Reptile Entrepreneur Podcast

By Bill Strand

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 Aug 4, 2021
Great advice and information for budding entrepreneurs in the reptile and pet industry.


Learn skills for creating a business within the reptile community. Hear from entrepreneurs who have already done it. The reptile community is growing and healthy growth can only come if community members step up to the plate and provide the right products and solid education. Join me and other entrepreneurs as we share with you the steps we took to build a business in this community we love.

Episode Date
Protecting Your Work As An Artist

In today's digital world art is being stolen as a normal day occurrence. We all have had our images lifted for others to sell their products. Though today I have an interview of someone whose life is affected to a greater degree. Jennifer Cook is the artist behind and she is currently taking legal action against Facebook and Instagram to fight the people who have stolen her images and are selling cheap knock offs of her products. Join in and let's have a discussion of security for your digital content and physical artwork.

Sep 19, 2022
Should I join Vero?

It is time for an update on what is going on with Instagram and I introduce you to the Vero app. Could it be a good place to put some effort and join the budding reptile community there? I am saying it is worth dropping by and checking it out!

Sep 11, 2022
Should I do Podcast or YouTube?

Podcasting and YouTube are two tools that can be used to present your show. Both have their characteristics and by knowing those  we can make the right choice for our show. 

Aug 30, 2022
Link in Bio Tools for Instagram & TikTok

There is a whole strategy around using the one website link we are given in our Instagram and TikTok profiles. There are special tools available to optimize that valuable feature to your best advantage. Today I review that status of link-in-bio tools and run you through the set-up for what I consider the best option - Koji.

Aug 15, 2022
From Zero to a Functional eCommerce Business

Sean Mcneeley has been following the Reptile Entrepreneur 2022 project since the beginning. He took on the 2022 challenge and has just made his first digital dollar from his eCommerce site.
Join us as learn how he did it and what he has learned!

Aug 01, 2022
Content Marketing

There are many choices for your outreach. Today I look at blogs, podcasts, email, YouTube, Instagram, and Tiktok. Making the right platform decisions can ease the way to success.

Jul 18, 2022
YouTube or Podcast? With Dillon Perron

Have you thought about starting a podcast or a YouTube channel? Which one should you go with? Both? Dillon Perron runs the Animals At Home Network and has experience producing both a podcast and a YouTube show. Today I interview him and ask for his insight to help you decide which way to go!

Jul 04, 2022
Create Your Logo with 99Designs

Creating your logo can be overwhelming. When I needed help I used to run a contest with spectacular results. If you are struggling to create a logo, this episode is for you!

Jun 20, 2022
Your 1st eCommerce Storefront

Print on demand platforms can be an easy way to get your first eCommerce business up and running. Today I show you how.

Jun 13, 2022
The Current State of Social Media

Social Media is rushing at a break neck speed around us and we have to hang on tight to stay on top of it. Considering all the changes we have seen it was time to discuss the one that have the most direct effect on us. I talk specifically about the newest changes on Instagram and TikTok and what they mean for us entrepreneurs in the reptile community.

May 30, 2022
Logos with Adeline Robinson

A logo is a defining element to your business or influencer outreach. But where do you start? Adeline Robinson is an artist in the reptile community that also creates logos professionally. Adeline shares what we should look for in a logo and how to go about getting yours.

May 23, 2022
Manufacturing Methods for Entrepreneurs with Tim Marks

Learn about the methods to make or prototype a new part. Tim Marks from the new company Leap joins me and shares his experience with injection molding, extrusions, thermoforming, CNC and 3D printing to create a product that couldn't have been made effectively from off-the-shelf parts. And Tim shares the methods he used to do that cage as well as build Eco-Tech Marine from the humble beginnings of his college dorm room.

May 16, 2022
Being a Reptile Photographer with Zac Herr

Artists of all kinds will enjoy hearing from a successful photographer as Zac Herr provides on insight into what it is like being an artist in the reptile community!

May 02, 2022
Productivity & Burnout

I talk about the insatiable demand of being an entrepreneur on social media, establishing sanity limits, how to increase productivity without paying for it with your health, and, finally, having a healthy understanding of our ever present adversary, burnout. 

Apr 25, 2022
Being an Artist in the Reptile World

If you are an artist, enjoy reptiles, and would  love to combine the two to make a living then this episode is for you.  Adeline Robinson's reptile art is incredible! And her time is split between making fine art, logos, and reptile shows...and a lot of social media marketing! Join us as we discuss what it is like being a full time artist in the reptile community.

Apr 18, 2022
Intro to TikTok with Lyssa's Lizards!

TikTok cannot be ignored and we are facing it head on! When a new platform is intimidating you find a guide who has been there and we have our guide in Lyssa from Lyssa's Lizards who has built a huge TikTok following. Her "TikToks" make responsible reptile keeping fun to present! 
Lyssa gives an introduction to TikTok by providing a perspective that will help entrepreneurs make educated decisions regarding their social media footprint.

Apr 11, 2022
Social Media Strategy: Retention

Retention is keeping the followers that have joined our social media outreach. Success relies on how well you communicated what your account was about and how well you keep to that promise. Today I talk about how to develop a strategy that focuses on retention and the specific tools in Instagram available for us to use.

Apr 04, 2022
Social Media Strategy: Conversion

Learn how to optimize your Instagram account to increase the number of people who become followers. Conversion is the part of social media strategy where you convince people who are curious about your account that they should commit to following your account.  Followers are the lifeblood of social media accounts and so your conversion strategy needs to be effective to not waste all the people you bring in with your outreach!

Mar 28, 2022
Social Media Strategy: Outreach

To get followers you need to work with your social media algorithm to reach out and put your content in front of interested people. In this episode I talk about how algorithms work and how you can be effective in your social media outreach to gain not just any followers, but the RIGHT followers! I use reptile accounts on Instagram as my example, but this strategy is the same with any niche topic on any social media platform. It is just how algorithms and social media works at the most basic level!

Mar 16, 2022
Your Social Media Purpose & Promise

Every social media strategy consists of Outreach, Conversion, and Retention. But these are just actions that are based on your social media promise and purpose. In this episode I lay the ground work for for selecting our promise and purpose to focus our outreach.

Mar 07, 2022
The Life of a Reptile YouTuber with Reptiliatus!

If you have ever thought of being a YouTuber in the reptile community this is the podcast episode to listen to! Dayyan, or Reptiliatus, is about the nicest guy you will ever meet and is a full time reptile YouTuber. Today he shares with us what life is like as a YouTuber and what it takes to make it work. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this talk!

Feb 28, 2022
Taking a Niche Business to Success

A tried and true business success strategy is to take a niche you are passionate about and tenaciously dedicate yourself to that niche. To share how he did this exact thing, Josh Halter, The Bio Dude, joins me and shares his experiences starting from less than nothing and building bio-active into a successful business that cares about both the reptiles and the employees.

Feb 21, 2022
Lacey Act Amendment Discussion

Today is a serious topic where I give my take on the current amendment proposal to the Lacey Act. This amendment has serious repercussions for reptile keeping and this is no drill. It snuck by undetected in the House and now it is on its way to the Senate. This is an example of how vigilant we need to be to protect our community. I figure it is more than worth talking about this because if this passes, our community will take a serious hit and it is this community which sustains us.

Feb 14, 2022
Building an International Reptile Breeding Business with Justin Kobylka

Justin Kobylka has turned a personal breeding project into an international reptile breeding business. While he may be best known for his Ball Pythons, I wanted to learn about the entrepreneur behind the 20 year old business. In this interview Justins shares his perspective on the reptile community past, present and future. Join us as we talk about how it is to start a reptile breeding business in today's conditions!

Feb 07, 2022
Secure Your Instagram From Being Hacked

Losing your Instagram account to hackers is a horrible way to end an Instagram career. This episode is about securing your account against hacker attacks and what to do if one succeeds.

Jan 31, 2022
Making Educational Short Form Video

With the popularity of video under 60 seconds in length, or, "short form" video, we are in a position to help guide the definition of what an educational short will be. Whether a "TikTok", an Instagram Reel, or a YouTube Short, scientists and teachers are seeing how they can leverage this new media form to share knowledge. And this is where we come in - it is up to us to find ways of educating the new community that is attuned to short form video.

Jan 24, 2022
Creating a Virtual Zoo with Emma Lynne Sampson

Emma Lynne Sampson comes on the podcast and talks about her growth from a YouTuber to becoming the creator of a virtual zoo. She shares how she went from struggling to open a Google Docs to completing a membership website and shows that we can accomplish more than what we are today if we commit to growth!

Jan 16, 2022
Building the Tarantula Collective with Richard Stewart

Richard Stewart has built his passion for tarantulas into a content creation career. Utilizing monetization methods, the Tarantula Collective has become his primary source of income. In this interview, Richard joins me on the mic and we go over how he was able to make this happen. 
If you have thought about becoming a content creator for your niche community then this interview will give you valuable insight into how one man made it happen.

Jan 10, 2022
New Feed Options on Instagram

Breaking News episode! Instagram has announced that, in 2022,  we will be getting the choice between seeing three different versions of our home feed. Those are the posts that you see from other accounts on your Instagram app. All, well and good, but what are these new feeds and, more importantly, what do they mean for us as influencers and marketers needing to build our follower base? How does this change our outreach? I share what we know and my analysis as to how we deal with the changes.

Jan 07, 2022
Growth on Instagram

In this episode we are going to talk about tools for growth on Instagram. Instagram is a very diverse and complicated platform and it really takes some time to learn all the tools and features. Honestly, looking at all the available social media platforms, I truly believe that Instagram has the best blend of tools for developing a community. Instagram has been accused of copying features from TikTok, but they are adding those to an already robust platform that allows the three pillars of creating a thriving fan base.  Outreach to bring in interested followers, development of your community of followers, and one on one relationship building. Today I will focus on the features and tools that help us present ourselves to potential new followers to grow the account.

Jan 04, 2022
The Video Evolution of Instagram

Today I talk about how Instagram is evolving to become a video sharing platform. And, more importantly, what that means for us. 
This is a Thursday episode where I just speak my mind and have an unscripted conversation with you. I call them my meditations because that is all they are. I just tell you what I have been thinking about. And, this is a seismic shift going on beneath our feet. Instagram is following the trends and pushing short form video  heavily. And this is a shift in culture that we need to change with or else we will be further and further behind.

Dec 31, 2021
The Value of Instagram Followers

Social media followers are the highest visibility measure of success. But it is an empty number in itself. The life blood of your account is the number of engaged followers.  Today I am talking about getting the right followers. 

Dec 27, 2021
Optimizing Your Instagram Bio

In season 2 we have to goal to run through setting up a complete digital footprint for a standard business. And to start this off we will establish our digital home base on Instagram. In this kick off episode for season 2 we go over the strategies to set up your Instagram bio to attract the right kind of followers!

Dec 20, 2021
Selling on Etsy with Doug Young

Etsy is a storefront platform which can offer entrepreneurs an easy way to get up and running. Etsy will take care of providing you digital space, payment processing, can help with shipping, and will take care of website maintenance. If you are an entrepreneur that doesn't have time to put together or maintain a website then consider Etsy. Etsy specializes in handmade items, but much of what we do is handmade. And, yes, 3D printed items are accepted on the Etsy platform.
Doug Young of Firehouse Geckos has established  a thriving business on Etsy and shares how he did it and, more importantly, what you need to know for you to do it yourself!

Nov 29, 2021
Combining Art & Function in Business with Jim Rykbost

How do you scale your business when your skill or insight is a key component to the product you sell? Today I talk with Jim Rykbost of Sunset Chameleons. Jim has started his company on a special type of feeder cup designed specifically with chameleons in mind. Each feeder is a work of art and dedication by Jim. Listen in and learn how Jim created a business hat combines art and function. We discuss how to run a business that requires personal attention to each product and what scaling up the business would look like.

Nov 15, 2021
A digital footprint: Social media

In the world of today you will need to establish a digital footprint. This can include social media, websites, eCommerce platforms and more. Today I start the discussion with a review of social media platforms so you can make educated decisions as to where to invest your time. 

Nov 12, 2021
LLCs vs Sole Proprietorships in the Reptile Community

What is the difference between a sole proprietorship and an LLC. And, more importantly, when should you consider one over the other as your business structure?  John Augustus Kim, tax attorney, comes on and explains the differences and when it is worth it to switch over. This episode is for anyone debating which business structure to go with.

Nov 08, 2021
Social Media Strategy

Social media is the one biggest marketing outreach available to us. But it isn't as easy as just posting what you had for lunch. There is a serious strategy behind what you post, how you post, when you post, and what platform you post on. While it may seem frivolous to be dancing around to the latest trend, content creators know that is the battleground for the eyes and mind of 100s of millions of potential customers. Today I am joined by the woman behind Neptune the Chameleon as she shares with us the deliberate strategy behind her postings, platforms, and singing trends.

Nov 01, 2021
Trademarks with Richard Clarke, esq

Patent and Trademark attorney Richard Clarke returns to give us an overview of trademarks. He goes over what they are and how to use them.

Oct 25, 2021
Niching Down

Today I talk about the development of and what lessons we can learn about "niching down" in our product development and content streams.

Oct 21, 2021
3D Printing for Monitors

Eddy Garabito, also known as @Father.Blou on Instagram, is an arboreal monitor enthusiast that has used 3D printing technology to create specialty products for his husbandry use.  Eddy shares how he got started with 3D printing and lays it out so enthusiasts from other communities may take advantage of this amazing 3D technology which allows us to create what we dream.

Oct 18, 2021
Podcasting with the Morelia Python Radio Podcast

The Morelia Python Radio Podcast is one of our community's longest running podcasts. Hosts Eric Burke and Owen McIntyre join me and share what got them started and what has kept them going. They share words of inspiration for anyone who has ever considered starting a podcast of their own!

Oct 11, 2021

What drives an entrepreneur? Is it driving towards a purpose or staying a step ahead of the world that abhors someone trying to break out of mediocrity?  We all have our different reasons, but are united in time being our most precious resource. Today I talk about time and what it means to someone driven with purpose.

Oct 07, 2021
Monitors, Grasshoppers, and Growth Decisions with Khai Phan

Today we are speaking with Khai Phan, a monitor breeder who has found a talent in breeding grasshoppers for feeder insects. And the grasshopper side of things has exploded to the point where it is a sizable enough business that he will soon be needing to make some serious decisions about growth. 
We explore what it takes to develop and feeder business with a new species and what kind of decisions must be made when your business starts outgrowing your space.

Oct 04, 2021
Art & Sculpture Meet Herpetoculture

Ron Rundo of brings painting and sculpture to herpetoculture with  a museum quality enclosure that mimics a slice of the jungle. Artists are an important part of our reptile community foundation and Ron is an example of one that is thriving. Today Ron shares with us the history of his custom made enclosure and we discuss his realistic painting method which allows him to create such works of art.

Sep 27, 2021
Ending Chapters

For today's meditation I talk about the times in our life when we need to end the chapter and move on to the next. This can be when you need to close down a business or when a product is no longer viable. One of the biggest decisions we must make is when to give up the consistent 9-5 paycheck and embrace the uncertainty of our own business.

Sep 23, 2021
Creating a Reptile Show with Rick Porter

Reptile shows are a foundation of the community. Rick Porter has built up  the San Jose Reptile Show in the San Francisco Bay Area with constant growth each year. In this episode he takes behind the scenes and shares with us what it takes to start and run a reptile show.

Sep 20, 2021
Josh's Frogs: Building a Business with Core Values

Josh Willard, CEO of Josh's Frogs, joins me and we talk about the core values that drive Josh's Frogs. Josh is an example of someone who has not lost the amazed wonder that inspires us to want to be involved with reptiles in the first place and that shows itself in the company he has built. From committing to offering only captive bred reptiles and amphibians to funding conservation efforts to offering grants for amphibian research, Josh and his team are showing what a true reptile-focused company can be.

Sep 13, 2021
Be Authentic

Authenticity is presenting yourself as you are. Why do we feel like we need to be more? Is being the best and smartest and most “right” person in the room the path to success? Here is the truth about authenticity - You do not have to be more than you are to build a following. More so, you will build a stronger following if you come as you are. Today I explore being authentic in what we do.

Sep 09, 2021
Monetizing Your Content Stream with Dillon Perron

There is an enormous amount of work that goes into creating and maintaining a content stream whether it be blog, video channel, or podcast. And your content stream is relentless in demanding new material every week or two. There are ways you can be compensated for your hard work which can allow you to invest in the show and help put the roof over your head! Joining me is Dillon Perron from the Animals At Home Network to share how he has monetized his show. Listen in and learn what you can do for your content outreach.

Sep 06, 2021
Breeding Dart Frogs as a Business

Today I talk with Alex Menke of Frog Daddy who openly shares his experiences starting a dart frog breeding business. More than just talking about dart frogs, Alex gives us an insight into what he is doing to make his business successful. These principles are key to any business. But now you are hearing it from a man who is living it in the reptile community.  

Aug 30, 2021
Be Original

Today we talk about being original in our business approach. The entrepreneurial mindset is that we can create a larger market and we can expand the customer base. We do not have to copy or follow in anyone else's footsteps.

Aug 26, 2021
Understanding Patents

Good morning, Reptile Entrepreneurs! This fine day we will be talking about patents. This is the protection you have to profit from your invention. Everyone loves a good idea. The only thing better than a good idea is a good idea that someone one spent all the effort to develop, prove out, and create a market for. Which isn’t that great when someone else decides to make money off of what you invented! So, it is worth spending some time here exploring what protection is available for inventors. I will be talking with Richard Clarke who is the patent attorney who helped me get my patent on the Dragon Ledges.

Aug 22, 2021
Working With Overseas Manufacturers

The quickest way to prototype a product to prove out a design is to find a manufacturer that makes a similar product who can tweak the design to match your specifications. They then can manufacture the product for you. Today I talk to Todd Goode, president of, who has spent years working with overseas manufacturers to get his high end and specialty reptile lighting products made. Todd comes on and shares the process so that you have another option for getting your products made.

Aug 16, 2021
Taking Care of Yourself

It is important to create a comprehensive success scenario that ensures that you will be happy when you achieve your entrepreneurial goals. In today's episode I help make sure you don't lose the most important things while chasing your dream. 

Aug 11, 2021
Breeding Reptiles with Josh Dovenbarger

Breeding reptiles is a dream job for many of us. And there are some people who have been able to make it work enough that that is what they do. Today I talk with Josh Dovenbarger from Phantom Dragons. Josh is one of the top breeders of bearded dragons and shares with us how he built this business, what his life is like, and his advice to anyone who would like to breed reptiles for a living. 

Aug 08, 2021
Defining Success

The tag line of this podcast is making responsible and successful businesses in the reptile community. Today I wanted to talk about what success means.  Financial success is certainly front and center, but there are other forms of success that we should keep in mind. And when you are considering an entrepreneurial project consider the big picture. 
This is a meditation Thursday episode where I explore a concept and just shoot the breeze! Pull up a chair, pour a cold brew, and let's see where this takes us!

Aug 05, 2021
3D Printing for the Reptile Community

And here is the opportunity that is presenting itself to us. Through 3D printing we have the ability to make for our specialized community what we will not soon find in any national chain pet store.

 David has graciously agreed to join me on the show today and share how he leveraged 3D printing technology to create valuable specialty husbandry products for his community. 

Aug 01, 2021
The freedom to chart my own course

This is Meditation Thursdays where I talk about a topic that is meaningful to me or an educational discussion I feel is important. The Monday episodes are all business and can be considered the boardroom, while Thursday is free for all and can be considered the water cooler.

Today I share why I am so passionate about entrepreneurial ventures. My side business literally gave me the freedom to get out of bad career positions. It made all the difference in the world to feel the freedom to stay or go depending solely on whether the job was good for me. But it is best you just listen to it. This is an unstructured sharing where you get to know a bit more about me and why I am doing this.

Jul 28, 2021
Websites - the reason you need one

A website is the best option for your business's home base in the digital realm. In this episode I make the argument as to why you should have one. There are web builders that make it easier than it was in the past. With Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace you can start off in a highly controlled, but limited arena. With Wordpress you can spread your design wings along with greater opportunity for things to go wrong along with the gains in freedom!

Jul 26, 2021
Introduction to the Reptile Entrepreneur

Welcome to the Reptile Entrepreneur! This is a show for anyone interested in starting a business in the reptile world or has a business and wants to hear from others what they are doing. 

We’ll talk about how to come up with product idea, prototype, and test it out. We’ll talk about manufacturing and basic business management. What if your business is content? Video, audio, the written word… There is a need for good solid information on YouTube, Instagram, or any other social media site. Yes, even that Tik Tok thing!

Product development, business management, marketing, and just surviving the entrepreneurial grind.  - These will be nuts and bolts discussions about how you can start a business in the field you love. 

In this episode I let you know what is in store for this show. Let's see what we can build!

Jul 24, 2021