1-Year Podcast Anniversary Celebration {Giveaway!}

It’s my 1st podcast anniversary! To celebrate, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card AND a free brand and website coaching call with me, Stephanie Duke. Read on to learn how to enter!

Key takeaways:

🎙️ My honest thoughts on podcasting
5️⃣ How I’m feeling entering my 5th year of business
📈 Why my marketing isn’t always a priority
👀 My top 3 episodes and other fun podcast stats
👥 Review of guest episodes in this first year
💞 What I’m looking forward to as I continue podcasting
🥳 How to enter the anniversary giveaway

I am so excited to create this episode today because it is my one-year podcast anniversary! Exactly one year ago this week, March 6, 2023 to be exact, I launched the Homemakers in Business Podcast with 3 episodes. I was originally airing one episode every other week, then around July I did a slight pivot to weekly episodes and started interviewing guests.

The decision to start guest interviews was one of the best decisions I’ve made regarding the podcast. It’s expanded my network exponentially, provided me with new business friends and opportunities, and given me a space to deep dive with my own clients about their brand and website projects.

Anyway, in this episode I basically just want to reminisce with you. I’ll talk about some of the highs and lows of business over the last few years, chat about some fun podcast stats, review my guest list, what I’m looking forward to with the podcast, and tell you how you can enter the podcast anniversary giveaway.

Just to give you a little taste, the giveaway includes a $25 Amazon gift card and a brand and website coaching call with me. Stay tuned to learn how to enter! Thank you so much for being here!

Celebrating 4 years in business

In addition to my podcast anniversary, I also just celebrated 4 years in business in January. So I’m actively in my 5th year of business, and I couldn’t be more excited. I love what I do. I love my clients, my business friends, and I love the freedom I’ve created for myself.

I was just chatting with a client the other day, shoutout to Asha, and we were both just gushing about how we never want to work for someone else again. Even though business is hard at times, I’d take it over commuting an hour one way to a job where I could easily be replaced.

Just in case you’re newer around here, I’ll give ya a little background. I had been freelancing in the design industry since 2015, but officially opened my business in January of 2020. Everyone seems to have a different marker for what they consider their business opening date, but for me I view my business anniversary as the first day of the first-ever business coaching investment I made.

This was a 3-month group coaching program, and if you did the math, you’re right. This program ended right as the world shut down in March of 2020. Long story short, I was let go from my design job I had at the time, went on unemployment for several months, started teaching ESL as a side gig, all while learning to operate a design business.

You can listen to episode 1 of the podcast for my full business story, but essentially, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the past 4 years. And I’d say I only really started getting into a groove as a business owner, not as a designer because I’ve been confident in that area for several years, but just as someone who is operating a business in the last 8-12 months.

I now know exactly what legal and financial things need to happen on an annual and monthly basis, I understand all the backend things that have to be done, and I’ve started noticing project booking trends so I can plan my schedule better. It’s easier to project sales and know what to market and when.

Needless to say, there’s been a ton of personal growth as a business owner, a designer, and simply as a person since officially starting my business. And like I said, I love it. I love brand design. I love website design. I love my clients.

But I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t love marketing my own business. It’s historically been difficult for me to get into any kind of groove with social media and email marketing. However, podcasting and blogging on a weekly schedule has made it much easier.

Honest thoughts on podcasting

Easier doesn’t mean easy though. Podcasting is really fun, but truthfully it’s kind of hard as a solo entrepreneur. I don’t have a VA or podcast manager or anyone else for that matter. The only outsourcing I do regularly is my tax filing because that’s something I definitely don’t want screwed up.

As I just mentioned, I’m going into my 5th year of business and I’m truly just now starting to see the kind of growth I’d like to see. It doesn’t make financial sense for me to outsource anything yet, but I’m truly looking forward to a time when that is the case.

My podcasting process

I’ll give you a little look into my podcasting process.

My solo episodes almost always start as a fully fleshed-out, ready-to-go blog post. I essentially read it as a script, but not entirely. I took this process from Kendra Adachi of the Lazy Genius Podcast, and it’s worked swell for me so far.

Basically, I speak as I type, read what I just wrote out loud, and then edit if it doesn’t feel natural. I typically ad-lib a little bit as I’m recording each episode, but I always follow the blog post. This is so I don’t go off on any weird, irrelevant tangents.

I’m really jealous of podcasters who can just start recording without a script or detailed outline. Maybe I’ll eventually be able to do that, but as of now, I’ll stick to my blog post readings. I want my solo episodes to be organized in a way that’s easy for you to follow, and they simply wouldn’t be if I just spoke into the mic with no guidance.

So that’s my process. Write the blog and show notes, record the podcast, edit the podcast as I’m recording, export the audio, upload to Spotify for Podcasters, create the blog and social media graphics, schedule the blog, schedule the podcast, and schedule the social media post. I also usually start writing my weekly newsletter during the blog writing phase and then finish it up a day or two before it goes live.

I let my marketing slide sometimes

This isn’t a super great process for batching ahead of time, but it’s worked for me so far. I’ve missed maybe 2 or 3 weeks over the last year that weren’t scheduled breaks, and I’m okay with that. This podcast isn’t monetized as of this recording. It’s literally for educating my clients and potential clients and networking with other business owners. It’s free content.

My actual client work comes first before everything else in my business because my clients are the ones who pay for my lifestyle. They pay my business expenses, my bills, the gas in my car, and the food on my table. They deserve to be my first priority during my working hours.

So I’m okay if my marketing falls to the wayside on occasion. I work hard to prevent that from happening. But there’s only so much you can do as a single business owner. If I get sick or have a family emergency, my own marketing is gonna be the first thing that gets set aside.

I know a lot of business coaches listening in who are cringing that I said that out loud. You’re supposed to treat your business like a client, right? I don’t disagree with that. However, when you’re juggling 1000 tasks on a daily basis and the flu or tornado damage gets thrown in the mix, you have to evaluate your priorities appropriately.

For me, the majority of my clients still come from referrals and word of mouth. So it’s in my business’s best interest to overdeliver to my clients and occasionally let my marketing efforts slide because that’s not where the bulk of my income comes from, at least not yet. Ask me in a year or 5 and my answer will probably be different.

Look at that, I can still go on a tangent even when writing my blog post first. Ha!

All of that to say, podcasting is hard, but I enjoy it and I see the potential it has. It’s not like social media where your post and caption you spent an hour creating is going to lose traction in 24 hours. Podcast platforms work like search engines, so as long as business owners are searching for the type of content I’m creating, it’s likely an episode or my show, in general, will pop up for them even 10 years from now.

In 2024, I’m trying to put my marketing efforts into practices that are going to be evergreen like podcasting, blogging, and Pinterest. These strategies feel worth the effort, whereas social media feels a bit underwhelming. I’m still posting regularly to Instagram Stories and on my feed to announce new podcast episodes or whenever I feel inspired, but it’s not a priority to me right now.

Most downloaded episodes and other podcast stats

Continuing with the honesty, I don’t really understand where to look for accurate podcast statistics. I use Spotify for Podcasters to distribute my show because it’s free and super simple, but their analytics don’t seem to be super accurate. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

For instance, Podcasters say my all-time plays across all platforms are 980, but Apple Podcasts says it’s 1066 just for their platform. So who knows?

Anyway, I wanted to share some fun analytics from the pod, so here you go.

My top 3 episodes are:

  1. 06. 6 Time Management Tips for Homemakers in Business
  2. 23. Navigating Motherhood as an Entrepreneur with Mara Kucirek
  3. 07. How Teaching ESL Made Me a Better Designer

The majority of my audience are millennial women in the United States and they mostly listen on Apple Podcasts. This seems accurate to me as that’s my target audience. But hey if you are a man listening to this, DM or email me and let me know! If you’re from another country besides the US, let me know where you’re from. I’d love to get to know my listeners better.

It’s a weird feeling seeing these numbers, but not being able to see the actual people behind them. At least on Instagram I can click on the profiles of my followers and know a little about them. I can’t do that with my podcast listeners though. So seriously, if you’re up to it, shoot me a message on Instagram or an email and tell me a bit about yourself.

Homemakers in Business Podcast guests spotlight

I started doing podcast interviews in September 2023, and have enjoyed every single one! I love connecting with other business owners who have a skill or experience that can help my audience and clients. So I want to take the time to brag about each guest and give you a list of episodes to binge later!

All of these episodes will be linked in the blog post

Dana Lewis

My first-ever podcast guest was my long-time online business friend and client, Dana Lewis of DWD Travel and Destination Weddings. Her interview was episode #13: Home Office Design, Home-Based Business Reality, and Dana Lewis’ Journey. By that title you can clearly see we chatted about her business story (which started nearly 10 years ago!), the reality of owning a home-based business with a family, and the power of crafting a home office you feel inspired by.

Whether you’re a fellow entrepreneur, a travel enthusiast, or someone looking to make the leap into full-time business ownership, Dana’s experiences, wisdom, and pure joy will leave you inspired and motivated. Oh, and she does all of this with twins underfoot, which absolutely amazes me!

Tracy Picmann

My next guest was Tracy Picmann, an interior designer whom I was connected with through our mutual friend, Brielle. Tracy’s interview was episode #15: Celebrating One Year in Business as a Part-Time Nurse Practitioner, Wife, and Mom of Two with Tracy Picmann.

We chat about overcoming imposter syndrome and pursuing your passion, building a supportive community in creative industries, the importance of authenticity and openness in personal branding and business growth, creating comfortable and personalized home spaces for well-being, and the value of seeking support in managing a successful business alongside family and other work responsibilities.

Lacy Lain

My next guest was Lacy Lain, the Functional Medicine Woman. I think we were connected through her best friend, Shaela Daugherty, who came on the podcast a few episodes later. Lacy’s episode was #19: Functional Medicine for Homemakers in Business with Lacy Lain. She is so kind and knowledgeable and we honestly talked for like an hour after we stopped recording. Such a fun conversation!

In this episode she talks about what exactly functional medicine is, the importance of continued learning throughout your career (and learning to love learning), why it’s necessary to grow a trusted network of other experts in your field, how stress and burnout negatively impact our ability to run our businesses, why it’s important to take time away from your business and truly rest, why you need to set boundaries with clients, and simple actions you can take to start taking better care of yourself.

Erin Pratt

Fellow brand and web designer, Erin Pratt of Ivy Lynne Studio was the next guest on the show coming in at episode #21: Building a Profitable and Sustainable Business from Home with Erin Pratt. I believe we were connected through the Goal Digger Podcast Facebook group.

In Erin’s episode, you’ll hear us chat about navigating the transition from a corporate job to entrepreneurship, building passive income streams and the value of online courses and templates, the significance of consistency in online marketing and effective strategies, when and how to outsource tasks in your business to prevent burnout and improve efficiency, and getting inspired by other women’s success stories while building your own.

Mara Kucirek

This next guest episode is currently my second most listened-to episode of all time. That is my friend and client, Mara Kucirek who is an online course strategist, designer, and host of the Create a Better Course Podcast. Her interview aired on episode #23: Navigating Motherhood as an Entrepreneur: Setting Your Business Up for Freedom and Flexibility with Mara Kucirek.

We talked about so much in this chat. Mara shares her journey from being a middle school teacher and corporate marketer to an online entrepreneur, as a new mom she provides words of encouragement for women in similar life stages, dives into her favorite aspect of business—long-term vision planning and goal-setting, shares how she defines her niche by personalities rather than specific industries, and explores the “Company of One” approach to business, challenging the notion that business success is solely defined by growth.

Olivia Langan

The first guest of 2024 was Olivia Langan of Frolic Bookkeeping. Her episode was #24: Yearly Financial Goal Planning Tips for Women Entrepreneurs with Olivia Langan. Olivia was so kind to provide you all with a discount code for her Profit and Loss template, which you can still grab in the show notes or on the blog. Simply use code HOMEMAKERS for 20% off.

We talked all things financial goal planning, covering Olivia’s journey into starting a business, common misconceptions about bookkeeping, transitioning to bookkeeping software from spreadsheets, when to hire a bookkeeper, finding the right bookkeeper for you, the importance of setting financial goals as women, practical tips for financial goal setting (even after the new year has begun), tracking your progress and key metrics for monitoring your goals, and developing a positive relationship with your books.

Shaela Daugherty

As mentioned before, I was connected to Lacy through my next guest, Shaela Daugherty of SD Fit Well. Shaela is a health and fitness professional who integrates the Gospel with health journeys, which is so unique. Her episode was #25: Holy Health Habits for Busy Women in Business with Shaela Daugherty.

We chat about how integrating faith with health and fitness can lead to a holistic transformation, why consistency is the key to building both spiritual and physical disciplines, how starting small and celebrating small wins can lead to long-term success, why building skills and habits in health and fitness require intentionality and accountability, and why you shouldn’t wait for the perfect time to start working towards your goals.

Dolly DeLong

One of my most recent guests was the fabulous Dolly DeLong, who is a photographer and systems and workflows education expert. Her episode was #28: How to Launch a Successful Rebrand with Dolly DeLong. This episode aired just in time for the launch of her bundle, The Systems & Workflow Magic Bundle: The Launch Edition, which I highly recommend you check out. Dolly’s bundles are always packed full of value.

Anyway in her interview we break down the practicalities of launching a business rebrand. From pre-launch strategies to post-launch momentum, we provide actionable insights on engaging your audience, driving traffic to your website, and utilizing collaborations and incentives effectively.

Erika Millard

Up next is someone I can call I real-life business friend now because we got to meet in person last November. That friend is Erika Millard, a bookkeeping coach for female business owners. Her episode is #30: Bookkeeping Basics for Small Business Owners with Erika Millard.

We explore turning bookkeeping into an empowering tool for business growth, navigating the transition from simple spreadsheets to advanced accounting software, comparing popular options like Wave, QuickBooks, and Xero for the perfect fit, and uncovering the transformative power of regular bookkeeping on business decision-making and personal confidence.

Jeni Raitsin

My final guest in the first year of the Homemakers in Business podcast is another long-time business friend and old coach of mine, Jeni Raitsin of Leisure Hacker. Jeni joined me for episode #31: Mindful Strategies for Creating a Life, Business, and Brand That Feels Good with Jeni Raitsin.

Jeni is a mindful productivity and mental fitness coach so we chatted all about the importance of a clear vision as a guiding force in business, strategies for decision-making in response to changes such as a rebrand, integration of mindfulness into daily activities as a lifestyle, and practical advice on reducing decision-making stress.

What I’m looking forward to

There is so much I’m looking forward to with the future of the podcast, and having more wonderful guests on is definitely one of them. I have a handful of guests lined up for the next couple of months including a Christian business coach, farm and soap company owner, flower farmer, and a podcast coach, who I’m so excited to speak with.

I love learning how different types of homemakers in business have grown their companies, how they manage their time, and what they’re hoping to accomplish with their businesses. But I also want to start having more complimentary guest speakers on the show.

As you know, I’m a brand and website designer, so most of my solo episodes center around those general topics. But that leaves several gaps like copywriting, photography, launch strategy, and more. So I’d love to have more guest speakers on to teach specifically on problems you may be experiencing in your business that I am not an expert on.

With that in mind, if you think you’d be a good fit or know someone who would be, I’d encourage you to fill out the podcast guest form on my website at stephanieduke.co/podcast. It’s short and simple so it won’t take you but a minute!

Community building efforts

I’ve mentioned before that it’s so weird to not be able to see the people who listen to my podcast regularly. Sure, a handful of people DM me or leave reviews letting me know about themselves or what they’re loving, but I want to eventually go deeper than that.

I don’t know if this will happen this year, but I’m scheming about a low-investment podcast community membership. This is kind of scary to say out loud. Maybe like a paid Facebook group with a monthly coworking Zoom call with exclusive resources and trainings. I really don’t know for sure yet.

But I just feel like with a name like Homemakers in Business, that is just calling to become something bigger than a podcast. As a designer, I’d love to be creating merch like t-shirts, hats, stickers, etc. Again, I don’t know any specifics yet, but I just wanted to start mentioning this to see if anyone would be interested.

I do have the homemakersinbusiness.com domain purchased, and a private Facebook group created that’s just sitting there waiting for me to do something. I’m not sure though. I’ll probably end up creating a survey to see how many people would be interested, what you’d be willing to pay, and what exactly you’d want to get out of it.

If this gets you excited in any way, shoot me a message, and let’s talk about it. I don’t want to create something that nobody is interested in or would be a waste of my time, so I want to do this right, if I do it at all. So yeah, let’s chat about it on Instagram or over email!

Giveaway with 2 winners!

What would a celebration be without a fun giveaway? I love it when other people do this for their own anniversary celebrations, birthdays, launches, and other fun milestones so I was absolutely going to do it for my one-year podcast anniversary.

I’ll be giving away one $25 Amazon gift card and a 1-hour brand or website coaching call with me. There will be 2 different winners, but every entry has a chance to win one or the other! Here’s all the details.

$25 Amazon gift card giveaway

To enter the giveaway for the $25 Amazon gift card you must leave a rating and review for the Homemakers in Business Podcast on Apple Podcasts, screenshot your review, and email it to hello@stephanieduke.co or DM it to me on Instagram @stephanieduke.co with your name and email address.

Coaching call giveaway

To enter the giveaway for the brand and website coaching call, simply fill out the form on the giveaway page on my website. This is easily accessible through the podcast show notes, or you can type the URL into your browser. It’s stephanieduke.co/podcast-giveaway.

Do both of these things for 2 entries into the giveaway! You can even get extra entries by sharing about the giveaway on Instagram and tagging me @stephanieduke.co in the post.

Thanks for being a friend

If you have been a faithful podcast listener since episode one, I’d love to hear from you! Tell me in a podcast review on Apple Podcasts or in an Instagram DM what you love about this show, what you’d like to hear more of, and anything else you’d like me to know. I’m incredibly grateful for you.

And if this is your first time listening to the Homemakers in Business Podcast, I am grateful for you too. Every single download, listen, rating, review, or DM means so much to me.

I’m incredibly excited to continue this podcast journey with you. Thanks again for being here, be sure to enter the giveaway, leave a review, email or DM me on Instagram, and make sure you’re following me there because I post fun BTS content on Stories pretty much daily. So yeah, thanks for listening and I’ll be back again next week!

I’m Stephanie, but you can call me Steph!

I design brands & websites that get you butterflies-in-your-stomach-excited about your business again.

Simply put, I’m a graphic designer that specializes in brand identity design and Showit website design - arguably the most important aspects of your business! I live in central Alabama with my high school band directing hubby, Thomas, on our modest homestead in the country.

Grab a cup of cold coffee (be honest, do you ever get to drink it hot?) and let’s chat about your biz needs at my virtual kitchen table


Cleveland, Alabama, USA
Office hours: T-F | 9 - 3 CST

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