Steve Bennet-Martin has been podcasting since January 1 st , 2020.
When it comes to podcasting, show notes can be almost as important as the material itself. Podcasting is growing exponentially but there is still more of a demand than there is product. Sure- there are those podcasts that you learn to search out – most likely because a friend or another podcast you listened to recommended it.
I remember one of my favorite adolescent activities was to stroll up and down the aisles of Blockbuster studying every movie they had on the shelf. No matter the app you are using, the experience of finding new podcasts vs. finding that rental is virtually the same. There are a few rare times where you know exactly what you want before you even walk into the store. You search for it, find it, and you are on your way. It worked for Scream back in the day and it works for My Dad Wrote a Porno today.
What happens when you do not know what podcast you want to listen to? You browse through the app, the same we used to at Blockbuster. You find the genre you are looking for – True Crime. You then look through that section and wow – there are so many to choose from!
At times, the logo will be enough for someone to download the episode, but those are rare occurrences. Most of the time, after you open the show, then you read the summary. What is their show about? You read it there – all the ugly details, the nuance, the character, the… oh wait… do you need to check yours right now to see what it even says? It is sad but true that this is something that is neglected the moment you fill it out your summary the first time and hit save. Once you are done with it, you typically never look back.
How does one summarize themselves in 250 words or less? While humanity has begun this traditional since the birth of the love note, it has never gotten easier over time or with the new ways we put our best foot forward. Show notes should get the same love and attention any dating profile would get if you were single, or any marriage would get if you were married. You may use the app or love the person every day, but you should also step back every now and then and look at it and ask yourself “What is this?”
While many shows find themselves and their concept on autopilot, that is not the usual experience for even the most thought-out podcast and shows. Your show will change and grow and pivot and evolve and mutate into things you never imagined it to become. Whether those changes are on a conceptional level or just a molecular level, you likely will change the way you summarize your show over time. Even if it takes the help of Siri or Alexa or Google or your mom, remind yourself to check your show summary now and then. Does it summarize your show the way you would like it to? Does it include what your listeners can expect? Does it show your personality? Remember – these aren’t questions that should be asked the first time you fill in the summary. These are questions you ask yourself whenever your show makes a change, but it doesn’t hurt to set a quarterly reminder to check them just in case you forget. After experimenting with 8 different formats over 2 podcasts in 1 year, trust me – being flexible is important, but it will not help your show if your summary doesn’t match or jive with your format!