Welcome to another episode of I’d Podcast That. This is Brian Colburn, your host. And today we’re going to talk about why podcasts fail.
Once the thought enters your head, I’ve got a great idea for a podcast. That’s when you’re going to choose a path. Go grab a media host, buy a microphone, start recording and figure it out as you go. Or take a step back, make that right turn and let’s do some planning.
You know, I’m big on planning. The more thorough your plan is, the better time you’re going to have recording your podcasts. And the more successful it’s going to be. Because you’ve put a lot of that hard work in, before you have even uploaded your first show.
When it comes to planning, start with the end in mind. Where do you see your show in 5 years? That’s right, 5 years, 260 episodes later and work backwards.
Do you intend on having digital products to sell? Do you intend on having physical products to sell? Well, if that’s the end game, when you start setting things up for your show, you can set things up with that in mind. ie does your web theme, say you’re using WordPress or Squarespace or Wix. Does it support digital sale? Does it support the sale of physical products? Is it easy to integrate an email list. So you can start gathering those emails of your potential customers. And those are the types of things I want you to think about, as far as that five years ahead, Episode 260.
So, you’ve got a great idea. Again, time to start planning. What niche are you going to fill? How many podcasts are in that niche right now? How many have you listened to? What keywords are those shows utilizing to position themselves? Do a little keyword research off the keywords they’re using and see how it helps and slash or hurts them.
One important thing is, be you. You are who you are and if you try to come across as somebody else on your show, then it’s eventually going to break down. And it’s not gonna serve you well. So, be you. Not everyone’s gonna like you. Not everyone’s going to love you. You don’t need the entire market within your niche, to have a successful show. So don’t worry about pleasing everybody, it’s impossible. You’re not going to do it. No one’s going to do it. Gary Vee, he’s a take it or leave it or leave it kind of guy for me. I subscribe and consume his content for a little while and then I need to take a break. Uh, he’s a little too over the top for me, most of the time. However, he has a lot of good information that he’s just feeding out . Pat Flynn, on the other hand, I consume everything that that guy puts out and I do it with a smile on my face.
So again, not everybody is gonna like you, love ya. A lot of those that can’t stand you, you’re never even going to hear from them. They’re not even going to take the time to leave a negative review. And when it comes to negative reviews, think about your trolls. How you’re gonna handle them. Put a plan together. I kill them with kindness. I know I’m not for everybody, so be it. If you want to take the time out of your life to leave me a negative review because you don’t like my position, what I’m saying, how I’m saying it, rock on with your bad self. One of the things I think people fail to realize is how much time it takes to create a show, to record, edit episodes, build show notes, links, transcribe, if you’re going to provide a transcription. It does take some time. In the beginning, it’s going to take more time than you know, five episodes in, 10 episodes in. You’re going to get better at it. You’re going to find better technologies. You will get faster. But in the beginning it’s going to be a slow process.
Checklists are extremely valuable. I’m working on one so people can download. But there’s a multitude of how to start a podcast checklists out on the Internet. A quick Google search, you’ll find a probably more than you need and slash or want.
Plan the time. When are you going to work on your show? In the beginning, 4 hours and episode, I think is a realistic time. And that say you know, a 30 minute episode. And there’s a little normalcy bias there, because when I started working on the first podcast I was involved in, I had experienced with audio editing and software and uploading and FTP. So my opinion may be a little bias. However, plan on a good four hours for 30 minutes show. We’ll see how accurate I am. Leave me some comments on I’dPodcastThat.com, episode 6 and let me know what your time frame is where when you first started.
Speaking of time and time commitment, practice. Practice reading aloud. I’ve said that before, 10 minutes a day. Grab whatever you can and read aloud. And listen to yourself as you read aloud. If you’re going to do something different, say you’re moving from talking head like this show right now into an interview format. Then practice interviewing. Call up your friends that owe you one, buy him a beer. Do whatever you need to do so they’ll let you practice interviewing them. And record that interview. And practice the editing. And see what it’s like recording audio on multitrack and editing multiple tracks. So, the more involved your show is, the more time it’s going to take. And practicing that before you go live or do it for the first time is going to benefit you in the long run.
Equipment. You know, I’m not a big techie guy, so the mic I’m using as a CAD 1, I believe. I also use a Road Pro Video mic on my cell phone. And I have a little $50 lapel mic from Best Buy. And my buddy let me borrow his HN4. So, when I get a couple of microphones I can plug into that HN4 I’m going to start playing with that. But, when you get started, start off with the bare bones. Just in case this doesn’t work out for you. You didn’t invest a lot of money.
There’s a lot of great recommendations for microphones on the Internet. Again, I’m not the techie guy. I do anticipate in the future upgrading my microphone, however it works well. I think it sounds well, so I’m going to add other things before I add or upgrade my microphone. Like a mixing board and things of that nature. Plan on budgeting out some money and upgrading equipment as time goes by so you can improve the quality of your show.
The next big thing I think that hurts a lot of shows is consistency. Once you start and you say, this is a weekly show, your audience is going to expect something weekly. I started following Dan Mace on YouTube, who has a weekly Vlog. And every Wednesday I anticipate a new video. And he’s fallen short a couple of times due to the complexity of his video making and/or a recent injury. However, I’m kind of bummed when it’s not there. So, if you say weekly, do weekly.
Biggest tip I can give you there is create multiple shows in advance and/or have a few evergreen shows that you can release at anytime. This way, if you fall short recording one week, you have a show that’s already in the can that you can put in place. Or if you’re recording 5-6 weeks ahead, like I have a lot of my customers do, then if you get sick, if you have to travel, your computer fails and it’s gonna be a few days, you’re not gonna miss an episode. You’re still going to be able to get your content out on a weekly basis because that’s what you told your audience you would do. When it comes to consistency. Plan ahead, record ahead, have some shows in the can and ready to go.
I just spoke about quality. So, I engineered I’d Podcast That pretty bare bones out of the gate. And I’m slowly working on improving the quality. My goal is 2-3 percent improvement, every single episode. Whether it be content, audio quality, intro, outro, music, intro, outro being introduced to you guys. Um, those are all things I’ve planned out. And every episode I’m hoping you’re hearing the gifts of my efforts and things are getting a little better. I believe they are. And there’s still a lot more to come. 2-3 percent, better if you can consistently on that and keep that in the back of your mind when you’re putting a show together. It’s gonna pay off dividends in the future. And that’s all you need, 2-3 percent better than the last episode. And you’ll be surprised at the results that that gets you.
Um, having a growth plan. A lot of people are like, hey, I want to podcast. I bought a media hosting account. Bought a microphone and I’m going to do this. And they don’t think about, well, how are they going to market their show? How are they going to get it out to the world? Obviously you can submit your RSS to iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio. However, what about a social media page to support your show? To provide discovery for potential listeners, so they can get to your show? You know, not all podcasts, in my opinion, need a website. It depends on what their goals are in that 5 years. And if you don’t need a website, awesome, that’s less time and it’s less money out of your pocket.
You can get by with a few social media accounts. Say, maybe a Twitter and a Facebook and a Facebook group for that Facebook page. Um, and your media account. And you’ll be able to accomplish what you need to accomplish within that. Maybe it’s your podcast, a Patreon page, and a social media account to drive people to Patreon and you’re using Patreon as a hub and slash or your Facebook page. So, in my opinion, not every podcast needs a website. But again, it depends on what you want to achieve with your show. And if in 5 years you think you need a website, then secure that domain name right now, when you create your show. You don’t have to build it out. You can redirect that URL to your Facebook page. In the meantime, engage with your fan base on Facebook. When you’re ready to launch your web, you can do it at that time, in the future when it makes most sense for your planning purposes.
One thing, um, if you choose not to have a website, you can still start growing an email list from day one. I use MailChimp. I enjoy MailChimp. I enjoy the service that they give me, for free. I can have 2000 people on my list without paying them. And I think that’s an awesome, awesome plan. So, with that Mailchimp email list or constant contact or you name the others, and none of these are sponsored ads. Um, I happen to use mail champ and recommend MailChimp because of the service that they offer. You can embed a signup form on your Facebook page and you can create posts to drive people to that sign-up page. You can create a free giveaway to drive people to that sign-up page and start obtaining email addresses now. Long before you even launch a website.
That’s one of the things when it comes to planning. If you’re thinking 5 years ahead and you know you want a substantial email list to market to. Then you can start building that list from day one, for free. Which is even best.
Staying organized, keeping meticulous notes in some form for every episode that you produce that searchable is very, very important. Because com episode 72, you’re not going to remember who your guests was on episode seven. So you need some documentation that you can easily search that will give you that information at hand.
If you want to provide links for related shows to the episode that you’re publishing right now. You’re going to want some searchable form to go back to and find those links easily. I use Airtable. The last episode was about AirTable. You can get a copy to the base that I utilize. It’s free, so I’ll link to that in the show notes below.
Or you can just search episode 5 or go to I’dPodcastThat.com/episodes/ep5 and learn all about Airtable. And get that link to the base that I use to plan my episodes. You can copy it to your own account, so nothing shared with me or the audience. But it’s a great tool and easy to collaborate with other people, as well. Keep meticulous notes in some form that’s easily searchable. It’s going to make recall that much easier for you and save you a lot of time.
I think that about wraps it up for episode 6 and why podcasts fail. These are a few things that if you do from the get go, you’re going to have a much better time producing your show. And you’re going to set yourself up for success in the long run. If you have any questions about this or concerns, you can reach me on Facebook. The Facebook pages, I’d Podcast That. I’m on Twitter at I’d Podcast That, as well. Or I’ve got a contact form on I’dPodcastThat.com. Until next time. Talk soon.
Links to Resources and Information
Airtable Podcast Planning Base https://bit.ly/2MgjIIN
The Airtable & Dropbox links are not an affiliate link, however I will receive a $10 credit to the Airtable platform and a little free storage from Dropbox if you use this link and create an account.