Many times people will have an idea and talk to other people and then run with that plan. This also happens in the world of podcasting also. Many times people will start a show without really knowing who their audience is. Even professionals do it. Here is proof…
The Tidal Flop
The famed rapper Jay Z had an idea. He saw how much money was being given to Spotify Pandora, and even Deezer. These are all streaming services that run on a subscription base. Jay Z also heard the lower quality of this music. If you know any Audiophiles they will go on and on about how horrible the sound quality is of this service and why mp3’s are so terrible. If you want to truly hear music and all the different nuances of the craft of audio engineering you need to have a High dollar system with specs and details that will cause an engineer to stop and scratch his head. Then you can almost see each note as its gorgeous reproduction is birthed in the being from $3000 speakers. Jay Z is an obvious Audio snob, and that is OK. Most podcasters become audio snobs too.
So in a fit of euphoric excitement Jay Z had an idea. He was going to have his own streaming service. This service would serve only the highest of high quality audio, and the cherry on top would be he could then charge a premium price for his service. Great idea! Who doesn’t like to have the best? People buy iPhone because they are the best. People buy Versace because they perceive it to be of high quality and worth their money. People buy the best that they can afford.
Jay Z launch Tidal streaming and it is not doing well It hasn’t been received well and it has not taken off at all. So much so that Jay Z throws a tantrum here recently. Because they will buy iPhones and Nike shoes but they will not buy his service.
Now why do you believe his service failed? Is it because the lack of quality? Is it because he charged too much? No to both. The problem I see is that Jay Z didn’t know his audience. He is used to being around people who can spend 5000 as freely as a fat kid can spend 5 bucks at a candy store. So he is, in a way, out of touch of his audience. Jay Z is roughly worth $550 Million. Yet who is listening to his music? Who is spending $.99 for his MP3’s or even $10 for his album? It is not his friends it is the people who look up to him, i.e. inner city kids, up to middle class kids. Yeah you have some young adults and older, and often the older demographics are also in the lower income brackets. What does this equal out too?
Money! Yes Jay Z fans they may scrimp and save and store away a little money to be able to get the latest Jordan’s that come out, and buy that new iPhone or Apple watch because it is a onetime purchase. That is something that can be saved up. A service where you stream high quality music cost a lot of money something that money doesn’t come out of thin air. It has to be toiled over sweat has to be spilt in order for it to be made. So Money that was diverted for those new Air Jordan’s is then reallocated to the old place after purchase. Since that is the case many people are not able to hold on to a service that is also eating up their data plan like a hungry caterpillar. So Jay Z didn’t understand who is audience was and in doing so he has to blame someone who is not his audience.
The Power of your Audience
So what is this long sad tale of the woes of Jay Z about? Know you audience. Picture your audience in your head or if you can find a picture that best represents that person then put it up where you can see it when you are recording. Know who your audience is. What their problems are about. Their problems may not be your problems so you may be going on a tract that is not helping your audience and there for your show is not growing like you want. Listen to your audience and answer their calls. Help them out let your audience know that you are there for them, and they will be more willing to spend that money on you instead of a Starbucks coffee. Provide value that your audience members can afford. Many times if you over sell they will find a way to repay you for all the value you deliver. Know you audience understand your audience, and these people will happily move mountains for you.
Social Media Tips
This is a new section that is going to appear in each week. I will talk about tips and tricks to help you fully engage your audience and help them get to know you. Twitter is the topic chosen because most podcasters have a Twitter account but some are just learning about twitter. They have been Facebook for a long while and just now starting to wade into the often confusing torrent of posts known as Twitter.
More Celebrities starting podcasts Jerry Springer is starting a show called “Tales, Tunes and Tomfoolery” it is on his site. So, I will be signing up to see what dreg of society he pulls up here, or maybe he is going to be different.
A website is your home on the internet. It is also your online store front. People who visit our site are attracted to some of the bright and shiny things that are on our pages. Yet there are also Portions of your site that are not seen by a single person unless they look at the source and wonder, “How did they do that?” Often many WordPress plugins are not so much visible as they are being evident because of their particular task. There are several plugins that almost required installs and then there are those that are needed in a case by case basis.
Advanced Image Styles – There was a time that WordPress had a few advanced features when it came to styling of your images you placed in your blog post. A few updates ago Automatic took that feature out and thanks to Dave Jackson mentioning the same problem on School of Podcasting. I use this plugin for one reason I can add a buffer space around one side of my image or around all four sides of an image. Custom CSS attributes and link attributes can be set for each individual image.
Akismet – The Spam buster! If you have a WordPress blog then you have spam. Spammers know what file on your site, they need to hit to send out poorly worded, misspelt, links to questionable websites. A great way to keep these bot comments from seeing the light if the day is to use the Akismet plugin. There is no downloading needed. This Plug in comes installed already by Automatic. All you have to do is activate it and get an API key over at the Akismet website. You can use this for one email address for free. It is worth paying for. This plugin will drive the amount of time spent double checking a comment that sounds kind of fishy by instantly knowing if it is fishy and removing it.
Blubrry PowerPress – At first there was PodPress and the developer of this plugin gave up and just left it to fend for itself. Shortly after a WordPress update, The Plugin was mortally wounded and dying. This could have been the end of this once great plugin. Yet, it was found by Blubrry was revived and improved. To the point that it is now the most popular podcasting plugin in the WordPress Plugin repository! HAZAA! Yea the story of PowerPress is just about that epic, and is improving with each update.
In all seriousness this plug in is does all you could need to be able to submit your podcast feed to iTunes. PowerPress adds the needed iTunes tags to a podcast specific feed so your RSS feed doesn’t get too big with all of the non-podcast blog posts you my add to your site. This plugin also give you a player to place in your show notes post to help people discovering your site to be able to listen and enjoy your content.
CryptX – You want it to be easy for your fans to be able to contact you. Yet, you also don’t want your inbox full of Canadian drug spam. So how do you keep your email address visible while at the same time not opening up to the spambots? CryptX is that solution. Though the magic of their programing. You can type out your real email address and bots will only see garbled gunk. So your audience may see firstname.lastname@example.org but you will not get extra notices that there are Hot Russian Brides looking for you. Which honestly who believe that?
Google Analytics by Yoast – Setting up Google analytics can be a little daunting if you do not know how to navigate the editor in WordPress. Where should you put your Analytics code? This plug in does all the hard work for you. Just enter your analytics id, which is the UA-XXXXXXXXXX code and then if the desire hit you and you don’t want to show up in your own analytics you can set it so that Admins do not register on your analytics.
Google Analytics Dashboard – another little plugin by Yoast and this adds the Analytics graph to your admin dashboard. Simple and sweet
JM Twitter Cards – Twitter has a great feature called twitter cards and this plugin helps you get your twitter card all setup so that they work the way they need to. You still have to setup everything that is needed to be set up on Twitters side but all the settings that you have to do one your side are handled by this plugin. You can validate that all is good or if there is a problem. It will add the required rules for Twitters bots to the Robots.txt file. It even has deep linking for your iPhone, iPad, and android apps.
Little Hippo (Makes your BIG job small) – One of the most over looked SEO elements are your images. Often there may be a title but it is not long enough or the Alt tag was forgotten. Little Hippo will help you correct these little SEO problems in one centralized area. If your description is a little short. You will get a notice. The first time you set it up you may be there for a while because you didn’t realize how many elements were forgotten. Well at least I was
Pretty Link Lite – This isn’t just for podcasters and redirecting to your podcast episode. This valuable redirection plugin helps in anytime you need to redirect a URL to a different location, whether it is on your site or to a different site. Pretty Link is invaluable
Use Google Libraries – There are lots of JS files on your WordPress site. And having to download these files each time can take a while. For your listener it may seem like an eternity. Each download also takes up valuable resources on your host. The best way to fix the problem is allow someone else host the common JS files. And why not just let the largest website in the world with the best Content Distribution Network send out those files? That is the Google Libraries and this plugin will help shave a few seconds off of your site.
WordPress SEO – Maximize your SEO and get tips and hints on how your SEO is working with a particular keyword. For each post
WP-DBManager – Back your database up and clean it up with this plugin
Append Link on Copy – There are website scrapers like Buzzfeed that will just take portions of your site and repurpose it for their needs. This will help credit your work for your site.
As Heard On – If you are often interviewed this is a great way to pay back the favor and show people other shows you have been on. This plug in is created by Dustin Hartzler of your Website engineer podcast
Better Click To Tweet – Great plug in for adding a clickable link for people to tweet a little quote from your
Better Writing – Having people being able to understand what they are reading is always a good thing. This plugin puts a widget on the sidebar of the post you are righting and lets you know if you are writing is being understood by using Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test. It produces a little dial that grades your post as you go.
Broken Link Checker – Sites come and go and broken links are bad for your SEO. It is good to have a process tell you if a link is good or bad so you can correct the problem quickly before Google sees it and reacts. This Plugin will email you a notice of any broken links found
Jetpack – yes a bit of a resource hog but there are a couple of good plugins in this one plugin the protect and Spelling and grammar checker are the reasons I use this plugin
Revision Control – WordPress backs up your revisions and can, after a while get a little unwieldy Revision control fixes this with the ability to lock revisions to how ever many you want.
My Shortcodes – Shortcodes are great when you figure out how easy they are. They make repeated entries like the Review the show action at the bottom of this page. Is a shortcode.
Official StatCounter Plugin – I like to have a secondary view of what my site is doing many times I will be able to get extra info or come to understand information a little better be suing a second analytics program I have chosen to use StatCounter small and as through as Google Analytics
PopupAlly – I was not one for popups for a long time but I have come to understand the power they have. As you may have noticed the pop up that shows on the site when you go to a particular page. Or when you try to leave. This is the results of this plug in. It ties into the Mailchimp and Awebber nicely
Related Posts – SEO wise you want links to your content. And this plugin links to content that is related to your posts. Now the reason that it is not in the recommended list is that it give suggested links in you post to sites outside of website.
Simple Share Buttons Adder – Social sharing is needed in today’s websites and this plug in is simple as it claims.
Smart Youtube PRO – I like this plugin because of the options it provides
Social Media Feather – Allows for links to your social media sites to be displayed at the top and bottom of your posts
Starbox – the Author Box for Humans – Microdata is needed also for SEO and Starbox adds the needed microdata to your posts for your author information.
Swiftype Search – custom search feature and allows for analytics as to what people are searching to be reviewed so you can cater to your audience’s needs
WordPress Editorial Calendar – When are you wanting that post to be published? This plugin gives you a calendar view of all posts and when they are going live. So you are able to choose what post should be released. By using an easy drag and drop feature.
Sites to use
What WP theme is that? – Often used to find out what plugin is being used on a site.
Google Webmaster Tools – helps with different problems you may be facing on your website
Google Analytics – This is a must have the information that is given is invaluable.
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.