This is an exciting milestone episode! It took two years, and a few sabbaticals, but we did it—we hit 100 episodes and it has me feeling nostalgic and full of all kinds of emotions.
We've grown to a lovely, engaged audience in these hundred episodes. I love that I get to hear from you personally when things strike you. And, I thank you so much. I know I've said that a number of times, but it's hard to describe how meaningful that is for me just to know that what I'm sharing here is serving you and helping to project your beautiful voice out in the world.
I thought it would be cool to share with you some of the lessons that I've learned across these episodes. Ten lessons to be exact! If you're considering a podcast, I hope that you'll find these directly and specifically helpful in that process. But, they really transcend just podcasting—they're about business building, human connection, offerings, and content delivery skills whatever your medium of sharing.
So, think broadly as you listen to these lessons and enjoy this little back backstage view!
What You’ll Learn from this “100 Episodes” Episode:
- The value of an awesome podcast team (and podcast mentors!)
- The power of getting less hung up on the “how” and embracing serendipity
- The necessity of putting the right systems in place
- How a team can take the busy work off your plate so that you can enjoy the process more
- That your podcast voice matters and can help you grow your business
- Why it's important to be a good interviewer and how to be one
- The importance of preparing for an interview and important steps to include in your process
- Why a successful podcast has nothing to do with a great podcast
- The necessity of consistency
- How to craft a standout podcast pitch
- Creating the impression that you know what you're doing (even when you're floundering)
- Why it's a good idea to listen to every episode of your podcast
Listen to the Full “100 Episodes” Episode
Featured On The Show:
- Digital Freedom Productions
- Kara Lowentheil's Unf*ck Your Brain podcast
- Susan Hyatt's Rich Coach Club podcast
- All of the Brilliance at Work podcasts
- The Brilliance at Work Community Facebook Group
- Download my book Beyond Applause: Making a Meaningful Difference Through Transformational Speaking
- Check out my Coaches Leadership Collective for more insight and support for your podcast project
The “100 Episodes” Transcript:
Welcome to the Brilliance at Work Podcast, where we shine a light on where great work, charisma and growing a thriving business you love really comes from. I'm Michelle Barry Franco. I've been a speaker of thought leadership coach for more than a decade from TEDx stages to world famous conferences. And I've helped some of the most beloved business leaders grow their businesses and serve in the biggest way possible through their business and through their thought leadership. I love that. I get to share the best of what I've learned with you here on the Brilliance at Work Podcast. Hello? Hello, my brilliant friend. How are you? This is an exciting episode. It's a milestone episode for us. So, this is episode number 100 and it's kind of amazing to me for a number of reasons. So, I'm feeling a little bit, we'd be kind of nostalgic and I don't know, I guess, full of all kinds of emotions.
And if I'm honest, for some reason, that's been the case this whole week. And so it might be a little bit of being 49 and some of the natural evolution of hormones during this life is, but I know that at least some of this weepy extra emotion feeling is that it's our hundredth episode of the Brilliance at Work Podcast. And honestly, I can't believe that for a number of reasons. I'm going to talk about some of those as we go through this episode, I'm not really a goal setter. So, this is one of the primary reasons. I'm not really a goal setter. I mean, I want to be at times, but I still haven't figured out a way to create a goal that feels inspiring to me to stick with it. I don't know how to stick with a goal just because I set a goal.
It just doesn't work for me that way. It's a funny thing. I still get an impressive amount of stuff done. People say that to me all the time. I see, you know, I write, I wrote my book really fast. I've done that multiple times. I create whole new programs, whole new websites write all kinds of copy and emails. So, it's not that I don't get a lot done. I do, but it's just not very goal inspired. And that is part of why this hundredth episode could sneak up on me. Right. Because it wasn't like I had set a big goal about podcasting, likr I'm going to create a podcast and we're going to get these outcomes from it. I'm going to do it for this long. Or I just, you know, that I've taken a few sabbaticals hiatus. I called them different things at different times and I just kind of follow what feels right.
So, it just sort of snuck up on me that, Oh my gosh, we hit this super fun milestone. And I thought it would be cool to just share with you some of the lessons that I've learned across these hundred episodes. So, because that's pretty much by the way, that's two years, especially given our couple of weeks sabbaticals. I think one of them was a few weeks and the other was like a month. So, it's definitely been more than two years. See how I don't even know what date we launched. I'm just not good at those kinds of things. And then to add to that, my podcast strategy hasn't really been super clear and focused. I have friends and clients who have been super strategic with their podcast and they've built million dollar businesses with their podcasts at the heart of their marketing and their audience building the way they nurture the relationships, but also the way they bring in new people.
It's been brilliant to get to watch. I thought of podcasting much more as a way to connect with you heart to heart. And by the way, these are not mutually exclusive. And these clients and friends that I'm referring to also connect heart to heart. They just have also been a lot more strategic and created a larger really successful business model around it. I just didn't draw those direct lines. And therefore, as we set strategy, I'm going to talk about all this in more detail as we go through these 10 lessons from a hundred podcasts. But that's another reason why it's kind of amazing that we've gotten here because it's not like I created the strategy and said, okay, we're going to make sure that podcasting pays for itself in a certain amount of time. That just hasn't been the case. I don't track it that way.
So, that's going to be different going forward. I mean, one of the things that we've done recently is a lot more strategic thinking about the business for our next level of business building. And so it will be different from here, but it's, I feel like we're in this kind of nurturing little cocoon from these first couple of years of creating this podcast together and watching it grow and create more impact than I even imagined it would see. I didn't think about all that ahead of time. So, it'll be fun to dive into these lessons with you. We've grown to a lovely, engaged audience in these hundred episodes. And I get to hear from you personally when things strike you. And I thank you so much. I know I've said that a number of times, but it's hard to describe how meaningful that is for me just to know that what you're hearing here, what I'm sharing is serving you and your beautiful voice out in the world.
That is my whole strategy, really. And honestly, I've gotten some feedback when things aren't as clear as they could be. And that too has been really helpful. So, I feel like we're in this together and that's why I loved the idea of a contest that we ran this past week leading up to today's podcast. So hopefully you saw that and you've had the opportunity to share in the submissions, share your favorite podcast episodes. And when one of the prizes I want, I wanted to hear from you around which episodes were your favorite, cause that'll also help us going forward. As we think about how to focus our content in the next hundred episodes. I just love getting insight into what's really working for you. So when I thought about what I wanted to talk about in today's episode, it just seemed like the perfect time to debrief this experience so far and just share with you some of the unexpected things or some of the sort of like behind the scenes, things that I've learned along the way.
And if you're considering a podcast, I hope that you'll find these directly and specifically helpful in that process, but the insights that I'm going to share with you, they really transcend just podcasting. And you know, they're about business building, human connection, offerings, content delivery skills, whatever your medium of sharing. So, think about this broadly as you listen to these lessons and I hope you enjoy just getting this little backstage view. Let's dive into the lessons then.
Number one, we never really know what will happen when we start something new. I mean, that's just kind of like a life lesson that I feel I keep living over and over and over again. And really it's become kind of a basic understanding of how life goes for me. But I wanted to share about that in, in direct relationship with the podcast.
I began podcasting because so many people I knew were loving the process and they have this amazing podcasting team. So I learned, first of all, that they were loving it. I love listening to podcasts, number one, then I started to get to know more people who were creating awesome podcasts and they were loving the process of creating them while they were still able to do a lot of other stuff in their business. So, I initially thought that creating a podcast would take tons of time cause you had to record and then edit and know how to send it out to all the places. But it turns out that these colleagues and clients of mine were using this incredible podcasting team. And many of them were using the same production team that we use, which is Digital Freedom Productions, love them, still using them. They're my people.
Thank you. Thank you, Pavel and Angela and your whole team. So I learned about Pavel and Angela and Digital Freedom Productions. And I was like, Hmm, this is sounding easier. I love to share my ideas through voice through speaking. And of course I do, but this seemed like a really fun and kind of natural way to do that. So, it turns out I love it too. I got to talk with the team and learned, you know, that I could be guided and supported through this. Now this solution may or may not work for you. If you're thinking about a podcast, it's a significant investment to work with a really great team. And there are, of course, all kinds of production teams out there. You want one that really knows what they're doing and that takes it off your plate. That is what I would say has been my experience with having a team help me with the production.
I do have some colleagues who produce their podcast themselves. They've been able to get the equipment and they've learned how to edit and also how to record their podcast. So, there's not much editing required and they've created their podcasting little closet or whatever, so that the sound is already good and they just do it. And so there are a lot of different ways to do it for me. I love that. I can just share my ideas with you and then have someone else handle all of the technical aspects. Now my growth through the podcast and the, you know, direct line of business, as I said, has not been as straightforward as theirs. And part of that is that they are just, they were more strategic from the beginning. It's something we're thinking about more now, but I've really enjoyed just letting this be something that we wanted to start and enjoy that I've enjoyed.
And it has been that. But if you want to know some of the people that I'm referring to, if you're not already following and listening to Karla Loewentheil, who has Unfuck Your Brain as her podcast and Susan Hyatt who has Rich Coach Club, then you're definitely gonna want to go listen to them. These are two of my mentors around podcasting, who I was watching and learning from and just really grateful to have their inspiration. So, I love a new project and a new project that sounds exciting and fun to try. And the less hung up on how it turns out, the more I get to enjoy what shows up along the way. And that's what podcasting has been for me. And if you're thinking about doing your own podcast, I'm not saying follow my lead. And don't, don't worry as much about strategy, but I just want to offer up the idea that who knows, if you feel that spark, that attraction to trying out this way of sharing your voice, do it.
Like it's a really fun way to learn what you want to say. And, you know, nobody has to say yes to you on their stage, right? Nobody has to say yes to you being a guest on their podcast. Cause you're creating your own. And you know, by the way, I've had some clients who've done this and they've created just like a series, they've done a six-part podcast series or they've done one season. So there are a lot of ways to do this where you can just test it out and you're not making a longer term commitment. So that's the first lesson.
Second lesson. Turns out I am even less detail inclined than I thought I was. And that frankly is saying something. And I learned that through this podcasting process. So edits just drive me crazy. And if you are not a detail-oriented person, you'll know what I mean.
It's like, you know, there are like seven different things that you need to attend to just to make this one recording. Good, right? Like you have to cut out certain things or, you know, there was a big unexpected sound, you know, in a certain section, which I guess is part of that needing to cut out certain things or you have to put in the intro and the outro of your podcast, if you're doing this yourself, like just even the idea of needing to splice together like that. When we were thinking about how we were going to handle podcast production, and we thought about, do you know at certain points along the last couple of years, do we want to try to bring this in-house? And every time I think about that, it just makes me cringe, but it's not just that there are a lot of different pieces to getting the podcast out there.
You can go record a podcast, have an amazing podcast production team and then have your podcasts on iTunes with the other, however many million podcasts are out there. And you know, it could be fun like, hey, do that If it sounds fun to you, but people are (inaudible)If you build it, they will come kind of thing. It just doesn't work that way. You want your people to know about it. Even if like huge podcast growth, isn't a main focus for you. There's systems that you need to put in place. And this took me a long time. First of all, just to figure out what our system was going to be. And then to figure out who was going to handle what for a long time on our team, I was kind of responsible for getting the podcast. You know, the podcast player would come back in and then they would create the blog post for us.
And then it sort of what gets stuck at me, right? Cause I have to read that blog post, which is where we share. So we have a podcast page. If you go to Michellebarryfranco.com/podcast, you can see all of the podcasts. Well, each of those episodes has its own blog post page. I have finally gotten to the place where someone else creates, writes that whole podcast or that whole blog post based on what they've read and that they've heard in the podcast. And also they get out, we create a transcript every time. So, there's this whole system we had to create. And it took me a long kind of edgy agitating time to figure out how we were going to do this. And thank goodness I have a team. When I say team, I have part-time people who work with me, but they're very devoted and with an amazing relationship and they're really good at what they do.
So over time they have said, okay, Michelle, we'll write that. And then you can take a peek at it. And as they've gotten better at writing it, you know, just so that it felt like it was in my voice, that the podcast episode is. So, it makes it easier to just kind of get a summary down. All you need is a summary on that page. And so we get that created. And then of course that needs to be shared somewhere because again, just because you build a podcast page on your website, doesn't mean they'll come. So then we need to share this out in social media, which means gathering images. If I've interviewed a guest, we need to get images from them and a bio from them. We need to create podcast art that looks nice and is engaging enough that people are interested in, you know, they’re captivated or their attention is grabbed so they'll look at it.
We need good titles for the podcasts, again, so that they sound interesting. And like they're going to solve a real problem or entertain in a way that our audience really appreciates and enjoys. So, all of those things, oh my gosh, have at times felt really daunting for me. And they will kind of stop me from, they can block my joy if I let my head get too wrapped up in it. So, what I would share with you that I've learned from here is let whoever you are bringing in, first of all, let people help you. I mean, you can have people. I have some people on my team who just worked with me a couple of hours a week. They have a very specific expertise like social media. And so we give them the podcast blog post and they create a quick little clip.
And then I check, you know, I check it over and just kind of make sure that I like what it says or just change a few words and then they share it out for us. So, just really accepting that the details will stop me from moving forward on really exciting, fun things, and then putting the right systems in place and the right support in place. That's been a big lesson and really the podcast has been at the center of that because it is really a big part of the way we share content every week. And then the other part about me being less detail-inclined is that there's a, shall we say a big opportunity for me that I'm still sort of leaning into around thinking ahead and planning my content so that these episodes, when you record an episode, there are elements to it that connect with business offerings that we have coming up, right?
Like being able to share about an upcoming promotion or a freebie and telling stories about clients that help people feel inspired. All of that helps you use your podcast as an integral part of your business growth. And I just haven't, I haven't been great at the thinking ahead, the detailed thinking ahead in order to do that again, it's my opportunity. There's my city language for this next phase in our podcast growth, the other fun learning. So, that was number two, that's sort of less detail-inclined, but the lesson being, bring on a team and just be willing to let them take that off your plate so that you can do this really fun way of sharing content.
So, my third lesson has been your podcast voice matters. And I say this because, and this is really such a celebration and such a gift that I've gotten from doing this podcast.
And that is the number of people who send me emails or say to me on the phone in a consult call. First of all, many times when I'm on a consult call, the person who is hiring me and often, but not always ends up hiring me has been listening to my podcast. So they will say, I learned about you through your podcast, or I learned about you, you know, because my friend, so-and-so referred you and they sent me your podcast on, you know, a certain podcast. And then I just started listening every week. And I've been listening to it since then, and you know, your voice is so encouraging and optimistic, and I just feel like you really care. And I love that you talk about making a difference and I just feel like your message really resonates with mine. And most of what they're saying to me in these calls and emails and all the different ways I get to hear this incredible feedback is that the voice, my voice on this podcast has created a connection for them.
And it really feels to me like that happens in a way that nothing else that I offer does. So I've written a book Beyond Applause, Make a Meaningful Difference Through Transformational Speaking. I've gotten wonderful feedback about that. And I think it has served people and people will say to me, “I have been so grateful for your processes and I've worked through your exercises.” You know, they've said all of these cool things about what they've gotten out of the book, but specifically the feedback about the podcast is the connection of voice. They'll say things like “your voice is so calming and soothing and it just feels like things are possible.” And so your voice may be entirely different. You may have a much more upbeat, inspiring voice. I know when I listened to podcasts, I listened to different ones at different times for different reasons.
And this is part of what has really made me realize how your podcast voice really does matter. And it adds an element to the business that other things that you're sharing, just don't, there's an intimacy to podcasting, right? Often people are putting, you're a voice in their headset, right. Or they're playing it in their car while they're driving. And so you're getting kind of a full stereo connection with them. And that's pretty cool. So, I guess I just wanted to point this one out because it has been a tremendous gift and really a surprise for me. I am surprised how often I get feedback about my voice being a nurturing kind of resonance. And then, you know, we're often talking because they want to work with me. So while I haven't created the great, you know, business strategy in a larger sense, absolutely this podcast has helped me grow my business for sure.
All right. So, number four is being a good interviewer is a skill to learn and grow into. So, I went to Florida in February and had a vision day with Debbie Phillips. I've talked about that before on this podcast. And I know there's more to share about that. The fascinating thing is we came, we set a whole plan for life and business, and it was a beautiful experience, but then we came home and COVID happened and everything kind of shifted. And we did a big pivot in the business and that's all been fine and great. But the other thing I did with Debbie when I was in Florida is on the second day, she brought me into her fancy schmancy studio, her recording studio in Florida, who, by the way, she also shares with, apparently, Glennon Doyle Melton, and Abby Wambach also use this recording studio.
No, I did not see them while I was there, but it was kind of exciting just to share that space. Anyway, she brought me into her professional recording studio that she uses every week or whenever she goes periodically, when she goes in to record podcasts. And there was like a professional sound tech and everything there. And then she interviewed me for the Women on Fire community. So it was a private interview. It's not a podcast that I can share publicly, but what was really remarkable is that Debbie clearly had read my book. She clearly had thought a lot and she had written out her questions, but also she let the conversation evolve in a way that felt really natural, but it was built on really knowing about my work and, you know, my message in the book, my work in the world.
And I think that's something that I'm learning more and more as I get to interview guests on our podcast, we've had some pretty amazing guests on the podcast and, and honestly I've gotten pretty nervous. Some of them, I even knew some of them were my clients, but you know, they're pretty well known people. And so I was surprised when we would get to the point of, you know, recording the podcast interview and getting on the phone for that purpose. All of a sudden I had all these butterflies, even though I had confidently coached them and their speaking and their messaging and all of that, it was just really funny. So the lesson there being just preparing ahead of time watching Debbie Phillips. Another great example is I was interviewed by the person who leads Vitamin Lead, the host of Vitamin Lead.
We'll put that in the show notes. And it was such a wonderful conversation. I mean, I think he lives all the way across the country and it was actually a video recording. So we were both on video, but it's also shared as an audio. And I literally, I was like, I could sit and have coffee with this guy. He had read my book. He really appreciated a lot of concepts in the book and was clearly deeply wanting to understand those elements and how they could apply to his audience and trying to ask the questions that would most serve them. It was just really enjoyable. So my lesson has been, and I think I'm getting better and better at interviewing, but I still have a lot to learn, yes. Prepare, which I usually do. And also not to make a big deal of it if you start to feel nervous.
So, if you do feel nervous before you go into an interview of a guest, if you decide to do a podcast, or if you're doing it as a Facebook live or in any way that you're doing this, if you're doing it on stage and a panel, just the key is, and this is what I've learned as a public speaking coach and a speaker. It's just not that big of a deal. And I don't mean to minimize feelings that you have in your body, except I kind of do, because I think we make too big of a deal of feelings. We live in the feeling of our thinking. So you have some thoughts that say, Oh my gosh, this person is such a big deal. They're going to, you know, what, if I ask a stupid question, whatever your brain is thinking, the thoughts that you're thinking brain thinks, right?
And then that's going to create sensations in your body. If you recognize that that's all a very normal process, then you can come to these conversations with so much more presence because you're not focused on what's going on in your head. And again, this is my learning edge too. I'm learning this more and more, and I'm just really realizing that being a really good interview, this is a skill to learn and grow into. And I'm all about it. I'm really excited about growing into an even better interviewer. All right. So that's number four.
Number five. It takes longer to prepare a great episode than I imagined. So, I love to show up and talk, who doesn’t? Right? In fact, I meet people who say regularly, I meet people who say, Oh, I'm much better when I speak off the cuff. It's when I prepare that I start to really blow it.
And honestly, I'm quick to lovingly and as carefully as possible share that it's rarely true that people are better off the cuff. And I believe that I've seen it over and over. It's true that they feel less anxious. And so I'm guessing. And so they're probably having a better time of it. They're enjoying the experience more, but that is not a reflection of how impactful you've been. So the feelings in your body are not necessarily a direct correlation with your impact or the difference that you're making. And I know they should be, and it would be best if there was just like, you could feel the alignment of when I'm in great flow and I feel great in my body, I'm also having the greatest impact, but that just hasn't been the case. In many cases, there's an edgy period of learning.
And during that edgy period of learning, we aren't necessarily comfortable while we practice these new skills. So, back to my number five, learning, it takes longer to prepare a great episode than I imagined. This is, you know, something that I've had to learn. I have mastery around talking about public speaking. I have my 10,000 hours. I can stand in front of a room and be useful and and also feel relatively comfortable. So, I'm not saying you can never do that for sure. You can, but each new medium is a new, it's kind of like a restart or at least we have to jump back in the mastery process. And for me learning how to share my ideas in a finite period of time through audio, without visual feedback, and really keeping it tight within a 30ish minute timeframe, although today's is going to go longer.
I do know that it’s been definitely a learning curve. And so it's taken me longer because I've had to do more prep than I thought I would have to when I had the great idea to start this podcast. So here's my prep process, just to share with you in case you're considering starting a podcast, and by the way, this doesn't include the entire strategy and set up and branding of the podcast itself. I'm just talking about preparing for an episode. So, first think of a topic ideally in advance a little too often, not that far in advance. So, the perfect scenario, the ideal scenario is that you have this list that you've created ahead of time, which I have had at times, one of the most amazing things that I did in when I was being coached by Susan Hyatt as part of a mastermind with her, was she had, she did this contest on content planning.
And so in that process, we created the six-month plan. It was like the coolest thing ever because you had to work hard on it. And I was kind of annoyed cause I don't really love thinking ahead and planning that much. I love the idea of it, but not doing it. But I did win that contest, by the way, which was a thousand-dollar prize. I'm just saying. So anyway, having that list ahead of time was great. Either way, you have to have a topic ahead of time. So, that's the first thing. The second thing is, think of a story to open up the topic. So, in most cases, the vast majority open up with a story that connects us mind to mind, heart, to heart. So that's what I try to think about is what's a story that will resonate with my audience and then I need to outline the content.
And sometimes that takes a long time, like I'm talking about main 0.1 and then sub point B and then the little I, and then I, while I break down the content, because once I'm recording the less edits, the, just the more flow that will feel, even though we have this great editing team, I know that when I have so many edits, it ends up just kind of feeling broken even in my own delivery. So outline the content, be sure to use the magic mix of content, which you probably know is stories, research, and data, and a little bit of audience engagement. Even if it's like, think about this, or can you imagine, or what if you tried this right? So just ways of inviting them into the content and then remember to mention important upcoming events, which I mostly don't think far enough ahead and strategically enough do at least I haven't, but going forward one of my plans.
So those are the steps for preparing an episode. And then of course there's recording, which takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many times I restart or have to stop and pause and you know, all of that. And then of course in my house, there's clearing everybody out, telling them to be quiet, don't make noise in the kitchen, all of that. So it does, it takes quite a bit of time. Again, I send it off and have someone else edit it, but if you're going to edit it yourself, that's, you know, I don't know, another hour or two, at least I'm not sure about that part. Okay. So that was number five.
Number six, a successful podcast has nothing to do with how great your podcast is.
I just got off the phone with a beautiful new client yesterday and she found my work. She found our business through this podcast. She's not quite sure, you know how, you're not exactly sure how you came upon a podcast, but somehow she came upon our podcast and has been listening, you know, to all of them too regularly. She loves the message about making a difference and serving through speaking and leadership. And that's just kept her, you know, listening and clicking on the next episode and randomly choosing a new one. And now I get to support her even more fully because we're going to work together on her message and her thought leadership. So that is success. As far as I'm concerned for this podcast, meaning it got out there to the right person who heard it well or heard it in a way that really resonated for her.
And then she eventually got in touch. Now, I think it's been months that she's been listening and I don't think that's uncommon, but realize that she had to find it. So again, I'm not sure how this particular client found it. A lot of people find our podcast through social media, through my social media, through social media shares of clients or others who listened to the podcast. And just recently we've started increasing our search engine optimization and that's been kind of incredible. I've actually seen my podcast come up on searches a lot more often with this SEO. So, you can have a great podcast that has excellent content. But like I said earlier, just because you build it doesn't mean that they'll come, right? We have to think about strategy. You see my theme for this next hundred podcast episodes. So the heartfelt messages that I've gotten about this podcast totally, absolutely bring tears to my eyes regularly.
It's an offering of love and it's clearly received that way. Like when I record these podcasts, it just comes from my heart and my desire to serve you with information, stories of inspiration, my own learning experiences that will help you get out there and share your message and really step into that call to that call to leadership with your, we don't have a huge audience at the Brilliance at Work Podcast. I haven't really focused on that. I know we could, but we don't yet. And again, we'll see what happens in these next hundred episodes. I can't wait to give you that update. We're in the top for, I don't know, maybe 30 to 40%, you know, meaning we're better than 50% of podcasts that are out there, but we're, we have a lot of room to grow and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens if we focus on that and I've loved just enjoying the impact that we've been able to make, but just a reminder to myself and to you that just because you're creating a great podcast does not mean that it's as successful as it could be.
All right, let's talk about number seven of these 10 lessons from a hundred-podcast episodes. Number seven is really personal for me, but maybe it'll be helpful to you too. Every week without fail I get an episode of the Brilliance at Work Podcast recorded. It's not always pretty, but it gets stabbed. I have recorded literally holding my microphone inside of a toaster unplugged of course, instead of a toaster so that it could like, you know, hold it upright. While I had my computer on the counter in a tiny little kitchenette in a hotel room in Washington, D C because my podcast was due and I didn't do it before I left, I didn't record it. So I had to bring my podcast, you know, I had to bring my equipment and record that podcast before midnight on the day that it's due. And I've been kind of amazed to see I've done that multiple times in various hotel rooms on vacations.
My family has gone off to places like the beach while I've stayed back to get my podcast recorded before I joined them on whatever fun adventures that we were doing on a vacation. So again, if you're a planner and you, a lot of people are brilliant at batching their content. I know that's the best advice around this. So you'll probably do it that way. And then you won't have this problem. But for me, I don't even know if I'd call it a problem. What I have loved is seeing that I really can be committed to an outcome because I tend to be sort of, I don't know, kind of free-spirited about deadlines. I don't really worry a ton about deadlines, but, but with this, I just have it's, it's worked out great. And I think it's partly because, so I'm generally terrible with schedules, calendars, routines, that kind of thing.
And what I've learned is that it's not required to get it done, that, you know, it's not required that you have a schedule or that you do batches or that you do it the way that people advise. Now, that doesn't mean it wouldn't be better, but I know my deadline and I make sure that I meet that deadline. And that feels good to me. I love the feeling of knowing exactly how to meet my deadline no matter what I've put myself in. So again, just a lesson for me, like I really can be committed to something every single week. And I resist this all the time. So if that's something that you worry about, by the way, I always make it to my client appointments. You know, I think part of it is I have a podcast team that gives me a deadline. Otherwise I pay a fee.
So, and it's, you know, it's a significant enough fee that I don't want to pay it. So that's motivating. I know the team is waiting for me and I'm part of their workflow planning. And I care about them just like with clients. I know that they've planned their life around our sessions. So of course I'm going to be there. So yes, I know that I can make it too. I can make deadlines and meet appointments, but this has felt more like a devotion, cause I can quit this anytime I want. And you know, I've taken a few breaks, but I just keep showing up to it, even with the deadlines and the C and the, you know, the lots of work because I love it so much. So I don't know. Maybe there's something in there that'll help you think about whether you want to do this.
Maybe you have felt like, geez, how would it feel to do this every single week? And I can tell you as someone who resists that kind of thing, I'm pretty much still digging it. Okay.
Number eight, there are a lot of crappy podcast pitches floating around the interwebs and there are a few stand out good ones. The standout good pitches to be a guest on a podcast are inspiring and exciting to receive as a podcast host to be one of them. So I don't, I rarely interview someone who I haven't generated the connection. So that's, I'll just be honest. That's not true of all podcasts. There are many podcasts out there that are looking for guests that want guests. We turn away 90%, maybe even 98% of the podcast pitches that come our way. But every once in a while we get one that is so beautifully crafted and it's from someone I don't know.
So most of the people I interview are people that I know and I'm like, wow, this person would be great for our audience. So I have enough certainty around their ability to add value that bringing them on feels just exciting to me. I'm not worried about how good they'll be or any of that, because I really want you to have a high-quality experience every single time. But I was once pitched for a podcast swap. So I got this pitch from a woman who has an awesome podcast with a beautiful following. And she said, “Hey, do you want to, you know, share podcast interviews?” Or I can't remember what she put in her subject line, but basically she was like, here are the stats on my podcast. Here are the amazing people that I have interviewed on my podcast. And these are names that were familiar to me that are in my industry, like big names that are exciting.
Her podcast statistics were exciting to me, although that wasn't as important to me for some people that's going to be a really big deal. She clearly had an energetic desire to serve my audience. So she spent a lot of time talking about who my audience is and how she thought she could specifically serve them with her message. And then she integrated into that email to me, an invitation to be on her podcast. And I was like, wow, that's super exciting. So she's like, Hey, I'll bring you on my podcast. You'll have an opportunity to, you know, be exposed to my whole audience and they'll learn about you. And then I'd love to be on your podcast and your audience can learn about me. So it was wonderful. We become lovely friends. It was such a great experience. That's one of the fun things about podcast interviewing is you really get to know the, you know, the host and the guest can get to know each other in a really cool way.
And I've made some amazing colleague-friends through both being a guest and also as the host of the podcast. I just got a pitch the other day from a guy. So first of all, I don't have very many men that I interview and all the men that I've interviewed so far have been my clients. And it's just because it's not because of anything. It's men. I love men. It's just because a huge part of my audience is women. And most of my clients are women, 85% maybe. And probably my audience is about that. I'm making it up, but it's something like that. And so it's mostly been women that I bring onto the podcast, but this pitch was so good. And he clearly understood my audience. He really wanted to serve in a way that I haven't had anybody come speak on the podcast about.
And so it was, he had done his research and he reached out with the focus being, how can I help? So, because I've been a podcast host for a little while now, and people have learned about the Brilliance at Work Podcast, I've gotten to see this underworld of podcasts pitching. And I want to tell you if you want to be interviewed on a podcast, craft a great pitch. And in fact, we just recorded our last episode or the one before that was with Jessica Rhodes of Interview Connections, who I have used her podcast booking agency. They actually get you booked on other people's podcasts, but we had a great conversation about how to set yourself to get more yeses as a podcast guest. So anyway, you might want to listen to that and just know that it'll be easy for you to stand out if you do this right, because there are a lot of bad pitches out there.
Alright. Number nine, are you sticking with me on this? I know this is a lot longer than usual, for sure. So number nine, I still want people to think I've got my shit together more than I do. And that's just the truth of it. When I started the podcast, I would restart my recordings eight to 10 times. Like I'm not just talking about, I want you to think I've got my shit together more than I do, which I do. I'm also worried about this podcasting team that I have, by the way, hired to edit my podcast. So in the beginning I would restart the whole recording eight to 10 times for each podcast, because I didn't want them to hear how many times I missed. It was like hailing back to my early days of video where I'd spent an entire day recording three videos for a free opt-in.
So the problem was here. I am paying someone to go through and hear these crappy mess ups and worrying about it. It's just ridiculous. I don't do that as much anymore. I'm willing to mess up more. It also turns out that, of course, as you get more experienced, you mess up less. But in this podcast you're listening to, there've been at least four times so far where I have stopped and said, let me say that again and then put a big pause and then they'll know to cut that out. But, you know, before I wouldn't have wanted them to hear all of those. So I still just worry about what people think and I'm working on that. Like, I want to let that go as much as possible. That's what this year has been about for me so far and will continue to be on stepping in.
It's my 40 nights, my 50th year, I guess, of life. Cause I turned 50 in May and I'm letting go of all of that worry, but I'm not there yet. I also don't always share the failures, even when I have a sense it would help. So I'm working on this. Like there are programs that we've offered. There are even free offerings that we've put out there like webinars and, you know, things like that, that just haven't gone the way that we hoped. And while we recover pretty well from those now I don't do as much sharing about those as I'd like to. And I think part of that is I just kind of want to keep this shiny exterior, this shiny view more than I think is helpful. So that's definitely one of the things that I'm working on going forward. I mean, having a beautifully produced podcast, a lovely website, nice social channels, and it's been 12 years.
It was definitely not always like that. But having all of that, without telling more of the things that didn't work, I really feel like as a disservice and I am practicing trying to be more vulnerable and really taking the time to share the lessons in a way that feel really useful, but also help people realize that if you're struggling, that is actually part of the path. Because I know that if you look from the outside at what's going on in our business, or what has gone on over the last six years or whatever, it looks a lot shinier than it has been. And in the podcast, I think in some ways can add to that because here I am just sharing my expertise and my stories and my great clients. And, but I just want to share a little bit more of the rollercoaster.
So, you feel really, really served and, and so that you re you feel less alone. That is, I know what will be of maximum value.
So working on that as we go forward, all right now for lesson 10, and this will not be a shocking one, but I still want to say it. It's the perfect close out. I love podcasting a lot. I've heard many people say that they never listened to their own podcasts. You know, they didn't want to listen to their own voice, but here’s a secret. I almost always listened to my own podcast. Is that weird? At first I would listen for quality control or at least that's what I was telling myself. You know, I just, it was new and I didn't know the team as well. And so I was just kind of listening to make sure that the editing was going okay.
Especially since I had so many broken edits and all of that. So at first it was for quality control, but now I admit that it's because it's one of the ways I can hear myself. Like I'm a person who knows what I think by saying it out loud. And that's been one of the most valuable lessons I've learned. So I'm actually going to say that again, cause maybe this applies to you or someone, you know, or care about. I'm a person who knows what I think by saying it out loud. So I'm one of those people that sometimes I have to talk for a little while for me to know what I'm really trying to say. Now I try not to do that on this podcast. That's why I do all of that prep and planning I talked about earlier, but there's a little bit of that in here, of course, cause that's part of my style and that's just part of who I am as a communicator, but it really helps me to listen to my own podcast for that reason.
And when I hear it, when I hear what I say, I learned so much more about what I know, what I think I said well, and what I think I could say better next time. All of that. I often have Jim, my husband, read to me – whatever I've written – out loud. So, parts of my book, if it's a blog, post social media posts, and I'm kind of nervous about sharing or something, I'll say to him, Hey, can you read this to me? It's like he knows now and hearing it is what really helps me know what I think of it. So I also love podcasting because I have this shareable, easily consumable content. I forward episodes to clients, to friends, to people who ask for advice to my family. It's such an easy way to help and to serve. I also love the personal connection.
And maybe even, especially in those opening few minutes of the podcast, you know, where I'm kind of saying hello and I'm like, a little window into my world. And in some ways I'm just thinking like, I it's almost like I can almost feel the window into your world, even though I know I'm not, of course I don't get to hear about your day or your weather or what just happened a few minutes ago, like I'm sharing with you. Maybe everyone wishes I'd get on with it while I'm doing this first part, but it feels so warm and connecting to me. It's my favorite part. It's kind of like those first few minutes, when you see a dear friend that you haven't seen for a bit, and you're just so happy to see their face and be in their presence, like so much so that you don't even want to get up and go order your coffee at the cafe because you don't want to use up any of the minutes together.
That's how I feel about being with you when we get together on this podcast. Okay. So there it is my 10 lessons from 100, we never really know what will happen when we start something new. I am even less detailing climb than I thought I was. Your podcast. Voice matters. Being a good interviewer is a skill to learn and grow into. It takes longer to prepare a great episode than I imagined. A successful podcast has nothing to do with how great your podcast actually is. There are a lot of crappy podcast pitches floating around the interwebs and some stand-out good ones. So, be one of the stand-out good podcast guest pitches. I still want people to think that I've got my shit together more than I do. And finally, I love podcasting a lot. I love being here with you so much. Thank you so much for being here on this hundredth episode journey with me.
I know this was a longer one. I hope you got nuggets out of it, or even just enjoyed some of the backstory, whether you just found us or you've been here all along these whole hundred episodes, I'm honored and delighted to share this time with you every single week. I think of these first a hundred episodes as our learning period, like our early years, maybe like elementary school into middle school. And so now we're heading into high school in this next phase and we're going to be trying out some new things with the podcast. Luckily, podcasting is safe under all social-distancing requirements, right? So when I think about going into high school, the first thing I think of is, Oh my gosh, we have no idea what high school is going to look like this next year. We have two high schoolers in our house anyway, too far with that metaphor point is I'm just honored and delighted that I get to serve you in this way.
And I'm excited to learn and share with you as we go forward. I promise to be more vulnerable than I have been before to really think about what would be most helpful to you and bring that as often as possible. And please please know that I love hearing what's working. What's not working. I love hearing your suggestions for topics and, and things that would be really, really helpful to you – guests, for me to have on the podcast, to all of that. I want to share the struggle as well as, as the celebrations as we move into this next hundred episodes together. So thank you again for being here. It's an honor to support you and your brilliant voice in the world. I know that you are meant to share your beautiful work far and wide. And it's awesome to be a part of that because you, my friend were absolutely without question made for this.
And I know that because you know that, so I'll see you here next week and I already can't wait, take care. Thank you so much for being here with me on the Brilliance at Work Podcast. If you want to know how to tap your own most natural charisma as a business owner, leader and speaker, you can download a free copy of my book Beyond Applause, Make a Meaningful Difference Through Transformational Speaking. This includes a free short course that helps you get crystal clear on the message at the heart of your work. You can get a free copy of this book and that short course at brillianceatwork.com/free book. I hope you'll love it.
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