Hollywood Branded Refresher Episodes
Check out some of the past episodes we’ve covered on this topic:
- EP 266: Finding Your Brand Archetype: Tips To Becoming A Better Entrepreneur With Ann Bennett | Ann Bennett Marketing
- EP 223: Creating a Content Strategy for Your Brand with Kristin Bryan | The Chef Sisters
- EP 110: Branded Content And Product Placement Strategy With Vatche Arabian | FLIR Systems
Hollywood Branded Content Marketing Case Studies
The following content marketing case studies below provide even more insights.
- Graphics Cheat Sheet For Brand Marketers
- Celebrity Influencers Don’t Write Their Own Social Media Posts
- 25 Brands That Gave Back This Pride Month
The Path To Becoming A Certified Influencer Marketer With Hollywood Branded
Get ready to learn a ton of how-to’s and the tips and tricks of our trade, as you advance your influencer marketing game!
- Full-Length Training Videos
- Transcripts – Infographics
- eBook Guides
- Case Studies
- Hollywood Branded Surveys
- MP3 Downloads
- Animated Videos
- Additional Educational Material
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- Certifications In Influencer Marketing
We GUARANTEE that this class series will provide you with the foundation to make campaigns successful for your brand.
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for topics first to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today. While it is impossible to be well-versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy, or money, whether you are doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.Audio (00:31):
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.
Stacy Jones (00:36):
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). I’m Stacy Jones, and I’m so happy to be here with you all today. I want to give a very warm welcome to Katie Dooley. Katie is the founder and brand strategists of Paper Lime Creative, a Canadian design agency that helps businesses amplify their branding by listening to their unique stories and goals to deliver standout work. They believe that branding is always an emotional experience and create bold brands that connect to dream customers.
Stacy Jones (01:03):
Katie has been certified through the Graphic Designers of Canada and has been recognized internationally with a Muse Award for her design and development of the Blackmore Real Estate brand. Today, Katie and I will be chatting about how identifying your ideal customer and creating strong visuals can elevate your brand. We’ll learn what works from Katie’s perspective, what should be avoided, and how some businesses just miss the mark. Katie, welcome. So happy to have you here today.
Katie Dooley (01:28):
Thank you so much for having me.
Stacy Jones (01:30):
Of course. What I’d love to do is have our listeners learn a little bit about you and how you got to where you are today as the founder of an agency who is all about design and aesthetic.
Katie Dooley (01:43):
Yeah, I got super lucky. I always knew I wanted to be a graphic designer even before I knew what graphic design was. Somewhere in my house, there’s the first tri-fold brochure I ever created at 11 years old for social studies class. And all throughout school, I loved just making information look good. Whenever teachers would assign those projects, I was all over it. And by high school, I realized graphic design was a job and a career, so I pursued it right out of high school, into university.
Katie Dooley (02:15):
I graduated with my design diploma back in 2012, and I worked in the industry as an employee for about five years. I realized we weren’t serving clients the way that they deserve to be served, and I wasn’t doing the work I wanted to do. Paper Lime Creative started in 2016 and now we are basically a full service design agency focusing on brand strategy and corporate identity development.
Stacy Jones (02:46):
That’s awesome. And you obviously have quite the entrepreneurial spirit because that’s actually pretty early in your career to jump out and start a business.
Katie Dooley (02:54):
Yeah, it was… I guess ,it was a gamble. And at that point in my life, I was like, honestly, I was pretty burned out from all the production design work. I had a few avenues that I was pursuing and one of them was running my own business. It was just the point where I was like, something’s got to take at some point and it ended up being Paper Lime Creative. Now looking back, I’m so grateful. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Stacy Jones (03:25):
I think it works out. And again, you have that spark and that interest, it makes it a lot easier to start something that you have a lot of passionate about.
Katie Dooley (03:32):
Stacy Jones (03:34):
With the types of brands that you work with and companies that you work with, what are some of the general like first steps when you’re meeting with a client and it’s time to do a project and maybe a brand revamp. How do you first find out about the brand, learn about the brand, and figure out what really might be the best overall design for them?
Katie Dooley (04:00):
Yeah. We start our process with a discovery session, and we always ask that the client bring anyone they want the opinion of to that discovery session. So everyone is onboard from start to finish. I always ask the client to describe their business for me. Absolutely I do some backend research on who they are, what they’re doing, read their website, see what they have, but I think there’s a lot of value in having business owners describe what they do to you. That’s absolutely a part of our discovery session.
Katie Dooley (04:36):
And then the largest part of our discovery session is actually getting them to really, I mean, really define their ideal customer. We have a few fun exercises that they work through, a lot of question and answer, and eventually we pull out all the information we need and then we take it away after that. But that’s the initial meeting with the client.
Stacy Jones (04:59):
I think you called out something very important. You want to have all decision makers and stakeholders at that first meeting, because I’m assuming things go left really quickly and you get super far down and everyone’s not on board.
Katie Dooley (05:15):
Yeah, absolutely. When I tell clients, I word it in a way I’m like, “If you want your wife to have an opinion, if you have a kid that you want the opinion of.” Because often people go, “This is a business venture, so you’re right, stakeholders, managers, directors, they think of those people immediately, and they forget that there might be a point where they go to their spouse and go, “Hey, what do you think?”
Katie Dooley (05:37):
And early on in my career, I learned that it’s exactly that person who will, I don’t mean this in a bad way, but derail the project. Because, fair enough, that they hold their opinion in high regard, but then they haven’t seen all the work we’ve put in or been through the question process that we’ve been through and they know what their spouse’s answers are. I’m pretty insistent on that.
Stacy Jones (06:05):
You have the first meeting. You do a deep dive. You get a very good understanding of what the business is about, the fundamentals, what they’re trying to achieve, their objectives, their growth goals, all of those types of things. And then what happens?
Katie Dooley (06:21):
We take all that information and we set a timeline, and we do a bunch of research. We make sure that anything we’re about to design that we can back up with research. We make sure we have a really collaborative process with the client and they actually get to check the research at a point in the process. I make sure that they approve it, because I could research their industry for years and not know as much as they do working in the industry.
Katie Dooley (06:51):
We do all the research and that will guide our creative direction and the brand position. Like I said, they approve that. And then once that’s approved, we start what I think is the fun part, the creative part, start with the visuals and messaging.
Stacy Jones (07:06):
You’re working on more than just the logo. You’re working on the whole brand experience.
Katie Dooley (07:14):
Yes. I get really frustrated when people leave with just the logo, because there’s so much more to branding. A logo is great and very important, but it will never tell the full experience. And to have someone walk away with just a logo doesn’t give them a roadmap to use their brand successfully. Maybe it’s hard to picture now, but I like to give the Nike Swoop as an example. If you just saw the Nike Swoop on its on a white sheet of paper, you might go, “What is this and how do I use it?”
Katie Dooley (07:51):
And even when we present brands, I’ll never just show the logo. I’ll show it on a business card. I show it on a billboard. I showed on a t-shirt. Because to just show it on a white screen or a white piece of paper, it’ll never be shown in that context. Same thing, early on in my career, I realized I had far more success showing it in some sort of usable context than just on white, because people can’t imagine how it could be used in the future or in different ways.
Stacy Jones (08:20):
Well, and there’s also when we say a logo, right? There’s so many platforms now and there’s this whole world of this like DIY or crowdsourcing of logos or all these things where there are really talented people all over the world who can do this, but what they’re doing is a little different than what you’re doing because they’re not actually trying to build the strategy out.
Katie Dooley (08:43):
Yes, absolutely. I find with, like you said, with the crowdsourcing ones, you end up with a lot of design cliches. Chances are, if you’re a realtor and you’re doing one of these, you’re going to get a house as a logo. If you’re a realtor with a house as a logo and every other realtor has a house as a logo, how do you stand out? How are you memorable? We build our visuals based off of the ideal customer, what they’re looking for, what some of the other brands they like are, but never in the same industry.
Katie Dooley (09:13):
Maybe you’re a realtor, I’m going to stay on that analogy, and your dream customer loves Starbucks. I’m going to go see what Starbucks is doing, not what other realtors are doing. We build all the support systems around it so that now you can actually go, instead of just having, like you said, a Nike Swoosh, you can actually take what we give you and go and find your dream customers with it.
Stacy Jones (09:43):
And then with that, what is yet the next step? Again, now your strategy, you’re talking big picture here. It’s not just an overnight, “Here you go. This is your brand.”
Katie Dooley (09:57):
No, we take probably on average about a month to develop a brand from the initial discovery session to the brand reveal, and even after the brand reveal. Obviously we hope we knock it out of the park, but absolutely revisions are a thing. We spend a week, week and a half on research, and then two weeks on development. Yes, we make sure we do the brand reveal in person is another thing I’ve learned over time to get their initial gut reaction to it and also ensure that…
Stacy Jones (10:38):
They looked at it?
Katie Dooley (10:39):
Ensure that they look at it. I once had a client, he came back to me, he’s like, “I emailed this to 14 different people.” And I was like, oh no. Tat also prevents that from happening, or if they do, if they love it in that meeting and then they come back and say said, “I emailed it to 14 people and we don’t like it now,” then I can go, “Okay, well, what happened between the brand reveal and the 14 people’s opinions?”
Stacy Jones (11:03):
How did this go sideways? What family member hates this?
Katie Dooley (11:07):
Right? That family member, do those people fit your ideal customer? If you asked your ideal customers and they don’t like it, cool. Then we can have a conversation. If you asked your grandma and she’s not the target market, we need to sift through that a bit and see what’s valuable in her feedback.
Stacy Jones (11:28):
I think it’s interesting. I’ve experienced this myself in my agency where we’ll launch something, I’ll get very passionate and we’ll launch something, a new tri-fold pamphlet of some sort, right? I still remember doing this. I spent so much time. I had this great new sales brochure. I designed it myself using all these stats. Not graphic designers. It was before Canva, so what I did was not exactly phenomenal. I love Canva. It helps us a lot, but I got it out and I debuted it to like 15 people.
Stacy Jones (11:56):
I’m like, “Look, team. This is what we have,” and all their faces were just like uh.
Katie Dooley (12:03):
Stacy Jones (12:05):
And yet all of them could sit there and poke holes, but none of them could actually give constructive feedback or ideas on how to do something better or different. They could just be like, “No, we don’t like it. No, we don’t like it.” I have a feeling that’s what your clients experienced a lot when they share your work where there’s not really insight, there’s not buy-in, there’s not like actual participation. You’re trying to manage a lot.
Katie Dooley (12:33):
Absolutely. And to that, that’s where the research becomes so powerful. Yes, I absolutely design better, more effective brands when I have research, but it also kind of becomes a sales tactic where I can fall back on it and someone could go, “Well, I don’t like green,” and I can say, “Well, according to the stats and the industry you’re in, green is the right choice.”
Katie Dooley (12:56):
That’s a simplified version, but I’ve had a few times where clients come back and they say they don’t like it. I say, “Okay, well, let’s go back to the research and what about this isn’t fitting?” And more often than not, they’ll come back with like some super minor tweaks instead of originally where they wanted to throw the whole thing out.
Stacy Jones (13:18):
I love the fact that you just said they don’t like the color green or something along those lines. Our agency colors are like burgundy and black and gray and white. One of the presentations that we were using has a whole pricing chart and it had burgundy check marks. Great, right? I literally had a client say that they couldn’t get over the fact that it was red and it was off-putting, and he needed to see these in green to convert them for him to want to like actually purchase.
Stacy Jones (13:46):
Literally changed the deck into green so that he would feel the need and the warmth. People are funky about colors.
Katie Dooley (13:53):
Yeah. Color is one of the big ones. I mean, you can go down a pretty long rabbit hole on figuring out what colors people like. We’ve definitely done surveys and polls of ideal customer groups to figure out the stats say that blue is your favorite color, but what shade of blue and is that true? You can research forever, but it’s nice to know that there’s something backing it up, I guess.
Stacy Jones (14:25):
Do you have a go-to color range that you usually look at for brands? That’s kind of like a trick question because you’re like, “It depends on the brand.”
Katie Dooley (14:33):
I mean, it absolutely does depend on the brand. I think you can… We talked about my background a little bit. I am definitely a brighter color person. Honestly I usually start there and then have to like pull myself back or the colors, because that’s what I want to see. But then I go back to my own research and realize, okay, settle down. You like bright colors. Not everyone in this market will.
Stacy Jones (15:02):
What are some of the mistakes that you encountered along the way when you’re working with someone, besides them bringing and passing their logo to 14 people who are going to weigh? What are some of the other things that you see happen?
Katie Dooley (15:13):
I think one of the biggest pieces for branding is people get really personal about it. I often talk about my clients being ready for the branding process and starting your business does not mean make you ready for the branding process. A lot of people will come in and put their own likes onto something. A lot of people come in knowing exactly what they want. Even throughout the discovery session, some of my questions… My questions start quite broad. I giggle with my operations manager about it sometimes.
Katie Dooley (15:55):
One of the question is, what do you value? I mean this like broadly. Do you value integrity or honesty or family time? I’ll go back to the realtor example. Some people come to me like they value a good real estate experience. I’m like, no, they don’t. If you pulled someone off the side of the street and ask them what they value, no one is going to say a good real estate experience. So even to be able to step out of your business, your shoes, and really think about what your customer is looking for.
Stacy Jones (16:24):
I think that’s what’s so important. You may comment that when a new brand starts, that sometimes it’s harder for them to dive into brand development. But at the same time… And I remember when I started my agency, Hollywood Branded, back in 2007, we went door knocking and we talked to this cool agency about designing a brand logo and everything else for us. I was self-funding, so you can imagine how you were when you jumped out. You got this package price of like $30,000.
Stacy Jones (16:58):
I still remember. Again, LA, so pricing can be a little higher in our world. I was like sitting here. I personally was paying for my employees at that point. We had just gotten clients. I think I was gaping like a fish with my mouth going up. Obviously pricing is all over the place. It doesn’t have to be there. But we still went through kind of the exercise on our own, because at the time I can’t afford it, but it really helps.
Stacy Jones (17:26):
If you’re going to be building a brand, if you’re trying to figure out your strategy of a brand, it actually can help you build the fundamentals of your business and figure things out.
Katie Dooley (17:36):
Absolutely. We do some other exercises in our discovery session. I call them brand characteristics. I describe it as, how do you need to up for your clients? And we make them pick five adjectives to describe themselves. That’s really important because… I always give the example of a lawyer. The way a lawyer has to show up at work is probably incredibly different from how they show up in their personal lives with their family, with their friends at the bar on a Saturday night.
Katie Dooley (18:11):
Even just having those five words to know how you interact with customers, how you write an email, how you write a social media post, I think is a really valuable step in the branding process.
Stacy Jones (18:26):
Are there some best practices or someone who might’ve been like me where they’re like, “I’m not hiring someone right this second and every last dime is going into feeding me at this moment,” versus someone who’s a little bit further along? What are some of just the general graphic design thoughts that they need to be keeping in mind when they’re working with creating new brands?
Katie Dooley (18:50):
Yeah, that’s a really great question. I think the biggest thing, especially new businesses that are DIYing it forget is consistency. It’s pick a font and stick with it. Pick a color or two or three and stick with it. Even just googling color psychology, it might not be the perfect choice if you’re not willing to do a week’s worth of research, but you can get pretty close and then stick with that. Because a consistent brand that looks consistent, but also put out consistently will do far better than a brand that is inconsistent and in any way inconsistent.
Katie Dooley (19:32):
Either you’re not putting it out frequently enough, or you’re switching it up one week your orange, one week you’re red, next week you’re green, that wrecks your visibility because people don’t remember you from the previous time. And if they do know, it’s breaking trust because people are going, why are they always changing?
Stacy Jones (19:53):
And with all of this, how do you suggest… You just talked graphic, right? The other fundamental. What are some of the best practices there that you see for the actual, I know you have different steps that you go through, the actual bringing to life of what your brand is?
Katie Dooley (20:16):
I think having really good conversations with your favorite clients is very eye-opening. Chances are, if they’re your favorite clients, you have a pretty good relationship with them. And often people are happy to talk about themselves and their world and happy to help in that way. Asking them maybe some pain points or some gaps you have. Are there gaps in the service process, or what would you like to see as the client gift? How often do you want me to reach out? How do you want me to reach out?
Katie Dooley (20:54):
These are great kind of customer service questions that does fall under branding.
Stacy Jones (20:59):
It doesn’t seem like it should.
Katie Dooley (21:02):
Right? People forget that customer service is absolutely part of branding. Branding is every interaction someone has with your business. Customer service absolutely is part of that. And asking some of those trusted customers about even things like price point or onboarding or the off boarding process, what’s it like from start to finish? If they’re our good trusted client, they’ll absolutely let you know those gaps and feedback.
Katie Dooley (21:31):
When you have a good idea of who your ideal customer is, then you can pull people who maybe aren’t customers that fall into that.
Stacy Jones (21:39):
Makes sense. And when you were talking about colors and color schemes, I think if people don’t get it, one of the ways that you might get it is think about Instagram feeds. That if you have an aesthetic that changes from post to post to post, you end up with something that’s not very calming or cool looking and it’s the antithesis of what social media is supposed to be today.
Katie Dooley (22:03):
Absolutely. And actually Coca-Cola’s Instagram feed is amazing for that. I mean, they’ve been around forever.
Stacy Jones (22:09):
They’re amazing anyways.
Katie Dooley (22:11):
They’re amazing anyway as a brand example. They’ve been around for over a hundred years, but they do their Instagram feed very well as to what you’re speaking to, right? There’s their reds. They switch between illustrations and photography, and they just do a great job. They do a great job in that it’s not a Coke bottle in every picture either.
Stacy Jones (22:31):
But it’s still the essence of Coke.
Katie Dooley (22:33):
Stacy Jones (22:35):
And what are some other brands that you think do it really well?
Katie Dooley (22:38):
I always use Apple as an example. They’re like the quintessential cult brand. They just have it figured out. One of the fun facts about Apple is they never have two people in a photo, because it’s meant for like the lone wolves and the visionaries that they talk about so much. Little details like that, where there’s never two people in an Apple photo.
Stacy Jones (23:07):
I had never known that. See?
Katie Dooley (23:08):
Stacy Jones (23:09):
All of us are learning something right now.
Katie Dooley (23:12):
And then this one’s been floating around the internet, it’s a little more popular, but Lamborghini. Someone asked Lamborghini, “Why don’t you have TV ads?” And they said, “Our customers don’t watch TV.”
Stacy Jones (23:22):
They probably don’t.
Katie Dooley (23:23):
You have to work a lot to afford a Lamborghini.
Stacy Jones (23:26):
And if you have worked a lot, you’re probably doing like really cool things in life now instead of sitting at home watching TV.
Katie Dooley (23:34):
Yeah. If you can spend a quarter of a million dollars on a car, then yeah, you’re probably not spending your free time watching TV. Yeah, exactly. You’re skydiving in Dubai.
Stacy Jones (23:44):
Right. And your jet setting wherever it is that the world’s going to take you if you’re not in your Lamborghini.
Katie Dooley (23:50):
Totally. That’s where I love those two examples. Those are very specific examples that they’re marketing, because they’ve thought so much about who their customer is and what they’re feeling and what they’re doing. The fact that they know that someone that makes enough money doesn’t have time to watch TV is really insightful because they… Obviously a company like Lamborghini can afford a pretty nice television ad and they’ve chosen not to. Whereas other car companies are all over commercials.
Stacy Jones (24:25):
I think you see most mass market taking the television route and you’re saying most brands who are more luxury and customized who don’t because the CPMs on it are so crazy to actually hit that niche audience because there are so few of them watching that type of programming.
Katie Dooley (24:38):
Stacy Jones (24:41):
Also with all of that, what is the best way, the best direction to go if you are just trying to… If it gets stymied, you get stuck, what kind of questions should you be asking yourself about your brand to kind of help pull it together?
Katie Dooley (25:03):
Another good question, Stacy. I always think a good exercise for any business owner to do is to walk yourself through the customer process, even if that’s an employee or a business partner so you can be a little arms length. If you treat someone that can give you that feedback. As a customer, what are your response times like? Is everything branded from start to finish? One of the things I really like designing, this is so weird, I love designing forms. Forms sound like the most boring thing, but are your onboarding forms branded to you, right?
Katie Dooley (25:46):
I went to the dentist and I had to do like all the COVID forms and just the regular intake forms and they were just generic. It’s like, I’m spending 15 minutes with these forms and your branding should be on it. But also when you get custom designed forms, it’s easier for both your staff to take that information and your customer to navigate the information in an easy way. All these little details. Again, what do your emails sound like? How often are they reaching out to you?
Katie Dooley (26:16):
What does the final package look like? And if you’re as a business owner unhappy with any of those steps or notice that there are any gaps, that’s a great opportunity to fill them. You can DIY that.
Stacy Jones (26:29):
I think one of the consistent messages that you’ve given on a lot of the things that you’ve said is a point that I come to with a lot of different people we interview and it comes down to a word that I was really resistant to for a very long time, because I’m like, this is just stupid, but it’s personas. It’s actually building out your best buyer or who is not your buyer so that you can truly actually build the brand that is going to engage with them the best.
Stacy Jones (26:57):
The same thing that Lamborghini is doing, same thing that Apple’s doing, same thing the real estate agent should be doing too.
Katie Dooley (27:05):
Absolutely. Branders and marketers talk about the ideal customer persona a lot. I think a lot of people think they know what it is, but getting into that minute detail of Lamborghini, knowing that they’re not watching TV, is where I think all of the marketing gold is and all the brand and gold is, especially for your small business, knowing if they have a dog or kids. Are they wine drinkers? Do they like beer? These are all great marketing opportunities.
Katie Dooley (27:43):
I was telling someone, you like working with first time home buyers. They often have young kids. Well, they’ve just been locked down for a year and a half. Here’s an opportunity for you to reach out just as a human being and help them address the pain point of their kids being home and them being home while they’re working.
Stacy Jones (28:01):
And having no outdoor space or having no extra rooms or all those pain points that actually have been very painful.
Katie Dooley (28:08):
Yeah. If you were a realtor and imagine during the middle of the pandemic giving one of your families or one of your prospects a movie basket, they would remember you forever, but that’s knowing that your ideal customer has kids and is stuck at home because of COVID.
Stacy Jones (28:30):
It’s a big difference.
Katie Dooley (28:31):
Stacy Jones (28:33):
Well, Katie, how can our listeners learn more about you, find you, reach out?
Katie Dooley (28:39):
Well, I am almost everywhere on the internet. Instagram…
Stacy Jones (28:43):
You branded just a little bit here and there?
Katie Dooley (28:45):
Yeah, just a little bit. Instagram and Facebook @paperlimecreative, LinkedIn Katie Dooley, and then, of course, our website www.paperlime.ca.
Stacy Jones (28:55):
Do you have any parting last words of advice to those out there who are either launching a brand or looking at tweaking their brand or possibly re-inventing it?
Katie Dooley (29:08):
Absolutely. I think the biggest thing I’d say is don’t take it personally. Step away from it. It’s an arms’ length entity to you. And that when you do that and put your customer first, you’ll be able to serve people that you want to serve even better.
Stacy Jones (29:25):
That is very good advice.
Katie Dooley (29:29):
Stacy Jones (29:29):
Well, Katie, thank you so much for joining. Really appreciate your time and your insights that you shared with our listeners today. It really was very valuable.
Katie Dooley (29:37):
Awesome. Thank you so much again for having me.
Stacy Jones (29:39):
Of course. And for of our listeners, thank you for tuning in today to Marketing Mistakes (& How To Avoid Them). Katie has provided us with a tremendous amount of information about the importance of visual branding and how you actually need to look at something more than just a logo. I know I appreciated the time she shared with us. Thank you again. And for all of you all, I’ll chat with you next week.
Stacy Jones (30:07):
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