I started The Lifestyle Chase in September 2018. I never really got into listening to podcasts until I got interested in fitness.
I remember listening to TJ Sadler's City and Social podcast, listening to friends like Jordan Jeske talk about their career.
I then started to listen to Dean Guedo and Andrew Coates on The Fitness Devil, and Shane Fennessey's City of Champions.
My show began without a clear idea of what my expectations were. I had a desire to have meaningful conversations and grow, and I wanted to be listened to but I couldn't quantify how that looked or what the growth of the show would feel like.
To kick things off, Shane Fennessey had me as a guest on City of Champions. An opportunity that gave me experience and confidence to get rolling with The Lifestyle Chase.
As time went on, I started to interview more and more people. Dozens of Edmontonians, in and out of the fitness industry. As time went on, I expanded my network all over North America interviewing trainers from New York, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, and more!
Things really started to pick up steam with regards to local listenership in January 2019. I was seeing shares of the show amidst friends from Edmonton. It was amazing to realize how many friends were listening.
From that moment forward, I noticed that my audience started to evolve to include more listeners from other provinces as well as the US. In fact, in recent years my US audience has been the largest growing portion.
Some people might ask, which episodes were you the most nervous for?
Here's a list of five of them - and to be honest, I could probably add even more if I thought about it. The thing is, these are the earlier episodes when I had less experience, so I would have definitely felt extra nervous at this time.
Ryan Jones, a former Edmonton Oiler is one of my all time favourite Oiler players. His ability to make light of the situation in an interview and how genuine he is made him stand out to me. I recall hearing about how he'd play street hockey with the neighbourhood kids and he was a fan favourite for his passion in the game. To have him on my show was an exciting experience. We did the interview while he was playing out the remainder of his professional career over in Germany.
Jordan Syatt is widely known in the fitness industry. Not just among the professionals but even more notably by the enthusiasts. The truth is, he is one of the most authentic, genuine people out there. He'll be returning to the show on August 2nd, 2021.
Carrie Doll is a professional interviewer. This is her career - it's what she does for a living. To interview her was definitely something that made me nervous. However, having said that, she's given me a great deal of advice and is one of my favourite non-fitness podcasts to listen to. Her interview style challenges me to find ways to improve how I speak and the questions I ask people.
This episode with Michelle Bagnell and Blake Loates was heavy to prepare for. It was dedicated to talking about mental health based on the experiences we'd had. Our mission was to reduce the stigma of talking about mental health and highlight how serious our mental health is and that people need support in this life. When you host conversations that are deeply meaningful, it takes an incredible amount of energy. I was extremely grateful to have these two on the show.
Episode 39 with Leanne Axelsen was a really important interview. I often wonder to myself, what would life be like if I could go back to wherever Axe would be teaching today? Would he still be at Pigeon Lake? Would he be at a different school? What would he think of the podcast? Would he ever come on as a guest?
For me, someone who thinks deeply and truly values legacy, this episode meant a lot.
As I continued to listen to other shows, I wanted to find a way to diversify myself, to stand out in the crowd or to become someone's goto show.
I had been listening to Case Kenny's show "New Mindset Who Dis" and noticed his episodes were shorter - about 20 minutes or less, and he had two of them per week. He had a loyal following and was progressing on the charts.
Here's my episode where I first had Case on my show.
Case Kenny is actually going to be coming back to The Lifestyle Chase on August 11, 2021.
So in learning about him and hearing his show, at the end of 2019, I wanted to try something new.
On January 1, 2020, I started daily episodes of what I called "Real Talk by The Lifestyle Chase". They were 12 minute episodes, every day of the week.
This is where the listenership started to really take off. I was getting hundreds of listens per day! I was taking off on the charts and rose to 13th Fitness Podcast in Canada for a moment. For anyone in the podcast world, you'll know, that's a pretty big deal.
As time went on, I wondered who out there listened to the daily episodes of the show and tried to get feedback from as many people as I could.
But then in March, the pandemic loomed in on us all.
I was keeping up with the show but I was losing inspiration. There were a few instances where I had to get someone else to guest host the show for an episode. I started to notice I was repeating the same topics or rambling on episodes. I didn't like where it was going and looking at the podcast feed, it was far too "busy".
In May, I deleted all episodes of "Real Talk by The Lifestyle Chase" leaving my audience with only the full length episodes. Listenership had already been declining but by removing the full length episodes, it was the nail in the coffin.
It was time to go to back to the drawing board.
What was I missing out on as a podcast host? With all the work I was putting in, where was I selling myself short?
That's when I realized I was missing a critical opportunity to publish the show in video.
Here is the first episode I ever published with the video feed.
The cool thing about interviewing Kay Lybeck, is that I actually met her through Carl Paoli, who has been on the show 3 times. She listened to our first episode together and gave some incredible feedback. Since then we've formed a really solid internet friendship and I'm very grateful to have connected with her.
As time went on, I got better at the quality of the show. I eventually updated my video feed using my DSLR instead of the computer's webcam.
My episode with Sahmura was where I increased the quality of the video. I connected with Sahmura through Kyle Dobbs, whose had more shout outs on the show than almost anyone else.
I experimented with green screen backgrounds for the show until I finally resorted to keeping it simple.
I was paying close attention to what some of the more successful podcasts were doing and I noticed they had a producer that helped the host stream and produce the show live.
Long-story short, I taught myself to live stream and produce (and interview) the show live. I also got set up with some "new-to-me" soundboard equipment from Dean Guedo, so you'll notice a new microphone as well. This episode with my good friend Alex McBriarty is where I was able to stream the show as I interviewed, live to Instagram.
A few months later, my laptop broke down and I needed to do something quickly. I invested in an iMac, and had to relearn how to use the software on a Mac rather than a PC. There were a few hiccups, but here is one of the episodes where I had it all figured out.
I brought Dean back to the show for the 3rd time so he could talk about dad things.
Throughout all of these progressions and leaps, my listenership never went back to what it was in 2020. It's something that I wanted to share because I believe that just at the point where you're ready to quit, is where you have your biggest break throughs.
Since hosting the show, I've had the opportunity to interview over 150 different people, and I've guested on a handful of other people's shows.
I've learned lessons I wouldn't have learned anywhere else, and had conversations with people that can't be duplicated.
I truly believe that I will be successful as a podcast host one day, that this work will compound to something significant, and that my growth as a host with be a valuable asset in my career.
I hope this inspires you to check out the show, or maybe to start a show of your own.
If you've ever thought about starting a podcast, head to www.invigoratetraining.com/chrisliddlemedia
You can follow the show on Instagram at The Lifestyle Chase
You can watch episodes of the show on YouTube
And you can listen to the show on Spotify
Thanks for reading, share this with anyone who might think it's valuable.