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Ep146 Transcript: Interview with Sarah Scott
Andrea Vahl: Have you thought about staying home with your kids and starting your own business? Well, My guest today, Sarah Scott did just that. She went from corporate trainer to social media manager, and now she’s niched a little bit further and is a podcast manager.
In fact, she’s my podcast manager.
Tune into today’s episode where I talk to Sarah Scott about her journey.
Intro: Hello, dreamers. Welcome to the late starters club, giving you the inspiration, mindset, and tools you need to start something midlife and beyond remember, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
Andrea Vahl: Hello, late starters. It’s your host, Andrea Vahl. And I am here joined by a very fun guest who I have loved getting to know over the last few years that she’s been working with me, my podcast manager, Sarah Scott. Woo hoo. Woo. So I I, we were at podcast movement last week and I was just, it was just kind of, it’s just struck me like I can interview you because you have started something new and you started your business when you were 41 after getting laid off from your job that you were doing.
But. As as we talked about, and this kind of happened to me as well is that I just, you got the children at home and you don’t, you don’t want to go back to corporate. You want to spend more time with your kids. So why don’t I let you talk a little bit about your journey and and what has led you to podcast management now we’ll, we’ll dive into that a little bit deeper.
So you don’t have to. Going to all the history, but I’d love to all fun stuff, . Yeah. I’d love to hear about your journey in your past career and what lead you to start your own business.
Sarah Scott: Yeah. So my past career really like from the corporate perspective was about software training. That’s where I found my love. I tripped into it over the years after I got my master’s degree and I loved it.
I got to travel all over the country saw the insides of mostly hospitals, airports, and hotels. But I can say I visited a very large number of cities and states. It was a ton of fun. I loved it. I loved being in front of people. I loved the engagement that would come from standing in front of a group of people and helping them learn something.
And so that was a real gift in and of itself for me to figure out that was something I really enjoyed doing. As corporations do management changes, things go awry and I was unceremoniously fired from my job. And it was devastating to me. I didn’t really realize at the time that my entire identity had gotten wrapped up into this corporate position.
And without it, I felt like I had no idea who I was. And that was really hard to deal with. And I did move into another job for about another year or so after that. It was another high level training position this time inside the biopharmaceutical industry. And I just hated it. Hated every moment of it.
I was managing a team of people who hated their jobs. And if you’ve never had that blessing in your life, there is nothing worse than being given a team of people who hate their work. So not only did you not hire them but now you’re like taking on all their past baggage as well. So that was just a lot.
And then I had literally found out two days before I started that job, I was pregnant with my third child. So like I went through that whole year pregnant and it was, it was a difficult pregnancy for me as well. And it was just like too much. And by the time I had gotten to the end of it and had my son and I was on my maternity leave and I very clearly can remember this conversation with my husband.
We were sitting there in in the baby’s nursery. I was rocking the baby to sleep or whatever we were doing. And I just looked at him and we were at the end of my maternity leave and I said, I can’t go back. And he says, no, you absolutely cannot. He says there our life together had never been more miserable than it had been in that previous year because of the level of stress I was going through.
So we said, he goes what are you going to do? I said, I don’t know, but I don’t want to work for anybody else. So. I just sort of took everything I had bundled up. I had learned about blogging somewhere down the line. Like this was like the new thing. And this whole on like earning money online and the ways you can do this.
And it all sounded really glitzy and glamorous. And I said, you know what? Yeah. We’ll figure this out. And so I started doing social media for local companies and then it all has tripped forward from there.
Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And we definitely have some similar paths where I was like, I, I knew I couldn’t go back and I had picked out.
My picked out a daycare and it seemed like a good idea at the time. And then when it came time to actually do it, I was like, Oh my God, now I’ve met you. I’ve met, you know,
Sarah Scott: I want to hang out with you a little more. I know. Amazing. When that happens.
Andrea Vahl: I know. Yeah. And and so I want to hear about like that transition into like, How did you then decide what to offer?
How did you start getting your first clients? Did you just, did you know how to put up a website? Did you, you know, how did you do all that?
Sarah Scott: No, I do nothing. So my very first client, I was a. friend of my sister’s. And she ran at the time. So if you were way back into my, my, my life, you’ll understand. I had a very big passion for weddings, event planning, all things that were like really big and theatrical.
I still do in a lot of ways. But there’s was, she had a friend who was a wedding planner and she also on the side was running a wedding planning Course that she had, so she wasn’t only the planner, but she had gone so far as now she was training other wedding planners But she wasn’t doing anything really with it. She had clearly invested a lot of money into this particular avenue of her business, but she wasn’t doing anything There was no Facebook.
There was no email there, there was nothing helping her to promote it. So I literally cold emailed her well, slightly cold. She knew who I was because she knew who my sister was. . But I basically cold emailed her and just said, Hey, I love what you do. I love, I, I was in her course, so I had already been a member inside of it and taken some of the courses and some of the modules and things and just said, Hey, I’d love to help you promote this a little bit.
And so I just said, Hey, look, I’m starting this company working in digital marketing. I would love to help you with your social media. Would you be interested in having me help you?
And I think, she came actually back really quickly and said, yes, but I don’t have a lot of money to invest. And I said, that’s okay. I don’t have a lot of experience at the moment, so I’m willing to, do that whole work for a small fee to get the experience kind of a thing. And that was how I landed my first client.
And it was, it was almost too easy. Because Honestly, it was, I didn’t know what to do after that. Like the clients that came after that was so much harder. I did appreciate corporate after a while I was never somebody in sales. I hated sales. Actually very good at it.
When I love what I do, I could easily have conversations and talk to people, understand their problems, give them solutions. But when it actually came down to nailing this sale and truly like putting the price out there and negotiating all of that. That is not my strong suit.
I could convince people all day long they needed digital marketing, but I had a really hard time finally closing clients and then finding new ones because at the same time in this particular space, like the whole virtual assistant, virtual marketing, virtual social media managers, there was a lot of them out there, right? And trying to figure out how I was going to stand out to get that next client became really hard.
That was. It’s a huge struggle. And I don’t think I landed another client for another six months or so before I finally landed that one. And that one I landed because I was networking at like an in person networking event.
Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s, that is a huge thing that people don’t realize.
When you do go into business for yourself, you are going to have to be the salesperson at that point. And the good
thing is like when you’re excited about something, when you have like real confidence behind it, you can, easily, I think it can come very easily, but if there’s a little bit of doubt, we’re not sure, and that can be the case in the beginning.
So it’s a challenge. And I also think that in person networking for a business, like a virtual assistant or social media manager is a great way to start because people like to get to know you a little bit. They trust you, all that stuff, they’re seeing you. And and then sometimes you’re having a conversation and someone else pops in and says, oh, she’s amazing.
And, then there’s a little referral kind of thing there. So that was how I started my business as well. And I think that’s a great way to start when you’re starting with the whole sea of the entire United States or your entire country, it’s like really challenging.
Sarah Scott: Yeah.
And you’d be surprised how many people even if their business isn’t local, I think it surprised me to find how many people would rather work with someone locally. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I see you. They can meet you. They, you’re a person more than you’re not. And I think that was something I agree.
I think that was so overwhelming at first was this idea of, Oh my God, there’s this whole world of people I could work for. Where am I going to target? And truly at the end of the day, it’s your backyard is where you. Want to really be spending more time digging in and looking. And that’s but initially, and actually some of my longest term clients that are still with me are the ones that were right in my backyard.
Andrea Vahl: Yeah, that’s so true. Yep. That is interesting. Now I want to talk a little bit about Your more recent shift into podcast management, because I think that’s really fascinating as well. And I think this is a huge lesson for anyone out there starting an online business, starting something like this, is that when you can niche down and focus.
And have a really clear offer. It’s easier to sell. It’s easier to be enthusiastic about it. And it’s easier to find the people to go after and connect with and like places to be like there’s a conference just for podcasts, you know, so, um, so, so talk about, talk about that. That shift for you.
Sarah Scott: Well, I can talk about it because it’s you, you’re the reason for the shift, like at the end of the day.
And. This is the other lesson from this one that I take away is this ability to just say yes to things like if you are good, if you are a good and hard worker, I truly believe that somewhere down the line you are rewarded for those things. And I think this is a good example of that. Like I’ve been working for you for quite a while now and we have been working together for over a year, maybe almost two years.
Splash that I think I forget how long, but it was a while. It was like a year and a half. We’ve been working together. It was your marketing assistant and helping with different things here and there all over. You’re asking me to research all this different stuff for you. It was going to be a YouTube channel.
It was going to be this, it was going to be all that. And it’s like, all right projects coming. I’m just not sure what. And then one day you just say, Hey, ever done podcasting? Nope. You’re willing to learn. And I think that was, that’s the biggest thing was that you were willing to take a chance on me on a project that you had never done either.
So it was that sort of, Hey, we’re going to go into this together and we’re going to figure this out together. And so we both dive in and try to figure this out. And, here we are 146. Yeah. Episodes later, right? Am I right? Yeah. Yep. 146 episodes later. And we’re still trying to find our stride.
We’re still trying to work out all the kinks and find the right things and do the right things. We’ve got this down and it’s starting to grow and it’s really amazing. And that whole switch really just comes from saying, yes, it was this. Yeah, I’ve never done it before, but I’m absolutely willing to try it.
It sounds like fun. Let’s go for it. And so once we started doing that and we started diving into the learning and the researching and the, Oh, what do we need and how do we need it? We got this sort of thing together and then it was like well, you know, I kind of really enjoyed. doing this work.
It’s a lot of fun to listen to. It’s actually a lot of fun listening to the raw podcast episodes for anybody who’s looking for something. Not the prettied up version of it, but really listening to some of the behind the scenes and some of the mistakes and stuff that comes through is actually a lot of fun.
I really wish I could leave more of those in sometimes, but I know sometimes we should do a,
Andrea Vahl: like a total blooper reel. Like it would be
Sarah Scott: so long. I have this whole, I have this whole idea for you at some point that I was going to go through and cut out all of your All of your characters and do a whole reel of all the characters that you were doing early in the seasons.
Because I thought that was just going to be a ton of fun too. And yeah, so that was where this came from. And then, it came down like somebody approached you and just said, Hey, who’s helping you with this? And you’re like, Oh, she’s my podcast manager. And. Next thing I know I’m launching another one.
And then, I have, talking with my business coaches and things like that. And they’re like, this isn’t a bad niche. Like, why don’t you try to package this up? And it’s okay, so I package it up. I go to social media marketing world back in the spring with you guys. And it became so easy to talk about.
This was not a difficult conversation to have with people. And everybody, if you have a podcast. They understood the work that I did. They understood why it was necessary. They valued the work and honestly like the whole pricing conversation was very easy to have because they truly understood the value and everything that was went into that package.
And it’s just made it so much easier sort of going forward. It’s oh yeah, okay, you’re a podcast manager. What does that include for you? And then it said, okay, this is what we do. And like I said, the best part is, It’s not a hard sell because if you have or have ever tried to run your own podcast, it definitely is something like, Oh yeah, this is not an easy thing to do.
And yes, it’s extremely time consuming and yes, please take this off my plate. Yeah. And so it’s made my business so much better and it has grown exponentially since finding this little niche of the world that says, this is what I want to do.
Andrea Vahl: Right. Right.
And I think that’s the thing. So I think it was Zig Ziglar that said, this is that sales is enthusiasm transferred and that is definitely like, I definitely find that when I’m excited about something, when I know that I’m good at it, when I like ads, I know I’m good at it.
Easy for me to sell it. It’s it’s just and then it’s easy to lay out the price because like you said, the value that comes goes into it and the value that comes out of it. And you know that you’re really delivering on that price point. And and it’s just exciting.
Sarah Scott: So it’s exciting to sell.
I think too, it comes off easier with the pricing point. So if you’re listening to this and you feel like that’s the icky part for you, cause I know that’s what it always felt like for me. I feel like at the end of the day, when you have that enthusiasm and you have that excitement and that confidence behind.
Your product, whatever it happens to be, or your service, like you will then translate that into your price point. Like it does, there’s no hesitation. There is no, Oh, that icky feeling. Like it’s just, this is how much it is. And in that level of confidence, I find transfers to the person listening to you are confident about it.
They’re going to say, yeah, okay, this is what you feel the value is. Then that’s the value of it. And it doesn’t mean that people are still aren’t going to go, Oh that’s too much or that’s expensive or something along those lines. But you feel a lot more secure in that choice of what you’re doing.
And I think that’s. That has made all the difference for me too.
Andrea Vahl: Right. Right. And, and, And it’s okay. You know that, you know that if that price isn’t right for someone, there’s you can be like, okay, come back to me when, you’re tired of editing your own podcast. I
Sarah Scott: know you’re tired of writing your transcripts and social media and yeah, but so
Andrea Vahl: yeah, that’s, I, it’s so awesome and I love it. I love seeing you take on new podcasts. And the other thing that’s, that’s great about it is there that you really streamlining. Everything in the whole business, you’re, you are focusing in on one narrow niche. And I think when you do that, you, your word gets out so much easier about you, about your business and what you do.
And it’s easy to pass along and it’s just focuses everything. Focus your time. You’re not switching gears. As often, you’re able to just get better and find new improvements and you’re not reinventing the wheel every time, it’s, so I think there’s just so many great efficiencies that happen when you
really narrow your focus.
Sarah Scott: I think to content becomes easier. So while I am not the greatest content creator in the moment, but content is another piece of that. So if you are looking to build your business through social media, through blogging, through podcasting, whatever it happens to be. When you have that really specific audience in mind, it becomes so much easier to give them advice.
So even within the podcasting niche, like I don’t necessarily feel like I’m going for every podcaster. I’m very much looking for podcasters who are looking to build a business around their podcast. And so that just gives a very different feel to why somebody is approaching doing the podcast. It’s not necessarily always just for fun sometimes, it’s because they want to develop their content.
They want to do that as well. And so the advice I give them versus somebody who might be, let’s say in the, you know, true crime genre very, very different in those, those aspects. So having that focus and knowing who you’re talking to, just. It’s really does help to streamline and focus and gives you that content stream that can be a little elusive if you’re not sure who you’re talking to.
Andrea Vahl: Yeah. And that, that’s that’s even niching within the niche, that’s yeah, so keep, stripping it down. I love that because I think it does. It’s so clear and it’s that it makes conversations so much easier and it also, makes the value you provide so much.
Better and clearer to the people as well. Like, you know, You’ve got that eye for having the podcast help make them money in a certain way, that’s awesome. I love that. And I think there’s this tendency for us to worry. That, Oh my gosh, if I’m not serving a wider audience, it’s going to be worse for my business, but it’s always better.
It’s always better. I,
Sarah Scott: uh, you know, It’s crazy how much better, and I mean it, it serves to every level of a business, right? So there was a podcaster that we met at actually I don’t think you had just met her. I just met her. But she has a podcast for IVF and it is so specific and so niche and she’s like, it blew up.
Because it’s so niche. There’s nobody out there talking about this thing. And she’s like, I was blown away by my numbers because of it. So I think that, you know, we think that like, Oh, we’re cutting people off. We’re, we’re, we’re, we’re, We’re, you know, shut it. Okay. Shut them out. Like, It’s okay. Give yourself that permission to say.
There is only a small group of people that I want to work with. And this is okay. Yeah. It makes it easier to have those conversations that way.
Andrea Vahl: Yeah. And, I I always, I like thinking about different ways to. Narrow your focus and narrow your business down. And Phyllis Khare my business partner and I, when we had social media manager school, we would talk about this all the time.
You can narrow who you serve. So maybe it’s, you’re only working with realtor clients, or only working with realtor clients who are having X number of deals per year, or you can narrow by what you do, like I only do podcast management or I only create reels or I only do, whatever that might be.
And then you could narrow by geographic area. I only serve, I mean that you do have to, I think, was there a different one in there? I can’t remember if we had a. A different niching thing. I was just pulling that out of my brain, but I definitely think there’s different ways you can narrow your focus.
And I think it’s just really helpful when you do that. So
Sarah Scott: it is absolutely.
Andrea Vahl: So I know the challenges of working from home, especially with younger kids. It’s hard to, it is hard. But I want to find out since you have now been working for yourself for some time, what are some of your favorite things about working from home and working for yourself. And then what are the more challenging things?
Sarah Scott: So my favorite is the flexibility. No doubt with young kids. I never realized like any mom or going to be mom out there, how inconsistent school schedules actually are. Like they are not Monday through Friday from, whenever to whenever.
And my kids specifically are in school from 7 45 to two. Two o’clock, my kids are out in a home. So it’s the end of the day is really quick and they have aftercare and stuff like that now. But but the half days and the whole days and like the things that go on and it’s, I don’t know how I would work corporate and still be able to be involved in my kid’s life in the way that I’d want to be.
So I’m grateful for the flexibility that I can be part of their lives. I can go to all the random school parties and the random this and the random that. I’m grateful that my business allows for me to be home with them or be up with them during the day. And then, yeah, maybe I’m working, all weird hours at night to get stuff done, but nobody’s watching.
My clients just need to know that things are going to get done when they get done. They doesn’t matter that it doesn’t happen between nine and five. So I love that part of it. Absolutely love that part of being. A business owner working from home or at least, somewhat working from home.
The part I hate about it, and I don’t know if you found this, I’ve never asked you this question either. Is the fact that not everybody takes it seriously. Like not everybody in my life takes the fact that I have my own business seriously because I don’t have to report into an office. I don’t have a boss that’s overlooking my shoulder.
I’m not expected to be somewhere between nine and five. So like even. This week when it’s a weird in between these schools, not yet in session, summer’s really over, who’s really taking care of the kids and what are we really doing? So it’s just this really weird in between where my husband’s like, well, you’re home.
And it’s like, well, yes, but I, you know, I’m running a. Business have you, and it’s just this very awkward phase and you know, and I love the people in my life, but sometimes it’s very much what are you doing? It’s I’m working, I’m working. So trying to help the people in my life realize too, that because I’m a solopreneur, I don’t have employees.
I think if I had employees that would definitely have a different feel to it, that there were people looking to me more to guide them during the day. But because they don’t, I have some VAs and things that work for me, but again, very similar sort of structure where they get the work done when they get it done.
I think that has always been the hardest part for me for having my own business. Um, And it hasn’t really been the focus or like some, I know some people are like well, the accountability of making sure I do my work all the time. That’s not a problem really for me, but it’s the getting everybody else to take what I’m doing.
In my life, seriously, because they are not entrepreneurs, they all had corporate lives. They came up through the traditional nine to five. And so this is a very different structure and a very different life for them.
Andrea Vahl: Yeah. The kind of interesting thing I definitely resonate with all of that and would, I found myself like, I’m still doing all the things I was doing, like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, doing all that and doing the work and doing the kit, you know?
So, so it, yeah. You know, It became kind of challenging there. But the other thing that I thought was interesting is that sometimes I didn’t take it seriously. I, I was like well, I’m just, I’m just this. I, I’m a, this is like a side gig. This isn’t a real thing because I started it. It’s not a real company because it’s just something I made up, you know?
So, so I wasn’t even taking it seriously myself. I wasn’t I, I, I just like shoved it to the side and was like, Oh, it’s just a thing I do, so it wasn’t until several years in where I was like, you know what, I’m looking at my bottom line here and I’m making money, something pretty big and
Sarah Scott: I think I did that last year.
And like my projections for this year too, I was like, Oh, Wait a minute. This is actually making money. This is a real thing. So yeah, I get that too.
Andrea Vahl: Yeah. So well, awesome. I know you’ve got lots of things to do, including editing, editing this episode. So,
But I always want to a quote or inspirational saying, cause I love quotes.
I’m such a quote junkie and I love hearing people’s what some of their favorite quotes are.
Sarah Scott: Okay, so I have two of them. One of them is from Benjamin Franklin. Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Given that my background was always in education, in bringing people up.
And I still teach. I’m still a professor at the university, in the graduate programs. So I teach, I feel like I teach. Anyway, a lot. Anyhow, it’s just my nature of how I communicate to people. And I just love that because and with children, you definitely see that where, how many times you have to tell your kids something and they’re never going to remember to do it.
And then you can teach them and they’ll remember it, but they don’t really get involved. But then if you really involve them and the who and how that’s really when we Truly can reapply the things that we’re being taught and work with. So I just love that particular quote. And to really make sure, even for myself, like whenever I go to learn something am I going to apply it?
How do I apply this? So that just doesn’t become like a fleeting thing. I spent a tiny bit of time on and then never did anything else with and then the other quote I really love that I don’t actually know who said it, but I wrote it down because I really loved it was create the story that you want to live.
And I think that even now, like in this phase of my life where that’s really what I’m trying to focus mostly on is not letting everybody else dictate who I am, what I’m doing. I don’t want to find myself in that position again where my whole identity is wrapped up into one piece of my life. I want to make sure that I am writing the story, that I’m doing the things that I love, the things that are challenging and maybe even the things that scare me once in a while because I want to have a story that’s worth telling.
I want my kids to know that there’s something worth talking about with their mother and that, there’s… And if nothing else that I have interesting things to talk about to other people. So that’s where I love that particular quote as well. That’s
Andrea Vahl: awesome. That’s awesome. And I want to just give people a plug here on if you are running a podcast, if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, I.
Think you have to talk
Sarah Scott: to Sarah because she’s amazing.
Andrea Vahl: She’s incredible. And I, here’s the thing I love about you, Sarah. There’s many things, there’s many things, but I love that I never ever lose a wink of sleep or anything knowing that the, everything’s going to be done. Everything is my
Sarah Scott: job. It’s on time.
It is done. It’s executed way better than I would. And,
Andrea Vahl: So it just takes that load off my plate. And sometimes people wonder, how are you doing so many things? You’ve got the podcast and you got this and you got that. I’m
Sarah Scott: like, I have good people who are on my team, take
Andrea Vahl: handling things that I’m not as good at handling things. I have good ideas and then we’ll do that. So awesome. Yes. Yes. So Sarah tell people where people can Get ahold of you. We’ll have all this in the show notes,
Sarah Scott: obviously, but of course we will find you. You can actually find me at Sarah Scott Studios. Everything is there. You can book some time with me.
If you want to learn a little bit more about podcasting, if you want some help on launching it or just getting your processes together, I’m happy to have the conversation. So Sarah Scott studios. com and everything is there. Awesome. Thank you, Sarah. Thank you, Andrea. Bye everyone.
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