Episode 100: Show Notes
Holy moly guacamole! It’s episode 100! On today’s milestone episode, we have one of the most integral behind-the-scenes members on The Strategy Hour: Nicholette von Reiche. You might not hear her (or see her), but Nicholette is always buzzing around in the background as our business manager, graphics guru and tech ninja. Today, we’re talking all about growing a team, the state of TCC, what’s coming up for the podcast and all about the future of the biz.
We want to break down the TCC journey and let you know who has a role in the business. We can lift the curtain a bit to show you that it isn’t just us in here – but that it was just us for a long time! We have laid a lot of foundations over the course of our first business year and if you are currently laying the foundations in your own business, hopefully this will give you a glimpse into your future. We’re so excited about our first 100 episodes and we can’t wait to do a hundred more! Send the champagne, people! And let’s get into some strategy.
Update On The Strategy Hour Podcast
We are a hundred episodes in and the last time we updated you all on the podcast was when we were about a month in. At that point, we had just made the decision that podcasting was worth it for us. But truth be told, for us, podcasting hasn’t been one of those platforms that has exponentially taken off. Honestly, it hasn’t been one of the things where we’ve said: “OMG, this is the best decision we’ve ever made in the business!” The podcast is one of the things that we have to be very disciplined about doing. But it’s paying for itself, which is excellent! In other news, we’ve just recently gained sponsorship for the podcast through Mastermind. We went through a talent agency and discovered that, well, we’re a “lifestyle brand”. So just a heads up, you might be hearing some new and more diverse topics being discussed on the show! Exciting stuff.
How Does A Talent Agency Work?
Generally, when you think of growing your team, you think dollar bills, dollar bills, dollar bills. But going through a talent agency was so reasonable. We pay a monthly retainer, but it’s very small, and the rest is based on commission. Our talent agent is hired to reach out to people for sponsorship and this just takes a lot of the pressure off of us when it comes to hunting down people, companies and brands and getting in contact. This is a recent addition to our team and we are excited to see where it goes!
The Future Of TCC
Ultimately, we have big aspirations. We would love to someday say that we have a multi-million dollar business and it’s something that we own. As far as how that goes, all of our money in the past has come from launching. We are excellent launchers, by the way! But launching is exhausting and we don’t want that to make up the bulk of the business. The hope is that podcast sponsors will make up 10% of our business revenue and 40% will be made up of evergreen-type content. Like people taking Trello for Business courses, for example. The rest will be made up of launches for our signature courses. Since 2016, we have changed our launch strategy completely, because launching twice a month was just exhausting! Our strategy for 2017 was to scale back and launch just four times a year. It has blown our minds just how word of mouth, our blog content and the podcast all work together to grow our business. It’s not just a great Facebook ad, for example, it’s how all of these things work together to create reach and revenue. And the biggest thing that has helped us keep all these moving parts together is our team.
Let’s Talk About The Team
So, Nicholette came on as a “volunteer” contributor, and moved on to doing graphics and a contract role. And we’re working to get her on as our first full-time employee, which is exciting. According to Nicky, it was a gradual process. We think it’s important to remember that if you’re bringing someone onto your own team, you should first hire on trial. Period. Because Nicky’s involvement in the business was gradual, she was able to fill in gaps, see where the holes in the business were and get to know us on a more personal level. We have also learned that it’s important to share what’s happening in the business with the team members who are supporting you. It was scary at first, but now we have a very transparent approach; sharing income reports and Trello boards, we talk about numbers, data, ad spends, etcetera. This helps everyone on the team to keep up to date and speak up when they feel there is something they’d like to take on. It’s important to give team members access to what is happening in other people’s worlds. When they can see where their piece of the puzzle fits into the greater picture, they’re just better at their jobs. And also, for us, the “T” in team kind of stands for “Trello”. Ultimately, this business would be a hot mess if we didn’t have Trello and we couldn’t organize our tasks and see what our team was doing. At the end of the day, it always comes down to systems and people. Systems and people, people!
The Role Of A Business Manager
There’s a trend right now where everyone is wanting to hire a business manager. But not everyone has the same definition as to what that means. This often results in the “business manager” getting dumped with a whole bunch of crap that nobody wants to deal with... and nobody’s happy. When it comes to any position, you have to define the person that you’re looking for. Things may not always be clear cut in the business, and yes, people have to be flexible to a degree, but roles and tasks need to be defined and figured out. Even as they evolve. To Nikki, a business manager is someone who takes on the things that don’t make sense for the business owners to do anymore. The employer and the employee need to be open, honest and communicative about expectations from both sides. If not, it can be challenging and disappointing for both parties. Systems also need to be in place to help a manager take over if you want them to meet those expectations. Bear that in mind!
Hustle, Hustle, Hustle ‘Till You Die?
Our business has changed rapidly since 2016 and slowly but surely we are getting more free time on our hands. Not only are we taking up random hobbies like weaving and painting, but we have decided to take Mondays off so that we can spend more time with our kids, give the business battlefield a rest or just do random things for ourselves. From day one, we have never been the type of business owners who are like, “Hustle, hustle, hustle ‘till you die! And then... you get to enjoy it.” But we were putting in the extra work this time last year – the late nights and the never-ending lists of tasks – because that’s the foundation that we knew would lead us to having this conversation right now. It’s not about killing yourself over work. But it is about consistency. To consistently keep going. We hustled our asses off in our business for a year. We did that grind, we did that dirty work and we did it all ourselves so that now, we can have this extra freedom and live this life that not a lot of our peers have.
How Do You Do It All?
Well, first you nail one thing. We nailed one thing by ourselves. And over time, we nailed other things with the help of other people. For example, the blog would not exist without the help of AllieDanae and Janet on our team. So if you’re sitting there thinking, “How the hell are Abbie and Emylee putting out blog posts?” We don’t. We hire people to do it. On the podcast front, know that it’s a beast to put a podcast out. Over ten people touch a podcast episode before it’s ready to go out, and that is no small feat! Know that it’s okay to start small, but you have to stick to your guns. Unapologetically, you have to do it. We did the podcast, through thick and thin, on our own for over a year. Then we got help. But you have to build that foundation. Find out what content you want to be consistent about, pick your schedule and stick to it. Then, maybe you’ll make it to a hundred!
An update on SHP: Where have we been and where are we currently at? [0:03:36.0]
How does a talent agency work and can it help you find sponsors? [0:07:22.0]
The future of TCC: The grand master plan for world domination. [0:09:35.0]
An inside look into the structure and progress of our team. [0:12:45.0]
Our thoughts on the role of a business manager. [0:12:45.0]
Hustle, hustle, hustle ‘till you die? Or just lay the foundations for more freedom. [0:36:56.0]
How do you do it all? The truth is, you hire people. [0:36:56.0]