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404 – Humble beginnings to top media strategist: Tom interviews Burke Allen
From:
Tom Antion -- Internet Marketing Expert Tom Antion -- Internet Marketing Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Virginia Beach, VA
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

 

Episode 404 – Burke Allen
[00:00:09] Welcome to the Commune, the entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Hey, everybody it's Tom here with episode 404 of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Burke Allen and and he and I have a West by God Virginia connection. You got to say by God, any time you say West Virginia, just this is the little note there for you folks. He's from there and he's had lots of business dealings there. And then, of course, I went to WVU on a football scholarship and and I own the second biggest nightclub in the state. And I'm really glad we crossed paths. I mean, he's a PR and media strategist and talent manager who's going to tell you what to watch for when picking a firm like this to work with. And we're going to go back and forth a little bit because I've booked all my own media stuff and have never actually paid for this kind of service. So we'll talk about that later. Hope you didn't miss Episode 403. That was on Instagram. That was one of my Monday in-depth training sessions. And on that episode, I concentrated on some of the relatively new and little known features that will allow you to go to GS. Fifty thousand good quality followers. That's if you want to add thousands of new good quality followers from just one post. Even so, I give you a lot of the insider secrets there. So how would you like to hear your own voice here on screen, the commute? Well, if the shows helped you out in your business or giving the ideas to help you start a business, we want to hear about it. Visit screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue sidebar that says send voicemail, click on it, talk into your phone or computer and tell me how the shows helped you out.

[00:02:01] And don't forget, put your website in there so you can get a big shout out on a future episode of Screw the Commute. Now, I got a freebie for you for listening to the show. We sell this book for 27 bucks, but it's a book called How to Automate Your Business. And it's how I handled up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and 40000 customers without pulling my hair out. And it also lets me ethically steal business from a bunch of other schlubs who won't get back to people in a hurry. All right. So so this really knocks your workload out and it does. Okay. I mean, save me carpal tunnel syndrome. We actually figured it out. We're just one of the tips in the book. Save seven and a half million keystrokes over the years. So grab it at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. While you're over there, pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app, where you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. All right. I know people are freaking out with this pandemic still where you never know what to do. People had to quit their jobs if they even had a job. And the kids are in school one day and not in school the next day. And I don't know, they're telling you the kids will show up to school and burst into flames. I don't know what kind of crap they're trying to shove down your throat, but but myself and my students haven't worried about stuff like this because we know how to sell online from home.

[00:03:32] I've been selling on the commercial Internet since there was a commercial Internet in 1994 and been teaching this for twenty three years and been preaching. You need to be able to sell from home and have multiple streams of income and not be dependent on the dreaded job. And now it's more evident than ever because of what's been going on. I mean, like I said, a lot of parents had to quit their job to watch the kids if they even had a job. So I don't want that for you. And I've been teaching at twenty three years. But about thirteen years ago, I formalized the training in the form of a school that's the only licensed, dedicated Internet marketing school in the country, probably the world. It's IMTCVA.org certified to operate by the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia. But you don't have to be in Virginia. If you can hear this and understand my voice, you can be in this school. It's high quality distance learning, not like these four year colleges that are ripping people off.

[00:04:32] And then all of a sudden they got a distance learning program to two days old. Now, we've been doing this for thirteen years with very high marks with both the state and our graduates. So a little later, I'll tell you how you can get a full scholarship to the school, which either use yourself or gift to somebody. And it would be one of the best legacy gifts you could ever give to a young person, because the skills that we teach are in super high demand by every business on Earth. And just from a selfish point of view, hey, the kids will have their own. Money and they won't have to come much for you and live in your basement. Right. So so talk to you more about that later.

[00:05:13] All right. Let's get to the main event. Burke Allen is the head of Allen Media Strategies. It's a media marketing, PR and talent management firm with authors, entertainers and interesting subject matter experts as clients. He's a veteran broadcaster and On-Air Talent got that smooth voice that you're going to hear in a minute. He's a former radio station owner and consultant and he's still a West Virginia boy at heart. Burke, are you ready to screw? The commute?

[00:05:46] Always much better to screw than be screwed. That's my opinion. I'm just saying I agree with you totally.

[00:05:53] Well, I'm so glad we crossed paths. I can't you know, I hardly think backwards. I can't even remember how we met. And it wasn't long ago.

[00:06:02] That's how bad I think it was a post office wall.

[00:06:04] And there may have been livestock involved, but I'm not 100 percent that good.

[00:06:07] Could be, especially us both having roots in West Virginia and. Huh. Yeah. So, you know, I have written a book called How to Be a Kickboard Publicity Hound.

[00:06:19] I had what I considered and what many people do, some of the best media training on Earth with Joel Roberts and Associates. He's now out of Nashville. He was an ABC radio talk show host, which is like the biggest in the big. But he got his ears blown out at a concert and walking in front of the speakers and had to quit his ABC show. So he wasn't too happy about that. But he started to teach in media. And so I had his full training. I had Starlee Murry's training for television and I wrote a book on this being on radio and TV all over the world. And I told you before we started, we used to I used to teach all the way back to Chicken Soup for the Soul, the headliner at the all these big events for authors. And we used to tease about companies like so I'm going to give you a chance like that louder and louder with Crowder's show to convince me of how your kind of firm can really help people and who it's who the right kind of person is. We used to tease the one thing that the guy that ran the thing said. He said he used to own one of these firms and he said we had a guarantee. We guaranteed we'd send you a bill every month.

[00:07:30] And that is the kind of guarantee that you will see out there a lot, especially some of the firms in DC that do this. Oh, my goodness. And that's where I am now.

[00:07:37] Yeah. So so I'm all ears and I'm open the book here to tell us what you do, how you do it and who's this right for.

[00:07:47] Because I realize I'm kind of a strange agent. I'm at home all the time and made a lot of money and can do things myself. But there's I'm sure there's plenty of people out there that don't have the time or expertise to do what you do. So so lay it on us. What's what's it all about?

[00:08:03] I love that you are up front about being a strange agent. Let's just put that out there right now. People know this anyway, that Susie, you have not seen Tom's bio. It's a whole list of strange things that have happened to him. He's like the Forrest Gump of Western Pennsylvanians.

[00:08:19] That's well, they didn't all happen to me. Some of them I instigated myself. I'm really.

[00:08:23] Yeah, that is part of that. We're not a passive participant in your own demise. So.

[00:08:29] So, listen, I want to tell you right up front, I believe that you're right. I think anyone can do this themselves. And and I believe that wholeheartedly. As a matter of fact, we teach a lot of people to do it themselves. You don't need me and I don't need any more clients. I've got a fifteen year old son. He's about to turn sixteen. He's my only one. He's going to go away to college soon. I want to spend as much time with him as I can. As a matter of fact, you may hear him practicing his electric guitar in the background.

[00:08:58] So good to music, make sure that's exactly the soundtrack of our lives because, you know, he's at home.

[00:09:05] He's not able to go to school still a year later while he's home with me. But hopefully that will change soon. But I digress. I really do think that you can do this yourself. There are a couple of different things that we do that people sometimes need help with. You know, I've got one client right now who is very sort of meek and timid and shy, and we do a lot of message training with him just so that when he gets interviews, you know, he's able to put his best foot forward, whereas the best mouth, right, is the camera. Maybe it's more fact. This this new client, we only had him for two months, did an interview with WCCO in Minneapolis this morning. And, you know, that's that's a big deal. That's a top 20 market. That's his hometown market. And so he was over the moon, but we had to get him ready for that. So that's one of the things that we do. And we also do a lot of sort of messaging to make sure that that you've got your I's dotted, T's crossed. You kind of know what to say. Whatever you step on that X and the spotlight hits you because the last thing you want to do is go on some major network and we put people on all of them on Fox News and CNN and MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, you don't want to be there or even, you know, X and pig knuckle Arkansas and not know what to say or what to do.

[00:10:21] You got to be that pig knuckle. Arkansas had a 50000 watch station so that they could reach three cows 20 miles away.

[00:10:30] Well, you know, there's some truth to that Tom. But the other big truth is that in a lot of those smaller tertiary markets, you think of it as a pizza and the way you slice of pie, there aren't as many stations in those cities. And if you're on the number one or number two station in Lincoln, Nebraska, or pig knuckle Arkansas, you may actually have more listeners or if it's TV viewers than you would if you're on the number 30 station in New York or Los. Right, exactly. You know, that's a big lesson that it's hard to get across to the people that live in California, the people that live in New York.

[00:11:02] Yeah, I totally agree. And but and I do agree that there's some things that are a little bit out of my control. Like I was trying to just trying to get a message to Hannity. I didn't even want to be on the show.

[00:11:13] I just he's a big MJ fan. And I have a a website called Brutal Self-defense that I know he would love. But I you know, I couldn't get anywhere close to getting him a message where probably a PR firm probably could.

[00:11:28] Yeah. We you know, we spend a not inconsequential amount of money every year on databases that get scrubbed constantly. And we keep those up a lot with just because we're in there and in the fight to use a minimum term all the time. Well, you know, we develop relationships, if not with Sean Hannity, and sometimes we do have relationships with the host. More importantly, we develop relationships with the worker bees, the producers and all the show's producers. And you know what? Let me retract that worker bee. Sounds almost like I'm putting them down. Those are the people that really make the thing run. And if you're nice to those folks, they move around all the time. And, you know, I can't tell how many times Tom. I met somebody in a small town in West Virginia where, you know, we both have roots who moves on and up and they wind up in New York City or Los Angeles or wherever. It's very transient industry. So it's good to make friends and build those relationships.

[00:12:23] Well, we had one of the biggest ever anchors from West Virginia kind of went down in flames. Matt Lauer, right? That's right.

[00:12:32] Yeah. Yeah. I actually ran into Matt at an event. It was actually a Larry King roast. Believe it or not, Larry, are repressed. Yes. But we talked about him starting out at KTV there in the Huntington Charleston market. So. Yeah, and that's exactly right. And and, you know, everybody starts somewhere. And, you know, when you get a little bit more mileage on you, like I have, you kind of grow up in the industry with these people. And when I was a radio talent and TV talent, I met and worked with a lot of those people. We're all starting. So now it's a lot easier to pick up the phone or shoot an email or text somebody and get an answer. So, you know, those are some of the reasons. And to work with the firm. And I guess the one other big reason is it's always a time value proposition. Right. So if truthfully, if I can get something done in ten minutes and it would take you ten hours, then it obviously makes more sense for you to pay me to do it than for you to go and try to reinvent the wheel. But none of it's brain surgery. I don't do anything that's super complicated. It's just a lot of nose to the grindstone work. We cut it out and we work hard every day.

[00:13:33] Yeah, and relationships, like you said, the relationships that somebody off the street would never have and could never even get to those even the producers or anybody, you know. Yeah.

[00:13:44] Relationships really are our currency. You're exactly right.

[00:13:47] So what's the right type of person that should use your service and what's the type of person that maybe.

[00:13:54] Maybe shouldn't, so we get way more submissions than we accept, and that's, again, for people to ask a monthly retainer, right? You know, you've got to be the two things are unique and compelling. And so if you have a unique point of view, whatever the news story that's out there, for example, I've got an author right now who's a researcher on covid-19, but he takes the contrarian view. He's a guy who from the beginning says, you know, Lockdown's are not going to help. He had done his research. He had the numbers to the point it out. And so he ziggs while everybody else. Zach so he's unique in that way.

[00:14:33] Yeah, but do they even let him on nowadays?

[00:14:37] They do, and and there are two ways to do it, of course, you put them on conservative media, that makes sense. And then we also put them on as a point counterpoint guy because boring broadcasting on TV, radio, podcasts, anything is when everybody syncs up and you're all sort of swimming at the right place. So, you know, we put them on and say, hey, look, debate this guy. He's got the numbers to prove it. So that's the unique piece. You got something unique to say. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a current topical news story. It could be anything that's different that makes you a little different. I'll give you one other example. One of my clients that I've had for years, and we're going to keep talking about my beloved home state of West Virginia. One of my guys is the season six, winner of America's Got Talent. His name is Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr..

[00:15:23] Oh, yes, I remember that. He sounds like Frank Sinatra.

[00:15:27] That's exactly right. He sings that stuff incredibly. But if you open your eyes, you see, not only does he sing Sinatra great. He's a tall, skinny black guy with dreadlocks.

[00:15:38] Right, exactly. I remember the episode when he did his audition vividly.

[00:15:43] And, you know, we've been able to maintain a career for him for 10 years. It's been 10 years since he won that show. And he still performs all over the country, all over the world because he has a unique thing. You don't expect boys to come out of that guy. So you got to be kind of unique. So that's the first part. The compelling piece is a little bit easier. And that is, look, if you're the only one arm banjo picker back there and pig knuckle Arkansas, well, that's that's unique. It's not necessarily compelling. Right. So it has to be a broad enough tent that people are going to care. And we do get an awful lot of of authors, for example, that send us a book. And it's it's really more for friends and family. Right. It's not running the rest of the world is going to care about so unique and compelling. You have those two things. You've got a shot.

[00:16:27] Well, we may have to ask pig knuckle Arkansas Chamber of Commerce for some sponsorship money for this episode. I'm all in for sponsorships. And and one of the things you were saying earlier, if everybody just agrees, it's not much of a show. But I remember being taught that the media likes heat, not light. So they'd rather have you fighting about something than actually learn something.

[00:16:53] Yeah, that is one of those the sad kind of commentaries on the world. And it's ramped up way more. But it's it's the old you slow down to look at a car accident kind of thing. Right. You know, when Bill O'Reilly was on Fox for years and years and I've actually seen the research, you know, in my broadcast career, we did a ton of audience research. I've seen the research. And, you know, he would scream and yell Tom and pound on the desk and that would get people to stop when they're clicking through the channels. Right. I know. What why is that? Why are the veins on that guy's head popping out and why is he turning red? Let's stop and see. So, yeah, that's absolutely true. That's also, by the way, why you see those incredible graphics on Fox News Channel and CNN where things fly and whiz in all the time, breaking news and all that. It's the Star Wars effect. It causes people to stop. So it's way more about giving good show and being entertaining and energetic many of the same things that a great speaker does when the content itself.

[00:17:52] Sad to say, yeah, I can see Fox, they say breaking news alert and then it's two o'clock.

[00:18:00] You know, something got to sit here and watch the news alert. I have a new Tom. Yeah.

[00:18:06] So so one thing I really was impressed with with your background in history, because I want to take you back and we'll go through your entrepreneurial journey here for everybody. But you had I mean, the story about your mother and father was just so compelling to me, especially your mother was polio person. And I don't want to say victim because she was about as far from a victim as I could ever think of anybody. But, you know, when she went to work in a wheelchair, four inches of snow and the police officer was trying to call off just.

[00:18:42] Yeah, yeah, she was amazing. So I guess back a little bit.

[00:18:46] Tell us how you came up.

[00:18:47] Well, you're very kind to say that. And thank you very much. Both my folks have passed now, but so my dad was a well, actually, let me back up before that. I grew up in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. So about as deep into Appalachia as you can imagine, a real hardscrabble blue collar town. And my parents were both in wheelchairs. My dad was a disabled vet. And if you can imagine this, he was a guy who served in World War Two and Korea was a Golden Gloves boxer and wound up being in the VA hospital for four years after spinal cord surgery, never walked again, had to retrain himself on a new way to make a living because he was a machinist in the Navy and he would most certainly been a minor. And so while he was flat on his back in the VA hospital, he went back, got his high school diploma. He joined the Navy, by the way, when he was 16. It was World War Two and, you know, his parents signed off on that, got his high school diploma, got his college acceptance, and then took a correspondence course in in the hospital there in the V.A. hospital in Cleveland to learn how to be a watch and clock repairman.

[00:19:54] And so that's what he did, something he could do sitting down. Wow. You know, he had a monocle and a watch bench with thousands of little gears and repaired all the watches and clocks in my little hometown. The whole time I was growing up, my mom was a childhood polio survivor. She caught it when she was five and a half months old. It was, you know, ripping through America in the 1930s and it stopped in her house and they didn't know what to do back then. So she had a dozen surgeries by the time she was 12. And they each one made it successively worse because she was actually up on walking up braces when she was a little girl. I've got a few pictures, but eventually she was bound to a wheelchair. But amazingly, she was the first handicapped student to graduate from public high school in the state of West Virginia in 1952, went on to college, went to West Virginia State. And this wasn't normal at the time. I don't think most women graduated from college in 1952, much less, you know, from a sitting down position, you know, left home, left and went hours away to Charleston to go to college and got her degree.

[00:21:04] Wound up being the city police clerk in our hometown, Logan, for the next 30 years. So that meant she typed every warrant that came out of that little town because none of the policemen could type, you know, did all the parking tickets, you know, all the reports. And indeed, there was one morning and I heard the story at her funeral. They went back and they flew all the flags at half mast in our little town. The police chief at the time came up to me and said, you know, I was a little junior patrolman one day and it came about four or five inches of snow. And that a25 your mother was due here at eight thirty. I see the car come in. I see her single handedly get her wheelchair out of the back seat of the car. She then grabs a broom, swipes all the snow off of it. Hoists herself into the wheelchair, makes it through the snow, up the ramp into the police station, and the phone rings at eight thirty, and it's one of the patrolmen calling to say, oh, you know, there's snow out there. I don't think I can make it in. Oh, and the police chief ripped into him immediately.

[00:22:07] You get your ass in here right now. Pat Adkins in a wheelchair can come in.

[00:22:13] And so that that's the way I grew up. Yeah. Tom. I didn't know any different. I was six years old before I knew anybody. His parents were up on their feet because they never made a deal out of it. It was just their thing.

[00:22:25] Oh, what an amazing, amazing upbringing. And then so what what was your path? And after that, as you go to school. College.

[00:22:33] Yeah. So what happened? Well, so, you know, interestingly enough, as part of my mom's job at the police department, she used the police radio and in southern West Virginia in the 1970s, there was a pretty thick accent. So it was the Logan City Police Department and we had a scanner at home. So my my dad and I could hear her on the radio.

[00:22:55] And I can still hear in my mind's eye, I can hear her say LCP Detail Unit two, we have a public service. And that's that's her asking the policeman to pull over at a payphone.

[00:23:06] There were no cells to call into the station. So I was fascinated with broadcasting and part of her job. There were only two radio stations and one newspaper in that town, and they would all call her a couple of times a day to see if there was there was any breaking news in our town of 3500 people. And so I was fascinated by that whole thing. She was so close to the communication. So when I was 14 years old, she asked the news director at one of the radio stations if I could come up and shadow him. And at 14, I had my first job on the radio at WLS, Oge and Logan, West Virginia. Wow. I became the editor of my high school newspaper so I could learn how to write there and and took that on to to Marshall University, where I spent a cup of coffee in school and mostly worked at the radio station there in Huntington and then off to the races.

[00:23:56] Did you get hired at a station again or you own some stations, right?

[00:24:01] Yeah. So I went I went to Huntington. I still remember talking to the the head of the journalism school there, a great lady named Dotty Johnson. And I said, Mrs. Johnson, do you think I could ever in my wildest dreams break into the Huntington, West Virginia market, you know, because that was so far away from anything a coalfields kid could imagine. But, yeah, I worked at the big top 40 station there and then in Charleston and, you know, in West Virginia, what you worked in Huntington and Charleston and maybe Morgantown. That's as far as you can go. So after that, I started getting a lot of moving stickers on my furniture. I was in Savannah and Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, and became a broadcast consultant here in DC about OK.

[00:24:41] But all those different places, you were on air? I was on air and eventually worked my way into programming. What I was is a talk or museum. All it did them all did as a young guy did top 40 radio. So I was, you know, the hot rocket flame thrower, a nighttime deejay on your top 40 station.

[00:25:00] What year was this?

[00:25:03] 1985 to 1990. What were you playing at the time? Oh, we played everything. You know, we had all the big boy bands from New Kids on the Block and new addition to Milli Vanilli, who didn't really sing, you know, and all points in between. So we did all of that. And as I got older, I worked at stations that targeted an older audience, always enjoyed the music part of it very much. And and then as consolidation happened in radio in 1996, began to manage stations and including talk stations, eventually consulted radio stations, bought a couple back home in West Virginia so I could write off my trips to go home and see myself and and, you know, loved every bit of it. Did some TV that was twenty years and forty pounds ago when I was a little, you know, because the TV puts on pounds. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So do I.

[00:25:56] Well yeah they say puts on ten pounds and I said well how many cameras have been watching me. Yeah that's exactly right.

[00:26:03] Exactly right. And we not use the fish I lens what TV and did a little bit of all of it and it was a blast. I loved being on the air, I loved the programming. And when you program radio stations, that's where I really learned how to teach people how to do interviews because I saw so many interviewees do it right badly. You and I are close to the same age. I remember there was a band that was popular in the 70s and 80s from Germany called The Scorpions.

[00:26:29] Yeah, the rock band, Heavy Rock Band. They came into the radio station where I was doing afternoons and the record company guy wanted me to interview the Scorpions who didn't speak a lick of English. It was the worst. It was painful radio for twenty minutes they were German. And so, you know, you learn what to do and what not to do.

[00:26:50] And when you put the shoe on the other foot now, I could help people, so when they get there three minutes and that's about what it is, by the way. On Good Morning America, the Today Show, you got just three or four minutes to make sure you hit all your talking points and you drive people to your website. You know, you figure out a way to collect those email addresses. And again, that's the beginning of the relationship.

[00:27:10] So you can you think of any other big disasters while you're live on air?

[00:27:15] Besides this program, there have been no other right? No, I actually can, and it's funny, there have been so many we could do an entire show about the disasters on the air. But I was set up once in front of the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum to do my afternoon show live. And it was another rock show.

[00:27:37] This is a remote or something.

[00:27:40] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:27:41] They had a big huge they called it the Big Red Room and radio, like a big boombox. And you broadcast live in front. And this was the headliner and there was a band named L.A. Guns that was opening up. And they were these sort of bad boys. They were part of the guys that used to be in Guns N Roses. So anyway, they come out and and this is live, live on the air. And the guy says, you'll have to forgive me for this. And you're sensitive listeners. But he says, oh, so it's so great to be here.

[00:28:13] And we're like, oh, oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say on the radio. I just said, oh, and there goes the FCC license. Right. It's gone. So, yes, there have been many, many instances of high jinks on the air and somehow I'm still alive to tell the tale.

[00:28:32] There you go. So so when was the the transition to the Alan media strategy?

[00:28:38] Well, so radio is a tough taskmaster. And so it's television broadcasting, you know, by its very nature, you move up and down around the dial like they say crap. And I really did have I'm not kidding you. Tom a different city every 18 months for 10 years. Wow. I worked for a company called CBS, CBS Broadcasting and they would have me come in and fix the radio stations and and I had all these moving stickers on my furniture. And, you know, you never put down roots. And I was in cool cities at least, you know, I was in Las Vegas and I loved the outdoors. I love to ski in Salt Lake City and do the outdoor stuff. And so, Orlando, I get to ride the roller coasters for free, but you never really feel like you're at home. So when I had the opportunity to come back to D.C., it put me within driving distance of West Virginia. My mom was older only child. It was important to me. And I became a broadcast consultant and then hung the shingle out here. And the way it all began was there was a psychologist in Pittsburgh actually close to where you grew up in. And she was she had a great concept, but she was she had stage fright and she was afraid to not only do public speaking, but afraid to do media interviews. And I brought her in and helped her get past that. And we developed her messaging and she wanted to do like 63 interviews in the first month and was off to the races. And and then, you know what it was like, the old degree shampoo commercial one led to the next and led to the next. And here we are.

[00:30:08] Wow, wow, wow. So we got to take a brief sponsor break. When we come back, we'll ask Burke what's a typical day look like for him and maybe what changes have happened since corvids hit with the media business. And I know the only upside that I can think of, and I don't want to downplay the pain and misery, but I hate going to New York for interviews. I never felt so helpless in my whole life. Going to New York City because you go up there in the cab, drivers know you're a tourist, they mess with you and then you're afraid to get on the subway because you never know where you end up. And then people say, well, yeah, you just walk to your hotel and that's like a hundred blocks. Each block is bigger than my hometown.

[00:30:55] That's right. So so I.

[00:30:58] I avoided that. I avoid the interviews up there. But anyway, we'll we'll be back with Burke in a second to see what a typical day looks like for him. So folks, about about twenty three years ago, I, I kind of turned the Internet marketing guru world on its head in the people at my level were charging 50 or 100 grand up front to teach this stuff to small business people. And I knew a lot of these people. You give them fifty grand up front, they'd be hiding out in a deep mine in West Virginia so they wouldn't have to help. So so I said, that's not right. I'm going to fix this. So I started charging an entry fee, which was way lower. And then for me to get my fifty thousand, you had to make 200000 net. And people love this because they knew I wouldn't disappear on them. And seventeen hundred students and yeah, more than that now. And twenty three years later, it's still going strong. It's the longest running, most unique, most successful mentor program in the field of Internet marketing ever. Number one, we only pay an entry fee. You don't pay the big money. I'm tied to your success. That's number two. Number three is that everything is one on one.

[00:32:12] We don't like group coaching around here because if I'm talking. To the advanced people, the beginners are lost, and if I'm talking to beginners, the advanced people are bored, so everything is one on one with me and my entire staff will take over your computer, show you where to click, what to do. We give you strategy. If you have no business, that's fine. If you already have a business you want to take to the next level, we talk to you at whatever level you're at. So you're not lumped in with a bunch of other folks and you get a scholarship to the school. I talked about earlier that you can either use yourself for extra training or gifted someone. And I'll tell you what, I'm really upset about these four year colleges. And I'm a big proponent of education. But the way things are going now, their kids are getting in deep debt. They're just learning how to protest and then they're taking their MBA and competing for jobs at Starbucks. So that's not the way it works around here. We have people making money. And after a couple months in the school, I have one girl. Four months into the school, she's up to six thousand dollars a month as a side hustle because every business on Earth needs these skills.

[00:33:20] And when I say skills, I'm talking about email marketing and chat bots and text marketing and blogs and shopping carts and social media. All that stuff is in the school. And it's like I said, it's the only one of its kind in the country, probably the world. So anyway, check out my mentor program at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com. Give me a call. And very accessible and no high pressure around here, but we'll discuss your future online and anybody in your family or young people in your life, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, how we can help them to.

[00:34:00] All right, let's get back to the main event, we're here with Burke Allen from Allen Media Strategies, and he has convinced me that there's certain people that should be using his kind of service and certainly some people that need to do a little bit of homework before they they try to go to the big time with Burke. So, Burke, tell us what a typical day looks like for you and has it changed since the covid thing hit and all that?

[00:34:24] Well, I sleep till noon and then I roll out some days a shower, some something. No, it's yeah. So it has changed a lot. I have offices, small office suite right outside Washington, D.C. and rest in. And for folks that they come around here and used to live in this area, you know, we're right by Dulles Airport. And I did that on purpose because frankly, Tom, I knew before moving here that I was going to screw the commute. Right. And I did not the beltway ever unless it's lunchtime, I never want to deal with that. Some of the worst traffic in the country. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

[00:34:56] I lived on the other side of town and in Maryland, the Maryland side, and I would fly out of Baltimore so I wouldn't have to go in the Beltway.

[00:35:04] You know exactly what I'm talking about. So I chose not to get involved in all of that traffic. And I can be at the airport and, you know, less than ten minutes. Well, of course, during covid, I've been to the airport exactly one time in the last year, maybe a year and a half I haven't been on. So. Yeah, which is real weird. Right. So what I'm happy about I'm not I'm not you know, I wasn't thrilled about all the travel to start with. I am I'm lucky I get to go normally to really nice places, I'm lamenting a little bit that there is no Florida and or California sunshine in my winter this year. Yeah. Having said that, I have found that I'm very, very productive and and I'm doing a lot of work from home.

[00:35:47] I maintain the office. I run in there and grab the mail once a week in the office suite. But everybody a my little team is working from home right now. We've all got kids who are home schooled because of covid and when that eases up, we'll head back into the office. But it's a whole lot of being on the phone for me. Tom I'm like a teenage girl, you know, because it's a lot of calling producers and maintaining friendships and relationships and actually helping people get on the air every day. Our our company has somebody on a show somewhere, whether they're on TV, on a podcast, on the radio, doing a newspaper interview. So there's at least one and usually multiple ones of those every day. So I'm kind of like an air traffic controller, just sort of maintaining all of that. And and I do it, you know, at different times I've learned little tips on how to stack things. You know, if I'm in line at the grocery store, it's amazing how much you can get out and done while you're standing there. And so, yeah, that's that's what I do. But it's it's very similar to what you teach in that with this job, you can do a lot of it from anywhere.

[00:37:00] And I'll give you a great example and maybe some of your listeners may want to think about this if they have kids at home. My son, as I told you, is almost 16. And I know I've only got a limited amount of time with him. So a couple of months ago, he and I loaded our laptops up and we went on a road trip down to Tennessee and North Carolina. And we spent ten days in a couple of log cabins out in the woods. And he did his online school from there. And I did my work from there. And when we were finished, we're able to enjoy the outdoors and and stay safe and stay socially distanced, but not let it completely impact our lives. You know, we stocked up with groceries and went and did. So I am all in for anybody that can unshackle themselves from the corporate world. You know, if I were still in broadcasting Tom working for those big companies, they have all had massive layoffs. Right. You know, with covid and automation combined, you know, I might be on the beach right now. I might be totally out of work. So I'm glad I work for myself for the last twenty years.

[00:37:57] Well, I'll tell you what, there's a bunch of people that need you because I watch these national shows and people that should know better just look like hell. Sounds like hell you're seeing their ceiling because their laptops like shooting up their nostrils. It's all of that on national TV. But but the bar is lowered. People say, oh, well, we want to get so-and-so on the show or whatever. If they can get any kind of signal at all, they throw them up there.

[00:38:27] You know, I'm glad you mentioned that, though, because that is the great equalizer that has come along in the last year. You talked about how much you still hate, right, York. And that is kind of a pain like I've done media tours with clients up there where we have to run around from studio to studio and do one right after the other. And, you know, look, I'm not going to lie. There's a little bit of adrenaline when you walk into the set of Fox and Friends or the Today Show or whatever, that is kind of cool. But now, no matter where you are in the country, you can have a book. And if it's unique and compelling and you could live in broken balls, montane. Right, right. And you could zoom right in from Broken Balls, Montana and be on any of those shows. And they would never have done that a year ago. And one of the deep, dark secrets to network television shows and cable news is that almost all of their guests prior to this were in Washington, DC or New York City, because they could get guests and they had some control over the situation. They knew there was, you know, a bunch of people in those cities. But what it eliminated Tom were were varying points of view from all the real hard working people in middle America. You can never get on the air from Kansas City or St. Louis is a middle America.

[00:39:42] You wouldn't know it by watching. That's exactly right.

[00:39:47] And having said that, much better now. Yeah. Yeah, because people can get it from anywhere. But, man, it was it was bad for a long time. So I see that as a real opportunity. And we've done that a whole bunch. You know, I've got a a client who's a war hero, former Navy SEAL, and he does TV from his place down right outside Pensacola all the time. Yeah. So you could be anywhere.

[00:40:08] Yeah, it's it has opened open things up. And I said to a lot of them, you know, need some training to look their best on these things and know how to do it.

[00:40:17] You know what is with the staring up the nostril or, you know, the attorney that couldn't turn off this cat video? Oh, that was great. And well, the other attorney, Jeffrey Toobin. Yeah, yeah, and thank God his camera was turned off, you don't train that day, that's a whole different kind of screw up.

[00:40:37] The three of you got to know what to do and what not to do. And it's all you know, you're an old football guy. It's all blocking and tackling right stuff.

[00:40:48] You could learn anybody, you know, that that word just had to resign because they were they were ragging on all the parents before a meeting. And it was going out to the parents. Yeah. And they all of them resigned. I saw it yesterday.

[00:41:04] And then because they up, you got to think it through. And again, none of it is brain surgery. Anyone can do it. You don't need me. Frankly, you don't have any Tom you can do it, but you have to get somebody to point you in the right direction.

[00:41:17] Yeah, you need to have some real critique of your skills. And I mean, I remember Starlee Murray. I was, you know, was booking me on TV and she said, well, we got to we got to shoot some pictures of you from the side. And I said, well, why? Well, she said that's what the camera's going to see from the side. It is. You're not looking into the camera. You're not read the teleprompter. You're being interviewed. And so that's one of the just one of the tips I learned from her about, you know, your your it's not so much for me because I have short hair, but a lot of women, you know, their hair is going to come down and hide their eyes from certain angles, you know, so it's good to have a third party. And I'm sure your people do do all that stuff.

[00:42:01] But did you try to teach people how to dress, you know, and, you know, if you're a lady not to wear big dangly earrings that will distract from what you're saying or you're a guy not to wear plaid. I mean, there's all these just little tips that that you need to know before you get in there.

[00:42:16] Yeah. And I still see some of this day the thing called the Mouret effect where somebody that knows that should know better has got a tie that this looks like it's Christmas time. It's sparkling all over the place. So, yeah, there's lots and lots of tips and tricks. Now, prior to this covid, were you meeting with people in person to teach them the stuff or just remote?

[00:42:36] Yeah, we would we would have them come into DC and do media training workshops. We would actually teach them in studios so you could replicate exactly what it's like with the camera and the lights. And you have to a radio studio or what?

[00:42:52] We would do both, right? So there was a great broadcast school facility and I taught at that broadcast. It would take that over and and then we would also walk them through real broadcast facilities, like, as you remember, from being here in D.C., WTOP, we would do. I was on there. Yeah. The big news station or Fox News or the local CNN bureau. And and so they could see what it's really like. You know, the more you can replicate what it's really going to be like, whatever you get there, the easier it's going to be for you. And and then you don't freak out. It's OK to be a little nervous, but you don't want to have a meltdown in the middle of your interview because that's your time to shine.

[00:43:27] Yeah, and that reminds me of a lot in San Antonio and and about being nice to everybody. But, you know, not not just the host. So there is a there's a a stage manager in San Antonio that would do anything I wanted. I you know, I acknowledged how hard work and she was I brought her doughnuts and like she was nobody ever gave her any of the people that worked there never gave her any kind of accolades. But she was the one running the whole show pretty much. I mean, she was just amazing. And so, yeah, be nice to everybody around there. They're the hard workers that are making the the the big shot. Arrogant anchors all look good, you know.

[00:44:12] So that's a great tip. And, you know, those big shout, arrogant anchors lots of times have zero input on what is actually covered on the air. Yeah. If you want to get on your local TV station, for example, to talk about whatever it is you want to talk about, going to the anchor or the reporter will get you zero help. You got to go to the assignment editor and the assignment editor assigns what's actually going to go on the show. So you're totally kissing the Rongbuk there. Look, I also believe, frankly, and I think you do, too, I think you and I have a lot in common. The Golden Rule. Be nice to everybody. Yeah. You know, be nice to the waiter when they come around. That's that's one of my big judges is if I want to work with somebody back in the day, what we can actually have lunch with people. If they really pursued me and they wanted us to represent them, I would always take them to lunch and just watch their interaction with the server. If they were kind to the server, they made eye contact with the server, they're probably going to be OK. But boy, those people that that were crappy with the server, I would never, ever take them on as a client.

[00:45:14] I get it. And I, I every time I'm in front of a cashier or something, I make them laugh. I have fun with them, like no matter what, I'm bi. And the weirder the better I, I ask for the extended warranty soon. So if I'm good at McDonald's, they said the warranty, they think about it and then they laugh and I and I tell them at the bank they should have a tip jar. You know, the service is so wonderful you can't go in anymore. But but so yeah. So I just have fun with people and that's you know, like I said, both of us came from small towns, although you're kind of a big metropolis guy compared to my hometown, your town is seven times bigger than I am.

[00:45:58] Well, yeah, we did have a couple of stoplights, at least Tom.

[00:46:01] No, we we had a four way stop, but only two of the ways went anywhere. So. So anyway, now how do they get a hold of it. Didn't you have something do to give the folks?

[00:46:15] I'm running from the law and I never divulge that information, you know. So yeah I do. You know, Tom is much larger than me. And he did hurt people on the football field. So when he asked if I would give something away immediately, of course I said yes in deference to my own health and well-being. No, in all seriousness, what I want to give away, I think, would be really good for at least a portion of your listeners. So if if somebody is an author or a subject matter leader or whatever, if they need some free publicity. When it hit Tom, I taught a four week course on how to do it yourself, because, as I said, you really don't need me. And I videotaped all that. It was done on Zoom In and recorded those sessions. And it was a two week on Monday nights. We taught them the concept of how to do something. And on Wednesday nights, they played their homework back. And I would critique their performance critique, you know, how they wrote their press release or how they did their their interview when we actually interviewed them and and critique that. I've got all of that saved and I'll give it away to the first 10 people that shoot an email and and just put screw the commute in the subject line, screw the commute and the subsequent email me at info@AllenMediaStrategies.com, and that'll come right to me. I'll send these up to you. It's my gift and and you can just thank the screw the commute folks for making it happen.

[00:47:42] Oh beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. So, so great catching up with you here. An inspiring story of your upbringing, parents and the insight into the media world. I just got a good feel for how smart you are by, you know, living outside the Beltway so you don't have to go to the Beltway.

[00:48:04] Exactly right. No matter how cold it is in the wintertime, there's always plenty of hot air filtering out.

[00:48:11] All right. So thanks so much for coming on and make sure every vote, first 10 of you info at Allen Media Strategies get this fantastical media training for for no cost whatsoever. You do want some media training. You give give Mark a call at AllenMediaStrategies.com and see if there's a fit there for you. But I really, really like this guy because he's good down home country boy and came from really good roots that taught him a lot of good stuff as a young man. So that's the kind of people we like here.

[00:48:50] So thank you Tom. I appreciate you having me on and screw the commute.

[00:48:54] All right. We will. Everybody we'll catch y'all on the next episode. See ya later.

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