Podcast Editing Services | Should you use one?

When Nick and I launched Make Money Online, we knew three things:

  1. Audience — We wanted the episodes to be for people who were starting or growing their consulting businesses. People at a similar level to where we are now or where we were a year ago and who wanted straight talk about failures, successes, and mistakes growing an independent business.
  2. Format — We wanted the episodes to be ~30-minutes long and weekly.
  3. Work — We didn’t want to handle the podcast editing and audio production ourselves.

We’re a fan of working with experts when it comes to our businesses, so from the get-go, we knew we wanted to rely on a professional (or a team of professionals) to handle the audio production and editing for our podcast.

This isn’t to say that you, dear reader and/or podcast host, need to use a podcast editing service. There are dozens of guides out there on the software, hardware, and techniques you can use to edit your own podcast.

Why use a podcast editing service

In our case we wanted to work with a team of professionals — experts at the business of podcast editing — to handle the audio production so all we had to do for our podcast was:

  1. Pick a topic for an episode and prepare some initial notes
  2. Schedule a time to record our episodes (we record them two at a time)
  3. Save a high-quality copy of the audio to share with the team handling our podcast editing

Done. Everything else — audio editing, production, posting the podcast to our podcast host (simplecast) is handled by the team at Podcast Motor.

So, if you’re considering using a podcast editing service, well, why should you? In my mind, it comes down to three things:

  1. Focus on your area of expertise — Unless you’re running a podcast about podcast editing (#meta!), chances are that you’re probably not that great at editing a podcast. Your expertise is in another area (probably something related to the topic of your podcast!), so why spend the time editing your own podcast?
  2. Your time is valuable — Likewise, your time is valuable! If you’re a consultant billing at $75/hour and it takes you two hours to handle the audio production on an episode1, that’s $150/episode that you’re ‘paying’ with your time in terms of opportunity cost to edit an episode. That’s time you could spend doing client work, working on your business, or not working on your business (spending time with your family, doing a fun hobby, etc). Why not delegate the audio production to someone else?
  3. Professional work — I trust Podcast Motor to take our audio recording and turn it into a podcast episode. That means listening to the audio, splicing together the two audio streams (nick and I each record our audio locally using Audio Hijack, a wonderful piece of software), cutting out all the bits that don’t’ fit, adding in the episode intro and outro, and doing everything else that I don’t even know to take our recording and turn it into an episode.

Because of those three reasons, we decided it would make more sense to focus on creating our podcast rather than investing the time to learn the necessary skills to edit our own podcast. Part cost/benefit analysis, part deciding to work with experts rather than do it ourselves.

“Should I use a podcast editing service?”

That’s a great question. I don’t know, but I do know a few questions that you can ask yourself to make this decision:

Do you want to learn how to edit a podcast? 

This, in my mind, is the key question. Do you want to learn this skill? If you do, wonderful! Google around, find a few guides, install Garage Band (or the recommended product) and tackle the podcast editing yourself.

But if you don’t want to invest the time in learning a new skill, hiring a team for podcast editing is a great investment. It lets you focus on making the podcast and not on doing the heavy lifting to produce the podcast.

For us, being able to say “no” to learning how to edit our own podcast was a huge win. Gigantic. When I think about the invest we made by hiring Podcast Motor for podcast editing, this is one of the most valuable pieces.

Do you have the time to edit a podcast?

Let’s say you’re recording the ‘Minimal Viable Show’:

  • Two hosts
  • No guests
  • 30-minuets/episode
  • Releasing weekly

Just you, a friend, a pair of microphones, and Skype. From experience, even for just a 30-minute episode, there’s a lot of additional things that go into producing a podcast (podcast editing aside):

  • Picking a topic for an episode (5-10 minutes of discussion)
  • Doing research on the topic for the episode (10-30 minutes of research)
  • Extra content that you end up recording that gets cut (for a 30-minute episode, this may be ~15-20 minutes of additional content, pre-show banter, and goof-ups that ends up getting cut) 
  • Promoting the episode (10-30 minutes sending out emails, scheduling tweets, etc)

So for a given 30-minute episode, you’re already in 70 to 120-minutes before you start the editing process, which could add another 60-180 minutes to the process.

For a given episode, do you have the time available to invest 120 – 300 minutes into the recording and production?

Delegating the podcast editing to Podcast Motor let’s us focus on creating the episode. We don’t need to worry about editing and producing the episode because Podcast Motor has us covered.

How we decided to start using a podcast editing service

I first encountered Craig in a list of productized services sometime in 2014. I was working on a project with a client where we decided to launch a podcast to promote the brand and connect with influencers.

I contacted Craig about doing one-off editing on a single test episode that we recorded and we worked together on the project. I was impressed with the turnaround and quality of their work, so I started recommending Podcast Motor to all of my friends who were looking for a podcast editing service. In 2014 and 2015 ~4(?) of my friends and colleagues ended up using their service — and all had great things to report.

When Nick and I decided to launch Make Money Online and made the strategic decision to not edit the podcast ourselves, it was a no-brainier decision to start working with Craig and Podcast Motor for podcast editing.

By this time, I’d tested the service myself, heard positive things from his other clients, and referred friends and colleagues to the service.

For Nick and me, not having to worry about the editing process is a dream. We get to show up, record, and have the podcast episodes edited and produced for us.

Our workflow for producing a podcast

Our workflow for recording an episode of Make Money Online and having the podcast edited looks something like this:

  • We have a Trello board with potential episode topics loaded into it (many that are emailed to use by our lovely and beautiful listeners)
  • Weekly, we’ll move episodes forward from ‘idea’ to ‘to record’ and start to flush out the episode’s card with details on the episode: are there specific points we want to discuss? Are there materials we’ll want to reference for the episode?
  • Every other week, we’ll record a batch of two episodes, picking two of the topics that seem most interesting or appealing to us to record
  • Craig and the Podcast Motor team are shared on the board, so they can see our notes, details, and description for the episode
  • Once a pair of episodes are recorded, we drop the high-quality recordings (both individual audio tracks and the combined track) into a shared Dropbox folder
  • Craig and his team get to work, editing and producing the episode, letting us know when the episode editing is complete, and scheduling the episode for release in Simplecast

That’s it. We decide on a topic. We do some research and note taking beforehand. We show up and record. We put the audio files into Dropbox. And then a complete episode shows up in iTunes for you to put into your earholes.

Final Thoughts

So, we use Podcast Motor for our podcast editing because we’d rather focus on making our podcast than editing our podcast.

Nick and I both love the team at Podcast Motor and love working with them. I continue to recommend them to friends and colelagues who are producing their own podcast. We plan to continue using Podcast Motor for our podcast editing for as long as we’re producing Make Money Online.

And if you, dear listener, have a podcast or are considering launching a podcast, I recommend getting in touch with Podcast Motor to discuss having them edit your podcast. I love the work that they do (the phrases ‘seamless,’ ‘magical,’ ‘in the background,’ and ‘great communication’ all come to mind) and, well, I think you’ll love the work that they do as well.

(Full Disclosure: I was an early user of Podcast Motor for production on a podcast for a client that ended up not launching, three of my friends and colleagues use Podcast Motor on their podcasts, and Craig — the founder of Podcast Motor — has hired me a few times to consult with him on marketing strategy for Podcast Motor. All of that said, I received no compensation, revenue, kickbacks, boxes of snacks, etc., for writing this review / love letter / thank you note. I love the work that Craig and his team at Podcast Motor do when it comes to podcast editing and I wanted to write this post to express why we (a) decided to hire someone to handle our podcast editing (b) give you a perspective on when it is valuable to hire someone to handle podcast editing for your podcast and (c) and write a public ‘Thank You’ to Craig and his team for helping us create our podcast)


  1. Please Note: I have literally no clue how much time it takes to edit a 30-minute podcast episode. Maybe 45-minutes for the first listen (with all the bits that need to get cut out), 45-minutes of editing / production work, and 30-minutes to listen to the episode to confirm Everything Sounds Okay? Maybe? That seems reasonable. Okay, this footnote has gone on for long enough. 

Writing An Email Pitching a Guest Post

Let’s say you want to pitch a guest article for a site. How do you do it? What should you say?

This is a template I’ve used and iterated on for years. But the template alone isn’t the answer:

  • You need to write you focused emails
  • You need to follow-up after you send an email, two, three, or four+ times
  • You need to add value in each follow-up email you send

When you focus on those three elements, then you’ll write emails that get your guest articles placed.

This is the template I use, originally adapted from Ramit’s guest post template:

Subject: 3 guest article ideas: TOPIC 1, TOPIC 2, TOPIC 3

Hi EDITOR NAME,

My name is YOUR NAME and I run YOUR SITE. ONE OR TWO SENTENCES ABOUT YOUR POSITIONING, WHY YOU’RE RELEVANT, OR WHAT’S IMPORTANT. FOCUS ON BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP HERE.

I’m interested in writing a guest article for you — something you’ve never posted on or that connects to your most popular content — and I have 3 ideas that I think will teach your readers something new:

[1] Topic #1
– Some interesting, fresh idea 1
– Some interesting, fresh idea 2
– Some interesting, fresh idea 3

[2] Topic #2
– Some interesting, fresh idea 1
– Some interesting, fresh idea 2
– Some interesting, fresh idea 3

[3] Topic #3
– Some interesting, fresh idea 1
– Some interesting, fresh idea 2
– Some interesting, fresh idea 3

I know you’re busy, so I can write everything up and send it to you in one document, which you can drop right into WEBSITE PLATFORM.

I’ll handle all editing, bylines, etc (feel free to edit) so this is super-easy for you. Plus, I promise the article will get your readers thinking and talking to each other.

As a next step, just reply back with which topic would be best for your audience (feel free to just send the number for the topic you’re interested in).

Thanks,

– YOUR NAME

p.s., I recently posted a guest article on the topic of GUEST ARTICLE TOPIC on OTHER SITE. Check it out here (LINK) to get a better idea of my perspective on this topic and how I write.

Common mistakes with guest posts

  • Writing the guest post before you pitch. You want to send multiple ideas, with bullet-pointed sub-points, and let the editor suggest the best one for their audience.
  • Not doing your research. First, note how you’re recommended to format and present posts on the site you’re pitching, then copy that format and presentation for your posts. Second, read the most popular posts on that site and understand how they view the world. If you’re writing something that their audience would never read, it shows that you’ve never read their site nor understood its key messages. Educate yourself on the type of content they share.
  • Not sending writing samples. Until they get to know you, you’re a risk. They don’t want their team to spend time emailing back-and-forth if the end result turns out to be a crappy article. And they don’t want to disappoint you by saying “no” after you put in work writing your post. So send writing samples so they can understand if you’re a good fit.
  • Underestimating how long it takes to write a good post. An average, high-quality guest article can take 4-8 hours to write. Be prepared to put in the time if you want to play the game.
  • Making the editor do additional work. When you submit the final guest post, it should be fully ready to be inserted into their Content Management System and it will just magically work. This means you should write your byline, format your post, add images on your own server (but also attach them to the email), and otherwise make it 100% ready to go.

What’s The Best Invoicing Software For Freelancers?

If you’re a freelancer, you might be asking the question “What’s the best invoicing software for me?”

In short, if you’re looking for invoicing software, I recommend Freckle (http://letsfreckle.com). They’re excellent and they’re what I use to both track time internally on projects and send invoices to clients (they’re great at sending either hourly or flat-rate invoices!).

What should freelancers look for in invoicing software?

If you’re looking for invoicing software, you want to look for three things. Your software needs to be:

  • Able to create and send invoices for you
  • Able to support hourly or fixed-fee work
  • Able to get paid

Freckle does all of this on beautiful invoices, all while being one of the best time trackers for freelancers out there.

What’s the benefit of time tracking?

You want to get paid for the time that you work. And you either bill hourly or you don’t.

If you bill hourly…

Then Freckle has, literally, the best time tracker out there. Like they say on their site:

Ironically, tracking your time takes time. Sometimes it takes a lot of time. You hates the administrative overhead of logging your time, and so… you suspect (or you know!) that you’re mostly making guesstimates, after the fact.

Those guesstimates lead to bad data, impaired ability to make critical business decisions, and, of course… you can’t bill as much, either.

I have a close friend — a legal professional — who billed hourly but never really tracked his time. He wrote down hours estimated in a day in a notebook and added it up to generate his invoices.

I said to him “For a week, just try tracking your time. See how close you are.” And I bet him a steak dinner on it.

Three days into the week he called me:

“Kai, I’ve been underbidding by 30%.”

With just a few days of data, he could see he was actually working more than he had been estimating on his invoices. Meaning he had been undercharging his clients for years.

Just by tracking his time better, he was able to send make more money when he send out his invoices (he uses Freckle too).

Freckle let’s you easily generate beautiful fixed-fee invoices for your business. You can watch a screencast tutorial here:

If you bill daily/weekly/fixed-fee…

Then you need to be able to do two things:

  1. Send your invoices to your clients
  2. Track the time that you spend working on your business

For #1,

Freckle let’s you easily generate beautiful fixed-fee invoices for your business. You can watch a screencast tutorial here:

For #2,

Do you spend time working on your business each week? Do you have time blocked out on your calendar (http://kaidavis.com/business-time/) to work on your business?

When you work on your business, do you track your time to see if you’re actually spending time working on your business? (I track my time with Freckle and RescueTime and block distracting sites using Freedom — Read all about it here: http://kaidavis.com/time-management/)

If you aren’t, you’re probably under charging yourself. You get better at something with deliberate practice. And you achieve deliberate practice by saying “This is time I am spending on doing THIS THING” and then doing THIS THING deliberately for that time.

Deliberate, intentional practice.

If you want to build a better business, you need to spend time deliberately, intentionally practicing at building a better business. (Hint: That’s also how you get to charge more money).

I use Freckle to track the time I spend on internal business projects. I’m tracking the time I’m spending right now writing this email.

I don’t use Freckle to track the time I spend on client projects because I don’t bill hourly. However, I do use Freckle to invoice on client projects. It makes it incredibly simple and easy to get paid. I highly recommend it.

How do I get started?

Sign up for Freckle and start tracking your time: http://letsfreckle.com. (non-affiliate link).

If you bill hourly, add your projects and start tracking your time. You might be surprised to see how and where you spend your time (and if you’re underbidding). Send your invoices through freckle.

If you don’t bill hourly, add your projects to freckle and start tracking days your worked and then sending invoices through Freckle. And start tracking your internal time. The time you’re dedicating to working on your business.

Track that time for a month and see how it goes. When I did it, it surprised me.

Switching seats for a day

Can you tell me one thing quickly?

You’ve been receiving my daily letters for a bit now. What would you like to see me write about?

Are there topics that you’d like me to touch on? Questions you have about getting more clients, freelancing, or running an independent business?

All questions accepted. I would be honored to hear what you’d like to learn more about. Email me at kai@kaidavis.com

Excelsior!

Kai

“I love how the book has one singular goal: Get you on podcasts!”

The other day, a customer who had purchased a copy of Podcast Outreach (http://podcastoutreach.com) emailed me to say that a week after buying the book, he was already booked on two podcasts.

I was typing up a reply when a new message came in from him.

“…3 podcasts.”

Amazing!

So I fire back a quick reply and ask about the process for him, how much time it took, etc.

He told me that after skimming the book “…it only took about 90-minutes of work to get booked on the podcasts. I love how the book has one singular goal: get you on podcasts!

Results like this aren’t out of the ordinary for people who buy Podcast Outreach (http://podcastoutreach.com) and follow the process to get booked on podcasts.

The truth is that for most podcast hosts, finding a consistent stream of high-quality, ready-to-interview guests is the hardest part of their jobs. 

If you prepare yourself for outreach to podcasts hosts and:

  • Know the target market you want to reach
  • Identify podcasts that reach that target market
  • Have 2-3 pre-defined topics for podcast hosts to pick from
  • Have a short follow-up sequence that adds social proof to your outreach

It is easy to get booked on podcasts as a guest.

And the wonderful thing about podcasting? Compared to writing guest articles, the ‘shelf life’ of a podcast is incredibly long.

Last week I received an inbound lead from a podcast I guested on 4-years ago. A True Fan™ of the show was doing an archive binge, heard my episode, and reached out to see if I could help with their project.

That’s the power of podcasting.

In fact, I was invited to speak at MicroConf in 2016 on this exact topic. If you’d like, you can see that full presentation (and my awesome suit) here: https://kaidavis.com/speaking/microconf-talk-2016/

Kai Davis — The Face of MicroConf

After I sent my first email I was booked to record on a large podcast with over 100 episodes that reached an audience of my dream buyers!

— Mojca Marš, Consultant, Super Spicy Media

Kai — while we were on a call today two podcasts that I pitched using your Podcast Outreach Template responded back that they’d love to have me on as a guest!

— Josh Doody, Author, Fearless Salary Negotiation

If you’re interested in guesting on podcasts as an expert and authority, you should consider investing in a copy of Podcast Outreach (http://podcastoutreach.com)

Excelsior!

Kai

Standard Operating Procedures: The Foundation of a Freelancing or Consulting Business

Standard Operating Procedures are the heart of any business.

As I start Retooling Double Your Audience, I start with a baseline for our Standard Operating Procedures. These are the documents that define the things that the business does: the administrative tasks, the relevant information, the step-by-step instruction on projects. The processes for the business.

If you want to understand SOPs well, read this book: Work The System (https://www.amazon.com/Work-System-Mechanics-Working-Revised/dp/160832253X)

I’m gonna talk about a question that my friend Travis asked:

“Do you have Opinions™ on how to store/organize etc process documents?”

(This was in response to reading through a summary of Work The System)

Below is my response. It’s useful because it gives the context for how I use Standard Operating Procedures in my business. If you want to get a solid base understanding of SOPs, you should read Work The System. This is how I store SOPs in my business and the template I use for my SOPs.

I personally started with ‘Bunch of separate documents and a spreadsheet that acted as the index’ and everything in Google Drive.

I’m still in Google Drive. The ‘linked together by an index’ idea sucked hard.

I switched over to “For a business, all SOPs live in a single document and I use the Table of Contents feature at the top of the document’ and I interlink within the document (headings have unique IDs that you can ‘deep link’ to within the document) if I need to reference another SOP”

It has worked very well for me. It’s what I run my business on. It’s what I’ll be separating Double Your Audience off into. I have used this on projects with 15+ people involved.

I could see a firm argument for “Notebook in Evernote” — I like Evernote’s text processing more than I like Drive’s, but I like the ability to link between SOPs, share SOPs between a team (Evernote’s notebook sharing is okay but not great) and have a real TOC in Drive more than I like nice / easy text processing that Evernote brings.

I have a ‘Template SOP’ in the bottom of my doc that I copy, paste, fill out when I need to add a new SOP. I put the SOP anywhere in the document, typically at the end or grouping related SOPs together.

You eventually hit a point where you might group SOPs

For example, all of my SOPs around, say, my freelancer coaching offerings, are in the same general area for my business. All of my SOPs for Double Your Audience around getting booked on a podcast will be clustered together.

In those cases I’ll:

H1 The Group Title

H2 The SOP Title

H3 the SOP Items

H4 for commentary

H5 for meta

Here’s my SOP template. Copy it, read it, make the suggested changes, and use it, if you’d like. And if I can make any of this better, hit reply and let me know how:

==> https://docs.google.com/document/d/168ooiR8ydhNs7Dw1wVtUPyYH9mRj2UnNVacNEFRXPbE/edit#

Excelsior!

Kai

Adding ‘Cold Calling’ into your Outreach Marketing campaigns

When you’re building your Outreach Marketing campaign, you may be considering adding cold calls in. Does Cold Calling make sense in an Outreach Marketing campaign?

If so, when do you use it?

If not, why?

Cold Calling Gives You Another Chance To Demonstrate Interest

Outreach Marketing comes down to one key point: demonstrating interest.

That’s why, in a follow-up campaign, such importance is put on follow-up: to demonstrate that we’re interested and committed in building (or maintaining) a relationship.

If you send a single email to a prospect (and never follow-up) what does that say about how valuable you see the outcome you could produce?

But if you follow-up 2, 5, 10 times, adding more value to the conversation, you demonstrate how valuable you believe working together would be for the prospect.

Cold Calling: Another Channel For Demonstrating Value

When you add cold calling into the mix, you double the number of channels you can use to reach your prospect.

Maybe you’re already planning on contacting them through an email outreach campaign every week:

  • Day 1: Email
  • Day 8: Email
  • Day 15: Email
  • Day 22: Email
  • Day 29: Email

However, when you add cold calling into the mix, you add a second channel you can use to contact your prospect:

  • Day 1: Email
  • Day 4: Cold Call
  • Day 8: Email
  • Day 12: Cold Call
  • Day 15: Email
  • Day 19: Cold Call
  • Day 22: Email
  • Day 25: Cold Call
  • Day 29: Email

An excellent book on Cold Calling is ‘Cold Calling Early Customers’: https://www.amazon.com/Calling-Early-Customers-Robert-Graham-ebook/dp/B009390KSQ

Mixing Cold Calling with Email Outreach

When you already have an email outreach campaign in place, you can consider adding cold calling into it.

Why?

When you want to follow up more often with the prospect.

This works best when the prospect is a good fit for your industry: they match your target market and they’re experiencing the trigger or situation for the problem you can solve.

Cold Calling gives you a second channel to use to approach your prospect.

You can call and reference the email you recently sent as a way of making contact.

Your goal, when you speak to someone you’re cold calling, isn’t to sell them immediately. Rather, this is a prospecting call and your goals are to determine if they’re a good fit for your services and, if they are, schedule another time to talk.

A cold call prospecting call would (or should) take under 15 minutes of the prospects time. Ideally, it’ll take under 10 minutes.

Again, your goals are simple:

  • Determine if they’re in your target market
  • Determine if they’re the right person for you to be speaking with about the problem
  • Determine if they’re experiencing the problem or situation or the trigger that indicates a soon-to-be problem

If they are, then you’ll want to schedule a time to talk with them to learn more about the problem.

When To Use Cold Calling

Cold Calling is very much a 300 or 400 level outreach strategy. It is something you’d add onto a more advanced outreach campaign to give you more touch points with your prospects.

On some outreach campaigns I’ve coordinated, we’ve focused on:

  • Outreach Emails, to build initial contact
  • Cold Calling, to follow-up on our outreach emails
  • Direct Mail, to send supporting information and market data to strengthen our position

But that’s a very advanced level campaign.

For most campaigns, you’ll be best off starting with just an Outreach Email campaign.

Then, over time, you can add in other outbound strategies and systems in addition to Outreach Email: cold calling, direct mail, ‘lumpy mail.’

But what’s important is to start with a firm and sold email outreach system. With that, you’ll build relationships with your prospects and move them from being prospects to leads.

Want to learn more about how to build an email outreach system for your business? You can in The Outreach Blueprint (http://outreachblueprint.com).

In The Outreach Blueprint, you’ll learn:

  • How to email anyone and get a reply
  • A framework for writing ‘you’ focused emails
  • How to find anyone’s email address
  • How to build a best practice outreach campaign for your business

…and so much more including templates and worksheets and exercises.

Get started with your outreach marketing today: http://outreachblueprint.com

“And that’s when I realized I had put the tire on backwards…”

Flashback: it’s 2008.

A woman I had just started dating had spent the night for the first time (😍) and had to be at work by 8am — across town. So, we set the alarm, got to sleep at a reasonable hour, woke up early, and walked out to my car.

The rear driver side tire was flat.

That’s no good.

But, fine. Adventure time! I can change a tire in 10 minutes, demonstrate my mastery of all things car-related, and get her to work on time, right?

(Recommend listening music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnHmskwqCCQ)

Okay, I dive in:

  • Find the jack
  • Jack up the car
  • Find the lug wrench
  • It’s not the in trunk.
  • Crap.
  • It’s on the shelves in the garage!
  • Get the tire off
  • Look in the trunk
  • It’s full of junk. The spare tire is under the junk
  • Crap.
  • Throw everything out onto the side
  • Haul the tire out
  • Put the tire back on
  • Realize I put the flat tire back on the car (seriously)
  • Crap.
  • Take the tire off. Put it on the other side of the garage to avoid any future issues
  • Put the correct spare tire on. the car
  • Jam the lug nuts back on there
  • Tighten the lug nuts
  • They… don’t quite seem to fit at first but then pop into place.
  • Good.
  • Jump in the car and start driving.

Cue the most horrendous screeching noise you have ever heard in your life.

Date: “Is it supposed to sound like that?”

Me: “…no”

I call a cab. She calls her work and lets her assistant know she had a flat tire. Cab arrives. She’s safely off to work and I get a goodbye kiss.

I turn around and look at the car.

What the heck had I done wrong?

I had put the tire on backwards.

Backwards.

Backwards.

Backwards.

I jack up the car again, flip the tire around, bolt it back in place, and go for a test drive. We’re fine. I get the flat tire replaced. All is good.


I was thinking about this story earlier today on my morning walk. It’s too common for us as business owners (Me included. Hell, me especially) to accidentally have one part of our business just a wee bit off (like putting a tire on a car backwards) and have it prevent the whole system from working correctly (…like trying to drive with a tire bolted on backwards…).

Specifically, my Outreach Consulting agency, Double Your Audience.

The business is fine.

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But like any business, small details get smudged over, tires get bolted on backwards, and the system as a whole starts to make a grinding noise as you try to use it.

Looking at the business from a 5,000ft view (aided by completing a Business Health Analysis, https://kaidavis.com/pricing/business-health-analysis/, a 40-point analysis of the health of my business) I could start to see that I had bolted quite a few tires on backwards:

  • My positioning is rough and undefined
  • I haven’t done market research with my target market for multiple months, leading to…
  • My marketing messaging being out of date
  • My service offerings being out of date

And on top of it all, wonderful people (👋) who opt-in at Double Your Audience end up on the same list as people who opt-in at KaiDavis.com, meaning they’re getting marketing messaging about freelancing and getting more clients, not about:

  • Getting on podcasts on as guest (http://podcastoutreach.com)
  • Landing guest articles
  • Promoting their content
  • Building and managing their most valuable relationships

My marketing, messaging, and service offerings — let alone how and when I’m talking to customers and subscribers — lost coherence and resonance with the audience I’m talking to.

So, what to do?

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Well, I’m going to refine and retool Double Your Audience, my Outreach Marketing and Digital Public Relations consulting agency. From the ground up. Following the best practices and best principles that I advocate:

  • Positioning: Refine the positioning of the business, specifying exactly who the business works best with and what outcome the business can provide
  • Market Research: Go through a market research campaign with the target market to learn about the pains and problems they’re looking to solve
  • Service Offerings: Refine my service offerings to better address the outcomes that the target market is looking for
  • Marketing Messaging: Refine my marketing messaging to line up with my target market and my service offerings

And a whole bunch else: refine my lead magnets and opt-ins, put together an email nurturing sequence, refine my outreach campaigns…

And I’m going to do it live. Well, as live as it can be. I’ll show you what I’m changing — and I’ll also explain why I’m changing and how I’m making the changes to the business, so you can see how this process works.

The metaphorical tire might be on backwards — but it just takes a bit of work to jack up the car and flip the tire around.

But now a question for you: What would you most like to learn from this experiment? What questions do you have about retooling a consulting business? What would you like to learn as I conduct this grand experiment?

Hit reply and let me know.

Excelsior!

— Kai

p.s., She ended up getting to work on time and everything was A+ fine. 😍

“How did the launch of the Freelancer Marketing Accelerator Program go?”

I had a call with a friend earlier this week and she asked a wonderful question, paraphrased below:

Kai, how did the launch of the Freelancer Marketing Accelerator Program go? Did you end up filling the program? What happened?

And at that moment I realized I had forgotten to close the loop and let you, dear reader, know how the launch of the program went.

The Short Summary — Everything Went Great!

The launch of the Freelancer Marketing Accelerator Program was an outstanding success. 100% of the seats were filled. I am incredibly honored to work with the people in the program.

Applications are still available at https://kaidavis.com/coaching/freelancer-marketing-accelerator-program and when you apply you’ll be added to the wait list.

When seats open up in the program, you’ll be the first to know — and priority for registration will be given to people who are on the wait list (currently… 3 people).

In the meantime! Are you looking for 1-on-1 coaching to help you grow your freelancing or consulting business? I have one slot available for 1-on-1 sales and marketing coaching for freelancers and consultants: http;//kaidavis.com/coaching/1-on-1.

The Longer, More Detailed Summary

After the final email (“Charge More”), my inbox was flooded with excellent applications and, I’m happy to say, every seat in the program ended up filled.

Students in the Accelerator Program are working on filling out their Business Health Analysis (a 40+ point questionnaire about the health of their business) and are moving forward identifying opportunities for improvement in their marketing and implementing changes in their business.

I, frankly, couldn’t be more thrilled. The launch was a success beyond my wildest dreams and I get the pleasure of helping amazing, inspiring freelancers and consultants get more clients and improve their business. Thank you.

Want to learn more how to run an independent consulting business that can earn 6-figures?

In The Independent Consulting Manual (http://independentconsultingmanual.com/), you’ll learn the strategies, systems, and tactics behind growing and running a 6-figure business as an independent consultant.

Don’t take my word for it – read what these satisfied readers have to say:

Reading the Independent Consulting Manual, it’s like the whole world (or a dozen very smart and kind folks) is conspiring to help me succeed with my business. 🙂 — Brandon Walowitz

Quick note — love the ICM book! The round table videos are the perfect companion, I just wish there were more. Its like putting a tap to your brains! — Mark Brown

Run, don’t walk, and order your copy today at http://independentconsultingmanual.com (Frank in Shipping just called to tell me that the warehouse is nearly sold out of electronic copies! Order yours today before we sell out!)

Excelsior!

Kai

Two Interviews on Getting Referrals

Today you get a double dose of Kai Davis interviews! One where the wonderful Jason Resnick of Rezzz interviewed me and the other where the wonderful Ahmad Munawar of Forecast interviewed me! The topics? In both cases, how to get more referrals for your business through outreach.

REZZ — KAI DAVIS HELPING FREELANCERS GET MORE CLIENTS WITH OUTREACH

When outreach is done correctly, when it does come time for the pitch, it won’t seem sales-y because it will just be the natural course of the conversation and relationship.

You can listen to the interview here: https://rezzz.com/podcast/s01-e11-kai-davis-helping-freelancers-get-clients-outreach/

FORECAST — KAI DAVIS ON HOW TO GENERATE MORE REFERRAL BUSINESS

There’s something magical that happens when a referral is made.

For your client (the referrer), it makes them look good. If they refer someone to you and that person has a good experience, they’ll be the ones to thank for it.

For your prospect (the referee), it’s a shortcut. The buying process is easier and shorter when they rely on a referral from someone they know and trust.

You can listen to the interview here: http://boutiquegrowth.com/podcast/generate-more-referral-business-kai-davis/