Five unusual podcasting tips from the trenches

The Marketing Companion

Tom Webster and I have just completed our one-year anniversary of The Marketing Companion podcast. This has defintely been a “learn by doing” exercise for both of us so I thought with 12 months under our belt it would be appropriate to reflect on five unusual podcasting tips and lessons learned.

Limit complexity

One of the unusual aspects of our podcast is that we have had no guests. One of the benefits of this strategy is that we have limited complexity — our show doesn’t fall through if the guest gets sick, for example. Tom and I are busy so to keep this a joyful activity we keep the podcast creation as simple as possible, in every way.

Entertainment value

On every show we try to insert something that is off the wall and entertaining. If you are going to spend 30 minutes with us, yes, you will learn something … but you will laugh too. I think entertainment value is a huge idea as you think about standing out amid growing content density.

Generating conversational ideas

I think a key to our success so far has been developing conversational topics ahead of time. That gives us time to think, prepare and maybe add some quirky entertainment along the lines of the discussion. Nothing we record is rehearsed but we do think about the topics ahead of time. This has been a key to the successful conversations but I still wonder about this next one …

Do we worry about shelf life?

One amazing thing I have learned is that every month, new listeners go back and listen to earlier podcasts. I mean hundreds of people listen to those old shows. I did not expect that. The canon of podcasts we have created still means something, still generates downloads months after they have been recorded.

So an issue we struggle with is coming up with long-lasting topics. It’s easy to do “ripped from the headlines” commentary but we are aiming for something a little deeper and more profound in the podcast. Or should we even worry about that? I think we are still evolving and learning in this regard.

Promotion and the lack of it!

Our listenership is growing month by month — far exceeding expectations — despite the fact the sorry fact that we do nothing to promote it. With the exception of an introductory blog post, we do literally zero to ignite our work. Neither Tom nor I are rah-rah types so we recognize that self-promotion is a weakness for both of us. We TALK about promotion but haven’t done much about it.

The lesson? We must be creating something great because we’re sure not winning fans with our marketing skills! We are NOT a best practice to follow in that regard. We need to figure this out because we’re certainly sub-optimizing the great work we’re creating.

We are both craving feedback on the podcast. What can we be doing to create a better experience for you?

If you are just discovering our podcast, here is a handy Marketing Companion Episode Guide.

Other ways to listen to the podcast:

The funny graphic comes from my friend Ralph Cipolla. In addition to being a media and numbers wizard, he rules PhotoShop!

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  • As a raving fan of TMC, what I love the most is that it’s like I am sitting on the back porch with you two guys. It’s the next best thing to being there. Often you will bat around ideas that spark other ideas for me as a marketer and business owner. When all of my other podcasts are backed up in my queue, yours is the one I listen to every week as soon as it goes up.

  • Gordon Diver

    It’s been a fun, informative and entertaining year (love the new Photoshop skills demonstrated above). It has been my pleasure to share your great work because it does resonate so well for many audiences, no matter the size of the organization. Thanks for the efforts and look forward to hearing more.

  • You KNOW how much I love the podcasts! Informative, educational, entertaining, best of the best. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Kitty Kilian

    Thanks goodness you don’t market the podcast continually. That’s what I like about you – no hype!

  • Love the photoshop! You know radio broadcasting is where I came from before I started doing what I do now. You guys sound very relaxed and like you’re having fun, which is very important.

  • It’s official. We have one raving fan. Thank you so very much Rosemary!

  • Many thanks for your support Gordon. Tom and I really appreciate it! And Ralph Cipolla gets all the credit for the illustration!

  • Many thanks for your kind words Kaarina!

  • I think that is fair to say. We have so little hype are actually a Black Hole of hype, We suck hype from other podcasts : )

  • High praise indeed Brad. Thank you. We truly do have fun on the show. I look forward to it every session.

  • Kitty Kilian

    Haha! I am not sure black holes still exist.

  • Always a pleasure learning from, and listening to your podcasts… Thank you Mark… Thank you Tom… ~Rae

  • Not only is the Marketing Companion informative and entertaining, it’s a reminder that marketing doesn’t have to always take itself so seriously. It can be fun along the way – as you two demonstrate with every podcast.

  • Thanks. Great to see you in the comment section Dr. Rae!

  • No other way to be : ) Thanks Billy!

  • I take this show VERY SERIOUSLY and when Mark goofs around it makes me FURIOUS.

  • Kathy Klotz-Guest

    It is a great podcast – I enjoy it. I am a fellow podcaster. Having guests is great and it does add complexity. It can be awesome, too. To your point, on my last podcast the guest got PDT/EST confused despite the outlook invite I sent and no call in for the show. It’s a rare occurrence. Alas, I am also a seasoned comic improviser (Latin for dancing monkey with stage experience) and I was able to dance. I very much subscribe to the prepare, limit variables, and improvise as needed. That’s the fun and art of it. We’re all improvising as needed, aren’t we? I appreciate that you guys always have fun and I think that’s how marketing is SUPPOSED to be! I share that philosophy. Now you have at least two rabid (in a good way) fans.

  • You are so damn cute when you’re mad Tom

  • Hurray! Thanks so much for the insight and kind words Kathy.

  • RogierNoort

    Nice one Mark.., good timing too… Starting up my own PCast ( Love The Marketing Companion podcast. It is, in part, the inspiration for mine (ours). Good tips.., I will surely take them into consideration.

  • My pleasure Mark! Nice to be seen, thanks for the opportunity ~Rae

  • Mark Shafter

    “Neither Tom nor I are rah-rah types so we recognize that self-promotion is a weakness for both of us.”

    Hahahahahaha! This is a joke, correct? Schaefer, you are one of the most self-promoting dudes in Social! Check your social feeds, or look at comments you leave on blogs, or just go over your last 12 months’ blog posts to see how many times you stroke your own ego!

    You’re a joke if you pretend you don’t self-promote!

  • Thanks for sharing these tips! The Marketing Companion has been one of my favorite podcasts to listen to this entire year. You guys are a guide for me and my roomate’s podcast (shameless plug).

    I love how your conversations flow so smoothly; you guys have natural chemistry and it doesn’t hurt that you’re both experts in your fields. Keep it up!

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