The Battle Against Irrelevancy In Podcasting
Expertise comes with an expiration date. In time, every record falls. And behind every first comes a wave of seconds that will push even farther. Podcasting isn’t immune to that. Nor are podcasters.
I’m afraid of becoming irrelevant to the world of podcasting.
Not outdated. And not even unimportant. Simply irrelevant.
I wonder if other long-time podcasters at it for 16+ years or maybe just a decade or so are feeling the same way? I have a sneaking suspicion many are, but I honestly don’t know. It’s not like we’re all on some sort of a public line doing wellness checks of one another.
My assumption is that the longer one is in the podcasting game, the more changes to the game have been witnessed, and that feeling of irrelevance or obsolescence starts to build.
I bet most aren’t talking about it. Not out loud in a public forum that I’ve seen, at least. Then again, I haven’t talked about my own feelings of growing irrelevancy until now, and they’ve been building for some time. So maybe my own self-evaluation and coming to terms with it might help when those feelings hit you. Or if they’ve hit you already.
How One Podcaster Fights Back Against Irrelevancy
Upping my game certainly helps. You know I’m always keen to improve my podcasting game, either with software, hardware, other skills. I’ve brought a slew of people-better-than-me into my life in recent years. But the smartest move I’ve made thus far is working closely with Sam Walker of ex-BBC fame. She’s opened me up to a whole new world of podcasting, and I’m forever grateful to her. (She also has a short-form podcast about her new life in the desert you should listen to.)
Likewise, I like to keep my eyes out for innovative and disruptive forces that impact podcasting, changing the industry in both subtle and revolutionary ways. That’s also a big part of my personality, a hold-over from my startup accelerator days. Hence my current focus on tools like Descript and Clubhouse. But they won’t be the last tools and tech I geek out on.
I also recognize that my podcasting generation doesn’t have all the answers. Or maybe better said: the answers we came up with are often no longer relevant. That’s why I’m happy I’ve established and try to keep strong ties with the generation(s) of working podcasters that came after my wave. I’m grateful for the joint-mentorship program Steph from Edit Audio and I have. And a huge shoutout to Brian from Sounds Profitable for letting me use my red pen on his articles, which keep me up to speed on what’s new and happening in the podcast adtech space.
Sitting on advisory boards of some podcasting-related companies certainly helps. I’m fortunate to act as an “unofficial advisor” to some of the cool people behind some of the cool tech in the podcasting space. But a big shout out to both Captivate.fm and Maps.fm for formally asking me to sit on their advisory boards. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly, so thank you.
But even with all of that… I’m still afraid of becoming irrelevant. Maybe that’s natural, much like the ever-present imposter syndrome. Perhaps they are two sides of the same coin.
I’ve never been one to talk much about my feelings, but here we. Maybe this helps you work through how you’ve been feeling about your relationship to the podcasting world. So let’s talk about it. Talk among your friends, perhaps using this episode of Podcast Pontifications to spark the conversation.
But also join me on Clubhouse to talk this out on Friday, Jan 29th at 11:00a Phoenix time. That’s 10:00a Los Angeles and 1:00p NYC. It’ll be an actual conversation about how we keep ourselves fresh and current so we keep those feelings of irrelevancy at bay. I hope you can make it. Let me know if you need an invite, OK?
And if you care to support the efforts that I’m doing here on Podcast Pontifications, please go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and toss a couple of shekels my way.
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.
Originally published at https://podcastpontifications.com, where it started life as an episode of my four-times-a-week short-form podcast called, oddly enough, Podcast Pontifications. It’s a podcast for working podcasters that’s focused on trends in our growing industry and ideas on ways to make podcasting not just easier, but better. Yes, you should listen. Here’s an easy way: 👇
Evo Terra (hey, that’s me!) has been podcasting since 2004, is the author of Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, and is the CEO and founder of Simpler.Media, a strategic podcast consultancy working with businesses, brands, and professional service providers all around the world.