I’ve started a successful podcast platform, Resist Average Academy, where I get to interview some of the world’s best —and have accumulated millions of downloads.
During the last five years, I’ve been asked this question countless times:
“Tommy, should I start a podcast?”
And I always want to say hell yes as the podcast is something that makes me feel alive and would be part of a ‘perfect’ day.
(In other words, I’d do it on a total day off.)
However —it’s also not easy, economically viable and takes a ton more work than it seems.
So, if any of what I detail below doesn’t resonate with you —then don’t start a podcast.
I share this with you not to bring you down, but rather, to help you paint a picture of what it’s going to take so as to set yourself up for success.
Don’t start a podcast to make money.
The financials of podcasts are terrible —unless you’re one of the big guns who gets their pick of the litter in regards to sponsors.
Even with millions of downloads, the Academy has to haggle like crazy with potential sponsors and we’re in the red every week, month and year.
That’s without the hourly time it takes me to prepare for each guest and manage the part-time job equivalent to book, reschedule, and record.
Don’t start a podcast only to connect with people.
Connecting with Robert Greene, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Chase Jarvis, Lisa Nichols, and countless others have been amazing —but also takes tremendous work.
I’d say you need at 10 hours a week to dedicate solely to your podcast and that includes outside help in the form of assistants and audio engineers.
Established people are being much more picky about what shows they go on —and if you’re doing it solely to connect with them —they’re likely to decline.
Don’t start a podcast only for exposure.
Last I checked, there were over a million shows. Podcasts have become mainstream and large brands are pouring big bucks into the platform.
Which is amazing, but also a challenge for the “little” guys like me —now there are 10X the options there used to be.
It seems everyone has one now and if you’re going to consume personal development, why choose me over Tom Bilyeu, Rich Roll, Lori Harder, Trent Shelton and Lewis Howes?
The podcast can provide exposure —but if it’s the sole purpose of starting it, find something else.
Don’t start a podcast to convert prospects into clients.
Someone recently started a podcast and asked me why the clients weren’t flooding in with countless requests and bookings. And I was thinking —are you, uh, serious?
Podcasts are an audience building platform which takes time, energy, and resources.
To expect conversions for your service early on is a pipe dream and some people may listen to every show and never even join your email list.
Look at Tom Bilyeu’s strategy —someone with a $400 million exit from Quest nutrition and started Impact Theory.
It took him over a year of execution and hiring VaynerMedia to establish his platform as one of the big dawgs —then he started selling a membership.
I’m not saying it can’t happen, but to go in thinking a podcast will lead to a steady stream of clients may lead to disappointment.
Don’t start a podcast if you’re doing all the work.
Podcasts cost money to produce. Whether that’s actual money or simply what your time and energy are worth, it’s the reality. And often those who try to go “solo” with podcasts end up quitting.
I’m told the average length of episodes a podcast pushes is out is six.
What I’m saying here is that for an interview style podcast, you need to always be scouring for new guests, booking and re-scheduling, recording intros and outros, looking for sponsors and editing and splicing audio.
And don’t forget research and brushing up on interviewing skills.
Doing all of this alone will lead to predictable burnout and why I believe you need some help.
Don’t start a podcast unless you’re still excited.
Are you still riled up to start? If so, that’s a good sign that you’re committed to doing this.
Let me clear here:
The purpose of this post was not to stop you, but rather, to give you the behind-the-scenes real talk of a platform.
I’ve been at this for five years and 330+ episodes —and while it’s been an incredibly fulfilling experience —it’s not for everyone.
Don’t start a podcast, but if you do, make it incredible and go all in with it.
If you have any questions on this process —feel free to post to comments and I’ll get back to you.