In today’s episode, we’re diving into the world of podcasting experiments and how business owners can try their hand at podcasting without burning out.
We at Uncommonly More look at launching a podcast a little differently than most. We know how overwhelming it can be, especially when we give the weight of hundreds of episodes and an open-ended commitment to every choice we make.
That’s why instead of launching podcasts, we support clients in starting their own podcast experiments. It’s a great way to determine if you have the capacity for it and if it aligns with your goals.
In this episode of The More Profitable Podcast, I’ll cover why a podcast experiment is a perfect fit for trying on podcasting. How it helps you build assets so regardless of what the future of your podcasting journey looks like, those assets can be used to help you generate, educate, and convert right-fit clients.
05:03 – Launching a podcast experiment instead of a new podcast
07:00 – The first 20 are the only episodes of your show that are for you
14:15 – You must shift perspective on right/wrong ways to podcast
18:58 The podcast experiment helps you get comfortable and decisive about what to share so that you’re consistently building assets
26:13 – How you move from podcast experiment to full-fledged podcast
29:45 – A podcast experiment teaches sustainability, can be repurposed, and creates a solid foundation.
Mentioned In How Business Owners Can Try On Podcasting without Burning Out
Stacey Harris: It. If launching a podcast has been on your to do list for many moons, you're gonna want to stay tuned. If launching a second podcast has been on your to do list for many moons, you're gonna want to listen. Because today we're talking about how we recommend starting a show, the process we recommend taking when launching a new podcast. And we do it this way because it's either gonna help you build a show that is sustainable and successful over the long haul, which is we all know the point, podcasts are a long game or it's going to end up with you having an asset you can use again and again. So there's a sustainable success element regardless of whether you use this podcast for ten years or ten weeks. Let's dig into it. Welcome to the More Profitable Podcast with Stacey Harris.
Stacey Harris: I'm Stacey and this is the spot to learn more about the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast. My team and I work every day with podcasters like you to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team because your show should be built to generate and convert leads. So let's get into it. I'm really excited about this episode because it is a conversation that actually started in the Profitable Podcasters Mastermind. For our first cohort that we ran in Q Three, we had a member who was actually launching a new show and they are somebody who'd podcasted before. And so they knew that they wanted to do this, but they weren't totally sure what their first step should be. They wanted to maybe because they had podcasted before, they knew the dangers that liar ahead, right? They knew the things they were going to need to watch out for. They knew that there were things that could throw them off the road to success, if you will.
Stacey Harris: But they weren't totally sure how to navigate that or how to avoid some of those pitfalls. And so I talked to them about something that we call the Podcast experiment. And I realized in telling this person about that, that I'd never told you about that. So if you're somebody who has long been listening and who's like, I kind of want to start a podcast, or if you're somebody who just discovered this episode because you were looking for information on how to start a podcast, this is going to be a good one for you. But I want to start this by saying this is the way I recommend doing this, regardless of what number show you're on. So if this is your second show and you have a show running successfully right now, this is still how I would consider launching a show or recommend launching a show. If you are somebody who podcasted for a long time and then put your show down and worked on other things and is now ready to pick your show back, up. I'd recommend listening to this.
Stacey Harris: I'd recommend doing it this way because what I love about this is it allows you to experiment in a controlled container so that you build an asset, you build something that can support your sales goals on the other side, regardless of whether you keep going or not. I'm also going to do something kind of unusual. Generally. Here is where I tell you about the podcast newsroom or our podcaster roundtable. But I want to tell you something a little different because there's a bit of news. We are wrapping up our final podcast strategy intensives for the year in October, which means there are as the time of recording this, just a handful of spots left. If you are interested in sitting down with me for a podcast strategy intensive this year. If you are looking to launch a show, a podcast strategy intensive is the only way to partner with our agency to get support during that.
Stacey Harris: We'll talk about that more in the episode. If you want to know more about what happens inside of a podcast strategy intensive or hear from a couple of people who have been through a podcast strategy intensive with me, I will leave links to all of that in the show notes. You can check that out and of course you can get all the details and see testimonials and all of that good stuff email@example.com intensive. Again, just a handful left for the year and I would love, love to sit down with you for one of them. So head on over to Uncommonlymore.com Intensive and book yours today. Now, let's talk about launching your podcast. I want to start by sort of outlying how we approach this. So when we talk about launching a podcast, we actually don't talk about launching a podcast, I talk about conducting a podcast experiment.
Stacey Harris: A podcast experiment is essentially a container where you will create audio content that will be released via Apple Podcasts Spotify, wherever else you would like to release it and will for all intents and purposes be a podcast. However, think of it like a miniseries instead of a TV show. It is a clear container with a set number of episodes and a beginning, a middle and an end. Kind of like a podcast season, if you will. Now, does this mean that doing this commits you to a seasonal show forever and ever? Because that's the question I get most frequently at this step in me explaining this. No, it doesn't have to mean that at all. In fact, most of the people who we have supported through doing this this way have gone on to host a weekly show and have been in their shows for a bit. Now, what it does though is it allows you to manage the byte you're taking.
Stacey Harris: It allows you to manage the size of the container which helps mitigate some of the overwhelm. Instead of committing to 612 episodes of a podcast, which is how many this show is done. Instead of that, you're committing to 1520, whatever it is that works for you. Most of the people who I have worked with to do this have done somewhere in the neighborhood to twelve to 20 episodes. And here's why. Because the reality of podcasting is those 1st 20 episodes are maybe the only episodes of your podcast that are actually factually for you. Really, you've heard me talk about, this show doesn't belong to me, this show belongs to you. You've heard me talk about the fact that your podcast is not about what you want to talk about, it is about what you are promising to deliver to the listener.
Stacey Harris: It's about what the listener needs to get the information they're looking for, make the decision they're looking to make, et cetera. And so the only caveat to that is those 1st 20 episodes, those are for you. Those are for you to figure out your style, your vibe, your pace, your routines. And quite frankly, if you want to do this, like, really, maybe mostly if you want to do this, if this is the way you want to communicate your content to the world or not, if it's just simply not a fit for you. Because although I love podcasting and I do, I absolutely love podcasting, I've been doing it for ten years, I anticipate I will do it for many, many more. I constantly have ideas in my heads for new potential podcasts. I'm playing with lots of ideas. I've been playing with ideas fairly seriously for the last year on what comes next for me as far as additional podcasts.
Stacey Harris: And I'll be honest, one of the ways we're doing that is through a podcast experiment, playing with a smaller container to see if it's something I want to do long term, if it's something I have the capacity to add to my plate. So what does this look like? What does a podcast experiment look like? Let's say for the sake of our examples today, we're going to do 20 episodes because it's a nice round number. We're going to do 20 episodes that's going to give us like, what, five months of content. That's going to give us a really good feel of how we want to do this. There's such a value in knowing where the end is before you start because it's going to allow you to do a lot of reverse engineering. So when I sit down and I say, cool, I'm going to commit to this podcast experiment and it's going to be 20 episodes, my first step is to build a plan. Not a launch plan, not a plan to get a ton of listeners, but a content plan identifying the purpose of the podcast, your podcast promise, and what you want need to cover to deliver on both of those things. So your podcast purpose, in case you haven't heard me talk about this before, is the, let's say, job of your podcast inside of your business.
Stacey Harris: For most of us, it's a sales and marketing tool, right? It's to help us generate, educate and convert right fit clients. That's the purpose. Now, the second thing I mentioned was the podcast promise. We've talked a lot about this recently. The podcast promise is the purpose for your listener. What I'm promising to deliver, the podcast promise of this show is to help you learn how to use your podcast to say it with me now, generate, educate and convert right fit clients. I know I say it a lot, but there's a reason for that. So when I'm sitting down and I'm building my plan, I first establish what's the purpose, what's the promise? When I know what the purpose and the promise are, I can start reverse engineering what I need to deliver to that's right deliver on those promises.
Stacey Harris: Deliver inside of my business. This actually be an intentional and contributing member of my sales and marketing team. And the promise that I'm actually delivering on, the reason you're showing up there is a return on your time investment of sitting here with me and listening to me talk at you. This is where I love a podcast strategy intensive. And I'm going to tell you right now that's really the only way we work with launch clients anymore. Because the biggest support you need in those 1st 20 episodes, again, because those 1st 20 episodes are the most for you episodes, all you really need is a minimum viable production. When I'm talking about a minimum viable production, I am talking about keeping it super simple. If you can edit, DIY the edit.
Stacey Harris: If you can't edit, use a tool like Fiver, by the way, you can edit, use Descript. You've got a great DIY edit interface that will get you through those 1st 20 episodes. You do not, do not need a production team like ours to produce your podcast experiment. What you might need, what I do recommend if you are interested in having outside support, is strategic support. So that's why we offer these podcast strategy intensives for launch clients. Because in 2 hours, you and I can establish your podcast purpose, your podcast promise, your content plan for the number of episodes you decided you're going to do. Generally again, somewhere between twelve and 20. Most often we end up somewhere around 16 to 20.
Stacey Harris: We end up somewhere sort of like four to five months of content and the basics of a launch plan. How do we actually get people listening all inside of that two hour call and that 45 minutes follow up? I'm going to tell you right now, the bulk of that 45 minutes follow up is clarifying questions after you've been recording some of those 1st 20 episodes and putting those final bows on your launch plan. The bulk of our work will happen in that two hour intensive, our first call. Because once you have these elements, once you know what you're saying and why you're saying it, all you need to do is go say it. And that part is the part where you're really, truly experimenting. What does your recording process look like? How many episodes do you batch at a time? Do you script? Do you use bullet points? And you're going to try on all of these things. You may very well have an idea right now of how you probably want to do this, but you, I'm guessing, spend a lot of time thinking about the right way or the wrong way to do it. And that's what I want you to start changing.
Stacey Harris: That's what I want you to start shifting your perspective on because there is no ever one way that is right and one way that is wrong to do this. I am a huge fan of a couple of bullet points. I'll be honest, I'm looking at them right now for this episode. Let's see here. We have four bullet points and two random bits that I wanted to make sure I didn't forget. Sometimes those two random bits are like something clever, like some clever language I have figured out or a funny joke I wanted to put in the middle. Sometimes it's the call to action, sometimes it's the don't forget to give them this caveat. A lot of times it's the nuance that I want to really make sure it doesn't get lost.
Stacey Harris: But generally it's exactly that. It's three to five bullet points and a couple of notes. That's it. Honest to goodness. This is 1234-5678, 910, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 1923. 34 words. That's the outline for this episode. 34 words.
Stacey Harris: On the flip side of that, I have clients and I have friends who are ride or die for full scripts. Full scripts, top to bottom. Every joke, every pun, every takeaway, every insight, every bit of nuance is in a script. Personally, part of the reason I have a podcast is I don't love writing. I have a much bigger filter between my brain and my fingers than I do my brain and my mouth. So when I write stuff, I often do this to do it. And then I'll get a transcript and we'll make it sound like I wrote it and not like I said it. But that script process would not work for me if I had to do it that way.
Stacey Harris: If that was the one right way to podcast, I wouldn't be podcasting. It's that simple. And the opposite may be true for you. If you had to sit here with 30 some words in front of you as a rough ass outline, you might be like, no, I would become homicidal. I could never I would be flubbering over all my words. I would never be able to find a point. And maybe you're arguing that that's true for me too, but that's how you figure out what works for you. There is not a right way and a wrong way.
Stacey Harris: And that's one of the biggest reasons I like a podcast experiment. Instead of saying, I'm launching a whole podcast, I'm going to do this forever. Because we get really, really stuck in the idea that we have to figure out the right way to do it, that we have to go research and be committed to the one way we're going to do this forever. And I'm going to tell you right now, and I've told you this before, and I will tell it to you again, my friend. I'm ten years in. I've done more than 600 episodes. And that's just of this show. I've had another show.
Stacey Harris: I have produced dozens of shows over the last five years. There's almost no one. And I say almost only because I don't want to say never, and I don't want to say absolutely no one, but I have yet to encounter someone who every episode, for however long they've been podcasting, every single one was executed precisely the same way. Certainly when we start talking about our clients who've come to join us at year two or three or four of their podcast, where they're also hundreds of episodes into this, it's varied. Sometimes they've scripted, sometimes they've outlined. Sometimes they just had a title and rift. Sometimes they just opened their garage band or their audacity interface and just said stuff and figured out all the title and bullet points and everything. On the other side.
Stacey Harris: There is no one right way. And that's why the podcast experiment is so critical, because it's going to help you get comfortable doing what you need to do to get that episode done and not trying to shove yourself into a forever plan or a forever process. When you run this like a season, when you say, I've got a set number of episodes, it also allows you to get really, really decisive about what you're going to share. Instead of saying, I've got a podcast about podcasting, I can start to say, I want to do a podcast specifically focused in on how they can use a podcast to generate, educate, and convert right fit clients. Okay, well, that's also pretty big. Like, where do we even start, right? We've done a lot of episodes of this show. We've talked about this from a lot of different ways. If I've got 20 episodes to teach you this, to help you identify if this is how you want to run your show, to help you identify that this process is going to help deliver the results that you want, what are the most important things that I need to share? What are the most important things I want to know? So for me, I would probably focus in on the asset of it all, how to build assets, how to identify what you need to talk about to build assets, how to repurpose assets.
Stacey Harris: The podcast housekeeping series would definitely be a part of those 20 episodes, those kind of episodes. But I'm able to get a really clear understanding because I'm narrowing the container. I'm no longer saying, well, I've got to talk about content forever. And so I don't want to give too much away too soon. I'm no longer trying to talk about it in a super high level, big picture way because I'm trying to get everything in. I'm no longer fire hosing the listener with absolutely every bit of expertise I have and know because I'm trying to convince them I'm smart enough to hire me because I have a really clear drive when I look at the podcast purpose, the podcast promise, and what they need to know to deliver on those things. What I most often recommend for this is choosing a theme. And this is honestly, that's one of the things I love about seasonal shows.
Stacey Harris: We've got a couple of clients who we work with not in production, but we do podcast strategy intensives a couple of times a year, and they run their show in seasons. They run usually three seasons a year. And we come together and we plan their season. They go and record it, produce it, release it, and then we come back again for the next one. And it's fantastic. But the thing we do is we pick a theme. What's the theme? Is it that we're going to talk all about repurposing for ten or twelve weeks? Is it that we're going to talk all about sales or tech, or choosing the right CRM, or improving your email marketing, or running free challenges, or launching getting your first speaking gig or whatever it is for that client? But we're able to say, we want to solve one problem with this set of episodes. What is that problem that we're going to solve? I want to encourage you to look at this as building a challenge or an opt in.
Stacey Harris: And the reason I want you to think about that, because then when you get on the other side of this, when you've recorded them all and produced them all and released them all and marketed them all, and you just can't get yourself to do it again, it wasn't a fit, you didn't like it. You're just not on board with a lift. Cool. But guess what? You still have an entire series, an entire podcast worth of assets. That series as a whole. Those episodes, individually, they're assets. They can be shared on social media, they can be included in emails, they can be sent to new contacts. When you're out networking and you're mentioning something and you're like, oh my gosh, I've got a podcast episode about exactly that, I'd love to send it to you and hear your thoughts.
Stacey Harris: Because regardless of whether you want to continue on or not, you have built things that are usable, that are repurposable. It's not just a failed experiment collecting dust in apple podcasts because you flamed out four episodes. Yeah. Yeah, I know. It happens a lot. Honestly, we did a whole episode a couple of years ago now, I think, on podfade and this idea that some people just sort of fall off the planet and stop recording episodes, and then you're like drowning in all this shame about like, it's been so long and what am I going to do? And will people care and do I need to tell them where I've been? And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. How do I come back? Do I just start a new show? I know these questions because I get these questions. The way to avoid that is don't commit to 600 episodes in ten years.
Stacey Harris: Commit to twelve episodes. 15 episodes. 20 episodes, which, by the way, you could have recorded and produced in like six to eight weeks. Get them all recorded, get them all produced, then schedule them for release, then announce, I'm launching a brand new audio series on Apple podcasts Spotify. Find it wherever you like to listen to podcasts. So now you can spend that experiment in marketing mode. You're marketing the show, you're releasing the episodes, you're having conversations, you're getting feedback, and if when you're about ten episodes out, you're like, I do love this, this is fantastic. I want to keep going and I want it to be weekly.
Stacey Harris: You start production on episodes 21, 22, whatever the next ones are that you haven't recorded yet. And on the flip side, if you decide this is not for me, you don't just fade away out of nowhere. It's all built, it's all ready, it's all scheduled, it's all being released. You continue with it, and then you figure out what experiment you're going to run next. Maybe it's a video series, maybe it's blog posts. Maybe it's repurposing all of these audio assets that you just built into podcasts or into blog posts, rather into guest features, using them to pitch other people's podcasts because you like delivering content that way, but you don't like managing your own show or you really liked the rhythm you were in of being able to fully be in production and then fully being in releasing and then fully being in production. And so you produce twelve episodes, you release twelve episodes, and then you go into production for the next twelve episodes. And maybe you release two or three seasons a year and they just happen to coincide with the times in which the cart is open for your favorite program, when the doors are open for your mastermind, when the applications open for services with your team.
Stacey Harris: But you're not committed to doing this endlessly. You have a container and a process you've built for running this in a way that feels good. This is why I like the podcast experiment, because regardless of what happens on the other side of those 12, 15, 20 episodes, regardless of how you want to progress, after that or move forward after that. You have built assets, you have built something worth keeping around, worth utilizing. You've built something you can leverage. And if you want to keep doing this, you've built a really solid foundation and you've built an incredible process. And you know that you can then come to uncommonly more or another agency like ours and say I'm ready to make this investment. I'm ready to commit to these twelve months with you.
Stacey Harris: I'm ready to take this to a whole new level because this was fantastic. And now I know what I want, I know what questions to ask. I have data to look at. So I don't feel like I'm coming to you and going like I don't really know what to do and I don't have any data to point us in the direction. Can you even help me? This is a real question I've gotten, hey, I don't have any data, I don't have any idea what I will talk about because I don't have this established bit of content already to use to help point us in a direction. So that means I'm not ready, right? Not necessarily. We all only know so much and even with data, we're making our next best estimation, right? There's no secret rulebook that you find around Episode 20 that tells you how to do this forever. And what you'll talk about forever, that's why people hire us.
Stacey Harris: Episode 50 episode 100 episode 200 I want you to recognize that there is a way to do this that allows you to build in sustainability from the beginning. And that's what a podcast experiment does is it teaches you how to do this sustainably from the start. Because you start to figure out what sustainable looks like for you from the start. Even maybe especially if not doing a podcast is the way this is sustainable. Because again, you have a solid asset to be putting in email templates, to be sending those networking connections, to be sharing on social, to be repurposing into other things, to be putting behind a private podcast wall and using as an email opt in. There are a ton of ways to use this experiment on the other side and you could also be in love with it and think this is how I'm supposed to create content. Why have I spent the last several years trying to write blog posts that may have been how I felt when I launched my show and honestly still feel now, right? That's possible too. And you'll have built a solid foundation.
Stacey Harris: You'll be able to engage with whoever you work with. I'd love for it to be uncommonly more and know this is what I want to do, this is how I like doing it. How can we make it better? How can we make it more efficient? How can I make this even easier for me? And that's where we come in. And I love that because now we have someplace to work from because your process, your recording process is only going to get easier once you bring in support. Again, though, this does not mean you have to completely do this alone. Where I do recommend bringing in support is that strategy part as you're figuring out your purpose, your promise, your process, your content plan, bring in help then. And that's where a podcast strategy intensive fits so well. And that's why the way to work with us is a podcast strategy intensive for launch.
Stacey Harris: We will not produce or edit launch episodes unless it is somebody who's done a podcast strategy intensive with us first. Because here's what you do. We do the podcast strategy intensive, we build your content plan, we start mapping out your launch plan, you start recording episodes, you get everything recorded and then we go into production. You've got the whole season recorded and we do it as a project. We go through and we produce everything for you. We plan your release schedule, all of that, and then we hand it back to you scheduled and ready to market so that you can go into marketing mode. When we do that, we have a third call where we evaluate whether this is something you want to continue to do, whether this is something that makes sense for you long term. And we help you make that decision.
Stacey Harris: We work through it and we decide together. But the only way any of that happens is if you start with the podcast strategy intensive. If you want to do that this year, we got to talk soon because they are filling up. Head on over to Uncommonlymore.com Intensive to submit an application. Book a call with me. We will talk through this before we ever commit to the date. You and I can sit down. We'll have 30 minutes.
Stacey Harris: We'll talk about why you want a podcast, the purpose of it in your business, what you want to talk about, and whether it's a right fit right now for you. We can decide that. Get your podcast strategy intensive booked and get rolling on getting you planned and recording. I'd love to do it with you, Uncommonlymore.com Intensive to book that initial call with me to make sure this is a fit for you and I will see you here next week. Thanks so much for listening to the show. Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode. Maybe it's taking action on what we talked about, maybe it's reaching out to me and learning more about podcast strategy intensives or what podcast production looks like with our team. All of that is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stacey Harris: And if you haven't yet signed up for the podcast newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step. If you're not really sure what comes next, hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes that's email@example.com. And the last favor I will ask. Because social proof is endlessly important for sure is to leave a rating or review for this show. If you go to ratethispodcast.com more, that's the easiest way to do it. But I would love to hear what you thought of the show, what you think of the show, and the show has been helpful for you. I can't wait to chat with you.
Stacey Harris: So this is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep you going. Talk soon.