280: Inside My Playbook: How I Landed In The Top Charts When I Launched My Podcast

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280: Inside My Playbook: How I Landed In The Top Charts When I Launched My Podcast

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In today’s episode I’m sharing inside my playbook, how I landed in the top charts when I launched my podcast.

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Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:00

Before we get into today's episode, I want to let you know that I'm hosting a live side hustle accountability challenge called the side hustle bootcamp, and you can sign up right now, the side hustle bootcamp is designed to help busy multi passionate professionals just like you discover your perfect side hustle and get it up and running. It's a live interactive challenge featuring weekly live check ins, weekly emails and a free side hustle guide to follow along with an inner life check ins. I'll be teaching you how to nail down what your side hustle should be. Plus how to find the right customer for your side hustle, how to test out your side hustle, how to move forward with your side, hustle and so much more. Also, you can have the confidence, the resources and the support to get started building out your side hustle into a money making business once and for all, even when you don't have a lot of time. So go to side hustle pro.co/bootcamp to learn more and save your spot and it's totally free. You guys, that side hustle pro.co/boot camp. 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 Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started. Hey, guys, hey, welcome. Welcome back to the side hustle pro podcast. It's your host Nicaila Matthews

Okome. And today, I want to do another inside my playbook episode and talk to you about how I landed in the top charts with my podcast the day I launched. So I am going to share five of the things I did as I was leading up, you know, I call it the road to launch of side hustle Pro. So the first thing I did was to pick a clear topic, you guys, this cannot be overstated. When it comes to podcasting. This is not the time to be vague. This is not the time to try to have a variety show where you cover a whole bunch of topics. And there's no real rhyme or reason to what you're doing. This is the time to get clear to niche down. Okay, so I know this because I went through this process myself. When I first started my podcast, initially started as a blog, okay, my blog was called que lo que speaks, people could not pronounce it, they didn't know what it was about. Because when you see the word que lo que speaks, that doesn't mean anything to you, that doesn't ring a bell that doesn't signal anything. When you are starting a podcast, you have to make sure that people understand what your show is about because you have point 00 seconds to really get their attention. And to have them click into sample an episode. So podcasting is one of those really unique formats in the sense that your title of your show, and that logo icon in addition to the title of your episodes matter, way, way more than it does and some other mediums. So with podcasting, you have to really make sure that you're signaling to people that, hey, this show is for you click into this show. So that's one of the best things that I've ever done for myself is to niche down and get really clear on my topic. So let me go back to how I learned from my mistake about not niching down with my blog. So with my blog, I started it, I actually went back to it. It was a blog that I started back in the day just to like, you know, when blogger became a thing to just talk about my weekends, what I had for brunch, different things like that it was very, very informal, and not something that I took seriously. So actually abandoned it for a while I went to grad school to get my MBA at the University of Michigan. And then when I came back and graduated, I didn't yet have a job, I moved back home with my then boyfriend now husband, and I was trying to figure out my next steps. I knew that I was interested in marketing, I knew that I wanted to get a job in marketing, specifically social media marketing, if possible. And so I thought, well, the area that I'm trying to get into having a personal brand is really, really helpful. So let me start my blog up again and show employers my portfolio, how I think how I write how I assess and digest and break down marketing trends and share it out for the world to see. So that's what I was thinking. And since I didn't want to start from scratch, I said let me pull up my own blog. I could just get the domain name back, boom. So that's what I did. But kala kg speaks again, didn't signify anything. It didn't mean anything. People couldn't even pronounce the title. They were calling it kilo speaks they were just unclear. That's okay though because I still got started right? The important thing is that you get started so similarly to some of you, you can go the heart approach like I've done in some other instances where you know, you start kind of broad and then you narrow in as you get a feel for what you want to do. And I understand that sometimes you don't have a feel yet for what you want to do that is perfectly okay, so I went from broad not knowing what I want to do to niching down and then having success. So understand that when you do that broad process to get clear that it will take you longer to see success. And you can see it now with YouTube where I'm starting broad, I'm

not sure what niche I want to focus on yet. So I haven't seen the success that I want yet, because I know that I still need to niche down with podcasting to assure quicker success. And to land in the charts, you're going to have to start with a niche. So with killer case beats, I started to do these articles, I started to gravitate towards interviewing side hustlers, I had friends who I was really intrigued by how they were working their full time jobs, but they were also pursuing their entrepreneurial interests on the side, I started doing more and more of these interviews on my blog, and I was calling them my side hustle pro interview series. And then, even though people would like to post on social media and things like that, I started getting the sense that people were not really, truly reading the articles, because they would like the post, like five seconds after I posted it on Facebook. And I'm like, You do not even read I'd spend the time to write up everything we talked about read, listen to the audio and write down the answers to their questions or send out questions and have them write answers, and me edit it down. And you guys are reading this. And around that time I started learning about podcasting. So I said, All right, I'm going to test out this new format, because the written format just does not seem to be doing these interviews justice. And that is when I recognize what my niche should be. Another thing that clued me into the fact that this was going to be successful, is I went and did competitor research, I went and looked at what was currently happening in podcast land, what kind of podcasts were out there. And if anyone else was talking about this, and I was actually shocked, I was shocked that no one was talking about side hustling from the lens from which I wanted to hear about it. I wanted to hear more about people who were building businesses that they knew were going to be strong, viable businesses. But they were just not successful yet. They were just not pulling in enough income yet for them to leave their jobs. I wanted to know how more women did this on the side, specifically black women who look like me, and who, you know, face some of the same challenges that I do in the corporate world, who how would they were able to navigate that without losing their job, or their employer starting to feel like they weren't dedicated to their job. So these are some of the things that I wanted to know. And that is why I went and looked and I didn't see it. And I said, oh my goodness, I'm gonna have to do this. And I was nervous that I set a date and then delete it and put it off and was nervous right before I launched, but boy, am I glad that I did. So this is something else that I want you to recognize from this, your niche. It can exist, the topic can exist, but no one is going to be doing it from your lens. There's something that people are not talking about, even if they're already talking about side hustles. They're not talking about a specific aspects of it. So to not be deterred. If someone else is talking about finance, if someone else is talking about I don't know engineering, whatever it is love that's a big one health. That's a big one. All of these things are things that exist, but you need to niche down within that. So first thing that really helped me out was picking a clear topic. A clear topic also helps people to be able to share your show like it helps people to become an ambassador really quickly. Because when I was Kayla key speaks, for example, imagine someone trying to share my blog, hey, check out this blog killer Kay speaks she talks about marketing trends, and you know, marketing in general. Not very compelling, right? Well, when someone listens to side hustle Pro, they can say, hey, check out this podcast about turning your side hustle into a full time business. She talks about the steps and the guests talk about the steps that you can do to juggle your side hustle and also build it up to be able to leave and quit your job. Way more compelling, right, a little bit more interesting and intriguing. If you've ever ever thought about creating something on the side and ever, ever thought about one day doing it full time, that's going to pique your interest. So that is where I found my sweet spot. And so once I had that, then I moved into the next phase of what helped me land in the top charts.

So the next thing that really helped me was doing a countdown on my social media pages. So with this account down you guys, I was helping my audience, the people who followed me on social media on Instagram and Facebook to know that this was coming. This was not something that they were going to be surprised about or they wouldn't know about for five days leading up to the launch of my show. No, I was posting, whether it was a microphone, or I was posting just a graphic that said, day four, day three leading up to the launch, I found that was helpful because it invited people along on the journey. It showed them my investment in myself and how excited I was. So they could then see and feel excited as well. You know, if you're not excited about what you're doing, how can other people be excited about what you're doing. So inviting people along with that journey, and just helping them to see that something was coming starts to build up that anticipation. The next thing I did was get my ducks in a row, get my marketing ducks in a row. So for you, what I recommend now is getting your content together before launch, like making sure that because I announced the launch date. So in order to do that, number one, I had to have my episodes recorded, I launched with three episodes on day one, so that people could go ahead and binge listen on day one. And with three episodes, you can really decide that, hey, this is the show that I want to keep subscribing to. So one episode might be a one off, and then you know, you might not hear from them for another month. But with three episodes, they can really dig in. So I had my episodes pre recorded, I had the show notes written I had the promotional graphics ready to go so that I could schedule them out for launch date. So I promoted one episode each day after I launched it. And I got all of those things together so that when it was time to go, not only could I share it but then I could also send it to the guests and have them share it and have everything ready for them. They would have the graphic as an attachment they would have sample promotional language at the time I was actually providing guests with a language I don't do this now I just you know of course share the artwork with them. But I would say hey, if you want to promote on social here's what you can say I was that like organize that type A about it. So create your promo content and get your marketing ducks in a row have your content pre recorded have your you know spent some time batch recording so that you don't have to wait on an episode to drop to record another one. You want to be ready to schedule it out in advance

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The Next thing I did, which this in and of itself was, I think one of the biggest pieces of this and it just goes to show how important email is as a marketing engine. Now to start promotion, and to start getting people on my email list. I did a certain thing. Now, let me put a disclaimer on this. Okay. Do not At ever add people to your email list without their permission, do not ever start building an email list by going out there and, you know, getting the email addresses of people who have put it out there and add it on. Okay, I think I've said this before, but I'm always going to emphasize it. Because too many people do this. I know because I'll get emails. And I'm like, I never joined this list. And I'm quick with it, unsubscribe, so don't do it. So what I recommend instead to start building your email list, and the email list is so helpful to share with people that you have an episode out. So start building your email list. Gather your contacts, one of the ways you can do this, there's actually a way to when you are on LinkedIn to download all of your LinkedIn connections. So you'll be able to see their names and email addresses. So you can do that you can gather the email addresses that you have, you can go through your Google contacts and you know, X out anyone who's not relevant for this particular exercise. But everyone who you have talked to have contacted, emailed with over the last few years, and I still have a relationship with anyone who you'd want to say, hey, I have this new thing going on. Even though we haven't talked in a while I thought you might be interested, keep them on this list. And then you're going to send a notification email, you're going to say, Hey, I'm so excited to let you know this new thing that I have going on. Of course, with better language, of course, I actually have a download that you can use, where I share my exact language that I use to let people know about my podcast. So notify all your contacts, everyone, you know, let them know that you have this new thing going on. And you know, if they like to stay in the loop, this is where this is the opt in guys, this is really important. If it likes to stay in the loop, then provide them with a link to join your email list. So that means that you have to set up an email list, you can do something like AWeber, or ConvertKit, or MailChimp, whatever you find best for your budget and for your you know, your preference of what user interface you like the best. Have that setup and so that you can link to a landing page aka an opt in page, a lead page, whatever you call it, where they can sign up to receive emails from you and stay in the loop. So I found that to be super helpful when I launched because I told people what I had going on, I said, Hey, I know you haven't heard from me in a while. But I'm just really excited about this new initiative that I have, I really think it's important that these we have these conversations, and we share these conversations. And I thought you'd like to know about it. If you'd like to stay in the loop, here's how you can do so do me a favor, check out the first episode, or, you know, check out the first two, I'm interviewing X person or that person. And if you like it, leave me a review, subscribe rate and review, I really emphasize that. So what that did is it sends a flood of traffic to my podcast. And that's one of the ways in which your show starts to be ranked on the charts. Now, Apple doesn't let us all the way into their black box of what they use to determine rankings. But

a bunch of visits a bunch of ratings and reviews to your show in a short span of time is going to cause you to see that spike and you, you know, climb up those podcast charts. So that's the way to land on the charts. When you are initially launching. However, first of all, I want to say that this is not guaranteed in terms of like, you know, there's way more podcasts today than there were in 2016. That said, not enough people are taking strategic steps when they launch. And so the kind of traction that you'll see to your show, when you take these targeted steps is completely completely beyond what you'll see when you just launch. And your show just drops out there onto the podcast apps with just you know, a few promo posts on your Instagram, and not a targeted message to your email list or email lists are one of the most powerful forces in the world. The thing that's missing from social I mean, this is not every platform, but what can be hard is that you show your content to people and then it involves them taking an extra step as far as like Instagram for example. They have to then go to your Your bio and click a link, Facebook, you can put a link in the comment or LinkedIn, you can put a link in the comment Twitter, you can put a link, however, you are still taking people outside of the experience that they came for. When you go into your Instagram app, you came for the experience of scrolling. When you go into most social media apps, you came for the experience of scrolling. With your email, you are more prone and you're more programmed to click and link out to things. And then most of the times, people they're either at work or they're on their phone, but they are adjusted to clicking that link being taken out to a browser, doing some business and then coming back into their email. That's the programming of what you're expecting when you're checking your email. However, on social media, it's a whole different world. So that's one of the reasons why email is such a powerful tool when it comes to promoting your podcast or promoting anything and why it's so important that you build an email list. But the thing with emails is that you build an email list by using social media proactively and strategically.

So those were four steps that helped me land on the top charts so far. So let me recap that really quick. It's pick a clear topic niche down at a countdown, start getting your audience excited. Three, create your content in advance, get your marketing ducks in a row four, kickstart your email list by sharing with all of your contacts and inviting them to opt into your email list. And then number five, the number five thing that helped me to land on the top charts is shouting it from the rooftops. I like to say that every single time you talk about your podcast, you have to talk about it like no one's ever heard about it. Every single week, every single time you release an episode, you have to promote it, as if no one has ever heard about your show as if it's launched it. So the times when I do not do this, I noticed the difference in the downloads that I get. So with shouting it from the rooftops, you need to number one have real estate on all of the major social media channels. So Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, tick tock, anything that is generating significant buzz and where people are utilizing and interacting, you need to be on it. So every single time you release an episode, you need to be sharing your content on those platforms. And in order to do this successfully, I recommend scheduling. So I scheduled directly via Facebook and Instagram using the Facebook Creator Studio. You can schedule with a scheduler like Planoly or buffer for things like Twitter and LinkedIn. Tick tock I'm not sure about I have to look that up. But I'm sure there's a way these days. And every single time we release an episode, you have to get that out there. So I call this process for my podcast mogul students. They know it as FF lit. And that's just an acronym for the different social platforms that I was using when I started out and now it's expanded. So f f equals I would post on Facebook, my Facebook page for side hustle Pro, the Facebook group for side hustle Pro, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and then FF leads is what the upgraded version is because the E stands for email. Because a lot of times we can feel like oh, we're spamming our list. But I had to get over that myself. And remember that not everyone is on social first of all, not everyone, even if they are on social sees your posts. And number two, sometimes people just want to be reminded your true fans, your true audience needs to be reminded of these awesome episodes that you have. Because they're focused on their day to day life. They don't have time sometimes even open up the podcast app unless they are reminded that hey, there's a great episode out today.

That was it. You guys, it was as simple as that. Like picking a clear topic did me like exponentially what I could ever do with just promo alone. So it starts with a topic. It starts with getting clear on that. So do the work, okay. And I'll be happy to help you do the work inside of podcast moguls if you're confused if you're not sure how to niche down, or if you already have a podcast and you're just not sure why it's not growing or it's not getting the downloads. You're trying to do it by yourself. You're thinking that oh, I've seen other people do it. I can figure this out. I'll just do some more Instagram reels. Just let me help you I want to coach you through this. So head over to podcast moguls.com/join If you would like to take your podcast to new heights in 2022 and be up Alright you guys, and stay tuned for a final inside my playbook episode 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

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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