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5 Things New Podcasters Need to Know If They Want Their Podcast to Succeed
Table of Contents
I struggled when I launched my podcast. For one main reason. I did it alone. I didn’t think about seeking out a coach, or even looking for wisdom from others. I just decided I was going to go for it!
And guess what? It was awful.
I crashed and burned shortly after starting. I took a break for a while before launching a second show… But the second time around, I did what you’re doing, which was seek advice!
I’m so glad you’re here because you’re going to avoid some of my mistakes… Thank you for allowing me to add value to your podcasting journey.
Here are the main points I’m going to be covering:
#1. Get clear about why you’re podcasting. You really have to know why you’re podcasting in the first place.
#2. Focus only on what matters. There’s a lot of noise in the digital world today, figure out what matters and focus only on that.
#3. Listen to your audience. You cannot stay the same, you must be learning, growing, and changing – Your audience is your guide.
#4. The importance of having a podcasting community. You will always go further when you have people in your corner.
#5. The ultimate secret to podcasting success. This is it. The one secret that one of the top names in podcasting told me. (It’ll blow your mind!)
Setting the expectation
Before we get into it, I need to state an expectation that most new podcasters get wrong. I mean this in the nicest way possible.
- You aren’t going to get rich off your podcast alone.
- You are not the next Joe Rogan.
- “Build it and they’ll come” doesn’t work with podcasting.
I hope I’m completely wrong about the 3 things I just mentioned, but for 99% of podcasters, what I said is true.
Here’s the truth about podcasting:
- Podcasting is “top of the funnel”, if you want to make money you need something more.
- You’ve to work really hard to get listeners – it’s not an easy task.
- In fact, podcasting is one of the most difficult and time-consuming forms of content to produce. (There are easier ways to make money).
I’m not saying this to discourage you…
I refer to podcasting as a “labor of love”. It’s extremely fulfilling when you know you’re adding value to others. If you have the passion. GO FOR IT! Stay encouraged and excited about it, but keep expectations realistic. Now let’s jump into my top 5 tips for starting a podcast.
#1. Clarity and Defining Your Why
The most important tip for anyone starting a podcast is to define your WHY. What is the purpose of the podcast? The most effective way to find out that answer is NOT, by looking up what everyone else is doing, enrolling in a course or asking your friends/family (although all of those things are good).
“When you know your WHY you can endure any HOW.” – Viktor Frankl
The most effective way to discover your why is through the act of self-reflection.
“…Okay Alex, what does that mean?” I’m glad you asked!
Here are the steps to finding your why when it comes to your podcast:
#1. Grab a notebook and a pen. (Yes, a real pen and real paper.)
#2. Put away all electronic devices.
#3. Go to a place that inspires you the most (a coffee shop, the beach, the mountains, wherever)
#4. Block out adequate time to be alone in that place.
#5. Ask yourself, “Why am I getting into podcasting?”
#6. When you write down your answer, ask yourself “Why did I write down this answer?” Write down the follow-up answer.
#7. Then ask yourself “Why….?”Repeat this process as many times as you need to until you get to the heart of your answer.
Here are two things to keep in mind when self-reflecting to find your WHY: Remember that your Why should never be selfish. Your answer should have other people in mind.
Take a few minutes to listen to this podcast episode: Discovering Purpose and Meaning for Your Life with Sho
Those who reflect the most gain the most clarity, and those with the most clarity win the most. This should be a regular practice in your life/business. I myself reflect daily and focus on finding clarity every week. I can tell you that most of my success is due to this simple practice.
#2. How to Decide Where to Focus
My favorite way to describe the word focus is with the acronym Robert Kiyosaki uses.
FOCUS = Follow One Course Until Successful BOOM!
How powerful is that? If there’s one thing that podcasters struggle with, in my experience, it’s the ability to focus on what matters most. There’s so much noise with almost everyone saying you should focus on this or that when starting a podcast.
Here are some common examples that I’m sure you’ve heard:
- You need to do a video podcast (and start growing your YouTube).
- You need to have an Instagram (post Stories every day).
- You need to post on Twitter (at least 10 times a day!)
- You need to focus on Facebook (and be in multiple Facebook groups and have your own Facebook group for your listeners)
- You need to find people to collaborate with on LinkedIn (send 20+ messages per day!)
- It’s time to get on TikTok (This is the future – you better be funny!)
- Attend and speak at podcasting conferences when you can.
- Make sure you have a blog for your show (post-show notes and work on exclusive content too).
- You need to have an online course (sell courses to your listeners!).
- You need to write a book if you want to be taken seriously!
- … AND about 100 other things you’ve heard.
Here’s the truth. NOTHING above matters AT ALL. It’s all 100% pointless. The only thing that matters is figuring out what’s the most meaningful next action you can take for your podcast/audience, and then FOCUSING on that ONE THING.
I’m in the process of writing a book on the topic of meaningful work, and from my research, I can tell you that it’s better to find the one thing you’re good at (and that works) and focus only on that. Worry about the rest later!
Only you can know what you should focus on. But once you figure it out. Stick with it! Add more later when you have the capacity. Don’t overexert yourself – and don’t listen to others who talk about how busy they are.
PRO TIP: If you’re not sure what that one thing is, try a few. Then evaluate the results until you figure it out.
#3. How to Profit from Your Audience
There are probably many voices out there telling you what to do with your business and how to grow personally. But as a podcaster, you have unique access to a high class of people. (Did you know that podcast listeners generally have higher education and higher annual salaries than people who don’t listen to podcasts!)
If there’s one tip on starting a podcast you have to internalize, it’s this: Find a way to listen to your audience.
This will also lead to you being able to profit from them.
Here’s how your listeners can help you help them:
- They give you direction (see Go back to Clarity and Defining your Why )
- They tell you their problems.
- If you know their problems, you can develop solutions. You can profit from those solutions.
Check out this podcast episode, it’s a really compelling perspective on How to Start a Business That Makes Money
Instead of coming up with your own ideas for products and services, ask your audience what they are struggling with. Ask what they need from you. You’ll be shocked at what you learn.
If enough of them say the same thing – Make a solution for them! This is how you profit from your audience.
Another great way to profit from podcasting is to use OPP. (Other People’s Podcasts) Here are 12 steps that explain how to be a great podcast guest.
#4. How a Podcasting Community Helps
There’s a quote from Helen Keller that I absolutely fell in love with:
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
I’ve found this quote to be 100% true, all the time. Community is POWERFUL.
That said, podcasting can be one-sided. You will get very little response from your audience, and from most, you will hear nothing at all. This is a somewhat lonely industry. So it is important for hosts to stay together. You grow faster when you are around like-minded people.
Here’s some good news for you…
PodPros has a completely free social media platform called the PodMatch Community!
This community offers many topics that will help you grow and progress your podcast faster without wasting time and money. For me, this has been very helpful. I encourage you to join the PodMatch Community and stay active! As you learn, teach others. If you have questions, ask people in the community. (The worst thing you can do is join a community and not get involved).
Remember, together we can do so much. Make sure you stay connected to other podcasters – It’s going to help you a lot!
#5. The #1 Key to Podcasting Success
Here it is… “The ultimate secret to success in podcasting” Are you ready? … I don’t think you are. Just kidding. Here it is. The #1 most important key to podcasting success is this:
One of the most successful podcasters told me that I just need to stay consistent. (Of course, I know I also need to focus on getting better for my listeners and solving their problems, as we’ve already discussed) That seems too simple to be true, doesn’t it? Well, guess what doesn’t lie? THE NUMBERS. So I decided to find out if consistency really is the be-all and end-all of podcast success.
Here’s what I learned from podcasting stats:
- There are 2.7 million podcasts on Apple.
- Of those, only 380,000 have published an episode in the last 90 days. (That means there are only 380k active podcasts).
- Of the active podcasts, only 200,000 have published more than 10 episodes.
- The number of shows that have more than 100 episodes is much lower (I couldn’t find the actual stats ).
But here’s the thing… If you set yourself a schedule for releasing new episodes and consistently stick to that goal until you reach 100 episodes, there’s almost NO ONE, which reaches that level.
This lesson is meant to motivate you. Stay consistent. Don’t stop. If you believe in what you’re doing, keep going. You’ll achieve your goals. You’ll change lives with what you do with your podcast.
I’ll end with this quote that really drives my point home:
“Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice
Others won’t stay consistent. But you will. And because of that (over time), you will become a successful podcaster! KEEP IT UP!
There you have it, the 5 Things New Podcasters Need to Know!
Let’s recap: Clarity and Defining Your Why, How to Decide Where to Focus, How to Profit from Your Audience, How a Podcasting Community Helps, The #1 Key to Podcasting Success. ✌ If you have any questions, feedback or would just like to discuss this blog post, please use the button below to join the discussion! One final question for you…