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Why do people subscribe to you? Why should people subscribe to you? What value do you provide? If you can’t answer these questions, there’s a problem.

Are you consistently delivering the kind of content people expect from you? Are you valuing their time and attention by putting in the forethought and preparation needed to create valuable content?

Creating content of this caliber on a consistent basis requires a substantial amount of effort and dedication—one that many are not willing to put forth. Worse, when you reach a certain level of success, you can be tempted to “coast” on your past success, fooling yourself into believing that your reputation alone will carry you forward.

In this episode, we discuss Celebrity Syndrome, and how to avoid it now before you get there. We dig deep into the value-centric questions you need to ask yourself to stay on track.

It’s hard to maintain quality output. That’s exactly why you need to do it. It’s about thinking of the value of the time and effort you’re putting in now as being quantified by future returns.

Show Notes
    • Maintaining Quality Output
    • 01:39 Sticking with your core values and the reason you started doing whatever it is that you do.

What is the reason people are following you and are you staying true to that audience or are you disrespecting their attention and their time?

    • 02:10 What level of quality have you made a promise to uphold for your audience based on what you’ve already put out?
    • 03:47 It’s ok to have different passions and to like different things, but if you set certain expectations based on what you consistently projected and people followed you for that, you owe it to them to live up to the expectation you set. If you want to change things up, then make an official shift in your focus and label it as such.
    • 04:52 “What’s the big deal? Why is it a problem?” Because it’s been about a certain thing, a precedent has been set for a certain topic, people listened for that reason and you pulled a bait-and-switch.
    • 05:03 The story of refocusing the seanwes podcast (Related: e022 Staying True to Your Target Audience & Delivering Value).
    • 08:12 You have to stay true to what people subscribed for. If your ISP started giving you TV instead of internet, you’d be pretty mad.
    • 09:51 Investment in a character can last beyond one particular role, however that initial impression only carries so far. If they continue to deviate, even a good first impression won’t last forever.
    • 12:07 Have a set threshold of quality that you’re determined to hit every time. It could be 90%, just stick to it consistently.
    • 12:26 When you put out something that is really successful, it can put a lot of pressure on you for the next thing. You might feel like you always have to outdo your last thing, but that’s not really realistic. A lot of people who write a few books, and one of them is successful and it’s a best-seller, and maybe the few books after that aren’t. That’s normal. A lot of people’s best work isn’t their very last work.

Don’t feel pressured to outdo your last thing, just focus on hitting the quality threshold you’ve set.

    • 17:00 Ben’s superhero train analogy.
    • 26:51 “What about people who don’t even feel bad when the work they put out isn’t high quality?”
    • 27:18 If your threshold of quality is much lower than what you’ve been producing, then you may not notice when you start producing lower quality stuff because it “doesn’t hurt.” When your threshold of quality is high, you do feel it when you dip below.
    • 28:02 Here’s the danger: Many people might be mentally unfollowing you even though they continue to subscribe or download. See, they could just be hanging on in hopes that you return the quality you’re known for, or return the expectation you’ve set. They’re disappointed with your output, but if you’re just looking at the numbers, you won’t ever know that, because they still appear to be following, subscribing, or downloading—albeit disappointedly.
    • 28:36 Ask yourself these questions:
      • Why did I get into this?
      • What is the value that I want to bring?
      • What is the thing that I’m focusing on?
      • What is the precedent that I’m setting?
      • What is the kind of content that I’ve promised to put out there?
      • Am I staying true to those values?
      • Is what I’m projecting now aligning with the promise that I made in the beginning?
      • If not, why?
      • If not, how can I adapt what I’m putting out to better align with those things?
    • 29:16 You may not just be apathetic, you might just be discovering that this is no longer a thing that you’re passionate about. That’s an ok realization. You may be on the cusp of a new season and you simply need to formalize that transition. Instead of acting under the guise of your old self and old projection and putting out things that are irrelevant, make it a formal switch.
    • Celebrity Syndrom
    • 30:28 “Do you think there’s a little bit of celebrity syndrome going on? People get famous and they starting thinking ‘People will like whatever I do, even if quality slips a little.'”
    • 30:50 Yes, absolutely. It’s the whole “lifestyle creep” thing: You make a bunch of money and you spend it unwisely. Lifestyle creep comes by default—it WILL come no matter what unless you prevent it. You have to actively prevent it. You have to protect your values before you get there.
    • 31:24 Focus on preventing “lifestyle creep” of your values before you get there—before you have a bunch of followers, before you get famous, before you make a lot of money. Focus on the values that you have right now and protect those.
      • “Why are you doing what you’re doing?”
      • “Because I want to help people.”
      • “Why aren’t you selling out?”
      • “Because I care about my brand perception.”
      • “Why do you care about your brand perception?”
      • “Because that has an impact on every single thing that I do—positive or negative.”
    • 32:16 Ads on your website or sponsors on your podcast tarnishes your brand.
    • 33:36 Double bad:
      1. Sponsors (forcing the listener to be the product).
      2. Not adhering to the topical precedent you’ve set for your show and not respecting the time and attention of your audience.
    • 33:57 Double good:
      1. No sponsors (not forcing the listener to be the product).
      2. Focus on the reason that people listen and consistently providing relevant value.
    • 34:41 Yes, that takes time and effort. It takes forethought and preparation that a lot of people don’t want to do.

It’s hard enough to do a podcast. It’s hard enough to show up regularly and talk—much less prepare beforehand and actually intend and make sure to provide value.

That’s why most people don’t prepare. They waste people’s time.

  • 34:58 I know that this show will be successful long-term because I’m treating it as if I am a year or 2 years in the future and I have millions upon millions of downloads—that is how I’m thinking of this episode right here. The reason I will get there is because I’m thinking like that right now.
  • 36:52 Prepare beforehand: start with the end goal in mind. Where do you want to end up? What is the takeaway from this episode? Build structure to support it and end up there intentionally.