Imperfect Marketing

Episode 26: Building Your Community and Podcasting Tips with special guest Lauren Kelley

August 11, 2022 Kendra Corman Episode 26
Imperfect Marketing
Episode 26: Building Your Community and Podcasting Tips with special guest Lauren Kelley
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

I am super excited about this episode with Lauren Kelley! Not only is Lauren a podcasting expert, but she has a ton of experience in community management and engagement.

I genuinely believe that building community is the way we will move forward together.

I began this podcast to help small business owners and solopreneurs learn from others. For me, community is about giving back and engaging with others.

I recently read a statement attributed to Margaret Mead that claimed the first sign of a civilized society is a healed femur. Mead proceeded to explain, as the story goes, that wounded animals in the wild would be hunted and eaten before their broken bones could heal.

Thus, a healed femur is a sign that a wounded person must have received help from others. Mead is said to have concluded, “Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts.”

Now, as we work to help each other, Lauren gave us a lot of information and shared her experience on podcasts, community engagement, and more. So be sure to listen and let me know your thoughts!

In this episode:

00:00:36 Community Management
00:07:00 How did she get started in podcasting?
00:10:24 Leveraging a podcast for marketing
00:16:30 Using your podcast as pillar content
00:21:36 How do your users consume content?
00:23:22 Interesting ways to leverage content
00:30:06 Want to start a podcast yourself?
00:37:34 Lesson learned in marketing and podcasts

Click here to access the transcript and follow along with our conversation!

Related Links and Resources:

The Random Agency
Freakonomics Podcast
Read the HubSpot Article on Pillar and Cluster Content
Read the HubSpot Article on Topic Clusters
Gary V on Leveraging Content
Imperfect Marketing Brief on Being True to Your Brand
Interested In More Marketing Tips? Join Kendra's Facebook Group!

To learn more and sign up for my List Building 101 Course visit kendracorman.com/email

Kendra Corman:

Hello, and welcome back! 

Thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of Imperfect Marketing. Today I'm very excited to be joined by Lauren Kelly of the Random Agency. 

Random Agency is an agency that's anything but they focus on social media, podcasting, content strategy, and more. She's been a community manager, social media strategist, and held some other great positions before starting off on her own a few years ago. You can tell that I LinkedIn stalked her! 

So welcome Lauren, thanks for being on the show.

Lauren Kelley:

Thanks for having me.

Kendra Corman:

Before I jump into podcasting, really where I want to pick your brain and learn from all of your vast experience. I actually wanted to talk to you for a couple minutes about community management. I love that you have that in your experience. 

I feel that so much of marketing right now is about building communities around brands and people. What's something that you learned about managing these big brand communities that served you well today in what you do for your clients and even your agency.

Lauren Kelley:

I love this question and I totally agree! 

Community management is a really important part of social media marketing and just marketing in general. I think it's something that a lot of people have come away from or aren't focusing on as much anymore. It's all about the content, but not as much as the interactions with our community. 

One of the things that I'm really excited about with community management, I think there's opportunity is just even working on Ford. So Ford was where I started off, Ford social media, working as a community manager. 

So day in and day out, we would respond to people on social media as Ford and the different name plates and different vehicles.

It was a really fun first job in social. And it taught me a lot of lessons just about engaging with other people. One of the biggest one's to always keep in mind which applies to social in any other marketing, is that you're never going to please everyone. 

So even if it's the most beautiful car in the world, in the case of Ford, there's always someone who might not like it, or someone who will have something to say.

So I think it's important to try to roll with the punches when it comes to that, know that you're not for everyone and that's okay. And that doesn't mean that you don't have a great product or service to offer people. 

Social media is kind of about free speech and people will give their opinion, but if you create the right community and engage with people who are positive around your brand, the negative people will start to fall away. So that's one of the biggest lessons with community management from Ford, and even in more recent experience with clients around community management, it's a big thing. You can buy all of the followers or have a million plus followers.

But if those people don't genuinely connect with you and engage with you and feel like they're talking to a real person, or I think when it comes to sales, the conversions don't usually come through. That's what we're learning. 

So just as it's important to create awesome video content and infographics, all the great stuff that we post on social, if we miss that community management piece and actually talking to people in the comments, in their messages, engaging with the people who are taking their time to engage with your content, it's a big miss. And in the long run, I think it doesn't serve you as well. And you're probably not going to reach your goals.

Kendra Corman:

No, I think that's so true. 

So back even before ..So I was the Jeep advertising manager back in the olden days and—

Lauren Kelley:

Cool.

Kendra Corman:

—Before that I was the SRT marketing manager. And I still remember that we contacted some people that ran Yahoo groups, and we did chat events with your followers that were scheduled because this was pre Facebook, that's how old this is. But that engagement paid off, even when today's channels didn't exist,

Lauren Kelley:

It really helps with loyalty, I would say. And for one client in particular, I'm thinking of, we really started off on Instagram, kind of the main channels we look for. 

But recently, as we all know, TikTok has taken the world by storm on social media. And we've started to experiment with that platform. And a lot of his followers are following him to new channels and new platforms, engaging with different content we put out, and we really started with the community for this particular client and have grown from there, just offering value on the platforms themselves. 

That's the other kind of big tip, I guess I've learned over the years with social is don't be afraid to give it away for free, so to speak, or at least give some of your value there because that's what people are looking for.

That authenticity, that there's a lot of experts on social media now, people who claim to be experts, I should say, and various fields that they're in or whatever you do. I think that's one thing where community management and engaging with people, it shows that you're a real person. It shows your expertise, instead of just telling everyone you're an expert, you're showing them through your behavior on social media. 

So then when it comes down to having a free download or creating a course or whatever that next step it is for you, people are familiar with you and like you already, and they don't feel as much like it's a hard sell because you have this relationship that you've built through community management.

Kendra Corman:

No, I totally agree with you. It's about building that know, like and trust factor and I was talking to someone the other day and they were saying, "I feel like I know this person."

Lauren Kelley:

Yes.

Kendra Corman:

They've never met. They've only interacted and watched YouTube videos or Facebook Lives or interacted with them on Facebook. That's it, but they feel like they know each other and she talks about her as if she knows her. 

My husband will be like, I know that person. And I'm like, "No, you don't. You've never met them." They're in my Facebook feed.

Lauren Kelley:

And that's so ideal. That's what we all want for ourselves and for our clients that people who follow us feel that connection. But I think it really starts at community management. 

So if you forget that piece, it's just going to be so much harder for you down the line to build that community, whether it's a Facebook group or in your Instagram comments, whatever works for your brand. 

I love that you asked this question and I think it's so important, even just as we dive into podcasting, how we engage with people and have people feel like they're connected to us in a podcast episode, it all kind of plays together.

Kendra Corman:

Again, I love it. I think that the community piece is just lacking in so much of our communications today. 

So thank you for sharing about that, I appreciate it.

Lauren Kelley:

Of course.

Kendra Corman:

Now, how did you get started in podcasting?

Lauren Kelley:

So podcasting, this is a fun one. I was working at a startup before I launched my own company. And I like to say podcasting is the new shiny object for a lot of brands and companies. It used to be social media. That was something that everyone was really interested in, but didn't know a lot about, felt like they wanted to dip their toe into social media. 

I feel like now everyone's on social and podcasting is the new shiny thing. And there, so I guess I was challenged by my boss at the time. 

Hey, what if we start a podcast? What could that look like?

Social media is of course a wonderful way to market a podcast. So it kind of plays hand in hand from there. But I think I did some research basically starting into podcasting and taught myself quite a lot just as I got started. 

Then it came from there, went to conferences, learned from other experts to refine my skills, really it's practice makes perfect and there's things change a lot, just like social. So that was kind of how I started off in podcasting. I really found a passion for it. It's fun to be able to interact with other people or to tell stories. And I do like that it's audio only.

Of course there's video podcasts now, but it's just another way that you can engage with people. And it's a bit more intimate in a sense, because you're in someone's ears, you get to have a real conversation. 

I just really liked that about it. It felt refreshing after working in social and worrying about the feed all the time. I've really been enjoying it and it's great to be here on your podcast.

Kendra Corman:

Thank you. I thank you for spending some time with me, because I think that there's so much that I can learn from you too, because again, I just started not too long ago and it's been fun.

Lauren Kelley:

It's really fun.

Kendra Corman:

I had a podcast a long time ago that died, but partially because I didn't have the energy or dedicated the time to it. I learned a little bit there, but I've been telling my clients for a long, long time, you need to do podcast. 

You need to do a podcast. 

You need to do a podcast, because they had so much information to share. And the podcast audience was growing so rapidly that they really needed that connection. The main reason I started, it was a little bit of a playground, but also because I felt that there was so much more that people could learn from others on marketing lessons and things like that. I think there's a lot of podcasts out there that are doing a good service by—

Lauren Kelley:

Absolutely.

Kendra Corman:

And then I like listening to them at the gym. So it gets me to go to the gym.

Lauren Kelley:

That's great. 

I love listening to them on walks. I try to get a walk in every day and Freakonomics is one of my current favorites podcasts. So if anyone listening, if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend. It's an economics based podcast. 

So some people might hear that and say I don't know if that's for me, but it's very interesting I promise. But it's very cool how they tell stories. I think it's great inspiration if anyone is interested in creating a podcast or just, you want something cool to listen to, I love that one.

Kendra Corman:

All right. Well we'll put a link to it in the show notes for sure. So that people can look it up and check it out. Because I do like storytelling. So most of the people that I work with, again, I'm talking to my clients have been telling them for years to start a podcast, some of them are trying out, they don't really understand how it can generate leads or how it can be a lead generator for them. 

How do you help your clients leverage their podcast for lead generation?

Lauren Kelley:

This is a great question and I think it's really important for brands or clients to think about if you're interested in a podcast because ultimately it does take a good amount of effort in your time to put together the content and recordings and do all of that. 

So you want to make sure that you're able to at least see in some way that it's supporting your ultimate goal at the end of the day, whatever that sale looks like for you. So for our clients who are considering a podcast, we usually start the conversation around what do we have to share, that knowledge that you were mentioning earlier, what's the value that we can provide and what can we provide via audio? 

What could we include in the show notes and how could it support our overall marketing matrix, so to speak.

So if we have general awareness, we want to start people just awareness of you, of your expertise, of your company. It's really a great way to establish that credibility with a new audience. 

I would say number one, really be particular about what is the subject? What are the episodes going to be? What's that content look like? Then how can we create additional materials that will help generate leads? 

So for us, a lot of clients that we've worked with in the past each episode, for example, I'll use one who's a coach for example. So she wanted to create a podcast, share her expertise, but wanted to also make sure that people had something to do next. 

Once they listened to an episode, how could they continue to engage with her in a way that drives her business?

So of course, promoting on social media, just that general awareness, downloads, listens. Those are all great. We want to see that. But we also, for her, in her case, each episode was centered around a specific lesson or something that action steps to take. 

So in that case, we created a download for each episode, something totally free for her audience. And that was a nice resource, whether it was a worksheet or a principal, something that aligned with her coaching. And that was a great way. She saw a lot of success with that. 

People who found her through the podcast episode, they visited her website, read through the show notes and then they also could engage with her other content there.

And I would say it's usually a longer term thing. You won't necessarily see a direct line from one podcast episode to X number of sales. Similar to social media, you don't always see that, but there are times where you're building that relationship with someone. So if you have a download, make sense for you. I think that's wonderful and a great idea. 

And another option too, if a download doesn't make sense for your business or your offering, we've worked with some clients to help monetize their show and that helps provide revenue to help pay for their time and beyond.

So that's another option, you could do both if you wanted to. Even smaller shows when you're just starting out, it's about building relationships and it's definitely another way that some clients have justified, helping to pay for their efforts. I would say if you can do both, that would be awesome. 

Then another way too to think about driving leads is if you have an interview based show, depending on who your guests are, really making sure that your guests asking them to help promote the episode with their clients and customers and friends and family, really word of mouth is still one of the best ways to market.

Especially if you have a service based company or even if you had a store or a food business, whatever it could be. So those are lots of ideas I just shared, but I would say depending on what you're offering, a download is a great, easy thing you could start with to help drive leads, track what those people are doing and how they engage with you.

Kendra Corman:

No, I think that the download is really great. I try to put downloads in every episode where it fits, if it's going to help take people to the next level. That's the goal and to get that at skated content. So you have to give me your email address to get that content, which is important. And then when it comes to monetization, I sometimes will put affiliate links in my show notes.

Lauren Kelley:

Absolutely.

Kendra Corman:

If we cover a product that I'm talking about. So it can be different than just selling ads or having the guest pay to be on your show or something along those lines. You can get creative with monetization too.

Lauren Kelley:

Absolutely and I think that's one important thing to keep in mind. If for anyone listening, who's considering starting a podcast, is you also don't have to do it the way that you've heard anyone else. 

If you've heard another podcast and they always advertise a certain way or promote things a certain way, just remember you don't have to do it exactly like that. There's a lot of ways to your point Kendra, to be creative. So I would always suggest feel what's true for you, go with that.

One client in particular, we have, he felt strongly, he really did not want to do any ads. He didn't want the recordings or that just didn't feel authentic to him. So we found other ways to try to make that profitable for him. And that's the most important thing that you're having fun. You stay true to yourself I'd say.

Kendra Corman:

And I got to say this is fun. 

So I do enjoy it because I love hearing other people's stories and their tips and their lessons learned. It's just really interesting. So I'm having a lot of fun. Hopefully my listeners are having fun listening too. 

So I want to talk a little bit about pillar content. I'm a big fan of pillar content, and then just for our listeners that don't know what I'm talking about. It's an SEO term that basically it fully answers a question and it's supposed to rank high for search engines and you support it with what's called cluster content. That goes a little bit deeper into some other keywords that support the topic in depth.

You can google pillar and cluster content and you'll get a million and a half articles about it. I think HubSpot's got a really good article on it, that I can put a link to in the show notes for anybody that wants to dive deeper into that. 

But I've heard a podcast being used as pillar content, and that's usually again been blogs traditionally. Now a podcast could also be pillar content and you can create multiple pieces of content from your podcast using that as rather instead of like the traditional SEO pillar and cluster content, you can actually use your podcast as your base, and have other pieces of content that can support it.

 Gary Vee is a big fan of that. He has a content model based on starting with long form content. So his version of pillar content, and then, but how do you overall recommend that your clients leverage their podcasts into more?

Lauren Kelley:

This is a great one and working in social media, everybody knows Gary Vee, he's everywhere. And he is well known for that method that you're talking about, the inverse triangle, and this is something that we 

... A strategy we use for social content as well, starting with longer form. In the podcast space, we generally will ... 

There's lots of options again, but we'll start with creating the full length episode, whether that's a more storytelling narrative podcast, it'll apply there or an interview podcast like this. Really anything you're starting with take that long form content and you can create a blog post, is always great out of that content.

There's different schools of thought as to whether you want the blog post to be just the transcript or there's a lot of ways I've seen it. Some people do just the transcript as their webpage, let's say, or their blog post itself. 

I personally prefer and recommend for clients that we add some additional content or copy there. Not only have the transcript. 

So what other value can we bring or what else do we want to say to introduce the episode? So that's where it can create content for your website.

We could certainly promote on social media. So whether share the full link to the episode, as well as pull snippets of the episode, because even just our conversation here, there's so many fun tips that we could share with other people. 

So whether you want to make that into an audiogram, which is if anyone has seen the little videos on social media with a moving wave form, that would be what we call an audiogram, or just pulling out quotes from guests that you've had or moments that are interesting from a story that you're telling.

I think there's so many ways that you can slice and dice the content from the podcast episode that not only helps you fill out your content calendar and be active on social, but also promotes the episode. And the big thing to remember too, is that people may listen to your podcast later. 

So even if we're talking today and this episode, someone could hear this six months from now and still find value, whereas you don't see that as often in social and maybe some other types of marketing, the lifespan isn't as long.

So I think one thing I also recommend is we can promote the new episode once it's live, but it's okay to bring that content back in later. And because not everyone saw it the first time because of the algorithms and just people forget, and it may not be as relevant now, but in six months from now, their business has changed or their personal situation and they find a lot of value. 

So that's my other tip, I guess, to make sure that share the content now, but find other ways to talk about it and share those tips again, because it's definitely valuable there. 

I guess that's my thought on how you could approach, take the one larger piece, promote it elsewhere, promote it in your email. There's a lot of fun things you can do.

Kendra Corman:

I mean, one podcast can just become so much and I do love how you're saying, don't just use the transcript, use some other things, introduce it. Maybe even if you're doing a solo show or whatever, maybe make it a blog rather than a transcript that covers everything that you're doing. 

But again, it can cover it in a little bit more of a conversational way where you're not doing a literal translation of what you said. Which isn't always grammatically correct.

Lauren Kelley:

And I would say thinking of the customer experience, so to speak, how do you personally like to consume content? 

So if you were wanting to read a blog post, would you prefer to read the timestamps and everything? Or do you want to just hear more conversationally what's the topic about? What, what are my takeaways? 

That's another, I guess, tip that we've implemented for some clients, especially the coaching podcast. She had three takeaways from each episode that she really, if you take anything away from our 20 minutes, 30 minutes, this is what I'd love for you to learn, or here's the value that I want to share. 

She also had some engaging questions that she invited people to ask her or respond to via email or social. So there's lots of ways you can engage with people, but it's important to know your audience and how they like to engage with you now, before you even start the show.

Kendra Corman:

It all goes back to your target audience. That's come up I think in almost every single episode that I've done so far, is who are you targeting? Because how you reach them is going to depend on who you're trying to reach.

Lauren Kelley:

Absolutely.

Kendra Corman:

One of my podcasts episode I think 16 with Carol Ward, she talked about how she spends a ton of time on LinkedIn. It's a great tool for her because she helps people in career transition and helps people find franchises, and really helps them get to some place where they'll be happy either as an employee or as a business owner. 

Well, people looking for their next opportunity are looking on LinkedIn. So it just makes sense and connects. And so again, talking about who your audience is and connecting them I think is really great. 

So building on that topic of the pillar content and breaking it up, is there an interesting way that you've seen people leverage their content that might be different than most?

Lauren Kelley:

Hmm, that's a great question. 

I would say a lot of people will go the audiogram route when they're sharing, creating little snippets from the show and that's something you see pretty often. I would say not to say not to share that content, but if there's a way visually that you could make the creative a little bit more unique, that's one topic or one suggestion. I'm trying to think of the most interesting way I've seen.

I actually was in Chicago over the weekend visiting my former college roommate. And I saw someone created a billboard for their podcast. So not to say everyone needs to go out and do this, but it just stuck with me. 

It was not a podcast from a huge company. This was an individual like any one of us who started his own podcast, and he found a local billboard and he used that to promote the show.

I think that is a great example of number one, knowing who your audience is, where they might be and reaching them where they might be, even if it's outside of the traditional channels or ways that you would promote a podcast. 

I also would consider one of the other ways that someone's promoted that caught my eye is they actually went live on LinkedIn and Facebook just to talk about their recent episode. And they said, "Hey I just had the opportunity to talk with so and so person about this topic."

And I thought that was kind of unique because usually people will just say post the link and say please listen to my episode. So that was just a way that you could engage with them and see that the host was passionate about the interview and the subject, and that stuck out to me as well. 

So that's just one other way to use social media perhaps to share if you're comfortable on video, certainly try going live, just see, post your Instagram story, show your face. That's one thing back to that authenticity and community management piece of building the community. That's just another way for people to connect with you. 

So I think that's a great thing to try and test it out. If you don't like it, you don't ever have to do it again, but I always encourage experimentation.

Kendra Corman:

No, I think that's great. 

I love the billboard. Now I'm like I want a billboard. This is perfect marketing. No, I'm just kidding. 

All right, so let's talk a little bit about show notes. We talked a little bit about it already, we talked about using it as a blog. I see some other people using it a little bit differently, maybe a little bit briefer. It's got related links, sometimes it's got what's covered in the episode as bullet points. 

What's your perspective on show notes and how do you recommend people leverage their show notes to increase their visibility?

Lauren Kelley:

That's a great question. I think you're right. 

There's a big variety of how people are using those show notes. Some people just have one sentence and that's all that there is, other people might include their social media links.

Whereas on the other side of the spectrum, some people I've seen include their full transcript in the show notes, which I'd say might not be as effective as they're hoping for. My recommendation for show notes is to have a happy medium in between both of those.

I would suggest a brief overview, in this episode we're interviewing so and so, a bit about them in case someone is scrolling on Apple Podcast app or whatever they use if they're reading the descriptions. 

It's enough that they feel invested of, "Okay, who is this person?" If they don't recognize their name, what's the value there? Why should I listen? What's the answer to the why listen question in your show notes. 

And then one tactic I've seen that I really like is showing not timestamps for every single topic, but if there's something really interesting or that comes out of the interview.

So if you were talking about a specific topic that maybe that's a hot topic and culture right now, or just a really good tip that we want to discuss, just showing timestamps of when that happens in the conversation, that's an interesting way to also kind of hook people because if you talk about multiple things in an episode, for example. 

That might catch someone's eye, if they say, "Oh, well, I'm really interested in." One of our clients is a doctor and he speaks about food. So he's interviewed in many podcasts and he shares specific ingredients or different diseases that food can help you support your immune system, all that kind of great stuff.

So in some of the episodes, they'll say learn about the immune system at this five minute point, learn about these foods at this point. And I think that is definitely effective at reaching people or letting people know, "Hey, there's lots of good stuff here and a variety of content." So that's something I would recommend. 

Make sure you answer though why should you listen, share links to your social, I'd say at the bottom where people can connect with you, your website, and then also give people just an overview of what's happens in the episode, what topics are covered, share the timestamps, if you can. 

Just so it's enough content that it catches people's eye, but it's not so much that people just oh gosh, and scroll away because it's too much.

Kendra Corman:

Well, I love that why listen and answering that why listen question, because I talk to people when they're writing emails or blog posts or whatever it is, what's in it for me as the reader? So therefore that applies just as importantly for as what's in it for me as the listener.

Lauren Kelley:

Yes.

Kendra Corman:

And really being focused there and delivering on what that is. I try to focus this podcast so that everybody learns lessons on marketing from other people, mistakes that they've made, successes that they've had, different tactics that they might want to think about using in the future. 

I think that again, I'm adding value there, but then how am I showcasing that value to the listeners in the email that I send out every week and stuff like that. I think that's a really great reminder that I think we all need, but I will definitely be redoing my show notes. 

No, those were great tips. So thank you so much for that. Now, if someone listening is thinking about a podcast, what do you recommend they do first?

Lauren Kelley:

I love this question as well. I feel like I'm saying that for every single one, but this is a big part of what we help a lot of our clients with. 

They'll come to us and say, "I'd like to start a podcast. I'm not really sure what to do next. How do I know if I picked the right topic? What should I do?" 

And I would suggest starting off with like, get a pen and paper, or if you prefer digital, whatever works for you, really start to think about what you think that you could talk about for a long time.

Lauren Kelley:

So there's a phenomenon, I'm sure Kendra, you're familiar with called pod fading where I think it's after six months, a large portion of people will start with a lot of enthusiasm and then fizzle out by the six month mark and stop posting or stop uploading new episodes. 

So in order to avoid that, I like to make sure we start with a topic that you're passionate about, that you feel like you could talk to anyone about, I would say so. Whether it's a colleague or a friend, if it comes naturally to you, you don't have to be an expert. You don't need a PhD in a certain topic.

So even if let's say you just love movies and you wanted to start a podcast about that, whether you interview people or tell your own ... Give movie reviews, whatever you're passionate about, you can start put that on paper, different topics that makes sense to you. 

And let's say if it's marketing, if you own a marketing business, there's a lot of ways you could go. Marketing is a little bit too general, I would say, try to niche down enough that you are offering something specific.

So let's say myself, perhaps I would start a social media focus podcast where I give tips or you can interview guests. There's a whole bunch of things, but I would suggest writing on a piece of paper different topics and then episode ideas underneath.

 So think of it could I create a full season's worth of content out of this topic? 

You don't have to have every idea fleshed out, but let's say maybe you will use social media as the example. You could write maybe an episode about TikTok or Instagram algorithm, or all these different things. There's lots of ways you could go, but just try to brainstorm a lot of different ideas for what you could do or guests that you'd like to bring on or ask to join you.

I think if you're starting a podcast, if you're armed with okay, I feel like I have an outline of a plan, that's the best first step. Or I've even thought myself, maybe I'll start just a fun podcast about one of my hobbies. I really like pottery and ceramics. 

So I was like, "Oh, wouldn't that be fun? That might be cool to do a podcast." But when I did this exercise for myself, I realized, I came up with about six episode ideas. But after that, I'm not really sure what I would say.

So maybe that would be that content or that type of material would be good, not for a podcast, but for something else. And I think that's one way I always ... An exercise that you could do individually, or have a friend or a colleague help you if you want another brain in on it. 

But that's a good way to see is my idea feel solid enough that I could create a show around this before you go into building out the format, and all the music and everything like that, all that stuff is important, but I think it can be distracting. People want to create a name and do the artwork and all that fun stuff first. 

But I would say, start with pen and paper, really think about your topic and your theme and what you want to say, and make sure it's niche enough that someone else will find it interesting. It's not too broad because if you try to appeal to everyone, you're going to appeal to no one. So that's—

Kendra Corman:

Be something to—

Lauren Kelley:

My—

Kendra Corman:

Someone because you can't be everything—

Lauren Kelley:

Yes.

Kendra Corman:

To everybody. I agree with that 100%. And I think again, we've covered, niching down numerous times on this podcast already because small businesses and small entrepreneurs, we struggle with niching down. Because—

Lauren Kelley:

It can be very hard.

Kendra Corman:

We don't want to say no to stuff, especially when they're starting out. 

So just something to keep in mind that you can niche down, you don't want to get too specific. So I like your idea of like doing a social media podcast would be great. Because you can talk about TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, there's enough content there. But if you started one on TikTok, you might run out of content fairly quickly.

Lauren Kelley:

That's something we're doing that exercise just on paper can help you realize that more quickly versus going down the path, starting to build out episodes and realizing later oh no, I don't have enough. How do I pivot or change the podcast instead of just setting yourself up for success is always what I recommend. 

Because it is a lot of work to create a podcast.

Kendra Corman:

It is. It definitely is. But it's also a lot of fun.

Lauren Kelley:

Yes.

Kendra Corman:

So if you enjoy the topic and you enjoy what you're talking about, I think it can be really rewarding too, but yes it is a lot of work. Actually I think I heard the other day that the majority of podcasts that have pod fade, are fading after the seventh episode. That's it, it's not even taken six months.

Lauren Kelley:

That sounds about right. That makes me so sad. Because I think there's ... I've listened to shows before where I love it. And then all of a sudden they stop posting, but that's where I guess it comes down to preparation and the other tip there, I would say to avoid it is trying to work in advance with your episodes if you can. 

So planning it out especially if you're going to do seasons versus some podcasts posts every week, and it feels like they never take a break, but that's not practical for most people.

You need the vacation and there's just things in life that come up. So if you can work in advance, record episodes, have them scheduled out and planned, that'll do a lot to help you avoid the pod fading and feel like you are prepared with everything and you could certainly take a break or do seasons as long, as you communicate that I think to your audience and they know what to expect, but that's definitely something try to work in advance if you can, have a plan. Preparation is very important.

Kendra Corman:

Well, and I like why you're talking about with batching. So I tell that to people all the time, no matter what kind of content you're creating, batching is key. 

So one of my friends has a podcast that she started. She releases every other week, which is still in the majority of podcasts. I think it's actually the most common release schedule. Not necessarily every week or twice a week, like I do. She records one Saturday a month anywhere from two to four episodes. 

And so that way she's working ahead, she's got a little bit of buffer, so if she wants to take a month off she can, she's still releasing podcasts, but it's a really good pace for her in what she's releasing.

So that's always good. But yeah, no, I think coming up with the ideas, making sure that you're not too specific, but not too broad. It's a balancing act. 

And so having someone like you, there's definitely a ton of value to bounce that off of somebody and not just do it with a sample of one also known as yourself. So be careful there. 

So this show is called Imperfect Marketing because marketing is definitely not perfect. What was your biggest marketing lesson learned?

Lauren Kelley:

This is a fun one because in social media, just the nature of working in social people in general are very fickle. So something, a piece of content or a style of content that works well for months, all of a sudden can not perform as well or the algorithms change. 

So I feel like I'm always testing and learning with the social side of the business. But one thing that really comes to mind or recent lesson that I've learned is with one of our clients. He has an online course and we have a whole funnel system set up to get people from the email all the way starting social email to ultimately sign up for the course.

And recently we've I think got a bit distracted. So we found a lot of success. We looked at 2022 to say, okay, how can we rev the engines even more and really put gas on the fire, so to speak and have it be even better.

 One of the things we looked at was what are some other people doing? What do their funnels look like? People in the category, in the space and where could we find improvements or how could we make it better? That's an important exercise I think it's valuable to do.

 But in this particular case, we found that we got a little lost in our own funnel system. It's easy to say, well, this person is successful and they're posting a podcast this way. Or their social looks like this or their emails read this way.

So we tested out a new funnel that was different from what we'd done before. And I think it didn't perform as well. So it felt like a lot of time that we spent to build out a whole new funnel and a whole system for marketing and all of the marketing we did around the course, we got away from our roots a little bit with how we engaged the community. 

That was where we really started to get all the way back to our community conversation. But he is a strong community on social and email. And we got a little bit too salesy, I think with this other funnel mimicking, some very successful people, not to say it doesn't work for them and their audience, but I think it can be easy in this digital age we live in with how much inputs that we all receive every day that it can be easy to say well maybe I should change what's working or try something different.

And that was one lesson I think we all learned as the team, really everyone working on it was it's good to try new things and it's good to always look for a continued improvement, but try not to get too far away from what's worked for you, or what feels true to yourself and how you market and the audience that you have because we ended up going back to kind of our original process that we've used. 

It was a little bit more longer funnel, so to speak, it took ... We eased people in to the sales messaging and that seemed to work better. We found that same success back and even more once we kind of went back to our roots.

So that's one lesson just recently in the last six months that I've really taken to heart and tried to think about how could it apply to other clients or even random our own business. How do we work with others and how can we continue to improve without but still staying true to our roots, and how we want to conduct ourselves, I guess, in business and just in life. 

So that was one recent one that came to mind.

Kendra Corman:

No, I think that's a great one. 

Thank you so much for sharing that because it is important to be true to your roots. I covered this in a previous episode, an Imperfect Marketing brief that I'll link to. 

But really what I talked about was a friend of mine had a marketing consultant to tell her to post some lip syncing on Instagram Reels and that's not her personality. She did it and it felt too salesy. And she got backlash and messages which was good, because she has an active community that follows her. She had backlash that she was going too hard sell and they didn't like it and wanted to start unfollowing her.

Lauren Kelley:

I think that's a great example, and it also just comes back to another point that I think people now are getting much more savvy on social media and email. They know when a sales pitch is coming. 

Whereas I think even five years ago, some of the messaging I would never send now. It's a little too salesy compared to what I would send now, I guess. So that's just another thing to keep in mind. 

If people know if you're not authentic to yourself and that's the same with podcasting. I think even more so with audio, you can tell if someone doesn't believe in what they're saying or isn't passionate about a topic or doesn't really care, you can really tell because it's just your ears. You can hear it. 

So I think I'm sorry for your client or she was given that advice. I'm sure she did not film another video.

Kendra Corman:

She did not. She deleted it. She took it down. 

Don't believe everything that you hear. Just because something's working for somebody doesn't mean it's going to work for you. And that's exactly what you're saying. 

Again, stay authentic to who you are and who your audience is because that authenticity is extremely important, I think to your brand.

Lauren Kelley:

Absolutely. 

And even from when you promote your podcast, making sure you promote that in an authentic way as well. I know a lot of people have lots of feelings about self-promotion sometimes. I'm not even great at it all the time of wanting to say, "Hey, I did this cool thing. It's important. Everyone should do it including myself." 

But I think finding a way of sharing your expertise, sharing your accomplishments, the cool things that you're doing, the podcast episode you just launched, whatever it is in your business, finding a way, whether it's LinkedIn or whichever platforms you use to promote that content in a way you feel comfortable with.

I always say and have seen for clients. The more authentic you are to yourself, including like the language that you use in your post. 

Does it feel like how you would say it to someone in real life? 

That's how I would encourage you to post about it on your website or your blog or your email, because that is what people connect to. There's also so much fakeness online these days that it's refreshing when someone is just true to themselves. 

I acknowledge it can be scary. It's scary for me too sometimes to put yourself out there, but I think it's worth it. People will connect with you even over the longer term as well. The longer term results wins from that you'll see even a month from now. 

And you won't even know that you may have impacted someone positively by just being yourself on social media or in your podcast, if they can relate to you. Just like you mentioned earlier, if you've never met someone, you could still feel like you know them because you've seen their content. That's the goal for everybody I would say.

Kendra Corman:

Yeah, no and I agree with you 100% on that. 

The other thing that I would say that I built out of that lesson learned too, is to only change one thing at a time. So don't necessarily change the whole funnel, change the sales page, change the first couple of emails, things like that. So that way you can trace back to what worked and what didn't work.

Lauren Kelley:

Yes. That's a great point. Because that's something that we learned the hard way too, of it's hard to measure which thing maybe isn't working when you change too much. So same with a podcast as well. 

If you have a few episodes a certain way, if something feels off and you want to add a new segment or change something up with how you promote it or what you include in the show, try not to change too many things at once. 

The other piece there is ask for feedback as well. If you have that community and that audience say, "Hey, what do you want to hear from me? Or what would you like to see in my emails or in my episode?" Or what would you like me to talk about on social media? 

People sometimes won't tell you, but unless you ask, if you ask directly, you might be surprised how many people will just share their thoughts or compliment you on what you're doing and make you feel great.

Kendra Corman:

A lot of people definitely want to share their opinions. You don't seem to be shy from what I've seen on Facebook and even LinkedIn. So I think asking they always say at the end of the podcast, ask people to subscribe and review your show because if you don't ask, they don't necessarily do it.

Lauren Kelley:

Sometimes people might just not think of it. They go about their day and they might say, "I love that podcast." And then they do laundry or whatever it is the next thing you do in your day. 

But if you remind them, say, "Hey, it really helps me out. It's great for the algorithm. It's wonderful if you have a minute, if you could give a five star review for the show." 

Sometimes I've had some clients say, "I feel uncomfortable asking that so directly would you please review?"

But it's definitely worth it because people might not leave those reviews and they might enjoy the show and tell their friends, but you also want to see it on the platforms themselves and get those five stars because that matters these days to have those reviews as well.

Kendra Corman:

So speaking of that, please feel free to give me a five star review and follow my podcast, Imperfect Marketing. If you'd like, we'd love to help you tuning in every week. 

No, but I agree with you. You do need to ask because I have so many things going on in my life, thinking about what's going to help you isn't necessarily what's top of mind. 

Asking it's like, "Oh yeah, no, I do like this. I wouldn't mind leaving a review." All it does is just put that idea out there. I mean, that's why all those YouTube channels say subscribe.

Lauren Kelley:

Absolutely.

Kendra Corman:

Give me a thumbs up then, that's what's really important. So I think that's great. I think that there I agree with you, there's authentic ways to do it and authentic for you might be lip syncing in an Instagram Reel.

Lauren Kelley:

Yes, no shade to that tactic, if that's your thing. But if it's not, you don't have to do it.

Kendra Corman:

Just so you know, you will not find me lip syncing on an Instagram.

Lauren Kelley:

Me neither.

Kendra Corman:

Now my niece, you can see her all the time on TikTok lip syncing to who knows what. 

So no, I love that insight. Thank you so much for being so honest and so open with that. It was really interesting and I love that perspective because you do learn as you experiment, some of them are going to fail and if they don't, then you're not experimenting enough.

Lauren Kelley:

Yes.

Kendra Corman:

Or you're not being big enough and then you're limiting your growth. I think learning what doesn't work is huge and that's just amazing. So thank you so much. 

Now I always ask this question, what superpower would you choose for yourself if you could? I love superpowers and superheroes.

Lauren Kelley:

I think I would love to be able to pause time, and I think the reason for this is, I mean, everyone, all business owners and I'm sure every listener can relate, feels like there's not enough time in the day. There are always more things to get done. 

While it's important to have balance and remember you're never going to do everything in a day, the ability to pause time and just spend some time to do yoga or relax, or just other fun things during the day would be amazing. 

So I think that's one superpower and there's all sorts of wonderful things you could do as well with that.

Save people's lives, do all that fun stuff, but selfishly I would love in my everyday life just to be able to pause time, take a nap, not even to do extra work, but just to have some extra fun in my day. I think that would be good and this just makes me think my answer, I should prioritize that anyway of adding a little extra fun to my day, but-

Kendra Corman:

There go.

Lauren Kelley:

That's one superpower I think it'd be really fun.

Kendra Corman:

I like that. I like the way you think. 

So pausing time, you promote, you push your clients to do batching on their content. So that way it's easier and it feels like less work just ... No, that all goes together. 

I think that is a fantastic superpower. I'm always intrigued by what people have to say and suggest as their superpowers and it's pretty amazing and interesting. So thank you again so much for joining me Lauren.

We'll have a bunch of links in the show notes to Freakonomics and some different tools that maybe Lauren will recommend that if you're looking to get started in podcasting, and ways to connect with Lauren and the Random Agency, of course. 

So be sure to check those out if you can. And thank you again for tuning in for another episode, we'll see you next week same time same place.

 

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