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Want A Bigger Audience? Here's How I Reinvented My Podcast to Better Serve My Listeners

My old podcast "Teach Me Something New" became a new show called "First In Line" — all because I listened to my listeners.

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Here's a haunting thought: What if you're only 50% as successful as you could be?

As a lifelong entrepreneur and the co-founder of the investment firm Offline Ventures, I see this scenario all the time. When a founder finds success, they sometimes hold tight to whatever they're doing — without pausing to consider how changing it might lead to something even bigger.

Recently, I took a pause on an otherwise successful venture. The result: I stopped making a podcast that was doing well, in favor of taking a risk to create a new show that I feel confident will do even better.

Here's the backstory.

In 2020, I wanted to launch a podcast. But what would it be about? I considered what I'm uniquely positioned to offer: I am fortunate to have access to people with big, bold ideas — including renowned entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, scientists, and celebrities — and I thought I could harness that to share new opportunities with my largely female audience.

So my team and I came up with a concept. The show was called Teach Me Something New. We'd bring on incredible guests, who would teach me — and my audience — something that could advance their lives and careers.

When it debuted, Teach Me Something New hit the top 20 charts and had great reviews. We passed a million downloads within the first year of the show. But I had a sneaking intuition that there was something missing. Why wasn't the show growing faster, I wondered? What might I be missing about my audience?

These are good questions to ask. My entrepreneurial experience has taught me that iteration is the key to longevity. As a leader or founder, it is essential to have foresight and anticipate when you need to adjust, improve, or pivot before the conversation gets stale around what you're building.

So I made a risky decision: I announced a hiatus from releasing new episodes. I wanted to pause and respond to the lessons I'd learned during the first couple of seasons of the show, and I knew it was also critical to check in with my customer base — my listeners — to get their feedback as well. (That's something every entrepreneur should be doing on a regular basis!)

Then my team and I got to work. We read reviews and conducted in-depth research with our most devoted fans. Along the way, we unearthed the insight we were seeking:

  1. While listeners enjoyed hearing about topics they enjoyed, many podcasts already did that. We didn't have enough differentiation.
  2. Listeners saw me as someone very engaged in the future — on topics like Web3, AI, and coming business trends. But, in its current form, the show wasn't always delivering those insights.

In short: The podcast was too similar to other shows and I was leaving an untapped opportunity on the table.

What did listeners really want? They told us: They wanted practical ways to figure out where to invest their time and energy in new, exciting markets. They wanted to be the thought leaders among their friends. They wanted to be first.

Now we had our mission. We hunkered down and developed a new concept for the show, and gave it a name with a bold promise that aligned with what our users wanted: First In Line, a show that emphasizes not just teaching something, but revealing new opportunities to live a healthier, wealthier, and wiser life, through conversations with the best minds and innovators who are reshaping tomorrow.

We just launched our first episode alongside two of the biggest trendsetters out there: Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim Ferriss. It got about 200,000 downloads in the first four days — an achievement that took us months to reach with the original Teach Me Something New concept! That's well worth the pivot.

This is something every entrepreneur or business can do — not just with a media product, but with anything. Pause, even when it seems like you're already on a path to success. Take the time to listen deeply to what your community needs, so you can solve a problem of substance. That's how you truly provide value to your audience, and gain more focus, clarity and opportunity. And it's how you can achieve 100% of the success you hope for.

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