With her business, Media Maven, and her podcast, Become a Media Maven, Christina Nicholson is a TV host who helps bloggers and business owners grow by reaching thousands, even millions, of their ideal customers or clients in minutes instead of months. Through the power of traditional and new media, Nicholson helps clients show up without spending big bucks on advertising. Before she planted herself in front of a podcast mic, the Media Maven Christina Nicholson could be seen in front of the camera as a host on Lifetime TV, and in national commercials. You also may have read her work online in HuffPost, Thrive Global, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.
“After being a guest on many podcasts for years, it was always in my mind to start one… eventually. But it wasn’t until I was talking to two friends, who also happen to be podcasters, who told me to stop waiting and just do it, so I did!”
Find Your Starting Line (With A Test)
Plenty of hosts have talked about how important it has been for them to just begin somewhere, a message Nicholson reiterated in the making of this article.
“I think it’s so important to share your expertise with others to grow your audience and that very important know, like, and trust factor. This just gives me another platform to continue to do what I’m doing on social media, my blog, my YouTube channel, and as a guest on other podcasts.”
The launch can be so daunting, it prevents hosts from ever starting, and if you can relate to this at all, I would recommend choosing a topic or writing an intro and just recording that any way you can. Forget the details or the software, even the microphone. For this test run, the microphone built into your cell phone or your computer (if it’s no more than a few years old) will work just fine. Get this first recording done and go back and listen. Ask yourself, is this something I can actually do? Is this something I enjoyed doing? If you can’t get started, run a test and go from there.
Nowadays it seems as if everyone is trying to jump on the podcast bandwagon. Nicholson gives this advice with a grain of salt. Podcasting certainly isn’t for everyone, and she says being transparent about this going into the process really defines your level of influence, as well as awareness around your talents.
“You have to be comfortable talking to people. No one wants to listen to a boring interview, so you have to be conversational and be open to speak freely and openly. With this, I also tell people if they are going to start, to throw away the worries that don’t matter. So what, you don’t like the sound of your own voice, or you say ummm too much. If you find your starting line, and decide to jump in, you have to let go of the things that don’t matter and make time for the things that do- because there will be plenty to consume your time, believe me.”
When you open up a new medium, such as podcasting, to continue establishing yourself as a person of high authority, there are definite benefits and impacts, and I love talking with hosts about this topic. What we’re seeing over and over again, is not the focus on monetization of a show, but monetization of a business as a whole, an approach I think is genius. When you launch a show in an obscure or niche area, you’re doing two very important things:
- You’re establishing, publicly, the demand for this information.
- You’re establishing your own high authority within this demand.
“When you share your expertise, you create know, like, and trust factor and that’s who people want to do business with. This makes the sales part of your business so much easier. It’s how I built, and continue to grow my business. I put myself out there sharing my knowledge and expertise, so when people are ready to do business, they know exactly where to turn because I’ve already proved myself by helping them.”
The third thing that happens when you podcast your expertise, is you get to debunk old, outdated, or bad advice and really help your listeners.
“There aren’t a lot of PR podcasts out there. In addition, I don’t come from a PR point of view. My point of view is as a member of the media. That’s actually why I got into PR, because I was on the receiving end of what many bad PR firms and publicists were sending to journalists like me. I’m very open, maybe a little too open, about what goes on behind the scenes and share all of it on both sides of the media since I am currently working on both sides.”
With this in mind, Nicholson also pointed out how important it is to create your own roadmap. Because there is so much outdated information online and there are so many self-proclaimed experts who are figuring it out as they go, you really have to create your own roadmap, get a mentor if you get stuck in the process (listen to a podcast!), and try to keep it simple. A few more expert tips from the Media Maven herself:
- You can’t track your reputation through data. Vanity metrics is something being pushed by PR firms everywhere, and we have to be careful getting caught up in the numbers that don’t matter. Focus on showing up consistently with good content. This is your main objective, everything else is extra.
- Keep selling and self-promotion to a minimum. Smart marketing would be to gear your episode topics and guests centered around your expertise. This way, you are promoting your knowledge and experience without selling all the time. Highlight your strengths in a way that benefits everyone.
- Don’t get in too big of a rush. True influence takes time and strategy. And when you show up where you’re going- it means so much more than any ad you could ever buy. Impact, long term, is an investment, anyone telling you different is trying to sell you on something.
- Batch the episodes. Podcasting is a lot of work — between booking guests, recording the show, editing, and uploading — it can be overwhelming. The best way to not only get all of these things done efficiently but ahead of schedule as well is to batch it and do it all at once. For example, Tuesday is my podcasting day and when I focus on the Become a Media Maven podcast. Because I batch it, I have everything scheduled three months ahead of time.
Podcaster Influencer, Christina Nicholson of Become A Media Maven Podcast shares the best ways to:
1 ) Book Great Guests. Don’t just have anyone on the show. Some people get caught up in having big names on their show. This is a mistake because most people can’t relate to big names. Yes, every once in a while it’s nice to hear from someone we all know and it helps with your credibility to have them on your show, but the point of the podcast is to help people. Someone just starting their business can relate more to other people who have been in business 6-months than someone doing a few million a year, for example. So leave your ego at the door and focus on good guests who can add value — no matter how big or small they may be in the online or podcasting space.
2) Increase Listeners. Be a guest on other shows. People who listen to one podcast, listen to others. If you want to draw other podcast listeners to your podcast, then you need to be a guest on other shows showcasing your expertise. When you’re on these shows, it’s okay to share that you have a podcast too.
3) Produce In A Professional Way. Invest in good quality artwork and production. Yes, people still judge books by their covers and podcasting is no different. If it doesn’t look good visually, then people will prejudge and think the podcast isn’t polished or professional as well. Make sure the podcast art is a great indicator of what the podcast is. From your vantage point, what are some of the reasons why a person should consider creating a podcast series? Statistics show that more people are listening to podcasts, so if you want to reach people in a certain industry or niche, this is the way to go today!
4) Encourage Engagement. Promote it like crazy. How are people going to know you have a show if you don’t tell them? Not only should you be sharing episodes as they go live, but you should also be sharing old episodes and links to the podcast in general repeatedly. When you share, be sure to tag guests so they get a notification on social media, making it easy for them to share on their end with one click (or tap).
5) Best Way to Monetize. Long term selling. Send people to a place, at the end of an episode, where there’s a call to action, rather than just dropping them into your website. If there are clear pathways to you and your services, and especially free offerings, you will see this drive your business in other areas. People think ad placement is how podcasts make money, but this show is an arm of my business that drives the others up.