I have to admit, I am struggling with my show. (Isn't that an awful thing for a podcast consultant to admit? Ack!)
But it should be noted for anyone doing a show by themselves without outside help that putting all the little things into the podcast they want to do can get daunting. I'll be perfectly honest and say that I'm still trying to find my footing with starting a business and working from home. In fact, I had grand plans to work on episodes of my show today, but decided a blog post was more important.
But I recently helped a client with a common thing I faced when I started both my podcasts: I want to do all the things! (Insert picture of the famous Hyperbole and a Half meme!)
One reason I love podcasts is because there are so many different things you can do with them or ways to promote them or change them up. It's your show! There is no right or wrong way to run your podcast.*
*Ok, aside from using your podcast illegally or using your podcast to cause harm. Those would be the wrong way to run your podcast. Just had to throw that in.
That said, there are BETTER ways to run your podcast. Ones that work better for you or your business or your time or even for the sake of your family (you know, those people tiptoeing around the rest of your house while you get behind the microphone for a few hours every week).
Another reason sometimes we get overwhelmed with all the things we want to do with our podcasts is because new technology and tools come out seemingly every week. And we want to try them all. (Oooh! Something shiny!)
But, when it comes down to it, life happens. Things get hectic. Sometimes, you just have to do the bare minimum or even skip a week (guilty) so we can focus on more important things like family, health, work, finances.
For the most part, your audience will understand when something comes up. People listening to the back catalog won't even realize you skipped a week. It is important to remain as consistent as possible, but if it means you're sacrificing the more important things, it might be time to go back to basics.
When I had my two kids, those first few weeks with newborns were like weird pockets of time I look back on and barely remember. That was because all my hours were devoted to this tiny thing that needed constant attention, and everything else had to be downsized. I was basically doing the absolute bare minimum, and during that time of stress, it's perfectly understandable.
I just needed to get a few hours of sleep here and there, make sure to eat, remind myself to shower, and that was it. I had an awesome support system, and I never felt like I was drowning in having to juggle every single thing.
So, what is the bare minimum you need to do for your show? This is what I like to think of as my base. If I can just do these things, I will be happy with my show.
The minimum for my show, The Story Behind, is:
- Research the episode
- Write the episode
- Add music and sound effects
- Make the episode art
- Write the show notes
- Schedule at least one social media post with the episode link (I do this through my hosting company, Libsyn, so it goes out automatically when I publish the episode)
That's the MINIMUM. If I can accomplish all of those on time, I'm content with my show.
Now let's look at some of the extras I sometimes add in:
- Use a social media scheduler to schedule various posts throughout the week promoting the episode
- Post about it in The Story Behind Discussion Group on Facebook
- Search relevant hashtags for the episode and use those to post to Instagram and Twitter
- Add the link to my new episode in podcaster Facebook group threads asking for people's new episodes (yes, those are a thing).
- Reach out to relevant companies or people to let them know about the episode and ask them to share it with their audiences.
- Post about it on my personal profiles.
- Re-edit my show notes to help write my book.
- Put myself out there for more speaking and interview gigs.
- Create episode specific graphics to promote the show more on social media.
Oh boy, that's a lot! But, here's a question to ask yourself: Are you getting anything accomplished? Or just spinning your wheels and doing busywork?
What I mean by that is, are these little "extras" pushing you toward your goals for either yourself or your podcast?
I recently met Tonya Livers Howe who runs the Facebook group Business Owner Marketing Strategies - Finding Your PurplePatch and she introduced me to an amazing technique to help get focused on your business. And I began using this for my podcast, as well.
The idea is to pick three goals for your year you want to accomplish. Once you list those three goals, you pick three goals to do in the next three months to help you accomplish those goals. After that, you pick three goals in the next month that will help you accomplish your three-month goals. And then pick three goals this week that will help you accomplish your one-month goals.
Don't worry, I have a printable for you to help you make these goals. ;)
If you have the time to do more, do it! If you somehow have a super productive week where everything else gets done and you have time for more than those three things, great! Go for it! But always be aware of your own limitations.
And, as my wonderful eating coach and podcaster friend, Harriet Morris, has challenged me to do, take a night off and have some time for self-care.
Hope this helps you gain some perspective and help focus you and your goals for you podcast. And don't forget the free printable to help you out!