What bigger mission does your podcast plug into? What lofty goal are you trying to achieve with your podcast? What higher purpose are you trying to serve with your podcast?
The inspiration for today's episode comes from a friend of mine, Pam Slim, an amazing community builder and business leader from right here in the Phoenix area. During her recent talk at She Podcast LIVE, she asked the audience about the larger mission their podcasts plug into, and the idea both struck me and stuck with me.
That in itself is odd because I have a history of actively railing against mission statements for the businesses I’ve been a part of. All too often, I’ve found the words printed in a company’s mission statement have very little to do with their actual business practices. But my skepticism often degenerates to cynicism. I’m working on it.
So I’ve pondered Pam's question of podcasting with a purpose, looking back at the 20-odd podcasts I've either hosted or co-hosted over the last 17 years. In the majority of cases, there wasn’t really any loftier goal than just having a podcast. Some of them found a purpose along the way as the shows hit their stride. But it was the rare few shows (like this show) that started life with a stated purpose in mind.
Not that there's any rule that says your podcast has to have a purpose! Again, many of my old shows did not, and all of them were fun for me to do. For a time, at least.
But I’m a sample size of one, so I sent out a Tweet asking podcasters to share the raison d'etre behind their podcasts. Thanks to everyone who replied. In the interest of time, I’m going to share just a select few in this article, though I encourage you to check the link to the tweet above and see what else was posted. And even add your own!
...how we can better support the bands & musicians we love.
As a recovering/washed out musician, that's an excellent purpose to aspire to, Garret!
...to highlight the fact that judging language is judging humans in racist, sexist, classist ways, and more.
Likely something all of us who use our own voices should keep in mind, Carrie. Thank you.
Over 80% of people are disengaged in the workplace. In Life Beyond the Numbers, conversations are about how to have a more fulfilling work-life.
That’s a cool guiding light. One I probably could have used when I was doing the corporate grind thing. Thanks, Susan!
...connects to my whole kind of life/career purpose, which is sharing the value of travel as a tool both for personal growth and to make the world a better place.
Having done my time in the podcasting traveler trenches, I know that many traveling podcasters feel the same way, Amanda. Thank you.
To help people overcome fear and shame around how they have managed their money, so they can face where they are now and change it for the better.
That's great. And something I really could have used a couple of decades ago when I got into a bit of financial trouble. I’m glad you’re out there helping others, Martha.
I also reached out to my fellow members of the Advancing Podcasting community. A group I knew would have plenty of interesting answers to the question. And I wasn’t disappointed!
It’s an effort to save people from the hucksters who would capitalize on ignorance by pushing ridiculous solutions that don’t actually help people.
As a fellow terrible sleeper and a skeptic, I love that purpose, Neil. Thank you.
I'm trying to combat ignorance. Too many people just don't know much about the world around them. How it works and how it came to be.
Bite-sized information nuggets that help make the world smarter. Love it, Gary!
Our podcast wasn’t started for any noble or higher reason than no one else was doing a UK-centric motoring news curated show.
As we’ve gone on, we have found ourselves fighting misinformation/lack of understanding for subjects such as autonomous vehicles, AI in cars, electric cars.
I wouldn’t, for one minute, pretend to be doing it for the greater good or something, but factually poor reporting does “irk” me.
And that's an incredibly self-aware observation, Andrew. And a nice way to bring us back full circle on this topic.
Maybe your show doesn't connect with a bigger mission or a lofty goal. But maybe it does, and like Andrew, you discover your purpose as you go along. The trick is finding that purpose, then elucidating that purpose succinctly, and then making sure the purpose is your North Star as you progress down the podcasting road.
Looking back at my own history, I feel confident in saying that it’s much easier to build a shared experience for your listeners and foster a sense of community amongst you and your listeners when the podcast has a bigger mission at stake.
Again, there’s no requirement to do that. Podcasting just for fun can certainly be quite fun. But if building something bigger with a true community around it, it’s probably worth your time to figure out the bigger mission your podcast plugs into.
A big thanks to James Cridland from Podland, Podnews, and all the other pod-y type things that James does. He’s testing something with his value-for-value integration and opted to use Fountain to send me 222 Satoshis as part of the test. I’ll test with you and exchange circus tokens any day, my friend.
And if you want to get in on the circus-token exchange, grab a value-4-value enabled podcast listening app from the list at NewPodcastApps.com.
And please visit PodcastPontifications.com/value-4-value for many ways you can support me and my mission of making podcasting better for podcasters and for listeners alike
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.