Remember when Apple said “yep, there’s an app for that” – well – these days, there’s probably a podcast for … (fill in the blank). Seriously. From shows dedicated to knitting with terrific names such as Yarniacs to Candy101. Side note: I need to pitch them an episode: “What exactly do they put in Swedish fish?”
Anyway, you are more than likely clicks away from a show that caters to your most obscure interest. Some podcasts are so deliberately dull the goal is to make you fall asleep, No, we’re not encouraging you to create a show to be the equivalent of audio Ambien.
Chances are there is content your customers and potential clients would tune in to consumer. Once you build your audience, they will keep coming back for more!
Unfortunately, just recording one doesn’t assure an audience. Luckily, our latest coffee convo features best-selling author, Podcast Launch Specialist and Founder of How To Podcast Corp, Amanda Roscoe Mayo. Amanda is the former Podcast Producer and Production Director at Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP).
1/ Podcasting is kind of the IT thing right now. Do you see this trend going away as a viable media source for entertainment and education anytime soon… will it go the way of the blog or continue to evolve? (I guess you could argue the blog has also evolved, but that’s probably a discussion for another time…)
Podcasting is definitely not going to fall by the way side. Thanks to the pandemic Hollywood has turned its sights to podcasting, so the transformation on the entertainment/showbiz side is just beginning. We’ll start to see that this year, in 2021. A lot of us long haul podcast folks have mixed feelings about what this will do to the industry, but are hopeful it will move towards standardized practices and fair pay.
Luckily for us, the latest statistics just dropped from The Infinite Dial and Edison Research report and we’re seeing a serious increase in awareness, listenership, and age range across the board:
Monthly podcast listening is now 41% (est. 116 million), up from 37%; and weekly podcast listening is now 28% (est. 80 million), up from 24%. That’s major.
So far 2021 is showing that people are listening to an average of 8 podcasts a week, which is up from 6 podcasts a week in 2020. The long and short of it is, there has been steady, significant growth every year since 2008. No leveling off and no receding numbers.
My personal hot take is that podcasting is the last form of democratic media due to its unregulated nature. The reason this is important is because the lack of regulation increases the chances for diverse voices and perspectives to make it into the world unlike in main stream media and radio.
2/ When you consult with clients, just curious… how many know exactly what they want to podcast about? How many do you have to kind of “pull” the story out of? And are there ever some where the thing they think is the answer is really not it at all?
The thing about podcasting is, it’s WORK. By the time someone finds me they likely have a pretty good handle on what it is they want to podcast about, but have hit that wall of overwhelm. In concept and development, we talk about their idea, but what I really focus on is helping them find the “why” and the mission and then I teach them how to execute it.
There have been a couple clients who had to shift the format of the podcast we envisioned because it wasn’t reasonable for them to complete in the time they had, but the bones of the concept didn’t change.
I think because I am a mission driven business, I tend to attract clients that really need my expertise and process. So far,
3/ Along those lines, creating a podcast is to create a brand in audio format. What’s your approach to help guide your clients to truly defining the “it” factor… the “why” of what they do and what they’re trying to build?
It’s so true. I guide clients through the branding process by identifying their goals, audiences, sonic feel, and what they hope listeners will take away at the end of an episode. I don’t want to give too much away here, but I’m sure it’s similar to what you do when helping a client build a baby brand. I guide them through the process of building a conceptual vision. The clarity reached in that process gives them value pillars to refer back to every time they feel lost or have strayed from their original intent.
The “it” factor for literally every podcast is its niche. That’s why podcasts are successful and why people listen. It’s one of the easiest ways to find your people, or your thing, or your topic of choice.
Disclaimer to say that we are entering the territory of voyeurism and celebrity with this influx of Hollywood money podcasts, but that doesn’t apply to all audiences. There’s still room for everyone.
4/ What other design support does a podcaster need? They have the story, they have the format and equipment, what tips would you give from a graphic design standpoint that a podcaster needs to fully brand and market their story? I would imagine you hear a lot of “what’s the big deal, I have a nice microphone and an idea… that’s all I need, right?”
If a tree falls in the forest and there’s a mic nearby recording, will it pick up a sound? It sure will! But how will anyone know to listen to it? I love a metaphor.
There are some bare minimum things a podcaster needs in terms of design. One is a podcast image! This is the thumbnail that exists on all major podcasting sites, website, and wherever the podcast is posted. It should be super clear and have the title of the show. Yes, it’s that simple. It also needs to be between 1400 x 14000 and 3000 x 3000 pixels. It may also transform into a logo.
Following general best marketing practices is a good way to go. Promote your show with branded content and hashtags etc. Most importantly through the use of audiograms. Right now, an audiogram is the only way to get embedded audio into a social media post without using video. Branding is important because you want someone to see a post and immediately register that it belongs to a podcast, which reminds them to go listen.
5/ What’s YOUR why? What gets you up in the morning doing what you do?
My “why” boils down to being a journalist in a world full or rules and expectations that were never conveyed to me. It’s really quite astonishing that I was as successful I was as a music journalist considering how little support I had in the industry. This world, in general, not podcasting specific, is not accessible to someone who is not a white dude. There is zero reason for information and experience to remain hidden.
I want everyone to know what I know because I taught myself most of it and re-taught myself when I finally figured out that most of the things I was taught about audio are a bunchy of hooey. It doesn’t have to be hard; it doesn’t have to be complicated, and it certainly doesn’t have to be demeaning.
There is such an important opportunity in podcasting for voices to be heard and I want to remove the overwhelm and technical literacy issues so there are fewer barriers for marginalized voices.
6/ What made you decide to write a book about this process? How was that experience – writing a book while simultaneously building your own personal brand and consulting business?
I wrote the entire thing in three weeks, which was also a thing I didn’t know I could physically or mentally do. I was lucky to have the publisher I had because she really handled all of the marketing and back-end stuff (which is almost never the case), so once I had written it, I just went back to focusing on my clients.
We were both in agreement that we wanted to make a guide that was easy to follow and accessible. It became a best seller within a month as both an e-book and paperback. I still have people reaching out to me telling me they used it as a literal guide and have launched their podcast because of it. I’m so proud that we achieved what we set out to do.
The audiobook version was just released and this new skill has also turned into another accidental arm of my business. There are so many self-published authors out there who get stuck at the audiobook part because they want to read it themselves but don’t know how and don’t know how to release it either thanks to the archaic system that is the one behemoth of audiobook publishing (ACX). I walk them through the process and then produce their book for them. I digress….
7/ ok, last question… how do you take your coffee?
Black with a splash of dismantle systemic racism or regular half and half if it’s a self-care day.
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