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How You Can Be More Like The 3 Best SoundCloud Podcasts

How You Can Be More Like The 3 Best SoundCloud Podcasts?

SoundCloud is fast becoming one of the go-to platforms for hosting all sorts of sounds, and one of the fastest-growing varieties of sounds is podcasts. Many people are turning to SoundCloud to host their podcasts because of its exceptional interconnectivity with social media, and the fact that it is a social media platform itself.

As is the way with most things in life, looking to those who are successful is a way to build strategies toward your own success. The examples that I am going to look at are 3 of the best podcasts on SoundCloud:

  • Fatman on Batman: Kevin Smith’s podcast on all things comic books, nerd culture, and movies.
  • StarTalk Radio: Planet Earth’s most popular genius (I just trademarked that phrase), Neil deGrasse Tyson talks science and stars.
  • How Did This Get Made: An absurdist look at popular movies, occasionally recorded live with an audience, and, hopefully, with some credit sent to Mysterious Science Theatre 3000.

Each of these shows is wildly different from the other, but each succeeds at getting listened to with plays breaking the half-million mark. Get ready, because learning about how to be more like 3 of the best podcasts on SoundCloud is going to be fun … and educational!

Parental Advisory: Fatman On Batman Contains Lots Of Kevin Smith

Ok, I embed a track below from Fatman on Batman: If you click on it this is your full-on NSFW warning as it stars Kevin Smith. He swears. Often. He makes sexual innuendos. Constantly. That’s his brand, and that’s a lesson to learn:

Your voice is everything. If you haven’t developed a distinct voice for your SoundCloud podcast you will fail on SoundCloud.

Kevin Smith is someone who is well-known in the comic book industry. Ever since his incredible run on Daredevil’s comic book in 1999 (Guardian Devil, still a classic which I personally read and reread every issue of at least 5 times), Kevin has been largely embraced by comic book culture. He was our legitimate connection to the ‘real’ world of pop culture and movies before Marvel Studios took over the world. So Kevin has done what any good marketer would do, he:

  • Identified an audience that craves his content.
  • Shows his expertise in the area of their interest.
  • Reaches into a number of online markets to connect with his audience often.

Kevin was well known for posting and talking about comic books many years before go. But when his Comic Book Men TV series debuted on AMC, following the network’s highly popular The Walking Dead series (also a comic book originally), his importance in comic book culture exploded.

Kevin is smart. He has his movies, he has his comic book show, he has his books, but he was missing something. And that ‘something’ was one last place to connect with his fans, and all he had to do was what he’s best at Talk. Have you ever seen an interview with Kevin Smith?

Many will consider Stephen Colbert to be the best interviewer in the world right now, and even he couldn’t keep up with Kevin! That’s a sure sign of a podcaster right there. It didn’t take Kevin long to realize that this was a calling of his. After that realization, combining podcasting with comic books was so natural it would have made no sense at all for him to not pursue something like this:

Don’t miss out on a lesson here on how Kevin comments on what’s going on right now in the world of geek. Luke Cage had been out about 10 days, everyone was done binge-watching and was talking about it. Kevin often comments on trending topics, earns shares and passionate commentary while people are already discussing it, and he rides a wave of popularity from this timing.

What’s the great lesson to be learned from Kevin Smith’s podcasting? When you’re good at something, run with it! Kevin didn’t need a podcast. He directs successful movies. He directs TV shows. He gets paid well to tour. His books sell well. He added podcasting to the mix because he’s good at it and because his fans wanted it. Don’t be afraid to get into podcasting if you’re already successful elsewhere, this could be just the tool you need to:

  • Stay on the minds of your fans when you’re not working on a big project.
  • When they want to binge on your thoughts.
  • When they want to have something to listen to in the car.

Kevin’s next movie is rumored to be Clerks 3. It’s a movie about the 2 convenience store clerks seen in Clerks and Clerks 2. What do they have to do with comic books? Nothing. What do they have to do with Kevin Smith? Everything.

Comic book geeks everywhere who love Kevin’s work on Fatman on Batman, Comic Book Men, and his new show Geeking Out!, are still going to see Clerks 3 because Kevin has done something with podcasting that we all need to do: Connect deeply, and honestly, with an engaged audience.

StarTalk Radio Talks With The Stars About Stars

How You Can Be More Like The 3 Best SoundCloud Podcasts

That was a whole lot of mentions about stars, but it is highly relevant when you talk about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Radio podcast. Neil deGrasse Tyson is, perhaps, the most famous genius on Earth.™ His fame stems from his successful TV series Cosmos, with respect to Carl Sagan, and appearances on other TV shows. He decided to do something with this fame, and that was the launch of StarTalk:

A typical episode is above. It features himself, his co-host Chuck Nice, a guest appearance from Bill Nye, and an interview with Elon Musk. This is a very typical episode of StarTalk as Neil brings on all sorts of guests. This has included:

  • Mayim Bialik, of The Big Bang Theory
  • Mike Massimino, famous astronaut and TV personality
  • Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post
  • Al Gore, former Vice President, and climate change champion

And that’s just from the last 4 months, and it isn’t everyone! Neil gets these famous stars on his show about actual stars to talk about their particular expertise:

  • Mayim Bialik: An actual neuroscientist in real life who is also a neuroscientist on TV, her appearance on Startalk had her discussing how science is presented on TV.
  • Mike Massimino: A real astronaut takes us inside of Johnson Space Centre.
  • Arianna Huffington: The Huffington Post co-founder talks science and religion, hitting on a big topic as her news source is famous.
  • Al Gore: Talks climate change. Obvs.

Neil is using the power of the guest expert, which can be done by anyone, anywhere, in any genre. You need to build your SoundCloud following first, to attract these guests to your audience, because using the best guest experts can skyrocket your podcast as you’re:

  1. Seen increasingly as a place to find expert opinions and analysis.
  2. Gaining the audience of the expert.
  3. Creating unique and fresh content often.
  4. Varying the content you present as everyone has their own way of speaking.

Stars talking about stars in areas which they star in on StarTalk: A perfectly logical and sensible sentence! What sort of experts can you get on your show? Or, if you’re not yet ‘big’ enough to draw any, where can your guest star to start building your audience? Look around, talk to influencers in your genre, and get a conversation started.

On the social front, Neil is a big-time tweeter. While some of his tweets absolutely blow up and go viral, he does some solid marketing for his podcast on Twitter too:

JUST POSTED @StarTalkRadio Extended Classic: “Cosmic Queries Superheroes” w/ @ColinJost on @iTunes & https://t.co/75UZNg9Lzk

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) September 3, 2016

And every now and then his celebrity guests tweet their appearances too. This is another huge benefit of bringing on guests:

moving on to less hot topics, unless of course me being a neuroscientist talking to neil degrasse tyson is now… http://t.co/1YwctTLSV1

— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) August 3, 2014

The great thing about Twitter which neither of these two demonstrated, likely because their goal was driving web traffic (the links send you to a blog with the SoundCloud track embedded), was to embed SoundCloud tracks right in Twitter. The two work together well thanks to a partnership between them which allows SoundCloud tracks to play right in Twitter.

How Did This Get Made, Indeed?

The How Did This Get Made podcast is absolutely one of the most useless podcasts around. It’s not useful to a highly engaged audience of genre lovers in the way that Fatman on Batman is, nor is it as smart as StarTalk Radio. It’s people making jokes about the worst movies, some of them decades old …and it’s a podcast so you can’t even actually see the movies!

Somehow, some way, they make this unique podcast work as every episode gets hundreds of thousands of plays, some even eclipse the half-million mark! How do they do this? Community. The show is uploaded every 2 weeks. They have a regular schedule. 1 week before they upload the next episode they do a lead-up episode.

This gives their fans:

  • A recap of the last episode, frequently discussing the community’s reactions.
  • A preview of the movie in the upcoming episode so that their community can watch it in advance and be ‘in’ on the jokes.
  • Advanced warning of live shows and appearances for the most direct of community interaction, face-to-face.

Think of How Did This Get Made as a comedy show where you’re encouraged to heckle the comedians and the subject matter. It’s a moment in pop culture where the culture takes pop to the jaw, no one takes much of anything seriously, and we all have a laugh.

What’s the first lesson here? That if you have an idea, and you’re good enough at it, try it out! See if you can find an audience! If you were to pitch a podcast to me about people sitting around making fun of movies I’d tell you: “Get out, no one will listen to that! I can get that on any given night with my friends!”

Well, I would’ve been wrong. You never know until you try it out. What’s the risk of trying things out on SoundCloud? It’s free to upload and host a limited amount of content, and it’s free to sit down with the mic on your computer and record. Try out all of your ideas and see if you connect with your audience.

There is one last lesson to learn here. That would be the lesson of their live shows:

This gives them a chance to connect directly with members of their audience, sell some tickets to get paid and inject some real energy into their podcasts. What you can do is:

  • Do live speaking engagements, even if you’re not a comedian, and record them.
  • Preview these appearances on your podcast to get your community out there.
  • Record them and see what happens.
  • Don’t like public speaking? Use Periscope, Facebook Live, or a YouTube Livestream to get that sort of interaction. The live comments can be your ‘audience’ to which you react to.

Podcasting on SoundCloud doesn’t have to be limited to sessions you record in a room by yourself with other hosts. It can be recorded live with your community and shared online for those who missed out …who should also get a fair warning so as to not miss it again!

They also make use of a blog where they embed their podcasts. This opens their audience up to those who find their website through the magic of good SEO, and who may have never heard of their podcast before:

Be More Like The Best Podcasts On SoundCloud

These 3 shows could hardly have been more dissimilar. One was about comic books, the other was about astrophysics and science, and the last was about bad movies. But they all succeed wildly on SoundCloud, and can teach us valuable lessons for our own podcasts:

  • When you find your audience on one platform, find them on others as well. Especially if you’re very good at your job, and that job is talking.
  • Comment on what’s trending right at the moment it’s trending, like how Kevin is always talking about the latest movies.
  • Bring on guests’ stars and let them speak to their strengths.
  • Use your experts to make your podcast a regular place to go for expert advice.
  • Try out your ideas, even the ones which seem stupid, to see if you find an audience. All that you have to lose is time as SoundCloud is free to start.
  • Use live events wisely, and hype them up in your podcast to really engage your community.

We had some fun with these silly shows, but we also learned some serious lessons about podcasting on SoundCloud. No matter what genre you’re in there is an audience out there who wants to listen to content. Try the tips above to connect with that audience on SoundCloud, and let’s hear what you have to say.

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