“I’ve wanted to start a podcast for a while, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.”
I’ve heard this a thousand times. So many ambitious, hard-working professionals tell me they’ve wanted to start a podcast for ages, and yet their shows never get published. All those important insights and priceless pearls of wisdom left unspoken; all the actions, communities, and progress they would have inspired lost.
To me, that’s a tragedy. And it’s why I’m focusing this article on the ONE thing that continually stops people from starting a podcast—and what is likely stopping you, as well. But before we get to that thing, here’s a bit about why this is important.
Why I Start And Manage Podcasts For A Living
I believe podcasting is THE most powerful tool for industry advocates to reach more people, change more lives, and move their industry forward. (Industry advocates are business owners who want to make the pie bigger for everyone, not just cut off a bigger slice for themselves.
They’re people who want to make an impact and change thousands of lives, not just make a quick buck.) Podcasting allows industry advocates to educate, motivate, and advocate at scale like nothing else. But podcasting can also seem daunting, complicated, and time-consuming.
As a result, starting a podcast tends to end up on the back burner of project lists—and often doesn’t happen at all. Like I said before, I see this as a tragedy.
That’s why I made it my mission to help industry advocates start their podcasts in a way that allows them to focus only on the parts they want to focus on (typically, just recording the content) while delegating the other parts.
I still remember my first client… Andrew desperately wanted to start a podcast, but he knew he didn’t have the time or knowledge of all the steps to do it properly. While he had plenty of ideas and knowledge to share, he knew that wasn’t enough.
So he asked me to help, and together we developed a process to create, launch, and grow his podcast so that he could just show up as the topic expert with everything else handled. Since then, he’s built a super exclusive, highly vetted community of eCommerce business owners, which has been sold out since 2017.
Working with Andrew showed me just how powerful podcasting is as a community engagement channel, and I now use the process we developed to help other industry advocates and game-changers start their shows, as well. With that backstory, let’s get into the ONE thing stopping industry advocates from starting a podcast:
They want to “do it right.”
The biggest thing that gets in the way of podcasting dreams is the desire to do it right. And it’s not surprising if you think about it. Industry advocates and leaders have become successful because when they decide to do something, they make sure they do it well.
They make the effort to create high-quality work, use a strategy that gets results, and make the most of their time so they can focus on what they’re best at. This drive to do it right is key to their success in other things, and podcasting is no different.
The problem is that because they are so focused on this, their podcast becomes the project they think about for months—if not years—before they’re ready to commit. In my experience, this is usually due to three main issues that must be addressed before these would-be podcasters feel ready.
You might recognize yourself in these common areas of friction, so let’s talk about each.
Issue #1 – “I don’t have the time.”
You want to start a podcast. You’re an expert in your field, and you have great ideas and excellent advice to share. What’s more, you know people would listen to your podcast if you had one. The problem is: You don’t have the time to make it happen.
You’re already nearly maxed out and only have small pockets of time you could commit to a podcast—definitely not enough to handle all the planning, setup, recording, production, marketing, and all the other loose ends. Even if you somehow managed to set aside a few hours for your show, it would take months to actually get the hang of everything and set it all up.
Most industry advocates are very busy people, which is why it’s critical to get help with the execution part of podcasting. That way, you can continue to focus on being the topic expert.
The good news is that you have several options, depending on your budget and goals. The first and cheapest option for getting help is to use software to automate as many of the steps as possible. The second, slightly better option is to hire a virtual assistant. You’ll need to train them yourself, but you’ll save more time than you spend over the long-term.
The third and best option is to hire a full-service podcast production agency that takes care of the strategy, as well as all the time-consuming and technical stuff so that all you have to do is show up and hit record. When Michael Kitces of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast first reached out to me, he was excited to start a show but worried that it would eat too much of his time.
He was incredibly busy, working a full-time job, running a popular blog and business, speaking at conferences, and spending time with his family. He didn’t have the time to figure out how to start and manage a podcast on top of everything else he had going on.
But we plugged Michael’s ideas and vision into our proven 5-step podcast process—the same process we’ve used with scores of industry advocates over the years—so all he had to do was show up and hit record. The result?
“I can say that our Financial Advisor Success podcast has been an integral part of our overall marketing strategy, which collectively has helped our businesses generate more than $4M in new revenue over the past 2 years.” — Michael Kitces
That’s what happens when you get help from the start. And since his first podcast worked so well, Michael launched a second podcast with us, too. The moral of the story? Get help at whatever level is appropriate so that your time and effort are maximized for success.
Issue #2 – “I’m intimidated by the tech.”
For some people, the tech aspect of podcasting is a non-issue, but for others, it’s a total showstopper. You could research the best microphones, learn about podcast editing software, find out how to get your podcast into iTunes (now Apple Podcasts), and so on, but why would you? Is that really the best use of your time?
Of course not.
Instead of trying to figure out all the tech on your own, there’s a much simpler and more effective way: Ask for recommendations, and keep it simple.
If you’re in a new city and you’re going out to eat with a foodie friend of yours who’s lived there for 10 years, are you going to research all the top restaurants and try to pick the best option yourself? No way! You’ll ask your friend for their recommendations.
The same applies to podcasting tech, where there are lots of options that are regularly changing. You don’t need to be an expert; just ask a podcaster friend what they use. (In case you don’t have a friend who podcasts, click here for the perfect podcasting equipment setup I personally use and that we recommend for all our clients. It’s incredibly easy, high quality, portable, and cost-effective.)
You can always change as you go, but start simple. The easier to use your tech setup is, the less intimidating it will be. Don’t let the tech side of podcasting stop you from making an impact. Keep it simple, and get started.
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Issue #3 – “I want it to succeed.”
Along the same lines of the desire to do it right, the desire to build a successful podcast can commonly halt a show’s progress.
The industry advocates who are aware that they don’t know all the best strategies to ensure their podcast actually translates into growth worry their show won’t bring the results they are hoping for. (Of course, some people think simply recording a podcast will do wonders for their business by automatically translating into leads, customers, and dollars in the bank, but—spoiler alert!—it doesn’t work like that.)
Thankfully, over my years of working on 100s of podcasts, I’ve discovered 8 Podcast Principles that lead to amazingly successful business podcasts. Time and time again, I have seen the podcasts that integrate these principles flourish, while shows that don’t tend to never take off, stagnate, and peter out.
If you want your podcast to turn into measurable business results, you need to be very intentional about how you go about it. And when you follow the Podcast Principles, the results are undeniable. Take Katrina Ubell of the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast for example.
Before she even began recording episodes, we followed the Podcast Principles to help her get clear on her goals and what she wanted to achieve with her podcast in order to figure out the best content to attract and engage people. Getting clear on the strategy before recording helped to make her podcast a huge success. (It has been downloaded over 3 million times!)
Not only has it helped her build a strong relationship with her listeners and connect with a massive audience of loyal, lifelong fans, but it has also led to her bringing on a lot more clients for her coaching program, which tends to sell out quickly whenever she opens it up.
This approach of starting with the end in mind and going into podcasting with a proven strategy sets you up for success from the beginning.
Starting a podcast CAN be time-efficient, simple, and rewarding … if you let it.
There are plenty of resources out there to help with starting a podcast the right way.
The key is to get help where you need it instead of trying to figure it all out yourself and doing it all on your own. (A great place to start is to download our free book, which breaks down our proven 5-step process for starting and managing a podcast. It’s based on everything we learned working with numerous industry advocates like Andrew, Michael, Katrina, and many others.)
Whether you do the research and follow a proven process that others have used, hire a team of experts to set up your show for you, or something in between, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
Don’t let your podcast idea become one of the tragedies that never makes it out to the world—use the resources mentioned above to help you get your podcast out there and do it right.
What was your biggest takeaway from this article?
Let me know in the comments below!
Also, do you know any other industry advocates that need this information?
Send them a link to this post—they’ll appreciate you for looking out for them.
Founder and Chief Podcast Educator at Cashflow Podcasting. Ben specializes in helping thought leaders and entrepreneurs amplify their impact through podcasting. He’s a world traveller, outdoor sports junkie and future enthusiast!