Experiments & Results: Season 10 Finale Recap

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As we wrap up this season of content, Dan reflects on where we’ve been and what we’ve done over the past few months with the Meaning Movement. 

Listen in to this Build in Public style episode and hear some hints of what is to come next for the show (hint: it’s big!!!).

Listen in here:

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Software Generated Transcription:

Hey everybody. Welcome to the season finale of The Meaning Movement Podcast. This is the end of season 10. It has been such a push for me and my team to get here, and I am just so happy that we’ve made it this far. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I wanna just share a recap at the end of the season to, to give some takeaways of my own learnings, what I’m taking out of this season, to pull back the curtain a little bit on some of the processes and what has been involved in, uh, everything that we attempted, what went well, and then also what didn’t go well, and then give some just tips or hints at what is coming in our next season, which is currently in develop.

And this, of course, is The Meaning Movement podcast. I’m your host, Dan Cumberland, so if that sounds good to you, let’s go ahead and get on into it.

So just to begin, let’s start by talking about where we were before jumping into this season. We were releasing two episodes a month. It was primarily myself and a podcast editor managing the whole process. As you may know, outside of my work with the meeting movement, I have a few other projects. The biggest is a new software that just was released a couple weeks ago called Video Snap.

It is a content repurposing tool. Content like this long form audio content and put it into a format that does well in the algorithms on social media, so it makes viral ready shorts from your long form speech based audio or video content. Go to video snap.io to check it out if you haven’t. I love it.

My team is using it for our podcast. But all that to say outside of this show, I have a lot going. And so I wasn’t giving very many resources to keeping this show going and building this show. So as we came into season 10, I knew I had to bring in more resources. we went from eight episodes a month. It was a four times multiple. So went from two episodes a month to two episodes a week, So we Forex our production, which just mind boggling when you think about what goes into all of the steps from scheduling with guests, editing. Content, pushing it out onto social, even just set, setting up our newsletters, getting our podcast into our newsletters.

The other content that I put into the newsletters and all of that, there’s so many moving parts that happen behind the scenes that you don’t think about when you’re just listening to a podcast. So there was a huge shift that took place in, um, in going from prior to season 10 to this season. Just to continue to, to share some more of those changes that took place. So we four Xed our content. We built systems to support that. Four x. We brought team members on board. We went from just having my editor to having two editors, a podcast manager, as well as a content production team member. Elijah, Stephan, uh, John Shika.

Thank you for all of your. On this podcast, it wouldn’t be possible without all of you. So for X production brought on a team, we built systems to support everything that we’re doing. We also brought the podcast to YouTube and also to Spotify in video format. So that’s a big change as well. Getting a better camera if you’re watching this right now.

I, you know, made my office look better, uh, to, to just show up better to make the podcast a more engaging experience in visual format. Prior to season 10, we were totally optimized for audio only, and so it was a big shift for me and my team to start editing our content in video format. And this, again, something you just don’t think about when you’re just listening to a podcast.

So there’s so many changes. The other big change that I haven’t named yet is we did a co-hosted series with Raj from Fruitful Raj, thank you so much for your work along the way. Our build in Public Finding the Meaning movement series, which you’ll find in the podcast feed with Ft m m, Finding the meaning movement as the signifier.

Beginning of the title of those episodes. It was super fun to work with Raj and something I hope to continue, I plan to continue along the way. So those were many of the changes that we undertook. Now I wanna talk a little bit about what worked and what didn’t work, and then where we’re going through our next season and possibly, hopefully beyond.

Let’s start with what didn’t work. The main thing that didn’t work, I had this idea. So if we’re creating more content, we have a lot more guest spots, which means we can say yes to a lot more guests that are coming in. Many of the guests that come in I don’t think are always the best fit for the content that we are trying to produce for the podcast.

And so often we just say no. But then there’s some that are kind of on the fence and what we thought is, what if we. Uh, a have, find a setup that would, would make those maybes into a yes. By giving some other side benefits to the podcast, one of which was pre-promotion. We asked some guests to do some sort of promotion of meaning movement products or um, opt-ins, the newsletter, those kinds of things.

Before we invite them to come onto the show. That didn’t work at all . In fact, it worked very, very poorly and left me feeling frustrated, maybe even sometimes a little bit bitter because of the lack of effort that people would put in, um, to, to that. And like it makes sense, like they’re not bought into the process.

They don’t have a vested interest in, in what we’re creating. Um, but it also is super interesting because it took some of those maybes and got a hard pass from them. As they said, we don’t. Promote that it’s too close to what we’re already doing, which is exactly why I didn’t wanna have them on the show to begin with.

So it made a really interesting filtering, um, filtering method for choosing whether or not those guests come on moving forward. We are completely rethinking how we. Do guests. There’s a lot of the work that is coming out of my work with Raj in the Finding the Meaning Movement series, really focusing in on entrepreneurs, helping entrepreneurs build businesses that they love, that serve them, that they can stay committed to for the long haul.

And I’ll be sharing more about that in just a moment. But what that does for us is by focusing in on a specific demographic, it allows us then to say, Okay, who are. That would most serve this demographic. Who are the people that are speaking to their needs and have topics and, and expertise that they can bring to our target listener?

So a big shift that has come out of this is saying no to how we used to do guests saying, trying something new that didn’t work. And now moving into the next season, we have a new theory that we are going, um, going to test. That’s the primary thing that didn’t work. Broadly, I feel like a lot of what we have been doing has been.

The other question that you know I had is, what will be the flywheel effect of producing a lot more content? Will that grow our listenership? And it has grown our downloads, but I don’t know how much it’s actually impacted the quantity of listeners. It’s just impacted our downloads cuz there’s more content to download.

So that’s still an open question. Podcast analytics are tricky. We’ll continue to explore that as we go.

Now let’s talk about what did work in this series. I loved co-hosting with Raj. That was a highlight for me to have company in the process instead of just me on the mic like I am here today. Or me just interviewing, having someone who’s in it with me, who’s co-creating content with me, who’s thinking with me strategically about what we’re doing has just been so, so fun.

So again, Raj, thank you so much. All of your contribution to the podcast in this season has just been a highlight of my season. Secondly, I the team, You guys are awesome. I really, really love everything that we’re doing together. That’s been also a highlight. Sure, there’s always things that we can do better.

There’s always gaps. There’s sometimes there’s mistakes in episodes or content that’s released that I, I’m not as proud of as I wish I was, but at the same time, Part of just a creator journey. That’s part of just making something you have to say it’s good enough and ship it. And my team, thank you all for all of your work this far, thus far, Stefan, in particular with all of the systems that you’ve put into place to help us manage everything and make sure that.

Fewer things fall through the cracks. We’ve had fewer mistakes, fewer drop balls, fewer last minute changes this season than ever before. And that’s a big change, a huge impact on my life and on my stress levels because I’m not scrambling to get something shipped and edited the morning of or whatever might be, I should say, as much.

Cause I still sometimes am doing that with our, our newsletter. And if you’re not on the newsletter, get on the newsletter. Go to the meeting movement.com, get on the newsletter. Those are the things that worked well. Let’s talk. What’s next for the podcast?

I am so excited to be moving onward to season 11. We’re gonna stick to, at least at this moment, two episodes a week. We’re gonna take a break after this episode for a couple weeks and be back after Thanksgiving holiday in the US and towards the end of November, early December.

Um, we’ll be back then, but we’ll have a couple weeks off just to recalibrate, give my team a little bit of space and. Behind the scenes doing a ton of planning. So we’re planning out the next season. We’re gonna stick with the, uh, the two episodes a week format. We’re gonna do more co-hosted episodes.

We’re gonna be experimenting with a few things around that so you can expect more co-hosted conversations. Myself, Raj, another co-host that, um, and maybe, maybe a couple others that we’ll be bringing in as well as a different approach to. Guesting, as I’ve already talked about, the guests that we bring in will be more focused on topics pertaining to our target demographic, that tar target demographic.

This is a big change, is entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who are building businesses that they love. It’s we’re, we’re pushing back on the idea of the entrepreneurial path that so many of us start on the entrepreneurial path. Make more money to have more freedom, to have less stress, and we end up with none of those things in a prison of our own making with no way out.

It’s like we quit one job and, and then end up with 20 jobs. And so we’re working towards serving entrepreneurs to build meaningful businesses. That are sustainable, that keep them from being in, getting to places of burnout, where they’re stressed out, where they’re under resourced, where they feel like they’re, they’re trapped in the, the choices that they’ve made.

And I understand, I know this is some of the big, the big sacrifice here is that not everyone listening, not everyone who follows the meeting movement. Fits that demographic. But by targeting that demographic, we’ll be creating content that’s more helpful and has a deeper impact on those folks. And for people who aren’t in that demographic, there still will be so much crossover to things like rest and self care and managing stress and managing the different identities that we have in the different, uh, areas of life.

So even. Aren’t an entrepreneur, you can still use and benefit from this lens that we’re using to talk about life, the human condition, what it means to be humans in this, uh, this day and age. So we’re using that lens of entrepreneurship, but it should create content that’s applicable to everyone. So with that in mind, then we circle back from there to what are we putting on this podcast that can benefit.

People, this specific demographic, how are we shaping our content to be most helpful? So we have topics that we’ll be tackling in co-host style manner. We have specific targeted, um, interviews with experts who can speak to the needs of our demographic. So expect less career stories and more topical deep dive into relevant issues.

All of this feels a little bit clumsy. I, I’m not used to talking about where we’re going, our target demographic, all that these words are, are, are new in my, in my, my mouth. But I think that that’s an important part of this process to let you in on my process and the meaning movements process of finding where we’re going, clarifying what we are doing, and hopefully by seeing how we are wrestling with these.

And this project, hopefully that gives you a template for how you can wrestle with these ideas in your life, in your work, in your businesses, so you can get more clarity on what you’re trying to do and where you’re trying to go. So that’s a lot of where we’re going in the next season. I am so excited to continue to be serving you, Continue to do more to create content that helps you.

If you’re not on our email list, I want to again, just invite you to go to the meaning movement.com and opt into the email boxes. Anywhere around the site, I send out an email. Every week with ideas, some questions, sometimes links to the episodes, have gone live on the podcast, A list of fun things that I’m enjoying, which is always one of my favorite parts of the email list.

So I just wanna invite you, if you haven’t to go ahead and jump on that list. And if you haven’t left a rating or review, I know I say this every time, but it feels like the end of the season is a really, really important time to do that. Ratings are the life. Of podcasts and as listeners, you don’t really realize how important they are, but it show, it helps us access people who, and experts, authors, um, thought leaders.

The more reviews we have, the more access we have to people who have expertise to share with you. So a huge benefit for you, for us, that you can do for us is to leave a rating and review wherever you listen, but particularly on Apple. Extremely helpful. You can also do it on Amazon, on Spotify, I think on Google and a few other platforms.

But if you are on Apple device, please leave a review through the podcast app there. It helps us have credibility. It helps us reach the kinds of guests that we want to be bringing on this show, and it also helps people like you find this show if there’s multiple shows. About a topic related to business, related to, uh, being human related to meaning and purpose.

All of these things in a podcast feed, people will hit play on the one that has the most reviews. And so by leaving a review, it helps us find more people. It also helps us show up in the searches when people are searching. So thank you so much. I am just so happy to be wrapping up this season. I can’t wait for the next season.

It’s coming to you in just a couple weeks. Give us just a little bit of time. Don’t unsubscribe. Hit that subscribe button wherever you are listening to make sure that you will get notified soon as we go live. Again, thank you for being a part of this. It means so much to me to get to make this content and be on this journey with you.

We’ll be back with you in a few weeks. Take care.

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