Behind the Scenes #17: Achieving escape velocity!
Sustainable workload milestone, lack of data, episode guest sneak peek -- 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 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:
I launched two new episodes:
Met some amazing women through my On Deck fellowship:
Chatted with another podcaster (just as adventurous and driven) who will be my accountability buddy
I’ll be recording a ~special interview~ with two founders who are building a social and mentorship network just for women!
Lining up a potential partner/advertiser who is sending us their product to try before we commit to promoting it on the show!
Bought a pop filter for my mic, no clue whether it’s been helping but it sure makes me look legit
Went HAM on Thursday scheduling more interviews 🕺🕺
*Sneak peak*... 👀 On Sunday I got fried chicken in Nashville with Emma Kalaysian, my guest for next week’s episode! This is the first time I’ve met her in person, how cool to be making new friends through this podcast
🧠 #1 thing on my mind: Reaching sustainability… do I just keep going?
The most important milestone for me yet has been reaching my own ~escape velocity~ this past week. A few weeks ago I think I said I was planning on ending season 1 around episode 18. But WOW it feels good not to be stressed constantly anymore! I barely remember the time pre-podcast when I didn’t have to work a few hours every evening just to get the next episode out… And if you remember my Update #14, I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t even prepare the following episode to outsource editing to an audio production company… I was in a vicious cycle!
What’s changed? Mallory is helping me edit the interviews which frees up my time to curate interview content, write the scripts, schedule more interviews, and work on more macro things. We’re able to prepare more than one episode in one week now, which means we should be able to start using this audio production company which will in turn free up more time for us to interact with listeners and produce other types of content, and even just THINK about how to reach more listeners! Instead of constant crisis mode, I could continue Statement Mondays like this (let alone with even more process improvements!) for months as long as I continue to schedule interviews! That means I might as well continue until I really need a break. And if I run out of interviews, I think I have a strong enough episode track record and listener base that I could put out a few short easy episodes to span the weeks I need to reset, just to retain listeners.
For those of you who like metaphors, if Statement Mondays were a rocket ship taking off from Earth, we’ve finally escaped the gravitational field and we’re now in open space, cruising!
🧠 #2 thing on my mind: Podcast data is 💩
If you don’t have a podcast of your own, you probably didn’t know that the data available to podcasters about their own show is awful. Which is crazy to imagine in today’s world where data seems to be so readily available for most things, and especially since podcasting has skyrocketed in popularity over the past years! To give you an idea, I can’t even see my overall subscriber/follower count. Luckily Spotify does let me see some amount of data, Spotify apparently only comprises 1.7% of my downloads so it’s not as useful. In the graph below showing download sources (from my host platform Podbean), the purple color is 34% “others,” which almost entirely is something other than known platforms like iHeartRadio / Overcast / Google Chrome in general…
This platform unknown + other lack of data means it’s extremely hard to figure out some key learnings like whether my target audience is even the audience who currently listens to Statement Mondays, whether people only listen to the intro and then never finish the episode, if people skip the analysis at the end -- all super important pieces of information I need to make the podcast better! The only way I can find out this information now is just by asking listeners individually. And because I have no way to reach out to listeners until they contact me first, it’s SO HARD to actually get feedback on the podcast. This is why in my episodes I’m always encouraging people to reach out and also one reason I have this Behind The Scenes substack, so people can leave comments and share their emails. Thanks for letting me rant... and if you have any suggestions for how to engage listeners more and effectively solicit feedback, I’m all ears!
Organic network effects: I’m starting to actually see organic word-of-mouth network effects! A friend from high school who I hadn’t personally told about Statement Mondays shared my podcast on LinkedIn, and Vicki Chang (my guest on episode 10) also told me people she knew were finding her episode before she even told them! I’m keeping my eyes peeled for signs of me doing things right (or wrong!)
Focus on the content. After getting on New & Noteworthy, my focus was pulled in so many directions -- monetization offers, building engagement with a newsletter, reach-outs from listeners, etc. which overwhelmed me more than I already was. Now the novelty has worn off and I’m back to my original goal of reaching, inspiring, and connecting with women through my episodes. I feel much more grounded and productive now prioritizing interviews + editing + interacting with listeners who reach out.
Follow-up with people you meet! I got to meet in-person with next week’s episode guest (sneak preview: her name is Emma Kalaysian, a UI/UX designer at NASA!) and loved just chatting about anything and everything -- refreshing after the confines of this pandemic!
Thanks Susie, Brad, Thomas, and Wendy for the great guest suggestions -- scheduling those now!
Mark & Annie, I love your frequent texts sharing what you think of new episodes
*Hi Kamrin!* Can’t wait to keep each other on track and ~accountable~ for our podcasts :)
Shout out to Arianna whom I haven’t seen since high school, but who shared my podcast on LinkedIn unprompted :)
Do you have any suggestions for how to better solicit feedback and gather listener contact info so I can incorporate what people are excited about into the show?
Thanks for reading! And if you need a reason to be bold today, here it is -- today is Statement Friday. (😅)
Founder | Statement Mondays