If You Want to Attract and Keep Listeners, DON’T Do This …

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On this Fast Lane Tune-Up, successful podcaster Paul Colaianni reveals a short, simple and powerful tip (a common mistake you should avoid) to lock in new listeners to your show.

Learn more about Paul Colaianni and his podcast The Overwhelmed Brain at TheOverWhelmedBrain.com

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Are YOU Making These Microphone Mistakes?

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Here’s how master your “mic technique” to level up the quality of your podcast, and avoid aggravating mistakes that drive listeners crazy!

Chris Curran of the Podcast Engineering School joins us with expert advice to help you get it exactly right!

Learn more about Chris Curran at PodcastEngineeringSchool.com.

Listen to The Podcast Engineering Show here.

Notes from Kent:

Can a high-end microphone make you sound like a million bucks? I’ll answer that question with another question: Does an expensive car make you a better driver?

While podcasters love to obsess about microphones, the simple truth is this: It ain’t whatcha got … it’s HOW you use it!

Okay, I’ll modify that statement just a bit. Equipment does matter, but not nearly as much as most people think. Your podcasting space could look like an Interscope recording studio, but if you’re practicing poor mic technique, it won’t do you much good. And most of the time, a Toyota Camry does the job just as well as a Bentley.

“Mic technique,” by the way, is how you use your microphone. And in this episode, we’ll tell you what good mic technique looks like and the common mistakes you want to avoid! We’ll talk about, among other things, the importance of:

  • Maintaining a constant distance from your microphone
  • Buying one inexpensive piece of equipment that will help you maintain a constant distance from the mic
  • Using a windscreen/pop filter
  • Aiming your microphone in the right direction

Quote of the Day:

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This May Be the Fastest Way to Grow Your Audience!

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Just as guest blogging has long been one of the fastest ways to grow the readership of a blog, podcast guesting (being a guest on another podcast) just might be the fastest way to grow the audience of your podcast.

Mark Deal of Podcast Guest Academy joins us with tips on how to land interviews on other shows to drive listeners back to your podcast.

Learn more about Podcast Guest Academy here

Notes from Kent:

Podcasting is the new blogging, and “podcast guesting” is the new “guest blogging”. When you interview a guest on your show, you’re sharing your audience with that guest. Similarly, when you’re a guest on another show, that podcaster is sharing their audience with you. It’s one of the most powerful tools available to you for growing your audience.

So how do you land interviews on other podcasters?

First of all, start with common sense. You’re a podcaster so it shouldn’t be hard to put yourself in the shoes of another podcaster. If you interview guests on your show, what kind of guest pitches do you respond to? Which ones are turnoffs? Approach other podcasters the way you like to be approached by potential guests.

Beyond that, Mark Deal gives us several terrific tips:

  • Don’t make an interview request all about you.
  • Listen to their show and identify things you like about it.
  • Talk about why you like the host/show, then talk a little bit about your expertise and “ask for the date,” so to speak.
  • Mention in your initial outreach that you’re very happy to share the interview with your audience.
  • Keep your initial outreach simple. Don’t include links, PDF attachments, etc. In the first email, just make your call to action a simple question: Would you like to have me on your show?
  • After a week or so, follow up. If you don’t hear anything back, follow up again in another 3 or 4 days.

Mark also runs through a rough template for your first-contact email when you reach out to a fellow podcast host.

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When You Interview a Guest, Do You Legally Own That Content? (You Might Be Surprised)

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When you interview a guest on your podcast, you might assume that you automatically own that interview and its content because it’s on your podcast. But you might be wrong. “The Podcast Lawyer,” Gordon Firemark joins us with insight and advice on how to make sure you, and you alone, own the rights to your podcast interviews.

Learn more about Gordon Firemark and his resources at PodcastLawForms.com.

Get Gordon’s FREE podcast release form at PodcastRelease.com.

NOTES from Kent:

Most podcasters assume any interview content or audio within their show legally belongs to them. That is not automatically the case in every instance. Gordon Firemark is here to explain when you’re likely to solely own the content of your interview, when you might not, and what you can do to ensure that you own exclusive rights to your content.

According to Gordon, if you’re the one handling all of the recording, you’re likely (in U.S. courts) to be deemed the legal owner. However, if you’re recording a “double-ender,” where your guest is recording their portion of the interview locally and uploading the audio, he/she could make a strong case that you have joint ownership of the content. But there’s one way to be certain that you, and you alone, own your content: Use a release form and get it in writing!

Quote of the Day:

“Think small to grow big. Keep your eye on the bigger picture but don’t slip on attention to detail.” — Richard Branson

 

 

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Feeling Discouraged About Your Download Stats? DON’T!

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If you ever look at your download stats and feel discouraged, you’re not alone. Most podcasters experience that. But here are two big reasons why you should be encouraged and NOT disheartened at all! Longtime Rachel Guinn joins us with some encouraging words.

Learn more about Rachel Guinn and the D.U.H. podcast at DuhWebsite.com

NOTES from Kent:

Most podcasters know the feeling. You log into your hosting account, pop open your stats and hope to see your download numbers ballooning … or at least edging upward. Instead, you walk away wondering if your podcast will ever catch on quite the way you’d hoped.

When you feel this way, chances are you’re getting caught in the comparison trap. You’re comparing your download stats to where you hoped or expected them to be at this point and/or to the audiences of similar shows (or what you think their audience may be). If you feel your numbers don’t compare favorably, it’s only natural to feel disheartened.

But you’re probably doing better than you think you are, and today we’ll give you a couple of reasons to keep your chin up!

First of all, there are benefits, both personal and professional, to podcasting that have little or nothing to do with your download numbers. We’ll talk a little bit about those benefits. (And, by the way, download statistics don’t tell you everything you need to know about the growth of your audience.)

Second, there absolutely ARE steps you can take to increase your numbers. It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s just a matter of what you must do to increase your audience.

Keep at it! You got this!!

Quote of the Day:

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt

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BONUS: One Critical Question Every Podcaster Must Ask … and Our Answer

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Here is the one critical question that YOU and I, and every podcaster must ask themselves immediately and continually. And we’ll explain how and why the answer to this question is leading us to change some things with this podcast.

Mentioned in this episode:

School of Podcasting with Dave Jackson podcast

Podcast Pontifications podcast

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Big News from Apple Podcasts is Good News for YOUR Show – News Update with James Cridland

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Two big recent announcements from Apple could be good news for your podcast! That’s the word from PodNews.net Editor James Cridland. He also explains what a recent study revealed about podcast statistics, and how you can tell whether your podcast stats are trustworthy.

Notes from Kent:

James explains Apple’s recent announcement about its shakeup of its podcast categories and why that’s good news, particularly for niche podcasts. And he discusses the Apple Podcast app’s big shift to the homescreen within Apple’s new IOS. James also discusses a recent study from Daniel J. Lewis, which accidentally uncovered a significant problem with the way some podcast hosts count and report podcast statistics.

James Cridland is a media consulatant and conference speaker who speaks to audiences around the globe about changes and trends in media and podcasting. Learn more at James.cridland.net.

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Podcast Movement Co-Founder Jared Easley on How They Built the World’s Biggest Podcasting Event

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Podcast Movement Co-Founder Jared Easley opens up about early struggles, the times he thought about quitting, and what it took to build the biggest podcasting event on the planet. We also get the inside scoop on what will likely be the largest event of its kind ever: Podcast Movement 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

Learn more about Podcast Movement at PodcastMovement.com

Notes from Kent:

You may already know that Podcast Movement is the biggest podcasting event in the world to learn how to podcast or take your podcast to the next level. But today, to quote the late, great Paul Harvey, you’ll learn the rest of the story.

Success didn’t come easy for Jared Easley and Co-Founder Dan Franks. After Jared effectively worked two full-time jobs for a year and a half to make the second Podcast Movement event in 2015 a success, they found themselves $40,000 in the hole. Jared thought about calling it quits, but they stuck with it and overcame the challenges to make the event what it is today.

Despite his eventual success, he’s as down to earth as anyone you’ll ever meet. I had a chance to meet Jared in person last month and I was immediately struck by his approachability and humility. If you’re a brand new podcaster with zero listeners, he’ll interact with you the same way he talks to the biggest names in the business. He’s not the kind of guy who shakes your hand while peering over your shoulder to see if there’s anyone more important in the room. It’s not false humility. He’s the real deal. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know Jared in this episode as much I enjoyed talking to him.

We’ll also get the inside scoop here on what to expect from Podcast Movement 2019 and how attendees can get the very most from this event.

Mentioned during this episode:

Starve The Doubts podcast

Lore podcast

Serial podcast

How I Built This podcast

TED Radio Hour podcast

Bight Sessions podcast

Ear Hustle podcast

Challenging Stage:

One challenge today: Go to a podcasting event! Podcast Movement is the largest event of its kind, but it’s not the only one. There are a number of great podcast conferences you can attend. But if nothing else, simply get out to a local meetup! You’ll get a lot out of talking with other podcasters. Inspiring and learning from one another is a powerful thing!

Quote of the Day:

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” — C.S. Lewis

 

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The ONE Big Mistake You’re Making with Your Podcast Artwork

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Chances are you’re making one big mistake with the design of the podcast “artwork” that represents your show in directories like Apple Podcasts. We’ll tell you what that mistake is and how to fix it so that your show jumps off the page at potential listeners.

Notes from Kent:

Suppose I were to tell you that your podcast artwork “is a work of art!” You would probably take that as a compliment.

But you shouldn’t.

I’m not trying to be mean here, but the problem is with the very term “artwork.” You see, your podcast artwork is not art. Its purpose is not to be expressive or to look pretty. The purpose of the podcast artwork that represents your show in directories is to: 1) grab attention and 2) drive the potential listner to take action.

Well designed podcast artwork more closely resembles a billboard than art. It should be simple, uncluttered and make effective use of contrast to grab the eye.

Also keep in mind that people may be viewing your podcast artwork at an extremely small size. When I search any term or category in the Spotify app on my Galaxy S8 phone (not a particularly small phone), the images in the search results are physically smaller than a dime. If your podcast image doesn’t work at this size, it doesn’t work.

Always shrink your podcast artwork down to that size and judge it at that scale before approving it.

Take a look at the images below. If you’re viewing this on a large screen, shrink the images to a size smaller than a dime (hit command or ctrl + the minus key to view images at a smaller size). You’ll quickly see that some of the images still pop while others become completely unreadable and unnoticeable.

If you’re reading this on your phone, you might actually need to zoom in just a bit.

For me, How to Be Awesome at Your Job and Startup Stories are the clear winners from these two screenshots.

The winners here? On the left it’s The Comedy Button, and it’s not even close. It’s simple, uncluttered, bright colors, stark contrasts and it features an attention-grabbing object (the red button). On the right, News Beat is my winner, but Rogue Theory isn’t bad either.

Okay, one more set …

2000 Books clearly stands out more than the others on the left, particularly when the images are scaled down smaller than a dime. On the right, it’s Household Name.

Mentioned during this episode:

The How to Be Awesome at Your Job podcast

The Household Name podcast

The Mixergy – Startup Stories podcast

Quote of the Day:

 

 

 

 

 

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Grow Your Audience with One “Overlooked, Transformative Tactic”

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Today we’re stealing (with permission) an incredible value bomb from successful author, speaker and podcaster Jay Acunzo. Doing this one thing is something he calls “the single-best decision I’ve ever made.” It’s simple, powerful, and anyone can do it … but few podcasters do.

Mentioned during this episode:

MarketingShowrunners.com blog

The Unthinkable podacst

Author and speaker Jay Acunzo

Notes from Kent:

This is the kind of advice that can separate the average from the next-level performers. Seriously. Find people who perform at a very high level and figure out what they do differently. That’s what we’re doing today. Jay Acunzo (and John Lee Dumas) give us incredibly valuable advice here. Most podcasters don’t do this. So you just have to figure out if you want to be “most podcasters” or something more.

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