The Top 5 Lessons Learned from a Year of PodcastingApr 08, 2022
The Top 5 Lessons Learned from a Year of Podcasting --- for you as an independent consultant & thought leader
My podcast producer recently told me that only 17% of podcasts make it to their first anniversary.
I'm proud to say that the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast turned ONE on April 1st (no joke).
I've now hit that top 17% milestone of podcasters who have been consistently publishing (weekly in my case) for the past year.
Happy 1st anniversary to Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast!
Today, I'm sharing my lessons learned with you, to apply to your own thought leadership, whatever your own platform (podcasting, blogging, LinkedIn newsletters, speaking, etc).
1. Create guiding principles to move past paralysis
When I started thinking about doing a podcast, the biggest thing that held me back was worrying that whatever I had to say would be "wrong" and I'd ruin my reputation.
The risk felt bigger than the reward.
I know so many independent consultants feel the same way, and it keeps them on the sidelines where they never start publishing.
The way I moved past this paralysis was two-fold:
- I decided that my guiding principle would be "done is better than perfect." I committed to setting aside 2-3 hours each week to write, edit and record the podcast. And, that I would release it no matter what.
- I also decided that the podcast isn't "about me." The podcast content is meant to help the listeners. It won't appeal to everyone. But, it will help those consultants who appreciate my style and way of doing business. That's who I re-focus on any time I start worrying about people's thoughts about me.
For you: I recommend you try on these two guiding principles for your own consulting thought leadership, to get past the starting line and into a consistent routine.
Borrow these two guiding principles for your own consulting thought leadership, to get past the starting line and into a consistent routine: (1) Done is better than perfect and (2) This isn't about me.
2. Choose a platform you love (and your ideal clients use)
Choose a platform you love, and that you believe your ideal clients frequent.
For me, I chose podcasting because I can record anytime day or night, with or without makeup, and I don't have to be tied to a certain day/time. I also know that a lot of independent consultants, especially those who are also interested in personal development, listen to podcasts.
It was the perfect marriage for me.
For you: There are so many choices of platforms. Pick one that you'll like using so it doesn't feel like a heavy lift.
- If you like writing, write.
- If you like speaking, speak.
- If you like facilitating, host quarterly roundtables.
There are so many platforms to choose from. Pick one that you'll like using so it doesn't feel like a heavy lift.
3. Find ways to reduce the friction and make it easier to be consistent
When I first started podcasting, I procrastinated my recordings until late on Friday night, pushing the deadline of when the audio was due to my podcast producer.
I dreaded recording.
Then, I started testing out new methods to reduce the friction.
- I broke it down into bite-sized steps (e.g. choose a topic, write an outline, write the content, record)
- I fueled these micro-steps with the phrase "can I just." I sat down at my computer or on my iPad or at the microphone and thought, "can I just start this for 5 minutes." You may experience this too in your work. Once I got started, it was not a problem to keep going.
For you: Ask yourself, "what can I do to reduce the friction in this process?" What micro-steps can I put in place that I will complete in a 20 to 30 minute window and that will advance the process forward?
Ask yourself, "what can I do to reduce the friction in this process?"
4. Just because you "can" doesn't mean you "should"
I love technology.
I love figuring out and implementing new processes.
I'm 110% sure I could figure out how to edit and publish my own podcast. I'm 110% sure that I don't need to pay someone to produce the podcast for me.
But, as my own coach frequently reminds me, just because I can do it doesn't mean I should.
I chose to hire a podcast producer from the outset, even before I felt worthy of having one.
She's made all the difference in making sure I get the podcast out in a professional manner each and every week.
For you: ask yourself what part of your thought leadership process can you delegate? Then, move forward even before you think you've "earned the privilege."
Ask yourself what part of your thought leadership process can you delegate? Then, move forward even before you think you've "earned the privilege."
5. Focus on the process vs. the outcome (at least in the beginning)
I receive emails every week that tell me how many downloads I've had.
In the beginning, I think the # was 20 downloads or so. I had friends who had already hit 10,000 downloads (and beyond).
It felt tiny.
It felt like a huge mountain to climb.
I wondered if anyone would find the podcast. And, at times questioned if it was all worth it.
I decided to focus on the process instead of the outcome.
I focused on being consistent.
I focused on looking for patterns and trends to share with the people who were listening.
It worked. I've exceeded that 10k download milestone now.
But, it still doesn't matter to me. I'm not chasing numbers.
I'm focused on releasing helpful, actionable episodes that can help the independent consultants who want to create a sustainable, thriving and predictable solo consulting practice.
For you: look at the type of thought leadership content you want to provide to your ideal clients. And ask, how can I focus on the process versus the outcome in order to create consistency for myself and my ideal clients?
Ask yourself "how can I focus on the process versus the outcome in order to create consistency for myself and my ideal clients?"
So, those are the top 5 lessons I've learned in this past year of podcasting. I hope they'll give you a head start in creating and maintaining a consistent routine of your own thought leadership as an independent consultant.
Becoming sought after for what you do is one of the key success factors for your consulting business. Click here to take my 3-minute Independent Consultant's Scorecard assessment to compare your consulting business to the solo consulting business best practices, so that you know where to focus your valuable time in the next quarter.