Is podcasting the right content platform for you? If you’re leaning towards starting a podcast but you’re not quite sure if it’s the right option, this episode is for you. I’m sharing 3 practical ways you can figure out if podcasting is a good option for you.
And even if you’re already a podcaster, these tactics may still be helpful for you as you think about growing your podcast.
In episode 17, I gave you some of the pros and cons and I also gave you a list of questions you can ask to help you narrow down which content avenue is right for you. But perhaps you need a little more insight into the podcasting option to figure out if it will be the best fit for you. That’s what I hope to do in this episode.
3 Ways to Determine if Podcasting is Right For You
1. Become an avid podcast listener
This might sound silly, but it is so important to be a podcast listener if you want to launch a podcast. I have actually talked to some podcasters who tell me they don’t really listen to podcasts and it always surprises me. It’s like someone wanting to become a published author but they don’t ever read books.
When you listen to podcasts, you’ll figure out if this is the right format for you. If you love them it may help you to know that this would be a good fit. If you hate them, then you probably shouldn’t start one yourself.
Here are a few things to pay attention to as you listen:
- What do you like about the podcasts you listen to?
- What turns you off? What do you hate?
- What is the typical style of podcasts you prefer?
- How long are the podcasts you like?
I encourage you to listen to a variety of formats and genres. Even if they are not ones you’ll want to listen to ongoing, just by exposing yourself to different styles, you’ll be better able to determine what type of podcast you would want to have.
Personal note: I listened to podcasts for at least 3-4 years before I started my own. I really had a solid idea of what I wanted to do and did not want to do based on this.
For example, listening to others helped me decide to have a co-host. I really enjoyed co-hosted podcasts and I felt like it would work best for my content.
I also knew that I did NOT want to waste people’s time by chatting with my co-host about life and random stuff for 5-15 minutes before getting into the content. It drives me crazy to hear the hosts ramble on at the start of a podcast especially if it has nothing to do with what I’m there for. So I was intentional about this. My co-host and I do a fun segment at the end of our episodes where we answer a fun question… at that point if someone wants to sign off, they won’t miss the main meat of the content.
So listening to other podcasts will help you determine if podcasting is right for you.. And if so, it will help you determine what type of podcast you want.
2. Guest on other people’s podcasts
One of the best ways to try out podcasting is to become a guest on other people’s shows. You’ll get a feel for the experience of podcasting without having to do all the heavy lifting! You’ll also get exposure and grow your brand if you do it well.
This is another thing that helped me decide that podcasting was for me. I started connecting with podcasters and getting invited (or pitching them) to be on their shows. After a few of these, I was able to tell that it was something I enjoyed and would want to do. I caught the bug, so to speak.
If you have no idea where to start when it comes to getting on other people’s podcasts, i’ll give you a few quick tips. This is not an exhaustive guide to guesting, but just a few key points.
- It’s all about relationships. Start building relationships with podcasters whose shows you’d like to be on. Don’t go into it with a selfish motive… but rather be thinking about what you could bring to their audience. But building an authentic relationship with the host will help you. This can mean following their social, getting on their email list, joining their group, commenting, interacting, providing value. Check out episode 10 for more on relationships.
- It’s all about the audience. I have had a few people pitch to be on my show when it’s apparent they have no idea who listens to my show. So it’s vital that you get familiar with the audience and the people that podcaster is trying to reach. Whatever you want to share should apply directly to that audience.
- When it comes to pitching, remember the 3 Ps.
- First, follow the process. Find out if the podcaster has a process in place for guest applications or if they accept email pitches. This might require you to do some digging but its worth it to go about it the right way. I had one person tell me my application was too long, so she didn’t get an invite to be on the show. She might ave been a great guest, but she wasn’t willing to follow my process which is in place for a reason.
- Be patient. It takes podcast best time to go through their emails, pitches, and applications. You will not get an immediate response, so be patience. Remember that they have businesses they are running and often their podcast is a passion project… so they are doing this on the side.
- That being said, do be persistent. By that I mean it’s okay to follow up with them one or 2 times to check in and see if they were interested in having you on the show. Don’t just apply and run. Stay involved in their community and stay on their radar. Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing and you may end up on a show you never thought could happen.
After you guest on a few shows, you’ll have a better idea of what the process is like, and this will help you determine if podcasting is right for you.
Do you enjoy it? Do you get really flustered and stressed out? Or does the conversation flow naturally? Are you having fun?
3. Learn about podcasting
I’m convinced that one of the reasons my Christian Woman Leadership Podcast grew the way it did is that I had invested a lot of time and energy on the front end both with learning and creating a strategy. Of course, I also believe God was involved and I was ultimately leaving the results up to him. But I did my best to learn as much as possible before launching so that the podcast would have a good chance of succeeding.
I had the advantage of working behind the scenes of a successful podcast for over a year, so that on-the-job training definitely was beneficial. But even if you don’t work with clients who have a podcast, you can still invest time in learning about podcasting.
Now here’s a caveat: there is a TON of information out there on the internet. There are a lot of free facebook groups about podcasting. And just because someone has a website or is active in a fb group about podcasting does NOT mean that they know what they are talking about. Make sure, in your learning, that you are following someone you trust and someone who is reliable. It really helps if they are actually a podcaster themselves!
And I’ve got good news for you! I would love to be someone you can learn from. I’ve launched 2 of my own podcasts, with the CWLP show hitting 100K downloads within 17 months and hitting the top 200 of the Christianity category several times. I’ve had that podcast now for 2+ years and this one for a few months.
Secondly, not only have I worked on my own podcasts but I’ve also worked with dozens of clients and students to help them launch, manage, or grow their podcasts.
Over the past year or 2 I’ve had a few programs and resources to help people but most of it has been my 1:1 services and one group program I did. So I’m excited that I’m finally expanding beyond that and bringing my experience and expertise to a wider audience.
So to learn about podcasting, first make sure you’re subscribed to this show and keep an eye out on upcoming episodes. Second, check out these other links below:
- Strategy and Systems for a Successful Podcast – Women’s Business Workshop Episode 24
- Behind the Scenes of The Ops Authority’s Systems with Esther Littlefield – Ops Authority Podcast Episode 11
- My podcasting blog posts
Bonus step: bathe all of this in prayer and ask God to direct you
Look, I’m not one of those people who over-spiritualizes everything. It very well may be that God doesn’t have a clear cut “yes” or “no” for you about starting a podcast. But it’s possible that He does have guidance and wisdom for you. It’s possible that he will give you ideas and dreams and thoughts that you wouldn’t have gotten to on your own. So as you are considering this possibility, bring it to Him in prayer.
One of my prayers has been that if God ever wants me to be done podcasting, that I would be okay with it. That I would be just as willing to give it up as I was to step into it. We want to hold what we are doing with an open hand and allow God to use it how he will.
Because starting a podcast isn’t just about growing your business or your audience… it’s about the bigger picture. The bigger purpose God has given you. It’s about pointing people to Christ and helping others know about the hope found in Jesus.
So I’m not here to try and convince you to start a podcast if it’s not the right thing. But if it turns out that it is the right next step for you, then I would love to support you on that path.
Free podcasting resource for you:
If you either have a podcast or you might want to have one, one of the most important things is keeping track of what needs to be done on a weekly basis. I share every step of my process in my Podcast Workflow Checklist, which you can get by Texting PODCAST to (917) 905-8801. If you haven’t started a podcast yet, this will be a look behind the scenes. And if you have one but are struggling with keeping track of all the steps, then be sure to grab this resource!