Tyler Gehrking | DisruptED
Seeing the Need For Change
Tyler Gehrking knows a thing or two about education. He works with the KCEO program in the Willmar Public School District and says it’s time to change the way traditional education works. “Being in education, I don’t want to hear excuses anymore. You can go and build the kind of change you want,” Tyler says. “No one cares about the content you know, what the world cares about is what you can do with that knowledge.” That’s why he founded DisruptED, a business that focuses on teacher-developed curriculum. By partnering with Minnesota State University in Mankato, teachers who go through the program not only get to develop their own curriculum which plays to their teaching strengths, they also receive credits towards graduate degrees from MSUM.
Spreading Your Message
When Tyler started DisruptED, one of the biggest challenges was reaching people and raising awareness. “I listened to a lot of podcasts and watched a lot of videos and realized that I need to be a creator,” Tyler says. “So I started researching exactly what went in to starting your own podcast.”
“You can spend zero dollars or probably up to $10,000,” Tyler says. “I’m much closer to the free version.” An initial investment of about $1,500 set Tyler up with a laptop and microphone. He uses a free audio editing software called Audacity that is available for any computer platform and allows you to pull out background noise. Tyler also utilizes Youtube.
Tyler takes his podcast gear with him and records whenever he has time. “Sometimes I record at 11:00 at night, sometimes at 6:30 in the morning. Everything travels with me in a backpack, so I can create anytime, anywhere,” Tyler says.
Marketing Your Message
Almost everything Tyler does to market his podcast is free. “My biggest platforms are LinkedIn and Facebook. I gained as many LinkedIn users in my industry that I could. I started with 300,” Tyler explains, “just a few months later I have 2000.” Tyler also uses Google short links and just recently started paying minimal fees to see if other promotions will work for him. “I spent $7 on Facebook to promote my links for a week and my hits on that link quadrupled,” Tyler says. He also recommends leveraging your network in the form of interviews. “By doing an interview, you’re leveraging the network of the other person. But try to keep it conversational,” he says.
One Last Piece of Advice
Tyler’s biggest piece of advice for when you do start your podcast? “Don’t continually look at your analytics, because you’ll start to play to the analytics. I realized I was spending my time pandering to what I thought could help get my podcast popular, instead of sticking to what I know,” Tyler says. “I only look at the analytics once a month now to keep me from falling into that trap.”