When I began my podcast in 2013 I just started talking about what I was learning. Little did I know that following someone’s journey is a really compelling story. I’m a licensed counselor, and on The Practice of the Practice Podcast I talked about what I was learning in the business of private practice.
This struck a chord with my audience because I wasn’t the guru on high, instead, I was a peer learning with them. I was just a few steps further along the journey. Having done over 500 business interviews, there are several habits I see top professional podcasters enact over and over: slow down, blocking, inspiration everywhere, systems, and acceptance of self.
My Top 5 Habits of Professional Podcasters
Slowing Down is the Key
For many people, they live their life and go until burn out. The culture of “hustle” glorifies this. Then they hit downtime on a weekend or vacation and can’t relax. Or they are so spent that they crash. This is bad for the brain. Instead, the best work of podcasters comes when we slow down first and then optimize the brain. Our best ideas usually come when we’re showering or on a long drive without any music/podcasts playing. When our brains rest, different parts of our brain link ideas together.
Block Out What is Most Important
In any business, there are fires to put out. It could be an early morning email or text. But the healthiest professional podcasters put their best energy into their best content. Using your brainpower to solve a problem in the business is not the same as creating new podcasts or products. So blocking out specific times is a habit that helps you to achieve more. This can look different for each podcaster. Some need to work in batches or in a retreat-type of setting. Maybe doing months worth of podcasts over a weekend is best for you. I work better having a regular time blocked out every other week to do interviews, intros, and sponsorship ad placement.
Find Inspiration Everywhere
A lot of podcasters think they need to stay in their lane. Yes, your audience is following you for a particular reason, but, other industries can inform you and your audience in a much different way. Similarly, look for ideas everywhere you go. It could be an experience, news, or something a friend says. A couple years ago, author and podcaster Rob Bell from The Robcast told me that great ideas are, “like tying clouds together.” In other words, you bring things together that no one has linked. A lot of podcasters give step-by-step advice, but what will really make you stand out is finding your voice through applying interesting connections.
Systems Over Saving
When you first get started, it makes sense to try to save money if you are on a budget. But, all of that creative energy is going into things your audience will never see. I remember early on, I was doing all the sound, images, guest coordination…you know, everything! Finally, I was down to only doing the recording and the artwork. I would make creative images for each show, spending an hour thinking and creating it in Canva. I told myself, “This is my artistic outlet.” But, I finally decided to hand it over to my Chief Marketing Officer. Now, I can make two additional podcasts in that time. I’m creating a minimum of three podcasts a week. Also, my artistic bend comes out in other ways now.
Acceptance of Self Changes it All
Everyone has insecurities, worries, and past experiences that damage us. Sometimes we work through this and sometimes we don’t. It’s counterintuitive that the healthiest professional podcasters are ones who find acceptance in who they are. They do internal work to see their failures as data. Learning to accept yourself, flaws and all, is the highest work you can do. In doing this, you will not only feel more grounded, but you will also make some amazing content!
My Advice To Future the Professional Podcasters
As you start growing into being a more professional podcaster, slowing down, blocking, finding inspiration everywhere, building systems, and accepting yourself will be habits that help you get to the next level.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is a podcaster, listen to the Practice of the Practice podcast for more business tips. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years, he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI.