Designed to encourage, inspire and equip you to intentionally live your life full of purpose.
"...be prepared for how much time it will take."
► Tell us about you and your podcast
Hi! I'm Holly, host and producer of Holly's Highlights podcast. Holly's Highlights is designed to encourage, inspire, and equip you to intentionally live life full of purpose. Although Holly's Highlights has something for everyone, we tend to draw women listeners between the ages of 24-56, and those who have a thirst to grow in their life. Whether that be in leadership, personal development, or even the basic how-tos in life. Holly's Highlights podcast welcomes a guest expert on our topic once a month, and the other months I fly solo. This is a safe space where people can come to be encouraged, be inspired, and be equipped.
► Why & how did you start this podcast?
I am asked quite a bit about how I got started podcasting. I had actually never listened to podcasts. Long story short, my mother was the inspiration (and nudging) of me writing a non-fiction motivational inspirational book which I was seeking a publisher for - each time I spoke with a literary agent or a publisher they would tell me the same thing, "in preparation for launching a book - start a podcast!" So, I did! I enjoy highlighting other people and encouraging others how I may, so Holly's Highlights podcast was born. My initial goal of Holly's Highlights was to provide good solid content that people would want to listen to, and therefore it would serve a purpose of truly helping others, all while following through in that preparation for getting my book picked up. Little did I know this podcast would take off and grow legs of its own. Holly's Highlights launched in November 2020 with five episodes, and the first month launched Holly's Highlights podcast was voted top new podcast on podcastland, it drew sponsors just shy of a year after it was launched, as it hit it's second year it got picked up as a monthly column in my home state's newspaper, now going into its third year we just reached top 10% globally of all podcasts.
► How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?
Holly's Highlights podcast releases a new episode every other Tuesday morning at 12:01 am. I intentionally invest a good amount of time in each podcast as I believe if you're going to do something - do it right, and do it right the first time. So, I plan out podcasts for the entire year (of course not everything goes to plan - an interview falls through, or I have an opportunity that I don't want to pass so I may bump something to get another episode in). I believe that what is important to us we will naturally find time to do - and it's important to me to be consistent, to produce as I shared earlier high quality and solid content (so I take the time to do my research and find the right guests, and tap into what my audience is wanting to hear or hear more of). I typically record my podcasts in the late afternoon after work is done and kids are either doing homework or in bed, I market my podcasts late at night before bed, and just get it done. I'd say each episode takes a good 5-10 hours if counting prep work, sponsorship, recording, marketing, all that fun stuff). As for funding, that's where I keep costs low, I do my own editing, recording and I charge my sponsors what I feel is fair and of good value to both of us, meaning they win on their end for the promotional coverage they receive, and I win on my end by covering costs of doing this. My time is a totally different thing - I see that more as a ministry that I'm able to provide, this is a way I serve others.
► What do you gain from podcasting?
As to how I found my sponsors, I try to align what my topic is with what that sponsor does so it's a good fit. I charge them a flat rate to be the exclusive sponsor of that episode and what that entails is a 60-second script I'll read pre-roll, then list them in the show notes with a link to their site, and then do some shoutouts on my social media for them thanking them as a sponsor. Seems to be a win-win as I have repeat sponsors (typically a sponsor will sponsor two episodes a year). I also make sure I'm doing my part in giving back, so I actually reach out to some non-profits that I am passionate about (for example Huntsman Cancer Institute in the fight against cancer) and I'll donate a sponsorship slot once a quarter so that is how I ensure Holly's Highlights podcast is taking an active role in social responsibility. As for other benefits so to speak from Holly's Highlights podcast, it's an opportunity as I've shared before to encourage others - hopefully it will continue to open opportunities for my leadership coaching, speaking at events (both business and non - so non-profits, faith based, community, you name it), and then of course I'll be excited to see if it does what publishers were expecting as my book, Face-Lift: embracing hope through your heartaches, releases April 28 in bookstores and online retailers.
► How does your podcasting process look like?
Holly's Highlights podcast is pretty basic - I use an apple laptop, a Blue yeti mic, and some one odio headsets. From there I record my interviews on zoom and then edit them in audacity (or if I'm doing a solo podcast that is all done on Audacity - which is a free service). I then add my pre-recorded intro, my sponsor preroll with a little jingle, and my outro to the episode and export it to Buzzsprout which is my host provider. I choose to also load everything on my website at www.hollycurby.com/hollyshighlightspodcast.
As for preparation, I like to pre-script my episodes which allows me to stay on task and focused (otherwise I can go off on squirrel paths), but I give myself the freedom to see the paragraph direction and then wing it as needed or desired. For my guests I pre-send them questions so there aren't any surprises and we just go through those questions - once again, keeping us focused, but also showing a respect for my guest's time as well as my listener's time as I try to keep all episodes within time frame of commuting (so about 15-30 min max). As for finding my guests, as I shared earlier I like to help others shine so many guests I've already known and so reach out to them, others I try to get diverse interview from around the world so I'll strategically look for people in various industries in other regions, and then I also have gotten involved in community podcast groups such as on facebook where you can put out there you are looking for a guest covering a certain topic. And of course other interviews are word of mouth guests.
► How do you market your show?
Holly's Highlights podcast is available pretty much anywhere people listen to podcasts. So, apple podcasts, google podcasts, spotify, pandora, podbean, one of my favorite is tune-in so those with Alexa's can say "Alexa, play Holly's Highlights podcast." That's always fun! Most of my listeners listen on their mobile device and use the link I post on Facebook (so my rss feed).
Every time I launch a new episode I post about it on facebook, instagram, linked in and then sometimes twitter and even tiktok. I do have a monthly email, but I don't put every episode in there - I may add a button in the email to listen to the current episode released. I find facebook the most useful for promoting the post, but then adding a few stories throughout the two week period too.
► What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?
I absolutely love podcasting. It does take a lot of time and work. Anyone looking at starting a podcast I would advise them in the following:
- be prepared for how much time it will take (it is not a simple hop on the mic and record and post). You want good quality content.
- be consistent. Ideally you need to post once a week, but if that doesn't work for you (as it doesn't me) find your groove. For me that groove is every other week. Some do it once a month. Of course the more you do the more regular the following, but just be consistent. If you say you are doing it once a month, get it out there the same day and time once a month.
- find your niche. I still think my niche is too broad, and yet, I'm not sure where I'd cut it back. Don't aim to reach everyone, aim to reach the audience your podcast is ideal for. This will help with search engine optimization too.
- pay attention to your cover. Don't just pick something and figure you can change it later. Put energy and effort in to ensuring you have the right look for creating what could become a brand
As to resources - I definitely recommend squarespace for website, buzzsprout for hosting, and audacity for editing.
I'm still figuring out what a youtube presence would look like and if I need or should go there. There is so much to learn in all of this. Don't overwhelm yourself, just go bit by bit and do it right.
► Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?
I would be honored to have you tune in to an episode of Holly's Highlights podcast. As I shared you can listen wherever you listen to podcasts, also on my website at www.hollycurby.com, you can connect with on facebook or tiktok at Holly's Highlights or instagram and twitter at Holly Curby (that's Curby). If you are interested in being a guest or sponsoring an episode definitely reach out to me via email at email@example.com.