1. Why I Started a Podcast
Listen to this episode at https://LauraLollar.com/Episode001
I’ve been writing an electronic newsletter since 2001 and then discovered blogging in 2006. I love to write and will continue to post on this website, write articles and books, etc. But podcasting is a great way to connect with colleagues and new friends. You can make a more sincere and personal connection with the spoken word. I can share more stories, resources and my oh-so-brilliant ideas on a podcast in ways that are far better than publishing in print.
Other Benefits of a Podcast
You can listen in your car, on your phone, at the gym and while you’re outside hiking, walking, gardening, jogging, etc.
Selfishly, I become a better speaker. While I’ve been speaking professionally since 1997, it’s a whole different experience when you’re speaking into a microphone then editing sound waves. You become much more conscious of the “ums” and “ahs” and filler words. You train your ear to listen for phrases that have an impact vs rambling on.
People get to know you better. While you might have a sense of my personality and positions from my articles, there’s nothing like hearing someone speak to have a better understanding who they are and their sincerity. Also, I get to show off my sexy voice…haha!
How Podcasts Differ from Blogging
There is far, far less competition. There are over 400 million blogs with more being published every day. You’re lucky if you get a 20% “open rate” with a blog. We have shorter attention spans and too much text can be intimidating, causing people to think to themselves, “I’ll read this later.” However, there are only 630,000+ podcasts and people are more likely to listen for longer, sometimes upwards of 45 minutes to an hour if the topic is good and presenter is engaging.
Podcasts are popular. Over 40% of Americans aged 12+ have listened to a podcast with that number growing by leaps and bounds. We are hungry for useful information and entertainment. We become attached to certain personalities because they share our same world view. Or because they make us laugh.
Podcasts are mobile. 64% will listen in on mobile devices. It doesn’t require us to keep our eyes glued on a screen, so we can go about our activities while still listening. That’s one of the reasons why audio books are so popular. We’re an active culture. We don’t have time to sit in a chair for long periods of time (other than perhaps at work). We commute, we walk, we work out. (Well, some of us do!)
You own the real estate. One of the frustrations and dangers with building your business, cause or community on a social media platform (like Facebook) is they can change the rules on a whim. People have had their pages and groups shut down, videos blocked and monetizing systems eliminated. But when you create a podcast, you pay a hosting service (I’m using blubrry) to hold your audio files. You have far more control over your content than you would if you handed it over to a social media platform.
2. Why I Left Facebook
It didn’t take me long to set up a Facebook account when they first burst on the scene. I launched a Facebook Group for my High School and my family. In my opinion, it was a great way to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, clients as well as distant family members. I gave a book on social media to my sister who, at that time, was working for a PR firm. Those were the days well before public relations and marketing agencies began offering social media management as a service to their clients. I got into it early and then started to teach classes, “Clinics at the Cabin” and conference sessions to business owners and marketing folks. I enjoyed the heck out of it and justified the time I spent on it as “market research” since I was offering training sessions, of course!
Privacy, Security and Censorship. But increasingly, I’ve become uncomfortable with news reports of security compromises. Personal communications on Facebook’s Messenger were reported to have been shared with their marketing partners. Next to advertising, censorship has become one of Facebook’s primary self-determined roles. Recently a Facebook employee leaked over 1400 pages of the Speech Policing Rulebook to the Times because he feared, “the company was exercising too much power, with too little oversight, and making too many mistakes.”
Cat Lovers and Dog Lovers. I also learned (yet again) the lesson that you can’t make everyone happy. You might start your Facebook account with a small group of close friends and family. These are people you know fairly well. You know their preferences and positions on most things. But over time, we add to our “friends” list and include people who may have widely differing opinions on issues. Let’s say you have posted primarily as a “Cat Lover” on Facebook for years, but then include a few “Dog Lovers” in your groups. Before long, you may find the Cat Lovers don’t appreciate your posts on Dogs and may unfriend or unfollow your posts. Soon you end up with a narrowing funnel of people who interact with you. You unwittingly create an echo chamber. If you’re like me, a person with a wide range of interests, it’s difficult to get the same value as you did in the beginning.
Focus and Doing What’s Essential. One of my favorite quotes from Coco Chanel is (and I paraphrase), “When a woman gets dressed in the morning, she should remove one accessory because, it’s in the act of deciding what to remove that you place value on what you leave behind.” I needed to do just that. In order to stretch and grow in a new direction (podcasting), I had to decide what to remove that wasn’t providing as much value as I’d hoped. I also appreciated a quote from a great book I often recommend, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. When referring to those he calls Essentialists, he said, “Instead of asking, what do I have to give up? They ask, what do I want to go big on?”
I plan to “go big” on writing and podcasting. While I certainly intend to continue consulting, coaching and speaking, I must eliminate activities that are not significantly contributing to my purpose. And Facebook was one of them.
I hope you enjoy my Laura Lollar Podcast episodes! It’s an exciting new adventure for sure and I hope we all benefit!