You Aren’t Disorganized, You’re Not in Your Lane.

Welcome to episode 519. I want to talk about organization today. I know it sounds boring, but it’s probably the most popular part of what we do. It’s funny. I have a degree in audio engineering. So you would think clean audio would be the most important part of what we do. However, the thing that always steals the show during an initial consult. The thing that always steals the show in the process of getting our clients onboarded for production is the dashboard. And we have these really amazing dashboards built out on our project management system that give us the whole process right in front of us and actually help organize our clients and our team. Many of whom would identify as traditionally disorganized. Who would identify as somebody who is more creative or free-flowing? And the dashboard is an incredible resource to land in. A place for us to check-in and be like, “What is happening. What actually needs to get done.”

It’s a good reality check. And so I wanted to talk a little bit today about sort of three key elements that happen inside of our dashboards that I think make all the difference in not just the management of the process, not just in how our clients feel about the process. But also how our team manages to have, let’s see, one, two, three, four, four to six people, depending on the client touching their show and the whole thing works. And never ones do our clients need to go in and say, “Okay, how about this? And where is this? And what’s happening with that.” Nor do I need to in to each of our clients and be like, “What’s happening here?” Never do I need to go into Slack and ask the team, “Do we know what’s happening with such and such episode?” Unless there is an actual issue.

So this means when there is inevitably because it happens an actual issue. Maybe we’re behind the ball on time, sort of like scheduling. Maybe an outro needs to change, whatever it is those messages get through. Those issues get resolved. Those last-minute changes happen because we’re not spending a ton of time going, “Well, where is that episode in the process?” Or, “Oh, when does that episode go live?” Or, “Where are the assets that go with that episode or whatever? Because everything lives in one homebase. And so I want to talk about the three key elements that really make the difference that help us bridge the gap of organization to disorganization. Well, really disorganization to organization, right. So those are key elements. Start with something I’ve already talked about a little bit here.

Which is everything is in the eye line of the viewer.

When you open up our dashboards, you see absolutely everything you need to see. I’m actually looking at this podcast, the Uncommonly More dashboard right now in Monday so that I can sort of break down what’s here is we’ve got episode number, title, release date. Our calls to action. Who’s touching it. When whatever task is happening right now is next due. Breakdowns of the stages as it were of production. So we’re talking about recording and editing and show notes. On our Uncommonly More dashboard, we have a little bit of nuance because obviously, we handle the marketing for the show, whereas our production clients generally that’s when we hand it back to them. And so we’ve also got a marketing task column that most of our dashboards don’t have. But we also have links to where the podcast is live, where all of the assets for that podcast are. And then we’ve got some stats information, and that’s literally all in one place.

So when I come in here, and I’m planning episodes, I’m able to scroll down to our released episodes and see what episodes have been doing well because I’ve got the first 30 days of data right here on my dashboard. I don’t have to go into my host and start searching and looking and finding. And if I’m being honest, get distracted, which is what would happen. No, instead, I’m looking right here. If I need to go find an audiogram, I don’t need to go on drive and search for it. All I’ve got to do is click the link on the episode that I need the audiogram for and open it up. And all of the assets for that episode are there in the folder. If I need to find the link to, and this happens a ton. I’m on an initial consult call, or I’m on a strategy call with someone, or we’re on our quarterly review calls, which all of our production clients get with us.

If I made one of those calls and something comes up that I have talked about on this mother-loving podcast, it’s really, really, really, really easy for me to just go to the link, grab the link, drop it in the chat of the Zoom and say, “Hey, after we’re done, listen to this episode, I think it’d be really helpful. In that episode, I talk about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” I didn’t have to go find it. I didn’t do a search for it. I didn’t have to go wonder where it was. I didn’t have to send them to Apple Podcasts or the website or wherever to find it themselves. I just very, very easily drop it in the chat, send it in the follow-up email, and there they go. Away we go. They’ve got what they need. And I was able to find it really quickly.

I know exactly what’s been created for each episode. I know exactly where episodes are as they’re happening. So when I come in here, as I did today and I went, “All right, so what the actual F am I suppose to record for today?” Because I did all the planning on a different day. And so now it’s time to record. So I need to reconnect with that planning. So I go in, and I’ve got an episode number, an episode title, which I have already established what an optimized title is before I record. This is something that I do that we don’t necessarily do with our clients. Generally, what we have for our clients before they’ve recorded is a working title that we’ve sort of created with them. Those often get optimized. It just depends on the client. But in my process, in my planning process, I like having the optimized title then so that I don’t have to worry about it later.

So when I’m doing all of the planning work, I do it. So right there, I’ve got my title, and then I’ve got notes. And those are where my bullet points are for when, again, I did all of the planning. So the points I need to make. The call to action for the episode. And an optimized title so that I can integrate it into what I’m recording has already been established. It’s just done. So when I sit down to record like now, and I’m recording three, four episodes today, I can just, bam, bam, bam, bam, record, and be done. And then guess what? I just go in here, and I say, “Record it. Mark it as complete.” And our dashboards that we’ve built out automatically notify the editor, assign the editor, and move the due date. All of that is done right in front of my eye line so I can see really quickly.

Great. So there’s episodes that I recorded last month. Where are they in the process? Cool. They’re all scheduled. Cool. One’s got edits happening, and one’s got show notes happening. One’s got marketing materials happening. Cool, whatever needs to be done and whatever needs to be figured out is all right in front of my eye line, and that is incredible. And that’s really for me, might be the biggest win. The other element here, and I mentioned this a little bit in the eye line. But with this, data becomes part of your process instead of being something you seek out. So, because the data specifically here is in my eye line, I can make all the decisions I need to make right in my process. I don’t need to go outside of my routine or into any new platforms to get information to make a decision. And so when I’m sitting here, and I’m planning out episodes. And I’m looking at title optimization. And I’m looking at topics, and I’m looking at breakdowns, I’m spending a lot of time looking at past release data and stats. But also, what have I talked about lately?

What do we have coming up? What calls to action have we been featuring lately? And I can make all of those decisions in my planning process instead of having my planning process and my actual recording process and my stats collection process and data sort of analyzing process, being three different times. And living in the silo of their times, I’m able to make those three different tasks and make the collection or the process of each of those individual tasks, individual. I can batch my planning. I can batch my recording, and I can batch my data collection. But they don’t have to continue to live in silos from each other. So when I go to make the planning, batch plan, I’m able to really quickly integrate any data that was collected. When I go to record, I’m very easily still able to reconnect with past data.

So maybe I’m talking about something where it is, and we all know these things, and yes, it happens on this show. And it happens with anybody you work with ever. And you do it to clients. There is a certain amount of sell them what they want, give them what they need. That happens with the show or anything. And because I have my data in front of me as I’m planning, and as I’m recording, I’m using that to present information that maybe isn’t the sexiest, i.e. this episode. Maybe isn’t the most exciting clickable, delicious-looking title. I mean, this title of this episode is not, “Here’s how to make a million dollars from podcast.” You would’ve clicked on that faster. Don’t lie. You would have clicked on that first.

However, I’m able to integrate into my plan, into this conversation, into this recording process based on data I have for how listeners have responded to past episodes. Really quickly, I can integrate what was attractive. I can refocus or refer to other places if I need to while delivering you what you actually need because my data is in front of me at every step of this process. Because I have access to my data, and it is integrated into the place that I plan. The place that I’m getting my information for as I record. Where my team is getting their information as they edit, as we optimize show notes. We have all of the information we need. Not just what we think might happen in the future, but what has happened before so that we’re making better choices. The third thing, and possibly for the third time, I’m going to say another of my favorites. In fairness, there are things outside of these three things, okay. They’re not the only three things. These are just maybe my three favorite elements, not three key elements but my favorite elements.

The third one is communication.

And the fact that communication can happen right there in our dashboard. That’s super attractive to me. And this is going to sound bad, mostly because when we first started Uncommonly More, that’s not how we did it. What we actually did is we were in their Slack environments. In some cases, we actually started Slack environments for them. We stepped into their systems if they had them and set them up if they didn’t, which is not the best use of our time. It’s not actually what our clients need from us. That has actually in a lot of ways, a disservice because in my opinion, it can hinder our clients or anyone stepping up and creating their own because they’re like, “Oh, well I already have this because that’s what Uncommonly More uses. So maybe I should just use it.” You know what I mean? That’s not necessary. The larger frustration here was that we had conversations and data and questions and assets, all in different places. It was really well organized. Everything, honestly, the assets were in the same place the assets were before. For some of our clients, the editorial calendar. They still have one that lives in a Google Doc. They’re linked out from the dashboard as well. And now they’re also in our dashboard.

What’s great though, and the change-maker was introducing this communication piece to that flow. Because now with our dashboard back in this idea of everything being right in front of us. With our dashboard, you’ve got a link out to the asset folders by episode and by the main folder if you click the link at the top of the dashboard. You have each individual episode there as an item. And so if you have a question about a specific episode, or you need to know where something is or, and here’s where it happens the most common. A client needs to tell us something, “Hey, in this episode, such and such. In this episode, can we make sure we mentioned blah, blah, blah in the audiogram? In this episode, I want to swap it with the episode for the week after this. Can we switch them?” And we just can.

We don’t have to be like, “Wait, wait, what are you talking about? What episode? What’s happening? This one? This one? This one? Okay.” We cut out all of that confusion because everything is being communicated right there. Possibly more important, if not more, definitely equally important is that this stays there. And so when there is another situation where we’re moving something around, or I can’t remember why these episodes were flipped. And because I had them the other way around, and now they’re… I can see exactly why. Or if our client reached out and had a question and their production manager, which is what we call our project manager. So their production manager answered them and handled it. The rest of our team internally can see that conversation.

So if there was, “Hey, I need such and such dropped out of this podcast because the dogs went nuts.” Just as a heads up. Granted, we listened for all of that, and the client doesn’t actually have to tell us. If they do, great. What happens, though, is when our editor goes and opens that up, she can really quickly see, “Oh, I definitely know there’s going to be this break. Cool.” So there’s just an extra awareness. But she didn’t have to talk to clients. You don’t have to reach out to the client. And the change happens because the conversation is now attached to that episode. And that’s really, really, really helpful. And so for us, and for me and for our clients, it’s not necessarily that you’re currently disorganized. It wasn’t that we were organized. We were incredibly organized. I’m an actually organized human. But because we didn’t have a place to land. Because we didn’t have eye line on what was happening. A line of sight on status and process and data and everything. It was hard to feel organized.

There were a lot of extra unnecessary steps. It was incredibly inefficient. And so I want you to look at, are you disorganized? Or are you out of your lane? Out of your zone? Are you just not operating in a place you need to be operating from? Because this isn’t necessarily what you do. And so look at ways to set this up or have it set up in a way that supports you. Even better, reach out to Uncommonly More. Let’s talk about us helping you with production because what I’m talking about, the dashboard we’ve talked about this entire episode is something we build out for every single client, every single client. This is the cornerstone of how we work. Because when we ran into a situation in the fall where a client had a medical emergency and was not able to record for a few weeks, guess what we did.

We went to the dashboard, reviewed the data that we had in the dashboard, and chose which episodes we’re going to rerun. And we rerun them without the client having to do anything but tell us, “I’m not going to be able to record for the next six weeks.” And we went, “Awesome, we can replay these episodes.” And you know what, it happened to be in December. So it was like, “Cool. Let’s just take these two episodes off and promote something. Just promote past episodes. And we’ll rerelease these episodes that were really impactful because they haven’t been released since very early episodes. And your listenership has grown because your show has been around longer.”

Cool. We were able to do all of that from the dashboard. That’s what’s possible when you have the structure in place. That’s what’s possible when you work with an agency like ours. All right. So let’s chat about podcast production for your show.

If you’re not ready for production yet, and you want something like this, but you have no idea how to look at that. Great. Ask your team. Reach out. Let’s chat.

In fact, our team can build you a custom dashboard even if you’re not currently a production client. Reach out and we’ll share how.

Don’t just resign yourself to feeling frustrated and disorganized in your process. It doesn’t have to be that way. All right. With that, I will let you go. And I will see you again next week. Thanks.

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