Categories
podcast

448- Why anyone would listen to your Podcast

In this episode of the Podcast Reporter, we discuss an article in medium.com by Denis Murphy called “Why would anyone listen to your podcast?”

Obviously, the main focus of the article is the value that your podcast episode can deliver to your listeners. For myself, the word “value” has such diverse meanings:

  • it can mean any emotional VALUE to the listener — e.g., happiness, joy, elation or sadness, tragedy, concern;
  • it can deliver entertainment VALUE to the listener — such as fictional or crime stories that are now popular;
  • it can deliver educational VALUE to the listener in the area of “how to” information or training (e.g., I myself delivered a six-month course of personal productivity in a premium audio podcast back in 2007-2008 that delivered skills in being able to do more in less time with better results while reducing stress);
  • it can deliver relaxation VALUE to the listener by just publishing either music or non-stressful content that can help one relax;
  • and many other types of VALUE.

Now, this article by Denis Murphy has the subtitle that states that it took him 115 episodes to realize why an audience member would listen to his show.

He starts off by stating the obvious — that the beginning of your show will be the toughest and the slowest for growing an audience of loyal listeners. As a matter of fact, he uses the term “slog” which can signify inertia in the development of your show to a set of growing fans. As he says: “You want an audience of dedicated listeners. You want to see messages of appreciation from some of them. You want to feel like you’re helping them come unstuck in the same way you came unstuck in your life.”

But then Denis reassures you that the “slog” won’t be forever, and that consistency in the production and publication of episodes that provide value to your audience will be the key to eventual decrease of the “slog” and the uptick of popularity, acceptance and finally subscription from fans to become loyal listeners.

In summary, he has these sections that highlight his thoughts:

  • Accept that you will suck;
  • Your job is to make listeners think;
  • Why do you, yourself, listen to your favorite podcasts?
  • As he states, your job is to make your audience FEEL and think:  Focus on making your audience think and feel.
    • Share your most helpful, raw and honest thoughts and opinions.
    • Genuinely take an interest in having a conversation with your guest.
    • Allow your personality to evolve with the podcast organically.

Do these things, and you will get to one hundred episodes and beyond. Do these things, and your podcast will become a vehicle for your personal growth.”


For this podcaster, consistency is one of the greatest skills and characteristics that your podcast can show. It gives you the symbol of being a prolific podcaster that is in it for the long term (i.e., not just a fly-by-night hobbyist that can get disappointed if you are not making six figures in monetization with thousands of downloads each episode within a few months).

But this also means that you have to create good content and deliver exceptional VALUE to your targeted audience (i.e., NOT everyone, but your niche audience that is waiting for your content that is directed to them and not the masses in general). It is this value that Adam Curry from the No Agenda show calls “an outstanding product” (in this case, PRODUCT is the content of your show) — and Adam has had success in both growing a loyal fan base, delighting producers (for he does not have “listeners” — everyone is a producer) and successfully monetizing his show for over a decade, and still growing.

And for myself, this means giving thoughtful attention to the VALUE of your content to your listeners. You can monitor this by surveys, opinions, reviews and feedback. You can also put together some strategies for monetization to see what VALUE will be in the minds of your listeners. And you can now refer to the updated book by Dave Jackson called Profit from your Podcast to see which strategy may work best for you to create revenue streams. One such strategy that has been successful for Adam Curry is the “value for value” model (which is also being used by the Grumpy Old Bens show). You may wish to listen to the episodes of No Agenda to find out more in detail about this.

So, whichever method you use to review your content and assure that REAL VALUE is there for your targeted audience, we hope that you can then plan your strategies for longevity and become the prolific podcaster that Denis Murphy describes. And we hope that you can grow your audience — and that perhaps it will not take over 115 episodes to finally understand this.

We wish you all the success to have the audience you desire in the shortest time with the value you provide from your great podcast show.

Thank you for your attention.

Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation and medium.com and Denis Murphy. All rights reserved.

Categories
podcast

445- Tips for novice Podcast editors

In this episode of The Podcast Reporter, we reflect on some tips given by medium.com in an article titled “Top 5 tips for novice podcast editors.”

Now, this seemed interesting, because the task of editing the audio in podcasts (and the video for video podcasts — or screencasts that call themselves podcasts — is always a sore point with podcasters. This is because it can be a very time-consuming and arduous project for many who are not as technically competent as some of the original podcasters, or have very little patience or just want the fastest and easiest way to finalize an mp3 file for publishing. So the article is designed for those podcasters who are mainly doing editing for a client or for a fee.

The author, Tanner Campbell, cites these five tips for podcasters (which, in my opinion, are really designed for beginning or aspiring podcasters):

  • Friction is public enemy #1 — and Tanner specifically highlights this with: “Friction should be defined as “any decision, action, or communication which unnecessarily forces a client to pay attention to you.””  This can also signify the impatience of customers who hire you to do the editing, as well as the desire to remain aloof until the customer gets frustrated with either delays or too much immediate communication. As a matter of fact, there are 2 quotes given for the emails you should be sending to the client.
  • Learn to say “no,” to defend your standards and to value your time.
  • There is no correct way to edit a podcast — regardless of what the client may expect or think or advise you to do (after all, YOU are the editor);
  • Set expectations — like any good business, you should have a STATEMENT OF WORK that outlines the project, the jobs to be done, the tasks to be done, the time for each, etc. And if the client goes past the agreed-upon edit cycles (for me it was usually 2), then an additional charge must be spelled out in the contract and statement of work (e.g., twice the charge in your work breakdown schedule in your statement of work);
  • Set boundaries (for ALL deliverables involved in the editing process);

Suggestions from experience in profitable editing

So, the factor of time can be a sore point for clients, who expect you to take every idea as it comes along and make changes. You should be aware of what Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said about  the model known as Production to Perfection — especially for new edits just received for content that should have already been pronounced as “golden” or final. Otherwise, your podcast editing will NOT be profitable, and the client will never be satisfied and the editing project may drag on and on without end. You should avoid the saying from the client “I can’t describe it, but I’ll know when I see or hear it.”

Now, like any good business, you should have a STATEMENT OF WORK that outlines the project, the SCOPE of the work and the jobs to be done, the tasks to be done, the time for each, etc. And if the client goes past the agreed-upon edit cycles (for me it was usually 2), then an additional charge must be spelled out in the contract and statement of work (e.g., twice the charge in your project  work breakdown schedule in your statement of work). This is a good way to set your boundaries, with the written signature of agreement from the client, so that there could be no misunderstanding of the boundaries and what the client can expect if he asks you to deviate from them.

As for this podcaster, I myself spend the most time in the preparation of both the CONTRACT and the STATEMENT OF WORK and SCOPE OF WORK for the client.

In one case, I actually did the editing and production of the final mp3 for the prospect BEFORE the SOW or the contract was signed. I did this so that he could see the quality of the audio and the finished mp3 (or, as he called it, the Productized deliverable). And I did not charge for this “proof of concept” delivered to him. After he was excited, then I submitted a detailed scope of work for the client, as well as the contract. And in the SOW and contract, I had referred to the proof of concept deliverables for the quality agreed to by the client.

I reviewed every detail with the client (and I did record our conversation about this agreement with him, so we could review the discussion later if there was a question about it that came up).  Only then did the customer sign and initial both — and then the project was under way, with milestones and deadlines and dates for deliverables which were now set in stone (with any exceptions being spelled out in the contract). This prevented confusion or misunderstanding, and the recording just reinforced this.

And usually, the client was agreeable and happy and knew what he could expect and when. And this also gave me the opportunity to see if the client would become a GOOD client. If so, then additional discounts could be given (e.g., “customer value” discount) as well as some additional work being done as “added value” — as long as the customer recognized and agreed that this was above and beyond the call of duty, with no changes to other expectations. And this seemed to delight the client and cement the relationship.

So, what would happen if the client wanted to check out other editors and do some shopping around? I did welcome that and was patient to hear from the client if there was some new work coming. And surely enough, after an absence of receiving content (I presume that he had gone to another editor), the client returned and became a loyal client. I could only assume that he saw that the best customer service, value and quality came from myself as the editor, and not from anyone else with whom he dealt with just to save a few dollars.

I hope that you, as an editor, can review this article and see which of these practices make sense for your business. And I would suggest that the elements of any good project — the scope of work, the statement of work, the work breakdown schedule and the contract — are tools that you can master and include in your practice to become a successful podcast editor.

Thank you for your attention.

Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation and Tanner Campbell and medium.com. All rights reserved.

Categories
podcast

430- Podcasting lessons learned after 100 episodes

In this episode of The Podcast Reporter, we focus on an article published recently and authored by Denis Murphy called “11 Lessons from 100 Podcast Episodes.”

The link given in the published article is from medium.com.

Now, as I have been podcasting for 15 years, this article interested me, for I have had over 18 podcast shows, and I have had nearly 2 million downloads. And I wanted to compare my lessons learned after some shows that have had nearly 500 episodes (both The Struggling Entrepreneur, as well as my current podcast show of The Podcast Reporter with over 430 episodes).

From this article, the 11 lessons learned are:

  1. Solo episodes;
  2. Reach out to potential guests more than once;
  3. Most podcasts don’t even get past 7 episodes;
  4. Most days you feel like an idiot;
  5. You reconnect with your real voice;
  6. Discover your why;
  7. Other people’s assumptions and experiences;
  8. Treat social media as an ongoing experiment;
  9. You don’t need to earn money;
  10. You don’t need a huge audience;
  11. A personal development vehicle.

And each section contains a couple of paragraphs to explain just what the learned lessons provided as value to Denis Murphy as the podcaster.


However, for this podcaster, I have learned many lessons since 2006 — and I keep on learning lessons from my involvement and participation in the podosphere still today, as well as the future.

In addition, I do take issue from my own experience with several of Murphy’s lessons — in particular, numbers 4, 9 and 10. That is,

  • I have NEVER felt like an idiot when I participated as a podcaster in the podosphere;
  • I have tried to earn money, and I have been successful as a profitable podcaster; and
  • I have grown a large audience in the podosphere, with nearly 2 million downloads.

Thus, if you, as a new or aspiring podcaster, want to get some best practices, I would go to another source to see what some of them are, in spite of Mr. Murphy’s personal lessons learned. One such podcast show that gives a lot of best practices is The Audacity to Podcast from Daniel J Lewis; another is The School of Podcasting from Dave Jackson; and one last show is The New Media Show from Todd Cochrane.

As a matter of fact, this episode is giving me some impetus to prepare and publish an episode in this show for the future that will deliver to my audience MY OWN lessons learned after over 1500 podcast episodes from all my shows. Keep watching this space for any news of this upcoming episode later this year.

We do suggest that you read this article from Mr.  Muphy, but then we recommend that you put together YOUR OWN list of lessons which you yourself have learned in any number of key podcast episodes which can mean value and importance to you.

Thank you for your attention.

Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation . All rights reserved.

Categories
podcast

425- Importance of podcast Scripts

In this episode of The Podcast Reporter, we focus on an article found in the July issue of medium.com that dealt with scripts in podcasting. The title of the article is “Scripting Down Your Podcast : How Important is it?”

In this article, the topic of the importance of podcast scripts is reviewed from the point of view of the value to the podcaster.

In the beginning of the article, the key factor articulated is that “Having a script will help you deliver your message in a more effective manner.”

Then the article delivers some tips to frame a great podcast script. In addition to creating a road map of your episode topics, the article also suggests that you maintain a conversational tone (and not an overly technical one), as well as leaving some room (or markers) for impromptu topics that will suggest spontaneity in your content. And although I, myself, do not recommend the following tip, the article suggests that you even indicate certain patterns of speech: “mark out the specific lines for pauses, laughs, emphasis, and sighs.”  (You see, for myself, these audio noises should be natural and sometimes spontaneous)

And finally, the article even includes some tips for quality scripting with a suggested podcast script template. This framework would give you the following areas of content for a “quality script”:

  • 1. Sponsor message
    2. Introduction
    3. Musical jingle/sound effects
  • 4. A longer explanation of what’s in store
    5. Topic 1
    – Main point
    – Supporting point
    – Supporting data
    – Supporting quote
    6. Segue
    7. Topic 2
    – Main point- Supporting point
    – Supporting data
    – Supporting quote
    8. Sponsor message
    9. Topic 3
    – Main point
    – Supporting point
    – Supporting data
    – Supporting quote
    10. Segue
    11. Outro
    12. Call to action
    13. Sponsor message
    14. Musical jingle/sound effect

And, as you can see, the detailed script becomes quite a template for production of a full episode.

Now, for this podcast reporter, I have done scripting like the above in the early days of my podcasting experience — back from 2006. However, with practice and experience, I have been able to break away from the chains of such a strict template to a brief outline or a detailed outline (depending upon the nature of the topic, the interviewee involved, and the amount of minutia or details concerned).

For the novice or new podcaster, or for the aspiring podcaster, the above template can give an idea to the podcaster of how much detailed work there is to plan for a quality podcast episode instead of just “winging it” or doing a “roll your own on the fly” episode.

However, perhaps your episode need not be so rigorous or strict or detailed. A good, solid outline can be a perfect substitute once your audio conversational skills are perfected, and when you can learn to be spontaneous with a guest, or when you can have enough background in your topic to go “off script” (as they say in the media).

Whichever method you choose, a script can be a good training tool. It can also be the foundation for creating good show notes and ensure that you have good skills in planning your podcast episodes. And perhaps you may want to create your own template — suited to your skills, your personality, your podcast show and your topics.

So we hope that your scripting skills can be improved and that your planning for your episodes will help make your podcast show successful in growing your audience and making loyal fans of your listeners.

Thank you for your attention.

Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation and mediu.com. All rights reserved.

Categories
podcast

385- Fix podcasting discoverability issues

In this episode of podcastreporter.com, we discuss the issues of discoverability of your podcast shows, and especially how to try to fix them.

The post on medium.com deals with five ways to fix discoverability problems. These five thoughts are:

  • Realize that your problem is not unique;
  • Take the lead by getting in front of your audience and introduce yourself;
  • Go niche;
  • Raise the bar — for the only ones to suffer will be those podcasters who refuse to adapt;
  • Have patience

Thus, in addition to other resources already discussed in this podcast show, we hope that you can find value in these perspectives and begin to conquer the discoverability problem for your podcast show.

Thank you for your attention.

Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation and medium.com. All rights reserved.