Summer Solstice has just taken place in the UK and that means we are enjoying very long daylight hours - with sunrise before 4am and it still being light when I go to bed at 10.30pm.
And when you’re stuck indoors gazing outside at glorious sunshine (we can hope right?) or worse when you’re stuck indoors in the sticky heat sweating and being a bit gross then finding the motivation to do anything other than loll around sipping an ice cold drink (whatever that may be) and maybe reading a book or taking a dip in a pool can be hard.
So how do you make sure you keep your podcast mojo (mojo, not mojito) during the summer months?
1) Remind yourself why you are doing your podcast.
Go back to your why, your mission statement and review it. If it doesn’t feel right or make much sense to you then you are going to lose the motivation to do it. It becomes too easy to put it off, tidy your sock drawer, spend hours in Canva making infographics, or just scrolling through Facebook and LinkedIn “researching”.
Now is a great time to adjust this if needed.
2) Don’t try to do too much.
If publishing once a week over summer is making you miserable, stop. Either have a break, put out some repeats (this is what we call repurposing… you can get away with this by putting a new beginning and end on the episode making it clear it’s a repeat and also adding new thoughts and context on to it.)
You can change your publishing schedule too. Go from weekly to fortnightly - just make sure you take your audience with you. Let them know every step of the way.
As much as I love to think I can do everything, I can’t. And neither can you. By reducing workload you are going to boost your productivity and everything will feel less overwhelming. And by doing less, better it gives you a chance to get out and enjoy the sunshine without a scrap of guilt, which in turn gives you a boost.
3) Listen to new podcasts
When I say new podcasts I mean new to you. They don’t have to be brand new podcasts. By listening to new podcasts you will hear what other people are doing and that always gives me a boost. I’m either inspired to try something they are doing - a technique, a style of questioning or simply the way they structure their podcast episodes; or I hear something that I don’t particularly like or enjoy and I think to myself “how would I do that differently?” and try to work that into my podcast or my clients podcasts.
Not very often I listen to a podcast and think “oh my goodness that’s awful, my podcast is better than that and I really need to show the world what I can do with it.” But that thought has crossed my mind at least once. I’m hoping it’s not crossing your mind right now!
I love listening to new podcasts to help find my motivation, being inspired by what others are doing in the podcast world is really exciting.
But I also know that it can be a bit disheartening for some. You might be thrown by the amount of reviews another podcast has or how popular it is compared to your podcast.
But that’s why I always suggest you listen to podcasts outside of your category and if possible as far away from what you do. Podcasts I listen to include podcasts about podcast editing (geek), ones about politics, true crime (because I am a stereotype) and some comedy podcasts too. As well as some fiction podcasts.
I pick up loads of ideas from all of these. And never forget whilst there’s no such thing as a new idea - you can not just rip off somebody else’s work. It’s bad form on every level.
4) Change up your space
They do say a change is as good as a rest, so if you’re getting utterly bored with your podcast, think about whether you can take your kit and record somewhere else.
So instead of recording your guest online can you safely record them at their office or home? If it’s just you doing a solo podcast can you go somewhere else to record? If you’re doing a podcast about holidays for example - can you get to a tourist destination and record it there on location. When I went to Pods Up North in 2019 I recorded my podcast there because I was talking about what was going on at the event. There are considerations you need to think about when you take your podcast on the road such as safety (yours and anybody else’s in the area), whether you’re allowed to record where you want to record and how you are going to record.
But it’s great fun, even if you’re just popping into your garden to record.
5) Prep and plan!
Make life easy for yourself. I’m one of life’s weirdos who will happily spend days planning and prepping. Because a) it beats real work and b) actually it makes the real work easier.
When you’ve got a system in place that takes away the stress of doing your podcast (or indeed any task) it becomes easier to do, even in the summer heat. The more you have planned and ready to do the less effort it takes to get going.
A blank page feels like a lot more hard work than a page with a title and initial ideas chucked down on it.
Take some time this week to plan all your podcast episodes until at least September. You’ll feel so much lighter once you’ve done it I promise.
Don’t forget if you want help planning your podcast episodes my Podcast Planning Toolkit is available for you. You can find it on my website www.charlotte-foster.co.uk
6) Treat yourself
You deserve a treat. That sentence can happily end there, you do deserve a treat, but in these days of online shopping and next day delivery it’s easy to treat ourselves every day. So next time you see a new dress, bag, plant, pair of trainers, running kit or whatever it may be that you simply must have - instead of buying it straight away only give yourself permission to hand over your hard earned cash once you have done whatever you need to do on your podcast. Alternatively if you’ve been drooling over something for ages and not made the final click on the purchase (or in a very retro way gone in to town and bought it) then why not have that as a reward for finishing a set amount of podcast tasks. And it doesn’t have to be a physical thing, it could be a day in a spa, lunch out or just a trip to the park to eat an ice cream in the sun.
I am a fan of treating myself for doing stuff. There’s probably a psychological reason behind it but I know that’s a good way to motivate myself - my reward is normally a new book!
7) Read your reviews
I’ve talked before about keeping hold of your positive reviews and messages from listeners. Not only do they come in useful when you get a snarky comment, but actually when you are feeling a bit meh and unmotivated it’s really useful to have other people tell you what your podcast means to them.
Sometimes motivation won’t come from you and you do have to find an external source. This is my favourite external source of motivation. So grab those testimonials, grab those messages and grab those reviews. You’ll soon be chomping at the bit to get going on your podcast.
I hope these tips help fire up your podcast mojo if it dips over summer. And if you’ve found your mojo I think you should celebrate with a mojito - mines a raspberry mojito!