8 Don’ts of Podcasting
In podcasting there are many things you can do, and there are many things you don’t do. Last week talked about 8 items that will help make a great podcast. This time we look at what ‘not to’ do, that will hurt your show.
Don’t sell to your audience
Many small business owners, who start podcasts, want to use podcasting as an advertising medium. The reason of podcasting is for your audience or customer to get to Know, Like, and Trust, you and your brand. Think of terrestrial radio, if you are like many people, at the top and bottom of the hour you are spinning that dial to see who is still playing some music that you like. Though advertising works, nobody likes to see them, or listen to them. People in general dont trust advertisements. Unless you are a Copywriter if you see an advertisement are instantly disinterested.
So, what do you use a podcast for, if you shouldn’t advertise to them. Use your podcast as a tool to develop a relationship with your customers. Let them see that you are the expert in your field. You know what they need and you can sooth that current pain they are experiencing. This does take time and patience. Yet, if you are wanting to nurture and grow a relationship with your customers then time is what it is going to take. The more you show your audience your expertise, and the more you help your audience improve themselves, the more they will take your knowledge and apply it to their lives, and the more willing they are going to be to use your services and products because you have shown your listeners you have the answer. Therefore they will turn to you for help.
Dont broadcast it
Podcasting is a very intimate setup. You have a listener who has made the conscious decision to bring you along with their jog, or lawn mowing, or car ride. You are plugged directly into their ear or stereo system. You are talking to that person. So, dont include anybody else. When talking to your listener, use intimate words like you. It will ruin the moment if you start saying how is everyone, or folks, or y’all (if you are from Texas). There is no one else on with your listener, even if it is in a car ride with other people.
Make this time one on one. Yes, you hear that on the radio all the time, but this isn’t radio. This is your time, talking in your business’ target audience’s ear. This is their time with you make the most of it without including the others. Your customer will actually take more in and appreciate it.
Dont expect 100k downloads on episode 1
Unless you have a million followers your chances of hitting a 100,000 downloads and “instant” Success very likely not going to happen. First no one will know who you are, much less that you have a show. Many overnight success’ too some time to build up. Even John Lee Dumas took a year to become a podcaster’s household name, Dumas is not known by everyone even now. Yes there are 13 million podcast listeners but not all of them are going to be your target audience.
Many business owners want to put the success marker on the number of listeners and when they are not being talked about by every member of their industry they fold up shop and leave their listeners high and dry.
Dont expect your show to be perfect
You are not in broadcast so your audience will not expect super high quality. Also with you not having a large audience you will be able to improve your show’s flow and rhythm before you grow to the levels you are wanting. And if you give them high quality that is an added bonus.
Don’t go too broad
When deciding what you want your show to cover, think of who is your ideal audience member. What is it they are wanting from your show? Dont try to do a show of everything. It is easy to think you want to have a very broad topic so that you have a very broad audience. If that is the case then you want to use Television or radio. Podcasting really doesn’t work for a broad audience. You actually want a very niched down topic. Yes your audience will be smaller but they will also be lots more engaged than if you were aiming for a broad casual listener group.
Don’t go free
When starting up and going through your research you are seeing a lot of bad information many of it is about hosting and about microphones. You can go free and then later if you find out you don’t like it and you want to quit then you have lost nothing. This statement is very true and a bad way to start your show. because many “FREE” media hosting places hold your RSS feed. Some people will say, “So, What?” Well if you decide you want to upgrade your listeners experience. If you move to a better, and paid hosting plan. Guess what you will not get to take with you, unless you pay through the nose for your feed. Thats right your listeners. If you move and don’t move your feed then you will lose about 90% of your listeners. Now if you are able to move your RSS feed then all of your subscribers will move with you. Now there is a saying
“content is king but quality is queen”
Quality of your sound is important. You might be able to keep some of your listeners around if the sound from your podcast is bad but you will not have as many listeners as you would if your audio quality was good. So invest in a good mic. dont use a cheap headset you received with your webcam nor do you want to use your laptop’s microphone. These microphones are going to give you very low quality and also will pick up everything in your recording space. So dont go free. Spend a little money… Just a little
Don’t charge your audience
Some small business people think yeah they can charge like Marc Maron does and they will make all this extra money, so they want to charge a subscription fee for listeners to hear their knowledge. My question to you is this… If at first you are not going to have any listeners, then how are they going to know that you are any good? Most podcast consumers will download around 3 shows to find out if the podcast is any good. If you are blocking them from hearing your shows then you will be blocking your potential audience from even knowing if you are any good. So dont charge your audience to hear what you have to say unless you have a very extensive back catalog then it might be ok and leave the last 100 episodes or so free for new listeners.
Dont worry about NEW and/or Noteworthy
There is a lot of talk about New and Noteworthy in iTunes. Yet, is it as important as many people like to claim? Truthfully, no. Yes, being ranked in New and Notable does help your show grow. Yet as said earlier, your show is not going to be good at the start. It is going to take around 10 shows before to start settling into the groove of your show.
Another point is that, everybody who released a new show, is in New and Notable. You are just not ranked all that high. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. The saying of ‘if your product is terrible advertising will help it bomb faster’ comes into play here. use that time to improve your show.
Finally, don’t worry about the mythical 8 week window to be in New and Notable. Marc Maron and many other shows that have been around for several years, are still getting listed in the New and Notable. You just have to be, notable. Not just new.
Podcasting is an amazing tool for growing your business and your audience. If you follow this list of 8 particular don’ts, then your show will grow and success will follow and your audience will become the fans you dream of. Do you know of other donts? is there something in the list you agree or disagree with? Please comment below.
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