Times like these are difficult for us all. There is a huge degree of uncertainty, and in many circles, there is outright fear about what lies ahead over the next few months as Covid-19 (aka Coronavirus) begins to affect many aspects of our normal lives.
So you may ask yourself, what does this crazy time in our lives have to do with podcasting? The answer may surprise you.
Often times the opportunity for something new, something innovative comes out of periods of uncertainty…like we’re living in right now.
Here we’re exploring 6 ways to think about podcasting that may augment some of the changes that you’re experiencing in your personal and professional lives. The goal here is to give us all ideas about how we can reframe what the current situation means for us, and what proverbial “silver lining” we might be able to find in it.
You’re Working From Home Anyhow
Is this your first time ever working from home on a long term basis? It takes some getting used to, that’s for sure. But as someone who’s now run several large (30+ people), entirely remote teams it gets easier and you’ve got to find what works best for you.
Hands down the best part of working from home is the lack of commute.
So instead of 1 hour+ of your day consumed with sitting in a car getting road rage you’re able to walk straight from your kitchen to your home office or dining room table and start getting to work. A commute time of 20 seconds sure beats 60 minutes, right?
And with this abundance of time available to you now each day there may be no better activity than starting a podcast. Or even to be fair, to resurrect an old, abandoned one (like we’re doing here).
Start Small And Easy
The biggest mistake we see first time podcasters make is stressing too much about everything being exactly perfect the first time around with their new shows.
This is very unlikely to happen (as much as we’d all like to be naturals at everything the first time), and you have to count on your show having a few rough edges for the first few episodes. It’s OK…happens to even the best podcasters.
The key is to Get Started Today. Don’t overthink it. Grab a mic, record some audio, and publish to your hosting platform. You’ll thank yourself in a few months when you have a large (and growing) audience.
In-Person Events Are Canceled
With Covid-19, many businesses are forced to close down traditional offices all over the world.
As the global workforce goes remote all at once, we’re all left with a huge change to our social patterns. No more watercooler chat, no carpooling to the office together, or that daily trip to Starbucks.
We’re social beings, even the most introverted amongst us, and in times like these when the social norms that we’ve all come to expect from our lives have been upended, it’s time to think about how we all can adjust how we consume information and connect with others in a different way.
For many of us, this is some kind of remote or virtual engagement.
I know many people that are scheduling dedicated “hangout” time on calling services like Zoom – the goal here being to keep some semblance of the previous social life at the office in their weekly routines.
Podcasting can be that very same way to connect with your friends, colleagues, or communities. If you can’t get together in person then creating a podcast as a way to share news, developments, and fresh insights on your topic is a great way to stay connected virtually while many of us are separated physically.
People Want More Information
In uncertain times like this, there are a lot of questions for all of us, and the news cycle has never been shorter.
Major changes to how we (can) live our lives are coming every day it seems. As a result, we’re all glued to our TVs, Social Media, and leaders in our respective arenas…all looking for the latest on what’s happening, and what may be coming for us all in the near term.
Here’s the thing about influencers: Only you decide whether you’re an influencer or not.
And many of us have the knowledge, expertise, and passion to be an influencer about some topic, and to some audience.
It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be an absolute authority on a topic in order for others to get value out of your content. It only needs to touch a small slice of the greater audience in your space in order to be effective. In his “100 True Fans” blog post, Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired Magazine, describes how a relatively small number of loyal fans can be all you need to build a meaningful audience.
Think about walking into a room where 100 people (or 1,000 or 10,000) sit on the edge of their seats waiting to hear what you have to say each week. That’s actually relatively achievable with podcasting, and I would venture to say it is very difficult to achieve in person.
Ways Of Communicating May Be Changing For The Long Term
Perhaps it’s the “in the moment” thinking, but I believe that the work and societal changes that are coming about because of Coronavirus will change the way many of us communicate for the long term.
Things like remote work, not taking business trips as frequently as before, and even engaging with loved ones may take a different form long after this crisis has ended.
When it comes to different forms of remote, asynchronous communication like podcasting this is great news and is something we can all help to champion.
If at the end of the Covid-19 era you have created an established podcast and that is a major way in which you connect with your audience, colleagues, or community then you will have been an instrumental part of changing how your part of society communicates and engages.
And I’d go as far as to say communicating via podcasting is an easier and more efficient way to transmit information than virtually any other form of communication we have today.
Why not go with the best?
You Are Uniquely Able To Adjust To Changing Times
If you’re reading this article you are one of the rare few who have the mental and emotional capacity to “turn on a dime”. To change course on a moment’s notice, and take ahold of a new way of doing things.
This flexibility is an enormous asset for almost everything we do. Whether it’s leading our company, our church group, or our favorite passion project adjusting to the “new norm” is vital in our ability to stay connected with those close to us.
Large organizations, or those who are just not able to adjust course as quickly as you may, will find themselves left behind in times like this when entire workforces have to go remote at a moments notice, when all in-person events are canceled, and when communicating (internally and externally) all has to be done virtually.
But that doesn’t affect you as much, because you’re pliable and can change your approach to meet the current environment. And those of us who adapt to the changes that we’re faced with will find ourselves way ahead, both in the period of this current crisis and afterward.
This Is A Rare Opportunity To Rebrand
It’s not every day when things like air travel between countries are entirely closed down, or millions of people instantly stop going to the office for work every day.
And in these strange, and admittedly stressful, times we have two choices:
We can stay glued to our Twitter feed, and TV news stations
We can adapt to the times, find the opportunity to excel, and make the best of it.
Obviously I’m much in favor of the latter.
Out of adversary always comes news players to a market, and often times new market leaders. The choice is largely up to us whether we’ll be those new leaders or whether we’ll be the ones who couldn’t adapt quickly enough to the new normal and are essentially left behind.
It’s not a binary choice where you either make the shift or not, we’re all living on a spectrum of adaptability where we can all choose to how much we’re wanting to adopt new technologies, new ways of communicating with our audiences, and ways that we can view this situation as an advantage that is unique to us and that we can take advantage of.
Podcasting is certainly not going to cure the world of Coronavirus, but it just might help you cope with these strange and challenging times.
Starting a podcast now will help you stay connected to your audience, retain continuity in your communication with your friends, colleagues, and communities, and gives you the chance to establish yourself as a leader in your space.
And we’d love to help out on your journey. If you have any questions as you’re getting started podcasting please drop us a note in the chat widget to the right. We look forward to hearing about your latest podcasting ventures.