You have blown through your 10 starter topics. You have a show due tomorrow. What are you going to talk about? There are ways you can search to conversation topics. You just have to get a little creative at times, while other options are very simple and can wield great results.
Brianstorm with Online community or groups
The idea for this very topic came from a Facebook groups. I I picked up last weeks topic up from a facebook group’s discussion about whether or not you need to have an RSS feed on your website. The topic captured the group so much there was lots of discussions on the topic and subtopics. Your topic is often talked about in some area of the internet. It is just a matter of finding these elusive people.
Don’t just target Facebook Groups, Google plus Communities, and LinkedIn Groups. Look to the different forums that are Centered around your topic, or if you are feeling really retro, you might check out different IRC channels. You will need an IRC client like mIRC or a web based client like KiwiIRC. There are times that you will find some great discussion on these early day chat rooms.
There are people gathered around the internet and they are talking about your area of expertise. If you spend a little time each day at a couple of these places you will be able glean some great information.
Brainstorm with Google Alerts
Want topics to be sent to your email on a daily basis? Or do you use and RSS reader and you would rather have that infomation appear there as it shows up? Then Google Alerts is a great tool to use. Google Alerts is a service that allows for you to get notifications of different search terms as they are found by Google. So, the moment Google indexes say “Microphones for podcasting” I will get an entry in my RSS reader Feedly and I can see if it is something that is worth looking in to. So, Start searching and turn it into an alert.
Brainstorm with your Guests
If you do interviews on your podcast then many times your guest will give you topic ideas. That you can either bring them back on and grow that relationship even more. Then again they may mention a person who might be of interest to interview. You can also ask your guest at the end of the show name three other people you should interview. Ask, it is quite possibly the most powerful tool when brainstorming. Ask your guest who you think should be interviewed, or what topic you think your audience would like to hear about?
Brainstorm with Your Audience
When it comes to wanting what your audience wants, there is no better source than your audience themselves. Your group has a rare insight into what they want to know and they are coming to your for that knowledge. So, they will tell you what they want many times in direct ways. Your podcast listeners will communicate their desires through email, comments, and phone calls. These may be low hanging fruit but then it may be a trend that you might start to notice and that is where the hidden gems and the power of your community comes into place.
Brainstorm with other people in your genre
Yep look to your competition. Listen to podcasts and read blogs of the same people in your field and topic of discussion. These people will many times bring up great topics just in passing without even thinking of how important it is for your followers. They could also talk about a great topic and you can then share that information with your audience. Or you can invite that person on to your show and forge a relationship with that thought leader.
What topics are your audience searching for? you might look to using a wordpress plugin like Swiftype. This plugin will actually give your search analytics to what people are searching for on your site along with a better indexing of your articles and show notes. Then there is Google’s analytics. This is the best analytics system available for the whole website. Now Google has turned off the keyword searching in whole but you can still pick out what people are after by seeing what you higher ranking pages happen to show up on your listings.
Social media in general
Try looking and doing searches for different phrases for your topic on Twitter or Google plus. With these floodgates of information moving at a continuous flow there are show ideas always running and you just have to do a search for yoru shows topic. You will find people asking questions making comments sharing articles with show topics.
Google has many great services and one of the best to show ideas is Google News. You can save different search terms in News and go back and see what is current for that specific topics from day to day.
You can also pull up an old trick may bloggers and writers use. Free writing is the process of you just writing and typing for the sake of doing so. As you write you mind actually opens up and wierd thought will come to the surface and with those thoughts hints to different topics can be hidden or even fully exposed to the world.
Use your material as inspiration
Many times while writing I have come to the next topic of discussion by working on another blog post or my shownotes. When writing you will start writng something and realise that it is a bigger topic than you were thinking and instead of spending 30 minutes on this topic you might just use that topic for next week and flesh it out even more
If all else fails go for a walk. Get your blood flowing with more oxygen in your blood it is bound to go to your brain and with the increase of oxygenated blood the ideas will increase.
Podcast.place – If you are going to be a consultant please show people that you know what you are talking about.
Why social networks?
For your listeners, the number one reason is for your listeners. These are the people who are your going to help grow your audience. These are the people who will point out to those they believe will be a good fit for your show. That is because we each travel in our own circles. Your fans have their own circles, or networks social networks, and as the World Wide Web everybody is connected with everybody in some way. People like to talk share, and even from time to time brag about their accomplishments. We are social people even though there are some folks that would rather spend time with a volleyball named Wilson, than with an actual person. These people are still desiring to be social in some form.
Social media allows for people to find what they like. many times people will start following a group because of what they see or hear that is interesting to them. Later on will actually through the actions of either the fans of the podcast or the podcast themselves become advocates for that show. These new people will hear some news that is being talked about and mention it to their friends in other circles and this networking is how new fans are made. The share and resharing helps make more people aware of your brand and who you and your show are.
This is why social media is such a hit. They allow for people to be more sociable on their terms. They can be social and share their likes, dislikes, and what entertains them with everyone in their group. These in turn can be shared with other people who can in turn share with other people. The word of the decade is Viral. Companies aim at making their ad campaign turn viral some do, some fail in poor pitiful ways. Viral content didn’t exist till twitter and Facebook were around. Yeah there were internet hits that would appear on every forum and bulletin board around, but the term Viral was just not around till Charlie chomped on his brother’s finger.
Which social networks?
Where your listeners are at
How to use the different social networks
The key to all social media is have a plan on how you want to engage your audience. This plan is different for each network you are apart of, and many times the way the people engage with your brand will also be different. This is why so many people use social media ineffectually, they post the same post across all their social media channels and then sit back and say social media doesn’t work. You have to actually think about the objective of your social media presence
Facebook – This can be a general gathering for your podcast listeners. Lots of people look at Facebook as a means to connect to friends and family not really all that up for talking to business’. Therefore, if you want to engage your audience you don’t want to be stiff and overly formal on Facebook. You want to talk to your fans mention them by name and virtually shake their hand. Be their friend troubleshoot their problems they are facing whether your services can fix the problem or not, doesn’t matter if you help them they will remember it and comeback to say thank you in a purchase of your product or service.
Twitter – Many people say they don’t get twitter, it is an information over load. The best way to look at twitter is to imagine a huge social mixer event at your local coliseum. You walk in and instantly you are faced with this huge roar of noise, this can be very over whelming. The noise is all these people talking all at once, and the conversations do not make any sense you hear one thing then another, but there is no cohesion to the conversations. How are you to find out what is going on? First, you walk in and as you do, you will start to see that people are in large groups. These large groups are made up of many small groups and you start to hear bits of conversation. After wondering around and looking for a bit you hear something that strikes your fancy so you stop, and listen a little more. Before you know it you throw your 2 cents into the ring and people are talking to you too. You carry on this conversation for a bit, then decide to see what else is going on, and you find another conversation about something completely different. Here you engage this group, and ask questions and find out more about what they are talking about. Eventually, you start to make friends and new networks.
This is twitter, the longest running social mixer on the planet. Quite possibly the best way to find your followers. The key though is to be authentic. Don’t try to be something else. Like in your podcast use your voice not the crazy radio guy, because your listeners will take it as being fake and just not really buy into the whole bit. If you are true to who you are, your audience will follow you, and they will be truly engaged in what you have to say even if it is only 140 characters long.
Google Plus – Or sometimes known as Google’s social network. This is a social network you want to be on, whether you use it or not. Yes this goes against what the tip of the week but there are always exceptions to the rule. and the reason for this exception is because Google ties so much into Google plus. If you want to comment on a youtube video, you must have a Google plus account. If you want to rank high you want to be on Google plus because Google Authorship is tied to, you guessed it Google plus. If you have a location for your business your location is tied to Google plus. But even with all that Google plus is a great network that allows you to share what you want, to whom you want, when you want. The key is the circles which are groups that the people you are following are placed into. Now a key to help your friends is to make the names of your circles descriptive because they are used by Google to find out the best way to describe those people. So, For example if you are following a comedian you might place them in the “Funny” circle or “Comedians” circle, but not “People I want to see” circle, that tells Google nothing.
Remember it is all about search, but you will find that Google plus attracts a group of creative people. Photographers, poets, podcasters, and more use Google Plus more than they do many of the other social media sites. The circles you create you will be able to adjust to what ones you like more and what ones you will see less, and you will find your way of engaging this audience.
Don’t dismiss this network so fast, there is another reason to use Google Plus, Not only is it easy to find your audience due to the search but there is also communities. You can join in and have great conversations with people who are right in the middle of your niche. What better way to grow your audience? You are placed right in the middle of the people you are looking for.
Pinterest – It is more than that Social Network your wife or girlfriend spends all her time on. This is Social network has untapped powers of drawing your audience to your. If you have the proper plan as to what you want from it. You can use the images to draw people interested in your services or product by sharing with the site but to do that you must have pictures on your posts. Find compelling pictures and add some text to that picture too not your site’s name but engaging text that will insight curiosity to that post. It will take your time but be active on the site. If someone follows you them follow them back if they like a post then like their board back. Reciprocate their kindness with your own.
Instagram – Pictures with different filters you can use these to help bring awareness of your brand and use it as a means to give a glimpse into your life. You followers and podcast listeners will always like to see what is happening in your life. This is more for building a cohesive community than selling your wares but that is also part of Social media showing the world that you are human. You are inviting the world to celebrate you accomplishments with you.
Vine – You have to get crazy creative to pack a lot of information into 6 second flick. but if you can do it… you have a hit.
LinkedIn – You can find great Business to Business customers on LinkedIn this is more of the formal social media. This is the Businessman’s social network and so your plan should be approached with a little extra starch in the collar and a clean sharp crease in the leg. There are some groups you can join in here but they are a little wild west in that many of them are spam pits and not much conversation going on.
Foursquare – It is all about location, location, location with this social network.if you have a brick and mortar location your business can be found at then you want to use Foursquare. You can actually use it to draw new customers in and by working the gaming angle of the network you can get returning customers happy to come back think free cup of coffee for the mayor. This can be fun and should be fun if you have a physical location for your customers and podcast fans to gather.
Reddit – This is a very tough crowd to engage. You figure out how to use this social network let me know. That is a tough crowd
Meeting network like MeetUp or Eventbrite – your fans want to see you in person. they want to shake your hand and tell you how much they like your podcast. That is where MeetUp and Eventbrite come into play. Now these are not free MeetUp is $12/ month to have a group, but If you use it regularly then it will pay off in audience engagement. Eventbrite also charges but is different in that you can set a number of responses and also charge for the event to make sure that people
Forums – The original social networks that are found throughout the internet. These are great places to find our audience. Yet, be careful you can easily get yourself banned from these site if you just arrive to sell your wares. This is always a bad move look at forum as those small country towns that look at the new folks with a hint of suspicion. The best tactic here is to help and talk do not talk about your site or what you do except in the introduction forum. The rest of the time it is advice and opinions that you dish out. pose questions and them in turn. after a long while people will get curious and look at your profile and start to follow you. Forums are very engaged and see a scam a mile off so again don’t spam.
Tips of the Week
Don’t over do it. Be everywhere your audience is. If you audience is not on Pinterest then don’t focus on it. It looks bad to have a ghost town of an account than to have no account at all this goes back to know your audience if not then best to gather them in the places you use the most till you find out that you have a loyal following someplace new. There is an exception to this rule and it is Google Plus where you want to be here even if you don’t use it.
Spreaker has added a new feature that allows you to import your show automatically into the spreaker ecosystem. At first I was like yes! great idea that way I don’t have to go to spreaker and add each file each week. One last thing I have to do, automation is wonderful, till Dave Jackson over at the School of Podcasting, talked about the down side.
In his article
Why Spreaker’s RSS Importer is a Bad Idea, Dave made a more than a few good points as to backing up his statement. One is they scrub the ID3 Tags. WHY? now maybe they are going to get set to put some of their branding on the episode. Then Alright, I don’t like it but I am using their service for free so they are able to do some changes. like putting hosted by spreaker and other items on here.
They also take the Album art off and put your profile picture in its place. Why? Does Spreaker assume you do not have an image and they are just covering that base for you? Don’t know but I am not liking it too much right now.