“I think the answer to this question depends not only on what you feel like doing, but also on WHO you are as a podcaster.“~Andrea Klunder, Your Podcast Boss
On this episode, I’m answering a question which comes to us from a conversation that I was having with Kim Wensel from Pattern of Purpose Podcast. (Her episode is coming soon in 2021.)
What do you think about solo episodes? Do I really have to do them?
And of course, no, you don’t have to do anything technically, but what I said to her was that I am a HUGE FAN of solo episodes for podcasters, especially podcasters who are using their show to communicate their brand, to support their coaching or consulting business, to develop their own thought leadership and messaging, and to connect with potential clients and customers in their niche.
Solo episodes are the best way to speak directly to your audience and make that intimate connection.
Specifically, I encouraged Kim to KEEP doing solos in addition to her interviews.
I love listening to Kim’s solo episodes. They’re insightful. I feel like I’m getting so much value for free from them and there are things I can directly apply into my own business practices.
However… I changed my mind.
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“When I first started podcasting, I had no intention of doing solo episodes ever.“~Andrea Klunder
No, you don’t need to do solo episodes.
Stop doing them.
You don’t like doing them. You don’t enjoy them. You are doing them because you feel like you should.
And if you go back and listen to the Podcast Envy episode 79 with Kelly Covert from In Her Voice, you will hear us talking about developing kinder habits and the “should” habits, even if they are technically objectively good habits, the “should” habits are NOT the kind habits.
If you don’t like creating solo episodes, if they don’t bring you to the place that you want to feel with your show, then don’t do them.
I was listening to subsequent episodes of Pattern of Purpose after our conversation and I realized that Kim is using her intros for interview episodes much in the way I recommend using solo episodes. She is telling a personal story from her own life and/or business in order to frame the conversation that she is about to share in the interview.
This is her opportunity to speak directly to her listener and for her listener to get to know, like, and trust her.
So Kim doesn’t actually technically need the solo episodes.
Also, I think the answer to this question depends not only on what you feel like doing or what you want to do, but also on who you are as a podcaster. What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? What’s your intention with your show?
For some of the shows that I listen to, I strongly prefer the solo episodes. And in some cases I don’t even listen to their interviews.
There are some shows as a listener that I don’t particularly care for their solo episodes. The interviews are the highlight.
Now let’s say actually, despite all of what I just said, you DO want to do more solos or at least have them in the mix, but you are struggling with how to approach them or come up with new ideas for them.
Here are a few Podcast Envy quick tips.
- When you set out to record a solo episode, imagine that you are speaking directly to one person. A real person, not a mystery listener or avatar named Sue.
- Find your recording style. What is going to support you in making the recording process and hence the editing process easier? For example, are you scripting your solo episodes? Are you using bullet points or note cards or post-it notes to put the prime topics and points that you want to hit? Or are you speaking totally off the cuff?
- Keep it short.
- Have something to respond to. In this case, I am responding to a question that came up in my interview with Kim. You could be responding to a piece of listener feedback or a review that you received. You could be responding to something that you read or something somebody said to you. Or a crazy dream that you had. Or something that makes you outraged.
- Don’t overthink it. Sometimes I feel like I need to give a dissertation on the topic of recording solo podcast episodes, and I need to reference different things and give all these different links… no, just talk, turn on the microphone and talk.
BONUS: Mix it up! Try different styles of different types of solo episodes. For example, I’m calling this a “Hey Andrea…” episode — I’m answering somebody’s question about podcasting. I also have ranty episodes, personal storytelling episodes… SO what are you doing? Who are you in that moment? As you’re talking to that one listener… are you teaching them something? Are you ranting about something with them? Are you reviewing something for them? Are you promoting something to them? Are you asking them a question? What is it primarily that you are communicating and how are you communicating it?
That wraps it up! Here’s to creating even more wonderful solo podcast episodes (or not!)
Peace, love, and podcasting,
P.S. Solo episodes — love them or hate them? As a podcaster or as a podcast listener? And how do you approach creating your solo episodes? Hit me up with some voice feedback via a voice memo or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM on Instagram @thecreativeimpostor. OR leave it in a review for the show at http://www.ratethispodcast.com/envy.
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