For the fourth year in a row Podcast Movement brought podcasters from around the world together to learn, share and experience what it means to say the words “I am a podcaster”.
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Biggest Takeaways from Podcast Movement 2017
While not everyone at the conference identified as a podcaster, including Payne Lindsey from the hit true crime show Up and Vanished, along with the trio behind Undisclosed, the vast majority celebrated the fact that with a voice, a microphone, and value to share, you can make a huge impact.
But unlike previous years, it wasn’t all about the numbers in Anaheim, CA.
If you’re a podcaster, then you know what it’s like to sign into Libsyn, and then proceed to hit refresh on your stats over,
But this year’s focus didn’t have anything to do with refreshing your stats.
As Dan Carlin put it in his keynote Wednesday afternoon, “It’s not about how many people are listening, but about who is listening.”
This is a quote that stuck with me, and even today I continue to remind myself of this fact.
Without the connections we have with our audience – those who are actually tuning in to listen – what else do we have?
What went down at Podcast Movement 2017
To help set the tone for what we knew would be an incredible three days, we hosted a pre-conference workshop sponsored by the #1 online community for podcasters, Podcasters’ Paradise, called From Idea to Launch, and Beyond.
During the 8 hour workshop we shared actionable steps plus proven strategies to help the 60 podcasters who signed up to spend the day with us how to do just that: go from idea to launch, and beyond.
But way before we created the workshop outline, John and I knew that with the help of other podcasters – those who are currently in the trenches and have great experiences and lessons to share – we could deliver tenfold on the value.
And so we invited five other podcasters to help us cover different topics within each of the four sessions in our Workshop: The Idea, The How, The Launch, and Beyond.
Weeks of preparation, three group calls, and a lot of worksheets later, we took the stage to share every last detail for podcasters both old and new.
Some of the biggest takeaways for the attendees included the importance of having a launch strategy, how easy it is to get setup with the right equipment, and why building a funnel for your business is critical to its success.
Here’s JLD’s Funnel Formula he shared during the Workshop:
The morning and afternoon came and went, and before we knew it we were headed to the hotel restaurant and bar to host our annual Podcasters’ Paradise meet up!
With about 100 podcasters from the Paradise community in attendance, we were able to meet a lot of members who we’d previously only communicated with online.
After the Paradise meet up we made our way over to one of the event rooms to catch a screening of The Messengers Documentary, which went live on iTunes at midnight that night!
Big shout out to Chris Krimitsos and his crew for delivering a very important message: podcasting is a medium unlike any other; one that will allow you to share your message with the world and impact millions in the process.
Our last stop of the night: Bowlmor, and bowling alley just a few blocks from where we were staying.
This is where the Podcast Websites meet up was hosted, and we closed the night out strong wearing stripped shoes and knockin’ over pins. :)
Wednesday at Podcast Movement
Wednesday started off with a huge bang: Amy Porterfield, Pat Flynn and yours truly, JLD, took the stage together to chat about what’s hot in podcasting right now.
Amy chatted about the importance of batching and how that has helped her not only stay on schedule and consistent, but also how it has helped her grow her audience and brand.
One of my favorite tips from Amy: every single time she sits down with her team to create episode outlines, they run each of them through a checklist to guarantee what she’s about to create is going to be of high value.
Pat chatted about standout episodes – the best and the worst – and it was cool to hear from each of the panelists what they thought was their best / worst.
Amy shared a 2-part series as her best: the first episode was a mini-training (how to), and the second episode was with one of her actual students who had put into practice what she had just covered.
A really cool idea for anyone thinking about leveraging a 2-part episode series to help promote a product or community!
Pat focused on his top-downloaded episode, an interview with LeadPages founder Clay Collins. Clay talked about “laddering up” and shared some incredible insights on how he built a 7-figure business, step by step.
JLD chatted about funnels and the importance of taking your avatar – your ideal listener – on a journey. You can check out the JLD Funnel Formula above :)
Next up on stage? Me! And I received one heck of an intro from Shey Harms, founder of Lake Zen.
Incredibly nervous and standing in front of a crowd with standing room only, I clicked ‘right’ on a brand new presentation: Audience Growth and Meaningful Monetization with Podcasting Systems.
Through covering the 3 things every podcast needs to achieve this, I gifted 3 very different systems, each of which consist of 5 simple steps.
Those 3 things:
1. Valuable Content
2. Consistent Content
3. Purposeful Content
The most important thing to consider when it comes to implementing any – or all – of these 3 systems is COMMITMENT.
If you can commit to doing the 5 steps listed below under any given system – making these a habit for you and your podcast creation – then you will make progress when it comes to audience growth and meaningful monetization.
Step 1: Define avatar – your one perfect listener
Step 2: Identify niche – niche till it hurts
Step 3: Go find them – online communities, events, conferences
Step 4: Ask them – Skype chat, SpeakPipe, email, comments
Step 5: Listen – what are the recurring struggles & questions?
Step 1: Plan it – theming vs. batching; 1 month ahead
Step 2: Schedule it – take out your calendar
Step 3: Record it – plug in your mic – it’s go time!
Step 4: Edit it – my fav editing hack
Step 5: Publish it – upload & schedule to go live
Step 1: What should they do? – rotate 5 CTA’s in your eps
Step 2: Map out your ladder – what happens next?
Step 3: Create a series – content outline + a plan
Step 4: Create the funnel – email campaign with content + offer
Step 5: Create the next step – proof of concept, then create
That afternoon I hopped around to a few different presentations, but mostly focused on spending some time at our booth in the main hall and meeting others who were also sponsoring the event.
The biggest difference between this year and last was that our booth was actually a booth that sat front and center by the main entrance.
We were also very lucky to have 3 sets of helping hands this year:
- Zach Hesterberg of So Zesty, a social media marketing company
- Travis Chappell of the Build Your Network podcast, and
- Berto Laguna
Knowing there was great representation sharing The Freedom and Mastery Journals with attendees took a ton of stress away and allowed us to make the most of our conference time.
By 3pm that afternoon we were settling in for the first two keynotes of the event: the trio behind Undisclosed, and then, Dan Carlin from Hardcore History.
While it was interesting to hear how Undisclosed got started, I can’t say there was a ton of value being shared through the presentation. At one point, there was even confusion around where everyone actually lived – something you’d think you would know about your co-hosts.
Dan Carlin on the other hand was very high up on my short list of favorites, which I have to assume was in part due to his amazing stage partner, Andrew Warner of Mixergy, who was leading the conversation.
Value bombs from Dan included:
“It’s not about how many people are listening, it’s about who is listening.”
“If it’s not for the listeners, it’s for no one.”
And something along the lines of “don’t cheat your listeners out of receiving great content. The quality of your content is so important.”
We capped Wednesday ON FIRE with a dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and an after party put on by iHeartRadio at The Fifth, a roof deck bar overlooking Disney Land.
While I was incredibly tempted to head back to the hotel around 11pm, I found myself on the roof deck until close to 1am catching up with friends both old and new and enjoying being outdoors for the first time all day.
Thursday at Podcast Movement
Luckily, I don’t have trouble sleeping, because Thursday morning brought another full day!
To start the morning off, I attended a session by Jodi Flynn of Women Taking the Lead. Her talk was all about how to avoid “podfading”.
Just in case you haven’t heard the term before, podfading refers to those who launch a podcast, then within a few weeks or months drop off the face of the earth with no explanation.
Jodi put together an easy-to-follow and super smart plan for making sure this doesn’t happen to you.
It included 3 checkpoints you can review if – or when – you start to wonder whether or not you can continue on with your podcast.
Those 3 checkpoints:
1. Your Why
2. Your Community
3. Your Goals
After Jodi’s talk I hooked up with 3 incredible podcasters who I’d be sharing the stage with for a panel later that day called Cashing in on Content: How to Leverage Your Niche Audience.
The trio of greatness:
- Josh Brown, host of Franchise Euphoria
- Vanessa Merten, host of The Pregnancy Podcast
- Kara Lamerato, host of The Wedding Planning Podcast
We ducked into the speakers lounge to review the flow, and by 1pm I found myself on stage for the third time in 3 days!
This awesome pic is compliments of the PM17 App newsfeed:
The theme we stuck with throughout the panel is the idea that niching down allows you to stand out.
With a laser focus on providing the most amount of value possible, the panel shared what they’ve learned post-launch about the importance of niching down and engaging with your audience to help your show grow.
And because each of these podcasters has monetized their show in very different ways, it was incredibly valuable to hear how they each got there.
For Josh, his podcast has helped him bring in at least 23 new clients for his business, Indy Franchise Law.
For Vanessa, her podcast has given her the opportunity to bring on sponsors that have relevant offerings for her niche audience: pregnant women.
And for Kara, her podcast audience asked, and she listened! Just this year Kara created The Wedding Planning Video Vault, a video series to help newly engaged couples navigate every step of their journey to wedding day.
After the panel I couldn’t help but be drawn to Payne Lindsey’s room – the guy I mentioned earlier who doesn’t identify as a podcaster (even though he has a hit podcast that actually helped solve an 11-year-old cold case of a girl gone missing in Georgia).
Because I had just recently binged the entire podcast it was really cool to see him on stage and hear him talk about the process he followed in order to create and produce such an intense, high-quality and engaging show.
However, I couldn’t help but challenge him on the fact that he didn’t identify as a podcaster – he was on stage talking about the success and impact of the podcast with a t-shirt that read: “I am not a podcaster”.
While I didn’t get a straight answer from him, I guess I can’t argue how someone else feels.
Although it would be great if those who were leveraging the medium to create such amazing content – content that is having a huge impact on the real world – would proudly identify with being a podcaster. The medium and industry could certainly use the good press! Spreading the word about podcasting is the only way it grows.
Friday at Podcast Movement
Bright and early Friday morning I was front and center to see our Podcast Websites partner, Mark Asquith, present!
Mark talked about dominating your niche with series podcasting, which was extra appealing to me since a couple of years ago I moved to seasons on my podcast, Kate’s Take.
Mark brought out a ton of great points regarding how your podcast is published depending on whether it’s a series podcast or just an ongoing one.
For example, he recommended pushing your season to its own feed once published (while also keeping it live on your “main feed”).
This gives those who might just be searching podcasts for a specific topic an opportunity to find targeted, focused episodes on exactly what they’re interested in.
Mark also mentioned the sponsorship opportunities for a podcast that has focused seasons on niche content, which is something I hadn’t really thought about before.
After Mark it was on to the final two keynotes of the event – the first one by Aaron Mahnke of the hit podcast Lore.
I’ve heard a ton about this podcast – it’s always at the top of the iTunes charts and it comes highly recommended. But for whatever reason I hadn’t tuned in yet – until just a few days ago.
Not only was he an amazing speaker on stage, but he had so much passion and feeling around the topic of podcasting and how to do it right. It was an amazing way to wrap up the event.
Aaron talked about there being 5 things every podcaster should focus on, and those 5 things are:
1. Be consistent
- Set listener expectations
- If you want podcasting to be your full time job, act like it
- Don’t disappoint your listeners with your schedule, format, frequency, or quality
2. Be prepared
- You’re taking people on a journey, and you have to be prepared in order to do that
- Everyone is a storyteller behind the mic – no matter what their podcast is
3. Be respectful
- Time, money and attention are our most valued and limited resources
- Your listeners are tuning in for a reason; deliver it already!
- If you have a sponsor, be respectful of them
4. Be original
- Don’t copy – be unique!
5. Be focused
- Your job is to make a damn good show, not to find out how to make money
Podcasting is like flying a kite. If you build a crappy kite, it won’t fly.
To close it out strong Podcast Movement brought back Shannon Cason of Homemade Stories.
Shannon focused on WHY people podcast.
Throughout his presentation he had audio clips from other speakers and attendees who were at Podcast Movement.
He asked them: “Why do you podcast?”
The range was wide – everything from “Because I like to hear my own voice” to “Because I have a message to share and an impact to make”.
I guess it goes to show that everyone podcasts for a different reason, and it’s important to remember why we do what we do.
Biggest Takeaways from Podcast Movement
After Podcast Movement I reached out to our podcasting community who attended and asked them:
What was YOUR biggest takeaway from Podcast Movement?
Here’s what they had to say…
My name is Jaime Jay and I host a podcast called Stop Riding the Pine.
My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that I really need to be open to new ideas.
I met so many awesome people that are doing great things in the podcast world. Just when I think I’m getting ahead, I learn more new things that keep challenging me to get better.
This event served as a great reminder that I need to keep pushing forward. It was a blast seeing old friends and making new friends. I loved this event and am very happy to have attended!
My name is Josh Brown and I host the podcast Franchise Euphoria.
My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that my podcast needs to now become the Hub from which all my digital and social media efforts spoke off from.
It became abundantly clear at PM17 that rather than having a social media campaign that includes just sending out my Podcast as part of my marketing efforts, I should make my Podcast the central hub from which all of my social media content flows in terms of topic, focus, etc.
As an example, if my next episode on my Podcast regards franchising a restaurant, then all of my social media marketing should revolve around that focused topic.
This may seem obvious to a lot of people, but it was certainly an “ah ha” moment for me at PM17.
My name is Mary Albee and I host the podcast Pure Dog Talk.
My #1 takeaway from PM17 was the smart tech opportunities coming with Alexa, Apple Homepod and Google adding optimized podcasts to voice searchable content.
My name is John Lee Dumas and I host the podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire.
My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that everyone needs to be Podcasting with a purpose.
Just turning on a mic and talking is not a winning strategy.
Your Podcast should have a funnel, which is the journey you take your listener on that ends with some kind of product, service, community, or VALUE BOMB.
Strategic planning wins.
My name is Mark Asquith and I host the podcast The 7 Minute Mentor.
My #1 takeaway from PM17 was to be a story teller!
It doesn’t matter your niche or focus, you have to captivate people with stories that MATTER!
My name is Shawn Park and I host the podcast Be Your Own Nerd.
My #1 takeaway from PM17 was to “Just Launch” my podcast.
I need to stop over planning, overthinking, and need to stop making sure everything is perfect because it will never be.
My name is H. Guthrie Chamberlain, III and I host the podcast Wisdom-Trek.
My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that it was a privilege to speak on the PMx stage and get to meet 11 other excellent speakers and hear their presentations.
It will help to improve my speaking opportunities in the future. Also, the networking and connections made are invaluable.
My name is Paula Chamberlain and I will host the podcast A Quilter’s Life.
My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that there was strong support for my soon-to-be-released podcast A Quilter’s Life, where I’ll be interviewing quilters and sharing their stories on why they quilt and how that passion integrates into their overall life stories.
If you attended Podcast Movement 2017 we hope you enjoyed it!
If not, there’s always next year! Podcast Movement 2018 will be in Philly, and we can’t wait to see you there!