Transcript: How I Plan My Podcast Topics: A Step-by-Step Batching Process

June 22, 2023

AMY PORTERFIELD: “Scheduling out your batching far in advance will only make it easier to make sure you are creating that content. And hey, sometimes things change after we've scheduled them—Kai hates that, but it does happen—but at least you have it on your calendar. And if you need a little wiggle room, you can take it, but you won't be scrambling to find time to commit to creating your weekly content at all times.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Oh, I'm so excited to tell you about this podcast that I think you should listen to. But to be quite honest, I think many of you are already listening. It's the Goal Digger Podcast by my girl Jenna Kutcher, and it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. So the Goal Digger Podcast helps you discover your dream career, with productivity tips, social strategies, business hacks, inspirational stories, and so much more. I love all of Jenna's episodes because they are the perfect mix of actionable-meets-candid conversations. She'll cover things like how to improve your website and your email copy to how to say “Screw it” to your morning routine. You’re going to love it. So listen to Goal Digger wherever you get your podcasts. 

Well, hey, there, friend. Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy. 

So at the time of this recording, I'm about one month in into the transition of having a CEO and focusing my efforts on being the visionary of the business. So if this is the first time you're hearing this, surprise; I've got a CEO.  

Now, I know I've mentioned it on a few past episodes, and actually, in just a few weeks, my brand-new CEO, Jaws—that's what we call her—she is going to come on the podcast with me, and we release, like, a behind-the-scenes episode, where we kind of spill all the beans about the transition, how long it took, why it happened, and all that good stuff. I'll give you a little hint. Jaws has been with me for almost four years now. She was the director of content. I worked with her at Tony Robbins. And now, after about four years, she's moved into the CEO role, and one month in, and the girl is crushing it. So we're going to talk about that in upcoming episode because you might be at a place you're like, “Amy, I haven't even hired my first employee. Why would I be thinking of a CEO?” But I think one of my secrets to success in my business is I'm always looking forward. Like, oh, I'm not ready to do that now, but I'm very curious how you did that, how it fits into the business, what it did for you. So it's always in my back pocket when the time comes for me to make a big move like that. So I think you're going to really enjoy the episode. It's coming up soon. 

So, again, we’re just about a month in, and the both of us are really enjoying this time together. It's challenging me in new ways to kind of step aside and let her find her footing as the CEO. I'll tell you this: one of my biggest challenges, and I don't know if I mentioned this in the episode I recorded with her, but my biggest challenge is keeping my mouth shut. And when you have a CEO, they are ultimately responsible for hitting your revenue goals, and they're responsible for team members and making sure that we have the right people in the right seats and that they are thriving and making an impact and troubleshooting all the issues that come up. Like, she's got her hands full. And so I'm still in the leadership meetings that we do once a week, I'm still in the quarterly leadership retreats, and my mentor said, “You're going to have to let Jaws run with this. So you need to refrain from giving your opinion or insight at every turn.” I'm miserably failing. Jaws wouldn't say that, because she's too kind to me, but I'm not doing a great job of that. I even talked over her in a meeting yesterday and had to apologize. And so it's going to take some time for me to just sit back.  

And here's what's funny: Jaws is a thinker, which makes her a great leader. Like, she thinks before she speaks. What a concept. I don't all the time, and I've been known to kind of just, like, blah. I'll just, like, throw up what I'm thinking. And then I was like, “I could have, like, taken a beat before I had said that, and I probably would have said it differently.” And so she's really good at taking a beat before she says something. But because she's taking a beat and I'm impatient and thinking she's not going to say anything, then I'm like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah; this is what I think. And then I realize, “If I’d just given her a minute or so, she would have said what she thinks we should do, and then I could have added insight to that, agreed with her, disagreed, whatever it might be. But I need to let her run with it.”  

And that has been a challenge. So I'm just sharing that, that I'm a controlling leader, I think. Like, I definitely like to be in control, and this is a great practice for me to chill out a bit.  

So anyway, that's where I'm at. I'm just letting you in on a little of the challenges that I have on a day-to-day basis. They might be different from you, but, my friend, you're not alone. Building businesses and scaling businesses can be hard.  

But one thing that makes business easier, just in general—this is my little transition into what today's all about—is that when you put together systems and processes to make the business easier. And holy heck, do I have a process for you today. It has nothing to do with hiring a CEO, has nothing to do with my challenges of being bossy, but it has everything to do with running your business in a way that allows you to put out more content and allows you to be less stressed. And what I'm talking about is batching your content, specifically your podcast, if you have one. And if you don't have one, you can apply this to videos, to blogging, whatever it might be. 

So, for about three years, I've had the same person running what I call my podcast-pitch meetings. And these are, essentially, where we meet from time to time to discuss the upcoming podcast batch. And this process has evolved into one heck of a well-oiled machine. So that got us thinking, “I bet our audience would, like, eat up this process.” So again, whether you have a podcast or you hope to start one in the near future, or even if you're just trying to figure out a system to stay on top of creating your weekly content, this episode is for you.  

So during this episode, I'm going to walk you step by step through how we prep for that podcast-batch meeting and, basically, what we do post meeting to get the show on the road, because we've had years to perfect this process, and it's pretty stellar, if I don't say so myself.  

But here's something important I want to say going into this episode: it doesn't matter if you're a solopreneur, if you have a team, this process applies to both types of people. So sure, you'll skip a few things here and there or revamp one of the steps if you're rocking and rolling that solo entrepreneur life right now, but you'll still get amazing results from creating and sticking to a process just like this when it comes to creating your content.  

I remember my early days of always thinking, “I'm going to get to it. I'm going to record my podcast this week. I promise I'm going to get to it,” and then the end of the week would happen, and I literally didn't have an episode to release the next week, which is why, if you go way, way, way back to my first few episodes, they were very sporadic. They were definitely not weekly. It's because I didn’t have a process.  

So this process will help to nip that in the bud. It sure has for me. So just keep that in mind as we chat through these five steps.  

Oh, there's even a free resource in this episode, so stick around to snag that, because I think you'll find it very valuable, and you don't have to take notes for what I'm going to share with you because you can get the resource. So let's go ahead and jump to it.  

All right, first up, step number one is to get prepared for your upcoming meeting. So just a reminder that I have a team to support me, but using these similar processes, even if you're a solopreneur or maybe it's just you and one other contractor or whatever it might be, it will help you immensely as you continue to grow. So remember, setting up systems early will only set you up for success when you start to build your team. So it's never too early to have a system, even if you're a solopreneur. Actually, it's the smart way to go.  

So for my senior content-marketing manager—that's who is managing all of this—she will actually create an Asana task, where she provides my executive assistant, Christine, with a specific date range that she'd like to pitch the meeting. So she'll say, “Okay. These are the dates, this is the range where I'd really love to have this meeting.” And then Christine could go to my calendar, go back to Kylee and say, “All right, this is the date that will work.”  

So we work about six to seven weeks ahead of a batch that's going live. So Kai will count back six to seven weeks from the first episode that's going to air in this batch, and that will create the range that she provides for Christine. 

Now, we always set aside an hour for this meeting. Sometimes it only takes about forty-five minutes. The meeting is a big deal. This is important to this whole process.  

Now, to keep things organized and so that we don't have to go back and figure out the flow of dates, like, time and time again, Kai also adds a task, at that same time that we're making the meeting, for me to download. Don't worry. This is something I'm going to share all about later in this episode, so stick around. But right after this meeting, there's a date on my calendar soon after, like, a day or two after, where I have to do some downloads. And we'll talk about that. But we get those on the calendar in advance.  

I'm telling you, one of my big secrets to success is as long as it's scheduled, it is real. Even if it's, like, “I need thirty minutes for Amy to review this in two weeks,” that's when I'm going to be done with it, it's going to be on my calendar, and it's going to get done. So we schedule everything.  

So my goal is to always get the download to Kai within, sometimes, the same day or just a few days later. So it's important because it's going to be fresh in my mind. I'm just coming off the meeting. We just talked about it. Now I'm going to download about it so she can create the outline. So it's important that I download really quick after the meeting.  

She also provides the date she'll be reviewing the scripts, which is about two weeks after the pitch meeting, give or take. And then, she provides a date range for when I'll be recording this batch. So we have all of this. So from the meeting to my download to when her outlines or scripts are going to be done to when we will actually be recording it, all of those dates are in the calendar. And if Christine needs to find some date, she'll give her a date range and say, “Can you make it happen during this week?” or whatever it might be. So that part, really important.  

So let me run through that timeline for you once again, because I'm kind of all over the place giving you a lot of information. We hold our pitch meetings six to seven weeks prior to a batch of podcasts going live. I provide her a download later that day or a day or two later, and then, she has two weeks to write the outlines, at which point she'll review and finalize them for recording. And then, I will record within the week that follows her finalizing the scripts. And that's pretty much it. So by sticking to this schedule, she can plan out this process far in advance.  

And this has served us well because Kai has gone on maternity leave. And so because we've had this process and because the fact that she's going to be gone—she's literally gone right now—for three months, we were able to really get ahead of things so that while she's gone, we still have two episodes every single week. So once you have a good schedule and life throws you curveballs or opportunities come up or someone gets pregnant and is going to go away for twelve weeks, well, we can use the same process to get way ahead.  

So this is going to be kind of wild, but right now we are in April of 2023, and every single one of my batches, how I just explained it, is in the calendar for the rest of the year. So if you go into October, you'll see when I'm having my podcast-batch meeting. You'll see when I'm downloading about podcast episodes. It's all in there for the rest of the year.  

Now remember, we're talking about the creation of weekly content here, so scheduling out your batching far in advance will only make it easier to make sure you are creating that content. And hey, sometimes things change after we've scheduled them—Kai hates that, but it does happen—but at least you have it on your calendar. And if you need a little wiggle room, you can take it, but you won't be scrambling to find time to commit to creating your weekly content at all times. So moving things around once in a while, that's life. But I really do try to just stick with the dates that are in the calendar.  

Now, the next thing that we prep is the pitch docs. So once we've got all the dates in the calendar for the next batch, we prepare a pitch doc. So when I say we, it's really Kai. So Kai has been doing this part for, like, three and a half years now, but she's passing the torch to our new content-marketing project manager. Her name's Mallory. But guess what. This process is going to stay the same. So about one week prior to the pitch meeting, we’ll go in—I keep saying we, but I actually don't do this part—Kai, now Mallory, will go in, and they're going to update this doc that we use every single meeting.  

And this is the free resource that I mentioned earlier. So I'm going to give you this resource so that you know how to put together a pitch meeting.  

I'm about to run you through how this doc actually looks. Because I'm a visual person, I wanted you to have a template that you can use as well. So you could follow along right now, but then, I'm going to share it, and you can grab it. So, that's where you want to go to get this template to do your own pitch meeting, and it will make it a whole lot easier.  

So here's how it looks. At the very top, you find the batch number. And we're actually working in the fifties right now. So in one batch, we have a minimum of twelve episodes. So it's, like, batch fifty-two. There's always twelve episodes, if not more, in every batch, because remember, I do two episodes a week. So that would be six long episodes—this would be considered a long episode—and then, six Shorty episodes. And then sometimes we'll have a bonus sneak in here or there. Let's say I have a friend, and they have a book coming out, and they want the episode to be on a certain date, and I can accommodate it, we might have to add it as a bonus. But I try to stay away from bonus weeks because we actually found that when we had three episodes a week, it was too much. People felt overwhelmed. So I like having one on Tuesday, one on Thursday, and that's it.  

So essentially, every batch we do will run over six weeks. So if we finish a batch, we've got six weeks of content, two episodes a week. That's our goal. And we've done this fifty times now. I started batching a while ago, but not from the beginning. For many years, I did not batch, and that's why I struggled with it. But we're on, like I said, like, fifty-two or something like that, batch. So we’ve done this a lot, which is why I felt like I was ready to teach you how I did it, because it's something that really works for us.  

Okay. So, let's go back to that doc. So we've got the batch number at the very top. And then, Mallory will include the go-live dates. So again, it's a span of six weeks, and those dates are followed by any important dates or happenings or promos that fall within this specific batch. So if it's batch fifty-two, she'll give me the span of the six weeks, the dates of when the batch starts and when the batch ends. And then, like, for example, if there's a holiday, we add that to the top, or if we're doing a promo. So you can bet that we're going to point that out. So that way, when we start to talk about content, we're like, “Oh, wait. This is when we're doing List Builders Society promo, so probably the episode this week should be about list building.” So when you enter your promos on this document that are happening during those dates, you get better at choosing content that is aligned with what you are selling. So that's a really big deal to know your promos in advance and then match up your content with the promos that you're doing. It's always served us well.  

And then, also, like, holidays are important too, because sometimes these dates impact our episodes, sometimes they don't, but just better to be safe, like, what's happening.  

And then, also, themes. Like, Pride Month is in June, so we might want to do a special episode in June to align with Pride Month. Or we don't have to. We could do that episode—I think it's important not to just celebrate Pride in June—but you can just be aware, “Oh, this is coming up.” So Black History month is coming up. Can we do something extra special that month? That kind of thing. So we're always looking to kind of match our content with different themes as well.  

Now next, you'll find any announcements. I'll share more about that in a bit. But it's good to have this section in this Google Doc, like, announcements, especially if you're working with a team or you have someone else creating these topics for you. And then I'll talk about announcements.  

But then, after that, there's a grid with two columns. The left column includes the episode number, go-live date, and if it's a Tuesday Shorty or a Thursday long episode. So the grid is generally two columns, twelve rows, unless we have a bonus in there. So she fills out all of these dates and episode numbers beforehand so it's ready for our meeting.  

And then from there, she'll start with the main pitches. And these are broken down into three sections: Shortys, long episodes, and then, guest episodes. And I'm not going to go into a ton of depth about how to come up with content ideas, because that's something we've talked a ton about on this podcast. But if you need more guidance on, how do you come up with your ideas for your podcast? then I've got an episode, let's see, episode 409, “From Social-Media Posts to Weekly Content: Create Your 3-Month Content Calendar Step By Step,” one of my most popular podcast episodes. So  

I will, however, share how we organize the topics in the doc. So my team pretty much provides me with a very working title—like, it's not set in stone—just to get the main point across of that specific topic. And they will then give a few bullet points or questions to give me an idea of what the body of the episode would include. And it's not super fleshed out, but just an overview.  

So remember, the point of this meeting is to come up with our twelve topics for the batch. And one thing I'll say is that whenever you have an episode idea for your podcast or, heck, any weekly content you're creating outside of when you're planning the content, you have to document it. You will never remember. Especially if you're like me, getting into your forties or higher, it's really hard to remember stuff if you don't write it down.  

So what we do at the bottom of this pitch document, we have a treasure trove of ideas that we can always lean on and refer to when creating the pitch topics. And any time an idea comes up, I grab the Google Doc. I have it bookmarked on my computer. I'll just type it in. Same thing with Kai, and Mallory will do the same. So that way we're not always like, “Oh my gosh. We’re staring at a blank screen, like, ‘What are we going to do for these twelve episodes?’” We think about ideas all month long. So if you find, like, a good article that you want to speak to or there's a topic on your heart, whatever it is, just add it to the document.  

Now, one thing we do as a team is any time we have a cool promo or a cool, like, something really cool, like I did a whole episode on paid bootcamps, or if we have this really cool process or step by step, we make sure to give Kai details about it. So we include, like, what it was, the goals, the results, step-by-step process, and all the things that she can create an episode around. So any time a really good thing happens in our business that we want to document it and teach it, we'll give her all the information, and then, she could create an outline for me. 

So, if you have a team who might be seeing or in the thick of things with you, like, seeing what's happening, encourage them to come up with ideas that you could share on your podcast.  

All right. So that's how we prep for this meeting. That was a lot of upfront work, but it makes the meeting so seamless once you kind of, like, get going, so just wanted to kind of point that out. Again, you can grab the template so you don't have to remember everything I just taught you, and it's so much easier if you see it. 

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All right, next up, step number two, it's time to kick off the meeting. So as you can imagine, after we hop on—and we do this in a Zoom meeting so we can see one another—we start at the top of the doc, with important dates and any announcements. I know I mentioned the announcements in step one, but let me give you some examples of what that might be. 

So Kai will often get email pitches that pique her interest. Oftentimes, she's good about deciding if they're a yes or a no. Like, people will pitch to be on my podcast. But sometimes she has questions for me, like from a relationship standpoint. Sometimes we need to fulfill a podcast swap, so she'll bring those to me in the announcements part. And then, she'll also share, like, fun stuff that, like, we hit our highest month of downloads, or we got an award for the podcast, or things like that. So she'll kind of fill me in. So we'll just start with any kind of questions she has about different relationships I have with people. Her least favorite thing is when I tell someone they can be on my podcast, but I haven't told her that. So she'll be like, “Did you tell so-and-so they could be on our podcast? because I don't have any record of it.” I'm notorious for that. So we just talk about that all at the beginning. Any questions she has, she just gets them out right away. Anything she needs to tell me, gets it out right away.  

And another thing to touch base on is any promos, like I mentioned, that we’ll be delivering in this batch. So she'll remind me, “Okay. We've got a List Builders Society promo that's in this batch. Here are the dates. We need to pay attention to these two episodes and find out if we want to align them with our promo.”  

And then, another thing, like, we did a promo with Jenna Kutcher about her podcast promotion. We did a promo with Pat Flynn about how to build an affiliate campaign. And so if we are aligning or partnering with other people, we might have them on the show, so we have to remember they need to be on the show during these dates because that's when we're promoting their programs. So that's another thing that we pay attention to.  

And then in the grid that Kylee set up, that template that you can get access to, Kai will add asterisks next to the episode and the date where the promo will need to be fulfilled. So she really calls it out, to be, like, “This actually needs to stay here. There's a reason why we're airing it on this date.”  

All right. So moving on to step three, time to review topics. Now, this is the fun part. So we just start with the Shorty episodes. And then the reason we do this is that, believe it or not, we spend most time on these. I don't know why it is. Well, maybe it's because they're personal to me. So these are every Tuesday. They're twenty minutes or less, every Tuesday. It's just me. And I like to share, like, what I go through as an entrepreneur, and I like to give you a little sneak peek into my personal life.  

And I also am the most vulnerable in those Shorty episodes. There's actually one I did that I've been thinking about for a week. Like, did I overshare? Do I need to rerecord that episode? So I tend to get off on my Shorty episodes. Like, “That felt very vulnerable. Maybe I want to edit some of that out.” I usually do not. Okay. I never do, actually, but I think about it. So just know that those are a little bit more raw; real; super-loose, loose outlines, if I even have one. And so they're just a different vibe than my Thursday episodes.  

So as you can imagine, my team's going to need a lot of input from me on those Shorty episodes, and I need to make sure that they just, like, feel good. So I get the overarching topic and a few bullets, and sometimes I ask Kai or Mallory to explain a little bit more in depth what they mean on the meeting. Like, I'll see the topic, I'll see a few bullets, and I'll be like, “Ooh, where did this come from? What were you guys thinking here?”  

So there's a lot of discussion about our Shorty episodes. And it's a great time for me to share some ideas or kind of let the topic evolve. So I don't want to be rushed here. I like the banter, going back and forth with my team. Like, we could talk about this, or we could talk about this, and just define that topic that's going to be gold for our audience.  

So if you have a person or two on your team that knows you well and knows the business well, I highly recommend that they are in the meeting with you so you can flesh out these ideas. If you have to do it alone, totally get it. But the minute you have someone on your team that can pitch and catch and understand your ideal audience and the challenges they go through, get them to be on this meeting with you.  

And honestly, sometimes we review all the Shorty topics, and we're, like, an episode or two short. And again, we just start bantering and often land on some amazing topics. So the meeting is important. But again, we don't come to the meeting with no ideas. Like, my team is laying out, “Here's ten ideas. And what do you think, Amy?” And then I might be like, “I like these five. I don't like these. But here's another idea I had.” That's kind of how it goes.  

We always joke that we should really just grab a glass of wine and sit down for a chat and, like, see what comes up for the surface. That’s kind of what it feels like, and we’re kind of laughing through it and having great conversation.  

So as we, again, move through each of the topics, I give a yes, maybe, later, or no, That's essentially what I say. I love it, yes. Maybe I like it; we'll see what the other topics look like. Maybe I want to do this one, but not for this batch. Or no, I don't like that topic.  

And the reason I say later is that sometimes we have a great topic idea, but it's not ready to be shared with the world. Have you ever heard me talk about scars and scabs? A scab—if you think this is really gross. I've talked about this before—let's say you fall and you skin your knee, and it's a scab. It's oozy. It's gooey. It's kind of gross, right? You got to put a Band-Aid on it, might be bleeding. It's not a really great sight. But within a week, two weeks, a month, now it becomes a scar. And so it's healed over. It's going away. It's not really charged up. You know, it's not oozy goozy anymore. What's oozy goozy? I don't know. It's a new phrase. Start using it. So you get the point.  

I don't like to share my scabs. I actually don't think it's responsible to do so. When it's a scab and it's oozy, it means metaphorically I'm in it. I haven't really figured it out yet. I don't have a lot of solutions. I'm not out on the other side. I'm deep in it. It's emotional. It's vulnerable. And it's like a reality show. You can see me be kind of a mess or sad or upset, but there's really no value beyond that. And as a guide—I like to be your guide—I prefer to share the scars. They're still honest. I will share the mistakes behind an issue. I will share how I felt. I will share my vulnerability. But I've also come out the other side, and I can share how I did that and how I'm feeling now and the insight and the thoughts I went through to get to the other side. As your guide, I think it's responsible that I show you a way, but also be honest with how hard it was or what I went through to get there.  

So because of that, a topic might come up on that list, and I think, “Ooh, it's still a little bit scabby. I'm not really ready to share until that kind of forms the scar there. So we'll table it. I know I want to share it. I'm just not ready.”  

And then, it might not be a scab or a scar, but a topic comes up, and I'm like, “Ooh, save that for September, when Digital Course Academy comes out, because I want to share that story for people thinking about creating a digital course.” So we'll put a note to bring it up at the next batch.  

Oh, and one more thing. As we banter back and forth, my team is always writing notes of what we're saying. So this helps when it comes to writing the outlines. And when I give my download, it's going to help as well. So my team is really good with just writing notes next to each idea, whether it be something I said yes to or later; or if it's a no, we just delete it.  

Okay. So hang tight because I talked a lot about me downloading. I’m going to get to that.  

So after the Shortys have been selected, we move on to the long episodes and the guest episodes. These are pretty straightforward and have a similar flow to the Shortys but with less banter because the topics are a bit more set in stone. For the long episodes, it's most often a step-by-step process, like I'm doing right here. And for the guest episodes, we often already have a topic based on their expertise. However, sometimes I will ask for a specific topic I want to talk to this person about or a specific question I've been dying to ask them, and I'll mention that in the meeting. And that's really, like, the bulk of the meeting. We just go through all their ideas that they're bringing to the table that they've collected over the last month, and it is their responsibility to put ideas in front of me. I will always give my ideas, but I'm looking for them to lead the way.  

Now, moving on to step four—we've only got two steps left—step four is arranging the episodes into the schedule grid at the top of the document. So once you get this document through my resource—again, You'll see this grid that we created to put the schedule together. At this point, we just start plugging in episodes into where they make the most sense. Again, most episodes can go wherever we want, with the exceptions of those promo episodes or any episodes I promised to somebody that it would come out at a specific time. I'm very sensitive to that now, because when you're an author and your book’s going to be released, you want it coming out the week your book is released. If I can accommodate someone for that, I will. 

The nice thing about having all this all laid out to review is so you can see where there might be, let's say, back-to-back guests. Like, sometimes I like to have a guest, then I like to have a solo episode the next week. So if we have too many guests on the podcast, that's also not ideal. Usually, these solo episodes that I do step by step like this do better than anything else, so we want to make sure that we have these episodes. You all tend to like them, so we like to make sure that we have a lot of these step-by-step episodes. And then, again, maybe a guest who is an expert at something that's a little too close to a promo we have coming up, we got to separate those as well.  

So it's really important, once you've got all your topics, let's say twelve, in my case, that we map them out in the schedule and make sure they're where we want them to be. So this schedule is fluid at this point. It's still subject to change and often does, but it's nice to kind of just put it down and say, “Okay. What do we think about this?” 

And then once we organize the schedule, we look at it as a team and we say, “How do you feel? Are we excited about this? Do we want to talk about these topics? Will I enjoy this? Will my audience enjoy it?” So we, basically, just do a big review. We, then, set in stone, and we say, “Okay. This is what we're doing.” And we do our very best to stick with it, because if we keep moving things around after that point, it just gets too confusing. 

And then, next up, download time. This is step number five. It’s the final step. It's time for me to download. So the first thing Kai does after the meeting is she goes into Asana and she fills out the content-download task that has already been prepared. I know it's already coming. It's already scheduled, usually, like, for the next day. Essentially, she gives me a few topics that we decided on that she'd like a little bit more information or insider, behind-the-scenes guidance on, and I'll do a download about this.  

And I learned this from my Tony Robbins’s days. So I created a lot of content for Tony and for those events. But it always came from Tony. And this was important for me to see behind the scenes because, you know, especially many of you are a personal brand. And so if I'm going to teach something on a podcast, I need to make sure that that content feels real to me, like it's in my bones and that I'm not reading some foreign script or outline that doesn't even feel like me.  

And so when I worked for Tony, if he had an idea for something we were going to do on stage, he'd say, “Okay. I'm going to do a download.” And he would, back in the day—this is a little behind the scenes of working for Tony. I am sure this is not how they do it. But remember, I've been away from that world for, like, fourteen years—so, like, fifteen, sixteen years ago, how it would work—this is so random—there would be a telephone number that he would call. And I would come in in the morning—and I forget what it was even called. The dictaphone or something. I forget—and I would go into this little office, and I would see if there were any messages. And I have to be honest, working for Tony, I was always a little bit nervous. So every time there was a message, I was always a little nervous. And so he would literally get on a landline, and he would call another landline, and it would come in to this, like, answering service. But this answering service would let him talk for, like, up to an hour. And so there'd be a download, usually almost every morning about something, and I would have to send it to get it transcribed. And then, I would review the whole thing and then turn that into content. So he's always thinking. It’s like his Batline. And so, essentially, that's what I do here because I want this to be content that comes from me.  

So what I will do is I will look at the topics that need a download, and I'll just go to my phone, the voice memo on my phone, and I will just talk, and I'll say, “Okay. Here's an idea I have for this,” or “Here's what I would include here,” or “Look for a study that has to do with this,” or “I was having a conversation. I'd like to include the details of this conversation into this episode.” So they hear, in my own words, what I would like to include in each episode. And I don't have to do this for every single episode, like if it's a step-by-step episode. I didn't do it for this one because this is a process we use all the time. So Kai was able to put this together, knowing this is our process. But if it's a topic she's not really familiar with because it's more personal to me, I need to download. 

And also, the Shorty episodes tend to be a little bit more personal, and sometimes they're tough topics. Like, I did one where I recently talked about my mother-in-law dying during my book launch. And it was important for me to download about it, to say, like, “How do I want to talk about this?” Then, when it's in an outline, it's more thoughtful. And so I think it's important to get my thoughts in place before I deliver them to you because I don't want to waste your time. And so these downloads kind of help me organize my thoughts as well and just get clear on what I want to record.  

Okay. So back to the task. Kai will look over the topics we decided on, select the ones that she knows she's going to need some more guidance on, she puts them into that Asana task, and then I download. And like I said, it's very rare she'll need a download for a long solo or guest episode. It's really these Shorty ones that she's going to want a lot of insight. That way, the good thing is I'm only recording for, like, ten minutes versus, like, an hour or whatever it might be.  

Okay. So once I go into the task, I just work my way through the list, give her all the audio downloads she needs. And the reason we try doing these later on the same day or the next day is, again, it’s fresh in my memory. And also, I've had time to step away and have a fresh perspective for Kai on these topics. And then, also, remember, her outlines need to be completed in two weeks’ time, and that's twelve scripts with two four-day workweeks, so my team needs to hit the ground running right away. So I can't wait, like, a week to give them a download.  

So once I'm done with the downloads, I hand them back to her, and she either uses them herself or links them up in a task for writing these outlines and hands them over to whoever is supporting her, because she does have a little help as well from Mallory now, and we have a contractor that helps us with outlines as well. And then from there, the script-writing process kicks off, and the rest is history. It's very organized.  

But here's what I'll say: when it comes to your weekly content, you need a system. I don't care if you're brand new to the entrepreneurial game or if you've been here a while. If you don't create a system or some kind of process that prioritizes your weekly content, it will fall off the radar too easily. Like, I know some of you think I'm way too regimented. I know, like, I get teased all the time, like, “Oh, Amy's always got a plan. She's always got a system,” and the teasing’s fine. But I also know that without a plan, you are going to flounder. Don't wear a badge of honor that you're loosey goosey, or you just do things off the cuff, or you're always changing things.  

I had a friend recently say, like, “I never really have a plan.” And I thought, “Imagine what you could do if you did. Imagine how much more important work you could do if you had some systems to get things done more efficiently and faster and more consistently.” I'll tell you right now, if you are struggling with consistency with your weekly content, it's because your plan is not working, either it’s nonexistent or you got to tighten that thing up or add to it or whatever it is you're struggling with.  

This is worth your time. Your weekly content is the weekly lifeline to your audience and your main way to build a trusting relationship with your team. So taking the time to create a strong creation process, whether you're writing blogs, creating podcasts, or creating videos, it should be a priority. And once it's done, you can put it into action and don't have to worry about it. So now I will step off my soapbox.  

Okay. So, are you ready for your action items? Now, I realize this was a doozy of an episode, and if you're a note taker, you probably took tons of notes. But we're going to review all of this before I let you go. So take what you need, leave the rest, but create a plan, and just use mine for inspiration. It doesn't matter if you're a solo team or you've got a team of twenty, get your process dialed in and stick to it. I promise it gets easier with time.  

So from the top, step number one, prepare for your meeting. Remember that you can head to my show notes, and grab the pitch-meeting template that we use. Step two, kick off the meeting and review dates and announcements first. Step three, review all of your topic ideas and take some time to make sure they feel right. The back-and-forth banter I think is important. Step four, arrange your topics into a schedule. So do this now. Don't push it off. It feels really good that you have everything organized and knowing when each episode is going to go live. And then, step five, if you're working with a team, download for them so that they can help you with those outlines.  

Follow that process, and you'll be on your way to seamlessly creating your weekly content and saving you from a lot of headaches.  

So here's what I want you to do. I want you to take this process, shift it into something that will work for your business. Start by looking at your calendar and setting aside some time for a meeting, whether that's time for you to brainstorm, like if you're a solopreneur or with your team. Have the meeting with yourself if you're a solopreneur. From there, follow through with the remaining steps, and you've got this.  

And also, remember, creating content can be a lot of fun, and it's a whole lot more fun when you're not on the hamster wheel, trying to be consistent. Put a plan together so you're just naturally consistent.  

Thanks so much for joining me. I can't wait to see you same time, same place, next week. Talk to you soon. 

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