As some of you may or may not know, I recently launched a podcast. It was not my first podcast but it’s the first podcast that I’ve taken rather seriously. My previous podcasts were simply ways to pass the time, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, because I really do love to talk. But now it’s business. So I thought I’d take some time to share my thoughts on starting a podcast and running a (hopefully) successful podcast.
Where Is The Love
I really loved my first podcast. It was called Donair Films and each week I would review movies that I liked. I was watching a few movies a week (this was before the kids were born) and sharing my thoughts. I’ve always loved movies. My dream job at one point was to manage a small video rental store. Thanks, Netflix.
Anyways, I really enjoyed doing the show. I introduced people to some actors they’d never heard of and some films they’d never checked out and I was feeling pretty good about myself. And then I checked out the analytics.
It turns out NO ONE was listening to my podcast. And when I say no one, I almost mean no one. At least 5 people told me they were listening to my podcast…and weren’t. My PEAK numbers on an episode were 12. My average was 3. And so I stopped recording. And that was a terrible idea.
If no one were listening to my current podcast, that would be a problem, because while I’m really enjoying doing it, it is also a form of marketing for my business. But if you’re doing a show for you, then it doesn’t matter if anyone is listening. Podcasting is a lot like schroedinger’s cat. It’s only dead if you look at the metrics. So decide what’s important and if a following ISN’T on that list, then who cares?
Low Fidelity Beats No Fidelity
I’ve met a few people who’ve said, “I’d love to start a podcast but I just don’t have all the equipment I would need”. Do you have a phone? Yes? Ok. That’s it.
Sure, it’s nice to have a recording studio but I recorded the first several episodes of my podcast on my phone, with no mic or headphones, in a car. It’s better to have a few audio problems than not have a podcast. I learned this from listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast. Some episodes they’re driving or they’re in a room, or he releases audio from a conference. And despite the fact that Gary has MILLIONS of followers, the quality of the audio on his podcast doesn’t knock it out of the park. Here’s why it doesn’t matter.
The container doesn’t matter. If you have a great product, a truly great product, selling it is simply a matter of putting it in people’s hands. Conversely, if you have a shitty product but it’s presented really nicely, that might work for a little bit but pretty quickly, people are going to figure out that you’re selling something they neither want nor need. The wrapping doesn’t really matter.
Gary V could record his podcast on a speak & spell in an airplane bathroom and people would listen because great content is unbeatable.
No one cares in the least that your podcast doesn’t SOUND great if it sounds GREAT.
Stay Ahead of The Game
One of the most difficult things that can happen when you’re podcasting (or blogging, or anything episodic in nature) is when you get behind. Having a schedule and keeping a schedule when it comes to release dates is very important. So when you get an episode behind, you panic. When you panic, you’re not able to focus and get things done…so you get two episodes behind.
Suddenly you haven’t released in a few weeks, maybe even months, and so you get back at it. You hammer out several pieces in a row and you’re back, right? You fizzle and falter and you’re out again.
One of the things I always do, with EVERY project, is get ahead. Right now I have 10 blog posts written that aren’t posted and 5 podcast episodes that haven’t been uploaded. Shit happens. Sometimes you get sick. Or your kids get sick. Or work picks up. Whatever the case, sometimes you can’t record/write/post and if you’re ahead of the game when that happens, then you’re golden.
Just Do It
Podcasts are a lot of fun. They let you work things out. They’re an incredibly fun way to explore topics. So, stop reading this and go make one. And if you have questions about how, let us know. We’d be happy to help.