Exactly 3 years ago today I launched my podcast.
Before It All Started
It took me over a year to realize that I could actually have a podcast. Before that I had all those self-sabotaging thoughts of why I can’t do it flying in my mind.
“Who would listen to someone with an accent?”
“How can I manage an audio post production? It should be super hard…”
“Who would agree to be interviewed by someone who is completely unknown, is a non-English speaker and lives in a country they have probably never heard of….?”
“The equipment is probably too expensive…”
Then one day I decided to follow my own advise and just do it.
Because honestly until I tried I would not know if it would be possible.
I recorded 2 minutes of me speaking and sent it out to my online friends from the UK to get feedback about the voice and the accent. The general feedback was “Hey, you HAVE TO start a podcast”. I am still not sure how objective they were… but still.
I finally decided to mute my self-sabotaging thoughts and launch.
So from the day I made the decision to launch a podcast (that’s when I had no clue how things are done) until I actually launched took 3 weeks. Those were 3 weeks of learning, recording and editing + lengthy conversations with my now friend Meron from the Podcast Incubator, who was kind enough to provide all the information and encouragement I needed.
And… We’re Live!
It took me too long to record the first introductory episode. I recorded and re-recorded. Erased and started over.
I listened and cringed. I hated the way my voice sounded. No matter how many times I tried I did not like what I heard at the end.
At some point I realized that the process could take forever. I realized that I would never be happy with the result and that since I had no experience, it could never be perfect in the near future. So eventually I closed my eyes and submitted the podcast to be approved by iTunes.
Then I had my first recorded interview. It appeared that my microphone was moving against my blouse during recording so I had irritating background sound that could not be cleaned out…
I was preparing in advance. Thinking of questions to ask. Was pretty tense and stressed during recording…
And then I had fears. My biggest fear was – “What if no one would listen?”
I tried not to stress out and look at it as an experiment. If it goes well – great. If no, I will just quit.
The First Results
Because of the huge time difference between Armenia and the US when iTunes approved my podcast I was asleep. And when I woke up and read the email that the podcast is already available on iTunes I felt like “Oh Shit! There’s no turning back now”.
I shared it on social media. I asked friends for initial reviews. And just like before I was refreshing Amazon’s stats page monitoring my book sales and rankings, this time I was refreshing my podcast’s statistics.
I have no clue where did the people come from, but on day 1 almost 50 people listened to my podcast!
After few days it got featured in iTunes New and Noteworthy overall, in different categories and in different countries. Friends were sending me screenshots. It all felt surreal.
Then organic reviews from people I did not know started coming in. And guess what most of them said?
They wrote “I love your accent!” What I thought would be a huge turn off eventually became part of what people liked. (even Bond girl and Zsa Zsa Gabor were mentioned in few reviews lol).
Early on I landed guests such as Pat Flynn, Chris Brogan, Peter Shankman, Jay Samit, James Altucher and such…
You may not believe me now but I actually found out how big James Altucher was only AFTER our interview was aired and we were already having follow up friendly conversations on Facebook.
Remember my doubts and fears before the launch? Well they all proved to be wrong…
I felt humble for the chance to talk to so many amazing people. So many inspiring conversations… so many new connections and friends as a result. Awesome journey.
And the people I did it for – my listeners… They are amazing too. Loyal, encouraging, giving their time and attention.
Imagine how privileged one is to be able to whisper in almost 10k pairs of ears every single week? (I don’t know why people still listen to me… I mean 3 years already have passed…). Some of my loyal listeners became friends too as a result.
It’s been a wonderful journey which opened so many new opportunities. Just by plugging my mic into the laptop and doing what I love (talking to people) brought me to a stage, where I was no longer an unknown person from a far away country.
I hate it when many people online promote this idea of overnight success. They somehow leave the impression that things were easy and fast so they can show you how you can do the same in exchange for money.
Yes, I did what I loved. Yes it was lots of fun… BUT it was a hard work too.
Getting those names required a different approach… something I had to figure out myself (if someone tells you there is a magic formula, a ready template you can use, a service you can hire – please do me a favor and laugh at their face will you?).
And then when people I wanted to interview said yes… there was this huge time difference thing between us. So I was sometimes recording at 2 am, 3am, 4am…
There were days when I had 5 back to back 1 hour interviews a day. There were days when I had to say no to some other stuff because of that.
I don’t complain, just want you to see the real picture and not only the nice photos of podcasters rocking their microphones (I am guilty of that too, I know).
Many want to know the “secrets of how”.
“How did you end up with such amazing guests?”, “How do you manage to ask the right questions?”, “How do you edit your podcast episodes”… “How…..”
I presume many ask those questions because they think that if I give them the answer and they go and do the same thing the same way they will get the results I got.
The problem is…. nope, that’s not how it works.
For one thing, I started 3 years ago and many things have changed after that.
The other thing is… probably if you do things the way I am doing them now you will end up with results which will be much worse if you had figured things out yourself.
Oh well… because
- Apart from my $60 microphone I don’t have anything else in terms of equipment
- I don’t edit my podcast episodes (apart from the sound quality that is)
- I never prepare in advance (no ready script, no beforehand talk with interviewees, no research, etc.)
- I have a normal human conversation – which means me and my guests free flow
- I don’t even try to sound professional – that’s for radio stations. I am who I am, someone who plugs in a mic at home and talks to people, so no need to pretend…
Well I guess that’s all I felt I could share in here… Gives a bit about who I am too, since most of you over here have no clue…
It’s been a 3 years of a roller coaster ride (I love roller coasters btw) and today was the day to go back and reflect.