Lessons I’ve Learned from a Year of Podcasting

Lessons I've Learned from Podcasting - Studio 404 Blog

It’s April of 2017! I would also feel so apologetic about not blogging regularly or contributing to this space but as our business has grown, I’m more forgiving of not showing up here as much. Writing is something I enjoy but really haven’t had a ton of time to do so this year. We kicked the year off going at 100 mph and it hasn’t stopped since. One thing that I really wanted to talk about is podcasting! Heart + Hustle Podcast is over a year old now and it has really impacted a lot of things that I do in terms of business, collaborating, planning, and even creating. I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned in the past year in case you’ve been wondering about starting a podcast of your own.

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Long-Term, Ongoing Projects are Possible

I’m probably not the only one who has issue doing things consecutively. I’ve done a few different projects and it’s always been difficult for me to continue doing things. NaNoWriMo? I make an attempt every year. I’ve never finished once. So the thought of doing a long-term project in collaboration with someone else did make me a little concerned. What would I do on the weeks that I didn’t feel like it? What if I’m not able to be consistent in terms of delivering good advice? What would we do when we will run out of topics? Thankfully, we’re sixty-five episodes in and I’m still as excited about this podcast as I was in the year before we even recorded an episode. There are definitely things that have helped me specifically continue to show up every week:

  • Collaboration is key. For myself, it helps to have another person there on the journey with me. If I don’t show up, I’ll inevitably let Charisma down. Having someone else in the trenches allows me to do my best. If this was a solo project, there would be now way I’d still be recording.
  • Keep things exciting. Every guest we have makes me super excited to show up and record. I always learn something new from these amazing people we’ve interviewed. By having different people to talk with, I never get bored, even if we sometimes talk about the same things.
  • Focus on the week-to-week. I’m challenging myself to do the#100DayProject this year and I’m terrified. By having a podcast without an end date, it’s so much easier to focus on each episode individually. With my personal projects, I know that I have a certain amount of days to do something. I’m going into #100DaysofStudio404 with a day-to-day focus in mind and not the 100 days all at once.

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People Collaborate Differently

I’ve been working with David for the entirety of our relationship so it’s very easy to collaborate. We have our own communication style, we understand each other when we’re at our best, and we know our strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, we didn’t inherit this information overnight. With every relationship, it takes time to understand the other person. With podcasting, it’s no different but in most cases, we don’t get time beforehand to know our guests. We’re collaborating usually on one episode. The technical work is all on our end. We, the hosts, have an expectation of what we’d like the episode to be but our guests, obviously, do not. Finding that happy medium to create content worth listening to is an act of collaboration that can be a little tricky at times. I’ve learned that everyone does things very differently and to manage my expectations accordingly.

  • Be clear about expectations upfront. I think we’re still learning how to do this. As a podcast feature is an awesome opportunity, it’s also something people view differently. For some people, being on a podcast is an exciting thing and for others, it’s just another task on the to-do list. We try to make sure people understand that this podcast is really important to us and we want them to have a good time. It’s a work in progress but learning how to communicate early on helps things go smoothly through the recording process.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. I feel as co-hosts, we’re both pretty relaxed with our guests. It’s always interesting when we interview someone or get a pitch from someone who is really letting us know that we’re benefitting from them and not the podcast episode being mutually beneficial. It’s helped me #STAYHUMBLE because I really don’t want to reflect that kind of character.

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Focus on Quality Content

This lesson comes a lot back into this space, the blog and the shop. Our listeners really give great feedback on what we’re doing. (I know, we’re chatty in the beginning of each episode. I’m working on it.) Having an outlet to product quality content every week has really allowed me not to be too stressed about doing every single thing. I’m not updating social media all of the time for the sake of updating. I won’t be blogging just because I feel I have to. I really enjoy the act of curating and creating quality content. I don’t think I really would have been able to stick to this methodology without Heart + Hustle Podcast.

  • People want quality content. Our focus for the podcast was to create something that reflected our voices. As two women of color, when we brainstormed early on, there weren’t any notable business podcast from a WOC’s perspective. We really wanted to change that narrative and apparently, people wanted those options. Now there are quite a few podcasts and people really enjoy the ones who put out quality content. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Do the best work that you can do.
  • Do your best work. There are definitely episodes where I know I wasn’t putting in 100%. If you show up, do your best work, it will be a reflection of what you’re creating. Our episodes where the guests are prepared and we’re prepared always do the very best.
  • Take your time. I don’t really think we’ve ever rushed an episode. By allowing each episode to come naturally, it makes for much better listening. I’ve learned to just do things and worry about the timing later. Since I’ve started this practice, I’ve seen things that I practice really improve.

I could honestly talk about podcasting forever because it has really changed my life in so many ways. I will be talking about it at The Blog Connect in only a few weeks on April 23rd in Philadelphia, PA! I’ve needed some travel under my belt this year and my third speaking gig of the year, is a great fit. I’m looking forward to meeting all of my favorite #PHLBloggers in person and seeing more of the Northeast.

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