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#025: What I’ve learned from 25 episodes of The Client Whisperer™ Show
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Listen to Episode 25

Today, I’m going to give you a peek behind the scenes at five realizations I’ve had on the way to 25 episodes. It’s the 25th episode. Stay tuned.

Welcome to The Client Whisperer™ Show. I’m your host Tony Banta, and I am the client whisperer. I’ve spent over a decade running multiple six- and seven-figure client businesses and I’ve learned that the secret to success in a client business comes down to one thing:leadership. Bad client behavior is the enemy, and with the right curriculum, infrastructure, and mindset, you can lead your clients to great success and scale your business the easy way.

25 episodes isn’t that big of a deal. Okay. I know, I know it’s not that big of a deal, especially when there are a bunch of podcasters who’ve had thousands of episodes. I look at Joe Rogan and I feel inadequate for multiple reasons, but this has been an important milestone for me and it’s been an important milestone because I’ve started a podcast and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it and in a big way. That was the primary reason. I wasn’t doing those podcasts before to get rich. We’re not doing this one to get rich either. But it was a way that we could share valuable information, serve a tribe, create something cool. And for me personally, it was a way that I could learn something new, was a way that I could try something that – try a new muscle that I wanted to flex, try audio editing, try all kinds of things, try figuring out the technology so that we can actually get it published, try to see the system so that we could make it efficient.

So I’ve worked on that before, but this was different because in the past it wasn’t something that we wanted to stick with. But The Client Whisperer™ Show, I’m going to tell you, it’s here to stay. So I wanted to share with you the five realizations that I’ve had on the way to 25 episodes.

Realization number one: client success is so important. This is not – maybe this is a self-serving realization, but as I’ve gotten into recording content around this, I’ve really come to realize just how much I was downplaying this before. Yeah, yeah. This is not just really the realizations that I’ve had on the way to our 25 episodes, but I’ve also been now on about eight other podcasts or so.

And as I’m talking about this, I’m realizing just how few people really are talking about it. This was a fear when I got into starting the client whisperer and we really got serious about getting it started. This was a fear that I had that at some point in time I would run out of things to say without repeating myself. A friend of mine and a longtime client of ours often says that the market fatigues far slower around our content than we do. So I’m tired of talking about some of these things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that our listeners are tired of hearing about it. And why, is because they likely don’t have that result in their business yet. So we’re going to keep talking about it because it is so incredibly important.

Second realization: my temptation to overcomplicate is really strong. This comes, I think from my vision. I have this grand vision of everything that I want The Client Whisperer™ Show to be. I mentioned Joe Rogan before, but there are all kinds of podcasters and YouTubers that I admire so much and I see everything that they’re doing and we’ve decided to take some of the best little bits from a bunch of them to weave into the message and the way that we’re preparing the episodes. And now the way that we’re actually taking these videos and sharing them on YouTube, you can get to the YouTube video of this episode, by the way, by going to clientwhisperer.show/25yt. Same thing for every episode. If you put “yt” the end of the episode number, it takes you right to the YouTube video, and I really wanted all of that to happen for episode one, but that isn’t a reality and it’s not a reality because we’re not a huge company with a huge budget for this.

We have a team and that’s wonderful that I don’t have to do everything myself. I’m going to talk about systems and our team in a couple minutes. It’s also wonderful that we actually have a budget. There are a lot of podcasters who use their phone and have no production value. We have an amazing company and an amazing set of clients where we’ve actually been able to use that to reinvest in creating new content to serve an even wider group of people with this show. This microphone is an example of that. I’ve had professional microphones before and I’ve used them, but we actually upgraded, not that many – maybe about six weeks ago we upgraded to the very latest setup. So I have a professional XLR mic that refers to the connection that you see right at the tip there. And I have a, what’s called a preamp that it’s plugged into sitting over here on my desk.

I might take a picture of my desk sometime and share that, but that’s all been a process. I got started with the episode using equipment that I had. Got started on the episode, actually doing all of the recording and the editing myself. So it is a really interesting tear that I’ve had around making sure that we just get the episodes done and get them out and making them a little bit better. You know, a little bit more complicated. Layering in a little bit more of that as of this recording where we’ve just managed to streamline the process. So now every one of our episodes is going live on YouTube consistently. We’ve shared a few in the past before, but now we have that down so that that’s happening consistently and we have great cover art for those and they’re on our website so that we actually have a listing of all of those right on our sites that it’s easy for people to find those and go subscribe and make all of that happen.

So that has been a process of iteration, which is how every great system is actually created. And that’s realization number three, is just how critical systems are to this entire process. Like I mentioned before, for about the first 10 or 12 episodes, I actually did everything myself. I recorded, I wrote the show notes myself. I recorded them. I found graphics for them. Our, one of our operations team members, my wife Suzanne, is actually our COO. And so she helped me a little bit with posting them and with keeping the website up to date as we were kind of defining the process and the system. But at this point in time, we now have everything dialed in so that we actually have a broader team that’s able to help us make that work. Now we decided to do this intentionally for a reason.

We certainly could have hired a podcast producer and we actually worked with a podcast consultant who was phenomenal to help us kind of dial in exactly what we wanted our launch strategy to be and what some of our messaging was going to be. And we’re, we’re, we’re still working with them now to help consult on the show and to help us find shows that we can – that I can go on and share this message to other communities and other audiences which can only help us build our audience so that all of this great content that we’re, that we’re creating can actually be shared.

But the systems are so important because we wanted to dial that in ourselves, because I had a unique creative vision for what I wanted it to be. And I didn’t want someone else’s editing style or what they were – their templates and the things that they wanted didn’t want to just plug it right into what they were doing. I wanted it to be unique. And so that meant that I had to do it. I had to roll up my sleeves. This was also because I wanted to learn. This really goes back to that wanting to dive into some of the details so that I can understand how that works for myself. So now I have a greater level of understanding. And as I was able to do that, we actually built out the system in Asana, and I’ll link to Asana in the show notes, but we are able – and I’ll take a screenshot of a little bit of what it looks like and put that in the show notes as well –

But we were actually able to create a phenomenal template for every one of our episodes. So now we have a check – you know, we have a checklist for every single thing that has to happen to every episode. And at this point in time, most of those don’t even need to be done by me. I’m still recording all of the episodes in some cases for the solo episodes. Some of the editing is so quick ’cause I can just drop it in to the template that I made, but it’s now dialed in so that that’s about it. I just hit save on the file and then our team is able to take it from there. So now we’re really focused on how do we create phenomenal content and batch some of that so we can get ahead and so that the podcast isn’t taking away from our primary client business. That if I have something that goes wrong or if I have a client who really needs some extra help – and we have some clients where we work with at a super detailed level –

And so if one of those clients needs extra stuff this week, if they need extra help, if they’ve had a surge and, you know, new clients coming in and they need us to help, you know, break out how they’re going to really handle that next phase of growth or things like that, I want to be able to do that. I don’t want to have to be torn around, you know, eroding some of my – my time boundaries and when I make sure to go home, and having to decide between something for a client or something for our own marketing or a new opportunity that we want to chase and the podcast. So we’re making that part of what we’re doing, we’re systematizing that. That just gets to be something that is easy for us to build into the schedule while still producing top-rate content for all of you.

And that brings me to realization number four: preparation has been everything. We actually, at the time that I’m recording this episode right now, we actually have over 20 additional topics identified. And so 20 additional episodes are already identified and mapped out and I actually have 12 additional episodes recorded, fully recorded. The reason why is because I’ve found that for me, I don’t do my best work when I’m thinking about the episode and then immediately recording or when I’m showing up to the mic and having to come up with the topic and think about all of those things on the fly. I can, I have for some of the episodes, and I’m actually okay with the result. It’s not even as much about the result as much as it is that I don’t like it as much. I don’t enjoy the process as much that I like pre-identifying the topics, and you’ll see ’cause we have some really fun things in store for you over the course of the next 25 episodes and beyond because we’re creating some – some fun arcs that make it even easier for you to soak up some of the information.

And we’re working on ways where we can have even more helpful tools so that you can download them when you listen to an episode. And then you can actually apply the things that we’re talking about in your business week to week because we want to watch you grow your client success and grow your fulfillment capacity as we’re recording these episodes, as we’re sharing this with you. So because of that, we wanted to really dig into the preparation. So we actually have a content strategy meeting about once a month. And from that we look at what content’s resonating with our tribe, with our community the most. We look at some of the statistics, because you know, ultimately we want to create valuable content for you. This is about you. This isn’t about how can we help you. And so where you tell us with your clicks and with your downloads and with your attention what’s super valuable, that’s where we’re going to pour more of our attention into actually creating things for you.

And so we have, so a few of our team members kind of come together. We have that content planning session and then from there we go to town identifying the specific episodes, blocking those up. So then my job every week, I spent a couple hours, probably about an hour every week or so, writing out all of the content for the next week or two. And so I’m writing out the show notes ’cause that’s the process that tends to work for me and in writing out those show notes, I’m then able to -I’m then able to show up and, and batch-record a few episodes at a time on the mic.

I try to do those not consecutively, not right after one another because then that lets all the information that I’ve identified kind of percolate in my mind and I think of new stories that I want to share and things like that because there’s nothing worse than recording an episode and – you probably have had this happen before – whether you podcast or not, if you’ve done a Facebook Live or if you’ve been on a sales call or if you’ve been on a call with a client and then like that night I’m crawling into bed and I think in my mind, “Oh geez, I wish I would’ve shared this story.” Right? There’s nothing worse than that. So instead this gives me a chance to let that information kind of settle in my mind and I think it leads to better results for you and it just is a more enjoyable process for me.

That leads me to realization number five: perfection is a distraction. Now, I am a recovering perfectionist. I am still recovering. I am not yet a recovered perfectionist in that I still think about these things. It still weighs on me. Sometimes I see something and I want it to be more perfect than it is, and those things drive me up a wall if I let them. When I’m at my best, I don’t let it do that. I’m able to relax into knowing that we have systems and preparation and that we’re all really smart and really intentionally looking ahead and everything that we’re doing. And that realization is really helpful. That reminder that I give myself is really helpful to lean back into knowing that everything is getting better. And certainly when I look backwards, I can see that that’s absolutely true. Everything has been getting better, but in the moment it’s easy to get hung up on perfection.

I’ll give you a couple of examples. There was an episode a few weeks ago that we didn’t take live on the date that we wanted to and we had our whole content laid out, right? So, episode 21 I think it was, took days after when it was supposed to go live. We actually launched another episode or two and we had to go back and we had to backfill that. And that drives me crazy. But it doesn’t need to, and you probably didn’t notice. And even if you noticed, you probably didn’t care. And that’s the benefit of the realization for me is that that perfection – aiming for that perfection is laudable. Feeling bad or getting hung up on that perfection not happening really is a distraction from the important work that we have to do. I’ll give you another example. We launched our Legends series. I’m so excited about that because it lets us highlight experts in their various fields, some of them friends of ours, some of them acquaintances of ours from the marketplace who provide legendary client service. The Legends series is also really important because it is one of those things that so often we’re talking about the bad parts. We’re talking about the troublesome parts that it’s really important for me that we highlight, what does it look like? You know, what are the ups and the downs? What is that when you have incredible client fulfillment?

So we launched the first episode of that, it was great, Blake’s episode, and then we didn’t launch any others after that. And the reason why was because, at that present time, I was still editing a bunch of them. We didn’t have a podcast editor completely up and running yet and I stutter sometimes. I’ve had speech issues my entire life. Most of the time I’m completely fine and I don’t let it stop me. You’ve been able to hear it 25 episodes and I know you can go back and you can listen to times – there was even one stammer that I had earlier in this episode if I’m remembering correctly and I don’t edit those out, but in the interviews, they’re more frequent and they’re more frequent ’cause I’m thinking about more things. I’m worrying about more things on the episode. I’m worried about getting our guests off on time.

You know, I’m worried about wrapping the episode on time. I’m worrying about guiding the conversation. I’m paying attention to that. I’m paying attention to the intonation that the guest says so that I can ask really good follow-up questions. And I am not used to doing podcast interviews. This is, it’s a new skill for me, so I had a lot more speech issues and while I don’t mind sharing that, I don’t mind being transparent about that because I want people to be able to hear some of those imperfections, when I found that it was distracting from the content and I was editing it and it was distracting from what a guest had to say, that’s where I really needed to clean that up a little bit because it was making it harder for me as I was listening to objectively dive into the meaning behind what the guest was saying and that’s the point of the episode.

So I was going through and I was editing those and I have to be honest, it was really painful and I wanted to share this because there might be some areas in your business that are painful too. And it was painful because I was – the way that you do audio editing in many cases, I don’t know if there are people more experienced in this that are listening, and if you have any tips, please drop me a line – clientwhisperer.show, or you can find me on social media, Facebook, LinkedIn. But the way that I usually edit is, I am listening to it, I hear something that I want to edit it out. I go back a few seconds. I listen to it again to find the exact marker. So here I would be, having some speech issues, stuttering.

Sometimes for me, it looks like a little bit of hesitation. So I might make some throat sounds as I’m kind of getting into what I want to say or I might say things multiple times, not on purpose. And when I would listen to that, I would have to listen to the same issue over and over and over again to edit it. And it hurt. It really did. It was killing me. And you know, ultimately I said, this is just not a good use of my time. I don’t mind doing things that are difficult or that are challenging in our business. We, you know, we do that a lot because we want to be on the forefront of innovation and trying new things. So I live in the discomfort zone frequently in measured and intentional ways. But this was something else entirely.

This just felt masochistic. This just felt like I was torturing myself. So we then went to work finding some resources so that we could have some audio editing help and we have some phenomenal people that are now on our team taking care of those. But it was rough. So that is some of what I realized around perfectionism, was I had to be okay with the imperfection. And that’s still a tear for me ’cause there’s so much more that I want to have happen. You know, we have a great website for the podcast, but I also want to do so much more with that and make that so much better. But nothing happens overnight. Nothing happens, you know, there are no overnight successes. It’s an overnight success after thousands of nights of hard work. Right? So letting go of the distraction of perfectionism is one of those things that’s actually empowering me to do my best work and to make things iteratively better, which almost seems counterintuitive, but that paralyzing focus on perfection actually takes away from truly making things better over time. When I’m at my best, I’m focused on just making great content and just making great things and on helping our clients and our tribe lead better businesses and lead better, more fulfilled lives. So that’s what I choose to intentionally focus on and not feed into that distraction.

Perfect. I hope this has been insightful or at least a little bit fun. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I will talk to you on the next episode of The Client Whisperer™ Show. See ya.

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