Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Last Minute Training is podcasting

I'm happy to announce that I was instrumental in the birth of yet another podcast. The company is Last Minute Training and they offer the Greater Toronto Area's premier training suppliers with an opportunity to sell their excess participant capacity on a last minute, discount basis to our members.

Last Minute Training is still building its inventory of training products and wants to use a more innovative approach of getting the word out about its new business.

The president, Louis Trahan, was open to using a podcast and blog as an inexpensive way to build awareness of his brand, but had spent a few frustrating weeks trying to put a strategy together.

I was introduced to him through a colleague of mine and since he picks up things quickly, he was able to put his podcasting strategy together based on my quick tutorial. I'm happy to say that it took only a few days and he finally launched his first podcast yesterday.

Here's what Louis had to say:

"Leesa, thanks so much for your help! One meeting with you and I was farther ahead than I was after 2 months of researching. I am happy to say that less than two weeks after our meeting I have launched my first podcast and it's getting great reviews! I look forward to working more with you in the future."

They had a professional voice-over artist at Audio'connell record a snappy intro, then read an article that provides tips to employers. The podcast is no longer than 5-minutes and provides a call to action at the end.

I'll report on the results of this approach in about 3-months. I'm not sure how this will be received by listeners as I've always pushed an interview format with podcasting, however, I'm anxious to see how this will all play out for Last Minute Training.

Way to go, Louis. And if you have listened to the Last Minute Training podcast, do provide your comments below.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Teleclass: Attract New Clients With a Podcast, May 31st

Business Coach Jan Janzen is hosting me on a no-fee teleclass geared to small business owners and entrepreneurs on May 31, 2006 at 7pm PT.

You'll learn:

  1. How to use just your telephone and a blog to create your first podcast.

  2. The best way to use a podcast so you can pull client to you and stand out from the crowd.

  3. How to use a podcast to generate search engine ranking on page 1 without hiring a search engine expert.

  4. How podcasting can bring your radio show dreams to a mass audience cheaper, sooner and quicker.
Here's why Jan is so excited about podcasting:
"Last year, one of the largest radio stations in Vancouver that targets women, invited me to buy into their show program. For one hour per week, it was going to cost me $1,600. As much as I wanted my own radio show, I wasn't willing to put my neck on the line for $6,400 per month in fees! Now, with podcasting, I can have my own radio show and it will cost me less than $30 per month for unlimited shows! And I won't just target the Vancouver market - I can reach the entire planet! Do you see why I am excited?"

Now, here's what she had to say about me:
"Leesa Barnes, podcasting expert from Toronto and I will be sharing a fun, informative, dynamic teleclass. I promise - you will love her! She's very good at what she does and she knows how to make this simple. She is articulate, fun, and although she is one of those 'techno geeks', she talks our language, so you won't feel stupid, promise!"

According to Jan, it will take you 10 seconds to register your spot for this teleclass. Click here to secure your spot.

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Apple Camp for kids

A colleague of mine who works at an Apple retail outlet (can I hear discount for Leesa on a Apple MacBook) sent through an email about camps that Apple puts on for the kids.

His email said:

"It's an awesome cool way to expose kids to some fun thing you can do with a computer. They will learn about making movies, podcasts, websites, and music. Campers will receive a CD/DVD with their podcast, movie, website or music project burned on it. All campers will also receive a t-shirt, patch, field journal, field guide, bumper sticker, name tag, and a certificate of achievement (yeaaaa I love certificates and T-Shirts)."

And here's a more corporate description from Apple:
"Apple Camp, available at all Apple Store locations, provides an opportunity for kids and families to participate in fun and engaging activities. Each Camp Workshop consists of two and a half hours of hands-on learning, doing cool stuff on Macs. Campers complete their own project that they will take home on CD or DVD.

All four Camp Workshops to choose from are recommended for kids ages 8 to 12. Select from Podcast Workshop, iWeb Workshop, Music Workshop and Movie Workshop. You may sign up for up to two Camp Workshops."

If you want to send your little bundle of joy (or your huge blob of misery) to a really cool camp this summer, click here for more info.

Oh, Apple, how I love thee.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Watson: Tips on How to Pick a Podcasting Topic

Jon Watson over at Biz Podcasting has some really great tips on how to pick a topic for your podcast. He provided 5 really great ways to drum up some ideas, so I'm providing the links below.

How to Pick a Topic Tip #1 - Pick a topic
How to Pick a Topic Tip #2 - Choose a niche topic
How to Pick a Topic Tip #3 - Plan episode ideas in advance
How to Pick a Topic Tip #4 - Rely on other podcasters
How to Pick a Topic Tip #5 - Frequency is the key to great content

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Lieb: Why Pod? Yes Pod!

Paul Colligan provides a valid critique of Rebecca Lieb's critique of podcasting as a marketing medium.

First, let me say that Rebecca made a few points that I'm so glad she made, namely:

  1. You don't need an iPod or other portable MP3 player to listen to podcasts.
  2. You need to optimize your file size so they're not so huge.
  3. You need to publish a professional sounding podcast, otherwise your brand suffers.

But, while Paul focused on metrics, I want to focus on a few other points in her article. First, Rebecca comments on audio not being quick. In particular, she says:
"Reading, whether on a screen or on a piece of paper, is faster than talking or reading aloud. If your podcast is high in informational value but lacks other audio bells and whistles, such as music, interviews, celebrity value, or sound effects (particularly if the audience is business-to-business), you may be better off with text instead of a talking head, sans head. And unlike text, audio isn't yet searchable."

I agree that audio isn't searchable, however, any type of information that you're going to create isn't quick either. Whether you write an article or create a 30-second commercial, these things take time to create.

Consumption of that information also depends on what the person is doing. If I'm driving, can I read at the same time? No. That's why audio books are becoming so popular. It allows me to put my attention elsewhere while listening to something worthwhile. I would argue that the activity drives how the information will be consumed.

Another point that Rebecca makes is that podcasting offers no way for the listener to interact.

"Once downloaded, a podcast is an audio file -- plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less. The subscriber can listen. She can't click, fill out a form, or navigate elsewhere."

The same can be said for TV and radio. Unless it's a call-in show where the hosts are taking calls live, there's no interactivity in these media either. So, you leave listeners with a call to action, prompting them to call your comment line, or email you or visit your website.

Now this statement made by Rebecca:
"Real podcasts don't stream (define), nor are they individually downloadable, single files."

Is completely not true. Each episode of a podcast is a single download, so I'm not sure why she wrote this.

Lastly, concerning the number of listeners, there are alot of different viewpoints. Rebecca makes note of this in her article by saying:
"Podcast user numbers aren't all that big, and growth isn't expected to be explosive. In April 2005, Pew Internet & American Life Project reported about 6 million Americans had listened to a podcast. Forrester Research says 12.3 million will listen by 2010. That's only fairly rapid growth and, for many marketers, not significant penetration."

Sorry, I believe this is rapid growth. Look at the Internet, TV viewership and radio listenship. All took a number of years of penetration. However, with podcasting taking a few months to grow, I consider this to be explosive.

While I do agree that the number of listeners is small, it's a fairly influential group and one that can't be ignored. While TV viewership and radio listenship continues to decline, can any company afford to ignore podcasting?

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Podcast Profit Case Studies by Tim "Gonzo" Gordan

I just conducted an interview with Tim "Gonzo" Gordon. He's the author of Podcasting Adventures Online and is just releasing a new audio product called Podcast Profit Case Studies which features yours truly.

According to his website, Tim says that Podcast Profit Case Studies contains:

"Twelve podcast profit case studies that show how to add listeners, build sponsorships, become a mini-celebrity, open doors you didn’t even know existed and add $$$$ to your bottom line."

Amazing. Look for my interview with Tim in June in the Podonomics podcast as he shares with me why podcasting is a much more intimate medium compared to radio and TV.

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Guerrilla Podcasting book coming

Thanks to my colleague Paul Copcutt (who's probably one of the best networkers I know), I got wind of a new book that the Jay Conrad Levinson is getting set to publish. Here's the email:

Dear Guerrilla:

I'm working on a new Guerrilla book about podcasting and we're surveying guerrillas in the trenches to get material for the book. If you are interested in podcasting, are using podcasting, or are planning to use podcasting as a Guerrilla Marketing strategy, I'd like to hear from you.

If you're interested in participating...just reply to this email, and we'll send you a link to the survey.


Jay Conrad Levinson
The Father of Guerrilla Marketing
Author: "Guerrilla Marketing" series of books
Over 14 million sold; now in 42 languages

Once I get the link, I'll share it here for those of you who fit the bill and want to be included in this masterpiece.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ontario Media Development Corporation podcast review

A colleague emailed me to let me know that the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) podcasted their annual conference. I'm delighted to provide my review.

OMDC podcasted their 5th Annual Six Degrees of Integration Conference held in Toronto in 2006. I'm shocked because government and government agencies are usually the last to embrace new technological marketing tools. So, I'm really pleased to see the OMDC taking such a huge leap forward so soon.

What did I like?

  1. The intro. Nice music, nice summary of what the conference was all about and I enjoyed listening to the voice of the person speaking.

  2. The Francophone presenters doing their entire presentation in their second language, English. Admirable. I just admire all the Francophones who don't apologize for speaking in their second language and sound so eloquent. The Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Culture in the 19-minute podcast called 6DI Minister just started talking in English as if it were her first language.

  3. The keynote by Jim Carroll. He was just too funny and entertaining. He said that the iPod is "so yesterday" and that convergence can be likened to sex. So many people are doing it, but really don't understand how to do it well.

  4. The various listening options. On the OMDC website, it provided instructions on how to access the podcast through a podcatcher, through a download or just by streaming it off the website.

What could be improved?
  1. The list of sponsors should've been listed at the end of the podcast. Because of this, the intro was 1-minute in length. If I regularly tune into your podcast, I don't need a 1-minute reminder each week of what I'm listening to. Make it shorter.

  2. The podcasts were too long. Three of the five podcasts clocked in at over an hour. This is way too long. Over and over again, podcast listeners have told me that there is a certain time limit they would tolerate. There are also monetization and optimization strategies that the OMDC could use to make money from the recording of the speeches, however, they gave away the full meal already.

  3. The podcasts were offered months after the event. Conferences are in such a great position to offer next-to-real-time coverage of their event right from the conference floor. I'd suggest for next year's conference, have someone prepare a podcast right after the keynotes.

  4. No call to action. I'm finding that alot of podcasts are missing this and the OMDC podcasts are no exception. Very few people will find your podcast on your website. Most will stumble upon it via a podcatcher. For this reason, it's very important to have a call to action at the end of the podcast. Providing a way for listeners to interact with your company and brand after listening to your podcast is a must have.

If you would like to subscribe to the OMDC podcasts, download iTunes. Open up the program, go to Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast, then copy and paste into the text area. Click OK to subscribe.

Overall, I give the OMDC podcasts a 3 out of 5 pods. Well done and maybe for next year's conference, you guys will dabble with video podcasts?

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Podcoach Your Way to Success with Terri Levine

Terri Levine's teleclass where she interviewed me about podcasting for coaches is available for your review. It was an awesome teleclass. Terri said:

"This has been one of the most valuable calls for me for the year. You've got to take action."

You'll learn:
  • The 2 things to include in your podcast to help you eliminate coaching sessions.

  • Why you should dump your website right now and launch a blog instead.

  • How to easily create your podcast using just your phone.

  • How podcasting can help you to gain search engine ranking without hiring a search engine expert.

  • And other great information.
Click on the play button below to listen to the 60-minute audio.

Actually, I'm going to follow my own advice here. So, if you want to listen to the full 60-minute audio, go to this website, enter in your first name & email address, then check your email for the link.

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Buying an information product on podcasting?

I was so inspired by Jon Watson's post on snake oil podcasting products that I wrote an article on the 3 things you can use to judge a podcasting expert by before buying their product or service.

Here's one that really stands out:

"Double check that the podcasting "expert" even has a podcast. A lot of people say they can teach you how to podcast, but don’t even have a podcast of their own. How can you learn the ropes if that person hasn’t done it themselves? A rule of thumb is to see if they’ve produced at least 15 episodes of their own podcast or someone else’s. If they have, then you can heed their advice since that person has probably been through a lot of equipment - and experiences - to advise you on the best course of action."

This one bugs me the most. Companies and so-called-podcasting-experts saying they can help create podcasting solutions for their clients, but when you search for their podcast, it can't be found. Why? Because they haven't created one of their own.

It's like a blogging expert who doesn't have a blog. A webmaster who doesn't have a website. A search engine expert who doesn't have anything listed in a search engine on the first 3-pages. An expert teaching how to self-publish a book, but hasn't self-published his own masterpiece. A childless woman giving mothers tips on how to raise their child.

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Podcast listeners declining - Bridge Ratings

Bridge Ratings, a company that provides the radio industry with fresh and reliable audience measurement, recently reported that podcast listenership is declining.

The article said that while the 12-34 age group saw improvements, those over 35 years old listens to less and less podcasts. In particular:

"Company President/CEO Dave Van Dyke said the percentage of the 12-24 demographic that said they had listened to a podcast in the last 30 days had a sharp upswing, moving from 53% to 60%, and that 25-34-year-olds improved from 45% to 49%. But podcast use among respondents 35+ and overall 12+ continues to decline."

Seems like double-speak to me. Either the numbers are improving or they're declining. Don't tell me that they're improving for one age bracket, then in the same breath say that it's declining overall.

I love numbers, but clarity is even better.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

The Business Podcasting Bible is looking for case studies

Paul Colligan is co-authoring a book called The Business Podcasting Bible. The book will be filled with case studies of average people who are making money from their podcasts.

I provided my own experience. And I'm happy to announce that Paul will be including it in his upcoming book. Yippee! You can read my case study here.

Now, if you're podcasting and you've seen some interesting results in your business as a result of your podcast, Paul wants to hear from you. Read the details here. If you're included, you get to use the swanky button you see at the beginning of this post, so read the guidelines, then contact Paul.

And if you want to replicate my Cubicle Divas results in your own business, join me on Tuesday May 23rd @ 2pm ET as Terri Levine interviews me about how podcasting can help service professionals attract new clients. Register here.

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Bay Street law firm podcasting

It can't get any better than this. Torys, one of the biggest law firms in one of the most conservative industries is now podcasting.

As of the date of writing this post, Torys has 3 video podcasts available for view. So, I took a look through each of them.

What did I like?

  1. Simple intro. First, the Torys' logo popped up. Then, it transitioned to a black screen with white text on it. No flashy music, no snazzy fonts. Just really simple.

  2. I like the fact that they offer the audio portion of the video as a podcast. That means that if I want to multi-task, like write a blog post, I can do that while I'm listening to the podcast.

  3. I really liked the length. All the podcasts were no longer than 5-minutes. Getting a lawyer to speak less than 5-minutes must have been a challenge, however, Torys has been advised well in this area.

  4. Sharon Geraghty looked relaxed. Eyebrows moved, she didn't stare, and often, she smiled while explaining the M&A process.

  5. Out of the 3 lawyers, Phil Brown was the only one who "dumbed down" the M&A process, meaning I was able to not only understand him, but also stay focused on what he was saying. He appears in the podcast called Hostile Income Trust Bids.

  6. The backdrop against the bookshelf filled with books is perfect for this podcast. What better way for lawyers to brag about their expertise than to have a litany of books surrounding them?

What could be improved?

  1. The text in the intro. While it was simple, the text was hard to read. If someone's watching this on their iPod, they'd have to squint just to read the words.

  2. James Tory and Phil Brown could relax a bit more in front of the camera. I know the feeling. Put me in front of a group of 500 people and I shine. Put me in front of a TV camera and I freeze. Over time, James and Phil will become as relaxed as Sharon looked.

  3. Listening to the podcasts called Recent Trends in Break Fees and Litigation Strategies was enough to become a cure for insomnia. I consider myself to be an intelligent person, but most of the things they spoke about in those 2 podcasts went way over my head. I'm probably not their target audience, but if the goal is to educate businesses on what to look for before entering a M&A process, I would suggest eliminating phrases such as "defeat a regulatory proceeding," "termination provisions," "fiduciary outrunning," among other phrases that I just couldn't process.

  4. No call to action. The podcast ended with the Torys logo, but there wasn't a website, email or phone number shown. This is important because if Torys is using their podcast to prompt prospects to contact them for M&A advice, ending the podcast with contact details is a must.

You can subscribe to Torys' podcast by downloading iTunes on your computer, then go to Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast, enter this URL, then click OK. Or, just go to their website and view the podcast there.

Overall, well done. I give the Torys podcast 4 out of 5 pods. What did you think?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Canadian Podcast Listeners Survey press release

Have Your Say on One of the Trendiest Technologies Today

Toronto, ON (May 17, 2006) - Canada’s first comprehensive podcasting survey is underway. Released on May 12, 2006, this study is aimed at discovering what is happening with podcasting in Canada; audience sizes and characteristics, popular podcasts and topics, audience demographics, and more.

According to recent study by Forrester, there will be 12-million podcast listeners by the year 2010, and until now there has been no specific research done on the technology in Canada.

Podcasting is still seen as a grey area, something most people have heard of, but isn’t fully understood. The goal of this survey and its findings are to better understand the growth of podcasting in Canada and how quickly Canadians are adopting this new form of technology.

To participate in this groundbreaking survey and to be entitled to receive a highlighted summary of the results, visit this link. The survey will be open until May 26, 2006.

Toronto-based Sequentia Communications and Caprica Interacitve Marketing Inc. have joined forces to launch this podcast listeners’ survey. All of the findings will be part of a whitepaper on Canadian podcasting habits and audience size, to be released in June 2006.

About Sequentia
Sequentia Communications is a full-service marketing and public relations firm that specializes in helping companies acquire and retain customers through community building. Sequentia is an urban marketing boutique that understands the effective use of technology in marketing. The company is based in Toronto and its clients include a cross-section of small to medium sized businesses, public sector organizations, agencies and technology firms.

About Caprica Interactive Marketing Inc
Caprica Interactive Marketing helps businesses understand how to use cost-effective yet powerful podcasting and Internet marketing solutions to build brand awareness. While anyone can produce a podcast, Caprica focuses on helping its clients optimize and monetize their podcasts to increase sales, decrease marketing costs and build relationships with their customers.


For more information, please call:

Maggie Fairs
Sequentia Communications
416-203-3656 x227
maggie [at] sequentia [dot] net


Nicole Meitsch
Sequentia Communications
416-203-3656 x229
nicole [at] sequentia [dot] net

So, what are you waiting for? Fill out the survey, please!

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Podcast Expo seminars looking good

I'm really excited about the Podcast & Portable Media Expo coming up in California in September. The Friday and Saturday sessions are all online.

The title of my session is The 7 Deadly Sins of Business Podcasting (And How to Avoid Them).

Paul Colligan's name keeps popping up over and over when it comes to podcasting. I consider him to be a leading expert in how to monetize your podcast. On his blog, he mentioned that my seminar is one of his top picks.

Ah shucks, thanks Paul.

What's nice is that if you have any questions or want specific points to be covered in the presenter's seminar, the organizers have created a forum for each topic where you can leave your feedback. Mine's here. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see covered.

And yes, before you ask, the expo organizers are podcasting before the event, during the event and well after it. I'd be appalled if a conference on podcasting didn't follow their own rules.

Are you planning to attend the Podcast & Portable Media Expo? Are the current seminars tantilizing enough to prompt you to attend?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mesh totally misses the podcasting boat

Mesh started yesterday. I'm not there simply because I have too many deadlines to attend to, but needless to say, I'm disappointed that they're not podcasting either from the floor or in the weeks leading up to the big day.

This is another example of a conference doing it all wrong (I mentioned another failed example here) when it comes to podcasting. And to think, this is a conference on Web 2.0 and the only thing they're using to update the outside world is a blog. Oh yeah and a wiki, but that hasn't been updated in days (unless you count the RSS feeds).

Mesh is in a position to do things differently. And yes, they've tried. They introduced an unconference room, which allows people to hold impromptu meetings and discussions. Cool idea.

Mesh also gave 15-minutes of fame to 6 people who weren't on any of the panels to give them a chance to talk about their projects. Cool idea again.

But where Mesh falls short is the lack of using a podcast to provide teasers to those who couldn't attend because they decided not to or procrastinated to the point where they missed out on getting tickets at all (Mesh sold out).

Mesh is podcasting after the event, but this is too late. And I'm sure they're going to provide all the speeches in full in their podcast after the event is over instead of using it as a lead generating tool. Don't believe me? Put $10 on the line and I guarantee you'll have to send it to me via Pay Pal.

Had they been podcasting in the weeks leading up to the event, they would've sold out much sooner because they would've created excitement, a feeling that this is an event that can't be missed.

But sadly, they didn't. Another case study on how another conference missed the podcasting boat.

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Attract more podcast listeners - FREE Online Event

Penny Haynes of eMediaTouch is hosting a free online event on Tuesday May 16th at 9pm EST. She is interviewing Andrew Schlichting of PRWeb and Eric Olsen of FeedBurner on how to use stats reporting and press releases to increase your listenership.

This is part of a series of FREE monthly International Podcasting Expo Seminar and Networking Events. Using Internet Explorer for best optimization, go to this link. You will need speakers to hear, and a microphone to participate verbally. There is also a text chat area.

And don't bug me if you run into browser problems. At the time and day of this online event, put the URL above into your browser, then follow the instructions. Easy peasy.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Micheal Port's Entrepreneur Idol is so cool, but...

Probably one of the most clever marketing movies I've ever seen. Michael Port, bestselling author and a coach who teaches entrepreneurs to book themselves solid, made a spoof of American Idol with his movie called Entrepreneur Idol.

My only suggestion is to make this available as a video podcast. Michael would be able to reach more people that way.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Canadian Podcast Listeners Survey

Canadian Podcast Listeners Survey Just a quick announcement that Sequentia Communications and Caprica Interactive Marketing have just released a survey to uncover trends, statistics and habits on podcasting in Canada.

Unlike other surveys that I've profiled on this blog, we're not going to stop at just 109 respondents. Even 5,000 is not enough. I didn't tell Sequentia yet, but I'm aiming for 10,000 respondents. Also, I want respondents from all walks of life, both tech savvy and non-tech savvy. Click here to take the survey.

Is 10,000 too much?

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Podcasters Across Borders Update

Podcasters Across Borders Mark Blevis emailed me saying that the current title for my topic that I'll be presenting on at Podcasters Across Borders is just too bland.

Here's what I've come up with:
Grow Your Audience: Clever Tips to Get a Landslide of Podcast Listeners

In Mark's words, this seminar will:

"Help the audience develop strategies to raise awareness about their podcast and create a solid and committed audience base - large or focused. This can be through any means, either technical, social, etc."
Does that title float your boat?

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

History of podcasting according to Google Trends

Podcasting Trends from Google Look what my pal Dave Jackson of The School of Podcasting sent me (he has an awesome voice as well, just listen to his podcast and see if you agree).

Dave said:

"Leesa, I know how you like stats. I never knew Google had his tool. Check it out."
Yes Dave, numbers and statistics really make me giggle with joy. If that's the case, why did I barely pass my third year stats class in university?

I digress...

Okay, why is this tool so cool?
  • It shows when people started searching for the term podcasting in Google (late 2004).
  • It shows the volume of news articles related to podcasting.
  • It also shows how each news item influenced searches on the term podcasting.
  • It shows which countries. languages and cities leading the way in searching for the term podcasting.
  • And lastly, the number help to prove that podcasting is indeed growing.
This really helps because if I meet anyone who tells me they've been podcasting for 2-years, I know they're lying since podcasting only took off in late '04. And I mean late.

Not only that but this trend tool from Google helps me to continue to build a case for business podcasting.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Drosos: Social media and the dismantling of your brand

A very good article written by Mark Drosos called Who's Marketing Your Brand. Although targetted at the entertainment industry, Drosos writes that social media is changing the dynamics between consumers and marketing departments.

As Drosos writes:

"Marketing control has shifted into consumers' hands, and there is no better way to take advantage of this shift than with user-generated media. Embracing user-generated media as part of your marketing strategy provides a unique opportunity you can't get with TV, print or online media -- or even on your own website."

Although the author calls it user-generated media, the more accepted term is social media. This includes blogs, wikis, message boards, podcasts and anything else that allows people to share their experience with your brand with others on the Internet. Often, they'll bypass your website (maybe they won't visit it altogether) and create their own virtual grassroots campaign if you piss them off.

A good example of this is the Help Paul Dell campaign. Dell Computers is suing Paul Dell for using the word Dell in his company name and on his website. This resulted in an online campaign to help Paul Dell raise money for his defense and obtain free hosting to serve his regularly updated blog and website.

If Dell was smart, they would counter this growing consumer distaste by providing a spot on their corporate website for consumers to vent. Instead, they choose to ignore this online petition and go on as if it's business as usual.

Don't be a Dell. Don't ignore your customers, otherwise you'll pay the price as the disgruntled ones dismantle your brand online. Instead, embrace your customer satisfaction (and disatisfaction) by providing the tools on your website that allow your customers to interact with your brand.

You see, it's better to be in control of social media, than to ignore it. I'm not saying that you control the content. Instead, you can study it, learn from it so you can improve your products, clean up your customer service and deal with customer complaints in a timely manner.

Or, you can watch helplessly as someone launches a website and generate an online smear campaign all because you didn't refund their $0.59 on a tube of socks.

It's 7x more expensive to find a new customer than to keep the one you already have. So, make it easy for your consumers to play with your brand using social media tools on your corporate website. Turn that online brochure into a customer experience machine.

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Like Yahoo Podcasts needs any more publicity

The Annual Webby Awards (the Oscars for websites) just announced their winners in the podcast category. Yahoo Podcasts wins.


Yahoo Podcasts, who launched their service way after Podcast Pickle (one of the nominees), wins this coveted award. Why is it that big namers get all the attention?

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Women's Podcasting Expo

The organizers of the International Podcasting Expo (IPE) is organizing a Women's Podcasting Expo.

If you have a product or service geared to women or to podcasting, join the organizers tonight at 9pm ET for an informational meeting. Details are on their website. We'll be meeting virtually using an online conference room.

Now, this makes sense. A web 2.0 type conference being held online. I mused about this at length in another post. I really and truly can't understand why any conference on emerging technology would even bother with the antiquated approach of having a conference in a building with tables and chairs. Mind boggling in my eyes.

Technorati Tags: Podcast Expo, penny haynes,

Podcon Toronto

So, there's a conference taking place in San Francisco in June called Vloggercon.

I was wondering. If I organized a conference called Podcon here in Toronto, would anyone come? Would I attract convicts (well, if it's Wentworth Miller I wouldn't refuse his ticket), or would people know it's actually a podcast conference?

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Podcoaching with Terri Levine

If you're a coach or consultant and you're curious how to use podcasting to grow your coaching business, you'll be interested in a no-fee teleclass hosted by Terri Levine. She'll be interviewing yours truly.

The title of the no-fee teleclass is Podcoaching: How Coaches Can Use a Podcast to Gain More Clients. I'll show you how I used a podcast to:

  1. Eliminate complimentary coaching sessions
  2. Increase my coaching business by 50%
  3. Gain a #1 ranking for my website in search engines
  4. Turn one of my products into a passive income goldmine

Click here to register.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Guess who's speaking at the Podcast Expo?

Just got off the phone with Tim Bourquin, founder of the Podcast & Portable Media Expo. He called to let me know that I've been selected as a speaker.

From his email:

"Congratulations! You've been chosen to present at the Podcast & Portable Media Expo 2006. We received nearly 500 requests to speak, but we selected the people who we believe will deliver the best information to the attendees."

Totally awesome! It's going to be a great opportunity to network, mingle and meet some interesting people in podcasting.

What's my topic? It will incorporate podcast optimization, podcast monetization, listener preferences and search engine optimization all wrapped into one. Can anyone help me with a title?

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Connecting Point doesn't connect with podcast

I found yet another podcast where the company misses the mark.

A keynote address to the New Mexico Spa Association regarding branding your spa is now available for instant download at Connecting Point Communications, says their press release.

I wouldn't have recommended podcasting the entire keynote. My goodness, if I paid to attend this conference and I knew the speech was available for free on a podcast, I wouldn't bother attending the conference next year. I'd just wait for the podcast and download the whole kit and kaboodle for free, thus saving myself transportation and hotel costs.

Trade shows and conferences have to use podcasts to entice people to attend their show, not keep them away. Remember, your podcast is a lead generating tool. Provide small clips and leave your listeners salivating for more.

I would've told this fine group at Connecting Point Communications to start the podcast with a message from the event organizer. Then, provide just 10-minutes of the keynote address by Holly Hitzemann and Mary Ellen Merrigan, then end off with 5-minutes of comments from attendees who heard the entire speech. The outro should just simply say:

"To hear the entire keynote address called 'Stars and Strikes, Defining the Factors that Lead to Brandtastic' go to our website at to..."

Then, you encourage listeners to purchase the recording of the keynote on CD or sign up for our newsletter to download the entire MP3 file.

Get it?

Don't give away the farm. Tempt listeners with breadcrumbs and get them to go to your website for the french baguette with whipped cream cheese.

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Corporate podcasting picking up

There's some awesome things happenning in corporate podcasting right now. Apple is promoting B2B podcasting to a corporate audience via email (trying to find the source) and CBC is now podcasting its Radio One radio broadcasts.

Now, just to let you know, Apple sells iPods and CBC already has a podcast that's doing really well, namely CBC Radio 3 (among others). So, neither are absolutely brand spanking new to the world of podcasting.

However, what makes the CBC Radio One example exciting is that their audience is older. Encouraging their listeners to download a podcast means that one part of my job just got easier.

Thank you CBC. My tax dollars finally being put to good use.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

National Public Radio considers podcast sponsorship

National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States is now fearing that the popularity of their podcasts will damage on air pledges during their fundraising drive.

Now, this is the argument of radio stations. That podcasting is taking away listeners from their current programming. Funny thing is, the Forrester Report on podcasting that came out a few weeks ago showed that podcast listeners preferred listening to existing content from radio and TV stations over and above original content from unknown sources.

However, the problem with podcasts is exactly what NPR is running into. People are using podcasts to provide their entire programming to listeners for free.

I've always argued that podcasts should give listeners the hors d'oeuvres, not the full course meal. For example:

  • If you have a radio station, provide just 10-minutes of a 60-minute show.
  • If you're a service professional, provide just 5-minutes of a 30-minute client session.
  • If you organize a trade show or conference, provide 7-minutes clips from the conference floor and from select panel discussions, not the entire 60-minute speech.

Your podcast should be a lead generator that guides listeners to your website for more information. Otherwise, it's like a restaurant offering a meal for free when all you wanted to do is check the menu. Or Baskin Robbins giving you a full scoop for free when all you asked for is a sample on a pink spoon.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Jerry Langton: No gals in his podcasting article

Jerry Langton wrote an article for the Toronto Star last week on podcasting.

While it's a good read and he quoted a couple of guys that I know who are into podcasting (namely, Tod Maffin and Tim Shore), I'm dismayed to see that not one woman was quoted, mentioned or even interviewed.

Now, there's nothing wrong with these 2 dudes. I met Tim at iSummit (what about that coffee?) and Tod and I emailed each other a couple of months back. So, they're both all around cool guys.

My gripe isn't with Tod or Tim.

It's with Jerry simply because with all the gals out there who are podcasting, our voices aren't reflected in his article. His article simply proves the argument that marketing directors and other corporate types keep telling me in sales meetings, which is:

"Leesa, this is interesting, but only teenaged boys are listening to these podcasts anyways. Call us in 4-years when our target market has finally downloaded one of those things."

Thanks for making my job that much harder, Jerry.

So, maybe you just didn't know where to go to get any female podcasting voices. Fair enough, that's a legitimate excuse. Here's the research that I've put together that will make it easier for you to femme-up your next podcasting article:

  1. The gals at are the first podcasters to secure a six-figure sponsorship deal from Dixie Cups.

  2. Audrey Reed-Granger, the marketing director over at Whirlpool, broke new ground in corporate marketing by introducing an issues-based podcast without promoting any Whirlpool products.

  3. Penny Haynes, a podcaster who was teaching people how to podcast before podcasting became a buzzword, was the first to hold a virtual expo on podcasting.

  4. Need a Canadian? Well, I've been called a podcasting expert (not self-proclaimed, I might add).

  5. I included this link above, but I'll do so again. Amy Gahran put together a list of female podcasters. I can help you shift through the clutter and pull out the active and most interesting female podcasters to interview.

Has that helped?

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Lifetime TV has a podcast

Would you believe that Lifetime TV is now podcasting? Their demographic are mothers between 31-45 years old. Please stop telling me that podcasting is only for the young.

CBS considers selling off radio stations

Although not a podcasting issue, this article in the New York Post does speak to the declining radio listeningship that's a trend right now.

It appears that with Howard Stern making the jump to sattelite radio, CBS' radio properties aren't doing all that well. So, CBS wants to sell the whole kit and kaboodle and unload their struggling radio stations.

Don't cry for them, Argentina. CBS should take a page out of BBC's book. Diversify your offerings using both traditional and mobile media. It's just so simple.