When a side gig becomes the main gig

Posted On December 14, 2023

Sometimes a side gig can become your true calling.

So it was for our guest in a recent episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston.” After Danny Lipford started a remodeling business in Mobile in 1978, he was looking for a way to set himself apart from competitors. He made himself accessible to local media, did local speaking engagements, and 10 years later, he got the opportunity to do a home improvement TV show on a local station.

Thirty-five years after those beginnings, the “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford” television show, which Lipford hosts along with his daughter Chelsea, is carried in 208 of the nation’s 210 TV markets — meaning 92 percent of the country can watch it — and his radio show is carried on 363 stations.

He never set out to be a TV star, but he realized early on what the medium could do.

“The potential was tremendous, realizing I could have a national footprint if things went well would far exceed anything I could do with a local remodeling company,” he said. “I was a little concerned that I’d be able to do both. But at some point a light bulb went off and I said, ‘Wait a minute, this could be pretty big,’ and that’s when I really rolled up the sleeves and went after it.”

Now Lipford is recognized across the country as the man who can help people make their home improvement projects come to life. He believes the key to his television success has been authenticity – a quality he finds lacking in many similar shows.

“That really is probably the sole reason we’ve stayed around for 25 years … Nobody gets tired of genuine, authentic, practical, realistic home improvement information,” he said. “There’s a little too much fluff and too much non-reality reality in a lot of these shows. At the end of the day, if you’re really trying to do some things around your home, you want to cut through all that and really understand what I would do at my own home.”

After 25 successful years with offices in three major cities, Lipford has now decided it’s time to retire. But with 600 episodes in the can, you’ll still be seeing him on TV – he’s simply moving his entire catalogue of work to streaming services.

“It’s growing every single month, the audience and the revenue coming in from that, because of my large library,” he said.

Categories: Blog, Entrepreneurship, What's Working with Cam Marston