So, it’s about ten months since I launched HatRadio! and so far, so good.
I have posted thirty-two shows at about 1 ½ hours each. I have also vaguely figured out what I’m doing. I’m deeply proud of my accomplishment and receiving some positive input about the show.
But it’s been tough. So, what’s been so hard?
Well firstly, I had to learn what a podcast is, how it works, post-production, where to post it, and about the industry in general. Learning about the industry takes a lot of time, patience and concentration. After all there are about 500,000 podcasts out there, some of which are superlative like WTF, others which are middle of the road and still some which are simply not great. To run my own podcast, I needed to get a handle on what others are doing and thereby get a greater grip on my progress. Am I good enough? How are my interviewing skills? Where should I be going with all of this? These are important questions, and much can be determined by reaching higher to achieve the greatness of someone like Joe Rogan, and of course dipping down to give myself confidence.
Technically, one is in great shape if they have tech savvy skills, which I do not. It’s crucial that I have an understanding of social media because nowadays, if you do not, you’re toast.
Social media, simply put, is my highway to success. So far, I have a loose understanding of how advertising works on Facebook and Instagram. I say loose because while I’m using these platforms to boost my show, I’m not quite sure yet, how to read the data. In other words, it’s great to know that 1400 people were contacted through my boost, and that 52% were woman and 48% were men, but ultimately what does that mean and how do I manipulate those facts toward a stronger show.
So, my learning continues. I’m confident I’ll figure all this out or make a ton of cash and hire someone to manage my social media.
I’ve been very lucky to have met some super individuals along the way who have helped enormously to get HatRadio! up and running. One of those people is Howard Pasternack, a trained engineer, who understands podcast software and knows his way around the internet.
Every Thursday night for months now, he and I have gotten together at his place over some very decent snacks, and he edits out the stuff not worthy for the show. He also spends a bunch of time enhancing the quality of the sound. In the beginning this process took us about five hours. We now have it down to about three. Howard does a fine job and since the inception of HatRadio! we have only had one complaint about the sound.
Howard is a fine friend and an excellent post-production guy.
David Nefesh, my oldest friend (since the mid-sixties), is my music guy. He wrote and performed the HatRadio! song which starts and ends every show. I love the song as I’m a huge blues guy and I so appreciate David’s work.
I also met Jimmy Bensimon, who is one of those guys who is fascinated by life and intent upon enhancing the lives of individuals around him. Jimmy has a social media agency and we worked together officially for about three months.
Social media agencies charge quite a bit for someone who has minimal funds, so I couldn’t stick with him for too long. But we became friends and he advises me now, and does so generously. I’ll often call him and ask for advice about ways and means of advertising the show and he is always there for me.
So, my first piece of advice, anyone wanting to launch a podcast needs to build a team of good folk who are highly skilled in a manner they are not. I have done that and am grateful. In essence, I am not alone in this venture. For me the best way to stay in the game, and to move forward is to remind myself I know a bit about a bit, and that needs to be augmented through my relationship with others.
So, how’s it going? So far HatRadio! has garnered over 4,000 downloads since the beginning. Is that a lot? Well, I’m certainly not Joe Rogan, or Marc Maron who get over a million downloads per show, but it’s a reasonable start.
Remember, coming out of the gate very few people knew about me or the show. I have had to fight for every listener and work my butt off to keep them. Our best show had over 500 downloads. That was the Eli Rubenstein episode. After that. Rabbi Korobkin got over 200 downloads. Nowadays Hatradio! is getting around 100 per show.
So how do I feel about that? Like my buddy Adrianne told me, ‘feel good about the 100 and figure out why they are listening.’ He’s a glass half full guy, and that is what I am doing along with a powerful belief that one day, HatRadio! is going to fly! I believe in my interviewing skills, my ability to find good guests and I will stay in the game.
And therein lies the ingredient to make my podcast successful. Simply put, if you’re going to do this, believe in yourself, fight like hell to maintain your listeners, and be consistent – don’t miss a show and don’t let your energy wain.
Most importantly, improve your product, then improve it again, and then again. If yours is an interviewing podcast, become the best interviewer out there by listening to others who are unbelievably skilled at their game, like Howard Stern, Marc Maron, Joe Rogan and Studs Terkel.
So how am I doing? I’m doing fine! Thanks for asking. Hugs.