We're Celebrating 300 Episodes

Welcome to episode 300 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

I am so, so excited to be celebrating 300 episodes with you. I’m really excited. We’re going to talk about 300 episodes, some of the lessons I’ve learned, some of the gear I’ve used and why you don’t need to make it super complicated. We’re going to talk a little bit about what’s next and my commitment to you as the community. Then I’m going to be announcing a little giveaway which I’m really excited about because I love this community and I am so, so grateful for you guys listening each and every episode, each and every week. Whether you’ve been listening since the beginning or if maybe you’re brand new, I am so grateful that you’ve taken the time to listen to the show and use the show and take action on what you listen to, right? Yeah? We’re doing that? Awesome. I’m amped.

Thank you, thank you for listening to the show and for taking the time out of your day to celebrate with me here live on this episode 300 day. I’m so excited. I can’t believe it. It feels a little nuts, a little nuts. We actually won’t celebrate three years of the show until November. I think November was when we first went live with episode one, November of 2013, but we hit 300 episodes. That’s the joy of doing two episodes a week. I’m just saying. Okay. Let’s jump in.

I want to talk about some of the lessons I’ve learned over the course of 300 episodes because that’s a lot of content to create. It’s a lot of being in the creation space and a lot of having to show up and do it. The number one thing I’ve learned is consistency matters more than anything else. It’s not always easy. I have been really, really consistent with the show. It has gone out twice a week every single week, come hell or high water, with holidays, vacations, impromptu moves, everything, every week, twice a week for the entire 300 episodes. A lot of that came from a really strong commitment to actually doing that. There has been no acceptable excuse to me to not get the show out, but also it’s been about planning in a lot of cases and just doing the work. I’ve talked a lot about taking December off and the planning I do for that. We’ve done episodes about it. By the way, if you want to catch up on any of the first 300 episodes, hitthemic.com, there’s a whole list of them. There’s amazing search function coming to the website soon. Yay!

Those are almost easy because I see that time change coming or I need to prep for it. That stuff is easy. What’s been hard is the stuff that I didn’t plan for: being sick, especially … I learned this probably my first year, maybe my second year. I went on vacation and I had pre-planned the show and pre-recorded the show and it was totally good to go except I didn’t anticipate being sick when I got back. I had taken December off and we had gone to California. We lived in Arizona at the time. We’d come to California for vacation over New Years’ Eve. I was going to be back in the office on Monday. The next podcast episode was supposed to go out Tuesday. Well in pre-recording all of my content I recorded all of December in November and October, but I hadn’t planned on recording any January because I was like, “Oh, I’ll be back in the office then. I can totally just wing it and I’ll get caught back up. I don’t need to go that far in advance.”

Well, we got back from vacation and I was really, really sick. I had no voice. I couldn’t keep anything down. I was really, really intensely sick. It was a couple of years ago when that really horrible flu virus was going around. I had to suck it up and get it done and do the work and record that podcast. I sounded God-awful on the podcast because I had no voice. It took me forever to record because I kept having to pause. I felt awful. I had no energy. I had no excitement. It was awful, but I had to get it done because A, I was committed to getting it done, but B, I learned a larger lesson which was don’t just plan for the days you’re going to be gone but give yourself a buffer when you get back.

That’s been a lesson that’s stuck with me for a long time which is always plan a little bit further than I think I’m going to need and to make sure that I don’t run too often into the, “Oh no, content needs to go up tomorrow,” which I do probably more than I’d like to, but the more I can avoid that the easier it is for me to consistently get the show out, but ultimately it comes back to that commitment and knowing this show is going out.

My first year in business I was blogging. I wasn’t doing the podcast. I was horrible at consistently getting out my newsletter and consistently getting out my content. That was where I had a lot of issues as far as my marketing because I had a lot of peaks and valleys because I didn’t have that consistency. At the beginning of 2013, when again, I was still blogging, I said from now on this is going out X, Y, Z. The podcast came around later that year and it was again, I’m committed to this is happening. That commitment to myself, to you guys, to creating something, to my business, to my marketing, it really is the critical piece to staying with it and doing it each and every week.

It doesn’t have to be twice a week. If you’re thinking about starting a podcast or you want to do a blog you don’t have to create content twice a week. It’s a little nuts. I really like it. It works for me. It worked for my show. It worked for my audience. There are absolutely people who don’t listen to every episode of this show. In fact, I don’t listen to every … Well, I listen to it when I edit it so technically I do listen to every episode of the show, but there’s not a lot of podcasts where I listen to every single episode. I don’t have an expectation that you guys are listening to every single episode. If you are, then you’re my favorite, but for me it allows me to get enough variety of content out, that it serves everybody it needs to serve, but again, consistency matters. It’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s really freaking hard. That was probably one of my biggest lessons, probably the biggest lesson I’ve had in the 300 episodes of this show.

Again, if you guys have questions or comments or you just want to say hi, hit me up in the chat box right below this video. I would love to hear from you or see from you or read from you or whatever. I really like engaging with you. That really goes to my second lesson. I didn’t realize how much I would love engaging with the audience of this show. I’m a little bit of an extrovert, little bit. I really, really enjoy getting to meet you guys at events and connect with people when I speak and go to events and connect on social. I didn’t realize how much fun I would have talking to the audience of this show on Snapchat and Twitter and Facebook and getting your Facebook messages and getting your emails. I love when you guys respond to the emails on Tuesday. It’s my favorite.

It’s so fun for me, even when they’re just little short notes or they’re questions or whatever. I have so much fun getting to connect with you guys. I really didn’t realize how much I would enjoy that. Thank you, thank you for all of your snaps and tweets and all of that good stuff. I absolutely appreciate it. I read it. I respond. I love it. Thank you for being a part of this community because that’s been one of my biggest lessons is how much fun that is to really cultivate that community. A lot of that involvement you guys have had with the show is why I teach so much about community, because it makes it all a lot more fun. It makes it all a lot more entertaining. It makes it a whole lot easier to do when you guys are there connecting and engaging and hanging out. It really does make all the difference in knowing that you’re there and you’re a part of it and you want to be there and that it’s helping and that it’s entertaining. It really is the best part. It’s my favorite part.

All right. My next big lesson, and this is one I wish I would’ve learned so much earlier: Re-purposing is your best friend. When you create this much content there’s a lot of stuff that I have out there. There’s just a lot of stuff to consume on the website. When I can re-purpose it and I can make it consumable in a new way and I can make it new again … One of the projects we’re currently working on behind the scenes is actually going through and getting transcriptions for all of the past episodes of the show. For the last maybe 10ish episodes of the show there’s been a transcription that went live with the episode. It’s not an opt-in transcription. It’s right there on the episode. You don’t have to give me your email address to get it or anything. It’s just right there on the episode. The show notes all have full transcripts now, for the last 10 episodes.

One of the projects we’re working on now is getting that back log, getting that first 290 episodes done because A, Google, they love it. It’s already had an impact on my search topics. Two, you guys seem to really like it. There are some of you who really like being able to … You know, you hear me say something and you want to go and you take a screenshot or you copy it and paste into your Evernote for your notes or whatever. It gives you a reference point. I think that’s really cool. I can also take those transcripts. This is something I started doing a while ago before we started including the transcripts for the show. I would actually get the podcast transcribed and then I would turn that into guest posts on Huffington Post and YFS Magazine and different places like that. That’s really cool except now I’m also sharing it with you guys, which is really cool, but that’s a great way to re-purpose your content.

If you’re currently podcasting or you’re doing videos, get it transcribed. Share that content with your audience. In fact today, this episode, it will get transcribed and the transcription will go not only on this page after it gets transcribed, but it will also go up on the YouTube channel where this video will stay because again, that’s keyword heaven for the Google search box. Find as many ways as possible that you can maximize your content. That’s actually what we talked about on Friday’s episode so if you want to hear more about this, go to thestaceyharris.com/episode299. We just talked about it, but it’s a great way to really maximize the time you’re spending.

One of the things people talk about when they tell me they’re nervous about podcasting is that it’s going to take a ton of their time. They follow people that are doing seven day a week podcasts or five days a week or even with me, two days a week. They’re like, “I don’t know if I can create that much content.” Here’s the thing. You don’t have to create that much content but you do need to maximize whatever content you’re creating. If you want to do once a week or twice a month or once a month with video or podcast or blogging, plan that out. Build your law of synergy, but then just make sure you’re using that content to every last degree. You’re using every inch of that content to really get it in front of your audience because it makes all the difference.

Cool. I’m trying to see if … Oh, the last lesson I want to talk about is that it’s okay to change your mind. This is one that I don’t think podcasters talk enough about. We talk a lot about gear. We’ll talk about gear a little bit in a second, but it’s okay to change your mind. This show has always been twice a week because I really like twice a week, but this show has not always been on Tuesdays and Fridays. We’ve done Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think for a very brief time we did Sunday and Thursday or something like that. I didn’t like the weekend days.

For a while we had Hit the Mic TV. For about a year we did Hit the Mic TV which was a weekly web show that went along with this podcast that did go out on Sundays. I had content going out Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. It’s okay if you decide it’s not for you. It’s okay if you launch a podcast and do it for six months and then decide it’s not for you or decide you work better in seasons or you work better once a week or you want to go to seven days a week. It’s okay to make changes and adjustment. There are things …

Quick anecdote: I refused to marry my husband until I had lived with him. This was just a rule, because there’s something you learn about people when you live together that you do not learn just spending the night or weekends away or just dating. There are things that people learn about each other when they live together. I feel like content creation and business and all of it is the same way. There are things you learn when you’re just executing. There are things you learn when you’re working one-on-one with clients that help impact the marketing and the onboarding and how you work with future clients. There are just things you learn through going through it. Don’t feel like you’re committed to the decisions you made before you experienced any of it. Feel free to change you mind. A, most of your audience will not notice or care. Tough love. I know, the ego wants us to go like, “Oh, they’ll just be devastated if I go to once a week.” No. Most of them will not care, not at all, not a little, not even kind of. Some of them probably won’t even notice.

In fact, I am sure that if I disappeared tomorrow there is a section of listeners of the show who would never realize I was gone. There are some of you who would email me. I like you guys best, but there are some people who would just never notice. That’s okay, but it’s also kind of freeing because it means you can make changes. Feel free to change your mind. It’s okay. It’s good. Make the best decisions for you and your business and your sanity, whatever those are. Cool? All right.

Those are my lessons learned: consistency, connecting and community is still my favorite, re-purposing is magical, and that it’s okay to change your mind. Those are my big four lessons for 300 episodes. I get a lot of questions about my gear. I’m going to answer those once again. If you guys ever have questions about the tools I use in my business, over on the website, the page you’re on right now, if you go up to the top and hover over Meet Stacey … Oh no. Hover over where it says Podcast. Right below that is Resources, or if you just go to thestaceyharris.com/resources you will actually see a list of all of the things I use in my business. Full disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, but I only recommend what I actually use. I have my Samsung Meteor Mic which you can actually see right here. It’s on a mic stand which is called On Stage Desk Stand, right on my desk. I edit using Garage Band. My host is Libsyn.

When I do interviews, which is not very often anymore, but I actually use these for my client calls as well, we use Ecamm Call Recorder because I have a Mac. We do those via Skype. You can also use things like Zoom or Google Hangouts. If you have a PC and you want to record your Skype calls there’s a software called Pamela that works really well. It doesn’t have to be the stuff I’m using, but I get a ton of questions about what I use. That’s what I use.

I’m actually shifting into what’s next for Hit the Mic. I’m actually upgrading my gear. I just ordered my new mic. We’re moving to a Rode mic. Rode mics have long been my favorite mic brand. I’m excited to upgrade and make this change to the new gear so you’ll start hearing episodes with the new gear probably in about a month you guys should start hearing those, maybe six weeks, but yeah. I’m so excited, but that’s what I’m doing to celebrate 300 episodes is we’re upgrading the gear.

As far as what’s next, there’s not any big changes planned for Hit the Mic because this community is amazing. I love the format of the show right now. Again, guests will continue to be by invite only. Fridays will continue to be three things episodes. Tuesday will continue to be whatever it is that needs to be talked about then, and you know, occasional live shows like this. Ultimately, this show is for you. This show is for the people who listen and hang out and enjoy and connect and learn from this show. If there’s something you would like to hear, there is something you need help with, let me know. I’ll add it to my editorial calendar. I’m currently making some final tweaks to the last quarter’s editorial calendar before I go and do my massive quarter four production schedule. I’m trying to actually get most of October and November done by the end of this month.

I originally had hoped to get my content done for the end of the year but the editorial calendar is still going to need some tweaks because I want to make some changes, but if you want to hear something this year now is really the time to tell me. Tell me in the chat box below right now. Tweet me. Snap me. Send me an email, whatever. This show is ultimately for you guys. If there’s something ever you want to hear, let me know because I love to do that.

Also, I wanted to let you know Hit the Mic Backstage has made a little bit of a change. When we celebrated the one year anniversary in August the price did go up. It’s $40 per month now or $400 per year, but also this week, actually on Friday, they got a brand new website. I’m really excited to share it with the community. They got to see it on Friday when it went live. You guys are seeing it now. If you’d like to join us inside Hit the Mic Backstage I would love to have you. Love to have you. It’s over at hitthemicbackstage.com.

To wrap it up, because we’re hitting right about 20 minutes which is actually a little bit long for one of my episodes, I wanted to let you know I’m going to be giving away over the next week, I’m going to be giving away two 30-day passes to Hit the Mic Backstage. Two lucky winners are going to get to join us inside of Hit the Mic Backstage totally free for 30 days. No commitment to join after that, just a really cool way for me to say thank you and for you to get to check out the new environment. Check that out.

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