Welcome to episode 501. That’s right. We’re starting over. It’s a new set of hundreds. And here we start our journey to 600. I’m actually going to do something kind of weird today. I’m going to tell you why you don’t need a podcast because the reality is not everyone needs a podcast. And I think too many people who do what I do for a living, who own an agency or teach podcasting or do podcast production or editing like to talk about how podcasts will change your life and change your business, and they’re universally wonderful and good, and it’s true. They can improve your business. They can be amazingly impactful for growing your expertise. However, there are some things you need to look at before you’re like, “Oh yeah, for sure. I need one of those. Let me dump tons of time into this.”
And I think if more people took a beat and thought about these things before starting their podcast, they’d one, find their podcast to be a ton less stressful.
And two, we’d have a whole lot less podcasts that fall into that mythical podcast fade, which if you don’t know what podcast fade is, podcast fade is where a show just disappears. It stays in Apple Podcasts and Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts, but they’ve stopped producing new episodes. I’m not fully aware why they keep paying for their feed, but they have stopped doing episodes just because, and so we don’t want you to fall prey to that.
So there’re some questions I want you to ask when you’re thinking about launching or relaunching your show, because again, not everybody needs a podcast. So I want you to look at three things, and they’re questions that I have asked you before. They’re questions I will ask you again.
Who are you talking to? Why are you talking to them? What is it you want to do when you’re done talking to them? What do you want them to do when you’re done talking to them?
This may sound familiar because these are the same questions we asked when we build marketing plans and strategies, when we start building our content plans. If you’ve been through the Launch Your Podcast challenge you for sure heard these questions, because it’s a lot of what we do at the beginning of that five days training, here’s the dealio. This podcast is not for funsies. It’s to generate business. So I want you to be looking at those things. The answers to those questions are also really helpful when you go through those seasons, and you will, of why am I doing this? No one listens to me. This has zero impact on my business. This is a waste of my time. I don’t have anything interesting or charming or funny to say. Again, happens to everybody, but none of us want to talk about it.
I come back to the answers to these again and again and again and again and again and again and again, because I create the show for you and for the other people who listen to the show like you. As much fun as it is for me to talk about podcasts, trust me, I could do it all day. I have spent entire days doing it.
This show is only useful if it finds the people like you who will do something with it.
So as you’re assessing if a podcast is right for you, if continuing your podcast is right for you, if changing direction of your podcast is the right next step, I want you to return to these questions because if you look at your offer also known as the what you want them to do after you’re done talking to them and you can’t think of a way to talk about it via a podcast, A, you’re just not getting creative enough. Book a call, we can figure that out.
But B, maybe it’s not the right fit. If you’re looking at who your audience is, and they don’t listen to podcasts which is a possibility, that’s not the right fit. Or they listen to podcasts, but it’s in a very specific format or timing. Great, you need to be looking at what that format or timing is for your show. If you look at why you want to talk to them and it’s super visual, it’s literally walking them through something they have to look at, maybe video would be better. But until you check in with those things, you won’t know. So that’s sort of your homework for today. That’s your challenge for today.
Whether you have a podcast right now or not, I want you to recommit, reassess, recheck in with those three questions. Who are you talking to? Why are you talking to them? What do you want them to do when you’re done talking to them? You got to know those things.
Now I want to talk a little bit about some ideas on how to test out having a podcast or relaunching a show maybe that you’ve had before, because it doesn’t mean that you have to commit to seven years and 500 episodes. For real, it doesn’t. And by the way, those 500 episodes in seven years will not look the same for their entirety. If you don’t believe me, see last week’s episode. But there are some ways to play with this, to test this. And I will be honest, this first one is something that I think you should do no matter what your answer is to should I have a podcast.
And that is regularly getting on to other people’s podcasts. Go be a guest. I think this is one of the most underutilized ways to learn about podcasting and to learn about being behind a mic and talking to your audience.
And it’s 100% easier to be a guest than it is to be a host because you have someone else guiding and shaping the conversation. You have somebody else handling all the tech. You have somebody else handling all the marketing. Granted you should also be marketing episodes you are a guest on because they’re good credibility builders. But that is a tangent for another day. But I love, love, love going on other shows. A, it always gives me a bump on my show. Universally true, there’s always a bump in my own listenership when I go and hang out on other people’s podcasts. But before I started podcasting it was a really good way for me to stare at my computer and talk into a microphone and just get comfortable with that format.
Granted, I had someone else there talking to me, which is also full transparency part of the reason I had guests early on my show is because solo episodes seemed really, really daunting and I could figure out how to do them if I could tie in the conversation to the conversation I’d had with the guests, which is what I frequently did in those early episodes. But I want you to really look at where can I go and provide value and get a feel for the process. Get a feel for the experience. Get comfortable sharing value when someone can’t see my face or my hands or a slideshow presentation. It’s a really good way to test it out.
The other option is, and this one is one where you have a bit more control and you are testing this out a bit more fully, and that’s to try an audio series.
Do a limited audio series. We’ve had this happen with a lot of clients who we launched shows for where they started with a limited season one. They said, “Cool, I’m willing to do this for 20 episodes.”
“Cool, I’m willing to do this for 12 weeks,” whatever it was for them. But I’m going to say there’s a start, there is an end, and we’re going to see how this goes. And what we did is we completely prepped the entirety of the audio series. We had every episode recorded, edited, scheduled, ready to roll out to listeners so that all they had to do when the show or the limited series “launched” was promote it, share it, easy breezy. So I really encourage you to be looking at, is that a way you could test this?
Is there a topic that you could dive into over the course of X amount of weeks, really a focused promotion for a larger program.
This is a great thing to do, pre-launch, let’s say I’m going to launch a course in April of 2021.I’m going to run this limited series starting in January of 2021. So I’m focusing solely on promoting and building out and getting the word out on this January, February, rolling it out. It rolls out for four months and then the program is going. I could have this show totally recorded, edited, and ready to roll by December 2020, launch the show January, February 2021 and sell them the course in April 2021. And that’s the whole series. It’s just that limited series.
And maybe I decided that limited series is all I need and I go and I promote it and I share it as a part of that launch in whatever cycle that program launches. But this can be a really, really cool way for you to see if you can generate business, traffic, interest from a podcast. Now, the limited series will mean that you do need to have a little bit of an audience already.
This works best if you already have people to get on board and you’re looking for a new way to nurture them, because otherwise it’s going to take some time to build an audience that you can sell a course to.
Where I would go if I had a smaller audience and I wanted to test this, was trying to sell one-to-one. Cool, I’m going to do this for three months. The limited series will run from April to June. So Q2 of 2021. And during that whole process, I’m booking one-to-one sessions. I’m booking sales calls, one-to-one clients, however you want to frame it, because you need a lot less people to convert than you do for a larger program.
So that’s where I would make the change is I would sort of do it more sales throughout, and I would really focus on answering the questions of people that show up on sales calls.
But again, you can see if you can get results, any kind of results from a podcast in a short window of time. Now the short window of time cannot be four weeks, because you will not get enough traction in four weeks to get meaningful results. You can get enough traction to get meaningful results in three months.
You will not get the kind of reaction or results in three months that you would get in three years.
Because I really, really, really believe that podcasting is this really cool snowball kind of vibe. Meaning the longer you do it, the larger your audience gets the more credibility and trust and connection you build with the people who are listening. If you’ve been listening to this show, you’ve probably felt that in the course of our relationship, it really comes with being in their ears more and more over time.
So that trust and the results you will get will grow exponentially the longer you’re in it. But you can have a focused test window to see how you do, to see how the show goes. All right, that’s it. I just wanted to get that little soapbox today because I have been seeing a ton of ads and a ton of content talking about how critical podcasting is and how everybody has to have a podcast.
And before you jump in to the time and the expense of starting a show, I want to be really clear about how the show is going to be an effective way for you to generate revenue, because none of us are building podcasts inside our business for funsies. All right? All right. If you have questions, if you want to talk more about this, a great, great, great place to start is our podcasting group on LinkedIn. So come on over and hang out with me in that space. Other than that, I will see you next week for 502. See ya.