Want to learn the latest and greatest in podcasting? Podcast Movement is a large annual podcasting conference, and last month it was held in Dallas. What a blessing to get to hear from my favorite Christian podcasters and also the latest industry trends and tips.
If you're not familiar with Podcast Movement, it's a secular conference with 3,000+ attendees. This year (August 2022), there was an all-day Faith and Podcasting session the day before the general conference officially kicked off and it was sponsored by Compassion International and hosted by Mary Snyder. If you don’t know Mary, she’s an amazing speaker coach and hosts the Take the Stage podcast.
Whether you are an author hosting a podcast or guesting on podcasts (or both), these takeaways will be super valuable to you!
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1. “Following Jesus trumps all the podcasting advice.“
This was shared by Jennie Allen, author and host of the Made for This podcast. She was talking about us having tons of experts sharing all that we have to be doing every day to grow our platforms, and our podcasts, right? Jennie says at the end of the day, “listen to God, do what you're doing out of an overflow of your relationship with God“. So if you have an idea for a podcast episode, or a topic you want to share with listeners as a podcast guest, take it through the filter of is this helpful to the listeners? And if so, focus down on that.
2. “Be called people not driven people.”
Also shared by Jennie, she was talking about how the world says “more, more more“. And that becomes a burden. We as followers of Jesus need to be saying “less, less less“. We need to do it like Jesus did. Go away from the masses, take time to rest, take time to pray, and then come back to “our 12” like Jesus did. Take a break, regroup, get more clarity from God, and then come back to who God called you to serve.
3. “Don't miss the one person God has called you to serve.”
Our host, Mary Snyder, shared this while asking us “do you really see your listeners?” and “Do you care about them?”. We can get so caught up in chasing new listeners that we forget about the ones who have been showing up week in and week out. Show them you care by delivering valuable content. As you plan out episodes for your own show, or as a guest, ask yourself:
Does it matter to my listeners?
Will they care about this?
Does it meet a need of theirs?
If yes, move forward.
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4. “God is our best collaborator.”
Misty Phillip, host of the By His Grace podcast and founder of the Spark Media Network of Christian Podcasters, was sharing how instead of seeing other podcasters as competition, let's look at others and think “I want to collaborate with them“. And that thinking starts by collaborating with God first.
So pray about who God wants you to collaborate with, whose messages are in alignment with your business and ministry, and think of ways you can collaborate together.
You can do podcast ad swaps, trailer swaps, promo swaps, guest swaps, review swaps, and more! Find podcasters and fellow authors to collaborate with in the Spark Christian Podcast Community on Facebook.
On this episode, I share 7 ways to market your book through collaborations.
5. “There’s a lot at stake, the world needs your voice“.
Eric Nevins, host of the Halfway There podcast and founder of the Christian Podcasters Association was sharing about mindset and comparison. Whether you're podcasting as a host or guest, “quitting is riskier than not“. If you quit, you're gonna miss out on spiritual growth. And your listeners are going to miss out on your God given talents and abilities, and the message that He called us to share. So keep your eyes on Jesus and His calling on you and don't get overwhelmed by all the things that could be done for your podcast.
Be sure to check out the Christian Podcasters Association group on Facebook.
Eric also suggests upgrading one thing every quarter. So think about as a podcast host or podcast guest, you can upgrade your microphone so that you can have the best quality sound. You might upgrade your editing software. Maybe you want to upgrade by outsourcing some of your podcasting tasks.
And speaking of that…
6. You can avoid Podfade with a Podcast VA.
Jenn Uren, who hosts the This Mom Knows podcast, is also co-founder of the Podcast VA Association. Jenn was sharing about how a lot of podcasters podfade, which basically means they're not publishing new episodes anymore, many times because they get so overwhelmed. We can't do it all.
As podcasters, we can put our focusing on creating content, getting more and more episodes out the door, and then we forget all about growing our podcast and reaching new listeners. Or vice versa, we are focused on getting more downloads and marketing our podcasts, that we forget about creating new content to serve our listeners well.
Pay attention to all the tasks you're doing as a podcaster. And then ask:
Are these things I enjoy and want to keep doing?
Or maybe there's something I can delegate to somebody else?
Are these things that only I can do?
Or could somebody else do it to free up more time for me to do what only I can do?
So if you're wondering “how can I afford a VA?“, maybe you should consider yourself being a virtual assistant (VA). Your own skills may be the blessing a podcaster is looking for.
Jenn's Podcast VA Association is a certification program that trains VAs to support you with admin, tech, and promotional tasks that you want to get off your plate. It's open this week so check it out!
7. “Be people of value not profit.”
“Monetization is a bonus to adding value on your show. First, add value, then the profit will follow.” You can listen to any of his guest episodes and hear him live this out. He always shows up to serve first.
One of the ways he was sharing how podcasters can make money from their podcast, is taking your previous interviews and turning it into a book. He's currently doing this, so we'll have to keep your eyes out once he announces a release date.
For his book, he asks the guest's permission ahead of time. He's also offering them an opportunity to pay and contribute as co-authors and they'll have a chapter and he'll link to their business, or podcast, at the end of the chapter. SO COOL!
More trends and tips
Since this was such a large conference and I was lucky to live locally, I attended some in person and some virtual. It was a whirlwind so these additional tips were from two sessions, I’m not sure who to attribute to other than Podcast Movement (one session was a panel of experts on growing your podcasts and one was from NuVoodoo Media Services) but I thought they were important to share with you.
Podcast listeners want something unique. They want to know that your show is giving them something that they didn't hear on another show last week, or they won't hear on another show tomorrow.
Listeners are still looking for more of what they want. There's still lots of room to grow in case you’re thinking it’s too crowded for me to start a podcast. Podcasts are so easy to listen to everywhere, all kinds of places, in your home, your car, while traveling, while exercising, or cleaning the house. No matter where you are, you can listen to a podcast and learn or be entertained or whatever the mission of your show is.
Podcasts are being discovered by word of mouth (second only to Youtube). Just like how we discover new books, friends are recommending podcasts to each other.
Want your guest to share? Give them what they want. As hosts we want to pull out the quotes and clips that we think are best. But our guests (for example, authors), want to share about their books. So pull a clip or quote that has them sharing their book and send to them. They’re more likely to share their guest episode that way. And on the flip side as a guest, think of those soundbites or sticky statements you can share to be used in promotions.
Downloads aren't the end all be all. You might be surprised how few downloads you need to meet your goals of hosting a podcast.
95% of your downloads typically happen at the 30-day mark. It's not day one, it's not day seven, it's best to measure after day 30. This is so important for podcast guests because authors typically check their Amazon numbers the day their guest episode airs. So think about that during your book launch. You might want to check your sales and your email list growth after day 30.