How has everyone’s week been?? We are currently in California and are hoping time slows way down for the next few days..
So far we’ve eaten Mexican food at the cutest spot (I mean duh, legit SoCal Mexican food is a must do), wandered around Seaport, finally saw my sisters & niece and nephew, and just walked around. Love San Diego.
Ill do a mini vacay recap soon!
Back to this post- I was super excited to be able to interview Laura! She is a total #Boss and has launched a successful podcast and helps writers make a career out of freelancing.
Hi! Please introduce yourself!
My name is Laura Pennington and I am a freelance writer and project manager, who also runs the Better Biz Academy podcast and the website betterbizacademy.com.
I love, love, love a good podcast. What sparked the creation of Better Biz Academy?
Honestly, so many people in my network kept reaching out to me and telling me that they would love to listen to a podcast. A lot of the people in my listening audience are still working a 9 to 5 job and are commuting or exercising. So, while they may not have the time to read a blog, they may be able to listen to a podcast and they love having a lot of free content queued up easy for them to find.
Spill any advice you have for someone who wants to start their own podcast; where do they start and what should they know before launching?
First of all, I strongly recommend that you outsource the editing of your audio and find somebody else who knows how to launch a podcast quickly. I found an excellent editor, who also had a launch package and he helped me set up with Libsyn, iTunes, Stitcher radio and all of the other backend stuff like creating art work for the show and uploading my first episode well in advance. I recommend that anyone who is thinking about starting a podcast gets crystal clear on the purpose of their podcast and always has a minimum of four extra episodes ready to go live. This will be extremely important when you launch because you may find yourself falling behind and one of the most important things about podcasting is that you need to remain consistent.
What has been the biggest thing you have learned since launching the podcast?
I have learned that I get a tremendous amount of value out of the podcast as the host. I am sure there is plenty of excellent information being shared for my listeners and that’s my primary goal, but I have learned so many different things from my guests on the show and that is what continues to inspire me to host the podcast.
How do you find guests for the podcast?
One of the most powerful ways that I have been able to identify meaningful guests is by posting in Facebook groups on collaboration days. Make sure that you make it simple for people to participate on your podcast, like a Google form that captures their information, so they can apply quickly and so you can review a lot of people at once. We also have a streamlined system that makes things extremely and occasionally I just get emails from people who might be the right fit.
You also have an amazing business where you help people launch a career in freelancing; share the details on Six Figure Writing Secrets.
I launched Six Figure Writing Secrets after a number of other people in graduate school and people who I have been teachers with, asked me how to become freelance writers. I put this website together to share all of my best advice about Upwork and the freelance writing business.
Can you share a few things for people wanting to start a freelance career or what they can expect from your class?
First of all, you need to know that whatever you are targeting is in demand. You are not going to make money as a freelancer, if someone doesn’t need your services. So, I suggest doing a little bit of market research first. Go with the skillset that you are the strongest in already. For example, I went in as a freelance writer because I’d been told I was a decent writer from my professors. I walk people through the steps of everything they need to know in order to launch a freelance writing career and none of the fluff. My classes are direct and to the point.
How do you juggle both Six Figure Writing Secrets and the Better Biz Academy?
We are getting ready to merge all of my websites under one umbrella, the Better Biz Academy. So, you can go there and find information about freelance writing, becoming a virtual assistant or running an online business efficiently and effectively. I manage things carefully by ensuring that I outsource everything that is not my zone of genius. So, while I might show up to actually record the podcast and vet the guests, all of the scheduling in advance, the development of graphics, the publication of that podcast on Libsyn and my website and all of other aspects are handled by my amazing virtual team.
Tips for avoiding burn out?
I strongly recommend that you begin tracking exactly how many hours you are working every single week. I am very mindful that I can only give 15 hours to my coaching business, 15 hours to my freelance writing clients and 10 hours to writing my dissertation. I monitor this closely to make sure I am never overbooked and to see what trends are emerging in my business. I also recommend only working with your ideal clients, so that the projects you are working on are fulfilling and enjoyable and furthermore, outsource everything you possible can within your life. Reducing decisions you have to make personally is tremendously helpful as entrepreneurs have make decisions all the time.