3 Sources for Generating Effective Solo Episode Ideas for Your Podcast

Last week we discussed the HOW of getting solo podcasts episodes done, this week we’re shifting gears and taking about the WHAT. I’m sharing three places that provide you with a well of content ideas for solo podcast episodes. 

These are the sources that allow you to zero in on the core issues that clients and potential clients grapple with. This is the kind of content I make it my mission to address in my episodes, and if you’re looking to convert listeners, these are the key to doing that

In this episode of The More Profitable Podcast, I’m not just here to talk; I’m here to challenge you to take action and actively seek feedback. It’s all about evolving and improving. Let’s make your podcast not just good, but great!

4:19 – Prioritizing client conversations for solo episodes that speak directly to your ideal clients

12:34 – Using sales conversations to identify specific questions and objections so you can build sales assets

20:35 – Differentiating between solving immediate discomfort and underlying problems for questions that come in via social media

24:22 – Take action – I’m outlining exactly what you need to do next after listening to this episode to implement now.

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Stacey Harris - Last week we talked all about getting ready to record solo episodes, some tools and tactics you can use to get primed and ready and really show up with the energy that you want to. And we talked about it because for a lot of people who have been podcasting guest only the idea of stepping into solo episodes even occasionally can feel really overwhelming. The other side of this, though, is the content, and oftentimes those who are feeling a little nervous about solo episodes are left feeling totally unsure of what to even talk about. And that's what we're going to dig into today. I'm going to share three places that you can get solo episode ideas in priority order, so stay tuned. Get out your notebook. Get ready to start taking notes, because this is going to be one you revisit right before your next content planning session. Let's get into it. Welcome to the More profitable podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey and this is the spot. To learn more about the strategies, tactics and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast.

Stacey Harris - My team and I work every day with podcasters like you to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team because your show should be built to generate and convert leads. So let's get into it. This is going to be a good one. And I want to note that these are in the order they're in for a reason. for as long as I hear on social, most predominantly on social, from what I'm going to call fo content experts about how sites like Ask the Public are your never ending content treasure trove. I'm going to talk about these three resources, and I'm going to talk about them in this order. And I'm going to allow for the space for us to talk about why these are better. Because they are. So stay with me. I will occasionally get ranting and soapbox, but like, only in the most fun way. and and and and when you're done, what's great about this is you are going to be able to sit down and in honestly in the matter of like an hour.

Stacey Harris - Build out 12 solo episodes you can do. I have zero doubt of that. So we're going to dig into these three things. We're going to talk about why they're in this order as we move through them. And you are going to start thinking through, because I'm willing to bet as early as option number one, you're going to have something that pops into your brain that you're going to want action. So get some place. Use your voice notes. If you're driving, drop them in your project management software if you have it. We actually have an area on my on our podcast dashboards, ideas, and that's where things like this go. When I'm thinking of something or when I hear something and I know I want to talk about it, I will go jot it down, occasionally with a link. So whatever inspired it so I can get back there when I need to. but I want you to make sure that you're putting those ideas someplace you can revisit them, because in your brain is not, in my experience, a safe place to store things when it comes to this stuff.

Stacey Harris - So make sure you have someplace you can put those as you work through them. Before we dig in, we've got another podcasting for profitability roundtable coming up very soon. Just a heads up. We will be pausing these for the summer. so if you want to join us for one before we hit late Q3, early Q4, now's your chance. If you've not joined us for one of these before, they are essentially Q&A time with me. So you sign up. I always suggest submitting your question because I prioritize them on the call. It just allows me to do a little looking around before we get on the call. Allows me to come with better quality answers. Honestly. and then we'll actually talk through it on the call. You'll be able to respond to me, you'll be able to all be able to ask follow up questions, which is often imperative in giving you an actually good answer and not a general super generic one. and so make sure you head over to uncommonly more.com/roundtable, reserve your spot, submit your question, and join me on our next call.

Stacey Harris - With all of that, let's dig in. I want to start with this first one because it is the most important one. This is the one you should start with first. And the reason for that is because these are the people who best represent who you want to be talking to. And that's the clients already paying you. The first place I go when I am looking to build out my content plan. Now for me, I say build on my content plan because 99% of this show is solo, right? That same. May not be true for you. So even if you're not doing 12 solo episodes a quarter, maybe you're doing six, maybe you're doing four, whatever that looks like. This is the place I want you to go to first to get those ideas, because these are the people. You want to be attracting. These are the people who you want to be speaking to. These are the people who. Have already invested and we want more like them. I will say, if you have, somebody on your client list right now who you maybe don't want more of, maybe don't include their questions, I get that we've all we've all taken a client and many of us, whether we know it have not, have been the client that someone took who was maybe not totally a fit.

Stacey Harris (00:05:42) - That doesn't mean that they're a bad client. It doesn't mean that you guys don't get along. It doesn't mean that you don't do good work together. This has looked like for me, I still I still, still, still, still have one client, from my virtual assistant days. She has been with me for 12 years. 11 years.

Stacey Harris - 11 years we've worked together. 11 years. when I go to do my content planning, I don't. I don't review my conversations with her. I don't review the emails she sent me. I don't review our conversations because that's I actually don't need more of her. I'm good. She's there for as long as she wants to be there because I adore her. But she's not who I'm prioritizing when I'm making content. And so again, this doesn't always mean you don't like the person. You may love this person. I adore this woman again. I will continue to work with her until she no longer needs me to work with her, which she's retiring will be very soon.

Stacey Harris - But. I adore her and so it's fine. So again, this is not inherently bad. Don't don't put yourself into like well that's mean. No, it's not mean. It is clear. It is understanding where you're going regardless of where you are or where you've been, especially if you're somebody who's transitioned their business model or transitioned how they work with their clients. This may be more difficult because you don't have as much depth in this place. However, for a lot of the people I talked to, they're not dissimilar from me in the sense that they've been doing this for a little while. We've been doing this podcast production thing. We've been running the agency for five years now. And so the questions from my clients are mostly really valuable. And us building content here, because I would love to work with more of them. And so the first place I'm going to is not the client I. Oh, I almost got you there. Right. No I'm going to our call recordings. So so often we hear about going and talking to our clients and getting information from our clients and.

Stacey Harris - It sort of puts the onus on them, right? It puts the the burden. Hey, what would you like me to talk about? I don't know, we're just handing responsibility over to them for our idea creation. At this point. That's not helpful. What is helpful is to go to the resources we have from them. So where do you handle communication with your clients? Do they submit a form and maybe they're they're completing a Google form. Maybe they're filling out some sort of form in your project or your, CRM. Excuse me? Maybe they have something they do in your project management software. Maybe it's a slack channel, maybe it is a circle community or a Facebook group or email. Could absolutely be email. For me. I love going through my client call recordings, so I use a tool called fathom. I'll put a link in the show notes to it and we record. It's a it's a note taker. It's got some AI stuff in it. It sends me a breakdown. But what it allows me to do is search, search those conversations.

Stacey Harris - And oftentimes what I'll do is I will actually search my answers because I'll be like, man, I said this a lot this week, so I will search sort of roughly what is said. A few words from that I have repeated over and over again and just see all of the calls where I said that, and I'm like, okay. Then I can look at the ways they ask the questions. And oftentimes, I'll be honest, they also look a lot alike because your girl works with ideal clients. but. Sometimes they don't look like what I. How I would have asked it. And this is where the real gold is, right? Because if I can get to the same point. But never actually use the words they're using to describe the question to describe the problem. They're probably not going to ever take in the answer, or at least connect the answer with their problem, because they're looking at it differently. And so being able to see their words, being able to see their phrasing, being able to see how they respond to my answer, what are what are what are the follow up questions? Because oftentimes something like an answer, the public will give you question one.

Stacey Harris - It'll give you something super basic in general to answer. But where the real gold is, where the real impact is. Is in the back and forth that follows up that question. Where you start to get specific. Where you start to talk about nuance. Where you start to get really clear on what the actual answer to their actual question is, and not the generic answer. Anybody could Google and get in the little info box at the top of the screen. And when you work with a targeted niche, when you have an ideal client, when you have a specific group, you help solve a specific problem for. General is not going to help you. Nuance is going to help you because there's a lot of people giving general answers. Because they speak to a general group. Setting yourself apart happens in the nuance, and that happens from looking at those client conversations. So when we look at these client conversations, we're getting the questions. People already invested with us have. We're getting the language they use.

Stacey Harris - And we're getting the nuance we need for our content to speak to our niche and not the general public. Do you see why it's first? This is why it's my favorite. So go to your your old call recordings. Go through old call transcripts. Transcripts would be a great way to speed this process up. By the way, go through again your communications, whether it's email or project management software or maybe you're somebody who's running courses or a membership and that might be in circle or in Facebook group or in wherever else. Membership platforms are putting the community elements these days, I don't know, I don't run one right. Go to those places and start getting those questions that are already coming from the people who are already paying you. The next category is group that is not already paying you, but they are a group who have actioned in some way. And that's because they've gotten on sales calls with you. So the number two place I go to look for questions is my sales conversations. So this might be again using fathom call recordings of sales calls.

Stacey Harris - More often it is the questions submitted in the application to book the call with me or in the email conversations I've had with a prospect either in follow up or in their initial reach out. But these are clients who may or may not have converted. But I need to know what their questions were when they were thinking about hiring me. And so when I'm talking about educating into a sale. This is what I'm talking about. These are the questions I want to answer again. Answer the public or you know, top ten content idea. Blog posts are not going to give you the specificity, the nuance, and the. Honest. Look at where they're at. And so if you're not currently recording your sales calls, I highly recommend doing it. also, it's just is like a sales. Strategy sales tip on the side here. It's a really good way to get better at sales calls is to review it. There's a reason athletes review game tape, musicians review, you know, performances and recordings of their work.

Stacey Harris - It's how we get better, right? We we could see what we liked, what we didn't like, etc.. I also use them as a way to get content ideas, because if I get a question from five prospects about the podcast Strategy Intensive that I've never addressed in content over the course of a month, it's time to address that in content, right? This episode is a great example of this. This conversation is something that happens frequently on sales calls. And so I wanted to have an asset. I wanted to have an element that I could send people as a follow up. Hey, I know this came up in the course of our conversation. Here's a really good episode to get my perspective on how we do this. Here is one of the places we'll look, whatever that may be. What's going to be really funny is when someone comes to listen to this episode, because I sent it to in this. It happens sometimes and it's funny every time. Anyways, I want you to be looking at these sales conversations.

Stacey Harris - In two buckets. One people who did convert. And again, we're going to prioritize those for the same reason that we prioritized client conversations before this. We want to prioritize those sales calls that converted and answering those questions first, because again, they're most like the questions coming from our ideal clients, from the people who we want to work with. The second category is people who did not convert. And the reality is people don't convert for lots of reasons, chief amongst them timing. In my opinion, they weren't ready to buy. Whether they know it or not. They weren't ready to buy. I have absolutely had instances where a client was like, it's not for me right now. I just it's not I can't do it. And they had reasons. 3 to 6 months later, it was the right time because their readiness did come up. They did get there. It just didn't convert the first time we had that conversation. And so I'm not going to disregard those sales calls because sometimes it's just timing.

Stacey Harris - And we all know when a sales call is like, oh, that was actually just a poor fit. Those are not sales calls. I'm pulling questions from the are sales calls I'm looking at to see if there's anything I could have spoken to that would have allowed that person to see our poor fit earlier. And so I actually had one of these recently. So we had a, person interested in working with us. The goals of their show were not the kind of show we produce. Doesn't mean it's bad. Doesn't mean they're bad. Doesn't mean the show is bad. It's just not what we do. It's really. It's as simple as that. And so what this brought up was, oh, okay. I want to be more clear about the way we work, how we work with clients, what that process looks like. And so one of the things I'm going to be doing in the next couple of months is building out a process series that I'll be able to share with people I haven't decided yet if it's going to go on the private podcast or the public podcast, I'll decide that downstream.

Stacey Harris - But this was a really good insight I would not have had from a sales call that did convert. Right. And so. Notice we're still looking at them. We're just looking at them different and we're giving them a different weight. Right. We're not building content that attracts poor fit sales calls. But what we are doing is going cool. Why? What didn't work here? Is there a way I can help people understand that sooner? Again, for these calls where buyer readiness is a concern, where they're a no, and then three, six, sometimes 12, sometimes even like two years later they come and they're like, oh, the offer is different now or the whatever, or they're just ready, whatever that looks like. I'll go back and look at their first call, and I'll look at their second call and I go, okay, what changed here? Did they have different information? Did they come to the call differently? How can I help? Future prospects identify that readiness in themselves through content.

Stacey Harris - And that's what I'm building it for. So that's why we're looking at this second. This for me. The second category is the place where we're most directly getting sales content. Because I'm looking at objections. I'm looking at questions I'm looking for at where they needed clarity. I'm looking at concerns. I'm also looking at the things they're most excited about. How can I highlight those things? How can we be speaking to those pieces? More on the podcast. Same is true of my clients. What are the things, six months a year into working together that they're actually most excited about? Now, is it different than the things they were most excited about when they signed the contract? Because that's going to allow me to see. Do I need to be speaking to the person a year into working with me, or the person who is just considering working with me? And maybe it's both, but I need to present them in different ways. But notice not once have I gone to Google and said, what should I talk about? And here I am with a lot of educational assets.

Stacey Harris - Value. That helps educate the listener into understanding the values of our work, both from a like monetary value and also the like. How we look at this and how we approach this and how we show up. Kind of values. There's so much here. The third container. The third bucket. The third place I go to when I want content ideas specifically for solo episodes. And and I I'm, I'm gonna I'm gonna bang the drum a little bit here as far as as far as a rant. This one stirred for a reason. It's your audience or your followers on like social media, your email list. Essentially, people who have not raised their hand in any way. To learn more about working with you. So this is where I'll put up a story on Instagram and say, hey, I'm getting ready to record some new episodes. What are your biggest podcast questions? Because we all know we we always rush to answer those right or and honest, full transparency. This is the version of this that happens most frequently for me.

Stacey Harris - It'll be questions in my Instagram DMs. Questions in my LinkedIn inbox. Questions that come in via the email. From people who I've not talked to directly, I haven't worked with before. Whatever. The reason these sit third. Is not because these people are less valuable. But they're the furthest away. From our goal. Meaning my goal of you working with me and your goal of you seeing the results you want to be seeing from your podcast. They're the furthest away. Again, not bad. Doesn't mean they're less valuable, but it does mean that their questions come from a different perspective. It also means their questions are looking for a different outcome. When I get a question on a sales call from somebody who's looking, who's actively looking to work with me, potentially. The goal of their answer is to decide whether they should work with me or not. When I'm getting a question from somebody in my Instagram Instagram DMs, the goal of their question is to solve their immediate discomfort. Right there looking to.

Stacey Harris - Comfort the symptom, not solve the disease. And that's a very dramatic way of me putting this. But it's it's the best example I've got in my mind right now. Right. We want to scratch the itch and get the release we don't want to solve. The problem that would prevent the age from happening. That's what I find most often is the difference. And I don't want this podcast. To be about scratching an itch. Because that's not valuable for either of us. It just puts us in a loop. Of having to go and revisit the same itch. What I want us to do is solve the underlying problem that was causing the itch, so that we can move on to the next stitch. Because there's always a next itch, right? There's always a next problem to solve. And if we stay in this loop of having to solve problem one over and over and over and over and over again, which is what happens when we only address symptoms. We're never going to get to prom two and problem three and problem four.

Stacey Harris - And just because we never go looking for problem two, three and four doesn't mean that problem two, three, and four are not there while we stay in this endless loop with problem one. And that is not what I want to create here. What I want to create here is a place where we go, okay, I get it. Here's what I need to do to solve problem one and now problem two and now problem three so that we can keep moving forward. And the reality is is problem two, three and four are most likely solved by working with you. And it could be as as clean lined as you know this example would like it to be, which is problem one is solved with a podcast and problem two is solved with your email opt in. And problem three is your low price offer. And that's probably not how it goes. It's probably not that neat and tidy, but if they stay in a loop, if we stay in a loop of just dealing with problem one temporarily. We're never going to be able to see the growth they want to see.

Stacey Harris - We're never going to see real change. We're never going to see transformation. And so, yes, we will occasionally need to and want to grab questions from this third bucket where we're looking at our Instagram DMs, and we're people who have asked questions on LinkedIn or, you know, they submitted questions to us on an Instagram story or whatever it is. We may occasionally go to this bucket, but it will never be prioritized because it is the farthest away. From being ready to work with us. And when we start building stuff, our clients. Want to know. Our warmest leads want to know. That's when we build conversion content, when we're consistently building content that people who don't, who have yet to pay us one answers to. We keep them in that place. And when new people find our show, they end up in that place. Even if they were pretty ready to buy, pretty ready to solve their problem, we can actually move them back in buyer readiness. If we spend a lot of time distracting them.

Stacey Harris - With answers to questions. That keep them stuck in their symptom and not addressing the problem. All right. Again, there's a reason we we order these the way they are. And so when you're going through this work, I want you to literally look at these in this order. I want you to review your client calls. I want you to review your sales calls. Then if you even still need content, which you might not ever get to this bucket and that's cool to. But if you exhaust everything this quarter from those first two buckets and you end up in that third bucket. Make sure. That you're answering the questions in a way that moves them. Which may mean calling them out a little, which might feel uncomfortable. Which may mean sharing an unpopular opinion. Like that's not really a problem or the problem. A great you know what a great example of this is? And I will link it in the show notes. But there is an episode we did of this show called why you may be standing in the way of your podcast growth, or it's the title is roughly that, but basically it was like, hi, you're the problem, it's you.

Stacey Harris - To absolutely butcher a Taylor Swift lyric. You. Might be in the uncomfortable position of highlighting to them that their question is the problem. Because they're asking the wrong question. You should do this as nicely as possible, honestly. But you should also do it as honestly as possible because that's imperative. All right. I'm going to put my soapbox away safely for the day. Mostly because now I want you to go take action. I want you to go look at these assets, look at these things that you have, and start putting together four or 6 or 12. Yeah. Solo episode ideas that you can do in the next 12 weeks. And then I want you to record them and release them. The whole thing. I want you to do all of that. If. You've got these content ideas together and you're like, I still don't, I don't know, I don't. What does this even look like? Is this helpful? How do I make this a whole episode? That one actually comes up a lot.

Stacey Harris - You're like, okay, this is a three minute answer. This is this is exactly the kind of conversations we have in our podcast, Strategy Intensive. This has been a lot. And again. Working example of of looking at your client stuff. This is something that we've been talking a lot about in podcast strategy intensives this this year so far. And so if, if this is a struggle, if this is feeling difficult still. Podcast. Strategy intensive is a really great first step because in there we can do this work together. We can also start to outline these episodes so that you can move into recording and getting these out in the world so that you can start seeing the impact of them. Because I will tell you that that will get you to do them faster than anything else. Well. Is getting that feedback. Hearing from your audience. It's incredible and I cannot wait for you to try this. So if you want to grab a podcast strategy intensive spot, head over to uncommonly more.com/intensive book. A conversation with me will make sure it's the right fit, and then we'll get you on my calendar.

Stacey Harris - I'm so stoked to do it again. Uncommonly more.com/intensive to learn more. And I will see you right back here next week. Bye. Thanks so much for listening to the show. Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode. Maybe it's taking action on what we talked about. Maybe it's reaching out to me and learning more about podcast strategy intensives or what podcast production look likes with our team. All of that is over at uncommonly Morcombe. And if you haven't yet signed up for the podcast newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step. If you're not really sure what comes next. Hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes that's over at Podcast newsroom, dot com. And the last favor I will ask because social proof is endlessly important for sure is to leave a rating or review for the show. If you go to rate this podcast.com/more, that's the easiest way to do it. But I would love to hear what you thought of the show, what you think of the show, and if the show has been helpful for you.

Stacey Harris - I can't wait to chat with you. So this is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep you going. Talk soon.

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