Welcome to episode 472, we’re going to talk podcasting today. Because, in January I opened up for questions on my Instagram, which is something I always enjoy doing. By the way, if you have something you want to hear on the show, let me know, and we will fit it into the calendar. 

Now then, one of the questions I got was how to know when it’s the right time to launch a podcast, and what’s interesting to me, and I say this with love, is every time I get this question, and I do get it pretty frequently, it’s somebody whose wanted to launch a podcast for like a year, or two years, or five years. Guys, just do it. If that’s where we’re at, then you’re not waiting to like … you just need to figure out what the resistance to doing it is, and slay that. I’m not going to talk a ton about production, or who to have on your team, or gear. Instead, I want to talk about sort of three things to think through as you decide whether it’s the right time for you, because I think that’s going to sort of help you slay that resistance, which is what’s actually standing in the way. You know how to get started. If you don’t, check out the Launch Podcast opt in, which I’ll link to in the show notes of this episode. It doesn’t need to be terribly complicated, it does not need to be a huge financial investment, it just doesn’t. I want to talk about some ways to know when it’s the right time, maybe some things to do before you decide to do it, and I’ll start right there.

I want to talk about sort of three things to think through as you decide whether it’s the right time for you, because I think that’s going to sort of help you slay that resistance

If you’re not sure if it’s the right time, it might be because you’re not sure you’re going to like podcasting, like you’re going to like communicating information this way. If that’s the case, I love, love, love, love, love recommending to clients and people I talk to, get really serious about being a guest on podcasts. It doesn’t have to be you sit behind a mic by yourself in your office, and talk for 20 minutes. I mean, that’s what this show is, but I pretend you’re here, which is a whole other level of crazy. It can be you just get really serious about being a guest on podcasts, and connecting with podcasters, and providing value that way. It’s a really, really good way to try this on. One thing I will say, is you’re going to want to set yourself up for success. I would still go ahead and do things like get a good quality mic, setting up your environment for good sound quality, things like that are still going to be a great idea. But, the most important thing is that you get comfortable delivering information verbally. And podcasting just sort of as a guest, is a really great way to do that.

The other thing is, it’s a really good way to see if your audience listens to podcasts. Because if you find yourself sharing podcast features and things like that and there’s just no traction, or you get, “I don’t really listen to podcasts,” or whatever. No matter how badly you want to start a podcast, if your clients don’t listen to it, that’s going to be a problem. Now, I will say it could just be tweaking your ideal client a little bit. Like great, I want to serve these same people, but the ones that do listen to podcasts. If that’s the only thing missing, there’s a way around that. But, that’s sort of the two pieces I want you to start with. If you can say, “I’ve been doing this enough that I know I like delivering content this way,” and if you can say that your community would listen, go. It’s go time baby, do it. Because, that’s going to be really, really helpful.

Now, let’s dig a little deeper here into sort of another thing I want you to have ready to go, and that’s a clear understanding of where a podcast fits in your overall marketing strategy. Because podcasts, although they don’t need to be super expensive, and an insane time investment, are an investment, both financially and of your time. I’ve talked at length about my gear and my setup, and if you have questions about it, feel free to DM me. But, we started with a, I think it was 50 bucks. I’m turning my head like it’s going to have its price tag on it, because it sits on a shelf in my office now. 

But, I started with a $60 mic, it was a Samson Meteor Mic, I’ll link to it in the show notes, and a table stand. One thing to remember and this is the audio nerd in me, don’t touch the table. It will be audible, and it will sound terrible. But, it works, and it worked for 300 episodes. I did the first 300 episodes of the show with that microphone. Now I have a Rode Podcaster Mic, which I’ve had since episode 301. This was actually my celebratory gift to myself. Well really, the businesses gift to me, because I love Rode Mics, and I really wanted it, and it sounds awesome. Also, it’s on an arm which is nice, and so it’s always kind of hear and setup, but I can touch my desk if I need to. I still kind of avoid touching my desk because I don’t know if you can hear that, but my nails make noise on the desk, so I still try to avoid touching the desk. But, that’s neither here nor there.

But regardless of that investment price point, there was some there. There was also the time, and for many people it’s hiring an editor, we have an editor on our team. In fact, I didn’t have anyone but me edit the show until, I don’t know, late last year? Like the last probably 10-ish episodes of the show, and so that was something that I was able to get around, but that’s not the case for everybody. If you’re going to make those investments, you want to make sure that this fits into really generating results for you, and so make sure before you launch the show, what is its purpose? What are we trying to move people through?

Is this about being a place where referrals can get a more intimate feel for us? Is it about extending conversations we’re having on social? Is it about just straight showcasing clients and their results, like a case study kind of model? Maybe it’s, I just want to beat entrepreneurship loneliness, and really the solo-preneur loneliness. I sit here in my office, maybe it’s your home office and you’re alone and you’re like, “I just want to talk to people.” Maybe you do a straight interview show, and it’s just about showcasing and highlighting really quality business owners. It can be any or all of those things, but figure it out before you hit record. Because here’s the thing, figuring that out, and figuring out if your audience listens to podcasts, and then figuring out what kind of podcasts they like, and the length, and things like that. It’s incredibly helpful, and making a lot of the decisions you’ll need to make after is now the right time. Like length, and format, and all of those things, frequency. Look at those things, and build into your plan. 

I’ll be really, really transparent with you as I always am on the show, the purpose of this is to nurture leads for the agency. Now in full transparency again, that hasn’t always been the purpose of this show. Now, the purpose of the show has always been to generate revenue, it’s 100% a marketing tool of my business, that’s why there’s not sponsors on this podcast, because I’m the sponsor. For a long time The Stacey Harris was, and now Uncommonly More is, the sponsor of the show. I pay for this because this is our marketing materials, right? And so, it fits in our plan, it fits into our strategy as a way for us to nurture leads. We build trust with potential clients, we build trust with potential referral partners. 

We build trust with potential clients, we build trust with potential referral partners. 

I have a very clear understanding of what the ROI of the show is, and where it sits in my business. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t keep doing the show, guys. I really love you, and I really like doing the show, and it’s a good time. But if there wasn’t a clear understanding of the purpose of it, I wouldn’t do it.

This is something I learned from my coach, and my friend, and our client, Tara Newman. She talks a lot about having the purpose, the process, and the payoff. It’s not something that I’d ever really languaged before, but it really is sort of the key part. Do you know why you’re going to do this? Because if you don’t know the purpose and you don’t know the payoff, there’s no reason to have a process. And I’m somebody who’s really, really guilty of getting so excited about just thinking about the process, that I forget to look at the purpose and the payoff.

Again, shout out to Tara Newman, thank you for this framework. But, I want you to be looking at for you, what is the purpose, what is the payoff, and what is the process? This is something, I think we talked about it in the 100th episode that we did for her show, the Bold Leadership Revolution, and she may have talked about it in her sort of behind the scenes podcasting episode, which are both really great resources if you’re thinking now might be the time. Check those episodes out, our agency produced them, happy to help you produce your show too. See there? Marketing.

I want you to be looking at for you, what is the purpose, what is the payoff, and what is the process?

The last thing I want to talk about is really if now is the right time from a time investment, are you in it for the long game? This is something that I don’t think it’s talked about enough. This is episode 472, this episode. I’ve been doing this for six mother loving years, right? You all just freaked out a little bit, that had kids in the car and thought, “Oh my God, what is she going to say after mother?” It was loving, we’re cool. This is going to be a clean episode.

Now, that’s a long time. Here’s the thing, is my show grows, and evolves, and theoretically gets better every episode. That happens because I have a commitment to staying in it, even when I think I suck, especially when I think I suck. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve never taken breaks, we took a ton of time off last year, mostly because honestly the business was getting bigger, and changing, and it was growing faster than I could hold onto everything. And so, this was the thing that slipped. I talked about this in my sort of year in review, but here’s the deal, this was able to slip because I had bought so much goodwill before that, and I had so much sort of in reserve, that I could keep sharing, and it would still work from a marketing perspective.

That’s again, that value of knowing what the purpose is of your podcast. For me, I was able to do that. But again, I was able to come back this year with sort of this new evolution, with sort of this new, what is this for? Where does it fit into UM’s marketing? Because all of The Stacey Harris is now, is my personal brand, and that’s me as the CEO of a digital marketing agency. There are no offerings under The Stacey Harris anymore, everything I offer lives under Uncommonly More and our agency, and we’ve got big things brewing for how that looks, and my level of involvement in projects and things like that over the next several years. I’ll talk about it as much as I can on the show obviously, but it’s going to mean even more evolution for this show. But, also that business evolution means I’m more available for the show, and it’s a double edged sword. But again, it comes from time spent, it comes sort of experience. I think there’s nothing like learning on the job when it comes to podcasting.

I’m sure there is an amount of money you could pay me to listen to those first episodes of the show, but it would be a real high amount. I mean, we’re talking some like, homes of the rich and famous level cash to get me to listen to those first episodes. And honestly, probably anything before 400, I’d be a little cringey about. Honestly, anything before 450 I’m probably a little cringey about, because I hope, I aspire to get better with every episode. It is a long game. If you are not in it to play for a while, stick with being really aggressive about getting guest spots, stick with being really focused on being promoted in other podcasts, because this is going to take time.

I’m a big believer that there’s not a lot you can learn from your podcast, until you hit 100 episodes. Which for most people, takes about two years. That’s when you’re really going to start to get a clear understanding of your voice as a podcaster, the format that feels good for you, the structure that feels good for you from a process perspective, from a ‘how the show gets made’ perspective. That first 100 episodes is data collection, it’s learning. The second 100 episodes is fixing. The third 100 episodes is perfecting. The fourth set of 100 episodes I hope is improving, and I have no idea what the fifth 100 is, but we will find out this year together, all right?

I’m a big believer that there’s not a lot you can learn from your podcast, until you hit 100 episodes.

All right, quick and dirty one this week. Again, how to know when it’s time to launch a show. If you’ve been thinking about it for five years, for the love of Pete, just start it. Just try. And again, over at Uncommonly More we do podcast production, we have a couple of clients who are production only, we don’t do any of their other marketing stuff, we just produce their podcast. If that’s something that you’re looking for, we can absolutely help you, let me know. Laura, who is editing this podcast right now, would also be editing your podcast. Hi Laura! She does a great job, doesn’t she?

All right, if you want to learn more about that head over to UncommonlyMore.com, send us a note, reach out. You and I can have a conversation about what might be the right fit for you, and I will see you on episode 473, with a guest by the way. I’m very excited about it, get to know my friend, my stylist, Nicole Otchy. She’s a good time. She’s a great woman to know, and I’m really, really excited to see what’s next. All right, I will see you back next week, have a great rest of your week, bye.

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