Female Leader Uses Podcast To Inspire And Drive Diverse Community Leaders

Sydney Axtell
March 14, 2018 - "[Podcasting] makes me happy, motivates me, and reminds me that there are truly amazing people all around us if we just take the time to say hello. I love sharing that."
Since 2017

►Tell us about you and your podcast

Hey, I’m Sydney. I’m a home-grown Idahoan. Yup, the state with all the potatoes.

I have a degree in economics with a minor in graphic design. I love playing with lean-startup methods in my free time while I finish up my MBA. I’m currently a consultant for a local Boise, downtown coworking space and I have a couple freelancing side-hustles.

Burnt Out is an interview based podcast featuring successful, intersectional women and their stories facing burnout.


►Why & how did you start this podcast? 

September 26, 2017 I was sitting in a room with 600+ amazing females at a Women in Leadership conference. It was the sort of conference that hits you right in the gut with sadness, anger, passion, drive, and a sense of community. I thought to myself when a keynote speaker asked "What is your true passion?" that THIS was my passion. The amount of touching stories, inspirational messages, and diverse people coming together to become more than the sum of the parts.

I knew that the drive I felt from this conference wouldn't last forever, which is where I started creating the metaphor of motivation being like a match - at some point, it burns out.

So, I thought, why not attempt to create the same vibe of this conference every single week? To keep lighting the match and driving diverse people towards success and leadership in our communities. Hence, the Burnt Out podcast's creation and it launched later in 2017 on Dec 4. The first guest on my podcast just so happened to be my favorite keynote speaker from that same Women in Leadership Conference.


►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?

One episode is released every Monday morning so that people can start off their week inspired and ready to take on the world. The episodes take around 30-35 minutes to record, 40 minutes edit, and 20 minutes to get the show notes, email list, and social media posts all set up... so around an hour and a half per episode.

I do all my interviews Saturday, Sunday, and part of Monday; the only three free times I have between grad school and work.

I pay $20/mo for hosting, I have a sweet mic that's around $100, and I use Garage Band to edit. Every once-in-awhile I'll use Adobe Audition to reduce background noise.


►What do you gain from podcasting?        

I'm not financially compensated to run the podcast at this point. It's truly a passion project that has potential to create revenue if I need it to keep going.

It makes me happy, motivates me, and reminds me that there are truly amazing people all around us if we just take the time to say hello. I love sharing that.


►How does your podcasting process look like? 

LINKEDIN is the shi*t. It's got the organic reach of SnapChat in 2016. I find most of my guests by just connecting with a personal note on LinkedIn. The rest of my guests come from referrals of previous guests. I ask each of my guests to recommend someone they think has a story of burnout that should be shared.

Since my podcast is interview based, I prepare by researching my guest, offering them potential questions to facilitate our conversation, and making sure they know that they have control of the conversation; they know their story best.

All of my interview are done through Zoom. It's free, it's never failed me technically, it allows me to connect visually with my guests for better conversational flow, and it is just so simple to use.


►How do you market your show?

You can find Burnt Out on just about any platform. My main listener acquisition is from Facebook, Instagram (sometimes running paid marketing campaigns) and LinkedIn where I post organic content.

My listenership platform stats are:
72% Apple Podcast
20% Website
8% Other (Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, etc.)


►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?

Find a podcast mentor. Someone who runs a podcast that's willing to share tips and tricks with you. My mentor is Whitney Hansen, host of the award winning Money Nerds podcast - TheMoneyNerds.com

Over editing can make you sound fake, so be authentic, but don't allow major flaws to make it into a published podcast.

If you have guests, make sure you're ready to interact with their words and concepts.

It's important that you explore their views, ideas, and emotions. Have an authentic (but somewhat facilitated ) conversation rather than a flat Q&A.


►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?

Updated: a year ago