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Published on Mar 12, 2020 08:00 am:

Yes, Indie Podcasters Can Compete... And Win! [Episode 276]

Big media companies have piles of cash to throw at awareness campaigns, grab the best and most recognizable names in the world, and hire gigantic teams of a dozen or more talented people to work on a single episode.

And you, the indie podcaster… you probably don’t have any of that. 

You likely don’t have piles of cash that you can use to hire a team of talented people. You probably don't have a name that is recognizable by the majority of households in this country (or any country). You likely can't spend hundreds of thousands or millions of marketing dollars to give your work exposure to the masses. 

But big media doesn’t have a monopoly on shows that sound great. 

And as my friend Tom Kelly stated so eloquently, indie podcast doesn't have to mean shitty podcast.

As an indie podcaster, we can compete with big media podcasts on quality. They’re probably going to win when it comes to marketing. They’re probably going to win when it comes to talent acquisition. 

But there is nothing stopping you, me, or any individual person from making a podcast that always has amazing sound quality. 

If you’re just one person, there’s no way to scale to the ~125 hours of work required to put out a complex episode. So deal with that reality and do something different that does not require that level of people-hours. Reduce the frequency if you need to. Or better yet, reduce the complexity. Whatever you do, do not reduce the quality.

With very few exceptions, there’s nothing stopping you from ensuring your episodes sound amazing every single time. If you’re committed enough, you should be able to work with whatever tools you have at your disposal to make a show with amazing quality sound.

Your goal is simple: when someone listens to the Conan O'Brien podcast and then listens to your podcast, that person should be unable to detect a difference in sound quality. 

And if anything, you want your show’s sound quality to be better. 

You can do this. You, the individual and independent podcaster can do this. No, there isn't a magical button or box that big media spent $50,000 on that makes their shows sound amazing. It’s mostly just people and resources. Well, you’re a person, and clearly you already have the resources to make a podcast. 

The next time you get together with your podcasting friends, start a conversation about commitment to quality. If they ask you to check out their show, be honest with them about how you perceive the quality. They need to hear an unvarnished opinion.

And if you don't want to be the one to tell them, send them this episode of Podcast Pontifications and I will tell them how incredibly important sound quality really is. 


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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

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