2,000 monthly downloads

Launched in June 2016

1 episode a week

Hello! What’s your background, and what’s your podcast about?

Hey there! My name is Michelle Lewis. I’m the founder of Visibility Vixen® and am a Visibility Expert who specializes in helping established entrepreneurs skyrocket their visibility, launch their unique show strategy and start landing press for their brand through Hollywood techniques found in my programs and membership The Visibility Lounge.

I’m the host of “The Visible Entrepreneur” podcast and facebook group and have been featured on Entrepreneur On Fire, The Huffington Post, Medium, Buzzfeed and Small Biz Trends.

My background is in film and television, growing up on films sets and ultimately directing, acting and producing for over ten years. I’ve brought that training into entrepreneurship, helping brands skyrocket their visibility online with Hollywood techniques. Not one to get bored, I am also certified in natural medicine as well as interior design, am an avid horseback rider and proud pug owner.

“The Visible Entrepreneur Podcast” is all about actionable visibility strategies entrepreneurs from all over the world can start injecting into their business plan. I aspire to be the business bestie in my listener’s ear so they can get the dose of motivation and inspiration they need to keep going and keep growing with their goals.

What was the motivation behind starting the podcast?

The podcast was such an instant draw for me when I left my job. I knew pretty much right away that I wanted to host one. Probably the acting blood surging through my veins!

I knew I wanted to highlight the journey of entrepreneurship, the strategies that were working for me, guests to learn from and the holistic side of things. I had no connections in the industry or recurring income to speak of when I launched, so it was definitely the free content strategy I started with. Just a strong gut feeling that having a show would help establish me as an expert and connect with people I wouldn’t have a chance to meet otherwise.

I’m very happy to say it worked! It built my audience base and credibility very quickly and I was able to book high profile guests within my first few episodes. I think a lot of that was my production background, being able to present my show very clearly and approach each guest with an arsenal of benefits of them guesting.

What went into launching the initial podcast?

Like I said, there was a lot of throwing myself out there when I launched, so I can’t say I had a huge strategy. From recording the first episode to launch, there was probably a 30 day delay. I used my old microphone I used for recording songs. Like, ancient. I could only interview guests over the phone at the time. It was a huge beast of a machine, compared to the Blue Yeti Pro I use now! But it was free – I even started with Squarespace where I didn’t have to pay for any additional hosting. Now, I use Skype to record and Lisbyn to host.

I initially had more of an #EOFire feel to my show, but left that template pretty quickly. Now, I focus on 20-30 minutes of really juicy strategies with a hint of fun and personal life. My goal is for a listener to walk away feeling totally filled up and brimming with new ideas to implement, so Season 2 has been much more along those lines.

How have you attracted listeners and grown the podcast?

My main focus with my show is to pump the life out of each episode. That means that I now have a team that makes show notes {including quotes} , edits the video, shares it on every podcasting platform, hosts it on a main site, creates graphics/preview videos and posts on an evergreen cycle. I also email my list weekly and do a live watch party in the The Visible Entrepreneur facebook group once per week. It is a lot of content production but very much worth it!

It has been an awesome strategy for growth, to steadily spread through word of mouth and not have to guest hunt as much because they’re flooding my inbox. Very, very cool.

I’ve also found that it ups my credibility when submitting for press. I break this down in Publicity Jumpstart , a book I’ve recently co-authored with publicist Kristin Marquet. Podcasting {both hosting + guesting} are vital strategies to land bigger press features as you grow!

If you’re an aspiring podcaster, bravo! Here are my tips for you:

  • Start with the mission of your show. Down to the nitty gritty of how this show will 
help change someone’s life. There’s no way you’ll endure the long haul of show 
growth unless you cling to this.
  • Make it cost-effective in the beginning. I would definitely recommend starting with 
Lisbyn (I’ve used Squarespace and Blubrry in the past but Lisbyn helps distribute to the most platforms) and a Blue Yeti Mic to make it easy. Record with Zoom so it’s free.
  • Play with your format until you’re set on what you love to do. I don’t recommend the “free and easy” strategy because it tends to drag on and on. Have a more set structure so your guest knows you have control of the interview and will showcase them at their best.
  • Promote! This is the hardest part and it’s all on your shoulders! Do your episode justice and give it the evergreen promotion it needs to keep bringing new listeners to you.

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue with having a podcast?

I have a membership and course business model at Visibility Vixen. So my podcast is structured to bring in traffic to these sources. Having a podcast has been instrumental to people seeing me as an authority in the entrepreneur space and investing in training’s to learn from my experience. It’s also brought many strategic and mutally beneficial collaborations to the table as well as friendships I never would have been fortunate enough to have otherwise.

Right now, people come into my paid offerings from the podcast. I have not delved into any kind of sponsorships yet to be honest. I’m a very slow and steady wins the race kind of person, so I only take on new things when I think I can sustain them for the long haul. Maybe season 3!

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome when it comes to running the podcast? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?

I’ve met people who start their podcast and explode to tens of thousands of views within a few months…without anything special or paid ads. Good for them, right? But SO frustrating as someone who’s never had that same situation – lol! I’ve done everything with hard labor and patience.

So, I hope the best for you and your show, but I want you to be prepared for the worst. And that’s slow, steady growth. The good news? You’ll maintain your growth. The bad news? It can be incredibly disheartening.

For me, I get most frustrated when guests don’t promote. You do all of this hard work for them to shine and they don’t even take the 2 seconds to click “share”. That is my biggest pet peeve. I’ve started requiring promotion now because it is a bigger podcast than it was season 1, so there are more people competing to guest.

It’s probably why I work so hard with making things evergreen so that I’m not fully dependant on guests to spread the word.

Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Yes. Having a wonderfully but annoyingly detailed system! I organize my team and workflow in Asana, so literally every episode has its own board with about 70 recurring tasks. That way, I know when everything’s due, each team member has their weekly assignment and everything is kept track of. I’d lose my mind without it!

I also keep everything organized inside of Google Drive so things can be accessed at a moment’s notice. The team works within it and it makes it incredibly seamless!

Another thing that has been very beneficial is having a separate website for my podcast {I use Squarespace}. It’s its own URL and hosts every episode of the show as well as contains navigation links to find my paid offerings. That way, someone can go to Visible Entrepreneur site and discover the podcast, finding the listening platform that works best for them and can join my email list if they wish.

What’s your advice for podcasters who are just starting out?

Take your time. Don’t launch overnight! Keep a schedule that doesn’t have you behind your computer 20 hrs per week. If that’s having a new episode come out every other week, that’s fine! The key is sticking to it. So many people start their podcast and then quit after five episodes because it’s too time consuming.

If you’re already overwhelmed with your business, you absolutely need to hire someone to manage this for you. I had an awesome podcast manager for season 2, an episode editor and a social media va. This cut my workload to two hrs per week – one of which was interviewing the guest! Season 1 I was working about 10 hrs per week on the show.

Where can we go to learn more?

Listen to The Visible Entrepreneur Podcast!