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How to Thrive as a Podcaster in The New Era of Content
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The digital landscape is evolving more rapidly than ever before. As a result, the way people create and consume content online is changing. According to many experts, the role of human involvement in content creation is uncertain at best. As podcast guests and podcast hosts, adapting to these changes is critical to remain relevant for our listeners. In this blog post, Alex Sanfilippo explains how you can survive and thrive in the new era of content creation as a podcaster on either side of the microphone!
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Today, I want to talk about how to thrive as a podcaster in the new era of content (on either side of the mic). Here’s the thing. We live in a day and age where the online digital space is transforming more rapidly than ever. And think about us in podcasting on either side. The mic, the tools that come out every day, the enhancements that come out all the time, the AI insertion happening everywhere, right?
Like all these things. What is that doing to us as creators? Many of us feel like we’ve got to keep up. We feel like that maybe we’re becoming obsolete. Depending on your perspective, right?
Is this enhancing what we can do or eliminating us or our need for us? Like, what is it that it’s doing?
Questions Creators As Asking
- Is there anything I need to be doing differently or changing?
- How am I ever going to be seen or heard?
- Am I falling behind?
- I feel like I live in FOMO land. (Which isn’t a question)
- Will people still want to hear from me in a year from now?
- Should I be changing up my strategy?
- Am I still heading in the right direction with my podcast?
- Am I still relevant?
And these questions go on and on and on again; we don’t know what to do because we’re feeling like this thing is changing so fast. We’re in this new era of content.
I’m excited to dive into this topic today because I think it’s just so important how to thrive as a podcaster in the new era of content. First, I want to talk about podcasting and why we’re seeing so many changes in this space.
And the main reason is simply because listenership continues to climb. More and more and more people globally are listening to podcasts. It’s becoming more accessible for people. People love it, which is great; that’s good for everyone. But the flip side is that people are creating more tools because more dollars are flowing into podcasting.
Related Post: Who Will Be Listening to Podcasts in 2023 and Beyond
If you look at any research, I’m not going to share a lot more dollars because if I do, it’d be obsolete in ten minutes. But you can see how much money is getting poured into podcasting. And because of this, we’re seeing just this rise of new tools, of new AI. New things will help the process, which concerns many of us, thinking we might get replaced.
Spoiler Alert: You’re Not Getting Replaced
Maybe there’s a better show coming out that people are putting more money into because now there’s money in podcasting. Big production houses don’t mind spending $5000 to $20,000 per episode with a team of 20 people. Like, oh, what if it’s the same topic that I have? What am I going to do? All these types of things come up.
Now, here’s the thing. I will talk to you about how to thrive as a podcaster in this new era of content. So I don’t want this to be discouraging by any means. I’m just sharing some of the things I have seen come up and heard among my peers in podcasting. But I will talk to you about how we can, again, thrive as podcasters.
“The opportunity has never been more ripe on either side of the mic.”
Because I’ll tell you what, the opportunity has never been more ripe on either side of the mic. It’s about to get real good, everybody. So I’m excited to dive into this. So I’ve got some notes here that I’ll follow because I have some specific points I want to point out to you that I think will be helpful for everyone. First off, podcasting is more money getting drawn into it.
We do have these bigger shows starting and all that, right? And on the guest side, we have more talent showing up. So at one point, I can remember, there were certain topics that I was probably the only person talking about. But now, ten more qualified people than me are talking about those same topics. And again, we can’t let that discourage us because of the number of podcasts starting to get listenership.
And it’s not just the big shows. It’s our show. It’s the independent shows. But what we all have to do is hone in on our message. It’s the very first thing I want to share today.
“We have to hone in our message and figure out what transformation we can offer a listener.”
We have to hone our message. How do you do that? If you’re a podcast host? It might mean rebranding the show and making it specific about one topic that doesn’t seem to be getting covered by anybody else. If you’re the guest, instead of sharing those same ten stories, maybe you hone it into one and get practical with what you deliver.
By us doing this, we’re going to be able to capitalize in a great way. And I want to share one quick story about actually; Jeff Bezos wrote a shareholders note to Amazon shareholders about an initiative they had. So again, all of us are saying, well, man, these highly educated individuals, highly experienced people who are coming to podcasting, and they do the same thing I do. How will I be a guest that’s sought after like they are? Or, Man, I’ve been doing the show for years, and now there’s this big production house doing a similar show.
“Capitalize on the opportunity of this new era of content by honing in your message and offering transformation.”
Here’s the thing. This letter to shareholders should inspire all of us and encourage us to realize we won’t get replaced that easily. So at one point, Amazon’s initiative was to remove third-party sellers from their marketplace if you buy something that says, like, prime, two-day shipping, all that, like, who doesn’t have a Prime account? Right? That isn’t necessarily Amazon.
That’s another company that is selling that on behalf of Amazon. And Jeff and the crew decided, you know what? Let’s take all those top products because we all have the data and analytics and bring them in-house. We’ll make our version, and we’ll sell those, and we’ll make even more money. And that was their plan, and everyone was on board with it.
However, they failed. And Jeff Bezos, when they finally decided to stop this initiative and just let the third-party sellers do what they were going to do because it was working well for Amazon customers, Jeff said, I don’t know why, but this didn’t work. We will find the same thing true in podcasting on either side of the mic. These big companies are coming in, they’re going to do well, but it’s not going to diminish how well we do. And they’re probably going to be like, that’s wild.
“There is plenty to go around in podcasting as listenership continues to climb.”
How is that the case? And that’s perfectly fine. Let’s let everyone do that. There is plenty to go around, especially because we’re seeing that listenership continues to climb. So I want to get into thriving as a podcaster.
Now. We’re going to thrive as podcasters on either side of the mic in this new world by sticking with the times. I firmly believe the Information Age is behind us. We are now in the transformation age, which means when you used to be able to say, hey, here’s my latest podcast episode about ten ways to increase your income, people don’t want that anymore. People don’t want ten tracks that are information.
“People want transformation, not information.”
We’ve all got the information now. People want transformation. They want you to say, hey, you’re making 50 grand a year. I will tell you the exact step you need to take to move that to $75,000 within the next twelve months. Now somebody says, okay, that’s what I want to hear.
That’s the transformation I want to experience. So the first thing we’ve all got to do on either side of the mic is this applies to everybody. We have to say, what is the transformation that I can offer a listener? What am I uniquely positioned to add value with? Like, what is it that I do that no one else does?
The Golden Question Thrive as a Podcaster
“What transformation can I help somebody with?” The beautiful thing about transformation is that it cannot always be the same. And I’ll try to figure out the right way to say this. Here’s an example. I use Jeff Bezos.
Jeff Bezos cannot tell me how to go from $50,000 to $75,000 a year. No offense to me or anyone else at that level; that ship has sailed. For him to be able to teach, right? He can teach you how to go from $100 to $200 billion. That’s the level he’s at.
But someone, let’s say it’s me, who now makes $95,000 a year. I can tell you how I got there and remember how I got there. That’s connected. That’s transformation. It always has to be just a level beyond. And that, once again, will level the playing field in podcasting for as long as we can see. Because, again, we’re out of the information age.
We’re in the transformation age, and people want to learn from that person. They can grab their hand and bring them up to where they are. And that’s what I want to encourage you to consider with your podcasting. So I want to talk about how we can do this. Again, it all starts with why.
“Thriving as a podcaster requires that you start with why.”
You all have heard me say that. I won’t get too deep into it here because I’ve talked much about it. There’s probably betting on how often I will talk about your why. But if you go to podpros.com two one one, podpros.com Two one one, you can listen to an episode where I share practically how to develop a proper why and align that with an ideal listener. And I believe that’d be helpful for you.
So I encourage you to go check that out. But it all will start with us again, knowing what transformation we can provide, who that person is that we ultimately can serve based on our life experience, and how we’re uniquely positioned to share that. So here’s something I want us all to do, though. There are some practical things we can do. And now, if you’re a guest, I want you to look at podcasts to see if they’re doing this because you don’t necessarily have a lot of say in this, but you can look at a show and see what’s happening.
“Focus on what transformation you can provide to your listeners.”
So if you want to position your content properly to offer this transformation, you must clarify a few things. First, I recommend changing your show title and description of the entire show to align with what you’re actually talking about. The Alex 2.0 show would never do, as well as how to make 100 grand a year show, right? That show is better if they’re about the same thing. It doesn’t matter.
The name will be better because that is a transformation somebody’s seeking. But I digress on the whole show thing, right? Keep your show. I do encourage you to think about that, right? But what you can do is your episodes.
How Offering Transformation Will Lead To Thriving as a Podcaster
So your episode title, the actual episode, like, if we’re talking about how to go from 50 grand to 75 grand a year, then you want to put that in the episode. You want the description to be somewhat short but reinforce that point. Because, again, what that immediately does in the potential listener’s mind says, OOH, transformation. That’s what I’m looking for: going from exactly where I am to exactly where I want to be. Click. I’m going to listen to that.
So you want to make sure that once people start listening, again, the title and description of the episode that you deliver on the promise being made. So you’re delivering transformation because it can’t turn out to be Alex talking about all his college stories, right?
Also, that would be a lie because I didn’t make it through college. But it can’t just be about that. It’s got to get into the actual step people must take to experience that transformation. So point one, create the title. Two, make the description.
Delivering on Your Promise in Episodes Leads to Thriving as a Podcaster
And again, three, make sure you’re delivering on the promise you’re making with the episode. Deliver the information that you’re promising. Now, if you’re a podcast guest, look at a podcast, you’re on it, and see if they do that with their episodes. So important for you to be able to check that out and ensure it’s doing that. The other thing you want to do as a host, which can be tough, is to keep the episode precisely about what it’s about.
The days of long rants on podcasts and going here, you are going there, going there. We’re not seeing as much of that working anymore. We see work is, again, the show’s focus staying coherent the whole time. You can go on little tangents to make it interesting and conversational, right? But at the end of the day, you want to ensure you’re just covering that one thing.
Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing If You Want to Thrive as a Podcaster
It can’t be a side quest where it’s like, oh, and we’re also going to talk about improving your SEO on your website because that’ll help you get closer to 75 grand. If it’s about the business steps and practices that need to be taken, keep it about that. The thing I want you not to be afraid to do is have another episode. Do another episode, whether you’re a guest or host. Please don’t feel you must get it all out in that episode.
There will be more. If you break up the content, it will do better because, again, you can promise that transformation that will come from it in a particular way. Okay, so that was number four. Keep the episode to the point. And number five is to repeat consistently for two years or 100 episodes if you do a weekly episode.
“If you want to thrive as a podcaster, remember that consistency always wins!”
Consistency always wins in podcasting; I can’t even tell you why. People may get used to it or get comfortable sharing it. I don’t know what it is. But the thing is, if you are podcasting for six months and you continue for two years, but you change nothing, your show will be a lot bigger.
I can’t tell you why. When I hit two years, it started to take off, and I didn’t change a thing. And I want to encourage everybody to stay consistent with what they’re doing. That applies to both sides of the mic. That isn’t just for podcast hosts. If you’re a guest, don’t try five episodes and be like, oh, nothing’s happening.
No, stay around for 100. I promise you; you will see something come from it. So again, those are five points I wanted to share here because I think they’d be accommodating. If you are a podcast host and want to know how you’re doing with this, head over to PodScore.io!
Check Out PodScore.io
It’s a fun personality test for podcasters to tell you one of the twelve types of podcasters you are, but it’ll also give you hands-on training and ideas for how to level up your podcast within these five things we discussed. So anyway, I digress on that point. It is so thriving as a podcaster in this new age of content. Again, consistency on an ongoing basis wins. Having a clear path for transformation wins.
Make sure that you are just sticking to the point for people that you’re just delivering on your expertise, your zone of genius. That is what people are looking for. So it’s all an accompaniment of all those things. So I want to share how to stay consistent quickly. And this is on both sides of the mic, and I’m going to read these off a list here, and I’m going to make it quick.
Number one, take ownership and be self-disciplined. You own the result. Be self-disciplined in that. Enlist accountability. Enlist accountability.
My mastermind does this well. We make sure that we’re all holding each other accountable. Being intentional that’s huge. Here’s the next one that everyone’s been waiting for me to say, be in a community. The community will lead to more success than I can ever describe.
Community Leads to Thriving as a Podcaster
That’s what’s changed my life. So be in the community. Next, focus on self-care. Have podcasting life balance. Go back to podpros.com two two four.
I talk a lot about that, but we mustn’t allow ourselves to get burnout because no matter how much self-discipline you have, you might get burnout if you don’t focus on it. So podpros.com two two four, dive deep into self-care for podcasters. Again, on either side of the mic. Avoid the hustle and grind. Don’t always feel like you have to try all these new things.
Again, we talked about the beginning, like all these new tools. You don’t have to stay up to date with all that. Let someone else try it. Let someone else figure it out. And then, once it’s been systemized and made simple to implement, be the guy that spends 15 minutes instead of two months on it.
That’s what I do, and it’s worked well for me. And also, it’s very calming, let’s put it that way. Keep it human. Make sure that you keep your personality in it. People want to learn from you.
“Be a giver. Be willing to lay it all out there. People want to learn from you.”
And that goes along with this next thing: sharing as you learn. Share what you’ve learned as you learn it. Be a giver. Be willing to lay it all out there, right? Like, hey guys, I just knew this.
I wanted to share it with you. That goes so far. Also, avoid being a perfectionist. This is a tough one. I know I’m just rattling it off, but that’s tough.
But focus on continuous improvement, which is my next point, which is even more important than being a perfectionist, is just making sure that we’re going to release it. We’re going to ship that creative work. We’re going to get out of the world, we’re going to hit publish, and we’ll focus on continuous improvement as we go. And the last thing is to trust the process. Again, returning to the full circle here, remain consistent with it.
Tracking The Right Podcasting Metrics
And if you want to track what you’re doing, there are only a few things you need to do. And guests, you will have to ask hosts for this information. Number one is the completion rate. How far along in your podcast episodes are people making it? And you can get that from Apple or Spotify.
Log into the dashboard there, and it’ll show you something that says completion rate or consumption rate is what one calls it. And whatever, they use different terms. But basically, it’s showing you how far until people drop off your podcast; where are they making it? You’re doing well as a podcaster if you have good retention throughout. If you’re seeing a drop-off, you might not be delivering transformation as you think you are.
And the other one is listeners in the first seven days. So how many people are hearing your podcast? How many people are listening to it on an ongoing basis? Those are your fans. That’s how you can tell.
Understanding and Reviewing The Right Data Leads to Thriving as a Podcaster
And as long as your completion rate is getting better or it’s retaining well and your listenership in the first seven days is growing, I don’t care if it goes from 40 to 41; that doesn’t matter. That shows that you’re trending in the right direction, and that’s how you can know how you’re doing. If you’re a podcast guest, ask hosts for that information. I won’t say no to getting on your show, but I need to know, are people hanging out with you? Are they listening long-term?
If yes, why? If not, why not? And how many people do you have fans? Are people listening to the show consistently? Are people finding it years from now?
Where is that at? Those are great ways to track how you’re doing in this new era of content. The last thing I want to share here is scripture for me because I know this is a lot that I dove in here today. I’m a follower of Jesus. I think I’ve made that very clear.
“Do not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Anytime I pretty much speak. But there’s a verse from the Bible that has always stood out to me and encouraged me, and it says let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. So I encourage you, do not give up. Keep on serving people, keep on showing up, and keep on adding value!
Help people find the transformation they’re looking for because you might be the only person to offer that to them today. And I hope you apply everything I shared today and that you’ll listen to or watch this again because there’s a lot in here. But I’m telling you, this is how we can thrive as a podcaster in this new era of content.
About Alex Sanfilippo
Alex Sanfilippo is an entrepreneur who is the CEO and founder of PodPros, a software company focused specifically on the podcasting industry. He is also a podcast host of the top-rated podcast called Podcasting Made Simple and a lead podcast educator.
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