Behind the Scenes #13: Finding my voice
Listener feedback, learning better content editing, already overwhelmed… Welcome back to the Statement Mondays biweekly update! 🤩
What is Statement Mondays? It’s a podcast for college and early-career women about being bold and authentic in the workplace. I interview bold women with strong identities who give examples, advice, and tools that inspire listeners to bring more of who they are into what they do.
TODO: subscribe to Statement Mondays and also write a review here (I think only on mobile). Every review helps to boost the visibility of the podcast.
Do you know what it means to pitch Apple or Spotify to get them to surface your podcast or episode? I’ll do more research but would prefer hearing from someone with direct experience.
Do you have any tips on storytelling or editing patterns/techniques? I’m just trying things out as I go but would love more guidance.
👩🏼🎨 Since last time:
Launched two more episodes, #5 and #6. You can find all of these on any audio platform, here are links to Spotify:
We’ve gotten over 500 total downloads in the first three weeks! And when I checked the metrics Monday afternoons, already 15-20 people have listened to the latest episode which I’m hoping means that these are dedicated subscribers!
Starting to think about real advertising. I have > $1k in Facebook ad credit (nice perk), and Mallory is talking to a UW Madison newsletter for ad placement there.
🧠 #1 thing on my mind: I’m already finding my voice and my niche
The most common feedback I’ve gotten so far is that people love my debrief. After each interview, I summarize my key takeaways and add my own perspective and stories. Apparently, listeners lean on me and this debrief for takeaways from the interview and they are the differentiator among all the podcasts out there. I’m SO excited to hear this because that’s the easiest piece for me to experiment with. And since my flywheel for episode editing to launch is so short, I was able to incorporate this feedback into episode 6 -- I added some debrief into my “pause” (which apparently people also love). Now I just have to make sure I get this content in front of the right people, and keep iterating.
🧠 #2 thing on my mind: I’m completely overwhelmed
It may look like I have it together but let me tell you… I’ve already devolved into completing the next episode the week before it airs. I have only a single completed episode in reserve, (and I’m holding on to it for strategic timing), which means if I don’t put in enough hours each week there won’t be an episode next Monday. That’s terrifying. I’ll be super disappointed in myself if I break my streak of publishing every Monday. But I guess I have to keep remembering that the biggest hurdle was publishing anything at all, which I’ve accomplished. On top of just staying consistent, I’m also juggling promoting, paid advertising, scheduling more interviews, meeting other podcasters in the On Deck fellowship, watching fireside chats & workshops by podcasting professionals with On Deck, and fretting about whether I should or shouldn’t be trying to make the New & Noteworthy category which is only possible in the first 8 weeks after launch.
This last part is especially stressful because I told myself that just launching was my goal, but I’m not used to settling for anything but the best and the highest achievements. I don’t have time to pitch episodes to Apple or whatever else I’d have to do to make it on those charts, but I keep leaving emotional space for it. I think I have to do a little more research before deciding whether I should optimize for getting on that list (which would mean lots more exposure and more listeners!). Gaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!
Editing is everything: great storytelling can make or break your episode; you can manipulate and improve the flow / energy just by shifting pieces around (still maintaining integrity of the content of course). Also, don’t cut out things and leave only the key sentences -- that just leaves platitudes and on their own they are boring.
Pitching: Apparently podcasters literally pitch their podcasts or certain episodes to be promoted by streaming services. No clue what these pitches entail or how to set them up but I should probably get on that.
Iterating: With my fast episode turnaround (no backlog) I can incorporate feedback immediately! Perk of moving [uncomfortably] quickly…
Themes: Strong episodes are ones that have a central theme. Good editors will cut out anything that isn’t directly relevant to the theme. I need to practice this to both shorten my episodes and focus them more.
Community building: At some point I’ll want to have a place where listeners can engage further, and one On Deck podcaster said he’d heard of Slack groups where the guest would join the chat for one day or hour and the members could interface with them directly. Cool idea!
Annie and Karen for sharing great feedback about the value of my debriefs, and suggestions for focusing on a single central theme for each episode
Cissy, Kate, Petra, Maddie, Andrew, and Millie for leaving me reviews on Apple Podcasts (and for anyone who also did and I didn't know -- THANK YOU)
Thanks for reading! And if you need a reason to be bold today, here it is -- today is Statement Monday.
Founder | Statement Mondays