By Stephanie Greenwood, Public Relations Manager for Today’s Homeowner With Danny Lipford
Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford will launch its 20th broadcast season this September, making it among the longest-running national home improvement shows in history. What was once a local, cable access call-in show, has grown into a respected, Emmy-nominated national TV program, airing on 214 stations in 92% of the U.S. The brand has certainly come a long way, and people often ask about the journey. It certainly wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t easy – but here are some important lessons learned along the way…
- Never underestimate the importance of listening.
Listen to clients, listen to your instincts and listen for opportunity to knock. By listening, namesake of the brand, Danny Lipford, learned early in his remodeling career that people want to understand how their homes work, and what they can do to help them function and look better. This has provided the backbone and mission of Today’s Homeowner – to deliver fresh, practical, trusted advice for maintaining and improving homes.
Opportunity knocked for Danny when he appeared as a guest on a friend’s cable-access show about home improvement. Danny took calls and responded to homeowner questions with ease, so one day when the friend failed to show up to host the show, Danny went on in his place and began his TV career on the spot. Danny took the opportunity to make the show his own, and hit the road with a stack of VHS tapes, visiting stations throughout the southeast to sell his brand in person.
- Stay true to your mission
Several times during the growth of the show, Danny was approached by larger media companies and networks expressing interest in buying Today’s Homeowner. Though tempting to ease the show’s growing pains with national backing, Danny wanted to maintain the editorial vision for Today’s Homeowner himself – staying true to his personal belief that “people never get tired of GOOD information.” He wanted to keep the show practical, useful and relatable to the everyday homeowner. Even though it took a wing and prayer at times (and maybe a maxed-out credit card or two), he stuck to his guns and weathered the storm of trying to retain local support for the show others saw as national, while attracting national support for the show that many still viewed as only local.
- Pay attention to trends in your industry
Today’s Homeowner is more than a national TV show. Though the TV show anchors the brand, over the years Danny developed a diverse and nationally recognized company – Today’s Homeowner Media. But it didn’t happen by accident. Danny places great importance on staying current with industry trends, and believes you have to “become a student of your craft” to achieve success. He regularly attends industry trade shows, reads industry publications relentlessly, and stays interested not in what others/competitors ARE doing, but more so what they ARE NOT. Because of that, Today’s Homeowner is the most diverse home improvement media company in the country today, boasting television, radio, digital, video production, social, web series and blog platforms.
- Build and nurture relationships
Talk to people. Take time to appreciate their knowledge, wisdom, gifts and talents. Stay in touch. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to collaborate, and to help one another. These are all habits that Danny formed early in his career that have helped the success of his brand.
- Surpass expectations
Sadly in business today, too many people have low expectations. And often, that’s just where people will meet you – at the low end of the bar. When you do more, and surpass those expectations, you make an impression. Danny gives the same level of attention and professionalism to a local interview as he does when preparing for a national appearance. He leads by the example of over-delivering on every aspect of his business, and sets the bar high for his team to follow.
What’s next for Today’s Homeowner Media? The sky’s the limit with this set of priorities!
Stephanie Greenwood is Public Relations Manager for Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford. She handles public relations for Today’s Homeowner Media. From booking national TV appearances to planning office shenanigans, she makes sure our company image and messaging get noticed by all the right people. She has big hair, a big smile and a big personality.