Kate Freeman started a nutrition blog, and it was pretty popular. So popular, in fact, it made her think about whether, after her son reached Kindergarten age, if she should return to her government job or press on and see if she could build a nutrition business.
That was in 2012, and now, in 2020, The Healthy Eating Hub boasts two locations in Canberra, Australia, a strong team of nutritionists, and an amazing social media following with their Facebook page having more than 15,000 followers.
The Healthy Eating Hub isn’t into fads and diets. In fact, you very quickly come to realize that Kate and the team are all about keeping it real, for real people.
And that is what their content focuses on, keeping it real and Kate is like any small business owner in that she creates lots of great, helpful content such as blogs, videos, and social media posts.
But that wasn’t enough and, this year, Kate launched a podcast series called The Daily Dollop.
Kate joins the show to discuss how she uses the podcast in her marketing.
You can find out more about The Healthy Eating healthyeatinghub.com.au
As part of the service, I have had this episode transcribed. Transcribing, proofing, and editing a podcast episode is A LOT of work. That’s why I use a service called REV who provide professional freelance transcriptionists who are vetted for quality. While they offer a 99% accuracy guarantee, I do not proof-read their work extensively. Instead, I simply copy and paste below and, as such, please note that this is not be a verbatim transcript of the episode and I have trimmed things like the intro, close, and mid-show ad.
Kate: The Daily Dollop is a 10 to 15-minute daily podcast with me talking about nutrition woo. I want to call out the woo in the diet industry, which is the pseudoscience, the really wacky advice that’s out there that often leads people to being really confused about what to eat. Call out the woo, look at the scientific research. My main goal is to really translate the science then into practical, everyday advice. Then I’m like, “Okay. What does that mean that you do every day and how does that affect how we would recommend that you eat?”
My goal is to keep it really stress-free. No scaremongering or making people feel guilty about what they’re eating, just empowering people to feel good about their food choices and putting a positive spin on nutrition.
Daniel: Sounds like a great project, a great angle, a great attitude. Kate, when we spoke last, you were already super busy. You had so much going on. Why did you decide to start a podcast and add that into the mix of things that you need to get done?
Kate: I don’t know, Daniel. I really don’t know, because I didn’t think that … And I have to admit my husband was literally like, “You’re doing what?” I was like, “Oh, well it’s fine. It’s fine. I can totally do it.” I think I had felt like one of my core products, which is my online program over at The Healthy Eating Hub, is a really unique and different way to approach nutrition. It’s different from everything out there. It’s slow, incremental change.
We’re really focusing on trialing and error, individualizing nutrition and doing core behavior change, which is just … It’s slow, it’s steady and it’s in a market of quick fixes. I guess I just felt like I needed another way to get my message out there. To almost like educate people on why I had decided to make my product the way that it was. I guess The Daily Dollop was a bit of going, “I can tackle pretty much any nutrition thing you throw at me. Fasting, time-restricted feeding, the keto diet, adaptogens, whatever.”
I can pull it back to the fact that at the end of the day, we need to be consistent with our healthy food choices and do it in a way that suits us and our family. Not put so much pressure on ourselves to get it perfect or find the right or wrong way to eat. I guess I just felt like I needed to put my message out more broadly. I guess if people were thinking about my program, now there’s 41 episodes that people can consume I guess now to find out about me and how I work. That’s why I decided to do it.
Daniel: Before you launched the show, were you already a podcast listener? Were you listening to podcasts and then started to think, “Geez, this is a great medium. I could really leverage this.” Or did somebody put the idea in your head?
Kate: I have listened to podcasts. I really like podcasts. I have thought about it on and off over the years, but I guess it always felt too hard to do and I was afraid of the time to produce them, the editing part, I guess, and so never really did it. Then I was a guest on your podcast and then I was invited to go on the Money Madams podcast and did that a couple of times. I really enjoyed it actually. Just asked me to talk. I’m like, “Yeah, I’ll do that. I love that.”
Then I had put a post on social with myself in the headphones with the mic when I was doing the Money Madams show and it said, “Should I start a podcast?” Then these people were like, “Yeah. You totally should.” Then a follower of mine, her husband just so happens to own a small business doing podcast production. He got in contact with me and he was a very good salesman, and there we go. He was like, “I’ll produce it for you.”
We worked out a price and then I thought, “Okay. I can afford to spend that just to give it a crack.” Away we went.
Daniel: When you asked people whether you should start a podcast, you got that overwhelming response. That can be quite buoyant. It can really push you forward and then other people are getting in contact and saying, “Look, I can help you make this happen.” There comes a point where you have to try and set some business objectives and goals. When you set out at the start in your mind, what did success look like to you? I.e. what outcome or place were you thinking, “Oh, it’d be great if we could get the podcast to that point.”
Kate: I originally really hoped that it could translate into sales and so I had worked out the production costs of each episode and then thought, “All I have to do is sell two memberships an episode.” I made a return and I had my cost per acquisition number with the marketing spend. I thought I was really organized with my data and my numbers and stuff. That was my original goal with it, but I’ve since found … So we haven’t got that many sales at all, but it’s super hard to measure too actually, whether it is translating into sales or not, because it’s like … I mean, and I’m not a marketing expert.
You probably know more about this than me. It’s more like brand awareness and message building and profile building, so it’s probably never going to directly result in sales, but I guess it’s part of my marketing ecosystem.
Daniel: Kate, are the topics for each episode unique or are you repurposing content that you’ve already created like blogs and videos and webinars and things like that?
Kate: Most of it is repurposed content. I’ve been writing for my own blog and for other websites for nearly eight years now. That’s a lot of content. I’ve also created content for my online program, but for clients. A lot of it’s repurposed, and my episodes are done in one take. I give myself a really basic flow. I’ve got points in front of me and then for things, if I need to reference a particular study or need to know some specific numbers, I’ve got that info in front of me.
Otherwise, I think I’ve found that I’ve been doing this for so long now that once I get started, I talk to the topic pretty good. It’s definitely because I’ve either written about it or talked about it before so it just comes really easily to me.
Daniel: Kate, a two-part question and I don’t usually like asking two part questions. I think they’re sometimes a bit lazy, but I think the two parts may be hard to talk about individually, so I’m going to ask the two-part question.
Daniel: The first part is, how long do you spend on a show from finding that idea and deciding on it? Remembering that you’re repurposing content and topics that you’ve already spoken about in other content. From finding that idea and topic through to launch, how long do you spend? Is there anyone outside the business … I think you referenced somebody earlier before that helps make that show happen. Is there anyone else helping you, making all that happen and come to fruition?
Kate: I guess I’ll do it maybe per five episodes, because it’s The Daily Dollop we do a day. It’s a daily podcast. That already was going to be slightly burdensome and everyone was like, “What the freak? Why are you doing it daily?” I was like, “I don’t know, because it’s called The Daily Dollop. I’m committed now to daily.” I’m like, “I can’t call it The Occasional Dollop.” It just doesn’t have the same ring to it. What we would do is we’d shoot five episodes the week before.
It would probably take me, if I added up the time, maybe a full day to research, write my structure and show notes, record, changed my t-shirt and hairstyle in between takes, et cetera. Then we’d send them off to the producer. Yeah. I did pay a producer, Casco Media they are, and they’re up on Sunshine Coast. He actually sent me down the mic and stuff and I just did it straight off my phone. It’s a podcast and a video.
We’re shooting it off my iPhone, like video with the mic plugged into my phone and so then he just pulls the audio off that for the podcast. Then we also have a video that goes natively on to Facebook and also onto YouTube as well. We’re trying to repurpose the content as much as possible. About a full day, I think. It would take me two days because I also run the two Canberra clinics and my online program. I would find that I never get uninterrupted time at work because I have seven staff.
I always used to be like I need to start first day morning by the time, yeah, I get interrupted and I dealing with different things, I’m done by Friday afternoon. Yeah.
Daniel: You mentioned that the show’s also a video, so you’re at that point now where you’ve got a volume of work. Looking back, was it a good decision to include video? Because it’s quite a common sticking point for people that might want to start a podcast for their business. They think, “Do I need to do video as well or should I just do audio?” Personally, I just do audio. I find it much easier. I don’t have to worry about redoing my hair or changing my shirt like you do.
Looking back on it now, was it a good decision to include video or do you think maybe, “Oh, I should’ve just stuck with the audio.”
Kate: I feel torn about that. I think the podcast has a higher listen rate. All 40 odd episodes I’ve had a total download rate of around 15 and a half thousand, so I think we were, from memory, around 500 to 600 listens an episode on the podcast. Then the Facebook videos I get between 200, and then our best video did a thousand views. On average, probably 200 views on Facebook. That’s only three-second views so I don’t actually know how many people watch them fully through.
The YouTube ones, really low, like 20 views, but I didn’t have a following on YouTube. It was pretty much just like, you have a video, you might as well chuck it on YouTube as well. We just did that because it was easy to do. I think with my planning for next year, I definitely want to do the podcast again, but I am considering whether I do the video as well because, like you said, it adds just that one more layer. It just means that as I’m recording, I have to look engaged at the video.
I feel like I have to have my head on and, yeah, my makeup on and look half presentable. Yes. It certainly adds in a layer and I’m just still tossing up whether I think that’s worth it or not. The videos have had varying levels of success.
Daniel: Some insightful comments there, Kate. Now, once a show is live, what do you and the team do to help promote it and get it out there for people so that they can listen to it?
Kate: We definitely used social media a lot. I have a staff member who does social media for me and the business. The second season she spent a bit more time creating little video snippets. Pulling one-minute little clips from the main video so that we can put them on Instagram and in Instagram stories and things like that. That was really just a different thing to try this time. We would do summary posts as well. Then we also used to do mail-outs to our mailing list, sort of, The Daily Dollop is launching and then The Daily Dollop is back, because we did have a break for a couple of weeks in between the halfway mark.
We did try a press release and sent out to some news outlets across Australia. We went into the Canberra Weekly Magazine, but we did get a bite from news.com.au but the journalist is still working on the piece because it wasn’t a time-sensitive news release obviously. I’m yet to see whether I get a good article from that journal.
Daniel: Kate, one thing I’ve always admired about you and what you do with your business is that you get things done. You don’t seem scared to go and try things. You take the business seriously, but you have a lot of fun. It seems to me from the outside that you strike a great balance between just getting on and getting stuff done, but also putting some thought and planning into it to make sure that it’s given the best chance of success. I’m curious about whether there’s anything big along the way that you learnt, or maybe a misconception that you had about podcasting for business.
Kate: I think the main one was how I got that translated into sales, I guess. I think I had a huge expectation that, “Oh, people are just going to listen to my podcast and they’re going to love me and they’re going to want to buy my program.” I’m like, “Why wouldn’t they?” Probably a tiny bit overconfident there, which is weird because I also felt super insecure at the same time putting myself out there on the podcast. Like, “What if people don’t like it and rah, rah.”
But my producer feels that the call to action at the end isn’t strong enough in that I was probably hesitant to go, “This is what my online program does. This is how it can help.” Have a strong call to action at the end of each episode, I didn’t do that well. That’s something I’d like to explore next time, is I guess thinking about the whole marketing process and thinking, “Okay. After someone listens to my podcast, what’s the next thing I want them to do?”
Also, considering that a lot of my listeners were already members of my program as well, I guess just seeing where it fits into my whole marketing strategy. I feel like I haven’t quite nailed down that yet. I’d like to explore that further.
Daniel: It sounds as though you’re going to push forward with the show, there’s going to be more episodes and series. You set out with the expectation or maybe the dream that it was going to turn into lots of business. I’m curious now, looking back, and it hasn’t turned into huge amounts of business like you maybe thought it did with your dreams, but are there any examples that you can share about how the podcast has benefited the business? Because you’re going to push on with it so clearly it’s providing some benefit.
Kate: It definitely has resulted in some sales. I’ve had people call me or complete the form on my website and when I ask them how they found out about me or the program, they’re like, “Oh, I heard your podcast.” I’ve definitely probably counted at least eight to 10 people over the last couple of months. It’s not nothing and I guess I just feel like these people also had only just met me. One of the things I’ve noticed with my marketing in general is people sit on my mailing list for at least six to eight months before they buy from me.
Kate: It’s a real slow burn. I think they just hang around. I’ve had people after two years, they’re like, “Oh, I’ve been following you and listening to you and watching you on social for two years now thinking, ‘Oh, I probably should do it.'” Then they finally do after all that time. I guess it’s just discovering where it fits in the whole process of things and how I can use it to maybe tip over into a buying decision. Or I’ve had members message me on social media who did join my program, but they haven’t been using it and listening to the podcast has helped them re-engage with it.
I think that’s probably minimized cancellations of the program for people with like, “I’m not doing anything with it, so I’m just going to finish up.” That’s good too. I do believe it is making a difference. I wonder if I just need to not be impatient and be prepared for it to be a slow burn as part of my brand.
Daniel: I’d agree.
Daniel: I totally agree. I love that story about how people sit on your database for quite a long time before they potentially make contact. It reminded me of a story. I went to a meeting once. I’d never heard of the business, hadn’t heard of the gent that organized the meeting. When I walked into the room, he had something like 20 of my blogs printed out on the table.
Kate: Oh, wow.
Daniel: Was like, “Oh, so I read this one and that one, I want to do this and this and that.” I was just blown away. I think sometimes as businesses, and particularly as content creators, we can lose sight of the fact that just because we’re not hearing from people that they love our content every week, or they’re not taking that specific action, that sometimes I think that we lose sight of the fact that that content is still having an impact on people.
Daniel: How would you describe, Kate, your overall experience with podcasting? Not just from your perspective, but the business’.
Kate: I think overall it’s been a positive thing for the business. I think that because of The Healthy Eating Hubs origin as a clinic in Canberra, a lot of our membership sales for the program are still Canberra-based. Whereas the podcast being an Australian … Oh, well, it’s a worldwide platform really, we actually charted in Canada and France and Mexico of all places, is that the majority of our sales in the second half of this year for the program are coming out of Canberra. I think it’s definitely put our name in front of people who hadn’t met us before.
I think if I think about how long the brand has been in Canberra and people know The Healthy Eating Hub now and trust that brand, or hopefully they do, so I think now I just need to get the same longevity and trust in the Australian market, just that broader. I think it’s been a good way to get myself out into that broader market. We did actually get our first international sale a few weeks ago from France, and the podcast charted in France. I didn’t even know that my website could take payments from France, but apparently it can. There you go.