My Podcast

Autopsy of a Podcast – The Series Finale

3 Key Points in this Episode:

  1. Don’t try to be like everyone else.
  2. Have a plan and ask for help.
  3. Give it enough time to succeed but know when to quit.

Show Notes:

Episode 150: This is the end of the Build a Better Business podcast.

In this final episode, I am going to reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly of my journey as a podcast host and what it was like to start this podcast, attempt to grow it, and finally to decide to end the podcast.

To begin I want to thank everyone who was a guest on the podcast, and I want to thank everyone who listened to the podcast.

The last three months I have wrestled with this decision.

Back in June, I took some time off to recharge my batteries and I had plans of starting season 4 on September 4th, 2019.

I aired a couple of interviews over the summer that I had recorded but had not produced yet and I started up again in September, but something had changed.

The passion was gone and for the first time, the podcast felt like work. Instead of starting a new season I just finished the last few episodes and completed season 3 with 50 episodes as originally planned.

I want to tell you about my journey as a first-time podcaster.

I’m going to tell you everything including all the statistics and hopefully, this will help anyone who is considering incorporating podcasting into their strategic plan for their business.

Here are the statistics as of the recording of this episode in September of 2019:

The podcast started on March 26, 2018, with episode zero (an introductory episode) and ends with this episode, episode 150 on October 30, 2019. In total, the podcast was in production for 584 days.

The podcast briefly broke into the top 100 in Canada, reaching #98 on Chartable under the category of Entrepreneurship but averaged around #225. In the US the podcast has averaged around #550 for the same category.

The podcast has received 12.6k total downloads, averaging about 1600 downloads in the last 90-days.

On average, 75 – 100 people listen to each episode which is considered below average. According to Lisbyn’s latest data, the average downloads per episode for all podcasts is 140.

Dorie Clark still has the most listened to episode with 365 plays. Michael E. Gerber came in second place with 165.

Most plays (84%) come from North America but the podcast has received plays on 6 continents.

So, what did I learn from this experience and why am I ending this podcast?

Lesson # 1: Don’t try to be like everyone else.

I started the podcast and I wanted to be the next John Lee Dumas who is the host of Entrepreneurs on Fire. I basically copied his format but quickly realized my mistake which created a situation where I changed the format several times until I found my unique style.

Lesson # 2: Have a plan and ask for help.

When I started the podcast, I had an idea about what I wanted to do with the podcast and what I wanted to accomplish. I had a dream. But what I quickly found out was that I didn’t have a plan that was going to work.

Faced with that reality I had to make changes on the fly and this created inconsistency in the listening experience and I struggled to establish exactly what I could reasonably accomplish.

At first, my objective was to build an audience, serve them at the highest level possible helping them achieve greatness and build a better business. To finance the podcast, I planned on generating revenue through sponsorship and affiliate earnings, but I would need thousands of listeners.

It became clear that this was not going to be financially viable when the podcast didn’t grow at a fast-enough rate.

After consulting Maggie Paterson and Tim Wohlberg, I changed the business model to support my coaching practice. This was a sounder business plan because instead of needing thousands of listeners I would only need a few hundred.

Lesson # 3: Give it enough time to succeed but know when to quit.

The average first-time podcaster quits after 12-episodes or 6-months, whichever comes first.

I knew this statistic coming into it so I made a vow to myself that I would do 100 episodes which I achieved on February 8, 2019. I broke my podcast into 50-episode seasons. Going into season 3 and planning the next 50-episodes I had high hopes because I had this revised plan to focus on converting listeners into coaching clients.

Something happened in June 2019 around episode 140 and I just burned out. So, I decided to end season 3 at episode 142, take the summer off and start fresh in September 2019 with season 4.

The plan was to focus the podcast on starting, growing, and selling a business which is the basis of my coaching practice. As I started recording interviews and producing them for this new season, I could feel that something was different. For the first time, it felt like work.

I had to honestly ask myself if this was something that I could keep doing at a high level even if the results were much smaller than projected and there was no financial payoff.

The answer was NO.

Here is another bit of honesty; my coaching practice never met my expectations either. I just couldn’t seem to convert enough customers. I don’t blame anyone but myself because I failed to create an adequate lead generation, lead conversion, and order fulfillment system.

I underestimated the competition.

I underestimated how long it takes to establish this kind of business.

Sadly, this entire venture was net neutral. I never lost money, but I never made money. I had to subsidize the podcast and my coaching practice from my other revenue streams that come from my sales work in the heavy-duty parts industry and the sale of my contracting business.

I think that 584-days is enough time to find out if something is going to work or not.

What Is Next for Me?

Although I am not going to continue to be a business coach and host the Build a Better Business podcast I am not quitting as a podcast producer.

Since I work in the heavy-duty parts industry and there was no one serving that niche I launched The Heavy-Duty Parts Report over the summer of 2019.

My production company, Irvine Media Group will continue to look for opportunities to work in the podcasting and digital media industry.

I want to conclude this final episode by saying, “THANK YOU” for listening.

I hope that you found value in the things I taught and the interviews I did. I want you to keep striving to build a better business, build a better life for yourself, and build a better world for everyone.

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Thank you for listening and goodbye.

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