I Love Podcasting
In the messenger’s documentary, I am asked, “When do you think you will stop podcasting?” and I answer, “The day after I die.”
I’ve never thought of quitting. I love helping people on a global basis. However, if there is one thing that starts to wear me down” it’s the Facebook groups (and the horrible advice).
On one hand, I love to see the questions from newbies, and discussions outside the realm of “what’s the best microphone” (or media host?—?both of which are asked about every 37 minutes).
It’s just the (IMHO) misinformation (and I realize misinformation is a trigger word).
We Need to Question More
On one hand, in the time it took you to read the top paragraph, someone in a Facebook group has asked, “What’s the best microphone” 3.7 times. I’m not anti question (although I do wish people would use the search tool in groups and see that the question has already been asked 15 times this hour), but what I’m seeing are things that people say as “Gospel Truth”, and there is more to that answer. There are asterisks that are not being displayed.
Anchor is Flexible(?)
I was on a consulting call and my client stated he needed help growing his show. He was using anchor.fm as a media host. When I politely ask him what motivated the choice to use Anchor, he answered, “They are so flexible. I’ve heard that from people in the media”?—?he came from radio.
I don’t want to do a large rant on Anchor, but here are some things you hear, and what it means in reality.
MARKETING: “You can play music in your podcast!”
REALITY: As long as you use Anchor, and your listener is on Spotify, and paying for it.
Want more? I did a large rant about Anchor on episode 805.
Let’s Get Things Straight on Consistency
When you first start anything Golf, Guitar, Cooking, etc. you need to “Practice” and make those mistakes that new people do when they are just starting. That is a fact.
You either learn from those mistakes or hire someone to guide you around them.
For years I and others have talked about the importance of consistency and how your audience starts to rely on your publishing schedule. In other words, you become part of their routine. That is powerful.
What it doesn’t mean is that you go into a Facebook group and say, “My guest just canceled and I need someone to interview NOW.”
A Podiatrist says they are available. So you agree to bring them on your Millennial LGBTQ+ podcast “Coming Out” even though the person is straight and 59 years old.
After all, you need to be consistent.
The Two Ways to Be Consistent
You can publish on your schedule (whatever that is). That is being consistent in publishing. What I feel is more important is consistency in value. Consistency in content.
I would much rather get a “late” episode that is great and inspires me to tell a friend about your show than an “on time” episode that at best is “Meh.”
Or (as I write this it’s the holiday season) would you like your fragile gift delivered overnight and broken, or 3–5 days later fully intact? Which one has more value?
A Guest Just Cancelled
Don’t have a guest? Do a solo show and talk to your audience as if one of them is sitting across the table from you. I know it’s weird at first but you should try it. When you do interviews you build your network. When you do a solo episode (and talk to ONE PERSON- None of this HEY GUYS stuff), you build your influence.
Good Podcasts Take Effort
I hear you saying, “But finding good guests, and determining what my audience NEEDS can be hard!”
And your point is?
Your Media Host Dictates Your Success(?)
In the time it’s taken you to read this far, another media host stating “We’re number 1 in podcasting” has launched (even though they opened last week?—?again question everything).
I have podcasts on Libsyn (I also work there?—?but these words are mine, not my employer), Blubrry, Captivate, Podbean, Redcircle, Anchor, Pinecast, and Spreaker. While some interfaces are easier to navigate, and some make it easier to syndicate your show to directories, I’ve never had someone say to me:
Friend: “You need to listen to this podcast!”
Friend: “They host on Libsyn!”
One Car Is Not Faster – It Just Has a Better Ride
I think this is a good analogy. I have a Toyota Carolla. It’s not a bad car. It gets me where I’m going. It has cruise control and air conditioning. It’s slightly older so it still has a CD player. My cousin has four children and a van with super comfortable seats that are heated, legroom, cruise control, and air condition. As it's a van I sit a little higher and can see further down the highway. Also, if his van has an issue he can get service quickly. Support is important when it comes to media hosting (said the guy who works in tech support for a media host).
So if I’m going on a long 24-hour drive, what interface do I want to use for the next 24 hours? My cousins. My car would get me there, but I would enjoy the ride in his van more than my car.
You see, both vehicles can do the speed limit. One is not faster than the other.
So try a few media hosts and see which interface you like more. Podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint.
Media Hosting Reality
The bottom line is it is your content and your marketing efforts that grow your audience. The equation I tell people is:
Value in episodes X Smart marketing = Total Downloads.
Just Keep Going
This is another phrase I see a lot in podcasting Facebook groups.
New podcaster: “My audience isn’t growing”
Facebook Group: “Just keep going.”
While I agree that one way to stop your podcast from growing is to quit producing and promoting it.
HOWEVER, if you’re showing is not growing, and you’re not happy doing it. “Just keep going” is only half the answer.
Are You Going the Right Way?
If I’m headed north to Cleveland, Ohio (because it is north), but I’m headed South and I say, “I don’t seem to be getting closer to Cleveland” (cause I’m going the wrong direction) the answer “Jus keep going” is not the correct answer. You need to rethink your strategy.
Aiming Your Podcast
So many people just jump into podcasting. If you’re doing a hobby podcast and could care less then “Just jumping in” works for you. If you are just putting this “out there” to have it “out there” then go right ahead.
If you are taking this serious (even as a “hobby”) you need to know:
- Why you are starting the podcast
- Who is your target audience
- Is this a hobby or a business?
- What do you want your listener to do with your content? How should they feel and what should they do at the end of the episode?
- How will you gauge your success? This doesn’t have to be a download.
So when your podcast that has “everybody” as a target audience isn’t growing even though you are consistently putting out interviews with unvetted guests who deliver no value – you might want to consider who is giving you this advice?
- Then ask them how this strategy is working for them?
- Start asking WHY you should do this strategy.
- Start questioning WHO is giving the advice and what credentials they have.
After all, would you hire a mechanic that doesn't drive a car?
Then why would you take podcasting advice from someone who doesn’t have a podcast?
Find someone you trust. Someone who knows the space, and can tell you why their strategy works.
People Must be Falling For This Garbage Because I'm Seeing It Everywhere
This is from a real website which I refuse to link to
Ugh. It makes me feel like an old man saying “Get off my lawn.” Quit preying on the uninformed.
Take you and your barrels of snake oil and please get out of Dodge. You disgust me.
Part of that $488 evaluation is a $97 pdf with seven podcast secrets. If Valerie Geller's 500-page book Beyond Powerful Radio (used in College courses) is $25 on Amazon, how is your pdf worth $97? Another part of this package is a workbook to help you launch. The price? You guessed it $97. When you can get this planner from my friend Addie for $30, or John Lee Dumas has a podcast planner for $40. If this was a course, I could understand, but a PDF? Where did you come up with this evaluation?
I feel like I'm on Shark Tank asking, “explain to me your evaluation…”
Facebook Groups Are Probably Not Helpful(?)
Facebook groups are kitchens with too many chefs, and half of them have never cooked a day in their lives. It is those people are who I’m “competing against” as a podcast consultant.
These are the consultants who ask me, “I’m working with a client and they aren’t listed in Apple…”
It’s enough to make me think about quitting podcasting.
If you need help. You know where to find me.