How to overcome Imposter Syndrome in podcasting
I’m not sure I’d even heard the phrase ‘imposter syndrome’ ten years ago. That perpetual nagging self-doubt was something people just kind of kept to themselves. To admit it was to admit weakness.
How times have changed. Now even people at the top of their game can confess to insecurity without judgement.
Like many people, it’s long been something I’ve fallen foul of, in many areas of life. But when I cast my mind back to my first steps into the podcasting world, it was quite overwhelming.
I’ve always thought podcasting should be more simple than it is. Essentially it’s talking, recording it, and other people listening. But of course, you have the variables that complicate everything: equipment, recording platforms, editing software, hosting platforms, RSS feeds, platforms and apps, downloads and statistics. Then of course you need cover art designing, and a marketing plan.
Plus then you have people like me nagging away about having a strategy and processes.
Then there’s someone saying it’s all about storytelling, someone else saying it should be long-form, another person on about repurposing and hang on, how do you ask guests to come on?
You get my drift – there’s a lot of moving parts, and this is before you even press record.
It’s no wonder that imposter syndrome is such a big barrier to someone launching their own podcast.
On the August episode of Pod Almighty, Ellie and I were joined by Vic Turnbull, to discuss the ten biggest said barriers. Incidentally, Ellie, Vic and me all do slight variations on the same thing – we help people to start a podcast. This is stuff we really know about. Have a listen here, and the video’s at the bottom of this page.
Imposter syndrome stands out to me as rather than it being a defined barrier, it’s a physiological one. So not being sure which microphone to get is a defined barrier – someone tells you the right one for you and you buy it. Problem solved. But with overcoming imposter syndrome, there’s no easy-peasy answer.
So if you think you’ve got a bit of podcasting IS going on, here’s my take on how to get over it.
It’s ok, you can say it…
They say that admitting anything is the first step to recovery, and it’s true here. Quite simply, the first stage of beating podcasting imposter syndrome is to realise it. You don’t have to open the window and shout it to the world, don’t worry. But admit it to yourself – ‘I feel a bit silly because I don’t really understand all this stuff that everyone else seems to’
Break It Down
Once you start making peace with it, you might well be able to start separating the pure emotion from the individual hurdles. So rather than a general feeling of panic, you can to see a handful of key areas or questions you just don’t have any clarity on them. Once you can break it down, you can start to solve them
Remember, everyone else goes through it
Podcasting is kind of weird. For most people, it’s completely and utterly new. It’s not really like anything else they’ve done before. So it makes complete sense for them to feel a bit of IS, and trust me, they do. The vast vast majority, if not all, have had it to some degree. Think of a podcaster you admire and aspire to emulate, and tell yourself they’ve been where you are. Realising this will help put it in perspective and help you see the value in the next steps
Whatever area of podcasting you think of, I can promise you there will be articles, blogs, videos and of course podcast episodes about it. Information is out there. In the great scheme of things, podcasting is still a baby, and someone new enters it every single day. There’s loads of information out there, so start reading, watching and listening. You might find some candradict each other, and a lot of people will ultimately be trying to sell something to you (have I mentioned Sound Media’s podcast launch packages or one-to-one coaching programme? 😉 but as you consume content, it’ll take some of the mystique out of it and some things will start to fall into place
It’s good to talk
Guess what? Podcasters like to talk! I know, shocker, hey?! That means there are podcaster meet-ups and networking groups all over the place. Recently on Pod Almighty we’ve had Charles and Vic on, who together run Mic’s Podcasting Club based in Manchester, UK, but with visitors from absolutely all over the place. Experienced podcasters help newbies, questions get answered, problems get solved. I go every month, and if I can help one or two people get over a hurdle and maybe even beat imposter syndrome, then it’s a lovely feeling. There are hundreds of others like me. Trust me, there will be someone out there who will be happy to help, and not because they want money from you.
There are no hard-and-fast rules
Things do work in a certain way in podcasting. But once you have cracked the knowledge you need, remember that there are no rules. It isn’t like radio where there has to be three ad breaks an hour and a news bulletin on the hour. You make your own rules. Yes, there is definitely best practice, and often podcasters tend to follow similar formats because they are tried and tested, but it’s up to you how you do podcasting. It’s so important you have the confidence to be you, because that’s why people will listen to you.
Be kind to yourself
All way through this process, go easy on yourself. Remind yourself that you’re learning something completely new and it doesn’t happen overnight. Visualise your first episode being released a few weeks or months down the line. That’s your motivation.
Get help if you need it
If you want to create a true kick-ass podcast for your business, then straight-up I’m I probably going to advise you to get someone on board, like a consultant or a coach. You need to fit the ground running. If you’re doing a podcast for yourself, you can be a little more free and easy. Regardless, remember that help is out there. I offer a free 30 minute chat with anyone about podcasting, whatever level they’re at and without any sales tricks. Other people like me do the same too. Help is out there and so go grab it.