Finding Your Voice with Karly NimmO
Finding your voice is essential if you have a big message to share with the world and podcasting is one of the best mediums to share your message with a global audience.
In this episode of the Conscious Business Builders podcast, we are joined by voice coach, podcaster and serial entrepreneur Karly Nimmo.
Podcast: Play In New Window
Karly is a multiple number one iTunes podcaster with 4 hits shows– Radcasters, Rock Your Mic Right, Make Some Noise and Karlosophies.
Not only is Karly a friend of mine, we met when I reached out to her for help launching my first podcast EcoChat, but she has spend over 15 years as a voice over artist and 5 years as a podcaster, making her an expert in all things podcasting and overcoming your fears of getting your voice out there.
So if you have been just mildly thinking about podcasting or just getting your voice out there in any capacity, you are going to love this episode.
karly, you’ve created a thriving business around connecting women back to the truth of who they really are… so that they can stop playing the role of who they think they need to be, and express who they REALLY are out into the world. What led you on this path?
Well I guess it was completely losing myself that lead me on this path. I was diagnosed with depression in 2009 and I just become really disconnected from who I was and the last 10 years have been me reconnecting to the truth of who I am.
7 years ago I had a co-working space in Byron Bay that failed, costing me one hundred thousand dollars. That sent me into another level of my search and it lead me to start my podcast Karlosophies. And I guess Karlosophies has documented that finding of myself for the past 5 years and just sharing that into the world, and by doing that and asking people the questions I’ve been asking myself through my podcast, I’ve just kind of found myself here, where I am today.
What are the main behaviours you see entrepreneurs, and women in particular, doing that stop them from sharing their message with the world?
Society expects us as women to behave and show up in certain ways yet we cope of a lot of judgement when we do show up as authentically ourselves, so its any wonder that we find it really hard to do so.
I saw a classic example of this yesterday in an entrepreneur group that I’m in. There was a conversation about whether it is professional to swear. The response from the members of the group suggested it was very unprofessional to swear which made people like me, chronic swearers, feel like maybe we are acting unprofessional if we drop swear words into the conversation.
So I feel like the one of the main issues is the way society feels about women’s voices. One of the key things that I see come up when I start working with someone is that they hate the sound of their own voice. Children don’t hate the sound of their own voices, this is something that we have learned from society, that certain sounding voices are annoying. Women have been conditioned by society to be seen and not heard, or to be heard in a certain way.
One of the things that I see come up from women podcasters who have male listeners is that they get great reviews about the content of the show followed by a complaint about the sound of their voice. For example, she sounds too screechy or too nasally. With feedback like this its no wonder its so difficult for us, as women, to move past our own doubt and no wonder that imposter syndrome is rife.
So this is the main thing that I see getting in peoples way and that’s the main thing that I work on when I’m working with a client. Look, you can teach people the nuts and bolts of how to create a successful podcast in terms of how to create good audio video, how to structure a show really well, all that kind of jazz, but at the end of the day what ends up happening is the imposter syndrome kicks in and their fear of being heard or feeling exposed, challenged and judged gets in their way.
What advice or tips do you have for our listeners who might be finding themselves in this category? For those that have got a big message they want to share out with the world but they’re scared.
Just do it! Just rip of the band aid and start doing it.
Finding your voice takes practice, finding your message takes practice. I feel like the only way that we find our voice is by using it. So we have to be willing to move past our fear.
About 10 years ago, was when I was feeling lonely and isolated and I was trying all these alternative therapies. One of these therapies was a visit to an angel healer. She said to me when I was nervous to focus on my service and that advice has been something that I’ve taken with me throughout the rest of my journey.
So when I’m feeling really nervous I tell myself “I’ve got to get over myself in order to help other people” and so that’s what I’ve focused on. There is a saying, I can’t remember the exact wording, but it’s goes something like, speak even when your voice shakes.
Do whatever you have to do in order to create enough safety around for you to be able to show up and speak.
I have always loved the sound of my own voice, and I was one of those kids that had the double tape deck and I’d recorded my voice and enjoyed playing it back. But I also have been someone whose experience anxiety for most of my life. So creating structure around things really helped me in order to now be able to just free flow, hit record and just go. It takes time to get there.
I remember being 14 years old working my job at Coles Supermarkets being asked to get on the microphone to do the announcements. I was like “oh my gosh how am I going to do this” so I just wrote down every single word that I would say and then I would read it out a loud. I later went on to work in radio and I used to write out every single word that I would say. It made me feel safe enough to be able to use my voice.
And that’s what we need to do. We need to create enough structure and safety so we can have the confidence to deliver our message. Even if we have to read it out word for word, it’s better than not speaking at all. And as we practice it again and again and again, eventually we get to the point where we can hit record and trust what is going to come out is going to come out. But we have to start somewhere right, so start. Whatever you have to do in order to start using your voice, do. That’s pretty much it. We are never going to find our voice if we are not using it.
When you start out you might feel like you are invisible, and you might question monthly if it would just be easier to go back to your day job. But those people we are willing to hone their craft are seeing longer term success. It might take a little longer but if we are after those quick wins we don’t last for a long in this cut throat industry.
I feel like it’s that whole Steve Jobs thing, like his saying ‘you can only join the dots looking back’ or whatever it is. You can connect the dots looking back but you can’t connect them looking forward. And so for me it has just been consistently showing up, not really knowing exactly where I’m going (sometimes I’ve had a rough idea) and allowing myself to evolve and I feel like so many of us want to be at the end game at the beginning. But we can’t skip to the end. We have to do the work, there’s no avoiding it and if we don’t we’re a flash in the pan, a one hit wonder and we are gone before we’ve even had a chance to have a sniff of success.
You’ve been successful in creating three number 1 iTunes podcasts now. What is it that you love about podcasting in general, or this communication medium above others?
I would say with total brutal honestly that external success really means nothing if there’s not an internal version of success.
I’ve had 5 podcasts over the past 5 years, all of them have reached top 10 and 3 of them have made number 1. And to me it means nothing. Sure, it sounds really nice and makes me sound like I’m legit but it actually means very little in terms of what impact that has for my shows success on a long term basis.
However being successful on iTunes does give me some level of credibility when it comes to me being a mentor and a teacher and a guide in this space. The way that I did it is just by not being afraid.
The number 1 mistake I see podcasters make when they launch a show is that I feel like it’s such a big scary process and so all of their time and energy goes into overcoming their own internal hurdles and then they go live and they actually don’t tell anyone it exists!
I shout it from the rooftops and I just keep shouting. I will post everything that I possibly can about the show and I am shameless in the amount of promotion that I do in the beginning of a show. And that is why I get to number 1 because I’m not afraid to say “hey guys listen to this show its awesome.” And say it again and again until you are blue in the face.
I get why it happens, why people are afraid of self promotion. So much time and energy goes into just getting to that point of going live and then people feel like the work has been done. As a society we have this real ‘build it and they will come’ mentality but anyone who has started a podcast or who has written a book, knows that recording is the easy part, the hard part is getting it out there.
There are some shocking stats around that most podcasts don’t make it past 7 episodes. I’ve had plenty of clients and colleagues that have gone to number 1 on iTunes but their show hasn’t made it past 10 episodes. And that’s why I really keep driving home this find your own version of success that isn’t externally based. Podcasting can be a really huge project to undertake, it can be a lot of hard work and the returns can be hard to track so its often difficult to know whether you are having success or not.
You hear about these unicorn success stories, like they have done 4 million downloads in the first year and other crazy stats, but that’s not the general podcaster. People can get really down on themselves around their numbers but I think its because people aren’t really honest and no one really has the conversation about what downloads should look like.
But what can happen is what’s happened for me. Which is, as a result of being consistent and showing up for the last 5 years weekly, I now have a full coaching practice and 2 full podcasting masterminds and I’m an in demand producer. This stuff doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t require big numbers, it just requires you to really be willing to hone in, find what you are here for and show up consistently for that.
Put it this way, I do a lot of public speaking and if I’m invited to speak at an event with a hundred people in a room you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to be there and yet most people think a hundred downloads it hardly worth their time. Well I beg to differ because you’d be willing to show up to a room to speak in front of 100 people (who are probably there to see the key note who is NOT you) but the 100 listeners of your podcast are seeking YOU out.
Your listeners are there week in week out, just there ready to build a connection with you and that’s the magic of podcasting. THAT is what I love podcasting – it’s the connection that can be built and the trust that can be built between you and your audience. And that’s why I keep showing up.
I have people who have listened to every single episode I’ve ever put out there which is literally hundreds. And that’s the magically thing. And it’s something that I treat with the greatest of respect. I have been blogging since 2009 and even through social media, I have never been able to build the kind of relationship and the same level of connection that I have through podcasting.
If we think about how people are consuming all the different mediums that there are, most of them require them to disconnect from their life. You have to disconnect from what you are doing in order to watch a YouTube video, you have to disconnect from what you are doing in order to read a post or a blog, you have to disconnect from what you are doing in order to scroll social media feeds, but you don’t have to disconnect from anything in order to listen to a podcast. Most people listen to podcasts as their driving their car, walking their dog, as they’re folding the clothes, as they’re cooking, as podcasters we are really invited into our listeners own sacred space and that builds a level of connection that I’ve not seen any other medium do.
What advice do you have for our listeners who would like to start their own podcast but don’t know where to start or if anyone will even listen?
There’s always someone who will listen.
We just need to park that judgement and not buy into the story that we have nothing of value to say.
In terms of where to you start, well you start with really connecting to the purpose. For me, the foundational stuff is the stuff that most people gloss over and they don’t really ask themselves the difficult questions. They see podcasting as potentially a magic bullet to success , the next thing on their to do or their should do list, and so they get into podcasting for that reason. It’s completely the wrong reason to start a podcast.
The questions we should be asking ourselves is why do we want to podcast ? What is it that calls to us about podcasting ? What is it that we want to share with the world ? What is it that we have to say ? How do we want to say it ?
I’m very mindful of the fact that a lot of people get into the position where they are asking themselves the questions so consistently that they actually never take any action because they are constantly perfecting and perfecting and making sure their message is 100%. So I want to dispel that myth right now, you don’t need to know necessarily what your message is but you do have to be willing to show up and speak.
I feel like the knowing what you want out of your podcast is one of the most important questions that most people never ask themselves. And the answer to the question can be so varied.
For me, when I first started Karlosophies the purpose of the podcast was to have conversations with other people who had experienced failure. I just wanted to know that I wasn’t alone thinking that being in business was hard, I wasn’t the only person who had lost thousands of dollars by making mistakes, I wasn’t the only person who felt invisible and speaking to no one. And so Karlosophies started as a way for me to normalise what was going on in my own life, and to feel ok about myself. And in doing that, it actually really deeply connected with other people because everyone goes through those times where they are questioning everything but more people aren’t speaking about it.
I also just wanted to have an outlet for expression that felt more natural to me than writing. I’d been writing for years but writing never felt as natural as speaking does. Karlosophies is about me having an outlet for my truth – that’s really what the purpose of the show is. Because I feel like we’ve got to look after ourselves and when we look after ourselves we essentially are looking after others as well. Self expression is a perfectly fine reason to start a podcast.
Rock Your Mic Right is a podcast I created about podcasting. Its purpose is different to Karlosophies. It’s about building my profile in this space ad driving business. It came about as I kept seeing the same questions coming up time and time again from my clients and I wanted to be able to reach more people. Rock your Mic Right is a way for me to take those conversations that I’m having with my clients and share the knowledge and insights that I have in this space with the wider audience and hopefully this will lead to intake in my next round of offerings.
What have been your three biggest learnings in your business and/or podcasting journey so far that you’d like to share with our listeners?
Oh gosh let me have a think…. I guess the number 1 thing for me has been really getting to honour myself and the way that I work because I am a little different in a lot of respects. I tried a lot of things in online business that didn’t work for me, and now I operate more from a place of trust which isn’t really for everyone.
I really fly the seat of my pants when it comes to business and life, which is something I used to beat myself up about but now I really just honour the way that I work. I don’t lock myself into future programs, I know some people see podcasting as a life sentence. Its not. Business evolves as we do. Its ok to try a different approach, and one thing I am really huge on is experimentation. Its ok to try stuff, and if it fails it doesn’t matter because it was just an experiment!
In a podcasting sense to easy to think that now I’ve started I need to talk about the same thing for the rest of my life – boring. And we don’t – we can evolve just like I did with Karlosophies. It started as conversations with people about failure and now its just my talking about what’s on top that week. Its had many twists and turns. I’ve evolved that show as I’ve evolved as a home too.
Other shows have had lifespans like Keeping Good Company with Lisa Corduff. We had the conversation about a year in, that we were both going in different directions and wrapped up the show. Its ok to wrap up anything that isn’t serving you – whether it be a podcast or a business – and to admit something isn’t working and put a pin in it.
We don’t need to forgot that thing we put a pin in (tho sometimes we really want to do that). We can swing back to things which is what I’ve done with the podcasting thing.
I had Radcasters, it was going really well and then it wasn’t. It felt really hard and nothing I was doing was working and so I put a pin in it. I went away and just started doing other stuff. I reconnected to my creativity, found more of my voice and then I swung back. I had this analogy that I call the “Swings.” If we eat tuna on crackers every day one day we’re gonna get so sick of tuna and crackers that we just never want to see it again and so we eat other things and then we come back to tuna and crackers once we’ve kind of gotten over the fact that we were eating it every day for a very long time and it was boring the shit out of us.
So we can go on this ‘swinging entrepreneurship’ and put a pin in things, swing away from it and see what happens and come back to it. It doesn’t make us flaky, it doesn’t make us unprofessional, it just means we are honouring where we are at and for me that’s really worked. That’s been the major evolution for me, is that I’m accepting that I’m an evolving and I’m going to move away from things and I’m going to come back to things and everything kind of happens in perfect timing.
I wake up everyday and I don’t have to be doing something that bores the shit out of me, I get the freedom to do and speak and say and create whatever I want and that is success for me.
With the benefit of hindsight, what would you tell a younger Karly who is just starting on her business journey?
I would say to her it works out in the end. I wouldn’t go back and change anything for her because she had to go through all that stuff, it’s all those things that went wrong that has led me to this place where everything feels right. And I wouldn’t go and save her from the misery that she was in, like, I considered taking my own life during that period of my life, it was very very dark time, but I wouldn’t take it away because it’s that that’s led to this.
And you know, I’m just getting started. This is just the beginning. So that’s what I would tell her. Everything is going to work out, its going to be fine. It might not work out the way you envisage it to but you will be in a place where you will just want to high five the fuck out of you right now for going through all that stuff and coming out the other side.
What’s that saying by John Lennon?
“It’s all going to be ok in the end. If it’s not ok it’s not the end”.
Please share where our listeners can follow you online!
The main ways would be my podcasts, so there’s Karlosophies and then there’s Rock Your Mic Right.
Rock Your Mic Right is great if you are looking at getting into podcasting or if you are a podcaster or if you know a podcaster. I’m proud, I think I’m prouder of this show than I am of anything else that I’ve created. It’s not just a surface level conversation about podcasting and tip and tricks (though they are still there), but shows that podcasting is actually a deeper game than just quick wins.
For social media I’m mostly on Instagram @karlosophies where I just share the honest truth of being an entrepreneur.
I really hope you enjoyed this episode with Karly Nimmo on how to get your voice out there and how to get started podcasting. So if you’re keen to learn more, head on over to karlynimmo.com or search for her shows in your podcasting app.
Over To You!
If you’d like to build your business with the support of myself and a select group of conscious business builders, check out my Conscious Business Circle. Applications are now open for 2020!