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Hello and welcome to Q4 of the year! Per usual, I’m behind on getting this update out but hey…better late than never!
If you’re new around here, I started sharing quarterly updates about my business to give you all a peek inside what it’s really like to start a business from the ground up.
They say to write blog posts that you like reading and I love reading these types of blog posts.
My hope in sharing these with you is to inform you on what it really looks like to intentionally build a business, encourage you when you’re feeling like you can’t go on, and help you realize that this ‘ish is a twisting rollercoaster that is always evolving and changing.
If you want a bit more background on my business as a whole, check out my update from last quarter.
Q3 Business Update + Goals For The Next Quarter
Review of what happened in Q3
Prepped for the podcast
From July through September, I prepped a ton for the podcast. I was initially going to have the podcast go live on September 28, but due to some unforeseen circumstances with family, I had to delay until October 10 (don’t worry, everything is fine!). I will talk about launch day/week in the next business update since it’s technically in Q4.
A lot of work goes into creating a quality podcast, and I wanted to give myself plenty of time to figure things out. There was definitely a learning curve, as I was starting from complete scratch. I knew nothing about creating quality audio or podcasting tools, so it was kind of exciting to start a new project as a newbie.
Here are things I did to prep for the podcast launch:
- Outsourcing: I quickly realized I did not want to do #allthethings for the podcast. While I definitely could do all the things, I only have so much time and energy and I didn’t want to spend it teaching myself how to edit audio. I hired an editor who edits the podcast, created the intro and outro, uploads my episodes into Libsyn, etc. I have a graphic designer who created all of the album artwork, social media graphics, etc. I also have my VA work on things like formatting and scheduling the blog posts, creating and scheduling social media, etc.
- Recorded episodes: I think I recorded 10 or so episodes before I even launched the podcast. This helped me immensely because I didn’t have to worry about recording new episodes immediately after launching.
- Setting up systems: There are lots of moving pieces with having a podcast. From scheduling guests and getting their information, to creating marketing materials, to scheduling in Libsyn, there’s a lot going on. We finally nailed down a system that works for us, but I had a lot of it figured out beforehand. I use Acuity to schedule guests (and have an automated follow-up process so guests know what to expect), Asana to communicate with my editor & VA on where episodes are at in the process and relay relevant episode info, and Planoly to schedule Instagram posts & Instagram stories. I also use SmarterQueue to schedule out social media.
- Prepping marketing materials: My graphic designer created templates for the social media graphics which was amazing to have ahead of time. We prepped a lot of social media content as well as set up a landing page on my site for people to join the email newsletter.
- Facebook group: I started a launch Facebook group of people who were my biggest supporters who wanted to help start the show with a bang. After the launch, I turned it into a group of listeners and super fans of the podcast. Join the group to chat with other fans and guests!
Lesson learned: Working ahead of time can pay off. Also, outsource things you either aren’t good at doing or isn’t in your zone of expertise. It’s WORTH IT.
Hosted my first paid live masterclass
At the beginning of August, I hosted my first live paid masterclass, Master Your PR: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Story, Building Relationships, and Getting Noticed. You can actually still sign up, you’ll just receive the recorded version 🙂
I’ll admit, this was somewhat of a last minute decision but I really wanted to help people learn more about PR and how they can use it for their small business.
The fact is, not everyone can afford to hire someone like me on a monthly retainer to do their PR but they do want to learn how PR can help their business but they aren’t sure where to get started.
This masterclass is a great place to start if you aren’t quite sure how to start using PR for your business but want to learn (which, by the way, PR is not only for big businesses. PR is free, which is why it’s perfect for any type of business, even beginners!)
For a two-hour masterclass, this took a lot of time and energy from me. Maybe it was because I was nervous, or maybe because it was my first live masterclass, but whew buddy did it take me forever!
I haven’t done the best job at promoting it after the fact (horrible, but the truth), but I’m trying to kick my butt into gear and promote it because it’s a great class. Hoping to do more in the future!
Lesson learned: Take the time to create digital products so people can buy something from you if they land on your site. Up until this point, no one could buy anything from me except my services.
Took a vacation
Say what?! Yep, took a real-life vacation and it was great to take a break from everything and get away.
I will mention that because of some personal things that happened with family, it did make the vacation a bit more stressful. I basically took off the week prior to vacation to focus on family, so then it ended up being two weeks “out of the office.” Which, isn’t truly me being “out of office” because I still worked, so it was a difficult time to balance everything.
Lesson learned: Find more time throughout the year to take breaks. I don’t want to rely on one big vacation in a year. Ideally, I’d take smaller vacations throughout the year to be fully refreshed.
Review of Q3 goals
Let’s quickly review my Q3 goals before we get to the good stuff: what’s coming up for Q4!
- Launch a podcast: Nope didn’t launch but took A LOT of steps forward. More on the launch day in the Q4 recap!
- Find me time again: I’ll admit, I did not succeed at this at all. If anything, it got worse (and it got really worse in Q4) but I’ll save that for a future post.
- Work smarter, not harder: In some ways, I accomplished this and in other ways, I definitely did not. I’ve slowly realized I’m not the best at creating systems for myself (I need someone to tell me what to do) so I’m considering hiring outside help to help me get my ‘ish together.
What’s planned for Q4
Planning for 2018
What Q4 is really about is closing out 2017 with a bang with my clients and prepare for 2018. I set aside a day in December to just dream, plan, and think about the future and what I want for my business and I’m so excited.
A client of mine recommended purchasing Amber McCue’s Frest Start 2018 to help me and I’m so excited to dive in.
Plans will include planning for the podcast, growing a mini-PR agency (!!!) and focusing on becoming a better leader/manager. I have a lot to learn but I’m excited to see what 2018 brings.
I hope you enjoyed my Q3 business update and getting a behind the scenes look at what’s coming up next for my business.
It’s interesting because my word of the year is “Growth” and I am definitely growing in a variety of ways: outsourcing, bringing on new clients, mentally, and emotionally. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds!
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