Grab this Quickstart Guide to start using Dubsado today.
A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
Showing up for your audience and marketing your business can feel overwhelming—that’s why it’s important to find something that works for you. In today’s episode, my producer, Haylee Gaffin joins us to share how you can use a podcast as a marketing tool in your business, how to determine if it’s the right fit for you, and her advice for people just getting started.
The Business-First Creatives Podcast is brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. Join Colie each week as she discuss how to build a business that brings you joy and a paycheck! From business advice with fellow entrepreneurs to sharing automation tips and tricks, Colie and her guests are sharing industry trends and resources, along with a little bit of sarcasm.
Apple Podcast App | Spotify | Amazon | Google Podcast | Youtube
Haylee Gaffin is a podcast producer, strategist, and owner at Gaffin Creative, where she helps podcast hosts plan their podcast launch and create strategic content that serves their brand and audience. As the founder of Mic Check Society, a community for podcasters, and host of Clocking In Podcast, a podcast for professionals making their way in the working world, Haylee is on a mission to help hopeful podcast hosts grow their brand.
Here are the highlights…
[:22] Get to Know Haylee
[1:36] Building a Business that Offers the Perfect Job for You
[2:42] Owning Your Role
[5:42] Outsourcing in Business
[10:09] Hardest Decision in Podcast Launching
[12:18] Revisiting Tech Stacks
[16:00] Benefits of a Podcast for Your Business
[21:38] Marketing Your Podcast
[29:14] Traveling & Time Off as an Entrepreneur
[36:58] Biggest Fuck Up
Want to avoid a blank screen while setting up your Dubsado templates? Steal mine 😍
The Template Shop is now open with templates created specifically for family photographers for use inside Dubsado. You can copy and customize for your own brand + offers in no time. Save yourself hours per client with these templates 🌈
Honeybook [50% off your first year with coliejames]
Dubsado [30% off your first year with coliejames]
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Hello, hello, and welcome back to the podcast. This morning is a real treat. I am interviewing my podcast manager, Haylee Gaffin. Good morning, Haylee. How are you?
Haylee: I am good, Colie. Thank you so much for having me on
Colie: Always, you know, I love chatting with you. Any excuse to get you on my computer screen, even if it’s to be on my podcast. Let’s go
Colie: So, Haylee, one of the things that I love about you is that you have done literally a million things. I’m gonna get you to talk about those today. So, first of all, Haylee, what did you major in in college?
Haylee: I majored in communication and advertising.
Colie: So communication and advertising, which I think is a perfect fit for what you do now. But what was your first job out of college?
Haylee: Yeah. So I started as an intern at an ad agency of five people, and as soon as I graduated college, went full-time there and loved every second of it. I, I thought like, this is the way I’m gonna go. I’m gonna be in advertising forever. And very quickly after like going between different agencies realized agency life was not for me.
Cuz it’s very, very much like job hopping to the.
Haylee: Like you don’t see in the ad agency world, people stay at the same place for very long. And after leaving a job after four months, I realized that I was like, the longest I’ve been at a job was not even a year like it was. It was rough.
Colie: Okay, so when you left the ad agency, where did you go next?
Haylee: So after the ad agency, I went to a company to do their marketing, where we had a podcast and it was just like an internal marketing job. And that’s where I got into podcasting and realized how much I loved. the job. I actually hated it at first. I remember telling my boss, I was like, I’m not good at this.
I don’t like it. Like, and it was because I was not comfortable in it yet. And then I got into it more and more and was like, oh, okay, this is, this is kind of fun. You get to learn while you’re working. And then soon enough strategy became involved, which was what I loved about the ad agency world, was the strategy side of things.
So that’s where I went.
Colie: So Haylee, eventually down the line, you just went into business for yourself where you were in control of the podcast and you got to do the strategy. So basically you built your perfect job, which is awesome. I think many of us wish that we could. Well, I mean, I did build my perfect job, but many of us, you know, go into entrepreneurship and you in order to do that.
But somewhere along the way you started to take some pictures, right?
Haylee: Yes. I actually started taking pictures in college. Never considered myself a photographer. Despite having a website, despite like shooting all these weddings, I never would’ve called myself a photographer. Like if you asked me, what do you do? I always went to my day job. Like that’s what I did. And I remember.
About a year before I went full-time, I actually went back to my, school and I spoke to them about careers and they were asking me about freelance work. And I was like, don’t do it. It’s so inconsistent. It’s so unstable. And you know, a year later there I was doing it
Haylee: but I took pictures for, I mean, I still take picture. But about 10 years, I took pictures, and before I started doing the podcast stuff and I never like saw it as full-time, I never saw myself like, I’m going to be a photographer full-time. It was always marketing, advertising, whatever. And then podcasting came to be, and now I’ve just kind of merged the two and built a business under it.
Colie: and you have, you always, I’m a podcast manager, like you say that with confidence,
Colie: think you have found your calling. I will say, I don’t know if it’s just photography, but I also. Did not really claim being a full-time photographer for quite some time. Now, granted, I don’t know if you know that part of my story, but for a very long time, I did it part-time on purpose because Chloe was home with me and then I sent her to preschool, but she was still only going like three days a week.
And so I think part of my hesitation was I really wasn’t doing photo. Full-time, but also it felt really weird to tell people, oh, I’m a full-time photographer. I make money just taking photos. I mean, for four years, if someone asked me what I did, I told them I was a photographer, but I always followed it up with, but my education is in mathematics and statistics.
Like it took me a really long time to stop saying that. And when I stopped saying that, I was like, okay, no, I, I really am a photographer now. Okay, let’s
Haylee: Yeah, . Yeah, no, I feel the exact same way. I even as a podcast manager, podcast producer, I was hesitant to tell anyone that I was full-time in my business until I started growing a team. And because I felt, and this is so dumb, I want, I wish I could go back to two years ago until Haylee. What are you thinking?
This is what you do for a living. You, you built this, you make good money doing something you love every day. but I never felt like I could until I could say like, yeah, I have a team of people working for me. But that’s not what makes a business. A businesses, you serve a client for a purpose and you do a good job doing it, and they pay you like that is a business.
Colie: It is Haylee. And so I feel like you’ve seen my questions that I’m gonna ask you cuz that’s a great lead in into the next question. I know you know, because you listened to all of my episodes, I always ask, the business owners that are on my podcast about their outsourcing. not because I think outsourcing makes you have a legitimate business, but I do think that we don’t talk about as like solopreneurs, how we build our teams, even if those team members are not like a part of our company.
Cuz like, I consider you part of my team, but you’re technically not part of my company. I mean, I hire your company to, edit and produce my podcast, but So Haylee, what do you outsource in your business and what does that look?
Haylee: Yeah, so I outsource a couple of things. The first is my accounting. I do not do taxes. I’m, I do taxes. I don’t do my own taxes.
Colie: She’s like, wait, in case the IRS is listening, let me clarify. I do my taxes, y’all.
Haylee: I pay someone to do my taxes and I think in the next few quarters, I still do my own bookkeeping, I also outsource my blog writing.
I, very few of my blogs do, I actually write, and it’s the ones I do are like, I’m motivated in a moment and I jot everything down and usually I send it to her to finish . So, blog writing. And . Then some of my clients, depending on the topic, like if I’m not as comfortable or familiar with the topic, she also does their show notes because I want my clients to get the best show notes they can.
And if it’s like a topic I’m just not familiar with, I’m gonna send it to the person who knows how to write in any voice and any topic. And then I also outsource my own podcast editing. I have a team member who does that, and I have a team member who. Does all of my graphics and marketing and stuff. So I, I don’t touch those anymore because they’re not the thing that builds my own business.
They are things that someone else can do just as well as I can.
Colie: I mean, I just, I love to hear that because I outsourced my podcast to. And then you outsource a bunch of stuff to other people. It’s also really fascinating, Haylee, that you don’t edit your own podcast. Is that cuz you don’t like to listen to the sound of your voice over and over again because I’m with you on that
Haylee: Uh, yes and no. So there’s a, I I don’t love to hear the sound of my own voice. I am not looking forward to editing this particular episode because of that. But what I found is I don’t do the best quality of work on my podcast myself because when I am planning out my outline, and then I turn around and I plan.
To record, and then I have to go in and edit that, and then I have to go and actually make the show notes. That process is like a four hour process that I don’t need to be spending my time on, and by the time like I will record, I actually batch a lot and I’ll record all of my stuff, but by the time I’m done recording, my immediate reaction is I need to go edit this.
if I don’t go edit it, then I am the person waiting until the night before it goes live to edit it. So to avoid that it makes so much more sense for me to outsource that when it’s something that holds me up in my process and, and it’s exactly what my clients end up coming to me for. It’s the exact same situation.
Colie: Well, I mean, you know how much I love my solo episodes said with all the sarcasm in the world. But one of the things when I was editing myself before I hired you was when I would listen to it, I’d be like, oh, I really should have said this. Oh, I mean, did, did. I didn’t say, I meant to mention this, so it was not, you know, very useful for me to listen to my own podcast episodes.
Now I just wanna say, guys, I only rerecorded I think one time, but there were a lot of times when I was. I’m really tempted to just go rerecord that whole thing and start from scratch and no, that is definitely not an efficient use of my time.
Haylee: Yes, I am. I can’t tell you how many times when I was editing my podcast that I would be like, oh, I could say this better by changing this one word. That one word does not matter. But I would go in and I would record over it and fix it. And it’s not efficient. No, that was. Six months ago, how many people are actually like saying, oh, she could have said that better.
None of them are
Colie: Only you. Only you.
Haylee: only me.
Colie: I know that there must be some people in my listening audience who have been thinking about launching a podcast and just haven’t done it, so like Haylee, as the person behind many podcasts. What do you think is the hardest part or the hardest decision that people make when they’re launching their podcast?
Haylee: Ooh, that’s a good question. I think there’s a couple of things I think make deciding on launching a podcast hard. One of them is the tech behind it and. if they want to spend the time learning it. So that is why most people reach out to me is because they don’t have the time to look into it. But then when they do have the time, there are so many options out there that they wanna know which is the best.
And I have my preferences. Does not mean they’re the best. It may not be the best for you, but I think that might be the hardest is just people trying to understand everything that goes into podcasting. Cuz it, it is essentially launching a whole new business because you have to learn a ton of stuff.
Colie: You definitely do and just, I mean cuz I feel the need to like mention my tech stack now cuz anytime I mention that. So Haylee and I are currently recording this podcast in Riverside. I love Riverside because it takes the video and the audio both, it saves them separately. , which, you know, if you guys are looking at any of my social media posts, that they are created using the videos that are made in Riverside.
And then I have the script, which is where Hailey actually edits the video podcast. You know, takes out some of the bad words, I’m sure, uh, some of the ums, the silence, all of that good stuff. And then you have to have a podcast host. So I am using Buzz Sprout. That is not what Hailey uses. I mean, there are many.
But guys, that’s three different pieces of software that I pay for every single month to produce this podcast. In addition to paying Haylee to like put it all together and make the podcast episodes live. So lots of tech guys.
Haylee: Yeah. And even, those three that you mentioned, like descript was not my first choice. I have tried every. Editing software that’s out there. I guarantee you if it’s been there, I’ve tried it. I even tried Descript before you became a client of mine. I tried it two years ago and hated it, but when you came along you were like, okay, but I do video.
And I was like, okay, we’ll test this. We’ll see how it goes. I logged into Descript and everything had changed. They had improved so much stuff and I. . I’ve been sitting here telling people not use Descript because it sucks. It sucked when I started in it. It does not suck now. And I like that. That interaction made me realize I need to go back and look at all the things when I started my business full-time that I hated.
And what have they changed? A ton of it has changed. Buzzsprout has changed a lot since I started. Libsyn has a whole new interface since I originally started in podcasting, and it doesn’t look like it’s from the nineties anymore. So yeah, if you’re listening and you’re like, telling people that there are tools out there they should not be using, I just want to encourage you to go back and look at why you’re saying that.
And how long ago was it that you were saying.
Colie: I mean, I feel like now’s a good opportunity to tell everyone that I hired Haylee despite the fact that she’s a Honey Book user You guys all know how I feel about being a Honey Book user as the client. Like it’s just, it’s very weird to me. But I will say, like you said, Haylee, like Honey Book just came out with scheduling.
To your proposal, to your contract, to your invoice, which is something that Dubsado still does not do. So guys, this is brand new this week. Like you can now do that on Honeybook.
Colie: do I recommend Honeybook? I mean, I haven’t been telling people to switch from HoneyBook for quite some time, but that definitely does make it easier.
And being someone who sets up other people’s tech, I do 100% recommend. Not only that, you check out the tech that you weren’t a fan of to begin with, but make sure that you are actually like researching what your current tech stack offers that is. In the realm of new features because it could be that your tech is doing new things that you didn’t pay attention to.
Cuz really, guys who reads all those emails from your tech people that are like, Hey, check this out. You’re like, eh, I’m good. But you know, every few months, make sure that you’re checking it out to see what kind of new features you are already paying for.
Haylee: Yes, when you and I started working together, I don’t believe Smart Files was out with HoneyBook yet, and.
Colie: but not for everyone.
Haylee: Yeah, I didn’t have it yet. And after we talked, cuz you were like, you’re a HoneyBook user. And then Smart Files came out and I was listening to your podcast and you talked about it with someone and I was like, okay, I need to go in and look at Smart files and see what this is because I’m the person that’s like, when something works for me, I leave it.
I don’t. Try to, I don’t, you know, it’s working. So I went back, I corrected it, I fixed it, and now have like, what is a seamless workflow? Like an inquiry can come in and I, I don’t have mine set up to like automatically send out because if it’s a certain type where they’re like, oh, I already have a podcast, or I have this done, or I like to customize it a little bit, but.
it is as easy as someone comes in. I click three buttons and it’s out. Like I don’t even have to customize anything if I don’t want to.
Colie: without three different emails. That’s what I wanna say for the listening audience. Guys, that was my complaint about Honeybook forever, is that when you sent out the brochure, it didn’t automatically become a proposal. The person who sent it had to approve the proposal, which was booking friction, which could cause someone to walk away and not come back and pay you money.
You guys know I talk about this all. But Smart files and HoneyBook save that. And so now, I mean, you really can go from inquiry to getting paid in less than five minutes, which you guys all know is my catchphrase.
Haylee: Yes. I love that
Colie: So let’s talk about having a podcast because I could talk about why I started the podcast and what I love about it, but in general, like what are the benefits of actually having and producing a podcast on your business.
Haylee: Yeah, I think every business is a little different, and even if you’re not like wanting to use a podcast for your business in particular, you can still have like, a passion project, but have a goal with it. So as far as business goes, , a podcast allows you to kind of be the voice behind what you’re an expert in in your industry.
So it gives you that platform to share your knowledge and build trust with people you wanna work with. Because I know for me, like if someone comes to me and they say that they listen to my podcast, I know they know what I. because they’re actively listening to my podcast. They are almost set up to be a client of mine.
If someone comes to me and they’re like, oh yeah, I’ve never listened to your podcast, but so-and-so recommended you to me, I know I have a little bit more. training with them. For what I do, because I’m not a podcaster who believes you have to record in a closet. I’m not a podcaster that tells you to buy a Blue Yeti microphone.
It, it’s just, that’s not who I am. There’s nothing wrong with those things. It’s just I do things different than some other podcasters who, because I know tricks on the backend to fix things, I know tricks to say like, oh, we can do this. Benefits back to benefits there’s also a marketing strategy. You can use your podcast to grow your business in different ways.
You can grow your email list with your podcast. You can sell your products with your podcast, but you can also use it to grow your speaking career. I think that’s a huge thing, especially cuz Colie and I just came back from the Creative Educator Conference and one thing about. That like set of people is they wanna be educators.
That could mean speaking on stage, it could mean building courses, whatever the thing is that they wanna do. A podcast builds that trust with them and educates it tells them that you know what you’re talking about and you can sell. Like in my own podcast, in 2023, I completely changed my strategy because in the past I was trying to grow an email.
And I’m still trying. Obviously there’s still things I’ll put on the podcast that will grow my email list, but that does not mean it’s the only thing. So now Mic Check Society is a huge part of my business that I wanna grow. That is my goal with my podcast. So every single episode has an ad. Kind of sounds like an ad, but not really, cuz there’s no music behind it.
And I basically tell you this episode’s brought to you by Mic Check Society and blah blah, blah. , and I’m telling so that people know Mic Check Society exists because I’m not huge on Instagram marketing. It’s just not my strategy right now. And if I’m not talking about it there, at least the people who are showing up every single week to listen to me talk about free education in the podcasting industry, know that this other thing also exists that can get them a deeper dive into it.
And you can do that exact same thing with your business.
Colie: I’m gonna do better on 2023. Haylee, I I promise it’s on my list. I was amazed at how many people at the conference already had a podcast and I, yeah, and I actually realized at some point in 2022, I don’t know when, but I realized that when I was introduced to someone new, . The first thing I started to do was I went to Apple Podcast to see if they had a podcast.
Like if I, you know, if I was introduced to you through someone’s email or on Instagram, like I really wasn’t going to your website. I mean, I was going to your website guys, you, everybody needs a website. Let’s just keep that there. But I was also going to Apple Podcast to see if you had a podcast so that I could listen to what you had to say.
I feel like along the way, somehow a podcast. is where I am pre-qualifying people. Now does that mean that I won’t hire you if you don’t have a podcast? Absolutely not. But I do feel like the podcast has enabled me to get a sense of your knowledge, get a sense of how you educate, and then just increase that know, like, trust factor.
A lot because I started listening to the Get Paid podcast with Claire Ptro, and I had no intention of joining her mastermind like. And then when she was doing the A, I was like, oh, okay. Here, just take my money. So I mean, I am someone who believes in the power of a podcast, 100%.
Haylee: Yes. I think, I think too something I wanna say, because I, I had shared that I’m not big on Instagram marketing right now. One thing you have to do with a podcast that you don’t have to do with social media as much is. Market that post. So like imagine an Instagram post versus a podcast episode. Your podcast episode, just because you post it is not gonna grow.
You have to actually tell people that you posted it unless you did the hard work upfront to get people to subscribe when you launched. Because that’s like, one thing I’ve noticed is. As I have gone through phases of telling my email list, my social media, that a new episode’s live because not everyone who listens, subscribes like.
That’s just the reality of it. You can, there are tricks to figure out how many people are subscribed or like if you go into the backend of Apple, you can see it. But that does not mean that they’re going to listen to every single episode or that the people who actually love your podcast are going to listen.
So you have to still do a little bit of marketing. I prefer email marketing just because people are not leaving Instagram to go listen to a podcast. They are seeing it, realizing, oh, there is a new episode out on the podcast, but then they’re gonna go listen when they actually go into the
I’ll listen to it when I get in the car. That’s my thing.
Haylee: yeah, yeah, exactly.
Colie: So the thing about podcasting though, I feel like podcasting is way closer to email marketing than it is to social media marketing because you do own that channel. So unless you like stop posting because everyone, I mean, Haylee can correct me if I’m wrong, but if you go a certain amount of time, Without publishing a new episode, apple will stop making those episodes automatically downloaded for the people who have subscribed.
So I just wanna put that out there. Apple does do that, but other than that,
Haylee: 14 days.
Colie: 14 days. But other than that, like if someone has subscribed to your podcast, they will automatically get the downloads directly into their podcast app and apple and Spotify and all of those, they are not guarding that. So it’s not like the algorithm and social media where Instagram is basically deciding who sees your post.
That doesn’t happen with a podcast, just like it doesn’t happen with your email marketing. Like you own your list, you email people out, and granted, you could always end up in. , but if you’re not ending up in spam, you know you are ending up inside of that subscriber’s email inbox. So that is one of the things that I love about podcasting is that it is more of a direct connection to your listeners.
And as Haley said, like if you’re just publishing the episodes, the people who have subscribed will get the episodes. But like you still have to announce that you’ve put out a podcast episode so that other people see it. I email my list every single. with like a summarized version of the show notes, links to the YouTube video.
If you’re not watching the YouTube videos, you’re missing out. And then links to like, listen on Apple or Spotify. So I am doing that. I feel like I don’t get that many clicks, but I still get people in my dms that are telling me, oh my God, that episode was so good. So I do know people are listening.
Haylee: Yes. So,
Colie: not translated into my.
Haylee: yeah, I wanna add to that. I think too, with, especially the podcasters I work with, so you are a Business First Creatives podcast. It’s a business podcast. People who are checking their email as business owners are checking their email on their computer, not on their phones, so they’re not gonna click over.
So do not let the, like, lack of click. Change your mind on if it’s working, because they just need that reminder. Like I share, I’ll share my podcast episodes to my Instagram stories, almost weekly. It depends. I’m again, not big into Instagram right now, and it’s just a right now moment.
It is a , it’s a choice, but I’ll share them. Do I ever get clicks on them? No. . That does not mean that they’re not listening. That doesn’t mean that they’re not going over to it. It’s very, you know, it’s like a Facebook ad. It’s an awareness
Haylee: you are doing awareness of your podcast, and someone will go listen when the episode hits, right?
They’re like, oh, I need this, this title, this person, this, whatever it is, one, one Tiny detail can change whether or not they go listen to your podcast for the very first time.
Colie: I mean, I feel like all of my social media videos are really what is driving people to go listen to the podcast cuz they’re getting like the little 30 second, 60 second clips. Like especially with Dan’s podcast. Like that clip that I put, or my podcast when Dan was on it, that clip that I put on where he was like, oh, my accountant said it killed it.
where did the money go?
Like literally, everyone wanted to go to my podcast to figure out where the money went.
Haylee: exactly. I loved.
Colie: yeah, that was a really good one.
Haylee: I loved his episode. Yeah, I, I think that doing the video video is newer for me. Like I will be completely honest. I am still, there are a hundred things you have to learn in the podcasting space. Times are changing. When I started, video was not a huge thing in the podcasting space. No one was recording video for it.
Colie has changed me
Colie: thank you, Haylee.
Haylee: so I am testing it with other clients too. Of doing the social media specifically. Not necessarily YouTube, cuz not most of my clients
Colie: I don’t get very many clicks on YouTube. I’m gonna be honest.
Haylee: Yeah. Yeah,
Colie: still growing on me too.
Haylee: it’s one of those things where you have to test it for yourself to see if you like it. I would love to start a YouTube channel.
Video’s, not necessarily my favorite. Piece of the puzzle, . But when it comes to actually marketing on social media, I think video is going to end up being by the, probably by mid 2023 it will be the. only way to market a podcast on social media, which is kind of scary for those of us who are not big into video.
Yeah, it sucks, but sometimes we have to pivot. I do think though, you can adjust too, so if video’s not your thing, you can still do other things. There will be another thing that comes around later this year, I’m sure, because it changes so often. I, I know. People are testing B-roll over an audiogram so that they’re using video, but it’s not them.
So that’s one thing you can do. I do a lot of audiograms that are like a still graphic in the wave file, and my clients are now uploading those as reels instead of a static carousel post. So there are a lot of things you can do if videos not your thing, but I do think that video is going to. the thing we have to kind of pivot into as
Colie: gotta suck it up. Yep. I, I was talking to Sarah of, social and stuff a few episodes ago and that was what she was saying. It’s not going anywhere guys. You’re gonna have to suck it up and try it. Like, just try it. It’s not that bad.
Haylee: and I think too, if it’s like if you are just dead set on not having it in your business, , try it with your guests. You’re already looking at each other. For the most part. Make sure they are aware of it, that they know the video is happening because you can always test there first, and then you don’t have to feel that way about solos because there is no way that I like, no part of me wants to actually stare at myself for that long
Colie: outta solos. I got you, Haylee. I got you. I mean, cuz you know how I don’t, I don’t wanna do solos at all. But, yeah, I mean, I, I don’t mind being on video and that’s actually not why I don’t ha, that’s not why I hate my solo episodes, but, I don’t mind being on video. If it was just me, I’d probably keep it, you know, shorter.
But it is funny what you said, guys. You do have to prepare your guests to know that they will be on video. I’ve had two people show up. Oh my gosh. You’re gonna like use the video. Yes, it was in both prep emails that you got. So if you need to fix your background, do it now.
Colie: That’s what I had to tell two people.
If you wanna fix your background, do it now. Cause I’m gonna use these on Instagram. But Haylee, we are gonna slightly pivot away from talking about podcasts into talking about what your business has allowed you to do. So you know that I’m all about business first creatives. However, I strongly believe that everyone should build their business around making sure that they are still enjoying their life.
So how has your business, like what you currently do, enabled you to do stuff like travel?
Haylee: Yeah, so traveling has always been a priority. for me, almost as much as like for a long time. My husband and I are very money conscious, and when we were paying off debt, like we were so money conscious that we would go out to dinner and split a. Like, it sounds silly now, but like, go to a Mexican restaurant, fill up on chips and salsa, and we, thankfully we don’t do that anymore just because we, we hit our goals.
But with that in mind, we wanted to put all of our fun money into it, into traveling. And so that has been a huge piece except for the fact that you have to take off work, you have to prepare your business, and I don’t think that as a business owner, I realized how hard that would be until I was getting on these vacations and realizing, oh, I have this, this, this, and this to do.
And so I did have to pivot. I had to change things because I could not. The reality of it is we’re taking a trip every two months pretty much,
Colie: Love it.
Haylee: it is wonderful. They’re not always long trips, and the way my husband’s schedule is at work, they’re usually week trips like Monday to Thursday. So they’re during my work week and. What I had to do was one, grow a team. I had to scale to where I brought in an editor who I love. She makes my life so much easier. She is more knowledgeable in editing. She was an audio engineer. That’s literally what she majored in in college and finding a team member that you can trust and say, okay, I’m going out of office these days and I want to.
Hand you over these podcast episodes because I don’t have them from the client. The client’s deadline isn’t here yet, but it will be while I’m gone. If you’ll work on them then and when I get back, I’ll fix it. So one of the biggest workflows was hiring a team that I, I could actually, and I don’t even know if that would be considered more of a system, is hiring a team that could be there to help me when I.
Need them. Not only that, but the other is setting up better systems and workflows for my clients. So one thing that I did in 2023 that we’re still, we’re still working on, because I wanna give my clients the flexibility of like, okay, you did give me enough notice. I’ve gotta work to this, but I used to require just one week before your episode went live to get it.
To me, that doesn’t work when you’re sick. It doesn’t work when you wanna travel. It doesn’t work when your client is sick because one week does not give you enough time to get anything done ahead. So now we’ve moved to two weeks ahead. So
Colie: See, I didn’t even notice cuz
Haylee: you are so far ahead. Yeah, , I only told the clients that are so used to working one week ahead.
But that’s one thing that I’ve moved to is like getting two weeks ahead so that I, if I wanna go on vacation, I don’t have to tell my clients, I will tell them if I don’t wanna be checking emails. That’s a big boundary I’ve w learned to set is if I wanna go on vacation and I don’t wanna be in my inbox, the whole.
I can tell my clients I’m going outta town these dates. Don’t worry. Your stuff is still, as long as you stick to your schedule, everything will be done because now I have two weeks ahead. I don’t have to over prep. I don’t have to do two weeks of work before I go out outta town, but I can tell. My audio engineer, Hey, can you do this?
And when you’re done with this particular episode, can you send it to our copywriter who can handle the copy? Or if it’s like a Monday through Friday and I have the weekend, I am the person that I will still work Friday, Saturday, Sunday to get something
Colie: Monday through Thursday off.
Haylee: if I’ve had, yes, there’s a lot of balance.
It’s not like it’s very flexible in as a business owner, an entrepreneur. Because I see people that are like, oh, I will never work a Saturday or a
Colie: Oh, I’m not one of those people.
Haylee: That’s great. But I would rather go on six vacations a year and work six Saturdays a year.
Colie: Mm-hmm. . Yeah.
When it’s even different here, because my husband now he has Fridays and Saturdays off, so I have tried desperately to have Fridays and Saturdays off, and I will work on Sunday because he is working on Sunday. So, . That’s how we did it in this house. No, I’m just so happy for you. I get excited when I get your emails that are like, Hey guys, I’m, you know, I’m gonna be gone this this week.
Can you please make sure you get your episode to me early? I’m like, yes. Where is she going? And why did I not get an invitation?
Colie: to myself.
Haylee: Yes, this was the first year, so, 2021. I took two weeks off for Christmas, and it was the first year I’d ever done that.
Colie: Good job.
Haylee: You know, business life, but also career. I was working in an office and I, I hated taking the week of Christmas off because I knew no work was being done in the office.
So I would be the person, yeah, I’d be the person that’s like, oh yeah, I can take care of, like, send your emails to me for like, have your clients reach out to me. I’ll be in the office because we are doing no work and I know no emails are coming in, but as. Pivoted into my own business and stuff. I realized my clients are also not working, so why should I be working?
So I decided to start taking two weeks off, and this year was the first year that I actually did not work. One single time. I, I did not open my laptop for two weeks. And that has never ever happened in my business. Like even in, I mean, in the. I’ll be honest, since I graduated college, my laptop has been open at least every other day.
in general, because even when I’m on vacations, I still am the person that will check my email unless, unless I’m on a cruise or I’m in another country, because that’s a, that’s a lot of money to be spending, um,
Colie: Haylee next time you leave your laptop at home. Although, I don’t know if you saw a few weeks ago, Chloe and I were going to Disneyland.
Colie: and we were at the airport and I purposefully did not bring a laptop. And then we got stuck at D I A for four hours. For four hours. I had nothing to do because I had no laptop. And I was like, this was a mistake. I should not have done this. And then like the very next week, James and I went to New York. And again, I promised him I was not gonna bring a laptop. So I didn’t bring a laptop. So, I mean, I do like to take a vacation from the laptop cuz the laptop calls you in. It’s like, come,
Haylee: I, when we did New York, because I, New York for us, was a trip, I told my clients I would not be working, and I had my laptop sitting on my desk and we’re about to walk out the door. And my husband goes, are you leaving your laptop? And I was like, yeah. And he said, you know, I, I want you to leave your laptop, but.
The second something goes wrong and you don’t have your laptop, it’s gonna ruin our vacation. And I was like, oh, you were so right. So I took it, did I open it? Not one time. It was so wonderful. I, it’s this whole pivoting into not working on vacation is something I’m getting better at. But I also think it depends on your clients too, like your clients.
And I’m in a space where my clients are respecting that and honoring it and like you celebrating the fact. , I can do this while still getting your work done.
Colie: Yes. All right, Haylee, we’ve come to the end. I’m gonna ask you my last question, and you know what it is,
Colie: Hey Haylee, tell me about your biggest fuck up in your business. Tell me what you learned from it and what it cost you.
Haylee: okay. I I do have two if that’s
Colie: that’s okay.
Haylee: I, I feel like they go hand in hand. sort of
Haylee: of them was I. So I had a client that I loved, her easiest client to work with all, you know, like ideal client, she fit. And I had her, it was when I was doing three month contracts, I went to renew her contract and her assistant reached out and was like, Hey, we’re not, we’re actually not gonna renew our contract at this time.
And I was like, but we work so well together. And she was like, yeah, I think we just were expecting more strategy from you and this was early on in my like, full-time business and it hit me. I have never given her a podcast report. I have never offered her strategy, even though I say like I am a podcast strategist, because she wasn’t paying for the strategy package.
And I put that in quotes, uh, air quotes for y’all, , who are not watching the video because she wasn’t paying for strategy. I didn’t think I needed to provide it to her. And I lost one of my highest paying, best working clients that I thought I would ever have. And that day I turned around and I sent every client an email and I said, I wanna hop on a strategy call with you.
Here’s a link, and I’m gonna be bringing a podcast report for the last year, cuz it was a December. Like renewal process. So January one, every client was on my books. Every client got a podcast report, and now I provide those monthly. I just think it’s, you have to learn from your clients. When your clients have an expectation that you’ve never thought about, you have to be the person that says, okay, I did screw up in my business and I could do better.
And that was such a huge learning moment for me. So that was the first one.
Colie: I love the strategy calls, so as a client, yay,
Haylee: Yeah. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be like every single time is a strategy call. Like I have a client who gets on and she just wants to talk about expectations with her podcast. Like, okay, if we move to three weeks ahead, does that mean that you’re working three weeks ahead?
Or you know, that type of thing. And even it could be redoing your intro and outro during that call, having me
Haylee: or having me audit your podcast and what we’re currently doing. Whatever you wanna bring to that call is on the table. You can bring anything to it. So the other one was working with clients that disrespected me for too long and it was the end of 2021 that I realized I was doing it.
I was letting clients walk all over me and I forgot that I have. Capabilities and the right to fire a client and to say, no, I’m not gonna be treated that way, and none of my clients these days do that. I love every client I work with, and I think that’s part of learning to be a Business First creative. I don’t have to.
make everyone happy. I have to make the clients that respect me happy , but for people who don’t and people that just kind of see you as someone to get the crap done they don’t wanna do, and only that, not as a person, you don’t have to work with them. You can say My dignity and my respect and my time and how I’m treated is worth far more than your money.
Colie: Yes, Haylee, I do see you as a collaborator in my business and not as an employee. So I think that’s, you know, that’s a good attitude to have.
Haylee: I love it.
Colie: I mean, but I think of everyone like that. Yeah.
Haylee: Yeah, I, I think that’s a great way to look at, even like contractors. My accountant, I love my accountant and she’s like the first person I go to and I have a question and I’m like, Hey, I know, like I only talk to you at tax time. Um, so Bill me, bill me for whatever your hourly rate is right now, but I need you to answer 15 questions, And she, she comes through with that bill. I mean, obviously she’s a business owner. She has to do that. But I mean, even I, I learned early on when I was scaling and hiring internally, because there’s not a lot of people that I like pay a business to do stuff. For me, it’s, I’m paying an a 10 99 contractor and like a freelancer.
I learned very quickly that they see my business from the outside and even though they’re in it, but I’m in it like this is every day. There are things that my contractors can point out to me that should be obvious to me, but are not. So I have a very open communication policy with all of my contractors of, if you have an idea for my business, Bring it to me.
Colie: all ears,
Haylee: They they do. And I’m like, what? Like what? My audio engineer, one of our clients said on her show that she was in the top four. On top charts in Apple and she was like, Hey, is there a reason you’re not promoting this online? Or like, is there a reason we’re not bragging on our clients? And I was like, one, the fact that you said our clients makes me so happy,
Haylee: But two, why have I never thought to brag on my client for being on the top charts in a podcast app? Like why? It may not be because of me, because for that particular client, we’re only editing, but. , she did that and she deserves to be bragged on because most people aren’t looking at that. And yeah. Anyway, yeah, open communication with contractors, bringing them on as collaborators.
Colie: Haylee. Those were good. Okay. I hope you have fun editing this episode, listening to yourself over and over again. Everyone, thank you so much for joining us and we will see you next time. Bye.