I hear this excuse a lot in podcasting. Whether it's to defend or oppose, some podcasters seem to think that everything a successful podcaster does is directly contributing to their success, and nothing is costing them P.R.O.F.I.T. (popularity, relationships, opportunities, fun, income, or tangibles).
It usually sounds like this: “XYZ does / doesn't do this thing and it's not hurting their podcast!” (Where “XYZ” is usually Joe Rogan or some other highly popular, highly successful podcaster.)
While that might seem logical, it's based on several assumptions and it can't actually be tested or validated.
Unless we have a parallel universe for split-testing (like in Amazon's The Peripheral), or unless we have a time machine, or unless we can interview every person everywhere with an honest and 100% response rate, or unless we are omniscient like God, we can't really know what is negatively affecting a successful podcast.
Maybe his or her audience would be bigger if they did or didn't do that thing. Maybe their sponsorship or licensing payments would have been more significant if they did or didn't do that thing.
If that thing actually is negatively affecting their show, you can't actually know! Can you monitor a parallel universe where the only difference is that podcasting thing? Can you travel back in time to have him or her do or not do that thing and then remeasure the results from the present? Can you interview every person everywhere in the world to collect data on whether that thing is affecting that person's relationship with that podcast? Are you God?
(In case you're wondering, the answer to all of these questions is “no.”)
So instead of assuming successful podcasters are infallible, which is what this excuse is essentially doing, I suggest approaching every idea with critical thinking and a focus on your audience.
Even if something does contribute to someone else's success, it doesn't mean it will give you the same success. Think about how many “on fire” podcasts there have been that interviewed entrepreneurs. How many of those podcasters got anywhere near the success John Lee Dumas has? How many of those podcasts are even still active?
There will always be outliers, too. Marc Maron's show contains excessive profanity—that doesn't mean yours should! Dan Carlin's Hardcore History publishes inconsistently—that doesn't mean you should be inconsistent! No Agenda releases two 3-hour-or-longer episodes every week with multiple, long donation segments—that doesn't mean you should do the same! Plenty of highly popular podcasts focus on controversial moral and political issues from any side you can imagine—that doesn't mean you should include a tangent about them in your podcast! And on and on.
Some of these podcasters found success despite some of the things they're doing or not doing, not because of those things.
The key to successful podcasting is what works for you, your show, and your audience.
And just like real love, I think your podcasting focus should be on serving your ideal audience more than serving yourself or anyone else.
I'm available to help you podcast!
If you need one-on-one help or you haven't launched your podcast, yet, click here to request a personal coaching and consulting session with me and I'd love the opportunity to help you podcast better!
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