Changing podcasting for the better starts at home. What can you do specifically to help other local people where you live not just understand podcasting, but actually make podcasting better? Here are some ideas:
This week, the focus is on what you can do to help make all of podcasting better. Today, we’re going local with your own influence. And no, you don’t have to have a locally-focused podcast to be a podcasting advocate for your local area.
There is great and largely untapped value in becoming the go-to person for all things podcasting in your local area. But I know it’s much easier to go online to spread the news through various social media channels. After all, some of these Facebook groups have thousands of active users, many with questions you can answer. That’s great. You should be as active as you want in those busy groups.
But there’s an even bigger opportunity — for you and for podcasting overall — if you focus a good portion of your efforts on a much more local scale.
Be the big podcasting fish in the little podcasting pond.
Most online groups are filled with people who also want to express their expert opinion about podcasting. You’ll notice I don’t spend much time in those big ponds, even though I’d probably be considered a big fish there too.
Instead, I’ve set my sights on the city where I live: Phoenix Arizona. When I show up to local, in-person events here, I’m the only podcast professional. I’m not always the only podcaster who attends, but it’s rare for there to be another professional podcaster in attendance.
But this isn’t just be being king of the mountain. I take this as an opportunity to talk about — advocate, proselytize, whatever — the concepts of making podcasting better. And you can do the same.
Join local podcast “meetups”
When I came back to Phoenix in early 2018, I did a little research into existing meetups. There was one, but it was kind of fading out due to lots of factors. Such is the reality of local meetup groups. But I attended, and I made connections.
I also joined other PHX-focused online communities on Facebook and Slack, and even joined in a few local Twitter chats. I did that to both get the lay of the land as well as look for an opportunity to meet other local organizers and people who also like getting together IRL to talk about podcasting.
Since that time, I’ve started another local event: PHXPodcast.club. It fit with the other events — no stepping on toes — and is growing. Slowly, but growing. Yours will probably be small to start, so don’t be discouraged if only you and your significant other show up for the first few meetings. Keep at it!
Pitch podcasting news stories to your local news stations.
How cool would it be to get on your local news TV station to talk the latest and greatest in podcasting? OK, that’s probably terrifying to some of you. But I speak from experience when I tell you that it’s a lot less nerve-wracking than you’re probably imagining. Local TV news staff are used to dealing with first-time-on-camera people, so relax!
Your local TV news outlets are hungry for a local take not only on national news, but also a local angle on national or international trends. If you haven’t noticed, podcasting has been in the news a lot in the last 18 months. And I don’t think that’s stopping anytime soon. The news directors at your local stations have noticed. But they may not know of a local angle, and they likely don’t have a local podcasting pro on their speed-dial.
Be that pro!
Reach out to your local stations the next time a few million dollars are dropped into podcasting, Tell them that you’re a local podcaster, and that you can help their viewers understand what that investment means for local podcast consumers, and how it might influence other media outlets, like TV!
Local morning news programs eat this stuff up. Sure, you’ll have to get up early and look snazzy for the camera, but it’s a great way to get in front of viewers and to make an excellent — and ongoing — connection with a local broadcast media outfit.
Be a regular attendee of local networking events that have nothing to do with podcasting.
I’ve been making regular appearances at a couple different networking events for a few months now. Even with my sparse attendance record (I’m trying to be better!), I have already become “the podcast guy”. That’s easy for me, because my answer to “What do you do?” is simply “I launch podcasts.” That phrase is even on my business card.
You may have your own reasons for attending local networking events, but take the time to also play the part of local podcast advocate. Don’t just talk about your podcast at these events. Make sure you have some facts and figures in your back pocket that speak to the growth of podcasting and how the media attention is back on podcasting once again. Those are the kinds of things people find interesting, so they’re great conversation starters.
And have your INHIs at the ready! Yesterday I talked about having five shows in a secondary podcast listening app so you can easily make recommendations of great-sounding podcasts. That’s also a great conversation starter, because when the conversation turns to podcasting, someone is going to ask you for a recommendation. Even if they phrase it in an odd way.
Attend. Rinse. Repeat.
All of these suggestions work better — much better — when they are done on a regular, periodic basis. You know… just like podcast episodes. Show up on a regular basis to networking events — podcasting or now. Stay in contact with your local news station. Repetition breeds familiarity, and you want to be the familiar podcasting pro in your local area.
Show up. Do the work. Be present to answer questions. Encourage curious people to check out the best podcasting has to offer. Remember, you’re pushing the “advancing podcasting” message, which will make all of podcasting better.
Need help with a podcast strategy for your business? Get in touch with me, because launching podcasts for clients all around the world is we do. firstname.lastname@example.org reaches me or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of services we offer.
Since you got this far, how about mashing that 👏 button a few dozen times to let me know you dig the written-word version of my thoughts on these podcasting topics? I’d sure appreciate it!
This article started life as a podcast episode. The 209th episode of my four-times-a-week short-form podcast called, oddly enough, Podcast Pontifications. It’s a podcast for working podcasters that’s focused on trends in our growing industry and ideas on ways to make podcasting not just easier, but better. Yes, you should listen. Here’s an easy way: 👇
Evo Terra (hey, that’s me!) has been podcasting since 2004, is the author of Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, and is the CEO and founder of Simpler Media Productions, a strategic podcast consultancy working with businesses, brands, and professional service providers all around the world.