Podcast Expo: The Secret To Stardom

    October 1, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Franklin McMahon brought his session attendees at the Podcast and New Media Expo a selection of tips to help them make the most of their podcasting efforts.

WebProNews has been covering the Podcast and New Media Expo taking place in Ontario, California. You can catch our conference interviews at the WebProNews Video Blog right now.

McMahon emphasized a number of approaches that can help the modern podcaster emerge from the shadows and become a star. There isn’t a magic elixir one can take, unless one considers lots of work a tasty beverage.

A podcaster can’t stay inside the bubble of the podcast, according to McMahon. One’s target market should be the world, and not just those who own an iPod or other type of media player.

Podcasters who want more attention have to work for it. As they build their networks, it’s important to take advantage of what’s out there, without being consumed by spending too much time inside the Facebooks and MySpaces of the world.

McMahon said a targeted promo trade with a podcast show on a similar topic could have more impact. That impact will be needed for the podcaster with dollar signs in his eyes, along with stars.

Money making has to be a mission, but it can’t detract from the content creation side. McMahon suggested delegating the accounting and sales, so one can stay focused on the podcast.

That focus needs to include showing what separates the podcast from others. Middle ground is a harmful place to occupy; McMahon thinks the fans should love or hate the podcast.

(We’ll suggest this is the "Rush Limbaugh theory" in effect. Like or dislike him, he still makes a ton of money every year, but it’s the passion that makes even his detractors listen. – David)

Podcasters need to be driven, tenacious, and unafraid to promote themselves. McMahon said having a visual identity is crucial, as it provides recognition. It’s worth having a professional photographer do a shoot to get that image.

McMahon’s website demonstrated this, with a few images present in the content area and the sidebar of his blog. That recognition will help with community building for the podcast. Bigger audiences let the podcaster take more chances.

Even so, content has to come before marketing. People tune in for content. If their numbers rise or fall, the podcaster should never take that personally; metrics are best observed in a detached, professional manner.

Whatever their numbers, the audience should see one’s work emerge as a brand, and not just a show. That show can focus on a niche, or go very wide with its appeal. Be passionate, work hard at being a go-to expert, and gameplan for success.

Without a plan, one’s podcast endeavor will probably come to a stop. Just like this article.

WebProNews anchor Kara Ratliff contributed to this report.