What a beautiful thing, to release fear, to release worries and run with the conviction that you have a good thing that can only get better. I made a table and everyone else brought their seat. They brought inspiration as filling as a full plate. They brought experiences as refreshing as the most satiable drink.
It’s the first Yaadie`versary which is a prime opportunity for reflection as well as celebration. Here are nine lessons I learnt along this journey. If you are an aspiring or new podcaster this article will provide insight and inspiration to enhance your pod journey.
- Things don’t happen until you do it.
When I launched in March 2020 many people thought I was capitalizing on the cov** pan**. That’s a half-truth based on the pre-season series. However, my very first podcast recording was in November. The desire for a podcast was a long time in coming. I sat with the idea for months wanting, wishing and dishing to just about any and everyone that I wanted to start a podcast. On a Friday night venture crawl at Loughborough University a schoolmate I literally met the same night said, “so why don’t you just start?”. I gave her some silly excuse which didn’t faze her in the least. I needed that and knew what to do. I still stalled. I made some requests at my school, a podcast area as set up with a mic, mixer and seating. Yup, still stalled. It wasn’t until a friend visited and during a campus tour, I had the brilliant idea to start a recording and that became my first podcast. It was an information rich and vibrant conversation that became a nightmare. During the playback the audio was horrible! However, it was the interview that set everything in motion. That first step gave way to many others.
- Perfection is what you work for not wait for.
We all like to get things together before we embark on something important. However sometimes the need to be perfect or the need to be flawless holds us back. It denies us the chance to discover the best way to do things. I am not saying you don’t need a plan or to be prepared. The best way to learn what to do is experiencing what NOT to do.
- Do it for the love not for the likes.
You may have heard this a million times before but always remember your why. Even on my worst days I still love what I do. This is important so you don’t get too fazed when things don’t seem to be coming together as you would like. By things, I mean the numbers. Podcast is long-form content so do not compare to YouTube views or Instagram likes. Especially if you have niche content, it’s not the same as general entertainment content and Tik Tok videos.
Also, if you have social media platforms for your podcast do not get obsessed with high or low levels of engagement. Remember the key is it to get listens not just likes. Social media promotion can also be tricky so watch those boosted posts. Even if you have a call to action you may not be leading your listener to their platform of choice. Don’t just take it from me, top global podcaster and content creator, Pat Flynn shares this view.
- Don’t be afraid of feedback.
You are doing this because you love it but you aren’t just doing this for you. What does your audience say about your content? Invite feedback from your episodes on your show by directing them to an email address, your website or social media channels. Be clear in your call to action. You can incentivize listeners, but I prefer to be reassured people are coming for content and not just the present. If you must, keep incentives connected to your content.
- Get better or get help.
It can be both, it really depends on your situation. Besides recording, there is so much do. As your podcast grows so does your production process. It’s definitely an opportunity to enhance your skills but podcasts take work. Help can be people or processes. Depending on your schedule and budget you may need extra pairs of hands or systems that capitalize on productivity. For editing Audiotonic (formerly Audacity) is a beginners’ best friend. Adobe Audition is available for more advanced editing. You can’t complain about graphics support when Canva has templates for days! The pro package has content planning calendar to help you stay organized. Set (and stick to) schedules for interviews, editing and social media content to make your life easier.
- Enjoy the beauty in growth.
Watch your magic unfold! After starting you’ll never be in the same place. Reflect constructively and keep a necessary log of what works and aim to replicate. You are investing time, energy and (in some cases) money in a cause and a community. Without a doubt there will always be people who value what you do.
- Be critical but kind to yourself.
We have all had to learn the hard way at times. No use beating yourself up. Learn from your mistakes and improve with each opportunity. There is a bright side to every bad experience. I can’t count the number of times I have had anxiety over something I thought I could have done better. Focus on what you can control, which is being better prepared for a future opportunity. Celebrate your wins, no need to size them up.
- Consistency is key.
Staying committed means staying consistent. Show me the person with just one thing on their plate. (You may end up searching forever). We no longer have time, we make time. Develop the discipline to meet deadlines and follow through on critical tasks. Block days for scheduling, editing and creating content. That episode, content or idea that you are delaying may be just what someone else needs.
- Listen to those who listen.
Pay attention to how people respond to your content. There is an existing audience for anything you’ll create. The key is to find them. Expecting a reaction from the wrong audience is like seeking love in the wrong place (whoa!). That audience feedback I spoke about, should come from genuine interests or enthusiasts of your content.
- Connect and Collaborate.
Let go of the expectation of needing friends and family to interact with your material. If they support that is perfect but they can’t be the only people you are trying to reach. You have to seek to be sought. By this, be active in making connections in relevant spaces. Participate in that Zoom meeting or webinar. Your podcast is a great thing so be ready to tell everyone about it! Add it as a suffix to your meeting name next time you join a session. Always have a link ready when you speak about your podcast. Explore guest podcasting and find your pod family. You are creative so create episodes of mutual interests and collaborate with a fellow podcaster. You can then share content through your combined channels. This will unlock opportunities for future unsolicited promotion of your content and referrals.
I am big on paying it forward and I have always had strong support. I would love to return the favour.
If you liked this article and would love more content, subscribe to the Global Yaadie mailing list. If you are new or thinking of starting a podcast I’m offering a free 1 – hour consultation with me. It’s my turn to listen!