As more people enter the podcasting space, the need for solid reliable information is greater than ever. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Here are some of my favorite online podcasting communities. What are yours?
Part 1: FACEBOOK GROUPS
Podcast Movement Community - For Podcasters
This group has over 41k members and has good rules to prevent spammy self-promotion. It is a part of the Podcast Movement conference, the largest podcasting conference in the world. This year their event is moving online. PM Conference PM Facebook Community
She Podcasts is a large and active group with over 17k members. It defines its Facebook community as a safe place for women or non-binary ONLY who podcast or who are setting up a show currently to ask questions, provide support, share resources, wins, and advocate for each other. The admins have done a great job of creating an inclusive culture with lost of great information sharing. She Podcasts started out as a podcast and has grown to encompass the Facebook Group, a smaller paid group (She Podcasts Super Squad) and their own event She Podcasts Live. She Podcasts Facebook Group She Podcasts Live
This group is smaller, with about 3k members, and has a more grassroots community feel. Please - don't go to this group to post links to your own show, but DO go to ask questions and learn from other podcasters and experts. The founder, Chris Krimistos is an active participant and community builder. Like PM it was created as a part of the Podfest Multimedia Expo which is also creating an online experience. Podfest Facebook Group Podfest Expo
Podcast Editors Club
Podcast editors club is an active and growing group with frequent webinars and educational resources founded by Steve Stewart. It's a place for indie and professional podcast editors to share tips, ideas, and find help with editing podcasts. Podcast Editors Club
Just Busters: Female Podcast Editors
With just under 1k members I LOVE this group. It's full of powerhouse editors and podcast industry leaders and has regular live educational sessions, but it's small enough that it's a place to make real personal connections. Their motto is connect, learn, and grow. Among the group rules: No Mansplaining allowed.
Just Busters Facebook Group
Podcast Monetization Secrets
I know, sounds like a get rich quick scheme. The group is new, with about 100 members to date. But it's run by Christy Haussler who is well established in the independent podcast world and so far has had excellent information. I trust this group will grow into a strong resource.
Podcast Monetization Secrets Facebook Groups
Let's be real. We all want to look our best on camera and in videos, and we want to be real. Here are 3 simple tips that will make you look better without changing your make up or using filters. 3 simple tips so you look better in your videos.
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When I posted the video about podcasting safely while social distancing a few people asked me about wind noise. I realized that things I've been doing for 30 years are second nature to me, but not everyone knows them. So - here's a quick video about 4 ways to stop wind noise from ruining your shoot when you get to record outside.
Find more technique and "how To" videos for podcasters and YouTubers here.
It started when I heard an interview with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. He said to establish a habit start with something really small, for example one push up a day. It sounds ridiculous. But when you start with a small commitment you'll be more likely to keep it. Once you start keeping it you begin to see yourself in a new light - as someone who does a push up every day.
So I decided I'd run one mile every day. I've written about that, and it's been going pretty well. And James Clear was right. Success there lead me to take on another challenge. When COVID times started I committed to posting a daily photo journal here on my blog for a month. I did that too. I realized that the simple practice of writing and photographing every day was helping me grow as a creative, whether anyone read it or not.
Now I'm challenging myself to create a video, with me as the on camera host, talking about my own creative journey, every week for the next four weeks. Here is the first:
Next week I'm going to talk about the value of keeping your work to YOURSELF.
How are we podcasting in these complicated times? We managed to pull off an in-person Spartan Up podcasting session this week with Joe De Sena and Sefra the Seedhuntress. Here's how we did it:
A few of you have mentioned that you struggle with using too many filler words, words like "ummm" and "like" when you interview for podcasts or testimonials. There are a few techniques to remove them from your speech, but none work overnight. Habits are hard to break, but it can be done. Below I talk about several of the techniques, everyone's different, try the ones that work for you. But be open-minded and persistent, if one doesn't work .. try another.
The technique can yield amazing results and should be step one no matter what other strategies you use. Choose a topic you are likely to talk about in your interviews and record yourself with your phone. Next, play it back and asses your performance. You may find out you aren't really overusing the terms. If you are, take note of the words you do use too much and think about substituting a pause, or connecting terms like "in addition" or "on the other hand," or "another concept is..."
Now record yourself again. Take note of the improvements you make and focus on duplicating success. Do this two or three times a day, add in whatever techniques below work for you, and you will get better.
Organize Your Thoughts
Sometimes we use filler words because we're not quite sure what we're going to say next. In an interview setting, this can cause your guest to lose confidence in the process. Take time to organize your thoughts, create outlines and checklists, and keep practicing. When your thoughts are organized, you can move more smoothly from one idea to the next without the "umm"s.
A pause is a great substitute for filler words. While a filler word may reduce your credibility, a pause often engages the listener's attention. When you are interviewing someone, you are in a position of control, they will not usually jump in or interrupt during a pause.
Make Eye Contact
There are many reasons you might be using these filler words when you interview someone; to give yourself time to move to the next thought, to keep the guest on notice that you aren't done speaking, to fill uncomfortable silence, or to cover nervousness. Good eye contact with your guest can help you build rapport and connection with your guest. If you record your interviews in person, try it.
There is a considerable body of work on the concept of "chunking." The basic idea is that the brain can hold a certain number of ideas at once in its short-term memory. Some experts suggest chunking information and using that to develop a speaking rhythm. I haven't tried it, but if you're still stuck try a google search, there are lots of articles out there, then let me know if it works for you!
If you're dedicated to improvement, you'll get there. Just keep practicing with a recorder and playing it back.
There's no question that Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential conversational interviewers ever (read about the 5 Interview Lessons interview types here,) her talk show "The Oprah Winfrey Show" was the highest rated TV show of its kind in history. Today she hosts the successful "Supersoul Conversations," a TV show and a podcast. What can we learn from her? Here are four things she does in every interview.
#1 The most important question
The most important question comes BEFORE the interview. Oprah says "I approach every interview by asking, "What is my intention? What do I really want to accomplish?'" It's something podcasting trailblazer Pat Flynn puts another way, he says the most important thing to determine in your interview prep isn't what or how but WHY. A clear understanding of the goal will guide your questions and your reactions, that's what will set your interview apart.
A conversational interview is about rapport and compassion. Oprah creates connection from behind the mic with empathy. "You can't accomplish anything if you're judging," says the Supersoul Conversations host. It's an intentional technique - "I'm nonjudgmental in an interview. Out of an interview, there's a whole other side of me!" Her goal is to disarm the guest, make them comfortable, so they speak freely. As an interviewer you are on a search for meaning. "my secret to interviewing: How do I find the common denominator that allows a person to know that I hear them, and that what they say means something to me?"
#3 Detailed preparation
I listened to Oprah's interview with Steven Pressfield (if you haven't read his book "War of Art" I highly recommend it!.) Her detailed preparation for the interview was clear. I could hear that she had been working to understand Pressfield's take on the concepts he discussed arriving ready with questions that would allow her to dig deeper into the ideas. The level of detail was evident in the frequent references to quotes and page numbers. A perfect combination of big-picture thinking and detailed groundwork.
The "why," the empathy, and the detailed prep all come together in the conversation. Oprah acts as a translator, helping her audience process the ideas her guest presents through her own lens. Oprah is not afraid to be an active participant in the conversation sharing stories, and ideas of her own to help deepen her audience's understanding and give them additional routes to access the information her guest presents. This is the art of the conversation interviewer: bringing her own stories and comments to the conversation to lead her audience to a better connection with the guest.
Read more about interviewing for podcasts, documentaries, testimonials and oral histories at Interview Lessons.
After recording an interview with Dan Crowley, Bataan Death March survivor, we were inspired to take on the Bataan Death March Memorial at White Sands. It's a marathon distance "ruck" carrying a 30lb pack. Our Spartan Up podcast team consisted of Joe De Sena, Sefra the Seedhuntress, retired Col Tim Nye and his brother Joe, retired Command Sgt Major Frank Grippe, and Ewalk (Erica Walker)... and me with the camera gear and mics.
Here's what I packed for the adventure.
Interview lessons is a new project I've begun, to share what I've learned over 30 years of coaching, conducting, shooting and directing interviews for podcasts, marketing testimonials, oral histories and documentaries. I'm researching and sharing what it takes to be a great interviewer and sharing it with you. So far there are articles about top podcaster Tim Ferriss' interview strategies, the philosophy of documentary filmmaker Errol Morris toward interviewing, how to drop filler words like "ummm" and Like" from your interviews and a few others. As the library grows I will be inviting experienced interviewers to contribute directly, taking requests from readers, and adding audio and video media.
I'm excited about this new project. It's just a few months in the making so far but has helped me to become better at the art of interviewing, and at coaching others.
Over a 10 month period this year, I consulted for a gubernatorial campaign on their digital goals, social media training, social media tactics, and managing their paid social media. Here are some of the lessons I took away.
Sometimes You Don't Have the Data You Want
Data is important, but it's not everything. If you're selling a product it's pretty straightforward, you can measure the success of every move you make against the sales of that product. In the online universe, success can be a matter of testing and interpreting the data to hone in on the audience and message that will generate the most sales at the lowest cost. In an election ultimately there's only one measurement that matters … votes. As we've seen in national elections, polling data is not reliable, the only solid data is election results - that information comes too late.
You Still Need Goals
Even though you have uncertainty you still you need to set goals and measure progress to be effective. We learned to set multiple goals and change them throughout the campaign.
Numbers Can Be Deceiving - Look Beyond the Numbers
If your goal is engagement and you see a spike, before you celebrate take a closer look to see if it's generated by positive or negative comments. A high relevance score and a low cost per engagement from Facebook might be misleading. Be sure you understand what's behind the numbers. If you set a Facebook campaign optimized for an action, take a closer look at how often that ad is being delivered to voters. How many voters are you turning off on the way to generating that click? This is why a hands on human approach is so important to paid social.
The Only Constant is Change
Be ready to make changes at any time. Humans just aren't as predictable as we like to tell ourselves. Take your research and make your best guess at what will work, test it and adjust. Then do it again... and again. Once you have it all figured out, expect everything to change as news events develop. Even if you've got the perfect system, if it runs more than a few months there's a good chance your social media platforms will change (for example Facebook added new audience targeting options and lead ads during our run.)
People Love to See themselves
Some of our must popular shares were photos from events our candidate attended. They say all politics is local, that means lots of visiting. The best way to win votes – meet voters. On social media, you can amplify the power of these visits by sharing photos of the candidate visiting neighborhood landmarks and leaders.
We had a fantastic team, and we needed it. Keep a cache of engaging posts at the ready for slow days, there won't be many of them. The rest of the time be ready to react quickly. Responding to voter comments not only allowed us to set the record straight, it gave a good sense of what was important to our audience and made them feel heard.
Sometimes the Audience is Too Small
Common advice about paid advertising on Facebook pretty much boils down to finding the audience that allows for the lowest cost of customer acquisition. Our case was different. There's a finite set of people that are likely to vote. That's the target audience, like it or not. Even a statewide election, in Vermont anything we did to segment that audience by issue, demographics or location usually created an audience so small it became ineffective for Facebook campaigns. If you do define micro audience segments be sure to keep advertising budgets small, it's very easy to over saturate.
So how does all this apply to your next client? Every client is like a puzzle. You start with your gut instinct (informed by the client's research and experience) and then you start testing. It's the process we went through to understand how to effectively manage social media for this political campaign that is the takeaway.
To keep viewers returning we recommend :
1. Deliver what you promise. If you say your video has rock stars and it doesn't, you might get more clicks the first time, but viewers won't return. Write a a great headline to get viewers to give the video a chance, but make sure the video lives up to the hype. This also means your video should have clear concise and interesting content, and good audio and video quality.
2. Don't say it ALL. If you want viewers to return, make sure to leave something unsaid that they want to hear. The "Chris Davis Project" for Spartan Coaching is a perfect example. People want to check back week after week to see if Chris will reach his goal.
3. Be consistant. Once you have created interest and suspense, don't leave viewers hanging. Set regular release times. Have your production company create a graphics package that will unify the series. A consistent open and close is a good idea too, but be sure the open is not too long or people will click away.
1. Get our attention. You don't need bombs and explosions (although I think they help the video below,) but do let us know what you'll be discussing right away. Otherwise we'll click to something else.
2. Don't bore us, get to the point. For most web videos less is more. :15 seconds might be a little short, but 1 to 3 minutes is usually about right.
3. Tell us what to do. That's the call to action. What do you want viewers of your video to do? Make sure you tell them with a simple call to action. If your video is longer than my :15 second example, include the call to action up front AND at the end.
Of course there's more to good video, lots more, but without these three elements your video will have a tough time succeeding on the social web.
3 Useful Resources to get the most from your Video Testimonials
WHY should I use them?
The first item in Hubspot's list of "7 Lead Gen Opportunities PR Pros Should Seize" is "Case Studies and Testimonials." Use video testimonials from satisfied customers because they are "...tried and true way of encouraging prospects to use your business."
WHO should give the testimonial?
Duct Tape Marketing for small business "3 Simple Ways to Empower Your Customers to Sell for You" suggests using customer surveys or customer appreciation days to select the best candidates. Don't forget to leave a comment area for customers who are not yet satisfied with your service so you can win them over.
HOW do I make them great?
Copyblogger's "5 Tips for Knockout Testimonails" applies to Video testimonials as well as text. The highlights are: Don’t over-edit, Use testimonials that fit, Address objections, Never fake it, Encourage specifics.
Below is one of my favorite testimonial videos. It's an interview with a heart transplant survivor for the Go Red campaign. The message is universal and compelling - take care of yourself. The production values are clean and simple, supporting (not distracting from) the message.
Have questions about video testimonials? Let us help you out 802-746-8876
In this video, I talk with my co-host and amazing skier and on camera personality Doug Lewis about working with skiing and riding talent. I know, we're all talented, but talent is the term used for the professional person who is in front of the camera. I'm really more comfortable behind the camera, but I hope getting a taste of what it's like in front of the camera will make me a better director / photographer.
These tips apply whether you are getting shots of your kids sledding, or friends hucking big air. This clip includes an intro from Outside TV's Outside Today host Julia Dimon.
It's that time of year. Many of you want to get videos of your kids skiing, sledding or snowboarding. Or shoot your buddies skiing the trees, hitting the rails, or flying out of the halfpipe. I'll be shooting the Dew Tour at Killington for NBC, but many of you might want to grab a few shots of the event to share with your buddies.
Here's a minute and a half of insight into getting better results when your faced with winter weather. This is one of a series of 7 "Video Secrets" tips we produced for Outside TV. You may recognize my co-host Doug Lewis, a two time winter Olympian, and now host of Universal Sports World Cup ski coverage.
On March 27th I was envious of the "pause" to reassess and learn I kept hearing about. I was fortunate enough to still be working, so I committed to a more active blog. This is my chance to think out loud.