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5 Keys to Building a Successful Podcast with the “Don’t Follow, Repeat” Method

5 Keys to Building a Successful Podcast with the “Don’t Follow, Repeat” Method

5 Keys to Building a Successful Podcast with the “Don’t Follow, Repeat” Method

  • Feb 27, 2024

Launching a podcast can seem daunting, but army veteran and veteran podcaster Pete Turner says you don’t need fancy equipment or a fully-fledged concept to get started. You just need to begin creating episodes consistently. 

“Don’t worry about the big things,” Pete advises. “Don’t even sweat the naming of your show. Just get the damn thing going.”

Through his acclaimed podcast the Break It Down Show, Pete has produced over 1,500 episodes and consulted countless podcasters. He’s learned that grinding it out through repetition and slowly improving is the path to podcast glory. 

“There’s a lot of banal advice out there,” Pete says. “Don’t follow that advice. You have to repeat the things that you do and then slowly improve, hone, and polish them.”

Here are Pete’s top 5 strategies for successfully launching a podcast using his “don’t follow, repeat” method:

1. Start Small

When people come to Pete for podcasting advice, they often suggest grand concepts for shows they want to launch. But Pete couldn’t care less about their ideas for now. 

According to Pete, he doesn't care about the concept of your show. What's important is whether you can create 10 episodes and show up consistently. That's far more important than what you may think your creative message is.

Pete urges aspiring podcasters to start extremely small—don’t worry about expensive gear, naming, guests, or even publishing at first. Just create several very short episodes (even just you chatting with a friend) to get reps and build consistency. 

If you can create 5 measly episodes, Pete believes you can likely level up to 10. And if you can hit 10 episodes, then you can likely get 20. And so on.

2. Set Tiny Goals  

As a U.S. Army counterintelligence agent, Pete learned the power of repetition through frequent trips outside his base to gather battlefield intel little by little. He now recognizes grinding out podcast episodes works the same way. When you are starting out, just focus on getting to the next episode. Don't worry about the bigger picture. Try to build the momentum little by little until you've achieved your larger goals.

Pete recommends setting tiny achievable goals to build momentum. Trying to book a guest every week may not be realistic initially. Can you book someone every other week? Or even just once a month? 

Pete advises podcasters to set a baseline goal you can meet consistently, then exceed it. Booking guests, securing sponsors, and generating buzz will snowball over time through regular output.

And Pete offers his first guest spot to podcasters ready to level up. “I know a guy who will say yes,” he says. “If you write me, I will say yes. And I will be your first guest”

3. Outwork Your Competition

Averaging 5-10 shows per week in his first years, Pete massively outworked rival shows through sheer volume. Repeatedly churning out episodes until his consistency paid off.

Pete explains that by making himself ubiquitously present, he built real relationships with listeners drawn to his ethic.  

Now with greater experience, Pete generates shows through more targeted outreach thanks to his platform. But he claims beginners should spam production without overthinking quality—you can always polish the product later.

4. Ask for Help

Pete explains that when he comes across a project where he can invest his time and efforts and bring somebody else in to help them out, he tries to do just that. And that really builds community.

Swallowing his pride, Pete directly asked listeners and other friends for financial contributions in the early days of his podcast. And to his surprise, they volunteered funding so he could purchase mics, travel for interviews, and keep the lights on.   

Thanks to his show connecting him with thousands of people, Pete says he can now meet people and make connections he never would have been able to otherwise.

5. Convert Your Podcasting Into Other Opportunities

Now an established podcaster and consultant, Pete likely won’t sustain his show at its current pace despite his passion for it. Why not? Because it’s opened too many other doors, like his new project, producing high-quality documentaries.

Pete also leverages his show to land clients consulting work they actually need more than a podcast. He pitches custom opportunities to potential sponsors seeking his advice but misguided on the right direction.

Instead of just sponsoring his show, Pete suggests he can go hunt for leads for sponsors and essentially broker partnerships and opportunities.

Don’t Follow, Repeat...And See Where It Leads

The relationships, influence, and flexibility gained through grinding out episodes can all combine to create unexpected opportunities down the road. 

As Pete explains from experience, the success of your podcast itself may not even be the most important outcome. Instead, use your show as a stepping stone towards alternate career pathways you never predicted or doors you couldn’t open otherwise.

The key is staying consistent early on to build assets for later reinvention. As Pete says, slowly improve through regular repetition rather than chasing overnight fame. By outworking others with that mindset, opportunities emerge organically over time.

You never know who you might meet or inspire through those small actions today. Podcasting breeds more podcasting—conversations spark more conversations. Small goals snowball into bigger ones.

So take Pete’s advice and begin without overthinking anything. Don’t follow bad advice to start perfectly. Just repeat what works for you and be patient. You have no clue what will come years down the line. But if Pete’s unconventional career is any indication, it could be almost anything.

So start small...and see where consistency leads you.

Here Are My Takeaways From This Episode

1. Ask for help when you need it - Pete asked his audience and contacts for financial support when he was struggling to keep his podcast going. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need.

2. Outwork your competition - Pete attributed his success to producing way more content than comparable shows. Put in the hard work even when you don't see immediate rewards.

3. Start small and repeat - Focus on starting with small, repeatable actions instead of trying to create an epic masterpiece right away. Consistency matters more than polish early on. 

4. Don't worry about show concept or name early on - The most important thing is taking action and getting episodes recorded and published. Perfect the basics before worrying about show branding.

5. Podcasting can open doors - Even if the podcast itself doesn't make money, it can lead to other opportunities by building your network and skillset. See the indirect benefits.

If you're looking for a great all-in-one podcasting platform with 35 integrated modules, you can get a free trial a 

Thanks for joining us for this episode. I wish you success as you grow your podcast.

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