The great thing about having so many celebrities starting their own podcasts is the thongs of new people those shows bring into the medium of podcasting. Hello, new listeners! Welcome to podcasting!
The worst thing about having so many celebrities starting their own podcasts is that some of those new podcast listeners think, “Hey, that looks easy! I can do that too!” and then decide to start their own podcast with rather unrealistic expectations.
Seasoned podcasters can be impacted as well, listening to low-quality but highly-consumed episodes and wondering about the hours spent trying to get close to perfection while celebrities phone it in—perhaps literally—and suck all the oxygen out of the room for non-celebrity podcasters.
I hear you. And feel you. So today, on the penultimate episode of this show before I go on my mid-season break for a few weeks, I’m going to detail five tips to help you podcast like a celebrity.
And it’s quite possible my tongue will poke completely through my cheek as I do it. Wish me luck!
1. Actually be a celebrity!
Celebrities get their share of haters, for sure, but they also have crazy cult-like fans. Fans who love the work—any work—put out by their favorite celebrity for no other reason than the work was put out by their favorite celebrity.
Fans of celebrities are quite forgiving, especially as a celebrity expands into new mediums that make them even more accessible to their fans. The quality of the celebrity’s podcast isn’t important: What is important to the fan is that it gives them an even deeper connection to their favorite celebrity, if only in a weird parasocial sort of way.
For the ardent fan, recording environment, attention to details, editorial efforts, and other staples of making a good podcast don’t really matter. The audience of a celebrity’s podcast is here for the banter, and they see no fat to be trimmed from the episode. It’s all good stuff to them.
But you’re not a celebrity, so you probably don’t have that luxury. Which means you have to do plenty of work to compete for attention among people who aren’t your fans.
2. Already have a huge audience!
Celebrities already have hundreds of thousands of fans, if not millions! That makes it so much easier to get traction for a new show, which can lead to more exposure on various podcast listening apps and listing platforms.
Also, fans of a celebrity are often connected to other fans of that celebrity, so when one person in fandom discovers the podcast, it spreads through the rest of fandom very quickly. They communicate in online communities. They belong to group email lists. They monitor and help spread hashtags to expose other people to the brilliance that is their favorite celebrity. And if it’s a new thing from the celebrity, even better as the most intense fans rush to say they were first to spread the word on a new platform.
But you don’t have a built-in huge audience, so you probably don’t have that luxury. So you’ll probably find it hard to get word of mouth working for you en masse.
3. Have lots of disposable income to spend on staff and paid services!
Celebrities lead pretty glamorous lives in the tabloids, but I’ve no doubt that many of them work (or worked) their asses off to get to the top of their game and achieve celebrity status. And for that hard work, they’re well compensated and can afford to offload a lot of podcasting duties onto their staff or highly-qualified professionals so they, the celebrity, can focus on just being the talent on their show.
Do they need to turn a spare room into a recording studio, complete with exceptional sound treatments and all-new, top-of-the-line equipment purchased and expertly installed? Yeah, that’ll be done this weekend.
With a few phone calls, they can augment their team with a quality producer, guest booker, social media manager, marketing manager, ad ops manager to get their content machine up and running fast, all self-bankrolled. Or bankrolled by a network.
But you’re not sitting on millions of extra dollars, so you probably don’t have that luxury. Instead, you have to evaluate every cost balanced against the revenue potential it might bring to you or your show.
4. Be connected to other celebrities for instant network effect!
There are enough celebrity podcasts today that a new celebrity podcaster can get booked on a huge number of highly consumed podcasts very quickly, letting adjacent fans know about the new show to swell their follower/subscriber ranks.
And celebrities are used to collaborating with other celebrities, so coordinating episode drops or crossover episodes is a breeze for them, and probably left to staff members to hash out while the celebrity stays focused on being the talent.
But your connections are a bit more mundane, so you probably don’t have that luxury. You have to slowly build relationships with other podcasters and find creative ways to convenience them to work together with you.
5. Get national media coverage with a phone call!
Humans love news about celebrities. Glance at the magazines in the checkout aisle or check Twitter’s trending hashtags today (or any day) for proof of this. And the media loves giving humans what they want.
So when a celebrity’s press manager or retained public relations firm reaches out to a media outlet, they’re often booked for the next available slot. Maybe, if the media property does a great job with the coverage, the piece will be picked up for larger syndication, spreading the message even further!
But your name isn’t instantly recognizable, so you probably don’t have that luxury. As such, you’ll likely find it hard to get even a local news outlet interested in your podcast.
Yeah… that’s not me.
Now, in case you didn’t catch the subtle undertones, here’s the message laid bare: There’s very little podcasters can learn from celebrity podcasters, unless they themselves are also celebrities.
For the rest of us, it’s back to the fundamentals, doing the work, making the best content we can, and being smart about our promotional activities. Welcome to the slog.
Tomorrow will be the penultimate episode of this half-season. I’ll then take a break for a few weeks to both recharge and get a jumpstart on creating more content for you. So stick around.
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.