As you think about starting a podcast, you might have hesitations and questions like: do I have time for it? Who am I to start a podcast? Do I have anything to say that people would actually want to hear? Is the tech going to overwhelm me too much? Will I even enjoy podcasting? What if I quit and people see me as a failure? How will people even find my podcast? Am I articulate enough to do a voice only medium? Am I making the right choice on the tech I'm considering buying and the hosting platform I'm choosing? There are a lot of questions that come up!
On top of the questions, you might have thoughts like: I'm afraid no one will listen and I'll be embarrassed. I'm afraid people will judge me thinking that I think I'm someone special to do this. I have too much imposter syndrome to start. Or maybe you feel like you’re not good at talking because of an accent or English not being your first language. You might also be thinking things like: I'm worried about the time it takes. As a busy mom, I'm worried I'll overthink everything and never get content out there or want to delete every episode after I record it. Maybe you're overwhelmed by making the right choices if you're going to invest your time into doing that.
Okay - that was a lot BUT these are actually all real people's hesitations around starting a podcast (that came straight from the people who filled out my interest survey for my new podcast course). And these are also some of the things I personally felt when I started my own podcast four and a half years ago. So before we dive in, just know that you’re not alone! It was interesting for me to see how many of you had the same fears around starting a podcast, and I want to speak candidly about them today! I’m going to start with some encouragement, and then keep reading because I’m going to share some practical ways to conquer your fears below!
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The Podcast Success Blueprint is Open for Enrollment!
If you're reading this live, my new course Podcast Success Blueprint is now open for enrollment! Join now as a founding member and get exclusive limited-time discounts and bonuses. This is the second time I'm doing a beta launch for a course and just ask anyone who joined Booked Out Designer during the 2021 beta launch – it was an amazing decision for their business.
Let me give you a quick scoop on what the course is all about if you haven't heard me talk about it yet.
The Podcast Success Blueprint is a comprehensive course designed to equip you with all you need to start, scale, and streamline your podcast like a pro. My goal is to help you transform your podcast into a powerful, profitable marketing tool that brings you joy and fulfillment without draining all your time and energy.
This eight-module course covers everything from beginner essentials to advanced scaling strategies. Topics include starting your podcast, choosing your niche and show purpose, mastering the technical aspects, organizing for success (with optional ClickUp and Notion templates), solo episodes, interviews, podcast marketing, post-production, and monetization. If you missed last week's episode, be sure to check it out for insights on monetizing your podcast. We also delve into building a podcast support team and there is even a bonus module on being a guest on other shows.
As a founding member, you'll have the opportunity to purchase the course before it's completed. With early purchase, you'll enjoy significant price savings and two group coaching calls with me. Join me inside now!
Thinking about starting a podcast? It’s okay if it feels scary
When you start a podcast, you are creating your own stage, which is a big deal and can be intimidating. Consider this: besides YouTube, there's no other content creation that requires you to put yourself out there as consistently as podcasting. Plus, your podcast may eventually end up on platforms like YouTube or other video formats. So it is a big deal.
You're not just sharing your thoughts on a reel or in an Instagram post. You are not just writing them in an email or blog post. It goes beyond that. You're bringing your voice to an audience who wants to listen. You have no control over who consistently tunes in to your show, regardless of your desired consistency. This makes podcasting a bigger deal than posting on Instagram or starting a blog. It's okay if podcasting feels intimidating and like a huge undertaking. You're essentially building your own stage, which can be scary. You might worry if anyone will listen, disagree with you, or stop liking you. Those fears are valid. I’ve had them too!
Here’s the thing: I do believe that in order to grow your business, you have to create your own stage.
Your stage can be you recording yourself on your phone for an Instagram story. It can be YouTube, it can be blogging, it can be a consistent email newsletter. It can also be something like a podcast. No matter what you choose, you cannot hide forever in your business and expect your business to also grow.
And I may be biased, but I truly believe podcasting is one of the best platforms for business growth and sustainability. It's easier than YouTube and more engaging than writing a blog. Listeners develop a personal connection as they take you with them wherever they go. It's a powerful way to connect.
Facing Imposter Syndrome? Here’s My Story
I felt really embarrassed telling my business owner friends, and even my non-business owner friends, that I wanted to start a podcast back in 2018. If you’re feeling that way, I’m just like you. I procrastinated starting because I felt so intimidated by it. I thought podcasting was only for big names like Jenna Kutcher, Amy Porterfield, or NPR. I mean, who was I to think I could do it too?
But looking back, there were a few things that helped me overcome that imposter syndrome. And I think they could help you too so I want to share them today!
1. I Practiced Recording Episodes
One thing I did was write down all my episode ideas before I even started my show. It gave me the confidence to believe that I had something to say. I remember going to a mastermind retreat in Florida, and on the drive there, I recorded some episode ideas using the voice notes app on my phone. It was like I was pretending to record a podcast. Of course, I didn't air it that way, but it helped me gain the confidence that I had something worth sharing.
2. I Asked Friends for their Opinion
Another thing I did was ask some trusted business friends for their thoughts on my podcast idea. That being said, ideas can be fragile when they are new, so it's okay if you don’t feel ready to share yet. Sarah Blakely, whom you know I love if you listen to the podcast regularly, didn't share her Spanx idea with anyone for a while because she wanted to protect it from unintended negative comments. If you feel your idea is fragile, be selective about who you share it with and when. That being said, I did personally ask the opinions of specific friends, and the response was mostly positive, at least as far as I remember.
3. I Bought my Equipment
One of the memorable experiences I had in the beginning was when I went on a business retreat with my friend Jenna to an Airbnb near Nashville in 2018. We were both new podcasters at the time. During the retreat, I brought my equipment, including my laptop and microphone. Initially, I hadn't planned on recording any episodes during the retreat, but Jenna pointed out that I had my microphone and already had three episodes outlined. She convinced me to take advantage of the opportunity and record them. I can vividly visualize it now - sitting in front of a window in my Airbnb room, recording episodes while Jenna was in another room doing her own thing. Having her there, encouraging me and reassuring me that I had what it takes, meant a lot.
4. I Got Comfortable With the Idea Not Working Out
The last thing that really helped with my imposter syndrome was developing self-trust and being comfortable with the idea that not everything I try will work out, and that's okay. There have been instances in my business where things didn't go as planned, and initially, I struggled with accepting that. But when I started my podcast, it was a turning point for me. I had to trust myself and believe that it was a good idea, even if it didn't turn out as I hoped. Starting my podcast was a huge, huge, HUGE growth experience for me, and a big part of me learning to trust myself as I was growing my business.
The Result Might Just Be Worth the Imposter Syndrome, the Time Commitment and the Risk of Starting a Podcast.
Before we address your specific fears, I want to encourage you one last time. The potential outcome of overcoming imposter syndrome, managing the time commitment, and taking the risk of starting a podcast might just be worth it. The only way to find out is to give it a try. I've had conversations with many of you on Instagram who feel the desire to start a podcast, but struggle with imposter syndrome and have legitimate concerns about the time and risk.
Personally, my podcast has had a profound impact on me, not just professionally, but also by teaching me to trust myself and boosting my confidence. It has transformed me as a person emotionally, spiritually, and as a business owner. The bottom line is, unless you give it a shot, you won't know.
Do You Feel Drawn to Podcasting?
So I've shared this story before on the podcast, but before I had one, I used to consistently blog for years. I actually recorded my blog posts with just my Apple headphones, no microphone or anything. Sometimes, even when I was walking outside, the audio quality wasn't great. But I would record my blogs and put them on SoundCloud, then embed them into my written posts. I found myself wanting to use my own voice and share more than what I had typed out. Especially for longer blog posts, I wanted people to be able to listen instead of just reading. So, podcasting drew me in even before I started. It was the desire to talk, not just write.
Another thing that has happened, and still happens to this day, is that I listen to other shows and think they're amazing. I don't mean that I dislike any particular show, but I find inspiration to add my own thoughts to the conversation. I would hear something and want to further discuss it, or I would think of a different way to express an idea. Sometimes I would hear something and think, "Oh, I could do an episode on that topic," and envision how I would present it.
So those were things that were happening in my mind all the time as someone who was listening to podcasts but did not have one. If you're experiencing any of these thoughts too, you might be drawn to podcasting too.
Now, let’s address those specific fears and how to conquer them!
1. You are afraid that you won’t enjoy podcasting or won’t have time to do it forever (and then you’ll be embarrassed if you quit)
The first fear is that you won't enjoy podcasting or have the time to commit to it long-term. You may feel embarrassed if you start a podcast and eventually have to stop, especially after making a big deal about its launch. While that’s normal to think about, let's discuss these concerns. Firstly, it's important to realize that podcasting doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment. In fact, you probably won’t be podcasting for the rest of your life! But if you have a desire for it, believe it can benefit your business, and feel the call to make it work, then give it a try. Otherwise, you'll never know. Just like starting a business, podcasting requires taking a leap and giving it a shot.
And something I really love, which I'll be teaching in my course, is the concept of the six-episode commitment. This is something Tim Ferriss teaches. When I first heard him talk about it, I thought, "Yes, more people need to see it this way." So, record six episodes, release them weekly or at any frequency you prefer, and then decide. Decide if you like it, analyze what you don't like, and figure out how to make it work better for you. Let go of the idea that it's a forever commitment.
And I also want to mention that in my new course, I teach strategies to help you enjoy podcasting. I address the common challenges and show you how to find relevant topics within your niche. We overcome the obstacles that may hinder your enthusiasm.
Lastly, sometimes investing in a podcasting course, joining a podcasting group, or starting with the purchase of equipment can help you feel more committed and motivated to get started. Personally, buying my microphone made me feel like I was really taking action and I felt excited about it. It helped me with getting started and I want to encourage you to do the same. I’d love to see you inside the Podcast Success Blueprint.
2. You’re worried you’ll make the “wrong decision” on something early on and it’ll be a mess to “fix” later.
The one thing you need to know about your podcast and if you've been in business for a while, you probably already know this: every decision is changeable. If you get a mic you don't like, get another one. If you start on a podcast hosting platform you don't like, switch. You can change show formats and will likely redo your intro (and even your artwork) at some point. Change is completely normal (and inevitable), so don't stress over every decision.
I also want to mention the importance of finding a reliable resource that provides clear guidance instead of overwhelming you with a bunch of options to research on your own. This can be especially helpful if you're feeling overwhelmed with all the initial steps, such as choosing a microphone or a hosting platform for your podcast. In my podcast course, I share specific details about the equipment I use, including the microphone, headphones, recording softwares for solo or interview episodes, hosting platform, and how I organize everything. I'm not saying that you have to use the same equipment as me, but I want to show you what has worked for me throughout my podcasting journey. Interestingly enough, I haven't changed my equipment in the last 4.5 years and the best part is that it is all affordable! You can set up your equipment for under a hundred dollars, and the software I use to record solo episodes is free and likely already installed on your computer.
To tell you a little BTS - I'm currently in the process of changing my podcast host after four and a half years. It's important to remember that change is normal. Whether it's changing your artwork, intro, or even your show name, it's okay. Don't be afraid of making the “wrong” decision because it's not a mess to fix. Things change over time in business, and being comfortable with that and rolling with it is key. You may make a decision that you want to fix later, and that's alright. Hopefully you join me inside Podcast Success Blueprint and will all the resources I'm sharing and the specifics of it all will help you overcome some of that too!
3. You have so much imposter syndrome and are just truly afraid of what people will think and that no one will listen.
Alright here's the third thing you've got to overcome. I know you may be experiencing impostor syndrome and fear that nobody will listen or value your opinion on what you want to talk about. This fear may be holding you back, making you doubt your abilities. It's important to remember that many other people feel this way too. In my podcasting survey, impostor syndrome and lack of confidence were one of the biggest things mentioned. But let me assure you, you are drawn to podcasting for a reason, it’s not an accident. I know firsthand that it has the potential to transform your business. So go ahead and give it a try! If you feel called to it, trust that it's not by accident, and there's no harm in exploring something new.
I want to mention that podcast growth usually takes time. You may not get hundreds of downloads on your first episode, and that's totally fine. If 15 people listen, that's still 15 real people that you've reached.
We often forget that if you gather all the people who downloaded your episode in one place, it would be a crowded room. Depending on the room's size, your show could have a stadium-sized audience every episode or a cozy dinner party number of listeners. Either way, these are people who are actively listening and learning from you, and taking you along with them during their day, which is incredible. That's why podcasting can be a powerful tool for growing your business, whether it's a service-based or product-based business. It allows you to showcase what you do and really connect with potential customers.
4. You’re afraid you won’t have the time or money to keep it going because you’re very busy and stretched thin in your business and life already.
When I started my podcast, I also launched my template shop. At the time I thought, "I have so many other things I want to do." The idea of doing something every week indefinitely was overwhelming. It's a major commitment to take on. So first, let's address the financial aspect of podcasting, and then we'll discuss the time commitment.
The Financial Commitment of Podcasting
When it comes to expenses, you need to be strategic. Don't start a podcast just because it sounds fun. You probably don't have time for that in your business. Instead, set goals for your podcast, such as audience and business growth. Personally, I don't believe you need to immediately have a product or service to sell when you start your show. But you should think about something you can sell, that's yours, early on in your podcasting pursuit.
Basically, I believe it's important to have a clear strategy for monetizing your podcast and turning it into a source of income. This doesn't necessarily mean adding paid ads right away, especially if your show is still building an audience. Instead, focus on aligning your content with your offerings and finding ways to convert listeners into buyers over time. Consider the journey someone takes when they discover your podcast, listen to it, and how you can guide them towards becoming a customer or client. Having a well-thought-out plan in place will make the financial aspect more feasible.
Additionally, things like hosting might not be as expensive as you think it is (it’s usually like $10-$15/month) you don't need a massive team right from the start (or never if you don’t want!). You can begin with just yourself or with the help of an editor. In Podcast Success Blueprint, I discuss the different roles you can have on your team, their expected costs, and how they collaborate. You can gradually expand your team as your show grows, without it being a significant financial burden. But you don’t “need” a team!
The Time Commitment of Podcasting
Next, let's quickly discuss the importance of systems in podcasting. If you feel pressed for time and already stretched thin in your business, I understand. Personally, I run my business in part-time hours and still manage to produce a weekly podcast. Here's what I want you to know: to ensure sustainability, you need reliable systems in place. Podcasting doesn't have to consume all your time, unless you allow it to.
Some weeks I don't work on my podcast at all (apart from promoting episodes and appreciating listeners like you!). Other weeks, I dedicate time to recording several episodes at once. It's not a daily commitment, even though your audience might tune in daily. The key is having effective systems that align with your life and can adapt as your show grows. In Podcast Success Blueprint, one of the things I’m most excited to guide you in is implementing podcasting systems that make sense for you, whether you work solo or with a team. Systems and templates will be a major focus in this course!
Are you ready to start and scale your podcast?
If I haven't said it clearly enough, let me reiterate: if you have a dream and desire to start a podcast, you absolutely have what it takes. It's worth trying and can be incredibly fulfilling. It’s one of my favorite things I do in my business. I know firsthand how a podcast can boost your confidence, instill self-trust, and take your business to new heights. Read to start (and scale) your podcast? I would love to see you join me inside the Podcast Success Blueprint!
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October 23, 2023