(By Thom Singer) All opportunities come from people. If you desire to succeed in podcasting (or anything) you need to surround yourself with smart people who are doing cool things. If you seek to learn more about podcast best practices, get around other podcasters. While there are many great online communities and large conferences, having local podcast friends will be a fast way to grow your own body of knowledge.
If you cannot find an active community in your area, or if what exists is not delivering what you need, start your own group.
This is what Scott Carson, host of The Note Closers Show Podcast, did in Austin, Texas. He created a Facebook page, a Meetup group, and hosts monthly gatherings where about two dozen podcasters show up each month.
“I started the CenTex Podcasters Meetup for the sole purpose of bringing local podcasters together to help each other grow our shows and help others starting out,” said Carson. “But I also knew that I would learn more than you can imagine at these meetings.”
The CenTex Podcasters group has both social and educational elements to each meeting agenda. Carson is clear that he does not have all the answers, but he poses specific questions around growing listener traffic, monetization, and other important topics for all podcasters.
Carson is a big fan of the mega podcast groups and live conferences, but wanted more interaction on a local basis. “I’ve enjoyed the tips I learned from attending large podcasting conferences like Podfest and Podcast Movement, but those events aren’t local and I was looking to plug in monthly with others looking to do the same thing that I do.”
As to the pushback some might have about sharing best practices with competitors, Carson said, “There are so many niches in podcasting that I don’t really see a lot of competition, especially with my small niche podcast focused on investing in distressed debt. So I thought starting a group in 2019 would not only help bring others together, it would help me grow my podcast and learn from others.” He is right. There are too many different ways to run a successful show, and being around people who are trying new things will keep you from having to reinvent the wheel with every decision.
Carson believes that when podcasters are open to other perspectives, they will find new ideas. “I’ve learned a nugget from every podcaster that I’ve met, and I know that our meetings have helped others launch their show. I believe that to find long-lasting success, your efforts must include helping others achieve success instead of it just being about you and your show.”
Podcasting is still a fresh new frontier, and there are podcasters in every community who are exploring ways to improve their shows. When you network and build community, the sky is the limit on what you will learn.
Thom Singer is the host of the Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do podcast. www.ThomSinger.com/podcast