Should You Trademark Your Podcast?

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You’ve got podcasting questions, and Traci Long DeForge is here every Friday to answer them. Traci is the founder of Produce Your Podcast and a member of the PBJ Editorial Board. This week Traci answers your questions about launching, trademarks and websites.

I’m getting ready to launch my podcast and I have a batch of 5-6 episodes ready to go, do Traci: I have to release them one at a time? Or can I release them all at once?
A: There are several strategies to consider when releasing multiple episodes at launch.
1. Seasons or Series. You can release them all at once and market them as Season One. This will enable listeners to know that you are going to release batches of episodes in a season going forward. Your listeners can binge them all or listen to them one at a time.
2. Alternative Marketing Option: Upload and distribute all the episodes at once through your hosting platform but promote the individual episodes on a weekly or biweekly schedule to social media and through your newsletter. This provides your listeners an opportunity to binge listen if they prefer but gives you a nice runway of marketing opportunities for new listeners to discover your show along the way while you are recording new episodes.
3. Record. Upload and Pre Schedule: Some podcasters work better when focusing on all the workflow for their shows in batches. You can record and create the marketing asset and upload the episodes within your hosting platform. You will then pre-schedule them to release over an extended period. Be sure to pre-schedule your social media posts and newsletters to correspond with the timeline of your release dates, so they all go out at the same time for optimum efficiency. We recommend Loomly for social pre-scheduling but there are other options including Hootsuite and Buffer too.

Should I trademark my podcast?
Traci: YES! Trademarking is incredibly important when it comes to protecting your brand. By definition, a trademark is “a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product.” A trademark provides you with the highest level of protection. A trademark will prevent big name brands, celebrities and companies from overtaking your brand name. I would also suggest budgeting to hire an attorney to assist you with the process. Trademarking can be a long and daunting process, and hiring an attorney will take a lot of the stress off your plate and ensure you have gotten all the important details buttoned up.

I own the website domain for the name of my podcast. However, the name of my podcast is taken on social media and is not being used. What should I do?
Traci: There is a way to work around being able to still use the name of your podcast even if the social media handles aren’t available. This happened when I launched PodHive, an online community for podcasters. The name was not being used actively but it was taken nonetheless. I opted for the @joinpodhive.
On Instagram, accounts have both a username and a name. Every account uses both, but they don’t have to be the exact same. The username is what people see when you comment or are tagged in other posts, it’s known as the handle and it starts with the @ symbol.

The Instagram name is found at the top of your profile. Since I had to use @joinpodhive as the handle; I named the account PodHive.

Here are some additional suggestions for claiming your podcast media social handles:
Let’s say the name of your podcast is New Podcast but you can’t get @newpodcast. Try using an underscore. For example:
@_newpodcast
@newpodcast_
@new_podcast

If you are just launching a new podcast, don’t wait until the show launches to post on the feed. You can start by doing some fun instastories and create graphics that mention the podcast is coming soon. In the world of trademarks – the first in use -wins so get multiple posts on the feed and have fun with it! Also, start using #YourShowName hashtags right away so you claim the hashtag and build an audience through there as well.

Traci Long DeForge is the founder of Produce Your Podcast, and a consultant, speaker, and strategist. She can be contacted at traci@produceyourpodcast.com or 912.223.9525. Visit her websites: TraciDeForge.com and ProduceYourPodcast.com

 

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