Podcast Strategy: Start Podcasting with the end in mind

Today we are talking all about long-term goals when you start podcasting. What they can do for our podcasts, how they can help and how they can be a useful tool when planning out our future. What does the future of your podcast look like? Let’s get into that in today’s show.

Starting projects like a podcast on a whim could work out. It could be awesome.

But chances are the inspiration, the sacrifice of your time, the sacrifice, and the creativity that you’ll have to put in it will eventually fizzle it out. You’ll burn out. You’ll skip one week of production, which will turn into two weeks of production. And then soon it’ll be this once a month show.

And then before long, it’s like, “Oh yeah, that podcasting I used to do.”

Then it becomes this thing where your “baby”, a new podcast is almost like a piece of shame in your life because it is not something that you are working on anymore. It’s not something that’s active in your business anymore, and it’s not something that is working for your business anymore. It’s not the engine that’s driving people to your website per se.

So let’s dive into how we can use long-term goal setting for our podcasts as a benefit to not only us and our business, not only to us and our finances but also to the people that we serve. It’s setting a plan that we can show up every single week as our best selves on purpose. But, it’s for this reason and it’s for this goal.

I don’t know if you guys have ever seen that image before. And it is awesome. It is a tiny dot in the bottom left-hand corner. And you are here. That is where you are then in the top, right corner is the goal, the dream, the goal of where you want to be and in between where you are, and your goal is a perfect straight arrow line, leading straight from you to your goal.

And that’s like what you dream about and how you imagine your goal will be. There’s this image right beside, and it’s you bottom left-hand corner as a dot, your goal top right-hand corner. And in between the two is just this squiggly massive mess of lines. And they labeled this side of the image “Your reality”. 

It is so true. We can goal set. And that’s what we’re talking about in today’s episode is just like, long-term thinking long-term goal setting long-term vision for your business, and using podcasts for it. 

But that is how it will look, it’ll be messy.

It’ll be just this unimaginable journey that you will have to take to get from where you are to your goal. Absolutely. But in that image, you were always landing your goal, right. Even though there’s a squiggly mess of massive noodle spaghetti sauce between you and your goal, the arrow is always still hitting the goal. 

So even if it doesn’t work out the way you plan it, in that image, you are still making it. You are still hitting what you are envisioning and what you are projecting for your business. That is the perfect image to describe how I feel about goal setting.

I have run into some people who would say to me,

“Sharon, I’m not really going to plan that far out in the future. And it’s not because I’m not a planner. It’s because there will be many things that will change between here and there. Right? And I’m not going to plan that far ahead because it’s just a waste of my time. I could be anywhere in 10 years from now. So why would I waste my time, planning out a plan.”

There are a couple of things I need to say to address that before we move on and get into the practical, how-tos for planning and setting up those long-term goals

1 – When You Make a Plan You Are Being the CEO of Your Business

When you set out and you envision a 10-year plan, a long-term goal for your podcast, you are being the visionary. In your business, you are being the CEO. You are showing up as your best self and you are being “on purpose” with the things that you do.

If something comes at you that week: a really cool webinar that’s pitching a course, or some friend that said, “Hey, you should collab with me on this thing.” And there are all these distractions and things, and they can lead you down different paths than what you would choose to go.

Right? So if we have a vision of where we want to go, we can say: “You know what. No, not this week. I am not going to be joining up on that webinar and watching it or buying that course because that is not going to serve me my needs and my people right now where I am. It’s not leading me to my big goal.”

2 – When You Make a Plan You Are Dreaming Big

When you have that ten-year plan, when you have that long-term goal for your podcast, you are dreaming big. You are! You are taking a risk, even if it’s on paper or even as a mental thought, you are taking a risk and you are being daring and you will be putting yourself out there by dreaming that big.

You’re not going to stay in your safety zone and just keep moving down the road between you and your goal as that perfect straight line and just carefully go down, staying where you are comfortable. No, you’re going to pivot and tweak and change as your needs grow and change. And as your audience’s needs, grow and change as well.

Those are the two things I wanted to address to that argument because I’ve heard it. Had people say it to my face and I’m just always floored by it.

Because if you are the boss in your business, if you are the boss of your podcast, I want you to show up as your best self, with the best dream, your vision of where you want to go with this whole thing. 

It is not an accident. You are not an accident in your podcast is not an accident. So then why not be a little bit more intentional? Think about some more long-term goals and bring them all together.

It’d be awesome. Wouldn’t it? 

How to start thinking about long-term goals.

I’m going to ask you some things and we’re going to work through some examples just to get you thinking about your own long-term goals. Let’s jump into this.

Problem #1- When You Don’t Know Where To Start

This could be a huge problem. When you have this inkling of, “Okay, I want to do a podcast. I think that’ll really suit me and how I create, and I think that will really serve my audience.” That’s what you’re thinking. That’s what you’re saying, “But I don’t know where to start and setting some long-term goals for this whole thing. So it doesn’t fizzle out in six months” right?

Hit episode number 20. Boom. She’s gone. Where’d she go? I don’t know. She disappeared. 

No, that’s not going to be you let’s jump into this. 

So when you don’t know where to start, where are we going to start? I like to start … actually 

At The End.

And I don’t mean the end of your podcast. I don’t mean the end of your career.

I mean, the end of your life. Yes, I said it. It’s a little bit morbid, but we’re going to go there for a second. We’re going to go right to the very end when all is said and done.

And just imagine with me right now that there are your loved ones around you. You are lying on your comfy bed at home and you are going on. You’re on hour number nine here. You’re about to be taken to heaven.

  • Did you do all that you wanted to do in your business?
  • How about your message that you were saying in your podcast, did you do all that you wanted there?
  • Did you serve your people?
  • Were people’s lives changed because of the words that you said? 

So these are some of the questions I want you to start asking yourself and just thinking, and whenever you get there, I’m hoping you say yes.

And if you said yes, what is it that you did do? 

You podcasted for 10 years with this certain message that you have, that’s very niched down and you created a movement with this group of people. Is it that you got your message out into the world and changed lives with not only your podcast but with the books that you wrote that went along with your podcast?

And you actually ended up writing 80 books and they were self-help books and they changed people’s lives and they loved it. It brought them joy. It brought you joy because you got to work on this beautiful thing that you love to do for the last 10 years, 20 years of your life. And you also were able to financially support your family because of this amazing journey that you went on.

So, what does it look like? In a way you are doing a bit of dream storming, brainstorming, whatever you want to call it. Let’s just call it brainstorming. You are brainstorming your future. You are brainstorming the end, the end of it all. So when you think about the end of it all, it’s almost like you are thinking about “what do you want to have accomplished on your bucket list of business?” 

You could extend it to everything in life as well. What kind of legacy do you want to be known for? What is it that you want to be known for?

And this, I would challenge you to write this down this piece right here, your business legacy, because it can be this huge, scary thing that you’re really not going to admit to anybody else.

I would encourage you to write it down so that you at least have the guts to admit it to yourself. And I am, I’m preaching to the choir here because this is something that I am always so scared to do in my own life. 

All right. So we have that bucket list. That legacy wish, that big dream that is a little bit scary.

It’s actually going to be crazy scary.

How would you end your business? 

What is the whole point of your business? Maybe you’re not actually ending it and retiring, but you’re passing it on to somebody else underneath you that you’ve groomed. Or maybe you’ve grown to this huge agency so that you could get somebody to come in and buy your business. Is that how you’re going to end it? 

A lot of us have no trouble, especially us entrepreneurs who can just have like a million ideas. And as we’re creating and crafting our message, we think of five more ideas. And then the next day, five more. There are always ideas going on. 

The ideas are so easy to start but how would you end them? How would you end the podcast? What would it be like? To shut it all down. Like I said, retiring, selling out, succession? How are you going to close up shop? That could be another pointer for setting your long-term goals.

So this is our big overall. Big thinking and included in that how you want to end your business. 

Think of the projects that you want to accomplish.  

Sometimes getting to the big picture can be hard to start thinking of, but once you start writing down some of the projects you want to have completed, it’d be easier to think of the big picture.

If that makes sense.

You can brainstorm a list of projects that you would like to complete. 

  • I would like to launch a podcast.
  • I’d like to create podcast episodes for two years.
  • I would like to write a book to go with my podcast.
  • I’d like to publish blog posts to go with my podcast episodes.
  • I would like to create a membership site to support my people that goes with my podcast and serves my people in my podcast.

So you can brainstorm your projects and ideas.

How to Break Down a Long Term Goal

So now that we have a lot of brainstorming thinking of the end- how are you going to end the business at the end of your life? What is the legacy of your business going to look like?

Well, let’s bring it a bit back a bit where we are right now because sometimes that can seem so far out there. Just so far away, it’s like a vague picture, a dream far off in the distance. It can see so far that you don’t really have a clear vision of what it is. 

So we’re going to bring it back to where we are today and break it down from there. 

In Six Months, what is it that you want to have accomplished?

Is it that you want to have created 24 podcast episodes and blog posts to go with it and be a presence on the primary social media channel that you’re on. Awesome! That’s great! Write it down.

In One Year, what do you want to have accomplished?

Is it that you want to have launched a mini-course training as well as a challenge, as well as 52 podcast episodes and blog posts to go with it and a daily presence on your primary social media channel. Awesome! Write it down

What could you accomplish in Two Years?

If this is your side hustle, then something like “I will have accomplished 104 episodes as well as blog posts, as well as showing up daily on my primary social media channel and promoted freebies and growing my email list.” That could be all that you can handle. 

The thing is, as we keep going further and further out, you can go out five years, you can go out 10 years (I love ten-year projection planning) a lot of it to be honest is more dreaming projection planning. More so than following the numbers because a lot of times there are those pivots that can be made. And to be honest, more than the 10 year planning for your business will be dream planning.

You could put finances in there too, but I really like just to start with the dream of it all and let the vision be the first and foremost guide. And then follow up with your numbers, your analytics, your finances, all of that as well, which leads us into after you’re dream brainstorming and all of that, then we’re going to move on to 

Identifying The Thing That Makes You Money In Your Business Right Now.

Are you enjoying it where it is? Do you enjoy the work that you need to do to get the money you need? Are you enjoying the amount of money that you are making? Is it enough to live off of? Have you done the calculations of what you need to survive, and what you need to have financial freedom? (If that is the goal) 

Basically in this section, you’re thinking, where is the money at?

And do things need to be changed and pivoted to make sure that I hit those financial goals or the lifestyle goals that I want and that I need to have my finances to support them. Sometimes this part can be a bit easier because it is almost more concrete because you have your numbers, you have a solid plan in place to get there.

How Can Podcasting Support Both

support the big dream vision goal, and support the financial goals that you would have. So as we can start our podcasts so easily, how is it we are going to keep them going to serve our people? And how is it that we are going to keep them going so that they can also grow our business?

So to bring this all together, how are we going to do long-term goal setting for your podcast? How are we going to do it?

Are you going to be committing… 

  • For the next two years, you will work and dedicate some time each week to work on your podcast.
  • Publishing weekly shows on your podcast so that you can grow your ad revenue, your affiliate revenue, your sponsorship, revenue, your downloads, and your website views. 
  • So that you can also grow your email list so that you can pitch affiliates on your own products that you create so that you can write books and create courses and create other digital products that will serve your audience, create masterclasses of the thing that you know.

So the questions you’re going to be answering are – How can you serve? How can you make money? And how can you still be here in 10 years?

A lot of the time it can just be even boiled down to time management.

How you are not going to burn out. How you are going to book in your time with what you can handle so that you can keep going for the long haul. You’re in it for the long haul, you’re going for long-term creation, long-term revenue, long-term sponsorships, and downloads the whole bit.

So it could be as simple as saying. “No, I’m not going to be doing a weekly show. It is too much. I will do a bi-monthly show and I will create one freebie to go with that month of shows. And I will promote my freebie and grow slowly my email list and promote affiliate and sponsorship and courses of my own creation through that.” That could be the extent of your long term goal.

Say maybe I don’t know where I’m going to be in 10 years from now exactly. But I know how I’m going to get there and make it last will be through careful time management. So I do not burn out.

Because in all honesty, there is A LOT that you could do, right? There’s a lot you can do with your podcast a lot you can do for promotion.

You could chop it all up, put it on all the socials. You could promote it everywhere all throughout the week, but what do you have time for? How much can you commit to it? How can you serve for the long haul? What can you do to still be here in 10 years? And how can you make money at it? These are the questions that you can ask yourself to get started on creating that long-term goal for your podcast.

And your goal could be as simple as one sentence: 

In 10 years from now, I will have created 250 episodes, 250 blog posts, showed up most days of the week on my primary social channel, created one freebie a year, grown my email list, served my audience with amazing valuable teaching, and done sponsorships and affiliates through my podcasting each week.

Something like that. So it could be just something succinct. In one sentence what you want to accomplish. 

And then the visionary part is (fill in the blank) 

I want to help (your people) to (what it is you do) so that they can accomplish or promise or transform into (what).

That could be your long-term visionary goal. So that way there is this tactical side of how you’re going to slowly build at it. And then there is this goal of accomplishment of what you’re going to do to get there with that vision in mind.

Long-term goal setting can be really hard to just think through, especially in the excitement and the beginning of podcasts, but it is one of the foundational pieces that we can do to serve our business and to serve ourselves and our people.

Because if we don’t know where we’re heading, if we don’t know which direction we’re going to go next and we can be very easily influenced or pulled in different directions, that doesn’t serve our people either. 

Sure. You can pivot. You can transform and you can change slowly over time, not the way that you thought. That’s fine. But it’s this vision to hold too fast to being anchors that you can just, you can keep reaching for it. 

I know for myself, my vision, my goal, where I will be in 10 years is a full-time writer.

And with that, I can see podcasting as supporting all of that. And I don’t know exactly how many books or how, or when I’m going to get started yet. That’s not really in the works right now, but it’s still a vision and a dream of mine to get to writing and launching books. And I am slowly working on it in the background. Those books are going to change people’s lives on the non-fiction side or entertain them and just help them forget about everything else, except for an amazing story on the fiction side.

It is not clear. It is not all mapped out, but it is there. It’s this burning desire long-term goal inside my heart. This is where my podcasting will take me. 

That is what I wanted to share with you today. That is what I want to share with all my heart.

And I feel like it is such a foundational piece that even though it can be hard to go through, and even though it can be hard to grasp, I wanted us to start there, start with the end in mind. 

When you have children and you’re training them, you start habits like they’re going to last forever.

You don’t start something so that you can switch it out in one year and retrain the child. No, you’re going to start with the end in mind. How are they going to be a successful adult, having a joy-filled life on their own independently yet codependently contributing to society?

So how we train our children and what we teach them. And the habits and the routines that we try to build into their lives are all to channel into that direction that we dream and wish for them. 

So that’s what I want you to do and take for your podcasts.

It can be hard to think through. It’s not going to be easy. But take a pen, take a paper, (listen to some instrumental music is what I would suggest just to get your brain space going and clear your mind of all the to-do lists, all the things you have going on. Taking 10 minutes, you and some music that has no words on it.)

And you can just think about:

  • Where do you want this actually to go?
  • What’s the whole point of this podcast?
  • What is the whole reason that I’m spending all this time doing this?
  • What is that burning deep desire in your heart?
  • Why is it that you want to do this? (Which we will get into the whys later in episode number three, I believe) 

To Sum Up

So set your long-term goals.

Start by brainstorming some beautiful ideas, identify what is going to be making you money now and what could make you more money or sustain your finances in the future and how can podcasting support both those big dreams that you’ve got and the revenue-making piece of it too.

You want to serve your people and you still want to be here in 10 years. Dream big podcasters. You can do this and your podcast could totally be the engine to drive to that vision, dream, and goals!

Thanks for reading today. I hope you found it helpful. You may also like the backlist of episodes, as well as my FREE PODCAST PROCESS CHECKLIST, all the things you need to do to bring your podcast episode from idea to published. It has all the steps laid out for you of how to bring each of your podcast episodes from ideas to life.

So print it off. Check off each step as you go through and create your weekly show. That way you’re going to know at a glance what’s left to do and where you left off.

So until next week, Just Keep Podcasting.