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Lena West's Technology Diet: 2

There’s Gold In Them Thar Podcasts
by Lena West
[guest blogger]

Ok, last week, I promised you some tips to help you make your podcast better and I’m here to Lakshmi_lena_west_1 deliver. In the Technology Diet we cover all the ins and outs of creating and delivering a podcast (much more than I can go into here). However, I want to give you a few "ground rules" to get you started…

Over the past few weeks, I have been listening to the podcast of a woman who bills herself as a business coach and internet marketing pro. I kept listening to her show hoping that it wouldn't be the same train wreck week after week. Hoping that someone who calls herself an internet marketing expert would consult with someone for an hour or two on how to deliver a top-notch podcast. Good thing I didn’t hold my breath.

She violated the following five cardinal rules of podcasting…

1) Don’t be chatty Cathy. Not as a rule but, we women have a tendency to be..erm…talkative. Well, ok *I* do! So, if you have this tendency, too…curb it. The ideal length for a podcast is 12-15 minutes. If you are using the podcast format for an Internet radio show, you can go as long as 50 minutes. But, whatever you do don’t call it a podcast and offer 50 minutes of content. That’s a tell-tale sign of an amateur!

2) Be relevant. This is BUSINESS! It’s OK to interject with a personal note or two – if that’s your style but resist the temptation to share your personal business with your audience…unless, of course, that’s the theme of your show. In short: keep it professional.

3) Bookend the podcast audio with a male voice. There’s a reason that the nightly news is one male and female anchor (usually). I cannot tell you how absolutely boring it is to listen to one person’s voice for 15-50 minutes straight. Have a male introduce your podcast (the intro), its "segments" and the closing (the outro). And, for goodness sakes, pay the $40/hour and get voice over talent. If you don’t know anyone, drop me a line.

4) Let guests be guests. Don’t have the guest segment take up the entire podcast. Don’t have a guest on more than once per month. That’s not a guest, that’s a co-host! People tune in to hear YOU: YOUR opinions and YOUR recommendations. If they wanted to hear someone else, they’d tune into a different show. Now, if the format of your show is guest interviews, that’s great but, if you started the podcast to build your platform or to showcase your expertise, you’re certainly not achieving those goals by having guests on every week! Ya think?

5) Drop the expense excuse. A good podcast doesn’t have to be professionally mixed and remastered. This is not Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ - just make it professional. As my Aunt Lucy used to say, "You might not have a lot of dresses but, if the ones you have are cleaned and pressed, no one will notice."

And, don’t worry…I’ve already contacted Ms. Biz Expert to give her some feedback.

Oh, and one more thing….

If you join us for the next Technology Diet Intensive, starting in September, you’ll learn why you should avoid listing your podcast in the podcast directories – at least at first. And, you’ll learn exactly when to list them. It’s all about strategy, baby!

Next week, I’ll show you how to start covering your *ss online. If you’re not protecting your business, data and online assets, it’s not if, it’s when. As someone whose company was directly involved in the 9/11 business rebuilding efforts, I can tell you the reason many businesses didn’t survive was not because of the attacks themselves…it was because they couldn’t recover fast enough. When business is on the line and money talks…how long will your clients wait? Yeah, that’s what I thought…

P.S. If you want to hear a kick-butt podcast, take a listen to a podcast that I developed for a client.


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Yvonne DiVita

Hi Monica,
I don't know Joe Jaffe - never heard his podcast - but, I think this is so new there's room to learn and improve. I took Lena's advice to be appropriate for newbies. While there are podcasts that can hold our attention for longer than 15 minutes, they're rare. I so enjoy the shorter ones - the personal touches that are also professional sounding.

Thanks for introducing me to Joe Jaffe. And thanks for chiming in - Lena and I love it when readers get vocal! We love a good conversation.


Hi Monica:

Thanks for checking in.

I agree. These are more like guidelines not rules - hence the words "ground rules" in quotes.

All marketing efforts depend on your audience and what they will and won't consume. If people like to listen to Joe Jaffe shamelessly self-promote for an hour, rock on for him.

Senor Jaffe is the exception, not the rule.


Monica Powers

These rules are interesting, esp. considering one of the most popular marketing podcasts out there breaks almost every one. Joe Jaffe, in his Across the Sound podcast, consistenly records for well over an hour, spends a good portion of that hour on shameless self-promotion, is quite wordy (although he is male...), and frequently spends the entire substance of his podcast on a guest. On one of his podcasts he even stopped to answer a phone call...while recording!

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