Mastering Antifragility: Your Guide To Building A Path To Success In The Digital Age With Courtney Elmer Of AntiFragile Entrepreneurship™

TBF Courtney Elmer | Mastering Antifragility

 

We are so inundated with success stories that we can easily overlook the value of failures and those moments of adversity. But when we dig deep, we can find how much growth actually happens from those dark seasons. Mastering antifragility in this episode, Tracy Hazzard sits down with the host of the globally-ranked AntiFragile Entrepreneurship™ podcast, Courtney Elmer. Courtney highlights the importance of having an antifragile mindset in our path towards success in this digital age. Only by doing that can we gain clarity on what we need to fix and connect deeply. She shares how she achieved being a top-ranked podcast and why, beyond the ego boost and bragging rights, its value lies in discoverability. Tune in as she shares the three pillars to get better discoverability and grow your audience. Find out the marketing systems she uses to build an audience for the long term and continue to add value. Hear from Courtney in this conversation!

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Mastering Antifragility: Your Guide To Building A Path To Success In The Digital Age With Courtney Elmer Of AntiFragile Entrepreneurship™

I’m with Courtney Elmer. AntiFragile Entrepreneurship. I love the term anti-fragile, it’s great. As the Founder of the EffortLESS Life and Creator of PodLaunch, Courtney Elmer is a sought-after consultant, host and speaker known for helping entrepreneurs embrace antifragility and use their voice to catalyze positive change in the world.

Drawing on our background in Psychology and personal experience as a cancer survivor, Courtney teaches online business leaders how to build self-sustaining businesses that can thrive in a rapidly changing digital environment. What I love about Courtney showing about what she’s doing with AntiFragile Entrepreneurship and her business services is that she is diving into that psychology of it.

Much of what we do in podcasting is going in through the year and tapping into psychological needs and everything that we choose to do in our show, from how we present it, the cover art we choose, needs careful intention and thought. She’s thinking that through from how is that being received. Additionally, she’s so analytical about her own show, her own process, and what she does. I loved meeting her.

She’s got a top-ranked podcast and some of the things we’re going to talk about is how she achieved that. You’ve heard me be skeptical about being top-ranked before, but I think the way that she’s approaching it has a purpose and has a boost that you must know. Without further ado, let’s go to Courtney Elmer, AntiFragile Entrepreneurship.

About AntiFragile Entrepreneurship™ Podcast Host Courtney Elmer

TBF Courtney Elmer | Mastering AntifragilityAs the Founder of The EffortLESS Life® and creator of PodLaunch™, Courtney Elmer is a sought-after consultant, host, and speaker who is known for helping entrepreneurs embrace antifragility and use their voice to catalyze positive change in the world.

Drawing on her background in psychology and personal experience as a cancer survivor, Courtney teaches online business leaders how to build self-sustaining businesses that can thrive in a rapidly changing digital environment, expand their thought leadership through podcasting, and grow through what they go through to create the greater income, influence, and impact they deserve.

Courtney hosts the globally-ranked AntiFragile Entrepreneurship™ podcast, which recently surpassed How I Built This and Harvard Business Review on the list of 11 Top Business Podcasts for Professionals by Small Biz Trends. She’s a popular speaker on the topics of podcast marketing and entrepreneurial antifragility at notable industry conferences such as PodFest Global, and her skills and knowledge are frequently sought by leaders and teams from Forbes, Fast Company, PopSugar, and more.

Courtney lives in New Orleans with her husband Alan and their son AJ, a surprise miracle baby following her cancer treatments.

Follow her podcast at antifragileentrepreneurship.co and on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer

Follow Courtney Elmer on Social: Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter

Courtney, I’m so glad to have you here. Anti-fragile. I love that term. Entrepreneurship, to me, always has been not for the weak of heart anyway, but sometimes we do feel fragile all the time when we’re in our entrepreneurship journey.

Yes, Tracy. Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here with you and to talk about this because I feel like so many podcasts out there these days, especially the business ones and marketing ones, anything entrepreneurship-ish are talking about how to succeed. “Here’s the strategy. Here are the tactics. Here’s the mindset. Here’s the morning routine you need. Heaven forbid, it’s going to take you three hours, but it’s worth it.” This is what everyone’s talking about and touting. I feel like there are very few people who are normalizing failure on the journey of entrepreneurship.

That’s what I’m fascinated by. To me, those failures, those moments of adversity, or those dark seasons that we all go through in our business, that’s where we grow. That’s where the most growth happens. We don’t usually see it at the moment that it’s happening, but in hindsight, we can look back and say, “That was a difficult time, but there’s no way I would be where I am now without having gone through that.” That, to me, is what anti-fragility is about. Grow through what we go through.

You’ve got to recognize it. I think that’s the part that we want to shove under the rug and pretend it’s not there. I think that that’s so important. We were talking before our interview that you are about to sit down and analyze your show, what’s been going on with it, and everything. I love that we’re catching each other at that time because that’s the part that so few people do. They look at their top 10 episodes, for instance, or their top 10 guests, and they’re like, “These were great.” Do they look at the bottom? Do they look at the ones that didn’t work, and then think about what’s going on there?

I have a whole week blocked off and put on Courtney’s podcast glasses, look at my show, and take that deeper look because you’re so right, especially for those of us who have been podcasting for six months or more, a year or more. We’re always focused on what’s doing well but not on what hasn’t done well and asking why it didn’t. There could be a myriad of answers that come from that and little insights that you discover. What I love about taking a look at the moments where we’ve “failed.” Call it what you will, call it a lesson, call it a learning, call it a mistake. For me, it doesn’t matter what you call it. We’re all going to have those moments.

 

TBF Courtney Elmer | Mastering Antifragility

 

What’s important is to recognize why this is happening and what am I learning from it? What can I learn from it? It might’ve been the worst thing to ever happen to you. Isn’t it also true that for those who are out there wearing this influencer badge status, the experts or the gurus that we all tend to look up to? How much more connected do we feel to them when they’re actually talking about the moments where they had a misstep, where they made a mistake, they failed, or they lost something as opposed to just their glory story? I feel it humanizes us in such a way and it’s something that I try to practice throughout my business. Do I do it daily? No, but there are times when I do pull back and sit down to look at what is going well and, more importantly, what’s not going well and why.

So many people get caught up in the only time you ever hear about the failure is on the path to the hero story. That’s the only time you ever hear it. I once gave a speech and forgot to do the hero moment part because I was caught up in what you learn from the bottom piece. They were raising their hands at the end and go, “What happened, Tracy?” I was like, “Sorry, I forgot about that.” I think there’s so much opportunity in what we can learn from that bottom that we hit.

Look at the economy right now. It’s slow. Is it where we want it to be? No. Can we blame it for our slow revenue in our business? Maybe, but is that the cause? Even deeper than that, is it an opportunity for us to look at where things aren’t working in our business? This is what I love about failure, adversity, or challenges that we’re faced with on the journey. We would never have a reason to look at the problems otherwise. We’d never have a reason to fix the problems otherwise. We might not even know there are problems, unless that challenge or that dark season or that confusing season where we didn’t have clarity, we wouldn’t have known it. It wouldn’t have become obvious to us unless that had happened.

You started your show in 2020. Was it in response to a marketing problem? What was the reason for it?

My son was about eighteen months old at the time. By choice, he was home with me full-time. I didn’t have him in daycare. Sometimes, the only hands-free time that I would get in a day was to strap him in his stroller, I’d go for a walk in our neighborhood, I’d pop my AirPods in, and I would listen to podcasts. I was a couple of years into building my business at that point. I started my business in 2017. I was learning everything that I could. I was like a sponge. Tell me all the strategies, all the tactics, and all the things that I need to do to be successful.

One day, it clicked for me. Here I am, listening every week to these experts who are telling me what to do, but I’m not actually giving any mind or paying any attention to what they’re doing. They’re sitting here talking about social media, building your email list, doing live launches, hosting workshops, and all the things we’ve heard a million times over. What was the one thing they all had in common? They were podcasting. I was like, “I’m onto something here.”

Suddenly, I started seeing them through new eyes. I’m like, “If they could build their own stage, grow their audience, and then teach what wisdom and knowledge they have to those people, couldn’t I do the same thing?” Maybe it’s not so much about the strategy or the tactic or how often I’m posting to Instagram. Maybe it’s about the way they’re marketing their business. It was through that long-form content. That lit a little spark in me because I wasn’t going to their Instagram to learn. I was listening to their podcast to learn. That is what got me thinking, “I could do this.” I did overthink it for a good nine months after that. I didn’t pull the trigger.

You wouldn’t be alone if you didn’t overthink it. That happens to all of us.

It’s like, “Do I do it? Do I have the time?” I would work when my son was taking a nap. I would have 30 to 60-minute blocks to get any kind of work done. In response to what I was feeling with social media, I didn’t feel connected with my audience because there were topics I wanted to explore where a 100-word caption didn’t cut it. You couldn’t go deep enough. Seven-second video? Come on. How am I supposed to talk about something, shift beliefs, and change someone’s perspective in seven seconds? If you can do it, more power to you, but I was struggling.

I thought, “What a beautiful way for me to build a relationship with people.” That’s what I wanted. That’s why I started it. It wasn’t to have this lead generation mechanism or to have this amazing place to share my message and use my voice to create change in the world. It was none of that. I am not getting what I want out of social media. I don’t have the time to create short-form content and I want a way to connect with people on a deeper level.

It seems to have been working well for you. Let’s talk about some of the things that you did so right. You have talked about having a top 100 Apple Podcast, which is amazing. Let’s talk a little bit about that. You have some tips for that, some three parts that you talk about that specifically. People who tune in to the show regularly know that I’m kind of a chart. When people say, “I was the top 5%.” I’m not a fan of the percent. Everyone who achieves regular weekly is the top 5%. You have no idea how bad the whole podcasting side of things is. In your particular case, we were talking earlier that it’s about the discoverability side that has offered you. Let’s talk about that.

First, I do want to say, the percent thing, I’m right there with you. I think the average consumer doesn’t realize how much or how little it matters. If we’ve got 3 million-plus podcasts and you’re in the top 1%, you’re in the top 30,000 or 300,000. It’s a big number still. What I see a lot of people doing is preying on people’s innocence in that sense, where they’re like, “I’ve got this top 1% podcast. I’m somebody.” It’s like, “Actually, if you consider yourself 1 of 300,000 people, okay.” The numbers, we could talk all day about that, but honestly, I agree with you, and I think the charts, too, to some degree.

The only reason that I give any weight to the charts is that I don’t think it matters what number you are in the charts, but I always tell our clients that it does matter for you to get in the charts when you can. Why? It helps you get discovered. It’s not for bragging rights. It’s not for an ego boost. It’s not to say, “I’m rubbing shoulders with Andrew Huberman, who’s always top one of all podcasts of all time.” It’s to have another avenue of discovery for listeners to find you. This is one of the biggest problems, as you and I both know, with podcasting is that we don’t have that many avenues of discovery available to us.

It does matter for you to get on the charts when you can because it helps you get discovered. Not for bragging rights or ego boost; it's to have another avenue of discovery for listeners to find you. Share on X

No, it’s so bad. The apps don’t help you. They’re supposed to. People think, “I put my podcast out there. There are listeners waiting for them.” They are, but they can’t find you because the app’s so bad at allowing discoverability.

I dream of the day that that all changes.

That they wake up and realize.

Until then, we’re left with a few, some of them being very labor-intensive methods for getting in front of new listeners. Every time I’m talking with someone, I’m like, “How did you find my podcast?” It either comes from, “I heard you on another podcast,” or “I saw your Instagram content,” or “My friend told me about your podcast.” Yet to have someone tell me, “I saw you on the charts.” Even though we’re in and out of the charts all the time, but it is an avenue of discovery. It can help you, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. That’s what people need to realize.

What are some ways that you recommend that they start to get better discoverability?

With our methodology, you mentioned three parts. It’s very simple. At a very high level, pillar one is centered around creating what we call binge-worthy content. You know all about that.

That’s my number one thing here.

How do we do that? A lot of that leans on psychology. We have to understand who our listener is. More importantly, what are the problems that they’re experiencing that our podcast solves? One of the mistakes I see a lot of people making is they’re far too general with what they’re talking about or teaching about. This generalization is hurting you. It’s causing you to lose listeners to your competition. If there are two podcasts about making money. It is something very generic and very simple that a lot of people have an interest in. We all want to make money to some degree, even if it’s to keep the lights on or maybe go on vacation every once in a while.

If me, the average listener, who is cold to you, the host, which means I don’t know who you are, what you stand for, what you teach, why you teach it, why it’s important to you, or why I should care, then I’m looking at these podcasts at face value. Whether you like it or not, I’m a human being, so I’m going to judge a book by its cover. If your title doesn’t grab me, if your cover art isn’t pulling me in, if your description doesn’t tell me exactly what problems your show solves for me, you’ve lost me. That’s before I ever listen to a single episode. I won’t even make it that far.

This is what most people think. They think, “If I could pour such great value into my content or if I had the best content on the planet, people will naturally find it. They’re going to listen.” What they don’t realize is there are five steps in the listener’s journey before they decide to hit play. Good luck. This is probably one of the reasons why you don’t have the listenership that you want right now. This is a big pillar. We focus a lot on this because when you’re clear on who you’re looking to attract and you can align all your podcast elements to attract that person, it’s like a duck call.

TBF Courtney Elmer | Mastering Antifragility
Mastering Antifragility: When you’re clear on who you’re looking to attract and you can align all your podcast elements to attract that person, it’s kind of like a duck call.

 

My husband watches this show on YouTube called Meat Eater. I don’t know why. My husband’s not a hunter, but he’s fascinated by this guy because he’ll go out in the wilderness and he’s talking about how he’s hunting moose, elk, ducks, and all these things. He’s got like an animal call for every specific one of those animals. Whatever the episode is, let’s say he’s hunting elk and he’s got the elk call. He is not using the duck call for them. He is not using the moose call. He’s using the elk call because he wants to call elk and more elk and only elk.

That’s what we got to do with our podcast. It’s got to be like that duck call, elk call, or whatever you want to call it to attract that person. If we have gaps in that process, we’re going to lose listeners. What’s going to frustrate you is that you’re going to see someone else out there who’s podcasting, who has subpar content, who’s not putting as nearly as much time or energy because you can tell they’re not consistent and their episodes are all over the place, but they have more listeners than you. They’re charting. They’re successful. They have more Instagram followers. You’re like, “Why?” It hurts because we’re out here to make a change. We’re here to make a difference. That’s pillar one.

Pillar two is a launch and relaunch system. This is important. It’s something that very few people are even talking about. Whenever you start a podcast, most people will say, “Buy a high-quality mic, plan your episodes, hit record, find a hosting platform, publish your content, and then stay consistent and it will grow.” That’s about the bulk of the advice that most of us get. What’s so sad to me about this is that most podcasters quit now after episode six.

It’s eleven on average across everyone. For those in recent years, if you think about it from 2020 on, the average is six. It’s gotten worse, not better, but overall, it’s still eleven.

It’s heartbreaking because what happens is these people are going to walk away from this experience thinking podcasts don’t work and they’re a waste of time. “What’s wrong with me? I did all the right things. I published once a week, every week. I didn’t miss. I put my best content out there. I gave my best stuff away for free.” They walk away, making it mean something about them that it doesn’t actually mean. They’re like, “I must not be enough of an expert yet. People don’t care about what I have to say. What I have to say is not as important as someone else.” When the reality is it boils down to not having the right strategy to get your podcast noticed from day one. That’s what the launch system takes care of.

I say relaunch because if you’ve got an existing podcast where you’re doing all the right things. You’re publishing. You’re sharing those episodes religiously to social media and your email list. If you’re still not seeing the listenership grow like you want it to, then you can use this system like a Vitamin B shot to give your podcast a little bit of a momentum boost.

Let’s see if we can get you back in those charts. Let’s see if we can get some buzz generated around your podcast. Get people talking about it. Get people to share it. This obviously means you’ve got the binge-worthy content piece in place. That has to come first. Let’s breathe some new life into your podcast. That’s what this piece takes care of.

I think it’s really smart. I want to say this because I always recommend taking a look every 50 episodes. In the beginning, if it’s your first year, you do it at the 25-episode mark. You take a look at, “How did I do in that first 25?” Now’s a chance to make some tweaks and changes and then go into your next 25. That’s only in the first year. After that, on a yearly basis, I recommend people look at that. Revamp your show, relaunch it, fix things that were missing that maybe you couldn’t afford to fix before.

Maybe you couldn’t get the most gorgeous cover art you wanted. It was still a fiver thing. Now’s the time. Go ahead and revamp it because you got a little more money in your business. Relaunching. That’s my favorite part about podcasting. It’s so flexible. You can do that. I love that you’re focusing on that because that involves, “I can take a look at what I’ve done right and I can take a look at what I didn’t do right.” Fix those things now, and then start again.

We have clients who will do it every year on the anniversary of their first episode going live. I think it’s brilliant. I think it’s a beautiful time to do it. It reengages your existing community. It engages anyone who might have found you in that year’s time. Maybe they know about your podcast, but they haven’t committed the time to listening to it yet. I think this is what a lot of people forget. As the host of your show, it’s your responsibility to generate buzz for it. It’s not going to happen on its own.

As the host of your show, it's your responsibility to generate buzz for it. It's not going to happen on its own. Share on X

It’s like if you were to open a bakery on the most popular street corner in your town and you have the best-baked goods on the planet. Just because they’re so good, you unlock the door on day one, flip the open sign, hope people walk in and buy them, and the word will spread. That may happen to some degree, but if you were out there on the street corner and you had someone dressed up like a giant cookie and be like, “We have vegan options. We have free options. Come inside. Best-baked goods.” You’d get a lot more attention. I know it sounds like a cheesy example, but this is what I mean by generating attention for our podcast. If we, the host, are not excited about our own show, nobody else is going to be excited about your show.

That’s so true. It’s so funny. It’s become so mainstream. I was at a family event and everyone walked up to me and said, “Your aunt tells me you have a podcast.” I was like, “I have a podcast company, but I do have a podcast.” They’re like, “What’s your show?” I was like, “I’m not sure you want to listen to it. It’s a podcast for podcasters. Are you thinking about podcasting yourself? If so, listen to it. If not, then tell me what kind of show you want and I’ll tell you one of my clients’. How about that?” I thought it was so great. These are all ages asking me, “What’s your show? I’ll listen to it.” It’s because they’re dying for good content.

This is why we teach people to write. We call it a Podcast Positioning Statement or PPS for short. I’m like, “Write a 1 to 2 sentence conversational elevator pitch for your podcast.” Don’t make it sound like a stuffy old elevator pitch, but an elevator pitch. You’re going to be in these conversations with people. It’s going to come up, especially in business conversations. “Do you have a podcast? Tell me about what you do.”

It’s going to naturally come up and they’re going to go, “Tell me about your podcast.” If you don’t have something prepared, then you’re going to lose them. What we want them to do is right then and there, pull out their phone and go, “What’s the name of that again? Let me go follow it right now.” You’re going to have these moments where we get to promote our podcast. We get to talk about it. We get to be our own word of mouth. We’re not doing that enough.

No, we’re really not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in the audience watching one of my clients speak or something. I’ll be like, “You have a podcast” from the back row. It’s so crazy that they don’t want to promote it.

I know. I’m guilty of it, too, quite honestly. There have been those times where I’m like, “I do have a podcast. By the way, you should go check it out.” It’s like an afterthought. We need to be leading with this. All of these experts, like you and I, are out here saying how much credibility a podcast can give you, just like writing a book. Would you ever write a bestseller book and then not talk about it? No. You’d be like, “I got this book.”

No, those authors talk about it even when it’s not a bestseller.

Exactly. Why aren’t we doing the same thing with our podcasts? The third and final piece is, we call it, your long-term audience-building system. We all know once you get a podcast up and running, that’s just half the battle. Now, we got to figure out how to grow it over the long-term. This becomes a big hangup for people. What I see a lot is that what people are doing in their marketing before a podcast is that they might have 2, 3, or 4 platforms that they’re trying to grow. They’re trying to post on LinkedIn. They’re trying to stay consistent on Instagram. They might have started a YouTube channel. Maybe they have a live show that they stream out. They’re trying to grow their email list.

What’s happening is it’s an inch deep and a mile wide because there’s no cohesion to it. It’s not working together as a marketing system that generates leads, warms up traffic, converts them to leads, and then into clients and customers. It’s like, “Let me see how much content I can post because people have told me that’s what I need to do to be relevant to build a following, etc.”

It also is that problem you were talking about before of being too general. That list you’re building is not focused enough when you’re so general.

What we see happening is that people will say, “Short-form content, I’m burning out. I’m posting 3, 4, 5 times a week to all these different platforms. I don’t have the time to create that much content, nor do I want to create that much content. It doesn’t seem to matter how much value I put into an Instagram carousel, I get 2 likes, 4 spam comments, and 0 DMs from people asking how to work with me.” We’ve all been there. It hurts because we’ve all been there. What do they do? They think, “What I’m doing isn’t working. Let me try something else.”

They’ve heard the buzz about how podcasts can be a powerful marketing tool and they think, “A podcast, that’s what I need.” They’ll do one of two things. They’ll either try to do it the way I told you not to do it, which is plug in your mic, hit record, cross your fingers, and hope people listen. They go that route, or they start podcasting and they’re like, “I’m committed. I’m going to do this.”

They’re publishing every week. They’re sharing it out consistently on their social media and their email list. They’ve created a carbon copy of what they had in their marketing before, where all they’ve done is add their podcast as one more channel, instead of it becoming the hub, that can then create the content for all of the other platforms and drive the traffic to the email list, the offers, and so forth. It’s one more thing to keep up with, so then the joy is gone.

There’s no fun in that.

There are over twenty different ways that you could drive traffic to a podcast. You don’t need all twenty. We need to figure out the 2 to 3 that are most aligned to you, to your business, to the goals that you have for your business and your podcast, and then dig deep on those. Go deep on those. As you said, when you sit down once a year to reevaluate your podcast, you can always add more things in.

TBF Courtney Elmer | Mastering Antifragility
Mastering Antifragility: There are over 20 different ways that you could drive traffic to a podcast. You don’t need all 20. What we need to do is figure out the two to three that are most aligned to you, to your business, or to your goals.

 

I always talk about those like a hypothesis. That’s what it is. I hypothesize that my audience is on LinkedIn and that they prefer the long-form content, so I’m going to try a LinkedIn newsletter. That’s the model. I’m going to give it 25 episodes or 25 weeks, and then I’m going to look at that and see if it did work or not. I think that we don’t do that enough. We don’t say, “It’s okay to experiment.” It’s okay to say, “No, I can stop.” It’s not being, “I’m quitting.” It’s saying, “What’s the next hypothesis I’m going to test? What did I learn from that that I can now apply that taught me? Maybe it shouldn’t have been on LinkedIn. It should have been on Tumblr.”

I’m so glad you bring this up because I tell people at this point in the process, “Your job as a host is to test. Get your science jacket or lab coat out. Get your goggles and beakers out, because we’re going to test now. This is what we have to do as hosts.” This is my goal. When I work with anyone to help them launch their podcast, I’m like, “It’s not about getting your podcast out there. It is about that, but it’s about helping you become the host of a podcast that’s worthy of being in the top 100.” We have to learn how to do that. There’s a learning curve to that. It’s a skill that we have to master. You wouldn’t go to the gym on the first day and squat 200 pounds. You got to work your way up to that. You got to master that skill. It takes some time and it takes some testing and tweaking.

Your job as a host is to test. Share on X

Let’s talk a little bit about Instagram because before we go, I want to make sure we get that in. I think you have a great Instagram focus on your social media, and that’s your strength. Did that start before the podcast or was it after?

Before the podcast, I did have an Instagram account. I was posting consistently there, but this was in the early days of my business when I was being general and making all those mistakes and talking to everyone because I wanted to help everyone. I never saw a lot of traction with it. Since I’ve had my podcast, Instagram has always been my main channel where I point people. I’m like, “DM me. My DMs are where it’s at.”

I love it when listeners send in their takeaway from an episode or where they can engage with me. As we know, there’s no comment thread underneath episodes. There’s nowhere that people can connect with you, the host. They’re consuming, listening, and showing up each week, but it feels like a one-way relationship in some regard.

I like to open the doorway for that two-way conversation. I’m always inviting my listeners over there. What we have started to test this year, which we haven’t fully rolled out the strategy that we’re about to test with Instagram and repurposing long-form into short-form content. I will say that of what we have repurposed, what I do is I have my camera set up. It’s off-screen, you can’t see it, but I’m recording B roll from this conversation that we’re having. If there were a couple of moments in that conversation, I felt like, “That answers a question that my people are asking or that addresses a pain point that my audience has.”

What we’ll do is we’ll send that off to be edited into a 60-second video. It’s a quick-moving video. This is not cut out a minute of talking about something and put it on your Instagram. This is a mistake that I see people make. They’ll make these audiograms. It’s like a minute in the Instagram stories of some random guest talking about something. I’m like, “Why am I listening to this?” We scroll right past. There’s a right and wrong way to repurpose, in my opinion.

What I like to do is like what we were talking about a moment ago with the psychology piece of the content. I might’ve talked for five minutes there, but all I need to do is pull out the highlights and make it a complete thought so that someone can actually see that and take value away from it without needing the context of the whole episode and then share that. For me, it works well because I work with podcasters. I teach them about repurposing, so it allows me to set an example in that sense. They see me out there testing different types of content.

For those who are not working with me yet, even if it’s unconscious and they’re not aware of it, they see that I am not out there creating short-form content. I’m repurposing long-form content, which goes in direct alignment in integrity with what I teach, which is your podcast is the main hub of all the other content you create. It works well for us. It makes it so easy to share the podcast in a way that’s engaging and in a way that people seem to connect with. I’m excited to amp this up and start testing this more. That’s what we’re doing thus far that’s worked well.

Your podcast is the main hub of all the other content you create. Share on X

I love that you’re doing that. It’s recognizing what Instagram is great at and what that audience is looking for, separate from the long-form content. It’s not just, “I’ll take any clip,” which is what happens a lot.

I think we have to remember with our audiences, too, especially if you serve a community of entrepreneurs, business owners, coaches, consultants, service providers, even product-based business owners, and working professionals included in that too. The vast majority of them are not scrolling through their Instagram account at night in their bed, looking to learn. They’re looking to be entertained. They’re looking to be distracted. They’re looking for a reason to procrastinate going to sleep. Although, I don’t know why we’re always saying how we wish we could get more sleep.

It is how it goes. You’re right.

Let’s be real. They’re in there scrolling their phone and they’re looking for that dopamine hit. That’s all they’re looking for. We’re being honest. They are not interested in hearing a 90-second person droning on for however long about something that they have no context for. Immediately, they tune it out. What we have to do is we have to be good platform citizens, as someone once put it. A good platform citizen is someone who understands the platform, who uses the content they’re creating, and then reworks it however they need to, to fit that platform so that they can best serve the audience on that platform.

Yes, it takes an extra step. Yes, it takes a little bit more time and a little bit more thought and intentionality behind it. If what you’re doing right now is kind of cutting out the best clip of an episode, pushing it out there, and saying, “Check the box. I shared my podcast to social media this week.” If that’s not getting you new listeners, then what do you have to lose? What’s the alternative?

If it’s not working, it’s not working. Courtney, you have a website and you talk about repurposing. How important is that website in the repurposing?

I look at that as something that’s as static as it can be because I don’t like to have a lot of places where I have to continually touch and update and retouch and repurpose. However, there is one page that we do keep updated on our site, aside from doing regular sweeps, updating copy, making sure links are working, and all that kind of thing. It’s our press and media page. What I do with every single podcast episode and interview that I do like this, it goes on our website. We give that host a back-link, which is helpful to the host and it’s helpful for SEO, but it also lets people know if they are looking at, “Does Courtney know what she’s talking about? Is she worth her salt? Do I want to bring her onto my show?”

They can go to that page, click right through, and listen to any one of the episodes that I have ever been a guest on any podcast. What’s nice about that is it gives me a little bit of credibility to show, “I’ve appeared as a guest on these shows. Here are all the topics I can talk about and so forth.” Also, for the host too, because now suddenly, I, as the guest, am going above and beyond to promote my episode with you in a way that’s evergreen, in a way that lives on, in a way that someone three years could now find and maybe go back to.

That’s about the extent of any repurposing that we do on the website itself. Our podcast website, though, we do continually update. That one pulls in our audio, show notes, and transcript. I look at the podcast as the source of all the content. We have our platforms, which right now are Instagram and soon to be LinkedIn. We’re going to start testing with that and experimenting with that as far as social media goes. I haven’t even touched YouTube yet. We do SEO for Google.

I was wondering about that. That was going to be my last question. How much are you touching YouTube yet? I think that your model on Instagram, as you refine that, that’s going to be saying, “What we’ve done over on Instagram. Let’s see how that plays over on YouTube.” I think you’ll find some synergy and success from what I’ve seen from other people, which makes it easier. It makes it easier if it works.

That’s always my recommendation to people. When you’re going to go, “We’re ready for this next platform. We’re ready to expand into the next channel in our platform. Let’s go try this.” I recommend trying exactly what you did before, finding out why it’s not working with that channel specifically, and then making the tweaks, rather than throwing everything out and starting all over again somewhere else. It’s a charter to tell what’s working and what’s not then.

Exactly what you said and I’m a huge proponent of this. Master one platform first. I’ve been doing my podcast for almost four years now. We’ve started putting together a more serious content strategy for Instagram. Next year, we’re looking at adding LinkedIn, but we’re testing Instagram first. I would love to have a YouTube channel, but I’m not going to do it until I have a strategy in place and I can do it in a way that’s a leveraged use of my time and my team’s time.

The last thing I want to do is create the same problems that I had in my marketing before where I was throwing things out there to see what people would engage with, and then letting my audience dictate what I did or did not talk about. “I got two extra likes on this post. That must mean people are engaged with this topic. Let me talk about that now.”

No. I’m the host. I’m the expert. I bring that to the table. People are naturally going to engage with some things over others. I can use that data how I want to use it and tweak my content always with the intention of serving my audience. I never intend to be everywhere at once, simply because I want to grow a following. That’s the wrong approach. It’s not going to work if that’s your approach.

TBF Courtney Elmer | Mastering Antifragility
Mastering Antifragility: Tweak content with the intention of serving your audience and never with the intention of just trying to be everywhere at once simply because you want to grow a following.

 

It fits your anti-fragile model. Nothing is precious. It’s okay if it breaks. We’ll deal with it. I love that. AntiFragile Entrepreneurship. Courtney Elmer, thank you so much for being here and sharing your brilliance.

Thank you for having me, Tracy. This has been so much fun.

I totally enjoyed meeting her. It was like the meeting of the minds here for me. I love it when somebody has the same thought process because then it makes it great for me to bounce ideas off of it. We were both talking afterward and we talked a lot before. We had a lot of personal conversations that didn’t make it into this episode. Sorry about that. When you can find someone that you can truly mastermind with and both of us hate that term. There are so many masterminds out there and they have gotten it all wrong.

When you can truly have mind share and bounce ideas off of each other and then help each other grow into a new place and a new space, that’s truly masterminding. I found that with Courtney in just one call. My favorite part about podcasting is finding someone who can share the mental space with. That’s what we found here. I am looking forward to doing more with Courtney in the future and having her back again.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what she does with some of the tips that I gave her offline and the analysis that she’s going to do on our show. I can’t wait to see what that turns into next year. We’re going to have to have her back as a check-in and see what’s going on with her show. I hope you’re going to check it out because there are lots of great things about the way she runs her show and what she’s doing in it. Check out that transition that’s going to happen as you move forward. Make sure you subscribe to her show.

The other thing that I want you to take away from what she said is that she’s always looking at growing. That is the most important thing that you can do as a podcaster here. Get started, get moving, and then keep growing. Her show has become what it is at almost 200 episodes. Congratulations, Courtney, because that is such an accomplishment. By the time you hear this, I know she’s going to have 200 by that time.

You’re going to see this transition that happens over time if you go back and binge-listen on our show, and then you’re going to see what it’s going to turn into the future. That’s what you need to embody and take away from Courtney. The most valuable thing that she has done in her show is she has never stopped. It’s progress. She hadn’t treated anything like it’s fragile and that’s so important. Nothing is precious. That means that you have the ability to make changes. Also, making too many changes at once is too much. Make some smart, considered and intentional choices, look back, and analyze it. If you’re not the best person to analyze it, go ask someone.

That’s what we’re here for. That’s what we do at our core company, Podetize. My partner does every single day with podcasters to take a look at their show. See where they could make improvements and see how we can help. This is critically important for you to get someone else’s ears in and someone else’s eyes in. If it’s not me, go ask Courtney. That’s what she’s here for. Reach out to her, DM her on Instagram. That’s what she likes to hear. Make sure you’re getting right in touch with her show as well, so you can subscribe and listen again and get tips straight from Courtney Elmer. Thanks everyone for tuning in. I can’t wait to be back with you again and my next podcaster, who I’m going to learn from right here on The Binge Factor.

 

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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