I promised a few episodes ago that I would do an episode all about podcasting, so here it is! There have been a lot of questions from listeners about how to start a podcast, the benefits of podcasting, and how best to serve your audience through a podcast.

I’m joined on this episode by Angela Stoner, the podcast launch specialist of Digital Freedom Productions, the wonderful production team behind Speak So It Matters. Angela was a super successful podcaster herself before she got into the production side of podcasting, and she’s here to share all kinds of great tips for soon-to-be podcasters.

Angela and I talk about how she got into podcasting, why she thinks it’s a perfect medium for introverts, and some of the biggest mistakes she sees podcasters make. She encourages those of you considering launching a show to take the leap and start – if you have a strong idea for a message, you can get started and your podcast will grow as you go along. We also discuss how podcast listenership is only growing, and why having your own show is a great way to impact a lot of lives, and fast.

If what you heard here today was useful, you’ll love the free guide I’ve created for you at speaksoitmatters.com/yes. Sign up now and get immediate access to our Power & Grace Speaker’s Toolkit (including The Only Presentation Outline You’ll Ever Need). 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why Angela describes herself as an initially reluctant podcast host, and what made her fall in love with the medium.
  • How your message and your podcast can not only serve and change your audience, but can change you, too.
  • Why Angela and her co-host ended their show and she decided to transition into the production side of the business.
  • What Angela recommends new podcasters focus on when they’re just getting started, and why she encourages people to take the leap and start a show before they might feel completely ready.
  • Some of the top mistakes podcasters make, including not promoting their show.
  • Why the podcast boom is far from over – meaning you should start one now, if you want to!

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Speak So It Matters Podcast, episode number 31. Welcome to Speak So It Matters , where we share a mix of stories of inspiration and super practical public speaking and communication guidance to help you release all the barriers to becoming the speaker you know you’re meant to be. Some of us are called to use our voice, to serve others and our world, as well as to become the most fully expressed version of ourselves. If that’s you, you’ve landed in the right place. Let’s do this, my friends.

Hello, hello, my speaker friends. Today is such a good one because we get to answer so many questions that I get from listeners coming straight from the expert’s source. We are going to talk about podcasting with the Podcast Launch Strategist from this very podcast production team, the best production team, podcast production team on the planet. I’m super excited to have this conversation with Angela Stoner, but first, I want to tell you about something we’re doing this week that you can still join in on. It actually started on Monday, but you have until December fifth, Friday, so depending on when you’re listening to this, December fifth, 2018 just in case you’re listening from the future, you can still join us in the Craft Your Awesome Talk challenge.

When I thought about what I could do to best help you prepare for 2019, knowing that you really want to get out there and become the speaker you know that you’re meant to be like the speaker you imagine yourself being, the most powerful thing that I believe I can give you and the most sort of actionable thing that I believe I can give you right now is help crafting that talk, putting that talk together, taking your expertise in your story, turning it into a talk that makes you feel ready and excited about offering to speak on those dream stages of yours. That’s why I created the Craft Your Awesome Talk challenge. It’s a five-day challenge. It’s totally free, I would love to have you join us, so you can go to MichelleBarryFranco.com/craft-your-awesome-talk-challenge with dashes in between the words. I know it’s kind of long. We’ll put it in the show notes, but you can go there still sign up this week, and just catch up on the last couple days of content, and then you’ll have your talk crafted. Isn’t that awesome?

I would love to have you join us. Okay. Let’s talk about podcasting and the most amazing Angela Stoner and Digital Freedom Productions, which is the podcasting company that I use. When I decided to finally hit the go button for real on this podcast, and yes, I thought about it for a very long time before I did it, I bought the equipment a couple years ago. I remember when Pavel, who is Angela’s partner in the business, was telling me what kind of equipment I needed to have, I was like, “Oh, I have a couple of different microphones, and I’m like digging them out of the closet”, so I definitely was thinking about it for a long time, but it was daunting to me, all the different pieces of podcasting.

Maybe you think about that too, like it seems like there are all these things that I already know I don’t know how to do, plus a bunch of stuff I don’t even know that I know that I should know. You know what I mean? Anyway, I finally just said, “Okay, I really want to do this”, and I just don’t have the time right now or focus to do it myself, so I started asking around, and Angela and Pavel and Digital Freedom Productions came up over and over again, so I just got in touch, and it was super easy from there because they’re amazing. If you are thinking about a podcast, you definitely don’t want to miss this one because Angela and I just dive in on … She’s so generous and lovely, and we just dive in on all the things you want to be thinking about so that you can feel confident and ready to get out there, maybe start your podcast, and even if you aren’t interested in podcasting by the way, pretty much everything we talk about applies to any kind of public speaking, so we talk a lot about your message and how to really connect with an audience and make sure that that message that you’re going to share through your podcast is really resonant for a particular audience.

There’s a lot of good stuff in here, whether or not podcasting is high on your list or not. Let me formally introduce you to Angela before I share the conversation that we had. Angela Stoner is the Podcast Launch Specialist at Digital Freedom Productions, a podcast production company specializing in launching and producing shows for coaches and entrepreneurs. As a former podcast host herself, Angela has a unique understanding of how being behind the mic, sharing your message can change not only the lives of those you’re speaking to, but yours as well. It’s so true. I mean, our conversation definitely went in all of those different directions, and it’s so fun when you get to hear about Angela’s podcast. Even the title of it is so captivating and engaging, so I can’t wait for you to hear this conversation.

I hope you love it even half as much as I did. I’m certain you will. Here we go. My speaker friends, we have such a special guest today. I can’t wait to have this conversation. I’ve heard from so many of our Speak So It Matters listeners that you’re considering starting a podcast or at minimum, would love to be a guest on more podcasts, which is a really good idea by the way, so I’ve got the perfect person here with us today to dive into this exact topic.

Angela Stoner is the Podcast Launch Specialist at Digital Freedom Productions, the amazing team who produces this podcast, and many of these super successful podcasts that I love to listen to as well. Angela also hosted her own successful podcast for two and a half years called Vagina Chronicles Podcast, so we can talk about this topic from so many angles, which makes this extra fun and useful. I’m so happy you’re here, Angela. Welcome.

Hi, Michelle. I’m so excited to talk to you today.

Awesome. Okay. Let’s start by talking about your own podcast, the Vagina Chronicles. Super intriguing. I know you had that for two and a half years. Can you just tell us what made you start that podcast?

Yeah. This is actually really interesting from somebody in the podcast that I’m in today, but I was a reluctant podcaster, pretty much dragged into it by Pavel, who is my partner and the head of this production company, and my best friend who was my partner on the podcast. Pavel has always been very passionate about podcasting and everybody having a voice, and my best friend really wanted to start a blog, and he was like, “No. Blogging is great, but you need to star a podcast”, and so they hatched this plan together, unbeknownst to me and that we were going to start a podcast, and then approached me about it, and as someone who feels that introverts do not speak publicly at the time, I said, “Absolutely not. That’s ridiculous. I don’t want to do this”, and they convinced me that it was a great idea, and we started the podcast, and I believe 2013, maybe in 2014, but as soon as I got behind the microphone, I became like this dynamic person that I didn’t know was in there and I loved, absolutely loved being behind the microphone and talking to my friend about crazy, serious topics, funny topics.

Our focus was just tough topics that women want to hear about and don’t necessarily talk about all that often, and so yeah, I was pretty much pulled into it, kicking and screaming, and then fell in love with it as soon as I actually did it.

I love that. I’m getting this visual first of them like off in a corner, kind of like secretly hatching this plan.

Yeah.

It’s almost like I can see it all playing out, all the way up to you, getting behind the microphone. That’s such … Even that visual and that idea, a lot of people think, “Oh, introverts don’t love public speaking or don’t love these kind of public expression”, and that actually lots of public speakers are introverts, and really probably in some ways, largely because of what you just described, there’s this opportunity that we don’t even know about until we get into this sort of specialized circumstances. You’re pretty alone when you’re behind that microphone. I mean, you weren’t. You were with your best friend,

Yeah.

That’s also pretty dreamy, but just sort of like tapping that place in us that has that powerful expression that we didn’t even know was there.

Exactly, and that’s something Pavel and my friend saw in me, something that I didn’t see in myself, until I got behind the microphone and I started talking, and I went into it with, “If I’m going to do this, I’m going to go all in. I’m going to be really honest, I’m going to be really open and share parts of myself that I know somebody needs to hear to feel not so alone, to not feel so shameful”, and doing that, it was almost like we went into it to provide value for other women, but it was almost therapeutic for us to do it, to talk about experiences, hard, hard experiences in our own lives and sharing those with people. At first, it was just us talking. We didn’t know if people were listening, and then of course, we see our stats and seeing the first 25 downloads is like, “Oh my gosh, somebody’s listening to this”, and that’s so incredible. Then, after a while, we started receiving feedback, emails and Facebook messages from people all around the world.

We were listened to. I believe we ended up in 121 countries around the world, and we received emails from people saying, “Thank you. Thank you so much for talking about this”, and I’ll never forget like the feeling of getting the first one in this, and every single one of them just felt incredible to know that thankfully, my friends pulled me out of my comfort zone, and I was brave enough to take that step out of my comfort zone, and really talk about things that were hard to talk about and to see that it actually affected people was worth everything, but all of the anxiety and the fear that I felt before I sat down behind the microphone was worth it. I just had to get out of that mindset that, “Oh, I’m an introvert. Introverts don’t do this.”

Then, as you said, I found many introverts do the public speaking and podcasting is actually really great for introverts because you’re behind the microphone and you don’t have to be on video or whatever if you don’t choose to, so it actually worked out really great. I think podcasting is perfect for introverts.

Yeah. For sure, in so many ways. I love that you pointed out how much sharing your ideas and doing this podcast around me is important, meaningful topics for you. It helped you, because that is actually, that has been so much my experience around, especially tapping into a message that feels really meaningful for us as the speakers, the podcasters, and also, we’re doing it of course in service of others too, like I want to share something that will help other people, that’ll change other lives or inspire other people, or just help them feel less alone, but that is one of the most powerful, I think side effects, outcomes, that is so, so infrequently talked about, which is what it does for those of us who are doing it.

Yeah. Definitely, and I couldn’t have told you that, that that was going to happen before I did it, and what a great surprise to me and also to my partner on the podcast to experience that. Like you said, of course, the main goal with the podcast should always be, “How can I be of service to my listeners”, but as you’re doing that and as you’re sharing and going through whatever your content is, most of our clients are coaches, but coming to the microphone, coming to the table as your authentic self and really talking things through and working them out as if the person you’re coaching is sitting in front of you, and you can talk to them and work this through, it definitely is always I think a reciprocal relationship always when we work through tough things and, not even always tough things because there are some really great entertainment podcasts that are just about bringing joy, and people put those on and just get uplifted for a few minutes of their day. I know there are a lot of comedy podcasts are really popular for that reason, so it’s such a great dynamic of listener and host, and I think that’s why podcasting is so amazing because you’re right in people’s ear, and people really become attached to you, and you end up seeing yourself differently, I think as you receive feedback and as you work through podcast episodes. I really had a hard time listening to my own episodes, but the ones that I did, I thought, “Wow.”

“Wow, I was so brave”, and, “Wow, I’m so proud of myself.” I was really surprised to sit back with an ear that wasn’t critical when I did listen and see the value that I was providing.

Yeah, and just enjoy it, I will say.

Yeah.

At first, I struggled to listen to mine, and now, it’s kind of fun. Like sometimes, I’ll be on a drive, and I’ll just be … I’m like thinking about which podcast I want to listen to on this longer drive, and I’ll put mine in the queue, and it comes on-

That’s incredible.

I know, and it’s like, “Oh, I said that”, like there is something, and I think this is true for … I have found this with public speaking for myself and my clients, all kinds of public speaking, that once you hit that flow, once you know why you’re doing it, why this message matters to you, how you think it serves, how you know that it serves in the world, it can really be pretty joyful and self-affirming, as well as of course the difference that you’re making, which neither of us is ever forgetting, I know, can be so …

Right.

To just hear it back like, “Oh my gosh, that is what I wanted to say.” Actually, I didn’t even know that I could say it that well, so it’s a-

Yeah.

If you create podcast, you can go play them for yourself and remind yourself how much you know, how well you can serve.

Right. Right, and that’s great. As you said, sometimes it takes actually doing the podcast, recording the episodes and getting into it to really find that flow, and because this is one of the things that we find, is a lot of people are afraid to get started because they’re afraid of …

Yeah.

They don’t have their message perfectly figured out. What I find is that do yours best, get as specific as you can. Like the podcast will grow as you do it, and it will take on a new life, and it will show you, it will guide you, because you’re going to find that, “It doesn’t feel good to talk about these things”, or, “I really love interviewing people”, so your podcast may shift to more interview-based podcasts, or it may shift if you start doing interviews to something that’s more of just a speaker-guided podcast, and you know the old adage, “Start before you’re ready”, and I think it really applies to podcasting. Do your best, of course, to get prepared. Preparation is wonderful, but leap.

Yeah.

Take the leap, and start recording and start talking about things, and it really will come together. That vision will come together, and the vision may even become something a completely different vision, but it’ll be amazing and I think much more authentic.

Absolutely true. I mean, I talk about enjoying listening to some of my podcasts. Of course, I’ve listened to some and been like, “Wow”, especially the early ones, but it’s okay.

Yeah.

Even that, I’m like, “That’s okay because now, I feel like I’m more and more understanding where I’m going, I’m understanding my audience better, and I really couldn’t do that until I started, started putting them out there, and then you’re right.

Yeah.

Just like you experienced with yours, you start to get feedback from the audience, like, “Oh, I loved this one”, or I’ve even had things like, “Oh, I was a little confused by the …” I get genuine questions that have inspired additional podcast ideas, so it’s so true that the whole leaping before you’re ready and just do your best to get that message clarified is so helpful.

Yeah.

Also, along with those same lines, I think one of the things that I hear people say and wonder when they’re thinking about podcasting is like, “So, is it worth it? Should I do it? Is it a good investment of my time, energy, money, whatever?”, and so what happened with yours?

I’m just curious. Did you have particular goals for that podcast? Were they serving a business or a mission or something, and if so, what happened?

We didn’t set out to do anything more than help do our part in ending shame and helping women to realize that they had a voice and that their voice mattered.

Yeah.

We did it for two and a half years and it just for me, it ran its course and I do miss it sometimes. We left it open-ended just in case we decide to pick up your microphones again, but the life of that podcast told me that it was done, and I do think that I will go back to podcasting. I have a new baby, so it probably won’t be this year or next year, but I do miss it. I do miss it an awful lot actually, and we did think at one point, “How could we turn this into what we get to do every single day and get paid for it, and wouldn’t that be a dream?” The main thread that flowed through our podcast was talking to women who had been sexually abused, and so it is very empowering, but also, it took a lot.

It took a lot out of us to talk about that a lot, and some of the correspondents that we received was very heavy, and we had to refer people to counselors and things like that, and so we just decided at a certain point that this isn’t something we want to monetize.

Yeah.

It’s just we’re just doing it because we feel so strongly about it and we know that shame is like the worst thing that humans experience that shut them down and shut them up and keep them small. I think we just went until, I don’t want to say it was over because I feel like now is such an important time to be talking about this, but I think it just ran its course for us.

Yeah. There’s no … I mean, what strikes me about that is that the beauty is no one of us or no set of us is responsible for this whole message, any whole message, so you have like a really meaningful phase of time and a message to …

Right. Right.

I don’t even know the right way to describe it, but you were supposed to be in that conservation for this period of time, and it sounds like you could feel that your contribution in that particular way was complete, and it also sounds like you’re really open for whatever the next message you’re supposed to join in on to rise up when the time is right.

Yeah. Right.

Yeah.

I think with podcast, we … Our podcast episodes are still out there, so it’s still alive, it’s still available to be listened to, and I know that we still receive emails and stuff from people asking, “Where are you? When are you coming back?”, and still telling us that they’re getting something out of it, so I think that’s part of the beauty of podcasting as well is it’s not like a live radio show where if you don’t catch it, it’s gone. It’s always available for people to find and listen to and get something out of, and so your message is there. As long as you want to leave it there, it’s an indefinite thing to put that out into the world.

Yeah. That is one of the factors in me deciding that this was a good thing to do toward my own contribution to the world of speaking, “Would this be worth my time, energy, money, all of that?” It was. You can create this, and it can keep serving, and it can serve really people in the middle of the night, people across the world. It can just keep serving, and people can go in and choose exactly the thing they need right then, like it’s really so cool that way.

Exactly.

It strikes me that while you’re talking about you’ll get back into the podcast into podcasting at some point, I mean, all you did was evolve or dive into a different part of it. I know Pavel was already in the production part, and then you created your podcast, and now, you’re doing these podcasts.

Right.

You’re doing this on the production side.

Right.

Tell me, how did you get into that part of it, and just take us into that world.

Yeah. Yeah. Pavel started podcast producing with another company, and he loved it. He actually … This is a funny story.

I worked at a restaurant, and I came home one day, and he turned to me and he said, “This podcast company is hiring, and this is my job. I’m getting this job”, and I believed him because he was so like, “This is my job.” I put it out into the universe that this is what I want to do, and here it is. He applied, he got the job, and he worked for this other company for a little while for an amazing man, and produced our podcast, that that was his first podcast that he produced, was Vagina Chronicles Podcast on his own, not with this company.

I love it. Wow.

He was an amazing producer, like right out of the bat, like he was guiding us on how to work on our central message, which is basically the through line that you want all of your episodes to flow and how to market the podcast, and how to get ready for interviews, how to structure. I’m not saying we always listen to him, but he was a great producer and it’s just I think just in his blood, and so then, he decided to start Digital Freedom Productions on his own. I was helping him a little bit here and there, I was doing my own thing, and then the company just grew. We do have a team of seven people now to this beautiful iteration that it is today of serving really, really amazing coaches and helping mostly life coaches, business coaches, speaking coaches like yourself put their message out into the world, and so I started working with Pavel doing the podcast launch side of it and just love it, and absolutely love it. It’s been like the most rewarding work I’ve ever done hands down.

Every time we launch a new client, I’m just like, “Oh my God, I cannot wait for the world to hear this”, and I want everyone to get a million downloads like right away.

Yeah. I love that and I absolutely can feel it. I felt it from the beginning working with you also definitely that … I think that love of just people being able to express themselves in this way that really matters, and that balance, right? One of the things that’s tricky I think when you first start podcasting, and I imagine that people who are considering podcasting sort of are weighing this too or thinking about this as well is there’s the whole like, “Well, what if nobody cares? What if nobody listens? What if I don’t get enough downloads?”

Carrying that yourself is pretty tricky, and it’s just like when you’re putting yourself out there in a lot of others ways, the whole visibility thing and, “What if I start to feel bad about myself?”, but it is amazing to have a team behind you that you know loves your message and yes, is watching is for and helping you spread that message, but also holding with you the truth that any one person, just like you described with your own podcast who’s out there and is powerfully impacted by this message makes it worth it, makes it just beautiful that you’ve created this thing.

Absolutely. I want to say people are listening. Podcasting I think needs to start as a labor of love because you can’t really at first quantify how you’re affecting people and what they’re getting out of it, and so I think, at least in the beginning, watching download numbers isn’t necessarily the most beneficial thing to do for your confidence, and really to like get into that flow that we were talking about, I think my main point is people are listening and stick with it if you love it because it feels really amazing to get feedback and to know that you’re making a difference in the world, and if you do have an entrepreneurial podcast and you’re looking to use your podcast to integrate with the business and to pull clients into your coaching business, or to sell books or whatever you’re using your podcast for business-wise, the key is you have to give people a way to interact with you. You have to put things out there for them to buy.

You have to put things out, ways out there for them to interact with you because it is a big sea, and there are lots of little fish in the sea, and so getting clear on your message and putting offers out there is so, so, so important. I think that’s something that we see, people aren’t putting an offer out there with their wondering why they’re not getting anything back. We have to make sure that, not necessarily on the podcast even, but just driving people to your website for a free opt-in or something like that, getting them on your list, and then actually emailing them and offering things. One of the things that we found is give tremendous value. Give it all away, just value ahead of time per Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School, and give so much value. You’re building that relationship.

You’re in their ear. Podcasting is so intimate and such an amazing medium of building those relationships that I believe that once we actually do put things out there for people to work with us, they want to do that. They want to give you money. They want you in their life, even when they can get, they can listen to your podcast and get so much value. They want to take that step farther and actually work with you.

Yeah. It’s like, and this is my experience as a podcast listener especially, but I hope also as a podcast host or creator, whatever, and that is that it’s such a great sampling of what it’s like to work with you, and you really can’t certainly …

Yeah.

I know, people ask me this about speaking overall in podcasting and beyond, like, “What if I give away too much, and they feel too satisfied?” Great. You served.

Yeah.

Maybe that’s all of that person needed, and if it is and they’re off in the world like changing lives and making a difference, beautiful. There’s lots of other people who need more than that. That has absolutely been my experience through all kinds of public speaking over the last decade doing it myself, so I imagine podcasting is the same and to-

Definitely.

Yeah. To your point about just needing to love it, it makes me think of every time I end a podcast and I say my closing like, “It has been such an honor to be here with you”, or I say something along those lines, everything in my body just gets like giddy. It’s just so true. I just love it.

It’s so great.

It is because I can feel like I know there are people out there struggling with this. I know there are, and I know that what I just said will powerfully serve someone more than one person, I’m sure of it. They’ll actually get to go take action on it, and it feels pretty amazing, and I can also say I’ve had a number of new clients come to me and say, “Even if they’re already in my world, I started listening to your podcast”, and I was like, “Man, I’m going to do this.”

Yeah.

Right? It just helps support the business, as well as serving those who just needed that podcast to take the next step. So true.

Yeah. That’s a really great point that you will have listeners who never buy from you, and that’s like you said, that’s great, be served, and they did get something out of it, and that’s wonderful. I mean, what greater good to do with the podcast and have something out. It’s a free resource and people taking advantage of that, but the thing is we can’t see beyond that, the years that they’re serving with your guidance on their back and helping them and making them shine, and like years from now, what are they going to become because of listening to the podcast? It’s just that really cool thing that people all over the world are listening, and we’re not going to know all of them, and you can use your imagination and just think about like what great things they’re doing in the world. Maybe you got a little, a part of that just from them listening to your podcast, and I think that’s really exciting.

Yeah, it is. All of that’s super inspiring and I want to know, and I imagine listeners want to know, “What are some of the mistakes that you see podcasters make so that I can stop making them, and everyone else listening can learn not do?” What do you see that just isn’t working out there? I don’t mean necessarily with your clients, but you’re inside the podcasting world, and I’m sure as experts, you listen to some of them and say like, “That’s not really working.”

Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great question. I think that the feedback that we get from the podcast hosts that we work with, number one thing is they waited too long. They waited too long being scared to start, and just take the leap, and then I’m going to go to my next point of people not being focused, being afraid of getting focused, being too broad.

As a listener, I’m going to say this as a listener, sometimes you feel a little lost like you’re not really sure why that topic is being covered because they’re being a little bit not wanting to exclude anyone, and then there’s really not a lot of cohesion and not a lot to pull you back week after week because you’re not feeling as a listener that this is your podcast, that they’re talking to you, and so I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes for sure, is being too broad and being scared of niching down. Not promoting the podcast I think is a pretty big mistake. When iTunes first became the major place to find podcasts, for the first eight weeks, once your podcast was submitted to iTunes and it was accepted, and your podcast is out there, for the first eight weeks based on your downloads, your subscribers, rating and reviews, iTunes had an algorithm that would allow you to be in this section that is at the top. It’s still there. It’s still there in iTunes if you go there now called New and Noteworthy, and we took advantage of that when we launched our podcast.

We were in New and Noteworthy for quite a bit of our first eight weeks, and it was incredible. People find you much more organically if they can see your podcast rather than searching and trying to find something because nowadays, what comes up first and what the New and Noteworthy section is, is a curated list from iTunes, and that curated list more often than not tends to be celebrity podcasts, people who are already personalities. NPR is the biggest dog in the podcast world.

Yeah.

I mean, rightfully so.

Yeah.

They have great, wonderful podcast, but it’s gotten tougher for the little guy to come in and be seen in iTunes, and so to just put your podcast out there and not tell anybody about it is really doing a disservice because there are so many valuable podcasts out there that are not getting any marketing at all, so I think that that’s something, even if it’s Facebook ads or press release, asking people that you know to share your podcast, I think that’s a really great way to do it, is developing a community of people that believe in what you do, they love your podcast, and they’re willing to share it every week when it comes out. Just some way of like getting it beyond the people who are already in your circle, I think that’s really valuable, so I think definitely not promoting is a mistake. This is a not so sexy thing, but poor audio quality a lot of times, I’ve turned off podcasts that are just horrendous to listen to. The levels aren’t even, somebody’s voice is really, really loud, and then somebody’s voice is really, so you have to constantly turning your dial up and down, trying to keep up with that, so I think definitely the best qualities you can manage … I know, this is a fun little trick, a lot of our podcasters have shared with their listeners that we recommend a lot of our clients record in their closets because the clothing in there acts as like a sound buffer so you don’t get a lot of echo, so a lot of our people actually record in their walking closets to get a better sound quality, so I think that that’s really, really important, but I think definitely the clarity, the waiting for that clarity is a mistake, but then, being too afraid to get as clear as you can.

I know that’s a little waffly and kind of on the fence there, but there is that like middle ground of start before you’re ready, but do your best to niche down. Do your best to get like a really tight focused message.

Yeah. I think, because that’s true, right? It’s true when clients come to me. It’s often one of the reasons people come to me is like, “I need clarity on my message, and I needed to be even more clear”, and everybody’s afraid of the same thing in public speaking and podcasting, which is really a form of public speaking when they’re building a business. That whole niche idea is sort of, “What is that balance?”

I think that’s really hard to get is that, and really believe, even though it’s completely true, is that you can change your mind. You actually can.

Yeah.

Like it’s okay to just go ahead. What I mean by that is, so go out with the one that feels right right then, and as you said earlier, it will shift and evolve, and in fact the, only way that it can shift and evolve in the most useful way is actually to put it out there, but we all sort of, and I did this for a long time myself, sit in our little offices and talk with our two or three people that we talk with about stuff with, and try to figure out the perfect message in this little vacuum. There’s just not enough information. There just isn’t.

Right. Right.

Yeah.

Right, and your listeners, I think if you come to the table with their goal of being of as much of service as you can be to your listeners, they will tell you, and you will feel.

That’s right.

You’ll feel what feels good to talk about as you do it.

Yeah. Thinking about, how many podcasts did you say are out there?

By the last measure, I think iTunes reported in late 2017 or maybe early this year, it was over 550,000.

550,000.

Yeah.

As sort of our final question, and I think you’re already answered it, but I think it’s just good to anchor it and say it out loud, I know a lot of people are saying to themselves, “I want to start a podcast, but I feel like I’m too late”, like, “I should have done it back 2014 or 2011”, whatever year they’ve got in their mind, and they’re wondering like, “Is it still worth it?”, and worth it from an impact perspective, and also worth it as a business decision. What would you say to them?

Yeah. That’s a great question, “Is it too late?”, so to speak to start a podcast, and I think absolutely not the statistics. The latest statistics is that listenership of podcast is growing. Last year in 2017, the average person who listens to podcasts subscribe to five podcasts a week, and that is gone up to seven podcasts a week, so the people that are already listening are listening to more, and 14% more women are listening to podcasts than last year, so women are coming more into the podcasting game. Overall, I believe it’s six million more people are listening to podcasts, or even know what a podcast is, because I know several years ago, a lot of people had absolutely no clue what a podcast was, so the biggest growing demographic actually right now is older Americans because they’re not used to it, so as podcasting is growing and it’s coming more mainstream and people are learning about it, people in demographics that don’t generally listen are starting to listen, which is really exciting, and the statistic that I thought was really, really cool, I thought based on my own personal experience that podcasts were mostly listened to working out in the gym or something, and actually, most people listen at home, I think about 51% of people listen at home.

Interesting.

That is attributed to the boom of the smart speaker, like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home and things like that. It’s much easier to say Alexa plays Speak So It Matters episode 29, and so that’s growing.

Fascinating.

Yeah. All of these things are showing us that podcasting is growing. Not only that, Pandora is getting into the podcasting game, and Pandora, despite the podcast platforms that are coming up, Apple Music and Spotify now has podcasts, Pandora remains the top online radio platform, and so they started the Podcast Genome Project this month actually, November of 2018, and it’s only available currently to 1% of listeners, but they’re going to be doing the same fabulous work they did with music, and working with computers for the algorithm, but also with actual humans, transcribing, going through podcasts, and matching listeners of podcast with other podcasts they may not have heard of before, and so this is going to revolutionize. I mean, granted it depends on how well it’s done, but I’m hoping really well this is going to revolutionize the way that people can find podcasts since Apple dropped the ball on the searchability and the New and Noteworthy.

Yeah.

In my opinion, Apple’s really let the small podcaster down in that regard, and I think that Pandora is going to come in and really make a huge difference. From what I understand, their goal is even to be able to get … If you have an interest in public speaking to get you to specific podcast episode, a specific segment of that episode, so yeah.

Wow.

It’s really the idea of it, the plan for it is really incredibly exciting. Pavel’s cautiously optimistic, I’m a little bit more idealistic and already like making plans for like, “This is amazing”, so we’ll see how it actually plays out, but podcasting is growing. It’s not going away. It’s not something that’s passe. It really is showing that more people are having podcast players in their cars, more people are getting those smart speakers we talked about, and just in general, listening is so much easier, and as people are busier and with the kids, with working and taking care of the home, and even going on vacation and driving all of these things that people do, it’s becoming more difficult to sit down somewhere and read.

Honestly for myself if I’m reading, I generally am reading for pleasure, and not necessarily for self-improvement or things like that, so yeah, I think that if you have something to say, there is no other platform that can match the accessibility, the ease of use and just like reaching people all over the world as podcasting does, so I think that, yeah, maybe the best time to start it was 2011. The next best time is now, so I definitely encourage anybody who’s interested to look into it a little bit more. You can go to Digitalfreedomproductions.com and schedule a quick call with us, and we’ll talk to you about your idea, and just get curious about it, I think. If you’re already thinking about it, take it that step farther and get a little more curious about a podcast.

Yeah. I second that, and that was super inspirational. It reminds me one of my favorite things to say is there is no more powerful way to change a lot of lives all at once than public speaking, and I think there’s no more powerful way to change a lot of lives all across the world all at ones potentially than podcasting, so I think it just fits right in with that.

Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Yeah. I knew this would be an awesome conversation to have with you, Angela. Thank you so much, and I love it that I get to share it with our Speak So It Matters community. This delights my heart, so thanks for taking the time to be with us.

You’re so welcome. Thank you for inviting me and to your listeners, I love that you’re listening to podcasts, and I think that if you have something to say, keep listening to Speak So It Matters because learning how to share your message is just the best thing you can do to grow as a human being and to help other people.

Amen. See what I mean, friends? Angela is the real deal, and she’s such a wonderful person. The whole team there is, so I hope you feel even more inspired and ready to take the next step in your podcasting adventure. Again, even if podcasting isn’t your thing, so much of what we talked about applies to all kinds of public speaking.

Thank you so much for being here. You know I love being here with you, and it was such a delight sharing this conversation with you. I love just imagining you getting that much closer to spreading your message that much further, and anything I can do to help make that happen, you know I want to do that, so get out there, take your stand, change some lives, and enjoy that beautiful, lovely satisfaction of living into your own beautiful work in the world, because you know you are meant for this, right? I know because you know, now go get them. Thanks for listening to this episode of Speak So It Matters Podcast.

If what you heard here today was useful, you’ll love the free guide I’ve created for you at Speaksoitmatters.com/yes. Not only will you get immediate access to our Power and Grace Speaker’s Toolkit, including the only presentation outline you’ll ever need, but you’ll also receive weekly updates with our best resources as they’re created. I can’t wait to see you out there shining your beautiful light and changing lives with your message.

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