July 13, 2020

The First Step In Your Podcast Journey

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#001 - There are a lot of items to piece together before you launch your podcast, but without a doubt, this is the first thing you should be doing!

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NOTE: This transcript was automatically created with the help of AI. There may still be a few errors or inaccuracies.

Why, why, why, why?

This may be a question that is often associated with inquisitive two year olds. But today it's my turn to ask you that very same question: "Why?"

If you want to succeed, you need to start here. So let's get going.

Podcast Better is for you, the podcaster, or soon to be podcaster who has a business, a cause, or hobby that you're passionate about. Each week we'll take a closer look at the mental, physical, and technical skills necessary to produce a quality show that your fans will want to listen to. Thanks for sharing part of your day with me so that we can podcast better together.

Welcome, welcome, welcome officially fellow podcaster to Episode One of Podcast Better.

On today's episode, I am talking about the purpose of your podcast and the all important question: "Why?"

You may have heard, you know, someone asked, What is your Why? What is your purpose? That's what they're asking. And that's what we're going to explore today. Not only why it's important, but why you should be careful about how you answer that question.

There's not really any one right answer, but I will have to say there is definitely a wrong answer.

So let me set you up with a little scenario here. I've talked to a lot of podcasters over the years, and I've seen this scenario come up more than once, and it's not pretty.

Let's call this guy Bill. I asked him you know, what is the purpose of your podcast? Why do you want to podcast? And Bill tells me he wants to make money. He wants to podcast make money, he's in a pinch. He's stuck at home. He thinks podcasts are the hot new thing.

He really wants to give it a shot and see if he can get his piece of the pie. So Bill does his research, he finds the most popular podcasting topics and finally decides upon true crime.

You know, it's the number one rated podcast topic out there. It has so much potential. There are so many stories out there yet to be told and everybody loves listening to them, it seems I mean, everybody from podcasters, to Netflix, to Hulu to everybody is doing true crime. It's all over the place.

So Bill gets really ramped up. He buys his equipment, he signs up for his hosting, and he creates his first 10 episodes.

He researches how to monetize a podcast. And he finds that most advertisers will tell you they need at least 1000 listeners per episode to generate interest. And that's their minimum before they'll even talk about paying him for advertisements. So that's that's Bill's goal he needs to get at least 1000 listeners per episode.

Over the course of the next two months bill released as the 10 episodes that he has made, and he gets a few listeners, and a few friends and family, a few people he doesn't know. But the numbers just aren't there.

So Bill decides to double down and create twice as much content. He figures, creating more content will bring in more listeners. So he puts his nose to the grindstone again, and he starts to create another set of 10 episodes, and he's gonna release them in just a month's time. But over the course of time, Bill actually starts to see a decline in numbers.

At first they were holding steady, but now they're actually starting to decline and and Bill starts to get discouraged and and eventually he just burns out. It's too much work for not enough return. He's not seeing any income.

In fact, I mean, he's losing money because he has to pay for the hosting. He paid for the equipment, everything's out there, and he's not getting anything back.

So I'm hoping you've thought about this a little bit now. What is your WHY?

There are many, many reasons to podcast. Like I said that there are so many right reasons to podcast, and I've tried a few of them. I've listened to plenty of others that have different purposes to their podcast.

A lot of people use their podcasts like I said for true crime. There's nothing wrong with true crime podcasts. They tell stories, they tell other people's stories, tell their own stories, whatever the case may be.

People love stories. They love listening to stories. They love learning from stories and that's another one actually, people love to learn from podcasts. So you can use podcasts to teach or educate like, I'm teaching you how to create podcasts. It's a little bit meta, but it's a podcast teaching people how to podcast.

There are podcasts teaching people how to start a business. There are podcasts teaching people how to teach. Once again, a little meta. All these things are out there.

And so you can tell stories you can teach people how to do things. Or maybe you don't necessarily have a story from your past that you want to tell. But maybe you want to create the story along the way. You want to take your listeners on a journey.

And I've seen this done. I've done it myself, actually, one of my podcasts, the entire purpose of the podcast was to get my friend who had never read the Harry Potter books to read Harry Potter, and that that was the only reason I started the podcast, because I knew that I wanted him to read these books.

I asked him why he hadn't read them and he's like, well, I don't have time and I don't have time to read these books. But for as long as I have known my friend. He spent a lot of time podcasting. And while he told me that he just didn't have enough time to sit down and read these books, it felt like every other month he was starting a new podcast.

And like, wow, okay. So it's, it's really just a matter of priorities here, he doesn't have time, or he doesn't want to make time or take the time to sit down and read these books. But he'll sit down and start a new podcast any day of the week.

So I kind of had this idea rolling around in my head. So next time I saw him, I'm like, hey, what if we would start a podcast about you reading these books, or we could sit down and read the books and then discuss on a podcast and instantly I saw that glimmer in his eyes.

Like, you might have gotten me here, you might have said the magic words in order to get this to happen. And that's exactly what happened over the course of the next two years.

We went on a journey, we sat down and read the Harry Potter books a chapter or two a week at a time, and then we get on the microphones and start talking about it and that's what happened. That was my purpose. And honestly, that turned out to be one of my most successful podcasts ever.

It's not a pretty podcast. It's not highly edited. It's not the most professional sounding, but it worked. That podcast is still in existence today. I'm not a host of it anymore, but the point being that the purpose behind it kept driving us.

Did we make money off that podcast? Yes. But was that the purpose of the podcast? No.

And so I think, between the story of Bill that I shared with you earlier, and what I've started talking about now, I think you can figure out that the one wrong answer, in my opinion, to start a podcast is to make money.

Money is not the answer. If that's the first thing that comes to mind, when you say, Why do you want to start a podcast? I think you need to sit down and rethink that. Do you really want to start a podcast?

There's a lot of work that goes into starting a podcast, there's a lot of work that goes into keeping a podcast going week after week after week after week. So if you don't have a purpose, a reason to keep going to keep you in the right mindset to give you that motivation every week to sit down and record another episode, then you're gonna have a very hard time with podcasting.

Let's just briefly try to apply these principles to to Bill's example again, Bill failed in the first place, because his goal was money. And when he didn't see the money coming in, he just gave up he had no reason, no purpose to keep him going, because he wasn't seeing the results that he wanted.

But if Bill's purpose would have been to tell great stories, to get the truth out there to continue to enlighten his audience with these stories, then you would have a reason to keep going. And seeing 100 people listening a week or 200 people or 500 people would be thrilling to him, it would be amazing.

Can you imagine if every week, you had 100 people who who want to gather in front of you in whether it be you know, in your office, in your living room, in an auditorium, whatever the case may be, if they just sat down, they're ready and willing and waiting for you to tell the next story. That would be fantastic.

And that's what a having a purpose does for you. That's what serving your audience first does. It provides you with that sense of fulfillment.

So we'll start off there: What is your WHY?

There isn't one right answer, but you need to figure out what your answer is. So you can keep coming back to that when you're having a rough week, when you've had a tough week at your job when the kids have been nagging you all week, when you can't figure out what to cook for dinner, when you just your head is about to explode, and you need another podcast episode, your listeners are waiting for it.

What is your Why? What is your purpose? What is going to keep you motivated? What is going to be your motivation to sit down and record that next episode?

And once again, in the beginning, money should not be the answer to that question. Like I was saying, if you serve first, if you fulfill your purpose first, the money will follow. 

There is good money in podcasting, and you don't have to be Joe Rogan to do it. There's more than one way to get paid for podcasting. And this is something that I plan on exploring extensively in future episodes. But the point being, you need to serve your audience first. You need to fulfill your purpose.

Fulfill your "Why". You need to either teach your audience, you need to tell them a story, you need to take them on a journey, whatever your purpose is, you need to focus on that. 

If you focus on that, the money will follow. That's just how it works. I can't explain exactly why that is. But I've seen it time and time and time again, it's the people that are passionate, the people who have a purpose, the people who want to help others want to serve others want to care for their audience care for their listeners, and keep producing quality content for them. Those are the people who succeed. Those are the people who can sit down week after week after week, and create new episodes, new content, and those are the people who are able to end up getting paid in the end too.

So finally, I've said it already, but I'll say it again, without passion, you will not last in the podcasting industry.

That's just the way it is. It's true with a lot of careers too, but without a passion for it without a purpose behind what you're doing, you will not last. You cannot let money be the driving factor in what you're doing when it comes to podcasting.

So let's start to wrap this up. What do you need to do?

You need to figure out you need to ask yourself, what is my purpose? Why do I want to podcast? What am I going to provide other people, it can be an education, it can be a story, it can be a journey, it can it can be an opinion.

I didn't even really cover that. But even just your opinions on topics, whatever the case may be, wherever you are, figure out what your purpose is what you are providing your audience and make sure money is not the answer to that question. I cannot emphasize that enough. Figure out what your purpose is. The answer cannot be money, and then serve, serve, serve. Serve your audience. Serve your listeners. Serve your people.

With that passion with that drive with that enthusiasm. That motivation, that is what's gonna keep going. That is what will cause you to succeed. So I have one thing I want you to do for me today, figure out what is your why, what is the purpose of your podcast?

Once you figure that out? Let me know.

Take a screenshot of this podcast that you're listening to, find me on social media, tag me in it and let me know, what is your purpose?

What is the purpose of your podcast? What is your why? I'm looking forward to it. I want to help you on your journey. I want to help you succeed. I want to see what you can do what you can bring to this world. And I'm here to support you as you do that.

That's all I got for you today. We'll see in the next episode.

Thank you for joining me today on this episode of podcast better if you're ready to get your podcast started out on the right foot or if you're ready to take your podcast to the next level. And I hope you'll join me because this podcast is just a small piece of the puzzle that I am bringing to the big picture. Ultimately I am starting a podcast membership community called The Podcasters Guild.

The Podcasters Guild is a network of podcasters, just like you who are serious about their podcast, and want to do everything to the best of their ability. At the time of this recording, The Guild is just getting started. So this is your chance to get in on the ground level.

This is your chance to help build and mold The Guild into something that you will find useful. I've been podcasting for the past six years, with multiple podcasts and hundreds of episodes. And I want to share my experiences and expertise with you. So if you have any interest at all in improving your podcast, and joining me on this adventure, head over to ThePodcastersGuild.com and join the list.

Well, I don't know exactly what the final results of this project will be. I do know one thing I can't wait to see how great your podcast can be.