Ep #108: 10 Practical Podcasting Tips for Coaches

Mastering Coaching Skills Lindsay Dotzlaf | 10 Practical Podcasting Tips for Coaches

You guys are coming up with suggestions for the podcast all the time, so today I’m diving into one of the most-requested topics: my experience, advice, and takeaways on podcasting! Whether or not you have a podcast or picture one in your future, there are so many nuggets you can apply to anything you’re creating, whether that’s a program, social media content, or anything you have to show up regularly for.

So many people want to start a podcast, but they think there is a bunch of stuff standing in their way. However, I’ve been doing this podcast for two years now, it’s been pretty successful, and it’s one of my favorite things about my business, so I’m giving you all of my stats, advice, and thoughts about this incredible way of connecting with your audience.

Tune in this week to discover my top 10 tips for creating a successful podcast. I’m sharing all of the mindset work I’ve done in bringing you this podcast every week for two years now, my advice to all of you, and I’ve got a bunch of questions, both from people who have a podcast and people who want to start their own podcast, and I’m answering all of those as well!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • All of my podcast statistics, what they mean, and why I generally never look at these numbers.
  • My top 10 practical tips for podcasting or creating regular content, and how to implement them.
  • Some of the thoughts that have helped me in creating my podcast consistently for two years.
  • The most difficult things I’ve had to work through in making this podcast, especially in the beginning.
  • How a podcast helps you immensely in finding and developing your voice in the coaching industry.
  • My experience working with a professional podcast producer and why it might be right for you.
  • How to give yourself permission to be messy as you explore new content ideas.
  • Answers to all of your questions about starting and growing a podcast.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 108.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey coach, today I have something super fun for you. I have had so much fun putting this podcast together. It has probably been one of my most requested topics, as far as what some of you would love to hear a podcast on.

So today I am going to tell you all about my experience, my advice, my takeaways on podcasting.

So this is a podcast about podcasting. But if you don’t have a podcast or if you do not see one coming in your future, don’t worry, there will still be nuggets in this episode that will be very useful for you, whatever it is you’re creating. Maybe a program, any type of regular content, even probably social media content. Anything where you have to show up regularly and just kind of keep doing the thing, this will be very useful.

Some of it will be very podcast specific. Some of it is for people that are getting ready to start a podcast or thinking about, you know, deciding do I want to have a podcast? And some of it is some of my takeaways from where I am right now. And the entire reason I am recording this today, is the day, today as I’m recording this, it is one day after my two year podcast anniversary. So this feels so fun for me.

So in 2020, November 14th of 2020 my very first podcast episode came out. And yesterday was November 14th of 2022. And I have had so much fun. It has been one of my most, most favorite things about my business. And it’s been pretty successful, so I’m going to give you all of my stats. I’m going to give you all of my advice, and just all of my thoughts about podcasting.

So first I’m going to hit you with all of my podcast stats, which is really, it’s actually really funny for me to look at this. I just pulled it up, literally right before I hit record. And when I tell you I never look at these numbers, I mean I literally never look at these numbers. So these all feel so fun to see and as much of a surprise to me as they are to you.

So I knew an approximate number of downloads. And I think a few episodes ago, maybe in one of the Q&A episodes I said something like, “I think I’m coming up to around 400,000 downloads” or something along those lines. So, as of today while I am recording this podcast, I have almost exactly 375,000 all-time downloads for my podcast. So this week, since I think it measures, it starts on Sunday, I have 2,218. This month, so just in November, so for about two weeks, 11,907. In the last seven days, which for some reason this feels like the most fun number to see, it is 6,728. So almost 7,000 downloads, like 1,000 downloads a day. What?

Which, of course, when I look at the graph that’s not how they’re showing up because on Tuesdays, you know, that’s when my podcast comes out, I have the most downloads. And then throughout the week it kind of goes up and down. The last 30 days 24,617 downloads, So almost 25,000 downloads a month. That is just so fun for me to see.

I also took a second and just looked back through all my episodes, all the numbers on each episode to see if there was anything there to share, to see if it was like, oh, this type of episode seems to do better or this type. I looked at all-time downloads from all of my previous episodes and there really wasn’t anything significant that stood out to me. There was nothing that was like, oh, obviously you love interviews more or you love the non-interviews more. Nope, they are really kind of all over the place.

So let’s just dive in. I’m going to do a couple things. First I’m going to give you kind of my top 10 tips on podcasting, or thoughts that I’ve used, or decisions that I’ve made along the way that I think might be useful for you. And sometimes it might not even be advice like this is what I think you should do, more just like here’s one thing that you will have to think through and this is why I decided to do it the way I did.

And then after that I actually had a couple text groups of coaches, text chains that I text with regularly. So there were a couple of them so I just asked them, because I know some of them are starting podcasts or they have podcasts and I just asked them, “Hey, if I was going to do this episode, what would you want to know?” And so they all sent me a bunch of questions and I’m going to answer all of them, all right?

So here we go. Tip number one, and I really do think going into podcasting, this is one of the most important things, the most important things that you can remember. And it was one of the hardest parts for me to work through. Don’t worry about being great. I’m going to say it again, don’t worry about being great. Why? Because if you’re just starting and you have never podcasted before, then you have literally never podcasted before. There’s going to be a learning curve.

All right, there just is. There’s truly no way to get around that. There will be a learning curve, you will get better as you go, it will get easier as you go. But you have to be willing to be a beginner. I talk about this a lot, even in the Coach Lab. And this is true with anything, when you’re creating a program, when you’re creating a new anything, you have to be willing to do it for the first time.

I will share with you that writing the first, I forget how many I had to turn in because I still do work with a podcast producer, I will talk about that later in the episode. And I had to turn in a certain number of episodes before we actually went live with the podcast, and I can’t remember if it was three or five. But those first three to five episodes were some of the hardest content that I have written in all of the years of my coaching.

And it’s so funny because I haven’t gone back and listened to all of them, that’s just not something I tend to do. But when I look, even today, right before this, when I was checking the episodes and looking at the topics and kind of laughing about some of those first episodes. It’s funny because some of them are 10 minutes long, 15 minutes long.

And I can so remember being in that moment of doing the episodes and just thinking, “It’s perfect the way it is. I just have to get it out. I can’t stress over this. If 15 minutes is all I have on this topic, that is all I have. Period, done, move on.”

But those were some of the hardest things that I have ever written. Speaking of, you know, when I say writing the episodes, this is a question I get a lot so I’ll just address it here. In the beginning I wrote out almost word for word every single episode.

Now, some of you, especially if you have a podcast, that might make you laugh, you might not need to do that. And I will say I don’t do that anymore, now I just have bullet points. But I wrote out every single word, word for word. Because I tried, I tried to just get on and talk, and I would have some bullet points and know what I wanted to talk about and it was just so hard. My brain just kept freezing up.

So I decided, okay, I’m just going to try this, I’m going to write it out word for word. I’m just going to read it. And that’s what I did. I can’t remember at what point I stopped doing that. But at some point, I don’t know, looking back now it’s like, oh yeah, at some point I just realized I didn’t need to do that anymore. And now I can just sit down, write out some bullet points and just hit record.

And still, some episodes feel harder, for whatever reason, than others and take me a lot longer, a lot more pauses, rewinding, restarting all of that. So be willing to be a beginner and to keep going, right? So just because it’s hard, don’t make that mean, “Oh, this isn’t right for me, I’m not cut out for this.” Nope, it’s just normal, accept the hard. Accept it and move on, just keep going.

And number two, which I think really helps with number one, is if you choose to have a podcast or anything that you’re choosing, so maybe it’s a YouTube channel, an Instagram account, whatever it is, TikTok, anything that you’re using. Choose it for reasons that you love and make content that would speak to you, that you would love to listen to.

These have been huge for me and so, so important in this podcasting journey. So when I chose to do a podcast, the main reason I chose it is because I am obsessed with podcasts. I was an early adopter, I have listened to podcasts for a very long time. And it’s one of my favorite ways to consume any type of content.

So that was one of the main reasons, right? Not because it’s better than other things, not because it’s like, oh, this is the way I’m going to make a bunch of money or find a bunch of clients. I just knew if I’m going to spend time, like out of all the ways I can spend my time, this feels like the one I want to choose right now.

And then the second part of that was, and make content that you would love to listen to. So one thing I’m never thinking about is like what kind of episode do I need to make to get more listeners, or what types of things do other people like? I I’m always questioning like, what do I love? What format do I love? What length of episodes do I love?

Which is why you see mine are kind of all over the place. Sometimes I’m doing interviews, which are longer. Sometimes I do very short episodes, right? I really like to mix it up because those are the types of podcasts that I love to listen to.

When I find a new podcast, one of my favorite things is when they have kind of all different lengths of podcasts. And maybe if I only have a shower amount of time, right, like maybe 10 minutes, I pick one that’s really short, 10 minutes, 20 minutes. Or if I’m going for a long walk and I’m looking for something longer, I maybe pick the one that’s an hour, right? So I love that format, which is why that’s what I do.

So number three and four also kind of go together. Number three, I went into it willing to podcast for an entire year without being committed to the results that I was creating from it. So what I mean by that is, without looking at numbers, without looking at downloads, not that I never looked, right? But without obsessing over it or really focusing or really thinking about oh no, I don’t have enough. I was willing to do it for an entire year.

And I decided ahead of time the format that I wanted to have and I just committed to it. And I spent a lot of time thinking about this, that way I knew that, let’s say, okay, two months in I don’t have very many listeners, I said I was going to do it every week. But then I’m like, maybe I don’t want to do it every week, I don’t know, right?

There is a chance that if you’re focused on that and you don’t see your listeners going up and you don’t see results coming from it right away, there’s a chance that you’ll start to make decisions about the podcast or about whatever it is that you’re creating from that space. So I always took my mind to the place of I’m willing to do this for an entire year, even if no one listens.

Now, obviously, that’s not what happened, which is really fun. But I think going into it, I go into so many things like that. When I first started selling group coaching, when I created the mastermind, it’s actually the one that I have now. When I created that and sold it for the first time, I completely stopped selling one on one and I decided I’m going to sell this mastermind four times this year, it’s all I’m going to work on this year.

I mean, obviously I had other little things here and there, but it was like that is the thing for this whole year, is I’m going to learn how to sell this. And what that does when you decide something like that, is it just removes the option of, oh, this isn’t the right thing, let me find something else, which is one of the number one mistakes I see coaches make.

Now, don’t let that confuse you, don’t get confused about that with thinking, oh, I can’t focus on more than one thing or I can’t change my mind, because absolutely you can, right? For me, I mean, I’m always reevaluating. If something had come up that it’s like, okay, this is definitely, something has definitely gone wrong, of course I would have pivoted or made changes. But I think just going into anything like that just really changes the way you show up and the way you think about whatever it is that you’re doing.

And then number four, which goes along with number three is, so number three was, be willing to do it with no results for a year. And number four, but show up to it and treat it like everyone is listening, right? Like all of the people that you want to be listening, show up as if that’s the case.

So for me what that meant was I made podcasting one of my top priorities for a long time. And it still is, it’s pretty high on my list of things that I think about when it comes to my coaching. But I just made it one of my top priorities. So, when I tell people that sometimes they’re like, “What in the world?” But in the beginning, sometimes it would take me four hours to write a podcast episode. Four hours.

Now, not those first few, those probably took even longer than that. But as I got more used to it and as I did it more regularly and was turning them in every week, sometimes it would take four hours. So I would block off an entire half of a day in my week to write the episode.

Now, once I had it written, recording it is usually no problem. So that would just be a pretty short amount of time. But truly, I would block off four hours, instead of resisting that, instead of thinking, “Oh, there aren’t that many people listening anyway,” right? Or kind of phoning it in or whatever, I showed up to it as if everyone was listening.

Number five, I think one thing that has been very, very helpful for me on this journey and one thing that kind of keeps me out of the numbers and keeps me from constantly looking at how many listeners are there, how many whatever. Even like how many clicks are there in my, I don’t even know if that’s something I can track, but if it is I never look at it. Like you guys can go in and click in my show notes, there are links there usually. And I don’t know, I never look at that.

But one thing that really keeps me focused on the value, just thinking about the value of the podcast, is I really think about it as a way to produce completely free accessible content that people could use, even if they never worked with me. So even if they never pay me $1, someone could come, start with my very first episode, listen to all 108 episodes, and learn something and actually take it and apply it in their coaching.

That has always felt very important to me. And one question that I get asked a lot is, how do you navigate what you share and what you don’t share? And what I will say is I give so much away for free, because I think that is the value of the podcast. I do want people to be able to get that.

And I also believe if someone loves the podcast, and they love what I teach, then why wouldn’t they want to come? You know, if someone’s listening right now, like why wouldn’t you want to come into the Coach Lab and not only have more access to the content, but then get also the coaching from me, right? Or the other coaches in the Coach Lab.

So that’s just how I think about it and it has been so useful for me. I have people tell me all the time, I’ll go to conventions or groups or meetings with a bunch of other coaches, and I have so many coaches that are like, “I love your podcast, I listened to every episode.” And I am pretty positive that they’ve never bought anything from me. That makes no difference to me, I love it so much. It truly makes my whole day every time.

Number six, I decided when I started this podcast, one kind of big decision I made and that I would suggest for you as well, is to be as open and vulnerable and honest as possible, and to be you, right? To not have this like podcast persona or personality, just be 100% who you are.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to share every single thing, especially depending on what your podcast is about, maybe that’s not a thing for you. But just to be open and be me feels so refreshing on this platform, right? Like this is the place where I share probably more about myself, about my life, just more personal details than I do anywhere else, and I love it. Because I do that, I just feel like I’m never filtering for, oh, yeah, I don’t talk about this thing, or, you know, we don’t go there or any of that.

And I do think that, for any of you that have a podcast or that are thinking of starting a podcast, at this point there are so many podcasts out there, and don’t let that scare you. But whatever the thing is that makes you special as you, right, like you are special for whatever reason, for many reasons, I’m sure. And all of those things put together make you you, right? And sharing that and being that person on your podcast will be what differentiates you from all the other noise.

Okay, the next one, and this is a question I get a lot. Number eight, think about hiring a podcast producer. Now, I’m not saying think about it as in you definitely should. But I did and I will tell you why and then I’ll also tell you reasons maybe why you wouldn’t, in just 100% my opinion.

So for me, going into the podcast I knew 100% that tech is my least favorite thing. And I definitely wanted nothing to do with the editing of the podcast. Truly, I wanted to spend all of my time thinking about the content and the recording of it, and wanted to put 0% of my time into editing or any of the tech side, uploading it to my website, doing a transcript, like any of that stuff. I just knew, nope, this is not for me.

So I picked a producer, which I’ve talked about on the podcast before, we can put their information in the show notes. But I picked a producer that does literally everything for me. I record this on Audacity, that’s what I’m doing right now, and then I just send it over to them. That is all I have to do.

They take out, you know, when you’re listening you don’t hear me pause for a long time or take a drink or pause and say um or any of that because it’s all edited out and I don’t even have to think twice about it.

Now, that is not the right decision for everyone. I knew going in I really wanted this to be one of my main places for content. I don’t know how else to say it, I think that would be the best way. One of the main places that people come to just listen to who I am as a coach and all the things that I’m sharing, right? Like over my email list, over any place I’m putting content, right? Over Instagram, over any of the places, like this is the number one place. And because of that, I was super committed going in.

I also was at the point in my business that I had plenty of money to do it. So if you’re going to hire a producer, or if you want to hire a producer, think about that, right? Like if you have money to do it and you want to do it, I would say 100% yes, do it. It was probably my biggest expense at the time. Actually, when I hired my producer and decided to go all in on this, I’m pretty sure it was my biggest expense at the time.

When you are making this decision, one thing also to consider is that you can also hire out any pieces of the process. You could spend way less money to just have just an editor and you do all the other things yourself, or just someone who updates your website, adds links to your website, adds the transcripts, and do all the other things yourself, right? Any little piece of it, you know, just does your artwork, just does any of it, you could hire someone just for that piece. So that’s also something to consider.

Another thing you can think about, and this would be kind of a reason not to hire a producer or not to hire anyone to help you, is that if you’re a newer coach, if you really don’t feel settled in what you’re doing and you still kind of feel like you’re finding your footing in the industry, I think a podcast can be a great way to develop your voice, right?

So for me, when I was doing it I already had my mastermind, I already knew, like I didn’t see any changes coming and what I do as a coach. I felt very settled in that. I’d been running my mastermind for a year when I launched this podcast so I felt very settled in that.

And if that isn’t true for you, if you still feel like you’re finding your voice and you’re still trying to figure out who you are and what you do, I would save the money on the producer and just do it yourself. But really just use it as a way, I promise you, writing podcast episodes, creating podcast episodes will kind of force you to find your voice.

Even though I knew exactly what I was doing coming into the podcast arena, I still think it is the number one thing that really helps me find my voice and what I do in the industry. The more I do it, the more settled into it I feel. So hopefully that feels really helpful if you are thinking about starting one sometime soon.

Okay, I’m going to be honest and say I have no idea what number we’re on, maybe nine? No, eight. Somehow my numbers got all messed up on my notes and as I’m reading them I may have repeated some. So just whatever number we’re on, I know there are 10 of them, I think this is number eight, all right? Here we go.

So number eight is pick a name that’s searchable and have a clear voice. Now, this does kind of go hand in hand with the one I just said, right? Which sometimes you go into it knowing I don’t have a clear voice, but I’m going to use this format to find it. Totally fine. But if you are coming into it a little more like I did, I would be a little more intentional about it.

So one thing, and I did not make this up, somebody told me to do this and it was amazing advice. They said pick a name that would have words in it that someone might be searching if they were looking for information on the topics that you’re going to be talking about when they’re in a podcast app, right? Which is how I came up with Mastering Coaching Skills, which trust me, wasn’t just the first thing I thought of. It took me weeks and many suggestions before landing on that.

And it doesn’t feel exciting, right? So at first I was like, “I don’t know, shouldn’t it be something more interesting or more creative?” And it can be, that’s totally fine, right? Like if you are dead set on a name and you know what it is and it’s something kind of off the wall, totally fine. Do not change it because I said this. But I do know that I have a lot of listeners who have found this podcast just because of what they searched in the search bar.

I even know I have clients in my mastermind, I think actually Cynthia may have talked about this when I interviewed her on the podcast. And she told me that the only reason she knows who I am is because she’s searched, maybe coaching skills or something like that in the podcast search bar and I was the first thing that popped up.

And so she just listened to whatever episode came up and then she was on a walk and next thing she knew, she was bingeing the whole podcast. Now she’s in the Coach Lab and Coaching Masters, and in her second round of Coaching Masters, right? So things like that make me so grateful that I picked a searchable name.

Now, again, this is not going to make or break anything. It’s just when I think about, when I hear her tell me that story I’m so glad that she found me, right, for her, for anyone that finds me. If they’re looking to do this work, if you are listening and that’s how you found me, if you think this is useful, I’m so glad I picked that name so that you could be here.

And then having a clear voice. What I mean by that, don’t let this freak you out, don’t overthink this, and I’m thinking specifically of a couple of people who are currently in my mastermind who are creating podcasts. What I mean by this is you have to have just something clear that you know you’re going to focus on.

So let’s say you’re a general life coach, I know a lot of general life coaches that tell me, “I’m just going to start a podcast.” I’m like, “Great, what’s it going to be about?” Life Coaching. Okay, that’s amazing. And not that it can’t work, because there are some amazing life coaching podcasts, but I would just challenge you to search that and see how many there are.

You have to figure out because there are many, many, many. Or business coaches, many, many. So many. So you just want to think about what’s my thing? What’s going to set me apart? What’s the thing that’s going to stand out when people find me?

So, for example, one of my clients is creating a podcast right now. Her background has kind of been general life coaching. But now, like one of the things that she loves helping her clients with is making decisions and really liberating, like living a liberated life and all of that.

So she coaches everyone, she’s a very general coach, but her podcast is kind of going to be focused on, and it’s not out yet so I can’t tell you what it is. But it’s going to be a little more focused on this one thing that she loves focusing on, right, and something that she coaches all of her clients on. And I think that is an amazing way to think about, okay, I do this thing, it’s very general, but what’s the like niche thing I love to do within that?

And this is true for any of the big categories. So maybe like if you’re a weight loss coach, a business coach, a general life coach, any of the other ones that if you look it up, there are just tons of them, I would just think about like what makes me me? What makes me different? What are the things that I love to talk about that maybe not every weight loss coach is talking about, right? Like what’s different about what I do?

Okay, number nine, know going in, and this is for new podcasters, but also ones that have been doing it for a long time. Know that one episode is never going to make or break anything. This just always gives me comfort to think about this. I can always delete something later. Or I could archive my entire podcast and start over.

Now, I don’t plan to do that, especially right now. I love my podcast, you know that, I’ve told you. But I think it just gives me permission to, it kind of goes back to number one, right? It gives me permission to sometimes do it a little messy. Because even 100 episodes in, every once in a while when a podcast is about to come out or when I see, “Oh, this is the one coming out this week,” or I’ve just recorded it and I’ve turned it in but now it’s like past the deadline of when asked to be turned in, I might think, “That was not my best one.”

One thing I will tell you about that though, is that some of the ones that I think are not my best work or that I’ve recorded more on the fly than I usually like to or any of those things, sometimes they turn out to be the ones that I get the most feedback about. So just know your brain lies and sometimes it might tell you, “This episode is terrible, you must redo it.” It’s not true. But even if it is, if it’s just the one episode, it’s okay.

And the very last thing is don’t make the stats mean anything unless it is helping you. So what I mean by that is when you, like I said in the beginning, I never look at my stats. I do know, maybe every once in a while I go in and just look at just the total number of downloads. I would say I do that maybe once every, I don’t know, six months. Or it’s usually for a reason, like I’m recording an episode, someone asked a question about it, I’m going to talk about it. Let me see how many downloads I have. And that’s about it.

So I never am going in thinking, “Oh, I shouldn’t have done this, or I should do more of this because of the numbers, because the numbers say so.” Or oh no, there was a drop off after this episode, maybe people didn’t like that episode, or none of those. I’m not doing any of those things.

So unless you’re going in to celebrate, right? To look at the numbers and say, “Oh my gosh, my first episode is out, I have 10 whole people listening,” right? Like if you’re going to make it mean amazing things about you, then by all means, go look at the stats. But otherwise, just keep going.

Now, if you’re like four or five years in and you’re like trying to build a podcasting audience, or okay, less than that. Let’s say you’re two years in trying to build a podcasting audience and your numbers are very, very low and honestly I don’t even know what that means, I don’t even know what that marker would be.

But let’s say that’s the case. Okay, maybe you question things, right? Like, am I not clear enough? Why aren’t people listening? Have I not told anyone about it? Just all of those things, right? Yes, maybe there are times to do it, but definitely not in the beginning.

Okay, those were all of my biggest tips. Now I’m going to answer some questions that I have. Some of these are questions I’ve gotten along the way, just from people in my containers. And some of them, like I said, are from friends that I texted and said like, “Hey, what questions do you have?”

So I’m just going to go through and answer all of the questions. Some of them I’ve already answered. And for those of you that were hoping I was going to give how to actually, like the tech side of a podcast, I cannot. I’m sorry, I know nothing about it. All I know, is that I use Libsyn, that is where I log in. Liberated Syndication is where I log in to see all my stats.

And when I say all of my stats, I just mean all of my personal numbers. All the downloads, all of that. I have absolutely no idea where people, you know, sometimes you see people post like, “Oh, I’m number three in business podcasts in this country,” or whatever. I have absolutely no idea where people find those.

As far as I know, Libsyn does not show me that. So that’s really the only tech I know, is that that is the hosting site I use and I have a producer. And that’s about it. And then I just show up here on my mic. I have a Heil mic, H-E-I-L, and it has an arm so it’s attached to my desk and I can pull it up close to my face. And that’s about it. Those are all the tech details that you get. So if that’s what you were looking for, I’m sorry.

Okay, let’s dive into the questions. The first question is, what were your biggest fears going in? So I had two very distinct fears. Ironically, one of them is actually playing out today as I’m recording this, because one was that I have a terrible voice. I have a terrible podcasting voice, I obviously needed voice lessons. I had all the thoughts.

Now, today I have a little bit of a cold. I keep sneezing and coughing, which you can’t hear because I pause. But I’m a little stuffy, a little nasally. And it’s so funny, I’ve come so far because that was one of my biggest fears.

And now it’s probably, honestly, it’s so funny, it’s one of the number one compliments I get. And it still blows my mind. People say, “I love listening your podcast, I love your voice.” But that’s great and also, here I am showing up, feeling a little under the weather, and not even thinking twice about oh, my voice is weird. It just is what it is. This is just how I sound today. So that was the first one.

And then the second one was like how in the world was I going to have that much content? Which is a problem that really just takes care of itself as you keep going. I think that fear was mostly created when I was trying to write my first three to five episodes and they felt so hard. I was putting so much pressure on myself and I think that’s where that fear came from. But once I got into the groove of it, here we are 108 episodes later and I have lists of episode ideas.

The next question I have is how do you keep it fresh? How do you keep creating topics that are relevant to your audience? This is an interesting question, I don’t think that I ever really think about it like this. I never think about how do I keep it fresh.

One thing that I do sometimes is I just use ideas from what I’m coaching my clients on. So when I see themes showing up in my coaching containers and my spaces, sometimes I think, “Oh, I should make a podcast about this,” and I’ll write an idea down and keep going.

I also try to mix it up. So some episodes will be very teaching heavy, right? Very like, hey, pull the car over, you’re going to want to take notes, you’re going to want to write this down. Some episodes are interviews, some episodes are a little more like this one, like here are some ideas with a Q&A. I really try to keep it varied because, again, going back to that is the type of podcasts that I like to listen to, so that’s what I do.

And the next question, which you are all going to hate this answer. The next question is how did you grow your audience? And I would really say those one through 10, or however many there ended up being, those one through 10 things, those are how. Those are the things I focused on.

Now, I will also say one thing that I think was very useful for me going into the podcast, I just know this because I searched it before I started, there weren’t a lot of podcasts talking about what I talk about. So it was a little more of a blank space than some other topics.

So if, for example, some of the things I said earlier, right, if for example you’re a weight loss coach, or a relationship coach, or a business coach, there might be a little more competition when it comes to podcasts. So you really then want to think about, okay, what is my differentiator? And even then, your numbers might just naturally be lower because the audience is divided into so many different directions.

And I just really wouldn’t make that mean a lot, right? Like you don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of listeners to make a lot of money and to help a lot of people and to sign a bunch of clients and whatever the goal is in growing your audience.

And to get very specific about how I grew my audience, it really was thinking about the things that I started off talking about in this episode. I didn’t do, you know, some people do like giveaways. Actually, even my podcast producer, sorry if you guys are listening, wanted me to do a giveaway or like a, I forget what they called it. But an opening podcast celebration and get people to go and leave reviews and all of that. And I just didn’t do it.

So I do put my podcast on my Instagram every week. And I do know that there are things that the production team does, like they make the titles searchable. I learned this recently because sometimes I have thoughts, because they create the titles for my podcast. And I asked them like, “Hey, is it okay if I name them?” Because sometimes I’m like, not that I don’t like them, but like, oh, this could be more creative or better.

And one thing that they told me, and so now they still name my podcast episodes. One thing that they told me is that there is a little rhyme and reason into picking the names. It is thinking about like algorithms and is the name, like what are words that people would search, that kind of thing. So there’s more thinking that goes into it than just like, oh, what’s a creative name? Which is kind of how I was thinking about it. So I thought that was really interesting.

But other than that, I just never am thinking about growing my audience besides just creating that excitement around the content that I’m bringing. That’s it, period.

All right, the next question is, how do I pick guests? Now, this is one of the hardest questions for me to answer, but I’m going to try. So the way I pick podcast guests, first of all, I’m pretty sure 100% of my podcast guests are either my clients, coaches I’ve worked with, or people that are coach adjacent that I’ve worked with.

So, for example, video producers, photographers, right? Like people like that who I use in my business, who work with coaches doing whatever it is that they do that I think they will bring some really valuable stuff. So when I think about picking guests I’m most of the time interviewing my clients.

And I do that for a few reasons. One of my very favorite reasons is because I love hearing their stories and featuring them on the podcast and just really learning about them. I learn so much about them, especially if I don’t really know them that well. Last week was the interview with DeDe, it actually just came out today, the day that I’m recording this. And I didn’t really know a lot of the stuff that she shared. And I love digging into that, digging into their story.

And then sometimes my clients will ask me, “Well, how do I get to be on your podcast? What do I have to do to be on it?” And this is honestly the hardest thing for me to answer because I kind of just pick people whose stories speak to me. And there are two things I think that I’m looking at.

One is I have to know that you’re enjoying being in my space, right? So if you’re a very quiet student and I don’t know kind of what’s going on and you’re not really letting me know like, “Hey, this is really working. I love this, or I love this,” then I just might not know that I should have you on, right? So you have to let me know. Because listen, I would love to feature every single one of you. Can you imagine? I would have like a podcast every day, it would be so great.

So that’s the first thing. And then the second thing is, so I think about when I have launches coming up I will always pick, you know, if I have a Coaching Master’s launch coming up, I didn’t use to be as organized. But I am now where if I have a launch coming up I might pick a couple students from that container to talk about kind of what they’re working on, what they’re learning, their biggest takeaways, all of that.

And I do that for a couple of reasons. One, to help you decide like, is this the right place for me? And two, to give you a little taste of what we’re doing in those containers. And when I do that, one thing I’m looking for, I know sometimes people think, “Oh, obviously you just pick like your “best” clients.” And that’s actually not true. I don’t have a super tangible way to measure who is my best client. I’m not going off of like how much money are they making? How much, like any of that. Sometimes I’m interviewing brand new coaches, sometimes I’m interviewing very seasoned coaches.

And one thing I’m always thinking about is do they have a perspective that’s maybe something I haven’t talked about on the podcast yet? That’s like really it. Is there something about their story that’s different? Something about the way they got into coaching? Something that’s like the thing they’re working on maybe in the mastermind or in the Coach Lab that is different, that stands out to me that’s like, “Oh, this is something I haven’t really explored on the podcast.” That’s probably the number one way that I pick, period.

I wish I could tell you that there was a really special, amazing equation that I use, but there’s just not. I really also try to keep it very, you know, greatly varied. So, like I said, sometimes I have brand new coaches, sometimes I have people that have been coaches for a while. And then when it comes to other coaches who, maybe that I’ve worked with or that aren’t in my containers but they’re other coaches, I usually pick that by what do they have, that they can bring in on the podcast that’s really going to help all the listeners? That’s literally the only lens that I use.

I get probably five podcast pitches in my email a day, which is crazy. I have no idea how people find my email, how they know that they should be pitching to me. Like I said, the tech side, not my thing. So I have absolutely no idea where they’re finding me, but obviously, they know, they say like, “This person will be a good fit on your thing.”

I’ve never ever offered any of those people a spot. Just because if I don’t know you, I’m not saying I never would. But if I don’t know you and I don’t kind of know like what, you know, I think so much about the value of this podcast that I want to be just super clear that your value is going to, first of all, that your values kind of match mine. But also that the value you bring is going to be a good complement to what I’m already talking about.

All right, the next question I have is what has been the most fun thing about hosting a podcast? So the whole thing. I love my podcast so much. I love that you all listen. I love creating this content for you. I love literally all of it. I love interviewing people on the podcast. I also know that you don’t want that every week, which is why I don’t do it.

I also love being on other people’s podcasts. I get so excited when people ask me to do podcast interviews with them. So if you’re listening and you’re like, “What? What? What do you mean, like you want to be on my podcast?” The answer is probably yes. I love it. I think sometimes people get scared to ask me because maybe I don’t have time or whatever, and I’m just going to plug myself and say I’m a really good time, you should have me on your podcast. Only if it makes sense for your audience, of course. Or if it just sounds fun to you.

What has been the most challenging thing? I would say, I mean, definitely if I didn’t have a producer I can just already tell you that that side of it would be the most challenging. I also think that sometimes I love to procrastinate, and so getting my episodes in on time, so they have to be, like right now I’m recording this on a Tuesday, it has to be turned in today.

That is not always the case, I’ll talk about that in a minute. But that is probably the most challenging thing, right? Because I do set aside time to do it, but sometimes that gets taken over by other things and I have to push it off and, you know, just procrastinating. It’s always been my number one challenge.

Why did I choose to start a podcast over other forms of content? I think I kind of already answered that, right? Just because this is my preferred way to consume content. I love podcasts so much. That’s a simple answer.

And would I ever consider doing a video podcast? No, and here’s why. I mean, I can’t say never, maybe. But here’s why my immediate reaction to that is no way. If you are a regular listener, you might know that I love to work in sweatpants and a t-shirt, maybe a sweatshirt if it’s chilly. That is my preferred, I almost said costume, that is not the word. That is my preferred attire for working.

Now, sometimes I do wear that on coaching calls. Sometimes I don’t, sometimes I look much nicer. But there is just a piece of me that’s like, oh, but if I was just doing this in video form I would, not even I would have to show up in a certain way. But I would just have to put more thought into it possibly.

It just feels like one layer that I’m like, no thank you. Right now I have on my Vuoris, yes I still wear them. And a t-shirt and slippers and my hair is up in a bun. And that’s just how I roll, like that is my podcast attire and I love it. That is what I where 98% of the time.

Okay, let’s see, I think that’s almost all of them. Oh, what do you tell yourself when you don’t feel like doing it? So usually, here’s where the problem comes in, I tell myself, “It’s okay, you can do it later.” But also, I go back to the commitment I made to it, right? When I said, one of the first couple things I said, number three maybe is that I decided the format ahead of time and decided 100% I’m going to stick to it. I just remind myself of that.

And I think about all of you, all of the people listening, and like what would happen if there just wasn’t a podcast? You might be very disappointed. There have been weeks that I’ve been behind, that I’ve been like right up to the deadline. And then maybe, this is why I don’t love to be doing it late, because maybe I get sick or something happens and for whatever reason I’m not available for recording. That’s happened a couple times and I have to figure it out, right?

So I still have a podcast that week, but I come up with a different solution. I think at one point I used an interview that I did on someone else’s podcast. I think I’ve done that twice, actually. And I think one time I just recorded, I don’t know, like a five minute podcast or something. It was like a, just a little pep talk or something along those lines, I forget. And I just find solutions.

But just in the moment when I’m like, “I just don’t really want to do this.” That really rarely happens for my podcast because, like I said, it’s one of my favorite things. But it does happen for other things and I think I just decide, okay, I don’t want to do it. So, what? Am I going to push through? Sometimes yes. Or am I going to give myself permission to not do it today? And if so, when am I going to do it?

Do you batch your episodes or do you record them weekly? So obviously, sometimes I record them weekly, right? Just like I said, right now, this podcast, I’m right up to the deadline and I’ll be turning it in the day it’s due. I do love to be ahead so that when anything happens, like I get sick or whatever, I don’t have to worry about it, I don’t have to think about it.

There are two times that I almost always do record batches or try to, I’m getting better. I can’t even lie here because my producer is listening, so they know. They’ll know, they’ll call me out. So one, if I have a lot of travel coming up I will try to really be on top of that. And especially not just record for the weeks that I’m gone, but also like the week after or maybe two weeks after.

Because I know after travel, there’s just always a lot going on. Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I might be a little under the weather, sometimes I’m jet lagged, whatever it is. I always try to plan for the weeks that I’m gone plus a couple, one or two more when possible.

And then recently, another time that I’ve been batching them is when I have launches coming up. So I am getting more organized at this and it is now included in my launch plan. When I go over it with my amazing business manager it’s one of the things that we talk about is, okay, what podcasts am I going to record? What topics do I want to talk about? Am I going to be interviewing anyone? And do we need to reach out to them and get that scheduled?

So those are the two times. And then, for example, the last two weeks I have been turning them in the day they’re due and I hate that feeling. I’m not loving it. So after this one, I will probably, because I have, time record a couple of extra this week so that I can just get a little bit ahead. That is my preferred way to do it.

I will say that when I very first started podcasting I really thought that I would set aside one day, like maybe a Friday or whatever day, like maybe once a month and record four episodes. It turns out I can’t do that. I think about two usually is my tops. I don’t know why, it takes a very specific way for your brain to work, I think, when you are recording a podcast episode. And it just kind of wears my brain out. So after two, that’s good.

I probably could do more, but I feel like the quality would go down. So I definitely don’t do it that way, but if that works for you, absolutely. I would say be open to trying anything. And just be willing to experiment and find your right way.

Have I had any haters? So, okay, I’m sure I have and they haven’t told me. So there’s that. I’m 100% positive I do have like a couple, maybe like one one-star review and a couple two star reviews on Apple Podcasts. But they didn’t like actually leave reviews. So I don’t know why, I think a one star review is a little bit weird because if you dislike it that much, why wouldn’t you just listen to one or two episodes and then just like, “Oh, okay, I’m not listening to this.”

Now, I do also have a couple three or four star reviews. I wouldn’t call those haters though, right? Those are just people that are like, “It’s okay.” Totally fine. The only real, and I’m going to say haters and quotes because it doesn’t really feel like it’s that hateful. But I have had a couple emails, ironically about my voice.

Thank goodness I did so much work on this when I very first started my podcast and really talked myself out of who cares what my voice sounds like, all of that. Because I have had a couple of emails that are like, you shouldn’t say this, you shouldn’t do this, or I don’t like your voice, or you talk too slow, or sometimes you use up-speak, you shouldn’t do that. Those types of things. And I’ve just totally let those go.

But, of course, when I started my podcast this was totally a fear I had, that I was going to have all of these theaters. And at least so far it just hasn’t happened. So if you haven’t started a podcast yet and that is a fear that you have, yes, be prepared that it could happen. But also, I just would spend zero time thinking about it because it’s very unlikely.

And the last question, what is one thing that you know now that you didn’t know when you started, that is a must know for anyone starting a podcast? So first of all, I’m going to say all of the things I’ve already talked about. I’ve covered most of it. But what I want to leave you with, and this is the very last thing I’ll say, if you’re thinking of starting a podcast or if you’ve had one for a while and you’re like, meh, like you’re not super into it or maybe it’s feeling a little stagnant, figure out how it can be fun.

Talk about things you want to talk about. Interview people you want to interview, right? Like sometimes I interview people just because I’m like, “This will be so fun.” Sometimes that is literally all of the thought that goes into it. Or this episode, it feels a little indulgent, it’s not for everyone. It is what it is. But I’ve had so many requests for it and my thought was, “I love podcasting, this will be so fun.”

So just allow it to be fun. Even if you’ve had a podcast for a while and you’re feeling a little stagnant, feeling like it’s a chore that’s on the to-do list instead of something you love doing, find a way to make it fun. Make some changes, have me on. I don’t actually know if that would be very fun, but I can make it fun.

But really think about like what changes, that was sarcasm for those of you that don’t know me that well. I am kidding. That’s probably not a great solution. But really find some ways to have fun. I don’t talk about fun a ton in my business because, yes, I love doing things that are fun in my business. But sometimes coaching can feel heavy, sometimes it can feel a little hard, it’s not always the most fun thing.

But for me, my podcast truly is the most fun thing. And I think that is where when I think about the number of downloads and like all of that that people are always like, “Oh my gosh, how do you do that?” I think that is the number one secret.

I hope that this was so helpful. And I hope that everything that I talked about, hopefully you can take it and apply it to something that you are working on. All right, I will see you next week. Goodbye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. see you next week.

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