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Why You Need to Shift From Quantity to Quality in Podcasting
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As podcast guests and hosts, we’re all looking for a way to stay relevant and get ahead with our content. As we attempt to achieve this goal, we’ve neglected what will ultimately lead to our success. In this session, Alex Sanfilippo shares why it’s time for a paradigm shift in our approach to content. Instead of focusing on quantity, it’s time to do less and ensure it’s of the highest possible quality. Get ready to learn how to rise above the noise in podcasting and skyrocket your impact and influence!
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More than ever in podcasting, on either side of the mic, as a guest or host, we see this desire for more come into play. Here’s the thing: we want to release more episodes if we’re a host. If we’re a guest, we want to be a guest on more podcasts. The mentality is always more, more. We have this quantity mindset. But here’s the problem with the quantity or more: it doesn’t take the most important success factor of podcasting, or all content creation for that matter, into consideration, which is this one thing: quality. We have this quantity-first mentality, but if we shift our focus to quality over quantity, our results would drastically increase.
4 Main Points from Alex Sanfilippo
1. Quality Focus Over Quantity: Prioritize high-quality podcast content for ultimate success and impact.
2. Analogies for Excellence: Learn from limited production models, aiming for top-tier podcast quality.
3. Consistency and Sustainability: Determine a consistent, sustainable podcast production rate for enduring quality.
4. Indicators of Quality: Articulate pain points, active sharing, and positive listener engagement indicators.
Quality Focus Over Quantity
My name is Alex Sanfilippo. I am so excited that you’re here today because I will dive into how we can shift this mindset away from quantity and focus more on quality and what that will ultimately do for each of us as creators, again, on either side of the mic as podcasters specifically.
First, I want to jump into this because the first place we’ve seen this is at the forefront of the creator economy, where social media runs the game. That’s our standard for almost everything. As bad as that is, that is the reality of it right now. And we’ve been sold for years. If you want to make it on social media, it’s more. But here’s the thing: we’re starting to see a shift away from that. And don’t take my word for that because I am unlike the world’s most excellent marketer. However, a fellow PodMatch Elite Mastermind member, Katie Brinkley, is a leading marketing and social media expert. And she is seeing a massive shift in the data away from this quantity mindset and into a quality mindset.
What the algorithms are starting to favor more is high-quality content. And it has sometimes been different. It’s always been like more and more and more and more. The more you do, the more you get favored, right? But now it is; the better it is, the more it gets favored. And some people have figured out how to do both. I won’t get too deep into that today because that looks overwhelming for many of us.
“What the algorithms are starting to favor more is high-quality content.” – Alex Sanfilippo
Analogies for Excellence
What’s better is to say I can do well with a little, and maybe I’ll eventually add more. First is saying I will do more; hopefully, it’ll improve over time. We’ve got to shift this mindset because we already see that happen in social media. So, let’s get to the forefront of this thing and focus on it. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I keep thinking about this story. I’m a car guy.
The Car Analogy
I would hate to go park somewhere, and someone opened it. You’re driving a million-dollar car, and someone opens their door on it. It gets a ding in it. When you’re driving a Honda Civic, I can get that fixed, but when it’s a million-dollar car. You’re like, no. So, I’m not saying it’s for me, but I love cars.
And so I’m thinking of McLaren, which I need to find the exact numbers. I don’t know if they post them, but they make 5,000 vehicles yearly. It’s not a whole lot. If you think about it, it’s only 5,000, but here’s the thing. That’s considered the top of the top. That’s one of the best vehicles that is made every single year. And those cars, some of them cost millions of dollars. Here’s the thing. They might not be making 5,000, but they are the absolute pinnacle. They are the top versus other vehicles where hundreds of thousands and millions are being made yearly, right? There are other models of vehicles that are much lower tier, and nothing is against those. I do not have a car as I drive. However, you get what you pay for.
And here’s the thing with our content: we don’t want to be the one producing millions of things that are, eh, just okay. We want to be in that 5,000 range, that if you will, McLaren mindset being like, oh, this is the best, this is the pinnacle. This is why you should listen to this podcast guest whenever they release a new episode, whether on the show or this host. We want to think of it that way.
“And here’s the thing with our content: we don’t want to be the one producing millions of things that are, eh, just okay.” – Alex Sanfilippo
The Stairs Analogy
And to keep this story idea, I want to share something from years ago. At one point, my family bought a beach condo in Ormond Beach. They sold it. I’m still super bitter about it years later. Sorry, Mom and Dad, I wish that wouldn’t have happened. However, I remember whenever I’d go down there for a weekend vacation. It was on the 14th floor of the building. I liked to take the stairs for some reason. It’s because I never lived in something like that or had that opportunity.
I made a point very early on to take the stairs instead of the elevators, which they did have, and the rest of the family, including Alecia, would take the elevator, and I’d be 10 minutes behind them. Sweating, right? At least, that’s how it was at first. And it’s funny because over months of doing this, and it wasn’t every day, keep in mind, but regularly, I go over there. I started being quick and efficient on the stairs. I get up to that 14th floor, and my family is like, you’re barely even breathing hard. That’s wild. Then, I did it with friends.
And I got up there, and I’m not exaggerating. I was waiting like five minutes for me to get to the top. And they’re like dead when I get up there. And I was like, oh yeah, that was me at one point, right? You just got used to it. Again, I’m sad that that’s gone. My legs are not as strong as they were because of that. But here’s the thing. I want to mention this and relate this to podcasting now. Podcasting is like taking the stairs, not the elevator. Yes, it takes longer, but is it worth it for the strength you gain? Absolutely.
Nobody ever developed more muscular legs by taking the elevator. You gain that by taking the stairs. It takes longer. It’s not as enjoyable of a ride, right? Cause you’re doing the work, but the truth is it makes you stronger. We all have to think about this type of thing when we’re podcast guests or hosts, and here’s how I want to position it. You may ask me, Alex, how many episodes I should release. Or Alex, how many episodes should I be a guest on? And I want us to think about it.
How the Car and Stairs Analogy Relate to Podcasting
I want us to think about it this way: how many can you do? How many can you do without taking even the slightest hit on the quality? When the actual quantity starts affecting the quality, you know you’ve broken the threshold. So again, we want to figure out how to say, you know what my quality takes. No, no damage happens to my quality. If I pass this number, I can do well. A great example of this is at one point when I was heavy on the podcast, guesting side of things.
“When the actual quantity starts affecting the quality, you know you’ve broken the threshold.” – Alex Sanfilippo
I was doing three a day sometimes. And I realized I’m so sorry if you’re from my third guesting slot in a day. The quality I could deliver that third time could have been better than the first or second. I also realized that I communicate less well when I do them early in the morning. My brain hasn’t had time to move. And so I figured those things out, and I realized, you know what, I’m only capable of doing one a day; I’ll go ahead and admit that, and it needs to be within this particular time block.
When I’m at my freshest, I want to bring my best. And the other thing is I wanted to do only one a week. I would remember what I just shared, and I’d almost be too repetitive versus really showing up now. Now, you have a bigger capacity for that. And I’m sure that many of you do, and that’s fine. So you’re like, I can do ten a day. And if that’s the case, go for it. That is way too much. Right. That will bring me straight to my next point. So, I found one a week was my sweet spot, a particular time of day. That’s when I showed my best for the host I would be with.
Consistency and Sustainability
Same on the side of me being the host, same thing, right? I’m recording this in my prime time hours. Let’s put it that way: not early in the morning or late at night when I’m not at my best. But I also wanted to mention how to think about this. Do you want to do what you can consistently on a long-term basis?? What I mean by that is if you’re like, Alex, I can record ten episodes daily. If I ask you this question: okay, ten episodes a day, can you do that for the next five years straight? If you’re like, no, no way.
Here’s the thing that means you’re doing too much. That’s what we have to be able to do, so what I want to do is give up a couple of tangible things. Here are some practical takeaways. I’m first going to share that I’ve got these things written down to the one extra. I get them all here, but the first one is how to shift your focus away from quantity to quality.
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Realign to Your Why
Number one is to realign to your why. Realign to your why. If you have ever heard me speak, you have heard me bring up your why at one point or another. And I always do this because it is so important. So please don’t be like, ah, here goes Alex again. No, no, stop. Stop. Get pen and paper. Get away from the computer. Pause this if you have to. Realize why you’re doing what you do because that will always bring you back to the quality versus quantity mindset. None of us got into this to be like, I’m going to do everything. No, we got into it because we had something specific we wanted to do, and someone hopefully wanted to serve with it.
Who Do You Serve?
And that brings my second point here. The second way to shift from quality or sorry from quantity to quality is to consider who you serve. Realign to your why and, simultaneously, think about who you serve. Who are you there for, and what quality do you feel you owe that person? Get someone specific in your mind, even if it’s a fictitious character like an avatar or ideal listener, right? And that applies to either side of the mic as the guest or the host. Think about who you’re serving.
Next, I want to mention how to shift this mentality to get around like-minded, quality-first creators. Join a podcast community. I always speak about community, right? If you’re listening to this, hopefully, you’re somewhere in the PodMatch ecosystem or checking out Podcasting Made Simple, but regardless, make sure that you’re in the community with other like-minded, quality-first creators.
Not getting around like the quantity bros is all. I just made that up, but that sounds cool, right? Go for something other than the quality bros, and let’s make more and more and more. No, no, let’s get better and better and better. Even if that means doing a little bit less, get into the community with like-minded people because we are who we hang out with. The next thing I already mentioned, but again, I want to return to it, was essential. So, I wrote this down a couple of times, but make sure you stay consistent.
What is Your 5-Year Idea?
Think about that five-year idea again, right? What can you consistently do for five years? There are a lot of times when I ask people like, hey, do you think you can podcast for the next five years straight? And they’re like, I don’t think so. That seems like too much, right? That means they need to do more. They have not been able to adapt it to their lifestyle. They’ve not been able to say, I can do this well. Sure, it’s not a whole lot, but this is what I can do.
For me, at one point, when I first got into my first quote-unquote actual podcast, this was many years ago, but I can commit to one episode a month, one episode a month. But guess what? It was always an excellent episode. You can go back and listen to them. At that point, you go back and listen to all of them. They were all high quality. I never felt like there was anything I let out that wasn’t. Good. But I knew that’s all I could do at that point.
If I went bi-weekly or something like that, my quality would drop. So again, stay consistent; think about what you can do for the next five years. The next thing you should do is think about it this way: is there enough content to repurpose for a long time? Can you break your podcast into blog posts, shorts, and different things? I’m not telling you to do a bunch of that, but could you?
“So again, stay consistent; think about what you can do for the next five years..” – Alex Sanfilippo
Is there enough meat to make it worthwhile to do that? I was recently on a podcast, and the guy broke the episode. I’m not trying to toot my horn here, but the guy broke what I said. And it was like 20 different clips. And I started listening to them. They’re all super good. And that’s not to say, Oh, Alex spoke well. It’s more so the questions the host was asking me were good. And so I started sharing them all over the place. I’m like, man, I talked for about 20 minutes, and I’ve got 20 different things to share in that time. Right.
That’s what you want to be able to do: okay, there’s a lot here. How to know if you’re, by the way, and if you’re not necessarily doing the right way is if you’re like, ah, there was only one thing I could share in a little snippet out of that entire episode. It could be of a much higher quality. So you want to be able to find those little things. I am not necessarily telling you to make hundreds of clips and shorts and repurpose them to death, right? But do something and try to figure out if there is enough meat here. I could break this down if I wanted to. So keep that in mind.
Indicators of Quality
I want a shift gear here, and this is where I’ll land this thing. And I’m hoping you’re taking notes here because this is the part you want to focus on. This is how to know if you’re getting your quality right. I want to talk about how to know if you’re getting the quality right. Here’s the first thing. You’re getting your quality right if you can articulate the pain point you solve for people who listen to your podcast. And I’ll add this in a very few words. So, can you articulate the pain point you’re solving for somebody?
“You’re getting your quality right if you can articulate the pain point you solve for people who listen to your podcast” – Alex Sanfilippo
Who listens to your podcast in just a few words? Many podcasters, unfortunately, are not able to do this. Who’s your podcast for? What is it doing for somebody? They go on this five-minute rant. And here’s the thing, like if it takes you five minutes to explain how you’re helping somebody, I don’t know, and I’ll do respect, I don’t know if you know what it is that you’re helping somebody with. So, my show is called Podcasting Made Simple. What is it that I help people do? What’s the pain point I’m solving? Taking the complexity out of podcasting, both for podcast guests and hosts.
What Problem Does Your Podcast Solve?
I know what it is that I solve with my content. Therefore, I can have higher quality content because I am so sure of what I deliver to people. Think about it this way. This is how you can know if you have high-quality content. And if you don’t feel like you know this, go back to your why, right? Start writing it down and figure out how to condense that in as few words as possible. The next thing here is, if you’re getting your quality right, ask yourself this question: is my podcast getting shared by people? I encourage you if you didn’t hear last time I did a solo talk,
Go over to podpros.com/250. Check it out later, but it’s me talking about the silver bullet for success in podcasting on either side of the mic and a Little hint here about what, like, spoiler if you will, it’s about your podcast getting shared So good that people can’t help but share it you’re getting your quality, right? If everyone on earth is like me, I have to share this. It’s the best. The next thing is, are you hearing from your listeners? If not, is that a red flag?
And here’s the thing, even if you’re like, I’m not right now. We’ll start reaching out first. Don’t just assume you’re not doing a good job. Start reaching out and talking to your listeners. They’ll tell you what they love and don’t and make adjustments based on what you hear from the people listening to your podcast. They have no real connection to it other than the fact that they found it. Right. And that’s an essential thing.
“Don’t just assume you’re not doing a good job. Start reaching out and talking to your listeners. They’ll tell you what they love and don’t and make adjustments based on what you hear from the people listening to your podcast.” – Alex Sanfilippo
The other thing is to make sure that you have a lot of things to share and continuously do that right. To share about your podcast. And I mean, by that, it is not just on social media, but in person. Do you have a lot to share about it? When you have golden nuggets coming out of your podcast. You want to be like, hang out with your family and friends, be like, oh, let me tell you what this person said. Let me listen to this for a second. Let me explain this real fast here. If you have much of that to do, you have some high-quality content. And the last thing I’ll share here is, if you need more clarification on this, there is a test specifically for podcast hosts. Sorry, podcast guests, we’re working on that. But if you go to start.podscore.io.
It’ll start giving you some ideas on implementing these things around this quality-first mentality that’ll help you grow your show and ensure that you’re doing a great job with it. We should view our podcast or podcast guesting as a precious metal. And what I mean by that is we put these things to the fire to remove all the imperfections, right? Let’s start thinking about our podcasting journey so that we can put it to the fire and see what’s there and what’s not there.
I wrote down this quote that I love, and it says that each person’s work becomes obvious when revealed by fire. The fire will test the quality of each person’s work. Are you willing to test the quality of your work? Will it withstand the fire when you put it in? Or how much is going to be left there? Do you start with a huge chunk that turns into something small you can barely see? That’s what we’re looking at regarding quality versus quantity first. I encourage you to get out there.
Start producing higher-quality content for the people you serve, and I promise you you’ll see even better results.
About Alex Sanfilippo
Alex Sanfilippo is the founder of PodMatch.com, a software that automatically matches podcast guests and hosts for interviews. Alex is also the host of the top-rated podcast, Podcasting Made Simple, and a lead educator in the podcasting industry. Alex’s sole focus is to serve independent podcast guests and hosts so they can grow their influence and revenue so they can better serve their listeners!
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