So, you Want to Start a Podcast? | Podcast S3E3

In today’s episode, we’re talking about all things starting a podcast. Podcasts are the fastest growing, highest converting type of content on the digital market. And now it seems like everyone wants to have a show. But should everyone have a podcast? Does it make good business sense? In this episode of Permission to Leap, we talk about the realities of hosting a podcast, why you might want one, what you should consider and the data to back up the incredible opportunity with audio on demand. 

Specifically, in this show, we will talk about: 

  • Why your ‘Why’ needs to be specific if you want your podcast to do anything for your business
  • Your audience is smart. Why podcasts and audio on demand are the new masterclass
  • It’s not about the tech. Why it’s easier than ever to get started
  • What the data is telling us about the power of podcasting for business

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Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript is auto generated and is nowhere near perfect. There will be typos and weird words in the transcription. It will however, serve as a guide to the contents of the episode.

Hello, welcome back into permission to leap.

I hope you are swell. Wherever you are.

And I hope you’re ready. we are going to do a full blend. Of all of the things that I love.

Story. Strategy.


Yeah, that’s right. The theme of today’s episode is. So you want to start a podcast?

And I’ve put it really high in the calendar on season three, we’re into episode three here, because I know that there are so many. Creative entrepreneurs and business owners out there who are. Considering. Starting a podcast this year. They’re dabbling. With the concept of a podcast, but you might be a little bit unclear about how it works. Why it works. What to do to make it work and how to make it. Not feel. Like work.

Maybe you’re just curious. I don’t know.

Were any of those things? This show. This one is for you. We’re going to talk about. Answering that we’re going to talk about all things podcasts. From my perspective. Because I’ve been doing this for a while. Not this specific show, but I’ve been podcasting for a very long time. So I want to invite you into this episode here, where we are answering this fundamental question of.

Y to start a podcast. So you want to start a podcast.

And this should be the point in the show when. I unroll the welcome mat for you. And invite you in. So I’ll do that. Welcome to permission to leap. That’s the name of this show by the way. I’m your host, Erin Trafford and this podcast. Is for creative entrepreneurs and business owners. Like you. Who are ready to understand? Modern. Effective. Content strategy.

And we’re ready to learn things. Test the boundaries. And learn from a pro. And at the end of the day, you are ready to unlock the power of story to fuel. Your growth. So, this is the show where I share with you my absolute, no BS approach to business building via content strategy. Lessons from my decades in newsrooms as an award-winning broadcaster and journalist and the insights and actionable steps. You can take right now to create true momentum in your business, simply by shifting the energy around your content and the strategies you are using to share it with the world.

So get ready to leap. Get ready to be bold, get ready to be strategic and inspired and to push the boundaries of what you think. And believe is possible because this show really is all about getting you results and getting you into action. That was really the mantra that I had when I began this show back in season one, and it continues to be the mantra that I. Carry with me.

As we continue permission to leap and the, you know, the really the mission of this show has stayed true. Although the themes of the seasons have have adapted over time. Season one really was the starting blocks. Season two was really sort of the mindset and the psychology and season three is let’s get shit done. Let’s actually get into action and figure out what we want this to look like and why we want it to look like this.

So these episodes and this entire season in fact are going to sound completely different than all the rest. We have some new Sonic branding. We have a whole bunch of new. Editorial stuff that’s coming at you via the podcast feed that I will tell you about in just a little bit, but. This is really where you want to start. When you are getting serious about content, because if at this point you are not serious about your content. You are. Frankly, not serious about growing your business. If you are operating in the digital space, your content is your calling card. It is your strategic playground to figure out what your people want from you and how they expect you to show up for them. It is.

So essential to who you are and the results you create and getting aligned energetically and strategically with your content is truly, truly, truly life changing business changing. It can just bust stuff open for you. And the most important thing for me when it comes to content is that it feels F1 good. And the minute that it stops feeling good, we go back to the drawing board and we make sure that things are clicking on all levels. Because it should never feel like a chore. Sometimes it is something, it feels like a job. Like you gotta put your time and, but it should never energetically feel like it’s draining you.

I want you to feel uplifted. I want you to feel energetic, which is why I’m so excited to talk to you today about podcasting, because. First of all, you can tell that it is my chosen method of communication. This is how I love to show up and how my most valued clients love for me to show up. And it’s how I attract a lot of new people into my sphere. Uh, so if you know, somebody who had like the cut of my jib, as they say, if you know, somebody who would like the way that I show up, share the show with them, if they, you know, share the energy. But here’s the thing is that I know also that there are a lot of business owners out there who are thinking to themselves.

And if this is you, I mean, take this episode as just like a masterclass in podcast strategy, but you’re thinking. I feel like I want to start a podcast. I just want to turn on the mic and I want to just talk and then I want my business to grow. Whoa, Nelly.

Beautiful thought beautiful intention. Not at all, how it works in reality. So I want to actually back this bus up for a second, and you know that I always make you do a little bit of the deep work before you’re making some of those strategic decisions. And I want to ask you a very personal question about your desire to start a podcast, and I’m going to put it plainly and say, why. Why do you want to start a podcast? And let me answer that for you, because I’ve heard a lot of answers lately. And the majority of people answer something like this. It’s I want to have great conversations. I want to have tough. Uh, tough talks, tough offer new perspectives and interesting. Um, perspectives on new things.

And I want to share my ideas and tell it like it is, and I want to do interviews with the movers and the shakers in the industry across all different niches. Right, right. Have you heard that before? Like I want to have cool conversations with cool people that do cool shit.

Okay. So like, just like how I ha I say, like, that is also not your about page. That is also not your mission statement for your business. Doing amazing, extraordinary things for amazing people. That is also not why. You want a podcast? You do not want a podcast to have cool, tough. Interesting perspective, shifting conversations. That is not why you want to have a podcast. Your podcast mission, your why needs to be rooted in your audience? So this is, and this is the work that so many content creators, period, podcasters, not withstanding content creators.

Forget about this is that you need to actually think about what you want your listener to experience on the other side. And. If you are casting too wide of a net, because you think that casting a wide net in terms of the appeal of what your podcast is going to do is going to get you a bigger audience. You are a hundred percent wrong. Casting a wide net about. You know what your show is going to be about. It’s about everything for everyone. It’s for all business owners, it’s for all parents it’s for all moms over the age of 19 it’s for. All people with corporate jobs, it’s for anybody who wants to make a major shift in their life it’s for anyone seeking inspiration. Oh my God.

If that is the mission of your show, your show is not going to do anything for your business. So just like your business needs to be relatively specific. Your show needs to be specific. It needs to be specific for multiple reasons because it needs to serve your business. That is. Uh, hell, I’m going to die on, I don’t want you to start a podcast if it’s not actually going to do something positive for your business. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to bring in revenue. On its own, but it needs to strategically sit somewhere in your content flow so that it’s activating a part of your business. Maybe it’s activating community, maybe it’s activating membership, maybe it’s activating high ticket sales, maybe it’s activating event tickets. Maybe it’s activating.

We know, direct messages or feedback or listener response or partnerships, but it needs to activate something for your business in order for it to actually make sense, a very small minority of podcasters, do it as a hobby, just for fun. And if that is you. Fabulous. But 99% of podcasts start because they need to have a strategic tie to some sort of business or organizational objective. So you need to get clear on what that thing is. And that is why your show cannot be broad because you have a specific objective. If you have a specific objective, your show needs to have a very specific vision. So. Your why needs to be, why do I want to have this show?

And it can’t be to have cool conversations. I’m sorry to burst your bubble. If that is what your answer was going to be, but take this as a mini mentoring coaching session from somebody who has been in the media and podcasting business for over 20 years. That will not fly it doesn’t fly. When you go to pitch shows to networks, it doesn’t fly. When you go to host talk shows on national media networks, it does not fly. When you launch a podcast permission to leap. Is specifically the show is designed to activate creative entrepreneurs and business owners who want to understand how content strategy can help them grow. That is a very specific target market.

Now do moms, parents, other business owners, charitable organizations, not-for-profits social media managers, all kinds of other people, listen to the show and get value from it a hundred freaking percent. But my target is creative entrepreneurs. That’s who I like to speak to. On this show. I have a couple other shows that I do through story studio networks that have completely different audiences. And the objective of those shows is completely different. But this show in particular is about creative entrepreneurs who want to actually understand. Content strategy as it pertains to the growth of their business. Okay. So. Firstly, that’s what you need to understand.

But the next thing I want you to see is once you kind of clear that block is the potential, the potential now. Uh, let’s do a trip down memory lane before I give you the statistics, because when I started podcasting, It was 2006. Holy. Holy crap. That is. Well, what is it’s 22, 20 22 now. That was 16 years ago. When I started podcasting and back then what I did, I was working for my university newspaper, and I proposed to the Dean that we try this brand new fancy concept called a podcast, and we would read the daily news and we’d actually put it into a weekly compendium. And we put it up on the website and we had an RSS feed and we had to build it from scratch.

And it was this big project. And I want a podcasting award, even though that didn’t exist way back 16 years ago. So I have been podcasting and understanding the value of audio on demand for the past 16 years. I also used to host a show called in the story house with my former business partner. All about influencer marketing. We grew that show in 20 16, 20 17 to over 30,000 downloads at a time when it was impossible to know whether that was a really big show or not. That was a very big show. And a lot of what I learned in launching and running and executive producing that show is stuff that still stands today. And podcasting, like not much has changed.

The only thing that really has changed is that the tech has gotten a hell of a lot easier to manage. So if you were out there launching a podcast like we did in 2016, it was. Uh, pain in the butt to get stuff up online and to make sure that everything loaded properly and the feeds were proper and getting picked up by apple. It was just this like stupid, annoying technical process. Um, even just the editing software back then was a little more archaic than it is now. So, I mean, the bonus is that in 2022, the barrier to entry even technically is very, very low. And then fast forward to when I launched permission to leap. Uh, I was three weeks postpartum. Um, and I decided to just turn on my mic and more or less share. In an audio format. What I had written in my ebook of the same name, permission to leap, which by the way, you can grab that ebook. In the show notes. Of course, Erin

It is what really spawned this show was that ebook a hundred pages of all of my insights and learnings about running a digital business, um, through sort of 2017, right through until 2019. But the reason I was able to do that is because of my years and years and years of being a talk show host and a radio broadcaster is that I could look at something. And read it and the know how to talk about it. On a microphone. Not everybody has that ability and that’s okay. Right? Like not everybody has had the 37 million hours on a live microphone like I have, and don’t expect that that’s what you need to start a podcast. You absolutely do not need to be a professional broadcaster.

At all in order to do this, but I just wanted to give you some history of where I’m coming from as a podcaster. Funny thing too, for a very, very hot minute DIY passion, which was my blog. Um, my husband and I tried a podcast for DIY passion. I think we got to episode eight and then he was like, I don’t want to do this with you anymore. And so we, we don’t have the DIY passion podcast anymore. I always wanted it to be this like really controversial. He said, she said kind of thing. And, but again, that was way back even before in the story house, when I’m creating podcasts was not the simplest technically. So it was just taking a lot of time. Um, so I, you know, in, in actual reality I have had four of my own shows. Um, and now as I work with story studio network, where I am an executive producer and I’m a co-founder. I work with major market journalists and broadcasters. Uh, audio engineers and so on and so forth. And we produce podcasts for big brands and organizations and entrepreneurs.

Uh, who want to sound major market? So I’ve hosted quite a few shows over there as well. Um, But the funny thing about podcasts is that this is what I know. This is what I know to be true, and I have known it to be true. And now the data is proving it to be true. The data beyond me. Is that every time I invest my time and energy in this podcast, my business grows exponentially. Every single time. And for the longest time, I didn’t actually know how I couldn’t quantify it. I just knew it in my body. And I’m extremely intuitive. So I just knew it would happen. And I knew that when I stopped podcasting, there was like this kind of like hole in my soul that like it kept calling me back and kept calling me back, which is why I started permission to leap up again last fall. And guess what happened?

I did a hundred thousand dollar launch without doing much else, and it wasn’t even necessarily tied to the podcast, but I do think that there’s something. To be said about the energy of getting on the mic and being unencumbered by things like time by things like being seen. You don’t have to put on makeup, you can do it in your sweat pants. I’m in my sweat pants right now in a cozy sweater. Um, I think there is something to be said too for not having to be perfect because nobody speaks perfectly. We all fumble over our words, even the pros like me fumble all the time, but there’s something beautiful about. Being able to take breath and time on a podcast to explain these concepts. Uh, sort of complex concepts. That may pertain to your business that you can’t do on Instagram. You can’t trust that someone’s going to read a blog. You can’t necessarily do it in a newsletter.

There’s just something so incredibly intimate and beautiful about this medium. That can truly energize you. So if you are feeling called to podcasting, A you’re in the right place. And B take permission to lean in if not leap. Okay. With that, I’m going to give you some more fuel to add to your fire in terms of why right now is an incredible time to start your podcast. Okay, here are some stats and these are all pulled from the top industry experts. The one that I like to read the most is, um, it’s a research firm out of the United States called Edison research.

And they have produced, um, a report for the last, I think four years in a row called the infinite dial. So they were one of the first companies to come out and start to quantify the impact podcasts were having on things like advertising and media buys and how podcast listenership was shifting and changing with user behavior, things like smart speakers and, uh, people listening in their cars and things like that. The measurements, I will say the measurements are still not as good as say you would get with a pixelated. Form of social media, like a Facebook or an Instagram, or even a Pinterest for that matter. Um, but the data is getting better and better and better.

I would say by the quarter, if, you know, by the year and by the quarter, we’re starting to see more sophisticated measurements of what’s happening in the podcast landscape. So that we’re really able to see how it’s helping business owners to grow and why it is worth investing in. And it’s worth investing in the right kind of podcast strategy. There’s a lot of different ways to run a podcast strategy. Maybe I’ll do a whole separate show on sort of the different strategies you can use for your podcast. But. The point is, is that the data is starting to accumulate.

Proving that podcasts as a part of your overall content strategy is one of the most powerful things you can do. So here is some data. I’m just going to give you some top line data. If you want to read the report, I can link to it, or you can send me a direct message on Instagram at it. Stop Erin Trafford. And I can send you the link to download the whole report. It’s massive. It’s like 70 pages long.

But. 77 0% of north Americans over the age of 18 are now listening to podcasts every single month. And the latest data from the end of 2021 is telling us that most of the listeners who are new to podcasts listening are women. And I don’t know about you, but most of the people who I work with in my programs, in my mentorship, Their target audience is women. So what we know now, our women are the fastest adopters of listening to podcasts than any other demographic. And it tends to be women over the age of 35, by the way, if you really want to like parse the data right down, you can see that all in the report.

But here’s the other really interesting thing for you in terms of a strategic advantage and understanding why and how a podcast can work for you. And I love this statistic. Because on average, what we see is that 39% of every single podcast listener, all listeners are listening to the entire episode. The whole show bang. They listen from opening to closing. And what does that mean for you as a business owner? That means. That they are hearing. All of your messages. If you’re an advertiser, it means they’re hearing your mid-roll advertising. It means they’re hearing it. And you cannot say the same thing for things like reading a blog post.

There are, there are some ways to measure like time spent on site and certain things like that. When it comes to reading blog posts, you can never be a hundred percent sure I can tell based on some of the comments that I get on Instagram, that people don’t read the whole caption. So this is power. You know, that almost half of your listeners are going to listen to the entire episode. And it’s a very high percentage that listened to about three quarters. So if you’re putting some really hard hitting information at the top half of your show, you can almost guarantee that your listener is hearing that information, which is humongous from a business and brand lift con like point of view. Okay. So beyond that, let’s just layer something else on here.

And I want to talk, this is a very strategic kind of perspective that I want to share with you. Is that up until now? You have seen this. I know you have these gurus who are saying, well, your sales funnel, especially if you sell a digital product, like a course, you know, typically what you’d see as like a PDF download, and then you get them onto your email list and then you put them through a welcome sequence and then you make an offer some sort of live class, or you get them to watch a prerecorded masterclass or something to that effect.

And that’s how you are making invitations to people. And maybe you’re even adding fuel to that fire by sending people to those masterclasses. Classes or those free downloads using Facebook ads. Right. And you’re looking to recoup your investment by getting them to buy a low or mid ticket offer. What we know about those sales tactics is a, they are getting long in the tooth and they are not as effective as they used to be. In fact, what we think now, and I’ve kind of looked at a bunch of different data sources to come up with this, but the average.

Really consensus is that if you are getting a 1% conversion on that type of content funnel, Basically a masterclass funnel, which is fairly typical, whether it’s alive or a prerecorded, if you’re getting a 1% conversion on that right now, you’re killing it. And I don’t know about you, but I’m like 1%. That’s pretty shit. If you ask me. Um, and I have, I. I’m laughing because I’m running one right now. I have a masterclass that you can take. And at the end of that masterclass, I absolutely make an invitation with a special offer to join my foundational program called stories for a year. Right. And if you want to join that program, you can head to my website and join it.

It’s $470 Canadian, or you can do a four pay and it’s fucking phenomenal. And it sends you curated custom content strategies. To your email every single week and a whole bunch of bonus trainings. And we run that funnel with a masterclass, but I got to tell you that the conversion on the masterclass is not great. It’s not great. I don’t know what it is off the top of my head, but I wish it was better. It’s not great. Okay. So I’ve run that the other kind of really popular.

Thing that we have seen in the last couple of years is like run a challenge. So maybe you’re like a fitness instructor or, um, a mindset specialist or whatever it is. And you’re doing a five day challenge. Maybe you do the challenge in a Facebook group, or maybe you do it in an email sequence, or maybe you do it over Instagram.

I don’t know what it is. But we know that those challenges. Also have terrible, terrible conversion rates per modern audiences. Why. Because people don’t want to stick around for five days. They want it on their time, on their own schedule. They want it when they want it. And you know, they want it right now. They don’t want to wait. They don’t want to invest that much time just to have you sell them into something. Right. And I will tell you to that. Uh, what, what month was it? September of 2021, we experimented with a challenge. I had a sneaking suspicion. It was going to tank, but we ran with i


We did a video challenge that ran through email and the contents. Amazing. And in fact, I took it out of the free challenge and just put it into stories for a year as a bonus module, because it was so fricking good. It’s like an hour’s worth of incredible content and worksheets and all kinds of stuff. Um, but it did nothing. Nobody, nobody finished it. We ran it till we got to a critical number where we were able to actually measure and we determined that people were dropping off in day three. Day three. We couldn’t get the past day three. We tweak the copy. We changed all the things.

Nobody wants to do five days of anything. So masterclasses and challenges used to be on Vogue. What I’m trying to tell you is they are falling out of Vogue. But here is what is coming in Vogue and there’s a reason for it. Podcasts. Y. Why why, why, why, why are podcasts coming in to fill that sales gap is because they’re available on demand. You can take them with you anywhere. You can listen to them in the grocery store, in the car, you can listen to them while you do dishes. You can pretend like you’re paying attention to your kids and have the podcast in your ear. Okay. Something crazy like 59% of podcast listeners. Um, listen while they’re cleaning the house. I like to listen while I’m putting together Ikea furniture. Okay. So there is a reason people are starting to, instead of using these masterclasses and these challenges, they’re using strategic pod cast content to warm their audience to a sale and an invitation. Now, are there a bunch of different strategies that you can employ and do you need certain production elements in order to activate that?

Yes, you do. But let me tell you here, I’m going to give you some more insider information. Is that Erin Trafford story and strategy combined with story studio network. We have been testing this. We’ve been testing this for the last six months. And here is what I can tell you is that after. Four episodes of a strategically produced podcast for one of our clients, they activated a six figure sale. They shortened their sales cycle by three months using a podcast strategy.

In CRI Abla as Emily and Paris would say. The other thing we did. And I did this for my own business is I do. If you search for it, have a second podcast feed, it’s called find your content flow. It is only seven episodes and I produced it with the express purpose, the express purpose of giving interested parties, a deeper insight into what it’s like to work with me and my mentorship. The only objective of those seven episodes. Is to warm people to deciding whether they want to work with me for six months in my high level mentorship program. And guess what. 90% of the people who have bought into my mentorship program. All listened to. That podcast feed and they binge listened over the course of two days. And then they had a call with me and they were already bought in.

So here is what I am telling you. There is power in the podcast. People. There is so much power in the podcast. And I am challenging you in this episode in particular, to break your thinking about what a podcast needs to be. That is what I’m doing this season of permission to leap. Oh, you don’t even know what we’ve got coming. We are going to be breaking the mold even more. You don’t have to do it weekly. You can do it. Ebb and flow. There are ways to build a podcast into your content flow that will feel remember thickening EFIN.

And that will activate sales. So it really is like this perfect storm. So, if you’re going to take anything away from this show today, it is these two things. Number one, I want you to really get clear on why you’re going to start your show. You don’t want to start your show to have conversations. You really don’t. You need to get more specific. You need to be more audience first when it comes to all of that.

The other thing that I want you to think about. The other thing I want you to think about is do you want to work with me? Do you want to work with me? Um, to figure out what your show should be. And to help you produce it. Because, let me tell you, I’m not ready to drop this specific offer on you yet, but there is some. Mighty fine podcasts, specific stuff. Coming. That will be a combination of Erin Trafford story and strategy and story studio network.

And it will be available for you no matter what stage of business you’re at. So if you’re a solopreneur and entrepreneur, We’ll have something for you. If you are ready to go all in on a major market sounding show with a professional host and all of the bells and whistles, we got that for you too. But I want you to ask yourself. Because if you do. You know where to find me. You know where to find me. You can find me on Instagram at it’s dot Erin Trafford. You can email us team at

You can do all those things and just ask the question.

Your audience is smart. They want to hear from you?

There are better ways in 2022 to create connection. This could be one of them for you.

So let’s answer the question we started with. So you want to start a podcast? Yeah, you do. And you want it to sound great. And you want it to feel great.

You want it? To be great.

You want it to be great because that’s what you are. You are great. You are incredible. You have just invested the last 20 minutes of your life and listening to just the potential that exists. For you. And podcasting.

And Hey, listen. Thank you for listening. To permission to leave. And if you like this show, I’m going to say it again. Consider subscribing on your feed on your favorite podcast platform. Leave me a review five stars would be amazing. It goes a really long way to helping other people find the show. You can also share the show by taking a screenshot. Putting it out there on social media and don’t forget to tag me. At it’s dot Erin Trafford. And of course, once again, if you’d like to know more, make sure you’re checking out the show notes.

That’s where you’ll find all the latest free downloads and resources from Erin Trafford story and strategy plus links to the applications to work with me. Either in the strategy mentorship or as a private consulting or podcasting client. Show notes are also where we’re going to put all the information to upcoming masterclasses events and programs you might want to participate in. We have a bunch of those coming up, so stay tuned. And finally, if you have specific feedback for the show, if you want to be a guest on the show, Do that thing and reach out to us via email. Team. At Erin We will get back to you. As soon as possible.

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