Breaking Podcasting Myths: Why Growth Beats Get-Rich-Quick Schemes With Christina Barsi Of Be Bold Begin

Ever feel burnt out chasing the podcasting “gold rush”? This episode is a breath of fresh air as Tracy Hazzard reunites with Christina Barsi, the host of Be Bold Begin and founder of Avant Haüs Media. Christina is a self-made podcaster who ditched the acting world to create her own space. Dive deep into her journey, from sci-fi scripts to building a supportive community for women in podcasting. They tackle the myths of overnight success, the importance of a strong foundation, and why collaboration is key. Plus, get the inside scoop on Christina’s brand new podcast empowering female leaders! This episode is a must-listen for anyone who wants to build a podcast with purpose and passion.

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Listen to the podcast here

 

Breaking Podcasting Myths: Why Growth Beats Get-Rich-Quick Schemes With Christina Barsi Of Be Bold Begin

I have Christina Barsi here. Christina and I met in 2021. We were finally at the Outliers event. We were at our first live event after the pandemic in Austin, Texas and she was on a panel. She blew my mind. She was so good at interviewing the panel that she was interviewing and then she was so great at answering questions when she was in the hot seat as the panelist.

I appreciated her and we connected. We had a little bit of chat and some drinks. We had a lot of fun together. I’ve been dying to get her onto my show and get back to a conversation with her. It got lost in the shuffle somewhere. Finally, I found it. She found it and we got connected here. I’m so glad to have her and it’s a great time because her Be Bold Begin Podcast is getting to its own stage. She has Avant Haüs Media that she’s working on. There are lots of things that we could talk about.

Christina Barsi began podcasting and producing in 2013. She’s an OG like I am. She’s the host of the podcast Be Bold Begin and the founder of Avant Haüs Media, a podcast production and development agency for women. Barsi’s approach is holistic and alignment-focused. It is designed to serve the goals of the whole individual or the brand identity.

In addition, she’s a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, workshop creator and speaker, and creator of podcasts like the podcast membership, The Women’s Podcast Industry Network. Those are both new so we’re going to talk about them. Also, The Intuitive Creators™ Method. I love intuitive creators. It’s my favorite thing to talk about.

Her creative background includes acting, writing, directing, producing filmmaking, audio, podcast production, editing, podcasting, audio hosting, and voiceover. Also, she holds a BA in Theater Arts from UC, San Diego. She’s an all-around amazing podcast queen. She does it all and she’s self-taught. That’s what I love about the way that she’s gone into it. She’s gone into it with this deep dive into, “I’m going to figure this out. I’m going to understand this deeply and then I’m going to support and help others with that.” Let’s talk to Christina Barsi, The Be Bold Begin Podcast host.

About Be Bold Begin Podcast Host Christina Barsi

The Binge Factor | Christina Barsi | Podcasting MythsBarsi began podcasting & producing in 2013, she is the host of the podcast Be Bold Begin and the Founder of Avant Haüs Media, a podcast production & development agency for women. Barsi’s approach at AHM is holistic and alignment focused, designed to serve the goals of the whole individual or brand entity.

In addition Barsi is a Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, workshop creator and speaker and the creator of The Podcast Like A Goddess™ Membership, The Women’s Podcast Industry Network™ & the Intuitive Creators™ Method.

Barsi’s creative background includes: acting, writing, directing, producing, filmmaking, audio post production/editing, podcasting, audio hosting, and voice over and she holds a BA in Theatre Arts from UC San Diego.

Follow Christina Barsi on Social: LinkedIn | Instagram

Christina, I am so glad we are finally making this happen. It has been three years that I’ve been dying to have another chat with you, if not more. You made a big announcement. We’re going to talk about that now but Christina, Be Bold Begin is the podcast name. Avant Haüs Media is your production company and all-around service business and The Women’s Podcast Industry Network. You are in and around this industry but what drew you to podcasting?

Podcasting Pull

Thank you. I also have been dying to get back in the room with you because it’s been a long time. Thank you for having me. It’s a very personal story because I started podcasting in 2013 and I was an actor. I was not super enjoying that experience. It still is an issue but back then, especially, the content being created for women was so two-dimensional. I wasn’t feeling respected by any of my agents. There are so many silly stories about what I would get sent out for that I did not identify as. It was an identity crisis on many levels from the internal and the external.

As a creative person, I groomed my entire adult life only to be an actor as a creative person so I didn’t understand what to do if that went away. Who was I without that? I had no idea. It was earth-shattering at first and heartbreaking because I loved acting and loved the theater, particularly theater. I started writing and I was writing roles for myself that I would love to play. I was allowing myself permission for the first time to think outside of the box that everyone was putting me in.

I was having a lot of fun doing that. I went down this geeky obsession with astrophysics and ended up writing a science fiction podcast is what happened. I didn’t know what podcasting was. I was just writing something fun. I ended up with an opportunity to record it and put it up immediately and I loved that quick transaction.

That’s my favorite part. I agree with you. It’s so fast.

 

The Binge Factor | Christina Barsi | Podcasting Myths

 

Yes, versus film and television, auditioning, and all of those things.

In theater, it takes forever.

That’s true but at least when you’re on stage you have that quick communicative experience with the audience and I love that too. I was looking for something like that again and being able to put up a project overnight essentially, which is what you’re speaking to. It was strange and magical. I was like, “Let’s do this. You’re going to let me do this. This is great.”

How did you find though that there’s no feedback? That took me a while to be comfortable with. You don’t get that immediate feedback on your performance, your content, or your message.

I had a little bit of help because the space that we were recording in had an audience in it. We did it all live.

You bridged both sides of it for yourself.

Yes. That was what the package came with. I wasn’t looking for anything. I was looking for someone to play with. It’s like, “Let me play and let’s do this.” We did that for two years and the first year was live. It means there was no editing. They did live video, live sound design, and live music. It’s not like a band but with electronic music-type things. It was a little art collective group of people in the community and we would do it after hours in this record shop when they would close down.

The owner is the one who was doing this live-streaming. It was live live-streaming podcast at the time. I did have an audience and they did an interview with me immediately after every episode. I also got as a bonus sort of thing, where we could talk about what I had written and what we performed. The whole process was so much fun that I was in. I was like, “Everyone needs to know about this.”

“How do I do more of this?” That was early. In 2013, there wasn’t a lot out there. It was the advent and the shift over to more garage podcasters, for lack of a better way to say it. More garage podcasters were coming to the forefront. Not many of them were live streaming because live streaming was not as popular. You were on the cutting edge of podcasting at the time.

It was a super perfect lucky thing. It came out of a bartending conversation. He was reading a good book. I said, “What else are you doing,” and then I was like, “Can I join you?”

“I’m going to get myself in there,” but then it expanded out and you started to do some more production work. You started to support other podcasters. We met at an event. You started to do more and more of these outreach and events. How did it cascade into something where you felt that your calling was podcasting?

Because I was so inspired after that experience that lasted for a couple of years, I didn’t want it to end. I ended up producing a documentary about that story and about the creative process that comes along with podcasting because I wanted everybody to know that there’s something you can do as a creative person and have all this control, have a low barrier to entry, and all this good stuff.

The Binge Factor | Christina Barsi | Podcasting Myths
There’s something you can do as a creative person and have all this control with a low barrier to entry.

 

Because of that, we went to film festivals and did pretty well for what we had because it didn’t fit any programming that we were creating. The fact that we got into any festivals was a miracle but it’s part of the journey because it’s where I got my confidence as a producer by making that film. It’s also where I got my confidence to produce audio because I wasn’t producing my own audio during that first podcast, that audio drama but I had to do a live show and bring in the cast.

I had to make a soundboard suddenly and I had to take it all with me to one of the film festivals because I wanted to feature us as a live show in their thing. I figured it out in a week and I was very proud of myself. I got more confidence from this experience and I was like, “This is fun. I can do this. I can do more than I realized. I’m not just an actor who’s waiting to be told what to do.” I have technical capabilities. I grasp that way quicker than I would’ve ever expected or this, that, or the other. I decided I would teach myself post-production and at that festival where we performed, I met this manager and I approached him. I told him I was a podcast producer and he gave me a client.

Starting And Growing A Podcast

I love that confidence. This is being bold. That’s what you did. It’s so rare. We were talking before as we do a little bit in the pre-call here that one of the biggest problems is podcasters getting started. We hear this disingenuous message in the marketplace where they’re like, “A one-day bootcamp or take this one-hour course and you can be a podcaster.” This is my least favorite. You and I have heard this. The hosting companies will come out there and be like, “All you have to do is go into our Start a Hosting account and start recording.”

The least opportunity for success you have is to do that. You have a launch program where you talk about it. You talk about it in terms of 8 to 20 weeks. I produced more shows than you and I’m going to say that is right on the money in terms of the range. You are well aware of how hard it is to start a good-quality show.

Thank you for that. I think you’ve been in the production game longer than I have. I launched in 2018 in January. I feel like you’ve been doing it longer.

Not much longer. I’m going to say we stayed longer in beta than we should have but it is probably maybe only about a year and a half longer than you.

I won’t spend a lot of time on this point, but because I was teaching myself a lot of the job while I was on the job with clients, it slowed me down a little, I’ll be honest. There were some other hurdles that came into play that very much influenced the development and being able to expand into quantity. What I learned through that process of having those barriers that popped up in life was it showed me how to be hyper-intentional. Also, to understand how to work with brands and businesses to completely holistically understand their goals sometimes better than theirs to build an entire pathway that goes on and on and on for years.

We ended up focusing on retention for a while and that has been working for us for a long time. As the industry has shifted a little bit, our goals have shifted along with that as a company. Avant Haüs Media is the name of the production agency that I founded. All that to say because of that hyper-intentionality around strategy, it became obvious how much time we needed and where the hang-ups could come in terms of the pre-production phase of that early part. The foundation building is how you develop that retention.

This is how you can stick with it and a sustainable show has a better foundation.

They’re going to stay motivated. They’re going to have something to stand on and they’re going to understand how to move forward continuously when they have that deep integrated foundational process on the front end. I typically will only work with people who are willing to go on that journey.

I think people willing to go on that journey are essential and it took us a long time to figure out how to find them. That was our hard part in the business model but I think also developed wins along the way. That is the hard part about it. You’ve broken yours up into a path or a journey of phases if you want to think of it like that. Are you giving them some taste of success along the way of what this is going to look like?

Yes. I have a lot of opinions about success and a lot of strategies around that. I end up talking about that mostly now when I go speak on stage because success is a feeling. This is what I believe and if we don’t register success, then we don’t realize it’s happening. I’ve had clients that comparatively are doing exponentially better and think they’re doing total crap. I have another client over here who is on fire about their show and they have a way slower growth path than the one over here that’s upset.

I’m grateful I had those two clients at the same time because this drilled it in for me. I’m like, “What is going on and how do I help express the success to the people that have a lot to point to, where the ones over here don’t need me to point to their success? They already understand what their success markers are.

It’s because they have their own internal system or their own brand metrics or some other way that they’re looking at its purpose. I’m going to say the industry is full of a bunch of vanity metrics and garbage that isn’t helping anyone with anything.

It’s harder now to have this part of the equation expressed at the early stages. I had a conversation with a new client that I spent a lot of time with. We were talking about this part. She’s in marketing too and she’s the marketing department I was speaking with. We were talking a lot about ROI and how we measure success. I said, if I’m being completely honest with you the first season, I do package things in seasons as well because it serves all the foundational things we’re talking about

 It is truly about getting it going. It’s having the production itself be created at the highest esteem that you’re hoping for with sound quality, format, creativity, and all of those things. Also, doing that consistently, showing up, getting out of your own way, and having some personal growth markers as a host. Those are the things you’re measuring in the beginning because the numbers are going to happen and we’re going to do things for that as well but that’s a slower growth marker that we start to look at a little later.

I think that you do have to have some kind of measurements that you’re using along the way. I always call it layers. You want to have layers of success planned into the process. If I feel really good about the guests that I’m having on my show and I’m having wonderful conversations because of my personality, that’s going to feel like a success metric for me. However, if all I’m getting on are the people I already know because that’s the launch plan that they put you through. They say, “Just make a list of people and interview the people you already know.” It felt old before I started. It doesn’t feel energizing and it doesn’t satisfy my curiosity and excitement.

I love that you’re using words like energizing and what it feels like because those are the things that we want to pay attention to. I am like a spy. I am super paying attention and observing. What do they get excited about? Where do they light up? What’s hard for them? What’s going to be a hurdle they’ll feel triumphant about that I think is approachable or where do they need a little bit of coaching so they see that growth moment or what are they simply like, “Yes, this is so much fun. This is going to keep me going. Let’s do more of that.”

It’s like, “Where am I leaning in? Where am I leaning out? What am I drawing attention to and shining light on for them?” Having that partnership super helps them to not have to worry about where their success markers are too much because they have someone helping them identify those moments. Another fun one is to identify their first couple of mistakes as success markers.

Having that partnership helps podcasters to not have to worry about where they're success markers are. Share on X

It’s because those things happen. They happen to all of us.

It’s like, “Let’s celebrate. We made a mistake,” or something got messed up. You had your first flop. That means you’re doing it. You’re in the process. The idea of a creative process is so foreign to a lot of people if they don’t have anything like that going on in their natural day-to-day experience. I’m used to being in that process, but a lot of people aren’t. That is honestly what the first block is.

In the entertainment industry, there’s what we would call workshopping. You’re workshopping things. You’re testing them out and seeing how they lay on an audience. If you were in comedy, you’d be testing out your jokes. This is what they do and we don’t do that in business enough so the business branding side of it doesn’t get that experience. They’re so afraid to make a mistake.

Money is a mistake. Time is money. We hear all of these things. It’s like, “We can’t waste,” but nothing’s ever a waste because it’s a growth moment and growth is a success. I also wanted to share one last thing which I was touching on and I went on a tangent. It was you getting energized about something. What I was going to say was that you’re tapping into what makes you feel fulfilled and fulfillment’s success is a companion.

Fulfillment is success’ companion. Share on X

We don’t register success or we don’t let it land unless it’s connected to something that we connect to our fulfillment. It can be small. This gets me excited or this makes me energized or this feels like, “Eh,” and this feels, “Yay.” It’s noticing and then allowing ourselves to understand that those are important moments.

You’ve hit on something that I have noticed because I’ve interviewed so many successful podcasters here. Sometimes when you dive into their numbers, they’re not as what the industry would consider success as the actual results they’re getting from the show. Part of it is because it’s fulfilling something for them. It might be fulfilling something personal. It might be fulfilling something that was a gap in their business that they didn’t even know they needed, and because that podcast is filling that for them, success is happening.

There’s truly as successful as joy. I do think so because we lie to ourselves and society has done this forever that working hard is where you find success. I’m realizing that’s a big fat lie. Yes, you have to work hard. I’m the hardest-working person you’ll meet. I wake up to work and then I go eat dinner and that’s it. That’s my whole day because I’m working on things that I’m passionate about. It brings me joy. I love it. I jump out of bed and want to go do it and I don’t know when to stop because I like what I’m doing.

Retention and sustainability happen when you have fulfillment and success factors lining up together. I love that you’re focused and built for that in everything you do. I also think that the missing link for so many people who are out there looking for a producer or looking for a support network is when they’re looking for support, they’re not looking enough to people who have had the opportunity to have the contrast of things.

They join a sports network and everybody’s got the same formula. They pay for a podcast launch course and everybody follows the same steps. What that doesn’t take into consideration is the things you and I have seen. When that doesn’t work, why didn’t it work? What should you do differently? Also, because you’ve seen those failure points that you were talking about, you know where to shift them. You see it and you instantly go, “This isn’t going to work for you in the same way. Let me make some suggestions.” That only comes with repetition of doing this again and again for multiple companies, but also doing it again and again and not having it work the same way every time.

Speaking to your point about being afraid to mess up, I have to be comfortable to screw up.

That is hard to do when you’re a producer for somebody else’s show.

They’re handing it over to you. If I’m being honest and I’m realizing this in real-time, I think subconsciously being comfortable with failure and wanting to teach that comes with trying to give myself permission to fail. It’s this lovely cycle that we do when we reflect because we’re always reflecting ourselves onto things and then reflecting back onto us. It became important to me to walk through failure in ways that feel useful, graceful, and growth-oriented because if I don’t, then I have no business expecting others to take that journey and embrace that journey.

Subconsciously, being comfortable with failure and wanting to teach that comes with trying to give yourself permission to fail. Share on X

I think it is. It’s very much a focus on mindset and that’s why I love what you’ve built with The Women’s Podcast Industry Network is this opportunity to network and talk about these things more because it’s so critically important that we have a different mindset going in. I think people don’t understand that podcasting, unlike a lot of other media types, is not set in stone. There’s a lot of flexibility. You could fix a lot of mistakes. They’re not fatal and our audiences are so wonderfully forgiving. Thank goodness for that too.

They’re just glad we’re producing a podcast and still sticking with it. That becomes this mindset of it being an experiment, practice, and workshop. If we can get someone who is saying, “I didn’t hire you to be perfect, I hired you to walk this path with me,” is a different model and that’s not as easy to embrace at the beginning of a business. I’m sure you found your path there.

It’s a lot of branding alignment. I talk about alignment a lot too but it comes from, just jumping off of what we were already talking about, which is understanding ourselves, what brings us joy, what energizes us, and all that good stuff. It’s an ongoing process that we’ll do forever because we’ll continue to get to know ourselves and things shift and change.

The clearer and clearer we get on those core things, the more those start to show up in the action pieces. Our branding or the message we have how we share, how we even talk to people, where we show up, where we want to show up, or who’s in our lives. It starts to permeate everything and it becomes easy to align with you. You’re going to attract the things that you are putting out because it’s so consistent.

I think that’s why when you said the foundation has to be so strong and that’s important to spend time on it because we are going to attract those things. If we want success at the end, we better be attracting the right things to begin with or it’s not going to lead us there.

You can fix a foundation along the way or improve it I should say but it’s much harder.

I can say that from having fixed a lot of foundations over the years because that’s our core. We’re always fixing the foundation. Somebody who says, “I do love podcasting, but something’s not working. It’s broken.” Most often, there’s a technical foundation problem and those are easy to fix but when there’s a brand alignment, that’s hard to get them to be willing to fix.

Also, to see it. I have a backup question for you.

Sure. Ask me.

In those moments it has more to do with them wanting to not go backwards in the work that they’ve done. They get attached to all the work they’ve already done, but it’s in the past so it’s not a loss. It’s about moving forward, but I think a lot of us are like, “I put so much work into this,” so they want to keep it.

Yes, I do. There’s that and I think it’s bigger than that in that somebody important to them gave them that advice. Someone they perceive as a leader or an expert who is successful. They’re afraid to let go of that because will that cause a collapse of some amount of success that they’re having? They’re afraid if they let go of that, it will cause a different failure.

I understand. What’s that ripple effect?

I do see that a lot. That’s why we try to fix the technical things because those are easy to fix. They don’t have an outward-facing, they’re not changing the way you’re interviewing, or changing the brand of the show necessarily. Fix those things first and give them a taste of trust and success with us so that when they say, “What else can I do?” It’d be like, “You’re not going to want to hear this but you’re going to need to change the cover art of your show or the name of your show if you want this to take off.” That is a hard conversation to have. It is not something I want to do with someone who doesn’t trust me yet.

That’s always difficult. I think with the phase the industry’s in right now, there are more podcasters now than those that aren’t. I feel like it’s a lot of different waters, I should say. The sea is a vastness of actual people who have tried to launch a show already at some point or have had a show or want to relaunch something and it is a lot more of, “what are we doing different this time,” or “Are we doing anything different this time?”

Women’s Podcast Industry Network

Let’s talk about The Women’s Podcast Industry Network that you launched. It’s an actual networking. You’ve got an app going on. You’ve got resources. There’s a lot in here to unpack, but who is it for?

Thank you for asking that. I’m still working on my clarity, so let’s see how this goes.

We got to explore it. It’s always a test.

This is my favorite test is to be like, “Do they get it if I say this sentence?” Right now, the way I’m phrasing it is that it’s for anyone who works or creates in the podcast industry. That could be someone like us who we both have podcasts as well, but let’s say we didn’t and we had our companies. It could be for someone like that. It could be someone who works at a job or someone who is a producer at Spotify, let’s say, an executive, or obviously for podcasters too.

The reason I want to include those people is for a few different reasons but one is because I want to focus on the you behind the do. It’s because we’re all doing these wonderful things in this industry that is very dear to me that I think amplifies so many things for our culture and society just by the nature of what it is, podcasting, getting our voices out there and our messages, and our authenticity.

For those of us who are behind the scenes, we’re an interesting breed. We typically do a lot of different things. We’re typically very motivated and we do like creativity where we won’t be podcasting on some level. We’re wearing a lot of hats and we’re trying to create change and there’s something cool about that. I love those people and the people I want to help are them. The project stuff, there are tons of information now.

I don’t feel like I need to fill that gap per se, but I do think there’s space for more niche communities for us to find each other which is why I made it for women and for non-binary people in femme. It’s because I had trouble finding a lot of spaces like that for all of us to work on well-being, our projects, and our mindsets, and to show somewhere to get to our next level. How do we get to our next level personally and professionally? What does that look like as a process while we create all of these amazing things in our businesses, projects, and all this fun stuff?

I love that because any kind of industry groups that came out of this all came out of radio before. It’s very male-dominated and very old-school. In the conversation we had at the beginning when you were talking about learning how to edit sound, they’d all be scoffing at that as “You’re not a real podcast producer.” This is what they think and I heard it so many times before. It frustrates me to the point where I’m like, “How am I going to do this differently? How am I going to abandon what you believe there so that I can do something completely creative and different?”

I lead with that. I was like, “What are people going to think?” I’m so tired of walking into a studio where I’m the producer running the room and the sound engineer is acting like I’m an idiot because I work in podcasting or whatever it is. It’s like, “I taught myself everything you know. How long did it take you?” It is like, “Why are we comparing?”

This is the part that I love when I tell people that I recommend an $80 microphone.

Which I do as well. Always under $100.

It’s because the other microphone makes it harder to do the job, harder to produce the show, and harder to edit the show. It makes it harder on the other side of it. I have reasons for it, but the minute I do that, I must not be a real producer.

I like that kind of detail. It’s fascinating.

That’s how I know you’re going to not have successful clients that are going to last long with you if you sell them a $500 microphone.

That shows me you don’t know what you’re doing.

You don’t know what you’re doing or you have to come to a studio because we didn’t do that. Look at us. Our businesses boomed in 2020, both yours and mine that’s because we met right after that and we were busy because we said you didn’t have to use a studio. That wasn’t a requirement.

I was using studios because of what clients wanted as an experience. I had to pivot every single client I had into understanding. I had to change their minds that it’ll be okay and that we’ll still have good quality.

You had the experience of being out in the field and doing stuff so you knew non-studio work worked. That’s why I say that that way but I think this is so true. I think that’s the part I want everyone to hear. What Christina said here is that this is a podcast industry network. It’s not a podcast network where I want your show on the network and we’re going to sell ads. There are a lot of those networks out there. This is an industry collaboration, conversation, and networking because we can learn some things from each other.

We’re so new so people are trickling in. I should say, in a study rate, I love seeing who joins and what they’re up to. It’s fascinating. There’s someone who’s creating AI and audio right now. She’s super passionate about it. It’s fun to see what everyone’s doing and where the opportunities are going to be. I try to think of it as a place where you might show up for the networking, but you’re going to stay for the shifts because you’re going to grow personally.

You’re going to learn something so valuable that you could apply it in your business. I think that’s often especially when you’ve developed everything from scratch for yourself. You’re going to make the same mistakes that I made and I’m going to make the same mistakes as the next person who’s working on something else. Why not learn from each other so we can help each other avoid those future mistakes?

The Binge Factor | Christina Barsi | Podcasting Myths
Podcasting Myths: I try to think of it as a place where you might show up for networking, but you’re going to stay for the shifts because you’re going to grow personally and learn something to apply in your business.

 

I also think we’re in a collaborative place business-wise. Do you feel that way? I feel like there’s something happening in a nice way where we can grow economically together a little bit more than we maybe have in the past with our silos. I like that.

I think it’s because there’s so much of the industry that’s not successful because we have such a high pod fade rate. We can’t risk not collaborating or we’re going to harm the industry overall. I’m angry and I have been for a long time at Anchor and Spotify for what they did that made that number so much worse. That was that they paid podcasters ad dollars just to get them on the platform so Anchor could get bought by Spotify. That’s what they did. It was this big VC play and in the end, not one of those shows was successful so they ended up with a 95% pod fade rate a year later and that did a tremendous disservice to all the rest of us in the industry who were building great shows.

It’s interesting when you start diving into those metrics and what feels like growth and topple effect. That’s probably not a real term, but that’s how it feels. That’s the visual I think of when I visualize the actuality of that. Anytime anyone says the word Anchor, unfortunately, I cringe.

We all do. That part is that within the industry, we cringe about that but that’s where the newbies go and they build such a bad foundation. They’re going to a place that’s going to cause failure. It’s the failure point.

From a technical standpoint too. I was frustrated before. I tend to step back when things start happening like that and I start focusing on things that are right in front of me because personally, it affects my mental health. All those things stick to me, those metrics and all the craziness but when people go over to anchor the technicality of it not serving them well from a basic standpoint where there were issues around ownership of their RSS feeds and things like that in the early stages. I know that’s changed.

The intention’s not right. It’s already set up. Even though that’s not the actual case anymore, that’s their philosophy.

There’s something very off about it and there are a few other areas in the industry that reflect the kind of disservice to those trying to be authentic.

I can see that but the thing is that those of us in the industry hear and know this. We could steer people away from that but they don’t find us as easily because they’ve got weight. They’ve got the backing of Spotify and that makes it hard. That’s why we have to group together like this. How can we make sure that the consistent word is getting out? An industry network is a great way to do that.

I do want everyone to be tapped into each of those areas. I think as a podcaster, that’s a huge resource to be tapped into with the executive, the sales teams, and the people working inside of different facets. To me, that’s been so useful on my own journey. It was more like, “What do I love about my personal and professional network? If we were all in a room together, what would that be like?” Maybe not everyone is taking a sales call every day like me and those become my best friends, which is the truth. It’s so funny but that’s because it’s who I’m iterating with on a regular basis that aren’t my clients.

I learn so much from their side of it. What are their goals? What are they doing? Where do their core values lie and why are they in this industry? I’m a podcast, I’m always asking those questions too. It’s usually coming from a great place. The people that work inside of all of these places. Oftentimes, they move on and they go independent because they also get tired of everything you just described with Spotify and Anchor.

Also, they get forced out. That’s happened too. I can’t tell you how many Spotify resumes I’ve seen in the last month alone. We don’t hire quite like that but thank you. I appreciate it. I’m glad you’re opening up the network to that because I can say the number one issue that I have is someone will come and I’d be like, “But I was using this great producer and my show is modeled it after something that was done at Wondery.” I’d be like, “Yeah, but you don’t have deep promotion pockets so you can’t overcome your technical problem that they don’t even understand or know about because the engineers aren’t keeping up with the industry changes.”

It’s things like show description. Out of iHeart and the big networks, I still see less than 400 character descriptions, but the search engine has 4,000 that it’s capable of doing. If you want your show to be found, you either have to pay dollars to promote it, which they’re doing so they can compensate for having a really short description or you can use a search engine to your advantage. It’s stupid technical, but those engineers don’t even know it. Also, the producers don’t know it because there’s no place to learn from an industry standpoint and collaborate together.

I love that that’s what you brought together here. I’m very excited to see where it goes, participate in the process, and see what we can bring together. This is why you and I have been dying to have a chat together because we knew we’d have a synergy of things that we found and learnings that could help each other. Now, you’ve created that. Is that why you did it? You were like, “I need this and I want this so I’m going to create it for myself.” What made you do that?

I made it for you, Tracy.

I feel like you did.

Kind of. It was truly what do I want and what am I hearing others want? I took two years to listen and then I spent time on calls with a few people prior to launching it to build it out based on the feedback I was getting but I had to be in love with it first. It was truly like, “What do I want to wake up, do, and experience? How do I like to interact? What is the thing I love about this industry and podcasting all this stuff?”

It’s this kind of stuff. Also, talking with people like you and I love the community and it’s the true reason I go to conferences. We learn as a byproduct, but I’m there to like iterate, meet other people, and bounce ideas off people. I’m a solo founder. I don’t have a co-founder for my business and there are so many times I’m like, “Who do I share this idea with to see if it makes any sense?”

It’s a lonely road running a consulting business, especially as a solopreneur. I agree with you. It’s hard.

I have my team but they aren’t always the best people to bounce ideas off either because of their perspective and their buy-in to what I’m sharing is not necessarily the person I need the input from.

It can also cause panic. That’s all I’m saying. If you give them too many ideas, they’re like, “Everything’s going to change for us.” They get worried, so you can’t do that.

Yes, and I’ve had that experience because we made a lot of changes this last year as you have been sharing on this platform. I did get a little panic response from my project coordinator and she’s like, “Are we still a production company?” I’m like, “Yes. Don’t worry.”

Making That Shift

Before we go, I do want to say this. I can see in your feed that you are not podcasting as consistently because you’ve been working on these shifts.

I took a break, yeah.

What’s it going to take to get you back and make it sustainable? Where is that thing that energizes you about your show because that’s obviously what you got to tap back into?

It’s not that I was not energized by the show I was creating, Be Bold Begin. I love that show dearly and I’ve been creating it for a long time but what happened was that show also shifted in the way we were having conversations that launched me into all the things I’m doing now. Instead, I’m creating a new podcast that is in alignment completely with everything that I’m doing currently so that the messaging is clear and you’re not getting confused when you’re going to people to begin and people are like, “What’s it about?” I’m like, “In year one it was about this. In year two, it became about this. Now, it’s about this.” I was like, “I don’t want it to be a catchall anymore for my ideas.”

This is something hard. When we were talking about how you get them to shift, how you get them to change that foundation, sometimes it just isn’t good on this foundation like that. As much as we want to save the equity and the investment we made into that podcast and all those listeners and subscribers, sometimes it’s just not going to work and we got to start a new show.

It was a long thought process before I decided to do that. I do have people emailing me and being like, “When are you coming back?” I’m like, “Don’t worry. I’ve already started recording episodes for the new one.” It’s happening. I’m taking my time so I can be more intentional with my energy and not shorthand anything that I’m doing. I typically don’t do that so I’m giving myself permission to do that this time and try to focus a little bit more.

If I know anything about you from having followed you over the years here, Christina, I know that you will come back with full force with an intentional, wonderful show that’s well produced because I mean everything about the way your show comes across. I’m here to analyze everyone’s binge factor. I’m not going to do that here on your show because it’s going to be different. I’ll do it again at some point in the future. Maybe I’ll do a little video shout-out to you when the new show comes out and tell you what I think your binge factor will be on the new version of it. Everything that you do is your integrity and action so I know that’s going to happen in the new version of the show too.

Thank you. We’re taking those last deeper conversations and creating a space where that is what we do. It’s going to be all-women guests. Women in leadership and women doing cool stuff and projects. It will be highlighting how they boss like a goddess because that’s my new tagline.

Boss like a goddess. Share on X

Is that what you’re going to change the show to?

That’s the teaser. I don’t mind sharing that now because I’ve already changed my Instagram handle and that’s the messaging in The Women’s Podcast Industry Network as well. It’s how to boss like a goddess. How are we doing that? How are we honoring ourselves as goddesses as we go boss up this world without the girl boss stuff? We want it unhustled and nice.

We want it to be authentically us.

We want it to be authentic. We want to give ourselves permission to be a person.

I think we’re very lucky in the podcast industry to have found so much dissatisfaction in the entertainment industry and brought your perspective here to us. Thank you, Christina, for being such a fantastic part of this industry and how you’re going to show up for us going forward too.

Thank you so much. That’s my goal. I want to show up and it is still motivating to be showing up for this community. I love it so much. Thank you, Tracy, for having such a wonderful talk with me.

I had so much fun catching up with her and getting to know the backstory that I didn’t have completely about how she got started. When you’re at an event and you’ve got twenty minutes and you’re a panelist, they gloss over some of those things so we didn’t have that time. We were talking about monetizing podcasts and getting into the nitty-gritty. We never got a chance to have this wonderful discussion on her background and how things work.

I loved how she was talking about the path that she’s taken to support others. She has an 8 to 20-week roadmap. It means she’s not rushing this podcast thing. There are so many who will be out there and going, “Let’s launch a podcast in a day,” or, “Let’s do this in 30 days.” It’s disingenuous because it doesn’t give you the time to put your house in order, your Avant Haüs. It doesn’t allow you to put all that media, all the pieces and parts you need to put together, and put it in order and to think about them strategically so that you’re doing this at the top level of brand development.

I love that she has this methodology for looking through, thinking about these things, and working with people. She’s not rushing this and she wants you to keep going just like I do. I want to have you be able to podcast today, tomorrow, and always. Hopefully, it keeps working for you. The Women’s Podcast Industry Network, I love that she’s putting this together because this isn’t just for women podcasters. This is for women podcasters in the industry. This is our industry insider network.

I’m looking forward to getting engaged in that and looking forward to her bringing that off and getting that moving because it’s been so necessary. The way that we women approach this network and industry is very different than some of the OGs. Some of those other gurus out there giving advice. Christina’s advice is very different. My advice is very different. This is nitty-gritty working for us women and men, but working for that small to mid-size enterprise and not working at this top level, “Let’s do this,” or “Let’s give it up,” kind of methodology that a lot of what’s out there in the industry is playing to.

I know that she’s inviting men in there too. I want you to understand women and men, but it’s an industry perspective that not everyone has. Think about joining. I’ll be back next week with another great podcaster who’s in an interesting health and wellness niche. I can’t wait for you to hear about him. Tune in next week here on The Binge Factor.

 

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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