A Case for Podcasting


Panelists: Lian Dolan and Lindsay LaVine
Moderator: Deborah Shane

>> DEBORAH SHANE: Hi, everybody, welcome to an advanced session, wow, advanced. Are you advanced? In podcasts -- how many people are advanced podcasters. Uh-oh. Okay. It's not switch and bait. I promise.
It's not bait and switch, excuse me.
We kind of figured that we would have you know some people that were getting interested in it. And just entering into the space. So we have prepared ourselves accordingly. So no worries. Okay?
Welcome to BlogHer '13. This is my third BlogHer. And my second time speaking here. And I really enjoy myself when I come to this particular conference. It's totally first class. And I get to meet so many different kinds of people that are so interesting to me because I love to learn about what's going on in the media space.

podcasting quote

My name is Deborah Shane and these are my panelists, Lian Dolan and Lindsay Lavine. And I was asked to submit -- do a panel this year on podcasting because it's something that's -- I've been doing since March 2nd of 2009.
I launched my business in February of 2007 after 24 years in broadcast radio sales and management.
So you can see that I have a little sensibility for radio. And I do love radio as a media. And podcasting is really 21st Century radio. Just let's get -- I mean we were kind of talking about podcast.
It's kind of a weird term. And it doesn't really do much for you in some respects. So just think of podcasting as 21st Century radio.
So today what we want to talk about is that media, that tactic, that space. Because it really is -- started probably in 2003. People were auto recording things. And it really exploded and took off and then it kind of died as soon as video came into the picture.
But the last couple of years it's resurged big time. And I couldn't be more excited. And I think there's some really significant reasons why it has resurged as a media tactic and a content marketing strategy. Just like you blog. Blogging and podcasting are excellent bed fellows just by the way.
They go really well together.
You can blog about your podcast. You can podcast about a blog post.
And then push it all out on social media. So it all works so beautifully together.
So what we wanted to try to do today was No. 1, give you some strong reasons why you should be in the podcasting space. We wanted to talk a little bit about the growth of podcasting and why it's becoming more popular. Because that's important. If a media is popular to the public, basically what it's saying is this is where I need to be if this is something I want to do. So you have to be where it's going on. You have to be where the conversation is and the community is going on. And podcasting, I don't think there's a corporate brand today that I have seen that is not doing a podcast. Sports --
>> Or they should be.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Or should be. Sports, music, careers, business, food. You name it. There's a podcast for it.
And so we're going to talk about that. We're going to also talk about commitment consistency, content and guests. And we're going to talk also about it's one thing to create a podcast but you have to have an integrated marketing strategy to get it out there so people know that it exists. And then Lindsay is actually a lawyer and a writer and a blogger. She's going to talk about some of the legalities that we usually don't think about in podcasting that are very important to think about if you're using certain things in your podcasts. And then we have a couple of really good tips to leave you with which we're going to e-mail you on the backend if you would like to receive some more information for us.
So I would like to start by introducing Lian Dolan. And she's going to actually introduce herself.
>> LIAN DOLAN: I'm Lian Dolan. Glad to be here today. I've been in radio for a long time. And now I'm in podcasting. I created and host two podcasts in particular right now and then I do a couple of special interest shows. The first show I created was Satellite Sisters. It was created as a nationally syndicated radio show in 2000 I host the show with my four real life sisters who live all over the place and we talk about everything from our lives to the news to doing interviews to movie reviews.
That show started on public radio. We were on ABC for six years. We had a live daily three-hour radio show six days a week.
And then in 2008 we moved everything online.
So you can find Satellite Sisters at satellitesisters.com at iTunes at Stitcher Radio and various different other apps the other podcast I do is the Chaos Chronicles that's just me because I'm sick of my sisters working with them every day so the Chaos Chronicles is about my life as a working mom the tag line is motherhood with a laugh. Chaos Chronicles actually started as a magazine column in Working Mother Magazine a humor column I wrote for five years then I started doing segments on the radio and in 2008 I moved everything over online. So it's a blog and it's a podcast a weekly one-hour podcast.
I also actually sold that to Nickelodeon and developed it for TV as a family sitcom which was a TV show about a podcaster who does a podcast in her closest which is where I do my podcast.
Unfortunately they are producing the Scott Baio show. And I'm not bitter I'm so happy to be a blogger. No, I am. I love audio and I hope we can bring a few of you over to our side of the media world because it's just a very intimate powerful tool and it's a lot of fun to do.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: And it's easy. No you're not on.
>> LIAN DOLAN: This one is live Lindsay if you want to move here.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Hi, I'm Lindsay Lavine. And I'm a lawyer. So I promise to not scare people. I don't want you to leave terrified. But I have a couple of ideas and things you should maybe keep in mind when you're blogging but also especially in podcasting. My background, I was a journalist for NBC and CNN before I went to law school. And then I did -- I practiced media law. Advising clients as well you know companies, media companies, individuals, artists, creators, and -- about copyright trademark, right of publicity, how to do things the right way and avoid getting sued in the first place.
I am a freelance writer I contribute to entrepreneur.com. And I also write humor essays and perform standup comedy here in Chicago.
And I will talk a little bit about how to find guests and also the legal issues, as well, that Deborah said.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: And don't ever think that when you come to a conference like this it can't have residuals because I met Lindsay last year. Here. And then in the fall of this last year she called me up and said: I'm doing an article on podcasting. For entrepreneur.com. And I would like to interview you.
So I thought that was awesome.
>> LIAN DOLAN: And here we are.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Make connections here, girls, you never know what's going to happen.
So we want to talk -- start off by talking about -- my name is Deborah Shane as I told you. And I have a consultancy and training company at DeborahShane.com and what I do is I have a blog I've had a podcast since 2009 and a blog since 2008. My podcast is approaching 270,000 downloads so people are listening to podcasts. At least they are listening to mine. And my space is careers personal branding content marketing and social media. And I really try to stay in the professional development arena. And talk a lot about how personal branding is so important in that space. In terms of your success.
So you know again we wanted to talk a little bit about some -- the growth and the power of podcasting as a content tactic. And what was -- there's not a lot of statistics on podcasting yet. But I got to say that this really was encouraging for me. There was an article I found which is a part of Arbitron actually and they are actually starting to measure social media with the ratings services, Arbitron and Edison, Edison is the rating service. So they are in fact starting to measure social media as they do traditional media. And podcasting is one of the medias that they are starting to measure.
So that in itself is telling you where this is going. And I just wanted to, you know, read you this real quick. In the survey they did 15 -- they measured 15,000 podcasts hosted on a variety of podcasting platforms. And this is raw voice. Desktop applications such as -- so there was a sampling of 69.7 million audience listens and views across 17 genres. And as far as desktop applications, iTunes of course had 37%, SmartPhones and mobile devices, 30%. This is where people are finding podcasts. And this is significant because this is where you need to be.
And then the percentage of consumption by the client, again, iTunes, 27%, your iPhone, 23%, and your iPad is coming up here at 8.7%.
And then percentages by platforms, Windows, 35%, iPhone and iPad 31% and Mac 16%.
Podcasts are being listened to and watched on all devices today. And trends are evolving. It's imperative for podcasters in our -- and our media buyers to stay abreast of the most effective means to reach new audiences. Because of the growing popularity of mobile devices, our data indicates if you want to reach mobile consumers, you should advertise on podcasts. So this is getting very serious.
>> LIAN DOLAN: Just this week I actually had two advertising companies for the first time ever contact me with really like radio language like hey we're looking to do some voice spots. Do you do that on your show. And then they used the kind of measurements that podcasters don't usually use yet but it was an indication to me that media buyers are ready to start buying on podcasts and having been in this market a long time, that's kind of new. Usually we were the podcasters going out, having to sell ourselves to get sponsors like here is what we can do with you and convincing people and it was just this week that it I had two companies call me out of the blue about voice spots which is very encouraging for me.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Well and also, I'm like now getting people e-mailing me to be on my podcast. As opposed to having always recruit guests, I'm now having people that have found me via Google. I mean -- Google loves podcasts. Google loves blogs. Google loves social media.
So if you don't create it, there's nothing to be found. So if you create it, and you promote it on properly which we're going to talk about later, you will come up in rankings, boom, like that.
>> LIAN DOLAN: It's definitely one of those things as we convince you -- how many of you are actually podcast listeners at this point? So I think you'll agree it's a little bit like Netflix once you start binge TV viewing you can't go back to the week to week episodes and podcasts are sort of like that once you get comfortable with the devices and listening aspect oh that was funny I would like to find her show like that and suggestions will pop up and then it starts to replace you know radio particularly as radio just gets more and more homogenized and podcasts get more interesting it starts to replace radio listening so once someone turns to podcast they really don't go back as a listener. So that's exciting.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: How many people have a podcast. That's okay. So about five of you actually have a podcast and how many of you have been doing it for at least a year? Okay. Good. So the rest of you are here because you're intrigued by podcasting, you think it's something you would really enjoy doing and you're listening to them. Correct?
So you're listening to them and saying wow I like this.
>> LIAN DOLAN: I can do that. How hard can that be.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: And you absolutely can. So one thing I want to say before we go on to the next thing here is I think one of the amazing things about podcasts being 21st Century radio and when you look at radio, it's a trusted iconic media. I mean, that's what people did before television. They got together and looked at this radio box. That I don't understand. But they got together and they listened to radio together until television came.
So it's really -- there's something very moving and very different about listening to the spoken word. Listening to somebody have a conversation. Listening to a conversation. And that's what I think makes podcasting so compelling. It's easy to do. Easy to find. Easy to access. And people enjoy listening.
So you have that on your side.
And the other thing that I recently saw was that the time spent listening on a podcast, if you do 15 minutes or 30 minutes or even an hour, people are with you a lot of that time.
If you have a 15 or 30-minute podded cast, they will stay with you for probably 22 minutes. 20 to 22 minutes. That's amazing.
>> It's a very intimate relationship with your listeners because especially the way people listen literally in their head podcast listening is habitual so if you're producing a show once a week or every day like we did you become peoples friends they start to trust you literally you are the one they are in the carpool lane with or walking the dog with or folding the laundry to. And because there's no visual, they are not distracted or the host is not distracted by what does my hair look like? It's really about your content and what you're saying and there's an ability to reach through the airwaves and just talk to a single person and it makes it a very intimate habitual relationship we often hear at Satellite Sisters you're my friends and that used to frankly freak us out. We would think really we're your friends maybe you should get some real friends but then oddly enough the listeners sort of became our friends.
It's a really tight mutual relationship you have with your listenership and when you get into the habit of hosting, you can see once you -- no matter what your subject is, once you gain the listeners trust you can take them anywhere and that's exciting for your creative possibility but it also I hope helps you not to be intimidated because when you're in front of a mic you're really just talking to one person even if a million people are listening to you you're directing your conversation to just one person.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Lindsay do you have anything to add.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: No I'm listening very carefully because I'm very interested in having a podcast but having so many different interests it was just kind of like what do I want to talk about? Am I going to be able to be committed the whole time? So you know I have social media presence and I have that. But -- I'm building a platform but it's just listening to Lian and Deborah has been really helpful and a lot of it comes to content. It's whether you're blogging, you're looking for content, whether you're a freelance writer you're always looking for good content and it sounds like it's the same with podcasting that that's really one of the keys.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: So here is podcast.com which is one of the main podcast networks I'm on Blog Talk Radio since 2009 and Blog Talk Radio was one of the first Internet radio sites when it launched in 2007. It's really come up a lot it's really grown tremendously if you go to podcast.com or stitcher.com and you look at who is podcasting you're going to see comedians, sports figures, musicians, CNN, NPR, the church, the Catholic Church. It's -- lawyers. Foodies, doctors, CPAs, it's extraordinary. There is no category that is off base when it comes to podcasting because all you're doing is educating, inspiring and yes selling yourself. So it's really an educational platform where you get -- you get to brand yourself as a personality because it's your voice and your energy that people are going to connect with.
So that leads us into our next little segment here that we really want to share some really important things with you about making a commitment to it. Being consistent with it. Deciding what your content is. And if your format is about having some guests in addition to your own tutorials, what makes a great guest.
So I'm going to let Lindsay talk a little bit about that first.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Okay. Thank you. So how do you find guests? Well, I'm writing regularly for entrepreneur.com. I'm always looking to pitch articles and find interesting people. Experts, people who are going to be engaging and maybe take my story and a bit of a different route than I originally thought. And how I find them is usually I mean I'll just Google and I'll start -- try to find out who is on expert in this field. And then I'll kind of look at their Web site. And sometimes put out a call for: Hey, I'm looking to interview somebody. And one of them I was I remember for the help a reporter out if you're familiar with that, it's an organization or group that pairs up sources with reporters. And so I was looking to do an article about what business lessons could be learned from Quentin Tarantino films because I thought it would be fun to windchill all of his movies one weekend and get paid for it and I was looking for somebody who was an expert, a business professor and there were ten, who knew? In this country. Who I could pick from. So you can just kind of put out a call on Twitter, hey I'm looking for guests, I'm looking for your friends, et cetera. And also one of the things, too, Deborah has said before that conversation, it's really a conversation.
And -- in a successful podcast. And I ride the bus everywhere since I don't have a car I live in the city so I listen to a lot of conversations on the train on the bus a majority I don't want to be a part of or listen to but some of them, if you -- you want to be the one where you have guests who are engaging and interesting and you would want to be a part and you would want to stay on the bus a little longer even if it's past your next stop because you want to hear what they have to say.
So --
>> In radio they call those driveway conversations that's where you pull in your driveway you don't turn off the radio you listen to the end of the interview that's when you know it's a good story when it's a driveway conversation.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: It's compelling and it's hooked you.
>> LIAN DOLAN: Were you going.
>> LIAN DOLAN: Maybe I would like to back up though and start a little bit just with the general idea of content really. And how you choose what you're going to talk about.
And for the most part, choosing the topic of your podcast, it's not really that different than blogging. It's fairly niche.
It should be definitely something that you're absolutely fascinated and excited by because you have to get on the air and talk about it. And it's a performance every time you turn the mic on. So you have to communicate that enthusiasm whether it's about growing roses or The Walking Dead or the top chef final knee whatever tiny slice of life you want to talk about for your 15 or 30 minutes it needs to be something that absolutely excites you and you can share that excitement with the audience.
So particularly if you're a new podcaster I would suggest starting with content that you're really comfortable with.
Because even if you're a great conversationist when you're sitting at a dinner party or with your friends once the mic goes on you get a little nervous it takes a little time to actually learn to be fairly comfortable on air in front of the mic so my tip would be to start with subject matter that you're very confident in. It doesn't have to blow the world away. Just something you're very confident in and excited in. And the more comfortable you get behind the microphone, the more comfortable you get talking to guests, talking to other people you might have on. Then you can kind of expand your content horizons. But stick with something you really know at first when you're choosing content.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Yeah going with what Lian was just saying, less is more. Because in my podcast I cover -- I usually cover three specific areas that are my wheelhouses. This is where I live. Professionally. One is career. Especially career transition. Personal branding and content marketing via social media.
So I stay in those areas. And then I am always on the lookout for a fantastic guest that is leading voices in those areas.
They are already blogging. They may be authors. They may be media professionals. And you know, just niche yourself in what you do.
So just for one second, could you do us a favor and write down one or two words on what you would podcast on. Just write that down right now and we're going to get to that sort of at the end of the session. What would your podcast be about?
>> LIAN DOLAN: And a lot of times it's something that's complementary to what you write about not necessarily exactly what you write about if you write a food blog but really love top chef that's an opportunity to do a podcast just on top chef to complement your food blog or whatever that might be.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: So what makes a great show. What makes a great show is energy. Energy and a topic that you're intrigued or interested in or a take on something that you want to listen to so Lian and I were kind of laughing because somebody that has like four PhDs and no social media activity is not a good guest.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Not a good guest.
>> LIAN DOLAN: Actually some of the worst guests I've ever had on the air were comedy writers because you think they will be so funny oh he writes for the Daily Show and they get on the air and it's deadly and because they are used to being funny in the room they are not standups it's a very different thing when you're a writer and you're like God we told this guy two segments he's killing us and you have to pull after one segment.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Dance monkey dance.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Yeah what makes a great show is you, it's your energy, your personality, your enthusiasm, that's No. 1. And that you're consistent with your content and you're consistent with doing your show. And then you find guests and truthfully I try to actually talk to my guests before I have them on my show because I want to hear their voices. And hear their energy levels.
Because sometimes I'm like Lian I've had some real duds and it was hard.
>> (Speaker off mic).
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Yeah how do you get out of that one.
>> LIAN DOLAN: You know we have breaking news we can't do that topic this week. Thank you, though, we'll get back to you. Yeah, you do.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: I'm not going to be able to do the show that day I'm going to have to reschedule. Absolutely. Because all you have is your time.
>> LIAN DOLAN: Or sometimes if it's super awkward you do the interview and you never run it. You can do that if you're live.
>> (Speaker off mic).
>> LIAN DOLAN: I think we're supposed to wait for the mic.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: That would help me.
>> LIAN DOLAN: And she hold it.
>> someone was interviewing me this week and I was so passionate I was right in the middle and going at it and my cat jumped down on my power trip which my phone -- I was totally he disconnected. I almost died but I tried to call back in really quick and it seemed like people were there waiting for me to come back to finish what I was saying so enthusiasm really does help because they were hanging on my words -- I was hanging on my every word I wanted to know what I was going to say next.
>> LIAN DOLAN: I'm on a roll I'm hot. One of the things I can say that will make you breathe easier starting into it is podcast audiences are for very giving they kind of like the -- very forgiving they like somebody doing a podcast in their closet that's a two kids and a German shepherd and that's where it's really quiet so for sound quality I do it in the closet I would like to say it's the not Candice Spellings' closest it's a tiny closest I have to move everything my iMac. They are forgiving the cat landed on my power strip. If you're a new podcaster they are okay you do it in the closest or wherever you might do it to a certain extent you want to be polished as much as you can be but it's a forgiving audience.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Humanizing, too it makes you human and relatable.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Exactly. And the authenticity on a podcast is really important.
>> LIAN DOLAN: It is.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: When I listen to somebody on either on a podcast or doing a podcast, I don't want to hear this . . . I just want to tell you that there's four things you need to know about.
>> LIAN DOLAN: There's a lot of low talkers.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Come on girls.
>> LIAN DOLAN: There's a lot of low talkers on podcasts.
>> I have two questions for you. How extensively do you script your podcast before you start. And what technology and software would you recommend for beginning.
>> LIAN DOLAN: We produce our shows differently so I'll start.
In terms of scripting, you know I used to script all the time. We came from public radio where every syllable is scripted then we moved to live radio once you go to live radio you'll pretty much say anything and we have so it's the a great confidence builder so I don't script anything but I outline every minute of my podcast to a certain extent that's kind of the consistency. Every show I start with a personal story of the week. Then I cover news stories. Then I'll go maybe to some article I've read and I'll do that then I'll do a letter to answer a couple of letters and then I do a to-do list. It's pretty important in radio and stuff to have some consistency to your show so listeners know what's coming up oh I'm going to stay I love when she does that at the end oh okay and you can forward promote all of that stuff so for me I outline.
I'll have my materials all ready to go. But I don't script my material. But I do rehearse it. Which means I talk to myself a tremendous amount.
You know. It's something -- if something funny has happened to me at the grocery store I know it will make a great anecdote to start the show I'll work that material beforehand so when I flip on the mic it's a tight ten minute story not a rambling 15 minute expose. So I'm the crazy lady walking the dog talking outloud to herself on podcast day.
But if you're new and you need to script, script. That gives you confidence. Just do me a favor. Read the script outloud several times before you record it. Because you can really tell when people are reading scripts for the first time.
So script it. Get comfortable with it. And then you'll find pretty soon you don't need the script if you've read it outloud three or four times by the time you introduce something or give your top ten list you can be more free and conversational.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: I think -- I'm sorry.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Go ahead.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: I think one of the problems in -- if you script everything out without reading it is writing for the ear is very different than writing for the eye.
So you don't want it to sound hollow. You want to use language that you would use every day in a conversation. And not necessarily a whole bunch of alliteration or something. That might look really cool in a blog post but wouldn't translate so well on radio.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Very true. And then for the technology piece, what I do is for Satellite Sisters so I'm hooking up with my four real sisters that live everywhere.
>> LIAN DOLAN: We produce the show now via Skype we hook up via Skype we have a Skype call recorder we record the show so we do it live. Live to Skype.
It's about 52 minute show every week. And then I take the recorded call and I edit it in GarageBand I put in our opening, closing, if we have a sponsor at that particular time I can drop in the ads in post production. Then I upload it -- I send it to iTunes from garage band and then I use a syndicator called Liberated Syndication. And for that you upload your MP3 that you get out of iTunes to Liberated Syndication it's libsyn.com. And then they will send it out magically and this is where I'm not that advanced technologically either but I don't know it manages to get -- no they send out the RSS feed to iTunes. We can then put the show on our Web site so you'll see a recorder, a player on the Satellite Sisters webcast and the Chaos Chronicles Web site you can listen at the site it sends it to Stitcher which is a very good online radio app that we're on that's really brought a lot of new listeners to us.
And we do it that way and going to libsyn you're able to track your downloads so you know it's one of the first people to really be able to actively track downloads I'll let Deborah do her tech thing.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Yeah it's real simple the reason I started with Blog Talk Radio and continue with Blog Talk Radio it is a complete ecosystem. Here is the technology you need: A telephone. Okay.
You call in to a line and it -- if you want to get a nice headphones, a nice recorded you know set of headphones, you basically call in a phone number and record your show.
Now, you cannot -- unless you go with the upgraded version which is not that expensive you can't edit the show so you have to get really good at doing the show which you can get really good at doing the show and if you make a few flubs that's part of authenticity as long as they are not big flubs and somebody doesn't slip in shit or the F word.
So Blog Talk Radio is such an ecosystem with pushing it out on social media, marketing, helping you market it. It has a blog. You can be a staff pick. I mean there's so many -- it's so mindless. You record it. You -- it goes archived on the site. It creates a URL page. And you're done.
So that's as simple as that gets.
But Stitcher is good. Lian has got a system that's working. And I can get anywhere from 50 downloads, I've had 31,000 downloads on certain shows through Blog Talk Radio. It's really coming on strong as far as people following it.
>> LIAN DOLAN: It's super easy because in advance of that podcast I thought I should try Blog Talk Radio we looked at it five years ago and the technology wasn't quite there yet and the audio quality is different than recording in garage band and I literally spent two minutes looking at the site and I started recording a show literally you can do a show in the hallway after this if you really wanted to.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Pull up a chair.
>> LIAN DOLAN: I dare ya.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: You can record a show in the hallway via your cell phone that's how easy it is.
>> LIAN DOLAN: There's a question in the back.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Over here in the blue.
>> LIAN DOLAN: With Blog Talk Radio guests can call in and you can take calls it's a little bit more advanced more money if you want to screen calls and stuff like that and -- you probably would need to be --
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Screen your guests before.
>> LIAN DOLAN: You would be more advanced to take live callers.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: It's like Frasier.
>> Just a quick question about how long of a time commitment is it to create a podcast from beginning to end in both of your systems.
>> LIAN DOLAN: Well for me, you know I record a one-hour show. I really set aside about six hours. I'm thinking about the material all week. I'm gathering stories. Anecdotes. Talking to myself all week and then when I sit down to record the show usually on Thursdays, I do my outline, I do the prep. It takes about -- essentially record live sometimes if I mess up I'll rerecord. And then the editing. Yeah, it takes about six hours because then you have to do the show descriptions and the tags and everybody knows this. And then just like blog then I put it on my blog and I tweet it out and you need the links and everything.
So it's the a good half day. To do a solid show. I think her show probably takes less.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Mine is a little bit more shorter term systematic because I've done it for so many years. But basically I would say a couple of hours a week in terms of -- because I schedule my guests out 60 to 90 days. And I confirm so I don't have to worry about finding guests. I do --
>> LIAN DOLAN: But that's time consuming booking guests is kind of a pain sometimes because it's a lot of back and forth.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: It is. It is. But I check people out. And go with my guts. And I also e-mail people. And ask them if they would like to guest on my podcast that I know are credible and when they say yeah, sure, give me some dates, we're done.
So you know, I don't have to vet too many people these days. But it is -- you know there is a preparation in doing your show. There is a preparation -- there is a post part of promoting your archived shows and you want to keep that system going.
We have about ten minutes. So we are going to get to your questions. We do want to just spend couple minutes on marketing your show, the importance of marketing and promoting your show because once you create it, if you don't create it, there's nothing to be found. It's the found part that's really important and Lindsay, why don't you talk about -- a couple of minutes here on the legalities, copyright issues.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Okay. So in my tips it's kind of the same thing so I'll just encapsulate it really quickly if you think about the Golden Rule treat others how you would like to be treated play nice in the sandbox it's kind of the same thing. You need to get permission if you're going to use something that's not yours. If you're going to use music for your intro, that -- unless you've created it yourself or it's something in the public domain you're going to need to get permission.
Or a license to use that.
If you're going to use audio clips or sound effects, unless you or your child are like yelling or you get it off a tape or something you just need to make sure if it's not something you created that you have permission. You can ask for permission.
Try to get a guest permission to use their voice in writing. In writing is always better. Lawyers will always tell you that.
But also if you don't have the chance to do that, maybe before you begin the podcast, you're recording kind of introductions, hey, can I have permission to use your voice, which is -- something we call the right of publicity it's the person's voice likeness biographical information et cetera each state has something called the right of publicity it's not just for celebrities it's for you and me everyone here has the right of publicity so if you wanted to for example maybe it was a great interview and you couldn't use all of it so you just used half but maybe you want to use another part of it in the future what you might want to do is get a release. From them. Ideally the release would give you permission to use the podcast recording, however you want. In any media. Anywhere. Forever. Without having to secure additional permission from that person.
So the issues that come up are copyright that's one of the main ones. I was looking -- I woke up at 3 in the morning thinking I wonder if people want to know about copyright and if you need to copyright your podcast so I was up looking to see. And people don't seem to really be doing that right now. Podcasting is relatively new. You don't see a whole lot. And as you know the law is a little slow to catch up on technology.
So we have like the old rules for new technology. There haven't really been any test cases yet. You may have heard there are some lawsuits there's a company that claims to have a patent on podcasts and is trying to get I think it's Mark Maren and a lot of other -- I'm sorry; yes. They are trying to get a lot of money from everybody.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Come at us we don't have any money please go ahead and sue me that would be so good for my podcast.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Take my student loans.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: I can use a good lawsuit.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: There's the Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF.org they have kind of been taking the league in monitoring what's going on and trying to make sure the podcasting is open and available for everyone.
I don't want that -- I don't know that they are really going to go after small groups I think they are looking for deep pocket at this point. But that's really the only kind of lawsuit that I've seen.
But there's things such as defamation and slander. If you say some things like -- that are untrue about somebody, you know -- and -- it's just traditional law. So if slander is spoken, libel is written you want to make sure if you say something about somebody it's true, truth is the defense to defamation.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: Don't be mean.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Yeah that's the whole be nice in the sandbox bit. The other quick thing is it a business is your podcast a business do you have sponsors do you have advertising? If so, you might need to set up and pay taxes or licensing. And so as with all businesses you might want to look into getting an LLC or corporation which -- an LLC is more expensive. A corporation is less. I think it's a couple hundred dollars a year.
But as far as that also is an entity that would protect your own if somebody was to sue you not likely but if they did, they wouldn't come after your assets, your home, et cetera.
For potential liability.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: At least if they sue you, you have listeners. That's a good sign.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Again I don't want to scare people. That's not my intention. What I do want to say is there are some legal issues that haven't really been -- it hasn't really played out yet but those are some kind of things to keep in mind. Just be nice to people. Ask for permission.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: I think it's a common sense thing. If you're going into areas where there's copy -- you think there might be some copyright issues, just get somebody that can help you out with knowing that stuff.
So we have just a couple more minutes. And we are going to go a little bit over 12:00 o'clock I know that's one of the things they said that it's lunch but we're going to go a little bit into that because we do want to get some more Q&A from you.
But the one thing about marketing your podcast, you really need to have a strategy. An integrated marketing strategy to promote your podcast. You need to really unify all of your media efforts, your social media, your Twitter, your Facebook, your LinkedIn your Pinterest your Instagram, all of it. All of that, your blog. You need to integrate everything so that you're promoting your podcast through all of your medias so that it has reach. So use your blog, use your social media, your podcast will have its own URL so you can copy it, paste it, link it onto any social media include it in a blog post, blogs and podcasts are like bed fellows they go beautifully together so make sure you have an integrated marketing strategy and you make sure you promote your podcast as seriously as you promote your blog or that you're on social media or that you're in business.
>> LIAN DOLAN: There is a discoverability issue as with most media but unfortunately for podcasting what we don't really have a few curated sites are started now but iTunes that's just a vast wasteland someone may discover you but that's going to be hard to do so you do need to use other media to promote your podcast.
And that's why I think it's important that it's complementary to what you're already doing.
But I've also been able to work with various sponsors who have sponsored my podcast and we have kind of a loop I'll just mention it quickly for those of you already doing shows and may be looking for bigger sponsorship deals, I always structure all my sponsorship deals like an overall media sponsorship. So for instance I was spokesperson for Unilever for their consumer facing Web site makinglifebetter.com how we worked it I also write extensively so I was writing blog posts for them, I was doing ads on my podcast for their site. They were running a couple of specific contests that I could promote and then they were linking back to my iPod cast on their Web site it's kind of a big circle with marketing that helps if you're doing a topic you're working with a sponsor that benefits them to have -- they will push stuff out you can push stuff out and the stuff you're talking about with the sponsor is organic to the material you already talk about.
>> LIAN DOLAN: That was a very quick definition of sponsor. But I can talk to people later I'm happy to share what I know about that.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: The main thing is just because you write a blog post or you put up a Web site or you put up a podcast does not mean people are going to automatically find you. You have to create the magnetism in your messaging your strategy and your consistency. I cannot stress enough how much your commitment and consistency is important and it will the work for you if you only do two podcasts a month, if you do that consistently, it will get you out there. If you do one a week, it will get you out there. It's the consistency of you doing it. And you promoting it. That gets into the activity. So that's really important.
Okay. So we are -- we have -- we want to leave you with a couple of tips here. Real quick. Actually Lindsay just gave her tips. Get permission she talked about that. And is it a business. She talked about that. So Lian, too, your quick tips.
>> LIAN DOLAN: Find your voice. You know it's a vocal medium you need to really be comfortable with what you're talking about I mentioned it earlier but just to repeat it whatever you love, that's going to bring the most energy it and the most excitement to the podcast. It's a performance. So you've got to go for it on the mic.
So start small and then you can extend your area of what you cover.
And then the second one is keep it short. When I listen to a lot of podcasts what I mainly listen to are people who haven't honed the material what might have been a fantastic ten-minute story is a 20-minute rambling mess or there's a lot of small talk at the beginning of the show or inside jokes if it's friends, co-hosting the show that may be the listenership is not aware of. You have to remember like these people are new. You're going to have to keep introducing yourself you're going to have to keep things tight better to leave them wanting a little more next week than to ramble onto that end I would say if you're about to start off on it, have some people listen to your podcast and give you a critique of it. Are they interested. Was this a good story. Was the information I presented clear. How are my interviewing techniques.
We had an executive producer that literally critiqued us every single day for six years on Satellite Sisters would tear us apart for the things that we had done wrong and we were Gracie award winning radio show so everybody can always get better and I would invite you to you know try some critique. Do not ask the person you're sleeping with to critique. Get somebody who is like a stranger, a good friend that you know is listening listens to podcasts do not ask your spouse, husband, partner, boyfriend, don't do that.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Deliver what you promise, too. Like if you say you're going to be talking about certain topics, don't like just --
>> LIAN DOLAN: Don't run out of time. People get annoyed at that they don't listen again.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: And quickly, you've heard me say it and I am going to repeat it. Be committed and be consistent. Make your podcast something that you want to do you enjoy doing and you are consistent with. The consistency is how you build your brand, your reach and your loyalty. And the second thing is own your niche. Focus your podcast on a few specific content areas that you want to be known for. Find the best guests that are actively promoting themselves and represent the top or emerging voices in those areas. That all will work really good together.
So we want to open it up for some more questions. We have just a couple more minutes. Yes.
>> I hear about a lot of technology that's obviously very accessible with the garage band what kind of microphones do you use Dubai really high-end microphones or what do you have sitting in your closest.
>> LIAN DOLAN: I record on an iMac. And then into GaragBand. I have $100 snowball microphone. It's the BLU, the blu. It's called a snowball a big white microphone totally, totally fine for your podcasting needs you can spend zillions on a mic you do not need to I would get a separate mic because the headset mics that are cheap suck, they are terrible. So go for the snowball. First of all you'll just enjoy saying it. This is my snowball. It's a big old white mic.
>> How much do you put thought into the visual that goes along with the podcast.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: I'm really glad you asked that because whatever network you put your podcast on, whatever site it's going to run on, even if it's a page on your own Web site, please invest in branding. An image for the show an open and close. That is -- it's not that expensive. But it really makes you stand out. And screams: I'm serious about what I'm doing.
So get an image done. A brand image done for your show, a logo of some sort. And invest in an open and a close professionally.
>> Hi, thanks for this really great -- I've been considering podcasting for a while you've given great insights one thing I wanted to toss out there that's a little different that you guys had responded was on the question on how to handle people you either don't want to interview. I do -- I run a video education site so I've shot with over 150 educators. And I have had to stop shoots right in the middle and it really sucks to do it but I find that my experience has been that they actually appreciate it more rather than just not ever showing it because just -- it's bitten me on the ass that's all like the couple of times I've shot with somebody and then just never posted it I get e-mails getting when are you going to post it I told people I was going to be on your site and then it's like I'm stuck so instead I've personally found to just say gosh I think what you're doing is really amazing, maybe you should talk to such-and-such.
But I'm not going to take you on because then suddenly I have to like deal with you.
So just to throw that out as a suggestion that rather than it's kind of like telling your prom date next year next year next year eventually they are going to want to take you to the prom.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: It's tricky.
>> But if you have a good producer it doesn't happen they prescreen the guests it rarely happens but there are many ways of handling it. Yeah.
>> LIAN DOLAN: You do -- I think -- some people, though, just aren't going to be good guests. So you do have -- not put them on the air.
>> DEBORAH SHANE: We technically have to end the session now but we want to just say that we're going to hang around for a few minutes. This is lunch. So we do have you know technically some extra time here but we're going to hang around for a few minutes would love you to come up and get one of our cards if you would like it and also just to mention that they asked us to tell you that you can rate the session on the mobile app, the BlogHer mobile app. All of us thank you so much for joining us.
>> LINDSAY LAVINE: Thank you.
>> LIAN DOLAN: Thank you.

(Session ended at 12:12 p.m. CST)

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