310: How Erica McAfee Grew The Sisters In Loss Podcast With Lessons Learned in Podcast Moguls

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310: How Erica McAfee Grew The Sisters In Loss Podcast With Lessons Learned in Podcast Moguls

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Today in the guest chair we have Erica McAfee, one of my Podcast Moguls students who’s here to share her journey of growing her podcast, Sisters in Loss, through the lessons learned inside of the Podcast Moguls accelerator program.

Erica is the Founder and CEO of Sisters in Loss, a maternal child health hub that helps Black women replace silence with storytelling around pregnancy and infant loss and infertility.  Sisters in Loss provides pregnancy, birth, postpartum, bereavement doula, and grief services to help women step beyond anxiety and fear and into trust and peace after loss. Its self-titled podcast spotlights resilient Black mothers who share intimate details of their journey to motherhood through painful, but inspirational loss and infertility stories. 

Sisters in Loss has been featured in Forbes, BBC News, Black Enterprise, Women’s Health, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and The White House.

 In this episode she shares:

  • How her interest in alternate methods of growing a family inspired her to start podcasting 
  • What attracted her to join Podcast Moguls and her journey within the program
  • Her top lessons learned from Podcast Moguls + so much more!

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Sisters in Loss- @SistersInLoss

Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:02

You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business, and I'm your host Michaela Matthews Okome. So let's get started. Hey guys, welcome. Welcome back to the show. This is Nicaila here and you're listening to the side hustle pro podcast. And today I'm back with another student spotlight episode where I spotlight the amazing podcast creators and students inside of the podcast moguls accelerator program that I teach. So today in the guest chair, we have Erica McAfee, who is one of my oh gee podcast mogul students. She's been there since the creation of the program, and she's here to share her journey of growing her podcast sisters in loss through the lessons and strategies that I teach inside of podcast moguls. Erica is the founder and CEO of sisters in loss a maternal child health hub that helps black women replace silence with storytelling around pregnancy and infant loss and infertility. Sisters in laws provides pregnancy birth, postpartum bereavement, doula and grief services to help women step beyond anxiety and fear and into trust and peace after loss itself titled podcast spotlights resilient black mothers who share intimate details of their journey into motherhood through painful but inspirational loss and infertility stories. Sisters in loss has gone on to be featured in Forbes, BBC News, Black Enterprise Women's Health Today Show NBC Nightly News and in the White House. And so today Erica is going to share how she grew this podcast and how podcast moguls helped her to create a show that has been so impactful and also successful. So let's get right into it. Erica, welcome to the guest chair at last.

Erica McAfee 1:57

Yes, thank you. So happy to be here.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 2:01

I'm very happy to have you here. So let everybody know what really inspired you to start podcasting? Well, I

Erica McAfee 2:10

had a long commute to work. And at the job at the time, it was about an hour or two hours, both directions, you know, roundtrip. So I listened to a whole bunch of other podcasts from financial podcast, a pop culture podcast. And I was like, I can do this. At some point. Obviously, I had a story to tell about my own personal journey to motherhood. And that really is what influenced me to really put myself out there and really start the sisters and last podcast.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 2:41

So what was your initial career path? What were you commuting to?

Erica McAfee 2:47

I was commuting to and from a manufacturing facility. My My background is in chemical engineering. So I've done and have been in engineering since graduating college as a shift supervisor and working in manufacturing. That is what I was doing at the time going back and forth. And still what I currently do now, you know, I like to call myself a intrapreneur, where I'm still time, and I'm still doing my side hustle.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 3:13

We love it. We love it. So when did you actually start your podcast? And what was it called at the time?

Erica McAfee 3:19

So I started my podcast in August of 2017. Oh, man at the time, it was named after me. Like, no, no, no. It was it was originally the Erica and McAfee podcast. And I really started it with the intention of really trying to find my own journey to motherhood because at the time I was thinking about growing my family, and I really wanted to really interview other people who had done alternative methods of growing their family, like through gestational carriers or surrogacy or adopting. And the podcast was another way of me interviewing those people to find out information for myself personally. But obviously, it evolved into something so much

Nicaila Matthews Okome 4:03

more. And so at the time, you were on a path to have an alternative method of childbirth. Is that right?

Erica McAfee 4:10

Correct. That was that was the goal at the time. Obviously, there has been tear in the last four or five years. But yeah, at the time, that was the goal was to grow my family in a different way.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 4:22

So how did the goal shift like you keep alluding to it? What do you mean by that? You know, how did it transform as you continue to do the podcasts

Erica McAfee 4:31

while at the time so I ended up going through the process of starting to go to a fertility specialist and look about freezing my eggs, which I think everyone should do to preserve their fertility. And due to my traumatic birth, I was unable to do so. So I actually hit a roadblock where it was going to require like a major abdominal surgery and I didn't want to be cut open again. After going through a C section, so I just decided that we're in there as far as going down the path I have gestational carriers, and then move towards possibly growing my family through adoption. Obviously, a lot lots have changed over the last couple of years where I'm no longer partner. So obviously, that is not going to happen at this time. I'm content with my one. But you know, my goal now is to help other women continue to grow their families in other ways.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 5:23

You know, you are just such an inspiration. And always being willing to share not only your journey, but then also having conversations that are sometimes difficult. I mean, and sometimes, I'm sure triggering now how do you navigate that?

Erica McAfee 5:39

Absolutely therapy, that is how I navigate. And then also I only bulk record, so that I have time to decompress. So maybe one Saturday or Sunday, I'm recording, you know, four or five episodes, and then I won't record for the rest of the month, just so I can focus on what self care looks like, for me pouring back into myself, you know, really talking about it through my therapist, especially if some stories are triggering to me, which many of them are, you know, this is a very traumatic storytelling experience. And I don't take it for granted that people come to share their stories, and we create that safe space for black woman. But on the other side of it, it does take a toll on the storyteller the person who's interviewing, because you're hearing this trauma after trauma, and you know, you have to have an outlet for it to go. So I normally will talk about it with my therapist on then obviously, I have a circle of friends and family and other folks who are doing this work that I lean on, if something is really bothering me, and I continue to carry it with me. But self care is huge, you know, whether it's releasing it through different modalities, like going to theater, and musicals and live music, that's what I've been doing recently, to actually, you know, really going out and hitting the pavement and exercising and, and doing movement therapy and just just pouring back into yourself in all kinds of ways. So I tried to do that. And I've learned to really tap into that over the last two years where I'm not recording a whole lot at once that I really bulk it in together and then take that next the next few weeks to kind of regroup and reset myself mentally to prepare for some more traumatic stories that may be told.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 7:22

Well that I mean, I commend you for even being able to do that many at once because I do like to and I'm like talking to someone you know, as an introvert like that takes a lot out of you. I just I need to just sit now with my own thoughts. Absolutely,

Erica McAfee 7:42

absolutely only imagine

Nicaila Matthews Okome 7:51

so let's talk a little bit about your journey in the podcast moguls program like you are one of the earliest people to join podcast moguls, like we have really known each other for a while now. And it was so exciting when we met at the my talk, you retreat. So it's like, I feel like I know, you know you you know. So what first attracted you to join podcast

Erica McAfee 8:12

moguls? Obviously, I love side hustle Pro. You know, well, I also feel obviously, you know, being a podcaster and listening to podcasts. I mean, that's how you start. So you are almost a student of podcasting. And even though side hustle person is obviously it's in a different category than my podcast and sisters in laws, you know, listening to your podcasts and your interview style and how it really was inspirational to me, especially since I eventually want to turn my side hustle into something full time really helped me understand exactly what it was. But then when you started to say, oh, when I'm leaving my job, I was like you. Okay, well, let me let me hop in. Because at that time, I think probably about 20 episodes into, you know, the original title of my podcast, which was my name. And when you offered the program, I was like, of course, I'm I believe in Makayla, I'm gonna go and join her program. And I want to take socialism off to the next level. So why not? Yeah, I was. I think I wasn't that first cohort that you team. And I wanted to make sure that I was launching the right way that I was marketing the right way that I was targeting the right audience of people. And that I will continue to grow and change and evolve in how this podcasting medium has grown really over the last four or five years.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 9:44

Absolutely. And I remember just feeling like after speaking to you like this is such an important conversation. And it's so important because so many people don't think dot first, a lot of people don't know it happens like that. It's so common. And then secondly, When it happens, you know, that's when people start to care instead of educating themselves beforehand, but then when it does happen, you do want that support. So there's so many layers to it. And I just was like, I would be honored, you know, to help to grow your show, because this is a conversation that more people need to hear. So once you join, what were some of your biggest lessons from podcast moguls,

Erica McAfee 10:23

the biggest lesson was obviously, you know, you want your brand name to stand out and really designate and determine exactly how people are going to find you. And obviously, no one knew who Erica was

Nicaila Matthews Okome 10:39

no way a man you know,

Erica McAfee 10:43

about exactly. So to have that definition, or the definitive name and brand around the podcast was a huge lesson because it really transformed how the show started to grow the name of the show how I wanted to brand the name, search engine optimization was a big learning for me as well, to make sure that, you know, anytime that I was actually naming episodes, that I was putting myself out there as that thought leader that experts and how it was searched through Google through YouTube, and I think that that has helped people find me because really to be honest with you, you know, no one probably knows that it exists until they need it. And then when they search it, guess who pops up first? Typically, it's I'm I'm on that first page of Google because of maximizing search engine optimization and making sure those names are right. And then the last thing I think the biggest takeaway from podcast moguls is that you have you have the opportunity to pivot and grow, you know, marketing is ever flowing. The algorithm changes

Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:47

every day. Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

Erica McAfee 11:50

You know, how I really, really over this last really two years, you know, as tick tock row has taken off and reels on Instagram, it's like, there's so many ways to market your business to market your podcast? Are you taking advantage of it? You know, are you really engaging with it and seeing what your target audience and your target listener is really looking for. And I think the other biggest takeaway about the marketing piece is that you're still a part of the program. So it's always jumping on those calls that you have monthly being a part of the active Facebook group when new people come in, and they're really engaged. And it's a continuing learning process. So even though I paid for this course, but it's paid for four or five times over, yeah, this was this was in 2018. You know, it's paid for itself because of the ongoing support and access to you Michaela, I mean, how many times I've emailed you MLA.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 12:45

And that's what I like about it, too. I always want people to feel like you can tap back in, you know, because after you've gone through, you know, your initial eight weeks, you're not going to have a question every single day. But there are times when something new comes up, like, oh, you know, more sponsors are approaching me now. What do I do? Like I, you know, I've gone through the lessons, but what is your take on this, and I'm very, very open to that, because I know that this is a new space, that we're all still navigating together, especially as podcasters of color or black podcasters. And we need to stick together. We need to share. So I love that you touched on the marketing, because that is a huge piece of podcasting. So a lot of people get into it, and they're thinking about the mic. How am I going to add it? What am I going to name my show? Who's gonna design the logo? How much? How important do you think that stuff is?

Erica McAfee 13:46

Who is not important at all? If you don't have anyone listening? It's not important at all. I think it you know, you want to build your audience the right way, you want to know exactly who your audience is what they like, you know, what are they currently listening to? What are they watching? You know, are they following the, you know, certain people on Tik Tok? You need to know that information, because those are the folks you need to go find out there. And then you can once you build your audience up and you get a little coin, then Brandon, right, get your website done, right, you know, you know, then reinvest in yourself. But no, it's not important at all. In the beginning, you all really need to find out who you're marketing to, who your target audience who your target listener is, and that's the person you need to continually market to, especially as they grow and evolve. And in my case for my listener, you know, obviously I have people who come to the podcast, because they're looking for that outlet that healing that hope. But I also have people who are who are on the other side of motherhood too, and they may already be mothers, but they're also still grieving. And they still need that extra support and and things that are there. So my target audience is very, very fast, but they still like the same things. We Like I rent a TV. We love watching Fox on cleaning and organizing, even though we may not do it, you know? We like to see it, though, right? So I know exactly who my target audience is, I know her name, I know exactly what she wants. So I know how to market towards her and get things in front of her so that she can react to them, you know? So I try to do that. And then obviously, you know, I aggressively stalk people, too. So yes, yes, yes.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 15:32

But it's so true. Because, listen, when I tell people that, you know, you need to know who your listener is, they either get really overwhelmed or sometimes defensive, because they're like, I want to talk to this person and this person. And I'm not saying that you won't have a variety of listeners, but you have a core central ideal listener, that you need to tap into everybody else's byproduct listeners, and that's okay. And that's wonderful that they love your show. But if you're not appealing to this person, by you know, how you write about your show, and the show notes how you title your show, then you're not going to grow that audience because you need more and more people like this person to see your show. So Erica, does that really, really well. And you know, I'm glad we were able to work through that rebrand from Erica McAfee's sister's in loss and it's okay to go through a rebrand with your podcast, I went through a rebrand. It's There's levels to it. So don't be intimidated by that.

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So who were some of the first sponsors that you worked with? And how did that opportunity come about? Did you pitch them? Or did they reach out to you,

Erica McAfee 18:19

I pitched my first sponsors using templates that you provided in this podcast. And particularly was just targeting brands that I knew my target listener and audience would really benefit from so a lot of fertility companies, a lot of baby product companies that I would pitch to a lot of them were like, oh, no, at the time, then, you know, this was back in 2018. And then other ones were like, of course, of course. So those were the first individuals that I've pitched to. But since then I haven't had to Pitch Anything. A lot of the companies have been coming to me, which is a blessing. Yes. And I get to be selective on is this a product or service that I want evergreen in my podcast that I can offer, you know, this code or discount or whatever to my audience. And it's a blessing to be in that position to offer that. So I just had a call the other day with two apps that want to advertise on the podcast, but it's like the same thing is this going to be beneficial to my audience is your messaging right around black maternal health and social justice and reproductive justice. And if it is, then it is a great partnership. But if it's not, and you all are, you know, just want to get in front of this particular group of black woman. And it's not for me, because I want to make sure that we're aligned on the same thing. And I want to make sure that my audience is getting products through sponsorship that are going to be beneficial to them, but it's really going to help them on their journey to become a mother. So that has been the transition from prior sponsors to the current sponsorship roll up that I have now.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 19:58

It's so important and I'm glad you touched on that. Because not all money, you know is good money, really, you will lose listeners, if you have partnerships that just don't make sense that are not aligned with who they are, what they value and you know what they need? You need to really understand that about sponsorships and getting sponsors for your show.

Now, how do you balance your full time job with the podcast?

Erica McAfee 20:31

Who chat? I think I've done better at this in the last two years before I felt like I was going crazy doing the most, you know, scheduling things here, you know, using the admin to do certain things. And then these last two years, it just kind of all gelled and mesh where I do have a podcast editor that I work with. And I've been working with probably the last three years. So between my podcast editor, the admin and the YouTube editor, because we got that now we're on YouTube. Yes, yes. I love it. We have a system in place that has helped manage and make time better. So you know, having a Trello board set up on when things are due, how in advance, we're going to post things and just making sure we're just working the system. But it takes time to get there. I mean, a lot of it, you're going to mainly do for a bit yourself into the system and you get the people in place that can help you navigate it, having an editor help alleviate a lot of time. So paying for that editor in the beginning, you know three years ago when I hire her was worth every penny. And it's still worth every penny because that takes away time with me sitting down and editing. So when I knew I wanted to go YouTube route, it was the same thing. It was a more time thing on my part to be able to have that extra time to do all the other things I need to do. But I'm taking time during lunch at work is something that I've learned from you and other side husband. Yes, yes. So using my lunch break to my advantage and maximizing my time there. And then I use the weekend, Sunday's are my days to not only reset for the week for work, but also to kind of do a bulk of my things planning for the week for the podcast. So okay, you know, getting things uploaded, you know, I typically have pretty much all of my podcast, you know, editing, emails, prep, all that's done on Sunday prior to it actually getting published on Wednesdays normally when I published my podcast episode, so I didn't do a lot of that bulk on the weekends. And it's, it's now it's obviously it's easy because I got the system in place. But before I was just, it was it was just a hustle, you had to take the time out those extra hours after work to make it happen. Now it's a little bit easier just because I have a team around me to help out but it still doesn't it still work right? It's a consistency muscle that you have to build it you know, some some of those days, you don't want to actually press publish on a podcast episode, you still got to do it. Because yeah, that listener is looking for that episode, that listener is looking for that inspiration, that healing, and you want them to hear, you know, those people that you've talked to, and you're, you're telling their story. So I try to balance it out as best I can. I think I'm better at it now than I wasn't again, in the beginning it was been chaotic. I had to get a rhythm in place on exactly how I was going to do it. And what I was doing and really understanding my why I think that's the biggest part of all the consistency is why you consistently publish weekly or bi weekly or within a season you know, how is this going to benefit those who are who are listening when you put it out there. And at the end of the day, it's still work

Nicaila Matthews Okome 23:49

it is still work, it's another job another job you have to do that way. And that goes back to why you know it's part of podcast moguls, like everyone has to identify what I call their perfect listener because that's part of your why you have to remember like you know they need this and they're looking for this and this is not about you anymore you don't start your show just to talk about yourself because like you could just do that on your phone and you know save a little voice note but if you're making a show it should be about who you're called to serve entertain, teach what have you so I'm so glad you mentioned that because that does keep you pushing because not every week is perfect even when you have a system sometimes you don't feel like doing the system

Erica McAfee 24:37

you just want to just veg

Nicaila Matthews Okome 24:39

you just want to like relax and no one is holding you accountable but yourself right like you yes no boss, there's nothing like that. But you and so you have to like push through your procrastination or you know, all of that to keep it going.

Erica McAfee 24:56

The other thing that I would also do to balance Between full time work and this side hustle is really looking at my email and evaluating is this going to take a five minute response? Or is this like me sitting down and taking, you know, 30 minutes to an hour, nine times out of 10, if an email comes in, I can quickly respond, I typically will do that. And then I set those hours that I'm going to sit down once a week or twice a week to respond to those longer emails that may need some additional information or some a lot of things people may need from you are quick things that you can probably put in your notes and just and then just copy, paste and get it to them. But other things require some more detail, especially if you're corresponding with a sponsor, or someone who wants you to do some other type of information. So I try to take out separate times throughout the week to do that. So Sunday is my bulk day, is when I do a lot of my bulk material, obviously, the podcast goes live on Wednesday. So then I'm also tracking it Thursday, Friday, Saturday to see how the numbers are doing. I'm also looking to see, you know, views on YouTube, where people actually tagging it and looking at it. And then what other things are we doing to continue to market the podcast? So that's a continued thing throughout the week after work. So look at to see, how are we doing with numbers? And how are we making sure we continue to put the information out there, and the stories are being told in different places. And you know, what I love about your show, too, is oftentimes people think of podcasts as like, one or two kinds of topics like you can have a co host, and you're just talking about nothing and joke all day like that. These are the podcasts that people tend to see a lot these days. And they think, oh, I need a co host, or oh, it has to be funny, or it has to be this. And you are a perfect example of the fact that your show can be about any topic like if as long as you've done the work to understand if this is something that people need, are they talking about it? What are they not talking about when it comes to this topic? So like what gap? Would I be filling in with my show?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 27:01

Did you ever doubt if your topic could be a podcast?

Erica McAfee 27:04

I did in the beginning? Then why was that? Because at the beginning so when I started this podcast in August, this is August of 2017. No one was talking about this in the black community on a podcast. I mean, obviously I probably were articles, and you know, that Nature magazine, persistently talking about it on a weekly basis. I was pulling people like I was I was searching for people who will be willing to share, if they a lot of black women still don't share. We keep these stories close to our chest. It's something culturally that we do. So I was reaching out to a lot of nonprofit organization owners, you know, a lot of folks who are already blogging and talking about these topics. And those are the people that were willing to come and share. But it wasn't until November of 2018 When Michelle Obama's book came out. And Michelle are forever First Lady sharing her story about experiencing miscarriage and going through IVF in vitro fertilization, fertility treatments to have her two children. That is when people were like, Oh, ha, you know, like so from then really into now. My podcast has

Nicaila Matthews Okome 28:18

been completely booked.

Erica McAfee 28:20

Wow, like, I don't have weeks. And I was just thinking about this the other day when I was talking to one of my podcast editors that you know, I really haven't repeated podcast episodes. And the reason why it's because there's so many people that want to share their story now. And it's something I'm doing this Summer Girl, I'm taking a break. We're doing a rewind, so but we're doing that this summer, because obviously I haven't I haven't really had an I had a chance to do it because it's been really booked since then. A lot of people want to share. So yes, I was very scared in the beginning because it was pulling teeth to get people Yeah, I forever First Lady opened the door and people we love her. So people were like if she's willing to share this in her book, I you know, this is a platform now let me go and it's particularly dedicated for black women and women of color. Let me go up here and allow Erica to share my story because she created this safe space for me to do so. And for him the biggest blessing because I get to share so many different styles of stories. They're not always successes right now. We don't always get to that always a happy ending. It's not always a happy ending. But that story still needs to be told. So I'm honored that people will still come and still want to share

Nicaila Matthews Okome 29:39

and have you reached out to Michelle I mean, she definitely needs to be the guest. She

Erica McAfee 29:43

does I have those are like my top guests. Okay,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 29:47

listen, I know one degree from Michelle or might have worked with Michelle I know some of y'all are powerful

Erica McAfee 29:53

in my list because you I have a story she has she has some stories. She has a story as well. So she's added to the list of top guests that I would love to have on the podcast.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 30:09

And they will they will be on the show. Because listen, what you are building is a platform. Can we talk about this? The platform that podcasting gives us, you know, the opportunities and doors, it opens up for us? Did you ever think that your podcast would open the kind of doors that it has opened? I mean, you've been featured in magazines, newspapers, on stages, like, how did that come about? Like through the podcasts? Oh, it's

Erica McAfee 30:37

a blessing people saying your names and rooms that you are you have yet to occupy? That's really what has happened for me. And I'm always blown away that people know who I am or know about the platform. And I'm just like, how did you know about us? Um, but yeah, it's really people saying my name saying, Oh, no, you need to go and listen to sisters in law. So you need to go contact Erica, she is the person the go to person to talk about this or to be able to share her thoughts on this, you know, obviously, we just came out of this ruling for Roe vs. Wade. And I did not realize how many people wanted to talk to me about this topic. Because I've posted a little bit, obviously, I posted about it. But I got inundated with a bunch of journalists and reporters and people just wanting to share, you know, my thoughts on it. And that just really showed me Oh, my gosh, like, really, this has been impactful even in this space. You know, when we're talking about reproductive reproductive rights and reproductive justice, and having Lawson and fertility be a part of that conversation is so important and so critical. But yeah, I would have never known that, you know, this, this, this platform we started five years ago, with just the hope of Ruin, my family would turn into all the news features, and you know, going to the White House and doing all these other things. It has consistently blown my mind. And I'm just so honored and so humbled.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 32:04

And do you pitch yourself like you've developed a media kit? I'm sure. So do you pitch yourself? Are there certain months devoted to your podcast topics that you kind of pitch yourself to be a speaker or commentator about?

Erica McAfee 32:18

Absolutely. So this is pitch season. For me. October is a huge month for the loss and infertility community. So I normally start pitching now for opportunities in October during our pregnancy and infant loss Awareness Month, to to get in front of people. So not only on media, which I'm doing, I've been doing a lot more obviously, like actual news media, but also, you know, articles and magazines and journalists just say, hey, if this is something that you want to talk about a feature for October, you know, I'm your girl. Yes, yeah, I'm your girl. So yes, I do still pitch myself. But I also a lot of things just come naturally, like I got my slip my sister's and loss was featured in with BBC News in London, I would have never would have thought he was thought to pitch them. Right, right. Well, the people over in London. I mean, we had a full like two hour conversation with them, they did multiple segments on us, and then a 30 minute segment on just sisters in laws. I don't think that, you know, I would have never thought that that would have focused on just pregnancy loss with black woman in the United States. And that would come from such a large organization like that. And I didn't even pitch that that was someone who reached out to me saw me it was just like, hey, I think that your organization would be a good fit for this story. And it turned out it was supposed to be something very small. And it turned out into this large, big huge piece on exactly what loss and infertility is in the United States. So yeah, I don't know how to fix myself, but when you do good work, you know?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 33:58

Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I mean, I'm just so proud of you. I'm so amazed like this is just that's well deserved. Incredible. I mean, you do you do like consistent, devoted work to this practice, because this is your practice. You know, this is your your mission to this world and this earth and I'm just so so glad that the portfolio you've built because that's what podcasting is you guys like you are creating a portfolio on this earth this catalog of what you can be called on to speak about so when people Google first of all the topic because we make sure that you have a Google oboe topic and podcast moguls but then also your name, the subject matter we're making sure that you're including that in your summaries of your episode, you know really robust things so that you are taking advantage of search engine optimization. So when the BBC does a search BBC London does a search on pregnancy and infancy loss and you know, they start Googling about sistex and all of that, what's popping up your show over and over again, they're like, We need to tap into this, this woman is doing this work, like she's had all the conversations that we're here searching, trying to have on the show on this segment. So I really believe everyone needs to start a podcast. Well, maybe not everyone, serious people who are trying to build a platform and you know, build a brand that can have such a large impact. More and more people need to look into podcasting. I really

Erica McAfee 35:31

believe it. Your voices need it your your voice, yes,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 35:35

your voice is needed.

So before we transition into the lightning round, I would love to know how are you continuing to approach the money aspect of podcasting, right, you talked about, hopefully, one day being able to scale to make it your full hustle. So what is your strategy moving forward to do so.

Erica McAfee 35:59

So a part of what I've done over the last two years is pivot. So I've done a lot more of education and training. I've done a lot of training of doulas and birth workers and really talking about bereavement care as a whole and what that looks like. So I'm actually hoping these last two years I've actually made more than my normal job salary in my side hustle,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 36:25

I love that. The two of you stack. Exactly,

Erica McAfee 36:31

exactly. So. So I'm gonna continue to do that, you know, continue to, you know, build up this training and education platform assisters. In Las, I've partnered with other large organizations, we did a partnership this year with postpartum support international to offer maternal mental health, like grief support groups. So a lot of partnerships are coming through, that'll help continue to build, some grants have come through as well, so that there are opportunities to grow and continue to pour into to make that that next step that leads that leads come in, it really does come in this common belief is coming. But those are the main, the main things that I'm really pouring my energy into is really making sure that we're educating people in and out they're going out and helping and serving more people as well. So that is always the goal is to make sure that we are continuing to help serve and fight for and say black moms and babies. Point.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 37:33

blank period. Okay, so now we're going to transition into the lightning round. You know that deal. I know you know the deal. You just answered the very first thing that comes to mind. Are you ready? Yes, I'm ready. All right. So what has been a resource that has helped you in your side hustle that you can share with the side hustle pro audience, side hustle

Erica McAfee 37:58

Pro, podcast and brown ambition podcast? I love to see Li Cheng I love them.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 38:07

They are

Erica McAfee 38:08

they're like my sisters in my head. So are my cousins. We don't call them cousins. Yeah, so those two podcasts, obviously, you're listening to this one go listen to brown ambition. And you'll get exactly the same thing over there to from a financial perspective. Number two, who is a black woman side Hustler, or entrepreneur who you would want to switch places with for a day and why?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 38:29

Man, it's hard.

Erica McAfee 38:32

We just don't go we don't go with the one that I always look at. It's like my mentor, my hand my league curlBOX. I mean, who doesn't follow my league. And if you're not following her, you need to. I'm a part of her mommy group too. And it's just everything that I didn't know I needed. And you all definitely need to tap into my knee, my leak and all that she's offering to the world. So Oh, yes. Yes. Number three, what is a non negotiable part of your daily routine? Coffee In The Morning prayer, and taking the time out to turn the TV off before I go to sleep at night. So I do a data dump at night. That helps me with my self care. And sometimes your mind is racing. And sometimes you just need to get it all out. So turning the TV off, data dumping and then obviously get up in the morning praying and then Coffee Coffee is necessary coffee.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 39:29

Okay, number four, what's the personal habit that you think has really contributed to making your side hustle as successful as it's been

Erica McAfee 39:39

knowing my why and why I'm doing what I'm doing because at the end of the day, it's still work. And if I did not know why and who I was doing this floor, I would not post this consistently. I wouldn't mark it. I wouldn't send those emails out. The podcast wouldn't be up consistently every week to week so knowing my Why's the reason why I continue to I hustled and,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 40:01

you know, eventually it will be full time. Yes. And I'm so glad you reminded us of that, you know? Because that is it. That is the core central motivator. All right, number five, lightning round. That's my so lightning. But number five, what is your party advice for everyone listening who, you know, have an idea, but are scared to get started.

Erica McAfee 40:24

I would just say just do it. Like just start, you never know where it's gonna go and where may end up. And if you have to pivot, you still can pivot back. But you really need to just start the idea that you have the dream that you have that goal that you have, just do it, put one foot in front of the other, do not let anybody stop you don't let other people be in your ears and just do it. That's the only way that you're going to get some success and we have to fail, right? There are gonna be failures. There's always gonna be lessons learned and the failing to but you have to do it. You have to start. I always go back to Bible verse. Faith without works is dead. And it's not. It is like you have to take and actually do the work to actually step out on faith. So the work has to be done in order for God to bless it.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 41:13

Amen. Amen. And with that, Erica so where can people connect with you and sisters in laws after this episode?

Erica McAfee 41:21

Absolutely. Well, we're everywhere at Sisters in laws. That's Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, tick tock, tick tock. And, personally, I'm the same everywhere to Erica and McAfee. You can find me mostly on Instagram, but I'm also everywhere. I'm at Eric and McAfee. All right, you

Nicaila Matthews Okome 41:41

guys. So there you have it. This has been a phenomenal episode with Erica. I'm so glad that you know you guys are getting to hear more student spotlights from my podcast mobile students. And by the way, if you want to learn more about podcast moguls, head over to podcast moguls.com/join. I will link to it in the show notes. And with that, I will talk to you next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me, including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the week. Again that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Meet the host:

Nicaila Matthews-Okome

Hi! I’m Nicaila, the Creator and Host of the Side Hustle Pro Podcast. I started Side Hustle Pro when I was a side hustler myself. I was a digital marketer at NPR by day, side hustler by night. Through the powerful stories shared on this show and the courage to launch my own initiatives, I was able to quit my own job and go full time with Side Hustle Pro.

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