Contrary to popular belief, there is no magic bullet to having a successful podcast. You can only take the lessons learned by previous podcasters and stand on their shoulders.
There are apparently over 95% of podcasts out there that are either inactive or are not fulfilling their primary purpose. That purpose could’ve been monetary or otherwise. A lot of us podcasters will have you believe that a podcast will solve all your marketing problems. All your networking problems, as well as your advertising problems. This isn’t always the case.
The intention of this article is for me to remove my “I love podcasting” hat and put on my “what should you know about podcasting that no one is telling you” hat.
I believe that there are 7 main things that no podcast trainer, coach or program is telling you. Well not directly anyway. I don’t think it is malicious in every instance, but it is because they think that it might put you off the idea of podcasting.
The reason I say this is because I did not write this article or address these points for these reasons. I felt like some of you that could benefit from having a podcast, might be discouraged because of these 7 points. However, I have to accept that these things are true and that it is my job to be absolutely clear and honest with you. So, here they are:
The time variable
Accounting only for the time to record a show is dangerous. You will require to set time aside to create the concept of each episode or research the guest you will be interviewing. You will also need to set time aside to produce the episode and add the intros and outros to your show so that it sounds great.
Apart from that, you will need individual episode graphics and show-notes done, along with having all the list of resources that were mentioned on the recording so that your listener can get all those links when they visit your website.
To get more out of every episode, you will also need to think about one call to action that will get your listener closer to becoming a customer. You should also contact your guest and let them know that their episode has been aired, apart from any social media marketing that will need to be done. I have to say that I am not the best at this.
There are ways around you spending your time on these tasks, but you should know they exist.
The technology complexity
If you aren’t very technically inclined, the hardware and software components might baffle you. You could be a technical person, like me, and still be baffled. Like when I was first starting out, it took me 2 and a half weeks to realise that my mixer wasn’t sending sound through to my recorder because 1 button was left pressed which shouldn’t have been. It was very frustrating.
In some instances, I’ve noticed some of the people going through the learning process of creating a podcast, struggle at the stage when they record. The waveforms seem to be too complex to assimilate almost immediately.
And, even though most of us worry about this the most, none of these technology issues are big obstacles because, once you understand how the different components talk to each other, it is pretty much a set-and-forget exercise.
The consistency habit
As a podcaster, blogger, video person your job is to create content continuously. When life gets in the way, what we tend to do is let go of the task that we think isn’t delivering an ROI immediately. This is a mistake, because think about your favourite TV series. If they missed a couple of weeks randomly, would you lose interest? I’m not sure. I might. Also, if you aren’t engaging with your content the chances of your listeners coming back are not very high.
You need to keep them engaged through consistent content because there are a lot of options out there for them to change and switch to.
The post-interview struggle
This post-interview period is the most dreaded amongst podcasters. In fact, it is the most common thing I hear when I interview podcasters on Should I Start A Podcast. When I ask a guest about the disadvantages of creating a podcast, this one always comes up.
As podcasters, we love the interview. We love connecting with the person we are talking to. But, we hate the idea of putting it all together and creating show-notes, then letting the guest know that the show has gone live. We would like it to just get done.
This took me over 16 months to get right. There are still times that we don’t get it right as a team and I have to step in. But on most instances, as of today, I only record the interview and everything else just happens because of the systems and procedures we have in place.
That is why I can release 3 episodes a week on 2 different podcasts.
The marketing imperative
The biggest myth around podcasting is that all your energy needs to go into getting the most famous guests. And once you have published those famous episodes, you will get famous. NOT TRUE.
In fact, this is the furthermost from the truth. There is the 80-20 rule of podcasting. That is, you have to spend 20% of your time on creating your content and 80% of your time marketing that content. If you don’t do that, your podcast will not get the traction it deserves.
Luckily, there are ways to shortcut your way through the marketing initiative. With the right systems and templates, you can get your marketing to return a very high yield.
The lack of leverage
You need to know why you are creating your podcast. You need to spend the time to understand how it is going to benefit you, your business and your goals. Failing which, you won’t know how to leverage the wonderful content you’ve just created.
If you don’t know what your episode’s call to action will be, then even your listeners won’t know what to do once they’ve finished listening. Now think about all the time and effort you’ve put into creating this content, with nothing to show for it.
After enough episodes, you might feel like the whole podcast escapade was a waste of time. And, I don’t want you to be in a place of regret.
The ROI measurement
The common question I get asked all the time is “Ronsley, podcasting is great, but how do you make money from a podcast.” And, while that is a very brilliant question and one that needs to be addressed, I think that the ROI of a podcast can’t be measured by money alone.
This is why when you ask a podcaster this question, some of us give you a very vague response. We don’t like to be asked this question. We feel like we get so much from the podcast platform that money shouldn’t be the first question you ask us.
When you have a podcast, the connections you create with your guests and your listeners are second to none. There is no medium that can replace that connection, and there is no way that that connection can be measured in money.
With all this information, I hope I have not discouraged you from this wonderful medium. But, hopefully, I have opened your eyes to the reality of what it takes each and every one of us to put out an episode. I would like you to appreciate the effort that goes into the whole process. And, it is totally worth it.
This is a learning curve, and you need to have the right people around you to make things easier. You can’t rock up to the shores of a beach, never having surfed before, and expect to ride a wave like a pro. It all takes time. And you need to appreciate the journey. Because, that surfer, that can ride the wave so easily, fell off their board more times than they can remember.
What do you think? Do you have an opinion? Have I missed something?