It’s a common concern that we hear from a lot of entrepreneurs, and it comes in many forms:
I’m starting to feel burnt out; I don’t feel like my audience is growing and it’s frustrating that I’m spending all this time creating but not seeing anything in return; I’m overwhelmed and can’t keep up with my publishing schedule… What should I do?
In fact, someone just emailed me this:
I have a video and audio show, and I want to start doing “seasons” like you see on TV. I’m considering taking the summer off to promote and build the audience vs. spending all my time recording. Can I switch up the format AND take a break from my show without losing my audience?
This is a valid concern, because if not handled properly, you very well might lose your audience by changing things unannounced and at the same time going MIA.
If you’re thinking about switching up your format, or taking a break from your publishing schedule for any reason, the most important thing you can do is be open and honest with your audience.
Let your audience know your plans
It’s really quite simple: just let your audience know your plans.
This might be in the form of an entire episode, or even just an intro and outro on your last few episodes, where you talk about the new format and how you decided it was time to switch it up. Then, you can also talk about your plan to either decrease your frequency, or take some time off (which ever is the case for you).
As long as you’re open and honest about your reasoning, your audience will understand. If they don’t understand, then perhaps they weren’t your ideal audience members in the first place.
There may even be some unexpected benefits associated with you switching up your format and decreasing your frequency (or taking some time off).
For example, when I decided to go from publishing on the blog daily to just twice per week, not only did my content improve, but my audience became more engaged. This switch taught me the importance of focusing on quality over quantity, along with a very valuable lesson about my readers: they weren’t looking for daily content.
You can check out the post I wrote to announce the switch as an example of letting your audience know your plans.
Another potential (and unexpected) benefit of switching things up?
Well, if you’re sure to have a strong call to action that accompanies your announcement that leads people to maybe an opt in to be notified when you make the switch (or when you return if you’re taking some time off), then you’ll be giving yourself (and your listeners) the opportunity to stay in touch all while building a segmented email list.
If you do decide to go that route, you’ll want to make sure you have a sequence in place to stay in touch with them during your break; otherwise, they may lose interest if you’re away from a long time.
Switching up your format, decreasing your frequency, or taking a break isn’t necessarily a bad thing – just as long as you let your audience know your plans.