Are you doing too much? Offering too many services? Perhaps it’s time to niche down and tailor your services to what you actually want to offer. Sometimes, it takes niching down to spiral up.
Meet Stacey Harris, founder and CEO of podcast production agency, Uncommonly More. After originally starting her business offering all things digital and social marketing, Stacey soon realized it was time to change up her offerings to serve the people and services she really loved providing.
In this episode, Stacey details her experience of niching down. She also shares some of her best-kept secrets for growing your podcast and using it as a marketing tool for your business.
Stacey Harris is the founder and CEO of a podcast production agency, Uncommonly More. She brings her decade of digital marketing experience paired with her background in audio engineering to lead her team in supporting podcast hosts in using their podcast to generate and convert leads. Essentially, Uncommonly More acts as a strategic podcast production house for female-owned brands ready to build a bigger impact.
[00:00:00] Nicole Jackson Miller Welcome to the Scale Your Way podcast episode number 95. You’re listening to the Scale Your Way podcast, where we share simple, proven strategies just for fun for you service based companies. Here, you’ll learn how to scale your business on your own terms so that you can have more time money, create a bigger impact and a better life. I’m your host, Nicole Jackson Miller. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Hey, everyone, Nicole, here. Welcome back to the show. So today I’m interviewing Stacey Harris and Stacey is someone who has been in my world for a while. When I first started my business, I listened to her podcast and I remember thinking, I wish I could do that. I wish I could have a podcast and go live. I don’t know at that time she might have been going live every week or I don’t know, maybe two times a week, as she’ll share in this podcast episode. But I’m really excited to sit down and have this conversation with Stacey because her business has really evolved throughout the years. So Stacey is the founder and CEO of a podcast production agency called Uncommonly More. And in this podcast episode, she’ll share a little bit more about her journey in growing her business, and you’ll find out that she started her business doing marketing and social media marketing, and she’ll share how, as her business evolved and grew, how she really narrowed down to podcast production. And I think this will be really helpful for you listeners who may be in a position where you’re wanting to change your offering or maybe get a little bit more focused on the offering that you have, maybe you have some offerings that you don’t really want to offer anymore. So if you’re in this position, you definitely want to check out this episode with Stacey. So without further ado, my friends. Let’s dove in. Hello, Stacey. Welcome to the show.
[00:02:06] Stacey Harris Hi, thank you for having me. I’m super excited to chat with you.
[00:02:10] Nicole Jackson Miller I know I’m I’m really looking forward to this conversation. So for those of you who are listening, Stacey and I just had, like, I don’t know, a 20 minute conversation just hanging out, talking about, you know, how everything is virtual now and kind of the corporate world and people are navigating going back to the office and staying home and like our views and beliefs on how to run amazing virtual teams. So maybe that’ll come up in this conversation? Maybe not, but it’s going to be an awesome convo. If you are someone who has thought about doing your own podcast is interested in, you know, learning more about how Stacey has grown her team. And I’m just happy to be doing this interview because I have been a podcast listener of yours since, like I feel like it was years ago. When did you start your podcast?
[00:02:58] Stacey Harris I started my podcast in 2013. My podcast will turn eight in November.
[00:03:05] Nicole Jackson Miller Wow.
[00:03:05] Stacey Harris That’s crazy. It is crazy. Something special for that. Yeah, you should make a note for changing content plans right now on the fly. My team will love it.
[00:03:14] Nicole Jackson Miller Yeah. Wow. So tell us a little bit about how you started that podcast because you’re on episode what? Like Five hundred and something right now?
[00:03:24] Stacey Harris Five forty three dropped this week. I think so. Yeah, we’re we’re in the five forties. My podcast started out. It’s so funny. I was thinking about this this morning. In 2013, I was at a mastermind event in New York, and two separate conversations led to the podcast. The first one was me in a hot seat, actively complaining for five to 10 minutes about how little I like writing blog posts.
[00:03:52] Nicole Jackson Miller I love that.
[00:03:53] Stacey Harris Just straight up me whining about a route, writing blog post because there is a much bigger filter between my brain and my fingers than there is my brain on my mouth. And so I edit on the way to my fingers, and I don’t edit for better or worse on the way to my mouth, and I was just complaining about having to get this podcast done. But there’s such an import of my, you know, an important part of my content marketing and done that. Done how will I be successful? And then later that day, we’re having drinks and I’m talking to someone and I’m raving about these podcasts that I listen to because at that point, podcasts were not like they are now. There we’re not very many. I didn’t actually listen to any business podcast. There was this great sort of group of of established and sort of like what I call working as in they make a living as comedians, and they would do these great shows where they’d interview each other and they’d break down, like how they build out a set and how they know if something’s working or not working. I’ve always been fascinated with standup comedy, never enough to try it myself. It will never happen. But, but but but I love sort of the science of it. And so I was raving about listening to this podcast and then somebody looked at me and went, “why don’t you have a podcast?” And I was like, “Who would want to listen to me on a podcast? I have no idea. I don’t even know how to do it.” And she reminded me that earlier in the day, I had shared that I have a degree in audio engineering. So if anyone in the world and certainly in these conversations should have a podcast, maybe I was like, “You know what? I’m going to try it.” So I did. I had a podcast. I think in less than 30 days later, I launched what was then called Hit the Mike with the Stacey Harris is now Uncommonly More with Stacey Harris, and I talk marketing at the time I taught and did and lived it and died social media and social media strategy. And so that’s what the podcast was about, it was about small business owners are using stepping up to the mic that was social media and using it more effectively to build a community and market their business. And so that’s how the podcast started, out of two very random, separate conversations.
[00:05:54] Nicole Jackson Miller It just came together. It was like almost signs that you needed to do it. And then, yeah, we’ll probably also the evidence that you could do it because you have this degree in audio engineering, and that’s awesome. So what is your secret behind the consistency? Have you released a podcast episode every week since then, or how does the schedule look like?
[00:06:14] Stacey Harris I have not. So initially, so initially that’s good on my podcast then looked totally different than it does now. Initially, we actually released two episodes a week back then, and we did that for I don’t even remember now, like four or five years. I want to say the first, like 200 episodes.
[00:06:30] Nicole Jackson Miller Wow.
[00:06:31] Stacey Harris Or three years. But we did that for a long time. We had two episodes, we had a guest and we had a solo episode. Was that hard for really important to me, always from the beginning that there’d be a solo episode? And I can talk more about why that is if you’d like, but it’s a thing for me. And so we had two episodes a week and then I was like, I don’t really want to have guests anymore, and I don’t really want to keep producing what was really like two and a half hours of content a week. And so we scaled it back to one episode a week and we have intentionally taken breaks before. This summer is a great example. This summer we released episodes every week, but half the episodes we released this summer were rereleases, one of the perks of having done 500 some episodes. You can actually do it way sooner than that as well. But it’s one of the perks of consistency is you have a whole pool of assets to pull from. And so we take time off here and there. We’ll take a couple of weeks off at the end of the year. This year, we took a couple of weeks off last year. At the end of the year, we’ve taken months off here and there. More often than not. At this point, I try to at least release like an old episode again, like highlight something just because the show has been around for so long and there are so many episodes is really easy, especially for a new listener to miss things that went out. But yeah, no, it’s it’s been. It’s been consistent for eight years. The show has, and the real secret to that is planning and strategy. I know what I’m talking about and I know why I’m talking about it. So when I sit down, I’m not leaning on inspiration. And so if inspiration shows up and there’s something I really want to talk about, we’ll do a different episode, sure. But I’m not reliant on that inspiration to just show up.
[00:08:04] Nicole Jackson Miller Sure. Like you’re living and breathing what you’re talking about. So it makes it really easy to put out content. I find that to be the same way and I’m similar where sometimes I mean, obviously, I have this podcast, but I have. I love doing videos, and a lot of times I’ll have a video. I’ll have like a little outline, and it’s just easy for me to pop on video to show up to talk. And then after I do the video, I will write because it’s easier for me to write after I have gone on video, but I need the outline to go on video. So it’s interesting because you had mentioned you started your podcast because you hated blog posting so kind of figuring out not only like, what works for you in that way, but then also it makes it easier, but also like knowing what you’re talking about and like bringing what you’re talking about during like in client, not obviously not confidential client conversations, but like topics that are coming up or questions or any of that into your content.
[00:08:58] Stacey Harris Absolutely. Here’s the thing we all know this without breaking confidentiality, we can talk about the thing that inevitably came up on every private one on one client conversation because
[00:09:08] Nicole Jackson Miller it’s a lot of times it’s the same thing. Like a lot lately is same stuff.
[00:09:13] Stacey Harris Yeah, totally. So, yeah, so for for me, it’s it’s really about like, what are the conversations that are happening? If that burst, that burst the idea of cool. But I like to this day, I don’t write at first, I can’t scripted. I have tried. I get so uninteresting when trying to read that script. I’m like, Wow, we have really sucked all personality and or sliver of humor out of this great job. So, yeah, for me, it’s the same. It’s an outline. And then we record the podcast and then that gets turned into sometimes by me, most often not if I’m honest into content, either for our site or for someplace else. So we’re really making sure we can leverage it in as many ways as possible.
[00:09:49] Nicole Jackson Miller OK. And I’m curious, though, you said you’ve never done improv before.
[00:09:53] Stacey Harris I haven’t.
[00:09:54] Nicole Jackson Miller OK. And you never will?
[00:09:56] Stacey Harris I should stop saying never because I swore I would never listen to the first episode of my show again, and I actually did that last year. I was dared. So neither are means to get me to do things like, OK, interesting. I currently have no plans for improv or standup.
[00:10:10] Nicole Jackson Miller OK, OK. All right. I’m just curious because everything you’re sharing sounds to me like you would be incredible at improv. So if there is a time where you are dared to improv, I will not be doing the daring. I would like it that way about it, and I would like for you to share that with us. OK. We’re all interested.
[00:10:28] Stacey Harris I promise if there is ever some sort of of of show, we will record it and release it to the page.
[00:10:34] Nicole Jackson Miller OK.
[00:10:35] Stacey Harris You really like being the. Anyone. This is actually a whole conversation we had at my last mastermind retreat back when we could travel and stuff. Yeah, I love being funny. It is very important to me that I’m funny. I craft all talks that I give to find like the four to six laugh moments that I can get to the point where I can put in my notes pause for laughter. Yes, that’s my ultimate goal. Like always in everyday
[00:10:58] Nicole Jackson Miller life for laughter. But you have to like, let go of that when you do improv, I think. And I don’t know that much about it, but I do know that it’s like, I think the more like planning and funny you try and be, the less it lands. And that’s true. But anyway, I’m not funny. I mean, I I if I am funny, if I pre-planned any joke, it’s not funny.
[00:11:23] Stacey Harris As I get older, I have learned to workshop right slightly in talks. This is we cannot ever play this episode for any stage. Anybody who’s ever hired me to be a speaker. But when occasionally there are some speaking events that I do. Generally, if you don’t pay me, this is what happens. It means I’m going to test material. Yes, it’s like I’m on a road routine in Omaha. I’m like, “OK, this is going to be how I’m going to fly. I’m going to nail this joke because if the people in this room don’t laugh, but I want to find out how I get the laughs so that I, when I’m on the big stage where someone is paying me, I know I’m going to get the laugh.”
[00:12:00] Nicole Jackson Miller That’s what the professionals do, that any time. I’m like watching a standup this. It’s so funny where this conversation is going, but like if I ever
[00:12:09] Stacey Harris standup, I
[00:12:10] Nicole Jackson Miller can’t help standup. It’s a lot of people will come like, you know, big name people will come and they’ll do like a little show. And some of the jokes will be funny and some won’t. And that’s they’re just like, OK, maybe not that one next. So anyway,
[00:12:23] Stacey Harris and that’s because they’re they’re building their their show when they tape it and put it on Netflix or it used to be HBO or where Comedy Central, it all works. It’s all good. Yeah, that’s that’s for sure, for sure. It’s also one of the perks of living in where I live in Orange County because we’re about an hour and a half from L.A. So we get a ton of comedians down here who are doing exactly that because they don’t want to just be in L.A. where people will give them jobs.
[00:12:47] Nicole Jackson Miller Yes, totally. I love this. OK, so tell me about how your how your pod, your podcasts has evolved and your business has evolved since you started. So you were doing social media, marketing, marketing and now you’re doing specifically podcast management and your name changed as well. We’d love to know more about how that evolved for you.
[00:13:11] Stacey Harris So when we had the Hit the Mike Show, I say we because it was like me in then was in my pocket. It was just me. I was. I’ve always has some sort of service offering in my business because it’s as anyone listening to the show probably knows, it’s just the easiest way to make money. Retainers are great. So I learned that more in the last year and a half that ever before retainers are great. And so I had some, some service offerings. I was doing it all. I moved more into teaching after we launched the podcast. I think about a month after I launched the podcast, I launched my first course ever again. It was 2013. It was a very different time. People launched courses about how to use Facebook.
[00:13:45] Nicole Jackson Miller That’s oh my gosh.
[00:13:47] Stacey Harris Hey, it works. OK, you guys bought it. I don’t know what to tell you. It was Fuze time. It was 2013. We didn’t know how to use Facebook yet. Do we really know how to use Facebook now?
[00:13:56] Nicole Jackson Miller I don’t know, I don’t think so.
[00:13:58] Nicole Jackson Miller I don’t think Facebook wants us to know. That’s a story for another day. So we were doing that. I launched a couple of years after we launched the podcast. I launched a membership site we use podcast to sell the membership site. I was still doing services. They were not a forward facing offer anymore. They were basically from referrals and things like that. Fast forward just jettisoned to about three years ago. 2019, late 2018. I decide I’m not loving the membership in the course model. I’m not loving the definition of scale that is just bringing in a ton of people at a low price point. It’s just not fun.
[00:14:31] Nicole Jackson Miller Yeah.
[00:14:32] Stacey Harris But I also don’t want to deliver all the services and so I decide to launch the agency. And at that point, I had moved to a personal brand. Everything was these days here. The podcast was still called Hit the Mike. The membership site was called Hit the Mike Marketing, or Hit the Mike Backstage rather, but I had moved to just my name and I knew I didn’t want to launch an agency behind my name, mostly because if I ever wanted to step out of the agency, I wanted to be able to sell it to somebody on the team or let it go or sell it somebody else. Or it needed to be an asset again, and for as long as it had my name, that was going to be hard. And so we launched Uncommonly More. And what’s hilarious is we launched Uncommonly More as a full service digital marketing agency. We were going to do, we did. We did social email, funnel stuff, podcast production because we had clients who had podcasts and I’d had a podcast forever and ever. And I have a degree in audio engineering and I knew how to do it. And so we offered that about a year, maybe a year and a half into the podcast or I’m sorry, into the agency so early to mid 2020, I realized that the. Podcast was the most profitable part of our agency. It’s the easiest to deliver, it’s the easiest to systemize, and it was the easiest to sell and it was the most fun.
[00:15:47] Nicole Jackson Miller Yes.
[00:15:48] Stacey Harris And so we slowly started stripping out the other services for one reason or another. Clients who had the full package sort of rolled off. They, you know, they went in other directions or we just we closed out, know we weren’t. We’re no longer the best fit or whatever it was. We just sort of kind of let those go contract by contract and all the clients we started signing on were only production. And so mid-year last year, we were like, You know what? It’s times, it’s just just cut out our our corner of the internet, and we went all in on podcast production. And so the benefit of working with us is I have 10 years of marketing experience and social media experience and new media experience, as we call it now. And so for us, it ended up working out really well. It ended up being really clear, but also let us build a ton of systems and a ton of efficiency into every part of the agency. And so that was that was the evolution. It was hilarious because I waited until I want to say right before we we streamlined to just podcast production. It took that long before I actually changed the name of the podcast. It was so hard for me to change the name of the podcast because I’ve been doing it for so long. I was like noone’s going to listen anymore.
[00:16:59] Nicole Jackson Miller It’s like muscle memory too at that point as well, right? You get like, hey, like sometime, right? Like, welcome to. I mean, yeah. Well, I love that you shared that because it’s such a good example of what happens when your business evolves. And I call it spiraling up. And it’s, you know, having to relook at the different foundational elements of your business in order to grow. And I think some people are like, Oh, I thought, you know, they look at a lot of people think they’re spiraling out when they’re really spiraling up because it’s like, why am I looking at this again? Sometimes it can look like like something. Is it working or a failure or whatever? And it’s not really that it’s really an opportunity to be able to change some things, to be able to continue to grow and the fact that you looked at that foundational piece, your offerings to see, you know, what about this? I love what you said. It’s like the different ways you measured it too, because it’s, you know, it’s the profitability. But it’s not just the profitability, it’s a profitability matched with, like, what’s most exciting for us, matched with, you know, delivery and can we create processes, better processes around this? And, you know, really taking a look at your journey, I think is so cool and that you dabbled in the coaching, you dabbled in the court, the courses and you know, ultimately you you were doing done for you services without like marketing it. But then also, you know, going through setting up an agency and then streamlining it, I think it’s like fantastic. It’s such a good example. And I am glad that you shared that because a lot of times people look at those experiences as, Oh, this didn’t like work or like, you know, so for example, clients wanting to do something else or transitioning out or whatever, like sometimes it works out great, and sometimes it looks like, Oh, no, all clients want to leave. Like, what’s wrong here? And it sounds to me like you really either took that experience or whatever it was in the transitional phase and thought, OK, like, well, what do we want to be doing? And it seems like it was a bit more intentional. Is that what you would say? It was
[00:19:05] Nicole Jackson Miller totally more intentional, but that does not mean there were not total moments of like what they want to leave,
[00:19:11] Nicole Jackson Miller right? Yes. Yeah.
[00:19:12] Stacey Harris Yeah. Like, there’s this equal. It’s like when you go and you’re with someone and you go to break up with them and then they break up with you first. Yeah, and you’re like upset because they broke up with you, but also, like you were going to break up with them, but you’re still like, what? I wanted to do it. I wanted it to be my choice. That’s really what it was, to be honest. It was definitely intentional. It was definitely something that we evolved for, mostly because and I love that you say, spiraling up because I had never thought of it that way. And 100 percent, yes, I was like looking around for like full transparency here. Don’t judge me. I was looking around going, Everything is working and I hate this and I’ve done that before. There have been there have been in ten years, there have been numerous points of that. And so I was like, Oh, OK, I can’t. I don’t want to do this forever. We have to start looking at what does this look like and my brain, and I don’t think I’m the only entrepreneur who this is a problem or always goes to more being the solution instead of less being the solution, which is why we launched the agency offering all of the things. And so I really had to sit down, have a lot of conversations with my coach and and my community and the people around me and think like, Oh, actually less could be more because we’re going to do this really, really well instead of doing all the things pretty well. So, yeah, no, it positive or negative, intentional or not intentional, it’s still wildly uncomfortable. I don’t want to sell anybody a bill of goods that there’s this that’s easy. But yeah, it was it was something that we really moved through intentionally and with an awareness that I was going to tantrum here and there throughout it and allowing for that tantrum here and there throughout it would really help speed things up.
[00:21:00] Stacey Harris Yes. Yes, totally. As opposed to like resisting the tantrum. And then, yeah, not moving anywhere.
[00:21:07] Nicole Jackson Miller Lean into the tantrum. Yeah. I love that. Jason, toddlers. Yeah, I didn’t see two year olds and I’m like, You know what? I get it. Me too. Acceptable for me to do that. I would also be on the floor crying because this is dumb.
[00:21:21] Stacey Harris Yes, I totally.
[00:21:22] Stacey Harris I thank you for three kids, all of us.
[00:21:25] Nicole Jackson Miller Totally. And I did that with my project management agency and. And what it was interesting because for us, it wasn’t necessarily the offering, but it was the ideal client was shifting. And so another foundational aspect of the business and to take a look at, you know, is still that, oh my gosh, but they want to leave before. But we weren’t really that like, happy serving and supporting, but we wanted to. We wanted to do it. And that whole experience. And so for us, it was really looking at the ideal clients and where they were and what projects they had us working on and the team support that they had in place or didn’t have in place. And so it can be for your offerings, but it could also be, you know, clients or processes and any of those things. And price point,
[00:22:11] Stacey Harris That was a big one for me. It’s like refining let me get really, really clear on how much each part we were offering costs me, like cost the cost the company, but also like how where is the actual value? You’re like, where is the best investment with us? And so looking at it from a price point perspective was also really, really helpful because also there’s things I’m willing to do pay me slightly more to do. Right, right. Totally. At this point, we occasionally add on social for production client, where our team will actually create a couple of social media posts for the episode. It’s not something we do for everyone, but if you’re willing to pay me this premium, add that on.
[00:22:52] Nicole Jackson Miller Sure, right? I love that. So tell me, OK, quickly about the name of your company, like uncommonly more. Where did that come from? Tell us the story!
[00:23:02] Stacey Harris So first of all, all credit must go to my biz bestie Brandy Lawson. A fiery effects. I’m terrible at naming things. There is an absolute reason why everything before was called Hit the Mike because somewhere along the way, I attached myself to that. I think it was actually the podcast name. Yeah, first. And then it just named everything else because I’m terrible at everything. And so Brandy and I sat down and she was just asking me questions, and we started talking about how I wanted our clients to feel, and I wanted our clients to feel like we’re working with us. They were getting an uncommonly good experience. They were getting a unique and valuable experience working with us. And so she’s like, So basically, you just want to be uncommonly more. And I was like, Yes, yes, I did. So that’s where the name came from. And so we are uncommonly more and for context now how that works is when we talk about production, we’re not we’re not just editing and giving you clean audio. That’s actually the least important part of what we do. It is about the strategic support. We sit down with our clients quarterly and we talk about the assets that they’re going to build and those next 12 weeks and where we can repurpose assets they’ve built before and and where we can leverage things differently and get better results. And we hold their hands and occasionally their hair when they’re releasing episodes that are wildly uncomfortable or saying things that feel real close to their growth edge or hate their show when the last thing they want to do is record another one. Because that happens to every podcast or two to four times a year, it just is a real thing. And so that’s the Uncommonly More now is sort of the for lack of a less cheesy way to praise this holistic way. We we take care of our clients and we we we partner with them.
[00:24:49] Nicole Jackson Miller Mm yeah.
[00:24:51] Nicole Jackson Miller I think it was a real cheese. My answer? I’m sorry. I yeah, no. I needed a joke in there. Next time they’ll be a joke in there.
[00:24:58] Nicole Jackson Miller But I believe you and I think it is something that, you know, taking a look at how your podcast plays into your business and and looking at those episodes as assets, people who I’ve talked to about blog posting not, you
[00:25:15] Stacey Harris know, I’m not your girl recorded as a podcast. Right. And script, that’s easy.
[00:25:21] Nicole Jackson Miller Totally. But they they they told me about creating these blog posts as assets and then how you can use them. And one thing that I love about this podcast for me is that I’m able to direct people Who are interested in learning more about what I do to Specific episodes, because if they have certain questions and it’s so nice that you know, I’m not sitting down and explaining 30 minutes of something to them, they could go listen to a podcast. They can fast forward, they can do. They can look at other podcast episodes that might be interesting to them. And that’s what I love about having this because it’s taking everything in my brain. And sometimes I forget.
[00:26:00] Stacey Harris We all do.
[00:26:01] Nicole Jackson Miller Fun fact, I once googled something a question my own blog post at the time populated just
[00:26:09] Stacey Harris I love that.
[00:26:10] Nicole Jackson Miller yeah, it was when I was doing project management, and it was like, What’s the difference between project manager and OBM or VA, an OBM or something like that? And I was trying to like, write something up and I wanted to like, just get more information. And I’m just like, Of course, I’m going to reference my own blog post on this. Thank you past Nicole. So tell us, when are some signs that people would hire out a podcast? Because I’m sure for some people it’s a great idea for other people. It might not make sense. And since you have been someone who’s done it yourself for yourself and also has an agency that helps others, I’m really curious about this.
[00:26:51] Nicole Jackson Miller I love this question because I think one of the big myths of podcasting is that you need to have help from the very beginning and actually the bulk of our clients DIY their show for their first 50 to 100 episodes because it gives them time to figure out what they want to say, what kind of format they want to have, and more than anything, if they want to do it for a while and if it even works because podcasting is one of those things that is a long game, there is a long tail on your return, but quite frankly, any kind of marketing, but definitely with podcasting because you are building these assets one at a time. Week by week, you’re building this library, right? And so, yeah, now people go and they listen to my show and they apply to work with us and we get on the call and they’re already a yes, because I’ve done 500 episodes of the show, right? I’ve built a lot of these assets. And so the bulk of our clients actually come in 50 200 episodes somewhere between like six and 15 months. They’ve been doing it and they know things like that, what their show is selling, the purpose of their show, the offering their show leads to. They know what they’re talking to, they know who they’re talking to. They have a pretty good idea what their format is. These are things that we review in our initial call because oftentimes we tweak the format a little bit when they start working with us.
[00:28:04] Nicole Jackson Miller Well, you mentioned names like solo vs. interviews, right? Yeah. Yeah. OK. And so you are you are a fan of so having making sure that you have solo episodes.
[00:28:15] Stacey Harris I’m a big, big fan of making sure you have solo episodes. I’m also a big, big fan of making sure that your guest episodes are not just helpful for the guest and your audience, but are also helpful for your business. Like, do they make sense for you to talk to them on your show? I think oftentimes we think and again, this is another wordless myths, but like if I get a big, famous person, it’ll help my show. It doesn’t matter that they’re talking about something sort of like completely out of the realm of podcasts because my audience likes them. So that’s enough to say that that’s going to be worthwhile, which is super not true and almost never super valuable because they generally don’t share making a generalization here. But larger, the audience almost directly correlates with a shrinkage in their ability and or willingness to share the episode with their audience. So you’re living on SEO goodness, they’re so keep that in mind. But I think a lot of times we and I’m just going to go and say we hide behind having guests. And so it’s a way for us to pretend we’re marketing and pretend we’re using this as a content marketing tool when in reality we’re not, we’re building a thing that is straight up an expense and is maybe a huge value to our audience, but not in helping them make a decision, whether working with us is the right call or not. And that’s what we want to be doing. That’s where we want to be driving our listeners because we’re not looking to build a listenership to sell ad revenue to you or sponsored spots or things like that. So we’re not looking for quantity, we’re looking for quality in our audience. And so, yeah, format change is often there because some of it has to be you talking about why you’re the person for them to talk to?
[00:29:49] Nicole Jackson Miller Yes.
[00:29:50] Stacey Harris Teaching them what their problem is and how they need to identify it so that they can move into a solution. Yes. Yep. So that’s my soapbox, I guess. And so, yeah, I think we often come in and tweak formats or things like that. One of the biggest things we do is we talk to guests about either adding solo episodes and or bringing in their existing and past clients as guests to do like case study kind of episodes. Those are the big format tweaks we make, but they they know who their audience is, what they’re selling, that they want to keep doing this. This is now moved from. I want to try this too. I’m going to do this for a while. I’m committed to this and generally it’s because they want to make space for something else. So. For some of our clients, it’s because they want to layer in adding video as well, or they want to layer in guesting on other podcasts more often or. And they need to open up some of that time, I guess gets eaten up by production and planning and all of that. They want to move that time somewhere else. And so hiring us becomes a really good way to really, really hand that stuff off versus working with a bunch of individual freelancers and still having to manage the machine. It is still kind of a workload
[00:31:06] Nicole Jackson Miller Everyone listening. All of you are done for you service providers know that you do not need to be managing one more thing necessarily, but I do agree on the commitment piece and actually how I started. My podcast was on Anchor FM and I just sent audio to my email list because I’m like, I don’t want to make this a thing. I don’t want to commit to this. I don’t. I know myself. And for me to be consistent around, I have to. I had to prove to myself that I could talk about enough things and be consistent enough to be able to actually outsource my podcast. And I mean, not even outsource it, but like even do it in the first place, even like commit to do the thing. And so, yeah, I was on like, Anchor FM. I was just releasing episodes. I’d email and it was great and people listened. And hey, you know, I still I’ve used that in content for the podcast. So I like rerecorded some of those things. But there’s some that were I still will link out to people if they’re thinking about, like joining one of my programs or have a question on hiring or investing in something or whatever. I’m like, Hey, and I go back to Anchor FM and I’m just like, Oh yeah, this was like such a great episode.
[00:32:22] Nicole Jackson Miller That’s how a lot of our clients start, is and I love that you talked about proving to yourself that you were going to show up for this thing because I think what we don’t always acknowledge is that when we launch a podcast, it’s just like launching an offering. It’s the same as if I launched a new program and said, Hey, this program is going to exist. This thing is going to be here. This this, this resource is available for you. And then I just quietly stop talking about it, updating it, giving it any attention whatsoever. And that’s a huge trust breaker. Like we’re at. We’re taking a step back in that ever wonderful, no like trust journey, right? When we do that, and so the first person we have to prove that we can show up to you is us, because then we’re going to be comfortable enough making that promise to the audience that I’m going to show up every week, every other week, every month. Whatever your your structure is, please don’t do daily. Whatever your structure is,
[00:33:14] Nicole Jackson Miller no one’s ever going to see me. I just like melted. That sounds like the like, the worst, most terrible idea ever.
[00:33:21] Stacey Harris People still ask me. They still ask me. They still ask. And I know, don’t do it. Don’t know. No one needs that much. One of the big reasons we went from two episodes a week to one episode a week, my downloads showed that people weren’t listening to every episode. It was too much content, and they would be distracted by a new piece of content. I was straight up competing with myself. Yeah, I feel like there’s enough competition. I don’t need to help.
[00:33:47] Nicole Jackson Miller Right, right. Yeah. So true. OK, so before we wrap up, I want to ask you, well, two questions. One like fun thing. What is like the most out of the box promotional strategy that you’ve seen or come up with or whatever when it comes to promoting your podcast or using your podcast?
[00:34:05] Nicole Jackson Miller I actually don’t have any super fun answers. I only have really not funny answers. My favorite thing, and we just released an episode yesterday. As of the day, we’re recording this where I sat down with Rachel Cook, who I adore and we both know, and we talked about how she started her podcast, which was amusing. Using a challenge like her podcast was straight up the for the first 30 days a challenge that she was running. Listen to the episode, it’s a great episode. She tells the whole story much better than I am right now. It informs we produce her podcast and it informs a lot of the decisions we make now, the challenges that she still runs in her show as circular pieces of content. And we repurpose year after year. And I think that’s one of the most fun ways because every time you’re going to get people sharing much more than you would get them sharing the landing page to opt in for a challenge because I’m not sending them 14 sentences of copy and saying, like, just trust me. Yes, I’m sending them the first day of content and saying this was super cool. And so it makes your podcast super shareable, especially because generally we’re doing this to, you know, grow the email list, grow the energy. So we’re asking for it. We’re reminding our audiences that we want them to share, but also we’re giving them something that is really easy to share. And so it always does really good things for podcast host, for email list growth, and it could be something that can sit really well in front of a launch if you follow a traditional launch model or. What I call just sort of like an energetic like push towards like, hey, there’s this cool thing happening over here, like, for example, we take clients all the time, so we don’t have large windows, right? Times of the year where I’m like, You know what? This is a season in which a lot of people are thinking about this or, you know, we have space or whatever the push may be. Yeah. And so that’s really one of, I think, a wildly underutilized way to grow your show that directly turns into revenue pretty, pretty quickly.
[00:36:04] Nicole Jackson Miller Yeah, that makes so much sense. Because also during challenges, the whole point of running a challenge is to overcome whatever, like the whatever it is to help people be in a spot, to be able to receive the support that you offer. And so, you know, I haven’t seen like challenges run as much with like done for you service providers with agencies, but I think it could be a similar like similar content, maybe on sales conversations. If you are answering like questions or have noticed OK, in order for people to benefit the most from my support, they need to be in this position. Like you even mentioned, they have to probably already have had a podcast made the commitment to themselves. So like, how do we get them there? And like, what are the different topics and like literally sentences that people may be using during these calls or conversations so that you can speak to them as they make their decision?
[00:36:56] Stacey Harris Absolutely a great way to do this before done for you. Service providers would be to take them through self-assessment, build out a challenge that teaches them how to make the decision, whether or not they’re ready for you or not pre onboard them. Like the other things you would need to gather, these are, you know, I think about this a lot for graphic designers like what are the assets I need when we start working together? Cool. Let’s build a challenge that teaches them how to build their current brand Bible so that when they come and work with me, they’re just handing me a folder that I told them how to organize. Yeah, like this is a lot of ways you can work and a bonus episode idea for that free service providers. I’m going to I’m going to point you again to an episode of our show. This is something that I love, and it is absolutely the best asset we have created in eight years of my show. And it is an episode we released in February called What? Working with uncommonly more looks like. And it is straight up a sales call as a pocket phone. It is me talking about what actually happens once you apply to work with us during our sales call. Once you help getting your proposal, looks like paying your first invoice looks like the actual process of working with us looks like because so often, especially for those of us who are done for service providers, there’s a real mystery on what’s on the other side of signing the contract and paying the invoice. There’s these big like, these are the results you’ll get like work happens. Yeah. And so that’s every single client we have we have who has joined our our client list since that episode has come out and listen to that episode. When people ask me how you know the best way to refer me, I say, Send them this episode. Yes.
[00:38:32] Nicole Jackson Miller Yeah, I love that. Good. This is golden. Thank you for sharing that Stacy course. I can see so many people going in, right? Yeah. And we’ll link to all of these in the show notes, too. So one last question before we wrap up. What does it mean to you to scale your way?
[00:38:51] Stacey Harris My word of the year for 2020 was efficiency, and that’s what scaling it means to me. How can I make the thing that already exist more efficient? This lesson took me nine years to learn because I spent the whole first part of my business being a burn it down or add on kind of girl like it. Either that I added on another piece, or I burn things to the ground and started it over. And it was really not till the end of 2019. The agency was doing really well. I was in a spot where I was going. This is great, but I actually don’t love this. I’m wildly overwhelmed. And so for 2020, I made the word for the year efficiency, which had its own positives and negatives, and I did not make work for 2021 and I may never do it again. But we got efficient in 2020 because we figured out, Hey, we want to streamline and here’s how we build out our system and we built out a dashboard and a process and all of these great things because we looked at one question every time what is the most efficient way to do this? And so for me, whenever anybody talks about scaling, I talk about less. I talk about efficiency, I talk about how do we do this better? Because for a long time, scaling to me was attached to just more and more and more. How do we make it bigger? And I actually don’t like that very much in practice because I’ve done it and it works, and I didn’t love it. So, yeah, for me, it’s always about efficiency. I know that’s like the least sexy word to use for most people, but I feel like your audience will be on board with me.
[00:40:18] Nicole Jackson Miller I am on board. I even offered to shimmy that folks could not see as you share that, which is my body’s natural reaction to hearing something that I really resonate with. So well, thank you, Stacey. I mean, I it’s a challenge. It’s like, hmm, well, it happened in this conversation, we’ll see. But say the word efficiency and you’ve got me. So for all of you listening, if you want to show me from me, you just you just say the word. Stacey, thank you so much for joining. It was such a good conversation. Laughs, really valuable information for people who are looking to create content and yeah, get get their agencies out there and serve and support more people. And it’s just always a pleasure to see you. I’m so glad we got to chat.
[00:41:06] Stacey Harris Thank you for having me. It was a good time.
[00:41:09] Nicole Jackson Miller Thanks so much for tuning in today, if you are listening and know that you are committed to stepping into the agency owner role, whether you are a done-for-you service provider that’s working with a few contractors right now or you have a full team of employees and you’re ready to up level your leadership and make the changes in your business that’s needed to create a better and more enjoyable experience for all of your people, your clients, your team and yourself. Then, I invite you to check out my program Agency. You can head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply to look at the details and apply if it looks like a good fit. If you are accepted, I will send you a brand new free private training only for people that we’re accepting into the program to share with you the details of how we work and how we help remove you from client delivery and allow you to step into that leadership role of your agency again. The link is NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply. I look forward to seeing your applications.