Always Start with the End in Mind: Michelle Seiler Tucker’s Advice for Business Owners
Michelle Seiler Tucker teaches small business owners how to achieve sustainability by starting with their end goal in mind. For most entrepreneurs that goal is to “exit rich.” Listen to the full episode to learn what host Tiffany Youngren’s most impactful advice is for Michelle’s podcast of the same name!
Hot Seat Series on Next Up Nation Evaluates the Exit Rich Podcast
Michelle Seiler Tucker is an experienced business analyst who’s been featured in INC., Forbes and USA Magazine and has appeared on Fox Business News and CNBC. She has been involved in the sale of more than 1,000 businesses and has translated that knowledge into three books.
Michelle uses her expertise to help business owners learn how to build a scalable business that will sell at their desired price tag when they’re ready. Her podcast, Exit Rich, has released 35 podcast episodes as of this interview, September 30, 2021. She also just released her latest book of the same name, Exit Rich.
Her promise to podcast listeners is to bring “ninja smart ideas they can incorporate to really build their business. They’re going to get real content, real insights, real actionable items that they can go back and work on.”
Part 1: WHY Michelle Seiler Tucker Started Her Podcast, Exit Rich
Like most podcasters, Michelle started Exit Rich because she wanted to share all the knowledge she’d gained over her 20+ years in mergers and acquisitions and as a financial analyst. Her passion is educating business owners and entrepreneurs on what they should be doing to grow their business. She wanted to arm them with the tools they needed to scale a business with the exit in mind. And, of course, there was the “exposure, credibility, the lead generation” aspect that comes with podcasting.
As the conversation continued, Michelle explained how small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Numbering 30.2 million, they represent 99.9% of all businesses in the US and nearly half the workforce. And since 20% of them close within the first year and a full 65% by year 10, she explains that when they fail, there’s a domino effect. “People lose their jobs. They stop spending, stop buying things.”
She says we often hear about the big companies that go out of business, the JC Penneys and the Kmarts, but not the private businesses on every street corner of every town. “These business owners are exiting poor. They’re selling for pennies on the dollar, or even worse, filing for bankruptcy,” says Michelle. “That’s why I started my podcast, to educate business owners how to build a sellable business.”
Part 2: WHO Is Exit Rich’s Ideal Audience?
Michelle has a fairly targeted set of listeners that includes current business owners and up-and-coming entrepreneurs looking to make smart decisions as they look into new business ventures. What she’s found is that most business owners didn’t start with an endpoint in mind. “They don’t think about selling until they wake up one day and go, ‘Oh my gosh, I hate my business, I hate my employees, I hate this (situation)’” and suddenly they just want to get out.
Her podcast is geared to people like them, as well as startups and entrepreneurs, and covers topics related to building the infrastructure that will position them for salability upon exit. Her podcasts feature high-profile guests from real estate, finance and business sectors.
Part 3: WHAT Has Been Key to Building Listenership?
Michelle runs multiple businesses at any given time. And, she acknowledges that between the pandemic and the publicity tour for her new book, she and her team haven’t been as consistent with the podcast and its associated outreach as they would’ve liked. However, now that the book launch tour is finished, they’re refocusing their efforts.
Though Michelle employs many of the usual strategies for building a podcast audience, including blogging and social media posts, she attributes the majority of their success to one thing. “We make sure we have amazing guests with huge, huge followings.” She says the guests then push out the episodes to their followers, thus amplifying the reach of Exit Rich.
Tiffany observes that this is a great strategy for any podcaster – to collaborate with others who have the same target audience as you but aren’t necessarily competitors. In Michelle’s case, she is fortunate to have a rich network of colleagues to call upon as guests, including CPAs, attorneys and investors.
To improve SEO for their blogs, the team also made the difficult decision to change web hosting and CRM platforms.
In her book, Michelle has a powerful tool for business owners called the “6P Method,” so we’re convinced that almost any good construct has to have a “P” in it. That includes, of course, Tiffany’s four factors that drive podcast PREEMINENCE:
- Know Your PURPOSE. Be clear on why you’re doing your podcast.
- Know Your PEOPLE. What is the transformation they hope to see?
- Focus on PROMOTION. If you’re the best kept secret, nothing really matters.
- It’s about PROCEEDS. Understand how to monetize or underwrite your efforts.
#1: What Michelle Seiler Tucker is Doing Well
There are a lot of things going well with the Exit Rich podcast and related promotional activities, and in this segment of the interview Tiffany lays them all out.
- A stellar guest list with great expertise and command of the subject matter! (Michelle acknowledges that she is well-connected and doesn’t have to go too far to get recognizable guests.)
- Both a host and guests with great energy. “You think on your feet. I just think you’re brilliant,” says Tiffany. She admires the way Michelle can have an easy conversational rapport and then quickly pivot to a very complex topic with ease.
- Cohesive branding across the show, the new book, and the overall messaging.
- Good use of SEO strategies and podcast assets, including a blog, embedded audio feed and video versions of the podcast.
- Social media posts and cross-promotional activities tied to landing pages.
- A professional intro and outro, as well as a strong Call to Action. (More on this topic later.)
- The length of the podcasts feels just right, at about 45 minutes to an hour.
#2: Some Areas of Opportunity for Exit Rich Podcast
- If time and resources were limitless, there would always be more things Michelle and her team could do to improve engagement. But based on where they currently are now, Tiffany found a few modest changes Michelle could make to significantly ramp up results.
- Although it’s very good that there is an intro to each episode, Tiffany suggested that the language summarizing the brand promise at the beginning could be tightened up, be made more concise.
- She also noted that there appeared to be a nine-second gap between the end of the intro and the beginning of when Michelle began speaking in one episode. This is a quick fix in the editing process.
- Michelle and her team do branded promos across multiple channels for each episode. Each promo includes an audio clip from the episode and a link back to a webpage that hosts all Exit Rich podcasts. Tiffany recommends that to improve the user experience, the promo link should go straight to a page that hosts the specific episode. This creates a seamless experience for the listener, preventing them from having to search around for the episode.
You put all this effort into putting out on social media for this one episode, so you want to be sure when the listener clicks through, they are finding it immediately. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing them.
- Tiffany commended Michelle’s use of blogs as an SEO strategy for building awareness of each episode. She noted that popups appeared on certain posts and recommended that the corresponding Call to Action be the most relevant or highest priority one only.
#3: The Best Action Step for a Bigger Audience in the Next 30 Days
Tiffany likes to end each interview with the following challenge, stating, “If I was the boss of the world and could make you do one thing that I know would help you grow your audience in 30 days, this is what it would be….”
They say the devil is in the details, and when Tiffany shared her top piece of advice, there’s no doubt that this idiom had merit! Michelle and her team have a lot of great content with many moving parts. They’re doing so many things well, but with so much going on a small – but critical detail – was somehow overlooked.
- The Call to Action in Michelle’s podcast outro encourages listeners to check out her new book, Exit Rich, and directs them to a specific URL. So far so good. Unfortunately, the URL – and the outro itself – was from an earlier marketing campaign and was incorrect! So, despite seemingly doing everything right, there was a short period of time where listeners were being directed to the wrong URL.
Needless to say, we’ve all been there. The good news is, it’s an easy fix and one that will pay immediate dividends for Michelle and her new book.
About the Hot Seat Series
The Hot Seat Series features dynamic guests who have a clear focus and audience for their show and have released more than 10 podcast episodes. This article is based on Tiffany Youngren’s interview with Michelle Seiler Tucker, host of the Exit Rich podcast. It airs on the podcast and YouTube playlist, Next Up Nation, by OMH Agency.
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