You may sometimes fall into a podcasting rut and you've lost your passion. Here are 9 tips to help you get out of the funk and back to your podcast!
1. Refocus on your “why”
Why are you podcasting? What's the “profit” in your podcast?
It can be easy for us to get so focused on the everyday of our podcasts that we forget why we wanted to do them.
Your “why” could be to simply have fun. It could be to talk with amazing people. It could be to share the conversations you're already having. It could be to connect with others who share your passions. It could be to build something bigger.
You've probably heard the story of the bricklayers:
A man came upon a construction site where three people were working. He asked the first, “What are you doing?” and the man replied, “I'm laying bricks.” He asked the second, “What are you doing?” and the man replied, “I'm building a wall.” As he approached the third, he heard him humming a tune as he worked, and asked, “What are you doing?” The man stood, looked up at the sky, and smiled, “I'm building a cathedral!”
Now, imagine if the man had asked why the bricklayers doing this. It might go something like this:
A man came upon a construction site where three people were laying bricks for a cathedral. He asked the first, “Why are you doing that?” and the man replied, “Because I was told lay bricks for my job.” He asked the second, “Why are you doing that?” and the man replied, “To provide for my family.” And then he asked the third, who said, “I'm helping to change the world.”
So why are you podcasting? Refocus on that original reason. Or, it's possible your “why” has matured over time, but you've simply forgotten about it.
2. Read your testimonials
It's easy for a negative review or piece of feedback to discourage us. But I suggest keeping a collection of your best feedback. Especially if the praise is a testimonial that supports your “why.”
Don't look for pure praise. Look for the transformations you have caused. For example, I have many emails and podcast reviews from people who said I helped them launch their first podcast. Or I revealed a way they could improve. Or I helped them overcome a struggle.
Even if you have an entertainment-focused podcast, you could be the cause for someone's only smile or laughter in an otherwise depressing day.
3. Take a limited break
We're not designed to work without stopping. Our bodies need rest, and so do our minds!
A break could be a season-long hiatus or it could be only a few minutes. The point is to detach yourself from the work and give your brain a rest. This allows you to come back with fresh perspective.
Even in preparing this episode, I took a brief break to reheat some delicious meatloaf for lunch. While I was standing by the microwave, not even thinking about this podcast, two more ideas came to me.
I recommend your break be as away from the work as possible. So you're not simply switching browser tabs, but you're moving to a different place (with or without your computer).
Before you take your break, set a limit on how long it will be and honor that limit. If the break will affect your audience, then let them know about it and tell them when you'll be back.
4. Hang out with passionate people
One of the biggest rewards I get from attending events is new inspiration. Sometimes, that's from stuff I learned. But it's often simply from being around passionate people.
It's best if you can have something in common with these passionate people, but it doesn't have to be podcasting. (Although the best place to hang out with other passionate podcasters is as Podcast Movement! Use my promo code “noodle” to register and save 10%!) You might hang out with others passionate about the subject you podcast about, or it could be something completely unrelated.
Passion is contagious. It can even spread within yourself. If you get “on fire” about one thing, you can often channel that energy into something else.
5. Review your successes
Look back at what you've overcome and what you've achieved. “Success” may not be money in the bank or an award. It could be opportunities you had, episodes you thought went really well, guests you felt lucky to interview, and more.
When you find those successes, think about how you feel when you review the success. Think about how you felt when you reached that success. And then remember how you felt before you reached that success and recognize that you could be only a few steps away from your next success.
6. Be transparent with your audience
When you're really struggling with your passion, it's okay to transparently share that with your audience. Even if you don't ask for their support, you will probably be amazed at the positive response!
Be careful that your transparency doesn't pull your audience down with you.
7. Try something new
Change for the sake of change can be a good thing when you actually need change! You could change your environment, your branding, your format, your approach, or many other things. The change doesn't even have to be permanent! You could tell your audience you're trying something new and get their feedback.
This change could give you something new to be excited about, or it could even remind you how much you liked the way you used to do things.
8. Seize moments of inspiration
You may feel burned out only at a specific moment or even for a majority of the time. But as soon as inspiration strikes, ride it for as long as you can!
This is why I think you should always carry a way to make notes (Evernote is great for this). You could be sitting in a meeting, trying to fall asleep, or working on something else. As much as possible, respectful, and safe, capture that inspiration.
When you can record the idea, you make something to look forward to revisiting.
9. Push forward anyway
Lastly, you may face times where you have to take action despite your feelings. As hard as it may be to start, this discipline can get your brain working and the inspiration flowing. You are, effectively, making a moment of inspiration.
It's like how I felt about baths as a kid: I hated baths! I felt like my mom would have to nag me over and over before I would take a bath. But once I got in and started playing with the bubbles, it was hard to get out! I loved baths!
Momentum is what you need. It may be hard to get started, but once you do, things will get easier and then you may forget about the struggle.
If you find yourself in a rut, consider joining Podcasters' Society! This is exclusively for those who have already launched their podcasts and want to improve and grow through encouragement, training, community, and support!
Thank you for the podcast reviews!
- Cgcook89, host of Moo Point, A Friends Podcast, wrote in iTunes USA, “… I used a lot of his advice to launch Moo Point, A Friends Podcast, and I am looking at starting in on a second one soon! It's been a blast and I'm glad this podcast helped us get started.” Read the full review.
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.