Start Your Own Podcast with Jerod Morris [Interview]
Is podcasting right for you?
No need to ask your doctor…the doctor is right here!
His name is Jerod Morris–and he’s a podcasting expert.
This interview is fantastic for anyone wanting to start your own podcast or to at least get more info about the benefits podcasting brings to the table so you can make an informed decision.
Podcasting may not be right for you. Then again, it may help your blog audience explode in numbers!
Check out these questions I asked Jerod. He provides a lot of detail and we covered a large plot of ground on this topic.
You can read my detailed introduction of Jerod Morris below in the transcript, or if you like audio/video, here’s our complete conversation you can check out while driving, walking, or whenever you prefer.
Enjoy! Let Jerod and I know in the comments if you are thinking about podcasting or have a question after listening/reading.Start your own podcast with Jerod Morris [INTERVIEW]
Jerod Morris Interview Transcript
(For those who like to read.)
Matthew: Hey, guys, this is Matthew Loomis, the owner of Buildyourownblog.net. Today I’m going to continue my video series with a gentleman by the name of Jerod Morris. Jerod Morris is the Vice President of Marketing for Rainmaker Digital. He is also the host of many different podcasts previously, as well as even today. So, he’s had a lot of podcasting experience under his belt. Currently today, he podcasts a couple of shows.
One is called The Showrunner, which is an excellent resource for those thinking about starting a podcast. He also cohosts another podcast called The Digital Entrepreneur, which is all about becoming an online entrepreneur. He also hosts a podcast called The Assembly Call, which is all about Indiana State basketball. It’s a post game show.
He really knows his stuff when it comes to podcasting. He’s become quite the expert, and now he’s my go-to resource as I’m putting the pieces together to officially launch a podcast. Even though I’m doing these videos on YouTube, I still have a few things to learn as far as making it also into an official podcast. So, I was able to ask him a lot of questions, and he provided a wealth of information and tips on podcasting.
I know many of you guys out there are thinking about podcasting. You would like to one day do that. I think after you listen to this conversation, you’re really going to be more excited about that idea and that possibility. I think you’re going to want to start it sooner than maybe you expected. So, all right, now let’s go ahead and listen in to my conversation with Jerod Morris, podcast extraordinaire.
Hi Jerod, it’s great to talk to you today.
Jerod: It’s good to be here. Thanks for having me.
Start Your Own Podcast to Connect With YOUR Audience
Matthew: Awesome. So, you have become quite the expert on podcasting. I want to ask you, first of all, why should a blogger consider starting a podcast?
Jerod: That’s a great question. I think there are a number of reasons, but I think to boil it down to one reason, it would be the companionship that it allows you to develop with an audience. That word, companionship, is not one that I had really thought about, and Jon Nastor, who’s my cohost on The Showrunner, actually mentioned that he was listening to an interview with Alex Blumberg, who obviously started StartUp.
He used that term to describe the advantage that podcasting has over the other content mediums. I loved it, because we often talk about the importance of developing an authentic connection and being useful. But what really separates a podcast, and the reason why when you’re a podcaster and then you meet someone in real life who’s been listening to your show, it’s like, “Man, it feels like I know you. It feels like we’ve met before.”
It’s because it’s your voice inside of their head, and you can really tell the enthusiasm level that they have for a topic when you can hear them. It’s when you think about the places where people listen to podcasts. And the times when they listen to podcasts, a lot of times, it’s in these intimate moments in their lives where no one else can go. When I’m walking my dog, when I’m in the shower, when I’m doing the dishes, these are times when I listen to podcasts a lot of times, and it’s time when it’s just me and whoever I’m listening to.
It really allows you to develop a connection that I think you can’t get with other content mediums. So, it’s really unique to podcasting. There are many other business reasons and all kinds of stuff we can get into, but I think if you’re looking to develop a connection with an audience, there’s no better way to do it than with a podcast.
Matthew: Yeah. I read that when I was doing my research on you. I never thought of that before. I’m like, “Wow, that is so true.”
Jerod: Also, if you have a voice as good as yours, then you have to start a podcast, because you have a great podcast voice.
Matthew: Thank you. I found that to be so true this morning. I was like, “Jerod, could you pass the shampoo?” Then I was like, “Oh, wait a minute. We’re away.”
Jerod: Yeah, it kind of tricks you a little bit.
Matthew: We’re getting to know each other a little bit. But that’s a really good point, that it really helps you to get more of an intimate connection with your audience. So, what are some bad reasons for wanting to start a podcast? What would be some reasons that really you might think they’re a good idea, but they’re not?
Jerod: Oh boy, that’s a great question. I think, if you’re starting a podcast just to get famous, like just to get on the top list of iTunes, I don’t think that’s going to be a very good reason to start a podcast. Because, look, there’s a huge opportunity in podcasting because listenership continues to grow.
The cost of entry, the barrier to entry is a lot lower. You can get a good mic to get set up for 60, 70 bucks and get going. So, there’s a lot of people in there, and I think there can be some false promises made about how successful you can be with a podcast and how fast it is.
Certainly at The Showrunner, we love inspiring people to start a podcast, but we’re very honest and candid about the amount of time it’s going to take to really do it well, how hard it will be at certain times. There’s certain critical junctures where people oftentimes will fall victim to pod fade after their first seven to ten episodes, or after their first 20 to 25 episodes, and you got to be able to get past that. It takes a real commitment to an audience and an enthusiasm for a topic to get there.
People who do it for more vanity reasons or fame reasons, or don’t have a real driving purpose behind why they love the content, why they want to connect to an audience, and even furthermore, why they want to build an audience it, they, a lot of times, won’t last past the difficult points. So, I think if you don’t really have that, then I think your reasons for starting a podcast probably aren’t going to be good enough.
That said, you don’t need to be targeting a very big niche to be successful. That’s the other thing that I think people, they overestimate how big of a niche do you need. You don’t need that big of a niche, because we know that you can see real results, even business results, from having a few hundred dedicated podcast listeners, because of that companionship that we talked about.
You want to be genuine with why you do it. So, if it’s just to see your name in the big, bright lights of iTunes, that’s not a good reason, because it’s hard to get in there in the first place, and there’s a lot of big names out there doing it already. So, you got to be driven by something that’s more substantial, more authentic than that.
Matthew: All right. We are going to talk a little bit about authenticity here in a minute. I have not started a podcast officially. I am doing these interviews, and I like to record them, and then I like to put them on YouTube. Let’s start with my case, but also maybe there’s a blogger listening to this that doesn’t want to do video, but just audio as well. So, can you kind of carry us through the steps to starting a podcast? I’d love to hear, what’s the best way for me to convert this to an MP3?
Jerod: That’s a great question. If you’re going to be doing video, I almost think you have to be doing a podcast because you’ve done the hard part. Right?
Jerod: You’ve created the content. I’ve actually done this with a couple of my shows. The Assembly Call, that started out as just an audio show, but then we decided to broadcast it live on video as well. So, we do it as a Google Hangout, and so it’s live as a video. It’s there on YouTube for people to watch. People can then watch the archived version.
But then what we do is, we just extract the audio from that file and post it as a podcast. We’re now in our fifth year, so our numbers have grown. Especially for big games, we can get 500 to 600 people there for the live broadcast. But then we get 1,500 to 2,000 people listening on the podcast. Again, this is the other benefit of a podcast, is, number one, it’s on demand, so people can listen any time they want to.
Number two, they can listen, so they can do it while they’re doing other things. With the video, you can’t really. Because if it’s a video, then ostensibly there’s a reason for people to be watching, and so, people have to focus.
But the nice thing is, even sometimes people use YouTube just to listen to audio. You don’t have to, but I think…for most people, it’s like for me, when I’m going to listen to a podcast, I don’t go to YouTube; I have my podcast player. Or people go to iTunes. So, you want to make it available in there. There’s a tool that I use that you may have. Do you use Call Recorder for recording on Skype?
Matthew: No, I’m using Camtasia right now.
Jerod: Camtasia, okay. For anybody who records on Skype, if you do use Call Recorder via Ecamm, which is what I use and it’s what we recommend to folks – I think it costs about 25 bucks – you can actually download a suite of tools that are video conversion tools. They will allow you to take a video or take a Skype recording and split it into two separate tracks, like my track and your track for this interview.
What I really use is the MP4 to AIF conversion. That’s where, with this video or any video that you have on YouTube, you can take that file, convert it into an AIF file, and then use that inside of GarageBand, or wherever else you’d be editing your podcast.
It’s a much simpler process than I thought it was. Again, you asked earlier, why start a podcast? Well, the other reason to start a podcast is that when you start, either with a video as you have, or with audio, there is then so much that you can do with that to create other pieces of content, to repurpose, and just to expand your reach and give people many different ways that they can connect with your content.
Matthew: Exactly. That’s what I’m wanting to do here. Anything else? That’s basically it in a nutshell, huh?
Jerod: In terms of converting to audio?
Start Your Own Podcast – Coming Up with a Fantastic Podcast Title
Matthew: Yeah, or starting a podcast. One thing I was going to ask you, since we’re on this topic of starting a podcast, what makes a good podcast name? How do you come up with a good podcast name?
Jerod: That’s a great question, and it’s definitely an important consideration when you’re going to start. I should say, in terms of starting, the other thing that you want to get is obviously where you’re going to host your podcast. I’m obviously biased to the Rainmaker platform because I work for Rainmaker Digital, and that’s where I host all of my shows. It’s a really good option if you’re going to do more than just host a podcast.
If you just want to host a podcast and that’s it, you’re not going to have an email list with it or landing pages or a site – I don’t know why exactly you would do that, but there are reasons why people would do that – then you can use something like Libsyn just to host your files. Or you can do WordPress, with PowerPress, something like that, which is what I did before Rainmaker.
But if you have a bigger purpose for your podcast, you’re going to turn it into a core, you’re going to build an email list with it, then something like Rainmaker is really, really powerful because it hosts it. It gives you all the storage that you need. Then you can integrate it with a blog, with marketing automation, with landing pages, with a membership site. So, your podcast can really grow as your relationship with the audience grows. So that’s really important.
When it comes to naming, as you record this, we’re recording a series on The Showrunner about differentiating your podcast. It’s a challenge because, again, everybody is very excited because there are so many new podcasts and the opportunities are so great and it’s easier. The downside to that is that the opportunities are so great and it’s easier, so lots of people are starting podcasts.
So, it does create a bit of a challenge to get noticed. But it’s really more of an opportunity than a challenge, I think, if you’re going to think strategically about it. Because what it means is, you just need to position your podcast. It’s like when we started with the Assembly Call, there were some other Indiana basketball podcasts and blogs out there. You can look at that and say, “Crap, they’ve already got audiences. They’ve been around for a while. How are we going to carve out our niche?”
But I chose to look at it as, okay, these sites have already proven that there are people out there consuming this content. Great. I don’t have to worry about that. All I have to do is position myself in a way that what we’re offering is different. That was one of the reasons why we started out as a postgame show, because there wasn’t anything else like that out there.
Similar thing with The Showrunner. It’s like, “Oh, man, there’s already five or six podcasts that are about podcasting.” Great. We know people are listening to that content. Now, let’s go look and see, what are these other shows doing? How can we be different? Where does that difference match up with something we’re enthusiastic and knowledgeable about?
That’s where the authenticity comes in. You can’t just create something that’s different or differentiated but it’s not organic to you and you can’t actually speak authoritatively on it. You can’t be different just for different sake, so you’ve got to be smart about it. But once you’ve figured out what that difference is, now you have the fun of coming up with a name. I think you want to have something that is simple to remember, and that has some kind of important connection to your content or your audience.
Look at Hack the Entrepreneur. I think that’s a great name. And Jon actually didn’t like that name at first because he wasn’t a big fan of the term hack. He just thought it was kind of trite and didn’t want to go down that road. But people like it. Like this idea of hacking things, people get.
And so he was going to hack entrepreneurs, and so it fit. Hack the Entrepreneur. You can shorten it to HET. It’s simple. It’s easy to remember. Very organic to what the content of his show was going to be about. That’s a great name.
The Assembly Call, the place where Indiana plays their home games is an arena called Assembly Hall. When we first started the show, it was on Blog Talk Radio, and we actually had fans call in. I think I was just out walking one day, and it’s like, “Assembly Call.” That makes sense, and it fits.
It’s kind of like an inside joke. So, to people who aren’t IU fans, they don’t get the name. Assembly Call, what does that mean? But any IU fan will get it in a heartbeat. They’ll get it in a minute.
What’s interesting about that is, sometimes, you can’t just sit down and say, “Okay, I’m going to come up with a name, and I’m going to come up with it in the next 15 minutes.” It’s one of those things that needs to percolate. You want to have a little sheet of paper, and just jot down ideas, any silly idea that comes to you.
And then what will probably happen is then your subconscious will take over, and when you’re showering or doing something, the idea will pop in your head. But you have to be intentional about it. Just don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t come to you right in that moment.
The other tip with naming is you can be aspirational with your name. So you want to think about, “What is the transformation that I want my audience to have?” and try and include that in your name. That’s what we did with The Showrunner, because our big concept with The Showrunner is we don’t want people to think of themselves just as podcasters.
You’re not just someone who’s creating a succession of audio files for listeners. You’re creating an experience. Just like the Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad, just like he’s a showrunner, because he’s in charge of creating this television experience, well, so are you. You’re just doing it with the audio medium. So, think of yourself in this bigger, bolder way as a showrunner.
We just named the show The Showrunner, because that’s the transformation. Come to us thinking one way. We want you to then transform into this way. I think those are really three great ways to think about it. You can be relatively straightforward and use a popular key term like Hack the Entrepreneur.
You can do something that’s really organic to your name and your niche, like the Assembly Call; or think about the transformation you want your audience to make, and put that right there in the title so there is no mistaking what you’re about and the type of people who you’re trying to attract.
Matthew: I love The Showrunner, by the way.
Jerod: Thank you.
Matthew: I’ve started listening to it. Interesting you mentioned the term hack. I actually thought that was going to die off like a few years ago, but it just keeps on going, doesn’t it?
Jerod: It keeps going. And it makes sense because we are in…as technology continues to grow, we’re in this culture. And that term, hack, which at one time was a negative, but it was kind of negative but always with this undercurrent of “Whoever is hacking, they’re really smart.” It kind of has that gravitas to it, and I think that’s why now it’s been applied to other things.
It’s one of those things. It’s a short, punchy word. People get immediately what you mean. It’s like, “Okay, Hack the Entrepreneur. We’re going to study entrepreneurs and figure out why they work.” Perfect. Again, he didn’t even like it but it’s worked out really well for him.
Matthew: He’s funny. I like Jon.
Jerod: He is.
Matthew: Just through the podcast.
Jerod: He’s an awesome guy.
Start Your Own Podcast with These 4 Essential Elements
Matthew: Great. You did a presentation called The Four Essential Elements of a Remarkable Podcast, and I just wanted to touch on those four elements. Let’s start with, first of all, the element of authenticity. Can you talk about authenticity a little bit? That’s a term we hear a lot online. What does that mean?
Jerod: What it doesn’t mean is transparency, and I think people get those two terms confused sometimes. Transparency is just saying anything. If I started telling you right now that I have a cup of coffee right here and I’m drinking coffee and it’s got an Indiana logo. I did that because I interviewed a famous IU. Immediately, your eyes are glazing. You don’t care about this. I’m being transparent. I’m opening up to you, but that doesn’t mean anything.
Authenticity is all about finding the intersection between your experience, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and then the goals and obstacles and what an audience needs to take the next step. Finding that intersection and creating content around that. That is authentic because, you are, you’re being true to yourself. You’re sharing important parts about yourself, but you’re sharing the parts of your knowledge and enthusiasm that are meaningful to an audience.
That really requires understanding who your audience is, where they’re trying to go so you can help them get there. My authenticity, when I’m doing the Assembly Call, is a lot different from my authenticity when I’m doing The Showrunner; two totally different audiences. So, that’s why it’s very important to make that distinction between authenticity and transparency.
When you do that, when you find that connection, that intersection between those two, that’s where you really develop that connection with an audience. It’s like when we’re on The Showrunner, and Jonnie [SP] and I start talking about an issue that a podcaster will face, we know that because we’ve been there.
When you tell someone who, and then they experience it, they come back and they say, “Man, these guys, they know where I’m going. They know where I’m trying to get. They gave me the advice before I even needed it.” That is authentic and it helps you develop authority. That’s why that is so important. I think that’s at the heart of every great podcast.
It doesn’t just need to be helping people solve a business problem, as we’ll get to when we talk about usefulness next. There are a lot of different ways to be authentic, but it’s really, you’ve got to understand yourself and really be honest with yourself about what you have a genuine enthusiasm for. Because remember this, when people are listening to your voice, when they’ve got your voice in their ears, you cannot hide whether you really care about the topic that you’re talking about.
You can’t. Literally, science has proven, there’s something in your voice that allows people to know like, “Is he confident? Is he scared? Is he timid? Is he just going through the motions?” The voice does not lie. So, that’s why it’s so important.
Know yourself, and then really be able to put yourself in the shoes of an audience, be able to empathize with them. When you do that, that intersection, it creates something beautiful. That, with the power of the audio medium, really allows you to develop a strong connection with the audience.
Matthew: Wow. You’re so articulate about this.
Jerod: Thank you. I’ve had the good fortune of talking about this stuff a lot, and doing the presentation and talking about it on The Showrunner. Let me say, you asked before, why should people start a podcast? Well, especially if there is content that you are maybe building your brand around or that you need to talk about in whatever setting, being on podcasts, either hosting them or being guests on them, gives you opportunity after opportunity to talk about your material, and talk it out, and to get comfortable with it.
It’s a huge benefit of doing a podcast, because then when people ask you questions, you can speak about it in a way that is articulate and sounds like you know what you’re talking about. A lot of times, it’s just because of the practice of being able to do it over and over, that a podcast affords you.
Matthew: Right. We’re going to get into that a little more about just doing it and making mistakes, not worrying about it. But let’s go on to the second essential element of a successful podcast, which is usefulness.
Jerod: Usefulness. This is about understanding that your audience is coming to you for something. Your audience is investing their time in you, and their time is a valuable resource. They’re investing their time in you. You’ve got to give them something for that.
You’ve got to give them a return on that investment. It’s typically going to come in one of three areas: entertainment, education, or inspiration. Then you can really add companionship to this too, but usually companionship is tied up with these other ones.
What I mean by that is, people are coming to your show for something. They’re coming to be entertained, they’re coming to learn something, or they want to be inspired. My guess would be the people who are going to listen to this, they want to learn about podcasting. They’re going to see the headline. They know the kind of things that you teach and what you’re about. So, they’re going to come hoping that this conversation will teach them something about podcasting.
So the number one element of usefulness we have to make sure we deliver in this hour-long discussion is education. We’ve got to give people education. Now, to the extent that we can entertain people and inspire people too, that’s great, and that’s where you go to the next level, and you want to have as much of that as possible.
But if we just came on here for an hour and just told stories and we’re focused more on entertainment, people probably aren’t going to get out of this what they’re coming for. This goes back to the authenticity, to understanding what your audience needs from you and what you’re capable of giving them. Finding that connection, and then making sure that the content that you deliver is useful.
Again, you want to be entertaining, educational and inspirational, but it’s really important to remember that one of those needs to rise above the rest and always be there. This American Life, I love it when I learn something from This American Life, or when there’s a story that inspires me. But I listen to that show to be entertained, to be enthralled by a story.
On The Showrunner, we really hope that we inspire people. We hope that we entertain people. But we know, come hell or high water, we’ve got to educate people. Sometimes, there is a disconnect there between what a podcaster or a showrunner thinks their audience is coming to them for and what they’re really coming to them for. You’ve got to make sure that you know that and that you deliver that in every episode.
Matthew: I just heard Sonia Simone say on her podcast, “Don’t try to be like Wikipedia.”
Matthew: You’re giving information, but you’ve got to be entertaining and have some personality. Right?
Jerod: You do. That goes back to being you, being authentic. What’s really interesting about that is, people ask, “How do I differentiate my show?” Well, the number one thing to remember is that your show is always going to be differentiated because it’s you, and you are different from everybody else. You have a different personality.
I really think trying to be someone other than who you really are in a podcast, you may be able to get away with it for a few episodes, kind of playing a character, but unless you’re professionally trained and you’re an actor and you do that type of thing, I think that’s going to be really hard to carry on in the long run.
Build an audience around you. You don’t want to be Wikipedia just reciting facts. You want to give people facts with your stories and your take and your inflections and all of that. Some people aren’t going to like it, and that’s okay. Some people really are going to like it, and those are the people who you are trying to attract. Sometimes, the people who you push away, that you don’t attract, those people are as important as the people you do.
Matthew: You can speak about this probably better than anyone. Not everyone in our audience is going to like podcasts, but yet they may like to read your content. Right?
Jerod: Yeah. We have dealt with that a lot at Copyblogger, where we have an audience that was trained to consume our content at reading. The people who have always written for Copyblogger have been readers, so they’ve attracted readers.
When we started Rainmaker FM, that was a big thing. People wanted the transcripts. So we had transcripts on there for our podcast, another way to repurpose your podcast content. We actually took them away. It was a business decision, because they aren’t always the cheapest things to produce. But so many people wanted them that now we’ve started bringing them back.
Again, that’s understanding your audience. Some audiences, like the Assembly Call, there would be no reason for me to do a transcript there. A few people may want it, but it’s just not an audience that is going to consume that kind of content with a transcript.
So, there’s no one size fits all answer for if you should have a transcript or not. But going back to usefulness, a lot of shows that are geared toward education, they are probably more the ones where having a transcript is going to be a smart idea.
Matthew: Yeah. Before we go on to number three, I’m just curious. Do you guys outsource your transcripts, or how do you do that?
Jerod: Yeah, we do. We outsource the transcripts. Like the basic, taking the audio to text, and then we have someone in-house who edits them and formats them. But yeah, we do outsource that. It can get pricey, but there are…you pay for what you get for. There are some solutions that you get it and it’s okay. And for the better solutions, you have to pay a little bit more, like anything else. But yeah, we do.
Matthew: I do too, because it takes a lot of time, especially like a 50-minute interview like this. So, the third essential element you say to a great podcast is sustainability. What do you mean by that?
Jerod: Well, sustainability is the simplest one to explain and the hardest one to do. Because what sustainability means is showing up, showing up reliably and showing up reliably over time. Because that’s what you have to do to build trust with an audience.
If we’re being authentic with our audience and we’re giving them something useful, and we want to capitalize on this great benefit of podcasting, which is to create a connection, develop that companionship with an audience, you’re not going to do it with two episodes. You’re not going to do it if you’re here one week, and then you’re not there next month, and then you pop back in.
So, you’ve got to show up, number one. You certainly can’t create a great connection if you never get out there in the first place. Then you need to show up reliably so that people know when they can count on you. And then do it over time. It compounds and you build that trust. It’s a lot like developing a relationship in the offline world. You meet with someone one time, you can have a lot of fun with them, and you can like them, but you don’t really get to know them very much.
You certainly haven’t developed any trust. Especially if we’re using our podcast to advance our businesses. But even if the podcast is the business itself and we’re just looking to develop a consistent audience, we need to build the know, like and trust factors. That doesn’t happen overnight. It’s got to happen over time.
I look at the shows that I’ve done, and I have another show at my site, Primility, that I’ve been kind of off and on with it, and I’ve started and I’ve stopped. I did a daily show for a while, and then this. Then I was blogging for a while.
That audience has never built up as big as it could be because I’m all over the place with the content. So, people don’t really know what to expect. I’ve got another plan for it, looking to get back going with it again. I can’t ever really sit there and lament, “Why hasn’t this show taken off?”
Well, it hasn’t taken off because you haven’t given some people something consistent to rely on. This is a show. The Assembly Call, on the other hand, for five straight years, we’ve been there after every single game. On the few games that we weren’t there, we let people know. We can’t be there because of this, that or the other reason.
So people know they can trust us. And when a game ends and they go to watch our show, or the next morning they go to get the podcast, they know it’s there. That trust is built, and that’s so important and it compounds over time.
I don’t think you really want to think about a podcast as this short-term content project. Not that it can’t have some benefits in the short-term. It can, but the benefits really, really come through over the long-term. It doesn’t mean you have to be there every week.
You can take time off. You can rerun episodes. You can do a lot of things to ease the…because it can be intimidating to think about that. But just, again, show up for the first time. You got to have some kind of reliable schedule, whatever it is, and then do it over time.
When you do that, I think a lot of people find that winning in podcasting is more a war of attrition than it is anything else. A lot of people will fall, but if you stay there and people are subscribed, you’ll just continue to rack up subscribers and connection and build that audience, which ultimately is what we all want to do.
Matthew: Absolutely. I happened to catch the episode of The Showrunner where you guys were talking about when to know when to stop, or when to quit. Not podcasting in general, but that particular show. Can you talk a little bit about that and to know when to maybe let something go?
Jerod: Yeah. That’s such a tough decision. I think there are a couple of key points. I think, when you’re at the point that there’s really some barrier between you and getting behind the microphone. Because for a lot of podcasters, there is that barrier at the beginning, and that’s totally naturally. There certainly was for me when I first started.
If you’ve never “performed before,” if you’ve never recorded, if you hate your voice, these are all things that most podcasters go through. But you’ve just got to get through that first episode and get moving. Then for most people then, where it goes beyond an episode or two and they get rolling, they really start to get excited about it.
Because again, if you’ve started your podcast for the right reason, then you’ve probably got a genuine enthusiasm for this topic, a genuine enthusiasm to build that audience, and you start seeing those results at the beginning, and man, you build some real momentum.
But I think when you get to the point where that starts to fade – and it will start to fade – I think then you’ve got to take a step back and analyze why. Is it just because of the work? Then maybe it’s time to add some more efficiencies, and that can give you another boost. That is not a reason to quit. But are you just genuinely finding that you don’t care about the topic?
You’re not interested anymore in doing the research. You just don’t have that enthusiasm. I wouldn’t quit right away, but I’d hold up a little bit of a red flag for myself and see if that changes. Because if that doesn’t change over the long haul, then maybe you’re not the right person to be leading this audience on this journey, and maybe that will fade.
The other thing is, when you start to see your audience growth stagnate. And again, this will happen. So, these points always come where you can check yourself. I think you really want to understand why. Is it just not the right market? Did you choose the wrong market? Is this the wrong fit between show and market? Do you not have the right differentiation?
At that point, maybe, you need to pivot. Maybe you need to try something else when it comes to your audience. Or that may be the point where you just say – and again, this is usually combined with diminishing enthusiasm on your own part – “Okay, maybe I just have a bad fit here between show, market, myself, all those things.”
It’s such an individual decision in every case, but there are…I would respect these moments that happen. Don’t just say, “Okay, I’m not feeling it, but let me just power through it and I’m not going to worry about that.” I would take a step back, and I’d do it.
If you want some real candor here – not that I haven’t been giving you candor the whole time – here is a moment of transparency that is also authentic, is how I should have said that. I was out walking with my wife two days ago, and had a big conversation about whether I want to do the Assembly Call again for another season. It happens every off-season. It does, every off-season.
I didn’t think it would happen this off-season, because the show has grown so much. But every off-season when I get some time to step away, it’s like, “I kind of enjoy the extra time. This is nice.” It took me a lot less time, this time, to overcome it and be like, “No, hell no. Of course, I’m doing it again. I love this show. I’d be miserable without it once the season rolled around.”
But I really tried to not just dismiss it. I tried to respect those feelings, because every time when you do that and then you’re like, “No, no, no. I’ve got the enthusiasm. This show is moving. Let’s go,” now it’s like you get another jolt of energy. So, it gives you some good enthusiasm that then is going to be transferred to your audience. I like respecting those feelings, engaging with them, embracing with them and moving on.
There may come a point in time where I’m like, “Man, I can’t get past that feeling now.” I might not quit that day. I might say, “Well, let me give it another couple of weeks and see how this goes, see if it changes.” If it doesn’t, then maybe we really have a conversation about this. It’s such a personal thing. But I think that’s the biggest key, is just really listen to yourself, respect those feelings and see where they go.
Matthew: Let’s take the Assembly Call, for example. Let’s say you’ve built this big audience. You’ve got a successful podcast, but then you reach a point where you don’t think it’s for you anymore. I haven’t heard any stories about this. Is that something you could sell to someone?
Jerod: That’s interesting. The Assembly Call, at this point, probably doesn’t have…there’s no recurring revenue model there. There’s nothing like that. Maybe we could. But with a show that’s more developed, I certainly think you could. Now, the risk there is that how much of the reason why it’s worth selling is because of you? That’s a problem, because you will have an audience, and so you would be selling someone else access to this audience.
But they would need to be the right fit for the audience. That’s not to say they couldn’t take it in a new direction. We see that happen with TV shows and with radio shows all the time. It’s certainly something that could work. I think, with a blog, it’s a little bit easier to maybe sell a blog to someone than a podcast.
With a blog, the voice is going to change of the writing. There’s no question, and that’s going to have a similar impact. But the literal voice of a podcast will change. Some people just like the sound of your voice. Some people like you and how you are.
That would be on a case by case basis. It’s like with the Assembly Call. It’s such a great audience that has been built, I wouldn’t just shutter it and be like, “Well, if I’m not doing it, no one is doing it.”
I would certainly try to transition that over to someone else in the event that I ever did. It would be a challenge, I think, for that person, especially early on. But who knows? They might do it better and take it in a different direction. That could go a lot of different ways.
Matthew: So maybe that’s why it’s a good idea to not name your business after yourself.
Jerod: Yeah. It would be a lot harder to sell a show or transfer a show if it was named after you and then it’s not you anymore. That would be pretty hard.
Matthew: Right. I think it was Chris Brogan that said he wished he would have started off naming his business like Flying Monkey. He just used a crazy example. Because how many people are going to want to buy chrisbrogan.com once he’s done? Just something to think about.
Jerod: Yeah. Someone may, because of him, because he has such a big name. But you have to reach a pretty big status for that to be the case. Even so, he has a good point, because if it wasn’t named something else, it would probably have even a higher level of value. So, it’s a good point.
Matthew: Like Zig Ziglar, he’s already dead, but his business continued.
Jerod: Or Dale Carnegie. Most of us aren’t Dale Carnegie or Zig Ziglar, unfortunately.
Matthew: Right. So, Jerod, now, you encourage people to start podcasting and not worry about the mistakes. If it’s terrible, then it’s terrible. Don’t worry about it. Many folks are afraid to get behind the mic for various reasons. I was wondering if you could dig a little deeper in those reasons. Just a few of the most common reasons, and share with us how people can overcome those fears.
Jerod: I think one of the most common reasons is just that fear that you’re going to say something that you’re going to regret. Guess what? I’ve done 700, 800 podcast episodes in my life, and I just did that ten minutes ago on this episode we’re talking.
I hate when people say, “to be honest with you” or anything like that, and here I did it, just ten minutes when I said here, “Let me be really candid” to preface a story. I hate that. It’s the kind of thing that just grates on my ears that I said it. But that kind of stuff happens.
Guess what? If I hadn’t brought it up again, no one would probably remember that. I’d be the only one who’s really worried about that. I’m bringing attention to it now just to make a point. I think the other thing is, I don’t think people took it the wrong way. Because again, I hope that my enthusiasm for this topic and how genuine I am and my authenticity comes through just in how I’m able to be here speaking with you.
A big part of that is practice. I think that’s where people have unrealistic expectations in the beginning. I definitely had unrealistic expectations in the beginning when I first got behind the mic and was doing a podcast at midwestsportsfan.com.
Because I had listened to sportscasters all my life and these guys on the radio, and I wanted to sound like them. And I didn’t. I tried using scripts. I could tell that I was reading off of a script. There just wasn’t much confidence in my voice. Of course not. I’m podcasting for the first time. I’m doing all of this for the first time.
I’m standing here trying to talk with a microphone in my face. It’s so comfortable for me to do now, but it was so uncomfortable in the beginning. The only way I overcame that – there’s no secret – the only way is just doing it. The only difference between me or someone like Jonnie is just that we’ve done hundreds of episodes. That’s it.
You have to be willing to start out and to fail and to screw up a little bit. But the other thing to remember is, unless you’re doing a live show, and most people don’t do live shows, you can edit it. You can scrap it, and it’s okay. But at least get back there and try.
If you want to do 17 takes to get one that you’re comfortable with, by all means, do whatever it takes to get comfortable and get those episodes out there. What’s really interesting is what you start to find. I used to host the Copyblogger podcast, which now is called Copyblogger.fm, was called The Lede. Demian Farnworth and I hosted that podcast. It was great.
Matthew: I listened to several episodes.
Jerod: I loved hosting that podcast with Demian. When I first took it over, because it had been the Copyblogger podcast before, and so when we first took it over, I was editing it. I went through and tried to edit out every “um,” every “ah,” every “you know.” And I still say “you know” way too much. It’s my biggest issue when I’m talking. It’s another thing that grates on my ears. Again, I would edit all of those out. It would take me literally hours to do.
Then one day, I was out walking, and I was listening to an episode of another podcast. It was real choppy, and you could tell that they had taken out every “um” and “you know,” and it just didn’t sound like a normal conversation. It was this weird, over-edited thing and I couldn’t get into it, and I couldn’t connect. I was like, “Dummy, you’re doing the exact same thing on The Lede.”
I finally stopped doing that. And actually, no one said, “Hey, why did you stop taking out the ums and the you knows? This is a much worse product now.” I actually had some people say, “Hey, I’m really glad that you guys don’t over-edit this thing anymore. Now it actually sounds like you and Demian just talking.”
With all of our imperfections, with Demian starts and stops sometimes and me saying “you know,” and all of this stuff, but people liked it because it was just a conversation. That has actually allowed me to be a lot less self-conscious. I only learned it just by doing and that experience with the audience where you really learn the audience just wants you.
Does that mean that you shouldn’t try to get better and become better at speaking and all of that? No, of course not. But that’s you getting better, but they want you. That really put me at ease. But I don’t think there’s any way to truly internalize that lesson without doing it and experiencing it with your own audience. Because otherwise, it’s just our natural inclination to be wrapped with self-doubt and self-consciousness about that.
So, you’ve got to get behind the mic that first time and then commit to doing a certain number of episodes and getting them out there. The other thing is, with your content, we have a hypothesis for what we think an audience wants, but we never truly know until the content actually hits that audience and we start to open that feedback loop. And we see what they respond to, and what they might want more of, and what they don’t respond to.
It’s both in our delivery and in how we put the content together. And what kind of content we put together, the only way, literally the only way to get out there and do it right and get better is to get the content out there. You can practice and do all this stuff beforehand – and it’s good – do a little bit of it, but then you got to start getting the content out there so that it truly has an opportunity to get better.
Matthew: That’s one of the biggest takeaways that I’ve gained from you in my research, is to just do it. This is only like my fourth interview.
Jerod: Really? See? And you’re doing a great job!
Matthew: Well, thanks.
Jerod: Hey, that’s good. If that’s the lesson that you took from the things I’ve said, then good, because that’s probably the number one thing I would want to get across to people, is just do it. Just get out there. Look, by just doing it, you may find that you don’t like it. That is totally okay, but at least then you’ll know.
At least you’ll have crossed off podcasting from your list and you won’t have to worry about it and all those things. Because not everybody is cut out for it. Not everybody is going to love doing it. Sometimes people who really think they’re going to, it ends up not being a great fit. Other people who are terrified and think, “I could never do this,” they get into it, and they’re able to come out of their shells.
Maybe they’re not good talking on a stage, but in the privacy of their own office behind a microphone, they can really get into it a little bit. That is really exciting to see, when people come at it like that. But again, you’re not going to know until you just start doing it.
Matthew: Yeah, exactly. Did we touch on the fourth essential element?
Jerod: We did not. We need to get to that one, too.
Matthew: Okay. So let’s look at then the fourth essential element, which is profitability.
Jerod: Yes. It’s interesting because we talked about why should you start a podcast at the beginning, and we talked about how you don’t want to do it if it’s kind of for vanity, or you want to get famous. But I definitely did not put in their to make money. Making money and building a business can be an excellent motivator for starting a podcast, and it should. I think and I hope that we’re well past that old idea where the Kumbaya era of blogging and creating content online, where if you’re monetizing it, then you’re not really doing it for the love of the content.
Hopefully, we’re all past that, and I have to think that with your audience, the people listening to this probably will be. But what’s so important about profitability to understand, is there are three elements of profitability. There’s direct, there’s indirect, and there’s intrinsic.
Direct profitability is making money directly off the podcast. Maybe you sell ads. We have a SeatGeek ad on the Assembly Call. Or maybe you sell access to your archive like Marc Maron does with WTF. It’s money generated directly from the show itself.
Indirect is what most people should focus on. For instance, when we launched Rainmaker FM, this is how we were monetizing the show, is indirectly. We weren’t making money directly off of the shows, but the shows were basically content marketing for the Rainmaker platform. That, for most people, is how you’re going to use a podcast. Maybe you have a podcast that promotes you, and you sell coaching services. Or you have a course, so you’re doing a podcast that leads people into the course, like The Showrunner. It’s indirect profitability.
Then the other one, and it’s so important and it shouldn’t be overlooked, is intrinsic profitability. This actually brings us back full circle all the way to the first element of authenticity. Because you’re putting time into creating this, and the value that you get out of it as the showrunner can’t always be calculated just in terms of direct profitability or indirect profitability. Sometimes, you just get something out of it because you love it, and because you are learning so much from the research.
I did a case study with Sonia Thompson who did a virtual summit and recorded a lot of interviews just like this one. She’s a podcaster as well. She said one of the biggest benefits that she’s gotten from the whole experience is learning how to interact with influencers. And then learning about those influencers and basically getting free consulting for a half hour when the person is on the phone, because you can ask him any question you want to because you’re recording it for a podcast.
So, there is value there that you have to enter into the equation somehow, even if it doesn’t have a dollar amount value associated with it. What’s so important and why profitability is so important to think about, is that if your show isn’t profitable, either with the money that’s accumulating in your bank account or just the intellectual and emotional capital that you’re adding yourself, your show will not last. Which means it won’t be sustainable. Which means all the usefulness and the authenticity in the world won’t make a difference.
It’s like with The Assembly Call. We finally started making money off of it this year. We had people donate to help us offset cost. We’re starting to do more with affiliates. We’re actually going to put out an eBook. We’re starting to add in some other elements of profitability. But for basically four years, the only element of profitability was intrinsic. Man, we just loved doing it. And it was really cool to not be a member of the media, but to build an audience around this passion we had for IU basketball.
That was really cool. It made the season more fun. That value that we gained superseded all the time that we put into it. It’s that intrinsic element. Obviously, there’s no right or wrong. That’s totally something that’s going to be up to you. But then the other thing is to remember the realities of the world. Ultimately, with The Assembly Call, my wife is pregnant. We’re getting ready to have our first child in July.
Matthew: Oh, congrats.
Jerod: Thank you. And I’m really excited about it, but it changes the situation from five years ago when I was single, living in my own apartment when I started The Assembly Call. Now, that time, my time is much more valuable now. To keep doing it, the reality is, that show needs to make some money. If for no other reason than just to offset cost, but hopefully more than that. That’s why we’re trying to be smart about it.
The areas of profitability you focus on can change as your show grows, but I think really trying to think about all three elements, and how are you profiting in all three ways? Maybe you can’t profit directly off a show for a long time until you have bigger numbers. So, I wouldn’t worry about that in the beginning. But certainly, the intrinsic part has to be there, because if it’s not, then you’re probably going to be failing on the first element of authenticity anyway.
But then thinking about ways that you can profit indirectly, because that can just help make sure that your show sustains. Your audience understands that. I think people now understand, for him or her to put out this great content consistently, they’ve got to be getting something out of it. Don’t underestimate the value of your own time.
Matthew: Did you say The Assembly Call has sponsorships?
Jerod: It does. This year, we had our first sponsorship. SeatGeek reached out. And we had never done anything like it before, but we did a test with them and it worked well. It was a good fit with the audience, because they gave us a $20 rebate that we could offer to our audience. And I use SeatGeek myself, so I like it.
So, I’m happy to recommend it. I would recommend it for no money, so certainly, we’ll go the extra mile and put it into the show if you’re going to pay us. And that just helps us offset the cost that we have to do the show and allows us to bring something better to the audience.
Matthew: Now, are the sponsorship like the one you just described, did you cold-call them or how do you do that?
Jerod: No, they actually reached out to us for that one. So, they were really focused on getting into niche sport sites. They really wanted to focus just in terms of their ticket sales, and so it happened to fit really well for us. I actually tried to sign up for Midroll with The Assembly Call, but they rejected the show because our audience isn’t big enough.
It’s been hard for mid-level shows like ours to get sponsorships, but I think that’s going to start to change. I think there will be more ad outlets for shows that don’t have the big massive followings. And I’ve thought about it, and I probably will now try to seek out some strategic partners that make sense and probably will send some emails and do some calls, because that would be other way to do it. It’s really the only way to do it.
Matthew: I was going to ask you, do you think that that’s something you would do or will do?
Jerod: Sure. The other thing that’s interesting with The Assembly Call, which I had never thought about as an alternate distribution or revenue channel is, a radio station in Indiana reached out and asked if they could simulcast the show. So, they have the rights to the IU games.
They do the official Indiana post game show right after the game, and then they play our show right after that. It works out well because with YouTube live, they can start and stop it, and so they can stop it at a certain point, put their ads in, and then restart the show. So, it works out really well.
Eventually now, we want to market this idea to the other radio stations in Indiana who carry the games, who want more IU content. Then that could be another way then to monetize, because we’re not making any money off of the advertising for this station because it was a test.
Just because they gave us a chance to do this, we’ll never ask them for money because it’s great exposure for us. But now that we’ve proven the concept, we can take this to other stations and then hopefully have some kind of revenue share with their advertising, which should be great.
Even if we don’t, we get more people on our email list. And if we have a smart plan with our email list and ways to monetize there, then we may not even need to have that revenue share of the advertising to make money and still make it worth it to do. It continues to evolve. And podcasting will continue to evolve, which are so exciting.
That’s why thinking of yourself as a showrunner, not a podcaster, is so important. The lines are blurred between what is a radio show and what is a podcast. Just like in a lot of ways, the lines are blurred between what is a TV show and a podcast? Because if I have an hour tonight, I can listen to a podcast or I can watch a TV show. They’re both shows. You’ve really got to think of yourself in that way, if you want to maximize your exposure and your impact on an audience.
Matthew: I’m a huge consumer now of podcast. I’ve got a diverse listing in my phone. On my commutes, I stream it through my car. Taking the kids to school, and in the shower, wherever.
Jerod: As it becomes easier to get podcast in your car, the attention and the audience numbers will continue to go up. That’s the next barrier, is instead of even having to link up your…one of my cars, I can’t even do it because it’s an older car. But on my wife’s car, just with Bluetooth, I can sync up my phone with Bluetooth and play a podcast.
Matthew: That’s what I do.
Jerod: It’s still a bit of a hassle. It’s still easier for me to just listen to the radio. But eventually, when you can just get your podcast right there on the console, which will happen, oh man, it’s going to open up huge, huge doors of audience accessibility, which is going to be great.
Matthew: That’s going to be great. I was going to ask you…we’ll touch on this at the end. I wanted to ask you about the future of podcasting. But first, I’d like to ask you a question about attracting an audience versus listeners. I saw that you said you really don’t want to just get listeners, but you want to actually build an audience. Why do you say that?
Start Your Own Podcast to Build an Audience–Not Just Listeners
Jerod: Well, because listeners can be here today and not there tomorrow. I want an audience that is really engaged with our content. All you’re going to have is listeners if all you’re putting out there is a podcast. That is fine, because listeners are better than nothing. But an audience is better than listeners, so getting people onto an email list, having another place to connect with them. Our show really took off when we started our email list.
In addition to the show now, we do our post game email that we only send to our email list. It’s been such a great way to engage with people because they’ll reply to the emails that we send and I’ll reply back. It just locks people in, and it gives them another reason to keep listening and to listen to you over someone else, and to almost feel like you’re not just a podcaster. You’re a friend and a trusted source.
It gives you an opportunity to build a business around them. Because the only way to build a business around listeners is to basically sell access to your listeners via advertising. But you can actually build a business around an audience by learning more about that audience, and finding other ways to give them value. Because if they’re consistent listeners, you’re giving them value through your podcast, and that’s great.
But now you can give them value in some other way. Maybe it’s a course. Maybe it’s consulting that you do. Maybe it’s a product that you develop. So, you’ve got to take that next step with the audience to learn enough about them and to develop that relationship to the point where that can happen.
Matthew: Absolutely, yes. What are some of the best ways to promote your podcast?
Promoting Your Podcast
Jerod: Great question. The single best way to promote your podcast is to get on another podcast, because, again, for all the talk about how many people have listened to podcast, we still live in a world – or I guess a country because these are United States based stats – where only 33% of people have ever listened to a podcast. And I believe it’s 17% of people have listened in the last month.
It’s great because that’s still millions upon millions of people, but it shows you the opportunity that’s out there for growth. But to find those people, well, if I’m being interviewed on a podcast, guess what? I know that the people who listen to that podcast do what? They listen to podcasts.
So if I do a guest post, maybe some of those people listen to podcasts. Again, it’s all relative. Doing a guest post for a blog that gets 100,000 visits might be better than doing a podcast that only gets five listeners. You’ve got to look at that. But I think that’s the best way, is to get on podcast.
Because in addition, you get better about talking about your own material and sharing your experience by doing that interview just like, “this is another great step for me, engaging with my own material and talking about it with you.” I think that’s great.
Then, I think, being smart about social media. You can waste a lot of time on social media, but it can also really help you grow your show. The Assembly Call, for example, never would have grown without Twitter. Because the way we grew that audience was, there’s a hashtag that people use during the games.
So, I would live-tweet during the games, just my observations of the game with the hashtag. You start to get followers because, “Oh, that was kind of funny,” or, “That’s an interesting observation,” “Oh, I didn’t think about that. Let me follow this guy because he’ll be fun to follow during games.”
Then right when the game was over, “Hey, we’re doing our live post game show. Come join us.” Literally, every single game since we started five years ago, the Twitter account number has gone up. It’s up over 7,000 now. And it’s 7,000, which doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but there’s 7,000 really engaged followers in a really narrow niche. It makes a huge difference.
We’re just now starting to get into Facebook a little bit and that showing some gains, but we pretty much ignored that for a while to just focus on one. We’ve tried Instagram, but it hasn’t had big success. So we’re not spending too much time where it’s not working. But focusing on that one has been huge for us.
For your audience, it could be a totally different social media network. It depends on where your people are. But identify where those conversations are happening, and then contribute to those conversations.
Matthew: Do you ever reach out to people with podcasts and say, “Hey, can I be a guest?”
Jerod: Yeah. Even with The Assembly Call, I actually reached out and asked a guy if I could host his podcast. One of the best ways I’ve promoted that show is I host a podcast, another IU basketball podcast for the biggest IU site. That’s not an opportunity that a lot of podcasters will have, but that’s been a huge opportunity for me to be able to drive people to The Assembly Call. For instance, we do that with Rainmaker FM, where Caroline will reach out and look to get our host booked on other shows that are relevant.
I think that’s reaching out. Look, podcasters need content. If someone reached out to me who wanted to be on one of these IU shows, obviously they need to have some kind of worthwhile reason why. We just had an ex-IU player who has a book coming out. So for him, he wants to get on shows because he’s got a book coming out.
For us, it’s great because he’s got cool stories to share. People love hearing from the ex-players. So, it’s a perfect fit. So, make sure if you’re going to do that, pitch it in a way that makes sense for the podcaster and fits with their audience.
Matthew: That’s good to know. You’ve talked about monetization, but what are some of the ways to monetize a podcast?
Jerod: Advertising is clearly the most obvious one, and so that one won’t go away. I think affiliate marketing is one that podcasters should really pay attention to. You want to make sure, if you’re going to do affiliate marketing, if you’re going to have a spoken link, make it simple.
Right now, you can go to assemblycall.com/amazon, put that link in, it will redirect to Amazon, and that’s an affiliate link. If you go assemblycall.com/iustore, that will redirect you to the link. Make sure, if you’re going to do that, any links are simple.
Look, we don’t get many affiliate sales, speaking the links on podcast. We get them from the email list. So that’s why building an email list in association with your podcast is so important, because then you can send people emails, and we know that emails convert better than just spoken links or calls-to-action on a podcast. Then there’s several other ways to benefit indirectly, to monetize indirectly. Courses, consulting like we’ve talked about, all that stuff is a great way.
Then start to think outside the box. Think about your audience, and think where else that audience is. So for The Assembly Call, it was on the radio in Indiana. And now the show is on the radio and that could expand. There may be other places and other opportunities that open up as the term podcast and podcaster becomes less looked down on, and people think of it as some guy with a microphone in his basement doing a show. The quality of shows out there now and the people doing it have really helped podcasting gain respect. I think there are going to be a lot more opportunities that open up like that.
Matthew: Your example is really inspiring and encouraging, that it’s on the radio.
Jerod: I know, which is such a cool thing to say, too, like, “It’s on the radio,” which is really neat. Think about it. A radio show is…they’re just creating audio contents. There’s really no reason to think about it differently.
If you’re already doing it and producing it at a high level. You know, radio stations need content. If they don’t have to pay the overhead and all the other stuff that it takes to have hosts do their thing and you can create content, they’re going to want it. Yeah, those opportunities are there.
Matthew: In a lot of talk stations, don’t they have a lot of niche programs on the weekends?
Matthew: If you blog about golf or gardening, hey, you never know, right?
Matthew: Jerod, what are some of your favorite podcasts and why do you like them?
Jerod Morris’ Favorite Podcasts
Jerod: Good question. What I love about podcasting is that my taste can change, and podcasting is great for on-demand learning. It’s like right now, I’m really focused on, “I’m going to be a parent for the first time.”
So I’ve added all these new parenting podcasts that I’ve been listening to, which are wonderful. I ebb and flow like that. During the college basketball season, I listened to a lot of college basketball podcasts. And so, it kind of ebbs and flows.
In terms of podcasts that I listen to consistently, obviously, I like our shows at Rainmaker FM. I’m a big fan of Unemployable by Brian Clark. I think that’s just a really great show for folks to listen to, a show for folks who can get a job. They’re just not inclined to take one, which is one of the best taglines I’ve ever heard on a show.
Jerod: I really like that one. The Art of Charm is another one that I’ve been listening to a lot more lately. And it’s one of those that the name is interesting there, because I don’t know that I…the name is good once you get into the show and you understand it.
But it actually prevented me from listening to it for a while because I thought it was more like, how to pick up girls. I was like, “I don’t really need to listen to this show.” But it’s not. It’s really good about leadership, and about communication.
Matthew: You already got that down because you got married.
Jerod: Right, exactly. I don’t need that anymore. But it really teaches you a lot about leadership, communication. The Art of Manliness is another one. I thought that one was going to be more just like, I don’t know, lifting weights and doing other stuff.
We have these preconceived notions. Who knows why? But I gave it a chance, and it’s a great show that really teaches you…that show actually has had some great tips about parenting and some other stuff.
Matthew: I’ll have to check that one out.
Jerod: I like a lot of the Freakonomics. I’m a big fan of StartUp. I’m a big fan of…another one that I found recently that I really like is Hidden Brain. That’s an NPR show and it’s really, really good. I can go on. I subscribe to about 70 different shows, but those are some of the main highlights.
Matthew: Are you into the Myers-Briggs thing at all?
Jerod: I took it a long time ago. I think it’s interesting. It’s always kind of interesting finding out what people are. I don’t remember what I am though. I know I fell like right in the middle of the introvert-extrovert spectrum. I think I was an INTJ, I believe. I think.
Matthew: The reason why I’m asking is there’s a fantastic podcast that I’m really into right now called Personality Hackers.
Matthew: There’s hackers there. It’s by a couple and they’ve been doing this for several years. They started out blogging mostly written content, but they sell a lot of really fantastic resources. And their podcast is just amazing. Just the way the two of them interact and talk, they’re just so articulate. If you’re into that, check out Personality Hackers.
Jerod: Yeah, I will. I just wrote it down. That sounds like a great show.
Matthew: Cool. Listen, Jerod, I really appreciate your time with me today.
Jerod: No, this has been great. I appreciate you having me on.
Matthew: I’m going to cut that out. Which podcast…
Jerod: Don’t cut it out, leave it in. Audiences love to see that stuff. We started doing that with The Showrunner actually, where we would make mistakes. It’s different for The Showrunner because it’s a meta show about podcasting, so we wanted to show people a peek behind the curtain.
You have to use your judgement. Maybe that, you cut out. But it’s interesting sometimes leaving that stuff in, it gets your audience leaning forward a little bit in a strange way.
Matthew: You’re right. I’m going to leave it in.
Jerod: Good. Do it.
Matthew: Absolutely. Which podcast, Jerod, would you say are really kicking butt right now, as far as all four of those essential elements? Just a few, besides Copybloggers, of course, or Rainmaker FM.
Jerod: The first one that came to mind was Hack the Entrepreneur, because I think what Jon is doing is terrific. He obviously created something authentic and it’s very useful, and he’s been sustainable because he’s been doing three episodes a week since September of…well over a year ago.
But he’s also now really branching out. If you want to watch how someone takes a podcast and then grows the monetization, watch what he’s doing, because he took his podcast and turned it into a book, and now he’s got a membership program and he’s selling a course.
He’s really doing all the smart things that you should do with a podcast to keep it growing, to keep expanding the experience he’s delivering to his audience, and then to make money for himself and build a business around it. Which allows him to then put more resources into the podcast. I think his is such a great example for all of those reasons.
Matthew: I’m going to check his out.
Jerod: The other great thing about his podcast is, he really worked hard to put systems in place, to make it efficient to do. You listen to his questions on his podcast and he’s got the same beginning and same ending question for each episode. Just his entire process of production. His is a great example, I think, for a new podcaster to follow, because he built all of it up just starting out just like any new podcaster would from the beginning.
Matthew: Definitely will check him out.
Jerod: It’s a good one.
Predicting the Future of Podcasting
Matthew: I want to close with asking you…you touched on the future of podcasting. I want to ask you, where do you see this going two years later, five years down the road? Where do you see podcasting heading?
Jerod: I think where it’s heading is a true even further blurring of the lines with radio. I think, again, when podcasts are more easily accessible in a car, that’s going to be the next big leap. Because we’re still at the point, again, only 33% of people have listened to a podcast. So there’s still a lot of people out there. But there are a lot of older people who don’t listen to podcast, and a lot of younger people from whom podcasts are just another option, like the radio. Probably even more so than radio, like TV.
I think that’s where we’re going, and that’s why people need to really view what they’re doing as a show that’s competing for the disposable time of other people. But again, what’s great about a podcast is it doesn’t have to be just the disposable time, because you can fit a podcast in different places, which is so great.
So, I think it will continue and I think there are going to be a lot more shows out there as it gets easier. But it’s like anything else. There’s going to be a ton of options out there, so you’re going to need to differentiate yourself.
And certainly the best is going to rise. It will be a lot like blogging. That’s why, as they say, the best time to start a blog was 15 years ago. The next best time to start one is now. Same thing with podcasting.
But just remember that in five years ago, people were lamenting that they didn’t start five years ago. It’s still early enough in podcasting and there’s still…I think the other thing with podcasting that will change is, how podcasts are shared and how we interact with podcasts.
There are some apps out now that are starting to do that a little bit. There’s one – I forget the name of it – but you can basically do like 15 to 30 second little audio clips and then people can respond to them and you have a conversation. There are some new apps starting to come out that allow you to share at a specific moment in a podcast. So, that will change.
Then the other big thing is metrics. Metrics need to get better, because podcast metrics are not good. I know 1,500 people downloaded our last episode of The Assembly Call, but the vast majority of those were on iTunes and all these places. I can’t tell you how far they listened.
All I can do is extrapolate the stats I have from about 100 listeners who listened on the site and hope that that’s reflective of the general trend. That’s the next thing too, is numbers need to get better. When they do, I think a lot more opportunities will open up for advertising and for monetization too.
Matthew: So you do recommend people put their podcast on iTunes, even though that side is kind of a jumbled mess.
Jerod: They have to.
Matthew: You still have to…
Jerod: Seventy percent to 75% of podcast listens happen at iTunes. It’s like back in the day, are you going to allow your site to be indexed by Google? Even if you don’t like Google, you have to because that is where podcast listeners are. So, you’ve got to be there.
Matthew: Jerod, you offer a lot of additional resources about podcasting. How can people find your material?
Jerod: The best way would be to go to Showrunner.fm and sign up for our email list. We send out a weekly newsletter that has a summary of that week’s episode with a link. We do some live events too, so some blab sessions where people can come and ask us questions. Then we recommend some different resources and just articles that we find throughout the week to help make people a smarter showrunner.
That’s Showrunner.fm, and then subscribe to the show on iTunes. That’s the other thing, is just listen. We do that show every week. We really enjoy getting on there and talking about podcasting and sharing our latest experience. A lot of it is me and Jon just sharing what we’ve learned by doing, sharing our stories. For people who are interested in more, those are the two best ways.
Matthew: Don’t you also offer a course?
Jerod: We do, yes. We have The Showrunner podcasting course. Now, we’ve been doing it as a launch model, and so it’s not open right now, but we are eventually planning on having it open on a more perpetual basis. For folks interested in that, if they’re on the email list, the Showrunner.fm email list, then we’ll be able to get them the information as soon as it opens again.
Matthew: All right. It sounds good. Well, Jerod, thank you so much for talking with me today.
Jerod: For sure.
Matthew: It’s been a pleasure.
Jerod: It has been.
Matthew: All right. I’ll see you around.
Jerod: Cool. It sounds good. Thanks, Matt.
Show Notes for Start Your Own Podcast
The Showrunner podcast
The Digital Entrepreneur podcast
The Assembly Call podcast