The Working Experience: Trying New Formats

Matty Kerr is co-creator with John Brancaccio of The Working Experience. Listen to our podcast on iTunes and Spotify and check out our website for podcast episodes, videos, blog posts and merch. You can also find us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

We have been experimenting with a new format and it is working.

There is no secret to success. That is a trope which keeps people from being successful. You work hard, take chances, learn from failure, try new things, move on. That’s about it.

The Working Experience has had some modest success, our numbers are decent, but we are looking to move to the next level.

That means we need to try new things, but we also need to do our homework.

In analyzing our data, two points jumped out at us:

1. When an episode goes longer than 30 minutes, our numbers drop significantly.

2. When we discuss a topic that is more current, such as how Covid-19 has affected the stock market, rather than just a general issue regarding work, our numbers are much better.

So, using that information, we decided to try something new: very short episodes that offer advice on a specific topic:

  1. 10 minutes in length
  2. We would boil the topic down to 4–6 bullet points and stick only to those bullet points.

We would dispense with the banter, not go off on tangents, and offer advice that people could actually use on topics such as:

— Handling Job Interview Questions

— Investing

— Spending

— Avoiding People Who Won’t Get Ahead

— Working from Home

We want to be legit. We do research on these topics and offer advice based on facts and expert opinion, as opposed to a sportscaster who has suddenly become an expert on infectious diseaes.

And it is working. The 10 minutes episodes are doing well. Our highest rated one had over 1,300 plays in just a few days.

We will still do two 30 minute episodes a week and keep an eye on the numbers. If they start telling us that the 10 minute episodes are way outperforming the longer ones, we may have to think about a more significant change.

There will always a push and pull between being consistent and trying new things. People like the familiar, they crave consistency, but they also get tired of the same old thing. It is an odd contradiction.

There is also the danger of losing focus, of being pulled in too many directions and not focusing on an idea long enough to see if it works.

There is no right or wrong answer, there is no secret.

Just keep at it.

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Matty Kerr

Matty Kerr

Co-creator and cohost of The Working Experience Podcast. We explore what people do for work, how they do it and how they feel about it. Twice a week!