Podcasts: Who Shouldn't Start One
We're often keen on helping people get into a different aspect of marketing. Growth hacking your brand is a process that requires a wide range of knowledge and skills. However, with podcasting, a healthy way of examining the matter is by taking a different approach.
Learning to produce compelling ad creative or optimize your campaign performance is something that you can learn. Podcasting, on the other hand, calls for a part of your personality and value proposition to pass onto your audience. Therefore, examining who shouldn't get into podcasting is a great way to evaluate your chances for success in the field.
Joining us for some tough love this week is John Lee Dumas of the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast. John is an entrepreneur who has interviewed the biggest names in business worldwide.
Who Shouldn't Start a Podcast?
Before delving in, it's important to state that anyone can potentially succeed in podcasting with the right mindset and tools. The purpose of today's episode is to keep prospective podcasters from wasting their time on lukewarm efforts. John Lee Dumas is an expert in the world of podcasting and his insights are essential for anyone looking to start their own show.
In John's experience, anybody that doesn't have the best solution to a real-world problem that audiences are looking to solve should avoid podcasting. If you don't possess this best solution, you will be a weak imitation of the thousands of podcasts already in existence.
The good news is that if you identify a real problem that you can solve definitively, you will win. Oftentimes, podcasters will state that inspiring your listeners is key to success. This is false. While inspiration is great, inspiring others isn't the best solution real problem your audience has. You need a specific best solution to a real problem.
Imagine your car breaking down and having your local mechanic utter some inspirational words about being able to fly in your dreams. While you might feel your spirits lifted, you're probably going to be walking home or end up looking for another mechanic.
How to Do It and How Not To
Chandler Bolt teaches self-published authors the best way to launch their books. He takes a very specific and real problem that a niche is thirsty for information on.
Not everyone has the connections or the funds to strike a deal with a publishing house. With the internet offering the ability to go it alone, the prospect of self-publishing can seem daunting. This is a prime example of a real problem that people are actively looking for reliable solutions to.
In terms of how not to go about podcasting, Dumas reiterates that focusing on inspiring others won't cut it. As he puts it, attempting to operate from a starting point of inspiring others will “lose every time.”
Why Do Most Podcasts Not Make It Past Episode 7?
The data suggests that the average episode where podcasts drop off and die is the seventh. John Lee Dumas attributes this to launching a weak podcast. For these podcasters, initial enthusiasm gives way to disappointment and realization of lack of conversions.
The first episode fills the creator with enthusiasm. The tendency is to view the first episode as perfect. When the second episode is complete, the creator sees the first one as not so perfect after all. By the fourth or fifth episode, boredom starts to creep in as the show is flat-lining. By the seventh episode or so, the lack of conversions leads to scrapping the project altogether.
When Should You Think About Monetization?
The only way to monetize a podcast is to solve a real-world problem with a specific solution. If you are doing that at a high level, you will grow a big audience. Monetization will follow when you ask your audience to answer: What is your biggest pain point/problem to which you need a solution right now?
When you have the answer to that basic question, you can then create a product, coaching program, or other service.
Responding to People That Reference JRE or Masters of Scale
When telling prospective podcasters that they need to follow the process detailed above, their response is to reference successful shows. “If they did it then surely I can too!”
In the case of Masters of Scale, the show deals with an important part of business: scaling. On the other hand, the Joe Rogan Experience, a variety show with a wide spectrum of guests, lacks the problem-solution mechanism.
So, could you build a podcast like one of the aforementioned cases? Well, according to John Lee Dumas, the sooner you realize that this is a one-in-a-million long shot, the better.
The creators of these podcasts have millions of followers based on their past and are famous for being good at what they do. While it's certainly possible that you will one day achieve fame and mass acceptance as an authority, building a successful podcast without these tools must start with the basics.
How Do I Get This Episode Out and When Should I Start Thinking About Distribution?
If we decided to make an FAQ about podcasting, this would be at the top of commonly asked questions. How do I grow my audience?
Realizing your podcast will suck when you're getting started is a very useful and liberating place to start. Even if you think your first episodes are great, you shouldn't let your imagination run wild.
According to John Lee Dumas, there's no need to market your podcast when starting out because it's money down the drain. Spending time working on your content before focusing on distribution will elevate your future potential in orders of magnitude..
Hone your skills to pro-level and monetization opportunities will reveal themselves to you in time. It's useful to have a general understanding of how you'll eventually make money from your brand. However, realize that it's one thing to be prepared for the future and another to waste funds on an imperfect project.
Before Starting a Podcast
Knowing he sounds redundant, John Lee Dumas insists on answering the question: Is there a real problem that I can create the best solution for? When John started Entrepreneurs on Fire, it was just another podcast. He drilled down to the business podcast niche. Eventually, he turned the show into a daily podcast that interviews entrepreneurs.
The podcast is the only one of its kind, creating a loyal listenership of business-minded followers. As a parting tip, Dumas suggests you try to be the only one in your niche. Take your biggest competency and create a unique niche out of it. Make it so that eventually others will be trying to copy your success.