Tiff got a question while teaching a masterclass recently that we thought would be helpful to answer on the podcast. The question was around how to measure your podcast results to know how successful your show is. This is a great question in some ways and a dangerous one in other ways. So, we’re explaining how to use your data and analytics in a powerful way and not in a way that will take a hit to your mental health.
In this episode Tiff and Christine share helpful tips on how to accurately measure your podcast results and the importance of being unattached to the numbers.
“There is a difference between being attached to and being informed about your results.”Christine Baird
- (4:25) The difference between being attached versus informed
- (12:40) How to detach from your results in a healthy way
- (15:45) How to measure your results on YouTube
- (20:40) The difference between wanting to be an influencer and being committed to being one
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- Christine Baird
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Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host Christine Baird.
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler. Being in the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry. This is what we learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it. We’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you. Tune in weekly, to learn how to think like a producer.
We’re getting so good at just getting into it instead of talking forever.
That’s what happens when you get two really good friends together. All right, ready. Welcome to this episode of think like a producer. I’m excited about this because, um, I basically, I was like, Christine, this might be a good idea for an episode. This wasn’t directly asked by you all, but of course send in your questions whenever you have them. But I got this question while I was teaching a class. I was in a membership group. I was asked to like, be a guest lecture for a group of coaches. And I was asked, Hey, what is the best performing episode in your podcast right now? What’s the worst performing episode on your podcast right now. And I had a bit of a moment where I had to think, um, because I was like, Oh, I know the best episodes. But even though Christine has been amazing at telling me our stats on a regular basis, I have never really attached to which episodes weren’t doing the best, at least on our audio platform.
And I thought of this question, like how attached to the results should you be? And I thought this would be cool because I know that Christine’s attached in a different way than I’m attached to our results of our podcast and our marketing. So I think this is something to bring to the forefront. Especially if you are new to podcasting, you can get super overwhelmed and inundated with like what people are watching, what people are downloading, how many people are subscribed to my YouTube channel there’s numbers everywhere, how many people are liking or sharing the Instagram posts or the Twitter posts like the stats can be overwhelming or they can kind of just be something that you visit at particular points. So bringing back our kind of, um, what I love to bring up Christine, the fact that we are ending season one after 30 episodes, it’s very important for the kind of person that I am.
So to kind of go back, I answered the question and knew what our top episodes were. I didn’t know what our worst episodes were and the reason why is because it’s like, Oh, when we finished the season, we’re going to have our super fun, super productive marketing meeting. And we’re going to go over what really worked in season one, what didn’t work in season one and what we’re going to kind of like our ideas moving forward with season two. And I was just thinking, even while I was explaining in the teaching, I’m okay with that. I’m okay with not exactly knowing right now what the worst performing episode is because I’m the kind of person maybe you can relate if you’re listening. I’m the kind of person, if I know what the worst episode is, I will kind of only think about what’s not working.
I’ll only think about what’s not performing well, and that doesn’t work well for me, moving forward in my creativity. Like I kind of need to be that, I don’t want to say weird, cause we’re not weird, but we’re kind of weird that overly optimistic person that only sees the good until it’s time to sit down with everything. Um, and so, like I said, uh, you know, having these breaks, I think are really important if you are the kind of person that goes, Hey, like, I don’t wanna know what the worst performing is. I don’t know how, like, do we have really bad episodes that are at our, uh, posts that we’ve put on Instagram? This is the time like, like even when we talked about, been on our Instagram, um, over the last week of this recording over the last week, we kind of went over quarters of the year.
The fact that the first three months is Q1 in a business sense, right? So now that you can come to the end of the first quarter and in the second quarter and the third quarter, and put together times that you’re focusing on the results again, this is me, this is me going, I’m positive cheerleader Tiff. Don’t tell me what’s not working. And so we get to the end until we get to that stop point and we can review. But like I said, Christine is a little different. Um, so my, my kind of take on this and I know we’ll probably talk a little bit more as we dive deeper, but my take on this is yes. Be attached, know what’s happening, know what’s going on, but don’t be so attached that you’re only looking at the negative or only looking at the things that aren’t working and you’re not able to create and move forward with your show and your promotion and your marketing. Christine, you are like the data queen for our, at least for the audio side of our podcast. So I’d love to hear your take on just, you know, are you attached or unattached? Do you think about like our best in our worst episodes on like a regular basis when you’re thinking about our podcasts, I know you got a lot of stuff going on, but just wondering, like, what’s your relationship with our download stats? Like, should you be attached to the results?
That’s such a good way of putting it because there’s a difference between being attached to results, meaning like your self worth, your feelings of success, your optimism, your energy is attached to your results versus being informed of your results, which is where I like to live. Because as we all know, self-worth is my lifelong journey. So I’m very conscious of like where I put myself worth my feelings of success, being informed and being attached to separate things. I am super informed about the analytics on any show I work on. I mean, partly because people pay me too, and then I pay myself to be, uh, you know, informed of my own results, but attached. I’m probably the queen of being unattached to my results, partly because that’s my personality. And I make things because I love to make things. And oftentimes I make them for myself and it’s like a bonus if anyone else enjoys it.
But partly because I’ve seen firsthand the perils of being too attached to results that as we all know, we’ve talked about this in other episodes, you can get into the comparison trap so quickly, and I’ve had multiple clients. I’ve referenced this on the show who are brilliant at what they do, large following successful businesses. And when they see their podcast, isn’t getting the same numbers is their friend so-and-so’s podcasts. They start to feel like a failure. They get discouraged, they stop, they give up and it just breaks my heart because I’m like, Oh gosh, like you were never going to be like that person, that person had a totally different brand business model, audience show type, like different shows get very different download numbers based on the even format of the show. Right? So obviously if you have a daily news show, your numbers look totally different than if you have a bimonthly like, or biweekly
I always get that wrong, every two weeks. If you’re putting out, you know, like a, I don’t know, a storytelling podcast and to be fair, like even the, how people consume the content is going to affect your download numbers. Because this season on my personal podcast, Worthfull Project, I decided to only do affirmation episodes. I wanted to kind of do a fun new creative project. So I’m not doing any interviews and not even doing solo episodes. I’m just putting together these sort of affirmation, meditation style episodes that are like 10 minutes immediately. My downloads doubled. And I didn’t no it’s because people are listening to those more than once. It’s not like I suddenly got double the audience. It’s like, this is the type of content people listened to again and again, they’re short episodes. They’re very like uplifting. It’s the kind of stuff I listen to multiple times.
So that’s why I want to really differentiate being attached versus being informed. So being informed, what does that look like, Christine? Like how would it be smart to be informed about my podcast analytics? Well, no matter who you host your podcast with hosting service, right? We’ve covered, this might be Libsyn or Anchor, Simplecast, or Acast or 20 other, Bluebrry, Podbean. Okay. Buzzsprout okay. I’ll stop there. Whoever you host your podcast with, that’s where you can look at your actual analytics. The big number is the downloads, right? How many people have pushed play on that episode, but there’s a ton of other data and a lot of hosting services, you can pay more for increased analytics. Your basic analytics will kind of just give you, you know, maybe info on the top 10 current episodes. And you can pay for more. You can find out where people are listening around the world.
You can figure out what time of day they’re listening. Um, you can figure out, you know, what kind of device they listen on or what app they use. So those are all just in information, right? That’s just helpful. You’re like, Oh, it looks like actually a lot of my audiences on Spotify. Oh, that probably means I have a younger audience. Got it. You know, just in basics like that versus like, Oh, I have a ton of Apple listeners. Most of my listeners, I guess, are Apple users, which kind of tells you something, right? Because Apple products are not cheap. There’s like a whole culture around Apple. So that kind of information is just very helpful information where it’s helpful to be in relationship to your download numbers specifically is every single week one. I just checked to make sure nothing happened like technologically to where people couldn’t listen to be truthful different from YouTube.
You would have no idea if something had glitched in your, your episode, wasn’t available, unless you were checking your downloads like YouTube, you can see the views they’re public, right? That’s not like that for audio podcasts. So part of, part of being in touch with my results is literally making sure nothing happened to where, like, don’t worry, this has happened to me before, uh, on shows I’ve worked on. So I think I learned that through trial and error, like check every week, because you want to find out pretty quickly if something happened where people can’t listen, um, you know, there’s other ways you could check that you could check it on your own device, you know, pull up your own podcast app and be like, is my episode here? It’s for us Thursdays, you know, did it appear in my feed? Is anything wrong? So part of that is just like a technical check.
And the other part of it, getting back to what you originally said, Tiff is noticing what people are the most drawn to click play on. And that actually has way more to do with the title of the episode than anything, right? Someone clicking play on an episode, they have no idea what’s in the episode yet. So you can’t rate the quality of the episode on people clicking play, because they haven’t listened when they click play. So, honestly, it’s really helpful feedback about your titles, which just like an email headline. You’ll hear any good email marketer, explain the same thing about email, subject lines, right? Your email is only ever going to be as valuable as your subject line because people are not going to open an email. It doesn’t have a good subject line. So it’s very helpful to figure out like what kind of headlines or titles are resonating with my audience, because that helps me know, okay, they’ve more people clicked on this particular headline than average.
That probably means that’s resonating or even the way I wrote that headline resonated. Right? So it might’ve been put in an active voice or it might’ve been put in the form of a question. It might’ve been put in the form of a list, you know, the top five ways to blah, blah, blah. Um, maybe if you have guest interviews putting the name of the guest at the beginning of the head, the title versus at the end actually makes a huge difference because a lot of podcast apps cut off the, a long title. So people just scrolling through their phone, aren’t even going to see who the guest was. If you didn’t put it at the beginning, these are just, I mean, you don’t have to take this personally, right. This is kind of like scientific it’s data. It’s a non what I want to say. It’s neutral information that has nothing to do with like the quality of the episode. So that’s my 2 cents. I’m being informed about your results. Tiff, is there a piece of this that you find yourself doing with YouTube videos as well?
Yeah. Now that you broke it down like that, I was like, Oh man. Okay, cool. I like that the difference between being attached and being informed. And I think, I mean, just to ask you real quick, before I go down the YouTube spiral, like, so when you say that you’re not attached to the results, right. But basically you’re just saying like in a feelings, emotional kind of way, you’re just like these results. Don’t reflect who I am as a person, don’t reflect the quality of my work. Like I am just informed on the numbers so that I know how to grow this podcast, how to grow this show based on what people are clicking on those different things. So you separate the two, but do you feel like even for your personal podcast is sometimes you’re like, Oh, I really wanted this episode to do well at like really like I, or like, I really love putting all this time and effort into it and it didn’t do as well. Like do you, do you ever kind of feel sort of attached for your personal projects and then how do you kind of detach yourself so you can move forward?
No, that’s a really good question. I’m glad you made me clarify. Yes, I’m human. And of course, if I make something from my heart or I put a lot of effort into it, I do love it when people love it. Like that’s a good feeling. Yes. I have learned that because so much of what we create nowadays is shared digitally. It’s a very different experience. It’s a lot out of my hands. And so I think it just like a little nerd fact about Christine in college, both of my degrees, I studied art and humanity and design. And so I kind of came from a background of the, if you will, analog world, like all of my college time was, you know, studying like ancient art and civilizations. And so I always bring that to any project where I’m creating, because my background kind of how I came up was all analog.
And I realized when I’m creating digital products, there are so many factors at work, whether or not someone will even see it, social media to be obvious, but emails, podcasts, any where you’re sharing a digital product, you actually can’t control whether or not people are going to see it or consume it right. There could be literally a hundred reasons. They don’t click play. Um, watch the post, read the caption, turn on the volume. I’m the queen of scrolling my Instagram feed with my volume off. So like that’s a fact and that’s, what’s really helped me not be attached to people, responding to my work. I just sort of have like a blanket perspective that if people had seen it and been able in a frame of mind to really take it in, they probably would have loved it. My people, right? Like my target audience, a lot of people like it just, and of course there’s an entire industry built to make sure people see your stuff.
I’m not saying you’re powerless. I’m just saying, because I haven’t been willing to invest a ton of time and money into making sure people see my stuff, which is the whole business in and of itself. That’s kind of helped me be not attached. And then to be fair, when I do put something out that I get a lot of response from that’s even more validation that that message resonated. Cause I’m like all the barriers included. People still found this and loved it. Okay. That helps me know that people really want more of that. Um, but you know, maybe that’s just a naivete that I live with. It I’m fine with that. I just it’s helped me a lot to work inside of the digital industry, specifically a social media heavy industry. Cause I’m like, it is not as it appears like as we know algorithms run, every one of these for-profit platforms. So, you know, it’s a pay to play and that’s okay.
Okay. All right. I like your take on it. And it’s probably like the first time I was like, Oh, let’s do a quick podcast interview of Christine and ask her a question directly. Um, but I appreciate your take on that. And I think on the YouTube side to answer your question now, um, you know, what I recommend for people is TubeBuddy, that’s something that people have been using, uh, as a third party app to just test everything Christine was talking about like 10 minutes ago, um, when was talking about like titles and thumbnails and like what people are clicking on and knowing that a lot of results don’t have to do exactly with like the quality of the actual video, but just was that thumbnail interesting where they on the, I mean, God, it’s so crazy that if the person is on the left side or the right side of your thumbnail makes a huge difference.
Um, how big the text is makes a huge difference. If it’s, you know, just three words compared to like 10 words, can you read it? Is it a very distracting background? Like so much just goes into like the simplification, but really thinking about thumbnails. And I will point this out because I love this example, Sophia Amoruso. I tore up that girl boss, uh, book loved reading all about her story, but when she was on eBay and she was selling, um, a lot of her clothes and different things and she was building up, like she would basically go and buy things secondhand and, and resell it on eBay, all vintage stuff. Um, and I’m not a closed person. So like, you got to understand, like for me to even be talking about it, I’m like, yo, it, her story is awesome. But what she would do is that she would really focus on the images and what she was doing.
Like the photography was so important to her more so sometimes I think than the clothes, not throwing off the quality of what she did, but what she would do is she would literally like zoom out as, as she could and make the image really small on her computer and see if she could still see what she was trying to see. Did it pop if it was a really tiny image, like maybe people were on their phone or they were on a smaller computer at that time. Like, can you see it as a stand out from every other thing that’s on that page? And I love that part of the book. I love that, you know, it was so much more than the clothes, right? It was so much more than being in love and having a craft and an art in that particular piece. And it was what Christine said.
It’s like, it was the data. It was just like, what are people looking at? What color is going to pop on on the screen? Like when I go with clients thumbnails, like I literally just zoom out, I download their thumbnails and I zoom out, like, can I read those words? Can I see that face? And then that’s where I start when it comes to kind of redoing some people’s YouTube channels and different things like that. And again, to Christine’s point like the five steps to X, Y, and Z, we’ll probably do better than this is how you should live your life. Like the steps, the timing there’s different, you know, there’s reasons why we click on what we click on because there’s a million videos on how to take a good photo. But like you clicked on one in particular because of the way that thumbnail looked or that title stood out, or you just really loved that person.
You got to see their face on the right side of the screen. Um, so yes, I think there are like so many ways that we can be informed on what’s working online on what people are going to click on and, you know, the results are going, gonna, probably going to be based on more of like how you’re able to get people’s attention. But, you know, I do sometimes do I think this is great for me, probably Christine, like as a personal check-in. Cause I get so into our episodes when I’m recording. Oh, well, I’m editing them and like, you know, do I want, how do the slides come up? Did you blink? Like when the slide came up, is that distracting? Like I get very, so much into the episode. Um, and I think, I think there’s room for both. I think there’s room for you to be kind of like really attached, not super attached where you don’t move forward, but it’s adds to the creative process and what you’re doing and, and kind of like loving that piece.
But then you can be informed on, you know, what is really going to get in front of the most people. Because another question I got during this conversation, Christine, they were like, how do you become a top influencer? And I was just like, Oh, I then like, I disliked the question, but I was just like, why do you want to be an influencer? Like, what does that word mean to you? Right. It’s like, how do you become celebrity? I think sometimes when people ask that question and I have to tell you, like, I don’t think any top influencers currently at this point of recording, we’re thinking I really want to be a top influencer. Like I don’t think that popped in their head. I think they were like, in order for me to get a lot of attention or it’s a grow a big audience, I have to serve the most people I have to like make sure that people want to click on this.
My sales page has to look great. Like what I’m saying in these videos or these free things that I’m offering has to be. Right. I think they’re not so focused on the title and they’re focused on the impact. Um, so like I said, I like what Christine said, the attachment versus the, the information like, are you attached to being ranked as a top influencer? Or are you just informed on like, Oh, this is what’s working for these people who have a certain amount of followers and now this is what I can possibly work on or do better to make the impact of what the show is supposed to be in the first place. But that was an interesting question. I was just like, Ooh, don’t I,
I was just going to add a little on that because we could obviously talk about this forever. Uh, this is, you know, where Tiff and I have been living for the last seven years. Um, I heard a podcast yesterday, an episode I was editing for a client and the guest was a very successful podcaster. She has a social media agency and it had all kind of come about in the last year, um, during COVID when her father had been dying of COVID. And so she was telling this like a kind of tragedy over triumph story, which was so powerful, but she was outlining what she got clear on during this very difficult time when she started this business. And she said straight out, she was like, I realized my goal was to become like a number one business influencer for millennials. And so she is completely committed, completely driven.
Everything is focused on it, all of the strategies, she shared what she’s done on our podcast on LinkedIn, on Instagram, on email, on clubhouse, on TikTok, like completely focused on building that kind of an impact in brand. And so like, you know, hat goes off to her, she’s doing it. Of course, it’s going to take a while to get to that level, but she’s, you know, running a huge company now and has all these clients and like, she’s so clear about where she’s headed and to your point, that is a very different energy that creates very different results than someone who’s like, I’m going to be an influencer and help people. And then like, that’s, that’s all. So not to like go down the rabbit hole here, but I do think it’s helpful when you’re looking at your results. A way to have a healthy relationship with them is to be really honest with yourself about your goals.
Like, are you actually trying to be a top level influencer at the status of like Gary Vaynerchuk or do you just want to create some great stuff and make some money because you’ll get different results and the people who are getting crazy results likely either are so deeply committed, they’re doing stuff you would never be willing to do. Not unethical, just like insane amounts of like workload and time. And they have like teams and they’re just doing stuff you would never do. Or they have something really extraordinary that they’re offering. I mean, you know, we know who these people are, just like the people we all look up to, you know, Oprah’s Super Soul100, you’re like, clearly you have a gift. So just a little 2 cents on the end there to like really own your priorities and own who you are and what you’re here do. And that not everyone needs to be an influencer at the scale of millions of followers. They don’t not need it. Okay. True.
And people don’t make, I mean, and I mean, I just, I wish, I mean, I know it’s like, like too personal or whatever, but if people knew how much people were making, who don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers, I think you’d be interesting. You know, like the people who I’ve met, who are, who do really well in video production and they’ve got less than 10K followers, but they have made a living and have an entire team working on video production. It’s like, sometimes they’ll get leads through Instagram, but it’s not like they have to have 200K to be making 200K in a year, 250K in a year. So yeah, I think it’s, it’s going to be like the conversation that will never end. Like, you know what I mean?
Literally it was like, Oh, I just thought of something else that you could share. Now let’s wrap it up. You guys, if you love this episode and you like what Tiff and I were going into, tell us, leave a comment. DM on our Instagram, email us, let us know. We have endless stories. We can tell about our time working with these people and what we’ve learned, but we’ll wrap it up for today. This is hopefully given you some light into the value of being informed versus attached to your results, how important it is to be informed with your results and how to kind of find a healthy balance there. So thank you so much for listening and watching of course, subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts or Spotify or any of the many beautiful podcast platforms. Acast has a really great app that I’ve recently been using.
You can get it on any kind of device. Um, if you’d leave us a review of the show on Apple podcasts, it would mean so much to us that just adds so much social proof so that other people are like, Oh, this show is the real deal. People actually get value from listening. And of course, subscribe to the YouTube channel. It’s amazing TIF. I mean, it’s really a mini masterclass in creating a YouTube channel from scratch. If nothing else, watch what we’re doing to just take tips because Tiff is a professional and she’s the one running the YouTube channel. Um, but we will see you very soon on the next episode of think like a producer.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think Like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production. Massive thanks to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico Productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
If you want to learn more about how to market, monetize, and grow your podcast, we have a membership group where you can get more access to us and feedback on your show. As a special bonus, you get free access to Christine’s DIY, do it yourself, podcast course when you join the group. Check the link in the show notes for more information.