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When digital media and female-empowerment collide

A Sheboygan native is putting ladies first with her digital media company

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November 4, 2022

SHEBOYGAN – Little did Sheboygan native Rayna Rokicki know, the COVID-19 pandemic would bring goodness out of a difficult time, leading her down a career path she said she could have never imagined.

Rokicki is the brains behind Ladies First Digital Media, a small business that helps women entrepreneurs with podcasts, YouTube channels and more.

She is also the voice behind You Betcha She Did! – a podcast where she said she talks with fellow female entrepreneurs as they pave their own entrepreneurial paths.

Though Rokicki said she loves what she does and has always been supportive of empowering women, it wasn’t necessarily something she thought she’d be doing with her life.

But life, as it seems, had a different direction in mind for her.

From the beginning
Before getting into audio production, Rokicki said she worked as a language arts history and dance teacher.

From 2014 up until 2020 when the pandemic took over the entire globe, she said she, her husband and two children lived in Lagos, Nigeria, where she and her husband taught.

When Rokicki’s family moved back to Sheboygan in March 2020, she said her decision to pivot and stay at home sent her down a road that would eventually lead her to create Ladies First Digital Media.

“When I was a teacher, I did a lot of teaching of project-based learning,” she said. “We did a lot of teaching on how to make podcasts, audio files, how to do video production, and that’s something I liked doing. So I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to try being a virtual assistant and see how that goes.’”

After one of the first clients she worked with, who ran a YouTube channel, became successful and was bought out by another company, Rokicki said she decided to change directions again and fully focus on podcasting and YouTube.

She said she then took a course on audio editing, and in January 2021, Ladies First Digital Media was born.

The name Ladies First Digital Media gives insight into Rokicki’s client base – women.

“I think ever since I became a mom, I felt strongly about the role of women and lifting women up,” she said. “I feel like women do so much more of the unpaid labor in this world… I want to help women lift themselves up, shine the light on them (and) amplify their voice and what they’re doing.”

Part of her inspiration, Rokicki credits to the women-owned small businesses in downtown Sheboygan.

“I found a lot of the reasons (why downtown) is so fantastic is because there are all these cool women-owned businesses that have opened in the last five years,” she said. “I branched off there and started having a couple of clients – one of my clients was a local coffee shop in town (Whisk, located at 633 N. 8th St.), which is great.”

Rokicki said she has also worked with clients across the country, including a woman in Atlanta, Georgia, who helps families raise money-smart children.

A variety of services
Through Ladies First Digital Media, Rokicki said she offers a variety of different services within the podcasting realm, such as setting up a client’s RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, hooking them up with audio services like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, creating a launch plan, audio editing and show scheduling.

For clients looking to get help with YouTube, Rokicki said she can help with setting up a YouTube channel and making sure it gets the best possible reach through search engine optimization (SEO), creating graphics and thumbnails and video editing.

For both podcast and YouTube services, she said she offers analytic and strategy sessions, which happen quarterly.

Project management and consulting, Rokicki said, is also an overarching service she offers.?

“With Whisk, Shauna (the owner) … wanted to get involved in more local events and collaborate with local businesses, so we worked on that…,” she said. “She also wanted to start shipping her goods nationally… so we worked on how to make that happen, from, ‘What kind of packaging do we need to order? How do we want to advertise this?’ (to) ‘Can we actually send a cake in the mail and still have it look good by the time it gets there?’”

You Betcha She Did!
On top of her work with Ladies First Digital Media, Rokicki said she started working for Novice Studios – a female-run podcast production company in North Carolina that helps produce about 10 different podcasts.

She said her work with the company gave her the push she needed to start her own podcast, You Betcha She Did!

During the podcast, Rokicki said she talks with women leaders who are local, national and even international.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, Rayna Rokicki, a former teacher in Lagos, Nigeria, returned to her hometown in Sheboygan and decided to start her own company – Ladies First Digital Media – where she works with entrepreneurial women. Submitted Photo

“It’s been a great way for me to practice my mission, and then also practice what I do professionally now,” she said. “It’s been neat seeing the different women business owners get more attention and more business because of the outreach and having them share their stories.”

Some of the episodes in the first season of You Betcha She Did!, Rokicki said, include conversations around pursuing passions, money management and challenges women face in the workforce.

And though things are running smoothly now, starting her own business and podcast, Rokicki said, was no easy feat.

She said since entrepreneurship wasn’t on her radar when she first left teaching, she had to do a ton of internet research, networking among other women and learn the difference between an LLC (limited liability company) and a sole proprietorship, as well as which would work best for her needs – all the while being a mom to her two children.

The importance – present and future
Rokicki said she has received a lot of positive feedback since starting both ventures, which she said further emphasizes the importance of both helping and showcasing women in leadership roles.

“I think women understand each other well,” she said. “And I think we have similar struggles when it comes to being a career woman… and a mom, if you’re in the mom role, too… I think letting (other) women know they’re not alone, and we can do this together and lift each other up – I think that’s important, and it helps give people strength and inspire them.”

Looking toward the future, Rokicki said she would love to continue amplifying women through both Ladies First Digital Media and You Betcha She Did!, and hone her focus to Wisconsin ladies – or at least the Midwest area.

“I feel like we have so many amazing women in Wisconsin, that I would love to be the producer for them to get their voices out there,” she said. “That’s where I’d like for it to go.”

To learn more about Rokicki’s business and podcast, head to

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