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I Lost $150,000 Because of Podcasting Assumptions.

· Time to read: ~4 min

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(By Troy Price) If you are reading an article in Podcast Business Journal, you are probably like me.

  • I eagerly wait for Tuesday to watch that TV show about those podcasters that solve the murders in their building.
  • I spend a good amount of time every week producing the podcasts that people are listening to.
  • I daily look for new podcasting events and jobs and imagine myself there.

Podcasting consumes most of my waking hours (and I am not ashamed to say that I have had a few dreams about clicking that ‘Record’ button). I am convinced that podcasting is mainstream now-a-days and is only going to grow. Unfortunately, at the most inopportune times I am reminded that others are not as ‘into’ podcasting as I am.

This was never more apparent than when I recently wrote a grant to fund a potential podcasting project.

Briefly, the project included three components:

  1. I wanted to record traditional, folk artists and craftspeople as they explain how they create their work. Using a long-form interview podcast to feature their description would provide an amazing opportunity to document the artists’ techniques and also include their personalities in engaging ways and share the recordings as a podcast.

  2. Also, I wanted to make the recordings and associated shownotes available via a webpage to allow for another resource by which the information could be shared.

  3. Lastly, to make the project complete, I thought producing hard copies of promotional materials with QR codes would allow for the artists themselves to promote their own interviews by easily directing people to the website to enjoy the recordings.

So I wrote that grant according to their guidelines. I had a few podcasting collogues review my work and submitted the proposal well before the grant deadline. I felt good about my chances of being funded.

Long story short – I did not receive the grant! When I received my official notification I followed my usual procedure and requested feedback on my proposal from the grant reviewers. What I received from them offered a keen insight into what must be going through the minds of those less familiar with podcasting when I talk to them.

The reviewers said that interviewing the artists was an excellent idea. However, they noted that my proposal was not clear on how the recordings were going to be shared. I was flabbergasted!

I reviewed my proposal and confirmed what I thought. I spent two paragraphs specifically describing how:

  • The podcast would be shared over RSS.
  • Shownotes would be used to convey the information shared during an episode.
  • Long-form interviews would allow for the artist to explain their works.

I understood what I had written and was quite happy with what I submitted.

Then it hit me, I was too technical in my description of my podcasting project. I assumed the reviewers knew as much about podcasting as I did. These grant reviewers were artists committed to the arts. They maybe did not even own a computer. My grant proposal should have made them excited about the opportunity to support their fellow artists work in a new medium. I unfortunately doubled down on the beauty of the technology of podcasting.  

My hard-earned lesson is a good reminder for us all.

Again, if you are reading this you are probably an advanced student of podcasting. Most of the world knows less than you about DAWs, LUFS and MP3s. Whatever you say when you talk about the technology of podcasting will be above other people’s heads. That is something you need to work on.

You probably have an elevator pitch about your podcast. It is a quick summary that presents the nature of your show that shares your excitement for the topic. Think about also having an elevator pitch for the tech of podcasting as well. Be prepared to share the nature of RSS and your excitement for episodic content in a succent and engaging way. Then create an elevator pitch that addresses as many podcasting topics as you can. Remember to keep it engaging on each topic, but if you talk for more than 30 seconds about any one thing - your elevator pitch is too long.

If you have a cadre of relatable answers to the most frequent podcasting questions, you will be better prepared to seek funding for your podcasting efforts from those with limited knowledge of your work. I wish I had done that. Maybe I would not have lost that $150,000 grant.

Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studios in Berea, Kentucky. He has been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Listen to his show “Podcasting Tips From The Front Porch” HERE.


Subrina L. Wood -

Good to know. I was JUST about to pitch a creating a podcast to my company. I will rework it!

#### [Troy Price]( "") -

So glad you found the article helpful! Let me know how your pitch goes!

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