Welcome to Gain, an interview series where we ask podcasters about the backstories of the great work they’re creating.
Today, we’re speaking with Janice Chaka, the host of The Traveling Introvert: the ups and downs of running businesses, while being an introvert and being on the road. The podcast launched in June 2017 and is based in the United States.
“Janice Chaka breaks it down that being an introvert can be a strength for any brazen careerist or aspiring entrepreneur. There are no apologies about not being an extrovert here!”
Where did your podcast idea come from? What’s the backstory on your podcast’s name?
Originally, I wanted to document some HR stories about things people had done wrong in the course of trying to find a job, how employers made assumptions about hiring, and how startups had failed when they hired their friends instead of people who were qualified for the job. I also wanted my friends to know what I was up to as I travel a lot. With the name of the podcast: No real backstory. I love to travel, and I am an introvert I didn’t really think too hard about starting my podcast. :) I did it in about seven days.
Who was the first person you told about your podcast?
Hmm, that is a good question. I am not sure– I am guessing some of my friends.
When did you announce your podcast’s existence to the world?
Not for a long time. I think there was at least three months before I went fully public about my podcast mainly because I didn’t create it for the general public, but I think one of my friends told someone else about it, and they wanted to listen to it. Other people also seemed to think the idea was cool and would ask me about it. I then started to post about it in various Facebook groups that included an introvert-focused group, some women in business groups as well as some podcasting groups and went from there.
I also went to a podcasting event where you are forced to talk about your podcast. What was amazing about this event was someone actually came up to me and told me they listened to my podcast—and this was in the early days. They saw my bag and got super excited and hugged me. It was very cute.
After that I guested on different podcasts to help spread the word.
Why did you want a podcast website for The Traveling Introvert?
Every time someone asked me for a link to my podcast I didn’t want to give it because I hated where they would land. My original web presence for my podcast didn’t give people multiple ways to subscribe, as not everyone has an iPhone and not everyone has an Android. In fact, I know a lot of people who listen to podcasts directly from a website, and I wanted to give both mobile listeners and web listeners the options to hear my show.
You publish a new episode of your show. What’s your approach to promoting it?
This is something that I am slowly getting better at. My podcast host auto-posts to a bunch of places: iHeartRadio, Twitter, Facebook, Google Play, Spotify, my website, and YouTube. Beyond that, you need to have a system just like you would to promote a blog post.
For example: create a social media calendar where you lay out your pre- and post-episode publication promotion. Then use that calendar to schedule your posts in advance so you aren’t thinking, “Oh, I need to remember to post about an episode six months from now,” when you are worrying about other things. Your calendar covers your most popular outlets and think about how often you should be promoting.
- Twitter needs more promotion, but you have to change each tweet so there are no duplicates, which can be extra work. For me: I have 12 tweets scheduled over the next three months for each episode.
- With Facebook, you have a teaser post or ask a question to draw your listeners in and get them excited as well as a post on the episode publication day.
- With Instagram, you can prepare some stories and audiograms in advance and then post those during the week.
- With Pinterest, I have 3-5 different pins created with different titles that all lead back to the same episode but maybe different players, iTunes, Spotify, RadioPublic etc. This is something I just started and I stretch these out over different boards that I have from travel to podcasting to introversion. I’ll post these over the next six months.
Moving forward I want to post a teaser on the Facebook page and a post on Instagram.
What’s your favorite episode of your podcast? Why is it your favorite?
I took a look at all the topics I covered over the last year and a bit, and there was not one that stood out, and I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Each one has its own backstory and brings me to a certain time in my life. Editor’s note: try one of The Traveling Introverts’s featured episodes to start, like The Difference Between Introversion and Social Anxiety.
Describe a recent time you talked about your podcast in person. Who were you talking to? What did you say to help them learn more about your show?
Someone at a conference who saw my bag which has my podcast logo on it. They were surprised that an introvert could actually enjoy traveling!?!?! We had the conversation about what introversion is and isn’t and I directed them to a couple of episodes that describe the myths of introversion. I also informed them that the show is not just about traveling but working while traveling too.
When you record your podcast, you might think about your imaginary listener who will hear this episode soon. What’s your mental image of this listener, and how do you incorporate their needs into your recording?
My younger me and/or a friend of mine who I talk to about “work stuff” but she is not into the online world at all. I don’t really have too much of a mental image, but podcasting is a great way for me to get what I am thinking off my chest. I also have done some episodes answer listener questions, which connects me with my real—not imaginary—listeners.