The Truth About Starting A Podcast With Melissa Guller
TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED [00:00:00] Diane: Hey, my guest today, Melissa Guller is the founder of Wit and Wire she helps online business owners share their expertise, reach new audiences and expand their earning potential through podcasting. So if you fancy yourself a podcast and this one is for you, even if you only have a tiny audience, Hey Melissa. Welcome to the show. [00:00:15] Melissa: thanks for having me so excited to be here. [00:00:17] Diane: So let's kick off with a bit about your business journey. [00:00:22] Melissa: I would say on purpose, but not in as formal of a way as people would maybe guess. So I was teaching classes in New York. In-person at general assembly. This was years ago. I was teaching Excel classes, data analytics, classes, all the nerdy stuff. And after class, somebody came up to me and asked, do you offer tutoring? And I said, yes, let me get back to you with me. And then I went home and I Googled my rates and I emailed her the next day and I was in business and it happened a couple months later to where somebody asked me, do you do business consulting? And I said, yes. Let me get back to you with my rates. I went home and I Googled rates and I sent out a proposal and I like to share this story because I think when you look at very, you know, quote, successful business people, it seems like that's how they emerge. Like they came out and they had this fully formed business idea with all these pages on his website. But I really just got started by saying yes to opportunities and that kind of. Helped my entrepreneurial spirit kick in, and I knew I wanted to start a more intentional business. I wanted to help women launch podcasts. It started off with just helping women one-on-one and I knew that my end goal was not to be a service provider. I always wanted to be a course grader because of my teaching background at general assembly. And because of the lifestyle, I had seen people when I was working at teachable. And so my goal was always to create the course, but I wanted to do a little bit of research first and get paid to develop my own system. And then. It's evolved and obviously skipping all the in-between steps we can dive in. But the short version is that fast forward two years now, I sell my own online course. I help them launch their own podcasts through an online course. So I really love what I do. And I feel very honored with the, I know thousands of students enrolled in win-wins. [00:02:05] Diane: It took me years to eventually. Pull the trigger on podcasting and what finally got me over the hump of it was, I just was not consistent with any other form of content and. I was a happy talker. And so for me, I was like, okay, let me try podcasting. But I'm one of those people who needs the whole picture. I'm not the person who's going to be like, well, I just recalled the first episode and then see what happens. You know, I need the content plan. I need all the bits and pieces. So I think that's probably stopped me a lot of the time from doing it. I think a lot of people that I speak to are struggling to see the ROI of podcasting for their business. Because let's face it. It's no joke when it comes to the work. So let's dive into the financial pros of podcasting, because I think that's where most people start. And then we can come back to some of the other things that I want us to dive into, but where's the money. [00:02:55] Melissa: Well, I think it's a great question and I'll be the first to say what I think some of the cons are kind of, as you said, I think podcasting is more time intensive and depending on your style, and if you want to edit, it can be more expensive than blogging and I'll go a step further and say, I think. At first glance appears both more expensive and time-intensive than posting to Instagram. And I think there's a longterm benefit to having a podcast that it's tough because I think a good example is going to the gym where you go to the gym once and you don't really see any results. It's hard to in the moment, say like, yes, this is working. And I think podcasting is similar because it's a long-term game. So you may spend. Let's say five hours putting in a great episode, prepping. If you're interviewing a guest, doing the interview, doing your edits, getting it out there, like it'll take you a little bit of time, but I have people who come back. They listen to an episode that I put out a year or two years ago, and then eventually enroll in one of my programs. So I think that long-term benefit is important to consider when we talk about cost. Again, that time and money it takes to put out an Instagram post or a blog post is shorter. But I also think that your Instagram posts only lasts 48 hours while your podcast episode could last two years. So I think that that's huge. [00:04:15] Diane: I read something the other day. Like the average across the board life of a podcast is something like under 10 episodes [00:04:24] Melissa: yeah, under five is actually the stat that I see most often it's called pod fade and it's real where a lot of people. Just maybe they're excited about the podcast, but for whatever reason, they just cannot get over the hump. And I have a specific stat. So of all of the podcasts currently out there active app. Okay. The term active, I think is a little misleading apple claims. There are 2 million active podcasts, but of all of those shows, 44% have three episodes or fewer, basically half. So I think that that's huge. And it also kind of indicates how much opportunity there still is in podcasting because I'm often asked, is it too late to start a podcast? But in the best way, podcasting is really buzzy Right. now, everyone is talking about podcasting. But if you imagine that there's really only a month inactive podcasts compared to it's 600 million active blogs, then you really start to put into perspective just how new. and growing the medium is so sincerely. I believe that right now is actually the sweet spot, the best ever time to launch a podcast because people know what it is. They know how to listen to podcasts, as opposed to when I started, I had to explain how to listen to a podcast. And the technology right now is really user-friendly where you do not have to be tech savvy to launch a podcast. So I really think this is a great time to get. [00:05:40] Diane: and whenever I do any kind of like networking event or I meet someone new. They're like, oh, well, if you got a podcast, let me write it down. I want to go listen to it. So they're probably going to listen to at least one episode, if somebody hears that you have a blog that I could stab, people are usually not volunteering to go and find your website and read your blog, whereas your podcasts they're like, well, it's worth it. Listen. I remember when I was just starting, I was maybe 10 episodes. And I listened to somebody talking about their business and how they choose which podcasts they're going to be on. And they were basically saying if we get pitched by podcasts and they have less than a hundred episodes, I have no interest in them because there's no guarantee for me that they are in it for the long haul. So think about that for most podcasts. That's two years. For me, I post twice a week. So for me, that's one year I'm just coming up on my 100th episode. But for me, that became a line in the sand for me was I needed to get over a hundred. And I noticed as soon as I hit 50, the level of pitches that I started to get from people was completely done. [00:06:38] Melissa: That's so interesting. So you felt like you were starting to get, was it higher quality pitches or people with larger audiences? [00:06:43] Diane: I would say. Both but also the frequency, it's almost like you cross some kind of barrier and PR land and they're like, okay, now you're worthless. All kind of conversation. So it's a very long term strategy because Phil, the first two months, you don't even know if anyone cares and I can see why so many people give up. Right. [00:07:00] Melissa: yes, I was going to say. Once you pass 50 or a hundred. I agree with you. PR firms, people who are really serious about pitching they'll see you in a different light, but for anybody just getting started, I think a common worry. Can I really get anybody to be a guest on my podcast. I'm a, nobody, I don't have an audience. And there are way more people who want to be guests than there are podcast interview opportunities. So as a host, you actually open up so much possibility for the people who want to pitch you. Like you will be the one. In demand, it will be far easier than I think people realize to get guests to be on your podcast. You'll have to start turning people away, no matter how small you feel like your audiences when you first get started. And I think a huge benefit to podcasting that is beyond the monetary, beyond the follower count is the ability to connect with people. Because I don't know if you have felt this way, but the people I have met through podcasting have been some of my friends. Authentic like genuine connections with other humans, people who I've now gone on to be actual friends with, or people who I do business partnerships regularly, where it feels good. Like, it feels like we're both actually benefiting where I'm putting somebody amazing in front of my audience. They get to share it with their audience. They look amazing. I just feel like podcasting is a rare, win-win win in business. [00:08:18] Diane: So because you've had one of those in-depth conversations where you're not here for me to pitch you and I'm not here for you to pitch me. We're actually having a conversation about a topic that both of us are super interested in, in a way that doesn't happen very often in the business. [00:08:33] Melissa: I totally agree. And how cool is it as a host, you get to ask whatever you want of this guest who has so much knowledge. And I feel like I learn so much, like so many of my interns. I have felt lucky to be in the room and it has not been based on the size of the audience of the person I've interviewed, because I've interviewed, I would say people who are just getting started all the way up through PatFlynn Mr. Podcast himself. And it's just incredible what you can learn from the people you interview. And I love talking to pat, but other guests too, or up and comers who it was even maybe their first time being interviewed. I was so fascinated because. In a way that you can't throw a blog post, or even in a way that you can't, if you're listening to them being interviewed by somebody else. So it really is a gift to be an interviewer and you, you get to build really real relationships. Like you said, it's such a cool opportunity to geek out on something that you both really. [00:09:25] Diane: Yeah. I always kid around that. It's like private coaching me. And you get to showcase your knowledge and the best way, because I'm excited about the information you're sharing. So. I really liked that kind of non-financial benefit. But from a monetary standpoint. Where would you send people? So I know like there's one camp that's firmly, you should just be getting sponsorship and there's another camp that's like firmly. You should be pitching your stuff. Where do you fall in that financial cap? So people can get an idea of like, Hey, I might only have a small audience. How do I make money at this like actual physical cash in my pocket? [00:09:58] Melissa: Yeah, I would say I see both camps, but I think the key is knowing how big is your current audience, because that changes my recommendation about which monetary approach you should take. So to give people a sense of. The sponsorship route is a big podcast game. If you have under a thousand downloads per episode, a download, meaning Alyson or somebody hits play, you are not going to be earning the big bucks. Even at 5,000 downloads per episode, it's still only going to be a few hundred, maybe up to a thousand dollars a month based on standard industry rates. And I break those numbers down a lot more in some of my courses, but I think it's important just to know that you. Have a limited earning potential with sponsorship because it is tied directly to your audience size. Now, on the other hand, if you're selling your own courses services, if you have a paid membership, the number of people that you need to tune into your show becomes much smaller in order to start. You could have 50 people tuning in every week. And I like to imagine those people actually sitting in a classroom because then that number starts to feel very real. And if you convert just one of them to your $3,000 package, you've already far out earned somebody who has no joke, 10,000 downloads per episode. In the sponsorship route. And just seeing that comparison, I think is powerful. So if you are a business owner and you have something that is yours to sell, I am a strong advocate for using the podcast as a way to build relationships with your listeners and ultimately to sell them into your products and services. And I think we're afraid sometimes to be salesy on our own podcast. But sit, reframe that if they're tuning in and you are, let's say a productivity coach and people are tuning in because that's something they struggle with for you to withhold. Your services from them would actually be doing them a disservice because you have the exact thing that they're looking for. So I think there's a right way to do it the right way being treat the entire episode, like a giant infomercial instead, just be extremely clear. I like to do it at the front of the episode and again, at the end and take that 32nd spot to very directly talk about a free offer or a paid offer or a discovery call. But then the bulk of the episode is pure value. So I think if you are a business owner focused on. And only if you feel you have a really large audience, what I really recommend the sponsorship route. [00:12:25] Diane: I listened to people be like, oh, you can have sponsors from the very beginning. And then when I dig into their, process or framework around it, very often there it's less sponsorship and more affiliate income. They're sharing a link that they've got a discount code for or something that they've negotiated, which is not the same thing as like this episode is brought to you. Like when you hear NPR, you know, guy rises. How I built this as one of my favorite podcasts. And they're often sponsored Adam Grant is sponsored by it. It's not the same thing as like affiliate income, but I think people confuse it and then jump into the podcast and game and be like, I don't understand. Whereas my monthly sponsorship revenue. [00:13:01] Melissa: Yeah, I think that's really important because I think there's a distinction between ads and sponsorship that isn't often defined clearly enough. Ad space is just any spot on your podcast where you're promoting something and you can use that ad space to promote your own business. You can use it to share an affiliate product and just say, this is one of my favorite things, or sponsorship is the proper process of somebody has paid you. For the opportunity to advertise on your podcast. And it's the traditional sponsorship route that I don't recommend for most hosts, because they will pay you again directly related to how big your audience sizes. And it is true. You can get a sponsor, right from your first episode, even if you have a small audience, but how much money can you really make for that? For the amount of energy you're going to put into it. There is a certain level of trust you're building with your audience. So you don't want to just put anybody in front of them. So I don't think it's worth it to earn 30 bucks for your very small audience or even your decent sized audience. Even if you have 500 downloads per episode, you're going to max out at maybe $40, $50 an episode, and that's a few know how to pitch. So I really don't think it's worth it even though. Yes, it's true. You can get a sponsor at that size. I think promoting affiliate products. Is not a bad route and you can sign up for those in the footers of most websites, many businesses that you already know and use and love have affiliate programs. You just can't use the word spot. [00:14:29] Diane: I don't have a problem with people doing it. I just think it's kind of misleading to teach that as sponsorship, because then you do have someone who's going to come in and yeah. Pitch like Coca-Cola to be their sponsor and get laughed out of the room sort of thing. I think also it's an interesting one from a sponsorship perspective now where there have, there are so many streaming options for podcasts that it used to just be apple and you can look at your apple downloads and you'd be like, well, that's my downloads. Whereas now you're like, well, that's probably most of my downloads, but what if I'm really popular on XYZ street? thinking [00:14:59] Melissa: and nowadays Spotify is really gaining. Yeah. To your point. People are listening in all different apps and that's why this year in 2021, apple, frankly, and Spotify have been announcing a ton around paid creator opportunities. For example, you can now choose to have your podcast to be paid in apple, but I'm personally still of the opinion that that's not the right choice for most indie creators. I think that that's like a big podcast game because for them it makes sense to be exclusive on. And then it could make sense that you would want people to pay for additional content or put part behind a paywall and apple. That can make sense. But for most of us, I think our reality is that our listeners are using all kinds of apps and we don't want to shut off that opportunity. So it makes more sense to use. Third party checkout tools for your membership, for your course, for your services, whatever it might be, because that way, no matter which app she was into, listen, you're sending them to a single CTA. Instead of saying something confusing. Like, oh, if you're an apple, you could do this. But if you're in Spotify do that. And if you're neither go as third place, just a train wreck of a CTA, it's always better to funnel people to one thing. So that's why I'm not too bothered by the apple, Spotify creator tools. I still recommend using your own third party as you, right. [00:16:15] Diane: There's just so much good free content. I have no interest in paying you to listen to your podcasts. and I'm talking like Trevor Noah level. So no one's going to be doing that with like the baby creator. So what would you suggest that somebody does first? So if they're considering, okay. I kind of want a podcast. I get that. It's a lot of work. I understand how it's going to work financially. What's the first thing that they need to think about. Please say it's not a name. [00:16:37] Melissa: I think that the names, the worst place to start, I think that names are tricky because either you find one in your head and you like it, and then you almost start to base all your decisions around your catching. Or what I see, some of my students struggle with is choosing a name, especially as it gets more crowded and the names that they want are taken, which can feel really demoralizing, but your podcasts. I think it matters a little bit because it is a first impression, but it matters a lot less than you think. Imagine some of the crazy names, some of the blogs that you follow, some of the podcasts that you like, they could be as abstract or as direct as they come. But the podcast name is such a small part of the overall brand of the show. But let me answer your question directly, which is don't start with the name, what I recommend. I do think it's really important to clarify your overall concept. And there's this misconception when I say that that people assume, or they hear me say, you need to pick a topic to me, the topic is only a part of the concept, because if you have a topic of yoga, it's going to be very different. If that's for people with hip pain compared to young teens. You can start to see how the way that you would approach that varies wildly. So I have a concept in a lot of my programs, I call your winning podcast formula where you combine three things. The first is the topic. So let's go with the yoga direction. That could be a topic for a podcast, but you can choose anything. Then the next step though, is to identify who is your ideal list? And if you're a business owner, almost definitely this is going to be the same person. So in our earlier example, right, the somebody with hip pain, somebody who's doing yoga to treat something in their body, very different from somebody who just wants to general health, very different, depending on age could be different depending on a lot of variables. so who's your ideal listener. And then the third and the most important piece in my mind of the winning podcast formula. What is the benefit for the listener? The benefit could be that they're looking to be educated. They're looking to be entertained. They're looking to feel understood. It doesn't have to be tangible takeaways. Although I think a lot of podcasts are great for that. In some cases, I do think it's just for a feeling of belonging or a feeling of, oh, this person gets me or I'm not alone. So I would say maybe we could use your podcast as an example, what would be like your winning podcast, formula of your topic, your listener and your. [00:18:55] Diane: so my topic is success strategies for lifestyle entrepreneurs. My ideal listener is the same as my ideal client, which is an established female business owner, coach consultant, or service provider who cares more about the time impact of the business than the money impact. So the time is more valuable to them. The benefits of them. So, well, I guess I do it in two different ways. I have the short bites because time is money to my people in a big way so that they can dive in and at least take something away and then interesting people that they might not ever have met before. My favorite DM to get is I so happy you introduce me to so-and-so lights me up more than somebody saying, oh, I love this takeaway in your episode. I like somebody discovering a friend of mine. Who's met him. [00:19:37] Melissa: It is so nice to feel like you've introduced people to a new tip, a new person. It really feels amazing. And you have such a clear listener and a clear podcast concept, which I think anybody tuning in can ask, like, what are those three pieces for me? And I learned best by example, which was why I think it's so helpful to hear yours, but that's where I would say. And then my second very specific tip. If you're a new host, wondering about starting a podcast is to see if you can sit down for five minutes and just write out 20 or 30 episode ideas. Because I think what holds people back from launching the podcast, isn't the tech, even if that's what you think it's going to be, it's getting up the nerve to hit record. And that's where a lot of my students, you know, mentally, they're just afraid. It feels very permanent to hit record for some reason, even though it's not live. And even though it's not as big of a deal, the more you podcast, the more comfortable you'll get. I understand it's very terrifying to hit record on a mic for the first time. But what I will say is that just doing that exercise of how many topic ideas can I list out. It's not about committing to doing all of them. It's about seeing, do you even have enough topics? To get this podcast off the ground, because you may find that you're only able to get to a few that could come down to just needing to do a little bit of research, a little bit of searching, right? But it could start to indicate that do you not have enough passion for this topic? Is the topic too niche? Should you broaden it just a little bit? I just think that it's helpful to see what you can get out on paper and see what kind of feelings that brings up in you, because hopefully the outcome is that you see this list and you think, oh, wow. I would love to talk about these. And maybe I want to talk about these two first. I like these two the best, but then you can start to see the possibilities of what the podcast could be. [00:21:17] Diane: Yeah, that's the thing that held me back for so long. I'm not afraid of the tech. I'm not afraid of the audio, not a problem that I will say hitting record the first time, nothing nearly as scary as having to edit yourself for the first time and realizing how many filler words you use. but I kept coming up with concepts that I couldn't get to like 20 topics for. Once you have the concept, it's a matter of deciding a date and telling someone that date and then having that deadline, you'll get through all of the rights, the tech, the editing. All of the rest of the stuff will just happen. But unless you have that really crystal clear concept, that's going to guide you. That microphone is going to start looking really, really scary because you're like, I don't know what to talk about. [00:21:59] Melissa: And out of curiosity. How far in advance, did you set your date? Like how long did you give yourself to launch your podcast? Because I think that there's a lot of, maybe you speedy speedy folks trying to get out there and launch their podcast in seven days or launch overnight, which I know isn't realistic. [00:22:15] Diane: no, Um, probably about 60 days out. I gave myself a couple of months with the idea that I would have had several episodes recorded. Well in advance I'm a batcher. I like to have like next month episodes already recorded. So if anything goes wrong next month I'm covered. But yeah, I would say you want a good two month run up because you made a couple of weeks for apple to do their thing. I would say 60 days from concept to launch [00:22:42] Melissa: That's what I recommend too, because what I've found is that it's not that it's more than 30 days worth of work. It's just that we, of course all have other things going on in our lives. And what's nice about the time before you launched, just as you shared is that you can take the time to record a few more episodes or get a little bit ahead and there's. Badge for launching fastest, you know, like there's nothing to say. It's, there's no rush. So I think it's better to do. 60 to 90 days. Like those are typically the timelines I recommend for most people, because then you can just focus on one thing at a time, get your concept nailed down, get into recording. I would say, as soon as you can put yourself in front of a microphone, even if it's literally just a turn it on to record yourself, babbling, not even something you would ever use, that's something I would try to do within the first of weeks. Even if you feel like it's very scary, because the longer you put off hitting record, it'll just start to feel more and more daunting. When you look back on your podcasts, like I'm curious, Diane, if you look back now, your first episodes are going to sound a little cringy and that's okay. Because podcasting is not something I believe people are necessarily naturals at, or that it's an elite skill, just reserved for a few people, but just like anything, it's a new skill. So it's going to feel hard at first. And the only way that you'll get better is just to continue putting out new episodes. So I would encourage anybody to not compare yourself to somebody who's really. A hundred podcast episodes because they've had a hundred episodes to hone their craft. So when you're first getting started, there's going to be this gap between what you know sounds good. And what you actually sound like. It's something IRA, glass talks about. And that resonates a lot with me because I think it's just a healthy mindset to go into it, knowing it's not hard because you're bad at it. It's hard because you're new. [00:24:31] Diane: Yeah, I think at the beginning you are trying to control everything. It's very tempting to have that kind of episode where you go here are the five questions I'm going to ask you. And like, we need to stay on that topic and everything will be fine. And I only need half an hour and I have added so much more buffers and I have had podcasts episodes that just went completely in a different direction, which have been incredible episodes. They're the ones that people DM me about because we went deep into something unexpected, but that would never have had. In my first, 10 20 interviews with my solo episodes, I would also suggest people get in front of the mic, like you said, as quickly as possible, but I would encourage you to also start as you're babbling and be like, okay, here are my first three topics. Let me record those first three topics. And then see if you have the fourth one in you. Do you have the first one in you? Because. It's far better to record three episodes, realize this is not your jam privately than it is to be one of those people. Who've done the big fanfare invested all the time in launching, try to rank in iTunes, got their pod launch squad, going all great things. And then to realize two episodes in that you hate sitting in a room with your money. Broader do that. Like make sure that it's for you and there's no shame if it's not [00:25:43] Melissa: I agree. And you can't know until you try it either. Like all of the learning in the world you could do about starting a podcast will pale in comparison to, like you're saying, do your own little demo episode, get a friend and have them interview you. Like, just do something that has, you really answered the question. Do I like this? Because I think it would be. Challenging to never try, because if you've been dreaming about launching this podcast for a long time, as I know a lot of people have, I think you owe it to yourself to at least do a little bit, but I think in business, it's easy to see things as all or nothing. Like I'm either all in, on this podcast or I'm not going to do it. I'm all in on trying to talk or the latest craze or not, but you really can just do one thing and see how it goes. Just record some audio, see how that feels. And then don't be afraid to ask yourself, did I actually. [00:26:35] Diane: yeah. What is your publishing frequency? Did I see recently you've reduced yours, right? Whereas I'm like twice a week, which is kind of psychotic, but my one episode is only five. So even now I'm like a hundred episodes in I'm a year. And I still look at my friends who do 25 minutes solo episodes. And think, how on earth do you do that? I'm like, here's my point is five minutes. I need to go and like do something else. I can talk for hours on an interview, but not on my own, in a room. Right. And I only know that because I've tried. But you've gotten the opposite and you actually are less frequent. Right? [00:27:06] Melissa: I have, so I switched my podcast to release every other week. And that was after doing weekly for most of the first two seasons and for my business at the time, that was the Right? call because I was also releasing just straight up blog posts. I was focusing on building up my course curriculum and I just acknowledged that in my life. What I had time for was two episodes. And I also was kind of thinking of my ideal person who is herself, an early stage online business owner, or possibly someone who's a little bit further along and she doesn't have a lot. Yeah. And I was thinking of her and thinking, you know, two quality episodes a month about podcasting. That's a good amount of time each month to think about her podcast or the podcast she hopes to start. And so for me in that moment, it made sense, but I think what's interesting about podcasting. Let's compare it instead to video in the world of video, you have TV shows, movies, YouTube reels, Tik TOK. I mean, video is in so many forms, but for some reason up until I guess, clubhouse recently podcasts. Is really the only audio space. You can go into apple podcasts and see my show next to a Netflix podcast. That makes absolutely no sense. But I think because of it, it's almost pigeonholed people's brains into thinking a podcast has to be a certain way. It has to be an hour long, weekly podcast. You have to interview somebody or you have to always go solo. And I think the future of podcasting is going to be a lot more fluid. I think people are going to play around with different formats, different lines. I think that some people may even start to treat it like blogs by that. I mean, kind of, as you said earlier, people aren't awaiting a weekly blog post necessarily in the way that they await a podcast episode, but I think more business owners may choose to do. A limited series of only 10 episodes and call it a day or just release an episode when it feels right embedded in a blog post, and then kind of continue to treat that as educational content. So I think we're going to see a lot more variety and I hope that listeners take away that it means there's no right or wrong answer. People are always asking. How long should my episode be. And my answer is always think about your listener and then give her what she needs. So if your listeners a busy mom, don't give her a weekly hour-long episode, give her 15 minutes, or just figure out what suits the person who's tuning in and what suits your personal style and your time. [00:29:25] Diane: You really. Very free to choose whatever works for you. And I think a lot of people, like you say, they just think it has to be very specifically this one thing I, people are horrified when they discover that I released twice a week and they're like, what are you doing? Well, I know that my audience have told me that some of them only listened to the five minute episodes and others have told me they're only in it for the interviews. So I know they want both. Maybe next year, it becomes a five minute episode, one week and a half hour the next week, who knows. But like you said, it's completely flexible and people can really mold it into their lives. So we've talked through a lot of podcasting things and I know that's probably feeling kind of overwhelming to some people who are listening and who are thinking like, whew, I was thinking I was going to do it before now. I'm going to just delay it because I'm a little terrified. Have you got something that could help them with that? [00:30:12] Melissa: I do. And I first just want to say that, I think that podcasting is, as we said, at the very beginning a long-term game that I think that? the benefits are wide reaching. So even though it sounds maybe intimidating to get to. It really doesn't take as much work as I think a lot of people fear it does. The tech is not nearly as daunting. I often say that if you can publish to Instagram, you can publish a podcast episode. It really is the kind of thing that you can make it your own. And even with editing, like you don't have to be the kind of person who edits out every single filler word. You can have a podcast where the two of you sound like humans. So just if anybody was worried that it sounded. An insurmountable amount of work, or I couldn't possibly do this. I really believe that podcasting can be for anyone as long as you feel excited. The topic and you feel like you have like a message to share or something that you want to get out there. So for anybody who is tuning in and is interested in learning more about my podcast, launch strategies, the playbook that I share, and even some of the mistakes that I see a lot of hosts making when they try to launch in 2021 and in the future, because it has changed a lot. I do have a free masterclass called how to launch a podcast in 60 days without feeling overwhelmed. And you'll find it for free at dot com slash coffee. [00:31:26] Diane: I'll second. That, and I think what you'll also find is when you start the amount that you need, perfection. Versus as you continue decreases rapidly, it feels super scary and super big and super complicated at the beginning. But the reality is like everything, you'll just get better at it and it'll feel easier. And if it doesn't, you can stop. I like what you said though, about the ideas of like the 10 episode limited series, I've seen quite a few of those happening, also private podcasts happening where you're not chasing iTunes. [00:31:55] Melissa: There's So much. And I think it's great. It's, it's the freedom to figure out, like I said, Your ideal listener, your ideal client, your ideal student is looking for. And then just also your vibe shoe. Like I think that's the beauty of podcasting is that there are so many podcasts out there about the same time. There are countless true crime podcasts, countless marketing podcasts, but they all have listeners because everyone has a slightly different personality. And so if you're worried that there's too much competition, that's also a huge myth. I think that that just validates demand for the topic, but your podcast will be unique because of who you are and your taking your experiences, or even for your podcast. Like we're talking to people who really value their time as opposed to other podcasts where people, I would assume have listeners who are willing to spend a hundred hours a week. To get to their goal. And that's not the vibe that either of us are about, but there's a podcast for that. So I just think that there's plenty of space for everyone. And I do hope that more diverse voices start to come into podcasting to help reach more listeners who feel like yes, like I have found my person in this spot. [00:32:58] Diane: I love it. Yeah. You put podcasting. I think we're clearly both huge fans. Yeah. We're a little biased on this topic clearly. [00:33:06] Melissa: for good reason. [00:33:07] Diane: Yes. So to finish up, I always ask my guests two of the same questions. The first one is what is the number one lifestyle boundary that you have for your business? [00:33:17] Melissa: it's a tough one because I really enjoy my business. And so the reason why I say it's tough is because I used to have boundaries. Don't work on the weekend, only work during business? hours. But what I have found is that I actually enjoy spending maybe two hours on a Saturday doing the parts of my business, that I love the best. I'll never put off like the admin stuff, but some of my best creative thinking, I think comes on days where I know I don't have to look at my inbox. Um, but I think one of the better professional boundaries that I've set is that I never let clients or students text me. I know that's really specific, but for me, Just having email, be the place that is professional, where people can reach me even via DMS. Like if people who are students of mine, try to DM me, I'll guide them to email because that helps me serve people better. Because I don't know about you. I feel so overwhelmed with just how many inboxes exist in the world now. So that was something that I really tried to be clear on is like email is the place where I will support you as a student. I was working as a client, but if you try to send me messages elsewhere, just don't respond. [00:34:21] Diane: yeah, I think that's such a good boundary. I don't give out my phone number. I mean, first of all, I'm not in the U S so 90% of people can't text me anyway. But I'm also not like on what. With Non-friends That's my personal space. I will do Voxer with clients. I will do DMS with people, but I'm very anti my personal phone number of space being in my business. Okay. Finally, what is the worst piece of cookie cutter advice been given as an entrepreneur? [00:34:49] Melissa: You know, what's funny is so I hosted everything is teachable Teachable's podcast. I founded it for him for a few years. So at the end, I would always ask people what's their best advice. And the most common one is. Just do it, but I think that behind that yeah. Was actually kind of bad advice because I don't think you should just go out and do anything because what I see is that we all end up chasing lots of shiny objects. So I think instead of just doing. I think better advice is just sleep on it or just do one thing this month and just do another thing next month. I think one of the reasons I've been successful is because I say no to a lot of things, even things that only I want to do, I'm not even just talking about inbound requests. I'll look at all the projects that I want to try. And even though some of them are objectively good ideas that have objectionally worked for other things. If I don't have the time or the energy, I'll say no. So I would say there's a lot of bad advice about just like, oh, within 30 days you can do this or just try it, but take a look back at your calendar, like actually look and see, do I have the energy this month to focus on this? Maybe it's a good idea, but for the future, and if you decide you don't have the time and space, just like give yourself the permission to. I don't have to do this right now. I think we hold a lot of guilt over all the things we feel like we should doing should be doing all the strategies. I know, I feel behind, like, I'm not on tic-tac. Am I so behind on Tik TOK? Should I be doing that? But then I just give myself the permission to say, I don't have time for that. I can do it later. So I would say just don't feel like you have to do it all decide what feels the most important and say no to the rest. [00:36:20] Diane: Yeah. I think also that just do it, removes the element of like, let me actually think about this. It's not like, oh, today I heard about this new strategy tomorrow. I'm just going to do it. And I'm going to forget about everything that I had planned and I'm just going to die ahead first. And like, that's a recipe for looking scatterbrained to everybody around you, but also just never getting closer to your goal because you're just doing everything [00:36:40] Melissa: It also kind of implies like, oh, just do it. Like, it should be so easy. Business is hard. And even if you're doing it in a thoughtful way, I think anybody tuning in, like we are all working. Like I know that none of this is easy and it takes time. So I think just do it kind of almost implies, oh, like bad. Just get out there, like just follow some steps. Just do it. I don't know. So that's, that's not my favorite advice, but I understand the heart of it, of don't feel like you have to wait. Uh, go like you definitely should feel free to just try something. Maybe we could reframe it as that. Like, just try something. If it feels good to you, that's not as catchy, but you don't have to just do it. You could just not do it or just think. [00:37:22] Diane: And I think it just asks people to feel like a bit of a failure because they didn't do the thing you think they should do. [00:37:27] Melissa: Yeah, And I think too often in business, we see a lot of things as failed. I think something that comes through my background in, I used to produce live corporate events. It's just going into things and instead of trying to go into to it and have a plan that your mindset is. Oh, this plan is going to work and I have contingency plans instead, just go into it, thinking something will break, like just go into things and assume something will break. Assume that things will take longer than you think. And that's helped me a lot because then when something goes wrong, I was already mentally prepared for it. And then you can just adapt on the fly. So I would say like, that's maybe other bad advice. It's just like, oh, if you're planning, if you plan enough, then it'll work. Instead. I would say, just go into it and assume something's going to go. And you'll be better off for it. And remember we're not saving lives. Like my sister is a doctor. She is saving lives. And I mean this in a helpful way, like if my podcast episode or your episode was out of date, It's all good. Like there's nothing that's so bad that you're going to really hurt somebody. So I don't know. I find that perspective, helpful. Like everything will work out. You're human. Nobody expects you to not be a human. And I think in some of those moments where you can just be honest with people that build stress too. So I would just give yourself like the kindness of knowing it's not going to go all the way that you think it will, but it'll work out in the best for the end. [00:38:47] Diane: It or dealing with it, especially podcasting, especially interviews. You'll learn real fast that you cannot control anything. Oh, this has been so helpful. I hope everybody is super inspired. Obviously. I'm a big fan of the podcast. Where's the best place on social for people to say hi and follow you. [00:39:05] Melissa: I'm on Instagram at Wit and wire. And of course my podcast exists with the same name, but Instagram is really the main place that I hang out in Pinterest. If anybody is into that too, I'll throw in maybe an under utilized, a [00:39:15] Diane: Yes, definitely. I'll definitely go and have a Snoop on your Pinterest. I'm always curious about what I should be doing with my podcast on Pinterest, [00:39:23] Melissa: Yeah. I mean, as like a final closing tip, it's actually my number one organic source of traffic. So any podcasters out there I think would benefit from looking into some pincher strategies. [00:39:30] Diane: Oh. Wish we'd said that earlier, I could have done a whole episode on that. We'll get you back on from my coaching session on Pinterest for podcasts. [00:39:37] Melissa: leave people wanting more. [00:39:38] Diane: Exactly. Exactly. Thank you so much for this. This has been so much fun.
So you think you want a podcast but you’re worried about the workload, hitting record, and whether it’s all worth it?
Melissa Guller walks you through the pros and cons of starting a podcast and what it really takes to make it work long term – and where the money is!
It’s the best time to launch a podcast right now because people know what it is, they know how to listen to podcasts, and the tech has never been simpler.
We talk about
- The pros and cons of starting and maintaining a podcast
- How to find guests for your podcast and make it a win-win
- How to monetize your show
- What do first – it’s not naming your show
- What you need to consider before you get started
- Melissa’s lifestyle boundary for her business
- The worst cookie-cutter advice Melissa’s been given on her lifestyle business
Melissa Guller is a course creator, podcast producer, and the CEO of Wit & Wire, where she helps online business owners build their authority and reach a wider audience through podcasting.
She’s produced multiple Top 50 podcasts, hosted over 100 podcast episodes, and her podcast Everything is Teachable topped the charts as the #2 Career Podcast in America.
Bigger picture, Melissa loves to teach entrepreneurs. She’s a top-rated instructor at General Assembly NYC and on Skillshare, and she previously worked full-time for Ramit Sethi and Teachable. To date, she’s helped nearly 2,000 podcasters through her Wit & Wire programs, and she’s on a mission to help more diverse business owners earn money online doing work they love.
Need better boundaries in your business?
Get inspired with Coffee and Converse's Big Book of Business Boundaries
This page may contain affiliate links. I earn a commission or reward on all qualified purchases made when you use these links.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.