What is the outcome you want from your podcast?
This applies to the whole podcast and each episode.
If the goal is to fire an arrow, then it doesn’t much matter where it lands. If the goal is to hit the target, you need to practice getting better until you get closer and closer to the bull’s eye.
If the outcome we’re looking for is high-quality audio, we need to learn and then practice – recording, editing and polishing our sound. Alternatively, if the outcome is to build a community, the audio must be good enough to get attention and then keep it over time, but even more vital is developing those faithful listeners and encouraging their engagement. And, of course, a lot of this will happen outside of podcast creation.
Podcasting, as we know, is a lot more than recording.
Do you remember the list of people I told you about that you should acknowledge and credit in producing the podcast? Well, your team may have you as CEO (i.e. Chief Everything Officer), but most of the work still needs to get done.
How do you work out what outcome you are aiming for? They have to be your goals, not mine and probably not the latest recommendations from your favourite blog or Podcast, though sometimes they can help.
Each choice we make opens up possibilities but closes down others. You can’t do it all, and you can’t do it for everyone.
Thinking of your own podcast – do you know your limitations? – meaning, who it is for, and what it is for?
If you do, then some questions don’t need answering for your next episode – you can use the limitations to free you. Within these boundaries is where we work – for them, and for this.
Pick your lane
I’m sure you’ve heard it said many times – “you have to pick a lane”.
So what’s yours?
Hit the target Something to See – Video of Amanda Gorman at the Moth Slam ahead of that ‘inaugural poem’ – she didn’t start there but learned and grew step by step
Hit the target Something to Hear – An episode of The Next Big Idea podcast by Rufus Grisom where he interviews author of Beginners Tom Vanderbilt
Hit the target Something to Read – Writing a podcast script: a guide from BBC Sounds and Spotify producer Jessie Aru-Phillips.