This week’s miniseries has been focused on a podcasting twist on a famous quote: Ask not what you can do to make your podcast better, but ask what you can do to make all of podcasting better. For the final episode of the miniseries, I’m turning your focus to podcasting events and enlisting you in the cause of Advancing Podcasting.
Next week, I will be attending Podcast Movement in Orlando. Podcasting events are cropping up all over these days. Some are really big, most are medium-sized, and there are plenty of smaller and more intimate settings. You should attend as many of these as you can. Even better, you can use your appearance at these conferences help advance the cause of advancing podcasting to help make podcasting better.
It's worth revisiting the tenets of Advancing Podcasting to help illustrate why your appearance at a conference can help make podcasting better.
- We believe that technology should make podcasting better, not just easier.
- We believe that new models are required to bring the ~75% of non- and infrequent listeners into the fold.
- We believe in and respect the inherent choices made by podcast listeners, podcast creators, and podcast enablers.
I third tenet is something you should always have in mind, so let’s focus on the first two:
Submit a talk centered on ways to use technology to make podcasting better.
Podcasting events rely on people like you to submit their desire to speak on a given topic. That allows the organizers to create a well-rounded series of events to attract even more attendees. Naturally, most of the submissions will be focused on individual tactics that have worked well for the submitter, loads of monetization angles, and a lot of chest-pumping as podcasters vie for a spot on stage to promote themselves or their own show.
You have an excellent opportunity for you to give the organizers something different, a proposed session that is unlike the rest of the slush pile. In this case, it’s good to stand alone.
I don’t think you’ll have much luck if you submit a topic titled “I want to make podcasting better not just easier”. That’s a little too on-the-nose, and you likely won't get picked. However, that should be the underlying theme of your submission and your resulting presentation. Submit whatever topic you feel qualified to talk onstage about, but offer it as a solution that makes podcasting better, not just easier. Yes, you should use those words inside of your submission. And if you are selected, you should use those words when you're up on stage. Because that’s not a message the organizer or the audience is used to hearing. Which helps your submission and your subsequent talk stand part, which makes it more memorable.
Be on the lookout for new approaches to podcasting that will bring in new listeners.
I'm not presenting at this year’s Podcast Movement, which frees me up to be on the lookout for interesting vendors, services, shows, and people who are offering up new models that would appeal to the 75% of the world not yet listening to podcasts on a regular basis. Join me in that quest.
It makes sense that most of the vendors and content at the podcasting conference will be focused on current podcasters, tantalizing them with sexy new microphones, cheaper and cheaper media hosting, and a slew of new companies trying to get their slice of the existing podcasting market. These conferences are a microcosm literally inside podcasting, so the discussions and offerings are naturally inward-focused, as attendees, vendors, and presenters are talking about podcasting with other podcasters or current podcast listeners.
Your mission (and mine) is to seek out vendors, companies, and even like-minded podcasters who have great ideas -- new models, perhaps -- that have a good chance of bringing in people who aren't yet listening to podcasts on a regular basis. Once you’ve identified the small number of people looking outward, you can strike up friendships (because you want the same thing) and then stay connected so you can actively help those new models come to fruition. Also, you should take these new models back to your local community to get them excited about the potential.
So please: Go to these conferences and spread the message of and ideas about making podcasting better. If you are presenting, incorporate into your presentation way in which technology can be used to make podcasting better, not just easier. If you’re only attending, be on the lookout for new models that might bring new people into the podcasting space -- and find ways to help them gain traction.
If you're going to be a Podcast Movement 2019, I will be there too! And I would love to meet you for coffee, drinks, dinner, or just a quick meet and greet. Get in touch with me wherever you can. I'm @evoterra on Twitter, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get in touch with me and we'll book a time to sit down together. Let's not leave it to random chance. Since I’m not presenting, I have plenty of time to meet other people who were interested in Advancing Podcasting.
Thanks for making it through this miniseries. Enjoy your (no episode on Fridays!), and I'll be back on Monday with another Podcast Pontifications.