Tom Clairmont

Tom Clairmont

Helping you pivot through your small business journey.

Why You Shouldn’t Start a Podcast

Starting a Podcast? Great…Well, Maybe Not

Podcasts seem to be everywhere. Right? They’re being played in the subway, in cafes, in the gym, wherever you go.  And you can listen to them everywhere, whenever you want. 

I’ve been listening to them for about 15 years… back when they just started. Back when they weren’t even called podcasts but ‘audioblogs’. There was a small business show out of the UK that I would download to the computer and transfer to my mp3 player so I could listen as I walk around. 

So I go way back with listening to a lot of different type shows. Educational, entertainment, small business, corporate management, non profit management shows… the list goes on and on. 

And I’ve seen a lot of them come and go over the years. But recently, it seems that more of them are coming and going. A lot of people are starting podcasts and a lot of people are abandoning them as well. 

So, before you do start your own show and invest your valuable time and resources in, perhaps the wrong medium for you, think about why maybe you shouldn’t start a podcast.

According to survey findings shared by Edison Research, as many as 50% of US households are fans of podcasts. They’re listening to podcasts of different genres, with comedy, education, and news being the most popular ones.

Podcasting has a certain glamour to it, and many people think about starting a show so they can be part of a smaller, elite group. Or maybe they just want to call themselves a Podcast host because they like the sound of it. 

But with 50% of US households listening to Podcasts, those numbers make podcasting very attractive, but if you are someone who is toying with the idea of starting a podcast just because of such numbers, you need to sit down and think through things. 

While the huge number of listeners make podcasts look very attractive, let me tell you that many shows don’t grab the attention of listeners. 

Worse, there are many dead podcasts too – as podcasters abandoned them in between. 

Less than 50% of podcasts are active, meaning only half of shows had a new episode published this year.

And that’s why you just shouldn’t start a podcast if you are not sure about certain things that I will discuss in this episode.

So if podcasting is your plans, make sure you aren’t doing it for any of these wrong reasons, or otherwise, your podcast would die a quick death and you’d be wasting a lot of time and effort, for nothing.

All about you

Friends, people like to listen to podcasts for 3 reasons.

• Education

• Entertainment 

• Inspiration

They don’t want to listen to you going on and on about you. Podcasting shouldn’t be to stroke your ego or just be a way of having an audio resume. 

You’re not unique

The best shows are the ones that stand out. They’re interesting. They’re engaging. They’re worth the time you’re going to spend listening. 

If you can’t figure out a way to stand out, then this isn’t for you. If your personality is bland, think twice…maybe three times about doing a podcast. 

 

You thought it would be easy

I get it. You’re confident and that’s great. You can learn a lot of things and I’m sure you can learn how to create a good podcast. But don’t think that just because a lot of other people are doing it that automatically, it makes it easy. Coming up with content that’s engaging every week after doing 5- or 60 episodes gets more and more challenging each week. 

Creating the time to come up with this content is just as challenging. So if you thought it was going to be easy, then think again. 

You have no plans on promoting the Show

If you barely have time to come up with the topics for each episode and create the content, and you don’t set aside time to promote the show or the guests, then you’re going to run out of steam very quickly. If you’re going to do this podcast thing, then do it right. 

Do you want to have more than 10 downloads every day? Do you want to grow the show and have others recommending it and promoting it because you’ve promoted it? Then it’ll take some time on social media every week, multiple times each week. 

 

You don’t personally listen to podcasts

If you’re personally not listening to other podcasts and you’re not a fan of podcasts, then it’ll eventually come out in your personality, your content and in your promotion..or lack of it. 

If you’re into sports, and you have a favorite team, then how much do you watch their games? How much do you get into the stats and the nitty gritty details of the sport? You’re a huge fan of the team, so you’re investing your time and energy into being excited about them. 

Well, if you’re not personally invested in learning and growing in the podcast community, then don’t bother. 

You’re not able to be consistent

One episode every now and then will throw off the rhythm that the listeners are used to. Not having a schedule that you follow or to have them expect won’t draw serious fans of your show. 

Coming out with a new episode once a month, once a week, twice a week, every day… pick one. And stick to it. People need to know that you’re serious about the show before they’ll be serious about it. 

You love to hear yourself speak

I know a couple of guys that love to hear themselves talk. They just keep going and it’s hard to even make a little comment or inject something. If this is you, and podcasting is just a way to feed your appetite to hear your own voice, then try something else. Don’t bore any potential listeners with rambling on and on about…well, it doesn’t matter what. If this is again, all about you, then it’s not for you.

You’re expecting too much

It’s reasonable to have expectations about doing a podcast and the benefits of having a quality show, but  

• Fame

• Fortune

• Recognition

• Downloads

• Fun 

These things happen with very successful Shows that can generate a lot of income through sponsorship and affiliate sales. Yes, it can happen, but don’t get your hopes up within the first 5 years or so. 

You didn’t think it through

So…you started doing a few episodes and you found that it wasn’t really what you expected. You told a bunch of people that you were going to do it, you invested quite a bit of money in equipment or coaching…or even production of the show. 

And now that you’re in the middle of it all, and have made this commitment, you’re wondering if you really should have started this in the first place. 

All that time. All that money. All the hype you’ve done. Now you’re committed and doing it out of obligation, not for the love of doing it. 

You don’t have the time

Busy people are the ones that get the most done, right? You figured out a way to squeeze in other things and doing a podcast is something that’s in the business plan so now you need to just ‘figure it out’ and get it done. 

Well, we all know that when you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else, right? Or are you just saying yes to one more thing and not saying no to something? 

If you really don’t have the time, then you’re going to realize very quickly that your show will suffer in one way or another. 

Friends, this takes time. Quality time. Coming up with original content and putting in the effort to be engaging, educational, inspirational or entertaining, takes time. 

You don’t know why you’re doing it. Everybody else is.

Are you the type of person that does TikTok videos because everyone else is? Or are you on YouTube for the same reason? Are you looking back and finding that you’re just in this pattern of trying to keep up with everyone else and do what they do?

Because if that’s the case, then it’ll show in the type of content that you come up with. It’ll show in your voice when you’re recording each episode. 

If you’re doing a podcast and you don’t know what the plan is and why you’re doing it, then rethink this whole endeavor. 

You don’t have a clear message

If your Show doesn’t have a clear way of communicating a specific message..a narrow niche about…anything, then you’ll be taking your listeners down a wandering path to nowhere. If one day your episode is about parenting and then the next one is about how you like to repair your car, you won’t be able to establish a listener base that will be engaged with your content. 

As John Nemo, a content marketing expert says…’The riches are in the niches.’

Have your message be clear and narrow. Have your content be about one main topic that you can break down into a lot of different sub topics.

Give the listener, in advance, a clear understanding of what the show is about, even before they listen.

This is what I did in this Shows description on the hosting provider, RedCircle.

These are the topics I cover in the Show description:

• Starting a business with a solid plan

• Who is this Podcast for?

• What will you hear?

• About the Host

• Resources to help you succeed 

With this detailed Show description, the potential listener will know, in advance, what they can expect to hear and who they’re hearing it from. 

You don’t have a target audience

Part of the basic requirements for having a successful Podcast is knowing what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it and who you’re going to say it to. 

Remember what I said before when I quoted the content marketing expert, John Nemo? The riches are in the niches. 

You must know who you’re talking to. You can’t speak to everyone and think that your message to the world will sink in and resonate with everyone. 

Different people groups have different needs and expectations. Sports enthusiasts are looking for specific content. Business owners are looking for specific content. Coaches and Consultants are looking for content to help them in their realm. Even men and women have different needs and expectations. 

But don’t forget the age groups and how that affects your message as well. 

The 30-40 age group will have different perspectives than the +40 audience. 

This needs to be figured out in advance. If you don’t… or can’t, then don’t do a Podcast until you do have this ironed out. 

You don’t have a quality mic

I understand small budgets. I really do. I run my business on a small budget. But some things you just can’t skimp on and think that you’ll just record your audio from you computer mic. 

If you expect people to plug your message into their ears and pay attention and be engaged, then you’ll need to have a certain level of audio quality that keeps them engaged. 

A room with an echo, tinny audio or not being able to hear you clearly will be distracting and give people a reason to not tune in. Don’t give people a reason. Do this the right way. If you can’t afford to buy a $130 mic just yet, then wait to do this until you can afford it. 

Quality audio is a must. 

Well, friends, I normally spend a lot of time talking about how to help you start your own Podcast, but I thought it was necessary to help you understand all that’s involved with taking on this venture. 

When I have people reaching out to me for a coaching call on IF they should start their own Show, I go over these things so they’re better informed. I just don’t want to take their money, help them get their Show  up and running and leave them stunned a few weeks into it, wondering why they did this in the first place.

It’s just not fair to them, the audience or the Podcast community to have one more failed Podcast hanging out in the search results, taking up valuable search space for people that are genuinely looking for a good Podcast to listen to.  

I hope this helps. Again, I normally like to encourage people to take action toward these types of things…and again, starting a Podcast is a great way to grow your business, or even have the Podcast AS the business…but you have to do it right. 

There is a right and a wrong way to do this. 

If, after listening to me taking a full episode to talk you out of it, you still want to have your own Show, I’d be glad to help. You can book a free discovery call or shoot me an email at tom@tomclairmont.com

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If you’d like some help in determining your path to self employment, I’d be glad to assist. Send a little information through the quick contact form at the Contact page. 

“The riches are in the niches.”

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

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