This past Wednesday, I released my 26th Lead to Succeed podcast episode. Considering This means that I just celebrated its first half-year anniversary. Mazel tov!
This is very exciting to me because it means that Lead to Succeed has survived the “podcaster’s dip” that plagues so many folks who rush to get their message out but quickly become discouraged and drop it (drops often occur between 7-10 shows and again between 20-25 episodes).
What do I attribute my “sustained success” to? Here’s a short list that I came up with.
- Letting the idea settle – So often, we get inspired to do something and decide “in the moment” to go out and make it happen. More often than not, though, spontaneous action is not sustainable action. We all benefit from taking time to think and consider the implications of our actions before jumping in full throttle. In my case, a few months passed from the time that I began to seriously consider podcasting until my first episode was released.
- Testing it out – Before I started my own podcast, I guested on other people’s shows. This gave me a feel for the work involved in producing a show, including the back-end, technical elements that go in podcast production.
- Doing my homework – Once I developed relationships with successful podcasters, I was able to start picking their brains and ask them all sorts of questions. Their answers greatly informed and influenced how I chose to move forward.
- Starting with a plan – I used what I learned to develop an extensive plan that included everything from getting my scripts in order, to finding proper technical support and lining up a list of guests. As part of my plan, I set a reasonable schedule that I felt I could commit to (releasing one episode a week) and then made sure that I had a substantial backlog of recordings (ten at the outset) to protect against having weeks where I would be unable to record.
- Budgeting for the long haul – To ensure that the podcast wouldn’t fizzle over time from lack of funds, I needed to make sure that until I could generate revenue from the podcast I would be able to fund it from existing (or projected) business resources. I also had to budget the personal time to make sure that content was produced and prepared for consumption.
- Having a vision – Knowing what I wanted to achieve from the podcast can be exceptionally motivating when you hit those inevitable road-bumps. Whether your goal is monetization, adding value, developing relationships, personal learning, brand building or anything else, you can point to your gains in that area and gain inspiration to plow ahead.
- Being patient – Recognizing upfront that most podcasters do not see immediate tangible returns from their shows can help keep you from giving up early on.
- Factoring for mistakes and setbacks – No process is launched perfectly, especially one as complex as podcasting. Most seasoned podcasters tell of their early follies and missteps. Certainly, I couldn’t expect a far better outcome, even after learning from their experiences. When the problems arose, I committed to working through them rather than backing away.
- Outside support – Perhaps the most influential factor in my relative success to date has been the support of my wife, family and growing “family” of podcasters. I do my recordings at my home office which, admittedly, is far from the ideal environment for creating high quality audio content. I need to ensure that there is no outside noise, and this can impact my family in a number of ways. I have also gained much encouragement and inspiration from the many great podcasters out there that are making a massive impact on a daily basis. I consider a growing list of many to be good friends and supporters. I couldn’t have done this without all of their help.