What to Do When Things Aren’t Happening Fast Enough

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As we move into this conversation, I want to start by saying the intent of this show is to really normalize mostly one single thing, and that is impatience. I’m assuming you clicked on this title because occasionally you also feel like this is just not happening fast enough. And I think that can be applied to literally every part of our life, certainly as business owners. Revenue is not growing fast enough, profit’s not growing fast enough, client lists aren’t growing fast enough, listenership isn’t growing fast enough, email lists aren’t growing fast enough, my followers on Instagram aren’t growing fast enough, my TikTok views aren’t growing fast enough. Are you on TikTok? Let me know if you’re on TikToK. I’m curious to see if you’re on TikToK. Anywho, but it’s easy to get caught up in really the not-enoughness of it all, and so I want to normalize that first and foremost.

The impatience you may feel is part of it. It just is part of it. 

And I feel it too, even though I’m going to tell you all episodes how not important these things are. And we’re going to talk about some things to do when we’re feeling that, that impatience, because I think that if we can find ways to manage the impatience, it gets easier to move through it. It gets easier to see what’s there instead of focusing on what’s not. So that’s what I want to talk about today.

So first of all, 100% it’s there, and it’s not going to change. If you’re sitting there going, “Oh, I wish I had 10,000 downloads, 50,000 downloads, 100,000 downloads, 200,000 downloads, a million downloads,” whatever the numbers are, I want you to be really, really, really clear that that is a vanity metric. It doesn’t actually mean anything. And the fact of the matter is, as long as you’re getting some kind of listenership, it will happen eventually just out of the sheer number of episodes you do. At 500 episodes, if I didn’t have 100,000 downloads, we’d have questions, right? It’s going to happen at some point.

Now, what’s really cool is when you get to a place where your show is doing more than getting downloads. 

For me, it’s pretty easy for me to run the metric of my downloads through a filter of, what does it mean for my business? Because the fact of the matter is this podcast gets people on my calendar. It gets people in my DMs. It gets people talking to me, and that’s the purpose of the show. Because if I can get them talking to me, then we can find the next best solution for them, whether that’s me or somebody else.

And so first and foremost, I want you to be thinking about more metrics outside of downloads, whether that’s looking at your listener data and who they are through something like Apple Podcasts or Spotify’s Backend, whether that’s looking at the conversations you’re having. This is my favorite one honestly is I know when someone … I’m smiling just thinking about it. When someone gets on my calendar who I don’t actually know, I’ve not met them at an event, I mean, when we had events, when that was a thing, I’ve not met them in the LinkedIn group or on Facebook or they’ve been in my Instagram DMs or whatever. I don’t actually know who this person is. They show up on my calendar. They’ve booked a call with me. We get on the call, and they have this moment of like, “Oh, I’ve been listening to your show forever, and I love when you talk about blah, blah, blah.”

And then we spend, my favorite is these people generally come with a list of questions. They know exactly what they want out of that hour with me. And I love it because they book this time and we go through, and so often the questions really, I can hear myself in them. I can hear stuff I’ve said on the show in those questions, because I know they’re listening and they’ve been taking action.

So they say like, “Okay, so we did X, Y, and Z.” And I’m like, “Oh yeah, we talked about that.” And then they’re like, “And then this is what I want to do next. What do you think about blah, blah, blah?” I’m like, “That’s awesome.” I’m like, it’s so cool. And so honestly, as long as that keeps happening, the show is working. As long as that kind of thing keeps happening, it’s a lot easier for me to manage the impatience of not having 10,000 downloads per episode in 30 days, which by the way, almost nobody has.

I shared an article in our LinkedIn podcasting group, which by the way, you can join over on the website totally for free, and Libsyn shared some stats. And if you are getting more than 121, I believe, it’s less than 130, downloads over the course of 30 days per episode, you are in the top 50% of podcasts hosted by Libsyn. I take a pause here because I want that to really sink in. I’ve talked about it a little bit on the show before, but it’s so unimaginably important that you realize how few people are getting 10,000 downloads over 30 days per episode. It’s crazy slim. I do not remember the percentage, so I don’t want to quote something wrong here, but it’s like sub 10%. I believe it’s sub 5%, but I, I know for sure it’s sub 10%.

So let’s put our mind on what actually matters. 

Let’s pay attention to maximizing the benefits we’re getting from that 120 people over 30 days. And I’m willing to bet that for a lot of people who listen to this show, the numbers are actually higher than that. I know it’s higher for the bulk of our clients are getting more than that over 30 days. I don’t think we have any clients actually who are under that number. And so maybe that’s true for you as well. I want you to put some context around this, looking at those numbers, because the reality is you’re probably closer to high-level results. I’m trying to think of how I want to put this.

You’re probably closer to sort of elite podcast status than you think, because the average is not five figures of downloads over 30 days per episode. It’s just not. And then when you put into the context of the fact that your show is not built for the masses. For the majority of the people who our agency works with, and we have a couple that sort of sit outside of this, but for the majority of the podcasts that our agency produces, they’re structured very similarly to this show. They’re business owners talking to other business owners about business stuff. So that could be leadership. That could be mindset. That could be business coaching and development. That could be a lot of things. In the case of the show, podcasting and marketing.

And the fact of the matter is we’re not going to bring in the masses. This is never going to get Super Bowl numbers, because there’s just not that many people interested in what we’re talking about. It’s just a smaller pool, which is actually a really good thing, but will change what your goals should be. It’s actually one of the reasons I really started talking about this because so many podcast resources that we see are built for people who are really trying to build a show that is their business. The podcast itself is a business and revenue stream, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s great and cool and go at it. I think it’s fantastic. I love some of these shows. Some of my favorite shows are this kind of show. But the metrics we’re looking at, the growth philosophies, and we talked about a couple of weeks ago when we talked about growth strategies and the type of show that you have, they’re different. It’s just different.

And so I highly recommend going back and listening to that episode because I think it’s really helpful for this kind of context. And I want you to be thinking about that as we talk about the rest of this episode. And we do have a couple of shows that we produce, whose audience are more, let’s say, B2C. They are business owners. They are absolutely building their show to promote their offerings. However, their offerings are for the general public. Their offerings are for sort of the average consumer. Now, they still niche down, and they still have a specific audience, for sure, but that audience is a little bit bigger than other business owners. It’s a little bigger than the B2B pool would be. And guess what? Those shows are the shows we produce that have the highest download numbers because they have a larger audience. They have larger possible ownership.

And so first and foremost, when you’re sitting in this impatience, do not forget the nuance. 

Do not forget the context, because again, your goals may very well be different. And so I’m going to point you back to something I know we’ve talked about on the show before, and I promise you we’ll talk about more, which is how many people from your podcast do you need to convert per month to be getting the results you want revenue wise. I’m willing to bet that it’s not hundreds of thousands. I’m willing to bet it’s not tens of thousands. I’m willing to be it’s not thousands. I’m willing to bet it’s not hundreds. I’m willing to bet it’s not multiple dozens. It’s not two or three dozen people.

And so what is the value of having 10,000 people download your show every week? Because when you are talking to too many people, one of two things is going to happen. You’re going to convert too many people, which is a good problem, but a problem nonetheless, or, and much more likely, you’re going to convert a whole lot of nobody because you’re not talking to any of your audience specifically enough for them to feel ready to make the move. Again, this one much more likely.

All right. Now that I’ve sort of soap-boxed on the impatience thing, which again is normal, it’s completely average. I know none of us want to be average, but it is completely average. And so I want to talk about two things. This is sort of my one-two punch for managing my own not-enoughness, as it were, when it comes to downloads and growth. And that is, don’t forget to rinse and repeat. And we’ve talked about this before on episodes, and I think it’s so important. But so, so, so often we try something and then try something else and then try something else and then try something else. 

We’re making sweeping changes to our strategy week-to-week, month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter.

And the reality is what we want to be doing is much more closely looking at small, incremental, one-at-a-time kinds of changes that we can make. And other than that, rinse and repeat, baby. Rinse and repeat. Keep working at those same marketing systems and those same marketing strategies. Now, the difference here is if they’re really, really not working, but here’s the deal. You don’t know if something’s really, really not working in seven days of trying it or in 14 days of trying it and, quite frankly, in 30 days of trying it. Because it may just be that you have to change one tiny lever switched in another direction and it changes how everything else works. But you won’t know if that tiny lever could change something if you keep throwing away the whole thing.

And so I want you to really look at and commit to for extended period of time, and I am actually talking six to 12 months. I am going to work this for six to 12 months, and I am going to make incremental changes each month, but not big ones, little tiny ones. And I’m going to make those changes over time. And then I’m going to see how this goes. And I know it can feel like, “Okay, but if it’s not working, I’m losing so much time.” Consider this your foundation. Consider this the minimum viable product. And this could be in the structure of your show. This could be in the production of your show. This could be in the marketing of your show. By the way, it’s very possibly needing to be in the marketing of your show. This could be a change in how you structure things. I want you to better understand what it looks like for you to consistently be working your system.

And if the instinct in you right now is to say, “Well, Stacey, I’ve been working my system. I’ve been doing this, and I’ve been doing that, and it’s just not growing fast enough. It’s working, but it’s not working fast enough,” then I want you to start looking at the second part of this conversation. And that is, where can you add little projects, little marketing bursts? Where can you add little things that are fun and energizing and that you can layer on top of this foundation? Because as you’re making these little changes and you’re working the system, it’s going to feel really easy to get bored. It’s going to feel really easy to slide into, “Well, I’m doing that. I’m doing that. And we’ve been doing that.”

And so find projects. 

One of the things I’m playing with right now, as far as our sort of like small changes to our system, is you’ll notice, at beginning of the show, there was a little promo piece after the music but before the actual show started. That’s something we’re playing with right now. We’re looking at the timing of our promotions in the intro versus the outro. Now, it doesn’t mean as I close the show, I won’t share, “Oh, hey, by the way, don’t forget.” But it’s something small that we’re testing as a single structural change to the show to see if we can impact conversions. I’ll always be transparent with you if nothing else, okay? I’m going to tell you what’s happening as it’s happening. But I’m also feeling a little bored. And so we’re playing with other things.

One of the things I’m doing right now is I’m playing with a podcast matching guest and host service to get on different kinds of shows and see what kind of shows actually generate a good listenership back. Because yes, I can tap my network and I can go on a lot of the shows of people who I know and have been in and circles I’ve been in. But this third-party service is a cool way for me to look at getting on shows outside of my network, outside of my existing circle, which is always really beneficial for me. And it’s feeling really fun, and it’s feeling really exciting.

And so I have these two pieces.

I have the small incremental change to my rinse and repeat foundation of structure, production, and marketing of the show. And then I have a separate sort of micro project that I’m playing with. And I’m seeing what it does on the marketing side of my show, which is also helpful because you notice that my small change is structural. It is more about conversion than growth. And my little project is more about growth of the show and marketing than it is structural to my show. And so look at where you can have complementary projects to whatever your incremental change is, so that it will be still really clear. If I get a ton more conversions, I can be like, “Oh, well, part of that is that we moved it.”

Now, I may see an even larger amount because we’re also working on growth of the show. So we may see growth of the show and that leading to more conversions, but I’ll also know both pieces worked. Because they’re different, I can tell which one caused what. And so I want you to really, really look at, where can you build in these complementary projects?

All right, that’s the show. I hope it was helpful. I want you to come over to Instagram and let me know. Even better come over to the LinkedIn group over at uncommonlymore.com/group. As promised, I also want to remind you, as I did at the top of the show, that your opportunity to work with us in 2020 is rapidly coming to a close. As I mentioned, we close our doors, our business, the whole team is off for a little time to themselves for those last two weeks of the year as we say goodbye to 2020 and hopefully welcome in a much more fun 2021.

And so if you are interested in getting some production support, if you are interested in working with our team on some podcast strategy or to get a one-hour podcast strategy call with me, those opportunities are running slim as we say goodbye to 2020. In fact, at the time of this release, you’ve got a couple of weeks to get on my calendar. So I highly, highly recommend coming over to uncommonlymore.com, finding the option that’s best for you, podcast launch, podcast strategy or ongoing podcast production, submit your form, book your call with me, and let’s talk about how we can get you support this year. Or get the information you need now, get on our books, so that we could get you ready to launch in January.

By the way, if you want to launch a show in January, you need to be figuring out who you’re working with now. It doesn’t matter if it’s us. I mean, I’d prefer it be me. We’re super cool, but I don’t care who it’s with. If you are looking to kick off in January, you need to be thinking about that stuff now, because it does take time. It’s a process, right? All right. I will talk to you next week. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your week. And I can’t wait to hear from you about this episode over in the LinkedIn group. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

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