Podcasting Mistakes: Setting Expectations

There are 2 things I really dislike when I find a great podcast:

  1. The podcaster promises to podcast regularly (e.g. every week) and then doesn’t and
  2. All of a sudden the podcast stops

I can’t tell you how many times I have found an excellent podcast, downloaded it in iTunes and then discovered that it stopped back in 2007 after a few episodes.

There are many reasons why you might choose to stop broadcasting a podcast:

  • running out of material
  • selling your business
  • apparent lack of interest
  • change of circumstances

Similarly, you may not be able to podcast every week, despite the best intentions, because of an inability to find guests to interview or the time to record.

As mentioned in a previous post, podcasts can come in many forms. You can create a short series of podcasts that you intend to last only a few episodes (last year I wrote a series of podcasts for a company based on a book they wrote – it lasted for 6 episodes). And it doesn’t matter how often you podcast – it can be weekly, bi-monthly or whenever you have something new to say.

It’s your podcast, and you can decide how, when and how much.

The important thing is to set expectations


Tell your listeners what they can expect from you and how often they can expect it. If it is a short series, let them know. If you can only produce one podcast a month, let them know.

This is where planning comes in handy. Before you even begin broadcasting, know what you want to achieve in your podcast, how you plan to deliver it, and how much you have to “say” on your topic. Then you will have a good idea of what you will be able to achieve and can easily and subtly communicate that to your listeners to avoid future disappointment.

Don’t over-stretch yourself with your podcast and from the very beginnning make sure your listeners know what to expect from you. If circumstances change then tell your listeners rather than leaving them hanging.

For example, when I started the SWBN podcast I fully intended to broadcast weekly but knew that finding regular guests could be problematical (people pull out at the last minute,  schedules change, time zones cause commitment clashes) and would be time consuming, so I tried not to over-promise. A couple of times I mentioned “next week’s podcast” only to find I couldn’t meet that time commitment so now people expect the podcast to appear every few weeks (at least, I hope they do).

Set expectations and everyone will be satisfied.

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