The kind of post I hate to write
I have signed up for several podcasts recently, and I notice that I get emails every day from these content providers, podcasters, and bloggers. Sometimes I get more than one email a day. I am realizing, anew, that to succeed in this space, you have to put yourself (and your content) in front of your community each and every day.
It is pushy, and I shy away from that. But the adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the worm” comes to mind.
I tend to sit back and hope that you notice new episodes are available, hear the mention of Patreon buried at the end, take note of my request that you leave feedback to help the show gain more traction.
I am definitely not forward enough, not pushy enough.
With a Field of Dreams mentality, I always tell myself that if I build it, “they” will come. Despite my wish for this storybook mantra to be true, the show has not grown in audience or support in more than 10 years. Has the show improved? I think so. I think the CMP is better and smarter and stronger and more compelling, relevant, real, and inspiring today than ever before.
But by not doing a more proactive job marketing the CMP, the survival of the CMP–something I love dearly–is at risk.
Support what you love
After a great deal of thought, scrambling, self-reflection, and mounting conviction last month, I set up a Patreon account.
Many other shows are supported both by company sponsorship deals and by individual donations. I am sure you listen to podcasts and hear the ads, herare the “this show is sponsored by” segments.
Sponsorship would be nice, provided my intellectual property remains intact and uncompromised. Really, I would love for a wonderful pen, app, or art supply company to be interested in this show. At the same time, I notice in some of the shows I listen to that the ads are… ads… and they crop up throughout the show. I completely understand why podcasters jump at sponsorship opportunities, but maintaining balance is important.
Why do podcasts need sponsors?
With the wealth of material on the Internet, including thousands of individual podcasts, inspiration really is often free. (And we like that. We like that we have access to so much that is free.) Unfortunately, the reality of producing, maintaining, and fueling a podcast isn’t free. Not only do the supplies needed to generate a continuous stream of creative talk and exploration cost money, but the show costs money to produce and maintain. There are hosting and service subscriptions. There are hardware and storage costs. To take the show to the next level (and support more listeners), the CMP needs to make changes in its infrastructure, and none of these changes are free. In addition, there are myriad apps and tools that the CMP needs to continue to evolve the show, and they each come with a price tag.
In addition to the physical costs (supplies, services, apps, tools), time does equate to a monetary reality. The time I spend (far more than you may realize) to create each show is time that I may or may not always be able to justify as time spent working on a project that has no possibility of helping pay the bills. Unfortunately, that is my reality.
How can you help?
The CMP has been around for more than 10 years. If you value the inspiration and creative talk the show offers, please consider helping to support the show. Patreon is one option. But that is not the only way to provide support or make a donation.
I continue to do the CMP because I love it, and I continue to do as much as I can on a shoestring. I don’t see that changing, until things completely break and the show can no longer function with the current setup. But increased support would help sustain the show, sustain my creative journey, and help grow the show.
Do I have a wish list of things I would like that would help the CMP? Absolutely. Do I have a wish list of upgrades that the CMP needs? Of course. Do I wish I could justify doing more than 1-2 recordings a week and the time involved in editing, producing, posting, hosting, and advertising the show? You bet!
Not everyone is in a position to help support content providers (which includes podcasts) that they love. Current shows of the podcast will always be free to listen to because the ability to listen — and to be inspired — should not have a price tag. But our world is not a balanced world in terms of haves and have-nots. If you pay course subscriptions and for publications or ad hoc content, I hope you will stop and think about whether or not the CMP has value to you.
Just because it is free to listen to doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require financial support — the same as content sources (classes, workshops, challenges, paid groups and communities) require access and signup fees.