Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s… oh my!
The holidays. They are here. As a self-employed entrepreneur, I have noticed that typically around this time of year, people drop off the face of the earth.
Business gets really slow.
Nobody’s responding so much on social media.
Everyone’s running around all distracted.
It’s getting cold in the Midwest and sometimes snowy and I don’t really like that kind of weather. I just want to hole up in my house and do nothing except… well… good thing I make podcasts because I can do that from here.
In any case the question inevitably comes up for podcasters (usually accompanied by mild distress to pure panic):
What do I do with my show over the holidays?
Should I take a break? Should I publish old episodes? Am I going to lose listeners if I disappear for a few weeks?
The answer is right here in this episode for you. Want to know what it is?
Read on for more…
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Okay, holiday time podcasts — what to do with your show? Here is the answer that you have been waiting for…
Do whatever you want. It’s your show.
There are two schools of thought around this:
- People are super busy and distracted around the holidays and nobody’s listening to podcasts and your numbers for the episodes that you release in this time period are going to be lower than normal.
- A lot of people have time off. They’re traveling in cars and planes and trains and they have so much time to listen to podcasts. Since a bunch of podcasters are not producing new content at this time, yours has a greater opportunity to stand out. People will be looking for new shows to listen to because their queue won’t be as full as normal with their usual shows.
Both are true.
I’m in camp #2 — always always sad that it seems like there is no good new content around the holiday time. I’m always looking for something and I end up discovering a bunch of new shows at that time.
So I would say it’s completely up to you.
A few ideas to consider:
- You could stick with your original plan — keep publishing. If you do this, I would encourage you to maybe think about some solo episodes that you can release if you typically do interviews. Your interview guests may or may not have as much time to promote and share the episode during the holidays, or they might be taking a social media break or whatever, but they may not be able to promote it as fresh out of the gate as you would normally like for your podcast guests to do.
So if you have some really juicy interviews, unless they are timely and relevant to the season, you may want to push those to 2019 when there is so much time to promote things.
- Think of some short form content that you could release if your episodes tend to be a little bit longer. Are there any relevant seasonal topics that you could discuss that could still be evergreen? For example, gratitude is always evergreen even though we only think of it this time of year.
Ask yourself how you can title those episodes in such a way that people might specifically be looking for those kinds of things at the end of the year? I’m thinking not necessarily of your regular podcast listeners and subscribers, but new people who are in that Oh-my-gosh-My-favorite-podcasts-have-no-new-content-Whatever-will-I-listen-to phase and they’re searching around by keywords to find new shows.
- Consider your release schedule. So you may continue to release a weekly show if that’s your publishing schedule, but if you typically release on Thursdays and Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, maybe you release on Wednesday, or maybe you release something special for Black Friday, or if you typically release on whatever day Christmas Falls this year or New Year’s Day, maybe you want to shift that or maybe not maybe it’s totally fine to release on the actual holiday. There are no rules except…
- If you have not launched your show yet and you would like to launch, let’s say, January 1st 2019… Please be advised that the good folks at your hosting company (i.e. Libsyn) probably take a holiday break. So if you have any tech issues or troubleshooting issues, there may be a delay in addressing them.
Also keep in mind that the good folks at Apple Podcasts definitely take a holiday break. And in fact, they’ve already emailed all of their current podcast producers about their holiday breaks. They usually send us deadlines like if you want your show to go live the first week of January, you must submit it for approval by such and such date. They didn’t do that this year. They just simply gave us the dates where nobody is going to be doing any work or responding to anything which is basically the second half of December.
So if you want something to go live in early January, I would recommend that you are submitting your new show for approval by the first week of December or NOW!
- You could definitely take a break for the holidays and no one would blame you if you are going to take a break (and you probably won’t lose any subscribers.)
You could tell your listeners that you’re going to take a break and when they can expect a new episode and what it’s going to be to get them excited. So they have something to look forward to in January when you come back.
I saw somebody who recommended other shows to check out for their audience:
Hey, I’m going to take a break from this time to this time some other shows that I’ve been listening to that I think that you would really love.
Then shout out some shows for them to check out, which is a really cool community building and value adding way to make sure that your listeners don’t forget about you because then when they do go check out that show, they will think about you and be grateful to you when they discover and love that new show that you recommended. Think of it as filling your karmic bank account!
- Some people like to pull episodes from the archive to republish over the weeks ahead so that there’s something new in the feed.
I have mixed feelings about this. I have done it ONE time on my other show, The Creative Impostor, and it was fine. I kind of get annoyed mildly annoyed, however, when other shows post archival episodes unless they’re super old and I haven’t heard them.
If it’s a rebroadcast of something that was in the current 12-month period, I just delete them.
I’m super annoyed if it’s not obvious that I’ve already listened to it or that it’s a repeat and I start listening to it and I have that weird Deja Vu feeling like I feel like I’ve heard this before this sounds really familiar and then five minutes have gone by and I’m like, oh, this is… huh… Yep. Okay. I already heard this episode. Delete.
So if you are republishing something, just be sure that it’s clear and make sure that it makes sense to republish it content-wise and maybe don’t republish something that was super recent.
- Take the holiday time to do some community building on social media elsewhere besides your podcast. Maybe you can encourage your listeners to connect with you over social media instead of relying on the podcast, so they don’t lose that connection while they’re waiting for new content. In fact, maybe you even have time to produce a little bit of Premium content that is only available to your email subscribers or to your Facebook group members or to your Patreon supporters — a little holiday bonus.
Oh, I just gave myself that idea! I think I’m going to do that. (Okay holiday bonus for Podcast Envy email subscribers note to self.) Make sure you’re on my list here so you don’t miss out!
So don’t let the holiday time stress you out. Don’t let it send you into a panic or an existential crisis your show still matters. If your numbers go down during the holidays, don’t worry. It’s totally fine.
Save your juicy interviews for the new year perhaps or release on those weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas think consciously about what you want your first episode of the year to be don’t overthink, but think consciously about it.
Be creative with the energy that’s available to you in this holiday time. Think about your own self care. Don’t push to do something realistic for you.
You are Your Own Boss (even though I’m your Podcast Boss.) You’re still Your Own Boss.
Happy birthday to me this week Wednesday. I hope to hear from you ASAP for #podcastgratitude. I hope to see you on the Podcast Envy email list so I can send you a bonus and I’d love to see you for real, for real via Zoom meeting in either the Launch Pod or the VIP Circle in January of 2019.
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