Tag Archives: unique

What The Pros Say About Branding – Episode 170

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What The Pros Say About Branding – Episode 170

Branding Philosophies
Copyright: kentoh / 123RF Stock Photo

Branding is crucial to the success of your podcast. More importantly, it is critical for your own personal success. Have you defined your brand?

There are some major voices on the subject. I have found ideas from four of my favorite branding experts.

Interestingly, all four have a similar theme … purpose.

Gary Vaynerchuk

From Inc. 8/2/2016

Focus on yourself.

“My game is about me knowing myself.” He only focuses on his content and his audience. He regularly reviews user comments and analyzes important distribution metrics.

Too often we pay attention to what other people are doing and we forget to play our own game. Instead of worrying about others, Vaynerchuk recommended creating more content, engaging your audience and testing your ads.

Simon Sinek

From Start With Why

If Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them may sound like this: “We make great computers. They are beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. What to buy one?”

Here’s how Apple actually communicates: “Everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. What to buy one?”

Start with why.

Seth Godin

From Seth’s blog

The brand is a story. But, it’s a story about you, not about the brand.

Every brand has a story. That’s how it goes from being a logo and a name to a brand. The story includes expectations and history and promises and social cues and emotions. The story makes us say we “love Google” or “love Harley” … but what do we really love?

We love ourselves.

We love the memory we have of how that brand made us feel once.

More than ever, we express ourselves with what we buy and how we use what we buy. Extensions of our personality, totems of our selves, reminders of who we are or would like to be.

Great marketers don’t make stuff. They make meaning.

B.J. Bueno

From The Power of Cult Branding – 7 Golden Rules of Cult Branding

Apple is the embodiment of a Cult Brand: a company that commands fanatical loyalty from its customers. Apple’s loyal customers—a group we’ll call Brand Lovers— overwhelmingly tend to choose Apple products exclusively.

Apple’s appeal is certainly not attributable to low prices; that’s not it at all. Instead, Apple is offering their customers something else, something so compelling and irresistible that makes their customers overlook sporadically uneven performance and higher prices.

That’s the power of Cult Branding. And Apple’s not the only one using the power of Cult Branding.

Simply put, Cult Brands always give back. They never forget that the relationship needs to be mutually beneficial. Brand Lovers need to get just as much (or even more) out of the relationship than the Cult Brand does.

With this in mind, the leaders of Cult Brands are adamant about continually finding new ways to show love and appreciation for the passion and devotion of their customers. Unlike faceless corporations, Cult Brands are humble and personable. They never take their customers for granted. They look for tangible ways to say thank you.

 

The Books

These are four of my favorite authors on the subject of branding. If you have a chance, grab any of these books. I think you’ll enjoy the read and find them useful.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Crush It

Simon Sinek – Start With Why

Seth Godin – Purple Cow

Seth Godin – Tribes

B.J. Bueno – The Power of Cult Branding

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Podcast Talent Coach Worksheet Library

Podcast Talent Coach Coaching

 

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Find Great Podcast Interview Guests – Episode 165

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How To Find Great Podcast Interview Guests – Episode 165

another great interview guest
Erik K. Johnson with country star Zac Brown

The best podcasts are those that stand out from the pack. To get noticed, you need to make your show unique. When everyone else is creating podcasts with their interview guest, how do you differentiate your show from their podcast?

To become unique, find great podcast interview guests and ask great questions. Those two steps will help you create a solid podcast.
Last week we discussed great podcast questions. This week, let’s talk about finding great podcast interview guests.

I have been in radio 30 years. I have had the pleasure of interviewing great artists and musicians. I have talked with Zac Brown, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Mustane, Nelly and many, many more.

Erik K. Johnson after the interview with Lady Gaga

Through the years, I have learned to refine my interviewing skills and techniques. I have learned what works and what doesn’t, mostly the hard way through trial and error.

Most of these great artists came to me through the record label pushing their latest project. This made it easy for me to get them on my show.

I have also interviewed everyday people. These were guests from places like the ballet, the YMCA, the children’s theater, and the food festival. My job was to figure out how to make these regular people as interesting to the audience as the big stars. The key was to get the guests to tell great stories.

PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP

To help you with your guests, I have created a private Facebook group. This will be a month-long challenge to book great guests on your show. Let’s fill your calendar for the remainder of the year.

This group will help you find great podcast interview guests. We will share leads. I want to help you get the ultimate guest on your show. I want you to land your ideal guest.

If you want to be part of the private group, get details here.

Let’s talk about where to find great podcast interview guests. There are many places to find guest for your show. You want to always be looking.

In this episode, let’s talk about 15 specific ways to find great podcast interview guests.

15 TIPS

1. Ask every guest for two people who would benefit by being on your show

2. Post a link on your website with the guest criteria

3. Reach out to public relations firms that work in your niche

4. Be active in online groups

5. Explain it on your podcast

6. Reach out to complimentary businesses in your niche

7. Connect with people who write for publications in your niche

8. Keep the ask short – Gary V. “one question podcast”

9. Step up connections – find the people who know the people

10. Network at events

11. Talk to other podcasters about their best interviews

12. Find authors that you love

13. Find common people with interesting stories to tell

14. Ask your listeners who they would like to hear

15. Become part of the PTC Interviewing Facebook Group. We’ll share leads and hold each other accountable.

Interview Guest Challenge – Become part of the group. Let’s help each other find great guests.

Let me know how I can help. E-mail me at anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Please, Stop Talking – How To Conduct Great Podcast Intervews – Episode 164

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PLEASE, STOP TALKING – HOW TO CONDUCT GREAT PODCAST INTERVEWS – EPISODE 164

Start listening to your guest
Create Better Podcast Interviews – Copyright: baby / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you want to know how to create and conduct better podcast interviews? Stop talking.

Have you ever had a personal crutch or cliché that you used more often than you thought? It may have been something you didn’t realize until somebody brought it to your attention. Have you ever said, “Wow! I had no idea I did that all the time”? I’m here to tell you to stop it.

A good coach will tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. You need to hear this. When you are interviewing anyone on your show, stop talking. Ask the question, then get out of the way. Let your guest shine.

Here is an example. This is a recent question I heard during an interview.

Host: “Doesn’t money just really make you more of who you already were? It’s like money affords your personality to flourish, right? If you’re loving and generous and then you become wealthy, you’re going to be able to express more of that love and generosity to a greater degree. If you’re a jerk and you become wealthy, you’re just going to become become a colossal jerk. So, isn’t it really just an expansion of who you were at the core anyway? I mean, it’s not the money’s fault. It’s basically just a magnifier of it.”

Guest: “And it’s … that’s a good way of putting it. It just amplifies who you are, and makes it more apparent. It has a greater impact. Yeah, absolutely.”

This host kept talking to the point that he answered his own question. The guest had nothing left to say. The guest tried to paraphrase the same thing the host said, but couldn’t even make that happen. The host made his own point. The host’s question was seven sentences. The guest’s answer was basically, “Yeah.”

There are three points to remember when interviewing guests. If you keep these in mind, your guests will feel great about being on your show, and you will look like a brilliant host. Just stay out of your own way. Soon, you will be creating better podcast interviews.

 

1. KNOW THE ANSWER

Your job is to make your guest look great. You have invited your guest to your show to provide something you couldn’t provide alone. They have a story to tell. It is your job to help them tell it. Lead them to the punchline, climax or conclusion.

You need to do your homework prior to the interview. You need to know what makes your guest interesting. What will make your guest engaging to your audience? Find that story, and help your guest bring it to life.

The story will have a conclusion that you should already know. You’ve done your homework. You know what happens at the end. It is an art to help your guest tell that story without telling it yourself.

Prior to their appearance on the show, guests on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon are interviewed ahead of time by a show producer. It is that producer’s job to find the interesting story. If the producer discovers the guest was recently stuck on a roller coaster during a family vacation, Jimmy will tee it up. He will help his guest shine by asking, “How’s the family? Have you had time to get away with them lately?” Suddenly, the guest is off and running telling the hilarious story of the roller coaster.

It looks like Jimmy got lucky. Jimmy just happened to stumble across a great vacation story. Reality is homework. Jimmy already knew what would make a great story. His homework (or that of his producer) revealed the gold. He simply helped his guest get there.

Our host above knew the answer to his question. It was obvious by the lengthy set up. Unfortunately, he proved it rather than letting his guest flourish. The host could have simply asked, “Doesn’t money just really make you more of who you already were?” The guest would have been off to the races. The guest could have really explored that theory. The host would have looked like he has great questions. The guest would have looked like he knows his stuff. Everybody wins. Instead, we get, “Yeah, exactly.”

Know the answer, so you can let your guest shine.

 

2. STOP TALKING

Make your questions brief. If you want to make your guests look great, you need to give them room to spread their wings. Short questions will allow that to happen.

Ask your short question, then stop talking. If you are talking, your guest is not. Your listeners have come to hear your guest. Let the guest talk. If your listeners have come to hear you, your guest isn’t necessary. Stop wasting everybody’s time.

Many hosts feel the need to prove how much they know. Hosts want to display all of their knowledge to impress the guest. Unfortunately, this is a myth. By showing how much you know, you are only trumping your guest. If you appear to be the most knowledgable person on the show, your guest will feel uncomfortable. You will soon find it hard to get guests.

When you ask brief questions that make it easy for your guest to tell great stories, your guest will look like a star. He will truly enjoy being part of your show. Your guests will want to return. Word will spread. Your show will grow. Finally, your audience will love the new information and engaging stories.

Everybody wins when you talk less.

 

3. NO YES/NO

Ask open-ended questions. When you ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”, some guests will take the opportunity to answer “yes” or “no”. Your interview will go nowhere.

Yes/no questions make it difficult for your guest to elaborate. When your guests tell stories, they become engaging. Stories are easy for your guest. Stories have natural flow. Elaborations take a lot of thought. Make it easy for your guest.

Our host above started with, “Doesn’t money just really make you more of who you already were?” All of a sudden he is faced with a yes/no question. He has forced his guest to elaborate. In order to help his guest, he continues with another yes/no question. In fact, he follows with two additional yes/no questions. Suddenly, his guest has nothing left to say.

The host knows that money simply makes you more of who you already are. He could have positioned his guest with, “How does money affect the core beliefs of an individual?” With that short question, the guest is now able to expound with his “more of who you already are” theory. The guest looks great. The host looks brilliant by somehow knowing that money affect the core of individuals. The listener gets to hear a great story.

Everybody wins when you stop talking.

 

It is your job to make your guest the star. That is the reason you’ve invited her to your podcast. She offers something to the show that you cannot deliver as well by yourself. Let her do it.

Lob that ball to your guest, so they can hit it out of the park. You don’t need to prove how well you can pitch. The goal is to let your guest hit home runs.

Make your guest look great. She will love you for it. Your listener will love you for it. You will learn to love yourself for it when your podcast begins to flourish.

If you want to create and conduct better podcast interviews, ask the question, then get out of the way. Please, stop talking.

I’m working on a new project on interviewing. If you would like to get early, inside information on it when I have it ready, sign up. I’ll keep you informed before everyone else.

 

Let me know how I can help. E-mail me at anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

4 Steps To Create Great Content (HINT: Enough With The Cliches) – Episode 151

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4 Steps To Create Great Content (HINT: Enough With The Cliches) – Episode 151

Copyright: bleakstar / 123RF Stock Photo

Content Isn’t King …

You’ve heard it often. Content is King.

That isn’t necessarily true. Content by itself won’t gain you an audience. Content isn’t King. Great content is King.

I learned this early on in my radio career when my program director told me to stop being like everyone else.

On-air radio talent, a.k.a. DJs of disc jockeys, get critiqued on a regular basis by their program directors in meetings called aircheck sessions. In these one-on-one meetings, you listen to your show and your PD gives you suggestions to make it better.

Nobody likes to be critiqued. However, if you take the suggestions knowing that your best interest is what it is all about, your show gets better.

We had just launched a new station playing alternative music of the early 90s. New Order, R.E.M., Depeche Mode, Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs, and so many others. It was a great time.

I had moved across the hall from our active rock station. At that station we were playing Metallica, Pearl Jam, AC/DC, Motley Crue and the rock tunes of the time.

Even though I had made the move to the alternative station, my style and delivery was still influenced by the rock station. I was using the lingo, cadence and content that I had been using. It was natural to me, but didn’t fit the style of the station.

As we were listening to my show in that aircheck session, my program director pointed it out. She said, “That line is really a rock thing. Why don’t you leave it to them and do something unique? Be yourself.” That is when I took the first step in really developing my own style.

Everything I was doing to this point was simply a derivative of someone else. I was a cliché, a poor knock off.

Why would anyone listen to me when they could get the real thing by listening to the original?

From there, I took my original content and made it great.

Over the years, my style and content developed. I became myself. That is when my show became #1. My content was original and fresh. Nobody else was doing it.

If your content isn’t great, nothing else matters. The production of your podcast could be the best available. You could have all the bells and whistles available in your studio. The marketing of your podcast could incredibly creative and unique. However, if the content is great, no one will care.

Don’t simply go through the motions creating your content. Find a unique angle. Your take on the subject should be interesting. Make your content stand out using stories, creativity, and personal revelation.

Content won’t attract an audience unless it is great content. When your content is great, you become king. Make it happen.

There are four key areas of focus when creating great content.

1. REPEATING YOURSELF

That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

If you find yourself saying “obviously” or “of course”, you are making one of two errors.

The first error is repeating yourself. If you are saying “obviously” because you feel everyone already knows the information, you are wasting your breath. There is no need to say it.

I may say, “The sun comes up in the East, of course.” Everyone listening to me knows the sun comes up in the East. There was no reason for me to point out the origin of the morning sun.

“Of course” gets thrown in, so it didn’t look like I was trying to teach you about the sunrise. I didn’t want you to think I just learned that. “Of course” plays it off.

The second error is lack of confidence. You may want to sound knowledgeable to those who know the information. Yet, you know there is a segment of the audience that does not know the details. In this case, you’re just wasting words.

I may say, “The band will be at the arena Saturday night, of course.” Some may be aware of this performance. Yet, there may be members of the audience who haven’t heard the news. It makes sense to add the information.

The idea is to sound knowledgeable and credible to those that already know, while providing the information to those unaware. You simply need to restructure you sentence and eliminate the cliché.

“When the band is at the arena Saturday night, parking will be at a premium.” This sentence provides new information to both segments. I include the “arena Saturday night” portion for the new listeners while giving those already aware of the concert new parking information. Both receive a benefit.

When you include “that’s right” or “like I said”, you are repeating yourself. Your listener heard you the first time. Most people use these cliches to fill time while they think of the next thing to say. Avoid going in circles. Your listener will quickly become uninterested. Know where you’re going and keep moving forward.

2. ELIMINATE CLICHES

I hear so many cliches in podcasts today. Really in business in general.

A cliché is a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought. It is a very predictable or unoriginal thing or person.

We had a leader of our division who would use one particular cliché on every conference call we had.

Every month, we would have a conference call to keep each station in sync. It would be run by our division leader. The call would then feature 4 or 5 other speakers covering various topics. The call would last about 30 minutes.

After every speaker would finish their report, our division leader would say, “Really good stuff.” When he would talk about new resources that were available to us, he would wrap it up with “really good stuff”. When he talked about new music coming out, he would call it “really good stuff”.

What started out as a compliment became a hollow nod that carried no weight. It was overused and lacked original thought. It was predictable.

He got so predictable, as the speaker would wrap up, we would say to ourselves, “that was really good stuff” right before our leader would chime in with the same line. It kept us entertained on the call, but added nothing to the conversation.

What cliches are you using? There are so many. Many times you don’t realize it is a cliché until you start listening to your own show, or a coach points it out.

The one that sounds most out of place to me on a podcast is, “To be honest with you”. When somebody says “to be honest with you”, I immediately think, “were you lying to me before?”

What message are you trying to convey when you say, “to be honest with you”? I assume you are simply trying to add emphasis to what you are saying. In reality, the cliché has lost its power. It means nothing. Cliche.

There are many others. We are thinking out of the box. We are pushing the envelope. We are taking it to the next level. It’s Erik here to remind you something or another. You know what I mean? You know what I’m saying.

Take an older episode or two of your show and really listen to them. Find the cliches and eliminate them. Be original.

3. AVOID ROUGH TRANSITIONS

And now it’s time for …

This phrase seems harmless. It looks like a logical transition from one segment to another during your podcast. Unfortunately, this phrase gives your listener permission to leave the show.

When you use “and now it’s time for…” or some similar phrase, it tells the listener that one segment is over and we are moving on to something else. It also signals a natural break in the show and the perfect time to exit. The transition is a lot like a commercial break in a television show. It is time to grab the remote to see what else is available.

Famous American showman P. T. Barnum noticed that people were lingering too long at his exhibits. If he could get them through the exhibit faster, he could get more people through in a day. Barnum posted signs around the exhibit indicating “This Way to the Egress”. Unaware that “Egress” simply meant “Exit”, people followed the signs to what they assumed was a fascinating exhibit only to end up outside.

Take down the “egress” sign. If you truly want to hold your listener from one segment to the next, don’t send up the signal. Simply move to the next segment.

Imagine you are at a cocktail party. You are discussing the baseball game that you saw over the weekend. After that topic runs its course, do you say, “Now it’s time to talk about my new car”? I doubt it. You probably just roll right into, “Hey, I bought a new car last week.” It is a natural transition. Your friend doesn’t think, “Hmm, that was a pretty rough transition.” They have moved on right along with you.

As you wrap up one segment, move right to the next. You might end the first segment with, “If you take those steps, things should be back to normal.” Roll into the next with, “Jackie has a question about teamwork,” and play the call. The next segment just starts. You’ve hooked them on the next segment without opening the door to leave.

Don’t flash the exit sign. Eliminate “and now it’s time for” to hold your listener for the entire podcast.

4. BE ORIGINAL

Hello Everybody in Radioland!

To be engaging, you need to be human. You need to be yourself.

As you record your podcast, use your natural voice and your own words. Individuals who are new to broadcasting tend to want to sound like their broadcasting idols. They try to imitate those they have heard on the radio with their voice and clichés. Unfortunately, new broadcasters tend to sound as if they are using scripted drivel done in some character voice that is forced and unnatural.

You don’t need to sound like Wolfman Jack, Howard Cosell, Don LaFontaine or Howard Stern. In fact, you shouldn’t sound like those guys. They are who they are. You should be who you are. If you are naturally over-the-top, then be over-the-top. If you are not, don’t fake it. You’ll sound like an amateur.

Be natural. Talk with a little energy, but always deliver it as you naturally speak. The days of “the voice for radio” are gone. You don’t need a big voice to be on the radio. You surely don’t need a big voice to create a podcast. Your voice becomes unique by what you say, not how you sound saying it.

Be yourself. Use your own voice instead of trying to impersonate someone else. Use your natural voice and your own words.

Focus on these four areas to create great content. Avoid repeating yourself. Eliminate the cliches. Create smooth transitions in your content. Above all else, be original.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

What Your Podcast Brand Can Learn From Prince – Episode 137

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What Your Podcast Brand Can Learn From Prince – Episode 137

We are making a quick change this week. On the last episode, I told you we were going to get into interviewing. We will do that next week.

When I heard Prince had passed away, I started getting fascinated by the way people were reacting to the loss of one of the greatest musical artists of our time. I had to jump back in the studio and cut a new episode for this week. We’ll pick up the interviewing episodes next week.

Why did the death of Prince affect so many so deeply?

Prince created a brand that epitomizes the Cult Brand that we talk so much about.

I was talking with a friend this week. He was deeply touched by Prince’s death. He said it bothered him much more than Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston or Merle Haggard, and he couldn’t figure out why.

Prince has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I am a fan of most of what he created. There are musicians. Then, there are artists.

Everything Prince touched was some form or art, pushing the boundaries.

In his movie “Under The Cherry Moon”, he included a bit that almost predicted his death. At the end of the movie, Prince’s character Christopher Tracy dies and early death. The scene is set to a song by Prince called “Sometimes It Snows In April”. It is very coincidental that Prince was taken from us early, in April, almost 30 years to the date of the release of “Under The Cherry Moon”, which came out July 4th, 1986.

The death of Prince hurts many more than a typical celebrity death due to our association with the brand Prince created.

We talk a lot about the Cult Brand. It was defined in the book “The Power Of Cult Branding” by BJ Bueno. If you look at Prince’s brand, you will see all 7 attributes of a Cult Brand. These are characteristics you do not find with Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston or Merle Haggard. We came to expect those 3 to be in trouble. They weren’t one of us. Prince seemed like a guy we could hang out with. He had a bit of cool about him.

CULT BRAND

Let’s review the 7 attributes of a Cult Brand. We will see how they relate to Prince. Then, we can see how they can be used with your Podcast brand.

SOCIAL GROUPS

Let them be different together. Those people who didn’t quite fit in due to their style found solace in the music and style of Prince. His concerts and nightclub allowed those fans to gather and be different together.

Oddly enough, Prince’s music is not found on YouTube. Prince wanted to keep his community special. You could choose to be involved. However, you needed to be involved his way. He controlled the message.

Find ways for your audience to be different together. What does your podcast offer that is unique to you? This needs to be something that is different than any other podcast and done in a way that only you can do it.

Once you create the difference, allow your audience to come together to share that difference.

COURAGE

Prince stood by his beliefs. He insisted on owning his publishing. He even went as far as changing his name to a symbol when his fight with Warner Brothers Records got crazy.

The musical styles of Prince fused rock guitar solos with funk and rhythm and blues. He threw in some dance moves of James Brown to his unique style of dress. He had the courage to be different and stand out.

Being different and standing out from the crowd takes courage. Be daring this week. Find something that will put your podcast on the map. It may be scary and outside of your comfort zone. That is ok. Give it a try. People will take notice.

PROMOTE A LIFESTYLE – FUN

In the 1980s, Prince created a style of dress that was unique to him. It was copied by many. It was self-expression and fun. Prince promoted a lifestyle. Love, fun and style. Even his guitars were fun and unique.

After his musical success, Prince created other ways to spread his brand of fun. He created a few movies. Some of these were huge successes. Some barely broke even.

Prince created his own nightclub. He fostered the careers of other artists. Fun was a primary attribute of his brand. Something we all wanted to be part of.

With your podcast, don’t be so serious all the time. Have fun. Be crazy. Let your inner child out to play every now and then. Life is too short to be so serious all the time.

LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS – HUMAN NEEDS

Humans have a need to come together. Music is a big part of that need. Prince gave it to his fans. In the 1980s when the economy was tough, Prince was singing about love and a carefree life. He delivered what his fans needed to escape their everyday life.

What does your podcast audience need? Find that need and fulfill it regularly. If you don’t know what that need is, ask your listeners. Find their Facebook pages and look for the need. It will be there.

SUPPORT COMMUNITIES – START A CULT

Prince didn’t always need to spotlight. He would make some headlines, release an album or movie, then lay low for a while. This allowed his fans to embrace and spread the message.

He also turned many fledgling Minneapolis musical acts into stars. Being part of the Revolution or New Power Generation was as easy as joining the movement.

Even the biggest hits of Prince featured vocals of other members in his band. In “1999”, Prince is the 3rd voice. In his movie “Purple Rain“, it is portrayed that the title song was actually written by Wendy and Lisa, members of the band. Prince included everyone and shared the attention and credit.

With your podcast, share the credit. Give. Make others the star. The more you shine your spotlight on others, the more it will come back to you. Simply focus on helping others. Bring your fans together. Introduce your listeners to each other. Spread the love. When you do that, your message will begin to spread on the wings of others.

OPENESS – INCLUSIVE, INVITING

Anyone could be part of the Prince movement. Dress like him. Move like him. He promoted love and being part of a movement. People could relate to that.

Be inviting with your podcast. Allow your listeners to direct a bit of your content. Give them some ownership in the content you create.
You also need to make it easy to join your tribe. Eliminate a lot of the hoops and just get them into the party.

PROMOTE PERSONAL FREEDOM

Prince used his style to promote his own personal freedom. Then, he encouraged others to do the same. He always insisted that he have complete creative control over everything he did.

We all have an enemy. When you find the common enemy, your brand can help your listener fight the common bad. Create the freedom. Do you think it is a coincidence that listeners on the Dave Ramsey Show become debt free? Their debt free scream is followed by a loud yell of “freedom”. All of the listeners are fighting the common enemy. That is personal freedom.

We can learn a lot from the brand of Prince. Add these 7 attributes of a cult brand into your podcast. You will begin to create a powerful tribe that will drive your brand to new heights.

 

Next week, we begin the series on interviewing. Have you ever conducted that interview that went nowhere? The one you felt like deleting right after it was over? We can help. Next week, we will answer a couple listener questions about getting the most out of your interview guest.

 

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Make Best Use Of Your Podcast Co-Host – Episode 136

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How To Make Best Use Of Your Podcast Co-Host – Episode 136

Copyright: kzenon / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: kzenon / 123RF Stock Photo

Today, we will open the Podcast Talent Coach mail bag and answer a few content questions I have received. The first questions is about making effective use of a co-host. The second is about consistently helping your listeners with your content.
I would love to hear an episode on involving a highly effective style with a cohost. – Rick Sizemore – VR Workforce Studio

CO-HOST BASICS

  • Different point of view
  • Distinct styles and perspectives
  • Different voices
  • One needs to be the leader

I was listening to a business podcast the other day. It is a show that is hosted by two marketing gurus. They typically offer business advice to listeners who write or call the show.

The hosts had received a question regarding unique ways to market a product. The listener had included a few methods he had used. Host number one rattled off his critique of the methods used and offered a couple of his own. Host number two basically said, “I agree with your assessment and really have nothing further to add.”

When a second host (or guest for that matter) isn’t offering any new information or differing opinion, the second host is unnecessary.

If your podcast involves more than one person on the show, you need to have a justifiable reason for each of you to exist on the show. When there are multiple voices on a show, each voice needs a role. One of the hosts is unnecessary if two voices are offering the same information, with the same opinion persona.

There are many podcasts hosted by two co-hosts. Many of those are successful, such as “On The Media” with Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, “Manic Mommies” with Erin and Kristin, and “Mike & Mike in the Morning” with Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg.

Not all two-person podcasts are structured quite as well as these. It seems two friends who have similar interests get together and start a podcast without much planning. The similar interests of the hosts seem to spawn similar opinions and positions on topics.

If you and I are hosting a show, and we are both saying roughly the same thing, one of us isn’t necessary.

A great example of two hosts that compliment each other well is “Mike & Mike in the Morning”.

Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg host “Mike & Mike in the Morning”. You can find the show broadcast on ESPN television and radio as well as their “best of” podcast online. The show recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary.

Both Mikes have an interest in sports. That is the commonality that brought them together. A general interest in the topic is necessary for the subject matter and foundation of the show.

The differing opinions create the magic within the show.

Mike and Mike come from very different background. Their different experiences have developed differing opinions, attitudes and approaches to various sports topics. These differences make the show compelling.

Mike Greenberg was born to a Jewish family. He grew up in New York City. Greenberg went on to study journalism. He worked his entire career in broadcasting, beginning in Chicago, the third largest city in the United States.

Mike Golic was born in suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. He played American football in College while studying finance and management at Catholic university Notre Dame in Indiana. Golic played professionally in the NFL. He then began his broadcasting career after his playing career ended.

Where Greenberg approaches topics from the researcher/journalist perspective, Golic tackles those topics from the real life experience angle. Greenberg comes from the big city. Golic comes from the suburbs. Greenberg worked big-time radio in the nation’s largest cities. Golic made big-time hits on one of professional sports’ biggest stages.

There are multiple approaches you can take on a show with multiple hosts.

Good cop/bad cop is a common show structure.

This is approach would position one host as the nice guy. He is there to help. Always encouraging and supporting the listener.

The second host would be a bit of a jerk. He might have a big ego. This host would be in your face and telling you like it is. He wouldn’t necessarily be mean. However, he would be the antagonist in the show.

There is a three-person version of this called “The Dog, The Doll and The Dork”. This show involves the bad guy (the dog), the good guy (the dork) and the sweet girl to round it out (the doll). The female typically plays mediator between the two guys. This show is heard quite often on radio morning shows.

You can also see “The Dog, The Doll and The Dork” in America’s original version of “American Idol”.

Simon Cowell was “The Dog”. He was the bad guy with the big ego. Simon was the guy everyone loves to hate.

Paula Abdul played the role of “The Doll”. She was sweet while often siding with one of the two guys. She was very likeable. Paula was almost the antidote to Simon.

Randy Jackson was “The Dork”. He would often play the nice guy, even while providing tough criticism. You would hear Randy say something like, “You know you’re my dog, but that just wasn’t good.” Randy could be seen considering the feelings of the contestants.

“American Idol” is currently not as strong, because they’ve lost the role identity of each judge. When you watch the show, you really don’t know what to expect from each judge. Is Randy going to be the nice guy or suddenly play the part of “the Dog”? Roles are inconsistent from show to show.

There are many other varieties of show roles. You could use nerd/jock where one host has “studied it” and one host has “done it”. Liberal/conservative is an option if you can find a co-host with the opposing point of view. Corporation/entrepreneur could offer diverse points of view on business. Male/female is pretty clear. You simply need to select the differences that work for you.

Think of some of the best duos in history. What makes them different (and therefore valuable)? McCartney & Lennon. Abbott & Costello. Siskel & Ebert. Bert & Ernie. Sonny & Cher. Milli Vanilli. Ok, maybe not that one.

Each member in those great partnerships offered something different than their teammate. Often, that difference was the opposite of their counterpart. Sometimes, it was simply a different approach. Find those differences that make each of you unique.

The goal of your show is to entertain your audience. Listeners have come to your show to learn something, laugh at something, or be amazed by something. Your job is to create compelling content.

Debates and differing opinions are a great way to stir up emotion with your audience. It doesn’t always need to be an argument. Multiple hosts simply need to offer different information. If both hosts are offering the same content, one of you are just wasting the time of your audience. You are repeating yourself when you could be dishing up new content.

If you host a show with multiple people, find each individual voice and use those differences to entertain your audience.

HELP OTHERS

How can I help others with every show. I am so grateful for your show, keep up the good work, I point all my podcasting friends your way! You have a devoted fan on Oahu, if you need any ideas for family adventures on Oahu…. I’m your Man! – Dave Tupper – Kids Adventures Hawaii

Start with the goal of your show. What is it that you want people to take from this particular episode? How will your content help them?

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “what’s in it for me?”
Your audience will be asking this very question every time they tune into your podcast. Your introduction better tell your listener exactly how your topic will affect them. You need to hook them right at the beginning with an intriguing introduction. If you don’t hook them early, they will be gone in search of something more captivating.

When your audience knows what is in it for them, they begin to care. Making your listener care is the only way to get them to listen and more importantly come back again.

As I was listening to a podcast recently, it suddenly hit me. How does this apply to me, and what am I getting out of this podcast? I was having a tough time answering those two questions.

It was an entrepreneural podcast. The host and guest were recounting the launch and growth of the guest’s company. It was a decent story. There were a few highlights about growing out of a basement and finding industry partners. The most interesting part of the story was the fast growth of the company.

After twenty minutes of the show, it hit me. I really have nothing in common with this tech company. The stories being told were very specific to the guest’s company. Most of all, neither the guest nor the host were making the connection between the tale of the company and lessons that could be gleaned by the listener. They were not incorporating the audience into the show at all.

To truly engage your audience, you need to make the listener the star. Nobody wants to watch your home movies unless they are in them.

Your listener doesn’t need to be part of the show to be the star. The content could give them hope, help them envision the future, or relate to their situation. You need to help them make that connection.

The key question is “what’s in it for me?” Your listener isn’t attracted to your podcast by your content. They listen to your podcast because of what your information can do for them. They don’t buy products. They buy benefits.

If your podcast is only focused on you, your product, or your guest without making a connection to the listener, the size of your audience will shrink. Engaging content must be listener focused. Keep your audience engaged by making your listener the star.

Connection, put them in the show, one-on-one communication and teaching without being condescending.

This week, check out the free video I have on PodcastTalentCoach.com about one-on-one communication. We discuss how to make your listener feel like they are part of the show and that your content is specifically for them.

Next week, we will start a series on interviewing. How do you make the most of the time with your interview guest? What is more effective at attracting traffic, interviewing others or being interviewed? In the next few episodes, we will cover that, along with interview terms, and tips to help create powerful interviews.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Can You Tell Stories Like Walt Disney? – Episode 130

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Can You Tell Stories Like Walt Disney? – Episode 130

TELL STORIES

Walt Disney was one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

When you examine his work, you realize he wasn’t a great story writer. He was a fantastic story teller.

Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Jungle Book. All are stories written by someone else. Disney just turned them into great stories that sometimes didn’t follow the original exactly.

Snow White – “Snow White” is a German fairy tale known across much of Europe and is today one of the most famous fairy tales worldwide. The Brothers Grimm published it in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Pinocchio – The Adventures of Pinocchio is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi, written in Florence. The first half was originally a serial in 1881 and 1882, and then later completed as a book for children in February 1883.

Fantasia – The movie was developed around the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a German poem written in 1797 by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Bambi – Bambi, a Life in the Woods, was originally published in Austria in 1923 and written by Felix Salten.

Cinderella – This movie started as a European folk tale. The first written European version of the story was published in Naples, by Giambattista Basile, in 1634.

Peter Pan – Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie in 1902. Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, premiered on 27 December 1904 in London.

Jungle Book – The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by English author Rudyard Kipling. The stories were first published in magazines in 1893–94.

Even recent, successful movies created by the Disney company after Walt Disney’s death were based on stories written by others.

Hercules – Greek myth
Mulan – Chinese legend
Tarzan – 1914 book by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tangled – Base on Rapunzel published in 1812 Brothers Grimm

THE DISNEY FILTER

Walt Disney’s upbringing shaped his view on life and influenced how he told stories. According to the book “Walt Disney – Hollywood’s Dark Prince” by Marc Eliot, Disney’s life on his boyhood Missouri farm was harsh. Though criticized for some inaccuracies, the book gives an interesting glimpse into Walt’s childhood.

Walt was unsure of his father, because he had no birth certificate. He grew up in a very strict household where his father often used corporal punishment. Walt’s mother usually did very little to tame the strick hand of the senior Disney.

Growing up on the farm, Walt and his brother Roy were required to do chores to earn their keep. They would attend school during the day while working on the farm at night. There was no time for friends. Walt’s friends were the various animals around the farm.

The life Disney experienced on the farm influenced his films.

If you study the films created by Disney while he was alive, you see the evidence. Most of Disney’s feature-length films contain a protagonist with no father figure. The main character is typically a lonely outcast who has made friends with various animals.

Think of your favorite Disney character. Does that individual fit that description?

Cinderella. Snow White. Mowgli in the Jungle Book. Peter Pan. It is all right there.

Disney didn’t write great stories. He told great stories as seen through his filter.

ELEMENTS OF GREAT STORIES

There are four elements to a great story. Those elements include a reason to care, revealing the details, a powerful resolution and asking “what else?”.

THE REASON

Give your listener a reason to care. Begin with an engaging introduction. “Tell me if I’m gonna go to Hell for this…” That is a hook.

What do you want the audience to feel? This is what your engaging introduction should answer.

Make your introduction human. Stir emotion. Make it humorous, compelling or tragic. My radio coach Bill McMahon often asked what I would like to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand.

Find great emotions. They could include joy, sympathy, empathy, anger, tragedy, tenderness, humor, rage, patriotism or various other emotions.

Your introduction should pull your listener into the story. Give them a roadmap.

REVEAL THE DETAILS

Details are more believable than generalities. Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character. This is how listeners get to know, like and trust you and your business.

Use all 5 senses when telling your stories. We are creating visions in the theater of the mind of your listener.

POWERFUL RESOLUTION

Your powerful resolution is a strong reframing of introduction. This resolution puts a nice bow on the story.

WHAT ELSE?

Asking “What Else” will transform your show. This takes your story to a whole new level. This transforms your story from a nice piece of entertainment into an incredible piece of engaging content.

When you ask “what else”, you let your story lead to something bigger. This might mean continuing the conversation on your Facebook page. You may solicit questions or thoughts from your listeners. The story might lead into a bigger discussion or interview or skit.

The options are endless. Your “what else” step will also make your content unique and powerful.

HOW YOU CAN BE A STORYTELLER

You can become a powerful storyteller by funneling your content through your filter. Then, ask the four storytelling questions.

What is the engaging set up?
How will it be revealed in the story?
What is the resolution?
What else can you do with it?

Try a few stories in your episode this week. Let me know how it goes.

If you would like a Podcast Talent Coach worksheet to help you develop your stories, CLICK HERE.

Next week, how your stories activate the theater of the mind for your listeners. Plus, how to use theater of the mind to create more engagement.

You can find my podcast, information on my coaching services and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Focus On Current Or New Podcast Listener? – Episode 126

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Focus On Current Or New Podcast Listener? – Episode 126

podcast listeners_

Photo Copyright : Eduardo Huelin/123rf.com

 

In a previous episode of Podcast Talent Coach, I shared 7 ways to drive listeners away from your show. We work so hard to gain listeners. Why would we ever drive them away.

But … should you focus on the current or new podcast listener?

Joshua Liston from The Deadly Arnold podcast was checking out my back catalog when he stumbled across this particular episode. He took exception to one of the 7 ways I mentioned.

In the episode, I suggested one way you drive listeners away is being the podcaster who assumes listeners have heard the show before.

If you’re not explaining your podcast purpose each and every show, it will be difficult for new listeners to understand the show. Your audience will feel like they are joining a conversation in the middle. They will be lost.

Have you ever felt left out of a conversation due to inside jokes. Two other people are chuckling about something, and you have no idea why. “Oh, it’s an inside joke” they say. Why aren’t you important enough to be in on the joke? Why is it inside only to them? Those situations are a bit offensive. You’re not included.

When you are not explaining your podcast, you are not allowing your listener to understand the nuances of your show. They won’t feel like part of the club. Your listener will not feel important or that you care about them. It is quite possible they will leave.

The opening of your podcast should explain the purpose of your podcast and let your listeners know exactly what to expect as if this is the first time they have ever heard the show. We discussed this in the past two episodes when we reviewed the importance of a strong introduction.

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.

First, it tells the brand new listener who is hearing the show for the very first time exactly what to expect from the show. You know exactly what is coming your way, even if you have never seen the show before.

Second, those that have heard the show before are confident that they are in the right place. Those regular listeners will find comfort in the opening of the show they hear each time they tune in. Fans will also feel like they are “in the know”. This is similar to singing the theme song of your favorite sitcom. As soon as you hear the first few notes of the theme song, you know you’re on the right channel. Your show intro should elicit the same response.

As you create your show open, treat it as if every listener is saying, “Hey, I’m new here. What’s going on?” You’ll make everyone comfortable as the show begins.

Here are Josh’s comments on the subject:

I must stress that I do disagree with your ideas around “making new listeners feel welcome in every episode”.

Personally I think Podcasters focus too much on their new audience and far too little on those already listening (which is where the majority of engagements and downloads come from for most podcasters). Those same things that you suggest make new/new listeners feel left out (in-jokes, personal references, etc) are the very things that make a longtime listener feel even more part of something special, and exclusive.

If you reference great podcasts that have stood the test of time “Back to Work” “Joe Rogan Exp” “Roderick on the Line” “Nerdist” “Hardcore History” “FOFOP & TOFOP” “Monday Morning Podcast” “Welcome to Night Vale” “We Are Alive” “The Dollop” “99% Invisible” “This American Life.” they make little to no intentional effort to morph their shows personality/language/individuality to entice new listeners to stay – they work incredibly hard in embracing their longtime listeners and fans though!

I can see how your ideas applies to a more transient audience like those of commercial radio stations where listeners are after the content within the content (music, news, score-lines, financial data etc) but for personality driven podcasting I think this falls purely into speculative theory.

-Joshua C. Liston
The Deadly Arnold
BraveryByTheDay.com
In this episode, I offer my assessment of Joshua’s position.

Sure, the content of your show must be great to keep listeners around. That is simply the price of admission. To get people to subscribe, create great content. That should go without saying.

In order to keep people engaged, you need to make them feel like they are part of the club. This is especially true for new listeners.

If you’re not explaining your podcast purpose each and every show, it will be difficult for new listeners to understand the show. Your audience will feel like they are joining a conversation in the middle. They will be lost.

Should you focus on the current or new podcast listener? The answer is both.

Make everyone feel welcome, supply your listeners with great content, and make your material unique. Then, watch your subscribers grow.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Critical Piece To A Great Podcast – Episode 123

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The Critical Piece To A Great Podcast – Episode 123

Podcast Review Show

On a recent episode of the Podcast Review Show that I do with Dave Jackson, we got into a discussion with a podcaster who struggles with the introduction of his show. This happens with so many hosts. How do you properly begin an episode? Why are the important elements of a solid introduction? What is the purpose?

We were talking with Doug Salamone of Mind Drippings podcast. On this particular episode, Doug was interviewing Taylor Pearson, author of “The End Of Jobs”. Doug said he was having trouble forming the introduction of his interviews.

START WITH WHY

Here is Doug’s first question: “Taylor, why don’t you introduce yourself a little bit more, and start off at the beginning with what brought you to decide to write this book and I’ll just let you roll with it and we’ll get the questions going.”

Doug needs to make us care about the author as he introduces him BEFORE he brings Taylor on the show. Then, Doug needs to make us care about the subject.

Before you begin your show, determine what are you hoping people will take from the interview. What is the point.

When you use, “Tell us about yourself”, it sounds like you didn’t do your homework.

The show is about big ideas. What is the big idea in this episode? The world of jobs is coming to an end. Start there.

Later in the interview, Doug asks, “What are people to do … if the opportunities are limited … and every single year we have thousands upon thousands of people graduating from universities across the country … what are people to do to protect themselves from becoming obsolete in this current economy that we’re seeing everyday increasing where jobs are being eliminated or being exported to countries across the world?”

This is the essence of the conversation. Let’s start here.

Many introductions are a waste of time. They host wanders into the episode rather than creating anticipation and setting up the content.

“Tell us a little about yourself, who you are and what you do.” It is such an overused first questions.

Do your homework. Know the important facts about your guest that support the topic. Provide those pieces of information right at the beginning. Then, hit the ground running with great questions.

Make the introduction of your show compelling. It should make your audience want to stick around for the payoff. I hear so many shows begin with their standard show open immediately followed by a bunch of housekeeping. Don’t waste the time of your audience. Your introduction should make a promise (tell the audience what to expect). You should then follow through on that promise (give them the content they expect).

When a show begins with, “I’ll show you how to make a million dollars in 4 easy-to-understand steps”, followed by, “But first, let me plug 14 things and chat a bit about why I didn’t post an episode last week”, you are losing your audience. Your fan tuned in to hear your secrets, not your problems.

If you have housekeeping notes to pass along, sprinkle them within the show throughout the content. Lead with your strongest material. Housekeeping is not it.

Your introduction should set up your podcast. It should be an intriguing introduction that tells the listener exactly what the podcast is all about. What will I get when I listen? It doesn’t matter whether your podcast is 10 minutes or 60 minutes long. You need to tell the listener what is to come.

“Welcome to Podcast Talent Coach Podcast. My name is Erik K. Johnson. This is where we help you transforming your information into engaging entertainment so we can turn your podcast into powerful, profitable relationships.”

With that quick introduction, I told you exactly what to expect. You know the name of my podcast. You know the name of the host. You know the goal we are setting out to accomplish. I’ve also put you in the mix by referencing your dreams and how my podcast will help you. In those brief seconds, I’ve given you who, what, when and why.

That content should be followed immediately by a creative tease of this particular show. It might be something like, “We will help Steve figure out how to gently end a bad interview. Shelly asks about incorporating a call-to-action without making the show sound like an infomercial. And finally, we will hear a clip for the ‘The Golden Garden’ podcast and help Chris increase the energy and forward momentum in the show. Let’s get to it. First up …” This goes right into the show content. We start delivering on the promise made in the introduction. The show is moving forward.

If I said, “Before we get to it, let me explain the new look of my website”, I would only be relevant to a small portion of my audience. Who cares about my new layout? That would assume first that most of my audience has visited my website prior to this show, and second that they can’t find their own way around the new layout. That’s a pretty big assumption. If is important enough to include, put it at the end, or somehow incorporate the information into an answer.

Don’t waste the time of your audience. Make your introduction intriguing and get to the content immediately.

MAKE THEM CARE

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “what’s in it for me?”

Your audience will be asking this very question every time they tune into your podcast. Your introduction better tell your listener exactly how your topic will affect them. You need to hook them right at the beginning with an intriguing introduction. If you don’t hook them early, they will be gone in search of something more captivating.

When your audience knows what is in it for them, they begin to care. Making your listener care is the only way to get them to listen and more importantly come back again.

Lead with an intriguing introduction.

This is true for your podcast in general as well as each individual topic. Your intriguing introduction should hook your audience, let them know exactly what to expect, and allow them to enjoy the story.

What do you hope your audience will take away from this particular discussion? Your introduction should spell it out. It should set up what is to come.

If your goal is to make your listener laugh at your misfortune over the weekend, lead with it. “This weekend was so disastrous, I wouldn’t have had time for anything else to go wrong even if I tried.” The audience will now have time to enjoy the vivid details of your horrible weekend rather than trying to figure out what point you are trying to make.

When you begin your story with the details, your listener spends energy trying to determine the point you are trying to make. They are trying to figure out what the story is about.

Have you ever been stuck listening to someone tell a story while you’re thinking, “Will he ever get to the point?” That is what we are trying to avoid.

Here is an example of a story you might hear. “This weekend we went to the mall. It was just the two of us. We were looking for a gift for my dad.” Are we telling a story about finding gifts? Is this story just recapping the weekend? Maybe it is about my dad. You don’t know. I haven’t told you. There is no lead to this story.

To hook your audience and allow them to truly enjoy the story, lead with an intriguing introduction.

EMOTIONALLY POWERFUL?

A successful podcast is built on a strong relationship with the listener. It could be called a tribe as defined by Seth Godin in his book of the same name. The strong relationships with your listeners begin to develop your brand. You can then monetize your brand and associated relationships with an effective call-to-action. But it starts with the brand.

Powerful brands are more than just recognizable names. Powerful brands are full of emotion. A brand is a collection of perceptions, creating emotional connections, while consistently delivering on a promise. The more powerful the emotional connection, the more powerful the brand.

Take a moment to think of some very powerful brands and the associated emotions of the rabid fans of those brands. Nike. Volkswagen. Star Trek. Starbucks. Apple. Harley Davidson. Fans will go out of their way to interact with their favorite brand. These brands are unique, because they create powerful emotions within their fans that are not found in ordinary brands.

Ordinary brands lack emotion. Keds. Buick. Battlestar Galactica. Dunkin’ Donuts. Hewlett Packard. Honda. The powerful emotions are not present for most people in these brands.

An amazing book entitled “The Power of Cult Branding” by Matthew W. Ragas and B. J. Bueno describes the seven golden rules to cult branding. Emotion is the key to all seven. Social Groups, Courage, Fun, Human Needs, Contribution, Openness, and Freedom. All emotional. None are functional. It’s not the best, biggest, brightest, loudest, or #1 product. Cult brands are focused on emotion, not hype.

If you want to turn your podcast into a powerful brand that you can monetize with a strong call-to-action, stir emotion every time.

Next week, we will walk through the steps in creating a powerful introduction. I’ll give you a step-by-step process.
Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

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Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

Magazines

Content creators struggle with topic ideas. It is natural. There are days when few ideas are coming to mind.

The other day, I was listening to the great motivational speaker Les Brown. He says speaking is natural. You don’t hear of people facing speaker’s block. Why do people run into writer’s block?

You simply need to find topics that pique your interest.

These topics could stir any sort of emotion within you. They could make you laugh, cry, or simply say hmmm.

The good news is that you can find topics everywhere. We tend to limit ourselves to our niche or genre. Expand. Topics are everywhere.

YOUR INTEREST

During my 25-year radio career, I’ve attend many, many seminars on creating great radio. One session eventually led to a coaching relationship with Bill McMahon.

Bill had been coaching radio talent for quite some time. He had coached Jeff & Jer in San Diego along with many others. He had a great process for creating great radio.

In our sessions, Bill would always encourage us to determine what we hoped to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand. Then, start there.

Before we could get there, we needed to find the topic.

TOPIC GENERATION

The idea for topic generation came from another radio mentor of mine. Dan O’Day is probably more famous in radio circles for creating great advertising. However, he did a radio session one time on finding great topics from everyday articles. Any article could spur a topic.

Find any magazine or blog or paper. Scan through it until a headline catches your eye. As you read the article, highlight any sentence or word that captures your attention. When you are finished reading the article, find the one sentence or word that grabs you most.

With this sentence or word, spend three minutes brainstorming and freeform writing about that sentence. Set a timer. Write everything that comes to mind. Put it all on the paper. Write instead of typing. It will let the ideas come more freely.

At the end of the three minutes, look through the words on the sheet. Find the one idea that really jumps out that can be turned into a great podcast topic.

Use articles out of everyday periodicals.

PLAN IT

The third tip came from internet marketer Ryan Diess. He suggest creating a planner that includes publish date, post type, your category, your offer and the headline. Ryan offers a list of over 40 post types. You can find that link HERE.

Finally, I’ve created a worksheet that will help you ask questions to develop your topic. Once you find the sentence that piques your interest, use the worksheet to flush it out.

EXAMPLES

Here is an example of how I would use this method in my podcast.

USA Hockey – “The Meek Shall Inherit the Ice” p20 June/July 2013
“When the nation’s top quarter of college hockey teams hook up at a neutral site, only one gets to go home with a shiny gold trophy” – What makes a winning podcast. – Dissect the winners of the podcast awards – What industry events are available to learn?

“Going back to the 1950’s, when college hockey was a relatively new thing…” – Where podcasting began. – How podcasting grew from broadcasting and the theater. – What makes great theater? – What can we learn from those that came before?

“But, every now and then, a smaller school … would crash the party.” – What can we learn from some of the fastest growing podcasts? – Review some new, undiscovered podcasts. – Review a show on the show.

TOOLS

Ten Questions from the Topic Development Worksheet

1. Why is the topic relevant to your audience?
2. How will you make the audience care?
3. What is the source of the topic?
4. How will the source lend credibility to the topic?
5. What do you find intriguing about the topic?
6. What emotion do you hope to stir?
7. In what context will the story be set?
8. Where will you take the topic? Where will the story go?
9. What details will you use?
10. What is the one thing you hope your listener will remember about you/your show?
Finally, write the intriguing introduction to your topic.

Don’t settle for the first idea. Work and mold your topic.

It is easy to do an interview exactly like you do every other interview. Just like you’ve heard everyone do every other interview. Unfortunately, it will sound like every other interview.

It is easy to approach a topic just like everyone else.

Do something different. Stand out. Make your show different. Find new questions. Find ways to ask questions differently. Gain attention by being unique.

If you are discussing an article, do something different. If most hosts would simply read the article and comment, zig when they are zagging. Grab the phone and call the subject of the article. Interview the author. Act it out. Create a parody of it that is so over-the-top that it becomes memorable. Find that unique way to rise above the rest.

If you continue to settle for the first idea when presenting an idea, you’ll keep delivering typical content. We want to make you memorable. We want you to stand out and get noticed. When your content is vanilla and just like everyone else, you become wallpaper that nobody notices. You also become easy to replace.

Push yourself. Brainstorm until you find something that is great. Then, run with it and make it engaging and memorable. Don’t settle for the first idea.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Use the Podcast Talent Coach Topic Development Worksheet to discover new podcast topics all around you.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

9 Uncommon Books That Shaped My Podcast – Episode 120

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9 Uncommon Books That Shaped My Podcast – Episode 120

9 UNCOMMON BOOKS

We are all looking for great books and inspiration. In the online business space, the same books are often recommended and discussed. Godin. Ries & Trout. Think & Grow Rich. Those are the must-reads to be in the game.

Lesser known books can often offer powerful information and inspiration. They can also help you stand out from the crowd.

When I started in radio 25 years ago, I would read all I could about radio and business. I read the big books of the industry to keep up with the crowd. Those books were the center of many discussions at industry gatherings.

After I began programming my first radio station in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1995, I quickly realized keeping up with the crowd wasn’t going to put me ahead of the crowd.

To win, we need to think differently. To get ahead, we need to be willing to do what others will not. Find motivation and inspiration where others haven’t looked.

As you are trying to create a podcast that is unique and entertaining, one that will stand out and attract a following, take a chance on a few new ideas. Find a few nuggets that keep your heart pumping. Be a champion for a different way of thinking.

Here are few books that have inspired me. These books are not the typical fare you hear mentioned in every keynote speech. You won’t find these titles at the center of cocktail party discussions … unless you make it so.

However, these books have useful information you can put to work in your podcast and online business today. You can use these ideas to spark your creativity.

Find one book that looks exciting and inspiring to you. Give it a read. Maybe you’ll find your own wonderful spark of an idea.

THE POWER OF CULT BRANDING – HOW 9 MAGNETIC BRANDS TURNED CUSTOMERS INTO LOYAL FOLLOWERS (AND YOURS CAN, TOO!) – BJ Bueno and Matthew Ragas

This book covers the 7 rules of cult branding. As examples, the book explores the success of brands like Star Trek, Oprah Winfrey, Apple, Jimmy Buffett and Linux.

I love this book, because it explains the characteristics of brands that truly stand out from the crowd. These brands have created cult-like followings. The book gets me excited about what is possible.

PLATFORM – GET NOTICED IN A NOISY WORLD – Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt has a successful blog, podcast and membership site. In this book, he explores how to create a leverage your platform.

If you are in online business, this is a great read. I find another takeaway each time I read the book. This work is like a “how to” guide.

BEYOND POWERFUL RADIO – Valerie Gellar

Valerie dives into the characteristics of successful radio. These principles can also be applied to podcasting. From Valerie, I learned to never be boring. She says, “There is no such thing as too long, only too boring.”

THE MILLIONAIRE MESSENGER – MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND A FORTUNE SHARING YOUR ADVICE – Brendon Burchard

This book provides the steps to take to create your business. The process begins with selecting your area of expertise and ends with finding promotional partners and repeating the process.

It is an easy read. The book is the foundation of Brendon’s teachings. His work has really shaped my online approach.

MILLION DOLLAR COACHING – BUILD A WORLD-CLASS PRACTICE BY HELPIING OTHERS SUCCEED – Alan Weiss

If you coach, this book will help you build your process of finding clients.

This book was first recommended by Dan Miller of 48Days.com. Alan provides a great process to finding clients, converting leads and turning your coaching into a real business.

CIGARS, WHISKEY & WINNING – LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT – Al Kaltman

This book is full of great tips on management, overcoming obstacles, focus and competition. The lessons come from the actual events in the life of Ulysses S. Grant. It is an incredibly inspirational read.

THE KNACK – HOW STREET-SMART ENTREPRENEURS LEARN TO HANDLE WHATEVER COMES UP – Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham

This book discusses why start-ups fail, how to make sales and how to keep customers. Norm created a few businesses in New York City. He was also a contributor to INC. magazine. The lessons in the book come from his real-world experience and not simply theory.

THE E-MYTH REVISITED – WHY MOST SMALL BUSINESSES DON’T WORK AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT – Michael E. Gerber

This is probably the most popular book on this list. For the small business owner, this is a must-read. Learn to work on your business and not simply in your business. The lesson is fundamental for small business success.

CASH IN A FLASH – REAL MONEY IN NO TIME – Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen

This book shows you how to think differently to create quick cash, and then turn that cash into more cash. The lessons require action and courage. The book is creative in its storytelling.

 

I hope these books give you a bit of inspiration as you continue to grow your business. There should be at least one piece to spark some creativity for you.

Let me know what one you use. E-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How Radio And Podcasting Are The Same – Episode 118

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How Radio And Podcasting Are The Same – Episode 118

The podcast “elite” will sometimes say, “This isn’t radio, this is podcasting. It’s different here.”

Well, I have news for you. Podcasting and radio are more alike than some will admit. You could benefit a bit by recognizing the similarities and borrowing the best practices.

There are many ways that radio and podcasting are the same.

The Same …

1. Same Tools

Both create with audio equipment.

This one is pretty obvious. Both are creating shows using a mic and other audio equipment.

The different ways the equipment is used makes it art. One sculptor may work with wood when another works with rock. Both are still sculptors and artists.

2. Same Approach

Both sit in a room alone trying to entertain people they cannot see.

It sounds crazy when you say it out loud. Both podcasters and broadcasters sit alone in a room talking with people they can neither see nor hear. Both try to predict the reaction of the listener while creating the entertainment.

3. Same Conversation

Both have real conversations with the listener.

Being authentic is critical to success of both podcasters and listeners. Both try to build knowledge and trust with the audience in order to develop a relationship.

4. Same Visions

Both create images in the mind of the listener.

When you tell great stories, your listener gets to know you. This is part of the “know, like and trust” philosophy of doing business.

Stories with vivid details allow the listener to develop images in the theater of the mind. These stories allow her to enjoy the story in her own way.

5. Same Experience

Both are individual activities.

When two people watch the same video, little is left to the imagination. When the same two people hear audio, each will develop individual images in their mind.

No two images will be identical. Listening is an individual activity.

6. Same Connection

Both try to make a one-on-one connection and create a following.

The podcaster and broadcaster are both trying to create a tribe for their content. If you are not trying to grow your audience, you will eventually be talking to yourself.

7. Same Episodes

Both produce episodic content that keeps listeners returning.

This is especially true in talk radio. Content is regularly produced by both podcasters and broadcasters. Those episodes of content build upon each other to create an ongoing show.

8. Same Goal

Both hope to capitalize on the attention using a strong call-to-action.

Content is created by both in order to attract an audience. Once the audience is built, both try to activate that audience with a call-to-action.

The goal may be monetization, support or simply returning for the next episode. Either way, both hope to move a group of people.

9. Both Can Interact

Both are able to interact in real time.

This wasn’t true a few years ago. However, now that technology has come such a long way, both podcasters and broadcasters can interact with the audience in real time.

Podcasters chat with their listeners in real time using phone systems, Google hangout, chat rooms, and other methods. No longer is this feature limited to broadcasters.

… And Sometimes Different

There are a few features of podcasting that differs from broadcasting.

1. Podcasters Time Shift

Podcasting can be time shifted. This can be a benefit over broadcasting.

Podcast listeners can enjoy the show anytime they would like. They do not need to be next to the radio at a given time in order to hear their favorite show.

This is a feature and not necessarily something that makes podcasting inherently different from broadcasting. When we are talking about the art and goal of the audio, this is just a different way of delivering.

2. Podcasters Benefit From The Beginning

Podcast listeners start at the beginning. Mark Ramsey did a great session on this at New Media Expo 2015.

Some broadcast listeners join the show at the beginning and some join in the middle of the show. Podcast listeners all start at the beginning of the episode.

Rarely will a podcast listener download a show, scroll through to the 17:00 mark and begin listening there unless there is a specific direction to do so.

3. Podcasters Can Niche Down

Podcasting can afford to be more niche. By nature of the medium, broadcasting must be mass appeal. This is definitely a benefit for podcasting.

4. Podcasting Is Inclusive

Almost anyone can create a podcast. Podcasting requires a minimal investment. This makes it easy for most to get involved. There is no limit to the number of podcasts that can be created.

Getting on the radio requires getting through the gate keeper. Your other option is to buy your own station. Both are quite difficult.

Again, advantage podcasting.

The nine similarities between the two formats are largely foundational. The essence of the art is the same. The goal, methodology and tactics are identical between the podcasting and radio.

Podcasting enjoys a few benefits over broadcasting. The few differences are hardly enough to proclaim podcasting much different than radio.

I’d love to know what you think. E-mail me anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Turn Podcast Topics Into Creative Content – Episode 110

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How To Turn Podcast Topics Into Creative Content – Episode 110

Review

Before we dive in, here is the link to the Podcast Review Show I mentioned.
PODCAST REVIEW SHOW

You can turn your clever podcast topics into creative content by answering a few easy questions.

Developing your overall podcast strategy involves determining how you will uniquely address each topic on your show. Whether you are presenting information, answering questions or interviewing guests, there are many ways to address each topic.

So many podcasters follow the herd. They create interview shows that sound like every other igniting interview show.

You do not need to do it the same way every other podcast does it. Be unique. Find the way that will stand out.

If you are interviewing, do you really need to ask the same questions that every other podcast asks? When you actually listen to the answers coming from your guest, you will be surprised by the new questions you can discover.

Play a game. Do a contest. Get your guests to tell stories. Different stories than every other show. “How did your mom influence you?” “What was your first business?” “When did you know you wanted to be an artist as a career?” “What is a unique talent you have that few people know?”

Here is a tip many people forget. This is show business. You are here to entertain. Create compelling entertainment?

How do you do make it engaging?

First, you know where you want to go and what you hope to accomplish. Then, you map out how to get there. Don’t just wing it.

Do you think the actors in “Modern Family” or “The Walking Dead” ad lib their lines? Of course not. Do you find it less entertaining when they follow the script? Of course not. There is no reason you cannot add a little show biz to your show.
Just be sure to always be true to the show.

9 QUESTIONS

There are nine questions on the Podcast Talent Coach Topic Development Worksheet that will help you transform your podcast topic into creative content.

RELEVANT?

How is your topic relevant to your niche?

This question will help you begin to shape your topic. If we can determine why your niche needs to know this material and how it fits into the overall concept of the show, we can make sure it fits the show.

I love hockey. However, hockey isn’t relevant to this particular podcast niche unless I’m discussing a hockey podcast. There is no relevancy.

WHO CARES?

How are you going to make your audience care about this topic? What is in it for your listener? If we can determine why they would care, we can begin in their world.

Every listeners asks, “What’s in it for me?” Care about your listener first. You will be well on your way to engaging content.

SOURCE

What is the source of the topic? Does the source matter with regard to the context and credibility of the information?

There are times when the source will help shape the context of your story. Other times, the source was simply the spark to the idea and doesn’t really matter.

We discussed it a bit last week. If I read a story about the correlation between bars and churches and it sparks the topic of “everyone wants to constantly change the rules”, the source really adds nothing to the context.

If I read a Gallup report covering the President’s approval rating which leads me to the discussion of where it is trending, the source adds context. It also adds credibility.

INTRIGUE

What do you find intriguing about the topic?

We have discussed this before. If you want to be interesting, be interested. You are only interested when you find topics that are intriguing to you. Determine what parts of the topic pique your interest. If you creates a spark in you, it is likely that it will do the same in your listener.

EMOTION

What emotion do you hope to stir?

Content is always most powerful when you stir emotion. You can make money when you sell things people need. You can get rich when you sell things people want. Why? Wants come from an emotional place.

Find ways to get your audience emotionally involved in your content.

CONTEXT

In what context will your story be set?

Determine how you will approach each topic. Will you play audio examples? Will you play voice messages from your listeners? Are you going to read e-mail? Maybe there is a guest contributor. Determine each approach before the show begins.

Add some context by making the topic personal. Drugs mean different things when you add context. Are we talking criminals or pharmacists? That is context.

JOURNEY

Where will you take the topic? In other words, what is your point?

This is like your headline. It is the one thing you want to drive home about this particular topics. With this episode, I want you to understand there are defined steps you can take to create shape your content.

Your point (or intriguing introduction) is where your episode will begin. Take time to define it.

DETAILS

What details will you include in your episode?

Vivid details make your stories come to life. Find great words and details that make visions dance in the theater of the mind.

YOUR ONE THING

What is the one thing you hope listeners will remember about this episode?

Your “one thing” goes hand-in-hand with your point. The one thing you want to drive home to your listener is very similar to the one thing you want them to remember.

My point here is the fact there are steps you can take. What I want you to remember is that you can do it, and the steps are easy to understand. The point is the “what” and the one thing is the “why”.

Start with your intriguing introduction. Lead with the headline. Then, shape the content to support your point with some passionate “why”.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Here Is A Method That Helps Successful Radio Professionals Find Great Topics – Episode 109

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Here Is A Method That Helps Successful Radio Professionals Find Great Topics – Episode 109

As I coach talent, people often as me, “Where do I find good topics?” It is often a struggle of new talent and veterans alike.

Creating an entertaining podcast show after show, week after week, is a challenge. You need to find a topic that holds your interest. Your topic must also be attractive to your audience. Finally, you need to present it in a way that is engaging. Every topic, every time. Even the most seasoned talent run into a sort of writer’s block from time to time.

When you hit a wall and have no topic readily at hand, where do you turn? How do you get past the block to create engaging entertainment? Where does the next captivating topic originate?

There are five primary methods I teach my clients to get past the topic block. These five questions will help you find quality topics for your show. If you take a few minutes before each episode to brainstorm these questions, you will have plenty of material for your show.

The key to each of these questions is awareness. Be aware when events, comments and ideas throughout your day capture your attention. If you are interested in something, you can usually deliver it in a way that will be interesting to your audience.

Keep these questions in your mind as you go through your day. I would also suggest you keep a little notebook in your pocket to jot down ideas. You never know when the next interesting topic might pop up.

1. What daily happenings capture my attention?

Things are happening all around you everyday. You may find yourself wondering why things happen like they do. Something might spark a laugh. You might learn something new. All of these things can lead to great topics. Be aware.

Jot down people you meet, things you see and ideas you learn that captures your attention. It is possible to turn it all into great topics.

2. What has happened in my past that created vivid memories?

You have tremendous experience in your field. That is why you create your podcast in the first place. Put it to work.

What are the things in your past that generate clear memories? Remember, many listeners that are learning from you are staring at the very beginning. They are in the same place you were when you began years ago. Help them learn.

Even if your listeners already know the information, your podcast will serve as a refresher course. Be confident in your material. Deliver it with passion, and your listeners will love you.

3. What articles have capture your attention?

Read many articles from a variety of industries. Your topic ideas won’t always come from information within your field. Simply look for statements within the article that pique your interest.

Read with a highlighter. Whenever you come across a word, phrase or sentence that captures your attention, highlight it. When you’re done with the article, scan the highlighted parts for the most interesting one or two. Use that word, phrase or sentence to begin brainstorming. You never know where it may lead.

Let’s say you read an article about the correlation between the location of churches and liquor stores. As you highlight the article, you highlight a phrase where a local councilman wants to pass an ordinance that keeps liquor stores at least 500 yards from any church. Your podcast is about hockey. How do we make the link to a great topic?

When you begin brainstorming, your thoughts will lead in many directions. Within your freeform writing as you are considering new laws, you write, “People are always looking to change the rules of the game. Are more rules really good for the growth of the sport?”

Suddenly, you’ve gone from church and liquor to the rules of hockey. You now have a great topic. Topics can come from anywhere.

4. What conversations have you had today that were truly engaging?

If a conversation engaged both you and your counterpart, there is a good chance it will also engage your audience.

Conversations tend to wander in many directions. You might start discussing the news of the day. That may lead the discussion into a movie you want to see. Suddenly, you’re discussing classic leading men. Any part of the discussion might lead to a good topic. You simply need to be aware of the parts of the discussion that are most interesting.

5. What questions are people in your industry asking?

You can find questions on a daily basis even if you aren’t regularly talking to people. The internet is your friend. Search the discussion boards to find the questions.

Help those in your industry solve their problems. You don’t need to answer the question verbatim. Let the question lead you to great topics.

If you find a question interesting, but not completely engaging, rephrase it. Mold the question a bit until it becomes an entertaining topic. It doesn’t matter that the question is not exact. It only matters that it is compelling.

When your listeners e-mail questions to you, you should answer the question as it is stated and give credit to the individual that asked. If you feel the need to change the question to make it more engaging, briefly answer the original question, then move on to the rephrased version. Say something such as, “Yes, it is possible to do that. However, the more important question is ‘should you do that’”.

NEXT: Brainstorm your notes

Great topics can originate in many places. The topic might not jump out at first. However, you can brainstorm the topic until it becomes engaging.

If you get curious about something, there is a good chance your audience might be just as curious. Jot down things that strike your interest as they happen in daily life. Then, brainstorm a bit to really flush out the idea.

As you write, let your thoughts flow. Don’t critique. Simply write. Let the ideas flow to the paper.

You may start with your experience at a restaurant and by the end of your brainstorm wonder why we learn calculus. That’s ok. You simply want to find the most interesting topic related to your podcast. It doesn’t necessarily need to have any relationship to your original observation. Your topic only needs to be interesting.

Be aware of all that happens around you. That next great topic could come from anywhere. You’ll miss it unless you are looking.

Keep a notepad in your pocket. Write down everything that captures your imagination. Take ten minutes before your podcast to brainstorm your topic. You will get past the podcast topic block and create engaging entertainment with your content.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

3 Key Elements To A Rockstar Podcast Brand – Episode 108

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3 Key Elements To A Rockstar Podcast Brand – Episode 108

Taylor Swift

Why is a brand so important for your podcast? Your brand communicates the essence of you, your podcast, your business and everything you represent.

There are many, many definitions of a brand. Basically, it is your identity.

When people think of you and your podcast, what comes to mind? There are usually a couple words that your brand represents in the mind of the consumer.

Apple is Think Different. Nike is Just Do It. Ford is Built Ford Tough.

Those brands are more than just slogans. They mean something to the consumer. Different is part of the fabric that makes up Apple. Everything they do is different.

Many companies try to add slogans thinking it will become their brand identity. Most of the time, the words just become throw away tag lines.

IBM is currently using “building a smarter planet” as their slogan. What does that mean? There are many articles written on the brilliance of this campaign. However, most of the writing centers around the cool logo, the social aspect of the idea and Watson, the mega computer. How does that change my life? What’s in it for me? How am I smarter because of that slogan?

An iPod is different. The iOS platform is different. Apple is different. When I interact with the product, I am different as well. We can be different together.

“Different together” is one element of a cult brand as described by B.J. Bueno in “The Power of Cult Branding”. We’ve discussed that in a past episode.

I truly enjoy studying branding. When I was completing my M.B.A., I studies branding all I could. I have read many books on branding in addition to “Cult Branding.” Those include “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” by Ries & Ries and “Brand Like a Rock Star” by Steve Jones.

“Different together” brings us to the first element of a successful brand.

Consistent

To create a solid brand, you need to be consistent. Consistent with your message. Consistent with your promise. Consistent with your image.

When you think of great brands like McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Nike, you can see the evidence of solid consistency. When you walk into McDonald’s, you know exactly what you will get. You’ll get inexpensive hamburgers fast.

It doesn’t matter if it is a McDonald’s in Missoula, Montana or Mexico City, Mexico. The brand will be the same. You may be experience some small differences in the menu. For the most part, you’ll still get hamburgers, french fries and a Coke.

And of course the Big Mac. If you head into a McDonald’s and suddenly find fish n chips or bratwurst as the main entree, your trust in the brand will be destroyed. You won’t be sure what you’ll get next time you visit.

Your podcast must be just as consistent in order to create a great brand. Your listener must know exactly what they will get each time they listen. They come to your show to receive your promise. Deliver every time. Deliver consistently.

Consistency doesn’t mean lack of variety. It simply means that you always deliver your promise. McDonald’s offers different sizes. They offer chicken and fish sandwiches. You can get McNuggets. Either way, it is always inexpensive food fast when you want it. And the burgers are always there.

You are creating a brand when you are creating your podcast. You need to deliver consistently each time your listener tunes into the show. Foster that strong relationship with your audience. Be consistent.

Benefits

Your podcast should contain some sort of call to action. You might ask the listener to visit your website. You may ask them to contribute to a cause. Selling your product is a definite possibility. Simply tuning in again is a call to action. Whatever it happens to be, the call to action is part of the relationship building process with your listener.

In your call to action, be sure to sell benefits, not features. If you are selling a cookbook, the large print, stain-free cover and fact that it will stay open are all features. The ease at which the cook can read the book at a distance, the way it will stay clean to hand down to the next generation and the hands-free help it provides are all benefits. People don’t buy products. They buy what the product will accomplish.

How often does Starbuck’s promote their fine coffee bean. The answer is very little. Starbuck’s spends their time creating the Starbuck’s experience. They market the way Starbuck’s makes you feel. They aren’t promoting the warmth, color and robust flavor of their coffee.

Starbuck’s creates a relationship and true experience. They sell the way the coffee experience makes you feel. It is the barista, the smell, the music, the drink names, the cup, the sleeve, and even the lid. It isn’t warm, dark caffeinated beverages.

Find the true benefits of your podcast and product. Then, promote them heavily. People buy benefits.

Last week, we discussed changing your show introduction to better reflect your benefits.

Unique

Great brands are unique. Not simply a different shade of gray, but truly unique. To be remembered, you must stand out.

You stand out when you are loved. You are remembered when you are hated. You fade into the background when you are plain, vanilla and trying to avoid upsetting anyone. If you don’t stir strong emotions, you are easily forgotten.

When we create, we expose our perspective. We open ourselves to criticism. It is natural to want your thoughts, views, art and creation to be accepted by everyone. To avoid being disappointed, we often play it safe.

Those fantastic, memorable brands are usually both loved and hated. Apple is loved and defended by the converted and outcast by the PC crowd. Harley Davidson is loved to the extent that the converted tattoo the logo on their bodies.

Rush Limbaugh is loved by the conservatives and hated by the liberals. Dave Ramsey is loved by the conservative investor and hated by credit card companies and whole life insurance salespeople. Dr. Laura would consistently be critical of her callers. Yet she would receive more callers than she could handle on any given show.

Safety lacks creativity. It is risky to be truly creative. Taking a chance is really the only way to get noticed. Safe blends in. Risky stands out. Great brands are unique.

Take this week and review your brand. Look for consistency, the benefits and the uniqueness. Are you succeeding at all three elements of powerful brand? Where can you improve?

Successful brands do not happen overnight. It takes time. We are creating a relationship. Continue to build your consistency each week. Keep your listener at the forefront of your content. Then, find ways to be unique.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

 

* Please know that book links are affiliate links for Podcast Talent Coach.

Should You Change Your Introduction? – Episode 107

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Should You Change Your Introduction? – Episode 107

Should you change your introduction?

Should you change your introduction? Is it time to freshen it up?

I get this question a lot when I’m coaching clients. Before we can adequately answer the question, we need to examine the purpose of an introduction.

The first thing we learned in speech class was the structure of a speech. A good speech is built with an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Your podcast is no different. However, it may be structured like a series of tiny speeches.

Let’s just look at the introduction of the podcast itself.

Your introduction should set up your podcast. It should be an intriguing introduction that tells the listener exactly what the podcast is all about. What will I get when I listen? It doesn’t matter whether your podcast is 10 minutes or 60 minutes long. You need to tell the listener what is to come.

“Welcome to the Podcast Talent Coach Podcast. My name is Erik Johnson. Over the next 30 minutes, we will help you transform your information into engaging entertainment and turn your podcast into powerful, profitable relationships.”

With that quick introduction, I told you exactly what to expect. You know the name of my podcast. You know the name of the host. You know exactly how long my podcast will run. You know the goal we are setting out to accomplish. I’ve also put you in the mix by referencing your dreams and how my podcast will help you. In those brief seconds, I’ve given you who, what, when and why.

Your introduction must be intriguing. This is true for the overall podcast introduction and the introduction to your stories. “Today we are going to talk about work” is not intriguing. That will not make anyone want to stick around to hear what you have to say, especially for 30 minutes or an hour. “Do you love your work? Do you think it’s possible? Well, you’re about to find out.” That is the intro to Dan Miller’s “48 Days” podcast. That is a statement that will stir some emotion and make people listen through to the end.

It is critical that you tell the listener what your podcast is all about EVERY time. Each week, you will be gaining new listeners. You cannot assume they heard the first podcast, or even one of the first twenty-five. Each time you begin an episode, you have to assume someone is hearing your show for the first time. Your introduction will welcome them into the party and get them up to speed.

Even those people that have been listening since the beginning will find comfort hearing that consistent opening they can almost recite verbatim. They’ll feel like they are in the club. Your introduction tells your listener they are in the right spot.

Remember, it is every time.

Failing to introduce every time is the one misstep I hear most often with podcasts. Talent get too comfortable with their podcast after doing it ten or twenty times. The podcast gets lucky enough to make it into the top ten. People discover it, and the podcast begins with no introduction as if the listener stepped into the middle of a conversation. It becomes uncomfortable for the new listeners. The podcast suddenly stops growing its audience. Remember, your show will always be new to somebody.

You will have new listeners every time you post a new podcast. You cannot assume your audience has heard your podcast before. You need to set up the show at the beginning to let the new audience members know what they can expect while letting the returning fans feel comfortable without being bored.

THREE QUESTIONS

There are three questions you should answer to help you form your introduction.

1. What do you hope to make the listener feel with this story? Your introduction should stir some emotion. You need to establish the atmosphere right out of the gate.
2. How will you engage the listener with your introduction? Hook them immediately. Make them care right at the beginning. What is in it for them?
3. What will your position for your show? This will help you define the structure of the show and tell your listener what is to come. Are you teaching? Is it an interview or debate? Are you answering questions from listeners?

So, should you change it up? If your introduction is doing the job of informing your listeners and encouraging them to listen to the episode, then there is little reason to change.

REMEMBER THESE INTRODUCTIONS?

Your regular listeners find comfort in your show open. Many people dislike change.

Remember some of these tv themes? Cheers ran for 11 seasons. Friends ran for 10 seasons. M.A.S.H. lasted for 10 seasons with the same introduction.

The Simpsons debuted in 1989 and has been running for 27 seasons. Over the 27 seasons, the series had two revisions. The first revision was at the beginning of the second season when the graphics were improved. The other revision happened for season 20 when the show moved to HD.

Both revisions were necessary to add new characters and a few other updates. The unique quirks in the intro where Bart is writing on the chalkboard and other jokes keep the intro fresh. However, it has basically been the same intro for 26 years.

If your introduction is enticing people to listen to your episode, it is succeeding. There is no real reason to change it. Don’t change for the sake of changing. You just might make your regular listeners feel uncomfortable. People know what they like and like what they know.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

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How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

Sometimes you are just too close to the content to recognize the issues.

I was recently working with two coaching clients. They were both struggling with the introduction to their episodes. The opening of the shows didn’t feel powerful enough.

As we dug into the shows with each podcaster, we realized they were missing their “why”. The hosts were not giving their listeners compelling reasons to stick around.

We would never have realized the issue had we not performed the show review.

In sports, coaches and athletes watch game film. Corporations use the annual review. Scientists incorporate theory evaluation. In the world of podcasting and radio, we call it the aircheck show critique.

Review your work. It is the best way to improve your show. Listening to the podcast like a member of the audience will reveal things you don’t hear while you’re recording the show. Your review will expose areas that need attention and focus.

There are a few ways to critique your show. One way is to review the podcast yourself. The other is to have a coach review your podcast for you. Both can be very effective if used correctly.

An experienced coach can be very powerful for your show. An experienced coach has mentored many shows. That professional has been exposed to many elements that have effectively attracted and entertained an audience as well as those that haven’t. You will also received unbiased feedback from a coach, because they aren’t as personally close to the content as you may be.

This episode should not turn into one big advertisement for my coaching services. Just know that I am available if you would like someone with experience to review your show for you. If you would like details regarding my coaching services, visit www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. It is affordable and rewarding.

You can learn to review your show on your own. It takes time, but is possible. This episode is focused on helping you with the self-critique by providing some critical questions.

To effectively review and critique your show on your own, you must be brutally honest with yourself.

To help you review your podcast, I’ve created a free series of Podcast Talent Worksheets. You can find them at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

It is not easy to separate yourself from your podcast. Becoming an unbiased onlooker to something you’ve worked hard to create is tricky. You will often find yourself justifying things you do on your show because it is personal.

To effectively critique your show, you need to ask yourself if the audience truly understands and is entertained by the content. Then, you need to honestly answer the question and be willing to change if necessary. Force yourself to be honest about every piece of content.

Not everything works. There will be times you fail. That’s ok. That is how you learn.

In order to properly critique the show, you need to listen to it in real time like an average listener. A few days after you’ve recorded the show, when the excitement of the new show has dimmed, go back and listen to your podcast. Play it in real time while taking notes.

Waiting a few days will remove many of the justifications you would normally use to explain away things that need to be adjusted. The content won’t be so fresh to you. The excuses will fade. You will find it much easier to be unbiased.

Actually listening to the audio rather than just remembering it in your head will make your critique more authentic. You never remember a show exactly as it happened. By listening to the audio, you will hear the exact words you used. It will be much easier to honestly review what really happened.

Listening to your own voice won’t be easy at first. That is alright. Most people do not enjoy the sound of their own voice. That is natural. Listen anyway. You will get more comfortable with it the more you listen.

When you critique your own show, you need to know where to look for areas that will make a difference. If you understand what content will engage your audience, you will begin making strides to add more of that content. Determine the goal for the show. Know what content will make a connection with your audience. Then, create a plan to add more of that powerful content.

If you have not yet downloaded the Show Review Worksheet from PodcastTalentCoach.com, get it HERE. We walk through the nine questions on that worksheet in this episode.

Here are 9 questions you can ask as you critique your show.

1. Did you accomplish your goal for the show?

Every show should have a goal. You should have an idea of what you hope to accomplish before you even open the mic. Be specific.

What do you hope to make your make your audience feel? Is there something they should better understand? Are you incorporating a call-to-action?

Write down your goal before the show begins. A written goal makes the show critique easier and more effective when you return to the show for the critique. As you review the show, find the areas that did and did not help you accomplish your goal.

2. What did you like about the show?

What parts of the show really jumped out at you as you were reviewing your podcast? Jot those parts down on a sheet of paper. If you can find ways to recreate similar experiences, you will be well on your way to creating a podcast that is consistently entertaining.

3. What was memorable about the show?

Your listener needs to remember your podcast, so they can return and listen again. That is the way to build a following. If each show has a few more listeners than the previous episode, you eventually build a solid audience.

It really doesn’t matter how many people listen today. What builds a strong podcast is the number of listeners that come back the next time, and the next time, and the time after that. You build your audience slowly with more listeners this week than you had last week.

Get your listener to remember to return. Most people will remember one or two things about any particular show. Find the big parts of your podcast episode that are memorable.

4. How did you make the audience care about your topic?

Nobody wants to watch our home movies unless they are in them. People will only care about your topic if affects them. How does your topic relate to your audience?

The best way to make people care is to first care about them. Show your audience that you have their best interest at heart. They will come back again and again. Start in the world of your listener.

If you truly want to engage your listener, put her in your story. This doesn’t mean create a fictitious part of your story where she becomes a fake character. Include details that are so vivid that your listener feels like she is right there in the moment.

Stir the passion within your listener with great emotion. You create strong engagement with emotion. Find the parts of your show where you made a connection and made your audience care.

5. Where did you surprise your audience?

You will delight your audience when you surprise them. When the show is predictable, your audience will get bored. Find ways to make them say “oh wow”.

This doesn’t mean your show shouldn’t be consistent. You can use benchmarks and bits that regularly appear on every show. You should simply find ways to keep them fresh with unique content.

Great comedians delight their audience, because the punchlines of their jokes aren’t expected. The material takes turns you don’t see coming. Great movies do the same thing with their plots. That is what makes movies and comedians entertaining.

Find the great surprises in your podcast. Make your audience say, “Oh, wow”. Add that same movie experience to your podcast more often.

6. What did you reveal about yourself?

When you tell stories during your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Self-revelation is the beginning of great friendships. Friends will support you every chance they can.

People like to do business with people they like. Find those little nuggets that reveal wonderful details about you. That content will make you more approachable and human to your audience.

7. Where were the powerful words?

Storytelling is an important step to revealing details about yourself. Vivid details are a vital part of great stories. Your listener will enjoy your podcast stories more when you include very vivid details.

The more vivid the details, the more your listener will enjoy the story. Make your audience see the story in their mind. Draw the mental picture for them. Details help your listener experience the story rather than just hearing it.

Details are powerful words. Find those words in your podcast. Learn to recognize them. Then, add powerful words more often.

8. What could have been better?

There are always parts of your show that could be better. You need to find those parts. Become aware of your weaknesses. That will be the only way to improve.

Your shortcomings could be the introduction of the show. It might be the way you transition from one topic to another. You may find yourself using jargon and cliches most people do not use in natural conversation. Find the areas of your podcast that do not fully support the goal for the show. Those are typically the areas that need work.

9. What is your plan to make the next show better?

To improve, you need to develop a plan. Discovering the areas that need adjustment is only half the battle. You then need to figure out how to improve those areas. Put it in a plan.

The improvement plan is where a coach can be incredibly effective. A good coach has worked with successful shows. They know what works and what doesn’t when trying to attract and engage an audience. A solid coach can review your show and provide you an unbiased opinion. Sometimes that tough love is just the prescription necessary to break through to true improvement.

It is possible to critique and improve your podcast yourself. You should learn from others who have done it successfully. You will also need the ability to be extremely honest with yourself.

If you have studied successful shows to the point where you can consistently recognize quality content, you may be able to effectively critique your show. Give it a shot. Remember, you can find my free series of Podcast Talent Coach Worksheets to help you at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

If you would like my coaching help and are serious about improving, you can receive a free coaching call. Details are on the coaching page at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let me know how I can help.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Have You Tried These 6 Audio Imagination Tricks? – Episode 104

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Have You Tried These 6 Audio Imagination Tricks? – Episode 104

Imagination

Imagination. It is the wonderful result of recorded audio. When you listen to the radio, podcasts, audiobooks or other recorded audio, the imagination is in full motion. Your imagination belongs to you and you alone. You have full control. Your imagination is unlike any other.

Your imagination is used for your sole benefit. The characters and scenes created in your “Theater of the Mind” are exactly how you want them to look. The images are created in your mind in a way that gives you the greatest pleasure. It is all to benefit you.

The wonderful details in a story can stir the imagination in magical ways.

Last week, we talked about the element of surprise and delight within your podcast. Pieces of audio can add a wonderful element of surprise.

Video typically doesn’t stimulate the imagination the way audio does. When you see a car in a video, you know exactly what it looks like. If you and I both see a car in a video, we would both describe it in very similar ways. There is not much left to interpretation.

If I describe a cherry red 1968 Ford Mustang to you, I couldn’t possibly describe every detail. What does the interior look like? Where is it parked … or was it moving? Is there anybody in it? What kind of tires are on it? Hard top or convertible? There are many details to the story left to your interpretation.

Your imagination creates the car in a way that adds the most to your story and vision. That is the magic of recorded audio. Vivid details take your stories to another level of engagement that video cannot.

WAR OF THE WORLDS

You and I often discuss the incorporation of stories within your podcast. Stories reveal a lot about you as a storyteller. Stories also bring your content to life in the “Theater of the Mind”. Audio simply makes those mental images even stronger.

War of the Worlds” was an incredible radio broadcast in the 1930s that brought mental imagery to life a little too well.

The episode by the great Orson Welles changed the way broadcasters approached their on-air responsibilities to the public for years to come. The show became famous for allegedly causing mass panic, although the reality of this mass panic was disputed.

Regardless, broadcasters changed the way they presented information on the air in order to keep the government off their backs. The audio was that powerful.

“War of the Worlds” was an episode of an American radio drama called “The Mercury Theatre on the Air”. This particular episode aired as a Halloween episode on October 30, 1938 when shows of this nature were performed live.

The story is an adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel “The War of the Worlds”. The story was shortened to fit a one-hour performance. It was presented as a series of fake news bulletins reporting an actual alien invasion.

The audio and effects added to the realism and the ensuing panic.

Later that evening, a few hours after the show aired, Orson Welles was standing in Times Square in New York City. Staring up at the New York Times building, he read the news bulletin, “Orson Welles Causes Panic.”

The media and politicians were in outrage the next day. They called for regulation by the Federal Communications Commission that would limit material allowed to be broadcast. They were upset that the broadcast was TOO REAL and therefore deceptive to the public.

The production was TOO GOOD. How crazy is that?

Over the years, Welles rose to fame as a producer and actor. This particular episode added to his meteoric rise.

Audio has that power to supercharge the imagination.

How are you using audio in your podcast to spark the imagination?

There are different ways to include recorded production elements within your show that will enhance your listener’s imagination and experience. When you add recorded elements, the imagination of your listener will be further stimulated. You will help create elements within your listener’s “Theater of the Mind”.

Here are a few recorded elements you could easily add to your podcast to spice up the listening experience.

1. INTRO/OUTRO

This is showbiz. Your podcast is created to entertain just as much as inform. It is just as much “show” as it is “business”. Add some sizzle to your show.

A produced “intro” and “outro” for your podcast is easy first step. The “intro” opens the show, as in “introduction”. The “outro” closes the show, similar to a conclusion.

At a minimum, find a great piece of music that will open and close your show. You can find many sites on the internet that sell music clips for just a few dollars.

Check out THIS SITE for an example.

2. INTERVIEWS

Guest interviews are a great way to add depth to your audio. A second voice on the show will stir the imagination. Listeners will wonder what your guest looks like. The stories told during the interview will create visions in the mind of your listener.

Listeners enjoy eavesdropping on other conversations more than listening to a lecture. By adding interviews to your show, you allow your listener this pleasure. Sure, you could provide the information yourself rather than going through all the work to secure, arrange and conduct the interview. If you are hoping to develop a relationship with your listener using content that will be engaging, go the extra step by including interviews within your podcast.

3. LISTENERS

Adding listener audio to your show will add additional depth to your podcast. When you simply read a listener e-mail, the question typically lacks the passion that would come from the listener. The inflection is a little different than the caller would use. The question is also asked in the same cadence, style and voice that you ask every other question.

When you add listener audio, a second dimension is added to the show. Though the caller isn’t actually there, the second voice almost creates a conversation. Your audience is now listening to a conversation rather than a monologue. The question will also be asked in a way unique to the caller.

Similar to the way interviews stimulate the listener’s imagination, callers can add to the “Theater of the Mind”.

You don’t need to include the entire phone call. It is show biz. Use the part of the call that will most add to your show. If the call includes a bunch of details not relevant to the question or the show, feel free to edit those parts out of the call. As long as you are not changing the intention of the caller, or making it sound like they are saying something they didn’t say, editing the call is perfectly acceptable.

4. AUDIO EXAMPLES

When you make reference to a piece of audio, play a sample. If you are talking about an interview that Jimmie Johnson gave after a race, play a clip of that interview. Your listeners will be further engaged by the additional voice. Audio examples are just another way to add that additional level of production to your show.

Additional audio will take your listener to another place. An interview clip will transport your listener to the interview location. An old television clip with create memories of seeing the show. A sample of a classic speech may elicit visions of the orator. Use audio to enhance the listening experience.

5. CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS

People like to have their decisions validated. That is why many companies hire celebrities to endorse their products. If Michael Jordan wears Hanes, it should be alright for me to wear Hanes as well. I don’t feel like I’m the only one doing it when I see Michael Jordan doing it.

You can use this concept to benefit your podcast. If you can get a well-known name in your area of expertise to record a quick endorsement for your show, that piece of audio will add an element of credibility to your podcast. Your listeners will feel like they are not alone in liking your show. They will be validated.

6. SOUND EFFECTS

Sound effects can easily enhance the imagination. You need to be careful that you don’t overuse sound effects. Too many effects can make your show sound amateur. However, a well-placed effect here and there can add to the delight of listening.

Adam Carolla has a producer who is responsible for adding sound effects to the show. If you haven’t spent time with Adam’s podcast, listen to one episode simply for the production elements. His content may not be your cup of tea. However, the production of the show must be admired.

The magic of recorded audio comes from the imagination. When you stir wonderful visions in the “Theater of the Mind” of your listener, you will truly begin to engage your audience. You can then begin to build meaningful relationships with your listeners and keep them coming back again and again. Use these ideas to add a little “show biz” to your podcast today.
If you have never subscribed to the Podcast Talent Coach podcast, please spend two minutes to do so. I would truly appreciate your generosity. Click the LINK and then the subscribe button in iTunes.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Define Your Avatar Or Target Listener – Episode 102

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How To Define Your Avatar Or Target Listener – Episode 102

AVATAR

As we develop our business around our podcast, we strive to build trust. In order to build trust, we must develop relationships with our listeners. Friendships are created when you truly know everything about a person. This is the reason it is crucial that you define your single target listener.

Many podcasters refer to their target listener as their avatar. This person is the single individual around which you create all of your content.

To develop your business, you need to define your niche. Your focus on your niche helps grow your community. The ideal customers within that niche gives the focus the power.

TRUST

We have heard it said many times before. People do business with those they know, like and trust. This trust is what our friendship with our ideal listener is developing.

To build trust with our podcast, we need to have a conversation with one person. In order to do that, we need to define that ideal listener. Our target listener.

I have created a Listener Development Worksheet. This template will walk you through the development of your target listener step-by-step.

Use this worksheet to create your ideal listener. The more you know about your listener, the better you will be able to communicate. Keep this person in mind while recording each show.

YOUR AVATAR

In this episode, we walk through the worksheet. By the end of the show, you should have your ideal listener well defined along with a visual image in your mind.

Download the Listener Development Worksheet along with six others at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

A few characteristics of your ideal listener we will define today include age, gender, income, interests and fears. These are only a few of the 17 characteristics we will examine.

Be sure you have downloaded the worksheet. It will be a tremendous help with this episode.

Your ideal listener will evolve over time. The more you learn about your target listener, the more you will fine tune your definition.

RESEARCH

You can learn more about your audience by using a survey like Survey Monkey. Be careful that you ask questions that your audience will be comfortable answering. Specific income might be too personal. A range might be better.

Let me know how it turns out. I would love to help you any way I can.

You can find these worksheets in the free Worksheet series online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

What If I Get Too Much Engagement? -Episode 101

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What If I Get Too Much Engagement? (Listener Questions Part 2) – Episode 101

FITTING IT ALL IN

THANK YOU!

We have made it through 100 episodes. With your help, I have been creating this podcast for nearly two years. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

On this episode, I want to finish the special show we began last week. This is part two of the questions I have received from listeners.

NEW PATHS

I have never had another person on the show. Up to this point, I have simply been sharing my 25 years of broadcasting knowledge with you.

For the 100 episode milestone, I invited a few listeners to join me on the show to share their questions about podcast content and creation.

The response and questions were so great, I had to split the show into two episodes in order to keep it to about 30 minutes each. This week is part two. If you missed the first half, subscribe to the show and give it a listen.

A few questions allow us to dive into some new material. A few help us explore a few topics a little deeper. There are even a few twists along the way.

FRIENDS & INSPIRATION

Here are the people who join me on this episode and inspire me to do this each week.

Kim SlusherDIStracted Life Podcast
“How do I stand out without being someone I am not?”

Alex ExumThe Exum Experience
“What’s the one mistake podcasters are making?”

Rem LavictoireThe Sci-Fi Movie Podcast
“How do I include listener feedback if I get too much?”
I truly appreciate all of the support you have given me over the past 100 episodes. This podcast would not exist if it wasn’t for you. Thanks for being part of this great community.

Next week, we will talk about defining your avatar and using that target listener as a filter for your content. Find that worksheet here.

-WORKSHEETS-
Do you have a question? I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Steps To Develop Your Show Strategy – Episode 099

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Steps To Develop Your Show Strategy – Episode 099

Strategy

Developing your strategy involves determining how you will uniquely address each topic. Whether you are presenting information, answering questions or interviewing guests, there are many ways to address each topic. You do not need to do it the same way every other podcast does it. Be unique. Find the way that will stand out.

If you are interviewing, do you need to ask the same questions that every other podcast asks? What if you play a game with each guest called “The Hat of Forbidden Questions”. It’s a hat filled with crazy questions. You simply reach in the hat, pull out a question and ask whatever is on the card. The method is completely different than every other podcast. This approach will also generate unique answers while engaging your guest in a unique manner.

Here is a tip many people forget. This is show business. You could play “The Hat of Forbidden Questions” and never even have a hat. You could have a list of crazy questions for your guest written out and simply pretend to reach into a hat. This is show business. You are here to entertain.

Do you think the actors in “Seinfeld” or “The Sopranos” ad lib their lines? Of course not. Do you find it less entertaining when they follow the script? Of course not. There is no reason you cannot add a little show biz to your show.

Just be sure to always be true to the show. If you are going to pretend there is a hat, you MUST ALWAYS pretend there is a hat. Giving up the showbiz secret will ruin everything. On the other hand, you could really have a hat and have a ton of fun with it.

Determine how you will approach each topic. Will you play audio examples? Will you play voice messages from your listeners? Are you going to read e-mail? Maybe there is a guest contributor. Determine each approach before the show begins.

Once you have your list of topics, develop a strategy to uniquely approach each of those topics. Be original. Stand out from the crowd. Know how you will handle each topic before your show begins.

Questions

Here are a few questions to help you begin.

What are you passionate about?
What are your unique qualities?
What topic tends to occupy most of your conversations?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Use these topics to define a focus for the show.

Complete this sentence: I help ___ do ____ so they can ____.

Many online marketers use this sentence to define their purpose and focus. You can do the same.

You can find these questions on the Show Focus Development Worksheet in the free Worksheet series online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

4 Ways To Make Your Podcast Different Starting Today – Episode 098

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4 Ways To Make Your Podcast Different Starting Today – Episode 098

Your different podcast

When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. Make people take notice. You are an expert at your opinion. Give it to people.

Take A Stand

Pick a side.

Some of the nicest people make the worst podcast hosts. They try to please everyone in the audience. Those people tend to blend into the background and go unnoticed.

I once coached a radio host who was one of the best storytellers I had ever met. When he and I would meet one-on-one for coaching, he would tell me some of the funniest stories I had ever heard. He would tell me stories of his dad that would have me crying from laughing so hard.

He once told me his dad was absolutely convinced the PT Cruiser was the best car ever made. As much as my host would try to explain that the PT Cruiser was basically an incarnation of the Dodge Neon, his father wouldn’t believe it.

The two of them would get in these heated arguments in public about this car. Of all the things in life you could argue about, this happened to be the PT Cruiser.

The way the story was told was full of fabulous details. The host really had the ability to make the stories come to life.

As much as I would encourage him, the host would not tell those stories on the radio. He didn’t believe the audience as a whole would be interested.

Instead, he played it safe. He only discussed vanilla content that would not upset anyone. Unfortunately, the show never took hold.

Ray Romano is a great example of success stemming from the stories of real life. Ray used stories of his family in his stand-up comedy. That routine eventually became the hit TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

Upset Someone

If you are not upsetting someone, you aren’t trying hard enough.

I would much rather have half the audience hate me and the other half love me rather than the entire audience have no opinion one way or the other. If the audience doesn’t have an opinion, they don’t care. I’m doing nothing to stir their emotion if I’m not making them pick a side.

If you haven’t picked a side and really focused your topic, people won’t care. They will not be passionate about your show.

Speak your mind. Be different. Get noticed. Make people care.

4 Steps

Here are four ways to make your podcast different from other shows in your niche.

1. Be real. Be yourself. Do no simply try to be an imitation of another show or host. Above all, tell the truth. It is much easier than remembers a character you have created.
2. All people to know you through stories. The details within your stories will reveal who you are. People do business with those that they know, like and trust. This is the first step.
3. Pick a side. Stand for something. That is the only way to stand out.
4. Avoid shades of gray. Be drastically different.
I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

3 Skills of Great Interviewers – Episode 094

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3 Skills of Great Interviewers – Episode 094

3 Skills of Great Interviewers

(This is part 3 of a 4-part series on interviewing.)

So many podcasts sound similar. The same guests. The same questions. The same answers. The sea of sameness.

As a podcasters who conducts interviews, how do you stand out? How do you make your interviews different and unique when compared to the others in your genre?

Podcasters that create powerful, unique, engaging interviews possess common traits. After coaching radio talent for over 2 decades and conducting my own interviews for 25 years, I have learned the skills that are necessary to conduct great interviews.

There is good news. You can easily learn these skills and begin to rise above the rest of the vanilla interviewers.

Let’s go over all three skills.

Lose The Script

When you are interviewing a guest on your podcast, be real. Be present in the moment. Truly listen to the answers your guest is giving. Your next question may come from that answer, and the question many be nowhere in your notes.

As you prepare for your interview, don’t script your questions. When you have a script, you will be too focused on the script and less attentive to the answers of your guest. Lose the script.

Instead of scripted questions. follow bullet points. Be prepared for your interview by being familiar with the material. Have an idea of the questions you want to ask. Review your bullet points to the point that you are ready to ask various questions about a single topic that might come up during the interview.

Be sure to make your questions succinct. A long-winded question is hard to follow for both your guest and your audience. Ask one short question. Let it lead into another short question. It may take three questions to get to the same answer as it would with your one long question. However, three short questions will be easier to follow and digest by your audience.

If you are concerned with following a script, you won’t allow yourself to explore unexpected twists and turns presented by the answers of your guest.

Television hosts such as Jay Leno and David Letterman used a list of questions on their blue cards that were previewed and screened by a show producer. The host may have started with one of those questions. They would then let the interview flow on its own. If the discussion hit a lull, Leno and Letterman would revert back to one of the bullet points on the card to restart the conversation.

You will never saw either of these hosts ask the card questions in order, in full or in a vacuum. The interview became organic and developed according to the answers of the guest. Your interview should do the same.

Know Your Guest, Not Their Bio

If you are only familiar with the bio of your guest, you will ask the same questions every other interviewer has asked. Your guest will be bored. They will provide the same lame answers they have given on every other show. There will be very little content here to engage anyone.

Instead, do a bit of research on your guest. When searching for your guest on the web, don’t stop at the first page. When skimming articles about your guest, don’t just look at the first few paragraphs. Find the unique material deep within the article.

When you have discovered something of interest about your guest, don’t tell them about it. Let your guest tell you the story. Throw them the easy pitch that they can hit out of the park. You don’t want your interview to sound like the Saturday Night Live bit where Chris Farley interviewed Sir Paul McCartney, leaving McCartney the only option of answering “yes” to Farley’s question.

Let your guest shine. Just because you know the details of the story, you don’t have to reveal that you do. Ask the question in a way that sets up the story so your guest can tell it. You will both look great.

The bio of your guest will give you common information. If your listeners know anything about your guest, they will probably be familiar with the content of the bio. Instead, do your homework. Know the guest, not their bio.

Keep Yourself Out Of The Interview

When you have invited a guest to appear on your podcast, your listener is interested in hearing your guest. Your guest is the star.

If your listener wanted to hear what you think about the subject, there would be no reason to have the guest on your show. You could simply disseminate the information by yourself. There is no problem if you want to provide the information yourself. Just simply save your guest the time, effort and dignity by leaving them at home.

Many hosts want to show the guest how much they know about the subject. This will sometimes come in the form of long, detailed questions. The host will fill time with personal stories that display their knowledge.

Unless you have invited your guest to debate you on a topic, as an interviewer, your job is to make your guest look good. Don’t invite the guest if you simply want to show how smart you are. Ask your guest questions that will allow them to tell great stories.

David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon and the other great talk hosts use their monologue to address any topics they want to discuss. When they bring their guests on the show, they ask questions that will elicit great stories. Then, they sit back and listen.

Do your homework. Ask wonderful, open-ended questions that set up great stories. Then, sit back and listen. Keep yourself out of the interview.
I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

2 Steps To Powerful Interviews – Episode 093

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Two Steps To Powerful Interviews – Episode 093

Little Big Town

Last week, we discussed the #1 priority of your interviews. That episode was part one of a series on interviewing.

This week, I would like to share with you the two steps to take in order to create powerful interviews.

Over the 25 years I have been on the radio and coaching radio talent, I have had the opportunity to interview many, many people. More importantly, I have had the chance to discuss the art of interviewing with celebrities, managers, coaches, consultants, radio talent and many others in the industry.

Time and time again, I hear the same thing. There are two elements that create successful interviews. Now, you can use these two steps to create great interviews on your podcast.

Don’t Ask That Question

If you have a decent guest on your podcast, they have probably been interviewed many, many times about the same subject. Popular guests often get bored with the same questions being posed to them over and over again. To make your interview truly engaging for all involved, find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener.

Often, you will hear a host ask their guest stale, typical questions. You know the questions. “So, how did you come up with the name of your latest project?” You may hear them ask, “What have you been up to lately?” Guests truly dread these questions. They serve no real purpose, yet everyone asks them.

I have had musicians confide in me off the air how much they hate doing radio interviews, because they are all the same. When I once asked a question taken from the band’s website, my guest said, “Oh, I see you’ve read my bio.” He called me out right there on the air. Most hosts take the easy way out and just skim the bio or news release and take their questions straight from there.

Using typical methods lead to stale questions. “When does your album come out?” “Where did you get the name for the band?” “How did you guys meet?” Pop group Ben Folds Five began making up answers for the question “Where did you get the name for the band?”. In fact, they almost had a different answer every time the question was asked. They had to make the interview interesting for themselves.

Every guest is looking to benefit in some way from the interview. Usually, they have come on a show to promote their latest book or new product. You can help them do that without asking painful questions.

Let’s say you are interviewing a musician who has a new album coming out on July 1st. You ask, “When does the new album come out?” Your guest will instantly think, “Didn’t this guy do any homework before he set up this interview?” Your guest will also be saying in his head, “Oh, not this line of questioning again.”

Instead, make your questions interesting. Ask, “When you album comes out on July 1st, what will you be doing to celebrate?” You could also ask, “The album is released on July 1st. Who have you slipped some advanced copies to?” How about asking, “When the album hits stores on July 1st, where will you go buy your first copy?” Believe me, every artist buys a copy of their first album in the store. They just want to see it on the shelf.

By asking creative questions, you’ve helped the guest promote their goods without sounding stale. You have also avoided the mistake of stealing their answer. Be unique.

Country artist Little Big Town was recently a guest on my show. By reading information about the band on the internet, I knew all four members have kids. I also knew all of the kids travel with them when they tour. I could have asked, “What are the names of your kids.” How about, “Is it fun traveling with the kids?” I’m sure they get asked all of the time.

By getting a little creative, I asked the members of Little Big Town, “When the kids travel with you guys, what is the craziest kid thing you have on the bus?” They had just purchased a new kiddie pool for the summer that would fit on top of their gear. They also have a pink pottie for toilet training. It gave them a great opportunity to talk about their kids without asking the same, lame questions.

Keep your interview engaging. Be creative. Find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener. By all means, don’t ask that question.

Did You Really Hear That?

When you are conducting an interviewing on your podcast, really listen to the answers your guest is giving. Don’t be in such a hurry to move on to the next question. Engage with your guests in order to make your show engaging for your listener.

I’m sure you probably think you are listening. In reality, you are probably thinking about the next great question you can ask. Even if you aren’t asking it, you are preparing the question in your head.

Stop. Be in the moment. Really listen to the answer of your guest. Let the answer spark your next question. If you truly listen to the answer, you will then ask the next logical question your listener is asking in their head.

When you are more concerned about the next question rather than the answer coming your way, you will miss the magic. Your guest could be giving you great question leads that you won’t find in their bio, on their website or in their news release.

If you don’t make it through your entire list of questions, nobody will know but you. The goal of the interview is to engage your audience. It doesn’t matter if that takes three questions or twelve from your list.

In every interview, intently listen to the answers. Did you really hear that?
To create powerful interviews, ask unique questions and then actually listen to the answers. Your podcast interviews will improve and be better than most other interviewers in your niche. Using these two steps will help you create engaging content and a respected podcast.

 

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Podcast Interview Priority #1 – Episode 092

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Podcast Interview Priority #1 – Episode 092

I recently received an e-mail from Bill Frank. He discovered me at NMX2015.

Bill was wondering how my coaching may help him with his interview show. I thought you may be having the same question.

This week, with the hope of helping you improve your interviews, I would like to begin sharing some of what I have learned while interviewing guests on the radio for 25 years.

You can find Bill Frank at brainstorminonline.com. His show in iTunes is called “Brainstorming with Billy The Brain“.

Make ‘Em Look Good

When you have a guest on your podcast, it is your job as the interviewer to make the interviewee look good. You are the professional. You know everything there is to know about your podcast. Your guest is new to your show. They may even be new to interviewing. Help them.

When you help your guest get comfortable and look good, you help them successfully promote whatever it is they came on your show to promote. They will be grateful for that. Your guest will see the benefit of being a guest on your show. You will develop a reputation. That success will help you book even better guests in the future. Word will spread.

There are a three steps you can take to help your guest look good.

No Yes/No

First, ask open-ended questions. This will allow your guest to convey the information they have come to share. If you ask yes/no questions, your guest will be stuck trying to figure out how to get his point across. It will also be easy for him to simply say “yes” and leave it at that. You will then be the one trying to find the next point to make. Open-ended questions allow your guest to elaborate on their subject.

What’s In It For Me?

Second, know why your guest is on your show and help them make their point. Do a short pre-interview before you start the show. Ask them about the important points they would like to hit. Then during the show, ask them questions that help them make those points. If your guest tells you their spouse really had a huge impact on their success, ask them about their biggest influences in their success. Make it easy for them.

Set Them Up

Lastly, get out of the way. You don’t need to show your guest or your audience how much you know about their topic. It is their topic. So many hosts ask long, elaborate questions proving just how smart they are and how much they know about the subject. If the host knows it all, there is really no reason to have a guest. (see “One Of You Isn’t Necessary“.) Ask great questions because you know so much. That ability will make you look much better than actually knowing.

Using our previous example of spousal influence, you do not want to say, “Your wife played a huge role in your success with her support. That must have been a real help to you.” You just stole his thunder. You’ve only left him the option to say, “Yes” and make some menial points.

Instead ask, “Who was the one person other than yourself most responsible for your success?” You’ve created some anticipation for your audience. You’ve also just thrown him a softball that he can knock out of the park with a fantastic answer about his wife. He looks great for having such a stellar answer. You also look great for asking such a brilliant question. Everybody wins.

Help your guest succeed. Allow them to answer great questions. Most of all, make ’em look good.

If you have never subscribed to the Podcast Talent Coach podcast, please spend two minutes to do so. I would truly appreciate your generosity.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

4 Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 090

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Four Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 090

Powerful Storytelling

Why should you use storytelling in your podcast?

Have you noticed a lot of the business interview podcasts sound the same? We are hearing the same guests answer the same questions time and time again. How do you become unique in this sea of sameness?

Use stories.

Storytelling can transform your podcast.

The power of storytelling can help listeners get to know, like and trust you. Through that knowledge, true friendships are formed. Stories help define you and your character and personality. Great storytellers create fans.

Don’t fit in, stand out.

In this episode, we discussed great storytellers in various genres, such as country singer/songwriter Lee Brice, pop singer/songwriter Jason Mraz, Walt Disney and Zig Ziglar. All are great storytellers in their own right.

In podcasting, you cannot afford to be boring. Interest in your story never remains constant. Your information can only become entertainment when interest is rising. A great story continues to develop the plot and raise the interest.

There are four elements to great storytelling.

Give your listener a reason to care, reveal the details, create a great resolution, and then ask what else?

Give Her A Reason To Care

Begin by creating an engaging introduction. What do you want the audience to feel? Begin your story there.

Your engaging introduction is the roadmap for your listener. This will tell your listener where the story is going.

Reveal The Details

Details are more believable than generalities. Be sure to use all 5 senses in your details. Put your listener in the moment by creating wonderful images in the theater of the mind.

Details help reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character. Listeners begin to know, like and trust you.

Powerful Resolution

Your powerful resolution is a reframing of your introduction. This is where you put the nice bow on the package.

What Else?

Asking “what else” will transform your show. This helps continue the conversation. “What else” will let your content live on long after the episode is over.

Let your story lead to something bigger. This is all part of your strong call to action. Get your community involved.

How Can You Be A Storyteller?

Ask yourself these questions:
What is the engaging set up?
How will your point be revealed in the story?
What is the power resolution?
What else can you do with the material?

Resources

Here are a few other episodes that can help you refine your storytelling:

Powerful Podcast Stories – Episode 043

Stories Transform Your Podcast – Episode 047

The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

Who Else Wants A Unique Brand? – Episode 076

 

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

A Memorable Podcast Brand – Episode 088

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A Memorable Podcast Brand – Episode 088

Lionel Ritchie is a class act and every bit of a gentleman you would hope he would be.
Lionel Ritchie is a class act and every bit of a gentleman you would hope he would be.

Do they remember?

When you consider the options podcast listeners have, the importance of creating a powerful brand really becomes apparent.

I searched iTunes for podcasts about hockey. There are hundreds of hockey podcasts available. Thousands and thousands of episodes exist that deal with hockey. You can find various topics, including drills, NHL teams, coaching, fantasy hockey and many more.

How do you stand out? How do you get noticed?

Your listener needs to remember your podcast, so they can return and listen again. That is the way to build a following. It really doesn’t matter how many people listen today. What builds a strong podcast is the number of listeners that come back the next time, and the next time, and the time after that. You build your audience slowly with more listeners this week than you had last week. Get your listener to remember to return.

Using your brand to create strong relationships with your listeners is critical to the health of your podcast. If you are bland, you will get lost in the sea of average. There are over 100,000 podcasts available for consumption. Most of them are average or worse. If you refine your content, turn your information into entertainment, and transform your podcast into powerful relationships, you will easily stand out from the crowd. It is a must not only for your success, but your mere survival. Begin your brand today.

When it comes time for your audience listening again, do they remember?

Be Yourself

A great podcast is a great relationship. It is just like creating a great brand. In order to develop that solid relationship, you must be yourself. You can’t fake it.

When you try to be someone or something you are not, you will not sound authentic. Eventually, the truth will come out.

Have you ever met someone you had admired from afar, only to have them do something that didn’t fit with your image of them? Maybe it was a baseball player, or a movie star, or a politician or a musician. You met them with great expectations of an encounter with your hero only to find out they were rude and average. It turned out they were only being who they thought they should be for the public when really they were someone completely different in real life.

Everyone has their flaws. That is what makes them human. Howard Stern has flaws. He makes his flaws part of his show. Domino’s Pizza admitted the errors of their ways with their cheap, low quality pizza. They laid it out for the world to see in their marketing. Your listener will accept your flaws. They will feel like you are “one of them” when you admit your flaws upfront. Don’t be afraid to expose yourself.

When your listener discovers you are something other than the character you portray, the bond of trust will be demolished. Your relationship will be forever damaged.

Build a solid brand. Be yourself.

Unique, Vivid, Mental Images

When someone tells a story, on the radio or in a podcast, it is theater of the mind. When you hear the old time radio show describe the dim light on in the servant’s quarters, the scenery is playing out in your mind in a unique way unlike the way anyone else could envision it. No other person is imagining the clothing of the characters the exact same way you are imagining them. That mental theater is unique to you. You are listening and imagining by yourself.

Podcasts make the one-on-one approach even more important. Podcasts are often enjoyed through headphones. Your audience is truly listening by themselves. The headphones block out all other sounds and distractions. You have multiple “one person” audiences at the same time. Yet, it is still one person.

Connect with your “one person” audience by creating a great theater. The theater will be different for each listener, because they are using their individual imagination. Create a movie and put the listener in it. Make the story an individual experience for the listener. Engage the listener with vivid details and a fantastic storyline. Make them forget they are listening to a podcast. Create great theater of the mind. Create unique, vivid, mental images.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

5 Questions To Find Your Podcast Focus – Episode 077

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5 Questions To Find Your Focus – PTC Episode 077

Focus

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW ON iTUNES HERE.

itunes logo

 

Whether you are a seasoned podcaster or brand new to the game, refining your podcast focus is always an important step to keep your listener engaged.

Brand new podcasters can use these five questions to refine the focus of their podcast idea.

Podcasters have been doing it for awhile can use these though starters in order to step back and assess the quality of their content and determine if they are reaching the goals established.

These questions will help you find content that your listener desires, solve a problem your listener encounters often, and find topics that make it easy for you to create that sticky content.

Sharpen your podcast focus using these five questions.

What are you passionate about?

– You will find it much easier to create content on a regular basis if you are discussing something that stirs your passion.

 

What are your unique qualities?

– Your unique qualities will separate you from the other podcasts in your niche.

 

What topics tend to occupy your conversations?

– If you find it easy to often discuss a topic in conversation, you will find it easy to discuss it regularly on your podcast.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

– Your passions usually occupy your spare time. If you find those things that occupy your spare time, you may have a solid topic for your podcast.

 

What topics do people ask you about most?

– If people are asking you about particular topics, that is usually a good signal there is a problem there along with some interest.

 

Make your content more engaging. Use these 5 questions to sharpen your podcast focus.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Who Else Wants A Unique Brand? – Episode 076

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Who Else Wants A Unique Brand? – PTC Episode 076

My daughter took a group of us to the Katy Perry show. Now that's a unique brand.
My daughter took a group of us to the Katy Perry show. Now that’s a unique brand.

A memorable brand that becomes a household name. It is like the Holy Grail. So many companies strive for it, but so few achieve it. Why is that?

A brand is a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name, a brand name, a particular identity or image regarded as an asset, or a particular type or kind of something.

But, when we think of a brand, we think of so much more. There is so much more emotion in a powerful brand.

Under those definitions, Honda is a brand. However, it is a much different brand than Harley Davidson. Star Trek is a brand, although a much different brand than Battlestar Galactica. Oprah is a brand. I don’t think anyone would equal Oprah’s brand to that of Sally Jessy Raphael.

Each of those iconic brands were available at the same time their counterpart was making a name for themselves. Yet, the iconic brands became huge, powerful, valuable names. That’s not to say the other brands were not familiar or valuable. Those competitor brands simply did not become the astronomical brands of the segment leaders.

Why is that? What can you learn from these iconic brands that can help your podcast become a name, identity or image, but a name that evokes powerful emotion from your listener. How can you create fans instead of a casual audience?

Here are six steps you can put into use this week to begin to develop your unique brand.

 

Develop Your Style

Create everything you do in your own style. Powerful brands have a style all their own.

Your style is your way of doing something. Are you friendly? How about challenging or argumemtative? Maybe you are the Everyman. Is your podcast a narrative or instructional? Are you explosive, soothing or euphoric? Do I hear sarcasm in your show? Are you a friend to everybody or the guy they love to hate? Do you take risks or play it close to the vest?

Each piece plays into your style.

You can only stand out among all other shows when you create your own unique style. You must then make sure everything you do is consistent with that style.

Many new broadcasters try to emulate the style of their hero or mentor. They attempt to imitate the styles they hear from other broadcasters. Unfortunately, copying doesn’t create a unique style. Copying typically creates a watered-down version of some other style. When creating your content, be yourself and find your own style.

Some of the greatest broadcasters didn’t start the ascension to the top until they abandoned the attempts to broadcast in the style they thought others desired and began being true to themselves.

Oprah Winfrey quit trying to be a traditional news anchor. She also quit doing the typical tabloid, daytime talk show like Sally Jessy Raphael was doing at the time. When she began to create the show she always desired, she went to the top of the game.

Howard Stern began as a radio DJ sounding like every other radio DJ. He was playing the records and spouting the lines written by management while going nowhere. If you watch “Private Parts”, Stern’s autobiographical movie, one of the classic scenes is Howard trying to recite “W-N-B-C” just like his boss wants everyone to do it.

When Stern decided he was going to do radio his way, he began to make a name for himself. He also went to the top.

Rush Limbaugh followed a very similar path. His bland radio name was Jeff Christie. He followed the format designed by somebody else. Limbaugh made every attempt to fulfill the typical radio DJ stereotype.

He also got fired again and again. When he decided to broadcast in his style and true to his beliefs, he began his rise to the top.

Adam Corolla made his climb when he took full control over his style and show. He was climbing the DJ ladder in Los Angeles. Corolla had some decent television work. He then decided to create his own show in his own style via podcast. That began his rise as one of the biggest podcasters in the world.

All of these broadcasters made the decision to stop copying others. They all created shows that were true to their style.

They each also stay true to their style in everything they do. You will never hear Rush sound like Howard. You’ll never mistake something Oprah says as something Adam might say. Being true to their style isn’t something that takes conscious effort. It comes easy to each of them, because it is true to who they are as people.

Be true to yourself. It will make it easy to create everything you do in your style.

Define Your Character With Stories

I’m not simply talking about your integrity. By character, I mean all of the attributes that create you, as in character in a play.

The purpose of your show is to attract an audience. Whether you want to monetize that relationship, encourage a call-to-action, or simply create an audience for your ideas, creating the audience is where you begin.

The stories you choose to tell reveal how open you are to others. Your openness is a sign of trust. Trust is a big piece of a relationship. Reveal things about yourself through your stories and you’ll begin to build trust with your listener.

The details you include tell your listener what you value. If the listener feels you value things they too value, you solidify the relationship. People like to hang out with similar people. If your values are opposite of your listener, you may also attract them. It is like a love/hate relationship. They may dislike it, but they continue to listen. This often happens when talking politics.

What you find entertaining will be evident by the stories you tell. Since people like other people who have similar tastes, revealing those things you find entertaining will also build the relationship.

Stories also have the power to demonstrate your vulnerability. Stories can show that you are a real person. Your listener will see you as approachable. They also may begin to see you as a friend. That is when true relationships begin to form.

Iconic brands use their story.

Oprah uses her story of her upbringing and career building by breaking down barriers. Her weight loss. Her struggles to cut a new path in daytime talk.

Howard’s story of defying “The Man” and doing it his way inspires others. Rush was told he would never make it on the air and should consider radio sales.

Harley Davidson was a joke in the motorcycle industry. Harley owners had two bikes … one to ride and one for parts. Harley now stands for independence and “take no flack” attitude.

Foster a relationship with your listener by revealing things about yourself through stories. Stories will define your character.

Don’t Just Fill Time

You never catch Oprah just going through the motions. She would never have typical guests on her show. When others were interviewing the co-star of some moving, Oprah would interview the President of the United States. Oprah has Tom Cruise jumping on her couch. You never knew what was going to happen on Oprah’s show.

When you fill time, you waste time. Your listeners have come to your podcast, because you have made them a promise with your brand. They believe they will receive some sort of information and entertainment from your show. Your listener will only give you a few minutes to begin delivering, or they will be headed to the next podcast.

Consistently add value for your listener at every opportunity. Either make the show shorter, or prepare better. It is usually a solid rule of thumb to prepare more content than you will need. This will allow you to always deliver valuable information.

Seth Godin does a fantastic job delivering brief bits of valuable information with his blog. He even carries this through to the manifestos published by his Domino Project. Seth wastes very little time. Once he has made his point, he wraps it up.

Your listener is expecting something from your podcast. Deliver continuously on the promise of your brand. Don’t just fill time.

Be Memorable

When other shows would give away a television, Oprah would give a television to everyone in the audience. Now, everyone does it.

If you want to keep your listener coming back show after show, you need to make them remember to come back. You need to remain top-of-mind for your listener. That is the purpose of audience engagement. Make your listener remember you for something specific about your show.

As you build your show, make it about one thing. Find one particular thing that will be remembered. If you try to be all things to all people, you will water down the show. Everything will be nice. However, isn’t usually truly memorable. You will get lost in the millions of messages your listener receives on a daily basis.

Find the magic. Your listener should remember one thing about your show this week. What will that be?

Stir emotion. Make it amazing. Bring your listener back. Be memorable.

Move Beyond Information

Make your show emotional. That deep connection creates relationships.

The goal of our podcasts is to create strong relationships with our audiences. We can take those relationships and move our listeners with a call to action. To achieve that strong relationship, we need to move beyond information to engaging entertainment.

Dan Miller, author of “48 Days To The Work You Love” could simply explain how you might find a new job. Instead, Dan instills the belief in his listeners that there is more to work than a paycheck. He stirs emotion describing how you can turn your passion into your career. Dan uses that emotion to turn his job finding information into engaging entertainment.

Financial information is turned into entertainment on “The Dave Ramsey Show” when Dave turns debt into the enemy. He doesn’t simply walk you through the steps to become debt free. Dave helps you find that burning desire to escape the shackles of debt. He makes you envision the possibility of “living like no one else”. His help becomes engaging entertainment. That is the reason his show is extremely popular and he is very wealthy.

Our shows can be powerful when we build relationships and move our listeners with a call to action. Those relationships happen when we move beyond information to engaging entertainment.

Risky Stands Out

It was a risk for Rush Limbaugh to step out and be incredibly opinionated regarding politics. Now, there are hundreds of shows that do the same thing.

It was a risk for Harley Davidson to embrace the bad ass lifestyle. Today you can see middle aged guys riding their bike to the office.

It was a risk for Oprah to walk away from the standard daytime tabloid drama that made her successful. You cannot flip through the stations today without finding a dozen copycats of Oprah’s style. However, none of them achieved the success of Oprah.

As we develop meaningful relationships with your podcast, we in turn build credibility that will support our call-to-action within your show. To develop strong relationships, you need to create engaging entertainment that will get you remembered by your listener. To be remembered, you must stand out.

You stand out when you are loved. You are remembered when you are hated. You fade into the background when you are plain, vanilla and trying to not upset anyone. If you don’t stir strong emotions, you are easily forgotten.

When we create, we expose our perspective. We open ourselves to criticism. It is natural to want your thoughts, views, art and creation to be accepted by everyone. To avoid being disappointed, we often play it safe.

Those fantastic, memorable personalities are usually both loved and hated. Rush Limbaugh is loved by the conservatives and hated by the liberals. Dave Ramsey is loved by the conservative investor and hated by credit card companies and whole life insurance salespeople. Dr. Laura would consistently be critical of her callers. Yet she would receive more callers than she could handle on any given show.

Safety lacks creativity. It is risky to be truly creative. However, that is really the only way to get noticed. Safe blends in. Risky stands out.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Creating Word Of Mouth – Episode 071

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Creating Word Of Mouth – Episode 071

Word-Of-Mouth

How do you create a show that people remember? My theory is simple. If you want word of mouth do things worth talking about.

That particular phrase is one I learned from Seth Godin. However, I learned that theory years and years ago.

Learning From Radio

When I started in radio 25 years ago, my goal was to make every break a home run. Creating a show that creates buzz appears to be a daunting task.

A typical radio show is four hours. With an average of four talk breaks or bits an hour, a daily show would include sixteen bits a show. At three minutes a bit for a morning show, we talking about 48 minutes of material. That would roughly equal to an average podcast.

After a few years in radio, I realized that creating sixteen different pieces of content that are stellar and buzz-worthy is nearly impossible on a regular basis. It is also unnecessary. Your listener will not remember all sixteen things you do on the show this week.

People remember one big thing. Create the one killer bit that will create some buzz.

You can’t manufacture marketing and make people talk. The buzz is created when you do something amazing. To discover what is amazing, you need to continue to try different things.

You will be surprised by what moves people. People will mention hearing things on your show that you never dreamed would make a connection. The more you receive that feedback, the more you will be able to recognize it when it happens.

Be occasionally great rather than consistently good.

You don’t win by removing mistakes. You win by giving your audience a reason to listen. Occasionally great bits will give your listener those reasons.

If you conduct interviews on your show, you do not need to make every question Earth shattering. You need one or two great questions that people will remember. Your listener will say, “Did you hear what she asked her guest?” The answer will be one great question, not the entire interview.

Make your listener remember one thing. Consistently good is admission to the game. Occasionally great wins.

Examples of Occasionally Great

Let’s looks at some examples of both.

In baseball, who are some of the players that come to mind?

How about Willie Keeler and Jimmy Rollins? They hold the record for most Major League Baseball consecutive games with a hit.

Willie Keeler is #2 with 45 hits in 1896. Jimmy Rollins is #8 with 38 in 2005.

This means they consistently get on base. Valuable to the team. But hardly memorable.

How about Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Alex Rodriguez? These are the Top 5 of the list of players with the most Major League Baseball home runs.

Other than Babe Ruth at .342, the other four had batting averages between .298 and .305. In comparison, Keeler hit .341 in his career.

These home run guys got a hit less than one out of three tries. Less than stellar, yet memorable. Occasionally great.

Maybe American football is your sport.

Would you consider Chad Pennington one of the most memorable quarterbacks to every play the game? He holds a 66% career passing percentage in the National Football League over 10 seasons playing for 2 different teams. That puts him at #2 on the list.

Pennington completed 2 of every 3 passing attempts. Pretty consistent. Not quite memorable.

Could you put Bart Starr and Joe Namath on a list of great quarterbacks?

Bart Starr was the QB of Superbowl 1 & 2. Joe Namath was also a Superbowl quarterback. Their stories are legends.

Starr is #71 on the passing percentage list at 57% over 15 seasons. Namath is #163 on the same list at 50% over 8 seasons. Less consistent, but memorable.

Let’s talk acting.

Christopher Lee has made 276 movie and acting appearances. He has been in Dracula and The Lord Of The Rings.

Robert Loggia was in Scarface and made 223 other film and acting appearances.

You saw Ernie Hudson in The Crow. If not there, he was in 190 other movies and productions. You wold probably recognize him if you saw him.

All three are solid, consistent actors. They are hardly household names.

Every heard of Tom Hanks. He has only made 37 films and other appearances. Less than 20% of the number Hudson has appeared in. Less than 14% of Lee.

On the other hand, to date, Tom Hanks’ films have averaged $96.3M per movie. A few have been occasionally great and won Oscars. Not nearly the number of appearances. His home runs make up for it.

Will Smith has made 29 theatrical appearances. His movies average $127M. Fewer films. More blockbusters.

Will Smith is also known as a hip hop star. However, he has only released 4 solo albums. Two of his albums went gold. One is 2x platinum. One is 9x platinum.

Will Smith actually released more albums as half of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. That act released 5 albums. Three of those reached gold, one platinum and one 3x platinum.

These guys are all huge, because they are occasionally great.

Find Your One Thing

Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Be the best at one thing.

What are you known for? What is the one thing you can do on the episode this week that your listener will remember?

Find your one thing. Create word of mouth. Be occasionally great.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Podcast Interview Resources – Episode 070

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Episode 070 – Podcast Interview Resources

Podcast Interview Resources
Podcast Interview Resources

Two e-mails came in recently that might help you with your content. This week I would like to share a few podcast interview resources, to help you create better podcast interviews. We will also review the benefits of an outside perspective.

The first e-mail comes from Josh.

Podcast Interview Resources

Hi Erik, Really enjoying the show.

Question. I’ve been interviewed on many different podcasts and I’m amazed how often I’m asked identical questions to those asked of every other guest that appears on their show. I understand as podcasters, there’s always so much work to do. The research required and creating unique questions can be a scheduling challenge – but this feels so lazy to me to just rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. When I think of some of the best interviewers I know, I can’t imagine they would *ever* do this.

In addition to your podcast, coaching, and resources, are there any books you would recommend for how to be an awesome interviewer? I’d love to recommend them to many of our peers in the podcasting world – and quite frankly, this is a skill that I would love to grow in.

I know you recently covered interviewing – but I would love to hear your take on this practice, in particular, and would love to hear even more on the subject!

Many thanks,
Josh Elledge – 90 Days to Abundance podcast – SavingsAngel.com
Everyone has their own approach. In my coaching, I always encourage podcasters to develop their own style.

A “one-size-fits-all” approach to interviewing rarely leads to unique questions or answers. When an interviewer follows a script, they miss the opportunity for great follow-up questions. Let the conversation flow naturally. Don’t simply stop at the list of typical questions.

If you make yourself truly present in the interview, you will listen to and hear the answers your guest provides. You will then ask the natural follow-up questions your listener would ask if they were sitting right next to you.

Remember, you can always edit out the pauses. If you hit a dead end and need to look for another question, a quick edit will make the interview sound seamless.

Interviewing might very well be my next book.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the one perfect resource for interview instruction. Over my 25 years in radio, I have accumulated tips from many, many people.

There are a few good radio books that touch on interviewing as part of an overview of radio programming and talent development. Two radio books I would recommend are “Creating Powerful Radio” by Valerie Geller and “Morning Radio” by Tracy Johnson. Both have been influential on my coaching style.

There is also much to learn from the greats. I have found wonderful tidbits in the autobiographies and biographies of Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite and Larry King among others. Learn more about the interviewers and reporters that you enjoy.

Over the years, I have learned quite a bit about the business and art from two individuals. Dan O’Day is fantastic at creating audio that moves people to act. Mark Ramsey is a brilliant mind that asks wonderful questions about the future of the medium.

Two podcasters have provided great content with regard to interviewing on different episodes. Check out “The School Of Podcasting” by Dave Jackson. You will also find great information with “The Audacity To Podcast” with Daniel J. Lewis.

Most interviewers have their own style. The commonality amongst the greats is the natural sense of curiosity. You will find that you ask wonderful questions during an interview when you let your curiosity take over.

Podcast Coaching

Hi Erik,

My name is Rudy Vaughan and I began my podcast several weeks ago. I’m on episode 3 now. It’s called the Word Outreach Podcast, which focuses on ‘Encouragement for the Christian Walk’. Each episode includes a missions emphasis with missionary interviews.

I’ve listened to your podcast for about 6 months and found you through your buddy, Dave, over at SOP.

I appreciate your content, coaching and enthusiasm!

Rudy
Thanks for the great feedback, Rudy.

Congratulations on your launch. Getting started is quite a big step. Many people plan and plan and plan without ever launching. Keep on creating.

Thanks for including Podcast Talent Coach as part of your learning. I am honored to be part of your journey.

Coaching is an important tool for improvement. Whether you get that from one-on-one coaching, group coaching, podcasts, books, blogs or another podcaster, let feedback help you.

Having a partner help you with your podcast can do two primary things for you. First, an outside perspective on your content can help you see things you do not see. Then, coaching can hold you accountable for progress.

Dave Jackson and I host The Podcast Review Show. We invite podcasters to appear on the podcast to have their show reviewed and their website critiqued. We also provide feedback on their business.

I am happy to hear that you are finding value with my content. Keep publishing your episodes. Let me know how I can help.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Get Noticed In A Sea Of Sameness – Episode 062

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Get Noticed In The Sea Of Sameness – Episode 062

Get Noticed

Being unique is the only way you can make your podcast get noticed in the sea of sameness. There are so many podcasts in your niche. Being memorable is critical.

There is one file in your listener’s mind that you occupy. You can’t occupy multiple files. You must pick one. Define that file and do all you can to support that image. That is the essence of your brand.

Where does McDonald’s fit in your brain file? McDonald’s is probably the “Fast Hamburgers” file? Does it also fill the “Milkshake File”? Probably not. Sure, they serve milkshakes. However, that file is probably occupied by your favorite ice cream shop.

cheetos lip balm

Where would Cheetos fit in your brain file? It would go in the “Lip Balm” file, right? Of course not. However, Frito-Lay launched Cheetos Lip Balm in 2005. It failed miserably, because Cheetos occupies the “Cheesy Puffed Snack” file in your brain.

Your podcast brand can only occupy one file. Pick the one image your brand can own? Define your brand.

When we create, we expose our perspective. We open ourselves to criticism. It is natural to want your thoughts, views, art and creation to be accepted by everyone. To avoid being disappointed, we often play it safe. Our creativity lacks creativity. It is risky to be truly creative. However, that is really the only way to get noticed. Safe blends in. Risky stands out.

To create engaging content with your podcast, you need to be unique. Your first idea will rarely be a truly unique idea. That first idea will usually be something you have done or seen done in the past.

Keep working the idea. Let it lead to other, more creative ideas. The more often you let your mind explore other options, the more often you will develop truly unique ideas. Don’t settle.

Always attempt to create something unique with your content. Do not settle for your first idea. Push yourself. Brainstorm. Let one idea lead to the next until you have a long list of ideas. Then, select the best idea from the bunch. You will usually find the best and most unique idea further down the list.

If you settle for your first idea, you content will become stale. You will continue to use ideas that have been used in the past. There will be nothing to engage your audience.

The unexpected creates amusement, delight and a memorable event. Being direct assumes your listener cares about your marketing message. They don’t. You need to be unique to be memorable. Be distinct, unusual, and unexpected.

Being unique is the only way you can make your podcast get noticed in the sea of sameness.

School of Podcasting

Congratulations to Dave Jackson over at the School of Podcasting. Dave was recently named the new Director of Podcasting for New Media Expo. NMX will be held April 13-16, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It will also be held in conjunction with the NAB Show. NMX is always a great event and should be even better with Dave at the helm. I’m very excited about the show.

Podcast Review Show

Dave and I do a show together called the “Podcast Review Show”. You can learn how you can be a highlighted podcaster on the show by clicking HERE. We have added a new option to the show where podcasters do not necessarily need to appear on the show to have their podcast reviewed. Get all the details HERE.

Let me know how I can help you with your podcast. E-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find other tools including worksheets, a workbook and videos to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let me teach you how to turn your information into engaging entertainment.

7 Common Podcast Mistakes That Drive Listeners Away – Episode 060

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7 Common Podcast Mistakes That Drive Listeners Away – Episode 060

Podcast Mistakes

Listeners have many, many options for their entertainment. When you create your show, you are not simply competing with all of the other podcasts in the space. You are competing with all of the other entertainment options available to your listeners.

TV, CDs, radio, satellite radio, on demand video, Youtube, audiobooks. The options are endless.

It is only a start to create great content that attracts your listener and is better than every other options available to your listener at that time. You also need to ensure that the things you do within the episode do not drive your podcast listeners away. Many podcasters give their audience reason to leave without even realizing it.

This week, we will discuss 7 most common podcast mistakes that drive listeners away. There are many others. See how many of these 7 common podcast mistakes you recognize from your show. Then, let’s figure out how to fix them to make your show even stronger.

You Focus On Yourself

You can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want. Make your show less about you and more about helping your listener. You can tell your story and then frame the result around the listener’s perspective.

You Are Not Engaging And Use No Stories

Stories are powerful. We discussed this power in the past few episodes. Pull you listener into your content by making it personal. Then, turn the mirror on them. How can your stories help your listener?

You Are Talking At Me, Instead Of To Me

Treat your listener as an audience of one. Audio is a personal medium. People listen by themselves while creating personal visions in their own head. Have a one-on-one conversation with your listener. Talk to your listener and not at them.

You Are Unfocused & Unprepared

Know your goal. You cannot get to your destination unless you know where you want to go. Develop your goal. Then, be prepared. Gather your material and information before you begin recording.

You Open The Door

Let your content flow from one topic to the other like a conversation. Avoid “now it’s time for …” When you are having a conversation at a party, you don’t say, “… and that is what my kids are doing. Now, it’s time to talk about my golf game.” You just flow into the next topic organically. Also, be sure to take the first exit so you do not overstay your welcome.

You Are Not Interested

Be interesting by being interested. Get rid of the stale questions and content. Make your self unique by being curious.

You Lack Show Biz

This is show business. Use theater of the mind. Make your audio powerful by transporting your listener to another place and time. Add some flavor with creative sound effects, powerful production elements and some audio magic.

 

Let me know how I can help you with your podcast. E-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find other tools including worksheets, a workbook and videos to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let me teach you how to turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Secret To Know, Like And Trust – PTC Episode 057

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Secrets to Know, Like and Trust – PTC Episode 057
Four Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling

Trust Me

WHY STORYTELLING

Have you noticed a lot of the business interview podcasts sound the same? We are hearing the same guests answer the same questions time and time again. How do you become unique in this sea of sameness?

Storytelling can transform your podcast. Your personal experiences and stories make you unique. No one has experienced the things you have experienced in the same way you have. If you want to stand out from every other podcast, share your personal stories during your show.

People do business with other people they know, like and trust. Your stories create that knowledge. That is where true friendships begin.

Stories help define your character and personality. If you want your listener to get to know you, share those personal connections. Connect, motivate and inspire your audience with your stories.

Don’t fit in, stand out.

Your personal experiences are the only way to make the content your own. Great songwriters do it. Great filmmakers do it. Share your stories and stand out.

ENGAGEMENT

In podcasting, you cannot afford to be boring. Interest in your story never remains constant. Your information can only become entertainment when interest is rising. A great story continues to develop the plot and raise the interest.

To create engagement, tell great stories. Keep the interest of your listener rising.

Date your listeners. You need to earn the privilege of talking to people who want to be talked to and selling things to people who want to be sold to. To earn that privilege, you need to build friendship.

Great friendships are developed through self revelation. When you share your personal thoughts and feelings with an individual through stories, you begin to create a bond with that person. It is life enrichment. Making our lives better through friendship is the reason we do not live is seclusion.

Over time, sharing stories will begin to build trust with your listener. Your stories share your values and beliefs.

Practice becoming a great storyteller.

GREAT STORYTELLERS

Practice being a great storyteller. Have the courage to listen to yourself. Hear and have courage to record your personal connections to the events happening around you.

When you use your podcast to create friendships, you are asking people to spend time with your every week. People share time with others that they like. They are asking themselves, “Would I enjoy taking a one-hour car ride with this person every week?”

People listen to audio while they drive, run and workout so they are not alone. They use the audio as companionship. Let your listener get to know you.

Your stories will also let others live vicariously through you. Your listener can enjoy your story of struggle and success without enduring the hard work and pain. Let them enjoy your stories.

ELEMENTS OF GREAT STORIES

There are four essential elements of great stories.

  • Engaging introduction
  • Reveal the details
  • Powerful Resolution
  • What else?

Engaging Introduction

Give them a reason to care. What do you want the audience to feel? Your stories make you human. Will it be humorous, compelling or tragic. My talent coach Bill McMahon would always ask, “What do you hope to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand?”

Your listener can experience various emotions through your stories. You could elicit joy, sympathy, empathy, anger, tragedy, tenderness, humor, rage, patriotism or many others. Emotions make that personal connection to your story.

Pull your listener into the story. Your engaging introduction is a roadmap. It should be a solid headline that tells your listener exactly where your story will go. “Tell me if I’m gonna go to Hell for this…”

Reveal the details

Details are more believable than generalities. Your details will make your story come to life.

When you develop your details, use all 5 senses. Draw the picture in the mind’s eye of your listener. Make the story come to life. Put your listener right there in the moment. This is theater of the mind.

Your details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character.

Resolution

Your resolution should be a powerful reframing of introduction. Your will know when you reach your conclusion when you have successfully achieved the emotional goal set at the beginning. What did you hope to make your audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand? When you’ve achieved that goal, get to the resolution.

What else?

Asking “What Else” will transform your show. Let your story lead to something bigger. Maybe you turn your story into a discussion on Facebook. Maybe your story leads into an interview. What else can you do with it? Create some great entertainment.

HOW YOU CAN BE A STORYTELLER

What do you want to make your listener feel?
What is the engaging set up?
How will it be revealed in the story with vivid details?
What is the resolution?
What else can you do with it?

I’d love to help you create great stories with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find other tools including worksheets, a workbook and videos to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Top 11 Takeaways From Podcast Movement – PTC Episode 056

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Top 11 Takeaways From Podcast Movement 2014

Podcast Movement 2014
Podcast Movement 2014

Podcast Movement 2014 was held in Dallas, Texas August 16th & 17th. For an inaugural event, PM14 was well run and full of great information. The guys did an amazing job putting it together.

Earlier this year, Dan Franks reached out to me and asked if I would present a session at PM14. I was truly honored. My session on the power of storytelling went over very well. Many people came to the stage after my session to tell me how useful they found the information. I really appreciated the feedback.

I am already looking forward to Podcast Movement 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.

My notebook filled with great notes from PM14. On this episode, I want to share with you my 11 top takeaways from the event. I hope these spark a little something in your to move your podcast forward and transform your content.

1. Have a plan to make money.

This came from Chris Brogan’s Keynote “Podcasting As A Business Driver”. If you want to support your habit/hobby, have a plan to generate income. This could be from your product, service or other income stream. Figure out how to cover your cost at a minimum.

2. Copy = Pale Imitation = Ignored.

Srinivas Rao offered this insight in his Keynote “Genuine Curiosity – The Fuel Behind The Fire”. Chris Brogan said, “No one ever won a race looking sideways.” Be brave and have the courage to be unique. Tell some great stories.

3. What is your brand personality?

Who are you really and who do your clients need you to be? Kristin Thompson asked these questions during her session “Rock Your Talk & Profit Big … Beyond The Podcast”. Define your brand personality. Then, thread it through everything you do.

4. Don’t use white in your logo.

This was mentioned during “Top Podcasters Share Three Success Secrets For Podcasting”. It was a panel discussion with Michael StelznerCliff Ravenscraft, and Chris Brogan. If you want it to stand out in iTunes store, get rid of the white. Make your logo pop.

5. Involve others.

During his session “10 Ways to Take Your Podcast From Average To Amazing”, Daniel J. Lewis suggested you use interviews, conversations, and shared presentations to get others involved with your show. Empower your audience to share your content. Delegate others to help you achieve tasks.

6. #1 goal of podcast marketing is opt-in.

Tim Paige mentioned this in his session “The Top 7 Ways To Grow Your Podcast And Turn Listeners Into Leads”. We’ve heard it many times that the money is in the list. Use your podcast to grow your list every opportunity that you get.

7. Think of your avatar in the car or excercising. What can you provide to make the experience better?

This was a great piece of advice from Jaime Tardy during her Keynote “The Future Of Podcasting”. If you want to connect and engage with your audience, put yourself in their shoes.

8. Learn what the knobs do.

To learn your equipment and what it does, press record and narrate your actions as you turn knobs. Hear how it sounds. This was a tip offered by Dave Jackson in his session “The Art Of Editing Audio – Finding The Diamond In The Rough”. What better way to figure out what all of those knobs do other than tinkering with it.

9. Ask your tribe questions about what they struggle with.

Jessica Kupferman’s session was titled “Your Commmunity Of Kindred Spirits: Why, How and When To Build One”. She offered this tidbit while helping us discover the power and connection of a community.

10. Give your guests resources to promote your show after they are on.

This came during a panel discussion called “Promote Your Podcast The Right (And Unique) Way”. If you want your guests to promote your show after they appear, make it easy for them. Give them graphics, quotes or audio clips they can use to help spread the word.

11. Comfort and awesome usually do not overlap.

I loved this line. It was another from Chris Brogan during his Keynote “Podcasting As A Business Driver”. Be brave. Try something new. Be unique. Have the courage to step out and tell personal stories that cannot be copied. That’s when you’ll get noticed. Don’t be comforable. Be awesome.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find other tools including worksheets, a workbook and videos to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

3 Step To Create Your Avatar – PTC 055

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3 Steps To Create Your Avatar – PTC Episode 055

Hi Erik, thanks for your awesome podcast. I have one question for you You define your avatar with a bunch of well-crafted questions, but where do you get the data to answer them? Is it hard data you have got from your following (if any)? Is it just a fruit of your imagination? Is it a mix of both? How much of the avatar is based on hard data, and how much is a projection of yourself defining it? Thanks and keep up the awesome work!
-Alessandro

Create a unique avatar

Great question, Alessandro! It is actually a little bit of both. It will evolve over time.

Our goal is to create a vision of that one, unique, ideal listener.

There are really three steps to creating your ideal listener.  Each step relates to the life cycle of your podcast.

Step 1

If you are just starting out, you need to create your ideal customer out of your imagination.

  • Who would you like your ideal customer to be? Start there.
  • Who do you want?
  • Who will listen and get involved
  • Who will be best served by your content
  • Who will buy your stuff

Step 2

Once you begin to get some feedback from your audience, refine your target with that information.

  • Who is posting in your comments
  • Who is sending your e-mail
  • Who is asking for more information

Step 3

Finally, when you have an audience of decent size, survey them.

  • It does not need to be a formal survey
  • One of strongest is an e-mail often used that simply says “where an I help you”
  • To get specific demographic info, you will need a formal survey
  • Ask questions that will help you know and serve them better
  • Do not ask questions that will not give you info you can use and will only waste the time of your listener

Overall, you want your avatar to represent that individual that in most engaged with your show and likely to take action when you make that request.

Audience Of One

Knowing your target audience will allow you to treat your audience as an audience of one.

As you are creating your podcast, treat your audience like you are talking to each person individually. This is critical when creating a trusting relationship with your audience.

I hear many shows address their audience as a group with comments like “hello everyone” or “hey guys”. Each person in your audience is listening to you as an individual. Audio is a very personal medium. Many times, they are listening with headphones. It is just you and her. Talk to her just like that.

Addressing a crowd on the radio began when radio began. As radio was just being created, station owners needed content to broadcast. Radio programming began with rebroadcasting live, theater events. The person on the stage would address the crowd as “ladies and gentleman”.

As radio progressed, live audiences were eliminated. However, people on the radio continued to address the audience as a group. It was fitting. The family still gathered around the radio before television was introduced to the family room. An on-air personality could address the audience as a group and be justified in doing so.

Radio then became a personal medium. The television replaced the radio as family entertainment. In-car and headphones became the preferred method of radio listening. Each listener was now creating images and visions in his or her own head that were unique to their imagination. Their thoughts were different from those of any other listener. The conversation was now between the person on the air and the individual listening.

Unfortunately, radio personalities continued to address the listener as a group. “It has always been done this way.” The disconnect began.

Podcasts are even more individualistic than radio. Most people select a podcast because of their own tastes. Groupthink does not play a factor as it would to select a movie or television show for the family. It is one person listening on their own to a show that interests them.

If you are talking to your listener as if they are in a group, using plural terms like everyone and you guys and you all, your listener will wonder who you are addressing. They will think, “You guys? I’m listening by myself. Who are you talking to?” In the end, they will not follow your call-to-action, because they will think someone else in your “group” will handle it. Talk to an audience of one and build that relationship with each listener individually.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find other tools including worksheets, a workbook and videos to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Stories Transform Your Podcast – PTC Episode 047

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Storytelling Transforms Your Podcast

Magazines

Have you noticed a lot of the business interview podcasts sound the same? We are hearing the same guests answer the same questions time and time again. How do you become unique in this sea of sameness?

Storytelling transforms your podcast.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Stories help you develop that knowledge, likability and trust.

Your stories define you and will touch many more people than typical information. The stories you tell and the details you include reveal many things about you. That begins to develop that like and trust.

It can be a bit scary to reveal things about yourself on your podcast. Develop the ability to recognize your unique thoughts and the courage to reveal them on your show.

Two radio coaches have influenced me greatly over the years. They each have similar views on storytelling.

Radio consultant Randy Lane says use stories to “make it human by making it humorous, compelling or tragic”.

Radio talent coach Bill McMahon suggests you decide what you hope to make your audience “Laugh at, marvel at or better understand.”

How do you want your audience to feel after hearing your story? Frame that feeling in your engaging introduction. Decide what you hope to reveal about yourself with the story.

Stories help you connect, motivate and inspire.

There are four parts to the storytelling structure.

 

Engaging introduction

This pulls your listener right into the story. Your introduction should tell your listener exactly where the story is headed.

 

Vivid details

How will your emotion be revealed in the story? Use vivid details to make your story come to life in the theater of the mind.

 

Powerful conclusion

Wrap up the story by reframing of your engaging introduction.

 

What else?

Asking “What Else” will transform your show. Don’t let the story simply end and fade away. Turn it into something powerful.

Many treat a subject in a similar manner. That is why we hear the same style of interview. If you want to stand out and be different, transform you content by using your unique style.

“What Else” can we do with a compelling story? You could create a video, continue the conversation on social media, follow up with listener input in the following episode or various other things. Let your story lead to something bigger.

Ask “what else can we do” and see where it leads.

Storytelling transforms your podcast.

 

A few housekeeping notes this week.

Coupon code ends this week!

Get a one-hour coaching session with Dave Jackson and me for only $50 if you act before June 30, 2014.

Dave and I are now hosting the Podcast Review Show together. Our guests appear on the show to have their podcast reviewed by the two of us.

Typically, hiring the two of us individually for an hour would be hundreds of dollars. Not only do you get an hour of consulting from us on this show, you get to plug your show for a sixty minutes.

Our guests typically pay $99 to be featured on the show. Dave and I have decided to cut you a break. By using the code “coach50”, you can appear on the show for only $50.

You get half off. Still an hour. Still feedback from both of us. Still plugging your show. Half the price.

The code is “coach50”. This deal ends June 30, 2014. Get in on it now before we close it.

GET REVIEWED – CLICK HERE.

 

Podcast Movement

If you are truly serious about building your podcast, improving your show and increasing your traffic, you should also be attending the Podcast Movement in Dallas on August 16 & 17.

Find my affiliate link online at PodcastTalentCoach.com. We are only 8 weeks away from the Podcast Movement. Register today.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

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Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

IMG_0756

Let’s help you determine where to begin podcasting.

I recently had lunch with the guys from the “200churches” podcast. Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig are pastors at a 200church in Northwest, Iowa. They want to encourage and support other pastors of “smaller” churches.

As we were having lunch, Jeff was telling me about their start in podcasting. They had all of the equipment and were ready to roll. As they were about to record their very first episode, Jeff said he didn’t know where to start. What was the first thing he was supposed to say?  How do you figure out where to begin podcasting?

Where to begin is a natural problem. You know what you want to say. You simply don’t know where to start it all. How far back to the beginning of your message should you go?

You have all the equipment. You have set up the technical details of the podcast. How does the show content begin?

Whether you are a brand new podcaster, or someone with hundreds of episodes under your belt, this episode will help you with your content. If you are just beginning, this will help you create your framework. We will walk through content preparation as you lay out the show.

If you are an “old pro”, this content will be a great refresher to help you step back and evaluate your progress. When we have done something for a long time, assumptions begin to creep into the content. We sometimes take small details for granted as if our listener has been with the show from the beginning.

 

There are six steps to defining your content and preparing your podcast.  These six steps will help you determine where to begin podcasting.

1. What do you hope to accomplish?

This includes both the topic and the show overall. Set a goal for each topic, the episode and your podcast in general.

2. What are the interesting topics you hope to address on this particular episode?

As you determine your topics, look for a theme to develop.

3. How will you treat each specific topic you hope to address?

What will you do with the content? You could answer the question, demonstrate the answer, play some audio, show charts to support your answer, or use some other treatment. Find a way to make it your own. Your approach should be unique to you.

4. Create an outline for the flow of the show topics.

This is important for the show introduction.  Bullet points should suffice.  Do not script your content.

5. What supporting information will you need for the show?

Organize and highlight for easy access during the show. This will help you sound prepared as you begin to build credibility with your audience.

6. Write your introduction. Write your conclusion. Include your call to action.

 

If you would like a worksheet to walk you through this process and others, visit the worksheet section at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.  These worksheets will further help you determine where to begin podcasting.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Memorable Podcast Brand – PTC Episode 042

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Memorable Podcast Brand – Episode 042

Have you noticed all of the interview shows popping up lately?

It seems everyone wants to have an interview podcast. Many simply copy the other successful interview podcasts and hope to stand out. How can you be different while being the same?

Jared Easley and I were talking the other day. He publishes the wonderful podcast “Starve The Doubts”. We were discussing his approach to make his interview show stand out amongst the sea of sameness.

Jared creates a unique approach to the interview show in a couple different ways. First, he not only has a guest to interview on his show, he also has a guest interviewer join him to ask the questions. This gives the show an extra dimension. The questions on every interview have a little different perspective.

Second, Jared asks unique questions. He opens every show asking about the guests favorite concert. He then sprinkles in “would you rather” and “fill in the blank” questions. Jared does his homework on every guest to create questions that are well-informed.

These two steps help to create a unique interview experience and overall solid, memorable podcast.

 

Be Memorable

If you want to keep your listener coming back show after show, you need to make them remember to come back. You need to remain top-of-mind for your listener. That is the purpose of audience engagement. Make your listener remember you for something specific about your show.

As you build your show, make it about one thing. Find one particular thing that will be remembered. If you try to be all things to all people, you will water down the show. Everything will be nice. However, isn’t usually truly memorable. You will get lost in the millions of messages your listener receives on a daily basis.

Find one point that you can make amazing. Take it over the top. Make it the “goodbye” scene in “Titanic”. Make it the “I am your father” scene in “Empire Strikes Back” between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Your particular point could be the point where you assure your caller that everything will be ok. It could be the fantastic story of your brush with celebrity. It is your show. Find the magic.

Stir emotion. Make it amazing. Bring your listener back. Be memorable.

 

Do They Remember?

When you consider the entertainment options podcast listeners have, the importance of creating a powerful brand really becomes apparent.

I searched iTunes for podcasts about hockey. There are hundreds of hockey podcasts available. Thousands and thousands of episodes exist that deal with hockey. You can find various topics, including drills, NHL teams, coaching, fantasy hockey and many more.

How do you stand out? How do you get noticed?

Your listener needs to remember your podcast, so they can return and listen again. That is the way to build a following. It really doesn’t matter how many people listen today. What builds a strong podcast is the number of listeners that come back the next time, and the next time, and the time after that. You build your audience slowly with more listeners this week than you had last week. Get your listener to remember to return.

Using your brand to create strong relationships with your listeners is critical to the health of your podcast. If you are bland, you will get lost in the sea of average. There are over 100,000 podcasts available for consumption. Most of them are average or worse. If you refine your content, turn your information into entertainment, and transform your podcast into powerful relationships, you will easily stand out from the crowd. It is a must not only for your success, but your mere survival. Begin your brand today.

 

The Memorable Podcast Brand Uses Cows

The unexpected is amusing, delightful and memorable. Being direct assumes your listener cares about your marketing message. They don’t. Your listener cares about his or her needs, wants and desires. Attract their attention by doing the unexpected.

To engage your podcast listener and create a relationship, you need to be memorable. In order to be memorable, you must be unique. Be distinct, unusual, and unexpected. If you sound like every other show, you will not stand out and get noticed.

Chick-fil-a could have easily become another fast food restaurant lost in the sea of mediocrity. Founder Truett Cathy wouldn’t let that happen. The company pays great attention to the details and does the unexpected at every turn.

The Chick-fil-a mission statement is, “Be America’s Best Quick-Service Restaurant.” Sure, every fast food joint wants to be the best. Few are willing to put in the work.

One Saturday, we were on a road trip. We were passing through Des Moines, IA at 8:45p as we pulled into the mall to grab a quick bite. We found out the mall closed at 9p. As you can imagine, most restaurants in the food court were cleaning up. We were one of two parties there to eat.

We stepped up to the Chick-fil-a counter and apologized for cutting it so close and causing them extra work. The gentleman behind the counter assured us it was no trouble at all. We received our (fresh) food quickly and grabbed a table in the middle of the food court.

About five minutes later, the Chick-fil-a employee came to our food court table to make sure everything was alright. This was a mall food court. Few fast food restaurants ever check on you in their own establishment. You especially do not receive this sort of attention 10 minutes before closing.

That level of service is the norm at Chick-fil-a. They always take the extra step to surprise and stand out. It is carried through to the careers they offer, the scholarships they provide to their employees and the process of accepting partners and franchisees.

The company uses cows in their commercials to promote chicken sandwiches. The Chick-fil-a website even has a special section devoted to the cows. When a cow parachutes into a football game promoting chicken sandwiches, it us unexpected. Chick-fil-a is memorable.

If you can create unique, memorable experiences for your listener by incorporating the unexpected, you begin to create powerful, meaningful relationships.

Are you using your own cows in your podcast?

 

The Memorable Podcast Brand Swings For The Fence

Rather than being consistently good with your podcast, be occasionally great.

Your listener will remember one big thing from your show. They will not remember every detail, every comment or every e-mail answer. They will remember that one thing you did. Each show, try to make one big splash that will be memorable.

Swing for the fence.

Many know the great Babe Ruth as one of the greatest home run hitters in baseball. Many also know that Ruth struck out roughly twice as often as the league average. He struck out 1,330 times.

Babe set out to do something exciting. We wanted to be memorable. Sometimes, that meant striking out.

People don’t remember all of the singles Babe hit. Even though he is 2nd all-time with his on-base percentage of .474, nobody talks about all the times Ruth got on base. He had 1,517 singles and 506 doubles to his 714 home runs. That is nearly twice as many singles as homers. Doubles and home runs were just about equal.

Why do people remember all of the home runs? Because they were exciting. Babe was occasionally great. He was great often enough to be memorable.

You don’t have to set records. Simply make your podcast occasionally great. Nobody remembers your strikeouts. Don’t worry about them. When you finally hit the home run, people will remember.

Every now and then, swing for the fence

 

Risky Stands Out For The Memorable Podcast Brand

As we develop meaningful relationships with your podcast, we in turn build credibility that will support our call-to-action within your show. To develop strong relationships, you need to create engaging entertainment that will get you remembered by your listener. To be remembered, you must stand out.

You stand out when you are loved. You are remembered when you are hated. You fade into the background when you are plain, vanilla and trying to not upset anyone. If you don’t stir strong emotions, you are easily forgotten.

When we create, we expose our perspective. We open ourselves to criticism. It is natural to want your thoughts, views, art and creation to be accepted by everyone. To avoid being disappointed, we often play it safe.

Those fantastic, memorable personalities are usually both loved and hated. Rush Limbaugh is loved by the conservatives and hated by the liberals. Dave Ramsey is loved by the conservative investor and hated by credit card companies and whole life insurance salespeople. Dr. Laura Schlessinger would consistently be critical of her callers. Yet she would receive more callers than she could handle on any given show.

Safety lacks creativity. It is risky to be truly creative. However, that is really the only way to get noticed. Safe blends in. Risky stands out.

Create that memorable podcast brand to keep your listener coming back show after show. Remain top-of-mind for your listener. Make them remember to come back next week.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Turn Your Podcast Into A Conversation – PTC Episode 030

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TURN YOUR PODCAST INTO A CONVERSATION

PTC EPISODE 030

Let’s have a conversation. People want to feel part of the discussion and not like they are sitting in a lecture. How do you create that atmosphere on your podcast?

1. Talk to me, not at me

2. Treat your audience as an audience of one

3. Let your listener live vicariously through you

4. Use your regular voice

5. Do everything in your own style

 

Talk To Me, Not At Me

When you are podcasting, talk “to” your listener.  Don’t talk “at” her.  You are not announcing.  You are having a personal conversation and building a relationship.

Podcasting is an intimate conversation with one person.  The conversation is typically one person speaking into a microphone addressing another single individual.  There may sometimes be hundreds of thousands of people listening.  However, they are all listening by themselves.  Even in an automobile with others listening via communal speakers, the members of the audience are listening by themselves in their own head.  Each listener is developing their own unique, mental images.

Have a conversation directly with that individual.  Put your listener in the moment.  Avoid addressing the group.  Instead of using “hello everyone”, use “hi, how are you?”  Make her feel like you are talking directly to her.  It will make your podcast relationship much stronger.

 

Audience Of One

As you are creating your podcast, treat your audience like you are talking to each person individually.  This is critical when creating a trusting relationship with your audience.

I hear many shows address their audience as a group with comments like “hello everyone” or “hey guys”.  Each person in your audience is listening to you as an individual.  Audio is a very personal medium.  Many times, they are listening with headphones.  It is just you and her.  Talk to her just like that.

Addressing a crowd on the radio began when radio began.  As radio was just being created, station owners needed content to broadcast.  Radio programming began with rebroadcasting live, theater events.  The person on the stage would address the crowd as “ladies and gentleman”.

As radio progressed, live audiences were eliminated.  However, people on the radio continued to address the audience as a group.  It was fitting.  The family still gathered around the radio before television was introduced to the family room.  An on-air personality could address the audience as a group and be justified in doing so.

Radio then became a personal medium.  The television replaced the radio as family entertainment.  In-car and headphones became the preferred method of radio listening.  Each listener was now creating images and visions in his or her own head that were unique to their imagination.  Their thoughts were different from those of any other listener.  The conversation was now between the person on the air and the individual listening.

Unfortunately, radio personalities continued to address the listener as a group.  ”It has always been done this way.”  The disconnect began.

Podcasts are even more individualistic than radio.  Most people select a podcast because of their own tastes.  Groupthink does not play a factor as it would to select a movie or television show for the family.  It is one person listening on their own to a show that interests them.

If you are talking to your listener as if they are in a group, using plural terms like everyone and you guys and you all, your listener will wonder who you are addressing.  They will think, “You guys?  I’m listening by myself.  Who are you talking to?”  In the end, they will not follow your call-to-action, because they will think someone else in your “group” will handle it.  Talk to an audience of one and build that relationship with each listener individually.

Nobody like to be lectured to. Data and facts get dull & boring. Engage by being conversational. Tell stories. This is a converstaion, not a lecture

 

Vicarious

Can I Be You?

Vicarious. Voyerism. Eavesdropping.

Those are three main reasons people listen to your podcast. Tell stories to help fulfill those desires.

People dream about having a different (and usually better) life. They want to experience those things others are experiencing. The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. People crave living the lives of others.

Your listeners want to live vicariously through you. They want to experience your success. They wish they had the courage to do the things you have done. Your fans want to be you in some way or another.

Voyerism is a reason many people watch the shows they watch, listen to the stories they hear, or read the books they read. They want to experience the lives of others.

People eavesdrop on the conversations of others for the very same reasons. They can experience the life of others without the risk of faliure. Eavesdropping doesn’t take the courage that it takes to actually live the life.

By telling great stories about your experiences, you help your audience fulfill the desire to live vicariously through you. If your show contains audio of your feats and experiences, you allow your audience to become the voyers they desire. When you interview people on your show, you allow your listener to eavesdrop on your conversation.

When you simply lecture as the content of your show, you fail to help your listener experience any of those three desires. Find new ways to deliver your material to your audience. You will make those important connections that turn into friendships. Those relationships will foster loyalty to your show. Your tribe will follow you wherever you go. That’s a powerful thing.

Tell stories of self-revelation. See where it takes you. You’ll be surprised how many people wish they could be you.

 

Use Your Regular Voice

The scoop is that fake announcer voice that you hear quite often. It’s like a slow start with a gradual build.

“Wwwwweeeelllllcome to the big show.”

It sounds like your voice is going up and down as if it is on a yo-yo.

Real people don’t talk like that. You are trying to build trusting relationships with your audience. You want to sound real and authentic.

When you sound like a supermarket announcer, you sound fake. Your listeners will find it hard to trust you, because they know that isn’t really you. The audio they are hearing sounds like a character you are portraying.

Don’t let your voice bounce like a ball. You can be excited and enthusiastic. You can also be real and natural at the same time. Just be yourself.

When the inflection of your voice bounces up and down, you will find it difficult to truly engage your listener. Be real. Avoid the scoop.

 

Create Everything In Your Style

Create everything you do in your own style. You can only stand out among all other shows when you create your own unique style. You must then make sure everything you do is consistent with that style.

Many new broadcasters try to emulate the style of their hero or mentor. They attempt to imitate the styles they hear from other broadcasters. Unfortunately, copying doesn’t create a unique style. Copying typically creates a watered-down version of some other style. When creating your content, be yourself and find your own style.

Some of the greatest broadcasters didn’t start the ascension to the top until they abandoned the attempts to broadcast in the style they thought others desired and began being true to themselves.

Oprah Winfrey quit trying to be a traditional news anchor. She also quit doing the typical tabloid, daytime talk show. When she began to create the show she always desired, she went to the top of the game.

Howard Stern began as a radio DJ sounding like every other radio DJ. He was playing the records and spouting the lines written by management while going nowhere. When Stern decided he was going to do radio his way, he began to make a name for himself. He also went to the top.

Rush Limbaugh followed a very similar path. He had a cheesy radio name. He followed the format designed by somebody else. Limbaugh made every attempt to fulfill the typical radio DJ stereotype. He also got fired again and again. When he decided to broadcast in his style and true to his beliefs, he began his rise to the top.

Adam Corolla made his climb when he took full control over his style and show. He was climbing the DJ ladder in Los Angeles. Corolla had some decent television work. He then decided to create his own show in his own style via podcast. That began his rise as one of the biggest podcasters in the world.

All of these broadcasters made the decision to stop copying others. They all created shows that were true to their style.

They each also stay true to their style in everything they do. You will never hear Rush sound like Howard. You’ll never mistake something Oprah says as something Adam might say. Being true to their style isn’t something that takes conscious effort. It comes easy to each of them, because it is true to who they are as people.

Be true to yourself. It will make it easy to create everything you do in your style.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Power Of You – PTC Episode 023

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The Power Of You

This week is a little self-reflection. I’m not sure I’m doing my job with my message and serving you as well as I can. Is my communication cutting through in the correct way?

This past weekend, I attended the New Media Expo (NMX) 2014 in Las Vegas. I had an incredible time and learned a lot. The inspiration I receive by attending these conferences is amazing.

The only thing more incredible than the inspiration is the friendships. Mike & Izabela from Music Radio Creative held a meet up at an amazing wine cellar within the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. We all had an incredible time mingling with other amazing podcasters. Mike & Izabela held the gathering in a room of the Wine Cellar & Tasting Room at the Rio. It was like sitting in their living room with couches, chairs and end tables near a bar filled with wine and cheese. The intimate setting really spawned some great discussions.

During the meet up, I had the chance to sit down with Kenn Blanchard from “Black Man With A Gun”, Dave Jackson from “School of Podcasting” and Rem Lavictoire from “The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast”. We had a great time sharing stories about our lives and podcasting. It was a gift.

Kenn mentioned to me that he wasn’t sure how my podcast would be received. He said I was so passionate and determined about my style that he felt it might turn some people off. I loved the feedback. His words really got me thinking.

I stepped back and assessed my message. Is my message really being communicated they way I hope it is? That leads us to the podcast this week.

My message is all about you. I never want to tell you how you should do anything. I want to show you ways it may be done and let you decide. I want you to be you in a way that only you can do it. It isn’t a prescription. It should be a thought starter.

There are a few things I wholeheartedly believe about any podcast, such as podcasts should be built to attract and grow an audience. I also believe every podcaster should be their own unique self. How that happens should be completely up to you.

Today, we discuss the power of you. Many thanks to Kenn Blanchard for showing me the path. His insights are cherished. Check out his NMX2014 session with the virtual ticket if you have the chance.

Here are the 8 facets of the Power of You.

 

1. Be yourself

Only you can be you

Don’t simply copy somebody else

2. Stick to your beliefs

Be true to yourself

Can’t consistently be something you’re not

Hard to fake it without tripping up

3. Tell the truth

Honesty fosters relationships

4. Use your personal style

To make your show unique, add your personal style

Do it in a way that only you can do it

5. Stories define your character

Listeners will learn about you with stories

Stories breed friendships

6. Have fun

People don’t simply want info, they want entertainment

Much more fun to learn when the content is entertaining

7. Be consistent

People know what they like and like what they know

They want to know what to expect when they listen – Deliver the goods every time

8. Be memorable

Own your category – When they think of your category, they think of you

Don’t want them to casually listen then go away

Hard to monetize your activities if you are not top-of-mind

Most marketing is focused on top-of-mind awareness and a strong call-to-action

Call-to-action is powerful when you are the first one that comes to mind

 

This week …

Review two of your shows to see if you are being yourself

Find one personal story to include in your next podcast

Do one thing in a way only you can do it and make it memorable

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Create Your Podcast Brand – PTC Episode 017

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Create Your Podcast Brand

Own Your Category

Great brands own their category by consistently communicating one focused message. Think of some of the best known brands in America. The best-known soda in the world is defined by “the real thing”. Who serves more hamburgers than anyone in the world? Save 15% on your car insurance. You’re a great athlete … just do it! Coca Cola, McDonalds, Geico, and Nike all deliver focused and consistent messages and thereby become solid brands.

If you study the great brands, you will notice they stand for one specific thing. McDonald’s isn’t simply “food”. It isn’t even “fast food”. McDonalds is hamburgers. Sure, they have other items on their menu. However, they are not known for their apple pies or chocolate milk. McDonald’s is known as a hamburger joint.  (read more)

 

Hey, I’m New Here

Hey, I’m new here. What’s goin’ on?

The opening of your podcast should explain the purpose of your podcast and let your listeners know exactly what to expect as if this is the first time they have ever heard the show. This should happen on each and every show.

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.  (read more)

 

Create Your Own Style

Create everything you do in your own style. You can only stand out among all other shows when you create your own unique style. You must then make sure everything you do is consistent with that style.

Many new broadcasters try to emulate the style of their hero or mentor. They attempt to imitate the styles they hear from other broadcasters. Unfortunately, copying doesn’t create a unique style. Copying typically creates a watered-down version of some other style. When creating your content, be yourself and find your own style.

Some of the greatest broadcasters didn’t start the ascension to the top until they abandoned the attempts to broadcast in the style they thought others desired and began being true to themselves.  (read more)

 

Be Yourself

A great podcast is a great relationship. It is just like creating a great brand. In order to develop that solid audience relationship, you must be yourself. You can’t fake it.

When you try to be someone or something you are not, you will not sound authentic. Eventually, the truth will come out.

Have you ever met someone you had admired from afar, only to have them do something that didn’t fit with your image of them?  (read more)

 

I’d love to know hot this podcast has helped you in any way. E-mail a quick comment to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.  Your feedback helps our entire community.

Help our community grow by turning one person onto the show this week.

I’d love to help you with your show.  E-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.  You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Strategy For Each Topic …

Strategy For Each Topic

Developing your strategy involves determining how you will uniquely address each topic. Whether you are presenting information, answering questions or interviewing guests, there are many ways to address each topic. You do not need to do it the same way every other podcast does it. Be unique. Find the way that will stand out.

If you are interviewing, do you need to ask the same questions that every other podcast asks? What if you play a game with each guest called “The Hat of Forbidden Questions”. It’s a hat filled with crazy questions. You simply reach in the hat, pull out a question and ask whatever is on the card. The method is completely different than every other podcast. This approach will also generate unique answers while engaging your guest in a unique manner.

Here is a tip many people forget. This is show business. You could play “The Hat of Forbidden Questions” and never even have a hat. You could have a list of crazy questions for your guest written out and simply pretend to reach into a hat. This is show business. You are here to entertain.

Do you think the actors in “Seinfeld” or “The Sopranos” ad lib their lines? Of course not. Do you find it less entertaining when they follow the script? Of course not. There is no reason you cannot add a little show biz to your show.

Just be sure to always be true to the show. If you are going to pretend there is a hat, you MUST ALWAYS pretend there is a hat. Giving up the showbiz secret will ruin everything. On the other hand, you could really have a hat and have a ton of fun with it.

Determine how you will approach each topic. Will you play audio examples? Will you play voice messages from your listeners? Are you going to read e-mail? Maybe there is a guest contributor. Determine each approach before the show begins.

Once you have your list of topics, develop a strategy to uniquely approach each of those topics. Be original. Stand out from the crowd. Know how you will handle each topic before your show begins.

Prepare to Battle the Impostor …

Prepare to Battle the Impostor

If you have ever fought the impostor syndrome, being more prepared will help you win that battle. Being prepared for your show will give you focus, make your show more entertaining, and create stronger relationships with your listeners. Most importantly, it will give you confidence to overcome impostor syndrome. You will be able to build that belief in yourself.

The impostor syndrome, or impostor phenomenon, is the psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence that proves they are deserving and successful, those that suffer from impostor syndrome do not feel they deserve the success. These people believe their success came about not because of skill or expertise, but more because of luck or manipulation. Students sometimes face this phenomenon in college when they tell themselves they really don’t belong in such an esteemed university and others may soon discover the fraud.

It is common for us all to experience the impostor syndrome to some extent. The phenomenon is roughly the opposite of your ego. Your ego is telling you that you are the best around and people should admire everything you’ve done.

Your internal impostor is then telling you that you have no authority to be doing this. You are a fake and a fraud with no credibility. The only reason you are in this position according to your internal impostor is because nobody has yet discovered the truth.

Both your ego and impostor exist within you. Learning how to manage both is a challenge. Take steps to build confidence within yourself. Understand that others fight the same battle. You are not alone.

You have every right to create a great podcast.  You have just as much right as the next podcaster.  There is only one expert at your opinion.  That expert is you.  Nobody knows more about your beliefs and opinion than you do.  Develop confidence in yourself.  You have great content and a unique opinion.  Believe in yourself.  You’ll be great.  Prepare for it.

Being well prepared for your show and having the confidence to stick to the plan will help you win that battle against you internal impostor.

Make Your Podcast One Of A Kind – PTC Episode 006

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Make Your Podcast One Of A Kind

In this episode, we discuss steps that will help you make your podcast one of a kind.

Being unique makes you stand out in a crowd.  These are ways to get noticed.  There are four steps.

1. Focus your topic.

When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing.

Focus your topic on what you know best. Be opinionated. Be passionate. Pick a side. Be unique. Most of all, be consistent. (read more)

2. What makes you different?

When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. Make people take notice.

You are an expert at your opinion. Give it to people. Take a stand. Pick a side. (read more)

3. Connect, inspire & motivate

When you connect, inspire and motivate your audience, you stir emotions within your listener. Those emotions are powerful. Emotions make people come back for more, because they create a bonding relationship. (read more)

4. Sell the results of your product

People don’t buy your product. They buy what your product can do for them. (read more)

 

What Makes Your Podcast Different?

What makes your podcast different?

When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. Make people take notice.

You are an expert at your opinion. Give it to people. Take a stand. Pick a side.

Some of the nicest people make the worst podcast hosts. They try to please everyone in the audience. Those people tend to blend into the background and go unnoticed.

I once coached a radio host who was one of the best storytellers I had ever met. When he and I would meet one-on-one for coaching, he would tell me some of the funniest stories I had ever heard. He would tell me stories of his dad that would have me crying from laughing so hard.

He once told me his dad was absolutely convinced the PT Cruiser was the best car ever made. As much as my host would try to explain that the PT Cruiser was basically the Dodge Neon chassis with a different body, his father wouldn’t believe it. The two of them would get in these heated arguments in public about this car. Of all the things in life you could argue about, this happened to be the PT Cruiser. The way the story was told was full of fabulous details. The host really had the ability to make the stories come to life.

As much as I would encourage him, the host would not tell those stories on the radio. He didn’t believe the audience as a whole would be interested. Instead, he played it safe. He only discussed vanilla content that wouldn’t upset anyone. Unfortunately, the show never took hold.

If you’re not upsetting someone, you aren’t trying hard enough.

I would much rather have half the audience hate me and the other half love me rather than the entire audience have no opinion one way or the other. If the audience doesn’t have an opinion, they don’t care. I’m doing nothing to stir their emotion if I’m not making them pick a side.

If you haven’t picked a side and really focused your topic, people won’t care. They won’t be passionate about your show.

Speak your mind. Be different. Get noticed. Make people care.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Focus Your Podcast Topic …

Focus Your Podcast Topic

When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing.

Focus your topic on what you know best. Be opinionated. Be passionate. Pick a side. Be unique. Most of all, be consistent.

When you try to discuss an industry in general, your audience won’t know what to expect when they visit your show.

Let’s take Dave Ramsey for example. During the opening of “The Dave Ramsey Show”, Dave says, “Where debt is dumb, cash is king, and the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice.”

Dave’s show is a personal finance show. Moreover, it is a show about getting out of debt. Dave helps people find ways to pay off their debt and become financially stable.

“The Dave Ramsey Show” doesn’t discuss particular stocks or mutual funds. It doesn’t discuss how to go about investing other than simply suggesting you sock away 15 percent of your income for retirement and then some for college.

Dave’s show recommends 7 basic steps to financial security. He has been doing a show on these 7 steps for over 20 years. Every show, everyday, every call. It’s all about these 7 steps in some way or another.

When you tune into “The Dave Ramsey Show”, you know what you will get. Dave is focused.

Now, if Dave talked about the benefits of real estate investing on one show and the pitfalls of no-load mutual funds on another, you would never know what to expect. You wouldn’t know what the show would be about on any particular day.

There are times where Dave will focus a particular hour on entrepreneurs. Even these shows are centered around the 7 steps. He helps businesses start and operate debt free.

His show has a focus. “The Dave Ramsey Show” is consistent, but not predictable.

Give your podcast focus. Your audience will appreciate the consistency.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

7 Keys To Interesting Podcast Content – PTC Episode 005

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7 Keys to Making Your Podcast Content Interesting and Not Simply Topical

This podcast is created to help you with the ART of podcasting. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment. I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

In this episode we cover …

1. Attracting people with benefits and not simply contents

2. Be well prepared, not scripted

3. Attract people by being creative

4. Fear is the enemy of creativity

5. Listen to your guest, and be interesting by being interested

6. Tell stories instead of reading them

7. Keep it simple

Can I Be You? …

ID-100109373

Can I Be You?

Vicarious. Voyeurism. Eavesdropping.

Those are three main reasons people listen to your podcast. Tell stories to help fulfill those desires.

People dream about having a different (and usually better) life. They want to experience those things others are experiencing. The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. People crave living the lives of others.

Your listeners want to live vicariously through you. They want to experience your success. They wish they had the courage to do the things you have done. Your fans want to be you in some way or another.

Voyeurism is a reason many people watch the shows they watch, listen to the stories they hear, or read the books they read. They want to experience the lives of others.

People eavesdrop on the conversations of others for the very same reasons. They can experience the life of others without the risk of failure. Eavesdropping doesn’t take the courage required to actually live the life.

By telling great stories about your experiences, you help your audience fulfill the desire to live vicariously through you. If your show contains audio of your feats and experiences, you allow your audience to fulfill their voyeuristic desires. When you interview people on your show, you allow your listener to eavesdrop on your conversation.

When your show is simply a lecture of your content, you fail to help your listener experience any of these three desires. Find new ways to deliver your material to your audience. You will make those important connections that turn into friendships. Those relationships will foster loyalty to your show. Your tribe will follow you wherever you go. That’s a powerful thing.

Tell stories of self-revelation. See where it takes you. You’ll be surprised how many people wish they could be you.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Photo by adamr – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

The Creativity of Podcast Sound …

MixDJ

The Creativity of Podcast Sound

 

Your podcast can rise above the other average podcasts when you use sound in a creative manner. When you add audio effects to your podcast that add to the listening experience, you add an element of show business to your show. Your effects add another level of entertainment to your content.

 

When a well-placed effect surprises your audience when they least expect it, you will bring a smile to the face of your listener. It also adds depth and context to your story. Great sound brings your story to life.

 

At the end of his podcast “The School of Podcasting”, Dave Jackson uses a school bell sound effect to conclude the show. It is brilliant. The school bell relates to the title of the show. The sound of the school bell creates the mental picture of a real “school of podcasting”. The audio also brings about a bit of emotional nostalgia.  It is fantastic.

 

So few people take the time to add creative sound to their show. Most will have music for an intro to the show. Some may even incorporate that music to the close of the podcast as well. Very few will go beyond that point.

 

To be creative and surprising, you don’t need to add many effects. Two or three sound effects that are well-placed will work. If you overuse effects, you will no longer surprise your audience. One or two pieces of audio that appear at the perfect time will be a delight.

 

Take the extra step to find a few creative sound effects for your podcast. Place those pieces in your show where they will be unexpected yet entertaining. Your podcast will instantly rise above the average shows of your competition.

 

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com

 

 

Grab Attention Like Dr. Seuss …

Grab Attention Like Dr. Suess

Dr Seuss Pictures

American children’s author Dr. Seuss (Theodor “Ted” Suess Geisel) was more interested in telling a good story than he was in telling a true story. He often exaggerated. He always used wonderful, colorful words.

The good story approach is even described In his biography at www.Seussville.com. Dr. Suess and his wife were unable to have children.

“To silence friends who bragged about their own children, Ted liked to boast of the achievements of their imaginary daughter, Chrysanthemum-Pearl. … He included her on Christmas cards, along with Norval, Wally, Wickersham, Miggles, Boo-Boo, Thnud, and other purely fictional children. For a photograph used on one year’s Christmas card, Geisel even invited in half a dozen neighborhood kids to pose as his and Helen’s children. The card reads, ‘All of us over at Our House / Wish all of you over at / Your House / A very Merry Christmas,’ and is signed ‘Helen and Ted Geisel and the kiddies.’”

Part of the magic that was Seuss was created by the words he used. Oftentimes, he used words he created himself, like whisper-ma-phone, fiffer-feffer-feff, schloppity-schlopp. His words were memorable and unique. His words have sounds that catch your attention.

If you want to catch the attention of your audience, use great words like Dr. Seuss. You don’t need to create your own vocabulary. Simply use words that stir emotion. Your words do not need to be long, flamboyant words. They simply need to be emotional.

Betraying. Jubilant. Downtrodden. Passionate. Unmovable. Use words that paint pictures.

Great storytellers use delightful details created by fabulous words.

Use delightful details. “It was a muggy, hot lunchtime. We had ducked into the cool, dark shade of the woods where the sun was barely visible through the dense leaves. My eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the leave-covered path when I lost my footing near the edge of an embankment. I ended up landing on my hip and rolling head-over-feet down the fairly steep, 10-foot drop where I promptly landed on my butt in the muddy mess below. My legs were completely covered in mud as if I had been rolling in it for hours.”

With the delightful details of that story, you can almost feel yourself in the woods. You can see the muddy mess in your mind. You can smell the thick, wooded area. Details help your listener experience the story rather than just hearing it.

Capture the attention of your listener by putting your listener in the moment. Always include delightful details in your story. Use fabulous words that paint pictures.  Grab attention like Dr. Seuss.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com.  You can also get tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Content Isn’t King …

Content Isn’t King …

You’ve heard it often. Content is King.

That isn’t necessarily true. Content by itself won’t gain you an audience. Content isn’t King. Great content is King.

Don’t wander through your content without any pizzazz.

If your content isn’t great, nothing else matters. The production of your podcast could easily be the best available. You could have all the bells and whistles available in your studio. The marketing of your podcast could be incredibly creative and unique. However, if the content is great, no one will care.

Don’t simply go through the motions creating your content. Find a unique angle. Your take on the subject should be interesting. Make your content stand out using stories, creativity, and personal revelation.

Content won’t attract an audience unless it is great content. When your content is great, you become king. Make it happen.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

First Is Rarely Unique …

 

First is rarely unique.

(photo by alexshebanov)

To create engaging content with your podcast, you need to be unique. Your first idea will rarely be a truly unique idea. That first idea will usually be something you have done or seen in the past.

Keep working the idea. Let it inspire other, more creative ideas. The more often you let your mind explore other options, the more often you will develop truly unique ideas. Don’t settle.

Always attempt to create something unique with your content. Do not settle for your first idea. Push yourself. Brainstorm. Let one idea lead to the next until you have a long list of ideas. Then, select the best idea from the bunch. You will usually find the unique idea further down the list.

If you settle for your first idea, your content will become stale. You will continue to use ideas that have been used in the past. There will be nothing to engage your audience.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Don’t settle for your first idea. Brainstorm until you push past good and find great. First is rarely unique.

What Is Your File? …

 

What is your file?

(photo by Kreego)

There is one file in your listener’s mind that you occupy. You can not occupy multiple files. You must pick one. Define that file and do all you can to support that image. That is the essence of your brand.

Where does McDonald’s fit in your brain file? McDonald’s is probably the “Fast Hamburgers” file. Does it also fill the “Milkshake File”? Probably not. Sure, they serve milkshakes. However, that file is probably occupied by your favorite ice cream shop.

Where would Cheetos fit in your brain file? It would go in the “Lip Balm” file, right? Of course not. However, Frito-Lay launched Cheetos Lip Balm in 2005. It failed miserably, because Cheetos occupies the “Cheesy Puffed Snack” file in your brain.

Your podcast brand can only occupy one file. You need to decided the one image you can own. Define your brand.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Do not try to be all things to all people. Pick one thing for which your brand will be known. What is your file?

Everyone will get you nowhere …

 

 

Everyone will get you nowhere.

(photo by sergge)

Don’t worry about pleasing everyone with your podcast. As the saying goes, you’ll end up pleasing no one. You will never be able to satisfy everyone. There will always be someone who doesn’t like, need or want whatever it is that you’re selling.

Instead, develop meaningful relationships with your biggest fans. Deliver great content to those who love what you do. If you keep your fans happy and coming back for more, you can leverage those relationships to create additional fans.

Apple doesn’t worry about pleasing every computer user. The company is focused on converting their users into super-fans by delivering great products. Their efforts are creating a cult brand.

In the past, Apple was a niche player in the desktop market. Their market share was small. As the company super-served its audience by expanding into music players and tablets, fans become more engaged and evangelical. Apple now#3 and owns 17% of the total PC market.

The success of Apple wasn’t achieved by selling more desktops to more people. It was achieved by creating wonderful products for their fans. Those carrying iPhones, iPads and iPods became promoters of the brand. This evangelism is the key to the success of Apple. The company didn’t worry about pleasing everyone. Apple focused on their fans.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

If you want to truly engage your audience, and create an effective call to action, don’t worry about pleasing everyone. Focus on creating relationships with your fans. Everyone will get you nowhere.

Don’t Ask THAT Question …

Don’t Ask That Question.

(photo by icyimage)

If you have a decent guest on your podcast, they have probably been interviewed many, many times about the same subject. Popular guests often get bored with the same questions being posed to them over and over again. To make your interview truly engaging for all involved, find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener.

Often, you will hear a host ask their guest stale, typical questions. You know the questions. “So, how did you come up with the name of your latest project?” “What have you been up to lately?” Guests truly dread these questions. They serve no real purpose, yet everyone asks them.

I have had musicians confide in me off the air how much they hate doing radio interviews, because they are all the same. When I once asked a question taken from the band’s website, my guest said, “Oh, I see you’ve read my bio.” He called me out right there on the air. Most hosts take the easy way out and just skim the bio or news release and take their questions straight from there.

Using typical methods of preparation leads to stale questions. “When does your album come out?” “Where did you get the name for the band?” “How did you guys meet?” Pop group Ben Folds Five began making up answers for the question “Where did you get the name for the band?”. In fact, they almost had a different answer every time the question was asked. They had to make the interview interesting for themselves.

Every guest is looking to benefit in some way from the interview. Usually, they have come on your show to promote their latest book or new product. You can help your guest promote without asking painful questions.

Let’s say you are interviewing a musician who has a new album coming out on July 1st. You ask, “When does the new album come out?” Your guest will instantly think, “Didn’t this guy do any homework before he set up this interview?” Your guest will also be saying in his head, “Oh, not this line of questioning again.”

Instead, make your questions interesting. Ask, “When your album comes out on July 1st, what will you be doing to celebrate?” You could also ask, “The album is released on July 1st. Who have you slipped some advanced copies to?” How about asking, “When the album hits stores on July 1st, where will you go to buy your first copy?” Believe me, every artist buys a copy of their first album in the store. They just want to see it on the shelf.

By asking creative questions, you’ve helped the guest promote their goods without sounding stale. You have avoided the mistake of stealing their answer. Best yet, everyone is engaged in the discussion.  Be unique.

Country act Little Big Town was recently a guest on my show. By reading information about the band on the internet, I knew all four members have kids. I also knew all of the kids travel with the group when they tour. I could have asked, “What are the names of your kids.” How about, “Is it fun travelling with your children?” I’m sure they get asked questions like this all of the time.

By getting a little creative, I instead asked the members of Little Big Town, “When the kids travel with you guys, what is the craziest kid thing you have on the bus?” They had just purchased a new kiddie pool for the summer that would fit on top of their gear. They also have a pink pottie for toilet training. It gave them a great opportunity to talk about their kids without asking the same, lame questions they always receive.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Keep your interview engaging. Be creative. Find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener. By all means, don’t ask that question.

Are You Using Cows? …

Are you using cows?

(photo by lisavan)

The unexpected is amusing, delightful and memorable. Being direct assumes your listener cares about your marketing message. They don’t. Your listener cares about his or her needs, wants and desires. Attract their attention by doing the unexpected.

To engage your podcast listener and create a relationship, you need to be memorable. In order to be memorable, you must be unique. Be distinct, unusual, and unexpected. If you sound like every other show, you will not stand out and get noticed.

Chick-fil-a could have easily become another fast food restaurant lost in the sea of mediocrity. Founder Truett Cathy wouldn’t let that happen. The company pays great attention to the details and does the unexpected at every turn.

The Chick-fil-a mission statement is “Be America’s Best Quick-Service Restaurant.” Sure, every fast food joint wants to be the best. Few are willing to put in the work.

One Saturday, we were on a road trip. We were passing through Des Moines, IA at 8:45p as we pulled into the mall to grab a quick bite. We discovered the mall would be closing at 9p. As you can imagine, most restaurants in the food court were cleaning up. We were one of two parties there to eat.

We stepped up to the Chick-fil-a counter and apologized for cutting it so close and causing them extra work. The gentleman behind the counter assured us it was no trouble at all. We received our (fresh) food quickly and grabbed a table in the middle of the food court.

About five minutes later, the same Chick-fil-a employee (a teenager) came to our food court table to make sure everything was alright. This was a mall food court. Few fast food restaurants ever check on you in their own establishment, let alone a mall. You especially do not receive this sort of attention 10 minutes before closing.

That wonderful and surprising level of service is the norm at Chick-fil-a. They always take the extra step to surprise and stand out. The unexpected effort is carried through to the careers they offer, the scholarships they provide to their employees and the process of accepting partners and franchisees.

The company uses cows in their commercials to promote chicken sandwiches. The Chick-fil-a website even has a special section devoted to the cows. When a cow parachutes into a football game promoting chicken sandwiches on a commercial, it us unexpected. Chick-fil-a is memorable.

If you can create unique, memorable experiences for your listener by incorporating the unexpected, you begin to create powerful, meaningful relationships.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Are you using cows?

Are You Defending? …

Are you defending?

(photo by Sloth92)

When you defend the status quo, you never do anything new. You will also find it hard to get noticed. You are doing the same thing everyone else is doing. You will blend in. You won’t stand out.  You won’t truly engage your audience.

Creating meaning relationships with your podcast audience requires that you be remembered.

Be different and bold. Instead of looking for reasons why your idea won’t work, find all of the reasons your idea will be great. Get inspired. If your reason to avoid the challenge is the fact that no one has done it before, you’re drawing the wrong conclusion. The fact that it hasn’t been done before is exactly why you should be doing it. Be different.

Oprah Winfrey had done her show for years as “the father of my child left us / I need a paternity test / crying on tv” show. Once everyone else began doing the same thing, Oprah flipped it. She even created a book club … on television! Who would have ever given that a shot at success? Her status quo went right out the window. She rode it all the way to the bank.

Jerry Springer, on the other hand, just added some chair throwing and hair pulling and took the whole thing in the opposite direction. Bigger, better and bolder than anyone else. He too stands out.

Your experience makes it even harder to avoid the status quo. Your preconceived notions created from everything you’ve seen in the past makes it difficult for you to see things in a new way. You only know what you’ve seen in the past. suddenly, you are telling yourself, “That will never work. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.” Avoid your past.

Be creative and get noticed. Are you defending?

Sorry, One Of You Isn’t Necessary …

Sorry, one of you isn’t necessary.

(photo by Angie68)

When you have two hosts with the same opinion, one isn’t necessary.

Many shows have two hosts. It seems like one person grabbed their friend with similar interests and decided to create a show. Unfortunately, similar interests mean similar points of view. If both hosts have the same point of view, the second host isn’t adding anything new. The second host is usually just restating the same position as the host.

When both hosts have the same point of view, you’re just wasting the time of the listener while you are trying to get each personality mic time. It would be very similar to debating yourself.

The Mike and Mike Show” demonstrates solid, differing points of view when discussing sports. On “The Howard Stern Show”, Howard Stern and Robin Quivers usually have opposing thoughts. In both shows, the different opinions add to the discussion rather than simply stating the same positions again.

There must be contrasting points of view between the personalities to justify the existence of each on the show. When you have two hosts with the same opinion on a podcast, sorry, one of you isn’t necessary.

Hello Everybody In Radioland …

Hello Everybody in Radioland!

To be engaging, you need to be human.  You need to be yourself.

As you record your podcast, use your natural voice and your own words. Individuals who are new to broadcasting tend to want to sound like their broadcasting idols. They try to imitate those they have heard on the radio with their voice and clichés. Unfortunately, new broadcasters tend to sound as if they are using scripted drivel done in some character voice that is forced and unnatural.

You don’t need to sound like Wolfman Jack, Howard Cosell, Don LaFontaine or Howard Stern. In fact, you shouldn’t sound like those guys. They are who they are. You should be who you are. If you are naturally over-the-top, then be over-the-top. If you are not, don’t fake it. You’ll sound like an amateur.

Be natural. Talk with a little energy, but always deliver it as you naturally speak. The days of “the voice for radio” are gone. You don’t need a big voice to be on the radio. You surely don’t need a big voice to create a podcast. Your voice becomes unique by what you say, not how you sound saying it.

Be yourself. Use your own voice instead of trying to impersonate someone else. Use your natural voice and your own words. And please, avoid all of the clichés like “Hello Everybody in Radioland.”

Don’t Settle For The First Idea …

Don’t settle for the first idea. Work and mold your topic.

It is easy to do an interview exactly like you do every other interview. Just like you’ve heard everyone do every other interview. Unfortunately, it will sound like every other interview.

Do something different. Stand out. Make your interview different. Find new questions. Find ways to ask questions differently. Gain attention by being unique.

On her television show, Ellen DeGeneres asks fun, off-the-wall questions of her guests. She will get them talking about crazy topics you don’t hear on other shows. DeGeneres may even compete with the guest in football throwing or put them in a dunk tank. Whatever it is, her content is always different from her competition. Her interviews always contain a ton of laughs. She will always eventually get to the topic the guest is there to promote, like a movie or book. Before she does, DeGeneres will always have a lot of fun in a unique way.

If you are discussing an article, do something different. If most hosts would simply read the article and comment, zig when they are zagging. Grab the phone and call the subject of the article. Interview the author. Act it out. Create a parody of it that is so over-the-top that it becomes memorable. Find that unique way to rise above the rest.

If you continue to settle for the first idea when presenting an idea, you’ll keep delivering typical content. We want to make you memorable. We want you to stand out and get noticed. When your content is vanilla and just like everyone else, you become wallpaper that nobody notices. You also become easy to replace.

Push yourself. Brainstorm until you find something that is great. Then, run with it and make it engaging and memorable. Don’t settle for the first idea.