“I want to see myself as leading a conversation, but not dominating it and not being the only voice that’s important.”
— Jerod Morris
We are continuing the conversation we started last week about working in the podcasting industry. In the previous episode, we looked at podcast production with Yellow House Media Co-Founder, Sean McMullin.
In this episode, we focus on the most visible role in podcasting — the podcast host. The person behind the mic, the voice in your ear.
To help me explore this role, I’m joined by Jerod Moris. Jerod has been building online audiences since 2008. He writes, podcasts, and helms online communities with a servant leadership mentality. His projects include Unemployable, THINKERS Notebook, The Assembly Call, The Showrunner, and Primility.
Jerod and I talked about his thoughts around podcasting in general, why podcasting is having its moment, and what about podcasting allows for deeper connections, unlike other mediums.
We also talked about what he’s learned through his journey and after starting lots of different podcasts, how his thinking around podcasting evolved over time. Jerod shared how he sees himself growing in this role over the next couple of years and his advice for anyone looking to start a podcast – whether that be an internal podcast within a company or a show with a wider audience.
Email Jerod Morris: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Jerod Morris on Twitter
The Assembly Call (podcast)
Primility Primer (podcast)
7 Figure Small (podcast)
The Creative Penn (podcast) – the episode with Jerod Morris
HEiL Sound PR40 Microphone (the mic that Jerod uses)
Briefing Notes, the 41st, a Futurist Edition
Follow Second Breaks on Instagram
Connect with Lou Blaser on LinkedIn
HIGHLIGHTS FROM FROM THIS CONVERSATION
What is really inherent about podcasts that I think have helped podcast hosts developed such strong relationships with their audiences are a couple of things. One is just the connection that you can create with a podcast because when you’re talking with someone about a subject, you cannot hide your voice. Your voice is going to give off the natural enthusiasm that you have. If you’re afraid of something, if you’re not excited about something, it’s going to come through in your voice.
The way that people listen to podcasts is different. And I think that leads into the second element that has really allowed podcasts to take off. Podcasts have this water-like feature about them in terms of how they can just like fit into nooks and crannies where other content can’t go.
Think about what you’re doing a lot of times when you listen to podcasts. It’s the kind of thing that you don’t normally do with somebody else. Maybe you’re washing the dishes or working out. Maybe you’re getting ready for work in the morning. You may be in the shower and you have a speaker that you can listen in the shower. You’re driving to work. All these different things that used to be kind of solitary activities. And now, we’re bringing along these other people with us.
It is easy to be a little bit intimidated. And I think it’s easy to wish that there weren’t as many great, highly produced shows out there. But I think what you’ve got to look at it is it gives us more of an opportunity to reach our audience because more of our audiences are now here.
Look, there are some amazing podcasts, and sometimes you listen to these well-produced shows that are these beautiful audio narratives. And they’re amazing. I mean, good audio storytelling is phenomenal. But you know, what else is phenomenal? An interview, a discussion between two people that is around a subject that I’m interested in, where they’re knowledgeable and they’re enthusiastic. And they’re speaking to me and. If you really know your audience and you bring on good guests and you have good conversations, that can’t be duplicated.
The deeper reasons why people listen to podcasts, I think, are so important to help us make sure that we understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and why. The most underrated element of building a podcast audience is just showing up.
I see myself less as a podcast host and more as a builder of community and a leader of community. because I think for, you know, for a podcast to really take off and be all that it can be I think it needs to, at some point go beyond just. The headphones. You know, it’s got to, what I really want to do with podcasts is not just connect the audience member to me. I want to try to connect the audience members to each other,
I would love for every podcast that I ever build for me at some point to be able to walk away from it and for it to still be able to live on. Because the idea and the community are there and it’s bigger than just the person that was behind the microphone. I want to see myself as leading a conversation, but not dominating it and not being the only voice that’s important.
Internal company podcasts are a really big growth opportunity.
The number one piece of advice for anybody starting a podcast is you have to know who you’re talking to. That’s the first thing. So if you know who it is that you want to reach and you can craft a compelling reason for why a podcast should be the way to do it, and why you’re the person to host that podcast, go to the decision-makers at your company and talk about it. Because it’s a really great way to communicate with all sorts of different people.
I think most podcasters don’t really like the sound of their own voice. I think that the easiest way to get around that is to approach it from an audience-first perspective. That it’s not about you and it’s not about what you think of your own voice. Does an audience like your voice? Do they connect to the things that you say?
The biggest reason why people will connect to a voice is not just how it sounds. I’m not going to say it that doesn’t make a difference. It does. Some voices connect better over audio than others. But what really connects with people is enthusiasm and authenticity and hearing different emotional tones in your voice. Being able to know when you’re happy, being able to know when you’re sad. Getting to know a voice over time.