What You Need To Know About Branding Your Podcast

This is usually the first question I will ask someone who is asking for my help in launching their podcast. This is probably the most important question a new podcaster can answer. It is a question only they can answer. And the answer to this question will guide them to success.

Failure to adequately answer this question will almost always guarantee failure!

If you say, “I want to reach everyone,” what you have really just said is, “you will reach no one.”

Many people, myself included, when they first start out, again, either with a podcast or a business, make the rookie mistake of thinking, “I do not want to exclude anyone. I want to make my podcast so as many people as possible will listen to me.”

It would be like the old “General Store” of some small town. A little of this, a little of that. Really good if you needed a fuse for a circuit box or to grab a role of tape and you did not want to drive 10 miles into a larger town. But if you were looking to buy a state of the art television, would you go into the General Store and look at three-year old models, dusty and sitting on the shelf? NO. You would take the extra effort to find a store that sells TV’s – new TV’s. Latest and greatest TV’s.

Your marketing needs to be the same way.

Another rookie mistake is to advertise the same way the “big guys” are advertising. Do not try to copy other people’s ads! Especially when you are just starting out! They have huge advertising budgets. They have marketing departments. They have graphic art departments. They have access to budgets that spend more on lunch than you do on advertising in an entire year. Do not try to copy what they are doing!

This is called “mass marketing.”

It is also called “branding.” That is a fancy term that is in play today.

“Well, shouldn’t I be branding my name? I just want to “get my name out there?”

Let me put it to you like this.

How much money does “Coke” spend on their advertising in a year? Magazines, bill boards, television, radio, the sides of buses, etc.? Don’t forget the major sporting events either. Probably BILLIONS of dollars, right?

That is mass marketing or “branding.”

The last time you walked into a store and bought a coke, Why did you do so? What made you buy a coke? You probably bought a coke rather than any other brand (and I am using coke, but if you are a Pepsi drinker, it’s the same thing). You probably bought a coke because, subconsciously, that is what you thought of because you were thirsty. You did not stop to look at all of the alternatives. You did not stop to read the labels and compare everything. You did not stop to look up the scientific discussions on your smart phone about the benefits of coke versus a bottle of water. You were thirsty and reached for a coke!


It cost Coke billions upon billions of dollars over many, many years, to achieve that level of name recognition.

That is the amount of time, effort and MONEY it will take for you to compete at that level to “Get your name out there!”

So don’t do that!

One more quick example…

I enjoy golf. The first time I ever went to play golf, I shot a 99 score! That’s right, the very first time I ever played golf, I shot a 99!

When I tell people this story, they are really impressed.

What I then explain is, I had an appointment and could not meet my buddies on the first tee. I met them on the 10th tee. I shot a 99 on the back 9 holes. Not quite as impressive now, is it?

But, on first glance, it sounds impressive. It sounds like maybe I was pro material… able to go out and compete, with a little practice, against Tiger Woods and those PGA tour professionals that shoot 67 on 18 holes. Pro’s who played golf for years and years and years and have spent multiple ten’s of thousands of dollars to get where they are at.

If I would have decided to try to compete on their level, it would have been a miserable failure. They could hit their 9-iron farther and more accurately than I could it a driver.


You will fail.

You will lose your most precious asset right now – MONEY!

So, define in very specific terms WHO your target audience is going to be. Then design every single piece of advertising, promotions and, of course, every single episode of your podcast around reach them!

What single thing can you do that will push you on towards success?

Identify who your one and only target audience is going to be! Others may join in, but you must reach that single individual in everything you do!

Will Podcasting Replace Traditional Radio?

Only a handful of the”elite podcasters” actually get money for their unique content. Even though sponsors often times pay on a “cost per listener” in order to advertise on those podcasts, the primary emphasis is on how big their audience is. But whose fault is it that this is the dynamic being looked at?

One reason many sponsors give as to why they only sponsor the elite is that it’s too time-consuming to sponsor small and medium-sized podcasts. That’s why they often set the minimum number of listeners at 50,000 or possibly 10,000 downloads PER EPISODE!

But whose fault is this? We can identify, basically, four different areas in the podcast industry that we can look to in order to answer this question.

1. The sponsors.

2. The podcast hosting / listening platforms.

3. Podcasters themselves.

4. The media / sponsorship companies.

Is it the sponsor’s fault? Not really. It is true, though, that it does take a lot of time and resources for them to research, find, reach out to and negotiate prices with many podcasters. Smaller podcasters may have a great relationship and very high trust factor with their audiences. Since they many know their listeners in real life (or the listeners have actively found their podcast), they are often ignored by the major sponsors.

But the focus for the larger companies is usually on the “return on investment” (ROI). The traditional podcaster just will not produce the ROI these companies are looking for.

Is it the podcast platforms? Well, they are much to blame for the discovery part. So yes, in a way, it is the fault of the platform companies. They make it harder for some podcasts to grow and they tend to keep the elite money makers at the top of their search results. It almost seems like an old monarchy type of society, where the rules are rigged to keep the elite in power. But that really does not provide us the information on “whose fault it really is?”

So, is fault with the podcasters themselves? That’s a huge burden to put on individual podcasters. We can’t really expect hundreds of thousands of podcasters to be able to find sponsors who will want to sponsor just one small podcast. That won’t work in most cases. Also, that would take too much time for podcasters to get enough money to make the time factor profitable to reach out to sponsors. The “ROI” for individual podcasters would be lacking.

Is it the fault of the media / sponsorship companies? In my opinion, they are the actual ones to blame. When podcasting started to grow, so did the interest to make a profit out of the podcasters work. But the companies who were interested seemed to come in with the idea that the same model used for radio would translate to podcasting. But there is a problem with that theory, too.

The problem is, podcasting is not radio!

That is why podcasting is growing so fast! Podcasters do not need to pay so they can be on an individual radio station at a certain time. They can actually be on many different listening platforms, at the same time, listened to whenever and wherever by whoever, on-demand.

Podcasters do not need to have a media empire helping them produce or create their content. Podcasting truly is “by the people, for the people.”

We see many companies whose only focus is on the larger, more popular podcasts. They use the old obsolete radio model as their sponsorship guide. Not only with the podcasts they have on their platforms, but also with the dynamic ad system they insist on using.

Dynamic advertising is where the ads are changed over time, automatically. There is no input from the podcaster. It is all handled by the software at the company level.

Podcasters lose a key characteristic strength when they agree to dynamic ad inserts. The most popular (and most responsive) advertising for podcasters is where the host actually reads the ad during the recording process. This is done “pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll.”

Holding on to an old model might be why some of these companies lose tens of millions of dollars each year in advertising costs each year. Which is also why they are very particular in only dealing with the larger, well-known, podcasts.

Podcasting is truly about the creators. It could be called “grassroots journalism!” This is a new medium, with hundreds of thousands of podcasters, that needs a new model to generate advertising revenue.

Podcasting started off as an amateur platform where everybody could create and publish their own content. You didn’t need an editor in chief or a media publishing giant telling you what to do, what to talk about or how to go about promoting your podcast.

People from all around the world currently record, edit, and publish their own content. Their listeners can listen to their programs whenever and wherever they want to. Truly, citizen journalism in the audio space was created by podcasters and has grown exponentially.

I liken podcasting today to where FM radio was back in the early 1980’s. FM radio was “available” (usually in elevators or doctors offices) but was not widely distributed or listened to. Just as FM radio became a “standard feature” in new cars (instead of “special order”), podcast listening ability is now becoming a “standard feature” in new cars as well. Almost every new car has a USB port and the ability to listen to podcasts through the car stereo system!

To answer the original question, “Is Podcasting Going to Replace Radio,” the answer is “NO.”

However, podcasting is going to take a BIG market segment away from traditional radio. In fact, it has already started. That is why many, smaller radio stations, have gone out of business. It is also evident in the recent published statistics concerning podcast listenership! Podcast listening is growing exponentially!

There is a great example, using an “old saying.” It goes something like this:

“When is the best time to plant a tree? Answer: “Twenty years ago.”

“When is the second best time to plant a tree?” Answer: “Today!

Concerning podcasting, “When was the best time to start a podcast?

Answer: “Five or six years ago!”

“When is the next best time to start a podcast?” Answer: “TODAY!”

If you have ever considered starting a podcast, now would be the perfect time for you to do so. The exponential growth curve is on the rise. For the foreseeable future, it will continue to grow and the dominance of podcasting will only become greater. Get into podcasting today and “catch the wave!”

Creating Audio Files For Use in a Podcast

If you are like most people, you are not very technical and creating a podcast sounds like a huge project that is way over your head. In fact it really is quite simple to record and edit an audio file. Once you learn the basics of the editing software, you will be able to create future podcast files in less than an hour.

I have done all the research for you to be able to create very inexpensive and professional sounding recordings for your podcast. Here I have listed six steps to get you started in creating audio files for your podcast.

Download and Install Audacity

Audacity is free and open-source software that you can use to record and edit your audios. This software is quite user-friendly and has all the features you will need to create and edit a basic podcast. Do a search for Audacity download, go to the download site, pick your computer platform (Windows or MAC), and follow the prompts to save the file and install the software.

Download the LAME MP3 Encoder

Now, don’t let the technical name of this step scare you. This encoder is really just one file. Do a search for LAME MP3 Download to find what you need.

When you download the file, write down the directory where you put it. I would recommend downloading it to the directory where you placed the Audacity files to make it easy to find. On my PC that directory is c:/Program Files/Audacity. If you can’t find the Audacity directory, then just choose a directory that makes sense to you.

You will need this file later because it will be required when you save your file as an MP3 format. MP3 is the popular file format used on the web for audio files. This format is smaller in size than other formats and is widely utilized by most software capable of listening to audios.

Setup Audacity

  1. Open Audacity using the shortcut created for you when you installed the software
  2. From the Menu bar, select Edit > Preferences
  3. Click on the File Formats tab in the Preferences box
  4. Under the Bit Rate field, select 64. (This bit rate will give you a good quality recording while keeping the file size small)
  5. Click OK
  6. You should now be all set to start recording. There are many other options to play around with, but for now, the defaults will be more than adequate.

Start Recording

To record all you need to do is click on the button that contains the red circle. This is the record button. Once you press the button, recording will start, so be prepared to start speaking right away.

If you make any errors while recording, just keep on going. You will be able to edit those pieces easily later on (Look for Part II of this article to learn how to edit with Audacity). If you have too many long pauses in between your sentences, you will be able to remove these later as well.

If you find that you really botched things up and just want to start over, click on the X in the top left corner of the audio track that popped up when you started recording. That will delete the track. When you press the Record button again, a new track will pop up. Make sure if you create a new audio track, you deleted the bad one, otherwise, when you play the recording both tracks will play at the same time.

When you are done recording, click the button that contains the yellow square. This is the stop button.

Save Your Project

Once you are done recording and are happy with your results, you will want to save the project. Audacity uses the .aup extension. This extension will allow you to reopen your project at a later date and edit it or add to it.

Export Your Audio to MP3

In step 5 you created an .aup file that can be used to edit your audio file at a later date, but in order to add your file to the web for listeners to hear, you will need to export your audio as an .mp3 file.

  1. From the menu bar, select File > Export as MP3…
  2. During the very first time you try to export to an MP3 file, Audacity will ask you to find the LAME MP3 Encoder that you downloaded in step 2. Just browse for this file and select OK.
  3. Next you will be asked to enter the directory and file name of the mp3 file.
  4. Click the Save button.

Congratulations! Your audio file is now ready to be uploaded to a server for access to your customers and listeners!

That is really all there is to recording an audio and getting it ready for the web. When you are ready to get into a little more with your audios and learn how to edit, look for Part II of this article, which will walk you through the steps of editing parts where you messed up and want to re-record. You will have the option of removing parts of your audio, adding to it, and re-doing some of it.

Using the Facebook Algorithm to Grow Your Podcast

The Facebook Algorithm is updated constantly. The various weights and relevance Facebook may assign to these areas can be changed. But the overall use of the Four Factors should remain fairly constant. If used properly, you can use Facebook to your advantage in promoting your podcast, your profile or your business.

When the Facebook Algorithm looks at your posts, it does so in four areas: Inventory, Signals, Predictions and Scores. I talked in a previous article in-depth about what each of these areas actually represent.

Each person who has an account on Facebook is given their own individual score through the algorithm. This score is unique to each person and determined by their own connections, interests, and how they interact with various content.

So if you interact more than your friends or relatives concerning a post or article, your score for that post will be higher than your acquaintances. The Facebook algorithm will use this information to show you other content it thinks you will interact with as you move forward.

Let’s use an example to illustrate this:

Assume a friend you work with gives a post about robotic technology being implemented in your company. The post discusses how it will make the shipping and receiving area more efficient and will save the company millions of dollars per year in expenses.

Your friend then comments that it will cut the employee workforce for that department in half and that is where the savings will come from.

You “Like” that post. You then “share” that post and “tag” a couple of other co-workers in the process. You comment that you do not like it when “computers take over.”

Your friends then “like” and “share” with their social profiles. They leave comments as well.

Over the course of a few hours, the original poster, you and those who have commented carry on a conversation. You may even post a few links to other content the supports your viewpoint.

Others that do not work for your company also see this and interact. Leaving comments and sharing the post with their followers. Some of them post it into groups they are in and that generates additional comments and shares.

The Facebook Algorithm takes ALL of that data and gives this post a HIGH SCORE. There is a lot of interaction. A lot of sharing among various interests and groups. This is the type of post Facebook will promote to other feeds and timelines – even those whom you do not know. They could be “friends of friends” (in Facebook terminology).

In the process, Facebook determines that you need to see more from the person who originated the post. The Algorithm has determined you will probably be commenting and interacting with additional information this person posts on their own timeline and feed. Which, once you see it, you do!

The same would then go for other people. Facebook will show them more information from YOU.

Have you ever received those “Friend Recommendations” from Facebook? Those are not random recommendations. The Facebook Algorithm has determined that you and those people you are not connected with have a lot in common. They are trying to get you to connect so further interactions can occur between their contact list and your contact list. This in turn will grow Facebook!

Have you ever had one of those posts where you share something with the world – and nobody notices? Your mom may give a “like” but that is about it? I know I have. That used to confuse me. How can other people get tremendous traffic but I get almost none?

Well, here is how that works and the reason why those posts fail.

It involves scoring of the Algorithm again. But this time, a “low score” rather than a high score.

Let’s say you make a post about something that you have not talked about with your group before (or it has been an extremely long time since the last time you shared something along that topic line).

It could be something as random as posting a memory about your high school graduation.

Nobody comments. You may have 800 likes. But nobody comments. You may have 1,000 views. But only three comments and one share.

The Facebook algorithm is not going to give this post a high score at all. It will get a relatively LOW score, even though you had 800 or 1,000 likes. Facebook does not judge “likes” the same as “shares,” nor does it judge “shares” as much as comments and interaction.

Because this post has such a low score, it will not be shared among the majority of your contacts. Maybe your immediate family will see it. But that is about it. Unless you start to actually have a conversation with someone (anyone, even your family), this post is going nowhere.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, every single social media platform out there, uses an algorithm to support the platform. This algorithm is used to determine what other people will interact with on the platform. Links that take people away from the platform receive lower scores.

This is important to remember as you post your information on these social media sites. If you want to increase your visibility, especially on Facebook, you need to use the algorithm to your advantage.