The Right Kind Of Network
May 25, 2016
One of the questions I get asked the most is, "hey, how do I get a show on your network?" The answer is a question back to you: What are you expecting from being aligned with a network? And another: Do you NEED to be on a network?
I'll answer the latter questions like this: If you're advanced -- if you either have a show that's generating at least five figure downloads each episode, and you need someone who can market and sell your show, then, yes, a network might be a good thing for you. If you're a big name, someone with a lot of social media pull, a network can have value, too. If you're lesser known or just starting out? You might be surprised - a network can't do that much for you unless you're bringing something substantial to the table, whether it's a name or a following. It can help with directory placement, and it might make posting shows easier or more consistent, but if your show's not ready for that, it's not going to magically become so by getting the golden ticket of network slot.
But a network can help every podcast, just not THAT kind of network. The network every show should have is the same kind of network you have when you're looking for a job -- people who can guide you, who can help you get the word out, who can let you know about opportunities and guests and resources. That network is invaluable. Use it to trade guest appearances, one of the best marketing things you can do. Use it to get unbiased, unvarnished advice about ad sales reps and equipment and other shows with which to network.
Don't rush your show into an ad sales or distribution network. Do get your personal network going right away. The other stuff will come in time.
Oh, and about being on our network? Unlikely -- we only have so many we can do -- but just drop me a note and I'll keep it in the hopper in case we start looking for a show like yours. And, no, that's NOT blowing you off. Think of it as the old box o' tapes under the PD's desk back in the day at radio stations. If I don't need a show right now, the box sits there untouched. If I need a show fast, the box gets hauled out. I've hired radio shows from that box. And sending an e-mail note with links isn't only the present-day equivalent of a contribution to the box o' tapes, it's... networking. See? It's the same on every level.