Towards the end of February, I got sick. It made me completely unproductive for four days as I battled against dehydration, an abnormally petite appetite, and vomit.
Those four days were not fun. It was painful to say much so most of my conversations with loved ones were in a Pictionary style.
When I got better, I realized how much my brand had changed over the years. Things were still moving even without my involvement.
Podcast episodes were edited and my show notes writer wrote the show notes. My Twitter still grew and my blog posts were scheduled further in advance.
Just two years before that stomach virus, things would have been different. I’d be in total stress mode trying to catch up to all of the work.
I’d have to schedule blog posts, edit episodes, and listen to those episodes as I wrote the show notes. I’d also have to do plenty of things that I’m not mentioning right now.
Throughout the year, you will need to take off from your business. On some days, you’ll be on vacation. You’ll want to completely unwind so you can approach your work with more vigor when you return.
Other days won’t be as charming. You might end up getting sick like I did in late February. You need to start setting up your business so it never takes a day off.
You’ll have to take days off, but your brand must never take an off day. How do you achieve that feat? I’ll reveal how I built my brand this way and how you can too.
Get Far Ahead
I always have enough podcast interviews done for at least one month. That way, if I get sick or go on a two week vacation, I still have a lot of material left.
Find any area where you can grow the buffer between starting time and the deadline. If you have three days of blog posts scheduled in advance, you’ll want to grow that buffer. That means you’ll write more blog posts and get further ahead.
If you need to write seven blog posts every week, strive to write 10 blog posts every week. That gives you three extra blog posts each week. In a month, you’ll have an extra 12 blog posts. In 2.5 months, you’ll have an entire month of blog posts scheduled in advance.
Now you can miss a week without worrying about blog posts getting published.
You can also schedule email broadcasts, social media posts, and podcast episodes in a similar manner. And this doesn’t just apply to scheduling content. Anything that can be scheduled in advance applies to this concept.
Reduce Steps In The Process
With each podcast episode, there are several steps to take it from an idea to a published episode:
- Contact a potential guest who agrees to be on the show
- Schedule a time and date for the interview
- Prepare for the interview
- Conduct the interview
- Edit the audio
- Write the show notes
- Schedule the episode for release
I have either delegated or simplified all of the steps within this process. Here’s my approach for each step. Pay careful attention to Steps 5 and 6.
Ask guests to refer guests my way. I also choose one day of the week to contact potential guests. I need at least 10 confirmed guests each week. I use an email rubric to contact potential guests.
I send a confirmed guest a link to my Acuity scheduler. This saves time from back-and-forth emails about timezones and finalizing a time and date.
I write up the guest’s bio, have a few cornerstone questions, and ask most of the other questions on the fly. After doing over 100 episodes, it’s easier for me to ask questions on the fly. If it’s the focus of the interview I read the guest’s book to come up with the questions (and I love reading so this isn’t a problem for me).
Nothing can be done to reduce time here. I could technically make interviews 15-20 minutes instead of 30-45 minutes, but that’s not my style.
I hand off the audio to my audio editor.
The audio editor sends the edited episodes to my show notes writer.
I schedule the episodes.
I want more of Steps 5 and 6 throughout my brand. I’m sure everyone does. The great thing about delegation is that it’s not as expensive as you think. You can use a site like onlinejobs.ph to find some of the top talent at an affordable price (under $10/hr).
Do More With Your Extra Time
There are two steps in the podcasting process that I don’t touch. On Twitter, all I do is interact with my audience. Everything else is handled by my team.
Speaking of a team of employees. That costs money.
Depending on how many employees you have, it can cost you thousands of dollars each month to pay salaries. In exchange for money, you give yourself extra time. You need to do things in your extra time that justify the salary expenses.
With my extra time, I created more training courses, landed more cross promotions to grow my email list, and generated more revenue through my products and affiliate products. If you spend thousands of dollars maintaining your employees’ salaries, you will have a lot more motivation to make a lot more money.
If there’s a part where you feel stuck (i.e. you don’t like creating the pages for your virtual summit), you can delegate that part of the process and commit to making more revenue from your virtual summit with your extra time.
Just because you take a break doesn’t mean your brand should take a break. Taking breaks allows you to recharge and approach your brand with more vigor. However, if your brand also takes a break during this time, you’re not impacting more people and spreading your message and values.
You should set your business up to work on autopilot. That way, even if you are sick, or much better, on vacation, your brand is still running and growing.
What are your thoughts on this approach to growing your brand on autopilot? Do you have any advice for us? Do you have a question for me? Sound off in the comments section below.