As a new author, I knew I would struggle to get more eyes on my writing in an already highly competitive environment. I was already blogging and using videos, but I wanted a medium that would put me “on a new playing field” as an author, help me grow my platform and reach a larger audience.
Let me just say that from the minute I started podcasting back in 2013, I loved it! honestly, I didn’t think I would initially, mainly because I thought of myself as a writer. I started to see how much I loved connecting with authors on a deeper level. In this way, trust was built in my community because my listeners could connect with me in ways that went deeper beyond reading my blog. They could hear my VOICE. I immediately found that podcasting gave me a voice on topics I was most passionate about as an author – the craft of writing, storytelling, marketing, and now, stories of courage -- part of my latest brand name, “Giving Voice to Your Courage.”
As a new podcaster, I wanted to bring other literary “voices” to other authors and non-authors alike. At the time, so I mustered the courage to reach out to Julia Cameron, famous for The Artist’s Way and Linda Gray Sexton, daughter of the Pulitzer prize winner, Anne Sexton. In a short time, I was reaching new readers. People I didn’t know were listening and commenting on the replays. My enthusiasm jumped. A new love and connection had begun.
Let me also just say that most authors haven’t embraced podcasting. I knew going in to podcasting that my purpose was to build a brand around my words, services, and books. I tried to not see myself as just an author, but someone with a strong brand. So if you’re wondering how to build a name for yourself and your brand at the same time, read on. Podcasting may your next marketing tool. In the meantime, allow me to share with you a few lessons about using podcasting to build my author brand.
Lesson 1. Podcasting is not a quick and easy way to get famous
In the beginning, I kept looking at the numbers of viewers. Were the numbers of listeners going up or down? I looked at the numbers as a measure of success. But I would soon learn to put the focus on content. Podcasting is not an easy way to get 1000s of listeners right away. It takes time to create a value packed show that listeners will want to listen to week after week.
Lesson 2. It’s important to be consistent in the release of your episodes
In the beginning, I was consistent in releasing a 60 minute podcast each week, which is a lot of air time! For some reason, I thought that if I didn’t read every author’s book prior to interviewing them, then I wouldn’t come across as a podcaster with integrity. Sounds silly, right? But after a short while, I couldn’t keep up this frantic pace of reading a book each week prior to a podcast. This burnt me out completely and I resented that extra work because it was so time-consuming. My family resented it too! So I took a long hiatus and as a result, lost many listeners. When I finally did come back to podcasting, I had a better strategy in place when relaunching my new author brand “Giving Voice to Your Courage.” I would create shorter podcasts and in preparation, I would ask authors to direct me to a few pages in their books that reflected the theme of courage. I had to start again from scratch, but at least, I wasn’t burnt out with my new brand name.
Lesson 3. I had to commit to learning how to podcast professionally.
Committing to podcast professionally was and still is a big part of the job. However, there were technical snags and problems that threw me off (still do!) and I had to learn how to deal with those problems on the spot. At the same time, I also had to educate my guests – some of whom needed technical help how to connect to the podcast. So that was an issue that I did not anticipate going into the podcasting world.
So there you have it – 3 lessons I learned in the last two and half years about podcasting. I look forward to each Thursday at 10 am EST as a “chat” – not as dread around important topics that don’t get a voice. It’s one of the best parts of being an author as well – to interview other authors who add so much value to the podcast and are generous in sharing their content and stories. If you have a story of courage worth listening to, let’s connect! All the podcasts are archived here over at "Giving Voice to Your Courage."