Podcasting is in a period of accelerated growth. As of this morning, Podcast Index is tracking close to 4 million shows. And nearly a quarter of a million of them were published in only the last ten days. More articles about podcasting are appearing in mainstream media. More consolidation is happening internally, and companies outside of podcasting are investing money to get in.
All of that means more opportunities are abundant for all of us podcasters. So, of course, you should get your fair share by saying YES quite a lot!
But as you, your podcast, and the podcasting space itself continue to mature, it's equally important to know when to say NO.
Saying NO To The Wrong Client
I passed on an opportunity to work with a new client last week. The project sounded very promising and was right in our wheelhouse. Even better, it would have given my firm exposure to a new—and likely quite lucrative—industry.
But the prospective client had a very unrealistic timeline. I’m not afraid of aggressive timelines, but I’m a bigger fan of reality. So I gracefully bowed us out from consideration. Chances are, they’ll find a firm or freelancer who’ll crank something out for them on their timeline. But it won’t be anywhere like the project they envisioned, causing them to be disillusioned with podcasting. And I don’t want my firm to have played a part in that.
Saying NO To The Wrong Guest
I’ve noticed the PR peeps have turned up the volume recently, as they’re finally recognizing the value of getting their clients placed on podcasts. Quite a few are lazy and don’t even bother to check if the podcast ever has guests, which still puzzles me.
But a few are getting much better at selling the guest to a show, talking up what huge benefits await the podcast if only they’ll take this highly sought-out guest who just happens to be their client. Some are so good that they can convince non-interviewing podcasters to break their format just to get some of that sweet, sweet guest juice.
Don’t be fooled. While yes, having a big-name guest—especially a big-name guest that actively promotes their appearances on podcasts to their ardent followers—on your show can give you a big bounce in people listening to that episode…it’s often just a bounce. They’re downloading your episode to listen to the guest they can’t get enough of. The overwhelming majority of them have no interest in subscribing to your show or listening to any of your other episodes. They got what they came for, and you’re left with a single-episode spike for your troubles.
Saying NO To The Wrong Advertiser
As podcasting ad campaign budgets continue to increase, a slew of companies are starting to test the waters of podcast advertising to see if all the hype they’re hearing is true. That’s great news for podcasters at all levels because a lot of the top shows already have full inventories.
But a lot of these new entrants act new, giving very little thought to important things like targeting or relevance. I help a couple of podcasters with ad sales and recently was sent an offer that gave me pause. Because I’m not sure what the advertiser does. They appear to be a B2B software company but provide only a small (crucial, perhaps) part of the provisioning process that never is seen by mere mortals.
Maybe that’s a good fit for a show that geeks out on that kind of stuff. But my clients are a scifi/horror author and a skeptical musician who does funny voices. And the advertiser wanted them to do host-read endorsements!
Sorry, but there’s no way that could have come off as genuine. It wasn’t worth it to potentially damage the integrity and effectiveness of future recommendations that would be a good fit for the show and audience.
Saying NO To The Wrong Opportunity To Present
Maybe it’s because I’ve been stuck in one state for 15 months, but it seems like brand-new conferences and workshops about podcasting are really taking off. That means the organizers are on the hunt for people like you and me to speak at or participate in the event in some way.
Yes, presenting at a workshop or conference can be a great way to boost your profile in the industry, leading to even more opportunities. But there are also risks involved, one being guilt by association. Are you able to vet the organization behind the event? How much do you know about the other speakers and presenters who’ll be on the same stage? I'm sure you're going to do a bang-up job, but can you say the same for everyone else? How much do the organizers care about diversity and inclusion? How much will that blow back on you?
Saying NO To The Wrong Collaboration
As podcasting grows, ideas flow faster and more freely. Podcasters and podcasting service providers want to do more and are seeking out others to collaborate with. I'm a big fan of collaboration, as you know. More often than not, I end my episodes with a call for more collaboration between you and your peer group of fellow podcasters.
But I also understand you’re a limited resource, and accepting too many offers to collaborate can negatively impact the other great work you’re doing. If you’re too quick to say yes to collaboration, you may find you have a different energy level than your collaborators. And no one wants to be the dude standing silently with his hands in his pockets as others on the team deliver their group presentation in front of the class.
Abundance Makes It Easier To Say No
You may find it odd that the guy who preaches the gospel of abundance is advocating for scarcity. But it only looks that way on the surface.
Opportunities are increasing, which is moving them away from scarcity towards abundance. You don’t have to take everything that’s offered, because there’s another opportunity right around the corner.
Not that you should be dismissive. You should take the time to examine the opportunities sent to you. And if one seems the right fit, you should absolutely take it. But if it’s not the right deal, then don’t fret giving it a pass. Another deal will come along presently that’s a much better fit for you.
Four To Go
Next week, the final four episodes of Podcast Pontification Season 3 will drop. Also next week, people who have subscribed to Podcast Pontifications In Your Inbox—the daily newsletter I send out—will get a sneak peek of some changes in play for Season 4.
I'm just a handful of subscribers away from hitting 300 subscribers of that free newsletter, and I'd love to see a tick over before I go on break at the end of May. So if you haven’t yet, hit the SUBSCRIBE button on PodcastPontifications.com and enter your email address to get articles like these and a link to the episode’s .mp3 file delivered to your inbox daily.
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As you know, there are no episodes Podcast Pontifications episodes published on Fridays. Well, not yet, at least. So enjoy your weekend!
I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.