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longterm-podcasting

5 Ways to Make Podcasting a Frictionless Long-Term Part of Your Life

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In this post, Alex Sanfilippo shares something that has been bothering him about the podcasting experience; on both sides of the mic. And it’s that there’s a lot of friction involved with podcasting and life when it comes to balance. Alex shares an alternative way to view, produce, and share your podcast. He calls it “frictionless podcasting” and shares ways to make podcasting a natural, long-term part of your life that will lead to less stress but more fulfillment.

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I often see people get into podcasting, whether as a podcast guest or a podcast host, and it immediately causes friction in their lives. I hear them complain about taking a break from work or their life because of podcasting.

I am not saying that people do not enjoy podcasting. It just causes a lot of extra work, stress or pressure in their lives.

That’s why I want to show you how to make podcasting a long-term part of your life and remove any friction you might feel about it.

Step 1: Revisit Your WHY

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Most people who read my posts or listen to my podcast already know that I talk about this a lot. It’s the most important thing we can do in life or in business.

I want you to ask yourself, “Why do I have a podcast? What’s the reason for my show or for being a guest on a podcast? Why am I even doing this?”

If we do not ask ourselves that question, we may wake up one day and say, “Why am I doing this? I’m not enjoying it anymore. It’s not really doing anything for me.”

I think if we want to make something enjoyable in our lives, we should do it for the long term. There has to be a really solid WHY behind it in the first place. So I would encourage you to take a moment and think about that.
I would also ask you to do the following.

Don’t just think about your WHY in relation to podcasting, but also how it relates to you personally and professionally.

What I mean by this is that you are creating additional friction that does not have to be because your podcast may be about something that is not in your business or life.

Can you connect those things more? The only way to do that is to sit down and think about why you got into this in the first place and what continues to drive you.

To me, that’s one of the most important things we can do in podcasting. We’re can create a lot more value that way. So I want to encourage you. Go back and think about your WHY.

If you want to know more about it, read this post.

Here I talk about WHY and how you can develop it really well.

Step 2: Make Your Podcasting More Human to Human

You need to take a human-to-human perspective to podcasting. What does that mean?

I grew up in the nineties, and when I was a kid, the internet was a dial-up connection. That meant if my mom was on the phone, you were not on the Internet anymore.

There were no real search engines. If you wanted to go on the Internet, you had to wait a long time. You could even make yourself a sandwich and come back to find that the Internet was still loading!

It was very different back then, but today we are all constantly connected. We live in a digital world that has become as valuable to us as our physical world.

This may sound crazy, but think about how much time we spend in front of a TV, a computer or our phone. How often do we meet in person only to check our phones?

That’s because we have enough value in those things to be just as real as our physical world.

Yet we need to think about this from an interpersonal perspective. Here is why. People do not go online to have a robot experience. They go online to enhance and improve their human experience.

And yet, so many of us who create content have created a divide between being really polished and looking really good.

People are not interested in that anymore. People are searching for themselves in this digital world. We need to make the connection from person to person.

With that in mind, I have a question for you. Would you listen to your own content? Would you read it? Would you even care about what you share? Think of a specific person and connect it all to your WHY.

Who do you want to reach and influence? It has to be another person. If it’s not, you are probably doing the whole thing wrong in the first place.

Here is a quick story that happened to me.
I had just joined Twitter, and yes, I know I am late, so I went straight to the hashtag section, typed in #podcastguesting and started scrolling through all the recommendations.

I just started scrolling because I wanted to see what people were sharing. I kept scrolling and did not want to stop until I came across a picture of a podcast guest and host laughing.

They were not even in the same place. You could tell it was Zoom because the picture was split down the middle. The caption read, “It was a great meeting and a really fruitful conversation.

I hope you’ll take a look.” That felt human to me. I had skimmed all the audiograms, high-quality videos and high-resolution images.

What gave me pause was two people laughing, enjoying themselves and writing a very human caption to go with it. I do not want to badmouth anyone’s content strategy, but do we really need to make audiograms that do not feel human?

To take it a step further: As a podcast guest, I typically only share the content that a podcast host provides me. And I can tell you that I do not have much success with that.

So I am not really helping the host by sharing it. I know that hosts think it’s going to do a lot, but it’s not, because the content is too polished. People know that I am basically just sharing an ad, give or take.

One day I decided to take a selfie with my wife’s phone. In the picture, I held my phone close to my face and you could clearly see me on the cover of a podcast.

Then I simply wrote a caption, “I was so honored to be on this show. I really enjoyed the conversation. It was a really insightful conversation.

I did not say listen to the whole episode here or go there to do that.

People are smart and can look it up for themselves. The response to that post was 30 times higher compared to any other podcast I have ever been a guest on.

Even today, people comment, “Hey, I saw that picture and looked it up on the podcast.

People are looking for a person-to-person perspective. It’s so important for us to understand the interpersonal aspect of everything we do.

The most important thing we can do on both sides of the microphone is to think about all the assets and everything we have to do with them and make sure it’s all a human experience for people.

Step 3: Avoid Shiny Objects

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I call these traps for content creators. When I was blogging, these traps were everywhere. They exist in podcasting, YouTube, and so on. All these new tools are coming out every day.

How many times have you been told, “You need to try this new tool. It’s going to be amazing for you.”

We can get trapped in that forever. I personally know people who are constantly trying to implement new things. They always put so much effort into it and get almost no results.

They are always stressed because they always have 30 things on their to-do list to check or try out.

So many of us get stuck in this situation.

Just because a tool exists doesn’t mean you have to use it. Just because it’s free does not mean you have to sign up.

You need to think about everything you use and ask yourself, “Does it advance the human experience? Is it helping me or creating more friction? ”

With that in mind, I’d like to share my experience of how I overcame this trap of shiny objects.

My answer to anyone who offers me something new is always No. Unless it’s on a list of things I need to make my life simpler. For example, when we were developing PodMatch, there was a real friction point that I validated myself.

I did not want to mess with social media anymore. That was not a fun thing to do. Even though there are all these tools that promise to help you reach 10,000 people a day on LinkedIn, it did not really solve my problem.

I did not want to send more messages. I wanted a solution that would help me bring guests and hosts together. When we developed PodcastSOP to simplify the process of producing a podcast episode and getting it out on time, we did that to remove friction.

We did not say, “Hey, this project management software has new plugins that you can use to tie this or that together and make it easier.

I do not want to spend weeks learning and figuring that out. I just wanted a simple solution for today.

Too many of us jump into this, “Oh, everyone is doing this now”. For example, I can not count how many smart people have asked me to join TikTok, and I have nothing against TikTok. It’s probably powerful.

But I still say no. And I do not claim to be smarter than them. They could be right. And I am probably leaving something on the table.

But the effort I have to put into it is not worth the reward I get.

I say that because I already know what TikTok is. I know that I do not want to create that kind of content. I do not have the capacity for it, so I will not enjoy it. My why is not directly related to it.

That means I have to step back from this so I can make this happen and get a little bit more attention, right? It’s not worth it.

If you really know your Why and have that interpersonal perspective, you’ll have a much easier time avoiding shiny things.

Step 4: Planning for Longevity

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If you are thinking about removing the friction so you can have longevity in your podcast, ask yourself these questions.
What do I enjoy the least?

For example, if you are a podcast guest and you say, “I hate the pre-interview calls and onboarding forms,” then it’s good that PodMatch lets you see if a host requires those things.

You shouldn’t go on a podcast if they’re going to ask you for those things. Don’t do it. On the other hand, if you are a podcast host, you may hate sharing on Instagram because it’s not your favorite platform. Stop it, just do not do it anymore.

I do not think it hurts your podcast too much if you leave one thing out, because we already do so many things.
Maybe there are some things that you do not necessarily hate or dislike, but they take up a lot of time.

For me, that was editing. I had to leave that to someone on my team, and they do a better job than I do, which is amazing.

It was one of the things I enjoyed doing, but it took up so much time and caused friction in my life.

Think about the things that take you the longest, even if you enjoy them, find someone else to do them. As I always say, Automate, Delegate or Eliminate.

Moving on: what do you enjoy the most? Do you enjoy doing the interview?

If so, maybe add another day to your show. Remember, as I said earlier if it takes too long to edit, delegate or eliminate it so you can do more of what you enjoy.

Think about what you enjoy the most and try to maximize that, because that experience is most closely related to your actual life. You should do as much of that as possible.

Step 5: Be Yourself

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One problem I find with both podcast guests and hosts is that everyone thinks they have to be the ultimate expert. They have to know everything. The truth is that people do not connect well with someone who knows everything.

We are not interested in knowing the smartest person in the world.

What I am interested in is finding another person who is going on a journey and getting better along the way. That’s the person I want to be friends with.

At this moment, I am thinking about a podcast I started listening to four or five years ago.

The host never once claimed to know everything. I could even hear this person’s evolution over a three-year period, which I thought was amazing.

This person put into practice what they learned and referenced back to it while talking about their development. It made me feel like I was on a journey with the host. Sometimes he had guests over who were clearly considered know-it-alls.

The thing is: I learned the least from those people.

But when he had a guest over who said, “This is fascinating. I never looked at it from that perspective. When did you learn that?”

I thought to myself, “Man, I like that person too. Do they have a podcast?” I wanted to listen to them, too, because I can relate to people who are on a similar journey as me.

If you can just be yourself, honest, transparent, people can relate to that. That should really be reflected in everything you do.

A Quick Recap

  1. Revisit your Why
  2. Gain a human-to-human perspective
  3. Avoid the shiny objects
  4. Plan for longevity
  5. Be yourself

If you do these five things on either side of the mic, you can really do well in podcasting


About Alex Sanfilippo

Alex Sanfilippo is the host of the top-rated podcast called Podcasting Made Simple. He is also the founder of PodPros.com, a software company focused specifically on the podcasting industry. Alex and his team have created popular services like PodMatch, a service that matches podcast guests and hosts together for interviews, and PodcastSOP, a project management tool that helps podcasters keep up with their episode releases.