Launching a podcast can really bring about a mixture of emotions. Excitement and positivity that this is exactly what you want and need to do, mixed with fear, nerves and anxiety about putting yourself out there to the world. I’ve had clients that have literally sat on their raw recorded episodes for months and months and not released them for a number of reasons. There are loads of resources and training about starting a podcast and the steps involved, but here are 5 common mistakes people make when starting a podcast.
#5 - No strategy
It’s important to be clear about the primary goal and priority of your podcast. This is a really common mistake when launching a podcast. Whether it’s a business venture or for a hobby, your journey will be a lot easier if you’ve got a strategy for it.
It doesn’t need to be over-complicated - just something really simple will be just as effective. A document that outlines:
- your goal/objective;
- defining what podcast success looks like for you;
- choosing the format (solo, interviews, a mixture of both);
- defining a specific target audience;
- creating a good title for your podcast; and
- writing a great description for it.
#4 - Get hung up on the equipment
I get it….it’s one of the first decisions you think you need to make….which mic should I buy and what equipment and software do I need? But you seriously just need to do your research and then bite the bullet and just buy one.
Karly Nimmo from Radcasters is an audio expert who teaches people how to podcast with a focus on audio quality. In fact her mission is to rid the world of shit sounding podcasts….and she is an awesome chick! She also wrote a great blog post about it over on the ProBlogger site.
# 3 - Let the scary tech side of things stop the launch
Yes, editing and publishing a podcast is quite technical, especially if you’re a technophobe! But once your learn the steps, you’ll realise it’s the same process each time and you will get there after a while.
Or if that just stresses you out and causes too many blocks, just outsource that part, make your podcasting journey easier and concentrate on what you do best. There are plenty of podcasting editing and production services to help you if you know it’s not your strength. You can outsource the entire editing and production of your episodes or just certain elements of it such as the actual launch process, the audio editing, cover art creation, show notes or transcription. Outsourcing may seem like an expensive option but just do a quick calculation of your hourly rate x the time it takes you to complete a task. Often you’ll see a saving which makes it a far more cost effective solution that is far less stressful.
#2 - Let the fear take hold
Susan Jeffers said it beautifully in titling her book….”Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” This is the perfect book/quote/reminder for the new podcaster who is ridiculously nervous about putting their voice and opinions out into the world. You grasped the idea of podcasting because you obviously have a great message to share with the world….but you need to start.
Another quote that was a prominent at the 2016 We Are Podcast conference was “start before you are ready”! YES YES YES. I love this quote, and again, it speaks directly to the podcaster who is “stuck” with their launch.
“Get out there. Launch. Fail. Make mistakes. Improve”
John Lee Dumas
#1 - Start…and then stop
This unfortunately is more common than you think. A scary stat is that the average podcast only makes it to 6 or 7 episodes before it stops….WHAT?!? They have a great message to broadcast, they face their fears and anxiety and kick them to the kerbside, they do the hard yards of creating and launching that baby, and then they stop. NOOOO. There are 2 common reasons for this.
Firstly, it usually comes down to the time commitment. Podcasting takes time….especially to build a tribe of loyal listeners and grow that audience. Yes there are some Podcasters out there that launch to an already huge and loyal tribe, and they are going to find the whole time commitment less confronting. But you need to stick at it for at least 3-6 months to gain traction.
Secondly, it can all seem way too overwhelming. You see what other podcasters and influencers say about producing x number of episodes every week and they need to be released at a certain time on a certain day…. Yep that may be the ideal but it’s not the end of the world if 1 or 2 episodes slip and you’re a bit off track. Pick yourself up, publish the next one and keep moving along.
A couple of top tips to help with these to issues….
- Outsource all of parts of the editing and production process that you either can’t do, don’t have time to do or just don’t want to do.
- Batch some of the tasks/time for podcasting. For example - regularly block out a certain number of hours to record and carry out podcasting tasks. You might record 3-4 episodes back to back one morning; do all the editing of these episodes in the next block of time; create show notes & cover art in the next block. In doing it this way, you’re in the flow of getting these tasks done and you’ll have a few episodes up your sleeve.
You decided to take this journey because you have an awesome message to share… Have fun, and find a team of people to help with the training, strategy, launch and regular production. And now that you know the common mistakes when launching a podcast, avoid them and launch your podcast! If you’ve got any comments or observations to add to this post, please make a comment below.