I’m Staring At My Computer. I Have Launch Fright!

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(By Johnny Peterson) You’ve anticipated this day for weeks, maybe even months. You’re ready to launch your podcast!

But something is holding you back, like you don’t feel ready just yet. Perhaps you feel like you’re forgetting something. Is my intro music the best it could be? Should I record a few more episodes before I launch? Will people even listen to this?

Any number of reasons could make you hesitate to officially launch your podcast. However, there are a few things you can do to ease the anxiety of hitting that tantalizing, yet nerve-wracking, “Publish” button.

First, create an introductory episode. While not essential, these short, two- to five-minute episodes can be really helpful to explain who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you are hoping to do with the show. Introductory episodes are great because they’re easily consumable pieces of content that potential listeners can check out before hopping into a full-length episode.

The biggest way that podcasts grow is through word of mouth, or people telling others to listen to your show. Even so, there are going to be those who randomly stumble across your podcast, and an intro episode is a great way for them to decide if they are to become a returning listener or not — rather than being immediately deterred by your 47-minute episode. An intro episode is especially important on launch day, as this will be a critical time when people give your podcast a chance after you’ve posted the link to it on all your social media accounts.

These are super-simple to record and add a lot of benefit to your podcast, so why not crank one out before the podcast goes live to the world?

Second, I recommend launching three episodes at the very beginning and having at least three more in your pocket in case of an emergency. Not only are you gaining practice by simply creating a bunch of podcasts pre-launch, but releasing multiple episodes on launch day enables your audience to binge-listen and get hooked on your content. Also, having several in the bank allows some wiggle room in your schedule when life inevitably becomes hectic.

Will creating more content up front delay the launch of your podcast? Probably. But trust me, you’ll feel much better having a few weeks of content ready to go at the very beginning, rather than spending the rest of your podcasting career playing catch-up to have content ready when you’re supposed to!

Finally, get feedback before you launch. Send out one or two episodes individually to people you know who will give you genuine feedback. Whether the feedback is “The audio quality sounds like sh*t” or “I love it, but consider asking this question with your next guest,” any earnest feedback is important feedback! You’ll be able to make those last-minute post-production tweaks and use the outside opinions when you record future podcasts. Yeah, it’ll delay your launch a bit, but you will have a more refined product when you finally publish those first episodes.

Hopefully these ideas ease some of your launch fright. At the end of the day, publishing your podcast will only benefit you. Launch when you feel ready — the world is waiting for you!

Johnny Peterson is the CEO and founder of Straight Up Podcasts, providing professional podcast services and consulting. He is also the host of the Pod Logic podcast. You can reach Johnny at johnny@straightuppodcasts.com