Sometimes a shift is in order. Maybe it’s because what you’re currently doing on your podcast doesn’t resonate with you anymore or maybe you just want to try something new. (Think: Experimenting with your content!)
It’s okay to make a shift on your podcast. In fact, I encourage you to!
This week, I’m sharing why you might want to make a shift on your podcast and how to do it without breaking the bank or losing some focus. A shift doesn’t have to be a complete 180 in what you’re doing; little changes along the way don’t need big re-launches or announcements. There’s no harm in quietly changing gears.
Listen in now!
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Episode 100: The Content Experiment
- Episode 162: Building Growth-Minded Relationships on LinkedIn with Karen Yankovich
Welcome to episode 203 of the Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets in any business, and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it all right, all of the time.
Here we talk about podcasting and creating content for your audience that they want to hear in a way that’s sustainable for you, the business owner. Because I know that you have a lot on your plate. So I’ll give you the ideas and tools and tricks to publish your podcast consistently in a way that works for YOU.
If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you’ll remember that it looked a bit different back when it started. I originally launched the Stories in Small Business Podcast, back in September 2019. It ran for 99 episodes. In late 2020, I announced that there would be a change. And in February 2021, episode 100, I made that change. The podcast changed names and branding and I even changed the type of content we were publishing here too.
Then about 25 episodes ago, so about six months ago, I had this big ah-ha moment, thanks to a conversation I had with Karen Yankovich. (She’s in episode 162, but we didn’t actually talk about this during her episode.)
Since most of my clients have podcasts and most of what I do is podcast management, wouldn’t it make sense to talk more about podcasting in my marketing.
Um…yeah! It’s the silliest thing ever because this is what I talk to my own clients about all the time. Talking about your work and what you do in your own marketing. Relate it to what you’re doing with clients. This is how people know what you do so they’ll follow you, learn from you, and hire you.
Seems like a no-brainer but it’s SO hard to practice what you preach. I’m glad Karen has helped me see the light!
So over the last three years and 200+ episodes I’ve definitely changed direction a few times. Not complete left turns but more like shifts into different lanes of the same highway.
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about how I did it and, as someone who has shifted in business and on their podcast a few times, what I think it should ideally look like.
Why would you need to shift?
What you’re doing doesn’t feel good anymore
I made my original shift from Stories in Small Business to The Content Experiment because there were so many podcasts out there telling business stories. That was never where I wanted to be with the podcast but I found myself without a really clear direction. That’s never good if you’re using your podcast as your main content vehicle. The Content Experiment felt so much better to me because that’s really what we’re doing with our content…experimenting. You do the work and try something out for a while, then make little tweaks and changes in how you’re doing things to get better results. If you think about it, that’s what we do in life. If you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle, you try different types of exercises and nutrition plans until you start to see results. If you’re a parent, you’re probably not going to parent the exact same way for your child’s entire childhood. You adjust as they grow and develop. And you shift and change things that are no longer working. Your favorite sneaker brand comes out with new models every year, updated and upgraded for style.
If what you’re doing doesn’t feel good anymore or if it is no longer working for you, it might be time to make a shift.
You’ve made a shift in your own business – your services and offerings
This is what happened to me about six months ago. I actually had been doing podcast management for quite a long time but never really shifted my marketing. Since I want to help clients with their podcasts, it made sense that I talk about podcasting here.
I was talking about content marketing before, more of a broad lens on it – from blogging to email marketing to live video to a host of other topics.
Shifting focus to a narrower topic base is a great way to niche down, as you’re probably doing in your business too. I find it easier to develop content ideas and to relate what I’m talking about on the podcast to what I do in business. This is important.
If I was still talking about broad spectrum content marketing here, it would be really confusing to listeners and frustrating to me as I try to grow another side of my business. Now, of course, I do still get questions from people about more broad content marketing and there are a few select clients who I help with that. But ultimately I want to work mainly with podcasters and aspiring podcasters.
Your audience has changed or the needs of the industry has changed
The people you’re working with today may not be the people you’ll work with a year or two from now. Or maybe it’s more like five years from now. You and your business will continue to evolve over the years and your marketing and how you’re nurturing your audience should too.
I started this podcast in 2019, six years after going full time in my business and 12 years after starting my freelance writing business as a side gig. Everything has changed SO much…my business, the services I offer, and especially the content and marketing industry in general. I’ve had to change with the times, which is why I shifted into podcast management in the first place, and you will too.
If you coach people on video, you know that the tools and platforms for this have changed so much over the years. If you’re a social media service provider, you know that algorithms change seemingly daily and there are new features on the platforms all the time.
I know a number of social media strategists who started out by supporting business owners with multiple platforms, only to change gears and specialize in one platform. And that makes sense given all there is to know about each platform. You can’t be an expert in all of them!
How do you shift, without spending the bank OR losing focus?
I think it’s most important to remember that you’re making a shift, not a complete 180.
Honestly, I think the best thing is to just do it – especially if the shift is smaller
Of course, if you’re making a big shift like completely changing the direction of your business or who you’re serving or maybe you were talking primarily about business and now you’re doing more personal type stories – those would all be a case for starting from scratch.
For example, I have a client who originally was going to re-launch a podcast that she hadn’t published to for a while. But the old podcast was one that she took over from someone else. So the original branding wasn’t hers and if you scrolled back to the archives, someone else was the host. She wanted to start podcasting again but rebranding the old podcast didn’t feel quite right to her. Plus the topics she wants to talk about are very different from the original podcast’s. So instead, we’re going to leverage the audience she did have over there and the start a completely new podcast. I’m excited to see the transition!
Okay, so back to those of you who are just making a shift instead of going a whole new direction: If you’re changing the name of the podcast and the branding, but the general direction of the podcast is staying the same – talk about it in an episode- why you’re doing it, whether the content is going to change, who the content is for, what to expect moving forward, and so on. You don’t have to make a huge deal about it. You’re not changing the world. I mean, you ARE changing your world and maybe a little corner of your audience’s world. But seriously, don’t overthink it; just do it.
I recommend having an introductory episode, right in your normal podcast flow. You don’t need to start a new season (unless, of course, your podcast has been seasonal to this point. Then, yes, start a new season.
At that point you can introduce your new artwork on the podcast and social media.
What about all that old artwork from all your past episodes? Mmm…what about it? There’s really no need to go back and change it all before you announce your shift. Can you imagine the stress of doing that? And the time it would take? Because you’re not only changing the artwork on your website, you also have to go into your host and change the artwork there so it shows up on the player looking the same as your new episodes.
Instead, I recommend changing maybe the last 10 episodes or so. Then, as you share old episodes on social media or talk about them on future episodes of the podcast, change the branding on those episodes as you go.
This is not a perfect system and you may never change over all of them. But that’s okay! It’s honestly not hurting anything.
And really…that’s it! Shifting gears on your podcast doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. You don’t need to overthink it. It doesn’t need to be overwhelming. It’s just about changing up a few things, talking about it so your listeners know what to expect, and then moving forward.
For the record, I don’t recommend making big shifts often in your business or on your podcast. You can certainly make little changes over time, as you experiment. (You know, like a content experiment.) But making too many changes too often will confuse your listeners and your followers.
You might have more questions about shifting in your podcast or more things might come up for you. After all, every business and every business owner is different. Having someone to lean on, to help answer questions when needed is so valuable. But depending on what stage you’re in, that might not be possible within your budget.
I hope that the Podcast Ease membership can be that support system for you.
It’s part accountability, part expert-on-call to help you get your podcast out to your audience consistently and with confidence.
Each Tuesday you’ll get a 90 minute accountability session where you set your intentions on what you’ll work on for your podcast during the call, then you’ll spend the next 90 minutes doing that work. Maybe it’s outlining your next episode, researching guests, writing your show notes, or even recording a solo episode.
Then, every Thursday, you’ll have 60 minutes to ask questions and make connections with others on the call.
You’ve heard me talk about how important consistency is, and it’s true. Your audience expects to hear from you on a regular basis. They look forward to your episodes. But it’s also SO hard to prioritize our own work. We’re so busy making sure our clients and families are taken care of but the work on our own podcasts isn’t going to get done unless we make the time.
I’m going to help you with that.
This Podcast Ease membership is a month-to-month commitment, you can join or cancel at any time. Calls are at 8 a.m. Pacific on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you can join any time.
The investment is $99 a month for weekly Q&A sessions, weekly coworking sessions AND I’ll also pepper in some additional support and trainings here and there. Join now at thecontentexperiment.com/ease.
If you found value in what you learned here today, be sure to share it on social media and tag me at thecontentexperiment or give it a rating and review. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.