Podcasting is easy.
Just grab a mic and go.
Lots of people are making tons of money podcasting.
These are lies. Or at best, half truths.
In this episode, I get real with you about some of the harmful industry lies being told to podcasters. But don’t worry, it won’t be a total downer because I also share ways to make these lies true, somehow.
Let’s get to the key myths or half truths I hear all the time.
This episode was inspired by an ad I heard and it bugged me. Okay, it kind of enraged me but I’m getting over it.
The ad was for a podcast hosting company – I won’t name names but I also wouldn’t recommend them as a host. Anyway, here’s the ad copy “If you have ideas to share then you’re already a podcaster”.
I probably should have warned you about how asinine that was. I’m sorry if you were eating cereal and that cereal is now all over the wall. I spit my coffee out the first time I heard it too.
So, to be perfectly clear, having ideas to share does NOT make you a podcaster. That is a lie.
Lie #1 – If You Have Something to Say, You’re Already a Podcaster
To be even clearer, having an idea for a podcast does not even mean you should start a podcast. If you do this, then you may have a podcast but don’t count on anyone other than your mom listening to it.
There are many more steps between idea and podcaster – especially if you want your podcast to serve as a marketing tool for your business or to build up your authority. You want to have a little bit more intention beyond ‘I have a podcast’. If you want to be a successful podcaster, make sure you have put some serious consideration into who you’re talking to, why they would listen (aka what’s in it for them), how you’re going to stay consistent (with publishing and message) and why YOU are even podcasting (beyond the ego-boost of saying that you are a podcaster).
Lie #2 – You Just Need a Mic
This is a partial truth. You definitely need a mic. I won’t even dignify the other lie out there (about being able to use your phone to record a podcast… No, just NO). But, having a mic does not make you a podcaster. As I’ve said before and in 169 podcasts before this – you need to be clear about what the heck you are saying into your mic… and to whom… and why you’re saying it. I would also suggest that you will also need a program to record what you’re saying, do some editing, and have a platform to distribute that finished recording.
The idea that having a mic is all that is required is laughable and yet, I’m not laughing because so many people really truly believe this lie. I hate to be the grinch that stole podcasting but there is so much more to podcasting than the mic.
Lie #3 – Podcasters Can Make Big Bucks, Quick
This lie is usually backed up with Joe Rogan as an example. Who wouldn’t want to strive for making millions and millions of dollars just for turning a mic on for a few hours a few times a week? Sign me up. I hate to be the dream-dasher but I have to pull you down to reality. I’m doing it for your own good.
Striving to be even 10% as successful as Joe Rogan’s podcast would require you to have a top 10 podcast with sponsors desperate to access your massive audience. You would also need a team of people to make this happen. And, it will likely take you several years of not being paid anything to work up to this point.
And, let’s be really, really clear about the speed of these riches. It took Joe Rogan decades to get to his level of fame. Most of the other top-earning podcasts were started at least 4 years ago – when there was a lot less competition or are leveraging a huge following they already have. So, if you think 4 years of consistently producing high quality podcasts is a get rich quick scheme, then go for it.
Caveat! I have witnessed many entrepreneurs who are using their podcast to grow their authority in combination with other smart marketing significantly increase their business’ revenue. So, in this way, podcasting can be a quick way to add fuel (and funds) to a successful business or brand.
Lie # 4 – Your Listeners Will Forgive your Crap Audio if Your Content is Good
Ego alert. Ego alert. I can’t tell you how many podcasts I’ve clicked only to experience an auditory assault. My earballs will never forgive those podcasters. I don’t care how fascinating your conversation is or how brilliant your ideas are – if you sound like crap, you are not going in my ears.
I’m not alone on this. I once interviewed random podcast listeners to find out what their biggest pet peeve was about podcasts and can you guess what it was? Yes. Yes, you can. It was crap audio and inane banter. So, stop thinking that your big juicy brain and world-class wit are enough. Your show needs to sound good. Full stop.
Lie #5 – Interesting Conversations is a Podcast Concept
I love talking to podcasters and would-be podcasters. It’s why I offer my free, 15-minute coaching call. And those calls do bring a lot of people into my world. One of the most common things I hear from them is that they think their conversations are so interesting that they just can’t be left to disappear into the ether of time. These conversation simply must be captured for all of the world to hear and enjoy.
Now, I’m not saying your conversations aren’t earth-shatteringly riveting – what I am saying is that this in and of itself is not likely to result in a successful podcast. What is in it for your listener? If you are podcasting for your business, how are these conversations adding to your authority as an expert? You need to really ask yourself why your conversations matter to the listener so that you aren’t treating them like a fly on the wall but rather as a part of the conversation.
Lie #6 – Just Start!
I hear this one all the time and I’m going to put this lie in the half-truth category. Getting past the nerves and getting behind the mic is a big part of creating a podcast. However, if you just start and then you just keep going, there is a good chance that your podcast is going to quickly become a frustration that you just don’t have time for any more.
At some point, you need to understand who you’re talking to, why they would listen, and what you want them to do after they’ve listened. In other words, your show needs some direction.
The whole, ‘just start’ idea is the equivalent of saying, just get in the car and drive. Sure, you are going somewhere but where the heck are you going. Eventually, you’ll run out of gas and you may have no clue where the heck you are.
Truth Nobody Talks About #1 – It’s all Fun and Games Unless You Take It Seriously
There are three kinds of podcasters: hobby podcasters, marketers, and professional podcasters.
The hobby podcasters are doing it for fun. If this is you, keep it fun. Don’t set goals of huge downloads overnight, don’t put pressure on yourself, don’t expect it to be a big financial gain. As a hobby podcaster, you need to willingly give your time (and some of your money) without any expectations beyond having some fun.
The marketer is an entrepreneur or business owner that understand the power of podcasting in growing their authority as well as generating leads and sales. Ultimately, they serve their audience and sell to their audience. Doing this effectively requires some strategy and intention.
The professional podcaster makes a living from their podcast. This requires a lot of time, effort, and/or expense. You also need to have a strong strategy and intention… oh, and some serious staying power because it won’t happen overnight. And, maybe a bit of luck too because only a small percentage of podcasters actually make a living from their podcast alone.
I want to be clear about one thing – if you’re in it for the fun of it – that is fantastic! If you’re in it to make some money (either through your business or by creating a business out of your podcast) you need to not buy into the lies and half-truths and make sure that your podcast is serving your listener.
Want some more lie-free advice? Book a free 15 minute coaching call with me.
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