Top 10 Lessons to Succeed in Podcasting

By Alex Harris November 04, 2020 1 Comment

Top 10 Lessons to Succeed in Podcasting

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So, you want to succeed in podcasting?

I don’t blame you.

Podcasting has opened countless doors for me, both personally and professionally.

If you’ve checked out my previous post, How Podcasting Helped Me Overcome Self-Doubt, you’ll know that podcasting was my segue into believing in myself and my message. It was also how I left literal decades of social anxiety and insecurity in the past.

Today, I want to share with you how this first-time-podcaster-turned-growth-expert grew into his own behind the microphone.

Check out the top 10 lessons I’ve learned to succeed in podcasting.

1. Listeners Care About the Information You Have to Offer, Not You

Shiba Inu with Headphones

How many times have you re-recorded your intro or retaken your headshot just to have the “perfect” podcast package? If I had to guess (and if I had to pull from personal experience), I’m going to say several.

If so, this first tip is going to change your life: Listeners don’t really care about you.

Let me rephrase that more gently. Listeners care more about the information you have to offer than they do about you.

If you want to succeed in podcasting, remove yourself (and your ego) from the equation. Instead, focus on your message. What content do you want to provide? What questions do you want to shed insight on? Those items are much more important than the first take of your intro.

 

2. Never Doubt What You Have to Offer

Once you decide on the content you wish to provide, never doubt it. There’s only one you, and what you have is worth sharing with the world.

Take me, for example.

Before podcasting, I spent years diving into entrepreneurship, self-growth, and self-development. One day, the message clicked: my happiness equals progress. So, I created a growth podcast that allows me to have open conversations with fellow artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders that discuss their opinions on progress.

Had I doubted my vision, I would have never created the Happy Squad I have today.

 

3. Remove Stop Words and Self-Doubt

Alex Harris Public Speaking

If you’re unfamiliar with stop words, they’re typically phrases we use as place filler when we lose our train of thought or become nervous. Common examples include, “um,” “ah,” or “like.”

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the words in and of themselves, it’s the message they portray that’s the real issue.

Generally speaking, stop words imply self-doubt. They creep in when we begin feeling unconfident or confused, and they muddle our speech. To succeed in podcasting, you must learn the art of brevity: to be concise and exact with the words you use.

 

4. Never Stop Learning

The fact that you’re reading this blog post is a good indicator that you’re willing to learn — and that’s a great sign!

The best podcasters always push themselves to absorb as much information as possible about their respective field. From current news articles to the latest discussion threads on social platforms, engaging with your audience and doing personal research into individual topics ensures you can become the go-to source for your topic of choice.

Personally, I take every five years to reinvent myself, but you don’t have to go that far. Instead, force yourself to learn and evolve your way of thinking each day.

Recently I read the book Ultralearning. While we input a lot of knowledge to our brains, we don't necessarily retain a lot of that information. This book gives you ways to actually use the information you learn and remember it. Highly recommended this book if you want to master hard skills and deep dive into real learning. 

 

5. Don’t Be Limited By Your Day Job

I’m no stranger to the corporate 9 to 5. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in podcasting is to not let my traditional day job stand in the way of my podcasting goals.

With podcasting, you serve a larger-scale of people. Plus, you share ways of growing so others can follow in your path. You might be off the beaten path right now, but soon, the audience you grow can turn that road into a high-speed highway.

Here's a picture of me at Halloween at my first job in the office. Check out that CRT monitor! 

6. Ignore the Misconceptions

It’s a common misconception that it’s hard to break into podcasting because it’s over-crowded. Not only is this not true, but it can be discouraging to timid podcasters in the community.

In actuality, the podcasting community is very small and very niche. So, while there are tons of podcasts for large industries like finance or tech, there are also shows geared towards smaller niches, like horticulturists with arthritis or designers with ADD.

Ignore the misconceptions and tailor your content to your audience.

 

7. Network, Network, Network

On the hunt to continue learning, I discovered this important lesson: always network. Half of what I’ve learned about podcasting hasn’t come from books or video, it’s derived from like-minded individuals in my network. Fellow podcasters have given me all the tips and tricks I’ve needed to know, from editing software to transcription services.

One of the best tips I can give you now is to push yourself to network, even if you’re on the more shy side. With COVID-19 restrictions limiting physical events like conferences, turns to courses and Facebook Groups, like EOFire.

EOFire’s “Mastermind on Fire” was a paid group that helps connect like-minded professionals in a range of fields. You can also find these types of individuals on private Facebook Groups, and host impromptu virtual coffee chats on Zoom or Google Meet. Apply to join the Happy Progress Mastermind.

Even without a physical connection, the podcasting community is incredibly welcoming and can prove to be an invaluable resource to you as you grow.

For example, last week I attended the awesome conference, Podcast Movement. While it was force to be online this year, the networking was still incredible. In fact, one of the best sessions was by John Lee Dumas and Kate Erickson from Entrepreneur on Fire and podcasters paradise. 

 

8. Find Your Crowd

Podcast Networking MeetupsGrowth can be tricky in the first few months, trust me, I know. The trick is to not go on this whole journey alone. Instead, find your crowd.

Big names like Tony Robbins embark on “JVs” — joint ventures in which a collection of influencers or industry professionals join together to launch or promote a product. You can use JVs as an opportunity to gain subscribers or grow your email list.

Simply invite individuals in your network to start a panel or companion series with you. You’ll need to offer valuable content to hold up your end of the bargain, but the results are well worth it.

 

9. Create Shareable Content

Create Shareable Content for Podcast Growth

Podcasting is just one means of content creation. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout my career is to create multiple forms of content, especially ones that can be easily shared on social platforms.

Cut important bits of your show into clips that can be featured on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you don’t have any accompanying video files, place the audio over a still image to create an audiogram.

Transcribe your shows to repurpose them into blog posts, like I do. Or, create infographics or charts to represent the information you’ve produced.

Ultimately, you want to create content that can be repurposed on other websites, channels, and podcasts for the ultimate reach.

I am currently testing a service that repurposes my audio and video clips into social media posts. It is called Repurpose House. It's very simple and you can see the repurposed content on my Instagram here.

So far, it has been really good for my needs and very affordable. Learn more about using Repurpose House for your own content and social media marketing. 

 

10. Encourage Positive Actions

The last lesson I’ll leave you with is paramount.

Never forget that you are your own biggest advocate.

Do not be embarrassed to encourage positive actions at the end of your podcast — ask listeners to follow, subscribe, or like your content. Push your email list sign up whenever it's organic.

Remember, no one else will do that for you. It’s up to you to advertise yourself and encourage listeners to continue supporting your content.

And take it from someone who knows: Taking these steps to advocate for yourself can do wonders for your self-doubt and confidence levels. 

Go Forth and Prosper, Happily

Did these lessons I’ve learned to succeed in podcasting give you the boost you needed to keep producing? I certainly hope so. The journey isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it, trust me.

Alex Harris Podcasting Lessons Learned for Success

To recap, here are my Top 10 Lessons to Succeed in Podcasting:

  1. Listeners Care About the Information You Have to Offer, Not You
  2. Never Doubt What You Have to Offer
  3. Remove Stop Words and Self-Doubt
  4. Never Stop Learning
  5. Don’t Be Limited By Your Day Job
  6. Ignore the Misconceptions
  7. Network, Network, Network
  8. Find Your Crowd
  9. Create Shareable Content
  10. Encourage Positive Actions

If you need help along the way, myself and Happy Progress are always here to help guide you. Just shoot me an email at alex@happyprogress.com.

Happy podcasting!


Subscribe to the Happy Progress Podcast:

Happy Progress on Apple Podcasts
Happy Progress Podcast
Happy Progress Podcast on Google

1 Response

Toby Pollack
Toby Pollack

November 24, 2020

Excellent resource. As always, Alex had a wealth of knowledge and resources.

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