Behind the Scenes #16: Challenging episodes & getting comfy
-> Challenging storylines & 10K downloads & getting comfortable being behind… Welcome back to the Statement Mondays biweekly update!
[To my existing readers, I’m now sending my updates through substack and you may see the emails show up in your “Promotions” folder in gmail — just drag the email over to your “Primary” tab so you don’t miss any updates!]
👠 What is Statement Mondays? It’s a podcast for college and early-career women about being bold and authentic in the workplace. I interview career-minded women with strong identities who give examples, advice, and tools that inspire listeners to bring more of who they are into what they do.
👩🏼🎨 Since last time:
This week, Statement Mondays surpassed all-time 10,000 downloads! Crazy milestone to happen 9 weeks after launching!
I launched two new episodes:
I sent out a bunch more interview requests and got a few more interviews scheduled -- enough to get me through episode 18 at least (= original 10 + the 8 weeks I’m thinking I’ll be on New & Noteworthy)
I researched advertising strategies and received interest from a handful of companies who want to partner with me. I may be too early. (more below)
I’ve received several emails through my website - most are through marketing firms paid to schedule their clients on podcasts, but some have been truly out-of-the-blue reach-outs which is exciting! (more below)
I met a handful of people through the On Deck Podcasters fellowship (which is now over!) and look forward to keeping in touch (I’m looking at you Isotta, Chi, Vaishali, Nancy!)
Website revamp! It looks ~so polished~
🧠 #1 thing in my mind:Understanding brand cohesiveness
While I was working on Paulina’s episode (#12) I had to really dig into the question of “what is my brand?” since her interview is so different than my others. It is extremely charged, more of a story structure, and also about self-discovery rather than a career-centric interview. But ultimately Paulina epitomizes Statement Mondays values so I was itching to share her story. The problem was just that her boldness is a double-edged sword -- I was also concerned about her strong opinions ostracizing listeners and assigning my budding podcast an extremist identity. Wait, what? How can I espouse being bold but then not demonstrate boldness in how I run my podcast?
No room for hypocrisy on Statement Mondays! So I sent a draft of the episode to two select friends for advice -- here’s what they said: 1. Paulina’s interview is so different from my other episodes that I need to add more of my career-oriented structure to show listeners how it’s relevant to my broader messages, and 2. The opposite… the interview is so strong that I need to get out of its way and let it speak for itself, don’t force it into a box by wrapping it in my podcast brand. And with both these inputs I believe I found the perfect balance. I revised my debrief to highlight both career- and general life-related learnings and share its impact on my way of thinking. Genuine, not forced around career. I also struck a balance between removing her strongest political statements themselves, while still conveying the strength of those statements. Statement Mondays is all about being bold and making a statement, regardless of what that statement is -- so these edits feel entirely on-brand. After my many revisions, Paulina’s interview is a standalone bombshell as well as a cohesive chapter in the Statement Mondays adventure. Write me back if you disagree!
Small but mighty comment. Why, thank you!
🧠 #2 thing on my mind: I’m getting the hang of this!
Sometimes it just takes being thrown into the ocean to learn how to swim. The Natalie who would spend 2 extra hours getting from 95% to 99% perfect is gone, and in her spot is Natalie who is instead spending those two hours building out a public newsletter or scheduling more interviews! Total overwhelm of the past few weeks forced me to prioritizing longer-term high-value goals over short-term small-value ones (as long as I stay on my episode schedule, at least!). Stress and last-minute has become the new norm which is now counterintuitively comfortable and less stressful. I hope this means I’m getting the hang of it and not that I’m spiraling out of control… please keep me honest!
Instagram content coming soon… ^ closets make the best recording studios, especially messy ones 😂
Too early for monetization? I hadn’t planned on even exploring monetization strategies any time soon, if at all. But my placement on New & Noteworthy sped up that timeline since I already hit more downloads than I even let myself dream of! Some of the advertisers I’m in contact with decided to wait until I’ve hit my stride and can offer a long-term (1+ year!) contract. The rest? TBD...
Guest referral pickiness. I jumped on a call with a reach out and a related PR person and they pitched me to interview their boss/client -- and that’s when I determined I’m not interested in interviewing people who pay others to find them podcast interviews. “This is what she normally talks about on podcasts” is exactly what I DON’T want on Statement Mondays. Listeners have praised my show for the diversity of my guests and the fact that they’re regular people and not all successful big names. I’d like to keep it that way!
Social media magic: It’s crazy how tagging Tesla in a post (episode #9 with Kate Park) skyrockets the number of people who see the post…
Some international rankings as of March 29th aggregated by podstatus.com.
Endless thanks to Laney and Max for sharing your honest feedback on my episode #12 drafts. It was a tough one and I was able to clarify my goals for the interview and execute on them because of your advice!
Martin continues to come to my rescue as usual -- Sunday nights are when I crawl to him begging for last-minute audio mixing & mastering 👻
Thank you Wendy, Natalia, Ashley, and Max for putting me in touch with amazing guests for upcoming episodes.
If you have any friends who are thinking of starting a podcast, tell them about this newsletter -- they might find it both entertaining and useful!
Do you know of someone who would be a great guest on the show who is an artist? Looking for diverse careers!
Thanks for reading! And if you need a reason to be bold today, here it is -- today is Statement Monday.
Founder | Statement Mondays