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In Episode 004, I’m diving into some of the big mistakes (including the biggest one) podcasters make so you can avoid them with your show. If you find yourself consumed with download metrics and they piss you off, there’s a rant on this podcast you don’t want to miss. PLEASE NOTE: No podcast metrics were injured in the recording of this episode.
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What Can You Learn From the Most Common Podcasting Mistakes?
It’s inevitable that somewhere along the lines in your podcast journey, you’re going to make some mistakes.
None of us are immune to it and no one in this space has built anything with absolute perfection.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. Perfection is boring.
Mistakes aren’t a bad thing…as long as you learn and grow from them.
But too often in the podcast space, those common mistakes are ones that lead to creators throwing in the towel far too soon. They let mistakes derail their efforts and they bail before any true growth is felt or real breakthrough experienced.
The numbers don’t lie.
According to a thread on Reddit:
- 90% of podcasts don’t get beyond the 3rd episode
- To be in the top 1% of podcasts in the world, you only need to publish 21 episodes of your podcast
Those are scary statistics.
But they’re also reassuring statistics for podcasters like you who are ready to proceed with reasonable expectations and a strong plan of action for growth, consistency, and success.
You may have heard people say the podcast medium is oversaturated or there are too many podcasts in their niche to stand out.
But in reality, the number of podcasts producing new content consistently is a small fraction of the total number of podcasts listed.
And, most importantly, no other podcast on the planet features your unique story, your unique perspective, and your unique way of making connections and bringing value to someone’s life.
While others are making mistakes and letting it deflate their ego, you’re learning from yours and capitalizing on each one so your next production is poised to make you stand out.
Let’s dig into some of those common podcasting mistakes that derail creators in the early stages of their podcast production:
Not Building a Foundational Plan
Trying to build a podcast without a foundational plan is like trying to eat chicken wings without bleu cheese: it just doesn’t make sense.
If you’re driving somewhere you’ve never been, would you do so without a GPS to guide you?
Your foundational plan serves as a roadmap that ensures you start properly and proceed consistently.
When developing your plan, you should be answering questions such as:
✧ What is the why for my podcast?
✧ What is the main objective I want to achieve with my podcast?
✧ Who is the ideal listener I’m targeting? Who do I want my content to serve?
✧ What specific problem will I solve?
✧ How much time do I have to dedicate to my podcast production each week?
✧ How long will my episodes be?
✧ Is my podcast solo-based, guest-driven, or a hybrid?
✧ How will I market my podcast?
These questions merely scratch the surface.
Your foundational plan should cover all facets of your podcast production to ensure your bases are covered.
And proceeding without this type of plan in place will set you up for failure…a common podcasting mistake too many creators have made and never recovered from.
Not Identifying an Ideal Listener
I mentioned this above, but I want to cover it in more detail because this action will serve as a pillar of your podcast creation.
Ever heard the saying “if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one?”
It applies here. If you’re trying to build a podcast that caters to the masses, it’s going to get lost amongst all the noise people experience on a day-to-day basis.
And that’s not just podcast noise. That’s noise from social media, ads, radio, TV, billboards, magazines…
In order to avoid this common podcasting mistake, you need to identify who your ideal listener is and build content that speaks to that specific person.
The more you do this, the more you’ll build a presence in your niche as an expert on a specific subject.
And as you learned on Episode 003 of Solo Podcasting Simplified, you should build content that centers around your zone of genius.
If your podcast revolves around a specific subject stemming from your zone of genius, identifying your ideal listener can be accomplished the same way you identified your target customer when you first launched your business.
But if you don’t niche down and get as specific as you can, it will be hard to stand out.
That may sound backwards, but broad is brutal. Listeners simply won’t know what you specialize in, therefore will continue their search until they find someone who has positioned themselves as THE expert on THE transformation they’re looking to achieve.
Here’s an easy example:
BROAD: Mental Health
FOCUSED: Single mothers suffering from traumatic stress stemming from spousal abuse
The tighter the focus, the higher the likelihood a person looking for your specialty will find your podcast and consume its content.
Podcasts that try to appeal to mass audiences don’t gain traction and ultimately fail.
Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure identifying your ideal listener is one of the primary steps in starting your podcast.
Getting Fixated By Download Metrics
Don’t look at your download metrics for six months.
This is advice I give any new podcaster because looking at numbers in the early stages of your podcast will play tricks with your mind.
I’ve caught some shit for this advice, but I stand by it.
In the beginning, you need to focus on building your skill set. In order to excel at podcasting, you need to get comfortable on the microphone, find your voice, develop your delivery, and gain confidence in how you present your message.
But too many podcasters dive into their metrics almost immediately with no clear understanding of what they mean or how they can help. They stare intently at the download metric, waiting anxiously for it to tick up and up and up again.
That’s not going to happen overnight. You need to develop an audience…and the only way to do that is to get good at what you’re doing.
People show up for compelling content presented by captivating creators.
More importantly, they show up for SPECIFIC content geared towards the transformation they seek.
They don’t just show up BECAUSE you have a podcast.
And in the case of many podcasts that have faded away, creators most likely got wrapped up and consumed by their download numbers, they felt like results weren’t living up to the work they were putting in, and they pulled the plug on their show and said, “podcasting doesn’t work.”
I could go on about this, but believe me…it’s better if you watch or listen to the full-blown rant I had on this subject on the video or in the podcast player above.
I recommend listening to the full episode, but jump to 5:15 if you want to hear my thoughts on this common podcasting mistake 🙂
The lesson here? Don’t get consumed by numbers.
Instead, get consumed with getting really good at telling stories and communicating with your ideal listener.
The more you do that, the more ideal listeners will find you.
And the numbers will take care of themselves naturally.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 3 Bulletproof Ways to Speak With Confidence As a Solo Podcaster
This common podcasting mistake is one I know I’m guilty of making.
And I’ve talked to other podcasters who feel they can do better in this area as well.
When you record a new podcast, you have this fresh piece of content that is dying to be shared.
But instead of immediately pulling clips that will not only get them excited for the episode when it comes, but help them continue to build trust in our brands…
We put this content on the shelf and save it to use as a promotional tool when the audio portion of our podcast is set to go live.
As I sit and write this blog post today, it’s 2023. The video component of podcasting has become a major factor in the creation process and can serve numerous purposes.
- Video clips can be used for Reels, TikToks, and Shorts
- Longer clips can be shared on YouTube, Vimeo, and your website
- The full version can also be shared on YouTube and Vimeo, adding more points of discoverability to your podcast
But when podcasters batch record content, there are often weeks, even months, from recording day to release day.
That content doesn’t need to sit on the bench until the audio is set to drop…
It can be used immediately as a means to build excitement and nurture your audience!
Think about how TV networks and streaming platforms build up to the release of a new series.
They don’t start building anticipation the week before or the week of…
They do it weeks, even months in advance!
You can do this with your podcast, too. The more prepared you are with your content creation and the further ahead you batch record, the more time you have to share clips and get your audience fired up for the release of the full episode.
They’ll still have content coming at them from what you just released, so that combined with knowing what’s to come in the near future will keep them engaged with you and your brand.
It’s the perfect 1-2 punch.
Taking this step will allow you to get more bang from your content and help you avoid leaving valuable, useful tips and tactics in a folder that only see daylight on the audio portion of your podcast.
Use as much of your content as possible and avoid making one of the most common podcasting mistakes today!