You are influenced by the people around you. So here is who you should have in your circle to help your podcast succeed.
For the geeks, this is episode 314, which is commonly known as pi. Thus, the “circle” theme.
If you have one or more cohosts, you need to be friends with them and have connections outside the podcast. This helps with the energy, flow, and experience of your podcast.
Glenn the Geek, from Horse Radio Network, suggests picking the kinds of cohosts you wouldn't mind to take on vacation with you. This is a great mindset because you and your cohost need to have relationship dynamics stronger than those of mere coworkers.
If you and your cohost don't have a good relationship, try to either fix that, or consider getting a new cohost.
The people listening to and watching your podcast should be part of your circle of influence because they should be your podcast's top priority. They can inspire new content, critique new ideas, encourage perseverance, and more.
When you welcome your audience into a circle with you, the stop being merely an audience and start becoming a community.
And remember to never treat your audience as “below” yourself. You are a leader to your community and that could mean being only a couple steps ahead of your followers, not a tyrant lording over them.
It's a huge help to know, talk to, and hang out with others who share your interests. These peers could be fellow podcasters across different genres, but who share the same passion for this method of sharing a message. For example, local podcaster meetups, online communities, events like Podcast Movement (use promo code “noodle” to save 10%!), or Podcasters' Society.
These peers could also be people who participate within the same niche, but who may not necessarily be podcasting, too. Such as bloggers, YouTubers, companies, and such.
But remember that your peers are usually not your ideal audience. This is why it's neither a generous nor profitable idea to share the latest episodes of your podcast with your peers (such as in online communities).
There are probably other people who podcast about the same topics you do. And yes, I think you should not only allow competition within your niche but also invite your competitors into your own circle.
This requires a lot of maturity on your part and that of your competitors, but it can be profitable for both of you—in opportunities, income, and more.
For example, I consider Dave Jackson a very close friend—and we're actually competitors! But that's okay because we attract different types of people and we have different approaches and offerings. But beyond the details, it's a huge relief to have someone else doing the same kind of thing I do and with whom I can relate in struggles, victories, frustrations, and more.
I think your goal should be to create community and collaboration with your competitors.
Cohosts, audience, peers, and competitors are all mostly on equal levels with you, maybe a little behind or a little ahead. That can be great for encouragement and support. But to accomplish major change and growth, you need people farther ahead of you.
Imagine you're in a pit. The other types of people with you can boost you from the same level to help you out of the pit, but a mentor can reach down from above and pull you out, or see the situation from a completely different perspective and give you better advice.
Mentors could be direct, such as one-on-one coaches and consultants. They could be indirect, such as a speaker or author. Or they could be direct as one-to-many in a coaching group, membership, or some other community under their leadership (like Podcasters' Society!).
You can grow slowly with the other kinds of people in your circle, but if you want to improve and grow more efficiently, then you need a mentor of some sort.
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