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Podcast Experiment

Hi, my name's Josh Haroldson. As a kid I never liked school all that much. What I really liked was summer vacation. Because that's where you got to work on whatever you wanted. For example:

  • A couple summers I had a lawn service which taught me you could make money on your own by providing a useful service for people. I only bought enough money to buy a snowboard, but now, I'm a top-rated freelancer on Upwork.
  • Another summer I learned to use my camera while backpacking. And a few years later ended up as an Instagram suggested user doing paid work for companies like Vayner Media and Food+Wine.

Dang. Turns out those summer projects can be pretty useful.

So, now that I'm a stay-at-home dad I figured, "Hey, why not bring back the summer project?"

Enter, the podcast. AKA my Copywriting Course Summer Jam.

What I want to learn:

  • How to launch and edit a podcast.
  • How to regularly create small pieces of re-usable content.
  • How to promote a podcast to my first 1000 downloads.

My Goal:

  • Have fun and create something I can share with my kid someday.
  • Get to 1,000 downloads. That might not seem like a lot in the social media world, but me talking to a room full of 1,000 people would be pretty neat.

Link to the podcast:https://dadalwaystoldme.com/
Link to my social:  | @joshharoldson on Twitter
Link to the blog: 
https://joshharoldson.co/journal/

How I plan on promoting it: 

Instagram

Newsletter

Word of Mouth

Time Limit: Q3 of 2022. June 1st to Sept 1st

I will update this thread every few days with numbers and progress. Follow along!

 

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Edited by Josh Haroldson

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Some Backstory:

  • In 2015, my wife and I started a podcast called, "Our First Drink", where we interviewed couples about the first drink they shared together. It was fun. And a lot of work. We quit after not enough episodes.
  • But, good lessons were learned. Like, I probably shouldn't have committed right away to a weekly interview show with episodes that are an hour plus in length and required a minimum of 4 people.
  • Around the same time I started a photo editing newsletter. Another ok idea, I think. But, it was also beyond the scope of what I was willing to do on a weekly basis. I quit that too after not enough weeks.
  • When we had our kid, I had the idea to do a dad newsletter/podcast. Each week I’d review a product that was helpful and include affiliate links. Stuff I was learning as a parent. A couple test episodes were recorded. Not a bad idea. Maybe. Hold that thought.
  • But I never actually did anything with it. Turns out having a kid, fixing up our house, and working full-time after having produced over 1500 instagram posts was burning me out on content creation. So I took a break. For like 3 years.
  • But now that my kid is a little older and I'm feeling refreshed I'm ready to try this wacky summer experiment.
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Kids bring on a rare mix of ;I'm fired up, let's do this;! + ;I'm f'n exhausted, I need to stare at the tv and pass out before they wake up at 5:19am.'

Go get em Josh!

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Posted (edited)
Rob Roseman said 58 minutes ago:

Kids bring on a rare mix of ;I'm fired up, let's do this;! + ;I'm f'n exhausted, I need to stare at the tv and pass out before they wake up at 5:19am.'

Here's a dad that knows what's up. But you forgot to add...

"Before they wake up at 2:19am, 3:19am, 4:19am, 5:19am...and then are pissed that you got them up even though they said, "Get me up!"...but then an hour later they say, "you're the best" and you forgive everything."

Rob Roseman said 59 minutes ago:

Go get em Josh!

And thank you! You know I'm going to hit you up for some advice. I owe you an email.

Edited by Josh Haroldson
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Just followed! I launched The Dad Strength Podcast earlier this year. Happy to chat anytime. 

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Posted (edited)
Geoff Girvitz said 5 hours ago:

I launched The Dad Strength Podcast earlier this year. Happy to chat anytime. 

Awesome @Geoff Girvitz! I just checked it out quick and you've had some great guests so far! Nice work! I'll definitely take you up on the chat.

Here's a question to start. What's worked best to grow your audience so far?

Edited by Josh Haroldson
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Posted (edited)

Let's talk about goals!

My objective goals for the podcast
As a reminder, here are my objective goals for the show by the end of the summer:

  • 1000 downloads, combined across all podcast platforms, by the end of the summer.
  • Record and publish 12 episodes. Also very doable.

But, these are my "All-Star" goals. First, I have to get to my "Home Run" goals.

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All-star and Home-run goals??
From my 10+ years of experience in the marketing/sales world, good starting goals are ridiculously easy to achieve.

When you achieve a goal you win. When you win early you feel good and build momentum. And then you want to use that momentum to get to your stretch goals.

So I always set three levels of goals. Easy, Medium, and Hard. But those names are boring, so here's how I personally describe them:

  • Home Run Goal (Easy) This is the super easy goal. Reasonable, but so easy it is almost impossible not to get it done. It's probably the 35th-50th percentile outcome. But, I purposely call it a home run—and not a single or easy goal—because achieving any goal is awesome and deserves a nice trot around the bases. Like a home run in baseball.
  • All-Star Goal (Medium) This is the realistic, but takes diligent effort to achieve goal. The 50th-75th percentile goal if you will. You have to do a little above average to get here, but it's very doable.
  • Hall of Fame Goal (Hard) This is the the 75th-90th percentile goal. The goal should not be a mind-blowing outcome, that's the 99th percentile goal, but you should not expect to meet this one either. You should feel awesome if hit this one. I'll bet most people set their initial goal here and fail.

My Home Run Goals
So, here are my Home Run goals (the easy goals):

  • 100 Downloads - gives me my first (tiny) taste of promotion
  • 5 episodes published - here's where I'm going to learn to make stuff

These are the bare minimum to have said, "I decided to make a podcast. And then I did it."

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Edited by Josh Haroldson
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Hey @Josh Haroldson these are some detailed goals, I love it!!

Random thought experiment: Is there ONE episode you think might get all 1,000 of those downloads? 

I know @Rob Roseman had some interviews with Jesse Itzler that not only get downloads and subscribers, but also credibility and bragging rights. 

Can' wait to watch this unfold!!

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Posted (edited)
Neville said 8 minutes ago:

Random thought experiment: Is there ONE episode you think might get all 1,000 of those downloads? 

I've definitely been thinking about this @Neville. I really like the micro episode / one question idea.

And I think I might have a way to automate this too (so it would take someone I reached out to less than 5 minutes from link click to being done). I'm excited to test out some ideas!

Edited by Josh Haroldson
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Josh Haroldson said 13 hours ago:

Awesome @Geoff Girvitz! I just checked it out quick and you've had some great guests so far! Nice work! I'll definitely take you up on the chat.

Here's a question to start. What's worked best to grow your audience so far?

Appreciate you checking it out—and looking forward to speaking!

I'm not sure that I'm the best guy to ask about growth but I'd say this: if you have an audience of twenty—or two for that matter—then you have more or an opportunity to engage with them individually. It shrinks down the number of people (at least conceptually) of who you're trying to serve and allows you to build for them as individuals. 

Keep your vision, obviously. But anything at all that gets traction with your early peeps is worth paying attention to. 

 

 

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@Josh Haroldson & @Geoff Girvitz - Congrats on your podcast launches! The founder of Podopolo recently interviewed me, so I learned a bit about her platform. It's a podcast platform incorporating AI and tech to push targeted listeners to your show. Also, they will help you monetize your show quicker, because of the targeted audience. Currently, it's free to list your show there - just a thought. Good luck!

btw - I have no affiliation with this biz. I'm simply captivated by what she's created.

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Midori Verity said on 6/6/2022 at 12:35 PM:

Congrats on your podcast launches!

Thanks @Midori Verity and congrats on the interview!

Thanks for the recommendation, too. I actually tried to sign up as an experiment but kept getting a phone number error. Who knows!

Geoff Girvitz said on 6/6/2022 at 8:30 AM:

f you have an audience of twenty—or two for that matter—then you have more or an opportunity to engage with them individually. It shrinks down the number of people (at least conceptually) of who you're trying to serve and allows you to build for them as individuals. 

Totally agree! Good advice right here @Geoff Girvitz. Being able to build a strong relationship with an early audience is a huge advantage and goes along way.

That also reminds me of something I was thinking about recently.

I think people lose perspective when doing stuff on the internet because the 'potential' numbers are so huge. 1 million views! A billion users! But in reality, on a human scale, sharing something you wrote or talked about with even 1 person is amazing.

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Josh Haroldson said 36 minutes ago:

Thanks @Midori Verity and congrats on the interview!

Thanks for the recommendation, too. I actually tried to sign up as an experiment but kept getting a phone number error. Who knows!

Totally agree! Good advice right here @Geoff Girvitz. Being able to build a strong relationship with an early audience is a huge advantage and goes along way.

That also reminds me of something I was thinking about recently.

I think people lose perspective when doing stuff on the internet because the 'potential' numbers are so huge. 1 million views! A billion users! But in reality, on a human scale, sharing something you wrote or talked about with even 1 person is amazing.

I remember Seth Godin bringing up an example in one of his books. The idea is that you need to swing the vote by 5K in a certain area with a population of 100K. The mistake is to use a strategy for 100K when you could be using one for 5K.

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Posted (edited)

Shoot! It's been a few days without an update. Life as a dad — and for everyone — gets busy. But that's part of the experiment. Can I get this pod going consistently in my spare time without getting any dirty looks at home.

Don't quit. Make it easy.

Last week's progress:

  • Not as much as I'd have liked to have gotten done. But, I'm *this close* to finishing up my focus on getting ahead with the episodes before more promotion time.
  • So far I've got 4 episodes released with a 5th scheduled for tomorrow morning (6/15) plus another longer one totally done.
  • Recorded two "dad shorts" episodes as tests as got a nice format. The goal is for these to be 2-3 minutes with one product, recipe, or observation related to life as a parent.
  • After a couple attempts with the structure I've got a good template now that I can repeat and record quickly [Intro > Meat > Outro / CTA]. I can feel a nice rhythm developing for podcast > newsletter > blog 
  • If you record it, they WILL NOT listen. With basically no promotion, the podcast is around 65 downloads so far (not counting YouTube). But that's totally fine. The goal here is to create consistently 1st, promote 2nd (but soon).

 

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Edited by Josh Haroldson
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Neville said 14 minutes ago:

Might be signing up with some services like:

Nice! Thanks for sharing. I've got a list of places like that plus directories to make sure I'm in as well. I'll share what I'm looking at soon and will be looking forward see what's working for you, too!

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Posted (edited)
Neville said 4 hours ago:

Hey @Josh Haroldson are ya hitting 100??? 

Yes! I've been enjoying a little summer-time fun (took the little dude golfing for the first time yesterday), but I've been consistent with the content creation at least.

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And that means I've hit my first level of goals...the Home Run (5 episodes and 100 downloads).

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Lessons learned so far:

  • To stay consistent you've got to keep your content shorter than you originally thought it was going to be. I enjoy doing this, but it's amazing how much room you've got to cut your idea down even if that means going from 8-10 minutes to 5 minutes.
  • You can't just publish a podcast and get downloads. It won't happen. I knew that, but it's interesting to see it happen.
  • I'm ok with that at the moment. The neat thing about podcasts, based on my opinion and on how I consume them, is that they are super binge-able! So I think there's value in creating now and promoting later IF you have to pick between the two.
  • As I say in the podcast....Don't quit. make it easy...

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Edited by Josh Haroldson
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