Which Format is Right for You
Now, it's time to decide which is the right format for you. So what makes sense for your business and your goals and what you're doing. If you turn to page three in the workbook, I'm gonna walk you through how you decide what is right for you. So the first thing to think about is what is the big picture goal of your business? There is no point in all of just deciding I'm gonna do a podcast if you don't know what it's leading to. What I always say is it's very easy to just do the thing you think you should do. Oh, I should have Instagram, I should have email, I should have podcast. And end up with a business you don't really want. You can even be really successful and not have the kind of business you want, spending the time doing the things you wanna do. So in order to make sure that you are taking your business in the direction you want it to go, and the podcasting is a good part of that, you wanna think about what is the picture goal of where you wanna go? And I mean, separate of pod...
casts. Just in general, where do I wanna go in my business? So that can be everything from I wanna hit a certain sales number each month to I want to then get this awesome show, to I want to get into 10 new wholesale accounts, to I wanna teach at CreativeLive. Whatever your goal is, your big vision of where your business is going. We're gonna start from there. So write down what are your big vision goals for your business, and then break it down into a smaller goal. So in order to get to that bigger goal, what are you gonna do? What is it? If you wanna get to $10,000 in sales, you need to make $1,000 first. And then grow it, and then grow it. So what is the thing you're gonna do in the next month to three months? I often work with people with three month goals because it's a period of time in which you can get a lot done but not so long that you forget what you were working on. And if you break it down into three months, if you're like no, no, my goal can't be broken down, then you actually don't know what to do each day. You gotta break it down into something smaller so that you can list what are the things I need to do to get there. So whether it's sales or relationships or whether it is a certain quality of life, what are you doing in the next, we're in quarter four right now, just at the kind of beginning of quarter four. So what do you want to have by the end of December, beginning of January? Towards that bigger life goal. Because like I said, I don't want you to have a podcast just because I think podcasts are great. I want you to have a podcast that helps you reach your goal. So we can't really talk about what format you're gonna pick and who your customers are til you know where you wanna go and what you wanna do with it. So the next question is how is a podcast gonna help you with that? If your goal is more sales, then a podcast can introduce you to new people who you can then introduce your product to and make more sales that way. But you have to see some kind of connection between what your goal is and what your podcast is gonna be about. Otherwise, your podcast isn't gonna be effective at making sales, and you're not gonna stick with it. If you don't at all see how it's helping your business, when you get a big order and you get overwhelmed, and you have to ship a million packages for Christmas, you're not gonna stick with the podcast. 'Cause you're not gonna see how it relates to what you're doing. So you wanna make sure it's really related. Do you wanna share how a podcast might fit with your goals?
Sure. My goal of a podcast is really to share my experiences through being a mom, being an artist, being in the health and wellness industry and how they all correlate together to really just have a better quality of life. And to share that with other people, so through my daily. I wanna do one that's more like an audio log of my daily experiences through the different avenues that I do. Taking my kids to school. What do I do with them after school? How do I work from home and have four kids? How does that all bounce off each other? Because I feel like I haven't come across many podcasts where I'm finding that there's somebody working at home having kids and how you mix it all together. Like on a casual level. Like not business-y related. More like how do you actually have the patience to do that? And I feel like my experiences of doing the podcast and thinking through that is actually gonna benefit me. I'm doing this for kind of selfish reasons. I wanna be able to figure out how to grow and be a better mom and a better business person through having this podcast. Does that make sense?
That makes sense because a podcast is almost like a journal as you're working through how to create it and what you're gonna talk about because it's self-reflective.
Right, it's like personal development for me.
Exactly, and people ask you all the time, I know. How do both you and your husband work from home, run a business together, and that you have four kids. The youngest one went to school, right? Everybody wants to know how that works, and I think there's shows and blogs and there's resources on how to do it from a business angle. Like I always tell people boundaries in your business. But what about that home angle? How do you stop work? Or you need to do something at 6:00 p.m. at night and all your kids are home. How are you balancing that? And you do so many cool things with your kids. People wanna know like how you're not just shoving them to the side and working all the time, right? I love that. So your goal is, part of that is, sounds like sharing that with other people and giving them the knowledge and also the confidence that they can make it work because you also work with a lot of women who are like, could I make this work? Is it possible? Maybe I can't do a business right now because my kids are still young. Hearing that is gonna give them confidence.
Yeah, and my standpoint is what I do and have grown into is becoming a mentor almost for other people. So I didn't mean to do that, get into that position. But that's kind of what's happened over the last few years for me. And so sharing my experiences, I feel like, benefits those individuals to go, oh, I can make this work.
Absolutely, absolutely. And how it actually benefits your business is that the women you work with and mentor are gonna have more resources. So when somebody asks you a question, you can be like you know what, I did a podcast episode on that. I can send you that episode. I mean, we can talk about it. And then you're gonna find new people to work with because they're gonna hear the episode and be like, I wanna work with this person. I wanna be in the business that she's in and get her mentorship. So it's gonna grow in that very numbers-based way too.
Can I ask a question?
Also I'm wondering if you cover this, and if not, but. How do you take your podcast and then the platform where people find it? So if I'm having a real conversation with somebody, I'm like oh, go look at the podcast, but then they want to buy something from me or purchase something or get involved with me. How do I translate that over to where they go? So they've listened to the podcast. Now what?
Yeah, so we're gonna talk about putting it on your home base. So what we're gonna do is when somebody's asked me a question about what planner do you use, and I have a podcast episode about that, I don't send them to iTunes to listen to it. I put that audio clip that's on iTunes, I put it on my website. So I send them to my website, so all of my website is stuff you can buy too. And on your website will be how you can work with me. And so when you get that question, you're gonna send them to that specific link on your site, and your site then has that information. And also you're gonna follow up with them and lead them to the right way. But yeah, I think it's in segment three is making sure. And what I really want is for people not to just put it on iTunes and then leave it on iTunes but then to bring people back to their site or else you're not ever gonna make the sale. 'Cause iTunes is really not effective at leading to you to a new place.
And that was my question. Podcasts, I don't want it to be a dead end. Listen to it, but then what with it?
Right, right, so there's actually two things. One is that when you're talking to somebody, and you send it to 'em, you're gonna send 'em to your site and not to iTunes. The other thing is that when somebody finds you on iTunes, you're gonna verbally say and put in your description. Go back to my site. So whether they're coming in it from you and you're sending them to your website, or they're coming into it from iTunes or a friend's referral, we're also gonna send them back to your website. So your podcast will say, your description will say. Everything about your podcast will be like, go to her website. (laughing) Do not stop her, because that is the challenge. Moving people along. And we'll go into that in detail as well. All the technology behind it.
We've got Don online, who's perhaps looking to get something slightly different out of her podcast, and asking how it could help grow wholesale. Would it be better to write it for shop owners or for retail customers? She's finding it a bit difficult to decide which goal to go for.
This is Don Craig, isn't it?
Okay, excellent, so Don has a yarn company. And one of her goals is to reach more, I work with her which is why I know her goals, to reach more wholesale customers. So that's a really great question. What we mean by wholesale customers is that a retail shop, a yarn shop, is gonna sell her yarn. And what she's doing is not increasing her online sales directly to the consumer but to the shop owner. And so should she podcast for that shop owner or should she podcast for the end user? I'm just gonna be bossy and say I would podcast for the end user. Because they're gonna go into their shop and ask for it. So that's how I would reach that shop owner. You could do a podcast just for shop owners. There aren't any that I know of that are specifically for yarn shop owners. But I think they're gonna respond better to a podcast for your own shop owners from another yarn shop owner. So what I would do is reach your customers and then say, your call to action is, go into your local shop and ask for, I think her company is Fairytale Yarns, so ask for name of my brand, right?
I have something I just wanted to add to that is don't you think that shop owners are also retail customers in some respect? They're also using yarn, so if they heard the podcast, then they would also want the yarn.
Exactly, exactly. So you're gonna reach them because they're knitters too. They're interested, and if you just did a show for shop owners, that's gonna be such a narrow, niche audience whereas if you reach knitters specifically who are into the qualities that your yarn brings into their life. And then at the end of the show you say, we're expanding our wholesale range right now. If you're a shop owner, go here. And if you're a customer, go into your shop and tell them to go here. And people will do that. When I've asked my audience to go recommend me to, I was traveling and teaching at yarn shops, so go into your local yarn shop and recommend me. Actually had people reach out and ask me for that. Because yarn shop owners listen to their customers more than they listen to somebody who's selling them something. And like you said, they're also gonna listen to a knitting show because they're into it. We talked a little bit about your goals and how a podcast is gonna help. The reason we did this is to make sure you're not doing a podcast just 'cause you're watching this class on CreativeLive. But because it's actually gonna benefit your business. And you're thinking through how it's gonna benefit in the way you most care about. But also because it's gonna keep you doing it when things get hard. So you really want to keep it tied into your goal and always keep that in mind because it's gonna be hard to keep going week after week, and keeping it really tied to your goals will help you do that. So the next question though to pick your format 'cause that's what we're doing. Is which is the format that appeals to you most? So what is the one that when I was talking about it, you're like that sounds super awesome. Do you wanna tell me?
Sure. Solo or round table, but solo most likely. This is where I run into do I wanna do more than one podcast? (laughing) Because I have a couple different avenues that I could go but for the one I was telling you about, I would say for sure solo.
Yeah, I think so too. That makes a lot of sense. Also because your life is already complex. It has a lot of complex moving parts. Best to just go with the most straightforward. Because you can sit down at literally any time and record it. You don't have to organize anything.
My only hiccup with that is I'm not alone very often. (laughing)
That's true. So maybe you have to wait til everyone else is sleeping, and you just don't sleep, right? The other thing is that it's totally fine. If your podcast is about managing four kids and you have kids running around in the background, people are gonna get it. They're gonna be like, she's really real. As long as they're not disturbing your audio. You know, too much. The occasional giggle is fine, but the screaming in your face may be a problem. (laughs)
Jenny's asking does it affect your credibility if you switch between formats? She's done a solo show which isn't yet consistent but she's working on it. But because I go to yarn shows, I want to do vlogs when I visit them to show some of the visual. And then the odd joint show with my best friend. So kind of mix and match.
It's totally fine to change up your formats. You can actually absolutely change it up. It's gonna be interesting to your listener. What you wanna keep in mind is that the more consistent you can be in what you promise and deliver, the more your listener's gonna become addicted. However, if you're doing this on YouTube, the different visual styles will be really interesting. But if I'm listening and I kinda don't know what to expect, I'm gonna maybe not listen every time, but that's okay. You don't need every listener to listen to every single show. It's all right if they don't. What I would actually do is when you go to shows and it's very visual, I would take your solo show and put the audio on iTunes. I would make those. When you're going to a big craft show or fiber festival, I would put those just on YouTube. And then say on the audio show, this week we have a bonus video you can check out on YouTube, or on my site. Embed the YouTube on your site, and send them there. So that way, it's like a bonus, but it's not interrupting the flow of what they're used to. As for adding in her best friend, I think it's totally charming. They're adorable together. Definitely changing it up. So sometimes it's just you. Sometimes it's you and your friend. People will love that. It's kind of like having a rotating cast of characters in your TV show. They get to know the best friend, or they get to know your husband. Or maybe PK shows up sometimes, and they're like, oh okay, that's great. Now I see what her life is really like. So totally okay. When you talk about picking a format, you don't have to stick with one all the time. I have a solo show, and just a couple weeks ago, I was interviewed on another show, so I played our interview on my show. In part, so I didn't have to come up with new content. (laughs) And also sometimes, I do a Q and A show. So I will do that thing on Instagram where I read off their questions and answers. That sounds like a normal show. I will also do with their audio clips from calling in my Google Voice. Like for anniversary shows 'cause it's more work, I'll add that in so they are hearing different voices. Changes it up. The longer you do it, the more you're gonna wanna change and grow and expand so you don't get sick of yourself all the time. So I want you guys to think about what format appeals to you and then what the challenge is of that format is gonna be. So these are the questions that are in your workbook. If you don't have a workbook, you can get one. What are the challenges of this format? It's really important to identify now, like Liz identified I'm never alone. So if I need to record alone, that's a challenge. If you identify that challenge now, you can then work through the next question is how are you gonna overcome that challenge? How are you going to get past it, so you can become consistent and work regularly and have that happen all the time? So I ask you to do this now because if you don't, what you'll find, is there's a word for it even. Podfade. Where you start a podcast, you go hardcore for most shows. Do five or 10 episodes and then you disappear and nobody ever hears from you again. There are so many awesome podcasts that have happened to. And I think what they fail to do is A, tie it strongly to their goals. B, identify the obstacles and then make a plan for overcoming them. So one of the obstacles for me is that I travel to teach. It's part of my job, and so I'm not always home every Tuesday to do my recording. So how am I going to overcome that? For me, I batch it. Or occasionally, I do things from the road if I know I'm gonna have a quiet hotel room. But list your obstacles and then list ways of overcoming them. And when things get hard, you can go back, and you can be like, I made a plan for this. I can overcome this. So are there more questions about anything we covered this morning so far?
A few questions. Slightly, some of them a bit more to do with how you actually formulate your content. So Tessa asked, do you write a script before recording each podcast?
I was thinking about if we're gonna cover that later. I don't think we cover that. That's a good question. I do because I am teaching. It's like what I have here. It's just notes to myself to remember to hit the points I want to hit. Because I want it to be really deep and useful, I don't wanna just kinda ramble. I will pre-think it. So in the morning in my quiet time, or when I'm reading a book and I love something I read, I like write more about it, and I take those pieces, and I put them together. I organize them. I think what else is missing from this, and I add to it. I do all of that before I hit record. Because once I hit record, I don't know that it's gonna come back to me again if I don't have it written down. If you're doing a show that's more casual, like you're reviewing books, you might wanna write down just three points. Most of the people who's shows that I watch and listen to, it's not very scripted at all. The thing about the scripting is to then be comfortable enough with it that you can just deliver it. If I stood up here and read the whole time, it wouldn't be very interesting or engaging. So if you have a script, you have to know it well enough. I don't even really like to call it a script. I call it my outline. And later, I use it as my transcript which we'll talk about later today. Did you have a question?
That was my question was about transcripts. I always hear people say in the show notes, you'll find this link. And it's like, what does that mean? (laughing)
We'll talk about show notes. We're gonna talk about everything you're gonna put on your website to make your podcast make sales, and part of that, is if I say my book, you can get it at taraswiger.com/book. And you'll find the link in today's show notes. And we'll talk about exactly what that means. And the transcript I do as a slightly different piece. Which I just take the notes I've written, and I make them pretty, and I make them so you can download them. And people like it, and actually I just got an email from somebody last week that said, "I don't ever listen to your podcast anymore, "but I do read your transcripts "because it's just faster for me." So basically what she's doing is she's reading a blog post. It's exactly like when I used to write blog posts. Now I'm just verbally making them, so people can do their dishes and listen. 'Cause people are reading long-form articles less and less. If they are, it's often the news or a magazine or a newspaper or something like that. So my blog post about your business just becomes so much more portable if I'm talking them out. So you wanna think about your audience, which we're gonna talk about in the next segment, and what's gonna best serve her. She might want to have both options, so doing something like writing out the script or writing out the transcript might really help. Some people do the transcript after it's recorded. You can either hire somebody to do that, or you can do it yourself. I don't need to listen to it again. So I just take my notes from before, and often, verbally I say other things that aren't there, but that's like the bonus of listening.
Camiela also asked with regards to hiring help. Are there editors you can hire online to help you hone your content?
To hone your content. So that's a slightly different. I'm not sure if she means the actual content development, which is something that you might actually want to work with a business coach type person to figure out what kind of content to post. We're gonna go into it in the next segment. If you want your audio edited, there's absolutely podcast editors out there who do it. I get an email from one every two weeks pitching me on their service which is always insulting because I actually have my podcast edited. (laughs) So I'm like, I don't need to hire you. I work with Jolie Kelly who we met in the YouTube class. She edits my video which gets split into audio. And my husband started out doing it after he quit his day job to work in my company. So it's very simply edited. You can get it much more detailed edited. It can be expensive if you go with somebody who you don't know who has a big business. So I would ask around and get recommendations for getting that done if you wanna get it done. I really recommend that people just start doing it themselves. Record, post it. If you want it edited, open up the software. I link to it in the resource guide. GarageBand on your MacBook. And watch a couple YouTube videos on how to do it. That's what I did in the beginning. I always say in your small business, don't hire anybody until you've done the job yourself and you've streamlined it and you have systematized it. 'Cause then you know how long it takes you, and you can see how much time they're saving you. So it saves me tons of time. Because if I was listening, I would get disgusted with myself. And be like, I can't believe I said that. Let's cut it all out. So it saves me time because I would just overanalyze everything. And by taking the emotion out and having someone else do it, it's worthwhile. But that was only after a year and a half of my podcast. So really make your podcast make you money first. Then spend that money on an editor is what I recommend.