Confronting podfade head on

Episode 1 – Full transcript

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  1. Gary Vaynerchuk – Generally
  2. Gary Vaynerchuk on “Document, don’t create”
  3. Tony Robbins – Complexity is the Enemy of Execution

Full transcript

hello and welcome back to “Can I Make A Hit Podcast” in the 2020s that’s what this show is all about, and I’m going to break every rule in trying to do this series. I don’t want to stick with one format. I want to try and find out what works and if that means adapting what I’m doing so be it. What I’ve realized, just starting off this new show is I’m facing “Podfade” yet again.

[00:00:24] I’ve talked about pod fade before, but what is it in simple terms, the vast majority of podcasts that get started stop within eight to 10 episodes, and if we’re to have any hope of making a hit podcast, we’ve got to actually keep going right?

[00:00:39] Lots of people, thousands of people every week, dream of setting up a podcast and there is a really high chance, I don’t know what it is, but it’s well over 90% of all podcasts will stop very soon after they start.

[00:00:51] I’ve set up five podcasts myself and they’ve all varied in different lengths. One of them lasted for a whole year, which was also a YouTube show, and other ones have lasted even shorter time. But I know personally what it’s like to pod fade, and I’ve got to that point now where I know that I’m not alone.

[00:01:07] I want to try and work out why, because before we work out what the topic is that we need to do , we’ve got to try and overcome this problem so that I and everyone else out there who’s clearly making the same mistakes as me, don’t go down that path. If you’ve never made a podcast before, I really urge you to listen to this stuff, to realize just what kind of thing you are facing so that you can overcome it.

[00:01:29]you’ve got to ask yourself, why is it the people like you and me who are genuinely passionate about a topic give up after eight to 10 episodes? You know, the mantra always is, if you love what you’re doing, you will keep going. But to me it feels a little bit like a new year’s resolution. You know that getting fit or eating well or seeing your friends or anything like that is going to make you happier, but then you don’t actually do it and you give up.

[00:01:53] So to me, podcasting is a little bit like that. You know, the fun you could have, you know, the excitement you could have from podcasting. And yet for some reason, so many of us still give up.

[00:02:04] So what I’d been looking for this week are some answers to this, how do we actually make this work? One simple trick I tried this week, and really I got to the edge of pod fade, was to set a stopwatch and to do no more than one hour of podcasting per night. It’s very easy to make a huge list of the things that you really want to do at the beginning and all the advice out there seems to say in a launch with a huge bang and you’ll get success. And that’s great if you’re working full time and you’ve got a production company, but it is far better to just get started and to do something gently and build it up so that it is sustainable.

[00:02:41] Because if you launch with a bang and fade eight to 10 episodes later, that’s achieved nothing.

[00:02:47]so what I found by doing one hour a night is that it feels manageable. Instead of me having a gigantic list, I feel overwhelmed by, if I’m honest with myself, one hour is bite size. It makes you focus on the things you actually need to do rather than creating all of these extra tasks that just don’t need doing. It gets you really focused in there and when you get to the end you, it’s quite hard to stop. In fact I’ve really struggled myself to stop, you feel like you really want to do the next day and that motivation keeps you moving on. I’ve only done it for a week so far. But I really suggest you try that one. If you are experiencing pod fade is to cut it down and say, I will do no more than one hour or two hours, or whatever it is.

[00:03:26] You know, all my podcasts have been way too complex and I think this is a problem for all new podcasters and that makes it way too time consuming. You know, Tony Robbins, whether you like the guy or not, I think this statement that he makes is really relevant here to podcasting and that is that “complexity is the enemy of execution”.

[00:03:47] So the more complex you make something, the more chance you are to give up on it, even if it’s a brilliant idea and you love the idea of doing it, complexity stops things!

[00:03:57] So there’s nothing to do with the topic, nothing to do with finding the right topic. It’s the way you actually approach it.

[00:04:03] I’ve been a bit presumptive because I’ve only been testing this for a week, but I put it out on social media, on, Saturday, the 22nd of February and I wrote of graphic on there, which I said, “pod fade doesn’t mean you have the wrong topic, it means you’re approaching podcasting wrong”. And I’m becoming quite convinced that that is the case.

[00:04:24] So as well as using a stopwatch trick to try and sort of force yourself to feel more excited about what you’re doing and not overwhelm yourself and make sure you focus only on the tasks that actually need doing,I think it’s important to get across a podcasting is hard.

[00:04:38] It’s not something that you just magically do. One of the problems with video, for example, is that people assume that when you make a video, all it takes in terms of production is from the time you press the record button to the time they stop.

[00:04:50]simply doesn’t work like that. There is so much more extra production to do and you’ve got social media to do. You’ve got to answering queries, you’ve got to get guests on board, you’ve got to set up the equipment. You’ve got to design your graphics. There is so much more to do and that’s not a problem, but you need to make sure your account for this in your daily life.

[00:05:09] So when I started this latest podcast, which is this, “Can I make a Hit Podcast” in the 2020s I started doing 45 minutes shows and I did a live YouTube show, and then I was trying to edit that all down into audio, and it’s just too much work.

[00:05:23]Remember that a one hour podcast for an example will take roughly two to three times the length of that to edit it, you’ve got to get out all the ums and errs or the bits where you messed up. So a one hour program could take you three hours. And that’s just the program. Then you need to edit it and as I say, the social media sections create the graphics, write the show notes. Do the website, add another one or two hours at least for that, uh, two or three, maybe with the social media, the whole thing together and your one hour podcasts can mean a commitment of eight hours a week. That’s a full working day! And let’s say you do two hours a night, that’s basically your evening every single night of the week and a bit more.

[00:06:04] Can you actually deliver on that when you have a full time, difficult job and tiring job, as I’m sure all of us do.

[00:06:12]Yes, you can improve your efficiency by planning your show better. I use an editing piece of software called descript. I think it’s fantastic, um, which deletes all the ums and errs but editing takes time. It’s easy to think also that you can find that time and it’s like, Oh yeah. Eight hours. No problem. I can, I can squeeze it in here. I can do a bit before work. I could do a but in my evening, I could do a bit of my lunchtime. But are you really gonna be able to sustain now on a regular basis? I’m not saying don’t do it here. I’m just saying be realistic.

[00:06:41] You know if you’re a gym fan, how are those three hours at the gym a week going if you committed to that at the beginning of the year? Now that’s less time commitment by a lot than setting up a podcast and yet I’m sure for the vast majority of people who committed to go into the gym in the beginning of this year, that’s also gone by the wayside, and that’s half the time, less than half the time.

[00:07:03] Maybe it’s not as much fun, but the point I’m making is the amount of time commitment, you need to think that this is going to take. So you need to get motivated and you can’t do that by telling yourself it’s going to be something that you truly want to do deep down. Yes, for sure. But you’ve also got to gear everything up for your success is what I’m coming to the conclusion of.

[00:07:22] So these were some of the lessons that I learned this week and you can follow me on social media because I’m recording these on the days I actually get them and then I’m rounding it up in this podcast.

[00:07:31] So the first thing I realized at the beginning of this week was that I’m trying to produce or was trying to produce a 45 minute live show, and it was just too hard, too long, too much work.

[00:07:40] So then I thought, okay, well how can I do it differently? How can I make a podcast that is not going to take so much time. I’m a raised this idea from this guy called Gary Vaynerchuk, and he pumps out good quality content at a staggering rate. He’s one of these sort of entrepreneurial gurus, but he’s actually done it.

[00:07:58] Instead of just delivering how you should do it, he really has built a genuine business, a marketing business in the States, and he produces all this stuff on YouTube and social media accounts, and…it’s good. I mean it’s actually good content.

[00:08:11] And his principle is, it’s a question of documenting, not creating.

[00:08:16] There’s naturally a temptation, I think with podcast to want to create content, and I do this. , I’m just as much to blame. And then you create this huge complexity. You create all these ideas and you start doing all this research and it just takes even more time to do.

[00:08:30] So your eight hours becomes 16 hours. It just goes on and on.

[00:08:33] But. If you aren’t genuinely living the life of the value proposition you’re giving across. So if someone wants to become an entrepreneur and you are an entrepreneur who is living that life, so if you’re genuinely living that life and you can literally pass on the lessons you are learning on those days, through your social media and then round it up in a podcast so you document, you don’t create, and that means that you’re not spending hours planning. You just literally record, almost like keeping a diary of what you’re doing.

[00:09:04] And that’s the approach I’m trying to take and it’s certainly more exciting and, and feels more “real” to be honest as well. So for me, it’s a question of documenting my process of learning about podcasting.

[00:09:15]So what I concluded with the way I make mine is that I would record and update each day. So I would document, not create five days a week with observations of what I was learning about podcasting and how to make a hit podcast and then I would round those up. So I would add an introduction at the beginning and I’d add an outro at the end.

[00:09:33] And then those five days would provide the content of my podcast, and I would literally just record it from the notes I’ve made during the week, and that is exactly what I’m doing right now.

[00:09:44]So for me, so far this week, it does seem to be working, but as I say, it’s an ongoing process. There’s two more observations that I wanted to make and one is how hard it has been to stop working after one hour. Really, really hard because my natural temptation is to come up with all these ideas. I mean, one idea, I started writing a couple of notes this morning for this.

[00:10:02] And I immediately thought, Oh, I wonder if this could work as an app on your phone and wonder if I could write an app so that it could provide this sort of learnings I’m having as a course. But think about the complexity of actually designing that and doing it. So limiting it to one hour and forcing yourself to do that, I think is really important because it’s making me excited.

[00:10:23] And I started today because I knew I’d only got one hour instead of faffing around and then going, Oh, I could start this podcast today in two hours time, actually got on with it within minutes of the time I’d assigned to my calendar for today for this one hour of podcasting, I immediately got on with it. So I think this is a great technique from my, my experience.

[00:10:40] The other thing I did, and I’m going to pass on more of these lessons next week cause I’m going to try them out and then pass them on once I know, which I think work, is that going along the same lines of the idea of podcasting is about like a new year’s resolution.

[00:10:52] I started looking at how you motivate yourself to keep going with new year’s resolutions. I’ve been looking at documentation from like the American psychology association, Harvard medical school, and many others, lots of internet sites as well. And there were five key principles I’ve come up with so far.

[00:11:08] Number one, dream big first. It sounds like a bit of a contradiction when I’m saying complexity is the enemy of execution, but first Harvard medical school actually said, you need to dream big first.

[00:11:18] What is your grand vision? Get in touch with it. Know what it is that you want to see. Not just, I want to make a podcast cause it’d be fun, but why? What do you see? What do you see you or have after you’ve been doing this for. Five years for one year, whatever.

[00:11:32] Number two is dream small. So the complete opposite. You break up that vision into the first few goals that you need to achieve and make them incredibly simple. Number two, three, make each goal measurable so you know when you’ve achieved it. Number four, be realistic. Do things that you know you can achieve. Don’t just set huge goals. Like, I’m going to be famous on TV by next week.

[00:11:52] It isn’t going to happen.

[00:11:54] Um, what did we get to? Number five. Oh, actually there’s more than five points here on it. Talk about it. Join others experiencing the same thing and work together to find that motivation and forget anyone that says you just don’t like your topic enough. I just don’t believe that anymore. from the reading I’ve done this week. It’s far, far more complex than that.

[00:12:12] don’t believe anyone that says it is just simply because you don’t love your topic enough . So talk to other people. Talk to me on my social media if you like.

[00:12:19] Let’s do this together. It will be really nice to share the experiences together and push ourselves for any barriers we hit.

[00:12:25] And finally, if you miss an episode of your show, don’t beat yourself up, but do ask yourself why you missed it. Was it other pressures in life? Was it because it felt all too much? Did you feel overwhelmed? Was it the lack of response from the audience? Was it the lack of response from guests? Why was it, just make a note of why and finally there are far more than on five points. Make a plan. So for me. Here are my ones.

[00:12:51] So the first one is reassessed my huge to do list and make it more manageable. I’ve done it.

[00:12:55] Set a time limit of one hour per night for podcasting. I’m doing that now.

[00:13:00] Next one, read up on “Document, don’t create” and make notes for the next podcast. I’ve done that.

[00:13:06] Design a weekly approach, which includes both my social media and podcast in one hour per day max. I’m doing that. I’m in the middle of doing that, testing it now.

[00:13:14] Study at least five websites for motivation techniques around new year’s resolutions and see how they can apply to podcasting. I’m doing that and I’m going to round that up during next week on my social media

[00:13:24] and finally do at least two weeks of this new approach and see how it works.

[00:13:28] Those are my short term goals. That’s what I’m working on next week. I hope you will join me on social media, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

[00:13:36] The account name is @hitpodcast2020, @hitpodcast2020 and you can find all the links as well on the website at It’s literally all one word. Can I make a hit podcast .com. I’m looking forward to working on this project with you directly as well, because I’m no expert on this. I’m just learning, but I’m trying to pull all these resources together so that I have success and if I have success, you will have success too, theoretically, because if other people can make a hit podcast in 2020 and all across the internet, it says you can, there must be a way, and if there is a way, there’s no reason why you and I can’t do it right.

[00:14:15] I’ll speak to you next week.

Published by Richard

25 years in the communications business. Former news editor, journalist, political public relations professional, social media content creator, and podcast host of

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