I'm reading the book Make Noise A Creator's Guide to Podcasting and Great Audio Storytelling
and in the book author Eric Nuzum has a cool strategy of going to http://images.google.com and typing in some of the keywords that you might use about your subject.
Find some pictures of people and maybe print them out, and then make up their bio. Give them a name. You could have a few people. Then when you are coming up with topics you can look at your makeshift audience members and ask yourself, “Is this person going to find it engaging?”
Oprah Winfrey (you may have heard of her) called her target audience member “Suzie Homemaker” and she would ask herself if the show's topics would help Suzie Homemaker. If nothing good was going to come from a topic then she wouldn't do it.
Write the “back story” of the images you find and when you are working on your show you can look at the images and their story and ask yourself “Would (name of person) find this helpful? Would this make them laugh, cry, think, groan, educate, or entertain them? If so then do it.
This can also help you calm your nerves about talking to “so many people” by focusing on one, two, or three people.
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I have an extreme situation. My neighbor's mother died today. She was 96 and it wasn't a surprise. Still, as I don't really know my audience I don't know how to react. Do I say
I don't know what would be the best thing to comfort him in his time of need and it depends on his thoughts, financial situation, and religious beliefs.
When You Know Who Your Audience Is You Know What Content to Provide
When you know who your audience is you know what format, what content, what length your podcast should be.
You can do this using sites like meetup.com, Facebook groups, or look for people on Twitter and Instagram and see what they are talking about (just listen and learn).
Need help identifying your audience? I'd love to help you. Schedule a coaching session today.
Podcasts are a lot like children. They take up a lot of time. They're kind of expensive and you learn a lot of insights by having one.
There are times when I run across people who want to launch six podcasts starting next month. In my head (because I'm polite) I say, “No you don't.”
You want to treat starting a podcast like having a kid. You don't just have six kids. You don't have just three kids.
If you have triplets, what do you do? You need some help and you need help quick. You move to where the grandparents are, because Holy cow, are these things time consuming, messy.
There's also much more that you didn't even consider.
Let's start with one.
Let's start with one.
This way you can see exactly how long it's going to take for you to create an episode.
After you've done all that, you find your fifteen-minute podcast took you and hour.
While having multiple podcasts will make you better ate recording, editing, faster (as doing anything over and over – you get better at it) you need to remember here to think QUALITY over quantity. You want, no you NEED to have VALUE in your episodes. This means you will be in a constant state of discovery and analysis. You will be “on” all the time looking for content. This can be exhausting.
With this podcast, I did multiple episodes and had it listed in Apple, Google, etc. I got almost zero downloads. With this in mind, you need more than “Get listed in Apple” as a marketing strategy. This means going where your audience is and really getting to know them, listening to them, and then tell them about your podcast.
Creating a podcast isn't the hard part.
Getting people to listen to your podcast is the hard part.
By starting with ONE podcast you get to see first hand what it takes. Then you can make an informed decision. You may have enough time to create one GOOD podcast, and if you had launched multiple shows they would not have been as good (as good content does not grow on trees).
I know you're excited. I know you have dreams.
Start with one.
I'd love to have a coaching session to help you start your podcast and grow your influence. Schedule your session today.
In the last episode, I mentioned how you shouldn't take a break. With this in mind, I realize that “life happens” and you can't put things like your family or your job, or your health on the back burner so something has to go (and that something is your podcast).
Today I talk about how to do this without losing your audience.
Mentioned in this episode The Way I Heard it by Mike Rowe
I can help. Let's schedule a time to talk.
There are holidays throughout the year especially towards the end of the year. Some questions you might ask is:
Is your audience taking a break from driving to work?
Are they not grocery shopping/walking the dog?
Are they traveling over the holidays (over the river and through the woods).
You can record episodes ahead of time and release them later. When you release on a regular schedule, your audience makes you part of their routine.
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.
Let Me Help You
Go to www.podcastconsultant.com and schedule a session now.
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.