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Why Podcasts Fail

If you’ve read our previous blog about how to create a successful podcast that will boost your business, you probably already know some of the more common pitfalls of podcasting: inconsistency, poor equipment, and lack of marketing. But if you’ve addressed all these issues and your podcast still isn’t taking off, you may be wondering if podcasting just isn’t for you. Before you throw in the proverbial towel, make sure you check off a few more boxes that you may be inadvertently leaving blank:

1) You don’t believe in what you’re saying.

Ask yourself if your stories are worth telling. Are you simply reading off a script about sales trends, or are you sharing a story about how the current market projects certain outcomes that will impact a large sect of your audience? Are you passionate about these topics? Do you look forward to recording and discussing them with your show guests? Or is this simply a means to an end for you? Believe it or not, audiences can tell when you care about what you’re saying. Enthusiasm is contagious even through headphones. As you well know, podcasting is no easy business — it can be exhausting and time-consuming. If you’re going to put in the effort of creating a podcast, you should be as emotionally invested in it as you are time and energy-invested in it. Otherwise you’ll quickly get burnt out, and your audience will too.

2) You don’t know where this is going.

Did you know that your podcast doesn’t have to go on forever? You don’t have to create a podcast with the intention of posting every other week for the rest of your life. You can create a branded, limited series — think Serial — that covers one topic in depth and acts as a permanent resource for your colleagues and clients. You also need to be aware of your goals and limits: at what point will you decide whether the show has been lucrative enough to justify all your invested time, energy, and money? Are you aiming for a certain number of downloads, listens, follows, or conversions? Are you hoping to make the podcast an integral part of your business model, or are you just using it to try to distinguish yourself from your competitors? Develop a hypothetical life-and-death cycle for your show the same way you’d develop a hypothetical cycle for your business: what happens if the market crashes? What’s your exit strategy? The last thing you want is to end your series abruptly and appear to your audience as though you’ve given up without explanation.

3) You’re afraid to fail.

We get it: as creatives, the idea of rejection and failure is terrifying. It can be emotionally and mentally exhausting at best, and completely soul-crushing at worst. When you start your podcast, it’s like your baby. A new project to nurture and grow and continually work on until it’s flourishing on its own. When that doesn’t happen, it’s too easy to just give up and decide to move onto something else. But remember that failure is an integral part of growing as a creative and as a business owner. Failure is how we learn from our mistakes. It’s how we discover innovative new ideas and make a splash in our respective industries. If your podcast is only getting a handful of listens, hardly any reviews, or doesn’t seem to interest your audience, don’t give up just yet. Interact with your audience to gauge their actual interests — believe it or not, business people don’t always want to listen to podcasts about business. Even if you’re attempting to boost sales for your product or service, your podcast doesn’t have to be explicitly sales-minded. Perhaps your prospective customers would prefer stories about trends in human resources or organizational psychology. Perhaps they’re more focused on how your industry is being impacted by current events. Maybe they just want to hear wild stories about the random internships you had in undergrad. Listen to your audience, and in turn, they will listen to you.

If you’re still unsure where to begin with your podcast, Mr. Thrive Media can help. Check out our podcasting services here, and get in touch with CEO Chaz Volk here.

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