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It's taken a year... but here's how we've filled our space and grown our business

Following Through on Big Ideas: Part Two

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I was recently writing a Substack and noticed I said the word conviction, in terms of how I'm feeling right now creating and moving from a different spot than my normal perfectionistic self.

I thought: “I swear I've done an episode on this before.” So I looked it up and sure enough it was literally a year ago that I posted: Following Through on Big Ideas- Part 1.

The intention behind that recording was to come back for a part two and talk about how we've gone from having the vision of the studio and bringing it into reality to getting visible and bringing clients into the space.

It's actually very eerie how many similarities there are between when I recorded that episode a year ago and where I’m at recording this one now.

At that time I was:

  • Going to Nashville with my high school friends to visit our friend, Bridget, who lives there.

    • I am now recording this, having just gotten back from Nashville, seeing Bridget again, but this time with other friends because we hosted the Podcasting Moms Conference there.

It's kind of crazy that I'm talking about a similar topic after coming back from the exact same space, one year since we got the keys to the studio. And also that just yesterday I had this ping that I finally feel like I know, personally for me, what levers to pull in my business to grow it more.

Granted I've been at this for almost 15 years now, but this part of our business is only really a year old and I just feel stronger and more calm than I ever have before.

It's interesting to see the intersections of how we come to things again and again, and how we can come back stronger from the different tidbits, life lessons and all the things we've gone through.

How I've filled our space and grown our business

In short, what works for me and where we're focusing our energy (new post breaking it all down here) is:

First and foremost Substack

  • And I think that that's because I'm nurturing those who are already in my world.

    • Substack above all else is an email newsletter platform. So it allows me to take the connections I've already made and continue to communicate with them, nurture them, give them an update, maybe provide some insights that they're like: “Oh, yeah, that was helpful. I liked that.” And maybe we're top of mind moving forward when someone is looking for a studio space or wants to start a podcast.

      • More on creating content without an agenda because that's really what I'm focusing on now.

Next is Instagram Ads

  • Now I wanted to say it with that caveat of ads, because as many of, you know, we've pretty much left Instagram. And really when I say left Instagram, it's that I'm using it differently.

  • I have an 18 grid up, meaning that if you go to our Instagram profile, it's going to look like a website. The back end of that then is if I do post, I'm only posting reels so that it doesn't mess up our grid feed.

  • And I'm now realizing that when I post a reel, I’m creating it as an ad in my mind, and then I boost it, and we're seeing really good conversion there.

    • For us these reels really focus on our space and selling the use of it. (Like Airbnb, but for a business setting.)

      • I think that has done very well for us because it's targeted both for the people, meaning that I'm specifically targeting, Clevelanders, moms, women in this age range who are interested in these things like Gilmore Girls and podcasts and entrepreneurship. But also the problem and solution is very targeted too.

In-Person Connections

Another thing that's really bringing people into our world (and this is a beautiful thing about having a local business, but I think you can make your online business more local too) is our in real life connections.

  • Sometimes that looks like me connecting and sending voice memos with people who I’ve met online, but more often now with the studio, it’s us using our podcast to meet more Cleveland business owners and creating more community here which, as a bonus, sends us more referrals too.

Local PR

The last one that's brought people into our space has been local PR.

  • It's an interesting situation for me with local PR because that often looks like getting on our local TV which is huge and helpful. But also our ideal client isn't necessarily there. So that's more of a trickle down effect in my opinion.

  • Even with some of the local magazines and things we've gotten into, that's been very helpful again, because of the word of mouth that that creates. When somebody says: I need to record a podcast or I want a cool space to meet in, or I want to start a course. Then there's an opportunity for a referral because someone knows we exist

All in all, what I think I'm recognizing is that the more people who know we exist and what we do, the more that we see people coming into our space.

It's really funny when you look back on yourself and your business journey like I did here. You notice things you’ve said that you’re really proud of and hear inklings of the future while remembering your mindset from the past.

Like when I breezed by, that the space would be used for creation but mostly connection. Versus now where our space is really a creative haven for us and then we share it with others and help them create too.

At one point I said, hold the vision, trust the process.

It's a phrase I love that still holds true- who knows what I'm going to say a year from now?

Maybe I'll be back at the connection point, maybe we'll have done our creation and I'm ready to dive into something else. It's always fluid, an evolution.

For now trusting the process looks like:

  • Continuing to listen to my gut

  • and to have that high level of energy in what I do.

  • And to do what feels good right now.

And I think it's really helpful knowing that we are converting and we are reaching our goals with just a few things that move the needle for us.

And I just want to have that caveat again of like: this is what's working for us. I'm going to share more details on that of how we're growing our business without social.

That is something that I do each month on the paid side of our Substack. I share the stats and some of the behind the scenes stuff.

But I love to say that caveat of: that's what's working for us, and so I'd recommend being a scientist in your own business and seeing what's converting for you, what feels good for you, and taking action based on that.

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