You want to create a podcast. That is great. You heard from somebody that all you need is a microphone and “x” and you are ready to go. I am here to tell you that you need a little bit more than that if you want to succeed at it.
The Black Man With A Gun Show is a gun podcast. It is hosted by an African American gun rights activist with an eclectic background. The show is almost seven years old but just recently started doing things so that it could be found in search engines and blog directories. There are several things it has done that helped it get over a million downloads. With over three hundred episodes it has a lot of great content. It has been produced regularly. It is produced with professional equipment and the audio quality is good. But, that wasn’t enough to get it to rank high on Google or to be found when someone was looking for a gun podcast. There are at least three things that are better than an expensive microphone and good software.
The first is a purpose. You need to ask yourself a few questions. Why are you podcasting? What do you hope to accomplish? Who do you think is going to be your audience? While that sounds really easy you would be surprised to realize how much we all do without asking ourselves the reason we are doing things. We “Just Do It,” like Nike told us and then wonder why we fall short. It is like preparing for a party and forgetting to send out the invitations. Nobody came to your party because the people you wanted to come didn’t know you were talking to them. As Seth Godin says, “your tribe is waiting for you to lead them.” You are the new kid in school and although you are the “next big thing;” who knows? Knowing your purpose is what will save you in the long run. It’s OK if you are not sure right now but if you want to affect change, make a difference or money you will have to have a goal. If you can “solve a problem,” you’ll have an easier road to travel because your purpose is defined.
The second thing you’ll need is a name. What’s in a name? Whatever reason you decided to start podcasting should be consistent with the name of the show. Your choice of name is important for branding, search ability and ultimately its success. One of my three shows is a gun podcast. I didn’t know which name that I used would be best for me. I have changed the name of the show three times. The Black Man with A Gun Show was originally the Urban Shooter Podcast. Both of the names made some people think it was only for black people in the shooting community. The “Black Man With A Gun” was more defined. I had been using that off and on since my first website in 2000. I registered the name as a trademarked and decided to use it since my latest book is also named after that. It’s controversial to some but memorable.
Choosing the right name early can save you time and money. It will also help potential listeners find you in the din, which is social media. A good name also helps keep you focused. King Solomon said
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, …. Proverbs 22:1
I wish parents took more care when choosing a name for their children. Your “baby” or creation in this podcast needs the same care. I would advise against trying to be creative or cute by making up a word. Forgive me, but describe to me what you think a teenager named “Mercedeesha” would look like and work? Whatever you come up with it is probably not where she would want to be perceived as. But we do it all the time. Resist the impulse to create a name that has to be explained or distracts from your goal. Make it easy for people to find and define you.
It takes effort to make things easy. You have to think ahead (plan). Don’t make all the mistakes I made. I successfully used the “throw it all on the wall, and see what sticks,” method. The result is that I learned a lot but didn’t make any money. Making money wasn’t my goal seven years ago although I had hoped it would just happen. I am here to tell you, not to use that method or ‘Just hope” you will be successful. You can actually be successful if you use tried and proven methodology.
The final thing that I think is more important than what microphone you buy is the result of your purpose and your focus. As a result of your audience listening to you, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to be entertained? Do you want them to cry, laugh with you or join your email list? Do you want them to buy your e-book? Whatever it is, make sure it is easy for them to do and all your efforts point them to do that at the end of the broadcast. Its’ known as the CTA. The call-to-action, is important even if all it is, is for them to share your show on social media. Whatever it is, you have to be succinct and deliberate. It is really easy to put too many things into a show. It is true that without any directions, any road will get you there. I did that basically for six years. My “throw it on the wall” resulting in more misses than hits. I have had many people just roll through but not stop. I have gained in notoriety but not where I wanted to go. As my wife reminds me after decades of TV and radio appearances, that I am the most famous broke guy she knows. You can do better if you plan, beginning with the name, focus and then work your plan.
Here’s a sample of what I mean about “extra” I used to sing on this podcast. It was one of those things that I “threw on the wall.” It had nothing to do with “guns.”