What Podcasters Can Learn From Kevin Hart

New Apple Specs Coming

In the future, Apple Podcasts app will support some new features including:

One the podcast level you will have
Seasons
Serial and Episodic podcast types

On the Episode level 
Title, episode number, and season number
Summary and episode notes
Trailers and bonus content
GUID (don’t change it!)

I am worried when I read the text, “New subscribers will receive the first episode in their Library, or the current season if using seasons. ” As we don't know what “will receive” means. Does this mean it will automatically download an entire season? We don't know. If it does, I can see people abusing this to get more downloads. There are already people sending old content back to their audience just to juice their download numbers.

They also mention not to change the GUID. The GUID is a unique number that identifies your episode. Changing this number will have the app seeing the episode as new. You should never change this number. Apple is saying “Don't change this.” This is kind of like saying “Don't stick that knife in the outlet” to a two-year-old. In my opinion, this is a bad idea to even give people access to this.

New Listener Stats
Apple will provide statistics on how many listeners you have, minutes per listener, Abandonment Point, and Average Completion. The statistics are “Launching this year.”

The other thing I'm worried about is currently people OBSESS over their podcast numbers. They release an episode, FREAK OUT that it's not in their iTunes listing, and want to know why they don't have download number immediately. This will give podcasters more stats to obsess over. Also, you may not be ready for the shock when you find out that only 48% of your audience is listening to the entire of your episode.

None of This Matters Yet

If I told you there was a new audio format and it was going to sound great and do all sorts of new fun stuff, but there aren't any players that can play it yet the news wouldn't mean anything. You can't experience any of the new stuff until players are available. These new features won't come into play until iOS11 is available (that will have the new Podcasts App). So it's exciting, but the time to celebrate and figure out how to get these new tags into our RSS feeds should be something we worry about later. I'm sure Libsyn, Blubrry, and Speaker (and any other Podcast Media hosts worth anything) will have systems in place shortly.

I know patience is not a characteristic of some podcasters, but for now, know things are going to get better later this year.

Here are the details from Apple.

Becuase of My Podcast: I Got a Gig as an Audio Editor

Jeff Perry has had multiple version of shows about podcasting. He has really enjoyed editing them into different forms. He recently landed a job working for Emerald City Productions as an audio editor. Check out Jeff's show at https://podcastingspark.com/

Great Follow Up Questions Make Great Podcasts

Your homework for today is to reach out to a podcast you listen to, and let them know you enjoy their show (I call this “putting gas in their tank). For me I did this after listening to Lee Silverstein on Podcast Junkies

What Podcasters Can Learn From Kevin Hart

I remember watching the comedy special I'm a Grown Little Man and he was hilarious as he shared stories about his family. At the end, he said, “I want to show you why I do this,” and brought out his two little children. It was touching, and transparent. I've seen copier salesmen drag their kids around as a gimmick. This just seemed genuine. I've seen every one of his specials since then, and when his book came out, I instantly got the audio version (read by Kevin) on Audible. (you can get it for free if you're new to audible).

I always if you can make me laugh, cry, think, groan, educate, or entertain me I'm in. This book did all of that, but the things that podcasters can take away from this story is Kevin's relentless pursuit of getting better at his craft. You also see how those “hard times” that we have often come back to life in a way that you are thankful that you had them. Here are some of the things that jumped out of the book:

Kevin's Father is crazy. He did things to his children that were cruel. One time he stole a bike and tried to give it to Kevin as a present. His Mom knew it was stolen, and instantly made Kevin give it back. He “borrowed” a neighborhood dog and gave it to his children, only to have the neighbor come back and get the dog. Kevin soon realized, his father wasn't going to win any medals for “Father of the year.”He accepted it, but instead of hating his father, he forgave him.

Kevin got a mentor after making it “big” in Philidelphia and wanted to takes grow his career. He drove from Philidelphia to New York City (according to Google Maps that is one hour and forty-five minutes one way). He would then sit and watch his mentor perform a numerous clubs. He wouldn't get to sit at the table with all the comedians. He was building a relationship with his mentor, and eventually would be able to do five minutes of stand-up. To boil this down, he spent three hours in a car, three or four times a week, to perform for five minutes.

His career starting taking off. He started getting some acting roles. He was in a movie called Fools Gold (it tanked) and later was in Soul Plane. Soul plane has historical relevance as one of the most bootlegged movies in history. People were watching a DVD of the movie before post-production was finished. Consequently, when it came out nobody went to see it. Kevin had worked so hard to get this point, but with two flops under his belt, nobody would cast him in any movies. So what did he do? Sink into oblivion? Instead, he decided to build his career up so much, that they HAD to put him in a film. So once again, he went back to working on his craft. He wanted to be good. He did this for seven years.

Seven years. 

There is no practice in comedy. This is why big comedians play smaller venues. They want to test their material. The only way to get better is to do it. The only way to get better is to increase you stage time. It is the same with podcasting. You can read all about it. You can watch videos, record episodes, but you don't know if it's any good until you let someone not named Mom listen to it.

Kevin got deals that lead to nothing. He figured out that the reason why things weren't working with TV is other people were writing for him. So he creates a sitcom. Then it got turned into a pilot, and YES, it got picked up. They filmed the show, and he was flown to New York to this big event to meet all the people at the networks and he is ready to walk on stage and tell the world who he is and tell them about his show. He is on the side of the stage when the stage manager tells him NOT to go on stage. Instead, they send the cast of another show onto the stage to promote their stuff. Wait, what? What was going on? Seconds before Kevin was to go on to a stage and introduce himself to a nationwide audience, he is informed his show was dropped. Can you imagine?

Growing up Kevin's mother was BEYOND strict. There was a lot of “NO” in Kevin's childhood. There was a fair amount of embarrassment in his childhood. In all case, Kevin would shrug his shoulders, say, “OK” and go back to making his stand up better. To quote a famous comedy manager Barry Katz, “If you are undeniable, you won't be denied.”

Kevin as a Brand

Kevin had some people helping him. One person was threatening people when it came time to pay Kevin. He was very assertive and people didn't' want to work with him. Kevin always focused not on just his jokes, but what was the experience like. He wanted a nice theater. He wanted people to have fun, and not worry about getting into fights, etc.

Kevin Listened

When Kevin was a child his mother was strict. He didn't agree with the rules, but he followed them. All those “No's” from his Mother help prepare Kevin for the movie business where you go on audition after audition.

His jokes, in the beginning, were funny, but any comic could have told those jokes. There was very little about Kevin in the act. Some of his stories were made up. His mentor kept saying, your life is funny. Talk about you.

Kevin had a stage name. George Carlin, Richard Pryor, none of the great comedians had a stage name (Kevin's names was Lil' Kev the Bastard). He changed his name. He Listened.

His name is his brand. At one point he was offered to play a very large comedy event in Canada. This is a launching pad for many comedians. His manager told him he wasn't ready. He wasn't happy, but he listened. When he was invited back the next year, he was ready. It worked, and it began his come back.”

The bottom line is Kevin's attitude is AMAZING, and we can learn a lot about how to handle adversity in your life based on his attitude.

Summary

Being told no over and over build endurance

When you have “Downtime” use it to work on your craft

It's better to forgive than to hold a grudge

Make sure people have a good experience consuming your content

Always strive to do more, but have an attitude of gratitude for the things you have.

Get the book at Amazon

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