Does your podcast have a clear message? How do you know that you do? Here to help clear things up is Dolores Hirschmann. She is the Chief Clarity Officer at Masters in Clarity and the host of Masters in Clarity Podcast, where she helps guests and clients alike find their path. Dolores joins Tracy Hazzard to share her insights on how you can find clarity and take actions that lead to success. It’s all about finding your unique brilliance. Tune in to learn more about what it means to have clarity and more podcasting tips on how to find guests and optimize your systems from Dolores and Tracy.
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The Art Of Clarity: The Importance Of Having A Clear Podcast Message And Systems With Dolores Hirschmann Of Masters In Clarity Podcast
I have Dolores Hirschmann of Masters in Clarity for you. She is a partner of ours. We have many clients who have difficulties with the back office, the tactical things of getting things set up like their calendars, getting their guesting setup, and some of the logistical things of running their business. They’re so busy setting up their business, getting started, doing these things, getting their podcasts going, recording it, and doing all of those things. They don’t have time for all of those assistant levels and systems and integrations. She and our team are amazing at that.
In addition to that, she is amazing at getting you clarity on where you need to go, where you need to spend your time, and on your message in general. I invited her to come on and talk about her show, Masters in Clarity. She is an internationally recognized strategist, coach speaker and Founder of Masters in Clarity, a strategy and coaching company that helps clients clarify their message and implement virtual business growth systems.
She has been a remote employee and virtual business owner for many years. As a former TEDx organizer, she understands how to help experts, authors, coaches, consultants, doctors and other service business owners position themselves as thought leaders in their field and scale their business. Let’s talk about Masters in Clarity with Dolores Hirschmann.
I’m so excited to talk to someone who thinks of clarity in everything that she does. I’m excited to talk about Masters in Clarity. As I mentioned in my open, the title of your show is also matched to your business, which is a rarity that I say go for it. How is it going for you? Is it still feeling good or is it starting to get confusing between your business and your podcast name? Are you being able to be clear about which one you’re talking about?
You guided us in that process of picking the name of a show and you mentioned that it was rare that the show would have the name of the business, but in our case, it serves as well because the essence of Masters in Clarity is getting to the clarity in order to take action. That is true when I’m interviewing a guest or even if some of my episodes are solo episodes. It’s that what is the clarity that we can bring to the surface in this interview with a guest or in a solo episode that we allow our listeners to take action?
A lot of the conversations that I’ve had with my guests who are business owners in different stages of growth is, “What was your clarity journey?” One of the misconceptions out there for people starting or growing a business is they think that anybody that they see out in the market knows all the answers, has all the clarity and therefore they’re doing so well, but the truth is it’s having the clarity that you have, whatever that might be little or a lot and taking action anyway.
I’m going to go right into your binge factor, which I rarely do on the show. I’m going to go straight into it because I wanted it to be the focus of our conversation. That is you’re really demonstrating. Masters in Clarity is mastering the demo process. You’re showing the clients how you can do this with them and practice how you get to that clarity. You’re even doing it with people who you’re bringing on who are masters already. You’re defining and clarifying what they’re saying.
You say things like, “What I’m hearing is, let’s clarify that further and let’s get to the core of what you’re mentioning here.” You’re helping them be clear in how they’re delivering their stories and messaging even though they’re already experts in it. I love that you do that because it demonstrates that at every level of the process where we’re not always clear in our thoughts about how something happened or what we’re doing next either.
From where we said, we look at a big company and we make so many assumptions about how they feel, think and do. Have you ever been either hired by a company or become a consultant to a company, and they remove the curtain, then you go and look at the kitchen and you see, “Oh my God.” There’s no process. On the outside, they are the most organized and efficient looking company. There’s that situation and then the other situation is they might be a great, solid and process-driven company but usually, the people running it or at least the founder will always have a little bit of self-doubt or not clear.
Clarity is one of those things that we fail to claim to have. It’s like happiness. How many times do we dare to say to ourselves, “I am so happy right now?” We don’t claim it as an arrival point. We want to be happy. We strive to be happy. We do things to be happier, but living in a happy place, you can’t hold it. It’s evasive. That is the truth. You are either walking towards happiness or walking away from it. Clarity is the same way. You get a little bit of clarity for a second, and then the idea and the past comes through. Hopefully, you’ll take action because if you don’t, you’ll forget it.Clarity is one of those things that we fail to claim to have. Click To Tweet
What you point out so well here and in the show as well is that it’s not always an arrival point as you’re saying, but it is an a-ha moment. The moment that clarity hits you is the moment you decide to take action. It’s a decision point.
That’s the importance of clarity and action combo. Some people will have that a-ha moment and they will wrap it with self-doubt. They wrap with self-doubt the action that they think they’re supposed to take. They ask 50 different people, “Do you think I should do this?” When that clarity and that ah-ha moment is not followed by action in an assertive, courageous and timely way, that whole a-ha goes to waste.
That’s so critically important here. I love how quickly you and your team took action to start a podcast. It’s been one of the things that I’ve been so fascinated by you. I love that we partnered up to get some of our clients moving when they’re unable to take action. What I’ve found and what you provide is this moment when we’re mired in doubt or we’re stuck in procrastination, it’s usually that we have no idea what the path is.
There’s an obstacle in the way that we don’t even know how to address it. For a lot of people, it’s operations and the technical detail things like, “How do I get this calendar thing set up and get these things going?” When you were looking at starting your show, what did you find was the biggest obstacle that you were like, “We’re putting my team on it and I’m getting them moving?” You know how to remove those obstacles.
If you’re a podcast host and you’re reading this, you’re not going to like my answer. The biggest obstacle is me. I’m the biggest obstacle. I’m a coach and a strategist but I have the training of a coach. When I was a full-time coach, one of the things I would always work with my clients is understanding their unique brilliance. If we were to have a magic wand and create the perfect environment, workspace and work set up for you, what would you spend 80% of your time doing?
That is my clarity. I can be interviewing guests for my show 80% of my time. Let’s say it’s one of my tasks and I’ll do it well, but if you let me loose in all of the other tasks to get to that moment of recording, then I’ll never get to 80% of my brilliance. I’ll procrastinate because I will invite the guests and then forget to send them the reminder. I’ll forget to upload the photo or whatever many tiny millions or zillion steps we need to take to make sure we have a successful show. I was very clear from the moment I signed up with you guys to produce my podcast that everything had to be set up so that I wouldn’t get in the way of my own success.
You would show up, you’d record and that was it. You figured out where your role needed to be. I love that you identified that early on. What I love about the way you work with removing obstacles for other people is that it’s not the same thing for every single person. I’m in my own way but it might not be procrastination, it might be obsessiveness about something that I need to remove. Who knows what it might be?
It might be triple interviewing a guest before we accept them. It might be making sure that the guest rehearses the questions we’re going to ask because they need to stay on a script, which is a whole conversation in itself.
Should we do that is the question.
The goal of an interview is to interview and not to read a script. There are a lot of ways. When we help someone get out of their own way to produce a great podcast, we do get clear on what is the block for not just the host, but if they come with a team. If they don’t come with a team, they would know what the block is. Even if they come with a team, there’s a block of maybe not the best role for the best team member or not clear SOPs, Standard Operating Procedures, to make sure that everything goes smooth.
For some podcasters out there, even the word SOP, Standard Operating Procedure, gives them hives. It’s such a funny thing. If that’s not you, then there’s a whole other process you need to approach, maybe a team and external production. There is a whole way in order for you to achieve your goals. What I want to know is when you set out podcasts, you probably had these preconceived ideas of what it was going to be like. Did you find anything surprising that you loved about it or did you find anything surprising that you’re like, “I didn’t like that as much as I thought I would?”
There are a couple of things. First, I find that it is my unique brilliance or the place I want to dance because I’m a people person. For me, whether I’m interviewed at your podcast or I’m interviewing you for mine, it’s a joyful experience to have a conversation and connect with people. I also recognize that I got a lot more yeses from big guests that I was surprised. I had a big yes from a guest that I interviewed. She’s the number one influencer on LinkedIn. She has hundreds of thousands of followers and is probably one of the number one podcasts out there. It’s a young and profitable podcast.
She interviewed me for her podcast a few years ago, so I interviewed her. I was so grateful to her for spending time with me and feeding into my audience. I am delightfully surprised that some huge names are wanting to come to join me. What she said to me was, “I hear your name out there and I love what I hear about you.” When we interview these guests, it’s a point of connection, especially in our industry. We get to see how people are seeing us, even though we might not even think they are.
You don’t realize how you’re being perceived out there, so it’s a feedback loop. That’s a great a-ha to realize that. You thought it was going to be great and it was even better than you thought in that aspect of it. What do you think the biggest challenge area has been for you and your team?When that clarity and that “Aha!” moment is not followed by action in an assertive, courageous, and timely way, that whole “Aha!” goes to waste. Click To Tweet
As you were pointing this out, we’re in 2022 and it’s still the start of the year. Podcast recording is the first thing to get dumped from my calendar when everything is so busy. When I have no time during the day, I say, “I’ll push that to the next week.” Part of it is committing to it and saying, “I am going to do this and why are you doing it.” For me, it is a legacy and sustainability of my brand. You reminded me that if that is important to you, then consistent podcast recording is important to me too.
What Dolores is referring to is that I was saying, “You’re early on. Don’t forget to stay consistent and constant.” It’s the coaching hat that I wear to say, “Don’t forget about this. You have to stay on schedule,” because it has residual value over time. The technical residual values are as important as your perception in the marketplace that you’re showing up for the people that are listening to you as well. We want it for both things. I’m so glad you took that to heart.
Time commitment and making time for it is the biggest challenge all around. Let’s talk about some of the things that you guys do well. You may have already found some paths and simplicity that you’d like to share with the audience about it. As you were talking about, you got a great guest that you didn’t expect was going to say yes and said yes. What’s your process for getting great guests? How do you do that so that you’re sure they’re going to match the theme of your show?
This might not be true for everybody here, but I have been committed to podcasts and podcasting for a few years now, not as a host but as a guest. I knew early on that I wanted to get into this world, but I was hesitant of getting into this world as a host first. I spent a lot of time interviewing for hundreds of podcasts. My process is first looking at who has interviewed me that I know we got a great connection, great rapport and is aligned with what I want my podcast to be. That’s the low-hanging fruit. We invited those that had invited me. It’s simple and reciprocal hosting based on the relationship that we’ve built.
We then go through a list of people I admire. Whether I have a connection with them or I find a shared connection for an introduction, I’ll start courting the relationship to invite them to have a conversation with me. We also sometimes bring our clients because our clients are doing great work. At Masters in Clarity, our goal is to have our clients become masters of their clarity.
I have clients that have been with me for 5, 6 consecutive years and never once stopped being enrolled in one of our programs. We have anniversary gifts now. We have the five-year gift, the paper wedding, and ten-year gifts. Those are guests that I will bring into my podcast because they are aligned with what we do. They have become masters of their clarity. They have a redundantly clear clarity journey, so we want them to share that with our listeners.
That’s great that you’re keeping both your mix of guests. You’re also making sure that you’re getting some that you know are going to be a little bit easier outreach to make sure you’re still filling up your calendar. You’re making sure all of that is happening in there. What about getting listeners? The hardest part is getting listeners to subscribe to the show, get engaged with you, and grow the listener base. You’re still a little early on in the podcast, so this is a challenge for you and all startup ones. It’s also a challenge for those that are hundreds of episodes in.
One of our strategies for content development is we distribute to our social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. I gave up on Twitter a long time ago, maybe I shouldn’t. Also, on our website and newsletter. We use it also as a way of introducing myself to new opportunities or speaking opportunities. We try to make it part of any outreach communication strategy that we have.
You’re making sure you’re reusing it everywhere you can and then you’ll see and evaluate. How often do you look back and say, “Was that working for us? What do we do next?” Do you have a periodic review time?
We’re due to do one of those in the next couple of weeks. The truth is we didn’t get going with it until Q3 or Q4 of 2021. We delayed the release of the episodes because I did some batch recording. It’s now the time to look back and say, “Which channel is working? What kind of post is working? Is it working in the blogs or not?”
It’s a 3 to 6-month review time. That’s a good plan. I always like to say to at least give yourself the first 20, 25 episodes anyway because it’s a building block, and then look at it on the point forward. You don’t want to do it too prematurely when you’re still getting established in there. Otherwise, you make some choices based on bad data.
Monetization, I don’t think that your show is planned to be one of these where we were going to have ads on your show and other things like that, but you have core business skills, services, programs, courses and things that you offer all the time. Are you starting to see that trending towards closing clients faster and getting more people in programs? Are you starting to see that monetization start coming into play? Which one are you looking forward to trying a little deeper?
I have seen the value of podcasts in the last few years. I have at least 5 or 6 clients that I can name that had listened to a podcast that I was a guest on. If you’ve been asked to be a guest on a podcast, say yes. They literally turned around, booked a call, and invested in one of our $15,000 a year programs.
Your one hour of time was well spent.Why don’t great ideas change the world? It’s because the people holding the ideas are stuck. They’re lacking clarity. They're lacking courage. Click To Tweet
Only 30 minutes of podcast led to a 30-minute consultation that went into $15,000. All of those clients have been with us for 2 or 3 years. It’s like $45,000. As a guest, I’ve seen the monetization. The funny thing as a host is I sometimes get to have the guest become my client. It happens all the time. I can’t measure and maybe I should go look at my data to see if the listeners are enrolling. The truth is I haven’t done it. I’ve enrolled guests in our higher-level programs. It becomes a consultation because in the conversation of clarity, I would say something like, “This is what I’m hearing,” or I’m clarifying questions. In that interview and with those kinds of framework questions that I bring in, they’re gaining more clarity as they’re being interviewed.
It’s so important that you’re pointing this out because when we have high-value clients who are very successful and are focused, and we invite them to come on our show, it’s under the interview subject matter. Otherwise, it requires my sitting in a place of vulnerability saying, “I have a clarity problem. I’m going to book an appointment with Dolores.”
That’s probably not where they’re sitting. As it’s going through and I’m gaining something being your guest and I’m hearing to myself, “She’s getting me to clarify these things that I’ve needed somebody to talk to and somebody to bounce these off.” I didn’t know I had it and that’s happening in that call without that vulnerability requirement, which is harder to do.
I’m so adamant about getting the clear essence of anything that we’re talking about that it happened so many times. They talk about, “This is what I do,” and then I said, “This is what I heard.” I will mirror it or reframe it. They’re like, “You said it even better than I did.” That helps them to gain that extra level of clarity and it’s what I do. I can’t help it. That’s a great way. If you’re ever thinking of a podcast as a business development tool, it is a great business development tool.
That is a good model for you. One of the things that you mentioned and that’s what I want to end on with us here. Normally, I’ll say, “What’s your advice for starting a podcast,” or anything like that. In this particular case, your experience in coaching and pulling those layers of the onion back to get to the core clarity, that’s an interview technique. Would you share some of those tactics and techniques that you use when you’re asking good questions to get to the deep core of something, that you’ve discovered over the many years of coaching that you’ve done? They would be useful for us skilling up on our interview.
One of the questions I ask is, “What is the core essence of your work?” I’m referring to what we call the core idea. I’ve done a lot of coaching for speakers, especially TEDx speakers. Sometimes when I see that the guests might be struggling, I would ask something like, “What is that thing that kept you up at night that then triggers the build of your business?”
It could also be said as a question worth asking. Let me give you an example. Since I was very young, I would wonder why is it that great ideas or people with great skillsets, sometimes don’t get to build a great company or have the impact they’re bound to have. The answer to that question is because they don’t have the clarity to take action consistently. Masters in Clarity is a response to that conundrum question that I had for many years.
Why don’t great ideas turn into something?
Why don’t great ideas change the world? It is what it is. It’s because the people holding the ideas are stuck. They are lacking clarity and courage. They’re lacking in a lot of things. I focus on clarity. The one thing that my clients lack or need more of is clarity and consistent implementation. Those are the two things that we solve. I don’t solve for courage, although courage comes with implementation. There are other experts that will solve for something else, but it is about helping the guests formulate in a clear way, “I exist or my business exists because one day many years ago, I had that this question and I couldn’t find an answer in the market, so I built it.”
I love that because we get people telling stories, and there’s so much around the whole podcasting strategy of getting your guests to tell stories and it being all about the story. If you’re not telling the right story that gets at the essence of what the audience wants to know, then we’re not at that core level. We’re at the surface stories that I tell because people laugh when I tell them the stories or things like that. They’re superficial and we’re not at that deep level of core intimacy that we want to hear like, “How did you do this because I want to understand that?”
My objective when I have a guest in my podcast is to have that guest walk away feeling like I served them powerfully, that I spend 20 or 30 minutes shining a light on them and showing them to my world. That is my intention. When I get them to pose a question that they answer for, what they’re posing is a pain point for their ideal client. Anybody who’s listening will say, “I have that problem. Let me call that person.” I want my guests to get calls.
You want them to get what you got from podcasting originally. Dolores, that’s a fabulous reason for you to have your show, to begin with. In a sense, it’s a total give back, which is giving back to you as well. It’s reciprocal. I love that you’ve mentioned that multiple times through this, whether you’re swapping guest interviews with people you were on before. I love that you’ve built this all into your show. Masters in Clarity is such a wonderful show. It’s just getting started but has so much potential because I can’t wait to see who you’re going to bring on next and what we’re going to find out about them. Keep it up, Dolores. I can’t wait to hear the next episode.
Thank you, Tracy, for having me.
As I was listening to what Dolores was saying, I was thinking about all of these and the tie in between clarity and action, and how those two things need to go together. This is something that I take for granted because I’m usually very clear in my vision, my path and everything. The actions are there and you have to take them. You have to have accountability and you need to take those actions. That’s one of the things that I believe in.
I didn’t realize that as I look out at the world sometimes and think, “Why didn’t they do something? Why didn’t they go try that? Why didn’t they go start their podcast? Why didn’t they go do that?” A lot of times it’s what you don’t see. You’re missing that clarity of vision, where you’re going, the path that you’re on, and the confidence that it brings you.
I love that it’s what Dolores brings to her show every single week when you’re listening to her talk about it and interviewing others. You see her pulling clarity out of people who think they’re already clear. That’s what she just did here but in reverse. I’ve gotten clarity on why that’s not the case and why I can’t go out there and tell you to do it. You don’t have that clarity and confidence yet. Listen to Masters in Clarity for yourself. Don’t just check out how a wonderful podcaster does a great show, but listen to Dolores Hirschmann and learn from her expertise on how you can master your own clarity through that.
As always, like Dolores, I want to bring you more great podcasters every single week. I search within my network for people. I also solicit and take from outside resources. If you think you’re a podcaster who should be on my show, don’t forget to go to TheBingeFactor.com and check that out. Thank you, everyone. I’ll be back next time with another binge factor.
- Masters in Clarity
- Masters in Clarity – Podcast
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