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You’ve started a podcast, released 12 episodes and nobody apart from a handful of LinkedIn contacts, a couple of Twitter followers and your mum has downloaded them.

Good.

Keep going.

You’re doing it right.

So, you’ve been auto-posting each episode to Twitter and nobody’s engaged?

Maybe stop doing that.

But keep making your show.

You’re doing great.

You have my permission to stop looking for growth hacks. To stop worrying about whether you should be posting to YouTube or making audiogram for your Insta stories.

Stop telling people about your show while it’s this early in its stages of development.

Megaphone in a wall

You’re putting too much pressure on it, and you run the risk of being distracted from the two things you can do right now and every week:

  1. Make your stuff brilliant, and
  2. Learn out loud.

What you’ve got is probably pretty bloody good. It might even be pretty great. But does it make people think “wow that was brilliant!”, or did they just have a pleasant time?

Making something brilliant sounds like a lot of pressure. Surely you need a big budget and staff writers and an expensive sound effects library and award-winning producers and —

Stop.

Breathe.

What you need, and probably the only thing you need to make your show better, is time.

Time to get more experience. Time to hone your craft. Time to learn some tricks to shave off a few minutes here and there in editing. Time to connect with others who are on a similar path. Time to discover what other great things people are making. Time to work on collaborations.

You can do all of that and make your podcast, because you’re not wasting time promoting it. Instead you’re focusing on making it the best thing you’ve ever made. That’s learning out loud.

Your podcast doesn’t have to be the best right now. It doesn’t even have to be all that good. But can you stick it out for another 10 episodes until it gets good? Another 20 until it’s great? Can you get to 50 episodes?

If so, and if you’ve spent that time learning, honing, polishing, connecting, then my friend, you’ll be on to something brilliant. And brilliance cannot be ignored.

Glass flask with fun-looking coloured blobs in it

So you’ve got no downloads. That’s fantastic. You’re just donned your lab coat and are about to embark on weeks of secret experiments.

Like any scientist you need to note what works and what doesn’t. Check your work back and ask what could be improved. Ask a friend for honest feedback; even ask a Facebook group, but don’t ask for likes or shares.

You don’t want to be discovered, you’re not ready yet.

Discovery probably won’t happen when you’re ready. It’ll probably happen the week you release an episode where the guest’s audio was a mess. I fell in love with one of my favourite bands by obtaining a copy of an album the band leader was too embarrassed to release.

Now is not the time to blow your cover. Build in secret, and when it’s ready… it probably won’t be discovered. Like I said; it’ll come when you least expect it, but it won’t come if you don’t spend the time making your thing the best it can be, and having as much fun doing so as you can.

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