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Thoughts on Building a Passionate Fan Base, Monetizing Your Talent, and Much More



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Today on The Rise To The Top: A little change up today on the show. Entrepreneur Mark Bland, creator of The Q Show, is in the house to pick my brain on how to build his audience and monetize his brand. Hope you enjoy the insights and pick up some ideas you can use for your delicious personality-based brand.

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More About Mark:

Mark BlandMake sure to check out Mark’s show and check him out on Twitter @markbland. Here are a few fun facts about him.

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Mark Bland has been the soul of St. Louis television and in radio for many years. Beginning as an actor in his early youth, Bland graduated high school and went on to Community College in St. Louis, which ultimately led him to his afternoon gig at the schools college radio Station, 89.5 FM, on which he hosted and produced the #1 weekly afternoon talk show, “The Friday Night Drive.”

The show lead to a shot at a local public access TV show in the fall of 1997, where he began to find popularity as the host of “Video Jukebox” (1997), a music video show that featured upcoming artists and interviews with national celebrities.

For more of Mark’s bio, visit his website.

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  • Hi David, thanks so much for this interview. I enjoyed it and found quite a lot of value. I’m at the point where I’m getting my name out there and building my personal brand. I’m definitely going to focus on narrowing down my niche, and will follow your suggestions. Looking forward to a follow-up interview on monetization, if you decide to do it. Keep the interviews coming, they’ve been very helpful to me.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Kris – Great to hear. I’m definitely much of an entertainer/host than advice-giver, but figured it would be a nice little change of pace. Glad it helped!

      • Thanks David! I like it when you mix in some of the advice-consultation in your interviews. I’m sure your information will help so many entrepreneurs out there, like me.

  • Debbiesaviano

    Hi David,
    Have so enjoyed all the Interviews you do as I have learned so much.
     Sometimes in ways I expect and sometimes in unexpected ways. I started this yesterday and came back to finish today.
    Throughout the Interview I kept thinking what I would have done if I had been the one to have the Gift, Luxury, Opportunity, Blessing, (you get the idea) IF I had been in Mark’s chair. I would have taken in each and EVERY word of advice I was getting from the Consultation.
    As always YOU were a gracious, caring and attentive Host. Have an awesome weekend. Debbie

    • David Siteman Garland

      Thanks, Deb. I really appreciate it and happy weekend to you 🙂

  • Andrew

    I think this was definitely a challenge.  Nothing against the interviewee, but I felt that sometimes it was battle on which way the advice was going.  A switch in direction from what you normally do, I thought that there wasn’t  a tight enough flow of the conversation and this in turn reduced in the ability for you to get across the message you may have intended .  Constructive criticism/advice can be a challenge to absorb for anyone. Nevertheless, good on you for trying  something different from your routine.  I think it was a fresh take and perhaps opens a whole new avenue for you if you so desire.  Cheers….

    • David Siteman Garland

      Andrew – Totally agree with you. Thanks for the comment! And for me, my preference is to be the host/entertainer and bring on great guests/experts, etc (as opposed to consultant/advice giver) and I’ll make sure to go back that way.

  • VAL

    David, thank you for your time and always great advice – You are an amazing host! The idea of an “Ask David” show is brilliant and extremely appealing on a number of levels.

    However, quite frankly this particular interview was somewhat frustrating. The interview was difficult to sit through as the interviewee was combative, disruptive, and a largely self-centered narrative. Moreover, I was looking forward to absorbing your insight and wisdom, but just as an important point was about to be conveyed, the interviewee would interrupt the train of thought prior to the conclusion of your point. Really, the lesson that was clearly obvious was the importance of having focus and clarity (In thought, business and life) and I enjoyed watching the different ways in which you had attempted to convey this important lesson (Step 1: Focus). 

    In conclusion, may I suggest that perhaps next time you consider revising the format where viewers submit questions(Via email) and you simply read/respond/address on the show directly, as it would be far more constructive (IMHO). Keep up the great work!

    • David Siteman Garland

      Val – I agree with you. Thanks for letting me know and I’ve heard similar comments via email, messages, etc. so I TOTALLY get it loud and clear 🙂 Sometimes experiments don’t work out quite as planned 🙂

      • VAL

        David, you are amazing and we have all learned a great deal from each and every episode of the show. Really, I could not choose one as a favorite as they are all insightful. Keep up the GREAT work with this program!

        • David Siteman Garland

          Thanks Val. So appreciate that! 

    • M. Bland

      Val,  I am very sorry that you felt that way about the interview.  At no time was trying to be combative (or an enemy of ) with David.  He is a gracious host and I definitely appreciate him allowing me to be on his show. I learned a lot from our discussion and  starting to apply those into my business model.  I know at times I can come off a little  over the top and annoying, but my intentions are purely simplistic…I am trying to become more successful.  I am sorry you felt that way about the interview and I respect your opinion….thank you for listening to it.

      • VAL

        Mark, Thank you for your kind response. Without question, your passion and enthusiasm are amazing – we are much the same! Moreover, you have the fire & the talent and I have little doubt that once your passion is channeled, you will become an unstoppable force in whatever venture you decide to pursue! Looking forward to listening to more of your show! See you at the top! 

        • David Siteman Garland

          Group hug!!! 

  • Eric

    Dave, I’m a fan and this is just my humble opinion. On this episode, Mark seemed to almost reject every strategy and tactic you through at him. It’s almost as if he has a mental block already formed which as you know will prevent him from embracing new media tactics.

    He spoke way more than listened and the whole show was supposed to be about him coming on the LEARN and possibly be a case study for what he could do to acheive more. I was really antcipating a great show and would have loved to hear how some of those tactics could have been applied.

    He said he’s not a good sales person yet (LOL) he pitched you the whole show on partnering and doing things together.

    Anyway in no way meant to be a riff, just wanted to share constructive criticism and my opinion. I could also hear the frustration in your own voice as well.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Eric – Totally get what you are saying. Mark is a good guy and has a very, um, distinct personality, but yes I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the same way about this particular episode lol

      • Eric

        I’m sure he is and I respect his desire and ability to at least DO SOMETHING. Many people are just talking and not doing so good for him.

        I actually like that format. I have learned the most when I can listen as others are being used as a case study. You can pick up bits and pieces and see how they may be applied to your own business.

        Keep up the great work!!

  • David, I have probably watched / listened to about 10 of your shows over the past week. I believe I searched on “Lewis Howes” and found your site that way. Over here in St Andrews you come up 4th in Google for that keyword, that’s pretty cool 🙂

    I have read all the comments on this show and agree with the consensus. I was looking forward to the part where I thought you would talk a little about the major sponsorship deals you have achieved in recent times. Unfortunately this didn’t quite materialise, because the conversation would go off in another direction. Sadly the interviewee didn’t really ask how do I do that and then completely listen to everything you had to offer, maybe next time he will.

    Anyway like you say it was an experiment and I still learnt enough from this particular show to make it worth while listening to.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Hey Andy – The good news is I’m going to be putting ALLL the sponsorship information (everything from pricing to scripts to land sponsors) in the Create Awesome Interviews course coming soon 🙂 If you want to keep posted on it:



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!