What Kevin Lockett is glad he didn’t know…

(And what he learned because of it.)

Kevin Lockett, Content Producer for Lockett Media

How did you get into the work you do?
In January 2008, I was struggling to find my place in media. I had freelance jobs, but the assignments were inconsistent and I wanted to have my own voice. By chance, I heard about a guy presenting a free event on social media at E. J. Thomas Hall. I never heard of social media, but the event information mentioned I could learn how to control your own media. After I saw the presentation, I bought a used copy of the book “New Rules of Marketing & PR” off of Amazon, traveled in a snowstorm and lied my way into a social media workshop in Cleveland (long story) and by the spring, convinced then Deputy Mayor Dave Lieberth to let me try a social media campaign for Lock 3 Park and my life hasn’t been the same since.

What are you glad that you didn’t know?
That it is not impossible to create a coding class without being a coder. A few years ago, I saw documentary called “Code Oakland” about urban youth learning how to code in Oakland California. I was so inspired by the documentary that I wanted to do something similar for African-American youth in Akron, so I came up with the idea of “Code Akron” (real inventive right?). The problem was I didn’t have a lot of money and I wasn’t a coder. However, I remembered that in the documentary, CNN commentator Van Jones was not a coder, yet he was very community-minded and he launched “Yes We Code.” I figured if Van Jones could do it, why couldn’t I do it? So I reached out to Mario Armstrong from Today Show to get some advice, found a partner with the Launch League (which helped in securing the computer lab at Akron-Summit County Public Library), created a plan for the workshops, found some volunteers who were willing to teach coding and by the end, found satisfaction that the kids who attended the Code Akron workshops were exposed to new ideas, technology and professionals that otherwise might not have encountered.

After doing dozens of episodes of The Digital Life over three years time, what are some of the best lessons you learned from that experience?
Some of the lessons I learned from my Digital Life with Kevin Lockett podcast experience includes:

  1. While having great studio would be ideal, having a decent microphone, a phone and great questions is all you need. Great research trumps an expensive microphone any day.
  2. Interviewing is easy, but building an audience takes time.
  3. Being an introvert, Twitter has been a great tool for me in booking guests.
  4. Editing takes a lot of work, but I wanted my podcast to feel like an NPR mixtape show.
  5. Fiverr was crucial in finding voice over talent and a logo design for only five bucks!
  6. Most of my audience is not from Akron, but Columbus, New York, California and Africa.
  7. Creating content is great, but it is OK to stop, take a break and re-energize yourself.
  8. I love interviewing! Not the best move when it comes to dating
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