Hello BoomerCasters We are going to talk about some commonly asked questions. These come up as sticking points that hinder BoomerCasters getting started on this fun and rewarding journey. The answers as you will discover are really simple. Please please please don’t let these molehills become mountains. (By the way, have you seen the free video version of this free BoomerCasting course?) These are the questions in dot point: How long should my Boomercast be? Should my BoomerCast be weekly or daily or fortnightly or what? How many episodes should I have before I launch? Once I start will I be locked into something I can’t stop? How do I get guests to want to come on if I haven’t even started BoomerCasting yet? I mean nobody knows of me right? and Am I good enough to BoomerCast? All of these have easy answers. And to be clear I asked each of these questions to myself when I started. Each and every one is a valid question that needs answering. How long should my BoomerCast be? I listen to podcasts that are 10 mins long and they are bang bang bang dropping little knowledge bombs on me and I love that. Then I listen to others that sometimes go for 90 minutes but they are really deep and thoughtful and meaningful discussions and I love those too. I love the 10 minute ones when I’m doing daily tasks like watering the garden and ironing my shirts. I love the longer ones when I’m on long drives in the car or on long cycle rides. Some I listen to are 15 minutes long one week and then 60 minutes long the next week. My own that I produce are generally 30-50 minutes long. All the podcasts that I like share one thing in common: they don’t have any filler and fluff. Once I start hearing presenters rambling on and starting to like hearing the sound of their own voices and not thinking about me, the listener, then I switch off, quite literally. I think I’m a fairly average listener and my experience is a common one. The answer to how long your BoomerCast should be is: just long enough to say what needs to be said. As a guide to get started, aim for 20 minutes. That’s neither too short or too long. You’ll quickly find where your average length sits. Once you get more established and comfortable you can lengthen or shorten your episodes, or as we mentioned, you can have long and short as your content dictates. Remember this is not commercial television where you have strict time slots you must comply with. BoomerCasting is the wild west of digital communication. It’s a place of very few rules at the moment. You truly are pioneering. Enjoy that freedom. Play around with it. Mix it up a little. There are no consequences. Nothing is written in stone. If you find that you are going long a lot, you may was to break your topics down into part 1 and part 2 and have them run as 2 parters, over 2 weeks. There is complete flexibility here. How often do you schedule your podcast? There are daily shows, some podcasts have multiple episodes in one day. By and large the bulk run weekly. Some come out erratically with months passing in between episodes. I wouldn’t recommend this. My suggestion is that you run weekly. This lets people become used to expecting to receive your new episode on a day of the week, on a regular basis. We have been trained into this with television. A new episode each week. Why buck the system unless you have a good reason to do so. Remember that by using your media host you can schedule episodes to be published on an advance schedule of your choosing. This means you could record 10 episodes at once, upload them all and set it to release the episodes one a week for the next 10 weeks and walk away from it. I’ve done this before when I’ve gone on holiday. Having a weekly program that you become responsible for can create a feeling of being locked into a schedule and all of a su dden you feel pressured and it doesn’t become fun anymore. This has happened to me. I have an answer for you and I wish I had known this from day one. When you launch your very first episode you will say these words, ‘Welcome to episode one of series one of the Wacky Dacky insert your name BoomerCast.’ So right from the get go, start talking about running in series, just like there are series of Seinfeld and series of MASH. You get to decide how many are in a series of your BoomerCasts and what’s more, you don’t have to tell anyone how many there are. In fact you don’t have to even know how many there are. In your planning you might have a mozza of content and energy and you might be pumping these out and lets say on episode 15 you are getting little behind, well, you can simply say in your episode ‘I hope you’ve enjoyed the first 14 episodes. This episode 15 is the end of series one. awww. I’ll be taking a short break for a while I’ll be looking forward to speaking with you in the return with Series 2.’ Using this technique of always talking about series you are never committed to new episodes should you run out of content or energy or life just gets in the way … unless you specifically outline an advance schedule. Even if you do, even if you miss a few weeks, you know what, the world will keep turning. If your content is good and relevant to your audience they’ll come back for more. What’s the smallest number you can run in a series? Again there are no rules, but my gut feeling is probably 6 at a time. No reason why you couldn’t do that. As long as you let your audience know in episode 6 what is happening, they’ll stick by you. How many episodes should I have before I launch? I haven’t seen any hard data on this but the feeling out there is 3. Have 3 episodes ready to go so when you publish your first episode on your media host you actually publish 3 at the same time, so you upload and publish the first one, then the next, then the third. Why so? Because if people like your first one they’ll want to get another straight away. We are becoming a society of binge consumers. You know how it’s common to watch a series on Netflix in one big long weekend binge. If you say that’s not me, I don’t do that, this is a good time to remember an earlier point from this free BoomerCasting course: you are not your ideal listener. You do not make programs for yourself, you make them for other people. Then you might well think, if that’s the case, why not launch with 10 episodes? Good point, but here’s what happens. That creates another phenomenon that’s documented in online listening called overwhelm. Having 10 episodes make people always feel like like they are behind and they have to play catch up if you are releasing new episodes. People always feel like they might be missing out on the most up-to-date stuff in your latest episodes. So 3 is a good number. 3 is not hard to do. 3 also lets you get a feel for creating your episodes. 3 lets you feel comfortable in front of your microphone. My recommendation is to have 3 in the can, when you are ready to say hello world, here I am. How do I get guests to want to come on if I haven’t even started BoomerCasting yet? So you may well be thinking I want to do an interview based show and get these more experienced people to come on and I can just ask them questions. Great plan. It’s a great way to create content. But how do I get people on when this is just an idea in my head. There’s nothing they can go and listen to and see who I am. They’ll think I’m just a crank. I , myself, have thought and angst-ed over everything I just said. So there’s no secret to this. You just ask. There’s a way to ask and way not to ask. I’ll share with you what I have discovered. But first write this down and pin it to your wall. It’s amazing what you don’t get when you don’t ask. If you don’t ask, you can guarantee you’ll get zero responses. My experience has been that I get about a 50% response rate when I just hit people cold. This 50% become my seed people and you just build on this, one by one. My response rate used to be about 10% until I worked out what I was doing wrong. I would send an email that was huge. It was full of all this information about why my podcast or website or whatever was going to big and full of stats and figures backing up my claims. Somewhere in all of that, was me saying they would benefit from being a guest on my podcast. I was explaining myself and ultimately wasting a lot of their time. No wonder I got few responses. This is what I do now. I send an email that says in the subject line: Interview request I then say, Hi, I’ve got an audience who are really interested in what you say and I’ve got a pad full of questions they want to ask you. Interested? Got 30 mins sometime within the next 2-4 weeks? Let me know if we can take this a step further? Julian This simple email gets me a one in two response from people who have no idea who I am. It doesn’t waste their time, it plays to their ego and it doesn’t require a great deal of thought on their part. All I’ve asked of them is: can we take this a step further. All they have to is respond and say ok, give me more info. Now you have started a conversation with them, now you can give the details. All you have to say now is that you’re starting a Boomercast and if they could give you 20-30 minutes of their time this would help a growing number of people improve themselves. It’ll be easy and fun. I conclude by saying that acorns grow into mighty oaks. Straight up, I’m just at the acorn stage but I see things through to completion. I’d love it if you could give me a break and I’ll pass on your generosity to someone else in the future. I just speak in a tone of human to human. If they say no, nothing lost. I just email back with thank you. You know why I think this works? Because I truly believe that most people are nice people and if you ask in a nice way, they don’t mind helping you out. Just remember It’s amazing what you don’t get when you don’t ask. It’s surprising how this builds so quickly. Once you get your first, and you will, you use their name to add credibility, then you have 2 and on it goes. All of this brings up feelings inside of us. Who am I to do this? I have no credibility, no qualifications. Been there and felt that. Now I could give you a good pep talk here and rub some inspirational cream into the wound. But here is the reality and I really think this is more potent and valuable for you. If you succumb to this story that you are not good enough to do this - and again I get it, that is very real and understandable emotion- then here is an even more real fact. While you are dithering, someone else with no more, no less qualifications or credibility than you will come along and do it. Whether it is Youtube videos or podcasts or BoomerCasts or writing blogs, this is the online Wild West, a wonderful time in history, an opportunity that is being taken by very average people just like me. For all the reasons already outlined in this free BoomerCasting course if you don’t take this opportunity someone else will just come and grab it from under your very nose. Not ‘might’ grab it but will grab it. If you want to do this, if you feel a sense of excitement inside to do this, then you are the right person to do this. A quick review on what we’ve just learned. A BoomerCast can be 5 mins or 90 minutes, just say what needs to be said and nothing more. A BoomerCast be weekly or daily or fortnightly or whatever-ly. Aim to make it regular but don’t stress if it’s not. Aim to launch with 3 episodes. Take the pressure of yourself by talking about your BoomerCasts in series 1, series 2 etc Write short, not long, introductory emails to potential guests You are the prefect person to BoomerCast? In the next free BoomerCaster lesson you will learn a simple way to grow an audience of interested listeners. Remember: If I can do it, you can do it.