Should You Start a Podcast? Of Course You Should (Debunking Myths About Podcasting)
A few months back I read a blog post by Jordan Harbinger.
Jordan Harbinger is one of the founders of “The Art of Charm” podcast. It is one of the highest ranked podcasts on iTunes, but last year he had a bad falling out with his business partners.
As Jordan changed career paths, he wrote a piece explaining why he didn’t recommend people start a podcast. The article was called, “Thinking About Starting a Podcast? Don’t.”
I remember reading the article thinking “this is awful.”
I don’t know Jordan Harbinger. For all I know, he is a kind and optimistic guy. I don’t have anything bad to say about him. But I strongly disagree with basically everything he had to say about podcasting.
I want to address some of the myths that Harbinger made in his article and then tell you why you should ignore them.
Myth #1 – You Need Ad Revenue to Monetize a Podcast
Selling ads against your brand is a terrible monetization strategy. I went into this at length on my interview with Hamish McKenzie.
If you are trying to monetize through ads, your only metric is going to be traffic numbers. The more impressions you get, the more pennies (actually its more like tenths of pennies) you can collect from your advertiser.
An unfortunate bi product of that model is you most likely need to be publishing massive amounts of sensationalized content in hopes that you can enrage people enough to click on your article.
It tarnishes your brand and you will blend in with all the other hacks on the internet.
Not to mention, selling advertisement isn’t profitable. An advertiser will always nickle and dime you.
But there is a better way.
You can use your podcast to sell yourself!
Sell your own products. Sell your own services. Sell tee shirts that you made. Sell subscriptions. Sell anything else other than ads.
If you work your way up to 250 downloads an episode, you can build a sustainable model. Let’s say at the beginning of each episode you pitch your product. Let’s say you sell your product for $25. Let’s imagine you sell 4 of them an episode. If you do 4 episodes a month, that’s an extra $400 dollars you made!
Compare that to the $10 you would make on selling ads.
There’s no comparison. Selling ads is a waste of time.
I’ll throw in some personal data to prove to you all how realistic this is.
So far, I’ve made about $4000 from my podcast. It’s an investment and it will continue to grow. It works because I use my podcast as an extension of my personal brand and as a result, people want to work with me.
The same will work for you! You just have to get started.
Myth #2 – You Need Production Value
I started my podcast with my iPhone. After a month, I bought a USB mic that plugged right into my computer for $50.
These days, I have two high quality microphones, a mixer, editing software, two mic stands and a video camera for when I want to stream my podcast live on YouTube. In total, it probably cost me $400.
It sounds clear and professional.
Regardless, it’s not the production value that will determine if people resonate with your message or not. The Monday Morning Podcast with Bill Burr sounds like he is underwater. It’s a wildly successful podcast.
*Note – after some research, turns out he get a better mic. Here’s a hysterical Reddit post about it.
Why is it successful? It’s because Bill Burr makes people laugh.
If you have something to say, people will resonate with you.
Am I saying that production isn’t valuable? No, of course not. Obviously there is value in having a quality product that people take seriously. Being able to edit intros and music and transitions can certainly take a podcast up another level.
But is it required? Hell no.
The only thing that is required is the willingness to publish your work.
Myth # 3 – You Need to Have a Charismatic Personality
The whole concept of charisma is missing the point of what makes podcasts so special.
If you’re going to bother creating a podcast, you should do it because you have something to say. It doesn’t matter if you scream your message or if you whisper it. Things worth saying are always heard.
One of my favorite podcasts is Myths and Legends. It was created by a man named Jason. I find Jason’s voice to be really bland and boring. BUT I LOVE HIS STORIES!
Jason isn’t trying to be a talk show host. He’s not trying to be a motivational speaker. He’s just telling his stories. It’s great. I love it.
What Jason understands is that he is appealing to a certain audience. He understands what his show is about.
If you want to start a podcast, the last thing you should be worrying about is charisma. Your confidence and charisma behind the mic will come with in time.
Instead, what you should focus on is picking a subject matter that you know or that you are interested in, because it is your passion and your curiosity that will hypnotize your audience.
Reasons Why You Should Start a Podcast
With time and practice and patience, the people you wish to serve will hear your message and they will follow along.
You should start a podcast because interviewing people is an incredible way to learn. I have learned so much from the stories and experiences of people on my show.
You should start a podcast because it’s a great asset that will only build more value as you work and build your audience.
You should start a podcast because it is one of the best ways to build trust and authority in a certain subject matter.
Most importantly, you should start a podcast because you have something to say.
Need Help Getting Started?
If you read this blog and you found yourself nodding your head in agreement, then it’s time for you to take the first steps of launching your own podcast.
I am here to help you. My coaching service is tailored to people like you who want to build a business around what it is they are passionate about. I would be more than honored to help you set up your podcast.
To learn more, fill out the contact form and we can have a chat!