The Podhustle - Where to focus when you're out of time

In January I was fresh off my longest holiday in 20 years, just married and ready to take on 2018, perfect timing to be invited to talk a the Melbourne Podcasters first meetup event of 2018, all about how to podcast while working full time.

The event itself was great, and thanks must go to the Melbourne Podcasters crew and Adam from branded podcast agency Wavelength Creative for making everything run so smooth.

So, what (IMO) does it take to make an awesome podcast, when you are trying to make it all work while working full time?

Invest in community:

The reality is that podcasting can be a bit lonely, many hours spent lost in forums about garage band mixing techniques can be a isolating. One of the best things you can do is  go to some meetup events. You will get motivated by talking to others who are facing the same challenges you are, and start short cutting the hours of googling you can go down when trying to make sense of it all.

Define success:

Podcasting, like many creative pursuits, starts as something fun, maybe you’re a fan, maybe you just like tinkering, maybe you want to break into radio. Whatever you reason for starting, when things get moving, it’s easy to forget why you decided to make a podcast in the first place.

Some good success definitions that can work include:

  • I want to make a podcast
  • I want to make an impact on society
  • I want to help my business grow

But make it just for you, as this will be something you will need to focused on while you push to make something great.

Set a clear success metric:

Why have I separated these first two?

They can work together, or oppose each other if you’re not careful, this metric will be the measurable line in the sand that determines whether or not what you’re doing is working. Note, it can change over time, but it must always be void interpretation.

Let’s extend on our examples above:

Some good success definitions that can work including:

  • I want to make a podcast: Metric - I have a podcast people can listen to on itunes, yes or no.
  • I want to make an impact on society: Metric - People who listen to my podcast join my mailing list at 10% conversion, ie every 100 downloads sees 1 person join.
  • I want to help my business grow: Metric - My podcast creates 4 new opportunities a week for my business.

What’s important here is, if you are not seeing the needle move on your success metric, then keep evolving your show until it does.

Know your audience:

This is the hardest question, and something that can be really challenging for people to define early on. The faster you do it, the easier it will be to make a great show that connects.

Why is this important? The 100 decisions you have to make quickly become easy when you know this, questions like:

  • What colour scheme do I use?
  • What format should my show be in?
  • What guests do I have on?
  • Where do I promote?
  • What does my website look like?
  • What do my show notes look like?
  • What type of music do I use?

All become easier when you know who your show is for.

If you’re stuck, then start by making a show you would listen to, then define who you are. If I were to do this it would be - Mid 30s australian professionals who enjoy listening to podcasts while they commute as a source of news, insight and entertainment.

Iterate, Iterate, Iterate:

Don’t get bogged down in ‘perfect’ make a show, put it on soundcloud, and share it with people you know who may fit your target market. Then ask them a very simple question:

  1. What stood out?
  2. What would you change straight away?
  3. What would it take for you to share this with your friends?

100% don’t ask - what did you think? It’s to general and will create confusing feedback

200% don’t ask a loaded question - ‘Hey, I’ve spent 40 hours working on this podcast, I think it’s pretty amazing, but I want to hear what you think’

Ask these questions of more than five people, then double down on what they all consistently say.  Very often what they hear is different to what you hear, so instead of spending hours of your life removing your newly discovered verbal nods (ah ha) that no one else notices, you can get on with polishing up what you have that people like and fix want they see worth changing.

What to worry about, and what to think about later:

All that matters is story, some of the most listened to podcasts have average, or less than average production values. Thinking that you need to spend X before you can ever start is no longer true.

If you have a smartphone, can you start making a rough cut of what you think your show would be right now. It can be as simple as putting it on a table and pressing record, or doing some interviews and producing a show.

There is only one problem you need to solve in podcasting - ‘Can I create a show that connects with people enough for them to keep listening’Making a podcast sound good is actually very easy, and there are plenty of people out there that will help you do that, however, it is also very easy to make a well produced polished show that no one connects with.

If you want to hear more of this type of info, hit me up with an email, or join the mailing list and we’ll keep sharing!