This is a historic episode as The Chemical Show celebrates its first anniversary. Join your host Victoria Meyer as she shares the plans and steps for the show in the near future, which could drive more engagement for listeners. She also discusses the different things the show had to go through from where it started last year, during the pandemic. It is without a doubt a failure without the listeners and subscribers. Tune in to hear the valuable lessons she gained throughout the year.
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The Chemical Show 1st Anniversary Special: What I Learned On My First Year Of Podcasting
This is our first anniversary of the podcast. Thank you for listening. Make sure you are subscribing if you haven’t already subscribed to your favorite podcast player, share it with a friend, and leave a rating or review. This episode marks the one-year anniversary of The Chemical Show podcast, 45 episodes, a top 5% rating, and lots of feedback and followers. What a year it has been? I want to say thanks for listening and sharing the podcast, and let’s keep it going. We are not going away. We are getting bigger. Earlier in 2022, we’ve launched the Chemical Community. If you have not yet joined the Chemical Community, please do so. You can go to the URL. It’s TheChemicalCommunity.com. It’s pretty straightforward.
In the community, you have a chance to participate in live discussions, live webinars or podcast recordings with some of our podcast guests, engage with some of your peers across the industry on topics that you’ve heard on the podcast or are interested in what’s going on and more. It’s new, it’s growing and it’s free. Check it out. I think you’re going to like it.
The second thing is we’ll be adding a segment in 2022 as we grow into year two. We’re making a few changes. The segment is a business coaching session. It’s going to be on some episodes, maybe not all. Frankly, this is a chance for you to be part of the show. If you’ve got a question, frustrated by the ability to implement a strategy, get a customer to understand your value, your business’s value or other business challenges, questions or comments. Bring it to me, and we’re going to talk about it on the show, and you’ll get a chance to get some live coaching. Head on over to the website, TheChemicalShow.com, to submit your questions, and we are going to be taking that off like a rocket.Listeners want to hear great stories about companies and about leaders in the chemical industry. Click To Tweet
The third piece is thought leadership. We are going to continue bringing on leaders across the industry and sharing topics across thought leadership around customer experience, digitization, sustainability, supply chain, and the key trends that are driving our industry, and those that are helping each of the companies that I talk with and your company, differentiate, create value and have a long-term sustainable business. Stay tuned for those three things.
In this episode, it’s going to be quick, but we want to do a then and now. If we think about what was going on at the beginning of 2021 and where we are now, end of the first quarter of ’21 and end of the first quarter of ’22, beginning of the second quarter. In 2021, we were in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Vaccines had started rolling out. There were still a lot of shutdowns. People were working from home, not traveling and going to conferences. Life was not normal.
We fast forward to 2022, and COVID is being considered in some ways an endemic rather than a pandemic, although China has shut down Shanghai. I think we still see parts of the world that are struggling with how to approach and handle COVID, and how they’re going to have that response. We’ve turned the tide. I think a lot of people would believe in terms of where we are now versus where we were when we started this show.
A lot of our early conversations talked about how those companies and leaders were handling the pandemic and the COVID situation. You’ll be hearing a little bit less of that probably. In 2021, oil was at $61 a barrel. It was WTI. Now it’s almost double that. The last number I saw was over $110, which obviously moves around. Geopolitics, business and economic recovery have a part to play. Certainly, we’ve seen here in the early part of 2022 the effect of Russia and Ukraine, and the conflict that’s going on there. That’s having a dramatic influence on what’s going on in the macro industry and oil as it ties back to chemicals and all of those other pieces. It’s a big change then and now.
In 2021, we were talking a lot about supply chain challenges. I don’t know if you were like me, we were thought or maybe it was hopeful thinking that we would not be talking about supply chain challenges. I think people are talking a little bit less about it only because we’re tired of talking about it. Supply chain challenges hadn’t gone away. Maybe one of the biggest things is the evolving workforce and the ways of working.
In 2021, much of the industry was still zooming. If they were in the office, they were not visiting customers or they weren’t having customers and visitors on site. As we go forward into 2022, a year after we started the show, things are getting to be more in person. I personally have had the chance to go to a couple of different conferences. It looks like there are going to be more happening in the future, having more customer meetings in person as opposed to Zoom and a lot more. I think we’re turning the tide, but as you guys know and anybody that listens to the news, watches and reads articles, or talks to the people in your house or your colleagues, the ways of working are very different as we roll into 2022 versus 2021.There's just a genuine interest in learning about other leaders across the industry. Click To Tweet
Those are some obvious things about what’s going on in terms of the then and now. I think we’ve turned the tide on COVID. That certainly wasn’t the case when the podcast started, and there are a few other things happening. What have I learned? This is something that people ask me a lot. It goes along with the question, “Why did you start a podcast?” Part of the reason was it channels my inner Oprah Winfrey. A big part of this was the fact that I think the chemical industry needs and wants a voice. There are so many great stories to be told that people want to hear. That has proven true.
In terms of what I have learned in podcasting in 2021, number one, people want to hear great stories about companies and leaders in the chemical industry. Why? One is a genuine interest. A podcast is personal. You create a personal connection with the people you’re listening to. I think there’s a genuine interest in learning about other leaders across the industry, other companies and leaders you’ve admired, and how they’re tackling common challenges across the industry.
While we’re all facing a lot of the same issues, it’s great to hear how other companies are tackling those issues. That’s one of the things that I’ve learned. It has been validated for me. That was one of my early premises. There’s the opportunity to have thought leadership. As the show has evolved, you’ve heard me talking a lot more about customer experience, which is critical, and the differentiation that comes with that.
That’s something that we’ll be talking about more, strategy and strategy execution, and how companies embed strategy with their employees, businesses, with their customers and suppliers to create value. It’s an opportunity to identify where’s value. That’s part of the conversations and it’s interesting. I find it interesting, I think you guys do too, to hear from successful, respected and admired business leaders how they’re tackling some of these challenges, and how they’re creating value for their company, employees and stakeholders.
The other reason why people want to hear great stories is as chemical industry, we have been lacking a common, cohesive, positive voice. It’s out there. It happens in pockets. The opportunity with the show and that you guys have told me. I’ve heard this from people. I get feedback, people send me emails, LinkedIn messages, etc., that these stories are important. Getting the stories out, learning more about the positive impact that the industry has, how business leaders are seriously thinking and approaching and re-imagining their businesses is important, and taking it outside of the four walls that it would otherwise stay in versus keeping it inside.
The second thing that I’ve learned, this was a bit of an a-ha for me, but these chemical industry leaders have real fans. Whenever I interview somebody, I’m always astonished in a good way, not in a bad way. I’m always like, “I loved hearing you talk about Fred Beauchamp or John Foley or Calvin Emmanuel or Meg Bohan, one of the 40 people. I’ve only listed a few. I hope nobody feels offended at this.
These business leaders have fans, and that has been cool to see. I’ve enjoyed that. You guys have obviously enjoyed it. It says that these leaders are making a positive impact on the people that they do business with, within their companies, their peers across the industry, customers, suppliers or other stakeholders. I think that’s cool. It’s cool that leaders in our industries have fans. Brad or John or Meg or Calvin or Tim and others, you guys have some serious fans. That’s cool.
The third thing that I’ve learned is about these leaders. It’s about their commitment to their business, people, relationships, sustainability, an agenda that keeps the chemical industry and their company thriving. Maybe these are the commonalities in the leaders that I’ve spoken to. Maybe this is a commonality and leaders across the chemical industry. We’ll interview some more, and you guys can tell me.
One is genuine heartfelt leadership. I think it comes through. These leaders I’ve spoken with are committed to their people. It’s people first, employees, customers, suppliers and business partners. There is a true, genuine and heartfelt leadership commitment to people. There’s a commitment to the industry and the industry’s common goals. It’s genuine heartfelt leadership and commitment.
The second piece is creativity. These leaders are pretty creative. I can think of a few stories that have been shared in terms of challenges that they’ve faced and how they’ve creatively worked around them. The third thing is around their growth mindset. I’m starting to say they’re entrepreneurial, and they are in their own way. Even inside big companies or whether it’s small companies, whatever the owner, or whether they’re the CEO or an executive, it’s entrepreneurial.
More than anything, it’s a growth mindset for their business, their teams, themselves. It’s recognizing that there’s more and that there’s an opportunity for bigger and better growth. That’s critical. They’re smart and savvy. That’s not a surprise. I think we know it, but it comes through. Part of the fun is to be able to highlight some of that, some of the cool innovative things they’re doing, the smart ways they are handling critical business challenges. That’s critical to the chemical industry and business leaders everywhere. That shines with the folks I’ve been able to interview so far.
Fourth, the last thing I want to cover in terms of what I’ve learned is about the listeners. Number one, thank you for listening and sharing. A podcast can exist. It’s the question of if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears, does it still exist? If a podcast is recorded and published but nobody listens, does it exist? Thankfully, I’ve had some great listeners. The show is in the top 5% of podcasts globally, which is amazing to me. I’m thrilled by it, and you guys should be thrilled too because that means you like it. You’re hearing something that you like, listening and sharing it with friends and colleagues and doing it.
Let me talk about our listeners, talk about you and what I love about it. Number one, the listeners of the show are loyal and diverse. You guys are listening and that’s awesome. They come from 59 different countries. That’s astonishing to me. About 80% are in the US and Canada. We’ve got listeners from all the continents. I may be false on this, but we’ve got folks in Australia, the Philippines, and countries all across Europe, people in Africa, South America, North America, Asia. You guys are going to test me. You’re going to tell me I missed a continent, and you’re probably right. It’s pretty impressive to have listeners from 59 different countries.
Somebody had asked me, “What companies listen?” I’ve been able to do it based on our email list. If you’re not subscribed, let me know, go to the website, sign up for the email list. You get different information sometimes than what’s on the show. It’s great to have you be part of that email list. I know that we have listeners and followers of the show from well over 150 different companies, possibly even more than that. That’s cool, very diverse. This is not a highly concentrated audience. It is a diverse audience.
The other aspect of diversity is what you do and bring to the chemical industry, whether it be inside of a chemical company, a chemical distributor or a supplier to the company. We’ve got people at the executive level, business managers, salespeople, administrative, engineering, manufacturing, what a diverse crowd. That’s cool.
What I like about it is it represents the diversity of the industry, of the people in the industry and being able to make that connection, and you’re interested in what’s happening. That’s awesome. Thank you. Thanks for a year in the Chemical Show world and podcasting. I am looking forward to another near year with you. We have a lot of great guests coming up, so keep listening, following, sharing and continue being part of the show. Thanks.
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