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Your podcast can have the best audio content in the world, but that alone won’t be enough to grow your audience and reach new people. Listeners need to find your content online, and two of the most important things you can do to ensure you are heard are: 1. give your podcast an effective name, and 2. Give your episodes compelling and intriguing titles. In this episode, copywriter Liston Witherill of Goodfunnel.co, explains exactly how you can optimise your show on these fronts, to reach a bigger audience, and grow your influence within your niche.
What should I name my podcast?
Liston identifies three different types of podcast name. Let’s imagine a self-employed driving instructor looking to start a podcast; her business is called “Fiona Smith Driving School”
- The Brand Name – A company or individuals name, which is probably more suited to established brands, businesses or professionals. This might be the best option if you already have a following online. With this option, our driving instructor might have “The Fiona Smith Podcast”
- The Abstract Name – This can be something creative or intriguing. Interesting, but not necessarily descriptive. Be wary of going down this route as people may not immediately know what your show is about. It would probably be wise to supplement an abstract name with good artwork that clearly states the purpose of your podcast and your content. With this option, our driving instructor might have “Ducking & Driving” as her podcast name.
- The Descriptive Name – Arguably the best option for a small or new business looking to establish and grow a following. Choosing an “it does exactly what it says on the tin” name for your podcast will make it extremely findable online. Sure, it might not be a glamorous or particularly inventive name, but once you have the listener’s ears and they are hooked on your content, they probably won’t care what it’s called anyway. With this option, our driving instructor might have “Passing Your Driving Test” as her podcast title; do you think this would be appealing for many learner drivers, or other driving instructors?
How should I name my episodes?
Take yourself out of it, focus on the reader/listener, and put them in a position of strength.
Titles should be emotionally charged, intrigue people’s curiosity, and appeal to their intellect.
Use the show description to set up a story, but don’t give away all the answers. End on a ‘cliffhanger’ that encourages people to click through and listen.
Remember, the purpose of your podcast name is to grab attention quickly. Try to use five words or less. Have a look at the top podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher; do you notice any reoccurring themes in the way these shows are named?
Use these techniques for writing headlines when communicating with your email list subscribers, and when posting on social media.
List articles (“five tips for…” or “seven ways to…”) get shared more than others.
For more content from Liston Witherill, check him out at Goodfunnel.co
Storytelling is right on trend, following the success of Serial and the Startup Podcast. We know stories engage, but how do we create one? We've written on digital storytelling before, but now it's time to talk through our storytelling techniques. In this episode I'm talking to Dan Feld of Prologue Profiles about just that – how to develop an engaging story in audio form. Dan specialises in drawing stories out in interview, and here offers up a guide to doing the same in your own context.
We’re going to take a close look at stories and storytelling. What makes a good story? How do we define effective storytelling? Are there frameworks and formulas that we can use to either tell a compelling and engaging story, or draw it out of our interviewees?
Dan's Storytelling Structure
Dan explains the storytelling techniques he uses to paint a picture in the mind of the listener.
- Context – What is interviewees story? Who are they, where are they, and what do they do?
- Challenge – What obstacles and hurdles did they face before they got to where they are now. What could have prevented them from succeeding?
- Action – What did they do to overcome those barriers? What actions did they take, and what changes did they make or encounter in their lives?
- Epiphany – What were those great moments of clarity, inciting incidents, and breakthroughs that led to that person making a final push to where they are now?
- Climax – How did things all come together? What was it like to experience that feeling of success? And what is it like to be where they are and do what they do now?
Dan also tells us about the power of audio as a storytelling medium. The power of podcasting itself allows the listener to visualise these stories in their heads, travelling with the interviewee through their journey. This is an incredibly intimate and impactful medium that we, as content creators, should take full advantage of.
Applying Storytelling to Solo Podcasts
So where do we go from here? These storytelling techniques work just as well in a monologue as they do if you create an interview show. If you create the latter, Dan advises us to “listen on behalf of your audience” and always look to fill in any gaps in the story. Make sure each step of the story is earned, and keep your listener rooting for the person as they talk them through it.
How to Develop Your own Storytelling Technique
As a takeaway, Dan wants us to define, understand, and absorb good content. That could be anything from books to TV shows, or even conversations. Talk to people you know, find out what they’re into, and why they like it. What are industry and thought leaders in your field talking about at the moment? And what is it about that content that is making it catch their attention?
To hear more from Dan, check out his show, Prologue Profiles.
This week I want to go back to basics and talk about presentation skills. It's taken as read that in-person presenting, getting up in front of an audience, is something that takes practice and skill. But, many people underestimate presenting to the microphone and how much your style can change and improve with a little knowledge and practice.
Today I'm talking to John Colley from the Online Learning Podcast about just that – how to speak in front of the mic, and whether face to face speaking skills translate to the microphone. You'll learn how different Podcast presenting actually is, but what we can take from traditional presenting to improve our technique. You'll also find a huge array of tips around interviewing, planning and presenting, all of which are keys aims of Series 4 of PodCraft.
Here’s some of the great stuff you’ll learn in this episode:
- John’s two approaches in presenting and how he base his approach with his audience
- John’s interview preparations and techniques
- John’s tips on talking on the microphone
- How he structure and organise his interviews
- The difference between solo podcast and presenting in terms of delivery and presentation
- How important it is to keep the energy, pace, intonation and voice sound natural
- How story telling put life to John’s interviews
- How important a regular podcast format to guests
- How John prefers action over anecdote during his presentations
- John’s tips and techniques to sound good on the microphone
Mentioned on this episode:
This is John’s blog where he offers up a huge array of information on getting more traffic, leads and sales in your business.
John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire
John Colley mentioned John Lee Dumas’s structured format to his interviews which makes his interviewees aware of what to expect. I talked to John Lee Dumas on a previous episode where he shared his podcast planning strategies.
Udemy, a huge online learning platform where anyone can release their own course, is possibly the main focus of John's podcast. The majority of courses he covers are hosted on Udemy, and you can find the Podcast itself here.
Let Me Know What You Think
I’d love to know what you think of the content. Drop me answers to the following questions in the comments:
- How do you plan a presentation?
- How do you present with a microphone?
- What do you think of when you’re presenting?
- What techniques do you use to make sure you’re authentic and engaging when there’s actually nobody in the room with you?
See you next time!
In a series all about presenting your Podcast content, we can hardly miss out one of the biggest trends in Podcasting of recent years: the humble interview. Interviewing is a real skill in itself, requiring preparation, practice and a whole lot of other little nuances. I thought it would be great to get a Radio Pro on to talk about this topic – someone who's been doing interviews for years in a live, public sphere. If you mess up an interview on live radio, after all, there's nowhere to hide!
On that note, I'm joined today by Matt Young, a long time radio presenter and experienced interviewer. On this episode you'll learn the common mistakes people make, techniques for not drying up and much more.
Here’s some of the great stuff you’ll learn in this episode:
- Matt Young’s background history as a radio presenter
- Common mistakes that people do when interviewing
- Necessary skills in interviewing
- The techniques and tips on how to conduct a successful interview
- How open-ended questions help in gaining more information from your interviewee
- Matt’s tips during the preparation stage of the interview
- Giving out 1,2,3 questions altogether during a prompt interview
- How does listening to other interviews affect your interviewing skills
- How Matt works with mapping out his interview or how he keep track of his questions
- The most important key to a successful interview is “YOU HAVE TO LISTEN WHILST TALKING”
- How body movements add vitality to the voice to show enthusiasm during the interview
Mentioned on this episode
Steve Perryman is a well-known football player who used to play for Spurs. Matt Young mentioned his interview experience with Steve and he shared his technique and tips on how to concentrate with the interview while still coming up with new questions.
Matt mentioned Jason’s ability to tell a story and get his listeners to enjoy his talk.
Matt shared his big admiration to Chris’ skills on handling prompt interview during the Breakfast show’s mystery guest portion.
Piers Morgan is a British journalist and television personality who is known to successfully gaining honest answers from his interviewees.
They Talk for a Living is Matt Young’s upcoming podcast which was inspired by him being a radio presenter and it’s a weekly podcast about people who make a living from talking.
Let Me Know What You Think
I’d love to hear your feedback! Let me know what you think of this episode in particular. Drop me answers to the following questions in the comments:
- How do you do a good interview?
- What skills do you need to perform the interview well and make sure it’s engaging?
- How do you prepare for your interview?
See you on the next episode!
On this episode of PodCraft I'm delighted to welcome Mr John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire. John has been delivering amazing, high value content on entrepreneurship, business and life in general for 2+ years now. And amazingly, it's always been on a daily schedule – that's right, 7 podcast episodes a week.
So, who better to talk episode planning and logistics that John himself. How does he manage to deliver so much content, at that quality, with so much consistency? Well, let's find out!
Here's some of the great stuff you'll learn in this episode:
- How John organises his episodes to be able to deliver a podcast, 7 days a week
- How far ahead John records his episodes (it's waaay more than you think!)
- How best to schedule interviews and recordings
- John's process for automating scheduling and reminders when working with guests
- How to get interviews with top influencers even in your early days
- How John works with his guests to promote his own podcast, and how that's helped him long term.
- How John markets his episodes via Social media, and automates much of it.
- A structured approach to releasing episodes, and how this helps John in his marketing
- John's magic proportions between promoting new content, old content and pure value on social media.
- How to be a ‘Person of Success'
- How John prepares for an interview – you'll like how easy this is!
Here's a great quote that John shared on the episode, from the great Albert Einstein:
“Try not to be a person of success, but rather a person of Value”
The man's definitely done his research, bringing up a Physics quote on my Podcast 🙂
Mentioned on this Episode
John gave a shout-out to Jamie Tardy – the Eventual Millionaire – as his mentor in the early days. He credits a lot of his success to mentoring and mastermind groups.
Schedule Once is John's go-to tool for planning his interviews with the guests themselves. Schedule once allows you to send segments of your calendar to your guest so that they can choose a time that suits you. This cuts down on back and forth, and allows really quick and easy booking of interviews.
To Do List Software
Workflowy and Wunderlist are the two task management systems that John recommends. Having a good to-do list package is pretty essential for your productivity, and don't underestimate the power of ticking those items off, one by one!
John uses Asana as his team collaboration space, allowing for communication, task planning and much much more.
Let Us Know What You Think
I'd love to know what you think of the content. Drop me answers to the following questions in the comments:
- How do you plan out your episodes?
- What do you have in front of you when you record?
- What tools do you use to manage your podcasting logistics?
See you next time!
This is Series 4 of PodCraft, where I'm exploring planning and presenting your Podcasting content. It's time to concentrate on the message!
In this episode we're starting the content planning process with first principles: what does your podcast do? This is going right back to basics and defining our Podcast, including our who we're speaking to (our target audience), what its aims are (are you selling, teaching, entertaining?), our format (daily, weekly, interview, solo…) and much more. Only with a really solid podcast definition, or strategy as we often call it, can we make sure we deliver content that really engages our audience week after week.
This definition also allows for much more easy evaluation, something which, if you're running a business podcast, is key. That's not to say evaluation isn't relevant to hobby podcasters: the question, “Is this worth my time?” should be relevant to anyone, even if the answer is, “Yes, just because I really enjoy it!”.
In this episode I'm talking to Mark Asquith from the Excellence Expected Podcast. Mark is an experienced digital marketer, running his own agency, and recently he's turned his eye to podcasting. I thought that with his background, and the recent success of his podcast, he'd be the ideal guy to speak to about defining a podcast strategy. In the episode we cover how to go about defining your podcast, so that you can get off on the right foot.
Mentioned on This Show
The Excellence Expected Podcast is aimed at business owners and entrepreneurs and is setup to tackle specific problems that business owners struggle with. Each episode features an expert in the field, giving their own story, a diagnosis of the problem and some actionable takeaways.
Spark Press is a fantastically chilled-out Podcast which is about life, developing intuition and self-development.
This is a powerful sound editing program which is designed to accelerate audio and video production workflows and deliver the highest standards for audio quality.
The Gorkana group connect brand owners and organisations to critical information and insight, all of which helps them control and manage their reputation across all media platforms.
This is a press release house which can help to put you in front of PR companies for free.
Leave Me Feedback
As always, give me feedback! Let me know what you think of this episode in particular. You can also leave a comment about what you would like to cover in the future around presenting and planning. I’d love to know what you want in this series. Pop a comment in below or email me using the contact form here.
Finally, click here to review and rate PodCraft in iTunes. I’d really appreciate that. It really helps to get the show out to more people and grow the PodCraft community.
Thanks for listening! I'll see you on the next episode.