Christi Dodge started her podcast and video production business to help other small businesses amplify their messaging. She is an expert at taking content and presenting it in a way that is informative, engaging and inspiring. Christi started her business in the spring of 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to impact businesses all across the country, and with the help of the PCC Small Business Development Center has been able to connect with resources in her community that have helped her start her business on a solid foundation. This is Christi's story.
What inspired you to start Dodge Media Productions? I am a storyteller and have always had a heart for service. The film industry has always been a whisper in the background of my life. After raising a family I decided to go after my dream to be a part of an industry that I have been on the outside looking in and I am so glad I did. I love my job.
We would like to know about your business. What do you LOVE about your business? I love using my skills to help others get their business to the next level and present a professional image. The most exciting thing that has happened to our business is using our podcast knowledge and skills to help business owners from all over the country (North Carolina, San Francisco, Shreveport, and Chicago) launch new podcasts in different industries (female founded business, real estate, coaching, and startups).
We even have our own podcast - The Dodge Movie Podcast! For our podcast we first and foremost wanted it to be positive so we only talk about films we love. There is enough negativity and we had no desire to add to it. While going to film school I would come home and talk to my husband about different techniques and theories about the films we were studying. As life long cinephiles, films have been major touchstones of our courtship, marriage and parenthood. We married the two topics films we love: 1) how movies are made, and 2) our appreciation for the craft and hard work that goes into filmmaking. That is what we talk about on our podcast. Our intention for the audience is to see the film in a deeper way than the two dimensional image while also growing an appreciation for the craft. At the very least our listeners are introduced to films they maybe wouldn’t have watched before.
How did the Business Builders programs and other services you received from the PCC SBDC help you? I really appreciate the course because it provided me with a good foundation to build my business on and helped me to set up myself for success. I also appreciated the opportunity to reach out to the professionals who taught the course at any time after the course was completed.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your business? What have you been doing to innovate/pivot your business through the adverse conditions surrounding the pandemic? Our business started only 4 months prior to the lockdown and I had a job booked that was supposed to film during. One great thing that came out of that was I discovered my local Chamber of Commerce - I'm a proud member of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce. I was seeking information to know if our business could be considered a category to resume business with COVID protections. The Chamber has been a great networking opportunity as well as a good way to continue my education of how to run a business. Also, we were producing a film at the time so we created COVID guidelines for filming thanks to the guidance of our local Oregon Media Production Association. I am very proud that we kept everyone safe AND created a great film. It gave us a distraction and a creative outlet and allowed me to keep my skills fresh.
I was also connected with a company out of Durham, NC who employs working moms who are freelancers to help small businesses with tasks. They have virtual assistants, social media managers, marketing consultants, graphic designers and podcast editors. Having skills and knowledge of podcast production and launch, I joined their company in August 2020. It was such a rewarding process to help small business owners create their podcasts to help their reach. Realizing that this is a service that people will pay for, I added podcast launch and editing to my list of services that I offer. I am so grateful to Allobee because it made our company profitable in 2020 which I know not every business can say so I don’t take that fact for granted.
What are your plans moving forward as the state of Oregon continues the process of reopening? Business is starting to pick up, we have booked a few jobs over the summer as well as we are helping a couple of female owned business owners with their podcast. We have brought on two new employees, one that helps with filming and podcast editing and one who is working on our social media posts. We are also making connections with other business owners so we may provide additional services like drone filming.
What would you say to other small business owners thinking of working with the SBDC? I would say - "what do you have to lose? Start with the free New Client Orientation class, that costs you nothing but time and it will give you a good idea if it is a good fit for you."
I would not have made the investment in the Business Builders course if I didn’t see the value in it. I was not only able to learn about business and how to best run one, but I met other business owners which is a great networking opportunity! The knowledge of those who moderate the course is expansive. If one can’t answer your question or help you then there is another that is an expert in that field. And I can’t say enough about the support I continue to receive even after my course is over. I can reach out to them and ask for advice or support or if they know of someone who could use my services.
Programs and services are provided to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Language assistance service are available for limited English proficient individuals. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Please contact us at 971-722-5080 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to request accommodations. Oregon Small Business Development Centers are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Oregon Business Development Department.