Your Everyday People- Interview series
Tell us your name, what you do and how long you have been doing it.
My name is James Okungu, the producer and host of ‘C-SQUARED, Cocktails & Conversations,’ a web talk show that promotes difficult conversations. I am a journalist by profession with over ten years’ experience.
How did you get the idea to start your talk show? Take us to the beginning.
My brother once referred to me as a ‘radio that talks non-stop!’. That is who I am because I love talking to people, both known and strangers alike. I also love cocktails, my favorite one is Tequila Sunrise (You must try it, trust me!)
For several years, I have been involved in behind- the scenes TV productions. My calling I believe, has always been in front of the camera. That pretty much sums it up, you see, my show is a perfect combination of my favorite interests all wrapped up into one!
Tell us more about it. How does an ordinary day look like?
It is a very involving process that includes booking guests for the show, setting a taping day and time, prepping my guests for the conversation and getting the studio ready.
I live in a one-bedroom apartment in Queens, New York, so I have to put the studio up each time I record a conversation. This process can take up to forty-five minutes. Then, there is the interview itself followed by editing thereafter.
Later, I must promote that segment on social media. C-SQUARED, Cocktails & Conversations, is produced once a week.
How do you market yourself and which tactics have been most successful?
Social Media has been my go-to marketing platform. My show is on all social media avenues as @drinksconvo. So far, the huge response has been on Facebook, however, there is steady growth on the other platforms as well.
What are some of the mistakes that you wish you could have avoided in your journey?
I wish I had started earlier. The mistake I did was that I waited too long for the ‘perfect time‘. When I look back, I realise that everything was exactly right, all I needed to do was just to get started.
Perfect time does not exist. I wish I embraced that sooner.
What challenges do you face and how do you overcome them?
Whenever you watch a movie or a TV show, you’ll notice that there are several credits associated with the production. As a one-man production, I am all those things at the same time, from Executive Producer right down to Intern! At times this is overwhelming as there is a lot of work that goes into bringing ‘C-SQUARED, Cocktails & Conversations‘ to life.
I hope to hire some help as soon as the show progresses, and the revenue streams expand.
How has the COVID Pandemic affected you and what adjustments have you done to combat it?
My regular, full-time 9-5 job as a Photo Editor for a major news outlet shifted to remote working. So, I have been spending a lot of time at home. It has been quite the change in routine. However, I have embraced it and adjusted my life to this new reality.
When it gets tough, what motivates you to keep going?
My soon to be 7-year-old son is my biggest inspiration in life. He has autism and is non-verbal, yet he manages to navigate the world and learn new skills on an almost daily basis. His resilience, drive and courage propels me to do better.
Jayden is truly my number one inspiration!
What are your future plans?
I have plans to grow ‘C-SQUARED, Cocktails & Conversations‘ into a brand that covers several genres and takes on different and expanded content.
What advise would you give someone who wants to start a business and they do not know where to start?
Just start! Start now, today! It is OK if you don’t have it all figured out. Just start! The rest you will figure it out as you move forward.
Get it started!
How can people get to watch your show?
The show is on YouTube at : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUY59LkyWig_YhnmH_pENVg
And on all Social media platforms as @drinksconvo
“The more you talk to them, the more important they will feel”R. Bennett
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