Live from Emo Dojo
Live from Emo Dojo

Episode · 1 year ago

How To Be A Good Podcast Listener: Doing Your Part In A Two-Way Relationship

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

John Emotions explains the dynamic between small podcasters and their listeners, and how everyone can be better podcast listeners

So there are no rules for listeningto podcasts. There are no rules for making podcasts either, but that doesn'tstop tens of thousands of people from telling others how to follow their examples.So, in the spirit of equal time, this episode is all about how tobe a good podcast listener. I'm johnny emotions. This is Emo Dojo. All right, so I admit I was actually being kind of lazy andI just wanted to put together a quick podcast. So I was googling howto be a good podcast listener and I put it in the quotes to holdit together in the search and I got no results. There's no results onGoogle on how to be a good podcast listener, like, what the fuck? Is that my only my google or your google to I don't know,seems pretty ridiculous. It kept trying to steer me into all these articles abouthow to be a good podcast or no, I want to know how to bea good podcast listener so I could just read off a list and getthis podcast over with go back to bed. Now not quite so extreme, butI hadn't been feeling well the past several weeks and, you know,just looking for something quick and easy to do well, that's what I getfor trying to cut corners. I ended up having to just come up withthe whole thing myself because the article doesn't exist. I guess the cool thingis now that I put this together, it will exist and it might bethe only one if anybody ever looks for it. So I've had a coupleof different types of careers. I've worked in nonprofits managing like HMM, Iguess you'd call him a homeless shelter, but there's different levels of homelessness andbeing housed. So I've worked in that field. Of worked in music andentertainment and software and things like that.

So one of the things I didin music was fan club development, audience development and things like that. Oneof the more interesting concepts that I liked back when we were working on itwas this idea of a thousand super fans, and it could really be applied topodcasters, sure, why not, or any entertainer really. The keyis you have to have about a hundred dollars worth of something to sell yourlistener, your fan whatever a year. So you know, a t shirt, a subscription, an album, a concert ticket. You get the idea, and I was working with comics and things like that. So it's kindof realistic for a comic because they go play shows and there's concert tickets.Well, not concert tickets, but there's obviously comedy club take gets. Theycan have merch booths where they sell tshirts and it's very immediate and there's verylow overhead because most comics don't have a big staff. Most comics travel aloneor with the other comics on the bill. Anyway, I digress. The theidea being if you could find a thousand people who would give you ahundred dollars a year, you can make a living. You're now making ahundred thousand dollars taxes and things like that and you're still making a living.So that's a kind of overly simplistic way to look at fanclub development and oraudience development. But you know, obviously the key is there. You haveto have something to sell. Merch is a big way. A lot ofpodcasters now do merch h three does teddy fresh huge most of their money,half of their money, probably becomes from merch alone, and there are alot of podcasts that are moving to a subscription model. But that's not whatI'm talking about because I came from the kind of startup band, unsigned band, sometimes garage band, literally garage band,...

...but most garage bands don't actually playin a garage. They usually play in some rehearsal studio. So thatjust takes too long to say rehearsal studio band. But so these are youngacts that go out and are generally pretty good and you can if you lookin that scene or those scenes of the upandcoming music artist, it becomes kindof fun to kind of like who might actually make it. Like sometimes none. You'll go through a whole season in Hollywood going to clubs and watching artistand it's like, Nope, this is the same old shit. But sometimesyou'll catch once like well, that's special. Follow those guys and sure enough they'llbe they'll become big. And as a podcast listener you have the sameopportunity now. So, and I'm not talking about how to be a goodpodcast listener, to celebrities who ran out of work and became podcasters. Theywere already celebrities. They brought their celebrity to a podcast, and that's notwhat I'm talking about. Those folks will not reply to you on social media, they won't answer your emails. Not of that. We're talking about startup podcasts. So podcast similar to this one, podcast with very small audiences, very niche audiences. Of course. Mental Health podcasts are super small comparedto things like sports and pop culture and celebrity gossip and things like that,I'm sure, of course, but that means it's even cooler to be afan of a smaller podcast. You're smaller, more elite crowd. Here's the thing, though. PODCASTING and listening to podcast is like a two way relationship. It's like a seesaw. If you go up and down, it upand down like and if it looks goofy, if somebody goes up and the otherperson just sits on the ground doesn't feel like pushing their legs and doingtheir part to make the whole thing work, that's silly. I'm exaggerating here,of course, but you get my point. I mean to a relationshipsrequire an action on both sides. Nobody's...

...obligated to nobody's obligated to make podcastand nobody's obligated to listen to them. But as a podcaster there's certain expectationthat the listener has of you, like quality sound and putting up podcast morethan once every three months and things like that, maybe being relatable or theopposite, maybe being completely unrelatable and I don't know what the fuck that person'stalking about. Doesn't matter, though. It's all entertainment. That's the PODCASTER'sjob to entertain and or inform or to relate or whatever you know, verbyou want to put there. So the podcaster has a role and then thefan of the podcaster has a role also. So I'm going to clumsily kind ofcompare things that worked for startup bands and local bands, unsigned bands.That might also work with your favorite podcasters. So that way you could be moresupportive of your favorite podcasters and your favorite podcasters could grow and then youall grow as a crew together. So tip one research. If you're reallygoing to be a fan, just in get into it. There are so, so many types of podcasts out there that you know, there's no pointin wasting your time on a topic that you're not super into, because youmight find eighteen podcast on topics you're really really into and too might actually belistenable. So do a lot of research. Ask Your friends that listen to podcasts. There are podcast listener groups on social media and they'll give recommendations.Places like Reddit and all those sorts of places also have recommendations to and I'mI'm talking actual users and listeners recommending shows to each other, not algorithms thatput whatever they want you to see up in front of your face whenever yougo to apple podcast, for example. I'm talking find the hardcore podcast peoplethat find the subtle stuff, the small, unknown podcast where they get the mostrewarding content and can actually interact with...

...the podcasters while they're still at thatlevel. and think also, like of your own hobbies and business trades andthings like that. Those hobbies and trades have groups on social media too,so just drop in there and ask, Hey, you guys heard any goodpodcast for this xyze hobby or this trade? That's a good way to find them. So anyway, once you've found your podcast, listen to a fewepisodes, like all right, cool, I'm down. What's this act goingto turn into? So, of course the first thing you have to dois subscribe. Like why not subscribe? It's the most basic, free,easy, anonymous way to stay up today and let your podcast or know atleast someone is listening. They won't know who you are, but they'll seeit in their statistics, in the dashboard of their podcast software. They'll seesomebody's listening. So subscribe. The next easiest and also one step more helpfulthing to do is review the podcast, and when I say review, Ijust simply mean click a star, one to five stars. Obviously everybody wantsfive stars, so just it's free. Click five stars. fucking be thestar fairy. Given away stars, because again, we've already determined that youlike this. This is your podcaster, so don't withhold stars. If thisis your podcast, don't go around given stars to podcasters you don't like,only the ones you're into. But if you are into them, don't withholdthe love. Just go click it while you're there subscribing. This is alittle thing right there. Rate this, review this. Click those. Andnow also, when you click a star, I'm not sure if it's a starrating specifically, but definitely, if you comment or when you're clicking thestar, you opt to leave a review, that will also put your screen nameup there next to your comments. That is super effective because that givessocial proof that another human beings subwhere on...

...this planet, took the time towrite those words, which is to say this podcast affected somebody. Maybe youshould listen to and again. Why would you not do that to a yourpodcaster? Like help your podcaster out by just saying a few kind words?I totally get this. One's kind of weird, though, because most ofthe people I know, like in real life, just don't their ideas.Like I don't know what to say. I get it. So if youfeel that way, that's normal to but don't take a minute figure out somethingto say. There's no pressure, there's no time limit, but eventually maybeget around to that. At least reviewing it, given it a star,click and then for your favorite podcasters, right, which can just something nice. It's the even a few words are better than zero words. Well,I mean or try empathy. How do you like to be communicated to witha few words, a lot of words, or zero words? Most people don'tlike to be communicated with with zero words, because we can't read mindsand it doesn't mean anything. So use your words. The next most importantthing is to share. So if you can't think of a comment because Idon't know what to say, that's fine. Share the motherfucker. Share the linkto the podcast or the episode you just listen to. Why not?Because, and why would you not? Again, you are fan of thepodcaster, so share their stuff. Look at bts. Do you think theyneed people sharing their stuff? No, get why would people share more ofthe same thing? Get off the bandwagons and share the local things. Like, if you're into food, you probably into local food. If you're intomusic, a lot of you know people who are into music are into thelocal bands. So following smaller podcasters is...

...kind of the same thing. Soif you're into it, be into it, like get into it or get outof it. Otherwise, just sitting on the fence, you kind oflook like a poser. So be a fan or don't be. But again, this is this is my business mind thinking when we used to do audiencedevelopment, because there was definitely a hard line, like if people will notsubscribe with their email address, fuck it, they're not actual fans. They don'tcare that much about you. I mean, for Fuck's sake, theygave their email address to facebook and twitter and instagram and snapchat and all thoseother companies and they won't give you their email address to keep them up todate on something you worked hard to produce. Just for them. They're not afan, cut them loose. And so sharing podcast though, also kindof crosses over into social media, and sometimes we lose the connection there becausepodcast listeners are not necessarily social media people, and I get it. I understandthat. I kind of wish we could reverse the clock and put socialmedia back in Pandora's box, but it's out there, it exists and podcastershave to kind of be there because, using kind of the rock and rollband metaphor, that's the parking lot where we put the flyers for our shows. Is Social Media. And since we're on social media and we do postthings and see your comments and reply, how about doing your part on theother end of the see saw and lift up, sit up, come on, get the teetertotter going. And I think every podcaster I have ever talkedto has the same experience. MMM, sometimes it feels like we are talkingto a room of like a thousand people but everyone turned their back the otherway. That's sometimes out feels, I guess, another way to feel.I like you had like a partner who just gave you the silent treatment andwouldn't respond to like in my is me...

...that I do anything. So,yeah, comment, comment on People's social media post or like it. Likeis so weak, you know, so basic. It's so like lazy andlifted a finger, click, perk up, man, type A couple words.Engage. I liked your show or I hated your show, or you'reweird, what whatever. Say Some Shit like in age people again, ifyou're going to be a fan and a good podcast listener, that's the wayto do it. Engage, but make sure to remind them you heard aboutthem from their podcast so they don't think you're just too social media Weirdo.And so these next few get progressively more intense. If you have some socialanxieties or claim to want to be one of those people, that's like asocial so email. If you really bold and you really into your podcaster,you can just send them an email. I think every podcasts on apple podcastas an email available, so you can contact the producer of the show.Do that. Tell them, Hey, I'm not on social media, Ihate that Shit, but I did like you show. Keep up the goodwork. By likewise, you can do it on a phone call. Alot of podcasters have their own web pages or web pages associated with their podcasthosting. Company and there will be contact information up there, like phone numbers. Call them if they got a phone number available. It's not nobody forcesyou to put your phone number on the Internet. If it's there, it'sfor business, it's a business number, or for fan clubs and audiences andthings like that. So if you're into a podcaster, give them a call, just same thing as the email. Call them up and say hey,I heard that episode. That's pretty interesting that I had the same thing happenedto me. Whatever. You know what...

I'm saying. Show you care.Why withhold your love? The next one is good advice, especially in theband world. Obviously not during a pandemic, but I would feel weird if thishappened and I did it as a podcaster. But it's basically show up. As a band. You want your fans to show up in person,buy a ticket to the show, come and see the band play. Beforecovid nineteen, I know many podcasters were touring with their podcast and just performingon stage. Local podcasters were going to bars and pubs and restaurants and doingtheir podcasts live from there. So if your podcaster is out touring and performinglive in a way that you can see them. Go see them right,like, why not? Because well, then either you're a fan or younot a fan. So this really is for fans that care. So ifyou don't care, you probably didn't get this far into this particular episode anyway. So show up. Yeah, just show up to a show, payfor a ticket, by a drink, support the venue, by a tshirt, the whole thing. Just support them. You don't see them butonce a year. And speaking of buy a tshirts by Merch is the nextone. That definitely applies to rock and roll bands as well as podcasters.Make merch that's cool. Don't just put your album art on there. Dosomething different, make it related and make it match your album artwork. Makeit look cool, branded so it's all part of the same universe. Butjust putting your album art on your t shirt. That's stupid, especially ifyour album artwork sucks and nobody told you. But the sweet thing about merch especiallyis that if they buy it, you might make a few bucks.You should make a few bucks if you do it right, and they're alsopromoting your show and starting a conversation with other people every time they go intothe public with your shirt on. It's a can't lose proposition. So really, go buy some stuff, go buy some merche from all your favorite podcastersand if their merch sucks, go back...

...up the list and email them orcall them and say, Hey, I'd buy more of your Merch, butit sucks. Your march should be like this. Why don't you make thisor that? PODCASTERS will listen to you and they will probably make merch justfor you. The last thing here on the list on how to be agood podcast listener is to volunteer. Now, this can go from as simple asretweeting something to being virtually an employee of that organization. It can.The range is big. So think of it like a fan club or somethinglike that, where fans of the band in many cases become the road crew, they become the merch table people and they grow with the band. Ifthat band ever makes it. Those people typically come on as like their employeesdoing the same roles they've been doing for years. So, if you've beenwith the podcaster for a long time and you've worked your way up through thesteps of subscribing, review and sharing, commenting, emailing youfn calling, showingup in person, buy and submerged and now you're volunteering. You can dothings like manage their online community, maybe run a social media account or screenguests for the shows, things like that. You know, it's kind of funstuff, but not too much responsibility, but still a responsibility. The thingis, doing a podcast actually takes a lot more work than people think. It's not just talking into him, like nobody's going to listen to ashow where you just talking to a Mike because most of the time it soundspoopy and honestly, the talking is the easiest part, but it's also thehardest thing for most people to do. And by that I mean if youwant to work on a podcast and there's already a person doing the talking,but you really like editing or you really like promoting or being part of ateam because they think that's a cool logo or something, work it out,volunteer. Most podcasters I know would accept a volunteer and a lot of podcastersI know have their act enough together to where it would be a really kindof beneficial relationship for both of you,...

...and I'm not talking about me.I would not know what to do with the volunteer. Probably wave me withbig palm frond leaves and feed be grapes, something like that it so that mightsound like a lot of different things, but it's kind of given to youas a list that you can do overtime gradually. So start out subscribing, then hit a five star review, then maybe leave a comment in thereview, then start sharing the episodes. That's next level. If you've subscribedand left to five star review and you're now consistently sharing episodes, that's fantastic. Whether or not you're in social media and commenting on social media post isa different thing and honestly, unless you have something to say, emailing andcalling more than once a month that might be weird. And of course you'reoff the hook for showing up right now. You don't have to show up.There's no venues open. There's no INPERSON podcasting while we're in Covid youcan definitely buy merch but that said, don't buy stupid Merche. Make yourpodcasters make good birds and then volunteer. Cool. Cool. If you wantto add anything to this list, let me know. If you think anything'sthings are off base. I'm sure you let me know, because that's threehumans work for. EMO Dojo. I am johnny emotions and now back tothe wall.

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