The Importance of Relationships

I'll be the first to admit I don't have a content strategy for this blog. I haven't taken the time to map one out, but that is on my To-do list so it's coming. But what I do use this blog for is to share powerful messages and information I find and receive while writing show notes. Sometimes it's a particular episode or person who strikes a chord with me, sometimes it's simply a message that comes through. Today it's about the message of relationships. Relationships are important. Scratch that, they are EVERYTHING. And I don't mean that in "who you know who can do things for you" kind of way. I mean that in a they will determine the course of your life kind of way. If you develop positive, healthy and meaningful relationships within your network, with your audience and within your daily life you will have the kind of life you love. If you don't, nothing else really matters. Even if you made a few million dollars but no one liked you what would be the point? You'd have no one to share that money with, no one to do fun things with and no one to give it to. I got crystal clear on this while listening to an episode of Chris Ducker's New Business Podcast with Dale Partridge. Dale has an amazing site at The Daily Positive and there are several incredible articles on relationships. But don't take my word for it, have a look for...

Pushing The Edge of Your Comfort Zone

By now you've probably seen the graphic above, I know I have seen it in countless posts. And it's out there because it's true. Anytime we're going outside of our comfort zones there is magic at work. I come up against this on a regular basis, every time I add a new client or bring on an intern to help me. I'm expanding my comfort zone because I'm doing something new. I have to count on someone new or see if my writing is a fit for a new client. Now I'm an admitted control freak so these are big things for me. They may not be a big deal for you, but I know there is something that IS a big deal for you and will force you out of your comfort zone. The question is what is it and when are you going to go after it? The reason it's so important to grow and expand is because if you aren't growing, you are dying. So instead of staying complacent with where you are or your business is (or your podcast, your show notes, etc), grow and expand so you can continue to thrive. A perfect, recent example from my life is submitting my proposal to speak at Podcast Movement this year. One of the founders of the conference, Jared Easley, suggested I do so and of course I jumped at the chance. I was extremely excited, and terrified at the same time. But I did it: I put a proposal together with the help of my coach and submitted it last Friday. I'll let you know what...

The War of Art

This is by far and away one of the best books I've ever read on creative production. If you're a writer, a speaker, a painter, or any other artist this is the book to read. I can only imagine how different my life would be if I had read it 10 years ago! I consider it required reading for any English class and would make it mandatory if I could. But even if you aren't an artist (or don't consider yourself one, I think we all are creators and artists), it's still great to read. It will help you understand why you've ever (or still) have resistance to doing something, starting something or completing something. And I mention it here because it's a.) the book I've been reading for the last 2 weeks (doing my 10 pages a day!) and because it's left such a profound impression. If you write show notes, if you're a podcaster or want to be in that world this book is also highly relevant because you're a creator. If you're an entrepreneur, solopreneur or wannabepreneur you need this book, again you're a creator and you'll face resistance along the...

Repurposing Content: How and Why

One of the things I've been noodling on is how to help my clients repurpose and market their show notes. It's a question I get asked from time to time and it seems to be an area of interest for podcasters. It all stems from a question I asked podcasters in the Proudly Unemployable Facebook group. I wanted ideas for a free giveaway to build my email list for Show Notes Made Easy. One of the repeating themes in the responses was marketing and repurposing the content of their show notes: how could they do it? What were my top tips on doing so? Frankly this isn't something I do. I write the content and I write it in such a way that the podcaster can (and should) reuse the material. But I've never taken it beyond that, because no one has asked for it (not of my existing clients anyway). However it's a topic that other podcasters want to dive into so it's something I've been letting my brain muck about with. I don't have any answers yet - aside from the obvious ebook response - but I thought this episode of The Solopreneur Hour with Derek Halpern was very fitting. Check it out, see if Derek stirs up some ideas in your mind! He's done so for me and my brain is happily frolicking with those ideas now...I'm waiting for them to come to fruition....

Why You Need to Get to Events

Whether you're writing show notes, aspiring to be a podcaster or already are a podcaster (or any other solopreneur-type), events are where it's at. You get to connect, mingle and create relationships with people in your industry. From the most elite cats in the biz to people just starting out, everybody who is anybody is there. Now I know there are plenty of reasons to NOT go: money, time off work, time away from your biz, family obligations, etc. But excuses will always rear their ugly heads when you want to get something done. So instead of listening to them (again) and staying stuck or staying at the level you're already at, why not kick 'em to the curb and get into action? Get your butt to the event, buy the ticket, buy the airfare, secure the room. If you can't do all of those, pick one and get the ball in motion. I promise when you do your excuses will start to dwindle...because you're so darn excited to be going you won't care what other reasons show up! Enthusiasm breeds more enthusiasm, just take the first step and you'll see I'm right. So which events are you attending this year - NMX? Podcast Movement? World Domination Summit? Any others I've missed?...

Scaling Your Service-Based Biz

This is such a tricky topic. You'll hear so many folks tell you that you must have a product, services aren't scalable. I don't think you have to live and die by that rule. Take for example advertising agencies. They provide services and they are scalable: you have your directors, then your account execs, account managers, assistant account managers. There's also the admin staff who keep the place running and the creatives from directors to senior copywriters to senior graphics to junior levels. That's a scalable business model, you can see it being done around the world. I've been a part of that world and it's certainly shaped how I do business and how I intend to build Show Notes Made Easy. Eventually I'll hire an editor who will know how the notes should sound for every show and they'll be able to handle the edits that come in from our senior and junior show notes writers. The editor - aka the creative director - will oversee the show notes work of the two groups. And I would be the CEO who oversees the whole kit-n-caboodle, and directs us in where we go right now and in the future. Right now that's what the market is telling me it wants: I get more requests for my services than I do for my product. People want to hand me their podcast files and let me handle getting the show notes done. If they can't afford me I recommend buying Show Notes Made Easy and hiring a VA to do their notes, but by and large people would prefer to be...

Fear: Why Bother?

Working on the shows that I do I often hear guests and podcasters alike talking about fear. Face your fear, challenge your fear, punch it in the face, etc (ok maybe not that last one but you get the idea). But why should we bother? It's really that important to face your fear? No. Not if you want what you have today to be what you have tomorrow, and the day after, and the month after, and the year after and the decade after. If you're ok with today being the rest of your life then there's no need to face your fear. But if you want to change things up, throw a little wrench into your monkey business then yep you've gotta have a sit-down with fear, a little meet and greet if you will. When you do remember this: facing your fear isn't about never hearing from it again. Oh no! Your fears will come back. They're like that ex you can't get to go away permanently or those Facebook ads that follow your every move online: they're just there and always will be. The sooner you know this and make peace with it, the easier your fear-facing process is going to be. I'm writing about this because I used to think that if I just made one more cold call (I was building a network marketing business at the time), talked to one more stranger (I'm quite introverted) and went on just one more date (as of writing this I've been single for quite awhile), my fears would go away. Well news flash kids: they never...

Formatting Your Show Notes

One of the things I've seen change in my last year of writing show notes is the format. Some podcasts want in-depth notes, while others prefer to use quick summaries and multiple bullet points. And still others use a combination of the two. There are many other styles. If you look at what Tim Ferris is doing you'll see he does a bit of a summary and a LOT of bullets. Not the kind of bullet points I write, but simple statement style bullets with a time stamp. I don't get this style at all, do people like reading these notes? I don't, it's an eyesore IMO. But they must work because Tim uses them. Personally there is only one thing I know for sure about show notes format: there is no one-size-fits-all! How you want to use your show notes is what will determine your ultimate choice in formats. If you simply want a bit of info up for your listeners then you'll go the simple route with a paragraph or two and maybe some bullets. If you want to use your show notes as an additional marketing tool then you'll want to get with more in-depth notes, perhaps some time stamps for really crucial items and several points explained in the notes. These will be the kind of show notes you can use to email your list, perhaps to craft into an ebook later or you can pull out a few points and use those points as social media updates later. It all boils down to what you want to with your notes, what your intention is. So...

How to Stay Focused When Working From Home

One of the things people ask me more often than not (right after they ask what show notes are and, in some cases, what a podcast is) is how I can work from home. How do you avoid all the distractions and get your work done? What they mean is how do I not just sit on my couch and watch TV all day? The answer is never what people want to hear. It's simple: discipline. There are plenty of days I feel like doing nothing, but nothing doesn't pay the bills. And frankly nothing isn't very rewarding. A work week finished, and a dozen or more episodes completed feels pretty good. Plus I typically am taking steps to make Show Notes Made Easy scalable so I can add a few notches to that belt as well. But on those days when I have no motivation and no pep, I have to reward myself along the way. Usually it's with chocolate, I'm not gonna lie. But other days it is with reruns of Law & Order (SVU seems to be the only one that's still on at least consistently). Still other days it's with a trip to one of my favorite local coffee shops, or the library or the nearby gorgeous Balboa Park. And some days it takes all of the above! It isn't that I don't love what I do, I definitely enjoy writing show notes, it's just that I need to break up my routine and add some variety to my days. It's easy to fall into a rut when you work from home, whatever you do. Now...

Should You Work for Free?

If you're going out on your own for the first time or are new to writing show notes, you might consider working for free. But should you? And what if a new client approaches you and asks you to do an episode for free? I've faced all of these scenarios and I have never worked for free. I once agreed to a discount when someone asked, but I don't offer them and I doubt I'd ever agree to a discount again. Not because it was a bad experience, it was great and the person I gave the discount to is a client as of the day I'm typing this, but simply because my time is too precious to be given away for nothing. The one and only time I can agree to possibly working for free if you approach a prospective client. Say it's a big name podcaster and they'd be an amazing coup for you - then go for it! Even better - find a set of their show notes and rewrite them for them...then send the rewrite to them as a gift. Tell them you love their show and include some reasons why. It's even better if you can tell them some actions you've taken as a result of listening to them, all the hustlers love action-takers because it shows you're one of them. And then as a token of your appreciation, give them the rewritten notes for an episode you particularly loved. Let them know they are welcome to use the notes if they like them, explain how much you normally charge for what you did and that...
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