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Enough With the Templates and Shotgun Marketing!

do-your-homeworkOK, there must be some new course, or guru telling people how to contact people to be potential guests. Here is the format

  1. Tell people how much you love the show
  2. Tell them your story
  3. Tell them what topic you can talk about and how much my audience is going to benefit.
  4. Kiss the butt of the host and tell them what an honor it would be on the show.
  5. Hint about the book or course you have, and how my audience would benefit.
  6. Promise to promote.

They are missing one key ingredient

GO AND LISTEN TO THE SHOW

You could even fake it, and go get a title of and episode and say “I really liked the episode on (title of episode). Take FIVE MINUTES and do SOME HOMEWORK!

You Look Like a Jackass When

When you start off the email with “I have heard some fantastic things about your radio show, congratulations on your success!”

If you go to the website (which will be pulled down soon) you will see the last episode was from 2013. That's three years ago folks. Oh and by the way, we're divorced (the therapy, while expensive, did not work).

Again, do some homework, or better yet, go by the book Stop Chasing Influencers: The True Path To Building Your Business and Living Your Dream

Here is the (pretty much ) same email I get to the “healing our marriage” podcast.

Dear Dave and Diane

I have heard some fantastic things about your radio show, congratulations on your success!  (notice no specifics)

I am sure you are aware that at this time of year many men declare in their New Years Resolution that this is the year that they will find worklife balance, but they dont quite know the action steps towards doing so. I totally understand! In fact I was one of them!

Here comes their “intriguing” story.

After working until way past 10 pm week nights and on weekends, seeing my child growing up without me and almost losing my marriage I decided to do something about it. I wondered if work life balance is myth or real. My quest for the answer started in me quitting my day job and launching my coaching business for men in my situation and now I have helped 100s of corporate and business men, around Australia to expand their work life choices.

Men in my position never pause and always strive for excellence. Every day myriads of new information become available and it has dramatic effect on our professional and personal choices. Being small business owner or organizational leader requires taking on various responsibilities and commitments every day. As business owner I was struggling with balancing commitments to my career and spending quality time with my family. My belief was that there is not enough time in a day and something got to give. My scarcity mindsets created overwhelm and my productivity went tumbling down. Even worse my frustration started affecting my family and my relationships. But, I was determined to make it work.

This was the defining moment when I discovered the magic formula that is used by many successful business men and thought leaders throughout the world. It's called ESIP – Critical Alignment Model. I was very inspired by the transformation that I have experienced firsthand; I decided to launch my own coaching program that has a specific set of criteria to identify obstacles and turn them into opportunities. After transformation of my career and life results, my friends asked me to help them to improve their work life choices. My coaching program grew and all of a sudden I found myself helping men across Australia and New Zealand to reframe their way of thinking about time, productivity, family and relationships.

(Did you notice he has a coaching program?)

It would be an absolutely honor if you would consider interviewing me on your show I would be more than happy to talk about any of the following topics:

*  The 5 mistakes that destroy life balance

*  Discover your ideal self

*  How to create sustainable positive life change

Or… any other topic of your choice!

As a way of thanks I will provide you with 

Here comes the promise to promote

I extremely value the community that you are building around your show and I certainly dont take being featured on your show lightly and so if this was possible in return I would:

*  Promote the link to my interview on my show across my Facebook, LinkedIn and Social media profiles (a combined following of 800)

*  Send an email of the link to my interview out to my database of over 800 people who are passionate about gaining the exact quality content that you provide

*  Provide to you a raving testimony of your awesomeness!

I would be truly honored to be interviewed on your show, when would you be available to jump on Skype tomorrow to discuss this?

I look forward to talking with you,

Slava Douchebag
Business & Leadership Coach
Seriously you're a Business coach?
How about getting to know someone first? How about, “I really liked that last episode when you..” . Why don't they do this?
Because it takes time.  We all want our show to grow fast and inexpensively. As my buddy “The Real Brian” says, It can be Good, Fast, or Cheap – but you can only pick two.
If you listen to industry standard (who has been the manager of every famous comedian -ever) he interviews entertainment executives and you hear over and over and OVER.
It's all about relationships
And you don't build relationships with an email template and a shotgun approach.
Do you your homework if you want to get an A.

Unleash Your Inner Hero – Dave Ramsey Politicians Aren’t Jesus

As someone who has been teaching in a classroom and online for over 20+ years, at my core, in my DNA, I like to help people. This is one of the biggest reasons I podcast. It's one of the biggest reasons I I blog, write books, and deliver speeches in wonderful cities (see you next month Tampa). So when I saw this video, I was like HELL YEAH!. I love Dave Ramsey. He's honest, and he tells it like it is and he has the stats to backup his opinions.

As someone who grew up poor ( I didn't know it, but I do remember being on welfare). I grew up with a father who was on the road in his truck. We can all come up with reasons to scram boo-hoo. Well I'm here to tell you, everyone has a dysfunctional childhood (and in some cases adulthood). You roll with the punches, or you get rolled. Check out this video. I just hope I don't get a video of Dave some day in a crash.

Omny Studio Podcast Media Hosting Review

omnystudioI have a set of criteria that I use when I look at podcast media hosting.

  1. What I upload, is what I want downloaded completely unchanged, or at least in the same format I uploaded it.
  2. Give me a way to leave without having to beg.
  3. Charge me for your service.
  4. Provide accurate stats
  5. Provide support

It seems like every day there is a new service for podcasters.  So let's look at OmnyStudio.com

First Impressions

I was a little confused as this hosting company thinks outside the box. They seemed geared toward helping radio stations. Their terminology does not match what most of us use to describe our podcasts. What we call a podcast (or a Show) they call a program. They also call a podcast a playlist (so you can have a program called “Weekly Web Tools” with a playlist called “Weekly Web Tools.”  What we call and episode, they call a clip. Then they have a program, which is new to most of us. It is the company that runs the programs (podcasts). They also have recordings, which are the raw files that you can use their online editing tool to turn into clips (episodes). First impression? Confusion, and I was off to their help documentation to figure it all out.

Unique Things They Offer

While not 100% unique (auphonic.com does this) Omnistudio allows you to upload an intro and outro (which could be quick commercials spots) that are “stitched” together with your main file. This is done as you upload you file.

On Premise Recording is a new tool. This is software that looks to be designed for radio stations so that you can record the show and have it sent to your Omny Studio as a recording. You can even have it setup to record your live stream (this is something the folks at Omnistudio can setup). So when Binky and Whiz go live every Morning, Omny studio appears to have to tools to capture it and bring it into your dashboard. This is an interesting feature, but I'm not sure the average poddcaster will need this (but I can see where radio stations might love this automation). There is one thing to consider here (for Radio) the music you play on your station may not be licensed for downloads. This might be why they have this audio going into the system as recordings (where they can be trimmed, cut and stitched back together online).

You have the ability to do basic editing in the cloud. This is something Libsyn, Blubrry, SoundCloud, PodBean are not. The question is, is this a feature? Do most podcasters need to edit from anywhere?

You can have multiple users under one account. This is great for podcasters who are working with a team.

You can export your audio as a video. Here again I ask, who is looking for this feature? (not me). The only thing worse that a talking head, is a video with NOTHING but a simple image.

Another Pretty Player

Their player is a nice clone of SoundCloud with customizable color.

there are multiple configuration of this that include the artwork inside the mp3. The player works well on Facebook and twitter. There are sharing buttons for twitter and facebook (but no subscribe buttons).

Interesting Automation

As I mentioned before, it will stitch an intro and outro with your main mp3 file into one finished mp3 file at 128 kbps. I mentioned that you can have a playlist and a program that can be a “Show/Podcast.” You can tag a file that will automatically add it to a playlist (podcast). This will take the work out of having to create an episode and then tell the system there is an episode. Here again I can see a network managing files and with a few simple “if this then that” commands directing their workflow to produce multiple shows (hang tight, there is a “but”).

Their Support Seemed Quick

When I sent them my critieria, thy responded quickly.

Their Stats Are Basic

I was impressed that if you're using a third party stats service like Blubrry or Podtrac, you could insert their redirect into the feed and your content (impressive).

The Things They Fail On

Because they are doing editing in the cloud, and they are re-encoding your file (even if you're not stitching anything) they completely wipe our your ID3 tags. So while one media host (Blubrry) has made it easy to create the ID3 tags for you, OmniStudio has wiped them off the planet.

So what?

Well, when someone downloads your show, and they play it with a tool like Windows media player, your artwork doesn't show up, your title doesn't show up, your name as the artist doesn't show up, and you look like a hack.

Now, granted, a majority of shows are played on a website, or listened to on a phone. There are some people who will download an episode (so they can listen at 2X speed) and when they do, you get the Windows gray music note of death. Now if you're using Pat Flynn's Smart Podcast Player, people can speed up your show on your site.

They also change the file name. Here again, most people won't notice because they aren't doing anything with the file. They are consuming on a portable device (about 70% these days). So when someone downloads the file, they rename it to the name of the episode (so it could be worse, i.e.). My point has always been if Libsyn, Blubrry, and Spreaker can do it, why can't other people? You can get a free month at Libsyn.com, Blubrry.com, Spreaker.com, or Podbean.com using the coupon code sopfree.

Things That Make Me Worried

For $9 a month you can upload as much audio as you want. They don't say it on their website, but they do offer unlimited downloads. A friend of mine had corresponded with them and said, “They said that if a show got up to millions of downloads they would have to charge more for that, but they haven't run into that yet.” Give me some guidlines so I know what the rules of the game are. In the email I had with them Matt said, “Like other content platforms such as YouTube and SoundCloud, we are supporting content creators to create and share as much content as possible. We will work with top-perfoming content creators to build business models that can generate revenue.”

Thing I Need to Investigate

When I asked them about what they used to encode the files, Mat stated “We are using a combination of ffmpeg and proprietary audio processing technologies to edit and encode audio in our system.” Matt was up front with me and stated, “We currently process and reencode all uploaded audio files to optimize them for our editing workflow, so some ID3 metadata may be lost.” I guess by some he meant all.

As I'm using their free service I didn't get to see what “Advanced sharing” looks like.

Coming Soon!

Their current paid service has some thing listed as coming soon. These include:

Advanced Analysitcs

Monetize with ads (hopefully this won't be more $2 cpm swill)

They cost $9 a month which currently cheaper then soundclouds $15/month.

Quick Video Showing Their Stats

 

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School of Podcasting

Automated Tweeting Without the Monthly Fees

Yo may have heard of Edge (meetedgar.com $50/month) or tweet Jukebox ($13/month) that allow you to create a que that will continue to feed your twitter account over and over. You set the schedule and it repeats the same tweets over and over.

A listener just told me about Tweet Wheel which does the same thing, but it's a plugin and it's $20 (a one time fee). Here is a video from the developer.

 

A Really Bad Idea to Kick Off the New Year

Wow. I mean, Wow. Did that guy just say what I think he said?

It's a new approach to podcast advertising. This is how it works. You give us your podcast feed, and we give you a new one to distribute to your audience. ”

Really?

I mean REALLY?

Their idea is they inject ads into your stuff (here we go again with the cost per thousand downloads)).

But wait there's more

They pick where the ad goes. OK, You can manually pick where it goes if you're not happy. Can you see that? You're guest pauses to answer a question and an ad is inserted.

Never, Ever, EVER give control of your feed to someone.

The only way I would consider this (and for the record I'm not at all) would be if I had control over my feed, and there was a way to put in a iTunes Redirect without having to contact the company (like Libsyn.com does) AND I could also put in a 301 permanent redirect (like Feedburner does if you delete a feed).

So thank you, but NO FRICKIN WAY.

Don't let the lure of money stir up your emotions and pull you into bad decisions. Please.

My favorite is they want the heart of your podcast (your feed) and there is not ONE word about who these people are, or what kind of money are we talking (cpm, cpa). They have 39 podcasters signed up, and 11 advertisers.

If you want ads on your show check out blubrry.com

There is a new service that I kicked the tires on (and got zero results both as a podcasters and an advertiser) and that is https://cast.market/

(they do't need your feed)

I need to repeat this.

Never, Ever, EVER give control of your feed to someone

Why Is This So Bad?

Let's go to the analogy of radio. Here is Cleveland we have 100.7 That is their frequency. Would the radio station give control of their transmitter to someone else? What if that company decided to do WHATEVER THEY WANTED. What happens if they did and that company went out of business? Would there be a way to reach your audience or would their radio station just be dead air with no way to update their station.  This video explains this concept

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Taking a Peak at ProStyler WordPress Theme

I'm still looking for the perfect theme. I like Genesis Themes. I like Appendipity themes (especially for podcasters). I live the Divi theme from Elegant themes. I just discovered the Prostyler which is (pretty much) just as flexible as Divi but less expensive. ProStyler is $47 and you can use it on as many sites as YOU own. If you want to use it on your client's sites it's only an additional $10. There is one “Catch” when you purchase the theme I see where they have a “pro” upgrade that makes it super easy to change your color scheme. There is also a monthly theme club for $27 a month. These include a ton of themes premade (which would save you time), but keep in mind you don't need the theme club.

ProStyler

Here are a couple of videos that show off the features:

Here is a quick video that shows some cool things that speed things up.

I checked their support are on their website, and the theme is getting updated on a regular basis, and they seem to have a ton of videos to help you learn all the bells and whistles that come with the theme.

If you're interested check it out at prostyler.com

Marketers Ruin Everything Part 2

Just got an email from the people at tweetjukebox.com

After finally getting some answers from our conversations with Twitter, and doing some research, we're confident we've found the cause of most of the 226 errors. There are large numbers of free accounts being opened and then used in an abusive fashion. 

To combat this, effective immediately, we are going to institute a five tweet per day limit for FREE accounts. While I'm sure there are many folks who will take objection to this, our priority is that the platform remain in good standing with Twitter, and that paid accounts are in no way compromised by the actions of others.

It seems people will do anything if a dollar is dangled in front of them.

SoundCloud Dead Hosting Walking? Some Think So

But it's too big to fail! … maybe not. From the guy who does the Next Market podcast

endofsoundcloudheart-rate-on-a-screen-ekg-machine

Use the coupon code sopfree at

Libsyn.com, Blubrry.com Podbean.com or Spreaker.com  to get a free month .

Not sure why Soundcloud would fail? Read this

Why Soundcloud Makes me Nervous

Soundcloud brings in next to no audience

Spreaker is Better Than SoundCloud

Soundcloud a Good Match for Podcasting?

Quit Peeing in the Sandbox – Buy Your Way to the Top at Soundcloud

Recently Apple sent out communication to media hosts Like Libsyn and Blubrry (and others) stating that anyone keyword stuffing their author name tag would NEVER be featured in iTunes. It was a polite way of saying KNOCK IT OFF!  You see iTunes use to search your description field until people started stuffing their descriptions with a bunch of crap. Apple likes to deliver VALUE. Why did Google beat Netscape back in the day? They delivered better VALUE- FASTER.

I've spoken in the past about Twitter bombing (the act of sending hundreds of tweets per hour directly to an mp3 file to boost downloads) and how it (in the end) hurts all podcasters. A sponsor believes you have 5000 downloads when in reality you have 500.  Here again, companies have put technology in place to battle the A**holes peeing in our sandbox.

Well these people are like playing “Whack a Mole” at Chucke E. Cheese. A new industry has emerged where you can BUY clicks on SOUNDCLOUD (Soundcloud should just start selling this as a service – maybe they could actually turn a profit).

Case in point (purposely not linked). 

buyplayshttp://getmoreplays.org/buy-soundcloud-plays/

http://www.socialshop.co/soundcloud/buy-soundcloud-plays/

http://www.buycheapfollowersfast.com/soundcloud/

https://www.soundcloudviral.com/buy-soundcloud-plays/

http://buildmyplays.org/buy-soundcloud-plays/

For $3 or less you can purchase 1000 plays on soundcloud. So now you charge your sponsor $40 for 1000 downloads and pocket the other $37.

So word to sponsors, if the podcast your are sponsoring is on Soundcloud, you might want to think twice. Now I'm not saying that everyone who hosts on Soundcloud is a weasel, but if we hear someone doing this we need to quickly, and swiftly, kick them where it counts (ok, that might be a little over the top). But seriously…

KNOCK IT OFF

Here is a (Not safe for work) video from Gary Vaynerchuk explaining how this is nothing new.

In the immortal words of John Lennon, “How do you sleep? I would also like to add, I hate your guts (Zakk Wylde). You're going to ruin it for everyone.

When you're ready to get off of Soundlcoud check out Libsyn.com or Blubrry.com and use the coupon code sopfree to get a free month of hosting.

Don’t Be a BUT Head

I got this email today from the Martin Rushe who is the  CEO at selz.com

notcoolSome of you may have read about the problems at our competitor Gumroad who announced they are laying most of their staff.

It would be easy and a little predictable for us to feel some schadenfreude about this. But we truthfully don't. We always questioned the sustainability of Gumroad's business model but we also admired them as an innovative competitor. The service we provide, which allows our brilliant creators and entrepreneurs to sell direct to their customers without paying away their hard-earned margins to marketplaces, is fast-growing and we see the loss of good operators as a net loss to the industry as a whole.

We also wanted to reassure you in case you had any concerns about the stability of Selz. I'm pleased to tell you that Selz goes from strength to strength. Our community of great customers, our team of committed staff, our feature-set and our unstinting dedication to giving you the tools to sell more online is growing by the day.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. Your business is our business and we're here to help.”

For me (who wasn't worried how his business is doing) I thought this was kind of a douche bag kind of thing to do. Realize when you say BUT it negates everything you said before it. I think you're a great person BUT… I don't need the money BUT… it was a great movie BUT….

Hey Martin, don't build your business by stepping on the face of others. If you want to grow Selz, how about not charging me to use PaypPal?