#200: My 3 Biggest Podcasting Lessons Learned Along the Way

Cue the confetti for our 200th episode! To celebrate, Michelle shares her top podcasting lessons learned along the way, recaps the top 3 episodes and announces a special giveaway for listeners. And if YOU have your own podcast, please let us know about it for an upcoming show by emailing support@healthcoachpower.com.

Subscribe to these episodes on YouTube, or:
Apple Podcasts – https://apple.co/2sOjwVA
Stitcher – http://bit.ly/2K3UaN6
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2Y0Eu1r
Google Podcasts – https://bit.ly/3E1yMAq

My 3 Biggest Podcasting Lessons Learned Along the Way

We just published our 200th episode! It feels like yesterday I decided to turn my weekly Facebook live into a podcast. Over these 200 episodes, I’ve learned so much about podcasting and today I’m going to share my three biggest lessons with you.

Reviews are everything

Sure, people are searching google for answers to their problems, but they also search within Apple podcasts. To make sure they find your podcast, you need to have a good title and choose the right keywords – but what you need more than any of that is reviews.

Reviews are everything when it comes to podcasting! They help people decide that it’s worth their time to listen, and it also helps the show appear in the suggestions list. 

Now, it’s not always easy to get listeners to leave reviews. It’s not that they don’t want to, but it takes a little extra time out of their day. I totally understand! And for that reason it can help to give an incentive – like a giveaway – to encourage them. 

Like this…

I’m offering a free coaching call for one lucky listener, chosen at random, who leaves a written review on Apple Podcasts by the end of July 2022. Go leave a written review now and be entered to win!

Don’t obsess about statistics

It’s tempting to judge the success of your podcast by checking your statistics frequently. But obsessing over download numbers can be counterproductive. Don’t get distracted or discouraged. Instead, put that energy into continually creating useful content and listening to your audience. See, you don’t need a zillion listeners. What you need are engaged listeners. Are they loving your show and telling their friends? Are they interacting with your content? A very small engaged audience will lead to paying clients. A very large audience that isn’t engaged doesn’t do much for your business. So go ahead and check once in a while, but don’t let those stats turn into a distraction.

When you do look at statistics, remember that there’s more to it than just total downloads. Just for fun, take a look at our top 3 most popular episodes, defined three different ways.

  1. E1: How many 1 on 1 clients do you consider you max?
    This episode – our first ever – has the most all-time downloads (partly because it’s been out there the longest). I chose this topic because someone asked about it in the Facebook group. What I know now is that many listeners go back to the beginning when they find a podcast. If I had to do it over again, I might have used episode #1 to set the stage for the show and introduce myself and my story as a health coach. Keep that in mind if you’re considering starting your own podcast!

  2. E178: Starting your health coaching practice
    This episode had the most downloads within the first 90 days of its release. This is a different statistic to consider, and for episodes that haven’t been out there for as long, it’s a way to see what’s resonating with your audience. By the time this episode came out, I was a little more strategic with my content, and I was paying close attention to who is in my audience and what they need. Focus on what your audience is asking, not just what you want to talk about.

  3. E194: Two thought patterns keeping you and your business stuck
    This one had the most downloads in the first 7 days– another statistic to think about. An episode’s initial popularity has a lot to do with when and how it gets released. Did you send it to your mailing list? Post it to social media? Was it timed to coincide with a launch or event? When you’re creating content, whether it’s podcasting or blogging or videos or something else, half the job is getting eyeballs on your work.

Done is better than perfect

This lesson applies to many areas of your business, not just podcasting. Maybe it’s creating an email, a blog post, or a video. Getting it done is better than not getting it done! Are you procrastinating on posting until it’s completely polished? You are likely your own worst critic. It’s OK if the quality isn’t exactly perfect. 

This show isn’t editing – episodes are real and raw. Things happen sometimes! If you make a mistake, who cares?

Because we don’t worry about getting it done perfectly, we’re able to keep getting it done.

Podcast takeaways

So there you have it– three lessons for your health coaching business from the first 200 episodes of the Health Coach Power Community Podcast. Reviews matter, statistics don’t, and done is better than not done!

Remember, I’m offering a free coaching call for one listener, chosen at random, who leaves a review on Apple Podcasts by the end of July 2022. Go do that now!

And if YOU have a podcast, let us know. Send an email to support@healthcoachpower.com and tell us about your show. We’d love to support you in your podcasting efforts.

Full transcript:

Well, hello there health coaches. Today is a special day. It's very exciting around here. So thank you so much for joining me for our 200th episode. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in my kitchen. This is in the house that I lived in. Oh boy, this is two moves ago, thinking, well, I'm gonna go live in my Facebook group every week. Why don't I just turn it into a podcast? Thus, the Health Coach Power Community podcast was born. And today I want to share three big lessons learned about podcasting. I also have a giveaway to thank you all of my listeners for your time and your attention every week. So I see Katie's here and Shannon's here and Jennifer's with me. And Shannon's another Shannon's here. Thank you so much for helping me celebrate today. It really is a big milestone in the podcasting world.

If you have any questions, as we go along, go ahead and put them in the chat. I'm gonna do my best to keep my eye on all my chats and answer as I always like to do during these live episodes. Cause otherwise I could just record them by myself, any time of day, any day of the week. And, if there were technical issues, I could just redo it, but instead we do it live and we publish even with all of the technical issues. So, here is the first lesson that I have learned about podcasting. People are out there, they really, really are searching for answers to their problems. And you know, they're going to Google, but did you know that they're searching podcasts for keywords related to their problems? They really are. Like apple podcasts. That is a whole search engine. You have no idea how many health coaches have told me that they found me. Maybe they even ended up joining healthy profit university because they did a search inside apple.

And here's the thing. What helps somebody decide that they're yeah, they're gonna listen to a show. They're gonna take their precious time and actually listen to this particular podcast. Also what helps the show appear as suggested for a listener like you like this show, maybe you'll also like it's all about reviews. Reviews are everything when it comes to podcasting. So here is the giveaway that I've devised for us in honor of this 200th episode. Here's what I want you to do. Go to apple podcasts, leave a review, a written review. Then at the end of July, and this is July, 2022. I'm saying the year, just in case anyone is listening to this show a long time from now. So at the end of July, 2022, I'm gonna release an episode, announcing the winner of a private coaching call with me. The winner's gonna be selected randomly from all the reviews submitted over the month. And what you need to know about this is it does take a couple of days or even a week.

Sometimes when you submit a podcast review for it to actually appear, 'cause it goes through some sort of process on Apple's end. So don't wait. You wanna head over to apple podcasts, search for the Health Coach Power Community, scroll down to where it says reviews and leave yours right now. How about right now to enter the giveaway and you'll receive a... Well, one lucky winner will receive a coaching call with me, which is an extreme rarity. This is not something you can buy. Sometimes people ask and I buy a session with you. No, this is not something that I offer willy nilly, but like come on for our 200th episode, let's do it. And during your coaching call, we can discuss your business, your goals. We can move through your stuck places. We can even talk about your own health. If that's something that you would like to focus on, it's up to you.

So, remember go leave a review now and I'll announce the winner at the end of July. And at the very least, I always read reviews on the air. So if you're not our lucky winner, you'll still hear your review on an upcoming episode. And we would like to send you a thank you gift.

Amy's saying that she loves the braids for those of you listening and you don't see me on video. I did my hair in two, like pippy long stocking braids today. And my hair is getting very long and I thought, oh my goodness, these braids, if I whip my head around, I could really hurt somebody or possibly myself, but I was very summary today. So thanks for the braid compliment.

So, that was number one reviews are everything for a podcast. It's not always easy to get people to leave reviews. So sometimes you offer a reason like I'm doing today. This is a great big giveaway in order to encourage people to go ahead and leave the review. It's not that they don't want to. It's not that they don't love your show. It's just, you know, it takes an extra 30 seconds, 60 seconds out of their day to do it and they need a little bit of encouragement.

Okay, we're gonna move on to the next big lesson that I've learned about podcasting through the years. And you know, I should mention this is not my first podcast, but this is my first successful podcast. Meaning I had started other shows in the past that kind of went, you know, for various reasons. I couldn't keep up with it. I made it too complicated for myself. This is the first time it's really been successful. And how do we measure success with a podcast anyway?

I mean, you can always go in and look at your statistics. But what I wanna say is don't do that. Don't look at your statistics too much. Maybe look a little bit, but I gotta tell you if I get too wrapped up in looking at the download numbers or if I spent that first year of the show obsessing about my stats and it's so easy to do that, I would never be here today. I would've become discouraged at times I would've become distracted. So instead take all that energy and put it into continuously creating useful content, put energy into listening to your audience. That's what I've done. And week after week after week, the other thing is I kept showing up sometimes, especially in the beginning, if you see that your download numbers are way smaller than you wanted them to be, it's like, Ugh, is it even worth it?

Just don't look, just keep going. I check in on my stats every now and then, and often I'm surprised. You see, stats are interesting, but you don't actually need a zillion people listening to your show. You don't need a huge audience, but what you need are very engaged listeners. So if you have a podcast again, the numbers of downloads doesn't matter, but are these people loving your show? Are they doing whatever you're asking them to do during your episodes? Are they telling other people about your show? A very small engaged audience will lead you to paying clients a very, very large audience where everybody just watch, you know, listens to one episode and then they're out of there. This doesn't do much for your business, right? So we wanna nurture the audience that we have, even if it's small. I mean, same thing goes for your mailing list.

So like I said, I look at my stats so infrequently that a few weeks ago I was going into look at something else. I don't know. And I just noticed at the top of the page that we had gone over 300,000 downloads and I didn't even know I was totally shocked. I didn't even know that milestone was coming, so I kind of missed it, but I liked that. So, keep your head down, do the work and let the stats just be a happy surprise down the line.

For those of you who have your own podcast. And I know a couple of you do, are you looking at your stats? Is that something that is helping you? That is hindering you? I mean, it almost feels like when you post something on Instagram and then all day, you're like, how many likes did I get? You know, and it's just, you know, it's just distracting from actually doing the work and sometimes it really brings you down and I find it to be counterproductive.

Now, speaking of stats, I wanted to share with you the top three episodes that we've published since 2018. And I said, we on purpose because I could not do this show by myself. My assistant Kelly does all of the production work to get this recording out to you on apple and Spotify and YouTube. If you don't have somebody helping you in your business, don't worry about trying to be on all the different, all the places. You know, it can be a lot of work to do that. Just published to one platform at a time. And once that becomes easy, then maybe you can add on a second, but Kelly helps me be in more places with this show and she actually puts the show together for me. So thank you, Kelly.

And then Katie is always here helping me out in the broadcast. She'll often see her in the comments. She helps me, you know, she'll let me know Michelle, you're not broadcasting or she'll do things for me on the back end to make sure things are working as well as they can. And then most of all, you guys are super important to this show because all of you, the members of my health coach power community, the concept of this podcast is to interact with you live. I cannot do that by myself. So, any of you who have ever joined me live as we're broadcasting, thank you. Thank you so much. Like you make the show, your participation in our Facebook group makes the show. That's where all the content for this show comes from. So anyway, as a little retrospective, here are our top three most popular episodes and I chose them from three different categories.

Shannon's saying, this is my first time joining live instead of listening to it on podcast later. Very cool to feel like you are part of the podcast action. You really are. I mean, obviously I just read your words on the air, Shannon. You are part of the show just by being here live. And let me tell you as a podcaster so much more interesting. I mean it's a little more risky 'cause I never know what the comments are gonna be or we're always like, oh my gonna know the answer to that. But as long as you're okay with being like, I don't know the answer or that doesn't make sense for, to me just moving on with the show, I find it makes for a much more dynamic episode.

So, the first episode I wanna share with you is the one that has the most downloads ever. Like, lifetime downloads. And that is episode number one. The very first episode that I did. It's called, 'How Many One on One Clients Do You Consider Your Max.' Which is kind of a funny question. I might as well ask you since you guys are here. How many one on one clients do you consider your max? Somebody asked me that in the group and I decided to answer it. And that was also the week that I decided to turn this whole thing into a podcast. And I think that's kind of funny, like this is our number one show maybe because it's a useful topic, but I'm sure the real reason it's number one is because when people start listening to a podcast, they often start at episode number one, I don't know at this point, you'd have a lot of catching up to do 'cause now we're at 200, right? But anyway, this is hilarious because I did not begin this podcast with any plan.

I had no strategy and I did not. I'll tell you this. I did not carefully choose that first episode's topic. So if I could go back in time, I would make sure that episode number one, set the stage for the show, maybe told my story of becoming a health coach. Why I also mentor health coaches and basically provided the perfect introduction to the health coach power community. Wouldn't that make a whole lot more sense for episode number one that you just know everybody's gonna be listening to? Well, I had no idea. So, I'm telling you, and if you're planning on starting a podcast ever, hopefully you will remember that tip, but a last episode, number one is available to you wherever you like to listen. It's our most popular show ever. How many one on one-on-one clients do you consider your max.

Now for number two? I didn't just look at which episode came next. You know, like in terms of lifetime downloads because all statistics, right? It depends on how you interpret them. So obviously episodes that have been around for three years, for four years, they have more lifetime downloads just because they've been available longer. So I thought, all right, let's look at a different stat, which episode really hit it outta the park in the first 90 days of its release. Regardless if it, it was released, you know, this year or four years ago. And turns out that episode was episode 178, "Starting Your Health Coaching Practice." This also doesn't really come as a shock. Does this shock you guys? I mean, so many of our listeners, our brand new health coach is just getting off the ground and this episode was no accident. Unlike episode number one, where I wasn't doing anything with any sort of plan or strategy, 178 episodes later. Yeah. I was a little bit smarter, little bit more strategic. So, we definitely did this one on purpose.

Whenever you're creating content, you wanna pay attention to who is in your audience and what they need, what they're asking you for, not what you necessarily wanna be talking about, but what they wanna hear about makes so much sense, right? And many of our shows have been about topics that apply to more advanced coaches. We have coaches in our community who have been practicing for many, many years, but time and time again, I know that health coaches are finding this show because they need help. Just getting started. Was that any of you, maybe you went to apple podcasts and searched health coaching, 'cause you're like, oh my God, how do I even start? So, we were there for you anyway, if you are new to coaching and you haven't checked out that episode before you can check it out in the archives, again, it's 178, starting your health coaching practice.

And then finally the episode with the most downloads in the first seven days of its release. And this is just another set of statistics that I can find on my show was this is actually an episode we didn't do too long ago. It was episode 194. It was called, "Two Thought Patterns Keeping You and Your Business Stuck." Did you listen to that one? Anyone listen to that one. That was a favorite. I felt like that was a standout episode. That was a different kind of topic than I normally cover. Now here's the thing. Again, statistics have to be interpreted. So was this just like the most popular topic that I ever chose for a podcast episode? No, I don't think so. What makes an episode really popular in terms of statistics right out of the gate has a lot to do with when and how it gets promoted.

Like did I email it to my mailing list right away that week? I must have, I don't always do that right away. Did I post about it to social media within the first day or two? So, I want you to remember that whenever you're creating content and this could be blogging, this could be, you know, YouTube videos that you're making. Remember when you're creating content half of the job and, and arguably more than half of the job is how are you gonna get eyeballs on your stuff. Like, all the promoting that goes along with it. So don't just create, create, create, and assume that followers are going to simply stand in line and wait for whatever you've put out there, like all week long. They're like, ooh, when is the next episode coming out? Some might do that. But for the most part, you need to build in a marketing plan.

How are you gonna get your stuff in front of people? So with episode 194, "Two Thought Patterns Keeping You and Your Business Stuck," it was well promoted. I believe that's what happened. And it was released at a very busy time of year when I had lots of eyes on my business and on the show after our big, fast track launch. So all the stars aligned for this episode, popular topic, good timing. Well promoted, boom. And that's what puts it right up there in our most popular episode. In the first seven days after its release.

Kristin saying congrats on the 200 episodes. That's huge. It's pretty huge, right? I mean, what's the next big one, obviously 300, but can we make it to 500? How many more years is that? OMG.

So, we've talked so far about podcast reviews, podcast, statistics. Any questions about any of that? So far, it really is interesting to look at those numbers. And I'm glad that I did it for this milestone, but I promise I'm not gonna peak again for at least another couple of months. The final, big lesson that I've learned about podcasting along this journey is getting it done is better than not getting it done. Now tell me in the chat, everyone who is here with me live, what can that apply to in your own business? Like maybe you have a podcast, but maybe you don't, but I'm telling you this applies to so many things in your business. Tell me in the chat for you, getting it done is better than not getting what done. Maybe it's emailing your list. So easy to procrastinate about that. Maybe you have a blog, right? We would need to get it done. Get the post up on social media. Get that video done. Get that opt in page created. So you can have people sign up for your webinar or your five day challenge. Shannon says, freebies gotta get a freebie done. Yes. If you don't have a freebie, it's very difficult for anyone to join your mailing list. Getting it done is better than not getting it done. And that means it doesn't have to be perfect. That means you can always get it done again. Later. Get another one done later.

Tom says, just start posting. I assume that means social media just start posting, especially in the beginning. Listen, now we have tens of thousands of listeners to this podcast. But when I released that very first episode, we had many fewer listeners. So if the show wasn't so good, if I made a mistake, whatever who cares, not that many people were listening to it, except episode number one, which everybody still listens to, which is just funny. But in terms of social media, it doesn't work like that. Generally people do not scroll back to the beginning of your feed and start there. They start in reverse chronological order. So people who are joining you today are going to see the best of you today. And, um, and, and as you grow and as you post more and you have more eyeballs, they're gonna see what's new that day.

Amy says progress over perfection. I need to listen to this advice, gotta get my ass in gear, Amy, get your ass in gear. That's right. You just have to make progress and it doesn't have to be perfect. And you would tell your clients the same things, right? Like what do our clients do or rather not do because they're being total perfectionist about it. It's like, if I can't make a dinner that looks like it came off the cover of Bon Appetite, then I'm not gonna cook. And in reality, like last night I fed my kids like black beans and rice. You know what I mean? Like it's not always beautiful. It's just get it, get it done.

Here's what I wanna say about the podcast. You guys have no idea how many weeks I have been like, mm. I don't really think that was a very good episode. Like I'm just kind of feeling nah about it. I got it done, but nah, but then I get all this great feedback and people tell me that they love the show or they got this out of it or, or they're binge listening and they're enjoying it so much. And then I'm like, oh, I probably definitely am my worst critic. But embracing that imperfection is so important for getting it done. Especially as I mentioned, because we do these live, the quality of the show is not perfect. The audio can be iffy. You know, sometimes I bang my microphone like this. Sometimes a live video doesn't work. I've had episodes where I accidentally muted myself in the middle of it.

I've had times where my doorbell rang or my kids distracted me. Or, even like right now, as I'm recording, I'm getting a reminder up on my phone that says, I gotta go pick up my kids from camp. And I'm like, I know, I know, but I'm in the middle of an episode, right? Like it's easy to get distracted things happen when you're live mistakes happen. We purposely don't edit any of that out. So, if you've ever heard something funny happen on the show, or you've heard me flub up my words or just make a big mistake. Yeah. We just leave it in there. It is raw it's unedited so that you can see, or you can hear, I guess if you're listening, what's what it's really like. Like what this process is really like.

And with all these imperfections, we've still touched, you know, tens of thousands of lives with coaches telling me that they listen to all the episodes every week. And because we don't worry about getting it done perfectly, that is precisely why we keep getting it done. Now, before we end for today, I wanna remind you that I'm offering a free coaching call. You and me, baby. This is a giveaway prize. And to enter, all you have to do is leave a review on apple podcasts. By the way, if you have your own podcast, I decided it would be so cool to collect a directory of like health coach owned shows or create a directory. Maybe I'll even do like a Roundup episode in the next couple of weeks. I wanna know about all the podcasts happening in this community. I know about some of your shows, but I definitely don't know about all of them.

So after you leave a review, if you have your own show, would you email us about it? Thank you in advance. You can just send a note to support@healthcoachpower.com. And that way I can use my platform to promote your platform. And maybe we can only leave reviews of each other's shows because that is the beautiful thing about community. Think of it like a potluck dinner in your neighborhood, where everybody brings something we all can bring to each other, our support, our experience sharing what works inside of our Facebook group. And most certainly it takes 30 seconds to leave a review. So I would be happy to do that for any of you that have a show. And remember if you do it for this show, by the end of July, I'll announce a winner of the giveaway.

Hey, you guys. Thanks for joining me for our 200th episode. We're gonna have lots more milestones. Can you imagine when we hit half a million downloads? Ah, like my brain just explodes when I think about it, but I couldn't do it with all without all of you. So, I'm really blessed that you're here with me today and I will see you again next week. Take care everybody. Bye bye.