I’ve been podcasting since May 2015 and I have to say – without a doubt – podcasting has been some of the most exciting, rewarding, deeply fulfilling and healing work I have ever done.
Podcasting has changed my life. I’ve formed beautiful friendships. I’ve been able to generously support and share the messages of women who are doing great work. I’ve found a creative outlet that generates meaningful change. I’ve overcome huge fears and discovered a talent and passion for interviewing I didn’t know I had.
I absolutely adore podcasting. Couldn’t imagine my life without it.
When my first podcasting idea landed, it was just the tiniest of nudges. I almost ignored it! It took months to get the idea off the ground. Procrastination central! I look back now and think what a loss it would have been if I had not listened to that little idea.
What about you? Have you felt that tiny intuitive tap tap on your shoulder, nudging you towards the podcasting world?
If you’re feeling that nudge but don’t know where to start, my aim here is to share useful and practical information to inspire you to begin walking the podcast path.
Sound good? Okay, let’s go.
WHY I STARTED PODCASTING
When I first started podcasting, I was hungry for and curious about women’s soul stories. Whenever someone spoke or wrote about soul and shared their soul story, I was hooked. But I wanted to go deeper. I wanted real and honest conversation and I wanted to hear all the gritty details, not just the shiny, curated, perfectly worded stuff you often find in written or scripted interviews.
This curiousity has remained with me through my entire podcasting journey – from the original days of She Makes Magic, to my newest podcasting baby Untangled. In fact, instead of satiating my hunger, if anything, podcasting has lit a fire within me and I yearn to go even deeper, weirder, crazier.
MY FEAR STORY
Despite my insatiable curiousity about all things soul and that constant it’s time nudge, there were moments – and there are many moments still now – when I experienced debilitating fear. I wanted desperately to do this podcasting thing and do it well but I had all these crazy fear stories running through my head – It feels so overwhelming, where do I start? What will others say and think? How do I even contact guests? What if I stumble or say the wrong thing or completely mess up the entire interview? What if I make a fool of myself? What if nobody listens?
And, don’t even get me started on how I feel before an interview. Almost always I want to cancel. My voice shakes (go back and listen to my earlier She Makes Magic interviews if you don’t believe me) and I can barely breathe.
The truth is: Everyone experiences fear. Even the cool-podcasting-cat, with the harmonious voice, who never misses a beat and always has the right words of wisdom to whisper into your ears. Yes, even she experiences fear.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE FEAR MONSTER?
1. WHAT’S YOUR BIG WHY?
Your why is what is going to anchor you in when a mighty fear storm blows your way.
When I first started planning for the launch of Untangled, I spent hours calibrating myself to the Untangled vibration. What I mean is, a couple times each day, I would actively sit and feel into the energy of what I was creating. Words, ideas and feelings would bubble up and I would write them down, knowing these were forming the foundations of what I was about to build.
I spent a long while vision boarding and declaring to myself what it was I was trying to create. During creation and launch and, even now, after a successful launch, I return to this vision again and again whenever I start to feel afraid or confused.
Why do you want to create a podcast?
If you’re game, share your why with me in the comments below.
2. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN GIVE
I’ll be really direct here and say – podcasting isn’t about you. It’s about your listener and what she needs and desires. It is about being of service.
When you’re worried about what other people are going to say or what they are going to think, you’re leaking your energy out to the wrong people. Your audience isn’t getting the attention they deserve and need.
I love to share vulnerably across all my platforms. For me, sharing is healing. But yes, I do experience fear. I’ve had people tell me not to share so much and I’ve even received the odd hurtful email or comment, too.
What I find really helps in these situations is to reframe and refocus on my community. I know what they want, I know what they love and I know what kinds of things they are going through. I also know, when someone I’m following shares their truth and I resonate with it, it can pivot the whole energy of my day. If I can, I want to offer the same service to my community. This is where I choose to put my focus. And it always feels really good to share from this space.
Do you know your audience? Have you spent time understanding who they are and what they really need? Here are a few questions to ponder:
What are her core beliefs?
What are her big fears?
What does she truly desire?
What problems will your podcast solve for your audience?
If you can’t answer these questions, maybe it’s time to ASK your audience directly. I love doing a shout-out on social media, in Facebook groups or even in my newsletter asking my audience for their input and feedback.
Start to build a profile of your ideal listener – her age, hobbies, marital status, career, likes / dislikes. Pay attention to the common questions that flow in from your audience.
Every time you start to feel afraid, realign yourself back to being of service. Ask yourself: how am I helping my audience by sharing this?
When you’re busy focusing on the people you want to serve, what other people do or say is of little consequence.
Photo credit: Lara Frazier
3. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN GET
One of the biggest lessons I’ve taken away from podcasting is:
The things we feel most afraid of are quite often the very things that hold the keys to our hidden gifts and talents.
Don’t believe me? Here are three of my own personal examples of healing and talent-discovering (and there are many more):
Healing my relationships with women \\ I used to be terrified of women. I was horrendously bullied in high-school and had no female friends for a good majority of my life. The idea of sitting down, relating to and asking a woman personal questions about her life, felt like my idea of hell. Yet somehow when I did it: hello goose-bumpy-heart-explosive-tears-of-resonance-connections! I’m no longer as terrified of women as I once was. I’m just in awe of them.
The allure of the girl next door \\ I’m not a healer, an expert, an author or a teacher. I’m just a normal girl with a curiousity about soul. I’m the girl next door. I never would have listed this as one of my talents or strengths before podcasting but I’m told this is what makes me so damn irresistible to my listeners and what makes my guests feel safe enough to truly open up and share.
Sensitive heart \\ For most of my life I’ve viewed my sensitive heart as a burden. If someone even makes the sound of the words “You’re too sensitive” I will have a burning desire to bop them in the nose. Yet my sensitive heart has proven to be my strongest ally in the world of podcasting. My big heart heightens my intuition, allowing me to hone in on pathways of interesting conversation. It guides me to ask poignant questions about delicate topics, while creating and holding a safe space for my guest to unravel and share vulnerably. Thank you heart. You’re the best.
Turn you focus to what hidden gems and blessings might come from trying something new – even when it feels terrifying… especially when it feels terrifying.
4. PRACTICE, BABY PRACTICE
We humans are funny animals. We try something once and if we’re not good at it immediately, then we tell ourselves we suck.
You don’t suck. You’re learning.
The only difference between you and that cool-podcasting-cat booming out from your iPhone is she’s simply been practicing her podcast art for longer. That’s it. There’s no magic fear-elimination pill.
One of the most tried-and-tested ways to work through fear is simply by showing up again and again. Practice, baby, practice!
5. ENERGETICALLY PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW
My interviews became infinitely more potent when I started dedicating time to centre and energetically prepare. I do this by settling myself into the space, grounding through breath work, gentle body movement or smelling essential oils. I light a candle and tune into my listeners needs and desires.
I read over my perfect listener profile and feel into my overall why and vision. Sometimes I like to do a short meditation or visualisation to settle in. I also have an episode plan which contains my intention for that episode plus any notes or questions or topics I want to cover during the discussion.
Finally, I check my energy and my mindset. I check where my focus is. Am I focused on how I look and sound, what I’m going to say and what people are going to think? Or am I focused on creating a safe space for my guest to unfold. Am I focused on exactly what it is my audience needs and desires?
Where is your focus? Keep shifting it back to your audience.
Lately I’ve been inviting my guests to join me in the interview preparation. We connect and after a short chat, I’ll often draw an oracle card, I share my intention for the interview with my guest and I ask her if she’d like to contribute an intention, too.
6. ACCEPT IT
At some point in my podcasting journey, I started to accept that fear was something that was always going to be there, in one varying degree or another. I started to see it as a very normal and natural part of the podcasting process, just like booking an interview, editing an audio or publishing the podcast to my listeners.
Instead of judging myself every time I felt afraid, I accepted the fear and got curious about it. What was I really afraid of? When do I feel most afraid? What am I not afraid of?
Two things happened when I did this. Firstly, by accepting my fear, rather than resisting it, the tension and discomfort melted away. Secondly, I learnt something about myself! Fear is a great teacher, if you can look beyond the discomfort and into the underlying message.
I still feel fear every time I interview. Every time I share. The important thing is, I don’t let it stop me.
7. FIND A FRIEND OR MENTOR
Every week on Monday I meet for an hour with my dear friend Nicole Mathieson. We share with each other what we’re hoping to achieve in the week, our wins and our struggles. Nicole keeps me accountable but, more importantly, she holds a safe space for me when I’m in fear or self-doubt. I could not have ridden the podcasting wave without her.
Find a good friend or a mentor who gets the journey and can hold you when you’re needing a little extra support. I’m now offering podcast mentoring packages if this is of interest to you.
And I would love to hear from you. Do you have a podcast? And if so, what was the biggest fear you had to overcome? Yet to launch your podcast? What’s holding you back?
Ignite: Podcasting for Changemakers is the complete guidebook series for creating a launching a podcast with heart. If you’re ready to kick-start your podcasting journey, these guidebooks are for you.