8 min read
Two weeks after moving to a new city as a fresh college graduate, I felt the first emotions of loneliness.
I began to think maybe moving to a new city, hundreds of miles away from home, not knowing a soul wasn’t such a great idea. But then I found the beautiful world of podcasts.
In my search for community in a new city, I found an ample community in the online world through podcasts. I couldn’t listen to enough of them! At the gym, in the shower, in the car, and even while cooking dinner.
I was hooked.
One podcast in particular that really shaped my entrepreneurial journey is The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes. His guests come from a wide array of industries and backgrounds and share their journey to greatness. This wisdom and insights from some of the most talented people in the world pushed me to think bigger and grow my mind. And because of this, The School of Greatness podcast changed my life.
As I started to ramp up my own blog and online brand, I started to daydream about starting my own podcast. If one podcast could change my life, what if I could create a podcast that would have the power to do the same for someone else?
So I took the leap, created a podcast logo, bought my equipement, and went through John Lee Dumas’s free podcast e-course. My podcast would be called The Laptop Lifestyle, where I would interview successful online entrepreneurs from all backgrounds on how they’ve built thriving online communities and businesses.
And then I sat on it all for about eight months. Scared to start. Scared to fail.
Finally enough time passed and I had told so many people I was “starting” a podcast, that one of my dear friends pushed back. They asked, “When are you finally going to stop talking about it and just start it?” It was just the kick in the pants I needed. So I set an launch date and created a plan.
I’m sure you’re reading this right now thinking, “Why should I start a podcast? How will it help my business? What if no one listens in and I feel like a failure?”
I hear you! I asked myself those same questions before I started The Laptop Lifestyle. So let’s walk through these fears together so you can get past them.
This might sound cliche, but there really is only one you in the world. No one has your life experience or your personal outlook on life. And no one has your mojo. Think of mojo as something only YOU can bring to the table.
An important factor in protecting your mojo is to never consume more than you create. Focus on your vision and core mission for creating. Use this as your true north and don’t let over-consumption from everyone else on the Internet keep you from creating your best work.
If starting a podcast is a goal of yours, do it. Focus on your mojo and how much your community needs what you can give.
Here are a few reasons why you should start a podcast:
There is something special about hearing someone’s voice as they empower you to take the next steps in your life or business. You begin to feel personally connected to them as they interview others and share more of their story.
A personal connection begins to form as you tune in and listen to someone’s outlook. It blows my mind the amount of emails or direct messages on Instagram that I get from complete strangers who listen to my podcast and the common thread they’ve shared with me is, “I feel like I know you and that we would be friends in real life.” How cool is that? All from a podcast. You can build this same online relationship with your audience.
People are busy and prone to distractions. Creating content that is easy to consume on the go is critical to staying in front of your audience. Podcasts are convenient to listen to in the car, at the gym, or even while you’re getting ready in the morning.
Plus, 85% of podcast listeners listen to all (or most of) a podcast. That means that once someone starts one of your podcasts, they more than likely finish the whole thing! Think of the opportunity there! People are less likely to read every word of your sales email or like your social media posts, but they will listen to almost all of your podcast episode. Sounds like a great opportunity to build a captive audience!
This one is a natural byproduct of hosting a podcast. The more people listen in and you build trust with them, your community now sees you as an authority in your industry. The more you are seen as an influencer and thought leader, the more opportunities will come your way. With opportunity and exposure, comes more product purchases, which grows your impact.
See what just happened there? It’s a beautiful chain reaction that all comes from starting a simple podcast. Have I convinced you yet?
At this point you might be thinking, “I’m scared to start because what if I fail? What if no one tunes in? What if I sound ridiculous and feel like the kid that no one wants to eat lunch with in the elementary lunch room?”
The truth is, you will feel all of these things. And more most likely. But we don’t have time to think like this– it’s negative and it will get you nowhere. It’s natural, so don’t judge yourself as you feel these emotions and ask yourself these questions. However, you can’t stay in this state of mind. It will paralyze your progress and stunt your growth.
I sat on my podcast idea for eight whole months because I was scared to put myself out there on the Internet. Something that helped with this was focusing on positive self-talk and setting realistic expectations.
I am not an Internet unicorn. I didn’t get 10,000 downloads on my first episode and I still don’t have big sponsors (this is a personal choice). My personal goal was to get 100 downloads on my first podcast episode. It felt attainable, and I wanted to set a goal that was far enough from reach to push myself but also close enough to achieve. And when I pictured 100 people in a room with me on the stage interviewing a guest, it felt like a good number.
How many podcast downloads would you like to get on your first episode? Or if you’ve already launched, what is a number that feels like a good goal? Now picture that number of people in a room. Powerful, right? Doing the mental exercise above adds the humanity back into our number crunching as we set goals.
Bottom line– being scared is okay. Use that fear or insecurity as fuel to push you into action.
You can do this.
You don’t have to have it all figured out right when you start. You don’t need the best, high-tech equipment, the devoted listeners, or even the experience.
As you get started with podcasting or even if you are reevaluating your current podcast, start small and keep it simple. Here are a few tools that have made my podcasting journey extremely easy:
Putting yourself out there is scary. And it can be even more scary to do so on the Internet because it feels permanent. I get it.
But this could be the first step toward building a strong brand and engaged audience.
So I challenge you to start thinking about your podcast as a way to serve your community instead of making it be this perfect representation of who you are. Start to think about a podcast name. Write down all the characteristics of your ideal listener. And start each day thinking of just one single step you can take toward creating the podcast you’ve dreamed of.
Download this issue of Tradecraft as a PDF to read and reference at your own pace.