5 Thoughts from a Veteran Podcaster

With the last month of 2009 upon us, and after floating around numerous expos and events, I thought I would share some thoughts about our industry as a whole.

1. Our Industry is Maturing

Yes, I know this is kind of the obvious one, but it needs to be stated. We can reminisce back to the days podcasting was in its infancy, and how we loved those days and long for them to return, but podcasting is now a tad older then a toddler, if you want to take it in literal years. Remember when Podcast Pickle hit Time Magazine in 2006? We were making headway then. Remember when we hung out and chatted with fellow podcasters, content in our little world? Now the door is wide open. Remember when “social media” was nonexistent? We worked our butts off in the forums, blogs, podcasts, and elsewhere to have our voices heard.

Oh how times have changed. Our little baby is growing up. And as hard as it is, we need to switch gears now.

2. Stop Swearing

I’ve heard just about enough from others in our industry who think they can just swear and get away from it. I know the typical responses too, but with an audience comes a level of professionalism. This may be where my part of the hammer hits the hardest, but it needs to be said for both of our sakes.

I’ve listened to enough people older than me to know the typical story. As a teenager, things are always changing, and as such you are in the midst of many life choices. If you picked up swearing around this time, you probably had it beat pretty hard out of you in your twenties and thirty’s to know to keep your mouth shut. “Grow up” was a pretty typical phrase during this time. I’ve spoken at length with many of my friends and mentors in this space, and we have come to the same conclusion:

If you expect to be taken seriously as an industry, drop the profanity and inappropriate jokes!

3. Focus

If we want to make the impact on the world that we know we can make, we need to stop distracting ourselves with “other things”. We need to hunker down and focus.

4. Monetization

This has always been brought up time and again. There are many ways to monetize, and if we expect to make a business out of this, we need to find our strategy and go with it. Enough floating around in the water waiting to see what will happen, it ain’t going to do you any good. Find the strategy that works, and go with it. I think Chris Brogan mentioned something along those lines as well when he said, “Podcasting isn’t exactly dead.”

5. Engage your tribe

Stop talking about yourself, this is not all about you. This is about your tribe. They found you and are listening to you because you provided them with something of value and earned their trust. No one cares about a self-centered person. Actually, they find it more entertaining to drop you like a bag of rocks and find someone else. Nurture their trust by sharing information with them, and talking to them. Find out their likes and dislikes, share stories. Build a tribe that way, and they will never want to leave.

Am I missing anything? Would love to hear your thoughts.