There are one million good reasons to start a podcast. A love of storytelling, repurposing written articles to be more accessible, to find deep connections with strangers all over the world, or just because you like the sound of your own voice.
But with the many motivations to get started, there are thousands of inner monologues that make it difficult to take the leap. Voices that say your story isn’t interesting enough, no one will listen, or that you don’t quite have the voice for podcasting. It’s Imposter Syndrome at its best.
While sometimes it’s hard to get out of your own way, we hope our latest Audience episode will help. Every podcaster has let fear cloud their judgement. A lot of us think we’re the only ones who are struggling with something, when in reality, many have gone through the same thing. This interview will show you that you’re not alone, and working through the fear of getting started is all part of the process.
How to Get Over the Fear of Starting a Podcast
A few weeks back, Matt received a podcast consultation request from a guy who was having trouble getting past this wall of fear. Hitting the “Publish” button felt too intimidating and there was that nagging feeling that the podcast’s name wasn’t quite right.
As the Director of Podcaster Success, our host is uniquely qualified to offer his two cents. The caller had already done his due diligence in setting up his Castos dashboard, but was seeking the confidence to keep going. What follows is a breakdown Matt’s feedback on how he would approach getting started today.
And remember, the advice shared here applies to the creative processes involved in a lot of things. Whether that’s writing blog articles, filming YouTube videos, or teaching people a unique skill with an online course, these tactics can help there too.
Minimal viable products for podcasting
Minimal viable products is a term from the startup space. The idea is companies should launch a version of a product that allows them to learn about their customers with the least effort.
Adopting that mentality for podcasting means testing episode concepts before there’s a full fledged strategy ready. By getting something out into the world, you’re able to see if it works and have the flexibility to tweak it and make it better.
Contrary to popular belief, you’re not exposing yourself by not having a completely refined idea. In our minds, the worst thing you can do is hold yourself back because something it’s picture perfect.
Start out with a private podcast
A private podcast is your friend in times of fear. It can be your private playground to test out your “minimal viable podcast” before letting it loose to the public. Allow a curated group of listeners hear your show, provide feedback, and help you refine the show before putting it on Spotify.
Don’t shy away from inexperience
You don’t need to produce a certain number of episodes before others will consider your podcast worthy. Quite the opposite. For podcasters who want to interview guests, we say start pitching them from the get go.
You can weave your inexperience into the sell. Those just starting out put their blood, sweat, and tears into their podcast. Remind the potential guest that they’ll be the first to reap the benefits of your passion.
But of course, manage your expectations. The top speaker in your field might not bite at a newbie show on day one. Instead, start with the guests who have a similar reach as you. Meaning, their network is around the same size as yours so you’re both two big fishes in small ponds.
Once you sharpen your skills and develop a rhythm, that’s the time to level up get in touch with the big guys.
It’s not all about the name
There are things to think about when naming a podcast, but it shouldn’t be the thing that holds you back. Put your focus on generating an enticing story structure and committing to publishing on a regular schedule. That’s where podcasts see great growth, not because it had a catchy name.
Ladder up to the big stuff
A website to house your podcast, an email list to communicate with your listeners, and a super refined call-to-action are all key items to a successful podcast.
But they don’t need to happen on day one. Instead of psyching yourself out by trying to get it all stitched up for launch day, pin it for the future. These bonus pieces will help you reach new ears at some point. But at the beginning, keep your focus, resources, and time on trying to create the best episodes possible.
Castos creates a custom podcast page for you at sign up. Your show will automatically have a home base feature every episode release and subscribe buttons to every major listening app.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- Head to the Podcast Grader to help get over your fear of starting a podcast
- Hear Teresa, host of A Most Unusual T Party, talk about her experience starting a podcast for her handwriting analysis business