Get the Tape!
As far as I know, there are no recordings of my grandfather speaking or doing anything else. I have a few of my father, but only because I recorded him myself.
Today, it's rare to find somebody under 25 who hasn't been recorded a lot. But are we taking real advantage of the opportunity we have?
One of the things I love about having a podcast is that it gives us the excuse to approach anybody with a question and get an answer on tape. And I'd encourage you to take advantage of this by getting recordings on people who are important to you, even if you don't have a specific plan on how you'll use them right now.
StoryCorps has a list of great questions to get you started.
What we do is important, even if it's just archiving information for the future.
More thoughts on this below. Also, thoughts on "starting over" in podcasting and the big opportunity for co-hosted podcasts.
Want the audio version of this newsletter? It's available via my podcast on podcasting, Build a Big Podcast.
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The Woman Who Saved Native Song
Don't let important stories die.
When I was in Mississippi, I worked with a small record label that was based around a guy who would drive the state's back roads, going to the smallest towns, and recording the music of old musicians he met.
“We understand the people better if we know their music, and we appreciate the music better if we understand the people themselves.”
This story is worth a read and you just might find it inspiring to do your own, similar work. The spoken word stories you capture can be just as important.
Want another "feel good" story about the power of recorded audio? Mind the Gap Tube announcement returns after wife's plea
You could do something just as empowering and meaningful with the equipment you already have.
Lessons from 1.5 Million Podcast Downloads
Some good food for thought about podcasting from Jay Clouse of Creative Elements. Rather than comment on every single thing he mentions, here are a couple of related "big ideas" for you to consider.
Co-Hosted (or Interview-Format) Podcasts Get More Listeners than Monologue-Format Podcasts
No, not always. In general though, people find it easier to listen to a "conversation" than a single voice. Not only is there interaction between two or more people, there are also different voices, which is more stimulating to listeners.
But Jay also says he'd "skip the interviews." So how does that work?
I'd base my format around a curious/knowledgeable cohost + a unique premise.
If you're not yet ready to do a solo-format podcast, but done with worrying about finding great guests, whether those guests will show up with the proper equipment, and scheduling issues, co-hosting may be a great format for you to consider.
Like a solo-format podcast, co-hosting will allow you to:
- Take complete control of your recording schedule
- Take complete control over your audio quality
- Release the exact message you want to get out
- Publish as frequently (or infrequently) as you want
- Establish yourself, not the guest, as the expert
So why don't more podcasters do this?
Co-hosting, much like solo-format podcasts, requires a higher level of skill than a basic "interview" podcast. Also, you've got to find a great co-host that shares the same mission and enthusiasm for your podcast as you do.
Looking for a great co-host for your podcast? Try Polywork.
How many times has this happened to you?
I've been around recording studios all my life and something all the great ones have in place is an organized cable management system, whether the cables are in use or in storage. Interested in improving how you organize cables? You'll find this information helpful.
The Business of Podcasting
5/25/150: The Secret of the Best Networker I Ever Met
Need more people to interview? Need help growing your podcast?
This is a clever idea to grow your network that can make both of these things happen.
The premise is simple – keep in touch with the people you want to connect with (or stay connected to) on a regular basis.
What it looks like:
- List 180 people whom you feel would be beneficial for you to know and connect with.
- Reach out multiple times per week to the five people who are most critical in accomplishing your goals.
- Contact the next most important 25 people once per week.
- Reach out to the remaining 150 people once per month.
How do you keep track of everybody?
This is a good job for Google Sheets or your task manager, which should be able to automatically send you "reminders" when its time to reach out at various times. And if you want to get really serious, here's a $99 CRM tool that can easily handle the task.
What do you send people when reaching out?
When you do these two things, you'll always have more than enough good and helpful information to share with people:
- Always have your antennae up, looking for material that might be helpful for somebody on your list.
- Always be creating your own material and, when appropriate, mentioning the people whom you want to connect with within that material.
That's it. And if you don't do this perfectly, it's not the end of the world – just do as much as you can in the best way that you can.
I'll have more thoughts on how to build better connections in the audio edition of this issue, so subscribe now to make sure you don't miss it.
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The Wrap Up
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- Grow your podcast audience.
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