It’s not every day that an Independent media producer in any genre or type of medium gets the opportunity to stand toe to toe with the big names in their space. But Emily Prokop did.
Emily’s podcast, “The Story Behind” was nominated for a 2019 Webby Award and was up against shows like “Serial,” “After Dark,” and other big name shows produced by professional production houses. She doesn’t like to position it as a “David and Goliath” type story but that’s exactly how it seemed to those of us looking on from the outside.
Emily’s journey into podcasting is pretty typical. But the results of her involvement in podcasting are extraordinary. She’s not only been nominated for awards, she got a book deal, build a career for herself, and more. Listen to get the whole story.
You’ll benefit from listening to this episode if you…
>> Are eager to know what podcasting is and how it can benefit you personally
>> Love hearing stories of everyday people who make a life for themselves they never dreamed possible
>> Might want to start a podcast of your own someday
>> Long to make genuine connections online
>> Are trying to find “your people”
>> Need a good podcast editor to take on your next podcast project
>> Wonder if you could make a living as a podcast editor
Play the Espisode Here
Podcasting became a place of friendship and solace for Emily
The very last thing Emily wanted to do as she was processing her divorce was to listen to the radio. Hearing “Delilah” 17 times a day was NOT what would heal her heart and bring her a new outlook on life. So… she starting poking around on her iPhone.
She found a funny little purple icon that she had never used before. It was called “Podcasts.” A world of information, fun, entertainment, growth, and more was right there at her fingetips and she was quickly hooked. Emily became the person who was always telling other people about podcasts. She loved them THAT much.
In this candid and refreshing conversation you’ll get to hear how Emily discovered that many of her childhood dreams were coming true in her 30s — and how she had no idea it was happening at first. But once she discovered it, she realized there was a future ahead for her, not only as a podcast creator, but also as a podcast professional working behind the scenes in the industry.
Podcasters have to get this right: Know your audience
If you want to produce a podcast you need to start out with a very clear picture of WHAT you’re going to talk about and WHO it’s going to be for. A clear answer to those two things will help you make all kinds of better decisions than you would if you don’t take the time to work through those questions.
Emily says that the most important thing to producing content that engages with people, has real entertainment value, and brings good to their lives is knowing them. And she doesn’t just mean knowing a listener “avatar” — she means that you should directly engage with the people who listen to your show and get creative in finding ways to do that.
The better you know them, the better you’ll know what they want and need. Then you’ll be able to research, develop, and create content that meets those needs and serves them well. Emily describes how she engages with her audience, how that engagement lead her understand the format for her new book, and more.
The creation of an amazingly popular podcast — and lessons in creating content people are looking for
Emily was pregnant — and craving pink lemonade. So she went to the store to find some. As she grabbed the package off the shelf she realized, “Wait… there is no such thing as pink lemons!” Her inquisitive and eager-to-learn mind went into action and she was quickly researching where the concept of pink lemonade came from and how it was first produced. THAT in turn gave her the idea to create a podcast of her own (she’d previously published a podcast with a friend – “Classly Little Podcast.”). So she took the plunge and “The Story Behind” was born.
Emily’s done some pretty interesting episodes through the show’s history. Some of my favorites are:
- The story behind Toto’s “Africa“
- The story behind sunglasses
- The story behind The Musical (in which Emily sings the entire episode)
One of the most ingenious ways that Emily decided on episode topics and coordinated that with her publication schedule was to look ahead a bit on her calendar. As she did, she not only watched for upcoming holidays (which provide all kinds of opportunites for “story behind” episodes). She also looked at the “International BLANK day” calendars to find stuff like “National Donut Day,” and such. Then she’d create curiosity-satisfying content around the topics that hit her fancy. (I wonder if that hurt?).
That’s an incredibly smart way to go about marketing because people are likely searching for stuff related to holidays anyway. Why not make your content some of the stuff they find?
What ways could you use this tip for your podcast?