Transcript: Our Partnership: A Candid Conversation (Plus, Happy Birthday TSB!!)


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business.

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
We’re competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Megan Martin 0:20
Hello, friend, and welcome back to another episode of talking Small Business Megan here. And today, we’re gonna have a candid conversation. We love these episodes where we just kind of start talking off the cuff about topics that you guys have shown interest in. And today we’re going to talk about partnerships, and specifically approaching partnerships in small business, what that has looked like for us, specifically with this partnership and this podcast and like, we’re celebrating one year of talking small business today, I guess we should say that just super wild to think that we’ve been doing this podcast now for a year, I have loved having these conversations so much with you, cat. But also, it’s been really cool to see the conversations that have been happening because of this podcast, with our friends and our followers online. So first of all, we just want to say thank you for listening to us for the last year.

Kat Schmoyer 1:21
Yes, I mean, that’s the you deserve like a gold star for like tuning in, and listening to our antics. But it really has been so much fun. And we started it. Honestly, it was like a selfish thing for it. We were like, we really want to do this, like, let’s try. And it’s just been really cool to see how well it’s been received and how much fun we are having. So thank you guys for being talking Small Business listeners.

Megan Martin 1:50
Yeah. So recently, I did a live coaching version of my course revenue ripple. And one of my students was coming into this coaching experience wanting to step into education, create digital products, and she was doing so with a partner. And it brought up a lot of questions about you know, how we structured this podcast, even though we’re not necessarily selling something with this podcast, but it still is a partnership. And we had a lot of great conversations around. And she asked a lot of great questions around how to approach partnerships, what you need to think about when it comes to creating a partnership. And so I thought it’d be a really cool conversation to celebrate one year in this journey together to talk about, yeah, our own experience in creating this podcast. And I think we should get real and raw here cat and talk about maybe some of the fears that we had in starting this some of the roadblocks that we hit even before we began this podcast, and then how we how we made some of those, like initial decisions, even though they weren’t necessarily like what conventional wisdom would tell us to do?

Kat Schmoyer 3:11
Definitely, I feel like there was a lot of that. For sure.

Megan Martin 3:16
There was there was, I think we should start with like why we decided to create this podcast in the first place.

Kat Schmoyer 3:22
So I feel like I can speak for both of us in this. But obviously this is like specifically my opinion on it. I thought having a podcast would be really fun. And it would be even more fun to do it with I get like it was like I don’t like I don’t necessarily want to hit record and then just be me for 30 minutes talking. But if I can, and I hit record, and we talk for 30 minutes, like that would be fun. And we talk all the time and Voxer like I know we say that a lot, but we genuinely do. And so it just felt like let’s bring other people into those conversations and these things that we’re talking about in our own businesses, how we’re processing being mamas and business owners and all of that, like, let’s just talk about it. And it’s been fun to be able to do that live with

Megan Martin 4:08
you. Yeah, I think what’s really interesting about this podcast specifically is how are like, for I feel like what we stepped into the podcast, like the idea of a podcast was different than what we actually launched, you know, with, like, the goal behind the podcast, which I think is a really great starting point for this conversation is like, before you step into a partnership, you both have to be on the same page about what the goal of this partnership is. And I think for us, like looking back, I don’t know if you remember, like, we had a completely different goal when we started talking about this, like pages and pages of

Kat Schmoyer 4:45
Google Docs.

Megan Martin 4:48
Yeah, yeah. We so like conventional wisdom would tell you that when you’re launching something, you know, there’s going to be a monetary gain on the back end. And so like we were We’re kind of on that page, you know of like, how are we going to like grow this and monetize that. And we were really following like, quote unquote, what the Guru’s tell you, you need to do, right? And so, but we launched this thing, and we’re like, No, we’re not selling anything.

Kat Schmoyer 5:14
We did that. So we went into it thinking like, Okay, we need to grow an email list, we need to have offers on the table. So we need a shop, or we need at least one like flagship product to be able to be promoting. And these episodes and things need to point back to it like, we’ve again very much originally said, Okay, we want to run a pot, we want to host a podcast together. Now let’s make sure it’s like making money. And how can we do that? And then, as we got into the weeds of that, and I’m telling you guys like pages of Google Docs of us, like brainstorming products, or brainstorming topics, and the funnel behind the scenes, and then thinking about the tech of, well, which of us has the email list? And do we is it legal to like zap from one list to the other? Like, that’s not legal, like we need to do it? Like, I mean, we were like, trying to figure out like, all the things on the back end, and like the tech side, too. And as we got into it, I don’t we just, I don’t remember who it was. It might have been you. Yeah, I don’t. I just remember, like, we had like this light bulb moment. Voxer conversation, we’re like, this just feels too complicated. Like, why are we trying to do all of this when we both run successful businesses like we are both profitable in and of ourselves without the podcast? And could the purpose of the podcast would be something else besides monetary if it’s just overcomplicating it to make it monetary? So that’s very different in a partnership, you would think I’m sure most of you guys listening, thinking about a partnership. It’s to make money with that person, you know, yeah. But Meghan and I just took the span of you know, what, actually, we don’t need to make money direct from the podcast. What if we use the podcast to nurture our existing audience, so are often isn’t even an opt in, like you can’t go to the docking small business website literally go right now. And all you have to do is click download, and you download it, we don’t even take your email address. It’s not at all what we teach our students. Like, it’s like so baffling. I will say though, I will say that I have seen direct revenue from this podcast from people that have come into my inbox and said, I listened to your podcast, either layer name dropping an episode, or they say they’ve listened to it a few times, and now they want something else for my business. So I have still found it to have been a profitable decision in a way to nurture my existing leads, even though it’s not necessarily growing my email list.

Megan Martin 7:42
Yeah, I think, like realizing what the goal of this podcast for us was, like, definitely took time. And I think from like a practical perspective, if you’re looking at creating a partnership, like yes, you need a common goal. But also, like, I was even telling my student this, like, I think that you need to marinate on, on partnership ideas, like individually and make sure that this project that you’re stepping into is going to be beneficial for you alone, obviously, like, it’s not all about me. And it’s not all about cat. But at the end of the day, like we do run separate businesses, and we need to make sure that like a partnership we’re going to step in together is not going to hinder either of us. And our mission outside of this partnership. And I think when we were like creating this goal based on like common, you know, what the Guru’s would tell us to do when we’re starting something was detracting both of us from the work that we were going to need to do moving forward in our business. And that was like, for me, I felt this, like, I know, we talked about, like, you know, in a recent podcast, where like, when you’re not in your zone of genius for me, I tend to procrastinate, like I started to, like feel myself procrastinating on like, the things I was supposed to do for the podcast. And that was like my lightbulb moment of like, okay, there’s something in this partnership that’s not quite working. And we need to figure this out before we like Go green light on this.

Kat Schmoyer 9:16
Absolutely. And I’m really glad that like you had the insight to think that and we were able to have that conversation before jumping into something that wasn’t what we both wanted. And so again, just step one, have a common goal and really make sure that you both feel good about the goal and what it is that you’re doing and the purpose of the partnership.

Megan Martin 9:41
I think communication is like the number one thing that both of you have to also like the raw honesty has to be there and like when you feel tension or when you feel like something is not right like you cannot put that on the back burner like you have to be able to be vocal and if you’re not aren’t able to be vocal enough with that person, then that is like a huge red flag that you should not start this partnership. Like I’ve done relationships like that in the past, where we were both kind of like timid about sharing thoughts and feelings and and it blew up in the end, you know? But that was like one of the one things I felt like we did really well, in the beginning, it was like, when we felt like something was not right. You’re like, Hey, Megan, like, I’m not okay, or I’m not feeling okay. Or I’d be like, hey, cat, you know, like, this does not seem right. Like it like we almost like took the emotion out of it. Because it was really important that like, this was not going to be a distraction or like a burden to us individually.

Kat Schmoyer 10:39
Absolutely. And I think again, because our goal wasn’t necessarily like a direct rep, like tied to revenue, our goal was just increasing our current business offerings, like we didn’t make it. And I didn’t want to create a third visit, like we were like, We’re busy. We have enough going on within our existing things that are happening, you just want to do we think this would truly be fun to do. And we want to run businesses that we love to run. So let’s just see, can this like content marketing project, so to speak, just like be included? I honestly think that helped with having those conversations, because we weren’t you were coming at it from looking at it through your business’s eyes. And I was coming at it looking through my business’s eyes. And then we could talk about how can this truly continue to be beneficial for both of us?

Megan Martin 11:27
Yeah. I feel like one of those were talking about the opt in before, like, one of the hardest conversations for us was like, anytime you do any sort of marketing, I mean, we preach email marketing, I feel like we have a whole episode on email marketing, like that’s like our bread and butter in our businesses. And that was the hardest obstacle for us to overcome, which is why our opt in is not. I feel like we need to like, explain why it is that way. So people don’t like copy

Kat Schmoyer 11:57
that strategy. And don’t do that. Literally, like when I told Matt like, we’re not going to have one who’s like, I’m sorry, like, what are we doing this for? Like what’s happening?

Megan Martin 12:08
That the opt in was like our hardest obstacle because we originally stepped into this partnership thinking that this podcast was about lead generation, which most marketing efforts are about lead generation. And so for us, we were running into this issue because we both have email lists that lives separate. And one of the things I feel like Kat, and you can speak into this a little bit more, but like you were super passionate that you did not want to create a new brand that you had to deal with, because you’ve had your experience managing. Yes, right. And so that was like your like that was like your non negotiable upfront that you did not want to start a new brand that you had to manage, even though talking small business is technically its own little brand. But we don’t run an Instagram where we’re posting regularly, like we’re not doing beyond like posting the episodes to our website, like we’re not blogging or creating additional content or worrying about Pinterest or any of that, like we, we really had to figure out that this podcast wasn’t a lead generator, it was a nurturer type of content, which is what you’re talking about. So essentially, like, we have our own leads, and we send those leads that may or may not have purchased from us yet to the podcast as like long term, you know, continuing to serve our current audience, as opposed to building an audience and that like shift, and realizing like what the goal of the podcast was, is the reason why our opt in is not an actual email list growth ever. Because there was like, no way that we could figure out, like you said, essentially, like how can we grow a list? And then how can we put that list on multiple people’s lists. And then we thought, like, these people are gonna be so confused if we try to do this. But I feel like, just that, like exploration period, like had, we just like, immediately jumped into producing the podcast, when we got the idea. I feel like we would have kicked ourself big time, like, because we gave ourselves like, time to marinate on this idea, like it really like helped us, like evolve the idea, you know?

Kat Schmoyer 14:20
Absolutely. Because we we spent a few months just brainstorming, and part of that was because we were both so busy in our own businesses. We knew we didn’t have the time to drop everything and immediately, like, do all the steps that it took to launch a podcast like as soon as we got the idea. But because of that, we spent months marinating on it and processing and chatting through like, what is the purpose and why are we doing it? And I mean even to go back to Megan’s point, like yes, talking small business is its own brand, but I send out an email every time there’s a new podcast episode like I treat it like it’s like my own thing too. And that’s how again, we were both like, we want to do it. together, but we have enough overlap in our audience to start, where we felt like it could be a good fit for us to still be able to push it on our own platforms, on Instagram on our own email marketing platforms, and really just allow this to be fun nurture content that we want to create.

Megan Martin 15:17
Yeah, that brings up like another point, my student had asked me this question of like, should we create a new brand? With all of that comes with it, the social media profiles, all of that versus should we do things separately, and I would love to hear from you. If you have any insight. If somebody were asking you this question, you know, like, Should we make this partnership its own brand? Or should we push these things separately? Like, what would you tell somebody that they need to think through when it comes to those questions?

Kat Schmoyer 15:47
Well, first of all, what what is the main goal, you know, if Megan and I had decided to move forward with doing the traditional podcast launch, and where we, you know, would have a they’re like its own email marketing platform. And so we had an opt in, and we were growing the talking small business email list, and we were, you know, wanting to push that Instagram account and create reels on that account, you know, do all of that stuff there and to push people to a tiny offer or something like that, we should have had our own Instagram account, like it would have made sense to be like, okay, then this is literally a brand new business. And everything needs to be about this business. And I think it would have potentially been confusing, to not have that to not have all common factors, like it needs its own email, its own website, its own Instagram, Pinterest, all the things do it. So it really comes down to what is the goal? Like what is the purpose of this partnership? And again, Megan, and I decided that wasn’t the purpose for ours. So we didn’t do it that way. I’m so glad we didn’t like looking back a year later, I’m thrilled with what we’ve done, and have no regrets over how we built it. Could we maybe have like, quote, unquote, made more money if we done it the other way? I don’t know, maybe. But it would have been a lot of work, and a lot of headache. And we had our own business, like we have our own businesses. So this truly has been like just a fun thing to sit down and record and implement. And so again, when you’re thinking about your own partnership, and you’re thinking about do we combine things, if the money is combined, if there’s actual money being exchanged in there, then I would probably say yes. Because it’s clear for you guys as partners, to know what’s happening when and where things are going. And it’s clear for your audience, so you’re likely going to make more money? Because that messaging is clear.

Megan Martin 17:38
Yeah. That was like one of the other bigger obstacles when it came to, like, should we create this as its own brand or not? When we were talking about selling products? We were like, Okay, there’s money involved? Yeah, we would have to have made that its own brand, because it would have gotten way too confusing. If like, one of us was trying to run the transactions through our own business, like, how do we make sure that? Yeah, it gets touchy, you know, like, and we’re best friends, you know? So like, I’m not gonna, you know, swindle my best friend. You know, I still like it. When money comes into the table, and even email lists. I don’t know, I felt like there was like, tension around even just the thought of growing an email list, because that is currency in both of our minds, you know, like it. Yeah, I think it would have caused, I think we would have had to make this its own brand. Had we were had we gone down that path, or else I feel like it just would have gotten really sticky really fast.

Kat Schmoyer 18:39
I agree. I completely agree.

Megan Martin 18:41
Now that we’ve been doing this for a year cat, not to like put you in the hot seat. But were there any like, Have you learned any lessons from the perspective of like this being a partnership, and not just us as friends? Like, has there been anything like eye opening to you about doing a project together with somebody else? That’s not in your business? I

Kat Schmoyer 19:02
don’t think so. Only because I know you so well. So yeah, I wasn’t nothing happened where I was like, I’m surprised by this. It was just, no, I know, Megan like this, like, you know, for so many years, like it was like, I know, I’m so yeah, I don’t think but honestly, like, I’m really appreciative of that. Because then I feel like there really hasn’t been a lot of tension. There hasn’t been, you know, yes, we we had to have those conversations in the beginning, that were harder to have when we were both processing and figuring out what we wanted. But since then, we really haven’t had to have any like, Come to Jesus, you know, conversations with one another like it’s been, I feel like really solid and that again, goes back to we have this common goal and we just get to do it because we love to do this.

Megan Martin 19:53
So I mean, that brings up the question, do you think that you should know someone really well before you step into a partnership with them?

Kat Schmoyer 20:00
I know that’s a hard, it’s hard because they always say, what like, Don’t mix business and pleasure. So letter you’ve heard that, you know, I’ve heard that before, like, so many times. And, and part of me understands that, but I think about this partnership, I think about my integration clients, and some of them are friends of mine. And they are, they pay me money every single month for my team to do what we do. And we have the best relationship. So part of me feels like that’s not a true saying, because I think if you really know somebody, then you’ll know should you mix business and pleasure? Like, is this going to work? Well, when you go into a working relationship with

Megan Martin 20:41
them? Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, I personally do think that you should know someone pretty well before you step into a partnership, because, like I said, I think communication is the number one, like make it or break it factor of a partnership. And if you don’t have that, like, if you don’t have a comfortable enough relationship to say the things that you’re thinking and feeling, then it just seems like it’s going to boil over and somebody’s going to be really upset and hurt in some way. And then it’s really hard to come back from that kind of relationship, you know, right. I agree. What about long term, like when you started this podcast? And just thinking through anybody who’s looking forward to creating a partnership? Do you think that? Like, do you think that you should step into a project, having some sort of common understanding of like, how long you’re talking about doing this with someone? Or does that matter in your mind?

Kat Schmoyer 21:42
That’s a great question. We

Megan Martin 21:44
didn’t we didn’t have that conversation. We

Kat Schmoyer 21:46
did it. Yeah, we didn’t say, I think because it was so new for both of us that we were just kind of like, let’s see, like if it crashes and burns in three months, and like we tried. So we didn’t have a conversation about how long however, we did have a conversation around who would do what, and I think that that is really helpful, whether the partnership is for monetary gain or not for monetary gain, because either way you want to know for communication, who is responsible for what and that way, you don’t feel overworked or you don’t feel animosity, if somebody else you feel like isn’t, you know, stepping up to the plate and doing what they needed to do. Or if there’s money involved, if you feel like certain tasks are, quote unquote, worth more, and yeah, that needs to be weighed into the equation. So I do think it would be really helpful to have the conversation with your potential partner around Okay, what does this look like, tangibly? Like in terms of the tasks that were responsible for? And how do we want to make sure that this runs smoothly?

Megan Martin 22:48
Yeah. And I think, also being like, hyper realistic about what you can handle personally, like, for me, I know, one of the conversations we had before this podcast was like, everyone knows at this point, I am not a consistent person. Okay, sorry. It’s just, it’s just the way that I am like, I even made an Instagram post today about like, I just have highs and lows, and I can’t predict when those things are gonna happen. And so I remember one of the conversations we had, like, specifically related about tasks was like, Hey, I just want to pay someone to do it like I will. And I feel like I even told you, like, I will pay all the money that I need to pay, like, I don’t care. So I don’t have to do these things like, but that was helpful. Like, it’s been so wonderful. Like that. I could even be honest enough to say, like, I’m telling you, I’m not going to do this stuff. So I might as well just pay someone to do it. You know?

Kat Schmoyer 23:40
Yeah, that. I mean, it has, I will end for us with this. It is nice. Because for you guys out there like thinking about even starting a podcast. Megan, I hit record, we end the recording. And then we have team members that like yeah, go run with it. And it’s incredible. Like, honestly, I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve been able to keep up with it for a year, we have no plans of stopping at this point. Like, it’s really great for both of us, because we’re doing the quote unquote, zone of genius thing, like, this is what we want to do. And then we’ve got a team to edit the podcast to get it out there, you know, on the blog to get the Instagram posts scheduled, etc, etc. And it’s fabulous. So, I agree. 100%.

Megan Martin 24:23
Do you think just thinking back to this question of like longevity? Do you think that that would weigh into your mind if you were thinking about creating another brand? Like how long you guys are actually planning to have this partnership?

Kat Schmoyer 24:36
I think so. I think I would at least have some sort of let’s give it a go for this amount of time. Let’s be assess that, like this timeframe. Just to see, is it is it fruitful or not?

Megan Martin 24:48
Yeah. It’s been so much fun doing this podcast with you. Like I didn’t know I feel like we both were kind of like we don’t know how we’re gonna be on a podcast. Super awkward. feel like we both were so afraid of like doing it by ourselves like, we’re going to be so awkward.

Kat Schmoyer 25:04
Yes. Yes.

Megan Martin 25:07
My favorite part about this podcast in the last year is like, I love how we literally just press record and we just start like y’all. For real. We do not have a script. No, we

Kat Schmoyer 25:17
have the title we Megan names, because you know, she’s the name girl. So I was like, Megan, what is this one called? Megan, make sure the names are legit. We we know we know what the name is. And then we hit record. But again, I think that comes from we know each other so well, that it really is fun to just sit and have a conversation around whatever the topic is. And it wouldn’t be this fun with anyone else.

Megan Martin 25:41
Yeah. Oh, thanks. I think that like brings up one final thought in my mind of like partnerships is that they should be really fun, like, and I know I’m like the Enneagram seven fun person but still like that is like I feel like that’s the key to partnerships, communication and fun. Like if you guys aren’t having fun, then why are you even doing this? You know, like, right or your own thing. You could do your own podcast or your own business, do whatever. But like, it’s it seems like so much more fun to do it with you than it could ever be by myself. And I think that is like a great foundation for a partnership. Agreed. All right, friends. Well, I hope this episode was fun to listen to. We’ve really enjoyed hosting this podcast for the last year. Promise we don’t have an end date in mind. We may not ever launch an Instagram for talking small business, but we are really just grateful for you guys listening and we want to hear your requests for episodes and helps us create good content that you actually want to listen to. So please like send us a DM send us an email. We want to know what you want to hear about. So thank you so much again for listening to the last for the last year. Many conversations were had and we cannot wait to catch you in the next one.

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