No, you can’t make every single podcast better (but wouldn’t that be cool?) What you can do is make sure that your friends, your co-workers, and the people you connect with every single day are all listening to great podcasts.
Chances are, the people that you connect with each day probably know you’re a podcaster. Not that I’m suggesting you become anywhere near as annoying as the crossfitter, vegan or atheist who walk into the proverbial bar, mind you. But I am suggesting that you take the opportunity when it arises to spread not only the good news about podcasting, but actually spread good podcasts.
Well over a year ago, I made reference to a new acronym: IHNI. That stands for “I Had No Idea…”. And an IHNI podcast is one that once listened to by someone who doesn’t yet enjoy podcasts on a regular basis, they’ll say “I had no idea podcast content could be so good!”
It’s great that we’re now in a world where almost everyone we meet “gets” podcasting. So when someone mentions podcasting, people around them don’t say, “what’s that?” Instead, they start asking questions. The typical questions are “so what do you listen to?” or “what’s your favorite podcast of all time?” You’ve probably heard lots of variations on the theme. But really, they’re all asking the same question. And it’s a question I have a tough time answering.
What they are really saying is this:
“I’m aware of podcasting, but I haven’t listened because I don’t really know of anything that will appeal to me. And I have some baggage attached to my feelings on podcasting, so I probably think it’s just a waste of my time. So this is your one shot, person who podcasts, to impress the hell out of me with a podcast recommendation. So you better make it a damned good one.”
Talk about pressure. If you’re like me and you listen to dozens (I’m well over 100) of podcasts, it’s tough to keep the IHNIs top-of-mind. Thanks to technology, we don’t have to.
Install a secondary podcast listening app on your phone and subscribe to five better podcasts.
I don’t want you to change your preferred listening app. But I do want you to install a second podcast listening app. Ideally, a common one. If you have an iPhone and you’re not using the default Apple Podcasts, pull it out of the trash. If you’re an Android user, here’s a good reason to dust off the Google Podcasts app. Or perhaps as a better option, this can be an excuse to spend a little more time with Spotify’s nascent podcast listening experience regardless of your mobile OS.
Let me be clear: You will not use this secondary app to listen to podcasts.
All I want you to do with this secondary app is to subscribe to five shows of amazing quality. Subscribe only. Do not listen to the episodes. Simply subscribe.
Why? Because when someone asks for a recommendation, you can now pull out your phone and open this secondary app for your list of recommendations. Look, it’s hard to remember five shows in the heat of the moment, especially when you’re still thinking about the episode of the show you just listened to! It happened to me yesterday, and I was stuck. I could only think of one show to recommend, and that’s not good.
Now, with my five INHIs in a secondary app (I’m using Spotify for this), those recommendations are at-the-ready. And bonus for me and for them: chances are that the person asking also has Spotify on their phone, so I can flick the show(s) right over to them. No mussing about the directory searching for a show by name.
And remember: the IHNIs you pick must be amazing. You’re looking for five really good shows where every single second of the episodes approach perfection.
There is a very good chance that these IHNIs are not shows you listen to on a regular basis. There’s a near 100% chance the shows in your secondary app are not your guilty listening pleasures. Instead, the shows in this secondary app should be impressive to someone you know nothing about. Because you don’t know the politics, religious affiliations, musical preferences, or where they stand on any issue. I know it sounds backward and antithetical to the way of podcasting, but “listenability” has to be the most important thing when making your list of IHNIs. You really don’t care if they fall in love with one of the shows you recommend. All you want is to provide evidence to them that podcasts do offer amazing, high-quality content that they had no idea existed.
Do not make your show a part of that list of five! This isn’t the time to promote your show. This is the time to promote podcasting made better.
The list of five is a crutch for you, so you can easily guide people to better podcast listening experiences. This is your opportunity to be a “gateway drug” into podcasting. That’s why you have five shows subscribed in a secondary app. It’s not for you to try to get another listener to your show.
I know it seems like a great opportunity to get a new listener. But it’s a better opportunity to get someone into all of podcasting. Take this opportunity to make it less about you and more about you becoming an advocate for better podcasting.
So right now, activate that secondary app and add in five shows you’ll always have at the ready the next time someone asks you what podcasts you listen to.
Tomorrow I’ll come back to you with more ways you, the working podcaster, can help make all of podcasting better.
And in case you haven’t heard: I help businesses all around the world jump into podcasting to support their business goals. Check out PodcastLaunch.pro or shoot me an email at email@example.com to start the conversation.
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 208th 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.