36 - Gary Leland - How He Built a Mini Empire Around One Extreme Niche

starting a business | Nov 30, 2017

If you know anything about Fast Pitch Softball, then you definitely know the name Gary Leland.  He found a need when they had a hard time finding equipment when his daughters played competitively.  However, it's grown to so much more than just selling equipment.  Gary has made sure his name is attached to all things softball.  The way he built this business completely amazed me, and I wanted to bring him on to share his story.  Gary is also a pioneer in the podcasting world.  If he gets an idea for a business, he runs with it, no questions asked.  I can't say many people can honestly say they do that every time.

What is FastPitch.TV and how did it come to be? FastPitch.TV serves a very small niche; it is not just softball, its women’s softball and fast pitch women’s softball at that. FastPitch.TV puts out podcasts and books on training for women’s fast pitch softball as well as daily blog posts and video posts and a monthly magazine.

Gary coached his daughters in fast pitch softball as they grew up. There were no stores for women’s fast pitch softball specifically so from there Gary decided to open up the first online store for these women. This store was an overnight success and led to Gary starting to podcast and from there FastPitch.TV grew. He uses his podcasting, blogs, books, and magazines to drive customers to his physical store in Arlington, Texas and one of his many online stores.

What is your strategy in how you reuse and recycle your content? Gary starts out with a video file and first puts it on YouTube and then takes the same file and sends it out to his video podcast subscribers and lastly he puts it out on his app. Gary then takes the audio portion out of the file and puts this new file out as his audio podcast and puts it out on several apps. Gary also posts this file to Facebook and Twitter once a month for the next 6 months on different days of the week and different times of the day to ensure that more people view it.

What have you done marketing wise that has been a big win for you? By doing videos, being in the videos, and being the face of the videos, Gary’s shows have increased his notoriety in his niche. Gary calls this the “TV Effect”. People feel like they know Gary because they see him all the time through his videos and this creates a bond with him.

What piece of advice would you give to someone trying to get into podcasting for his or her business?  Gary says to build a bond with your listeners. He doesn’t sell anything for the first year so the listeners are listening because they want to and they do not feel like they are listening to an infomercial. His goal is to build an audience and then he will throw in a 20 or 30 second commercial when that bond has been created.

Did you have to change your main path of business ever? Gary says that nothing has been planned; it has all been a “go with the flow” movement and has happened as it has happened. Gary sees something new and tries it, he doesn’t talk about doing something, he just does it.

What is one thing you wish you had known before starting your business? Gary says the one thing he wish he had known was to be extra careful in who is involved in the money side of your business, more careful than you would have ever imagined.

What are some tools that you love when it comes to your business? ‘If This Than That’ and ‘Sprout Social’ for social media and Gary also uses ‘Final Cut’ for video editing.

You can find Gary at GaryLeland.com.  

If you are interested in podcasting at all plan on attending Podcast Movement on August 16 and 17 in Dallas, Texas.

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