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The Power of Podcasts with Alex Cooper


Cannes Lions - Alex Cooper
In 2018, Alex began to blaze a path through the podcasting medium that had never before existed: a space where women were encouraged, empowered and emboldened to share their unapologetic stories and truths. Alex continues to break boundaries by shattering stigmas and stomping on misogyny, all while keeping mental health and personal empowerment at the forefront. The Call Her Daddy host has become one of highest-paid women in podcasting and the head of a record-breaking business that inspires loyalty from millions of vocal fans.

How have you built your podcast empire?
Alex Cooper: When I started my goal was to be authentic to myself. I remember looking at jobs and being like “I don't want to be a sports reporter because someone is going to give me a script.” I love to talk, so it's a good thing that I figured out podcasting as a career because I can just talk forever. But I think the empire came from actually being really authentic and staying true to who I am. It's really hard in this market; it's so oversaturated, you're constantly seeing new brands and new creators arise. You have to know who you are and know what you're building and not divert.  

How are you able to sustain attention through what is an insanely rapid content consumption cycle?
Alex Cooper: The first thing is that I'm always working, I'm always trying to make sure I can give my audience what they want. I am so obsessed with making sure that I'm constantly giving new information, new bits and that's why I love putting the blurred photos of who is the next celebrity, like who are we getting next? I love the vibe of getting excited for a show myself as a consumer, so I try to give that to them. I would say consistency and also being absolutely obsessed and on my phone 24/7 are essential.

You're considered one of the best conversationalists of your generation. What's your advice for having a wholesome and engaging conversation with anyone?
Alex Cooper: You have to listen. When I look back at some of my first interviews, I'm like “Alex, shut up and stop overlapping, listen to her.” And that was probably from nerves and having a microphone and thinking that I'm awkward. If you actually want to engage with someone, if you want to be a good friend, remember that it's a two-way street.

What do you think are the biggest risks for women who are looking to build brands today?
Alex Cooper: I've really struggled in some capacity. You have to fake it in your mind if you want to walk into a room and have a conversation with your boss or you want to start something new. I've seen a lot in the industry where it's been difficult for me to walk into rooms with men who were trying to tell me what to do with my brand. I would rather be called rude a hundred times rather than sitting in a situation where I'm regretting not standing up for what I believe in or not going for what I want. Who cares about what they say? At least you're doing what you love, let them talk. But I'm happy that I've stood up for myself and I am where I am because I've allowed myself to just kind of brush off when people say bad things to me.

Can you mention something you failed and that you've evolved from?
Alex Cooper: I would say in the beginning days I was hyper fixated and insecure about trying to garner an audience as fast as I possibly could so I would make the content very salacious. I went a little overboard sometimes in the clickbait. I don't have to rely on that anymore because I have built a loyal audience that will tune in no matter what the headline is.

What would you say to anyone who is also trying to find their journey?
Alex Cooper: I would say that I get it. It's really difficult because you need to be doing what you're doing. You can't just quit your job and sit in your room and stare at your ceiling. I would say try to find time for yourself. Silent moments that I thought would not be beneficial were the moments that I was able to cultivate and begin to create in my mind where I wanted to go. I hate the word manifesting, but I guess that was manifesting. Don't be too hard on yourself, everyone's timeline is different. When I was a film and television major all my friends were finance majors and they graduated and were making money. I wasn't happy and I was thinking I regretted what I majored in, but it all pays off, I promise.

What advice do you have for new graduates who are entering the job market?
Alex Cooper: I feel you. I was working at a sales job and I hated it. I would sit at my desk and not do any of my work and I would type up YouTube ideas and then every time my boss would come over, I would quickly go back to the Excel sheet. I didn't even sell one thing and then I got fired. So that was great! But I would say you have to be patient. I know someone next to you could be getting the job of their dreams, but that doesn't mean in five years they're also going to be happy, and if they are, that's amazing. But you have to know what do you want? What is the job that you need? Also, are you a good friend? Are you a good family member? Are you treating yourself well? There's more to life than your career. Just know that when you give yourself the capacity and the grace to foster other parts of your life, then the job will come because you're going to be a better version of yourself. If you're too stressed out, you're going to keep thinking about it and then you're going to get upset with yourself, and you shouldn't be. You're trying your best.

You clearly enjoy your work. Have you ever felt burnout? And if so, how do you deal with that?
Alex Cooper: All the time. I mean as much as I love it, it's almost like loving it so much sometimes I can be like: “Oh my god, I need to step away.” I think I've really struggled to find time to just be quiet with myself because my job is on my phone and I am always on my phone, so it does affect my mental health. And when I'm experiencing burnout, I try to alleviate it by going the complete opposite which is nature, going on a walk, trying to do things that allow me to not think about work. And to prioritize time instead of jamming everything together.