Here is the most common conversation we have with new clients when they first approach us about working on their podcast or YouTube show (which is often the same thing now):
Us: How often do you want to post a new episode?
Client: I don’t know, what do you think? What’s best? What’s normal? Should I do weekly? I can do whatever will grow the show quickly!
Us: Let us tell you about the magic of a seasonal show.
What most independent media creators don’t know (and it’s not to blame them) is that creating podcasts or YouTube videos on a weekly basis, every week, all year long, is really only suited for shows that are either
- Sponsored revenue generators for their business or
- A networking tool that they don’t put much production effort into
Both of those options are great reasons to have a weekly (or multiple times a week) posting schedule. But outside of those situations, it’s a rare exception that any media host can sustainably and joyfully maintain a weekly posting schedule when it comes to long form media creation.
Really quick, let’s break down a few terms that we’re using so you feel up to speed with how to think about podcasting and YouTubing for your brand or business.
“Long form media” in today’s online world means audio or video content that is over 5 minutes. That may not sound long to you, but when compared to TikTok videos or Instagram stories, it is.
“Podcasting” is an evolving type of media that used to mean an audio-only, on-demand broadcast available to the masses to download to their device of choice. Now it means a lot things including live-streamed shows, video shows, YouTube shows, private shows, paywalled shows, streamed shows, and more.
“YouTube” is obviously an actual video hosting platform free to the world. But it’s also become a verb that means recording and posting on-demand videos of any length that can be consumed easily by just about anyone on any device. It now includes short clips, disappearing stories, premium paid-for content, and an advertising agency as well.
“Seasonal show” is what we call a podcast or YouTube show that gets pre-planned, recorded in batches, and posted in small clusters of episodes that are strategically themed around a topic which relates to your current business offer, passion project, or area of expertise. Very similar to TV shows!
Ok, back to our conversation about the magic of a seasonal versus weekly schedule for your podcast or YouTube show.
Our background at Worthfull Media started in a weekly, and then 3x per week, podcast and YouTube show that was never-ending. Literally. Our founder Christine was the producer of a show that had its sights set on becoming a network show, supported by sponsors, backed by a media company. Which it achieved! So she saw firsthand what it took to do that. And she and a team of about 10 people did it for years.
But when she stepped away from producing that show and started Worthfull Media to provide a boutique level of production service to independent creators who weren’t being paid by sponsors on a network, she saw the value in doing things differently.
Whenever a client would get about 6 months to 1 year into hosting a new show, they’d almost always send her a message that went something like, “I feel like a failure. I’m getting burned out and just not seeing the results I thought I would in my downloads. I love hosting my podcast but I don’t know if it’s worth it. I don’t have enough time to really put into it what I want to and I feel like all my peers are doing better than I am with their shows.”
Well, that just broke her heart because she knew a few things that her clients didn’t:
- Really good podcasts and YouTube shows take years to develop into their best versions. It’s a long game that pays off over time.
- It’s easy to make it look like your show is doing better than it is. Never compare yourself to another creator if you don’t know their actual numbers.
- A weekly output is unsustainable for almost every show host if they aren’t being paid a full-time income to do it.
So she started talking to her clients about moving from a weekly schedule to a seasonal schedule. One that allowed them to be human, have a life that ebbed and flowed with demands on their time, and one that was designed to compliment and support their business offerings and commitments.
Instead of keeping up with a never-ending demand to schedule and record episodes, we were able to help clients pre-plan their whole season weeks ahead of time, record when they had the bandwidth, and then let go of the process for a few months while it was produced and published.
Instead of feeling the financial drain of a monthly production retainer without being able to clearly see the return on investment, we showed them the cost to produce a full season up front so that they could budget it into their finances and plan ahead for where they would bring back that money through strategic product offerings and their sales cycles.
Instead of feeling the comparison trap, they were able to confidently create from a place of joy and passion, knowing that they were making their own content on their own terms, for their own audience, and it really wasn’t comparable to anyone else’s media.
This is what’s available to you if you choose to try a seasonal podcast or YouTube schedule versus a weekly or never-ending production schedule.
Yes, there is strategy involved. Yes, it does require an up front investment. Yes, it will make you think differently about the kind of media that’s worth making. But we’ve seen that it usually sets the stage for making the very best kind of content, in a sustainable way, that feels like magic.
More resources on seasonal shows:
- EP 32 Choosing Your Ideal Show Format on the Think Like a Producer podcast
- EP 30 3 Questions to Get Clear on How a Podcast Fits Into Your Business
- EP 22 Reasons to Make the Show YOU Want
- Contact us if you’re interested in discussing how we can produce your seasonal show with you!