This week on Podcast Fiend I talk about my top 5 takeaways from Podcast Movement, I share a story about meeting my idol, and what I plan on doing with this show from what I learned.
Hello everyone and welcome to Podcast Fiend, my name is Jeff Perry, and this is a show dedicated to all things podcasting and telling the stories behind the scenes of podcasting. As I said before, I was recently at Podcast Movement, and it was just an unbelievable experience. Even after five days I still can’t believe I managed to get that kind of experience I did.
There is so much I want to tell you all about but there just isn’t enough time in one episode to talk about it. So I am going to give you my top 5 takeaways from this conference, and dive a little bit deeper in each of them as we go through the list. This is by no means the only five things I took away from this experience, but I think these five specifically can help anyone in the podcasting industry listening, so let’s dive in!
- Be authentic
There was a session by Mike Kim, host of the Brand You podcast, who talked about being authentic and bringing yourself into your show. This one wasn’t;t the first session I went to where authenticity was brought up, but it was the first one that explained to me how to be authentic. He talked about how easy it is to bring yourself into your show just by throwing your story in constantly. He does a fantastic interview podcast, and over time he uses his life and stories to connect with his guests as well as show his audience who he is. This session was incredible, and it struck me very strongly because I have been feeling that my personal story hasn’t really been brought into the show enough, I felt I was being too robotic and distant, and I was worried I wasn’t unique enough. So, in the future I hope to bring myself more into this show and I hope you enjoy it.
I had this crisis in the middle of Podcast Movement about my show, and I felt that my show wasn’t being unique enough, I felt my personality was lacking in the show, and I was worrying about the show becoming uninteresting, and have a huge lack of authenticity. But eventually I decided to take a step back and look from within, and I have some plans on how I want to bring my authentic voice into this show more, but I will explain that later. My point is that authenticity is something I plan to bring more of in my show in the coming months.
- Don’t focus on podcasting, focus on story telling
Glynn Washington, host of Snap Judgement, had a keynote at Podcast movement, and he said something that really put me off (at first). He said “I don’t care about podcasting. I really don’t. I care about story.” This originally put me off because I felt that Glynn, who is a radio guy, was just talking down to us podcasters and saying that the medium we use doesn’t matter. But, after he explained himself he wasn’t dissing Podcasting at all, he was saying that story, whether it’s about yourself, your guest, or something in between is what matters. This was something that I hadn’t been really thinking about a whole lot, but then I went back to my recent interview with Juliette Miranda when I asked her about her show, where she has interviews on some episodes and solo shows on others, and she said:
“I don’t differentiate the two because in the end…it’s just storytelling. I’m either telling somebody’s story or I’m telling my own and my job is just to make sure that it’s presented in a way that”s fun. It needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.”
She later went on and talked about how she felt with expressing herself between the written word, because she’s an author, and podcasting and she said:
“In the end, regardless of the format these are things I’m really happy to be talking about, I will always love writing…but podcasting and storytelling like this is just another offshoot of that, it’s just a different way of doing that.”
- Just go for it
The third thing I learned was to go for it. By that I mean not to overthink something and just do what you want to do before your brain tries to stop you. To explain the story I’m about to tell you, I need to go back a bit. Several years ago, director Kevin Smith made a movie called “Red State” and I was a huge fan of Kevin Smith. In fact, KEvin Smith was one of the reasons I started podcasting. After being a fan of his shows and following him on Twitter he kept talking about this show called SModcast which was a podcast he did with longtime friend and producer Scott Mosier. That was the first time I heard about a podcast and when I got bit by that bug I was hooked. but before I get ahead of myself let me get back to early 2011 where I heard about his movie called Red State. I heard about this movie, and really wanted to see i, so when I heard he is screening it in Ann Arbor Michigan I immediately bought my $85 ticket and borrowed my dad’s car and drove an hour away by myself, which was the first time I had done anything like this alone, and saw Red State. The movie was great, but what sticks with me more than anything was the Q&A. He talked about his podcast and he talked about surrounding himself with what he called “Why Not” people.
“You can get a lot done when you surround yourself with ‘why not’ people, but the world is full of why.” This is Kevin Smith’s keynote he did at Podcast Movement going into the same kind of talk.
“You tell someone that you wanna do something step outside your box do something a little different you won’t get met the the chorus of ozamiz you’ll get slapped across the face with a big floppy dick of why. People like ‘why? Why do you think you could do that, why are you saying this shit? Why now all of the sudden? Why are you being like this and I’m not? Why are you acting this way?’ People don’t like to see you try something different or reach or ascend because the world’s a crappot man and the moment you climb up to the top there’s a thousand claws to pull you back down because misery loves company. If you ascend that’s a reminder to all those that were there when you started that they all could have done the same thing but they just chose to try and pull you down or try and make fun of you.
So, back in 2011 when I first heard Kevin say this, I decided then and there I am going to be a “Why not” and keep myself from stopping before I even get started. That’s when I started podcasting.
“Hello and welcome to Movies Suck!, a podcast about movies, movie reviews, and what’s going on in the world of entertainment in terms of film and video. My name is Jeff Perry and I guess this is how we’re going to start it.”
This is the first audio clip of my very first podcast.
So, with all this backstory, the reason I brought this up was because of not letting yourself get in your head and just going for it. After Kevin’s keynote I walked around the hotel, meeting with people, and at some point I was walking back to the session rooms and I see Kevin Smith, the man who got me started in podcasting, walking with the hotel people and I knew I wanted to talk with him. Before I could let my brain tell me “He’s busy, don’t bother him, he’s busy.” I just blurted out “Hey, Kevin!” And he immediately locked eye contact with me, stopped his fast walking out of the hotel, and gave me his undivided attention. Now, I had a lot I wanted to say to him but I knew I only had a few moments with him, so I decided to tell him what I considered the most important thing I wanted to tell him. I shook his hand, and said “Kevin, I just wanted to say thank you, because your mantra of ‘why not’ people is the reason I started podcasting in the first place. Kevin didn’t say anything, he just immediately hugged me, said that he was talking to some other guys about the same thing earlier and that more people need to be like that. He then offered to take a photo with me, I said I’d love to, also I have a copy of your book, and before I could even ask him he made a motion of signing a book and said “go for it.” He signed my book saying “To Jeff, why the fuck not? -Kevin Smith” We snapped some photos, I thanked him, and wished him the best. He did the same for me.
If I had let myself be a “why not” person, and quit before I even started, I wouldn’t have started podcasting, I wouldn’t have gone to podcast movement, and I wouldn’t have had the courage to thank one of my heroes for everything he has done. So if you’re listening to this, no matter who you are, you too can do what ever it is you want.
- If you aren’t socializing at these conferences, you’re probably missing out
The point of these conferences, along with sessions, is to network with others and get to know people. Because my show is about podcasters I try to keep up with a lot of podcasts and the people who host the shows, so networking and meeting the people I admired and enjoyed there work was great, I also got to meet some podcasters face to face after speaking with them over social media. Networking with these people can create an amazing opportunity for both parties, especially someone like me. If I meet with fellow podcasters and tell them about my show, and say I am interested in having them on or continuing to stay in contact with them, I’m able to have those people keep me in mind for anything that may come there way. Now, I am not saying to continue to poke and prod them saying “hey, look at me, don’t forget about me” but if you continue to give them your time, help them if you can, or just be a backboard for bouncing ideas off of you might get something in return for this, but my main goal isn’t to just keep in contact with these people to get what I want, I also want to help them in any way I can because, like I said, I admire these people and think they are very good at what they do and what they podcast about.
On top of networking with people, I also managed to visit most of the booths at the event, most of them companies in the podcasting industry trying to get more people to try or buy their products. But among all of the selling, some booths also had a giveaway or two, which is a way for you to give them your contact info so that you can be on a list of there’s to continue to try and sell to. But one giveaway I did was put a business card of mine into a drawing with Buzzsprout, a podcast hosting service, to get a 15 minute interview with Pat Flynn, host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, and I won! I plan to post the full interview next week, but here is a small snippet of the interview for you all.
- Create consistent and compelling content
This takeaway I kind of already knew, but after spending time at Podcast Movement it really resonated with me. But there are two points in this statement, and the first part is consistency. In order to keep your audience happy, you need to be consistent, by that I mean you need to pick a day to put your show out, and if you can a specific time, and continue to deliver on time every week, or two-weeks whatever your schedule is. Cliff Ravenscraft, AKA the Podcast Answer Man, did a session where he really pushed this point, and he also said that one of the most frequently asked questions he gets is if there is a good day of the week to post, and he says there is! The best day of the week to post your show is whatever day you pick, because this is podcasting, not prime time television where a specific day and time slot can make or break your show, people will get to your episode when they want, if you post on Sunday, it is there for your audience to listen to regardless of what day they post. For instance, let’s say there is Sally, who works a 9-5 job and listens to her playlists of podcasts about podcasts every Tuesday so she has Podcast Fiend, Audacity to Podcast, Podcast Junkies, Podcast Digest, and so her day is filled with all of these episodes. So when I post my episode every Wednesday, the following Tuesday Sally tunes in and listens to my show. It doesn’t matter that she listens 6 days after I post my show, all that matters is that Sally listens.
The second part in this is making compelling content. Cliff Revenscraft gave us the definition of compelling, and here it is:
Invoking the interest, attention, or admiration of your audience in a powerfully irresistible way.
Think about that, you have to make content that people want to hear. This really made me rethink how I wanted to make my podcast, for the past ten episodes I have spoken with some very nice people in the industry, and I don’t regret having any of them on, but I think I have been lacking in putting my voice in the show more, and the show is slowly becoming a standard and almost bland interview show. So, this is partially why I am doing this episode where I talk by myself, throw some clips in, and switch things up.
Of all the things that I learned, these five things are probably the biggest and more important things I took away from this. So if you went to Podcast Movement, and you have some other takeaways you want to share, you can either leave a comment on my website by going to podcastfiend.com/show/12 or by getting a hold of my on social media, I am @podcastfiend (all one word) one Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
I want to say thank you to everyone at Podcast movement who made this experience so much fun and quite honestly life changing. I especially want to Thank Jared Easley who was the person who gave me the chance to go to Podcast Movement.
Finally I want to thank you, my listeners, for taking the time to listen to what I have to say and if you ever want to join the conversation just get a hold of my but the social media I said earlier, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just go to podcastfiend.com/contact. If you like the show, please consider going to iTunes and subscribing to the show, rating the show, and give me an honest review! I am always looking to improve my show so if you have something you want me to talk about or change, let me know!
Thank you again everyone, I’ll see you next week with my interview is Pat Flynn, and a few other things as well, but until then my name is Jeff Perry and this is Podcast Fiend.