 00:03:09.949 couldn't stop talking to the producers. I can still hear the CBS producer saying 41 00:03:10.030 --> 00:03:14.539 Hey, Alex, stop asking questions about our job. This is who that 42 00:03:14.580 --> 00:03:17.259 you're supposed to be a contestant on the amazing right. So I fell in 43 00:03:17.340 --> 00:03:22.300 love with the business and, you know, spent twenty years working really hard 44 00:03:22.419 --> 00:03:24.659 to become successful at it. And after that, I mean I started off 45 00:03:24.780 --> 00:03:29.930 hosting different cooking and travel shows and then created around the world for free, 46 00:03:29.969 --> 00:03:34.050 which is the first online interactive show where I'd circumnavigate the globe for free. 47 00:03:34.090 --> 00:03:37.569 And just have done. We've filmed him, probably filmed in sixty, sixty 48 00:03:37.569 --> 00:03:40.560 five countries around the world. So I've had an amazingly blessed career just telling 49 00:03:40.759 --> 00:03:45.879 stories around the planet and couldn't be more excited. I myself, along with 50 00:03:46.000 --> 00:03:47.879 the the people that are behind this, Lisa Hennessy, Burton Roberts, Mike 51 00:03:47.919 --> 00:03:52.520 Murray and some of those people. Lisa worked on the biggest shows in the 52 00:03:52.560 --> 00:03:55.870 world and how create some of the biggest franchises like survivor, etc. We 53 00:03:57.030 --> 00:04:00.110 all say we are humbled by what's happening with the college store. It's been 54 00:04:00.189 --> 00:04:04.830 an absolute joy and can't wait to talk more about it. Bart and I 55 00:04:04.909 --> 00:04:11.460 are both fans and we believe that our listeners would gain some insight and some 56 00:04:11.819 --> 00:04:16.620 pointers from how you navigate the college tour, the episodes where you highlight different 57 00:04:16.660 --> 00:04:20.220 colleges, if you would. How did that idea come about? Yep, 58 00:04:20.420 --> 00:04:24.569 so big picture, you know, for the audience, each episode of the 59 00:04:24.610 --> 00:04:29.170 College tour tells the story of a different college campus. Every episode is one 60 00:04:29.610 --> 00:04:32.930 institution, and what's the best part about this is we tell that story through 61 00:04:32.930 --> 00:04:38.879 the Lens of students. So the idea sprung on me before, like maybe 62 00:04:39.199 --> 00:04:45.079 six months to a year year before Covid, my niece, Isabel Palm Asak. 63 00:04:45.560 --> 00:04:49.720 She's from People Falls Wisconsin, Middle American family, you know, middle 64 00:04:49.839 --> 00:04:54.670 class, and all of a sudden she was looking at college campuses and deciding 65 00:04:54.750 --> 00:04:58.670 where to go. Her Mom, my older sister Andrea, gave her one 66 00:04:58.790 --> 00:05:00.709 trip. They go Isabel, you got one trip to go look at schools, 67 00:05:00.790 --> 00:05:03.269 and she chose to come out to see me in the city of Los 68 00:05:03.310 --> 00:05:10.100 Angeles here and I had so much fun taking her around to loyal Marre amount 69 00:05:10.180 --> 00:05:14.860 you sela us see all these different schools. Well, while she was here, 70 00:05:15.180 --> 00:05:15.899 you know, she's like, I'm glad you I want to go check 71 00:05:15.899 --> 00:05:18.220 out some schools in Texas, I want to check out some schools in New 72 00:05:18.259 --> 00:05:21.410 York and many other states. And I can still hear my old sister. 73 00:05:21.529 --> 00:05:24.730 She's like, what do you think? We're made of money, we can't 74 00:05:24.730 --> 00:05:27.850 afford you all around. This is it, Isabel, this is all you 75 00:05:27.930 --> 00:05:32.290 have. And so it wasn't long after she was here when covid hits. 76 00:05:32.410 --> 00:05:36.800 So my knee said two variables against her. One was she did not have 77 00:05:38.000 --> 00:05:42.040 the finances to travel across the country, and that is like ninety nine point 78 00:05:42.040 --> 00:05:44.920 nine percent of by the students that are out there, high school students out 79 00:05:44.920 --> 00:05:47.240 there, and then on knocking. On top of that, she's a seed 80 00:05:47.319 --> 00:05:54.149 junior senior class that's rolling into college during this massive pandemic. So the pretty 81 00:05:54.310 --> 00:05:57.589 much the country shut down. So two variables really stopped her journey, and 82 00:05:57.709 --> 00:06:00.629 so I sat back with her online and spend some time. I was having 83 00:06:00.790 --> 00:06:04.259 so much fun thinking back to my college and how did I figure out where 84 00:06:04.259 --> 00:06:09.220 to go to school, and it was during that process. I mean all 85 00:06:09.300 --> 00:06:12.939 these institutions do amazing job of marketing and telling their stories, but it's all 86 00:06:13.220 --> 00:06:16.220 different. You know, you can go to one person's website and there's super 87 00:06:16.300 --> 00:06:20.970 high end, glossy commercials. You can go to another institution and it's user 88 00:06:21.089 --> 00:06:27.129 generated content and we so, as an outsider, I have zero experience in 89 00:06:27.129 --> 00:06:30.370 the education space, as I'm trying to navigate this with my niece and helping 90 00:06:30.410 --> 00:06:33.639 her try to find her tribe and her vibe and where's the best place for 91 00:06:33.839 --> 00:06:39.920 her. The Light Bulb and off. Higher Education needs its own TV series, 92 00:06:40.040 --> 00:06:44.399 something that is formatted, that is clean, something that is delivered in 93 00:06:44.519 --> 00:06:47.709 a way that someone who's older like myself that's used to television where I can 94 00:06:47.709 --> 00:06:50.949 sit back on my TV and just watch a half hour, an hour episode, 95 00:06:51.310 --> 00:06:55.470 or for the younger generation who's used to being on their mobile devices and 96 00:06:55.589 --> 00:06:59.949 want to watch it in bite sizes, and so all those variables came together 97 00:07:00.110 --> 00:07:04.180 to say let's create this idea and let's bring this to market and it's just 98 00:07:04.379 --> 00:07:09.060 been an absolute joy. Who would who would have thought if you asked me 99 00:07:09.180 --> 00:07:14.899 when there's the idea came about, because I'm never created and I've created a 100 00:07:14.939 --> 00:07:18.730 lot of different shows, I've never created anything that stem from a problem. 101 00:07:19.089 --> 00:07:23.209 This is the first time that's ever happened, that all this is a problem 102 00:07:23.329 --> 00:07:26.490 outs out there and we need to make this to serve that, that those 103 00:07:26.569 --> 00:07:30.120 people and everyone who's going through that same problem. That's really exciting. Thanks, 104 00:07:30.160 --> 00:07:31.319 Alex. and I have to say that I think the place that I 105 00:07:31.920 --> 00:07:38.439 discovered the college tour is I we had Jamie Hunt from Miami University of Ohio 106 00:07:38.759 --> 00:07:42.879 on episode two and so we were connected on Linkedin and and you know, 107 00:07:42.959 --> 00:07:46.029 I was seeing her posts and I saw, Oh, you know, we're 108 00:07:46.110 --> 00:07:48.470 recording the college tour, you know, on campus this week, and every 109 00:07:48.509 --> 00:07:51.550 day she kept having these these pictures in these posts, and so I did 110 00:07:51.550 --> 00:07:56.829 a quick search and I came across Amazon prime and and saw the episodes and 111 00:07:56.949 --> 00:07:59.180 saw it on there. I think it was actually at home and I think 112 00:07:59.180 --> 00:08:01.779 I turned on my TV and pulled up Amazon and looked at it and watched 113 00:08:01.819 --> 00:08:05.100 a couple episodes and I was just kind of flabbergasted it. I was like, 114 00:08:05.300 --> 00:08:09.220 this is so cool, this is something that higher it has needed, 115 00:08:09.259 --> 00:08:11.860 as you said, they've needed an episodic, you know, television show that 116 00:08:11.889 --> 00:08:16.810 would highlight the biggest tissue and why I've talked to so many, so many 117 00:08:16.089 --> 00:08:20.490 marketing campuses, marketing teams on campuses, and I'm sure you've heard this to 118 00:08:20.009 --> 00:08:24.290 Alex's boy, if we could just get the students on campus, then we're 119 00:08:24.290 --> 00:08:26.569 going to get them, then they're going to be able to come and I 120 00:08:26.649 --> 00:08:31.720 think this is just another modality of allowing students and families to get on campus. 121 00:08:31.839 --> 00:08:33.159 Is that kind of what you're discovering when you talk to these teams? 122 00:08:33.679 --> 00:08:37.159 Couldn't agree more. I mean it's interesting. The average college trip, I 123 00:08:37.320 --> 00:08:41.429 believe, if it's outside of your region, is around two two thousand and 124 00:08:41.429 --> 00:08:45.669 twenty five hundred dollars. Dish and so we wanted. We want students as 125 00:08:45.669 --> 00:08:48.909 well as their parents, will sit back and travel across the country and they 126 00:08:48.029 --> 00:08:52.629 look at a really good sense of what this institution is as about and we 127 00:08:52.750 --> 00:08:56.539 have some fun stirs. I mean they're still going to be hope. I 128 00:08:56.659 --> 00:09:01.059 think we're like a bridge between that that. Like you know, I'm interested. 129 00:09:01.179 --> 00:09:03.700 I've learned about this university, I've heard about this university. Let me 130 00:09:03.019 --> 00:09:05.100 learn a little bit more and then, if I can, maybe I'll go, 131 00:09:05.299 --> 00:09:09.129 because we hear. I was just at back at Texas TCU, Texas 132 00:09:09.169 --> 00:09:16.009 Christian University, a few months ago, speaking and their marketing team where they 133 00:09:16.090 --> 00:09:18.129 go. We have people that show up, like students that show up and 134 00:09:18.169 --> 00:09:20.929 say we saw it, we were from San Diego, we saw the college 135 00:09:22.009 --> 00:09:24.039 tour episode and that's why we're here. So that's pretty fun. So I 136 00:09:24.120 --> 00:09:28.519 think where we were on a base level. No one has to go anywhere 137 00:09:28.519 --> 00:09:31.600 from their cell phone and their television set to watch and learn and those that 138 00:09:31.759 --> 00:09:35.480 have the means that can put it possibly maybe that helps them make that extra 139 00:09:35.559 --> 00:09:39.870 step to go on campus. I think that's great and even as I was 140 00:09:39.990 --> 00:09:41.990 reviewing some of the episodes and you guys are, I think, coming up 141 00:09:41.990 --> 00:09:46.389 on season four. As I go through those episodes, you know there's a 142 00:09:46.389 --> 00:09:48.590 lot of familiar names. You know Miami of Ohio and some of those other 143 00:09:48.629 --> 00:09:52.149 ones, but there were a lot of names. Even myself being in the 144 00:09:52.190 --> 00:09:54.299 higher end marketing space, it's a lot of schools that I was introduced for 145 00:09:54.340 --> 00:09:58.500 the first time through the college tour and I found that fascinating because I think 146 00:09:58.580 --> 00:10:01.740 sometimes, like you just said, someone shows up at a school that might 147 00:10:01.779 --> 00:10:07.059 not have even known about them other than this, this college tour TV show. 148 00:10:07.100 --> 00:10:09.730 Absolutely, we've been you know, it's I love to sit back and 149 00:10:09.850 --> 00:10:13.289 say, Oh, we're all geniuses over here at the college tour, but 150 00:10:13.330 --> 00:10:16.850 I happen to be. We're storytellers. We had a good idea and all 151 00:10:16.889 --> 00:10:20.049 of a sudden it just hit right timing, the right project, the right 152 00:10:20.090 --> 00:10:24.240 team behind it and it just took off. It's been we constantly. One 153 00:10:24.279 --> 00:10:28.039 of the biggest things for us that we thought about early on is, you 154 00:10:28.080 --> 00:10:30.240 know, how do you how do you decide on us what's going to be 155 00:10:30.279 --> 00:10:33.240 part of the season one and how do you roll this all out? The 156 00:10:33.320 --> 00:10:37.230 biggest thing for us was just diversification. That was probably internally is knowing that 157 00:10:37.309 --> 00:10:41.950 we can't just make this the big state schools or just ex schools in this 158 00:10:41.149 --> 00:10:45.230 region. We Really, I think, you know, pride ourselves that if 159 00:10:45.269 --> 00:10:48.710 you go and watch this, you're going to see, you know, small 160 00:10:48.789 --> 00:10:54.179 schools like Fort Louis College in Durango, Colorado and Florida Tech in Melbourne, 161 00:10:54.220 --> 00:10:56.779 Florida, and you're also going to see the Asus and the University of Illinois 162 00:10:56.820 --> 00:11:00.580 and the Yukons and the Baylor's of the world. So you're going to you're 163 00:11:00.620 --> 00:11:03.340 going to get a good mix of all of that and so we try to 164 00:11:03.419 --> 00:11:07.009 make sure that we're peppering in, you know, so everyone's getting a great 165 00:11:07.129 --> 00:11:11.649 sense of what small, medium, large, location, my major all these 166 00:11:11.970 --> 00:11:16.889 things that high schoolers are thinking about and their parents are thinking about hopefully comes 167 00:11:16.929 --> 00:11:20.960 together in an episode and helps them make a better decision. That's great. 168 00:11:22.000 --> 00:11:24.000 And I think that partnering with these different schools and now I think you're close 169 00:11:24.080 --> 00:11:26.519 to forty now, I think that, you know, I'm sure at the 170 00:11:26.559 --> 00:11:30.159 very beginning it was a little bit of a leap of faith to be able 171 00:11:30.159 --> 00:11:33.429 to, you know, partner with these schools and and and be able to, 172 00:11:33.230 --> 00:11:37.710 you know, tell their story and let them tell their story and and 173 00:11:37.870 --> 00:11:39.070 just try to figure that out, because, I mean, I think it's 174 00:11:39.110 --> 00:11:43.070 so it's so true, and you've said this before, even in our pre 175 00:11:43.149 --> 00:11:46.909 interview, that it's a little different than you know, you know, a 176 00:11:46.029 --> 00:11:50.340 regular network television and show that you've kind of got it all mapped out, 177 00:11:50.340 --> 00:11:52.860 you know what's going to happen. I mean there's a lot of variables here 178 00:11:52.899 --> 00:11:56.460 that are a little different than usual. It's been a great journey. It's 179 00:11:56.500 --> 00:12:00.419 been a great dray because early on, just like anything, early on your 180 00:12:00.539 --> 00:12:03.250 everyone's figuring things out. Okay, so this starts, this is idea. 181 00:12:03.289 --> 00:12:07.970 A couple things that we were couple things like early on that we knew and 182 00:12:07.049 --> 00:12:11.610 we kind of like we put our our steak in the ground. A We 183 00:12:11.730 --> 00:12:15.490 knew we had to partner with the university. This isn't like the college tour 184 00:12:15.570 --> 00:12:18.519 production team comes in. It's like we're going to tell the story of Asu. 185 00:12:18.879 --> 00:12:20.879 We have to be working with them because they know their story, they 186 00:12:20.960 --> 00:12:24.759 know the heart and soul of their students and what makes them tick and all 187 00:12:24.840 --> 00:12:28.679 that. So that's a collaboration from the beginning. Are Our preproduction process, 188 00:12:28.799 --> 00:12:33.110 which is about two months. That is a team. As it to our 189 00:12:33.190 --> 00:12:35.350 team working with their team, we become one big family, our kickoff calls 190 00:12:35.429 --> 00:12:39.549 it. We're now a family and we're going to go through this journey together 191 00:12:39.750 --> 00:12:41.509 to get where we need to get to. We could not make this on 192 00:12:41.629 --> 00:12:45.179 our own. We need the university because they know it. You know better 193 00:12:45.220 --> 00:12:50.059 than anyone else. And I down to the specifics of the authenticity. One 194 00:12:50.100 --> 00:12:52.980 of the well, I'll tell you a funny story, because now you know 195 00:12:52.139 --> 00:12:56.500 the students, the first draft, when a student, when we know we're 196 00:12:56.500 --> 00:13:00.929 going to talk about athletics and we know this is going to be the student 197 00:13:00.970 --> 00:13:03.210 as a great story that's going to tell the story of athletics of that university, 198 00:13:05.009 --> 00:13:07.049 first thing we do. We have some bullet points and we have some 199 00:13:07.169 --> 00:13:13.879 guides to help them, but we want the first draft from the student right. 200 00:13:13.919 --> 00:13:16.320 It's very important because we need it to be their real story. We 201 00:13:16.440 --> 00:13:20.080 need this to be authentics. I was always been but episode one, season 202 00:13:20.200 --> 00:13:22.799 one, I'm going to tell you if I sir. We're at Fort Louis 203 00:13:22.919 --> 00:13:26.039 College. First of all, we get there, the fires are happening in 204 00:13:26.230 --> 00:13:31.549 Colorado. It's September. The spice storm comes up, everything that you could 205 00:13:31.590 --> 00:13:35.509 think goes wrong is going wrong at the beginning of our piety, I want 206 00:13:35.509 --> 00:13:37.350 to call it our pilots, our first episode, and I am like heavily 207 00:13:37.389 --> 00:13:41.220 involved because we're trying to figure out how this is all going to work and 208 00:13:41.659 --> 00:13:48.100 I'm working with one of the students and all the students are going to be 209 00:13:48.139 --> 00:13:50.899 on camera and we have bullet points and I didn't want them to sound memorized. 210 00:13:52.259 --> 00:13:54.860 Okay, so I didn't want it to sound rehearse. We have these 211 00:13:54.899 --> 00:13:56.970 bullet points. We're going to get together and I'll say a very early on, 212 00:13:58.289 --> 00:14:00.330 like okay, we need to change Gope, because duds, like, 213 00:14:00.409 --> 00:14:03.730 what am I supposed to say? So now it's you know, we are 214 00:14:03.850 --> 00:14:07.570 working with that student, we are getting that student scripted, we are doing 215 00:14:07.730 --> 00:14:11.679 media training with that student. That student is I know because it's it's Ti. 216 00:14:11.840 --> 00:14:15.480 I have every episode I watch. I'm so proud of these kids and 217 00:14:15.519 --> 00:14:18.759 I only want calm kids, but these students, because imagine there's a production 218 00:14:20.000 --> 00:14:22.840 television crew coming. They have to look into that Camera Lens and touch that 219 00:14:22.879 --> 00:14:26.389 audience and tell their off and some of these students really open up about their 220 00:14:26.429 --> 00:14:31.350 story and that's not easy. Yeah, I think back of when I was 221 00:14:31.389 --> 00:14:33.870 nineteen years old on in college and all of a sudden I got this camera 222 00:14:33.990 --> 00:14:37.470 crew follow me around and they do an amazing job. So we have definitely 223 00:14:37.549 --> 00:14:41.659 evolved as a production and grown and learned and it's just but I'd say, 224 00:14:41.299 --> 00:14:45.220 you know, I go backed episode one, it looks like episode we. 225 00:14:45.379 --> 00:14:48.100 You know, we're we're heading end episode forty nine. I think we're shooting 226 00:14:48.100 --> 00:14:50.539 in a few weeks here, and so they look very similar. So the 227 00:14:50.620 --> 00:14:54.490 end result we got here, but our approach has definitely involved in change throughout 228 00:14:54.529 --> 00:14:58.690 it well, and I love the authenticity because it's one thing that I often 229 00:14:58.889 --> 00:15:01.610 kind of talk to my clients about is that don't try to be something you're 230 00:15:01.610 --> 00:15:05.690 not. I mean, you know they so many times I'll hear things like 231 00:15:05.809 --> 00:15:07.480 well, if we were just that school would be so much easier to market. 232 00:15:07.600 --> 00:15:11.039 I'm like, well, you're not. You are your school and if 233 00:15:11.080 --> 00:15:13.000 you can tell your distinctive story, that's why people have always come to you 234 00:15:13.200 --> 00:15:18.480 and I think that the idea of letting the students kind of craft that first 235 00:15:18.480 --> 00:15:22.230 draft, to tell their story, to really kind of get that authenticity out. 236 00:15:22.429 --> 00:15:24.990 That's the only way any type of high and marketing is going to work 237 00:15:24.110 --> 00:15:28.830 is through that highly is through that high level of authenticity. I could not 238 00:15:28.909 --> 00:15:33.789 agree more and it's interesting. Another fun story during the casting process is really 239 00:15:33.870 --> 00:15:37.259 interesting because we go pretty wide with our net. You never know sometimes it 240 00:15:37.580 --> 00:15:41.980 happens. Many most episodes actually where the university. They think they know, 241 00:15:43.340 --> 00:15:46.139 Oh, this students going to be great, but through this process all these 242 00:15:46.299 --> 00:15:50.009 diamonds and these stories pop up that they never know about. Happens all the 243 00:15:50.090 --> 00:15:54.649 time. And during the University of Illinois we're in preproduction, we think we 244 00:15:54.769 --> 00:15:58.809 have it all mapped up and all of a sudden this student named a here 245 00:15:58.049 --> 00:16:03.679 comes up and he's from India and he tells about this story of him loving 246 00:16:03.799 --> 00:16:08.679 to tinker and doing, you know, tinkering with every type of mechanical thing 247 00:16:08.679 --> 00:16:11.200 you can think of. He's like taking a part is vacuum cleaner and putting 248 00:16:11.200 --> 00:16:17.200 it back together and his passion and he found this professor at the University of 249 00:16:17.200 --> 00:16:22.190 Illinois who was being very proactive in this this this device that was going to 250 00:16:22.269 --> 00:16:25.870 help with covid all these things were happening. His story was so incredible the 251 00:16:25.909 --> 00:16:29.629 universities like scrap that story that we had we just want to hear his story, 252 00:16:29.710 --> 00:16:32.940 and that's how I say that story, just say how real it is. 253 00:16:33.019 --> 00:16:36.220 I mean we as a family, US in the university going through the 254 00:16:36.259 --> 00:16:41.580 production process, rediscover this stuff together and what a joy, what a joy 255 00:16:41.620 --> 00:16:45.379 and what a great service to the next generation that would be coming to that 256 00:16:45.460 --> 00:16:48.009 university to hear those stories. That's great and I think, if I recall 257 00:16:48.090 --> 00:16:52.370 correctly and in our earlier conversation, you talked about how how important it is 258 00:16:52.570 --> 00:16:56.850 for your team, the production team, to be able to empower and actually, 259 00:16:57.009 --> 00:17:00.090 you know, as you leave campus. I mean certainly the students have 260 00:17:00.129 --> 00:17:03.920 an amazing opportunity to kind of get some experience, you know, whether it's 261 00:17:04.000 --> 00:17:07.279 whether some of the media training or whether it's learning how to tell their story 262 00:17:07.319 --> 00:17:11.319 or the confidence that they'll gain in that. But even, I would I 263 00:17:11.359 --> 00:17:15.680 would anticipate for the marketing departments, there's a lot of benefit for just being 264 00:17:15.710 --> 00:17:18.829 able to hang out with a professional crew who is you know, whether it's 265 00:17:18.829 --> 00:17:22.230 for a couple days or a week, but even the couple months process. 266 00:17:22.309 --> 00:17:26.230 I mean there's got there's got to be a tremendous amount of learning for each 267 00:17:26.269 --> 00:17:29.109 of the schools that are involved as well, no question about it. You 268 00:17:29.190 --> 00:17:32.619 know, to make a great episode of television it's a lot of work and 269 00:17:32.740 --> 00:17:34.819 there's no getting around that. Elbow Grease. That's going to happen on both 270 00:17:34.819 --> 00:17:38.700 sides and I think through the process we hear it all the time. It's 271 00:17:40.140 --> 00:17:42.420 and, like I said, there's two months of there's two months of reproduction. 272 00:17:42.779 --> 00:17:47.890 Every week there's a weekly call going through one one thing or another as 273 00:17:47.970 --> 00:17:49.930 we build to be get ready to be in the field. We film for 274 00:17:49.970 --> 00:17:55.289 about a week and then there's another two months in the post production process to 275 00:17:55.369 --> 00:17:59.319 go through that and they're there with us, lock step. Yeah, I 276 00:17:59.400 --> 00:18:03.240 mean every single piece of that. So it's funny not to bring the universe 277 00:18:03.279 --> 00:18:06.079 of Illinois a back into it, but I can remember we were wrapping up 278 00:18:06.079 --> 00:18:08.440 the episode that works, Episode Five, and they go can we keep doing 279 00:18:08.519 --> 00:18:14.869 our weekly calls, because you really just I think, yeah, there's there's 280 00:18:14.950 --> 00:18:18.470 great experience throughout that whole process and I think seeing our process of how we 281 00:18:18.630 --> 00:18:23.630 identify stories help them identify stories film get that talent, because it's amazing. 282 00:18:25.470 --> 00:18:29.059 You know, the there's a lot of content out there, but when you 283 00:18:29.140 --> 00:18:30.180 watch the college tour and you watch, I mean a lot of times we 284 00:18:30.299 --> 00:18:33.859 were like the early on I would get questions. People are like, are 285 00:18:33.940 --> 00:18:36.859 those actors, and like no, this are that's the really the student. 286 00:18:36.940 --> 00:18:40.579 That is really the student in their real story, and so a lot of 287 00:18:40.660 --> 00:18:44.289 work goes into that and I think it's fun for the the universities to be 288 00:18:44.369 --> 00:18:48.130 part of that process, to learn from that and then take some of these 289 00:18:48.210 --> 00:18:51.369 skills and their team can learn and, you know, make more content and 290 00:18:52.329 --> 00:18:55.009 their marketing teams, in their film teams. Most these universities have them. 291 00:18:55.049 --> 00:18:59.599 They're always doing stuff, and so whether it's the smaller university that just has 292 00:18:59.680 --> 00:19:03.440 like, you know, a parttime camera guy, which happens and that, 293 00:19:03.559 --> 00:19:07.200 or big one with massive media teams, matter who it is, we it's 294 00:19:07.200 --> 00:19:11.190 a pleasure throughout the process and everyone's learning throughout it. That's right for the 295 00:19:11.750 --> 00:19:15.990 schools that you're partnering with. But what are some of the learnings that you 296 00:19:15.309 --> 00:19:19.069 have acquired that maybe you can share with some of our listeners that they could 297 00:19:19.069 --> 00:19:26.180 take away or maybe reach out to you about being a partner? Absolutely well, 298 00:19:26.180 --> 00:19:29.900 I guess it depends. I mean, I've learned so much throughout this. 299 00:19:30.019 --> 00:19:33.420 I'm constantly learning. I'm constantly learning I mean in the sense of like, 300 00:19:33.940 --> 00:19:37.019 what an important decision this is. Just thinking back to like to me, 301 00:19:37.740 --> 00:19:41.450 like you know, in general, our audience is high schoolers in general, 302 00:19:41.490 --> 00:19:45.730 and putting yourself in their shoes and starting to think, because when I 303 00:19:45.890 --> 00:19:48.369 chose my university, Jackson the university, I mean I was playing soccer, 304 00:19:48.450 --> 00:19:52.410 but there wasn't that much out there. I didn't have a lot of help 305 00:19:52.450 --> 00:19:55.759 from my parents and not and they're great parents, it was just it was 306 00:19:56.480 --> 00:20:00.240 okay, sounds good and I went and I look at it now, there's 307 00:20:00.279 --> 00:20:03.519 so much that happens. This is such an important decision for these youngsters. 308 00:20:04.200 --> 00:20:07.710 These are going to be your best friends for the rest of your life. 309 00:20:07.710 --> 00:20:12.390 Like this is these the location that you're at. Think about that location. 310 00:20:12.670 --> 00:20:15.470 You know they're there, that locations going to be part of you for the 311 00:20:15.589 --> 00:20:18.309 rest of your life. And so there's the people you don't realize. Me, 312 00:20:18.390 --> 00:20:22.940 I think of Jacksonville University. I'm coming from Boston to a small little 313 00:20:22.940 --> 00:20:25.579 town, not town, but it's a city, but down in Jacksonville, 314 00:20:25.619 --> 00:20:27.579 Florida, and you know, to this day I go back to back some 315 00:20:27.740 --> 00:20:30.460 university, you know, because it's part of me. It's part of WHO 316 00:20:30.500 --> 00:20:33.380 I am. It's part of who made me, and so I think that 317 00:20:33.900 --> 00:20:37.970 is that's and I just think, you know, there's a lot on the 318 00:20:37.410 --> 00:20:42.130 marketing side and on the Higher Education Front. There is so much. There's 319 00:20:42.210 --> 00:20:47.009 so much work going on behind the scenes. I mean the univer the life 320 00:20:47.369 --> 00:20:49.279 at a university, and I wish I thought about this when I was in 321 00:20:49.319 --> 00:20:53.680 high school. There is so much at your your fingertips that you're not as 322 00:20:53.720 --> 00:20:57.480 soon as either you don't go to college or you graduate for college, that 323 00:20:57.720 --> 00:21:00.319 is over. Those are those you know. I mean welcome to the real 324 00:21:00.400 --> 00:21:04.710 world. You're like one of all of us and you're in this semi bubble 325 00:21:06.109 --> 00:21:11.190 with more resources and a massive staff that is here to help guide that journey. 326 00:21:11.309 --> 00:21:15.430 And so to me, that is the biggest thing I've liked, just 327 00:21:15.589 --> 00:21:19.740 appreciated in this process and that, I think, pushes our whole entire production 328 00:21:21.259 --> 00:21:26.539 to make every episode the best it can be, because what an amazing story. 329 00:21:26.059 --> 00:21:29.940 These are four years of your life. You'll never get them back. 330 00:21:30.539 --> 00:21:33.369 That's it. You know, this is four years and I have a bigger 331 00:21:33.450 --> 00:21:37.410 impact. I can't think of another four years and someone's life that's going to 332 00:21:37.450 --> 00:21:40.730 have a bigger impact on their future than going to college. I don't know 333 00:21:40.769 --> 00:21:44.009 about you guys, but I just I look at it's like this is this 334 00:21:44.250 --> 00:21:48.960 is big, and so these universities, it's like they're in a universe. 335 00:21:48.039 --> 00:21:49.880 Is a lot different than when I was going I mean, you should see 336 00:21:49.920 --> 00:21:55.039 some of these places. Now, you go to options, the residence halls, 337 00:21:55.240 --> 00:21:59.400 everything is just at a bar and when I was going to school. 338 00:21:59.799 --> 00:22:02.430 So it's I think that's the biggest thing. Is just, you know, 339 00:22:02.710 --> 00:22:07.589 the people that are work in higher education are working their tails off for giving 340 00:22:07.789 --> 00:22:11.309 back in a way to help you, you know, help you have an 341 00:22:11.430 --> 00:22:15.859 awesome life, and how great is that? That's great. I really like 342 00:22:15.099 --> 00:22:18.500 that and I think that that that right there. I love the passion that 343 00:22:18.579 --> 00:22:22.019 you just told that, because I think that sometimes, as higherd marketers, 344 00:22:22.059 --> 00:22:26.619 I think we often miss the fact of how important it is. That are 345 00:22:26.140 --> 00:22:30.170 what our job is. I mean we are that we are the ones in 346 00:22:30.289 --> 00:22:34.690 trusting to tell those stories and to actually empower the students to make those decisions 347 00:22:34.769 --> 00:22:38.289 that are the are the one of the biggest decisions of their life, and 348 00:22:38.410 --> 00:22:41.450 I think that you know what you're learning with the with the college tour. 349 00:22:41.650 --> 00:22:45.440 What what a lot of the guests that we have here on the podcast talk 350 00:22:45.480 --> 00:22:48.799 about is just, you know, the authenticity the storytelling, using the different 351 00:22:49.000 --> 00:22:52.519 tools to tell the story, whether it's video, whether it's you know, 352 00:22:52.680 --> 00:22:57.200 there's all kinds of tools out there and I think that you you've obviously introduced 353 00:22:57.240 --> 00:23:03.470 another tool in in this idea of having a television episodes, and so I 354 00:23:03.630 --> 00:23:06.789 think that it's great and I guess, I guess one of the questions that 355 00:23:06.829 --> 00:23:08.349 I would ask is kind of as we're kind of starting to wrap up here, 356 00:23:08.630 --> 00:23:11.589 is if, I mean certainly not every college in the country is going 357 00:23:11.589 --> 00:23:15.819 to be able to partner with with the college tour and be featured on there, 358 00:23:15.859 --> 00:23:18.180 but one, if they wanted to be a part of that, how 359 00:23:18.460 --> 00:23:22.019 might they do that? And to if are there other takeaways that you would 360 00:23:22.019 --> 00:23:26.140 say, even if you can't be a part of our television show, here, 361 00:23:26.220 --> 00:23:27.569 are like two or three things that you could do that would make a 362 00:23:27.650 --> 00:23:33.009 big impact on just the way that you do your marketing for your tour. 363 00:23:33.289 --> 00:23:37.250 Well, I I would go into I mean telling real story race, telling 364 00:23:37.410 --> 00:23:42.680 real stories is it sounds uncomplicated and so to me, but you know, 365 00:23:42.839 --> 00:23:47.559 it's hard and I get that it's I think that's what's fun about this. 366 00:23:47.640 --> 00:23:51.720 Is, like I'm you know myself, Lisa burten Mike. I mean your 367 00:23:51.799 --> 00:23:53.720 twenty years of telling stories at a very high level. So we're very fine 368 00:23:53.759 --> 00:23:57.549 tuned in this approach, in the video format approach, and so but to 369 00:23:57.630 --> 00:24:00.990 me it's like fine, great stories and tell them. That could be written, 370 00:24:00.430 --> 00:24:03.789 that could be pictures, it whatever it is, finding these finding these 371 00:24:03.829 --> 00:24:10.579 stories because real students at that university doing extraordinary things because of that university. 372 00:24:11.059 --> 00:24:14.940 That's gold and and that it's as simple as that. You find those stories 373 00:24:14.980 --> 00:24:18.299 and you tell them in the proper way and get those into the right audience. 374 00:24:18.859 --> 00:24:22.140 That's going to move the needle and I think that's what's been, you 375 00:24:22.220 --> 00:24:26.049 know, Super Fun. It's I don't want to sit here and two to 376 00:24:26.089 --> 00:24:27.289 our horn, but what it's cool. I mean this started as a very 377 00:24:27.329 --> 00:24:33.769 simple idea. Let's tell a story that helps prospective students. It was that 378 00:24:33.890 --> 00:24:36.609 was it. That was a college story. That was very is my it's 379 00:24:36.609 --> 00:24:38.559 a room knee and if you watch the episode at the end it says inspired 380 00:24:38.599 --> 00:24:42.759 by Isabel Palm Asak. That's it. But they telling the way we're telling 381 00:24:42.920 --> 00:24:48.240 this story is having a massive impact in all kinds of way. We're just 382 00:24:48.319 --> 00:24:52.150 getting the data back from season one. In a world where everything is kind 383 00:24:52.150 --> 00:24:56.430 of down because of Covin, lots of variables, our universities have been up. 384 00:24:56.470 --> 00:24:59.910 I'm not saying that just because of the college tour. They marketing teams. 385 00:24:59.950 --> 00:25:03.150 I'm not trying to make that all their applications are up this room. 386 00:25:03.589 --> 00:25:07.059 Other things are up that they never thought about, like financial giving, a 387 00:25:07.220 --> 00:25:12.859 love nigh engagement, school spirit, all these other recruiting athletes we hear. 388 00:25:12.940 --> 00:25:17.019 I was just on the phone call the other day with the with Utah State 389 00:25:17.059 --> 00:25:19.660 University and they were just talking about how their athletic team is using this content 390 00:25:19.740 --> 00:25:23.289 to help recruit in a better way. So there's all these it's hard to 391 00:25:23.369 --> 00:25:26.009 kind of wrap your head around the college tour. We look at it very 392 00:25:26.369 --> 00:25:32.210 it's an episode of television, simple, but there's all these ways that it's 393 00:25:32.529 --> 00:25:36.200 benefiting. So and I forgot what there's a second part of that question. 394 00:25:36.640 --> 00:25:40.519 Well, the second part was if a school was interested in in partnering with 395 00:25:40.599 --> 00:25:41.759 you and being on the tour, how would that happen? Well, I 396 00:25:41.799 --> 00:25:45.880 appreciate you given us a plug. That's good. The college tourcom right there. 397 00:25:47.000 --> 00:25:48.440 There's a link rate on there, you know, to reach out to 398 00:25:48.519 --> 00:25:52.029 one of our partnership team, one of our producers, and some will be 399 00:25:52.069 --> 00:25:56.589 in touch with you very quickly and can walk you through the entire process and 400 00:25:56.750 --> 00:25:59.190 and you know, just know, I would say, it is like you 401 00:25:59.269 --> 00:26:02.549 gotta we have a great team here. We, as you can probably tell, 402 00:26:03.269 --> 00:26:08.099 we I have not had this much fun making a television show and I 403 00:26:08.180 --> 00:26:12.579 don't even maybe around the world for free, but it's up there with my 404 00:26:12.700 --> 00:26:17.019 one or two like my favorite thing I've ever done. And knowing that we're 405 00:26:17.059 --> 00:26:19.849 having an impact. I mean how usually I'm telling fun travel stories. This 406 00:26:19.930 --> 00:26:23.769 is like, this has meaning, this has purpose. I watch these students 407 00:26:23.809 --> 00:26:26.930 and you talked about early on Bart about like you know what they gain out 408 00:26:26.930 --> 00:26:30.930 of that. Like the actual individual student, one of our one of our 409 00:26:30.009 --> 00:26:34.720 students who was Asu. She just want Miss America that we just one or 410 00:26:34.759 --> 00:26:37.880 Miss Universe, I can't remember which one. Look her up. Yeah, 411 00:26:37.880 --> 00:26:41.240 she was. She did the either residence halls or I can't remember who exactly, 412 00:26:41.319 --> 00:26:44.920 a segment, but it's so funement when Miss America because a college tour. 413 00:26:45.000 --> 00:26:48.190 I'm just saying it's at all, and I say I'm just saying, 414 00:26:48.190 --> 00:26:52.029 these students it's like watching just it's amazing. I we live in a world 415 00:26:52.069 --> 00:26:57.150 right now where I think, and I think it's it's common right every generation 416 00:26:57.309 --> 00:27:00.579 thinks the next generation is not as good as their generation. Right, as 417 00:27:00.660 --> 00:27:03.420 it's a common thing in general. I can hear my parents that I got 418 00:27:03.500 --> 00:27:07.140 you're not as tough as we were. I'll tell you what, doing the 419 00:27:07.259 --> 00:27:11.339 college tour, I have so much hope for America. It's not even in 420 00:27:11.460 --> 00:27:15.769 the world. It's not even because they are more carrying there, more conscious 421 00:27:15.769 --> 00:27:19.250 about our planet. They're more thoughtful. If you go back to what the 422 00:27:19.529 --> 00:27:23.529 average college student was thinking at my university, it was a great university. 423 00:27:25.369 --> 00:27:29.089 It I don't know, it was basic. These students are on another level 424 00:27:29.289 --> 00:27:33.279 now. So if you need to just feel good in a time where there's 425 00:27:33.279 --> 00:27:37.519 a lot of divisiveness and a lot of what's happening, watch the college tour. 426 00:27:37.960 --> 00:27:40.240 That is our future right there, and I'll tell you what, if 427 00:27:40.279 --> 00:27:41.960 that's when I'm betting on I think we're going to be a great shit. 428 00:27:42.480 --> 00:27:48.549 Congratulations for creating such a wonderful show and I would encourage all of our listeners 429 00:27:48.710 --> 00:27:52.230 to go out and watch one or two episodes. Maybe you'll get a couple 430 00:27:52.309 --> 00:27:57.269 new partners, but at the very least I think the formula that you use 431 00:27:57.660 --> 00:28:03.460 others could glean from. It's very successful and it's very authentic because cause those 432 00:28:03.460 --> 00:28:07.099 stories are coming from the students themselves. Before we wrap up, Alex, 433 00:28:07.180 --> 00:28:11.420 are there any lastminute thoughts you would like to share, or maybe a secret 434 00:28:11.460 --> 00:28:15.089 or a quick takeaway that could be implemented this afternoon by one of our listeners? 435 00:28:15.329 --> 00:28:18.650 I think it's you know, have fun and tell stories at the end 436 00:28:18.650 --> 00:28:22.049 of the Yes, I'm a television producer, I'm a storyteller. My father 437 00:28:22.289 --> 00:28:25.970 was a pastor. I come from a line of storytellers and so to me 438 00:28:26.089 --> 00:28:29.640 it's you tell a great story and you can tell a grade store in anything. 439 00:28:29.680 --> 00:28:32.079 I mean it's the old adage in Hollywoods I can tell a grade store 440 00:28:32.160 --> 00:28:33.960 and a Napkin, you know, write in the store. So you know, 441 00:28:34.279 --> 00:28:40.640 find a great story and then use what you have around you to whatever, 442 00:28:40.720 --> 00:28:42.789 to your best of your ability, to deliver that message to the world 443 00:28:44.069 --> 00:28:48.910 and hopefully you decide to do it with the college store. Thank you, 444 00:28:49.029 --> 00:28:52.829 Alex, and good luck to you and the series. Again, Bart and 445 00:28:52.869 --> 00:28:56.339 I are big fans. Thank you so much for having me on. This 446 00:28:56.500 --> 00:29:00.019 has been a real, real pleasure. Thank you, Bart. Do you 447 00:29:00.099 --> 00:29:03.339 have any closing comments? Yeah, just to kind of pull out a couple 448 00:29:03.539 --> 00:29:07.779 nuggets from our conversation here, I just want to just want to make sure 449 00:29:07.779 --> 00:29:11.369 everybody understands being authentic, I think, is the number one rule of anything 450 00:29:11.410 --> 00:29:15.049 that you're going to be doing in high reed marketing. I mean today we've 451 00:29:15.049 --> 00:29:18.450 been talking about a television show, we've been talking about it episodes, you 452 00:29:18.490 --> 00:29:21.490 know, the college tour and the authenticity that they're able to capture in those 453 00:29:21.490 --> 00:29:23.640 stories. But authentic stories or kind of going to be the heart of any 454 00:29:23.680 --> 00:29:27.920 High Ed Marketing Plan Campaign, whatever you're doing. It's not going to be 455 00:29:29.039 --> 00:29:32.960 about, you know, making sure that the features of of the Biology Department 456 00:29:33.000 --> 00:29:36.359 are communicated well. It's going to be about the stories that are real and 457 00:29:36.440 --> 00:29:40.630 authentic, about how the Biology Department is impacting students lives and the world. 458 00:29:40.950 --> 00:29:42.309 And so I think that's one of the key things that I think that if 459 00:29:42.309 --> 00:29:45.589 you don't if you don't hear anything else from today, authenticity is going to 460 00:29:45.670 --> 00:29:48.630 rule the day and authenticity is going to move the needle and so I think 461 00:29:48.670 --> 00:29:52.349 that there's a lot of ways to do that. A lot of you know 462 00:29:52.710 --> 00:29:56.180 variable modes of telling stories. In this particular one it's through a lot of 463 00:29:56.220 --> 00:30:00.819 video and and and things like that. But just keep in mind authenticity, 464 00:30:00.859 --> 00:30:03.019 I think, is such a it's a key takeaway, as always. Well 465 00:30:03.140 --> 00:30:07.250 said, Bart, and that wraps up another episode of the hired Marketer podcast. 466 00:30:07.730 --> 00:30:12.569 The show is sponsored by Kava solutions and education marketing and branding agency and 467 00:30:12.809 --> 00:30:21.440 by think patented a marketing execution, printing and mailing provider of outreach campaigns for 468 00:30:21.599 --> 00:30:26.039 colleges and universities. On behalf of my cohost Bart Taylor, I'm troy singer. 469 00:30:26.319 --> 00:30:32.240 Thank you for joining us. You've been listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. 470 00:30:33.000 --> 00:30:36.309 To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in 471 00:30:36.390 --> 00:30:41.230 your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple podcasts. We'd love for 472 00:30:41.349 --> 00:30:44.589 you to leave a quick rating of the show. Simply tap the number of 473 00:30:44.630 --> 00:30:47.910 stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next time,