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Sell authentically by creating a podcast series (with Racheal Cook)

September 9, 2020


Melissa Guller


Transparency Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may earn a commission if you make a purchase. This is at no additional cost to you, so it's a great way to support Wit & Wire. So thank you! Full disclosure here.

How do podcast listeners become buyers without everything feeling “sales-y?” Today’s guest Racheal Cook is a master of long-term, predictable business growth, and she’s here to share her favorite value-driven sales strategies specifically for podcasters.

Racheal Cook is an award-winning business strategist and host of the Promote Yourself to CEO podcast. Over the last 10 years she has helped thousands of female entrepreneurs design predictably profitable businesses, and today, she’s here to share how long-term planning has helped both her podcast and her business grow.

By the end of this episode, you’ll learn…

  • How Racheal started her online business, and how focusing has helped her grow
  • Racheal is really intentional about using the word CEO instead of “boss babe.” But why, and what’s the difference?
  • How Racheal’s podcast is different from her competitors
  • How to sell unsexy stuff, and the power of knowing your audience
  • When to introduce a sales opportunity, including different kinds of marketing promotions

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Today’s Guest: Racheal Cook

As an award-winning business strategist, host of the Promote Yourself to CEO podcast, and best-selling author, Racheal Cook is on a mission to end entrepreneurial poverty for women.

Over the last 10 years, she has helped thousands of female entrepreneurs design predictably profitable businesses without the hustle and burnout that doing #allthethings inevitably accomplishes.

In fact, Racheal is a sought-after speaker on entrepreneurship, marketing, and productivity and has been featured by the US Chamber of Commerce, Forbes Coaching Council, Female Entrepreneur Association, and more. Her real passion, though, is supporting savvy, soulful women as they implement the strategy, systems, and support to uncomplicate their business so they can work less and live more.

Website | Podcast | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn

Episode transcript

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by a free AI transcription tool called Otter. Please forgive any typos or errors. Melissa Guller 0:00 Welcome to Wit & Wire, the podcast that takes you behind-the-scenes to learn how to start and grow a successful podcast that makes an impact. I’m your host, Melissa Guller, and in each episode of Wit & Wire, I invite fellow podcasters and industry experts to share their diverse stories and strategies to help podcasters of all experience levels. Today I can’t wait to introduce you to Racheal Cook. As an award-winning business strategist, host of the Promote Yourself to CEO podcast, and best-selling author, Racheal Cook is on a mission to end entrepreneurial poverty for women. Over the last 10 years she has helped thousands of female entrepreneurs design predictably profitable businesses without the hustle and burnout that doing #allthethings inevitably accomplishes. In fact, Racheal is a sought after speaker on entrepreneurship, marketing, and productivity and has been featured by the US Chamber of Commerce, Forbes Coaching Council, Female Entrepreneur Association, and more. Her real passion, though, is supporting savvy, soulful women as they implement the strategy, systems, and support to uncomplicate their business so they can work less and live more. So Rachel, welcome to the podcast. Racheal Cook 1:14 Thanks for having me, Melissa. Melissa Guller 1:16 I can’t wait to learn more about your story. And I feel like this is going to be such a value packed episode. So just to kick things off, I’d love to learn a little bit more about your own business story. So when you first started your first online business, what did your life look like at the time? Racheal Cook 1:31 So I first started my business under a different brand 12 years ago, from the time we’re recording this, it was the end of 2008. And I was completely burned out and ended up on a yoga mat, crying my eyes out, trying to figure out how I was going to overcome the burnout from the corporate consulting world I had found myself in and I met my yoga teacher who asked If there was any way I could support her in turning her yoga studio around and I realized, oh, solo owner operated business owners do not have access to consultants like me who are traditionally working with multimillion dollar businesses. And they need help. So I started the Yagi printer at the end of 2008, beginning of 2009. I found out I was pregnant six months later with twins, and quickly evolved my business to be an online business virtual consulting coaching online courses instead of my more traditional consultancy, which I had done in the past where I was basically showing up at your door working with you hands on inside of your business. And so now we are over a decade into being behind the scenes but we have evolved beyond my initial brand of the yogi printer to work with women entrepreneurs who are starting and scaling service based Businesses under the new brand, the CEO collective, which I’m very excited about, Melissa Guller 3:06 hmm, and actually something I love about both your podcasts, which of course we’ll talk about and your business is your clear use of the term CEO. So I’m curious, why did you make that choice instead of just saying that your resources were for business owners? Yes. Racheal Cook 3:21 What’s interesting is I have tracked alongside the entire evolution of this online business space, just to give context, when I started, the only way to have a webinar was to use GoToWebinar, and it was hundreds of dollars a month, there was no easy technology. So I’ve seen the last decade in the online business space and I’ve seen technology becomes so much easier and I’ve seen the barriers to entry just drop so much and when barriers to entry drop to any industry. We start to see a flood of people enter the industry and that is exactly what we’ve seen in the online business space. A lot of what I started to see was women entrepreneurs who are interested in having more of a part time business, like a side hustle, something that would give them maybe a little extra spending money. But when I started calling out women who want to think like a CEO, I attracted an entirely different type of person, a different type of ideal client than the typical like solopreneur, girl, boss, babe, etc. I attracted women who really wanted to build substantial businesses, real businesses that could not only pay them an amazing income but make an amazing impact in the world. So words are important. And I found that calling women CEOs and calling them up to look at themselves as CEOs just changed the game and who showed up in my business. Melissa Guller 4:57 It’s amazing even hearing you say some of those alternatives like boss babe compared to CEO immediately it does bring up a very different impression in my mind, not just of the personality of somebody but their intentions with their business to. Racheal Cook 5:11 Absolutely and right now, the majority of women starting businesses are not always starting it to be their full time income. A lot of them are starting it to be a side hustle because we are in a world in an economy where everybody could use a couple extra thousand dollars a month. And there’s a huge difference between somebody who’s that’s their level, they’re just trying to get a little extra spending money. They’re just trying to cover their bills or set aside for the fun extra stuff they want to do in their life. And someone who is the sole breadwinner for a family of five, which is my particular situation and who really wants to make this their work for the next 20 to 40 years. Mm hmm. Melissa Guller 5:58 Something else that I think is very unique. And also very clear about your approaches that you aren’t selling that quick fix solution, like in every resource that I found when I was learning more about you, you’ve got a 12 month profit plan, just as one example or it just all of the resources have this very long term approach. So maybe this is a bit of a leading question, but why 12 months instead of maybe a three month plan are those short term wins? Racheal Cook 6:24 Yeah, short term wins are so important. But I think one of the biggest challenges and especially the online business space, is most of the focus is on what you can get short term and when we think short term, we act short term and we make decisions for the Fast Money instead of the long term money. And at the end of the day, I have seen too many people who are just one launch away from their business not working anymore. We need to not only think about what we can make this month, but how we are setting ourselves up for the recovery. monthly revenue we’re going to be bringing in six months in 12 months. And that’s why the 12 month profit plan is so incredibly important because too often I see women entrepreneurs stuck in that feast or famine cycle, where they’re constantly hustling for the next thousand dollars $5,000 $10,000 instead of having a clear plan for how they’re going to make sure that they’re getting the revenue they need to support the lifestyle they want. Melissa Guller 7:26 Mm hmm. I think even with podcasting, as well, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight or be successful overnight. And a lot of times, I think it’s easy to hope that you could launch the podcast so quickly or grow an audience so quickly. But I think the podcasts that succeed are the ones that had a plan to start with. And we’re committed to the long term right from the start. Racheal Cook 7:50 Absolutely, I think, especially in podcasting takes time to build your audience and to build that trust with them. And this is different from other forms of media, a video like we see on YouTube etc, or Tick Tock something like that a video, we have seen people build audiences super quickly on those platforms, but they are very search friendly. And podcasting is not always as search friendly. But what I have found over and over again, is that my podcast listeners are the most qualified potential clients. They’re the most interested in actually learning about what I have to talk about. And they do this amazing thing, they start to binge listen to all of your shows. So if they land on you and realize that, Oh, you are the person they want to learn from, they start going through back episodes, and it becomes this amazing learning style that is hard to replicate and other types of content. Melissa Guller 8:52 Mm hmm. That’s such a great point. And although let’s say Tick Tock is much more searchable, the lifespan of a tick tock I have to imagine is Way shorter than a podcast episode which could truly be discovered and enjoyed years later. Racheal Cook 9:07 Absolutely. I am still getting clients who listened to podcasts when I first launched my very first podcast in 2015. They still find the content out there and again, they binge listened to all of it so that it becomes an evergreen source of referrals of potential clients. Melissa Guller 9:27 Mm hmm. So speaking of the start of your podcast, I’d love to learn more about when you did first launch, what was your goal or your big picture thinking around why you wanted to have a podcast? Racheal Cook 9:39 I’ve had a couple iterations of my podcast. So the first podcast I had was, when I was under the brand new Yogi printer, the yogi printer and I had Yogi printer radio. And I interviewed yoga entrepreneurs, small business owners, yoga studio owners, who were doing things differently because in that particular industry, the traditional business model just doesn’t work for most people. So I was interviewing people who were breaking the mold and challenging the status quo. That was my first podcast and I really enjoyed it. Previous to that this was about 2015. I had tried pretty much everything I had created a bunch of YouTube videos, I had blogged a lot. And what I found was I really enjoyed conversation with interesting people. So it was great for me as someone who’s just curious and wants to talk to other people. But when I had a solo show, I found it was really well suited to my teaching style. I am not a tips and tricks type of person I like to get into bigger picture strategy. So trying to keep attention on a YouTube video. For example, the average YouTube video that does really well is under eight minutes but on On a podcast, you hit somebody for 3045 minutes, even 60 minutes, and they will listen all the way through. And I found that was the better audience. For me it was better suited to my way of teaching content. If you are just a long form, bigger picture, more strategic type of person, you want to go deeper into topics. And you’re not just doing a listicle of top five things to do for whatever, then podcasting is a great fit, because once people listen, they tend to stick around and listen to the whole episode. Mm hmm. Melissa Guller 11:35 That’s such a good point about how just the difference in content length compared YouTube versus podcast makes such a difference depending on your style and what you want to convey. And I know that with your podcast, you do have that kind of clear point of view. You mentioned not being a tips and tricks, kind of girl. So can you talk more about how you did decide to differentiate your podcast from those others that are similar But not exactly what you’re doing. Racheal Cook 12:01 Yeah, the current iteration on my podcast is promote yourself to CEO. And one of the biggest things I was committed to as I rolled this podcast out is I wanted to give people real strategy, the bigger picture perspective on how they can up level the way that they look at their business, really think more strategically more big picture up level their habits as a CEO and start paying attention to the things that really move the needle in their business. And I knew that it wasn’t going to be tips and tricks because CEOs do not depend on tips and tricks. solopreneurs depend on tips and tricks people who are looking to make money, this very instant look for tips and tricks, but people who are looking to build a business that is going to provide for them their family this year next year. 10 years down the road. are looking to build the infrastructure that will be predictably profitable, and that will be sustainable. So as I was thinking about promote yourself to CEO, I really wanted to make sure that I could deliver content that would be anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes long at a time. And I could actually really dig deep get into the meaty part of the content and go beyond the surface level that I was seeing in most of the space. Most of the podcasts geared towards, especially women business owners are very geared towards what’s trendy now. Instead of the unsexy parts of business and the unsexy parts of business are a little bit harder to sell. I will not lie it is harder to sell the unsexy stuff, the building a foundation, the building systems, the building the team, that is not sexy, everyone would rather hear about how Instagram is going to make you a millionaire. But I know that if I can actually dig in and help them understand the bigger picture strategy. And where that Instagram tip or trick actually fits into their bigger strategy that they will be more successful. So that was my thought process when I was mapping out promote yourself to CEO was how can I really help elevate the conversation and elevate the mindset around how they should be thinking about their business? Melissa Guller 14:22 I feel like that’s such great advice probably for a lot of listeners, whether they’re in Business Health parenting, I think, in a lot of different worlds helping people think bigger picture about that like unsexy stuff would be really valuable. But maybe do you have any advice on how to sell the unsexy or how do you still get the message across and find listeners who want to tune in? Racheal Cook 14:47 Yeah, one is just knowing your audience. This is the most important thing honestly. And I had to accept that my ideal client is a little bit further along They are already past the tips and tricks stage like they’ve already tried all of the throwing spaghetti at the wall trying to do all of the things. And they end up feeling like an octopus on rollerskates, meaning they’re constantly moving, but they’re not really going anywhere. So I tend to catch people at that point where they have already listened to all the tips and tricks. And those podcasts tend to give so much information, but not much context for how it fits into a bigger strategy, that they start looking for me when they realize, Oh, I’m stuck in this feast or famine cycle and I am working so hard, but not making a steady paycheck for myself. And honestly, for a lot of us, there comes a point where enough is enough and you’re like this business either has to pay me a decent salary, or I need to make a different decision. And that’s where people tend to find me is when they’re at that point where they realize all the things are Working on are actually too much they need to actually do less, but do it with more focus. And if they do things have more focus, they’ll get the results they want. That can only happen when they have tried too much. Melissa Guller 16:13 Mm hmm. I think this is really insightful because it’s making me wonder for different podcasters maybe your audience is that person at the very beginning, like the day one business owner, the day one Yogi, whatever it is, and for them, yeah, the headlines, the tips and tricks. There’s nothing wrong with talking about those. And perhaps some people want to have a podcast around that. But then maybe for others, they’re realizing that their ideal listener is not the day one person. They’re the person like your audience. They’ve been there. They’ve tried that they’re frustrated. And now they’re looking for long term and just knowing which one of those audiences is yours, I think is really powerful. Racheal Cook 16:49 Absolutely. And once you know that, you can actually start mapping out you’re content to lead them through a process to lead them through a process. to shift their mindset and help them see how your framework or your signature system is the answer to getting them the results they want. Melissa Guller 17:09 Mm hmm. kind of related to that maybe more top of funnel or earlier on. I know a struggle that a lot of my podcasting students are having is around coming up with new episode ideas or content ideas. So where do you find inspiration for your new episodes? Racheal Cook 17:25 So I plan all of my content in a very strategic way. I’m always working backwards from what the next thing I am going to sell is. So I take the thing I’m going to sell, it might be an online program, it might be a one on one consulting offer. It might be an event virtual event right now, since I’m not going anywhere any day soon. But I start thinking backwards from what is it that people need to know in order to be ready to buy this thing I have to offer so start breaking it down to a series of content and anyone who wants to go, reverse engineer how I do this, you can literally go to my podcast and as I share this with you, you will see how I reverse engineer this series of content. But I create a series of content that takes people through the entire customer journey from people who don’t really know who I am to people who are clear about what they’re struggling with, but they don’t actually understand the real underlying problem. They’re having a symptom. And they haven’t identified the real problem to people who know what their problem is. And they just don’t know what the solution is, to people who know what they need. The actual solution could be, but they don’t realize my offer could solve that solution. So I take them through that customer journey and anyone who studies customer psychology. It’s called the buyers readiness journey. You can literally Google it, it’s out there. This is an MBA strategy. But any good marketer knows that you have to take people through this buyer readiness journey, because then your content can align with where people are. So the first thing I do is I think about what is the big opportunity? What is the big thing that I want them to be thinking about, to start getting them attuned to what I’m about to offer? So when I was getting ready to launch my SEO accelerator, which is my higher level mastermind program, one of the podcast episodes I put out is what is your role as CEO? And that was a great opportunity episode because I wanted them to start thinking about how they actually view themselves what they actually do day to day in their business. Are they using your time and energy effectively? Are they acting like a CEO? And one of the great questions that I put in that episode was if you’re getting paid $1,000 an hour, what would you do differently? This really helped them understand this opportunity I was presenting that if they saw themselves like a CEO, they would let go of the busy work and focus on the bigger picture. The next type of episode I think about is the myths or the mistakes. So myths are things that people are struggling with, because they believe them to be true. And so you have to be like those mythbuster guys, and you have to explain, here’s why you’re stuck. Here’s why you’re not seeing results. Mistakes are similar, but these are things as the expert because you’re already down the path. You’ve already seen people struggle with all of the common mistakes. And when you can tell people, here’s the number one mistake or the top three, or the top five mistakes people make trying to get to this next stage. Then your audience is like, Oh, they actually have been there. They’ve been they’ve done that. I should trust them. They have their eyes on what this journey is like. Then I start thinking about the mindset shift. The mindset shift is super important. And this is honestly one of the hardest things for me to come up with. Because I am very much a concrete. Here’s what to do. person, I’m great at how to content but sometimes thinking about the mindset shifts that people have to make was a little harder for me. But when I started putting in content, that was the mindset shift, then I could really overcome the objections in advance of people even knowing what I was offering. So a great example again, coming back to my CEO accelerator. I did a whole episode on the ROI of thinking like a CEO. And I walked them through the decision making process of investing into their business, their skill set their team, really thinking through all of the objections people have to spending money in their business, by framing it in this way that it was a big money. mindset shift they needed to make. And then I wrap up the series with a small win. And the small win is where you finally get to that how to information which most of us are really good at. This is where you’re giving them that really practical step by step breakdown of here’s how to do the very next step, that baby step that helps them build confidence. And even if they don’t implement it, they feel confident because they, as they’re hearing it, they’re like, Oh, I could do that. So the small wind content is really important. So once I put together all of these pieces, I have a three to five part series have content, that is literally walking them all the way through the customer journey, helping them see what the challenges are, what the common mistakes are, what the actual real problem is and what the very next step is, and this builds that relationship it builds the know like and trust for them to be ready to work with me. Melissa Guller 22:57 And speaking of At what point Do you actually start to introduce the sale opportunity? Racheal Cook 23:04 Okay, this is such a great question. First, I leak my information upfront, I start to reference examples based on what I’m about to sell. So from the very first opportunity episode, I will start to say things like, my clients inside of the CEO accelerator, often struggle with finding their role as CEO, they continue to find themselves being the bottleneck. So I will kind of plant those seeds early on by referencing my clients who are in that program, the name of the program, I think that is really important. Because you want to make sure that people are Oh, opening up that little opportunity in their mind that she has a solution for this. I’m listening to this. I understand. There’s a challenge here. And she’s worked with people who have also gone through this process, so make sure you’re leaking That launch, you’re leaking that information from the very first time you talk about it. The other thing I do is, as I gear up to announce the actual offer, I will be my own sponsor. So a lot of podcasts will go out there and get advertising. I don’t do advertising on my podcast, I sponsor my own podcast. So I will legitimately create like a sponsor spot promoting my upcoming launch or my upcoming program. And I will give them like that 32nd highlight reel of Hey, if you are interested in this and you want to learn more get on the waitlist for the SEO collective. We’ll be opening on this date, make sure you’re on the waitlist. And I think that’s a strategy that a lot of podcasters miss out on but it is so incredibly valuable. And the other thing I will start doing as I’m creating this content and putting it out there is I will create a additional value adds for the content. And I will drive those people to go to my website and download the checklist or the worksheet or the free guide that I have created. And this is a great opportunity for me to start creating a very segmented list of people who have been listening to this series of content. So I will do all of those things leading up to it. And the goal is, by the time you actually announced that your program is open for enrollment, you’ve got a nice little waitlist sitting there. If you got a segmented list in your audience, then I will legitimately show up and do what I call a preview episode. And this is something different. I haven’t seen many people do this. But I realized that trying to get people off of the podcast into a webinar or into a challenge, in order to convert them to an online program was really hard. Like podcast listeners just want to hang out In their podcasts feed, trying to get them to listen to that long term or like that longer form content outside of their podcast app gets a little challenging. So I was like, What if I just put the full webinar on the podcast. And so I started doing that, I would just put the full webinar on the podcast, and have a nice intro there. I would tell people, hey, we’re opening the doors to the CEO collective this week. If you want to learn more, head over to the CEO collective calm, and I would share all of the content with them right there on the podcast, and again, give a really clear call to action with a deadline to sign up or to reach out if they wanted more information. So I’m giving people a lot of opportunities to move from their podcast app to my email list so that I continue promoting to them in a different way as well. Melissa Guller 26:52 I think this is such a helpful walkthrough. It’s clear to me that you teach because you have such a practiced understanding of how to To share information, I hope that people were taking notes throughout. But something that really strikes me that you said right at the beginning was that you started with the end in mind and then everything you did was so intentionally working toward your own product. I love that you turn your own ad spots into opportunities for your business and even treating them like an ad i think is so powerful and reading it as though it’s an ad promoting your waitlist or the product and really giving it space instead of just casually throwing away. Oh, yeah, I have a service. Maybe you want it anyway, back to the episode like giving it the space to really treat it like a product, I think is such a strong suggestion. Racheal Cook 27:40 Absolutely. I think this is one of the biggest things that if you are a online business owner, course creator, service based business owner, coach, consultant, etc. sponsoring your own podcast is really powerful. Because it’s easy for people to only listen to you in the podcast app. We need to make sure that Giving clear calls to actions for them to get off the app and into your email list or engaging with you in a different way. And this is one thing I’m calling the sales ecosystem. 10 years ago, everything was very linear. People found you, they had to opt in first in order to get all of the content that you had. And then they would hear a pitch. But now most platforms are keeping people on their platform. So whether you have a podcast or you do a Facebook Live Show, or you’re showing up on Instagram all the time, those platforms do not make it easy to drive people off of them. But you have to drive people off of them if you’re hoping to get more sales because they need to see you not only on your podcast, they need to see the Facebook ad they need to get an email from you. They need to have multiple touchpoints reminding them that you have something that could solve their problem. Melissa Guller 28:55 Hmm, I read a book called irresistible and it talks about how we’re very drawn to our technology, it is in fact becoming an addiction for a lot of us. But one of the sections that is exactly what you’re mentioning is that these apps make money when you continue to use them. And so they’re heavily incentivized to keep you in Instagram to keep you on Facebook. And so it’s not even just that people don’t want to leave the app. It’s that there are many people working very intentionally to make it hard to do so. Like people often talk about why doesn’t Instagram have hyperlinks and captions? Yeah, they don’t want you to leave Instagram. They want you to stay exactly where you are. Racheal Cook 29:35 But one of my greatest little tips and I will share this, this is absolutely free everybody. If you are engaged on a podcast, one of my favorite things to do is to ask people at the end of every episode, if you like this episode, screenshot it, tag me at Rachel cook, and share with me your biggest takeaway so every Thursday when an episode goes out I sit there. And in my DMS I’m seeing all the people who have screenshotted and tagged me and shared on Instagram what they thought about the latest episode. Now that they’ve tagged me, I can start a conversation with them. I can actually say, hey, thanks. I appreciate so much that you share the episode. What are you struggling with right now? What’s going on for you in your particular business. And now I can actually move the sale into another platform because podcasting does not have a direct message. But if I get them on Instagram, I can then have a conversation with them. Or I can give them a link to go get the resource from that podcast. Or if I’m really savvy, I can start targeting them with an Instagram ad, which by the way, you don’t necessarily have to have the swipe up. In order to use the swipe up feature. If you have the ad running. You get a swipe up feature. So that makes it even easier to get people to To engage on a whole nother level. Melissa Guller 31:02 Mm hmm. I love podcasting does not have a direct message feature just snaps to that it’s so true. Racheal Cook 31:08 I wish then it’d make it so much easier, wouldn’t it? Melissa Guller 31:11 I’m definitely going to invite people to share their takeaways again, in the outro of this episode. So I hope that many people get in touch with both of us. Now, I do want to talk about promotion a little bit more. We’ve started dancing into the topic of how do you promote your podcast, but I’d love to learn more. So what kinds of marketing and promotion are you doing for your own podcast episodes? Racheal Cook 31:32 So each episode that I’m doing, we have a quite a comprehensive list of things that my whole team helps me to check off. And I want to be really clear, I do not do this on my own. My team helps me out so much. And that’s the only reason I can do so much with my podcast, because I am very much a big picture person and not a details person. So my team takes over the podcast from the point that I recorded an episode. They get it transcribed and post a transcript. And they create a shortened version for the show notes. And I think this is really important because I have found in my audience and maybe other people’s audiences are similar. Some people just want to skim the show notes to see if this is an episode they want to listen to, or to get the important links I mentioned. But I actually have a lot of people who are hard of hearing or who don’t necessarily want to listen to an episode, but they can read it. So I do fully transcribe every episode and I have found that to be really helpful, just then I’m hitting all the learning styles. So I do those two things, and we post those, then we write a newsletter, and we send that out to our entire email audience. We also create an Instagram graphic and a Instagram story to go along with the episode. I love using something like headliner where you can get that little audio snippet those do really well. In stories, especially, but it’s a great way to kind of let people hear a little bit about your episode. And quick tip. If you plan to do something like headliner, make sure your first 45 to 60 seconds of your show are that juicy hook that get people curious and wanting to listen to more, because it makes it easier to then go and create that little audio gram for your podcast. So we create all of those things we share on Instagram we share on Facebook, we share on linked in. And then we also go out and continue to promote it via our library of content. So we make sure that it’s plugged in so that every once in a while each episode is getting reshared again and again. Melissa Guller 33:48 I love that you mentioned that it’s not just launch day where you talk about different episodes because we talked about content being evergreen before but I think there’s so much mileage you can get out of every episode. There’s so much content within one episode way more than maybe you’d even want to promote in a week and revisiting episodes later on, I think is such a great strategy. Racheal Cook 34:07 Yeah, I look at all of the content or create as an asset. And what I mean by that is, it is something that isn’t a one time, like booty call content, it is a, we can do this again and again, share every time we’re getting ready to promote this thing. It’s not the one nightstand it is the full on relationship, we can pull it out and share it over and over again. So there’s a lot of series that I will actually repeat at least once a year. So for example, I’m getting ready to do the fire up and focus challenge coming up in August. And this is a piece of content that I started in 2014. And every year, I will share the fire up and focus challenge in some way, shape or form. Now I might re record it. If there’s something going on in the world like right now I need to re record it to address the fact that we are in limbo pandemic and a huge civil rights movement. So I’m going to re record it. But it is so much faster and easier for me to share that core content right now. And to have shared it for six years than ever before. Melissa Guller 35:13 I love to that just thinking about every year and repeating you don’t have to recreate the wheel every time. If a challenge worked really well for you, or there’s a certain topic that you went into in depth through a masterclass whatever it might be. I think assuming you can never do it, again, would be a huge mistake. And I love the fact that you’re refreshing it and making it into something annual because I think sometimes we overestimate how much people remember about our businesses. Yes, we will have long term loyal fans, customers followers, but they won’t mind seeing it again, maybe even it wasn’t the right time for them last year, and now it is. So I think having that kind of content that is a backbone is a really smart idea. Racheal Cook 35:54 Yeah, if there’s something you’re constantly reminding your clients to do, that is something you might Need to share every six months. So a great example of this is I talk about a practice that I have had for a very long time that I call my CEO date. It is literally just a time in my calendar every Monday morning to start my week, where I review what’s going on in my business, and plan my week. And every six months, I will release an episode about how I run my SEO date. And then if you look across all of my other platforms almost every Monday on Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn or what have you, I am telling people different parts of my SEO day and reminding them this is a practice that will benefit you. This is a practice that will help you to stay focused and on track of your plan. And I think it’s really easy as a content creator to feel like I’ve already said this a million times already, but people need to hear it a million times they say it takes us hearing something up to seven times before it starts to stick in it is so true. So we have to remember that it might seem annoying to us are just saying the same thing over and over again. But your clients and your community need you to stay this consistent in your message and to keep showing up and talking about these core concepts that you want to get them on board with, in order to take that next step towards working with you. Well said, Melissa Guller 37:20 I think there’s a time and a place for novelty and talking about new things. But going back to the unsexy foundations, most people need to hear like the core good stuff that evolves a little bit, but the essence doesn’t necessarily change and it doesn’t go out of style to talk about those things. Racheal Cook 37:37 Absolutely, this becomes your foundational content, everybody should have some core foundational content you’re going to refer back to again and again, this is why I so strongly believe in creating your own signature process, and branding, these concepts that you share with your clients. That’s why I’ve branded this whole idea of an hour that you set Aside each week to start your week as the CEO date because it made it easier to speak to, and it made it an anchor a touch point for people as they’re listening to be reminded, oh, I don’t have to fly by the seat of my pants, Rachel’s telling me, I need to check in with my CEO day checklist and make sure the business is on track with our big picture plan. I think that’s something that’s easy to dismiss, because it is not sexy, and it is not urgent. But if you don’t want your business to be like a house on fire, you have to start thinking about what are the core parts that you need people to touch into again and again, so that their life or their business or their health or their relationships, whatever it is you do are not an emergency situation. Melissa Guller 38:43 Mm hmm. And you mentioned specifically having a signature process and naming it and can you talk a little bit more about why that’s so important. Racheal Cook 38:51 That is so important, because people need something to ground them in the concept and if we just leave it too broad Then they won’t have a way to name it or to talk about it or to remember it, we need to make things sticky. And this is just copywriting marketing strategy. When you name something one, it elevates you as the expert because you created the XYZ method or whatever, when you’ve actually called it the method or the process or whatever. People are like, okay, they’ve actually put some real thought into this and then when you repeat that again and again, it sticks. So I am a huge fan of if you have a process if you have something that you are constantly referring to, with your clients, give it a name. actually sit down and document what is this thing I am talking about? It’s a great freebie. By the way, if you need an incentive for them to join your email list, you can go to Rachel cook comm slash CEO date and get our whole checklist and it helps ground what they are learning from you. So that when they hear it again and again, they understand exactly what you’re talking about. Melissa Guller 40:04 Mm hmm. makes so much sense. Now, I know we’re wrapping up shortly, but I have a couple more things I want to talk about. And we spent a lot of time talking about what to focus on and the importance of focus. But I’m curious to know, do you think there’s any bad podcasting advice or maybe things that you would recommend not focusing on that get a little airtime? Or maybe are a little trendy in this space? Racheal Cook 40:28 Yeah. Racheal Cook 40:29 One of the things I see is trendy especially because I don’t know if you’re seeing this right now, Melissa, but I am seeing this. A lot of people want to start a podcast right now. They’re seeing the stats, they’re seeing that podcasts are becoming more and more popular, but they often start without a clear idea of what makes their podcast unique and different. And if you start your podcast without understanding what makes it unique and different, it’s very easy to create just another interview show. So one thing that I love about your podcast is that you’re very focused on talking about podcasts. It instantly defines the conversations that you’re going to have. And I think that’s one big thing that’s missing. There’s no clear definition. And instead, it just becomes another very broad podcast about business, or about health or about nutrition. And we really need to narrow down our focus and have a clear point of view. So the saying is the riches are in the niches. It’s absolutely true. Now, that’s one thing, I think is is really important to keep in mind. The other thing is to make sure you are being seen as the expert. So I often hear from people who want to start a podcast and they default to I’m going to interview a lot of people. And that actually does not always result in people buying your products, programs or services. There’s a reason that it doesn’t result in a lot of sales for those people. It’s usually because they have not actually shown their experience or their expertise, or their results. They’ve been so focused on interviews and other people, that they haven’t made sure that their platform is really being reinforced with the podcast. So I love doing interviews, but be strategic about them. If you’re going to have people being interviewed on your show, make sure that they’re answering a specific question or topic. They’re filling a certain gap. My personal my personal favorite is to interview my actual clients, because they’re living, walking, talking case studies and testimonials for me and my business. And then make sure you also consider having some solo episodes where you get to show off your experience and your expertise and tell us your point of view. Because if you have a product or program or service, we have to get to know you. Not just all of your interview. Melissa Guller 43:01 I could not agree more. That’s the big reason why Wit & Wire is a mixed format podcast where I see the value of sharing stories from podcasters. At the same time, I want people to learn the essentials. And that’s when I go on the mic solo to really give the foundational lessons to help people get started and grow their podcasts. And I think you said it so well about how with an interview, sure, there’s value you’re providing to your audience, but them seeing you is not necessarily one of them. And so I think differentiating between What’s your goal here and if you are a service provider, trying to sell yourself and your services, then considering going solo on the mic, even if you don’t want to do a whole episode. I wonder if people could do a segment where they share tips or lessons either before or after there, I think must be a place where people can share the value as well. Racheal Cook 43:51 I’m going to give a quick shout out to Tara McMillan who does this really well on what works which is her podcast. She will often share a personal story in the intro before she brings on a guest. So she will tie in her experience and her expertise via that story, and then get into the conversation that she’s about to have with the person she’s interviewing. And I think it’s so smart because it allows us to see her point of view. Before we get into the whole conversation. I think she’s brilliant. So go listen to her podcast, what works, but absolutely have solo podcasts, especially if you are getting ready to launch a product program or service. It could be an online course, it could be a group coaching program, it could be a one on one offer. But if you are not giving people the chance to really get to know you, then they will not be that excited to buy from you. Mm hmm. Melissa Guller 44:51 Well said, as we start to wrap up, I would love to know what are some of the biggest benefits that podcasting has brought into your life in business. Racheal Cook 45:00 Honestly at this point podcasting has driven the majority of my sales in my business for the last four or five years, as social media has gotten more and more noisy, and honestly, more and more short attention span focused. podcasting is the one space where I have found people are willing to really go there, they’re really willing to dig deep and to listen to more important conversations or elevated conversations. So for me it is sold millions of dollars worth of consulting worth of masterminds worth of online courses and online membership sites. And it continues to be the driver for my revenue in it also continues to be the driver for my visibility. I have my podcast but what I often find is when you have a podcast, other podcasters love talking to you because they know how you protect cast the understand that you know how this all works. And I have found so many not only interview opportunities but speaking opportunities, television opportunities have all come because people can find my podcast and hear from me. And that is amazing. And it really is a long term strategy. This is not a one month into podcasting, you’re going to be featured on NBC. But it does start to build it creates kind of that snowball effect where it starts to build on itself once you are one to two to five years in. Melissa Guller 46:35 Mm hmm. It’s so exciting to hear about how your podcast has supported your business. It’s so incredible. I’d love to just wrap up by learning a little bit more about what’s up next for you and what are you excited about for your business’s future? Racheal Cook 46:47 Yeah, depending on when this episode goes out, there are two main things we are focused on. Behind the scenes in my business. I host the CEO retreat which is happening every quarter As an event that we host now 100%, virtually, because we want to make sure that entrepreneurs and small business owners have a clear strategy, a clear plan to create predictable profits every 90 days. So we host a CEO retreat to help you create your 90 day plan. And again, that’s something we host every single quarter, there’s always one coming up. And then we also offer the CEO collective, which is our annual membership for women entrepreneurs and CEOs who are ready to start in scale service based businesses to make a bigger impact and a bigger income with their business. And that also opens quarterly. So there’s two different ways you can work with me, either in a one day event or an annual membership. And I would love to hear from anyone who has found value in this because I love teaching like this and teaching these types of strategies that we talked about today. Melissa Guller 47:56 Amazing and where can listeners learn more about you or stay in touch? Racheal Cook 48:00 You can head over to rachealcook.com. Melissa Guller 48:05 Perfect. To close things out, what advice would you offer new or early stage podcasters about their shows or even about their businesses bigger picture? Racheal Cook 48:13 Stay in for the long term. I have heard over and over again from podcasters. That often people pod fade. That is the word for it when after 10 episodes or 15 episodes they just disappear. But those that can stick with it for years are the ones who see the results and honestly that’s true with business too. Don’t expect overnight success. It does take time. It takes time because you’re learning the craft. You are finding your voice. You are figuring out what exactly it is you want to say all of that takes time. And it takes time in your business too. So stay in it for the long haul. And know that this is a process it is not a easy button. But it is very worth it. I see people who come in and buy programs that are $5,000 or $15,000 or $20,000 off of my podcast all the time. And that is because this is the only medium that is the it is literally the most intimate medium we have people are literally probably listening to me in the shower. And I’ve had people tell me that they take you along for their life, and it feels very intimate. They really feel like they get to know you. And that is very different from any other medium of content I’ve experienced in 12 years of being in business online. Melissa Guller 49:38 Hmm. Well said, Rachel, this has been an absolute pleasure. I know I’ve personally taken so many notes, and I hope that listeners have to so I just can’t thank you enough for joining. Racheal Cook 49:47 Thank you so much for having me. Melissa Guller 49:52 Thank you again for joining us this week. To learn more about Rachel’s business and podcast, our podcasting resources and everything mentioned in Today’s episode, check out the show notes at witandwire.com/20. If you are excited to start your own podcast but you aren’t sure where to start, check out our newly revamped program, the Podcast Kickstart Program. Podcasting is about more than just the right microphone. And I’ve had over 300 students enroll in the last few months alone to set their goals, choose their format and get ready to start recording. Right now it’s just $27 and you can find the link in the show notes or at witandwire.com/kickstart. Thank you again for joining me, Melissa Guller, In this episode of Wit & Wire. I’ll see you next time podcasters.

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