How I Battled To Overcome The Impostor Syndrome – Episode 163
Have you ever struggled with your confidence to launch or record an episode of your podcast? Have you worried that you were just pretending to know what you’re doing? That someone might find out that you didn’t really belong amongst the podcast professionals? That’s the Impostor Syndrome creeping in.
I’ve been there. I was at that point when I started in broadcasting. I continue to fight it today.
Proper preparation will help you feel more confident in your content. You can find a free show prep sheet online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. This will help you set a solid foundation.
MY BATTLE WITH IMPOSTOR SYNDROME
I learned the value of preparation by fighting my own battle against the Impostor Syndrome.
Impostor Syndrome is defined as a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.
While in college getting my degree in architecture, I became a party DJ to make some extra cash. Music had always been a big part of my life. I had been a musician since I was 11. However, I had wanted to be an architect since 6th grade. Getting my architecture degree was never in question.
Around my junior year of architecture school, I started becoming disenchanted with the field. It was then that I picked up a part time summer job at a radio station where my brother worked. Just to make some extra cash. The drafting firm where I had been working recently closed its doors as the owner went to work for a larger, manufacturing company.
As my passion for architecture waned, my passion for radio grew. Next thing you know, I’m taking classes in the College of Journalism and becoming the music director of the college radio station.
My music director position at the college station turned into another part time commercial radio job. That position eventually became full time.
Architecture was still part of my life. I was nearly done with my degree and didn’t want to throw it all away at that point. So, I finished my degree in architecture and continued to work in radio. Oddly enough, my only architecture job came at that drafting firm while I was still in high school.
When I began in radio, the impostor syndrome heavily kicked in. I had an architecture background. What right did I have to be on the radio?
Who was I to think I was in a position to be amongst these radio guys who had been doing it for many, many years and had paid their dues.
When I would interview famous musicians, the Impostor Syndrome would really fire up. I’m just a kid out of college with an architecture degree faking my way through radio.
I felt like I was playing dress up and pretending to be one of them. It took me years to get over that and build the confidence to perform on a daily basis.
After doing it for over 25 years, I got to the point where I was programming multiple radio stations at the same time. Some of those station were recognized with national awards from the National Association of Broadcasters.
The stations I was programming ranked #1 quite often. My own show was regularly #1. I built the confidence within myself to deliver content that was compelling and connected with my audience.
IMPOSTOR SYNDROME RETURNS
When I launched my podcast, I quickly went back to the beginning. The imposter syndrome kicked in again.
Who was I to think I could build a successful podcast amongst these greats that had been doing it for years? Dave Jackson at the School of Podcasting has been podcasting since 2005. I’m just starting. How can I possibly think I belong in the same arena as Dave?
Then, I started thinking about my story. I had been here before. My knowledge and experience sets me apart from a lot of podcasters. Even podcasters who had been producing content for years. That helped me shake the impostor syndrome and publish my content.
MY NEXT BATTLE
Recently, I ran into that little voice again. I was in a discussion with my mastermind about the next step we each needed to take to move forward. What was the “next thing”?
As we were talking it through, I finally came to the conclusion that the voice was holding me back. What if I put all this work into creating a course or book or workshop and nobody came? The group helped me once again recognize my experience and knowledge.
An episode of “DailyVee” with Gary Vaynerchuk today did the same thing for me. Gary said, “Going 0-for-5 is better than going 0-for-0. At least you’re learning something.” That made total sense to me.
HELP FOR YOU
Ignore the voice and move forward. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll learn something and be able to do it better next time.
That’s what I want to help you do. I want to be that cheerleader for you if you don’t have the history that I have to overcome that little voice inside your head doubting your ability. You can do it. You belong. You have just as much authority on your opinion as anyone. Let’s get it out to the world.
It is fairly simple to set up a mic, mixer and laptop. Heck, you don’t even need a mixer. Plug straight into your computer.
Even if you are not very technically savvy, there are great people like Dave Jackson and the School of Podcasting that can help you with every step along the way. He even has a great step-by-step checklist. You’ll have a podcast launched in a few weeks.
Creating the platform is only the first step. Creating great content is up to you. Your content isn’t something you can outsource. You need to find the confidence to put your thoughts and feelings out into the world.
HOW YOU CAN STAT A PODCAST
How do I suggest you bootstrap to begin? Make it simple. Get an inexpensive microphone, like a $60 ATR-2100. Plug directly into your computer with the USB cable. If you’re adventuresome, pick up an inexpensive mixer like a $99 Yamaha 4-channel. I just purchase an 8-channel mixer at a pawn shop for $65.
Get a free WordPress site. Create a Libsyn account for $15 a month. You’ll need a computer and some free Audacity software. If you already have a laptop, you’re up and running for under $100. Again, Dave Jackson has a whole list of recommendations for you at www.SchoolOfPodcasting.com. I leave the technical stuff up to him.
WHAT IS YOUR PODCAST NICHE
My goal is to transform your content and beef up your confidence.
So, how do you define your niche? Will anybody really care?
It is easy for the impostor syndrome to sneak in here. Your internal impostor will tell you nobody cares about that topic. Your niche is too small and nobody will come. You’ll be talking to yourself.
Fight it. Your niche size doesn’t matter as much as the passion of the niche community. If you have a group of people that you are passionate about, and they are loyal to a particular subject, run with it.
The more narrowly you target your niche the better. If you are interested in fishing, pick a small niche. If you love fly fishing, but create your show around fishing in general, you will find it tough to build loyalty. If your show is only on fly fishing, you will primarily attract those interested in fly fishing. The niche is smaller than fishing in general. However, every show will be of interest to your audience.
If your show is “the Fishing Show” and all about fishing, you’ll be hit and miss. One week you talk about fly fishing. The next week you discuss deep sea fishing. Now, your fly fisher friends only get what they seek on occasion. You aren’t catering specifically to them. People will only check our your show now and then. You will find it difficult to build a passionate tribe.
The audience for “The Fishing Show” looks like a bigger audience than “The Fly Fishing Show”. But, it is deceiving. The passion lies in the niche.
Be confident in your topic. You will start slowly. But, it will grow. Stay the course.
PLANNING YOUR PODCAST
How do you get ready? How do you overcome the pre-launch jitters?
Planning your podcast will help relieve a bit of the anxiety. If you know where you’re going, you can stay focused on the goal and fight through the self doubt. Plan your show before you begin.
Let’s discuss the 5 Speech class basics and how they pertain to your show.
1. Lead with a provocative point – capture their attention right at the beginning.
2. Dazzle with details – make the story come to life.
3. Take the first exit – Get out when you have the first opportunity.
4. Don’t repeat yourself and overstay your welcome – In talk radio, it’s called the call circle.
5. Include a call to action – this is the whole reason you’re doing a podcast and creating a tribe.
Have confidence in your content. Fight the impostor syndrome. Do all you can to push forward and get your content out.
When you plan your show, it makes it easier to stay focused on the goal. Know what you hope to communicate on this episode. Lay out how you plan to communicate that information. Then, define your intro, details and exit. Define your call-to-action and determine where you plan to incorporate it into the show.
Now, all you need to do is record the show and post it for the world to hear. The more work you do ahead of recording, the easier it is to believe in yourself while the show is rolling. Remember, the main reason you are podcasting is because it is fun. Enjoy the process.
TO DO THIS WEEK
This week, plan your show.
Determine the topics for the show.
Lay out your intro, details and conclusion for each topic.
Define your call-to-action.
You can find a free show prep sheet online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.
Use solid preparation for your show to gain more confidence in your content and battle the Impostor Syndrome.
Let me know how I can help. E-mail me at anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.
You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.
Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.