How much time do you spend planning each day so that you can be most productive?
What about time spent in planning your podcast?
Do you prioritize and calendar time for planning out episodes, or inviting guests, or even creating systems and automations to make the time you spend podcast most efficient?
If you’re not taking the time to plan, you may be wasting your precious time!
According to Brian Tracy, International speaker, author, and productivity expert states that “Every minute spent in planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution.”
In practical terms, if you spend 2 hours per month planning your podcast, you could save 20 hours this month alone. In a year’s time, this is 240 hours in 12 months.
What would you do with an extra 10 free days?
Today on episode #251 of the In a Weekend podcast, we’re diving into the power of planning your podcast. Stick around until the end of the episode because I have a special invitation for you to help you plan the entire first or next quarter of your podcast!
According to the website, study.com, there are actually 4 types of planning: strategic, tactical, operational, and contingency. Read the full article
Did you know there were 4 different types of planning?
I sure didn’t until I was doing a bit of research for today’s episode.
Before we dive into the 4 types of planning you can do for your business and for your podcast, promise me this…
If you’re listening to this podcast on the go, come back to this episode and then spend some time working through each type of plan. Take notes, dream big, and then share your plans below.
Planning type #1: Strategic
Strategic planning is the first type of plan in the hierarchy. It begins with your mission and goals and is forward-facing. With a strategic plan, you get to create the story of your business? Where do you want your business to be in the future? What’s the vision for your business moving forward? What’s the legacy you want to leave?
BTW, if you haven’t listened to the episode on Leaving a Legacy, #247, you can do so HERE
In the later years of my performing arts studio, we’d kick off each new season with Dreaming Rooms – an idea I borrowed from Disney.
I’d pose questions to inspire my staff to project themselves and the business into the future in each of the different areas in building from the classrooms to the lobby areas to our very long hallways.
We’d spend half a day or so enjoying one another’s company and dreaming big together. We’d collectively answer questions like:
- What could the business look like in a year, 5 years, 10 years?
- How did they see themselves being part of the plan?
- Where did they want to see us go and do?
- How could we be of the most benefit to our students and communities?
As the visionary of your business, you get to write your own story which can change and pivot as you do.
Planning type #2: Tactical
Once you have a vision for your business, we move into the next level of planning in the hierarchy, tactical.
A tactical plan includes the specifics you’ll put into place to achieve your mission and your goals.
Questions to ask when creating your Tactical Plan:
- What actions do you need to take in order to fulfill your mission this year, next year, in 10 years?
- What actions do you need to take in order to create your podcast?
- What about to launch, scale, or monetize?
- What topics will you share on your podcast that will lead your listeners to take action with you, whether to grab a freebie or purchase your product or services?
I’ll be the first to admit that I was very much a tactical business owner for way too long. I was always trying different ideas and tactics to see what would stick. It most certainly wasn’t the best course of action, however, I was consistently taking action.
When deploying these tactics, I didn’t often ask myself whether or not the tactics would help me fulfill the strategic plan. I’d set out each day with a list of tasks, mostly busy work that didn’t actually move the needle in my business. Don’t make this same mistake!
Planning type #3: Operational
I was wasting far too much time executing tactics because I didn’t embrace planning type #3: Operational.
Operational planning is all about systems and procedures – the SOPs or standard operating proceures put into place to improve efficiency and consistency.
As a creative, I avoided systems and procedures like the plague because I thought they’d stifle my creativity. Boy, was I wrong…and ironically, systems are now one of my most my favorite things to talk about and teach.
I went in kicking and screaming into creating systems in my business. I had no idea where to begin so I hired a coach to help me create not one or two systems, but hundreds of systems and procedures my staff used to perform every task in my business. And when I say every task, I do mean every task.
There was a system for how to do everything: from answering the phone, to opening and closing the building, what to do in an emergency, how to handle difficult students or their parents, how to deal with telemarketers, how to register students, what to do when challenges arose, how to turn on the heat/air…basically it was a how to do everything inside the business with a HUGE manual of hundreds of pages that sat at the front desk.
Having a standard way to perform each task ultimately saved my staff and me so much time. We didn’t have to re-invent the wheel every time we did the same task, saving valuable time and money. Plus, systems ensured consistency between staff members and provided a way for each staff member to hold him/herself accountable to a certain standard.
Now that I’ve seen the time these systems can save in staff training, in accountability, in time, and money, I’m a HUGE proponent of creating systems.
My favorite systems these days revolve around automation.
- What can I automate on the podcast to increase efficiency?
- What can I automate so that my staff can work on more productive and meaningful tasks?
So when it comes to creating, launching, and sustaining your podcast for the long term, what systems can you create and put into place to make the process more efficient?
Inside of Podcast in a Weekend, we dive deep into systems and automation to make your podcast a well-oiled machine. In fact, one of the favorite aspects of the class my students report is PamMe. P-a-m-m-e which stands for a Podcast Automation Machine for ME! You’ll literally learn how to create your very own Podcast Automation Machine which my students report is one of their favorite lessons!
Over the years I’ve truly learned the power of systems. I often refer to myself as a lazy entrepreneur, which may sound terrible, but it’s not. I wear it like a badge of honor. For me, I’m lazy in the sense that once I create a piece of content like this podcast, I have systems in place to automate the creation of additional pieces of content live video and audio clips, blog posts, and much, much more!
In fact, from each episode, I get at least a month’s worth of content. As cool as that is, there’s something even cooler about being a lazy entrepreneur the way that I do it…
Wanna know what’s cooler than getting a month’s worth of content from every single episode?
The bulk of the content is being created automatically for me because of the systems I have in place. That means that while I’m enjoying lunch with my mom, snuggling up with my kiddos, or binge-watching Netflix from time to time, my content is being created FOR me.
I can literally lounge around and enjoy an activity outside of work and just be lazy. At this point in my life and business, I get to enjoy being the lazy entrepreneur.
Can you tell that systems are a passion of mine?
I get totally fired up when I share the possibility that systems can create for YOU and your podcast!
Planning type #4: Contingency
Once you have your operational plan in place, it’s time to create your contingency plan. This 4th type of planning ensures that you have options in the event your plans need to change.
- What if you get sick, lose your voice, and can’t record your podcast this week or next?
- What if one of your tactics don’t work the way you planned.
- What is one of your systems breaks?
- What if your internet goes out right before your next live event?
Back on episode #247, What to do when the gremlins arrive, you’ll learn some contingency plans regarding the use of technology which I highly encourage you to listen to if you haven’t already.
Having alternative plans in your back pocket can help to ensure that your podcast can continue when something unexpected arises. You may have noticed I didn’t say ‘if’ something unexpected arises, but when. It’s inevitable as a business owner, a podcaster, that challenges will arise, usually when you least expect them. Creating what/if contingency plans before you need them is definitely the best way to go.
Now that you know the 4 types of planning, how can you apply them to your podcast and actually create your own plan?
You have a couple of options here:
- You can listen to this episode passively and go on about your day
- You can listen to this episode and take the time to work through each of these types of plans
- You can listen to this episode, do the work, and then create a plan with my help inside my brand new workshop, 1-2-3: A Podcast for Me.
During this pre-recorded workshop, you’ll learn the 3 fundamentals of planning out your podcast PLUS by the end, you’ll have an action plan for your first on next quarter of your podcast.
As a busy entrepreneur, I know how valuable your time is. This workshop is all about taking fast action – not being sloppy or cutting corners – but being super efficient with our time.
Do the work and by the end of the workshop, if you’ll have:
- 12 weeks of podcast episodes planned out so you never have to scramble (one episode per week is highly recommended)
- A system for batch-recording your episodes to save even more time
- A plan for moving listeners towards your products/services
I want to remind you of the Brian Tracy quote I shared at the beginning of this episode:
“Every minute spent in planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution.”
Are you ready to save time?
Let’s spend 2 hours together planning your podcast, so you can save up to 20 hours this month alone!
What would you do with an extra 5 days?
Join Yong inside of her brand new workshop, 1-2-3: A Podcast for Me!
How much time are you budgeting for planning out your day your week, your month or even your years?
What about some strategic time on your calendar for planning out your podcast? Well, lately I have been seeing a lot of comments about how planning can sometimes be a little bit confusing.
Today I'm here to help simplify the idea of planning, by giving you four different types of plans that you need to have in your business, why they're important, and examples of each one so that as you move into the new year, you are ready to create your own plan, not only for your business but for your podcast.
And at the end of the episode, I'm going to share something special that I've been working on, just for you, to help you take what you've learned today and help you plan out the first or next quarter of your podcast. Are you ready to dive in?
Welcome to episode number 251, of the In a Weekend Podcast. I'm your host, Yong Pratt, and I'm on a mission to help my fellow female entrepreneurs, create and launched their podcasts, quickly and easily in as little as a weekend. By learning the principles of repurposing the content you're already creating and automating that process we can help you to create your podcast faster than you ever thought possible.
Today is all about planning. Now, with the end of the year, very close, and the new decade, right around the corner, I've seen a lot of posts about planning and do you have a plan? Have you put stuff on your calendar? I'm here to share what I've actually gone through my 2020 calendar. I have put on there when classes are going to launch. I have things set out by month to help those people who are in my membership that are podcasters, as well as ideas and subjects we're going to talk about here on the podcast.
One of my superpowers happens to be strategy and planning. I love to plan out things to help my business be more efficient to reach more people. And I especially love to help my students and my private clients do the same thing so that they can be really streamlined and spend more time on the important things in their business, rather than on things that are not going to move the needle forward.
Now, sometimes people think that planning is about taking away creativity. I definitely felt like that, too, because as a creative and having run a performing art studio for 17-years and being a professional dancer before that, planning was not something that I really gravitated towards because I really thought it was going to stifle my creativity and be really putting me in a box and not letting me have the freedom to do what I wanted to do.
However, now that I have become a planner in my business and on the podcast, I definitely recommend that it's something that you take some time to do, whether that's today, or over the holidays. Really take some time to digest what I'm going to share with you on the podcast today. Spend some time writing down the answers for yourself so that you can really start to embrace the idea that is planning.
Alright, with that being said, I want to make sure that you do something for me today. If you're listening to this podcast on the go, I want you to bookmark it or save it so you can come back again and work through all of the exercises and the ideas I'm going to share with you today because they will save you a lot of time in the end.
And I want to share this with you as well. Brian Tracy, who is an international speaker, author and productivity expert says that "Every minute spent in planning saves as many as 10 minutes in execution."
So in practical terms, if you spend two hours per month planning out your podcast, for instance, you could save 10 hours the first month alone in the execution because you know what you have to do. You're not making things up on the fly. You're not having to be so improvisational with each episode. That's going to save a lot of time and compounded over the year, that is a lot of time, my friends.
Part of what we love to teach on this podcast is efficiency and how to save time. And one of my favorite things to teach is this planning portion. So let's dive in today.
When I was doing some research about planning and looking at different ways people plan out their podcasts and their businesses, I ran across an article on the website study.com. On there, I found four distinctly different types of plans and they're all important in your business. Are you ready to dive in?
Type number one is a strategic plan. Now, this is at the top of the hierarchy of planning. It's kind of the overarching umbrella where all of the ideas are crafted. So you as the storyteller or the creator of your business get to put in place a strategy that will help all of the rest of the plans fall into place.
With a strategic plan, you really get to take the reins. You get to craft a story and that story can pivot and go through ups and downs along the way. And that's totally a normal process. You get to decide on the vision of your business.
What do you want to do moving forward? And most importantly, your strategic plan helps you in crafting your legacy. Now back on a previous episode, we had a whole show devoted to this idea of leaving a legacy and what legacy do you want to leave? If you've been listening to this podcast for any length of time, you know that I was a huge fan of podcasting as part of the legacy that you want to leave.
So let me give you an example of how to put a strategic plan in place for your business. and for the podcast. In the latter years of my Performing Arts studio, I would always kick off each season with something we called the Dreaming Room. I would invite all of my staff who ranged in the specialty from different types of dance, to different types of musical instruments, to martial arts, to acting, and kind of anything else that follows in the performing arts arena.
We would come to the studio and spend half a day hanging out, and really getting strategic about the big picture. In each of our different classrooms and also in the lobby and in the long hallways, I put up those humongous sticky notes and asked a series of questions. And we would time ourselves at each of the little stations and each staff member would, in turn, add to this list.
Let me give you some examples of the questions I would ask: What could your business, look like or what do you want your business to look like in 5, 10, 20 years? I wanted to know from my staff, how they saw themselves being part of this long-term picture. I wanted to get their buy-in and get them excited about sharing their thoughts and ideas, and how we could implement that to make the business even stronger, and even better. I wanted to know from them, Where do they want us to go and what did they want us to do?
The community was really important to me, it still is. I really wanted to know from them, how we as a performing arts studio could be a leader in our community and how we could benefit our students and the greater community in general so that we were really entrenched in what everyone thought of when they thought about performing arts.
Now as the visionary of your business, of your podcast, you get to write the story and change, and pivot and put a new chapter, or a second volume into this strategic plan so that's the top of the hierarchy. The strategic plan where you get to craft the vision and the legacy.
Once you have that vision in place, you get to move into that Tactical Plan. You have a big vision. How are you going to take that from vision to reality? There need to be some tactical steps you can take to bring that vision to life.
This tactical plan helps you to achieve your mission, as well as your goals and questions like, what actions, do you need to take in the next so long, from months to years, to decades down the road? What actions do you need to take in order to create your podcast,? You can probably sit down right now and think of 10 things you need to do to launch your podcast. You may just need a little bit of a shove or some hand-holding along the way and I've got your back on that one, too, my friends.
Ask questions about your launch. How are you planning on launching? Are you going to have a launch team? How do you plan on scaling your podcast or automating your podcast or even monetizing it? A lot of people I talk to who want to start a podcast don't really go into a podcast thinking about ways to monetize. Another one of my superpowers is seeing the gaps in people's businesses, especially when it comes to marketing and podcasting and the ways that we can fit monetization into your podcast, into your business in a really strategic way that's going to move your business forward.
Asking questions of yourself like what topics do you want to share on your podcast that is going to help take listeners from point A to point B and so on down the journey that you've crafted for them because at some point we want them to take an action? The action ultimately will be to get onto your email list, to purchase a product, to purchase a service, to take one of your classes. You definitely want to move them on down into a journey. And we want to be tactical at what steps we want to take them through as soon as they connect with us.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that, I'm almost embarrassed to tell you this, that for so long, I had kind of a hazy strategy for the business as you can do plan, but I spent a lot of time employing lots of different tactics. However, I didn't always take the time to ask myself how those tactics fit into reaching our goals or our plan so for a lot of years. I was literally throwing out different ideas. Coming up with different programs in different ways to market. I would literally do it like you cook spaghetti. You want to check this doneness by you know seeing what's going to stick. And that was a really bad play on my part because the tactics I chose to implement for a couple of years - not all of them and I'd say probably very few of them, actually had much to do with the strategic plan or the goal and the mission. I was just wanting to test out a bunch of stuff and that's what I did. And in the process, you better believe I learned a ton of things.
Now only was I wasting way too much time in the tactical things, mostly because I didn't have the planning type, number three in place? And this is one that's really important and a key to your success and that is your Operational Plan.
Now when you think of the operational plan you may think, oh no...totally buttoned up, and I'm going to be totally rigid in this area. Your operational plan includes things like your systems, and your procedures, your SOPs or your Standard Operating Procedures, and then you put those things in place to improve efficiency and consistency.
These are the two other values that I really gravitate towards because those two things are really crucial to your business. And in the process of starting down this journey of putting systems and procedures into place. I actually had to hire a mentor because as a creative, I kind of went in, kicking and screaming into putting these operations or systems in place because I thought it was going to slow me down. I thought I wasn't going to be able to flex my creative muscles because I wanted to be able to answer things and brainstorm things on the fly.
But what I found out is this: If I took the time to slow down before I sped up and wrote out a system or procedure for everything in my business and I mean everything - from answering the phones to unlocking the building, to turn the air conditioner and heater off and on, to dealing with customer complaints, to dealing with registration and enrollment questions.
There was a system for everything, and my coach helped me create not one system, but literally hundreds. In the process of doing it, I felt like I was really just boxing myself in. But after I went through that process, kicking and screaming. True story...kicking and screaming into this process. I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to curtain my creativity at any level. I found out of this, that by having a standard way that something was done in our business, my staff was able to be very consistent with their outcomes.
So if somebody came in to ask a question about one thing, no matter who they talked, they got a pretty standard response, which was a really, really great thing. For my dance instructors, when we were getting ready to put on our year-end performance, having a procedure of what needs to go when. The process of when things need to be done so that our students were ready to take to the stage during the performances. All of that helped to actually SPEED everything up. Everything became a really finely tuned machine, well oiled, and we were much more efficient, which saved a ton of time, and because it saved my staff and me tons of time, it meant we were saving money.
So these operational procedures are super, super important. And inside my classes, I love to dive deep into these systems. In particular, automation, how you can put systems in place to use software and resources to automate the process. So you can thereby save even more time and save even more money.
An example of this is Inside of Podcast in a Weekend, I introduce my students to a tool called Pamme which stands for a podcast automation machine for me. Throughout the weekend you set up these systems that take your content and turn it into other types of content, all on autopilot. I don't think anything gets much better than doing things automatically because for me consistency and efficiency, are the name of the game, and saving you time is definitely up there as well as saving money.
These operational systems or operational plans really will go a long way in helping you save time and like Brian Tracy said, "every minute you spend planning could save you as much as 10 minutes in the execution. So trust me what I say this, that even though you may not like the idea of having an operations manual or having these systems in place, they ultimately will go a long way and save you a lot of time, effort, heartache, and money.
Now the fourth type of plan is something called a contingency plan. It's your what/If plan. What if this happened? What are you going to do?
Back on our Halloween episode, I had a whole show dedicated to What to do when the Gremlins come to play, and I was specifically talking about those tech gremlins because they will come to play. It's not a matter of if but when. And the plans you can put into place to make sure that they don't take you down.
Questions to Ask yourself here: What if I get sick, or I'm in an accident and I might be able to record my podcast? What's gonna happen then? What if one of the tactics you've chosen just doesn't work? What's next? Do you just stop or do you try something else? What if one of your systems breaks? Having systems, and automation in place, are all great. However, when they're connected to platforms like Facebook, there's always something that needs to be reconnected because as Facebook changes, things within the platform, some of the connections may sometimes break. So when that happens, what are you going to do? What if your internet goes out right before your next event? Are you committed to being there and showing up by phone if you need to?
Thinking through these what/if scenarios will really help you take your strategic plan, put in the tactics, figure out the operations, and then your contingency plan is all of that goes awry, what's next? Definitely something really important to have in place.
Now that you know the four types of plans you have a couple of options here:
Option one is you can listen to this podcast episode passively and go about your day. I know we're getting close to the holidays so there's lots of extra stuff to do from Christmas shopping to prepping meals to hurting your house for welcoming, your family, there are lots. I totally get that. So number one is you can listen passively and move on to the next episode.
Number two: You can go back and listen to this episode again with a notebook in hand, whether your notebook is virtual or digital or old school pen and paper, listen and then answer the questions that I posed in this episode, and use that to help you move forward.
Option number three: You can listen to this episode, do all the work in writing things down and start crafting that plan. And then, come and get my help planning out the first quarter, or the next quarter of your podcast with my brand new 1-2-3: A Podcast for Me Workshop.
Throughout the workshop, which is pre-recorded so you can go through on your own time, I'll share three fundamentals to planning out the podcast. Plus by the end, you'll have an action plan for the first, or next quarter of your podcast.
I know in the early days of podcasting for me, I was not much of a planner. I would stress about coming up with ideas on the fly, and it got to the point where I just didn't like, and really kind of dreaded, having to record the podcast because I didn't know what I was going to talk about. I felt stressed out so having this plan, knowing what you're going to talk about, having your contingency plan in place, in case it doesn't happen just that way. Having the plans in place, again, saves you time in the execution. So come and spend a couple of hours with me, watch these videos and put the plan to action.
Use what you learn in today's podcast, the four types of plans you can use. Plus, learn the three fundamentals to plan out 12 episodes. The first 12. The next 12 episodes of your podcast. And once you know this system had a way to consistently creating content for yourself, you can use this class again and again, and again, to plan out, not just the first one next quarter, but all the way through the year.
Take a moment to let that sink in for a minute. What if, by the end of the workshop, after a couple of hours, you have this beautiful plan, and all you have to do is take action on it?
You put it [the plan] into place, the systems that set up. You move along, and you have this gorgeous plan. And then what happens is, when the plan is formulated, and rest of the stuff is easy...The execution becomes easy because a plan gets you excited about the action taking part of the process of putting your podcast together. So if you'd like to save time with me as we hit the holiday season, and start thinking about the new year, and the new decade, I'd love for you to join me inside the 1-2-3: A Podcast For Me Workshop at www.yongpratt.com/251.
Okay, my friend. There you have it. Four different types of plans you can use for your business, as well as for your podcast. And if you want a little hand-holding and a little push, and some encouragement to get the first, or next quarter of your podcast up and ready to take action on, just head to www.yongpratt.com/ 123workshop.
Next time on the podcast. I'm going to share with you a strategy I learned a long time ago. A little idea that I kind of put on the back burner and I forgotten about until a conversation recently. And this idea is about crafting your harvest strategy. It's a little bit different than just celebrating your wins. So I'm going to share with you when I first learned this idea of what it could mean for you and all the goodness that comes from employing or deploying your very own harvest strategy. Okay, my friends, I wish you an amazing day, I will catch you next time. Cheers!