Local Woman Tries to Make a Podcast

Awhile back, I told you about my plans to create a podcast and I told you I'd share my journey to making it happen with all of you. I promise I didn't forget about it, but other priorities took center stage for a minute.

Now, in the new year, I've been focusing on getting this baby out the door, so I wanted to share a bit about what I’ve been up to. Warning: This will be a bit of a window into the way I think and plan things, so bear with me as I get a bit…procedural.

The Basics

As I shared in an earlier post, I had taken a 3-day Podcast Workshop to kick this whole thing off, so I'm going into the project feeling like I have a pretty clear idea of what steps need to get done and in what order. Which is a relief. Coming out of that workshop, I already had…

A podcast name: Hot Mess Podcast  (HT to Pam Slim!)

A list of potential guests: Top Secret

A description of my listener (So I know who I’m talking to): A small business owner who feels overwhelmed with the "back-end" elements of running their business. They have a profitable business and don't have a problem with acquiring and retaining customers/clients, but feel like they spend too much time in reaction-mode and dealing with administrative tasks instead of proactively working on growing their business.

Also, they are fun and don’t take themselves too seriously.

A description of my purpose : To inspire business leaders that they actually can make things run better by sharing the stories of those who have done it and providing practical strategies.

A description of my general "show flow": 1-on-1 interview format with business efficiency experts and those who aren't experts but who have managed to put strategies in place to make things work better. I originally planned to have a 50/50 split of experts and non-experts to give some variety and balance to the content, but that vision has changed a bit since I first got started. (More on this later) That said, I’m planning to move forward with my original plan for the first few episodes so that my desire to get things juuuuust right doesn’t slow down my progress to ship this project.

I will learn and adjust as I go.

What’s Happened in the Last Few Weeks

So when I dug back into this project a couple weeks ago, it was time to start crossing off the preparatory logistical steps. Let me share a bit about how this all went down…

I scheduled my first few guests for interviews

I'm going to keep you in suspense about the identities of my guests, but I do want to share a bit about the process of getting them booked. 

I did this step first because I knew it would cause a ripple effect that would force me to keep moving forward. Once the interviews are booked, there's no turning back. This is a strategy I finally started intentionally putting to use in the last couple of years: When you create some kind of external accountability and deadline for the project, it pushes you to get it done. You can't save it for another day…someone is counting on you to come through NOW.

So I took a deep breath and drafted four emails to four amazingly efficient and beautiful humans, each one very unique and full of such great insights for my listener.

Send. And Wait.

Within a day, all of them had generously agreed to be a guest and I smiled, knowing this thing was actually going to be a thing. By the end of this week, I'll have recorded my first two episodes. (I'll let you know how that goes.) I’m so excited.

I designed some artwork

I put the call out to a designer, but in the meantime, I decided to use Canva to create a placeholder logo for the podcast. And do you know what? I kind of like it!

In my unending quest to mend my perfectionist ways, I'm thinking it might actually be a good idea to just go with this one for now.

Hot Mess.png

I chose intro/outro music

Again, I'd planned on having this professionally done, but in the meantime, I found a good-enough track on Pond5 that makes me smile and fits with the vibe I'm trying to have. Perfectionism be damned.

Here's a sample version of it.

I created a pre-interview questionnaire

Now that my first few guests were on-board, it was time to start thinking about content. When I was recently a guest on Kc Rossi's podcast, Women Developing Brilliance, she sent me a questionnaire ahead of time to help her prepare a bit for our conversation. I liked that idea a lot, so I "stole like an artist."

Below is the pre-interview survey I came up with for now.  (I'm sure it will change as I figure all of this out, but feel free to steal from me too!)

HM Guest Survey.jpg

I came up with some interview questions

The thing about great conversations is you can never really plan them out in advance. BUT, I did think it was necessary to put together a general list of questions I could use as anchors for the kind of conversation I want to have with my guests. My intention is to stay present and curious during the interview and be flexible about going wherever it takes us. I know these will change as I get better at this.

It never hurts to have a plan.

Here are just a few of the questions I have in mind for now (Also inspired by Kc Rossi):

  1. Tell us more about who you are and how you got started in your business?

  2. What are some of the signs and symptoms that a business needs help with making things work better?

  3. Tell me about a time when you felt like a hot mess in your business.

  4. What are some strategies you can recommend to the business owner who feels like they’re drowning in all the wrong kinds of work?

  5. What about your work excites you or brings you joy?

Next Steps

So that's where I've landed so far. This week, I'll be setting up my podcast hosting platform and conducting my first two interviews. It’s getting real.

I’ll have lots more to share as I figure all of this out, and I’ll continue to keep you posted as I do!

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