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It was a Crazy Idea:
This podcast started off as a crazy idea… You know how it is. You start brainstorming, and before you know it your crazy podcast idea celebrates its first year on air! What? Oh, yea. The Hosting Journey Podcast is Hitting The 1 year Mark.
I used to do a monthly live webinar… Did you all know that? Oh yeah, I have a Youtube channel with my webinars with guests and solo shows to prove it… I still do them on occasion. It’s a great tool to have at your disposal…
Anyway, during my very first live webinar (yes, LIVE webinar), I was asked a question by one of the attendees that really threw me for a loop… The question was, “How do you tell your guests that your Airbnb is ‘clothing optional?’” Yes, you heard the question correctly. This host has an Airbnb listing with a “clothing optional” as part of its rules… I was floored. I mean, I had to laugh, but there it was…and LIVE! No editing and I had to answer…
What a way to test the waters! Of course, I answered the question with what I still think is the best way to handle anything. I said, “Be transparent and clear in your descriptions, and remind the guests again once they’re confirmed.” Lord knows you don't want a group of nuns booked and then, SURPRISE! No, no. You want honesty, clarity, and transparency. And no clothing, if that is how you rock it..
Needless to say, Kent, the “clothing optional” host and I, became good hosting friends. He’s truly a fantastic host in Florida. And whenever he comes to NY he visits me. You can still view all of those webinars on Youtube... Enjoy…but go after the show!
I’m hoping to create a few more videos this year, but NO promises… Right now, I’m developing some new courses for you all. Plus, I’m speaking at a few conferences like the Vacation Rental Success Summit in San Antonio. So, we’ll see…but I am considering it.
Anywho, I digress… I was doing these monthly live webinars, and then, I wondered… I pondered… I thought… Podcast… Hmmm.
A Podcast would probably reach a larger audience… Then, I reasoned, a podcast would probably be much easier… Oh, silly me.
I do think a podcast has further reach just because it’s at the listener’s disposal whenever they want to hear it… and you can be anywhere, doing anything…
Chuck, my co-writer, and I, too, though… Girl, just press that record button and do it. Record, upload Bam, I have a podcast. How hard can that be? Isn’t it great when one is so innocent and naive? My dear hosts.
Like a Dog Chasing Her Tail…
It turns out, for me, it’s pretty hard… I tried to just pick up that mic and wing it… That didn’t quite pan out the way we expected…
I run in circles like a dog chasing her tail. I lost track of what I was saying…
Then we tried having bullet points… Chuck would throw in these fancy, ivy league words that I just couldn’t pronounce… I’d be like, “I can’t pronounce that!” And he’d say, “Of course you can!” No! Yes! Then the paper throwing would commence… Again, not pretty.
You should see the list of words that are not usable… Nice words, too… Very pretty.. Just not usable… at least for ME…
Anyway, it was a mess… You couldn’t tell from hearing those first few episodes, thanks to my dear friend and professional audio engineer, Joe Casalino, but trust me, those first episodes were trial and error my dear hosts.. They would take hours to record… Hours! And hours for Joe to fix and make me sound all pretty.
So, you know what we did? We created scripts! Yes, scripts.
We now write every single word down. If it’s a solo show, it’s all scripted.. Oh yeah. Easy peasy? Ah, I don’t think so.
I write the idea of what I want to say or convey….. Then it goes to Chuck, who makes my words a lot funnier and better.. I just tell him, “Make it clever-er!” It’s a joke we have on my trying to pronounce “cleverer”… I hope I pronounced it right? He still tries to sneak in some fancy, high falutin words but those just get added to “the list.”
And then it goes to Marieke, our copy editor, to make sure we keep our English proper… Just in case the Queen tunes in… We might not be high falutin, but we are proper.
It can get testy… You know creatives… Chuck sometimes is, “Marieke changed a joke with her Queen's English. The meaning changes when you change that word!”. And Chuck rejects her edits. And then I have to be “The Good Wife…” Luckily, Marieke in another time zone, so he’s usually asleep when some of those changes are done…
Then….. Joe, the audio engineer and I speak and together we do another rewrite (you know, the words that I just can’t pronounce) to make sure it all flows a lot better and that hopefully, I don’t sound scripted. You’ll tell me if I do, and I hope I don’t.
Then we record.
I thought about learning some basic audio editing, but I just NEVER EVER had the desire to really learn it. It’s just not my cup of tea or coffee…
Like I have said in the past, I worked as a Producer in the advertising world. I’m spoiled, my dear hosts. So, I hired Joe, who is an amazing audio engineer and the rest is history… He makes me sound… Proper and oh so pretty. Don’t you think? Joe does magic. He tries to explain it, and my eyes just glaze over. Kind of like talking about guests to our family and friends.
The truth is, I knew NOTHING about the inside makings of the podcast world… I mean, I listened to them, but recording, editing, uploading, legalities, any of that? Nope. Nothing. Remember, we thought, “Just hit record!” Aww, so naive.
Learning from Experts:
Luckily, I listened to Pat Flynn from The Smart Passive Income Website. I trusted him and his teachings. I’ve spoken about him in the past. I met Pat at one of his conferences. And through that conference, I actually met all the members who later became my amazing mastermind group.
I suggest that if you want to know about passive income, go check out Pat’s podcast and youtube channel, Smart Passive Income. He won’t disappoint.
So, Pat Flynn has this Youtube podcast tutorial, which I just followed it… Step – by – baby Step. It was hilarious… Now today, Pat Flynn has a fantastic Podcast course, which I would have bought in a hot minute had it been offered when I launched this podcast… But it’s ok… Trials and errors, my friends. I have been following Pat Flynn for years… I trust him as an entrepreneur and teacher. I trust his advice. I have spent money going to his conferences. I’m willing to put skin in the game in order to do things right… It’s a learning curve, I’m actually going to a Podcast conference this July. because learning never stops.
I also found a Facebook group run by Elsie Escobar called “She Podcasts”, right now with over 9k members which helped me a lot. I had Elsie here in Episode 15: Elsie Escobar Ask Me Why I Podcast?
Eventually, I hired Amber de La Garza, and you can hear her in Episode 21: Productivity Made Easy For Your Airbnb Success. Amber helped me create a process and a better system for my podcast.
Now, why am I telling you my entire trajectory story? Simple.
Run Your Own Race:
Because I know first hand that it’s scary to start something new.
I also don’t compare where I’m on my journey… I didn’t judge my beginnings with someone who already had 100 episodes in their catalog. That would be unrealistic and a recipe to fail…
You be YOU… You need to run your own race.
In the podcasting world, I’m still considered brand new… A toddler. A 1-year-old… Making mistakes and forgiving myself is par for the course. Wait for the terrible twos
It’s like that when starting your own journey as an Airbnb host or any new endeavor. You might want to compare yourself to other hosts, like myself, who have been at this for years. That’s not really fair to YOU.
With every year, you grow, you cultivate more knowledge. Each guest brings lessons and sometimes new challenges. It all comes in due time, and it’s about how much time and effort you are willing to put into it in order to create the most successful vacation rental business model you can. And look you’re here learning. You’re doing your part.
I’m still learning. We’re ALL learning… It’s just that some us have been in the game longer. Give yourself the time to grow, cultivate, and learn… and, when possible, to seek guidance.
That’s why I’m so excited to celebrate 1 year of podcasting. The goal of this podcast as always been, and all the content I bring you, is to guide YOU to a happy and successful Hosting Journey. That’s what it’s all about…
If you want to get ahead, I suggest reading books, blogs, listening to podcasts (and not just mine, but others as well).
If it’s within your means, you might purchase courses like my new Airbnb 101, which is out now. The point is to educate yourself… And know that it is so much easier when you seek help or guidance… It just is.
The First Year!
So, what happened during this first year?
I recorded. I uploaded, You listened. We grew… I made sure I provided you with value, and because of that, you kept tuning in.
Yes, there were times when my consistent inconsistency was consistent… Like that wordplay there? I’m not gonna tell you how long it to took to record that little “cleverer” wordplay…
What I am going to tell you is that I’m working on being here every week… Hopefully, one day I’ll graduate from the kitchen table in my house, which currently functions as both audio booth and soundstage. Please don’t hold my hand to the fire.
During this first year, I tried a few different things… You know, keep you guessing…
I did my “Hot Mic” episodes with Tammi Sims… but Oh MY God is she a hard one to pin down… Dear hosts, you have no idea. It’s like herding cats… Yes, cats! Because cows you can herd!
I know you want to hear from her, but she is a very busy, traveling lady. We do try to link up, but you just never know where she might be… Is she in Montana? No! She’s in New Zealand. No! I think Italy, but that was last week… I have no clue… Herding cats! I do apologize to you all for that, but just know we’re ALWAYS trying to “Hot Mic” with Tammi… She’s a lovely feline.
I do like providing at least one solo show a month, where I give you specific information about Airbnb, vacation rental news, and of course, hosting. You like those. How do I know?
Because I see the downloads. Yes, just like you are all obsessed with bookings and reviews, your downloads and reviews matter to me. And they matter to iTunes.
It all matters. I know that when I upload one episode every week, you listen… That's why I’m trying to remain consistent constantly. That wordplay was easier.
What You Liked:
Now, which episode was the most downloaded?
Don’t stop what you’re doing to take notes just go to thehostingjourney.com slash 38, and like always everything will be there for your enjoyment.
So keep making that bed ‘cause the guests are about to arrive, and you don’t want to get caught like I was the other day…but that is going to be a future episode. That’s the hosting journey.com slash 38 to find all the episodes I’m mentioning here.
The most listened episode was.. Drumroll, please…
Episode 16: How to Master Your Guests’ Reviews: The Positive and Negative In that solo show, I teach you all about reviews: how we get reviewed by guests, how to capitalize on your own 5-star reviews, and how to deal with negative reviews. I also explain how to use those 5-star reviews to market your listing.
You liked this episode. I get it. Reviews matter to you and me. And if you haven’t reviewed this podcast… what’s up with that?
A close second was Episode 19: Technology Made Easy For Your Airbnb with Alex Nig Yes, that was a really good episode, and I’m lining up Alex again for an update class because technology is always changing. In this episode, I love how Alex said he prefers not to overexpose guests to the technology they don’t need or want. You have to listen.
And rounding up the top 3 was Episode 10: A House Manual Guests Will Read In this episode, I go into detail about the ART of creating a successful House Manual. It’s not about having old takeout menus and tourist brochures in a folder… You need to know what exactly goes into a house manual and, more importantly, how to get your guests to read it.
I want you to Listen to:
Now, there are some episodes that I’m surprised you haven’t listened to…
Like Episode 07: How Much is Your Airbnb Guest Costing You? This episode is all about money. I talk about a financial strategy for your vacation rental and help you figure out how much your Airbnb guest will cost you…and I’m not just talking money, but your time as well.
I’m wondering why wasn’t this one a hit? What was I missing? I think I need to survey you, my dear listeners, to find out.
One of my favorites and a constant joke in my Facebook group, The Hosting Journey was:
Episode 04: He Ate My Avocado: Setting up House Rules and Boundaries In this episode, I talk about how a guest ate my Avocado. Now you might think, “Oh, come on, Evelyn. It’s an avocado,” but it’s also about House Rules, and boundaries, and how to create successful ones, especially in a home where you share your space with guests.
Whenever anyone sees avocados, we talk about this episode. It’s also an important episode because it’s about house rules and remember Airbnb will allow claims because of those house rules essential in any vacation rental.
Do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention? Let me know… I love your feedback!
What’s going to happen in our second year? Well, as I mentioned in a previous episode, I want to bring in guests from all over the globe for our two year anniversary. Yes, because you, my dear hosts, are from all over this wonderful planet.
In my Airbnb 101 class, I have students from Spain, New Zealand, and yes, the good ‘ole US of A.
I have some things in mind, and one of them is to be a bit more consistent. I think I’m detecting a birthday theme.
But as I conclude this “Hitting the 1 year Mark” episode, please know this: I value and appreciate you. I am grateful beyond words for each and every one of you. You take time out of your busy day, or night, to listen and be here. That’s why I’m committed to continue providing content that brings you value. That’s what the entire Hosting Journey team and I are committed to
Remember, we’re all on this journey together.