Curious about all the things that go on behind the scenes while launching and producing a podcast?
From how to plan your content, to what tools to use, I'm sharing all the details in this episode and sharing how I ditched perfectionism for a simple, streamlined podcast launch that I'm super proud of.
If you're feeling stuck on how to create content consistently without the pressure of perfectionism, keep listening, and be sure to grab the Content Calendar Template!
.If you've been following me for a while now, you would know that I actually have a YouTube channel, and creating YouTube videos was my primary way of creating content from late 2016 until I started this podcast.
And I love YouTube. I still believe in the power of YouTube and let it be known that I definitely want to go back to doing weekly YouTube videos one day!
But as much as I love YouTube and believe in YouTube, even since I started my channel in December of 2016 I struggled personally to do it consistently.
There are so many people out there who are great at this and so I just want to share my personal experience.
Even though I loved YouTube, it was hard for me to do it every single week.
I felt like I was going through waves where I would do one or two batches. I would get to share YouTube videos several weeks in a row and then suddenly I'd fall off the radar.
And that was really what I was doing for over a year, I guess even longer. And I am not happy about it. I mean really all of 2017 or 2018 I put out really great content, but it wasn't consistent and it wasn't really leveraging everything I was doing. I mean, I was spending a lot of time to create and sometimes edit those myself. And I really am proud of those videos. I'm glad they exist.
But again, it just wasn't the platform that allowed me to be super consistent, to be vulnerable.
I felt like I kept often falling into the rut of perfectionism and comparison and over analyzation and those are things I really struggle with.
Deciding to Start The Productive Life Podcast
So when it came to content creation, I had been toying around with the idea lately of doing something easier and I used to actually cohost a podcast with my friend Mariah Coz and that was so much fun.
We only did one season of that where we did it together and I loved it and it felt like a really fun platform.
It felt really engaging, it felt easier than YouTube and I had just been toying around over the past probably three to six months before I started the podcast.
I was just thinking about, it was just a little idea, maybe I should do a podcast, maybe podcasting would be easier.
But I kept doing the thing that a lot of business consultants and advisors and teachers will tell you is pick one platform that really works for you and you see results from and stick, stick to it.
And I was seeing really good results from YouTube. The issue was just I couldn't stick to it and it ended up being something that was just a lot harder for me in more ways than just the time.
Anyway, so then my oldest sister, Natalie decides to start a podcast and her podcast is incredible by the way. It's the As a Woman podcast, highly recommended.
And she had the idea, told me about it, I guess around Christmas and then all of a sudden within a few weeks her podcast was live and it was so inspiring for me to just watch someone else have an idea and take action on it and just do it.
And I was sitting there like, I've been thinking of doing a podcast for ages.
Why haven't I done it?
Like here, you can do it.
It doesn't have to be this big production.
I was super inspired by my sister and in the beginning of 2019, it kept hitting me that I should be doing something different.
I want to share content, I want to share it consistently. I want to create regularly. I want to engage, I want to be more vulnerable and authentic and I felt like podcasting was the way to do it.
But I kept feeling like it was a big deal. Again, I have done a podcast before. I've taken courses on podcasting.
I've read blog posts on podcasting. I know the quote unquote "right things to do" when you're launching a podcast.
I know that it's great to launch with multiple episodes, really lead up to it with a bang, make sure everyone knows it's coming ...and those things are incredible.
I'm not saying you shouldn't do them, but I felt like I was kind of at a crossroads where it was either that I could just start quickly and get the podcast out without all of those things, or I could do all of those things, try to launch perfectly and fall into my typical trap of trying to be perfect and letting that delay me and procrastinate and prevent me from actually achieving what I want to.
And I was pretty freaking tired of falling into that trap to be super honest.
So after seeing my sister, just go for it and do it so quickly, I was on a plane to Nashville for a conference in February, I think it was in February, and I was just on the flight, on the flight sitting there and I was just like, I'm doing it, I'm starting a podcast.
Forget all of the fears, forget the perfect launch, forget the unanswered questions, the unknowns. I'm doing it.
So I sent my sister a text and said, hey, okay, so I'm starting a podcast. And from that text I consider that day one of starting to work on the podcast because I didn't have anything figured out.
I didn't know what it was going to be about, who it was for, what it was called, anything.
I just knew that day was day one of saying, I'm going to do this. Thankfully, my sister is really great at coming up with names and helped me come up with the name of this podcast that day.
Then on the flight, the whole way there, I just had my journal and I just wrote out, I think it was 130 podcast topic ideas, 35 guests that I could have on the podcast and it just all poured out of me of just how much there is and I want to share and all the ideas and inspiration I have for a platform like a podcast.
And it felt so good for those ideas to just flow out. It's how I knew I was on the right track, but you don't have just all of those ideas and then suddenly have a podcast if you've ever done a podcast or created any kind of medium, you know there's a lot in between those two steps.
Letting go of Perfectionism to Launch Sooner
Now, I was working full time as well, so I didn't have all the free time in the world. I was very busy. I had a lot of stuff going on. So fitting in a podcast wasn't something I just send all the time in the world for, as pretty much no one does.
And so I really had to be strategic about my approach.
I knew that if I tried to do all the bells and whistles, I was not going to launch this podcast, at least not anytime soon.
So I knew I couldn't go that way. I knew I was going to be coming at this from a different approach.
I was going to forget the best practices I was gonna forget the strategies and instead just focus on launching, knowing that it's okay if it's not perfect, knowing that if it's okay, if it changes, it doesn't have to be the best podcast I ever create, but I just need to launch with one podcast and from then on, release an episode once a week.
So I was really coming at this with a minimum viable perspective and it was really amazing that around the same time, one of my friends, Natalie Bacon, who I've talked to you guys about before with her amazing courses that I love.
She talks about this concept of “B- work” and the idea that as much as we all want to be A+ students and we all want to put out the best, highest quality content possible, you don't really have to do A+ work to get the results.
And as Marie Forleo says, “clarity comes from action.” I’m I butchered that quote, but that's how I remember it in my head.
The idea that you have to start doing things to even get that clarity, so that was my perspective for this podcast.
I was coming at it from a perspective of it's not going to be perfect.
It's not going to be the best intro.
It's not going to be mixed perfectly.
I'm not going to have the perfect launch, but I'm just going to start episode one probably will be my least favorite episode of all time. And that's okay.
The point is that I'm starting and it's happening and that was a very different perspective for me.
I've been a systems person, a productivity person, a project manager, a business strategist, and I know the strategies and I know the perfect project plan and I pretty much threw all of that out the window.
So that was key in having the idea and committing to doing the podcast and then getting it live.
So once I committed to doing the podcast, I actually didn't work on the podcast every single day after that. I'm not even sure I worked on the podcast for another week or two. Pretty much during most of that first seven to 14 days was just a lot of thinking.
Okay, what's the script for the intro?
What is this really going to be about?
How do I want to structure my episodes?
What's the outro going to be?
And just kind of brain dumping, flushing out some content ideas, outlining the first few episodes, really just like wrapping my head around it and then I knew I wanted to make sure that the logistical execution of this podcast was easy because it was just me, myself, and I doing this at the very beginning.
Tools I use to Produce the Podcast
I didn't have help and I wanted to make sure that I set up a system that was super easy for me to do, but that would also work when I do have help, so I decided to record my episodes in Zencastr.
So Zencastr is what I use to record my episodes, both the solo episodes and the guests episodes and that is something, again, I did because I wanted it to be a system that would work in the long run.
I wanted to have potentially a future team member to be able to access the downloads for me.
I wanted to easily do guest interviews.
And part of this also is that as much as I love YouTube and the longterm vision for this podcast is that there is video accompanying it just me as I'm recording it, looking pretty rough and putting that on my YouTube channel, that adds such a layer of difficulty to me right now for where I'm at.
And so I just had to decide that I'm not gonna do that right now.
And even right now as I'm recording this episode, I wish there was a video with it, but as I flush out what the ripple effect of that is for time and logistics, it's just not worth it right now with the way my life is as of right now.
So that's a longterm plan. When I have more support with me, maybe I'll reevaluate that.
It's definitely on my radar and maybe that'll happen soon. But as of right now, that adds a layer that adds complication, that adds time that I can't afford right now.
And I definitely couldn't afford while I was in these 23 days of trying to launch my podcast.
So I use Zencastr. It's very easy to use. It gives high quality audio.
Anyone can log in and download the files for you, which was very important to me and that's it.
So decision one, that's where I'm recording my podcast.
Then I decided at the beginning I was editing these myself and I'd have Screenflow already, which is a Mac specific video editor, and I am just so familiar with that platform.
So then once I have the edited podcast, I would go into my hosting platforms. So I used to use Libsyn back when I cohosted a podcast. It's a great platform. There are so many great podcasting host platform options now.
So I actually decided to use a new one called Buzzsprout or at least it's new to me. I'm not sure when they actually started, but I read a lot about it, did a lot of research and I liked a few different things about Buzzsprout.
First of all, I liked how pleasing to the eye the backend was. If you've ever seen the back end of Libsyn, it just feels like very clunky and heavy. So from an aesthetic standpoint I liked the back end of Buzzsprout.
I liked how easy it was to use. I also felt like it had a lot of features that I really enjoyed.
It allows you to easily add tags and a description and an episode summary and organize the number of episodes and what order they go in.
And they even have some cool features like chapters, which if you have ever listened to this, you might have noticed before that I have chapters where you can quickly see timestamp of what is happening at what time and jump around, which I really think that's a cool feature.
And they also have transcriptions that are so affordable.
It's currently, as of this time of recording at least it's 10 cents a minute. Which other places, other software that I've used is like a dollar a minute. So 10 cents a minute has been great and they turn it around within 10 minutes.
And the platform in which you edit the transcript is so seamless and easy. So that felt really good.
They even have some cool features like you can get a little, I think they're called audio grams, where you can get a little snippet of your episode with the cool wave graph over it.
I don't know what these are really called, but you know, you see like the audio spike visual on a graphic and that's something they offer and just a lot of other amazing features.
And I also felt like the stats were really easy for me to understand. So instead of using a podcast host like Libsyn or something that might be seen as more of a standard or a best practice, I decided to go with one that felt like it made my life easier.
So as soon as I was done editing, I uploaded it to Buzzsprout. And was able to really easily update the information and schedule it to go live whenever I wanted to.
I also really liked that Buzzsprout makes it really easy to publish your podcast to all of the different players. So with just a few clicks of the button, my podcast was submitted to iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and like three or four other platforms I didn't even know existed. So that made it so easy.
And again, I was all about doing this quickly, doing it myself, doing it really efficiently and not over complicating things.
I also recorded my own intro and used ...and outro and used music than I already have from a YouTube days. I already had music, a license to some music that I had and I decided to just go on to repurpose that music and I decided to just do the audio for the intro chapter myself and splice it together.
Again, it's probably not the perfect intro and outro, the words probably aren't the perfect, the mixing is probably not great, but it is what it is. It does its purpose.
So then those 23 days I had brainstormed some episodes. I knew what was coming up. I felt really confident that I had a good source of ideas for this podcast and then I recorded one episode and I literally went live with one episode.
I didn't have multiple ready to go at once.
I didn't even know what day of the week I was going to be publishing these episodes.
I just knew that I needed it to go out and so I didn't design this project even happen within 23 days.
I literally just did the most I could with the time I had and as I got closer to recording that first episode, I decided what date I wanted or what week I wanted it to go live.
And then I recorded episode two later.
So I really didn't do a big batch.
I didn't have it all perfectly figured out.
I don't even know if the description on iTunes is the most strategic. I'm sure I'll change that, but my mentality through this whole process and how I was able to get my podcast up within 23 days was because I let go of perfectionism.
It's because I let go of trying to have A++ work. I still feel so proud about the quality of work and content that I'm putting out there. So you don't want to feel bad about it.
But I still didn't do the most, I know in my head like 20 things that I could have done to make it better, sound better, more strategic, have a bigger launch, get more downloads and those things are great when you want to do them.
But I was in a space where I knew by doing them it was going to delay me actually taking action and that's a huge problem that I struggle with.
So I was really trying to actively prevent myself from falling back into those old habits. So that's it. I mean I really, the most promotion I did leading up to the podcast going live, was talking about it on Instagram stories, which is pretty much my smallest audience.
I don't even think I teased it in an email before. I pretty much just announced it when it happened. And then have just tried to consistently promote the new episodes when they come out.
And I want to be super transparent about where I'm at now.
So now I've got a couple months of podcasting under my belt. I'm feeling really confident and excited about it and I do have help.
I do have a virtual assistant, the lovely Bev, who is helping me. She's really more of an OBM role and she is allowing me to sit down and record and pass the torch.
So for the first few episodes I was recording and editing myself. Bev came in and started helping me with the blog posts.
Then Bev started helping me actually schedule everything, but I was still editing.
And now we have a podcast editor that we just started working with.
And so for the first time I am now able to just sit down and record, make some decisions on the title and the angle or the calls to actions for each episode and then pass that off to my two contractors who are helping me.
So between Bev and our podcast editor, they're able to take my recordings, splice them up so they make sense, edit out any of my mistakes or my mishaps, turn that into a blog post based on the transcript, create some graphics in Canva.
And really again, we're keeping things super simple.
Even though I have help, I don't want this to be a really complex, complicated process yet, so I'm keeping it as simple and streamlined as I can, but I am now enlisting help from people on my team to help me continue to release episodes.
And let me tell you, you guys, it isn't always super expensive to get help.
So if you create content or you podcast and you're doing everything yourself, I really want to encourage you to look at how much time it takes you and what you enjoy, what you don't enjoy, especially in the editing and post production process.
And look, as of the time that I'm recording this episode, I am still working my full time job.
I don't know when this episode is going live, but I am still recording my full time job as I'm recording this and I already have two contractors helping me.
Now these two contractors, maybe you don't need to maybe you one, but I would really encourage you that if you're creating content consistently, whether it's a side hustle or not, you would really benefit from hiring someone to help you just a couple hours a week or a month because this has been a game changer for me.
Not only am I saving time and I'm definitely getting my investment back on time.
Trust me. You can find podcast editors out there that aren't crazy expensive and you can find virtual assistants out there that are reasonably priced, so it exists, they exist, they want to help you!
But ignoring the actual time part, which might be your first instinct of why you want to hire someone, it has made creating content so much more fun because I get to sit here, be inspired, be creative, share with you what's going on and do that several times in a row and then someone else gets to worry about what the end product sounds like and editing out these gaps and listening to it in detail and spending time listening to it.
So I just really want to encourage you that if you create content consistently get help, it's not too soon to get help. You don't have to wait until you have a super successful podcast to get help.
Because honestly, a lot of people who create content, whether it's YouTube or blog posts or podcasts, and I can say this from example because I've been this person, the burnout comes from when you lose that creative flow and when you get bogged down in the administrative stuff.
But even though I have help now, I'm still using all the same software.
Now I'm sure my podcast editor doesn't use Screenflow. He uses a more sophisticated tool, but the point is that the parts that touched me in the parts that touch my immediate team are still super simple and easy to use and save us all a lot of time.
That is how I launched a podcast in 23 days.
I know I don't have a day by day plan because I literally was just doing what I could on days where I could, and it ended up happening in 23 days and I'm so proud of that, especially with my history of taking way too long to execute on plans and projects.
So if you've been wanting to launch something, a podcast, a YouTube channel, a blog or anything and everything, I really would encourage you to have the same frame of mind that it doesn't have to be A+ work and it doesn't have to be perfect.
Doing something imperfectly is better than doing nothing at all, which is what so many of us do because we fall to comparison over analyzation thinking it has to be perfect.
And all of those are just procrastination tools and I can say that from experience because I have done that too.
So I really hope you've enjoyed The Productive Life so far. It's been so much fun for me to create these episodes and I'm definitely going to keep sharing some of the behind the scenes lessons like this.
So as I create more content, consistently continue to do the podcast, and learn tips and tricks or even just learn how long it takes me to do one single episode, these are things I want to share with you guys and share a little bit of the behind the scenes of being a business owner and a podcaster.
While we're talking about podcasting and content creation, I do just want to remind that you can download the exact content calendar template that I use to plan my entire content calendar, that includes my podcast, any YouTube videos that I rolled out and my social media.
And you can download that exact same spreadsheet and template by clicking below or heading over to MeganMinns.com/contentcalendar.
The Content Calendar Template has made it so much easier for me and my team to get on the same page about what pieces of content are going live, when, what they're called and all that good stuff.
I hope you enjoyed this episode and I will see you in the next one.
Thank you for listening!
If you’d like to share your thoughts on this episode:
Leave a comment below this blog post.
Ask me a question or submit a guest request by filling out the form here.
Share your biggest takeaway on Instagram stories - just be sure to tag @megan_minns so I can see them!
If The Productive Life podcast has helped you at all, please take a minute to support the show by:
Leaving a review on iTunes - your reviews help spread the word about the podcast and I read each and every single one!