Katherine Hofmann—The Art, Philosophy, Mindset, and Fundamentals of Podcasting

The Nishant Garg Show

I wrote down 40 questions based on my podcasting experience and refined them by keeping in mind how to map out a podcasting life cycle journey in a simple and fun way, and someone who’s on any spectrum in the podcasting world can take the bullets as the foundation and test their hypothesis. I didn’t know any better when I started in Jan 2020 and kept incrementally improving every week and as a result, I’ve interviewed 150+ world-class experts in different domains. Now, I take the pleasure of sharing the expert’s information with you so that we all can learn and grow from each other.

If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Katherine Hoffman: Dr Katherine Hofmann hosts the Artful Boundaries Podcast, where she helps high performing women learn to say ‘no’ so that they can excel. She maintains a virtual private consulting practice based in Portland, OR where she provides individual health consultations, hosts the Artful Boundaries mastermind, and also offers Human Design and Akashic record readings. 

Boundaries are a container for meaningful interaction. Nothing more or less. Unfortunately, most women have been taught that anything close to the word ‘no’ translates into: bitchy, unlikeable, untrustworthy, unkind, and most unhelpful. In short, you can’t say no because you won’t be ‘nice’ anymore. This comes at a cost: lost revenue, poor personal relationships, burnout, physical symptoms (headaches, backpain, etc), emotional symptoms (anxiety, depression, resentment, anger). And, of course, the non-renewable lost TIME.

That’s where she comes in. In fact, it IS possible to say ‘no’ even while letting the other person know you really do care about them. And in fact, the better your skill at setting effective, compassionate boundaries, the MORE profitable your business becomes. You’ll be perceived as being MORE trustworthy. She works with high-achieving professional women who are ready to stop sacrificing themselves for the sake of being ‘nice.’ Women who crave meaning in their lives, but who are too overwhelmed to figure out where, exactly they lost it along the way.

Connect with Katherine: LinkedIn | Instagram | Website

I asked Katherine some of the important questions that anyone can leverage in their podcasting journey.

Please enjoy!

Nishant Garg: What was your motivation to start the podcast? What skills and lessons have you learned in podcasting that is transferable in other projects and life in general?

Katherine Hofmann: It was an experiment, in all honesty. I heard someone else talk about her experience starting a podcast, and thought “hey, that might be fun!” It was a way I thought I could provide information to help make someone else’s life a little bit easier.

Consistency is the key! Podcasting has highlighted how important it is to show up even when I don’t want to. Seeing the growth of my audience from quite literally zero up through thousands of downloads is so satisfying and would never have happened if I didn’t show up every week, without fail.

The other thing about podcasting is that it has taught me to ship an idea, and trust the process of learning. Many episodes I posted because it was the schedule and thought they were so, so, bad. Then, in going back and listening to them, or getting outside feedback I realized that they were not only fine, but actually quite informative and helpful.

Nishant Garg: What’s your current guest recruitment process look like? How do you approach someone whom you don’t know? Any advice or template for cold-outreach that has worked for you? 

Katherine Hofmann: I’ve not yet started approaching folks I don’t know. I’m really fortunate to have a close network of phenomenal folks. Typically, if in the course of a conversation with someone I think they would be a good guest, I simply ask. I follow up with an email that has a link to schedule, talking points/questions, and answers to any additional questions they may have had.

Nishant Garg: What’s your current recording tech set up—in terms of microphone, recording software, etc.? Did you have the same set up when you had just started? If not, what was your setup in the beginning?

Katherine Hofmann: My setup is exactly the same as it’s been since I started: I use my computer microphone via voice memos if I’m doing a solo episode, or via Zoom if I’m recording an interview. I’ve used mics, but for whatever reason find them to be incredibly unreliable, so I stick with the same setup. I edit with Audacity.

Nishant Garg: What advice people should ignore when they are just thinking to start the podcast and not quit after 7-10 episodes? Any best practices people should consider?

Katherine Hofmann: Having an experimental mindset is incredibly helpful. Try some things out. See how they go. If you’re having fun, keep at it! If it starts to be a chore for more than a month, re-evaluate your process and figure out WHY it’s a chore. If it’s a chore because you’re genuinely not having fun in the process and can’t troubleshoot, let it go. See if you can guest on other podcasts. Also, don’t put too much stock in the numbers up front. Give it time. If you already have an audience, give them a minute to catch on. If you’re building an audience from scratch, hang in there! It WILL happen! I went from zero listeners to 10, to 50, to 100, to thousands simply by staying consistent.

Nishant Garg: What information do you request the guests before the day of the recording? Before hitting the record button, do you have any sort of pre-conversation with guests? If so, what does that conversation look like?

Katherine Hofmann: I don’t ask for any info from them before the episode, I just try to make sure they feel prepped in whatever way they need.

Typically I’ve met my guests before in one form or another, so our conversation right before I hit record is simply to catch any last minute questions and to let them know that if they want a second take on anything they say it’s perfectly acceptable for them to simply say “can you please cut that out” as we go through our conversation.

Nishant Garg: How do you prepare about the guests before the recording? What’s your research process look like? What do you keep in mind to make the experience enjoyable for the listeners, guests, and yourself? Do you have a team to help you with the guest’s research work? If yes, what kind of research do you expect from them?

Katherine Hofmann: I am a one-woman show! My research involves stalking websites and LinkedIn or other social profiles to get a better read on their area of expertise and strategize on what specifics I would like to hear from them.

I set expectations about timing (I allow for 90 minutes, but they can take as much or little of that time as they like), the process of recording (schedule via Acuity, recording via Zoom), and talking points I would like to cover with them (I send a list of questions in advance of our conversation).

Nishant Garg: After you record the podcast, what’s your editing and sound leveling process, hosting platform, etc. look like? What software(s) do you use? Do you give edits rights to guests? What things do you usually consider in the editing process?

Katherine Hofmann: I’m quite possibly the lowest tech, least edit-conscious podcaster out there. I do zero sound leveling, and, unless a guest has requested I cut something out, do minimal editing on Audacity. Because my space has shifted because of COVID and I’m right in front of a window, I’ll occasionally have to edit out street sounds.

It’s incredibly important to me that guests feel comfortable, and I’ll edit something if they wanted to re-state something, or shared something they didn’t really want out there. Otherwise, what ends up in the episode is my call.

I use Soundcloud for hosting, and found public domain music for my intro and outro.

Nishant Garg: In your podcasting journey, what are some of the things you did earlier, and don’t do it now? What are the questions you used to ask and now you don’t tend to ask? What are the good basics questions you usually ask the guest to get an authentic response?

Katherine Hofmann: I don’t know there’s something I used to do that I don’t now in terms of questions I ask. A big shift I’ve had to work on is simply saying a question and letting it be—I used to way over-qualify all my questions, and I’ve practiced just saying what I need to say and letting the answer happen.

In terms of confidence, I’ve also gotten better about the weird start at the beginning of every interview (we’ve already talked, and it’s silly to re-say ‘Hi, ____!).

Always I ask them to introduce themselves up top, and then after that it’s really person specific. The guests I’ve had range from gemologist to declutter coach to mental health pros to clinical researchers to life coaches to geronto psychologists, so the conversation is always unique!

When we wrap up, I do always ask if they have any offerings or where listeners can find them if they want to hear more or ask questions directly.

Nishant Garg: At the time of launch, do you ask guests to promote it as well? If guests volunteer to promote it, what promotional materials do you provide them?

Katherine Hofmann: I don’t ask them to, but I give them carte blanche to promote if they like. I don’t offer too many materials, though this is an area I could improve! I do send a copy of the edited MP3, and the link to the episode.

Nishant Garg: What’s your favorite social media platform that gets you the most traction and visibility, and why? If someone doesn’t have much social media presence or an established audience, how should they approach the promotion and marketing? What advice should they ignore?

Katherine Hofmann: Oh, I wish I could answer this with more confidence. I don’t really get a ton of traction through social media—maybe I did in the beginning, I’m not sure. There are listeners across the world, and I’ve no idea how they found the podcast. I include current episodes alongside “On the Podcast Last Year” in my email newsletter, but honestly, I’ve no idea how my audience has grown… Having some notable guests who have great followings has been helpful, so perhaps that’s where I’ve gotten some intense visibility boosts. I’d love to pin this down so I can be more intentional about it!

Do what works for you—if you hate social media, don’t use it! Tell your friends, family, co-workers, whomever you think would benefit from the content you are offering! Have guests who YOU enjoy talking with, have them share the episode, be consistent in what and when you publish, and your audience will certainly grow.

Nishant Garg: How did you find guests in your early podcasting phase and what challenges did you face? Could you tell us about your memorable failures and rejections, and how you dealt with it?

Katherine Hofmann: I’ve never had a guest reject a request to have them on the podcast, mostly because I don’t ask until after I’ve talked with someone for at least half an hour or so. In my experience, people are interested in gaining the visibility and exposure, and typically express being flattered that they’ve been asked for an interview… When I started asking, my biggest challenge was just getting the words out of my mouth, because I felt silly that I was ‘another podcaster.’ It has been so much fun to do though, and over time, I’ve gotten so much positive feedback about my interviews, so my confidence grew.

Nishant Garg: When do you recommend to focus on monetizing the podcast? What are the key fundamentals to monetize? At what stage, did you monetize the podcast, if so?

Katherine Hofmann: Be clear on what your podcast is for. Is it to make money on its own? Is it the first step in a sales funnel? Are you just having fun and podcast as a hobby? Getting clear here is the first step— if you are wanting to run ads, you’ll need to build a pretty sizeable audience which is doable, but will take time if you don’t already have one.

If your podcast is a step in a funnel, which step is it? Are you building sales or a newsletter or something else? A consultant once told me the best way to monetize whatever the size of your audience is to pitch something up top that costs $45 or less, as that’s a reasonable price that folks don’t need to check with a spouse before they spend. Every episode I provide an offer that funnels either to my email list or to a webinar I put on once a month. Both have been successful.

Thanks for reading this far. Cheers!

If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

The Nishant Garg Show is listened to in 24 countries and is about extracting information on Mindfulness, Personal Development, Spirituality. I am on a mission to spread Mindfulness and I’d love for you to join me in this movement. For any question, please contact me. If you have enjoyed listening to my podcasts, please subscribe to the new podcast updates on Itunes. Please provide your reviews on Itunes which will really help me. Subscribe to the Newsletter. You won’t be spammed! I hate spams too! You will receive only one email every Friday on the latest published podcasts.

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