If you find yourself sitting down to record and struggling with what you’re going to say, tune into this one. We’re going to talk today about three easy ways to find content ideas this week right now, today. Also, as a little bonus, I’m going to share three things I want you to never ever, ever do when you’re looking for podcast content ideas.
Have you ever had that feeling that you really need to record podcast content, you really need some episodes recorded, maybe you’re on a deadline to your editor, maybe you are supposed to release it later that afternoon—not at all speaking from personal experience—but you’ve no idea what you’re supposed to say, you have no idea what you’re going to talk about, what you want to talk about, what you should talk about?
I get it. I totally get it. That’s why I created this episode because I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. I want to dig into three places to look and three places to stop looking, because there are some solutions that are not a good idea.
The first place to look if you need podcast content ideas right now.
Look at your sales calls. I love, love sales calls, not just because I get to meet really incredible people and potentially help them solve a problem they’re experiencing, but because it’s a wealth of content ideas. Because every question somebody comes to me with on a sales call is a question I need to be answering to help them make the decision to get on a call with me.
I’ve got to be answering those questions in my content because it leads you to a place where you have sales calls like I have, not infrequently, which is I’m already in but we just need to make sure that we cross our t’s and dot our i’s, or I just want to make sure you want to work with me. I get that one. It’s yes, I do because you’re great. You listen to the show. We’re friends already.
However, if my content is not speaking to the questions they show up to sales calls with, I’m not helping them make the decision in the podcast which is the point of the podcast. Sales calls are always my first stop.
One of the things that I’m doing as we’re on sales calls, every time I’m making notes. I’ve got my podcast doc open in my iPad and I’m making notes. I’m making notes of the questions you ask, the issues that come up, or the objections that come up. Not because I want to be able to fight off the objection but cool, if I’m getting this objection on a sales call, there’s something I’ve not made clear in the content up until now. Maybe that’s a price thing. Maybe that’s a process thing.
Let’s give you an example. An objection I get, not infrequently and I’m getting less which means I’ve done something that fixed it but I don’t know what it was, is people who don’t want to be working ahead on their show. They like being able to record in the moment, release in a matter of a couple of days or a week, and be right into promoting that show.
The way our process works, our clients record their episodes about four weeks before the episode actually releases. Occasionally, I run into clients who that feels disconnected for them. They already feel like they’ve moved past what they were sharing four weeks ago because they’ve recorded three episodes since then and they’re thinking about those and they’re thinking about what they’re going to record next.
This is a really helpful objection because it’s just not the way we work. It’s just not the way this process works. It’s not the kind of demand I put on my team, and honestly, I don’t like it. It’s just not the way I work. That’s not a good fit. It doesn’t make either of us wrong. It doesn’t make either of us right. It does however make us a poor fit. I need to make sure that I’m addressing that in my content.
Notice me addressing that in my content. I talk a lot in content about our process, about our timeline, about why we work that way, about the value in working that way. I can set up a system to support you so that you’re not batching because not everybody likes to batch, that’s just process-y. But I can’t change the timeline. I need to be speaking to why we work this way, not because the other way is wrong, but because then you know we work this way and we work this way for a reason so it’s probably not going to change. It’s that simple.
This, above all, is why I like going to my sales calls for content ideas. If you’re somebody who records your sales calls, go watch them. Watch them with the intent to get content ideas, not to tweak your sales process, not to judge your blouse choice, not to hash around in why the person didn’t buy or what you could have said here to make it whatever. No. Content is listen to the questions they’re asking you.
The reason I love watching back old ones especially, or taking notes like I do during calls, is I get to see themes. Like I said, I have a doc open on my iPad. I use GoodNotes on my iPad and I have a doc open that has that person’s name on it, and that’s where I’m making notes related to our conversation: This is what they sell. This is who they work with. This is when they’re looking to get started. This is the team they have now. Notes related to my sales call, things I’m going to need to know to further my sales process, and most often, start our work together.
But I also have that second doc open that is a podcast doc that I’m writing questions in. I literally just list them out. I don’t even know who they came from always. Sometimes I’ll put a note, but generally, they’re just a list of questions, and I’ll go through and I’ll notice that there’s a lot of repeat questions. If you haven’t been doing this and you have those recordings, that’s a great way to go through and see, “Oh, I actually get this question on nearly every sales call, how can I be addressing it in content?”
That’s why the What Working With Uncommonly More episode exists because I was getting on sales calls and people are going, “So what is the process? What is the expectation of me? How do I show up? Where does this all exist? What’s going to happen after I hand you $1,500, $2,000, $3,000?” whatever the investment is. What’s going to happen next? So we did a whole episode about what it looks like, what the process is. Here’s what happens. This is not a mythical thing. It’s not like don’t look at the man behind the curtain, this isn’t Oz. So here it is. But I could see that because I have notes that show me this comes up every time.
The second easy way to find new content ideas for your podcast this week.
Your client calls, this is a very similar process but this will give you a different kind of asset. When we’re talking about doing this with our sales calls, we’re building a sales asset, we’re building the episodes that get linked in our email sequences, to get quoted in social emails, that go with that as part of a launch prep. We’re creating sales assets.
Now when we talk about this next category, we’re talking about client calls, this is where we’re talking about helping them identify a problem and helping them identify that we’re the solution; demonstration of our expertise. We’re in June right now, I’m actually recording this in May, but we’re in June right now, and that means I’m neck deep in client calls, which means we’re sitting down with every single one of our clients, which means come the end of June, I will have another page in that podcast doc I shared about that’s full of the things I said in every single call.
Spoiler alert, they’re going to be a lot of the things I said last year for our Q3 calls. Because this time of year has certain things. Generally speaking, we start planning for some time off in Q3, we’re creating some space for sabbaticals, vacations, or reduced work schedules so that they can be managing kids at home or enjoying their summer and filling up on pool time and sunshine, whatever it may be. It’s the thing we talk about every Q3 and so I make notes about that.
You’ll notice at some point, in the course of the next couple of months, we’ll talk about it here because it’s something I’m talking a lot about. What are those things? What are those things that are showing up in every consulting, coaching, delivery, whatever conversation? What are the emails you’re getting over and over again as you start your process?
I actually love looking at onboarding for this and this is something we are looking a lot at as we move into Q3 and Q4, and I go into my prep for the next year, is how can I make my onboarding process better? How can we make this system feel really good and exciting? Because they’ve just taken a huge step and bought themselves a ton of time and we’ve started a relationship. We are partnering with our clients. We are a part of their team. They are a part of our team, and so how can we make this as exciting as it feels?
That’s something we’re paying a ton of attention to, so I’m looking specifically, as I onboard clients in June, July, and August, what are the questions that are coming up in onboarding over and over again? I’ve made some notes already, but I want to start speaking to some of those onboarding questions in our content, in our sales content so people come in fully prepped, so that we can set up that onboarding process to just be really, really fun and really, really easy.
Because honestly, it’s also a big bite frequently for our new clients because there’s a certain amount of like, “We need to get this content going.” So if they haven’t been batching, if they are in a rub as far as being close to when they release, maybe they only have a one week lead time now and we move into a four-week lead time, how do we get there? We stair step them and we figure it out.
But how can I be addressing that in the sales process so that our clients come to us going, “I’ve got my first four episodes batched and ready to go. I’ve got two of my first four episodes ready to go,” or “I know I want to be moving towards this so this is one of the things I want to establish. This is one of the ways I know I’m ready to hire UM is I’ve gotten my self and the podcast to a place where I can be two weeks ahead, three weeks ahead, four weeks ahead. Heck, yeah, why haven’t we had a call yet?” Looking at those sales conversations, super value. Looking at those client conversations, incredible value, from both a content expertise establishing and content sales asset establishing, perspective.
The third place I want you to be looking at to get content and podcast ideas this week
The content you’re consuming. I put this one third because it’s going to lead us very nicely into the things I want you to never ever be looking at. We’re all consuming content all of the time. Life is content. We’ve got billboards. We’ve got video ads on gas pumps. We’ve got TV shows in our pocket. We’ve got media and content around us all of the time. That is a really fun place to get content ideas from.
I frequently listen to other shows who talk about podcasting, and specifically shows that actually talk about podcasting in a way I don’t—maybe they’re talking more to B2C shows or where the business model is the show, like I said, they’re building an audience for sponsorships or something like that—because it allows me to find places where I can differentiate, so that I can make it easier for my potential customers, for our potential podcasters to see my raised hand saying, “This is what we do. This is how we work. This is how our process looks and feels and delivers.”
That means sometimes going to the other content they’re consuming and looking at the ways I differentiate, looking at the ways that my perspective is different, looking at the places I straight up disagree. This doesn’t mean that I then pull that content into my content and I go, “Look at this person, they’re an idiot. Look at this person they’re an assh*le. Look at this person, they’re wrong.” That’s not what’s happening. That’s not what we’re doing.
What I am doing is I’m coming back to my show and I’m going, “Cool, I know that they’re potentially consuming this or seeing this and I really want to deliver this. How do I address that?” “What’s the question that gets them the answer that they’re getting on that show? Cool, here’s my answer to that question.” I create my episode answering that question, so when that people who are looking to answer that question are googling, are looking through their podcast, are scrolling around, they see both of us.
This is why SEO work is important. They see both pieces so they can see my raised hand, and not just the raised hand that I don’t agree with, that I think is wrong, and sometimes dumb, let’s be honest. But this content exists everywhere. Sometimes I get content ideas watching TV or a movie. I’ll find something that I’m like, “Ooh, I can relate that to this. Great.” Look at what you’re consuming. Look at where you’ve had opinions that fit in to your audience, to your value point, that serve your listenership, and make sense in the context of your show, certainly.
I have lots of opinions on media that is not helpful to you. Maybe one day I’ll launch a show just for my own soapbox moments. That day is not today. If anything, it would be a TikTok, let’s be honest. But I want you to be looking at where can you find inspiration in what you’re already consuming.
The other side of looking at the content you’re consuming and here’s how we get into the “and never ever do this”.
I never ever, ever want you going, “Cool, I want to sell what this person sells. I want to sell it to the audience they sell. This is the episode they did, so this is the episode I’ll do.” No.
First of all, you have no idea if any of that’s working, you have no idea who they really work with, and you have no idea if they’re actually getting clients. It’s not helpful. But also, it’s real, real gross. If you do not have enough of an opinion about content to be able to find your own perspective, you’re not an expert. This is not your place to show up and speak to.
I understand the allure, and I think a lot of times, this doesn’t come out of “I don’t have my own opinion,” it comes out of “That looks like it works and I need this to work.” But that won’t work. You don’t know if it’s working for them, but it will never work for you because it’s not yours. It’s not your value. It’s not your expertise. It’s not your opinion. It’s not a fit for your model. It’s not a fit for your audience. Straight up going “They’re talking about this so I should talk about this” is always going to hurt you more than it helps you.
Number two, stop going into Facebook groups and saying, “How do you get content ideas? What should I talk about on my show?”
Yes, when I read these in Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups, I read it in my head with that same voice. That’s not a value. Notice when we were talking about where to be looking, we were looking at people who have already raised their hands. We have looked to people who have raised their hands to get on a sales call with us or who have raised their hands to work with us. Those are the opinion that matters, not our “peers” in our community.
Not podcaster Facebook groups, not your favorite web celeb, entrepreneur, or business owner persons Facebook groups, not the $37 “here’s your first $500 episode” topic lists that 847 podcast experts are trying to sell you or content experts are trying to sell you.
The same is true, and the third piece is, to stop googling what should I talk about on my podcast and episode ideas for my podcast.
Again, we’re not looking to what other people think I should talk about, we’re looking to what do people I want to work with need to hear to support them as they identify and solve their problem. That’s where we’ve got to be looking.
Sit down and look at your coaching calls. I don’t know about you but I record all of our client calls. I make it really easy for our clients to go in and listen to them again, especially because we meet once a quarter so sometimes in July they’re like, “I know we talked about this episode but I do not know what the context was,” then go back and watch the recording. So can I. I can go and see, I said this in every sales call, I said this in every client call, I said this in every consulting call, I said this in every workshop I did this week, this month, or this last six months. That’s the sign it’s time to go into content.
I’m using what I already have. I want to encourage you this month, before we hit Q3, before we wrap up Q2, take some time and review your last two or three sales calls, your last two or three coaching calls. I guarantee you can get 5, 10, 15 pieces of content out of those conversations. If you can’t, we have to have a larger conversation.
With that, I’m going to wrap us up and remind you as we move into July, we do only have one spot in July available to get started with us. If you are interested in transitioning your show from DIY into production or you’re moving from one production agency to another, I would love to sit down and chat with you.