Angie Lee’s podcast, The Angie Lee Show, is a top-ranked show that currently has over 10 million downloads and counting — but don’t let those accolades fool or intimidate you. She started the show in a tiny closet with a $100 microphone that she bought last minute from Target the day after she decided to go for her podcast dream.
“When I told my ex that it was my dream to start a podcast, he literally spit out his coffee and laughed at me, asked, ‘Who’s even going to listen to your show?’ I’m so glad I didn’t listen, because now that it’s a top ranked show that’s landed six figure brand sponsorships — enough for it to become my full time job — I see now that crazy ideas can change our life,” Lee reflected.
And full disclaimer, she didn’t know how to edit or upload… pitch guests… interview guests… any of it. Slowly but surely, she built The Angie Lee Show into what it is today. Lee’s energy as a “business bestie” emboldens her truly kick-in-the-pants content, encouraging all aspiring creators, entrepreneurs, and podcast hosts to get started on their dreams, even if they’re terrified the whole way through. Lee sat down with us to share the tips from her own experience on how to create a wildly popular podcast if it’s your dream, too.
- Start where you are.
“I always say that ‘ready is a lie,’ commented Lee, “because you will never be ready for whatever you start.” Lee credits her success to her desire to dive right in, even though she didn’t know how to do anything — seriously, anything. “I didn’t know how to record, to pitch guests, interview guests, make an intro for the podcast, upload the podcast so others could listen… but I figured it all out as I went.” She says that it’s more than okay to be wildly nervous and be shaking the whole way through the first episode – in fact, it’s normal and natural. Everyone’s going to be nervous. It’s those who keep going that win.
Start where you are with your equipment, too. Even though her trusty $100 Target microphone was her companion in the early days, she also urges anyone with a podcast dream to start with their phone or laptop’s microphone if they don’t know which fancy microphone to get or are scared to invest in one so early. “As long as they can hear your content, it doesn’t matter how high quality the sound is,” she shared.
- Focus on those first few listeners.
Lee may now have millions of monthly listeners, but when she first started, her first several podcast episodes got (drumroll please…) about thirty downloads. “I didn’t let that discourage me,” reflected Lee. “I believe you have to show up to serve even one person if you feel called to it. So whether it’s one person or one million people listening to your episodes, focus on how you can give them the most value.”
This may help if you’re feeling nervous, too — put the emphasis on your message and the service aspect, and then it will feel less about you and more about who you’re helping. “Over time, that one person will turn to 100, and then to 1,000, because if you’re really serving them, they’ll talk about your and your show,” she advised. Knowing this, how can you share interviews or give information that really helps people and solves one of their problems? Especially in the early days, what will get your podcast to take off is the quality of the content. If you help someone, it’s only a matter of time before your podcast comes up in conversation or they recommend it to someone else.
- Show up consistently.
Especially in the early days, show up every single week right on time. “I never missed a single podcast episode, no matter how many people were listening,” Lee said. “You have to be able to create content every single day with an unwavering dedication to your dream, even if absolutely no one is clapping for you.”
It may seem like those who have the most successful podcasts and platforms now had it all figured out, which is why Lee is so honest about her journey. Everyone starts with just a few people. What separates those who build their empires (podcast-related or otherwise) from those who don’t is commitment and consistency. If you continue to show up even if you’re scared, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and your audience of one (your mom) is the only one tuning in, eventually, something is going to happen.
Lee shares more of these ‘go after it’ messages and motivation on the Angie Lee Show and her Instagram, @angieleeshow.