The Design Business Show 200: A Thank You Note from Melissa Burkheimer

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | November 2, 2022

Hi. My name is Melissa. If you’re new here – hey!! I’m so glad you’re here today. If you’re not new, heeey! I’m grateful that I get the privilege of being in your ears and eyes. I say ears for those who listen and eyes for those who prefer to read the show notes on our website. Sometimes I prefer to skim show notes instead of listening to a podcast. I’m a fast reader and easily distracted; plus I wanna make sure the show is accessible to them in whatever ways they want to digest the info.

Anyways – here we are, several weeks after I “should’ve” recorded and published this episode; but I just could not bring myself to do it. Not for any reason other than I didn’t really know what to say beyond the cheesy “I can’t believe it’s been 200 episodes” sentiment. I wanted it to be extra special. Then I put a lot of pressure on myself (which I then resisted) and then I wonder if what I have to say is still relevant.

I’ve recorded at least a dozen solo episodes and haven’t felt this kind of anxiety about publishing an episode before. So I didn’t force it; I gave myself lots of grace until it’s like okay girl – time to move forward. Last night I watched The Redeem Team on Netflix with my youngest son; and I believe it was Dwyane Wade who said (I’m paraphrasing here) that you’re not moving because you’re afraid of success. As long as you move, it’s good, so here I am, moving.

I’ve got some very unrealistic, but fun goals for this podcast in the future; so first and foremost I want to say thank you to everyone for listening, sharing, connecting, and just giving me the privilege of helping you. And, this is very important, a thank you to Cora and Grace, who help me publish the show every week. If there’s ever a week we don’t publish; it’s always on me and I’m so grateful for their support. I started out the show doing everything myself and realized quickly I couldn’t keep doing it all on my own.

The podcast origin story + future plans for the show 

I launched the show in October 2018, so just over 4 years ago. My friend Kira Hug, who is the co-founder and co-host of The Copywriter Club podcast, interviewed me for the first episode and for episode 100. Kira was really the first one to tell me to host a podcast and didn’t really listen to me when I gave her all the reasons why I shouldn’t have one.

I recorded the first episode and sat on it for 6 months; published 4 episodes; and then didn’t really take it seriously until January 2019. At that time in my business I was running paid mentorship programs for designers and this one messaged me to tell me that she loved my show and listened to it at the gym; and it really motivated me to take it a little more seriously.

At 200 episodes in, we’ve interviewed 150+ diverse experts and received over 120,000 downloads. We’ve been ranked a top podcast for entrepreneurship in Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, India, Great Britain, Germany, Colombia, Brazil and Australia, and a top podcast in business in Belgium, Czeck Republic, Egypt, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates, and a top podcast for all podcasts in both Cyprus and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

In 2019 we won “Best Podcast” at the Social Media Club Hashie Awards, and I almost didn’t submit the podcast for the award. My friend Caroline Jones gave me the nudge, and I still can’t believe I won. So apparently my questioning the podcast relevance is normal, but not necessary.

A lot of podcasts get more downloads + rankings and awards, and some get less. I’m very content with where I’m at, and don’t stress about that stuff.

I really like how we tell the stories of the guests on the show – and the nitty gritty details that help me understand how they got to where they are; so I can see what’s possible for me. In college I don’t really feel like it was explained very well what opportunities were available to me, so that’s one of the reasons I love this show.

And, I get to talk about what I don’t think is mentioned enough in this industry; how design, copy, marketing, strategy, UX, tech, systems and all the creative elements have to work together to create successful brand campaigns + product launches. It’s becoming more and more clear to me that understanding those things is one of my super powers.

As I learn to embody this super power, and my business shifts and evolves into doing more creative launch direction for B2C brands; I’m really excited to tell more stories behind-the-scenes of your favorite product launches + brand campaigns from designers, founders, creators and to understand like we did with the McDonald’s rebrand in episode 116 with Tyler Brooks and the Jill Brand Launch with Meagan Carboney in episode 184.

So, if you’re someone who has a product launch or brand campaign behind-the-scenes story you want to share on the show; go to the “Be a Guest” in the footer of our website to submit your pitch. I’m much more interested in the nitty gritty details than your 3-step formula.

And while you’re on the website; you can sign up for email updates to be the first to know when episodes go live. I’m excited to incorporate the emails in our weekly production process so I can share a few personal insights about every episode as it goes live.

The behind-the-scenes of my new podcast art

If you’re on the website or have visited it or you listen on any podcast platform; you may have noticed we’re slowly making some much-needed design changes. When I launched the show, I kept the same podcast art with a photo of me in a blush suit jacket with my hair pinned back and very curly. As both the show and my personal brand have evolved; I knew it was time for new podcast art.

It’s one of those things I tried doing on my own after putting it off for months and months. And then I decided to hire a designer to help me.

One thing I’m very clear about right now in this phase of my life is that I don’t want to put my face all over the internet right now. Maybe in 2023. Not now, though.

So, I knew for the new podcast art, I didn’t want to use my photo. I really like the podcast episode graphic we use to share on social media and the logo; I just wanted new art.

So, I hired Taylor Weaver, and she nailed the concept in the first try. Score! Thank you, Taylor!

In the next phases of the rebrand; we’ll be making some updates to the UX of the podcast website. Most likely in 2023.

A thank you note to my younger self 

On a little bit of a personal note; last month I was driving to one of my son’s football games that was 3 hours away; and on the way I listened to Kendall Jenner’s interview on Jay Shetty’s On Purpose podcast.

There was a video clip that went viral of Kendall talking about being kind to her inner child and that anytime you’re mean to yourself, you’re being mean to your younger self. So, she has a photo of herself as a little girl on her bathroom mirror “so that every morning, every night, every day when you walk into your bathroom and look and the mirror your looking at her and remembering that if there’s anything negative that you’re saying about yourself, or ever being mean to yourself, you’re talking about her.”

This really resonated with me, not because I’m doing any inner child work; but because I think it’s important to be kind to yourself and to pay attention to the things you say about yourself.

I hesitated to record + publish this solo episode and one reason was because I wondered if anything I had to was relevant without another guest on the show. I even question it when I have guests on the show.

If you saw the title graphic for this episode on social media; and the graphic actually features an image of me from when I was a kid. I was probably 11 in the image and it was from a photoshoot my sister and I had done as kids to promote our singing business. My mom made our costumes, my dad was our manager and we were living our parents dream. My mom had the calendar made in 1997; and kept it on her wall until at least 2005 when she sold her house.

Unfortunately for my parents, I killed their dream of my sister and I becoming pop stars because I didn’t like all the practice that went along with it. Sorry mom & dad!

Now I get to use my voice in a different way; by talking to the creators, designers, and founders behind your favorite product launches and brand campaigns to uncover why they do what they do in the way that they do it. Because to me, graphic design is not just what a website or logo looks like. It’s about strategically using beauty and language to construct a path that connects your ideal customers to your products and services.

A final thank you and an ask

I can’t believe that we’re at episode 200. It’s been four years since I launched this show. Four years and 200 episodes is wild to me.

The fact that people listen to a show I created simply because I wanted to know what opportunities were available to me is wild. And the fact that people still engage; and want to be a guest on the show blows my mind. I’m just a regular chick from the midwest who became a mom super young whose kids are pretty self sufficient; and I’m excited to explore the new opportunities out there for me and spread the word even more.

And I have a short ask: leave us a review. You can do it on any platform – we’re on iTunes, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and Spotify.

I have one more ask: Send me a message and tell me if any episodes have inspired you and/or you have anyone you think I should interview. If you go to there’s a red button that says “Send Melissa a DM” and you can message me on Instagram, LinkedIn or you can email me.

I’ll be sharing more soon about what I’ve been working on in my business; it’s not quite ready yet; or maybe I’m not ready yet (I published this episode – a big to-do off my list!).

Remember to be nice to your younger self and be nice to my friend.

Talk to you soon!

Links mentioned:

Episode 1

Episode 100

Episode 118

Episode 184

Be a Guest on the Show


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