There are times when we can overthink things. You always want to do your best and get input from your target audience. You want to know what they want.
There may be decisions that just you just can't come to a conclusion.
You could do more research if you want, but in some cases, you just have to make a decision and if it doesn't work out, then try something else.
I often say your podcast is a recipe and not a statue. I can almost guarantee that your podcast will start in one direction and end up going in a slightly different one that you thought.
I like bananas. I like peanut butter on bananas. I like Reese's cups which have chocolate and peanut butter combined. However, I never mixed bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate. On paper, it seems like I would like this but there is only ONE way to know and that's to make the recipe and eat it.
You can guess all day if your audience will like your show, but there is only one way to know and that's to make an episode and let them eat it. Nobody will punch you in the face, and you can change anything that doesn't work. Also keep in mind that when you first start out, you probably don't have much of an audience.
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The best way to have a podcast with multiple people is to get all the cards on the table when you start. Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible, and then approach each other with respect when surprises arise.
You've decided that you want to do a podcast with a co-host. That's great. Some people feel having a co-host makes podcasting easier because it's not just you talking into a wall.
But there some things you might want to think consider. Number one, who owns the show? So if it's the Bert and Ernie show, and Burt decides he wants to quit, does that mean Ernie can't find a new co-host and change the name?
You'll see this all the time with bands like Pink Floyd and Queensryche who spend tons of cash in court arguing over who owns the name.
Secondly, what if somebody wants to leave, let's say after nine months of doing the show, Burt says, I've had enough. I thought this was going to be fun.
Now here's the thing you have to keep in mind, this is going to be an awkward conversation because you're going to talk about what happens if things go wrong. And you don't want things to go wrong. But if you talk about this, (put your big boy put your big girl pants on), and have this awkward conversation, then if things do go wrong, it will be better than if you didn't have any exit strategy.
So what happens if somebody wants to leave?
What if somebody wants to quit?
What if somebody doesn't want to quit? What are the grounds to get fired?
Setting expectations eliminates surprises, and it identifies what is required for things to run smoothly.
You have to figure out who does what. And sometimes it's, “I'll record and edit. You do the social media and the website.”,
What you might want to do is divide up the list. This way, everybody knows who is responsible for everything
You avoid conversations that have people saying, “Wait, I thought YOU were going to write the show notes. No, I thought YOU were going to write the show notes.”
While this is an awkward conversation to have, it eliminates any miscommunication. Communication is the lubrication of your podcast engine. And many, many, many moons ago, I was a musician I played in a band, and we had what we call the “band fund.” I would come into our rehearsal, and I would say, Hey, guys, we have whatever $117 in the band fun The last thing we spent money on was Ryan need a new set of bass strings. It was very transparent. Nobody had to guess what was going on with the money, and consequently, we never argued about it.
If you answer all those questions and you keep everything transparent, you are much less likely to have issues with your co-host.
The thing you might want to do is revisit it regularly. I do a show on Saturday morning. It's called Ask the podcast coach. We're there every Saturday 10:30 AM eastern standard time askthepodcastcoach.com
My co-host is Jim Collison from the average guy.tv. We've been doing that for three years with a lot of fun. It's a lot of work. That's fine by me because I have a Patreon account that has patrons who donate.
I went to Jim, I said, “Hey, is this still cool?” and Jim said, “You're doing all the work.” He's a color commentary guy, but he brings a lot to the table. The show is different when Jim isn't there, and he's fine letting me take the money. I still revisited that every year.
When you don't talk about things, and you let it fester, that's how you end up in situations where things get ugly. Now I work for a company called Libsyn. It's a podcast media hosting company. You can get a free month there using the coupon code, SOP free all one word. And I see situations where Ernie and Bert aren't getting along. Bert will log into the account and change the password trying to lock Ernie out. And then Ernie will somehow get back into the account and start deleting items, and it gets ugly.
These ugly situations are why you need to put your agreement in writing and have everyone sign it. This document is you saying. “I agree to do this.” I've seen other things where you do that show with your best friend that you've known since the fourth grade, and four years later, it's gone to the dogs because you didn't have these conversations.
Then all the sudden money got involved. I'm here to tell you money changes everything. What was a discussion is now an ugly argument because money's involved. So the best time to have this conversation is when there is no money.
I would love to help you plan, launch, grow, and monetize your podcast. Tap into my 14 years of podcasting experience and schedule a time to chat today.
You may think that your best friend is the obvious choice to be a co-host. However, what if you both DO think the same thing. That's going to be quite a lot of “me too.”
Here are some tips to consider:
If you would like some help planning your podcast, let's sit down and get your going in the right direction. Schedule a session today.
I get this question from people this can often stall your efforts. You have a message and you want to get it out there, but what format?
As a content creator (and when you boil it down, that is what podcasters are) what do you want? You want more exposure for your content. So why limit yourself to one type of format?
You can use Facebook Live or YouTube Live (formerly Google Hangouts) for free. Every morning I stream to YouTube using StreamYard (for some added features of pulling people into the chat and some cool display tricks) and record the audio on a portable recorder. While the audio on Facebook, YouTUbe and Zoom are tolerable, try to record it locally was a WAV file to capture the best audio you can.
Try not to say things like “As you see here” as the people who listen to your audio later have no idea what you're talking about.
When you produce to formats (audio and video) this means you get to edit both versions. This just takes more time.
Unless you are doing something like a cooking show (that REALLY needs the visual) go with the audio.
It's cheaper to host
It's easier to edit.
You don't have to shower or put on makeup to record.
Back on episode 13 I talked about how to choose a name. Today we talk about what happens if you choose a name and it just falls flat, or even worse, confuses people. We talked about the mechanics of podcasting before in episode.
The bad news is that name that you chose for your podcast is falling flat, or even worse, it's confusing people. Because if you confuse you lose. You've come to the conclusion, I want to change the name of my podcast. In fact, what if I want to rebrand my show.
I did this three times with my first podcast, I originally named it the musician's cyber cooler. This is where musicians come to trade advice (kind of a water cooler). Back in 2005. When I started we called the Internet cyberspace. Hence, the musicians cyber cooler. Well, that confused people. Then the word cyber got attached to sex. People were talking about cybersex.
I need to lose the word cyber so then it was the Musician's Cooler. The artwork had a big picture of a water cooler that said Musicians Cooler: where musicians come to trade advice. People still didn't get it. They asked if it was about wine coolers.
Change the name, again, to the marketing musician Podcast, where musicians come to trade advice. Finally, my audience understood.
Your podcast is a recipe, not a statute. So here's what you want to do. If you want to change your name, you go into whatever system you're using to generate your feed. Remember, Apple, Spotify, Google, they're all looking at your feed. In fact, podcasting is syndicated. So if you're using something like Libsyn.com (you can use the coupon code sopfree to get a free month there) you simply change your information (the artwork, description, name) in Libsyn.
Now when you're uploading new artwork, make sure that it meets the specifications for Apple.
Use rGB color space
Be a JPG, JPEG, or a PNG file
You want the new artwork to have a different name (so Logo.jpg is now logo2.jpg)
If you're using Libsyn you might worry that your feed still have fragments of your old name. Here is a simple test:
Think of your favorite podcast. Now tell me their feed. Me neither. PEOPLE don't look or see feed addresses (apps do).
When I updated my show, I kept the same feed address.
If you're using the feed from your media host (Like Libsyn) you can blow up your website. It won't matter. However, if you are using a feed generated by your website it is a big deal. You need to create the new website with the new feed BEFORE you delete the old website address (as you will need to point the old to look at the new). This type of operation is somewhat out of the scope of an audio podcast. I can help you with it (I help people do this every day) but it just doesn't work in Audio format.
This is the question I get all the time. People want to know how to grow your podcast audience. I'm going to give you kind of the 10,000-foot overview.
It ALWAYS comes back to this no matter what you're doing, it always comes back to this is the number one thing: Identify who your audiences is.
If you were working someplace and they do the Secret Santa at Christmas time and you get Howard from accounting you need to find out what Howard wants for Christmas If you don't Howard is not going to like his present and pray you never pull his name again.
Now that you've identified what they wanted to hear, give them what they want. You can't grow your podcast without this step.
Create the content that they want to hear but don't stop there. Create content that will inspire them to tell a friend (70% of podcasts are found via word of mouth).
It's so easy to record, from behind this microphone, in your walk-in closet, your spare bedroom, the basement, wherever you record. You need to go to where your target audience is. Face to face is the best form of connection. I realized sometimes you're thinking, “I live here, they're over there.” That's where you can use things like meetup.com, and Facebook groups. There are all sorts of different places that you can go to get close to your audience. This is how you determine what they want as well. When you go to these locations, LISTEN first and see what people are talking about.
Make friend with your target audience, but more than that bring value to every single conversation. Be sure to listen for ideas for future episodes.
Here's a fun story. When I was first starting out, before there was a Facebook.com I found a forum of ex-DJs. I was like, “Oh my God, these are people that know how to talk into microphones, they probably have something to say and want to get back on the air.” This is MY TARGET AUDIENCE.
I entered into this forum and I said, “Hey, I'm Dave Jackson from the School of podcasting. You guys should start a podcast, you can get back on the air, (and just started pitching my service).”
I did not make friends with them. I walked in and just started selling. They didn't care about anything I said, because they didn't know who I was. And they banned me in less than 20 minutes. They completely kicked me out. That's why we have step five, make friends with people because they're not going to care about what you're saying until they care about you. They care about you when you bring VALUE.
We made friends and brought value to every conversation, and listened for ideas for future episodes. NOW we can then tell them about your show. Now they care about you. You have to be a giant salesman, you could just say, “Oh, I talked about this on my podcast,” and they'll ask, “Wait, you, you have a podcast?”
Then you give them your website address (you do have a website, right) and explain things like that.
If there was a step seven, step seven would repeat steps three through six.
The other thing you want to do is make sure on your website that it's easy to share your episode. Make sure it's easy to subscribe to your show. When people subscribe to your show, the next time you publish an episode and the start their podcast app of choice, there is a very good chance the app will automatically download the episode. This is why subscribers are so important.
When it comes to your podcast website ou don't need to overthink your website. The pages you NEED are
Is your website a business with a podcast or is it a Podcast with a business? This is something that there is no “one size fits all” answer and I would love to work with you to sort it out. Each situation is different and based on your specific needs.
If you need web hosting then check out www.coolerwebsites.com
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Having the right name for your show can boost your downloads. People try to get cute and use inside jokes as the name of their show. That doesn't work. The more obvious the better.
I had a client of mine came to me and said, Dave, I'm going to do a show. It's called After the Darkness. And I said, “Okay, let's run it through the test.”
Go find your target audience. So that's step one. Find your target audience, somebody that you are pretty sure will listen to your show and say, “Hey, I'm going to do a show called After the Darkness. What do you think it's about? ”
His test group answered:
A band from the 90's
Nobody guessed what the show was about out correctly.
I asked him, “What's your show about again?” and he said, it's about life after blindness. And I said, “THAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR SHOW!”
Another client of mine had named his show FO Time. He swore that his audience would know what it meant. While this might be true, they weren't searching for “Ham Radio.” When he changed the name of his show from FO Time to Ham Radio 360, his numbers tripled.
I work in the tech support department for libsyn.com (get a free month using the coupon code sopfree ). It's the oldest and largest podcast media hosting company.
I see a lot of podcasters put the name of their show in the title of the episode, and then give the episode name “episode 16.” So if I was doing “the Dave Jackson show” (a horrible name by the way) I might name an episode “The Dave Jackson Show – Episode 16.” That does not entice you to click and listen. Nobody is Googling the phrase “episode 16.”
And my episode title was Dave Jackson show, Episode 16, that does not entice you to click and if you actually look at your show, in most apps, it has the name of the show at the top of the page. So there's no reason to put the name of the show in the title of the episode because it's already there (see image to the right).
The title of your show draw them over to take a closer look
Then they see the titles of the episode and think, “This is just what I'm looking for…” and they not only click a button to listen, but they click the SUBSCRIBE button (and subscribers is what it is all about).
I have different packages for different budgets. Everything I do helps get your podcast headed in the right direction. I look forward to working with you.
Some people think I make these up, but this is straight from a Facebook Group
I’m not yet on the podcast system but I’m soooo eager to start. I’ve bought a $70 microphone. Everyone recommends and have a MacBook Pro with GarageBand ready to rumble but…
I have no niche
No passion to talk about
I did not find my “why” or “AHA” moment
Did you face something similar?
I’m a bit lost, I mean I have everything to start, I’m in the IT world, I’m not an expert but I know stuff and get unstuck on every situation in the IT ecosystem but other than that….
If you can' state your why you will never make it through the “how.” I see where they are sooooo eager, and that's great but don't let your emotions get the best of you. I once had someone who had spent THOUSANDS of dollars on podcasting equipment and soundproofing, and lights and cameras. They hired me for a consulting call. What did they need help with? They had no idea what to podcast about. Don't make that mistake.
If you need help picking a topic, I can help with that. If you have zero ideas, that is a whole other problem. Reach out if you need some help
If you're having a hard time picking your podcast topic, don't move forward with equipment until you figure out your topic. Here are some things you might ask:
Some other things you might want to ask is:
First of all, you want to figure out what you're passionate about. This is key in choosing your podcast topic.
If you can't define your why, you will never make it through your how because you will run out of steam. Here are some reasons to start a podcast:
I have worksheets, and checklists to help you flush out the right idea for you. Let's work together.