If you’re ready to grow a business in BIG ways, podcast marketing is THE key to reach your audience, build connections, and set yourself apart as the go-to expert in your niche. In this episode, you’re learning why I started my podcast. PLUS, how to start a podcast for your business as well.
This week, I’m sharing an interview I did with Katherine Beck on her globally ranked show where I spell out why I started my podcast and why you need one too if you want to grow a business exponentially over the next 3-5 years.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL DISCOVER:
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This is the System's Made Simple™ Podcast. You're listening to the system's made simple podcast and this is episode 131. Recently, I was interviewed on the All American actors podcast by Katherine Beck about how to start a podcast. She also happens to be one of our very own podcasting students. And after we recorded this episode about how to start a podcast, I knew I had to share it with you.
Katherine Beck 2:44
Courtney Elmer, I remember seeing a post that you put out about a launch that you did for a beta program about how to start a podcast. And I thought, I really want to do a podcast with Courtney Elmer. I had been putting it off for so long. And it was the catalyst that provoked me to take that leap.
Courtney Elmer 3:01
I know and thinking back to that post about how to start a podcast, too, I remember you reaching out and you were like, Wait, this is like perfect timing, because this has been the thing that I wanted to do. And I think then, and we're about to get to this, turn a calendar into the next year, and you're like I'm doing this. So it's amazing to see how far you've come in that time. I wanted to say that before we dive into how to start a podcast.
Katherine Beck 3:27
Oh, thanks so much Courtney Elmer!
Courtney Elmer 3:31
Oh, well. You know, that is one of the things that drives me. And that's really why I do what I do. And we're a company that's dedicated to helping business owners get the systems and structure and support in place in terms of their team, so that they can scale to seven figures, and really experience that freedom that they got into business for in the first place. So many business owners are bogged down in the day to day of business, that they're really not spending time in their zone of genius. And this is where I found myself prior to opening my own business and teaching how to start a podcast.
I was actually working for someone else at the time as their operations manager helping them get systems and stuff in place in their business. And I got married, came home from my honeymoon. Two days later, went into a follow up visit with my doctor. And I will remember that day for the rest of my life. Because my doctor walked in that day and he had a new doctor with him and he introduced me to her and he said, This is so and so she's a thoracic surgeon. She's an expert at what she does. And she's now on your case. I'm turning your case over to her. And I sat there and I looked at him and a case what I have a case now who is that what is going on? She sat me down and she looked at me and she said Courtney, you have cancer and we need to operate as soon as possible.
The tests came back that this is an aggressive form of this cancer more aggressive than we usually see. And so your life is about to change. And I sat there, not knowing how much my life really was about to change in every way possible. But that was the turning point that led me to doing what I'm doing today. And what I realized, in hindsight, after going through treatment and recovery, and really having that time and space to slow down, and to evaluate how I was working, and to recognize that it wasn't working for me, and it wasn't aligned with my values, it wasn't aligned with my goals in life. And I certainly wasn't using the gifts and talents that I had been given, they were sitting over there on the side, going to waste. And I thought, I need to make some serious changes, nothing is going to change in my life until I change. So that's the background story and how that all really came full circle and why we do what we do today.
Katherine Beck 7:22
What was the catalyst for you to start a podcast Courtney Elmer?
Courtney Elmer 7:29
Yeah. So in the early days of my business, I was a mom, and a young mom, too. And young meaning like very green, like I had, you know, first child had my hands totally full. My newborn was at home with me full time didn't really have outside help. And this was also alongside when I had opened the doors to my coaching practice. So trying to grow this baby of a business and grow this baby of a human at the same time and figuring out what all of that was like. So one of the only ways that I would get hands free time during the day was to walk around the neighborhood, strap him in the stroller, put my air pods in and listen to podcast because I was trying to learn as much as possible about business at that time.
And I realized that I had all of this knowledge to share with people, especially drawing from my own life experience and all of these ways that I can help people. But social media wasn't doing it for me. And everything I posted there, I felt like was falling flat. It wasn't being heard, it was very difficult to try to cram what I wanted to say into a 250 word caption or like a eight word quote/
And it clicked for me one day, I said, you know, instead of being in the audience listening to these podcasts week after week listening to these hosts share their expertise and their knowledge. What if I could start a podcast of my own and create my own stage, build my stage, create an audience of my own and really go deeper with them to be able to touch on those topics that I wanted to really spend time unpacking, versus these quick little pieces of content on social media and an email.
So that's what got me thinking about how to start a podcast. But I sat on that idea for a really long time. And Catherine, I don't know if I've ever shared this story with you. But one of the biggest things that was holding me back from learning how to start a podcast was this fear of rejection. And chances are those listening have all experienced that to a degree. I know it's something that's pretty universal. We've all experienced that some more strongly than others.
But for me, it went all the way back to when I was nine years old. And when I can remember this like yesterday, it's crazy how vivid this memory is, but my mom was standing at the kitchen sink, she was washing dishes, my mom and I didn't have the greatest relationship growing up. I had a very loudmouth as it was labeled, I had strong opinions. I was bold, I would very outspoken. And when those opinions were not received, well, I would shout them louder. And so my mom, we were in this arguing match, and I remember this, I was like nine looking at her. And I was trying to make my point. And I'm standing there and like, stomping my foot and telling her and I was all sassy and everything.
And she looks at me, she goes, Courtney Elmer, your mouth is what gets you in trouble, go to your room now. And little did I know how much those patterns we know how many words that is that one sentence would impact the way that I showed up for the next 25 years. And so I was so afraid that what I had to say would not be received. I wanted nothing more than to help people. But at the same time, I was so afraid that if they didn't like me, if they didn't accept me, if they didn't agree with me, that essentially that message would fall on deaf ears, and it would all be worth nothing. And I didn't want to put my time and energy and effort into something that didn't pay off.
Katherine Beck 11:23
That makes so much sense Courtney Elmer why you used to script your podcasts. And now you don't. Yeah. Because you were so worried about doing something wrong, that the outcome would be rejection. Yes. So, Courtney Elmer how did you get past that point of scripting to not being so scripty and allowing yourself to probably open up and be a little bit more vulnerable and authentic, maybe with your audience? And not so worried about the outcome when you learned to start a podcast?
Courtney Elmer 12:33
Yeah, great question. And you hit the nail on the head. I mean, that is why I would say, I'm telling you word for word, not like an outline. But like 10 pages of script like to sit there and I would deliver it very well. And people would tell me, I would never have guessed that you were reading that. And so I kind of had this thing where I was like, Okay, I've got this knack for delivering this, people can't really tell that I'm scripting it so I can start a podcast and get away with it. But truthfully, I was hiding my own genius. And I was hiding my own power.
And I was creating a disconnect with my audience because of it. And in my journey through the years, personal growth, mental health has been very, very important to me. And I know, typically in the business world, we kind of categorize that as mindset. But I'm always doing some kind of work on my mind on the way that I think challenging my own thoughts, challenging my perspectives, challenging whether or not what I'm thinking or telling myself if that's actually true, and seeking to change those things that aren't serving me.
And so I had gotten this sense, this was after about, I'd say about a year after I start a podcast, scripting, every episode. And I got this sense that there was more that needed to be said, but I felt blocked. I don't know how else to describe it. I felt like I couldn't get away from this script that it was because that fear was so strong. But I knew that I needed to work on it.
And I think prior to that the awareness wasn't there. I was doing my thing, trying to figure it out trying to see what landed with people. But then once I had that awareness, I couldn't not work on it. I couldn't not look at it and shine a light on that fear and say what's really going on here, let's unpack this. So at the time I had someone that I knew is a vocal coach like yourself, and I did some work with her and she really helped me find that link. She helped me find that story that I told you, the nine year old girl that had been told her mouth is what gets her in trouble.
And she helped me recognize that that was a story that I had created for myself at that time to protect myself and of course So as soon as I recognize the story, it was like I knew that instantly, like I knew exactly what had happened there. And I got really excited because I was like, Okay, now I know what I'm dealing with. And rather than it being this background unconscious thing that I'm telling myself that I didn't even realize, now I know what I can work on. And so I started working on that.
And as soon as I started to get a taste of what that was, like, it became addictive, like, I can tell now, when I'm going through the motions of something. And it's usually when I'm trying to do an Instagram story and fit it into 15 minute, 15 seconds, you know, I'm like, Okay, how do you say what you need to say like, but it's like the connections not there.
But on a podcast episode, I can own pack that, and lean in and embody really who I am within. It's really difficult to describe and to put that experience into words is something you have to experience. But once I started experiencing that, I knew the difference. And so I didn't want to go back to the way I was doing it, because I recognized how limiting that that was. So that's really how I began to break away from that. And then practice and practicing. Really, yes, not using a script, but more so getting used to what that felt like,
Katherine Beck 16:41
yeah Courtney Elmer, and speaking, it goes from speaking from your head and letting your head do all the work. And then speaking from your heart, and from your intuition, and letting that propel you, which is a scary thing. And it's also an exciting thing, because you don't know what's going to happen next, you're so in the moment that you don't know what you're going to say next.
Courtney Elmer 17:04
Yeah, if you can be terrifying, but also really fun.
Katherine Beck 17:11
It is, it's lots of fun Courtney Elmer. But you can feel the difference. And I think that's what's most exciting. And maybe you've you know, potentially felt that even stronger. For example, if you spoke live on a stage in front of the an audience for an event or something. And you are so present in that now that when you finish, it's almost like you don't even know what happened you, you know, it was great. But you can't exactly remember what happened. And that's when you know that something magical has happened because you've been present instead of getting up in here up in the head.
Courtney Elmer 17:52
Yeah. And being a perfectionist by nature, I was always so worried about how I said what I said. And I was worried about how the words came across and getting the words . And because I was so focused on that, like you said in your head about it, I was totally on my head about it. And releasing that. And being able to speak was so freeing, and not having to worry if it came out the way. And I'm putting that in air quotes for those that are listening on audio now. Like, there is no way the way is when you're connected with it. And it comes from your heart.
Katherine Beck 18:32
Okay Courtney Elmer, so what I want to know is what was the point where you said, You know what, I want to do a podcasting program. How did that come about? I understand you had a moment where you thought I want to start a podcast. But then how did you go to say I want to start a podcast and create a program?
Courtney Elmer 19:24
Yeah, I love that you asked this question about how to start a podcast, because for the longest time, I couldn't figure out how the two were linked. I'm like, when they start a podcast, they pick a niche and focus on that, but I know I couldn't because I love both. So the link in the common thread between the two really is systems. And so in our main program, we teach business owners how to put the four systems in place that every business needs and that has to do with visibility and marketing, sales back in deliverability, how you're delivering on what you've promised, and operations which is all the other stuff that holds everything together. It's like the glue that holds it all together, your legal, your bookkeeping and all those types of things.
And so how to start a podcast, after I was podcasting for a while, I had a lot of people, colleagues, friends coming up to me asking how we grew the podcast so quickly and learned how to start a podcast. And I started showing them what we did. And they started getting better results than me when they would start a podcast. And I was like, Wait a second. How did that happen? But then that's when I kind of knew that I was onto something. And I said, Okay, well, maybe I could start teaching how to start a podcast.
And I thought, if I could teach a small group of people how to start a podcast, I could test out and see if this idea is even viable. So you were in that very first group. And that was the most fun, beta program that I have ever taught. Like, it was pretty fun. It was so much fun, everyone was so connected, everyone was learning so much the podcast that came out of that program, and the launch is the results and the rankings people were having was unbelievable. So I got really excited about that. And that was two years ago.
So now have been teaching how to start a podcast ever since, but struggled for that whole time to figure out how to link the two, because in my head, they were separate. And so I didn't know how to really put a cohesive message together to communicate what is it that I do? Because people some people would get the podcasting side, other people would get the system side, but like you asked in that question, like how do they actually link.
So what I discovered teaching how to start a podcast is that they are the best, most underrated marketing system that exists out there for growing your business. And to start a podcast is one of the most effective ways to drive leads to your business. And because of the know, like and trust that you're able to build with your listeners so much more quickly, then other marketing means like expensive ad campaigns or social media, dancing on reels and pointing to all the things, you're able to create this deep connection, which makes people trust you, which makes them want to take the next step with you and purchase from you much more quickly than it usually takes someone to go from cold lead to ready to buy.
And so because of that we were seeing leads come in, we were seeing our email list grow. We were seeing sales of people saying well, I was listened to your podcast and really love what you did. And so I applied for this program to learn how to start a podcast of my own. I'm like, great, I don't know you from Adam. But that's awesome, you know. And so this was happening. And this was not only happening for us, it was happening for our podcasting students, too, with their show. So I was seeing this time and time again. And I realized that starting a podcast can essentially replace most of the marketing you're doing in your business now.
And generate a steady stream of leads, and a steady stream of sales and traffic to your business. And when I figured that piece of it out and kind of gained clarity around that. I thought, Hmm, this is really interesting. So no longer is it something that's like this little side thing over here, quoting CGM podcasting, you know, whatever that is about. But truly it is a marketing system. It is a visibility system, which is simply one of the main pillars that we teach, you know, in our overarching program to systems and systematization is really the link and how to start a podcast, you can begin to grow your audience in a way that you would have never expected to grow it before and the connections that you create and the opportunities that it will open for you the doors that it will open for you. You you can't even imagine it in your wildest dreams.
So I'm a huge fan of learning how to start a podcast. And that is now how they link together. And it's perfect to because I'll say this, our vision for the effortless life 10 years down the road is to be an agency for entrepreneurs, where entrepreneurs can come and get help in all areas of their business, and even in some areas of their life.
And the common thread through all of the things that we eventually want to offer is systems. Because when you have a simple system, a simple process, a simple framework for doing things within your business, within your life, whether it's your parenting or your relationships, things do become so much easier, or I should say effortless, and they really do. And it's not about breaking things down into being robotic and systematize. Like that's not what I'm talking about at all, but I'm talking about having a flow, having a rhythm to your life, having clarity around where you're going, what you're doing, having a plan, knowing how to tweak that plan when the plan needs tweaking.
Katherine Beck 25:36
Oh, that's so good Courtney Elmer. And that's I think is what makes learning how to start a podcast in your program so great. It teaches you a very easy to follow system that you can tailor make to work for you and your business and gives you so much structure in your marketing to have one massive piece of content. And then you can utilize that and repurpose it in so many ways is incredible. And you're , it is incredible how many people will find you when you start a podcast and want to work with you because they heard you on your podcast, it really does set you up as being a voice of authority in your your fields and your expertise. It shows you to be an expert in a way that I think takes a bit longer on the other social media channels, don't you think Courtney Elmer?
Courtney Elmer 26:34
I agree. And on that note, too, about authority. It's kind of like writing a book, you know, when you write a book, and then you got that title author behind your name. When you start a podcast, it is as close as you can get to writing the book when it comes to building credibility. And when someone recognizes you as a host. There's something there that people understand innately that it takes a lot of work and time and dedication and heart and commitment and passion to be a podcast host you have to really love what you do to be a podcast host.
And so that immediately elevates your authority, it immediately gets people to look at you as the go to person for whatever it is that you do. Because I often paint the picture this way, you know, you can be a guest on other people's podcasts, which is a great strategy, by the way. And even if you're not sure, if you want to have a podcast of your own, start being a guest and be a guest more often, it'll get you comfortable with it, it'll help you clarify your message.
And you can be a guest for as many, many, many, many, many podcast episodes as you want on all other people's podcasts. But when someone goes to search your name, and on Google, they pull up all of these episodes that you've been featured on, but you didnt start a podcast of your own. There's something missing there. And it's not that they'll discredit you, they'll see that you're very active and you're very visible, and you've done a lot to share your message.
But having your own platform, when you start a podcast platform, with the podcast elevates that it takes all of that to the next level. And suddenly when someone sees it, oh, wait, look how many podcast she has been featured on and has a podcast of her own, like they're gonna go to your show to start listening to you and learning from you. So that's so powerful.
Katherine Beck 29:13
Such a perfect platform, especially if you want to position yourself as a leading authority in your your fields and be seen as a visionary. You know, to not be a follower, but to be a leader. And I think you said something Courtney Elmer, about being a podcast guest is great. But when you start a podcast of your own, that makes you a leader that makes you a visionary that makes you somebody who's creating their own thoughts and opinions and confident sharing it with the world. That's empowering, that's impactful. And it's not always easy, I think, especially when you first start a podcast it's a little bit scary, because you are putting yourself out there. But I think you'd agree with me Courtney Elmer, once you start a podcast, the easier it gets, and the more fun it gets.
Courtney Elmer 30:08
It is like anything new, there's a learning curve when you start a podcast. And I mean, you feel awkward when you're doing anything new for the first time. You know, I remember opening the doors to my business to do my very first sales call it like, that was terrible, oh, my gosh, you know, but I've gotten better at it as I go, my closing rate has gone up. Same thing when you start a podcast. And you know, you can link it to anything in your business, look at whatever you've done in your business with the first time look at my first Instagram reel, it was terrible, I probably even took it off of Instagram, it's like, it's not even Instagram worthy. So like that, you know that? Yes, there's a learning curve. But when you stay committed to it, you stay consistent.
So really the only two ingredients that are needed for success when you start a podcast in the podcasting space, you know, today's top podcasters didn't become the top podcasters by putting up a few episodes, here, there, take a break, put a few more. It's their consistency and their commitment to their audience that has attracted the audience that they have today. And so keep that in the back of your mind with podcasting. And here's another thing too. If you're listening to this, you're like, Hmm, maybe I should really think about learning to start a podcast from my business or my brand.
Yes, you should start a podcast, number one. But number two, I often hear this from people that yeah, I don't have the room to add anything else to my plate. And I get that. And we are all busy. And we all have so much going on in our business that we can't even think about adding one more thing. But it's not really about adding anything, it's about replacing what's not working with something far more effective.
Katherine Beck 32:40
Love it. So true Courtney ELmer. Curious to know from you, of all the podcast episodes that you've recorded, is there, one or two that are the most inspiring or impactful are like the ones that you remember? That was a great episode?
Courtney Elmer 33:33
That is a great question. Immediately, as you're asking me, I'm like thinking back, like, what's the actual episode number. So I can say when there's this one episode that I did, I'd have to say this has to be my all time favorite. And it was a solo episode. And I did this around the start of the year, this past year. So it was about three months ago at the time of this recording. And it was a reflection on the five biggest lessons I had learned over the course of the previous year. It was so special, to be able to share that with my audience.
Katherine Beck 35:11
Yeah, I remember that episode Courntey Elmer. That was a good one. So my last question is, what's been your best interview?
Courtney Elmer 36:48
It was with a guy named Brian Kramer. And I thought on that episode, I'm like, This is why I do what I do. This is why I do a podcast because and that was really the main personal motivation for me, in starting my own show was to create a deeper connection with my audience. It reminded me of why to start a podcast to begin with.
Katherine Beck 38:50
Well, thank you so much Courtney Elmer. It's been such a joy to catch up with you and hear more about your story and talk about how to start a podcast.
Courtney Elmer 39:01
Now coming up next week on the show, I have got a very special guest John Lee Dumas joining me to show you how he built an eight figure a year business with this podcast entrepreneurs on fire. He's also going to reveal why your business needs to start a podcast if you want to scale to the multi million dollar mark and be seen as an expert earned an authority in your niche so I'll see you back here next week until then feel live your EffortLESS Life®.