Mahrukh Imtiaz

Rich Brooks

S2-EP002: Podcasting, The Magic of Outsourcing, And the Benefits of Content w/ Rich Brooks

“I would say, as soon as you can – outsource every aspect you don’t like doing. At the beginning, it’s good to do all of it, so you understand it. But once you get to that point where it’s slowing you down from the rest of your business or rest of your objectives, find someone else to handle that piece for you and just continue to focus on the piece that’s best for you” – RICH BROOKS

S2-EP002 – In this episode, Rich and I discuss how Rich got into entrepreneurship, the benefits of podcasting, the struggle of consistency with content, and what to do about it.

So, grab a cup of spicy chai and enjoy the episode!

Have a question/comment or just want to chat? DM me on Instagram @mahrukh.m.imtiaz 

Highlights from this episode: 

[4:27] What pushed you towards entrepreneurship? 

[11:39] When to switch from side hustle to full time

[13:35] Rich’s goal setting routine

[16:07] Difference between being calculated vs holding yourself back

[20:16] Benefits of podcast 

[22:42] Outsourcing 

[30:11] 20% things that are creating 80% results

[33:55] Advice for your younger self

Connect with Rich: 





A little bit about Rich:

Rich Brooks is founder and president of flyte new media, a digital agency in Portland, Maine, that’s been in business for over 22 years. He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and social media. He founded The Agents of Change, an annual conference and weekly podcast that focuses on search, social & mobile marketing. He recently co-founded Fast Forward Maine, a podcast and workshop series for growing Maine businesses. Rich is the author of The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing , a popular and well-received book that helps entrepreneurs and marketers reach more of their ideal customers online. He has appeared in Inc. Magazine, The Huffington Post,,, the Social Media Examiner, and many other news sources for stories on digital marketing. He is also the “tech guru” on the evening news show, 207, which airs on the NBC affiliates in Maine.


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Mahrukh Imtiaz: Welcome to the Spicy Chai Podcast. I’m Mahrukh Imtiaz. I host this podcast and still work a successful and fulfilling nine to five. My guests are content creators just a bit ahead of you, you will hear about their struggles and wil learn from their mistakes so that you can avoid making them. To grab a cup of Spicy Chai. And let’s get started.

Today’s guest is the Founder and President of Flight New Media, a digital agency in Portland, Maine, and that’s been in business for over 24 years. He’s a nationally recognized speaker and entrepreneurship, digital marketing and social media. He founded the agents of change in annual conference and weekly podcast that focuses on search, social and mobile marketing. 

He co founded Fast Forward main podcast and workshop series for growing main businesses. Wow, still wait on there’s so much more. He’s the author of the Lead Machine, The Small Business Guy Digital Marketing, a popular and well received book, and I just heard that there’s another book on the way he’s appeared in Ink Magazine, The Huffington Post, fast,, the Social Media Examiner and many other news sources. Wow, what a profile Welcome to show Rich. I think my bio might be too long, I think I mean, you did and

Rich Brooks:  I think my bio might be too long, I think I mean, you did and

Mahrukh Imtiaz: It’s amazing. It’s amazing how much you’ve accomplished. 

Rich Brooks: So thank you, Mahrukh. I appreciate that. 

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  Yeah, for sure. I’m so so honored to have you on and just wanted to ask, like, there’s so many accomplishments, there’s so many things that you’ve done. What’s your story? What got it started? How did it all start?

Rich Brooks: That’s that’s a good question. So I guess it all started when I started my company, which is now called lightning media. And I was working as a salesperson for a medical supply company out of the Boston area. 

And one Christmas or one holiday, we had the annual holiday party and this one happened to be I don’t think it was at my boss’s house, but it was at somebody’s house and my boss had hired a psychic for the company party, like just something fun to do. 

So one at a time, people would go downstairs and they would have you know, go meet with the psychic and the culture is really, I’m gonna get married in a year and next verse and be like, I’m gonna get a new job in six months, which I thought was a weird thing to admit to a party, and a company party. 

But anyway, I went downstairs. And first of all, the woman who was like a spitting image of the woman from poltergeist who helps get the ghosts out of there, like, freaky, right. 

So as I sit down, and the first thing she says to me is, you need to trust your gut more. And I was like, waiting for the will when am I going to meet my soulmate or anything? No, it was just that was the advice she gave me. 

And I recognize it as being incredibly excellent advice. And it was not too shortly after that, that I gave notice for that company as much as I liked working there, because I was learning about this thing called the internet. And I’d always love computers. 

And I thought, hey, this is something I could be able to do. So I ended up quitting my job after I’d actually built a website for the company when no one’s looking. And then basically started my own company. And that was 24 plus years ago. 

And so from there, I you know, I always like psychology, marketing is really just the business application of psychology, I feel. And, you know, I ran my company for still running my company for many, many years. And along the way, started trying some other things, including that agents of change you mentioned, which is the podcast and a conference, because I loved going to live events. 

And I wanted to host something similar here in Maine. And so that’s where that all came about. But yeah, so it’s, it’s basically been about learning what works online. And then I love to teach, I love to be on stage. So I can see people responding to the content and presenting. And that’s kind of what’s ended me up at this moment right here talking to  

Mahrukh Imtiaz: You know, that a lot. And that required a lot of courage to do what you did. And this was 24 years ago. So this was when entrepreneurship wasn’t cool. Like right now, it’s a cool thing to do, where everyone’s writing CEO and LinkedIn, no hate against him or anything so much love, but it’s the truth, right? It’s the everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, but 24 years ago, quitting your job to start a company? And correct me if I’m wrong was kind of looked down upon like, what are you really doing with your life? Right?

Rich Brooks: Or some people for sure, it definitely wasn’t as popular as today. I mean, there was Entrepreneur Magazine, and there was Ink Magazine, which basically was, you know, for entrepreneurs, but it was a less common path than it is today.  

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Exactly. And so what, what pushed you towards that, like, it’s like, rather than just quitting your job and getting another job or doing something else? What pushed you to start your own company?

Rich Brooks: Someone who was just circumstance, at that time after I built the website for my company and showed them and they were all like, whoa, that’s so cool. He took me off the road, and they turned me into a marketer in the office.

And as much as I loved my boss, and I really I thought he was like the best guy and I still do it really inspirational in my life. There was another person in the office I was not thrilled with and suddenly was having daily regular contact with and felt just like all of the joy of the company like ebbing out of me. 

So I knew I had to get out of there anyways. And it was it just felt like time. And yes, I could have gone to work for someone else. In fact, at the time, when I started my company, when I started talking about wanting to get into this, somebody had introduced me to a company that was probably six months to a year ahead of me, and they wanted me to come in and sell websites for their company. And that would have probably been a pretty good job. 

But I was like, You know what I’ve worked for other people, I’ve never really done anything for myself. I’m sure it won’t last long. Like in two years, either the designers will learn to program or the program or as we’ll learn to design, I’ll be out of a job, but at least that I would have had two years where it basically just paid for my expenses. 

That’s all I was looking to do. And then of course, over time, I started learning about running a business, which was a whole thing I knew nothing about. And you know, you can hire people, as it turns out, who are much more talented than you if that’s the route you want to go. And that is the route I ended up going. 

Where I continue to hire people who are better designers than I was better developers than I am. And I hate to admit it better marketers than I am. It got to the point where I used to make the joke, I make coffee for the town to people in the office. And then we bought a curry and I couldn’t even brag about that. So you know, 

Mahrukh Imtiaz: That’s awesome. Like, so many things that you had to learn along the way. And biggest thing that I heard there was learn how to run a business. Like it’s one thing to say, Hey, I’m gonna do things on my own. But there’s so many things that go in that. What was that process like for you? Like, what was it like reading books? Was it going to mentors? Like, what was that?

Rich Brooks: That’s a great question. So this is interesting, because they you know, I know that you do all of our content. And so I thought we were going to talk about that. And we can, but I mean, this is also kind of very interesting for the people, hopefully interesting for the people listening. So at the beginning, I didn’t even take a business course when I was in college. Like that’s how far away from this world I was. 

But I was, I guess, it hearted entrepreneur, because one thing, I was hugely unpopular in high school, not something I love admitting, but usually like people just didn’t know existed. And I happened to be in a typing class, like it was just a class I ended up taking, and it was filled with cheerleaders. So I was basically invisible. 

Like, nobody knew I was there. Nobody knew my name. Nobody knew I existed. So I got really good at typing, which as it turns out, is an excellent skill in today’s you know, environment. Maybe in a few years. It won’t be when everything’s voice activated, but at the time it was so when I got to college, I could have gotten like a job share. 

I could have gotten a job with like, you know, the local retail place, whatever, or driving Domino’s but I knew I was a very fast typist, and back then we’re talking like 1986. Right? Back then. Not everybody used a computer. In fact, you could hand in final papers that were in longhand, and almost everybody wrote their rough drafts in longhand, and longhand for you youngsters out there is just writing printer script, whatever, you know. 

So, but it got to the point where teachers started to ask everybody to type things. And so I just started putting up fliers around campus, I will type out your papers for dollar 50 A page. Looking back on it, a good entrepreneur would have said $1 a page as is $1.50 a page for fixing all your typos and $2. I’ll guarantee you an A because I knew I was a better writer than most of the people who were taking business classes at the time, who were the people who would most likely hire me as it turned out. 

So but that was kind of like the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. But once I got into running my own business, I recognized I had a strong work ethic and I had a lot of hustle. And I was good on the sales side because I learned that from my previous job. But I knew nothing about numbers. And honestly like how I’m still in business. 

Now. It’s crazy. It’s only been in the last few years, where I’ve started to understand the financial side of the business, which is embarrassing, but truthful. But you asked about like, books mentor. So early on, I’m really into audio. So I started listening, I got up early subscription to Audible. And every month I would download at least one to two books that were on business. 

Usually things more on like the psychology side of business, whether it was mindset or marketing or how people think all that sort of stuff. I found that very helpful. Later on, I hired a coach and I’ve actually am now on my third business coach, because usually after a while there’s a third or fourth, there’s like, what do you call that when you’re getting less out of something?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right, diminishing returns, diminishing returns? I was gonna say some podcasts on cost fallacy, but that’s not it.

Rich Brooks: So you go to a tip. Yeah. And, and then I also got into masterminds and Masterminds was another critical piece. And I started a couple and I actually have a good one going right now with other agency owners like three people who have become dear friends of mine who don’t compete with me directly. Although interestingly enough, I did lose one job to one of them. 

That’s fine. But yeah, so we get online and we and we talk every couple of weeks about what’s going on in our business, new strategies, new everything and and then I ended up hiring a few consultants for specific parts of my business, especially around financials and the difference in my business, the way it’s run in the last few years is just night and day. 

I mean, if there’s one thing that I could say to my younger self is hire consultants or hire specialists earlier. Now up here in Maine, we have the main version of the Small Business Development Centers, we’ve got a lot of free resources out there. Not sure what it’s like in Canada, I know throughout the US, there’s a lot of organizations as well. 

There’s so much free resources for people who are struggling with elements of their business. It’s foolish not to tap into some of those local resources.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Oh, yeah. 100% agree. And like a lot of them. It’s kind of what I do is my day job. So I can totally, totally agree to everything you’re saying. And just to bring it back a little bit like you know, everything you said there in terms of there were certain strengths of yours and the others you kind of outsourced and recognizing that knowing that and then there’s obviously there’s support that you’ve taken, there’s two business coaches to masterminds. 

And and the reason I am tapping into the business piece of it is because so many content creators today, they’re constantly working through this question of, Do I stay in the side hustle, right? Or do I stay do this as a hobby? Or do I go full time? And what does that road look like for me? Am I meant to be an entrepreneur? 

Or am I meant to be a side hustler? So for someone listening to this, who started a content creation journey, who’s good 30,000 to 50,000 followers in I would say, you know, getting good, good reach, and they’re starting to get brand deals and stuff. How do they start thinking about business? Well, what advice would you give to them?

Rich Brooks: Um, I think at different stages of your career, you’re gonna have different desires. Like, if you would ask me 2024 years ago, do you want to be running your own business with 10 employees and growing, I would have said, like, no, that sounds like a hassle, I want to be designing websites. 

So I think what you’re looking for may change over time. So I think it’s important to have kind of your own personal Northstar, and keep on coming back to that idea. And that’s going to help you decide what path you want to take. 

So you know, obviously, if you’re, if you get a full paying job, and you’re also able to do a side hustle, and especially during COVID, that tends to be something that a lot of people are doing kind of that double dip, because no one’s really watching. 

And as long as you’re getting your main job done, who’s to say what you’re doing on the side. I think that’s a fantastic way forward. But I know that before I started flight, really put my attention on it. I kind of was doing some website, stuff on the side.

 But I was working pretty much full time for an internet company, again, doing sales, a different company. And it was only when I quit that job and kind of got rid of that safety net, is when I started taking my job seriously started going after business started getting that business. 

That was the right path for me. But I don’t know if that’s the right path for everyone. I like sales. I like selling like I love the energy that comes from closing a sale. So for me, that was exciting. I don’t mind closed, cold calls at all were for other people. 

They’re like, I never want to have to deal with sales, I want to leave at five o’clock in the afternoon, whatever it is. So those are the questions I think you have to ask yourself to decide, 

What am I going to do? Am I going to start my own business? Am I going to put out my own shingle? Or am I going to continue to just basically be a side Hustler, and I’ll have safety and security and my main job and a little vacation money that I’m earning on the side? That’s a judgment everybody’s gonna have to make for themselves.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: No, and I like that a lot. And there’s two things that I want to tap into there. First thing you talked about ASA, Northstar, know, your Northstar, if you were to really break that down for someone, what would that look like? What did that look like for you is Was that like a weekly sitting down? Here’s my goal. This is what I need to do? Or was that I know my yearly goal, this and then reassess?

Rich Brooks: So for me, this is something that I’ve been working on with my current business coach, and for me, you know, when she’s like, What do you want out of life? What do you what makes you happy and stuff like that? 

I always come back to a lake house. And you know, for me, outside of like my kids, of course, my kids right now, but for me, the thing that makes me happiest in the world is sitting on the dock with a cup of coffee in my hand, looking out at a very calm lake before anybody else gets up. There is no place that fills me with more common joy than that right there. 

Now, I’m not right now in a position to buy a lake house or at least the one that’s in my head, but I can rent one every single summer and get a ski boat at the same time. 

So I can do some wakeboarding enjoy when you know later on in the day other activity so for me, it’s like what do I need to do so that I can enjoy that? And so then it comes down to well, how much does my company need to make 

How much do I need to make and all the things that go into it and then breaking it down first with like, you know, you got the like you said the yearly goals and then you might do monthly and then you might do weekly? Right now through my coach. I’m doing something called the 411 The which basically is like four major goals and you’re breaking it down each month.

What do you need to do to accomplish that each week? What do you need to do to accomplish that. So every Friday, I sit down and I look at my annual goals, my monthly goals, and I figure out what is next week look like. And then make sure that there’s time on my calendar for each activity. 

And for me right now, my big three things to get me to my North Star are sales, I still like doing sales. So I do for my company, content creation, we do have other people who create content on for our company, but I do still enjoy. And I’m good at it, I think. 

And then leadership issues. So anything about like, I’ve got a bigger team than I’ve ever had before. I’ve got some younger people on my team, I really want to bring them up, I want to fill them with confidence and empower them to do a great job. 

So those are the three things that I focus on. And by focusing on those and not stuff that is really unpleasant and challenging for me, and then making sure that other people are handling those things I don’t like so much the company has really grown and blossomed, especially in the last couple of years.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that you shared that. And there’s another thing that you mentioned earlier that I want to tap into a little bit you said there are certain people, you know, it makes complete sense for them to stay full time and just stay in that side hustles. 

And then if for certain people, it makes sense to take that like like you did you once you quit your job, and you were able to really focus on the business side of things. And earlier before we actually started recording, you said you’re writing a book called remarkable. 

How do you become that? So how do you know? When is it something that’s meant for you? And when is it that you’re actually holding yourself back? Because you’re too scared? Huh?

Rich Brooks: That is a challenging question. So I would say is chances are, you are already holding yourself back. That’s my guess for the average person listening right now is you’ve probably already waited too long. And not too long. 

Like it’s too late. I don’t want to say that. But I’m saying you probably already could have rest. And the bottom line is, it’s hard for me to give advice to somebody who might be listening who is in a very different situation than me. You know, I had very supportive parents and I had a good education. 

And from the moment I was, you know, like born like we were always about, you know, your hard work. And there’s a little bit of entrepreneurship in, in my whole family, you may not have that you may not have that support system, you may be in a position where you have to take care of young children, and you’re a single mom or a single dad, and you may not be able to do that. 

So I’m not going to tell you to drop everything if you’re in a serious situation like that. What I am saying is though, that if you can find that you have a support system around, I’m not saying that you have to get on the high wire without a net, but I’m just saying it’s like, it may already your moment may be here right now. And you may be waiting until everything lines up perfectly. 

And I’m going to tell you, as a guy who has been in business for 24 years and gone around this planet 53 times, there is no perfect moment, you just gotta do it, you got to get out there and you got to try it and you’re going to fail. So maybe your first couple failures, you don’t go all out, you just try a little something, right now is actually a great time to risk things. 

Because the bottom line is at least here in the US. There’s not enough employees to go around. So even if you quit your job, probably hopefully in three, six months, if you decided, well, this isn’t for me, your old company would be happy to take you back because now you even have more experience or there’s another better job waiting for you. I can’t guarantee this. But right now it seems like this is a great opportunity to be taking a bigger risk than you feel comfortable

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, I love that. And I think the way you started off like your old were always holding yourself back. I think that’s something people need to hear again and again. Because for people listening, because they’re usually beginners or just starting content creation of it’s so many doubts constantly, 

I think it’s important to just kind of know that you can always do better. And that doesn’t mean that you quit your job better could be anything, it’s finding that extra 30 minutes, it’s waking up 15 minutes earlier, eating eating better. So you have more energy throughout the day. 

So yeah, that could mean different things for different people. And I will take a bit of a tangent now because you did mention that you’re focused on three things currently for your company. And he said, sales, content creation and leadership. So what is content creation look for you right now?.

Rich Brooks: I’ve got two different podcasts. So that is a big portion of my own personal content creation. So I’m doing interviews on the agents of change, which is pretty much a weekly podcast about digital marketing. And then I’ve got a smaller podcast called Fast Forward main, which is basically anything is basically I wish I knew this when I got started in business. 

And it because I’m in Maine, I interview people involved in the main business ecosystem. So that right there could be anywhere from three to five to eight hours a week of my schedule right there. So it’s a big component of it. I occasionally write some blog posts, but just I haven’t as much as I used to. 

And most of the email newsletters are now being written by other people on my team, so I’m not doing that as much. And although presenting has presented a problem because of a pandemic. The bottom line is when things start to get back to normal, I’ll probably be presenting more. 

That’s definitely the goal and still doing webinars like maybe once a month On through once every other month putting on some sort of webinar or event, either under the flight new media brand or the Fast Forward main brand. Those are probably the places where I’m doing the most content creation.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Why is that? Like, Why have you chosen podcast? Over let’s say, a YouTube channel or whatnot? What’s What was your thinking behind that?

Rich Brooks: I’ve got a face for podcasting? No, I’m just basically, it’s what we are looking to get into video. In fact, we had a marketing meeting today where we’re putting together a plan to be consistent, which is one of the biggest issues when it comes to content creation, consistent video production internally, and perhaps externally, you know, for our clients, starting in q4, and then really hitting the ground in 2022. So that will be part of what we do. 

But for me, podcasting has just been an amazing journey. And I’m sure you feel the same way. There’s just too many benefits, first of all, is its content creation. So you’ve just got content to share, to establish your expertise. Secondly, if you’re doing an interview show like you and I do, then you have this opportunity to talk to people who might not have given you the time of day, if you would call up and ask to pick their brain, one of my least favorite things in the entire universe. 

But now all of a sudden, it’s like, if I have a client who’s got an issue with reputation management, I can reach out to a reputation management specialist, get them on the podcast, you know, talk to them, give them give them an audience and then be able to get that information and hand it over to my client, or just point the client to the podcast and say, 

Look at this guy who I just interviewed, or this woman who I just interviewed, brilliant, you should check that up. So those are just a few of the things and it’s just great for connection. So there’s so many things that are beneficial when it comes to podcasting, as far as content creation and marketing.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Oh, yeah,100% I totally, totally agree. And it’s just, it’s just for me, it’s a lot of fun. Like, you know, just like getting to know, even when I’m like starting conversations, I think that might go certain way. But you may say something, and I’m like, oh, I want to learn more about that. 

So just kind of that that ownership and just like that curiosity, and just like learning but more people that that I wouldn’t have otherwise, let’s say by hearing your shows, I can now do so by inviting you over to mind. So it just kind of I really love that piece too. 

And you said one of the biggest struggles with content creation, or I would say in general, anything is consistency, right? It’s making sure once you’ve committed to something staying consistent, and then at least as content creators, and business owners, you keep adding to the plate, right? Like you’re you’re doing something great and stable. 

And then you add something to the plate, and then everything else has to stay stable while you’re adding things on. And those things have to stay stable. If you kind of get what I’m trying to say. How have you dealt with that in your business or in your content creation journey,

Rich Brooks: Delegate, and then delegate some more honestly, like, and this is not something that I’m good at. And it’s something that I struggle with on the daily bottom line is, especially in the last like six months, I’ve gotten so honed in to something arrives on my desk. 

And my first question is who should handle it besides me, and I am very blessed to have. I mean, I’m blessed. And it also it’s because of who I’ve chosen to hire and raise up in my company. But I’ve got some great people who I work with who I can say to them, 

Look, I need you to take care of this. And they take care of it. I mean, it’s just like, we built up enough trust that I know they’re going to do a good job with it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be perfect or do it the way that I do it. But I know that it’s going to get done. 

And if I see the final product, and I have some suggestions for improvement, we can have that conversation. But this allows me to again, focus on what I do best and get rid of everything else. And if you’re if you want to be an entrepreneur and you want to be maybe run your own company, and I’m a strong, strong believer in businesses can change the world for the better. 

But it’s up to the person in charge to kind of dictate the course that you’re going to take and dictate the way that you work with vendors and employees and customers. And every day I try and figure out how we can do how we can be the best company we can be. 

So I think I got off on a tangent there. But like that’s a big part. And so if I’m worried of if I’m going into every single client’s facebook ads account to go through it with them, then I can’t do the job that I meant to do. So delegation is the trick. 

And I remember, I caught a clip of one of your other guests and she was talking about how much work podcasts are even though she obviously loved it. 

And she’s talking about some days, you just don’t want to edit and I’m like, I can’t remember the last time I edited my own show. You know, I outsource to a company.

I still do a lot of work on it. But the bottom line is Every day I try and find one more thing to take off of my plate and empower somebody else on my team or an external resource to do that work with me or for me.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And how early did that start for you in your business?

Rich Brooks: Oh, like last week. I’ve always I’ve tried. I mean, delegation is a struggle, especially if you’re somebody who wants things done in a specific way. It is something I have become so much better at in the last year. Some of it just came out in necessity. 

COVID changed everything and I wasn’t in the office with people anymore and we We’re all working remotely. And it taught us to work in new ways. And I also COVID. Also, what I had said to my team, and to all of anybody would listen is, let’s be kind to each other, let’s give everybody a little extra time to get things done and a little extra break, and even, and especially yourself. 

So all of that kind of allowed me to start delegating and relaxing a little bit about what the final product would look like, giving feedback and kind of actually hired a woman recently, who is younger than my company, which freaked me out if you can imagine that, right, because she wasn’t even born when I started this company. 

But it also turns me into this position where I’m like, I want to raise these people up, because I see them, they’re almost thoroughly a little older than my kids. I want to raise them up, I want to empower them. I want them to be the next generation of people really doing great work in the business world that looks like for them.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Exactly. And you said like, delegation has been a struggle for you, and you’ve just gotten better at it. What What was that process? Like? How did you get better at it?

Rich Brooks: Like? Well, again, I’m gonna give a lot of credit to my current business coach, who when I first started working with her, I said, I don’t want a friend, I want somebody kick me in the ass. And she’s been very good at that. And so she’s really pushed me to every single thing that I say yes to? 

Do I really need to say yes to and what can I do to delegate it is become second nature. Like I said, Now, something comes to me, and I’m like, who should be handling this. In fact, today is day one of a new experiment, I’m running for two weeks, because I spend a lot of time in my email, in fact, and I will, 

I can argue for hours, why should be but whatever I said to my coach, I would do this for two weeks. So I have my virtual assistant is actually not virtual, because I live with her. But that’s another story. And she is going through all my emails three times a day, 

I’m not touching anything in my inbox. And she’s putting them into folders of high, medium and low priority. And then she pings me to let me know it’s done. And then I can go through those emails. 

So it helps me kind of sort things. And I’m teaching her, we’re working together to figure out like, what do I not even need to say, like what can just be trashed or dealt with or filed away, because it’s not even about me. And that’s where I’m gonna start to hopefully see more time on my calendar that then I can do more interesting things that I’m really good at. 

So again, every, I don’t know how it’ll work, I don’t know if it’s gonna look the same in two weeks. But it’s about doing things that don’t make you comfortable. And this absolutely does not make me comfortable at all, but doing it to really kind of free up what you’re doing. And it keeps her busy. And she also does a lot of VA work for other people like me.

So this is only making her better at her job, too. So when I’m handing something off, in part is to get it off my plate, but in its part to teach somebody else how to do it. And chances are, they’re going to come up with a better way to deal with it than I did. So why not get more people working on a project?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, I love that. I love that you’re constantly experimenting with different things. It’s like, hey, what works for you and what doesn’t. And you did mention that you have two podcasts running currently. And you do have like a digital marketing agency. What are your main ways that you market your podcast? And why did you choose those ways?

Rich Brooks:  Yeah, so we do have an email newsletter for both of the podcasts. And I will say that the the Fast Forward main one is a much, much smaller audience, just because I mean, I live in a state that is one area code for the entire state. 

So it’s not a very populous state. And then you’re only looking at the people who are business owners, because it’s targeting then. And then you’re only looking at people like podcasts. So it’s a small, niche audience, but it does have a positive networking effect for me as well, in terms of connecting with people in the state in the business world who I wouldn’t otherwise, but to your question like so both of them have email newsletters. 

And then we have a social team here at flight that promoted through Facebook, LinkedIn, all that sort of stuff. You know, we promoted on the flight New Media website as well. We might get into doing some we have done YouTube before. 

For some of these, we’re going to try and get back into it. And I’m the bottleneck right now. But we are going to be running again, Facebook ads for each podcast as well as each episode to see if we can boost some of the engagement. 

There. I’ve always been hesitant about that. But it’s something that I want to try. And we’re experimenting with some SEO for podcast too, which can be challenging, because I’ve anecdotally discovered that blog posts almost always outrank podcasts, and I’m trying to figure out what needs to be done differently so that my podcasts will rank just as high as any of our blog posts.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: That’s incredible. Yeah, that’s, that’s something I haven’t heard before. But yeah, that’s that’s pretty cool

Rich Brooks: And then obviously, guest guest, podcasting and guest on other people’s podcasts is a great way because now I know everybody who’s listening to you. Well, they may also be there, obviously podcast listeners. So that’s a good audience to bring into my network as well.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: 100% and like yeah, I guess. Yes, podcasting has been a fun journey for me as well. And what are we would you say are the 20% of things that you have done that marketing piece that gets you the 80% of the results?

Rich Brooks:  That is an excellent question. So, yeah, if I had to think about it, and I’m thinking about agents of change, which has a pretty big, big ish listener, listening audience compared to fast forward main. One is consistency. So it’s very rare. 

Although it did happen a few times this summer, that I miss a week of the podcast, and I was having this conversation with a client today and with an employee yesterday about the power of consistency, and how it takes a little while to get traction and then get moving. But once you do, it’s incredibly powerful. But you really have to have a leap of faith. 

So I think part of it is consistent showing up every single week doing that sort of stuff, communicating with people, in terms of if your listeners are out there, and if they are engaging with you make sure that you’re engaging back. 

Because Podcasts can be seemingly even though it’s social media, it can often feel like a very one directional medium where I record something, but I don’t actually see people really engaging with it. 

And even the podcasts numbers, I question because somebody downloaded it, but they do they listened to it, or did they listen to it three times, you know, there’s no way currently to really understand that sort of things. 

So consistency would be one for the agents of change, having the conference as well was definitely a benefit too, because then it just makes the whole thing larger. And I think having and you do this, 

I think most podcasts, you having a website that either has shownotes or a full transcript, also beneficial. Those are the ways that I’ve been promoting it primarily in the past with that seem to have the biggest impact and I say seem to only because compared to almost every other platform, podcasting has some of the worst metrics, like the most newest metrics out there. 

You know, even if you use something like Stitcher, well, Stitcher downloads one copy of it, and then shares it with everybody. So it’s like only see one download unless you also go to Stitcher, it’s just it’s too much work. So for me, that’s not I’d love to see my downloads increase, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it if the numbers are kind of hovering, or if they jump up and down a little bit.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, I completely agree like podcasting compared to like, let’s say some of the other platforms, horrible metrics. And I guess it’s one of those things, but definitely a great way to engage. 

And even though you’re right, it’s a it’s hard to kind of gauge right away. It’s kind of nice to hear from them. At least for me, my audience mostly reaches out to me on Instagram and LinkedIn, it’s kind of really nice to just be like, oh, yeah, you listened. Oh, great. 

You thought it was great. Oh, that’s awesome. So it’s just, it’s just like, oh, yeah, people are listening. People are engaging when they send you a question. So it’s kind of kind of really nice like that. 

So totally on the same page, I’ve, I’ve really, really enjoyed your energy today. Rich, it’s been great. Thank you for being so authentic. 

Thank you for sharing all your business stuff. Like how and it’s so clear to me that you’re still honestly still learning, experimenting, wanting to grow. 

And before we get to our final question, can you let everyone know where they can find you online?

Rich Brooks: Sure. Well, if you enjoy podcasts, I’d recommend Checking Out The Agents Of Change podcast, which you can find on your favorite podcasting platform wherever you found Spicy Chai. 

And then if you want to reach out to me, iamtherichbrooks on every social channel out there. So just wherever you are just you’ll find me there and feel free to reach out to me and make connection. I’m usually more active on LinkedIn. I know it’s boring, but it’s actually politics-free. So I enjoy that.

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  Usually politics very well.

Rich Brooks: Usually primarily, I’m not following anybody who’s talking to political on that. So yeah,

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, make sense. And final question for you today. What is one thing you would tell yourself that the rich that was starting a podcast, what is one thing what advice you would give to that Rich,

Rich Brooks:  I would say, as soon as you can outsource every aspect you don’t like doing at the beginning, it’s good to do all of it so you understand it. 

But once you get to that point where it’s slowing you down from the rest of your business or rest of your objectives, find someone else to handle that piece for you and just continue to focus on the piece that’s best for you, which is probably speaking into the microphone or interviewing somebody else.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yes. I love that. I totally agree. So thank you so much rich for being on the show. Thank you again. And for everyone listening, go check out his podcast. 

He’s also coming out with a new book and also I really enjoyed his last book. So definitely, definitely check him out. And if you feel inspired by anything Rich said today, I’ve because he said some really, really amazing things. Please share with your friends.

And until next time, you got this beautiful, 

Well beautiful it is my hope that this podcast inspired you to create your own podcast. Remember, you don’t have to quit your nine-to-five to do it. And if you found value in this podcast, you’re gonna love my free training video on how you can get started today. 

DM me the word Spicy Chai on LinkedIn and I’ll send it over to you until then lots of love from your favorite, You got this beautiful.

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