It’s the end of the year and maybe you’re feeling like your podcast plan has all gone to crap, like you haven’t even come close to achieving all your podcast plan goals.
Like, “where the heck did all my time and energy go, and what do I have to show for it?”
You have a lot. Trust me.
And, to prove it, we’re going to take a moment to actually take inventory of everything you have accomplished in 2022.
You’re going to be super surprised and walk away with some CLARITY about what you did in 2022 and what you want to do next year in 2023.
Before we get started, commit yourself to set aside time to complete the inventory below.
Go ahead and do a quick read, but then, book some time with yourself to gather all the information necessary to gather all the information. The physical process of doing the work is sometimes more important than the information that you gather.
2022 Inventory — First Step to Formulate your 2023 Podcast Plan
1. Get a podcast plan notebook
Yep, old school. Or, set up a doc on your computer. Either way, we are going to write things down. It’s accountability to yourself. It’s a reference for yourself.
Here, we are going to be gathering all the data so you can see the reality of your work and impact.
2. Choose a breakdown for your podcast plan data
Monthly, quarterly, 1st half of the year and 2nd half, or even one long, running page
Don’t get stuck in the “how.” Simply choose the easiest road.
3. Consider both the podcast & what I call the “podcast adjacent”
This means everything that in some way stemmed from, fed into, or out of your podcast.
And, this is NOT about volume or more = better …. No, no, no. Answer these questions:
- How many podcast episodes did you publish this year?
- How many blog posts (articles) anywhere did you write and/or publish (show notes count)?
- Calculate the VIRTUAL meet-ups, conferences, real-life interactions with podcast-related people (that doesn’t mean PODCASTING people, but YOUR people.)
- Tally up income from wherever — Patreons, donations, clients, sponsors, Buy Me A Coffee, etc.
- Or those of you that run communities, look at stats/data provided to get an idea of time/resources/mindshare spent there.
- Take inventory of any courses you’ve taken, sessions or series you’ve attended, trainings you’ve done, etc.
4. Remember, content creation is more than you think
Content creation isn’t just the episodes you publish. It’s so much more. Think about everything you do post-publishing and how that feeds into your content.
Scan your social feeds and have them “remind you” of events, achievements, times when you have provided thought leadership to others.
Revisit your online community. Survey group conversations that worked, emails that rocked your world, social media exchanges that were awesome, etc.
I’m a big believer in themes. What themes have continued to show up? What conversations have you been pouring yourself into?
Take a big, wide look at the year and see what really stands out.
Make a note of these cornerstones.
Then get SPECIFIC. See if you can really zero in on how these events/experiences/conversations pertain to podcasting or are podcasting influenced.
Most of all, how have these events influenced you both in life and work?
5. Focus on excitement — what kept you pumped?
Think about this past year’s personal obsessions, discoveries, learnings, even the occasional rabbit hole:
- This year’s favorite books (audiobooks totally count)
- Magazine discoveries
- A new brand of clothing
- Compelling new podcasts
- Inspiring movies, plays
- Binged TV shows
- Food, drink, take-out, anything edible that you’re totally into
6. Where has your interest been? Do you see any patterns that might hone your podcast plan?
“The moment of conception happens when two unlike objects connect.” — The Secret of The Highly Creative Thinker
Here we’re looking for the dopamine that hits when you’ve interacted with media or had a pleasurable experience of any kind. Think about where you were, who you were with, what you were thinking, and how you were feeling.
Evaluating your personal excitement shows you the consistent themes that you naturally gravitate toward.
Look at what is true and/or consistent about that which you consume.
- What are the things that connect them all?
- What are the things that are different about them?
- What excited you about them?
The truth about your experience, what you chose to obsess over can help clarify what I call your conversation.
Your conversation is the ongoing iteration and distillation of who we are and what we stand for — in the world and in our work.
Regarding podcasting, your conversation is the thing that will keep you podcasting.
“By training your ability to see connections, you improve your capacity to think creatively” — The Secret of The Highly Creative Thinker
Again, it’s all about data gathering.
Where did you feel the most growth? What triggered it? What did you learn? Consider:
- Seasonal transitions
- Moving (schools, homes, states, countries)
- Education (trainings, courses)
- Self (identity)
Think about how much you opened to new experiences and information, the new people you met, their relevance in your life. Really focus on how you may be different now from the same time last year as a result of your engagement in the podcasting world.
Here is where you look at all the data that you’ve gathered and give it a score of sorts. Determine which was valuable and something to build on, whether it needs some restructuring, or whether it was just a fail you can learn from and move on.
- Can you replicate it?
- How much time and resources did it take?
- Can you deconstruct why it worked?
- What was the X factor — the circumstance, quality, or person that had a strong but unpredictable influence.
What didn’t work?
- What was the key reason?
- How can you plan for success next time?
- Is there something that you can do to prepare if this happens again?
- Does it matter?
- Do you want to do it again?
9. Investments — time & money
This part is less strategic and more about the facts. Where are you putting your time and money and is it serving you well?
What services are you paying for related to your podcast? Editing, apps, hosting, subscriptions, etc.?
Do you need all of them? Let go of the ones you no longer need — streamline.
What services or support are you still looking for? Are they in the budget? Get creative. If they are not in the budget, add them to a wish list and concentrate on what you can do now.
10. Finally, inventory — what did you learn that will inform your podcast plan?
My guess is that you learned that you did a lot more than you are giving yourself credit for.
Take a moment to give yourself a high five and enjoy everything you have achieved this year — no matter how “small.”
Recognize your energetic and creative investments. Make sure that you give yourself credit for the time, effort, and resources that you put into your podcasting work.
Looking at what you DID do, should bring you some clarity moving forward in 2023.
Next week, we’re going to take that Clarity and begin making a plan to do even better in 2023.
Now, add “annual inventory” to your list of accomplishments, and go ahead, celebrate!