It's December right now. There is a mere handful of days left until we cross the familiar New Year barrier, where amongst all the celebrations we start looking to the future. What if your short-term future holds a gem of a podcast, waiting to be unleashed! Well here at the Mere Mortals we want to share 3 tips with you.
1 | Focus on the MLP, not the MVP, to get you started
A podcast is, in all its purposes, a way for you to provide a product out to the market, albeit one that comes in the shape of audio and sometimes video as well. As with all products, we can become infatuated with delivering the highest-quality, gut-busting, knowledge-packed podcast there is. News Flash... this is rarely the case, go take a listen at Joe Rogan's first ever podcast if you don't believe us.
So where does that leave us.. well, we could focus on the MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Put simply, this can be a podcast with just enough features and quality so that users can tune in to your podcast, provide feedback and allow for continued improvement. That means, a minimum level of quality to your microphone, no wishy washy tin-can sounding recording, and if going down the video route not settling in for your old Nokia recording. While this CAN get you in the right direction, that is to actually create a podcast, there can actually be an ever better approach so that from Day 1 people fall in love with your podcast.
Introducing, MLP, the Minimum Lovable Product. What does this represent? MLP is the minimum that is required for customers and listeners to adore your product, rather than merely tolerating it. The key here is, to get you started on the right path, you don't have to create a podcast that meets the minimum requirement for EVERY individual on earth. That is an enviable goal, but one that doesn't lend itself to easing the pressure of starting a podcast. Instead, focus on creating a podcast that a few handful of people will love. A podcast that they can rave about, by the way that its presented, organised, described and more. Begin there and grow.
2 | Start with an almighty BANG that the algorithms will love
Help yourself right at the outset by banking a few episodes and releasing them in quick succession, we are talking 4 to 6 episodes being released over 3 weeks. Why?
Aside from the fact that it personally sets you up for a good platform to launch from, it gives your listeners a set of podcasts to tune into further if they do enjoy your content and it can also help you out by landing you in the 'What's Hot' category.
How exactly do the various podcast algorithms, the spotify/apple's of the world and the rest, treat your podcast? The short answer is no-one really knows unless you got the inside scoop, but it is fairly common knowledge that the downloads per episode ratio has a part in bumping you up the chart conga line. The algorithms also have a tendency to favour new podcast downloads as opposed to established podcast downloads, so a quick burst right at the onset can help promote your podcast by virtue of its new-ness!
3 | It's not a sprint, it's not even a marathon, it's a non-stop racing loop
Let's tackle that thought in your mind. Your podcast will be THE next Joe Rogan, Tim Ferris, Dave Asprey or beyond. Now we at Mere Mortals aren't saying this can't happen, but what we can assure you is that it won't happen in the first 3 or 6 months, even if you have a CRACKING show a year isnt going to cut it. It isn't a sprint.
But let's explore the thought of a marathon, can you go for 3-5 years, consistently delivering content that is leaving your audience GASPING for the next episode. Wonderful, well done, you are leaving all of us Mere Mortals behind. But unlike a marathon, there are two crucial differences.
It doesn't have to end - Your podcast doesn't have to end, or have an end in sight. It could for all intent and purposes run until the heat death of the universe. What does that mean, practically for us all. you have so.. soooooo much time to keep improving if you aren't already at the pinnacle, so don't sweat it, you have time.
Yes there are other players in the podcast game, 850,000 podcast out there, but unlike a race where someone has to win and someone has to loose, we could all be winners. let me repeat that for the folks at the back. WE COULD ALL WIN. Win what? well that obviously depends for each podcaster out there, but the reality is every podcast has a chance to earn money and become a full-time stream of income, to connect with other users who love your product or for you to simply share your message. As long as we don't all focus on winning being the same thing, we can move beyond a sero-zum game.
It isn't a marathon.
So why is it a non-stop racing loop anyway? Well, lets look at it this way. You begin your podcast journey in a proverbial humble vehicle, the 'go kart', and you start going round and round the race track. The focus can tend to wander at the expectacle of the 'fast cars' zipping about the track, but in order to continue improving your own journey you need to focus on the track, take the turns well, take the pit-stops you need and keep improving your own vehicle so that one day after much growth you too can be one of those 'fast cars'. Not everyone gets there, some crash, some stall, some focus too much on the speed and loose focus.
That's how we see it anyways, and I (Juan) also love cars so this seemed the best metaphor, but whatever metaphor you enjoy, just remember, run your own journey - at your pace towards your true intent. That got deep quick, let's eject and finish there.
Three unusual tips for those future podcasters out there, or existing too. If you ever want to ask a more direct question to what we would consider is a current indy podcast at Mere Mortals, go drop a DM on our insta (https://www.instagram.com/mere_mortals_media) or drop a comment below.
As always, we hope you enjoyed, Mere Mortals out!