Bob & Sheri Podcast and Radio Show Helps Small Businesses

small businesses
Bob & Sheri logo

In this era of TikTok, YouTube and influencer marketing, many small businesses are wondering how they can build scale and create national recognition. Many startups struggle with self-service marketing on social media. And even if they do have the budget, it can be difficult to stand out from the competition. 

One podcast and radio show has found a way to help these smaller brands emerge. 

Bob & Sheri is a podcast and syndicated radio show that can be heard on morning drives in over 70 cities across America, as well as 170 countries via American Forces Radio. Unlike many syndicated shows, which are generally owned by large broadcast conglomerates, Bob & Sheri broke away from its corporate parent in 2017. A small business itself, the owners of the company are keenly aware of the challenges of “going nationwide.”

“I love what we do and I’m super proud of the little company that Tony and I built,” says the show’s co-host Sheri Lynch. “We literally hunt for small businesses that have really cool stuff, reach out to them and see how we can work together.” Tony Garcia is Lynch’s business partner who also produces and distributes Bob & Sheri.

Embarking on a Dream

Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch.

Before Lynch and her team broke away from their parent company in 2017, they had worked in corporate radio for many years — which was a great situation until it wasn’t. 

“I think a lot of entrepreneurs who left the corporate space will understand that there comes a point where if you’re going to grow, you have to be willing to take some significant risks,” she explains. “The radio show was successful in the corporate world, but I’ve been watching shifts in consumer behavior where media was concerned and I wanted to take bigger risks, more aggressive gambles and to be more experimental — and I was willing to fail.”

As every entrepreneur does, Lynch went to every nearby bank with her team’s business plan and each bank continued to turn them down. Even though they had a 25-year track record, the banks said the corporate world track record didn’t count. 

“I use the world humbling a lot when I talk about my journey, since I spent most of my journey being humbled,” Lynch laughs. 

Finally, a bank issued them a business credit card. And even though it had a very low credit limit, it was a start. 

Pivoting During the Pandemic

Once Bob & Sheri became fully operational on their own, things seemed to be going great. And then the pandemic hit in 2020. Lynch explains that they needed to rapidly change things up to be able to engage their audience that was no longer commuting to work each morning.

“One thing that was loud and clear within the first four weeks of lockdowns was how lonely and isolated people felt,” says Lynch. “We were hearing this from a lot of listeners, so we said ‘We should do a Facebook Live with a virtual Happy Hour on Friday and chat with people.’ We did it once and people seemed to enjoy it, so we did it again.”

Before they knew it, Lynch and Bob were spending every Friday night during the lockdowns on a virtual Happy Hour. To keep the momentum going, Lynch’s team began calling everyone they knew — comedians, actors, etc. — to come on the virtual Happy Hour. 

All of this content helped create a feeling of community for their listeners and to distract from the challenges of quarantine. Everyone loved it so much that even once lockdowns ended, listeners didn’t want to give up their weekly Happy Hour sessions. So Lynch kept it going. 

“So now, three Thursdays a month, we go on Facebook Live and hang out for an hour, have conversations, give away prizes and create a giant Happy Hour,” says Lynch. “We’re so intimately engaged with our audience now that when I see their names online, I recognize who our listeners are.”

Giving Small Businesses a National Footprint

As the podcast and radio show emerged from the pandemic, Lynch and her team thought they would try some different ideas to add interest and create something special. 

“We have done a backyard barbeque with the wonderful folks from Carroll’s Sausage and Country Store,” she says. “We have also worked with several other small businesses for our Happy Hour, newsletter and social media promotions, including The Scone Goddess, Maine Needhams and Vena’s Fizz House. We are always on the lookout for a partnership that makes sense and we can get behind.”

Over the past year, Now! Media and Bob & Sheri have partnered with a half-dozen small businesses representing a diverse range of products. They continue to look for partnerships across the county that will appeal to their listeners, especially pet products, since their listeners are very pet centric. 

“We do a lot of live virtual events, from live broadcasts on Facebook to backyard wresting matches to live barbeque’s,” explains Lynch. “The client we worked with for the barbeque, we delivered more than eight million impressions over multiple channels.”

One of the contests the show has coming up is especially for teachers. Bob & Sheri is partnering up with VISIT FLORIDA to salute teachers throughout the school year. Nominated teachers could win weekly prizes and qualify to win the monthly grand prize: a spot to travel with the show this summer on a Trip for Teachers to Florida. 

The three-night Florida vacation for two people includes accommodations at Margaritaville Beach Resort at Fort Myers Beach, round-trip coach class air transportation to Southwest Florida International Airport and a midsize rental vehicle for four consecutive days. Anyone can nominate a teacher they know on the show’s website

All of these creative events not only help to bring the community together, but also help small businesses and new brands to introduce their products to a slew of potential buyers. Together, Now! Media and Bob & Sheri develop innovative ways to bring more indie brands into the spotlight.