Emo Dojo
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 listening to podcasts. There are no rules for making podcasts either, but that doesn't stop 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 to be a good podcast listener. I'm johnny emotions. This is Emo Dojo. All right, so I admit I was actually being kind of lazy and I just wanted to put together a quick podcast. So I was googling how to be a good podcast listener and I put it in the quotes to hold it together in the search and I got no results. There's no results on Google 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 about how to be a good podcast or no, I want to know how to be a good podcast listener so I could just read off a list and get this podcast over with go back to bed. Now not quite so extreme, but I 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 get for trying to cut corners. I ended up having to just come up with the whole thing myself because the article doesn't exist. I guess the cool thing is now that I put this together, it will exist and it might be the only one if anybody ever looks for it. So I've had a couple of different types of careers. I've worked in nonprofits managing like HMM, I guess you'd call him a homeless shelter, but there's different levels of homelessness and being housed. So I've worked in that field. Of worked in music and entertainment and software and things like that.

So one of the things I did in music was fan club development, audience development and things like that. One of the more interesting concepts that I liked back when we were working on it was this idea of a thousand super fans, and it could really be applied to podcasters, sure, why not, or any entertainer really. The key is you have to have about a hundred dollars worth of something to sell your listener, 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 kind of 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. They can have merch booths where they sell tshirts and it's very immediate and there's very low overhead because most comics don't have a big staff. Most comics travel alone or with the other comics on the bill. Anyway, I digress. The the idea being if you could find a thousand people who would give you a hundred dollars a year, you can make a living. You're now making a hundred 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 or audience development. But you know, obviously the key is there. You have to have something to sell. Merch is a big way. A lot of podcasters 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 a lot of podcasts that are moving to a subscription model. But that's not what I'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 play in a garage. They usually play in some rehearsal studio. So that just takes too long to say rehearsal studio band. But so these are young acts that go out and are generally pretty good and you can if you look in that scene or those scenes of the upandcoming music artist, it becomes kind of 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 artist and it's like, Nope, this is the same old shit. But sometimes you'll catch once like well, that's special. Follow those guys and sure enough they'll be they'll become big. And as a podcast listener you have the same opportunity now. So, and I'm not talking about how to be a good podcast listener, to celebrities who ran out of work and became podcasters. They were already celebrities. They brought their celebrity to a podcast, and that's not what 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 start up podcasts. So podcast similar to this one, podcast with very small audiences, very niche audiences. Of course. Mental Health podcasts are super small compared to 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 a fan 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 up and down like and if it looks goofy, if somebody goes up and the other person just sits on the ground doesn't feel like pushing their legs and doing their 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 relationships require an action on both sides. Nobody's...

...obligated to nobody's obligated to make podcast and nobody's obligated to listen to them. But as a podcaster there's certain expectation that the listener has of you, like quality sound and putting up podcast more than once every three months and things like that, maybe being relatable or the opposite, maybe being completely unrelatable and I don't know what the fuck that person's talking about. Doesn't matter, though. It's all entertainment. That's the PODCASTER's job to entertain and or inform or to relate or whatever you know, verb you want to put there. So the podcaster has a role and then the fan of the podcaster has a role also. So I'm going to clumsily kind of compare 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 more supportive of your favorite podcasters and your favorite podcasters could grow and then you all grow as a crew together. So tip one research. If you're really going 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 point in wasting your time on a topic that you're not super into, because you might find eighteen podcast on topics you're really really into and too might actually be listenable. 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'm I'm talking actual users and listeners recommending shows to each other, not algorithms that put whatever they want you to see up in front of your face whenever you go to apple podcast, for example. I'm talking find the hardcore podcast people that find the subtle stuff, the small, unknown podcast where they get the most rewarding content and can actually interact with...

...the podcasters while they're still at that level. and think also, like of your own hobbies and business trades and things like that. Those hobbies and trades have groups on social media too, so just drop in there and ask, Hey, you guys heard any good podcast 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 few episodes, like all right, cool, I'm down. What's this act going to turn into? So, of course the first thing you have to do is subscribe. Like why not subscribe? It's the most basic, free, easy, anonymous way to stay up today and let your podcast or know at least someone is listening. They won't know who you are, but they'll see it in their statistics, in the dashboard of their podcast software. They'll see somebody's listening. So subscribe. The next easiest and also one step more helpful thing to do is review the podcast, and when I say review, I just simply mean click a star, one to five stars. Obviously everybody wants five stars, so just it's free. Click five stars. fucking be the star fairy. Given away stars, because again, we've already determined that you like this. This is your podcaster, so don't withhold stars. If this is 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 withhold the love. Just go click it while you're there subscribing. This is a little thing right there. Rate this, review this. Click those. And now also, when you click a star, I'm not sure if it's a star rating specifically, but definitely, if you comment or when you're clicking the star, you opt to leave a review, that will also put your screen name up there next to your comments. That is super effective because that gives social proof that another human beings subwhere on...

...this planet, took the time to write those words, which is to say this podcast affected somebody. Maybe you should listen to and again. Why would you not do that to a your podcaster? Like help your podcaster out by just saying a few kind words? I totally get this. One's kind of weird, though, because most of the 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 you feel that way, that's normal to but don't take a minute figure out something to say. There's no pressure, there's no time limit, but eventually maybe get 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 with a few words, a lot of words, or zero words? Most people don't like to be communicated with with zero words, because we can't read minds and it doesn't mean anything. So use your words. The next most important thing is to share. So if you can't think of a comment because I don't know what to say, that's fine. Share the motherfucker. Share the link to the podcast or the episode you just listen to. Why not? Because, and why would you not? Again, you are fan of the podcaster, so share their stuff. Look at bts. Do you think they need people sharing their stuff? No, get why would people share more of the 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 into music, a lot of you know people who are into music are into the local bands. So following smaller podcasters is...

...kind of the same thing. So if you're into it, be into it, like get into it or get out of it. Otherwise, just sitting on the fence, you kind of look 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 audience development, because there was definitely a hard line, like if people will not subscribe with their email address, fuck it, they're not actual fans. They don't care that much about you. I mean, for Fuck's sake, they gave their email address to facebook and twitter and instagram and snapchat and all those other companies and they won't give you their email address to keep them up to date on something you worked hard to produce. Just for them. They're not a fan, cut them loose. And so sharing podcast though, also kind of crosses over into social media, and sometimes we lose the connection there because podcast listeners are not necessarily social media people, and I get it. I understand that. I kind of wish we could reverse the clock and put social media back in Pandora's box, but it's out there, it exists and podcasters have to kind of be there because, using kind of the rock and roll band 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 post things and see your comments and reply, how about doing your part on the other end of the see saw and lift up, sit up, come on, get the teetertotter going. And I think every podcaster I have ever talked to has the same experience. MMM, sometimes it feels like we are talking to a room of like a thousand people but everyone turned their back the other way. 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 and wouldn'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. Like is so weak, you know, so basic. It's so like lazy and lifted a finger, click, perk up, man, type A couple words. Engage. I liked your show or I hated your show, or you're weird, what whatever. Say Some Shit like in age people again, if you're going to be a fan and a good podcast listener, that's the way to do it. Engage, but make sure to remind them you heard about them 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 social anxieties or claim to want to be one of those people, that's like a social 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 podcast as an email available, so you can contact the producer of the show. Do that. Tell them, Hey, I'm not on social media, I hate that Shit, but I did like you show. Keep up the good work. By likewise, you can do it on a phone call. A lot of podcasters have their own web pages or web pages associated with their podcast hosting. 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 forces you to put your phone number on the Internet. If it's there, it's for business, it's a business number, or for fan clubs and audiences and things 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 happened to me. Whatever. You know what...

I'm saying. Show you care. Why withhold your love? The next one is good advice, especially in the band world. Obviously not during a pandemic, but I would feel weird if this happened 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. Before covid nineteen, I know many podcasters were touring with their podcast and just performing on stage. Local podcasters were going to bars and pubs and restaurants and doing their podcasts live from there. So if your podcaster is out touring and performing live in a way that you can see them. Go see them right, like, why not? Because well, then either you're a fan or you not a fan. So this really is for fans that care. So if you 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, pay for a ticket, by a drink, support the venue, by a t shirt, the whole thing. Just support them. You don't see them but once a year. And speaking of buy a tshirts by Merch is the next one. 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. Do something different, make it related and make it match your album artwork. Make it look cool, branded so it's all part of the same universe. But just putting your album art on your t shirt. That's stupid, especially if your album artwork sucks and nobody told you. But the sweet thing about merch especially is 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 also promoting your show and starting a conversation with other people every time they go into the 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 podcasters and if their merch sucks, go back...

...up the list and email them or call them and say, Hey, I'd buy more of your Merch, but it sucks. Your march should be like this. Why don't you make this or that? PODCASTERS will listen to you and they will probably make merch just for you. The last thing here on the list on how to be a good podcast listener is to volunteer. Now, this can go from as simple as retweeting something to being virtually an employee of that organization. It can. The range is big. So think of it like a fan club or something like 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. If that band ever makes it. Those people typically come on as like their employees doing the same roles they've been doing for years. So, if you've been with the podcaster for a long time and you've worked your way up through the steps of subscribing, review and sharing, commenting, emailing youfn calling, showing up in person, buy and submerged and now you're volunteering. You can do things like manage their online community, maybe run a social media account or screen guests for the shows, things like that. You know, it's kind of fun stuff, but not too much responsibility, but still a responsibility. The thing is, 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 a show where you just talking to a Mike because most of the time it sounds poopy and honestly, the talking is the easiest part, but it's also the hardest thing for most people to do. And by that I mean if you want 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 a team 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 podcasters I know have their act enough together to where it would be a really kind of 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 with big palm frond leaves and feed be grapes, something like that it so that might sound like a lot of different things, but it's kind of given to you as a list that you can do overtime gradually. So start out subscribing, then hit a five star review, then maybe leave a comment in the review, then start sharing the episodes. That's next level. If you've subscribed and 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 is a different thing and honestly, unless you have something to say, emailing and calling more than once a month that might be weird. And of course you're off 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 you can definitely buy merch but that said, don't buy stupid Merche. Make your podcasters make good birds and then volunteer. Cool. Cool. If you want to add anything to this list, let me know. If you think anything's things are off base. I'm sure you let me know, because that's three humans work for. EMO Dojo. I am johnny emotions and now back to the wall.

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