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2013

Three Steps to Your Audience of One

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Would you like to create a deeper connection and relationship with your audience?

There is one adjustment you can make to your podcast to help you achieve your podcasting goals. Whether you hope to motivate your audience to action, entertain them with a story or simply get them to listen again, one change to your approach can help you succeed. This small modification to your approach will have a big impact on creating a trusting relationship with your audience.

Treat every listener as an audience of one.

When creating a podcast, it is critical to your success to address each member of your audience as an individual rather than a group, regardless of the size of your audience.

Many podcasters and broadcasters address their audience as a group. “Hello, everyone.” “Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen.” “You guys are the best.”

Your listeners are not engaged with your show as a group. They are each listening as individuals with unique imaginations. You need to treat them that way.

Addressing your audience as a group is impersonal. Your listener doesn’t feel special. Speaking to a group allows each listener to feel like you are speaking to someone else. It is typical for your listener to feel like it’s alright to not take action, because another member of the group will handle it.

This style began back when radio began. When radio broadcasting started, station owners needed something to broadcast. The content was typically stage performances broadcast over the airwaves. The “Ladies and Gentlemen” salutation was meant for the live audience in the theater. It was not intended for the listening audience at home.

At the time, radio was the primary source of entertainment at the family home. Prior to the introduction of television, families gathered around the radio in the family room each evening for their entertainment. Addressing the audience as a group made sense. Listening was taking place as a group.

As radio broadcasts moved from stage performances on the radio to “made-for-radio” dramas that were produced in a studio rather than on the stage, the salutations didn’t change. The live audience was no longer present. The audience however was still gathered together in the family room. The announcer continued to address the listening audience as a group, simply because it had always been done that way.

When television was introduced to the family room, long-form radio programming moved to television. Great radio stories like The Lone Ranger, Abbott & Costello and The Green Hornet left the radio for the promised land of television. Radio was quickly being replaced as the nightly family activity in the home.

Eventually, the radio performance was replaced with a disc jockey playing recorded music for the listening audience. Radios also progressed with the introduction of the transistor. Small, portable transistor radios took the place of the large console radios that once occupied the family room. Listening moved from being a group activity in the family room to being a personal experience with these portable radios. Even as listening changed, most on-air personalities continued to address their audience as a group. It had always been done that way.

Today, podcast listening has become even more personal. Podcast listening typically takes place alone in a car or with headphones. People are no longer listening as a group. They are alone with your voice.

Even if your listeners are with others while they are listening, each individual is creating unique images in their head. Those images are different from the images created in the imagination of any other person in the audience. Audio is a very personal medium.

Since they are listening as individuals, you should address them as such. Your show should be a one-on-one conversation with your listener.

If most of your listeners are listening alone, it sounds out of place when you say, “Hello, everyone.” Your listener is then saying in their head, “Everyone? It’s just me. Who are you talking to?” “Everyone” is directed at no one. Adjust your language to fit your audience.

If I describe a car making a left turn at a busy intersection, you will envision it much differently than any other person listening to the same story. Television leaves very little to the imagination. Audio helps create wonderful stories and stirs the imagination. The more personal and individual you can be with your stories, the stronger your connection and relationship will become.

Finally, when you address a group, it is easy for your listener to shirk their responsibilities while expecting somebody else to take care of the tasks.

Let’s say you want your audience to visit you website. You say, “I would really appreciate it if you guys would log onto my website this week and let me know what you think.” Who exactly do you want to take action? You’re addressing the entire group. I don’t need to do it. There will be plenty of others that take action. It won’t make much difference if I don’t do it.

Unfortunately, most listeners are thinking the same thing. When you check your web stats, they’ve barely moved. Very few have taken action. Why? Because you didn’t address them individually. It was easy to assume somebody else would handle it.

There are three steps to treat your listeners as an audience of one.

First, get rid of the collective, group talk. Change your nouns and pronouns from plural to singular. Instead of using “ladies and gentlemen” or “you guys”, use “you”, “me” and “I.” Talk to one person. Most everything you say will apply to one person just like it will apply to a group of people.

Second, be personable. Reveal things to your audience that you would reveal to your friends. When you have trust in your listener, she will begin to feel appreciated. Your relationships will become stronger and more meaningful.

Third, be real. Speak like a real person and not an announcer. Replace announcer words with words real people use. Instead of using “good evening” like a network news anchor from 1975, use “hi” like you would use when you call a friend.

If you hope to make your call-to-action effective, you need to create strong relationships with your listeners. If you want to create strong, meaningful relationships with your audience, you must treat each person in your audience as an individual. Make each listener feel special. Talk directly to them one-on-one. Use words that sound like you are speaking to one person. Be personable. Be real. Create wonderful relationships as you create multiple audiences of one.

Photo Credit: Bigstock

How to Get Massive Traffic with Link Parties

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At NMX 2013, the ladies from Six Sisters Stuff presented a session on a little-known tactics for building your blog community and driving traffic: link parties.

A link party is essentially a list of linked images generated by a blog’s community. Usually there is a theme and the link party’s call for links is posted at the same time every week. For example, The Pinspiration Party is a weekly link party where you can link up posts that talk about recipes, craft projects, etc. inspired by something you saw on Pinterest.

Many bloggers in niches like tech, social media, and business have never heard of link parties, while bloggers in niches like food and DIY are getting hundreds or even thousands of new readers per month using link parties. On the food blog I run with my mother and sister, we’ve built our traffic substantially using link parties (including the one hosted by Six Sisters Stuff), so I was excited to hear that this session would be part of NMX.

My sister, Jessica, was able to attend this session live to take some notes about just how you can reap the biggest benefits from link parties. Here’s what she found out about getting results:

  • “The bigger the blog, the more the traffic…bigger blogs are more competitive.”

Popular bloggers who run link parties will have hundreds of bloggers link up every week. You can get traffic from these link parties, especially if you catch the linky (the tool used to allow readers to submit links) when it goes live, but don’t overlook the little guys. Brand new link parties can help you build relationships with other bloggers and stand out from the crowd.

  • “You’re going to see 10 times more [traffic] if you’re featured.”

Most link parties feature bloggers from the previous week every time the new linky goes live. Obviously, you want one of these featured slots, as it puts your link front and center. In order to get featured, the Six Sisters bloggers have two main pieces of advice. First, use a great image. If your picture stinks, it is very unlikely that you’ll be featured. Second, put a unique twist on your post. A recipe for mashed potatoes is probably not going to get lots of attention. A copycat mashed potato recipe from a popular recipe that includes a secret ingredient has a much better chance.

  • “The thumbnail is crucial…A picture really is worth a thousand words – or 100 pageviews.”

A good image isn’t just your key to getting featured. It also will encourage others to read your post. This is especially true with popular link parties, where you’re competing with hundreds of other thumbnails. What makes yours stand out? How can you entice readers to click? Think about it when creating your images and make sure your use a good thumbnail.

Want even more link party tips, including directions for hosting your own? Check out the full presentation, which is part of the NMX 2013 Virtual Ticket, available to all NMX University premium members. Don’t miss this great session and the hundreds of presentation recordings from our conference. Get your ticket today!

Can Tablets Take the Place of Teachers? [Infographic]

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Although there’s more technology use in developed countries, those who live in third-world nations are quick to learn how devices work when given the opportunity. The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization recently gave tablets to children in Ethiopia to see if kids could learn without the benefit of an actual teacher. Here’s what happened:

Can Tablets Take the Place of Teachers?

Infographic courtesy of BachelorsDegreeOnline.com

Quick and Dirty Video Production

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From writing a script to lighting and sound, recording with the built-in webcam on your laptop, editing, production and post-production with Apple’s iMovie, award-winning speaker Dave Taylor demonstrated every step needed to create your first YouTube-ready video during his session at NMX 2013. We had the pleasure of seeing Dave’s workshop yesterday at NMX. Here are some of the highlights from his talk:

  • “You don’t need to invest yet to get started.”

iMovie comes preloaded for free on Mac computers and Dave fully explained how to use this free software for all it’s worth. From tips about shooting footage to best import options and title and transition tips, Dave explained all the options and best practices for creating a quality video. He then went on to put together a video in front on the attendees, demonstrating exactly how to implement the topics he covered.

  • “There is nothing that you can come up with that can’t become interesting.”

Anything, even the most mundane topics can become an interesting video. The key is presenting it in a fun, engaging way. Make a story out of a seemingly uninteresting topic to capture viewers’ attention.

Dave also shared many easy tips about recording and editing throughout the entire session, including:

  • “Really focus on looking at the camera, not the screen.”
  • “Shorter is better than longer.”
  • “Do something engaging.”

Did you know we have tons of bonus content from the show being uploaded everyday? Head over to NMX University to see videos, livestreamed keynotes and more.

About Dave:

Dave’s been online for over thirty years, during which time he’s founded four startups, published twenty books, and earned both an MS Education and MBA. He currently writes for a wide variety of online publications and produces how-to and marketing videos for a variety of clients, including Intel, Kingston and TrackVia. Find him online at DaveTaylorOnline.com

022 The Podcast Report – Live From NMX 2013

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Hey everyone, Cliff Ravenscraft here. I’m back with another episode of The Podcast Report with my co-host, Megan Enloe.

As I am typing the show notes for this episode, NMX 2013 is now in the rear view mirror. I am absolutely thrilled with how the podcasting track turned out this year. I actually had some folks tell me that they had attended the conference because they wanted to learn how to get started with blogging and actually left the conference with a desire to start with an audio podcast instead.

In this episode, Megan and I were joined by Rick Calvert, CEO and co-founder of New Media Expo. I think you will be able to tell, by the excitement in our voices, that we were all thrilled with how well things had gone for the show this year.

If you did not make it to NMX this year, I hope that you’ll start planning, now, to attend the NMX 2014 event that will be hosted back in in Vegas next year.

This episode will wrap it up for this season of The Podcast Report. It is my intention to fire up The Podcast Report just a few months before the next event, to give you a behind the scenes look into what is going on with the Podcasting Track for our next event.

I am so thankful for all the members of the podcasting community that showed up for this year’s event. You all rock!

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Leo Laporte Talks at #NMX about Building a Podcast Community

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We’re always excited when Leo Laporte is able to speak at one of our events, and this time around was no different. Leo gave our Day Two keynote, talking about how podcasting is changing the world of media. Check out his keynote, recorded live at NMX 2013 (made possible by our livestreaming partners Ustream and TechZulu):

Video streaming by Ustream

If you don’t have time to watch the entire keynote, here are some of the best moments from his talk:

“Podcast your passion but don’t do it for money.”

We all want to make money, but that’s not what it has to be about. You should be podcasting because you love what you’re doing and you love the topic you’re podcasting about, not because you want to make money. Passion is where it’s at. If you’re not passionate, your listeners will know.

“We’re not making little shows to download. I think what we’re doing is changing the world.”

Leo often talks about his disdain for the word podcasting since it doesn’t cover the entire industry and doesn’t sound as important as it is. As Leo stated, podcasters are changing the entire world, especially in the media industry. Mass media is actually a very young industry, and it’s still changing rapidly. Podcasters are shaping the future.

“Our opportunity is not to create audience but create community…Our type of advertising works because we have an engaged audience.”

We often talk about finding new listeners and building our audiences, but podcaster’s listeners are more than that. They’re our friends, our peers, and our community. And that’s what podcasters need to focus on – making their show a good experience so people want to be part of what you’re doing.

When we talk to our advertisers we tell them this is going to be a different relationship for you. And some of them don’t like it.”

Consumers are smart, so you can’t trick them anymore. Instead, you have to present ads in a way that makes sense for your listeners – your community, if you will. For example, on Leo’s show, they do ad slots, but it’s more of a conversation about the features of a product instead of a commercial. Ad recall for him is extremely high, which is great news for his advertisers, but some aren’t interested because there’s no smoke and mirrors. You have to have a good product with good features instead of tricking the consumer.

“We need to really think differently. We can’t just say “What we really want to do is be like the media on the internet.”

Digital broadcasting isn’t like big media as we know it today, and in Leo’s opinion, we should stop trying to be like television, radio, etc. We’re going to succeed because we’re different, and today’s mass media should be scared of that. Podcasters (any kind of digital broadcasters really) need to embrace their different-ness, because that’s how we’ll really change the world.

Want to see even more content from the show? Check out NMX University, our educational membership community where you’ll find virtual sessions, keynote recordings, bonus videos, and more!

10 Podcasting Pet Peeves (and Solutions)

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I recently participated in an episode of The Podcasters’ Roundtable, hosted by Ray Ortega. The topic of the evening was Podcasting Pet Peeves, and as I was prepping for the show, I thought, hey! NMX article! With seven participants, I knew I wouldn’t get to mention all of the peeves I was coming up with, and I didn’t want my irritations and annoyances to go unmentioned. You deserve to know what my pet peeves are, after all.

Annoyed

Trust me, you do.

Note: A few items on the list here were brought up by other participants on the show, but this is my original list. Here we go!

Podcasting Pet Peeves

1. Poor production values. Shows with no editing, no music, no levels (volume) correction…if you can’t be bothered to put a little effort into the quality of your show, don’t be surprised if your audience dwindles away. It doesn’t take much effort, honestly. A great source for free, “podsafe” music is MusicAlley.com.

B. Overuse of profanity. I have nothing against profanity in and of itself. But I’ll turn off a show with no regrets if every third word of every sentence is profane. Look, it’s a scalpel, not a sledgehammer. A well-timed profanity can have a profound impact on a sentence. Don’t overdo it. And above all, be grammatically correct. If you don’t know how to use a word, don’t use it until you learn.

III. Consultants and how-to folks telling you… that there’s only one way to do things. There are soooo many ways to produce a podcast. There is no one right way. Oh, there are lots of wrong ways, but anyone who tells you that you have to do things only one certain way—especially if that person is charging you consulting money—should not be taken seriously.

Four. Consultants and how-to folks telling you…that if you’re not going to get the best equipment right away, you might as well not bother podcasting. DO NOT buy a $300 microphone before you’ve recorded your first show. Anyone that tells you to start off buying a lot of expensive equipment is probably also selling that equipment. It’s unnecessary. Start with a $30 USB headset from Walmart.

5. Putting on a Voice. I want to hear you talk like yourself, not like someone else—unless you can pull it off consistently. Most people can’t, I’ve found. By the end of the show, they sound more like themselves than the character they tried to create at the beginning.

Seis. Straying too far from the premise. If your show is about kangaroos and you spend the first 10 minutes talking about the new iPad you got, that’s bad. If your premise is that you’re funny, but you’re really not…well, that’s also straying from the premise. Be yourself, inject your personality and don’t be afraid to go on short tangents periodically, but stick to the premise.

Never deviate from the kangaroo.

VII. Too many ads, especially at the beginning of the show. If you’re running ads for five “sponsors” that takes up a full three minutes before your show begins, you’re doing it wrong. I’m turning you off, and I’m not the only one, believe me. Spread them out in the show. Take a thirty second break every 20 minutes. Don’t do them all at once.

H. Interviewers throwing softball questions. It’s not that I think every interview subject should be asked deep, intimate questions the whole time, but if all you do for 30 minutes is ask how the weather is where they are and plug their new project, that’s a terrible interview. Your guest is interesting, or else you wouldn’t have booked him-or-her. Show the audience just how interesting.

Nine. Not equating podcasting to other forms of media like TV and radio. Sure, it’s a younger medium. Sure, it’s not consumed by nearly as many people. Okay, there’s not nearly as much money in it. But it’s growing, and it’s not going away. It’s every bit as valid as other media.

X. Calling podcasting online radio. Radio is a discrete technology that has as much in common with podcasting as movies do with television. They share some common, broad elements, but they are separate technologies. Other complaints about it aside, I dislike Blog Talk Radio for this reason. Doubly so, in fact, because what they do doesn’t really have anything directly to do with blogging, either.

I’m very interested in what you consider a podcasting pet peeve, from the perspective of either a listener or a producer! Let’s talk pet peeves and solutions in the comments below!

NMX-ers Invited to Write for The Huffington Post

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If you’re a blogger who wants to find a new audience, why not consider writing for The Huffington Post? Easier said than done, right? Not if you’re part of the NMX community!

The Huffington Post, with its 50 million unique visitors per month (Comscore, November 2012), is a powerful platform. We’re excited to offer content creators the chance to submit their posts directly to Ariana Huffington. We’re talking direct access here, so don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity.

Submission Details

  • You can choose any topic you like
  • Posts must be 500-1,000 words
  • A brief bio should accompany your submission
  • Include a headshot
This is a unique opportunity for our NMX community, so don’t miss out. Email your submission for consideration and you just might make it onto one of the most popular blogs out there. Good luck!

Announcing the 2012 Podcasting Awards Winners

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NMX is proud to have been the host for The 2012 Podcasting Awards. This awards ceremony, which was founded by Todd Cochrane (@geeknews), celebrates the best in podcasting. This  year, it was hosted by Leo Laporte from TWiT. Here are the 2012 winners:

Congratulations to all nominees and winners!

Also, an interesting challenge was set forth at the awards ceremony. At the end, Todd spoke about donating to the awards to keep them going for next year, and one podcaster (from Ardent Atheist I believe, though the packed room meant it was hard to see), shouted out a pledge to donate $100 and challenged every other podcast in the room to do the same.

Inspired by his pledge, Leo himself offered to write a check for half of the awards operating costs (about $3,500) if the podcasters would donate the other half in the next month. So look for a donation button to be coming soon on The Podcasting Awards website!

Support Your Favorite Charity for We-Care.com’s $100K #MillionDimes #NMX event.

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We’re excited to share with you that WeCare is giving away $100,000 during NMX as part of its MillionDimes event. It starts today at noon Pacific Time.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find your favorite charity’s Twitter handle
  2. Follow @WeCare on Twitter
  3. Include the @WeCare handle in your tweet
  4. Include the #MillionDimes hashtag

For example:

Follow @WeCare & help raise a #MillionDimes, every tweet/RT is $.10 for @[cause]  http://www.we-care.com/MillionDimes = $100K! #NMX

Or if you’d like to tell someone about this special fundraising event:

@Oprah Follow @WeCare & help raise a #MillionDimes, every rweet/RT is $.10 for @SaveTheChildren  http://www.we-care.com/MillionDimes = $100K! #NMX

You get the idea. Include @WeCare, the Twitter handle of your charity, the link, the #MillionDimes and #NMX hashtags, and what the promotion is about. And, by doing so, you’ll be helping your favorite causes!

Oh, and by the way, retweets count, so get your following involved to help you (and them) raise money for charity.  If you  can get celebs or other high profile people involved, your charity may be able to get even more money! Or tweet them to let them know that they can help their favorite charity! Any U.S. nonprofit cause 501 (c3, c4) is eligible.

Double Dimes:

When a nonprofit includes the Twitter handle of another nonprofit, those tweets and retweets count twice.  So, make sure all the nonprofits you know on Twitter know they can multiply their impact when they mention other causes.

The fundraiser starts today at 12 p.m. (PT), Monday, January 7, and continues though 12pm on Monday January 14 at 12 p.m. So, you have a full week to raise lots of money for the causes you care about. Now, let’s start tweeting to make a difference!

For more details visit www.we-care.com/MillionDimes

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