Strategically growing your podcast with Debra Coleman

Τhis week’s brand new episode hosts Debra Coleman, and it’s one of these experiences that you definitely don’t want to miss. In this intriguing discussion, Debra shares the reasons for stopping her previous podcast and starting a new one, called Have A Seat...Conversations with Women in the Workplace. She really enjoys talking about her show, as well as helping others level up theirs, and this is unquestionably noticeable during the entire interview. Debra reveals the top tips that made her podcast grow and urges the listeners to follow them to improve their shows’ quality. Tune in for the real talk, and learn more about using the right resources to improve your podcast! *Scroll down for further information*

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Strategically growing your podcast with Debra Coleman

About our Guest

Debra Coleman

Debra Coleman is the host of the “Have A Seat…Conversations with Women in the Workplace” podcast, a show she created to motivate women to share their professional journey in a fun and supportive way. Debra is an always curious administrative professional with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from California State University, and the last three years has been involved in the podcast industry. She is a Founding Member of NABAP – The National Association of Black Administrative Professionals, one of the fastest-growing organizations in the administrative professionals’ field. According to her, she is an executive assistant in her day job and a podcaster by night. Debra gets excited about trying new things and opportunities, as well as building partnerships, assets that helped grow her podcast business. One of Debra’s most remarkable mottos on the show is “It’s time for the real talk!”. Source

Smooth Podcast_Debra Coleman: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Smooth Podcast_Debra Coleman: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Smooth Podcast Intro:
All the technical busywork required to produce a podcast can be a struggle, establishing trust with clients and increasing sales for your company with your own podcast is something you can do well. We interview the top podcasters in the industry to provide hacks and insights to help you start and scale your podcast. Welcome to the Smooth Podcast!

Martín Acuña:
Everyone, welcome back to the Smooth Podcast! Today's guest is Debra Coleman. She is the creator of a podcast called Have a Seat… Conversations with Women in the Workplace. She created this podcast as a way for her to engage in weekly conversations with women about their career journey and share them in a fun and supportive way. It's time for the real talk, that's one of her mottos over at her podcast, and it's just amazing. She hopes that the show will allow to come in and have a seat vibe minus the wine, or depending on the day, right, Debra?

Debra Coleman:
Correct.

Martín Acuña:
But, this podcast is judgment-free. So Debra, thank you so much for coming over. We are really honored and excited to have you. Welcome to the Smooth Podcast!

Debra Coleman:
Oh, well, thank you. Thank you, everybody at Smooth, and thank you, Martin, for getting, arranging this, and inviting me on, I'm so excited! I love to talk about all things podcasting. It's, it's just a fascinating topic. I like to geek out over it, so I'm too happy to be here for sure!

Martín Acuña:
First question for you, Debra, why did he choose to start a podcast?

Debra Coleman:
That is a great question, and I don't get asked that very often, so I really appreciate you going there. To be fair, I was a part of a podcast, 2018, that was hosted by three of us, by three women. I am an administrative professional, specifically, an executive assistant in my day job, and a podcaster by night, is what I like to tell people. So I partnered up with these two other women and our goal was to talk to executive assistants, you know, globally, nationally, internationally, and just do kind of what I'm doing now, get to know them, hear their experiences. And long-story-short, our goals for the podcast just sort of weren't aligned. I think to them, it really was just like a side, side, side hobby, like way off-Broadway type of hobby. And I found when we started, I really took it, I loved it. As I said, I was geeking out. I wanted to know like microphone and audio, and how do you do this, how do you do that? I was like, I was just deep diving. And much respect to them, they just had other priorities in their life. So we amicably parted ways, and I was scared. I thought, oh my gosh, I have to do something, I'm on my own now, you know, I'm, I'm sitting here by myself, but I didn't want to continue, out of respect for them, with the show because that was something we all created. I didn't think it was good to me to continue on my own. So I sat down with my husband and he said, hey, why don't you, like, do your own thing? You like to talk to women, you, whenever anybody comes into the house, you're always like, have a seat, let's, let's talk! What's going on with your life? What's happening? Maybe you should just do the same thing but in the podcast format. So in January 2019, my podcast was born. So right after the holidays, I just looked at that big red button and just hit start, just hit record, and just took off. So, kind of how I got started.

Martín Acuña:
It's been a wild ride since then!

Debra Coleman:
Yes, it has. It has been a wild ride. But one that I have loved, loved, loved, loved, loved learning. Yeah, it's been amazing!

Martín Acuña:
So it's been a little bit over two years since your podcast went up. How has that idea evolved through time?

Martín Acuña:
I have to backtrack, I apologize. It was 2020. I'm so sorry. I have like post-pandemic brain. I started in January 2020. The idea formed like late '19, and then I get to start in 2020. So that's where the 2019 came from. I'm sorry.

Martín Acuña:
No, don't worry. So it's been over a little bit over a year.

Debra Coleman:
Correct.

Martín Acuña:
How has that idea started, and more with in the middle of the pandemic?

Debra Coleman:
I know it, I know. It was crazy, crazy town. It has grown, I have grown personally, but also my show has grown. I mean, honestly, like this was not the mic I started with, I didn't even have this arm, I like, I didn't even have these. It was just

Martín Acuña:
The headphones.

Debra Coleman:
Yeah, exactly. And you know, with every, to be fair, like with every show, every month, after every edit, every promotion, every conversation, I stop, I take inventory and say, how can I do better? And then I just improve. And I take it in bite-sized chunks. I listen to experts like yourself, teach me, like how to think strategically long term, but then I break it down into how I can do better, like after every show, after every promotion. And it has just from, like last year to now, oh my gosh, and I'm sure you've heard this, I don't wanna listen to my early shows, oh my gosh, I was so green, I was such a newbie! Like, oh no, that's like brutal! I don't even want to listen to that, you know? But you have to in order to grow, you have to do that.

Martín Acuña:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love it. I'm just imagining, since this is your, like hobby/serious gig in life, what is the number one way that podcasting has help you build your brand or boost your brand?

Debra Coleman:
Right, absolutely. Well, as you pointed out, my goal was to get to know women in the workplace specifically, and to give women, OK, I appreciate the coaches and the influencers and the experts out there, we hear from them all the time and it's lovely and they help us grow. But I wanted to give, like the everyday woman of their 15 minutes. And so by getting to know, especially with the pandemic, when everything shut down, but still being able to have those conversations and get to know women in their career path, it has been amazing. So to grow in that way, for me, it has, having those conversations has grown my brand because I've been able to continue those conversations and like, I like to tell my guests on the show of how giving me therapy lessons right now, like all the experts and coaches on that I've had are like, oh, that's how you brand better, OK, you know, oh, that's how you become better at your job, OK, you know. So having those conversations help me provide that information to others, like me, who may be needed but don't know where to go to get it. I've been happy to make those connections, the expert meet everyday girl, you know, and let's just form that connection and help each other out. But I have grown personally and professionally in this way because I have seen my show, specifically, the listenership is slowly increasing, my engagement with my audience, slowly I'm getting like that reply back. You know, we all have on our podcast websites or we should anyway that reach out to me, that contact me page,

Martín Acuña:
Absolutely.

Debra Coleman:
And I'm seeing a bit more traffic there. Yeah, a little more, a little more recognition, like, hey, I maybe want to be on your show. I, I'm not anybody special or famous, and I'm like, stop right there, yes, you are, you are special! Let's have you on, let's tell your story. It's OK. So I've seen a bit more engagement, but for me personally, I've learned not to look so much at the numbers. I'm sure experts as yourself will teach, you teach us, don't focus on those downloads, don't focus on those numbers because that's like a false narrative. Focus on your audience, on your engagement, on, you know, sure, we have like maybe 75 people downloading my show. That's OK. It's all right. Because I tell people this way, what if you were to open up your front door on any given day of the week and there were 75 people standing on your porch wanting to hear what you had to say for 20 minutes? Or 30 minutes, or 40.

Martín Acuña:
That's a lot of people!

Debra Coleman:
That's a lot of people!

Martín Acuña:
In, in your front porch? It would be, it would be overwhelming!

Debra Coleman:
Right!

Martín Acuña:
Like, if I had 75 people in front of me, it would be like, oh, OK, let's do this slowly.

Debra Coleman:
Right, exactly. That's a win. That's a win. So, oh, I've grown is, I've seen my show slowly grow, I've seen my engagement with my audience slowly grow, and then, of course, the guests I have on and the support they've shown, you know, when they are on a show and then they blast it to their socials, I mean, that's just like amazing to me, that you know, I'll see, Martin, oh my god, Martin talked about me, that's crazy. Like, I do a little fangirl because it's like, oh my gosh, this, like, expert is talking about me? That's crazy. So anyway, yeah.

Martín Acuña:
You just said something, that it happened to me too, that after our first episodes, we always say, oh, I was a little bit undercooked, a bit green, I was maybe not that prepared. In your experience, what has been the biggest mistake or the biggest lesson you've learned in podcasting? Because,

Debra Coleman:
I love it.

Martín Acuña:
I, I know that maybe you have a lot of stories, but just think about one or two you can tell our, our audience.

Debra Coleman:
Martin, the number one I, I, hands down, for me is editing. Editing a show, going back and listening to it. I, I know many, in the beginning, I was like, It's good, click, upload, done. You know, I don't have to do anything because I am perfect, my guest is perfect, everybody's perfect. No, no, no, no. Like, there's so much. That 60-minute show could legit, I now can edit down to 30 minutes because I take what the main focus of that show topic was down, and what I had to understand as an editor show is to review it and listen from a listener's perspective, not as a creator's perspective. If I'm walking or jogging or driving to work and I hit play, what do I want to take away? Get it down to the bare tactics, but not so much so that you're, like losing, you know, the messaging or you're being disrespectful to your guest, but editing, for sure. You got to be, it's hard, but you really got to be critical with yourself and, and really cut out the fluff, cut out the fat, so to speak, and get down to the messaging of your show. So editing number one.

Martín Acuña:
One thing that, that thing you just said, reminded me of a quote a long, long time friend told me once back in theater school, and it said, when we created something, sometimes we have to kill our babies and let them go. And that is totally fine. It's part of life. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And that is totally fine. And, and I think that, that is a really good advice for editing.

Debra Coleman:
Great advice. I like that, too. Sometimes you do, you've got to cut your baby down. I know it hurts, but, but if you, if done correctly, you will be so happy with the results you'll be happier.

Martín Acuña:
Yeah, absolutely.

Debra Coleman:
Yeah.

Martín Acuña:
So Debra, you told me earlier that you weren't monetizing your podcast at the moment, but maybe in the near future, you would want it to. How would you like to monetize it? How do you plan to?

Debra Coleman:
Well, gosh. If I were to, then it would be, it would look something like if I was offering a service or expertise in a certain area. I would maybe, right now my focus is having interview, is an interview-style show. If I were to think about monetizing, I would start to pepper in more of solo shows or like, I like to call them mini-casts, and offer more of my expertise in a certain area or a certain field, and maybe have that behind a paywall, if you want to learn more, if you want to, you know, maybe have me on or like have me present live somewhere. So it, it would look more like that, offer my expertise in a certain field.

Martín Acuña:
Awesome, I like it. And I think that's a very intelligent way of monetizing it. If you're offering a service, like you just said, use a paywall and that works out. So, yeah, Debra, last question before we close.

Debra Coleman:
Oh.

Martín Acuña:
I know, I'm having such a good time.

Debra Coleman:
Me too. And you're so good at this!

Martín Acuña:
Thank you. So what is your number one podcast hack or something you think people really should know about starting or growing a podcast? Because you've talked about editing, so that may be something previous to starting a podcast, but also you've talked about the followers of your podcast, do you have any other hack or tip that comes to mind, that pops up?

Debra Coleman:
Absolutely. And if you indulge me, I have two.

Martín Acuña:
Of course. Go ahead, please.

Debra Coleman:
So, a part of me is doing this on purpose because I've been just enjoying this conversation so much. But I definitely want to be respectful of your time, so I'll try to make it quick. But the first one is don't underestimate the value of having a podcast website. That is key. It's a place to house your shows, it's a place for listeners to go to engage with you and your guests, and it's a wonderful place for you to maybe have a blog, to have maybe like merchandise you can sell, to get subscribers, maybe if you have a newsletter. It's just such a wonderful virtual home if you will, if you can invite people in to get to know you better, to make you more human, so you're not, you're assumption to just that voice behind the microphone or that voice in their earbuds that they listen to on their drive home every day. So definitely, don't underestimate the power of a good podcast website. Also, when it comes to show promotion, take advantage of any sort of scheduling tools or resources that are out there. For example, when I have a new show coming up, all my shows are scheduled to be promoted on my Facebook page through my software, automatically. I don't have to scramble every Sunday, oh my gosh, please, Facebook, oh my gosh, post, oh my. It's all pre-scheduled. So take advantage, as you, you know, start to build your show and get more comfortable, really take advantage of that. I didn't do that early on and I was doing all the things, like every weekend running around like a mad social media woman trying to get everything posted, trying to like, oh my god. But if you can just pre-schedule a lot of that content ahead of time, learn how to do it, learn from experts, participate in webinars or just self-teach yourself. Those are going to be wonderful resources that you will really appreciate as your show starts to develop and you have more shows out there.

Martín Acuña:
And which tool program or app are you using for that right now?

Debra Coleman:
Oh, awesome!

Martín Acuña:
So our listeners can know about it?

Debra Coleman:
Yes, absolutely. I use currently Canva to create all my promotional materials, and they have a scheduling calendar built inside that you can then, like pre-schedule all of your social content to drop, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, whatever your platform is. And I also heavily, I'm a G-suite girl, love Google, and so they have a schedule send email function within their email. So all of my emails to my guests, I have pre-scheduled so they, I can schedule them out at a future date. So they'll go out, go out, go out. So really, that's what I use. So I use my email, pre-scheduling functions and then the content creator calendar function within Canva, has saved me a ton of time.

Martín Acuña:
Debra, this has been an amazing and wonderful conversation! You have given us and the audience so many great pieces of advice. Thank you so much for coming over. I cannot wait to listen to more of your episodes and yeah, I'm excited for you!

Debra Coleman:
Me too, me too! Thank you for having me on. This has been amazing. I'm so excited to share my little bit of my podcast well with your audience. And if there's ever anything I can do in the future to help your efforts out, just help Smooth Podcasting, please refer. Please come back. I would love it. This has been an amazing, amazing conversation.

Smooth Podcast Outro:
Thanks for tuning in to the Smooth Podcast. Be sure to visit us at SmoothPodcasting.com and follow us on social media for resources, show notes, and all you want to know about podcasting.

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  • Key Take-Aways

    • Different goals among podcast hosts make it difficult to keep the podcast running.
    • Try to keep a track of your progress, and constantly seek new ways to improve.
    • Debra enjoys sharing useful knowledge with those who are unaware of where to look for it.
    • Distract yourself from the numbers and concentrate on the most essential things, such as building engagement with your audience.
    • Evaluate your episodes from the standpoint of a listener rather than the creator.
    • Mastering your editing abilities can level up your podcast’s quality.
    • Offering expertise in a certain field and maybe putting that expertise behind a paywall might be a smart way to monetize your videos.
    • Making good use of your podcast website can level up your podcast in so many various ways. 
    • Pre-schedule a lot of your content ahead of time, to make your work well-planned, efficient and systematic.
  • Resources