How to build the confidence needed to become a Podcast Host! | By Heather Monahan
Updated: May 6, 2022
After over two decades of Sales Leadership experience in Corporate America, the idea of starting over as a rookie podcast host seemed insurmountable. It will always be easier to criticize than it is to create and any time you create something new, the criticism is sure to follow. That left me feeling scared. I was scared to start over with no expertise or any proof that I would be able to create a successful show.
Here’s what I now know for sure:
Successful people don’t know the how but they bet on themselves to figure it out along the way.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t make mistakes or need to change direction but it does mean that you need to keep going in order to make it work.
In those early moments when I was trying to get the courage up to launch my new show, I started to reflect on my prior success in Corporate America. While I had been a Chief Revenue Officer, I didn’t start out as a CRO. I actually had started out as an account executive in radio knocking on doors trying to land clients with no experience or expertise. I started at the bottom and over two decades I worked my way to the top. As I processed this truth I realized the key was just getting started and the sooner I would start, the sooner I would find success.
When have you started out as a beginner and found success? Maybe it was when you were young and you learned how to swim or you tried out for the baseball team? Think about it, there was a time you didn’t know how to do something and you simply figured it out. Can’t think of one? How about when you learned how to walk? You didn’t get caught up with what others thought about your efforts. You didn’t stop to see if others would cheer you on. You fell and you got back up and you kept on going until one day you had figured it out. This is no different. Get clear on the idea that you WILL figure this out.
I had finally gotten the initial confidence to launch my show when I made the mistake of telling others what I was going to do. That’s when I heard the same negative feedback from everyone:
“You are too late to podcasting. Podcasting is too competitive. You will never make it.”
Never take direction from someone who hasn’t been where you are going.
I had learned this lesson earlier in my career when I decided to pitch the company I used to work for on an idea I had to create a new VP role. Everyone told me they would never say yes. I pitched them the concept and they said YES!
Just because something might not work out for someone else doesn’t mean it isn’t possible for you.
Only you can determine what is possible for you.
I decided to stop asking for permission and start taking action instead. If ten years ago was the right time, then today is the only time. I got moving! I knew if I wanted to make a splash that I would need to land a big guest to get the market place’s attention. I had declared that Gary Vaynerchuck would be my first guest.
After years of sending DM’s and not getting responses I decided to take a different approach. I took out a google alert on his name and within a week I was notified he was launching a new wine company with a partner. I figured the partner would be easier to reach so I sent the partner a DM on Linkedin. The partner responded right away and I offered to give him some tips on launching a wine product as I had worked in that business years before.
My goal when I reach out to anyone new is to always lead with value.
He was so excited I wanted to help him, he called me immediately. After an hour long call about everything I knew about the wine business, he thanked me for my time and asked how he could ever repay me. I told him I would so appreciate it if he would get Gary as a guest for my new show. Then he did exactly that. My confidence went through the roof! Not only had I declared that I would land Gary as a guest but I did the work to make it happen and that declaration became fact.
Make bold moves and when you bring the ideas to life your confidence goes to the next level.
I researched what a strong podcast launch looked like by talking to others who had successfully done it. They shared with me that I needed to get others to post about my show, subscribe, rate and review my show and I needed to be a guest on others shows to grow my audience.
I figured if I wanted to get my audience to exhibit certain behaviors I should reward them for their efforts. My first year as a podcaster anytime someone would leave a review I would thank them live on air and send them my $299 Confidence Video Course for FREE! That drove my reviews quickly.
At the same time I began guesting on numerous podcasts and each show I would go on, I would offer to promote and share the episode on my platforms to support the other host. People appreciated that and I kept landing more shows. When I pitched the other hosts I made the pitch about the value that I could add for their guests and not about me. I would offer autographed book giveaways if they wanted to run a contest. I would focus on how I could add value to their audience.
Not only did I make a lot of friends in the podcasting world but I also was getting tremendous practice being on live podcasts. When you guest on other shows you are growing your show, growing your audience and getting much needed practice being on air.
With time and practice, I was getting better and so will you.
Today, I have been on air with my show for over two and a half years and I am a lot better than I was when we first launched in 2019.
Here’s what I learned along the way to becoming a confident podcaster:
1. Just start. Nothing happens if you don’t start.
2. Done will always be better than perfect. My first shows were far from perfect but they helped me build momentum and continue.
3. Practice builds competence. Competence creates confidence.
4. Set big goals and claim them. Be relentless in your pursuit. When you achieve them your confidence will soar.
5. Ask for help along the way.
6. Invest in a great producer.
7. Don’t let the small things stop you. Stay focused on your goal.
8. Write your goals down for your show and share them with friends.
Hold yourself accountable.
9. Reward the behaviors that you want.
10. Help people solve a problem and not only will they listen but they will become your champion sharing your show everywhere.
11. Ask for what you want. If you want listeners to promote the show ask them to do it.
The key is to start.
Your future self will be proud!
About Heather Monahan
Heather Monahan is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, TedX speaker and has most recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of Healthlynked Corp. Having successfully climbed the corporate ladder for nearly 20 years, Heather Monahan is one of the few women to break the glass ceiling and claim her spot in the C-suite.
As a Chief Revenue Officer in Media, Heather Monahan is a Glass Ceiling Award winner, named one of the most Influential Women in Radio in 2017 and Thrive Global named her a Limit Breaking Female Founder in 2018.
Heather’s first book Confidence Creator shot to #1 on Amazon’s Business Biographies and Business Motivation lists the first week it debuted on Amazon. Forbes named it one of the Top 5 Books for Women looking to build Confidence in Business in 2021.
Heather’s show, Creating Confidence , debuted on the Top 200 shows on Apple podcast. Her guests include Sara Blakely, Gary Vaynerchuck, Ryan Serhant, Kaitlyn Bristowe among many other noteworthy celebrities and entrepreneurs.
Heather was named one of the Top 40 Female Keynote Speakers for 2020 by Real Leaders. Her TedX talk was promoted to TED and translated into 6 languages. Harper Collins Leadership published her new book Overcome Your Villains which hit the charts at #1 on the Workplace Culture List on Amazon. Most recently Heather was named Top 50 Keynote Speaker for 2022 by Real Leaders and has recently headlines events for Google, YPO, Entrepreneur Organization, BNY Mellon, Royal Carribean, Nature’s Sunshine, Harvard, Molson Coors, Santander Bank and many others. Heather’s keynotes typically center around Creating Unshakeable Confidence and Overcoming Adversity in addition to Sales and Sales Leadership strategies.
Heather’s has been featured in USA Today, CNN, Forbes, Fast Company, Gary V’s Audio Experience and The Steve Harvey Show. Heather and her son Dylan reside in Miami.
Creating Confidence Podcast:
Overcome Your Villains:
Heather Monahan Website: