How to Cultivate a True Fan With Your Podcast (Outside of Friends & Family) with Kyle Scheele


Show Notes: 

  • (0:00): Introduction 
  • (02:47): Being Comfortable In Podcasting World
  • (07:35): Why Would Someone Listen To Your Podcast
  • (10:43): Value of Audience’ Feedback
  • (13:53): Value Of Listeners In Podcast
  • (21:47): The Effect Of Doing The Tasks In Advance
  • (31:04): Metrics Of Success 
  • (35:28): Validation Of Influence 
  • (39:52) How To Validate Podcast

Bite-sized action items to go from dreaming to streaming your podcast.

    Video Transcriptions:

    Misbah Haque  00:00

    You are a very fascinating case study to me in a way because you came from a place of like, wanting to do your own podcast a little bit and almost being afraid to like, maybe speak those words out loud. Like I remember you telling me for the first time and you were like, he, I know the feeling of you care about this thing. But you also are like, I don’t know how I do it. And I don’t know what equipment people will listen to. So you’ve been through these very unique, emotional journeys that happen with creating something. And when you’ve launched your own show, you’re regularly, you know, recording you, you also find a very unique intersection with like, what you want to talk about, which is hard to do. And also something I think for you that took a little bit of time maybe to find so thanks for coming on. And I think you’re gonna be able to share some stuff that a lot of people resonate with today.

    Kyle  01:01

    Do you remember when I first started, when I was trying to record the trailer, it took me 40 attempts to record a two minute clip, it was literally no joke. So yeah, we’ve come, we’ve come so we’ve come somewhere else. Now. It’s been quite the journey. And I’m glad to have always been able to share it with you and clean information from you. 

    Misbah Haque  01:23

    That I know, that has to be frustrating, where you finally have your equipment, you have gotten through the hard parts of life, your show, idea, the name, the description, like some of those things that you can get hung up on. And then you sit down and you press record, and recording after recording, you’re like, I don’t like this, I don’t like this. I don’t like this. You do it 48 times. I’ve done that with video too. And it can make your head spin. So how did you do it? How did you deal with that? When because I’m sure it was a little anticlimactic. It’s like, oh, I got everything. And then it’s all of a sudden, like, this sounds nothing like how I thought it would

    Kyle  02:02

    I think for me, the initial thing was putting something out that wasn’t initially perfect. Do you know what I mean? Like, at some point, I had to be like, This is good, get it out. And then those reps helped me get better like listening to it, and then being able to like, move on to do a full show. And then like, you know, those reps are what kind of grew into, then being able to look back at the trailer, and I have re-recorded it since then. Because the experience of getting those reps under my belt has taught me something about what I want the show to be, you know, I couldn’t do it all up front. At some point, I had to kind of just get into the driver’s seat and see where I was kind of going to get a bigger picture. Do you know what I mean?

    Being Comfortable in Podcasting world

    Misbah Haque  02:47

    Like you have this vision in the beginning of where you obviously want to be. And then there’s this gap between, I have to start something’s got to get out there. It’s not going to be exactly that. But only through the iterations is where you obviously finally land on something you like. So that I mean, we’re gonna deconstruct this a little bit more, but I’m curious, this time around that you record it and you feel like it’s more you or more just, you know, it feels right, compared to maybe that first attempt or the first couple. What are you doing differently that’s making it feel that way?

    Kyle  03:24

    I guess. Probably just being more, I don’t know if this is exactly what you’re asking. But I’m guessing it’s a little bit more comfortable. And being me, I know, you had taught me this, this lesson a long time ago was you know, I’m reaching somebody, but it’s specific, and my audience is different than the audience, or than even me or like, why I listened to a podcast and to be authentically myself. And early on, I kept trying to make my show, or my sound, or the clips, another show. And that kept like, you know, being a block. But once I realized, like, I gotta be me and find out who I can reach just as me and allow me the freedom to to be me, because I know that sounds silly, but that’s literally just being comfortable with that idea of who my audience is. And I can’t be fake to get a fake audience. I have to be me and get the real audience that might like what I’m saying.

    Misbah Haque  04:27

    What and it also goes the other way where you go if you’re too perfect, and you will curate an audience that enjoys that type of perfection. You know, it’s almost like a curse. Like, if you think that’s something I remind myself because I deal with that too. Or you’re like, Oh, I wish I sounded better. I want to say this in a certain way. But it’s like sometimes you just got to say how you would normally say it, not trying to say something like, I don’t know, a lecture or somebody else would. And accepting that like if I did do it the other way. The exact purpose for people and I, the style of how I’m trying to reach people would be compromised, you know. So it’s almost a blessing in disguise sometimes where you hear yourself how you don’t want to sound, because you’re like, I don’t know how I want to sound yet. But that’s not it, you know, and it gives you kind of a compass.

    Kyle  05:20

    But I think there’s a lesson that’s very cool. Magic everywhere was ism. You know, I constantly have to remind myself and tell myself that authenticity is what people are going to be drawn to, not anything else, and I’m not going to, I wouldn’t be able to keep it up anyway.

    Misbah Haque  05:36

    That is a key ingredient to the process. And that’s, that’s where I think when you first told me about this idea, why I felt on board with it, even though like, you were doubting it, I was on board with it, because I knew there was authenticity in this alignment between you and comic books, and that whole world to were like, and it was funny, because like, I’ve known you for years, and I had no idea. I mean, I maybe had an idea that you like comic books, but like, I didn’t know, it was a whole world, I didn’t know that you knew about the whole world. And like, all that stuff, right? So much of it, because let’s talk about motivation to even get going and to work on the behind-the-scenes part. Because like, it’s sometimes months of work before you ever get to see it in Spotify or Apple and hear it and just see it done, you know, like a finished piece.

    So how, like, because choosing the wrong idea, or the wrong thing to talk about something that’s not really authentic, or that you’re really into that can really, like demotivate you, you’re not going to be as motivated to script out an idea or sit down and take the time to record it. How did you because you’ve been on both ends, I think, right? You’ve maybe had a time period where you weren’t clear on. I love comic books like this is who I want, like a community of people who want to create something that reaches them. And then you’ve also Yeah, so you’ve bounced between clarity and also like, who am I going after? Right? Like trying to find my niche? Everybody’s trying to find my niche? Who is that? So how did you manage that little battle of trying to understand who is listening? Who’s my audience?

    Why Would Someone Listen To Your Podcast

    Kyle  07:35

    I think it comes back down to kind of what we were saying about the authenticity thing like I think a big roadblock for me early on was Why would anybody listen to me talk about comic books. And I was like, you know, there are people out there who are in the industry that have podcasts, like why me, and it comes back down to those conversations I had with you early on where you were, you were just really trying to get me to, like have this sink in like, there’s going to be people that don’t necessarily want to listen to them talk about comic books, they want to listen to, you know, a dad, full-time worker who struggles to get their new Comic Book Day, who can’t keep up with it. Like there are people who are going to be more interested in me. And that’s hard to believe, at first, but it is true. 

    And so it comes back down to just realizing that authenticity thing, and that, you know, there is an audience for me. I just haven’t seen it yet. And so I’ve got to get there. See, to see the audience. And to go back a second to kind of what you were mentioning earlier, another thing that was really important to me, that you had taught me was the like early on, if those early listeners are going to like to watch your growth as a yes. 

    For me, the idea was like, Oh, I gotta come in perfect. I got to be, you know, high production value. It’s got to be, you know, edited beyond belief. So there’s no breaks. No, no, it’s just, you know, so those two things, I think early on that you taught me, I think were the foundation for me, that allowed me to do this, like the idea that like those early, you know, those early adopters, listeners are going to be excited to see the growth, and that there is an audience out there who is going to be interested in what you have to say, even if you don’t see it yet. You just gotta put yourself out there.

    Misbah Haque  09:30

    And theoretically, you’re correct. It sounds right. It sounds great. And it does make sense when you logically kind of put it together. But you’re right. There’s also another side of it that it’s hard to overlook, which is hey, this person has won five over you know, Emmys for comic books. They’re doing the same podcast and so why would somebody listen to me over that, that person with me and it’s kind of um, you know, that that that sinking in that happened through maybe some repetition because I said it, probably. 

    But so maybe it was like the repetition of that. But what do you think made it finally absorb and sink in? Because that is your correct, a very hard thing to absorb, especially when you don’t feel great when you haven’t found it, like the audience, like it feels hopeless, almost. And you have no reason to be like, there’s an audience out there. Like, you kind of have to prep hype yourself up for it until that first one happens, that second one happens. And then it gives you a little bit of a boost, I think. But how do you maneuver that landscape? 

    Value of Audience’ Feedback

    Kyle  10:43

    I think initially, I had to just, I had to give it a try, like, what am I going to lose? For it not trying is going to be worse than trying and finding out there isn’t an audience. But I tried it and found out there was an audience and they do like what I’m doing. And, you know, the first time somebody on Instagram messaged me and was like that I had no idea who they were, they were just like, hey, I love your show. I was like, Wait, what is? What are you talking about? Do you love my show? Who are you? You’re not my mom, you’re not my game, or something, Like what’s happening? And so that like, and that still carries me just that one interaction? Can you still hear me? And I’m just like, okay, so how do I find more? How do I find more of this guy to keep it going? And just that was just mind-blowing. 

    So it was the initial like, okay, let’s give it a whirl. And then boom, it happens. And it happened, you know, pretty quickly, just that one guy. But the power of that one was amazing for me just and how I still think about it every day. I’m like, there’s somebody out there. Who would you know? The episodes are an hour long, he sat down with me for an hour and then decided to get onto Instagram and be like, Hey, dude, just wanted you to know, I really liked your episode.  

    Misbah Haque  12:03

    That was the other thing because I wanted to break this interaction down with you. Because it’s so it’s so powerful. And people really overlook it. Because it’s just one or just, you know, in the next year, you’re ready for the next dopamine head and the next person to kind of say something to you. But there is something so significant about this milestone, when you find someone who is not friends or family, because ultimately, like, because, and correct me if I’m wrong, but you are kind of the person who convinces yourself out of things. So it’s like, you know, something might be true, like, I’m great at this, but you will find every reason you can to convince yourself that like, I’m actually not great at this, you know, and, and so that one person who doesn’t like have any vested and doesn’t know your mind games doesn’t have any vested interests, like his family or something like that, when they unknowingly give you some kind words like that, like he really enjoyed it, I came back and listen, you’re right. It’s the ultimate proof of the product or proof of work for yourself. That’s like, oh, okay, if this can happen once, I mean, this can happen again, and again. 

    And again. You know, that’s how audiences build. It’s one at a time. So if I was breaking that down, it was really fascinating for me with you. And so one of the things I wanted you to share was like, What gave you the feeling that he was kind of like a true listener? In a way? Because it was, was it the Thank you? Was it the comment, like a specific, you know, reference to an episode, was it the second time he came back and said something, because you had a chain of conversation, I believe, with this listener?

    Value of Listeners in Podcast

    Kyle  13:53

    Well, it was just the initial like, you know, to go back to the early it was just, you know, I do. I give myself every reason under the sun to convince myself I’m not good at something. But I really have a desire to do something to be creative and put it out there. And so I just had to, like, you know, again, just put it out there. And when he came in with the first comment, just even mentioning that he listened, like, that was just the first I’m like, Whoa, cuz these are not a 15 minute podcast. And then he referenced an episode that kind of came in and did like a total. I don’t know if it’s like a 180. But it definitely shifted my mind around this. Like, like now I wasn’t able to just listen to myself say I’m not good at something. Now I have an outside voice telling me hey, you did something cool and good here. And so now I have that little voice that gets to tell me to be quiet.

    I am doing something at least a little right early on. And so that was just I think that’s why it’s so important. And I know you had mentioned, to really appreciate and appreciate every listener because that, that the value and time spent at that length is something that’s a huge commitment. And then he’s come back and he’s listened to all the episodes and commented on him. And it’s so now I just have that benefit of having that outside voice, who is not somebody who just, you know, wants the best for me. He doesn’t care what I’m doing, right? So I think the benefit is just that outside voice who gets to quiet that internal thing that you were mentioning about me that’s just love to find? Find out a way to get me out of something.

    Misbah Haque  15:39

    We all do, right? We all have that little voice and sometimes and with some things, it’s louder than others. But you’re right, when you have another voice that almost overpowers that. It’s kind of like when you’re publishing a reel or Tik Tok, you choose the song, and then you choose your voice and you’re trying to like, find the right balance, you got to kind of get one all the way up. So you can hear clearly what you’re saying. And so that the other thing that was really significant about this was, and I don’t know if you overlook this, or if you’d notice this, but he associated you with one of the top podcasts in the space on comic books that he also listened to, or something like that, right? And kind of pointed you back like, oh, I also love, like listening to the comic book layer. And you were like, I don’t know, did you notice that? Or was that just something I picked up when you told me?

    Kyle  16:29

    I immediately said to my friend, I was like, He’s saying that were his in his top two favorite comic book podcasts, like, this is nuts. And so yeah, I mean, that was mind-blowing to feel undeserved. It still does a little bit. But you know, you take it where you can get a man, if you just imagine he’s being truthful, there’s no reason for him to lie. So yeah, and there was a compliment that 100% said, he said in there that meant a lot to me was that these two are my favorite, because they’re honest, if you want honest opinions on comic books, like listen to these guys. And so that was kind of a cool little, a little thing that he dropped for us, I think.

    Misbah Haque  17:08

    And I guess for you internally, as you are somebody who’s creating this stuff, like we’re talking the logistical side of getting people to listen and things like that. But then there’s this whole other side where you are just trying to be good. Like you’re trying to make sure your review is good. Your comic book choices, your topics of conversation are all different components, I don’t even know what goes into your world of making a good episode on this. What? So that probably signals to you like,  I’m on the right track.

    Kyle  17:41

    But that has had its problems, right, because I want it to be so good. So I have had, I have recorded two hour-long episodes, that I have scrapped and had to redo completely.

    Misbah Haque  17:54

    But you just told me about that. You did recently. 

    Kyle  17:57

    Because I come in with all these like, Okay, I got to do this. And I have to remind myself again, like so that the first one was authentic, what I wasn’t being myself. And that’s why I wasn’t good. And so, you know, days later, I had to get in there and just remind myself, Okay, why am I doing this? You know, who am I trying to be? And so that still happens. I’m still early on in this, you know, but it’s just one of those important lessons, I think you constantly have to grow and get better at that authenticity of reminding yourself of who you are and what you’re doing. I think does that make sense?

    Misbah Haque  18:30

    It totally makes sense. And it brings up another vein in this conversation, it’s really important, which is you referenced a couple of times earlier to like how you would want the editing to be perfect and no arms? No. And just like a crazy NPR production-level quality show. And that’s hard. But right, because once you set that expectation for yourself, you probably felt the pressure every time to replicate that level of, you know, product when you didn’t need to it didn’t, it sounds just as great now, like the arms and as making more conversation, right? Sometimes it can be overdone, where you’re like, wow, that took me five hours. I get like, how am I going to do this again for next week. So that was a key lesson. I think you’re going through that because it and I don’t know if you resolve this like in your head on your own. Or when we chatted where I was like, Hey, man, we got to make your editing simpler, you got to make your production process easier so that you can spit these out twice a week if you wanted to. So yeah, what was that part of the process? Like were in your head before we chatted about it.

    Kyle  19:40

    No, I think initially, I was just, you know, thinking that way like the show has to be perfect. I need to edit it beyond belief. And then we had a conversation. And you know, I think you were kind of sensing like I was feeling a little frustrated. This was beginning to be a lot of work. And it was just that reminder again have like, you know, what exactly is the show? Like, it’s just you kind of have to go back to the beginning again to realize like, Okay, this is a conversational show. I’m talking to, you know, the listeners. It’s not a production. And so, but I think it was just that, like, I was going to burn out, I was going to quit doing what I love because I was making it infeasible like when I would record it’s an hour-long episode, but then it’s been five hours editing the thing like that is not I don’t know the right word. But that’s something you could carry with you long-term.

    Misbah Haque  20:38

    For Yeah, and for you, like you were being very, like, the other thing we didn’t even acknowledge Was that you, you know, you’re working a job, you have kids, you are kind of like you’re you’ve got a full days of responsibilities and things you’re already juggling. And so one of the difficult parts was probably even making the time to be able to work on it. Right? Let alone spend the extra hours refining it with editing, it’s like the base level of even, when do I record? Okay, when’s it gonna be quiet in my house? Like some of these problems people don’t maybe necessarily think about, but it can affect your ability to just sit down and do it right? How did you navigate the time part of things because that was an issue at a certain point? I don’t know. Like, things didn’t really change drastically in a way right where it was maybe more you found the right fit of what to talk about or something were then all of a sudden, you felt maybe more excited to sit down and work on it. How did you do? How did the time thing work out for you? How did you trade off time to make this podcast kind of come to life. 

    The Effect of Doing the Tasks in Advance

    Kyle  21:47

    I did decide that I had to change microphones because I was using a microphone that would pick up every little sound in my house. And so you know, I’m recording right as the kids go to bed, but then I always go right to sleep. That’s not how kids work, right? So I had to switch to a much more directional microphone. So anybody in a loud space that wants to record, I would, I would recommend something like that. It just makes it sound a lot cleaner. But then, you know, so record when they were going to bed. And I also realized that I had to record earlier in the week to give myself chunks of time to finish an episode because what ended up happening is, like I said, I spent too long editing an episode. And so that push and pull that struggle of really wanting to create, you know, work out that creative muscle in me and put something out there. But also wanting to be a good dad, a good husband, good worker, all that stuff. So when I’d sit there for the whole weekend, spending five hours editing this thing, all of a sudden, that push and pull came back, and I started to feel mad at the podcast and mad at myself because I’m not living up to everything I wanted to do. And so I realized that I can push this back, like there’s no rush. I can push it back. Yeah, and spend little chunks of time. And, you know, like we said, I already, I already kind of minimize the editing process realized, you know, it doesn’t have to sound like, you know, I’m creating something I’m not. And yeah, I just allowed myself to work in chunks. I don’t know if that’s exactly what you’re asking. 

    Misbah Haque  23:27

    That’s very good. And I, I think the tip on just kind of investing in a good microphone, because I gave you the first mic I gave you was kind of like, okay, there’s a budget Mike based off of, you know, at the time, hey, under this module, let’s find the most functional thing we can just get started. Like, we didn’t want that to be a barrier to entry. So I want to highlight if there is a barrier to entry and its gear, get the stuff that will allow you to get started. But then once you do because you did get started with recording some stuff, then you did get like you had even kind of soundproof little like foam. Right? Did that work? Because I was curious. I was thinking about getting that I’m like, does it really keep the sound in? 

    Kyle  24:09

    The funny thing is, it is so early on because you were just like you say you’re like, we just got to get this guy started. Like this is all you need is gonna work. It’s gonna be fine. Yep. The funny thing is, it did, and honestly if I still used that lapel mic, it would probably be just fine. What I ended up doing was kind of getting ahead of myself, and being like, oh, I need to I need that production thing again. You know, I kind of got hurt by that bug. And I was like, Okay, I need an awesome condenser mic. I need soundproofing. I need this. And the other thing that ended up sounding worse for me than even using the lapel mic, to be completely honest. Really? Yeah. Because those condenser mics pick up everything. So you’d hear my water machine in the background. You’d hear my kid saying, Yeah, stop yelling, you know, and so it’s just funny because I love that. That’s funny, because, honestly, to this day, that first mic that we bought, probably still would be completely fine.

    Misbah Haque  25:08

    But honestly, here’s something I want to make sure to highlight is that gear does have an impact on your vision of who you are and how you’re doing what you’re doing and what you’re doing. Like, it’s so true, especially, and I with podcasts, like people do get a little bit, you know, shy when they’re like, oh, wow, these mics are so expensive, and all this stuff. And it’s true they are but when you compare it to something like if you want to start a video channel, or a YouTube or something like the camera, you’d have to buy, like the lightning, all these other things that easily will put you over 500 or 1000 bucks, right? Versus a good mic, if you can even it’s worth saving up for if you  have some like because you now have the Shure MV seven,

    Kyle  26:01

    And there is something about sitting in front of it that makes you feel like you’re doing something.

    Misbah Haque  26:07

    Yes, there is. And I know it could be a placebo, it could be totally mental. But what that means if it gets you in that zone, it does it means 100% means something because it even if you like, yeah, just because it’s a placebo doesn’t mean that it’s not working for you mentally it is working like the feel of like I’m podcasting, I’m going to make something that’s worth listening to all the little things that it can reinforce its way it’s well worth doing it. So there’s some times where gear can be an excuse, right? Where it’s like preventing you from getting started. And then there’s times where it’s legitimately like logistical barriers. Sometimes computers are big for people that don’t like computers that are really jam packed with stuff. It’s so old, you can’t edit it. You can’t even upload stuff to it. And so you’re like, I need a new computer before I can get into this right. I think that was an issue with you too. 

    Kyle  27:06

    Yeah because remember, we start recording on my iPhone. I didn’t even have it. Yes. So we had to get a lapel mic that plugged into my iPhone. And that’s how my podcast got started. And still, if you go back, and I’m not joking, if you like it, if you go back and listen to that they sound great. Yeah, that’s what makes them sound amazing. Get Started, cuz you can make it sound fine.

    Misbah Haque  27:27

    100%. And it was like 40 bucks or something like that. You just plug and play and you’re good. I’m 100% with you on that. I’m glad we got to talk over the gear a little bit, the pressure around starting, how to make time amongst juggling a bunch of other responsibilities. What for you now is kind of the goal because here’s what was funny, we were discussing how like you went from, you know, not kind of wanting to be or wanting to be hurt a little bit, but like not having any sense of like, you were like, I don’t have anything to say nobody will like what I say like all these things. And now we’ve got to this point where it’s like, okay, how do we find more people who like what I say? And because we found that person? So that shift has happened? How has that impacted your goals? And I guess what you are because you also have gone through the stages of the gear stage, there’s the download stage, where you’re obsessed over the downloads are obsessed over the metrics, right? So tell me about that and how that’s evolved and how you view your success or goals now?

    Kyle  28:35

    Well, yeah, first off, it is such a fascinating, fascinating thing to go from. I don’t know why anybody would want to listen to me talk about comic books. Okay, how do I get more people to listen to me talk about comic books. Now. It’s fascinating, it’s a fascinating mind-mind shift. And just thinking about what you were saying about microphones and gear and excuse, I was just going to mention like, human beings are fascinating men. Like, it’s so crazy how quick things can get in there and change things. And you know, just the excuses we give her. It’s just fascinating. So, I mean, what has it been for six months or so? To have that drastic change is such a fascinating thing. It is funny to reflect on because I’m not sure I can always make sense of it exactly. 

    Like how it all comes about. But yeah, I think when I first started my, my initial, my initial thing was how I’m going to judge this is how many downloads I get. But that was fascinating because that will start to drag me down a depression rabbit hole that wasn’t worth going to instantly because the funny thing is like I said that one listener and how it still carries me months later. So I realize it’s more about finding that than it is about how many people are downloading my show. And so but your question What specifically? 

    Misbah Haque  30:04

    Do you like it? And you kind of answered it, where downloads was your marker of success for a little bit? Because it’s just like on Instagram followers are like, what’s the main thing I can see what do other people value and judge it off of, and there is a truth to downloads being valued. That’s how advertisers and people see, you know, and some guests will choose to come on your show or whatever, right? But it’s not everything. And it’s kind of like, sometimes it takes so long to get to the desired level that you have in your head, that it’s, if that is the only marker you’re watching, there’s no room for progress, really, because it’s like, a lot of it is out of your hands. I mean, you can do things to really increase your downloads, don’t get me wrong, but some of it, you’re letting you’re leaving up to the algorithm and time, right. So the evolution was your success measure changed, I think, to where it was more focused on a visceral feeling of this person giving you that like, yeah, good feedback about your show. 

    Metrics of Success

    Kyle  31:04

    And again, that was coming back to square one for me, and remembering why I was doing the show. I mean, every show is different, you know, but my specific reason why I wanted to do it was to create conversation, to make an impact, to share these stories. And so, you know, having somebody tune in for 20 minutes getting that download stat and checking out. That’s not why I’m doing my show. I’m doing my show, because I want to talk about these things with people. And so then, you know, you kind of helped me realize that it was like, see, see what the one listener did for me. Now, we just got to find a couple more like that. And that became the measure of my success, because that’s what gives me I don’t know if it’s the right way to put it. But even if I saw, you know, the funny thing is, if I saw that one of my episodes had, this is high for me, so don’t judge me. But if I saw I had 100 down, yes, that will give me the same dopamine hit that that having that one guy say, hey, I really like what you’re doing. Or hey, what do you think of this like that? That’s what carries me. I don’t know if that really makes sense. But that. So that measure of success is not only the measure of success, that’s what makes me the most happy and doing it. So that carries 

    Misbah Haque  32:18

    And it makes it so smart, you were able to identify that because that can be a year, year long, you know, years and years where people just chase after the downloads, and you overlook the engagement. And then you realize, man, it was the engagement all along. That was everything like that made you feel great that carried you when you didn’t feel like showing up like, you just have this person in your head now you can’t see, or unhear that they listen to your stuff. Right. So I love that man. My last thing for you was the loose end, I wanted high up, which was how long did it take for you to get to that one listener? Because you said it was relatively quickly. And you said it’s been six. And it’s been six months right now. So we have kind of a timeline to look at like month 1,2,3. What happened? What month was it?

    Kyle  33:09

    So I think he came in right around month four. So I don’t know if that’s super, maybe three or four. But what I’m but so what I like about it, though, is that for me, it seems quick because in hindsight, it’s like, how many episodes was that really? Well, it was eight episodes that I ended up recording before he came in. And now he’s gone back and listened to all the rest, and he’s keeping up. But what I like about it is, it’s just a kind of reminder that growth sometimes can take time. And like, now I have this freedom like okay, I’m not in a huge rush, I’m going to find that next, the next person just like him that’s going to love and engage with the show. And so that’s a little freeing so it’s like if I reached him in this amount of time, I can reach another one in this amount of time too. And maybe that starts to compound. And then it happens faster and faster. I don’t know if that makes sense to you?

    Misbah Haque  34:09

    No, it really does. Because you’re right when you’re starting something from scratch, four months is not at all a long amount of time. And also I think we think about like, better than just the amount of time sometimes it’s good to look at that the episode number episode numbers become a big marker of time where you’re like, Oh, what was I doing in Episode 15. And you have something to reference back to a time period and you know how you felt so, eight episodes, you know, each of those episodes when I was getting my reps and I was working through it. I was nervous and you know, it got better and better. But you’re still like, wow, it wasn’t like this guy had 100 things to go off of and you could pin it on that like odds because I have 100 episodes. It’s like it’s nice that it happened with just eight so you could see the power of like, if it’s good, it’s good, right? It’s like people Enjoy it, it doesn’t matter if it’s you had, there’s 100 of them, or there’s just a couple, it was enough to create the catalog closer effect that I like to call, which is like, somebody going through a catalog and being like, amen, I’m on board. This is my guy, let’s do this. And they’re convinced whatever it was, if it was clips, if it was a full episode, a couple, it’s nice to know, it wasn’t a million that convinced him to come on board, it was just a cover, you know.

    Validation of Influence

    Kyle  35:28

    And I will say just for some context that even earlier on than that we were getting family friends who were not comic book fans, they were listening to the show, that all of a sudden we’re buying comic books. And so that still meant a lot to, of course, he was different, because he wasn’t family or friends. And so that impact was the loudest for me. But I will say like, we are getting affirmations, early on, even just from, you know, family and friends, we’re just stoked that, you know, we’re doing something. And you know, and it was cool to see like, hey, you know, are my brothers buying a comic book now? Like, how funny is that? Yeah, just for context, like, it wasn’t just like, it took us eight months, you know, eight episodes to hear anything. But at that age, we really got that really loud. validation that there’s somebody who doesn’t know us that thinks we’re doing something good.

    Misbah Haque  36:18

    Yeah, yeah. Which is, which is huge. And you didn’t do a lot of promotion to get there either. Right? That’s the other thing I want to ask you. What did you do to even talk about your podcast? Like, was it just a podcast? What else were you doing in tandem? If anything,

    Kyle  36:33

    I was just on Instagram, would share the posts, would create teasers, posts, I want to get up there links on stories and try to engage, engage with people in that in the comic book community inside of Instagram. And I wasn’t even aware of like when he started following that he started listening, it was just so out of the blue. It was, it was mind blowing. I mean, it really was.

    Misbah Haque  36:57

    So he was following you for a little while before he reached out?

    Kyle  37:00

    I am not sure. But I imagine he was.

    Misbah Haque  37:04

    Because yeah, when you, when you got the message you clicked over, you didn’t see that it was like a reset. Oh, it was like he was already following you. Yeah, dude, that’s the best man, when you’re just like, you overlooked it, you’re like, I could just be another account. And then that person ends up being the highest quality cream of the crop listener out of your entire following. So it just goes to show you how they’re there. They’re already there. They’re just hiding in different places, you know what I mean? So just about finding out so.

    Kyle  37:34

    And some may be listening just like he is, but maybe, you know, are mentioning, and so you just got to hope that eventually, they’ll let you know, like, Hey, I’ve been listening to your show for, you know, X, Y, or Z. And I’ve been loving it too. So you know, you just keep your head high. And keep plugging until you hear some validation. 

    Misbah Haque  37:50

    And you got to, you got to think about how you listen and behave because there’s plenty of shows where you love them, but you don’t reach out and maybe say it but you are true fans, you are like you will do whatever for them. If you know they were in a pickle, you know, that’s how supportive you feel of what they’re doing. But maybe you haven’t ever reached out. So there is a lot of that’s there like people will come out of the blue. And that’s why it’s so surprising maybe sometimes, right is because it shocks you a little more because you’re so used to it being a one-way conversation that you just put out and move on that eventually when someone does reach out. It’s like, it’s quality, it means something. It’s not just like a reaction to a story or something. It’s like, there’s more to it. 

    There’s more behind how that person came on board what they thought of the first episode. And I don’t know about you, man. But like, when you listen to podcasts, how like, most of the time when I listen to any show, I am always I always leave with going, wow, there’s more to that person. There’s more to that thing. There’s more to this than I thought there was. And it is usually even about the person like how many times a new host you listen to on some show and you’re like, Oh, this guy’s kind of annoying. And then all of a sudden the next third episode, I love this guy. There’s something about it. Right? Where were you podcasting humanized this person enough for you to be like, okay, yeah, like, like that shift is fascinating to follow and watch where it’s like, okay, not a listener, not a fan casual to okay, I really like what this person is doing. And now I’m a habitual listener. So, and it just takes Thanks for breaking all this down.  

    Kyle  39:36

    It just takes one thing. Like I like that. Again, humans are so fascinating. Like, it just takes one little thing for someone to for me, I’ll speak personally. Like all of a sudden, I’m just like, oh my gosh, I’m all in I’m right or die with this guy in our you know, this podcast. It’s just fascinating.

    Misbah Haque  39:52

    So looking at your own behavior sometimes is one of the best indicators when you are questioning at all, and you’re like expecting all these results, it’s like, well talk yourself down. And remember that, hey, you still love content and follow people and you don’t always comment or like or share whatever. And eventually, there are enough people that add up to where one out of whatever ends up actually reaching out. And that usually it’s kind of like an investment paying off, it makes up for 10 people reaching out to you. That’s how high it makes it feel right, you’re like, Man, this feels like 100 people are listening to my show. So it’s great, man, I love that you, you are in it, you’re enjoying it, you’re having fun. Anything else you want to leave listeners with before we hop off today.

    How to Validate Podcast

    Kyle  40:42

    I will say just really quickly that just specifically to what you just said, I think that there’s something to podcasts, even outside of that follower outside of the numbers. Like it’s doing something good for me anyway like to have fun for me. And it’s an outlet for me. And I get to personally grow and develop in a way that I haven’t before like to stretch these muscles to, even if no one even on my download numbers are small, I’m still acting in a way that hey, this one potentially might not be like maybe a bunch of people can listen to it. And so it’s just been a really good personal development. For me, just in the last I mean, you’ve seen it. Just in the last, it’s like it’s just, I think that that shouldn’t go overlooked is that the value that it brings in doing something for yourself and, and pushing yourself to be creative? To talk for 30 minutes to an hour, 15 minutes, I think, you know, really helps personal development away that for me, I don’t discount at all, you know,

    Misbah Haque  41:44

    And I think you’re right there. Those intangibles are sometimes some of the most valuable things because that will stay with you, your ability to listen to people, your conversational skills improve in weird ways. verbal tics go away.

    Kyle  41:59

    Notice the way that I talk to people has improved. That’s what’s crazy. And sometimes I start to think, Wait, am I doing a podcast? Kyle? Or is this just Kyle now I just gotten better at talking?

    Misbah Haque  42:10

    What made you notice what happened? Were you in a specific conversation?

    Kyle  42:15

    I was talking to my boss. And I realized that I was enunciating a little better. And I’m like, Wait, is this podcast Kyle or like, have I just, like gone through some development here. And so it’s just been fascinating. And my sentence structure seems a little more clear. Like I think about him a little bit more, as has been kind of cool. To witness man, I’m not gonna lie like I’ve, I really think that there’s something about doing this, that has been a really cool tool for me to grow.

    Misbah Haque  42:43

    I agree, man, I think it’s really important to grab on to as many of those characteristics and intangibles that come with it. Because with podcasts, when you start them, you automatically look at what everybody else is valuing how everybody else is doing it. And you can fall into what we said with the downloads and the pressure to have this perfect episode and all this stuff. And, and, like, aside from even just making money from it, or finding somebody who likes your stuff, and connecting with them, like I’ve always believed this idea of there is value in certain things for some people to, like, create something without, like without this need for it to be consumed. So create it for the sake of creating it, put it out into the ether, and let it be what it is some of it might not get consumed well. 

    But if you have that attitude, it’s a very different level of freedom than somebody who’s like, I need 2 million views because my whole career rides on these sponsorships, you know, all those things. So the actual, like you said, the character development, the brain change that happens from just maybe exploring an idea working on I don’t know, these little pieces and because it’s a project, right, you’re putting together a project, your brain is working in new ways. And and then it’s evolving, you’re like, Okay, this is good, I want to change this. And so there’s something to that creatively that as adults is hard to get right. So it’s kind of a playground that you’ve built for yourself that allows you to flex those muscles every week in a way

    Kyle  44:21

    Yeah. It’s hard to be doing this without maintaining a growth mindset. And I think that has just been a big change for me. And like you know, four or five months ago I’m not sitting here talking with you I’d be way too nervous.

    Misbah Haque  44:36

    I know that’s what I said to when I was like hey man, we don’t have to do video either like if you don’t want because you do audio only which is more admirable to me in some ways because like that listener you found and how like if you didn’t have video to rely on to help convince them of your personality and body language like this was purely through audio, right? And so yeah, so anyways you’re Saying that like, yeah, man, I’m down whatever I was like, okay, like you are super more way more comfortable hopping on. And right at the beginning of this I did this to scare you and he didn’t seem fazed. Like we were alive. Like, no, no, no, I was like, I was like, Hey look, man, we live. And I did that only to highlight how jarring it can be because like, I have had that happen to me once and I was like, that’s not a good idea. I mean, I you know, I guess I like it if that’s your style and you’d like that but like, it’s nice to have some time space beforehand to dive in. But yeah, man, kudos to you on all the evolution that’s going

    Kyle  45:39

    And you know, thank you for all your help and guidance along the way, you know, wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for for you repeating to yourself probably to the point of going crazy, you know, those certain points that finally when I came to you and I was like, hey, you know, it makes sense. And you’re like, I’ve been telling you this for one minute.  

    Misbah Haque  46:00

    it’s just like the repetition thing we’re talking about takes a while for it to sink and you got to hear it in different ways. Sometimes it’s a I don’t know it came at the right moment. But I yeah, I It’s been an honor to be in your corner with all this and I continue to watch and enjoy watching you kind of grow and evolve and all these new different layers that you’re kind of unlocking where can we keep up with what you’re doing? Like where’s the podcast so people can check it out and Instagram and whatever else you’re you’re up to

    Kyle  46:29

    You can follow us on Instagram at the Comic Book layer. We post all of our episodes and stuff we’re doing there and anything we’re reading stuff like that, that we can find fun. And our websites just the and has the link to all the podcasts and stuff and you all you know listen to on anything anywhere you get your podcast,

    Misbah Haque  46:52

    That’s it, man. Well, everybody, check it out. See what Kyle’s up to? I’m really proud of you, man, for all that you’ve done. And so keep up what you’re doing. I’m a fan who’s cheering.

    👋🏽  Connect w/ Misbah:

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