The Art and Science of Podcasting: A Conversation with Alex Sanfilippo – Part 1
“Usually my podcast, I’d say, I probably say eight months of the year, it has no advertisement at all. But that way, when I do place it in, it’s on every single episode, and it’s there just for a short time to really pique someone’s interest, cause they’re like ‘This is different. What is this?’”
“Yeah, that’s a really good option. Yeah, I like the dynamic insertion at the very beginning too, because people are that’s when they’re you’ve got them hooked. They’re there to listen, so you may as well. Yeah, that’s a really good option.” — Alex Sanfilippo
This episode’s guest is an entrepreneur as well as the CEO and founder of PodPros, a podcasting software company. He’s also the host of the top-rated podcast Podcasting Made Simple and is a leading educator when it comes to podcasting. His name is Alex Sanfilippo, and his ground-breaking business ventures have shaped the world of podcasting in a big way. If you’re looking to make more out of your podcast while also retaining your sanity, then please join us for The Art and Science of Podcasting. Alex has a few tricks up his sleeve that’ll help.
As always, if you have questions for my guest, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in the show notes. If you have questions for me, visit audiobrandingpodcast.com where you’ll find a lot of ways to get in touch. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter will let you know when the new podcasts are available and access to a resource called The Studio with lots of interesting sound-related mp3s, videos, educational pdfs, and exclusive discounts from previous guests. And if you’re getting some value from listening, the best ways to show your support are to share this podcast with a friend and leave an honest review. Both those things really help – and I’d love to feature your review on future podcasts. You can leave one either in written or in voice format from the podcast’s main page. I would so appreciate that.
(0:00:01) – A Journey Into Podcasting
As the episode starts, we talk about how a sore throat forced Alex to postpone his first appearance on the show, and how Audio Branding just recently crossed its 200th episode milestone. “I can just tell you off the head,” he says, “because I just looked at these numbers. So, at the time of recording this, you have just under a 6% chance of making it to 200 episodes.” Alex also tells us about the hearing difficulties he suffered as a child and the surprising chiropractic treatment that helped him recover. We talk about children’s audio dramas like Adventures in Odyssey, and how they captured his imagination in a way that TV shows never quite managed. “But whenever it was audio only,” he says,” I would create the visions myself and I think that a lot of my creativity is owed to those moments.”
(0:05:15) – Podcasting and Software for Podcasters
Alex tells us about his first encounter with podcasting, and how skeptical he was that anyone would just listen to a voice recording on a computer. “That’ll never work,” he remembers saying. He quickly changed his mind, though, as he began to listen for himself: “From that moment on,” he tells us, “I was like, ‘I love this, I hope it never goes away.’” We talk about how he began researching software and equipment during his early days of podcasting straight from his car, and the importance of not only having the right message but using the right words to express that message. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” Alex says, “and I always say, ‘but the right words are priceless.’ It’s just a matter of discovering those right words, and when you discover them, man is that powerful.”
(0:14:08) – Podcasting and Advertising Strategies
We also talk about advertising and tips for monetizing podcasting, and Alex and I discuss the importance of unity in podcast branding.“If you do have a product or service of your own,” he explains, “I always say that’s what you should be promoting.” He tells us about a vertical gardening podcast that became a financial hit without selling a single ad, and how the best thing to sell on a podcast is yourself and your business rather than an assortment of industries. “I’m not saying to avoid the advertisements,” he notes, “just find a true sponsor if you don’t have your own product or service. But if you do, you’re always gonna do better selling your own thing, and I think it’s better not to muddy the water.”
(0:24:24) – The Importance of Authenticity in Podcasting
Alex also tells us about dynamic insertion, a technique for digitally integrating separate audio into a podcast episode, and how he uses it sparingly, and in unexpected ways, to grab the listener’s attention. “That way,” he says, “when I do place it in, it’s on every single episode and it’s there just for a short time to really pique someone’s interest.” He offers his tips for presenting your authentic self through your podcast, and gives us a reminder of one easily overlooked but critical branding detail: “Say the name of the show and say who you are every time. There’s a lot of podcasts I listen to and some of them I really like. So I wanted to like reach out to the host, but they never say their name.”
(0:27:08) – Importance of Consistency in Podcasting
As the first half of our discussion comes to a close, Alex talks about how podcasting has helped build his confidence and reminds podcasters to be consistent and respectful to listeners, including letting them know what the show’s about and how long it’ll be. “They’re actually some of the smartest people on the planet that are listening,” he says about podcast listeners, “and so it’s kind of an interesting thing. But we’ve got to learn to develop our voice and really be ourselves through it.”
- How chiropractic care helped treat Alex’s childhood hearing loss.
- The unique power of audio storytelling to spark our imaginations.
- Alex’s first encounter with podcasting and how it changed his career.
- The secret to successful branding and podcast monetization.
- How podcasting taught Alex the value of confidence and authenticity.
Tune in next week as we take a closer look at our early podcasting stints and missteps, some of the innovations and new developments in Alex’s podcasting apps, and how podcasting became a pop cultural mainstay, from Only Murders in the Building to their arrival on YouTube.
Connect with the Guest
Find Your Podmatch Here: https:/www.podmatch.com/
Organize Your Show Like a Pro: https://www.podcastSOP.com/
Podcasters’ Success Resource: https://podpros.com/
Podcasting Made Simple: https://podpros.com/episodes/
Resources for Podcasters: https://podpros.com/win
Connect with Alex Sanfilippo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexsanfilippo/
Follow Alex Sanfilippo on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexJSanfilippo/
Follow Alex Sanfilippo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJSanfi/
Follow Alex Sanfilippo on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ajsanfilippo/
Subscribe to Alex Sanfilippo on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@podpros_com/
Subscribe to Alex Sanfilippo on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/PodPros_com/
Get your complimentary mini e-book and learn how to put your best voice forward and create the best sound impression as a podcast guest with my Tips for Sounding Your Best as a Podcast Guest.
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.