Chris Colbert is the CEO and Founder of DCP Entertainment, a media platform for underrepresented voices, including people of color, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and other overlooked communities. He began his career in audio production more than a decade ago as an intern and consultant for Sirius Satellite Radio (now SiriusXM Radio), where he helped create Jamie Foxx’s comedy & music channel, The Foxxhole. Having worked with names like Jamie Foxx, Touré, Joy-Ann Reid, Zak Levitt, Andrew Jenks, Joe Madison, ESSENCE, PEOPLE, Crooked Media, Sports Illustrated, and the United Negro College Fund, Chris specializes in media partnerships and content development.
- CEO Hack: Virtual assistance help especially with tasks that take time
- CEO Nugget: Be flexible, ready and coactive in your thinking
- CEO Defined: Providing Proactive leadership
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. As Chris Kolbert of DCP. Entertainment, Chris, it's awesome to have you on show.
Chris Colbert 0:39
It's a pleasure being here.
Gresham Harkless 0:41
No problem. Super excited to have you on and before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Chris so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Chris is the CEO and Founder of DCP Entertainment, a media platform for underrepresented voices, including people of color, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and other overlooked communities. He began his career in audio production more than a decade ago as an intern and consultant for Sirius Satellite Radio (now SiriusXM Radio), where he helped create Jamie Foxx’s comedy & music channel, The Foxxhole. Having worked with names like Jamie Foxx, Touré, Joy-Ann Reid, Zak Levitt, Andrew Jenks, Joe Madison, ESSENCE, PEOPLE, Crooked Media, Sports Illustrated, and the United Negro College Fund, Chris specializes in media partnerships and content development.Chris, you're doing so many phenomenal things. I'm super excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the IAMCEO community?
Chris Colbert 1:33
I'm ready to go.
Gresham Harkless 1:34
Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how you get started. Can you take us through your SEO story, we'll let you get started with business.
Chris Colbert 1:43
Yeah, so as you had mentioned, I worked at Sirius Satellite Radio now known as Sirius XM Radio. And I actually left there I was there for 11 years went to a podcast company for a year where I was the VP of their programming division heading up audio documentaries. And between those two companies, and just as I looked at the greater media landscape, I realized that there were a lack of opportunities being given particularly to black people. And as I expanded that, you know, I saw people of color I saw women, people in the LGBTQ plus community, people with disability, just these pockets of individuals that actually are no longer minorities, if you really look at it. And the lack of not only opportunities to be able to be hosts, but also the representation for those audiences to be able to find people who look like them, people who have similar experiences as them. And so looking at that, and again, not just at the companies that I was at, I realized that just going between these different media companies to try to champion that kind of content, it can work, but I can do a much better job doing that out of my own with the relationships that I've cultivated at both of those places. And so it just made I made the decision that instead of trying to work for all these other companies and help them do it, why don't I take that myself and help build something that I can truly feel passionate about, feel proud about? And can do it the way that I want to do it, again, in representing those communities and doing so in a responsible way?
Gresham Harkless 3:03
Yeah, absolutely not, I definitely appreciate you doing and kind of, you know, the phrase always kind of go back to a lot of times is creating a way sometimes out of no way so to speak, where you don't see that opportunity, you don't see the voices are being kind of shown that opportunity as best as they could. So rather than saying, oh, somebody else you do it, you take on the entrepreneurial man. So you decide, hey, let's build something. Let me do it myself, and then start to leverage that experience and the partnerships, as you mentioned, as well.
Chris Colbert 3:27
Absolutely. And I'm very fortunate because of my experience at Sirius I was connected with some of those names that you mentioned, like the Jamie Foxx is like a joe madison with the United Negro College when I got the opportunity to expand my network when I was working for somebody else. And then when I left Sirius, I had these networks reaching out to me to say, Hey, I heard you love Sirius now we can really work together. And so that actually gave me that additional push to say alright, actually have the resources to put this together, not only just from the host perspective, but the same thing on the producer side, I met so many talented individuals behind the camera behind the microphone, that, you know, we were able to bring to our company and there's still more out there that I'd love to be able to champion as well. But we have now people that can create the content can host the content. And you know, they were looking for opportunities in a company like mine. And so that gave that additional push to say you have everything you need.
Gresham Harkless 4:17
Yeah, absolutely. It's definitely kind of that great reminder of sometimes when you take that, that chance or go down the path that you may not necessarily know you get that that reassurance that hey, this is because so many people are also cheering you on as far as doing it. So I absolutely love that. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here a little bit more on what we are sharing on Can you tell us take us through DCP entertainment exactly what you're doing and how you support the clients you work with?
Chris Colbert 4:40
Sure, yeah, we focus and you know, a lot of our content right now is very black focused or programs that are hosted by black people, primarily because running urban talking comedy for Sirius XM Radio, which is the PC way of saying I ran black and Latino focus programming in the talkspace because that network we do a lot of content that is black driven. So we have shows like toray show that's all about black excellence. We're talking people like Spike Lee Diddy, Tiffany haddish Neil deGrasse Tyson people in all these different areas to show that we're not a monolith as black people, but the show the ability for us to, you know, make it in any kind of career field, any kind of endeavor. So we have a show like that. But we also have shows like democracy ish, where we have Daniel Moody, who's a regular on msnbc parent, also with touray, where they talk about politics from the black, you know, very progressive perspective. But then you have civil rights activists like Mark Thompson, Reverend Mark Thompson, he used to also be a host of Sirius XM, talking about social issues. And, you know, especially amongst this time that we're currently seeing with uprisings around the country, you know, what do we need to be doing? What do we need to be demanding? You know, really from an educational side, and understanding our history and how we got here, and how we are continuing to try to make changes. But then even beyond just that, you know, that black focus space, we also have shows like pic last in gym class that are all about, you know, representing the disabled community and not just saying, hey, look at me, I'm disabled, what was me, it's, I just happen to be disabled. And I'm a great host, and I'm going to talk to people about overcoming adversity, I think the representation in that kind of show was great. And that's a show where we do as a company podcast and video content, that's a show that has a very video forward kind of program, because now you can see these individuals who may have a prosthetic or may have some other kind of ailment that you can't necessarily hear or see, you know, if you're listening to it on a podcast, but in video, you can feel that representation a lot more. And then we have shows like innerspace, that are about mental health, you know, talking to different celebrities, or people in business, or everyday individuals about how prevalent mental health issues are within our lives, but also how should we be maintaining our mental and emotional well being on a regular basis. So our business model in terms of how we do these shows is that we partner with influencers, you know, people who are out there doing the work, or we partner with brands against brands that are doing the work to help them to reach the communities that they're trying to reach. And doing so with letting them understand how to cater their message on the podcast, audio only platform, and then also how to do so in the video platform if we think that that's a mechanism to reach people. So you know, basically what we do is we allow host allow brands to truly speak to these audiences that they want to reach without this corporate filter. We're not, yes, we're a profit business. We want to do advertising and things like that. But we're never going to put advertising on shows that's going to then hinder that show from being able to say what they want to say and do what they want to do. We're not catering our message for the advertisers for catering our message for the audience.
Gresham Harkless 7:42
Yeah, absolutely. You're doing it for the people. And I think so many times we forget that in businesses sometimes forget that when you actually create something, you're creating it for the people. And when sometimes the advertiser the advertiser check comes in, it changes the entire direction of the show. So I love that, obviously, you're creating and it sounds like a lot of different ways. Step away from that monolithic experience that you've mentioned, as well, too, whether that be black or disabled, or whatever kind of group that might be where so many times we see or experience one aspect of that through media. And we think that that's all there is. But in reality you're creating and have a platform by which you're creating a more holistic or varied experience that I think is great for everybody.
Chris Colbert 8:21
Absolutely. And making sure that people who are listening feel like their voices are being reflected in the content. I think that's important, especially in this new age of authenticity. We use that word a lot now. And to be truly authentic, you can't have that filter that's thinking in the back of your mind, are we going to lose an advertiser if we say, X, Y, and Z? No, the advertisers should be happy to be a part of something that is so outspoken. And so let them cater themselves to you and not the other way around?
Gresham Harkless 8:47
Yeah, absolutely. It's a very strong reminder to kind of be who you are, Be true to you or be authentic to who you are, whether that be your business or your personal life. And then the people that should be around you, the brands that should be around, you will be attracted to you, not the other way around, as you said. So definitely appreciate that. So I want to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce, and this could be for you personally, or your business or combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?
Chris Colbert 9:14
I think part of it is the the no corporate filter that I mentioned. But I think tied into that is that we very much work in partnership with the people that we work with. I've worked at other media companies where you may save your partnering, but at the end of the day, you're making you know, the major company, the company who's doing the producing of the content is making all the decisions. You know, I really like to work with our hosts to say, Can we be doing something better to market you to book talent for you? It's not just Hey, we're just doing what we're doing and you just have to deal with it. It's no Do you have other resources that can make us better? And part of that is because we're still a young company. And so we still are molding ourselves. But I would like to think that as we get bigger as we become a major company that will continue to have that DNA of we're truly working with the people that we're hosting with because they know their audience best they know their potential audience best and so who better to tell you how to reach those audiences and how to speak their language than the people who already have that audience's attention?
Gresham Harkless 10:08
Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a SEO hack. So this could be like an app or book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective.
Chris Colbert 10:19
Um, lately, it's been the virtual assistant, I'm not sure if this has been brought up a few times on your show. But the virtual assistant has been really helpful, especially for more of the minute tasks tasks that aren't very difficult, but just take time. So you know, I think any business regardless of what field you're in, you know, you're looking at analytics on a regular basis. And that those analytics for us come from so many different sources, they come from YouTube, big companies, podcasts, hosting platforms, they come from our website, and you know, Google, so we have our virtual assistant go through an aggregate all that information, put it into a format that's easily digestible, for me, for our team for our hosts, our partners. So that's something that's been a great hack for me that before I was spending, you know, four plus hours a week, just trying to aggregate all that information together, and put it into the kind of format that are easily readable for everybody. And now, you know, I just pay someone, you know, an additional 20 something dollars a week to handle that for me. And so for me, I think that's been the biggest hack business wise at the moment.
Gresham Harkless 11:19
Love that. And so now, I want to ask you for what I call a CEO, nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business. So
Chris Colbert 11:31
yeah, I think you kind of touched on it a little while ago. But I think the biggest is being being flexible, you know, things are not always going to go according to plan, you should have your plan A or plan B or Plan C, and sometimes all those plans get blown up at the same time. So understand that you're sometimes going to have to pivot. And you know, try and, you know, try not to get just so down in that moment. Just try to always be proactive in your thinking in terms of Okay, what is next? Obviously, you want to figure out how to avoid having the same situation happen again, but your immediate thought needs to be, how do I how do I? How do I move on to the next thing? How do I either improve on on what just happened, and then you can go back and try to put those fail safes in place. But just always be ready that your plans could blow up at any given moment, regardless of you know, what aspect of your business that you're looking at?
Gresham Harkless 12:17
Absolutely. So now, I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is a definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different critical CEOs on the show. So Chris, what does being CEO mean to you?
Chris Colbert 12:27
Yeah, and I've heard some of the ones from your past guest, and I think they're definitely spot on. I think leadership comes up a lot. And I'll guess I'll fine tune that definition a little bit more to say, I think that being a CEO is proactive leadership. I know I just used that word a little while ago, as well. But I very much believe in it. I don't think you should be reactionary. If you're a CEO, you should be looking big picture. Every decision you make, even in those moments where there's an emergency, and you have to get a quick fix, you should be thinking about, okay, what's the short term ramifications of this? But also what are the long term ramifications of dealing with this? You know, the same thing goes with any contract signing, you're looking at the fine print and anticipating things going wrong or anticipating the person you're going into business with to try to finagle things to work better in their favor, even if you trust them, you need to be thinking proactively of Okay, what if this happens, what recourse do I have? What safety net Do I need to put in place. And so yeah, being a proactive thinker and thinking bird's eye view, which also then again, means that you should be delegating certain tasks. So you have the ability have the time to think from that bird's eye view, I think that's really important, and also is something that will influence the culture of your business, when you're thinking proactively and thinking 234, or five steps ahead, that then permeates with the rest of your team. And so they are then doing the same thing, and you just become better as a company when you're thinking, Okay, where are things going, as opposed to reacting to where are things now and trying to catch up to everybody because by the time you catch up, you know, they've already moved on. So you're better to try to lead than to try to follow and be reactionary. I
Gresham Harkless 13:54
truly appreciate that. I appreciate that definition, Chris. And I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a hold view, find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.
Chris Colbert 14:09
Yeah, so I think the only other thing I would add, so I think this has been a great conversation. The only other thing I would add is that I think there's a lot of new entrepreneurs that are listening to this show. And I think the biggest thing is, you know, don't get discouraged in the day to day, things that you know, may feel like failures. You know, I like to tell people that I don't believe I've ever failed in anything because you know, those are moments to be able to then pivot and to try to improve on something, it's only a failure when you really give up. And so I don't see failures, I see opportunities. And so I'd like to kind of impart that on on fellow entrepreneurs, people who are looking to aspire to to start a business that you're going to go through tough times but you know, always remind yourself that you know, you've probably been through some traumatic experiences in your life and you're still here. And so it always draw back and kind of like we were just talking about before, look at that big picture view of your own life to say this is just a quick moment, within the Greater landscape of what I'm trying to accomplish. And you know, don't get too bogged down on some of the things that don't necessarily go the way that you want them to. Yeah, and as for us for DCP, for myself, if you want to kind of follow what we're doing our company DCP entertainment is on all social media platforms at DCP. Official, and you can go to DCP. Official com to check out our website, check out all of our shows, I'm not as interesting on social media, I just tend to, you know, post pictures of throwback moments and radio and, you know, some of my baby pictures and stuff. But if you are so inclined, I'm on Instagram, Chris Colbert Report. But yeah, I pushed you to DCP official, they're, they're a lot more fun to follow.
Gresham Harkless 15:44
Right, that definitely sounds good. We will have those links and information in the show notes just so that everybody can follow up with you as well, too. But I definitely appreciate that reminder, again, kind of speaking to that mentality that we need to have in business. And I think once we understand that, sometimes to some degree, it's kind of like a video game. If we understand that we didn't fail, we get to start again. And we get to start again with that data or that information on how to be better. It starts to change our approach in our mentality towards those roadblocks or those things that pop up and we start to become stronger as a result of going through those experiences. Not worse because we completely shut off the game so to speak. So I appreciate that that reminder, appreciate your time even more and I hope you have a phenomenal day.
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